Chapter

Kindness and Cruelty in Evolution

Elliott Sober

in Visions of Compassion

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847327 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130430.003.0004
Kindness and Cruelty in Evolution

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Human nature is intriguing in such that it can express both negative and positive emotions, as in kindness and cruelty. The question is whether both are a natural part of our nature as human beings, or is one produced to serve as the alternate of the other. Another question that is brought to the table in this chapter is how does one determine what is natural and what is not, being its true definition? The chapter attempts to answer these questions based on evolution theory, whether events earlier in history served as a promoter for the emotions of today. Was the nature of kindness and caring inherent in a human being at the beginning of time, or is it only through the changes and events over time that it has developed? The chapter aims to aid the reader in understanding our human tendencies.

Keywords: human nature; human beings; kindness; cruelty; evolution

Chapter.  8076 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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