What do you believe?

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Madness

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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2013, 03:25:26 pm »
I think part of it is ironically fed, as I mentioned in my earlier re-post, by a sort of arrogance, and an insistence that humanity now is at some sort of "peak" (just as, say, the Romans thought), when in reality it's more likely to be just another random spot out of what may be an incredibly long history going forward.

Somewhat of a tangent here, but I remember being kinda pissed (and disappointed) when Stephen Hawking made that comment about how we should be afraid of alien life, since it's likely to be violent and aggressive, a conclusion he arrived at by looking at humanity's history . . . I just find the idea that advanced civilizations, or even ones near to the most advanced societies of our current time, are going to go around finding other life simply to war with it, is kind of...dumb. For starters, there's virtually no practical motive. Any resource on Earth (aside from life itself) can be found in abundance elsewhere in the universe. Beyond that though, I think using our own primitive history as a way of predicting how an advanced alien species might interact with us is almost hilariously shortsighted, not to mention anthropocentric (which is why I bring this topic up -- it's the same sort of "humans are inherently bad" viewpoint, only placed onto the entire universe) . . . We're hardly perfect by any means, but there's also a very notable effort to undo damage we've caused, and to conserve the preciousness of life, which a lot of folks tend to completely gloss over in these discussions. The important thing, too, is that these tendencies appear to grow more common as a civilization grows more developed and intelligent. I don't think it's going to suddenly stop, or turn the other way around.

I didn't know how to chop and quote this properly as I think I'm riffing off most of your post. The thoughts that come:

We experience preeminence in our personal lives. How can we not think all change a sheer drop?

I understand your reaction on Hawking's dissemination. I fear this is simply communicative laziness on his part (which I think I can forgive much more than mine own) but we never truly know what people are going to take from our words. The best we can do (which people don't - see the unfolding world) is construct our communications with rigor and care. Nothing goads me more than when that feeling of communication efficiency evaporates at the glazed and vacant stare remaining on a listener's face.

My guess was always that Hawking tried to use that idea as metaphor for a more-encompassing argument. Ultimately, his counsel is strategically warranted but there remains the fact that our social and technological growth is as much a beacon as is our searching at all (which may inherently require exposure).

We're an immature species, FB. It doesn't mean we can't work to be, qualitatively, better or different; proud of ourselves for once. If we're going to exist at all, we should always strive toward philosophic ideals. The more of us who embody and disseminate difference, the more we all can't help but change.

Perhaps, the empathic civilization is the next culmination?

The science is a little off (especially mirror neuron research is still very young, as Rifkin says, and the term is a placeholder) but still food for thought (also the full lecture from which this animation is generated from and the book by the same title are awesome, as well):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AWnfFRc7g
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Royce

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« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2013, 11:47:56 am »
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Perhaps, the empathic civilization is the next culmination?

That is my hope ;)

It is very interesting to hear about these mirror neurons, and it shows at least that we have the potential to become the emphatic civilization.

Callan S.

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« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2013, 11:37:05 pm »
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Perhaps, the empathic civilization is the next culmination?

That is my hope ;)

It is very interesting to hear about these mirror neurons, and it shows at least that we have the potential to become the emphatic civilization.
I don't think it was a conciously deliberate turning of empathic into emphatic, but I really like the lyracism of what would have been such a scathing reversal!

Empathic?

Or just emphatic?

Kinda like 'Justice or Just Us?'

Royce

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« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2013, 11:02:03 am »
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I don't think it was a conciously deliberate turning of empathic into emphatic, but I really like the lyracism of what would have been such a scathing reversal!

LMAO. It swear it was a simple misspelling! I did not even know emphatic meant something completely different until I looked it up just now :)

Garet Jax

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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2013, 04:06:03 pm »

The two things I DO believe in is love and family.  IMO, those are the keys to a happy and successful life, despite whatever your culture tries to force feed you.

To be honest I am genuinely surprised that this "belief system" hasn't sent me in a downward spiral into deep depression. I like to think it is because I try to only focus on what I can control and deem important; I love unconditionally until someone proves to me I shouldn't and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for my family. 

If I only measure myself with those two things, I can convince myself that I am happy and successful.

Edit: I meant to say Royce, English is my first language and I feel you have a better handle on how to use it than I do.

Humanity can cultivate a perspective of a global-human family.

Which "belief system" do you mean, your own? Or the versions force-fed in dissemination?

I originally meant my own belief system, but now in hind sight, I can pretty much be referring to either.

jamesA01

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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2013, 05:19:30 pm »
I don't believe in belief.

And I'm surprised to see people on this site, of all places, that do.

I don't like the concept of belief very much. What exactly is it? Something you just decide is true, because... you want to? Or you want it to be?

I am yet to be convinced that anyone espousing any beliefs is doing so from some sort of objective neutral and rational point of decision making, totally uninfluenced by their neuro-physiology. As if we were autonomous subjects rather than creatures with brains infested by memes circulating the socius, getting off on the sensation of will and presence, or the opposite.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2013, 06:10:00 pm »
I don't believe in belief.

And I'm surprised to see people on this site, of all places, that do.

I don't like the concept of belief very much. What exactly is it? Something you just decide is true, because... you want to? Or you want it to be?

I am yet to be convinced that anyone espousing any beliefs is doing so from some sort of objective neutral and rational point of decision making, totally uninfluenced by their neuro-physiology. As if we were autonomous subjects rather than creatures with brains infested by memes circulating the socius, getting off on the sensation of will and presence, or the opposite.

Sounds like you have some beliefs there.

jamesA01

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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2013, 06:42:03 pm »
Yeah, but I don't believe I believe in them.

lol?

Royce

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« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2013, 06:51:02 pm »
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I don't believe in belief.

Well, whether you believe or not is irrelevant. Every word that comes out of your mouth has some belief in them. Impossible to escape I am afraid.
The only way might be to silent, to never give your opinion on anything to anyone.

jamesA01

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« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2013, 07:05:42 pm »
Maybe.

I still think we should be sceptical about belief. I see to much of a post christian ethos in the idea that our beliefs have some power or truth. I don't want to just dress up my whims as if there's some sort of greatness to what is just circumstance and vanity.

Let's get back to some of the earlier ideas posted here about the empathetic civilization.

Doesn't this kind of assume that empathy would be in favour of life itself. What about an empathy that saw death as the only reprieve? Is it not possible to have a kind of empathy that sees destruction as the only possible mercy? I think maybe this is more realistic than the idea that we are all going to have some moment of reconnection with each other where our self interest aligns with everyone else's.

Any of the people I've met IRL that espouse empathy have a suspicious tendency to do so almost exclusively for events and stories presented to them in the media.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 07:20:46 pm by jamesA01 »

Royce

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« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2013, 07:36:21 pm »
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What about an empathy that saw death as the only reprieve? Is it not possible to have a kind of empathy that sees destruction as the only possible mercy? I think maybe this is more realistic than the idea that we are all going to have some moment of reconnection with each other where our self interest aligns with everyone else's.

Do you mean the destruction of humans? of all living things? I can`t see what the point is really. If everyone on the planet was ruled by an iron fist from another galaxy, and every single being was enslaved and tortured on a daily basis, maybe then death would be considered an empathic act. We are not quite there yet, and I just have to be a bit positive that humanity can change for the better and improve life, instead of enslaving it. To keep myself from crashing down in a deep depression, I have to believe that empathy towards all things can actually be crucial for our survival as a species.

Those mirror neurons that Ramachandran is describing is fascinating. Check it out.

jamesA01

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« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2013, 07:49:39 pm »
How can life be improved? The only thing that's EVER done it has been material conditions. Energy, shelter, food. Not some inner truth or empathy or something. Still, the only measure of improvement we have had so far has been to go from a position of starvation and war for all to only for some (but in higher numbers) and death through over consumption for the 1st worlders.


jamesA01

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« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2013, 07:52:02 pm »
If John Gray was posting here, he'd tell you that maybe you should chose that depression instead.

Royce

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« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2013, 08:07:07 pm »
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How can life be improved?

Well,by caring more about everyone instead of the few would be a start. Erase the idea of profit, make the leaders do their own killing, get rid of national states, borders, everything that causes a division between people.

Utopic? yes, will this improve life? do not know. I do believe that making lives less hellish for others is improvement on a grand scale.

jamesA01

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« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2013, 08:22:33 pm »
All of those ideas are the fervently believed principles of the hegemonic global order. Nothing controversial there. Would like to know how getting rid of borders (not physically I presume?) is going to bring people together, or how some moment where we all decide that we now care about each other and everythings great is even a coherent idea.

I'm happy to play the role of the "one who holds impure intentions" if that helps.