Is man's survival instinct the primary cause of suffering in the world?

  • Survival and success trump morality.

    All living beings, including humans, operate on one primal directive that has been genetically programmed into them since the dawn of life: "I will survive by any means necessary, even if I must hurt and kill others to maintain my existence". It is because of this directive that we see the strong taking from the weak, disadvantaged individuals preying upon others for food and resources, and the weak being made to suffer and die. All of these horrific events happen not just in the animal realm on a daily basis, but also in human society. This is why there is war, crime, and exploitation of the poor.

    Competition over limited resources is a fact of life. Throughout history, man has victimized fellow human beings for the sake of food, shelter, money, land, and power. From massacring rival tribes to forcing desperate people into slavery, human beings have shown that there is NOTHING they won’t do to keep themselves fed, housed, and rich. It is because of the survival instinct that humans have suffered at the hands of other human beings and will continue to do so until their extinction or Instrumentality.

  • Yes , it is .

    Humans are born into this world with an immediate instinct which is built - in them from birth to death which is to live for whatever the reason or consequence may be . Yes , it is the primary source because SURVIVAL INSTINCT does include social , economical security . And this can be proved by the rich trying to maintain their wealth even if it means to kill another . Would you kill someone for a million dollars if you really need the money or are economically insecure? Of course . Going to social security , the exemplar of this aspect can be best represented by Russia's Joseph Stalin and also the book resembling the Russian Empire 'Animal Farm ' . The book shows that even when one has control at the beginning . He becomes insecure when he sees the vulnerabilities of not controlling his own destiny and eventually becomes an oppressor in the end . "Corruption corrupts all ." The one statement that definitely shows that man's survival instinct is the primary cause of suffering of the world . With that , I rest my case . Thank you

  • No. This is going to sound a little strange, but man's individual quest for happiness is what causes suffering.

    No. This is going to sound a little strange, but it's actually man's individual question for gratification and happiness that brings about suffering. For example, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is about power and individual control of their destinies. Hamas attacks Israel because it seeks power over its future in a way that it believes will be personally gratifying. The same can be said of Israel. This is also true of the United States, of Russia, of the North Korean government, of Latin American governments, of the Assad regime and elsewhere. The search for power and gratification are actually what brings suffering.

    This is also true among individuals. In the search for joy and gratification, people over-eat, they fail to focus on responsibilities, they obtain STDs, they become drug addicts, etc.

    This is also true BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS. People seek to become the best in their sport, or job, or try to maximize individual profits in search of the gratification that this offers, necessarily affecting others in their community negatively.

    The search for joy and gratification, ironically, is what brings suffering.

    Is there a solution. I doubt there is a universal solution that will satisfy everyone.


    Try to enjoy life the best you can, but there are no guarantees!

  • Mankind's survival instinct is what actually prevents suffering:

    Humans are geared towards working together. Territorial by nature divvying up space and resources is the norm for progression for any human settlement and really it isn't about power struggle until a certain rank of prosperity is met. After this human conquests begin to take form or alliances due to an expansion of territory.

    This is actually true for most social species. The reason only two species on the planet really wage full war against one another (the other being ants) with the intent of hostile take over is expansion of colonies because ants and apparently humans take up a lot of space and don't just drive other creatures off their land they drive themselves off their settlements as well.

    As human culture further develops this becomes a greater trend and warfare takes on more and more diverse forms whether it's ethnocentricism or outright slaying or political diversions with the intent for subversive take-over.

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  • Hobbism is the low-level thinking of some people/situations, but not the primary cause of suffering in the world

    While the creator and subsequent advocate for this rhetorical poll sides with the Hobbism point of view that it is because of and through life's survival instinct that leads one to pillage at others expense, and justify one's self in doing so based on this theory, we should ask two questions; has NOT mankind, in its modern civilized position, attained a higher level of moral reasoning to better deal and justify survival methods, however varied they may be, and 2: Is the Hobbism, or even Humism philosophical reasoning of man the PRIMARY cause of suffering (all?) in the world today? No to the first question (double negative, so 'yes'), and the second cannot really be answerable. While it is true that there are a great number of people/groups that still engage in this pre-conventional level of moral reasoning (level 1 of Kohlberg's six stages), and it is likely that even those in the conventional level 2 resort back to level 1 when SHTF, I believe that a nearly even number of people have either a firm position to maintain level 2 or have even achieved a post-conventional level 3, whereby a stronger likelihood that people will form a social contract amid catastrophe or limited resources to ensure a fair and favorable survival for all/most.

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