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social darwinism:

muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/13/2013 12:21:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/12/2013 9:42:23 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
should it be more accepted??opinions

What are we, spartans? Of course it shouldn't.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
ockcatdaddy
Posts: 155
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3/13/2013 9:58:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
why not survival of the fittest we are still fighting over women and some of us are still alphas while the rest of you are omega males
-keith-
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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3/13/2013 10:02:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 9:58:39 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
why not survival of the fittest we are still fighting over women and some of us are still alphas while the rest of you are omega males

suuure you are
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2013 10:10:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 9:58:39 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
why not survival of the fittest we are still fighting over women and some of us are still alphas while the rest of you are omega males

Because most people, especially those that endorse "Social Darwinism," have a very narrow view of what constitutes "fittest." More often than not, what is "fittest" is merely an excuse for some form of ethnic prejudice that isn't rooted in any form of science or reasonable analysis.

For example, it is a common element of Social Darwinism that we don't spend resources taking care of the poor or weak (especially the disabled). If they can't survive on their own, then they shouldn't survive. What's so amusing about this stance is the fact that we take care of our own, be they weak or infirm, is what has contributed to our success as a species. We are a social species and part of that involves taking care of each other. Taken to the extreme, we should cease taking care of our young, which would result in our extinction.

Social Darwinism usually goes hand-in-hand with eugenics, which suffers from the same objections. Weeding out people with certain traits reduces the variability found within our gene pool. Having more genetic options makes us resilient. What makes us "fit" today may be a liability tomorrow. What is a liability today may be an advantage tomorrow. Eliminating traits simply because they are perceived - through a narrow point of view - as being a weakness in the current environment is basically setting us up for failure in the long run. Furthermore, organisms are not wholly weak. A person is a collection of traits. Discarding the whole human being simply because they have one or more, or even a majority, of "unfit" traits also removes any beneficial traits they may have.

In short, it is simply an ignorant, narrow-minded, short-sighted, untenable philosophy that, more often than not, is merely a pseudoscientific cover for bigotry.
ockcatdaddy
Posts: 155
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3/13/2013 10:57:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 10:10:55 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/13/2013 9:58:39 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
why not survival of the fittest we are still fighting over women and some of us are still alphas while the rest of you are omega males

Because most people, especially those that endorse "Social Darwinism," have a very narrow view of what constitutes "fittest." More often than not, what is "fittest" is merely an excuse for some form of ethnic prejudice that isn't rooted in any form of science or reasonable analysis.

For example, it is a common element of Social Darwinism that we don't spend resources taking care of the poor or weak (especially the disabled). If they can't survive on their own, then they shouldn't survive. What's so amusing about this stance is the fact that we take care of our own, be they weak or infirm, is what has contributed to our success as a species. We are a social species and part of that involves taking care of each other. Taken to the extreme, we should cease taking care of our young, which would result in our extinction.

Social Darwinism usually goes hand-in-hand with eugenics, which suffers from the same objections. Weeding out people with certain traits reduces the variability found within our gene pool. Having more genetic options makes us resilient. What makes us "fit" today may be a liability tomorrow. What is a liability today may be an advantage tomorrow. Eliminating traits simply because they are perceived - through a narrow point of view - as being a weakness in the current environment is basically setting us up for failure in the long run. Furthermore, organisms are not wholly weak. A person is a collection of traits. Discarding the whole human being simply because they have one or more, or even a majority, of "unfit" traits also removes any beneficial traits they may have.

In short, it is simply an ignorant, narrow-minded, short-sighted, untenable philosophy that, more often than not, is merely a pseudoscientific cover for bigotry.

this is nothing like bigotry at all. social darwinists do not hate all others they find them either weaker or stronger than themselves
-keith-
ockcatdaddy
Posts: 155
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3/13/2013 11:14:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
bigot
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Social Darwinism is a belief, popular in the late Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere, which states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die. The theory was chiefly expounded by Herbert Spencer, whose ethical philosophies always held an elitist view and received a boost from the application of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection.

http://library.thinkquest.org...
-keith-
mattrodstrom
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3/13/2013 11:35:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/12/2013 9:42:23 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
should it be more accepted??opinions

nope.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/13/2013 11:42:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 11:14:53 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
bigot
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Social Darwinism is a belief, popular in the late Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere, which states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die. The theory was chiefly expounded by Herbert Spencer, whose ethical philosophies always held an elitist view and received a boost from the application of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection.

http://library.thinkquest.org...

You're right. Thinking people should be left to die isn't hateful or intolerant at all.
ockcatdaddy
Posts: 155
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3/13/2013 11:42:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 11:35:35 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/12/2013 9:42:23 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
should it be more accepted??opinions

nope.

why not???
-keith-
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/13/2013 11:51:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Even if you make good arguments for how one person is supposedly "Superior" in regard to Survival, or something, to another...
Social Darwinism needs more to support it than that.

At bottom social darwinism requires reasons to place the survival of the species above other things...

Like pursuing enjoyable things, or (of consequence for the empathetic among us) attempting to make the world such that Others can be so content.

and, really.. we care about lots of stuff, and there's just no good reason to care about the continuation of the species more than the many things we care about that might conflict with the political enaction of social darwinism.

really it's tough to see how anyone could care for the continuation of the species (of itself) for any reason other than a shallow kind of sentimentality.

I care about how I feel, and (through the former) how others feel/will feel... There's just no reason to care about anything else.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/13/2013 11:57:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also...

Being how this regards Ethics it should probably be in Philosophy rather than Science.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/13/2013 12:13:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 12:04:29 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Is this the scientific explanation for why some cultures swallow up others? Why languages and traditions die out?

no, it's the political idea that we should try to prevent relatively stupid and or weak people from breeding.

(which, I admit, when put like that sounds pretty tempting... lol... but it would end up being pretty darned awful wouldn't it)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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3/13/2013 12:21:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 12:13:41 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
no, it's the political idea that we should try to prevent relatively stupid and or weak people from breeding.

(which, I admit, when put like that sounds pretty tempting... lol... but it would end up being pretty darned awful wouldn't it)

I feel like in finding humor in this I was must have been channeling BrianEggleston..

my apologies for not offsetting my momentary Snobbery with anything actually funny 8)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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3/13/2013 12:36:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/12/2013 9:42:23 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
should it be more accepted??opinions

This idea makes a good deal of sense to me under certain secular/utilitarian lines of thought. We don't have to look back a century to see that it was a fairly popular idea among progressives of the time.
OMGJustinBieber
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3/13/2013 12:42:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It seems to me that if our main goal is driving civilization forward we ought not be concerned with squabbles like "well, is mental retardation really a handicap?" It does seem like we could use gentler methods now - something like 90% of down syndrome fetuses are being aborted anyways just through parental choice given medical technologies.
Cermank
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3/13/2013 2:50:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 12:42:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It seems to me that if our main goal is driving civilization forward we ought not be concerned with squabbles like "well, is mental retardation really a handicap?" It does seem like we could use gentler methods now - something like 90% of down syndrome fetuses are being aborted anyways just through parental choice given medical technologies.

Driving the civilization forward in what field? Improving the productive capability wise or intellectually or physically ?
OMGJustinBieber
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3/13/2013 3:08:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 2:50:25 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 3/13/2013 12:42:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It seems to me that if our main goal is driving civilization forward we ought not be concerned with squabbles like "well, is mental retardation really a handicap?" It does seem like we could use gentler methods now - something like 90% of down syndrome fetuses are being aborted anyways just through parental choice given medical technologies.

Driving the civilization forward in what field? Improving the productive capability wise or intellectually or physically ?

All 3 would fit the bill if eugenics - soft or hard - were instated. I might get nailed for this but it seems to follow closely from utilitarian thought.
Cermank
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3/13/2013 3:37:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 3:08:29 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 3/13/2013 2:50:25 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 3/13/2013 12:42:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It seems to me that if our main goal is driving civilization forward we ought not be concerned with squabbles like "well, is mental retardation really a handicap?" It does seem like we could use gentler methods now - something like 90% of down syndrome fetuses are being aborted anyways just through parental choice given medical technologies.

Driving the civilization forward in what field? Improving the productive capability wise or intellectually or physically ?

All 3 would fit the bill if eugenics - soft or hard - were instated. I might get nailed for this but it seems to follow closely from utilitarian thought.

The multiple contradictions that arise from that:

1. Physical attractiveness, for one, is subjective.

2. Productive capacity can be increased even if a proportion of people are intellectually inferior. From a societal point of view, productive forces aren't a zero sum game. Since the labour ( on the whole) is in excess, having one retarded individual does not extract from the other.

3. It is possible to get a 'inferior' individual from two superior individuals. And probablistically, very probable. So there would always be individuals who'd be inferior from others in the society. Selectively discriminating on the basis of subjective features would be... undesirable, for the society as a whole.
Plus, intellect, for one would be difficult to account for.

It depends on the final aim of the society. If the aim is chasing satisfaction/ happiness, eugenics won't be the way to go about it.

This is apart from the fact that it is inconsiderate and exposes a ugly vein of the societal thinkjnhg and can possibly lead to genocide.
ConservativeAmerican
Posts: 1,676
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3/13/2013 4:23:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 10:10:55 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/13/2013 9:58:39 AM, ockcatdaddy wrote:
why not survival of the fittest we are still fighting over women and some of us are still alphas while the rest of you are omega males

Because most people, especially those that endorse "Social Darwinism," have a very narrow view of what constitutes "fittest." More often than not, what is "fittest" is merely an excuse for some form of ethnic prejudice that isn't rooted in any form of science or reasonable analysis.

It's possible, all ideologies can be distorted to conveniently fit a bigoted or misguided view though, so your point is invalid.

For example, it is a common element of Social Darwinism that we don't spend resources taking care of the poor or weak (especially the disabled).

Do we receive as much from them as they give to us, or more? I thought so.

If they can't survive on their own, then they shouldn't survive.

I agree with charity, but why should I be forced to help someone who hasn't helped me? Even if they are crippled or desolate, that is sad, but giving resources to those who can't produce them stands in the way of progress for the majority.

What's so amusing about this stance is the fact that we take care of our own, be they weak or infirm, is what has contributed to our success as a species.

Elaborate.

We are a social species and part of that involves taking care of each other. Taken to the extreme, we should cease taking care of our young, which would result in our extinction.

If you created something, then yes, you should take care of it until it can take care of itself, but why take care of someone/something that has no relevance to your life?

Social Darwinism usually goes hand-in-hand with eugenics, which suffers from the same objections. Weeding out people with certain traits reduces the variability found within our gene pool.

Fair enough, but why not get rid of genes that are just flat out bad and detrimental? If people with polio or if midgets stop reproducing, we won't have any more people with polio and we will all have a reasonable height.

Having more genetic options makes us resilient.

Yes, but the negative ones do not do anyone any good, do they now?

What makes us "fit" today may be a liability tomorrow. What is a liability today may be an advantage tomorrow. Eliminating traits simply because they are perceived - through a narrow point of view - as being a weakness

Agreed, to a point. But there are some traits that will never be beneficial. Will it ever be beneficial to have diabetes or cancer for example?

in the current environment is basically setting us up for failure in the long run. Furthermore, organisms are not wholly weak. A person is a collection of traits. Discarding the whole human being simply because they have one or more, or even a majority, of "unfit" traits also removes any beneficial traits they may have.

it's if their negativites outweigh their positives.

In short, it is simply an ignorant, narrow-minded, short-sighted, untenable philosophy that, more often than not, is merely a pseudoscientific cover for bigotry.

It isn't, it can be a cover for bigotry, but that doesn't mean it is bad as a whole.
Skepsikyma
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3/13/2013 4:28:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I wish they would change the name from 'social Darwinism' to 'I wish that all of the people I don't like would go lie in a ditch and die-ism', because that's what it really is. It isn't grounded in real Darwinism in any way whatsoever.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
OMGJustinBieber
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3/13/2013 4:36:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/13/2013 3:37:00 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 3/13/2013 3:08:29 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 3/13/2013 2:50:25 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 3/13/2013 12:42:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
It seems to me that if our main goal is driving civilization forward we ought not be concerned with squabbles like "well, is mental retardation really a handicap?" It does seem like we could use gentler methods now - something like 90% of down syndrome fetuses are being aborted anyways just through parental choice given medical technologies.

Driving the civilization forward in what field? Improving the productive capability wise or intellectually or physically ?

All 3 would fit the bill if eugenics - soft or hard - were instated. I might get nailed for this but it seems to follow closely from utilitarian thought.

The multiple contradictions that arise from that:

1. Physical attractiveness, for one, is subjective.

2. Productive capacity can be increased even if a proportion of people are intellectually inferior. From a societal point of view, productive forces aren't a zero sum game. Since the labour ( on the whole) is in excess, having one retarded individual does not extract from the other.

3. It is possible to get a 'inferior' individual from two superior individuals. And probablistically, very probable. So there would always be individuals who'd be inferior from others in the society. Selectively discriminating on the basis of subjective features would be... undesirable, for the society as a whole.
Plus, intellect, for one would be difficult to account for.

It depends on the final aim of the society. If the aim is chasing satisfaction/ happiness, eugenics won't be the way to go about it.

This is apart from the fact that it is inconsiderate and exposes a ugly vein of the societal thinkjnhg and can possibly lead to genocide.

1. If this is true then we just discard the metric, but I suspect it's not because our brains are shaped by evolution and if you look throughout history certain appearances tend to be favored even if there is some variance. No tribe or country that I know of exalts the beauty of the dead or dying. Regardless, the point isn't central to the matter at hand.

2. Certainly, but there are also individuals who - due to mental disabilities - will end up being a drain on the resources of a society. There are certain people who just can't pay off the cost needed to feed, cloth, and house them.

3. It is possible, and forced abortions could be considered part of the social darwinist aim. There will always be difference, yes, but under this view those who seriously can't pull their weight would be disposed of. Whenever some starts making a positive benefit, regardless of the extent, they'd have literally "earned their right."

Again, if I were to defend it t would be based on utilitarian thinking. If you truly cut off a certain segment of society that can't pull their weight then ideally we'd be able "cleanse the gene pool" and improve wealth now that we'd no longer have to support the weak.
Lordknukle
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3/13/2013 5:28:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yes, but not in the traditional sense. Muscles and brawn are completely irrelevant in today's culture; in fact, they very often are correlated (not causation) with lower intelligence. It's a pretty much universal fact that those people with the highest IQs will be forever in desire of both current and future society. Therefore, don't base social darwinism on this petty Alpha and Omega bullsh!t- base it on intelligence.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
mattrodstrom
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3/13/2013 6:11:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
what's the reason to try to hasten 'evolution'??

and, well...

The CONSTANT strife that politically enacting principles of social darwinism would cause to the existing body of people (at this time, and in the future) is real and would be QUITE Substantial...
whereas the hoped for future state of bliss, seems just a touch silly.

Should we (politically) act to prevent behaviors (like drinking during pregnancy and Unprotected Incestual sex) that can cause Mental/physical retardation in potential offspring?
Sure, those are callous acts that can cause a great deal of avoidable suffering, and are thus objectionable.

But being somewhat slow, doesn't in and of itself mean you're going to suffer...

In fact there's really no reason to suggest that Intelligence itself is the End-all be all when it comes to Human happiness.. Many have suggested that man's intelligence is the source for Depression as well.

Now, sure... when it comes to Politics it can often seem that If Only people weren't so Goddamn Stupid they'd see things my way, and we'd all get along, and to Some extent I'm sure that's true...

But a big part of societal strife isn't about Intelligence, but about Cultural strife, and though I'm sure intelligence plays a role in overcoming cultural strife as well, It's not the whole story.

Meanwhile, enacting the principles of Social Darwinism would cause a Lot of Real and immediate suffering in the world, better and more effective to spend your political capital getting people to adopt your Right Views by arguing to the people that exist.. than trying to shape them..
(not to mention that having to Convince people, rather than Exterminate them, is kind of a check on the robustness and Veracity of those views as well)

It would seem to me that A political system that would enact social darwinist principles would be a system that forces immense strife upon it's people based upon naive and unrealistic, goals...

which, even if they Could be achieved, would not be worth it AT LEAST not to the people who enacted it (unless they were crazy, Sadistic, Mofos).
for, I grant you, that if it ended in uniformity some Nazi society in the future might thank the deceased darwinists of the past.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."