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Is it human nature to create hard to obtain values?

 
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 01:44 pm
We often think of religions as setting lofty standards of what God expects, but it seems like society as a whole creates unobtainable values (and no doubt why religion is that way).

Our standard of living has changed dramatically over the years. In the 50's, families had modest homes, maybe 1 car, 1 tv, 1 phone, 1 bathroom. No a/c, no internet, vacations were a big thing. Clothing was homemade. Buying new possessions was definitely not an every day thing. By today's standard, this lifestyle is very feasible. But instead of feeling relieved that we can attain this lifestyle, we readjusted our "needs" until they were unattainable again. We needed two cars instead of 1. The houses got bigger. We needed more tv's. We need a cell phone.

We value women's purity and men's promiscuity, which is not only an inconsistency, but in order to obtain either ideal, we must violate the opposite value. We could easily value either one individually, but we set up a system that is by necessity self defeating. We can attain one or the other, but not both.

Standards of female beauty seem to be inversely proportional to what the general society looks like. If you look at the ideals a few hundred years ago, the "beautiful" women were quite plump, while food (and therefore plumpness) was scarce for most of society. The ideals got progressively slimmer as society got bigger. The midcentury models and actresses are curvier than in the 80's and 90's. And then as obesity was reaching high levels, there was a dramatic slim down in the early 2000's. If you watch shows that spanned from the 90's-early 2000's, you can see a ten or so pound drop in just about every actress from the beginning of the series to the end. Society is changing how it views beauty in terms of how difficult it is to attain.

It seems like we compulsively create artificial social structures where attaining something that someone else cannot is the goal. When we get to Jr. High, we instinctively organize ourselves in a hierarchy of popularity. Can humans only be happy if we can prove to ourselves that we're somehow better than others? Maybe we reject that which is different because they refuse to "compete"? (example: gays. "How can I prove I can get more tail than him if he won't even try???") It destroys the social order if people won't buy into it.

If it really was a "true" value (whatever that means), wouldn't it hold value even after it is attainable? But as soon as something becomes attainable, we move the line making the value unattainable again. It's like we don't truly value the thing we think (beauty, wealth), it's attaining the unattainable that we value. But only if others don't have it.

Are there any real "true" values? At the societal level? Or just the individual one? Is this system beneficial to society? Detrimental?


Anyway, whatcha think?
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pshingle
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 07:25 am
@Malkatrazzz,
In my experiences (I am only 17, mind you), the values that we live by are the values that are directly and intentionally instilled in us form the beginning of our lives. I once read a study that claimed our values are almost completely determined in our minds by the time a person reaches early adolescence. Our subconcious looks at the expectations and standards that are set around us and adopts them as our own. If someone grows up in a socially unacceptable household, their values would more often than not be that of their youthful surroundings. The same is true for an individual that matures in a deeply religious environment. The nature of our values are more-than-less a product of our environment opposed to human nature. Than again, isn't it human nature to accept social standards?
Malkatrazzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 04:44 pm
@pshingle,
Oh, they're definitely instilled in us by society; they are societal values passed down and that's what we're going from. But assuming we aren't programmed like computers by God or something, the social values ARE created by humans. Every value was created at one point or another. It may go back to pre-homo sapien days, but at one point, it was created in the minds of humans. And it's not a conscious thing either, it's just a general societal shift. The whole attractive weight thing is a definite shift. Even though it's a societal standard, it was somehow created by humans. God didn't tell us what societal standards to have, so it must have come from us, however subconsciously.
0 Replies
 
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 10:41 pm
@Malkatrazzz,
Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
We often think of religions as setting lofty standards of what God expects, but it seems like society as a whole creates unobtainable values (and no doubt why religion is that way).

Our standard of living has changed dramatically over the years. In the 50's, families had modest homes, maybe 1 car, 1 tv, 1 phone, 1 bathroom. No a/c, no internet, vacations were a big thing. Clothing was homemade. Buying new possessions was definitely not an every day thing. By today's standard, this lifestyle is very feasible. But instead of feeling relieved that we can attain this lifestyle, we readjusted our "needs" until they were unattainable again. We needed two cars instead of 1. The houses got bigger. We needed more tv's. We need a cell phone.

Standards of female beauty seem to be inversely proportional to what the general society looks like. If you look at the ideals a few hundred years ago, the "beautiful" women were quite plump, while food (and therefore plumpness) was scarce for most of society. The ideals got progressively slimmer as society got bigger. The midcentury models and actresses are curvier than in the 80's and 90's. And then as obesity was reaching high levels, there was a dramatic slim down in the early 2000's. If you watch shows that spanned from the 90's-early 2000's, you can see a ten or so pound drop in just about every actress from the beginning of the series to the end. Society is changing how it views beauty in terms of how difficult it is to attain.

If it really was a "true" value (whatever that means), wouldn't it hold value even after it is attainable? But as soon as something becomes attainable, we move the line making the value unattainable again. It's like we don't truly value the thing we think (beauty, wealth), it's attaining the unattainable that we value. But only if others don't have it.


I would say that most of these isues would fall under the category of want more so rather than values. You speak of how people seek for something that they no access to but when they finally obtain it, they simply fix they're eyes (they're want) on something new, as you could guess this process will reciprocate in a continuos fashion. This is what some call reaching for grapes you can never grasp, Imagine an individual that is feeling rather down but he has some money so he thinks he can finally buy that new latest phone that has come out, so he buys the phone and he is content, but do you think he will now be truly happy? do you think he will now be satisfied? It is much the same way in which you were saying of how life was in the 50's, so if we think of how much we have in present compared to then you would think that we should be at least 10 times as happy, but instead of these new pleasures making us happy by filling our desire and satisfying our want, we have simply focused our want on new items, so we have essentially disregarded and forgotten about the things we wanted but obtained and have now fixed our eyes on things we do not poses, smart ha? People will work they're entire lives to attain as much money as they can in order to fulfill these worldly pleasures, they will buy and buy to make them selves happy, but the catch is that as soon as they obtain something they will want something new, they will never be happy, it is like the old notion of the donkey in front of the carriage, as the carrot is hanged in front of him he tries to reach it but as he does he only pushes it further, so he will try and try but he will never get it. Such is the illusion of materialism, people will strive they're entire existence to accumulate the most money possible as to make themselves happy unaware that this money and materialism that they confuse with wealth is a mere illusion, this is how people don't understand of why rich people with all they're wealth can become depressed, this is because it is not wealth, it disguises it self as wealth and happiness but it is in fact much the opposite. This is also what drives modern consumer capitalism, the working class will slave them selves to be able to be able to afford a "happy" life style, but this life style is always being reinvented, e.g every body gets on the wagon of buying a big fancy flat screen tv but just when everybody has obtained one they come out with 3D tv, so that people can be even more "happy". So you see with this technique of bringing out new models of the same merchandise this cycle never ends, it is a perpetual cycle of work, buy, be "happy", so since it is a perpetual cycle people will do this for most of they're lives trying to reach happiness much like the donkey tries to reach the carrot instead the only carriage people are pulling along is the bank accounts of the big business corporal capitalists. The corporatists have this huge money making treadmill which is powered by the working class that are under the illusion that they are running to reach happiness.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2010 11:55 pm
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;173255 wrote:
I would say that most of these isues would fall under the category of want more so rather than values. You speak of how people seek for something that they no access to but when they finally obtain it, they simply fix they're eyes (they're want) on something new, as you could guess this process will reciprocate in a continuos fashion. This is what some call reaching for grapes you can never grasp, Imagine an individual that is feeling rather down but he has some money so he thinks he can finally buy that new latest phone that has come out, so he buys the phone and he is content, but do you think he will now be truly happy? do you think he will now be satisfied? It is much the same way in which you were saying of how life was in the 50's, so if we think of how much we have in present compared to then you would think that we should be at least 10 times as happy, but instead of these new pleasures making us happy by filling our desire and satisfying our want, we have simply focused our want on new items, so we have essentially disregarded and forgotten about the things we wanted but obtained and have now fixed our eyes on things we do not poses, smart ha? People will work they're entire lives to attain as much money as they can in order to fulfill these worldly pleasures, they will buy and buy to make them selves happy, but the catch is that as soon as they obtain something they will want something new, they will never be happy, it is like the old notion of the donkey in front of the carriage, as the carrot is hanged in front of him he tries to reach it but as he does he only pushes it further, so he will try and try but he will never get it. Such is the illusion of materialism, people will strive they're entire existence to accumulate the most money possible as to make themselves happy unaware that this money and materialism that they confuse with wealth is a mere illusion, this is how people don't understand of why rich people with all they're wealth can become depressed, this is because it is not wealth, it disguises it self as wealth and happiness but it is in fact much the opposite. This is also what drives modern consumer capitalism, the working class will slave them selves to be able to be able to afford a "happy" life style, but this life style is always being reinvented, e.g every body gets on the wagon of buying a big fancy flat screen tv but just when everybody has obtained one they come out with 3D tv, so that people can be even more "happy". So you see with this technique of bringing out new models of the same merchandise this cycle never ends, it is a perpetual cycle of work, buy, be "happy", so since it is a perpetual cycle people will do this for most of they're lives trying to reach happiness much like the donkey tries to reach the carrot instead the only carriage people are pulling along is the bank accounts of the big business corporal capitalists. The corporatists have this huge money making treadmill which is powered by the working class that are under the illusion that they are running to reach happiness.


This is all brilliant. We just don't need this crap to be happy. We need food, shelter, friends, a heart full of love and eyes full of beauty. This is why the Wisdom aspect of philosophy is important. Anyway, great post Soul Brother.Smile
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:59 am
@Malkatrazzz,
Today's business environment is geared to take full advantage of this human behavior. One obvious case is the digital camera, they started out with 2 or 3 mega pixels and gradually worked thier way up to, I think it's at 13 now. I don't know much about building cameras but I would bet that once you got the mega pixel thing figured out, the difference between 3 and 13 isn't that great a leap. You can, though, make a lot more money if you stretch it out in increments.

Some of our reaching behavior is tied to our level of comfort. We plan and dream about some future level of comfort we will someday acheive, once we reach that level we envision a new greater level to work for.
Just to be fair, not everyone falls into this trap, there are plenty of people out there who take pride in thier economy and restraint.

The economy of an industialised nation is based on this behavior to a large degree, it forms the basis for economic growth.
We are ,however, begining to realise a lot of problems created by a society based on out of control spending and debt.
In the future we may see a change in these behaviors as the pendulum swings back the other way.

My own HDTV got smaller as the months went by, post purchase.
I recently returned from a week in a cabin with no tv, phone, or internet.
Now my TV is big again, for awhile.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 06:16 am
@Malkatrazzz,
Malkatrazz,

Good subject and good post. This is an area of fascination for me, truth be told. I continue to be amazed at the complexity of human behavior; but moreso, that idealistic notions of human priorities pretty much don't exist. The vastness of our differences (mentally, culturally, temporally) preclude any "ideal" or "true" states. The more I learn, the more I see this idealism not only isn't true, but never was. In any case...

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
Are there any real "true" values? At the societal level?


No, not really - as you suggested. But it's complicated.[INDENT]1. By its very definition, there isn't any absolute values since they'll vary person to person; they'll also change within each person based on circumstances and immediate priorities.

2. What we value (either individually or as a society) also varies by degree and basis for valuation. Further, these are dynamic, changing and morphing by person. So yea, if you're looking for a 'true' or 'absolute' value, give it up; there aren't any. So the apparent contradictions you brought up aren't much of a surprise

3. That's not to say a study or inquiry into what we value and why isn't worthwhile. It does temper our discussion or search away from a condemnation for lack of true or absoluteness and towards an appreciation for the dynamic, changing nature they show us to be. That they'll sometimes seem to conflict mechanically is an inevitability.
[/INDENT]
Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
... but it seems like society as a whole creates unobtainable values (and no doubt why religion is that way).


Most are attainable though; all I need to is show one person as having attained 'that state' for any value spoken of and ta-da! Its proven doable. I'm not saying that there aren't 'states of achievement' that aren't impractical or flat-out impossible, I do think that most cultural/individual achievements we value are doable.

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
Our standard of living has changed dramatically over the years. In the 50's, families had modest homes, maybe 1 car, 1 tv, 1 phone, 1 bathroom. No a/c, no internet, vacations were a big thing. Clothing was homemade. Buying new possessions was definitely not an every day thing. By today's standard, this lifestyle is very feasible. But instead of feeling relieved that we can attain this lifestyle, we readjusted our "needs" until they were unattainable again. We needed two cars instead of 1. The houses got bigger. We needed more tv's. We need a cell phone.


This is a good example of the complexity I mentioned above. Yes, attaining these things could be called a value, but that they don't make us content or happy isn't a surprise. We think we're reaching for happiness when we buy <this> or <that> but I doubt that's what's really taking place. What we're actually doing is reaching out to satisfy a perceived need or desire. Owning material goods can only be called a value in the most vague context.

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
We value women's purity and men's promiscuity, which is not only an inconsistency, but in order to obtain either ideal, we must violate the opposite value. We could easily value either one individually, but we set up a system that is by necessity self defeating. We can attain one or the other, but not both.


This is an interesting one. I'm not sure either male promiscuity or feminine purity is valued as much as it once was. But accepting that they are, we're talking about two different conditions that come from completely different motivations: Males being viril and females being discreet or prudent. Both are influenced by reproduction and desirability as well as cultural mores (some of which are vastly influenced by religion and perceptions of role). They're actually so different, so divergent, that the realization of them being in practical conflict isn't a surprise. Further, much of their basis doesn't come from society; each has large influences from evolutionary development. So yea, practically they conflict, but they're so divergent with so many influences and caveats that to gasp at their apparent conflict is somewhat banal.

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
Standards of female beauty seem to be inversely proportional to what the general society looks like. If you look at the ideals a few hundred years ago, the "beautiful" women were quite plump, while food (and therefore plumpness) was scarce for most of society. The ideals got progressively slimmer as society got bigger. The midcentury models and actresses are curvier than in the 80's and 90's. And then as obesity was reaching high levels, there was a dramatic slim down in the early 2000's. If you watch shows that spanned from the 90's-early 2000's, you can see a ten or so pound drop in just about every actress from the beginning of the series to the end. Society is changing how it views beauty in terms of how difficult it is to attain.


Sure, but not just in how difficult; since this pendulum's been swinging all over the place for thousands of eons. These standards have always varied wildly from person to person, place to place and from time to time. Even within your fine examples there've been wild variations. Again, this isn't so much of a representation of changing or conflicting values as it is a testimony to the dynamic and complex nature of preferences as well as values.

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
It seems like we compulsively create artificial social structures where attaining something that someone else cannot is the goal. When we get to Jr. High, we instinctively organize ourselves in a hierarchy of popularity. Can humans only be happy if we can prove to ourselves that we're somehow better than others?


This deals with levels of acceptance that plays on that part of us that's social. It's relational and - I should add - certainly not shared by all. So no, it isn't a matter of compulsively creating a situation where the goal is to attain something other's can't, in this case it has more to do with young adults seeking to establish themselves and/or achieve acceptance by degrees. Again, its yet another illustration of the complexity of those conditions we strive for.

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
Maybe we reject that which is different because they refuse to "compete"? (example: gays. "How can I prove I can get more tail than him if he won't even try???") It destroys the social order if people won't buy into it.


This is insightful. I think you're definitely on to something in characterizing our rejection as often having its basis in their not 'playing the game we value'. However, it doesn't destroy anything. It can; though, be an outward manifestation of their not buying into our values (assuming we're playing they game that they refuse).

Malkatrazzz;168172 wrote:
If it really was a "true" value (whatever that means), wouldn't it hold value even after it is attainable? But as soon as something becomes attainable, we move the line making the value unattainable again. It's like we don't truly value the thing we think (beauty, wealth), it's attaining the unattainable that we value. But only if others don't have it.


Of course, there isn't any real "true" value. Within each person, from day to day even and varying by situation values change; so give up the ghost on "trueness" (I see "True Value" as being a grossly inexact characterization).

As far as moving the bar goes; sure! But this too is expected. What is ubiquitous generally isn't coveted - just a basic parameter of human thinking. Pave the streets with diamonds, cover the beaches with them and they'll not be as much sought after. Its the same with conditions of humanity: Those with competitive natures will push to distinguish themselves by moving that bar - as we will via adoration in recognition of that new milestone; neither surprising nor contradiction. To the extent that this is true, it just "is" - neither intrinsically good nor bad.

I'd agree on your core sentiment: That values we have, as humans, carry value sets that seem flighty or downright unworkable. But remember, we're all different; we're complex, inexact and changing - that they sometimes crash into each other is completely understandable and unsurprising.

Again - Thanks for the good thread

---------- Post added 06-05-2010 at 07:28 AM ----------

Soul Brother;173255 wrote:
... so he thinks he can finally buy that new latest phone that has come out, so he buys the phone and he is content, but do you think he will now be truly happy? do you think he will now be satisfied? It is much the same way in which you were saying of how life was in the 50's, so if we think of how much we have in present compared to then you would think that we should be at least 10 times as happy, but instead of these new pleasures making us happy by filling our desire and satisfying our want, we have simply focused our want on new items...


This is absolutely correct.

Most of us - I'd wager - live in industrialized, consumer-based societies and we all share this danger, this risk, that SB mentions above: Focusing our energies on getting material things. Many indeed do perceive them as "needs". But whether want or need, they only serve to tittilate us (and then, often for a short time).

Getting "stuff" won't make anyone happy, even though our enthusiastic desires cheat us into thinking it will. And focusing all our energies to work jobs we hate to buy stuff we don't need (and won't make us happy) is a sure-fire way to becoming disatisfied, malcontent, bitter and generally unhappy. I'm so sure of this; I'd almost term this merry-go-round bad result as 'universal'.

Thanks
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 07:33 am
@Khethil,
Reconstructo;173285 wrote:
This is all brilliant. We just don't need this crap to be happy. We need food, shelter, friends, a heart full of love and eyes full of beauty. This is why the Wisdom aspect of philosophy is important. Anyway, great post Soul Brother.Smile


Thank you Reconstructo. Unfortunately this is a reality that is sad but true, brothers will spend the majority of the limited time of they're experience slaving away at work to try and keep up with the speed of the treadmill, just to keep up with this perpetual cycle, just to keep up with what is considered a "happy" life stile in modern society. Brothers will work, fight, hate, and even kill and go to war against other brothers in the name of the precious green stuff, whole lives of all this instead of coming to peace, love, respect and treasure one one another, our Earth and this most amazing and priceless experience we call life, and all the we need for this are the things you mentioned reconstructo, food, shelter, friends, eyes full of beauty, and most importantly a heart full of love.

wayne;173303 wrote:
Today's business environment is geared to take full advantage of this human behavior. One obvious case is the digital camera, they started out with 2 or 3 mega pixels and gradually worked thier way up to, I think it's at 13 now. I don't know much about building cameras but I would bet that once you got the mega pixel thing figured out, the difference between 3 and 13 isn't that great a leap. You can, though, make a lot more money if you stretch it out in increments.

Some of our reaching behavior is tied to our level of comfort. We plan and dream about some future level of comfort we will someday acheive, once we reach that level we envision a new greater level to work for.
Just to be fair, not everyone falls into this trap, there are plenty of people out there who take pride in thier economy and restraint.

The economy of an industialised nation is based on this behavior to a large degree, it forms the basis for economic growth.
We are ,however, begining to realise a lot of problems created by a society based on out of control spending and debt.
In the future we may see a change in these behaviors as the pendulum swings back the other way.


wayne;173303 wrote:
Today's business environment is geared to take full advantage of this human behavior


Too right you are Wayne, and the key words here are as you said take full advantage, They exploit this human behavior as much as something can posibly be exploited, they know that people are weak with this and they use it to shake every last penny from they're pocket. And it is exactly the same with society's standards of beauty, as an example the fashion industry, instead of people buying a certain amount of clothes that will serve them for the next few years, they ingeniously speed up the process by putting forth these "fashions", they simply pay the high profile celebrities and models to wear certain clothes and before you know it with a snap of they're fingers, ta-da that is now what is fashionable and is what is "cool", so with very simple actions they create a highly efficient tool that is able to lure and persuade literally hundreds of millions of people to go and buy what they do not need simply because it is fashionable. So the people will not only now be up to date and "fashionable" but they are now "happy", until of course the next cycle begins and the new fashion is introduced once again, more work, more buy, more "happy" then its old, then more work, more buy, and on and on in a perpetual manner to live happily ever after.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 07:55 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;173255 wrote:
I would say that most of these isues would fall under the category of want more so rather than values. You speak of how people seek for something that they no access to but when they finally obtain it, they simply fix they're eyes (they're want) on something new, as you could guess this process will reciprocate in a continuos fashion. This is what some call reaching for grapes you can never grasp, Imagine an individual that is feeling rather down but he has some money so he thinks he can finally buy that new latest phone that has come out, so he buys the phone and he is content, but do you think he will now be truly happy? do you think he will now be satisfied? It is much the same way in which you were saying of how life was in the 50's, so if we think of how much we have in present compared to then you would think that we should be at least 10 times as happy, but instead of these new pleasures making us happy by filling our desire and satisfying our want, we have simply focused our want on new items, so we have essentially disregarded and forgotten about the things we wanted but obtained and have now fixed our eyes on things we do not poses, smart ha? People will work they're entire lives to attain as much money as they can in order to fulfill these worldly pleasures, they will buy and buy to make them selves happy, but the catch is that as soon as they obtain something they will want something new, they will never be happy, it is like the old notion of the donkey in front of the carriage, as the carrot is hanged in front of him he tries to reach it but as he does he only pushes it further, so he will try and try but he will never get it. Such is the illusion of materialism, people will strive they're entire existence to accumulate the most money possible as to make themselves happy unaware that this money and materialism that they confuse with wealth is a mere illusion, this is how people don't understand of why rich people with all they're wealth can become depressed, this is because it is not wealth, it disguises it self as wealth and happiness but it is in fact much the opposite. This is also what drives modern consumer capitalism, the working class will slave them selves to be able to be able to afford a "happy" life style, but this life style is always being reinvented, e.g every body gets on the wagon of buying a big fancy flat screen tv but just when everybody has obtained one they come out with 3D tv, so that people can be even more "happy". So you see with this technique of bringing out new models of the same merchandise this cycle never ends, it is a perpetual cycle of work, buy, be "happy", so since it is a perpetual cycle people will do this for most of they're lives trying to reach happiness much like the donkey tries to reach the carrot instead the only carriage people are pulling along is the bank accounts of the big business corporal capitalists. The corporatists have this huge money making treadmill which is powered by the working class that are under the illusion that they are running to reach happiness.


As much as I agree with this, it is not just the individuals fault. The government weighs in heavy as to why this type of behavior is occurring. In the US the FED is keeping interest rates so low, there is absolutely NO incentive to save money, you are in fact encouraged to spend because saving money will actually cost you money in the long run. They are doing this because the US doesn't produce any goods any more and GDP relies on consumer spending and the government in turn gets more tax revenue.

So I blame the government as the source of this problem, not the people. The people are the victims, not of capitalism, but a government induced problem of fixed interest rates. In a free open market system, without government interference this type of behavior would be minimal at best. It is simple economics.
0 Replies
 
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:21 am
@Soul Brother,
Khethil you posted as I was writing. You make very good points, as that were we to pave the streets with diamonds they would eventually become more sought after. I think this and all of these matters come to outline the nature of human beings and our lust that comes with the momentary, short term titillation of things that come apparent as NEW. We have this overwhelming lust and avidity that associates with all that is NEW and is like an intoxicating ecstasy. If you think about it nearly everything comes with this effect, a new puppy is great at first but not so much as its (newness) wears on, and it is the same for clothes, cars etc etc. But this newness is especially associated with material items and it this exact self created illusion that this society takes full advantage of, Big corporations dangle these material goods in front of they're money making tread mill to keep the power on and the cycle in motion so as to watch they're digits grow into double digits all while children are starving to death in neighboring countries.

---------- Post added 06-06-2010 at 12:50 AM ----------

Krumple;173355 wrote:
As much as I agree with this, it is not just the individuals fault. The government weighs in heavy as to why this type of behavior is occurring. In the US the FED is keeping interest rates so low, there is absolutely NO incentive to save money, you are in fact encouraged to spend because saving money will actually cost you money in the long run. They are doing this because the US doesn't produce any goods any more and GDP relies on consumer spending and the government in turn gets more tax revenue.

So I blame the government as the source of this problem, not the people. The people are the victims, not of capitalism, but a government induced problem of fixed interest rates. In a free open market system, without government interference this type of behavior would be minimal at best. It is simple economics.


Krumple, you must have also posted as I was writing.

Oh absolutely! I blame not the people but wish to help them, it is the people that are put to work powering the treadmill while the large corporations sit back put they're feet up and watch the money grow. I agree totally and there is not denying that the people are in fact the victims here, the working class will work they're entire lives to run and upkeep not only they're own lives but they're country only to have it all ruined by a phew in power, I acknowledge fully that the current state of affairs (and in fact most in history) are a due cause of bad government, but you have admit that the victimizing of the working class people that we speak of is most largely due to the giant corporations, they are what create the need buy cycle and what create the extreme contrast and unfairness of the manner in which the money is portioned, single corporations will have within them selves the same money that can be found shared by thousands if not millions of people, this human weakness that they exploit for the powering of the perpetual work, buy, be happy cycle is what is what creates the level of diversity of "wealth", the poor get poorer while the rich get richer.
Malkatrazzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 10:11 am
@Khethil,
Soul Brother;173255 wrote:
I would say that most of these isues would fall under the category of want more so rather than values.


Yeah, it is a big case of wants. Of course the word "values" is kind of hard to define. But many of the things are wants disguised as needs. We have lived without electricity for most of human history. I know several people who grew up without electricity and I know one person who did it recently. Her husband lost his job and they couldn't pay the mortgage and they had always been kind of woodsy so they moved to a cabin they had that didn't have any wiring. They had a well and an outhouse and they were quite happy there. But even as I'm writing it here, I know someone will read this and say "you think we should live without electricity???" Because we have accepted that as a necessity, not a want, but a necessity.

People used to rent rooms in other people's houses and no one does that anymore. There are other cultures where people live with their parents even after they get married and there may be multiple generations living together. Air conditioning, dishwashers, telephone, tv's, internet. People really do consider these to be needs instead of wants. I used to work in home health and so I've been in a lot of homes for indigent people. People who were disabled and had no income and were completely supported by the government and I was totally jealous of some of these accommodations. I didn't have a dishwasher, I only had a studio apartment, it was in the ghetto. I have a cousin who had two babies back to back and she lives completely supported by welfare in subsidized housing and it's a nice little apartment. She has air, dishwasher, internet, a cell phone. And this is not a rant about welfare, in case anyone takes it that way. But it tends to imply that we consider these things to be needs rather than wants.

My grandmother grew up on a farm and everything they ate came from that farm. And they felt very fortunate for what they had. Of course not everyone lives on a farm, but my mother in law grew up very poor and her mother had a huge garden and they did home canning and the husband hunted and most of their food they either grew or caught themselves. They had a freezer full of deer and rabbit and a cellar full of canned vegetables for the winter.s No one considers these things anymore. If people have gardens, they are for fun basically. I think we have lost touch with what our needs truly are.

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The economy of an industialised nation is based on this behavior to a large degree, it forms the basis for economic growth.
We are ,however, begining to realise a lot of problems created by a society based on out of control spending and debt.
In the future we may see a change in these behaviors as the pendulum swings back the other way.


Oh definitely. It's part of the culture. People didn't used to buy houses until they had at the very least 20% down and quite often until they had all of it, but that's such a foreign concept to us. I took out a 15 year mortgage and everyone was like "That exists? Why did you do that? Why didn't you buy a bigger house?" It's become normal to have debt. Dave Ramsey is so doing the told ya so dance right now!

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Most are attainable though; all I need to is show one person as having attained 'that state' for any value spoken of and ta-da! Its proven doable. I'm not saying that there aren't 'states of achievement' that aren't impractical or flat-out impossible, I do think that most cultural/individual achievements we value are doable.


Well sure, they're not absolutely unobtainable, but there is definitely a "hard to get" aspect to the things we idolize. And it seems to be the hard to get aspect that is really the draw.

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This is an interesting one. I'm not sure either male promiscuity or feminine purity is valued as much as it once was. But accepting that they are, we're talking about two different conditions that come from completely different motivations: Males being viril and females being discreet or prudent. Both are influenced by reproduction and desirability as well as cultural mores (some of which are vastly influenced by religion and perceptions of role). They're actually so different, so divergent, that the realization of them being in practical conflict isn't a surprise. Further, much of their basis doesn't come from society; each has large influences from evolutionary development. So yea, practically they conflict, but they're so divergent with so many influences and caveats that to gasp at their apparent conflict is somewhat banal.


I disagree. Societal standards aren't as rigid as they once were, but they're still very much alive and kicking in our minds. We've moved the line a bit, but we still consider them very important. I hear the words: slut, whore, stud, player, etc. all the time. A whore isn't someone who's simply had sex before marriage like it used to be, but it's still a very real and important judgment in our minds.

You are correct that it's part of our evolutionary development, but so is everything else really. Other species judge others based on "wealth" however it is seen to them: size of the harem, size of the territory, etc. But it does lend some doubt as to whether we "created" it or not. Valuing attractiveness is evolutionary, but we definitely move the line there. Either way, I think we definitely value the "unobtainable" nature of them. And I think the conflict really does lend to the "unobtainable" nature of it. But you're right on one count, we may not have "created" that one.

Quote:
Pave the streets with diamonds, cover the beaches with them and they'll not be as much sought after.


Yup! Diamonds are a great example of something that only has worth because we think it does. They really are not that valuable by themselves. We only want them because it will impress someone else. In terms of beauty, a cubic zirconium looks exactly the same, except it actually has less flaws. This is one I refuse to buy into. We bought my original engagement ring at a pawn shop for about 1/10 of the retail cost and then when I wanted to get a nicer one I took the original setting and put a 2 carat CZ in it. It looks great and everyone keeps their hands. And of course there's no value to a CZ except everyone thinks it is this diamond which is artificially valuable. ;-)
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 10:19 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother wrote:
Krumple, you must have also posted as I was writing.

Oh absolutely! I blame not the people but wish to help them, it is the people that are put to work powering the treadmill while the large corporations sit back put they're feet up and watch the money grow. I agree totally and there is not denying that the people are in fact the victims here, the working class will work they're entire lives to run and upkeep not only they're own lives but they're country only to have it all ruined by a phew in power, I acknowledge fully that the current state of affairs (and in fact most in history) are a due cause of bad government, but you have admit that the victimizing of the working class people that we speak of is most largely due to the giant corporations, they are what create the need buy cycle and what create the extreme contrast and unfairness of the manner in which the money is portioned, single corporations will have within them selves the same money that can be found shared by thousands if not millions of people, this human weakness that they exploit for the powering of the perpetual work, buy, be happy cycle is what is what creates the level of diversity of "wealth", the poor get poorer while the rich get richer.


You have deflected my comments a bit. I am not even blaming the businesses but instead the government getting involved in banking. The FED is hijacking the money supply and also controlling interest rates. This is the fuel to the fire, the blazing fire of consumer spending. If the FED raised interest rates consumers would actually save and invest money.

In the not to distant future, mark my words, the US will interest rates will shoot sky high even against the FED wanting it to. This will be the first sign of disaster being eminent, however the government will play it down, while the economists will be screaming bloody murder. Once this happens, the US economy won't recover under it's own means. I give it about 2 years maybe 3 if we continue down this same road of 0% interest rates.
0 Replies
 
 

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