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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 #: 1,462
(Continued from previous post)


I agree that ideas appear within individual's minds, some of those ideas being very "creative," but what I am also saying is that what emerges in individual's minds depends tremendously upon the context or historical social history that that mind has been embedded in.
In other words individuals are creative because of culture. That is not true and has never been true. Individuals are creative because they think and are critical.
How did they acquire that capability?
Its even less true now because we have endless options of changing what were exposed to. We are a worldwide community now with the internet. We choose our own "societies" more then ever. We are self made. We create ourselves. I could raise my kids in a Catholic community as a Buddhist. Its up to me because I shape myself and my own thoughts. Even neurology now has shown that the brain is plastic. We sculpt our own brain how we choose. We are in charge, we arent products of our circumstances. Our circumstances are the products of us. At least after we reach adulthood.
But what we have to choose from comes from what we have been given over the course of our lives by our social groups.

The person in charge, so to speak, is only in charge to the extent that the group allows that to be so.
The group has no choice but to put someone in charge. They dont all think together. They dont think as a collective.
Yes, this is a procedure adopted by the group, because it works.

Maybe "survival-centered behavior" contains the issue that we have some difference of opinion about.
My biggest issue has become the lack of recognition that is being given to the individual's responsibility for his life.
I agree with that responsibility, but I think you are leaving out the other part of the responsibility.

So what do you think about Humanian ethics?
It seems alruistic and destructive. It scares the bejesus out of me.
See, I believe you have a distorted understanding of what Humanian ethics consists of. That’s why I wish you would actually quote something from the website and tell me how you are interpreting it.

But their own ingenuity was something that was put into them by their total life experience prior to their isolation, namely, what "society" gave them.
Of course. Once again no one is responsible for thier actions. They didnt survive by their ingenuity, it was placed into them by society. No one holds any responsiblities for their actions. All responsiblities rest in punishments, child rearing, society or some group.
You seem to be talking about whether people should be punished or not. That is a separate issue. I strongly predict you and I would have different viewpoints there. You would be with the vast majority. The problematic term, it seems to me, in what you are saying is the word “responsibility.”

I am having trouble following this, in the context of what you have said in the past.

There was no sacrifice of values. Without that there was no altruistic bahavior.
I am doing the same as you. You are advocating that I change my ethical beliefs, and I am doing the same in return. We are sharing and comparing our ideas about this, hopefully for the benefit of both of us and perhaps for the benefit of others who might be "listening in."
I am not advocating you change anything. I'm simply stating opinions.
Your opinion is that my opinion is wrong and should therefore change.

I am simply doing as you're doing, advocating for a way of life that is better than the way we have been living as a species. I think neither of us are satisfied, and both of us would like to make things better if we are able. We are both trying.
Yes we are, but from totally different and incompatible perspectives.
I think we should explore these incompatible perspectives in greater depth and specificity.

If you simply looked at the first part of the home page of the http://www.humanianit...­. website, I think you would see that that is not correct.
I have and I am confirmed.
Again, quotes would be good.

Aren't you trying to tell me that I should not live my life as a Humanian?
No I'm not saying that. I'm saying that if everyone adopted this viewpoint I dont feel anyone would have responsibliities or self esteem.
I can’t imagine how you come to this conclusion.
I'm not saying you should abandon it or not spread it. I'm saying I think its fortunate its not public policy.
You prefer that we have public policy that promotes pain, suffering, disability, and early death?

Without some degree of agreement, we die.
Thats not true. How does agreement aid survival?
This question implies that there is marked difference in what we are meaning by our words. How did you get the food you eat? Didn’t there have to be lots of agreement in order for you to get it? Currency, food production methods, traffic laws and truck inspections, wages, methods of making roads, etc., etc., etc.?
Is man truly not responsible for anything himself in your eyes?
We all are.

We should always be in the pursuit of more accurate beliefs. This is an ethical belief of mine, and I advocate it to you, as you apparently are advocating it to me.
Agreed.
I define "ethics" as that set of beliefs that can be modeled with sentences having the word "should" in them (though of course there are other uses of the word "should" also).
Sounds like a fine definition to me. We really should agree on a few things at least.
I am simply talking about helping out.
Helping out who, for what, and to what end? That is a vague statement.
Ok. I have to get some sleep. Maybe well talk about this in person soon. I think much psychiatric thinkng I have read seems to use this view. It bothers me because it seems like you dont believe people are responsible for things.
Are you talking about the importance of punishment?
Like the quote from the book. I think your using a stolen concept. Your replacing "volition" with everything other then the person.
I have no idea what this means. Need quotes.
This leads to a total refusal to recognize that people are the agents of their own actions. I cant get behind such a view. Of course I could be wrong. You would probably suggest if I am that it is somehow do to society I imagine. (Just a joke)
But true!
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 45
*The problem here is that you are massively oversimplifying the issues. You would have to know far, far more about the family interactions in a particular child’s life than just whether the child was spanked or the parent was alcoholic to see the connection between child rearing and the creation of the human adult.
The CREATION of the human adult? Human adults arent created. Human adults make decisions on their own. If they have weaknesses or flaws they can correct them. Once again it seems that you dont want people to have free will or be in control of their lives. Everything a person does is the result of an environment, society, or child rearing. People are self correcting if they choose to be. They are not products or creations. They themselves are agents. They themselves make decisions. They are responsible.
*What I am talking about is that to understand correctly what we as a species need in the area of government, for example, is intertwined with what we as a species need in the area of child rearing.
No it isnt, its completely the opposite. It seems to be in line with everything else that I have heard though. If this is the case then the human adult on top of being a creation of childhood instead of an individually acting agent, also needs government to provide him with laws which are consistent with child rearing. In other words your saying that the human adult is not responsibly for himself and needs the government to coddle him like a child? Children are not adults, children are not critical thinkers. Adults are. Adults are not the products of their childhoods. If they are, then they are irresponsible adults who pay the consequences for this, just like people who follow a poor ethical philosophy.
*We are talking too generally here. We have to live together in groups. That involves modifying our behavior. We have to think about the impact of our own behavior upon others. And to the extent that we conscientiously do this, everyone is benefited.
This isnt true. If I really wanted to I could go off into the woods just like the unabomber, or Henry David Thoreau and live on my own without people. If I decide to save up enough money I could by a little house in a rural are and be self sufficient. History has shown people who have done it. In todays society moreover instead of having to modify my behavior to any great extent (not counting governmental laws) then I could find groups that fit me and not have to mold myself to them. We are not enslaved to groups. We are free agents. As children we may have to deal with groups, as adults its different.
*So we have constitutional democracy instead. We agree on basic rights, that protect those in the minority.
We dont have a democracy. We have a republic. And we didnt agree. We were born into this system. And these laws dont protect minorities, they are meant for everyone.
*I would say that they are good only if they promote not only the survival of our species but also as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible, for everyone, now and in the future.
So in order for someone to be a good person they have to direct their energy into prjects which will benefit the species? Just like the nazies? We are supposed to provide as much " joy, contentment, and appreciation" as possible with as little " pain, suffering, disability, and early death" for EVERYONE? Why is it that in order to be a good person someones action must in some way benefit some groups and the causes of a persons behavior are always the result of some influence. Everything that has happened to me has been an influence on my behavior. However "I" pick and choose from my own free will to act on some things over others. In other words I have volition. We shouldnt be bothered with the species. We should be concerned with individuals. The species has no bearing on your own well being or survival. Its not like your ever going to be in a situation as the last living man on earth. Its not like your influence is going to effect the species in 400 years from now. So why on earth would anyone espouse caring for the species? If progress happens, and we dont all kill each other, how much more could the species be cared for then that?
*I don’t know exactly what you mean. I certainly don’t think we have a perfect system. That doesn’t mean we should have no system.
We ignore the meaning of the constitution and bend statments in it all out of proportion from their original intentions.
*Partly.
Seems like mostly. Like I said, the most influencial thing regarding actions seems to be in your eyes (from what you have so far said) anything other then thought processes of the individuals acting. No one has free will, we are only products, or creations, or were infused with ingenuity. We are self made. We are not created.
*Groups are groups of individuals. Of course individuals are important. Without them you would not have groups. But those individuals are not in vacuums. They are formed by the individuals around them. They function as parts of groups. If we did not work cooperatively with each other and agree to assigned roles, no one would have time to do anything creative. In fact, everyone would die.
Once again we have another example of the same way of thinking. "Without them you would not have groups." So the individuals are important because they are able to make groups. Actually yes in a way those individuals are vacuums. They come from families as children, as adults they are NOT FORMED by the individuals around them. They are able to form themselves. They are not as adults the results of influences. but their actions are to be ascribed to critical thinking which is an innate trait. If it were not an innate trait, we would have never had anything because who would have invented anything in the first place. There would have been no one around to teach the skill. I bet the wheel was invented without any contributions from groups. I imagine that we discovered how to make fire without contributions. I imagine that the first inventions came from individuals. They did not come from groups because ideas come from individuals.
*Where does it say to give up one’s autonomy?
As I've stated many times before, if your goal is to aid the everyone and you want to stop all bad things for everybody, then the everybody and the everyone are placed in a position above you. Its an issue of who is the priority.
*Can you quote the sentence you are speaking about?
What we do to and for ourselves is important in determining our capabilities for making the world a better place for others.
As well in the REUEP you say that everything should be done to make things better "For Everyone." It also talks about "The survival of our species." Reading a little more carefully it is stated that the self is the center of the sphere of influence. I didnt catch that the first time around. I have been thinking earlier on when you said that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. It has sounded to me like the goal was to place others first. I may have misunderstood the concept somewhat all this time. We may not be quite as far apart as I was thinking because I wasnt diligent enough in reading the website. I missed that part the first time around. If the self is the number one priority, then I really see nothing destr
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 46
destructive in the philosophy. Just as long as the self isnt lost for the sake of anyone else.
*But it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say that everyone’s first priority is everyone else. It says almost the opposite. Can you please quote the sentences that you are interpreting to mean what you are saying they mean?
Your right, I apologize. I have been mistaken. Next time I will need to read a little more carefully before I start jumping to conlusions. I really read that wrong. I missed that sentence the first time I read the page.
*I am feeling basically very misunderstood, as if you are taking things I am saying and saying that they are saying the opposite
Judging by the way I jumped to conclusions reading the website this could very well be the case. However, if you want children raised differently then the punishment centered manner in which parents often raise them now i would think that you have some idea in mind that you want them to impliment.
*I want us all to agree that we should do that which will promote not only the survival of our species but also as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible, for everyone (that includes the self), now and in the future. Tell me what you think is so bad about that.
I dont see anything really wrong with that as long as the self is remembered to be the center of that sphere of influence. I think there is nothing wrong with helping others as long as we dont lose sight of ourselves. I have been mistaken on the application of this statement.
*It is easy for something to seem right to an individual that I would not consider right, such as suicide bombing. No, I am in favor of open sharing and comparing of ideas and friendly debate, to reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.
So am I and I think that debate and discussion is the only way to fix misunderstanding and problems. However, suicide bombers use force. I said that I am against force. If someone held suicide bomber type beliefs and never forced themselves on anyone or blew anyone up then I dont see the problem.
*I think a person who also works hard to make the world a better place for everyone would be an even better person.
There are different levels of good. I just mean the basic qualifications.
*See, I don’t know what you mean about putting into practice forcibly. If it were inconsistent with the REUEP, then we shouldn’t do it.
This was when I thought you were advocating placeing the good of everyone and society before the individual, as the end goal of the individuals actions. You may still be advocating that. I maintain that people shouldnt think of it as a moral duty to have to aid in other peoples happiness contentment and well being. This would mean that others would come first. I dont feel that a person should use the REUP idea for themselves to then use it for others. I dont know what will cause happiness and contentment and good situations for others. To my mind this still seems to show some sort of a duty to helping other people, and I dont think that it is really good to approach life with the goal of helping others being your motivation if you dont really feel like doing it. Why would we need to advocate, pressure, or get people to change? If they want to help people they can, if they dont then to try to get them to would make the whole act a falsity. I couldnt see myself adopting that attitude because I have no responsiblity for other peoples happiness. That is their responsibliilty like I said. I dont know whats best for others and if my goal is to do whats best for me only to turn and around and do whats best for others the I must know what is best for others over and above what they feel is best for themselves.
*Okay, so you and I agree about some things. I also believe you would agree with more of what I have to say if you did not have a misunderstanding of what I am saying.
I still dont think that I agree with the basic REUEP idea. We should do what causes as much joy, contentment and appreciation as possible. None of these things rests in my hands. This is the other persons responsiblity. I cannot make it a goal in life to walk around trying to make other people content and appreciative. They have to find ways to be that way. I cant walk around preventing disabilities. I dont think that these things are achievable and I dont feel that they should be a persons primary concern. However, if someones personal satisfaction came first, I dont think that it is destructive as I was thinking. I just hold doubts as to if anyone could ever achieve it.
*I never claimed to be an expert.
There are no experts in this matter really. There are no ethics experts.
*Yes, I think your “sensitivity” to the idea of submission leads you to apply it to situations about which I would say the word “submission” did not apply. My learning from you is not what I would mean by my submitting to you.
Any learning experience causes a person to break down beariers and breaking down barriers is an act of submission. This is not a negative statement, the submission is a good thing.
*On the contrary, I think there is much concern for how the work of art will be experienced by others.
If a person creates art with a concern for how it is viewed then they have lost all of my respect.
*Please quote what I have said that sounds that way.
When you stated earlier on in this conversation that a person should take good care of themselves in order to take better care for others. There have been many other things that sounded that way as well but I"m not going to go into digging into these messages to find them as I have school work to do. I could have misunderstood.
*If there is control of destructive behavior, that fosters progress.
Only in cases where destructive behavior is being aimed at someone who is causing progress.
*How did they acquire that capability?
On their own. Its a decisions to think critically. This tendancy is innate and they decide to act upon it.
*But what we have to choose from comes from what we have been given over the course of our lives by our social groups.
These things are not provided by groups. There is no one to thank. Groups are not responsible for anything.
*I agree with that responsibility, but I think you are leaving out the other part of the responsibility.
Which is?
*See, I believe you have a distorted understanding of what Humanian ethics consists of. That’s why I wish you would actually quote something from the website and tell me how you are interpreting it.
Your right I did misunderstand, in a sense. I am critical of the idea of helping people out as a duty, but anyone who would choose to follow this as long as he kept in mind that his center of influence was himself couldnt be dong much wrong because if he didnt want to follow it he wouldnt. I still think that i disagree with much of the way you think, but the fault is mine for not reading into this closely enough. It is very hard to learn from the other person when you arent really careful to understand what they are saying. I apologize.
I would reply to the rest of this but I really should be working right now. I dont see a problem with helping out other people and I missed where the website stated that a persons original sphere of influence was their self. If I had seen that it would have cleared up a lot more a lot earlier. My fault. Hoewver, I still am critical of the way you seem
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 47
to view people in general. Ironically with much of this starting out as a misunderstanding on my part I think that it has opened up several cans of worms. As for right now I'm going to bed. This was time I should have probably spent studying.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,464
Vincent,
The problem here is that you are massively oversimplifying the issues. You would have to know far, far more about the family interactions in a particular child’s life than just whether the child was spanked or the parent was alcoholic to see the connection between child rearing and the creation of the human adult.
The CREATION of the human adult? Human adults arent created.
They most certainly are! Just as a sculptor starts with a stone and creates a statue, so does a family (and the surrounding subcultures, etc.) start with a human newborn and create a human adult. There are of course other creative forces also, such as the polio virus was.
Human adults make decisions on their own. If they have weaknesses or flaws they can correct them.
I have spent 40 years trying to help people to do this, and I know how extremely difficult it is. (Personal experience also informs me.) It is extremely difficult to change your own basic programming, and generally requires the help of others. In particular, it is often difficult to develop the ability to realize that one needs to change.
Once again it seems that you dont want people to have free will or be in control of their lives.
Where have I said that?
Everything a person does is the result of an environment, society, or child rearing.
Among other things also.
People are self correcting if they choose to be.
And where do they learn about that possibility?
They are not products or creations.
See above.
They themselves are agents. They themselves make decisions. They are responsible.
I again have the feeling you are talking about punishment, when you introduce the term “responsible.”

What I am talking about is that to understand correctly what we as a species need in the area of government, for example, is intertwined with what we as a species need in the area of child rearing.
No it isnt, its completely the opposite. It seems to be in line with everything else that I have heard though. If this is the case then the human adult on top of being a creation of childhood instead of an individually acting agent, also needs government to provide him with laws which are consistent with child rearing.
Don’t understand.
In other words your saying that the human adult is not responsibly for himself and needs the government to coddle him like a child?
I never said such a thing.
Children are not adults, children are not critical thinkers. Adults are. Adults are not the products of their childhoods.
They certainly are, along with the rest of their life experience. The brain becomes programmed by the experience it is exposed to.
If they are, then they are irresponsible adults who pay the consequences for this, just like people who follow a poor ethical philosophy.
Pay? We create defective people, and then further ruin their lives with punishment (revenge). We need a whole different approach.

We are talking too generally here. We have to live together in groups. That involves modifying our behavior. We have to think about the impact of our own behavior upon others. And to the extent that we conscientiously do this, everyone is benefited.
This isnt true. If I really wanted to I could go off into the woods just like the unabomber, or Henry David Thoreau and live on my own without people.
Thoreau’s mother did his laundry, as I recall. Do you think the Unabomber made no use of things made by others, or of knowledge obtained from others?
If I decide to save up enough money
Money?? Do you know how to make the paper and the counterfeiting equipment? And do you know how to make a hammer to use to build your house? And how to make insulation?
I could by a little house in a rural are and be self sufficient.
Buy the house? From God?
History has shown people who have done it.
Not without the help of others, including the teaching of the necessary skills and the provision of the necessary implements and supplies.
In todays society moreover instead of having to modify my behavior to any great extent (not counting governmental laws) then I could find groups that fit me and not have to mold myself to them.
What? Why are you looking for groups? What need have you for groups?
We are not enslaved to groups.
No, but we sure need them.
We are free agents. As children we may have to deal with groups, as adults its different.
This sounds very strange.

So we have constitutional democracy instead. We agree on basic rights, that protect those in the minority.
We dont have a democracy. We have a republic.
Okay, but isn’t it better than an Islamic theocracy?
And we didnt agree. We were born into this system. And these laws dont protect minorities, they are meant for everyone.
Yes, including you. And I thought they do protect minorities. Maybe not very well. But I didn’t say the system was perfect, just better than none.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,465
(Continued from previous post)

I would say that they are good only if they promote not only the survival of our species but also as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible, for everyone, now and in the future.
So in order for someone to be a good person they have to direct their energy into prjects which will benefit the species?
Within their sphere of influence.
Just like the nazies?
No. They caused pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED).
We are supposed to provide as much " joy, contentment, and appreciation" as possible with as little " pain, suffering, disability, and early death" for EVERYONE? Why is it that in order to be a good person someones action must in some way benefit some groups and the causes of a persons behavior are always the result of some influence.
There is no problem with your doing what you want to do, that gives you pleasure, as long as it does not cause PSDED for others. But you become especially good to the extent that you try to promote joy, contentment, and/or appreciation (JCA) in others and reduce PSDED for others.
Everything that has happened to me has been an influence on my behavior.
Now we agree.
However "I" pick and choose from my own free will to act on some things over others. In other words I have volition.
And you don’t find self-improvement quite difficult?
We shouldnt be bothered with the species. We should be concerned with individuals.
Yes, especially human individuals. Ones within your sphere of influence, especially those close to the center of your sphere of influence.
The species has no bearing on your own well being or survival.
Tell that to the farmer, the policeman, the doctor, the nurse, the teacher, the plumber, the firefighter, the storekeeper, the, well…, you know what I mean.
Its not like your ever going to be in a situation as the last living man on earth.
And you would not last long as such.
Its not like your influence is going to effect the species in 400 years from now.
How do you know? Suppose you convince two other people to convince two other people that Humanianity is what we need as a species?
So why on earth would anyone espouse caring for the species?
Because that’s who we are. Would you prefer to live all by yourself? Or with chimpanzees? Do you not have a love for your species, that has worked so hard to get to where it is now, and has thus provided you with such a better life than you would have had one million years ago?
If progress happens, and we dont all kill each other, how much more could the species be cared for then that?
Much, much more. Suppose we could stop all the human-induced pain, suffering, and disability in addition to early death?

I don’t know exactly what you mean. I certainly don’t think we have a perfect system. That doesn’t mean we should have no system.
We ignore the meaning of the constitution and bend statments in it all out of proportion from their original intentions.
Right. We need to do far, far better. That’s why we need better religions. That’s why we need Humanianity.

Partly.
Seems like mostly. Like I said, the most influencial thing regarding actions seems to be in your eyes (from what you have so far said) anything other then thought processes of the individuals acting.
Where do you get that from? What have I said that sounds like that?
No one has free will, we are only products, or creations, or were infused with ingenuity. We are self made. We are not created.
We are only partly self-made. (The concept of “free will” is part of that complex, still unsolved philosophical problem called the “mind-body problem.”)

Groups are groups of individuals. Of course individuals are important. Without them you would not have groups. But those individuals are not in vacuums. They are formed by the individuals around them. They function as parts of groups. If we did not work cooperatively with each other and agree to assigned roles, no one would have time to do anything creative. In fact, everyone would die.
Once again we have another example of the same way of thinking. "Without them you would not have groups." So the individuals are important because they are able to make groups. Actually yes in a way those individuals are vacuums. They come from families as children, as adults they are NOT FORMED by the individuals around them.
They are formed by their families and by other individuals, and by the groups they are members of, and by all sorts of life experiences.
They are able to form themselves.
To a limited extent, if they learn from others how to do it.
They are not as adults the results of influences.
This sounds like very unusual thinking.
but their actions are to be ascribed to critical thinking which is an innate trait.
What? They don’t learn how to engage in critical thinking through formal education and self-education by reading and talking to others and by exposure to the media?
If it were not an innate trait, we would have never had anything because who would have invented anything in the first place.
So a feral child is going to win a science fair?
There would have been no one around to teach the skill. I bet the wheel was invented without any contributions from groups. I imagine that we discovered how to make fire without contributions. I imagine that the first inventions came from individuals. They did not come from groups because ideas come from individuals.
Those individuals were kept alive by their group, and the individuals of the group passed that discovery on. Or do you think that every individual had to make the discovery on his or her own?

Where does it say to give up one’s autonomy?
As I've stated many times before, if your goal is to aid the everyone and you want to stop all bad things for everybody, then the everybody and the everyone are placed in a position above you.
But the everyone includes you. Where do you get “above”?
Its an issue of who is the priority.
The closer the person is to the center of your sphere of influence, the higher the priority. And you are at the center of that sphere of influence.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,466
(Continued from previous post)

Can you quote the sentence you are speaking about?
What we do to and for ourselves is important in determining our capabilities for making the world a better place for others.
Okay, but what is this an example of (that you think is wrong)?

As well in the REUEP you say that everything should be done to make things better "For Everyone." It also talks about "The survival of our species." Reading a little more carefully it is stated that the self is the center of the sphere of influence. I didnt catch that the first time around. I have been thinking earlier on when you said that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. It has sounded to me like the goal was to place others first. I may have misunderstood the concept somewhat all this time.
That’s what I have been trying to call to your attention.
We may not be quite as far apart as I was thinking because I wasnt diligent enough in reading the website. I missed that part the first time around. If the self is the number one priority, then I really see nothing destructive in the philosophy. Just as long as the self isnt lost for the sake of anyone else.
Is it possible that you are programmed by your childhood such that you can easily make that mistake?

But it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say that everyone’s first priority is everyone else. It says almost the opposite. Can you please quote the sentences that you are interpreting to mean what you are saying they mean?
Your right, I apologize. I have been mistaken. Next time I will need to read a little more carefully before I start jumping to conlusions. I really read that wrong. I missed that sentence the first time I read the page.
I am feeling basically very misunderstood, as if you are taking things I am saying and saying that they are saying the opposite.
Judging by the way I jumped to conclusions reading the website this could very well be the case.
And it was another person that helped you see that.
However, if you want children raised differently then the punishment centered manner in which parents often raise them now i would think that you have some idea in mind that you want them to impliment.
Yes, as outlined in the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing.”

I want us all to agree that we should do that which will promote not only the survival of our species but also as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible, for everyone (that includes the self), now and in the future. Tell me what you think is so bad about that.
I dont see anything really wrong with that as long as the self is remembered to be the center of that sphere of influence. I think there is nothing wrong with helping others as long as we dont lose sight of ourselves. I have been mistaken on the application of this statement.
And you are doing a good thing by clarifying that for any others that might be reading this. You are helping our species to adopt Humanianity.

It is easy for something to seem right to an individual that I would not consider right, such as suicide bombing. No, I am in favor of open sharing and comparing of ideas and friendly debate, to reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.
So am I and I think that debate and discussion is the only way to fix misunderstanding and problems.
Like we are demonstrating.
However, suicide bombers use force. I said that I am against force. If someone held suicide bomber type beliefs and never forced themselves on anyone or blew anyone up then I dont see the problem.
They would be high-risk entities, right? Don’t we want to reduce the risk of PSDED as much as possible?

I think a person who also works hard to make the world a better place for everyone would be an even better person.
There are different levels of good. I just mean the basic qualifications.
I wish for as much good as possible, for all of us.

See, I don’t know what you mean about putting into practice forcibly. If it were inconsistent with the REUEP, then we shouldn’t do it.
This was when I thought you were advocating placeing the good of everyone and society before the individual, as the end goal of the individuals actions. You may still be advocating that.
The individual is a part of the group of everyone, and of society.
I maintain that people shouldnt think of it as a moral duty to have to aid in other peoples happiness contentment and well being. This would mean that others would come first.
Not necessarily. Why? After you have taken care of yourself, why not help others?
I dont feel that a person should use the REUP idea for themselves to then use it for others. I dont know what will cause happiness and contentment and good situations for others.
You really don’t?
To my mind this still seems to show some sort of a duty to helping other people, and I dont think that it is really good to approach life with the goal of helping others being your motivation if you dont really feel like doing it.
And I believe we should have child rearing methods and social mechanisms that help ourselves to care about others.
Why would we need to advocate, pressure, or get people to change?
I hope if someone has a good idea that will be of help to me, the person will indeed advocate for that idea, assuming that it would not harm others (cause PSDED).
If they want to help people they can, if they dont then to try to get them to would make the whole act a falsity.
People can change. Even you can.
I couldnt see myself adopting that attitude because I have no responsiblity for other peoples happiness.
But you may become convinced otherwise. And that would be a good thing, as I see it.
That is their responsibliilty like I said. I dont know whats best for others and if my goal is to do whats best for me only to turn and around and do whats best for others the I must know what is best for others over and above what they feel is best for themselves.
That’s often really not all that difficult to figure out.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,467
(Continued from previous post)

Okay, so you and I agree about some things. I also believe you would agree with more of what I have to say if you did not have a misunderstanding of what I am saying.
I still dont think that I agree with the basic REUEP idea. We should do what causes as much joy, contentment and appreciation as possible. None of these things rests in my hands. This is the other persons responsiblity. I cannot make it a goal in life to walk around trying to make other people content and appreciative.
It would be good if you did, and might add meaning to your life.
They have to find ways to be that way. I cant walk around preventing disabilities.
You could avoid being a suicide bomber. And Humanian would be extremely unlikely to be a suicide bomber.
I dont think that these things are achievable and I dont feel that they should be a persons primary concern.
To each his own. I advocate an increased awareness of the issue, and being on the alert for opportunities to make the world a better place.
However, if someones personal satisfaction came first, I dont think that it is destructive as I was thinking. I just hold doubts as to if anyone could ever achieve it.
I think I do some good within my sphere of influence.

I never claimed to be an expert.
There are no experts in this matter really. There are no ethics experts.
I would need to know your definition of “expert.”

Yes, I think your “sensitivity” to the idea of submission leads you to apply it to situations about which I would say the word “submission” did not apply. My learning from you is not what I would mean by my submitting to you.
Any learning experience causes a person to break down beariers and breaking down barriers is an act of submission. This is not a negative statement, the submission is a good thing.
This sounds like an unusual usage of language. It is using metaphor that I don’t think applies very well. Learning experience adds and fine tunes.

On the contrary, I think there is much concern for how the work of art will be experienced by others.
If a person creates art with a concern for how it is viewed then they have lost all of my respect.
And they have gained mine.

Please quote what I have said that sounds that way.
When you stated earlier on in this conversation that a person should take good care of themselves in order to take better care for others. There have been many other things that sounded that way as well but I"m not going to go into digging into these messages to find them as I have school work to do. I could have misunderstood.
I think we have established that.

If there is control of destructive behavior, that fosters progress.
Only in cases where destructive behavior is being aimed at someone who is causing progress.
Perhaps. No, what about destruction of that which has been built?

How did they acquire that capability?
On their own. Its a decisions to think critically. This tendancy is innate and they decide to act upon it.
They learn how to act on it, and usually learn from others.

But what we have to choose from comes from what we have been given over the course of our lives by our social groups.
These things are not provided by groups. There is no one to thank. Groups are not responsible for anything.
Can’t agree, for reasons given.

I agree with that responsibility, but I think you are leaving out the other part of the responsibility.
Which is?
(Context lost.)

See, I believe you have a distorted understanding of what Humanian ethics consists of. That’s why I wish you would actually quote something from the website and tell me how you are interpreting it.
Your right I did misunderstand, in a sense. I am critical of the idea of helping people out as a duty, but anyone who would choose to follow this as long as he kept in mind that his center of influence was himself couldnt be dong much wrong because if he didnt want to follow it he wouldnt. I still think that i disagree with much of the way you think, but the fault is mine for not reading into this closely enough. It is very hard to learn from the other person when you arent really careful to understand what they are saying. I apologize. I would reply to the rest of this but I really should be working right now. I dont see a problem with helping out other people and I missed where the website stated that a persons original sphere of influence was their self. If I had seen that it would have cleared up a lot more a lot earlier. My fault. Hoewver, I still am critical of the way you seem to view people in general. Ironically with much of this starting out as a misunderstanding on my part I think that it has opened up several cans of worms. As for right now I'm going to bed. This was time I should have probably spent studying.
Maybe it was a kind of studying. But I understand. And the dialogue has been helpful to me, also. Maybe with further dialogue you will come to appreciate how I view people in general. Or maybe you will show me how I am in error. The worms will be interesting. Good luck on your studies. (The exams, I mean.) BTW, what are you studying?
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 48
*They most certainly are! Just as a sculptor starts with a stone and creates a statue, so does a family (and the surrounding subcultures, etc.) start with a human newborn and create a human adult. There are of course other creative forces also, such as the polio virus was.
No we are not! A human adult is in control of his life, he is not controlled by the factors of his childhood. Human children are molded by their families and whatevers societies might be around. This molding does not have to apply in adulthood. Once someone reaches the age of reason, the age of critical thinking, whatever age that happens to be for whatever individual we might be talking about, he is able to begin reassessing things which his society pumped into him at the ages when he was forming and reshape himself. A human adult is not molded by and is not a slave to his childhood influences. He is in control. He's not a product or a victim. Human children can be formed, human adults can choose to go by this programming but they do NOT have to. They are not the victims or products of it. They are in control and decide on actions.
*I have spent 40 years trying to help people to do this, and I know how extremely difficult it is. (Personal experience also informs me.) It is extremely difficult to change your own basic programming, and generally requires the help of others. In particular, it is often difficult to develop the ability to realize that one needs to change.
I dont doubt your experience and knowledge. I say that anything someone is going to be successful at takes hard work and effort. To reshape yourself is not something which is in any way easy. It is very difficult, but it is doable and the more we learn about neuroscience the more we learn that a person is able to improve memory, the shape they are in, their ability to focus, their ability to increase their state of happiness. Almost everything about a person is modifiable and changable, and more easily capable of changes at younger ages of adulthood. The brain neuroscientists are finding out more and more is plastic and modifiable. However, people must make the decision to change themselves and carry out the changes ON THEIR OWN!! They can find help from other people, getting help from other people can aid the process along a great deal, but THEY make the changes themselves. If they get helped along by their psychiatrist say, then that is person to person. A group is not to thank. Nothing is better to me then person to person exchanges, two individuals sitting down and sharing knowledge. However, if changes occur within a person it is because they are in control ultimately of their own behavior, they themselves have the ability to modify it, and they can correct their own flaws. This process is not easy, it takes diligence, but it can be done. The point that I am trying to stress is that individuals who are able to critically think are in control of their own lives. They are not made. They make themselves. They are not products.
*Where have I said that?
What is one led to believe when someone states again and again that everything we are is due to groups, that ingenuity was placed into us by society, that adults are products of childhoods, that anger and depression are due to child rearing? Everything you have said has broken down the concept of free will and ascribed the actions of people to some outer influence. It's as though you feel that people dont make decisions or are not in control of their own lives. Like were nothing more then a series of influences. As the word you used states, "a product".
*Among other things also.
What other things are there other then environment, society, and child rearing besides the individual themselves?
*And where do they learn about that possibility?
Learn that possibility? From knowlidge passed along through individuals. It doesnt really matter where it was learned. The point that I am making is that they use the knowledge to form themselves. They are not the result of influences. Knowledge comes along from many different individuals, you cant ascribe the attainment of it from society of groups. In todays world the adult is able to go out and pick and choose the type of knowledge he would like to learn about. He is in control. He is responsible for his own outcome.
*See above.
Children are not critical thinkers. Adults are. Adults control themselves, because THEY choose to.
*I again have the feeling you are talking about punishment, when you introduce the term “responsible
I'm talking about "volition", "free will", "initiative" and who makes decisions to act in certain ways. I'm saying that a person owns themselves. They are not products. They make themselves as critical thinkers. Irrisponsible, violent, or irrational actions cant be whittled down to a series of influences. People are more complex and powerful then the circumstances which they were influnenced by or born into. Who are we ascribing responsibilities and causes to. That is what I'm talking about. Responsibility or blame should be placed on individual people. The more a person is able to think outside of the thought processes people gave them, the more successful they are apt to be. Provided they are able to use rational thought. The only part of a persons behavior they have such a hard time overcoming where it can be close to impossible sometimes are genetic factors. Environmental influences from childhood can be overcome much more easily.
*Don’t understand.
You think that the laws which apply to child rearing should be applicable to governmental law. Isnt that what you stated? What did I misunderstand. You connected the two ideas. That sounded to me like you were acquating children and their treatment by parents with adults and their treatment by government. Please correct this assertion if I have misunderstood.
*I never said such a thing.
Not in those words no you didnt. But that is what it sounded like you were indirectly stating. I do NOT want to put words in your mouth or misrepresent you. I apologize if I have jumped to some unjustified conclusions. What worries me is you dont seem to see why it is I might jump to these conclusions though. What in your eyes is an individual adult, apart from the influences placed on him by society, responsible for or able to control? Because I havent heard you say that an individual is responsible for anything in their own lives yet.
*They certainly are, along with the rest of their life experience. The brain becomes programmed by the experience it is exposed to.
The most recent findings in the field of Neuroscience shows that the brain is more plastic and changable then was ever previously thought possible. I would direct your attention to the recent writings of Norman Doidge and work done with the Buddhist Monk Mattheui Riccard. The experiences you choose to let influence your life are in your control as a human adult. The thoughts you entertain are in your control. You can modify previous influences by modifying your thoughts. The new work done with current Neuroscientists flies in the face of Freud, Jung, Skinner and other psychiatrists who stated that we are the result of childhood neurosis. We are not a slave to neurosis.
*Pay? We create defective people, and then further ruin their lives with punishment (revenge). We need a whole different approach.
How do we define defective in this instance? Who exactly is this we?
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 49
I am not enacting revenge on anyone. Are the lawmakers enacting revenge on neurotic individuals? Is this revenge a subconcious need? You have to ascribe agents to this we. Who is it exactly who is specifically enacting this revenge? How are you defining defective? Is this revenge a concious or a subconcious need? If it is a subconcious need to enact revenge how in the world did you find out about it?
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