Posted by: Mark Waser | Oct 29, 2010

Über Rationality vs. Altruism: Round 3


  1. Altruism = Increased chances of future co-operation and assistance
  2. Increased chances of future co-operation and assistance = Universal sub-goal
  3. Universal sub-goal = one of your goals
  4. Fulfilling any one of your goals = ~Altruism


–  – Altruism = ~Altruism

Thus, altruism as defined by the über rationalists is impossible.

So what word do they wish to use to label whatever it is that makes vampire bats regurgitate blood for sick or injured companions, cotton-top tamarins share food, and humans feel warm and fuzzy when they give to charity?

Whatever it is clearly exists so it can’t be altruism, can it?  Or, is it that the über rationalists’ definition is incorrect?

And the question for discussion remains . . . . Why does über rationality seemingly demand that altruism and self-sacrifice not exist?  Is it that the demand for absolutes and guarantees necessarily squeezes out higher order concepts, that the über rationalists haven’t figured out how to get back the higher order concepts, or is it that the entire point of über rationality is to allow the notoriously self-deceptive mind to “rationalize” selfishness?



  1. Good to see your progress is so well aligned with my own thoughts Mark. For my personal version of this line of thought please see ‘Compassion as rationaly moral consequence’ at

    Am currently working on an updated version that I am preparing for my uni. It should be done in about a weeks time.

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