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In liberal democracies, basically, people don't need to fear getting killed at any moment, being put arbitrary in prison, or dying in misery. They, basically, can follow their personal path as they wish.

Being fair (being committed to truth and justice) and seeking happiness for themselves and others is amply sufficient to having a good life and making a difference. See the research by Anderson and Keltner.

So they don't need to desperately achieve status as a means to get safety and resources.

But it seems people are still so much seeking status, as if it were a question of life and death, like in the jungle for instance, in a machiavellian manner (using charisma, inflating their achievements, buying goods they can't afford to appear more successful, perpetuating power struggles by gossiping, etc. See social media).

This prompts other people to act in the same way, creating a vicious circle.

Why is it so?

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    kind of a sociological question maybe? what causes people to value status over internal or personal goods. a lot of it is probably a form in psychological insecurity about who we are
    – user67675
    Sep 19, 2023 at 10:57
  • "This prompts other people to act in the same way, creating a vicious circle. Why is it so?" - The first sentence seems to answer the question.
    – tkruse
    Sep 19, 2023 at 14:07
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    The real question seems to be: Why don't humans in civilization not collectively drop the status-seeking behavior and thus take the pressure out of things. The simple answer is: Maybe they do. The status-seeking behavior is very diminished and by majority people are happy to accept a certain social status and not aggressively push for higher status.
    – tkruse
    Sep 19, 2023 at 14:12
  • high status individuals get what they want more easily... hence are happier. argee with @tkruse i think
    – user67675
    Sep 20, 2023 at 15:20
  • What evidence do you have that people are "seeking status instead of simply fairness and happiness" in general? And is it not a false dichotomy? Sep 21, 2023 at 12:46

2 Answers 2

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I think the flaw is in the top line.

In liberal democracies, basically, people don't need to fear getting killed at any moment, being put arbitrary in prison, or dying in misery. They, basically, can follow their personal path as they wish.

I certainly fear all those three things at any hour of the day, and though that may be my own mental state, I’m fairly certain that in any political system or society in general, no one is safe and fear drives a lot of action. A total lack of fear is probably impossible, and I don’t care. Fear helps you take rational actions. The thing is, people don’t want to be in positions of fear at all times. They seek high position so that their existence will be more valued to others, and therefore they will be safer because more people care that they stay existing. Sadly, this also draws more attention to you and creates new fears… Doesn’t look good for those that think higher status means higher safety :(

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  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 21, 2023 at 18:01
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Males are primarily the ones seeking wealth and status. The primary reasons are security, privilege and mating rights. When a civilization abandons God, the people substitute wealth for security, consumerism for happiness, sex for love, privilege for self-worth, flashing lights, alcohol and excitment for fun.

The primary aim becomes one's self. Confort for the body, satiation of the primal drives, wealth and image; and beauty that is a mirage for emptiness and evil. The people rebel against common sense.

And the cycle continues.

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    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 20, 2023 at 4:39
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    This answer starts with a baseless sexist claim, and becomes worse from there. "Abandons god"? Which of the many possible gods is it, and why is this a god that needs human caretakers like a delicate flower? None of this answer fits onto a philosophy site. Try a religious forum if you want to discuss your personal beliefs.
    – tkruse
    Sep 21, 2023 at 5:24
  • Philosophy is the search for truth, not a politically correct exercize in which ideas have to conform to a liberal advocacy template, and respect for beliefs is not reciprocal. Why belabor what is intuitively obvious to even the most caual observer. The request for citations in a philosophy board does nothing but prevent progress, because all new knowledge begins in philosophy. If you take even a moment to examine my prose with an objective mind, instead of knee-jerk reactions based on your own beliefs, you will reach understanding. I accept anyone's bel8efs who accept mine.
    – Brian
    Sep 22, 2023 at 17:58

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