September 5, 2012 at 11:04 am #89057
Cheers Vin, very helpful!September 5, 2012 at 11:17 am #89058
Jonathan, you do know the difference between “nature” and biology I suppose?September 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm #89059AnonymousInactive
I certainly think that I know what each term signifies or can signify. Perhaps you might explain why you think the distinction is relevant?September 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm #89060HollyHeadParticipantJonathan Chambers wrote:Do you really think that socialism will herald the end of rugby, for example, …
Oh! I do sincerely hope so. All that rough pushing and shoving, and grunting. To say nothing of the compulsory communal bathing or showering afterwards. Ugh!September 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm #89061AnonymousInactive
I hope so too! But I can’t see it happening anytime soon after the revolution!September 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm #89062Hud955Participant
OK, make way, I’m head down and getting into the scrum here.
No, rugby is not ritualised violence: it is a ritualised means of promoting and developing co-operative/competitive behaviour that occasionally produces violent episodes, but actually, remarkably few. (And I speak of someone who was forced to play rugby at school every day for years and, as a skinny oik without any natural padding, hated every moment of it.).
No-one believes any more in a simple dichotomy between nature and nurture, or between a genetic predisposition and our enviornmental/cultural influence. It is now understood that the interactions between our genome and our environment are much, much more subtle than that. And even putting those complexities aside for a moment, no ethologist believes that you can characterise conflict interactions within species simply in terms of fight or flight. We have, at its very simplest a fight/flight/conciliation ‘mechanism’. This can be seen all the time in any social species. And other behavioural options for our species have been identified too.
Now look at the language here:
“Of course, a sensibly organised society will make it easy to ritualise this built-in drive so that it can manifest itself in safer, more controlled ways.”
What, built in drive?. This suggests that the so-called “fight or flight mechanism” is somehow lurking there within us, an engine constantly revving away, just waiting for an opportunity for a punch up. That’s nonsense. People who make this kind of assertion are often just reflecting their own personalities… Just generalising, Jonathan. Some blokes do like a fight down the pub, especially after a few pints, but to pin this behaviour on some simple biological mechanism is to argue too much.
There are some people who like to fight and some who don’t. There are some hunter-gatherer societies with high levels of internal violence and some that have next to none. Almost all collective violence that we observe is property related. Even in hunter -gatherer societies collective violence normally exists on the property boundaries. (I also understand that violent behaviour in some hunter-gather people is now believed by some anthropologists to have evolved after contact with Western cultures.)
I don’t imagine that a socialist society would be entirely without conflict, but I think this simple idea that vilolence is ineradicably built into us as a form of behaviour that must necessarily manifest itself is just not sustainable.September 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm #89063AnonymousInactive
If you don’t think that wrestling someone to the ground – often using enough force to cause injury – and relieving them of their possession is an act of violence then we are clearly using language in a very different way… The rest of your posting, hud, consists largely of strawman arguments that do nothing to attack my position which, I have to say, I obviously haven’t made clearly enough to be understood. Which is odd, because it’s really a very simple point I’m making. What I’ve referred to as a predilection towards violence – and our aggression as a species along with our prehensile thumbs is one of the things that has ensured our survival as a species – is as much a part of us as our ability to co-operate.September 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm #89064Jonathan Chambers wrote:“What I’ve referred to as a predilection towards violence – and our aggression as a species along with our prehensile thumbs is one of the things that has ensured our survival as a species – is as much a part of us as our ability to co-operate.”
You continue to claim that we, as a human species, have a prediliction, a propensity towards violence. Moreover, you claim that this has helped to ensure our survival as a species! Where is your evidence? that we are naturally aggressive. If aggression is natural and or instinctive to human beings, it must of necessity be that way for every member of the human family and this is clearly not the case.The cases where people have actually let themselves be killed, rather than use violence to defend themselves, is antithetical to your argument. The only way a case for innate aggression in humans could hold up, is if it can be proved that the these,individuals and moreover groups were not, in fact humans but some subspecies!As you said in one of your earlier posts, for something to be human nature, it must apply to ALL humans. And I take the word PREDILICTION to be a case of the human nature argument and it is clearly, as stated,not the case.One last thought. A mammoth is bigger and stronger than a human and has a greater capacity for violence than a human. The only way to kill this animal for food, is to cooperate with other weak humans. To work together. The act of killing it does, in fact, need violence but is this done out of an innate violence, or out of need and necessity?September 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm #89065Hud955ParticipantJonathan Chambers wrote:If you don’t think that wrestling someone to the ground – often using enough force to cause injury – and relieving them of their possession is an act of violence then we are clearly using language in a very different way…
The rest of your posting, hud, consists largely of strawman arguments that do nothing to attack my position which, I have to say, I obviously haven’t made clearly enough to be understood. Which is odd, because it’s really a very simple point I’m making. What I’ve referred to as a predilection towards violence – and our aggression as a species along with our prehensile thumbs is one of the things that has ensured our survival as a species – is as much a part of us as our ability to co-operate.
I think you are using the word ‘violence’ very loosely in the context of rugby, Jonathan. Violence does not just mean physical force (which is certainly employed on the rugby pitch): it implies physical force used with the intention of injuring or intimidating another person or of destroying property etc. And it carries a strong implication that the physical force used was excessive, unjust, unlawful or inappropriate to the circumstances. None of that applies to the normal use of physical force within rugby. We need to be careful about the use of language in discussions of this kind because sliding over important distinctions has always been a technique used by those who want to make the case that humans are some kind of pre-programmed killing machine.
No, you are making yourself very clear. Perhaps I’m not. I’m objecting to your very specific claim that human beings have a predeliction towards violence. I’d certainly agree that human beings have a capacity for violent behaviour (that could hardly be doubted), and I certainly wouldn’t dispute the idea that under certain circumstances it’s a behaviour that has suvival value, but that is not at all the same thing at all. A prediliction implies a preference or bias. There is no evidence for this at all in human beings. Again, if this is not exactly what you mean, then we need to clarify that.
My concerns about ‘fight or flight’ are relevant in this context. Actually, four behaviours are recognised in human beings and primates (and some other social mammals) that occur in response to a perceived threat from within one’s own species – fight, flight, posturing and submission. No-one has ever suggested that human beings have a predilection for the first of these.September 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm #89066SocialistPunkParticipantJonathan Chambers wrote:So what we’re talking about is handful of evolutionary instincts that we have in common with each other. To wit: Fucking, Fighting, Friendship and Feeding. It’s that simple. The rest is human behaviour …..
Ahh! Instinct, such a wonderful word.Inborn complex patterns of behaviour that must exist in every member of the species and that cannot be overcome by will.Or simply put, non-learnt, unalterable behaviour. Examples being spiders web building and sea turtles heading for the sea after hatching.When combined with other letters such as H U M A N, it sounds even better.But wait, what about our experiences, we all know about the female maternal instinct? Sex drive, that’s gotta be instinctual? The big one, our instinct for survival? Aggression or fighting, we know all too well about that we, see it everyday, gotta be instinct calling the shots? Our need for food, the hunger instinct?Yep! No denying humans are riddled with nonlearnt, unalterable behaviour.Ever heard of women that don’t want children, or that abuse even kill their offspring? Absurd! And who’s ever heard of non procreation sex, homosexuality, celibacy? Ridiculous! And I certainly have never heard of suicide, self immolation? Preposterous! As for the idea we are not naturally agressive, I have never heard of pacifists, political or religious refusing to fight despite risk the threat of violence or death. Or that soldiers are indoctrinated and de-humanized in preparation for fighting and there certainly are no veterans returning from conflict with serious mental problems? Just doesn’t happen! Have you ever heard such nonsense as self starvation as a form of protest? Couldn’t be done!Isn’t it obvious to all that we are an instinctual species?But in all seriousness, please, please, please provide us with some hard evidence on this matter. We are rational, politically aware people on this forum capable of digesting and understanding a wide range of topics. If we are wrong and can be supplied with the proof then I am sure we will be wiling to accept the truth (I know I would).Just for the record I am not a hippy, or a pacifist, but I can sometimes be an ass.September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm #89067AnonymousInactive
Well, Socialist Punk, you were certainly wrong in believing this was a tired subject :)And well said:”We are rational, politically aware people on this forum capable of digesting and understanding a wide range of topics. If we are wrong and can be supplied with the proof then I am sure we will be wiling to accept the truth (I know I would).”October 21, 2012 at 2:54 am #89068AnonymousInactive
Speaking of Human Nature and Human Condition i think as humans we should be responsible. review good and evil more often than not. i found this article about Human Nature and how it affects to do good and evil. and this is in biological point of view. read it and share your thoughts about it . http://www.worldtransformation.com/human-nature/October 25, 2012 at 10:54 am #89069SocialistPunkParticipant
Hi ganidu10,Always good to see new members getting involved in discussions.I checked out the link you posted, as well as the site of the organization, World Transformation Movement.I have to say I didn't see much scientific evidence to support the idea being put forward, considering the fella behind it is a biologist?I did notice a lot of repetition and use of quotes.But if I have missed anything I would be willing to take a further look if you could point me in the right direction.
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