• Athena
    3k
    Our social problems go far beyond too much wrongful killing. Too many people are failing in life and too many are serious nut cases and too many are willing to make money any way they can without concern about the harm done to others. On top of that, we are destroying our democracy as all our institutions are failing.

    Religions have been helpful ever since people worshipped many gods because they are the foundation of civilizing cultures. However, the God of Abraham religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all rely on authority over the people and they fundamentally are not compatible with democracy that is an imitation of the gods, who argued until they had a consensus on the best reasoning. Only democracy places faith in well-educated human beings with developed higher-order thinking skills. The education for democracy is for rule by reason and it opposes authority over the people. It does not support authority over the people and make them dependent on authority as the God of Abraham religions do.

    Please, contemplate the serious difference between preparing the young to be as children to the king or preparing them to govern themselves and to eventually participate in governing a nation ruled by reason, not authority over the people. A nation that argues reasoning with logic and not guns.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    or preparing them to govern themselves and to eventually participate in governing a nation ruled by reason, not authority over the people. A nation that argues reasoning with logic and not guns.Athena

    For "king", I read "$$", but for the rest, I agree. Except that I don't believe there is time for an eventuality that relies on future education - which, in any case, is not currently achievable.
  • Tzeentch
    3.5k
    The problem of our time is that the ruling elite have turned mass manipulation into an artform that would have made even Goebbels proud.

    They know exactly what strings to pull to get people emotionally invested in their narratives, generally by feeding a sense of moral superiority. The narrative becomes an integral part of their self-image. The narrative has been tied to the ego and becomes as precious to its followers as if it were an arm or a leg.

    Along those lines people are then easily divided, because criticism of the narrative becomes a criticism of the person themselves. Communication becomes impossible, because every debate is a battle between personas.

    This is 'identity politics', and it essentially keeps us in a state of permanent intellectual warfare with our fellow man.


    Education is pointless to combat this, because even the well-educated fall prey to pride. In fact, so-called intellectuals may be more susceptible to it.


    Man has been utterly divided and conquered by the powers that be, and its his arrogance that stops him from admitting that.


    Critical thought is what is needed, but can critical thought even be learned?


    Perhaps virtue would be the place to start.

    Humility, so as to always keep the possibility that one may be wrong, and the other may be right. The quintessential quality for critical thought, perhaps.

    Charity and kindness, to extend the benefit of the doubt to other people. To assume they act in good faith. And to treat them well, even if they don't believe what you believe.
  • Athena
    3k
    For "king", I read "$$", but for the rest, I agree. Except that I don't believe there is time for an eventuality that relies on future education - which, in any case, is not currently achievable.Vera Mont

    Okay if you want to use the term "money" instead of "king", we can discuss the importance of morals to any economy. Being able to trust each other and our institutions such as car manufacturers and insurance companies and banks is vital to a good economy. Just look at how fear crashes our banks and our stock market. When we believe we can trust one another, we minimize fear and that is exactly for the economy.

    Education for technology unfortunately is not education for good moral judgment and good citizenship. Church morality is patriarchal and relies on the Father's authority over the people as it was manifested in Rome, a very patriarchal, ancient civilization, that adopted Greek technology but not Greek culture.

    True it takes time for Education to resolve our problems, but it is the only way to save our liberty and personal power. We must focus on education for good moral judgment and destroy the false notion that a secular government can not also be a highly moral government and that morality does not mean a Father above us taking care of us because we can not take care of ourselves. Secular morality can be a higher morality when a nation educates the young for good moral judgment. Whereas the morality of ancient times can not possibly give us good morality for today. Huge populations and aging populations and technology gives us a reality very different from ancient times.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    Along those lines people are then easily divided, because criticism of the narrative becomes a criticism of the person themselves. Communication becomes impossible, because every debate is a battle between personas.Tzeentch

    Exactly so!!

    Critical thought is what is needed, but can critical thought even be learned?Tzeentch

    It could be cultivated, in school and in the media. Unfortunately, critical thought has become the prime target for right-wing governments -- governments in charge of public education and broadcasting.

    The authors offer a few theoretical explanations, including the fact that critical thinking may be viewed negatively by right-wing individuals (due to group loyalty and respect for authority), or the theory that blunting one’s cognition presents a strategic advantage if one’s goal is to avoid information and thinking that threatens one’s worldview.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    True it takes time for Education to resolve our problems, but it is the only way to save our liberty and personal power.Athena

    Both are already lost in many nations, along with the US.
  • Joshs
    5.3k


    This is 'identity politics', and it essentially keeps us in a state of permanent intellectual warfare with our fellow manTzeentch

    So arrogance, pride and brainwashing are the sources of social conflict? And the old-fashioned moral virtues are the solution? I would flip this around. Belief in the old fashioned moral virtues forces us into a way of interpreting social behavior in terms of such concepts as pride and brainwashing. If we discard moldy subject-based moralisms in favor of a more sophisticated account of human behavior based on reciprocal and joint interaction we can leave the personalized blame aside and focus on collective aims.
  • Athena
    3k
    The problem of our time is that the ruling elite have turned mass manipulation into an artform that would have made even Goebbels proud.

    They know exactly what strings to pull to get people emotionally invested in their narratives, generally by feeding a sense of moral superiority. The narrative becomes an integral part of their self-image. The narrative has been tied to the ego and becomes as precious to its followers as if it were an arm or a leg.

    Along those lines people are then easily divided, because criticism of the narrative becomes a criticism of the person themselves. Communication becomes impossible, because every debate is a battle between personas.

    This is 'identity politics', and it essentially keeps us in a state of permanent intellectual warfare with our fellow man.


    Education is pointless to combat this, because even the well-educated fall prey to pride. In fact, so-called intellectuals may be more susceptible to it.


    Man has been utterly divided and conquered by the powers that be, and its his arrogance that stops him from admitting that.


    Critical thought is what is needed, but can critical thought even be learned?


    Perhaps virtue would be the place to start.

    Humility, so as to always keep the possibility that one may be wrong, and the other may be right. A quintessential quality for critical thought, perhaps.

    Charity and kindness, to extend the benefit of the doubt to other people. To assume they act in good faith. And to treat them well, even if they don't believe what you believe.
    Tzeentch

    Wow, that is a very elegant explanation of what has gone so wrong. Can we look closely at the cultural components, with an eye for how the culture can be changed to manifest a different reality?

    Reading what you said, woke my mind to the evil of having a "personal God". :gasp: How could it have taken me so long to see this glaring truth? There as a time when people had patron gods and goddesses and that includes the Hebrews, who had a god that favored them. Jews and others have designed systems to regulate who is one of "us" and who is not, just as countries have rules for citizenship. I think a lot of harm comes from believing in a god who has favorites even it there is rule to say His name or create religious idols and icons.

    Greeks came up with the concept of logos, reason, the controlling force of the universe that is one system of universal causes above everyone, and when they took control of Christianity by writing the first bible, we get Jesus is logos, and anyone can be a Christian. :rofl: Christians still argue who can be a Christian and who is not, but maybe that is another thread. However, how universal is the Christian god? A belief in logos is open to anyone and is a sound foundation or good moral judgment, that does not include having to believe unbelievable stories. We argue as the gods did until we have a consensus on the best reasoning unless you are a politician today and then everything is a power play for personal or political party gain, not an understanding of logos and how to get the best for all.

    I think education for technology is strongly behind our arrogance. That education along with having a personal god, is a deadly mix! But no I do NOT agree with this

    "Education is pointless to combat this, because even the well-educated fall prey to pride. In fact, so-called intellectuals may be more susceptible to it."

    A very old logic textbook that I have explains why we should never be too sure of ourselves because we can never know enough to be absolutely sure of anything. We can teach humbleness. And a huge part of our present problem is a failure to teach children logic and good reasoning. Far too many people rely on what the Bible says instead of reasoning. Their thinking stops at believing the Bible is the authority and absolute truth of God's word and they can believe crazy things like a god made humans from mud and there are supernatural beings of good and evil. That thinking does not apply the scientific method.
    If education returned to teaching logic as it was taught and preparation for independent thinking, instead of "group think" viewers would reject the emotionalism of our present media and political power struggles.
    "Critical thought is what is needed, but can critical thought even be learned?" Yes!

    "virtue would be the place to start." Yes! And if we all understood this no one would vote for a candidate with questionable morals. There was a time when we thought virtues were synonymous with strength.
  • Athena
    3k
    So arrogance, pride and brainwashing are the sources of social conflict? And the old-fashioned moral virtues are the solution? I would flip this around. Belief in the old fashioned moral virtues forces us into a way of interpreting social behavior in terms of such concepts as pride and brainwashing. If we discard moldy subject-based moralisms in favor of a more sophisticated account of human behavior based on reciprocal and joint interaction we can leave the personalized blame aside and focus on collective aims.Joshs

    Yes and no. :grin: The guardians of truth are confusion and paradox. How well we do here depends on how well we can deal with paradox.

    par·a·dox
    noun
    a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
    "in a paradox, he has discovered that stepping back from his job has increased the rewards he gleans from it"
    — Oxford languages

    I don't know who you figure brainwashing is part of the virtues problem. And I wish everyone had a sense of honor and pride. Exactly why would that be wrong?

    reciprocal and joint interaction Surely that is a matter of logos and why would you say it is modern and insult past wisdom? :worry: Where did you get your low opinion of our past and high opinion of our present?
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    So arrogance, pride and brainwashing are the sources of social conflict?Joshs

    They're not the sources of conflict; those go back deep into history. They do perpetuate entrenched political positions; hamper if not outright prevent communication, revision and compromise; they escalate confrontation into conflict.
  • T Clark
    13.1k


    What strikes me is that all of the responses so far except @Joshs show contempt for our fellow citizens. Certainly this is not a sign of reason. We're all in this together, for better or worse. As I see it, the main requirement for democracy is a sense of common purpose, not "critical thinking."
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    As I see it, the main requirement for democracy is a sense of common purpose, not "critical thinking."T Clark

    The biggest problem with that solution is that the entrenched positions shored up by dogma and propaganda prevent any possibility of finding any such common purpose. The factions can't - or refuse to - agree even on a common enemy to unite them.
    If you know a way to nullify the effects of dogma and propaganda without critical thought, please share it.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Nice.

    As I see it, the main requirement for democracy is a sense of common purpose, not "critical thinking."T Clark

    That's an interesting comment and seems right.

    We do live in a time where many seem to share the same mantra - society and individual standards are collapsing and a golden era has passed. I've been hearing this for decades. My grandmother told me people were saying the same thing during the roaring '20's, before Hitler and the later catastrophies of the 20th century. No doubt friends of Socrates felt the same way.
  • T Clark
    13.1k
    I've been hearing this for decades.Tom Storm

    One of the advantages of being old is that you've heard everything at least twice. We've been going to hell in a handbasket at least since I was born.

    I must admit, though, this feels like a special time. It feels like technology has brought us to a turning point. It makes it easier for people to hate other people they never would have come in contact with before. It makes the whole world one place so what's bad in one location gets spread everywhere. It has allowed us to start gaining control over the basic physical, chemical, biological, genetic, cognitive, and psychological foundations of life that will allow us to change our very natures. It's scary. I'm probably pretty safe, but I worry for my children. We know from history the world sometimes does go to hell.
  • T Clark
    13.1k
    If you know a way to nullify the effects of dogma and propaganda without critical thought, please share it.Vera Mont

    No, I don't, but I think changing our attitudes toward each other would be easier than somehow creating a nation of so-called critical thinkers. As I noted, many of the posts in this thread show a clear lack of respect for them - the irrational, non-critical thinking hoi polloi. That just makes things worse. Why should anyone make common cause for someone who feels contempt for them?
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    No, I don't, but I think changing our attitudes toward each other would be easierT Clark

    Okay. You tell us how to go about that, and I'm on board.

    As I noted, many of the posts in this thread show a clear lack of respect for them - the irrational, non-critical thinking hoi polloi.T Clark

    I just don't know how to respect people who drive an SUV into a crowd, post death- and rape-threats to elected officials, value their guns above their children and want their republic-not-democracy presided over by Trump or De Santis?

    Why should anyone make common cause for someone who feels contempt for them?T Clark

    They shouldn't. I know I couldn't make common cause with someone who would prefer to see me hanging from a lamppost.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    No, I don't, but I think changing our attitudes toward each other would be easier than somehow creating a nation of so-called critical thinkers.T Clark

    I think you're correct in your intuition that humans having a shared purpose is more important than critical thinking combined with internecine goals. One of the big issues we face these days seems to be the atomized nature of culture and the lack of solidarity. How do we get important projects initiated and completed without broad cooperation?
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    How do we get important projects initiated and completed without broad cooperation?Tom Storm

    You don't. You can't. You won't.
    Dogma, propaganda and uncritical following of megalomaniacs will never allow it.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    Too many people are failing in life and too many are serious nut cases and too many are willing to make money any way they can without concern about the harm done to others. On top of that, we are destroying our democracy as all our institutions are failing.Athena
    :100:
  • T Clark
    13.1k
    You tell us how to go about that, and I'm on board.Vera Mont

    You haven't told us how to go about accomplishing the whole critical thinking, rationality thing. Why do I have to come up with a plan for the why can't we all just get along thing? The advantage my solution has over yours is that it's something you, I, and all people of good will can do right now. Treat people with respect.

    I just don't know how to respect people who drive an SUV into a crowd, post death- and rape-threats to elected officials, value their guns above their children and want their republic-not-democracy presided over by Trump or De Santis?Vera Mont

    So, you equate people who support Donald Trump with people who drive their SUVs into a crowd. No further questions. I rest my case.

    They shouldn't. I know I couldn't make common cause with someone who would prefer to see me hanging from a lamppost.Vera Mont

    So, you equate people who support Donald Trump with people who want to see you hanging from a lamppost. No further questions. I rest my case.
  • T Clark
    13.1k
    I think you're correct in your intuition that humans having a shared purpose is more important than critical thinking combined with internecine goals. One of the big issues we face these days seems to be the atomized nature of culture and the lack of solidarity. How do we get important projects initiated and completed without broad cooperation?Tom Storm

    I've been hanging around with other people for more than 70 years. We have much more in common than we do in conflict.

    Question - I get the impression that things in Australia are much less contentious than they are here in the US. Is that not true?
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    You haven't told us how to go about accomplishing the whole critical thinking, rationality thing.T Clark

    I never said it can be done at all.

    The advantage my solution has over yours is that it's something you, I, and all people of good will can do right now.T Clark

    I wish you all the success in the world!

    So, you equate people who support Donald Trump with people who drive their SUVs into a crowd.T Clark

    He supports them. Anyone who supports him indirectly supports them. They don't seem to understand this. Cognitive dissonance.
    Voltaire nailed it:
    Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can persuade you to commit atrocities.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Question - I get the impression that things in Australia are much less contentious than they are here in the US. Is that not true?T Clark

    I think so. My take: We're a fairly small population and have a different history - negligible military power, virtually no guns, far less religion and a social welfare safety net, including free or low cost medical care. But we have become more 'American' in recent times, partly owing to the changing nature of right wing populism and also the influence of News Limited and social media.

    And we also have a culture war around race and politics (a low calorie version compared to yours). Ours hasn't been fueled by a Trump equivalent.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    The advantage my solution has over yours is that it's something you, I, and all people of good will can do right now. Treat people with respect.T Clark

    Well, no, your initial requirement for a democracy is a sense of common purpose (and not critical thinking). People can share a common purpose without respecting each other.

    The problem with uncritical thinkers and a desire for purpose is that they’re easily lead by people with divergent purposes.

    We have much more in common than we do in conflict.T Clark

    Indeed, but again the problem is that the easily lead are easily divided.
  • Vera Mont
    3.7k
    And we also have a culture war around race and politics (a low calorie version compared to yours). Ours hasn't been fueled by a Trump equivalent.Tom Storm

    Yet.
    The irony for Australia in the post–Cold War era is that our dependence on the United States has grown as the strategic options in our region have narrowed.
    Right-wing or ‘far right’ extremism is not a new phenomenon, in Australia or internationally, but in recent years has re-emerged to become more visible and a growing threat to national security.
    But there is hope https://theconversation.com/did-australia-just-make-a-move-to-the-left-183611
    More, anyway than for the UK... and Canada's got some serious issues with assholity.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    As I said, we haven't had the equivalent of a Trump factor. Yet.
  • Beena
    22
    A true democracy - of the people, by the people, for the people, does not understand guns and gun powder, it understands education and even in its absence gets its way around by trying to understand the situation and coming to a non-violent and peaceful decision. That wins the hearts of the people because no one is harmed. So yeah, if the youth are into self governance, self discipline and not following some fanatics or fanatic ideology, a superior nation will emerge.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    So yeah, if the youth are into self governance, self discipline and not following some fanatics or fanatic ideology, a superior nation will emerge.Beena
    That means a superior nation would not emerge. The average person does not have an interest in governance, politics, and nationwide ideals.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    The average person does not have an interest in governance, politics, and nationwide ideals.L'éléphant

    I'm not saying you are wrong, but how do you know this is true? Does this hinge upon what 'have an interest' means?
  • javi2541997
    5.2k
    The average person does not have an interest in governance, politics, and nationwide ideals.L'éléphant

    I agree, and I think this situation has emerged due to the continuous disappointments on politics and all what is related to governance, political theory, etc... I mean: it is not a generational issue but a dysfunctional praxis.

    I think you have big expectations on people... what a terrible mistake.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    I'm not saying you are wrong, but how do you know this is true? Does this hinge upon what 'have an interest' means?Tom Storm

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