View Poll Results: Human Nature

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  • Primarily seeks self maximizing activity or results

    6 30.00%
  • Primarily seeks fairness or themselves of society

    2 10.00%
  • Depends on one's beliefs and socialization

    9 45.00%
  • Rootabega (Other)

    3 15.00%
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Thread: Human nature

  1. #1
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    Human nature

    The $100 poll got me thinking about something. So here is a question.

    Human nature:
    Primarily seeks self maximizing activity or results
    Primarily seeks fairness or themselves of society
    Depends on one's beliefs and socialization
    Rootabega
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-14-10 at 01:36 PM.

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    Re: Human nature

    If you want to get to the heart of the matter, at base humans are monkeys and will act like monkeys. Sure, we do have quite the advanced brain which could help us understand others and work for ways in which all benefit. But not many choose to employ that; many instead fall back on their poop flinging ability, figuratively speaking.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: Human nature

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    If you want to get to the heart of the matter, at base humans are monkeys and will act like monkeys. Sure, we do have quite the advanced brain which could help us understand others and work for ways in which all benefit. But not many choose to employ that; many instead fall back on their poop flinging ability, figuratively speaking.
    I don't think we are monkeys, lol. I can say other than that I agree 100%. You say monkeys, I say original sin.
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    Re: Human nature

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    You say monkeys, I say original sin.
    I have to agree with Blackdog, however I am taking up a post to say that because I also wanted to say that I love his avatar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    If you want to get to the heart of the matter, at base humans are monkeys and will act like monkeys. Sure, we do have quite the advanced brain which could help us understand others and work for ways in which all benefit. But not many choose to employ that; many instead fall back on their poop flinging ability, figuratively speaking.
    So, you don't think we can ever be better than what we currently are?
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-14-10 at 02:11 PM.

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    Re: Human nature

    We definately act out of self interest. Acting in the benefit of society, as some will do, they do because it will benefit them. They expect something equal or greater in return. no matter what. I challenge anyone to give me an example of anything otherwise. And this truly is not a bad thing, in my opinion. People can do bad things as a result of it, but the philosophy itself isn't a bad thing.

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    Re: Human nature

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    So, you don't think we can ever be better than what we currently are?
    I think humanity has near unlimited potential. It's how we choose to use that potential that matters. I think we can always be better, become better. Now whether or not we can live up to that potential is up to us. I think on the whole humanity can progress well, if we don't kill ourselves off first.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Human nature

    Well, I think the answer is technically "Primarily seeks self maximizing activity or results", but I voted for "Depends on one's beliefs and socialization". Why? Well I'm glad you asked, I'll tell you why.

    Because we ALL do what's best for ourselves, but what we consider best for ourselves depends on one's beliefs and socialization. For me, I could never take something from someone when I know they need it more than I do. While that may seem altruistic, it is not. It's self-serving. Because *I* would feel guilt if I did otherwise. While taking something from someone "unfairly" may help me in one way, it will hurt me in another. Therefore, I'm going to do that which hurts me the least and benefits me the most: And that would be abide my conscience. However, different people have different motivations and feelings. Someone else might not feel the least bit guilty about treating someone "unfairly", in fact, they might not find it "unfair" at all since "fairness" in and of itself is subjective to the individual.

    So, while *technically* I think every single person 'Primarily seeks self maximizing activity or results', it is because of 'Depends on one's beliefs and socialization' that the 'self maximizing activity' varies from person to person and may at times SEEM less selfish or "self maximizing", but it is not.
    Last edited by rivrrat; 06-14-10 at 02:34 PM. Reason: bite me

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    Re: Human nature

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    We definately act out of self interest. Acting in the benefit of society, as some will do, they do because it will benefit them. They expect something equal or greater in return. no matter what. I challenge anyone to give me an example of anything otherwise. And this truly is not a bad thing, in my opinion. People can do bad things as a result of it, but the philosophy itself isn't a bad thing.
    I don't think it is that simple. Yes, we will seek reward, even if it is a good feeling (I feel proud to have been a volunteer coach even if I have no kids (not me, but an example)). However, to attritibute that good feeling to selfishness is the wrong way to look at it. Ultimately, it depends on the focus. The answer to the question is whether the person primarily seeks to get something out it (the good feeling is more important than the kids) or if they seek to do something positive and the good feeling is a result.

    If it is the latter, than they are not acting selfishly. And yes, I know a guy who always volunteers even though he gets nothing out if beyond a good feeling. He doesn't care about the feeling, he just sees kids in need of a role model and chooses to act. Now ultimately, we are a bit pavlovian (not a real word, I know) in the sense that if coaching produced a bad feeling than he probably wouldn't do it, but again, I don't think that is out of selfishness, just out of our internal reward mechanism.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-14-10 at 02:34 PM.

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    Re: Human nature

    I agree with Rivrrt. We all naturally seek to maximize our gains/rewards/ect. Differences come in how we prioritize, which comes down to beliefs and socialization. We often do things (or don't do things) because the alternative would not be worth the feelings of shame, guilt, ect. I can give a perfect example of two people who reach different conclusions based on self maximizing.

    My wife and I want to go attend a festival a few weeks from now. It's on a Friday. I can easily get the day off, but for my wife its a little more difficult. At her company the maximum number of people in her department have already taken that day off as a vacation day. However, she has a personal day, which she is allowed to use. She can call in the morning in question, saying she is using her personal day, and all is good.

    I say she should use it and go enjoy the festival for the whole day.

    She says she doesn't want to use it because her department is already short staffed that day due to people using vacation days and she'll feel guilty about leaving them even more short handed.

    Both of us are acting out of self maximization. I say it's her personal day and she should use it however and whenever she wants. Her fellow co-workers wouldn't worry about leaving the office short handed for a day if the roles were reversed and neither would I. But my wife is the type to feel guilty over that and it could easily lessen her enjoyment of the festival. She prioritizes not feeling guilty about leaving the office short handed over the enjoyment she would have at the festival. I wouldn't even feel guilty about it, since its allowable by the rules of her company and she earned the personal day and should use it when it is most convenient for her.
    Slipping into madness is good for the sake of comparison - Unknown.

  10. #10
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    Re: Human nature

    I think at the root of human nature is evil and selfishness. I agree with blackdog in that it's due to original sin.
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