Emotional Fossils

The proposal in this book that I am most adamant about is that justice is a collective human instinct (in addition to our individual ape instincts to dominate). Justice is not just something we dreamed up as Yuval Harari would have us believe in his book, Sapiens. Justice has been naturally selected over millions of years for its capacity to permit the close engagement required for coordinated behavior—always our distinguishing adaptation. The belief that justice is an inborn collective instinct evolved to enable the productive benefits of teamwork is an optimistic post-Darwinian view of human nature. Believing and trusting that people are born with a deep sense of justice gives us something to root for, and a faith in the future which need only be based on the tenet that, in the long-run, just societies will always out-produce unjust ones.


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