4
   

Is "blood-lust" a genetic trait ?

 
 
fresco
 
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 02:28 am
Most of us seem to be aroused by combative sports even if our intellectual side is moved to repress that arousal. And even intellectuals are able to commune with "proxy arousal" such as that conveyed in Shakespeare's celebrated "St Crispin's Day" speech.

So is this arousal a genetic/evolutionary trait, and if so what is the implication for "world peace" ?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 4,216 • Replies: 32
No top replies

 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 06:02 am
Why did you assume this:
"Most of us seem to be aroused by combative sports"?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 06:33 am
@fresco,
It is a human trait-- without it, we wouldn't be human.

Of course it is evolutionary... lots of other animal species have it because it has great survival value. The difference is that the other animals don't obsess over it-- but could you imagine a wolf, or lion without blood lust?

Yet, you make it sound like a bad thing.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 08:34 am
@fresco,
There's a bunch of historians and authors who have surmised that the "natural combativeness" of southern Americans (i.e. Americans from the southern states, not people from South America) derives from their Scots-Irish ancestry. That's their explanation for why the South fought so well and so long during the American Civil War. One of those authors even became a U.S. senator, although in most other respects he seems reasonably sane.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 10:51 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown,
I think we need to distinguish between a "survival mechanism" and "enjoyment of combat". As far as the second is concerned I make no value judgement. From a purely rational point of view this might be an impediment to peaceful co-existence.

Joe,
Thanks for that point about differential combativeness (even if far-fetched). What the point does do is imply we should perhaps be looking at "culture" either rather than, or in addition to, genetics
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:24 am
@fresco,
fresco, I really believe that George Patton loved war. That would be an example of blood lust. I'm doing this from memory, but Konrad Lorenz studied aggression inhibitors in animals. For example, in a dog fight, the loser always exposed the jugular vein which was a way of "crying uncle". That's my way of being pithy.

ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:43 am
@fresco,
Quote:
I think we need to distinguish between a "survival mechanism" and "enjoyment of combat".


How are we going to distinguish between the two (assuming we both accept evolution). Enjoyment of combat has developed in several species and clearly has survival value.

I doubt that peaceful co-existance has survival value (although I concede it may have value in some environments). For as far back as we can study-- disparate groups of human beings have been fighting each other. Even our primate relatives (Gorillas, chimpanzees, etc.) fight each other.

Groups of animals fight for a couple of reasons--

First they need to compete for resources with members of their own species as well as other species. Without resources (and the willingness to fight for them) a group will die along with whatever gene they carry. (I don't think I need to show the link between "enjoyment" of combat and willingness to fight... enjoyment is a evolutionary trait to get us to do things that will help us survive).

Second, combat is itself a selection mechanism-- the strong reproduce, the weak don't. Incidently-- combat is one of the reasons we developed such big brains (and why we are able to have this conversation right now).

(Disclaimer... scientific facts about our evolutionary behavior have absolutely nothing to do with any system of morality.)


0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 11:58 am
@Letty,
Nice to hear from you Letty.

Yes, animals usually appear to fight to establish a social pecking order, and the "cry uncle" move usually prevents fatalities. So does the "enjoyment" aspect amount to what Nietzsche discussed as "will to power" especially over others ?
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:22 pm
Sports in general helped to bring about peace, at least temporarily, during the ancient Olympic games when a general truce was called among the Hellenic city-states during the festival. The first games only featured foot races but eventually included contact sports like boxing and pankration, something akin to today's mixed martial arts, full contact sports.
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 12:23 pm
@fresco,
Quote:

Yes, animals usually appear to fight to establish a social pecking order, and the "cry uncle" move usually prevents fatalities.


This is nonsense. You are trying to put a silly Kumbaya sentiment (a sentiment only found in humans) onto the animal world.

Animals are always fighting to the death. There are vicious ant battles. There are spiders who chew off the head of their mates. Dogs fight each other to the death, and Jane Goodall witnessed Chimpanzee wars... where one group of Chimpanzees systematically kills members of a different group.

Your Hallmark view of the animal world is far from reality.

Nature is filled with violence and brutality.


fresco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 04:53 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown,

I'll rewrite that quote for you.

Quote:
Yes, animals usually appear to fight to establish a social pecking order, and the "cry uncle" move usually prevents fatalities.
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 05:02 pm
@fresco,
Fresco - please don't mind Mr. Brown-Munoz. He's a hopeless idiot, and the only dogs he ever heard of are those of Michael Vick.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 05:03 pm
Bloodlust is a cornerstone of religion.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 05:13 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue,

Certainly "sport" can be viewed as a substitute for, and preferential to "real combat". However despite the Ancient Greek scenario, those who see it as improving international relationships often fail take into account its politicization such as in the Berlin Olympics or during the Cold War.

Your point also reminds me of the "Women's Boxing" controversy which seems to embellish some of the issues here.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2009 05:29 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly,

I might agree with you on that in the sense that it can both sanctifies it, and allow for repentence of the perpetrators. Joseph Heller (Catch 22) gives us the memorable irony of the chaplain being ordered to pray for "a tight bomb pattern".
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 11:45 am
@fresco,
If the politicization of sport lead to the defusing of Cold War animosities and the displacement of an exchange of nuclear arsenals for large collections of sporting awards, and the bragging rights afforded thereof, then it most certainly can be seen as improving international relationships.

What, exactly, is it about Women's Boxing that embellishes the issue of combative sports vis-à-vis its implications for world peace?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 12:54 pm
@InfraBlue,
IMO given that the status of male boxing as "a sport" is already controversial, the inclusion of women in that activity suggests a further tipping of the balance towards the social acceptability of beligerence as a "normal state". Again I make no value judgements. I merely point to the social facts.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 03:34 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
ebrown,

I'll rewrite that quote for you.

Quote:

Yes, animals usually appear to fight to establish a social pecking order, and the "cry uncle" move usually prevents fatalities.


Nope... that doesn't help. It is still nonsense.

The "cry uncle" move usually prevents fatalities among humans... for ants and killer whales? not so much.

0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 03:40 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
the inclusion of women in that activity suggests a further tipping of the balance towards the social acceptability of beligerence as a "normal state"


When has the social acceptability of belligerence not been the normal state (in either the human or animal world)? Societies that have shunned violence are a historical rarity.

Belligerence is an essential part of human nature which we evolved with because of its survival value.

If you take away our "belligerence".... we would cease to be human.


fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 04:38 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
If you take away our "belligerence".... we would cease to be human


Some might say we show our "humanity" when we restrain our belligerence.

Try it ! Wink
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Should cheerleading be a sport? - Discussion by joefromchicago
Are You Ready For Fantasy Baseball - 2009? - Discussion by realjohnboy
tennis grip - Question by madalina
How much faster could Usain Bolt have gone? - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Sochi Olympics a Resounding Success - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Is "blood-lust" a genetic trait ?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 08/23/2019 at 08:12:20