Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Group 3 - Goldstein arguments 17-18

I would agree that altruism does not conflict with evolution, but I look at it from a bigger picture standpoint than an individual benefiting in the long run from being altruistic. When looked at close up evolution seems to be all about genes and the individual, but these are just smaller parts of the puzzle. The point of it all is the survival and progression of the species and of life at large, not the individual. It is a given from the start that the individual will not survive; the individual is mortal, the species is not (at least potentially). Altruism benefits the survival and progression of the species, so altruism should be favored by evolution. From here it could certainly be argued that evolution works this way because a god designed it as such, and equally so that it was not. Neither side can say why, though, and so neither side is as of yet better. Personally I lean to the former.

Free Will:
I don't like the conflict between predictable decision making and random decision making here. Just because we are predictable doesn't mean we don't choose to be. What she calls predictable I call logical. We have learned through experience that logical works and random doesn't, and so we choose to be logical and predictable; we like predictable. All these supposed chain reactions have to start somewhere. It is free will that gives our actions that initial push.

1 comment:

  1. I'm particularly interested in the argument about Free Will. I'm not entirely convinced that we have that will. The issue of determinism is one that a lot of philosophers like Spinoza and Schopenhauer and others have had to tackle and I can't say that I find either side wholly convincing.

    Given that our actions and reactions are determined by our character and our thoughts, and that those are further determined by the sum of all the immeasurable influences in our lives, and those determined by still other things (and so on), how can we know that we actually have free will?