Policing the people

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Policing the people

Post by TheNextPrez2012 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:01 pm

Afghans angry over the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church stormed a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing seven foreigners, including four Nepalese guards.

These are the same people that are trying to convince us that their religion is not violent in nature.

Muslims are just like blacks.
Both groups try to put forth this facade of being decent but neither group wants to police their own people to stop the problems.
Neither group deals with problems and if confronted with the fact that their people are causing problems, both groups say they are "offended"

In reality this "offense" is really just a reaction of being confronted with facts and trying to hide it from society.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:15 pm

Moved to Religion (even though it certainly is a Vent).



TheNextPrez2012 wrote:Afghans angry over the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church stormed a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing seven foreigners, including four Nepalese guards.

And beheaded to boot.



TheNextPrez2012 wrote:These are the same people that are trying to convince us that their religion is not violent in nature.

Some may debate that in here.



TheNextPrez2012 wrote:Muslims are just like blacks.
Both groups try to put forth this facade of being decent but neither group wants to police their own people to stop the problems.
Neither group deals with problems and if confronted with the fact that their people are causing problems, both groups say they are "offended"

Debatable again.

Blacks certainly need to look in their own mirror when it comes to their own social issues.



TheNextPrez2012 wrote:In reality this "offense" is really just a reaction of being confronted with facts and trying to hide it from society.

Well, it basically goes like this:

A crazy right wing preacher does some silly stuff. Then the crazy Muslim radicals do the same.

It boils down to religion and it's intolerance.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by TheNextPrez2012 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:08 pm

I never see the NAACP complain about any of the arrests of their people. They tend to just let it slide or act like they are doing something by holding candles on the corner...
The only time you'll hear any bitching from the black organizations is when they are offended that people are making up snow days on MLK day.
They'll actually say "You don't respect OUR holiday"

If you're black and use that terminology then I suggest you control YOUR people and maybe people might start respecting YOUR holiday

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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:02 am

Religion, far from being the civilising influence that people think it is, actually makes people barbaric.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:38 am

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Religion, far from being the civilising influence that people think it is, actually makes people barbaric.

I disagree with this statement. Religion doesn't make people barbaric - that is simply an excuse some use to justify the barbarity that is innate in all people. Human nature has not changed one whit since the dawn of mankind.

As for religion's civilizing influence, were it not for the Catholic Church, we would not today have available to us the many great Greek and Roman works of philosophy, science and art that the Church preserved. I would submit that were it not for the Church the Dark Ages would have been much, much darker and lasted much, much longer than they did.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:41 pm

dblboggie wrote:As for religion's civilizing influence, were it not for the Catholic Church, we would not today have available to us the many great Greek and Roman works of philosophy, science and art that the Church preserved.
They destroyed as much as they preserved.

dblboggie wrote:I would submit that were it not for the Church the Dark Ages would have been much, much darker and lasted much, much longer than they did.
"The Dark Ages" and the kingdoms therein were getting along just as well without the Catholic church. Kingdoms were formed, alliances made, laws created, social hierarchies established, beliefs and rituals formulated.

Unfortunately that 1950s approach to the early medieval period (that before the missioniaries arrived people just killed each other and wallowed in their own faeces directionless and Jesus-less) still permeates. But it is wrong and it is a view created by Christian propaganda that Jesus = civilisation.

And it was the Christian church, and their opposition to technological development, that kept us in the dark for so long. Look how quickly their iron fist collapsed when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.

Don't get me wrong. The Catholic church did a lot of good, particularly in the early medieval period, but they are not responsible for everything good that came out of the period, nor are they responsible for vanquishing everything bad. Many of these social structures existed before the early medieval kings converted.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:20 pm

I mean, it takes an organised, civilised, surplus society to be able to create the delicate art of the Anglo-Saxons, to honour their leaders with ship burials and burial goods like this, to carve ritual objects like this and to create such lavish objects and coins.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by kronos on Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:23 am

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Religion, far from being the civilising influence that people think it is, actually makes people barbaric.

Perhaps it is people who make religion barbaric.

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Re: Policing the people

Post by kronos on Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:23 am

TheNextPrez2012 wrote:Muslims are just like blacks.

Generalize much?

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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:25 am

kronos wrote:
The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Religion, far from being the civilising influence that people think it is, actually makes people barbaric.

Perhaps it is people who make religion barbaric.
Possibly, but I do not believe that humanity is inherently bad, or, for that matter inherently good. We are what evolution has made us and evolution has made us capable of both of altruism and self-interest, of both compassion and cruelty.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:28 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
kronos wrote:
The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Religion, far from being the civilising influence that people think it is, actually makes people barbaric.

Perhaps it is people who make religion barbaric.
Possibly, but I do not believe that humanity is inherently bad, or, for that matter inherently good. We are what evolution has made us and evolution has made us capable of both of altruism and self-interest, of both compassion and cruelty.

Humanity is not inherently bad, but self-interest is the absolute driver of all behavior. Survival of self is the single instinct that we can trace back to humanities origins (as it is with all species of life for that matter). The avoidance of pain is another key instinct, as is the seeking of pleasure. These 3 key instincts can easily come into conflict when people congregate and live in groups. Evolution has not eliminated these key instincts - and if we are to survive, it never will. Thus, we must create societal constructs that allow us to live together with other humans in a manner that promotes not just self-interest, but the common interest as well.

Yes, a person is capable of altruism and compassion, but people are a whole different matter. People are what make laws necessary.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:03 pm

dblboggie wrote:Humanity is not inherently bad, but self-interest is the absolute driver of all behavior. Survival of self is the single instinct that we can trace back to humanities origins (as it is with all species of life for that matter). The avoidance of pain is another key instinct, as is the seeking of pleasure. These 3 key instincts can easily come into conflict when people congregate and live in groups. Evolution has not eliminated these key instincts - and if we are to survive, it never will. Thus, we must create societal constructs that allow us to live together with other humans in a manner that promotes not just self-interest, but the common interest as well.

Yes, a person is capable of altruism and compassion, but people are a whole different matter. People are what make laws necessary.
Well no actually, Darwin identified altruism and co-operation as key factors in humanity's evolution and I've discussed altruism in the animal kingdom before now. That is the key misunderstanding that is spread about evolutionary theory in an attempt to fling mud at Darwin: that survival of the fittest means dog-eat-dog between individuals. Both in On the Origin of Species and On the Descent of Man he points out that it is about survival of the fittest species. In the latter he discusses human conscience at length, something that Ben Stein chose to distort in his mock documentary "Expelled". Co-operation is small groups (tribes) led to hunter-gatherer societies, co-operation in larger groups led to the Neolithic revolution (first agriculture) and co-operation in larger groups led to cities (surplus society) and countries. These roots were set down way before we had organised religion.

Religion may have rubber stamped co-operation as "god did it" but clearly co-operation,altruism and morality are causes, not an effect of our evolution.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:36 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:Humanity is not inherently bad, but self-interest is the absolute driver of all behavior. Survival of self is the single instinct that we can trace back to humanities origins (as it is with all species of life for that matter). The avoidance of pain is another key instinct, as is the seeking of pleasure. These 3 key instincts can easily come into conflict when people congregate and live in groups. Evolution has not eliminated these key instincts - and if we are to survive, it never will. Thus, we must create societal constructs that allow us to live together with other humans in a manner that promotes not just self-interest, but the common interest as well.

Yes, a person is capable of altruism and compassion, but people are a whole different matter. People are what make laws necessary.
Well no actually, Darwin identified altruism and co-operation as key factors in humanity's evolution and I've discussed altruism in the animal kingdom before now. That is the key misunderstanding that is spread about evolutionary theory in an attempt to fling mud at Darwin: that survival of the fittest means dog-eat-dog between individuals. Both in On the Origin of Species and On the Descent of Man he points out that it is about survival of the fittest species. In the latter he discusses human conscience at length, something that Ben Stein chose to distort in his mock documentary "Expelled". Co-operation is small groups (tribes) led to hunter-gatherer societies, co-operation in larger groups led to the Neolithic revolution (first agriculture) and co-operation in larger groups led to cities (surplus society) and countries. These roots were set down way before we had organised religion.

Religion may have rubber stamped co-operation as "god did it" but clearly co-operation,altruism and morality are causes, not an effect of our evolution.

Please, don't get me wrong, I am not arguing against Darwin or evolution here. I am only pointing out what history makes all to painfully clear; and that is that man (as a species - not as an individual) will seek to satisfy self-interest first and foremost - if cooperation appears to be the path of least resistance or the most successful way of securing self-interest, then cooperate they will. If moral behaviors are a means of escaping pain, moral behaviors will be engaged in. And I would submit that altruism is also practiced (on average) only after immediate self-interests have been satisfied. Or if altruism seems a way of securing self-interests, then altruism will be practiced. None of this has anything at all to do with any organized religion.

So, to be quite clear, I am not saying that altruism or co-operation are not factors in man's evolution. But they did not cooperate just for the sake of cooperating. They cooperated to secure self-interest. I am only pointing out that the key driver here is self-interest. I am quite sure that our early ancestors learned that self-interest could be more successfully satisfied by cooperation.

Of course, this doesn't mean this hold's true for every single person. There is that guy who will fling himself on the live grenade to save his fellow soldiers; that apparently selfless person who would give a person the shirt off his back; the individual who will subordinate self-interest for the sake of the greater good. But these are individuals. Man as a group however needs laws to ensure that naked self-interest does not devolve into chaos and mayhem.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:26 am

If you think that self-interest is the only motivating factor (even when self-interest is served through co-operation), then please explain why a rat would refrain from doing something that would cause pain to another while he would receive no punishment for doing so? Or why a monkey would pick up a token that is dropped by another monkey, place it into a slot that it has figured out will result in food, and allow that other monkey to have that food, even though he will not gain personally from doing so? Or why individual wolves who cheat at play-fighting are ostracised from the group when in the "dog eat dog only" explanation of evolution (that nobody has ever argued for), anything goes for the good of the individual? These things do not always benefit the group or the species.

Perhaps that is why some elements of the right wing do not like evolution, they find it too Communist Very Happy
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Re: Policing the people

Post by bigger_guns_nearby on Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:13 am

kronos wrote:
TheNextPrez2012 wrote:Muslims are just like blacks.

Generalize much?

My first thoughts too.

Seriously, what a ridiculous thread.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:56 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:If you think that self-interest is the only motivating factor (even when self-interest is served through co-operation), then please explain why a rat would refrain from doing something that would cause pain to another while he would receive no punishment for doing so? Or why a monkey would pick up a token that is dropped by another monkey, place it into a slot that it has figured out will result in food, and allow that other monkey to have that food, even though he will not gain personally from doing so? Or why individual wolves who cheat at play-fighting are ostracised from the group when in the "dog eat dog only" explanation of evolution (that nobody has ever argued for), anything goes for the good of the individual? These things do not always benefit the group or the species.

Perhaps that is why some elements of the right wing do not like evolution, they find it too Communist Very Happy

I did not say self-interest was the only motivating factor, I simply pointed out that it is the most prominent and important feature of human nature. You argue against history if you believe otherwise. The countless wars we've seen throughout mankind's history should be proof enough of the preeminence of self-interest. After all, mankind is not the same as rats or monkeys or wolves.

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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:01 am

dblboggie wrote:I did not say self-interest was the only motivating factor, I simply pointed out that it is the most prominent and important feature of human nature.
I know what you're saying, and I'm disagreeing in the strongest possible terms. I'm saying that our development has been driven by the dichotomy between selfish and selfless actions. When we act entirely selfishy, we destroy ourselves through wars or destruction of our environment to the point that it becomes useless (Tragedy of the Commons again). When we act entirely selflessly, we end up dying out.

The "might is right" and "dog eat dog" approach to history may have suited imperialism and 20th century nationalism, but it ignores human capacity for altruism - to do good things for no potential benefit to the individual. That is where Darwinian evolution provides an explanation: survival of the whole community through the genetic diversity of the individuals that make it up.

dblboggie wrote:After all, mankind is not the same as rats or monkeys or wolves.
Did you read the article I cited?
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:38 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:I did not say self-interest was the only motivating factor, I simply pointed out that it is the most prominent and important feature of human nature.
I know what you're saying, and I'm disagreeing in the strongest possible terms. I'm saying that our development has been driven by the dichotomy between selfish and selfless actions. When we act entirely selfishy, we destroy ourselves through wars or destruction of our environment to the point that it becomes useless (Tragedy of the Commons again). When we act entirely selflessly, we end up dying out.

The "might is right" and "dog eat dog" approach to history may have suited imperialism and 20th century nationalism, but it ignores human capacity for altruism - to do good things for no potential benefit to the individual. That is where Darwinian evolution provides an explanation: survival of the whole community through the genetic diversity of the individuals that make it up.

Again, this is simple self-interest - individually or collectively - and by this I do not mean "might is right" or "dog eat dog," those are your words not mine. One needn't exercise "might is right" or "dog eat dog" to realize self interest. We have indeed evolved ever more creative ways to realize self-interest while serving the greater good of the community and the nation. But we still have countless millions who are seeking their self-interest at the expense of others all over the world. You say "our development has been driven by the dichotomy between selfish and selfless actions," but I would submit that selfless actions are the by-product of the destructive forces unleashed by unbridled self-interest which then comes back to bite the perpetrator, and not the product of a warring "dichotomy" between selfish and selfless impulses. People acting solely on self-interest will (over time) will learn that acting on self-interest alone will not secure self-interest and will seek to cooperate. But self-interest must still be fulfilled just for survival alone! Eventually one must satisfy their self-interest or else die.

And this "tragedy of the commons" seems shot through with all sorts of assumptions based on the squishy "science" of psychology and even philosophy. And in the end, it is all about how we can "coerce" people not have too many children, which means finding ways to force (indirectly) "choices" on people to refrain from indiscriminate breeding.

You have repeatedly cited this paper as something apparently authoritative and yet as near as I can tell, this is far from settled science. And there is certainly nothing in this paper that refutes the importance of self-interest as a motivating force in man's activities. In fact, much of the paper seems directed at finding ways to reign in self-interest.

Am I missing something here?

dblboggie wrote:After all, mankind is not the same as rats or monkeys or wolves.
Did you read the article I cited?[/quote]

Let me say that I took a crack at it. I've probably gotten a 1/3 of the way through it. But after the "tragedy of the commons" paper, I just ran out of time to give my undivided attention - I've a lot of homework and related reading to do constantly if I'm going to keep my GPA in the "Deans List" arena.

The paper is interesting, at least that of it that I've read, but let me just ask you - what point were you trying to make with it? Had it to do with the evolutionary basis for behaviors once considered exclusive to mankind, such as compassion, charity, cooperation, etc.?

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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:15 pm

dblboggie wrote:Again, this is simple self-interest - individually or collectively - and by this I do not mean "might is right" or "dog eat dog," those are your words not mine.
Yet your implication was strongly suggesting of those terms.

dblboggie wrote:One needn't exercise "might is right" or "dog eat dog" to realize self interest. We have indeed evolved ever more creative ways to realize self-interest while serving the greater good of the community and the nation. But we still have countless millions who are seeking their self-interest at the expense of others all over the world. You say "our development has been driven by the dichotomy between selfish and selfless actions," but I would submit that selfless actions are the by-product of the destructive forces unleashed by unbridled self-interest which then comes back to bite the perpetrator, and not the product of a warring "dichotomy" between selfish and selfless impulses. People acting solely on self-interest will (over time) will learn that acting on self-interest alone will not secure self-interest and will seek to cooperate. But self-interest must still be fulfilled just for survival alone! Eventually one must satisfy their self-interest or else die.
I have read through this about five times now... this is gibberish.

dblboggie wrote:And this "tragedy of the commons" seems shot through with all sorts of assumptions based on the squishy "science" of psychology and even philosophy. And in the end, it is all about how we can "coerce" people not have too many children, which means finding ways to force (indirectly) "choices" on people to refrain from indiscriminate breeding.
Well, no it isn't. It is about how we are destructive when we act entirely selfishly. When common land (or any resource) is used by a community to pasture their livestock (or otherwise shared equally), their is potential for selfish acts in hoarding that resource to the detriment of others. When all users attempt to squeeze as much as they can out of that resource (by adding extra livestock in this case), they will destroy the productivity of that resource. Only through agreement not to over exploit can that resource continue to be used by those people and their descendants.

dblboggie wrote:You have repeatedly cited this paper as something apparently authoritative and yet as near as I can tell, this is far from settled science.
"As far as you can tell" according to what evidence? The article was written 42 years ago, yet it is still cited in social studies and by anthropologists studying failing societies in the past. It is an important piece of work. Thats not to say it is without its critics, but it is foolish to dismiss it because it fails to appeal to an individual's pre-supposed prejudices.

dblboggie wrote: And there is certainly nothing in this paper that refutes the importance of self-interest as a motivating force in man's activities.
What I have been arguing from the start is the notion of altruism. One individual acting selfishly would destroy the resource yet the individuals choose not to. Is that really so difficult to understand?

dblboggie wrote:The paper is interesting, at least that of it that I've read, but let me just ask you - what point were you trying to make with it? Had it to do with the evolutionary basis for behaviors once considered exclusive to mankind, such as compassion, charity, cooperation, etc.?
Basically yes, that altruism and selflessness are ingrained in our evolution, that we do things for no potential benefit for the individual something that you dismissed with "we are not rats, monkeys or wolves". Like it or not, we are animals and we share a common ancestor with all of these creatures.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:36 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:Again, this is simple self-interest - individually or collectively - and by this I do not mean "might is right" or "dog eat dog," those are your words not mine.
Yet your implication was strongly suggesting of those terms.

You may have read it that way, but that is not the way that I meant it.

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:One needn't exercise "might is right" or "dog eat dog" to realize self interest. We have indeed evolved ever more creative ways to realize self-interest while serving the greater good of the community and the nation. But we still have countless millions who are seeking their self-interest at the expense of others all over the world. You say "our development has been driven by the dichotomy between selfish and selfless actions," but I would submit that selfless actions are the by-product of the destructive forces unleashed by unbridled self-interest which then comes back to bite the perpetrator, and not the product of a warring "dichotomy" between selfish and selfless impulses. People acting solely on self-interest will (over time) will learn that acting on self-interest alone will not secure self-interest and will seek to cooperate. But self-interest must still be fulfilled just for survival alone! Eventually one must satisfy their self-interest or else die.
I have read through this about five times now... this is gibberish.

And what do you call this "dichotomy between selfish and selfless" impulses? By this theory, altruism and self-interest sprung into existence simultaneously and were at war with one another. I posit that this is not the case; that self interest was key driver from the beginning, that the will to survive at all costs took precedence over everything else and that overtime survival (by the realization of self-interest), as self and as a species, was better accomplished by the adoption of cooperation and altruism. I do not believe there was ever a war between these two impulses - selfish and selfless. If you see that as gibberish, then please point me to the cite that proves your point. You say our development was driven by this dichotomy (selfish and selfless). I say our development was driven by the urge to survive (self interest) alone. That all subsequent behaviors somehow contributed to survival (self interest) both as individuals and as a species.

Please tell me how that is "gibberish?"

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:And this "tragedy of the commons" seems shot through with all sorts of assumptions based on the squishy "science" of psychology and even philosophy. And in the end, it is all about how we can "coerce" people not have too many children, which means finding ways to force (indirectly) "choices" on people to refrain from indiscriminate breeding.
Well, no it isn't. It is about how we are destructive when we act entirely selfishly. When common land (or any resource) is used by a community to pasture their livestock (or otherwise shared equally), their is potential for selfish acts in hoarding that resource to the detriment of others. When all users attempt to squeeze as much as they can out of that resource (by adding extra livestock in this case), they will destroy the productivity of that resource. Only through agreement not to over exploit can that resource continue to be used by those people and their descendants.

I will not lie, there is much in that paper that I agree with. Clearly it makes points that are entirely valid and we can see that in the history of legal and regulatory developments in the West. But the end of the paper makes it clear that it's main purpose has to do with global population, and the supposition that there is no technical solution to overpopulation. However, the native populations (not aboriginal) of the developed Western nations of earth are not growing (except in the US, and that is very, very low growth). The more technologically, politically and economically advanced a nation becomes, the lower the reproductive rate becomes. This has been true going back to ancient civilizations. In ancient Rome, there were laws enacted to encourage Roman families to reproduce more. You should know this.

The problem lies not in developed nations but in third-world nations that reproduce prodigiously despite lacking the resources to support their populations. The lack of stable and corruption-free (relatively) political and legal systems, rights to property and other basic freedoms ensures those nations will continue to suffer from ails of a third-world nation.

Meanwhile, we in the West are feeding ourselves just fine. And I see no point, even in the distant future (given we correct our current economic path) that we will not. Indeed, technology gains in farming and plant genetics seem to be making this "tragedy of the commons" paper not so relevant where technology is free to develop (advanced Western nations) and more a concern in third-world nations.

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:You have repeatedly cited this paper as something apparently authoritative and yet as near as I can tell, this is far from settled science.
"As far as you can tell" according to what evidence? The article was written 42 years ago, yet it is still cited in social studies and by anthropologists studying failing societies in the past. It is an important piece of work. Thats not to say it is without its critics, but it is foolish to dismiss it because it fails to appeal to an individual's pre-supposed prejudices.

I don't dismiss it out of hand (as you will see above), but this is a very squishy "science." Sociology, psychology, philosophy... this is the stuff of this paper. It makes some very excellent points, but it also has it's shortfalls. Of that there can be no question.

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote: And there is certainly nothing in this paper that refutes the importance of self-interest as a motivating force in man's activities.
What I have been arguing from the start is the notion of altruism. One individual acting selfishly would destroy the resource yet the individuals choose not to. Is that really so difficult to understand?

No, this is not hard to understand at all. All I am saying is that altruism is an outgrowth of self-interest, not an independently developed instinct or impulse.

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
dblboggie wrote:The paper is interesting, at least that of it that I've read, but let me just ask you - what point were you trying to make with it? Had it to do with the evolutionary basis for behaviors once considered exclusive to mankind, such as compassion, charity, cooperation, etc.?
Basically yes, that altruism and selflessness are ingrained in our evolution, that we do things for no potential benefit for the individual something that you dismissed with "we are not rats, monkeys or wolves". Like it or not, we are animals and we share a common ancestor with all of these creatures.

I submit that we do nothing for no potential benefit as a species. Individuals, yes, groups no. I say that altruism is an outgrowth of seeking to survive by satisfying self-interest.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by kronos on Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:23 am

dblboggie wrote:No, this is not hard to understand at all. All I am saying is that altruism is an outgrowth of self-interest, not an independently developed instinct or impulse.


dblboggie wrote:I submit that we do nothing for no potential benefit as a species. Individuals, yes, groups no. I say that altruism is an outgrowth of seeking to survive by satisfying self-interest.

AIUI, this is correct. From an evolutionary standpoint (which seems to be what you're discussing), altruistic behaviors, however self-sacrificing they may seem, always ultimately benefit the individual's reproductive fitness; thus, their evolutionary basis is selfish, even if their manifestation appears selfless.

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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:33 pm

kronos wrote:
dblboggie wrote:No, this is not hard to understand at all. All I am saying is that altruism is an outgrowth of self-interest, not an independently developed instinct or impulse.


dblboggie wrote:I submit that we do nothing for no potential benefit as a species. Individuals, yes, groups no. I say that altruism is an outgrowth of seeking to survive by satisfying self-interest.

AIUI, this is correct. From an evolutionary standpoint (which seems to be what you're discussing), altruistic behaviors, however self-sacrificing they may seem, always ultimately benefit the individual's reproductive fitness; thus, their evolutionary basis is selfish, even if their manifestation appears selfless.

Exactly. That's all I'm saying. Self-interest is the one immutable force behind all subsequent behaviors. Survival is the first goal of all life. Survival of self initially, and later survival as a species. To survive (as self or species), self-interest must be met, by whatever means.
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:49 am

Well you have changed your tune a bit since the beginning when you said that human constructs have been used to create the idea of the greater good and that laws are necessary for this. Now you are saying that self-interest can be realised through group interest?

I have maintained from the beginning that this dichotomy between selfish and selfless has driven evolution. Why you chose to interpret "dichotomy" to mean "war" when I meant "trade off" or "compromise" I can't even begin to figure out.

Self-interest motivates the individiual, sure. But you are still ignoring that humans have indulged in group co-operation for which there was no immediate benefit. For evolution and continuation of species, co-operation is necessary to ensure genetic diversity within the group:

Click here!

And here!

Here, the authors discuss the expectation of fairness even when there is a cost to the person doing the punishing... "cutting off your nose to spite your face".

As I said, Darwin recognised this and studies such as those above confirms it. If you find Victorian naturalists a little too heavy for your tastes, then Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion and Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell.

Arguably you are engaging in just this sort of behaviour on the other thread. You are complaining about people who pay nothing into the tax system while taking out. You expect people to act fairly within the system while you perceive that you act fairly yourself. You have nothing to personally gain from getting the terminally lazy off of unemployment and into work yet you feel you are losing out. As this act is not illegal, I can only assume that you are expecting those people to do their bit "for the greater good" of the US economy. Is your motive selfish? Or is it born out of a sense of communal justice?
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Re: Policing the people

Post by dblboggie on Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:04 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Arguably you are engaging in just this sort of behaviour on the other thread. You are complaining about people who pay nothing into the tax system while taking out. You expect people to act fairly within the system while you perceive that you act fairly yourself. You have nothing to personally gain from getting the terminally lazy off of unemployment and into work yet you feel you are losing out. As this act is not illegal, I can only assume that you are expecting those people to do their bit "for the greater good" of the US economy. Is your motive selfish? Or is it born out of a sense of communal justice?

I'm out the door and off to school shortly, so I'll get to the rest of your response later, but this bit above I did want to address.

My motive is first and foremost selfish. I want this country to realize the promise it could deliver to it's citizens, and as I am a citizen, my interests are personal. But I also want this country to survive for the good of my family, my children and for all citizens (roughly in that order btw) and I would happily sacrifice a fair degree of discomfort in seeking that survival for the greater good.

So what does that make me?
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Re: Policing the people

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:11 pm

You are expecting fairness from others in your group (in this case your fellow countrymen) for the greater good. This is not personal gain, but survival and success of the whole along evolutionary principles above the importance of a single individual.

If it was identified that there was just a single person in your country who was milking the system, I'm guessing your complaint would be just as vociferous. In such a case, your personal loss would be so insignificant as not to be noticeable yet your sense of injustice would be as justified. Your personal gain from getting that person off the system would be equally as insignificant. I appreciate that you are busy but please read these studies, even if you do so in the summer break and come back to it then.

dblboggie wrote:and I would happily sacrifice a fair degree of discomfort in seeking that survival for the greater good.
And you are proving my point with that. "Personal discomfort for the greater good" above what you might personally gain from being a taker rather than a contributor.
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Re: Policing the people

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