Laws. Are Humans a Hopelessly Depraved Species?

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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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26 Jul 2015, 11:35 am

What if we had no laws to live by? Are humans so terrible, the species would collapse without them? What about other species? They manage to survive and reproduce even though not a single one has ever written or communicated laws to one another, that we know of. Why is it humans believe the only way they can survive is with them? Why are we so inclined to certain behaviors while other animals do not appear to be, as in, one animal randomly killing members of its own species?



DailyPoutine1
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26 Jul 2015, 11:42 am

Humans as a society would collapse. There are so many mentally ill people out there hesitating to commit mass murder. Imagine what it would be like if there were no consequences! Psychopaths and rapists lurking awaiting the streets would be no-more a fairy-tale told by parents to scare children.



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26 Jul 2015, 1:03 pm

pretty much all anarchic experiments to date have devolved into feudalism within days. That being said, anarchy means without rulers, not without rules.

Humans are depraved, but i don't think we are hopelessly depraved. It's been said that all violence is an attempt to replace shame with self esteem. In this probably lies the key to overcoming our propensity for violence.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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26 Jul 2015, 1:12 pm

blauSamstag wrote:
pretty much all anarchic experiments to date have devolved into feudalism within days. That being said, anarchy means without rulers, not without rules.

Humans are depraved, but i don't think we are hopelessly depraved. It's been said that all violence is an attempt to replace shame with self esteem. In this probably lies the key to overcoming our propensity for violence.



Feudalism is kinda like laws, right? I am talking about no laws. Can we even conceive such a world or is it too unfathomable for humans to even consider?

Do we assume if every law went away tomorrow, the species is so depraved it will just kick itself in the groin until it's completely obliterated or is there something more to being human? Are we able to have an innate understanding of right and wrong without the laws?

I find the human experience to be one of incredible bizarreness. It's almost like we are divine joke. It seems so counterintuitive for a living species to be so destructive that it would do itself in without laws. It seems common sense would tell it, "don't do that! It's not in the best interest of your species!" That seems to be what happens with all the others.



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26 Jul 2015, 2:12 pm

Nonhuman animals fight, and steal, and kill, and sometimes even eat members of their own species all of the time. Some species are worse than others. Humans may not stand out as better, but we don't stand out as being worse than the rest of the animal kingdom in that regard. Humans did manage to do without coded written laws for most of our existence: from the Upper Paleolithic down to King Hamurabi of Mesopotamia (popularly thought of as the author of the first law code). From 100 thousand years ago until only about 5000 years ago. And the reason that laws began to be coded in the 3rd millennium BC Bronze Age was because humans were plunging headlong into this thing called "civilization" in which un naturally large numbers of unrelated strangers lived together, and had to function as a community on scales much larger than those of the stone age. It had little do with "depravity" , and everything to do with unprecedented population density.



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27 Jul 2015, 5:26 pm

^^^

Yup, the major factors that constitute anthropologically, sociologically, and psychologically assessed peaceful societies of the world are sharing instead of collecting goods for subsistence and the fact that they are relatively small societies that better reflect a village life than a city life.

Humans are NOT DEPRAVED SPECIES; they are just NOT evolved to socially interact with more than about 150 to 200 social sets of eyes in harmonious social cooperation; with problems of over-population that most social animals have when they are not living within the innate, instinctual and intuitive parameters of what they are evolved to so to survive in gaining subsistence..:)

Humans are extremely cooperative social animals in these relatively small homogenous societies; but the mix of the large heterogenous societies require rules and regulations of a Republic, at least, to make it work; humans need to express their individuality in creativity; but order is a rule that must be established and kept to keep larger populations of humans working for thriving successful social cooperation for subsistence and survival.

For instance, imagine if everyone decides that paving roads is crappy work and refuse to do it. The result of that is no roads, no successful transportation from long distances of Point A to Point B to get to the grocery store to get subsistence food to even survive. Yeah, it's why when a Hurricane comes through, people must stock up for the potential of LESS GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE to make subsistence and survival even possible in our modern societies.

Humans more or less are functionally disabled by culture these days; as even in that survival boat; people must do stuff way out of their innate instinctual and intuitive 'normal' functional abilities as evolved to survive in life; as for instance, sitting still in front of a screen for over 10 hours a day. Humans are evolved to move and connect to other humans and the rest of LIVING NATURE; folks sit most all day; and eventually pay the consequences of ergonomic injuries of doing the same motion over and over; and yes; muscles are constantly moving in some twitch ways to maintain posture sitting the same way all day long, for some folks, and that is horrible for human health in many additional ways above and beyond the ergonomic issue of doing the same movement over and over.

Anyway, it will take me around 11 million words, I already do in 56 or so months to completely explain the issue; and not enough room here to finish that thought, hehe..:)

But the bottom line is it is the cultural infrastructure as a necessary 'evil' of a surviving large culture that is the depraved factor of extension of human being as cultural byproducts; not the flesh and blood human itself as currently evolved for now, in the classic sense of evolution.

Negative Epigenetics and Neuroplasticity allow most of us to get by; but yes, the 'canaries' in the coal-mine, as always, will express discomfort in a cry for help, first, in many cases, anyway..:)


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27 Jul 2015, 5:27 pm

I think humans are hopelessly inclined to make human morals that condemn human nature when other humans show it, and to pretend those morals are somehow not just their own, but absolute and coming from some entity alien to our world and self-proclaimedly superior---i.e., superior according to its own morals, which it uses to justify imposing those same morals on the rest of humans.

We really need to keep up this spirit. Otherwise, a lot of people will have a lot of fun, and pleasure is very, very bad when other people have it, isn't it?


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27 Jul 2015, 5:44 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
What if we had no laws to live by? Are humans so terrible, the species would collapse without them? What about other species? They manage to survive and reproduce even though not a single one has ever written or communicated laws to one another, that we know of. Why is it humans believe the only way they can survive is with them? Why are we so inclined to certain behaviors while other animals do not appear to be, as in, one animal randomly killing members of its own species?


Laws are not designed to aid individual survival, they help facilitate the survival of an established society by dictating the terms of competition for resources.

Other social primates have their own primitive 'laws' which tend to be more akin to our feudal systems of yesteryear.



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27 Jul 2015, 6:21 pm

We would survive. In anarchy we would in the end be able to govern ourselves and would probably be able to live by, 'anything is fine as long as it harms nobody else'

Of course we wouldn't have the same lives as we do now and we wouldn't have such technology. We wouldn't have capitalism.


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27 Jul 2015, 8:34 pm

Laws don't stop anyone from doing anything that we can consider depraved.

They just add some punishment after the fact. Usually, what we consider depraved, requires someone facing harsher consequences than the law itself at the time of the act -- say, you want to murder someone; you face the chance of them killing you in defense, which is generally harsher than jail (which is also a chance, as you need not be caught).

People are generally "good" overall within their own tribe.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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27 Jul 2015, 8:47 pm

Thing about laws is, they are so deeply ingrained in my experience as a human, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around what it would be like to exist without them. It would take a lot of effort to envision.



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28 Jul 2015, 1:39 am

For the short answer to the OP's question: yep.


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28 Jul 2015, 4:04 am

starfox wrote:
We would survive. In anarchy we would in the end be able to govern ourselves and would probably be able to live by, 'anything is fine as long as it harms nobody else'

Of course we wouldn't have the same lives as we do now and we wouldn't have such technology. We wouldn't have capitalism.


What we have now is precisely what emerged from anarchy.


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28 Jul 2015, 8:50 am

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
Thing about laws is, they are so deeply ingrained in my experience as a human, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around what it would be like to exist without them. It would take a lot of effort to envision.


There would still be rules. I don't think it's possible for humans to live together without rules. But those rules would be localized and only enforceable per agreement by the group. They would also bump up against the rules of other nearby groups and sometimes be in conflict.

What law does is take the informal rules humans always come up with and standardize them across a governed region, with that government also in charge of enforcing them.

If you've ever had roomates, you've probably already cobbled together rules just to make it possible to live together. A sample rule that roomates often have is 'only eat the food you personally bought unless it is food we have agreed to buy together (like salt or flour)'.

A large scale standardization of that rule is laws against theft, enforced by a government. If you take away the government and the laws, people still won't abide by theft of their own property, but the informal rules against it will bump up against each other ('it's ok to still from them but not from each other') and also have widely varying penalties. Some will just take back the stolen property. Some will require amends. Some will kick the person out of their group. Some will kill the person from a different group caught stealing.

You can see why Hammurabi standardized these rules into written laws. Once you get a large enough group together, lack of standardization and chaotic enforcement of each sub-groups rules just doesn't work.

If a government collapses, the laws evaporate because a government is needed to enforce them. Or at least, the laws may still exist in peoples' heads but with no government to enforce them it doesn't matter. Localized rules will come into existence but they will most likely be created and enforced by whoever is best armed.



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28 Jul 2015, 9:07 am

starfox wrote:
We would survive. In anarchy we would in the end be able to govern ourselves and would probably be able to live by, 'anything is fine as long as it harms nobody else'


"...as long as it harms nobody else" needs to be enforced somehow. What does the group do with people who harm somebody else despite this informal guideline? In a group that is large enough that "house meeting' isn't going to work, some sort of government will coalesce. Call it tribal council. Call it town meeting. But people do need a way to self govern on a scale that is larger than a house.

If you've ever lived with more than about 4 housemates, this situation can happen. In my youth, I really liked living in those very large conglomerates of young people all sharing big old Victorian houses. Sometimes there were 10 or 12 people if it was big enough. 'Anything is fine as long as it harms nobody else' was the general rule but if you get enough people together, that rule will be broken. In one case, somebody punched somebody else in the face and gave him a bloody nose. Consequence: kicked out of the house. In another case, somebody broke somebody else's belongings out of anger. Consequence: kicked out of the house.

Kicked out of the group is probably the most common consequence both now (for small groups) and back before civilization was created. The catch is, 'kicked out of the house' would be a lot harder in an anarchy. In our own microcosm, it was made easy by the fact that anybody who strongly resisted with violence could be removed by the cops. Nobody had to say it. It was just a part of life. Leave quietly or leave because cops make you.

But what happens in an actual anarchy when the group has to enforce 'as long as it harms nobody else' on their own? That's when things get tougher. And possibly more violent. What do you do if somebody won't abide by that rule and won't just accept banishment? And cops don't exist? The group has to think of some way to deal with it and this way might end up being violent.