One entry found for altruism.
Main Entry: al·tru·ism
Etymology: French altruisme, from autrui other people, from Old French, oblique case form of autre other, from Latin alter
1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species
- al·tru·ist /-tru-ist/ noun
- al·tru·is·tic /"al-tru-'is-tik/ adjective
- al·tru·is·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb
So you agree, given definition 2, there is no problem with the idea of reciprocal altruism?
Now, given that we need to keep tabs on the behavior of others in order to be able to engage in reciprocal altruism without being continually cheated; and we need to be able to convince others we ourselves should be trusted, what is the problem with the idea that we should have evolved innate senses of cheating, fairness, trustworthiness, shame, and loyalty? And, since the most important kind of reciprocal altruism is between a spouse and his/her partner, jealousy and fidelity?
I'm not claiming these supersede, or are alternatives to, those we may add or justify using a system of ethics; just that we should recognize what we all start off with as human beings.