• Benj96
    1.3k
    Suppose a hypothetical experiment (albeit an unethical one but let's go with it as a thought experiment) where there are two groups of people in two large separate domes.

    The domes each have a habitat and are only say 30km in diameter - easily walkable in one day. One dome is full of abundance, a beautiful climate, delicious food, entertainment, a feast for the senses. Paradise.

    The other is the opposite. Hell. It is a hostile environment with limited resources and dangers abound everywhere. Every day is a struggle to survive.

    Both domes are opaque and soundproof, nothing is known of the "beyond" outside. However the domes are not impenetrable and can be escaped given the right methods - through trial and error, a dedicated effort.

    Which group if either do you believe are most likely to try to "break free".

    On one hand the paradise citizens have the time to relax, think, wonder and be curious about their world, but they also have all their needs met just where they are, they may not have motivation.

    The other group are desperate to improve their situation and may have the motivation to risk escape, however they likely lack the time to think beyond mere survival, may be uncooperative and distrusting of one another.

    Thoughts?
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    Which group if either do you believe are most likely to try to "break free".Benj96

    You don't need a far-fetched thought experiment to get your answer. Just look at the world. People leave places where they are suffering from starvation, oppression and poverty to go to places they think will be better all the time. For examples see the US's southern border, the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Mediterranean Sea between northern Africa and Europe.
  • introbert
    182
    Both are just as likely to break free. Despite the conditions inside, another factor such as curiosity will enter the equation. The question should not be about likelihood which is certain in both cases but a simple bet on which group will meet the challenge first. The hell dome group is the natural underdog in the contest, but they are possibly more motivated.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    . For examples see the US's southern border, the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Mediterranean Sea between northern Africa and EuropeT Clark

    Yes granted they do but the point of the experiment is there is no information about what's outside the dome. In your case they are fed the "American dream" or other propaganda, heresay and media about the 0lave they are trying to get to.

    In my case what's outside the dome could just as easily be a void or abyss (akin to the one that sailors in the age of exploration believed to be out to sea) from which to fall off or it could be some grand potential for other lives akin to when we look up at the night sky and wonder what could be out there.
    The total ignorance amplifies the risk benefit ratio

    So the thought experiment is not far fetched but carefully thought out with exacting parameters
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Both are just as likely to break free. Despite the conditions inside, another factor such as curiosity will enter the equationintrobert

    I find this an interesting tale and I too am inclined to believe that both groups will certainly try to explore beyond the domes. Their reasons or motivation may be different but I think it's fundamental to human nature to push boundaries as far as we can in a search to fill gaps in our knowledge
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    So the thought experiment is not far fetched but carefully thought out with exacting parametersBenj96

    Can you think of any realistic or relevant real-world scenario that would be analogous to your thought experiment? I can't.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    The scenario would be interesting if penetrating the domes meant death for everyone, like if they were under the sea.

    Would those in the hell dome be less cautious with respect to getting out and what possible mechanisms would be available for them to infer the real risk of breaking the dome.

    The parameters are not given. Just changing a few variables might demonstrate drastic differences between experiments. For example: What is it like outside of the dome? What if both domes have plenty of explosives laying around?

    Sounds like a concept for a new edition of Sim City.
  • introbert
    182
    I can think of symbolically related scenarios. The whole scientific promethius of so called advanced societies are breaking a hole through the dome of each paradigm the newest technology shifts. The societies that live in hell scarcely are able to shatter their dome at all.

    This idea immediately immersed me in imagination thinking of a possible short story about a future colony on mars that is enclosed in an opaque dome. The colony is a symbol of scientific, empirical curiosity but after a few generations despite the scientific advancements the colonists have lost the plot with all the history of their settlement irretrievable in corrupted computer files. The story ends when the insatiable scientific curiosity of the colonists leads them to penetrate the dome to see what is beyond.
  • Hanover
    9.1k
    You don't need a far-fetched thought experiment to get your answer. Just look at the world. People leave places where they are suffering from starvation, oppression and poverty to go to places they think will be better all the time. For examples see the US's southern border, the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Mediterranean Sea between northern Africa and Europe.T Clark

    Except in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and in 1969 Armstrong took a giant step for mankind, and then he sang "What a Wonderful World" and then he won the Tour de France and then the whole doping thing.

    Back from my ADD diversion, what I'm getting at is that there is a correlation between advanced civilizations, prosperity, and a desire to explore the unknown. Not all exploration is motivated by a desire to escape, but some by curiosity, which killed the cat, which brought in the possum, which might have been the McDog.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    Maybe the heaven dome's populace is composed entirely of Sentinelese tribe members, except for one Christian missionary...
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Syād, both groups of people might wanna leave due to, as weird as this sounds, ennui.
  • alan1000
    135
    The paradise dome is likely to become overpopulated fairly quickly and this will be an impetus to emigration. On the other hand, a hell-hole may not be a hell-hole to those who live within it because they know no other way of life. A thermal vent in the mid-atlantic ridge looks like a hell-hole to me, but lots of small creatures call it home. How can we be sure that our own way of life isn't a hell-hole by the standards of a more advanced civilisation elsewhere in the Galaxy? But a hell-hole may be attractive nonetheless, just because nobody else wants to live there; so they enjoy a poor but peaceful existence, relatively immune to invasions and tribal migrations. "It may be a hell-hole, but it's OUR hell-hole"!
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Which group if either do you believe are most likely to try to "break free".Benj96

    The heavenly dwellers, hands down. They have the resources, for one thing. For another, as you say, they have time to develop their intellectual capacities and very quickly exhaust any novelty value in their world. Plus - this, for me, is the decisive factor: all of their experience predisposes them to optimism. They have no reason to expect a bad outcome to experimentation.

    The hell-dwellers may also try - in the little free time and the little energy they have left over from bare survival - to chip at the dome in hope of improvement, but they are less likely to succeed.
    People in difficult circumstances try to escape only if they have some hope of improvement.
  • I like sushi
    4k
    Both equally likely. Humans will always push the limits of their understanding even if it rocks the boat.

    As for ‘struggling’ as opposed to ‘paradise’ … it seems that the later would not sit well with creatures that are basically defined by their struggles. I cannot recall who said it, possibly Schiller, but to paraphrase … if things do not fall apart humans will inevitably pull them apart simply to give themselves something to do.

    A life without trials and tribulations is no life at all.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    I Agree I. L Sushi.

    I think if you gave people the "ideal" world to live in and assuming they accept it as ideal indeed, they would either by accident or on purpose, for lack of a better word, f*@k it up. Haha

    I think this is because of something not inherently malevolent in us per se, but out of pure... "curiosity".

    Curiosity killed the cat.

    If everything is perfect there is no concept of bad. So one would naturally assume they are free to think of, plan and
    do whatever they want. That nothing could be harmful to the ideal as "what is harm anyways in an ideal place? But of course everything you want to do does not equal paradise for all involved.

    Of course one can consider any number of actions in their mind and never act on them. This is the privilege of the privacy of the mind. That alone does not cause the corruption of an external ideal place. But what it does do is spur curiosity, and doubt, in tandem.

    The minute someone says something (an act) or does something (also an act).. To change the ideal, to change perfection itself, it is no longer perfect.

    And thus the seed of doubt is planted for others in the system also. Doubt that one does not in fact live in a paradise because an action occurred (spoken or acted out) that made someone else, whoever that may be, feel unhappy. And from it, branching outwards like a tree growing from seed, are the cause and effect of that original doubt, the original action that took everyone out of paradise.

    There would now be division in this paradise. Discord. Conflict. Some would question why someone would ever think it wasn't paradise and do the thing they did and blame them for the action. The others would, as you quoted maybe schiller on this, that a life without trial and tribulation is no life at all, and that perfection suffocated meaning and purpose.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    The heavenly dwellers, hands down. They have the resources, for one thing. For another, as you say, they have time to develop their intellectual capacities and very quickly exhaust any novelty value in their world. Plus - this, for me, is the decisive factor: all of their experience predisposes them to optimism. They have no reason to expect a bad outcome to experimentation.Vera Mont

    Yes quite right Vera. I described some of your ideas in my response to I. L Sushi above.

    In essence, in case it had not crossed your mind, which it may indeed have, this OP was designed as a metaphor for childhood and innocence verses adulthood and culpability.

    Children do as they wish without much thought for consequences because they live very much in what can be approximated as a form of paradise and novelty and awe/wonder.

    Assuming of course that they grow up surrounded by a loving, understanding and protective family.

    Children take immense joy out of simple pleasures. Everything is new. They can stay staring at the crystalline dew drops on grass in their first few autumns, struck with amazement. They may show it to their parent which reply rather automatically "that's nice honey", as they are preoccupied with the trials and tribulations of adulthood.

    Children in this way live in a world we have long lost to maturity. The heaven dome. But they can remind us of it which is one of the most special things about having children of one's own I think.

    Adults on the other hand are a great deal more privy to the world as it actually is, a case of struggle, survival and ups and downs. They live in the hell dome or to a lesser extreme some form of purgatory between the two.

    The sad part is that in order to teach children to become socially functional and responsible adults we must untrain them from simple and pure delights. And enable them with critical thinking, a healthy skepticism, and distrust, so that they do not get exploited or bullied by others that are more clued into adult conduct - broad/large-scale reasoning.

    This of course happens naturally too. Through friendships, heartbreak, disappointnents and general life experience. Meaning that the transition from innocence to culpability is a turbulent one full of argument, dissonance and struggle not to relinquish the unbounded dreamscape/potential of children. And we know this as teenagehood right? Partly resentful, yet ever more conforming and knowledgeable.

    I came across a quote once which has stuck in my mind many years and this is "Adults are like children with many layers, like onions, with each passing moment enveloping oneself with ever more durable and hardened skin.

    But fundamentally, adults (living in the hell dome) and children (living in the heaven dome) are united by the greatest of questions: a sheer fascination and perplexity pertaining to existence and all the weird and wonderful things that come from it. Who am I, where did I come from, and what is "this" ?

    So I would say in conclusion, if you want to live as a child does, reasonably immune to cynicism, depression, disenchantment, all one must do is stay curious, ask questions, pursue the innate, not that which we conform to. The synthesised.

    In essence to refuse denying the pure child under all that we have learned since.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    The sad part is that in order to teach children to become socially functional and responsible adults we must untrain them from simple and pure delights. And enable them with critical thinking, a healthy skepticism, and distrust, so that they do not get exploited or bullied by others that are more clued into adult conduct - broad/large-scale reasoning.Benj96

    Doesn't the quality of that transition depend on the world environment? "We" sophisticated, prosperous westerners with all the potential for advancement and enhancement available to us teach our children differently from the way that "we" subsistence farmers in Karnataka, India, who owe our souls to the sahukar teach our children. Both adulthood and childhood are different in the domes.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Doesn't the quality of that transition depend on the world environment? "We" sophisticated, prosperous westerners with all the potential for advancement and enhancement available to us teach our children differently from the way that "we" subsistence farmers in Karnataka, India, who owe our souls to the sahukar teach our children. Both adulthood and childhood are different in the domesVera Mont

    Oh absolutely. A good spot. It has a lot of dynamics and interpretations depending on the culture of adults (society at large) in any given context.

    I'm sure there is a happy medium between the purely individualist, materialist and capital societies of the west and the more spiritual, community and interpersonal focus demonstrated by the East. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. The west is highly prolific and innovative as science has taken a stronghold there. But it lacks the finer nuances of community spirit and vice versa in the East.

    This also operates at a national level as it does on a global one. People in small, close knit rural communities in any country have a distinctly different upbringing and relationship with one another to those in an urbanised High populous area.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    This also operates at a national level as it does on a global one. People in small, close knit rural communities in any country have a distinctly different upbringing and relationship with one another to those in an urbanised High populous area.Benj96

    There is the population makeup to consider - alongside access to the outside world, income and income disparity, kinds of occupation, conditions of daily life. Big cities now are mostly cosmopolitan: their population doesn't share a common heritage, language, religion, cuisine and mode of dress, as the population of Ottumwa, Iowa or Nagano, Japan are likely to be. That means a big city can't have close-knit communities of people who have grown up and old together, alliances, feuds and running gags that go on for generations: there is too much moving in and out. But they can and often do have room for micro-communities of people with something in common, and of course, ghettos.

    It's not only conceivable but common to find a hell dome and heaven dome within two miles of each other.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Which group if either do you believe are most likely to try to "break free".Benj96

    Well, it's entirely within the realm of possibility that both groups will wanna break free, but for different reasons (duh!) and at different times. However, coincidences of the kind that give people goosebumps can occur with a frequency that may ultimately deaden our senses to them.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    You don't need a far-fetched thought experiment to get your answer. Just look at the world. People leave places where they are suffering from starvation, oppression and poverty to go to places they think will be better all the time. For examples see the US's southern border, the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Mediterranean Sea between northern Africa and Europe.T Clark

    In the real world, those fleeing people believe there is a better reality and those in the Hell dome would believe their reality is the only one.

    While those in the Heaven dome, would be curious. That is the human trait that pushes us beyond all borders and since all they know is goodness that is what they would expect.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    In the real world, those fleeing people believe there is a better reality and those in the Hell dome would believe their reality is the only one.Athena

    Here we are in our own dome imagining, inventing, hoping for, fearful of something outside of the world we experience every day. Why wouldn't people in the hypothetical domes described in the OP do the same?
  • praxis
    5.5k
    The concepts of heaven/hell are based on an :down: overlord :down: . Some people like being lorded over and others do not.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    Here we are in our own dome imagining, inventing, hoping for, fearful of something outside of the world we experience every day. Why wouldn't people in the hypothetical domes described in the OP do the same?T Clark

    Because their reality is not equal to ours. They do not experience life as we do so they can not have the consciousness we have.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    They do not experience life as we do so they can not have the consciousness we have.Athena

    I don't see that.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    I don't see that.T Clark

    From the OP.

    The other is the opposite. Hell. It is a hostile environment with limited resources and dangers abound everywhere. Every day is a struggle to survive.

    Both domes are opaque and soundproof, nothing is known of the "beyond" outside. However the domes are not impenetrable and can be escaped given the right methods - through trial and error, a dedicated effort.
    Benj96

    Now imagine you are in hell and that is all you know. What do you see? What do you experience?

    Actually, you can not do know a reality you have not experienced and you can not unknow what you know.

    An important question might be what makes us as we are? Are we born as we are or do we become who learn to be?

    The reality of a serfs life was pretty bad and yet for a long time they did not flee.

    Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, cultural, and political customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Wikipedia
    That is a long time in hell and you would accept it because you would fear burning in hell if you rebelled against the reality God gave you and if you could not feed your children you may walk them into the forest far enough, they hopefully would not find their way back home.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    The concepts of heaven/hell are based on an :down: overlord :down: . Some people like being lorded over and others do not.praxis

    Actually those concepts came up in Greek philosophy as did the understanding of democracy.

    Hades, the underground realm, is a place we all must go to get a sense of meaning. But a person should never go there without the help of the gods because it is so likely a person will get lost in Hades. To be lost in Hades is to suffer depression and worse mental disorders such as becoming a psychopath.
    A person can talk with the dead by bringing a sheep to the entrance of Hades, digging a hole, and then slitting the sheep's throat and letting the blood flow into the hole. Then a dead person can drink it and you can talk with this person because life is in the blood.

    A perfectly rational explanation of reality don't you think? But then came men such as Hippocrates who argued it is not the gods that make people behave strangely but they do so because of biological reasons and thinking like that pulled the Greeks further and further away from silly superstitions, until the Christians and their book of God's truth and explanation of demons and good and evil. Thank goodness for Christianity's stand against superstition. :wink:
  • T Clark
    10.3k


    I've taken my part in this discussion as far as I can. Let's leave it at that.
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