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Question about Human Nature...


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#1    ambelamba

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:35 PM

Maybe I was subliminally influenced by Desmond Morris, even more than I realized. I used to loathe his view on human nature, being a Christian. Now I have a deep respect for his views and definition on who and what we are. Ok, I already feel the hate and pity. :D

Is it a human nature/instinct to establish the social pyramid, climb onto the social ladder, and stomp on the little people, WITHOUT CONSCIOUSLY REALIZING IT? Maybe it's just me, but after observing the society and politics throughout my lifetime, I noticed that people are controlled by subconscious instincts and programmings even more than they would ever realize.

Are we programmed to establish the pecking order and gripe on people with lower hierarchy, WITHOUT CONSCIOUS CHOICE? And do people's behaviors are entirely steered by such non-conscious instinct/conditional reflex?

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#2    bubblykiss

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:57 PM

Put 30 strangers aged 3 to 5 years together on a playground and see if they establish leaders, bosses or otherwise organizers.

We are programmed to live together and cooperate. We are herd animals that swarm together when danger presents itself.

It is neither good nor bad. It is just a product who what we are ape-cows.

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#3    ambelamba

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:03 PM

View Postbubblykiss, on 12 July 2014 - 09:57 PM, said:

Put 30 strangers aged 3 to 5 years together on a playground and see if they establish leaders, bosses or otherwise organizers.

We are programmed to live together and cooperate. We are herd animals that swarm together when danger presents itself.

It is neither good nor bad. It is just a product who what we are ape-cows.

Ape-cows?

Wow...I never heard of such precise description of humans before...

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

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#4    and then

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:25 PM

I have always thought that it isn't a "natural" instinct to put the "other" first.  It is something we have to cultivate over time and learn to value.  Maybe that's because we are going against an evolutionary imperative of putting our needs first for survival?

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  for what could be, the darkest age...
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#5    karmakazi

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:32 PM

View Postbubblykiss, on 12 July 2014 - 09:57 PM, said:

Put 30 strangers aged 3 to 5 years together on a playground and see if they establish leaders, bosses or otherwise organizers.

We are programmed to live together and cooperate. We are herd animals that swarm together when danger presents itself.

It is neither good nor bad. It is just a product who what we are ape-cows.


I like "pork-cow" personally, but that's probably only funny if you get the reference ;)

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#6    karmakazi

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:40 PM

View Postambelamba, on 12 July 2014 - 09:35 PM, said:

Maybe I was subliminally influenced by Desmond Morris, even more than I realized. I used to loathe his view on human nature, being a Christian. Now I have a deep respect for his views and definition on who and what we are. Ok, I already feel the hate and pity. :D

Is it a human nature/instinct to establish the social pyramid, climb onto the social ladder, and stomp on the little people, WITHOUT CONSCIOUSLY REALIZING IT? Maybe it's just me, but after observing the society and politics throughout my lifetime, I noticed that people are controlled by subconscious instincts and programmings even more than they would ever realize.

Are we programmed to establish the pecking order and gripe on people with lower hierarchy, WITHOUT CONSCIOUS CHOICE? And do people's behaviors are entirely steered by such non-conscious instinct/conditional reflex?


It's a lot easier to notice this behavior if you're on the outside.  To some degree it's a fear response.  In teenage girls, its fear of losing a boyfriend or fear of losing popularity.  In CEO's its fear of loss of power.  In most other people, there's a fear of not belonging or of being ostracized.  Most people aren't really aware of this fear or their tendency to act as part of a group...so when you point it out they can get defensive and basically tell you you're crazy or wrong.

I don't think behavior is steered entirely by sub-conscious signals but it is a large factor.

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#7    GreenmansGod

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:58 PM

I always seem to be the stompee rather than the stomper. I don't think it all that cut and dried, I think people play different roles in society, otherwise people wouldn't help each other as much as we do.  People make a big deal about competition and it is a part of it, but for overall survival cooperation seems to be the better instinct.  Some people are just selfish  jerks and they know what they are doing when they stomp the little guy.

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#8    Hammerclaw

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:14 PM

If you're the quiet, non aggressive introvert in a group you will encounter intermittent aggression from other members until you consistently make the appropriate counter aggressive response. It's the way the group toughens up it's members. I was like that in grade school, and all it took was one fight that ended inconclusively, to end what, at the time, seemed just bullying. I also enjoyed the benefits of group protection, when the group rallies to the defense of a member who is aggressed against by an outsider.  This is all in retrospect. I really didn't understand they were my friends. To me, then, they were just a necessary evil to be endured.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8),

#9    ambelamba

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:21 PM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 12 July 2014 - 11:14 PM, said:

If you're the quiet, non aggressive introvert in a group you will encounter intermittent aggression from other members until you consistently make the appropriate counter aggressive response. It's the way the group toughens up it's members. I was like that in grade school, and all it took was one fight that ended inconclusively, to end what, at the time, seemed just bullying. I also enjoyed the benefits of group protection, when the group rallies to the defense of a member who is aggressed against by an outsider.  This is all in retrospect. I really didn't understand they were my friends. To me, then, they were just a necessary evil to be endured.

Sinful nature? I am tempted to agree on THIS issue.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#10    spartan max2

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:34 PM

I pretty much agree with karamazki.

I think its not as much the need to be controlled as much as its out of fear.

But then again I follow the philosophy that the root of everything evil is fear.

" I imagine that the intellegent people are the ones so intellegent that they dont even need or want to look "intellegent" anymore".
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#11    gatekeeper32

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:09 AM

Hmm. Human nature.  Just read Lord of the Flies.


#12    rodentraiser

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:03 AM

Most animal "societies" have a pecking order of some kind, from wolves to horses. No reason to think humans wouldn't have the same thing. I think compassion has to be learned. Some leaders learn it, some don't. I'm always reminded of that line in Star Trek, where when the old leader dies and the new one steps up, he hesitates to do a killing he previously had supported. He said (and this is as best as I can remember it), "Maybe to be (king), is to see things in a different way."

There was a special on a chimpanzee group, I think it was, and when the alpha male made things unbearable for the others, a group of the other chimpanzees got together and trounced him. He became an outcast. There have been a lot of studies done on animal groups and how acting nice gets you more in the long run.

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#13    Whisperer

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:15 AM

No, I don't believe so as such an attitude is directly related to the political structure of the society, to my mind.

Land lord cultures (Monarchical) would produce such behavioural mechanisms as a survival strategy within its own structure...
Territorial cultures (Anarchists) go nowhere near such behaviour characteristics as a survival mechanism.

Monarchical would demand the the 'little' man lie to save its life in order to continue..
Anarchical would demand the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in order to continue..

Social climbing can only be attributable to Monarchical societies..

As we evolve into a world culture, such would be the inevitability of all but we haven't got there yet so if you feel a need to **** on your fellow man, your from a monarchist society...and bred to do so...

Good old evolution....

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#14    redhen

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:54 AM

View Postambelamba, on 12 July 2014 - 09:35 PM, said:

Maybe I was subliminally influenced by Desmond Morris, even more than I realized.

Nothing wrong with Desmond Morris. We are after all just Naked Apes. His book The Human Zoo is another good read, explaining the problems we see in cities. This should be no mystery anymore, there are lots of studies in ethology showing the same behaviour in other primates.

Here's a link to a documentary based on his book The Human Zoo.

Edited by redhen, 13 July 2014 - 03:54 AM.


#15    6.6.6

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:30 AM

take reality tv as a good example of structure of the social ladder!
Like the tv show big brother, where 20 or so strangers are placed in a house for a few months and kept under constant public observation by hidden cameras! This in my opinion is the best way to observe how we interact and develope are social positions!

Everybody is friends in the first week, then groups devide in accordance to gender, social class and character,  a few introverts remain on there own and a few extroverts try and maintain to be part of every group, then good allies are forged with in the certain groups, and hated enemies are made between people of opposing groups, b****ing and arguing becomes a daily routine,  and a pecking order is eventually established!
Some people rise as natural leaders and the rest take there positions as the sheep!

All the cities and towns in the world are a perfect example that we are social heard animals, but the curtains, doors and big fenced gardens prove that we are are also creatures of seclusion and privacy,

And with out any doubt some are born to climb the ladder and lead while the rest are content to follow!





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