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Suicidal Moron World.

 
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 04:47 am
Once upon a time there was an average man stuck on a world inhabited by suicidal morons - who neither cared, nor were able to understand that the whole species was headed for extinction.

He attempted to explain that they were all going to die if they didn't cooperate, but the suicidal morons were all busy collecting pieces of paper - bleaching and dying them in attempt to make all the pieces of paper the same colour, in the name of Bod - the Creator.

Conceptions of Bod varied ever so slightly from region to region, hence the different colours. Some thought Bod was red, some that Bod was white and others that Bod was blue.

'Our Bod has more paper than your Bod' called out one group of morons one day, causing the other group to write in Bod's Big Book - 'he who has lots of paper can never enter the magical forest.'

This proved to be something of an embarrassment ten generations later when the situation was reversed - but morons being morons - they just ignored that bit, and carried on cutting down all the trees to make ever more paper, pouring leftover ink into the sea until it turned quite black.

'Stop it, stop it' cried the average man - but the morons just carried on, largely because they were too stupid to work out how to do things differently, but secretly because they knew it was stupid and wanted to erase themselves and Bod's Big Book from existence.
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GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 06:16 pm
@iconoclast,
So much for the addage, In the land of the blind, the sighted man is King.
socrato
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 08:11 pm
@GoshisDead,
Why would we be called suicidal morons, that not what God created.
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 11:44 pm
@socrato,
Goshisdead,

The addage would hold true were it not that the blind had arranged things such that the blinder the king the better. The king doesn't need sight to be able to see what they hold to be true - indeed, if he could see he couldn't call himself king.

iconoclast.
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 11:45 pm
@iconoclast,
Socrato,

TYPO:
Quote:
Why would we be called suicidal morons, that not what God created.


You mean Bod!

iconoclast.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:10 pm
@iconoclast,
Why should I care that humanity will become extinct if this occurs after I am dead? Also, regardless of how thoroughly well you arrange some socialist utopia, homo sapiens will eventually dissappear. And why should it be preserved; it is better to live briefly and spectacularly than to cling to a senility that savours of anti-climax.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed your story.
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 10:50 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon,

okay, you're on the list and when the time comes you can make way - easing the burden on the earth and/or freeing the resources to support someone who does care - because if you don't care if humankind continues to exist - why should the reverse hold true?

iconoclast.
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:18 am
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon wrote:
Why should I care that humanity will become extinct if this occurs after I am dead? Also, regardless of how thoroughly well you arrange some socialist utopia, homo sapiens will eventually dissappear. And why should it be preserved; it is better to live briefly and spectacularly than to cling to a senility that savours of anti-climax.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed your story.


You had the right to exist, so why shouldn't those who come after you? Actually it is better to live wisely rather than briefly and spectacularly. The spectacular comes into play when one follows wisdom, not to mention, so does longevity and perseverance.
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 08:57 am
@Theaetetus,
brightnoon,

You had no right to exist - and if your mother hadn't cared that you existed when she became preganant, (and given up following the Rolling Stones tour to settle down in small-town America) you wouldn't exist.

:band:

iconoclast.

p.s. head over to 'eulogy for humankind' to check out Aedes baby: Max. He is the cutest little chap on earth. Look at him and tell me it doesn't matter. Of course it matters.
0 Replies
 
paulhanke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:23 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon wrote:
Why should I care that humanity will become extinct if this occurs after I am dead? Also, regardless of how thoroughly well you arrange some socialist utopia, homo sapiens will eventually dissappear.


... it seems to me to be a sad commentary on Western culture that the only options open to it are every-man-for-himself or else a government-enforced-socialist-utopia (which sounds like no utopia at all) ... it's too bad we're all deeply enculturated with the fiction that it's against our individual interests to simply give a sh*t! :disappointed:
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:41 pm
@paulhanke,
Thanks paulhanke,

I agree...and honestly, what I'm proposing is way beyond a socialist utopia. I don't place the material at the center of my political philosophy, but knowledge.

iconoclast.
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 12:54 pm
@paulhanke,
because if you don't care if humankind continues to exist - why should the reverse hold true?

Who said it should and, moreover, it generally does not.

You had the right to exist, so why shouldn't those who come after you?

There is a great difference between existing and having a right to exist. I exist, but where is the right? Who has given me this right? What does a right to exist even mean; my existance is dependent on someone allowing me to exist? That is disgusting!

... it seems to me to be a sad commentary on Western culture that the only options open to it are every-man-for-himself or else a government-enforced-socialist-utopia (which sounds like no utopia at all) ... it's too bad we're all deeply enculturated with the fiction that it's against our individual interests to simply give a sh*t!

Yes, why can't everyone just be nice? Because some people don't want to be nice and who are you to tell them they are wrong! Thus, the only way to have people cooperate is to enforce cooperation: hence the horrific orwellian future that awaits our species.

The only way in which the future of the species matters to anyone is either as an idea (the idea of the future they have while they are still alive, which may or may not haunt their dreams) or in the case of those actually alive when whatever catastrophe you speak of occurs (war, famine, plague, etc.). The unborn certainly do not care; they exist only in our minds. There lack of being able to live in the future is of concern only to us now; that is selfish, not compassionate, though understandable.

Personally, the idea of a breif but spectacular nuclear war or a massive asteroid collision gives me a great deal more pleasure than that of socialized automotons walking about for no purpose on an increasingly artifical, ugly and boring planet/spacestation.

Now vegetarians, attack me! (just kidding, not mocking your cultural diversity, lifestyle orientation or any other such newspeak whatnots)
paulhanke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 01:31 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon wrote:
Yes, why can't everyone just be nice? Because some people don't want to be nice and who are you to tell them they are wrong! Thus, the only way to have people cooperate is to enforce cooperation: hence the horrific orwellian future that awaits our species.


... who said anything about being nice? - does that have anything to do with simply giving a sh*t? ... and as for "some people don't want to be nice and who are you to tell them they are wrong!", that's precisely the problem with Western culture that I'm trying to point out! - Western culture wires our brains to think that the only way to live in this world is to be self-centered bastards striving to "get ahead" at all costs ...

BrightNoon wrote:
The only way in which the future of the species matters to anyone is either as an idea (the idea of the future they have while they are still alive, which may or may not haunt their dreams) or in the case of those actually alive when whatever catastrophe you speak of occurs (war, famine, plague, etc.).


... again, sounds like typical Western thinking ... if you were instead brought up within a culture that reveres something other than the individual, would your attitude toward others and the future be the same? ... take for example the cultural microcosm of (contemporary) archaeology that abides by the rule "Take nothing; leave only footprints." - it is at once both other-looking and future-looking without any hint of "Gee! This would look great on my mantle!" ...
0 Replies
 
iconoclast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 01:35 pm
@BrightNoon,
Brightnoon, ha ha! I love that you invite attack. Prepare to be destroyed.

Tell me, are you or are you not a human being.

I am.

An evolutionary animal.

Yes.

Then would it not be correct to say that you enjoy the ability to think, feel and know - to understand the moral difference between a responsible and selfish course, because tens of thousands of generations didn't think like you?

.................. [insert answer here]

Would it be correct to say that the language you speak was not invented by you?

.................

That your knowledge is developmental and largely derived from society?

....................

The house you live in the clothes you wear?

....................

Is anything about you, you - or even uniquely of your generation?

....................

Then how can you say you have no obligations beyond your own self satisfcation?

[...................]

Isn't it a fact that in oder to uphold such self interest you have to deny everything that is true about you?

................

iconoclast.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 02:33 pm
@iconoclast,
Iconoclast:

Then would it not be correct to say that you enjoy the ability to think, feel and know - to understand the moral difference between a responsible and selfish course, because tens of thousands of generations didn't think like you?

It would be correct to say that I enjoy thinking, feeling, etc. It would be most incorrect to say that I enjoy the ability to make ethical judgements; i make none and have no desire to. I make judgements and am considered a pretty nice guy, but I never claim that said judgements are true or right.

Would it be correct to say that the language you speak was not invented by you?

correct.

That your knowledge is developmental and largely derived from society?

correct

The house you live in the clothes you wear?

correct

Is anything about you, you - or even uniquely of your generation?

Yes, the majority; interests, tastes, history, deeds, etc. For someone of the eastern school, it suprises me that you would attempt to define people soley by their superficial and/or material attributes. doesn't that sound more like an evil money-grubbing western way of thinking?

Then how can you say you have no obligations beyond your own self satisfcation?

Like this; I have no obligations beyond my own satisfaction. In fact, I haven't even got the obligation to satisfy myself. I may or I may not. There are not really any oughts in life. There is what happens, and what does not happen.

Isn't it a fact that in oder to uphold such self interest you have to deny everything that is true about you?

No, not in any way at all. I see no contradiction whatsoever. You will have to provide some eastern wisdom to educate my brutish self.

P.S., for someone named iconoclast, you really carry around a great many icons with you.



PaulHanke:

who said anything about being nice? - does that have anything to do with simply giving a sh*t

By giving a sh*t, I assume you mean about the values, ethics, etc., that you find to be important, such as cooperation, peacefulness, mutual respect: i.e., being nice. I am not indifferent to everything in the world, I don't sit around in the dark waiting to die. I merely don't care for or give a sh*t about those particlular values, as such. This is not to say that I walk around pushing people and smacking babies. I simply do not feel the need to codify my personal inclinations as sacred or universal law, nor do I wish to preach such laws to others. Morality infringes on freedom, besides being completely arbitrary and invented more often than not for strcitly pragmatic reasons; a wise man once said "all those who lack character devise a method."

that's precisely the problem with Western culture that I'm trying to point out! - Western culture wires our brains to think that the only way to live in this world is to be self-centered bastards striving to "get ahead" at all costs

I'm not sure what you mean by get ahead; if you mean success in the contemprary sense of the word, I happen to agree. The American Dream of finanicial success, a house, a wife and an easy retirement sound a little dull to me; but thats an aesthetic, not a moral judgement and one that I don't intend to impose on anyone else, though I might persuade.

again, sounds like typical Western thinking ... if you were instead brought up within a culture that reveres something other than the individual, would your attitude toward others and the future be the same? ... take for example the cultural microcosm of (contemporary) archaeology that abides by the rule "Take nothing; leave only footprints." - it is at once both other-looking and future-looking without any hint of "Gee! This would look great on my mantle!"

It is a dead, spectral philosophy that would turn to archaeology for maxims by which to live! More seriously, here are my questions; what is there in life beside life; do you live or does someone or something else live for you? Unless your answers are "nothing" and "I do", respectively, I won't waste time continuing to speak to a corpse. Let's say that those were your answers; what are you saving the world for; you will only have so much time to use it; the only reason I could imagine would be to calm your fear that you are harming something, someone, which exists only in your mind in any case. And so we come to the origin of all this pessimism and will to death: cowardice (metaphyscially speaking, don't take this personally), you do not use the world as you might like because you fear, or because you wish to humble yourself before some entity that you imagine; you wish to be respectful; to what I ask?

Of course neither of us are correct, or incorrect. I just thought I'd see what kind of person you are.

By the way, I am curious, are you actually from asia or are you a western admirer of some branch of asian philosophy? I would guess the latter, one who had become disenchanted with the inequalities he perceives around him, etc.
paulhanke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:43 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon wrote:
By giving a sh*t, I assume you mean about the values, ethics, etc., that you find to be important, such as cooperation, peacefulness, mutual respect: i.e., being nice.


... no, I just mean giving a sh*t - like, say, beating the crap out of my drug addict brother and putting him in a rehab.

BrightNoon wrote:
Morality infringes on freedom, besides being completely arbitrary and invented more often than not for strcitly pragmatic reasons; a wise man once said "all those who lack character devise a method."


... morality infringes on freedom only to the extent that one deifies the individual and insists that any individual who of his own free accord agrees to assist in the development of and abide by social rules in order to enjoy the benefits of society is in any sense giving up freedom ...

BrightNoon wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by get ahead;


... the legacy of "getting ahead at all costs" that still echoes from the age of the robber barons and the early industrialists ... like, say, thinking it's perfectly okay to take advantage of the confusion of war to take gobs of money for services not rendered ...

BrightNoon wrote:
... what is there in life beside life; do you live or does someone or something else live for you? Unless your answers are "nothing" and "I do", respectively, I won't waste time continuing to speak to a corpse.


... so unless I believe that there is nothing in life besides life - that human beings cannot possibly attach any spiritual meaning to human life in general let alone to their own life - I'm a corpse?

BrightNoon wrote:
... what are you saving the world for; you will only have so much time to use it ...


... again with the Western thinking: the only reason the world exists is for the use of Man ... isn't it possible to look at this in other ways? ... something along the lines of the fact that I am not in any way separate from this world, I am wholly a part of it - and that this simple fact that I am an integral part of the world makes the world worth saving?

BrightNoon wrote:
Of course neither of us are correct, or incorrect.


... agreed Smile ... but here's a key question: do you think that it is possible for one culture's set of attitudes to be superior to another culture's set of attitudes at least as far as the spiritual well-being of the individuals living in those distinct cultures?

BrightNoon wrote:
By the way, I am curious, are you actually from asia or are you a western admirer of some branch of asian philosophy? I would guess the latter ...


... close - I am a colonial American who is struggling to grasp (what remains of) native American culture, but probably never completely will ... too many Western concepts much too deeply ingrained ... here's another key question: do you think that it is possible for an individual from one culture to ever completely understand (let alone internalize) the attitudes of a significantly different culture?
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 04:29 pm
@paulhanke,
no, I just mean giving a sh*t - like, say, beating the crap out of my drug addict brother and putting him in a rehab.

One cannot simply care, one has to care about something, such as the welfare of your brother. My point is that there is no justification for any particluar such care. You may care or you may not; you oughn't do anything.

morality infringes on freedom only to the extent that one deifies the individual and insists that any individual who of his own free accord agrees to assist in the development of and abide by social rules in order to enjoy the benefits of society is in any sense giving up freedom

I mean freedom of the individual. What else can freedom mean; freedom to be part of a group whose collective decisions do not depend on your preference; freedom to be opressed; freedom to be a slave? Is the year 1984?

the legacy of "getting ahead at all costs" that still echoes from the age of the robber barons and the early industrialists ... like, say, thinking it's perfectly okay to take advantage of the confusion of war to take gobs of money for services not rendered

Again, such selfish actions are not wrong; they are apparently disgusting to you. To some extent I agree, but I don't summon the gods of morality to 'prove' my case.

so unless I believe that there is nothing in life besides life - that human beings cannot possibly attach any spiritual meaning to human life in general let alone to their own life - I'm a corpse?

Of course you're not literally a corpse (I hope...:shocked:). By that statement, I meant that to seek for the meaning of life somewhere else, in some imaginary sphere, seems to me to be a waste, a failure to enjoy life as otherwise you would if you acted according to your own values. Now, jesus, mohhammad, and the other founders of religions are an exception, simply because these were their values; they invented these gods and these laws. You and rest merely learned them. If you never knew the difference, that might be fine. But I, from another perspective cannot help but think," what a shame..."

again with the Western thinking: the only reason the world exists is for the use of Man ... isn't it possible to look at this in other ways? ... something along the lines of the fact that I am not in any way separate from this world, I am wholly a part of it - and that this simple fact that I am an integral part of the world makes the world worth saving?

I do not think that the world exists for the use of man. I do think that the world exists and that I will use it. I have no right to use it, nor is there any moral/religious/etc reason not to use it. Again, it is a matter of does and does not happen, and what I would like to happen. Also, if you are an integral part of the world, then aren't all your actions integral as well, including strip mining, whaling, stomping on endangered tree frogs, etc.? If not, then who decides what is the integral and acceptable behavior: a very old book, you, some ancestor in the tribe who was especially credible?

I do not think that any culture or world view has any intrinsic superiority. I just find some much more appealing than others and would reccomend those to people. It is an aesthetic judgement.
paulhanke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 05:32 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon wrote:
One cannot simply care, one has to care about something ...


... I think I see my error - when I said "it's too bad we're all deeply enculturated with the fiction that it's against our individual interests to simply give a sh*t!" I left the "about anything other than ourselves" merely implied ...


BrightNoon wrote:
I mean freedom of the individual. What else can freedom mean; freedom to be part of a group whose collective decisions do not depend on your preference; freedom to be opressed; freedom to be a slave? Is the year 1984?


... no, last I checked is was the year 2008 Wink ... bad jokes aside, in all of the scenarios you describe here the individual is indeed freely giving up his freedom - but none of these relate to morality nor to the fact that free participation in a free society is not giving up one's freedom ...

BrightNoon wrote:
Again, such selfish actions are not wrong; they are apparently disgusting to you. To some extent I agree, but I don't summon the gods of morality to 'prove' my case.


... Q: is your act intrinsically wrong if it is an act that effects someone else in a way that if someone else did it to you you'd be reaching for the Smith and Wesson? ... if so, does that intrinsic sense of "wrongness" require appealing to the gods of morality?

BrightNoon wrote:
Of course you're not literally a corpse (I hope...:shocked:).


... me, too! :shocked:

BrightNoon wrote:
By that statement, I meant that to seek for the meaning of life somewhere else, in some imaginary sphere, seems to me to be a waste, a failure to enjoy life as otherwise you would if you acted according to your own values. Now, jesus, mohhammad, and the other founders of religions are an exception, simply because these were their values; they invented these gods and these laws. You and rest merely learned them. If you never knew the difference, that might be fine. But I, from another perspective cannot help but think," what a shame..."


... is the world imaginary? is society imaginary? ... if not, is it wrong to attach personal value to them? ... now, Jesus, Mohammad, and the other godheads of religions for the most part synthesized the myths and societal values that preceded them ... but these were cemented in the written word 2000+ years ago in a different world ... for people who remain fanatically faithful to these stagnant cultural artifacts, I agree with you - what a shame ... a culture should live and breathe in response to the evolving needs of its individuals ...

BrightNoon wrote:
I do not think that the world exists for the use of man. I do think that the world exists and that I will use it.


... still, that's a different way of looking at things than to say that the world exists and I am part of it and so to take care of myself I need to take care of the world ...

BrightNoon wrote:
Also, if you are an integral part of the world, then aren't all your actions integral as well, including strip mining, whaling, stomping on endangered tree frogs, etc.?


... exactly ... unfortunately, any living thing can erupt into a cancerous state ...

BrightNoon wrote:
If not, then who decides what is the integral and acceptable behavior ...


... cultures do ... and a culture of every man for himself seems to lead quite naturally into strip mining, whaling, stomping on endangered tree frogs, etc. ...

BrightNoon wrote:
I do not think that any culture or world view has any intrinsic superiority.


... I guess we'll have to agree to disagree there - for example, I would suggest (I have no scientific proof) that the American culture, despite its flaws, is intrinsically superior to the culture of, say, Nazi Germany when it comes to the spiritual well-being of the individuals that live (lived) in these two particular cultures ... (but that's not meant to imply that well-being is the only criteria that cultures can be compared against) ...
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 06:19 pm
@paulhanke,
This is futile. As such, i'm going to respond this final time and allow you thr last word, if you like. I'm going to address your arguments by number; i don't have energy to copy and paste...

1. You made the error of assuming that what you care about is the proper thing to care about. Your failure to see the relativity of all values is the source of this debate, which is becoming more and more like some theological monstrasity from the middle ages.

2. I do not agree with the laws of the land, yet am bound by them. How am I free? I do not define define freedom as the ability to do that which you are coerced into doing anyway.

3. No. The fact that I don't like someone's act toward me does not make it wrong, nor the other way round. You cannot see the difference between what is unversally wrong and what is personally undesireable, unpleasant, etc.

5. :poke-eye:

6. I do not see any need to codify my personal inclinations or accept such a codification from the cumulative inclinations of my neighbors. I do not wish for my behavior to be governed by anything but my own good taste at any particular time. To do otherwise, as you wish, smacks of cowardice and a lack of confidence in oneself, which encourages one to seek external justifacation for their actions. I ask for no justifaction and will not excuse my behavior because others do not approve, though, for example, I may apologize if I feel I have been rude.

7. Yes, of course it is a different way of looking at things.

8. so what?

9. so what?

10. If you mean that some cultures leaves for members more satisfied, that obviously is true. However, I will not determine which culture I prefer based on the majority opinion. Should I conduct a poll to see what i'll have for supper tonight?


In conclusion, o my
paulhanke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 07:28 pm
@BrightNoon,
... how 'bout if I take half the last word and only respond to every other point Wink ...

BrightNoon wrote:
2. I do not agree with the laws of the land, yet am bound by them. How am I free? I do not define define freedom as the ability to do that which you are coerced into doing anyway.


... wait a minute ... isn't freely entering into a social contract for the benefit and protection of all, like, Freedom 101? ... one of the fundamental ideas of the American Revolution? ...

BrightNoon wrote:
...


Hey! - where'd #4 go?!

BrightNoon wrote:
6. I do not see any need to codify my personal inclinations or accept such a codification from the cumulative inclinations of my neighbors. I do not wish for my behavior to be governed by anything but my own good taste at any particular time. To do otherwise, as you wish, smacks of cowardice and a lack of confidence in oneself, which encourages one to seek external justifacation for their actions. I ask for no justifaction and will not excuse my behavior because others do not approve, though, for example, I may apologize if I feel I have been rude.


... if you do not feel the need to participate in American society, do you have the confidence in yourself to divorce yourself of all of the benefits of American society? (your neighbors the Amish have a pretty decent record for walking the talk on this point) ...

BrightNoon wrote:
8. so what?


... so, if you've developed a cancer, shouldn't you try to cure it? ...

BrightNoon wrote:
10. If you mean that some cultures leaves for members more satisfied, that obviously is true. However, I will not determine which culture I prefer based on the majority opinion. Should I conduct a poll to see what i'll have for supper tonight?


... wait a minute - did I say anything about making comparisons based upon majority opinion? ... in fact, I'm pretty sure I mentioned the phrase "scientific proof" in there somewhere!

Anyhoo, I'm sorry to hear you say that this debate is futile - that makes me think that you'd find any cross-cultural debate to be futile, which could be taken as yet another sad commentary on Western culture.
 

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