Gambling: A natural or artificial behaviour?

by | Feb 14, 2020 | Education Feature

Is gambling a natural behaviour, or is it a man-made vice derived from greed? Opinions may vary, but facts never lie. The conclusion, though, is up to you to make.

The global gambling market is massive. With an estimated revenue of over $500 billion, gambling is truly our species favourite pastime. The question remains as to why it’s so popular.  What is the driving mechanism that makes us invest so much money? Is it a natural drive or un-natural behaviour?

Suggestions that it’s artificial

Most people seem to think it’s natural and okay behaviour. A professor of Christian Ethics at Baylor University argues that 28% of Americans find gambling morally wrong. That’s slightly more than 1 out of 4 people who see gambling in a negative light. Perhaps the other 3 enjoy either betting, poker, scratch cards, or lotteries, no one knows. What we do know, though, is that gambling is addictive. Several studies have concluded that gambling releases Dopamine, very much in the same way as Cocaine according to research.

These facts suggest that gambling is indeed a man-made vice derived from greed. In an industry with such a revenue flow, it’s rather likely that the system is set up to keep us gambling our money away without much interference. Most of us in society seem to be alright with it anyway, so who cares?

Suggestions that it’s natural

Looking back through the history of the topic, we might get a different view. From a historical perspective, we’ve probably gambled since the dawn of man. Some evidence suggests that the history of gambling dates as far back as 40 000 years. This evidence can easily be swept under the rug, as there are no other universally approved evidence dating that far back in time. There’s not much out there about pre-history, i.e. something dating back to before the last Ice Age some 12 000 years ago. Except for Gobleki Tepe, Out of Place Artifacts, and perhaps even the Sphinx judging by the water erosion on and around it.

Although, in more recent times than our pre-history, we know that the Egyptians were avid gamblers and so were the Romans. There’s even solid evidence dating as far back as to the time of the Babylonians. Perhaps the behaviour is so ancient that it’s in our genome? Modern gambling certainly suggests so. With the emergence of casinos online, it’s easier than ever to indulge the vice. And, as it appears, we also gamble more than ever.

If you are to indulge in any vice, all of the sciences dictates that you out to be as safe as you can. Read up on whatever the topic is. Take precautionary measures. Some people are natural risk-takers, others prefer the safety of recommended and pre-approved sources.

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