Tuesday, June 9, 2020

857: The Good and the Bad.....

"Babies are selfish jerks" was an observation by CB last Tuesday. And not only babies, toddlers too. That was the common opinion at the beginning of the 21st century
However, the Harvard professor of psychology, Felix Warneken proved the opposite.  As he writes in his CV about his research:
-QUOTE- In particular, my research is concerned with the processes which constitute early forms of cooperation such as altruistic helping and collaboration,
identifying the factors which influence its development throughout childhood, and exploring its origins in human evolution. 
One striking finding of this research is that even very young children engage in various forms of altruistic behaviors 
such as helping others with their problems or sharing resources with them, suggesting that human infants have a biologically based predisposition for altruism. -END QUOTE-
So we seem to be biologically predisposed to be altruistic. Well, let's have the bad news too.
Jane Elliott (1933 - ) is an American schoolteacher, anti-racism activist, and educator. She is known for her "Blue eyes–Brown eyes" experiment.
Maybe you have heard about it. She told the children in her class, age about 8 years old, that children with brown eyes were cleaner and smarter than children with blue eyes.
In no time the Brown-eyes began to behave condescending to the Blue-Eyes and the Blue-eyes began to lose their self-confidence.
This wasn't a scientific experiment. If it had been, I doubt, if it would have been approved by the Ethics committee.
Yet the question was still asked: What happens when you divide children in different groups, but then leave them alone and don't manipulate them or the situation.
It resulted in the study, named, "Social Stereotyping and Prejudice in Children" by Rebecca Bigler and Meagan Patterson. (2003)
In two daycare centers children between 2 to 5 one half of the kids wore a red shirt, the other half of the group got a blue shirt..
As long as the adults ignored the colors, the toddlers also paid no attention to it. Yet they developed a group feeling. They found children of their own color smarter and better.
When the adults yet  paid attention to the color difference, for instance by starting the day with "Good morning blues and reds", this group feeling became even stronger.
When the children were shown photos of kids, they were not acquainted with, wearing a red of blue shirt, they were more negative about those who didn't wear their color.
The conclusion can only be that the social perception of the children was severely disrupted by mere membership of a social group, as the researchers wrote.
The hard lesson is that toddlers are not color blind. They are more sensitive to differences than most adults realize. 
Even if we act as if everyone is equal, and differences in skin color, appearance and richness do not exist, children will still see differences.
Back to our initial question: Why do some people evil things? What is the root of evil in man, although we assume that most people are OK?
The observations with young children may reveal the tip of an iceberg.
Thank you for your attention again...

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019


The Discussion
[13:13] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:13] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think those people must have been what Mengele studied
[13:14] herman Bergson: What do you mean, Gemma?
[13:14] herman Bergson: He did medical experiments, not psychological ones
[13:14] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the teacher who did that experiment
[13:14] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well
[13:14] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's one thing to see the differences, it's how you act toward or react to them
[13:14] herman Bergson: yes....a questionable experiment
[13:14] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:14] herman Bergson: Yes Jack....
[13:14] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think a lot of strange ideas camee out of the 20's and 30's
[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): combination of physical and psychological
[13:15] herman Bergson: Especially today it is again a hot issue.....how does racism come into being...?
[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and went int the homes too
[13:15] CB Axel: That teacher did that to teach them how racism works and why it is stupid.
[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well
[13:15] herman Bergson: That was her intention indeed CB
[13:15] Jack Lust (jacklust): if one thing we as humans are good at, it's using one's differences against them
[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): experiments like that are not good at that age
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, your color don't tell anything about your personality but in US it seems that Black = gangster or murderer = should be killed on spot
[13:16] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): think about it
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats what the police seems to believe anyway
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (sighs)
[13:16] CB Axel: I'd like to hear what those kids have to say about it now as adults.
[13:16] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right cb
[13:16] herman Bergson: That hs been investigated, CB
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:16] herman Bergson: Even movies were made
[13:17] herman Bergson: Just google Jane Elliott
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i remember when we talked about her some years back
[13:17] herman Bergson: Is all in Wikipedia
[13:18] CB Axel: Oh. Wikipedia? Then it must be true. hehehe
[13:18] Jack Lust (jacklust): the behavior in that case, was clearly taught
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:18] herman Bergson: My worry here is more the observation that seeing differences which directly affect the way we treat each other starts already at such a young  age
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well depends on the family life too
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and attitudes
[13:19] herman Bergson: No no CB.....that is for you to judge
[13:19] Jack Lust (jacklust): kids are like a sponge, as they say, and soak up everything they see and hear
[13:19] herman Bergson: indeed....
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:19] herman Bergson: Then just think about how you can remove racism from a society
[13:20] Jack Lust (jacklust): just depends on what is reinforced as good and bad things, I think
[13:20] herman Bergson: Theh adults influence the kids easily
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so it spreads
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:20] herman Bergson: but those spongebobs absorb every remark you make :-)
[13:20] Jack Lust (jacklust): however, if someone's father is a blatant racist, the kids may learn to be just the opposite too
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because they realize he is doing something very wrong
[13:21] herman Bergson: Like super religious parents create atheist kids sometimes
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sometimes true
[13:21] Jack Lust (jacklust): at what age, though, that is a tough question
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because they don't want to be forced into it
[13:22] Jack Lust (jacklust): I think it would be different for almost everyone
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): peronalities ect
[13:22] herman Bergson: I guess the only thing that can save us here is education again.....
[13:22] CB Axel: That's like the children of alcoholics. Some grow up to be alcoholics, too, but some never touch alcohol.
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true too
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:22] Jack Lust (jacklust): totally agree with you there Herman, education is the best answer
[13:23] herman Bergson: yes....a complex issue.....it isn't mathematics
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nope
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not at all
[13:23] herman Bergson: But is clearly shows how evil can grow in man
[13:23] Jack Lust (jacklust): gaining perspectives from all different views is equally important
[13:23] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah indeed
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): very important
[13:24] Jack Lust (jacklust): even if we disagree with them and sometimes especially when we disagree
[13:24] herman Bergson: We have to learn to disagree and accept it
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks however that does not begin to happen until there is some sort of maturity
[13:24] Jack Lust (jacklust): we are still learning that as a species I think
[13:25] Jack Lust (jacklust): we have a long way to go
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: That is what I mean by education, Gemma....
[13:25] herman Bergson: the more mature the wiser you can become
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:26] CB Axel: One thing that we haven't mentioned about the brown eye/blue eye experiment, the teacher reversed it the next school day and the blue eyed kids became the preferred group and could bully the brown eyed kids.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Don't be too negative here.....
[13:26] herman Bergson: We can change
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): swell
[13:26] CB Axel: So they did get to see discrimination from both sides.
[13:26] Jack Lust (jacklust): we do make strides, for sure
[13:26] CB Axel: That's not something we can do in real life.
[13:27] herman Bergson: It still is ethical a questionable experiment, I'd say
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:27] herman Bergson: But let's not be to negative.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: Again....put it in the perspective of a timeline.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: not just one lifetime....
[13:28] herman Bergson: in the Middle Ages we believed the most idiotic things.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: about monsters, ghosts , witches etc
[13:28] herman Bergson: It shaped that society...
[13:28] Jack Lust (jacklust): we are less violent now than at any point in our history, even if it doesn't look like it.  I think that means are are slowly learning
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are many who still do but now there are aliens
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): little green men
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and greys
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:29] herman Bergson: All those beliefs are gone now...with some exceptions....but that is folklore
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes the greys
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have two friends who are witches
[13:29] herman Bergson: So the human mind and thinking HAS fundamentally changed in a permanent way
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:30] Jack Lust (jacklust): I think it changes constantly as we evolve
[13:30] herman Bergson: Such could also happen with racism.....why not?
[13:30] theo Velde is online.
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i believe that too and still do not believe it is over
[13:30] Jack Lust (jacklust): we haven't learned to be good to each other yet, though
[13:30] herman Bergson: It is definitely not over Gemma, far from that
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): very true
[13:31] herman Bergson: Just imagen....
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still much to do
[13:31] Jack Lust (jacklust): it will be generations before there is real change, but we have to start where we can
[13:31] herman Bergson: It was 1963 that segregation was abolished in the US!
[13:31] CB Axel: I think the space program has helped. Images of our tiny earth floating in space without man-made borders all over it has changed our perspective. :)
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): afraid so
[13:32] herman Bergson: We look at earth in a different way indeed CB
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone is online.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i asked a professor some years back when studying black studies when he thought racism would and he said in about 200 years
[13:32] Jack Lust (jacklust): finding alien life would change our perspective enormously
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think that is the right answer Gemma
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): man eating klingins
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): klingons
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes Jack....I wait for that every day
[13:33] CB Axel: Aliens would give us more to discriminate against. :)
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks they would be the masters tho
[13:33] CB Axel: But it might make other humans look better to us.
[13:33] Jack Lust (jacklust): hate those alpha centurions *shake fist*
[13:33] herman Bergson: But you know, the chance  of existing alien life is 0.00000000001%
[13:33] CB Axel: LOL, Jack.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and YES I was watching star trek before while working on my UE4 MYST project
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at least in this part of the universe
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa progress in space would be great
[13:34] herman Bergson: and there is another problem....
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now CERN just have to invent the warp drive to get us up to enough speed
[13:34] herman Bergson: even if there exists alien life elsewhere....why should it have evolved like life on earth?
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): could be very very different
[13:35] CB Axel: A new planet was found circling Proxima b.
[13:35] herman Bergson: SF loves to assume that, but  it is baseless
[13:35] Jack Lust (jacklust): we certainly can't expect it to be the same as here
[13:35] Jack Lust (jacklust): we have "like as we know it" because that's all we know
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe it's far moer intelligent as we are
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and yes CERN have actually evaluated if it could actually work, the principle used in star trek, and indeed star trek have already borrowed many terms already and use them also in the proper way
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): different chemical compositions
[13:35] CB Axel: Gemma, that would depend on who finds who and where. I think you're assuming that they will come here to find us.
[13:35] herman Bergson: I must admit...I wait for that spaceship every day, but I know it won't land :-)
[13:36] CB Axel: That would make them superior.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): idiots if they did
[13:36] Jack Lust (jacklust): I think aliens exist, I just don't think they have been here
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like tachyons, its not sci fi, the term is indeed from particle physic and it describe a particle that can't go below the light speed, just like in the series
[13:36] CB Axel: But if we find them on their own planets first, we may be the superior ones. :)
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe Musk will do it cb
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if they don't blast is down  with their lasers
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we won't know until we get there
[13:37] CB Axel: I think Musk is an alien :D
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what aliens might be like
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): think he is an oddity but an amazing person
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it would be very strange indeed if this is the OLY planet in the entire universe having life
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): only
[13:37] herman Bergson: For the time being we have to do it with homo sapiens and the question, why does he do evil to his fellowman
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): greed adn power
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there HAVE to be life omelace else
[13:38] herman Bergson: And today we saw how easy it is to install the wrong ideas in a child
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and why that is the case
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): children oak everything up
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): soak
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because they are in their learning cycle
[13:38] Jack Lust (jacklust): that's also why religion tries to get to kids when they're young
[13:38] herman Bergson: We can learn all our lifetime
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same why they learn their native language so easy but we later have very difficult to learn another say Spanish if it is not our native language
[13:40] herman Bergson: I learnt Spanish bejiita....speak actually 5 languages...is not so difficult :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems we enter a special programming mode as toddlers and exit this permanently later making it easy to grasp our initial world
[13:40] herman Bergson: Si tú quieres podemos continuar en español :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well some words I know in many languages
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): och vad tycker du om svenska? .. det är svårt
[13:41] herman Bergson: Anyway.....today was about the kids.....next lecture will be about the grown ups :-)
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:42] herman Bergson: Gelijk heb je Beertje ^_^
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ja hè?
[13:42] herman Bergson: Unless you want to make that last brilliant remark.......
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): THAT is a language I want to grasp more
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but I have quite hard to grasp it, some things I can get out
[13:42] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation....
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:42] Jack Lust (jacklust): thanks Herman
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but ill guess ill give it a try
[13:43] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ......
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a nice lesson again
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman, dankjewel
[13:43] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman. See you all next week.
[13:43] CB Axel: Bye
[13:43] herman Bergson: Thank you Bejiita
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:43] Jack Lust (jacklust): take care everyone!
[13:43] herman Bergson: Be well CB
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if im not TURFing ill see u tuesday
[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you herman and class :-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now all
[13:43] herman Bergson: I'll chechk out that turfing, Bejiita
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): do so
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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