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'Flawed' humanity.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: 'Flawed' humanity.  Reply with quote

This derives from a post by Lexi in the Sainthood thread, which I didn't want to derail.

Hi Lexi,
Lexilogio wrote:
Quote:
I don't really get the saint thing either.

Logically - if there are saints - then I can appreciate that there may be some around now. But I take the view that all humans are flawed individuals.


That's because of your religious indoctrination to believe so.

It's true that humanity is capable of all types of behaviour, but that is how evolution works, and how we got here. The 'flaws', as you call them, are what moved life forward before the advent of social species, and without those flaws (self first at all costs) life would have become extinct, and we wouldn't be here talking about them.

We have seen fit to designate such behaviour as 'bad' and the reverse as 'good' simply because we ARE a social species, and although I agree that such behaviour needs to be controlled for the good of the group as a whole, we must not fall into the error of thinking of them as flaws. They are an essential part of life, and it's anybody's guess what would happen to us if we ever managed to eradicate them from our genome.

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cyberman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: 'Flawed' humanity. Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
without those flaws (self first at all costs) life would have become extinct,


Are all 'flaws' attributes which have an evolutionary advantage?
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: 'Flawed' humanity. Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
This derives from a post by Lexi in the Sainthood thread, which I didn't want to derail.

Hi Lexi,
Lexilogio wrote:
Quote:
I don't really get the saint thing either.

Logically - if there are saints - then I can appreciate that there may be some around now. But I take the view that all humans are flawed individuals.


That's because of your religious indoctrination to believe so.



Actually, no. Sorry.

My statement that all humans are flawed comes from psychology research, eg James Reason and the science of human error.

It is part of the way the brain works in reasoning. To save time, our brains lump things together and make assumptions and jumps. Those assumptions can frequently be wrong - but we are also remarkable at identifying the errors and correcting them (70% of the time).

I really recommend reading Human Error. It's a fascinating book.
Other authors worth reading in this field include Rasmussen, Allwood and Montgomery, Barrs, Baddeley, Nooteboom, Embrey, Fromkin...

Of course most of the research has been based on linguistic errors, but there is a growing volume which looks at other forms of errors, particularly in the field of organisational accidents, Sidney Dekker, for example.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 'Flawed' humanity. Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
without those flaws (self first at all costs) life would have become extinct,


Are all 'flaws' attributes which have an evolutionary advantage?

That depends on what is understood by 'flaw'.
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 'Flawed' humanity. Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
without those flaws (self first at all costs) life would have become extinct,


Are all 'flaws' attributes which have an evolutionary advantage?

That depends on what is understood by 'flaw'.


Well, obviously I am refrring to whatever you meant by "flaw" when you wrote "without those flaws (self first at all costs) life would have become extinct".

Do you think that there are any "flaws" (by your own understanding of the word) which do not bring an evolutionary advantage?
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was taking the implied understanding of the word in Lexi's post, which I took to mean antisocial activity.

In which case the answer to your question is no. All existing 'flaws' must have given an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which they appeared, or they wouldn't have been preserved and perpetuated.
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
I was taking the implied understanding of the word in Lexi's post, which I took to mean antisocial activity.

In which case the answer to your question is no. All existing 'flaws' must have given an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which they appeared, or they wouldn't have been preserved and perpetuated.



No. By flaw, I meant the propensity to make mistakes.
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lexilogio wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I was taking the implied understanding of the word in Lexi's post, which I took to mean antisocial activity.

In which case the answer to your question is no. All existing 'flaws' must have given an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which they appeared, or they wouldn't have been preserved and perpetuated.



No. By flaw, I meant the propensity to make mistakes.

Thank you, Lexi. In that case, yes, I agree that humanity as 'flawed', although I think it is a sad misuse of the word.

It is only by learning and trial and error that we find out how to live, in fact it is an essential part of the growing up process. Hence the wise old saw "The man who never makes a mistake never makes anything."
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cyberman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leonard James wrote:
I was taking the implied understanding of the word in Lexi's post, which I took to mean antisocial activity.

In which case the answer to your question is no. All existing 'flaws' must have given an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which they appeared, or they wouldn't have been preserved and perpetuated.


So do you think racism and homophobia are advantageous?
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Leonard James
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cyberman wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I was taking the implied understanding of the word in Lexi's post, which I took to mean antisocial activity.

In which case the answer to your question is no. All existing 'flaws' must have given an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which they appeared, or they wouldn't have been preserved and perpetuated.


So do you think racism and homophobia are advantageous?

Racism is a form of tribal warfare, so in the past it would have been an advantageous trait. If a tribe didn't defend itself it would have gone under. Homophobia, too, probably contributed towards the procreative ability of a tribe ... it would have caused gay men to marry and produce offspring to feign normality.

Just suggestions.

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