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Human Nature

ClassicRobert
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10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
Noumena
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10/6/2013 1:10:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Would you say that?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
ClassicRobert
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10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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10/6/2013 8:56:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 1:10:36 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Would you say that?

Not particularly. I see people as relatively blank slates at birth, and that the values and behaviors that they have are either taught or reasoned.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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10/6/2013 8:58:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.

Well, if there is no such thing as an innate principle universal to all humans, then human nature doesn't exactly exist, does it? This is not something so cut and dry as the existence of physics.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/6/2013 9:05:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 8:58:42 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.

Well, if there is no such thing as an innate principle universal to all humans, then human nature doesn't exactly exist, does it? This is not something so cut and dry as the existence of physics.

that wasn't really my point. The question "does physics exist" firstly seeks to evaluate truth, yet frames the inquiry with nonsensical wording - specifically, existence qua presence in some locality. The question should be "Are the principles of modern physics accurate?" hence "verbally incongruous" and "makes no sense". The second point is that the question casts so broad a net, demanding an evaluation of a whole field, that it's ultimately not really asking anything. What part of physics or principle in physics do we want to know the truth of? Hence "absurd to ask."

If you substitute "physics" for "human nature" in this criticism, then that's the essence of my response to the OP.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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10/6/2013 9:14:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 9:05:34 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:58:42 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.

Well, if there is no such thing as an innate principle universal to all humans, then human nature doesn't exactly exist, does it? This is not something so cut and dry as the existence of physics.

that wasn't really my point. The question "does physics exist" firstly seeks to evaluate truth, yet frames the inquiry with nonsensical wording - specifically, existence qua presence in some locality. The question should be "Are the principles of modern physics accurate?" hence "verbally incongruous" and "makes no sense". The second point is that the question casts so broad a net, demanding an evaluation of a whole field, that it's ultimately not really asking anything. What part of physics or principle in physics do we want to know the truth of? Hence "absurd to ask."

If you substitute "physics" for "human nature" in this criticism, then that's the essence of my response to the OP.

I'm not exactly casting a broad net; I'm asking for examples of traits of the mind that are innate to all human beings. Any examples. If those sorts of examples exist, then human nature is, to a certain extent, shown to exist.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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10/7/2013 12:07:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?

Um, okay, I'll just throw out a few:

Biology - All humans seek to satiate their hunger by eating food.
Economics - All humans are driven by incentives.
Neurology - All humans use thinking to figure things out.
Memetics - All humans duplicate some of the ideas they acquire into the minds of others (i.e., communications/language.).
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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10/7/2013 5:17:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings?

Yes, of course there are.

Does human nature exist?

Yes, just what that distinguishing human nature is, is certainly debatable, but there is no question that human beings are a unique species in the animal world, it's a self evident fact that there is something different about us that sets us apart from the rest of the animals.

Unless you are talking about Sarte's atheistic existentialism, maybe the question you should have asked is "What is human nature", because it sounds to me like you don't know what the phrase means.

The idea that because something lacks a consensus scientific or philosophical explanation or definition that it doesn't ontologically exist stems more from a lack of critical thinking about the implications of Darwinian thought or subject/object duality than anything, but there is clearly something unique about human beings.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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10/7/2013 5:43:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 9:14:25 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 9:05:34 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:58:42 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.

Well, if there is no such thing as an innate principle universal to all humans, then human nature doesn't exactly exist, does it? This is not something so cut and dry as the existence of physics.

that wasn't really my point. The question "does physics exist" firstly seeks to evaluate truth, yet frames the inquiry with nonsensical wording - specifically, existence qua presence in some locality. The question should be "Are the principles of modern physics accurate?" hence "verbally incongruous" and "makes no sense". The second point is that the question casts so broad a net, demanding an evaluation of a whole field, that it's ultimately not really asking anything. What part of physics or principle in physics do we want to know the truth of? Hence "absurd to ask."

If you substitute "physics" for "human nature" in this criticism, then that's the essence of my response to the OP.

I'm not exactly casting a broad net; I'm asking for examples of traits of the mind that are innate to all human beings. Any examples. If those sorts of examples exist, then human nature is, to a certain extent, shown to exist.

It"s certainly hard to distinguish between the features and activities that set humans apart from other species, the nature/nurture question plays a role in such difficulties in determining what is innate and what is contingent upon our history, and between human nature and the human condition, but distinguishing examples of things that are unique to humanity are easy to come up with.

Reason, propositional language, culture, morality, science, religion, philosophy, myth, and art are universal activities that clearly demonstrate that there is something distinctive about the way human beings think and I think they all stem from the fact that we are the only symbolic animal. Minimally I think we can say that self-reflective thought is a unique characteristic of human nature, we don"t just know, we know that we know.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Noumena
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10/7/2013 5:47:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/7/2013 12:07:58 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?

Um, okay, I'll just throw out a few:

Biology - All humans seek to satiate their hunger by eating food.

Except for when they don't. You can say all humans 'need' good to survive but there are examples of those who, for whatever reason, don't actively seek to abide by those biological drives.

Economics - All humans are driven by incentives.

Tautological and meaningless.

Neurology - All humans use thinking to figure things out.

Except for when they don't. And what do you even mean by 'thinking'?

Memetics - All humans duplicate some of the ideas they acquire into the minds of others (i.e., communications/language.).

Lol
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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10/7/2013 5:57:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/7/2013 5:47:04 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 10/7/2013 12:07:58 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?

Um, okay, I'll just throw out a few:

Biology - All humans seek to satiate their hunger by eating food.

Except for when they don't. You can say all humans 'need' good to survive but there are examples of those who, for whatever reason, don't actively seek to abide by those biological drives.

People without a drive for reducing hunger die. Plus, simply pointing out that there are examples of people who do not have these drives does not mean that other people were not born with innate drives and thus that they were not blank states. That is like saying that squares do not exist because there are some rectangles without equal sides.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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10/7/2013 6:04:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/7/2013 5:57:12 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 10/7/2013 5:47:04 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 10/7/2013 12:07:58 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?

Um, okay, I'll just throw out a few:

Biology - All humans seek to satiate their hunger by eating food.

Except for when they don't. You can say all humans 'need' good to survive but there are examples of those who, for whatever reason, don't actively seek to abide by those biological drives.

People without a drive for reducing hunger die.

The question was not whether or not not acting on those drives is bad for one' swell being. The question was whether or not these drives were (a) universally innate and (b) universally acted upon.

Plus, simply pointing out that there are examples of people who do not have these drives does not mean that other people were not born with innate drives and thus that they were not blank states. That is like saying that squares do not exist because there are some rectangles without equal sides.

He's talking about a 'human nature' I.e., universally innate principles and characteristics. A better analogy would be to say that not all trees are red because some trees are green.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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10/7/2013 6:12:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you can define "humans" as being distinct from other creatures, human nature exists.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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10/7/2013 7:20:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think so, yes, but I would actually go further again to posit a Nature of Life. There just seems huge interconnection there for me, in fact, as far as I'm concerned, there just IS huge interconnection there. I think life is attempting to achieve harmony , and, for the panpsychists out there anyway, that shouldn't be too crazy an idea to put forward. Of course it does beg the questions "Why materially?" and "Why aren't we innately aware?" but then perhaps it's only through the material that there can be real connection, or communication, and perhaps we are innately aware, just not consciouly aware, as we're not ready, or perhaps there is an innate doubt there, too. Who knows? All I know is that the interconnection is profound and calls, I think, for some sort of revolution. I am positing a first cause really, an initial consciousness with some ability as regards the material, that is separate but all the one, a god that is us.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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10/7/2013 9:51:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 9:05:34 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:58:42 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:57:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Does physics exist?

If the above makes no sense, is verbally incongruous, or is simply absurd to ask, then I think you see my problem with yours.

Well, if there is no such thing as an innate principle universal to all humans, then human nature doesn't exactly exist, does it? This is not something so cut and dry as the existence of physics.

that wasn't really my point. The question "does physics exist" firstly seeks to evaluate truth, yet frames the inquiry with nonsensical wording - specifically, existence qua presence in some locality. The question should be "Are the principles of modern physics accurate?" hence "verbally incongruous" and "makes no sense". The second point is that the question casts so broad a net, demanding an evaluation of a whole field, that it's ultimately not really asking anything. What part of physics or principle in physics do we want to know the truth of? Hence "absurd to ask."

If you substitute "physics" for "human nature" in this criticism, then that's the essence of my response to the OP.

No, the parallel to his question would be "Could the principles of physics be accurate". That is, is nature regular in such a way which permits accuracy when describing the limits it imposes.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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10/7/2013 2:21:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/7/2013 5:47:04 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 10/7/2013 12:07:58 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 8:52:21 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 2:33:01 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

You should check out biology, biochemistry, biomechanics, psychology, sociology, economics, neurology, physiology, memetics, etc. They all describe innate, universal principles in humans behaviour.

Care to give a few specific innate, universal principles in human behavior?

Um, okay, I'll just throw out a few:

Biology - All humans seek to satiate their hunger by eating food.

Except for when they don't. You can say all humans 'need' good to survive but there are examples of those who, for whatever reason, don't actively seek to abide by those biological drives.

No, part of any human still seeks to satiate hunger. When a human decides to kill him or herself by starvation, a more dominate part of the brain is exerting control over the part of the brain that wants to eat. Consider Haidt's metaphor of the elephant and the rider (http://en.wikipedia.org...). The division is a metephor, though; human nature includes both the elephant and the rider.


Economics - All humans are driven by incentives.

Tautological and meaningless.

Tautological and therefore true. Yes, any biological system is driven. But that's the point. Being driven by stimuli/incentives is part of every animal's inate nature.


Neurology - All humans use thinking to figure things out.

Except for when they don't. And what do you even mean by 'thinking'?

Any neural activity directed towards processing information. All brains do this; it's unavoidable.


Memetics - All humans duplicate some of the ideas they acquire into the minds of others (i.e., communications/language.).

Lol

Rude.

This is an observation about brains in general. Any non-trivial neural network duplicates information within itself. When you hook a neural network up to input and output devices (ears, mouths, etc), it will connect to other neural nets (the brains in other people) to continue this activity of duplication. Since most of human nature has its origin in the brain, it can be said that copying information from one mind to another is inate in all people and therefore a universal principle that all humans are subject to.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,254
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10/7/2013 2:55:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Something's deviation from randomness is its nature, so the extent to which human deviation is distinct from all others is the extent to which human nature exists.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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10/8/2013 8:03:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/6/2013 8:56:17 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 10/6/2013 1:10:36 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 10/6/2013 12:04:04 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Would you say that there are innate principles guiding human beings? Does human nature exist?

Would you say that?

Not particularly. I see people as relatively blank slates at birth, and that the values and behaviors that they have are either taught or reasoned.

Have you ever had children? Because as someone who has three, I can tell you that each has a unique personality at birth. If they were blank slates then they would have no personality at all. I can look at my children now (one going to jail for 15 days for MJ possession, one working on her 2nd major, on in Governor's School) and see a big part of the same person I saw in each one during their first days alive.