Paladin101: I take no insult from what you have said. I would, however, like to correct your inference about me; I have simplified my edited hypothesis into biological terms so that I may have a better way to explain it. Originally, biology did not come up at all. For one thing, the predisposition that I thought biological actions were the basis of all humanity did not arrive until fairly recently in the argument, and I use the "half of my body for my brother" as an example of how I think the thought process of altruism might work.
You may think its petty and insulting, but I think that humans are biological machines as well as social animals. You focus on the social part, I tend to believe the biological part is more applicable for the true background of human nature. That being said, I do not mean to discount the social side of it. I have already admitted, multiple times, that I do indeed lack the experiences to be completely well read on the subject. Nevertheless, I still attempt my foray into it because I want to know, even without these experiences. Would it not be preferable for all of us to learn without having to experience? For us just to know?
Your concept of "soul" is a completely different and hard for me to comprehend idea. Again, the biological stimuli that you so hate is just an oversimplified example to explain a thought process that is much more complicated. The vague feeling of this thought process (as I do not quite know it yet) seems to be "I love humanity, and want it to live and continue in a good way". This feeling originates because we consider humanity to be family, and we want it to continue "us", which would also mean continuing "me". Did that make sense? We do charity because we want humanity to continue and be happy. We want that because we want humanity to keep "ourselves" alive somehow.
I am also curious as to why you think being biological "cheapens" us. We are biological; when we are born and how we are made is a purely biological process. It is only recently, though, that we have begun to internalize that idea...but that is a whole different story.
Why do I think your hypothesis cheapens humanity? Simple. Your stated belief is that all of our actions have a root in biology. That somehow, everything we do is the result of our genetics, instincts, or chemical reactions in our body. That is a very easy way to remove all responsibility. And to remove all sense of accomplishment.
Let me give you my example, from my life.
I was raised in an abusive household until my early teen years. By that time I was a hollow, shell of the person I was meant to be. I was convinced everyone was out to get me, afraid to speak to almost anyone, was convinced I was unable to perform basic tasks without someone else present to tell me how to go about them(for example, emptying a dishwasher. I was convinced unless I had someone there telling me where to put everything, that I couldn't do it, because I would make a mistake. Because in the past, my stepfather would stand there and tell me how to unload the dishwasher, and scold me for any misplaced item.) I was battling constant depression so bad, that my mother recognized the signs that I was thinking of suicide, and intervened to talk to me to let me know where my head was going.
At this point in my life, I made a choice. I CHOSE to correct my personality, I CHOSE to fix the flaws that had developed, and fill in this shell with the things I knew I should have. I forced myself into large social situations, forced myself to do things that terrified me, and made a concerted mental effort to battle my depression, isolate the things from my past that were haunting me, and get them out of my head. There are still scars on my psyche to be sure, but I am a self made man. I made an act of personal will to overcome my difficulties, to face my problems, and to forge myself into what I wanted to be in life. I can quite literally say that I am EXACTLY the man I want to be, because I worked hard to become who I am.
However, if I believed the beliefs you espouse, I didn't do a damn thing. What really happened was my instincts took over and made me do it. Or some chemical reaction evened out my mind and made me into what I am. It wasn't me, it was nature.
If I went out and stabbed someone with a butcher knife, by your belief I am not responsible. Nature made me do it, my instincts got confused or there was a chemical imbalance that made me go kill someone, it wasn't that I simply CHOSE to go murder someone.
That is why the beliefs you are choosing to believe disgust me. They remove all sense of personal choice, personal responsibility, and personal accomplishment. The mind is not a biological organism. The brain is, but not the mind and psychologists differentiate between the two for a reason. The mind is something we can't locate, we don't know what part of our brain holds our mind, only that it's there. We think, we decide, and as a result our biological bodies DO. But it is in our minds that the decisions are made, it is in our minds that choices are considered. We don't do something just because it makes us feel good, we do it because we choose to. Now yes, some people CHOOSE to do good things because they enjoy how that makes them feel, but you can't lump all people into a single group, and say we all do it because we are biologically rewarded, because some of us simply aren't wired that way mate.
Again, I am not trying to be insulting or offensive, I was just trying to answer your question to the best of my ability.