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Life is Competition... or Cooperation?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Quintessence, Apr 18, 2019.

?
  1. ... competitive endeavor

    3 vote(s)
    15.0%
  2. ... cooperative endeavor

    17 vote(s)
    85.0%
  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I tend to see the day-to-day aspects of life being directed towards cooperation. One of the meanings I get from life is when I am able to help someone else.

    That said, biologically, the main emphasis tends to be towards competition. The question then becomes one of use of limited resources by several different species. This tends to be competitive, even if not directly violent.
     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Haha... this brings up some good thoughts about how social hierarchies can impact how we see things, right? Hierarchical models tend to lend themselves to thinking about things as a competition. If someone is "the boss" that means they have "won" something over you. Power, at the very least. Though not all bosses act that way. Not all organizations need to use hierarchy to get things done, but it is very common in my country.

    Hmm. Did I win anything by becoming forum admin? I think I won a lot of headaches...
     
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  3. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    I can relate to that. Years ago, I used to be really into video games and I am sure I had my fair share of obnoxious outbursts. Now, I play for fun and I find these kinds of folks amusing, really.
     
  4. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    It's a little of both
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    Then I can't play.

    To me the OP reads like, "Water is ice...or steam?"
     
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  6. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Forced dichotomies that don't exist are pointless to try and answer.

    However, let me point out that you question only whether "Life" (not any specific kind of life, or species, or whatever, is competitive or cooperative. There can be no answer to that questions. Life simply is, it exists. Now, if you'd like to be more specific...
     
  7. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    No. You're becoming me.
     
  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Perhaps we should first define "life".


    Then we have to understand what we see in nature, both in humans and other living things to see if their existence is dependent on competition or cooperation.....its apparently a bit of both, but in balance.

    I see incredible co-operation in nature in so many ways. Interactions that benefit both parties with perfect symbiosis. But that is balanced by the competition in nature that sees to it that only the best genes are passed to the next generation.....so competition with a good outcome.

    Then I look at humans and often see exactly the opposite.....humans cannot do either in a balanced way....so what is wrong with this picture?

    I was thinking about life in general, which includes the other lives that share this planet and even those that share my body. I am never alone apparently because I have bacteria living on my skin and in my gut that keep me healthy and are very necessary for my ongoing health, as long as they are not decimated by human intervention.


    It appears to me that humans are the greatest threat to every life form on this planet, including their own.
    We are supposed to be the most intelligent but we always seem to be looking to circumvent nature by interfering with it in some way. Money is usually the motivation. Greed turns intelligent people into short sighted monsters.

    I do not trust men of science because I see how easily they are bought.
    I do not trust men of religion who wear their hypocrisy like a badge of honor.
    I do not trust politicians because they always fail to fulfill their promises.
    I do not trust the big corporations because they are the ones who usually dangle the carrots.

    So who is there left to trust.....God. The Creator of life knows how best to live it....so I follow his advice and I am never disappointed.
     
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  9. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Then it's inaccurate as throughout the animal kingdom social animals are mostly cooperative but there is competition. And then there are solitary animals, which are mostly competitive but with some cooperation here and there.
     
  10. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Both: without competition there is no innovation from the neoclassical economics view point: however, optimisation is attained from cooperation.
    There is one humanity that the political idealogy needs to take into account in a balancing act between competition and cooperation.
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    No, clearly you're becoming me.
    Pbbbtttt!


    Gawd, I'm so clever.
     
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  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    See - Life is Competition... or Cooperation? - as you misunderstand the intent of the question.

    As for being more specific, it is up to you to get more specific. The question is intended to get you thinking about your thoughts on these things, not for me to do the thinking for you. :D
     
  13. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    To me, the evidence suggests that it's both cooperation and competition. When we study our closest relatives, the chimps, we see both at play with them as well.
     
  14. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    That's really interesting, as we've had others in this thread remark humans are mainly cooperative while it's other organisms that are competitive. Why do you think you reach a different conclusion? Have you had a lot of conflicts and competition in your life or seen that a lot in those of other humans?



    This is always so cool whenever I think about it! In biology we usually think of ecosystems on the scale that is relevant to human interactions with the environment but technically our own bodies are ecosystems for the bacteria that call us home. Somehow, it all mostly gets along without killing us. Perhaps that life is able to be a thing at all is indicative of it being more cooperative than competitive? If life was uber competitive, would it drive itself to mutual extinction?
     
  15. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I couldn't select both so didnt select just one. Life is both, cooperation with friends, team, groups, neighbours etc.

    Then their is competition for resources, for better paid employment, the best seat on the bus etc
     
  16. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    I did think, and the fact is your question is too broad to make sense. Life is a process, and life also takes an enormous number of radically different forms. There are forms that do nothing but compete, and never cooperate, and there are forms that cooperate extensively. It is no simple feat to compare a yeast colony to an ant colony, yet both are colonies of living things. Nor is it easy to compare a purely parasitic animal, that simply feeds off its host, and a honey bee, which in return for nectar provides "sexual services" to help pollinate.

    However, all living things depend on energy to keep them going, and raw materials out of which to grown and repair themselves, and that energy and those resources are finite here on earth. As a result, there will always be competition for them. Still, in the competition for resources, many species are "social" and cooperate among themselves, and would not survive if they did not. There are even various inter-species examples of cooperation...just for example the pistol shrimp and a gobi that acts as its "seeing-eye" support fish. The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp — Pet Central by Chewy

    So as I said, the question is simply too big to expect some sort of definitive answer in a short post online. In fact, I think that the question itself is in a way ill-formed, in that it tries to compare a process to that which is not process. (An ill-formed question is something like "how much does Thursday weigh?)
     
  17. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Apart from my own experiences, mostly I have observed the activities, attitudes and mindsets of people around me in different settings. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have had the opportunity to personally talk to people from all walks of life, where they live, because we call on people at their homes.

    Some have had to endure ongoing issues with domestic problems, financial issues, health problems and many have to deal with all of them. It seems to me that the only ones who get help are those who can afford it. Money drives everything that humans do by and large. I see that as financially motivated cooperation which is totally the wrong reason to help people, or not to help them. If you love the money and not the people, then it accomplishes little good in any ongoing way.

    Competing for a place in society is a daily battle for many. It isn't a level playing field, so a lot of people admit defeat and just give up trying. Birds of a feather gather in places where they don't feel out of place, and this sometimes results in some cooperation but not always because the poor sometimes steal from one another and this divides people even more. No one feels secure...very few experience peace in their lives.

    The rich, even though they are still affected by these issues, at least have the resources to try to combat them....and they often cooperate to protect their assets from those who might want to steal from them.

    "The love of money is the root of all evil" appears to be true in all cultures and ages. Human nature is selfish and this stifles cooperation and induces a pernicious competition.


    Appreciating the workings of our our own body, our place in our family and in our local environment, in our own nation and in the world and the wider universe, is important. It is humbling to consider how precious life is and how cooperation can make life so much more pleasant. But for many, this is never experienced.

    Too many people focus on just themselves....what's good for them, and they give little thought to others and what they may be dealing with. They don't consider how their actions and attitudes impact on others or even how their consumption of goods, produced to merely make a profit without regard for its impact on the planet, can result in choking the environment with our wants and greed.

    So again "do to others as you would like them to do for you" is great advice. Imagine if everyone did that ?!

    Correctly motivated cooperation would be wonderful, but the reality is that competition is driving a "dog eat dog" mentality that forces the individual to see themselves as either cogs in the machine...or drivers....those positions only granted in competition with others.

    The way the world is going, real and present dangers are fated to drive us to eliminate ourselves from existence. I think we are all seeing it, and don't want to admit that it might already be too late.

    Social manipulation does not allow anyone to make a real difference. Action to halt man's selfish ways, is always years away. Nothing must threaten the "cash cow".

    Without God and his action plan for the future, I would see point in my life continuing with such hopelessness. If this is all there is, then I would rather not be a part of it....or subject to it.
     
  18. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

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    I'm inclined to believe life is a cooperative endeavor, even in perspective of predation, because more species on the whole appear to cooperate (symbiosis included), as opposed to a single type of organism designed to hunt all.
     
  19. Flame

    Flame Heretic Astartes

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    Cooperation within the "tribe", competition with other "tribes".
     
  20. atanu

    atanu Member
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    The Three Needs Theory of David McClelland explains how the needs for achievement, power, and affiliation affect the actions of people.

    Similarly, if one operates under materialistic and ego centric paradigm, the following principle should apply (irrespective of what most people would claim).

    From the gene-centred view, it follows that the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other.

    (From The Selfish Gene of Richard Dawkins).

    Cooperation will thus be favoured only among family or constituted team members. Otherwise, imo, competition will prevail.

    In contrast, true religious followers are likely to endeavour to follow the teaching “Love your neighbour”. Even in this case, the Selfish Gene will likely overturn the altruism more often.

    ....

    I personally have come to believe that individual ego is only an apparent reality. The ultimate reality, in my understanding, is non dual. So, I strive for the cooperative mode (but I fail often).
     
    #40 atanu, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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