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Thread: Is prejudice primal? page

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    fxdwgmikeb's Avatar
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    Is prejudice primal?

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    I am not saying that it has any use in modern society, but wouldn't Grog have a better chance of living longer and passing on his genetic material if he was hard wired not to trust any one who did not look like him? Food for thought.

    http://www.prometheism.net/articles/prejudice.html

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    I have thought about the idea that prejudice, racism etc. exist because they have some evolutionary purpose. This article presents some interesting ideas to explain its existence.

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    Pantera's Avatar
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    One of many possible counter-arguments is that Grok and Grokette may have instinctively pursued reproduction with those who provided greater DNA variety, i.e. who were more different, to accelerate evolution.

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    Self preservation and preservation of our progeny is primal; prejudice is learned behavior.

    And, really? I wouldn't trust anything embraced by stormfront...

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    Suki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pantera View Post
    One of many possible counter-arguments is that Grok and Grokette may have instinctively pursued reproduction with those who provided greater DNA variety, i.e. who were more different, to accelerate evolution.
    +1. Natural selection.

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    I'm wary of using evolution to excuse behavior. Explain, yes; excuse, no. We have now evolved and can make smarter decisions about many things than Grok did. (just sayin' , ya know... cos so often I hear 'well I'm a caveman' as an excuse for boorish, misogynistic bullsh*t)

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    Assuming that Grok was inherently and instinctually prejudice against everyone because it helped him survive and propagate his genes, it doesn't necessarily follow that we should be like that. We eat, move and do many things like Grok because it enhances our quality of existence, not because of some transcendent call to action by evolutionary forces, we are above survive and multiply and we're above instincts. Evolutionary/positive psychology today is concerned with coping with and understanding our evolutionary instincts that are no longer beneficial and helpful in our modern world. For many of us, being mistrustful and prejudice would be a detriment to our our ability to procreate, assuming we want to, could pose a threat to our survival, and would be an overall detriment to our quality of existence. which is what matters. We are highly rational Groks.

    Yes I think that in many situations Grok would have been better off mistrusting foreign tribespeople, at least at first. Cooperation is as much a part of human evolution as anything so perhaps a wariness but willingness to cooperate would have served him better. I think most of us have an inclination to both.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pantera View Post
    One of many possible counter-arguments is that Grok and Grokette may have instinctively pursued reproduction with those who provided greater DNA variety, i.e. who were more different, to accelerate evolution.
    If this were so then how did prejudice arise in the first place?

    BTW I think it is a basic part of human behaviour that if you put diverse people (racial, religious, cultural etc) in close proximity sooner or later it leads to tensions and warfare. People prefer those who are like them. This is true of things like long term mate selection (as opposed to a fling which is determined more on biological grounds) to hiring staff.

    I'm not saying this is a moral justification for prejudice but a fact of human nature that cannot be escaped by wishful thinking.

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    Suki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushrat View Post
    If this were so then how did prejudice arise in the first place?

    BTW I think it is a basic part of human behaviour that if you put diverse people (racial, religious, cultural etc) in close proximity sooner or later it leads to tensions and warfare. People prefer those who are like them. This is true of things like long term mate selection (as opposed to a fling which is determined more on biological grounds) to hiring staff.

    I'm not saying this is a moral justification for prejudice but a fact of human nature that cannot be escaped by wishful thinking.
    Human behavior and human nature are two entirely different things. Behavior is learned and nature is innate. Prejudice and bias are the result of nurturing, not human nature. If black parents adopt a white baby, the baby is not going to grow up to be distrustful of black people, but of whomever his parents are distrustful of.

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    Suki's Avatar
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    Bushrat - I find your response not atypical of a prevailing way of thinking in Australia. My best friend is filipina and moved from New York to Sydney for work. She moved back a month later vowing never to return to Australia for the blatant racism she experienced. Not making sweeping generalizations or anything but I think some cultures are more inclined to homogeneity than others.
    Last edited by Suki; 04-29-2010 at 05:50 AM.

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