We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“We learned from these experiments that an individual will intentionally seek out an aggressive encounter solely because they experience a rewarding sensation from it,” Kennedy said. “This shows for the first time that aggression, on its own, is motivating, and that the well-known positive reinforcer dopamine plays a critical role.”
I cannot speak about mice, but every psychiatrist - and every person - knows that this is a fact for human beings. Freud, who thought harder about these things than most people, found it necessary to hypothesize a "death instinct":"an urge inherent in all organic life to restore an earlier state of things" (SE 18:36). It is a drive towards destruction. He could not make sense of human behavior and human thoughts without it.
Indeed, Freud mocked critics of that instinct theory as “…little children [who] do not like it when there is talk of the human inclination to ‘badness’…”.
The trick to a sane life is to keep all of these "instincts" on a tight-enough leash that they do not senselessly destroy one's life. Ideally, our conscience does that job for us, to help maintain our self-respect, if not the respect of others.
What if humans used to be more like bonobos but now they're more like chimps? Or maybe God made human temperament span to be wider than both bonobos and chimps, explaining all the "lovers" and the "fighters" in the world?
Alright, how about this one:
Asia has bred more philosophers and artists because it was only the warrior types who fought and died, becoming unable to pass on their genes.
But Europe bred more warrior types because the culture was that everybody had to fight, and the most fittest warriors survived to pass on their genes.
Just stirrin' the pot is all. Carry on.
"Ideally, our conscience does that job for us, to help maintain our self-respect, if not the respect of others."
And it helps us stay as acceptable members of the tribe.
I wonder if the 'aggression' is another form of an inherent desire for justice at all costs. That can be powerfully motivating enough to turn a reasonable human aggressive.
"Death instinct" seems to me to prejudge the simple pleasure of aggression, which is something else entirely. One might also ask what useful purpose it serves, for there is bound to be a touch of social success in there somewhere. Heck, if you want 30% of the population* of certain countries to bear your genes, then the aggression of a Temüjin is probably essential.
*The highest frequency of haplotypes from the cluster of the Genghis Khan's descendants was found in Mongols (34.8%). In Russia, this cluster was found in Altaian Kazakhs (8.3%), Altaians (3.4%), Buryats (2.3%), Tyvans (1.9%), and Kalmyks (1.7%).
I believe there is also a high percentage, around 30%, in the Afghan population.
The Iraqi death instinct (Shia vs Sunni) is said to have it’s origins in ideology. Maybe. But I say Shia really began to hate Sunni when Hugalu took Baghdad after Sunni abandoned Shia to defend their once great city, alone.
Hatred dates back to the killing of Hussein, son of Caliph Ali, and grandson of Muhammad.
It's a ideological-political schism continuing to this day.
Hatred goes farther back than that, Leag. My tribe was walking up-right out of Africa and one of the sisters decided to stay in the trees. We hated her for the ideological-geological-anthropological-paleontology-religiology schism we knew she would create.
What I meant was the Sunni-Shia schism has as much or more to do with the secular and material than the ideological or spiritual. Once you get the old hate engine spooled up, fighting folks forget what the original argument was – Freuds "badness" takes over.
How many females were involved in this research? Or, was it like so many studies, male centered, leaving out the statistical input of fully half the human race?