A new study published last month in Nature Journalsuggests that humans are naturally good. This study adds to the mounting evidence against the popular misconception that corruption is a trait of human nature.
In ten experiments using economic games, scientists observed that faster decisions result in more cooperation and generosity, while slower, calculated decisions show a decrease in cooperation and generosity. The conclusion is that the automatic reaction is to be friendly, generous and cooperative, and only upon further consideration do humans become greedy or violent.
From the study:“To explain these results, we propose that cooperation is intuitive because cooperative heuristics are developed in daily life where cooperation is typically advantageous. We then validate predictions generated by this proposed mechanism. Our results provide convergent evidence that intuition supports cooperation in social dilemmas, and that reflection can undermine these cooperative impulses.”
Any scientific studies these days should be taken with a grain of salt, because we are without a doubt living in an era of soviet style science, where state and corporate entities are using the scientific establishment to project a particular worldview into the mainstream consciousness. This is why it is important to always look for funding sources and seek many different avenues of research. However, in this case, this particular study is just one of many proposals put forward by the scientific community in the past several decades stating confidently that corruption has nothing to do with human nature, as the popular misconception states.
The first time this issue was brought up in the mainstream scientific community was in 1986 when scientists from around the world got together to discuss the psychological and biological evidence proving that human nature is no excuse for violent behavior. The findings that were released came to be known as “The Seville Statement”.
This statement made 5 propositions, which are:
1. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors.”
2. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature.”
3. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior.”
4. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a ‘violent brain’.”
5. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by ‘instinct’ or any single motivation.”Since the Seville statement there have been many more studies reconfirming the propositions put forward. Just this past February a new study by a biologist named Frans de
Waal showed that animals are naturally prone to cooperation when in the right circumstances.
As I discussed in the article Human Nature a Self Fulfilling Prophecy, the actions that people carry out today, and the actions that have been carried out throughout history are the result of environmental factors, as well as psychological trauma and manipulation, they can not be chalked up to “human nature”.
To chalk the violence that we see around us up to human nature, is to avoid admitting there is a problem, thus preventing any progress from being made towards peace.
If we think that human beings are dangerous and violent creatures, then some of us will be able to rationalize and justify malevolent behavior by writing it off as human nature, instead of condemning it as we should.If we actually condemn this behavior instead of making empty excuses for it, we will without a doubt drastically lower the level of violence on this planet.
Individually, and as a species, we can only go as far as our imagination will take us. We are only capable of what we can imagine, and if all we can imagine is violence, submission, and domination, then that’s all were ever going to get.
Written by : True Activist