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

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 50
*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?
Thoreau's MOTHER did his laundry. The Unabomber bought some supplies from individuals in a transaction. The knowledge and supplies were gleaned from other individuals. He did not interact with people once these things were obtained. He was a free agent if he wanted to be. These are not the only examples. Much like childhood you collect things from the environment which surrounds you, but the end results lie in you alone. The point isnt what you have, its what are YOU going to do with it.
*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 learn and then I could do. "I" could do. Who exactly, precisely, are you going to ascribe my actions to other then myself? Who is this foreign entity that is responsible for my decisions? I choose to learn whatever knowledge that will shape me. Once again you cant place the burden for the shape individuals take on to society or childhood.
*Buy the house? From God?
From another individual. We are talking about responsibilities for action, who is responsible and why. That at least is what I have been talking about. I have already tried to establish that the responsibilites of all goods is to be placed on individual minds. The point is who is in charge of whos life here. That is the point I am making.
*Not without the help of others, including the teaching of the necessary skills and the provision of the necessary implements and supplies.
All of whom were other individuals. Impliments and supplies are given by groups, knowledge is passed along by individuals. Supplies are the result of knowledge. If knowledge comes from individuals individuals are to be ascribed responsibility for technology. Society is not the cause of the man's ability to make himself. Ultimately it all comes down to individuals and the mans actions are taken on by his own decisions which he decides on his own.
*What? Why are you looking for groups? What need have you for groups?
Its about my wants, not my needs. If I want to join a group I will decide to join it. I decide the influences which I will allow to shape my life and the degree to which they will shape it. I am in control of outcomes for the most part, and in situations in which I am not, the control is not vested in "society" or "groups" but in nature and how things happen to be due to circumstances of luck.
*No, but we sure need them.
All of the examples you gave of how the Unabomber and Henry David made showed that they relied on other individuals. We dont need goups to survive. We might need the help of other individuals. You ascribe way to much credit to groups. People who have been stranded have managed to get by without groups.
*This sounds very strange.
Its free will.
Okay, but isn’t it better than an Islamic theocracy?
Yes.
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.
They do protect everyone. I meant to say not just minorities.
*Within their sphere of influence.
This is what fuels the whole disagreement. Their actions cant be directed at what will benefit the species. That is the most broad word imaginable. We dont know what will benefit the species, and even if we did we as individuals dont have the power to make it happen. Actions shouldnt be geared toward the species. We dont know whats best for the species.
*No. They caused pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED).
Not for the German race. The point that I'm making is they also said that all individual actions should be performed ultimately for the betterment of society.
*And you don’t find self-improvement quite difficult?
It is a pain and difficult. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Self improvement is what life is about I feel, but its a constant struggle to achieve.
*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.
No I dont. These people dont deal with the species. The species is the whole of humanity isnt it?
*And you would not last long as such.
If everything were left intact, why wouldnt you? If you still had all of the technology and all of the food, why wouldnt you last?
*How do you know? Suppose you convince two other people to convince two other people that Humanianity is what we need as a species?
Alright, I'll concede that point. If were going to go that far, everything influences everything else.
*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?
I dont want to live in isolation. The species hasnt done anything at all. The speices is the whole of the human race. Just like with the group arguement, if you wanted to ascribe progress to the species that would mean that every single in individual in the "species" would have to be invovled in every single decision ever made. The species is carried along from knowledge (what Richard Dawkins would call Mems) provided by very innovative individuals. The species has provided nothing, just as society isnt responsible for innovations.
*Much, much more. Suppose we could stop all the human-induced pain, suffering, and disability in addition to early death?
Really? Are we really going to go that far? Do you believe that that is possible? To stop all suffering even in the far future to me seems very unlikely.
*Right. We need to do far, far better. That’s why we need better religions. That’s why we need Humanianity.
The greatest progress would really be to dismantle all faith based religions. They are the sources of the greatest guilt and fear. If we did that perhaps peple wouldnt have to struggle through as much guilt to make headway in their lives.
*Where do you get that from? What have I said that sounds like that?
Its what you havent said. You havent said once that anything a person does or could do is primarily initiated by themselves.
*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.”)
Exactly. This is the THE disagreement. Even free will is nothing more then a complex or construct. People dont have it right, they are educated into believing they have it.
*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.
Incorrect sir, incorrect. No adult man is formed by anthing but himself.
*To a limited extent, if they learn from others how to do it.
No. Completely, with great help from others if they so choose.
*This sounds like very unusual thinking.
Free will.
*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 critical thinking were only the result of education we would have never come up with anything new. Formal education does more damage to critical thinking then does anything else.
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 51
*So a feral child is going to win a science fair?
Has anything revolutionary or innovative come out of science fairs?
*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?
This is actually correct.
*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.
This sounds good and correct.
*Is it possible that you are programmed by your childhood such that you can easily make that mistake?
Is it possible the same applies to your way of thinking?
*And it was another person that helped you see that.
Yes, it sure wasnt "society".
There is much more I want to say but I have to go to class.
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 52
Alright, I've come back.
*Yes, as outlined in the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing.”
I think I would be uncomfortable with and that it would be a little unfair for me to judge your ideas on child rearing until I read this. Right now i'm in the middle of reading several different things and doing schoolwork. I would much rather discuss these things in person.
*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.
If I am its certainly not on purpose. I dont really like the REUEP.
*They would be high-risk entities, right? Don’t we want to reduce the risk of PSDED as much as possible?
Absolutely, for ourselves. But I dont want to take on the responsibilites of someone elses health for them. I want to treat health problems, I'm going into nursing, however, I am not going to regulate a person's health habits. That is another thing that is up to the individual person. I like interacting with people, people in general are very interesting, however, I am fascinated by the human body and indeed it feels good to help people I meet in person. However, the PSDED seems very broad, which is what makes me uncomfortale about the other ideas as well.
*The individual is a part of the group of everyone, and of society.
Lets take the United States as an example of a society. What if I didnt support anything that my country did? What if I just opted as best that I could to not vote or take part in anything concerning national matters. How could my behavior possibly effect someone living in California? How would I direct it to? How does the effect of what I have done today effect someone living in Seattle? Being inside of a group as big as this country matters not at all as pertains to what the group does. If I die to day it doesnt effect what takes place in the nation. No matter what my actions it doesnt effect the nation. So what difference does it make to the nation if I reside in it? I dont consider myself an "American". That is a label placed upon me. No matter where I would have been born that would have been just another label. Its unfair in my opinion to ascribe to me a part in some actions taken by a few people in charge which I have no say in. Just because I reside in the group does not mean that I effect the actions of the group. I like the phrase on the website "sphere of influence", but I think that its assumes we have a much larger sphere of influence then we actually do.
*Not necessarily. Why? After you have taken care of yourself, why not help others?
I'm not bringing up an issue with why not. I dont mind if you help others in whatever way you see fit. The issue I have is why MUST. Why advocate it as a duty? Or an obligation. What do you mean by HELP? Thats the big issue. That is a vague word. Help how? What qualifies for help. If someone asks for my help and there is no cost to me I will most certainly help them. If someone has no food as long as I dont starve in the process I would feed them. If someone has no clothes I'd clothe them (if I had a sufficient wardrob). Its not as though if someone were choking I would perform CPR. All of these things are "help", but the things mentioned on the webpage I dont think are concrete examples.
*You really don’t?
No I dont. Sometimes I dont even know what causes those things for me. I dont know whats best for others. I cant make that call, they must make that call on their own. I think that just like the sphere of influence that is mentioned there are good friends who I may be able to guide along the right paths, but ultimately I dont know and contentment must be found by them. I cant provide it. It comes from within.
*And I believe we should have child rearing methods and social mechanisms that help ourselves to care about others.
You cant teach a person to have a feeling. It is there or it is not there. All the work done with psychopaths and narcissists that i have read (and I dont really think that narcissism is a disorder really) show that all attempts at treatment ultimately fail. These people simply arent born with empathy. All the social mechanisms in the world will not solve a condition brought about by the structure of a persons innate neurological systems. This is not a true contradiction of what I stated earlier. The point is that narcissists and psychopaths dont have the inner desire to change, and so they dont. We can advocate, but the decision isnt ours. I dont think your ever going to have a social system that wont have narcissists and there is nothing wrong with being a narcissist. Only in cases of force is behavior wrong. Or in cases where someone tries to use psychological abuse (which is sort of a malicious soft version of force) or in cases where people lie. When you think about it to fake an emotion which is not there is a form of lying. I think that the case should be as Shakespear put it "To thine own self be true."
*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).
I hope they help you change in the manner that you would desire. I would hope it harms no one. I am not about harm in any way. In fact I just want to decrease as much harm as is possible in society. Physical specifically. I dont know any way to fix mental harm.
*People can change. Even you can.
WHAT? Of course they can. I'm the one saying that people are in control of the changes that take place in their life. I firmly believe that people can change almost anything about their conduct in life. If you think I dont think that people can change, then you have totally gotten my concepts turned around backwards.
*But you may become convinced otherwise. And that would be a good thing, as I see it.
Yes I may. I am open minded. I'm very critical and opinionated and sometimes people take that to be a sign of closed mindedness. It isnt. I think and drive at truth. I advocate that you advocate your ideas to me. I am opened to them. The only time I am not willing to hear a persons ideas is if I feel that a person is dead set in their ways and wont even listen to mine. I dont feel you seem that way. I think were having an exchange and that we both could be valid in seperate ways. Lets keep it up. :)
*That’s often really not all that difficult to figure out.
I would think that in order to know whats best for others over and above what they feel is best for themselves is pretty unjustified. I dont feel that that is possible. I most certainly dont think its easy to figure out by any means.
*It would be good if you did, and might add meaning to your life.
The only meaning life has is the one that I assign it. Ultimately life has no meaning. Were all screwed ultimately, hope is useless (hope in life after) and all will end. To have meaning I have to make it.
*You could avoid being a suicide bomber. And Humanian would be extremely unlikely to be a suicide bomber.
I dont like force. Thats a period. Someone who does use force against others is innocent of all problems that may be associated with ideas. There are no evil ideas, only evil enactments of bad ideas.
*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.
I think that the worlds a little big for you or me.
*I think I do some good within my
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 53
I sincerely hope that that is the case. I would be good if everyone were happy.
*I would need to know your definition of “expert.”
Someone who know the history and latest findings on a perticular subject provided that that subject has concrete knowledge to be gleaned from it. You could be an expert on the applicable principals of chemicals, you could be a chemist. You cant be an expert in ethics, all ethics are futile because everything ends. Ethics is a fuzzy concept which amounts to nothing ultimately.
*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.
I dont consider it a metaphor but a proper usage. You must submit yourself to the knowledge of someone else. Its not how most people would use the word in a sentence, but I think that it applies to the situation. As you said earlier, to each his own. That is my philosophy as a matter of fact. That is my ethical approach to the world laid down. "To each his own, whatever works."
*And they have gained mine.
You want artists to only create art they think that other people might want to see? You want to take out the selfishness of art? Art is a selfish act if ever there was one. How would anyone ever be able to relieve the burden of stresses in their lives if they couldnt use out as an outlet for what others might consider inappropriate. To me art is one of the most important activities a human being can partake in because it is the most selfish thing there is and about the only selfish thing that benefits from being both irrational and selfish.
*I think we have established that.
I dont. I am still given the impression that you would place others before yourself. The concept of saving 1000 people for your own life would be an example. Or that you would die to make however many people happy. This is altruisitic type thinking. I misunderstood as pertains to the overall approach to the messageboard, but I still think that I havent messed up when assessing what seems to be your worldview.
*Perhaps. No, what about destruction of that which has been built?
What has been built is not progress. What has been built has been built. Progress moves forward. It revolves around progress of ideas. You cant blow up ideas. There are only two avenues to progress, on the level of what Richard Dawkins would call mems, or ideas, and on the level of individual progress that a person makes in their lives. Progress has nothing to do with structures that are already here. Its not like the knowledge went away. The knowledge that is contained in how to create a building is still here. New knowledge is progress on an individual level, innovative thinking is progress on a national level. It has nothing to do with structures.
*They learn how to act on it, and usually learn from others.
Yes they do. Other individuals. Groups are given no credit.
*Can’t agree, for reasons given.
I dont see how. Describe for me how it is that a group creates progress. Groups enact but they are not causes.
*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?
Officially I'm going to school for nursing. Unofficially I am studying politics, neurology, dreams, and woman. I have by far the least amount of hope in understanding the woman. I would like to try and get at specifically what makes me uncomfortable about the REUPE.
We are speaking of spheres of influence. The world species is used. I dont think that anyone can do anything to promote the survival of the species except perhaps make discoveries and provide innovations. I see no reason to promote the suvival of the species because like I said the species is doomed and so is everything else ultimately. We have no way of knowing how our new innovations will be used by the majority of people and the species will either survive or it wont. Take the atom bomb. There is nothing wrong with the atom bomb as a piece of techology. When dropped on peoples heads it really sucks. No technology is bad in and of itself, but it can be used in awful ways. So really even progress does not promote the suvival of the species. We are not capable of promoting the survival of the species. The species is doomed to someday expire. Then it says we want to take away as much PSDED as possible for everyone. How could we do anything for everyone? Like I said how do my actions today effect someone in California, and no matter what I did how could I get my actions to have any desired effect on someone over in China? Then it says now and in the future. There is no rational reason for me to care about people in the future. When I'm dead everything will be their problem. I have to fix current problems and hopefully that will fix the future anyway. When looked at this REUPE phrase uses the broadest of all possible words that have absolutely no ability to be applied. We cant effect the species or everyone in any forseeable way. Then theres JCA. I cant cause another person to be joyous, they have to decide or find a way to be joyous. Its out of my hands. That also goes for contentment and appreciation. That is an individual choice to be those things. You could deside yourself to project those emotions out to others, but you cant make others be that way yourself. I understand that you used the word promote of course, but who is promoting the opposite of these things. Who is going around and promoting depression, discontent, and rudeness? Arent we all already walking around and promoting what makes us happiest? According to Martin Seligman, the current leader of the psychological association and founder of positive psychology there are three main ways for a person to achieve happiness. One is through pleasure, which is of course decided on by the individual. Another is through entering the flow state, again this is decided by the individual. The third is by having great meaning in your life, which is about finding the ethical system which works for you, which is again on the head of the individual. On you tube Martin Seligman made an excellent point on one of his speeches. He said that in all the years of psychology that he had been practicing in that therapy could only bring a person up to zero. It could not cause happiness but only take away neurosis. It could aid in preventing problems causing depression, but it couldnt really make a person thrive but only to arrive at a normal neutral level. After doing research in what makes people happy the three things he found were all things that a person has to find for themselves in their lives. As far as PSDED goes, how do you promote that? How do you overall stop people from having pain (and once again who is it thats promoting pain), how do you stop suffering (and who isnt who wouldnt want to stop suffering other then serial killers and terrorists), disabilities just happen, and early death is again something that is the responsibility of a person because it is due to the lifestyle that they opt to partake in. Your health is due to how healthy you decide to be. So I dont quite understand what is trying to be achieved here. I dont see anyway of promoting these types of things and I dont understand w
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 54
fighting against them. There isnt a person alive who doesnt want to promote the survival of the species. Even suicide bombers arent trying to take away the survival of the species, but only the survival of certain people. The species is just the human animal. I think that we disagree on the sphere of influence a person has and on where it stops. I think that the only real thing in this world that you can control ultimately is your own body. Its the source of all property and its the end of your certainy as pertains to a sphere of influence, at least as pertains to human beings and other living things, because they have free will. Even on the inside of our bodies we dont control or have a sphere of influence as pertains to our own bodily processes. We decide things for ourself such as bodily death (provided we arent murdered or killed off by disease), or contentment joy and appreciation. If you were to simply advocate that we should project these emotions out to the world, then yes I would agree that that is probably best (at least as pertains to most circumstances) I dont understand what you mean by promote, I dont understand how it is who is not promoting these things, and I dont understand how you plan on enacting actions which will benefit the species. These are my concerns with the concept and this is what bothers me. When you present an idea like we should promote the species, I think that that is completely unattainable and even if it were it would be a waste of a precious life to try.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,472
Vincent,
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.
You mean by 4 years of 4 times a week lying on the couch and free associating while having your unconscious defenses interpreted by a psychoanalyst? Or by praying and being transformed? Or by ingesting certain prescribed substances? Or by joining a twelve-step program? Or by snapping your fingers?

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.
Actually, I agree with all you have said.
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.
I think that is half of the truth.

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".
Yes, I see now that we are indeed dealing with the “free will vs. determinism” problem, an extremely important philosophical problem. I could give you my solution, but it would take too long here, and it is not complete.

Among other things also.
What other things are there other then environment, society, and child rearing besides the individual themselves?
Temperament and non-human-produced sickness.

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.
We need each other.
The point that I am making is that they use the knowledge to form themselves. They are not the result of influences.
That knowledge comes from others.
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.
To some extent. And he will make use of knowledge made attainable by others (teachers, authors, scientists, etc.).
He is in control. He is responsible for his own outcome.
partly.

See above.
Children are not critical thinkers. Adults are. Adults control themselves, because THEY choose to.
If they have been shown how to be critical thinkers.

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.
Don’t know what “owes” means in this context.
They are not products. They make themselves as critical thinkers. Irrisponsible, violent, or irrational actions cant be whittled down to a series of influences.
I don’t agree, though I do know that we never have complete answers.
People are more complex and powerful then the circumstances which they were influnenced by or born into.
Depends on what “powerful” means.
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.
But still with great difficulty.

Don’t understand.
You think that the laws which apply to child rearing should be applicable to governmental law. Isnt that what you stated?
No.
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.
We will have to become a species that does not punish its children before not punishing adults will work. We need to be a whole different way.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,473
(Continued from previous post)


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.
Please clarify what you mean by “responsible for.” I am thinking you mean “punishable.”

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.
Yes, but what brings about that change?
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.
That is a mistaken idea of what they said. They believed in psychotherapy, to bring about change.

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?
The bad guys.

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?
All of those that help to bring about punishment.
How are you defining defective?
In this case, bad.
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?
Try convincing victims and their families that a perpetrator should not be punished, because the perpetrator had changed.

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?
Thoreau's MOTHER did his laundry. The Unabomber bought some supplies from individuals in a transaction. The knowledge and supplies were gleaned from other individuals.
So they did not become completely independent of others.
He did not interact with people once these things were obtained.
When he needed food?
He was a free agent if he wanted to be.
An illusion.
These are not the only examples. Much like childhood you collect things from the environment which surrounds you, but the end results lie in you alone.
Okay, but that environment is one created by other people.
The point isnt what you have, its what are YOU going to do with it.
The point was that you can’t have a single thing, or do a single thing other than the very trivial, without others having done their part.

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 learn and then I could do.
Learn from others?
"I" could do. Who exactly, precisely, are you going to ascribe my actions to other then myself?
No one, if I understand “ascribe” correctly.
Who is this foreign entity that is responsible for my decisions?
Do you mean “punishable” or do you mean “influential”?
I choose to learn whatever knowledge that will shape me. Once again you cant place the burden for the shape individuals take on to society or childhood.
They play a great part, usually.

Buy the house? From God?
From another individual. We are talking about responsibilities for action, who is responsible and why. That at least is what I have been talking about. I have already tried to establish that the responsibilites of all goods is to be placed on individual minds. The point is who is in charge of whos life here. That is the point I am making.
And the point I am trying to make is that every individual is embedded in an influential web or matrix of individuals that all have effects on each other, obvious and subtle. And those effects are both good and bad.

Not without the help of others, including the teaching of the necessary skills and the provision of the necessary implements and supplies.
All of whom were other individuals. Impliments and supplies are given by groups, knowledge is passed along by individuals. Supplies are the result of knowledge. If knowledge comes from individuals individuals are to be ascribed responsibility for technology. Society is not the cause of the man's ability to make himself. Ultimately it all comes down to individuals and the mans actions are taken on by his own decisions which he decides on his own.
”On his own” I suspect implies that you are taking the “free will” stand with regard to the “free will vs. determinism” problem. I think each of those “positions” is a model that is useful under some circumstances. If a person believes that people should be punished, he or she is likely to espouse the “free will” model. If a person wishes to understand human behavior and why we do certain things, the “determinism” model works better. But this does raise the issue as to whether punishment is a good thing. Almost everyone believes it is; almost everyone except me, that is.

What? Why are you looking for groups? What need have you for groups?
Its about my wants, not my needs. If I want to join a group I will decide to join it. I decide the influences which I will allow to shape my life and the degree to which they will shape it. I am in control of outcomes for the most part, and in situations in which I am not, the control is not vested in "society" or "groups" but in nature and how things happen to be due to circumstances of luck.
Society exerts much control over behavior. This is through formal means, such as “laws,” or informal means, such as “non-verbal communication,” persuasion, threat, etc.

No, but we sure need them.
All of the examples you gave of how the Unabomber and Henry David made showed that they relied on other individuals. We dont need goups to survive. We might need the help of other individuals. You ascribe way to much credit to groups. People who have been stranded have managed to get by without groups.
But using skills they have acquired how?

This sounds very strange.
Its free will.
Context missing.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,474
(Continued from previous post)


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.
Please clarify what you mean by “responsible for.” I am thinking you mean “punishable.”

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.
Yes, but what brings about that change?
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.
That is a mistaken idea of what they said. They believed in psychotherapy, to bring about change.

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?
The bad guys.

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?
All of those that help to bring about punishment.
How are you defining defective?
In this case, bad.
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?
Try convincing victims and their families that a perpetrator should not be punished, because the perpetrator had changed.

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?
Thoreau's MOTHER did his laundry. The Unabomber bought some supplies from individuals in a transaction. The knowledge and supplies were gleaned from other individuals.
So they did not become completely independent of others.
He did not interact with people once these things were obtained.
When he needed food?
He was a free agent if he wanted to be.
An illusion.
These are not the only examples. Much like childhood you collect things from the environment which surrounds you, but the end results lie in you alone.
Okay, but that environment is one created by other people.
The point isnt what you have, its what are YOU going to do with it.
The point was that you can’t have a single thing, or do a single thing other than the very trivial, without others having done their part.

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 learn and then I could do.
Learn from others?
"I" could do. Who exactly, precisely, are you going to ascribe my actions to other then myself?
No one, if I understand “ascribe” correctly.
Who is this foreign entity that is responsible for my decisions?
Do you mean “punishable” or do you mean “influential”?
I choose to learn whatever knowledge that will shape me. Once again you cant place the burden for the shape individuals take on to society or childhood.
They play a great part, usually.

Buy the house? From God?
From another individual. We are talking about responsibilities for action, who is responsible and why. That at least is what I have been talking about. I have already tried to establish that the responsibilites of all goods is to be placed on individual minds. The point is who is in charge of whos life here. That is the point I am making.
And the point I am trying to make is that every individual is embedded in an influential web or matrix of individuals that all have effects on each other, obvious and subtle. And those effects are both good and bad.

Not without the help of others, including the teaching of the necessary skills and the provision of the necessary implements and supplies.
All of whom were other individuals. Impliments and supplies are given by groups, knowledge is passed along by individuals. Supplies are the result of knowledge. If knowledge comes from individuals individuals are to be ascribed responsibility for technology. Society is not the cause of the man's ability to make himself. Ultimately it all comes down to individuals and the mans actions are taken on by his own decisions which he decides on his own.
”On his own” I suspect implies that you are taking the “free will” stand with regard to the “free will vs. determinism” problem. I think each of those “positions” is a model that is useful under some circumstances. If a person believes that people should be punished, he or she is likely to espouse the “free will” model. If a person wishes to understand human behavior and why we do certain things, the “determinism” model works better. But this does raise the issue as to whether punishment is a good thing. Almost everyone believes it is; almost everyone except me, that is.

What? Why are you looking for groups? What need have you for groups?
Its about my wants, not my needs. If I want to join a group I will decide to join it. I decide the influences which I will allow to shape my life and the degree to which they will shape it. I am in control of outcomes for the most part, and in situations in which I am not, the control is not vested in "society" or "groups" but in nature and how things happen to be due to circumstances of luck.
Society exerts much control over behavior. This is through formal means, such as “laws,” or informal means, such as “non-verbal communication,” persuasion, threat, etc.

No, but we sure need them.
All of the examples you gave of how the Unabomber and Henry David made showed that they relied on other individuals. We dont need goups to survive. We might need the help of other individuals. You ascribe way to much credit to groups. People who have been stranded have managed to get by without groups.
But using skills they have acquired how?

This sounds very strange.
Its free will.
Context missing.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,475
(Continued from previous post)


So a feral child is going to win a science fair?
Has anything revolutionary or innovative come out of science fairs?
Out of the people who participate in them.

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?
This is actually correct.
I don’t see how you can say that.

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.
This sounds good and correct.
Is it possible that you are programmed by your childhood such that you can easily make that mistake?
Is it possible the same applies to your way of thinking?
Yes.

And it was another person that helped you see that.
Yes, it sure wasnt "society".
Linguis­tics again.

There is much more I want to say but I have to go to class.
Alright, I've come back.
Welcome back!

Yes, as outlined in the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing.”
I think I would be uncomfortable with and that it would be a little unfair for me to judge your ideas on child rearing until I read this. Right now i'm in the middle of reading several different things and doing schoolwork. I would much rather discuss these things in person.
That would be great!

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.
If I am its certainly not on purpose. I dont really like the REUEP.
Why? You like pain, suffering, disability, and early death?

They would be high-risk entities, right? Don’t we want to reduce the risk of PSDED as much as possible?
Absolutely, for ourselves. But I dont want to take on the responsibilites of someone elses health for them. I want to treat health problems, I'm going into nursing, however, I am not going to regulate a person's health habits.
Are you not going to advocate for a healthier way of living?
That is another thing that is up to the individual person. I like interacting with people, people in general are very interesting, however, I am fascinated by the human body and indeed it feels good to help people I meet in person. However, the PSDED seems very broad, which is what makes me uncomfortale about the other ideas as well.
Well, maybe that discomfort comes about because of things you are adding in that are not actually there. We need to track down the cause of that discomfort.

The individual is a part of the group of everyone, and of society.
Lets take the United States as an example of a society. What if I didnt support anything that my country did? What if I just opted as best that I could to not vote or take part in anything concerning national matters. How could my behavior possibly effect someone living in California? How would I direct it to? How does the effect of what I have done today effect someone living in Seattle?
Each of us has a sphere of influence. For some of us it is large, for others, small.
Being inside of a group as big as this country matters not at all as pertains to what the group does. If I die to day it doesnt effect what takes place in the nation. No matter what my actions it doesnt effect the nation. So what difference does it make to the nation if I reside in it? I dont consider myself an "American". That is a label placed upon me. No matter where I would have been born that would have been just another label. Its unfair in my opinion to ascribe to me a part in some actions taken by a few people in charge which I have no say in. Just because I reside in the group does not mean that I effect the actions of the group. I like the phrase on the website "sphere of influence", but I think that its assumes we have a much larger sphere of influence then we actually do.
Okay, this is where some of the discomfort comes from, namely, a misinterpretation. I think we agree much more than is apparent from our discussion.

Not necessarily. Why? After you have taken care of yourself, why not help others?
I'm not bringing up an issue with why not. I dont mind if you help others in whatever way you see fit. The issue I have is why MUST. Why advocate it as a duty? Or an obligation. What do you mean by HELP? Thats the big issue. That is a vague word. Help how? What qualifies for help. If someone asks for my help and there is no cost to me I will most certainly help them. If someone has no food as long as I dont starve in the process I would feed them. If someone has no clothes I'd clothe them (if I had a sufficient wardrob). Its not as though if someone were choking I would perform CPR. All of these things are "help", but the things mentioned on the webpage I dont think are concrete examples.
We need quotes of sentences that cause that discomfort. I think the discomfort is coming from things you are adding in.

You really don’t?
No I dont. Sometimes I dont even know what causes those things for me. I dont know whats best for others. I cant make that call, they must make that call on their own. I think that just like the sphere of influence that is mentioned there are good friends who I may be able to guide along the right paths, but ultimately I dont know and contentment must be found by them. I cant provide it. It comes from within.
All we can do is play the odds and do the best we can to make the world a better place. And whatever has led to your not being the kind of person who would consider attacking and killing me is something I am very grateful for.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,476
(Continued from previous post)


And I believe we should have child rearing methods and social mechanisms that help ourselves to care about others.
You cant teach a person to have a feeling.
We can rear children to be ethical or unethical.
It is there or it is not there. All the work done with psychopaths and narcissists that i have read (and I dont really think that narcissism is a disorder really) show that all attempts at treatment ultimately fail. These people simply arent born with empathy.
You make the assumption that these adults were not formed by their child rearing environment in addition to their temperament. I agree that how they have become as adults presents a monumental task to help them to change. That does not mean that their childhood experiences had nothing to do with what they became.
All the social mechanisms in the world will not solve a condition brought about by the structure of a persons innate neurological systems.
You are making certain assumptions that I believe are not above questioning.
This is not a true contradiction of what I stated earlier. The point is that narcissists and psychopaths dont have the inner desire to change, and so they dont. We can advocate, but the decision isnt ours. I dont think your ever going to have a social system that wont have narcissists and there is nothing wrong with being a narcissist. Only in cases of force is behavior wrong. Or in cases where someone tries to use psychological abuse (which is sort of a malicious soft version of force) or in cases where people lie. When you think about it to fake an emotion which is not there is a form of lying. I think that the case should be as Shakespear put it "To thine own self be true."
I think we agree on a lot.

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).
I hope they help you change in the manner that you would desire. I would hope it harms no one. I am not about harm in any way. In fact I just want to decrease as much harm as is possible in society.
Sounds Humanian.
Physical specifically. I dont know any way to fix mental harm.
Psychotherapy helps PTSD.

People can change. Even you can.
WHAT? Of course they can. I'm the one saying that people are in control of the changes that take place in their life. I firmly believe that people can change almost anything about their conduct in life. If you think I dont think that people can change, then you have totally gotten my concepts turned around backwards.
I think some of our apparent disagreement is really a difference in linguistics.

But you may become convinced otherwise. And that would be a good thing, as I see it.
Yes I may. I am open minded. I'm very critical and opinionated and sometimes people take that to be a sign of closed mindedness. It isnt. I think and drive at truth. I advocate that you advocate your ideas to me. I am opened to them. The only time I am not willing to hear a persons ideas is if I feel that a person is dead set in their ways and wont even listen to mine. I dont feel you seem that way. I think were having an exchange and that we both could be valid in seperate ways. Lets keep it up. :)
Agreed. (But it’s hard for me to keep up with you.)

That’s often really not all that difficult to figure out.
I would think that in order to know whats best for others over and above what they feel is best for themselves is pretty unjustified. I dont feel that that is possible. I most certainly dont think its easy to figure out by any means.
”Not easy” is not “not possible.”

It would be good if you did, and might add meaning to your life.
The only meaning life has is the one that I assign it. Ultimately life has no meaning.
Yes, you and I agree, and in that way we are different than the majority.
Were all screwed ultimately, hope is useless (hope in life after) and all will end. To have meaning I have to make it.
I agree to a great extent, but I think hope is good mental hygiene.

You could avoid being a suicide bomber. An Humanian would be extremely unlikely to be a suicide bomber.
I dont like force. Thats a period. Someone who does use force against others is innocent of all problems that may be associated with ideas. There are no evil ideas, only evil enactments of bad ideas.
I don’t think many other Humanians would disagree with you.

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.
I think that the worlds a little big for you or me.
Again, linguistics. If I make part of the world a better place, I am making the world a better place (unless the part I made better was at the expense of another part that I made worse, of course.

I think I do some good within my sphere of influence.
I sincerely hope that that is the case. I would be good if everyone were happy.
I would need to know your definition of “expert.”
Someone who know the history and latest findings on a perticular subject provided that that subject has concrete knowledge to be gleaned from it. You could be an expert on the applicable principals of chemicals, you could be a chemist. You cant be an expert in ethics, all ethics are futile because everything ends. Ethics is a fuzzy concept which amounts to nothing ultimately.
The way I use the word is that it refers to all those beliefs that can be modeled with sentences that contain “should” in them (“X should [or should not] do Y”), recognizing that “should” is also used in other ways.

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.
I dont consider it a metaphor but a proper usage. You must submit yourself to the knowledge of someone else. Its not how most people would use the word in a sentence, but I think that it applies to the situation. As you said earlier, to each his own. That is my philosophy as a matter of fact. That is my ethical approach to the world laid down. "To each his own, whatever works."
”Works” needs definition.

And they have gained mine.
You want artists to only create art they think that other people might want to see? You want to take out the selfishness of art? Art is a selfish act if ever there was one. How would anyone ever be able to relieve the burden of stresses in their lives if they couldnt use out as an outlet for what others might consider inappropriate. To me art is one of the most important activities a human being can partake in because it is the most selfish thing there is and about the only selfish thing that benefits from being both irrational and selfish.
I did not say that there was no “selfish” motivation in art. Actually, the word “selfish” is highly problematic. We do things in order to accomplish things that we want to happen, so that could be considered “selfish,” namely doing something to get something that we want.

(Continued in next post)
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