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Author Topic: Is competition the root of all sin?  (Read 1397 times)

Offline pantodragon

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Is competition the root of all sin?
« on: 09/02/2013 16:50:20 »



I have already written a number of posts on the subject of competition, but this post is not looking at the idea itself, but at its history.

I heard an advert for a forthcoming TV series this morning.  Someone, I forget who, is going to explore the roots of sin.  Well, he actually identified the root of all sin as competition.  We are competitive beings, he said, and being such we inevitably do bad things to one another at times.  So what he proposes to do it to go around the world and seek out sin and see what can be done about it.

So in his view sin is down to basic human nature and is therefore inevitable.

This is an old idea with a long history: most religions have considered human being to be sinners who need to be ‘saved’, either by some special person, a ‘saviour’, or by following a set of rules that will hold their bad nature in check and allow them to save themselves.

Science is perpetuating this view of humanity.  It no longer makes the moral judgements, but it views war and killing and all sorts of bad behaviour as inherent in human nature, as being due to our competitiveness which, in turn, is a strategy for survival in a harsh, dog-eat-dog world. 

I find myself wondering if science has just taken on an old idea and justified it, rather than starting with a clean slate and a clear mind.

There have been some philosophers (inevitably), most notably J.J. Rousseau, who have taken the opposite view i.e. that humans are basically good but that circumstances, society whatever, corrupts them.  But the idea that people are basically good has never attracted the same support as the converse.

So, I am left wondering if scientists have approached nature with an open mind, or had they already decided that ‘badness’, ‘sin’, ‘selfishness’ or whatever were inherent in nature.


 

Offline RD

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Re: Is competition the root of all sin?
« Reply #1 on: 09/02/2013 18:34:13 »
"sin" is a religious concept , not a scientific one.

I don't think God-botherer's can agree on what is a sin:

One says eating porky-pig is a sin, while eating erimtrude-the-cow is OK, others disagree.

Have the Kosher sinned* by consuming  "Findus 'beef' lasagne" ? ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21374799

( * IMO only gastronomically  :¬)
« Last Edit: 09/02/2013 18:36:35 by RD »
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Is competition the root of all sin?
« Reply #2 on: 11/02/2013 15:51:02 »
"sin" is a religious concept , not a scientific one.



Yes, but we could be a little unbending here and refuse to let lawyerish nit-picking get in the way of mutual understanding.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Is competition the root of all sin?
« Reply #3 on: 12/02/2013 13:24:57 »
Also cross-posted and locked.
 

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Re: Is competition the root of all sin?
« Reply #3 on: 12/02/2013 13:24:57 »

 

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