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Can the lust for power lead to the loss of humanity?

 
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 10:27 pm
I got this idea from reading Macbeth, can anyone apply it to other things?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 8,052 • Replies: 26
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Ceili
 
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Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 10:34 pm
Hitler, Stalin.....just about any dictator fits the build.
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SCoates
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 12:26 am
I disagree with Bill. I think the lust for power defines humanity. That can be good or bad. For example, knowledge is power, and to lust for knowledge is what we have above the animals. As far as the corrupt versions of power, again a defining characteristic of men.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 06:43 am
What IS power? To me, one of the questions when we talk about power, is power over what? Other people, of course. When we seek power over other people, we have dehumanized them, and made them simply an object of our power lust.

That is not to say that every person in a position of power dehumanizes others. There are many who use their position to make the world a better place,(whether their "world" is humanity in general, or simply the people who work in their firm).

IMO, to be a positive thing, power must come from a postive motivation to accomplish a goal. The power that one acheives becomes the result of that effort. When the power is the end in itself, the motivation, the "lust" for power, then it becomes evil.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 07:25 am
Lao Tzu knew about duct tape, SCoates? Interesting...
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rufio
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 07:40 am
In a technical sense, no, they don't morph into a different species. But we could debate forever on what it means to be human.
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Letty
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 11:13 am
What it means to be human:

The ills I sorrow at
Not me alone
Like an arrow,
Pierce the marrow,
Through the fat
And past the bone.

Your grief and mine
Must intertwine
Like sea and river,
Be fused and mingle,
Diverse yet single,
Forever and ever.

Let no man be so proud
And confident,
To think he is allowed
A little tent
Pitched in a meadow
of sun and shadow
All his little own.

Joy may be shy, unique,
Friendly to a few,
Sorrow never scorned to speak
To any who
Were false or true.

Your every grief
Like a blade
Shining and unsheathed
Must strike me down
Of bitter aloes wreathed,
My sorrow must be laid
On your head like a crown.

Countee Cullen

Welcome to A2K Unluckystar.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 02:12 pm
truth
We usually think of power in the negative sense of power over other people and resources. Our "lust" for power therefore always seems negative. I like to think that there is a positive side to power. There is both the power to do good for others (as Phoenix notes) and the power to control or transcend our own weaknesses and to develop personal strenghts. Some people take art classes, meditate, read good literature to expand their emotional scope, etc. But our greed has no positive side. Greed is just as much a threat to humanity as is negative power; indeed, the two go together.
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rufio
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 05:15 pm
I like to think that there are two types of people in the world - those who have control over themselves, and those who take control of others.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 05:19 pm
Quote:
I like to think that there are two types of people in the world - those who have control over themselves, and those who take control of others.



Exactly my thinking. A person who is in control of himself does not have the need to fake a sense of self worth through the control of others.
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 06:02 pm
I like to think there are too types of people in this world -- girls and boys. And I particularly like to think about the former.
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SCoates
 
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 06:04 pm
By the way, cav, in a technical sense, no, he probably did not, but then he did speak a different language than we do today, and I have translated to the best of my ability, trying to keep the spirit of the thought, rather than the exact literal meaning.
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Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2004 11:20 pm
The lust for power very definately leads to the loss of humanity. Lusting for power over oneself is scarcely better than lusting for power over others.

Lust for power, not money, is the root of all evil.

Leadership is the positive side of wielding power. Anyone who exerts power over others without their consent, expicit or tacit, is not a leader.

The best leaders are those who take the role reluctantly. Anyone who jumps at the chance to wield power is potential trouble.

Just think of how bent someone must be to desire to control any or all aspects of another person's life. This desire for power is an attempt to fill an unfillable void. It is pitiful even though it's ramifications are usually horrific.
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SCoates
 
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Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2004 04:48 pm
Well put, Finn.
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rufio
 
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Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 03:35 pm
If you lust for power over yourself, it's because you don't already have it. Smile Nothing wrong with having power.
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 05:26 pm
I have to disagree with Bill Shakespear. The statement supports a very idealistic definition of humanity.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 05:51 pm
I absolutely agree with Mr. Shakespeare. That's usually how it goes. The lust for power overcomes everything else, including ones humanity. Ask any politician (especially our current administrations), gang leader, member of the Mafia, thugs one and all.
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SCoates
 
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Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 07:18 pm
The fact that our lust for power overcomes everything else, is why I say it is actually a defining trait of humanity.
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rufio
 
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Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 10:29 pm
You're not thinking about power, you're thinking about improvement. Or success. But in order to get that you already need to have power.
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SCoates
 
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Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2004 10:38 pm
No, actually I'm not. Throughout history humanity has exibited a lust for power far more strikingly than anything else. We are resourceful, and driven, but as a whole we are also greedy.
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