Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Dec '13 14:17
    From Carl Sagan's and Ann Druyan's book, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors:

    "In the annals of primate ethics, there are some accounts that have the ring of parable. In a laboratory setting, macaques were fed if they were willing to pull a chain and electrically shock an unrelated macaque whose agony was in plain view through a one-way mirror. Otherwise, they starved. After learning the ropes, the monkeys frequently refused to pull the chain; in one experiment only 13% would do so - 87% preferred to go hungry. One macaque went without food for nearly two weeks rather than hurt its fellow. Macaques who had themselves been shocked in previous experiments were even less willing to pull the chain. The relative social status or gender of the macaques had little bearing on their reluctance to hurt others. -

    Macaques are primates like we are. Why would they act this way? I have been told by some here that there is no such thing as truly altruistic behavior; that the actor always expects something. What benefit do the macaques get from starving themselves?

    From one primate to another (a story a guy told me in a gas station the other morning):

    Bill is driving to work after a snowstorm and a deep chill. Hits a patch of black ice and his car goes into a ditch. He's stuck and starts dialing AAA knowing he's going to be out in the cold for a while. As he's dialing, he hears a tap on his window. There's two guys outside his car. He rolls down the window and Guy A (who Bill has never met before) says "I saw what happened. My truck's up on the road and I have a chain and can pull you out." The two guys proceed to do so in approximately zero temperature with snow falling.

    Bill profusely thanks them and reaches for his wallet saying "Listen you really helped me out; let me give you a $20". Guy A says "I can't take your money" and walks back to his truck and the two guys drive away.

    Why would Guy A do such a thing? What do these two examples (which could be multiplied by the millions) say about our nature?
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Dec '13 14:21
    I guess George Allen wasn't being so offensive after all.
  3. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Dec '13 14:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    From Carl Sagan's and Ann Druyan's book, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors:

    "In the annals of primate ethics, there are some accounts that have the ring of parable. In a laboratory setting, macaques were fed if they were willing to pull a chain and electrically shock an unrelated macaque whose agony was in plain view through a one-way mirror. Othe ...[text shortened]... ng? What do these two examples (which could be multiplied by the millions) say about our nature?
    Well the first example is a particularly sickening 'experiment' performed on some proor dumb beasts, tormenting the hell out of them. W T F.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Dec '13 14:28
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Well the first example is a particularly sickening 'experiment' performed on some proor dumb beasts, tormenting the hell out of them. W T F.
    They were willing to accept being tormented rather than see their fellows suffer. What do you make of that? Does that mean they are "dumb beasts"?
  5. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    20 Dec '13 14:31
    Originally posted by sh76
    I guess George Allen wasn't being so offensive after all.
    Heh. I see what you did there.

    (Note to self: Get a life)
  6. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Dec '13 14:32
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    They were willing to accept being tormented rather than see their fellows suffer. What do you make of that? Does that mean they are "dumb beasts"?
    They were willing to accept being tormented?

    They willingly chose to take part in the 'experiment' ?

    Signed a disclaimer and everything.

    Twisted No1, the scientists were twisted and you're twisted trying to twist these sick actions for your cause.
  7. 20 Dec '13 14:38
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Bill is driving to work after a snowstorm and a deep chill. Hits a patch of black ice and his car goes into a ditch. He's stuck and starts dialing AAA knowing he's going to be out in the cold for a while. As he's dialing, he hears a tap on his window. There's two guys outside his car. He rolls down the window and Guy A (who Bill has never met before) say ...[text shortened]... ng? What do these two examples (which could be multiplied by the millions) say about our nature?
    Does this example say anything about "our nature" as a species? Doesn't it say a lot about the particular character of Guy A as an individual? There were probably other people who drove by without stopping to help.

    Maybe what says more about "our nature" is less the action itself, but the fact that most of us would admire and respect Guy A. Rather like the parable of the Good Samaritan - it tells us that different people behave in different ways, some selfishly, some kindly. But there's no debate about which character we're supposed to admire!
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Dec '13 14:39
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    They were willing to accept being tormented?

    They willingly chose to take part in the 'experiment' ?

    Signed a disclaimer and everything.

    Twisted No1, the scientists were twisted and you're twisted trying to twist these sick actions for your cause.
    I see you're intent on dodging the issues involved. That's hardly surprising given your worldview.

    They willingly accepted hunger and even starvation rather than let their fellows suffer. That's not how "dumb beasts" are supposed to act, is it?
  9. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    20 Dec '13 14:39 / 1 edit
    Shorter no1marauder:

    People are hardwired to be altruistic, so redistribution of wealth is moral, so Castro is a great man.

    Next thread.
  10. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Dec '13 14:39
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    They were willing to accept being tormented?

    They willingly chose to take part in the 'experiment' ?

    Signed a disclaimer and everything.

    Twisted No1, the scientists were twisted and you're twisted trying to twist these sick actions for your cause.
    The scientists probably explained to them how the one way mirror worked, you know, so they'd be all anonymous like.
  11. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Dec '13 14:42
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    Shorter no1marauder:

    People are hardwired to be altruistic, so redistribution of wealth is moral, so Castro is a great man.

    Next thread.
    I see where this is going, No1 sees himself as the 'scientist' and he'd like to get a few non-macaque subjects in the cage, there's a bit too much on display here No1.
  12. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    20 Dec '13 14:43
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Does this example say anything about "our nature" as a species? Doesn't it say a lot about the particular character of Guy A as an individual? There were probably other people who drove by without stopping to help.

    Maybe what says more about "our nature" is less the action itself, but the fact that most of us would admire and respect Guy A. Rather like ...[text shortened]... me selfishly, some kindly. But there's no debate about which character we're supposed to admire!
    Why should we admire Guy A? Bill's problems are his own; why should anyone help him out for free? Homo Economicus sure wouldn't.
  13. 20 Dec '13 14:44
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    Shorter no1marauder:

    People are hardwired to be altruistic, so redistribution of wealth is moral, so Castro is a great man.

    Next thread.
    i think you should learn how to debate. what you are doing is pitiful.
  14. 20 Dec '13 14:57
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Well the first example is a particularly sickening 'experiment' performed on some proor dumb beasts, tormenting the hell out of them. W T F.
    Somehow I think you would be among the 13%.
  15. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    20 Dec '13 14:59
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Somehow I think you would be among the 13%.
    Oh boy here's another one wants to get some humans in the cage.