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stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 11:44 AM
It's a polarizing topic, but one I've been thinking a lot in the last few weeks.

If you see someone in need a few feet away on the street it's obviously wrong to just walk away.

But at what distance is it alright to just mind your own business and not help?
Is it 100 feet, 1000 feet, 10 miles, or 1000 miles?

Let's not kid ourselves, the world we live in is really, really ****ed up. Not everything is bad, but there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable if we're honest to ourselves.

It starts with destruction of the environment and ends with small children that have to fight wars and prostitute themselves for a few dollars.

Those things happen thousands of times, every single day.
We know it happens but yet most of us don't really do anything about it.

Sure, we (I include myself) have their own problems, but even when we have time and money to spare we mostly think about what to buy next, where we could spend holidays, and so on.

Is there any justification to buy a flatscreen instead of (for example) supporting a project against child-prostitution in brasil?
Are we obligated to help as long as we can keep a decent living standard, or should we just not give a ****?

r2473
02-06-2011, 12:07 PM
I'm not sure how far away I am from you right now, but I'm IN NEED of hot little blonde this evening.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In fact 2 would be even better.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 12:16 PM
I'm not sure how far away I am from you right now, but I'm IN NEED of hot little blonde this evening.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In fact 2 would be even better.

I'm SO glad I don't see the world like you do.

Nothing against a passionate night with a beautiful woman, but if it's not an honest one-night stand or with the woman you love, it's not worth it. At least as far as I'm concerned.

You should be happy that there's no karma.

r2473
02-06-2011, 12:27 PM
Ya, fine.

But can you help me out or not?

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 12:29 PM
Ya, fine.

But can you help me out or not?

I don't think anyone can.

Steady Eddy
02-06-2011, 12:50 PM
It's a polarizing topic, but one I've been thinking a lot in the last few weeks.

If you see someone in need a few feet away on the street it's obviously wrong to just walk away.

But at what distance is it alright to just mind your own business and not help?
Is it 100 feet, 1000 feet, 10 miles, or 1000 miles?
Good question. This sets up a slippery slope where discussing the distance becomes irrelevant. One can also turn this around. Just because a panhandler is nearby, doesn't give them a greater demand on our money.

Let's not kid ourselves, the world we live in is really, really ****ed up. Not everything is bad, but there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable if we're honest to ourselves.

It starts with destruction of the environment and ends with small children that have to fight wars and prostitute themselves for a few dollars.
I've checked out an audio book from the library, The Rational Optimist. I think it's good in that it allows us to see how much better we live nowadays than in ancient times. We tend to take things for granted, so we are upset by bad things because we assume bad things shouldn't even happen at all. I'm guessing you might accept the idea that when we had nearly zero technology thousands of years ago, that all was well? I don't mean to encourage complacency, but actually things are improving, not only materially, but even the environment is getting better through technology. Cars pollute much less now. I'd expect environmental damage to decrease in the future through more knowledge gained, instead of through a "back to nature" retreat.

Sure, we (I include myself) have their own problems, but even when we have time and money to spare we mostly think about what to buy next, where we could spend holidays, and so on.

Is there any justification to buy a flatscreen instead of (for example) supporting a project against child-prostitution in brasil?
Are we obligated to help as long as we can keep a decent living standard, or should we just not give a ****?
It's a matter of priorities. First take care of yourself. I don't mean to say that you should be selfish, but that you should be responsible. So you should have a job and be paying your own bills, not stealing, filing bankruptcy or living off your family. Protesters who try to save the world while sponging off others have their priorities backwards, IMO.

Some good things about buying the flat screen TV are: you're helping a business that decided the way to prosper was to offer you something you want, the trouble with giving to charities is you're enabling people who think the way to solve their economic problems is to explain their troubles to someone else and hope they just give them something. I know that might sound like a rationalization to many for not being generous with charities. Unfortunately, my increased awareness of the nature of charities has made me question their motives and effectiveness. Personally, I'm bothered with any executive at a charity who makes more than $250,000 a year. Where's HIS generosity?

If you feel in a generous mood, there's nothing wrong with that. I'd just say that in that case give an extra big tip to a good waitress. There's no middleman, and you're giving the money to someone who's at least trying to work.

Djokovicfan4life
02-06-2011, 12:50 PM
Haha, well played, r2.

People aren't obligated to spend their money helping kids in Brazil. It's their money, so if they want a flatscreen, they can buy a flatscreen with their hardearned cash.

ronalditop
02-06-2011, 12:52 PM
Well in my case, if I see baby kittens or kittens that arent big enough to be able to stand up for themselves close to my house, I grab them, feed them and later send them to a veterinary I know where they feed them and keep them in a big cage with other kittens so people can adopt them for free. Right now I'm taking care of four kittens I found on a park about two blocks of my house. This time I dont wanna take them to the vet because they found a good place there where they are safe, so I just bring them food and water and keep and eye on them.

IwishIwasbetter
02-06-2011, 12:54 PM
you may be interested in the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDbFTsCByf4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhFrZ4-nxa4


to the op, this is something i've been thinking about. i mean is it really okay to get that new ps3 when a child is dying every six seconds from starvation? people dont want to look at the bigger picture. they are so stuck in their own little world and care about their small problems when in reality there are people who don't have food, access to clean water, etc, and the amount of these people increases every day. The gap between poor and rich is increasing. i don't get how people are focused on getting brand name clothing or a superexpensive car when things like this are going on. i guess its how you said people aren't honest with themselves

Steady Eddy
02-06-2011, 01:01 PM
to the op, this is something i've been thinking about. i mean is it really okay to get that new ps3 when a child is dying every six seconds from starvation? people dont want to look at the bigger picture. they are so stuck in their own little world and care about their small problems when in reality there are people who don't have food, access to clean water, etc, and the amount of these people increases every day. The gap between poor and rich is increasing. i don't get how people are focused on getting brand name clothing or a superexpensive car when things like this are going on. i guess its how you said people aren't honest with themselves
As they say on wikipedia, citation needed. Nowadays the average poor family spends $180/mo on media: cable TV, cell phones, etc. A middle class family spends $240/mo. Thirty five years ago, these services didn't even exist.

During that time China's economy has exploded and India has improved too. Poverty still exists in the world, but economic growth seems to be the cure more guilt and foreign aid. I know many say, "Gee, I didn't know that", but it seems that if one is really sincere about ameliorating poverty, one would investigate it a bit, and not just assume, "not enough charity".

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:03 PM
OP, I think it is subjective. If it is a fight, don't ever get involved; you could just make it worse. If it is suicide or child prostitution, get involved ASAP. It is subjective, so give us an example :)

I'm not sure how far away I am from you right now, but I'm IN NEED of hot little blonde this evening.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In fact 2 would be even better.

weren't you the person who said we had to avoid the evils of this world through reading? Kinda hypocritical if you ask me, your opinion is really not worth anything it seems...

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:06 PM
I've checked out an audio book from the library, The Rational Optimist. I think it's good in that it allows us to see how much better we live nowadays than in ancient times. We tend to take things for granted, so we are upset by bad things because we assume bad things shouldn't even happen at all. I'm guessing you might accept the idea that when we had nearly zero technology thousands of years ago, that all was well? I don't mean to encourage complacency, but actually things are improving, not only materially, but even the environment is getting better through technology. Cars pollute much less now. I'd expect environmental damage to decrease in the future through more knowledge gained, instead of through a "back to nature" retreat.

Who's "we"?

People that can afford playing tennis and spend their time on this forum?

Or the ones that live with 5$ a day?
Do you know how the life in the slums, which are exapanding at a fast rate all over the world, is?

Yes cars pollute less, but there are many times more cars now on the road. Just look at China, India and other developing nations.
The ocean, probably our most important ressource, is more ****ed up than ever. Almost all of the rain forests will be gone in 2 decades as well.

It's a matter of priorities. First take care of yourself. I don't mean to say that you should be selfish, but that you should be responsible. So you should have a job and be paying your own bills, not stealing, filing bankruptcy or living off your family. Protesters who try to save the world while sponging off others have their priorities backwards, IMO.

Some good things about buying the flat screen TV are: you're helping a business that decided the way to prosper was to offer you something you want, the trouble with giving to charities is you're enabling people who think the way to solve their economic problems is to explain their troubles to someone else and hope they just give them something. I know that might sound like a rationalization to many for not being generous with charities. Unfortunately, my increased awareness of the nature of charities has made me question their motives and effectiveness. Personally, I'm bothered with any executive at a charity who makes more than $250,000 a year. Where's HIS generosity?

If you feel in a generous mood, there's nothing wrong with that. I'd just say that in that case give an extra big tip to a good waitress. There's no middleman, and you're giving the money to someone who's at least trying to work.
Of course you need to take care of yourself and your family first. But that's a matter of definition.

Do you need to spend that extra 10k for the new car, do you need to spend the extra for the 4* hotel?

Just because some charities aren't legitimate doesn't mean none of them are. Even if 20% go to waste, isn't the more extreme the case if you buy a ipod that is thrown away after 3 years?

I'm always tipping, but that's something completely different.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:11 PM
OP, I think it is subjective. If it is a fight, don't ever get involved; you could just make it worse. If it is suicide or child prostitution, get involved ASAP. It is subjective, so give us an example :)

I'm in my mid 20s and I've walked and looked away long enough.

Whenever I see a guy treating a woman badly I'm no longer keeping my mouth shut.
It could've ended badly more than once, but in the end I realized that being a coward hurts me more than getting hit in the face by a guy half a feet taller than me. Pain goes away, bruises heal.

And yes I'll be spending a considerable sum for a project against child prostitution. But finding the right project isn't easy, especially if you have a lot of other things going on in your life. But the money isn't going anywhere else.

r2473
02-06-2011, 01:11 PM
weren't you the person who said we had to avoid the evils of this world through reading? Kinda hypocritical if you ask me, your opinion is really not worth anything it seems...

A hot blonde would only be evil if you were stupid enough to marry her.....but nobody would be that dumb.

Unless of course you are already married. Then you might have a lot of explaining to do.......and that money that you had earmarked for the eradication of child prostitution would be going elsewhere........

El Diablo
02-06-2011, 01:12 PM
"there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable" (sic). To whom? Should Americans rail against development of Brazilian rainforests while driving SUVs? Shall we tell Brazilians that we have no problem having 18 year old prostitutes in some jurisdictions of our own country but we cannot accept your 14 year old prostitutes? How far is too far? Beyond your own culture. What the past 10 years have taught me, since 9/11/2001, is that every culture has its own unique concept of what is acceptable or unacceptable, and aside from having our own culture there to be observed in the various media, we should try to avoid meddling and learn to be more tolerant of those differences. Do you need to look the other way. No. Look all you want, but respect the fact that your standards are not necessarily the standards of other cultures.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:18 PM
I'm in my mid 20s and I've walked and looked away long enough.

Whenever I see a guy treating a woman badly I'm no longer keeping my mouth shut.
It could've ended badly more than once, but in the end I realized that being a coward hurts me more than getting hit in the face by a guy half a feet taller than me. Pain goes away, bruises heal.

And yes I'll be spending a considerable sum for a project against child prostitution. But finding the right project isn't easy, especially if you have a lot of other things going on in your life. But the money isn't going anywhere else.

I mean fight between guys with a fight. Obviously, if a man is mistreating a woman I will (and have) get in the middle. Well, the have is a guy trying to attack my friends, but still. Women are to be treated with respect

After college, I want to take a year off to go help poor people around the world doing missionary work. We are SO lucky it isn't even funny. I forget what movie it was, but it convinced me (though about events hundreds of years ago) to want to help the natives in the Amazon who are mistreated and subject of racial hatred.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:20 PM
A hot blonde would only be evil if you were stupid enough to marry her.....but nobody would be that dumb.

Unless of course you are already married. Then you might have a lot of explaining to do.......and that money that you had earmarked for the eradication of child prostitution would be going elsewhere........

It is adultery. Lust is one of the seven deadly sins. I'm sure a learned scholar such as yourself would know that...

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:20 PM
"there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable" (sic). To whom? Should Americans rail against development of Brazilian rainforests while driving SUVs? Shall we tell Brazilians that we have no problem having 18 year old prostitutes in some jurisdictions of our own country but we cannot accept your 14 year old prostitutes? How far is too far? Beyond your own culture. What the past 10 years have taught me, since 9/11/2001, is that every culture has its own unique concept of what is acceptable or unacceptable, and aside from having our own culture there to be observed in the various media, we should try to avoid meddling and learn to be more tolerant of those differences. Do you need to look the other way. No. Look all you want, but respect the fact that your standards are not necessarily the standards of other cultures.

There's a big difference between the 18-year old western-european that sells her body for the newest prada handbag and the 8 year child that is forced to do it to feed her familiy. Believe me I've read enough about the topic, it's like night and day.

Also, this is mostly about personal standards, and not about cultural ones.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:24 PM
"there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable" (sic). To whom? Should Americans rail against development of Brazilian rainforests while driving SUVs? Shall we tell Brazilians that we have no problem having 18 year old prostitutes in some jurisdictions of our own country but we cannot accept your 14 year old prostitutes? How far is too far? Beyond your own culture. What the past 10 years have taught me, since 9/11/2001, is that every culture has its own unique concept of what is acceptable or unacceptable, and aside from having our own culture there to be observed in the various media, we should try to avoid meddling and learn to be more tolerant of those differences. Do you need to look the other way. No. Look all you want, but respect the fact that your standards are not necessarily the standards of other cultures.

So we should all be relatavists then? No absolute truths? I am against all forms of prostitution, but especially those who are too young to have a say. Just because one culture views terrorism as good does not mean that terrorism is actually good.

El Diablo
02-06-2011, 01:26 PM
Yes, the difference is that most western families can eat without resorting to such practices. When you don't have food to eat, you have to adjust your standards. What do you suggest for those families that have no other way to avoid starvation? That's your moral/cultural imperialism.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:30 PM
I mean fight between guys with a fight. Obviously, if a man is mistreating a woman I will (and have) get in the middle. Well, the have is a guy trying to attack my friends, but still. Women are to be treated with respect

After college, I want to take a year off to go help poor people around the world doing missionary work. We are SO lucky it isn't even funny. I forget what movie it was, but it convinced me (though about events hundreds of years ago) to want to help the natives in the Amazon who are mistreated and subject of racial hatred.

The sad thing is how many look away, I don't see a lot of moral courage these days.

I've experienced it myself. Even after I once intervened when a mountain of a guy mistreated a 15-16 year verbally in the most severe way none of the 20 people around us bothered helping. If not for a lot of luck I wouldn't have walked away unhurt.

I like the idea of taking a year off for a project like that, you'll definately grow as a person. Good luck with it.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:36 PM
Yes, the difference is that most western families can eat without resorting to such practices. When you don't have food to eat, you have to adjust your standards. What do you suggest for those families that have no other way to avoid starvation? That's your moral/cultural imperialism.

To make your daugher of 8-10 years (let's not talk around it) f*ck with a dozen grown men a day is not a standard!

It's not about what those families with no means, no hope, and no possibilites can do. They try to stay alive for the next few days, and nothing else. Drug addictions are often also a reason/problem, but who can blame them?

It's about what we, sitting in our cozy livingroom, can do.

El Diablo
02-06-2011, 01:40 PM
I'll bite. A family in Brazil is starving and prostitutes a small child to avoid death. Not a happy situation obviously. What can you do about it? What ARE you doing about it other than making value judgements about how they keep alive?

Steady Eddy
02-06-2011, 01:40 PM
Who's "we"?

People that can afford playing tennis and spend their time on this forum?

Or the ones that live with 5$ a day?
Do you know how the life in the slums, which are exapanding at a fast rate all over the world, is?

Yes cars pollute less, but there are many times more cars now on the road. Just look at China, India and other developing nations.
The ocean, probably our most important ressource, is more ****ed up than ever. Almost all of the rain forests will be gone in 2 decades as well.

By "we" I mean it's part of the human condition to take things for granted.

Let's agree that life is unacceptable in slums around the world. Then our conversation is about 'mean's and not 'ends'. About ends, eliminating poverty, we agree. Is the way to decrease poverty through giving? That is, do we need steep income tax rates so that prosperous people's money is taken by governments to be handed over to poor nations governments in the hope that they'll provide assistance to their people instead of buying arms?

In my view, that's been tried and has mostly been a failure. Just as poor people in the U.S. need the skills to earn more instead of more programs, poor countries need on economic infrastructure instead of some global welfare program being set up.

I'm recalling a famine in Niger about 5 years ago. One of their own economists said that the problem was that the country only got better at finding out how to apply for aid, instead of improving their agriculture system. That makes sense, behaviorists point out that sometimes our efforts have unintended consequences. The 'let's redistribute' idea is intuitively appealing, but where has it really been a success?

Of course you need to take care of yourself and your family first. But that's a matter of definition.

Do you need to spend that extra 10k for the new car, do you need to spend the extra for the 4* hotel?

Just because some charities aren't legitimate doesn't mean none of them are. Even if 20% go to waste, isn't the more extreme the case if you buy a ipod that is thrown away after 3 years?

I'm always tipping, but that's something completely different.
If someone can do no more than look after himself, at least he's accomplishing that, and has no reason to feel guilty.

I'm not too into cars or 4* hotels, but that's just me. If those things provide the incentive for someone else to work hard to afford them, that's their business.

The issue with charities goes deeper than simply waste. For example, when Oprah Winfrey gave away new cars to her audience, (people deemed needy), what do they take away from that? Live beyond your means and Oprah (or some fairy godmother type person) will appear and make your problems go away? Marx pointed out that some have greater needs, surely, but why? Isn't it often some combination of: neglecting their skills training (goofing off in school), overspending, and a lack of family planning? If bailouts are the result of ignoring consequences, how will this ever get better?

Tipping is a different matter, but I'm tight with charities and generous with tips. I think I get money to more deserving people that way.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:44 PM
Yes, the difference is that most western families can eat without resorting to such practices. When you don't have food to eat, you have to adjust your standards. What do you suggest for those families that have no other way to avoid starvation? That's your moral/cultural imperialism.

Most western families? Do you mean the richy rich? I don't see any of their daughters on the streets. Do you mean the middle class? I see just as many of their daughters. Or do you mean the poor, who can barely pay for their room and board? I see their daughters on the streets.

Yes, you need to adjust your standards, but prostitution is one of the worst ways to make a living. There is no honor, nothing to be proud of. It is merely satisfying the lust of others. A drug dealer is far better to become, far less ignoble.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:46 PM
The sad thing is how many look away, I don't see a lot of moral courage these days.

I've experienced it myself. Even after I once intervened when a mountain of a guy mistreated a 15-16 year verbally in the most severe way none of the 20 people around us bothered helping. If not for a lot of luck I wouldn't have walked away unhurt.

I like the idea of taking a year off for a project like that, you'll definately grow as a person. Good luck with it.

Yeah well verbal harrasment is the last problem on my mind. 'Tis a problem, but no severity in comparison to child prostitution, murder, etc. Have you heard of the story of the Chicago kid killed in 1994 (I believe) at age 5? I would love to see that stopped. No matter who says they have a different culture and should be treated differently, the murder of a child is heinous.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 01:48 PM
I'll bite. A family in Brazil is starving and prostitutes a small child to avoid death. Not a happy situation obviously. What can you do about it? What ARE you doing about it other than making value judgements about how they keep alive?

I'll be donating 20k $ for a project that takes those kids of the streets and gives them basic education.
Believe me, I had other plans with that, I always wanted a Ducati. But the more I think about it the more it seems wrong, on so many levels. What difference does it make whetever I ride a bike? Not much.
What difference does it make if I can get just one kid of the streets?

I really have to go to bed now. I'll be replying to rest of you tomorrow.

El Diablo
02-06-2011, 01:53 PM
"prostitution is one of the worst ways to make a living"....thanks for sharing, but we're talking about what people will do to avoid starvation. I'm not going to sit here in my comfortable well heated home with a well stocked pantry and chastise people who resort to desperate means to avoid starvation. (And yes, prostitution doesn't afford the "honor" of being a bond trader, divorce lawyer, car salesman.......)

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:56 PM
I'll bite. A family in Brazil is starving and prostitutes a small child to avoid death. Not a happy situation obviously. What can you do about it? What ARE you doing about it other than making value judgements about how they keep alive?

Are the father and mother working? Are her brothers working too? What of her sisters, are they working?

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 01:58 PM
"prostitution is one of the worst ways to make a living"....thanks for sharing, but we're talking about what people will do to avoid starvation. I'm not going to sit here in my comfortable well heated home with a well stocked pantry and chastise people who resort to desperate means to avoid starvation. (And yes, prostitution doesn't afford the "honor" of being a bond trader, divorce lawyer, car salesman.......)

Prostitution is one of those trades in which you lose your soul; that is far greater in the path of perdition than forfeiting of life. If you are so comfortable, why aren't you making yourself slightly less comfortable to save another family?

jmverdugo
02-06-2011, 02:02 PM
First most people that "help" do it for their own peace of mind not really caring about the "good" they are making but just because they want to be "good" people. With this in mind, most of the things we do to help people is what "WE" think is the best for them and this is one of the biggest mistakes of human kind. A perfect example is the Catholic Church wanting to "save" the non catholic people and like this you will find many examples through out the history and of course nowdays.

Second, most of the troubles we have is because of our own fault if we have someone bailing us out of trouble we will never learn, this is why one must be very careful when deciding to jump in to a situation, uninvited, to help. People needs to solve their own problems, people need to learn, whenever you are about to "help" somebody, think if you are doing it to make YOU feel better or to make YOU feel superior or to make YOU feel good, most of the time you will find that is better just to walk away and be the silent helper.

Of course I am not talking about cases of child prostitution where most likely you have a violent abduction and brutal enforcing to use drugs and other stuff. What can we do in this case? well there is not much you can do ... you can give money to whatever society you want but that won't make much of a difference, it could make you fell better though.

The reason of all these calamities is the poverty and corruption in the countries where this happens, obviously it happens everywhere but more in some countries. In this case I think it is up to the local people to make their country a better place. People need to start thinking, need new leaders, you can attack the top of the problem but it will continue to happen as long as the bases of the society remain on the ignorance in which - most of the time - they choose to be. What is the result of a big country trying to help a little country? most of the time nothing good, again people need to solve their own problems. Obviously this is a slow process, but it is happening.

What we can do?, IMO, lead by example, work within your range of action - you can change your range of action too - help your community, help yourself, help your enviroment, help your family, people will notice this and without you having to say a word they will start to do it. JMO.

El Diablo
02-06-2011, 02:03 PM
Why are you assuming I don't?? My wife and I contribute to many charities, including several scholarship funds. And spare me the garbage about losing your soul. People who set out to do harm to and/or rip-off others imperil their souls. I suspect most prostitutes have no desire to harm anyone.

Manus Domini
02-06-2011, 02:06 PM
Why are you assuming I don't?? My wife and I contribute to many charities, including several scolarship funds. And spare me the garbage about losing your soul. People who set out to do harm to and/or rip-off others imperil their souls. I suspect most prostitutes have no desire to harm anyone.

It is committing and succumbing to the seven deadly sins. Read Job, my friend. That is a way to live, always by God.

By the way, you do know that 80 cents on the dollar is actually used fraudulently by many charities, so donations to charities help far less than missionary work...

Sentinel
02-06-2011, 07:51 PM
stanton

if you feel like donating or helping out someone personally go ahead and do it. don't wonder and ponder about it, worse still ask people on this forum for their views.

Some people here are quick to judge others and call others hypocrites without looking at themselves.

I have poverty and suffering all around me (in India), i cannot help each person, i still do my bit. I don't care what others think, and there'll be always someone sitting on his fat ***** (at home) passing judgment on what i am doing and what i should be doing.

my 2cents is that you do not have to solve all the world's ill. If you do your bit to help others that's great. If you do not cause suffering to others that's wonderful, too.

I've spent many years trying to help a few people who were addictive or suicidal, only to find that they don't want to leave their habits.

My aunt used to buy blankets for the poor and they would immediately sell them for smack.

It's great that you have such thoughts, btw. It's great that you (and others here) help others.

stanton warrior
02-06-2011, 10:08 PM
Don't get me wrong, I'm not religious at all. I know that being an *******, if you do it right, pays off more often that not.

What many don't realize is that the good living standard most here have is not god given, it's because other bleed for us. It's pure luck that we have been born as whom we are.

The problems I speak of are not about people making mistakes they could learn from. It's about consequences of political corruption, long term effects of imperialism and things like that.
Those situations aren't going to get better by themselves.

It's not about making oneself feel superior. I made enough mistakes myself and I won't talk with people about my donations.

But If I ever have children, how could I explain them that I never really gave a **** about anything that didn't affect me or me family directly? Because that's what living your life with tunnel vision is.

Just take a look at your home. Basically everyting is connected to environmental destruction, unhuman laborwork, animal cruelty and other unpleasent stuff. By not doing anything against it, you're supporting it.

I'm not pointing fingers at all, I just hope to get people thinking.

antgun007
02-06-2011, 11:46 PM
I don't see this as a matter of how many feet away you are from a bad situation in need of help, it is a matter of willpower and beliefs. I believe it is the person inside of us that can change this world. You could have one person just walk by a homeless man in need and another who stops and offers some cash. for me, I see it has good karma. in a way that makes me feel better but mostly makes me feel that by giving to someone in need it will eventually come back to me. if it is something I need help with or that I'm in a bad situation. I feel that because of all the "help" I have provided in my life, that things will work out. A lot of people don't bother to help out in our world because they believe it only hurts themselves and ultimately it doesn't have an affect on them. I knew people who didn't have a care in the world about the 9/11 attacks because they felt it didn't have an affect on them when in fact, it completely changed the world we know from the economy to the way we go about our daily business. a little off topic with this, but it all comes back to willpower and the effort to do something about a bad situation. My mom has always taught me that I should always give help whenever and wherever possible because it will all come back to me. I have to say, so far, my life has been great and I have no complaints living my life the way I do. so no matter how many feet between you and that person who needs help, if you have the time and resources, go out and do something, cause you never know when you might be the next one to need help.

stanton warrior
02-07-2011, 12:50 AM
I don't see this as a matter of how many feet away you are from a bad situation in need of help, it is a matter of willpower and beliefs. I believe it is the person inside of us that can change this world. You could have one person just walk by a homeless man in need and another who stops and offers some cash. for me, I see it has good karma. in a way that makes me feel better but mostly makes me feel that by giving to someone in need it will eventually come back to me. if it is something I need help with or that I'm in a bad situation. I feel that because of all the "help" I have provided in my life, that things will work out. A lot of people don't bother to help out in our world because they believe it only hurts themselves and ultimately it doesn't have an affect on them. I knew people who didn't have a care in the world about the 9/11 attacks because they felt it didn't have an affect on them when in fact, it completely changed the world we know from the economy to the way we go about our daily business. a little off topic with this, but it all comes back to willpower and the effort to do something about a bad situation. My mom has always taught me that I should always give help whenever and wherever possible because it will all come back to me. I have to say, so far, my life has been great and I have no complaints living my life the way I do. so no matter how many feet between you and that person who needs help, if you have the time and resources, go out and do something, cause you never know when you might be the next one to need help.
I really like your point of view.

Eventhough I don't really believe in karma. The reason is that I feel like it would mean that the people suffering do deservingly so, and that people that are very fortunate have all earned their luck.

Dilettante
02-07-2011, 02:37 AM
A drug dealer is far better to become, far less ignoble.

You obviously don't know what are you talking about.

fRa
02-07-2011, 03:59 AM
It's a polarizing topic, but one I've been thinking a lot in the last few weeks.

If you see someone in need a few feet away on the street it's obviously wrong to just walk away.

But at what distance is it alright to just mind your own business and not help?
Is it 100 feet, 1000 feet, 10 miles, or 1000 miles?

Let's not kid ourselves, the world we live in is really, really ****ed up. Not everything is bad, but there's a lot of stuff going on that's frankly inacceptable if we're honest to ourselves.

It starts with destruction of the environment and ends with small children that have to fight wars and prostitute themselves for a few dollars.

Those things happen thousands of times, every single day.
We know it happens but yet most of us don't really do anything about it.

Sure, we (I include myself) have their own problems, but even when we have time and money to spare we mostly think about what to buy next, where we could spend holidays, and so on.

Is there any justification to buy a flatscreen instead of (for example) supporting a project against child-prostitution in brasil?
Are we obligated to help as long as we can keep a decent living standard, or should we just not give a ****?

Very interesting topic...
From a legal stand point, most countries have instituted a duty to rescue which, if violated, constitutes a crime. I'm not sure of the specific conditions but I think judges would look into what circumstances such a duty must be performed and at which point it is reasonable to just walk. I find that this is what it boils down to i.e the circumstance in which it becomes necessary to intervene and when it isn't. It seems that this “social responsibility” you mentioned would have us intervene at all times, for any happening. Although, it is easy to agree with the concept of a transcendent idea of solidarity, it is hardly the most practical path to take. 4 armed-men mug an innocent pedestrian, threatening his life with sharp knives and what not : in our guts, we all just want to run over there and somehow rescue the victim and yet, we just stand there. I would agree that this could translate a kind of “devolution” where men are governed by cowardice and fear, all of which being the result of our secluded, wealthy consumerist lifestyles. But all in all, it can also express the natural reaction of self-preservation. It is absurd to expose ourselves to unnecessary danger. Unnecessary : first of all because the other is not me and second, because I can choose to walk away. There's nothing wrong with this. Sure it is cowardly but it also is natural and it is far from the ethical sphere you have chosen to place it in. You might then say, “we are perhaps more than just nature itself, we are more than animals, we have a conscience”. I suppose that it's the unbarring idea of “evil” or wrong (the conscience) that leads an individual to act upon such a situation but reality is a substantial amount of random events, it's fate. And fate has no moral code, it has no ethic, it has no consideration of what is wrong and what is right. It's just a tragic coincidence that the unfortunate pedestrian happened to be on that sidewalk when criminals decided to strike. It's a wonderful coincidence that the big bang ever “banged”. Just walk away but by doing so, call the cops. I suppose that isn't so bad?

http://images.askmen.com/blogs/news/the-big-bang-experiment.jpg

The standard occidental idea is that we are the plague of the world, we are the colonialist, we are the moral disaster of the 2nd WW, we are the cause of global warming, we are the cause of all that is wrong in the world. It's almost become a pathology : the occident is a masochist that is lashes itself intentionally, attributing to itself all the evil deeds that ever occurred. This is probably less true in the US since it is more preoccupied by maintaining global hegemony than caring about people's problems (unless of course, these problems are actually their problems) but it is true in Europe. The perfect example is terrorism : Europe never seems to harshly condemn it but it in fact tries to justify it by it's past behavior. This evidently leads to some sort of inaction : nothing is done because nothing is to be done. We must repent. I abhor this kind of behavior but I think is explained by the fact Europe is slowly realizing that it is no longer the supremacy it used to be hence why it finds reasons to still uphold a certain status even if it means being a global perpetrator.

I find that Jean Paul Sartre's idea of human reality more optimistic and realistic. He considers a human being as a being that is “for itself” - it is not what it is and it is what it is not. This firstly means that essence does not precede existence. Existence gives shape to essence and it is the choices we make that bound us to who we are. Sartre says that “we are condemned to be free” in the sense that our freedom of choice, of being what we are, comes with the barring of responsibility that these choices imply. When I make a decision, I make it accordingly to what I think is “right” or “best”. Here, I find myself thorn between the idea of fate, of randomness that I argued in the first part, and Sartre's way of thought, that I find is also true. In my opinion, the answer lies somewhere in between the two but perhaps more towards Sartre's side.

http://www.devoir-de-philosophie.com/images_dissertations/144542.jpg

dlk
02-07-2011, 04:06 AM
^^^Tight Post.

stanton warrior
02-07-2011, 04:50 AM
Very interesting topic...
From a legal stand point, most countries have instituted a duty to rescue which, if violated, constitutes a crime. I'm not sure of the specific conditions but I think judges would look into what circumstances such a duty must be performed and at which point it is reasonable to just walk. I find that this is what it boils down to i.e the circumstance in which it becomes necessary to intervene and when it isn't. It seems that this “social responsibility” you mentioned would have us intervene at all times, for any happening. Although, it is easy to agree with the concept of a transcendent idea of solidarity, it is hardly the most practical path to take. 4 armed-men mug an innocent pedestrian, threatening his life with sharp knives and what not : in our guts, we all just want to run over there and somehow rescue the victim and yet, we just stand there. I would agree that this could translate a kind of “devolution” where men are governed by cowardice and fear, all of which being the result of our secluded, wealthy consumerist lifestyles. But all in all, it can also express the natural reaction of self-preservation. It is absurd to expose ourselves to unnecessary danger. Unnecessary : first of all because the other is not me and second, because I can choose to walk away. There's nothing wrong with this. Sure it is cowardly but it also is natural and it is far from the ethical sphere you have chosen to place it in. You might then say, “we are perhaps more than just nature itself, we are more than animals, we have a conscience”. I suppose that it's the unbarring idea of “evil” or wrong (the conscience) that leads an individual to act upon such a situation but reality is a substantial amount of random events, it's fate. And fate has no moral code, it has no ethic, it has no consideration of what is wrong and what is right. It's just a tragic coincidence that the unfortunate pedestrian happened to be on that sidewalk when criminals decided to strike. It's a wonderful coincidence that the big bang ever “banged”. Just walk away but by doing so, call the cops. I suppose that isn't so bad?
Your example is way over the top. How often do you see 4 armed-men robbing someone? Maybe once a life, maybe twice, depending on where you live.
I wouldn't throw myself in the line of fire either, and that never was my point.
I know you didn't mean it that way, but it feels a bit like you're saying "if you can't save everyone, don't bother at all".

Some things are clearly out of our control and we have to watch or walk away, but that's the exception. My problem is how often I see people looking the other way even when they have the possiblity to help without risking their life.

The standard occidental idea is that we are the plague of the world, we are the colonialist, we are the moral disaster of the 2nd WW, we are the cause of global warming, we are the cause of all that is wrong in the world. It's almost become a pathology : the occident is a masochist that is lashes itself intentionally, attributing to itself all the evil deeds that ever occurred. This is probably less true in the US since it is more preoccupied by maintaining global hegemony than caring about people's problems (unless of course, these problems are actually their problems) but it is true in Europe. The perfect example is terrorism : Europe never seems to harshly condemn it but it in fact tries to justify it by it's past behavior. This evidently leads to some sort of inaction : nothing is done because nothing is to be done. We must repent. I abhor this kind of behavior but I think is explained by the fact Europe is slowly realizing that it is no longer the supremacy it used to be hence why it finds reasons to still uphold a certain status even if it means being a global perpetrator.

It's time to face it, we ARE the plague of the world.
Again, it doesn't mean there's no good in humanity, but we are destroying our planet like no species ever has. And we are commiting atrocities that make even "cruel mother nature" seem endearing.

The part about losing influence isn't exactly news, isn't it.
It's been the case for Europe for a while, and the same is happening for the United States, probably at an even faster rate.

I find that Jean Paul Sartre's idea of human reality more optimistic and realistic. He considers a human being as a being that is “for itself” - it is not what it is and it is what it is not. This firstly means that essence does not precede existence. Existence gives shape to essence and it is the choices we make that bound us to who we are. Sartre says that “we are condemned to be free” in the sense that our freedom of choice, of being what we are, comes with the barring of responsibility that these choices imply. When I make a decision, I make it accordingly to what I think is “right” or “best”. Here, I find myself thorn between the idea of fate, of randomness that I argued in the first part, and Sartre's way of thought, that I find is also true. In my opinion, the answer lies somewhere in between the two but perhaps more towards Sartre's side.
I have to admit that I didn't knew Sartre before, but I like his ideas.

albino smurf
02-07-2011, 04:54 AM
anybody posting on a tennis board has probably got a little extra money and time. Do something positive with it or don't. Your outrage and social awareness should come when you look at the amount of money squandered by the ruling class. The average person anywhere in the world can only affect those directly around them, which is good and you should, but there are a lot of billionaires out there that throw away hundreds of thousands on extravagant and decadent lifestyles every year. Some rich oil sheik can burn the earnings of every member of this boards lifetime earnings in one year on champagne, travel and decadent crap and never notice at all.

Manus Domini
02-07-2011, 05:41 AM
You obviously don't know what are you talking about.

I dunno why I was talking about ignoble stuff there, my point of view is the same though. I would rather a starving family deal drugs than selling their daughter to slavery. In comparison to selling an 8 year to prostitution or slavery is one of the worst things I can think of. Drug addicts can be cured, but emotional scarring to the child can never be healed.

dParis
02-07-2011, 07:03 AM
OP, just get off this forum, leave your material possessions behind and join the Peace Corps or join a Mission. You'll be providing real help directly to those who need it. I'm sure your help would not be turned down. Take a few years to really experience "the poor" and you will better be able to determine how your monetary donation can be used to provide meaningful, effective assistance. Nothing is more valuable than your time and hard work.

Instead of getting on this forum and basically whining about our "indifference", go where the help is needed and help. Bring your computer with you and report back to this forum your experiences and petition members for their help. I'm serious. Wouldn't that be far more effective than whatever it is you are doing here, now?

Drug addicts can be cured, but emotional scarring to the child can never be healed.
Can't all be healed through The Lord? :confused:

fRa
02-07-2011, 07:12 AM
OP, just get off this forum, leave your material possessions behind and join the Peace Corps or join a Mission. You'll be providing real help directly to those who need it. I'm sure your help would not be turned down. Take a few years to really experience "the poor" and you will better be able to determine how your monetary donation can be used to provide meaningful, effective assistance. Nothing is more valuable than your time and hard work.

Instead of getting on this forum and basically whining about our "indifference", go where the help is needed and help. Bring your computer with you and report back to this forum your experiences and petition members for their help. I'm serious. Wouldn't that be far more effective than whatever it is you are doing here, now?


Can't all be healed through The Lord? :confused:

The army? Seriously? That's the last place I'd go to help anyone.

dParis
02-07-2011, 07:40 AM
The army? Seriously? That's the last place I'd go to help anyone.
I didn't realize the Peace Corps was a branch of The Army. They aren't there shooting people anyhow. Maybe you should study up on the PC a little.

So where would you go to help someone, mister?

r2473
02-07-2011, 07:43 AM
The army? Seriously? That's the last place I'd go to help anyone.

How would Sartre solve this conundrum? Should the OP give money to a worthy cause? Join the Peace Corps? Buy a Ducati? How should he decide?

Sartre addressed this specifically in his long narrative about a young man deciding if he should join.....I believe it was the French resistance movement or stay home and take care of his mother, etc.

^^I wasn't going to mention the part about the Peace Corps being part of the army dParis. I wanted to hear this kid paraphrase some more Sartre.

By the way, the answer (for Sartre anyway) is that he would take my advice and find himself a hot......probably brunette. And that you can bank on. Just ask Simone de Beauvoir. She'll tell ya.

Then he would probably write a scathing piece in Libération.

fRa
02-07-2011, 08:14 AM
How would Sartre solve this conundrum? Should the OP give money to a worthy cause? Join the Peace Corps? Buy a Ducati? How should he decide?

Sartre addressed this specifically in his long narrative about a young man deciding if he should join.....I believe it was the French resistance movement or stay home and take care of his mother, etc.

^^I wasn't going to mention the part about the Peace Corps being part of the army dParis. I wanted to hear this kid paraphrase some more Sartre.

By the way, the answer (for Sartre anyway) is that he would take my advice and find himself a hot......probably brunette. And that you can bank on. Just ask Simone de Beauvoir. She'll tell ya.

Then he would probably write a scathing piece in Libération.

I don't think Sartre's example of the french resistance was as relevant to its object than to it's signification. I'm sure you know that the exemple itself was given to demonstrate how one could solve a moral dilemna. In fine, after having showed Kant's unsuccessful attempt for a solution, he states that one's conduct must be based on the preservation of another liberty (I've read this in french, so the translation is approximate).

(I might add that comparing the fact of joining the french resistance and that of joining any contemporary army is outrageous).

Even though Sartre did find some sado-masochist type of relationship with Simone de Beauvoir, he didn't just settle for "a" (single) brunette. His philosophy did lead him to maintain a very open relationship with the said lady, having numerous other ladies to go by. Sartre was a living paradox, there's no "what Sartre would have done" and I find that his life has lived up to his philosophy especially to his concept of the "for itself".

fRa
02-07-2011, 08:18 AM
I didn't realize the Peace Corps was a branch of The Army. They aren't there shooting people anyhow. Maybe you should study up on the PC a little.

So where would you go to help someone, mister?

Haha, I'm sorry about that. I do realize I misread, I got caught up with the "Corps" instead of "Peace corps" and started thinking about the Marines and ended up simplifying with "the Army".

r2473
02-07-2011, 08:24 AM
I don't think Sartre's example of the french resistance was as relevant to its object than to it's signification. I'm sure you know that the exemple itself was given to demonstrate how one could solve a moral dilemna. In fine, after having showed Kant's unsuccessful attempt for a solution, he states that one's conduct must be based on the preservation of another liberty (I've read this in french, so the translation is approximate).

But how do you decide which one? You have myriad choices, all with merit. Choosing one precludes choosing the others (basically). Which one do you choose and what guides your choice? How do you know?

Yes, he shows that the "categorical imperative" is useless in these situations. What did Sartre say?

Take the OP. Let's say he has gone to University, earned his degree, and *should* now go out and find a good job with that degree. After all, his parents probably sacrificed for many years so he could go to school and have this opportunity. Wouldn't running off in some idealistic attempt to "do good" be hurting his parents? They probably want him to get a good job, find a wife, have a family. Can't he always just contribute a few dollars?

On the other hand, isn't it selfish and immoral to simply pursue personal success and not care about his fellow man who is going hungry / enslaved in prostitution / etc.

So, which way should he choose? How does he know? What helps guide his choice? Both options are "good". Both have merit. Abandoning one or the other is going to "hurt" someone.

So, what does Sartre say?

stanton warrior
02-07-2011, 08:40 AM
OP, just get off this forum, leave your material possessions behind and join the Peace Corps or join a Mission. You'll be providing real help directly to those who need it. I'm sure your help would not be turned down. Take a few years to really experience "the poor" and you will better be able to determine how your monetary donation can be used to provide meaningful, effective assistance. Nothing is more valuable than your time and hard work.
Manpower is not what's needed. Besides, there's a lot of room between not caring at all and being a saint that lives in a cave.

I can achieve a lot more staying here in switzerland, convincing other people to help, and donating 10k a year.
When my job allows me I'll go to south america and take a look at some projects, but the last thing they need is people building schools, they have enough hands.
What they need is money for food, books, medical care and things like that.

Instead of getting on this forum and basically whining about our "indifference", go where the help is needed and help. Bring your computer with you and report back to this forum your experiences and petition members for their help. I'm serious. Wouldn't that be far more effective than whatever it is you are doing here, now?
Maybe I'll do that, but right now I'm still at home and got the urge to write about it. All I'm doing is using a few minutes of my spare time for those posts.

No one's forced to read it, take it or leave it.

I know that this isn't a topic that makes people feel good. If you're ****ed off about this topic maybe you realize, subconsciously or not, that you haven't done nearly as much as you could have.

Can't all be healed through The Lord? :confused:
Should I get that?

fRa
02-07-2011, 09:12 AM
But how do you decide which one? You have myriad choices, all with merit. Choosing one precludes choosing the others (basically). Which one do you choose and what guides your choice? How do you know?

Yes, he shows that the "categorical imperative" is useless in these situations. What did Sartre say?

Take the OP. Let's say he has gone to University, earned his degree, and *should* now go out and find a good job with that degree. After all, his parents probably sacrificed for many years so he could go to school and have this opportunity. Wouldn't running off in some idealistic attempt to "do good" be hurting his parents? They probably want him to get a good job, find a wife, have a family. Can't he always just contribute a few dollars?

On the other hand, isn't it selfish and immoral to simply pursue personal success and not care about his fellow man who is going hungry / enslaved in prostitution / etc.

So, which way should he choose? How does he know? What helps guide his choice? Both options are "good". Both have merit. Abandoning one or the other is going to "hurt" someone.

So, what does Sartre say?

Sartre's philosophy is fundamentally materialistic. "L'existenliasme est un humanisme", the speech he gave in order to respond to certain critiques that were made against his philosophy (that had been labelled as existentialism) and more generally in order to explain it. So it's a vulgarized summary of "L'être et le néant".
What Sartre tries to explain is that what makes me who I am is what I do. This is the meaning of my being condemned to be free because my acts not only define who I am but they hold me liable in front of humanity entirely. Why do I choose an act rather than another? The choice of an act over an other lies of course in the consideration that we have of it's moral "color" so to speak (ie. wrong or good) but also because I am responsible in front of humanity itself. An act does not only concern me, but all of humanity because I have thought of it as good and because I have thought of it this way I am implying that it be good for everyone, everywhere.
The example Sartre gives about that boy, his mother and his will to join the resistance, it is both an objective and subjective matter. It does seem like one option does exclude the other. But, Sartre says that there is no general moral, there's no moral that can be applied a priori, there's no mathematical formula. This is the meaning of Sartre moral conclusion (if we can actually call it that way).In your example, and in Sartre aswell, the individual is confronted with the choice of joining an immediate cause, returning what my parents have given me, and a more general cause, joining an organization that might save the greater good...
The problem with these dilemnas is that are altruistic (if of course we let aside the classic "but altruism is a reverse egotism") which naturally makes them morally acceptable. In this case, morality is no longer a real problem.

We'd have to apply this back to our topic. But, I'll do this tomorrow, I've had a raging headache all day and it's getting worse. Tell me what you think anyhow.

VaththalKuzhambu
02-07-2011, 09:28 AM
When your psychotic doubles partner calls a ball that is clearly in as out.

sureshs
02-07-2011, 09:36 AM
I'd expect environmental damage to decrease in the future through more knowledge gained, instead of through a "back to nature" retreat.


It might reduce the rate, that is all. Also, more technology to solve existing technology's problems will have environmental impact, much of which will be covered up.

sureshs
02-07-2011, 09:45 AM
Yes, you need to adjust your standards, but prostitution is one of the worst ways to make a living. There is no honor, nothing to be proud of. It is merely satisfying the lust of others. A drug dealer is far better to become, far less ignoble.

Why is it bad? I can understand the risk of disease, but morally, why is it wrong? It has been present in every society since time immemorial. There are also various shades of it which are acceptable in different cultures. Like a woman who takes an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas with a man she hardly knows. She will never accept the label of a prostitute. Or the rich guy on a golfing trip who just happens to run into a beautiful lady in the bar and decides to buy her an expensive gift.

Women have provided services to men like sailors, traveling mercenaries and traders, men rejected by society, men unable to find a wife due to poverty and unemployment, etc., for millenia. Why not look at it as a service which keeps men from becoming violent and per verts? That is why the modern acceptable term is "sex worker."

r2473
02-07-2011, 09:54 AM
Sartre's philosophy is fundamentally materialistic.

The choice of an act over an other lies of course in the consideration that we have of it's moral "color" so to speak (ie. wrong or good) but also because I am responsible in front of humanity itself. An act does not only concern me, but all of humanity because I have thought of it as good and because I have thought of it this way I am implying that it be good for everyone, everywhere.

The problem with these dilemnas is that are altruistic (if of course we let aside the classic "but altruism is a reverse egotism") which naturally makes them morally acceptable. In this case, morality is no longer a real problem.

We'd have to apply this back to our topic. But, I'll do this tomorrow, I've had a raging headache all day and it's getting worse. Tell me what you think anyhow.

I can't agree at all with the first point....that Sartre's philosophy is fundamentally materialistic. Like a good Frenchman, the cogito is at the heart of his philosophy, though he flips it on it head with his insistence that “existence precedes essence”.

On the second point, I think Sartre fundamentally rejects this as any sort of practical guide of choosing what to do "when the chips are down". It is why he.......dismisses Kant's categorical imperative as being at all useful in these types of situations. When all choices are "good", which *should* we choose and more importantly, how do we know which we should choose?

Third, I'm unclear why you are introducing "altruism" into the discussion.

dParis
02-07-2011, 10:41 AM
Manpower is not what's needed.This is wishful thinking. It's also a poor dodge of my suggestion which you turned into a challenge. Ask a Mission, the Peace Corps or a similar organization. They will find a place place for you.
Besides, there's a lot of room between not caring at all and being a saint that lives in a cave.What is this??

You started this thread and you started it with a far more specific, focused argument than this. Now you broaden it to a point that one can drive the history of humanity through it? Surely I never said we should not care, or told you to live in a cave.

I can achieve a lot more staying here in switzerland, convincing other people to help, and donating 10k a year.
I doubt that. You're not very convincing. What are you trying to convince people to do? Donate more to charities? Which ones? Ask their governments tax them further? Spend their own time and labor in the places they are needed?

Thank goodness you're working on things - from Switzerland.

Maybe I'll do that, but right now I'm still at home and got the urge to write about it. All I'm doing is using a few minutes of my spare time for those posts.

No one's forced to read it, take it or leave it.
Ditto.
I know that this isn't a topic that makes people feel good. If you're ****ed off about this topic maybe you realize, subconsciously or not, that you haven't done nearly as much as you could have.Interesting bit of transference there.


Should I get that?No. Directed at another member.

stanton warrior
02-07-2011, 11:08 AM
This is wishful thinking. It's also a poor dodge of my suggestion which you turned into a challenge. Ask a Mission, the Peace Corps or a similar organization. They will find a place place for you.
What is this??

You started this thread and you started it with a far more specific, focused argument than this. Now you broaden it to a point that one can drive the history of humanity through it? Surely I never said we should not care, or told you to live in a cave.

I doubt that. You're not very convincing. What are you trying to convince people to do? Donate more to charities? Which ones? Ask their governments tax them further? Spend their own time and labor in the places they are needed?

Thank goodness you're working on things - from Switzerland.

Ditto.
Interesting bit of transference there.


No. Directed at another member.

I don't want to go into every of your points as it would take me ages and wouldn't convince you anyway.

I never claimed that you think we shouldn't care, it's just one extreme of the scale. As is the part about living in cave.

Maybe I'm not convincing to you, but I already got people interested in donating by talking in person to them. But we wont rush things, we will choose our projects very carefully. It'll take at least a few months.

So far we see that there are already many people willing to help in brazil, often from christian groups. They have hands. Things like medical care is where donations can make a difference.

I'm convinced that we can achieve good things this way. Without having to leave familiy and friends behind and puting our jobs on the line.

If you care why we want to do it: http://www.pangaea.org/street_children/latin/prost.htm This one is from 1995, but it's not much better these days, if at all. And it's expected to get worse towards the 2014 Football World Cup.

Steady Eddy
02-07-2011, 01:13 PM
It might reduce the rate, that is all. Also, more technology to solve existing technology's problems will have environmental impact, much of which will be covered up.How do you know? Natural lands can be reclaimed, and probably will be. They probably will be because the trend is to make arable land more productive, and at the same time birth rates are falling in industrialized countries AND the third world.

Even the American Indians had a huge negative impact on the environment. They had to in order to survive. This is turning around now, and will likely, turn around much more in the next one hundred years.

(I know, that's no fun to hear, doom and gloom is the usual fare).

sureshs
02-07-2011, 01:19 PM
How do you know? Natural lands can be reclaimed, and probably will be. They probably will be because the trend is to make arable land more productive, and at the same time birth rates are falling in industrialized countries AND the third world.

Even the American Indians had a huge negative impact on the environment. They had to in order to survive. This is turning around now, and will likely, turn around much more in the next one hundred years.

(I know, that's no fun to hear, doom and gloom is the usual fare).

Actually, I think birth rate acceleration in some countries is declining, that is all. I like your point though. I never thought about birth control as a technology.

I was refering to things like chips which store kinetic energy of personal motion (so called energy scavenging) and use it to power a cell phone, for example. But now you have to make a chip in addition to the one already in the cell phone, and the semiconductor industry uses poisonous chemicals.

pushing_wins
02-07-2011, 02:14 PM
be responsible to yourself and those closest to you. most of us fail at even doing that.

ATP100
02-07-2011, 02:35 PM
"the world is, as it always was, as it always will be"

pushing_wins
02-07-2011, 03:18 PM
"the world is, as it always was, as it always will be"

what about facebook?

jmverdugo
02-07-2011, 03:19 PM
I don't want to go into every of your points as it would take me ages and wouldn't convince you anyway.

I never claimed that you think we shouldn't care, it's just one extreme of the scale. As is the part about living in cave.

Maybe I'm not convincing to you, but I already got people interested in donating by talking in person to them. But we wont rush things, we will choose our projects very carefully. It'll take at least a few months.

So far we see that there are already many people willing to help in brazil, often from christian groups. They have hands. Things like medical care is where donations can make a difference.

I'm convinced that we can achieve good things this way. Without having to leave familiy and friends behind and puting our jobs on the line.

If you care why we want to do it: http://www.pangaea.org/street_children/latin/prost.htm This one is from 1995, but it's not much better these days, if at all. And it's expected to get worse towards the 2014 Football World Cup.


Funny you mention South America and now Brasil, I am in Brasil right now. Also I have traveled (and travel) regulary through out South America for work reasons. I really think you should try to find out more about what to do to help and where your money will go. For instance, you have a lot of people homeless here or that leave in favelas, do you think it would be a good thing to support an organization that will build houses for these people? You do know that these people are homeless because they do not make enough money? You know that if you give them a house they will have to pay electricity, gas, water, etc, etc, etc - so maybe you will be giving them more troubles that they have right now, again, you are giving them what you "think" is good for them.

What if your money goes to an organization that buy medicine for public hospitals somewhere in Venezuela, you know that there is money on the budget of that hospital for those medicines? do you know that that money is used for something else than to buy medicines? so without even knowing you are covering the corruption on that country.

In my opinion giving money is the most irresponsible way of helping, you have no clue were the money is going, you have no clue if it is actually helping somebody, you have no clue about anything. If you want to make a difference then go on site and give example, start to build and they will follow you.


I have a real story for you, once I had to travel by bus from Quito to Lago Agrio in Ecuador, it is a long an cold travel. On the same bus there was a bunch of young little girls (really young) from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and gues what they were doing? They were on their way to work on the Chongos (I think you can guess what these are). One of them started to talk with me and I (thinking that I was doing something right) tried to convince her to start doing something else, to start to study and move away of that life. She told me that if I wanted to help her then I could go to the local Chongo and pay for her services, and I do not think she could had more than 17 years old, I never went there but I always thought that I could had done more. Until I found out the story of a guy from the same town that tried to "save" one of these girls and even married her and take her away from the town. In the end she was working on the same line of job but from his apartment. Some people do not want to be helped.


I am not saying that you should not care for these problems we have around the world, I am not saying that I do not care, beleive me I do. I am not even saying I am right, I am just telling you what I have seen. One thing I always keep in my mind before feeling sorry for somebody else is: who am I to feel sorry for somebody else? How can I be sure I am right? How can I be sure that the way of life I have, the life I had made for myself and my family is right? Who am I to beleive that I am happier than anybody else? Some people just do not want to be help, some people are fine the way they are. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, are you helping them or trying to get peace of mind?

A simple story: a boy found a baby goat abandoned on a farm close by his house, the got was trying to jump over the fence to get some food. The kid helped the animal and the animal got some food outside the fence. Since he couldnt take the animal to his house he put the goat back inside the fence. He went the next day and did the same. After that the kid could not go anymore, the goat spent a whole week waiting for someone to take it out of the fence but no one came, the goat died. I would like to think that the goat could had jump over the fence by itself eventually, or find another way and the kid trying to help it actually killed it. He did what he thought was best for it and that gave him peace of mind. JMO.

sureshs
02-07-2011, 03:22 PM
goat is the GOAT

ATP100
02-07-2011, 03:29 PM
what about facebook?


everything is faster, but nothing has changed, look at history with a broad view, now look broader, it is the same.

pushing_wins
02-07-2011, 03:43 PM
everything is faster, but nothing has changed, look at history with a broad view, now look broader, it is the same.

kidding about facebook.

dont you think things like higgs boson will cause us to look at life in a different way? religiously and philosophically. and that, in turn , influences our decisions over social responsibiltiy and every other aspect of life.

sureshs
02-07-2011, 03:50 PM
The world is a screwed-up place, you have a short time here, do good to a few people, at least don't do bad stuff to people, and get it over with.

Manus Domini
02-07-2011, 04:57 PM
Why is it bad? I can understand the risk of disease, but morally, why is it wrong? It has been present in every society since time immemorial. There are also various shades of it which are acceptable in different cultures. Like a woman who takes an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas with a man she hardly knows. She will never accept the label of a prostitute. Or the rich guy on a golfing trip who just happens to run into a beautiful lady in the bar and decides to buy her an expensive gift.

Women have provided services to men like sailors, traveling mercenaries and traders, men rejected by society, men unable to find a wife due to poverty and unemployment, etc., for millenia. Why not look at it as a service which keeps men from becoming violent and per verts? That is why the modern acceptable term is "sex worker."

Prostitution is immoral, that is bad. But the worst of it is that 8 year old girls are subjected to it, and that is one of the worst crimes I can think of. And they are made a very profitable business of, too...

pushing_wins
02-07-2011, 05:41 PM
The world is a screwed-up place, you have a short time here, do good to a few people, at least don't do bad stuff to people, and get it over with.

karma?

10 char

Sentinel
02-07-2011, 07:14 PM
The world is a screwed-up place, you have a short time here, do good to a few people, at least don't do bad stuff to people, and get it over with.
+10.......

stanton warrior
02-07-2011, 10:28 PM
Funny you mention South America and now Brasil, I am in Brasil right now. Also I have traveled (and travel) regulary through out South America for work reasons. I really think you should try to find out more about what to do to help and where your money will go. For instance, you have a lot of people homeless here or that leave in favelas, do you think it would be a good thing to support an organization that will build houses for these people? You do know that these people are homeless because they do not make enough money? You know that if you give them a house they will have to pay electricity, gas, water, etc, etc, etc - so maybe you will be giving them more troubles that they have right now, again, you are giving them what you "think" is good for them.

What if your money goes to an organization that buy medicine for public hospitals somewhere in Venezuela, you know that there is money on the budget of that hospital for those medicines? do you know that that money is used for something else than to buy medicines? so without even knowing you are covering the corruption on that country.

In my opinion giving money is the most irresponsible way of helping, you have no clue were the money is going, you have no clue if it is actually helping somebody, you have no clue about anything. If you want to make a difference then go on site and give example, start to build and they will follow you.


I have a real story for you, once I had to travel by bus from Quito to Lago Agrio in Ecuador, it is a long an cold travel. On the same bus there was a bunch of young little girls (really young) from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and gues what they were doing? They were on their way to work on the Chongos (I think you can guess what these are). One of them started to talk with me and I (thinking that I was doing something right) tried to convince her to start doing something else, to start to study and move away of that life. She told me that if I wanted to help her then I could go to the local Chongo and pay for her services, and I do not think she could had more than 17 years old, I never went there but I always thought that I could had done more. Until I found out the story of a guy from the same town that tried to "save" one of these girls and even married her and take her away from the town. In the end she was working on the same line of job but from his apartment. Some people do not want to be helped.


I am not saying that you should not care for these problems we have around the world, I am not saying that I do not care, beleive me I do. I am not even saying I am right, I am just telling you what I have seen. One thing I always keep in my mind before feeling sorry for somebody else is: who am I to feel sorry for somebody else? How can I be sure I am right? How can I be sure that the way of life I have, the life I had made for myself and my family is right? Who am I to beleive that I am happier than anybody else? Some people just do not want to be help, some people are fine the way they are. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, are you helping them or trying to get peace of mind?

A simple story: a boy found a baby goat abandoned on a farm close by his house, the got was trying to jump over the fence to get some food. The kid helped the animal and the animal got some food outside the fence. Since he couldnt take the animal to his house he put the goat back inside the fence. He went the next day and did the same. After that the kid could not go anymore, the goat spent a whole week waiting for someone to take it out of the fence but no one came, the goat died. I would like to think that the goat could had jump over the fence by itself eventually, or find another way and the kid trying to help it actually killed it. He did what he thought was best for it and that gave him peace of mind. JMO.

I know the stories about the favelas, but we have to focus our efforts. We've chosen were we want to help, in our case it's mostly rural areas of Brazil, far away from the economic centers.

Chosing the right project is the problem now, one where we know that the money gets used the right way and doesn't disappear in someone's pocket. Those exists, but finding them and verifying that they do the best possible job with the money is what takes effort.

The 2nd half sounds like an excuse not to help and nothing else, sorry.
Do you really have to ask yourself whetever your happier than the 9-year old prostitute? Do you realize how that sounds?
You can't honestly be surprised that by the time she's 17-18 she isn't able to make rational decisions...! It's not because those girls are "fine the way they are" or because "they don't want any help".

And yes I admit it, I need some peace of mind.
The thought of all those things happening daily, not just there, also in Cambodia and many other places, and the fact that so many grown-ups look away (or do worse, much worse) has been keeping my mind busy for many weeks in a row.

Honestly, the more I know about the topic, the more enraged I get.

I don't want to donate money to a random organisation and be done with it, I want to know that I made a difference to some people's life. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I don't care.

sureshs
02-08-2011, 07:19 AM
Prostitution is immoral, that is bad. But the worst of it is that 8 year old girls are subjected to it, and that is one of the worst crimes I can think of. And they are made a very profitable business of, too...

I was not talking about children.

sureshs
02-08-2011, 07:20 AM
karma?

10 char

does it exist?

stanton warrior
02-08-2011, 09:00 AM
does it exist?
does it matter?

jmverdugo
02-08-2011, 10:47 AM
I know the stories about the favelas, but we have to focus our efforts. We've chosen were we want to help, in our case it's mostly rural areas of Brazil, far away from the economic centers.

This is that I do not quite get, what would you assume that if someone lives in a rural area then they need help? Maybe the people that live rural areas are more happy than any rich people of the city?. If you ask me I think that the places were you will find more missery and social problems is right in the big cities, specially on the borders of the cities. You need more money to have a decent live on the city than you need on the rural areas...

Chosing the right project is the problem now, one where we know that the money gets used the right way and doesn't disappear in someone's pocket. Those exists, but finding them and verifying that they do the best possible job with the money is what takes effort.

Agree, but it not only effort, it could take your whole life...


The 2nd half sounds like an excuse not to help and nothing else, sorry.
Do you really have to ask yourself whetever your happier than the 9-year old prostitute? Do you realize how that sounds?
You can't honestly be surprised that by the time she's 17-18 she isn't able to make rational decisions...! It's not because those girls are "fine the way they are" or because "they don't want any help".

I do not need an excuse for not helping, if fact I do not think that I am not doing it, just because you do something doesnt mean you are helping, that is my point. Obviously I was not talking about a 9 year old prostitute, actually there is no such thing, if any she is being r@ped and somebody else is being paid, do you really need to go that far to make a point? Obviously if me or any normal human been know about a little girl in these conditions then we would help, and my help would be to call the police and the news just to be sure things happen, not to post in a internet forum about my intentions, much less donate money for an organization that "could" help. Also the specific case of a 9 year old is not as common as you think, basically it is not such a good bussiness, main reason being that you need to find the right clients first, most normal man prefer them to look like woman, yoiung woman to be exactly. About the 17 year old taking rational decisions, aren't you being a little condescending with her? what is the choice then? to force her to do the "right" thing? to talk her in to change her mind? that is not going to happen, if she doesnt look for help or change her mind by herself there is nothing you can do about it. Look at ourselves, grow up man figuring out how to make good things and can't accept each other opinions, do you think she would accept our opinion?

And yes I admit it, I need some peace of mind.
The thought of all those things happening daily, not just there, also in Cambodia and many other places, and the fact that so many grown-ups look away (or do worse, much worse) has been keeping my mind busy for many weeks in a row.

Honestly, the more I know about the topic, the more enraged I get.

I don't want to donate money to a random organisation and be done with it, I want to know that I made a difference to some people's life. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I don't care.

I know you need peace of mind, we all do, that is what I am trying to say, but if you really want to help you need to go there and help, donating is just the easy way, we all have money to spare, time, tears and sweat is another thing.

Personally, I am not looking the other way, I see it everyday and think about it too, but in my case I think that the solution is not direct help (unless is a 9 year old prostitute...) but to lead by example, I can't go to a favela and live there and try to change everything so I just try to do my part with the people around me, I do not tell them what to do, just tell them how I do things in a casual conversation, if they want to do it the same way cool, if not there is not much else I can do, specially if in the end I could be the one being wrong...

El Diablo
02-08-2011, 10:53 AM
Yes, things are certainly turning around, but I still expect Canada will be invaded in this century -- they have 25% of the world's supply of fresh water (much of it frozen).

pushing_wins
02-08-2011, 11:13 AM
I was not talking about children.

you will be suprised.

not talking about children

a FOAF told me prositutes are begging for business. you are doing them a favour. dont need to feel sorry for them.

pushing_wins
02-08-2011, 11:16 AM
does it matter?

do we need authority? do we need someone watching over us?

pushing_wins
02-08-2011, 11:20 AM
best predictor for human behaviour is model based on self-interest


game theory has studied this

The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future

sureshs
02-08-2011, 11:24 AM
It is a fashion among people in industrialized nations to feel sorry for people in other countries and try to help them. From genuinely commited persons to school kids looking for something to write in their college application, it seems to be very prevalent. There is quite a bit of lack of understanding. Because the surroundings are shabby doesn't mean people are poor. Because someone earns 50 cents an hour doesn't mean he is poor - it depends on how far that 50 cents gets him where he lives. Because there don't seem to be fancy hospitals doesn't mean a guy cannot get primary care, sometimes for free, from a local doctor or clinic. Because the only means of transportation is a bicycle doesn't mean a family is poor - if there is adequate cheap public transportation.

Part of this "charity" mentality springs from an inner vacuum. It is a need to create some meaning in life where there is none. Feeling sorry for someone in a far-away poor country is one such way. It is very difficult for me to believe that a guy will call a homeless guy in his neighborhood a bum and yet shed tears for some people 10000 miles away whom he has no knowledge of.

It is basically pretentiousness.

pushing_wins
02-08-2011, 11:26 AM
The 2nd half sounds like an excuse not to help and nothing else, sorry.
Do you really have to ask yourself whetever your happier than the 9-year old prostitute? Do you realize how that sounds?
You can't honestly be surprised that by the time she's 17-18 she isn't able to make rational decisions...! It's not because those girls are "fine the way they are" or because "they don't want any help".

And yes I admit it, I need some peace of mind.
The thought of all those things happening daily, not just there, also in Cambodia and many other places, and the fact that so many grown-ups look away (or do worse, much worse) has been keeping my mind busy for many weeks in a row.

Honestly, the more I know about the topic, the more enraged I get.

I don't want to donate money to a random organisation and be done with it, I want to know that I made a difference to some people's life. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I don't care.

i agree with the second half

who is to say the prostitute is not happy?

you want to be a hero? you want meaning to your life? is that what you want?

pabletion
02-08-2011, 12:01 PM
I dont wanna come as the preacher... but I go to mass every sunday and this last sunday's readings particularly called my attention, and theyre related to the topic:

1st reading: From the Old Testament, Book of Isaiah 58, 7-10

7 Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh.
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not.
10 When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.

Gospel: Book of Matthew 5, 13-16

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

r2473
02-08-2011, 12:10 PM
I'm not sure how far away I am from you right now, but I'm IN NEED of hot little blonde this evening.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

In fact 2 would be even better.

Still waiting

Manus Domini
02-08-2011, 02:32 PM
I dont wanna come as the preacher... but I go to mass every sunday and this last sunday's readings particularly called my attention, and theyre related to the topic:

1st reading: From the Old Testament, Book of Isaiah 58, 7-10

7 Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh.
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not.
10 When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.

Gospel: Book of Matthew 5, 13-16

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Good reading. You Catholic too?

I was not talking about children.

I was

LuckyR
02-08-2011, 05:15 PM
It's a polarizing topic, but one I've been thinking a lot in the last few weeks.

If you see someone in need a few feet away on the street it's obviously wrong to just walk away.

But at what distance is it alright to just mind your own business and not help?
Is it 100 feet, 1000 feet, 10 miles, or 1000 miles?

Sure, we (I include myself) have their own problems, but even when we have time and money to spare we mostly think about what to buy next, where we could spend holidays, and so on.

Is there any justification to buy a flatscreen instead of (for example) supporting a project against child-prostitution in brasil?
Are we obligated to help as long as we can keep a decent living standard, or should we just not give a ****?


Well, as I like to tell the interns: "you can't help others if you don't help yourself". There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking an expensive (or not so expensive, your choice) vacation, instead of writing a check to a charity. In the long haul, you are more likely to help others if you are comfortable with your personal situation. If you give too much, too early, you run the risk of getting burnt out on it and saying "screw it", and giving much less in the long haul. Better to give what you feel comfortable giving, over a lifetime.

So in other words, don't feel bad about looking at your flat screen...

dlk
02-08-2011, 05:21 PM
^^^I like your style. It's how I apporoach/prioritize that dilemma.

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 12:48 AM
The top 1 percent of households (with wealth of $13.8 million or more) holds about 23 percent of all wealth.


The top 5 percent ($4.02 million or more) holds 51 percent of all wealth.

Steady Eddy
02-09-2011, 06:00 AM
The top 1 percent of households (with wealth of $13.8 million or more) holds about 23 percent of all wealth.


The top 5 percent ($4.02 million or more) holds 51 percent of all wealth.But nowadays many people's 'wealth' is in the form of pensions and insurance policies, (including social security), making these numbers distort the true situation.

r2473
02-09-2011, 07:11 AM
But nowadays many people's 'wealth' is in the form of pensions and insurance policies, (including social security), making these numbers distort the true situation.

What's the "true situation"?

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 09:25 AM
But nowadays many people's 'wealth' is in the form of pensions and insurance policies, (including social security), making these numbers distort the true situation.

social security
i didnt read the article carefullly. i think it is included.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st289?pg=6

even if it is not included, it should make a difference to the distribution. if social security is excluded in calculating the wealth of the rich, then it is also excluded from poor.

insurance
you get what you pay for. expected present value of your insurance policy minus your premiums paid is zero or negative. negative because insurance companies takes a cut. again, no change to the distribution.

pensions
pretty obvious wealth contributor. i m sure its factored in.

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 09:28 AM
one counter argument to social responsibilty



natural selection?

sureshs
02-09-2011, 10:38 AM
one counter argument to social responsibilty



natural selection?

That was true with animals, which could not change the environment substantially. With humans, social responsibility can actually make it better for ourselves and our children. Not caring about pollution 20 miles away is not going to prevent it from affecting you very soon.

pabletion
02-09-2011, 11:56 AM
one counter argument to social responsibilty



natural selection?

In my opinion, that is precisely the way to go with atheism. Without a belief in a higher power and a next life it almost seems senseless to care for the weak/poor/hungry. It could be argued that feeling obliged to help those who suffer could be a human weakness and that evolution would take care of it in the future, resulting in human beings somewhat 'invulnerable' to empathy, thus allowing the strong to survive and resulting in a better species.

Legend of Borg
02-09-2011, 11:59 AM
one counter argument to social responsibilty



natural selection?

Social Darwinism?

Beastly theory devised by Herbert Spencer.

Conveniently used to justify capitalist exploitation.

Some are weaker and meant to be exploited......

sureshs
02-09-2011, 12:03 PM
In my opinion, that is precisely the way to go with atheism. Without a belief in a higher power and a next life it almost seems senseless to care for the weak/poor/hungry. It could be argued that feeling obliged to help those who suffer could be a human weakness and that evolution would take care of it in the future, resulting in human beings somewhat 'invulnerable' to empathy, thus allowing the strong to survive and resulting in a better species.

We can already see that. People are more indifferent than before. "Professionalism" is the buzzword. Altruistic acts are carefully coordinated and marketed with political goals.

ollinger
02-09-2011, 12:49 PM
It is OK to look the other way....when Chomsky TELLS YOU it's OK.

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 01:10 PM
I dont wanna come as the preacher... but I go to mass every sunday and this last sunday's readings particularly called my attention, and theyre related to the topic:

1st reading: From the Old Testament, Book of Isaiah 58, 7-10

7 Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh.
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not.
10 When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.

Gospel: Book of Matthew 5, 13-16

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

must there be a beginning and end?

concepts like null, infinity, limits are illogical

Manus Domini
02-09-2011, 03:17 PM
In my opinion, that is precisely the way to go with atheism. Without a belief in a higher power and a next life it almost seems senseless to care for the weak/poor/hungry. It could be argued that feeling obliged to help those who suffer could be a human weakness and that evolution would take care of it in the future, resulting in human beings somewhat 'invulnerable' to empathy, thus allowing the strong to survive and resulting in a better species.

Yeah, Hitler's Eugenics were definately the best way to go also :roll:

pabletion
02-09-2011, 05:52 PM
must there be a beginning and end?


concepts like null, infinity, limits are illogical

whaaaa....? :confused:


Yeah, Hitler's Eugenics were definately the best way to go also :roll:

Funny, Hitler has come to mind whenever Ive thought about this..... I guess it would be one of the next chain of thoughts if following that logic, when one stops being empathic and caring, I'd guess you would want to outcast and/or remove the weak links...... again, as to aspire to a "better" species.

edit: and after lookin up na zi eugenics on wiki.... wow, I didnt even know about it, just immediately related my chain of though to the na zis.

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 06:02 PM
whaaaa....? :confused:





isn't religious belief mainly to define a beginning and an end?

pabletion
02-09-2011, 06:17 PM
isn't religious belief mainly to define a beginning and an end?

I guess it defines, at least to me, much more than just that; for example, gives meaning to the social actions discussed in this thread. To my perception, the existence of God gives meaning and purpose to our human 'weaknesses', like, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, solidarity, love.....

but to each its own, the two readings I proposed, weather youre a believer or not, hold an intrinsically humane message, which appeals to said 'weaknesses'. I can only imagine these human weaknesses disappearing as a result of evolution if God doesnt exist.

Steady Eddy
02-09-2011, 06:39 PM
social security
insurance
you get what you pay for. expected present value of your insurance policy minus your premiums paid is zero or negative. negative because insurance companies takes a cut. again, no change to the distribution.

pensions
pretty obvious wealth contributor. i m sure its factored in.
For insurance, I meant life insurance policies that can have a cash value that has accrued. Not casualty insurance.

It's hard to know if pensions were counted or not. Sometimes such stats just get made up. Tell people that the richest 1% own 99% of the wealth and see if anyone asks you for your source. And what "should" it be anyway? Would it be better if the top 1% had 1%?

I read of a computer simulation where everyone made the same money, lived the same lifetime, and invested the same amounts. Because older citizens had larger retirement accounts, statistics could still be brought forth demonstrating that a small minority had nearly all the wealth. To me, inequality seems fair. Equality of wealth would seem very unfair. Some people work harder and save more.

In my opinion, that is precisely the way to go with atheism. Without a belief in a higher power and a next life it almost seems senseless to care for the weak/poor/hungry. It could be argued that feeling obliged to help those who suffer could be a human weakness and that evolution would take care of it in the future, resulting in human beings somewhat 'invulnerable' to empathy, thus allowing the strong to survive and resulting in a better species.
Robert Wright and some other writers have been exploring evidence that this is not true. Evolution does not mean that 'every man for himself' is the best strategy. Creatures that figure out how to cooperate with one another have a survival value over those that don't. Seems reasonable, doesn't it?

Actually, cooperation evolves.

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 06:57 PM
For insurance, I meant life insurance policies that can have a cash value that has accrued. Not casualty insurance.

It's hard to know if pensions were counted or not. Sometimes such stats just get made up. Tell people that the richest 1% own 99% of the wealth and see if anyone asks you for your source. And what "should" it be anyway? Would it be better if the top 1% had 1%?

I read of a computer simulation where everyone made the same money, lived the same lifetime, and invested the same amounts. Because older citizens had larger retirement accounts, statistics could still be brought forth demonstrating that a small minority had nearly all the wealth. To me, inequality seems fair. Equality of wealth would seem very unfair. Some people work harder and save more.




wealth of nations comes from a strong middle class



wouldnt the same apply to life insurance policy? the expected value of a payout tomorrow minus the accrued cash value is negative. normal luck yields a negative investment. extremely bad luck yields a positive one.

does the rich have a greater social responsibility? one person can eat only so many big macs.

Steady Eddy
02-09-2011, 07:14 PM
does the rich have a greater social responsibility? one person can eat only so many big macs.
I think so. How much, I can't really say. But you're right, how much can one consume?

I didn't mean to imply that no one experiences bad luck, and some people aren't rich just because of dumb luck. But alot of people create their own problems, they're just bad with money. They'll live beyond their means for years, and then when a recession hits they think it's all bad luck. Reality's very mixed, and hard to generalize. The Marxist view that the rich screw the poor is only somewhat right. Alot of people screw themselves. I've seen it happen.

Since you're a financial planner or something like that, haven't you seen alot of that too?

pushing_wins
02-09-2011, 08:33 PM
I think so. How much, I can't really say. But you're right, how much can one consume?

I didn't mean to imply that no one experiences bad luck, and some people aren't rich just because of dumb luck. But alot of people create their own problems, they're just bad with money. They'll live beyond their means for years, and then when a recession hits they think it's all bad luck. Reality's very mixed, and hard to generalize. The Marxist view that the rich screw the poor is only somewhat right. Alot of people screw themselves. I've seen it happen.

Since you're a financial planner or something like that, haven't you seen alot of that too?

before, you mentioned the study about wealth with math skills.........a lot of people do lack the ability to make good decisions.

most of our clients are high net worth clients. so i dont see a lot of that. they are usually quite prudent with money. maybe thats how they got to where they are.

stanton warrior
02-10-2011, 02:28 AM
This is that I do not quite get, what would you assume that if someone lives in a rural area then they need help? Maybe the people that live rural areas are more happy than any rich people of the city?. If you ask me I think that the places were you will find more missery and social problems is right in the big cities, specially on the borders of the cities. You need more money to have a decent live on the city than you need on the rural areas...
Brazil is a special case. It's economics are prospering, but the distribution is very, very uneven.

Prostitution of children has pretty much disappeared near the cities, it has been driven to rural areas. Out of sight, out of mind.

Agree, but it not only effort, it could take your whole life...
Finding one such project? Why should it take all my life? Or did I missunderstood you?


I do not need an excuse for not helping, if fact I do not think that I am not doing it, just because you do something doesnt mean you are helping, that is my point. Obviously I was not talking about a 9 year old prostitute, actually there is no such thing, if any she is being r@ped and somebody else is being paid, do you really need to go that far to make a point? Obviously if me or any normal human been know about a little girl in these conditions then we would help, and my help would be to call the police and the news just to be sure things happen, not to post in a internet forum about my intentions, much less donate money for an organization that "could" help. Also the specific case of a 9 year old is not as common as you think, basically it is not such a good bussiness, main reason being that you need to find the right clients first, most normal man prefer them to look like woman, yoiung woman to be exactly.
I was talking about children all along.

And yes I think I need to go this far to make a point.

We would help? Are you sure? It's happening RIGHT NOW. To tens of tousands of children.

Are we helping?
I'm not right now, and neither seem a lot of other people.

We ignore it, we don't think about it. That's not helping.

Btw, the police is involved as well from time to time. It has been known that they exploirt those girls as well, for many of them they are scum and nothing else.
I posted an article that describes the whole problem a few posts back. But be aware that it's going to ruin your days.
As I said, the more you know, the more enraged you'll get.

And before you write about "not being a good business", please inform yourself, prostitition of underage girls is huge business. Sadly, there's no lack of clients. Most of the time ut's not about sexual relief, it's about power and things like that.

About the 17 year old taking rational decisions, aren't you being a little condescending with her? what is the choice then? to force her to do the "right" thing? to talk her in to change her mind? that is not going to happen, if she doesnt look for help or change her mind by herself there is nothing you can do about it. Look at ourselves, grow up man figuring out how to make good things and can't accept each other opinions, do you think she would accept our opinion?
From what I've heard most of those vicitims embrace help. It still takes years to deal with traumas, but it's possible to get out of the vicious circle of explotation and drugs.

I know you need peace of mind, we all do, that is what I am trying to say, but if you really want to help you need to go there and help, donating is just the easy way, we all have money to spare, time, tears and sweat is another thing.
You got to start somewhere.

About the bold part. Why are so few people donating then? You can't seriously think that the billions from all of us wouldn't make a significant difference.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 07:18 AM
isn't religious belief mainly to define a beginning and an end?

It is also to extend human life (in one or both durections)

jmverdugo
02-10-2011, 10:46 AM
Look SW, I agree with you that we must help to those that need help, I just disagree in the way you want to help.

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 10:59 AM
It is also to extend human life (in one or both durections)

lol

i was referencing to the theory of everything. humans are immaterial

beginning and end is only human logic concept

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 11:00 AM
Brazil is a special case. It's economics are prospering, but the distribution is very, very uneven.

Prostitution of children has pretty much disappeared near the cities, it has been driven to rural areas. Out of sight, out of mind.


Finding one such project? Why should it take all my life? Or did I missunderstood you?



I was talking about children all along.

And yes I think I need to go this far to make a point.

We would help? Are you sure? It's happening RIGHT NOW. To tens of tousands of children.

Are we helping?
I'm not right now, and neither seem a lot of other people.

We ignore it, we don't think about it. That's not helping.

Btw, the police is involved as well from time to time. It has been known that they exploirt those girls as well, for many of them they are scum and nothing else.
I posted an article that describes the whole problem a few posts back. But be aware that it's going to ruin your days.
As I said, the more you know, the more enraged you'll get.

And before you write about "not being a good business", please inform yourself, prostitition of underage girls is huge business. Sadly, there's no lack of clients. Most of the time ut's not about sexual relief, it's about power and things like that.


From what I've heard most of those vicitims embrace help. It still takes years to deal with traumas, but it's possible to get out of the vicious circle of explotation and drugs.


You got to start somewhere.

About the bold part. Why are so few people donating then? You can't seriously think that the billions from all of us wouldn't make a significant difference.

taken to it logical conclusion. its socialism.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 11:05 AM
lol

i was referencing to the theory of everything. humans are immaterial

beginning and end is only human logic concept

There are some physicists who are called anthropists - they think the Universe is what it is because we are here. Though most others don't hold this view.

In philosophy, it has been speculated that the Universe is a projection of the mind. But since philosophy is usually a FAIL, it is probably wrong or irrelevant or mostly too vague to be held to any standard.

Modern science does hold your view though it does not say so explicitly - that humans are immaterial from a fundamental point of view.

Current view seems to be that every instant, billions of Universes are created and destroyed through the collisions of structures called branes or membranes. Like bubbles constantly forming and disappearing. And without a beginning or an end.

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 11:26 AM
Current view seems to be that every instant, billions of Universes are created and destroyed through the collisions of structures called branes or membranes. Like bubbles constantly forming and disappearing. And without a beginning or an end.

created, destroyed, forming, disappearing, cycle repeating.................we are still trying to define a beginning an end.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 11:28 AM
created, destroyed, forming, disappearing, cycle repeating.................we are still trying to define a beginning an end.

Only for each Universe.

Cycle and repetition can be infinite with no beginning or end.

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 11:32 AM
Only for each Universe.

Cycle and repetition can be infinite with no beginning or end.

are u talking about string theory and parellel universe?

i think we are trying to address the question of creation

sureshs
02-10-2011, 11:40 AM
are u talking about string theory and parellel universe?

i think we are trying to address the question of creation

Yes to both

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 11:43 AM
Yes to both

the fundamental nothing to something question?

something is something

nothing is nothing

its illogical. cannot be explained with logic.

the case is made for faith.

i have no point. just thinking out loud.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 12:14 PM
the fundamental nothing to something question?

something is something

nothing is nothing

its illogical. cannot be explained with logic.

the case is made for faith.

i have no point. just thinking out loud.

Concept of nothing and something are also human-made. They are just words. So arguments like "can something come from nothing" have no meaning if these words have no meaning. Something is the opposite of nothing, that is all. A play on words and has relevance to our daily macroscopic life in which high speeds and small particles don't come into our experience. No one even knows how an electron can be in many places at the same time. Or can explain the 96% of stuff which is dark matter and dark energy.

People have trouble admitting that they may be always incapable of comprehending everything or even anything. So they invent philosophy and all kinds of stuff to reassure themselves.

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 12:24 PM
Concept of nothing and something are also human-made. They are just words. So arguments like "can something come from nothing" have no meaning if these words have no meaning. Something is the opposite of nothing, that is all. A play on words and has relevance to our daily macroscopic life in which high speeds and small particles don't come into our experience. No one even knows how an electron can be in many places at the same time. Or can explain the 96% of stuff which is dark matter and dark energy.

People have trouble admitting that they may be always incapable of comprehending everything or even anything. So they invent philosophy and all kinds of stuff to reassure themselves.

what are your core philosophies?

Manus Domini
02-10-2011, 03:01 PM
I guess it defines, at least to me, much more than just that; for example, gives meaning to the social actions discussed in this thread. To my perception, the existence of God gives meaning and purpose to our human 'weaknesses', like, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, solidarity, love.....

but to each its own, the two readings I proposed, weather youre a believer or not, hold an intrinsically humane message, which appeals to said 'weaknesses'. I can only imagine these human weaknesses disappearing as a result of evolution if God doesnt exist.

Or humans become so arrogant they refuse to believe they have weaknesses and end up destroying the entire species (and even world) in quests for greater power.

If you are an atheistic Social Darwinist, why the Dis were you in Church?

sureshs
02-10-2011, 03:39 PM
what are your core philosophies?

1. No one I know knows the truth and those who claim they know are mostly repeating like parrots what they have been told. I have personally not met one "enlightened" person or someone with a "divine" experience. I cannot say for sure there are/were none, but I find no evidence for it.

2. There is only one path to knowledge - science. It may be reductionist/incomplete/unsatisfactory but it is truer than all the other stuff out there.

3. Religion is good in moderation, like most other things. For me, religion is good as a social bond and psychological defensive mechanism, but not true from a fundamental point of view. The way I reconcile science and religion is to take the fun parts of religion, discard the parts which I consider to be a stretch, and extract some mystical aspects which MIGHT be true which science does not address yet.

r2473
02-10-2011, 04:04 PM
1. No one I know knows the truth and those who claim they know are mostly repeating like parrots what they have been told. I have personally not met one "enlightened" person or someone with a "divine" experience. I cannot say for sure there are/were none, but I find no evidence for it.


I exist? Could that be true?

I claim to know I exist ("I think therefore I am"). I claim it is true. I also claim that it is a truth outside of science.

2. There is only one path to knowledge - science. It may be reductionist/incomplete/unsatisfactory but it is truer than all the other stuff out there.

But still not true (see 1 above).

How could that which is not true be truer than something else which is not true? I'm not sure I follow this "core philosophy" of yours......but it sounds pretty deep.

3. Religion is good in moderation, like most other things. For me, religion is good as a social bond and psychological defensive mechanism, but not true from a fundamental point of view. The way I reconcile science and religion is to take the fun parts of religion, discard the parts which I consider to be a stretch, and extract some mystical aspects which MIGHT be true which science does not address yet.

Contradictory. See 1.

Still, I find it funny that the "mystical" might be true......and apparently truer once science "addresses" them.....but for all that, still not "true", as nothing can be.....or if something can be, nobody could know it (which really amounts to the same thing).

This sounds like some really "heavy ***** dude".

Manus Domini
02-10-2011, 04:23 PM
Ok I guess this is what happens when atheism takes root in today's society.

1. No one I know knows the truth and those who claim they know are mostly repeating like parrots what they have been told. I have personally not met one "enlightened" person or someone with a "divine" experience. I cannot say for sure there are/were none, but I find no evidence for it.

Believe. That is what it means to be faithful. All you need is belief. I have personally been more enlightened on my own spiritual journey, but I know there is more to be done. I feel more at peace after a calm retreat than anything else.

2. There is only one path to knowledge - science. It may be reductionist/incomplete/unsatisfactory but it is truer than all the other stuff out there.

To claim that science is the only path to knowledge is ignorant. Where is the science in gaining the knowledge of what it means to suffer? How does science play in filling your soul? What is science's role in life but as both a help and a hindrance? Look at the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter. These abominations have inspired the people to stop communicating face-to-face--instead they hide behind computer screens when talking to their close friends--and took away personalism. Turn your view to industry: factories, power-plants. They have made a large amount of work skill-less. There is no more small business, there is little employer-employee relationships as they used to be. Science is becoming a hindrance advancing farther than humans can handle.

3. Religion is good in moderation, like most other things. For me, religion is good as a social bond and psychological defensive mechanism, but not true from a fundamental point of view. The way I reconcile science and religion is to take the fun parts of religion, discard the parts which I consider to be a stretch, and extract some mystical aspects which MIGHT be true which science does not address yet.

That's not religion. Religion is belief. Faith. Whether or not Jesus' miracles were real; whether or not the faith of the Apostles allowed them to possess the sacred Tongues of Fire; whether or not God truly parted the Red Sea, I would rather live believing in these as truths [regardless of their factuality] and live a good life by God's will than a bad one without God.

By the way, one of the most famous mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers disagrees with you Surehs. Mr. Blaise Pascal, what is your view on God?

If there is a god, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is....

..."God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.

Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know nothing about it. "No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true course is not to wager at all."

Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

"That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may perhaps wager too much." Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 04:23 PM
^^^ It will be clear to you when you are more progressed spiritually

Manus Domini
02-10-2011, 04:24 PM
Me? Or R2?

sureshs
02-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Pascal was a cool dude, and introduced the above, called Pascal's dilemma. His point was that if you don't believe, you MIGHT pay for it, so why take the chance. Of course, he was a product of his times, when most people believed and a few did not. The inherent contradiction in his thinking was that if someone believed because of his dilemma, they really did not believe. It is like you accepting you are guilty of a crime because someone has a gun to your head. He was a product of his times when even a public admission by somebody that he believed appeased others. He was also a product of a black-and-white framework which did not allow people to accept shades of grey as they saw fit.

I really don't go by that logic anyway. It is a well-known fallacy, whose name I forget - but it means appealing to authority. For example, Einstein, a product of his times, said that God does not play dice and refused to accept that which he helped pioneer. But even his collegues did not agree with him.

The world is full of scientist-turned-philosophers, scientist-turned-politicians, failed postdocs-turned-creationists, doctors who don't understand evolution, etc. There is nothing to be gained by appealing to them as authority. If they are wrong, they are wrong, that is all.

Just because Nadal is GOAT doesn't mean that I should not think that a TW poster has more knowledge about racquets. Many do.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 04:33 PM
Me? Or R2?

Why not both :-)

r2473
02-10-2011, 05:00 PM
^^^ It will be clear to you when you are more progressed spiritually

I'm 5.5 spiritually (self-rated).....and I only started a year ago.

sureshs
02-10-2011, 05:15 PM
I'm 5.5 spiritually (self-rated).....and I only started a year ago.

My spiritual serves are in the 120s

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 06:21 PM
1. No one I know knows the truth and those who claim they know are mostly repeating like parrots what they have been told. I have personally not met one "enlightened" person or someone with a "divine" experience. I cannot say for sure there are/were none, but I find no evidence for it.

2. There is only one path to knowledge - science. It may be reductionist/incomplete/unsatisfactory but it is truer than all the other stuff out there.

3. Religion is good in moderation, like most other things. For me, religion is good as a social bond and psychological defensive mechanism, but not true from a fundamental point of view. The way I reconcile science and religion is to take the fun parts of religion, discard the parts which I consider to be a stretch, and extract some mystical aspects which MIGHT be true which science does not address yet.

in other words, Gödel's incompleteness theorems


you guys are the same people that answer my stats question............amazing

Manus Domini
02-10-2011, 06:51 PM
Pascal was a cool dude, and introduced the above, called Pascal's dilemma. His point was that if you don't believe, you MIGHT pay for it, so why take the chance. Of course, he was a product of his times, when most people believed and a few did not. The inherent contradiction in his thinking was that if someone believed because of his dilemma, they really did not believe. It is like you accepting you are guilty of a crime because someone has a gun to your head. He was a product of his times when even a public admission by somebody that he believed appeased others. He was also a product of a black-and-white framework which did not allow people to accept shades of grey as they saw fit.

I really don't go by that logic anyway. It is a well-known fallacy, whose name I forget - but it means appealing to authority. For example, Einstein, a product of his times, said that God does not play dice and refused to accept that which he helped pioneer. But even his collegues did not agree with him.

The world is full of scientist-turned-philosophers, scientist-turned-politicians, failed postdocs-turned-creationists, doctors who don't understand evolution, etc. There is nothing to be gained by appealing to them as authority. If they are wrong, they are wrong, that is all.

Just because Nadal is GOAT doesn't mean that I should not think that a TW poster has more knowledge about racquets. Many do.

Maybe so, but then aren't you a product of your times by disbelieving in God because of the explorations of science? Why do the products of one time become greater than another?

My logic is I would rather live by God without science than live with science against God.

Steady Eddy
02-10-2011, 06:56 PM
you guys are the same people that answer my stats question............amazing
Are you saying that the answer to the stat question is wrong? How is it wrong, pray tell?

mightyrick
02-10-2011, 07:38 PM
Maybe so, but then aren't you a product of your times by disbelieving in God because of the explorations of science? Why do the products of one time become greater than another?

My logic is I would rather live by God without science than live with science against God.

I always find it amusing when people argue crap like this.

Plato, who actually was a contradictory idiot in most of his writings, actually did write something very wise (and contradictory to his own viewpoints):

Virtue is relative to the actions and ages of each of us in all that we do.

What that means is that your point of view is merely a mathematical product of your age, maturity, and experiences. You really have no control over it. And everyone's actions and ages guarantee a uniqueness. That is what makes you who you are. This also means that everyone's definition of virtue is 100% correct according to the values in their life's equation. It also means that your virtue will change for certain -- over time.

Someone else's virtue isn't something to be argued. It is something to be explored. Look at it like a puzzle. With everyone you meet, they have a unique set of virtues. There is a fascinating set of experiences that produced that virtue.

If you find a virtue in the world that puzzles you, makes you angry, makes you happy... rather than trying to validate or invalidate it... try to see the factors behind what created that virtue for that person. That is true empathy.

Some people really have fun on arguing virtue. I actually think that practicing empathy is more fun.

r2473
02-10-2011, 08:01 PM
Plato, who actually was a contradictory idiot in most of his writings,

Awesome!!!

But in all seriousness, an undergraduate (and graduate) assignement sometimes is to find all of the contradictions you can in Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". Kant is sometimes the subject as well.

Of course, that probably doesn't make them idiots........unless they are compared to "mightyrick".

Steady Eddy
02-10-2011, 08:22 PM
But in all seriousness, an undergraduate (and graduate) assignement sometimes is to find all of the contradictions you can in Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". Kant is sometimes the subject as well.

Of course, that probably doesn't make them idiots........unless they are compared to "mightyrick".
Do you mean that the great minds all lived in the olden days? That Plato, Kant, Shakespeare were wiser than anyone the modern world is capable of producing?

That doesn't make sense. The pool of people who could even read was incredibly smaller then, but somehow, that smaller group produced all the "greats". I know I look dumb saying how boring Shakespeare is, but it's true.

Plato is even more lame.

mightyrick
02-10-2011, 08:23 PM
Awesome!!!

But in all seriousness, an undergraduate (and graduate) assignement sometimes is to find all of the contradictions you can in Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". Kant is sometimes the subject as well.

Of course, that probably doesn't make them idiots........unless they are compared to "mightyrick".

I didn't call anyone an idiot. I said Plato was a contradictory idiot in his writings. I'm sure Plato was a fine person in his own right. Most people are. It doesn't make him a good philosopher.

I actually think Martin Luther King was a better philosopher. Definitely from a consistency perspective. Aristotle, also.

Everyone eventually contradicts themselves. It is like a chess player who only sees 10 moves ahead until they fail. However, I've found Plato to contradict himself very early in his own arguments... and far too closely between writings... and far too frequently within some writings.

Great philosopher? Nah. Great belly button ponderer? Probably.

pushing_wins
02-10-2011, 08:44 PM
Are you saying that the answer to the stat question is wrong? How is it wrong, pray tell?


quite the opposite

i dare not argue with the stats gods

understanding of statistics gives us similar intuition, similar questions

why things happen? no reason, it just happens.


because of your misinterpretation, i just proved myself wrong

Steady Eddy
02-10-2011, 08:56 PM
understanding of statistics gives us similar intuition, similar questions

why things happen? no reason, it just happens.

That sums it up. :)

stanton warrior
02-10-2011, 10:00 PM
Look SW, I agree with you that we must help to those that need help, I just disagree in the way you want to help.

I know it looks like the easy way, and in some ways it is. But in this case it does make sense.

It's paradoxical, but if I quit my job and leave everything behind I likely could achieve less and not more, as far as those projects in Brazil are concerned.

Workforce has basically no value in rural Brazil, there's no lack of people.
But to treat thinks like uterus cancer (which is actually common from what I've read) and infections you need money. Not a whole lot, but far too much for anyone living there.

jmverdugo
02-10-2011, 10:54 PM
There is some good info about your specific case here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10764371)

stanton warrior
02-10-2011, 11:02 PM
There is some good info about your specific case here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10764371)
This is the exact article that opened my eyes in the first place.

I lost the link a while ago and forgot that it was from the BBC.
Not that it matters much, wherever you try to get information about it, it's the same sad stories.

r2473
02-11-2011, 07:18 AM
However, I've found Plato to contradict himself very early in his own arguments... and far too closely between writings... and far too frequently within some writings.

Great philosopher? Nah. Great belly button ponderer? Probably.

OK. He was a hack.

But I'll bite. I'm interested to have you point out the contradictions YOU'VE FOUND in Plato. (I'm anticipating a google search from you here). I'm guessing that you have never read any single work of Plato (let alone the entire corpus) closely enough to have found these contradictions. If you had, I expect you would have developed a greater appreciation (which is the normal case when you study anyone or anything this closely).

Let's see your examples.

r2473
02-11-2011, 07:21 AM
Do you mean that the great minds all lived in the olden days? That Plato, Kant, Shakespeare were wiser than anyone the modern world is capable of producing?

That doesn't make sense. The pool of people who could even read was incredibly smaller then, but somehow, that smaller group produced all the "greats". I know I look dumb saying how boring Shakespeare is, but it's true.

Plato is even more lame.

What the hell are you talking about? I'm not even sure how your response bears any relation to my post. Seriously, what on earth are you trying to say?

If they are boring to you, they are boring to you. Nobody is going to dispute that.

sureshs
02-11-2011, 07:26 AM
Maybe so, but then aren't you a product of your times by disbelieving in God because of the explorations of science? Why do the products of one time become greater than another?

My logic is I would rather live by God without science than live with science against God.

Yes, we are all products of our times.

The products of one time become greater than another because science builds incrementally on what was before.

There were also people in the past who believed in science but were persecuted.

Science has a clear straight line of development of thought.

sureshs
02-11-2011, 07:35 AM
What the hell are you talking about? I'm not even sure how your response bears any relation to my post. Seriously, what on earth are you trying to say?

If they are boring to you, they are boring to you. Nobody is going to dispute that.

Some Shakespeare can be interesting, other boring.

As far as Aristotle goes, his world view was wrong and would be corrected by Newton (to put it in modern terms, Aristotle would have called momentum what today we call force). He believed that the natural state of a body without a force acting on it must only be of rest.

Plato is famous for his Platonic solids.

These philosophers/mathematicians contributed what they could. Sometimes they were right, sometimes wrong. Science takes all of this and build on it, but does not say that because somebody said so and so, it must be right or wrong.

Philosophy/religion/science were all the same till a certain time. Science was taught in the department of Natural Philosophy. The same people taught everything. Then from around Galilieo's time, things started to diverge. They may converge again in the future, who knows.

r2473
02-11-2011, 07:41 AM
^Thanks.

......

mightyrick
02-11-2011, 10:12 AM
OK. He was a hack.

But I'll bite. I'm interested to have you point out the contradictions YOU'VE FOUND in Plato. (I'm anticipating a google search from you here). I'm guessing that you have never read any single work of Plato (let alone the entire corpus) closely enough to have found these contradictions. If you had, I expect you would have developed a greater appreciation (which is the normal case when you study anyone or anything this closely).

Let's see your examples.

What difference does it make if I have originally found a contradiction or someone else did? Does that make the contradiction any less of a contradiction?

Let me get this straight, my pointing out that Plato was contradictory is only valid if I rediscovered all of the contradictions found by others? Am I not allowed to read what others think and then read Plato for myself and make a determination to agree or disagree? Do I have to do it in the reverse?

In law, is a judge not allowed to read a case, the arguments, and the judgment... in order to uphold or strike a ruling?

You actually think I've not read Plato? What even remotely makes you think that? Do you even know me? And if you think I'm going to google search, then why would I even try to justify anything to you, if you've already discounted me? Basically, so you can try to "win" no matter what. I mean if I didn't read it, then why the hell would I even post such a thing in this thread? What you're saying doesn't make any sense.

I don't need to read his entire body of work to make a determination. What I have read of his works, given my own interpretations, and given the interpretations of others... leads me the my conclusions. They don't necessarily agree with yours... but then again... they don't have to.

So, I'll just end it there. You obviously aren't interested in anything except for the feeling of your own hot air coming out of your mouth. So why even entertain the conversation further...

r2473
02-11-2011, 10:20 AM
Then just point out contradictions in the works (however your derived them), your understanding of them, their impact on his work as a whole, things like that. Use all the resources at your disposal.

My allusion to google has to do with my idea that you haven't spent much time with these works. You can say that I don't know you, but my impressions are based upon what you have told me in your posts.

So, lets see what you have for us.

And please recall that this turn of the thread wasn't my doing. You stated pages ago that Plato (and possibly others) are.......geez what was it? "Substandard" in their professions to say the least.

So this is your time to shine. Let's see how well you can dissect Plato.

mightyrick
02-11-2011, 10:35 AM
Then just point out contradictions in the works (however your derived them), your understanding of them, their impact on his work as a whole, things like that. Use all the resources at your disposal.

My allusion to google has to do with my idea that you haven't spent much time with these works. You can say that I don't know you, but my impressions are based upon what you have told me in your posts.

So, lets see what you have for us.

And please recall that this turn of the thread wasn't my doing. You stated pages ago that Plato (and possibly others) are.......geez what was it? "Substandard" in their professions to say the least.

So this is your time to shine. Let's see how well you can dissect Plato.

No thanks. You told me everything I needed to hear. I'm not going to *shine* for you. I could go away, do a bunch of research, formally bring back a ten page report on Plato's relativist contradictions... giving very specific examples... and you'd still not be satisfied.

See, you already tipped your hand. You won't be satisfied. There is no amount of satisfaction for you. Your being satisfied would only occur if you thought the person on the other end met your own bar... which I clearly don't. So, I'll just stop here. And you can go away... convinced that you've yet again proven that your bar cannot be met... and feeling good.

Just remember... it still doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. It just means that I really could give a crap less about proving anything to you specifically. So therefore I won't.

Kind of like the situation in a relationship where one side (Person A) chooses not to commit to someone else (Person B). Many times, Person B goes away thinking... "Well.. obviously Person A is unable to commit to anybody." When in reality, Person A just really thinks Person B isn't worth the commitment to begin with.

But that's okay... live in your illusion... which is that because I won't bother proving myself to you... I obviously couldn't do it if I wanted to.

Whatever gets you through...

maleyoyo
02-11-2011, 10:39 AM
It's fascinating.
The OP manages to lurk the internet and get dates while at work, and still have time to think about saving the world...err.. child postitution in... Brazil.
I've got a lot to learn.

stanton warrior
02-11-2011, 10:40 AM
It's fascinating.
The OP manages to lurk the internet and get dates while at work, and still have time to think about saving the world...err.. child postitution in... Brazil.
I've got a lot to learn.

I don't watch television. Gives you an additional 4-6 hours a day. You should try it.

r2473
02-11-2011, 10:42 AM
See, you already tipped your hand. You won't be satisfied. There is no amount of satisfaction for you. Your being satisfied would only occur if you thought the person on the other end met your own bar... which I clearly don't. So, I'll just stop here. And you can go away... convinced that you've yet again proven that your bar cannot be met... and feeling good.

I'll be satisfied if you produce SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

I could go away, do a bunch of research, formally bring back a ten page report on Plato's relativist contradictions... giving very specific examples... and you'd still not be satisfied.

If you could write 10 quality pages on the topic of "Plato as relativist" not only would I be impressed, I think you would be up for immediate consideration as the chair of philosophy at Oxford.

I would be fascinated to hear anything you have on Plato being a relativist. Seriously.

Maybe we are thinking of different people named Plato.

http://entertainment.blogs.foxnews.com/files/2010/05/DanaPlato.jpg

maleyoyo
02-11-2011, 10:59 AM
I don't watch television. Gives you an additional 4-6 hours a day. You should try it.

And miss The View, Dancing with the stars, Joy Behar? Sorry...no can do.
Is there another way?

sureshs
02-11-2011, 11:32 AM
Very interesting is "Plato's universe." In this universe, ideal solids exist, like ideal sphere. Most of us would say ideal spheres do not exist, but are mathematically convenient for everyday calculations. In Plato's universe, they do exist. Which has led to lots of discussions about whether an ideal sphere really exists or not. If it exists only in our imagination, does it still exist? If not, why do we keep using it?

r2473
02-11-2011, 11:45 AM
^^Any idea why he thought this was important?

pushing_wins
02-11-2011, 11:52 AM
It's fascinating.
The OP manages to lurk the internet and get dates while at work, and still have time to think about saving the world...err.. child postitution in... Brazil.
I've got a lot to learn.

i was wondering the same thing

sureshs
02-11-2011, 11:54 AM
^^Any idea why he thought this was important?

He was a philosopher. His job was to think.

r2473
02-11-2011, 11:58 AM
He was a philosopher. His job was to think.

Fascinating

....

pushing_wins
02-11-2011, 12:01 PM
I don't watch television. Gives you an additional 4-6 hours a day. You should try it.

u dont watch tennis on the tube?

pushing_wins
02-11-2011, 12:12 PM
It's fascinating.
The OP manages to lurk the internet and get dates while at work, and still have time to think about saving the world...err.. child postitution in... Brazil.
I've got a lot to learn.

he is slacking off at work

why doesn he question the irresponsiblity there?

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 12:23 PM
What the hell are you talking about? I'm not even sure how your response bears any relation to my post. Seriously, what on earth are you trying to say?

If they are boring to you, they are boring to you. Nobody is going to dispute that.
What the HELL am I talking about? Should I answer? What a tone!

Let's review.
Awesome!!!

But in all seriousness, an undergraduate (and graduate) assignement sometimes is to find all of the contradictions you can in Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". Kant is sometimes the subject as well.

Of course, that probably doesn't make them idiots........unless they are compared to "mightyrick".
Plato and Kant were mortals, so is "mightyrick". Others believe that Kant and Plato are godlike and belong on pedestals. I disagree with this view. Clear now?

r2473
02-11-2011, 12:39 PM
What the HELL am I talking about? Should I answer? What a tone!

Let's review.

Plato and Kant were mortals, so is "mightyrick". Others believe that Kant and Plato are godlike and belong on pedestals. I disagree with this view. Clear now?

You went further in your original response, suggesting that people (myself?) believe that only people from "long ago" can be smart.

Well, here it is in your own words:

Do you mean that the great minds all lived in the olden days? That Plato, Kant, Shakespeare were wiser than anyone the modern world is capable of producing?

That doesn't make sense. The pool of people who could even read was incredibly smaller then, but somehow, that smaller group produced all the "greats". I know I look dumb saying how boring Shakespeare is, but it's true.

Plato is even more lame.

You are free to your own views of people. I don't recall anyone questioning that.

mightyrick
02-11-2011, 12:42 PM
I would be fascinated to hear anything you have on Plato being a relativist. Seriously.


I don't think he was a relativist. That's the point. However, he has used relativist precepts within some of his logical conclusion trees and parables to reinforce his point of view. Which is questionable. He also tries to use relativism against itself to disprove the view and also prove absolutism. Also questionable. But regardless, even if relativism is disproved, that doesn't prove absolutism. In fact, from a mathematical perspective, I could actually say that if a concept is invalid, then so is its opposite -- as an axiom.

The whole problem with philosophical mumbo-jumbo is that there are no real axioms. It isn't like math or physics where axioms actually do exist. To prove anything, you need axioms. For philosophy, no root axioms can be agreed upon.

Therefore nothing can be proved or disproved. Such discussions are irrelevant.

Is it good food for thought? Sure. Does it help keep the mind exercised and thinking about things? Sure. Is it fun to dig into this stuff and investigate it? Sure.

But does it make any view point more or less correct than any other? No, it doesn't.

r2473
02-11-2011, 01:00 PM
For philosophy, no root axioms can be agreed upon.

Therefore nothing can be proved or disproved. Such discussions are irrelevant.

But does it make any view point more or less correct than any other? No, it doesn't.

So you personally are a "hard relativist" (I made up the term myself. I would say "nihilist", but I think the term means different things to different people).

I think that would be a hard position to hold in a practical sense.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 01:16 PM
You went further in your original response, suggesting that people (myself?) believe that only people from "long ago" can be smart.

You are free to your own views of people. I don't recall anyone questioning that.
It's this part
Of course, that probably doesn't make them idiots........unless they are compared to "mightyrick".
I detect sarcasm. Presumably a contemporary person, such as mightyrick, cannot hold a candle to ancient thinkers like Plato. That's what you mean, right? That it's impertinent for mightyrick to even think of criticizing them.

I believe that all men, even very wise men, are quite fallible. The action of ridiculing and dismissing contemporary ideas in favor of old ones for no other reason than they're contemporary I see frequently. If mightyrick is wrong, let's advance a stronger reason than comparing reputations.

r2473
02-11-2011, 01:20 PM
^Perhaps I missed something, but I did not see which of Plato's ideas mightyrick (and yourself) are criticizing. And I've asked.

I feel fairly comfortable suggesting that neither mightyrick, you, nor myself "hold a candle" to Plato. Personally, I don't "hold a candle" to any of my philosophy professors (and many of my classmates). I'm pretty sure Plato is safe in my company.

mightyrick
02-11-2011, 01:26 PM
So you personally are a "hard relativist" (I made up the term myself. I would say "nihilist", but I think the term means different things to different people).

I think that would be a hard position to hold in a practical sense.

I'm not a nihilist for sure. In fact, I don't even know how anyone could be a nihilist -- except maybe for a mental vegetable.

I hold beliefs. I have feelings and considerations that I feel justify them. I defend those. But I can't prove that my belief is more "correct" or "incorrect" than another. I think such discussions are a waste of time.

All I can do is express my belief. I can say how it makes me feel. I can hear other's beliefs and say how they make me feel. If I want to try to get someone to believe what I believe, then I can try to convince/sell them on it... but I can't do that through hard proof. I can only do it through a level of discussion and some level of coercion. That is why philosophical proofs really are nonsensical.

"Here are some philosophical axioms (cough) I made up. Here is my version of some particular truth. My truth is proved because my made up axioms support it."

Again, I'm not a nihilist. I just think attempting to absolutely prove philosophical truth makes zero sense.

sureshs
02-11-2011, 01:27 PM
People like to glorify the past. It gives them a better feeling about the problems of today. They imagine a glorious golden age which never existed. They dismiss younger generations as stupid, just like their parents had done before them.

Personally, I share Feynman's deep skepticism of philosophy. Philosophy must address physical reality, otherwise it is just a play on words and mental jugglery. Like people argued about whether a stone ball or a wood ball would hit the ground faster from the same height by attributing living spirit to the wood and mere matter to the steel, etc., and argued both ways. Galileo decided to just drop the two balls and see what happens.

Philosophers always have the answers post-fact - i.e., they can play on words like relativity after it has been discovered. I recently heard a spiritual leader say casually: of course evolution happened, animal evolution is over, and now man must move towards spiritual evolution. No addressing of the fact that before Darwin, this guy's scriptures said nothing about evolution and implied just the opposite. But now he has emerged as the post-evolutionist spiritual father, dismissing science as obvious childish materialism.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 01:32 PM
I feel fairly comfortable suggesting that neither mightyrick, you, nor myself "hold a candle" to Plato. Personally, I don't "hold a candle" to any of my philosophy professors (and many of my classmates). I'm pretty sure Plato is safe in my company.
What are we to make of this? Bertrand Russell felt that St. Augustine had the potential to be a great philosopher because of his insight that before the universe began there was no time. But as an adolescent, I came to the same insight independently of Augustine. Maybe I had the potential to be a great philosopher?

Or maybe the achievements of the "great" ones weren't so great. If you were lucky enough to be born into the class of people with the leisure for philosophy, it wasn't hard to be at or near the top. All sorts of waiters, bus drivers, and clerks we encounter in our everyday life are as intelligent as Plato and Kant, IMO. In tennis no-name 5.5s are probably better than early Wimbledon champions like Gore.

It's difficult to land a tenured spot in Philosophy at a University. Contemporary professors of philosophy are likely light years ahead of the philosophers they teach about. Some average intellects were just in the right place at the right time, and became famous for the ages. I'm not at all sure that Plato was brighter than you!

r2473
02-11-2011, 01:38 PM
^As I said above, you are free to hold any opinion about anyone you choose.

I certainly don't agree with your opinion.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 01:41 PM
^As I said above, you are free to hold any opinion about anyone you choose.

I certainly don't agree with your opinion.Maybe you don't give yourself enough credit? :)

r2473
02-11-2011, 01:43 PM
I'm not a nihilist for sure. In fact, I don't even know how anyone could be a nihilist -- except maybe for a mental vegetable.

I hold beliefs. I have feelings and considerations that I feel justify them. I defend those. But I can't prove that my belief is more "correct" or "incorrect" than another. I think such discussions are a waste of time.

All I can do is express my belief. I can say how it makes me feel. I can hear other's beliefs and say how they make me feel. If I want to try to get someone to believe what I believe, then I can try to convince/sell them on it... but I can't do that through hard proof. I can only do it through a level of discussion and some level of coercion. That is why philosophical proofs really are nonsensical.

"Here are some philosophical axioms (cough) I made up. Here is my version of some particular truth. My truth is proved because my made up axioms support it."

Again, I'm not a nihilist. I just think attempting to absolutely prove philosophical truth makes zero sense.

I certainly understand the idea that everything is just an opinion on the intellectual level, but I think you will have trouble staying true to that belief on any sort of practical level. In other words, you do hold to something like "axioms" for all practical purposes (r@pe is wrong, murder is wrong, etc), even if you can't prove it. Further, you wouldn't take anyone seriously that argued against certain "axiomatic" things. So yes, this is how philosophic "proofs" progress. You agree on some common starting point and deduce (or induce..inductive vs. deductive reasoning) further points and conclusions. But yes, if you meet with a "hard skeptic" that won't accept anything, then of course you cannot progress anywhere. But this doesn't really happen in any meaningful way (some people simply do this for sport, but never in a practical sense.....in other words, they don't live their skepticism).

I don't think "WE" value every person's opinion equally and I think we are quite justified to do this.

r2473
02-11-2011, 01:47 PM
Maybe you don't give yourself enough credit? :)

Though I don't agree with your assessment of........famous old philosophers, I think you helped me understand why fewer people pay these works any mind (and if they do, are not impressed or are bored).

I was a philosophy major as an undergrad and took quite a few graduate seminars in philosophy, so I really don't share your views. In fact, I will go so far as to say that you are wrong. Yes, wrong (shocking, isn't it).

sureshs
02-11-2011, 02:00 PM
Truth is, every person is a philosopher. We retain a secret longing for something above the material world.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 02:02 PM
People like to glorify the past. It gives them a better feeling about the problems of today. They imagine a glorious golden age which never existed. They dismiss younger generations as stupid, just like their parents had done before them.
This is big in sports too. Time and distance records demonstrate that athletes are constantly getting better, but people like to insist that in team sports, the best players performed in the old days. When Ty Cobb was asked what he'd hit against modern pitchers, he said, "I'd hit about .250." When asked why so low? He replied, "Because I'm 72 years old!". I enjoy hearing retired jocks talking about how much better they were than todays stars.

The past is revered, so you can always get a laugh saying, "The past had William Shakespeare, today we have Stephen King!" For politicians: the past had Thomas Jefferson, today Bush and Obama!

When I first turned to Plato dialogue's of Socrates I was prepared for something rich. It took me awhile, but eventually I could see that his insights were pretty weak. Maybe they were brilliant for 350 bce, but they are to philosophy what Roman numerals are to modern mathematics. Anyway, many ancients, especially Plato need to come down from their pedestal.

Personally, I share Feynman's deep skepticism of philosophy. Philosophy must address physical reality, otherwise it is just a play on words and mental jugglery. Like people argued about whether a stone ball or a wood ball would hit the ground faster from the same height by attributing living spirit to the wood and mere matter to the steel, etc., and argued both ways. Galileo decided to just drop the two balls and see what happens.

Yes, I think there's more vitality in the world of the sciences than stodgy humanities. Try to find a film critic who's willing to criticize Citizen Kane. There's so much conformity with that group. (Also, just try to watch Citizen Kane!) I'm aware that if you socialize with New York "intellectuals" not going along is to commit social suicide, but I live in AZ, so I can speak my truth. That stuff is just a waste of time, (unless you're a certain type of social climber).

r2473
02-11-2011, 02:08 PM
Truth is, every person is a philosopher. We retain a secret longing for something above the material world.

"Every person" is a tennis player as well......but we ain't all Federer.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 02:10 PM
I was a philosophy major as an undergrad and took quite a few graduate seminars in philosophy, so I really don't share your views. In fact, I will go so far as to say that you are wrong. Yes, wrong (shocking, isn't it).
In Russell's "History of Western Philosophy" he tells of Plato being puzzled. If your hand is cold and you plunge it into tepid water, the water feels warm. But if your hand is warm, the tepid water feels cold. So it's both warm and cold, how can this be? "The idea of the terms being relative seems not to have occurred to him.": Russell.

Jeez Plato, you couldn't get that?

His arguments for the immortality of the soul and for platonic objects seem weak, and I think they do also to most modern people. People who assume Plato's opinions are unassailable often turn out to have never read him.

sureshs
02-11-2011, 02:10 PM
This is big in sports too. Time and distance records demonstrate that athletes are constantly getting better, but people like to insist that in team sports, the best players performed in the old days. When Ty Cobb was asked what he'd hit against modern pitchers, he said, "I'd hit about .250." When asked why so low? He replied, "Because I'm 72 years old!". I enjoy hearing retired jocks talking about how much better they were than todays stars.

The past is revered, so you can always get a laugh saying, "The past had William Shakespeare, today we have Stephen King!" For politicians: the past had Thomas Jefferson, today Bush and Obama!

When I first turned to Plato dialogue's of Socrates I was prepared for something rich. It took me awhile, but eventually I could see that his insights were pretty weak. Maybe they were brilliant for 350 bce, but they are to philosophy what Roman numerals are to modern mathematics. Anyway, many ancients, especially Plato need to come down from their pedestal.


Yes, I think there's more vitality in the world of the sciences than stodgy humanities. Try to find a film critic who's willing to criticize Citizen Kane. There's so much conformity with that group. (Also, just try to watch Citizen Kane!) I'm aware that if you socialize with New York "intellectuals" not going along is to commit social suicide, but I live in AZ, so I can speak my truth. That stuff is just a waste of time, (unless you're a certain type of social climber).

I would separate out arts and literature from philosophy in the humanities. I consider arts and literature and cinema as the creative arts. They exist on the emotional plane, about which there is no conflict with science. Philosophy kind of intrudes into science and vice-versa, and so a whole can of worms is opened up. A few decades ago, most biologists shied away from the theory of consciousness, leaving it to philosophy. Now they directly deal with it and imply that consciousness is nothing but an artifact of matter, which strikes at the core of religion much harder than evolution did.

r2473
02-11-2011, 02:12 PM
but I live in AZ, so I can speak my truth. That stuff is just a waste of time, (unless you're a certain type of social climber).

Interesting viewpoint.

You seem to have convinced yourself of the opposite.......if it is "old", it is useless.

Would you suggest more high school and college students start reading more Stephen King and stop wasting their time with Shakespeare?

r2473
02-11-2011, 02:14 PM
People who assume Plato's opinions are unassailable often turn out to have never read him.

How ironic as this is exactly what I was thinking......sort of.

It certainly isn't the case that anyone regards Plato as infallible by the way. I'm not really sure where you got that idea. There are countless volumes devoted to the criticism of Plato.....and pretty much everyone else "worth" criticizing.

Actually, it is "easier" to understand the writer by reading criticism because a lot of the interpretation is done for you (but then you have to trust the critics interpretation, so perhaps it is best to read several criticisms......and then re-read the original a few times).

sureshs
02-11-2011, 02:16 PM
In Russell's "History of Western Philosophy" he tells of Plato being puzzled. If your hand is cold and you plunge it into tepid water, the water feels warm. But if your hand is warm, the tepid water feels cold. So it's both warm and cold, how can this be? "The idea of the terms being relative seems not to have occurred to him.": Russell.

Jeez Plato, you couldn't get that?

His arguments for the immortality of the soul and for platonic objects seem weak, and I think they do also to most modern people. People who assume Plato's opinions are unassailable often turn out to have never read him.

And then came the calorific theory of heat which imagined heat as a fluid flowing from hot to cold bodies. Even Carnot subscribed to it. Only kinetic theory could give the correct explanantion.

Same thing with certain traditions I won't name. Is the river the same river if you bathe in it twice? Is it the same person in both cases? Dude the answer is in fluid flow, molecules, and cell biology. There is nothing profound about the question. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it fall, did it happen? Dude you did not have surveillance cameras and videotaping and sensors in those days so it sounded profound. Not any more.

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 02:30 PM
Would you suggest more high school and college students start reading more Stephen King and stop wasting their time with Shakespeare?You're playing with me! That's a disturbing thought. But my high school required The Great Gatsby. I wonder what students got out of that?


Actually, it is "easier" to understand the writer by reading criticism because a lot of the interpretation is done for you (but then you have to trust the critics interpretation, so perhaps it is best to read several criticisms......and then re-read the original a few times).Very true. (For example, I like Hume, but I need an interpreter. His way of writing is so different than now, it's hard for a layman to understand. It's nice to have a scholar as a guide.


Same thing with certain traditions I won't name. Is the river the same river if you bathe in it twice? Is it the same person in both cases? Dude the answer is in fluid flow, molecules, and cell biology. There is nothing profound about the question. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it fall, did it happen? Dude you did not have surveillance cameras and videotaping and sensors in those days so it sounded profound. Not any more.
But as I understood the old conundrum, it's about which meaning of the word "sound". As airwaves, yes, the tree made airwaves as it fell. Or does "sound" mean messages that travel through auditory nerves? In that way, no. But still, the question is not a mystery, we just need to clarify with our speaker what she means.

I'm having fun wasting time this way. :)

sureshs
02-11-2011, 02:45 PM
My son read The Odyssey in an abridged version in his first semester in 9th grade.

Heard about it but never read it hehe.

When I was growing up, it was common to display a stack of Encyclopedia Brittanica and volumes of Shakespeare in the home. Most of them would just gather dust.

Today is it is all about functional knowledge.

r2473
02-11-2011, 02:54 PM
Today is it is all about functional knowledge.

.......and functional training.

http://www.builtlean.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/man-squat-on-exercise-ball.jpg

Steady Eddy
02-11-2011, 02:57 PM
My folks had BOTH the Encyclopedia Britannica Adult and Junior. The only one that ever got used was the Junior set. The Adult set gave 10 page entries when all you wanted was a paragraph.

The door-to-door encyclopedia salesman who called upon them really made out! Well, I gotta go.

mightyrick
02-11-2011, 04:10 PM
I certainly understand the idea that everything is just an opinion on the intellectual level, but I think you will have trouble staying true to that belief on any sort of practical level. In other words, you do hold to something like "axioms" for all practical purposes (r@pe is wrong, murder is wrong, etc), even if you can't prove it.


I hold to something "like" axioms? No. Those aren't axioms. They are beliefs. And beliefs are nothing like axioms. You know this.

And yes, I hold beliefs. And they are practical. But they aren't axioms.

The issue with philosophers is that many are scientists and mathematicians. So they try to apply the same principles of science and axioms to philosophy. And there simply isn't a translation.


Further, you wouldn't take anyone seriously that argued against certain "axiomatic" things. So yes, this is how philosophic "proofs" progress. You agree on some common starting point and deduce (or induce..inductive vs. deductive reasoning) further points and conclusions.


You can agree on "axioms" with another person, and then develop an argument with that person. But the problem is... if you try to convince another person of the same truth, then you might have to agree upon a completely different set of "axioms".

Well, guess what. That means they aren't axioms. Axioms don't change like that. So again, we're talking about the inability to prove or disprove anything.

I don't think "WE" value every person's opinion equally and I think we are quite justified to do this.

On this we agree. I don't value your opinion as much as I value the opinion of the person who signs my paychecks. And I feel like I am justified to do this. :-)

Manus Domini
02-11-2011, 05:35 PM
My son read The Odyssey in an abridged version in his first semester in 9th grade.

Heard about it but never read it hehe.

When I was growing up, it was common to display a stack of Encyclopedia Brittanica and volumes of Shakespeare in the home. Most of them would just gather dust.

Today is it is all about functional knowledge.

And I use the real Enclyclopaedia Brittanicas and Shakespeare volumes. What else would you use?

The point is going way to off topic...

r2473
02-11-2011, 08:42 PM
I hold to something "like" axioms? No. Those aren't axioms. They are beliefs. And beliefs are nothing like axioms. You know this.

And yes, I hold beliefs. And they are practical. But they aren't axioms.

The issue with philosophers is that many are scientists and mathematicians. So they try to apply the same principles of science and axioms to philosophy. And there simply isn't a translation.



You can agree on "axioms" with another person, and then develop an argument with that person. But the problem is... if you try to convince another person of the same truth, then you might have to agree upon a completely different set of "axioms".

Well, guess what. That means they aren't axioms. Axioms don't change like that. So again, we're talking about the inability to prove or disprove anything.

Well, if all that will satify you are strict mathematical proofs from strict deductive reasoning, then I guess you should stick to mathematics and logic. This type of certainty is not offered in much of the world we live in (and most things we humans find important).

I still find it hard to believe that you are able to "live up" to your lofty standards on a day to day basis in real life, but I'll take your word for it.

I can also understand why you don't find Plato, etc. interesting. You must be more interested in Aristotle (at least his logic) and all of the great mathemeticians and logicians. I guess literatature and the arts just simply isn't your "bag". You want strict proofs and they will never be offered here.

stanton warrior
02-11-2011, 10:34 PM
u dont watch tennis on the tube?
I watch the slams and sometimes the masters, that's about it. At this years AO I've seen just a few matches of the earlier rounds and a bit of the final.
Funny enough the last time I saw multiple full matches in a row was when I was in London watching the 2010 WTF.

You know that the average american household watches over 8 hours of TV a day? Every person over 2 years old watches on average 4.5 hours, daily!

That's a whole day every week, over 50 full days a year. And yet people complain about not having enough time...

he is slacking off at work

why doesn he question the irresponsiblity there?

The fact that some managers might earn 0.1% less because of me doesn't give me sleepless nights...

Call me cruel :D

sureshs
02-12-2011, 09:25 AM
And I use the real Enclyclopaedia Brittanicas and Shakespeare volumes. What else would you use?

The point is going way to off topic...

Wikipedia?

sureshs
02-12-2011, 09:29 AM
I think there is a confusion about the term "philosophy." There is social philosophy, political philosophy, legal philosophy, economic philosophy, religious philosophy, etc. We are talking only about the kind which addresses fundamental truths about the universe, not things like whether you are believe in less government spending or more.

r2473
02-12-2011, 09:48 AM
We are talking only about the kind which addresses fundamental truths about the universe

Plato had very little to say about that (basically just the Timaeus). And yes, Aristotelian physics and astronomy are "wrong" as you say.

Now I see where you are coming from with most of your comments.

sureshs
02-12-2011, 10:37 AM
Plato had very little to say about that (basically just the Timaeus). And yes, Aristotelian physics and astronomy are "wrong" as you say.

Now I see where you are coming from with most of your comments.

Nothing wrong with Aristotlean physics - it was an important leap forward, and was used by Galilieo and Newton later. Newton would then be found to be wrong by Einstein, and so on. In today's terms, Aristotle would receive an A for "effort," not for corrrectness.

Aristotle thought that the sun moved around the earth, not an unreasonable assumption in those times. He also thought that a body could not continue moving in a straight line with the same speed once there was no force acting on it, but must come to rest. Very reasonable assumption, and matches our experience with objects involving friction. Ask most people if force is required to sustain an object's motion, and they will say yes.

Newton then pondered over this and tweaked it the right way.

And we are still talking only about philosophers in the West. Numerous mathematician-cum-astronomer-cum-philosopher-cum-priests existed in the East.

Manus Domini
02-12-2011, 01:01 PM
Wikipedia?

That's good when not for schoolwork and for fun. School assigns use of actual books (that can be brought in). Plus, books>nooks.

Manus Domini
02-12-2011, 01:05 PM
Nothing wrong with Aristotlean physics - it was an important leap forward, and was used by Galilieo and Newton later. Newton would then be found to be wrong by Einstein, and so on. In today's terms, Aristotle would receive an A for "effort," not for corrrectness.

Aristotle thought that the sun moved around the earth, not an unreasonable assumption in those times. He also thought that a body could not continue moving in a straight line with the same speed once there was no force acting on it, but must come to rest. Very reasonable assumption, and matches our experience with objects involving friction. Ask most people if force is required to sustain an object's motion, and they will say yes.

Newton then pondered over this and tweaked it the right way.

And we are still talking only about philosophers in the West. Numerous mathematician-cum-astronomer-cum-philosopher-cum-priests existed in the East.

true, but for centuries mathematician=philosopher=physicist in the west (for the most part, there are exceptions), and that's the history we are taught the most of.

That being said, how do we know we aren't wrong nowadays and we are just missing some important piece of evidence that is created by some unknown force or body (like dark matter)? It is all guesswork, and even Einstein didn't believe his own theories. Thus, until it is 100% proven that all these rules are ALWAYS correct, I will give them As for efforts and Bs for speculation.

pushing_wins
02-12-2011, 01:14 PM
I watch the slams and sometimes the masters, that's about it. At this years AO I've seen just a few matches of the earlier rounds and a bit of the final.
Funny enough the last time I saw multiple full matches in a row was when I was in London watching the 2010 WTF.

You know that the average american household watches over 8 hours of TV a day? Every person over 2 years old watches on average 4.5 hours, daily!

That's a whole day every week, over 50 full days a year. And yet people complain about not having enough time...



The fact that some managers might earn 0.1% less because of me doesn't give me sleepless nights...

Call me cruel :D

why do you always end your post with :D

are you still following the discussion? there is a lot of knowledge passed on. dont look the other way. its your responsibilty.

RD 7
02-12-2011, 01:42 PM
The whole problem with philosophical mumbo-jumbo is that there are no real axioms. It isn't like math or physics where axioms actually do exist. To prove anything, you need axioms. For philosophy, no root axioms can be agreed upon.

Therefore nothing can be proved or disproved. Such discussions are irrelevant.


I think you would enjoy Richard Rorty who argues that traditional philosophy sets an impossible goal for itself when it claims that our ideas correspond to "Reality" (e.g., the Forms, God's Will, Nature, Obama). There is no way to check if your sentences/beliefs/ideas/words about reality are true if your access to reality is always and forever mediated by sentences/ideas/beliefs/words, that is, you can never achieve a "god's eye" view to see if your situated, human perspective links-up with "the world".

Descartes tried to solve the problem by using God, who guaranteed the truth of our perceptions. This was famously disputed >"Cartesian Circle". Kant tried to solve this problem by giving into it -- claiming that though we could never access Reality (world in-itself), we could achieve truth or objectivity for humans (whose brains carve-up the world according to fixed, timeless categories like space and time). [I think] this turns out to be problematic because of a disagreement over exactly which categories are always present for all people/all time. I think Wittgenstein is the most famous critic of traditional philosophy's obsession with words like "reality, which he called hopeless abstractions. Whether or not an electron is Real in a deep metaphysical sense turns out not to matter if the concept is an effective tool for (say) manipulating our environment.

To say, however, that philosophy -- Plato's Appearance/Reality distinction or Descartes Mind/Matter distinction or Kant's 12 Categories -- is "stupid" or not very impressive because these distinctions or problems have been effectively challenged, is insane. [I think Steady is being a little tough on ol' Plato] I may not be a Cartesian or a Biblical literalist, but I have to respect these grand structures because they create the very words and stories which mediate my relationship to "the world". I have no doubt, however, that paradigms will change, e.g., Einstein > Newton, leading to new "timeless" truths. I also have no doubt that most people will justifiably take these new truths very seriously -- believing they have once-&-for all discovered the fault lines of nature -- while others will remain cynical ironists, believing in nothing because they are afraid to leap. C'est La Vi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyx0rNyxFrk&feature=related

sureshs
02-12-2011, 02:00 PM
true, but for centuries mathematician=philosopher=physicist in the west (for the most part, there are exceptions), and that's the history we are taught the most of.

That being said, how do we know we aren't wrong nowadays and we are just missing some important piece of evidence that is created by some unknown force or body (like dark matter)? It is all guesswork, and even Einstein didn't believe his own theories. Thus, until it is 100% proven that all these rules are ALWAYS correct, I will give them As for efforts and Bs for speculation.

Yes 96% of the stuff in the universe is dark matter and dark energy, and the balance between them was different in the first half of this universe (7 billion years ago).

It is not about if science has explained everything, but that nothing else has explained anything at all.

stanton warrior
02-12-2011, 02:18 PM
why do you always end your post with :D

are you still following the discussion? there is a lot of knowledge passed on. dont look the other way. its your responsibilty.
Let's say I'm in a good mood :D

And yes I've read it, but I'm not really into Plato.

sureshs
02-12-2011, 02:19 PM
"Understanding" physics, i.e., how can an electron be a wave and a particle, how can reality be governed by pure probability, etc. was considered the domain of "metaphysics." However, people like Feynman believed that it was not valid at all, because if metaphysics is just a proxy for "we don't understand," then what is the point. Also, many metaphysicists tried to imply that metaphysics led to religion, which it doesn't, and that creates much suspicion about their intentions. Also, metaphysics always came after the fact, that is, after science had explored the phenomemon. Then out of the woodwork came people who said it has been known for 1000s of years.

Believe it or not, the same spiritual leader I had refered to before (the one who said animal evolution is over, spiritual evolution is beginning) casually said this on TV recently: dark matter and dark energy is what the scriptures refer to as Shiva!!! I mean, he said it with a straight face. Very intelligent guy - picked up on some news bits here and there about dark matter and energy, realized it is still under study, and casually "absorbed" it into his religious framework, thus making fools out of scientists.

mightyrick
02-12-2011, 02:22 PM
I can also understand why you don't find Plato, etc. interesting. You must be more interested in Aristotle (at least his logic) and all of the great mathemeticians and logicians. I guess literatature and the arts just simply isn't your "bag". You want strict proofs and they will never be offered here.

This is the difference between you and me. I *don't* want strict proofs. I'm not looking for a proof of anything. I'm not on a grand quest for truth. Philosphy, for me, is an exploration. I see philosophy as a museum. Lots of amazing things to look at, explore, see, and learn about.

pushing_wins
02-12-2011, 03:49 PM
Let's say I'm in a good mood :D

And yes I've read it, but I'm not really into Plato.

what about physics, philosophy, and generally, the nature of things?

pushing_wins
02-12-2011, 03:53 PM
This is the difference between you and me. I *don't* want strict proofs. I'm not looking for a proof of anything. I'm not on a grand quest for truth. Philosphy, for me, is an exploration. I see philosophy as a museum. Lots of amazing things to look at, explore, see, and learn about.

could we step back from the philosophy? are we going in the right direction in answer the OPs question? idk


in the end, we want to get our way. we want other to agree and value our virtues and opinions. the truth doesnt matter, as long as you are about to persuade others into accepting it as the truth. we all argue, work towards leaving behind a legacy. does that make any sense at all? just thinking out loud as per usual

idk if this is related at all . but the best predictor for human interaction is self interest. self-interest governs all our decisions as predicted in game theory. this would include decisions of religious institutions. if this is the case, there is no such thing as social responsibility. people can only be ruled by fear and consequences. rather sad, if you ask me.

Manus Domini
02-12-2011, 04:29 PM
Yes 96% of the stuff in the universe is dark matter and dark energy, and the balance between them was different in the first half of this universe (7 billion years ago).

It is not about if science has explained everything, but that nothing else has explained anything at all.

Fine, can you please give a solid answer, using science and math and nothing else, for the following:

1] Pre-Big-Bang Universe came from where?

2] Where does thinking come from, and how does it create consciences?

3] What exactly is love?

Any answers that don't involve religion or philosophy?

pushing_wins
02-12-2011, 11:42 PM
Fine, can you please give a solid answer, using science and math and nothing else, for the following:

1] Pre-Big-Bang Universe came from where?

2] Where does thinking come from, and how does it create consciences?

3] What exactly is love?

Any answers that don't involve religion or philosophy?

what is math and science?

pushing_wins
02-12-2011, 11:53 PM
This is the difference between you and me. I *don't* want strict proofs. I'm not looking for a proof of anything. I'm not on a grand quest for truth. Philosphy, for me, is an exploration. I see philosophy as a museum. Lots of amazing things to look at, explore, see, and learn about.

have you guys taken into consideration that math can never be complete? the underlying logical framework cannot never proved.

could math be wrong?

in that case, math also required a leap of faith, similar to religion.

KenC
02-12-2011, 11:57 PM
Back on topic, maybe the distance is the same distance you would hope for if you were in need.

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 12:18 AM
Back on topic, maybe the distance is the same distance you would hope for if you were in need.


all else equal? thats hard. i have the opinion that i m weaker than most people. so i deserve a shorter distance.

stanton warrior
02-13-2011, 12:25 AM
what about physics, philosophy, and generally, the nature of things?

It's all interesting, but I'm not sure what I should add this point

JustBob
02-13-2011, 12:58 AM
Been a while but I'm pretty sure that game theory (using the strict "**** Economicus" model) is hardly a full proof predictor of human behavior.

Huh... Apparently you can't write H O M O on this forum. Who would have predicted that anti-latin behavior! :)

Manus Domini
02-13-2011, 07:23 AM
Been a while but I'm pretty sure that game theory (using the strict "**** Economicus" model) is hardly a full proof predictor of human behavior.

Huh... Apparently you can't write H O M O on this forum. Who would have predicted that anti-latin behavior! :)

Aparrantly the TT mods think that **** Sapiens is some bad word or something. Frankly, I'm surprised they blocked legitimate scientific words instead of words like [whichever show up] tool, gay, damn (which is religious, so I see why it wouldn't be blocked), crap, ****, nail, rail, hammer, stone, stoned, etc.

Seriously, anything can be used as a substitute, but this is why our nation is going to the dogs. And also why I got weird looks when yelling at a guy in Latin at Subway, saying "Tace Hominem moleste!" and "Te fatuam audire nolo" to a woman when she was calling me a moron for salting my pizza. Or was it the bad grammar?

sureshs
02-13-2011, 10:02 AM
have you guys taken into consideration that math can never be complete? the underlying logical framework cannot never proved.

could math be wrong?

in that case, math also required a leap of faith, similar to religion.

There is one math, but many religions, whose specific claims are in conflict with known physical law and also irreproducible. They are also often in conflict with each other.

No, there is no similarity.

sureshs
02-13-2011, 10:03 AM
Aparrantly the TT mods think that **** Sapiens is some bad word or something. Frankly, I'm surprised they blocked legitimate scientific words instead of words like [whichever show up] tool, gay, damn (which is religious, so I see why it wouldn't be blocked), crap, ****, nail, rail, hammer, stone, stoned, etc.

Seriously, anything can be used as a substitute, but this is why our nation is going to the dogs. And also why I got weird looks when yelling at a guy in Latin at Subway, saying "Tace Hominem moleste!" and "Te fatuam audire nolo" to a woman when she was calling me a moron for salting my pizza. Or was it the bad grammar?

TT mods don't necessarily think that, these software packages come with built-in filters.

r2473
02-13-2011, 10:04 AM
but this is why our nation is going to the dogs.

That's OK. I like dogs (even though I can't really prove it.....you're just gonna have to take my word for it I guess).

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 12:46 PM
There is one math, but many religions, whose specific claims are in conflict with known physical law and also irreproducible. They are also often in conflict with each other.

No, there is no similarity.

proof of consistency of all math is impossible. godels incompleteness theorom

i m not an expert in the area. but what does that mean to you?

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 12:49 PM
Been a while but I'm pretty sure that game theory (using the strict "**** Economicus" model) is hardly a full proof predictor of human behavior.

Huh... Apparently you can't write H O M O on this forum. Who would have predicted that anti-latin behavior! :)

its the best predcitor according to this guy

http://www.predictioneersgame.com/

but it could be a misinterpretation on my part

Steady Eddy
02-13-2011, 02:06 PM
proof of consistency of all math is impossible. godels incompleteness theorom

i m not an expert in the area. but what does that mean to you?
Thought that it means that in any non-trivial mathematical system, some conjectures will be impossible to prove or disprove. To me that's different than saying math isn't consistent.

I find the weakness in applying math, is that math is essentially verbal knowledge. That is, it is true by definition. It doesn't mean that the material world has to follow mathematical laws. For example, if it is a mathematical truth that 3 + 2 = 5, it doesn't mean that if we put two marbles in an empty sack, then add three more, that it will necessarily have 5 marbles. Who can be sure how actual marbles behave?

Mathematical theorems surely follow from their postulates. But we aren't sure that they actually hold in the material world.

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 04:55 PM
Thought that it means that in any non-trivial mathematical system, some conjectures will be impossible to prove or disprove. To me that's different than saying math isn't consistent.

I find the weakness in applying math, is that math is essentially verbal knowledge. That is, it is true by definition. It doesn't mean that the material world has to follow mathematical laws. For example, if it is a mathematical truth that 3 + 2 = 5, it doesn't mean that if we put two marbles in an empty sack, then add three more, that it will necessarily have 5 marbles. Who can be sure how actual marbles behave?

Mathematical theorems surely follow from their postulates. But we aren't sure that they actually hold in the material world.

it follows that a leap of faith is required when you open the bag to count the marbles.

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 05:19 PM
Thought that it means that in any non-trivial mathematical system, some conjectures will be impossible to prove or disprove. To me that's different than saying math isn't consistent.

I find the weakness in applying math, is that math is essentially verbal knowledge. That is, it is true by definition. It doesn't mean that the material world has to follow mathematical laws. For example, if it is a mathematical truth that 3 + 2 = 5, it doesn't mean that if we put two marbles in an empty sack, then add three more, that it will necessarily have 5 marbles. Who can be sure how actual marbles behave?

Mathematical theorems surely follow from their postulates. But we aren't sure that they actually hold in the material world.

these ideas we are discusing, how does it affect our daily lives? the decisions we make daily.

pushing_wins
02-13-2011, 09:38 PM
here is another stat

suicide rates rankings

usa - 39

brazil - 75

who should be feeling sorry for who?

stanton warrior
02-14-2011, 12:10 AM
here is another stat

suicide rates rankings

usa - 39

brazil - 75

who should be feeling sorry for who?
What are you trying to prove?

Brazil also has less accidents with Ferrari's. Does that make driving safer there?

All that such statistic tell us is that the average Brazilian seems to have less complexes than the average american, or just less time to think about them.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:22 AM
What are you trying to prove?

Brazil also has less accidents with Ferrari's. Does that make driving safer there?

All that such statistic tell us is that the average Brazilian seems to have less complexes than the average american, or just less time to think about them.

"Social Conditions
One way to get a general idea of social structures within a country is to look at money spent on education, suicide rates, and divorce rates.

A measure of the overall citizen happiness may be obtained by looking at suicide rates for each country. The U.S. is third highest on the list and has over 50% more suicides per capita than Denmark. Only Greece and Mexico have higher rates, which may be a result caused by the low socio-economic conditions permeating those countries. Also, we see a trend occurring for countries that have legal prostitution; they have lower suicide rates, suggesting yet another benefit of industry regulation."




my intuition told me sucide rate is a relevant stat. i m not an expert in the area. i only found this after i made the post.

my intuition about facebook may indeed be correct as well.

stanton warrior
02-14-2011, 03:52 AM
"Social Conditions
One way to get a general idea of social structures within a country is to look at money spent on education, suicide rates, and divorce rates.

A measure of the overall citizen happiness may be obtained by looking at suicide rates for each country. The U.S. is third highest on the list and has over 50% more suicides per capita than Denmark. Only Greece and Mexico have higher rates, which may be a result caused by the low socio-economic conditions permeating those countries. Also, we see a trend occurring for countries that have legal prostitution; they have lower suicide rates, suggesting yet another benefit of industry regulation."




my intuition told me sucide rate is a relevant stat. i m not an expert in the area. i only found this after i made the post.

my intuition about facebook may indeed be correct as well.

It's hardly relevant as far as I'm concerned.

Sudan has probably less suicides than Japan, but that doesn't mean we need to support the japanese.

chrischris
02-14-2011, 07:17 AM
In the bigger and more important picture :Most of the time the law that is crooked makes for looking the other way.

I wonder what Adam Smith would have said about the state we are in mindwise as of late.

The surreal belief in wild corporatism seems like a mental disorder to me , in that the foundations of corporate law are outdated in terms of relevance to a new world and need to be updatedn and modernized to meet the challenges that are the facts we have to deal with. IMO they are counterproducing what they robotically preach they are achieving.
The idea of unlimited and endless growth on a limited planet with limited resources is plain hogwash ,anyone can understand that if they try a bit.
Even David Stockman ( Reagans budget man and architect of outsourcing business in the 80s ) said it on Bloomberg and CNN.

mightyrick
02-14-2011, 09:55 AM
it follows that a leap of faith is required when you open the bag to count the marbles.

No, it doesn't.

You only need the base axioms, which then you can use to derive and prove more complex theorems.

If I were to go about proving that 1 + 1 = 2, I would need a set of axioms which define that problem space. What is "1"? What is the addition operator? What is "2"? Using those axioms, I can prove definitively that 1 + 1 = 2 (or not). Also, I can point to pretty much everything in nature -- man-made or not -- and find characteristics that prove the concept of 1 + 1 = 2.

With math and physics, it doesn't matter if someone holds a disagreeing viewpoint on what "1" means. Because I can point to everything in nature and universally prove otherwise. "Belief" doesn't matter in the proof.

This is why philosophical "axioms" aren't axioms. For example, "Murder is wrong" is not an axiom because there are easily identifiable situations where that statement is not universally true or accepted. Nobody will be able to agree on what "murder" is. Nobody will be able to agree on what "wrong" is. With math or physics, you don't have that issue.

That's why I don't like the word "axiom" being used in philosophy. It means something much more rigid in physics and math.

r2473
02-14-2011, 10:42 AM
In the bigger and more important picture :Most of the time the law that is crooked makes for looking the other way.

I wonder what Adam Smith would have said about the state we are in mindwise as of late.

The surreal belief in wild corporatism seems like a mental disorder to me , in that the foundations of corporate law are outdated in terms of relevance to a new world and need to be updatedn and modernized to meet the challenges that are the facts we have to deal with. IMO they are counterproducing what they robotically preach they are achieving.
The idea of unlimited and endless growth on a limited planet with limited resources is plain hogwash ,anyone can understand that if they try a bit.
Even David Stockman ( Reagans budget man and architect of outsourcing business in the 80s ) said it on Bloomberg and CNN.

What is your economics background?

What do you know about Smith's theories or the place and time he lived?

What type of growth are you referring to? Economic growth or something else? The "end" of economic growth has been predicted constantly throughout history.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 11:54 AM
It's hardly relevant as far as I'm concerned.

Sudan has probably less suicides than Japan, but that doesn't mean we need to support the japanese.

give them more money. give them a taste of the good life.


more suicides

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 12:17 PM
No, it doesn't.

You only need the base axioms, which then you can use to derive and prove more complex theorems.

If I were to go about proving that 1 + 1 = 2, I would need a set of axioms which define that problem space. What is "1"? What is the addition operator? What is "2"? Using those axioms, I can prove definitively that 1 + 1 = 2 (or not). Also, I can point to pretty much everything in nature -- man-made or not -- and find characteristics that prove the concept of 1 + 1 = 2.

With math and physics, it doesn't matter if someone holds a disagreeing viewpoint on what "1" means. Because I can point to everything in nature and universally prove otherwise. "Belief" doesn't matter in the proof.

This is why philosophical "axioms" aren't axioms. For example, "Murder is wrong" is not an axiom because there are easily identifiable situations where that statement is not universally true or accepted. Nobody will be able to agree on what "murder" is. Nobody will be able to agree on what "wrong" is. With math or physics, you don't have that issue.

That's why I don't like the word "axiom" being used in philosophy. It means something much more rigid in physics and math.

the most basic framework of our math cannot be proved.

isnt that the meaning of goedel incompleteness theorem?

mightyrick
02-14-2011, 12:21 PM
The idea of unlimited and endless growth on a limited planet with limited resources is plain hogwash ,anyone can understand that if they try a bit.
Even David Stockman ( Reagans budget man and architect of outsourcing business in the 80s ) said it on Bloomberg and CNN.

I'm not expert in economics by far, but I don't think I've ever seen anything about unlimited and endless growth in anything. Anything I've ever seen as far as economic theories lend themselves towards expansion and contraction. Especially when you consider concepts like surplus, scarcity, supply, and demand.

In anything, if supply can increase and demand can increase, then economic expansion is possible. Stagnation or recession occurs when one of those two things becomes severely imbalanced such that the net effect is zero or negative.

sureshs
02-14-2011, 12:38 PM
the most basic framework of our math cannot be proved.

isnt that the meaning of goedel incompleteness theorem?

No, it actually says there are some true results which cannot be proved from within the system.

As often happens, non-mathematicians can take this and twist it as they want, sort of implying that a person with 0% knowledge and a person with 90% knowledge are somehow comparable due to the missing 10%. The true results which cannot be proved are not provided in some other place - i.e., it is not like philosophy knew those results and mathematics could not prove it. Nobody can prove it.

I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 01:28 PM
No, it actually says there are some true results which cannot be proved from within the system.

As often happens, non-mathematicians can take this and twist it as they want, sort of implying that a person with 0% knowledge and a person with 90% knowledge are somehow comparable due to the missing 10%. The true results which cannot be proved are not provided in some other place - i.e., it is not like philosophy knew those results and mathematics could not prove it. Nobody can prove it.

I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.


lets take a step back, what are the guideline for decision making?

hypothesis testing
or
balance of probabilty

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 01:39 PM
No, it actually says there are some true results which cannot be proved from within the system.

As often happens, non-mathematicians can take this and twist it as they want, sort of implying that a person with 0% knowledge and a person with 90% knowledge are somehow comparable due to the missing 10%. The true results which cannot be proved are not provided in some other place - i.e., it is not like philosophy knew those results and mathematics could not prove it. Nobody can prove it.

I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.

sorry, double post

sureshs
02-14-2011, 01:43 PM
lets take a step back, what are the guideline for decision making?

hypothesis testing
or
balance of probabilty

No idea ....... I don't know much statistics

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 01:57 PM
No idea ....... I don't know much statistics

come on


how should we make decisions/judgement?

smart people can give bad advice

stupid people can give good advice

everyone has their own agenda and biases

r2473
02-14-2011, 01:59 PM
I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.

You sound like quite a religious scholar.

sureshs
02-14-2011, 02:06 PM
come on


how should we make decisions/judgement?

smart people can give bad advice

stupid people can give good advice

everyone has their own agenda and biases

That is why I had an idea a while ago for a start up business which gives life ideas. It will be like the Google of life. It will have a massive database about the lives of people, gathered from public sources, books, etc. It will be organized like a tree. You first select where you are in life and what got you there, and it will show you how many people were in a similar situation. You then fine tune your search by providing more info about yourself, and finally you come up with a list of people similar to you at this point in your life, and what happened to them eventually. Then you know what to avoid and what to do.

We have so many tools for useless things, yet none for making decisions about our lives. We rely on limited information gleaned from friends and relatives.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:17 PM
That is why I had an idea a while ago for a start up business which gives life ideas. It will be like the Google of life. It will have a massive database about the lives of people, gathered from public sources, books, etc. It will be organized like a tree. You first select where you are in life and what got you there, and it will show you how many people were in a similar situation. You then fine tune your search by providing more info about yourself, and finally you come up with a list of people similar to you at this point in your life, and what happened to them eventually. Then you know what to avoid and what to do.

We have so many tools for useless things, yet none for making decisions about our lives. We rely on limited information gleaned from friends and relatives.

what about the way our legal system makes decisions?

hypothesis testing.............null hypothesis being innocent.

i just feel scientific theory being preached as certainty - richard dawkins - is not very different from religious propaganda

furthermore, the basic framework of your conclusions can never be proved.


just because i have worked on a problem longer doesnt necessarily mean they are closer to the answer.

maybe science is nothing more than a big test of faith.

mightyrick
02-14-2011, 02:26 PM
the most basic framework of our math cannot be proved.

isnt that the meaning of goedel incompleteness theorem?

No, it isn't. From a layman's perspective, Goedel just puts forth that you can't prove an axiom through computation or derivation. But understand... axioms don't have to be proven.

Axioms only have to be universally agreed upon. In mathematics, axioms are further tested by the proofs, theorems, and derivatives that come from those axioms. Those derivatives are proven in nature. If a mathematical output results in a conflicting or wrong answer in nature, then the base axioms are reconsidered.

Mathematics has built millions upon millions of theorems, postulates, formulae that all agree and validate the basic arithmetic axioms. We've built buildings, automobiles, space vehicles, and every known machine... which all reinforce these axioms.

Again, philosophy doesn't have this. If philosophy had true axioms, there would be a bunch of real works that actually all agree on those universal axioms. Those axioms would be reinforced by nature.

What is funny, is that I actually think that everything in nature -- everything in known existence -- can be described by a set of base axioms. Spiritual / Metaphysical included. Thoughts and feelings included. I just don't think we have the technology or foresight to perceive these axioms, yet. We aren't advanced enough.

If we evolve to higher levels over the next several million years, maybe we'll crack that nut. But given our current natural limitations, we just can't do it. Thus, philosophers exist to try to explain this crap away.

I give full marks to philosophers for spending a lifetime trying to explain it. I just hope they do something with their life other than that. :-)

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:31 PM
No, it isn't. From a layman's perspective, Goedel just puts forth that you can't prove an axiom through computation or derivation. But understand... axioms don't have to be proven.

Axioms only have to be universally agreed upon. In mathematics, axioms are further tested by the proofs, theorems, and derivatives that come from those axioms. Those derivatives are proven in nature. If a mathematical output results in a conflicting or wrong answer in nature, then the base axioms are reconsidered.

Mathematics has built millions upon millions of theorems, postulates, formulae that all agree and validate the basic arithmetic axioms. We've built buildings, automobiles, space vehicles, and every known machine... which all reinforce these axioms.

Again, philosophy doesn't have this. If philosophy had true axioms, there would be a bunch of real works that actually all agree on those universal axioms. Those axioms would be reinforced by nature.

What is funny, is that I actually think that everything in nature -- everything in known existence -- can be described by a set of base axioms. Spiritual / Metaphysical included. Thoughts and feelings included. I just don't think we have the technology or foresight to perceive these axioms, yet. We aren't advanced enough.

If we evolve to higher levels over the next several million years, maybe we'll crack that nut. But given our current natural limitations, we just can't do it. Thus, philosophers exist to try to explain this crap away.

I give full marks to philosophers for spending a lifetime trying to explain it. I just hope they do something with their life other than that. :-)


1) But understand... axioms don't have to be proven.

2) In mathematics, axioms are further tested by the proofs, theorems, and derivatives that come from those axioms.

these two statements seems contradictory to me

testing is a way of proving.

sureshs
02-14-2011, 02:42 PM
1) But understand... axioms don't have to be proven.

2) In mathematics, axioms are further tested by the proofs, theorems, and derivatives that come from those axioms.

these two statements seems contradictory to me

testing is a way of proving.

Testing is a way of making sure nothing is wrong so far. Proof means to derive it from some even more simpler premise. That may not be possible.

For example, software can be tested, but no software can be proven correct in a completely general way.

But I don't believe that everything will eventually be reduced to axioms. Because humans and machines created by humans may not ever be able to comprehend reality. That is why there are so many scientists who turn into philosophers after getting disillusioned. When they were young, they thought they could crack the universe's secrets. 40 years later, on the verge of retirement, they are nowhere near it. These days even high school students are exposed to quantum theory and relativity. These two alone should be enough for someone to appreciate that while they can be studied, they cannot be understood intuitively due to human limitations. Then, the scientists wouldn't get frustrated and start dabbling in this or that.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:43 PM
In the bigger and more important picture :Most of the time the law that is crooked makes for looking the other way.

I wonder what Adam Smith would have said about the state we are in mindwise as of late.

The surreal belief in wild corporatism seems like a mental disorder to me , in that the foundations of corporate law are outdated in terms of relevance to a new world and need to be updatedn and modernized to meet the challenges that are the facts we have to deal with. IMO they are counterproducing what they robotically preach they are achieving.
The idea of unlimited and endless growth on a limited planet with limited resources is plain hogwash ,anyone can understand that if they try a bit.
Even David Stockman ( Reagans budget man and architect of outsourcing business in the 80s ) said it on Bloomberg and CNN.

what do u mean limited resources? when the sun become a black dwarf?

Manus Domini
02-14-2011, 02:45 PM
I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.

Well, those are fundamentalist religions, which have very little leniency. You are very inexperienced in religion if you think a majority of religions are like that.

Which are?

Yes, there are sects, but they are not the religions themselves. There are many Islamic sects, but if you look at the basic religion (Islam) as a pure form, you find it is open-minded and not close-minded like the Taliban are, for example.

There are dogmas, tenets, creeds, etc., but they are not anti-thinking. In fact, they are pro-thinking.

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:49 PM
Testing is a way of making sure nothing is wrong so far. Proof means to derive it from some even more simpler premise. That may not be possible.

For example, software can be tested, but no software can be proven correct in a completely general way.

But I don't believe that everything will eventually be reduced to axioms. Because humans and machines created by humans may not ever be able to comprehend reality. That is why there are so many scientists who turn into philosophers after getting disillusioned. When they were young, they thought they could crack the universe's secrets. 40 years later, on the verge of retirement, they are nowhere near it. These days even high school students are exposed to quantum theory and relativity. These two alone should be enough for someone to appreciate that while they can be studied, they cannot be understood intuitively due to human limitations. Then, the scientists wouldn't get frustrated and start dabbling in this or that.

the number of marbles in the bag example.

testing is when you actually open the bag.

proof is doing the math before you open the bag.

is that what you mean?

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 02:50 PM
You sound like quite a religious scholar.

how do we score some dates for tonight?

sureshs
02-14-2011, 02:51 PM
the number of marbles in the bag example.

testing is when you actually open the bag.

proof is doing the math before you open the bag.

is that what you mean?

No. Testing is to open the bag and count.

An axiom would be something like saying "marbles can be counted with numbers."

sureshs
02-14-2011, 02:53 PM
Well, those are fundamentalist religions, which have very little leniency. You are very inexperienced in religion if you think a majority of religions are like that.

Which are?

Yes, there are sects, but they are not the religions themselves. There are many Islamic sects, but if you look at the basic religion (Islam) as a pure form, you find it is open-minded and not close-minded like the Taliban are, for example.

There are dogmas, tenets, creeds, etc., but they are not anti-thinking. In fact, they are pro-thinking.

They are pro-thinking upto a point. What happens if the thinking leads to rejection of the premise? Then they are usually not so charitable.

maleyoyo
02-14-2011, 03:10 PM
I always find it fascinating that religion places very little emphasis on intelligence. It is always about the stupid good man against the twisted bad men. Worldly knowledge and success are downplayed (they require intelligence) and a blind faith is considered good. It is also fascinating how those religions which claim to encourage active thinking and not blind faith tell you what answer you should come to at the end of your thinking.

My theory is that, generally speaking, some seek to believe and some seek the TRUTH. You, I suspect, belong to the latter. The former choose the a ready-made set of belief because most likely it is the road with least resistance.

sureshs
02-14-2011, 03:13 PM
My theory is that, generally speaking, some seek to believe and some seek the TRUTH. You, I suspect, belong to the latter. The former choose the a ready-made set of belief because most likely it is the road with least resistance.

Where does it lead?

pushing_wins
02-14-2011, 03:14 PM
No. Testing is to open the bag and count.

An axiom would be something like saying "marbles can be counted with numbers."

marbles can be counted with numbers..............that statement opens another can of worms

philosophy lies a level deeper than the axioms?

maleyoyo
02-14-2011, 03:19 PM
Where does it lead?

Peace of mind. To ease off the fear of the unknown and the feeling of being belonged to something. Most of us are followers by trait. As long as we follow and have companions, it doesn't matter where the road leads to.