Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,421
Vincent,

I am very pleased that you have done some thinking about these things and have shared those thoughts. I will try to respond, as follows.
I must say that the REUEP principal you suggest is one which makes me more then a little uncomfortable. I am an individualist in the extreme.
So I am puzzled as to why you are not highly pleased by the defining characteristic of Humanianity, that there is no required belief or creed, simply a commitment to the REUEP. And what would be consistent with the REUEP would always be a matter of individual interpretation, in the context of freedom of expression of ideas and differences of opinion. Are you sure you are understanding the basic idea? To me, it seems like the epitome of individualism. Perhaps as we go along I will understand more what your ideas along these lines are.
The idea of espousing a concept where our actions center around the good life for everyone and the survival of the species. My question would be why?
And I would ask why not? Are you opposed to people having a good life (as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible), or are you opposed to everyone having that good life, or are you opposed to the survival of our species?
What would attemting to get everyone to espouse a philosophical position which centers around the good life for everyone look like?
A drastically, drastically better world, with no wars, violence, crime, unnecessary sickness, etc., etc., that is, assuming that everyone did espouse that philosophical position.
I feel that it would place the individual and his personal aspirations in a subservient position in relation to the position held by "society".
What do you mean “subservient”? If I wish to contribute to making the world a better place, to doing my part to help us all have better lives, why should I see that as “subservience”?
To hold the opinion that everyone should aspire to the good life for everyone places the individual in a postion where he holds some kind of moral obligation to "everyone" or "society".
Would you agree that there is not a single thing we can have, or a single thing we can do (other than the extremely trivial) that does not require others having done their part? Are you not grateful for what so many people have done in your behalf, and don’t you feel some wish to give something back?
Arent obligations things which we take on ourselves? If I borrow money, am I not obligated to pay it back? If I have a child, am I not obligated to raise it? How in the world did I get myself or did anyone else get themselves into a position where the greater good of others or society became an obligation which they should be concerned with?
Because without others having done their part, you would not be here to enjoy it. I am not talking about some resentful feeling of having to do things for other people; I am talking about the joy of being a humanoblast, someone participating in this wonderful project on this planet involving this highly unusual species.
I havent got the remotest clue of what it is that would make others happy
Wow!! Wouldn’t they be happy if their loved ones were not being killed off by us humans and by things that we humans could prevent? Wouldn’t they be happy if they were not starving to death? Wouldn’t they be happy if they could be productive? Wouldn’t they be happy if they weren’t afraid to go outside their homes? Of course there is such a thing as a happiness “set point,” so maybe if we stopped all the things that cause the obvious suffering that we can see in the media, they would still be unhappy, but I don’t think that is a reason for keeping war, crime, preventable illness and accidents, relationship breakdown, etc.
and I most certainly cant see how it would be good to further along the idea that anyone should do good for the greater good. That seems very broad to me.
Are you in favor of doing bad for the greater bad? Of doing nothing for the welfare of humans? Why?
Most of the time I think that when people try and do good for the greater good, someone ends up using words which dont mirror actions.
Yes, I agree. And why does that happen? Because we still have an enormous amount to learn. That is why I say that regarding the third exponential change, we are still a toddler. Childhood is a necessary precursor to adulthood. We are trying, but we are still making mistakes, because we have a great deal to learn. Does the fact that the child makes mistakes mean that the child should give up trying to become a successful adult? Why should we humans give up? Why shouldn’t we keep trying?
One group always ends up getting screwed out of something by another group in the name of compassion.
I am not sure about the “always.” But I agree that we have not arrived there yet. Humanianity is the religion of “Homo rationalis,” quite a different creature psychosocially than the way we are now.
I understand doing good for individuals, and I understand doing good for certain specified groups with specific problems which can be recognized, but I dont understand a concept like being concerned with the greater good for everyone.
I am not sure what the phrase “the greater good” means as you are using it. Are you perhaps attributing something to Humanianity that is not there? Can you quote something from the website that you think is bad or incorrect?
I feel that to do that the individual is placed second to the greater good, and the self is the most important thing when you really think about it because the self is all that there really is.
Now I do agree with the importance of taking care of the self. The self is at the center of your sphere of influence and should be given priority with regard to care and management. Your body, brain, mind, and possessions (overlapping concepts) are your tools for making the world a better place, and you are the one most able to keep those tools in good shape and make them better and better. But I can’t really say the self is all that there really is. I accept that I am not alone. I do see that you have some awareness of the mind-body problem, but you seem to be accepting a simple solipsistic model of existence.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,422
(Continued from previous post)

Is there a better definition for existence then the word self?
I would say that the definition of “existence” is difficult and arbitrary. But another phrase would be “everything that exists independent of anyone experiencing it or thinking about it.”
All of existence and everything you know or understand takes place within you, within your cranium.
What you are talking about is subjective experience. You are talking about everything you know. Why would you not assume that there is more to existence than simply that which you know?
The whole world is neurologically created by your brain, everything is you and your mind.
On the contrary, I would say that a model of the world is what is created neurologically by my brain. I do agree that your subjective experience is all you can know and all you have to work with, but you can construct models with it that are models of the way the world is independent of your experiencing of it. And those models will only be accurate to the extent that they allow you to predict what is likely to happen, and what is likely to happen if you do some specific thing.
The self and its egotistical aspirations should come first because its all that you have.
But within that subjective experience, you experience that which you regard as you and that which you regard as not you but something or someone else. That is normal thinking. And being concerned about others is healthy and beneficial to the world that you live in, and should be beneficial to you.
Provided that you seek to fulfill its wants through rational means.
Yes, I am all for rationality, consistency with the rules of logic and the rules of evidence. Here we agree completely.
Doing drugs is selfish and wrong because its not projecting survival behavior into the future.
It is damaging your equipment and making you less able to do your part to make the world a better place, for others as well as for yourself.
Going to school to get a degree in something you enjoy to earn money and obtain stability in life is rational selfish behavior which is good.
Taking care of yourself and having a joyful life is very important in doing your part.
As pertains to the other views espoused in this post, I think that humanity is already in a place in its evolutionary history where there is no way to no where were going accurately because we are so radically different then every other animal that there is nothing with which to compare ourselves to.
Yes and no. I understand where you are coming from, I think. For instance, my example is 200 years ago you tried to tell me we would be able to get in a vehicle and travel 60 mph down the road, and I laughed at you, telling you I would skid off the road into the woods and would scare all the horses. But we can indeed use our imagination. We see people that range all the way from angry chimps to caring saints, and all in between. And we have the capacity to study and learn how better to rear our children (for instance, stopping punishing them and doing things far, far better with regard to reward, teaching, and modeling for identification), so that we turn out far, far better adults than we do on the average currently.
We commit suicide. That is a human trait.
Yes, one of the many, many bad outcomes of our reliance upon punishment.
I think that society has created sort of a buffer where we have become hedonists.
Yes, we have lost track of the importance of our own contributions to the welfare of our “tribe.”
Survival has taken a backseat to pleasure, and so the lymbic system in the brain has replaced the reptillian brains drive to survive.
I would like to hear more about this. This is not the way I see it.
I suspect that that is part of the reason for suicidal behavior in our species. Its an example of overemotional emphasis in behavior.
It is because we have repeatedly produced self-loathing and self-disparagement through our continual acts of punishment and have emphasized the importance of competition, such that someone has to lose. People kill themselves because they can’t stand the pain that they have learned to induce in themselves, having taken over the function of punishing the self in the place of the parent(s) having done so.
We have become more altruistic which is bad, for we sacrifice our own survival to the groups survival.
A Humanian would take care of himself or herself first and foremost, so as to be able to do a good job of making the world a better place for everyone. Doing a good job is difficult when you are sick and disabled and depressed and out of shape.
The less intelligent are reproducing faster then the more intelligent, which means that overall I.Q. is dropping as we become less survival oriented.
We must indeed pay attention to our production of children, in the face of increasing overpopulation and the threat of ultimate collapse in the face of insufficient resources. And we must learn how best to rear children, rather than assuming that that knowledge is inborn.

I am a libertarian transhumanist. I want mankind to use techonology to better his condition and health.
This sounds Humanian. I agree with you.
I want man to turn away from God in the process of becoming more Godlike,
I think for some of us, the concept of God does detract from our devoting our attention to one another. It sounds to me like you and I would agree about this, though we would have to be sure we meant the same thing by our words.
however, it scares me to think that with all the advancement which technology grants us the mass of humanity always seem to lag behind the ones who advance us by many years.
Yes, I agree. And Humanianity is an effort to overcome that problem.
The mindset of the innovaters of culture are always leaps and bounds ahead of the masses, and the masses lag behind recognizing the advancements in science by clinging to outmoded ideas for comfort and safety's sake.
Sounds like something I would agree with. And Humanianity is that answer.
I have hope because of the internet and sites like this where people can reach out and learn new things that perhaps the more availability of information will help the braoder species catch up
Yes, me too. And the discussion you and I are having may be helping within our tiny sphere of influence.
, however, the terrorists who flew the planes into the world trade center had access to information as well, and the terrorists and religious purists have access to online information all over the world but it doesnt seem to be stopping them from being terrorists. Still, I remain optimistic and hold high hopes for humanity.
Hey! That sounds like you and I agree! At the beginning you sounded very pessimistic. But you are increasingly sounding Humanian.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,423
(Continued from previous post)


I am also critical of the idea of a rational ethics.
Are we using words the same way? Actually, “Humanian ethics” would be better terminology, but the word did not exist when I first coined the “rational-ethical ultimate ethical principle,” to contrast with the “authoritarian-ethical ultimate ethical principle.”
Who then will decide what stands for rational.
We will as a species continue to have friendly debate until there is consensus, and even then will remain open to the possibility of being wrong.
If one group says that it alone is "rational" and monopolizes the word, that to me leaves the situation ripe for intollerance.
Well of course! That would not be Humanian.
Who decides that someone else is being rational? Wouldnt it become very easy to develop a mindset where you could say, "Does this person agree with me? No? Well thats because there being irrational."
But a Humanian would not stop there. He or she would wish to have dialogue, with the recognition that the feeling of certainty is no good evidence that one is correct.
Many people may sound irrational until their thoughts and postions are given greater weight in your mind.
I could not agree with you more!

However, I do agree with you about keeping an opened mind. All these statements I'm asserting could be totally wrong. I appreciate your views and opinions, even though I dont agree with all of them and it is this kind of a disagreement over issues and the ability to discuss such things which leads to growth. I own up to the idea that my views could be very wrong. I ask that you give them weight and punch holes in any sloppy thinking which I present. The results of this could only lead to me changing my wrong headed thinking and moving forward into taking stances of more as you put it "rational" growth.
Beautifully said, and I say the same thing to you! I have really appreciated hearing your thoughts (or reading them). I think that if you go back to Humanianity.com and go down the whole home page, you will not find one thing that you will disagree with, given sufficient thought. But, I could be wrong. Can you find a statement there that you disagree with? Can you quote it and tell me why you disagree? Maybe there is something there that should be corrected. If you find such a thing, then I can correct it, and we will both have worked together to make the world a better place.

Thanks so much for your interest and effort!
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 16
Dear Sir,
I went to the Humanianity.com website, and that to which I agree seems quite obvious and all that I disagree with I disagree with very strongly. I would say that what seems to be the overall goal of the website is something to which I would object. The main disagreement that I would quote is in the section RELEVANT FUNDAMENTAL FACTS. In that section these are the parts with which I disagree:
•There is not a single thing that we can have that does not require others having done their part.
•There is not a single thing that we can do (beyond the extremely trivial) that does not require others having done their part.
•There is no individual, and there never has been, who knows how to make anything you see around you.
•Without others doing their part, you and I die.
•The more people do their part, the more everyone benefits.
This entire section seems to me to place way too much emphasis on others while totally abstaining from giving the individual the credit he deserves. The first point is wrong because there are absolutely things which we could make without the part of others produce. There are things which surround me which people could make without the help of others, provided that they were afforded the materials and supplies needed to make them. I also dont quite like what the word "part" seems to imply in this section. To me to use that word seems to suggest that people are a "Part" in some goal other then their own self interest. Most advancement is created by people seeking selfish interests or money. Very very few people do anything to play a part of anything. People create what they create due to the pleasure of creation, or because of money. It is not to play a part in the advancement of others, at least not usually.
I apologize for the awful spelling mistakes in my last messsage. I swear I can spell better then that, I sort of quickly wrote it and lazily didnt fix it. This message will probably be the same way. I can be quite lazy and as long as you get my point, we can agree on the words. HA!
I really like the manner in which you took my post and divided it up and addressed it point by point. I'm going to steal your method and answer all of your points one by one.
*So I am puzzled as to why you are not highly pleased by the defining characteristic of Humanianity, that there is no required belief or creed, simply a commitment to the REUEP. And what would be consistent with the REUEP would always be a matter of individual interpretation, in the context of freedom of expression of ideas and differences of opinion. Are you sure you are understanding the basic idea? To me, it seems like the epitome of individualism. Perhaps as we go along I will understand more what your ideas along these lines are.
I very very much object to the concept of REUEP because it is dangerous in my opinion to insist that a persons actions should center around the improvement of society. I also object strongly to the concept that what a person has is because of society. REUEP and its application would center behavior on making others happiness the center of ones behavior (when you place your focus on others you lose focus on yourself) and make others, or society, or humanity the focus of everyone's ultimate behavior. An individual owes absolutely nothing to society, the greater good, humanity or anyone else. A person is an end in and of themselves, they should live their lives in a rationally selfish manner which will indirectly advance others, but they owe nothing to anyone else except perhaps their parents and their children. Anything which someone uses to their advantage which comes from someone else is something they have not because they owe something to the person, or the "society", which created it, but because they are taking advantage of something created by an individual doing what he wanted in pursuit of his own interests. Anything which states that a person's actions should center on (JCA) and (PSDED), for EVERYONE, is the exact opposite of individualism. No one person owes anyone the achievement of that individual's happiness, health, contentment, or survival in any way. The achievement of these states is a burden which is placed in a justifiable position on the person themselves.
*And I would ask why not? Are you opposed to people having a good life (as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible), or are you opposed to everyone having that good life, or are you opposed to the survival of our species?
I am opposed to none of the above. I am opposed to the idea that it is somehow something which I should concern myself with. I am opposed to the idea that an action which I might take would influence everyone (which is nothing I want) or that a person having a good life is for some reason a responsibility that could be placed on me, or that the survival of my species is something which we all have to decide together. I dont like this whole concept which seems to be saying that a persons happiness, survival, or contentment could or should be placed on another person. A persons happiness must be achieved by that person, their contentment is their own business. I dont believe I know what is best for anyone else, I dont even feel that I understand what's best for me a lot of the time, and I am not intelligent enough OR perceptive enough to know what will make someone else have the good life. And it is in no way my responsibility. I dont want others or society involved in trying to make me happy. I think that diversity and freedom makes me happy. Not unfounded or unjust responsibility.
In a recent conversation a friend of mine stated this perfectly. "Were all in this together." NO WE ARE NOT!! That implies that we must work together for the achievement of goals. That we and our survival and dependance on success are somehow placed on the individuals we meet. If you die today it in no way influences or changes my survival. My death in no way takes away your ability to survive. Our survival is not dependant on others, it is dependant on the individual. We are not "In this together." Others death's do not take away my survival, my standard of life, my ability to succeed and my choice of what to focus on and the same goes the other way around. We are not one body or organism. We are a series of individuals and society is nothing but an aggregate of individuals.
*A drastically, drastically better world, with no wars, violence, crime, unnecessary sickness, etc., etc., that is, assuming that everyone did espouse that philosophical position.
No sir. An attempt to get everyone to espouse a particular philosophical position is an attempt at group thought. To make it a goal to get everyone to agree with your philosophical positions instead of using these conversations to mold and perfect your own views is to pull everyone else into conformity. The way to move towards advancement is to welcome many different views and only work toward acceptance. NOT to try to achieve everyone feeling the same way about things and gaining uniformity. Its unachieveable to hope for such an outcome and I think its quite dangerous. Whenever large groups of people agree on a common course of aciton, the results are always destructive or sloppy. The good results in this world are almost always brought on by individuals going against the grain in though
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 17
What do you mean “subservient”? If I wish to contribute to making the world a better place, to doing my part to help us all have better lives, why should I see that as “subservience”?
If it really makes you happy then it is not subservient. Its only subservient if it is viewed as some sort of duty that you owe to society or others. Its incoherent to feel that others happiness is upon your shoulders, relies on you, or is somehow your business by birth. If helping others aids your survival then there is nothing wrong with helping others. All of our actions should never contradict what I call the "Survival" axiom.
*Would you agree that there is not a single thing we can have, or a single thing we can do (other than the extremely trivial) that does not require others having done their part? Are you not grateful for what so many people have done in your behalf, and don’t you feel some wish to give something back?
I very very strongly disagree with this assertion and in no way want to "give something back." The desire to "give something back" and the behavior it has led to has been the problem personified. I could do a great deal without any help from anyone. My actions are never dependant on others. EVER!! What has anyone done on my behalf? I owe nothing, except for what has been granted to me through inheritance, to anyone's wanting to help me. All of my possessions were obtained through trade which took place to aid the person giving me the possession. It was not done for my behalf. All the public goods I've taken advantage of, such as schools or other governmental assistance of any type, were not done on my behalf. How could a person do something on my behalf if they dont know of me? The people who make these things dont even know I exist. All that I have I dont in any way "owe" to anyone or any group. I dont want to "give back" "thank" or give place responsibility for my possessions on anyone. Like I said, were not "all in this together."
*Because without others having done their part, you would not be here to enjoy it. I am not talking about some resentful feeling of having to do things for other people; I am talking about the joy of being a humanoblast, someone participating in this wonderful project on this planet involving this highly unusual species.
People are not doing or playing some part. There is no grand project taking place on this planet. We are not participating in some common goal that involves the whole of us working together. We are ends in and of ourselves. The individual exists, he is not here because of the group, he owes nothing to the group. Perhaps it would have been different during the days before the neolithic revolution and our ancestors lived in little communes and egaliterian communities. However, ever since this species went from being hunter gatherers and became settlers, we lost the concept of owing something to the group of needing to worry about "giving something back". This is a good thing. Advancement and progress comes from individuals who in most instances were fighting against the tide of the group or herd or humanity. Advancement in no way can be attributed to humanity.
*Wow!! Wouldn’t they be happy if their loved ones were not being killed off by us humans and by things that we humans could prevent? Wouldn’t they be happy if they were not starving to death? Wouldn’t they be happy if they could be productive? Wouldn’t they be happy if they weren’t afraid to go outside their homes? Of course there is such a thing as a happiness “set point,” so maybe if we stopped all the things that cause the obvious suffering that we can see in the media, they would still be unhappy, but I don’t think that is a reason for keeping war, crime, preventable illness and accidents, relationship breakdown, etc.
No. To phrase the statement this way suggests that if you take away bad conditions people will be happy. That isnt the case. People can have an overabundance and be unhappy. Happiness is placed on the individual and his own pursuits. He's responsible for his own happiness. Its out of everyone elses hands.
*Are you in favor of doing bad for the greater bad? Of doing nothing for the welfare of humans? Why?
I am not in favor of doing any bad. I love welfare for humans, as long is it is done face to face with genuine love and emotion. I hate it when its enacted as a duty or responsibility. I like charity when done through empathy, not through duty or imposed obligation.
*Yes, I agree. And why does that happen? Because we still have an enormous amount to learn. That is why I say that regarding the third exponential change, we are still a toddler. Childhood is a necessary precursor to adulthood. We are trying, but we are still making mistakes, because we have a great deal to learn. Does the fact that the child makes mistakes mean that the child should give up trying to become a successful adult? Why should we humans give up? Why shouldn’t we keep trying?
This does not happen because we have a lot to learn. It happens because we refuse to see that most of the time results dont match up to intentions. As long as some are forced into acting on behalf of others and we appoint some into positions of power believing them to be better then us, we lose. As I said, we cant know for sure what is best for another person.
*I am not sure about the “always.” But I agree that we have not arrived there yet. Humanianity is the religion of “Homo rationalis,” quite a different creature psychosocially than the way we are now.
If compassion is dictated, someone ALWAYS gets screwed out of something.
*I am not sure what the phrase “the greater good” means as you are using it. Are you perhaps attributing something to Humanianity that is not there? Can you quote something from the website that you think is bad or incorrect?
I tried to cover this initially.
*Now I do agree with the importance of taking care of the self. The self is at the center of your sphere of influence and should be given priority with regard to care and management. Your body, brain, mind, and possessions (overlapping concepts) are your tools for making the world a better place, and you are the one most able to keep those tools in good shape and make them better and better. But I can’t really say the self is all that there really is. I accept that I am not alone. I do see that you have some awareness of the mind-body problem, but you seem to be accepting a simple solipsistic model of existence.
When you think about it and give weight to self you realize that self is all that there is. Take away self and there is nothing. All experience takes place in your head and to take away experience takes away life and taking away life ends all. You can call this solipsistic, but it is not simplistic. It takes thought to grasp the real far reaching implications of what this means. This is why the self is all, and everyone is an end in and of himself, why he must weigh all assertions against his own mind, and why he owes nothing to the world, the greater good, or any group. This is why survival is the period at the end of every sentence.
*I would say that the definition of “existence” is difficult and arbitrary. But another phrase would be “everything that exists independent of anyone experiencing it or thinking about it.”
Existence is always a condition of self. If your self goes away, so does anything you consider to exist. The only reason existence exists to you is due to perception.
Matthew L.
MJLEFEVRE
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 7
Based off the discussion this turned into I'm looking forward to making it to a meeting. I have been unable to make it the last series of weeks.

I'm curious as to what the group thinks about the "Human role". Meaning just because I was born human - why would I let that define my role in life? You wouldn't expect me to play a certain role if I was a women or if I was black. Or then maybe you would and that is my point.

I consider myself free from the Pro-Human bias. I believe humanity is just a step in a process. As a rational being pursuing my own self-interest maybe it is better if "humanity" doesn't work out for most people. There are finite resources in this world and maybe I would have a better life with more resources than the average person. I think more people should question everything! One of these being: Collectivism is inherently good.

Thoughts?

- on a slight tangent -
My background is in computer software design even though I have a BS in Psychology.
I missing formal classes in Philosophy and Ethics. I'm interested in finding out how Ethics fits into my current world view. Hoping to have some good discussions on this.



vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 18
What you are talking about is subjective experience. You are talking about everything you know. Why would you not assume that there is more to existence than simply that which you know?
Because in order for something to "be" something I must know it. If I dont know it it cant be something because I wouldnt know it. The reality of what is does not matter, because that is unobtainable. The only thing obtainable and assessable is what I know, or will know, and if I dont know it or wont know it then its irrelevant. Everything is what I experience and know, nothing else can matter because I cant assess it so for me it doesnt exist. I cant assess something which doesnt exist in my mind, so it is totally irrelevant. If a meteor were heading towards this planet to end all of existence and experience, it is a totally irrelevant occurance because I dont know anything about it. If it were to hit it would be totally irrelevent because I would die before knowing it. Only experience is relevent. All else is unknowable.
*On the contrary, I would say that a model of the world is what is created neurologically by my brain. I do agree that your subjective experience is all you can know and all you have to work with, but you can construct models with it that are models of the way the world is independent of your experiencing of it. And those models will only be accurate to the extent that they allow you to predict what is likely to happen, and what is likely to happen if you do some specific thing.
Correct. Agreed. This is the application of logic. I define logic as recognizing effectively cause and effect.
*But within that subjective experience, you experience that which you regard as you and that which you regard as not you but something or someone else. That is normal thinking. And being concerned about others is healthy and beneficial to the world that you live in, and should be beneficial to you.
Being concerned about others can have a cost to your survival if its your main purpose in life. As long as there is no cost to the individual and it is not some moral duty, its fine.
*Yes, I am all for rationality, consistency with the rules of logic and the rules of evidence. Here we agree completely.
"FIST PUMPS GALORE!!"
*It is damaging your equipment and making you less able to do your part to make the world a better place, for others as well as for yourself.
More aggreement. Our selves are aligning.
Taking care of yourself and having a joyful life is very important in doing your part.
Again I dont like what this sentence seems to imply. I have no part to play except what I choose to play. As long as I dont aggress, and as long as my personal survival is my goal in life, I see no wrong which I'm doing.
*Yes and no. I understand where you are coming from, I think. For instance, my example is 200 years ago you tried to tell me we would be able to get in a vehicle and travel 60 mph down the road, and I laughed at you, telling you I would skid off the road into the woods and would scare all the horses. But we can indeed use our imagination. We see people that range all the way from angry chimps to caring saints, and all in between. And we have the capacity to study and learn how better to rear our children (for instance, stopping punishing them and doing things far, far better with regard to reward, teaching, and modeling for identification), so that we turn out far, far better adults than we do on the average currently.
Our goals are so far removed now from survival, that we cant compare ourselves accurately with other species, who are moving along the goal of survival. So there is no way of knowing if our development will work out or flunk out.
*Yes, one of the many, many bad outcomes of our reliance upon punishment.
We always relied on punishment. Its not because of punishment. Its because we have turned from survival as a goal in behavior and moved toward emotion as the goal in behavior. Hedonism leads to suicide ultimately. Our evolutionary goal has shifted because of society.
*Yes, we have lost track of the importance of our own contributions to the welfare of our “tribe.”
This does not apply. We are no longer in tribes. Contributions are not made for welfare. Again, this is a good thing.
*I would like to hear more about this. This is not the way I see it.
I cant help it if your wrong. (Just joking) This is the conclusion that I have reached. Society has become a buffer leading into hedonism and away from survival. This has led to self destruction and inefficiency.
*It is because we have repeatedly produced self-loathing and self-disparagement through our continual acts of punishment and have emphasized the importance of competition, such that someone has to lose. People kill themselves because they can’t stand the pain that they have learned to induce in themselves, having taken over the function of punishing the self in the place of the parent(s) having done so.
Very much disagree. This is clearly a point of divergence. Punishment has always been around. Competition is so basic that it goes down to unicelled organisms. Competition always leads to improvement and self confidence, not self loathing. Self loathing is attributable to idleness, laziness, ease, and comfort. When things were more difficult we had less self loathing and more resistence to the struggles life presented us.
*A Humanian would take care of himself or herself first and foremost, so as to be able to do a good job of making the world a better place for everyone. Doing a good job is difficult when you are sick and disabled and depressed and out of shape.
The second part of the first sentence. "so as to be able to do a good job of making the world a better place for everyone." This is my issue. This everyone is an abstract idea that should never be a goal of our pursuits. If that is your ultimate goal, then himself or herself cant be first and foremost. Its one or the other. The sentence is a contradiction.
*We must indeed pay attention to our production of children, in the face of increasing overpopulation and the threat of ultimate collapse in the face of insufficient resources. And we must learn how best to rear children, rather than assuming that that knowledge is inborn.
I feel that overpopulation is not a problem, but could become one. I feel the best way to battle that is let woman have the option of having abortions. Insufficient resources would not be a problem if we let companies have more of a part to play other then government and allowed more privatization. The reason being that companies that are successful will never use up all the renewable resources because it would present a cost to future profits. Privitization would work because people would have incentive to keep clean their own property.
*Are we using words the same way? Actually, “Humanian ethics” would be better terminology, but the word did not exist when I first coined the “rational-ethical ultimate ethical principle,” to contrast with the “authoritarian-ethical ultimate ethical principle.”
I skipped the rest because it was all aggreement. I dont feel there should be a universally agreed upon ethics. There should be personal ethics decided by individuals which allow them to achieve goals.
*We will as a species continue to have friendly debate until there is consensus, and even then will remain open to the possibility of being wrong.
The idea of a group deciding what is rational is ripe for abuse.
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 19
This should be especially true if we believe that there is a truth outside of our minds. What if 99% of the world becomes Catholic? Does that mean that Catholicism is true? Doubtful in my opinion.
This again ends in a lot more agreement. I hope to make it to the next philosophy debate. I love to sit and speak about deep things. I am always hammering away at my own assertions, and trying to narrow them down to points of more certainty and none contradiction. I want to meet that Amanda Mitchell. She is an exceptionally cute looking girl. Perhaps a deep thinking philosopher? What is more attractive then that?
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,432
Vincent,

I finally got a chance to respond. You have very interesting ideas.

What do you mean “subservient”? If I wish to contribute to making the world a better place, to doing my part to help us all have better lives, why should I see that as “subservience”?
If it really makes you happy then it is not subservient. Its only subservient if it is viewed as some sort of duty that you owe to society or others.
Do children owe anything to society? Do they have any obligation to contribute to the functioning of the family? Do you have any obligation to your children? Do you have any obligation to become educated? To become self-suppporting? To take care of yourself and avoid expensive illness?
Its incoherent to feel that others happiness is upon your shoulders, relies on you, or is somehow your business by birth.
So what you do has no effect on the happiness of others? Or it does, but that doesn’t matter?
If helping others aids your survival then there is nothing wrong with helping others. All of our actions should never contradict what I call the "Survival" axiom.
Which is what?

*Would you agree that there is not a single thing we can have, or a single thing we can do (other than the extremely trivial) that does not require others having done their part? Are you not grateful for what so many people have done in your behalf, and don’t you feel some wish to give something back?
I very very strongly disagree with this assertion and in no way want to "give something back." The desire to "give something back" and the behavior it has led to has been the problem personified. I could do a great deal without any help from anyone.
Is it possible that you don’t know how much help you have received? Do you have a single example?
My actions are never dependant on others. EVER!!
But without the help of others, you would be dead!
What has anyone done on my behalf?
Your parents and teachers never did anything for you? I have provided the CPDG for you and others.
I owe nothing, except for what has been granted to me through inheritance, to anyone's wanting to help me.
How did the word “owe” get into the discussion?
All of my possessions were obtained through trade which took place to aid the person giving me the possession. It was not done for my behalf. All the public goods I've taken advantage of, such as schools or other governmental assistance of any type, were not done on my behalf. How could a person do something on my behalf if they dont know of me? The people who make these things dont even know I exist.
They know that other people exist, and there are some of us who want to do our part to make the world a better place for others, even if we don’t know them personally. Are you unable to be concerned about the enormous suffering that is going on in our world, among people you don’t know personally, and if you have the ability to do something about that suffering, would you have no motivation to do so?
All that I have I dont in any way "owe" to anyone or any group. I dont want to "give back" "thank" or give place responsibility for my possessions on anyone. Like I said, were not "all in this together."
Would you prefer to live in a society in which everyone cared about the welfare and happiness of everyone, or in one in which no one cared about the welfare and happiness of anyone else?

*Because without others having done their part, you would not be here to enjoy it. I am not talking about some resentful feeling of having to do things for other people; I am talking about the joy of being a humanoblast, someone participating in this wonderful project on this planet involving this highly unusual species.
People are not doing or playing some part. There is no grand project taking place on this planet. We are not participating in some common goal that involves the whole of us working together.
You don’t think that we humans are looking for ways to promote our survival and ways to have better lives? You don’t believe we have division of labor, taking of roles, cooperation, dedication to goals outside of and in addition to our own personal happiness?
We are ends in and of ourselves. The individual exists, he is not here because of the group, he owes nothing to the group. Perhaps it would have been different during the days before the neolithic revolution and our ancestors lived in little communes and egaliterian communities. However, ever since this species went from being hunter gatherers and became settlers, we lost the concept of owing something to the group of needing to worry about "giving something back".
I think you are right.
This is a good thing.
I think you are wrong.
Advancement and progress comes from individuals who in most instances were fighting against the tide of the group or herd or humanity. Advancement in no way can be attributed to humanity.
Have we not, as a group, developed the concepts of democracy and human rights? Have we not developed science and technology?

*Wow!! Wouldn’t they be happy if their loved ones were not being killed off by us humans and by things that we humans could prevent? Wouldn’t they be happy if they were not starving to death? Wouldn’t they be happy if they could be productive? Wouldn’t they be happy if they weren’t afraid to go outside their homes? Of course there is such a thing as a happiness “set point,” so maybe if we stopped all the things that cause the obvious suffering that we can see in the media, they would still be unhappy, but I don’t think that is a reason for keeping war, crime, preventable illness and accidents, relationship breakdown, etc.
No. To phrase the statement this way suggests that if you take away bad conditions people will be happy. That isnt the case. People can have an overabundance and be unhappy. Happiness is placed on the individual and his own pursuits. He's responsible for his own happiness. Its out of everyone elses hands.
So if you were the victim of ethnic cleansing, it would be your own fault, right? You are responsible for your unhappiness when someone steals your identity and takes all your money?

*Are you in favor of doing bad for the greater bad? Of doing nothing for the welfare of humans? Why?
I am not in favor of doing any bad. I love welfare for humans, as long is it is done face to face with genuine love and emotion.
You have no interest in helping others who are suffering unless you know them personally?
I hate it when its enacted as a duty or responsibility. I like charity when done through empathy, not through duty or imposed obligation.
Empathy? For someone you don’t even know? What is charity?

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,433
(Continued from previous post)

*Yes, I agree. And why does that happen? Because we still have an enormous amount to learn. That is why I say that regarding the third exponential change, we are still a toddler. Childhood is a necessary precursor to adulthood. We are trying, but we are still making mistakes, because we have a great deal to learn. Does the fact that the child makes mistakes mean that the child should give up trying to become a successful adult? Why should we humans give up? Why shouldn’t we keep trying?
This does not happen because we have a lot to learn. It happens because we refuse to see that most of the time results dont match up to intentions.
Yes, but why don’t they if it is not because we are not yet knowledgeable enough to avoid unintended negative consequences?
As long as some are forced into acting on behalf of others and we appoint some into positions of power believing them to be better then us, we lose.
But suppose they are better than us? Do you want to rely upon others who are well-trained, knowledgeable, and ethical, or not?
As I said, we cant know for sure what is best for another person.
Can we know anything for sure? Isn’t the living of life always the playing of the odds?

*I am not sure about the “always.” But I agree that we have not arrived there yet. Humanianity is the religion of “Homo rationalis,” quite a different creature psychosocially than the way we are now.
If compassion is dictated, someone ALWAYS gets screwed out of something.
Who said anything about dictating compassion?

*I am not sure what the phrase “the greater good” means as you are using it. Are you perhaps attributing something to Humanianity that is not there? Can you quote something from the website that you think is bad or incorrect?
I tried to cover this initially.
Needs some more work.

*Now I do agree with the importance of taking care of the self. The self is at the center of your sphere of influence and should be given priority with regard to care and management. Your body, brain, mind, and possessions (overlapping concepts) are your tools for making the world a better place, and you are the one most able to keep those tools in good shape and make them better and better. But I can’t really say the self is all that there really is. I accept that I am not alone. I do see that you have some awareness of the mind-body problem, but you seem to be accepting a simple solipsistic model of existence.
When you think about it and give weight to self you realize that self is all that there is.
Very atypical belief.
Take away self and there is nothing.
So if anyone dies, so do you??
All experience takes place in your head and to take away experience takes away life and taking away life ends all.
Ends all personal experience, but ends also everyone else’s? And the universe?
You can call this solipsistic, but it is not simplistic. It takes thought to grasp the real far reaching implications of what this means.
You might want to read the rough draft of the first part of the book I am working on, given in the “Files,” in which I have indeed given muc thought to the mind-body problem, which is basically what you are talking about.
This is why the self is all,
For you, maybe, but not for me.
and everyone is an end in and of himself,
”Is an end” means what?
why he must weigh all assertions against his own mind, and why he owes nothing to the world, the greater good, or any group.
So far, I have not seen your chain of logic, consisting of propositions that have meaning for me and that I would agree with. Could you be mistaken?
This is why survival is the period at the end of every sentence.
Whose sentences? To what are you referring?

*I would say that the definition of “existence” is difficult and arbitrary. But another phrase would be “everything that exists independent of anyone experiencing it or thinking about it.”
Existence is always a condition of self. If your self goes away, so does anything you consider to exist. The only reason existence exists to you is due to perception.
I believe I know exactly what you are referring to, but I think your conclusions are mistaken. What do you mean “existence exists to you”? What is the difference between “existence” and “existence existing to you”? Are you saying the universe did not exist before humans came into existence such that they could experience it? Or even more, your parents didn’t exist prior to your experiencing them? You gave birth to your parents?



*What you are talking about is subjective experience. You are talking about everything you know. Why would you not assume that there is more to existence than simply that which you know?
Because in order for something to "be" something I must know it. If I dont know it it cant be something because I wouldnt know it.
No wonder your cellphone won’t work. It exists, because you experience it. But it require electromagnetic waves, which you can’t experience and therefore don’t exist. Maybe you can get your money back.
The reality of what is does not matter, because that is unobtainable. The only thing obtainable and assessable is what I know, or will know, and if I dont know it or wont know it then its irrelevant. Everything is what I experience and know, nothing else can matter because I cant assess it so for me it doesnt exist. I cant assess something which doesnt exist in my mind, so it is totally irrelevant. If a meteor were heading towards this planet to end all of existence and experience, it is a totally irrelevant occurance because I dont know anything about it. If it were to hit it would be totally irrelevent because I would die before knowing it. Only experience is relevent. All else is unknowable.
Again, I think I know exactly what you are talking about, but you are making some unnecessary and unhelpful assumptions, the primary one being that nothing exists that you are not experiencing. So your best friend comes into existence and then goes out of existence (but just doesn’t realize it). So you say, well he or she still exists because I can use my imagination. But you can do that with things you will never experience, like black holes. Well, everyone has a hard time imagining black holes, so maybe that shows that they don’t really exist.

(Continued in next post)
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