The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Inquire about purchasing the book | Table of Contents | Annotated Bibliography | Class on Nature of Mind

These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Human Contradictions

All in all, the sexual behavior of humans is relatively easy to explain. Much harder is to explain our attitude towards death. Since prehistoric times, humans bury the dead. Sometimes the deceased is buried with some of his/her belongings. Sometimes the children of the dead worship the dead. In fact, worship of the ancestors is ubiquitous in all cultures, in one form or another. What evolutionary purpose it may play is not so clear.

Also difficult to explain from an evolutionary point of view are modern trends. For example, people in rich countries (from Japan to Western Europe) tend to have fewer children than people in poor countries. The usual explanation is that poor parents need to make many children in order to maximize the chances that at least one survives. But that does not explain why rich people would not make as many: if the goal is to maximize the probabilities of the survival of one’s genes, wealthy people should make a child a year, since they can afford it. Humans are the only animals that have fewer babies when they are better fed.

 


Back to the beginning of the chapter "Altruism" | Back to the index of all chapters