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8 hours ago, iCambrian said:

Question: "Why the heck would humans evolve empathy, "?

Answer: "sure it may be beneficial for sentient beings"

Ok, case closed, question answered.

 

We as sentient beings might evolve a more complex understanding of empathy, as it is beneficial for us (as you have said yourself).

When say, we are walking down the street and we see a child getting robbed at gunpoint, the child might be a family member of ours or someone of our community that we know and like. The robber, may be someone who poses a mutual threat to both of us. By having empathy for the child, we may be supporting our community and further supporting our own life. Simultaneously, by understanding the danger that the robber creates, we might save not only the child, but ourselves by having awareness of the dangers the robber poses.

This is basic stuff.

 

Ok, case closed, assuming we don't take anything in context. My point was from an evolutionary standpoint, the creature that evolved into us humans would have been better off without empathy from a survival point of view, which is what evolution is based around. Your example does not apply in a creature with no empathy and no need to develop empathy to survive.

Edited by dragonxx

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2 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Ok, case closed, assuming we don't take anything in context. My point was from an evolutionary standpoint, the creature that evolved into us humans would have been better off without empathy from a survival point of view, which is what evolution is based around. Your example does not apply in a creature with no empathy and no need to develop empathy to survive.

The beings that evolved to become human, if we could make any comparison of them with modern day animals, it would be a comparison to chimpanzees.  Why do you think that...say, a chimpanzee, would be better off not having empathy for their baby, than if they did have empathy for their baby?

This is a loaded question. Of course a chimpanzee species would be better off if their mothers cared and demonstrated empathy for their young, as opposed to leaving them to die.

Chimpanzees without a doubt are very social as well, so of course it would benefit them to have empathy amongst themselves for other chimpanzees in their families and communities. And they do. And it makes them stronger as a chimpanzee community.

Proto humans, like all the common ones you hear, sahelanthropus or lucy, erectus and heidelbergensis and all them, they too benefited from having society or community like families. Hence why their skeletons are often found in groups together. They lived together as families, and in that, it was beneficial for them to have feelings for one another.

So, even if we looked a those that evolved into us, empathy was good for them as well.

-----------------------------

 

 

Edited by iCambrian

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12 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

...

This is a loaded question. Of course a chimpanzee species would be better off if their mothers cared and demonstrated empathy for their young, as opposed to leaving them to die.

 

Here is a "loaded" historical observation.

ln Medieval Europe, when people thought "anything was wrong" with a child or new born it was literally thrown to the wolves.

A chimp is, however, better off as it has no nafs.

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For @dragonxx, ill also add that, any trait that evolves, by a more specific definition, is something that proliferates throughout a species. Properties that are evolved are those that fill pre existing niches (they fill a pre existing demand for them).  The demand for empathy pre exists the evolution of empathy.

I hope that makes sense.

For example,

Its not that the tetrapods moved onto land from the sea, then later land became beneficial for them to live on.  Land was beneficial for them to live on, before they moved onto land and so they filled the niche that allowed land based traits to proliferate and evolve.

They didnt evolve land based traits before it was beneficial for them to evolve those traits.They evolved those traits after it was already beneficial for them to do so. Because if it wasnt already beneficial, the trait would not have succeeded through time (detrimental mutations result in death and extinction).

------------------------------------

So regarding empathy, humans or proto-humans, evolved empathy after it was already beneficial for them to have empathy.  They didnt evolve empathy first, before it was beneficial to them.

So this idea you have about...proto humans evolving empathy before it was beneficial to them, is like a misconception or misunderstanding of how evolution occurs.

Non beneficial traits result in extinction (or they are neutral and just sort of hide out in our dna for a rainy day). For example, many species of the cambrian explosion and the ediacara went extinct. Their traits were not beneficial enough for their success.The demand for their traits were not long term or simply didnt exist. Thus they died.

Later, the demand was present for traits of fish (demand for teeth, eyes, scales etc), before fish existed. 

And so, fish came to exist by the demand of the environment. Fish didnt evolve, then the environment came to change around them (that doesnt make sense). Fish (proto fish) became fish, only because it was already beneficial for fish to come into existence.

@hasanhh Do you think I am explaining this well?

 

33 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

Here is a "loaded" historical observation.

ln Medieval Europe, when people thought "anything was wrong" with a child or new born it was literally thrown to the wolves.

A chimp is, however, better off as it has no nafs.

reminds me of those little memes with the primordial ape standing up on two legs and walking, then at the end of the walk, the advanced human does something stupid, like plays video games

Edited by iCambrian

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23 hours ago, iCambrian said:

It took me a minute to figure out how to put that misconception into words. ^

And I appreciate it.

Interestingly, the first part of the lecture of tonight's muharram that I attended was about talking and challenging points of views different to the views held by oneself, and how that is beneficial for a human being's 'evolution' (and I don't mean evolution in the sense we are talking about at the moment).

Anyway, this brings me to another question... so the demand for empathy comes into existence when it is necessitated by the change in a creature's environment, and so empathy is brought forth by that demand and evolves. Question is how does empathy get "installed" and eventually evolve in creatures? Through mutations of DNA as if empathy was a physical trait? Or did the creature's psyche bring empathy forth by the demand for it?

I am still not convinced that any environment can force a creature to develop empathy out of necessity, rather empathy must have been there from the creature's initial creation as it is a trait necessary for that creature's existence. Also, empathy is sort of an all or nothing trait... not much to evolve. I guess that was sort of (unintentionally) a which came first - the chicken or the egg type of comment...

Edited by dragonxx

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1 hour ago, dragonxx said:

And I appreciate it.

Interestingly, the first part of the lecture of tonight's muharram that I attended was about talking and challenging points of views different to the views held by oneself, and how that is beneficial for a human being's 'evolution' (and I don't mean evolution in the sense we are talking about at the moment).

Anyway, this brings me to another question... so the demand for empathy comes into existence when it is necessitated by the change in a creature's environment, and so empathy is brought forth by that demand and evolves. Question is how does empathy get "installed" and eventually evolve in creatures? Through mutations of DNA as if empathy was a physical trait? Or did the creature's psyche bring empathy forth by the demand for it?

I am still not convinced that any environment can force a creature to develop empathy out of necessity, rather empathy must have been there from the creature's initial creation as it is a trait necessary for that creature's existence. Also, empathy is sort of an all or nothing trait... not much to evolve. I guess that was sort of (unintentionally) a which came first - the chicken or the egg type of comment...

It is easier to discuss physical traits like teeth, eyes, muscles etc. Whereas empathy is in part somewhat of a social construct. However, one thing that allows us to "think" about empathy, or one thing that allows us to have feelings for the kid getting his lunch money stolen, is our brain and nervous system. A fish might not have advanced forms of empathy because it doesnt have a brain capable of constructing complex ideas. But a chimpanzee might have primitive forms of empathy or feelings (compared to us) because it has a more advanced nervous system that allows it to "think".. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For your last paragraph here, to be more specific, the environment doesnt force traits to come into existence (mutations play that role). The environmental stress simply provides the means for the proliferation of the beneficial trait.

So the predator may not force the prey to grow big muscles to run faster. However, the predator will eat the slow prey, thereby putting pressure on the gene pool of the prey, destroying the slow, which inevitably results in success and proliferation of the fast (the slow die, the fast have fast babies).

So lets say for example, a species mutates traits A and B.  B is detrimental, the environment crushes B and it vanishes from existence. Now trait A dominates the gene pool, then trait A passes on to the next generation, thereby bringing about a new species (evolution). Here is a definition...

" Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. "

Living beings mutate. But just mutations alone are not enough to meet the definition of evolution. It isnt until those new mutated traits pass on to a new generation, that the species is considered to have evolved.

To summarize, it isnt actually the environment that brings the traits into existence, rather the environment is what pressures the trait to proliferate and dominate. Mutations bring the trait into existence, then the environment destroys the weak variations and carries the strong.

I would strongly recommend looking into the cambrian explosion. It is the perfect example of an explosion of mutated variation, followed by predator vs prey arms races, and subsequent destruction of the weak.

---------------------------------------------------

Regarding the all or nothing thing, people commonly use the chicken and egg...dichotomy as an example. Which came first the chicken egg or the chicken that laid it? But what people dont talk about are...what came before the hard chicken egg? Well, the soft reptilian egg. And before that, the even softer cell like amphibian egg (like frog eggs). Eggs go back hundreds of millions of years. And what about the chicken? What came before the chicken? the reptile, and before the reptile? The amphibian. Chickens themselves have not been around nearly as long as eggs have, so the answer to the question is that the egg (amphibian and reptile egg) came before the chicken. The chicken later came into existence, and proceeded to lay chicken eggs.

The point i just want to make is that, the simple chicken and egg question became a false dichotomy, and understanding the answer required knowledge about development of the chicken and the chicken egg, before either existed.

The same goes with empathy. Is empathy really all or nothing? Or are there some traits we see in other animals like fish or lizards? Birds? cats and dogs? Chimpanzees or dolphins? Are there traits in any of these animals that might resemble the empathy we have? And if so, to what degree? I know that other apes and even dolphins appear to have social traits, apes apologize to one another and have families and friends (either other ape friends or their trainers that teach them sign language). Elephants mourn their dead. Is this empathy? Is it partial empathy? Its hard to say (in my opinion).

Looking at other animals in the animal kingdom might shed light on how empathy came to be, before it was empathy as we know it. But i study rocks not animals, so i wouldnt know much about the origins or even how to clearly define empathy to begin with.

Edited by iCambrian

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To me, what is being described. It's like attending a Science class, where Fluid Mechanics/Laws of Motions etc are combined together. It's the System( You)  and the Environment( Surroundings). Fluid adapts to the tracks ( Surroundings) it can flow through, Object will stay stationary, until its surroundings pressure it by either tilting or giving it a push. Then resistance takes over etc……System is subservient to the Surrounding. Action/Reaction, Cause/ Effect.

These are processes and mechanics of things. In this case biological change….

This is only the Outer/Apparent/Superficial understanding(processes/Mechanics)  of the System and its Surroundings.  Just presented in more complicated way, using different terms.

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On 9/23/2017 at 7:37 AM, iCambrian said:

The same goes with empathy. Is empathy really all or nothing? Or are there some traits we see in other animals like fish or lizards? Birds? cats and dogs? Chimpanzees or dolphins? Are there traits in any of these animals that might resemble the empathy we have? And if so, to what degree? I know that other apes and even dolphins appear to have social traits, apes apologize to one another and have families and friends (either other ape friends or their trainers that teach them sign language). Elephants mourn their dead. Is this empathy? Is it partial empathy? Its hard to say (in my opinion).

 

I see what you're saying. I was thinking in the species where we can appreciate the expression of 'empathy' it would be all or nothing. So a chimp must have had that specific level of empathy from the start, as with other creatures and humans. I don't think empathy can come into existence, and then slowly develop to the level we have as humans today. 

I suppose at this point it has gotten too complicated for me.

Will look into the cambrian explosion when I get a chance.

Thank you!

Edited by dragonxx

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Few unanswered questions, for the people believe in no deity. Just a process of Mutations which evolves to next stage.

What is the purpose of this unguided chemical/biological process?

Unguided chemical/biological process resulted in a evolved form-i.e Human with Higher Intellect and Free Will.

What is the outlook ?

What are the next steps?

Is this the end? nothing after or is there anything to evolve into? 

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