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Racism: A Completely Natural Trait?

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  • Racism: A Completely Natural Trait?

    I thought about posting this on the NS board but decided to bring it up here because of the discussion of Mr. Bundy and the recent comments by Don Sterling. First let me say, these two men speak like my father, uncles, grandfathers, spoke in their day - there certainly was a racist streak in the largely Italian neighborhood I grew up in. This was much less prevalent in my generation, and almost non-existent in my son's generation.

    But this discussion got me thinking. Racism and/or Tribalism is as old as mankind, so these traits most likely had an evolutionary benefit and if something helps a group to survive then that trait is good. Therefore Racism / Tribalism is good - correct? At least under certain conditions.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    It doesn't logically follow that they are morally good. After all, alcoholism is a genetic trait that has survived and nobody is going to say that is morally good...
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      Well.....I would think it would be normal to have a natural fear of something you've never seen. For example as a little girl, I was at a missions exhibit and some gentleman put on tribal garb and war paint from papua new guinea followed by a skit, which scared me, I think that's the "fight or flight" center of the brain. Of course once they explained it all to me I wasn't afraid anymore. I tend to think that the "fight or flight" response can bring out strong emotions like anger, or hate, but then again, I also think that humans have a natural curiousity and a need to seek and understand others, which helps overcome the fight or flight reactions. Not a lot to be said for stubbornness though....
      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
      George Bernard Shaw

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
        It doesn't logically follow that they are morally good. After all, alcoholism is a genetic trait that has survived and nobody is going to say that is morally good...
        But alcoholism would not be a trait that benefited survival. And if the evolutionary atheists are correct then, at bottom, what helps the group to survive, is what is good.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          But alcoholism would not be a trait that benefited survival. And if the evolutionary atheists are correct then, at bottom, what helps the group to survive, is what is good.
          So what you're saying is that the alcoholism gene would have survived despite it being detrimental to survival. So how can we then conclude for sure that racism is inherently beneficial rather than something that survived despite that?
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            So what you're saying is that the alcoholism gene would have survived despite it being detrimental to survival. So how can we then conclude for sure that racism is inherently beneficial rather than something that survived despite that?
            Well I think we know that alcoholism is detrimental to survival, but how would racism or tribalism be detrimental? As a matter of fact, we can easily think of situations where being suspect of those outside of the tribe could be very beneficial to survival.
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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            • #7
              "fight or flight" is beneficial. Hatred is not.
              A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
              George Bernard Shaw

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                "fight or flight" is beneficial. Hatred is not.
                I'm not sure of that. Hate may very well be beneficial for survival in certain cases. Of course as a Christian I don't believe that what is beneficial to my survival is necessary good.
                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  I thought about posting this on the NS board but decided to bring it up here because of the discussion of Mr. Bundy and the recent comments by Don Sterling. First let me say, these two men speak like my father, uncles, grandfathers, spoke in their day - there certainly was a racist streak in the largely Italian neighborhood I grew up in. This was much less prevalent in my generation, and almost non-existent in my son's generation.

                  But this discussion got me thinking. Racism and/or Tribalism is as old as mankind, so these traits most likely had an evolutionary benefit and if something helps a group to survive then that trait is good. Therefore Racism / Tribalism is good - correct? At least under certain conditions.
                  The usual consideration with evolutionary benefit is environmental context. Yes, racism/tribalism served a purpose, and it was probably crucial to survival. The family group as a unit needs to distinguish between friend or foe, and its members need to be able to distinguish who to care for and who to drive away. That part, at least, is pretty basic. Along with that comes the basic idea that anything not a friend is an enemy. That, too, would be of benefit in a sufficiently hostile environment. Couple with that the concept that 'strange' means 'inferior'. In some ways, this might be a useful trait to have. However, it's now understood that different doesn't have to mean inferior.

                  As time moves on, those family groups became tribes. The tribes became cities then nations. The nations are becoming something more (NATO? EU?). The question of differences becomes blurred, and the need for those distinctions becomes less and less important. We find ourselves in a time where groups are significantly larger, to the point that distinctions based on race and tribe become divisive rather than unifying. They cease to aid in the survival of the group. We're reaching a point where even nationalism may cease to benefit, though I suspect that may or may not actually happen any time soon (if ever).

                  Is it natural? Yes. Was it beneficial? Yes. Is it now? No. The context has changed, and with it the judgment of good/bad in terms of survival.
                  I'm not here anymore.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                    So what you're saying is that the alcoholism gene would have survived despite it being detrimental to survival. So how can we then conclude for sure that racism is inherently beneficial rather than something that survived despite that?
                    It's possible for detrimental traits to survive if they aren't selected against. Racism could be one of those things, but the implications don't support that afaict. For what it's worth, alcoholism is a manifestation of some addictive/high-focus trait could provide benefits that outweigh the dangers of alcoholism specifically. You can have an addictive personality without being an alcoholic, and there are other objects that fixation can get stuck on.
                    I'm not here anymore.

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                    • #11
                      I think the premise is flawed - very young children show no signs of racism and only develop it in context (parental or social). The problem isn't race - it's the tendency to want to fit in and to exclude those who don't. The basis can be any difference - seriously, there can't be a 'anti-nerd' gene - some 'beneficial', some detrimental and some neutral.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                      • #12
                        I could very easily speak on this, but given that Radish has recently worked very hard at categorizing the works of Mr. Lovecraft, I'll just post his most relevant statements here:


                        Originally posted by HP Lovecraft
                        There are high cultures, which utilise a great many possibilities of the human brain-structure, & low cultures, which utilise relatively few. It isn’t hard to tell them apart when our eyes aren’t blinded by modern theorising — we know that Greece & China & France & Italy have built up marvellously fine edifices, & that our own Anglo-Saxon edifice isn’t much below them in many ways — & we also know that the Arabs, Hindoos, Mayans, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, etc., built up edifices with greater crudities & limitations, which left more or less extensive tracts of human thought & feeling unutilised & wasted.
                        He tends to get exactly why this is:

                        No one thinks or feels or appreciates or lives a mental-emotional-imaginative life at all, except in terms of the artificial reference-points supply’d him by the enveloping body of race-tradition and heritage into which he is born. We form an emotionally realisable picture of the external world, and an emotionally endurable set of illusions as to values and direction in existence, solely and exclusively through the arbitrary concepts and folkways bequeathed to us through our traditional culture-stream. Without this stream around us we are absolutely adrift in a meaningless and irrelevant chaos which has not the least capacity to give us any satisfaction apart from the trifling animal ones.

                        Therefore a native culture-heritage is the most priceless and indispensable thing any person has — and he who weakens the grasp of a people upon their inheritance is most nefariously a traitor to the human species.
                        The sense of the unnaturalness of diversity comes more, not less, with age:

                        No normal being feels at ease amidst a population having vast elements radically different from himself in physical aspect and emotional responses.

                        We can all visit exotic scenes and like it — and when we are young and unsophisticated we usually think we might continue to like it as a regular thing. But as years pass, the need of old things and usual influences — home faces and home voices — grows stronger and stronger; and we come to see that mongrelism won’t work. We require the environing influence of a set of ways and physical types like our own, and will sacrifice anything to get them.

                        That is all there is to life — the preservation of a framework which will render the experience of the individual apparently relevant and significant, and therefore reasonably satisfying. Here we have the normal phenomenon of race-prejudice in a nutshell — the legitimate fight of every virile personality to live in a world where life shall seem to mean something.
                        And finally, his rejoinder to the immigration enthusiasts:

                        Only a damn fool can expect the people of one tradition to feel at ease when their country is flooded with hordes of foreigners who — whether equal, superior, or inferior biologically — are so antipodal in physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup that harmonious coalescence is virtually impossible. Such an immigration is death to all endurable existence, and pollution and decay to all art and culture. To permit or encourage it is suicide.
                        Full disclosure: I never read a single one of his books, and judging by how well he writes here, more's the pity.

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                        • #13
                          great Seer just great....you had to encourage Epo to bring his asshattery here with the thread title.
                          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                          George Bernard Shaw

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                            great Seer just great....you had to encourage Epo to bring his asshattery here with the thread title.
                            Always happy to help!
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              I thought about posting this on the NS board but decided to bring it up here because of the discussion of Mr. Bundy and the recent comments by Don Sterling. First let me say, these two men speak like my father, uncles, grandfathers, spoke in their day - there certainly was a racist streak in the largely Italian neighborhood I grew up in. This was much less prevalent in my generation, and almost non-existent in my son's generation.

                              But this discussion got me thinking. Racism and/or Tribalism is as old as mankind, so these traits most likely had an evolutionary benefit and if something helps a group to survive then that trait is good. Therefore Racism / Tribalism is good - correct? At least under certain conditions.
                              It's our innate propensity as humans to stand divided, whether based on our physical attributes or our ideologies, but I wouldn't say it's good, just part of the fall.
                              "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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