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Thread: Why do we have likes, dislikes, interests, turn ons etc?

  1. #1 Why do we have likes, dislikes, interests, turn ons etc? 
    Forum Freshman EvolvedAtheist's Avatar
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    I did some brief Googling but I could not find any information that was enlightening or offered answers to my question. But I am curious, what are the origins of our likings and so forth and why are we somewhat different to each other in personality.

    For example:
    Why do I prefer Dr Pepper instead of Pepsi and why does my friend prefer Coca Cola instead of Fanta.
    Why do I prefer the colour red instead of purple?
    To go a little deeper, why do I prefer dark skin girls over lighter skin girls? The emphasis here is "prefer".

    The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?


    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?


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    Forum Freshman EvolvedAtheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?
    Why such an irrelevant answer?
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Not irrelevant at all. Consider this: //buddhism.about.com/od/whatistheself/a/skandhasnoself.htm The Self Is No-Self - What's most important to understand about the skandhas is that they are empty. They are not qualities that an individual possesses, because there is no-self possessing them.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
    My point exactly.
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I did some brief Googling but I could not find any information that was enlightening or offered answers to my question. But I am curious, what are the origins of our likings and so forth and why are we somewhat different to each other in personality.

    For example:
    Why do I prefer Dr Pepper instead of Pepsi and why does my friend prefer Coca Cola instead of Fanta.
    Why do I prefer the colour red instead of purple?
    To go a little deeper, why do I prefer dark skin girls over lighter skin girls? The emphasis here is "prefer".

    The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?
    In my observations and from raising and working with dogs and horses, I would suggest that our 'preferences' are determined in part by our genetics and body chemistry and also by our surroundings which include availability and/or variety.

    When variety of options is lacking, our 'preferences' will then usually also change and default to the next preferred option. If there is only one option and it is required for continuation or survival, the majority of individuals will select to survive.

    Therefore, I would hypothesize that 'preference' is an aspect of diversity and that diversity is an outcome of variety. Even my cat has 'preferences' in her food choices unless she gets hungry enough to accept that it's dry kibbles or hunt your own. (Hubby spoils her with assorted moist feline entrees and 'toppers', lol. )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
    Everything concerning the human mind and spirit and 'preferences' is a philosophy question. Or are you going to tell me behavior and psychology have nothing to do with mind and spirit?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
    Everything concerning the human mind and spirit and 'preferences' is a philosophy question. Or are you going to tell me behavior and psychology have nothing to do with mind and spirit?
    Please provide scientific evidence of 'spirit', not to be confused with 'spirits', the distilled beverage.

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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    What's the difference between a living organism and a corpse? 'Spirit' may not be a scientific term , but you know what I am referring to. Why pretend otherwise?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What's the difference between a living organism and a corpse? 'Spirit' may not be a scientific term , but you know what I am referring to. Why pretend otherwise?
    I am not 'pretending'.

    You have now clarified what you mean as opposed to using the term 'spirit' in the same manner as 'soul'.

    Thank you for that.

    I see you are a new member to this forum, from a relatively new province in China. Welcome.



    1. Gansu
      Chinese province

    2. Gansu is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northwest of the country. It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to ... Wikipedia

    3. Area: 425,800 km˛

    4. Founded: July 17, 2013

    5. Capital: Lanzhou

    6. Population: 25.64 million (2011)
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
    Everything concerning the human mind and spirit and 'preferences' is a philosophy question. Or are you going to tell me behavior and psychology have nothing to do with mind and spirit?
    I'm going to tell you that behavior and psychology is a scientific field of study. What you have posted is not. Just because you are discussing the human mind does not mean you are discussing it scientifically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It's not a philosophy question. It's posted in Behavior and Psychology.
    Everything concerning the human mind and spirit and 'preferences' is a philosophy question. Or are you going to tell me behavior and psychology have nothing to do with mind and spirit?
    I'm going to tell you that behavior and psychology is a scientific field of study. What you have posted is not. Just because you are discussing the human mind does not mean you are discussing it scientifically.
    You're going to tell me? When will that be, pray tell?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    You're going to tell me? When will that be, pray tell?
    Don't be a smartass.
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    IMO, the OP was entirely on the wrong track with his suppositions and question -"The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?" When s/he didn't get my initial reply, I attempted to explain further. We were beginning to have a dialog when you moderated the thread into snide statements of the obvious and profane remarks. Is this another scientific forum that eschews truth and sincere discussion in favor of the moderators lording it over everyone in their name of their tin idol, science?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What's the difference between a living organism and a corpse? 'Spirit' may not be a scientific term , but you know what I am referring to. Why pretend otherwise?
    I am not 'pretending'.

    You have now clarified what you mean as opposed to using the term 'spirit' in the same manner as 'soul'.

    Thank you for that.

    I see you are a new member to this forum, from a relatively new province in China. Welcome.



    1. Gansu
      Chinese province
    2. Gansu is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northwest of the country. It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to ... Wikipedia
    3. Area: 425,800 km˛
    4. Founded: July 17, 2013
    5. Capital: Lanzhou
    6. Population: 25.64 million (2011)
    Thank you. Since you like horses and are interested in Gansu, China's newest ancient province... read this... advantour.com/china/gansu.htm
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Forum Freshman EvolvedAtheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    IMO, the OP was entirely on the wrong track with his suppositions and question -"The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?" When s/he didn't get my initial reply, I attempted to explain further. We were beginning to have a dialog when you moderated the thread into snide statements of the obvious and profane remarks. Is this another scientific forum that eschews truth and sincere discussion in favor of the moderators lording it over everyone in their name of their tin idol, science?
    Dude, dude, dude, dude, dude!

    Read this carefully: This is science! This is not superstition and phony religion. A "spirit" is impossible.
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I did some brief Googling but I could not find any information that was enlightening or offered answers to my question. But I am curious, what are the origins of our likings and so forth and why are we somewhat different to each other in personality.

    For example:
    Why do I prefer Dr Pepper instead of Pepsi and why does my friend prefer Coca Cola instead of Fanta.
    Why do I prefer the colour red instead of purple?
    To go a little deeper, why do I prefer dark skin girls over lighter skin girls? The emphasis here is "prefer".

    The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?
    Here is a Stanford University lecture series by professor Robert Sapolsky on Biological Origins of Human Behavior; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA

    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I did some brief Googling but I could not find any information that was enlightening or offered answers to my question. But I am curious, what are the origins of our likings and so forth and why are we somewhat different to each other in personality.

    For example:
    Why do I prefer Dr Pepper instead of Pepsi and why does my friend prefer Coca Cola instead of Fanta.
    Why do I prefer the colour red instead of purple?
    To go a little deeper, why do I prefer dark skin girls over lighter skin girls? The emphasis here is "prefer".

    The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?
    Here is a Stanford University lecture series by professor Robert Sapolsky on Biological Origins of Human Behavior; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNnIGh9g6fA

    I'm envious. You were allowed to link to YT but I'm not! They are very interesting lectures all the same. I have seen quite a few by Robert Sapolsky.
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    This is science??? What is science? Your original query? How can a question be science?

    I agree with scheherazade to the extent that 'you' and your preferences of which you think so highly are a combination of nature and nurture, but your expressed a desire for enlightenment and answers that cannot be found put me in mind of the Buddhist skandhas. Our personalities are illusions: aggregates of physical and environmental circumstances and such. Did you read the link?

    If you are going to ask questions on an open forum you ought to be prepared for unexpected answers. Disagree if you must, but why insist the answer be scientific when the question was about the nature of the self? Do you suppose that you are scientifically quantifiable? There's a lot more to a man than that!
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1
    I'm envious. You were allowed to link to YT but I'm not! They are very interesting lectures all the same. I have seen quite a few by Robert Sapolsky.
    You'll notice I didn't link to just any old thing on YT, I linked to a lecture series from a respected University. I think you are probably safe (no guarantee, I'm not a mod) if you post links to any official Stanford source.

    @甘肃人; "and to walk humbly"?
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?
    Somethings gives me more pleasure. I tend to seek those things out. It is the memory of pleasure.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Preferences are rather interesting attributes. I prefer the company of most horses to that of most people, yet there are some exceptions.

    The Horse figures largely in the Chinese Zodiac and we are currently in a 'Year of the Wood Horse' by the Chinese calendar.



    Horse (zodiac) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I find it very interesting that so many people of a variety of cultures have a belief system that relates to astrology.

    As this is a thread about preferences, I would also suggest that our belief systems are 'preferences' that are influenced by early conditioning and subject to change over time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?
    Somethings gives me more pleasure. I tend to seek those things out. It is the memory of pleasure.
    'Pleasure' is a valid reinforcement for preference in my observations and experience. Sometimes the memory of the initial experience is better than any subsequent attempt to revisit the event.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?
    Somethings gives me more pleasure. I tend to seek those things out. It is the memory of pleasure.
    'Pleasure' is a valid reinforcement for preference in my observations and experience. Sometimes the memory of the initial experience is better than any subsequent attempt to revisit the event.
    I don't know for there are many things I get pleasure from each time I do them and many times the thrill is even better for I know more about what I was doing the second time around.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Why prefer anything? Why not just accept whatever life hands you?
    Somethings gives me more pleasure. I tend to seek those things out. It is the memory of pleasure.
    'Pleasure' is a valid reinforcement for preference in my observations and experience. Sometimes the memory of the initial experience is better than any subsequent attempt to revisit the event.
    I don't know for there are many things I get pleasure from each time I do them and many times the thrill is even better for I know more about what I was doing the second time around.
    That can definitely be the case, cosmic, although I know of people who are forever seeking happiness from their past.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    That can definitely be the case, cosmic, although I know of people who are forever seeking happiness from their past.
    True but they live from memories not from reality of when and where they are today. I think there's a difference and both can give the person equally what they seek.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Preferences are rather interesting attributes. I prefer the company of most horses to that of most people, yet there are some exceptions.

    The Horse figures largely in the Chinese Zodiac and we are currently in a 'Year of the Wood Horse' by the Chinese calendar.



    Horse (zodiac) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I find it very interesting that so many people of a variety of cultures have a belief system that relates to astrology.

    As this is a thread about preferences, I would also suggest that our belief systems are 'preferences' that are influenced by early conditioning and subject to change over time.
    Hey Lady Who Likes Horses! Here's a few shots from around my town. The horse on top of the globe - you probably have seen this style of Chinese horse statuary. It's good though, isn't it? Very sprightly! The second photo is from a sculpture in our town square. Perhaps I don't know enough about Chinese art, but I find this very original and pleasing.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Thank you, 甘肃人, for going to the effort of posting images of horses from your own town. I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    The history of the horse is intertwined with the history of mankind and by the attributes of this beautiful animal, our species did disperse and colonize much more rapidly. In times of peace and in times of war, the advantage was usually to the people allied with the horse.

    Here is a photo from my rides of this summer, my horse beside White Pass & Yukon Route train cars, both historical modes of transportation.

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    Looks like that train's been seriously delayed! But the horse is raring to go! Speaking of history and horses, I read that, well, I forget exactly when, what ever wars you start to hear about horses being used in, that up until that point in history horses had not yet been bred with strong enough backs to carry a fully grown human warrior (male, we'll assume). So horses big and strong enough to bear riders are a relatively recent innovation. The Chinese zodiacal horse in your photo certainly seemed strong enough though!
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Small, stout breeds are quite capable of carrying adult males, although maybe not some of the obese specimens (humans that is, lol) of today. As far as draught animals, though, they can pull much more than their weight and so give an advantage to movement of people and supplies. While one horse can only carry one rider for any distance, depending on terrain, they can pull several persons per horse and the passengers will not be so weary when they arrive at their destination, so a definite advantage to have horses or ponies working with you.



    Riding Horses

    Many experts believe that the earliest horses were too small to carry riders (around 12-14 hands). Constrast this with a modern draft horse, which is around 17 hands. Essentially, these were ponies. There is some dissent about this point, and some people seem to think this silly, as people even today ride ponies that are that size.
    On this, Amy Smith writes: '(by the way, 12-14 hand "ponies" would have no problem carrying adults, provided they were of the sturdy native stock available before the overproliferations of "breeding" As my last summer's brief experience among yak herders on the tibetan plateau indicated... their "horses" of that size would carry a full-grown men plus two big sacks of barley flour or a bag of cheeses... this at 11,000 ft.)'
    XXX maybe all horses didn't start out small? Lisa to supply reference.
    Around 4000 BCE seems to be when horse riding first started to take off. Archaeologists have found evidence of early bridles in Eastern Europe, southern Russia. Antler cheekpieces and toggles for soft mouthpieces were found north of the Black Sea. Horse teeth have been excavated in the Ukraine with possible evidence of bit wear.
    In 3000 BCE, the horse was domesticated in Ukraine, northern Caucasus, central Russia and Kazakhstan. This was made possible in these regions because the new system of cultivation meant that food was at a surplus, and horses could be used for other purposes.
    Horse riding seemed to take off much more slowly in the Near East. It is still a mystery as to the exact reason, although in a letter to King Zimri Lim (1782-1759 BCE), the king was told that riding on chariot or mule is ok, while riding on horseback was bad. Big mystery, mostly. A horse historian named Mary Littauer opines that horse sweat was considered too gross to ride directly upon the beast.
    In 1500 BCE, entirely metal bits were being used in Near East, including a new form of bit: the snaffle bit. This bit offers more control of the horse. It places pressure on the corners of the horse's mouth, rather than center. Some of these bits are jointed, while some are simply a solid bar.
    From 1000 to 509 BCE lived a race of people known as the Etruscan Horsemen, whose entire lives revolved around horses. Unfortunately, the Romans destroyed all written records of these mysterious people, although a rich legacy of artwork remains.
    The earlist horsehoes made by Romans, called 'hipposandals', and were tied on with leather. They were extremely heavy.
    Around 800 BCE, another nomadic horse culture known as the Scythians arose. A number of Russian Steppe tribes conglomerated into a single nomadic horse people and invaded Near East. They featured composite bowfire from horseback, and were quite effective in battle. They performed the first recorded geldings, their wealth was measured in horses. They were obsessed with their horses, to the point of bringing horses to their graves, and decorating their tombs with fancy gold horse-centric artwork. They also, randomly, were the earliest recorded wearers of trousers.
    Horses in History: Europe

    I am off to work now. Thank you for the interesting exchanges.
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    Wtf has this thread devolved into...
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Wtf has this thread devolved into...
    A conversation on preferences.

    Mine happens to be horses and a poster entered into a dialogue with me.
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    A thread full of smart asses then :P
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    A thread full of smart asses then :P
    You just had to know that I would find a google response for that...

    The south end of a horse (ass) and I bet that smarts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    A thread full of smart asses then :P
    You just had to know that I would find a google response for that...

    The south end of a horse (ass) and I bet that smarts.

    good one sherz.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    A thread full of smart asses then :P



    Where ever I go
    Whatever I do
    I always see something
    That reminds me of you
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    I did some brief Googling but I could not find any information that was enlightening or offered answers to my question. But I am curious, what are the origins of our likings and so forth and why are we somewhat different to each other in personality.

    For example:
    Why do I prefer Dr Pepper instead of Pepsi and why does my friend prefer Coca Cola instead of Fanta.
    Why do I prefer the colour red instead of purple?
    To go a little deeper, why do I prefer dark skin girls over lighter skin girls? The emphasis here is "prefer".

    The point is, what is the science, psychology, sociology and/or biology of preferences?
    Majority of these things are based on experience and how we consider such experiences.

    I will not eat a single marshmallow in my life again, and totally refuse to. why? one day I ate too much, developed a bad taste in mouth, and started to dry heave.

    Sorry, do not have any links or such, but this may be more psychology then biology. sociology may be good to consider when considering social influences. I don't think there has been connections between character and biology or dna.
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