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View Poll Results: Who is your favorite philosopher(s)?
Ancient Philosophy (Aristotle, Plato) 13 19.40%
Scholasticism (St. Thomas Aquinas) 3 4.48%
Renaissance Humanism (Thomas More, Erasmus) 1 1.49%
Rationalism (Descartes, Voltaire, Kant) 18 26.87%
Empiricism, Social Contract (John Locke, David Hume) 11 16.42%
Social Materialism/Marxism (Karl Marx, Hegel) 6 8.96%
Existentialism (Kafka, Nietzsche) 7 10.45%
Post-Moderism/Structuralism (Derrida, Foucault, Nietzsche) 5 7.46%
Analytical Philosophy (Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein) 1 1.49%
Structuralism (Levi-Strauss, Ferdinand de Saussure, Chomsky) 2 2.99%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-04-2009, 12:26 PM    (permalink
Mr. Hero
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This guy could care less about that little box you and I have. He'd sooner steal it and sell it for something that would give him instant, yet short-termed satisfaction as opposed to take it apart and learn how it works (No, I'm not making a blanket statement about all homeless people) I would challenge that it is "vision", "empathy" and "determination" that drives us, as opposed to "greed".
Don't get me wrong I feel bad about the homeless and donate to charity, but there will always be struggling and suffering. It's a reality of not living in a utopia, I just don't like greed is to be blamed. We could be using greed in different ways though, to me greed is very similar to the idea of selfishness being any actions taken in pursuit of one's goals where what makes it greed isn't that it's bad but that a person is working for their own selfish motives. From this I'd argue greed is one of the greatest forces behind the "vision" or "determination" you are talking about. All great inventors are greedy whether their creation was solely for material gain, to help advance an ideology or whether it was to fulfill the desire of realizing a vision, those are all selfish acts fueled by greed.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:30 PM    (permalink
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So your answer to my question is yes, every golf course would have the same clubs. OK, what about vehicles, would everyone on Earth drive the same car? What if I wanted two cars? What if I liked cars, and wanted to collect them over a long period of time?
Quote:
There is no reason for property. Property is an
outgrowth of scarcity. People who had to work very hard to create or obtain a product or resource in
turn protected it because it had immense value relative to the labor entailed along with the scarcity
associated. Property is not an “American” or “Capitalist” idea… it is a primitive mental perspective
generated from generations of scarcity. People claim “ownership” because it is a legal form of
protection.
In a system of abundance, without the need for money, the idea of ownership becomes irrelevant.
In this new system no one owns anything. Instead, everyone has unrestricted access to everything.
Ownership is a massive burden. No longer will a person need to live in one place. One could travel
the world constantly. Anything needed is obtained, without restriction. There is no reason for abuse
for there is nothing to gain. You can’t steal things that no one owns and you certainly couldn’t sell
them.
Household items are obtained through central distribution in the cities, while recreational items are
available on call or near the location of their use. For example, if you go to a golf course you would
select, on site, your clubs from the most effectively designed models available. You use them, and
then you return them. If you decide to keep the clubs, go ahead - that is your burden… for why
would a person want to transport, maintain and store golf clubs, when they can always have access to
them and then return them onsite? Our homes today are full of junk that we hold onto because of
the supposed value they maintain.
This is what they mean

Quote:
Transportation:
Within the city, escalators and elevators, along with conveyers and transveyors, move in all directions
and are interconnected with all other transport systems. The transportation system is deliberately
designed to reduce the need for any kind of automobile. This system can take you anywhere in the
city. If you want to travel outside the city, monorails, streamlined cars, vertical take off/landing
aircraft and Maglev trains are used for continental and intercontinental travel. Airports and
International shipping systems are also implemented in and around the cities.
It is worth pointing out that the prevailing means of transportation in our societies today require
fossil fuels to run. In the case of the automobile, the battery technology needed to power an electric
car that can go over 100 miles an hour and over 200 miles on one charge currently exists, and has
existed for many years. However, due to battery patents controlled by the oil industry, which limit
their availability to maintain market share, coupled with the political pressure from the profit based
energy industry, the accessibility and affordability of this technology is limited. There is absolutely no
reason, other than pure, corrupt profit interest, that every single transport vehicle in the world could
not be utterly clean, with zero need for gasoline.
As far as traditional airplanes are concerned, Maglev technology is on pace to making them obsolete.
A Maglev train uses magnets for propulsion. It is fully suspended by a magnetic field, and requires
less than 2% of the energy used for plane travel. The train has no wheels, so nothing can wear out.
These tube based Maglevs could travel up to 4000 miles per hour, in a motionless, frictionless tube,
which can go over land, or underwater. They are fast, clean, and efficient with only a fraction of the
energy usage we use today for the same means.
This is their idea on Transportation. obviously its all idealistic.

its all about the mindset of people today. its about the mindset that you have to work for profit. that its the only motivation you can have
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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So you're talking about a world that has somehow overcome the basic economic principle of limited resources and unlimited wants. I can't imagine that actually happening though.

Edit: My question to you renji, in that world what incentive do the workers who produce these goods have to do a good careful job, outside of altruism, since I've mentioned above I think people only act altruistically when doing so is clearly in their own selfish benefit. Although I guess if we've truly overcome the problem of limited resources maintaining the system would be teh selfish motive to work hard. Although I think getting people to function like that might take even more work than getting them to be more self-reliant and responsible to make a system such as my ideal to work.

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Old 05-04-2009, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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there is absolutely nothing good to greed...

i dont see how people can say it is the only motivation we have.
Greed is what has allowed mankind to rule the world. Without it we would have never advanced out of the hunter-gatherer stage. Excessive greed is in no way good, but nothing in excess is good.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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Don't get me wrong I feel bad about the homeless and donate to charity, but there will always be struggling and suffering. It's a reality of not living in a utopia, I just don't like greed is to be blamed. We could be using greed in different ways though, to me greed is very similar to the idea of selfishness being any actions taken in pursuit of one's goals where what makes it greed isn't that it's bad but that a person is working for their own selfish motives. From this I'd argue greed is one of the greatest forces behind the "vision" or "determination" you are talking about. All great inventors are greedy whether their creation was solely for material gain, to help advance an ideology or whether it was to fulfill the desire of realizing a vision, those are all selfish acts fueled by greed.
We surely disagree on the definition of greed then. Greed is done with purely self serving intentions with gain only to self. This will eventually prompt me to discuss "self" later on I'm sure. With greed, to some extent, there is a touch of maliciousness I believe. Greed would not then be behind vision and determination.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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i love this thread :)

btw Addict did u ever get to see Zeitgeist:Addendum
lol no it's still on my list of things to see though...
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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I don't believe that a world without legalized coercion is that unrealistic. I recognize it would require a shift in our thinking, but these aren't principles that are unheard off and utterly unnatural, rather these principles attempt to build off of human nature. Granted medieval Iceland is the only nation I know of that had a fully voluntary system in place as the people selected one of iceland's chieftains to represent them, not elected, selected, but I feel between the success of the gošorš system and the benefits of similar principles in amercian history that this may be one of the few utopias that can actually function with human beings. Again I don't think if we just changed our political system to one I favor everything would instantly run smoothly, but if we could transition to such a system I think the transition process itself would drive a social shift towards greater individual responsibility and more careful, long term thinking. I just see how the current system molds children into abandoning my concepts and feel that between the removal of the current system which pushes people into the direction of short-term thinking and insatiable material greed and the slow transition to a more ideal system you would also see a transition in the populace and within a generation or two you would see a major change in americans, I think that the resultant change would be for the better. We'll see though, I firmly believe in our lifetime we'll see our political system shifting back in the my direction at which point we'll see whether the people respond.
We talked about this before in PMs. I don't believe a utopian society is possible, greed and selfishness are hardwired into all animals, not just humans. Without selfishness our genes would never survive to reproduce. That doesn't mean I don't believe our goal should be a utopian society, its just that it isn't viable. However, we should constantly be working towards that utopian ideal, but it is just that, an ideal.

Lets work towards it, but at the same time be realists about the chances of it happening. It won't but the effort made to make it will change the world for the better.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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So you're talking about a world that has somehow overcome the basic economic principle of limited resources and unlimited wants. I can't imagine that actually happening though.

Edit: My question to you renji, in that world what incentive do the workers who produce these goods have to do a good careful job, outside of altruism, since I've mentioned above I think people only act altruistically when doing so is clearly in their own selfish benefit. Although I guess if we've truly overcome the problem of limited resources maintaining the system would be teh selfish motive to work hard. Although I think getting people to function like that might take even more work than getting them to be more self-reliant and responsible to make a system such as my ideal to work.
yea they had ideas how to do that though to make such things as oil obsolete. i thought it was a very interesting watch, im not sure how exact those ideas of the ideas of having enough Resources are correct, but i do think their criticism towards society nowadays was spot on.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:42 PM    (permalink
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We talked about this before in PMs. I don't believe a utopian society is possible, greed and selfishness are hardwired into all animals, not just humans. Without selfishness our genes would never survive to reproduce. That doesn't mean I don't believe our goal should be a utopian society, its just that it isn't viable. However, we should constantly be working towards that utopian ideal, but it is just that, an ideal.

Lets work towards it, but at the same time be realists about the chances of it happening. It won't but the effort made to make it will change the world for the better.
i really dont think greed is handwired in the human nature. is their really such thing?

i liked their way of treating that idea:

Quote:
The bottom line is that our behavior is based upon what we learn, coupled with the bio-social
pressures that we must deal with in order to survive. Our genetic makeup does not tell us anything
about how to actually function. It is what we learn and are accustomed to which creates our behavior.
An insulted man who pulls out a gun and shoots somebody had to learn, at some point in his life, what a gun was, how to pull the trigger, along with what he was to find ‘insulting’ to begin with.
Every word on this page is learned by this author one way or another. Every concept is a collective
accumulation of experience. There is really nothing that we think which isn’t presented to us in some
environmental form. A person born in a particular culture will absorb the values, traditions and
hence behaviors of that culture. A Chinese baby taken at birth and raised in a British family in
England will develop the language, dialect, mannerisms, traditions and accent of the British Culture.
I dont believe their is such thing as human nature as in being greedy and violent. it is more human behaviour that is derived from the environment and the society they were raised in.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:43 PM    (permalink
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We surely disagree on the definition of greed then. Greed is done with purely self serving intentions with gain only to self. This will eventually prompt me to discuss "self" later on I'm sure. With greed, to some extent, there is a touch of maliciousness I believe. Greed would not then be behind vision and determination.
Everything is done for purely selfish reasons, people don't give to charity to help other people, they give to charity for the feeling they get when they help other people. Everything is done for the benefit it gives you, if something doesn't benefit you in some way you won't do it, period.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:44 PM    (permalink
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Everything is done for purely selfish reasons, people don't give to charity to help other people, they give to charity for the feeling they get when they help other people. Everything is done for the benefit it gives you, if something doesn't benefit you in some way you won't do it, period.
i believe the exact same thing but they had such a discussion like 3 pages ago
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:45 PM    (permalink
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Everything is done for purely selfish reasons, people don't give to charity to help other people, they give to charity for the feeling they get when they help other people. Everything is done for the benefit it gives you, if something doesn't benefit you in some way you won't do it, period.
You sir, are correct. But about 4 pages late.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:47 PM    (permalink
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i really dont think greed is handwired in the human nature. is their really such thing?

i liked their way of treating that idea:



I dont believe their is such thing as human nature as in being greedy and violent. it is more human behaviour that is derived from the environment and the society they were raised in.
In the last 20-30 years there has been a lot of research that points to nature being as important as nurture, if not more.

If it is derived from the environment how do you explain 100 years of peace in all of recorded human history? Those wars are all different cultures. Culture has an effect on the more superficial aspects of man, but the core of mankind lies in its innate nature.

Yes, they had to learn how to shoot a gun, but you don't have to learn how to kill somebody. You also don't need to learn what is supposed to offend you. There is one major reason for violence, a lack of resources. Among men, women are resources(bear with me). There are a limited number of women and each man has unlimited want. If another man does something that will lower your chances of getting with women(or food or shelter or any other limited resource) you will get mad. This isn't a learned thing, it is in our genes. It is the same reason lower males attack the alpha males in many species in the wild. We are animals, pure and simple.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:48 PM    (permalink
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We surely disagree on the definition of greed then. Greed is done with purely self serving intentions with gain only to self. This will eventually prompt me to discuss "self" later on I'm sure. With greed, to some extent, there is a touch of maliciousness I believe. Greed would not then be behind vision and determination.
OK I can understand that, maybe I should find another term to use here other than greed then as you can see from my definition of greed. I feel like you're discussing excessive short-term greed, which is only a part of greed in the way I use hte term. What would you use to describe the motivations of an individual doing something like discovering cancer, because sure saving millions of lives is one motivation, but the lab I used to work in will strike a major blow to cancer and saving lives is only a part of the equation, the blatant material gains are also a significant motivation as is the utterly selfish desire to solve that puzzle due to the purely self-serving joy that the researchers get from discovery/proving or disproving their own theories/make their visions a reality. I think greed is far more complex than you are making it out to be and I believe all those motivations I just described are greedy, but the later two clearly are not "purely self-serving intentions with gain only to self"

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We talked about this before in PMs. I don't believe a utopian society is possible, greed and selfishness are hardwired into all animals, not just humans. Without selfishness our genes would never survive to reproduce. That doesn't mean I don't believe our goal should be a utopian society, its just that it isn't viable. However, we should constantly be working towards that utopian ideal, but it is just that, an ideal.

Lets work towards it, but at the same time be realists about the chances of it happening. It won't but the effort made to make it will change the world for the better.
I hear you on this. I don't expect a utopian society to form on this earth any time soon, however I think the utopia we are working for should be one that will be realistic on the nature of man and use greed and selfishness to shape a utopia that could function on those principles rather than trying to defeat them.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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I personally dont think an utopian society will be established any time soon either, i doesnt mean though we should just let it go
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:52 PM    (permalink
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In the last 20-30 years there has been a lot of research that points to nature being as important as nurture, if not more.

If it is derived from the environment how do you explain 100 years of peace in all of recorded human history? Those wars are all different cultures. Culture has an effect on the more superficial aspects of man, but the core of mankind lies in its innate nature.

Yes, they had to learn how to shoot a gun, but you don't have to learn how to kill somebody. You also don't need to learn what is supposed to offend you. There is one major reason for violence, a lack of resources. Among men, women are resources(bear with me). There are a limited number of women and each man has unlimited want. If another man does something that will lower your chances of getting with women(or food or shelter or any other limited resource) you will get mad. This isn't a learned thing, it is in our genes. It is the same reason lower males attack the alpha males in many species in the wild. We are animals, pure and simple.
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It is easy to see how this kind of assumption manifested, for if you look at the historical record of the
human species thus far, we see an endless series of wars, genocides, conquests and power abuses.
Given that this is the pattern we recognize… is it easy to assume that it must be “human nature” or
“instinct” to behave in ways that are historically recurring.

[...]

Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, Robert Sapolsky, spent 30
years personally studying a Baboon troop in East Africa. This troop exhibited the same social
hierarchy, competition and dominance patterns as human beings do today.
However, something interesting happened about 10 years into the study. The troop was exposed
accidentally to a disease that killed off the Alpha male baboons, leaving only the subordinate male
baboons along with the females. This event dramatically altered the social nature of the troop. None
of the remaining baboons filled the newly open positions of dominance. The hierarchy virtually
stopped and aggressive behavior subsided tremendously. This is still the case with this troop 20 years
later. Even when new, adolescent males would come join the troop, it took about 6 months for the
behavior of that new baboon to adjust from the typically competitive patterns to the troop’s new
balanced and non-aggressive behaviors.
While this observation leaves many questions, it goes to show how behavior changes based on how
the environment changes. To think that our human society is locked into some prison of ‘instinct’
and ‘human nature’ is not viable. Even if we have ‘predispositions’ to certain survival patterns, it is
still the environment that generates the actual behavior.
the main idea is to get people to understand that helping society, making he world easier doesnt only help others but also helps the human himself. thats the hardest thing to do.

If it is really human nature, how do u explain that there are people that are extremely violent and there are people lets say like Mother Theresa that is nothing like that. Is Mother Theresa not a human?
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:54 PM    (permalink
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yea they had ideas how to do that though to make such things as oil obsolete. i thought it was a very interesting watch, im not sure how exact those ideas of the ideas of having enough Resources are correct, but i do think their criticism towards society nowadays was spot on.
I had had that recommended to me a while ago on another site and never got around to watching it. What I'd imagine though is that for their critique of our society to truly hold water we would have to find ourselves in this heaven of unlimited resources. Mind you I'm not just talking about finite things like oil, but other things like a man's time, skill and planning, all of those are resources limited by each of us only being one person. Now if we somehow were to overcome this all and have truly unlimited resources, a pure hypothetical IMO, then I can see those gripes as holding water since so much of our society is the result of simple economic principles based largely on this unlimited wants and limited resources conundrum.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:56 PM    (permalink
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I personally dont think an utopian society will be established any time soon either, i doesnt mean though we should just let it go
That's not what I'm arguing, I'm arguing that if we are chosing a utopia to work towards chosing one that runs counter to human nature is fool hardy. Greed, liberty and responsibility are principles I feel that run hand in hand with the progress humanity has made and so I think they are principles that you can build a utopia off of without asking men to be more than just men.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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i think greed is mostly created by money and scarcity as well as materialistic possessions. those kind of things exist in capitalism. would it exist though in a communistic state? im talking about a real communistic world, not something like ******* china or cuba.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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the main idea is to get people to understand that helping society, making he world easier doesnt only help others but also helps the human himself. thats the hardest thing to do.

If it is really human nature, how do u explain that there are people that are extremely violent and there are people lets say like Mother Theresa that is nothing like that. Is Mother Theresa not a human?
There are different ways to achieve your goals, when you are powerful, violence is typically the best way. If you are smart, using your intellect will serve you better. I am not a very violent person, but that is because I know fighting and the like isn't my strength. I achieve many more of my goals when I use my brain to reason through something. You can never remove the violence from the ones for whom violence works. Killing them would be the only solution, but that is violence anyway.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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As for the nature versus nurture issue I do concur that brainwashing from childhood can be hugely effective, my proof? The phelps farm, that said renji, you are talking about messing with the things that have driven us as far as we have come, everything that you would need to "treat" with nurture to allow that utopia lies in deep contradiction with the entire history of our species.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:00 PM    (permalink
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i think greed is mostly created by money
That is a completely ridiculous statement. Greed is what created money. Mankind was greedy well before money was around. Without greed people never would have started storing food, leading us away from the days of hunter-gatherers.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:02 PM    (permalink
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That is a completely ridiculous statement. Greed is what created money. Mankind was greedy well before money was around. Without greed people never would have started storing food, leading us away from the days of hunter-gatherers.
so what is there to be greedy about without materialistic possessions and money?
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:04 PM    (permalink
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There are different ways to achieve your goals, when you are powerful, violence is typically the best way. If you are smart, using your intellect will serve you better. I am not a very violent person, but that is because I know fighting and the like isn't my strength. I achieve many more of my goals when I use my brain to reason through something. You can never remove the violence from the ones for whom violence works. Killing them would be the only solution, but that is violence anyway.
how is that human nature though? if u have the option between the two, its up to you to decide, what u ultimately chose is not prescribed, its something that involves from your person. you dont always chose violence, its because u chose violence because u believe in it to be the best possible option and looking back it obviously wasnt.

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Without greed people never would have started storing food, leading us away from the days of hunter-gatherers.
u really think no one wouldve thought: Hey, its easier if we store something, so after some point we dont always have to go out and hunt, say if we are sick, we can just use the storage. it benefits us.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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so what is there to be greedy about without materialistic possessions and money?
Food, land, shelter, or any of the multitude of things animals kill each other for.
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