Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › Culture and its problems

Culture and its problems

Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 141
It appears that the Message Board has lost some "steam". Thus, I want to ask for discussion of what I perceive to be this case: the reluctance of the fragments of modern American culture to truly acknowledge the problems/flaws/ issues of their members. In that I mean, the failure to truthfully say "this is what is wrong with us", and we need to accept responsibility for it and demand correction. Pick whatever group or segment of the modern culture that you wish, and speak your opinion of the failures of the group's members to take "ownership" of how their members contribute to the failure of their culture-within-the culture.
For example, the American Afro-American culture, in my estimate, does not do enough to promote change of the so-called morals of their youth: a teenage Afro-American girl wants to have a baby; the teenage Afro-American boy wants to impregnate her and the other goal is to have a gun; and he walks away from the child he begets. Please tell me what the Afro American community is doing to change these values. Charlotte has a very high rate of teenage pregnancies. The girls want to get pregnant, and the boys want to oblige. What is wrong? and what is their "community" doing about it? Is it hopeless? Yes, I know that white girls and boys beget babies, but not at the rate of AfroAmericans in Clt. And then look at Mississippi where teenage pregnancy has its highest rate. I have lived in Mississippi, sorry to say. Please explain to me why their culture accepts these statistics, and is not vocal about the negativity of this way of living? Are they vocal? I do not hear them.
If you are offended by this posting, I do not feel apologetic. Look around you and see the "mess" for real.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,860
Excellent post, Helen! I call the general phenomenon "cultural victimization." Members of a culture experience pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death (PSDED) because of behavior that results from the beliefs characteristic of that culture, but the members cannot see that they are victims because the cultural beliefs include that those beliefs are correct. It is only someone from outside the culture that is likely to see how awful the behavior is. ("Culture" can refer to subculture also, of course.)
A former member
Post #: 1,092
We do best when we share and compare evidence and the tools used to process this information.

Should a google analytics tool be used to generate a deep MMPI of every customer (in advertising YOU are the content and the links are the FILLER) and a google glasses and machine vision to warn the unsuspecting and to aid the afflicted to mitigate the overall PSDED, pain, suffering, disability, and early death, to better move us all towards beliefs of JCA, joy, contentment and appreciaion in the encountering of an unknown danger?

We may with our own 5 senses but also at times with cameras and microphones aided with various machine learning tools to discover more from our environment than what our native biology informs us of or which we may even learn to perceive.

But, how might we best use the tools available today, unaided with technology, to move us towards the good life with the least amount of pain, suffering, disability and early death?

Once we identify the issue with logic and the rules of evidence how might we develop a prescription and a prevention plan towards the greatest amount of JCA, joy, contentment and appreciation?

We may bring about a joy, contentment, and appreciation now and into the future by us learning not to punish our children.
Learning and using the understanding and problem solving tools to learn to identify punishment(anger in ourselves and others) to then to prevent struggles for dominance.

Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 142
No disrespect intended in this, but, so sorry, I have no idea what you wrote. And that first, long paragraph - is it really one sentence? or is it a ramble? I have never seen writing like this before, but I am not philosophically sophisticated, either, so maybe other readers understand it.
A former member
Post #: 1,095

We do best when we share and compare evidence and the tools used to process this information.
Yes, I was unclear.

When we're better able to express our internal and external environments with statements. We may better predict what is occurring in our own internal and external environments.

Each human is a metaphoric silo. Despite what sometimes our internal instrumentation may have us feel.

However, if we were to all to behave as silo's and not cooperate with one another our species would die out.

We should learn how to find the best agreements so I and everyone may live as good of life as possible.
And, finding agreement is best done when we share and compare evidence and the tools used to process this evidence.
So, we may learn what I and others expect of us so we may all best 'do our part.'

This process for finding agreement may be accomplished by the active study and application of the problem solving behavior and the open listening attitude and with the rules of science.

Alternatively, this may be done passively with the aid of technology. Technology may assist us until we are literate and proficient enough with the skills necessary for all of us to finding agreement.

Albeit, this passive technology is not entirely here yet. But, the active study and application of the problem solving behavior is here now and should be advocated for.
Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 143
Bill, are you saying that any culture or sub-culture cannot correct itself (cannot change its negative patterns of behaviors)? That seems to be what you wrote, and that is what I read. If that is correct, then there is the obstacle that when a culture is criticized, it will become defensive and even reactive enough to claim the critics have no validity, as in "How dare you put us down!" Thus, it would be logical to say that a culture's problems can be corrected only by its own members taking ownership and without resistance to the "outsiders" evaluation that their culture is "broken".
On the other side of the argument, one might say that the educational system could take more responsibility in teaching impressive minds what is "good" behavior and what is "bad" behavior, to put it simply. But the counter argument is that those students go home wherein the real problem lies and wherein there is the greatest negative influence and the greatest pressure to conform to the established "bad" behaviors. This would support what I think you wrote, that a culture cannot correct itself. That is tragic.

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,876
Helen, I think all of what you say tends to be true, but that there are also some variations.

Within a given culture or subculture, you will find perhaps a bell-shaped distribution curve with regard to the continuum of conservative<-->liberal. You will find some who are much more aware of what is going on outside their own culture and are drawn toward what appear to be better ways.

And especially with the advent of communication and Internet technology, this ability to learn of other cultures and other ways has increased. Arab Spring has been an example, I believe.

So the ability to question the tenants of one's own group or culture has always been there to some extent, and our becoming "global" is perhaps the biggest example currently. That increased capability is, I believe, enhancing the third exponential change that I write about. We are seeing more rapid cultural change than has been true in the past, and probably many of us are experiencing some degree of "culture shock."

So things are not tragic, nor are they ideal, nor are they easy. That's what I think.

And I want to do my part.
A former member
Post #: 42
There is no shortage of "identifying problems" among either rightist or leftist intelligentsia. You can go to any book store and pick up popularist literature on "our such-and-such problem". Charles Murray has a book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, that attempts and probably fails to outline the "problems" with 21st century America with respect to 20th century American values.

At the very least, his contention is that cultural decline is multi-modal. Women leaving the house, lack of religiousity, etc. Thomas Sowell is a better read in my opinion.

"Afro-American" is something of an antiquated term. When discussing race issues, we have the fear of being painted racist, and also the fear of being fearful of being painted racist (thus appearing biased). "Black" is probably better. You're not likely to read a white author talking about race and using the word "Negro". Nomenclature is important I think.

As a leftist, I'll throw in the boiler-plate "family income is a better predictor of perceived "cultural decline" than race is."
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