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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 17 Dec '12 03:06
    Mankind has survived upwards of a thousand centuries and consequently risen to the apex of the food chain. We have done this despite a lack of superior natural weapons, senses, speed, strength or agility. We have survived for three reasons; intelligence, to be sure, and the twin survival instincts of survival annd procreation, i.e. SEX and VIOLENCE. Those fundamenntal drives are inherent to our naturallly selected makeup, and they are the reason we are here now. I repeat, violence is ESSENTIAL to our very nature. Culture has progressed, of course, much faster than we are able to evolve. Therefore, our basic survival drives remain extant in a societal structure in which they are no longer appropriate, at least to the same degree. Consequently, they become repressed, and as we know of man's dualistic, disharmonious psyche, anything repressed becomes perverted. Freud, Jung and others warned us of the danger of being unaware of repressed, subconcious material, lest it overflow and consume the individual. As little as a century or so ago, families raised and husbanded livestock, and slaughtered to eat. Understanding the cycle of life and death was fundamental to existence. It was inescapable. In subsequent decades, sex and violence have become dark, mysterious watchwords, unutterable and sinister. Is there any wonder our perverted modern sense of reality occasionally spills out into arbitrary acts of staggering violence? Is there no reason we placate our darker side with increasingly violent and disturbing imagery in the popular media? Are we so blind? Pass whatever laws you wish, you will not change thousands of years of evolution exacerbated by decades of repression, compounded by an increasingly unstable economy, poverty, continuous warfare, a dwindling educational system, etc. Ad nauseam. Thanks for the ears.
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    17 Dec '12 05:46
    Good grief.
    Sex is a means of procreating. There is no other method... Generally speaking.
    Violence is a means to what end? Are you suggesting there are no other means to achieve that same end?
  3. 17 Dec '12 06:15
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Good grief.
    Sex is a means of procreating. There is no other method... Generally speaking.
    Violence is a means to what end? Are you suggesting there are no other means to achieve that same end?
    I am suggesting that violence as a survival instinct has been bred into our species for so many thousands of years it is unrealistic to expect that to change with a couple hundred years worth of modern civilization.
  4. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    17 Dec '12 07:04
    Originally posted by shiloh
    I am suggesting that violence as a survival instinct has been bred into our species for so many thousands of years it is unrealistic to expect that to change with a couple hundred years worth of modern civilization.
    As long as we senselessly slaughter one another, we never were really civilized.
  5. 17 Dec '12 07:10
    Originally posted by shiloh
    I am suggesting that violence as a survival instinct has been bred into our species for so many thousands of years it is unrealistic to expect that to change with a couple hundred years worth of modern civilization.
    Agreed. Of course it is bred into life itself -- your OP seems to say this, and I agree if so. The first organism that ate or lived by the death of another, started that. This, I believe, is the reason that some humans came eventually to the idea of original sin. It is an attempt to explain part of our nature, a part that we seem unable to escape.
  6. 17 Dec '12 07:43
    Originally posted by JS357
    Agreed. Of course it is bred into life itself -- your OP seems to say this, and I agree if so. The first organism that ate or lived by the death of another, started that. This, I believe, is the reason that some humans came eventually to the idea of original sin. It is an attempt to explain part of our nature, a part that we seem unable to escape.
    Perhaps if we faced it head on with our intellect rather than our emotional need for magic and mystery we might stand a better chance of keeping it in a box marked 'For Emergency's Only' (in red letters).
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    17 Dec '12 10:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shiloh
    Mankind has survived upwards of a thousand centuries and consequently risen to the apex of the food chain. We have done this despite a lack of superior natural weapons, senses, speed, strength or agility. We have survived for three reasons; intelligence, to be sure, and the twin survival instincts of survival annd procreation, i.e. SEX and VIOLENCE. .. Ad nauseam. Thanks for the ears.
    Therefore, our basic survival drives remain extant in a societal structure in which they are no longer appropriate, at least to the same degree. Consequently, they become repressed, and as we know of man's dualistic, disharmonious psyche, anything repressed becomes perverted. Freud, Jung and others warned us of the danger of being unaware of repressed, subconcious material,...


    You also need to be warned of the dangers of taking Freud and Jung at their word, in the light of scientific criticism of their theories. They can be seductive and persuasive, but so can many other failed models of the mind. Freud, for example, was very much tied to a specific social group and cultural context.

    I cannot see evidence that our sexual instincts are being in any way repressed - quite the opposite. Our interest in violence is evident every day in the media and clearly has many outlets.

    Nor can I agree that these two represent the sum total of our genetic inheritance from evolution. In particular, we are a clear example of a social species and as such, group behaviour, including cooperation, mutual dependence and care, is pretty fundamental to human nature in all societies - certainly in the last 12,000 years.

    It follows that I do not agree our nature as humans is "no longer appropriate" as you say. It seems crazy to me to suggest thaty our nature is in need of change - if society fails to meet our needs then it is society, not human nature, that will have to change. This all depends on how you wish to portray our nature. For example, you could focus on the contrast of life and death, rather than sex and violence, or on creativity rather than sexual reproduction, etc ad nauseam. It all hangs on your own attitudes. The way you slice up human nature reveals a lot about your predispositions and does not alter the reality in an way.

    Your dark and frightening image of human nature is very Victorian and gothic, like a Mary Shelley story, but on inspection it is too simplistic and it is not rich enough to describe human life as it really is.
  8. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    17 Dec '12 11:32
    Originally posted by shiloh
    Mankind has survived upwards of a thousand centuries and consequently risen to the apex of the food chain. We have done this despite a lack of superior natural weapons, senses, speed, strength or agility. We have survived for three reasons; intelligence, to be sure, and the twin survival instincts of survival annd procreation, i.e. SEX and VIOLENCE. Those fun ...[text shortened]... erty, continuous warfare, a dwindling educational system, etc. Ad nauseam. Thanks for the ears.
    Hogwash. The Amish and Hutterites have managed to build societies with no violence without it manifesting itself in unforeseen ways. While there may be examples of spousal abuse or animal cruelty, there has been only one homicide in their entire history. And they are of the same species as the people in Newtown, Connecticut.

    We are equally related to the common chimpanzee (pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (pan paniscus). While the chimpanzee's proclivity toward violence is well known, the bonobos are much more peaceful and cooperative. The fact is that your emphasis on violence in the evolutionary makeup of humans is vastly overstated. We have the capacity to emulate either the chimpanzee or the bonobo in our behavior. Whichever we choose is determined more by our culture than anything else.
  9. 17 Dec '12 12:16
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Hogwash. The Amish and Hutterites have managed to build societies with no violence without it manifesting itself in unforeseen ways. While there may be examples of spousal abuse or animal cruelty, there has been only one homicide in their entire history. And they are of the same species as the people in Newtown, Connecticut.
    How is the Amish and Hutterite record on gay rights?
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    17 Dec '12 12:21
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    How is the Amish and Hutterite record on gay rights?
    What has that got to do with violence?
  11. 17 Dec '12 15:24
    Originally posted by ChessPraxis
    As long as we senselessly slaughter one another, we never were really civilized.
    "....we never were really civilized."

    Civilization would have to be a graduated spectrum, not a boundary we cross. Often we can't agree on what is or is not civilized.
  12. 17 Dec '12 15:27
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Hogwash. The Amish and Hutterites have managed to build societies with no violence without it manifesting itself in unforeseen ways. While there may be examples of spousal abuse or animal cruelty, there has been only one homicide in their entire history. And they are of the same species as the people in Newtown, Connecticut.

    We are equally related to the ...[text shortened]... nobo in our behavior. Whichever we choose is determined more by our culture than anything else.
    Those groups are a relatively small sampling. Give them time. I understand that alcoholism is rampant among the Amish.
  13. 17 Dec '12 15:36
    Originally posted by finnegan
    [quote] Therefore, our basic survival drives remain extant in a societal structure in which they are no longer appropriate, at least to the same degree. Consequently, they become repressed, and as we know of man's dualistic, disharmonious psyche, anything repressed becomes perverted. Freud, Jung and others warned us of the danger of being unaware of repress ...[text shortened]... ection it is too simplistic and it is not rich enough to describe human life as it really is.
    I can't argue with the basic contention that sex and violence are part of our history and makeup, but whether that is genetic or simply environmental is the same argument as happens with regard to sexual preference.

    What is pretty much undeniable is that what differentiates man, is his ability to think, and that man's actions are largely dictated by prior thought. Mises treatise "Human Action" relates thinking and acting man to economics.

    Thinking and acting man determines the need for violence and or procreation, or the controlling of either impulse. That's why in a world of growing population, thinking and acting man is without compulsion limiting his procreation. This logically is a preferable method of population control than war.
  14. 17 Dec '12 15:49
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I can't argue with the basic contention that sex and violence are part of our history and makeup, but whether that is genetic or simply environmental is the same argument as happens with regard to sexual preference.

    What is pretty much undeniable is that what differentiates man, is his ability to think, and that man's actions are largely dictated by p ...[text shortened]... ting his procreation. This logically is a preferable method of population control than war.
    I profoundly disagree. Though we would like to think we are a rational animal, we are in fact a rationalizing animal. Our motivations start as instinct, expressed through emotional responses, and are rationalized by our upper brain. We are in no true sense capable of turning that intellectual lense honestly on ourselves.
  15. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    17 Dec '12 15:53
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Those groups are a relatively small sampling. Give them time. I understand that alcoholism is rampant among the Amish.
    The statement that "all swans are white" is falsified by a single black swan. Likewise, Shiloh's contention that all of mankind is inherently violent is disproved by the single example of the Amish/Hutterite communities (however small that sampling may be). Whether alcoholism is rampant in the Amish or not, it has not manifested itself in increased violence.