Robert Wright


American Journalist, Scholar, and Author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory

Author Quotes

Here the contention is not just that the new Darwinian paradigm can help us realize whichever moral values ??we happen to choose. The claim is that the new paradigm can actually influence - legitimately - our choice of basic values ??in the first place. Some Darwinians insist that such influence can never be legitimate. What they have in mind is the naturalistic fallacy, whose past violation has so tainted their line of work. But what we're doing here does not violate the naturalistic fallacy. Quite the opposite. By studying nature - by seeing the origins of the retributive impulse - we see how we have been conned into committing the naturalistic fallacy without knowing it; we discover that the aura of divine truth surrounding retribution is nothing more than a tool with which nature - natural selection - gets us to uncritically accept its values. Once this hits Revelation norm, we are less likely to obey this Aura, and THUS less likely to commit the Fallacy.

Nature has gone to great lengths to hide our subconscious from ourselves. Why?

Today's investment is another step in our effort to seek out new platforms for NBC programming and content,

Human beings are a splendid species in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their ignorance of the misuse.

Once you the forces that govern behavior, it's harder to blame the behaver.

Understanding the often unconscious nature of genetic control is the first step toward understanding that?in many realms, not just sex?we?re all puppets, and our best hope for even partial liberation is to try to decipher the logic of the puppeteer.

Human nature consists of knobs and of mechanisms for tuning the knobs, and both are in invisible their own way.

Perhaps the most legitimately dispiriting thing about reciprocal altruism is that it is a misnomer. Whereas with kin selection the goal of our genes is to actually help another organism, with reciprocal altruism the goal is that the organism be left under the impression that we've helped; the impression alone is enough to Bring the reciprocation.

Various people had long had the feeling that gain through pain was nature's way

Humans have various ways of coping with extended stress, and one is the anticipation of a better time. Here, as with retribution, there is often a kind of symmetry: the more intense the stress and the more hopeless the situation, the more the coming fabulous times that are anticipated.

Religion is a feature of cultural evolution that, among other things, addresses anxieties created by cultural evolution; it helps social change keep safe from itself.

We are built to be effective animals, not happy ones.

I don?t argue that religious belief is a pre-requisite for this moral progress; atheists are presumably just as responsive to the underlying dynamic as believers. The values system in question?religious or secular?is a kind of ?neutral medium? through which underlying social dynamics find their moral manifestation.

Sensual pleasures are the Whip natural selection uses to control US, US to Keep in the Thrall of ITS Warped values ??system.

We don't have any plans to make acquisitions at this scale, but we will look at smaller acquisitions of tools or other things that enhance the site.

If it be any part of religion to believe that man was made ??by a good being, it is more consistent with that faith to believe, that this being gave all human faculties that they might be cultivated and unfolded, not rooted out and consumed, and he that takes delight in every nearer approach made by his creatures to the ideal conception embodied in them, every increase in any of their capabilities of comprehension, of action, or of enjoyment.

The Chukchee, a people indigenous to Siberia, had their own special way of dealing with unruly winds. A Chukchee man would chant, Western Wind, look here! Look down on my buttocks. We are going to give you some fat. Cease blowing! The nineteenth-century European visitor who reported this ritual described it as follows: The man pronouncing the incantation lets his breeches fall down, and bucks leeward, exposing his bare buttocks to the wind. At every word he claps his hands.

What you'll learn tonight is it doesn't stop with technical solutions, but that relationships really matter. If we can do anything, it would be to encourage you to develop strong, healthy, deep relationships with your children.

If there?s one thing I can encourage everyone to do: ? Expand the moral imagination.

The idea is that human culture as broadly defined - art, politics, technology, religion, and so on - evolves in much the way biological species evolve: new cultural traits arise and may flourish or perish, and as a result whole institutions can form and belief Systems Change.

When I dropped her off at the shelter, I went to see how our house was. We have nothing except for a chimney... Pretty much, we had nothing left.

If Trivers is right, if the formation of the conscience of a young man partially includes instruction on favorable fraud (and the best protection against fraud), it can be expected that young children will easily learn the practice of deception. And this is perhaps an understatement. Jean Piaget, in his study of moral development in 1932, wrote that the tendency to lie - a natural tendency ... casual and versatile. Subsequent studies have confirmed this? The point here is that these children of iniquity - is not only a stage harmless offense, which we close our eyes, but the first of a series of tests on the self-serving dishonesty. Through positive reinforcement (for undetected and fruitful untruths) and negative reinforcement (for wrongs that open teammates or imply reprimand family) we learn where you can and where you cannot escape the consequences, and that our family is considering (or not) as a legitimate deception. The fact that the parents of the children rarely read a lecture about the lies and virtue, does not mean that they do not teach them to lie. Children obviously continue to lie, if it is not strongly suppressed. And not only those children whose parents are lying more often than the average, have a chance to become chronic liars; but also children who grow up without proper parental supervision. If parents do not prevent injustice children obviously beneficial to them, and if they say such untruth in their presence, they give them an advanced course of lies.

The main goal is to give young people hope ... to give them skills.

When you listen to the way some of the lawmakers have talked about it, they've been talking about it as if this company is going to control the whole port of New York and New Jersey. That's very far from the case.

If two people stare at each other for more than a few seconds, it means they are about to either make love or fight. Something similar might be said about human societies. If two nearby societies are in contact for any length of time, they will either trade or fight. The first is non-Zero-sum social integration, and the second ultimately brings it.

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American Journalist, Scholar, and Author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory