Divine Neutrality, Blog. Science, Philosophy

Ant’s World View

November 25th, 2007

calden

The interesting thing about suicide bombers is this: that they are so dedicated to their community – islam, anarchism in a former time – that they kill themselves for it.

Let us distinguish the practice – facing death – from the mechanism which drives that practice. The drive is spiritual. A world view is required – a belief in the supernatural, in an afterlife, in unseen powers around us which we must placate, a belief in a greater good. To face death one must believe something with a mighty passion.

What persuades the ants to kill themselves for their community? Do ants have a world view?

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Comments

  1. 1

    Funny, I’ve often wondered the very same thing. I suspect ants don’t think about what they are doing, it just feels right.

    I wonder if the same can be said about suicide bombers. Certainly it would be an issue of emotion, not rational that causes a parent to risk their lives for their children.

    - peter chester @
  2. 2

    I believe the ant risking its life is a case of Altruism

    Wikipedia writes that altruism extends down to the single cell in a fantastic example of an amoebae:

    “An interesting example of altruism is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body”

    - peter chester @
  3. 3

    How could the researchers possibly know that “some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells”. They see some cells die and others live. Perhaps the dieing cells are screaming, “Why me?” as they expire.

    - marvin chester @

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