perjantai 2. maaliskuuta 2018
Psykologian professori Kevin MacDonald moraali-intuitiosta
Psykologian professori emeritus Kevin MacDonald väittää, että länsimaisilla ihmisillä ja erityisesti pohjoiseurooppalaisilla on geneettisesti muodostunut taipumus mieltää moraalisäännöt absoluuttisina normeina, joita pitää noudattaa objektiivisesti, niin että jokaista ihmistä arvioidaan yksilönä vain sen perusteella, mitä hän itse on tehnyt, eikä jokaista tietyn ihmisryhmän edustajaa leimata toisten saman ryhmän jäsenten tekemisten perusteella. Sen sijaan Lähi-idässä ihmisillä on tapana leimata kokonaiset etniset ryhmät vihollisiksi, mikä näkyy mm. israelilaisten ja palestiinalaisten välisistä konflikteista.
Tämähän näkyy mm. siinä, että aina, kun Euroopassa tapahtuu muslimien tekemiä terrori-iskuja, monet eurooppalaiset poliitikot ja mediapersoonat sanovat, että muslimeja ei pidä yleisesti leimata yksittäisten islamilaisten terroristien perusteella.
Sen sijaan Lähi-idässä esim. monet israelilaiset katselivat muutama vuosi sitten näköalapaikoilta Gazan pommituksia naureskellen ja hurraten.
Israelissa on syytetty maanpettureiksi niitä juutalaisia ihmisoikeusaktivisteja, jotka ovat tuoneet esille, että Gazan pommituksissa kuoli siviilejä, kuten naisia ja lapsia. Tämä on juuri sitä sisäryhmämoraalia, josta professori Kevin MacDonald puhuu. Kyse on siitä, että asioiden oikeudenmukaisuutta arvioidaan sen perusteella, ovatko ne hyödyksi tai haitaksi OMALLE kansalle, ei sen perusteella, ovatko ne joidenkin universaalien ihmisoikeusperiaatteiden mukaisia.
Kevin MacDonaldin mukaan taipumus uskoa universaaleihin ihmisoikeusperiaatteisiin tms. objektiivisiin moraalinormeihin on nimenomaan eurooppalaisille ihmisille ja aivan erityisesti pohjoiseurooppalaisille evolutiivisesti muodostunut geneettinen taipumus.
Professor Kevin MacDonald
Department of Psychology
California State University
European peoples are more prone to individualism. Individualist cultures show little emotional attachment to ingroups. Personal goals are paramount, and socialization emphasizes the importance of self-reliance, independence, individual responsibility, and 'finding yourself' (Triandis 1991, 82). Individualists have more positive attitudes toward strangers and outgroup members and are more likely to behave in a pro-social, altruistic manner to strangers. People in individualist cultures are less aware of ingroup/outgroup boundaries and thus do not have highly negative attitudes toward outgroup members. They often disagree with ingroup policy, show little emotional commitment or loyalty to ingroups, and do not have a sense of common fate with other ingroup members. Opposition to outgroups occurs in individualist societies, but the opposition is more 'rational' in the sense that there is less of a tendency to suppose that all of the outgroup members are culpable. Individualists form mild attachments to many groups, while collectivists have an intense attachment and identification to a few ingroups (Triandis 1990, 61).
Nordic peoples evolved in small groups and have a tendency toward social isolation rather than cohesive groups. This perspective would not imply that Northern Europeans lack collectivist mechanisms for group competition, but only that these mechanisms are relatively less elaborated and/or require a higher level of group conflict to trigger their expression.
This perspective is consistent with ecological theory. Under ecologically adverse circumstances, adaptations are directed more at coping with the adverse physical environment than at competing with other groups (Southwood 1977, 1981), and in such an environment, there would be less pressure for selection for extended kinship networks and highly collectivist groups. Evolutionary conceptualizations of ethnocentrism emphasize the utility of ethnocentrism in group competition. Ethnocentrism would thus be of no importance at all in combating the physical environment, and such an environment would not support large groups.
European groups are part of what Burton et al. (1996) term the North Eurasian and Circumpolar culture area.9 This culture area derives from hunter-gatherers adapted to cold, ecologically adverse climates. In such climates there is pressure for male provisioning of the family and a tendency toward monogamy because the ecology did not support either polygyny or large groups for an evolutionarily significant period. These cultures are characterized by bilateral kinship relationships which recognize both the male and female lines, suggesting a more equal contribution for each sex as would be expected under conditions of monogamy. There is also less emphasis on extended kinship relationships and marriage tends to be exogamous (i.e., outside the kinship group).
The historical evidence shows that Europeans, and especially Northwest Europeans, were relatively quick to abandon extended kinship networks and collectivist social structures when their interests were protected with the rise of strong centralized governments. There is indeed a general tendency throughout the world for a decline in extended kinship networks with the rise of central authority (Alexander 1979; Goldschmidt & Kunkel 1971; Stone 1977). But in the case of Northwest Europe this tendency quickly gave rise long before the industrial revolution to the unique Western European 'simple household' type. The simple household type is based on a single married couple and their children. It contrasts with the joint family structure typical of the rest of Eurasia in which the household consists of two or more related couples, typically brothers and their wives and other members of the extended family (Hajnal 1983). (An example of the joint household would be the families of the patriarchs described in the Old Testament; see MacDonald 1994, Ch. 3)
Uniquely in Eurasia, age of first marriage for women was quite high, fluctuating around a mean of about 25 years of age. Age of marriage was flexible, rising in times of scarcity and declining in times of abundance, with the result that there was capital accumulation rather than a constant pressure of population on resources. During economically difficult times, women married late or not at all, whereas in the polygynous societies of the rest of Eurasia, women married early, often as concubines or secondary wives of wealthy men (MacDonald 1995b,c).
Before the industrial revolution, the simple household system was characterized by methods of keeping unmarried young people occupied as servants. It was not just the children of the poor and landless who became servants, but even large, successful farmers sent their children to be servants elsewhere. In the 17th and 18th centuries individuals often took in servants early in their marriage, before their own children could help out, and then passed their children to others when the children were older and there was more than enough help (Stone 1977).
This suggests a deeply ingrained cultural practice which resulted in a high level of non-kinship based reciprocity. The practice also bespeaks a relative lack of ethnocentrism because people are taking in non-relatives as household members whereas in the rest of Eurasia people tend to surround themselves with biological relatives. Simply put, genetic relatedness was less important in Europe and especially in the Nordic areas of Europe. The unique feature of the simple household system was the high percentage of non-relatives. Unlike the rest of Eurasia, the pre-industrial societies of northwestern Europe were not organized around extended kinship relationships, and it is easy to see that they are pre-adapted to the industrial revolution and modern world generally.10
This simple household system is a fundamental feature of individualist culture. The individualist family was able to pursue its interests freed from the obligations and constraints of extended kinship relationships and free of the suffocating collectivism of the social structures typical of so much of the rest of the world. Monogamous marriage based on individual consent and conjugal affection quickly replaced marriage based on kinship and family strategizing. (See Chs. 4 and 8 for a discussion of the greater proneness of Western Europeans to monogamy and to marriage based on companionship and affection rather than polygyny and collectivist mechanisms of social control and family strategizing.)
These findings are compatible with the interpretation that ethnic differences are a contributing factor to the geographical variation in family forms within Europe. The findings suggest that the Germanic peoples had a greater biological tendency toward a suite of traits that predisposed them to individualism -- including a greater tendency toward the simple household because of natural selection occurring in a prolonged resource-limited period of their evolution in the north of Europe. Similar tendencies toward exogamy, monogamy, individualism, and relative de-emphasis on the extended family were also characteristic of Roman civilization (MacDonald 1990), again suggesting an ethnic tendency that pervades Western cultures generally.
Current data indicate that around 80% of European genes are derived from people who settled in Europe 30-40,000 years ago and therefore persisted through the Ice Ages (Sykes 2001). This is sufficient time for the adverse ecology of the north to have had a powerful shaping influence on European psychological and cultural tendencies. These European groups were less attracted to extended kinship groups, so that when the context altered with the rise of powerful central governments able to guarantee individual interests, the simple household structure quickly became dominant. This simple family structure was adopted relatively easily because Europeans already had relatively powerful psychological predispositions toward the simple family resulting from its prolonged evolutionary history in the north of Europe.
Although these differences within the Western European system are important, they do not belie the general difference between Western Europe and the rest of Eurasia. Although the trend toward simple households occurred first in the northwest of Europe, they spread relatively quickly among all the Western European countries.
The establishment of the simple household freed from enmeshment in the wider kinship community was then followed in short order by all the other markers of Western modernization: limited governments in which individuals have rights against the state, capitalist economic enterprise based on individual economic rights, moral universalism, and science as individualist truth seeking. Individualist societies develop republican political institutions and institutions of scientific inquiry that assume that groups are maximally permeable and highly subject to defection when individual needs are not met.
Recent research by evolutionary economists provides fascinating insight on the differences between individualistic cultures versus collectivist cultures. An important aspect of this research is to model the evolution of cooperation among individualistic peoples. Fehr and Gächter (2002) found that people will altruistically punish defectors in a 'one-shot' game -- a game in which participants only interact once and are thus not influenced by the reputations of the people with whom they are interacting. This situation therefore models an individualistic culture because participants are strangers with no kinship ties. The surprising finding was that subjects who made high levels of public goods donations tended to punish people who did not even though they did not receive any benefit from doing so. Moreover, the punished individuals changed their ways and donated more in future games even though they knew that the participants in later rounds were not the same as in previous rounds. and Gächter suggest that people from individualistic cultures have an evolved negative emotional reaction to free riding that results in their punishing such people even at a cost to themselves -- hence the term 'altruistic punishment.'
Europeans are thus exactly the sort of groups modeled by Fehr and Gächter and Henrich et al: They are groups with high levels of cooperation with strangers rather than with extended family members, and they are prone to market relations and individualism. On the other hand, Jewish culture derives from the Middle Old World culture area characterized by extended kinship networks and the extended family. Such cultures are prone to ingroup-outgroup relationships in which cooperation involves repeated interactions with ingroup members and the ingroup is composed of extended family members.
This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the evil of their own people. Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as free riders and therefore morally blameworthy -- a manifestation of their much stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter gatherers. In making judgments of altruistic punishment, relative genetic distance is irrelevant. Free-riders are seen as strangers in a market situation; i.e., they have no familial or tribal connection with the altruistic punisher.
Thus the current altruistic punishment so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic -- violations of communal norms by free-riders are punished by altruistic aggression.
On the other hand, group strategies deriving from collectivist cultures, such as the Jews, are immune to such a maneuver because kinship and group ties come first. Morality is particularistic -- whatever is good for the group. There is no tradition of altruistic punishment because the evolutionary history of these groups centers around cooperation of close kin, not strangers (see below).