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Is hierarchy an innate trait for humans?

0 votes
I was having a debate on one of my Facebook posts, and this guy argued that hierarchy is a genetic trait of humanoids.  He provided pretty compelling evidence, such as a 50 page study on human beings and pride (the link will be below).  As an Ansyn, I don't support a forced hierarchy, but this argument is by far one of the most threatening arguments against anarchism that I've seen so far.
asked Mar 27 by SmashTheState099 (120 points)
i mainly wanted to say that i don't know what this question asks....so unless STS comes back with some more discussion, i don't have much to add.

N: "That also works as a good argument against speciesism."

It can, yes. But it can also undermine those anti-speciesist arguments pertaining to 'subjects' and/or those which base themselves upon 'sentience'  too, since they inhabit the ambit of their presumed self-sufficiency more often than not."

I've been meaning to ask you about this, you kinda lost me here. Could you further explain what you were getting at? I look at anti-speciecism as just a disagreement that there is a hierarchy of certain beings, or perhaps a rejection of scientific "species" all together.
oops I appear to have been sectioned :(. this makes sad.  these people are just trying to help, but all I want is a nice long walk!!! oh hierarchy can be funny sometimes!
my room is quite nice tho, and having people around is almost always nice.  plus they let me keep my phone too!! we
mustent panic! we mustnt panic!

aaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhh!!!! (Babs, chicken run, 2000)
@nihilist, pardon the delay in responding to your question. i didn't see it until now. one has the choice of neither rejecting nor affirming 'species' in any over-determined way. 'species' can work well enough occasionally, but it lends itself to over-use far outside those contexts as if we have enclosed lives within the term, lacerated them to fit the corral. 'there is nothing but the survival of the species' etc.

the notion of subjects is always a split, a binary between 'it' and that which transcends it: so often, the Object, the World, God, Nature, the Future, Progress, the Earth, etc, but it's always *subjected* to the authority of that transcendental due to its presumed 'finitude.'

as to 'sentience' i've always felt it a bit anthropocentric and contiguous with these other determinations. as i quoted above, ' mankind is indeterminate.' here both the gendered language as well as the notion of species are at work, the point being we can't even think/imagine our lives except by cutting them, deciding what we'll think/imagine in any given moment and yet speak so authoritatively on others, our relationships, and so on. hope that helps.

2 Answers

+1 vote
There are many innate traits for human beings and all forms of life. Luckily for us humans, we have over-sized brains (my judgement here), and therefore the range of behaviors that we engage in are relatively endless. Pride and shame are human emotions, and those are also vast. To talk about one particular trait as being innate begs more questions:

- what is a hierarchy?

- is there one particular trait that's more important than all the others?

- is it possible to make a distinction between "innate" and "learned"?

- how are traits acquired?

Saying that hierarchy is an innate trait implies that humans somehow need it, and under given circumstanses and within certain sociological systems I would say "yes, sometimes". However, humans also have a rich history of disliking hierarchy and rebelling against authority figures, so in that sense they constantly search for something else or alternative hierarchies.
answered Mar 27 by Nihilist (-480 points)
0 votes
I'd suggest that we have to look at what a human being actually is, rather than accept whatever explanation seems most plausible.

Consider this... Intelligence is certainly innate, however it can be molded into whatever shape an external force decides. Take religion as a prime example. Look at the logic contained within their argument. Superficially it is quite compelling, and with acceptance, completely so. So much so, people have killed for their religion... even when told killing is a sin.

We could say, "well religion is innate", however I would say it is not religion but ignorance which is innate. Only via ignorance can any form of belief be. Only via ignorance can the logic of religion be viewed as logical, as such logic is the logic of fear.

Genetics itself is so much belief rather than fact when it comes to human action, choice, emotion, etc. To me it's a bit like a speaker which will reproduce whatever sound is played thru it, reproduction of a source. Understand the source and you understand.

Hierarchy is itself another manifestation of fear rather than an individual innate quality or trait. Only the arrogance of ignorance can establish itself as superior... and thus take pride in whatever achievement. Isn't that self evident? Look at the history of humanity, which is one of forms of knowledge/belief being replaced by others.

All in all, we have to understand what we are; not the imprinted material... the contents of our memory, but that which is our essential self. So many talk so superficially when talking of "innate", of "our nature". Our nature has been obscured, corrupted by nurture.
answered Apr 1 by edclear (490 points)

edclear:"Language isn't authoritarian in any way, that's like saying a knife is authoritarian."

who are you responding to here? it can't be me, since i said nothing of the sort.what i did say :"what i do refuse, however, is their (words)   authority and the authority of discourses which gird them". its seems obvious i wasn't speaking of language in toto, but the authority given (and taken as given) to words-in-discourse.

i'm done conversing with you at this time. best.

To Nihilist

Trolling, never been fishing in my life. If you mean the more modern meaning, not so. When someone comes out with "words have no basic meaning", I think the obvious has to be stated. Dictionaries would not exist, teachers of language would not exist, etc. Indeed, we'd just be grunting, pointing, and generally leaping around trying to make ourselves understood. One second thoughts, maybe a shared language doesn't exist.

Yep, I know the feeble attempts at justification for all manner of issues, large and small, but they'll always be just that... attempts.

To AmorFati

"Authority"... "Authoritarian", same difference, one leading naturally to the other.

edc, after thinking about it some more, and reading your most recent comments, i don't think i have anything to add at this point that would help you to understand  any further what i've already expressed about my word choices...

different people use/don't use different words to communicate....i think we can agree on that.
Sure thing, maybe I'm just overly curious.