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  • #76
    Originally posted by irishbucsfan View Post
    Why? I find blanket statements like that to be repulsive.
    I think the individual is the greatest strength of mankind and believe that unimpeded genius is what has driven us out of caves and formed our dominion of this planet. To me the group is only as strong as the members of that group and how well they perform their role so I have quality over quantity-ish feelings toward human beings, I'll also be the first to admit I'm a very low quality human being. I tend to avoid excessive generalizations, but in the case of the individual I break from that pattern. To put it bluntly individual genius is my god. Now I completely understand that most of our great accomplishments where the results of groups working together to accomplish a common end, but what is the most important part of that to me is that those groups are a collection of individuals who for their own varying reasons chose to come together and bring to life the visions of a select few.

    Originally posted by iowatreat54 View Post
    Yes, I don't necessarily agree that the group is greater than the individual, but just that in some cases the good of the group is greater than the good of the individual. In my experience, the great majority of people make decisions that will usually result in short term benefit to themselves while sacrificing a long term benefit for society.
    I find that very often much long term harm is the result of large groups trying to act for the benefit of others. The idea that the path to hell is paved with good intentions rings true in a different way than it's normally interpreted to me. So while I certainly see that same self-destructive short sightedness that many people seem to be afflicted by, I see far greater and more powerful evil being created as the result of a large groups attempts to help a situation that they simply do not understand. I don't intend for this to get political and so if a mod finds it to be such please removing the following, but I just can't help to think of our war on poverty and how damaging that has been to the atmosphere of progress that the american dream initially entailed. I understand that people don't mean to cause harm but so often people's good intentions mess with the natural balances and incentives of a situation to degrees they never could have predicted or intended and so often a situation just stagnates or worsens because we as a group intervene when had we left the situation alone and perhaps only had individuals work for the result we desire in their own ways I feel we would've progrosed far quicker and the situation that had us so worried would have been resolved more effectively and promptly.

    Sorry for the rant guys but yesterday kicked my ass, so I'm still not running at maximum efficiency.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by JeffSamardzijaIRISH View Post
      It's because people are not good judges of themselves(most of the time). They tend to overrate their abilities and perceive themselves as better than they actually are. I'm not saying this for everyone, because some can judge their own abilities within reason, but for the most part people overrate themselves because that's where they want to be.
      I agree that many people are poor judges of their themselves, however I think that the group is just as horrible of a judge as individuals are. Which is why I view failure as such an important thing since failure is a true and honest judge. If we let people fail they would a) better learn their own limitations and b) provide further cautionary tales for future generations. Yet we as a society seem to have this great desire to defeat failure in all cases.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Mr. Hero View Post
        I think the individual is the greatest strength of mankind and believe that unimpeded genius is what has driven us out of caves and formed our dominion of this planet.
        Ironic, considering that what drove us out of caves was the formation of hunter-gatherer tribes in which the collective unit hunted and shared its profits equally.

        To put it bluntly individual genius is my god. Now I completely understand that most of our great accomplishments where the results of groups working together to accomplish a common end, but what is the most important part of that to me is that those groups are a collection of individuals who for their own varying reasons chose to come together and bring to life the visions of a select few.
        Which is how a collective entity always works. You just described Marxism.

        I find that very often much long term harm is the result of large groups trying to act for the benefit of others. The idea that the path to hell is paved with good intentions rings true in a different way than it's normally interpreted to me. So while I certainly see that same self-destructive short sightedness that many people seem to be afflicted by, I see far greater and more powerful evil being created as the result of a large groups attempts to help a situation that they simply do not understand. I don't intend for this to get political and so if a mod finds it to be such please removing the following, but I just can't help to think of our war on poverty and how damaging that has been to the atmosphere of progress that the american dream initially entailed. I understand that people don't mean to cause harm but so often people's good intentions mess with the natural balances and incentives of a situation to degrees they never could have predicted or intended and so often a situation just stagnates or worsens because we as a group intervene when had we left the situation alone and perhaps only had individuals work for the result we desire in their own ways I feel we would've progrosed far quicker and the situation that had us so worried would have been resolved more effectively and promptly.
        A fair opinion, although I think you are putting WAY too much stock in the equity of the human condition. The "war on poverty" (if you could even call our joke of a social welfare system that), is not intent upon stifling individual initiative, but rather giving people a chance to better themselves and in turn, society. It's such a lazy cop-out to attack the help given to those we feel are undeserving simply because one cannot understand their plight. The vast VAST majority of people who succeed in this world do so to a very small degree because of their individual talents. You must also dislike roads, clean water, meat inspectors, etc.

        "Progress" is an incredibly vague term btw, so you'd probably serve yourself well to define exactly what you mean. Herbert Spencer, for example, believed in the utilitarian standard of ultimate value, but never really defined what exactly that meant. Similarly, Adam Smith spoke of the invisible hand of the market, but never actually defined what that meant. I'm curious how exactly others benefit by people doing what is entirely in their self-interests, or how we even define utilitarian interests.


        This is also my critique of Rand (among many many others). She never actually deals with the fact that people have multiple, often competing individual objectives. It's such a vague and sophmoric way of trying to completely justify self-serving behavior without any attempt to underline what exactly that entails.
        Last edited by bearsfan_51; 05-03-2009, 05:57 PM.


        Nobody cares about your stupid fantasy team.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Mr. Hero View Post
          I agree that many people are poor judges of their themselves, however I think that the group is just as horrible of a judge as individuals are. Which is why I view failure as such an important thing since failure is a true and honest judge. If we let people fail they would a) better learn their own limitations and b) provide further cautionary tales for future generations. Yet we as a society seem to have this great desire to defeat failure in all cases.
          the key word being society. since it depends on everyone, the better everyone does, the better off anyone is.
          And about judging, I think the problem lies in people believing that their successes or faillures define them. I don't really buy into that. I define me. So I'm perfectly fine with being extremely critical of myself. I know what kind of person I want to be, and if I don't do things accoridingly (for better or for worse) I'll give myself hell for it. Could just be me though, I tend to feel better than the rest of mankind.

          Sig by Fenikz

          I remember NFLDC
          don't tell anyone, but Charlie Casserly is a dope fiend

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          • #80
            See, like I believe bf51 briefly mentioned, society isn't so much trying to put down individual progression and success, but are trying to help those who are less fortunate, or as Mr. Hero is putting, 'failing'.

            Additionally, a group working together toward a common goal is much more efficient than individuals working alone, even if they have the same goal.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Manic Depressant View Post
              Has anybody read the book "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins?
              Yes, I was going to mention one of the ideas from the book, where acting altruistically is beneficial not only to others in the group but also to ourselves. You can see this not only in early human history (hunter-gatherers) but with the other 4 apes in the animal kingdom. Hell, even early agrarian societies were sharing everything.

              Originally posted by bearsfan_51 View Post
              Except for Ayn Rand. She's trash.
              If I had no problem with having a large sig, this quote would be in there.

              Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                Yes, I was going to mention one of the ideas from the book, where acting altruistically is beneficial not only to others in the group but also to ourselves. You can see this not only in early human history (hunter-gatherers) but with the other 4 apes in the animal kingdom. Hell, even early agrarian societies were sharing everything.
                he really makes a good point. Selflessness doesn't exist, we do things for others for our own benefit. It makes us feel better to make others feel better.

                Sig by Fenikz

                I remember NFLDC
                don't tell anyone, but Charlie Casserly is a dope fiend

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by bearsfan_51 View Post
                  A fair opinion, although I think you are putting WAY too much stock in the equity of the human condition. The "war on poverty" (if you could even call our joke of a social welfare system that), is not intent upon stifling individual initiative, but rather giving people a chance to better themselves and in turn, society. It's such a lazy cop-out to attack the help given to those we feel are undeserving simply because one cannot understand their plight. The vast VAST majority of people who succeed in this world do so to a very small degree because of their individual talents. You must also dislike roads, clean water, meat inspectors, etc.
                  This discussion is pretty interesting. Excuse me if I sound ignorant because my only philosophy training is a couple university courses which I slept through.

                  I'm just wondering about the bolded part of your statement. Could you go into more detail about why you believe this because intuitively it seems to be the exact opposite for me.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Addict View Post
                    he really makes a good point. Selflessness doesn't exist, we do things for others for our own benefit. It makes us feel better to make others feel better.
                    Really, so the soldier who throws himself on the grenade and gives his life for his "brothers in arms" does so because it will make him feel better? Sorry, selflessness exists.




                    2 C 5:6-8 Jakob Murphy aka themaninblack

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Addict View Post
                      he really makes a good point. Selflessness doesn't exist, we do things for others for our own benefit. It makes us feel better to make others feel better.
                      Well, I like the idea because it makes a lot of sense to me. My reward in helping others is not only something that gives me personal pleasure but I'm also rewarded if it's to the benefit of society as a whole. Of course, as I go down this road, I likely end up talking about socialism and that would get some people here's panties in a twist. I won't say there isnt selflessness because people do things that are selfless all the time.

                      Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by CJSchneider View Post
                        Really, so the soldier who throws himself on the grenade and gives his life for his "brothers in arms" does so because it will make him feel better? Sorry, selflessness exists.
                        I am not trying to save selflessness doesn't exist but I am sure the fact that a soldier who does that will be remembered as a hero plays a role. Many people just want to be remembered after death as throwing oneself on a grenade assures that. Now I am sure that isn't the only reason someone would do that and I am not even saying it is the main reason but on some level it is a self serving action.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by CJSchneider View Post
                          Really, so the soldier who throws himself on the grenade and gives his life for his "brothers in arms" does so because it will make him feel better? Sorry, selflessness exists.
                          Well, see, imo this gets into how you interpret the idea of 'yourself' (I can't think of a better term at the moment).

                          If you view yourself and self benefit as something you obtain while you are alive and can personally experience, then I would agree with you. However, you can view the benefit even after death. While the act of jumping on the grenade is to save others, it can still offer benefit to one's name and legacy after the fact. So, while the intent may not be that, it still can be the outcome. Which would ask is selflessness in the intent or the outcome?

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
                            I am not trying to save selflessness doesn't exist but I am sure the fact that a soldier who does that will be remembered as a hero plays a role. Many people just want to be remembered after death as throwing oneself on a grenade assures that. Now I am sure that isn't the only reason someone would do that and I am not even saying it is the main reason but on some level it is a self serving action.
                            So what are you saying? It's not the only or main reason, but that for some small reason it is done for glory? Yeah, I'm calling ******** on that one.




                            2 C 5:6-8 Jakob Murphy aka themaninblack

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by CJSchneider View Post
                              Really, so the soldier who throws himself on the grenade and gives his life for his "brothers in arms" does so because it will make him feel better? Sorry, selflessness exists.
                              How many colors exist in your world?


                              Nobody cares about your stupid fantasy team.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by iowatreat54 View Post
                                Well, see, imo this gets into how you interpret the idea of 'yourself' (I can't think of a better term at the moment).

                                If you view yourself and self benefit as something you obtain while you are alive and can personally experience, then I would agree with you. However, you can view the benefit even after death. While the act of jumping on the grenade is to save others, it can still offer benefit to one's name and legacy after the fact. So, while the intent may not be that, it still can be the outcome. Which would ask is selflessness in the intent or the outcome?
                                Because one sees the value of another or more then one life (comrade/ comrades) as being worth more then one's own (self), selflessness exists.




                                2 C 5:6-8 Jakob Murphy aka themaninblack

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