New “Human Nature” category

Everyone is invited to comment on the two questions in this category:

1. What are your adult experiences with human nature–Are we basically generous or selfish?

2. What are your experiences moving from the idealism of youth to the practicality of middle- and old-age (45-90)?

The “Human Nature” category is a philosophical forum for discussing adult life experiences related to those two questions.  I remember marijuana-inspired discussions of these questions during St. Norbert College dorm sessions and weekend visits to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1970s. Some of us argued that the turmoil of the sixties and seventies was permanently revolutionizing American society–moving it from materialism to a kind of spiritualism.  Others argued that we were fooling ourselves. We we would join the American rat-race as soon as we entered the workforce, and we would be just as materialistic as our parents.

Both arguments were related to our beliefs about human nature. Are humans fundamentally generous or selfish? Do we possess a spirit of generosity within us (like the nurturing instinct of a mother/father), or is it our nature to be selfish, so generous acts go against our basic human nature?

The first two posts in this category are examples of how others have addressed these questions.

Please respond by clicking “Comment.”


#1 Mark J Steger on 08.04.18 at 3:56 pm

Speaking of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1970s, at the time Paul Soglin was a student activist who rode a wave of youth votes in 1972 (the first in which 18 year olds could vote) to victory in the mayor’s race, beating a Nixon-like incumbent. Heady times. Believe it or not, today in 2018, Paul Soglin is again mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and is running for governor of Wisconsin. Two contrary lessons:
1. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
2. Don’t ever give up.
In my opinion, the second lesson is more important.

#2 casey on 08.04.18 at 9:04 pm

When I saw the headline for the Soglin run for office, I thought I was in a time machine that dialed me back to the 1970s.

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