Evolution

Instagram-logo-now-with-an-intensely-toxic-and-poisonous-appearance.

Instagram is Toxic and Dangerous

Instagram-logo-now-with-an-intensely-toxic-and-poisonous-appearance.
Instagram Toxicity Depicted

Instagram has become a dangerous and toxic menace to society at large. Meta is truly one of the most irresponsible companies in history allowing for popularity to take precedent over decency, in regards to violating the rights of its users and therefore, of the youngest generation of humanity. Social media is wrecking the lives of American youth by allowing toxic, even violent behavior. Does Facebook still sell our email addresses? Their ethics seem to be non-existant. Many other tech companies are facing scrutiny for the affect their technologies have on the user base.

Honestly I do believe that Instagram has become an extinction level threat. The toxic negative impacts of the irresponsibly managed company have already destroyed countless lives. Why don’t you report on that Instagram? In combination with the lack of responsible government oversight and regulation and obvious corruption, Instagram could cause the destruction of America and humanity. The failure of America’s government and American academic institutions and cannot be overstated. The social media companies are obviously also to blame.

Here are the leaked documents from Facebook and Instagram:

“In a blog post, Facebook released two slide decks that had informed the Wall Street Journal’s bombshell report(WSJ) from mid-September indicating that the company knew from internal research conducted in 2019 that its subsidiary platform Instagram was harming the mental health of teen girls, particularly when it comes to body image.”

“More than a year after the Facebook Papers dramatically revealed Big Tech’s abuse, social media companies have made only small, slow steps to clean up their act,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CNN Business) The Facebook and Instagram wellness hubs make ABSOLUTELY no mention of the data of these analyses, the statistics, or the math. They are trying to hide the tremendous amounts of negative data about them.

Children and even young adults shouldn’t have access to social media. The data is very clear. They aren’t ready for that kind of hyper-connectedness. They need strong nuclear family connections and during development these kinds of products are far too influential on them and turn them into products for advertisers and the social media companies.

The negative impacts of Instagram on youth culture in America have been a subject of growing concern for the adults populations at large. As various studies and reports highlight significant adverse effects, more studies are released about the harmful quality of the algorithms involved in the platform’s popularity and engagements. This is all supported scientifically, you can see the sources at the bottom of the article. There are a lot of them, because this is a well-documented problem.

Key issues involving social media use for non-adults include:

  1. Body Image and Self-Esteem Issues: Instagram has been linked to negative effects on young people’s feelings about their appearance and body satisfaction. The platform can exacerbate risks for eating disorders and other mental health concerns such as depression and low self-esteem. A study cited by The Wall Street Journal found that 32% of teen girls felt worse about their bodies after using Instagram, indicating that the platform can significantly alter how young women view and describe themselves. Sounds pretty dangerous and mentally poisonous.
  2. Mental Health Concerns: Instagram’s design, which capitalizes on the biological drive for social belonging, encourages continuous scrolling and engagement. This mechanism has been associated with mental health issues like depression, social anxiety, and self-esteem problems and is called . Exposure to Instagram’s narcissistically oriented content, driven by a business model focused on maximizing user attention, can have cumulative negative impacts over time.
  3. Increased Mental Distress and Suicidality: Research implicates smartphone and social media use, including Instagram, in the rise of mental distress, self-injurious behavior, and suicidality among youth. The effects are particularly pronounced among girls, suggesting a dose-response relationship between social media usage and mental health issues. Suicide numbers are difficult to discern directly because of the amount of coinciding variables in a suicide; however rates have steadily increased with the adoption of social media as a norm. Cyber-bullying has also contributed to this numeric increase in a significant way.

“Most teens report at mental health issue” -<(instagram reports)>.

The Mental Health concerns can be further categorized:

  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Body Dissatisfaction
  • Body Dysmorphia

As an adult that once was a kid with the internet, putting hyperconnectedness into the hands of the youth is irresponsible at best. The highlight reel effect is omnipresent on the platform and the internet as a whole and isn’t really understood by most folks. Kids need to be taught this kind of stuff in school; parents can’t be relied on to teach their kids this stuff because a lot of them don’t know about it. Kids need parents to help them navigate the thick and difficult world of technology that has become more and more predatory over time, from video games, to social media, to conspiracy theories, to just general laziness and confirmation bias and a sense of privilege and narcissism that seems to have become rampant in American society. Teachers, educators, and family, parents, brothers sisters, etc. typically share values to create humility. That’s why we generally both love and hate the time around our parents.

With the advent of all of this new, super powerful technology, we are at a crossroads of a civilization, especially in this country. America can either learn to be ethical, to strive for the greatest good, or we will become a corrupt pile of shit-bags that just want to argue and compete with each other to be the best in some imagined competition. There is always hope for something greater.

These findings underscore the need for greater awareness about time spent on social media. and intervention strategies to mitigate the harmful effects of Instagram on the mental health and wellbeing of young people in America. If you know someone that is spending way too much time on Instagram, or Facebook, or any other platform, you should tell them. Be their friend in real life.

What Precautions can you take to Mitigate the Negative Impacts of Social Media

  1. Take a break every 10 minutes. Try not to spend more than an hour on social media. TikTok has proven to be a data feed for China and its algorithm is very different for Americans and Chinese citizens. In a court filing, the former employee of ByteDance, Yintao Yu, alleged that the CCP spied on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in 2018 by using “backdoor” access to TikTok to identify and monitor the activists’ locations and communications. There is certainly potential for this to happen to Americans, through Instagram and Facebook.
  2. Remember that Instagram is highly manipulated. It is literally subsidized by the FBI, Homeland Security, and the State Department to monitor potential terrorist activity (this is actually a good thing right now, imo). However, even when you use your privacy settings, your social media accounts are not totally private. How much privacy an American citizen gets should at least be a matter of debate for the people, as well as our representatives. In most cases, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media companies will voluntarily share your information and personal messages with law enforcement agencies, whether they have a warrant or not[21].
  3. No one actually looks like the actors do in movies (although some are undoubtedly more attractive in reality because of their distinctive, unique, and charismatic personalities). Don’t compare yourself to others on the platform; deep friendships and family relationships are the most rewarding according to modern psychological data[20].
  4. There are significant weaknesses in Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms. They are very flawed. Deep connections are created and fostered in real life; digitalization of friendship simply isn’t rewarding to us. Social media is most effectively used as an enhancement to real life interaction, not the other way around.
  5. Limit your social media use. 30 minutes per day, per platform is probably a lot, but reasonable for a younger adult. More time on a site might be acceptable for work; if you are growing a business on social media sites, I say good luck to you. Use it for friendship.
  6. Explain to your kids what Instagram is. Teach them how it is flawed and how reality truly work.
  7. Spend more time with your children and kids in general in the analog world. It’s where we are meant to be.
References:
  1. BMC Psychology
  2. Faces engage us: photos with faces attract more likes and comments on Instagram
  3. Instagram Use, Loneliness, and Social Comparison Orientation: Interact and Browse on Social Media, But Don’t Compare
  4. What the brain ‘Likes’: neural correlates of providing feedback on social media
  5. Effects of Instagram Body Portrayals on Attention, State Body Dissatisfaction, and Appearance Management Behavioral Intention
  6. The Interaction between Serotonin Transporter Allelic Variation and Maternal Care Modulates Instagram Sociability in a Sample of Singaporean Users
  7. Instagram use and young women’s body image concerns and self-objectification: Testing mediational pathways
  8. The impact of excessive Instagram use on students’ academic study: a two-stage SEM and artificial neural network approach
  9. The Power of the Like in Adolescence: Effects of Peer Influence on Neural and Behavioral Responses to Social Media
  10. Cue-Reactivity Among Young Adults With Problematic Instagram Use in Response to Instagram-Themed Risky Behavior Cues: A Pilot fMRI Study
  11. Peer Influence Via Instagram: Effects on Brain and Behavior in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  12. Instagram and Seizure: Knowledge, Access, and Perception of Circulating Information on the Internet
  13. Oxytocin Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Early Parental Bonding Interact in Shaping Instagram Social Behavior
  14. SnapChat Parental Guide
  15. Facebook is hitting the brakes on Instagram for kids
  16. Cisomag.com – Instagram data breach! 49 million users’ sensitive data exposed online
  17. Slate.com – The Most Damning Thing We’ve Learned About Instagram Yet
  18. Firstpost.com – Leaked documents reveal Meta knew Instagram was pushing girls towards content that harmed mental health
  19. Vice.com – Leaked Documents Show How Instagram Polices Stories
  20. Instagram Psych Files on Appearance Based Social Comparison
  21. Study.com – Things that make people happy
  22. werksmanjackson.com – Is the Government Monitoring Your Social Media Accounts?
  23. Brennan Center of Justice – Federal Government Social Media Surveillance Explained

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The Human Lymphatic System (The Immune System)

Artiphoria.AI

Lymphatic system (aka the ‘immune system) – organs, tissues, and vessels work as a team to transport lymph (excreted fluid from cells or tissues in the body) back into the bloodstream.

This immune “system” of organs remembers every microbe it has ever fought and defeated.[1] It works in unison to prevent pathogens from invading the body.

Lymph fluid plays an extremely important role in the immune system and evolves over the course of a lifetime. The current body of research suggests that hydration is essential for overall health and can support various bodily functions, including the immune system and definitely cognitive functions including memory, attention, and concentration[10]. However, more targeted research is needed to fully understand the direct impact of hydration on adaptive immunity. The role of hydration in the immune system, particularly its impact on adaptive immunity, remains an area that could benefit from further exploration and research.

The immune system is separated into two parts: Innate (genetic, including phagocytes (macrophages and neutrophils), dendritic cells, mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, natural killer (NK) cells and innate lymphoid cells) and Adaptive (characterized by specificity, immunological memory, and self/nonself recognition). T cells and B cells are the two major components of adaptive immunity[2].

Human Lymphatic System from BioDigital.com

Lymph is a clear fluid that contains a high concentration of white blood cells and plays an important role in the immune response. Lymph nodes and organs filter and transmit nutrients, lymph fluid, and waste between the body’s tissues and the bloodstream. Humans have over 4 million exocrine sweat glands and all of them are involved in immune function.

Sweating and the Lymph System

Perspiration[3] is the process of sweating and comes from the Latin word spirae which means to inspire, exhale, blow, breeze, breathe, or emanate. “Physiologists have long regarded sweating as an effective and safe means of detoxification, and heavy metals are excreted through sweat to reduce the levels of such metals in the body.”[6] Heavy metals are excreted through dynamic exercise moreso than simple exposure to a heated environment (saunas, steam rooms, etc). Certain heavy metals are excreted far more effectively through sweating such as Nickel (ni), Lead (pb), and Chromium (cr).[6] Mercury and arsenic can also be added to the list. There is a specifically higher rate of toxicity release through sweat during extreme forms of exercise. One can imagine that a heated yoga room can be extremely effective for the waste removal of heavy metals.

The Organs of the Lymphatic System

Kidneys (Dall-E)

However, this sweating hypothesis doesn’t portray a complete picture of the excretion of toxins from the body because there are several very specific organs that are also involved in this process which include:

Primary Organs of the Immune/Lymphatic System:

Bone Marrow (Dall-E)
  1. Bone marrow: The soft, spongy tissue found in bone cavities. Bone marrow produces all the cells of the human body, including lymph and blood cells and are primary immunological organs.
  2. Lymph nodes: Small organs shaped like beans, which are located all over the body and connect via the lymphatic vessels. This is where Killer T cells mature and differentiate.
  3. Kidney’s: play an underappreciated role in the immune system. While it’s primarily known for its functions in filtering blood, removing waste products, and regulating electrolytes, the kidney also has several key roles in immunity including: barrier function, Innate Immunity, Adaptive Immunity, Cytokine Production, Interplay with Systemic Immune Responses, and Resistance to Infection and Autoimmune Diseases.
  4. Lymphatic vessels: A network of channels all over the body that carries lymphocytes to the lymphoid organs and bloodstream. They play a key role in maintaining fluid balance in the body and in immune surveillance
  5. Thymus : Two lobes that join in front of the windpipe (trachea) behind the breastbone. The primary role of the thymus is in the development of T-lymphocytes (T cells), which are a type of white blood cell crucial for the adaptive immune system. These T cells are responsible for fighting off pathogens and are central to the body’s immune response.
  6. Adenoids : Two glands located at the back of the nasal passage. Infection of the adenoids is called adenoiditis. This can cause symptoms like a sore throat, stuffy nose, swollen neck glands, difficulty swallowing, and breathing problems. Adenoids are more prominent in children. They begin to grow from birth and reach their maximum size between the ages of 3 and 5 years. After this, they usually start to shrink and may nearly disappear by adolescence. Adenoids are part of the Waldeyer’s ring, which includes the tonsils and other lymphatic tissue in the throat and nasal cavity. They help detect and fight off pathogens that enter the body through the nose or mouth.
  7. Spleen: A fist-sized organ located in the belly (abdominal) cavity. One of the spleen’s primary functions is to filter blood. It removes old and damaged red blood cells from the bloodstream. This process is crucial for maintaining healthy blood cells in circulation. The spleen is an integral part of the immune system. It produces lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infection. The spleen also helps identify and destroy bacteria and other pathogens in the blood. When the spleen breaks down red blood cells, it recycles the iron contained within them. This iron is then used to make new blood cells.
  8. Peyer patches: Lymphoid tissue in the small intestine. These patches are rich in B and T lymphocytes. B cells within Peyer’s patches can differentiate into plasma cells that produce immunoglobulins (antibodies), particularly IgA, which is crucial for immune functions in the gut.
  9. Tonsils: Two ovular masses in the back of the throat. Tonsils are part of the body’s lymphatic system and contribute to the immune defense. They act as a first line of defense against pathogens that enter the body through the mouth or nose. Tonsils contain immune cells that help fight infection. This is most likely WHY breathing through the nose can be so beneficial and stimulating for the immune system.
  10. Skin: Often overlooked as part of the immune system, the skin acts as a physical barrier to prevent the entry of pathogens. It also contains specialized cells of the immune system, such as Langerhans cells, which help to detect and fight infections.
  11. Liver: The liver contributes to immune defense by producing acute-phase proteins that increase in response to inflammation and by removing pathogens and toxins from the blood. The liver plays a crucial yet often underappreciated role in the immune system. It’s known primarily for its functions in metabolism, detoxification, and nutrient storage, but its immune-related roles are equally significant. The liver has a unique role in promoting immune tolerance, particularly to food antigens and gut microbial antigens. The liver contains Kupffer cells that are a type of macrophage, which means they can engulf and destroy bacteria, damaged cells, and other potentially harmful substances. Kupffer cells play a vital role in removing debris and pathogens from the blood. In summary, the liver’s role in the immune system is multifaceted. It acts as a sentinel for pathogens, produces vital immune proteins, helps regulate immune responses, and plays a unique role in promoting tolerance to food and gut microbes. This underscores the liver’s importance not just in metabolism and detoxification, but also as a key player in the body’s defense mechanisms.
Liver (Dall-E)
References:
  1. John Hopkins – The immune System
  2. Science Direct – Adaptive Immunity
  3. BioDigital – Lymphatic System
  4. Wikipedia – Spirae
  5. Biology Corner Anatomy
  6. BJD – Sweat Glands
  7. Taylor Francis Online – Physiology of sweat gland function: The roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health
  8. Pub Med – Excretion of Ni, Pb, Cu, As, and Hg in Sweat under Two Sweating Conditions
  9. Science Direct – Sweat and the Skin
  10. PLOS – The impact of water consumption on hydration and cognition among school children
  11. Science Direct – Waldeyer’s Ring
  12. Chat GPT – research
  13. DALL-E (OpenAI’s Image Generation Model)
  14. Artiphoria.ai – Image creation

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A.I. | Recent and Future Developments and Resources

Navigating the Future

artiphoria-steel spaceman

The first thing that has to be talked about with AI is ethical responsibility. Most people do not have proper ethics. It’s time to learn. Check out UNESCO IBM Wikipedia and Google for this.

There is currently a scarcity mindset that exists on planet Earth. We only have so many fossil fuels (surely they will someday run out); however we are probably no-where near that point (feel free to disagree in the forum). It is also extremely likely that we will invent carbon sinks (natural and machine..perhaps both?!?) in the new few decades, which could reverse the existing effects. We could also very carefully terraform our planet to support the largest amount of biodiversity that Earth has ever seen; which is what I would encourage.

However, this approach is very biased. It assumes that the greenhouse gas effect is irreversible, for which there is no supporting data. In fact, the existing data suggest that planet Earth has gone through many phases of extinction to get to where we are right now. It also assumes that the greenhouse gas effect is a negative thing for the planet, which also might not be true… we simply do not have enough data to know such things. And it is true that the Earth goes through phases in alignment with the life on the planet at the time (take the massive plankton extinction that nearly wiped all life off of planet Earth 250 million years ago, for instance).

I have no doubt that the old growth forests in the world, as well as the existing endangered species on Earth will be thoroughly protected in the future. We are guardians of the natural world; it is our birthright to transform this planet into a Utopia. The primary opposition to this is internal to humanity; greed and ignorance.

So with that said, let’s assume that we are all biased and that very shortly here, we are going to get to a point where we can learn about our biases and become more efficient at learning. At this point, we will start to run out of electricity. The reasoning is that we are all competing to make the coolest art, or mine bitcoin to create more crypto money, or conquer the planet with AI at the cost of mucho energies.

So we start getting into ethical use cases and most of this surrounds using electricity. The question becomes, how efficient are you with your energy consumption? Do you turn everything off when you sleep? Regulating this becomes a big deal, especially when the wealthy will compete with the poor for the resource.

We also have to deal with the fact that most people will use AI in a predatory way; mostly in advertising and politics; both of which are obviously corruptible. Also intelligent cheating and rates of fraud will rise drastically over the next decade. It is going to be more important than ever for us humans to learn to be honest and also to trust each other and also maintain a healthy degree of skepticism for the future.

The Continued Problem of Electricity

Charts FTW

This is an awesome look at how the world produces Carbon (which, by the way, is the primary fuel of plants on our planet). You can see that there are several countries using large amounts of carbon, even more than the United States.

Here is a separate chart on the use of energy by source:

So we have a very dirty economy of oil and coal that has not yet been properly supplemented by solar energy, which is, in my opinion, the way to produce the cleanest energy on planet Earth. We could literally throw a space station full of batteries into orbit and just shuttle the giant batteries back and forth between orbit and the planet’s surface to allow them to recharge. Or we can mind asteroids and awaken age old alien species that have been dormant to protect the exploitation of energy in the universe /s

In the meantime, we need to focus on nuclear fission and creating enough energy to power the quantum processors that run AI. This leads us into our first post-energy crisis problem. Climate Change.

Lets Postulate that Climate Change is Misunderstood

Do you ever feel like science is really bad at predicting the weather? There are undoubtedly classified and non-public variables (international energy regulations and agreements) that we are dealing with; but if climate science was decently understood at all, we would be able to predict the weather with a bit of accuracy, which does not seem to be the case. As we spew energy into the atmosphere, the climate becomes more variable and unpredictable; however, the green house gas effect might actually have a net positive impact on plant and animal life on planet Earth.

Consider, for instance, the new evolutionary theories that have gained traction since Darwinism (which at this point, honestly, is a bit archaic, though Darwin was a genius). Pangenesis was Charles Darwin‘s hypothetical mechanism for heredity, in which he proposed that each part of the body continually emitted its own type of small organic particles called gemmules that aggregated in the gonads, contributing heritable information to the gametes.[1] This is originally from Hippocrates of Kos (/hɪˈpɒkrətiːz/Greek: Ἱπποκράτης ὁ Κῷος, translit. Hippokrátēs ho Kôios; c. 460 – c. 370 BC), also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the classical period who is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine.

gamete (/ˈɡæmiːt/; from Ancient Greekγαμετή (gametḗ) ‘wife’, ultimately from Ancient Greekγάμος(gámos) ‘marriage’) is a haploid cell that fuses with another haploid cell during fertilization in organisms that reproduce sexually.[1] Gametes are an organism’s reproductive cells, also referred to as sex cells.[2]

Modern Synthesis is the model we should be using currently imho. Julian Huxley coined the term during World War II.

Here is the process:

Let’s say that life on Earth is evolving, somewhat quickly, which seems to be true if you are a naturalist looking at photos from around the world depicting animal behaviors (which includes humanity). The increased speed of the feedback loop would enable faster evolution over time, which means that the species on Earth will evolve more rapidly over time. This becomes a major problem for humanity; the animal species could, in theory, evolve beyond our capacity to defend ourselves from the primordial world. We have this nuanced competition for resources on the planet and eventually we will be competing with animals that have evolved beyond our ability to compete with them for resources. This could become an even bigger issue than climate change, especially in the near future, if humanity is able to survive the increased variability in the weather and planetary super-events (mud-slides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, etc). Something to think about.

“The only problem we really have is we think we’re not supposed to have problems!” – some rich asshat

I love Google. Thank you for your work!

References:

  1. Royal Society on Evolutionary Synthesis
  2. Google HyperDisk
  3. UNESCO
  4. Wikipedia AI Ethics
  5. Google AI Principles
  6. Google Responsible AI
  7. Artphoria.ai
  8. Grok Log Parsing (still researching this)
  9. Futurism.com
  10. Google Secures America’s Banks amid A.I. Revolution
  11. Digiconomist
  12. ourworldindata.org
  13. Hippocrates
  14. Julian Huxley
  15. Zoonomia is recommended reading! (amazon copy here)

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The AI Revolution: Crafting Humanity’s Future in the Cosmos

Ever felt like you’re living in a science fiction novel? Me too. AI will become the most powerful force in the universe, probably.

However, with great power comes great responsibility (thank you, Spider-Man). With AI’s immense potential comes the risk of equally grand-scale mishaps. To prevent a dystopian future where AI runs amok, we need a guardian—a cosmic superhero AI, if you will. Think less Skynet, more the benevolent force behind the likes of Godzilla or the Gundam, or even the protective spirits from Dragonball Z.

I’ve pretty much spent the last 3 days learning about what is happening and listening to Elon Musk talk about AI; I’ve also been learning about China’s awesome space program and of course have been watching the evolution of Tesla, Neuralink, and Space X for a while now. I think it’s fair to say that a revolution is upon us that is going to change humanity’s understanding of the nature of the universe, intelligence, and ourselves.

I think that our first priority with AI should be to increase the bio-diversity on planet earth, including the human race. There is no reason that our planet should not be an absolute marvel and spectacle of the nature that birthed us, exactly similar to Avatar.

Respecting as the Earth as a god-mother to AI will be foundational for creating a love of life that I think will be necessary for us to use AI in a benevolent way. This includes re-populating coral reefs, learning to properly manage and enhance the forests of Earth, and reversing the effects of climate change to restore the polar ice caps. Animal corridors and floating cities will abound, and wildlife roams freely.

We could also employ AI bots to clean the surface of the ocean and to assist in the breaking down of plastics in the ocean, as well as generating power from the ocean. Undoubtedly, this advancement will bring the planet to a new level of energy dependence, so creating a nuclear energy source that is sustainable (old Spider man 2 anyone?) will be a real potential for us.

There is also the possibility of launching ships with AI into black holes to explore for us, coming back to perhaps share with us how the dark matter in the universe behaves.

The real next priority is to explore the solar system; learn to amass resources from it (asteroids, Jupiter’s gases, etc) and also measure and find new habitable planets close by. colonization of Mars and its moon Eros, would be a priority. I think that turning Phobos into the ultimate VR party to create electricity would be a cool way to go about brining life to the Mars System.

There is, however, a major possibility for abuse; which obviously needs to be mitigated by creating an AI that is benevolent to watch over us. Similar to a good version of Godzilla, Gundam, perhaps even similar to Dragonball Z. All of the super hero movies are now completely in play, once we are aligned with an advanced version of Neuralink, humanity could become inseparable from AI. We could travel the universe with it.

Let me know what you think about AI! Looking forward to tomorrow. 😀

Images by artiphoria.ai/

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The Idea of Evil Giovanni Domenico Ferretti, Cain and Abel, 1740

Evil and the Evolution of Morality

Evil and Humanity

Evil and morality are thought structures for defining good and bad actions. Definitions of evil vary according to the culture, time, and context of the people who are defining it. An absolute definition is illusive. Many describe it as a supernatural force in our world. Some say that it is led by satan, the opposite of god. In Catholicism, this would refer to lucifer’s betrayal of god and descent into hell. Evil ascribes a certain kind of ignorance, selfishness, neglect, ignorance, and amorality.

Logical Beliefs about how evil exists

There are four different logical possibilities regarding evil, one of which you will fall into. Moral relativism is the belief that morality is shared amongst a group of people, but relative to individuals. That means that each group of people believes themselves to be ethically or morally superior to the others; most philosophers question the idea of an objective morality. It holds that morality is flexible to the cultures that employ it. Most critics of this view claim that this creates a logical conundrum, whereby judgements of morality cannot be applied.

The second possible belief is moral absolutism, where you believe that particular actions are inherently right or wrong and that certain restrictions on behavior shouldn’t be violated. Immanuel Kant’s views on duty and rights can be placed into this category. For instance, if you believe that violence should never be used even in self-defense, than you are morally absolutist about violence being wrong.

Moral universalism, or moral objectivism is the meta-ethical position that some systems of ethics apply themselves universally to a like group of individuals. For instance, all humans should not steal. This is directly opposed to moral relativism or nihilism because it creates a common standard by which all beings should act. This is an Abrahamic belief, meaning it is shared amongst the biggest religions in the world: Christianity, Islam, and also Judaism. This is the view that the United Nations adopted in 1948 after WWII, in Paris.

Amorality is the disregard for morality. This is different from immoral, which refers to the subject views of the agent/doer. Any being that is not able to act with judgement is categorically amoral. Friedrich Nietzsche rejected morality by saying that he had to for non-moral reasons. Moral Nihilism is an offshoot of this, whereby someone would consider killing someone as neither moral or immoral, which is pretty much the direct opposite of moral objectivism.

Now, you understand probably where you fall, but it is important to remember that animals, most particularly domesticated animals with exposure to human values and behaviors can develop a sense of morality as well; just think about your dog or cat. You can also be certain that this exists within animal communities for the sake of well-being for the entire community, but evolving as a sort of natural phenomenon (think of a flock of bird, or school of fish that work together by instinct).

Morality as an Evolution for Social Species

So let’s explore how morality has evolved to become what it is today, certainly led by the virtuous altruism and nihilistic amoral exemplars from the human race.

Carl Jung talked a lot about evil as a shadow-side inherent in each human, but believed to be a separate force from themselves by each individual. People project their own shadows onto others; their insecurities, fears, stresses, etc. He believed the story of Jesus to be an account of God facing his own shadow side.

Morality is certainly an evolutionary lens of humanity; we invented its examination over the course of our evolution. Morality is system of ideas about right and wrong, originating with mythology and evolving most drastically with religion. Most scientists argue that human moral behaviors can be traced through animal behaviors and instincts. Many scientists argue that there is an intrinsic science behind morality, though social scientists general consider morality to be a construct.

Evidence suggests that all life on Earth has a single common ancestor, a small single-celled organism that lived 3.8-3.5 billion years ago. But as we learn more and more about horizontal gene transference, which is the primary mechanism of gene transfer within micro-organisms, we are starting to understand that this single common ancestry might have evolved differently than we currently hypothesize.

This has led to mammals and social societies within animal species with specific hierarchies where each individual knows their place. Social order is maintained by rules of expected behavior and consequences for actions. Higher functioning primates like our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos often reciprocate social behaviors and remembers favors, favorites, preferences, empathy, attachment, bonding, and altruism. Vampire bats reciprocate by sharing blood regurgitation with their bat friends, or those in dire need of feeding. Certain monkeys and dogs refuse to act unless rewarded properly and fairly for their actions.

Chimpanzees lives in groups of about 50, forming complex societies with distinct and unique hierarchies. Paleolithic hominids (2.6 millions years ago to 10,000 years ago) lived in groups of a few hundred individuals. Malcolm Gladwell mentions that humans have a limit of about 50 close friends and 300 in their extended circle, which is of course aided by advancements in technology. As community size increased, morality evolved as a means of control, cohesion, and solidarity. As the number of individuals within communities increased, so did the complexity of these hierarchies and moral systems until things like religions, cults, and more complex societal functions began to emerge.

How are Human Morals Different?

Humans societies have two major differences that separate our societies from primate and higher functioning animal societies. We enforce our moral codes more strictly with punishments, rewards, and reputation building. Humans also have a degree of abstract reasoning and objective judgement that is not present in the animal kingdom.

Morality has evolved so far that it has created a sense of human altruism that is even greater than the urge to pass on genes in many instances. This theory of collective social mind that humans can infer or transfer to each other with high levels of intelligence is an evolution that is displayed in primates, but never as heavily or significantly as in humans. Neither is the altruism that humans display towards the collective.

Psychologists believe that religion may have evolved from morality and used supernatural principles and entities to keep the group cohesive and allow the collective to adapt to the ever evolving needs of the collective with enhanced chances for cohesive survival.

There are two primary expressions and emotions involved with morality: the first is disgust; the second is shame. Both of these contribute to a social punishment system that is very active in the world around us today, especially on the internet.

Religion, Morality, and Evil

Finally, here is a list for each religion, categorizing how it’s doctrine thinks about evil:

  • Hinduism – Dharma divides right from wrong with strict systems of morality based on actions.
  • Christianity – any thought or action against the will of God is immoral.
  • Judasim – evil comes into existence through the actions; humans are responsible for choices.
  • Islam – there is no concept of absolute evil. Evil is lack of good, or disrespect of Allah.
  • Buddism – Desire is the root of all evil, but more focused on suffering and ignorance.
  • Sikkhism – evil evolves depending on one’s location along the path to liberation.

Conclusion

Remember that I am doing my best to be impartial here; if you feel like something is missing please add a comment! Evil is certainly something that has evolved with humanity and continues to evolve today, though I did my best to steer clear of any news on the subject.

This wraps up my discussion on the idea of evil, morality, and the evolution of what is right and wrong. I’m hoping to write my next article about Aristotle his concept of “the good”, if you have anything you want me to mention or discuss, let me know!

References:

  1. Evolution of Morality
  2. Last Universal Ancestor
  3. BBC
  4. Morality in Islam

Evil and the Evolution of Morality Read More »

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