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The Meaning of Life posted 21 Jan 2007, 05:01 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

The meaning of life is simple. It is written in a thousand expamples and magnified everyday. We see it everywhere and feel it tug at our souls. It is simple and easy to see. Our thoughts are complicated, our emotions cloud their meaning and significance. We are here for the same reason, we are connected to every other living organism. We are here to survive, we are here to pass on, we are here to relate. The past, the future, are we here to know such things to worry about such things? We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule. Our reign on this planet has been short and is miniscule compared to the reign of the reptiles before us. They were destroyed by and Asteroid that landed on the Yucatan peninsula, we will be destroyed of our own doing after a measley 400,000 years. Does our will or our intellect signify any great difference between us and any other great species? Is our soul unique and if so, how? We are suvivors, is there any intrinsic difference in us and the animals we evolved from? view post


Re: The Meaning of Life posted 21 Jan 2007, 16:01 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="TheDarkness":1cbu7pak]The meaning of life is simple. It is written in a thousand expamples and magnified everyday. We see it everywhere and feel it tug at our souls. It is simple and easy to see. Our thoughts are complicated, our emotions cloud their meaning and significance. We are here for the same reason, we are connected to every other living organism. We are here to survive, we are here to pass on, we are here to relate. The past, the future, are we here to know such things to worry about such things? We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule. Our reign on this planet has been short and is miniscule compared to the reign of the reptiles before us. They were destroyed by and Asteroid that landed on the Yucatan peninsula, we will be destroyed of our own doing after a measley 400,000 years. Does our will or our intellect signify any great difference between us and any other great species? Is our soul unique and if so, how? We are suvivors, is there any intrinsic difference in us and the animals we evolved from?[/quote:1cbu7pak] The only thing that separates us from most animals is consciousness and self-awareness, and there are only so many other animslas out there that pass mirror tests the majority of the time. There are some interesting discussions about consciousness and whether it is really an advantage, after all it chews up tons of energy and has no real pay-off in terms of survival advantage. Tons of other issues surrounding it that I won't get in to. Suffice it to say that I don't believe in any intrinsic meaning to life, nor do I believe in the soul or anything like that. For me I make my own meaning. view post


posted 21 Jan 2007, 16:01 by Peter, Auditor

Yeah, any meaning there is to life is unlikely to come from any facts about genetics or survival, because the meaning is likely going to be normative, something about how the word should be, whereas facts about genetics or survival will simply be descriptive. It is called the fact/value distinction. The fact that Tiddles the cat has fleas cannot, on its own inform us that Tiddles ought not to sit on the sofa, you need to have a normative premise (i.e. "Cats with flees [i:jpg4s04u]ought[/i:jpg4s04u] not to sit on sofas). The meaning of life is going to need reasons, and not just causes. view post


posted 24 Jan 2007, 01:01 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Peter":3lx8yoa7]Yeah, any meaning there is to life is unlikely to come from any facts about genetics or survival, because the meaning is likely going to be normative, something about how the word should be, whereas facts about genetics or survival will simply be descriptive. It is called the fact/value distinction. The fact that Tiddles the cat has fleas cannot, on its own inform us that Tiddles ought not to sit on the sofa, you need to have a normative premise (i.e. "Cats with flees [i:3lx8yoa7]ought[/i:3lx8yoa7] not to sit on sofas). The meaning of life is going to need reasons, and not just causes.[/quote:3lx8yoa7] Well my argument is that there is no intrinsic meaning to life, because life simply is.Unless of course you believe also in some sort of higher power, which I think predisposes people to want to attribute meaning. But we are human, and humans want to attribute meaning to everything. (Look how we apply human attributes to everything from pets to the weather) I find it amusing that this is my 666th post :) view post


posted 24 Jan 2007, 09:01 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:1cycuiid]Well my argument is that there is no intrinsic meaning to life, because life simply is.Unless of course you believe also in some sort of higher power, which I think predisposes people to want to attribute meaning. But we are human, and humans want to attribute meaning to everything. (Look how we apply human attributes to everything from pets to the weather) [/quote:1cycuiid] Well sort of. I think that we can and do set ourselves goals and ends in life and that we can derive some meaning of life from these when these goals and ends are rational, and derived from rationality. This would not suffer from the fact/value distinction because in dealing with rationality it deals with [i:1cycuiid]reasons[/i:1cycuiid] and not mere facts. This, though, would be a very general meaning of life, and there are only two rationally derived duties which might really fulfil these roles, self-development and helping other people develop their own happiness. I won't go into the arguments behind this, unless people really want me to, but I will flag up that they are contentious and are taken from Kantian Ethics. So, the basic idea is that meaning cannot come from facts of the world, won't come from God (well I don't think it will, because I don't believe), but can come from reason. view post


posted 24 Jan 2007, 13:01 by Harrol, Moderator

Peter feel free to elaborate. I would like to read more of what you have to say on the matter. I do not quite understand the distinction between finding meaning in reason rather than facts of the world. I may misunderstand you but I thought the facts of the world we know come from reason. view post


posted 25 Jan 2007, 18:01 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Reason begins and ends in the same place. No where. Does reason tell you whether a table is one thing, five things or an infinite amount of things. One thing: it is one table; five things: four legs and one top; Infinite things: it is all the particals and nano particals that make it up, at which point it is indistinguishable from the whole of the universe. Imagine the Universe. Is our meaning derived from it. At once peaceful and unbelievably violent. There is one point around which all other things rotate. there is a center to the universe, just as the sun is at the center of our solar system and a black hole at the center of our galaxy. what force is so great as to control billions upon billions of galaxies. Whatever power that is, it surely is the Ultmate! view post


posted 26 Jan 2007, 15:01 by Sokar, Auditor

There is something wrong with the end of your post.. Let's assume that indeed the sun is the centre of our solar system and that a black hole the centre of our galaxy (and I assume simply because I don't know enough on this subject)..but why assume that there is a force to 'control' these galaxies..? If we accept that control is an invention of us..which I do..then this assumption is simply wrong..there can be no force controlling the galaxies... But the first reason I wanted to post here is on your first sentence..the origin of reason..the origin of thought... I have thought on this for too long..starting with the first book of Scott Bakker.."what are the origins of thought?" For if we are to find an answer to meaning of life..then we have to find why our thoughts are questioning the meaning of life in the first place... To which I cannot find any truly satisfying answer..anyone else...? view post


posted 26 Jan 2007, 17:01 by Harrol, Moderator

No Sokar I too look for the answer to that. All I can think of is we do have an awarness that goes beyond reason and physical sense. view post


posted 26 Jan 2007, 18:01 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Well there are two forces that control everything in the world. Gravity, who's laws govern bodies of mass like our bodies, the planets, and stars. Newton made these laws famous and thought that these laws would be able to explain the movement of the stars, planetary orbit and so on. The other force was made famous by Einstein, quantum physics. He found that things like atoms and quarks do not follow the laws of gravity, and thus began the search for a unified theory. A threory to unify the controlling forces of the universe, one such theory is the String Theory. As to the origin of thought and the meaing of life, or to the existence of an eternal soul, i would like to hear some more speculation and time to rest before my next post, hard to get clear grasp of thoughts view post


posted 26 Jan 2007, 18:01 by Harrol, Moderator

Well because this is a philosophy thread I feel that adding my thought on this to be appropriate. We have a soul and a spirit that makes us forever ask and question and ponder why we are here. I guess one could say no but rather it is our brains that are more developed than an animal's that makes us question. That though is just as valid as my point but yet I choose to disagree and say it is our soul that questions and our brain that seeks. view post


posted 26 Jan 2007, 21:01 by Buckethead, Peralogue

My two cents... i don't like the way the thread started (or was continued in some ways) in terms of being told that speculative theories are how things are.... i feel that anything beyond speculation (re: how the dinosaurs were destroyed or the simplistic meaning of life) seems a little ignorant/arrogant coming from the human race (no offense meant to the darkness or his/her post... i understand it was not coming from a negitive or opressive place and i did find the point of view interesting). another point i disagreed with is the theory that animals are not capable of questioning their existance or higher thought. if i remember my psych correctly it is still theorised that the corpus callosum is what attributes higher thought and that it is much more developed within the human brain than it is in other mammals. So does this count out the possibility that an animal may have a less developed or less concrete ability to question one's own existance or to form thoughts on a higher level rather than an inability? even considering what we do know about the brain i still don't think we know enough to state how or what an animal thinks beyond it's behavioural thought process. Also who's to say the center of the universe isn't in orbit around some other vast form of matter? we don't have the tools to see or percieve things from certain positions (re:size or distance... just like the physical strings concerned with string theory). besides what kind of power would that which is controlling have if that which is being controlled did not exist? everything has it's "gravity" or "weight" in relation to everything else. perhaps i am a little over obsessed with what we don't know, but it seems that historically the failings of so many scholars before us were because of their inability to admit that they didn't know something. i think we're a lot better off gaining understanding by filling holes with admitted conjecture instead of unfounded and assumed facts. view post


posted 27 Jan 2007, 14:01 by Randal, Auditor

Whilst I agree with you in principle, I do think current astronomical observation indicates that the galaxies are drifting apart from eachother, not orbiting around something. view post


posted 27 Jan 2007, 16:01 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

Well I guess i should leave all that stuff for the Astronomical forum, and i need to correct my self, the two controlling forces in the world are gravity and electromagnetism. Anyways, the purpose of my first post was to provoke, but it was not based on speculation. I agree, lower animals may be possible of higher thought but we have been given the unique ability to record those thoughts or actions and pass those advances on so that the next generation can start where the last left off. That is what i meant in my first post about knowing the past or the future. Now tell me this, we are placed here in the world, we observe the world but we have ideas that go completely beyond the realm of the worldly. Are our souls somehow connected to the "Outside" or do we get these ideas by simple brain functions, ie. the unicorn, we use composition to think of a horse, somthing in this world, wings, something in this world and a horn. But what about the concept of eternity? There are no examples here on earth, but we could simply play opposites and conceive a place without time. or are we divinely inspired? view post


posted 27 Jan 2007, 23:01 by Myshkin, Commoner

*** The only thing that separates us from most animals is consciousness and self-awareness*** I would take this one step further and say that what truly seperates us is deductive reasoning. After all many lower animals have been proven to be self aware. Is is are ability to deduce one thing from knowing another that elavates us beyond the beast. That being said I will now slightly condradict myself by using an example of deductive reasoning to posite my theory on the origin of thought. Recently a gorilla was observed using as stick to measure the water depth of a steam it meant to cross. By seeing how much of the stick was wet the gorilla was able to deduce the depth of the stream. I believe that this is the first recorded example of an animal other than human using deductive reasoning. Which leads me to my point: I believe the origin of conscious thought is purly utilitarian, a means to an end, so to speak. P.S. If the universe is infinite does not that mean that any and all points are at its center? Hence I am the Center of the Universe!! view post


posted 28 Jan 2007, 01:01 by Buckethead, Peralogue

to clarify... i was trying (horribly unsuccessfully) to use the term "in orbit" simply to explain the gravitational pull that two or more pieces of matter have on each other.... i obviously was not very clear. who says that the expanding universe is not at the same time being affected by something else? who knows what sort of reaction the universe is having to whatever else (or lack of anything else) that is out there. we can only compare things to other things we can percieve. "the universe is shaped exactly like the earth, if you go straight along enough you'll end up where you were". Isaac Brock also... Astronomy is a part of philosophy, that is the beauty of philosophy (similar to art). All subject matter is fair game. "...though he consorts with man, woman, and child, though he lays with beasts and makes a mockery of his seed, never shall he be as licentious as the philosopher, who lays with all things imaginable." R. Scott Bakker (TDTCB) view post


posted 28 Jan 2007, 02:01 by Myshkin, Commoner

The universe, I believe, is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. We may pick at it and discover minor truths, crow at each other that we know this and that, and theorize ad infinitum, but the vastness of infinity will be forever beyond our reach for we as a species have never truly known it. As you say we can only compare things to what we can percieve, therefor, in my opinion, our views on the universe are much like our views on God (Allah, Budda, Vishnu, Tara), in that niether can ever be truly comprehended. view post


posted 28 Jan 2007, 02:01 by Randal, Auditor

Bah. Pessimism. Who'd have thought a thousand years ago we'd ever understand the workings of the climate, of diseases, of the sun? We've only been working on this science stuff for a comparatively very short time. We only have a very limited quantity of data on the universe. I say we're going to discover one hell of a lot more. Not everything, perhaps. But if humanity doesn't exterminate itself in the next couple of centuries, we'll get a decent way ahead. And as for concepts like "infinity" arising in the human mind, I don't see how or why that would require anything "external." It's simple extrapolation. Things end. I don't want them to end. What would it be like if they didn't end? Bingo, infinity. Whether the concept has any actual meaning, or whether or mind can truly grasp it if it does, remains a different question, of course. But I can conceive of all kinds of things, even illogical or impossible things. Nothing divine about it, just human reasoning and deduction turned the other way. view post


posted 28 Jan 2007, 13:01 by Sokar, Auditor

I didn't see pessimism in that post..though I am with you on infinity... I remember this quote from Einstein on infinity of the universe and that of ignorance of man; him not being sure of the former... In any case, to answer your first question: the Greeks did! and so many others until we the Church took power. view post


posted 28 Jan 2007, 13:01 by Myshkin, Commoner

We can see the raveges of disease in their full form, and from there build an understanding. We can observe the full cause and effect of climate, and from there deduce knowledge. We can see the entirety of the sun and know where it ends, and from there learn truths. We can never know infinity in its entirety. These are just my observations, I could be wrong. Now I will be truly pessimistic: humanity will exterminate itself long before we discover one 1/billionth of the mysteries of the universe. Blagh! that tasted bad goming out of my mouth. But I still hold it to be true. view post


Re: The Meaning of Life posted 26 Mar 2007, 05:03 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="TheDarkness":w2578uz6] We have created civilization, but in turn we have ruined our rule.[/quote:w2578uz6] Just a point of clarity in an otherwise awesome thread. "We" does not refer to all of humanity, only those taken in by "Civilization". Which is the vast majority :( And I believe it is Civilization's existence which will ruin the world. The fact that it tried to "rule" the world. Fans of Daniel Quinn give a whoop whoop! P.S. Entropic_existence, kudos on your signature! view post


posted 29 Mar 2007, 16:03 by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

i beleive civilization will eventually destroy the world not because it tried to rule it but because it tried to better it in way unsutable to anyone other than those making it better. as the saying "better for whom?" the world we create can never be more than a paradise for some and a hell for the majority, mainly because we create it. beauty is is in the eye of the beholder, and the way our structured life evolves proves this. our society today is based on human progression, yet fails miserably. we try to better the world seeing this imoerfection, but in making our situation better in response someone elses problems worsen. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 00:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

how will this destroy the world and not just make it uninhabitable by humans? view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 02:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Buckethead, I wasn't going to nit-pick that point, but thank you. Many, many people say "will destroy the world" when what they really mean is "destroy humanity". I think this might even be considered a meme: the idea that man (or at least civilization) is the world. It is so ingrained within civilization that many don't even understand the depth of what they are saying. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 03:03 by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

no i was quite literal. the world suffers because man betters his habitata and does not imrove the standing of the world around him. humanity will not just fail. we or on such a path of advancement and betterment that when humanity falls, so much else will be taken with it. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 11:03 by Randal, Auditor

Much else, sure. But the world? We couldn't destroy it if we tried. Something would survive. The world is a pretty big place, and life is pretty tough. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 12:03 by Trutu Angotma, Peralogue

survival would be definate. but recovery? view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 19:03 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

I think that the rate at which out technology is advancing outstretches our desire and our ability to destroy our chances for survival. Sure we messed up alot getting to where we are now, but hey, the only way to progress is to learn from your mistakes. Our technology is advancing at such a fast rate its mind boggling, but the problem is this--the next great advancement...wait for it...wait...the...iPhone!!!!! c'mon we need to focus our extreme talents on more important things, like deep sea and space exploration. The thing holding us back? our own government. Think if companies were aloud to spend money on space exploration, what if google had paid 1.6 billion for science instead of YouTube!! The gov is controlling our ability to spread out of the planet, and they simply do not have enough funding. It obvious the only way to really speed up a process is competition...Capitalism. Think if the largest companies in the world were competeing for Ad Space, and when i say space, i mean SPACE. Ya, we got to mars. woooooohooooooo!! we would have been there 30 years ago if NASA had a larger budget that several billion a year! I mean some of the largest buyouts in history are taking place for amounts upwards of $500 billion, and who is spending all this money???? the richest companies in the world, who therefore own entire networks of Nations, who affect international policy and keep everyone distracted by petty wars!!! The oil and gas comanies! But who can blame them? they are after all just trying to make a buck like the rest of us. Hmm what Irony! but they are the ones who could really make a diference, yes they are just filling a need, and in turn it is all of us who are responsible for the situation we are in. The Gov will keep control of Space, The Rich will keep control of the Gov, and as long as the Rich are happy(which they always will be) nothing will change, space will remain regulated and competition will remain stinted. sigh view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 19:03 by Randal, Auditor

Slight problem with that line of reasoning. For companies to invest in space travel, it has to be profitable. And it has to be profitable NOW, not in 50 years. There's some tentative attempts with shooting people's ashes into space, plans for a moon hotel... but all in all, there is no sound commercial reason to go to space. view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 20:03 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

True By investing in space i dont necessarily mean space travel. Although of course in the future i think that could be a viable money making venture. But for sure the secrets of the universe could offer several money making possibilities. Now what makes the world turn currently is product advertisements. space offers by far the largest billboard possible. and with unlimited resources, there are unlimited posibilites for yes a moon motel and a constant shuttle to and from. quite sci fi i admit but def not out of the range of the possible view post


posted 30 Mar 2007, 22:03 by Jamara, Auditor

Back to humanity destroying the world, nope, not gonna happen. Even humans rendering the planet completely barren and lifeless, nope, not gonna happen. Life will always find a way. If a freakin' comet couldn't do it, we can't. If every nuclear bomb detonated at the same time, and every nuclear power plant had a meltdown at the same time, life would still find a way to survive. If an Ice Age caused by global warming wiped out most of civilization, even humanity would find a way to survive. view post


posted 31 Mar 2007, 01:03 by DietCoke23, Commoner

The human existance is all in pursuit of one thing, and that thing is to satisfy our egos, to gain a sense of supiriority. We, as a species, surround ourselves with our "civilization". We keep ourselves clean, we participate in "good mannered tasks", we eat with forks and knives and spoons... for what? We do this to seperate ourselves from the animals of which we sprung, to make ourselves better than them, more "sophisticated". If you ask me, its the animals that have become more than us. They don't hide their feelings, they live by their insticts, they live life happy and accepting. Look at our social lives. Why are we so eager to go out with someone? Being a couple is a way in which we separate ourselves into higher and lower classes. What do you think when you are going out with someone? You think, wow, that person chose me over everyone else. Its the feeling of loyalty, the feeling that a person likes you more than they like somone else. In a way, doesn't that make you feel superior to others? I want honest answers to this next question. How many of you out there size people up as soon as you see them? Place them on a ladder so to speak? You look and think "I'm smarter than that person, and i mean look at them, how could they ever get a boy/girlfriend?" What do these thoughts bring us? What do we accomplish by thinking them? All we do is put someone down, in order to feel better about ourselves. I hate to even draw the attention to our school systems. But i mean, the most prime, and real data can be found here. Who are the people we look up to? Its the people with lots of friends and seemingly no worries. Its the confident people. People cling to confidence, because in its presence the ego cannot be more flatered. Even just by being associated with confidence is enough. Look at all of the students who are cocky and funny on the outside. Most are wimpering cowards on the inside, to afraid to expose their feelings to the world. THeir confidence is a shell, and they don't let anyone in to help. Because by asking for help, you submit to a higher power, and who wants to consider themselves a lesser power? I dont pretend to be above these things. I think these same things all of the time. I guess i was just wondering if anyone else agrees with me that our life is a pathetic and useless race for self-gain. view post


posted 31 Mar 2007, 03:03 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="DietCoke23":r5b8i75m]The human existance is all in pursuit of one thing, and that thing is to satisfy our egos, to gain a sense of supiriority. We, as a species, surround ourselves with our "civilization". We keep ourselves clean, we participate in "good mannered tasks", we eat with forks and knives and spoons... for what? We do this to seperate ourselves from the animals of which we sprung, to make ourselves better than them, more "sophisticated". If you ask me, its the animals that have become more than us. They don't hide their feelings, they live by their insticts, they live life happy and accepting. Look at our social lives. Why are we so eager to go out with someone? Being a couple is a way in which we separate ourselves into higher and lower classes. What do you think when you are going out with someone? You think, wow, that person chose me over everyone else. Its the feeling of loyalty, the feeling that a person likes you more than they like somone else. In a way, doesn't that make you feel superior to others? I want honest answers to this next question. How many of you out there size people up as soon as you see them? Place them on a ladder so to speak? You look and think "I'm smarter than that person, and i mean look at them, how could they ever get a boy/girlfriend?" What do these thoughts bring us? What do we accomplish by thinking them? All we do is put someone down, in order to feel better about ourselves. I hate to even draw the attention to our school systems. But i mean, the most prime, and real data can be found here. Who are the people we look up to? Its the people with lots of friends and seemingly no worries. Its the confident people. People cling to confidence, because in its presence the ego cannot be more flatered. Even just by being associated with confidence is enough. Look at all of the students who are cocky and funny on the outside. Most are wimpering cowards on the inside, to afraid to expose their feelings to the world. THeir confidence is a shell, and they don't let anyone in to help. Because by asking for help, you submit to a higher power, and who wants to consider themselves a lesser power? I dont pretend to be above these things. I think these same things all of the time. I guess i was just wondering if anyone else agrees with me that our life is a pathetic and useless race for self-gain.[/quote:r5b8i75m] Sorry, but I highly disagree with practically everything you said. First off, the all of humanity is not civilizaiton. You completely disregard aboriginal peoples. Tribes within the south american rainforests, african tribes deep in the congo, nomadic tribes of the sahara, true natives of australia, and hopefully many others which I have never even heard of. Do you not count them as people? Do you look at these humans as something less than humans? It is our civilization, our totalitarian agriculturlist culture which has the superiority complex. It is our culture and not the culture of tribalists which threatens to unbalance the ecosystems around ourselves and rain a nuclear holocaust from the skies. Tribal peoples outside of civilization face absolutely none of the ecosystem imbalances which our culture has. Secondly, "good mannered tasks" is simply social interaction. All mammals, and all animals higher in order than an amoeba, participate in social interactions. Some much less than others, but even solitary animals have a systematic pattern of interaction when coming across another of its species. And primates are highly social animals. The most basic of these social interactions is procreation. This leads me to my third point. It is the instinctual response to participating in a successful courtship to feel something in being chosen. But it is not superiority. Only shallow narcissists feel this as a sense of superiority. The instictual feeling is that your genes have been chosen for procreation. In humans, higher emotions and reasoning have complicated the whole process, but if it hadn't how overpopulated do you think the planet would be? Fourthly, I don't see sizing someone up when you meet them as a bad thing. Passing judgement as soon as you meet them is bad, but not sizing them up. If in my first meeting with someone I say, "this person is male," is that wrong? Am I sizing him up? Yes. At the most basic level. If I say, "this person is a homosexual male," is that worse? I don't think so. It only becomes worse when you start placing judgments on those first perceptions. It is perfectly fine for me to size someone up and say that he is a gay male as long as that is not accompanied by negative stereotypes, or just stereotypes in general. (Stereotypes, whether good or bad are wrong, close minded, but they sure can be funny). :wink: So yes I size people up upon meeting them. I also size up a room upon entering it. I size up a job upon starting a new one. Sizing up is just getting a broad, general idea of something. And idea which will/should be built upon through further observations. As for your school reference, all I have to say is that you weren't a geek in High School. And if you were, High School must have really sucked for you. I was 100% geek in high school, as were all my friends, and I have to say we didn't give two shits (sorry moderators) about what others thought of our "click". We weren't the popular kids and pretty much saw the popular kids as those who could pander to as many other clicks as possible. We did not begrudge them and in fact I had several "popular" friends whom I had just known since we were young children. Also, popular kids also have a tendency towards natural charisma. Just this sense of making you want to like them. Some people just couldn't help it. But pretty much we just ignored social hierarchy and hung with whom we wanted to. Quite frankly, I had no bad experiences of High School. High School is only bad when you let others make it bad for you. When you actually care what they think. That and a poor sense of humor. The ability to laugh at one's self is underrated. view post


posted 31 Mar 2007, 17:03 by Buckethead, Peralogue

sorry DietCoke23, but i disagree as well... many of the things you mention fall under the category of "more comfortable" just as easily as "more civilized". [quote:2vfapitl] If you ask me, its the animals that have become more than us. They don't hide their feelings, they live by their insticts, they live life happy and accepting.[/quote:2vfapitl] how come everyone on these forums seem to deny an animal's ability to think or feel? it's come up before... do you really think that animals enjoy every second of their lives? you don't think their lives are filled with the stress of survival whether or not they're predator or prey or even a household pet? as for live life happy and accepting... are you just looking at the fish in your fish tank? we also couple to reproduce, cope with lonliness and gain social security. i find it pretty far fetched think that class structure or feeling more important than others because you get to be with someone are the primary reasons for a majority of monogamous relationships. our brains are built to organize EVERYTHING. our brain will even decieve itself in order to make sense of something. so to say that sizing someone up is anything more than a natural reaction unlike taking a piss or eating is silly. yes you can generalize or judge someone negatively, but is this ALWAYS in the interest of making yourself feel better? and yes most people do act in the interest of self-gain the majority of the time, but that doesn't mean that there aren't parts of life that are positive, altruistic or enjoyoyable beyond the ego. view post


posted 31 Mar 2007, 17:03 by Randal, Auditor

True. Don't tell me dogs meeting aren't sizing eachother up and deciding which one is superior. Don't tell me my cat doesn't get in a bad mood occasionally and takes it out on whatever human is near her. Most of the bad parts about humanity are also the most natural, the most instinctive. Many are also seen in the animal world. Some of the good parts also. view post


posted 01 Apr 2007, 14:04 by Sokar, Auditor

I wouldn't be so harsh on you 'cokesomething23'..but the criticism is valid... I guess you are still in highschool..or didn't get over it..in any case you seem quite young.. To the point, there are some interesting claims there, but your wording is completely wrong. I would agree with you on the 'will to power' as I have accepted it as well..yet there is a certain degree to which this 'will' is limited..in arts to be rather vague..in aesthetic understanding and more importantly in the will to power over the self (I am still working on this idea - any recommendations? I heard of Berkeley and self-perception, but can't get my hands on it..so if someone has other suggestions I'd be pleased). True..our species aren't superior in my eye either, but to say we are inferior is just as ignorant.. Perhaps we should follow Nietzsche again and live the Dionysian life..but that is simply inpracticle..if not impossible.. The instinct is a disputed matter..yet a civilization is necessarily contradicting the idea of liberation of the instinct... Further, I would think the vast majority of the people would rather suppress their sexuality rather than give in to it and live in barabrity... I wonder abour self-perception again! Again..there is a validity in stating that while dating the satisfaction is mostly in the perception of the self in the moment..not, however, loyalty and the woman choosing you over the rest..this is simply not true..you aren't the best and you know that - it is rather the understanding you are..that you exist and that you submit, their is an intersting idea here that I connect with de Sade, the will to be suppressed and to feel rather than to exist in the self. In any case I doubt it is superiority that we strive for while looking for a 'mate'. Yes categorisation is present..perhaps unavoidable as some others claim.. And yes..I'd rather escape it as well.. Yet is it a valid possiblity in the world run by economy rather than aesthetics..in other words..is it possible in a civilization rather than a tribal community..? I doubt it is even possible..it remains a wish..just a flying on your own, rather than using a plane... It won't happen as it is unnatural! (Ok..I am not sure about this as I haven't devoted enough thought towards the idea of categorisation and escaping it..I simply try! to escape this myself rather find how to make this happen in human psyche). My harshest criticism to you would be something else..at least on this post you made..you seem to have gained an idea that satisfies you into understanding human interaction and you agree with it..yet your knowledge on the subject is limited.. For example, one doesn't satisfy his ego, quite the opposite, his ego is the reason for dissatisfaction, it is the way towards satisfaction, but ego in itself cannot be satisfied..that simply doesn't make sense. Finally also a suggestion..your idea's make me think of Nietzsche..you should read him and examine him closely..there is much criticism on him of course..and he is quite difficult to understand sometimes (well some paragraphs simply don't connect with one another..there is no flow let's say)..but still you would gain a better insight into what you are talking about... view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 00:04 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Jamara":2xesqfgv] .............................. First off, the all of humanity is not civilizaiton. You completely disregard aboriginal peoples. Tribes within the south american rainforests, african tribes deep in the congo, nomadic tribes of the sahara, true natives of australia, and hopefully many others which I have never even heard of. Do you not count them as people? Do you look at these humans as something less than humans? It is our civilization, our totalitarian agriculturlist culture which has the superiority complex. It is our culture and not the culture of tribalists which threatens to unbalance the ecosystems around ourselves and rain a nuclear holocaust from the skies. Tribal peoples outside of civilization face absolutely none of the ecosystem imbalances which our culture has. ..............[/quote:2xesqfgv] Just to address this one point, aboriginal tribes could and did have devastating effects on their ecology. Of course, they were trying to survive. To deny that say the aborigines of Australia radically transformed their landscape, or likewise the inhabitants of Easter Island, is to indulge in that cultural superiority complex you mention. And in defence of the current western industrial culture, it is precisely that culture that allows us to live beyond 30. Do you want to give it all up? view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 00:04 by Buckethead, Peralogue

[quote:1hxpfeou]And in defence of the current western industrial culture, it is precisely that culture that allows us to live beyond 30. Do you want to give it all up?[/quote:1hxpfeou] we don't have to give it all up. we just have to start looking at things in terms of comfort, efficiency and sustainability instead of simply comfort and efficiency. view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 01:04 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Buckethead":1q0xux0l][quote:1q0xux0l]And in defence of the current western industrial culture, it is precisely that culture that allows us to live beyond 30. Do you want to give it all up?[/quote:1q0xux0l] we don't have to give it all up. we just have to start looking at things in terms of comfort, efficiency and sustainability instead of simply comfort and efficiency.[/quote:1q0xux0l] As you say, but I'm not telling other people how to behave. view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 03:04 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="anor277":9sne9ux6] As you say, but I'm not telling other people how to behave.[/quote:9sne9ux6] Why not? We're told how to buy, how to use, how to consume, how to waste, how to learn, how to live, how to sustain a self-destructive society. Why not create a new meme. Somebody has to. Start out by teaching and enlightening and hope it prgresses through the next generation. As far as the question of giving up living beyond 30 or destroying most of the human race, I'd rather have those thiry years. And aboriginal peoples are as destructive as beavers. They can alter the area around them to great degrees, but if they alter it too much, they die out, i.e. Easter Island. But Civilization does not hold to those laws. If they alter their environment too much, they call FEMA. view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 06:04 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Jamara":28x4agoe][quote="anor277":28x4agoe] As you say, but I'm not telling other people how to behave.[/quote:28x4agoe] Why not? We're told how to buy, how to use, how to consume, how to waste, how to learn, how to live, how to sustain a self-destructive society. Why not create a new meme. Somebody has to. Start out by teaching and enlightening and hope it prgresses through the next generation. [/quote:28x4agoe] Good luck with that endeavour. Not telling other people how to behave is a personal choice; it wouldn't work anyway even if I did. [quote:28x4agoe] As far as the question of giving up living beyond 30 or destroying most of the human race, I'd rather have those thiry years. [/quote:28x4agoe] I take it that's a personal choice too. I've had my first thirty and look forward to another serve. [quote:28x4agoe] And aboriginal peoples are as destructive as beavers. They can alter the area around them to great degrees, but if they alter it too much, they die out, i.e. Easter Island. But Civilization does not hold to those laws. If they alter their environment too much, they call FEMA.[/quote:28x4agoe] Beavers don't deforest whole continents, which is what one group of aborigines did. And as regards resource consumption, civilization demonstrably does hold to those laws that operated in Easter Island. There will be a correction if consumption is unfettered. If the appetite of the modern industrial complex continues unabated, both you and I will probably see the consequences in the next 30 years. I think the era of peak oil, i.e. when the volume of oil being pumped out of the ground reaches an inevitable limit, is very close. view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 10:04 by Randal, Auditor

Side note: even in antiquity and in primitive societies, people lived far beyond 30. Average age a thousand years ago was about 60, iirc. With one very important caveat: average life expectancy was around 60 for children above the age of ten. The very low actual average lifespan was because lots and lots of children died in infancy. Simple math. If one child dies at 3 months old, and the other lives to be 60... average life duration is 30 years. view post


posted 02 Apr 2007, 16:04 by Jamara, Auditor

[quote="anor277":2e644rvd] [quote:2e644rvd] And aboriginal peoples are as destructive as beavers. They can alter the area around them to great degrees, but if they alter it too much, they die out, i.e. Easter Island. But Civilization does not hold to those laws. If they alter their environment too much, they call FEMA.[/quote:2e644rvd] Beavers don't deforest whole continents, which is what one group of aborigines did. And as regards resource consumption, civilization demonstrably does hold to those laws that operated in Easter Island. There will be a correction if consumption is unfettered. If the appetite of the modern industrial complex continues unabated, both you and I will probably see the consequences in the next 30 years. I think the era of peak oil, i.e. when the volume of oil being pumped out of the ground reaches an inevitable limit, is very close.[/quote:2e644rvd] I agree with you completely. Those aborigines who did not follow the natural laws died out, or abandoned their cultural outlook in favor of one that worked. And if beavers deforested a whole continent, they too would die out. I definitely think that we are close if not already at the point of peak oil, and the reprecussions of that are scary. view post


posted 03 Apr 2007, 00:04 by anor277, Didact

[quote="Randal":2d2s9p2l]Side note: even in antiquity and in primitive societies, people lived far beyond 30. Average age a thousand years ago was about 60, iirc. With one very important caveat: average life expectancy was around 60 for children above the age of ten. The very low actual average lifespan was because lots and lots of children died in infancy. Simple math. If one child dies at 3 months old, and the other lives to be 60... average life duration is 30 years.[/quote:2d2s9p2l] You're absolutely right. Thank you for pointing that the average life span was influenced by the high rates of infant mortality. Anyway, I'd think I'd prefer to live to 30 than 60 if it meant me having 3-4 dead babies. view post


posted 03 Apr 2007, 00:04 by Randal, Auditor

We would. For us, this is too horrible to contemplate. But many older cultures tried to get in the habit of not getting too attached to a child until it was a few years old and less likely to succumb to a disease. I think quite a few would not even name the child until it was one or two years old. But yeah, this is one thing that we're well rid of this century. (on the other hand, reduction of child mortality is what's causing this overpopulation problem we have now.) view post


posted 04 Apr 2007, 17:04 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

So in answer to DietCokes question. Of course you size someone up when you first meet them. and everytime you meet a person you think you are better than them. its part or our nature. everyone thinks they are special. everyone thinks they are here for a reason. nothing wrong with that, even if it gives you a superiority complex. DietCokes post was not so bad, it was worded in a generalized way so that it glossed over obvious contradictions. they were simple observations of the US social scene. We have out grown our evolutionary predispositions. We are social animals, we are pack animals. therefore we need alpha dogs, we need leaders and followers. However the sheer number of people we have produced have skewed the need for these different positions. view post


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