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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on the Human Animal

    Animals are organisms that have three primary functions. Those would be, to survive, to consume, and to reproduce. Humans are a social animals, and thus have an extra function in addition to the other three, and that would be social order.

    The Human animal, once created, lives to survive. To survive it must consume resources for energy. Much of what it consumes becomes, "waste" or that which is unusable to the Human animal. The Human animal must also reproduce so as to continue the species.

    Individual human animals come together in order to increase their chances of survival, possess and protect areas of resources so they could be consumed later, and to increase opportunities for reproduction. However, since not all Human animals are created equal, a hierarchy forms in which those that possess favorable traits can obtain more resources and/or chances to reproduce than those who do not have those favorable traits. Thus two important constructs come into being, control and power.

    There are ultimately only three ways in which to truly control Human animals. The first is to control the limited resources which they wish to consume. This isn't limited to just food, but also includes water, land, fossil fuels, etc. Unbeknown to a lot of people, freedom is a resource. It can be granted or taken away, and it is limited. One favored method of controlling those who don't comply with social order is to restrict their freedom. Another limited resource is education. Restricting and controlling this particular resource has countless implications. Inheritance demonstrates an alternative control of resources, where they can be passed down to an individual's offspring.

    The second is to control reproduction. One of the earliest such methods for doing so was marriage, which allowed a male to ensure the paternity of his children by possessing females. Also, by restricting the pleasure people obtain from reproduction, people have been able to control how much sex people have. One method is the cutting away of the genitals as demonstrated even today in present Africa. Another method was to make people ashamed of the reproductive act, which has been a favorite method of religious institutions.

    The final method of controlling humans has been to determine which survive. By killing off competing bands of humans, Human animals can greatly increased their chances for survival. The death penalty is another example of this form of control.

    Those who have control, have power. Power ensures an individual's place in the social order. This is best demonstrated by the concept of a lineage, where power can be passed on to an individual's offspring.

    The Human animal has developed a substantial superego in order to best maintain their spot in the social order by complying with those who have power over the limited resources. However, this superego often deludes the Human animal into the conception that ideals and beliefs have significant meaning. Ultimately, I propose the only things that have true meaning to the human animal are resources to be consumed, the opportunity to reproduce, and the necessities to survive to accomplish those goals.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The final method of controlling humans has been to determine which survive. By killing off competing bands of humans, Human animals can greatly increased their chances for survival. The death penalty is another example of this form of control.
    I'm not sure these three sentances should go together. In evolutionary terms, the method of ensuring group survival seems to be association to the "tribe", which allows one tribe to attack another tribe (see "Clash of nations" as an example). The instincts are such that as we become more unified, smaller factions are created until we are again divided into tribes. There are tons of experiments on "us vs them" which serve as examples... I don't think the death penalty (until you take it up to genocidal levels) really counts.

    However, the fear of death is also there to ensure reproduction and so forth, so the threat of death can be used for control... but I they are two seperate things (the "competing bands of humans" vs "death penalty").

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I'm not sure these three sentances should go together. In evolutionary terms, the method of ensuring group survival seems to be association to the "tribe", which allows one tribe to attack another tribe (see "Clash of nations" as an example). The instincts are such that as we become more unified, smaller factions are created until we are again divided into tribes. There are tons of experiments on "us vs them" which serve as examples... I don't think the death penalty (until you take it up to genocidal levels) really counts.

    However, the fear of death is also there to ensure reproduction and so forth, so the threat of death can be used for control... but I they are two seperate things (the "competing bands of humans" vs "death penalty").
    I don't really see where you are contradicting what I said. I think killing off humans, whether it be through war, genocide, assassination, or just the threat of those, has been one of the greatest forms of control in human history because it challenges human survival. I don't see how the "association and fractioning of tribes" contradicts that idea.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I don't really see where you are contradicting what I said. I think killing off humans, whether it be through war, genocide, assassination, or just the threat of those, has been one of the greatest forms of control in human history because it challenges human survival. I don't see how the "association and fractioning of tribes" contradicts that idea.
    If the only comment is that violence = control, I'd agree.

    If you say that competing tribes (from an evolutionary "let me and my offspring live" POV) is part of the violence=control, I'm not sure I do agree. There are more complex factors involved in group warfare - at the tribal level, sending your kids off to die (or yourself) is a very poor way of ensuring your genes go on to live. This is a different dynamic than the death penalty that directly attacks your ability to survive.

    I think that the need for tribal warfare has evolved through the need to secure as many resources as possible for you and your offspring... this means killing everyone other than those you identify with (evolution here meaning that those that don't eventually fall prey to those that do.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    If the only comment is that violence = control, I'd agree.

    If you say that competing tribes (from an evolutionary "let me and my offspring live" POV) is part of the violence=control, I'm not sure I do agree. There are more complex factors involved in group warfare - at the tribal level, sending your kids off to die (or yourself) is a very poor way of ensuring your genes go on to live. This is a different dynamic than the death penalty that directly attacks your ability to survive.

    I think that the need for tribal warfare has evolved through the need to secure as many resources as possible for you and your offspring... this means killing everyone other than those you identify with (evolution here meaning that those that don't eventually fall prey to those that do.)
    Ok, that makes sense. It also seems to still go in accordance with my main idea that humans are controlled by limited resources, reproduction, and their survival. I just need to add, "and any combination of those functions" in order to allow for the complexity human society.

    But I see what you are saying as far as the two not going so well together.

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    It seems to me that you're citing the three Enneagram instinctual subtypes here. You're describing basic instincts common to humans.

    The first is self-preservation, the second is sexual, and the third is social.

    Does that make sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    It seems to me that you're citing the three Enneagram instinctual subtypes here. You're describing basic instincts common to humans.

    The first is self-preservation, the second is sexual, and the third is social.

    Does that make sense?
    It wasn't my intention, although the first two do seem to correlate with what I was suggesting as far as survival and reproduction. I don't know if consumption of natural resources is really comparable to the social instinct.

  8. #8
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    Hobbesian shades, Kiddo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post

    The Human animal has developed a substantial superego in order to best maintain their spot in the social order by complying with those who have power over the limited resources. However, this superego often deludes the Human animal into the conception that ideals and beliefs have significant meaning. Ultimately, I propose the only things that have true meaning to the human animal are resources to be consumed, the opportunity to reproduce, and the necessities to survive to accomplish those goals.

    Thoughts?
    *aelan fiddles with the INFJ rubik's reasoning*

    So social order was derived to give life a purpose. The functions will exist without the social order. The social order cannot exist without the functions. Ergo true meaning, the functions' end is merely the perpetuation of the functions themselves. Social order is merely the mask, and ideals and beliefs, the paint on them.

    But without that order, it'd be a free-for-all isn't it. With the order, you get controlled violence.

    Is that what you really believe? Brutish, nasty, short? *ponders* Or is this just an exploration?

    Because it sounds contrary to your barstool philosophy earlier. Gives little room for tolerance and kindness?

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    question- wouldn't wars and the death penalty be contrary to what is good for human evolution since they are usually quite good at killing the more fit members of society?

    I once took a class that focused quite a bit on evolutionary social psychology! it was rather interesting. We discussed that phobias, religion, social order and other things of that sort all have evolutionary importance (phobias are usually of things that can hurt us, religion was a manner of thinking that would drive people to act in a more generous and community oriented manner and social order more easily facilitated human group living). Most aspects of human behavior- right down to cuddling after sex, were linked back to evolutionary purposes.

    That's just what this made me think of!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    Is that what you really believe? Brutish, nasty, short? *ponders* Or is this just an exploration?

    Because it sounds contrary to your barstool philosophy earlier. Gives little room for tolerance and kindness?
    Humans are a living paradox. On one end they are animalistic, and driven by behaviors that are instinctual and impulsive. They wish to consume to no end. On the other end they are humanistic, and endowed with shame and empathy that sometimes guides them towards actions that seem to directly oppose their animal nature. It's as if they wish to protect and nurture this world. The way those drives conflict with each other that is reminiscent of yin and yang, id and superego, or evil and good, is absolutely fascinating to me. That conflict seems to be the very essence of what it means to be human.

    Spirituality and philosophy seem to be the closest means of understanding our place in the world so we can achieve that goal. Ultimately, I'm trying to understand both sides to our nature. In other words, the two sides of the single coin that is us. I'm not trying to be contrary, only understand why we are driven to be who we are despite being who we are. Does that make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    question- wouldn't wars and the death penalty be contrary to what is good for human evolution since they are usually quite good at killing the more fit members of society? :
    That is what ptg said. Although the death penalty would actually be evolution in progress since we are removing the genes that are dangerous to our society. Whereas war is contradictory to evolution since we are sending our best off to die. It is definitely some shortsightedness on my part but the general idea still stands.

    You do bring up a good question though. Why is it evolutionarily beneficial for man to be conflicted with himself? Why are we each seeking a balance between our biology and sociology that doesn't destroy our fragile psychology?

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