Re: Human faithfullness [was Re: Fwd: Lanier essay of 2001.12.04]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Dec 09 2001 - 06:16:02 MST

On Sun, 9 Dec 2001 wrote:

> Would not a judge determine whether a child was yours or not?

If the judge makes the determination based on DNA evidence (as they
now seem to do) I don't see where there is a problem. The chances
of it being a wrong decision are very low and subject to being
corrected by additional tests. If it isn't my genetic child then
I have no moral obligation to support it. (I'm unsure how the
"legal" situation works -- I suspect at a minimum the genetic
father would be required to pay child support.)

> What if there exists, a situation where a child does not result, yet infidelity is still
> undertaken? Wouldn't a person still feel betrayed by the infidelity? Are we,
> as the highest of anthrpoid apes, still driven exclusively, by
> genetic/behavioral determinism, or are we as intelligences, slightly, more
> ego-bound?

It depends entirely on the degree to which a person has allowed either
their personal survival or emotional well being to become intertwined
with their partner. I personally don't see much value in regulating
the behavior of other adults. So I doubt I'd feel "betrayed" by
infidelity. I might feel some emotional loss if such a situation
arose unexpectedly (e.g. a partner had indicated they had wanted to be
faithful but had accidentally strayed) but since I know what is
generating those feelings (the genetic/memetic "jealousy" machine)
I'm not going to place a high value on them.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:24 MDT