maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 08:55 am
@Glennn,
Quote:
Without realizing it, you are basically saying that chaos is the natural order, thereby contradicting yourself.


No I am not saying chaos is the natural order. I am saying there is no natural order. Natural order is a myth that societies invent to make their members accept the common beliefs represent some sort of absolute truth that shouldn't be questioned.

I have been indoctrinated. You have been indoctrinated too. You and I have both been brought up, since infancy, to believe in a common set of values that we now accept as part of our identity. What you are missing is how much your indoctrination (i.e. what culture you happened to be born into) has decided what your beliefs and values are. If you had been in born at a different time, or a different culture, your beliefs about what is the "natural order" would be quite different.

Let's take a real example.

Many societies have practiced polygamy with child brides. This includes Native Americans well before Europeans came, Ancient India, Africa (long before the slave trade).

When the Europeans came to conquer the Americas, polygamy was one of the practices that shocked them (this is well documented in the writings of missionaries at the time). They worked to stamp it out (as part of their aim to stamp out many parts of indigenous culture).

If I came across a 30 year old man with 2 or 3 14-15 year old brides, my indoctrination would find this quite troubling. Because your indoctrination is quite similar to mine, I am quite sure that you would have the same reaction (correct me if I am wrong).

And yet this was common in many fully functioning cultures... including Native American cultures. Is it really right for you and I to use our European view of "natural order" to judge the cultures we are subjugating?

Ironically today is Columbus day recognizing European explorers of the Americas. These Explorers believed in a "Natural Order". They used that term to justify their subjugation of the indigenous people of the Americas.


Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 10:38 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I am saying there is no natural order. Natural order is a myth that societies invent to make their members accept the common beliefs represent some sort of absolute truth that shouldn't be questioned.

By natural order, I am not referring to the existence of absolute truths. I am referring to that which goes without saying. For instance, you should not give symbols more consideration than that which the symbol represents; and that goes to the point of allowing for the poisoning of the earth, while disallowing the desecration of a cloth flag. Protecting the earth that grows our food and provides our water is a matter of non-mythical practicality--no indoctrination required. Protecting the flag to the extent that destroying one in public was a crime until 1969 is a matter of emotion--indoctrination required.

Perhaps it could be said that a 30 year old man with a 14 year old girl is not natural because it is not conducive to happiness. One might make the argue that if the girl is happy, all is well and natural. However, the natural order of thought would lead one to the question of the level of the girl's emotional maturity. And one would have a right to make that argument since it is not simply a belief that the growth--both physical and emotional--of children is a process occurring in time; it is a fact, and must be included in the equation if we are to maintain intellectual honesty.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 10:42 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
What you are missing is how much your indoctrination (i.e. what culture you happened to be born into) has decided what your beliefs and values are.

And what you are missing is that, though we have been brought up and indoctrinated from infancy to believe in a common set of values that we had unwittingly accepted as part of our identity, that does not mean that we cannot think our way out of these mind traps and see them for what they are--indoctrination. Nothing prohibits you from assuming a genuine identity not based on the collective mind of your neighbor.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 12:00 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
that does not mean that we cannot think our way out of these mind traps and see them for what they are--indoctrination


Your indoctrination tells you...

- to reject slavery,
- that all humans have rights,
- that woman should be able to choose the person they marry (rather than having one chosen for her).
- that humans shouldn't be stuck in a caste system by birth that they can't escape from
- that woman and men should be treated equally,
- that adults shouldn't marry children,
- that men shouldn't have more than one wife at a time.
- that human flesh is not food under any circumstances,
- that people can own property and that that ownership should be respected.
- that people should be able to speak out against the government without fear.

These are all things that pretty much every American believes (or any other modern Western culture, I am assuming you are an American... please correct me if I am wrong).

These are also things that other cultures have disagreed with. Americans disagree with each other a little bit on the details, but we all are in very close agreement on the big points. Certainly two modern Americans on opposite sides of the political spectrum will agree with each other far more than they would agree with a citizen living under the Ming Dynasty.

So tell me. What part of your indoctrination as a modern Western citizen have you "thought your way out of"?

Give me a single example of an area where your beliefs differ significantly from your indoctrination.


maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 12:04 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
Nothing prohibits you from assuming a genuine identity not based on the collective mind of your neighbor.


There is no such thing as a "genuine identity" apart from the society you are a part of. Your identity is heavily based on the society in which you happen to find yourself. Humans live in societies and we adapt ourselves based on when and where we live.

You are no exception to this.
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 01:28 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Your indoctrination tells you...

- to reject slavery,
- that all humans have rights,
- that woman should be able to choose the person they marry (rather than having one chosen for her).
- that humans shouldn't be stuck in a caste system by birth that they can't escape from
- that woman and men should be treated equally,
- that adults shouldn't marry children,
- that men shouldn't have more than one wife at a time.
- that human flesh is not food under any circumstances,
- that people can own property and that that ownership should be respected.
- that people should be able to speak out against the government without fear.

My rejection of slavery is not the result of Western indoctrination. It is the result of my capacity for empathy toward my fellow human. The same goes for my contention that people should be able to choose who they wish to live in companionship with, and that women and men should be treated equally. I did not need to be indoctrinated to know that I should do unto others as I would have them do unto me. Now, if I were to declare that a person shouldn't have more than one spouse at a time, that would be the result of indoctrination.
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 01:34 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
There is no such thing as a "genuine identity" apart from the society you are a part of.

If you are convinced that you are not being genuine with yourself, as well as with others, you are probably correct. But to project that onto me is a mistake. Perhaps this would be a good time for you to give me your definition of identity.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:38 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
My rejection of slavery is not the result of Western indoctrination. It is the result of my capacity for empathy toward my fellow human. The same goes for my contention that people should be able to choose who they wish to live in companionship with, and that women and men should be treated equally. I did not need to be indoctrinated to know that I should do unto others as I would have them do unto me.


I don't buy it Glenn. You complying perfectly with the values of modern day America.

You are saying exactly what you, as a well-trained modern American is supposed to say. This is exactly what indoctrination is supposed to make you believe. With these beliefs, you can operate fully as a functioning member of society. As a fellow member of society, I couldn't ask for more.

There is the applause... but let's look deeper.

You say you don't need to be indoctrinated. I think that means that you think that were you born in the Aztec empire, you would hold these same beliefs about women and empathy that you hold now. Am I right?

This is hard to believe. After all, an Aztec with your beliefs would not be able to function in his or her society. They wouldn't apply.

And think of the coincidence. You just happened to be born into the society that holds the values that you would naturally have anyway? Humans have been around for 10,000 years, most of the values you hold now are very recent. They didn't exist for most of human history, and they evolved in on specific culture (which ironically became the dominant culture through brutal conquest).

It is also rather insulting to the Aztecs. You are saying that their culture is invalid, and that your cultural beliefs are the real beliefs that humans should have.

I don't feel comfortable saying that.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:43 pm
@Glennn,
Where and when you are born is a critical part of your identity. Do you question this?

If you were born and raised in Japan 500 years ago, you wouldn't magically have modern Western values. You would have Japanese values. These ideas don't come from you, they come from your history, your family, your community and the place and time you live.

This is why these values you have now have never existed before the past couple hundred of years (some of them are much more recent than that).
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:58 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I don't buy it Glenn.

Fortunately for me, your purchase is not required. I am complying with the dictates of my conscience. What I wouldn't want done to me, I will not do to another. You are simply in denial of the source of my convictions. I will give you an example to show you that my convictions have nothing to do with indoctrination. I do not eat meat. I don't eat meat because I don't have it in me to kill an animal and peel the skin from it when I don't need to. And I will not hire another to do it for me.

If I were born to an Aztec, I would have been subjected to indoctrination. You are making the assumption that I would be okay with things that went against my conscience. Again, you are projecting your beliefs onto me while denying the source of my convictions.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 03:08 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Where and when you are born is a critical part of your identity. Do you question this?

You have yet to define identity. Where and when I was born would influence my actions and perceptions, but I would be me nonetheless. And as I matured, I would eventually come to know what I find to be right and what I find to be wrong.

It seems that you are trying to convey the idea that humans are pieces of meat with no mind of their own.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 03:27 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
Where and when I was born would influence my actions and perceptions, but I would be me nonetheless. And as I matured, I would eventually come to know what I find to be right and what I find to be wrong.


Let me explain it this way.

Your understanding of what is right and wrong is a modern American understanding of right and wrong. My understanding of right and wrong is the same as yours. There are hundreds of millions of us who all have the same basic understanding of right and wrong (with a few minor quibbles). My explanation for this is the we have the modern American understanding because we were born and raised (and indoctrinated) in modern America.

Yet for 40,000 years... in thousands of functioning cultures with hundreds of millions of people not a single person had a modern American understanding of right and wrong.

Are you really claiming that you that even if you were born in 1st century Australia you would somehow, just on your own, arrive at a modern American understanding of right and wrong?

I find this very difficult to accept. Clearly every other human being sticks with the social beliefs of the culture they were born into. Actually, you seem to be sticking with the social beliefs of the culture you were born into as well.

Are you claiming you are special in this way?
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 05:10 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Your understanding of what is right and wrong is a modern American understanding of right and wrong.

Let me explain it this way: My understanding of what is right and wrong is based on consideration of life, and not cultural conditioning. You can try to attribute my consideration of other lifeforms to my exposure to American culture, but I grew up in an atmosphere where the marginalization of lifeforms other than human beings was a reality, and yet my cultural indoctrination did not cause me to accept such things as right or correct. I witnessed indifference to animals as well as other humans throughout my young life. I knew pain when I saw it, and I saw it for what it was.

So, no, growing up in a culture that was callous towards other lifeforms did not cause me to become callous. And to reiterate, What I wouldn't want done to me, I will not do to another. You are simply in denial of the source of my convictions.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 05:32 pm
@Glennn,
No Glennn you didn't grow up in a culture that is callous toward animals (assuming you grew up in a modern Western culture). Your feelings towards animals doesn't at all violate your indoctrination (that we gave you). Your feelings for animals is part of what your society expects of you. I don't know about your individual experience, but if you grew up in America, you were surround with messages against cruelty to animals.

We are a culture with Animal cruelty laws. People who are cruel to animals (i.e. Michael Vick) are widely despised. Vegetarianism and Veganism fairly common and accepted parts of modern American culture.

If you were born as a Mongol in China and lived in a nomadic tribe, would you have the same beliefs?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 05:34 pm
@Glennn,
The real question is this.

How are you sure that your feelings and understandings are right, and that the feelings and understandings of people in other cultures are wrong?
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 05:51 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
No Glennn you didn't grow up in a culture that is callous toward animals

Yes, I did.

What you're telling me--and don't know it--is that your experience and knowledge of factory farming is nil. You've never been to a slaughter house, have you? You should visit one sometime, and then ask yourself what the value of the animal cruelty laws you speak of are worth. In fact, you may be surprised to find that you support cruelty to animals, and are totally unaware of it. But we all grow at our own pace, and I accept that.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 05:55 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
How are you sure that your feelings and understandings are right, and that the feelings and understandings of people in other cultures are wrong?

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I've stated several times now that my understanding of what is right and wrong is based on consideration of life. You are having a hard time accepting that. Perhaps the concept is foreign to you; I don't know.
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:07 pm
@maxdancona,
Also, you said that human beings naturally form societies. Is that to say that that is the natural order of things?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:14 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
I've stated several times now that my understanding of what is right and wrong is based on consideration of life.


Saying this doesn't resolve the big problem with you argument. If you say that your understanding of what is right and wrong is based on "consideration of life" then that means that anyone with a different understanding is not basing it on "consideration of life". This doesn't really explain why your understanding is any better than anyone else's understanding.

Imagine I transported you back in time to what is now Southern California just before the Spanish Missionary/Conquistadors came. There, nearly everyone you would meet would accept polygamy as a way of life, with preteen girls in arranged marriages with adult men. They would likely explain to you how this was actually a good thing for both the men, and the girls involved. In fact women would likely say that their arranged child marriage was a good thing (as many women in this situation say now).

How would you explain to them that your understanding of right and wrong it the real one. If you think you can say you are "considering life" they would probably have a different perspective on what the word meant.

I am asking you to open your mind and to accept that maybe your own understanding of right and wrong might not be correct... or that other very different understandings might be equally valid (even though they seem barbaric to you).
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:17 pm
@Glennn,
Sure. I don't like to argue over the definition of words. Saying human beings naturally form societies is like saying human beings naturally drink water. But yes, there is such a thing as human nature (defined as something that is done in every human society).

The term "natural order" is often use to imply some sort of "absolute truth" where the practices of one culture can be judged to be superior to the practices of another culture on some universal sense.

I don't believe that this type of "natural order" is a valid concept.
0 Replies
 
 

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