The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Psychology - Definition of Decency is Hard to Find - Continuing From Another Thread Options
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:15:19 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
We digressed from the following thread so I started a new one to be in the proper sub forum. The topic is now finding a definition for decency.

Please add your opinions. This is psychology and everybody is right! :)

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst161956_Wrong-About-Islam-.aspx?find=unread

I understand that since this is an international forum that it might seem necessary, but why does a decency definition have to include all cultures as one large group with all the specifics listed?

Are there not a common few characteristics that would encompass everyone? Humans are all built the same way no matter how they were brought up.

I just saw a Suzuki science program that showed that across every single culture we use the exact same facial muscles to express our various feelings and it happens without thinking first. We also talk with our hands whether or not we are on the phone and the other person cannot even see us. Apparently these impulses go to the muscles first before they hit the brain and using our hands actually helps us to think and express ourselves as we talk. (I hope I got the details correct.)

I used that example to say that maybe we all have basic "decency" instincts that expand as we are taught but the basics remain. I have seen experiments with very very young children of all cultures recognizing and expressing decency traits. (I will have to check that theory out.)

For another thread I was trying to find a story I had read about a Washington Post writer who wrote an op-ed piece about the overuse of air conditioning and was sent death threats. Really?

I think it was in an article about how decency seems to be going the way of the dinosaur especially on the internet with "Gotcha" attacks. I'll see if I can find it again.

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:17:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
I found the link but while looking I found and offer all these links not to prove anything, but just as interesting readings on the topic of decency. And it seems that being judgmental instead of making judgments is connected to how people interact.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/07/28/shirley-sherrod-and-the-decline-of-decency/

Quote -

"Perhaps there is no unifying theory that can explain why hate crimes world-wide are on the increase, or why people as diverse as Shirley Sherrod and Stan Cox should be subjected to vilification and abuse. As a psychiatrist, I am trained to look primarily at individuals, not whole cultures and societies. So it is merely informed speculation when I suggest that, in the U.S., the decline of decency may be driven by at least three confluent forces:

Increased rates of cultural narcissism, with an accompanying sense of overweening personal entitlement - footnote 5


Increased strain and fragmentation within the American family, with a consequent loss of basic trust in other people; and

Increased religious, political and economic upheaval, with its attendant pitting of one interest group or extremist faction against another, all competing for scarce resources.


These factors are certainly not meant to be exhaustive. But we as a people must begin our self-examination somewhere, lest we wind up in a Hobbesian society where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Indeed, as Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded us, “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships — the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” End quote.

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:18:41 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201305/making-judgments-and-being-judgmental

Quote -

"If you look up the word judgmental in the dictionary there are generally two meanings, which help us sort out the issues. One has to do with making judgments; so, yes, at a basic semantic level, making judgments is being judgmental.

The other meaning of judgmental has to do with being overly critical in an unhelpful way, and it is this separate meaning that allows us to get to the heart of the issue. It is when we make judgments in ways that have harmful or negative consequences that we are being judgmental in ways that are best to avoid. How do we know how to make constructive as opposed to problematic judgments? This is a very complicated question, but below are eight key dynamics that are useful to keep in mind when judging others." End quote.

(List is on the above link.)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bringing-sex-focus/201204/whos-judmental-five-key-symptoms

[We've all done these - we are humans, for goodness sake.]

Quote is from the second link.


What are the signs of being judgmental? Here are five:

1. Making a lot of negative moral evaluations of others.

2. Having a moral rating system that is skewed in your own favor.

3. Jumping to negative moral conclusions about others; being inclined to believe the worst.

4. Moving very quickly from judgments of the form "This action is morally wrong" to ones of the form "This person is morally corrupt." (see Don't Be Judgmental, Be Discerning).

5. Acting as if you can know that what so-and-so did was wrong even though you know much less about the context of so-and-so's action than so-and-so.

Being judgmental distorts our perception of other people, of ourselves and of what matters most in living a well-lived human life. It feeds on and engenders a lack of sympathetic understanding of others. It is often linked with other related character flaws: hypocrisy, self-righteousness, malice, insensitivity, and the enjoyment of distructive gossip." End quote.

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Dreamy
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:26:22 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2009
Posts: 1,504
Neurons: 7,723
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
Hope 123 wrote:
The topic is now finding a definition for decency.

This has got me thinking, Hope 123.

Firstly, is this a decent topic for Science and Technology?
It has been argued that psychology is not a science, but aside from that can science, by its own definition, decide whether something is decent or not, and can it make decisions that define decency?

I think I am remembering these 5 simplified tenets of science correctly in order:
Observe, measure, record, repeat, predict.

Let us observe behaviour. No problem. Plenty of categories to observe.
Let us measure behaviour. A standard is required. Paradigm shifts and paradox loops factored in.
Let us record behaviour. A glossary of terms is required.
Let us repeat the above. Patterns, or lack of them are identified.
Let us predict behaviour. Principles of cause and effect are employed.
Scientific American wrote:
...research suggests that our intuitive responses, or first instincts, tend to lead to cooperation rather than selfishness.

Link: Scientists Probe Human Nature

A while ago I read of an interesting discovery relating to the well-known "survival of the fittest" concept being superseded when the "welfare of the weakest" become the behavioural norm among observed populations who put the benefits of their community above those of the individual.

It's a joy to have a decent thread on an interesting topic, Hope 123





Job 33:15 "In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, In slumberings upon the bed;" Theology 101 "If He doesn't know everything then He isn't God."
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:14:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,455
Neurons: 45,386
Hope123 wrote:

We digressed from the following thread so I started a new one to be in the proper sub forum. The topic is now finding a definition for decency.

Please add your opinions. This is psychology and everybody is right! :)

http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst161956_Wrong-About-Islam-.aspx?find=unread

I understand that since this is an international forum that it might seem necessary, but why does a decency definition have to include all cultures as one large group with all the specifics listed?
Will suggested that defining morality by religion won’t work, and that the first question to ask was “What picture can we, humanity, agree we would like to create?”

I suggested the better first question was "Is there a Supreme Being, or not?" I thought this was the better question because if all moralities were based on the idea that we humans get to choose what morality is, and leave out belief in Supreme Beings, we might be able to come to agreement.

Lotje1000 suggested that a universally common definition of “decency” was the necessary thing to agree upon. And that is why, to answer your question, all cultures have to be included.

Are there not a common few characteristics that would encompass everyone? Humans are all built the same way no matter how they were brought up.
Built the same, yes, but not taught the same things to believe.

I just saw a Suzuki science program that showed that across every single culture we use the exact same facial muscles to express our various feelings and it happens without thinking first. We also talk with our hands whether or not we are on the phone and the other person cannot even see us. Apparently these impulses go to the muscles first before they hit the brain and using our hands actually helps us to think and express ourselves as we talk. (I hope I got the details correct.)

I used that example to say that maybe we all have basic "decency" instincts that expand as we are taught but the basics remain. I have seen experiments with very very young children of all cultures recognizing and expressing decency traits. (I will have to check that theory out.)
Much of this we covered in the topic on the Origin of Consciousness thread about 5 years ago. I seem to recall that we all agreed that humans are born selfish and have to be taught altruism, or co-operation. But different people learn those lessons in different degrees. Some remain more selfish that others, while some develop more altruism that others.

It seems it is the experiences of the individual that determines the degree to which "decency" is learned. And with variations in learning, there will be corresponding variations in application, and the loss of universality, bringing us back to the beginning -- no universal agreement. And the topic of a Supreme Being would still have to be addressed.

For another thread I was trying to find a story I had read about a Washington Post writer who wrote an op-ed piece about the overuse of air conditioning and was sent death threats. Really?

I think it was in an article about how decency seems to be going the way of the dinosaur especially on the internet with "Gotcha" attacks. I'll see if I can find it again.



A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:33:15 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Fd.

I was not in that thread years ago and disgree with the consensus that we are born selfish and have to be taught cooperation. I'm not sure when the studies with young babies were done that showed the opposite and if there is more recent research either way.

Edited - However, Hamlin and her peers, including Bloom, acknowledge that the morality babies start off with is primitive and limited, and is not complete without cultural influence. "The aspect of morality that we truly marvel at – its generality and universality – is the product of culture, not biology. There is no need to posit divine intervention," he said. "A fully developed morality is the product of cultural development." I took a minute and found this link. http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features/research-on-infant-morality

However, they do not start off with them being the opposite first.

I thought posters were continuing on the original thread and I posted some of the major beliefs of some of the larger cultures, philosophies, and religions there. I know we would need all cultures but not every little variation in rules. All groups do seem to have a basic consensus without needing the actual list of rules specifying what to eat, drink, wear, and such lists as the ten commandments etc.

I must be missing something as I really don't see the necessity for proving whether or not there is a supreme being (which we do not have the means to do at this time). It is what people believe about it, not what is.

I do almost agree with this statement "It seems it is the experiences of the individual that determines the degree to which "decency" is learned. (or unlearned) And with variations in learning, there will be corresponding variations in application..."

But how does what one has learned/unlearned and applied about decency affect the basic definition we are after?

I will go copy the post on the other thread.

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:49:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Copied -

We may not achieve all these lofty ideals, but we can strive for decency. And there does seem to be some common basic concepts for all cultures.

I would sum up decency in two words. BE FAIR. The Libran mantra.

Or add three more - The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; Be mindful of one another; Do no harm to others.


:::::::

It has been many many years since that university course about Religions and Philosophies of the World, so I had to do a bit of research. There are many factions in each group so these are broad overviews. However, there is a general pattern that emerges for the groups I checked. And some such as modesty and what constitutes porn would have to be under the umbrella of follow the rules of your society and laws of your land.

Words Western Societies Might Use
Friendly, polite, courteous, civil, thoughtful, constructive - not destructive, don't take advantage (from a business site) honest, cooperative, sensitive, contribute to general welfare, recognize humanity of others

Confucius - encouraged people to take responsibility for their actions
People are naturally good. Evil is learned.
Encouraged people to act with virtue, with empathy and justice
To Look after nature - so decency to the environment
Jen – goodwill, empathy, generosity
Yi – rightness, duty as guardians of nature and humanity
Li – right conduct and propriety, demonstrating your inner attitude with your outward expressions
Chih – wisdom
Hsin – faithfulness and trustworthiness

Buddhism
(1) to lead a moral life,
(2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
(3) to develop wisdom and understanding.

Hawaiians
Kākou is the Hawaiian value of inclusiveness. It means “all of us” and “we are in this together.”

First Nations
All First Nations believed that their values and traditions were gifts from the Creator. One of the most important and most common teachings was that people should live in harmony with the natural world and all it contained.

Islam
A love for God and His Creatures

"Showing kindness to people, and charity to the poor and the helpless are the most highlighted and most insisted virtues in the Quran.[4] In particular, helping people especially in their needs, forgiving others' offenses, respecting parents and elders, fulfilling promises, being kind to people and to animals, being patient in adversaries, maintaining justice, being honest in nature, controlling anger come as major virtues in Islamic concept of morality." Wiki

Anybody with more?

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Dreamy
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:31:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2009
Posts: 1,504
Neurons: 7,723
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
Hope 123 wrote:
Anybody with more?

I liked the way the researchers focused on reflection and intuition as a means of detecting what they called first instinct.

Adrian F. Ward in Scientific American wrote:
Intuition is often automatic and effortless, leading to actions that occur without insight into the reasons behind them. Reflection, on the other hand, is all about conscious thought—identifying possible behaviors, weighing the costs and benefits of likely outcomes, and rationally deciding on a course of action. With this dual process framework in mind, we can boil the complexities of basic human nature down to a simple question: which behavior—selfishness or cooperation—is intuitive, and which is the product of rational reflection? In other words, do we cooperate when we overcome our intuitive selfishness with rational self-control, or do we act selfishly when we override our intuitive cooperative impulses with rational self-interest?

To answer this question, the researchers first took advantage of a reliable difference between intuition and reflection: intuitive processes operate quickly, whereas reflective processes operate relatively slowly. Whichever behavioral tendency—selfishness or cooperation—predominates when people act quickly is likely to be the intuitive response; it is the response most likely to be aligned with basic human nature.


The results of the experiments conducted by a diverse group of researchers from Harvard and Yale—a developmental psychologist with a background in evolutionary game theory, a moral philosopher-turned-psychologist, and a biologist-cum-mathematician, seemed to answer the essential question they each had: whether our automatic impulse, our first instinct, is to act selfishly or cooperatively.

The conclusion that in the majority of cases it is an intuitive response of basic human nature to act cooperatively doesn't eliminate the fundamental Judeo-Christian teaching that bad thoughts, words, and deeds owe their existence to the fallen, sinful nature of the human race as expressed in these much taught verses:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(Romans 3:23)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
(1John 1:5-6)
If you fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, you do well: But if you have respect to persons,(bias) you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
(James 2:8-10)

I know many atheists who are kind, decent, loving people, whose good works and good nature are an example to many who say they are Christians but deny Christ by their works...Christ died for both parties in order to purchase their forgiveness, but only those who repent of sin and believe on Him can receive it, there's the rub.

Job 33:15 "In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, In slumberings upon the bed;" Theology 101 "If He doesn't know everything then He isn't God."
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:10:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 905
Neurons: 403,464
Location: Gent, Flanders, Belgium
When I look at humans as just another animal on this planet, I see the same rules for survival I see in other animals. As such, I can believe that a first instinct would be selfish, because all animals are geared towards survival. However, humans are also a pack animal in its own society, therefore pure selfishness does not help our species survive. In group, we help each other out so we might all survive, or as many of us as possible. We work towards our well-being and the well-being of our society (which in turn protects us again).

I am not sure if this can purely be explained away by culture. I think there are aspects of our cooperative behaviour that are natural, things that are passed on in genetics (or rather epigenetics) to help us survive. I can best explain epigenetics with an experiment about it: mice were exposed to stress factors until they had stress hormones in their blood. Their children were also exposed to stress factors to the same result. But their children's children showed an increase of the same stress hormones without ever having been exposed to the same stress factors. It's the body's way of preparing us to situations our parents encountered.

I am glad, Hope, that you have been looking at commonalities within different cultures. It makes sense, if we are all groups of humans trying to survive, that there would be a common theme in helping each other out.

This cooperative group mentality, however, does not rule out the possibility for individualism, ambition and selfishness. Without those, I believe it would be easier for a society to stagnate. I think those personal dynamics have their own benefits for the survival of the species in the form of a drive, an inventiveness. Competition can help us all to improve or try something new.

The problem comes when this individual mentality messes with the group's cooperation. Once the individual works against the group, then it imperils the group's continued survival. As such, and this has been a long way to come to this conclusion, I think human decency is indeed found in the Golden Rule that Hope quoted. Selfishness within the group, not against it. A balance of an individual's needs with the needs of the group.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 7:45:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,508
Neurons: 153,794
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote:
Much of this we covered in the topic on the Origin of Consciousness thread about 5 years ago. I seem to recall that we all agreed that humans are born selfish and have to be taught altruism, or co-operation. But different people learn those lessons in different degrees. Some remain more selfish that others, while some develop more altruism that others.

I don't remember everyone agreeing on that at all - more like a newborn baby (not being able to do anything for him/herself and unable to communicate well) lives only for him/herself. As the sense of 'self' expands to 'self, parents and siblings', cooperation becomes a natural facet.
Then - if cooperation becomes 'painful' and causes losses - it is quashed
Or - if cooperation remains pleasurable - it grows.

The pleasure felt while helping others is the natural state (in my mind). Pleasure felt by some in destroying others for one's own good is not natural.

********
Hi Hope!

You ask for a definition of 'decency' - that's simple, nothing could be easier - it's
1. "the quality of following the current moral rules of the society" - which is pretty useless for this discussion
2. the quality of acting in a righteous manner ('righteous' is defined as 'virtuous, just and correct', when it is not defined the same as definition '1' of 'decency')
So it is "the quality of acting in a virtuous, just and correct manner" - simple! . . .

Many religious leaders, prophets and god (small 'g' - the many different facets and ideas through which people have perceived that force and entity) have said virtually the same thing.

The earliest I have been able to find over the years is from the Vedic Hymns (oral tradition, transcribed about three thousand years ago) which said something like "Have/consider/treat all the living as Atma (yourself, your sense of being, your soul)".

It is, in my understanding, the one thing on which every religion and most people (be they religious or not) agree.





Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 12:58:12 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,455
Neurons: 45,386
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Much of this we covered in the topic on the Origin of Consciousness thread about 5 years ago. I seem to recall that we all agreed that humans are born selfish and have to be taught altruism, or co-operation. But different people learn those lessons in different degrees. Some remain more selfish that others, while some develop more altruism that others.

I don't remember everyone agreeing on that at all - more like a newborn baby (not being able to do anything for him/herself and unable to communicate well) lives only for him/herself. As the sense of 'self' expands to 'self, parents and siblings', cooperation becomes a natural facet.
Then - if cooperation becomes 'painful' and causes losses - it is quashed
Or - if cooperation remains pleasurable - it grows.
It seems to me you just made my point: that humans are born selfish and have to learn cooperation because it feeds the selfish motivation for survival.

The pleasure felt while helping others is the natural state (in my mind). Pleasure felt by some in destroying others for one's own good is not natural.
By the time one is able to help others, cooperation for survival has already been established. Limit the means for survival, however, and it becomes much easier to destroy another for one to survive. Cooperation works only when there is enough for all. Ironically, cooperation is what provides for enough for all. So cooperation feeds selfishness. Voila.

********
Hi Hope!

You ask for a definition of 'decency' - that's simple, nothing could be easier - it's
1. "the quality of following the current moral rules of the society" - which is pretty useless for this discussion
2. the quality of acting in a righteous manner ('righteous' is defined as 'virtuous, just and correct', when it is not defined the same as definition '1' of 'decency')
So it is "the quality of acting in a virtuous, just and correct manner" - simple! . . .

Many religious leaders, prophets and god (small 'g' - the many different facets and ideas through which people have perceived that force and entity) have said virtually the same thing.

The earliest I have been able to find over the years is from the Vedic Hymns (oral tradition, transcribed about three thousand years ago) which said something like "Have/consider/treat all the living as Atma (yourself, your sense of being, your soul)".

It is, in my understanding, the one thing on which every religion and most people (be they religious or not) agree.

Right. As long as there are sufficient resources for survival.



A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
will
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 2:47:58 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/29/2009
Posts: 1,073
Neurons: 4,325
Quote:
Definition of Decency is Hard to Find

Don't piss in the communal jacuzzi. Simple. Eh?


.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 10:33:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 7,414
Neurons: 42,832
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Love the chart, Drago!

Makes sense, Will. (But don't ever swim in pools with a swim-up bar. Whistle )

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 10:58:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,508
Neurons: 153,794
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote:
It seems to me you just made my point: that humans are born selfish and have to learn cooperation because it feeds the selfish motivation for survival.

Not quite.
By my "theory", cooperation naturally evolves as intelligence rises from nil at birth to a vague consciousness of the environment. Selfishness is taught by example, if it exists in peers and siblings and parents.

FounDit wrote:
Cooperation works only when there is enough for all. Ironically, cooperation is what provides for enough for all. So cooperation feeds selfishness. Voila.

I don't follow that logic at all Anxious .
Cooperation provides enough for all - true.
cooperation works when there is enough for all - true.
Therefore cooperation feeds cooperation.

It seems we just see different things in people and society.

I see very few people (even those in need and struggling for survival) being selfish.
The main people I see being selfish are the rich and powerful who seem to have been educated to climb over the dead bodies of whoever gets in their way.
MOST people (and this includes the starving) will cooperate and help others.

Obviously the people in your bit of civilisation are different.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:31:04 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,565
Neurons: 41,469
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Hope, I agree with your methodology - the research is, I think, integral to drawing conclusions. And, btw yes, I remember the child behavioural studies which were posted; and I have seen more recent ones since then.Though I'm afraid I didn't think to bookmark then.

I too don't think we reached a consensus at all.

I remember posting references to the actual book (The Selfish Gene), Jared Diamond's studies, and to Dian Fosse's papers, amongst others, (EDITED TO ADD: during the course of our metaphysical discussions, if not on that particular thread) although none of these findings were discussed after the first video, so I retired, bloody but unbowed.

And nothing that's come to light since then has caused me to accept that we are born intrinsically selfish. As for saying that that's all very well until there's competition for resources? I'll repeat that there seems to be no evidence for that, either. We don't have to go back beyond the Paleolithic for proof of that. All over the world there's competition for resources: parts of Africa, India, Asia and, of course, in all First World Countries.

People don't then revert to savage behaviour and tooth and claw fights; the percentage of 'bad' behaviour to 'good' remains about the same: though one comes across more actions which show true ultruism when societies are threatened.

My social conditioning, in countries and in circumstances in all the aforesaid countries, re-enforces these conclusions.

And yes, I also believe the Golden Rule to be universal. And as I have mentioned many times: it pre-dates Christianity or the Judaic religions and came not from a god but from a King. References to it are on display in various museums, inscribed upon the very first set of laws and principles yet found: Hammurabi's Code. Which does not leave off at 10, but goes on to list 144 rules, encompassing what we would call 'decent' behaviour, and rooted to aforesaid, still universal, Golden Rule.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2017 11:26:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,455
Neurons: 45,386
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
FounDit wrote:
It seems to me you just made my point: that humans are born selfish and have to learn cooperation because it feeds the selfish motivation for survival.

Not quite.
By my "theory", cooperation naturally evolves as intelligence rises from nil at birth to a vague consciousness of the environment. Selfishness is taught by example, if it exists in peers and siblings and parents.

FounDit wrote:
Cooperation works only when there is enough for all. Ironically, cooperation is what provides for enough for all. So cooperation feeds selfishness. Voila.

I don't follow that logic at all Anxious .
Cooperation provides enough for all - true.
cooperation works when there is enough for all - true.
Therefore cooperation feeds cooperation.
And cooperation benefits the individual "selves" that are engaged in cooperating, thus cooperation feeds the needs of the self. This is what I mean when I use the word "selfishness". Perhaps its the definition that is needed.

All creatures desire to continue life, and -- one would think -- continue it as comfortably as possible. It is the survival instinct. So meeting those needs benefits the self, the individual. If cooperation increases those benefits, then the needs of the self are met to a greater degree. Ergo, cooperation feeds selfishness.

It seems we just see different things in people and society.

I see very few people (even those in need and struggling for survival) being selfish.
The main people I see being selfish are the rich and powerful who seem to have been educated to climb over the dead bodies of whoever gets in their way.
MOST people (and this includes the starving) will cooperate and help others.

Obviously the people in your bit of civilisation are different.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.