22 January 2007

Scan detects selfishness

Medical News Today reports that scientists have found a part of the brain that reacts differently in selfish and altruistic people.

They define altruism as "as a tendency for people to put the welfare of others above their own. And what this research suggests is that altruism stems from being able to tune into the intention and actions of others which then leads to thinking along the lines of 'perhaps I had better treat them like I would want to be treated.'"

That empathetic ability may confer survival advantages, with altruism being a side effect.

For the opposing view, here's Ayn Rand:

"Doctors are not servants of their patients, they are traders like everyone else in a free society and they should bear that title proudly considering the crucial importance of the services they offer."

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