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"Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature," In The July Issue Of Psychology Today Alan S. Miller

961 words - 4 pages

In his article, "Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature," in the July issue of Psychology Today Alan S. Miller lacks evidence for the claims he makes. This article is an interesting read but hardly sound, if we pay attention to the facts. He is missing the key points when he claims that life is all about the interaction of experience, behavior, and environment. Miller forgets to include one's spirit, intuition, and love. Miller omits the role of culture to sustain a feedback for only what is attractive. This is an article summarizing conclusions which are presumably drawn from statistics like a horoscope. With all the statistics and collection methods removed, all these observations are only sometimes true and for some particular groups of people, but the devil is in the details which are not given. Even a philosophy teacher can tell us that good philosophy is backed up with sound reasons. Speculation may be interesting over a beer, but it does not make for good philosophy.Miller uses the idea of polygamy to explain the motives of suicide bombers in the Middle East when it is not even common in Muslim cultures. Postulating that this explains suicide bombers from those cultures is a stretch at best. The amount of polygamy practiced in such cultures is not nearly enough to have a significant impact on the population as a whole. "Polygamy increases competitive pressure on men, especially young men of low status. It therefore increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates." Miller appears certain that Darwinian incentives are the only motivators for human behavior; hence the astoundingly sweeping generalizations. "The surprising answer is that Muslim suicide bombing has nothing to do with Islam or the Quran." Having found a Darwinian reason why young Muslim men might be inclined to suicide bombing (assuming, of course, that there actually is a vast shortage of females for Middle Eastern Muslim men), they jump to the absurd conclusion that the phenomenon "has nothing to do with" the barbarous teachings of Islam. This is nonsense. Beliefs absolutely have behavioral consequences and suicide bombing is one consequence of Islam's conquering mentality and cult of martyrdom.Most of the reasons given why men like the sort of women that appear on modern magazine covers are not backed up by any evolutionary psychology. Miller alleged that "A recent study shows that in Iran, where exposure to Western media and culture is limited, women are actually more concerned with their body image, and want to lose more weight, than their American counterparts." This a perfect example of sexism. Just because the women in a country, such as Iran, would try to look more beautiful for men's attention long ago, does not justify an evolutionary reason for men to look at women as targets to conquer and abandon....

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