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human condition


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#1    MiskatonicGrad

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

A co-worker and I have differing opinion on this and I thought it would make for a intresting disscusion.

co-workers point of view: We humans if given free reign to do as we would like with no oversite (i.e. goverment,church,or someother institution) would come to the "rational" idea of peace and love caring for one another, respecting each others property. also if any "non confomist" arise they can be handled in a peaceful diplomatic way. His thought is humans are taught that they are violent and if we break that cycle we will at some point in time have a utopian society?

My point of view: completely opposite we humans are wired to be violent. we created those institutions hold our violent nature in check. given the whole of human history that is the conclusion I come too.


differing opinions welcome are we violent by nature or learned behavior?

is there a time in human history (recorded) that we weren't violent and lived in relative peace?

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#2    GoSC

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

I believe you both are right that is both natural and learned.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#3    libstaK

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

I don't know because we haven't seen a successful example of human society without a deity  even in Communist countries.

I do think humans are social animals for the most part and capable of evolving thought and wisdom for the sake of their own security and that of those they care for.  Philosophically, many philosophers have broken through to the deeper levels of human understanding without referring religious teachings or deity and often by choosing that both are irrelevant to the wisdom they are exploring.

It's a thought provoking question and I hope some respond with their ideas too.

Edit to add: I've really only addressed the institution of religion here I am aware you expand this to include political and social institutions also.

I need to work through the idea more deeply regarding human evolutionary patterns and behaviour I think.

Edited by libstaK, 15 January 2013 - 11:34 AM.

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#4    Jinxdom

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

I hate the anti-violence brigade. We are violent by nature simply for the fact that we need be able to defend ourselves.(Rolling over and dying is a bad way to pass on your gene's and protect your family). Personally though I'd rather have somebody join my side then have to kill them. Simply safer to protect my family that way.

What is learned is not being violent. It's taught and put in to our heads that protecting ourselves is for somebody else to do it.
Honestly I view pacifists with more disgust then people who admit there is a time and a place for violence.


#5    GreenmansGod

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 15 January 2013 - 11:31 AM, said:

I don't know because we haven't seen a successful example of human society without a deity  even in Communist countries.



And we have seen many societies ruled by deities or religion which are just as bad or worse. If you look into Age of Enlightenment philosophy you will find foundation of our modern secular democracies. IMO secular government (religion not baned but irrelevant) is the only way that human rights and freedom of and from religion can be maintained.

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#6    libstaK

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:07 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 15 January 2013 - 12:01 PM, said:

And we have seen many societies ruled by deities or religion which are just as bad or worse. If you look into Age of Enlightenment philosophy you will find foundation of our modern secular democracies. IMO secular government (religion not baned but irrelevant) is the only way that human rights and freedom of and from religion can be maintained.
Yes I agree, government definitely needs to be secular but the question of the OP is would human beings have developed into a peaceful society if they were not governed in some way by either a religion or political institution or is the natural human instinct more geared toward dog eat dog/survival of the fittest? Without laws or religion/god would we have become civilised or would we be more civilised than we are now if we were allowed to develop without laws or deity/religion.

I don't think I worded my original response correctly tbh.  I really don't know what our true natures are because all my experiences have been based on human behaviour that is socialised by religious or political institutions.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#7    spartan max2

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

thomas jefferson said somthing along the lines of. The fact that we have goverment shows alot about us as a people, if there was a better way to live we would be doing it.

Basicaly he is saying if people could live better without a goverment that we would already of been doing it by now.


Edit: and my opion to the question your actually asking. I think it is both at times. But i feel the inherent violence is onyl out of need to survive or some pyschological insecurity or irational fear.

Edited by spartan max2, 15 January 2013 - 01:40 PM.

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#8    Babe Ruth

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

View PostMiskatonicGrad, on 15 January 2013 - 10:40 AM, said:

A co-worker and I have differing opinion on this and I thought it would make for a intresting disscusion.

co-workers point of view: We humans if given free reign to do as we would like with no oversite (i.e. goverment,church,or someother institution) would come to the "rational" idea of peace and love caring for one another, respecting each others property. also if any "non confomist" arise they can be handled in a peaceful diplomatic way. His thought is humans are taught that they are violent and if we break that cycle we will at some point in time have a utopian society?

My point of view: completely opposite we humans are wired to be violent. we created those institutions hold our violent nature in check. given the whole of human history that is the conclusion I come too.


differing opinions welcome are we violent by nature or learned behavior?

is there a time in human history (recorded) that we weren't violent and lived in relative peace?

I think it is both violent by nature AND learned behavior.  Violence does beget violence, and some are more prone to violence while others are prone to peace and harmony.

Good topic! :tu:


#9    Hasina

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

When I get angry I want to hit something but I've been taught to control my temper. It's both. I am a naturally violent creature but I am taught how to express and control that violence in a constructive manner that doesn't end up with me punching bears.

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#10    J. K.

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

Isn't the fact that violence exists indicative that we have violent tendencies?  If we were totally peaceful by nature, how would violence have arisen?

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#11    Drayno

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:07 AM

Violence is apart of instinct... An integral aspect of survival.

Humans, through the lulls of modern society, seldom face their animal nature..

I believe the human condition automatically guarantees violence because humans are simply organisms trying to define their world - that is ever socially changing. And that humans attempt to find an ounce of truth in a Universe complacent about their existence. All the while, we're all just simply continuing homeostasis.

Edited by Eonwe, 19 January 2013 - 08:08 AM.

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#12    spud the mackem

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

If we had not become Top Predator,we wouldn't have survived.So violence is second nature to us.

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#13    Drayno

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

View Postspud the mackem, on 19 January 2013 - 10:04 AM, said:

If we had not become Top Predator,we wouldn't have survived.So violence is second nature to us.

Very lucky for us we utilized crude tools and strategy of numbers to out last other predators.

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#14    _Only

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

View PostMiskatonicGrad, on 15 January 2013 - 10:40 AM, said:

My point of view: completely opposite we humans are wired to be violent. we created those institutions hold our violent nature in check. given the whole of human history that is the conclusion I come too.

I don't think we're wired to be any way. We adapt and evolve to our settings and situations over time. We're starting to move away from needing violence to survive in the wild like the old days. Now we seem to have the past trait hanging around, but who knows how long it will remain if we come to a point in our human race that we become able to completely survive on technology and brain power alone.

Quote

is there a time in human history (recorded) that we weren't violent and lived in relative peace?

Is there a time in human history that the need for it never existed? Not yet. But I believe it's possible that time can arrive some day.

And I agree with your friend that we have been taught that violence is a solution to our problems. Yet still, while our countries spend their time killing each other for different views and beliefs, we have people like me, who have absolutely no want to hurt anyone, and strongly dislike even the idea of violence against each other. Am I a super evolved being? No, I just don't have a need for it in my daily life. But in addition, somehow I seemed to have been taught along the way (or realized) that violence isn't the way to solve problems.

So if we are given a situation where violence is no longer needed in man's life, and the hold on the belief that it's the way to solve problems loses grasp, will we still keep the traits of our bodies responding to anger in a way that prepares our body to be violent? I don't think so. If fish suddenly made it to land and no longer needed to swim in water, would their fins remain after long? No, they'd adapt to their new living situation physically over time, and replace the fins with legs.

I'd imagine that if violent tendencies were no longer needed, and old ways were given up as we evolve scientifically, psychologically, and in society, old traits would give way to new, useful ones.

Is violence in our nature? Of course.

Does our nature remain unchanged? No way.

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#15    _Only

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:46 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 15 January 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

Honestly I view pacifists with more disgust then people who admit there is a time and a place for violence.

That makes no sense. You "hate" and are personally disgusted by pacifists because you feel there is a need for violence. But the only need for violence is to protect yourself.. from violence. Because people try to find other ways to deal with a situation than you, you hate them and are disgusted? That sounds like a personal problem.

Edited by _Only, 21 January 2013 - 12:47 AM.

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