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LJUBI BLIŽNJEGA SVOGA

Love thy neighbour

Piše: Adam Phillips i Barbara Taylor / Guardian
Izvor: Guardian

Kindness has gone out of fashion. In the age of the rampant free market and the selfish gene, compassion is seen as either narcissism or weakness. So why have we become so suspicious of one of our most basic - and pleasurable - human qualities

What is to be done?

Nothing, many would say. Human beings are innately selfish and that is that. Newspapers bombard us with scientific evidence to back up this pessimism.

selfishness

We read about greedy chimpanzees, selfish genes, ruthless mate-selection strategies, even about meerkats - those famously cooperative creatures - who instead of looking out for their fellows spend most of their time "watching their own backs".

 Richard Dawkins of "selfish gene" fame lays it on the line: "Human society based simply on the gene's law of universal ruthless selfishness would be a very nasty society in which to live. But unfortunately, however much we deplore something, this does not stop it being true ..."

LjubaznostYet Dawkins does not despair: "If you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish ... Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs."


 

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