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Every emotion must had a reason when it was evolved into existence and genetically. Why did animals/humans started showing kindness to the other 'kind', when there was nothing they can gain by feeling 'kind'ness with other individual.

  • This is a scientific question. But why do you assume there was nothing to gain by showing kindness? – Eliran Jun 4 '16 at 8:15
  • To me, this question is relatively meaningless without a working definition of 'kindness'. – fileunderwater Nov 1 '16 at 11:46
  • @fileunderwater My definition of kindness was something in the lines of being generous or helping etc. I got the answer anyhow. – GP92 Nov 2 '16 at 7:50
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Evolution works at the species level, not at the individual level. Altruism evolved because it gave certain groups advantages aver other groups competing for the same resources. If an individual sacrifices their own personal needs for the group so that the group as whole thrives, the end result is still the propagation of that individual's genetic information (as a subset of the group genetic information), and evolution is driven by genes.

An extreme example of this are female worker ants and worker bees: These individuals do not mate at all, only the queens in their colonies/hives do, and yet they spend their whole lives dedicated to the well being of the group.

See the SEP article on altruism for further information.

  • I could manage to read few paras from the article you mentioned. Rest I will read tomorrow. But, it's very good one. Exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for sharing! – GP92 Jun 3 '16 at 22:53
  • I am a bit skeptical of that. Altruistic societies are tend to be "free-loaded" by selfish individuals. Selfless organisms that are more vying than others then tend to defect, leading to decrease in overall benefits by altruism. The species may or may not benefit overall but selfish individuals sure do, which is bound to increase their proportion in population. So while a completely selfish society may not sustain itself, a society with a ratio where selfishness and selfness are balanced would probably be most "stable". That means that a section of population will be selfish genetically...... – IsThatTrue Jun 4 '16 at 5:19
  • Does this scenario occur in reality? I don't think so. – IsThatTrue Jun 4 '16 at 5:20
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Keep in mind that genes are causally related to phenomena occurring in many levels at the same time: molecular, cellular, systemic, individual, social, even environmental. The interplay of all these different levels is not without attrition. More often than not, the existence of a particular trait cannot be reduced to a single explanatory principle.

Your premise - that there's nothing to be gained from positive affections on the individual level - is probably unwarranted in itself, but also suffers from a limitation in perspective, as the best utilitarian explanations for the existence of emotions are probably those that investigate the phenomenon at the social level.

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