Humans have no instincts?

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Thoth's World
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#1
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Is this statement true, I was studying sociology and they claim that human have no instincts. But wouldn't biological drives (Sleep, Hunger, thirst) be instinct? and do we not have animal instincts within us e.g kill or be killed?
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Doctor_Einstein
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(Original post by Troytheboy)
Is this statement true, I was studying sociology and they claim that human have no instincts. But wouldn't biological drives (Sleep, Hunger, thirst) be instinct? and do we not have animal instincts within us e.g kill or be killed?
Of course we have instincts. Pretty sure no rational scientist believes otherwise - and no, sociology isn't a science.
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Munrot07
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Of course we do. There is no argument anyone could give to say we don't that has any scientific basis.
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Thoth's World
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(Original post by Doctor_Einstein)
Of course we have instincts. Pretty sure no rational scientist believes otherwise - and no, sociology isn't a science.
I thought we do, they state, since humans have no instinct their behaviour is regulated by norms and values. ( Norms are guidelines of conduct in certain situations, which defines acceptable behaviour. It can be reinforced by positive sanctions or negative sanctions and values are things we see as desirable and worth striving for such as, our lives in British culture, which is why we have food regulations, and laws for driving safely)

Is this a proven fact we have instincts? and what ones do we have?
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Doctor_Einstein
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(Original post by Troytheboy)
I thought we do, they state, since humans have no instinct their behaviour is regulated by norms and values. ( Norms are guidelines of conduct in certain situations, which defines acceptable behaviour. It can be reinforced by positive sanctions or negative sanctions and values are things we see as desirable and worth striving for such as, our lives in British culture, which is why we have food regulations, and laws for driving safely)

Is this a proven fact we have instincts? and what ones do we have?
Our instincts drive our desires, and social norms are in place so that we can achieve our desires in a civilized way.

For example, it may be instinct for two guys to want to bed the same chick, and our social norms attempt to prevent the guys from physically fighting over her, but allow them to compete for her in a civilized way through courtship etc.

Some examples of instincts would include:
- Eating when hungry
- Desire to have sex
- Desire to compete when challenged
- Fight of flight response
And most importantly the desire to stay alive.
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(Original post by Doctor_Einstein)
Our instincts drive our desires, and social norms are in place so that we can achieve our desires in a civilized way.

For example, it may be instinct for two guys to want to bed the same chick, and our social norms attempt to prevent the guys from physically fighting over her, but allow them to compete for her in a civilized way through courtship etc.

Some examples of instincts would include:
- Desire for food and water
- Desire to communicate with other human beings
- Desire to find a mate and procreate
- Women's desire to have children
- Desire to compete
- Fight of flight response
Siding with sociology, could you not say these behaviours were once learned? E.g fight or flight could have been learnt from our ancestors, they may have been oblivious about fighting or flighting the first time they went to fight, then learnt to run if they could not take on the opponent. I understand it's a weak argument but I am researching why they believe we have no instincts and this is one of the points they make.
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Doctor_Einstein
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(Original post by Troytheboy)
Siding with sociology, could you not say these behaviours were once learned? E.g fight or flight could have been learnt from our ancestors, they may have been oblivious about fighting or flighting the first time they went to fight, then learnt to run if they could not take on the opponent. I understand it's a weak argument but I am researching why they believe we have no instincts and this is one of the points they make.
The fight or flight response is ingrained into the structure of our nervous system.

The nervous system is divided into a sympathetic division and parasympathetic division. The sympathetic nervous system is activated during the so called "fight or flight" response and the neurons in this system are linked to all the right areas to generate the response.

E.g. The sympathetic system which stimulates the adrenal glands producing an adrenaline rush inducing anxiety and heightened awareness also innervates eyes causing pupils to dilate (to increase ability to view a threat), innervates the heart causing increased heart rate to supply oxygen to muscles that will be soon worked, dilates the bronchioles in the lung, and causes blood vessels near muscles to dilate etc.

All of the sympathetic nervous system branches from the "sympathetic trunk" which lies to the side of the thoracic region of the spinal cord.

The parasympathetic nervous system which counter acts this response comes from the sacral region of the spinal cord and the brain stem.

So in summary, the fight or flight response is a biological, uncontrollable response to threatening stimuli that is not learned, and is hardwired into our bodies.
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Thoth's World
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(Original post by Doctor_Einstein)
The fight or flight response is ingrained into the structure of our nervous system.

The nervous system is divided into a sympathetic division and parasympathetic division. The sympathetic nervous system is activated during the so called "fight or flight" response and the neurons in this system are linked to all the right areas to generate the response.

E.g. The sympathetic system which stimulates the adrenal glands producing an adrenaline rush inducing anxiety and heightened awareness also innervates eyes causing pupils to dilate (to increase ability to view a threat), innervates the heart causing increased heart rate to supply oxygen to muscles that will be soon worked, dilates the bronchioles in the lung, and causes blood vessels near muscles to dilate etc.

All of the sympathetic nervous system branches from the "sympathetic trunk" which lies to the side of the thoracic region of the spinal cord.

The parasympathetic nervous system which counter acts this response comes from the sacral region of the spinal cord and the brain stem.

So in summary, the fight or flight response is a biological, uncontrollable response to threatening stimuli that is not learned, and is hardwired into our bodies.
That was interesting. Thank you you eliminated my thoughts of doubt haha
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Doctor_Einstein
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(Original post by Troytheboy)
That was interesting. Thank you you eliminated my thoughts of doubt haha
No worries, I found it very interesting when I first learnt about it also.
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