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Are we good from the start?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Is man intrinsically good or bad? Are we born honest, loving, caring and decent or are we born lying, cheating selfish dolts? Are the good people in the world those who have learned it, or are the bad people those who have lost goodness?

I would like to think that we are all good, and that evil is a learned trait. What do you think?

Sorry--this should be in AO, not PO.
"A more sensitive and caring Common man for 2005"
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post #2 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Common Man
Is man intrinsically good or bad? Are we born honest, loving, caring and decent or are we born lying, cheating selfish dolts? Are the good people in the world those who have learned it, or are the bad people those who have lost goodness?

I would like to think that we are all good, and that evil is a learned trait. What do you think?

Sorry--this should be in AO, not PO.

I agree - good from the start.

And not bad at any point from then on either - ignorant, stupid and uneducated in varying degrees. But 'bad' or 'evil', no.

Everyone always does what they believe is for the best (except for the mentally ill), it's just that most of the time we're wrong.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #3 of 38
I don't think that anything we do is learned only. Every human trait you see is within the latitude that we're born with. Some people are born nicer, some more evil, and every individual is capable of both good and evil.

We are nasty, brutish, noble savages.
post #4 of 38
Not good. Not from the start. Can learn to be good. Can learn to be bad.

There are people who will never be good due to behavioral factors they inherited. But there are no people who cannot be bad.

I don't know what any of that means in the end, though.
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #5 of 38
Man has original sin, if anyone has raised children, that should be apparent. The principle of "I am my own" is present from birth.

However, mans nature was not originally created this way but has been corrupted, to the point that, without salvation, he has no choice but to sin.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
Man has original sin, if anyone has raised children, that should be apparent. The principle of "I am my own" is present from birth.

However, mans nature was not originally created this way but has been corrupted, to the point that, without salvation, he has no choice but to sin.

Strange, I have raised 3 children and after observing them carefully for just such signs have concluded exactly the opposite.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
Man has original sin, if anyone has raised children, that should be apparent. The principle of "I am my own" is present from birth.

However, mans nature was not originally created this way but has been corrupted, to the point that, without salvation, he has no choice but to sin.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #8 of 38
I think it's unproductive to view humans beings as individual actors possessing intrinsic qualities of good and evil.

We are, despite the rhetoric of the "every man for himself" right, social beings. Are actions are always embedded in the context of our society; its standards, influences and spheres of possibility are what grant our every gesture meaning.

Imagine a child raised in isolation, fed my machine and deprived of any social contact whatsoever. Such a child, upon introduction to the larger world, would be impossible to categorize as "good" or "bad", and more likely would have to be considered "insane".

Despite whatever intrinsic qualities homo sapiens may posses, how could such an individual acquire ethics or morality or character of any sort, when the very definition of those terms refer to our behavior among others?

Anyone can provide countless example of "good" behavior defined within one sphere of societal influence which becomes "bad" behavior when viewed from a different perspective.

Those terms literally have no meaning outside of how we conduct ourselves in relationship to one another; thus it might be better to ask if there are such things as "good" and "bad" cultures, and if human kind tend naturally to organize into one or the other.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #9 of 38
There is no universal power of good or evil. They are merely remnants of actions. There is only the Self-Cherishing Mind from which all suffering arises, and its opposite, the Trained Mind that cherishes all others and increases compassion. Which do you want to be?
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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post #10 of 38
Asking whether or not we are intrinsically bad is a question that can only be asked by someone with a baker, a farmer or a priest in their family tree (in other words, you, me, anyone reading this.)

The question simply didn't occur to pre-contact native Americans or African hunter-gatherers.

We were a-ok as long as we were hunting and gathering.

As soon as we started farming we were in trouble. It changed the way we understand the world, and the things in it, utterly.

When we got monotheistic we were in very bad trouble indeed, eventually even finding the excuses we needed to commit genocide and rape the planet for profit.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Common Man
Is man intrinsically good or bad? Are we born honest, loving, caring and decent or are we born lying, cheating selfish dolts? Are the good people in the world those who have learned it, or are the bad people those who have lost goodness?

I would like to think that we are all good, and that evil is a learned trait. What do you think?

Sorry--this should be in AO, not PO.

In order to answer your question, we should start by defening what is good and bad.

Good and bad are a morale conception build by humans.

The concept of morale borned, when the humans becomed conscious of their acts and implicatons. (and for me the original sin concept, is nothing less than an hyperbol of this point : by becoming conscious (eating the apple), the man becamed aware of the consequences of his actions : he losed his innocence, the innocence of animals, who do what they do because their instincts told them to do.

The morale is a set of guidelines, varying from societies to societies, who explain us how to act for the greeter benefit of the communauty. This guidelines are settled by an elite, and thus are subject to change, are not always efficients, and may be twisted by some people in order to gain an social or personal advantage.

When you follow this guidelines, you are good, when you oppose them : you are bad.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Asking whether or not we are intrinsically bad is a question that can only be asked by someone with a baker, a farmer or a priest in their family tree (in other words, you, me, anyone reading this.)

The question simply didn't occur to pre-contact native Americans or African hunter-gatherers.

We were a-ok as long as we were hunting and gathering.

As soon as we started farming we were in trouble. It changed the way we understand the world, and the things in it, utterly.

When we got monotheistic we were in very bad trouble indeed, eventually even finding the excuses we needed to commit genocide and rape the planet for profit.

This actually is a brilliant analysis and is imo 100% correct.

The whole of the book of Genesis is basically written by a writer with this view (again imo) and he can be clearly seen to be obsessed with gardens, horticulture and agriculture in general. Actually he sees it as a negative thing in much the same way as Hassan.

Remember...the punishment for Adam was to 'till the earth'.

As a further point seen as Genesis has come up and seen as this idea of 'original sin' stems from there (and only from there - nowhere else) it is useful to realise that it is all a misreading of Genesis.

As pointed out above - the author of Genesis was a genius, he outlined Hassan's theory and described human psychology brilliantly. If you read it carefully he never says that sin entered the world - never talks about it at all.

He is talking about a kind of faux morality, an insecurity in fact. It is far more true to say that on eating the apple insecurity enetered the world.

Before this happened, Adam and eve were running around naked - with God - and no problems. Nakedness didn't become a sin after they ate it - it's just that they started to think it was.

And this in Genesis is a blueprint for life. The 'fall' happens every day in all our lives. We are 'in the zone' sometimes and at others start to feel we can't (or in the fundies case - shouldn't) do certain things.

There is no sin. There is just the concept of sin. Religionists feel it most but even those of us who have thrown of it's shackles can never be free till everyone else is.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
This actually is a brilliant analysis and is imo 100% correct.

The whole of the book of Genesis is basically written by a writer with this view (again imo) and he can be clearly seen to be obsessed with gardens, horticulture and agriculture in general. Actually he sees it as a negative thing in much the same way as Hassan.

Remember...the punishment for Adam was to 'till the earth'.

As a further point seen as Genesis has come up and seen as this idea of 'original sin' stems from there (and only from there - nowhere else) it is useful to realise that it is all a misreading of Genesis.

As pointed out above - the author of Genesis was a genius, he outlined Hassan's theory and described human psychology brilliantly. If you read it carefully he never says that sin entered the world - never talks about it at all.

He is talking about a kind of faux morality, an insecurity in fact. It is far more true to say that on eating the apple insecurity enetered the world.

Before this happened, Adam and eve were running around naked - with God - and no problems. Nakedness didn't become a sin after they ate it - it's just that they started to think it was.

And this in Genesis is a blueprint for life. The 'fall' happens every day in all our lives. We are 'in the zone' sometimes and at others start to feel we can't (or in the fundies case - shouldn't) do certain things.

There is no sin. There is just the concept of sin. Religionists feel it most but even those of us who have thrown of it's shackles can never be free till everyone else is.

I agree with you. The farmer point is interesting : I need to think more about it. I will just say, that indians used to have their own moral code. Farming, changed our codes, but I don't think it's necessary the beginning of the story.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Asking whether or not we are intrinsically bad is a question that can only be asked by someone with a baker, a farmer or a priest in their family tree (in other words, you, me, anyone reading this.)

The question simply didn't occur to pre-contact native Americans or African hunter-gatherers.

We were a-ok as long as we were hunting and gathering.

As soon as we started farming we were in trouble. It changed the way we understand the world, and the things in it, utterly.

When we got monotheistic we were in very bad trouble indeed, eventually even finding the excuses we needed to commit genocide and rape the planet for profit.

Can you pass some of that over here?

Loads of Native American tribes really never left the hunter and gathering stage and were far from perfect. For example have a child born and know that you won't have the resources to care for it. You just strangle it and drop it in a shallow grave.

Perfect indeed.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Strange, I have raised 3 children and after observing them carefully for just such signs have concluded exactly the opposite.

So you remember a time when they say, shared perfectly and watched as society "corrupted" them into non-sharing individuals who then had to be taught and reminded again to share with others?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
So you remember a time when they say, shared perfectly and watched as society "corrupted" them into non-sharing individuals who then had to be taught and reminded again to share with others?

Nick

Actually, yes.

In the case of the first two, the 'corruption' was not remedied as I was divorced from their mother when they were 5 and 3.

With my daughter now she has not yet reached the 'corruption' stage and, inshallah, will not for some considerable time.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
Can you pass some of that over here?

Loads of Native American tribes really never left the hunter and gathering stage and were far from perfect. For example have a child born and know that you won't have the resources to care for it. You just strangle it and drop it in a shallow grave.

Perfect indeed.

Nick

African hunting and gathering people did this too. And they left their very old and very sick behind to die, as well. If Native Americans were anything like the San people of the southern African deserts they did it with ritual, they wept a lot while they were doing it, they came back for their sick and old if they could, and they did it when the survival of the entire band was threatened by keeping a single individual alive.

You make it sound like they killed their own and then went out clubbing.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
African hunting and gathering people did this too. And they left their very old and very sick behind to die, as well. If Native Americans were anything like the San people of the southern African deserts they did it with ritual, they wept a lot while they were doing it, they came back for their sick and old if they could, and they did it when the survival of the entire band was threatened by keeping a single individual alive.

You make it sound like they killed their own and then went out clubbing.

Silly rabbit, clubbing would require various malted beverages which would come from that evil farming stage.

The point is that having to kill off infants and/or abandon the weak is far from a perfect society in my view. You are welcome to have it be your own view though.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #19 of 38
Nice idea Hassan... I would actually suggest that the development of a moral architecture (the concept of sin) was strongly aided by the development of an agricultural sedentary society but it was not this social foundation which created the need for morality. Small groups of hunter/gatherers do indeed have a morality -- they have a concept of sin. The major difference that developed when agriculture was developed was a firmer dependency on others in the social group (hunter gatherers still do have interdependencies -- men hunt, women rear children etc etc) such that true power relationships came to exist. What is also clear and in response to segovius, it was the establishment of an agrarian society that allowed the passage of communal information on in a self-consistent manner. That is we learned of long term human suffering because of the close knit social order that established itself around agrarian societies.
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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Actually, yes.

In the case of the first two, the 'corruption' was not remedied as I was divorced from their mother when they were 5 and 3.

With my daughter now she has not yet reached the 'corruption' stage and, inshallah, will not for some considerable time.


I've heard that people with perfect children will lie about other things, too.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
I've heard that people with perfect children will lie about other things, too.

Yes - I keep telling you there are serious tampering issues concerning the Joseph and Mary story......

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
As soon as we started farming we were in trouble. It changed the way we understand the world, and the things in it, utterly.

Can you explain this further? What was so different about farming that led to different conceptions of morality.
post #23 of 38
I shouldn't try speaking for Hassan i Sabbah, but this isn't much more or less than a pastiche of "Nobel Savage"-esqe ideologies.

(Which is total hooey.)

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Can you explain this further? What was so different about farming that led to different conceptions of morality.

After thinking it for a while, I don't see why farming created morale.
Farmers have a different code of morality than hunters, but both follow morale.

Morale is born with consciensce, and morale vary from society to others.
post #25 of 38
What he's saying sounds a little "Guns, Germs, & Steel"-ish, but I haven't seen it mapped onto morality.

We'll just talk about him until he come back. I heard he was outed a few years ago, but he still denies it. Coward.
post #26 of 38
Are we good from the start? Of course not.

In terms of psychology, people are peaceful if they are treated peacefully. If they grow up with two loving parents who have an easygoing relationship and never put to much pressure on them and train them gently, they tend to grow up easygoing and have the same easygoing relationships when they are married.

If on the other hand one's parents are difficult, violent, controlling and bitter to each other, and treat the child poorly, one usually grows up to be the same miserable person. People are following there parent's personality dymanics like a guided missile.

Now are people naturally kind to their fellow man? Of course not. Look at the Jerry Springer Show, Laci Peterson followers etc. You have to train human beings carefully just to get them to take it seriously when O.J. stabs Nicole Simpson to death. People do not come out of the womb with any lofty sincerity. They have to be trained to be above that stuff, which is pathetic. Back before this garbage started I never imagined people could be so low.

Now are people naturally generous and caring towards their fellow man? Of course not. 1/2 the population thinks it's "stealing" to take a few million out of Lee Iacoaca's $80 million dollar paycheck and give it to hard working people so they can have a comfortable life. Most people have no overwhelming desire to see the other person happy. Some would like it, some would not.

The feelings of kindness that evolution gave us is mostly so we can work together on our mutual goals. It extends beyond that in some of the population but not to others.

About the only time all people are really and freely generous is when their giving to someone that's noncompetitive with them. Senior citizens, poor children, or someone who lost everything in the tsunami.

So there's some goodness but not nearly enough.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Can you explain this further? What was so different about farming that led to different conceptions of morality.

Well, OK.

The question's not 'do we have an idea of morality?' but 'are we intrinsically bad'?

And no, we're not, not if history's anything to go by. For 90% of our history we've been hunters and gatherers. That's 90,000 years, tops. We've only been farming for 10,000 years. That's nothing.

Farming changed everything. Cultivation gave us the ideas of 'property', 'labour' and 'wealth'; farming made it rational to treat animals, plants and soil itself as commodities. Fighting to defend your labour is not something we did before 10,000 BCE. Hunters and gatherers do not 'labour' (something that particularly affronted European settlers in Australia, Africa and the Americas.) They're too busy doing the hunting, gathering, making things, seasonally starving / dying of thirst depending on their whereabouts. Their cultures are ritual, and those rituals are believed to be directly useful to their day-to-day survival.

Their bands are stable in size, maintaining low population densities by ritual taboos and naturally low birth rates. They do not views land as 'good land' or 'bad land' or 'wilderness'. They do not recognise the notion of 'history', viewing and describing the world in mythical terms that account for its bounty, its cruelty, its generosity and its heartlessness, particularly the beauty of its animals, some of which are so frightening that you can't actually call them by their real names.

Ritual is vitally, materially, important. There's no fighting over doctrine or interpretation since they aren't 'religious'there's no 'heresy' or 'blasphemy' since their spiritual beliefs are there to assist in the day-to-day survival in places where there's no recourse to farmed meat or plants in tough times. The stakes are much higher.

They are cooperative and 'manners' (gift-giving, food-sharing) are ritually-codified.

Farmers measure wealth in land and sons who need land of their own, which is why all settlers are agriculturalist. The first thing they do when they see land that isn't being worked, that 'belongs' to people too lazy to work it, to people with no obvious beliefs, religion or idea that land might be worth something, is to kill them. Ironic, since to hunters and gatherers, where they live defines their culture and their spiritual beliefs, and land and 'faith' are utterly bound up with one-another.

What you get when the imaginative resources that have been so useful for so many tens of thousands of years are no longer useful to your day-to-day survival is 'religion'. Instead of shamans, which might be a quarter of the adult men and women, you get priests. Instead of shared rituals observances and myth you have scripture.

When you're comfortable you get gods with good manners. And those gods tend to be OK with you killing people by the tens of thousand, as happened in Africa and the Americas, and even demand that you spread their message, even if it means force, and death, and the destruction of cultures entire.

It's no bed of roses, being hungry and thirsty and afraid in the deserts of Southern Africa, but there's no hunting for sport, selling your labour gouging minerals from the earth to make others rich, genocide, class, caste, despoilation or dogma. These are most of the things that are causing us so much trouble and they're all very recent inventions.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Well, OK.

The question's not 'do we have an idea of morality?' but 'are we intrinsically bad'?

And no, we're not, not if history's anything to go by. For 90% of our history we've been hunters and gatherers. That's 90,000 years, tops. We've only been farming for 10,000 years. That's nothing.

Farming changed everything. Cultivation gave us the ideas of 'property', 'labour' and 'wealth'; farming made it rational to treat animals, plants and soil itself as commodities. Fighting to defend your labour is not something we did before 10,000 BCE. Hunters and gatherers do not 'labour' (something that particularly affronted European settlers in Australia, Africa and the Americas.) They're too busy doing the hunting, gathering, making things, seasonally starving / dying of thirst depending on their whereabouts. Their cultures are ritual, and those rituals are believed to be directly useful to their day-to-day survival.

Their bands are stable in size, maintaining low population densities by ritual taboos and naturally low birth rates. They do not views land as 'good land' or 'bad land' or 'wilderness'. They do not recognise the notion of 'history', viewing and describing the world in mythical terms that account for its bounty, its cruelty, its generosity and its heartlessness, particularly the beauty of its animals, some of which are so frightening that you can't actually call them by their real names.

Ritual is vitally, materially, important. There's no fighting over doctrine or interpretation since they aren't 'religious'there's no 'heresy' or 'blasphemy' since their spiritual beliefs are there to assist in the day-to-day survival in places where there's no recourse to farmed meat or plants in tough times. The stakes are much higher.

They are cooperative and 'manners' (gift-giving, food-sharing) are ritually-codified.

Farmers measure wealth in land and sons who need land of their own, which is why all settlers are agriculturalist. The first thing they do when they see land that isn't being worked, that 'belongs' to people too lazy to work it, to people with no obvious beliefs, religion or idea that land might be worth something, is to kill them. Ironic, since to hunters and gatherers, where they live defines their culture and their spiritual beliefs, and land and 'faith' are utterly bound up with one-another.

What you get when the imaginative resources that have been so useful for so many tens of thousands of years are no longer useful to your day-to-day survival is 'religion'. Instead of shamans, which might be a quarter of the adult men and women, you get priests. Instead of shared rituals observances and myth you have scripture.

When you're comfortable you get gods with good manners. And those gods tend to be OK with you killing people by the tens of thousand, as happened in Africa and the Americas, and even demand that you spread their message, even if it means force, and death, and the destruction of cultures entire.

It's no bed of roses, being hungry and thirsty and afraid in the deserts of Southern Africa, but there's no hunting for sport, selling your labour gouging minerals from the earth to make others rich, genocide, class, caste, despoilation or dogma. These are most of the things that are causing us so much trouble and they're all very recent inventions.

the instinct of property did not born with farming. The instinct of property is inherent with people or animal who hunt. My cat as an instinct of property : he will figh any intruder.
The hunter will nit allow anyone, that you steal his weapons, that you squat his cavern.
May be the hunters living in tribes where more collectivists. Farming did certainly change many things, but was not the beginning of the story
post #29 of 38
Thread Starter 
Interesting discussion. What I really wonder is where do meanness and hate come from? We can defend our territory, our hunting ground and our farm without hating. What leads a man to despise another people just because of who they are? I saw the film "Hotel Rawanda" last night. Wonderful film about a horrid situation and it is happening again in the Sudan.
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post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Common Man
What I really wonder is where do meanness and hate come from?.

It comes from ignorance and fear. And a profound belief that my God is better than your God.
post #31 of 38
Thread Starter 
I would argue that this is a misuse of religion to justify one's selfish agenda when in fact such people do not believe that they are doing anything to serve any god.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Common Man
I would argue that this is a misuse of religion to justify one's selfish agenda

re: meanness and hate, congratulations, you are unwittingly 50% correct!

by the time you're an adult, you might be getting close to the mark.
post #33 of 38
Hatred comes from the sense that you always have to defend your property against the others even if there is no threat. That constant on guard situation creates animosity, distrust and ultimately hatred. What our mind does to make things easier is to group people and assign attributes to them that we have found true of other members of the group. We instinctively trust self and ones like self and hate others.

This is all overcome by rational thinking. But hatred allows people to be controlled, and there are many out there who use this power for their own purposes...
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post #34 of 38
As i see it man is born as a blank sheet with some basic desires. Everything else is education, some of it very basic, most of it fairly superficial and easily overturned by those desires. I don't see good or bad, all I see are different methods of survival. If we were born in Afghanistan we would be considered terrorists and consider the Western World the work of the devil. If we were born in 1300 we would've burned ugly woman who remained unmarried. And if we lived in 500BC we would screw little boys for our amusement before going home to the wife.
The only morality we have is the realisation that in a community whatever may be good for others is probably also good for us. The most basic rules of almost any religion are based on this principle.
It's Better To Be Hated For What You Are Than To Be Loved For What You Are Not
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It's Better To Be Hated For What You Are Than To Be Loved For What You Are Not
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
It comes from ignorance and fear. And a profound belief that my God is better than your God.

Atheists are hate-free?

Aries 1B
"I pictured myself sitting in the shade of a leafy tree in a public park, a stylus in hand, a shiny Apple Tablet computer in my lap, and a pouty Jennifer Connelly stirring a pitcher of gimlets a...
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"I pictured myself sitting in the shade of a leafy tree in a public park, a stylus in hand, a shiny Apple Tablet computer in my lap, and a pouty Jennifer Connelly stirring a pitcher of gimlets a...
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Farming changed everything. Cultivation gave us the ideas of 'property', 'labour' and 'wealth'; farming made it rational to treat animals, plants and soil itself as commodities.

Interesting Hassan. So farming brought ownership of the land, and increased the division of labor, and produced inequities and all that, and it was downhill from there.

What is the role of success, though? Certainly if you're barely subsisting, you don't have time to conquer others. If agriculture means greater success - plentiful food, therefore more time to work on good shelter and other niceties - then you have time to do other things, like conquer.

Have you read "Guns Germs and Steel?" I haven't read it, but I heard him give a talk about it. The reason I bring up this "success" idea is that I think that's the way he frames it in his book. Certain people were lucky enough to live in particular locations where agriculture and the domestication of animals was possible. They therefore were more successful than other groups, in terms of survival and advances in technology, and they could subsume other, less successful groups.

What you're saying that seems different is that agriculture changed the psychology - people saw the land as something they owned, and so they wanted to own more. Very Marxist.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Aries 1B
Atheists are hate-free?

Aries 1B

There were 3 reasons there, but hey, don't worry about that.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
There were 3 reasons there, but hey, don't worry about that.

One reason had its own sentence.

I won't worry about a thing; not a thing.

Aries 1B
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"I pictured myself sitting in the shade of a leafy tree in a public park, a stylus in hand, a shiny Apple Tablet computer in my lap, and a pouty Jennifer Connelly stirring a pitcher of gimlets a...
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