Social Question

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Do you think the worst of us survive?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5779points) June 11th, 2010

Do you think that those most willing to kill to spread their beliefs, those that easily profit at others expense are the most likely to spread their genes to the next generation?

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32 Answers

chyna's avatar

Interesting question. Off the top of my head Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, to name just a few serial killers, did not have children. I want to think on this some more.

marinelife's avatar

No, I think those willing to kill and engage in heinous acts are likely to fall by the sword they carry.

dealrrr's avatar

i’m more worried about them spreading their beliefs/philosophies, through glorified inspiring tales, than their genes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

No. The extremist profit in the short run, but it is the quality person that will profit in the long run. Life is a longer journey than the extremist can see. (I’m not crazy about my words but I hope they get my idea across)

Silhouette's avatar

No, I agree with @chyna the worst of us are inherently selfish and they seem to limit their gene pools.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Interesting points… how about as a society? Do you think the best survive or the worst? For example – is the US really the best system or just the strongest? Or is Christianity in it’s current form the best of Christianity, or is it simply the one that killed the other Christians off with the most ruthlessness?

CMaz's avatar

Worst, is subjective.

Not to be confused with absolute power corrupting.

ucme's avatar

Kind of a play on the theory that nice guys come last.Was it theory or cliche i’m not quite sure? I certainly believe in survival of the fiittest, whether that applies to an individuals disposition i’m not sure.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@ucme I don’t really believe in survival of the strongest, but if you say survival of the fittest and mean it to include those that are most adaptable to change, then I agree, at least in the biological sense. As far as social evolution though, fittest may have a very different definition. Also, even biological evolution is “bloody” so to speak – very deadly business being the fittest.

ucme's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Oh absolutely.Strength of mind & character supercedes physical strength any day.
The greatest muscle is the one between our ears, used properly of course.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Everyone can spread their genes. Bad or good people. But those who are opportunistic can have better chance than the others.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@ucme Yes… we’re very lucky ideas can survive better than people can.

jfos's avatar

There are many categories of “worst”, just as there are many definitions for “survive”. (Screw putting punctuation inside quotation marks—In my opinion, that’s for quotes only.)

Statistically, the best and worst persons are in an ever-spinning cycle of life and death. As for the upper and lower sections of people (based on overall goodness), they probably survive.

Nowadays, it isn’t as imperative to be physically or mentally fit/superior. That is, the “worst” usually end up with the “worst”, due to the fact that the “best” are already taken by other “bests”. I guess this could result in a polarization of survival-related characteristics…

ipso's avatar


The worst or the best don’t survive as well as the big fat gray middle. Sharp edges get smoothed over time.

Sharks are extremely stable genetically. Humans are not. The question is then are humans becoming more stable or more unstable genetically. Are we interbreeding into a single stable species or separating, endlessly bifurcating, into ever increasingly combative factions?

“The most willing to kill” are perhaps cannibalizing themselves, not that more won’t grow to take their place.

Perhaps the “easily profit” crew will become yuppies and have less children.

Anything that “stands out” is likely to be minimized over time.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@jfos and @ipso you both bring up the interesting habit of society to segregate in one form or another – bad biologically and socially. Interesting!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is certainly an interesting question – I do think that some people who want to spread their beliefs at any cost would also consider having many children (and I can think of a few examples) – having more offspring gives one genetic advantage for survival.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir “Red diaper babies” come to mind – spreading conservative political/religious ideology through having (unstably) large numbers of children. Pretty short sighted, but very effective in the short term. Better yet to make contraception a sin…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre In some ways I’m thinking about the Orthodox Jews and the Quiverfull movement.

chyna's avatar

Makes me think of Jim Jones and some of the other cult leaders that take young girls as wives and impregnant them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@chyna hey, you know what I just learned about that lunatic – he was an atheist after all.

chyna's avatar

What? That does not surprise me. And you are correct, he was a lunatic.

Cruiser's avatar

The hard working God fearing people are the ones with the huge families. 2 houses down has 8 kids works his ass off to provide for that clan!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cruiser I apologize for not being able to tell if your comment is sarcastic or not
Yes, anyone can have large families.

chyna's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sure, look at “Octomom”.

Cruiser's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I meant it merely as a matter of my observation. I suppose I should have qualified that much! My apologies! AFAICT Thankfully most nasty people are not big breeders for the most part and the hard working good people will always out number them!

anartist's avatar

Maybe the worst of us and the best of us, while the weak are crushed inbetween.

YARNLADY's avatar

@chyna You are mistaken about Charles Manson, he fathered upwards of a dozen children. No one even knows for sure exactly how many children of his followers were his. And P.S. He never actually personally killed anyone.

chyna's avatar

I didn’t know that @YARNLADY, so I found the above article that said he had one child. I’m sure there are others out there proclaiming to be his child and maybe really are his.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

No, I have advocated the idea that morals are one of humanity’s greatest evolutionary strengths over and over on Fluther. Such an idea is simply pessimism that stems from the realisation that people will never think exactly like you. Humans have become increasingly ethical throughout our history, and I see no reason for that trend to change.

netgrrl's avatar

Everyone has always wanted to cry out about moral decay. But I think if one studies history honestly, without all the romanticism we’re inclined to give “the good old days,” we see that we truly have & continue to improve ourselves as a whole.

mattbrowne's avatar

Altruism wouldn’t be a human trait without its survival value.

Berserker's avatar

Like Stephen King says, God sees the truth, and waits.

But who takes that guy seriously, amirite?

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