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Helping and sharing are hardwired into our biology

I updated my post “On Human Nature and Morality: Humans are Intrinsically Good” with a note regarding an article that I came across today that was published on The Washington Post. Here’s a quote:

In a simple experiment, researchers at the University of Chicago sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes.

The free rat, occasionally hearing distress calls from its compatriot, learned to open the cage and did so with greater efficiency over time. It would release the other animal even if there wasn’t the payoff of a reunion with it. Astonishingly, if given access to a small hoard of chocolate chips, the free rat would usually save at least one treat for the captive — which is a lot to expect of a rat.

The researchers came to the unavoidable conclusion that what they were seeing was empathy — and apparently selfless behavior driven by that mental state.

“There is nothing in it for them except for whatever feeling they get from helping another individual,” said Peggy Mason, the neurobiologist who conducted the experiment along with graduate student Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal and fellow researcher Jean Decety.

“There is a common misconception that sharing and helping is a cultural occurrence. But this is not a cultural event. It is part of our biological inheritance,” she added.

Like I argued in my post on human nature, humans also inherited the same behavior which logically follows from fundamental principles based on the Universal right to life. However, the anti-social system that we currently live in corrupts human behavior starting from early childhood, resulting in the psychopathic behavior that’s currently prevalent worldwide.

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