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Old 09-24-2010, 01:41 PM
auroraglacialis's Avatar
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Default Ancestral childcare fosters morality - was there a "noble savage"

From todays News: Child rearing practices of distant ancestors foster morality, compassion in kids

The article is based on research on childcare. The result:
Quote:
a relationship between child rearing practices common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies (how we humans have spent about 99 percent of our history) and better mental health, greater empathy and conscience development, and higher intelligence in children
It goes on to describe these practices and how they drastically declined (and continue to do so) in western societies.

Quote:
"Ill advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace, such as the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms, or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will 'spoil' it," Narvaez says.

Whether the corollary to these modern practices or the result of other forces, research shows the health and well being of American children is worse than it was 50 years ago: there's an epidemic of anxiety and depression among the young; aggressive behavior and delinquency rates in young children are rising; and empathy, the backbone of compassionate, moral behavior, has been shown to be decreasing among college students.
So there we have a really well expressed and scientifically supported explanation on why human compassion and empathy is in decline. No wonder that people of this time consider the very idea of people beeing able to live morally and empathetically ('like the NA'Vi') a fantasy and a romantic "noble savage myth". Yet that conviction stems only from beeing caught in the perspective. It seems very much, that the very simple physical difference in childcare can explain behaviour we see everyday. It also explains why native cultures quite often are very much compassionate, empathic, caring and moral even without the need of clearly defined moral rules or a rigid system of law and order.
So simply by behaving like our ancestors in respect to childcare, children will become more like what some of us see as a more natural state for humans - a intrinsically moral and compassionate beeing that is more willing to cooperate than compete.

Greetings,
Aurora
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