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Thievery, robbery, rape, torture, murder etc. are forbidden by law because it is human nature to want to do those things and derive pleasure from them - otherwise there would be no need to forbid them.

I mean - look at what humans enjoy in entertainment, like TV, Movies or video games - theft, robbery, murder. People come home from work tired after a long day, and they relax by enjoying watching killings and murder in TV, or enjoy killing in some video game.

 

 

If entertainment and video games would be only about winning and "beating the game", puzzle games, reaction time games or other such concepts would be vastly more popular. Instead, war, shooting, weapons, killings, murder is the most popular aspect of both TV/Movies and video games. Therefore, humans SPECIFICALLY enjoy and derive pleasure from the act of killing, murdering and raping. Contemporary example: Game of Thrones. Wildly popular, and besides sex scenes, it's mostly a series of detailed murders.

 

Today, with more advanced technology, the gore, weapon, shooting and rag-doll killing effects are ever more detailed. They only cut back on detail and killing glorification to also sell their games to an sub-18 y.o. audience, so the murdering and maiming is not as detailed and intense as it could be and people would desire.

Proof:

Gore-based games like Doom and other ultra-violent, ultra-realistic shooters which are officially forbidden for kids are especially sought-after by said kids and also especially enjoyed by players 18+. The same applies to Movies - horror movies are sought after, and especially enjoyed; people would desire much more detailed and long-winded murder, torture and killing, but normal Movies are made to sell to the max. number of people, and that includes kids, so they have to officially cut back in detailed violence more than the audience actually likes to see.

Example: Game of Thrones; people especially enjoy detailed and gory killing, rape, murder and torture scenes.

You can see it in the audience's behavior, how they fixate those scenes, how they are mesmerized by them, how they derive pleasure from them. Even in a more "family-friendly" Movie like the Lord of Rings the battle scenes were they showed extra cruelty in detail, like the riders' charge on the orc army, were especially pleasurable and memorable for the viewers.

 

 

 

Also, globally and contemporary, we in the West live like in a violence-free bubble - in many parts of the world, for example Africa, Mexico and parts of Asia torture, maiming, killing and murder

are a daily, regular, yes - normal - , occurrence.

And, as pointed out above, it is human nature to desire that violence so much that even in the West the dominant aspect of public entertainment culture is violence, murder, rape, and killing.

 

If people would really desire peace, friendliness, loving each other etc. - wouldn't they enjoy those things in their entertainment products? But there is virtually nothing of the sort, only the opposite.

 

 

 

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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If people would really desire peace, friendliness, loving each other etc. - wouldn't they enjoy those things in their entertainment products? But there is virtually nothing of the sort, only the opposite.

 

 

Methinks people just like interesting stories and adventures. And in an adventure or a story, there needs to be an element of risk, danger and other stuff that appeals to the emotions to make it interesting.

 

"Find the killer before he murders another innocent teen girl," "a grand battle of epic proportions." If you want to have an interesting story that appeals to people's feelings, you need to first make the character look like a decent and nice guy, and then have him be decapitated by a douchebag coward teen-king just out of fun. It really feels in the audience because it triggers an outrage of unjustness.

 

It is not the killings the people like to watch. They want appealing and interesting stories. Stories have always entertained humans. And violence, betrayal and other nasty things is often the way to craft stories which evoke strong feelings in people. Thinking about your post, there probably isn't that many emotion-tools in the toolbox of the people who craft stories. All stories have been told already. Just mix and match different existing and already used plot devices to make new ones.

 

In the end, Lord of the Rings would not make a very interesting story, if it was just a story about hobbits and pals hanging out in the neighbourhood, without conflict or danger.

 

But true.. In order to be effective, the violence needs to be more and more vivid as time goes forward. It's like a drug: you need to increase the grotesqueness dose after each use a little bit for it to continue to be effective. For me example, some of the violence sequences in Walking Dead makes me feel sick (like the start of that Negan season), but I do notice that it also dulls. The more you see that stuff, the more you can take it.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Well, it's strictly related to the individual brain and to the age of that brain AND to personal frustrations populating it :D

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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Once again, you start a very intersting topic. However, I can not really agree. What makes Game of Thrones is not the sex and gruesome murders. At least not for everybody (I have a couple of freinds, who would have nejoyed the show a lot more, if the gore and rape and torture were not shopwn i nall the detail). Of course, some of the murders are very popular. Especially, the murders of specifically unsympathetic characters (like

Geoffrey, Ramsay or Walder Frey

) give people some sense of justice that is very rare in this series. Game of Thrones shows that it is most effective to be ruthless and not play by the rules and this is (in a less drastic way) the way the world is. If you are always friendly and never use your elbows, you will never be at the top. The characters you sympathise with are the ones who are noble and just (like Eddart Stark), not the sadistic, evil schemers.

 

However, while I disagree that violence is mandatory for success, I can not deny that violence has a certain appeal. For the kids that want to play a Pegi 18 game, I think, this is more likely the curiosity and the "felling like an adult" and not really the "need" for violence. This might also be, what fascinates the adult audience: These scenes are something you do not see everyday, and as a consequence they are captivating, especially because the West, as you stated, is a relatively non-violent environment.

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We can jump directly to the obvious conclusion :D

 

Violence and "good feelings" are entangled like every other human "opposites couple" of traits.

Violence in Homo Sapiens is about defense (love for ourself) and competition (to conquer others love too!), not about "total destruction" or "blind annihilation".

Edited by lowenz

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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I don't think I enjoy games like Doom because they're violent. I enjoy them because they're fast-paced, frantic, and chaotic, all things that real life is pretty much the opposite of. Modern games are slow, mimic real life too much, and so bore me.

 

And I'm not a thief, but I doubt many of them enjoy their work. In many cases, in their POV, its something "they have to do to survive", or at least that's what they would probably tell you, of course. Thieving is risky business. They have to worry about much more than just going to jail if the potential victim catches them in the act. And to be clear, I fucking hate thieves and I wish that they were still dealt with like in the old days.

Edited by kano
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For the kids that want to play a Pegi 18 game, I think, this is more likely the curiosity and the "felling like an adult" and not really the "need" for violence.

I noticed that during normal child/boy development quite obviously the boys train to murder:

They play "hide and seek", which is basically a playful version of an ambush.

And most boys, even when no pre-made toys are available to them, tend to craft themselves or imagine the tools of killing as toys -

today, of course, guns, but also spears, bows and swords. The wooden sword is a stereotypical boy toy of the past.

Those tools are clearly instinctively used in a way not to train hunting animals, but to fight and kill other humans.

There are many reports of pacifist parents who tried to avoid access of their children to toy weapons only to be frustrated by their

children's ability, talent and desire to use common household items as imagined toy weaponry and play fighting and play killing with them.

 

I also observed another basic tendency young people, especially men, display:

The (instinctual) drive to kill male peers while competing for female mates - in adolescents and young adults there are many ritualized

bravery and competence contests - to prove their social (and sexual) value and qualities.

Example:

Dangerous stunts with (motor) bikes, especially when (young) women are onlooking.

Such sexual signalling is the leading cause for death in young boys and men - death by peer-group-driven competence display accidents.

How do I see this connected with "people trying to kill each other?"

It is common that boys are seen egging on their peers "Coward! Pussy! Wimp!" to do such dangerous competence

and social status displays of the sort that could get the executant killed or (permanently) crippled.

There is a clear evolutionary advantage if another guy driven in doing such acts gets killed or crippled - he is removed as competition

for mates or resources!

Of course, peers egging on their opponents into such acts of proof of competence play a gamble:

If the guy gets killed or crippled, the other men rise and status and get closer to the females or resources.

But if the guy succeeds, they are (at least temporarily) reduced in status and mating chances, because the successful guy has proven

his superiority over them.

This behavior is instinctive - just look what happens to men when an attractive women gets near - suddenly " muscled" breasts are presented,

they stand taller, speak louder and with deeper voice, and show greater ingroup competitiveness (think of what happens to men on a sunny

beach when a blonde walks by - most men become "peacocks").

It is proven in monkeys/apes, and quite obviously witnessed in humans, that women specifically enjoy and induce this kind of behaviour in men/males-

because they (instinctively) must screen them for top quality genes, and the best way to show which male is best is to make them fight each other -

directly, tooth-and-claw in animals, by social competition and social status display (usually) in us humans.

The point of all that - the underlying true motivation - is still to get rid of the competition for resources and sex, therefore, at least in an evolutionary sense,

kill/terminate/make go extinct the loser in these fights.

 

 

 

 

If it were human nature to rape, torture and murder without reservation, we would never have survived long enough to create societies with laws in the first place.

I think the real underlying motive is different:

IIRC, Dawkins pointed out in "The Selfish Gene" that organisms, say, wolves, have an evolutionary need to kill the other wolves because they are opponents/enemies/competitors

for everything they want themselves - resources and reproduction partners.

(The more similar organisms are, the more they are competing for the very same resources, and therefore are opponents/enemies.)

It is not happening - instead we see "packs", a kind of social organisation of wolves.

Why?

If one wolf would attack and fight another wolf to ensure his access to resources and mates, that wolf would lose time - during fighting - and may get injured himself.

While he is fighting, he would allow other wolves to mate with the female wolves, and if he gets injured, he loses his grasp on resources and mates even more.

Therefore, while organisms are "unhappy" that their social competitors exist and ideally would like to get rid of them, they cannot do so easily because it would allow their opponents

to exploit their distraction to acquire their resources or mates.

Ways out of this dilemma are

-getting and defending a territory - one (usually) male claims all the resources/prey and mates on it

-social hierarchization (pecking order) - like packs in wolves, or society in us humans.

Human males are still not happy to allow other men to mate with women, especially desirable women, but are supposed to endure that.

Social cooperation is only tolerated because if the need of specialization (greater productivity if people do one job, get better at it, and then exchange their goods

and services in an economy which allows for greater general wealth) - but people do not really desire cooperation - they just do it because they have to:

No baker is baking bread because of his altruistic desire is to feed bread to other humans, but because of his egoistical desire to have goods for exchange for

the goods and services of other people ("making money").

 

 

There are plenty of people who do NOT enjoy those things. The majority of gamers play Candy Crush and The Sims.

I think they are not NOT enjoying it, they enjoy it LESS.

Action movies and the like seem to be quite universally liked.

But I think you are correct by stating it as: People are competitive to different degrees and in different ways.

But somehow, I think, all people compete, and therefore all people try to gain social status - which is, inherently aggressive, because unlike property (which could at least theoretically equally distributed) social status, the

individual rank in the social hierarchy, is not absolute, but relative - every time somebody's status rises, somebody else's status is lowered.

(I keep mentioning the concept of social status because it is central to social animals, and very much so for us humans.)

 

 

There are popular games/shows about war and killing, no question. But they are not the most popular.

I think there are more subtle ways of "war and killing" in us humans.

You are right in pointing out that only a part of people enjoy war and fighting and killing or depictions of it directly.

Maybe those who see themselves as weak and therefore unable to successfully compete in such open aggression displays try to find other fields of competition, for example more artistic, creative or cognitive

challenging ones.

But still - they compete socially, and the core of all that competing is to win, and to win means to produce losers, and losers are humiliated and dominated and lose social status.

The winners, in whatever competition, usually still earn prestige and bragging rights and improved mating chances than the losers.

So, while not directly a bloody affair, the fascination, the motivation is still to attack, conquer and dominate other humans - if only in Tetris, indeed.

Another group of people not enjoying war and combat and fighting is women - simply because they are weaker than men, have no direct combat instincts, and evolved to avoid open conflict for being the weaker sex.

But women still

1)care a lot about men's competitions/wars/fighting

2)compete themselves among women

 

1:

Women care not for weapons and tactics and the technical aspects of such competitions - but they sure do greatly care for the very results of those competition among men - the male winners are very much sought after by women -

be it in knight games, boxing matches, or the war among men for simply getting rich - women are attracted to the winning men to the highest degree.

By exactly this behavior, women induce and perpetuate competition in men - by sexual selection for men who want and be able to win competitions.

2:

Women tend not to clobber each other like men, but they also compete with other men intensively - just in other fields than men, concretely looking attractive and being popular (the other side of the same coin: Female

aggression tries to sabotage the beauty of other women ("She has a fat butt") and other women's social popularity, even attempting social exclusion of other women (Example: Removing the socio-sexial threat from a more

attractive or younger female by manipulating the group into ostracizing the female competitor).

 

 

 

The top two TV shows are Football and Big Bang Theory.

Sports seems to be a substitute for war people crave.

Humans display a strong tendency towards tribalism ("Us vs. them").

I think elites use sports like football or soccer as a war or combat surrogate:

People pick their favorite team, "us/we/good guys" and then there are "them/enemies" - and they fight,indeed, just with little balls instead of guns and blades.

I think it is an emotional release for the instinctual desire for combat.

Just look at how extremely emotionally and devoted many sports fans are for "their" teams - just like "brothers in arms."

And then look at the hooligan phenomenon - after the "sportive war" with the ball, some men are so aroused by the competition, the fighting for dominance, that the sports game is not enough for them to satisfy their desire

to beat/hurt/kill and they battle each other physically after the soccer match, often with lots of physical harm dealt out, sometimes even death.

 

 

 

Not necessarily. I desire sleep and relaxation, but I don't find watching someone sleep or relax very entertaining. Entertainment is often created by watching things that you don't experience very often, or don't want to experience in reality at all. People go on roller-coasters to trigger a fear response for entertainment, but they probably don't want to be frightened like that in real life. Simulated violence is similar.

What everybody does every day anyway cannot be interesting enough to be the central aspect of entertainment.

There can be no movies about breathing or sleeping.

 

Even if war and killing has novelty value, and is therefore expected to be interesting for that reason alone, if there were no element of instinctual fascination for it, the interest in it would quickly subside.

Talking socks could have novelty value and be interesting to some people, but the interest would end quickly, too.

Mortal competition is something very different - it seems one of the very few things (like sexual displays) humans cannot ever really get enough of it - it stays fascinating.

Simulated violence/competition has a constant demand - other novelties and entertainment genres (besides sex) not so much.

 

 

 

You're also ignoring the fact that quite a lot of entertainment IS based around a desire for peace, friendliness, loving each other etc. There are entire genres dedicated to romance and comedy, and they do quite well.

Romance is also about competition, and therefore war-like. Usually romance entertainment has multiple people fighting over an especially valuable/desired mate. There is a struggle, often sabotage, spying etc. in some form -

and clearly winners and losers, dominators and conquered/humiliated people.

I think there is a good reason the sayings "Love is War" and "In Love and War Everything Is Allowed" exist. At least judging the content of romance novels, romance games and romance movies this is very true.

 

Comedy:

This is not as harmless as it may seem.

What is funny?

There is a basic, universal rule of what is funny or what constitutes humor:

Somebody, imagined or real, must lose social status - usually in a surprising way.

But the losing of social status is the prerequisite for something being funny.

As a social species, social status is deeply ingrained in human instinct. Humans enjoy if others lose social status, and often enough that is seen as funny:

Slipping on a banana peel : Such a clumsy idiot! - The person has lost dominance/power/status/prestige - and by the lowering of another person, the status of all

other persons is automatically risen - because social status is relative, positional - and people are genetically hardwired to enjoy personal social status gains.

Even if self-depreciative humor exists, others lough because another's status falls, and their status rises.

Humor, therefore, is also socially competitive, and a form of war and aggression.

Satire, for example, is often used with devastating effect to attack other humans.

Of course, there are more harmless versions of humor, but still the core concept is aggression and competition to lower the social status of humans.

And because social status, the position in the social hierarchy or "pecking order" in humans has, directly or indirectly, survival and mating value, even comedy is a subtler form of the desire to kill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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I noticed that during normal child/boy development quite obviously the boys train to murder:

They play "hide and seek", which is basically a playful version of an ambush.

And most boys, even when no pre-made toys are available to them, tend to craft themselves or imagine the tools of killing as toys -

today, of course, guns, but also spears, bows and swords. The wooden sword is a stereotypical boy toy of the past.

Those tools are clearly instinctively used in a way not to train hunting animals, but to fight and kill other humans.

There are many reports of pacifist parents who tried to avoid access of their children to toy weapons only to be frustrated by their

children's ability, talent and desire to use common household items as imagined toy weaponry and play fighting and play killing with them.

 

I also observed another basic tendency young people, especially men, display:

The (instinctual) drive to kill male peers while competing for female mates - in adolescents and young adults there are many ritualized

bravery and competence contests - to prove their social (and sexual) value and qualities.

Example:

Dangerous stunts with (motor) bikes, especially when (young) women are onlooking.

Such sexual signalling is the leading cause for death in young boys and men - death by peer-group-driven competence display accidents.

How do I see this connected with "people trying to kill each other?"

It is common that boys are seen egging on their peers "Coward! Pussy! Wimp!" to do such dangerous competence

and social status displays of the sort that could get the executant killed or (permanently) crippled.

There is a clear evolutionary advantage if another guy driven in doing such acts gets killed or crippled - he is removed as competition

for mates or resources!

Of course, peers egging on their opponents into such acts of proof of competence play a gamble:

If the guy gets killed or crippled, the other men rise and status and get closer to the females or resources.

But if the guy succeeds, they are (at least temporarily) reduced in status and mating chances, because the successful guy has proven

his superiority over them.

This behavior is instinctive - just look what happens to men when an attractive women gets near - suddenly " muscled" breasts are presented,

they stand taller, speak louder and with deeper voice, and show greater ingroup competitiveness (think of what happens to men on a sunny

beach when a blonde walks by - most men become "peacocks").

It is proven in monkeys/apes, and quite obviously witnessed in humans, that women specifically enjoy and induce this kind of behaviour in men/males-

because they (instinctively) must screen them for top quality genes, and the best way to show which male is best is to make them fight each other -

directly, tooth-and-claw in animals, by social competition and social status display (usually) in us humans.

The point of all that - the underlying true motivation - is still to get rid of the competition for resources and sex, therefore, at least in an evolutionary sense,

kill/terminate/make go extinct the loser in these fights.

 

 

 

 

I think the real underlying motive is different:

IIRC, Dawkins pointed out in "The Selfish Gene" that organisms, say, wolves, have an evolutionary need to kill the other wolves because they are opponents/enemies/competitors

for everything they want themselves - resources and reproduction partners.

(The more similar organisms are, the more they are competing for the very same resources, and therefore are opponents/enemies.)

It is not happening - instead we see "packs", a kind of social organisation of wolves.

Why?

If one wolf would attack and fight another wolf to ensure his access to resources and mates, that wolf would lose time - during fighting - and may get injured himself.

While he is fighting, he would allow other wolves to mate with the female wolves, and if he gets injured, he loses his grasp on resources and mates even more.

Therefore, while organisms are "unhappy" that their social competitors exist and ideally would like to get rid of them, they cannot do so easily because it would allow their opponents

to exploit their distraction to acquire their resources or mates.

Ways out of this dilemma are

-getting and defending a territory - one (usually) male claims all the resources/prey and mates on it

-social hierarchization (pecking order) - like packs in wolves, or society in us humans.

Human males are still not happy to allow other men to mate with women, especially desirable women, but are supposed to endure that.

Social cooperation is only tolerated because if the need of specialization (greater productivity if people do one job, get better at it, and then exchange their goods

and services in an economy which allows for greater general wealth) - but people do not really desire cooperation - they just do it because they have to:

No baker is baking bread because of his altruistic desire is to feed bread to other humans, but because of his egoistical desire to have goods for exchange for

the goods and services of other people ("making money").

 

 

I think they are not NOT enjoying it, they enjoy it LESS.

Action movies and the like seem to be quite universally liked.

But I think you are correct by stating it as: People are competitive to different degrees and in different ways.

But somehow, I think, all people compete, and therefore all people try to gain social status - which is, inherently aggressive, because unlike property (which could at least theoretically equally distributed) social status, the

individual rank in the social hierarchy, is not absolute, but relative - every time somebody's status rises, somebody else's status is lowered.

(I keep mentioning the concept of social status because it is central to social animals, and very much so for us humans.)

 

 

I think there are more subtle ways of "war and killing" in us humans.

You are right in pointing out that only a part of people enjoy war and fighting and killing or depictions of it directly.

Maybe those who see themselves as weak and therefore unable to successfully compete in such open aggression displays try to find other fields of competition, for example more artistic, creative or cognitive

challenging ones.

But still - they compete socially, and the core of all that competing is to win, and to win means to produce losers, and losers are humiliated and dominated and lose social status.

The winners, in whatever competition, usually still earn prestige and bragging rights and improved mating chances than the losers.

So, while not directly a bloody affair, the fascination, the motivation is still to attack, conquer and dominate other humans - if only in Tetris, indeed.

Another group of people not enjoying war and combat and fighting is women - simply because they are weaker than men, have no direct combat instincts, and evolved to avoid open conflict for being the weaker sex.

But women still

1)care a lot about men's competitions/wars/fighting

2)compete themselves among women

 

1:

Women care not for weapons and tactics and the technical aspects of such competitions - but they sure do greatly care for the very results of those competition among men - the male winners are very much sought after by women -

be it in knight games, boxing matches, or the war among men for simply getting rich - women are attracted to the winning men to the highest degree.

By exactly this behavior, women induce and perpetuate competition in men - by sexual selection for men who want and be able to win competitions.

2:

Women tend not to clobber each other like men, but they also compete with other men intensively - just in other fields than men, concretely looking attractive and being popular (the other side of the same coin: Female

aggression tries to sabotage the beauty of other women ("She has a fat butt") and other women's social popularity, even attempting social exclusion of other women (Example: Removing the socio-sexial threat from a more

attractive or younger female by manipulating the group into ostracizing the female competitor).

 

 

 

Sports seems to be a substitute for war people crave.

Humans display a strong tendency towards tribalism ("Us vs. them").

I think elites use sports like football or soccer as a war or combat surrogate:

People pick their favorite team, "us/we/good guys" and then there are "them/enemies" - and they fight,indeed, just with little balls instead of guns and blades.

I think it is an emotional release for the instinctual desire for combat.

Just look at how extremely emotionally and devoted many sports fans are for "their" teams - just like "brothers in arms."

And then look at the hooligan phenomenon - after the "sportive war" with the ball, some men are so aroused by the competition, the fighting for dominance, that the sports game is not enough for them to satisfy their desire

to beat/hurt/kill and they battle each other physically after the soccer match, often with lots of physical harm dealt out, sometimes even death.

 

 

 

What everybody does every day anyway cannot be interesting enough to be the central aspect of entertainment.

There can be no movies about breathing or sleeping.

 

Even if war and killing has novelty value, and is therefore expected to be interesting for that reason alone, if there were no element of instinctual fascination for it, the interest in it would quickly subside.

Talking socks could have novelty value and be interesting to some people, but the interest would end quickly, too.

Mortal competition is something very different - it seems one of the very few things (like sexual displays) humans cannot ever really get enough of it - it stays fascinating.

Simulated violence/competition has a constant demand - other novelties and entertainment genres (besides sex) not so much.

 

 

 

Romance is also about competition, and therefore war-like. Usually romance entertainment has multiple people fighting over an especially valuable/desired mate. There is a struggle, often sabotage, spying etc. in some form -

and clearly winners and losers, dominators and conquered/humiliated people.

I think there is a good reason the sayings "Love is War" and "In Love and War Everything Is Allowed" exist. At least judging the content of romance novels, romance games and romance movies this is very true.

 

Comedy:

This is not as harmless as it may seem.

What is funny?

There is a basic, universal rule of what is funny or what constitutes humor:

Somebody, imagined or real, must lose social status - usually in a surprising way.

But the losing of social status is the prerequisite for something being funny.

As a social species, social status is deeply ingrained in human instinct. Humans enjoy if others lose social status, and often enough that is seen as funny:

Slipping on a banana peel : Such a clumsy idiot! - The person has lost dominance/power/status/prestige - and by the lowering of another person, the status of all

other persons is automatically risen - because social status is relative, positional - and people are genetically hardwired to enjoy personal social status gains.

Even if self-depreciative humor exists, others lough because another's status falls, and their status rises.

Humor, therefore, is also socially competitive, and a form of war and aggression.

Satire, for example, is often used with devastating effect to attack other humans.

Of course, there are more harmless versions of humor, but still the core concept is aggression and competition to lower the social status of humans.

And because social status, the position in the social hierarchy or "pecking order" in humans has, directly or indirectly, survival and mating value, even comedy is a subtler form of the desire to kill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you still perpetuate the evolutionary angle - why does the generic middle class everyday man/woman just wants peace, stability and a decent income to raise a family?

 

What you say sounds cool, but if you ever participated in a fight or a brawl in the street, you'll see that nobody cares for the winner/loser. Nobody wants problems. What a girl might want is just some protection and a predictable safe haven to return home to from a potential courting partner. While a guy just want a nurturing, soft girl that would coincide with his understanding of awesome.

But even if you extend the competition thing beyond real fights to some abstract competitions at work and whatnot, it's never about who wins. Because now it's all about character traits and compatibility with your partner. We're free people after all.

Considering how we're much more advanced than other animals - instinct matters the least. Rationality and empirical evidence, most importantly psychologically makes us choose usually the following way:

guys choose girls that are alike their mothers in chracteristics, at the very least we like them more than other girls;

girls choose guys who are like their fathers in characteristics.

 

Self confidence is not necessarily a sexual-related feat. It's not a turn off/on switch. But it is true that you either have it, or don't. Nobody likes pushovers. It's just a life thing, to impose your will on the world and not the other way around. We're not robots. But only you decide what to do with your life and how to get things done.

 

Look at it the other way around - do doctors, teachers exist to lower someone's social status? They help to let the weak live, those who under extreme conditions would die. They defeat the vicious cycle and help get sustainable development outlined in countless UN resolutions, NGO commitments and so on.

 

For us, sex is not a lifeless, meaningless reproductory act. As superior beings, sex is part of our relationships and a direct representation of how they go. With all due respect, it's totally wrong on your behalf to reduce everything to Freudian nonsense theories - half of which have been proven wrong. The only thing he was right about was the existence of the unconscious in our brains and on the method of tete-a-tete interview in psychology.

 

All of this with 0% intention to bring down your social status because I will probably never meet you in flesh. :)

Edited by Anderson
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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Social cooperation is only tolerated because if the need of specialization (greater productivity if people do one job, get better at it, and then exchange their goods

and services in an economy which allows for greater general wealth) - but people do not really desire cooperation - they just do it because they have to:

 

 

Social cooperation is visible in plenty of mammals that don't need to specialize. You could argue that they don't really "desire cooperation" either, but are just doing it because they have to, but you can make that claim about virtually anything. "Humans don't really desire food, they just eat it because they have to. Humans don't really desire sex, they just do it because they have to." etc

 

Evolution is generally going to select for those individuals who desire to do they things they need to do to survive. Humans with a gene that conferred no interest in eating or having sex generally died out.

 

But I think you are correct by stating it as: People are competitive to different degrees and in different ways.

But somehow, I think, all people compete, and therefore all people try to gain social status - which is, inherently aggressive,

 

 

You started off talking about "Thievery, robbery, rape, torture, murder". Moving to "competition" is fine, but let's acknowledge that it's a completely separate topic. I tend to agree with most of your points about competition, but even if you see sports as a surrogate for warfare (I would prefer to say that they spring from the same source), there is a big difference between saying people enjoy watching football and claiming that "war, shooting, weapons, killings, murder is the most popular aspect of both TV/Movies".

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I cannot agree with the statement that most children's games are training to kill. I would say they are much more basic survival training. Hide and seek does not have an objective to attack the seeker (at least how I played it), but requires children to find good hiding spots. Thus it is designed to help children hide in case of an attack. The imagined weapons are, in my opinion, not an expression of the desire to kill, but rather training to defend yourself. I do agree, that these games involve competition and I also agree that many sports are a form of establishing a pecking order. But this does not mean that you would kill each and every one of your fellow males, if you were not depending on them. I think this is a bit far fetched.

 

Many (especially dangerous) competitions also do not aim at debilitating your opponent, but rather improve your own standing among them. It seems similar, but removes the "I want another one to hurt himself" component, as this would (evolutionary speaking) weaken the whole pack and, as a consequence, reduce your own chances of survival. Especially among social animals the strength of the pack is most important, as individuals cannot (or at least aren't very likely) to survive on their own.

 

I fear I have not addressed each point Outlooker made, as there were a lot of points and even though I find this discussion very interesting (albeit Outlookers perspective quite pessimistic and Machiavellian), I have to go, as dinner is ready...

Another aspect I find very interesting in this part of the discussion: Some traits are especially important or considered attractive among a group themselves, but not among individuals of the group they want to attract. One example are beards: They are considered "manly" and the ability to grow a proper beard is considered important among men. Women, however, do not really care for beards. Actually, a ten-day beard is considered most attractive by women. Another example are painted and long nails among women. No man I know would ever say: Wow, look at these beautifully done nails, I should talk to her. Still, women paint and tend their nails, not to impress men, but to impress other women.

 

In general, I agree with Outlooker and Springheel, that there is a lot of competition among humans. However, I would not see every competition as a veiled desire to kill. It is often used for social gain, but the degradation of other people is more a side effect, than a main goal. I rarely do stuff competitively. I prefer to do my own best and try to improve myself instead of showing dominance over other people. And I think many people do. Especially regarding games. If games were always meant to produce winners and losers, the desire for a single player game would not be there.

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If you still perpetuate the evolutionary angle - why does the generic middle class everyday man/woman just wants peace, stability and a decent income to raise a family?

As I understand it, women need two things from men:

Resources (food, protection, housing,...) and good, ideally superior genes.

A woman's ideal reproduction partner therefore would be, translated into contemporary attributes, a very rich man with superior genes (health, height, handsomeness, IQ etc.).

This is not what women really can get - all those traits combined in a single man are so rare that we can imagine such a man to basically not exist.

There are, however, many men with resources (good job usually, and there are even a few million millionaires) OR superior genes.

Because women ideally need both to successfully rise a competitive child (resources for bringing it up well and also having the child carrying good genes), they seem to mostly trying to get a financially at least stable man (who can be of

generally lower genetic quality) and then "shop" good genes by adultery.

This may not be the norm, but it is still widespread. How widespread?

All studies taken about the subject show that the frequency of illegitimate children are a function of social class:

Upper class has about 0.5-2%, middle class 2-5% and lower class 5-30% illegitimate children - the different amounts are probably a result of the fact that the higher the social class of a man, the better his genes on average anyway,

and also the mother has more to lose in terms of resources if she cheats a upper class man instead of a lowly worker.

 

The "peace, stability and decent income" are only desired in the child-rearing phase - to ensure a good development and steady flows of money to rise the child well. BEFORE a woman selects for a man she is much more finding pleasure

in male competition, violence, chaos - because it allows to identify a man with superior ability, and therefore superior genes. If a man became rich by his own work, the competition mostly is already done and won by that man - more of a thing of the past than of the present and the future.

 

 

We're free people after all.

Considering how we're much more advanced than other animals - instinct matters the least. Rationality and empirical evidence, most importantly psychologically makes us choose

I have to disagree:

I think we humans are more automatons with very small amounts of free will.

Basically, we can not want what we want. We can only do or not do what we want, but cannot change what it is that we want.

And the "do not do what we want" - option is very limited by our willpower, which is in notoriously short supply:

You cannot decide what you want in terms of appetite, sexual orientation, if you like a smell or taste or not, if you want to rape a little girl or not, etc. - all you can do is to give in to your urges, or not. But most people cannot resist, and the obesity crisis is a proof of this fact.

Also, generally, I think that people are genetically programmed to seek pleasure and avoid displeasure - and that is the true driving moment of almost all acts they do. Even the whole economy is basically a system to give people pleasure while avoiding displeasures: Products and services that arouse no pleasure in people hardly exist at all.

Mostly (not absolutely) people therefore act and life like "on rails", doing just what gives them pleasure and avoiding things that are painful - while the selector what brings pleasure and what pain is genetically "hardwired" and cannot

be changed by mere willing.

 

 

guys choose girls that are alike their mothers in chracteristics, at the very least we like them more than other girls;

girls choose guys who are like their fathers in characteristics.

Yes, that is true, because organisms "want" to spread their genes, and in sexual selection this is optimally done by finding a mate who has, on average, mostly the same set of genes than oneself.

 

(Important specific exception in humans: Women tend to select men who have a different immune system than themselves, which women detect by smell cues - the microbiome on human skin is a function of the specific immune

system of a human, and therefore different kinds and quantities of bacteria settle on the skin and chemically produce different chemicals and proportions of them from human skin cells and sweat, which leads to each human having

a different smell - that is to optimize sexual selection itself, because it exists - among other things - to mix up the immune system genome of the resulting child so that diseases and parasites cannot easily adapt to the new human's immune system - this is critical because humans have an inter-generational distance of decades, and disease-causing bacteria or viruses, for example, of mere minutes - and therefore many more generations to adapt to a host).

 

Recently it was even shown that most people fall most quickly in love with themselves - if pictures of their own faces are feminized/androgenized by morphing algorithms into the opposite sex (done in a way the test subjects would not

recognize themselves consciously in the morphed pictures).

 

 

Self confidence is not necessarily a sexual-related feat. It's not a turn off/on switch. But it is true that you either have it, or don't.

Nobody likes pushovers.

Self-confidence is a result of personal successes. If one wins or succeeds at something significant, be it a fight, money, a job, education, dating etc. - there is a mood change with more optimistic outlook and increased self-efficacy.

You do NOT "either have it, or don't" - it is a result of one's success. (Sidenote: High testosterone is highly correlated to high self-confidence - but then again being successful, winning in some competition, rises testosterone.)

 

"Pushovers":

It comes down who people desire to have as allies, as friends. We choose friends who can be allies, that is, are rather young (old people die soon and are a bad social investment), competent, strong, smart, resourceful -

like love, friendship is based on personal utility in the future; indeed, "pushovers", that is, weak/stupid/poor/diseased/ugly/etc. humans are a bad investment to make in to keep as allies for potential conflicts or needs in the future,

so people tend to desire to get friends who are the opposite.

 

 

 

Look at it the other way around - do doctors, teachers exist to lower someone's social status? They help to let the weak live, those who under extreme conditions would die.

I have to contend:

Doctors:

I think most people who try to become medical doctors in reality do so for the social status, income and job security.

It's one of the most certain ways to become solid middle class.

You can observe the sexual/social motivation even in university - here in Germany we have a kind of, well, dancing/dating event in universities called "Medizinerball" - it's full of medial students - and, importantly, also full of attractive

females who want to "catch" an aspiring medical doctor - for some reason, engineers or scientists, who also sometimes have such events, are not at all full of those attractive young females looking for a mate ...

 

The same applies for teachers (at least in Germany and some other EU countries) - it's a very well-paid job, with top job security (public servant status) with not much competition in the daily routine - especially women are seeking this

kind of job.

I think neither doctors nor teachers do their jobs altruistically, but mostly for the social status it brings.

 

And that means being in a superior social position over other humans - being socially dominant, which is driven by aggression and therefore a drive to conquer/kill/subjugate - ruling over other people, effectively.

 

 

 

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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As I understand it, women need two things from men:

Resources (food, protection, housing,...) and good, ideally superior genes.

A woman's ideal reproduction partner therefore would be, translated into contemporary attributes, a very rich man with superior genes (health, height, handsomeness, IQ etc.).

This is not what women really can get - all those traits combined in a single man are so rare that we can imagine such a man to basically not exist.

There are, however, many men with resources (good job usually, and there are even a few million millionaires) OR superior genes.

Because women ideally need both to successfully rise a competitive child (resources for bringing it up well and also having the child carrying good genes), they seem to mostly trying to get a financially at least stable man (who can be of

generally lower genetic quality) and then "shop" good genes by adultery.

This may not be the norm, but it is still widespread. How widespread?

All studies taken about the subject show that the frequency of illegitimate children are a function of social class:

Upper class has about 0.5-2%, middle class 2-5% and lower class 5-30% illegitimate children - the different amounts are probably a result of the fact that the higher the social class of a man, the better his genes on average anyway,

and also the mother has more to lose in terms of resources if she cheats a upper class man instead of a lowly worker.

 

The "peace, stability and decent income" are only desired in the child-rearing phase - to ensure a good development and steady flows of money to rise the child well. BEFORE a woman selects for a man she is much more finding pleasure

in male competition, violence, chaos - because it allows to identify a man with superior ability, and therefore superior genes. If a man became rich by his own work, the competition mostly is already done and won by that man - more of a thing of the past than of the present and the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adultery is related to education and more to how that person lives in general. Education at home and education in public institutions as well. It's pretty certain without any study that the higher your education alma meter, the less likely it is you are settled and married. Education takes time as well as a bachelor's, masters or Ph.D.

 

It depends how you explain it. Super big wealth probably means the money isn't clean and a clever man/woman would avoid that excess. How much does a human need for happiness? Life without labour and absolute wealth would be agony without meaning.

 

 

 

 

 

I have to disagree:

I think we humans are more automatons with very small amounts of free will.

Basically, we can not want what we want. We can only do or not do what we want, but cannot change what it is that we want.

And the "do not do what we want" - option is very limited by our willpower, which is in notoriously short supply:

You cannot decide what you want in terms of appetite, sexual orientation, if you like a smell or taste or not, if you want to rape a little girl or not, etc. - all you can do is to give in to your urges, or not. But most people cannot resist, and the obesity crisis is a proof of this fact.

Also, generally, I think that people are genetically programmed to seek pleasure and avoid displeasure - and that is the true driving moment of almost all acts they do. Even the whole economy is basically a system to give people pleasure while avoiding displeasures: Products and services that arouse no pleasure in people hardly exist at all.

Mostly (not absolutely) people therefore act and life like "on rails", doing just what gives them pleasure and avoiding things that are painful - while the selector what brings pleasure and what pain is genetically "hardwired" and cannot

be changed by mere willing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-confidence is a result of personal successes. If one wins or succeeds at something significant, be it a fight, money, a job, education, dating etc. - there is a mood change with more optimistic outlook and increased self-efficacy.

You do NOT "either have it, or don't" - it is a result of one's success. (Sidenote: High testosterone is highly correlated to high self-confidence - but then again being successful, winning in some competition, rises testosterone.)

 

"Pushovers":

It comes down who people desire to have as allies, as friends. We choose friends who can be allies, that is, are rather young (old people die soon and are a bad social investment), competent, strong, smart, resourceful -

like love, friendship is based on personal utility in the future; indeed, "pushovers", that is, weak/stupid/poor/diseased/ugly/etc. humans are a bad investment to make in to keep as allies for potential conflicts or needs in the future,

so people tend to desire to get friends who are the opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you took the utilitarian philosophy? Imho you have to be careful what to believe, esp. dogmatically. You can certainly look long in the pit hole but then it starts looking back as someone said.

Don't agree on that chemical thing. Don't belive that science is just some chemical affecting me. It may partially but not in a way that I have no influence.

One way or another there's another chemical that answers for my own will, thoughts and some unexplained brain procedures, molecule, atoms exchanging that beat the testosterone thing, the instincts. At least by rationality and a clear head about what you want and what you do and where you stand. Nothing more and nothing else. The decision again, belongs to everyone personally. Can't be imposed.

 

 

 

 

(Important specific exception in humans: Women tend to select men who have a different immune system than themselves, which women detect by smell cues - the microbiome on human skin is a function of the specific immune

system of a human, and therefore different kinds and quantities of bacteria settle on the skin and chemically produce different chemicals and proportions of them from human skin cells and sweat, which leads to each human having

a different smell - that is to optimize sexual selection itself, because it exists - among other things - to mix up the immune system genome of the resulting child so that diseases and parasites cannot easily adapt to the new human's immune system - this is critical because humans have an inter-generational distance of decades, and disease-causing bacteria or viruses, for example, of mere minutes - and therefore many more generations to adapt to a host).

 

 

 

 

How can that be proven?

Objectively and consciously I don't "smell" people unless their smell is putting off. It's definitely not determining us liking or not someone.

Moreover how can you determine someone's immune system by smell? It's an entire system! Today you may eat apples, later in the day you can smoke. No way you can find out if you hide the latter.

 

 

 

 

 

I have to contend:

Doctors:

I think most people who try to become medical doctors in reality do so for the social status, income and job security.

It's one of the most certain ways to become solid middle class.

You can observe the sexual/social motivation even in university - here in Germany we have a kind of, well, dancing/dating event in universities called "Medizinerball" - it's full of medial students - and, importantly, also full of attractive

females who want to "catch" an aspiring medical doctor - for some reason, engineers or scientists, who also sometimes have such events, are not at all full of those attractive young females looking for a mate ...

 

The same applies for teachers (at least in Germany and some other EU countries) - it's a very well-paid job, with top job security (public servant status) with not much competition in the daily routine - especially women are seeking this

kind of job.

I think neither doctors nor teachers do their jobs altruistically, but mostly for the social status it brings.

 

And that means being in a superior social position over other humans - being socially dominant, which is driven by aggression and therefore a drive to conquer/kill/subjugate - ruling over other people, effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

Not in my country. Here it's a voluntary thing with a pathetic pay. So half are corrupt and the others are decent people.

 

Moreover what's the effort and status correlation of a doctor/teacher to that of a lawyer, judge, prosecutor et cetera? It's harder to be a doctor than a lawyer, that's 100%.

 

It's dangerous to generalize like this because not all people automatically have a nice job and a wonderful life. Someone wants to do more and feel that what they do still has meaning. Like join a job in a hot zone and help people in need through the Red Cross. Arguably you can die there and you won't gain anything. But even if you do, at least you do it for the right thing and you'll be a better professional after you come back than if you hadn't done it compared to peers. Not everyone stays in the comfort zone. And it says something when women do it. It's a personal decision. In a developed society we ought to take responsibility for what we do and say. We're not animals and it's repulsive to keep that angle IMHO. It's counterproductive and demotivating and it doesn't help. Take it easy!

 

Like a good old movie says:

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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@ Outlooker: I think you focus too much on basic instincts. While I cannot argue against them being present, they do not influence people in the modern world, as much as you state. And what goes for a suitable mate is much more than a simple "can sustain me" and "has a good gene pool". If this would be true, no man receiving Harzt IV or other social benefits would be able to reproduce as these do not have any money and (also according to your reasoning) are more likely to have a less good gene pool. In contrast, these are the ones who are more likely to have a lot of children.

 

I find your view on friends also very Machiavellian: The friends I chose and kept as friends were mostly because they were there (like people sitting beside me in school or university), who had similar interests or were just nice people. I could not name one person, whom I befriended, because I thought I would benefit from this friendship in any other way than having an additional friend.

 

The discussion about free will is very, very difficult. The "man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants" (Schopenhauer, if I remember correctly) does, as you said yourself, not mean that you have to give in to the thing you want. If you want to boil it down to biochemistry, then you "want" to do anything that rewards you with a discharge of dopamine. Sugar has a similar effect (hence the obesity problem), as has alcohol and sports. Basically everything that is fun actually is fun, because you brain rewards you with a dopamine rush. After that it is a matter of intelligence to determine, which of these activities will kill you after a short while and from which you will benefit.

 

@Anderson: The correlation between the immune system and the smell of a person is actually true. I would have to reinvestigate, to give any specific sources, but I am sure that there were studies about this. I actually conciously smell people, ever since I read the book "The Perfume" by Patrick Süßkind and know of three people that I cannot "smell". Even the slightest bit of sweat on these people almost makes me retch. Apart from my personal experience, there are also a lot of studies on how smell influences the attractiveness of people. However, this can also be very situational. E.g. women will like or dislike some smells depending on where in their menstrual cycle they are. People are much more complex and can perceive much more things than we can imagine. But most of this, we perceive only subconciously.

 

Regarding doctors and teachers: I also think, that you cannot generalize. In Germany a common doctor working in a hospital may be paid quite good. However, compared to what they have to achieve, it is not that much. First they have to complete their studies, which takes the longest among all study paths in Germany, and then they work horrible shifts, until they get to a position, that slowly becomes better. It is definitely no job I would like to do. When (or rather if) they finally get to open their own practice, they can earn quite good, but still will be self employed and have to keep their own books etc. I have a dentist's practice in the building where I live and see light there late in the night or on weekends on a regular basis. Apart from that there are the voluntary workers Anderson already mentioned. They work under horrible conditions to help other people and mostly go completely unrecognised.

Teacher in Germany is, truly, a safe job. But they do not get the respect, that they got a couple of decades (or centuries) ago. Look at the high schools (in Germany especially: Haupt- /Gesamtschulen): Most pupils are disrespectful little twats. And if the pupils are fine, you have to deal with overprotective parents, who think it is your fault, if their child got bad grades. And the work hours are also not as good as people imagine. My brother-in-law is a teacher and there is rarely a weekend, when he no leaves directly after lunch, because he has to grade tests or prepare his classes or something similar. Also a job, I do not envy.

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Social cooperation is visible in plenty of mammals that don't need to specialize. You could argue that they don't really "desire cooperation" either, but are just doing it because they have to, but you can make that claim about virtually anything. "Humans don't really desire food, they just eat it because they have to. Humans don't really desire sex, they just do it because they have to." etc

Humans are not free to desire anything - as posted above, we can do what we want, but we cannot want what we want, only give in to our wants or not, which takes willpower, which is very limited in supply, and therefore people, sooner or later, act out most of their genetically pre-programmed desires.

Desires are programmed as actions or states that arouse pleasure.

And I would argue that cooperation itself does not arouse pleasure in humans, only (positive) results of cooperation, things like security, food supply etc.

Question:

If an average human would become "Supreme King of The World" - getting everything he wants from his fellow humans in an absolute way - would he still want to "cooperate",even if he does not need to?

I think not.

Therefore, I think cooperation is sought by humans only as remedy to individual weakness and lack of resources or abilities, not as a positive value on its own - more of a tool, a crutch, because external circumstances make cooperation the

look like the best route to go.

If a human would be "perfect" - all-powerful, all-able, without the need of others - there would be no cooperation with him.

Even "sub-perfect", that is, just especially strong, tall, intelligent, beautiful, competent and/or rich people exhibit lower agreeableness and willingness for cooperation than humans who, based on their lower attributes, must show more humility and therefore increased willingness to cooperate - powerful people tend to be more commanding and demanding, be it a young female supermodel or a young male multimillionaire, compared with their peers with much lower social status.

 

Evolution is generally going to select for those individuals who desire to do they things they need to do to survive. Humans with a gene that conferred no interest in eating or having sex generally died out.

"...they need to survive." - AND successfully reproduce - survival alone is worthless. Organisms have to pass natural and sexual selection, failing in either one means termination of the genetic line.

And while some utopia-stuff like "Communism" may somehow be able to deal with natural selection (resource inequality), the problem of sexual selection is still crucial:

wealth could be distributed somehow, but sexual reproduction can not - especially not with the most valuable mates, because humans differ in genetic quality, and therefore the resulting offspring will differ in resulting genetic

quality, too. There is roughly one woman for every man; but there are not nearly enough top-attractive women for every man and vice versa - therefore, social competition, which is basically a more or less hot war for reproduction

with the few superior gene-carriers, must go on - and it should, because it is, evolutionary, a life-or-death struggle.

 

 

 

You started off talking about "Thievery, robbery, rape, torture, murder". Moving to "competition" is fine, but let's acknowledge that it's a completely separate topic.

No, I think I can prove that "tievery, robbery, rape, torture, murder" and "competition" and "social status" are very much the same thing.

 

The need for individual success natural and sexual selection - BY ANY MEANS - is already discussed above.

Some additional points:

Do you are pro-rape? No?

But rape is often a damn good evolutionary strategy for men, at least has been (the advent of abortion and contraceptives complicate the matter - but men of today are the way they are because men with their traits/instincts successfully reproduced in the past, by methods who are not seen as particularly nice by many today) - consider two ideas:

 

- Do you like being alive? What if you are only alive "illegally" or "immorally", because among your ancestors was a man who only reproduced because he stole/murdered/raped? (Actually, we can statistically be certain each of us has

many such ancestors) - do you want to kill yourself now because you are not "lawfully" alive? The ugly truth of life and reality is this: Reality does not care for morals and laws, only for results - success- by any means necessary.

 

- Genghis Khan is probably the most successful man in history - by executing a most ruthless, but also most efficient sexual strategy: Kill/enslave/castrate all other men outside your tribe, rob all fertile females you like and rape them and store them in a harem for later re-impregnation. A straightforward, basically uncomplicated undertaking - as long as it is successful - but so it was.

Genghis Khan owned a personal harem with 50,000 women he robbed from millions of men whom he mostly just killed.

His sons also were allowed harems of comparable size.
Result:
"8% of the men in a large region of Asia (about 0.5% of the world total)" are his descendants. He was sexually the most successful man known, by a long shot.
It's not cooperative, not nice, not civilized - but one cannot argue that it outcompetes flower bouquet gifts, dating, marriage and rising of one or two children by a rather spectacular degree.
But now to why I am so often mentioning competition and social status.
I recently figured out that humans are actually vampires!
Before you send me brochures for the loony bin, let me explain my metaphor (which is frighteningly literal):
(There are three points that further that idea, the third probably the most interesting.)
1.)
Money has many properties, and one way to see money is as a representation of human work, life time, hardship or human energy.
Those who have lots of money and do not need to work, or even make very much money with low or no personal effort, can buy from other humans basically their life time and energy.
If you have practically unlimited money (say you won 100M$ in the lottery), you can consume the energy and life time - work - of other humans without trading your own life time and work and energy in exchange -
if one has only enough money, an individual human can consume the equivalent of many human lives in terms of life time and energy without giving back any of his own (he cannot buy life time literally to have a longer life itself,
but can buy the equivalent of, say, thousands of years of human life/lifetime/work/energy in goods and services).
Because money can make money out of money, there is a vampiristic element in capital income, interests, rents, profits and dividends.
2.)
We'll see what exactly comes from that.
Another point is organ donation - clearly vampiristic in some way; and knowing that rich people can order specific organs from tens of thousands of Chinese prisoners who are not executed but kept alive for the financial value of their
organs by the Chinese government - as soon as a paying customer is found they are executed and harvested for their organs - the vampirism argument is furthered, especially in combination with point 1) (first a human would get the
equivalent of life time - money - from other humans, and then he would use that money to actually and literally increase his own life-time by buying replacement organs when needed).
3.)
Not to the connection with social status.
People desire to live long and healthy. Four of the central needs to achieve that goal, as identified by medicine, are
1)No smoking 2) No drinking 3)Avoiding being overweight 4)regular exercise
Those four points are, if applied to the general population, robust predictors of health and long life - individually, and more so in combination.
That is true - but not the whole truth. There is a factor - social status - that is even much more predictive of long and healthy life than all of those four factors combined!
You may say something along the lines that rich people can buy better food and living circumstances and therefore live longer. But the isolated effect of money seems very much - and very surprisingly - irrelevant!
In comes the the
I'll give a simplified short account:
British rail workers - studied for health over decades - those guys earn low wages - therefore 1) cannot buy much to smoke 2)cannot buy much booze 3)cannot buy much food (stay slim) 4)exercise regularly (walk the railways for miles to check and replace rails and railway switches) - then some of them get promoted to overseers - now they do not walk the railway anymore, can sit in a nice warm room all year and are paid much better - result: 1)they buy more tobacco 2)they buy more booze 3)they eat more and become fat 4)they do not "exercise" anymore - now what? According to theory, they should fall more ill and die sooner than their "healthily living" non-promoted pals;
this did NOT happen - instead, those promoted to overseers lived up to 30% longer than their peers, and not only longer, but did not fall sick and diseased (infections, strokes, heart attacks, cancer etc.) - they lived much longer AND
enjoyed better health!
Weird, isn't it? Their health-related lifestyle worsened in every way, yet they were in spectacularly better health?
Why could that be?
Scientists, also based on status-related observations in chimps, wondered if the social status alone - as an isolated factor - could be behind the observed effects? But how to measure it? There would be needed a human society
in that personal wealth is not related to social status - can something like this exist and be found? It turned out it can - in some tribes in Papua New Guinea, and in some tribes in the Amazon jungle, for example the Tsimané people of Bolivia.
Long story short: Social status in those tribal people has no influence on access to care/property/food etc. - one could almost say they are "natural communists" - everybody gets the same share of food from successful hunts,
everybody is cared for with the same effort when falling sick, and everybody has the same housing and property (exception: personal trophies from war and hunting small enough to carry on person all the time).
But while there nobody is "rich or poor", those tribes still put huge importance on social status - usually based on personal success in tribal warfare and hunting ability. The outward sign of social status, or "face" is not more than the
particular sitting order in their main house or around the fire - and the prestige and social influence that sitting position brings with it.
And the influence of that social status on the longevity and health of the tribesman can be observed in a longitudinal study - because war and hunting luck changes, position on the table/fire changes, and therefore social status fluctuates.
So Western scientists started expeditions and brought lab equipment - they tested, over many years, the health parameters of the tribespeople (blood pressure, C-reactive protein, cortisol as stress indicator, immune system indicators,
infection and disease rate and duration, pulse rate at rest, even sleep quality (REM phases) and many other parameters directly connected to health, and, of course, health related survival rate (some tribesmen would be killed in war or during hunting, those were excluded of course)).
Result:
Social status is an INDEPENDENT predictor of health and longevity - and a much stronger predictor than the known four points above combined!
This compares well with other observations:
Chimps (98+% genetically identical to humans) showed huge sensitivity to social status; for example male chimps kept for a few months isolated from the other chimps by a transparent barrier - provided with the same food etc. - but impossible to mate with other chimps and (in chimp "society") therefore lowest social status - DIED just from the artificially enforced lowered social status (they were well fed and cared for, but showed signs of increasing stress and
anxiety, later even aggression, and their biomarkers (cortisol etc.) went all through the roof.)
Chimps are highly susceptible to social status in terms of learning and bartering:
Scientists changed pictures of low- and high- status chimps for "chimp money" (grapes or small amounts of fruit juice) - the chimps traded much more "chimp money" for pictures of chimps who were high-status; and no money at all
for pictures of low-status chimps of the group (Remember us humans? Boulevard press? Pictures of supermodels, actors, sports stars and politicians, businessmen etc. - but nobody pays for pictures and stories about garbagemen
and ugly or old females?).
Another similarity: Learning, or better put, "adoption speed of ideas":
Scientists taught chimps a very valuable skill (for chimps) - how to open CapriSun juice-bags with a pointy straw and suck the delicious juice with it.
Complication:
If they showed how to do it to low-status chimps, it took MONTHS until the skill was learned by all the chimps in the group.
If they showed it to high-status chimps, it took mere HOURS before all chimps of the group learned to open the bags correctly and suck the juice.
Now compare to us humans - what direction do fashions go on the social ladder? Always top to down, too! Good manners and etiquette, table customs, taste in art and fashion - all those things go down from the aristocracy/upper class to the middle class until they hit the lower classes much later, if at all.
There are other interesting explanations for other observations regarding the huge impact of social status:
Powerful people tend to live longer and more healthy - even if they have extremely unhealthy habits!
Two examples:
German chancellor Helmut Schmidt - for over half a century, until his death by 96, he smoked multiple packs of cigarettes daily - and boozed up regularly, and never exercised.
British Winston Churchill - famous for "no sports" - was an extreme alcoholic, obese, and a smoker - lived to 90.
Both men (and many other powerful, that is, with superior social status, people) lived very long- and healthy lives - they were mentally and physically in very good shape, despite their old age.
Another aspect:
Social status of the father influences the ratio of male/female offspring.
Evolutionary psychologists developed the hypothesis that male and female children have not the same reproductive value - boys are better for spreading genes if the father is of high social status, and girls would be better if the father is of low social status - because a boy would probably inherit the winning genes and traits of his father, and, at least theoretically, could impregnate high numbers of women (many of those would cheat their partners to access the superior
genes of the boy) - while a boy from a man with low social status would inherit the losing genes of his father, therefore would be able to mate with fewer females, or none at all - so "nature" would play it safe with low-status fathers and have them get more girls than boys (because girls get practically always to reproduce, because they are sexually desirable to men independently of their success in social competition EDIT: but girls cannot have the potentially huge number of offspring boys can have because girls always must use their own body for reproduction, while boys can utilize the bodies of countless women and are therefore, theoretically, not much limited in the number of offspring they can have).
They checked their hypothesis - by counting the children of the people in the "Who's Who", an publication that lists the dominant people of the countries of the world (military, science, politicians, business, religious leaders etc.).
And they counted the sex rate of the children of those men who could be said are those with highest social status globally - the US presidents.
They found:
In the average population, father's girl:boy proportion is 100:100.
In the men listed in the "Who's Who" it is 100:115.
In the US presidents the proportion is 100:150.
Somehow, "nature" managed to indeed have socially superior men have more male offspring!
We see:
Social status is a centrally important way to increase one's life time, health and even reproductive success!
And social status is, because it is relative, positional (one can only get what others must lose) quite a bit vampirical!
I think that the huge importance of social status also gives insight why people show certain behaviours, especially those who are directed of pushing other people down in the social hierarchy, for example by
slavery, exploitation, mobbing, bullying and all the other socially aggressive behaviours - because of the relative nature of social status, one can not only rise by becoming better, but also by making others
deliberately worse! It could be argued that mobbing or bullying are tactics to transfer the "good energy" (health, reproduction,...) of others to oneself by aggressively pushing them down - taking their "positional
energy" for oneself, which, because it translates into health, life time expansion and mating success, could be called "vampiric" in nature.
(Damn, I wrote too much, I am so bad at being concise, and I wonder if that stuff realyl interests anybody - sorry for grammar mistakes and such, I kind of used all this writing also to order my own thoughts;
I hope you gained some new perspectives at least.)
Edited by Outlooker

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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I cannot agree with the statement that most children's games are training to kill. I would say they are much more basic survival training. Hide and seek does not have an objective to attack the seeker (at least how I played it), but requires children to find good hiding spots. Thus it is designed to help children hide in case of an attack. The imagined weapons are, in my opinion, not an expression of the desire to kill, but rather training to defend yourself.

When I see young mammals, of course including humans, I see children's games as preparation for mounting a mate (you can see this, for example in young dogs, cats, rabbits and weasels, and definitively many more species, and one can observe this in children, especially in Brazil or Africa); generally seen in young predators (cats, wolves, weasels etc.) is also hunting play (the young predators "play" hunting each other, lurking, ambushing and even partially apply the deadly kill bite to the throat of the "prey" (but in young animals exists an instinct called "bite inhibition" - they put their fangs to the throat of their siblings, but do not bite)).

 

"Defending yourself" is, practically, the same competence like murder: Being good at killing.

 

And I think children's play IS deliberately about killing - I see ambushes, no defensive hiding - they lurk, wait for their "prey" to be in an exposed position, and then attack.

Also remember the use of killing tools in toy versions - the wooden sword, the play guns - they are not needed for "defensive hiding".

I can see no deliberate defense - I see attack preparations.

Many (especially dangerous) competitions also do not aim at debilitating your opponent, but rather improve your own standing among them. It seems similar, but removes the "I want another one to hurt himself" component, as this would (evolutionary speaking) weaken the whole pack and, as a consequence, reduce your own chances of survival. Especially among social animals the strength of the pack is most important, as individuals cannot (or at least aren't very likely) to survive on their own.

The competence to kill translates (here) into social status. In tribespeople, being allied with a strong warrior is of paramount importance. Killing prowess translates into ones's "standing among men." (= social status).

 

The "social pack" you speak of is called "group selection" - indeed, on the level of the group (tribe, clan, country, faith, state) those groups who show quasi-altruism and cooperation indeed (proven by mathematical models) outcompete

other groups who lack those traits - but only on the level of group selection. Inside the groups are still individuals, and those are under pressures of individual selection, that is, natural and sexual selection on the individual level:

When the inter-group fighting is over, the intra-group fighting still takes over fully again.

 

One example are beards: They are considered "manly" and the ability to grow a proper beard is considered important among men. Women, however, do not really care for beards. Actually, a ten-day beard is considered most attractive by women. Another example are painted and long nails among women. No man I know would ever say: Wow, look at these beautifully done nails, I should talk to her. Still, women paint and tend their nails, not to impress men, but to impress other women.

This is about signalling through ornamentation - humans use ornamentation of their bodies very often, think about tattoos (originally a signal of high immunocompetence in tribespeople who live in damp and disease-prone areas like jungle - every skin incision carries a big risk of infection and death - by deliberately cutting your skin and opening it to pathogens a human signals health, a strong immune system - and therefore his high value as a possible mate or group member).

Beards in men are a signal of age (having survived long enough to grow a beard signals high overall fitness) and is also a testosterone indicator. Additionally, a beard hides facial mimics, making a bearded man appear more serious

and stoic - instinctively seen as dominant and strong.

The thing about the fingernails is about social status - a human signals that he is so high-ranking that he needs not to do manual work - because any serious work with one's hands would damage or destroy the fingernail ornamentation.

Women who use this try to indicate being of high social status; this alone can be a survival advantage (criminals and even rapists tend to avoid high-status women because they think that such women have a powerful and therefore dangerous male protector) - and I have the suspicion that women try to attract men with higher social status as mates, because signalling higher social status in women often if effective in repelling low-status men who do not even try

to initiate flirting with such women because they are "out of their league" - women have an instinct called hypergamy, and usually react with disgust at attempts of males of lower social rank than themselves to initiate mating.

 

In general, I agree with Outlooker and Springheel, that there is a lot of competition among humans. However, I would not see every competition as a veiled desire to kill.

The losers in the social warfare not only are more likely to die, they are also more probably the end of their genetic line - they not only face death, but complete evolutionary extinction.

As I explained above, winning in the social warfare is crucial for health, longevity, reproduction, quality of one's children, the amount of time one is in good health (living long may be worthless if one is mentally or physically crippled) -

what to some seems to be harmless social competition leads few to live well and survive and further or even improve their genetic line, while losers live miserably and short and get terminated.

This is a zero-sum game: We can only win what others lose, and therefore it produces losers and extinction.

Winning in the game of life automatically (at least in the past and today) means to kill the losers, directly - or indirectly.

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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I think you focus too much on basic instincts.

Learning about this stuff, learning about other people, and also realizing more about my own motivations and inner workings I came to think that people mostly act on feeling (instincts), not thinking.

Actually, I think, in to quote

Thomas Sowell "The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling."

 

Thinking, rationality is only switched on in most people for very short amounts of time - mere seconds often.

If they want to find out what to do, what to eat, what to choose as entertainment etc. - people ask their feelings, not their intellect. They just activate their rational abilities for a short moment to navigate to that food,

or plan how to get the money for it, for example.

Consumer decisions are so predictable and controllable by advertising because most people use feeling for their decisions, not thinking.

That Apple is the biggest company in the world, being valued at closely 1000 billions (not millions, billions) is a result of Apple's supreme ability to form people's emotions, not the result of the ability to appeal to

their rationality.

 

Actually I can't make sense of people and what the world is like if I see most people as rationals - it all makes sense only by explaining what I observe by that most people are emotional robots instead of thinking robots.

I could more deeply explain and substantiate this, but it would be a long post, and I fear I bore most people anyway and just clutter the forum.

You may check this for some insights, but by itself it maybe leads not to much insights:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

 

 

If this would be true, no man receiving Harzt IV or other social benefits would be able to reproduce as these do not have any money and (also according to your reasoning) are more likely to have a less good gene pool. In contrast, these are the ones who are more likely to have a lot of children.

Many people want sex and reproduction even when they cannot get ideal partners, and quite a lot even accept very low-quality ones - not because they want, but because this are the only options they have, because they have lost the

social war for social status.

Low-quality food is still better than starving to death.

Even a loser man can still assist in child bearing, especially in the critical toddler phase. Later the man is less necessary, especially in Germany, because the government supports mothers - and as would be predictable from this,

divorces and cheating women etc. after the toddler phase, when the child is more stable and easier to care for, is especially frequent - the man is still not needed anymore, not for assistance, not for money - so many women just get rid of him.

Both the lower class and upper class have most children (absolutely the lower class, because the upper class are so few people). The middle class is indeed rather infertile - maybe because it is over-strained - being the only class

which produces meaningful economic surplus and being heavily taxed (the middle class generates almost all of the profits of the upper class and the social welfare monies that allow the lower class to survive - and reproduce).

The real upper class has often the most children per family - for example, our government minister Von der Leyen gave birth to seven children; the average number of children of DAX board members is four; Volkswagen's patriarch

Piech has fatehred twelve official children, and there are serious rumors about many illegitimate more.

It's the middle class that kind of dies out - maybe because its members struggle to keep up their social status, therefore working longer and doing more status consumption, therefore having less time and resources for children.

 

 

 

I find your view on friends also very Machiavellian: The friends I chose and kept as friends were mostly because they were there (like people sitting beside me in school or university), who had similar interests or were just nice people. I could not name one person, whom I befriended, because I thought I would benefit from this friendship in any other way than having an additional friend.

Friends, just like lovers, are chosen for similarity and usefulness as allies -"because they were there/sitting beside me in school" - similarity (you have to deal with similar problems and therefore an help each other and you need

such a person and also should invest in exact such a person as future ally as long as you are there in school or university.

"similar interests" - similarity

"just nice people" - similar genes (we find people with similar genes more trustworthy and react more altruistically to them), interests, needs

I never said that this selection principle is deliberately conscious - just finding somebody "nice" is not just so, but works based on rules that are genetically hardwired (and possibly partially modified by earlier experiences).

Just look not only at the friends you did get - also think about the friends you did NOT get - and why?

 

- free will- If you want to boil it down to biochemistry, then you "want" to do anything that rewards you with a discharge of dopamine.

Basically everything that is fun actually is fun, because you brain rewards you with a dopamine rush. After that it is a matter of intelligence to determine, which of these activities will kill you after a short while and from which you will benefit.

There is a famous experiment with rats who directly got a wire implanted in the pleasure center in their brain.

Every time they pulled a lever, a tiny current was induced, stimulating their pleasure center.

From that time on, all the rats did was pulling that lever - they did not sleep, eat, drink anymore, only pulled that lever, until they fell over and died from exhaustion.

 

And intelligence will not help you with that problem of addiction to pleasure.

IQ is mostly about pattern recognition, how good one is at gaining insights.

But that helps not in actually doing anything one, thanks to IQ, knows what needs to be done:

IQ can help you figure out why you are fat, or otherwise addicted and help you figure out what needs to be done to improve the situation.

But the execution of those insights needs willpower - a very different competence.

 

It turned out that resistance to temptation - scientifically also called consciousness - is a personality trait even more predictive of life success than IQ, demonstrated by the "Marsh mellow experiment" :

Children were given a treat (a marsh mellow) - put in front of them, sitting on a table, "alone" (secret camera) in the room, while the researcher told the children he would leave for 15 min, and would be back after that time-

and if the kid had not eaten the treat by then, it would receive a second one (testing for willpower and rationality and delayed gratification ability/discipline).

Those children who could resist the temptation of being alone with the treat, it smell in their noses, were found to have vastly better life outcomes decades later - even better than what would be predicted based on their

IQ scores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment

 

Regarding doctors and teachers: I also think, that you cannot generalize. In Germany a common doctor working in a hospital may be paid quite good. However, compared to what they have to achieve, it is not that much.

Yes, if it would be easy everybody could do it and the job would provide no increased social status. It is often a hard and difficult job - which deserves respect and good compensation - but exactly for that reason people try to become

doctors - for the social status it brings, not primarily because the want to help people.

IIRC it was the banker Morgan who said "Humans have always two reasons for doing anything - a good reasons and a real reason."

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

"When outmatched... cheat."— Batman

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- Do you like being alive? What if you are only alive "illegally" or "immorally", because among your ancestors was a man who only reproduced because he stole/murdered/raped? (Actually, we can statistically be certain each of us has

many such ancestors) - do you want to kill yourself now because you are not "lawfully" alive? The ugly truth of life and reality is this: Reality does not care for morals and laws, only for results - success- by any means necessary.

 

- Genghis Khan is probably the most successful man in history - by executing a most ruthless, but also most efficient sexual strategy: Kill/enslave/castrate all other men outside your tribe, rob all fertile females you like and rape them and store them in a harem for later re-impregnation. A straightforward, basically uncomplicated undertaking - as long as it is successful - but so it was.

Genghis Khan owned a personal harem with 50,000 women he robbed from millions of men whom he mostly just killed.

His sons also were allowed harems of comparable size.
Result:
"8% of the men in a large region of Asia (about 0.5% of the world total)" are his descendants. He was sexually the most successful man known, by a long shot.
It's not cooperative, not nice, not civilized - but one cannot argue that it outcompetes flower bouquet gifts, dating, marriage and rising of one or two children by a rather spectacular degree.

 

 

You did indeed write a lot and I feel there's just a main thing about utilitarianism from Bentham or John Stuart Mill that you came to like very much. It's an endless argument.

 

But, what you mentioned here about Genghis Khan is actually a deeper thing than it seems. The culture of rape, domination, humiliation and misery that these Asian conquerors created still runs genetically in the Muscovite, Russian country. You will see that genetically, even though descendents of the Tatars or the Pechenegs invaded Eastern Europe into modern Ukraine, Romania, Poland - they still never quite succeeded as they did in modern Russia to practically enslave them and humiliate them as a people for a few centuries into submission, huge fees as vassals and continuous cycles of raiding and capturing.

 

And the result is a genetically modified Russian who today - the continental Russian will want to humiliate in the same way and destroy neighbouring nations into submission. This is the fundamental difference and indicative of their, unfortunately inferior mindset as a country. An individual Russian is a great guy, he is good to spend time and drink with, but as a country Russia is a disaster. It's a national tragedy that the country of Dostoievski descends into mediocrity and medieval obscurity in boyarishnik - and it is a boyarishnik civilization.

That is why countries such as Ukraine have a chance to break away from this perpetual darkness of an Asian mindset. I don't know if the evolution theory is right or not, and don't really care - but progress lies not in submission to our instincts even if it's biologically and functionally right, but to do the right thing in the end.

Kiev is distinctly different from it's Muscovite tataro-mongol neighbor in that it did not inherit these genes.

 

In conclusion, the rape argument as functional is a trait of the most primitive people in history. Genghis Khan succeeded to conquer but never to keep it all together. It's like the Sith having vigour and hate but eventually destroying each other. And that's what Russia is genetically (unfortunately). You can't possibly think that submission, domination cycles are the way to progress. It's the way of Asian primitive warlords in Afghanistan, of dictatorships in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgistan and elsewhere.

Civilization has a way of developing in a globalized world in a way we have no way of seeing. Countries like the ones mentioned and like North Korea will be ostracized and they have no place in this world, lest they doom their neighbours efforts for development and a better future. I will never accept this, even in an abstract theoretical hypothesis because this line of thought is against everything of rationality, of reason and even common sense.

Some felt what the future should be, visionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - they created and shaped the future with things we never thought we needed. But in the end even a primitive layman mercenary in Syria/Donbass uses a smartphone. And there's nothing we can do about it.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I can definitely (and unfortunately) agree on the point that people decide mainly on feeling and not on reason. The most recent events in the UK (Brexit) and the USA (Presidential Election) are very good indicators. Actually, in most election campaigns (which are just another form of ads) target the emotions of the audience. This is one reason, why the AfD is on the rise in Germany, despite obvious fascist tendencies. They appeal to fears and emotions of the populous and consequently get voters. I think of myself as a quite reasonable person. This has the consequence that I think of most other people as moderately reasonable. I am disappointed on a regular basis :(

 

Your reasoning about social ascent and descent are very interesting, but as it actually is quite extensive, I cannot address each point you made. In general, I think it is still a very pessimistic view and at least to the point that each social ascent has to inexplicably cause another's descent, I cannot agree. At least not on an absolute basis. Relatively, it is true. If I finish my studies and get a PhD, I raise myself up, but I do not reduce another person. The other person's achievements are still their own. And depending on the peers, many might argue that getting your PhD is a waste of time. Your social standing is very difficult to measure in the modern society, as there are too many fields in which to compete. Another more extreme example would be: In your World of Warcraft clan, you may be successful and most popular, i.e. have a high social status, while your surrounding may view you as a loser, who spends most of his time in front of the PC. The question in this case is: Which opinion matters to you. I don't care if some "rich snob" thinks I am a failure, as long as I succeed in my own goals.

In a secluded tribe in the Amazon you don't have that many groups. Accordingly, it is easy to evaluate social success. In our society, it is much more difficult to do so.

 

And the rape and violence culture may have marked evolutionary success in the past. But in modern society, it is frowned upon. And I am glad that these values have changed. It is not the pure physical dominance that determines reproductive success. I recently heard a very nice quote on this topic (Doctor Who S10E03): "Human progress isn't measured by industry. It's measured by the value you place on a life. An unimportant life. A life without privilege. The boy who died on the river, that boy's value is your value. That's what defines an age. That's what defines a species."

I think that this quote describes the development into our modern society compared to the violence based one described by you, quite well.

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This has indeed become quite que extensive read, and Im afraid I havent read all the arguments myself. But I seem to get this feeling that, for some, it seems like it is an undesirable thing that we are biological beings... This always amuses me. Its a fact that our every thought must come from our body. From our structures, our matter. No body, no thought, no feeling, no anything. I wonder why people would think their reasoning isnt simply a part of biology as well, subjected to the same influences and dynamics as every other proccess in the body? Yes, that means we are animals, Anderson. What would you have us be, plants, minerals? Human beings are animals, constrained and built by the same system that created everyother animal, evolution. It seems logical to me that this inhereted structure (dna), is the source and framework of all our thoughts and feelings. This is no more or less noble or pessimistic, its just the way it is. If you ground human beings on earth and study other animals we are closely related to, you'll find that a lot of our instincts, wants and contradictions are shared, are the same. Perhaps you think your complicated academic work you do everyday is something no "beast" could do, but the reason you do it for, at the very botton, comes down to sustaining yourself, so you can feed yourself, house yourself, walk proudly among your peers, and every animal can understand that, and looks to do the same, every day. We all understand that seen by this logic, our lives are very basic. We look for whatever it is our bodies tell us is important. For us, that means confort, sustainement, pleasure, and yes, challenges, risk, and even danger sometimes. We evolved to want certain things, and we will try to achieve them, if we can. Its funny to think of a thought experiment, to discover if we can control our minds, or if its the other way around. Think of a color, and then say it out loud. Or perhaps a name. You'll see that whatever color it was, whatever name came up, you didnt choose it, it came to you, for unknown reasons. You had no power to decide what it was. You can however, say white, instead of the actual color you thought of (say it was black). In a split second you decided to do the opposite of what your brain actually wanted you to do. Maybe thats what we perceive as reasoning. This ability of evaluating your reflex responses and seeing if they apply to the situation, if some other response is needed. But what is really cool I think is the question of wether this conscious choice is really that conscious, or if it came to you, just like the first want, which you supressed, came to you. Either way, wants is what we have. No way we will ever understand why we want the things we want unless we study the animal human being.

Edited by RPGista
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Who decides that we're animal? It's a highly technical question lending itself to be explained by scientists, biologists. I presume you insist on it because you like the evolutionary theory? I'm just questioning why it matters for our overall determinism and cosmological view of the world? Just a more cynical and less outgoing view of life. :D

At the end of the day certain questions can't be answered reliably, views change, science evolves. We went down from exploring space to hunting fake news stories. Quite a dumb down if you ask me on humanity's ambitions. Let's just do our jobs, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 

Btw I'm not against the evolution theory. It's just more questionable that we specifically evolved from apes. I mean what are the odds that's true based on fossil and bone DNA analysis? Geological research is more reliable.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Very interesting thoughts. Did you know that there have also been studies that showed that nerve signals are sent to muscles in order to do something, a very short time before the brain showed the respective signals linked to the decision to do it. This is one of the reasons, why I wrote earlier that discussions about free will are very difficult. It is very difficult to determine when a decision is made and what counts as a "concious" decision at all.

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Very interesting thoughts. Did you know that there have also been studies that showed that nerve signals are sent to muscles in order to do something, a very short time before the brain showed the respective signals linked to the decision to do it. This is one of the reasons, why I wrote earlier that discussions about free will are very difficult. It is very difficult to determine when a decision is made and what counts as a "concious" decision at all.

 

Without getting too technical, AFAIK it's just a combination of habit, genes and force of will (character traits, developed or inherited). As our knowledge of psychology, especially of psychiatry and most importantly of the brain is still in its infancy, I think we should never defend any theory too dogmatically anyway, esp. if I'm not in the field and all that jazz.

 

By the way, about the value of your doctor's degree - there is none, at least not in and of itself! It is a beggining into the academic field. Getting more advanced in it assumes continuing to do more articles, research and such. That's the most important part to make of the entire process! After all, as someone said "[...] if you want to know more about something, teach about it or write a book about it."

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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