A recent New York Times article by Nicholas Wade http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/11hormone.html?_r=1&ref=science offers more scientific evidence for man's inherent selectivity when as regards the Golden Rule. Love our neighbor who looks like us, hate the rest.
Oxytocin has been lauded as the hormone of love, the peptide that binds us to each other. Now we know the rest of the story.
I wrote about this in my November 29th 2009 blog posting Beware of The Tribal Gene. At that time I pondered where in the human genome existed the genetic propensity to love our clan and detest all others.
Oxytocin appears to be the hormone which mediates this ethnocentricism. But it clearly has some gene based pattern yet to be determined.
The article offers elegant scientific studies which merely confirm what history continually does. It is replete with genocies, holocausts, mass exterminations, holy wars, jihadism, etc etc.
The tendency to focus on which groups have performed the worst examples of this is to miss the big picture. Clearly people and groups must accept historical responsibility for the atrocities they have committed. The danger is for others to hold themselves out as incapable of doing the same.
Germans, radical Muslims, African tribalists, Serbs etc are all human beings! We are just like them–in potential.
This is the message we should be shouting. This is the lesson for our youth and for us all. Human beings possess this inherited and inherent potential for hatred and the evil that ensues.
Only those who are aware can act to remain vigilant, strive to ensure that it remains unmanifest.
Oxytocin can be the hormone of both love and hate. It remains in our hands to choose how we act on it.