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Are humans "hardwired" to be either idealistic or pragmatic

 
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 02:43 pm
The term "hardwired" gets a lot of play these days and I hope the last to use it in a thread title doesn't mind if I borrow it for another thread. There must be an explanation why each of tends to think either idealistically or pragmatically. Anyone care to venture a hypothesis?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 4,870 • Replies: 67
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 02:58 pm
I am going to regurgitate the same answer that I have given for many of the intricacies of the human condition. Humans are a complex interaction of heredity and environment. In addition, and most importantly, they have the ability to make choices.

Over time, each person, through heredity, environment, and intellectual decisions, develops a pattern of personality. That personality will determine how a person may usually behave in certain situations.

I don't believe that people are "hardwired". That would give heredity too much credit for behavior. I believe that one must take the other two forces into account.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 03:13 pm
I believe I was the last one to use "hard-wired" in a thread. Silly me....quite the buzzword indeed. On the subject, however, I have recently started to notice the different qualities I have inherited from both my parents, just via observation whenever I see them. How much is genetic and how much is environmental, I really have no clue.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 03:17 pm
cav- A person can never really know, exactly. I have read some studies of identical twins raised separately. In many cases, when they met in adulthood, they found that there were many things that they had in common, including interests, abilities, likes and dislikes. IMO it is such a complicated situation, there is no way to quantify.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 03:28 pm
I may not have read this correctly, but are you saying that all humans are either idealistic or pragmatic? If so, I disagree -- I think many people are a combination of the two.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 03:32 pm
soz- I agree, to a point. I think that each person has a tendency to behave one way or the other. That does not mean that someone who is usually pragmatic can never be idealistic, and vice versa.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 03:34 pm
Right, which is what the "hardwiring" terminology seems to imply.
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 04:04 pm
"Are humans "hardwired" to be either idealistic or pragmatic"

Are humans "hardwired" with dualism?
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perception
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 04:14 pm
Soz---I did say---we TEND to be one or the other. The reason this puzzles me so much and I spend so much time analysing it it because of situations on the politics forum. I might say one thing which seems nothing more or less than common sense and Wham I get blind sided by someone who very strongly believes the exact opposite ----- now which one has the "common sense"?
Of course it will only be somewhat substantiated by a poll of randomly selected people but never proven.

I'm relatively certain you have all encountered a similar situation.

The reason I say there is "hardwiring" connection is because of my own experience. Ever since I can remember making a distinction of common sense(somewhere around age 6 or 7 I think) I have been a republican and since this requires more pragmatism than idealism I would TEND to say that I was hardwired that way.

Of course there are many many influencing factors which will ultimately cause a certain decision but I'm truly inclined to believe that genetic linkage has the MOST influence.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 04:31 pm
Quote:
I might say one thing which seems nothing more or less than common sense and Wham I get blind sided by someone who very strongly believes the exact opposite ----- now which one has the "common sense"?


perception- I think that you are comparing apples with oranges. When it comes to politics, each person has their own agenda, and forms opinions that mesh with that agenda.

Let me give you a personal example. When I was a supervisor, there were things that the director did of which I did not approve. Some of her decisions made no "sense" to me. Then I became a director. At once I understood, and approved of her decisions.

Each person comes from a different place in life, and with that a different set of wants, desires and expectations. Their conclusions on political issues are based on those factors, and color what is their perception of "common sense".

BTW, I was raised in a household that was overwhelmingly Democrat. To even consider Republican views were anathema to my family. It was when I was in my middle twenties, and went through a metamorphosis of a sort, I completely changed my political viewpoint, and became a libertarian (small "l").
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perception
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 06:07 pm
Phoenix

Certainly I agree with your statement about each of us having a different perspective based on our position in life, education, experiences, etc. I take back what I said about "common sense" because it is too subjective to be of any value here. Let's put it in terms of logic and reasoning----I still have the same problem. The hardwiring aspect may have an impact on the perception one forms of a particular event which could cause two people to observe the same event and arrive at two different conclusions. Had you ever considered that?
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 06:36 pm
Quote:
The hardwiring aspect may have an impact on the perception one forms of a particular event which could cause two people to observe the same event and arrive at two different conclusions.


perception- Again, I think that this issue is too complex to ascribe it simply to hardwiring. A lot of perception, and decision making about events, has a lot to do with what people think about a situation. This thinking comes about through experiences, education, etc.

I heard an interesting story today.

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2003/12/02/loc_loc1a.html

Long and short of it. A man was behaving agressively. The police were called. There was a confrontation, the man was beaten, and the man died.

Now there are a number of sides to this story. The man turned out to weigh 350 lbs. He was black. There is a tape that clearly shows that the police were asking the man to back off, but he kept lunging. More officers were called in, but the man would not back off, so the police had to hit him in order to subdue him.

Many of the black leaders are calling this a case of police brutality that is targeted against black people. The police contend that this 350 lb. man was out of control, and that they had to use force in order to protect themselves against an attack from him.

Whose perception is correct? Is it the black leaders who maintain that the police use a double standard against black people? Or is the contention of the police that this man was so out of control, that it was necessary to use force for self protection?

From where do these differences in perception emanate? What would have been the reaction of the black leaders if the deceased were a 350lb. white person? How would the police have reacted if the black man were 175 lbs?

There are just so may variables in situations such as this.
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rufio
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 07:20 pm
Well, my tendency to behave one way or the other changes depending on the situation. So I'd say it's a matter of personal volition and experience.

Pheonix, I think the difference of opinion there is due entirely to a potential lawsuit of some kind.
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perception
 
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2003 08:30 pm
Phoenix

You story is the perfect scenario for my contention. If you were idealistic you would probably jump to the conclusion that these officers used excessive force and didn't attempt to subdue the man using less forceful methods. If you tended to be more pragmatic you would probably rush to defend the officers because the guy would not stop lunging at them and they were merely protecting themselves and any possible 3rd parties in the area.

BTW----you seem to want to keep attributing words to me that I haven't said. You said above that this is too complex to ascribe simply to "hardwiring"---I have said and still maintain that you are correct but that hardwiring MAY have the most influence in relation to all the other factors.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 06:51 am
perception- I thought that I was agreeing with you! Very Happy
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blatham
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 08:08 am
Quote:
"Are humans "hardwired" to be either idealistic or pragmatic"

Are humans "hardwired" with dualism?


Now, THAT'S funny.
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perception
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 12:35 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
"Are humans "hardwired" to be either idealistic or pragmatic"

Are humans "hardwired" with dualism?


Craven

Are you thinking of the Descartes mind/matter type of dualism or the type that says "look ma, I can walk and chew gum at the same time" Laughing
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 12:37 pm
I'm talking about reductionism, simplifying life (which is not simple) into two tidy camps. The "either / or" approach.

Simplification should not be overdone. Idealism and pragmaticism are neither mutually exclusive nor the only available options.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 01:27 pm
The effect of oversimplification can be observed in the newspapers every day. For anyone looking from the outside, it would appear that when it comes to politics, Americans are divided into two groups...........them and us.

In my mind, reductionism and oversimplification comes about from the inability of some people to think for themselves. For people like that, it is much easier to parrot some cookie cutter ideology en masse that to have to take the trouble to think about, and come to a conclusion about each of the issues.
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rufio
 
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Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2003 04:52 pm
Or in the case that it was an original oversimplification, someone is just looking for a simple deductive answer to something that is neither simple nor deductive.
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