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Thread: Is Human Nature Determined by Our Material Conditions?

  1. Top | #11
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    Adult humans have impulse control? I'd say history says otherwise.

    Social self restraint is a thin veneer that easily breaks down under stress.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I'd say material conditions manifest which aspects of human nature manifest.

    I was at a friend's house for dinner and they had a rug rat. Another couple was there with a rug rat.

    The two kids were sitting upright on the floor toe to toe pulling back and forth on a toy.

    Fighting over possessions before they could talk.
    If one of these children was a capitalist he would have offered the other kid a dollar for the toy (but what if he doesn't have a dollar? Well I didn't say that he would pay it, just offer to pay). So this proves capitalism is against human nature (human nature as portrayed in this anecdote).
    Of course I am joking, but there are people who seriously claim that say socialism is against human nature but capitalism isn't [because apparently non-cooperation and selfishness are ingrained in humans (ignoring that capitalism is not purely predatory and also relies on cooperation and ideally enlightened self-interest)], whereas they are both human inventions.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacetime Inhabitant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I'd say material conditions manifest which aspects of human nature manifest.

    I was at a friend's house for dinner and they had a rug rat. Another couple was there with a rug rat.

    The two kids were sitting upright on the floor toe to toe pulling back and forth on a toy.

    Fighting over possessions before they could talk.
    If one of these children was a capitalist he would have offered the other kid a dollar for the toy (but what if he doesn't have a dollar? Well I didn't say that he would pay it, just offer to pay). So this proves capitalism is against human nature (human nature as portrayed in this anecdote).
    Of course I am joking, but there are people who seriously claim that say socialism is against human nature but capitalism isn't [because apparently non-cooperation and selfishness are ingrained in humans (ignoring that capitalism is not purely predatory and also relies on cooperation and ideally enlightened self-interest)], whereas they are both human inventions.
    This claptrap mat be more suited to the politics forum and America bashing.

    One might argue that the failure of all the communist state experiments and the success of the western systems is based on the fact that free market competitive capitalism is more in line with our basic nature.Soviet and Chinese communism stifled personal initiative and suppressed competition, and both systems failed. China advanced from western investment, but system wise they are limping along.

    Modern free market capitalism allows for a wide range of humans and human behaviors.

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post

    Must have been some kind of android or alien
    Altruism and social conscience, being adaptive, is a part of our repertoire of traits and abilities of the mind....sadly underutilized. Nice example of altruism over business and profit though.

  5. Top | #15
    Veteran Member seyorni's Avatar
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    Human Nature is hard-wired into our brains, from a million years of selective breeding for success as hunter-gatherers. Our 'material condition', on the other hand, is a cultural overlay; a veneer, affected by luck and culture.

  6. Top | #16
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Must have been some kind of android or alien
    Altruism and social conscience, being adaptive, is a part of our repertoire of traits and abilities of the mind....sadly underutilized. Nice example of altruism over business and profit though.
    I agree, I was being sarcastic. The idea that people won't or can't do amazing things that benefit humanity without the incentive of deprivation is a fairly modern invention of reactionary politics.

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