yurp

The State Of Play

88 posts in this topic

I think people were kinder, more caring, more generous and less selfish 30 years ago.

No Adam, its just called "getting old" :D

The policeman looked older, Mars bars were bigger, the music had better tunes and you could understand the words.... welcome to being old! :)

(if you want to know what it is really like being old, just ask Pabloh, but don't mention the war, he gets very touchy about that :D

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No Adam, its just called "getting old" :D

The policeman looked older, Mars bars were bigger, the music had better tunes and you could understand the words.... welcome to being old! :)

(if you want to know what it is really like being old, just ask Pabloh, but don't mention the war, he gets very touchy about that :D

At least the war I remember has a 2 after it :whistling:

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No Adam, its just called "getting old" :D

The policeman looked older, Mars bars were bigger, the music had better tunes and you could understand the words.... welcome to being old! :)

(if you want to know what it is really like being old, just ask Pabloh, but don't mention the war, he gets very touchy about that :D

they were! :D

actually I've been old for a while now - I'm just a little coy about it. ;)

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they were! :D

actually I've been old for a while now - I'm just a little coy about it. ;)

You're absolutely correct, they did reduce the size of mars bars :lol:

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Charitable giving is again something done by proxy. That supports my point. You see, less people are likely to be altruistic through a 3rd party (a charitable organisation) than they are face to face (i.e. when you visit Africa, you are much more likely to help as indeed I do when I see beggars in the street in China).

That supports precisely what I was saying in my last post and does not mean that people are basically selfish at all.

Compare those figures to the figures of how many people DO report a crime and you'll feel a lot less pessimistic. Of course the press concentrates on the negative - the positive is not newsworthy and doesn't sell papers. Think about this scientifically rather than emotionally.

But even so - this still supports rather than disproves my argument that people are becoming more selfish than in the past (or more precisely that selfishnessis becoming more acceptable). I would say that in the past most of those 10 people would have reported the rape. So if that is an indication of selfishness, then it again proves my point. Your argument would be that people have always been like this - if that were the case then why would it make the news. It makes it into the papers precisely BECAUSE it represents deteriorating morality.

The difference between our arguments is not really what we see now, but what we think of the past as compared to now. I think people were kinder, more caring, more generous and less selfish 30 years ago - you think that they've always been this selfish and that they are inately so. That is why I say that there has been a moral disintegration since the 80's and that is where you disagree.

I also carried myself away from this point with my evolutionary explanation as to why cooperation is good and why I believe that individuals are basically good - but that is connected.

My chief concern is that I see that the increasing selfishness will lead to a slow down (if not, reversal) in cultural/scientific advancement, which I see as very dangerous - a repeat of the dark ages looms.

But then again, my confidence in human nature allows me to believe that we will pull ourselves out of it. That progress and kindness is the norm and that blips in that progress caused by mistaken politics, economics and by limited resources will inevitably be overcome.

Were I to think that selfishness is the norm (as you do), then I simply wouldn't be able to explain any of our historical progress up until now - our evolution as a species has depended upon our basic instincts to be kind, helpful, sharing and morally decent - without our fundamentally good human nature we could never have developed as we have

When we say 'people are naturally selfish' we have our excuse ready made for our failure. We allow for greed and by so doing encourage it. If we say 'people are inately good, but it is not easy and you must work to be so', I see a far more posiive future - one where we do not allow ourselves to become lazy and corruptable, but rather stick to our morals as we have prooved ourselves capable of in the past - most recently in WWII.

I'm generally an optimist about human nature and therefore our future as a species - If I weren't I'd be making excuses for our ultimate downfall and therefore aiding and abeting in that very downfall. Belief has always helped create the fact.

Remember when everyone feared a fuel shortage and so rushed out to buy fuel - thus creating the fuel shortage they feared. So it is with regards to our future in general.

Hi again, Mr Strags. I agree that people can be caring - of course it's a simplification to say people are always selfish (or nice). Nevertheless, everyone cares more about themselves and their loved ones than other people in general. Our main goal in life is to look after ourselves and our (own) families.

We have beggars in Britain too as you know and no one gives them much money or help. Most people are scared to touch them lest they catch something. How much do people who visit Africa actually give as a proportion of their income? I don't doubt they give more than the rest of us, but I'd wager they still keep most of their money for themselves. Certainly the white farmers in Zimbabwe do...

The apathy of witnesses (and people in general) is nothing new - it makes the news only because there are still idealists in the world who deny the obvious! And I think you gloss over these shortcomings too easily. Everyone in Britain knows about heart-wrenching(?) poverty and disease in Africa. How can we really care about them if we do nothing to help.

Progress can arise from harnessing selfishness to a good end - and this is utterly misunderstood by idealistic lefties! :P Most scientists are competitive and want to make their own reputation and enhance their own career, at other scientists' expense. But by doing that they come up with (eg) new medicines that save millions of lives.

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Hi again, Mr Strags. I agree that people can be caring - of course it's a simplification to say people are always selfish (or nice). Nevertheless, everyone cares more about themselves and their loved ones than other people in general. Our main goal in life is to look after ourselves and our (own) families.

I agree - people care more about themselves and their imediate family/friends than strangers, but you seem to think there's some kind of rivalry for our attention here. Why can't we be good to family friends AND strangers? - there's no reason why we shouldn't as far as I can see.

We have beggars in Britain too as you know and no one gives them much money or help. Most people are scared to touch them lest they catch something. How much do people who visit Africa actually give as a proportion of their income? I don't doubt they give more than the rest of us, but I'd wager they still keep most of their money for themselves. Certainly the white farmers in Zimbabwe do...

To the first - that's just ignorant. You know it, I know it.

To the second - you are again making excuses for greed - how much do they give compared to how much you do?

Sorry buddy - I'm going to stop answering direct points there - having read the rest of your post it's just more excuses as to why behaving greedily is normal and therefore acceptable. It's this general acceptance of thatcherite 'greed is good' philosophy which has led us down the path of short term gain, long term pain, distrust of anyone we don't know and (as I said to begin with) moral bancruptcy of the last 30 years.

You couch your questions - ("How can we really care about them if we do nothing to help." for instance), as proof positive of humanity's selfish nature, rather than realising that you are using that argument as an excuse to do nothing yourself. There are many people doing much to help, but fewer than in previous eras when people felt morally obliged to do something - now people are increasingly selfish or at least lazy and apathetic and that has sadly become acceptable - your arguments are proof of this acceptance - even defense of selfishness.

Sadly, the next Wii game is the most important thing in many people's lives. The fact that we've allowed ourselves to sink this far is fairly soul-destroying and it's easy to roll over and admit defeat (as you have quite readily done). It's a much harder path to attempt to rectify our collective malaise. Too many people use your excuses as reason not to bother - 'Everyone's greedy, so that makes it alright for me to be too'. That is not human nature but rather and social illness caused by the politics and media of the last few decades.

And here's the crux of it...

If it were human nature to be selfish, most people in the UK would have jumped on the Nazi bandwagon and not fought Hitler, much like Max's dad - it would have been far easier - they could have all got richer on any Jewish property seized.

If people were naturally greedy, we would never have got free education for everyone, free health care, minimum wage, charities.

If people were naturally greedy we wouldn't have evolved as far as apes.

I spend my time in the classroom with children from 5 to 12 years old. I can see already how much their nature is being shaped by others and asserting itself. I can see those children who are kind, thoughtful and generous and I can see those who are self-centered little buggers. If human's were naturally selfish there would be none of the former and no classroom in which I am teaching.

I am sure that anyone who works with young children will tell you the same is me - humans are naturally kind, caring and compassionate. Children love to share. They are inately good.

I can also tell you this - the selfish buggers are like that because of their parents - they either teach them by example or they spoil them rotten. If we keep going the way we are in the UK - those spoilt children will be our future too - I don't look forward to it.

You see, humans aren't naturally selfish - the default position is not one of greed - it's just that people have been led to believe that it is and selfishness has been rewarded to such an extent that it has become accepted - again, that is a recent development. Selfish b#####ds used not to be accepted in society - now they're two a penny.

I understand that you'll keep saying it is human nature and I'll keep saying it isn't. So I guess this conversation won't go much further, but for the record - it's been fun. I like a healthy debate and it's made me question my own beliefs and why I hold them - which is always useful.

Edited by adamstrags

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I agree - people care more about themselves and their imediate family/friends than strangers, but you seem to think there's some kind of rivalry for our attention here. Why can't we be good to family friends AND strangers? - there's no reason why we shouldn't as far as I can see.

To the first - that's just ignorant. You know it, I know it.

To the second - you are again making excuses for greed - how much do they give compared to how much you do?

Sorry buddy - I'm going to stop answering direct points there - having read the rest of your post it's just more excuses as to why behaving greedily is normal and therefore acceptable. It's this general acceptance of thatcherite 'greed is good' philosophy which has led us down the path of short term gain, long term pain, distrust of anyone we don't know and (as I said to begin with) moral bancruptcy of the last 30 years.

You couch your questions - ("How can we really care about them if we do nothing to help." for instance), as proof positive of humanity's selfish nature, rather than realising that you are using that argument as an excuse to do nothing yourself. There are many people doing much to help, but fewer than in previous eras when people felt morally obliged to do something - now people are increasingly selfish or at least lazy and apathetic and that has sadly become acceptable - your arguments are proof of this acceptance - even defense of selfishness.

Sadly, the next Wii game is the most important thing in many people's lives. The fact that we've allowed ourselves to sink this far is fairly soul-destroying and it's easy to roll over and admit defeat (as you have quite readily done). It's a much harder path to attempt to rectify our collective malaise. Too many people use your excuses as reason not to bother - 'Everyone's greedy, so that makes it alright for me to be too'. That is not human nature but rather and social illness caused by the politics and media of the last few decades.

And here's the crux of it...

If it were human nature to be selfish, most people in the UK would have jumped on the Nazi bandwagon and not fought Hitler, much like Max's dad - it would have been far easier - they could have all got richer on any Jewish property seized.

If people were naturally greedy, we would never have got free education for everyone, free health care, minimum wage, charities.

If people were naturally greedy we wouldn't have evolved as far as apes.

I spend my time in the classroom with children from 5 to 12 years old. I can see already how much their nature is being shaped by others and asserting itself. I can see those children who are kind, thoughtful and generous and I can see those who are self-centered little buggers. If human's were naturally selfish there would be none of the former and no classroom in which I am teaching.

I am sure that anyone who works with young children will tell you the same is me - humans are naturally kind, caring and compassionate. Children love to share. They are inately good.

I can also tell you this - the selfish buggers are like that because of their parents - they either teach them by example or they spoil them rotten. If we keep going the way we are in the UK - those spoilt children will be our future too - I don't look forward to it.

You see, humans aren't naturally selfish - the default position is not one of greed - it's just that people have been led to believe that it is and selfishness has been rewarded to such an extent that it has become accepted - again, that is a recent development. Selfish b#####ds used not to be accepted in society - now they're two a penny.

I understand that you'll keep saying it is human nature and I'll keep saying it isn't. So I guess this conversation won't go much further, but for the record - it's been fun. I like a healthy debate and it's made me question my own beliefs and why I hold them - which is always useful.

Totallt agree. Scary and brilliant.

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my two cents about human nature: I think everybody is selfish but we all have a layer of society and moral between our selfish self and the world. If I want to have a new car probably I will have 100 ideas how to obtain the car but 95 of them will be blocked by the layer of moral and society; that leave with a few options like work more or create a new business. but another guy who also want a new and have the same 100 ideas his morals only blocks 90 leaving fraud as a viable option but both of us blocks murder as a viable option but somebody else may have that as a valid choice.

Everybody actions are motivated by self gains even sharing are motivated by the promise of prestige, respect, friends etc all of them more valuable than the money or the food the people is sharing.

about cheating. kids cheats in a game in the schools playground just because WIN is a very powerful drug and everybody wants to win thats the only true point of every single game we play. I never believe in the saying "the important is not to win, the important is play the game" to prove my point we invent two things in games; the score to know the only thing that really matters in the game who wins and who loses, and the rules to prevent cheating. Rules are not there because they are pretty rules are they and we expend a lot of effort in enforce those rules because the simple truth is without them we all cheat to win

Mario

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my two cents about human nature: I think everybody is selfish but we all have a layer of society and moral between our selfish self and the world. If I want to have a new car probably I will have 100 ideas how to obtain the car but 95 of them will be blocked by the layer of moral and society; that leave with a few options like work more or create a new business. but another guy who also want a new and have the same 100 ideas his morals only blocks 90 leaving fraud as a viable option but both of us blocks murder as a viable option but somebody else may have that as a valid choice.

an interesting way to explain it, but I could turn the demonstration on it's head and say we would all naturally go for the legal 'nice' options if it weren't for a societal polution of our morality - works both ways, so really it's just semantics (as, admittedly is much of this discussion).

Everybody actions are motivated by self gains even sharing are motivated by the promise of prestige, respect, friends etc all of them more valuable than the money or the food the people is sharing.

about cheating. kids cheats in a game in the schools playground just because WIN is a very powerful drug and everybody wants to win thats the only true point of every single game we play. I never believe in the saying "the important is not to win, the important is play the game" to prove my point we invent two things in games; the score to know the only thing that really matters in the game who wins and who loses, and the rules to prevent cheating. Rules are not there because they are pretty rules are they and we expend a lot of effort in enforce those rules because the simple truth is without them we all cheat to win

Mario

sorry, but I disagree (not surprising eh ;)). if you think carefully, how much did you cheat as a kid compared to how much you played by the rules. cheating was actually extremely rare (and still is, watching the children in the playground here). arguments are also very rare - we just happen to remember the occasions on which they happened or the occasions when someone cheated. Why do we make greater note of these instances when we remember childhood? precisely because they are NOT the norm. actually 99.9% of the time children and people play fair - why? because if the oposite were normal there would never be any game to play. The ability to play fair doesn't come from the existence of rules for most people. It comes from the desire to have fun.

Edited by adamstrags

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Sorry buddy - I'm going to stop answering direct points there - having read the rest of your post it's just more excuses as to why behaving greedily is normal and therefore acceptable. It's this general acceptance of thatcherite 'greed is good' philosophy which has led us down the path of short term gain, long term pain, distrust of anyone we don't know and (as I said to begin with) moral bancruptcy of the last 30 years.

Well, I'm not saying all bad behaviour is 'acceptable' at all. Whether or not our behaviour is normally selfish is a matter of fact, to be settled by looking at how we do in fact behave. Whether that behaviour is to be commended or accepted is a completely different issue, and one that is more to do with ethical principles than empirical facts. I find it's a common problem of the Left (Andres is a classic case in point!) that they can never face up to awkward realities. :P Any philosophy that requires adherents to ignore facts is probably a bad one.

Regarding the first (empirical) issue, my view is that you just gloss over all the uncaring things we all do. People who hate beggars and think they carry disease are ignorant, I agree. But that is the whole point! Most people do in fact shun beggars like the plague. We can both wish it weren't so - but it is, and you know it. Do some people give more money to Africa than I do? Sure. But not many people. And that again is the whole point. The majority of the British population will give next to nothing to Africa this year. Am I saying this is a good thing? No, I am simply stating a fact.

Personally I don't find your latest supposed examples of fairness any more convincing. Although people will refuse to accept it, we didn't fight Hitler because we cared that much about Poland, or the Jews. If we did, we would have intervened long before 1939. We stopped Hitler once, and only once, he became a threat to us. The Americans were no better - it took a direct threat against them to make them actively fight Hitler too. Note also that it is usually the Left that opposes military intervention against oppressive regimes.

Free education and healthcare are good things but are not massively altruistic. They're not only beneficial for the poorest: we all use them and the majority of people personally benefit from those services being provided through taxation rather than paying for it themselves. Imagine getting to 60, developing a serious form of cancer and having to pay for all the treatment yourself. Most people couldn't do it and therefore prefer the NHS. Those who can pay for better treatment privately, usually do.

Children can be cruel just like adults. You can see that on the recent Channel 4 show, Boys and Girls Alone. The behaviour was pretty vicious and horrid. Regardless, how human behaviour develops is a different and no doubt complicated issue. The fact remains that as adults we are usually quite selfish.

So far, I've seen no evidence that humans have gotten more selfish over recent decades. Seems to me that we weren't much better back in the days of Apartheid, rampant sexism and homophobia, segregation, colonialism, slavery, religious crusades... If you give me an exact date when we were selfless people I will look it up and see if I'm wrong but I doubt there has ever been such a time. :P

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Wow.

I feel the nature of all humankind is survival. Our very core is to reproduce, expand and survive. Ever since creation began/evolution progressed (whichever you believe) our basic instinct is to survive whether that be by rational means or by irrational means. This affects every day life, social situations, friends, family and lovers. And a form of survival is materialism. It affects social status, which in turn affects not what we need, but what we want in order to survive in the 'community'. We give to appear kind which in turn makes us feel good about ourselves. No good deed is self-less. We are survivors and if greed is part of the great game then so be it.

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Wow.

I feel the nature of all humankind is survival. Our very core is to reproduce, expand and survive. Ever since creation began/evolution progressed (whichever you believe) our basic instinct is to survive whether that be by rational means or by irrational means. This affects every day life, social situations, friends, family and lovers. And a form of survival is materialism. It affects social status, which in turn affects not what we need, but what we want in order to survive in the 'community'. We give to appear kind which in turn makes us feel good about ourselves. No good deed is self-less. We are survivors and if greed is part of the great game then so be it.

You are not the girl racer we know! :wacko:

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You are not the girl racer we know! :wacko:

Lol. Is that a good or bad thing?

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Lol. Is that a good or bad thing?

You are getting too wise which is a bad thing for us guys out here...:D

Anyways...good to see you are hanging out here these days..

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Well, I'm not saying all bad behaviour is 'acceptable' at all. Whether or not our behaviour is normally selfish is a matter of fact, to be settled by looking at how we do in fact behave. Whether that behaviour is to be commended or accepted is a completely different issue, and one that is more to do with ethical principles than empirical facts. I find it's a common problem of the Left (Andres is a classic case in point!) that they can never face up to awkward realities. :P Any philosophy that requires adherents to ignore facts is probably a bad one.

Regarding the first (empirical) issue, my view is that you just gloss over all the uncaring things we all do. People who hate beggars and think they carry disease are ignorant, I agree. But that is the whole point! Most people do in fact shun beggars like the plague. We can both wish it weren't so - but it is, and you know it. Do some people give more money to Africa than I do? Sure. But not many people. And that again is the whole point. The majority of the British population will give next to nothing to Africa this year. Am I saying this is a good thing? No, I am simply stating a fact.

Personally I don't find your latest supposed examples of fairness any more convincing. Although people will refuse to accept it, we didn't fight Hitler because we cared that much about Poland, or the Jews. If we did, we would have intervened long before 1939. We stopped Hitler once, and only once, he became a threat to us. The Americans were no better - it took a direct threat against them to make them actively fight Hitler too. Note also that it is usually the Left that opposes military intervention against oppressive regimes.

Free education and healthcare are good things but are not massively altruistic. They're not only beneficial for the poorest: we all use them and the majority of people personally benefit from those services being provided through taxation rather than paying for it themselves. Imagine getting to 60, developing a serious form of cancer and having to pay for all the treatment yourself. Most people couldn't do it and therefore prefer the NHS. Those who can pay for better treatment privately, usually do.

Children can be cruel just like adults. You can see that on the recent Channel 4 show, Boys and Girls Alone. The behaviour was pretty vicious and horrid. Regardless, how human behaviour develops is a different and no doubt complicated issue. The fact remains that as adults we are usually quite selfish.

So far, I've seen no evidence that humans have gotten more selfish over recent decades. Seems to me that we weren't much better back in the days of Apartheid, rampant sexism and homophobia, segregation, colonialism, slavery, religious crusades... If you give me an exact date when we were selfless people I will look it up and see if I'm wrong but I doubt there has ever been such a time. :P

I completely agree with your post. Objectively assessing something while making arguments for why that might be the case does not mean you are trying to justify it.

Saying that, I still think your a dirty rotten scoundrel :P:D

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Lovely argument going on here.

I tend to agree with Graham that human beings are rather selfish by nature. I tend to agree with Adam that it is no excuse for trying to be more selfish, but a reason to improve and work towards solidarity and sharing efforts and benefits for "the greater good". I also agree that the selfishness has worsened steadily since the 80's and tatcherism. Not because it was a great world we had before, but because we came up with a philosophical/political excuse to relish in our own greed. It was not a totally new philosophy, btw. We've been through a similar pendulum swing towards individualism in the late XIXth century, when the robber barons ruled USA, and European colonialism was both rampant and extremely brutal.

In the end, I don't care whether selfishness is cultural or natural. Like I always say, peeing and pooing in your pants is natural. That does not mean it is desirable or unavoidable. If we can be potty trained (well, except Paul, who never learnt and Meanie, who was taught but forgot how to) then we can certainly learn how to cooperate.

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Lovely argument going on here.

I tend to agree with Graham that human beings are rather selfish by nature. I tend to agree with Adam that it is no excuse for trying to be more selfish, but a reason to improve and work towards solidarity and sharing efforts and benefits for "the greater good". I also agree that the selfishness has worsened steadily since the 80's and tatcherism. Not because it was a great world we had before, but because we came up with a philosophical/political excuse to relish in our own greed. It was not a totally new philosophy, btw. We've been through a similar pendulum swing towards individualism in the late XIXth century, when the robber barons ruled USA, and European colonialism was both rampant and extremely brutal.

In the end, I don't care whether selfishness is cultural or natural. Like I always say, peeing and pooing in your pants is natural. That does not mean it is desirable or unavoidable. If we can be potty trained (well, except Paul, who never learnt and Meanie, who was taught but forgot how to) then we can certainly learn how to cooperate.

This is why I am just better than anyone else, selfless and pretty darn humble too. If I do it on the potty, somebody else has to empty it. If I do it in my pants, I have to sort it out. You people would do good to learn from my selfless acts.

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Anyway, regarding the argument, it seems to me that which side of the argument you lean towards is probably quite closely related to the type of person you are.

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You are getting too wise which is a bad thing for us guys out here...:D

So are you, you don't double post anymore ;) !

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Anyway, regarding the argument, it seems to me that which side of the argument you lean towards is probably quite closely related to the type of person you are.

Yeah, both perspectives have true elements and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. It's the same with most arguments actually, except that one about the Renault investigation, I'd say that the guy who used to be called Rainmaster is probably right on that one (I say "probably" because I can't prove it :whistling:) :ph34r:

Edited by El Maestro

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You are getting too wise which is a bad thing for us guys out here...:D

Anyways...good to see you are hanging out here these days..

:lol: Thanks Abbas! I do have occasional brain activity though its usually when asleep and comes in the form of dreams.

I missed you guys and came back! TF1 will never leave my heart!

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If we can be potty trained (well, except Paul, who never learnt and Meanie, who was taught but forgot how to) then we can certainly learn how to cooperate.

Just thought I'd bring a bit of cultured, intelligent debate to the forum

Ahem....

I have not forgotten, 'cos I still use a potty - so there! Nur nur ne nur nur!!! :P:D

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So are you, you don't double post anymore ;) !

Bah....You don't get it..I am trying to be the top poster..

I faked those double posts...

now what do you call that? POSTGATE?:P

Oh well..Abbas gate sounds perfect...

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