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Are human beings inherently selfish?
#76

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-21-2019, 05:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 02:08 AM)Free Wrote: But does that mean they have no fear at all?

I guess that depends on what we mean by "fear". I don't know the qualia that animals experience. It seems to me there's a difference between startle and fear, and that difference probably would vary with the intelligence of the creature involved. I imagine that smarter animals able to project consequences are capable of conscious fear, while the dumber or dumbest ones are probably less aware of "fear" as an emotion.

It's all a guess on my part, so don't take anything above as any statement of fact.

One of the other things that puzzles me about survival, is that all living things need to consume to subsist. We could simplify this and look at it as hunger, and say that is what compels living things to survive. Even plants extend their roots in search of moisture.

Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. 

Perhaps we can see a difference between fear and being startled in this. If, for example, some form of hunger generates fear in a lifeform in which it compels it to seek sustenance, yet that same lifeform appears unmoved by startling effects?

Your thoughts?
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#77

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 01:11 AM)Free Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 05:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 02:08 AM)Free Wrote: But does that mean they have no fear at all?

I guess that depends on what we mean by "fear". I don't know the qualia that animals experience. It seems to me there's a difference between startle and fear, and that difference probably would vary with the intelligence of the creature involved. I imagine that smarter animals able to project consequences are capable of conscious fear, while the dumber or dumbest ones are probably less aware of "fear" as an emotion.

It's all a guess on my part, so don't take anything above as any statement of fact.

One of the other things that puzzles me about survival, is that all living things need to consume to subsist. We could simplify this and look at it as hunger, and say that is what compels living things to survive. Even plants extend their roots in search of moisture.

Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. 

Perhaps we can see a difference between fear and being startled in this. If, for example, some form of hunger generates fear in a lifeform in which it compels it to seek sustenance, yet that same lifeform appears unmoved by startling effects?

Your thoughts?


What  is the longest you've gone without food? For me it twas 36 hours. Army, in deep jungle. Chopper couldn't get in with our re supply .

By the time our rations arrived my stomach had just  begun to hurt. Of course I pigged out and went into a sugar coma. Bloody lucky we didn't have to move; I could not have.

I can't imagine how a person would feel after a week or longer.  I reckon the neighbourhood kids might start to look delicious.  

 I  understand there are many documented  cases of cannibalism in modern times in both Russia and China, at least.  

Not sure how long a person can live without food.   I read somewhere it's up to six weeks, if you don't catch say typhus, or
 perhaps cut yourself.  

 Please excuse Godwin's law here: It is my understanding  that the Nazis slowly and deliberately starved  prisoners in several of the camps. Prisoners were fed 600 calories a day, so it could take a few months before they starved to death. Of course, during that time they worked as slave labour.

After Liberation of the camps, thousands continued to die because of their stage of starvation. Initially, apparently hundreds died through the kindness  of the Liberators,  who gave them solid food . The shock to their system killed them .

I  try not to talk casually about starvation. That one incident gave me a life long fear  of  running out of food. There is never less than a full month's supply of food in my house. Sometimes a lot more if I get a good deal  on say basmati rice or dried beans. 

If you haven't seen it "Hannibal Rising " is worth a look. Pretty grim stuff.

Full film below free on Youtube

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#78

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 01:11 AM)Free Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 05:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 02:08 AM)Free Wrote: But does that mean they have no fear at all?

I guess that depends on what we mean by "fear". I don't know the qualia that animals experience. It seems to me there's a difference between startle and fear, and that difference probably would vary with the intelligence of the creature involved. I imagine that smarter animals able to project consequences are capable of conscious fear, while the dumber or dumbest ones are probably less aware of "fear" as an emotion.

It's all a guess on my part, so don't take anything above as any statement of fact.

One of the other things that puzzles me about survival, is that all living things need to consume to subsist. We could simplify this and look at it as hunger, and say that is what compels living things to survive. Even plants extend their roots in search of moisture.

Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. 

Perhaps we can see a difference between fear and being startled in this. If, for example, some form of hunger generates fear in a lifeform in which it compels it to seek sustenance, yet that same lifeform appears unmoved by startling effects?

Your thoughts?

I'm not sure that the discomfort of hunger is equal to fear. Hunger is a physical sensation of not having enough carbohydrates for motile energy, or other nutrients for growth.

Fear, on the other hand, is a mental state, right?

I imagine some mammals are actually aware of their hunger-state, and that can perhaps lead to fear if they have enough forebrain. But without that forebrain, I doubt they can project their hunger into a future starvation and develop fear that can break down social constructs, as mammals can. 

But like every other human on the planet, I'm only guessing at the qualia those animals experience. My answer is worth every rupee you've paid for it.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#79

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 03:31 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 01:11 AM)Free Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 05:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I guess that depends on what we mean by "fear". I don't know the qualia that animals experience. It seems to me there's a difference between startle and fear, and that difference probably would vary with the intelligence of the creature involved. I imagine that smarter animals able to project consequences are capable of conscious fear, while the dumber or dumbest ones are probably less aware of "fear" as an emotion.

It's all a guess on my part, so don't take anything above as any statement of fact.

One of the other things that puzzles me about survival, is that all living things need to consume to subsist. We could simplify this and look at it as hunger, and say that is what compels living things to survive. Even plants extend their roots in search of moisture.

Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. 

Perhaps we can see a difference between fear and being startled in this. If, for example, some form of hunger generates fear in a lifeform in which it compels it to seek sustenance, yet that same lifeform appears unmoved by startling effects?

Your thoughts?

I'm not sure that the discomfort of hunger is equal to fear. Hunger is a physical sensation of not having enough carbohydrates for motile energy, or other nutrients for growth.

Fear, on the other hand, is a mental state, right?

I imagine some mammals are actually aware of their hunger-state, and that can perhaps lead to fear if they have enough forebrain. But without that forebrain, I doubt they can project their hunger into a future starvation and develop fear that can break down social constructs, as mammals can. 

But like every other human on the planet, I'm only guessing at the qualia those animals experience. My answer is worth every rupee you've paid for it.

 I agree. I simply answered the question from this: "Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. "

I have never experienced that kind of panic, but can see how a person might if they were being kept from food somehow. However, I think the panic might subside when a person began to starve.

I read somewhere that part of the Nazi strategy of in starving  prisoners was so they would be so preoccupied with food and how to get some, that they would not be thinking of escape or giving trouble in other ways.  That was certainly  not paranoid;  there were prisoner uprisings at Auschwitz-Birkenau  and Treblinka, as well as a mass escape from Sobibor  (there's an underrated film called 'Escape From Sobibor' with Rutger Hauer  free on Youtube)
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#80

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 03:31 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 01:11 AM)Free Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 05:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I guess that depends on what we mean by "fear". I don't know the qualia that animals experience. It seems to me there's a difference between startle and fear, and that difference probably would vary with the intelligence of the creature involved. I imagine that smarter animals able to project consequences are capable of conscious fear, while the dumber or dumbest ones are probably less aware of "fear" as an emotion.

It's all a guess on my part, so don't take anything above as any statement of fact.

One of the other things that puzzles me about survival, is that all living things need to consume to subsist. We could simplify this and look at it as hunger, and say that is what compels living things to survive. Even plants extend their roots in search of moisture.

Even today with people, if someone gets hungry enough they will do virtually anything to get relief. Often people will go into full panic mode if they get hungry enough. Pretty much any sentient lifeform will. 

Perhaps we can see a difference between fear and being startled in this. If, for example, some form of hunger generates fear in a lifeform in which it compels it to seek sustenance, yet that same lifeform appears unmoved by startling effects?

Your thoughts?

I'm not sure that the discomfort of hunger is equal to fear. Hunger is a physical sensation of not having enough carbohydrates for motile energy, or other nutrients for growth.

Fear, on the other hand, is a mental state, right?

I imagine some mammals are actually aware of their hunger-state, and that can perhaps lead to fear if they have enough forebrain. But without that forebrain, I doubt they can project their hunger into a future starvation and develop fear that can break down social constructs, as mammals can. 

But like every other human on the planet, I'm only guessing at the qualia those animals experience. My answer is worth every rupee you've paid for it.

I don't view the mental state as in any way being distinct from the whole. The whole body reacts to fear. 

But I think my point here is, regardless if fear or hunger is the motivating factor that inspires survival, something aside from natural selection is at work here. It would appear so far that both hunger and fear induces the need for self preservation and this supposedly innate need for self preservation must, by necessity, be present in the first place in which to be induced. Even plant life displays this need to survive by competing for sunlight and nutrients.
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#81

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 05:34 AM)grympy Wrote: I read somewhere that part of the Nazi strategy of in starving  prisoners was so they would be so preoccupied with food and how to get some, that they would not be thinking of escape or giving trouble in other ways.  That was certainly  not paranoid;  there were prisoner uprisings at Auschwitz-Birkenau  and Treblinka, as well as a mass escape from Sobibor  (there's an underrated film called 'Escape From Sobibor' with Rutger Hauer  free on Youtube)

I wager that it was small part of nazi thought process. After all those sent to camps were "subhumans" or "undesirables" so why waste food on them. One shoud consider the fact that there wasn't plenty of food even in Reich itself so rationing according to racist principles could be expected.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#82

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 02:49 PM)Free Wrote: But I think my point here is, regardless if fear or hunger is the motivating factor that inspires survival, something aside from natural selection is at work here. It would appear so far that both hunger and fear induces the need for self preservation and this supposedly innate need for self preservation must, by necessity, be present in the first place in which to be induced. Even plant life displays this need to survive by competing for sunlight and nutrients.

I'm not sure how this relates to fear. Are you saying that plants experience emotions?
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#83

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 07:10 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 02:49 PM)Free Wrote: But I think my point here is, regardless if fear or hunger is the motivating factor that inspires survival, something aside from natural selection is at work here. It would appear so far that both hunger and fear induces the need for self preservation and this supposedly innate need for self preservation must, by necessity, be present in the first place in which to be induced. Even plant life displays this need to survive by competing for sunlight and nutrients.

I'm not sure how this relates to fear. Are you saying that plants experience emotions?

No, not at all, at least not in any way we understand fear.

What I am saying is that something aside from natural selection appears to be driving a lifeform's need to survive. I used the need for sustenance as an example of something other than natural selection. 

To explain further, a lifeform that requires sustenance may adapt and evolve in such a way as to develop the means to obtain sustenance, such as developing the ability to scale an incline toward the sustenance.  

In cases like this "hunger" appears to induce the innate quality of self preservation, which in turn forces the lifeform to adapt/evolve.
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#84

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 08:23 PM)Free Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 07:10 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 02:49 PM)Free Wrote: But I think my point here is, regardless if fear or hunger is the motivating factor that inspires survival, something aside from natural selection is at work here. It would appear so far that both hunger and fear induces the need for self preservation and this supposedly innate need for self preservation must, by necessity, be present in the first place in which to be induced. Even plant life displays this need to survive by competing for sunlight and nutrients.

I'm not sure how this relates to fear. Are you saying that plants experience emotions?

No, not at all, at least not in any way we understand fear.

What I am saying is that something aside from natural selection appears to be driving a lifeform's need to survive. I used the need for sustenance as an example of something other than natural selection. 

To explain further, a lifeform that requires sustenance may adapt and evolve in such a way as to develop the means to obtain sustenance, such as developing the ability to scale an incline toward the sustenance.  

In cases like this "hunger" appears to induce the innate quality of self preservation, which in turns forces the lifeform to adapt/evolve.

What is it you think is influencing evolution aside from natural selection? I've got no idea what you're talking about as an alternative hypothesis. I think "hungry animals eat" is sufficient, myself. Animals that don't eat when they're hungry tend to die quicker, I'd imagine. Natural selection would see to that.

I think it's not that complex.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#85

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 08:39 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 08:23 PM)Free Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 07:10 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I'm not sure how this relates to fear. Are you saying that plants experience emotions?

No, not at all, at least not in any way we understand fear.

What I am saying is that something aside from natural selection appears to be driving a lifeform's need to survive. I used the need for sustenance as an example of something other than natural selection. 

To explain further, a lifeform that requires sustenance may adapt and evolve in such a way as to develop the means to obtain sustenance, such as developing the ability to scale an incline toward the sustenance.  

In cases like this "hunger" appears to induce the innate quality of self preservation, which in turns forces the lifeform to adapt/evolve.

What is it you think is influencing evolution aside from natural selection? I've got no idea what you're talking about as an alternative hypothesis. I think "hungry animals eat" is sufficient, myself. Animals that don't eat when they're hungry tend to die quicker, I'd imagine. Natural selection would see to that.

I think it's not that complex.

I'm referring to my original point that self preservation is an innate quality in all lifeforms, and it of itself is not the product of evolution but rather a state of being.
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#86

Are human beings inherently selfish?
Hi, Free.
You say, "something aside from natural selection appears to be driving a lifeform's need to survive."
I'm confused. It seems to me that the "need to survive" (long enough to replicate) is the essence of natural selection. Isn't that enough? Why would you ask for "something aside from natural selection"? Isn't hunger enough?
What is the cause of the propensity of one hydrogen atom to bond with another to create the more stable form of the H2 molecule? Is that attraction between atoms not a form of hunger? What about a flu virus that senses warmth and moistness in lung tissue and begins to assimilate from it's surroundings to replicate? Is that not a form of hunger?
And is not hunger the most pure form of selfishness?
I submit that hunger is both necessary -- and sufficient -- to define life.
Thanks! ~John~
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#87

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 08:44 PM)Free Wrote: I'm referring to my original point that self preservation is an innate quality in all lifeforms, and it of itself is not the product of evolution but rather a state of being.


Natural selection pares out apathy pretty quickly, is my point. Of course the species we see nowadays value survival. That's precisely why they have survived. Of course it appears innate; that's because we're seeing the survivors of around three billion years of evolution.

It doesn't mean there was anything else involved outside selection. It just means that organisms which value survival tend to survive at higher rates.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#88

Are human beings inherently selfish?
Hi, Free!
You say, "self preservation is an innate quality in all lifeforms, and it of itself is not the product of evolution but rather a state of being."
I think I might be seeing a wrinkle here that may admit my analytical crowbar. It seems to me that if "self preservation is an innate quality in all lifeforms" it is of necessity a process, inextricably linked to time and motion. How does that square with your desire for self preservation to be "a state of being"?
Thanks, ~John~
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#89

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 03:03 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 05:34 AM)grympy Wrote: I read somewhere that part of the Nazi strategy of in starving  prisoners was so they would be so preoccupied with food and how to get some, that they would not be thinking of escape or giving trouble in other ways.  That was certainly  not paranoid;  there were prisoner uprisings at Auschwitz-Birkenau  and Treblinka, as well as a mass escape from Sobibor  (there's an underrated film called 'Escape From Sobibor' with Rutger Hauer  free on Youtube)

I wager that it was small part of nazi thought process. After all those sent to camps were "subhumans" or "undesirables" so why waste food on them. One shoud consider the fact that there wasn't plenty of food even in Reich itself so rationing according to racist principles could be expected.

The jews to whom I refer were those used as slave labour, of which there were many thousands .  Speer  alone, as  Minister for armaments, used thousands.

A small part of   of the massive of Auschwitz-Birkenau  complex  became an extermination centre from 1942.  It was mainly a major centre of  slave labour for ordinary german companies which had factories near the complex.  The link below gives  a list of German companies which used slave labour during WW 2. Not only Jews were used, but  also non jews from countries such as Poland.  The starvation  of those people was systematic and deliberate . There were always new ones available.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ger...g-nazi-era


MY reference; "Hitlers Willing Executioners;  Ordinary Germans And The Holocaust' Daniel Goldhagen. 1996.
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#90

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 11:01 PM)grympy Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 03:03 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 05:34 AM)grympy Wrote: I read somewhere that part of the Nazi strategy of in starving  prisoners was so they would be so preoccupied with food and how to get some, that they would not be thinking of escape or giving trouble in other ways.  That was certainly  not paranoid;  there were prisoner uprisings at Auschwitz-Birkenau  and Treblinka, as well as a mass escape from Sobibor  (there's an underrated film called 'Escape From Sobibor' with Rutger Hauer  free on Youtube)

I wager that it was small part of nazi thought process. After all those sent to camps were "subhumans" or "undesirables" so why waste food on them. One shoud consider the fact that there wasn't plenty of food even in Reich itself so rationing according to racist principles could be expected.

The jews to whom I refer were those used as slave labour, of which there were many thousands .  Speer  alone, as  Minister for armaments, used thousands.

A small part of   of the massive of Auschwitz-Birkenau  complex  became an extermination centre from 1942.  It was mainly a major centre of  slave labour for ordinary german companies which had factories near the complex.  The link below gives  a list of German companies which used slave labour during WW 2. Not only Jews were used, but  also non jews from countries such as Poland.  The starvation  of those people was systematic and deliberate . There were always new ones available.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ger...g-nazi-era


MY reference; "Hitlers Willing Executioners;  Ordinary Germans And The Holocaust' Daniel Goldhagen. 1996.

I'm well aware of nazi crimes and their use of slave labor. Nothing in your post contradicts what I wrote and from what I recall just about any book about nazi mass murder mentions racist principles as a big factor when it came to food rationing. (Adam Tooze Wages of Destruction show such policy in more brutally rational than racist light)

As for Goldhagen:
Quote:Goldhagen's assertion that the almost all Germans "wanted to be genocidal executioners" has been viewed with skepticism by most historians, a skepticism ranging from dismissal as "not valid social science" to a condemnation, in the words of the Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer, as "patent nonsense". Common complaints suggest that Goldhagen's primary hypothesis is either "oversimplified", or represents "a bizarre inversion of the Nazi view of the Jews" turned back upon the Germans. One German commentator suggested that Goldhagen's book "pushes us again and again headfirst into the nasty anti-Semitic mud. This is his revenge...." ]l wrote a very hostile book review in the  newspaper in May 1996 that called Hitler's Willing Executioners "simply a bad book".The British historian Sir  wrote that he fully agreed with Jäckel on the merits of Hitler's Willing Executioners". Kershaw wrote in 2000 that Goldhagen's book would "... occupy only a limited place in the unfolding, vast historiography of such a crucially important topic-probably at best as a challenge to historians to qualify or counter his 'broad-brush' generalisations".


My references include: The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy September 1939-March 1942 by Christopher Browning, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#91

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 08:57 PM)ujbocamm Wrote: Hi, Free.
You say, "something aside from natural selection appears to be driving a lifeform's need to survive."
I'm confused. It seems to me that the "need to survive" (long enough to replicate) is the essence of natural selection. Isn't that enough? Why would you ask for "something aside from natural selection"? Isn't hunger enough?

It's not so much as the need to survive for any purpose of replication as it is more about the innate quality to remain alive for the singular basic purpose of remaining alive. Because all living things require sustenance, lifeforms seek out sustenance to remain alive for only the purpose of remaining alive. 

Even the smallest living thing, Mycoplasma gallicepticum, consumes to stay alive. Before any lifeform can evolve, it must first consume to remain alive long enough to evolve.

Therefore, before evolution can ever begin, self preservation must first exist. 

That's just my opinion, mind you. It just doesn't make sense that evolution creates some kind of need for a lifeform to preserve itself. Life evolves because it wants to remain alive.
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#92

Are human beings inherently selfish?
oh @Free life adapts because it wants to survive. evolution is a natural process devoid of agency guidance.
First I told my imaginary friend about Jesus, then I told Jesus about my imaginary friend.
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#93

Are human beings inherently selfish?
Free #91 "Life evolves because it wants to remain alive."
I can work with conflating "hunger" and "want". Is magnetism a form of "want"? Gravity? Inertia? Is the Observer Effect a form of "want" or "hunger"?
I'm starting to see a plausible path where ionic bonds beget lust. Have we just sussed out the "Big Bang" of biology?
~John~
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#94

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-23-2019, 03:54 AM)ujbocamm Wrote: Free #91 "Life evolves because it wants to remain alive."
I can work with conflating "hunger" and "want". Is magnetism a form of "want"? Gravity? Inertia? Is the Observer Effect a form of "want" or "hunger"?

None of those things are sentient, therefore no.
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#95

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-23-2019, 02:36 AM)Szuchow Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 11:01 PM)grympy Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 03:03 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I wager that it was small part of nazi thought process. After all those sent to camps were "subhumans" or "undesirables" so why waste food on them. One shoud consider the fact that there wasn't plenty of food even in Reich itself so rationing according to racist principles could be expected.

The jews to whom I refer were those used as slave labour, of which there were many thousands .  Speer  alone, as  Minister for armaments, used thousands.

A small part of   of the massive of Auschwitz-Birkenau  complex  became an extermination centre from 1942.  It was mainly a major centre of  slave labour for ordinary german companies which had factories near the complex.  The link below gives  a list of German companies which used slave labour during WW 2. Not only Jews were used, but  also non jews from countries such as Poland.  The starvation  of those people was systematic and deliberate . There were always new ones available.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ger...g-nazi-era


MY reference; "Hitlers Willing Executioners;  Ordinary Germans And The Holocaust' Daniel Goldhagen. 1996.

I'm well aware of nazi crimes and their use of slave labor. Nothing in your post contradicts what I wrote and from what I recall just about any book about nazi mass murder mentions racist principles as a big factor when it came to food rationing. (Adam Tooze Wages of Destruction show such policy in more brutally rational than racist light)

As for Goldhagen:
Quote:Goldhagen's assertion that the almost all Germans "wanted to be genocidal executioners" has been viewed with skepticism by most historians, a skepticism ranging from dismissal as "not valid social science" to a condemnation, in the words of the Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer, as "patent nonsense". Common complaints suggest that Goldhagen's primary hypothesis is either "oversimplified", or represents "a bizarre inversion of the Nazi view of the Jews" turned back upon the Germans. One German commentator suggested that Goldhagen's book "pushes us again and again headfirst into the nasty anti-Semitic mud. This is his revenge...." ]l wrote a very hostile book review in the  newspaper in May 1996 that called Hitler's Willing Executioners "simply a bad book".The British historian Sir  wrote that he fully agreed with Jäckel on the merits of Hitler's Willing Executioners". Kershaw wrote in 2000 that Goldhagen's book would "... occupy only a limited place in the unfolding, vast historiography of such a crucially important topic-probably at best as a challenge to historians to qualify or counter his 'broad-brush' generalisations".


My references include: The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy September 1939-March 1942 by Christopher Browning, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann.

Thank you for the references.

 I'm aware of attitudes   towards the book  as skeptical of Goldhagen.   I think the term' willing' is perhaps a bit extreme. What I took away from Goldhagen was to  replace the notion of 'willing' with 'knew of' .I have no idea  to what  extent  ordinary Germans shared  Nazi racial views . However, it does seem  reasonable that a great many (I couldn't say"all') ordinary germans were aware to varying degrees, and that few did anything about the Holocaust, which I date from 1935,. when  Goring introduced the Nuremberg Race Laws, which disenfranchised German Jews.  How many 'ordinary Germans' protested then?

I'm  also aware that there was a German resistance to Nazism  from the beginning, at different levels. I'm  thinking of Sophie and Hans  Scholl and the White Rose resistance, and Lutheran Theologian Dietrich  Bonhoeffer, hung with piano wire from a meat hook for his part  in Operation Valkyrie.

I'm also aware that Hitler didn't invent  over 1000 years of European anti semitism, but that he capitalised on it.. Not all Germans, were 'willing' but certainly millions of them., Most noticeably the bourgeoisie, ,significant parts of the  Wehrmacht,*   and a great  many industrialists, who benefited directly from the Shoah.   .  I'm unable to allow a semantic argument diminish  the culpability of ordinary germans for the holocaust . At least, not in my mind.

*complicit to the extent of actively supporting  Einsatzgruppen  activities.
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#96

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 09:36 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(08-22-2019, 08:44 PM)Free Wrote: I'm referring to my original point that self preservation is an innate quality in all lifeforms, and it of itself is not the product of evolution but rather a state of being.


Natural selection pares out apathy pretty quickly, is my point. Of course the species we see nowadays value survival. That's precisely why they have survived. Of course it appears innate; that's because we're seeing the survivors of around three billion years of evolution.

It doesn't mean there was anything else involved outside selection. It just means that organisms which value survival tend to survive at higher rates.

But doesn't it also mean that, aside from valuing survival, the means to survive is also a contributing factor? If so, then wouldn't the need for self preservation not still exist within all living things, however only those living things that have a greater means of survival would be more successful?

I get that evolution and natural selection produces a greater means of survival, but if we were able to examine, for example, the very first lifeform to exist, would it not need to consume before it could evolve? If so, then the only question here that matters is, what sparks its need to consume?

Could it be the need to preserve itself? Some innate quality that exists before evolution or natural selection could ever take place?
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#97

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-23-2019, 04:36 AM)grympy Wrote: Thank you for the references.

No problem.

Quote:I'm aware of attitudes   towards the book  as skeptical of Goldhagen.   I think the term' willing' is perhaps a bit extreme. What I took away from Goldhagen was to  replace the notion of 'willing' with 'knew of'.

That's reasonable replacement I would say.

Quote:I have no idea  to what  extent  ordinary Germans shared  Nazi racial views .

Hard to make a clear answer as nazis themselves did not have uniform view of the subject. What can be said with certainty is that nazis got 33% of votes in last free elections of Weimar Repulic an thus this is percentage of people that were willing to at least tolerate nazi racial views. It is however reasonable to assume that some percentage of racists didn't vote for nazis for whatever reasons and as such percentage of Germans sharing nazi views was likely higher.

Quote:However, it does seem  reasonable that a great many (I couldn't say"all') ordinary germans were aware to varying degrees, and that few did anything about the Holocaust, which I date from 1935,. when  Goring introduced the Nuremberg Race Laws, which disenfranchised German Jews.  How many 'ordinary Germans' protested then?

Quote from Richard Evans website would be a good start to determine Germans knowledge I think:

There was, it is clear, next to no resistance on the part of ordinary Germans to this unprecedented act of genocide. For some years after the end of the war, Germans themselves explained their inaction by claiming they had not known about it at the time. But a great mass of research, most of it by German historians, since the 1960s has shown this claim to be false. Finding out about the killings was not difficult. Obviously, news travelled fast to the few Jews who remained in Germany. In January 1942 Victor Klemperer, a Jewish professor protected from deportation, though not from discrimination, by the fact that he was married to a non-Jewish German woman, was reporting rumours that ‘evacuated Jews were shot in Riga, in groups, as they left the train’. On 16 March 1942 his diary mentioned for the first time ‘Auschwitz (or something like it), near Königshütte in Upper Silesia, mentioned as the most dreadful concentration camp.

It may not reflect current state of knowledge and article does not have footnotes or anything like that but Evans thought on the subject are worth considering that he wrote The Third Reich Trilogy. If you want to dig deeper then I'm certain that Saul Friedlander wrote about it (German knowledge*) in his  Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.

You aren't alone in such view but at least going by Wikipedia: Most Holocaust historians define the Holocaust as the enactment, between 1941 and 1945, of the German state policy to exterminate the European Jews.

How many protested? Not many from what I can recall from subject literature.

Quote:I'm  also aware that there was a German resistance to Nazism  from the beginning, at different levels. I'm  thinking of Sophie and Hans  Scholl and the White Rose resistance, and Lutheran Theologian Dietrich  Bonhoeffer, hung with piano wire from a meat hook for his part  in Operation Valkyrie.

I never read much on the subject of resistance but I must say that I have respect for Georg Elser - man who almost killed Hitler.

Quote:I'm also aware that Hitler didn't invent  over 1000 years of European anti semitism, but that he capitalised on it..

Hilberg writes on the subject of similarity between nazi and church antisemitism** in a book I mentioned in previous post. It's certainly food for thought but one must remember that nazi antisemitism while not entirely different was another animal - religion could be changed (even if Jew doing so was under suspicion), "race" not so.

Quote:Not all Germans, were 'willing' but certainly millions of them.,

Millions is kinda heavy statement considering that death camps staff or Einsatzgruppen weren't that big. Certainly millions knew, and were guilty of inaction but not opposing something is not the same thing as supporting it or doing it.

Quote:Most noticeably the bourgeoisie, ,significant parts of the  Wehrmacht,*   and a great  many industrialists, who benefited directly from the Shoah.

If you deem aryanization as part of Holocaust then your statement above seems more reasonable but I would say that millions were willing to stand aside rather than being willing to kill.

 
Quote:I'm unable to allow a semantic argument diminish  the culpability of ordinary germans for the holocaust . At least, not in my mind.

I agree with Ian Kershaw statement - The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference. It's lack of reaction that was "sin" that majority was guilty of, at least according to the best of my knowledge.

*complicit to the extent of actively supporting  Einsatzgruppen  activities.
[/quote]

*As addendum to the subject of Germans knowledge of final solution, Stephen Marks author of (brilliant if I may say so)Warum folgten sie Hitler? die Psychologie des Nationalsozialismus writes that:
The second characteristic of the dominant structure of consciousness in National Socialism was a narrowing of attention, accompanied by an underdeveloped rational, lively and responsible consciousness of one's own self. puzzlingly often and with some exaggeration, many of our interviewees assured the interviewers that they "knew nothing". - they were "too young", "too apolitical", "too little information". The interpretation is that these assurances are an attempt at justification after 1945 to free themselves from responsibility for what they did before 1945. It is also striking that these assurances stem from a childish understanding of the law ("if I don't know anything, I don't care about it"), and not from an understanding of the modern rule of law based on the culture of guilt[67], according to which ignorance does not protect against responsibility.
Such an interpretation is justified in many cases, but I found it problematic to refer to all assurances because it is based on many questionable assumptions:
- It assumes that interviewees feel guilty, because only those who feel guilty have a reason to justify themselves. However, it would be necessary to examine whether such guilt does exist,
- suggests that people almost by nature act responsibly when they have sufficient information about something. However, this assumption is not justified: today humanity has more information than ever before in its history (e.g. on energy consumption and its ecological consequences), and yet it does not automatically lead to appropriate, conscious and responsible behaviour[68],
- is characteristic of the dominant structure of consciousness today with its ideal of a rational, conscious and responsible "I", shaped by the school and university system,
- overestimates the cognitive function of human consciousness in relation to other mental functions and designs this image without further specification for other social forms. This leads to an underestimation of the anti-enlightenment character of National Socialism.
    The decisive question is therefore not what the person concerned knew, but to what extent - or whether at all - the available information or sources of information were used and worked on by that person.
[Warum...,chapter 2, subchapter 6. No page number as I have book in epub format]

**- Synod of Elvira prohibited marriages between Jews and christians, nazis did the same ( Law for Protection of German Blood and German Honor, 1935)
- Synod of Clermont prohibited Jews from holding public offices, nazis did the same ( Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, 1933)
- Fourth Council of Lateran ordered Jews (and Muslims) to wear special clothes, nazis did the same (decree from 1. IX. 1941)
- Synod in Wrocław ordered Jews to live in ghettos, nazis did the same (Heydrich order from 21.IX.1939)
[Examples taken from Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European Jews, volume I, p. 7-9 of polish 2014 edition]
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#98

Are human beings inherently selfish?
(08-22-2019, 08:57 PM)ujbocamm Wrote: What is the cause of the propensity of one hydrogen atom to bond with another to create the more stable form of the H2 molecule? Is that attraction between atoms not a form of hunger?

Nope.  It's nothing to do with hunger [a compelling need or desire for food].

Hydrogen atoms in compounds such as H2 are joined to the molecule with covalent bonds. This is where
two electrons are shared between the atom in order to fill there valence shells, and hydrogen can only form
one covalent bond, hence the single molecule of two H atoms.

Quote:What about a flu virus that senses warmth and moistness in lung tissue and begins to assimilate from it's surroundings to replicate? Is that not a form of hunger?

Nope again.  Viruses do not "sense" warmth and moistness.  A single droplet-borne virus can enter one host
cell, which is then forced to produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus at an incredible rate.
Unlike most living organisms, viruses don't have cells that divide—new viruses are assembled in the infected
host cell. Unlike more simple infectious agents, viruses contain genes, which gives them the ability to mutate
and evolve.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#99

Are human beings inherently selfish?
Hi, Free. Good morning!
In post #94 you said, "None of those things are sentient, therefore no."
I fired up the ol' Google machine and typed in "define: sentient". What I found was a mishmash of vague, conflicting, and -- charitably speaking -- imprecise opinions of what that word actually means. Perhaps you could explain what YOU mean when you use the word "sentient"?
In post #96 you say, "what sparks its [the very first lifeform to exist] need to consume? Could it be the need to preserve itself? Some innate quality that exists before evolution or natural selection could ever take place?"
You seem to be suggesting that some undefined "innate quality" (selfishness, need, hunger, etc.) pre-exists life itself. Most people, I imagine, would simply call it "God" and be on their merry way, but I suspect that explanation is not for you.
"https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-fundamental-forces-of-physics-2699070"
Quote: "Many physicists believe that all four of the fundamental forces are, in fact, the manifestations of a single underlying (or unified) force which has yet to be discovered."
If we posit that the Universe itself is self-aware, don't all of these inconsistencies automatically resolve themselves?
Just asking... ~John~
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Are human beings inherently selfish?
Hi, SYZ!
Thank you for your most excellent basic tutorial. Now, simply dismissing my queries with "nope" and once again with the "nope" doesn't do much to address the fundamental question, does it?
I think that we have established that we humans are innately selfish. What I am interested in is the answer to "Why?" Is it Nature? Is it Nurture? Or is it an inscrutable melange of both?
Thank you for your kind attention.
~John~
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