Scientists: Humans are "Good" after all

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Gahars, Nov 23, 2012.

Nov 23, 2012
  1. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    It's easy to get pessimistic about the inner nature of mankind. All the warfare, greed, intolerance, bigotry, ignorance, and Black Friday sales don't seem to paint a pretty picture of us at all. Many will admit, perhaps with a shrug, that we're a bunch of stinkers.

    Well, it appears that a group of researchers would like to disagree with that notion.

    [​IMG] Scientific American

    The results from all seven studies (which you can read about in more detail in the attached article) demonstrated that the subjects' first instincts and impulses were rooted in selflessness and cooperation every single time. (Ha ha, suck it, Hobbes!)

    Does this mean that we'll all be sitting in fire circles and singing Kumbaya anytime soon? That warfare, greed, intolerance, etc. etc. are going anywhere anytime soon? That the age old debate has been resolved?

    No, no, and ha, definitely no.

    Still, though, this data shows that perhaps we are better than we give ourselves credit for - and perhaps not as nasty, short, and brutish as some would give us credit for.

    Or, in short, it might be good in the brotherhood of man after all.

    (And hey, if you're interested, here's an excellent video on the subject of humanity and empathy)
     
  2. dickfour

    Banned dickfour Banned

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    Thank God that greed, intolerance, and violence are not going anywhere. I indulge myself in all those things and enjoy them very much.
     
  3. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I can not find the video but there was a pretty good documentary on snakes hibernating and how a handful of male snakes would wake up late, use female pheromones to attract the others and then get warmed up by the friction- there were many "good" snakes but there were also sneaky ones in among them all.

    Somewhat less esoterically and maybe addressed in the sources but is looking at it as a whole a good idea? I mean most psychological models that would need to apply already break it down and have percentages.
     
  4. emigre

    Member emigre Has complex motives

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    After reading this news, I'm still going to treat everyone here horribly.
     
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  5. dickfour

    Banned dickfour Banned

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    You're one of those bad snakes
     
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  6. Shuji1987

    Member Shuji1987 ~

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    A biologist.. cum.. mathematician..?? Sounds credible.
     
  7. Devin

    Member Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

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    Of course there's that whole nature vs nurture concept. Will someone who is nurtured to be evil, be evil? Or are they programmed from the start to be evil. If what I'm reading is correct they've said that it's human nature to be selfless, and cooperative but it's the type of nurture or lack thereof that makes us who we are. Interesting. I'll bring this up in my psychology class on Monday.
     
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  8. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I fail to see how it would not- even if smashing two traditional areas of science together were not where a lot of the interesting stuff is happening (or indeed the main places where people can reliably push the frontiers forward) biology has long been deeply entwined with maths (disease transmission, genetic probabilities, process outputs and more as well as whole fields like bioinformatics).
     
  9. Shuji1987

    Member Shuji1987 ~

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    It's more that I'm stunned someone is willing to take on a job with such a title.
     
  10. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
  11. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Those scientists have obviously never worked at Walmart.
     
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  12. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I'm not sure if I would call this innate goodness, more so a drive towards self-preservation of the species. I'm personally partial towards certain Behaviouristic ideas and I believe that our overall personality and morality is constructed on the basis of our experiences in the same way all organisms adapt to their surroundings.

    When we're born, we have no experiences, so we cannot have a "personal" reaction that'd be the effect of the forementioned conditioning via experiences... however, we still have our innate instincts, and among them, the instinct of survival, and not only your own, but also of the other representants of our species. I think it only makes perfect sense that we'd react selflessly if we weren't conditioned not to - there would be nothing that could override the "pack instincts" in us.
     
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  13. pasc

    Member pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

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    Wow, lovely.

    On a sidenote:
    @Foxi4: Your name was that of my dog (minus the 4), kinda funny.
     
  14. Puppy_Washer

    Member Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    So very, very black and white.
    Individual human behavior and personality is extremely complex. It's not just "yes" and "no" thing with behavior, it's a colossal range.
    You can't just pick the extremes (impulse versus careful thought, selfishness versus cooperation) and say that they are the only decision-making states that a person can have.

    And I agree with Foxi on the innate goodness part. Personality and behavior is, in my opinion, largely shaped by the experiences presented to the person. Keeping this in mind, think of the infinite amount of possible scenarios that can be presented to a person over their developing years. This, as you can imagine, will not just simply result in "they are either selfish or cooperative". They may be selfish in some scenarios or cooperative in most scenarios. They also may be somewhere in the middle, or leaning towards a side.
     
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  15. The Milkman

    Member The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    I think its less of a question of whether were born evil or raised evil, and more of a question of how its defined by us. After all, Right and wrong are far more important to us then Good or Evil. For instance, if I am raised thinking say, people with blue eyes are evil, does that make me or people with blue eyes evil? Does that make my parent evil for raising me to think someone with blue eyes is evil? If im born with a dislike to the color blue, and in turn do not like people with blue eyes? make me evil?

    If you ask me, nobody can truely be evil or good, we cant be born evil or raised evil, because we honestly cant define evil without it becoming a question of whats right and wrong. People we see as "Good" can do wrong thinks and vise versa. Niw what we think is Right and Wrong can be affected by nature and up-bringing. But certainly not Good or Evil.
     
  16. Ron

    Member Ron somehow a weeb now.

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    What is this blasphemy? Everyone knows that the human race is, and forevermore will be hell-bent on destroying one another.

    Now toss me that gun.
     

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