Category Archives: altruism

Blog 4: The Unselfish Gene

As a parent, I’d be damned if I were given the option to genetically engineer my child to be predisposed towards altruistic behavior since – quite frankly – I wouldn’t know what to do in such a situation. An examination of the nature of altruism, the biological requisites for gene coding, as well as virtue-based […] Continue reading

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Why getting rid of “bad” is bad

B4: Ironically, altruism can be a pretty contentious term.  In fields ranging from philosophy to biology to economics, people have very different perceptions regarding the origins and motivations of selfless behavior.  Regardless, altruism is almost universally esteemed in our society; actions exhibiting an “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others,” as Merriam-Webster […] Continue reading

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Grumpy the Dwarf

As I approach the ripe old age of 21, I can look back fondly on some wonderful moments in my life; however, those truly unforgettable memories are often dark ones.  Like any other average Joe, I have seen enough violence and betrayal to question the kindness of other people.  After seeing some of my closest […] Continue reading

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Controlling the Altruism Gene — Going Too Far?

It’s a very intriguing concept.  An “altruism gene.”  A gene that determines how much money you will drop into the homeless man’s cup as you walk by.  Or at least how predisposed you will be to give to him.  I’m not sure if we have found an “altruism gene” or if any such gene really […] Continue reading

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Selflessness, as it applies to trees and people, among other things

As evidenced by my latest blog post, my favorite children’s book of all time is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is the heartwarming story of a boy who is best friends with a tree. The boy loves the tree, and the tree loves the boy. The tree loves the boy so much that […] Continue reading

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For the Lack of a Toy

“Of all the toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a sound when you jump on it.”        -Stephen Baker There could be several different outcomes if children could be […] Continue reading

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To alter, or not to alter, that is the question

Through advancements in modern science, the possibility of ‘designer babies’ who have had their genetic makeup artificially selected to ensure certain characteristics or genes is becoming more realistic. Specifically, genetic modification could affect a child’s susceptibility to disease, allow parents to choose a specific gender, determine personality traits, or even establish appearance and IQ. But […] Continue reading

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Altruism: That’s just bad economics

How many decisions do people make everyday?  How many are conscious?  Unconscious?  While the jury is still out trying to “average” the number of decisions one makes in a day, the number is staggeringly high.  For, example, with each key I punch by moving my finger to type this blog post, I make a decision.  […] Continue reading

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The “Selfish” Gene

Genetically engineering one’s kid to be altruistic would be, in my opinion, a terrible idea. Altruism is “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” I would like my kid to be kind, sure. But like any parent, I imagine I’d want my child to have the best […] Continue reading

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