• Dawkin's Selfish Gene Fallacy-False Premise -a "limited form of altruism" vs studies of compassion = Oxford Handbook of Compassion, Sprecher and Fehr: spirituality correlated with compassion, Battle of Somme 50,000 casualties, esprit de corps Chosin Res.

    Charles Peck Jr (see profile)
    Aesthetics of Religion – Research Network, Cultural Studies, Narrative theory and Narratology, Psychology and Neuroscience, Religious Studies
    Spirituality, Spirituality--Christianity, Christian life, Evolution (Biology), Compassion--Religious aspects--Buddhism, Compassion--Religious aspects--Christianity, Psychology, Cognitive neuroscience
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    Dawkins Fallacy – False Premise The statement, “However, as we shall see, there are special circumstances in which a gene can achieve its own selfish goals best by fostering a limited form of altruism at the level of individual animals." Is a fallacy/false premise Historically, compassion and self-less behaviors are not a "limited form of altruism." Right off the bat, in one day in the WWI Battle of the Somme, there were 50,000 casualties in the British army. – 50,000 casualties in one day is not a “limited form of altruism” Scientifically, the Oxford Handbook on Compassion observes, “Compassion for others and social support have survival value and health benefits….(p. 171) The powerful consequences of the presence or absence of others are seen as shaping forces in the evolution. Social interactions and within species interdependence are universal components of life on earth. Even bacteria are more reproductively successful in the presence of others of their own species. Excerpts from Sprecher and Fehr article: As hypothesized, religiosity and spirituality were associated positively with compassionate love both for close others (friends, family) and for humanity (strangers). However, religiosity and spirituality were uncorrelated with compassionate love for a specific close other (Study 3). Thus, although we can conclude that those who are more religious and spiritual report experiencing greater compassionate love, our data point to a more finely grained conclusion. To the extent that spirituality motivates compassionate love (and we recognize that the causal direction may be otherwise), it is strangers and humanity who are likely to be the recipients. (p.646)
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