Social Question

josie's avatar

This is NOT a sports question. What is the difference between a "winner" and a "loser"?

Asked by josie (27865points) February 12th, 2010

Assuming that there is no such thing as a born loser, why isn’t everybody trying to be a “winner”?

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24 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because some people care about more than whether they’re winning or losing – because some of us care that others are losing in what they don’t have and we find that to be unfair.

jfos's avatar

This question makes me think: survival of the fittest. In that case, “winning” would be grouped together with an individual with good survival skills who has good chances of surviving, reproducing, and making sure the offspring has an accomodating environment.

nikipedia's avatar

Sure seems to depend on how you define “winner.”

marinelife's avatar

Winner and loser in life are defined by the individual. Sometimes the individual tries to impose those definitions on society, but they can only succeed if people let them.

I define a winner as someone who goes through life using the golden rule as guidance.

ucme's avatar

My definition would be that a winner sets out to achieve certain goals in life.Whether they are succesful in that is largely irrelevant at least they tried.Wheras a loser is someone who has no goals or drive to better themselves & essentially suffers their lot in life, accepts defeat.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I have never stood in anybody’s way. I have never interferred with anybody trying to achieve whatever they could. What is unfair about that?

Snarp's avatar

Somebody has to lose.

Shae's avatar

You decide how the world sees you. If you think you are failure everyone will agree.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie did I say you, specifically?

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The question is rhetorical. Your implication is that certain outcomes in life are not fair. The premise is not correct. Human beings existed and survived and thrived long before they discovered the concept “fair”. Life simply is what it is. If I get struck by lightning, is that fair? The question has no meaning, the concept does not apply. But in any case, since you did not mention me specifically, then may I conclude that you really don’t disagree that much when I say that enslavement by the government is not the same as virtuous charity?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie so many big words, so little articulation or clarity
If your question is rhetorical, then why question its answer? Certain outcomes in life aren’t fair because people don’t have a level playing field. I do agree with you that life is what it is but it doesn’t have to be what it is.

Our government doesn’t enslave us, nor does it provide virtuous charity. Of course since you are speaking rhetorically, then it doesn’t apply to our government, does it?

jfos's avatar

@josie Respectfully, it seems that… according to your logic in the previous post, then there would neither be “winners” or “losers”. Since ”life simply is what it is”, then people are just people, right?

Bluefreedom's avatar

A winner comes in first place and a loser comes in second place. It’s just nicer to say they are the ‘runner up’, though, as opposed to the ‘loser’.

Snarp's avatar

@josie Human beings existed and survived long before they discovered the concept that it is wrong to kill, or to rape. Why does a concept not matter because it didn’t exist in primitive man if we are talking about modern humans?

stratman37's avatar

Attitude, attitude, attitude!

Just_Justine's avatar

winning or losing are relative. A man in a hut with his own generator may be the biggest winner in life, in my eyes.

wundayatta's avatar

Interesting question. Winning only makes sense when it is a zero sum game. I.e., there can only be one person who wins, such as in an election.

The problem is that people take this zero-sum game mentality and try to apply it all over the place. In fact, there are very few zero sum games. I guess the most important one is whether you pass your genes on or not. There can only be one male who does that.

However, when you look at all females of a species, then there are many opportunities, and so if you don’t get one particular female pregnant, there are opportunities to get many others pregnant.

Winning, then, is largely a social construct. It is relative to a cultural frame of reference. If it’s a game—an artificial situation, then we can declare winners and loser. But as I said, we try to apply those terms to other things, and it doesn’t really work. Remember Iran? Where the US won the war but lost the peace?

The real issue is whether you achieve your objectives or not. However, “objective” is a very squishy term and it can be easy to fudge things one way or another to say you reached it or not. Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier to tell everyone the US had won.

Winning and losing are psychological concepts, then. They are what we say when we do or don’t meet our objectives.

@Shae That has not been my experience. I spent a couple of years trying to convince people I was a failure, and I lost that battle.

@Snarp Of course I disagree with you, for reasons explained above. There are really very few situations in life where you “have to” lose.

Jeruba's avatar

Some of us just don’t see things in competitive terms.

Cruiser's avatar

A winner knows how to win and the reasons for their losing at whatever they attempted. A loser only knows that they didn’t win and are usually bitter about it.

thriftymaid's avatar

Like it or not, this is a sports question.

Snarp's avatar

@wundayatta Well I though about writing something more complex than that single line. Something along the lines of if someone wins, someone else must lose. Take away the winners and there aren’t losers anymore, but if you have a competition that someone can win, someone else must lose.

josie's avatar

@jfos Maybe so. That is why I asked the question. I just like the to see the answers
@thriftymaid Maybe you are correct at that

stratman37's avatar

Second place is the first loser!

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