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Will Saddam torch Iraq on his way out?

 
 
perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:29 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
My point exactly -- perception. I don't believe anyone here is displaying cynicism, although the word has also been used to try and shade someone's attitude in degrees, it doesn't work.

A little intelligent cynicism or a lot of optimistic stupidity -- we all have a choice.


This is also from the Cambridge International Dictionary

Skeptic--A person who doubts the truth or value of an idea or belief.

LW: The key words here are "Doubt" as in skeptic and "Does not trust" as in cynic.

As in my earlier statement many people here have crossed over the line into cynicism. Please refrain from trying to put words in my mouth and I choose to ignore your unfair category of blind obedience you used regarding the military. Something you obviously haven't learned about me is if I'm wrong I will admit it but if I'm right I will fight back. I have mostly admired your posts but on this one you're flat wrong.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:38 pm
Should we skeptical of cynics, cynical of skeptics, or both at once?



timber
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:41 pm
What specific posts are cynical? You can't summarily dismiss everything you disagree with as cynicism. In that, you are wrong.
That is the common usage of the word that I consider abhorant as it's too often a euphemism for a four letter word. "Does not trust anyone" is an absolute. Not trusting the government is something those in our government admit to being a problem and it's their prime reason for why people don't get out and vote. Trust has to be earned, it's not a given when elected to an office even if one votes for that person.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:49 pm
Tmmmbrrrrrr: The sound of one tree falling.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:53 pm
LW

You can re-arrange the words to suit you agenda but it all means the same thing---you are never wrong. There is one term that is just as abhorant as cynicism---Intellectual dishonesty.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:59 pm
One should be skeptical of someone who is truly a cynic but you can't reject everything they say -- on some points, they might be right. Cynics don't single out skeptics as the only ones who are untrustworthy -- they doubt the motives of everyone as being selfish and self-serving. Applied to politicians, this seems to appy very well.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:01 pm
What makes you believe I am being "intellectually dishonest" in criticizing the flippant use of the word cynic?
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:14 pm
Because you started this by implying that Blatham and I didn't have good grasp on the meaning of skeptic vs cynic and tried to substitute pessimism in where it didn't apply and now you won't admit it--what would you call it---if it walks like a duck----quacks like a duck----then it probably is a ___________
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:35 pm
I wasn't implying anything -- I said I was trying to determine what was meant by applying "cynical" to any particular post. Although I would characterize some of the posts as pessimistic of the motives and actions of the government in their drive towards war, I don't see it as a cynicism. I'll leave true cynicism to George Carlin and
Bill Maher. Although I laugh at their humor, I don't always buy their premise. I'm not force feeding pessimism as a substitute, I was merely suggesting that I found some healthy sketicism and could characterize it as pessimistic in some of the posts but wouldn't characterize any of it as cynical. I dissagree there as I don't believe our polticians/leaders are all untrustworthy, at least not to the core. I don't think there is any such thing as healthy cynicism but there is such a thing as healthy skepticism.

I'll also agree to disagree -- I was not criticizing you or Blatham on your English, just that the word in this context appears distorted for my comprehension.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:49 pm
LW said: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I also agree to disagree.

Happy Holidays
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 01:57 pm
I might be a little too sensitive to such a highly charged word as cynic or cynical -- even pessimism unless it were used in a sentence like, "I don't see why you are so pessimistic about the outcome of the war," which would work for me. I'm not sure any of us here (yes, perception, including myself) are smart enough to pull off effective cynicism -- it's like playing with fire. I think I'll leave it to those mentioned above and others like Mencken and Leibowitz!

At least we don't seem to have any misanthropes crawling around!

Laughing
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 06:38 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
At least we don't seem to have any misanthropes crawling around! Laughing


They may be found here, Where The Misanthrope Roam [/u][/b], an intriguing website.



timber
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 07:19 pm
The American Heritage gives the following for cynic: "Scornful of the motives or virtue of others, bitterly mocking, sneering."

Language is pretty fluid and perhaps we can just sort questionable usages out as we go, to clarify the intent of the speaker.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 07:36 pm
After seeing that definition, I don't think I am being that sensitive or defensive. I've seen the word too many times used as an insult which is why I posted the defintion. It was the benefit of the doubt that those who use it don't realize it's meaning and if they do, realize that it's overkill. If there is a poster aboard that is mocking and sneering at anyone, I don't suppose there might be a moderator interested? If it's mocking or sneering at a politician, that's kind of selective cynicism and often deserved -- please continue slingin' those arrows! One of them is likely to pierce their armor. Laughing Laughing
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 07:38 pm
At first glance, I can't tell if the site you linked to was serious or not, timber.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 08:03 pm
LW, years of glancing at that site have left me with some ambiguity in its regard.



timber
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 10:05 am
I don't know how anyone could think I'm cynical. I've been a registered Democrat and card-carrying liberal for 36 years. Talk about your inveterate optimist!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 10:34 am
Goodness gracious, balding men, ancient Cynics--how the hell does Saddam get credit for this thread ? ! ? ! ?

I am a cynic in that i doubt the virtue of everyone, myself included. This doesn't mean that i think we are bad men and women, simply that we all juggle degrees of venality and virtue--attaining virtue would require perfecting oneself, and i don't believe that this is a goal possible of attainment. I believe that the measure of a man or woman is the extent to which s/he attempts to regulate personal behavior by an ethic which is not at odds with either the rule of law or a reasonable degree of social restraint. Such a system of personal values cannot be imposed from without, and it is only the influences of childhood which can have any formative effect. Even as we mature and refine our world view and our personal ethos, we still carry out that process based on what passes for logic and virtue in each of us as defined and refined by childhood experience. That there are a great many selfish, and therefore venal persons in the world i do not doubt. That they are "evil," i often do doubt. Most venal people are simply motivated by selfishness, and not necessarily by cruelty or sociopathy (is that a word?). Someone like Saddam is a qualified sociopath--by this, i mean that he is antipathetic to the needs and desires of everyone outside a select group. This is further qualified by an assumption (based on a generous nature) that he is not psychopathic. Having no firm foundation for such a belief, other than giving the benefit of the doubt, even to one such as him--i would not argue too strongly against a contention of him being psychopathic, provided that the argument came from someone with long, personal experience of and contact with Saddam.

All of this leads me to another consideration in my life-long review of the issues of virtue, venality, selfishness, "enlightened self-interest" and the rule of law--which is an investigation of the extent to which individuals may be reasonably mature and socially responsible, but form a part of a larger group (clan, tribe, nation) which is puerile and delinquent in its aggregate behavior. There . . . there's another can of worms. Anyone wanna use this opener?
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 10:59 am
A bonefide sociopath has no feelings for anyone except themselves, so I would guess the cynic believes everyone is a sociopath? I'd say you're skeptical and self-assured, Setanta. It's okay to refer to yourself as a cynic but I know I don't believe it. There's nothing wrong with being cynical in a selective way -- politics is a likely candidate. I am just sensitive about the term being thrown about generally where it can paint a different picture, especially questioning someone's patriotism.

I think Saddam and his government is cronyism gone amok. He is a true dictator in that he has control over the course of his government by means of the threat of jail or death. This doesn't rule out that he has loyalty in his immediate milieu but I rather doubt he has any feelings for any of them even if they admire him. Can't get inside the man's head, so it's doubtful how he feels about his immediate family. I believe he is likely a true sociopath.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 11:03 am
Well, actually, in my heart of hearts, so do i . . . but even with Saddam, i will take the line that one is innocent until proven guilty. You have the problem here that he is likely a normal product of the clan culture so prevalant in the middle east--and to that extent, so long as he provides for the clan, even if he is cruel to its members, he is not sociopathic in the clan's definition. None of which, of course, has any bearing on the juggernaut the Shrub hopes to have bearing down on him sometime in the next few months . . .
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