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(BBC-US)   Are we naturally good or bad? Here comes the baby science   (bbc.com) divider line 54
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2487 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jan 2013 at 1:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-15 12:26:42 PM
very interesting, but sensible
 
2013-01-15 01:01:30 PM
Neither. At birth, we're slaves to our ids until socio-cultural norms are introduced to help us distinguish between the two.

/DNRTA, obviously.
 
2013-01-15 01:11:29 PM
Are we talking about "good" in an Ayn Rand sort of way, or "good" in a Buddha sort of way?

This should be an interesting thread...
 
2013-01-15 01:15:06 PM

Lionel Mandrake: Are we talking about "good" in an Ayn Rand sort of way, or "good" in a Buddha sort of way?

This should be an interesting thread...


Considering that what the experiment describes is essentially empathy, I conclude that babies are born socialists.  But that makes sense, since they are selfish creatures and just thankless leeches on their parents.
 
2013-01-15 01:15:11 PM
Everything has a BIOS, why wouldn't we.

/no, I'm not talking about God here, but genetic hard-coding wouldn't be surprising
//loners are the real abomination.
///abomination
 
2013-01-15 01:17:20 PM

unyon: Lionel Mandrake: Are we talking about "good" in an Ayn Rand sort of way, or "good" in a Buddha sort of way?

This should be an interesting thread...

Considering that what the experiment describes is essentially empathy, I conclude that babies are born socialists.  But that makes sense, since they are selfish creatures and just thankless leeches on their parents.


Well, then, round them up and send them to the Ayn Rand School for Tots!
 
2013-01-15 01:18:43 PM
I'm not going to read a bunch of words but I'd say we're naturally good as it pertains to some situations and naturally bad as it pertains to others - with the driving factor being which is most beneficial for meeting a person's needs in a given situation.
 
2013-01-15 01:23:00 PM
I'd say that my toddler is basically good, but he does have a duplicitous streak.
 
2013-01-15 01:23:15 PM
content6.flixster.com
 
2013-01-15 01:23:15 PM
Social apes are social. If we were hard-wired to be sociopaths we wouldn't have lasted very long in the wild. One hairless ape with a sharp stick is lunch to a pride of lions. Ten hairless apes with sharp sticks is something to avoid.

I know this will break the hearts of lone wolf Randians out there, but you don't really see many "lone wolves" in the wild, either.
 
2013-01-15 01:23:27 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: I'm not going to read a bunch of words but I'd say we're naturally good as it pertains to some situations and naturally bad as it pertains to others - with the driving factor being which is most beneficial for meeting a person's needs in a given situation.


In other words, we're naturally selfish even when being selfless, because it serves other selfish emotional needs.
 
2013-01-15 01:23:44 PM

ajgeek: Everything has a BIOS, why wouldn't we.

/no, I'm not talking about God here, but genetic hard-coding wouldn't be surprising
//loners are the real abomination.
///abomination


i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-01-15 01:31:20 PM
Rousseau and Hobbes too busy fist-fighting to comment on this story.
 
2013-01-15 01:31:39 PM
i50.tinypic.com

He was horny, so he dropped him. Man is evil.
 
2013-01-15 01:41:56 PM
Unconvincing interpretation is not very convincing. Maybe they reached for the helper because it was more likely to help them.
 
2013-01-15 01:47:08 PM
Neither. Good and evil are determined by your upbringing and beliefs.
 
2013-01-15 01:50:23 PM
image.funscrape.com
 
2013-01-15 01:55:46 PM
Neither, since good and bad are completely subjective.
 
2013-01-15 02:04:33 PM

Lionel Mandrake: unyon: Lionel Mandrake: ***snip***

Well, then, round them up and send them to the Ayn Rand School for Tots!


Lord of the Flies wasn't a documentary?
 
2013-01-15 02:05:27 PM
They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.
 
2013-01-15 02:06:23 PM
'Do you know what truly separates us? Civilization. Without it, we might as well be living in pens, throwing our feces. Masturbating in public. Sniffing the red swollen female rump.'

/'Apes don't assasinate their presidents, gentlemen!'
 
2013-01-15 02:22:30 PM
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
 
2013-01-15 02:27:25 PM

error 303: It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.


It sounds pretty, but that doesn't fit the narrative or get grants for future research.
 
2013-01-15 02:27:50 PM
TFA: Already something amazing, psychologically, is going on here. All humans are able to interpret the events in the play in terms of the story I've described. The puppets are just shapes. They don't make human sounds or display human emotions. They just move about, and yet everyone reads these movements as purposeful, and revealing of their characters. You can argue that this "mind reading", even in infants, shows that it is part of our human nature to believe in other minds.

This last sentence is problematic, because there is plenty of evidence that it's not part of human nature to believe in other minds. The tests for this phenomenon -it's called "theory of mind"- are well-known, and have even become standard measures of a certain phase of human development.

unyon: Considering that what the experiment describes is essentially empathy, I conclude that babies are born socialists. But that makes sense, since they are selfish creatures and just thankless leeches on their parents.


Is it empathy, I wonder? You can't really have empathy without theory of mind -you can't feel what other minds feel if you don't know that those other minds exist- and it's been pretty well shown that this takes a few years for kids to figure out. More likely, babies are born wanting to be taken care of: a mindset to which socialism appeals, but not the same thing as socialism. They like the helpful shape because they believe it might help them too.
 
2013-01-15 02:29:45 PM
In all things, observe a relationship, analyse the state of the relationship, then act in the best interest of the relationship, whatever act might be called for. This is love, and we are equipped for it.

Too many voices call us away from it. Such a voice is not cool, it is death. It is clear that is not the voice babies listen to.
 
2013-01-15 02:34:11 PM
I disagree with the researches methodology. Of COURSE a baby prefers helping and kind gestures - it is the beneficiary and wants to encourage more of that.

Infants are by definition selfish, and that is okay because it helps to keep them alive.

However, don't think for a minute that this is a positive thing. It is a survival thing. Infants don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves - and that is pretty much the definition of bad.
 
2013-01-15 02:50:52 PM
What precisely do they consider to be "good" and "bad"? Those are very vague terms.
 
2013-01-15 02:52:42 PM
madgonad:
Infants don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves - and that is pretty much the definition of bad.

I wonder if people truly cared about "nothing but" themselves that they might not do the stupid things that harm others, destroy relationships of all sorts, and thereby diminish their own lives.
True selfishness includes the knowledge that protecting good things is good for self.
 
2013-01-15 02:59:49 PM
this is ridiculous
babies can't do science
 
2013-01-15 03:00:36 PM

Nadie_AZ: ajgeek: Everything has a BIOS, why wouldn't we.

/no, I'm not talking about God here, but genetic hard-coding wouldn't be surprising
//loners are the real abomination.
///abomination

[i0.kym-cdn.com image 280x260]


the hell is that? did you choke on a pringle?
 
2013-01-15 03:07:40 PM
Ask the Cathars.
 
2013-01-15 03:28:52 PM

barefoot in the head: madgonad:
Infants don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves - and that is pretty much the definition of bad.

I wonder if people truly cared about "nothing but" themselves that they might not do the stupid things that harm others, destroy relationships of all sorts, and thereby diminish their own lives.
True selfishness includes the knowledge that protecting good things is good for self.


No, true selfishness is simply "me, me, me, all the time." It takes intelligence and foresight to commit a selfless act in order to secure more for oneself later on. What you're describing is only stupidity, and it is nearly as rampant as selfishness.
 
2013-01-15 03:31:15 PM
barefoot in the head madgonad:
Infants don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves - and that is pretty much the definition of bad.

I wonder if people truly cared about "nothing but" themselves that they might not do the stupid things that harm others, destroy relationships of all sorts, and thereby diminish their own lives.
True selfishness includes the knowledge that protecting good things is good for self.


That requires a level of awareness most cannot sustain. It can also cross into non-selfishness easily.

As with a lot of things, an extreme is a weakness. Pure selfishness or pure selflessness doesn't work as well as a blend of the two.
 
2013-01-15 04:05:34 PM

moothemagiccow: the hell is that? did you choke on a pringle?


Frito in my case.

/it's the so lonely face.
 
2013-01-15 04:14:33 PM

moothemagiccow: the hell is that? did you choke on a pringle?


25.media.tumblr.com

unyon: Contrabulous Flabtraption: I'm not going to read a bunch of words but I'd say we're naturally good as it pertains to some situations and naturally bad as it pertains to others - with the driving factor being which is most beneficial for meeting a person's needs in a given situation.
In other words, we're naturally selfish even when being selfless, because it serves other selfish emotional needs.


I've known some pretty farked up people who were compulsive care-givers.
 
2013-01-15 04:21:14 PM

Duck_of_Doom: barefoot in the head madgonad:
Infants don't care about anyone or anything else but themselves - and that is pretty much the definition of bad.

I wonder if people truly cared about "nothing but" themselves that they might not do the stupid things that harm others, destroy relationships of all sorts, and thereby diminish their own lives.
True selfishness includes the knowledge that protecting good things is good for self.

That requires a level of awareness most cannot sustain.


The sad thing is, that level of awareness is standard equipment. It is the voices of wordly things which constantly call us away from that state - but nothing is lost, only forgotten. Unfortunately, silencing the voices results in ironic yelps about "freedom". Indulgence is nothing of the sort. It is a cage of distraction that we build, precisely because we know we have left something better behind, but can't remember what.
 
2013-01-15 04:23:39 PM
Well my under-one-year-old human baby laughs hysterically when he inflicts pain on me or my wife. Usually by hair pulling or scratching us. I tried not responding once, just let him pinch/scratch me on the face, no physical response or crying out. He gleefully continued inflicting pain and laughing.

At first I thought it was just the 'getting a response.' Howerver seems like he just ENJOYS doing it.

/I'll be honest... I'm a little weirded out sometimes.
//Future sith lord?
 
2013-01-15 04:24:43 PM
Most people's (life forms) actions are geared toward propagation of their individual genetic material. Even when you don't realize it. There. Question simplified. Now you can debate whether this is a "good" fact or a "bad" fact.

/P.S. while you were debating philosophy, I got laid.
 
2013-01-15 04:34:42 PM

ThrobblefootSpectre: Most ALL people's (life forms) actions are geared toward propagation of their individual genetic material. Even when you don't realize it.


/fixed
 
2013-01-15 04:39:00 PM

moothemagiccow: the hell is that? did you choke on a pringle?


It's a little 2010 to not know the forever alone face, but the way you put this makes me laugh every time I see it, so thanks for that.
 
2013-01-15 04:39:38 PM

SharkaPult: Well my under-one-year-old human baby laughs hysterically when he inflicts pain on me or my wife. Usually by hair pulling or scratching us. I tried not responding once, just let him pinch/scratch me on the face, no physical response or crying out. He gleefully continued inflicting pain and laughing.

At first I thought it was just the 'getting a response.' Howerver seems like he just ENJOYS doing it.

/I'll be honest... I'm a little weirded out sometimes.
//Future sith lord?


He laughs because he's doing something and getting a result that is of his choosing. If you laughed instead of acted like you were in pain, he'd still do the same thing. His entire life so far has been a struggle to get you to do things for him. Now he's starting to be able to get results on his own and it's exhilirating for him.
 
2013-01-15 05:01:24 PM

SuperChuck: SharkaPult: ***snip***

He laughs because he's doing something and getting a result that is of his choosing. If you laughed instead of acted like you were in pain, he'd still do the same thing. His entire life so far has been a struggle to get you to do things for him. Now he's starting to be able to get results on his own and it's exhilirating for him.


Also, it could be that he enjoys the feel of hair or sound of his nails scratching on skin. My daughter does the same thing, but she does it to inanimate objects too. We just grab her hand (not hard, but enough that she can't pull away), look her in the eye, and say "No", in a stern voice. You'd think after 25 years she'd get it, but I'm hopeful.

//My daughter is 8 months, not 25 years. That is what we do, but I do not expect her to stop any time soon.
 
2013-01-15 05:15:24 PM
The truth is much worse. Most of us have capacity for empathy, but we don't see this as an asset. So we do things that range from meaningless to destructive with the intent of assuaging our hard-wired sense of guilt. We will also develop self-reinforcing mechanisms like denial.

We are naturally good, but we deal with that like it's a problem.
 
2013-01-15 05:49:28 PM
we are natural which is good too bad
 
2013-01-15 06:09:57 PM
Chaotic Neutral

/it's more fun that way
 
2013-01-15 07:08:03 PM
No one has dropped this bomb yet? Fark I am disappoint.

Psalm 51:5
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

/Clearly we are generally bad.
//popcorn!
 
2013-01-15 07:50:32 PM
There's a kid in the neighborhood who seems to be 'born bad'. Constantly mouthing off to strangers and switching between sickly sweet around authority figures and a terrible bully around peers. He's 7.

You think to yourself, man, I could never hurt a child. Then you meet one you would happily rip the head off of. That's the day everything changes.
 
2013-01-15 10:09:43 PM
Same with sexual orientation, we are a blank slate when born.
 
2013-01-15 11:43:07 PM

T.rex: Same with sexual orientation, we are a blank slate when born.


Or like intelligence, amiright?
 
2013-01-16 02:44:56 AM
I can't read the BBC article from the UK. Therefore man is inherently evil
 
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