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Thread: Defense Mechanisms

  1. #1 Defense Mechanisms 
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Does it make sense to think that almost every thing humans do can be explained by calling it a defense mechanism?

    Ex:
    Happiness: defense mechanism against sadness, which inhibits our ability to function
    Comedy: defense mechanism against stronger, more powerful peers (the classic)
    Fear: a defense mechanism against danger (another established mechanism)
    etc.


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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    It's an interesting thought, and if you extend the concept of "defense" far enough, you could probably make that argument.

    You could say that inventing is a defense against being overwhelmed by changing environments, or that choosing to drive instead of walk is a defense against arriving late or burning too many calories. You could say that reading and writing is a defense against boredom, and eating a defense against starvation.

    I'm curious though... what is "sadness" or "despair" a defense against?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Hmmm. maybe so you can not go there again, i.e. so you don't want to feel despair again and therefore are protecting your body against the situations that cause despair. I know this is a bad explanation, but Ill keep thinking.
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  5. #4  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    That works. Well done, man. They are defenses against repeating it in the future. I don't think it fits 100%, but it's a damn nice answer to a question I thought was pure knuckle ball.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Ill keep thinking. :-D
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    I'm curious though... what is "sadness" or "despair" a defense against?
    If you are only happy all the time the value of happiness gets diminishing returns leading to loss of happiness and apathy (The same reason the idea of "heaven" is so ridicolous) only an opposite can balance this out, as both extremes are bad - both of them in a changeing degree is the healthiest.

    Using this reasoning id say sadness is a defense against happiness. I cant remember who, but someone said "Everything is either a cure or a poison, only the dosage seperates them" this could relate to emotions aswell.

    Despair is the opposite of hope? When all hopes and dreams are crushed you feel despair, that nothing can make you recover? This way despair as a feeling makes you feel alive, when youve lost everything - emotionall or material - despair creates the scenario that you have "Nothing to lose, therefore everything to gain" so id say despair is also, like sadness, a defense - or rather - opposition or cure, to overly much happiness and such. Think about the following, when youve been in a REALLY tough emotional state - as in despair. The crushing feeling of sadness and hopelessness it induces, can you honestly say it didnt make you feel alive? THat after, things ONLY got better?

    Edit: THis thread makes me depressed... now the world seems even more like zeroes and ones than before -.-
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    That is a far better explanation than mine.

    Edit: THis thread makes me depressed... now the world seems even more like zeroes and ones than before -.-
    Well, now when you become happier it will seem much better than if you were not depressed. You are merely defending yourself against to much happiness and optimism.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Well, now when you become happier it will seem much better than if you were not depressed. You are merely defending yourself against to much happiness and optimism.


    I know people who almost never have been depressed or seriously unhappy, they’re happier and healthier people that I ever met. 8)
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  10. #9  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Good point. I don't think that you have to be seriously depressed to be happy. Im sure your very happy friends have had at least some sadness in their life though.
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    Maybe they have had sadness, but point is - that it's posible to be happy without sadness at all. it's only my opinion of course.... :wink:

    For example- to be life - feeling life, not meaning what you know what is death or feel of death, in this case you just don't know that is fear of death.

    Even maybe existing some force or forces( not surely mystical ) who eager wont for us to belive that it's imposible, -be happy without sadness 8)
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  12. #11  
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    - almost everything humans do could be explained by calling it a drive for happiness:
    Having sex makes you happy, getting a job brings you money and reputation which makes you happy, being sad is absence of happiness, so is extra reason to drive to be happier

    - almost everything humans do could be explained by calling it a selfish drive of your genes:
    Having sex reproduces your genes, getting a job allows you to live well enough to have children, socialising helps support other people with similar genes (people who are like you are often friends). Being sad is a natural check that has evolved to aid in your ability to live and prosper and pass on your genes

    - almost everything humans do could be explained as a search for love
    - almost everything humans do could be explained as a rational choice
    - almost everything humans do could be explained as a result of the influence of culture and memes
    etc.

    I'm not saying all these are factual, but just that you can convince yourself of many things by picking the right examples, or by stretching the meaning of the claim.
    Or maybe you could call these all different perspectives on the same reality.

    So if you think it is true then be your own worst enemy and look for strong counter-examples... how is dying to save your family a defense mechanism? how is choosing to not have children or running a marathon a defense mechanism? Picking your nose, tripping over a rock, dreaming... people do a lot of things
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    - almost everything humans do could be explained by calling it a drive for happiness:
    Having sex makes you happy, getting a job brings you money and reputation which makes you happy, being sad is absence of happiness, so is extra reason to drive to be happier.......
    Actually you're right, it's our tough reality.

    And it's a good idea "drive for happiness", but, how many happiness have those who use it "drive" ? i think the more someone uses it the more he feels unhappy. And it's a bottom line of such a"drive", if someone would be able to find happy this drive would be not effective at all.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    TGlad- Ill try to make myself feel good after you're pretty much unanswerable questions by trying to disprove the other theories you put forth (even though you are not behind them). Then Ill pathetically try to answer your questions. Here goes.
    - almost everything humans do could be explained by calling it a drive for happiness:
    I can't disprove this one myself. Anyone??

    almost everything humans do could be explained by calling it a selfish drive of your genes:
    Why are there people who never marry, have kids, or enter into a relationship?

    almost everything humans do could be explained as a search for love
    Why do people join gangs, terrorist groups etc. Most of the people in gangs do not kill/plunder/deal drugs for love. We do not work for love.

    - almost everything humans do could be explained as a rational choice
    How do you explain actions that are dictated by religious zeal, lust etc.?



    - almost everything humans do could be explained as a result of the influence of culture and memes
    etc.
    Hermits? :-D Gene related actions?
    Once again, this is just making me feel better.

    Dreaming could be a way to think out ideas and exercise your brain and think things that aren't thought of in the day. Therefore you are protecting yourself against brain loss, and distracted thinking. Scientific research shows that dreaming is nescessery (spelled it wrong) to your health. The defense mechanism is then obvious.

    Picking your nose is a defense against congestion

    You do not try to trip over a rock, it is not voluntary.

    Choosing not to have children could be a defense mechanism against too much responsibility for that individual (or their other personal reason)

    Running a marathon could be a defense mechanism against unhealthiness, or loss in ones sport (etc.)

    See a pattern?

    Any time there is a rational reason, one is defending oneself against the opposite of the reason.

    A normal, rational person does not die for their family. Unless they are defending against survivors guilt or loneliness.
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  15. #14  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Why are there people who never marry, have kids, or enter into a relationship?
    Our genetic predispositions have also evolved to optimise various aspects of reproduction. We are not amphibians that cast thousands of eggs into the pond for random fertilisation. We maximise the probability that the children we have will themselves have healthy and productive children if we are selective in our mates and ensure a secure lifestlye for them. If the genetic pressures to do so are not well balanced this can lead to circumstances in which we remain childless.

    Why do people join gangs, terrorist groups etc. Most of the people in gangs do not kill/plunder/deal drugs for love. We do not work for love.
    Gangs provide a sense of belonging, of being loved by the group.
    Work provides a means of acquiring wealth that will attract a suitable mate whome we can love.

    I'm not going to defend the argument that we make rational decisions, since there is bugger all evidence that is the case.

    Hermits? Gene related actions?
    Hermits are very powerfully influenced by culture, since they have chosen to avoid it.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Gangs provide a sense of belonging, of being loved by the group.
    I'm not quite sure where you got that notion. This is just one example of within gang violence:
    [/quote] It is a popular misconception that Crips sets feud only with Bloods. In reality, they fight each other...[quote]
    www.wikipedia.org/wiki/crips
    --------------------------------------------
    Some people do not marry by choice.
    --------------------------------------------
    Maybe work is a bad example, but there are some people who really do not care if they are loved.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Gene related actions?
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  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Living is the defence mechanism for dying. I pay particular attention to that one.

    Similarly dying has been the undisputed defence mechanism for living.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    I am assuming that you are pointing out that everything can be a defense mechanism for its opposite. I realized that too, while I was thinking about my last post. Thank all of you for putting down a faulty theory.
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  19. #18  
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    I'd say it's probable, since our biology is so focused on our survival....
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  20. #19  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    Can you think of answers to all of the questions I answered poorly?

    Anyway, biologically and logically speaking yes, this would be correct. But as some posters have pointed out, there are some mental and physical conditions that would violate this theory.
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  21. #20  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    It is a popular misconception that Crips sets feud only with Bloods. In reality, they fight each other...
    You confuse intent with realisation.
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  22. #21  
    Forum Bachelors Degree 15uliane's Avatar
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    what do you mean?

    Also, that was a quote from a wiki article.
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