Notices
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: What evolutionary mechanism does sadism support?

  1. #1 What evolutionary mechanism does sadism support? 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    3
    I want the question to be considered by strict definition. By sadism I do not mean necessarily torturing small animals.

    Sadism- " The derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain or watching pain inflicted on others"

    Simply put, I believe all emotions and motives are based on a function of evolution- hate, love, hunger, etc.

    What does sadism support? Why do we want revenge? It accomplishes nothing. Why is there always a scene in the comedy movie where someone gets hit in the groin? Why do we laugh when someone falls down the stairs or gets hit in the face? Why do we want to succeed so much yet hate to see others do just that?

    My theory is that we define our existence in relation to others suffering, which gives us pleasure. I think without hate, war, envy, and all other aspects of humanity we call negative evolution could not take place. There must be a confrontation and one must come out on top, no?

    Let me know what you think!


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,840
    If the sadism is evinced by a male, it may be related to status. Men generally strive to achieve higher status among their social group. The reason for this is clear. Women, and especially younger women, are more attracted to high status males. Thus a high status guy should be more successful reproductively.

    One way to achieve status is to put someone else down.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman LordKelvin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    28
    I'm not sure that you can equal sadism to more basic emotions/feelings such as love, hunger, hate. Perhaps sadism is only a variation that appears with low frequency and thus not established or fixed by natural selection.
    Just Because Something's Unexplained Doesn't Mean It's Supernatural - Houdini
    Quantitative PCR
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,256
    It is also difficult to say that the tendency of people to laugh at someone getting hurt is the same as the tendency to take joy in torturing a kitten. The first is relatively normal, and my understanding is that psychologist think it a coping mechanism for dealing with fears of the same happening to yourself. The latter is pathologically associated with people who grow up to murder and rape others. It's tough to say, because chimps have been observed to engage in sort of sadistic behavior as well. Not to mention cats who seem oblivious to the torturing of mice and birds. I've watched my cat in the back yard play with a struggling bird for 20-30 minutes. Though we should not project anthropic conceptions like sadism onto cats, there might be something in the way that people take a certain pleasure in violence that is usually tempered by competing emotions, like compassion. If one emotional capacity is gone, what you're left with is the underlining impulse to hurt or play with other living creatures.

    Edit: I think skeptic's response better explains phenomena like bullying, or general mocking of others, that is a game of establishing social status. It is also something we see amongst both boys and girls, and most often amongst those that are least secure of their status in a social group, like teenagers.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    Imo, not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing.


    "My theory is that we define our existence in relation to others suffering, which gives us pleasure. I think without hate, war, envy, and all other aspects of humanity we call negative evolution could not take place. There must be a confrontation and one must come out on top, no?"
    No. I see no reason why hate, war and envy would be required or 'natural'/'unavoidable', there probably is a cultural influence in the view that this is the case. Note that in some cultures theres no scandal in seeing a person murder another human being, thats good clean and wholesome "entertainment" while seeing a part of the human body (tit) for half a second on TV is a big outrage, that is quite cultural for in other culture the human body could be considered normal and seeing a murder would not be considered entertainment but quite aberrant and sick.

    "I think skeptic's response better explains phenomena like bullying, or general mocking of others, that is a game of establishing social status."
    I think it is also cultural. The problem is that our point of view is trapped inside the box of our culture(s) and many aspects appear normal (or the default way it can be) from that perspective when it may be that outside the box it does not have to be this way at all.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 what 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Imo, not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing.


    "My theory is that we define our existence in relation to others suffering, which gives us pleasure. I think without hate, war, envy, and all other aspects of humanity we call negative evolution could not take place. There must be a confrontation and one must come out on top, no?"
    No. I see no reason why hate, war and envy would be required or 'natural'/'unavoidable', there probably is a cultural influence in the view that this is the case. Note that in some cultures theres no scandal in seeing a person murder another human being, thats good clean and wholesome "entertainment" while seeing a part of the human body (tit) for half a second on TV is a big outrage, that is quite cultural for in other culture the human body could be considered normal and seeing a murder would not be considered entertainment but quite aberrant and sick.

    "I think skeptic's response better explains phenomena like bullying, or general mocking of others, that is a game of establishing social status."
    I think it is also cultural. The problem is that our point of view is trapped inside the box of our culture(s) and many aspects appear normal (or the default way it can be) from that perspective when it may be that outside the box it does not have to be this way at all.
    I havent read your whole quote, but I stoped at "not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing". Explain the alternative?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Imo, not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing.


    "My theory is that we define our existence in relation to others suffering, which gives us pleasure. I think without hate, war, envy, and all other aspects of humanity we call negative evolution could not take place. There must be a confrontation and one must come out on top, no?"
    No. I see no reason why hate, war and envy would be required or 'natural'/'unavoidable', there probably is a cultural influence in the view that this is the case. Note that in some cultures theres no scandal in seeing a person murder another human being, thats good clean and wholesome "entertainment" while seeing a part of the human body (tit) for half a second on TV is a big outrage, that is quite cultural for in other culture the human body could be considered normal and seeing a murder would not be considered entertainment but quite aberrant and sick.

    "I think skeptic's response better explains phenomena like bullying, or general mocking of others, that is a game of establishing social status."
    I think it is also cultural. The problem is that our point of view is trapped inside the box of our culture(s) and many aspects appear normal (or the default way it can be) from that perspective when it may be that outside the box it does not have to be this way at all.
    Ok now that I read it, are we talking about eugenics?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: what 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by mosis524
    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Imo, not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing.


    "My theory is that we define our existence in relation to others suffering, which gives us pleasure. I think without hate, war, envy, and all other aspects of humanity we call negative evolution could not take place. There must be a confrontation and one must come out on top, no?"
    No. I see no reason why hate, war and envy would be required or 'natural'/'unavoidable', there probably is a cultural influence in the view that this is the case. Note that in some cultures theres no scandal in seeing a person murder another human being, thats good clean and wholesome "entertainment" while seeing a part of the human body (tit) for half a second on TV is a big outrage, that is quite cultural for in other culture the human body could be considered normal and seeing a murder would not be considered entertainment but quite aberrant and sick.

    "I think skeptic's response better explains phenomena like bullying, or general mocking of others, that is a game of establishing social status."
    I think it is also cultural. The problem is that our point of view is trapped inside the box of our culture(s) and many aspects appear normal (or the default way it can be) from that perspective when it may be that outside the box it does not have to be this way at all.
    I havent read your whole quote, but I stoped at "not everything has an evolutionary reason for existing". Explain the alternative?
    An easy example would be moths spiraling into a flame.
    While the root causes for that behavior are evolutionary, that behavior itself is not.
    Moths navigate via using their angle relative to points that are effectively at infinite distance (light sources such as stars or the moon)-something very easy to determine with compound eyes. If the light source is much closer they will, instead of flying straight, fly in circles around it until they spiral into it.

    This is a good example of a consequence to certain evolved behaviors. For us humans, who have much more complex behavior (which is also largely cultural rather than genetically inherited) it should be easy to see how much of our behavior might not be directly linked with evolutionary explanations.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •