Sunday, September 3, 2017

Brief blurts about tribes and tribalism — Intro to a new series + Robert Wright


In posting a series of readings on Facebook that express sustained views about the significance of tribes and tribalism in America (and sometimes elsewhere), I’ve passed over many good short quotes where the author is making more a passing or wrap-up remark than a sustained article-length argument. By now I’ve accumulated so many of these, and many are pithy so and illuminating, I figure I might as well pass them along in quick blurts.
So here we go, in no particular order.
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Robert Wright:
“… But I will say that the evidence I see for purpose includes not just the direction of biological evolution, but the direction of technological evolution and of the broader social and cultural evolution it drives — the evolution that has carried us from hunter-gatherer bands to the brink of a cohesive global community. And if the purpose involves sustaining this direction — becoming a true global community — then it would seem to include moral progress. In particular, our purpose would involve transcending the psychology of tribalism that can otherwise divide people along ethnic, national, religious and ideological lines. Which would mean — in light of recent political and social developments in the United States and abroad — that our work is cut out for us.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/opinion/can-evolution-have-a-higher-purpose.html

[Brought over from a Facebook post a few days ago.]


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