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Thread: The "Human Nature" Cop-out

  1. #1 The "Human Nature" Cop-out 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    To avoid derailing another thread OT, I'll enter the context of interest here:

    • Originally Posted by icewendigo
      "We are bound by our instinctive nature. Even hippies end up fighting. We can't change because that's what we are. We haven't progressed ourselves in thousands of years. Technology has but the same tribal mentality remains. Our political ideas are the same. Greed , power is what drives us collectively. Its always been this way. That's why communism fails. Its against our nature."of course we can can change, we have basic instincts but we also have a brain, and we learn. you are making an incorrect interpretation and are mislead by the continuum falacy, humans may have been afraid of fire and people could have said caveman are afraid of fire always have always will be, except we have learn to use fire. it was said man could never fly because he never had. we start out life without knowing anything, not even that the strange things moving around as newborns are our hands. if we could not change we would be cavemen bashing each other and if we were controlled by human nature more than by our brain learning from the environment you would expect similar crime rates in different culture but the differences in murder rates between French polynesia and Honduras is astounding, wich suggests that the encironment is a key factor. So our brain is ok, it learns from nothing just fine, its not our brain that needs to change its the social environment. The social environment does not change quickly because institutions are corporatists and self preserving, often in a conflict of interest that riggs them to oppose progress or change since they usually beneficiaries of the established ways.



      We have had thousands of years to use our brains and it ended up with nuclear bombs. Hitler, Stalin, George Bush and now Putin. Even the clever ones amoung us fall into our tribal trap. We all gravitate to a handful of people who we give the power to manipulate and drag us into wars. Our instictive fear of the unknown ( which is our natural survival instinct ) , is what will destroy us. Crimea is not about logic...you cant defend Putin anymore than you can Bush. We are the reason they exist. Its the human race thats trapped by its own design. Putin is riding high in Public opinion because war/fighting brings out a sense of pride / strength in us. My tribe is tougher than yours nonsense. Take global warming....our greed is far more important than logic. Our social environment is a reflection of our natural instincts. Murdering people from the same tribe is not natural...murdering other tribes is.

      So your optimism towards the human race is nice but flawed.

      PS. Your difference to murder rates is down to law and social strength. It does not mean those peaceful people will not go and bomb the hell out of their neighbours if there government gives the green light.


      Last edited by jonio; April 11th, 2014 at 05:18 AM.





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      kojax

      Time LordJoin DateMar 2007Posts7,478

      April 11th, 2014, 05:33 AM

      Originally Posted by icewendigo

      of course we can can change, we have basic instincts but we also have a brain, and we learn. you are making an incorrect interpretation and are mislead by the continuum falacy, humans may have been afraid of fire and people could have said caveman are afraid of fire always have always will be, except we have learn to use fire. it was said man could never fly because he never had. we start out life without knowing anything, not even that the strange things moving around as newborns are our hands.



      The problem is that the brain keeps starting over again and again. Each new generation has to relearn everything. The only constant is our instincts.

      Abolish all evil, and a new generation of crooks will arise, and they'll think they're inventing it.

      Of course education helps with that, but you can't force people to learn if they don't want to, and not every newborn goes on to become a person who wants to learn. If you're not willing to use force to suppress those people, and if they're not willing to accept knowledge that would prevent them from wanting to do bad things, then...... what option are you left with?

      That's not a rhetorical question. I'm actually curious if perhaps you have an answer. My answer is: use force to suppress those people. But maybe you have a better one?




      if we could not change we would be cavemen bashing each other and if we were controlled by human nature more than by our brain learning from the environment you would expect similar crime rates in different culture but the differences in murder rates between French polynesia and Honduras is astounding, wich suggests that the environment is a key factor. So our brain is ok, it learns from nothing just fine, its not our brain that needs to change its the social environment.



      I think in this case you are talking about genetic evolution. Yeah. That works. It just takes a long time (like literally thousands of years). And all attempts to accelerate it so far by employing eugenics have ended in really bad results. (Typically the people who ought to have been the targets of it end up being in charge of the process.)






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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    The problem is that the brain keeps starting over again and again.
    That is true, we start over from scratch each time. But someone born in the Netherlands in 2014 will have a different set of input and environment than one born in a prehistoric tribe. He will have different views about the world and benefit from hundreds of years of recorded observations and thought. Someone born during witch trials might find it normal to burn people because of a fantasy character (devil) they believe is real while someone born in the Roman Empire might find it normal to have human slaves and gladiator games as entertainment, some aspects of society HAVE changed gradually and slowly even if a number of aspects of society have not changed YET. Slavery was alive and well, treating women like sub-humans was normal not too long ago and has now changed in most western societies, so regardless of the 'human nature is the end all be all' fallacy cop-out, things DO change.


    "A
    bolish all evil, and a new generation of crooks will arise"

    YEs if you do nothing but change the individuals and do not change the environment that leads a new generation of crooks to emerge. If you throw buckets of water out of the boat and do not breach the gaping hole in the hull, indeed more water will slip in. the improvements in society (slavery, women rights, etc) alsready show there is progress made but the hole is not breached because core flaws in our civilization have remained like hierarchy, money and secrecy which trigger/foster/amplify problems that appear unsolvable because such flaws have endured through out history and we have come to the flase conclusion that these will always be because they have always been in the past (men will never fly, its impossible to navigate in a ship that goes underwater, it is impossible to go faster than sound, etc).

    "Of course education helps with that"
    Our education system is a fossilized institution crippled by the very problems that are affecting us, most education is "institutionalized" for starters (with the corporatisms[placing the interest of the institutions above that of anyone else and above those of society], conflicts of interests and refraction to change that goes with it), in relatively closed structures, that have hierarchy aspects and monetary considerations/conflicts of interests, and paradoxically are not transparent in some respects!
    Aslo consider that the social environment is more than formal education; culture, entertainment, the economic system, the political system, are also part of the environment.


    My answer is: use force to suppress those people. But maybe you have a better one?

    Thats not the topic of this conversation, the topic is whether nothing can be done to improve humanity because of "human nature" which means we are unable not to act like violent caveman imbeciles and shit on the sidewalk like animals and bash each other with clubs because its "human nature", which is a blown out of proportion copout (based on lack of understanding of social structures and environment.)

    BTW, I find that people born and raised in Violent societies (and arent aware just how violent their society actually is and imagine that it is "normal") are projecting their violent society on to other (imagine that these other people are also violent too and since they are, its because its human nature, our sick dispositions are universal and unavoidable because thats how we are made). THis is Bullshit, if you have toy GUNS, toy Soldiers, war games, if you have seen hundreds of humans beings kill each other on television before you are 10 years old, you are being BRAINWASHED to the bone marrow while thinking its all "normal".
    Thats like people brainwashed from early childhood to defecate on the side walk and then say doing so is human nature because we do it and even animals do it, so you cant have more human nature than defecating on the side walk, it cant be helped, theres no way humans can walk without shitting on the side-walk, it cant be done its human nature.


    Last edited by icewendigo; April 11th, 2014 at 09:31 AM.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    "I think in this case you are talking about genetic evolution."
    NO. Im NOT talking about genetics but culture and social environment.
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  5. #4  
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    Human nature? Maybe.

    Agonism is a political theory that emphasises the potentially positive aspects of certain (but not all) forms of political conflict. It accepts a permanent place for such conflict, but seeks to show how we might accept and channel this positively. For this reason, agonists are especially concerned with debates about democracy. The tradition is also referred to as agonistic pluralism.
    Agonism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    Steven Pinker puts forward quite a convincing argument showing how much more civilised and peaceful humans have become over the centuries in 'The Better Angels of our Nature'. He argues that our perception of violence is skewed and shows how the percentage of population dying to violence/wars has actually decreased.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    We may have some default mode of primate behavior, what we do when we have no reason not to, but I would argue that humans are different from other primates because of culture - a system of learned and exchanged behavior. Culture also has a biologal basis. There's nothing magical or supernatural about it. We have the biological ability to copy and learn new behavior. And yet the things learned are not permanent behaviors - take a human baby out of it's culture and place him in another, and that behavior is lost.
    Last edited by DianeG; April 12th, 2014 at 07:25 AM.
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    If something is in our nature, then it depends on how easily it can be altered.
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  9. #8  
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    Talking of 'cop out'. Our local police force cheif man has been suspended.

    Any more to follow?
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