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Human Nature

InsertNameHere
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7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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7/13/2010 3:56:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

We have a natural capacity for selfishness and alturism. Humans just are, I am not sure it is right to categorise them as good or evil.

Hitler was a hero, and a mass murdering tyrant. Death Camp commandants were also loving husbands and decent parents. I am a fairly nice guy but do I truely care about Haiti or Darfur or the homeless guy I walk past?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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7/13/2010 4:23:32 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think they rate people on a scale of one to twenty on how sympathetic they are, one being very empathetic and twenty being completely sociopathical.
Humans are not naturally inclined to any kind of moral. It is simply a case by case thing. Nature and nurture both play a part and neither may make a difference.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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7/13/2010 6:43:21 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral?:

Seems to me that concepts of good and bad is subjective. Can a tree be good or bad?

What causes a human to act the way they do?:

A healthy combination of nature versus nurture.

Can we as a society affect human nature?:

Sociologically, yes. DNA/RNA is still half of the battle though. I guess it would depend on the scope of what you would seek to affect.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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7/13/2010 6:47:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Both good and evil are deeds are perfectly normal expressions of human nature.

Humans primary instincts are to survive and prosper, even at the expense of other members of our own species, and because we are social animals we have evolved to work together for the common good of our own tribe.

That means we will fight together to secure scarce natural resources (as Hitler did when he invaded other European countries) and seek to eliminate competition from other tribes (as Hitler did when he tried to close Jewish businesses because they were taking money out of the German economy and keeping it all within their own community).

However, although these actions were just manifestations of normal human behaviour, many people outside Nazi Germany viewed them as "evil".

On the other hand, providing free health and education to all citizens is usually described as "good" things, but in reality, we only extend these benefits to members of our own tribe and even then because we realise that we need healthy, educated people to earn the money to pay the taxes that will one day pay for our pensions.
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mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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7/13/2010 7:04:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:56:56 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Humans just are, I am not sure it is right to categorise them as good or evil.

I pretty much agree...

but I think people are generally "good"...

or it's a natural disposition for many.

It's prolly cuz I forgive "selfishness" which is necessary for survival...
stealing to avoid starvation and the like... I don't think it lies in the "evil" category.

Most people would feel for a little babe who's on the edge of falling into a well... and would go help it. (MENCIUS!)

I think most "evil" is rooted in insecurity.
"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."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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7/13/2010 8:01:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think we want to be and do good, but have internal battles over it. We are so used to it that we don't even acknowledge the conflict that we live with, but we are all imperfect and those imperfections usually are the result of short sighted selfishness. I think there is a certain infant in all of us that wants what we want with less regard to others that may be hurt in the process. The id and the ego, or super ego, i guess. For most the best of who we are wins out.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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7/13/2010 11:21:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I believe human beings are born neither good nor evil... but each person is arguably 'born' with specific personality traits that predisposes them to do good or bad things (in interaction with other factors, namely, environment).
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
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7/13/2010 3:17:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

I think society affects what we see as good and evil, and encourage us to do certain things, but I don't veiw many humans as "good" but I don't judge specific ones as "evil" unless they show they are.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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7/13/2010 3:22:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:17:51 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

I think society affects what we see as good and evil, and encourage us to do certain things, but I don't veiw many humans as "good" but I don't judge specific ones as "evil" unless they show they are.

I'd say society plays a huge role in corrupting people. If you look at young children they're so innocent and pure. As they get older society begins to corrupt them more which then leads to all the conflict and other bad things we see going on. Even if discrimination was eliminated humans would still find things to fight about.
Paris
Posts: 36
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7/13/2010 3:23:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
No act is good or evil, but our intentions behind an act can be good or evil. If I accidentally hit someone with a car, that's much different then me purposefully hitting someone with a car. The first act can be said to be not evil whereas the second one is clearly evil (intentional harm). Because intent usually dictates the morality of something, then one cannot be BORN good or BORN evil as you aren't BORN with intentions. Those intentions form later. Also if somoene has tourettes and cusses a lot, you're not going to hold them accountable for that action the same way you would somoene without tourettes. They don't mean to act out or can't help acting out (same for an insane person). So I think human nature is decidely neutral until one develops a personality and such.
MikeLoviN
Posts: 746
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7/13/2010 3:57:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral?

None of the above (or all of the above depending on how you look at it). Humans are naturally self-serving. It can be "bad" (exploiting others for personal gain). It can be "good" (helping others to make you feel better about yourself). But the point is that it all boils down to our selfishness, which developed from basic survival instincts millions of years ago.

I'm very skeptical of the concept of altruism. I think that, at least on a subconscious level, the feelings and emotions responsible for sympathy and our desire to help others is rooted in the fact that we like to think that we can have a 'positive' effect on lives that we are not ourselves in direct control of. Or maybe it's that we know that our inaction will cause guilt, which is an undesired emotion, and so we do what we can to avoid it. Either way, I'm of the opinion that all acts of generosity and purported "selflessness" have an underlying, self-serving purpose. Of course this is based entirely on the presupposition that serving our emotions is inherently selfish.

Just my initial thoughts on the subject.
kelly224
Posts: 952
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7/13/2010 6:47:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature.

Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? People are what they choose to be.

What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

People are what they choose to be. Conditioning plays a major part in it most importantly. Children are not born knowing consciously how to hate, or have any bigotry, but we are innately endowed with several needs as human beings that if not satisfied will cause us to act out in ways that make us question or sanity. Well adjusted people act irrationally all the time.

Some people are not chemically balanced right I might add.
Pirate
Posts: 71
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7/14/2010 6:59:49 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Humans are mammals. They act as such. What is there more to say? They are not good or bad, they act in a way that makes their survival easy, too bad if another human or other species' member dies for it. Is that bad?
Sobriquet
Posts: 390
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7/14/2010 10:32:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:22:02 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:17:51 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

I think society affects what we see as good and evil, and encourage us to do certain things, but I don't veiw many humans as "good" but I don't judge specific ones as "evil" unless they show they are.

I'd say society plays a huge role in corrupting people. If you look at young children they're so innocent and pure. As they get older society begins to corrupt them more which then leads to all the conflict and other bad things we see going on. Even if discrimination was eliminated humans would still find things to fight about.

Read Rousseau. The whole idea of the natural man and society. Man is corrupted the moment he enters society, I think it was called...amour de propre. Man starts to act through other people.

As for my thoughts on human nature..well, its hard to say. I think we are born with a natural sense of empathy...or maybe just a natural dislike for death. Beyond whatever empathy we may or may not have, we do what we need to survive. Thats the nature of the natural man. We may deem his actions good, or evil, but it is all for perseverance. Judging human nature changes once we enter society. Our actions change, and our perceptions are influenced. That is the point where we start calling people evil, or good based on standards we have learned. I cast my ballot for human nature being neutral.
"Bullsh!t is unavoidable whenever circumstance require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about."
— Harry G. Frankfurt
kelly224
Posts: 952
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7/16/2010 9:27:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/14/2010 6:59:49 AM, Pirate wrote:
Humans are mammals. They act as such. What is there more to say? They are not good or bad, they act in a way that makes their survival easy, too bad if another human or other species' member dies for it. Is that bad?

Yes something is wrong with believing that you are judge jury and executioner. We have become so calloused as a society as to believe that decency is deplorable. Humans are mammals but have what other mammals don't self determination.
Pirate
Posts: 71
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7/16/2010 2:52:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/16/2010 9:27:58 AM, kelly224 wrote:
At 7/14/2010 6:59:49 AM, Pirate wrote:
Humans are mammals. They act as such. What is there more to say? They are not good or bad, they act in a way that makes their survival easy, too bad if another human or other species' member dies for it. Is that bad?

Yes something is wrong with believing that you are judge jury and executioner. We have become so calloused as a society as to believe that decency is deplorable. Humans are mammals but have what other mammals don't self determination.

No they don't. You still follow your instinct. Why do women want to have children? Why? Oh, free choice, of course. You can put basic instinctive behaviour into everything a man does. Of course, there's not only instinct, there's also social norms. They act like a "filter", like a block sometimes (theres no reason to even wear clothes in the summer, for example, it's only social taboo, or no reason not to have sex anywhere in public, another social taboo) or as impulses.

Can't know everything of course, so we're probably both wrong. I still think i'm more right than you about this. You probably think the inverse. What exactly is decency?
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
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7/16/2010 3:49:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/16/2010 2:52:12 PM, Pirate wrote:
At 7/16/2010 9:27:58 AM, kelly224 wrote:
At 7/14/2010 6:59:49 AM, Pirate wrote:
Humans are mammals. They act as such. What is there more to say? They are not good or bad, they act in a way that makes their survival easy, too bad if another human or other species' member dies for it. Is that bad?

Yes something is wrong with believing that you are judge jury and executioner. We have become so calloused as a society as to believe that decency is deplorable. Humans are mammals but have what other mammals don't self determination.

No they don't. You still follow your instinct. Why do women want to have children? Why? Oh, free choice, of course. You can put basic instinctive behaviour into everything a man does. Of course, there's not only instinct, there's also social norms. They act like a "filter", like a block sometimes (theres no reason to even wear clothes in the summer, for example, it's only social taboo, or no reason not to have sex anywhere in public, another social taboo) or as impulses.

Can't know everything of course, so we're probably both wrong. I still think i'm more right than you about this. You probably think the inverse. What exactly is decency?

Decency is realizing that humans are animals, and no better.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
Truth_seeker
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8/9/2014 8:37:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

We are evil because we are self-centered and we love to have power over others in subtle ways.
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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8/10/2014 5:01:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
There is no such thing as "objective morality".

Objective is defined as:
": based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings

philosophy : existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world"

There is no evidence of morality outside the feelings, thoughts, opinions, or minds of living beings. We simply can debate and discuss morality all we like, but there is no way to look to the natural world for examples of any "moral laws" (by natural world, I mean everything excluding living beings that can act based on feelings or opinions, meaning all animals as well). Without a mind to form the concept of morality, it simply does not exist. Take away all living beings and the truly objective natural laws like physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. will still function the same. No tornado, earthquake, or tsunami can be made to feel bad about the destruction or death it causes and it therefor cannot be called "evil". It takes living minds with thoughts, opinions, feelings, and values for morality to even exist which is why it cannot be anything other than subjective.

So, in other words, since all ideas of morality are subjective, that means that the only answer to your question of the inherent "goodness", "evilness", or "neutrality" of humans is that it would depend on who you ask unless you are personally going to define "good" and "bad" for this discussion.

Now, on the other hand, if we define good as "for the good of others or mankind or all living things", then there is no question that humankind is biologically inherently built to be "social animals" and therefor "good". We have become the dominant species on this planet in part because we have evolved inherent tendencies to actually work together and interact with each other. As a whole, humans have evolved:

First, a sense of self.

Second, a sense of group.

Third, a sense of humankind as a whole.

Fourth, a sense of the all life on the planet.

We inherently and biologically equate all of these things with ourselves (and therefor our survival) in that very order of importance (1.self, 2.group, 3.humankind, 4.all life). So, in other words, our own survival is more important than the group, the group's survival is more important than humankind, and humankind's survival is more important than other lifeforms.

Some may say that the need to relate these things (the group, humankind, other lifeforms) to ourselves or the positive feelings we personally "get out of it" is inherently "selfish", "self-serving", or "bad", but ideas are actually quite ridiculous and ignore the purpose (and inherent necessity) of such things. By inherently and biologically basing your own feelings of self-worth and accomplishment on the success of the group, humankind, or life in general, you have a built in mechanism to inspire good behavior. No living thing will ever do anything without any purpose, therefor purpose or motivation is obviously a necessity. The very fact that you have any built-in mechanism for such feelings shows your "inherent goodness", it means that you are biologically programed for "good" behavior. If you were indifferent in your feelings towards the success of others, your "good" actions (if you had any) would have no motivation nor purpose. In fact, we inherently feel disgust with any people who have such indifference and consider them to be "malfunctioning" (crazy or dangerous) or fear them out of instinct and for a very good reason. We also commonly call them sociopaths and frequently equate such people with being "evil" and also consider their behaviors to be "evil" for a reason. It is because, without sympathy and empathy (or the ability to relate group, mankind, and other life to ourselves), there is no motivation for "good" behavior. No motivation for "good" behavior means that such behavior simply will not happen. Therefor, it is just silly to say that having a motivation for "good" makes you selfish or somehow bad when it is actually the exact opposite which is true. On the other hand, the people who have the most motivation (sympathy or empathy) tend to create far more "good" in the world showing the effectiveness and necessity for those motivations.

Some may also say that, "if we were inherently "good", then the ordering is backwards". They would say that it should be 1.all life, 2.Humankind, 3.Group, 4. Self (or some other order). This is also ridiculous reasoning. If I took every bit of food I received and gave it to third-world countries, I would starve to death in a very short time and then what good could I continue doing for third-world countries? You must first secure your own survival before you can be of any use to the group, you must also secure the survival of you group before it can be of any use to humankind, and humankind must survive before it can be of any use to the rest of the world. The order was created through many years of evolution because it is what actually works as natural selection has already tested and proven. In fact, the capability for each one of these to help the other (self, group, humankind, all life) is completely determined by the "quality" of survival of each one and in the exact order I originally mentioned. For example, if I gave away every dollar I earned as soon as I got it, I couldn't really make much difference in the world no matter how much I was celebrated by my friends and family. On the other hand, if I invested all my money into my own success and therefor became a successful business owner with billions of dollars then even 1% of my fortune donated could inspire more change in the world than the entire income of many many blue-collar workers that didn't invest their time and money as wisely. Thus, the level of success of the individual determines the level of success of the group. The success of group then determines the success of humankind which determines the success of all life everywhere. Things work this way because it is what actually works and it is what works the most effectively and is therefor the most "good". The very fact that humankind has these natural tendencies proves that humankind is indeed inherently "good".

Btw, an example to show the order in its entirety could be this: I invest my money in my own education as a scientist. I work with a group of scientists to increase knowledge of how the world works. Different groups of scientists all over the world share their knowledge to better understand the world. By better understanding the world, we gain the ability to improve the world.

In this example, my success in my studies determines the success of my group. The success of my group helps determine the success of humankind. The success of humankind determines the quality of the world. It simply cannot work backwards, and even if it could, I can only personally have influence on all of these things in the order given and beginning with myself.
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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8/10/2014 5:08:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 5:01:01 AM, neptune1bond wrote:

Now, on the other hand, if we define good as "for the good of others or mankind or all living things", then there is no question that humankind is biologically inherently built to be "social animals" and therefor "good".
I should clarify that by "the good of others or mankind or all living things", I meant "the survival and quality of survival of others or mankind or all living things as it would be understood by the majority of society" (or something along those lines). As long as you are trying to actually derive what I intend and do not play word games to misinterpret my argument and develop a straw man to argue against, then you will get what I'm meaning by that. Hopefully that makes my intentions clear.
sadolite
Posts: 8,834
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8/10/2014 9:46:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

Human nature is to do things to ones self that one knows is bad for it and prefer it.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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8/11/2014 8:09:11 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/10/2014 9:46:05 AM, sadolite wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

Human nature is to do things to ones self that one knows is bad for it and prefer it.

Although a case can be made that this happens in certain circumstances and at certain times, I don't know that I can agree that this is "human nature" (or the inherent tendency of the vast majority of people in most circumstances). Please explain how this is actually human nature rather than something that people sometimes do.

It also raises certain questions. For instance, I would argue that people almost always choose what they currently perceive as their "best" option of which they are aware in their particular circumstance. Even if someone knows that something is "bad" for them, they will frequently choose it because they believe the alternative(s) to be worse. Therefor, what do you perceive to be the relevance of pointing out that a person chose something "bad" if they saw it to be the better option?
sadolite
Posts: 8,834
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8/11/2014 11:04:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/11/2014 8:09:11 AM, neptune1bond wrote:
At 8/10/2014 9:46:05 AM, sadolite wrote:
At 7/13/2010 3:51:57 AM, InsertNameHere wrote:
I apologize if there has already been a thread on this, but I just wanted to hear people's thoughts on human nature. Are humans naturally good? Bad? Neutral? What causes a human to act the way they do? Can we as a society affect human nature?

Human nature is to do things to ones self that one knows is bad for it and prefer it.

Although a case can be made that this happens in certain circumstances and at certain times, I don't know that I can agree that this is "human nature" (or the inherent tendency of the vast majority of people in most circumstances). Please explain how this is actually human nature rather than something that people sometimes do.

It also raises certain questions. For instance, I would argue that people almost always choose what they currently perceive as their "best" option of which they are aware in their particular circumstance. Even if someone knows that something is "bad" for them, they will frequently choose it because they believe the alternative(s) to be worse. Therefor, what do you perceive to be the relevance of pointing out that a person chose something "bad" if they saw it to be the better option?

In general people take risks that they know will get them hurt, people spend money they know they don't have, people ingest things they know will get them sick or stoned, people lie to damage another, the list goes on and on. This is not the exception of a few, it is the other way around. Very few people live a life of safety.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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8/11/2014 3:39:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/11/2014 11:04:04 AM, sadolite wrote:

In general people take risks that they know will get them hurt, people spend money they know they don't have
Ah, but any person can tell you that when they spend the money it's usually because they aren't actually thinking of the consequences. They see something they really want and they aren't sure of how much money they have in their account. They get into a loan actually thinking that they can afford the payments and "it will be o.k.". People actually hardly EVER (if ever) think to themselves,"Hey, you know what would really screw up my finances right now..." It's usually only AFTER the fact that they realize how boneheaded the choice was. So they aren't really doing something that they think will be all that horrible. They usually think that it will be o.k. and they feel the benefits outweigh the risks. If a person actually "knows it's bad" (the key word being KNOW) and they do not personally FEEL that they receive more benefit than "bad" from the action, then they simply will not do it. So this does not imply that the people are actually preferring something they see as "bad" over what they see as the "better" option. The key here is the perspective of the individual. Also, the fact that the majority of the population is not filing bankruptcy shows that it is the exception, and not the rule, and also that the results are necessarily all that "bad" for their finances if they are o.k. with the financial results in reference to whatever benefits they feel they receive. If this were truly human nature, as you imply, then everyone would be doing it all the time until they were homeless, which simply isn't the case.

people ingest things they know will get them sick or stoned
Many people who get stoned will tell you that they don't see the actual experience in itself as "bad" in any way. People also do drugs for a multitude of reasons. Usually it starts when people are young and ignorant. Peer pressure is a common reason. Many kids feel an intense need to fit in socially. They actually do see the benefits as being more important than the risks (which they sometimes mistakenly think are not so bad and that they will "only do it the one time"). People also do drugs as a means to escape stress or other situations they cannot handle. Again, to think that people actually think to themselves,"Hey, you know what would really ruin my life right now...." is a complete misrepresentation of the actual thought process of a person in that situation. They, again, don't actually know how "bad" it really is or they think that the benefits outweigh the risks. They actually believe they are taking the better or best option. Also, it is not actually the majority of people who are doing drugs. If this was actually human nature as you say, then the vast majority of the population would use drugs instead of just some.

people lie to damage another, the list goes on and on.
But, again, this is a misrepresentation of people's actual thought process. People rarely (if ever) lie for the purpose of trying to damage someone else, but they usually do it because they really want to do something that the other person may not want them to. If the person was cheating, for instance, they do not actually believe the other person will find out. They figure if the other person doesn't know, then they won't get hurt. Even in this case, they aren't actually doing it because they know it's bad in the same way you were implying in your first post. Again, they think that the benefits outweigh the risks (as they see it) and still are not actually preferring something because they know it's bad for them. But, if this were actually human nature, then people would be lying about everything and anything instead of doing it without any rhyme or reason. This isn't even nearly the case.

This is not the exception of a few, it is the other way around. Very few people live a life of safety.
Hmm, but it actually is the exception. If it were truly "human nature", that would mean that preferring things that are "bad" for you would really be an intrinsic part of what it actually means to be human. People would do it in almost every area of their lives instead of just a couple. People also wouldn't show regret over such things, as they frequently do, but would actually show gladness or pride in their "bad" accomplishments since we know that people actually prefer to be happy than to have "regrets" ("Hey, this will make me homeless and that will be quite the amazing experience!" or "Wow, look how good I screwed up my life with my drug addiction!" or "I hope my husband finds out that I damaged his new car and that I lied, this is going to be GREAT!"). The regret actually proves that the initial intention had nothing to do with the "bad", but rather had to do with any perceived benefits they thought they might receive. Most people actually prefer to be safe or think that things will be o.k., almost no one does not actually want to "live a life of safety" and even those that don't prefer a life of safety, it's because they actually find the lack of safety to be "exciting" and "what life is all about" ("adrenaline junkies"). Almost no one prefers a life of one "bad" experience after another. I feel as though your original statement is a huge misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the way that it actually works. In almost every situation that you could possibly come up with, if you actually thought of the reasons why the person made the choice they did then you will find that it is almost never because they prefer something that they see as actually being "bad" for them (or, at least, they don't see it as actually being worse than their alternative). Actual human nature is to almost always choose what they see to be the "better" option (no matter what their actual reasoning is for why they think it is "better"). The actual truth is, people aren't truly preferring what they think to be "bad", but they are usually preferring it out of ignorance of the actual outcomes or ignorance of how "bad" it really is.
sadolite
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8/11/2014 4:52:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/11/2014 3:39:46 PM, neptune1bond wrote:
At 8/11/2014 11:04:04 AM, sadolite wrote:

In general people take risks that they know will get them hurt, people spend money they know they don't have
Ah, but any person can tell you that when they spend the money it's usually because they aren't actually thinking of the consequences. They see something they really want and they aren't sure of how much money they have in their account. They get into a loan actually thinking that they can afford the payments and "it will be o.k.". People actually hardly EVER (if ever) think to themselves,"Hey, you know what would really screw up my finances right now..." It's usually only AFTER the fact that they realize how boneheaded the choice was. So they aren't really doing something that they think will be all that horrible. They usually think that it will be o.k. and they feel the benefits outweigh the risks. If a person actually "knows it's bad" (the key word being KNOW) and they do not personally FEEL that they receive more benefit than "bad" from the action, then they simply will not do it. So this does not imply that the people are actually preferring something they see as "bad" over what they see as the "better" option. The key here is the perspective of the individual. Also, the fact that the majority of the population is not filing bankruptcy shows that it is the exception, and not the rule, and also that the results are necessarily all that "bad" for their finances if they are o.k. with the financial results in reference to whatever benefits they feel they receive. If this were truly human nature, as you imply, then everyone would be doing it all the time until they were homeless, which simply isn't the case.

people ingest things they know will get them sick or stoned
Many people who get stoned will tell you that they don't see the actual experience in itself as "bad" in any way. People also do drugs for a multitude of reasons. Usually it starts when people are young and ignorant. Peer pressure is a common reason. Many kids feel an intense need to fit in socially. They actually do see the benefits as being more important than the risks (which they sometimes mistakenly think are not so bad and that they will "only do it the one time"). People also do drugs as a means to escape stress or other situations they cannot handle. Again, to think that people actually think to themselves,"Hey, you know what would really ruin my life right now...." is a complete misrepresentation of the actual thought process of a person in that situation. They, again, don't actually know how "bad" it really is or they think that the benefits outweigh the risks. They actually believe they are taking the better or best option. Also, it is not actually the majority of people who are doing drugs. If this was actually human nature as you say, then the vast majority of the population would use drugs instead of just some.

people lie to damage another, the list goes on and on.
But, again, this is a misrepresentation of people's actual thought process. People rarely (if ever) lie for the purpose of trying to damage someone else, but they usually do it because they really want to do something that the other person may not want them to. If the person was cheating, for instance, they do not actually believe the other person will find out. They figure if the other person doesn't know, then they won't get hurt. Even in this case, they aren't actually doing it because they know it's bad in the same way you were implying in your first post. Again, they think that the benefits outweigh the risks (as they see it) and still are not actually preferring something because they know it's bad for them. But, if this were actually human nature, then people would be lying about everything and anything instead of doing it without any rhyme or reason. This isn't even nearly the case.

This is not the exception of a few, it is the other way around. Very few people live a life of safety.
Hmm, but it actually is the exception. If it were truly "human nature", that would mean that preferring things that are "bad" for you would really be an intrinsic part of what it actually means to be human. People would do it in almost every area of their lives instead of just a couple. People also wouldn't show regret over such things, as they frequently do, but would actually show gladness or pride in their "bad" accomplishments since we know that people actually prefer to be happy than to have "regrets" ("Hey, this will make me homeless and that will be quite the amazing experience!" or "Wow, look how good I screwed up my life with my drug addiction!" or "I hope my husband finds out that I damaged his new car and that I lied, this is going to be GREAT!"). The regret actually proves that the initial intention had nothing to do with the "bad", but rather had to do with any perceived benefits they thought they might receive. Most people actually prefer to be safe or think that things will be o.k., almost no one does not actually want to "live a life of safety" and even those that don't prefer a life of safety, it's because they actually find the lack of safety to be "exciting" and "what life is all about" ("adrenaline junkies"). Almost no one prefers a life of one "bad" experience after another. I feel as though your original statement is a huge misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the way that it actually works. In almost every situation that you could possibly come up with, if you actually thought of the reasons why the person made the choice they did then you will find that it is almost never because they prefer something that they see as actually being "bad" for them (or, at least, they don't see it as actually being worse than their alternative). Actual human nature is to almost always choose what they see to be the "better" option (no matter what their actual reasoning is for why they think it is "better"). The actual truth is, people aren't truly preferring what they think to be "bad", but they are usually preferring it out of ignorance of the actual outcomes or ignorance of how "bad" it really is.

Ok you are right, only a tiny percentage of people do the things I listed. It isn't human nature at all.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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8/11/2014 5:51:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/11/2014 4:52:04 PM, sadolite wrote:

Ok you are right, only a tiny percentage of people do the things I listed. It isn't human nature at all.

Wow, what a very open-minded response. You actually did make me think more into my reasoning than I had before in this particular area, so I thank you for the conversation.