virus: Selfishness

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 21 Jul 1996 17:33:59 -0700

David McDivitt wrote:

>Egoism is more than this. It is the only credible explanation of human
>motivation totally without any spiritual component. Rand may have been
>egoist, but I have yet to read where she attributes motivation in *all*
>to come from self interest. She cuts it short by saying merely, some
>people are
>selfish and some are not, and it is ethical to be selfish.

Actually, looking at human behavior as a result of the interaction of
selfish genes and selfish memes is an even more credible explanation
than egoism. The "hardware" comes from eons of natural selection of
self-interest--not of humans, but of their genes, which is a subtle but
important distinction. In the last 20 years we are seeing that human
"software" is similarly composed of the natural selection of selfish

Declaring such selfishness to be good is committing the naturalistic
fallacy; that because something is, that it also ought to be.
Evolutionary systems can self-organize into stable states that are not
desirable by anyone.

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?