Were we better off in a state of nature?

  • Thread starter coberst
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  • #26
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Last chance, coberst: Provide a some facts and a rational argument to support that and every other assertion you have made or this thread will have to be locked. It is going nowhere.
My statement says that I consider a creature is living in a total state of nature when that creature is controlled by its nature and its instincts. Humans have an ego which stands in the way of instinctive behavior for humans. Animals other than humans do not have an ego. The more effect the ego has on human behavior the more civilized we become and the further removed from nature.

Instincts are the emotions that an animal is born with. Animals are hardwired with certain automatic control reactions. These emotions, i.e. these instincts cause the deer to run and the lion to fight.

Ego says, HOLD IT, TIME OUT!

The ego is our command center; it is the “internal gyroscope” and creator of time for the human. It controls the individual; especially it controls individual’s response to the external environment. It keeps the individual independent from the environment by giving the individual time to think before acting. It is the device that other animal do not have and thus they instinctively respond immediately to the world.

The id is our animal self. It is the human without the ego control center. The id is reactive life and the ego changes that reactive life into delayed thoughtful life. The ego is also the timer that provides us with a sense of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. By doing so it makes us into philosophical beings conscious of our self as being separate from the ‘other’ and placed in a river of time with a terminal point—death. This time creation allows us to become creatures responding to symbolic reality that we alone create.

As a result of the id there is a “me” to which everything has a focus of being. The most important job the ego has is to control anxiety that paradoxically the ego has created. With a sense of time there comes a sense of termination and with this sense of death comes anxiety that the ego embraces and gives the “me” time to consider how not to have to encounter anxiety.

Evidence indicates that there is an “intrinsic symbolic process” is some primates. Such animals may be able to create in memory other events that are not presently going on. “But intrinsic symbolization is not enough. In order to become a social act, the symbol must be joined to some extrinsic mode; there must exist an external graphic mode to convey what the individual has to express…but it also shows how separate are the worlds we live in, unless we join our inner apprehensions to those of others by means of socially agreed symbols.”

“What they needed for a true ego was a symbolic rallying point, a personal and social symbol—an “I”, in order to thoroughly unjumble himself from his world the animal must have a precise designation of himself. The “I”, in a word, has to take shape linguistically…the self (or ego) is largely a verbal edifice…The ego thus builds up a world in which it can act with equanimity, largely by naming names.” The primate may have a brain large enough for “me” but it must go a step further that requires linguistic ability that permits an “I” that can develop controlled symbols with “which to put some distance between him and immediate internal and external experience.”

I conclude from this that many primates have the brain that is large enough to be human but in the process of evolution the biological apparatus that makes speech possible was the catalyst that led to the modern human species. The ability to emit more sophisticated sounds was the stepping stone to the evolution of wo/man. This ability to control the vocal sounds promoted the development of the human brain.

Ideas and quotes from “Birth and Death of Meaning”—Ernest Becker
 
  • #27
baywax
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In what way is the ego not natural? It has developed out of natural selection. It is a natural product of natural processes. So, in what way is it not a product of nature and a working part of nature?

ps. Further to that, the human brain is not developed because of vocalization. Whales and dolphins have a brain larger and more convoluted than the human brain and they vocalize in an intricate manner using sonic symbolization to communicate various conditions. In fact, if visual symbolism develops a neuro-network to the extent of the human brain's complexity, then Bees should have very large heads because they communicate weather reports, locations of food sources and other data with symbolic dances for one another.
 
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  • #28
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Evidence indicates that there is an “intrinsic symbolic process” is some primates.
If you substitute 'instinctive' for 'intrinsic' it becomes clear we aren't that unnatural.
And if you look at the way other creatures use their own instinctive processes to do much the same thing we do, if on a different scale, the difference between us and animals becomes that of optics.

What we do is natural. The distinction between natural and artificial is a false dichotomy which basically distinguishes between stuff we do and stuff other creatures do. Its based on the assumption that we are different in some undefined but important way.
 
  • #29
baywax
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If you substitute 'instinctive' for 'intrinsic' it becomes clear we aren't that unnatural.
And if you look at the way other creatures use their own instinctive processes to do much the same thing we do, if on a different scale, the difference between us and animals becomes that of optics.

What we do is natural. The distinction between natural and artificial is a false dichotomy which basically distinguishes between stuff we do and stuff other creatures do. Its based on the assumption that we are different in some undefined but important way.
We finally agree on something JoeDawgy Dawg!-)
 
  • #30
russ_watters
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Coberst, except for the first paragraph, which is incorrect statements about what the "state of nature" is, none of that has anything to do with this thread or your previous unsubstantiated assertions. Thread locked.
 

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