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Frans de Waal

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I've argued that many of what philosophers call moral sentiments can be seen in other species. In chimpanzees and other animals, you see examples of sympathy, empathy, reciprocity, a willingness to follow social rules. Dogs are a good example of a species that have and obey social rules; that's why we like them so much, even though they're large carnivores.
Natalie Angier (2001-01-14). Confessions of a Lonely Atheist. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-07-20.

Frans de Waal

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Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you.  Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind if you're offended, it's your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be.  One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)  Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting.  Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline.
Note that Crocker's Rules does not mean you can insult people; it means that other people don't have to worry about whether they are insulting you.  Crocker's Rules are a discipline, not a privilege.  Furthermore, taking advantage of Crocker's Rules does not imply reciprocity.  How could it?  Crocker's Rules are something you do for yourself, to maximize information received not something you grit your teeth over and do as a favor.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

A second prefatory question faces us: that of society and the individual. We have sought to contrast the child and the civilized adult on the ground of their respective social attitudes. The baby (at the stage of motor intelligence) is asocial, the egocentric child is subject to external constraint but has little capacity for cooperation, the civilized adult of to-day presents the essential character of cooperation between differentiated personalities who regard each other as equals.
There are therefore three types of behavior: motor behavior, egocentric behavior (with external constraint), and cooperation. And to these three types of social behavior there correspond three types of rules: motor rules, rules due to unilateral respect, and rules due to mutual respect.
But here again, one must beware of laying down the law: for things are motor, individual and social all at once. As we shall have occasion to show, rules of cooperation are in some respects the outcome of the rules of coercion and of the motor rules. On the other hand, coercion is applied during the first days of an infant's life, and the earliest social relations contain the germs of cooperation. Here again, it is not so much a question of these successive features themselves as of the proportions in which they are present. Moreover, the way in which conscious realization and the time-lag from one level to another come into play is a further bar to our arranging these phenomena in a strict sequence, as though they made a single appearance and then disappeared from the scene once and for all.

Jean Piaget

The good stuff of most religions turns out to be a golden rule that defines a morality which allows humans to flourish in community. We come from a whole lineage of creatures who are robustly social and have communities that work, so you look at how their flourishing communities are set up. Are there parallels between how life works in a structured, non-human primate group, in a human community, and in the moral guidelines religion offers? It's not all that different as far as I can tell-there is hierarchy, strategic reciprocity, nurture and empathy.

Ursula Goodenough

The moral elements are among the most important in war. They constitute the spirit that permeates war as a whole, and at an early stage they establish a close affinity with the will that moves and leads a whole mass of force, practically merging with it, since the will is itself a moral quantity. Unfortunately they will not yield to academic wisdom. They cannot be classified or counted. They have to be seen or felt. ... It is paltry philosophy if in the old-fashioned way one lays down rules and principles in total disregard of moral values. As soon as these appear one regards them as exceptions, which gives them a certain scientific status, and thus makes them into rules. Or again one may appeal to genius, which is above all rules; which amounts to admitting that rules are not only made for idiots, but are idiotic in themselves.

Carl von Clausewitz

The ruling British elite are like animals--not only in their morality, but in their outlook on knowledge. They are clever animals, who are masters of the wicked nature of their own species, and recognize ferally the distinctions of the hated human species. Nonetheless, obsessively dedicated to being such animals, they can not [sic] assimilate those qualities unique to true human beings.

Lyndon LaRouche
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