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Chinese People: What is the Purpose of Your Life?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-1-12 15:05:59 |Display all floors
This post was edited by SpaceAlien at 2012-1-12 15:44

Interesting article I came across:

Robert Trivers Continues the Tradition of Moral Critique

Kevin MacDonald

There was a time when evolutionary thinking was widely considered to be the key to racial self-defense.  Although it didn’t play a role in the Congressional debates (itself an indication of the rapidly changing intellectual context), evolutionary thinking was prominent among some of the elite intellectual  proponents of immigration restriction in the 1920s. This was the heyday of eugenics—motivated by concern about deterioration of the gene pool because modern civilization had increased the moral and intellectual burdens of life at the same time that natural selection had been relaxed. Lothrop Stoddard’s The Revolt against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-Man exemplifies these trends.

Even by the mid-20s the Boasian onslaught against the idea of race and against Western culture generally had become ensconced in elite universities. It continued that way for the next 50 years, when E. O. Wilson included a chapter on humans in his Sociobiology: A New Synthesis. This set off a storm of outrage by the usual academic suspects (see here), but all of their outrage could not prevent the establishment of evolutionary outposts, especially in psychology and anthropology, and academic societies such as The Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

What is remarkable about these developments is that they have completely failed to challenge the dominance of elite consensus on all things related to immigration and multiculturalism. Evolutionary psychology is a paradigm, loudly proclaiming the idea that evolution did indeed sculpt the mind, but that all humans were alike because we all evolved in the same environment. This takes issues like race differences completely off the table. It also avoids discussing IQ, a measure that is strongly heritable, shows rather large race differences, and is linked to success in life in contemporary societies. IQ is the one measure that is most feared by the anti-White coalition.

In general, the academics who carried on the evolutionary tradition managed to stay within the liberal consensus because they completely avoided any discussion of human fitness. By positing a uniform human evolutionary past and ignoring genetic differences, a whole lot of critical issues were taken off the table—things like the fact that African-Americans and Latinos have higher birth rates than White Americans, or that immigration results in long-term fitness costs for the host population. No field biologist would ignore findings that one sub-species of animal is reproducing faster than another sub-species. Field biologists would also be very interested in situations where sub-species or even a differently defined group invades another’s territory — again, because it would change gene frequencies and that is what evolution is all about. Chimpanzees patrol their territories for a good reason.

I was thinking of this as I read this review of The Folly of Fools by Robert Trivers. Trivers is an important biologist much of whose work has involved elucidating the implications of what the reviewer, John  Horgan, terms “our genes’ relentless drive to self-replicate.” The topic of his recent book is deception and self-deception, seen as self-interested strategies aimed at increasing fitness. Regarding deception:

Trivers calls deceit a “deep feature” of life, even a necessity, given genes’ brutal struggle to prevail. Anglerfish lure prey by dangling “bait” in front of their jaws, edible butterflies deter predators by adopting the coloring of poisonous species. Possums play possum, cowbirds and cuckoos avoid the hassle of raising offspring by laying their eggs in other birds’ nests. Even viruses and bacteria employ subterfuge to sneak past a host’s immune systems. The complexity of organisms, Trivers suggests, stems at least in part from a primordial arms race between deceit and deceit-detection.

Our big brains and communication skills make us master dissemblers. … We engage in “confirmation bias,” which makes us seize on facts that bolster our preconceptions and overlook contradictory data. We wittingly and unwittingly inflate the qualities of ourselves and others in our religious, political or ethnic group.

Right. Using our big brain, humans can write academic treatises denying the reality of race and race differences, like the Boasians;  they can persuade presidents that a war against Iraq would be easily won, would remove a dangerous enemy of the United States, and would democratize the entire Arab world yearning for democracy and freedom. The big difference from the environments we evolved in is that now even in-your-face deception can be effectively covered up because of ethnic influence on the media and the political process. Successful ethnic strategies thus utilize an entirely different set of mechanisms for deception than were available in the Pleistocene.

And then there’s self-deception:

Fooling others yields obvious benefits, but why do we so often fool ourselves? Trivers provides a couple of answers. First, believing that we’re smarter, sexier and more righteous than we really are — or than others consider us to be — can help us seduce and persuade others and even improve our health, via the placebo effect, for example. And the more we believe our own lies, the more sincerely, and hence effectively, we can lie to others. “We hide reality from our conscious minds the better to hide it from onlookers,” Trivers explains. But our illusions can have devastating consequences, from the dissolution of a marriage to stock-market collapses and world wars.

Although he indicts many nations for denying their sins, he is especially incensed by the United States’ treatment of American Indians, blacks, the Vietnamese, and other groups. I found Trivers too shrill in these sections, even though my political views overlap with his. Also questionable are his put-downs of cultural anthropologists, whom he accuses of denying — for ideological rather than scientific reasons — biological research that can deepen our understanding of human behavior. In my experience, evolutionary scholars are at least as driven by ideology as cultural anthropologists are.

I haven’t read Trivers’ book, but one wonders at what evolutionary reasoning is involved in moral condemnation, since he clearly must realize that acting on the basis of moral imperatives could affect “our genes’ relentless drive to self-replicate.” Why should we care about Trivers’  shrill moralizing when we should be busy calculating our fitness costs and benefits in the current rapidly changing environment (using our big brain which, as we have seen, is useful in plotting deception, among other things)?
These movements ushered in the reign of terror in which any hint of White identity and White genetic interests have been banned from polite society. The cultural success of these movements, now aggressively enforced by the legal system and by a myriad of informal sanctions, are collectively leading to the suicide of the West. Evolutionists should be concerned about that.

Unfortunately, Trivers is centering himself in this very long and effective (only in Western societies) intellectual tradition of moral critique. As to whether it’s deception or self-deception, only he would know. And the same might be said for the other popularizers of evolutionary thinking on humans  mentioned in Horgan’s review: Richard Dawkins (here’s Frank Salter’s critique of Dawkins) and (my personal favorite) Steven Pinker, who holds the Stephen Jay Gould Chair for Politically Correct Popularization of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard.

Of course, the most elaborate and elegant (and rock solid) contemporary view on fitness in human populations is Frank Salter’s On Genetic Interests—where, for example, he calculates the fitness costs of immigration into European societies of groups differing in the genetic distance from Europeans. Unfortunately, these ideas are not visible in evolutionary accounts of human behavior that make it into the mainstream media—another aspect of the critical role of the media for successful deception in the contemporary world.

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Post time 2012-1-12 15:30:17 |Display all floors
I hope that China's lack of innovativeness and inquisitiveness is just cultural.  But, for argument's sake, let us say that there was a genetic weakness.  In my humble opinion, there is no shame in admitting this, if it was true; rather, I think the shame would be in not trying to improve the problem.  To improve, one must first acknowledge a problem.  The status of an individual, people, and nation is relative: if the only people in the world were Chinese and Africans, then Chinese would be considered geniuses.  But let's say a highly advanced people were discovered on Europa, a moon of Jupiter.  Then in this case, all humans would be considered very unintelligent in comparison.  So, I think the honor comes in the desire to improve without end, not in denying ones relative rank in a hierarchy of known peoples.  But again, this is just for argument's sake: you may very well be correct that it is simply a cultural problem.  But, even if Chinese were just as innovative and inquisitive as the few white geniuses like Isaac Newton, one can still become better: one can become better, then better, then better: there is no limit. The process of improving is what gives us purpose and meaning: we strive for continual improvement, for it's the gradual increase in intelligence and consciousness that gives meaning to our lives.

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Post time 2012-1-12 15:40:05 |Display all floors
This post was edited by SpaceAlien at 2012-1-12 15:51

I don't think that trying to become gods is in contradiction to personal belief in a God, Soul, and/or After-Life.  Let us say that a Chinese person has this type of spiritual belief.  Well, it can be said that God does not reward laziness: he gave us science to try our best to "bring Heaven to Earth," that is, to try our best to improve our own biology, intelligence, and quality of life.  Perhaps God wants us to understand Him by trying to become him using science and technology: it is this struggle that gives us a better understanding of Him.  I of course would think the position of agnostic is much better, for I myself am agnostic.  Since we don't know for sure whether God exists, we must try to make ourselves into Gods.  Why?  Because we all want such a life: we all want endless life-spans, endless intelligence to understand the universe, endless happiness, and endless tools to manipulate the universe for gains.  Becoming Gods can do this for us, so it's a desirable goal.  But, let's say God does exist: then he would be happy that we were not lazy and tried to ourselves turn us into Gods.  He would see this as noble behavior, and thus reward us in the After-Life, assuming such a thing existed.   So, my point is that regardless of whether there is a God, whether we don't know for sure, or whether there is definitely no God: the effort to become God ourselves would be desirable.

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Post time 2012-1-12 16:13:43 |Display all floors
i'm afraid i don't have enough patience to finish reading them, my english is so poor...

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Post time 2012-1-13 00:07:50 |Display all floors
This post was edited by SpaceAlien at 2012-1-13 00:11
huhhot Post time: 2012-1-12 16:13
i'm afraid i don't have enough patience to finish reading them, my english is so poor...

Maybe someone can translate to Chinese.  

My previous post is not to promote supernatural nonsense: I am agnostic.   Rather, I've read articles that Chinese people not living in China are converting to nonsense religions, and that people in China secretly are practicing nonsense religions.  So, I was trying to tell them that even if they believe in these religions, they should still try to evolve upwards, like mentioned in this thread.

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Post time 2012-2-3 09:17:03 |Display all floors
It's good to improve, but once you have done this, you must go around the world and feed the hungry and find shelter for all the homeless.  

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Post time 2012-10-10 09:34:25 |Display all floors
I like this purpose!

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