TED Conversations

Austin Lau

This conversation is closed.

Is man more aggressive than animals?

As we all know, some animals, such as tigers, lions, snakes are aggressive, but are man more aggressive than animals? In my opnion, some animals are aggressive because of their instincs. But for man, robbery, killing, war... How to explain? Still instincs? I don't think so.

Share:
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      May 8 2013: .
      .
      Yes!
      All crimes come from "greed".


      Where "greed" comes from ?
      From "money" !
      .
      • thumb
        May 10 2013: I would argue that animals can be greedy. Think of the fat cat swatting at the younger cat trying to indulge in the food bowl. Sure it could be considered an instinct, but also consider Chimps in their gang mentality and how obsessed they become with status and the aggressive measure they take when nothing is infringed upon them.
        • thumb
          May 11 2013: .
          Yes!
          Animals can.

          Humans can not.
          They have to rely on symbiosis to survive.
  • thumb
    May 14 2013: G'day Austin

    We are aggressively different because our motives are different but I wouldn't say we are more aggressive, more destructive yes but not necessarily more aggressive.

    Love
    Mathew
  • May 10 2013: Hey Austin!
    This reminds me of a quote by Jonas Salk, that Sir Ken Robinson quoted in his presentation "Schools are Killing Creativity":

    “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”

    We represent the end of the food chain, but our need to survive now has very little to do with our biological needs. Sure, we know we have to eat, but when it comes to the newest gadget or car or *fill in anything of material value here*, that is where greed comes into the picture and aggression.

    I was a kid in the 80's, when the 'Cabbage Patch Kid' hype was nothing short of out of control. I remember being in a department store with my parents one afternoon, when I heard an enormous ruckus that frightened me to my core. Then, I saw in the toy department, where the noise was coming from. Apparently, a new shipment of 'Cabbage Patch Kids' had arrived and about fifty people - adults, not children - were literally exchanging blows to get their hands on one of these things. I remember the fear, and that I wanted to run away. And this was happening on a national scale:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sOlIvx7Pvs

    Aggression at this level, that has nothing to do with our basic need for survival, is perhaps now more subtle?
  • May 10 2013: men are more agressive
  • May 9 2013: Man gets corrupted and violent because of SELF INTEREST. Robberies, killings, wars....behind all these things are individual and groups self interests. Every religion teaches man to desist from those self interests which are fulfilled at the cost of others' self interests.
  • May 9 2013: No you have convinced me It's worse than that.
  • May 8 2013: I am a wildlife artist and have studied animals all my life, which includes all their many facets, and I can assure you- any animal can be aggressive for various reasons, but humans go a step further by being greedy.
    Aggressiveness is only a small part of instinct- a very small part.
    Humans are greedy while other animals aren't, hence wars etc.
    Humans have lost many instincts that other animals possess. We have to track by foot prints while other animals track my smell & sight.
    Animals are not aggressive when they hunt, they are focused & hungry. They don't dislike what they hunt they are just getting food. The only other animal that hunts like a human is a chimp. And we all know how close our DNA is to chimps. And chimps only do this when a leopard is near. They set out in a group and hunt the leopard down with clubs cause they know how to hate.
  • May 8 2013: men are more aggressive.
    animals do not have greed meaning they stop being agressive when they are satisfied
    but men have endlss greed meanng no end to their satisfaction and thus no end to their agressiveness
  • May 8 2013: Greed is a problem, but hunger increases it. in fact, as I continue - they seem related.
    • May 8 2013: Agreed, George. As Bob Marley once sang:
      "Them belly full, but we hungry;
      A hungry mob is a angry mob."

      If aggression is motivated by hunger, people will go to more extreme means to fill their bellies than animals. People are psychological. They will manipulate, lie and deceive to survive.
  • thumb
    May 8 2013: Hi Austin,

    Did you mean "more aggressive than OTHER animals?", We cannot forget the fact that we, too, belong to the animal kingdom and share many traits (including aggressiveness) with other species.

    Based on what i have learned, I share the opinion that the human brain is a complex organ that works most of the time autonomously, outside of the control of what we consider "us" (namely, our consciousness). Under this view, humans do not differ from other animals because "they are driven by reason, while they are driven by instincts".

    We are as driven by instincts as other animals, and there seems to be some level of consciousness (of course, not as developed as ours) in other species.

    Some research has found that certain genes, that manifest in slightly different brain physiology, make some humans more or less able to control the instinctive aggressiveness that lives within all of us.

    My hope is that as we learn more how is it that the brain performs the delicate balance between subconscious drives and conscious control of behavior, we will be able to help reduce the effects of our aggressiveness and will be better equipped to teach our children how to deal with it too

    cheers
  • May 7 2013: Who said these animals are aggressive?
    I've never seen an aggressive animal before, I have been told that there are aggressive animals, but that doesn't make it true.
    You have to ask yourself, what's aggression? Because a lion, as well as any other animal's main concern is food, and property protection. I don't think that hunting for prey, and protecting your pack makes an animal titled aggressive, in fact even watching discovery or animal planet films and shows, all of the animals seem pretty laid back to me.
    If you wanna talk about animals attacking when they're being enslaved, whipped, and put in cages to be stared at, well, what would you do if that was done to you?
    I get aggressive when Im hungry, I get aggressive when protecting my pack and property, but I'm a pretty laid back person.
    About the whole human aggressive thing, we're greedier than animals. No one wants simple, everyone wants bigger, better, and faster, because we have been conditioned through media, sales, and people around us, that that's what life is about. We still have some humane humans on earth though, but they're so simple they don't get attention or recognition for us to be aware of their lifestyle and how healthy it is. Nope, just focus on the people who want more, to show people to buy and use more.
    And because people feel the need to always have more, the killing, stealing, cheating come into play. Especially in terms of money, it's sickening what people will do for meaningless pieces of paper that kill our trees. But unfortunately, we've been conditioned to believe that's what we need to survive, so we retrieve it by any means. And well all these mental illnesses, I don't know any animals with as many mental illnesses as humans have, makes you wonder where they come from.
    And humans don't have instincts, unfortunately, we just have reflexes.
  • thumb
    May 7 2013: I don't think we are the most aggressive animals on the planet. Some animals will kill if even threatened at the slightest. However, sometimes the way we carry out our aggression is abhorrent.