Societies Priorities

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Here in America, we live in a society that claims that it is a moral authority, and that the social norms are in place in our best interests. He have laws in place to protect us. We've developed social stigmas and taboos meant to keep us away from harm.

Yet have we become too encoded into baseless beliefs that people have difficulty separating fact from fiction, blindly accepting information from authority figures? From the birther movement, religious zealots and bigotry, and the now rabid "2nd 'mendment-ers". Large scale propaganda has convinced many Americans that the most dangerous things to an indiviul is abortion, 2 consenting adults having sex and pot. Meanwhile our most celebrated TV tradition of the SuperBowl has us rounding around the TV with friends and family to drink and have multimillion dollar spots for guns, cults, beer, and liquor. We have grown men dancing in wedding gowns for Doritos, but imagine the outrage if you had an ad featuring a man smoking a joint and playing Xbox.

So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

Reality has always mattered less than beliefs and ideas. From the moment humankind realised that the only way they could survive was by forming societies, and that societies could not hold together without rules, we've been perpetuating the idea that we must obey rules or else terrible, terrible things will happen to all of us.

As always, this has a grain of truth, but it was oversimplified and blown out of proportion as time went by because people love being lazy and avoiding the use of their brains more than they absolutely have to. Obviously, the ideal counterbalance to "we must live by the rules" is "we must constantly analyse and actualise those rules." But tell that to the people who would rather have other people doing the thinking for them. Or to the people in charge who retain power by scaremongering and oppressing.

Well I think a lot of people are likely prejudiced against things/people based on preconceived notions or a healthy dose of brainwashing.

I mean, if you grew up in a house or community where everything is being blamed on "them uppity blacks" or "job stealing border hopping Mexicans", and being told that the media just lies because "reasons" then yes, I guess the flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions seem more real to them than reality and take control.

People ignore several factors and create their own reality, so to speak, and usually that created reality ignores actual reality.

Pls no "then what is *real* reality if everyone can create their own?" I won't into that discussion.

burnt.hair:
Here in America, we live in a society that claims that it is a moral authority, and that the social norms are in place in our best interests. He have laws in place to protect us. We've developed social stigmas and taboos meant to keep us away from harm.

Yet have we become too encoded into baseless beliefs that people have difficulty separating fact from fiction, blindly accepting information from authority figures? From the birther movement, religious zealots and bigotry, and the now rabid "2nd 'mendment-ers". Large scale propaganda has convinced many Americans that the most dangerous things to an indiviul is abortion, 2 consenting adults having sex and pot. Meanwhile our most celebrated TV tradition of the SuperBowl has us rounding around the TV with friends and family to drink and have multimillion dollar spots for guns, cults, beer, and liquor. We have grown men dancing in wedding gowns for Doritos, but imagine the outrage if you had an ad featuring a man smoking a joint and playing Xbox.

So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

So, how is junior high going?

Yeah, you've just described the world we live in. You took the pretty dramatic approach, but yeah. Stuff like that exists.

...And? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a time in history where everything was just fine and everybody agreed on everything. And you must be kidding yourself if you think there will ever be a time in the future when everybody agrees.

There's no answer possible to that question, because the answer is different from person to person. Where someone is determines in large part who they are. Someone born in the US in a rich sheltered suburb exposed to demonized images of the lower clases is very likely to think he needs firearms and is allowed to perpetrate murder. Abortion is an even better issue: not a single person who wants abortion banned has the faintest clue of what they're talking about. They're all from the 'Christian bubble' as I like to call it, and live isolated within that.

Don't know why you throw pot in there by the way. Marijuna use is dangerous, inherently dangerous even. (don't make the mistake of trying to attack that without first presenting proof that it is absolutely harmless in all circumstances) The other things you mentioned aren't dangerous and there are other reasons, bad reasons, to be opposed to them. Not like "People go crazy and suffer major health damage, so it must be banned" (pot) can be compared to "But the pastor told me them gays are evil, and I'm uncapable of thinking for myself, so gay marriage must be banned" are comparable reasons. ^_^

So, how is junior high going?

Yeah, you've just described the world we live in. You took the pretty dramatic approach, but yeah. Stuff like that exists.

...And? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a time in history where everything was just fine and everybody agreed on everything. And you must be kidding yourself if you think there will ever be a time in the future when everybody agrees.

Ah, such a cute ad hominem. I didn't bring anything up about everyone agreeing on everything. I'd say the world needs a wakeup call, but it seems nowadays anything that happens is broken down into A) what happened, B) what people say happened, and C) What people say other people did to make it look like what happened, happened, but it didnt and its all just a massive conspiracy and C is the most popular answer.

burnt.hair:
So, how is junior high going?

Yeah, you've just described the world we live in. You took the pretty dramatic approach, but yeah. Stuff like that exists.

...And? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a time in history where everything was just fine and everybody agreed on everything. And you must be kidding yourself if you think there will ever be a time in the future when everybody agrees.

Ah, such a cute ad hominem. I didn't bring anything up about everyone agreeing on everything. I'd say the world needs a wakeup call, but it seems nowadays anything that happens is broken down into A) what happened, B) what people say happened, and C) What people say other people did to make it look like what happened, happened, but it didnt and its all just a massive conspiracy and C is the most popular answer.

I wouldn't say pot can't be dangerous but i would be very confident in the statement "pot is less dangerous than alcohol by a wide margin". And i put it in there because its an example of many people accepting "this is bad, this is good" at face value.

It's been like this for a very long time already, imo. Beliefs and idea's have been far more important to too many people for as long as we know. Granted, it's been lessening over thousands of years. But the current accessibility to media makes it seem like it's stronger than ever.

I'm not trying to be ugly here but I have little patience for people who are under the delusion that everyone else is a sheep who blindly listens to what they are told and that they are in fact one of the very few free thinkers out there who see the world for what it really is. Everyone has beliefs/idea that others might think is silly/ignorant no matter who you are. Generalizing people who think differently as brainwashed/stupid is helping no body.

burnt.hair:
I wouldn't say pot can't be dangerous but i would be very confident in the statement "pot is less dangerous than alcohol by a wide margin". And i put it in there because its an example of many people accepting "this is bad, this is good" at face value.

I take it this was supposed to respond to me. And it's not true either. Responsible alcohol use is possible, and is the case in the vast majority. Responsible pot use is impossible, because for instance all adolescents invariably suffer the brain damage (to emotional regulation and memory, among others) that THC in pot causes, and all run the risk of becoming schizofrenic, or getting some of the other mental disorders that can be caused or triggered by marijuana.

If anything, the pot lobby is an example of what you were trying to say, because people just assume it's safe, based on not dying themselves, or not immediatly watching their friends die after use, and a desire to easier and cheaper obtain the drug for themselves in the future. In most cases they didn't even know about the drug's effects, or knew but choose to ignore it. An example of the latter is the claim that marijuana doesn't cause mentall illness because it would require a predisposition, because it doesn't change what caused it.

burnt.hair:
Ah, such a cute ad hominem. I didn't bring anything up about everyone agreeing on everything. I'd say the world needs a wakeup call, but it seems nowadays anything that happens is broken down into A) what happened, B) what people say happened, and C) What people say other people did to make it look like what happened, happened, but it didnt and its all just a massive conspiracy and C is the most popular answer.

You say that as though it's never been like that before, as though there has ever been a point in history where what people say happened, what actually happened, and all that other stuff was true. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I am saying the way you carry on it's as though you think this is something new, which is incredibly naive.

Let me give you a clue: There hasn't ever been a time that manipulation wasn't a part of government or society. The world has always been like this. All you have to do is look at our history to see it. Hell, if I had to guess, I'd say we're actually in a time where there is more clarity available than ever before. Let me give you an example: During WWII, you'll notice in American media there was a spike in pro-Americanism and anti-Nazism. I'm talking everything: the news media, cartoons, movies, even comic books. This isn't because everybody was actually that keen on supporting their country. This is because at the time, it was felt that any dissent toward America's military endeavors was akin to treason. Even just not bringing it up was suspicious. So, they went overboard with the pro-American and anti-Nazi stuff just to be extra sure they wouldn't get in trouble.

Now compare that to Vietnam. That war was highly controversial, and highly covered by the news media. Was there a bit of slanting to tell whatever story they wanted? You'd have to be a fool to say there wasn't. But still, there was enough clarity and people's opinions had changed enough that people weren't afraid to express their dissent anymore. It became alright to oppose what America was doing with their military, and it was alright for the media itself to also share their grievances. The government still bristled at the idea and the red scare was still on people's minds, but the changes that occurred were of the type and magnitude that can never be taken back[1].

Now compare that to the Iraq war, and the recent goings-on in Libya, Syria, and Egypt. The Iraq was another example of an unpopular war and the President being unpopular with the media. And now with social media, we don't even need the news media to get information on big political movements on the other side of the world. Want to keep tabs on how people are doing in Egypt? Get on Twitter. It's a live feed to people's actual thoughts, unaltered and unfiltered.

I think there are problems with the world, but I wouldn't say a "wake-up call" is in order. The world is awake, and I'm afraid this is just how people are. Not everybody is bad, and not everybody is good either. It's a mix, and I'd say a pretty healthy mix all things considered. Yes things could be better, but looking back at previous times I wouldn't say this is the worst point in history, and nor its most manipulated or most full of lies.

[1] Barring the total replacement of America's government and power structure.

Blablahb:

burnt.hair:
I wouldn't say pot can't be dangerous but i would be very confident in the statement "pot is less dangerous than alcohol by a wide margin". And i put it in there because its an example of many people accepting "this is bad, this is good" at face value.

I take it this was supposed to respond to me. And it's not true either. Responsible alcohol use is possible, and is the case in the vast majority. Responsible pot use is impossible, because for instance all adolescents invariably suffer the brain damage (to emotional regulation and memory, among others) that THC in pot causes, and all run the risk of becoming schizofrenic, or getting some of the other mental disorders that can be caused or triggered by marijuana.

If anything, the pot lobby is an example of what you were trying to say, because people just assume it's safe, based on not dying themselves, or not immediatly watching their friends die after use, and a desire to easier and cheaper obtain the drug for themselves in the future. In most cases they didn't even know about the drug's effects, or knew but choose to ignore it. An example of the latter is the claim that marijuana doesn't cause mentall illness because it would require a predisposition, because it doesn't change what caused it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis

Other than your own beliefs is there any source or supporting evidence? Similiar physical effects on the respiratory system as cigarettes but lower consumption rates. Yet cigarettes are perfectly acceptable as a product. Alcohol causes over 25,000 deaths in America a year without including alcohol related accidents. Yet i can go to a store and choose from thousands of brands. I wouldn't make the case the weed doesnt have its own drawbacks, but everything does.

Blablahb:

Don't know why you throw pot in there by the way. Marijuna use is dangerous, inherently dangerous even. (don't make the mistake of trying to attack that without first presenting proof that it is absolutely harmless in all circumstances) The other things you mentioned aren't dangerous and there are other reasons, bad reasons, to be opposed to them.

The other things aren't absolutely harmless in all circumstances either though. Abortion is a medical procedure that, like most medical procedures, carries some risk. No one is perfect and that includes doctors. There's a whole laundry list of potential complications of abortion, and they are all relatively rare. It still doesn't meet the "absolutely harmless in all circumstances" requirement you are holding pot to.

Sex between consenting adults even theoretically carries some risk, for example if you decide to start into certain kinds of kink without doing the proper research on how to do it right. There's also the possibility that one or both consenting adults carries some form of STI. Also not "absolutely harmless in all circumstances."

So why demand a higher standard of pot than could apply to the things you deem "not dangerous" under what must be considerably more lax standards?

PS: I feel a need to note that I am pro-choice and generally don't give a fuck what consenting adults do in their own bedroom (to avoid you declaring me otherwise and claiming I have bad reasons to be against things I'm not against in the first place), but to claim that either is completely without risk is just plain wrong.

Schadrach:
The other things aren't absolutely harmless in all circumstances either though. Abortion is a medical procedure that, like most medical procedures, carries some risk. No one is perfect and that includes doctors. There's a whole laundry list of potential complications of abortion, and they are all relatively rare. It still doesn't meet the "absolutely harmless in all circumstances" requirement you are holding pot to.

Medical procedures have a use, which can offset the risk. Drug abuse doesn't.

Schadrach:
Sex between consenting adults even theoretically carries some risk, for example if you decide to start into certain kinds of kink without doing the proper research on how to do it right.

And if they go too far they get in trouble and everybody else grills them for it. You're clearly refering to bdsm, and I happen to know they define that by three criteria, the first of which is 'safe'. No such practises of limiting risks or condemning risktakers in the world of drug dealers though.

Plus I'm pretty sure that if any of what you compare it to, carried side effects like marijuana, it wouldn't be legal.

In my opinion society does tend towards reason it just takes time and effort polling measures from just a decade ago have completely flipped general beliefs like gay marriage and pot. Now these things are no longer taboos which are sins just to consider but something open for debate which is a step closer to acceptance.

Blablahb:

Schadrach:
The other things aren't absolutely harmless in all circumstances either though. Abortion is a medical procedure that, like most medical procedures, carries some risk. No one is perfect and that includes doctors. There's a whole laundry list of potential complications of abortion, and they are all relatively rare. It still doesn't meet the "absolutely harmless in all circumstances" requirement you are holding pot to.

Medical procedures have a use, which can offset the risk. Drug abuse doesn't.

Schadrach:
Sex between consenting adults even theoretically carries some risk, for example if you decide to start into certain kinds of kink without doing the proper research on how to do it right.

And if they go too far they get in trouble and everybody else grills them for it. You're clearly refering to bdsm, and I happen to know they define that by three criteria, the first of which is 'safe'. No such practises of limiting risks or condemning risktakers in the world of drug dealers though.

Plus I'm pretty sure that if any of what you compare it to, carried side effects like marijuana, it wouldn't be legal.

To sum that argument up, no ones arguing that pot is harmless, just that it isn't significantly more harmful than a million other things humans do everyday that are perfectly legal, such as cycling on roads, riding horses, eating at McDonalds, being outside in a lightning storm, living on a flood plain, driving a motorcycle, mountain climbing, sailing, skateboarding, eating at your average kebab house, smoking, drinking, boxing.... should i go on?

All of these things carry side effects such as... getting hit by a truck because he couldn't see you on your little bike, getting kicked off the horse cos you're a terrible rider, getting fat, getting struck by lightning, drowning, falling off a cliff, getting capsized by a big fuck-off wave, breaking your leg trying to pull a neat pop shove-it, food poisoning, cancer, liver failure, a broken nose, etc.

Let an adults choose what the fuck he does with their own body, arrest them when they fuck someone else over but until then leave them be, cos lets face it, we all do dangerous shit from time to time, we're all gonna get hurt needlessly at some point in our lives, and we're all going to have to pay our taxes anyway.

Live and let fucking live.... Which brings me back on topic... far too many people in this world who like to think their way is best. We're all so wrapped up in ourselves, there's far too many different ideas, concepts, outlooks, opinions life-paths, cultures etc out there that it's too much, so we just bury our heads in the sand, listen to what our friends, neighbours and favourite celebrities think and assume everyone and everything else is just wrong. I doubt it's ever going to change, there just isn't enough time in the day to take into account and consider all the different possible opinions and outlooks we could have on things, so we just go with the best of whats close-to-hand, for want of better phrasing.

Lilani:

burnt.hair:
Ah, such a cute ad hominem. I didn't bring anything up about everyone agreeing on everything. I'd say the world needs a wakeup call, but it seems nowadays anything that happens is broken down into A) what happened, B) what people say happened, and C) What people say other people did to make it look like what happened, happened, but it didnt and its all just a massive conspiracy and C is the most popular answer.

You say that as though it's never been like that before, as though there has ever been a point in history where what people say happened, what actually happened, and all that other stuff was true. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I am saying the way you carry on it's as though you think this is something new, which is incredibly naive.

Let me give you a clue: There hasn't ever been a time that manipulation wasn't a part of government or society. The world has always been like this. All you have to do is look at our history to see it. Hell, if I had to guess, I'd say we're actually in a time where there is more clarity available than ever before. Let me give you an example: During WWII, you'll notice in American media there was a spike in pro-Americanism and anti-Nazism. I'm talking everything: the news media, cartoons, movies, even comic books. This isn't because everybody was actually that keen on supporting their country. This is because at the time, it was felt that any dissent toward America's military endeavors was akin to treason. Even just not bringing it up was suspicious. So, they went overboard with the pro-American and anti-Nazi stuff just to be extra sure they wouldn't get in trouble.

Now compare that to Vietnam. That war was highly controversial, and highly covered by the news media. Was there a bit of slanting to tell whatever story they wanted? You'd have to be a fool to say there wasn't. But still, there was enough clarity and people's opinions had changed enough that people weren't afraid to express their dissent anymore. It became alright to oppose what America was doing with their military, and it was alright for the media itself to also share their grievances. The government still bristled at the idea and the red scare was still on people's minds, but the changes that occurred were of the type and magnitude that can never be taken back. Barring the total replacement of America's government and power structure.

Now compare that to the Iraq war, and the recent goings-on in Libya, Syria, and Egypt. The Iraq was another example of an unpopular war and the President being unpopular with the media. And now with social media, we don't even need the news media to get information on big political movements on the other side of the world. Want to keep tabs on how people are doing in Egypt? Get on Twitter. It's a live feed to people's actual thoughts, unaltered and unfiltered.

I think there are problems with the world, but I wouldn't say a "wake-up call" is in order. The world is awake, and I'm afraid this is just how people are. Not everybody is bad, and not everybody is good either. It's a mix, and I'd say a pretty healthy mix all things considered. Yes things could be better, but looking back at previous times I wouldn't say this is the worst point in history, and nor its most manipulated or most full of lies.

I think the more fascinating question is: knowing this, where does one go from here? Knowing the complexity involved in human interaction and the difficulty it takes to make a change or bring about understanding, what does one dedicate one's life to? Such questions seem to be essential, and I am still struggling with them myself right now. Perhaps the OP is on the same path as well...

Hap2:
I think the more fascinating question is: knowing this, where does one go from here? Knowing the complexity involved in human interaction and the difficulty it takes to make a change or bring about understanding, what does one dedicate one's life to? Such questions seem to be essential, and I am still struggling with them myself right now. Perhaps the OP is on the same path as well...

It's funny you should bring that up, because I've been thinking about these themes lately for a story I'm writing.

From what I'm able to tell, society doesn't move in one direction, and nor is it a straight continuum. For example, we like to think that Western society has always been improving. Women and black people are doing better than they were 100 years ago, and better still from 100 years before that. But it isn't exactly like that. Think about the ancient Greeks--homosexuality was accepted in their culture, but that went away and it's only very recently starting to resurface. Society didn't move forward in that case, it went backward. That is, backward from our point of view at this time. At that time I'm sure the powers that eliminated it thought it was a step forward.

Also (and I'll have to do more research on this to be sure), but the way I understand in medieval Europe women weren't treated quite as badly as we might think they were. In an agricultural society like that, you can't afford to tell half your population "You're not worthy of coming out in the fields, that's man's work!" You needed all hands on deck to bring in the harvest on time. So everybody went in the fields and harvested--men, women, children. Everybody with a working pair of hands. At least for that moment, women and men were essentially equals. It may have been driven by necessity, but it was still there. But then by the 1700s and 1800s things were pretty bad for women again, and things didn't start getting better until the early 1900s.

Society changes according to the political and cultural influences of the time. Women's rights and civil rights happened because our culture became accepting to the idea. Major political forces tried their hardest to keep them from pulling through, but in those cases the cultural forces overpowered the political ones. But it can easily go the other way around--the ancient Greek culture was overpowered by the church if I recall correctly, and then you've got a lot of oppressive regimes over the years that have overhauled their country's cultures to their advantage (China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, all those places).

The human condition is different in every culture, and in every culture things are moving in different directions. So the first answer to your question is there isn't a blanket solution for everybody's problems--and nor should there be, unless we want humanity to become homogenous and culture-less. So to figure out where we go from here, first we have to figure out where we are and where we're currently going. Because even though you may not realize it, you're going someplace right now. Unless you put yourself in cryogenic stasis you are always making some kind of progress. Even if it's just wearing holes in your socks, you are always doing something as a part of this world. You're always dedicated to something, even if it's just survival. You're never not doing anything.

So what do you dedicate your life to? Whatever you want. I don't see why there has to be a strictly right or wrong answer to that. Society isn't a ride that starts when you're born and that just stops when you die. It's been going and morphing for a long time, and it'll keep on morphing long after you're dead. Just as some people are beginning to understand one thing, they will come across something else that's divisive. I don't think there will ever be a point where humanity finds its "final form," so to speak. Where everybody is on the same page and there is literally nothing to improve upon anymore. We are too complex for that to happen. It would be like a dog one day just deciding he'd rather be a ballroom dancer and going off to the haberdashery to get a tux. That's just not in its nature.

To give a conclusive answer to your question of what should we do, I say we do our best. It's all we can do. It guarantees the best results, and it means there is no reason to be ashamed if we fail.

Lilani:

snip

You should consider doing an anthropology course if you haven't already. I don't mean business anthropology or a specialism like that, just general social anthropology. You'd find it interesting I think.

burnt.hair:
So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I would say that ideas are often more important than reality, especially when talking about things beyond living memory, which, while having no impact as such on the world, tend to form our cultures.

Lilani:
Also (and I'll have to do more research on this to be sure), but the way I understand in medieval Europe women weren't treated quite as badly as we might think they were. In an agricultural society like that, you can't afford to tell half your population "You're not worthy of coming out in the fields, that's man's work!" You needed all hands on deck to bring in the harvest on time. So everybody went in the fields and harvested--men, women, children. Everybody with a working pair of hands. At least for that moment, women and men were essentially equals. It may have been driven by necessity, but it was still there. But then by the 1700s and 1800s things were pretty bad for women again, and things didn't start getting better until the early 1900s.

Er...while the general idea might be right, requiring women to help men work is not to say there was equality.

Danny Ocean:
You should consider doing an anthropology course if you haven't already. I don't mean business anthropology or a specialism like that, just general social anthropology. You'd find it interesting I think.

I think I would like to as well, but the problem is I'm a senior in college now and I really have no more room for electives, lol. I'm taking a sociology course in the summer, but that's about it. I think I'll look around for some good books on the subject, and I've got a friend who is an anthropology major so I can ask her.

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:
So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I would say that ideas are often more important than reality, especially when talking about things beyond living memory, which, while having no impact as such on the world, tend to form our cultures.

[quote="Lilani" post="528.400222.16445395"]Er...while the general idea might be right, requiring women to help men work is not to say there was equality.

I guess "equality" was a bit too strong of a word. My point was that they couldn't afford to go too far in their efforts to make women feel inferior because by the time fall came around the women had to be out doing the same work as them. In my mind it's just a little closer to equality, compared to the early 40s and 50s when a woman was most prized when she was not working, just hanging around the house like a doll on display. Though perhaps in reality it was just as bad.

Lilani:

I think I would like to as well, but the problem is I'm a senior in college now and I really have no more room for electives, lol. I'm taking a sociology course in the summer, but that's about it. I think I'll look around for some good books on the subject, and I've got a friend who is an anthropology major so I can ask her.

I can email you some short journal things from my last semester if you want a bit of light intro reading rather than jumping straight into an ethnography.

Although an ethnography might actually be an easier read... we spent the whole first semester doing theory.

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:
So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I'd say things that are demonstrably false are flawed. Things like the earth being 5000 years old,that the holocaust didnt happen, or that Obama was born in Kenya.

I think that the main point is are we equipped to weed out failed ideas or will our stubbornness keep seeding them into future generations.

burnt.hair:

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:
So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I'd say things that are demonstrably false are flawed. Things like the earth being 5000 years old,that the holocaust didnt happen, or that Obama was born in Kenya.

I think that the main point is are we equipped to weed out failed ideas or will our stubbornness keep seeding them into future generations.

I think part of the problem is that humans are expected to parrot second-hand information, as opposed to discovering the truths of the world independently. Recordings and books are not quite as 'real' as first-hand experience. For many people, it is enough. Yet some just can't trust anything unless they've seen it for themselves, and will default to instinct rather than accept external information.

There will always be people who don't believe otherwise commonly accepted facts, because the source of the information does not feel real or valid to them. And the more they hear about it, the more it feels like a lie.

burnt.hair:

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:
So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I'd say things that are demonstrably false are flawed. Things like the earth being 5000 years old,that the holocaust didnt happen, or that Obama was born in Kenya.

Well, I'd agree with that, except those aren't demonstrably false, in that people still believe them. Sure, you and I know they are bullshit, but that's not the same thing. How many people disagreeing with a position do you need before you can label a belief as flawed?

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:

thaluikhain:

As mentioned, things have always been this way.

But, to extend things, which beliefs are flawed? Who determines this? Do they have to be free of flawed beliefs themselves?

I'd say things that are demonstrably false are flawed. Things like the earth being 5000 years old,that the holocaust didnt happen, or that Obama was born in Kenya.

Well, I'd agree with that, except those aren't demonstrably false, in that people still believe them. Sure, you and I know they are bullshit, but that's not the same thing. How many people disagreeing with a position do you need before you can label a belief as flawed?

When the belief is wrong? If my friend believes 1+1=9, I'd say it's a flawed belief. I mean sure some things are subjective and opinion based sure, but some things are also clearly wrong.

Gold:

thaluikhain:

burnt.hair:

I'd say things that are demonstrably false are flawed. Things like the earth being 5000 years old,that the holocaust didnt happen, or that Obama was born in Kenya.

Well, I'd agree with that, except those aren't demonstrably false, in that people still believe them. Sure, you and I know they are bullshit, but that's not the same thing. How many people disagreeing with a position do you need before you can label a belief as flawed?

When the belief is wrong? If my friend believes 1+1=9, I'd say it's a flawed belief. I mean sure some things are subjective and opinion based sure, but some things are also clearly wrong.

If people hold a belief, it is not clearly wrong, because it is not clear to them that it is wrong.

Sure, yes, in a general sense, lots of things are obviously totally wrong, but different things are obviously totally wrong to different people.

thaluikhain:

If people hold a belief, it is not clearly wrong, because it is not clear to them that it is wrong.

Sure, yes, in a general sense, lots of things are obviously totally wrong, but different things are obviously totally wrong to different people.

I just read you two previous posts and must ask this:

What do you mean when you say "wrong" or "false" in regards to beliefs. Because it is obvious you are not talking of it in the same sense that Gold is.

When I, and presumably Gold, say a "belief X is wrong", it means "false/incorrect/demonstrably untrue/not factual/made up." Example of such a belief would be "the Earth is flat like a disc". This belief can be demonstrated to be untrue/false/wrong/incorrect.

Now, it is obvious to me at least that people can believe things for good reasons, or for poor reasons. For example, a good reason for believing your wife loves you would be a long marriage and satisfactory mutual coexistence, along with her saying she loves you. Now, that belief might be false, in the sense that your wife only fakes love in order to fulfill some ulterior motive.

On the other hand, a poor reason for believing the Earth is round would be "because that random guy over there said so". However, such a belief can also be correct.

Then there are factaully false beliefs believed for poor reasons, such as thinking that the Earth is 6000 years old because a known liar said so.

Now, since you obviously do not mean the truth value of beliefs when speaking of them being false or not, what do you mean? Are you referencing the reasons someone might have for believing something (regardless of its truth value), or do you mean something else entirely?

SakSak:

thaluikhain:

If people hold a belief, it is not clearly wrong, because it is not clear to them that it is wrong.

Sure, yes, in a general sense, lots of things are obviously totally wrong, but different things are obviously totally wrong to different people.

I just read you two previous posts and must ask this:

What do you mean when you say "wrong" or "false" in regards to beliefs. Because it is obvious you are not talking of it in the same sense that Gold is.

When I, and presumably Gold, say a "belief X is wrong", it means "false/incorrect/demonstrably untrue/not factual/made up." Example of such a belief would be "the Earth is flat like a disc". This belief can be demonstrated to be untrue/false/wrong/incorrect.

Now, it is obvious to me at least that people can believe things for good reasons, or for poor reasons. For example, a good reason for believing your wife loves you would be a long marriage and satisfactory mutual coexistence, along with her saying she loves you. Now, that belief might be false, in the sense that your wife only fakes love in order to fulfill some ulterior motive.

On the other hand, a poor reason for believing the Earth is round would be "because that random guy over there said so". However, such a belief can also be correct.

Then there are factaully false beliefs believed for poor reasons, such as thinking that the Earth is 6000 years old because a known liar said so.

Now, since you obviously do not mean the truth value of beliefs when speaking of them being false or not, what do you mean? Are you referencing the reasons someone might have for believing something (regardless of its truth value), or do you mean something else entirely?

Quick guess? He's not accepting Correspondence-Theory of Truth, or he can just argue that truth ultimately rests upon our Paradigm. So if I believe the Earth is flat like a disc, it is certainly true that I believe it so, and that I experience it so, and in my Paradigm it might even make factual sense, but then we'd have to redefine thing slike 'round', 'disc', and our method of providing reliable evidence (i.e our definition of 'truth').

SakSak:
snip

Realitycrash:
snip

Better guess, the key words are "obviously" and "clearly". It's not some philosophical statement about what is truth or not, he's just saying if something is "obviously wrong" or "clearly wrong" it would be clear and obvious that people wouldn't believe it. That is all.

tstorm823:

SakSak:
snip

Realitycrash:
snip

Better guess, the key words are "obviously" and "clearly". It's not some philosophical statement about what is truth or not, he's just saying if something is "obviously wrong" or "clearly wrong" it would be clear and obvious that people wouldn't believe it. That is all.

'Clear' and 'obvious' are vague words. Clear to whom? Obvious according to what? And 'wrong' according to what? according to the Correspondence-theory?

burnt.hair:

Yet have we become too encoded into baseless beliefs that people have difficulty separating fact from fiction, blindly accepting information from authority figures?

And when in history did you think humans were not like that? If anything, I would suggest with our modern public education systems, we are probably less like to believe baseless things and blindly accept information from authority than ever before.

Here's an example of baseless beliefs, kindly supplied:

Blablahb:
I take it this was supposed to respond to me. And it's not true either. Responsible alcohol use is possible, and is the case in the vast majority. Responsible pot use is impossible, because for instance all adolescents invariably suffer the brain damage (to emotional regulation and memory, among others) that THC in pot causes, and all run the risk of becoming schizofrenic, or getting some of the other mental disorders that can be caused or triggered by marijuana.

1) There is no study in the world that shows all adolescents "invariably suffer... brain damage" from cannabis use. It is an abjectly fraudulent statement.

2) If you can only find that it is unsafe for adolescents and for people at risk of schizophrenia, then it is potentially safe for everyone else: which is the "vast majority" as was put.

3) Other mental disorders are nearly always triggered by heavy (i.e. irresponsible) use of cannabis: thereby having no relevance to responsible use of cannabis.

Responsible cannabis use being safe is in fact the norm for the majority of the population. Indeed, we know this is true because polls clearly indicate that a majority of the population have taken cannabis at least once, dozens of percent have once or still do take it regularly, and they're nearly all healthy, functional humans.

So here you can see how someone can have obvious proof sitting right in front of them, and believe otherwise.

tstorm823:

Better guess, the key words are "obviously" and "clearly". It's not some philosophical statement about what is truth or not, he's just saying if something is "obviously wrong" or "clearly wrong" it would be clear and obvious that people wouldn't believe it. That is all.

While this might be the explanation, I do not fully accept it. It entirely ignores such factors as willful ignorance, or preferring dogma to truth for emotional reasons, or simply rejecting a widespread idea for no other reason that it is widespread. I wouldn't argue universal vocal acceptance of an idea/belief is a requirement for it being obvious, or clear.

I would argue that it is both obvious and clear to any mature individual, that the Earth is not flat like a disc. I'm not even talking of just first world education here, even primitive cultures arrive at that conclusion easily enough.

Yet we also have groups such as the Flat Earth society, who openly state their goal is to "demonstrate that the earth is flat, and that Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax"

And if we cannot say something like this is "obviously" and "clearly" false and incorrect, then I'd say we are operating under word definitions that aren't relevant in practice.

burnt.hair:
Here in America, we live in a society that claims that it is a moral authority, and that the social norms are in place in our best interests. He have laws in place to protect us. We've developed social stigmas and taboos meant to keep us away from harm.

Yet have we become too encoded into baseless beliefs that people have difficulty separating fact from fiction, blindly accepting information from authority figures? From the birther movement, religious zealots and bigotry, and the now rabid "2nd 'mendment-ers". Large scale propaganda has convinced many Americans that the most dangerous things to an indiviul is abortion, 2 consenting adults having sex and pot. Meanwhile our most celebrated TV tradition of the SuperBowl has us rounding around the TV with friends and family to drink and have multimillion dollar spots for guns, cults, beer, and liquor. We have grown men dancing in wedding gowns for Doritos, but imagine the outrage if you had an ad featuring a man smoking a joint and playing Xbox.

So the Question I pose is this: Are we beyond the point where reality matters less than flawed beliefs, ideas and preconceived notions?

If I may ask, have you considered the consequences of universalizating the acts you are contrasting? Universalization, as far as i've ever seen, is the best test if an act is moral or not.

Lets go through them in the order you gave them:
Everyone aborts all babies. End of the human race.

Consenting adults have sex. Isn't that why the human race continues to exist (I don't mind it).

We all smoke pot daily. From what the stereotype is, we all eat a lot of taco bell and move back into our parents basement and play system of your choice. I guess it could work, but I like the benefits of productive people.

We all watch sporting events. Sorry, I'm from Wisconsin, if you aren't watching some sport you get the razzing.

We all have guns. Large percent of America does, and I lived in rural America and many people got their winter supply of meat using guns. I don't see that as a change.

We all drink a couple of beers daily. Ok I don't like this one, but like I said I'm from Wisconsin.

We all gather with family daily. Isn't that the way it used to be for a long long time? Must worked if the past somehow led to the present.

People all wear dresses. I think would just be called a fashion change which fashion does change.

So in summary, which work and which dont? I thank Immanuel Kant for showing me the way to see through the BS loads both sides throw at me.

Darken12:
Reality has always mattered less than beliefs and ideas.

Not really.
You can believe whatever you want but if you get hit by a car or get cancer or a tsunami hits your city, your beliefs and ideas will matter less than jack shit.
You can be Steve Jobs but when reality hits you, you're fucked.

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