The limits of Human Evolution


Human Altruistic personality, even at its best, is infected with certain limitations which mitigate against its full growth and satisfaction. I may have the altruistic feeling to appreciate the achievements of others. But my self-love is jealous of full and free satisfaction of this altruistic feeling. I may have the altruistic feeling of justice. But my partiality to some familial, social, and national relations may make its full operation impossible. I may have the feeling of service of others, but my partiality for my my own group may make me cold to the service of other groups or even make me hostile and harmful to them. Thus my inter group altruism may be accompanied by extra-group indifference and even enmity.

I may develop love for a good cause and may desire to part with my money for it.

But my attachment to money or children may bar my way to this altruistic satisfaction. The cause of women’s emancipation may touch me but my service may be soiled by my sex weakness. I may feel attraction for a great personality and start serving him but my vanity may make my adjustment to him difficult and I may cease to be of service to him. Our altruistic personality is grown all over with the weeds of low-loves and low-hates and they sap the full growth of altruistic feelings and leave a stunted personality for us.

Even if low-loves and low-hates are not allowed to grow or are removed for all times, there will still remain certain difficulties to the completion of the altruistic personality of man. Human personality does not show capacity to develop total configuration of all the altruistic feelings – respect, reverence, faith, gratitude, humility, duty, courage justice, sympathy, service of others in need, appreciation of others, urge to complete well and in time one’s assignments, affection and appreciation for animals, birds, plants, and beautiful natural objects and sights. The growth and development of all these and other altruistic feelings in us is limited by our individual inherited capacities and social influences. Some individuals in one group shows fine development of certain altruistic feelings, e.g. moral courage, justice, sympathy and service of others, whereas these altruistic feelings are not developed in the altruistic persons of another group. The altruistic persons in the other group may show the growth of reverence, faith, and humility repentance and these are not found in the first group in any marked degree. this difference between altruistic persons shows the influence of the cultural pattern in which they are reared and educated. But altruistic persons show difference in their altruistic personality development even when they belong to the same group. Some altruists may find their fulfilment in the personal service of some master personality whereas others may find their satisfaction in the service of the cause of that master personality. These differences are individual differences.

Apart from differences due to social influences and inheritance there are certain universal limitations of the human personality in respect of development of a complete altruistic organism. These may stem in him from his lack of love of good as such. Man shows capacity for appreciation and service of particular good or particular value and not for good as such or value as such, just as he shows capacity for appreciation, dedication and sacrifice for truths in a particular field and not to truth in general. It is only when there is love for good as such, that there is possibility of sprouting , growing and maturing of all the altruistic feelings in a personality.

Since human personality shows incapacity for love of good as such, it must continue to remain incomplete in its altruistic altruism organism/ we can have some idea of state of an incomplete altruistic organism. An altruist who lacks feeling of appreciation of the beautiful qualities in mental life and natural world is like the body organism that is without eyes. An altruist who is without the feeling of sympathy and is therefore insensitive to the cries of suffering around him is like the body organism which is without ears and therefore cannot hear. There is all the difference in the satisfaction of a complete body organism and incomplete organism.

There is further limitation of human altruistic personality. Each altruistic feeling shows that it is limited in spread. . .

However, this is not the end of the story. Human altruism shows limitation in relation to depth too. The depth of an altruistic feeling should correspond to the extent and the quality of the values in a person or thing towards which the altruistic feeling is directed.

We have so far considered how altruism fails in its reach to the ideal of love of goodness as such. We found that it is directed to specific values and is exclusive rather than inclusive of all the benefactors and benefits.

Apart from this limitation in relation to love of goodness, human altruism in infected with an element of untruth. To live a truthful life is to have impartial appreciation of and adjustment to the true character of values of persons and things. when our altruism shows partiality for certain persons rather than others, there is an element of untruth in it. There is an element of untruth in my feeling of appreciation of good qualities if i am not able to the do so in relation to a person who does not belong to my social-group, or my community or my country or to whom i bear feeling of hostility even though he possesses the same qualities which i appreciate in others who belong to my social group, or my community or nation or to whom i am friendly. There is an element of untruth when my gratitude is touched by some benefactors. there is an element of untruth where the depth of my reverence does not take note of the quality of excellences of the persons concerned. This is being unjust and untrue to the constituents of the value world. this element of untruth exposes the fact that human altruism is not founded on love of truth.

If it is ideal for human evolution to develop adjustment with all the four kingdoms of Nature on truth and goodness, man’s altruism is not sufficient unto him.