Loomio
October 19th, 2016 17:23

Are humans really intrinsically selfish & evil?

Joe
Joe Public Seen by 363

I'd offer up that perhaps it's the model that makes many of us appear to be this way.

I believe given the appropriate new model, like LE, that a huge majority of people would naturally find far more happiness, selflessness and have a better understanding of what might be closer to the truth in the universe. Stress and fear would be held by only a small minority of all people. No matter the culture or beliefs most people would agree most people are innately good and helpful toward the mission of long-term sustainability and the unending pursuit of that which might be the truth.

What do you believe? Model or innately selfish?

John Rhoads

John Rhoads October 19th, 2016 18:11

All I can say that might come close to answering your question is to direct you to this really amazing article I recently came upon here http://peopleforanewsociety.org/pfans/rationale.html.

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila October 19th, 2016 23:31

Every now and then I will see a study pointing out that toddlers/young children are overwhelmingly altrusitc: http://www.inquisitr.com/1828310/scientists-discover-through-studying-toddlers-that-humans-are-inherently-altruistic-not-selfish-video/

It makes sense from an general evolutionary standpoint. What animal hard-wired to screw over it's own species would survive? My point of view is that people are inherently good, but we work within an economic system that rewards greed and selfishness.

Joe

Joe October 20th, 2016 13:35

Thank you John for turning me onto the work of Walter Petrovich. Wish he was still with us. Do you know if anyone has picked up his work?

Joe

Joe October 20th, 2016 13:38

Thanks for this ref and your positive beliefs.

Nikhil Kulkarni

Nikhil Kulkarni October 21st, 2016 03:45

“Analysing the ethical laws of the world and comparing them with the actual state of things, two laws stand out supreme. The one, that of repelling everything from us — separating ourselves from everyone — which leads to self-aggrandisement even at the cost of everyone else's happiness. The other, that of self-sacrifice — of taking no thought of ourselves — only of others. Both spring from the search for happiness — one, of finding happiness in injuring others and the ability of feeling that happiness only in our own senses. The other, of finding happiness in doing good to others — the ability of feeling happy, as it were, through the senses of others. The great and good of the world are those who have the latter power predominating. Yet both these are working side by side conjointly; in almost everyone they are found in mixture, one or the other predominating. The thief steals, perhaps, for someone he loves.” - Swami Vivekananda

Both powers/tendencies exist in every individual and therefore the subtle education that one receives continually from the System / Model / Society , moulds the individual. Capitalism is nurturing our selfish tendencies, its an invisible school that's always teaching by rewarding "lying / trickery". We need a model / system that nurtures the other tendency - unselfishness.

Joe

Joe October 21st, 2016 12:21

Well said Nikhil. The Lease Economy (LE) model assumes every single human being born into the world comes with exactly the same potential for improving the world with their special forms of positive creativity they add to the world. I hope you and others would agree this a a GREAT starting place principle that a better model should possess.

When we can freely share our creativity, especially that which we believe contains honesty and maybe even the truth, and we receive feedback from other(s), then we are in the best situation for adding more happiness to our own life (selfish pursuit) as well as maybe generate more happiness within other(s) at the same time (selfless pursuit.)

Creativity itself is the limitless fuel our universe provides, that the LE taps into to deliver a model that can be sustainable for the indefinite long term. Creativity exists in the non-physical realm of the universe with many other concepts that greatly impact the real world, like mathematics, belief and love. Anything that exists in this realm is in theory unconstrained and limitless.

The current capitalistic model is fueled by resources that exist in the physical world. Physical resources that are greatly limited, especially now that the population is near 7.5 billion citizens. The model is now consuming resources that should be saved for future generations - it has been this way for many decades now - meaning it's out of balance re the POV of long-term sustainability (LTS.) This has many seeing only "insufficiency for all" and thus fighting for all they can get of the little that is perceived to be left.

All this fighting and greed and fear is only exacerbating the negativity - of both physical and non-physical realms - in the world and accelerating the march to the cliff.

We can look at the problem from a waste and over-consumption POV and within this perspective exists the GREAT HOPE for actually realizing vast improvement, balance and LTS.

When we consider all the things that go into waste in the current model, l have guesstimated they sum total about 95% of all consumption. This means it is theoretically possible to have a model that consumes only ~5% of what is being consumed today. Think about a world without so much fear, stress, war, corruption, crime, greed, etc. I hope you can agree that dropping back to 5% consumption (re today's) means it's possible to heal our planet and its ecosystems and resources (air, water, etc) - bring it into long-term balance with humanities needs. Make LTS a real possibility.

The LE model does not create needless jobs and things and it's measure of success is NOT profit, but instead waste reduction and efficiency increase. The primary reward is happiness - NOT $$$. Valued work, which is just activity across time, naturally shifts from that which is focused on today - creating stuff to sell > to creating creativity that improves society - today and especially the future. Everyone is inherently creative, so it's natural to push everyone into focusing more on their creativity potential for improving the world - whether this is for infrastructure/food production or entertainment. It's all good for our world - of the present and of the future.

The cool thing about the pursuit of happiness vs. $$$ is even when creative persons try to cheat the system, happiness creates more happiness - unlike $$$ where when I take more someone else gets less. So even negative creativitytoward the pursuit of happiness is a good thing. Go for it! Try to get as much happiness as you can possibly get. Allow me to demo using an example...

There exists a phenomenon in life I call "the celeb factor." Doesn't it seem that almost everyone would do anything to become a celeb in the world - to be rich and to have many followers. I've discovered it's less about the $$$ and more about the followers.

When we have many followers, then we have way more opportunity to create happiness within ourselves. This is because we have increased the odds of getting feedback from our creativity sharing. (Remember: the more feedback - the more happiness.) So we are all competing for attention in the world sort-to-speak. We can generate happiness within ourselves from a single perceived "intelligent being" (person, pet or immortal) providing us feedback. But get lots of feedback and we can increase our happiness amount - both level and duration. So we all are competing for attention in-a-way. We all secretly or unknowingly 'work' toward gathering as many followers (friends) as we can get with the hopes of one day becoming a celeb with 1000s of followers.

This one discovery has huge implications for creating a successful new model. It means we need better tools for helping individuals be successful toward this sharing/feedback pursuit. It's why social media is so popular today. We actually are making great strides forward already toward improving our world in this area. Now what is needed is a sustainable economic model too.

I'll stop here now, so as to take a breather. Happy to dig in more with any questions on any of this.

[Understand, all I'm doing here, right now, is exactly what I just described: 1) freely sharing my creativity of what I believe to be the truth in the universe; 2) Hoping anyone will engage with me and provide me feedback - either positive or negative (it's all good); 3) so from this feedback, I can tweak my personal truth story, I hold in my mind and heart, and be happier for feeling I'm moving closer to understanding what might be the truth, for I believe we are all on a journey of trying to figure out what the truth might actually be in the universe.]

PP

Paul Palmer October 23rd, 2016 21:26

I just want to point out a feature of Joe's analysis that could misunderstood. Just because some celebrity has a million followers and admirers who give him support and maybe some measure of happiness, does not mean that those million followers are now "taken". Even the celebrity can be an admirer of another celebrity or a non-celebrity. It is theoretically possible for everyone in the world to have a claque, a set of admirers drawn from those who know her and perhaps even her work and creativity. All of those sets would overlap without end. This is one of the promises of social media. In this sense everyone can be a celebrity to a group of admirers. It should not take a commercial outfit like Hollywood to create celebrities. For my money, I turn my back on Hollywood's choices anyway. Ditto with commercial sports. These sports are a way for some owner to pump up our intrinsic notions of play and competition on a field to make money for themselves. I have never watched a football game and never would. I don't even know the rules. I am dismayed by progressives who root for teams with owners and fork over good money to an owner to watch his team. What a shuck! Let's all create our own teams.

Joe

Joe October 24th, 2016 12:43

Thanks Paul for pointing this out. Yes, it's a great positive side effect! Everyone has the potential to have several/many followers to help them generate even more happiness in their lives.

Perhaps more important is the feature where it takes only a single "intelligent being" interacting with us to help us generate happiness within ourselves. We need NOT focus on targeting a larger group. Actually in practice, we all tend to test the waters with a single person first. Positive feedback > sharing with other(s.) Negative feedback > modifying the messaging detail of our share object. Both helped us and both can add happiness.

But eventually once we have something that is giving consistent positive feedback then we naturally want to share it with more and more.

Capitalism however puts that natural instinct in check. It has us thinking about the possibility of making $$$ from this piece of creativity that others seem to react positively to. So we complicate things and give up happiness for $$$. IMHO it's why there are so many unhappy people in the world today.