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The meek or the ruthless: who prevails in the end?

 
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 08:02 am
@najmelliw,
najmelliw wrote:

The OP is interesting in itself. It seems to set no framework, nor will it offer any usable definitions on what constitutes 'survival', even though in modern society 'survival' is a pretty complex business,

I agree. I realized as the thread evolved that I needed to provide more of a framework. I could brought up capitalism, egalitarianism, or pacificsm. I was mainly interested in how people individually think and feel.

Quote:
So, in the final analysis, for me, it would inevitably end in a situation where the ruthless will form a society where they can use force effectively to have others help them survive.

What you're saying is a pretty good answer to Marxists who claim that Communism was subverted. It wasn't subverted, it's just that in spite of the tremendous efforts of Communists to destroy the previous social structure, that structure and its norms survived.

But was that because of the inertia of those old ways? Or was it human nature?

Quote:

Whether or not I believe this to be true is something else entirely: in real life, people and situations are much more complex and multi-faceted...

Maybe it's rare for people to find themselves in situations where they have to turn and examine their own moral outlook. But say you're there. What you do next will demonstrate your values. Which path would you take? Ruthless or meek? Is there a situation where you would choose to be passive?

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 08:08 am
@Smileyrius,
It's interesting that you put the question in a religious framework. Christians have a pretty bloody history and their God is apparently no stranger to ruthlessness.
Smileyrius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 10:10 am
@Tuna,
I was persuaded to add a religious perspective by the thread's religion tag,
I think the religious edge is quite pertinent, in that depending on the existence of a god and judgement criteria of said god, the end game changes quite dramatically, I am however always happy to consider both angles.

On Christianity's colourful and bloody history, I am sure each and every individual in each and every denomination will answer to their and/or an existing god if judgement is in it's nature according to their actions. I'm not sure that in actions of aggression or violence, they would be fulfilling the standing orders of their patriarch Yehoshua, Joshua, Jesus, whatever his name may be to them. (not sure if I put enough clauses in there Smile)

With regards to the biblical god's ruthlessness, it depends on how you qualify ruthlessness. When he pronounced judgement on an individual or a nation, he always sent a warning and prepared a way out, even reversing the judgement if repentance was made clear, prime examples being that of the Ninevites as a nation, or Manasseh as an individual. Whether that denotes mercy or not is at the observers discretion.

Perception is a powerful tool, though marred by the many biases we each carry
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 10:36 am
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:

I was persuaded to add a religious perspective by the thread's religion tag,
I think the religious edge is quite pertinent, in that depending on the existence of a god and judgement criteria of said god, the end game changes quite dramatically, I am however always happy to consider both angles.

At first, I thought somebody had tagged it with "Christianity" out of malice. The more I've thought about it, though, the more I realized it fits.

Philosophically, the question could relate to Marx, Nietzsche, or Ayn Rand. Christianity is in the shadows with all three.

Plus I used the word "meek," so I was asking for it.

Smileyrius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 10:46 am
@Tuna,
Regardless, an interesting thread my friend. I looked back and saw some lengthy writing on my part, for which I apologise. so in simplifying all the chatter,
Put both groups on an island with limited resources and my money would be on he ruthless out-surviving the meek.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 11:07 am
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:

Regardless, an interesting thread my friend. I looked back and saw some lengthy writing on my part, for which I apologise. so in simplifying all the chatter,
Put both groups on an island with limited resources and my money would be on he ruthless out-surviving the meek.

I read and appreciated everything you wrote.

I agree. You've led me wonder about this: there are a lot of social theories and perspectives that divide people up into strong and weak.

How much truth is there in that way of looking at people? Could it be that both characteristics have to do with the roles people play?

It gets confusing. Need to ponder.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 11:07 am
@Smileyrius,
Why should survival be the ultimate goal in an environment where there are limited resources?
neologist
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 06:53 pm
Meek is not the opposite of ruthless.
The ruthless will betray each other while the meek survive through mutual accommodation.
Another definition for meek is 'teachable'.

That is how the "meek will inherit the earth".
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 07:08 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
That is how the "meek will inherit the earth".

Yeah, but by the time the ruthless are are done with it, it might not be much of an inheritance. Sad
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2015 07:26 pm
This is something I noticed since I posted the OP, thanks to all the responses including Glennn's.. sorry, I'm slow.

"Meek" and "Ruthless" aren't different kinds of people. They're different kinds of behavior. Maybe see it as a spectrum from completely passive to completely psychopathic. The whole spectrum is available to everyone. Could be that some people by nature or nurture lean toward the passive side.. some to the psychopathic side.

But on top of that, there are roles in society. Some roles best befit the passive, like librarian or priest. Some are better for those who have a touch of the psychopathic, like policeman or soldier.

In a world where people are free to choose their roles (in a society that doesn't have a caste system or a strict heirarchy), maybe a person's tendencies will influence the roles they breathe life into.

Nevertheless, it remains true that a person is not defined only by the role he or she happens to be playing and the whole spectrum is really always available to every individual.

Holy ****. That's a cool realization.





0 Replies
 
Smileyrius
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 02:54 am
@cicerone imposter,
Ah my friend, I was attempting to play out the OP scenario. I don't think in reality it is an ultimate goal, I would cozy to the suggestion that 30 happy years would be a greater success than 90 miserable ones.
0 Replies
 
Smileyrius
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 03:56 am
@Tuna,
Quote:
there are a lot of social theories and perspectives that divide people up into strong and weak.

I think that the problem with these social theories is that many assumptions are carried, and psychologists will often disagree as to the power of any given attribute and it's application, so it falls much closer to opinion.
I think a person can be incredibly ruthless and yet weak, or a strong character and yet qualifiedly meek. You also have the combined strengths of a pack that stand together against an identified predator for example, consider the meekcats and the cobra a standoff in which no meerkats were harmed Wink http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/960_540/images/live/p0/2b/r2/p02br2qj.jpg (If you like nature documentaries, this was a BBC documentary called "the Meerkats", Its a great watch)
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 10:12 am
@Glennn,
Quote:
Tuna Quote:
"Loss of integrity doesn't happen like that."


Yes it does. To follow the example of the criminal as a solution to being a victim is to willingly forfeit your integrity.
Hey, wait a minute, you said you knew what it was but later denied following the 'criminal' example and declined saying what your loss of integrity was.

You can't convince us of that knowledge just by rejecting someone else's example without giving a counter example...
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 11:25 am
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
Hey, wait a minute, you said you knew what it was but later denied following the 'criminal' example and declined saying what your loss of integrity was.

It is obvious that to follow the example of the criminal as a solution to being a victim is to forfeit your integrity. If you believe that that is not the case, then let's hear your argument.

Also, where did I say that I know that because I have followed the example of the criminal?
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 01:39 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
Also, where did I say that I know that because I have followed the example of the criminal?
That's not what I was saying.

It was my understanding that you told tuna that you had first hand experience of loss of integrity and therefore, knowledge of what it was and what led up to it. But you denied that it was following the example of the criminal. I'll take your word for that.

But when tuna asked for what your first hand experience WAS, you appeared to dodge the question by referring back to your denial of the criminal example.

Soooo... Enquiring minds still want to know your first hand experience of loss of integrity. Not trying to nail you, just curious.
Chumly
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 02:20 pm
@Tuna,
The meek or the ruthless is a false dilemma logical fallacy.
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 02:59 pm
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
It was my understanding that you told tuna that you had first hand experience of loss of integrity

Your understanding is not based on what was said. Perhaps if you had actually reviewed the thread, you would not be confused about it. At any rate, I will play along for one more post.

Tuna asked whether or not I know what it means to betray your own integrity, to which I responded, “Yes I do.” And then I pointed out how I had already offered the example of betraying your own integrity; that example being: following the example of the criminal as a solution to being a victim is a betrayal of your integrity. Tuna then said, “So you’ve followed the example of the criminal?”

So I said to Tuna: You're coming across as someone who isn't paying attention to what you're reading. You asked: "You know what it means to betray your own integrity?"

I told you that I do know what it means. However, I did not say that I have followed the example of the criminal. You projected that onto me because of your lack of wisdom when it comes to interpreting what you're hearing. All I did was offer you an example of betraying your own integrity. You heard what you wanted to hear.

Tuna then admitted his/her mistake.

I hope that makes it clear to you what was actually said.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 03:06 pm
@Glennn,
We just had a misunderstanding, Glennn. No biggie.
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 03:25 pm
@Tuna,
Quote:
We just had a misunderstanding, Glennn. No biggie.

Yes, you attributed something to me which I didn't say.

You should be telling that to Leadfoot.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2015 04:19 pm
@Glennn,
Quote:
I did not say that I have followed the example of the criminal.
And I said I understood that. Twice. Never mind what I was trying to get at.

Happy new year...
0 Replies
 
 

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