2
   

Has Humanity, as a whole, gone down the drain?

 
 
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 09:42 am
It seems to me that wherever I go, for every one instance of a good person, there are ten instances of bad people.

I'm not talking about just newscasts, either. I'm also talking about personal experience.

Back in my middle school days, I was the on everyone picked on. I was the lowest form of life there. Add that to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and my faith in "humanity", as I understood it back then, was severely shaken. I didn't understand why all the kids picked on me. I didn't understand why certain people would hijack a plane and crash into a building for the sole purpose of hurting people.

In high school, I wasn't the lowest form of life anymore, and I understood "humanity" a little better, but still, my faith was only hanging on by a few more threads.

After high school, my understanding of "humanity" was even better, but yet again, my faith in it wasn't.

Recently, however, my faith in"humanity" finally broke.

I guess that what I'm trying to get at here is this:
Should I restore my faith in "humanity"?

Am I only getting "humanity's" bad side?

Is there something I'm missing?

Are there more good and decent people out there than I've been led to believe?

Should I keep trying to rise above the assholes of the world and keep being a nice guy, or do I have to turn into an asshole just to survive, or is there some acceptable middle-ground?

I'm only 22, so I'm still looking for the truth here, and I still need guidance outside of my friends and family.

Hopefully my fellow denizens of the internet can be cool and help me out.
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 09:50 am
There is a possibility that you're indulging what is known in statistics as the fallacy of the enumeration of favorable circumstances. That doesn't mean favorable in any moral sense, but rather, favorable to your thesis. So, if you're looking for bad behavior, and you take particular note of it when it happens, but you're not actually looking for good behavior, and aren't really taking any note of that, it's possible that you're indulging that fallacy--see only the instances of bad behavior which would be favorable to the establishment of your thesis. But you'd know that better than i.

Do you pay attention to how many times people smile at a stranger, say a kind word, hold the door for them, or just chat in a pleasant manner? Would you know it were happening if you did see it? So, for example, two people might be chatting and you assume they're friends, but they could be complete stangers to one another who are being friendly and cordial.

I can't answer your question, and i suggest to you that with your anecdotal method here, you won't ever be able to answer it either. On balance, the older i get, the better my opinion of mankind. The young are too rigid in their thinking, too conservative when it comes to what they passionately want to believe, and too intolerant of what they condemn. I was much more critical of people around me 40 years ago.
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 10:59 am
@RexDraconis111,
Or; you are engaging in ideological thinking, which is using ideas like good and evil to justify an opinion you have already leaped ahead to... We only have one humanity and there is no other to compare it to... It is what it is only because we do not have -in the least, from the small time we have in life, the perspective to judge the life we are in, nor as I said, the contrast of a better or worse humanity with which to judge by...

We could easily say that humanity was making some terrible choice given the options available, but humanity is not making any choices in the light of its options or otherwise... People are acting individually out of their neurosises, or psychopathology, or acting on the basis of culture which, properly speaking, sees only the past and cannot see the future in other terms other than as the result of the past, that is, not as an active choice...

I think it would be wonderful to give humanity a sense of itself in time, and the ability to read history for the lessons it teaches instead of simply as character studies... Clearly, history has many examples of people who exceed the limits of their knowledge with their activity, but who can never escape their moral prejudices... We have many examples of individuals in history who act as individuals, and that is to say: Immorally, and in disregard of the best interests of their community and for this reason communities and civilzations die, or are over thrown...

We can look a a quality like war and violence and see that from different perspectives and time they can either be a sign of health or a sign of degeneration... We can look at qualities like love or philosophy and see that from different perspectives they can be a sign of health or disease.... Healthy societies are not at all introspective, and act on the basis of what they are, but when they find themselves blended, as the Germans did with Jewish, and French culture they become mired in introspection as much as did the Greeks and the Romans in their day, as a result of their mixing... And yet, World Wide, the acting without thinking is itself so destructive of the environment and of all culture and cultures in general that no one can ask for it who knows for what they are asking...

Look at Hitler as a force for German Nationalism, and the last high tide of the German barbarians, and at how much good that did for the world...Ideology has for the most part taken the place of nationalism or racisim as cultural identifiers, and we are now the natural friends of those who believe as we believe and who follow the same ideological flag... But that is not the same as being governed by reason, and humanity has never been governed by reason, but for the most part has found reasons to be governed by others, and governed by ones own vices -as always...

So my guess is that we are not much changed, and this is because we cannot change because we are acting unconsciously... Our basic needs we cannot change... So we change our forms, and have so adapted to every environment...Culture is knowledge, but that knowledge is always limited, and does not tell us in what sense we are one with humanity, and we see ourselves through our own cultures, and compare ourselves to others through our cultures, and when we say me first, or us first; we never refer to humanity and to getting there together, as one family of mankind...
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:27 am
@Setanta,
So, If I take the time to seek out more instances of good, more will most likely crop up?

In your opinion, humanity is better than some people my age seem to think, and that If we can get ourselves to think in a more flexible manner, we'll be able to see this.

Am I understanding this the way you intended?
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:34 am
@Fido,
And you're saying that it's in the way I'm perceiving it, based on my inexperience.

If I look back and see everything we as a people have achieved and how (both in the broader picture and in the smaller local sense), and then give the present time to unfold and see where we end up without making blind and opinionated assumptions, I might be able to see things differently?
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:36 am
@RexDraconis111,
Well, sort of. I'm telling you that the instances of good are out there--but you have a cause and effect perception problem there, it doesn't "crop up" because you're looking for it, it's already there. Also, how much time do you spend in places where people socialize, or help one another, or express compassion and consideration for one another? That leaves out clubs, bars and most coffee shops.

It helps anyone, your age or mine, to think more flexibly. My experience of young people, and including my own youth, is that they often think they've got it all figured out, or most of it, so it's hard to get them to see what they've missed. The fact that you ask something like this, is, however, evidence that you're not hidebound by a belief that you have it all figured out. And i'm not putting a blanket condemnation on youth, either. Most young people who are passionately convinced they know what's going on are not conscious that they're missing a great deal. Mothers with children in playgrounds, the staff and visitors to a hospice, children in the lower ranges of schools, people meeting in church or other religiously motivated gatherings, the members of fraternal organizations, people at health clubs--there are all sorts of venues for people which will have many examples of courtesy and consideration, and even of compassion. You're not likely, unfortunately, to see very many people in their late teens or early 20s in such locations, unless they work there, though.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:50 am
It's a big world out there, and experience of that world usually cures callow youth of being callow. Different people have different values, too. The friendliest people i ever met in the United States were in Ohio. I've been in a line of cars in rush hour traffic a half a mile long, waiting on a traffic light, and i've seen people stop and let someone pull out of a driveway or a gas station. Some idiot ran me off the road in the snow once, and about every 15 seconds somebody pulled over to ask if i needed to use their cell phone. A guy pulled his van off the road next to mine, opened the back and pulled out two shovels and hand me one, and we started diggging her out--never said a word.

The entire nation of Canada prides itself on being friendly and courteous. That doesn't mean everybody in Canada is a nice guy, but the the overall effect is striking.

There is a minority of people who are motivated by venality, greed, cupidity, a lust for power and control. They can make hundreds or even thousands of people pretty damned miserable. But those hundreds or thoudands can themselves still be nice people. There's seven billion people here now, it's kind of hard to generalize about them based on a limited experience of the world.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:50 am
@RexDraconis111,
A lot of people at different times have seen humanity winding down in one fashion or another; but I trust that was cultural in a sense, and also a reflection of their basic pessimism... Before the first millenium many people believing Jesus would come again at that time accepted the want and squallor of their age in the shadow of great dead civilizations and did little to learn better or to help themselves so that their vision of decline was a mirror of decline in fact...Soon after the millenium, the Church pretty much took over society, the Crusades were fought, philosophy was reborn, Western Law was made fact, unified and taught in great universities founded across Europe, under church control...
The situation did not advance much from that point with the exception of small steps of technology which in time laid the foundation for capitalism and world trade... A great tragedy for humanity was the next great step forward for humanity and that was brought to Europe by trade: The Black Death... The Plague in destroying the population freed the accumulated capital of centuries, and it lit a fire under the ass of technology, and within a short period of time we were in the New World, and Feudalism was falling to pieces while Protestantism buried the Church of Rome...

You cannot say the sky is falling when you are at the bottom of the sea...Optimism and pessimism are alike false views of humanity and reality... Try to grasp the real... To judge without the facts is prejudice, but to give prejudice little weight is wisdom...
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 11:53 am
Another option is that your expectations of "humanity" are unrealistic. Humanity has never consisted of a collective living in harmony with everyone looking out for the good of each individual. You were picked on in school? That's about par for the course for humanity so that shouldn't have failed to meet your expectations. 911? Only one of a long chain of atrocities that mankind has inflicted on itself. I guess it depends on what trend you are looking for. Since WWII, the world has become more peaceful overall. Sure, people are dying in wars, but less and less. There are the macroscopic trends you are missing while you focus on the outlier events.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 12:08 pm
Hesiod was a Greek philosopher and commentator who lived about 2700 years ago. One of his comments on society runs:

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [i.e., "know-it-alls"] and impatient of restraint.
RexDraconis111
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 01:23 pm
You guys have given me a lot to think about. Thank you all.

Lately, my views and thoughts and experiences have been confusing me. Which is why, honestly, I'm glad I started questioning my thoughts and that I put those questions out there for others (who, hopefully, are wiser and more experienced than me) to give me insights. My thoughts lately have been fairly depressing, as you can probably imagine, but with these fresh insights, I can look at things differently and hopefully see a lot more light shine through the darkness of my inexperienced and previously narrow views.

Getting helpful advice from complete strangers (I think, ha ha) is actually pretty refreshing. The simple fact that you all replied has actually given me the hope that my views don't need to be as dark as they are. And then the replies themselves have given me much to think about and thoroughly consider.

I will take these insights and wrap my brain around them, and when I've reached an answer to my question "Should I restore my faith in Humanity?", I will be sure to post it here so that you can see whether or not your advice and insights helped.

Until then, I will still stop by frequently to see if anyone else has wanted to give me something else to consider.

Again, I wish to convey my gratitude for the help you've all already given me in my quest for truth.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 10:12 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Hesiod was a Greek philosopher and commentator who lived about 2700 years ago. One of his comments on society runs:

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [i.e., "know-it-alls"] and impatient of restraint.
They were suffering the moral breakdown of their society under the pressure of violence and economic inequalities... A lot of societies have come and gone, so clearly, nothing fails so much as success... That is to say: Every community is changed by its success into something other than the people who brought about their success...Even in individual families, the children of the rich must do all within their power to hold the fortunes made for them by their inventive and adventurous fathers; and while hereditary wealth is as destructive as hereditary government, still we protect this poisonous behavior rather than returning wealth to the commonwealth where it can inspire a whole new generation to avarice and piracy... In the hearts of youth lives revolution, but if the wealth were common, belonging to all so that each could have in his life all that pleased him, then the spirit of revolution could be turned into the spirit of common defense...

Societies die by a form of suicide where the cancers and diseases are left untended while everyone enjoys the spectacle of the rich on there way to oblivion, with so many others in tow... It is no wonder that we recreated the democracies of Rome and Greece in our own time... Our rich wanted governments as powerless as theirs to right the wrongs of society, and as unable to bring the people justice... We recreated failure... And we will fail because of our inablity to learn... But, that does not mean humanity will go down the drain... In comparison, one culture will always be growing while another culture is dying... The trick is to make one capable of eternal life; and that would require eternal vigilance and eternal seeking after justice...
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 06:27 pm
You know, after some extensive thinking, despite everything I've experienced and heard of, because of the insights garnered from all these replies, I've decided to give "Humanity" another chance.

I do realize that my other topics may not reflect this, but they do reflect my search for truth and understanding.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 02:14 am
@Fido,
Jesus Christ, you don't know what the **** you're talking about. Ten to one you'd never heard of Hesiod until you read that post. Greece was not suffering from violence and "economic inequalities" in the eighth and seventh centuries before the common era. You're just making **** up while you build castles in the air.

This individual came here for some insight into the world, not some bullshit historical fairy tale that you made up--made up because you can, not because you know what the **** you're talking about.
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 07:22 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Jesus Christ, you don't know what the **** you're talking about. Ten to one you'd never heard of Hesiod until you read that post. Greece was not suffering from violence and "economic inequalities" in the eighth and seventh centuries before the common era. You're just making **** up while you build castles in the air.

This individual came here for some insight into the world, not some bullshit historical fairy tale that you made up--made up because you can, not because you know what the **** you're talking about.
Bullshit... They were always raiders, and if you can believe Engles in the origins of the family etc, that is when social inequalities began... They alway grew worse, and became more inexplicable to people, and for that, reference Socrate's reaction to Homers account of the arguments against Agamemnon for taking too great a share of the captured Trojan wealth... Socrates could not understand honor sociaties because he was living in a money society with a money economy... And that was true also of Hesiod, as honor clearly did not hold a high value in his day either... It is honor that keeps people equal, and it tends to even after they become raiders, and begin following chiefs... The problem is that those who take wealth, the young primarily, think violence is wisdom, and that it is the greatest wesdom for those who take the wealth to have the greater share of it even while the whole people may suffer for what they take...
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 07:33 am
Quote:
Has Humanity, as a whole, gone down the drain?
Not yet, but it may turn into the Borg in the future.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 07:39 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Jesus Christ, you don't know what the **** you're talking about. Ten to one you'd never heard of Hesiod until you read that post. Greece was not suffering from violence and "economic inequalities" in the eighth and seventh centuries before the common era. You're just making **** up while you build castles in the air.

This individual came here for some insight into the world, not some bullshit historical fairy tale that you made up--made up because you can, not because you know what the **** you're talking about.
U might be interested to know that Fido has
(more than 1ce) admitted to multiple mental disorders,
for which he has been professionally treated.
RexDraconis111
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 07:54 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Quote:

Has Humanity, as a whole, gone down the drain?

Not yet, but it may turn into the Borg in the future.


Starfleet will hold them off for a while, and they may decide to give up. Even if we do lose Wolf 359.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 08:02 am
@RexDraconis111,
RexDraconis111 wrote:
It seems to me that wherever I go, for every one instance of a good person, there are ten instances of bad people.

I'm not talking about just newscasts, either. I'm also talking about personal experience.

Back in my middle school days, I was the on everyone picked on. I was the lowest form of life there. Add that to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and my faith in "humanity", as I understood it back then, was severely shaken. I didn't understand why all the kids picked on me. I didn't understand why certain people would hijack a plane and crash into a building for the sole purpose of hurting people.

In high school, I wasn't the lowest form of life anymore, and I understood "humanity" a little better, but still, my faith was only hanging on by a few more threads.

After high school, my understanding of "humanity" was even better, but yet again, my faith in it wasn't.

Recently, however, my faith in"humanity" finally broke.

I guess that what I'm trying to get at here is this:
Should I restore my faith in "humanity"?

Am I only getting "humanity's" bad side?

Is there something I'm missing?

Are there more good and decent people out there than I've been led to believe?

Should I keep trying to rise above the assholes of the world and keep being a nice guy, or do I have to turn into an asshole just to survive, or is there some acceptable middle-ground?

I'm only 22, so I'm still looking for the truth here, and I still need guidance outside of my friends and family.

Hopefully my fellow denizens of the internet can be cool and help me out.
WELCOME the forum, 111 !!!
It might be helpful if u define your terms (e.g., "faith in humanity")
with greater precision & specificity.

WHAT did u have faith that humanity woud do ??

When u were picked on in middle school,
what was the nature of your tormentors' objections ?

U asked:
RexDraconis111 wrote:
Are there more good and decent people out there
than I've been led to believe?
Even the same people change in their moods
from day to day or from minute to minute.
Have u noticed this in your own emotional being ?

In any case, 111, I suggest that everyone be prepared
to defend himself from the "slings and arrows" of diverse experience
in an unpredictable world. With the fullness of respect, I suggest that u enjoy life
as much as u possibly can, under all circumstances.

Again: WELCOME here!





David
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 09:23 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Setanta wrote:
Jesus Christ, you don't know what the **** you're talking about. Ten to one you'd never heard of Hesiod until you read that post. Greece was not suffering from violence and "economic inequalities" in the eighth and seventh centuries before the common era. You're just making **** up while you build castles in the air.

This individual came here for some insight into the world, not some bullshit historical fairy tale that you made up--made up because you can, not because you know what the **** you're talking about.
U might be interested to know that Fido has
(more than 1ce) admitted to multiple mental disorders,
for which he has been professionally treated.
As my dog once told me while I was talking with Elvis: Shove it up your ass... David; Your crack's still broke...
 

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