A fascinating study on the social and evolutionary consequences of altruism. In the long run, it makes sense that those societies which consist of altruistic members, those willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of society, would survive since there would be less inherent competition for resources. Certainly societies with strong militaries have tended to prevail throughout history. Sufficient numbers of soldiers are required to maintain a strong military; meaning a society must have sufficient numbers of people willing to sacrifice themselves for that society. Catholic priests sacrifice their genetic lineage for the sake of the members (and, perhapd more specifically, the souls of the members) in their societies, and certainly the Catholic church has become an extremely successful society within our modern world. Maybe there’s something to being altruistic after all.
Warfare, culture and human evolution: Blood and treasure | The Economist