The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

Holistic view of human behavior

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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#101  Postby TMB » Jun 13, 2014 10:47 pm

Thommo wrote:
TMB wrote:
Thommo wrote:But this is clearly just nonsense.

Then respond with something more substantial and not just an appeal to personal incredulity.


I did. And in fact I did not appeal to incredulity. Further given that you're the one making a claim and an incredibly ambitious and lofty claim at that I don't even need incredulity to dismiss what you say, since you're the one with burden of proof. I was willing to enter a bit of give and take, but this kind of banal rules lawyering and shifting of that burden of proof is rapidly eroding any charity I was willing to grant.

TMB wrote:
Thommo wrote: Almost no human steals to survive, rather than "all" of them. Almost all human stealing is not for survival. Many humans do not steal. This explanation literally explains nothing and the ad hoc prediction aspect is incorrect anyway.

I am not sure exactly what you are proposing, that stealing does not happen in order to survive? So does this mean that people do not steal? Does this mean that all people can acquire the resources they need to survive by honest means? Does it mean that those who would die unless they stole simply choose to die rather than steal?


No, it means none of those things. But again you're the one claiming to be able to explain all human behaviours, so explain away.

TMB wrote:The world food program suggest that around 800 million people are unable to get enough to eat and lack of food causes nearly half of deaths of children under 5. There are plenty of references in Google that provide similar stats. The most basic of human needs means if someone has an option to steal rather than die, they will steal.


That's your assertion, now all you need to do is show it's true in every case. So, how many people stole rather than dying last year? How many people died rather than stealing last year? How do you intend to demonstrate any of this?

TMB wrote:People strive for control because with greater control survival is more assured, and since control is a relative resource in a competitive environment, it explains why people compete in every environment and I would say that stealing along with a range of dishonesties happens at every level as people look for gain of every kind. Politicians give us a transparent example of how people will be dishonest in order to stay in ‘power’, and they appear mostly to have enough to eat.

If you imagine that most people do not steal then I am not sure what parallel universe you live in. Human history is full of humans competing for control of land and other possessions. We might consider that there is an amnesty in modern times, but the colonisation of land is technically stealing, and while our modern morals are different to those over the last few hundred years, most people are descended from ill gotten appropriation of land. Every continent has a history of land appropriation by the powerful over the weak.


If you just play humpty dumpty with the word "steal" then you aren't saying much. Certainly nothing interesting. It is readily apparent that most people alive today who owned land purchased rather than stole it, let alone that literally all of them did not. Do you own a home? If so, did you buy it, or steal it? What about your parents, brothers and sisters or other family - how many of them stole rather than purchased their homes?

TMB wrote:To return to modern times, perhaps you have never lived in a country with extreme poverty, if not, let me assure you that stealing is ubiquitous at every level, from the corrupt politicians all the way down to the very poorest.

Software piracy is theft of intellectual property rights and some figures on the internet suggest that many if not most people are guilty of doing this around the world. They estimate that cheating the tax system, costs the US around $500 billion every year and the black market in the US is over $1 trillion each year (ie, this means more stealing). Thanks goodness you assure me that many humans do NOT steal, just imagine what these figures would be if they did!!!!


Sure, just imagine that you're right, don't provide evidence. That's completely rational! :lol:

Are you aware that those same companies make more than $500 billion a year from customers who pay instead of stealing? Incredible, right?

TMB wrote:
Thommo wrote:And no, nothing in my post referred to morality.

This is what you said
how we reduce stealing in our societies
Why would you suggest we reduce stealing if you have not made a moral assumption that stealing is bad?


Ok, tell me how to increase it as well, you're the one claiming to have explained all human behaviour. You seem to have confused the fact that I do have a moral preference with what I said depending upon it, in order to avoid addressing the point.


This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#102  Postby TMB » Jun 13, 2014 10:56 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
TMB wrote:[Since I am being reductive here, its logical to assume that a tendency to survive or sustain would have been heritable through the entire existence of life and also through the stage inanimate elements to early life.


You're being tautological, here. That which survives, reproduces. Guess what reproduces? Right. That which survives. Heritability is just what that which reproduces passes along to the next generation. You're having us on, TMB.


No you are getting warmer, keep stirring the primordial soup and you might get there.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#103  Postby Templeton » Jun 14, 2014 12:11 am

This ought to be fun :popcorn:
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#104  Postby Thommo » Jun 14, 2014 1:03 am

TMB wrote:This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.


You say that like it's a bad thing. To be honest I'm grateful not to have to read more irrational assertions and avoidance of the burden of proof from you.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#105  Postby TMB » Jun 14, 2014 7:51 am

Thommo wrote:
TMB wrote:This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.


You say that like it's a bad thing. To be honest I'm grateful not to have to read more irrational assertions and avoidance of the burden of proof from you.


To be honest? Then don't be honest, tell me you are not grateful and you can argue that being irrational is the way to go. Honesty is overrated, especially when you feel you have to state it.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#106  Postby kennyc » Jun 14, 2014 11:12 am

TMB wrote:////
This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.



Good deal.....as I said earlier:

kennyc wrote:.......

So you admit your entire premise is null and void, we're simply talking about natural physics laws and evolution. :roll:

....
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#107  Postby Thommo » Jun 14, 2014 11:19 am

kennyc wrote:
TMB wrote:////
This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.



Good deal.....as I said earlier:

kennyc wrote:.......

So you admit your entire premise is null and void, we're simply talking about natural physics laws and evolution. :roll:

....


Not as good a deal as promised, he carried on replying. :(
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#108  Postby TMB » Jun 15, 2014 1:57 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Must have been?

You discount stochasticity. Maybe that organism was just lucky. It depends on how much competition you think is lurking out there, so you should probably quantify your estimation of that.

Seriously? Is your knowledge of natural selection so limited that I have to employ a version of Carl Sagans “if you are going to make a cake from scratch, you first need to create a universe”. “That organism” represents the countless billions of organisms that have been engaged in competition since life began. No doubt luck played its part in numerous outcomes, however I suggest that the principle of natural selection still holds true in terms of adaptive traits based upon organisms ability to survive, notwithstanding the tole that luck plays. There are a few optimistic people who promote alternative theories involving stochasticity as strong enough to overturn EBNS, if you are one of these then lets hear you elevator pitch.
Cito di Pense wrote:
The organism doesn't control whether or not it's lucky, unless you tautologically conflate luck with survival. Your theory is idiotic, in that it assumes 'survival of the fittest' (a distortion), rather than reproduction by those who reproduce.

Here again your post assumes I am familiar with every assumption in your mind – just what are you talking about here? Survival of the fittest is a distortion? The fact that I agree with it?
Cito di Pense wrote:
, You're shilling for social darwinism, or some such crap.

You have outdone yourself, quite how you have made a leap to social Darwinism from what I have been arguing is beyond me. I accept that genius is an ability to show connections between apparently unrelated items, but for you to drop in social Darwinism here does not make me think you are yet competition for Charles Darwin.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#109  Postby TMB » Jun 15, 2014 2:53 am

Thommo wrote:
kennyc wrote:
TMB wrote:////
This last post has gotten emotional and actively irrational, so unless you settle down a bit, I am not going to play with you any more.



Good deal.....as I said earlier:

kennyc wrote:.......

So you admit your entire premise is null and void, we're simply talking about natural physics laws and evolution. :roll:

....


Not as good a deal as promised, he carried on replying. :(

Replying but not playing.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#110  Postby Mr.Samsa » Jun 15, 2014 6:26 am

Nicko wrote:But to return to my original point, every time someone has tried to reduce human behaviour to one factor, they run into the problems famously observed by Karl Popper when he took a critical look at such things as Adlerian psychoanalysis and Marxism, or Noam Chomsky when he deconstructed the Behaviourist view of linguistics: if all you are looking for is how your pet theory explains absolutely everything, you will almost certainly find a rationalisation that can achieve this.


To be clear though, Chomsky misunderstood the behaviorist approach to language. He viewed it as a blank slate, stimulus-response view of language when Skinner's view was the rejection of that position.

Skinner's position was that biology is necessary for language as well as a significant learning component (which is essentially the dominant view now) and Skinner wrote extensively on the fact that simple stimulus-response relations could not possibly be enough to understand even most basic behaviors, let alone something as complex as language. I mean, that's what his radical behaviorism was basically created for; to point out the incompleteness of S-R psychology to understand behavior.
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Re: The human condition - is a holistic view possible?

#111  Postby Zadocfish2 » Sep 28, 2014 10:28 am

I know this thread is dead and gone, and all... But I think the holistic view of the human condition IS possible. Namely, that behavior stems from ancient roots. Many human tendencies are simply exaggerated versions of animal tendencies:

Greed comes from the primordial urge to gather and store resources to ensure future survival.
Lust comes from the inherent desire to procreate found in all living things.
War comes from much of the same instincts as greed, though applied to a group rather than an individual.
Patriotism, and the desire for comradeship, comes from our roots as pack-living omnivores.
Kindness comes from the same basic root; caring for our group.
Racism comes from the urge that different = not a part of our family/pack/group = dangerous.

Hair stands up on the back of your neck as an ancient and defunct threat display. You see faces and shapes in old logs and empty photographs because recognizing a threat on the faintest sight would often mean the difference between dying before reproducing and living to have many offspring. We overeat because we have food, and something inside of us is dubious as to whether or not that will be the case in the future. We fight because we're driven to have dominance and/or to win the right to eat or to mate or to live in an area.

What makes us different from the animals around us is how far our intelligence goes. We can reason beyond the instincts that define and shape us. The ability to reason, born from the ancient fact that acting counter-intuitively can save a youth to reproduce later, can explain almost everything else. We can see and understand many things, important things, that animals can't, and that makes us different and special; but our condition is pretty much a result of our "upbringing" as a species, isn't it?

I may be misunderstanding the point of the conversation, but isn't that pretty much a holistic view of humanity?
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