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Robert Wright's Talk About Compassion Discusses Societal Evolution

By: Alyson Wyers - Jul 22, 2015
References: youtu.be
In his talk about compassion, Robert Wright explains the golden rule from a scientific perspective. The speaker discusses the evolution of compassion and how it is built-in to human nature and mentions several theories in social science, including kin selection, reciprocal altruism and zero sum game theory.

The talk about compassion examines why simply affirming it as being natural to humans isn't enough and why people need to work on developing it intellectually as well. The main reason for this is it's also natural for people to make exceptions to the golden rule, which has resulted in much of the world's current problems. The speaker encourages religious leaders, politicians and ordinary people to expand their moral compass my imagining what it is like to be in the shoes of those who are very different from themselves. He calls this the expansion of moral imagination and posits it as a different concept than compassion, but also as a conduit to it.