• Joshs
    716
    However, when I try to fit this image, the world as still imperfect and requiring improvement, onto a community, any community, it doesn't work. People are happy and content. They aren't bothered by philosophical issues such as the meaning of life and neither are they overly concerned about the goings-on in the world outside their communities.TheMadFool

    I think this is the crux of the matter. If people believe everything is fine within their local community, they are less likely to want to change the world, on the following condition: that they don't perceive the events taking place in the world outside their own happy community as posing an imminent threat to their happiness, or they don't identify and empathize closely with that outer world

    I'm rather disconnected from the worldTheMadFool

    You can only afford to be disconnected from it if it allows you to be. So far it has apparently left you alone. But you might want to make sure there aren't creeping threats from that seemingly irrelevant outside sphere that you havent noticed in your complacency.

    The hippies in the 1960's had their community of other hippies. Within this microworld, many could consider themselves to be content, ensconced within a caring place of shared values. But whenever they traveled outside of their own circles, life was not so happy. So they had a choice, to either try and make the larger world a place that was more accepting of their values, or to isolate themselves away from that larger intolerant world and set an example that maybe the rest of the world would eventually follow.

    The desire to change the world is directly related to one's sense of belonging to and identification with suffering people in it. I want to change the world to the extent that it defines me. IFf the world I empathize with is unhappy, then I am unhappy.
  • Izat So
    88
    Some random responses

    1. There is no such thing as acting via reason alone because:
    a. we are not brains in boxes - cognition and culture coevolve
    b. we cannot reason without the help of emotion, as research with people who have damage to their emotional centres has shown (A and H Damasio.)

    2. Cultural change occurs when the ideas of change agents (who have always existed everywhere at every time) come to be seen as potentially reasonable, as opposed to heretical, nonsensical or irrelevant, given a certain cultural climate.

    3. I think we're heading to an abyss where the mafia plutocracy have just claimed power over most western democracies and ignorant macho chumps are buying their rhetoric and acting like turkeys voting for Christmas. I'm old, have no kids. But I will speak up not that it does much good. I hope not to be heartbroken by the inhumanity of these trend lines.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    I know you won't agree but I believe some people are quite happy to be alive. Of course there are ''difficult'' circumstances that would make suicide (nonexistence) a good choice which I think agrees with the view you're espousing but it's not the same for everyone and neither are all people the same. These differences, of circumstances and constitutions, result in diverse attitudes and beliefs.

    Perhaps my question is specifically addressed to people who see value in life, the average human life with all its ups AND downs.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    Often the thought occurs to me... usually during a bout of insomnia... do you or I really and truly object to “the way things are”? Do we really want a radical change? (Culturally or civilizationally speaking, as opposed to existentially or “naturally”). Or do we merely object to our status in the grand pecking order?

    In other words, does one simply want to reshuffle the deck of cards in hopes of a better hand... or on the other hand, quit this game and play something else? (I would suppose holding both views is possible, especially if one recognized the “reshuffling” to be a band-aid, quick-fix, stopgap kind of thing).
    0 thru 9

    We needn't reshuffle the deck. We need to make all the cards equal in value.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    I love aphoristic philosophy, I wish more members here on TPF would have the courage to philosophies with random responses, it would really air out the didactic stench on TPF...keep it up. :up: :up:
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k

    Nonexistence never hurt nobody. Why should someone have to experience the ups and downs in the first place? It's a set of challenges (or "adventures" or "a big game" or "mission") foisted on a new person. One of my main themes is that people are not unknowingly living through life like zombies or pre-programmed automatons. Each action we take, is a decision we have to make and choose within the motivational constraints of survival, comfort-seeking, and entertainment mediated by genetically and environmentally created personality filters, that is itself carried out and partially informed from a broader socio-cultural context with a historically-developed set of institutions. With all these contingent factors, it is still an individual, and his self-awareness of the situation, the very human condition he is in. We are not here of our choosing, we go about maintaining our institutions, using social cues, ideologies, and role-constraints to keep a person in-check from rebelling against the whole damn seemingly self-perpetuating enterprise. It is wrong to foist a set of challenges to be overcome unto new individuals whether they consider themselves or by others as "well-adjusted" or not. All versions of well-adjusted are equally invalid for me, whether the surburban 2.5 kids lifestyle, enlightened sage, the wanderlust world-traveler, the party-goer, the mountain-climber, the tribesman, the inventor, the scientifically-inclined, the mathematical whiz, and all the rest.
  • leo
    573
    b. we cannot reason without the help of emotion, as research with people who have damage to their emotional centres has shownIzat So

    And intuitively, reason alone cannot tell us what to do, because we need to desire something for reason to help us reach it.


    The need to change the world is subjective, it depends how enjoyable one's life is, it depends on one's outlook for the future, on what one sees that could be changed. Some people exploit others because they can, and they make life worse for many others, and they won't be convinced to stop because they thrive on exploiting others, so then forcing them to stop becomes a matter of competition, people imposing their ideals onto others. The same competition for survival that has gone on for eons.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    The hippies in the 1960's had their community of other hippies. Within this microworld, many could consider themselves to be content, ensconced within a caring place of shared values. But whenever they traveled outside of their own circles, life was not so happy. So they had a choice, to either try and make the larger world a place that was more accepting of their values, or to isolate themselves away from that larger intolerant world and set an example that maybe the rest of the world would eventually follow.Joshs

    Yes, and sadly we betrayed the values that we promoted, and we consumed and consumed as no previous generation had! Humans had been destroying the world since the Industrial Revolution, but we hippies were the first generation to actually realise what we were doing. We should have stopped it when we came into power, but we succumbed to greed instead. We are a disgrace. :cry:
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    The desire to change the world is directly related to one's sense of belonging to and identification with suffering people in it. I want to change the world to the extent that it defines me. IFf the world I empathize with is unhappy, then I am unhappy.Joshs

    :up:

    So, in a sense, we're all trying to change the world based on what we think are wrong/right with it. Interesting (or not) that there seems to be a rough consensus on what we perceive as good/about the world. Poverty, injustice, crime, etc. are on everybody's list and so are charity, kindness, etc.
  • 0 thru 9
    828
    We needn't reshuffle the deck. We need to make all the cards equal in value.TheMadFool

    Well, that would be a whole new game, from my perspective. Or maybe a magic trick beyond even Houdini! :gasp:
  • Izat So
    88
    I was interested in Ian Morris's claim (Foragers, Farmers and Fossil Fuels) that in conditions where inequality is optimal (or even necessary) for the economy to function, such as was the case given the level of energy capture (i.e., the way things are produced and distributed) in certain eras, e.g., feudal, people subject to authority begrudgingly accepted it as natural, God-given order. It's not just that the exploiters continued exploiting because they thrive, it's that exploitation was built into the economic system in which everyone survived, no matter how thinly. (Today exploitation is becoming toxic and unproductive, but many people still are under the sway of a feudal mindset and rely on "natural" justifications of inequality, IMO.)
  • yupamiralda
    87


    Aristotle's teaching was the basis of Catholic church doctrine on economics until the reformation. These guys don't get much of a hearing today---check out Ezra Pound's economics.
  • yupamiralda
    87


    I once read about a guy who did a computer simulation of segregation in urban areas: it only had a handful of transformational rules but you end up with a very segregated city. It was in the textbook "think complexity" which is a free download if you want to check it out.
  • yupamiralda
    87


    Having children is biology. If you're not going to have kids due to nihilism, it's a short step to suicide. Not that I care if anybody wants to off themselves.
  • yupamiralda
    87


    OMG another baby boomer talking about how awesome their generation was
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    I don’t have the time. Could you give us a little synopsis?
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    So, in a sense, we're all trying to change the world based on what we think are wrong/right with it. Interesting (or not) that there seems to be a rough consensus on what we perceive as good/about the world. Poverty, injustice, crime, etc. are on everybody's list and so are charity, kindness, etc.TheMadFool

    To focus this thread on a theme, I think the issue boils down to who deserves "authority" and the issue of "governance". Does that resonate with you?
  • Janus
    7.9k
    Yes, and sadly we betrayed the values that we promoted, and we consumed and consumed as no previous generation had! Humans had been destroying the world since the Industrial Revolution, but we hippies were the first generation to actually realise what we were doing. We should have stopped it when we came into power, but we succumbed to greed instead. We are a disgrace. :cry:Pattern-chaser

    Being a hippy only defines a very small proportion of that generation, though.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    To focus this thread on a theme, I think the issue boils down to who deserves "authority" and the issue of "governance". Does that resonate with you?Wallows

    Quite right. It's about governance primarily because its invested with power. However governments these days are preoccupied with economics. The broader understanding of the world such as environmental protection which, oddly, weighs in on the economy and quality of life of citizens, is either absent or ignored. This forces people to seel alternative routes for action, NGOs, etc.

    It's likely that the blinkered outlook of governments reflects the general worldview of the people they rule. Quite sad.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.2k
    Having children is biology. If you're not going to have kids due to nihilism, it's a short step to suicide. Not that I care if anybody wants to off themselves.yupamiralda

    Having children is a choice one makes on behalf of another. Someone else doesn't have to endure life because of another's decision. Not having children, literally doesn't hurt anyone.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    OMG another baby boomer talking about how awesome their generation wasyupamiralda

    What can I say? I personally have done what I can, but it probably wasn't enough. Most others of my generation have done nothing to make things better. And still the human race plunges toward oblivion, apparently uncaring. What will it take to wake us up? Something imminent and fatal, I suspect.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.7k
    Being a hippy only defines a very small proportion of that generation, though.Janus

    OK, yes, but greed, consuming and consumption define all of my generation. We even pretend it's good: take "retail therapy", for example. :rage:
  • Janus
    7.9k
    That's true of that generation, and subsequent generations as well, who lament their sorry plight: that they don't have the wherewithal to consume to the magnificent degree achieved by the so-called "Baby Boomers"! We are indeed the venerable Legends of Consumption and may be increasingly vilified for that in the future! Damn those legendary hypocrites!
  • yupamiralda
    87


    Don't worry about it, ezra pound was nuts. There have been a lot of unorthodox attempts to reinstate medieval economic concepts of the church like "the just price" and a ban on usury. Capitalism won out, and now its enemy is marxism, not the church.
  • yupamiralda
    87


    My generation's accomplishments are not my accomplishments. I mostly reacted against the idea that the hippies were as original as you imply. There was, eg the wandervogel.
  • yupamiralda
    87


    Sure, not having children doesn't hurt anybody. As a question of biology, not having children being a sign of moral authority is interesting. The fact that an organism would choose to be a genetic dead end and then feel good about it is an evolutionarily curious decision. Not to mention operation of your entire brain evolved for the sake of having kids and rearing them, it just seems to me that it means pulling a fast one on your body. I don't think that's a good idea because I can't think of a reason to live except my biological mission. Other people might have church or something similar.
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