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Thread: Co-operation vs. Competition

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    Igneous Magma
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    Co-operation vs. Competition

    Do you believe that the nature of man is co-operative or competitive? And to take it a step further... do you believe that the nature of life itself is co-operative or competitive? What is your reasoning?

    I believe that the nature of man is co-operative. I do not buy the whole "survival of the fittest" "It's a dogs world" kind of thinking. I don't believe that man at his core is selfish only holding his own interests at heart. I believe that everyone wants to contribute to society and life as a whole in whatever way he can, using his abilities for the good of all.

    I believe that the same applies to nature. I think the world is proof of a co-operative nature rather than a competitive nature. The purpose of competition is itself a co-operative venture in which all parties improve themselves. Competition isn't really about being better than the other guy... it's about becoming stronger, having more power with which to make contributions to society, developing and enhancing your own abilities. All competition therefore is for the sake of being able to contribute even more to society. It is something you do with yourself.

    I think we have come to see ourselves as competitive and destructive. And we perceive nature and life in the same way. We see competition everywhere... a fight for survival lurking around every corner. A struggle to live another day, a struggle to be free. I say a lot of it has to do with our financial system. And part of it also has to do with the whole Darwin and the evolution idea.

    I do not believe that our essential nature is competitive. I do not believe that nature is a fight for survival where keeping your species alive is the one and only priority.

    What do you think? Co-operative or Competitive? Discuss.
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    Brett Nortje Charlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: ElusiveTruth View Post
    Do you believe that the nature of man is co-operative or competitive? And to take it a step further... do you believe that the nature of life itself is co-operative or competitive? What is your reasoning?

    I believe that the nature of man is co-operative. I do not buy the whole "survival of the fittest" "It's a dogs world" kind of thinking. I don't believe that man at his core is selfish only holding his own interests at heart. I believe that everyone wants to contribute to society and life as a whole in whatever way he can, using his abilities for the good of all.

    I believe that the same applies to nature. I think the world is proof of a co-operative nature rather than a competitive nature. The purpose of competition is itself a co-operative venture in which all parties improve themselves. Competition isn't really about being better than the other guy... it's about becoming stronger, having more power with which to make contributions to society, developing and enhancing your own abilities. All competition therefore is for the sake of being able to contribute even more to society. It is something you do with yourself.

    I think we have come to see ourselves as competitive and destructive. And we perceive nature and life in the same way. We see competition everywhere... a fight for survival lurking around every corner. A struggle to live another day, a struggle to be free. I say a lot of it has to do with our financial system. And part of it also has to do with the whole Darwin and the evolution idea.

    I do not believe that our essential nature is competitive. I do not believe that nature is a fight for survival where keeping your species alive is the one and only priority.

    What do you think? Co-operative or Competitive? Discuss.
    I hold an opposing view. When you need a reason to even think of for example chairty then there is no need for that in ourselves. How many of the charities are doing well? If we were more social then there would be no empty little charities going around.

    The human species, as you would call it, operates on a needs base. You need to eat, clean and sleep yourself. You need to feel full at some time or another or become unhappy and then think only of yourself and your misfortune. The need is there to live, not make others live. Then there are your children, who you do think of. That comes from our social side, where the people will band together for warmth and encouragement - trust. This is a need too, so even being good to people is based on a need we need to satisfy in ourselves. It comes from within, not outside coming in - the outside coming in tells us how to cope with the world.

    When we do band together, we feel trust, as I mentioned. This is a need to feel secure and care free and happy.

    Well i suppose this is about communism? Well, that is where we turn the whole nation into our trusted and loved ones, but people are too unhappy with the boredom to do anything good, not pushing themselves to be better than they feel comfortable being. Communism leads to slow economic growth as leaders do not make plans for the well being of the country and then do not, somehow, bring it all together. With a thousand ghandis in the house communism could work, when it comes to dealing with corrupt people from other nations, then it won't. Truely though, what is a billion in stolen funds compared to the trillions sweeping the country? Corruption is not the problem, it is getting involved in other countries that are not communist where money dissapears.

    If a whole continent were to adopt communism then it could work - africa for example could do well together, but as long as they are trading with other coutries that are free, they won't do as well, as they are non competitive in thier own approach and the other party is a business.
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    Sodium Chloride Anguspure's Avatar
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    Nature is competitive and the majority of us live according to the dictates of our natural tendencies and impulses.
    What may appear to be co-operation (if this is meant the altruistic sense) is usually in fact a more strategic form of competition.
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    Igneous Magma
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    Got enough time to make a few quick points.
    Anguspure, I mean co-operation in far bigger terms than just altruistic. And we are talking about the essential nature of man... not just the way modern man acts in the current environment.

    Feel free to elaborate on this strategic form of competition you speak of Anguspure.

    And Charlatan... South Africa huh? Don't happen to know Kaveto do you? Anyway... wouldn't be much of a debate if there weren't opposite view points.

    Oh... and it isn't really about communism. Depending on replies this could go in a lot of directions. Communism is one possible direction (which I hadn't even thought of haha). See what I mean.. depends on replies.

    My main intention was kinda messing with the idea that man is naturally selfish and that nature is competitive, man is competitive and nature and man compete too e.t.c. The whole "survival for the fittest" and "every man for himself".

    And I was thinking about looking into the idea... of what people think would happen without certain obligations or without certain rules. Anarchy? Hehehe... this could get pretty interesting. Depends on the replies.

    Don't be shy people... jump in.
    Last edited by ElusiveTruth; 26th September 2011 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Added some info
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    Hot Lava
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    Quote Quote by: ElusiveTruth View Post
    Do you believe that the nature of man is co-operative or competitive? And to take it a step further... do you believe that the nature of life itself is co-operative or competitive? What is your reasoning?



    What do you think? Co-operative or Competitive? Discuss.
    cooperative and competitive are a part of the nature of all life in including humans. Both natures are inherently necessary for the survival of any species. We as humans compete and cooperate for space, food, resources, and fitness.
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    Becoming Unstable Thanatos's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Anguspure View Post
    Nature is competitive and the majority of us live according to the dictates of our natural tendencies and impulses.
    What may appear to be co-operation (if this is meant the altruistic sense) is usually in fact a more strategic form of competition.
    I prefer to live as an unnatural cooperative abomination. Fear my strangeness, for I am your doom.
    Doesn't that mean most people are trolls?

    No, it means most people on forums are called trolls at one point or another for stating their opinion honestly.

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    dead for tax reasons Peter's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Anguspure View Post
    Nature is competitive and the majority of us live according to the dictates of our natural tendencies and impulses.
    What may appear to be co-operation (if this is meant the altruistic sense) is usually in fact a more strategic form of competition.
    You nailed it Angus.
    Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith. - Christopher Hitchens

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    Becoming Unstable Thanatos's Avatar
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    Entropy wins. The fruits of your competition are flammable, breakable, mockable and forgettable. It is through other people and through other people only that you get something worth having, and it is entirely internal.
    Doesn't that mean most people are trolls?

    No, it means most people on forums are called trolls at one point or another for stating their opinion honestly.

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    Volcanic Erupter BlackSheep's Avatar
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    Well sadly is it both. Nature is full of competition and cooperation and not just between species, but intraspecies as well. Humans are a very social species and without cooperation our vast web of technologies would simply collapse.
    If I have to pick a side I say cooperative. We see the non-cooperative because it is an aberration from the norm.

  10. #10
    Igneous Magma
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    Quote Quote by: Charlatan View Post
    I hold an opposing view. When you need a reason to even think of for example chairty then there is no need for that in ourselves. How many of the charities are doing well? If we were more social then there would be no empty little charities going around.
    Hmmmmm... some people don't have money to spare and the money they do have they feel they need to keep for a "rainy day" or spend on the people that they know. I'd argue that it is the economic and social system itself that brings out these tendencies in people.

    Money itself is viewed as the end as well as the means and that means the more you have the better. This unfortunately does not promote acts of charity in the average person. And as we see everyday in wall street it doesn't promote charity in some of the rich people out there either. I would however argue that those rich people are different from average people. The people who were once "poor" or just-getting-by and then became rich, will often give back to the community.

    The human species, as you would call it, operates on a needs base. You need to eat, clean and sleep yourself. You need to feel full at some time or another or become unhappy and then think only of yourself and your misfortune. The need is there to live, not make others live. Then there are your children, who you do think of. That comes from our social side, where the people will band together for warmth and encouragement - trust. This is a need too, so even being good to people is based on a need we need to satisfy in ourselves. It comes from within, not outside coming in - the outside coming in tells us how to cope with the world.
    Do these needs promote competition or co-operation though? And does our operation on a need basis of itself constitute a competitive nature?

    Barter-trade was a very co-operative venture. But it was in some senses driven by needs. You have what I need and I have what you need... so we exchange our surplus or the things we don't need for those that we do. This exchange was far more co-operative than competitive.

    When man still lived in tribes and clans one did not just look to their own needs. They didn't even focus primarily on the needs of their own children. They focused on the needs of the whole. The children of the tribe were the future of the entire tribe not just the future of two people. The hunters worked together to bring food back for all. The foragers did the same. And those that took care of the children took care of all the children. Life in those days was co-operation rather than competition.

    This applies within the picture of life as a whole as well. Man did not use more than they needed. They did not compete with animals and plants... they relied on animals and edible plant to survive. If one looks at the bigger picture... life and man's essential nature look more co-operative than competitive.

    When we do band together, we feel trust, as I mentioned. This is a need to feel secure and care free and happy.
    Do most of our needs not necessitate co-operation? And in spite of the few succesful charities and so forth... is civilization not based upon co-operation? You will grow the food, you provide transport, you entertain us, you build our homes and work places, you keep us safe... the delegation and specilizations in civilization imply co-operation more strongly than failing charities imply competition. And there may be competition within each individual specialization... but again this has to do with the economic system. If I'm better than you... I get more money which means that I can buy more services.

    Well i suppose this is about communism? Well, that is where we turn the whole nation into our trusted and loved ones, but people are too unhappy with the boredom to do anything good, not pushing themselves to be better than they feel comfortable being. Communism leads to slow economic growth as leaders do not make plans for the well being of the country and then do not, somehow, bring it all together. With a thousand ghandis in the house communism could work, when it comes to dealing with corrupt people from other nations, then it won't. Truely though, what is a billion in stolen funds compared to the trillions sweeping the country? Corruption is not the problem, it is getting involved in other countries that are not communist where money dissapears.
    I don't know about communism... but some elements of our economic and societal infrastructure could do with significant change. Todays world is at the end of the day quite different from the tribes of the past. That does not however mean that we do nt have their co-operative nature. Man is shaped by his environment and our environment promotes competition which is also what we focus on. The co-operation that makes competition possible and the co-operation that underlies our society is still there.

    There are elements of communism which could be used... but based on where we are and being realistic... communism isn't really something we can implement. And implementing it too quickly or in the wrong way... while people still function for a different system all together... would indeed cause a myriad of problems. Far better to make specific changes o the system that we know.

    If a whole continent were to adopt communism then it could work - africa for example could do well together, but as long as they are trading with other coutries that are free, they won't do as well, as they are non competitive in thier own approach and the other party is a business.
    Indeed... it also wouldn't help that those in the communist country would see lazy people in other countries, or people making lots of money and owning lots of things. There would be many obstacles to the implementation of communism.
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    Igneous Magma
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    Quote Quote by: Anguspure View Post
    Nature is competitive and the majority of us live according to the dictates of our natural tendencies and impulses.
    Does living according to the dictates of natural tendencies and impulses... of itself constitute competition? And if so why?

    Quote Quote by: Anguspure View Post
    What may appear to be co-operation (if this is meant the altruistic sense) is usually in fact a more strategic form of competition.
    It is not jsut meant in it's altruistic sense. Like I said earlier... civilization is itself based upon co-operation. Everybody living by the same economic system is also a form of co-operation. There are many examples of co-operation, and often it is far wider and deeper than the examples of competition. Like what I said about civilization as a whole and our very economic system relying on co-operation.

    Quote Quote by: shunyadragon View Post
    cooperative and competitive are a part of the nature of all life in including humans. Both natures are inherently necessary for the survival of any species. We as humans compete and cooperate for space, food, resources, and fitness.
    Indeed... according to the definition of both words nobody can say that there isn't both co-operation and competition. But I would argue that life and man are more co-operative than competitive? Which do you see as being more prevalent?
    Bringing light to the Elusive Truth that is life.

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    Amused Maryjane's Avatar
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    Both. Man is a human animal with the same characteristics as other animals which makes him territorial and competitive. He's also a social animal which makes him cooperative.

    I find group dynamics fascinating. On a small discussion board like this you can see it in action. People who you think would never agree on anything often come together when an annoying troll comes along. It's truly a thing of beauty to watch them band together. I suspect it's both a competitive show of egos and a territorial thing to protect their "home"?

    Two friends and I attend Comedy Central's Rally to Restore Sanity in DC last year. After hours of being herded around with tens of thousands of people like cattle in the subway, this overwhelming desire came over me to get above ground. It was like I needed to feel human again.

    Once above ground, among the estimated 215,000 people of all walks of life, another feeling came over me. It was an overwhelming urge to smile and be friendly to everyone. That feeling stayed with me (and my friends?) for a few days.

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