On Human Nature/Consciousness (Politics)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 14:20 (4761 days ago) @ David Turell

Dr. Turell, - Humans are arguably the only creatures that have great power to subdue our base instincts, and I would agree on face value (going to read Adler before Shapiro now) that we are different in kind, but the differences aren't total in nature. Partly because nothing is ever so absolute. Twin studies obliterated the blank-slate idea for me. If we inherit personality traits then it is folly to assume we inherit *nothing* from our ancestors. - Think about when people get over-emotional. Most crimes happen when people "lose their sense." It is during these times that I argue that we touch base with that inner and ancient instinct, and that it is this instinct that causes people to kill or become violent. - My idea works like this. The only thing that really makes us different than the other apes, is our capacity for long memory. As time goes on there is selective pressure for us to use this long memory to be able to plan and strategize for all the bottom parts of Maslow's Hierarchy. Consciousness, in my best estimation, is an active synthesis of all of your own life events, and the ability to use that information to make choices. That's it. Analyze and choose. (No, I didn't read this anywhere, this is my own synthesis.) We coopted two abilities and the combination of the two is what gives us what we call consciousness. And we know other animals have similar abilities. - It was demonstrated in Artistotle's time that dogs use logic. That tiny bit of analytical ability means that this ability to problem-solve goes far back in the evolutionary history of mammals, at least. - My overarching point is that we are an incremental step on the evolutionary ladder, not a quantum leap.


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