Human Nature

Humans seem like the earthly animal most disconnected and separated from nature. Thus human nature is an oxymoron, mutually opposed definitions. Humanity is artifice and artificial, unnatural. The creation of man, and evolution, both lead to further disconnection and separation from nature. This becomes more apparent through the analogy of gods, as creative beings with unlimited power. The connection between man and god is obvious then. Man attempts to defy nature, calling it your sense of “choice”.

Choice is unnatural.
Choice is the result of luxury and culture.

What do you think?

Humans can never be 100%-animals but “merely” 98%-animals, and humans can never be gods but godwannabes, although no 100%-godwannabes but “merely” 98%-godwannabes. :wink:

My definition of human nature is…quite extensive.

Would you mind explainig it a bit?

Orbie wrote nothing. :-k

It’s a generalisation of what makes a human, a human, but with human culture and learning deleted.
In practice this is actually impossible.
It is easy enough to demonstrate what is the nature of a species of ape. Humans are apes with the capacity for culture. But the adoption of culture - and that includes, moral laws, arts, belief systems - allows us to depart from our natures.

As humans are part of nature and not apart from it, then as animals we find what we are naturally. Thus our instinctual behaviours that we share with animals are as human to the same degree that we share these things.
What makes us different from animals is a capacity to create a world of our own imagination and design. This is our special nature. But the culture itself is not natural. In the same way that paint might be natural, the painting is not; food is natural, but not the meal; iron is natural but not the sword.

Human nature isn’t a thing.

We are simply more complex than other creatures, thus human nature = nature, but more complex than previous evolutionary trends.

What utter gibberish.
Are we simply complex or complexly simple. If human nature is not a thing, then why are you commenting on it?

I was attempting to point out that we are like the rest of nature and not so massively different.


Human beings are human beings because we have evolved to being that. Human consciousness is what separates us from animals though they do have their own level of consciousness.
You seem to be saying that the bridge which separates human beings from other beings is culture…unless I’m not understanding you here. What about human psychology, and the way in which human beings are wired, their upbringing, their personal individual journeys, and yes also their culture and their beliefs? You seem to be making culture the highest thing that defines us as humans.

Couldn’t you also say that one of the main things of human culture even above luxury, luxury to me just more being a part of a hedonistic person, is what we humans value, what is meaningful to us, like art, poetry, family, et cetera?

Maybe I’m not understanding culture as you’re meaning it.


So this is what lev said:

I don’t think though that we actually depart from our animal nature - it’s always a part of us and this may be one of the reasons why we behave as we do - we forget who we are, human beings who have evolved with consciousness but have still maintained the animal nature within lurking somewhere. We don’t depart from that, I don’t think, culture only tames and refines us.
I think that human beings are far too complicated and intricate to reduce us to “cultural” beings.

That may have said nothing of course.

I agree that under it all we are still animals and did not mean to imply that we can.
In fact I think it is almost impossible to figure out what is out nature and what is our culture. They are so intertwined.
I’m offering the idea that humans are naturally cultural; but that the contents of the specific cultures that we invent, reproduce and so forth is not natural.
The beliefs of religion are not natural, but the tendency to belong to some sort of human group may well be. It is the natural tendency to belong that provides religions with their flocks.
There was a study in the US recently that exposed the idea that voters were far more interested in their party’s success than in the ideological and policy basis that the parties were promoting. So ,where it might be natural to want “your side” to win; the contents of the party policy is more complex and anatural.
I think the same natural tendancy goes with following your team in sport and with nationalism and even racism.

If you want to know the nature of human beings go on over to KT forums. Satyr could explain it better than I could.

I have a question. Could a human being describing the nature of human beings also be described by that described nature?

If yes, then if part of that nature that is described involves [insert pejorative descriptions], couldn’t the person describing that nature also be described by [insert perjorative descriptions]?

Nothing? Okay. A spartan rides in on horse back as says to you ‘all spartans are liars’. Do you believe him? If you don’t believe him, you must also believe that what he is saying is not true, because he is one spartan you don’t believe is lying. If you do believe him, you can’t believe him, because he is a spartan, and you believe all spartans are liars.

So, if a person tells you ‘all humans are ass rangers’, and you believe this person, you must believe this person is an ass ranger.

If you don’t believe this person, you must be implying that this person is not human. Are you proposing this person whom you believe describes human nature so well is inhuman, then, and not subject to that same nature?

Wait. What the hell am I saying. I’m talking to someone who thinks they’re a blue space alien god.

Nevermind. My bad.

I never said Satyr was not part of human nature.

All ILP posters are hacks.

We have no idea what human nature is … and if we ever find out, it’ll be something like systems biology (or maybe even biological/physical anthropology) that makes the discovery. In other words, IMO it’s a scientific question, and one with no good answer at the moment (and honestly, I don’t really see much space for philosophy in answering a question like this).

Natural selection created substantial variation in our nature. Some segments of human populations bred with neanderthals, some evolved in very cold climates, others in warm climates, while others evolved in mild climates. Some had ample access to food and friendly surroundings, allowing them to multiply in higher numbers (also allowing more members of the society to reproduce), while others did not. These and countless other factors affect our evolution, and by extension, our nature. Evolving in harsher climates tends to promote greater levels of cooperation, and so we can expect these sort of attributes to be selected for. Evolving in milder climates reduces the need to cooperate, and so other factors may be selected for. I could on and on with this, but the point is … human nature is a really really complex issue.