"War Toys"

Has anyone ever thought of how war toys affect behavior? War toys of course is a metaphor for things such as sports, the olympics, boy scouts etc. I mean really, are not all of those things behaviors of war? In Greece, they used to hold competitions between the best athletes. Hockey is an example where dicipline is needed. Hockey is also an example of where there is a hierarchy. Is not the Boy Scouts a glorified form of the Hitler Youth. All I am saying is that there are some key parallels between “war toys” and war. Any thoughts on the matter?

Any sports where the idea is to defeat another are destructive in my opinion. It stimulates the bad behavior of separation and competing; war in a small scale. I don’t think this is natural at all for a human being to behave this way. It’s rather a product from abstact idéologies forced on our children.


Competition isn’t natural? It’s necessary for our evolution, if you’re an atheist, and necessary for God’s plan if you’re any sort of religious person.

Life can even be seen as a competition with yourself, if you never strive against anything, what will you be?

For evolution to be we need individuals that cooperate with other individuals so the structure as a whole develops. Evolution is not about defeating other peoples genes so that your genes should win the game. That is just the old Darwinistic ideology. There exist no separated individuals. See my metaphysical explanations.

I never see my developement as a competition. The less I see it as a competition the more I understand and can become what I am. From that point I’m as strong as I can be and able to interact with other people (and units) in the structure where I exist. That way I grow. Creativity is all about input and output.

It’s very destructive if a person seek to gain fictive advantage by defeating other persons.


It’s the modern one, just look at Dawkin’s work, who is pretty much the authority on the subject at the moment. Genes only “co-operate” if it is advantageous to them or identical copies of them (as essentially this is the same “gene” in terms of evolutionary advantage). They may co-operate with other genes, but only if they are not in direct competition with them, for example the genes or certain termitess actively “help” the genes of certain fungii, but only because they co exist as the fungi are farmed by the termites.

The concept strong means nothing without comparison, it is purely subjective. Are you proud or pleased you are that strong? If you are, then you are in competition, as you will wish to retain that strength. If it is just a realisation, that is different (see below on circularity).

My point is that competition is as natural as sexual attraction, desire for strength, security, etc. are all our instincts, to fight against them and rise above them is good. I was about to type that even that is competitive as you wish to rise above others, but I suddenly realised the circularity in doing that, it is good that you try and avoid feeling competitive, but it has always helped define ourselves, especially in realising the limits we each have as well as finding each of our particular strengths.

Not necessarily, both can benefit from an encounter, one can learn magnanimony and the other learn new skills from competing with the other. Even the victor can identify his own weaknesses from each close call he had. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s essential in helping us define our boundries. I know that my abilities to remember things is especially bad in comparison to others, I may be able to improve this, but it will never be as good as other people. It helps me to know this, as I can then rely on other people to remember for me, or I can also know that someone will have an advantage over me. Knowing my own strengths is also good as I know what I can use to my own advantage when necessary. Don’t forget there aren’t enough resources in this world for everyone, so competition is a necessary part of our life at the moment.

Also note that the only way to change this is to either gradually reduce the number of humans on the planet so we can sustain them all, in which you have to accept competition for the scant resources until that equilibrium is reached, or to commit mass genocide.

You are strong in relation to what you relate to. It’s objective if we observe a process of many individuals as a structure. Objectivity exist in a situation, and in that situation strength is not relative. But you can not call the same individual strong if the person is not able to intuitive adapt to a new situation with other criteria. What should this person do then? Is the person able to do what he/she want without breaking some inner nature/harmony.

The competition today becomes more and more absurd when people try to copy behaviors that we think are strong. Competition is as weird as our view of sexual attraction. Trying to justify this process by looking at processes in nature - that we choose to observe in a way so that they justify what we are looking for - tell us nothing about what life really is.

I know it’s possible over time to create complex and logic systems, that is what time does in combination with a certain will. You will eventually find what you are looking for even though you have been so specified that the indoctrination is enormous. When you experience life you will know that competition is not a part of it. It’s a holistic structure that develops, and it’s a big difference to see individuals in a holistic structure develop and to see separated individuals fighting to defeat other parts of the structure.


1: Competition: Three men are competing for the same woman. They all want the woman because they have been taught that this women is the best they can get. They will do what it takes.

  1. Synergy: The three men have developed their intuition and they realized that one of the three men was perfect for the woman, so there were no conflict. No one wanted anything more then there were. This intuitive knowlege is possible because of the metaphysical medium where our bodies exist. We are not actually observing separated object outside ourselves. So another person are not more strangers to us then a person in a dream. We are existing in the same creative medium and in this medium where we have our roots we have intuitive knowledge about all processes that we are a part of.

The key is that we do not become what we think we are. Right now I am someone, even though I can imagine I’m someone else. Using good psycoteraphy I can become the person I am right now; become an intuitive person.

I don’t want to become as good as other people, I want to become what I am and then relate to other people and grow together with other people. “Other people” are not less you. We all exist in the same medium, and you are able to observe all that happens in your experience as a process; as you. What you describe is the opposite to what the metaphysical substance is. The idea of separation is the key to our sickness.

The idea of separation and competition will also in a clear intellectual mind become a terrible weapon. I will then only act moral as long as other people observe me, and as soon as no one observe me I will use my intellect to gain advantage over other people. If they hurt is not an issue as long as I can get away with it and support the development of my genes. There we have the world of today. So the idea of separation is not only wrong metaphysically speaking, it’s also very destructive. The whole idea of cooperation (moral) and competition (nature) at the same time is absurd. It’s only because of the fear of “God” that we are able to pull this absurdity together.

But your motivation is very convincing, but at the same time limited in a certain model that does not fit in to the model I have. I also used to have those theories, but several experiences gave me another model. That part of the reality is all about experience. The very source of life IS experience. I know the dilemma. It’s all about a totally different focus, and how we observe the ground of what we observe.


Ahh, but the idea you seem to be putting foward only works if everyone has the same view on something. However all our belief sets are different, otherwise there would be no “perfect” partner for anyone apart from based on looks. Hmm, not clear there am I. THink about it like this. Someone is perfect for you because they hold aparticular set of desires and beliefs. However if you allow for us to hold different belief and desire sets, then you necessarily must allow for peopleto have a different belief about something. Thus 2 of the 3 men you described in your example could think of themselves as her perfect partner. So which would be right? The third man may not know, as he may not be able to know the differences which would help him determine it.

As Ihinted at before, you can’t go down the route of giving everyone identical belief sets, for one it would make the world very very dull, and secondly it would increase the meaning of smaller and smaller differences.

Hi there boys, i think this is a really interesting debate so i hope ya’ll don’t mind me throwing my 2 cents in.

I have to agree with Johan when he said:

i’ve seen it been argued elsewhere that the manner of an entity can be subjective, not the matter. this is not presupposing that all manner must be the same, as Matt suggested, but it is saying that there is definitely a right and wrong way this is expressed. A man wanting a woman because she’s ‘a good catch’ vs a man wanting a woman for a fulfilling relationship is a subjective pursuit – the latter is obviously better. however, the criteria for the fulfillment is objective.

SO, to bring this back to competition, i have to agree with both of you. competition, as Matt suggests is good because it forces you to look within yourself and assess what you’ve got. seeing a person with an awesome, laid-back approach to things might make someone who’s high stressed stop and think, should i be like this? however, ultimately the decision for change needs to depend ONLY on the basis of the individual. the high stress person should change because it is who they are, and not because the laid-back approach seems to be get more chicks (or whatever).

futher, i think that when this ‘false’ basis of change is applied in situations with competition, things like war toys do result. but this is because i don’t think that humans naturally, will create weapons of mass destruction; this is a false construction of the self. but i’m getting ahead of myself…any thoughts?

First off, War toys sell because war is glorified by humanity.

as to sepration and hate, They existed long before my future son(currently non existant) joins football and learns to work together with others to achieve a common desirable goal.

As long as there is atleast one competitor striving for domination of all he envisions their will be competition, or atleast domination.

Hi, not at all, tis open to all.

I’m not so sure, we all have to have a certain amount of a false face on in public. None of us feel comfortable walking round farting, picking our nose in public, or doing any other of the thousands of other little habits and oddities that we practice within our own homes. I admit I’m not sure this is linked to competition or self-awareness, but in a way I think self-awareness is a part of competition, as it is comparison of yourself with an ideal or with others.

So the decision to act in a certain kid of way and repress some caracteristic may be dictated by the social trends of the time, and the reason for doing this is in order to fit in. But what is the reason behind needing to fit in? In my view it is competition for status, mates and friends. But I am very cynical :wink: Even deciding not to fit in is a decision to try a particular tactic in social interaction, look at Goths and alternative people, all trying to be different and yet all the same (I’m vaguely one of the latter, so it’s not a dig).

On an individual level I think it would be true to see the development of WMDs as a very odd thing and that they would not naturally be created. I think it’s when we get collectives of people, such as nation states, which almost operate as independant entities with desires to protect or subsume and annex that the development is not very surprising at all.

Not only that, it only takes one person to spark off many others aquiring it to “defend” themselves by the MAD principle (god scientists can be so niave can’t they!). Japan’s development of biological agents sparked everyone else getting them. When the super powers realised they were essentially very cheap nuclear bombs (a programme I watched yesterday referred to biological bombs as 5 cent nuclear bombs, I never realised they were so powerful), they tried to bury them (who wants a cheap atom bomb? the whole poit is they have to be hard to aquire), but failed. Thus we have them proliferating. All that was a little off the point, just musing, sorry.

The point of all that was to try andshow that while at first glance the development of WMDs seems very strange, it is not actually that surprising they’re around.

What did you mean by flase construction of self? You have aroused my interest, do go on…

That’s certainly a statement I would say sum up how I feel about the survival of competition blu.

I still don’t see it as a bad thing though. I go further this time, not only does it help us establish our boundries, it pushes our entire race onwards in a voyage of discovery. How many geniuses were fiercely competitive, perhaps driving their genius? I can think of Newton and Frege as extreme examples of this off the top of my head. The were both very nasty men, and yet undeniably great. Would they have beengreat with out the friction that competition produced?

Would any of us be great without it?

Matt stated-

I believe that in an ideal world, Newton and Frege would not have been competing with others, but with progress in general.

People that are highly competitive are usually those that seek the rewards, the power, that is gained with success. I honestly believe that anyone that ever seeks to be better than another is sadly unhealthy. Competition can be healthy, as long as the intent is altruistic.

An argument about competition is ultimately an argument about power.

Going back to Matt’s quote-

I found your use of the word “friction” very compelling; mostly because of its accuracy. I think back to times when I was fiercely competitive, and the word friction hits very close to home. But I think this friction is not healthy. I classify people that are very competitive as having an obsessive personality; the same way that a gambler has an obsessive personality. The only difference is that competion is an obsession that can be used for good. I wonder however, what kind of existence is one in which you are constantly obsessed? No matter how much good you bring to the world, what kind of life are you leading? It is almost a form of self-sacrifice.

The only healthy competition that I think exists, is when it is not between people. If humans competed for the sake of humanity, and not themselves, there would be a lot less problems.

I’m pretty sure that will never happen though. Anyway, interesting topic guys.

Matthew E.

I think I love you :slight_smile:

But there is a problem to defend this model: Today generally speaking altruism is not based on holistic development but individual survival. I only act moral because I benefit from it, not because I see life as a whole process of development.

My metaphysical ground supports true altruism, because I am everything that exist, not just my physical body. I exist in the communication between units, and not the unit itself. I’m not existing in one point but I’m spread throughout my experience. That is a true holistic model.


Johan said-

I always had a thing for Swedes…

Okay, enough of that :slight_smile:

Johan also mentioned-

Yes… the old self-interest argument. I must say that for some time, the realization that every act ever done was out of self-interest deeply plagued me. How could any act ever be truly altruistic, if it could always be traced to a self-interested intention?

Luckily, I have a friend that responded with the obvious; why would you ever want to do something that is not in your self-interest? The answer is you wouldn’t, and that you can’t.

True altruism (by my definition) is acting for another as if you were acting for yourself. You have moved beyond thinking about just yourself. You are now thinking of not only yourself but another as well. Ultimate goodness lies in taking everybody’s needs into account, even your own. Just because it is impossible for me to act without thinking of my interest, so what?

So basically, I act morally not because just I benefit from it, but because everyone does. Just because I am included in the benefits, does make the act selfish. Therefore ideal altruism would be when the world acts as one, selfishly.

Matthew E.

I don’t see a conflict between self interest and holistic development either. But if an individual sacrifice himself for the holistic development, is that individual a looser or a hero? Does the individuals genes stand for the premier value that the individual have to defend? Is this my premiere drive if I’m a healthy person? Are people acting like heroes to get a better position to reproduce, or to get a better position in front of God, or is it a rational behavior to stimulate the holistic development?

If I’m only acting moral and altruistic to get a better position for my genes it’s really not altruistic.

Altruism would be to give a person that better fits for a job the chance even though you can take his place because you know the employer. If you know that this person can do more good (holistic) then you in that job position it will make you glad to stay in your old position as a cleaner while he get a top position in the company. Is this irrational?

If you think long term a situation like the above may be egoistic as well because if you live in a society individual survival is dependent on good leaders. So it may be rational for the individuals genes to act altruistic in the above scenario, even though it’s a very strong decision.

Maybe this law applies to the classic materialistic altruism: It’s good to act altruistic as long as you do not kill your genes. Even if you kill yourself for 1000 people it’s not rational if you do not have any babies yet.

But if altruism is rational even in Darvins model, then we can accuse a lot of people that they are not acting rational when they are competing about everything no matter what? You should never claim that you have qualities that you don’t have and destroy the possibilities for other people that have them.


Johan said-

He would be neither. The best word I can think of to describe an altruistic person would integritous. Or possibly someone that fulfilled his duty.

In an ideal world people would not consider whether or not their particular genes passed on or another’s. What would be of utmost importance would be the survival of humanity, not your particular strain of genes. Instead of viewing your genes as either belonging to you or not belonging to you, you should view all genes as belonging to everyone.

Altruism is basically decided by intent. If someone is doing good deeds to gain prestige (hero) or to be in a better position before God (pure selfishness) they are not acting altruistically. When people are moral, only because they fear God, they are not honestly good people. A truly altruistic person would commit a good act even if it meant he would be damned to hell and brandished a loser.

I completely agree.

Yes it would be rational, if the world were ideal. However, because everyone is not functioning altruistically, this would be irrational in reality. In reality people do not think of themelves and the world as one. I find it troubling that in order to be a truly good person, you need to risk having others completely take advantage of you. Pure goodness only works if everone is operating under the same premise. Sadly, survival is dependent upon you looking out for yourself, because no one else really is. The day when every human being cares equally as much for themselves as they do for their counterparts is the day we have no more problems.

I agree, but only if that person would reciprocate such an altruistic act for you. Of course that is by no means purely altruistic, but it is surviving in reality. It’s quite Machiavellian. How do the good survive in an evil world? The answer is by not always being good.

whoa, i’m i think this discussion is getting interesting. i want to argue some points that matt made then try to connect it with the little love-in debate that johan and matthew e are having. i welcome arguments and responses! :smiley:

definitely, i completely agree with you that we do have a facade that we put on, and this facade can definitely come from competition (for some more than others, i think, but i will be willing to cede that all such identities arise from competition). The bigger question behind this that i’m interested in, matt, is your seeming suggestion that this is a good thing. in other words, are you going all oscar wilde on me by saying that someone with a ‘mask’ is a better person than one who is authentic and genuine? or do you believe that it is just not normal to shake these social constructs?

funny, i don’t think that humans can ever exist without a social setting, or as a collective people. i think that we are inherently and intrinsically bound as individuals to exist in groups and to say that individual axioms are not applicable to groups is something i can’t accept.
which leads me to your arousal. :wink: on the construction of the self, i mean. i actually think that this is matt’s background assumption, that people forge identities based not an internal compass but ONLY on their environment. this leads to the altruism argument which i think has been well argued but there is one thing i’ll like to add:

johan pointed out that:

and both agreed that in theory there in no conflict between self-interest and the common good. i agree with this. but to implement this ideal effectively in a society, would it not require the loss of some basic freedoms? does this not taint the theory?

Trix stated-

What basic freedoms would be compromised?

i might have misinterperted. when you have suggested this world as the ideal, does this mean you would approve of some laws/regulations being erected to enforce this, or are you wishing that people will suddenly just reach this point?
if it is the latter, than i agree. the former, however, would require the society to nurture and establish that truly moral values are installed in everyone and i see this enforcement a violation. (i.e. free speech, free association, political & economic freedoms, etc). in this case, this forced and artificial sense of duty is not desirable and also not genuine. my question still remains even if you agree with me on this – does not the practical implications of this theory diminish its conent?

The latter.

This theory is about as impractical as possible. However just because something is horribly impractical, impracticality does not make it wrong.
Right now, cold nuclear fusion is highly impractical, however the theory is not necessarily incorrect, because it may be possible. We just can’t facilitate cold fusion at this time. The “altruism theory” is merely positing the circumstance necessary for peace. Just because it is inconceivable for us to imagine such a situation occuring does make it impossible or “diminish its content”.

As for limiting your freedoms, acting out of pure goodness would be quite constricting upon what you could do. But if you were altruistic, you would not want to do any of those actions (fight someone, call someone names, etc…) The best example of this I can think of is how I am free to kill myself, although I never would, because I don’t want to.

The fact that everyone break a rule does not make the rule less real, it just tells us that everyone act wrong, and the outcome of this may be that it’s practically impossible for anyone to act right. It does not change the theory, but it may change our way to act. It should not change our goal however because there is a chance that it’s not practically impossible. This also means that some people may have to suffer to stand up for their theory. But this suffering may not be worse then the alternative: To deny the theory. A holistic theory is worth the suffering of the people that support it for the same reason a soldier is ready to die for his country. The reason I’m writing in internet forums is this mission, I’m not having this as an interest or a hobby, I spend all my time doing this. My job is not different from a religious person on that point. This is the reality of all models that are holistic. I’m doing the same as different groups that fight for saving the ecological environment, but from a philosophical standpoint. Even if I’m very wrong I can’t take the chance: There is much more to loose if the world suffers in a holistic perspective, then there would be if I just wasted my life doing this. I’m enough convinced to give my life for my theory. This also means that everyone that are acting against my theories and are working against harmonies in the world are my enemies that I must defeat by making them understand. This kind of straightforwardness often scares people, and I’m called extreme. But would you not call it rational from the perspective I have? Convince me that I’m wrong and I may stop doing this and focus more on my genes. In that case I will defeat you all by weapon :slight_smile: I will make you all work for me, and there will be no revolution this time… My genes will win! I may manipulate you also if necessary. I say: If you don’t know how to act; don’t act at all. When you know how to act; don’t hesitate to give it all you have. And you ask yourself why there are dictators in this world?