• Athena
    807
    The union of our nation that was built on reason, is being shredded! Our liberty is being destroyed and our growing dependency on authority over us is frightening. — Athena


    I am not sure how I feel on this. Some days I see the religious "nones" increasing and people generally being more open to (and demanding of) peace. But then the next day, I see the push toward the idea that "all opinions are equal" and wonder if that idea is the death of democracy.

    Well, I was expecting to argue a bit more...but I think I agreed with almost everything :up:
    ZhouBoTong

    :lol: Isn't it awful when there is nothing to argue.

    I think our most serious problem is we lost the memory of what science (reason) has to do with over coming evil and what morals have to do with liberty and democracy. This happened because we stopped transmitting the culture that is the foundation of democracy and began preparing our young for a technological society with unknown values- this manifest exactly what we defended our democracy in two world wars because we replaced education for Greek and Roman philosophy with German philosophy and we adopted the German model of education for technology and the German model of bureaucracy that crushes individual liberty and power.

    The problem isn't Christianity becauseminterpreting the Bible abstractly brings out the best in it and reduces the problems arising from ignorance and superstition. Because it was Greeks who were the first to write the Christian Bible it is filled with Greek concepts such "the word" or logos meaning reason, made manifest in speech (discovering truth) is the controlling force of the universe. This is why when the Roman and Greek documents were rediscovered and literate people knew Greek and Latin we had the renaissance bringing a love of reason back, and why it could win out over ignorance and superstition and replace the kingdom (a belief in God's will controlling everything) with democracy (rule by reason and the people who can cure disease, stop flooding, and more). But dang, we imitated Germany, and now, we live with the beast that is stronger than ever, and good Christians are thrilled about us being the end of times and proving the Bible is right- belief not reason. They do not see the human decisions that are manifesting our reality and their freedom to make better decisions.

    :grin: I sure hope there are comments, questions or arguments to advance this discussion.
  • Athena
    807
    If by law you mean a legal framework codified and enforced then it's just the tip of the iceberg. There are other moral laws people follow and it's my suspicion that these are invariably religious morals.

    Given that the above is true, people can be divided into two categories: Category 1, the religious-good, are those people who use religion as a guide for their behavior and category 2, the legal-good who either have no idea or simply don't care about religion and the only thing that keeps them from transforming into thieves, murderers, etc is the legal system.

    If the law broke down or didn't exist then the legal-good would immediately complete their metamorphosis into criminals and chaos would ensue but the religious-good who are guided by religious morals would continue to be good as they were never actually dependent on the legal system.

    If this tells us anything, it is that there must exist at least one set of laws to prevent immoral behavior. The legal system just happens to be the first line of defense.
    TheMadFool

    Looks to me like you want to return to the good old days when Martin Luther thought witch hunters were necessary, and God chose who would rule and who would serve?

    Man's understanding of the gods and law is older than Christianity and really the Christian God is not that good. He is jealous, revengeful, fearsome and punishing, the role model of an abusive husband. He is the same God worshiped by Muslims and Christians and Muslims share more in common than say Mormons and Catholics and Evangelical Christians. All these people worship a god of war except the Quakers who do not refer to the old testament and follow Jesus. While Buddhism and Hinduism provide excellent teachings on morality.

    The God of Abraham religions did not give us the highest morals and peace. Democracy and science, with science being understood as knowledge of the universal laws (God), lifting humanity higher than what Christian Europe could accomplish before the age of reason. It is about how to come to know the laws, through the authority of the bible or through science and reason?
  • Athena
    807
    I’m optimistic and think most of us would act morally save for a few opportunists. But then again it would be interesting to see some statistics on whether people abide by laws out of principle or because they fear being punished.NOS4A2

    The South depended on slavery and did terrible things while seeing themselves as good Christians. There was a time when good Christians beat the devil out of their children, and today we recognize that as abuse and know it is very harmful. Christianity without education for higher order thinking skills is not a good thing. Christianity sustained ignorance and mistreatment of human beings for hundreds of years. I would not expect humans to do better without better education.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Christianity without education for higher order thinking skills is not a good thing. Christianity sustained ignorance and mistreatment of human beings for hundreds of years. I would not expect humans to do better without better education.Athena

    Agreed. I couldn’t make good use of anything in the Bible until after I got my degree in philosophy. It takes a liberal arts education (I got a Bachelor of Science instead of Arts which I think helped me read the sacred text more critically but still with some background in history and the other humanities) to understand how the text was created, which parts are spiritual truths, which parts were matters of practical law for ancient Hebrews, which parts are “good” moral philosophy (the Golden Rule and forgiveness, as examples), and which parts are utter propaganda by the Church founders and rulers like King Solomon who had to subdue his subjects.

    Now that I am more well-rounded, I can appreciate the Bible and value it as it should be. However, with my mental and emotional problems (clinical), I find the Bible is more of a comfort some days than a check on my self-destructive behaviors. Other days my faith does check some bad inclinations.

    I don’t think Christ is everybody’s answer, though. For some people, I think their religion actually makes them worse people, unbeknownst to these people who lack self-awareness. Some Jesus freaks are truly awful people. I can be an awful person, too, but at least I’m not cloaking myself in religion to look down on others or to feel superior. I love Christ for the meaning it gives my life. Some people use Christ for self-serving ends. I love the story of Christ. It helps me to not be so afraid of suffering, a natural part of life.

    I have also studied Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. I know that studying these religions have also enriched my life, and I take from each of them to better understand reality; along with my studies of mathematics (up to Calculus and statistics), physics, biology, psychology, history, sociology, and English literature. And, of course, Anglo-American analytic philosophy. (I took one course in Existentialism and Continental philosophy).


    Anyway, not to give a curriculum vitae, but just agreeing with you with an illustration of my journey.
  • Coben
    1.6k
    Most "anarchist" ideals are utopian, and would only "work" in small, voluntary groups of people with some measure of morality and respect for one another,IvoryBlackBishop

    It is very hard to test, because the fact that we are brought up under threats, both social and legal, means that if we are suddenly without these outside forces and potential punishments it is a very specific situation. We are, then, precisely, people who have been under threat, released from threat. A real test would have to be, what happens if people are raised not under threat and have freedom from potential incarceration? Adn the only way to test that would be to take over an island.

    It's a bit like how people who really judge anger can sometimes explode. And their explosion seems to confirm their judgments of anger. But the truth is they have very little experience with things like self-assertion and other balanced expressions of anger.

    So we can look around and think we know what it would be like, but what it is like now, includes the fact that we have been presumed guilty, not really trusted and threatened since early on. That's hardly a control (as in controlled experiment) situation where we can draw conclusions about what must be present in human society.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    It's a bit like how people who really judge anger can sometimes explode. And their explosion seems to confirm their judgments of anger. But the truth is they have very little experience with things like self-assertion and other balanced expressions of anger.Coben

    I have this problem.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    I was taught that I was my Dad’s toy. It’s not good to show anger towards your father when you’re three and four years old (and beyond). Maybe I can heal now.
  • Coben
    1.6k
    Yes, and sorry to hear about that. Yes, these things can change in us. And there are other people and organizations out there where it is best not to show one's anger. Finding ways to deal with them can be very tricky even for adults who do accept their anger. Each situation needs to be dealt with individually. But one can, over time, get more used to one's own anger, starting alone, where it is safest. And no, not showing anger was a good strategy as a child with long term costs. But you had no choice, then.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    But as far as Trump goes, I think more people need to show him their anger. The more of us who speak out, the more difficult it is for him to vanish us all.
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    Looks to me like you want to return to the good old days when Martin Luther thought witch hunters were necessary, and God chose who would rule and who would serve?

    Man's understanding of the gods and law is older than Christianity and really the Christian God is not that good. He is jealous, revengeful, fearsome and punishing, the role model of an abusive husband. He is the same God worshiped by Muslims and Christians and Muslims share more in common than say Mormons and Catholics and Evangelical Christians. All these people worship a god of war except the Quakers who do not refer to the old testament and follow Jesus. While Buddhism and Hinduism provide excellent teachings on morality.

    The God of Abraham religions did not give us the highest morals and peace. Democracy and science, with science being understood as knowledge of the universal laws (God), lifting humanity higher than what Christian Europe could accomplish before the age of reason. It is about how to come to know the laws, through the authority of the bible or through science and reason?
    Athena

    You misunderstood me but that's entirely my fault. I was struggling to get across the fact that the law, as in a legal framework, doesn't figure much in our day to day living and dealings with other people; seems like I chose the wrong words here. Anyway, I assume, pethaps with good reason, that the first real moral codes were religious in nature.

    Also, I consider the current state of morals to be the result of a filtering process: morals began associated with the divine and now that has been almost nearly purged from morality. Much of the problems you mentioned, things like witch hunts, are directly/indirectly the result of associating god with morality. It's been a long process but it seems that we've managed, like good chemists, to extract and purify the essence of our relationship with god, morality.

    So, when I said there's a kind of morality that's religious I was referring to those moral principles that were plucked from religion, assessed to be worthy, and then adopted by people. The connection between god/the divine with this kind moral code is perhaps best described as filial - they are offsprings of divine morality and the link terminates there for some and maybe most.
  • Isaac
    2.9k


    Thank you for the links. I actually had the good fortune to work with one of Kahneman's doctoral students for a short while so I'm fairly familiar with his work, but I will take another look. What I was looking for was some support for your assertions about the possible effects of education, specifically that it "is possible to use education to manifest a culture that promotes morality and decreases social problems." I don't recall anything in Kahneman which demonstrated anything of this nature - could you point me to the particular experiment or implication you're referencing here.
  • Isaac
    2.9k
    Isn't the idea of new baboons coming into the tribe and trying to assert dominance then being shunned and shown by the rest "this is not how we do things around here"...a type of pedagogyZhouBoTong

    No. I'm using pedagogy in it's strict sense here, in that no actual direct teaching took place. Sapolsky even tested directly for this with the tribe when the alpha males first came into it from the nearby Forest Troop. He says

    The lack of contingency in thet reatment of transfer males by residents argues against instruction; commensurate with this, there is relatively little evidence for‘‘instruction’’in nonhuman primate cultural transmission — Sapolsky RM, Share LJ (2004) A pacific culture among wild baboons: Its emergence and transmission

    Are you a professor? Or some sort of sociology professional? I just mean...why do you know all this?ZhouBoTong

    Yes. I'm sort of retired now, but my academic career has been in social psychology. My wife's a child psychologist though, with a special interest in education, so it's more dinner-table conversation stuff that I've picked this up from, rather than my own work.

    should I dismiss Piaget's stages of cognitive development or Erikson's stages of (I don't even remember, maybe social development?)?ZhouBoTong

    Well. That's a whole other thread's worth of stuff - we can go into it any time you like, but probably not on this this thread. Piaget suffers from the same twin problems many of the early child psychologists did - limited sample variety and failure to adjust for context. Margret Donaldson is good on undermining a lot of the Piaget stuff. She doesn't throw it out or anything, but it's remarkable what she gets the children to do (which Piaget said they couldn't) when they're in a less stressful environment. Stephen Shanker is doing some work on the link between stress and educational ability at the moment which might also be of interest, but again, I don't want to derail the thread.
  • Athena
    807


    Around age eight our brains become physically changed and so does our thinking. This is when critical thinking begins and parents stop looking like gods who should not be questioned. When I hit that age I began questioning religious truths and when a Sunday school could not give me a satisfactory answer to my question, I decided religious folks may not have truth. I reasoned if they had truth, there would be one religion, and so many different opinions of God's truth. Not people going to this church and sure they know God's truth better than people who go to that church. Obviously that meant I would have to study all the religions and determine truth for myself.

    I think it is important to study the world religions as you have and I don't anyone can know what Jesus was thinking without also studying Buddhism. The class system of Hinduism and all the strange looking gods are a turn off, but I really like their explanation of being a better human being!

    It is very hard to test, because the fact that we are brought up under threats, both social and legal, means that if we are suddenly without these outside forces and potential punishments it is a very specific situation. We are, then, precisely, people who have been under threat, released from threat. A real test would have to be, what happens if people are raised not under threat and have freedom from potential incarceration? Adn the only way to test that would be to take over an island.
    I think it is important to understand the difference between eastern and western logic and what Rome had to do with closing our consciousness and making it so materialistic. While Greek logic became more linear than eastern logic. Which goes back to what I said about the importance of knowing Buddhism, because I really don't think we have a good understanding of Jesus without a more eastern perspective.

    You do seem to have a well rounded education, so are you familiar with Quabala? (sp?) The off shoot of Hebrew. And I very much regret the lack of my understanding of Semitic languages and their tie to math. I am afraid without that understand we are missing a huge part of understanding. And I hope no one throw stones at me, but I think understand Aztec consciousness is just as important as any other knowledge.
  • Athena
    807
    Thank you for the links. I actually had the good fortune to work with one of Kahneman's doctoral students for a short while so I'm fairly familiar with his work, but I will take another look. What I was looking for was some support for your assertions about the possible effects of education, specifically that it "is possible to use education to manifest a culture that promotes morality and decreases social problems." I don't recall anything in Kahneman which demonstrated anything of this nature - could you point me to the particular experiment or implication you're referencing here.Isaac

    Oh, ah, that assertion comes from knowledge of the Age of the Enlightenment and development of thinking leading to science and democracy. :lol: Picking through my brain to find the thoughts behind my thinking is a challenge because my thoughts today are a combination of so many thoughts. You know what I mean?

    Can we being with the Greeks and the notion that a moral is a matter of cause and effect and science is about cause and effect. Science is to democracy, what religion is to autocracy or monarchies.

    Destroying our environment is immoral because that damage to our planet threatens life on this planet. Native American consciousness was spiritual and animated like most primitive people's consciousness. We might do well to have that consciousness and think of plant and animal life and rivers as having spirits, and then think about the morality of destroying a mountain and streams to extract a mineral. A main objection I have of Biblical morality is it is way too narrow and materialistic and way to dependent on superstitious notions of good and evil supernatural powers, instead of practical, if you destroy the environment or act on the wrong decision, the consequences will be bad. The natives depending on nature had to learn how to live in harmony with nature. I think that is a pretty important concept.

    Then there is Cicero, and hey, there is no supernatural being that is going to save our sorry asses. No amount of animal sacrifices, or burning of candles, or incantations are going to make our wrongs right. What happens is the consequence of our actions, and therefore, we better do our best to make the right decisions. Understanding this is essential to understanding democracy and our liberty!

    This thinking is also important to our willingness to go to war or not. The US war on Iraq was immoral and the consequences are extremely bad, and it was this war that determined me to bring an end to Christianity. I believe Christians have done so much harm to our planet and the rest of the world, the belief needs to be brought to an end.
  • Athena
    807
    It is very hard to test, because the fact that we are brought up under threats, both social and legal, means that if we are suddenly without these outside forces and potential punishments it is a very specific situation. We are, then, precisely, people who have been under threat, released from threat. A real test would have to be, what happens if people are raised not under threat and have freedom from potential incarceration? Adn the only way to test that would be to take over an island.Coben

    We have the necessary information because of anthropology and the fact that primitive people living on isolated islands can be studied. Primitive human beings on islands with plenty of resources tend to be gentle people who share and are highly moral because it is our nature to want to have social harmony and be a well liked and valued member of the group.

    However, nomadic people from the harsh environments such as where mongols live, have a more aggressive nature. Where humans do not have adequate resources and do not live in a Garden of Eden of environment, they are not nice people and tend to think the notion of a god or goddess who takes care of them is absolutely ridiculous. These people are hunters and do not have to consciousness of agrarian people. Genghis Khan and his followers killed everyone in their path and razed the ground so it could return to pasture for their horses, until a man from China who had agrarian consciousness convinced Genghis Khan to 'harvest" the living in settlements and cities. That is to ask for a tribute and allow everyone to live if it is paid. What is important here is the notion of concepts and how the environment shapes our concepts and understanding of life. The Mongols were highly moral people, intolerant of lying and stealing and committed to providing shelter and food to strangers. He thought it was the city people who are highly immoral because in the city lying and stealing are essential part of survival. You want to discuss this?

    We also know people become aggressive or gentle because of child rearing practices. Our nature is not exactly what Christians think it is, but is dependent on our environment, resources, and child rearing practices.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    Trump wants to dismantle the social safety net, and he might actually get his way sooner or later. He won’t go unless kicking and screaming.Noah Te Stroete

    I don't see him doing anything as deliberate as that. His exterme egotism and narcissism does not allow him to see beyond his nose.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    Isn't the idea of new baboons coming into the tribe and trying to assert dominance then being shunned and shown by the rest "this is not how we do things around here"...a type of pedagogyZhouBoTong

    I can just see what the other baboons are teaching the newcomers in a direct pedagoguical way:

    "Fuck you. You are just a fucking baboon, kid, don't you forget that. Now repeat after me, and write a hundred times on the blackboard: "I solemnly swear to stop trying to be a goofy alpha-male wannabe, I shall remain docile, peace-loving and listen to John Lennon records for the rest of my days"."
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    "Fuck you. You are just a fucking baboon, kid, don't you forget that. Now repeat after me, and write a hundred times on the blackboard: "I solemnly swear to stop trying to be a goofy alpha-male wannabe, I shall remain docile, peace-loving and listen to John Lennon records for the rest of my days"."god must be atheist

    :lol: You pretty much said this to me in another post.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    Nothing makes people more willing to fight for what they believe than the notion that they know the will of God and are fighting for God.Athena

    History shows this is certainly true. However, I sometimes think it is the "knowing" part that is more dangerous than the "will of God" aspect. Don't get me wrong, the "will of God" has a long history of convincing people they "know" what is best. But I worry that any moral system that people consider to be "objectively correct" would lead to strong feelings, which have the potential to be acted upon (but I can agree that religion has been the biggest cause of this up until now).

    Isn't it awful when there is nothing to argue.Athena

    hahaha, right?

    we lost the memory of what science (reason) has to do with over coming evil and what morals have to do with liberty and democracy.Athena

    Interesting topic. After thinking about it for a bit I have a question...do you think our belief in a more inclusive and egalitarian society has anything to do with this loss? Perhaps an equal percent of the population (or even a little higher than in the past) agree with the importance of science and reasoning, but now the masses have more power in society? I certainly believe that more power for the masses has many benefits, but it seems there will have to be downsides as well (at least in the short term anyway).

    This is why when the Roman and Greek documents were rediscovered and literate people knew Greek and Latin we had the renaissance bringing a love of reason back,Athena

    This is part of what I was referring to above. The Renaissance brought a love of reason back to a tiny percent of the population (and I would be fairly confident it was not much different in greek/roman times). The Gutenberg Press was only invented half-way though the renaissance so we know that, primarily, only the clergy and super-rich had access to texts for most of this time period...the Protestant Reformation occurs at the end of the Renaissance, largely as a result of more people reading (and more bibles available to be read).

    So I guess I am just questioning if there was ever a time when a majority of people preferred reason over intuition and/or superstition. But I certainly agree that we should make more effort to get there.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    No. I'm using pedagogy in it's strict sense here, in that no actual direct teaching took place. Sapolsky even tested directly for this with the tribe when the alpha males first came into it from the nearby Forest Troop. He says

    The lack of contingency in thet reatment of transfer males by residents argues against instruction; commensurate with this, there is relatively little evidence for‘‘instruction’’in nonhuman primate cultural transmission
    — Sapolsky RM, Share LJ (2004) A pacific culture among wild baboons: Its emergence and transmission
    Isaac

    Fair enough...I don't think the New York Times article I read went that deep :grimace:

    I have a few more questions related to this, but I would expect them to be annoying at some point (if I just need to spend time reading and researching feel free to say so), so only if it is somewhat enjoyable for you:
    Why did the new alphas that entered the group NOT assert dominance? I am struggling to see how they were prevented from doing so, without being taught to not do so? Or is it just because the teaching was not INTENTIONAL? I am struggling with the word "direct" because I could learn "directly" by imitating social norms...I guess pedagogy is about teaching not learning (so that is part of my error)...but I never really considered that the teaching had to be intentional?

    Yes. I'm sort of retired now, but my academic career has been in social psychology. My wife's a child psychologist though, with a special interest in education, so it's more dinner-table conversation stuff that I've picked this up from, rather than my own work.Isaac

    Both of those answers explain a bit. I have always done reasonably well in school, but if I don't use a piece of information, the knowledge quickly deteriorates. You seemed to have all the details on this one just ready to go...so that is why I asked (I also very much enjoy talking to people who really know a subject because they can just give me the important bits without all the fluff - although at some point I am sure it gets old for them, so I take what I can get :smile:).

    Margret Donaldson is good on undermining a lot of the Piaget stuff. She doesn't throw it out or anything, but it's remarkable what she gets the children to do (which Piaget said they couldn't) when they're in a less stressful environment. Stephen Shanker is doing some work on the link between stress and educational ability at the moment which might also be of interest, but again, I don't want to derail the thread.Isaac

    Sounds interesting. I may look for some of this stuff. And if I am ever in another thread on related topics I will know who to tag :smile:

    Thanks for the info.
  • LuckilyDefinitive
    50
    Interesting point but stating religious morality as the only alternative is a little reductive dont you think. Morality is much more complex than a two path ideological frame work. There are other debates intrinsically woven into this discussion that arent present in a religion only base of morality.
  • Nobeernolife
    556
    Interesting point but stating religious morality as the only alternative is a little reductive dont you think. Morality is much more complex than a two path ideological frame work. There are other debates intrinsically woven into this discussion that arent present in a religion only base of morality.LuckilyDefinitive

    I don´t see how "morality" works without a religion. Maybe you are referring "ethics", which is similar but not the same. Atheist morality is not possible, atheist ethics is. I know the difference is often ignored, even in dictionaries, alas. But if look at the contexts where the terms are used, it becomes clear.
  • Athena
    807
    History shows this is certainly true. However, I sometimes think it is the "knowing" part that is more dangerous than the "will of God" aspect. Don't get me wrong, the "will of God" has a long history of convincing people they "know" what is best. But I worry that any moral system that people consider to be "objectively correct" would lead to strong feelings, which have the potential to be acted upon (but I can agree that religion has been the biggest cause of this up until now).ZhouBoTong

    It is the Christian Right that supports the conservative presidents and the skyrocketing growth of our military budget and wars fought without being budgeted, such as Bush's invasion of Iraq. The mentality is also what gave the world Hitler. These folks know the will of God is what they want. They know this by faith not reason.
  • Athena
    807
    ↪Athena
    Interesting point but stating religious morality as the only alternative is a little reductive dont you think. Morality is much more complex than a two path ideological frame work. There are other debates intrinsically woven into this discussion that arent present in a religion only base of morality.
    LuckilyDefinitive


    Morality is based on reason, or on faith. I can not think of another foundation for morality.
  • Athena
    807
    Interesting topic. After thinking about it for a bit I have a question...do you think our belief in a more inclusive and egalitarian society has anything to do with this loss? Perhaps an equal percent of the population (or even a little higher than in the past) agree with the importance of science and reasoning, but now the masses have more power in society? I certainly believe that more power for the masses has many benefits, but it seems there will have to be downsides as well (at least in the short term anyway).ZhouBoTong

    The masses are too ignorant to have power. They have extremely little control of their lives and have willingly given up their power, and far too many are thrilled by the idea of robots running everything. And they sure as blazes are ignorant about autocracy being the enemy of democracy and that our lives could be radially different with everyone enjoying much more personal power and liberty. In the US we have become what we defended our democracy against. We have the organization of the enemy that crushes individual power and liberty and we have prepared our young to think this is new and improved and that they are superior to the rest of humanity. They are supporting the most expensive military might in the world.
  • Athena
    807
    So, when I said there's a kind of morality that's religious I was referring to those moral principles that were plucked from religion, assessed to be worthy, and then adopted by people. The connection between god/the divine with this kind moral code is perhaps best described as filial - they are offsprings of divine morality and the link terminates there for some and maybe most.TheMadFool

    Whose story of God are you using? Do you prefer one holy book over another? Why?

    How divine is it to destroy the planet we live on? Whose morals are effectively opposing this? Or do you accept global warming as a wonderful sign we are in the last days and feel happy about this?
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    It is the Christian Right that supports the conservative presidents and the skyrocketing growth of our military budget and wars fought without being budgeted, such as Bush's invasion of Iraq. The mentality is also what gave the world Hitler. These folks know the will of God is what they want. They know this by faith not reason.Athena

    So this is one of the reasons I vote Democrat. But I am not convinced the average Democrat is any more reasonable than the average republican, I just like where their faith is taking them better. If a magical deity suddenly gave Democrats what they wanted, we would live in a perfect, peaceful utopia. If a magical deity suddenly gave Republicans everything they wanted, we would have America in the 1920s with better technology....pretty pathetic, have some damn ambition Republicans. But I am not convinced either group has a reasonable and achievable plan to get where they want to be.

    I think I would agree with you pretty consistently on government policy (besides automation, based on reading below). But if we are trying to suggest one side has better thinking skills, I am not convinced (although Trump's support does have me closer than ever to agreeing with you on this, haha).

    The masses are too ignorant to have power.Athena

    Do we expect this to change? Or should we just start coming up with a better option than democracy? I actually largely agree with this idea, but I get the sense from you that you are very much in favor of increasing democracy and personal liberty. How will democracy ever work if the masses are too ignorant to realize their power?

    Also, if we wanted MAXIMUM personal liberty we could NOT have democracy, right? It would only be a matter of time before someone voted in a way that would limit personal liberty.

    far too many are thrilled by the idea of robots running everything.Athena

    Put me in that boat (not that our technology has reached that level). I have had enough of the world being run on emotion and opinion.

    As weird as this may sound, I am happy to give up some autonomy if it means increasing my liberty. That may sound like a contradiction, but it works. If I live under a dictator, but doing so gives me access to a free education, then I have given up some autonomy in exchange for some liberty. The problem with dictators is that some are awful tyrants. History does not show that dictators are inherently bad. It just shows that one bad dictator can undo the progress of multiple generations. I am not worried about living in a "free society" (yes, yes, only the privileged mind of someone living in a free society could say such a thing :roll:), I am worried about the things I am free to do.
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    Whose story of God are you using? Do you prefer one holy book over another? Why?

    How divine is it to destroy the planet we live on? Whose morals are effectively opposing this? Or do you accept global warming as a wonderful sign we are in the last days and feel happy about this?
    Athena

    I think I made a comment relevant to your question on a different thread. What is the essence of religion? Is it cosmology? No, we have a secular fully developed cosmology - no religion required. Is it god? No, we have Buddhism which remains silent on the matter. We may continue this line of questioning until we arrive at the essence, the thing religion wouldn't be a religion without and that, in my opinion, is morality. Morality is the cornerstone of religion and religion would cease to be religion sans morality.

    I'm not concerned about the problems of explaining evil in this thread and as far as the OP is concerned it seems irrelevant.
  • Athena
    807
    Do we expect this to change? Or should we just start coming up with a better option than democracy? I actually largely agree with this idea, but I get the sense from you that you are very much in favor of increasing democracy and personal liberty. How will democracy ever work if the masses are too ignorant to realize their power?

    Also, if we wanted MAXIMUM personal liberty we could NOT have democracy, right? It would only be a matter of time before someone voted in a way that would limit personal liberty.
    ZhouBoTong

    Things are dramatically changing. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. It is a matter of if the change is good or bad. Rick Steves recently did a program about Germany and Hitler's rise to power, and the show came with a warning about our need to protect our our liberty. We adopted the German model of bureaucracy and the German model of education for technology, and no one seems interested in this. The increase in federal power should have us alarmed. The more the federal government supports industries the more power the federal government has to control our lives. There is much to talk about but who is ready for the conversation?

    The way democracy is defended is by defending it in the classroom, not by defending us with a military budget and power that is crushing. Any walls around our nation to keep "those people out" are walls that keep us in. Our ability to cross from one country to another is being closed and controlled by the federal government. You may be able to get a "real identity" card that allows you to cross boarders but your freedom should not be confused by the real loss of freedom we are experiencing. We are marginalizing people as we never did before. The privacy act gave the federal government the ability to track us through education, medical care and banking, but not through the libraries that refused to cooperate with it. The libraries could stand firm against the federal governments control because the federal government does not fund our libraries, and as the federal government funds more and more industry our liberty is increasing threatened.

    Defending our liberty in the classroom means preparing everyone to make moral decisions without religion. Defending our democracy means teaching a set of American values. It means understanding we defend our liberty by obeying the laws, and if we think a law is wrong, such as ordering Socrates to drink hemlock, it is our duty and responsibility to speak out and if possible change the law. Our liberty does not mean we can violate laws we don't like, and Socrates agreed to drink the hemlock.

    I think we have a problem with understanding liberty and democracy. Democracy is an imitation of the gods who argued until they had a census on the best reasoning.

    Jim Hightower is perhaps the best voice on democracy and liberty of our time. Here is a link to google search. https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=Hightower+and+democracy&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
  • Athena
    807
    Do we expect this to change? Or should we just start coming up with a better option than democracy?ZhouBoTong

    What is a better option than democracy? Change is the purpose of public education and should be the purpose of public broadcasting and newspapers. We need a new American revolution to throw out the scoundrels who use our institutions for self serving purposes and to get our nation back on track with the ideals that gave us democracy in the first place.
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