Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:27 pm Post subject: Derek's Philosophy
Why are we here? This is a stupid question; only something so stupid as a human could and would ask such a question. There is no answer to that question, at least no answer that would satisfy the ravenous ego of human nature. A close approximation would be to say that we are here because of the same reason any other animal or plant is here; to reproduce and survive. People try to search for a greater meaning in life, for their creator. Again, only humans would do such a thing. Those who believe in a greater being may also believe that being a human is a gift, or that human thought is a gift from God as well. Humans are just animals who eat and sleep and defecate and reproduce just like any other animals, except we happen to have evolved the ability to advance our society.
So having established that society is an extension of human thought, can human thought be that much of a blessing? When society was in its cradle, when hunter-gatherer tribes roamed the continents trying to subsist in their respective environments, there was no room for the weak; the weak were culled by nature. In modern times, however, there are many who could be considered weak by primal standards. In times when only the fiercest, smartest, fastest, strongest, or essentially best in any category survived, many of our world's population would not be alive today. Society supports the reproduction of 'weak' human specimens, allowing a sort of genetic degeneration in the human gene pool. Whereas in primal times, only the physically and mentally attractive and strong would reproduce, nowadays anyone is. Today, the strong hold positions of power, which in turn bring food, shelter, and excessive overspending. The weak are left to live out their lives with low-paying jobs; they have food and shelter, but so did hunter-gatherers, and hunter-gatherers were not bound by any laws of society. Boiled down to the core, those holding the positions of power go against nature's design; suddenly humans are taking much more than they need, taking trees to turn into the paper money people so cherish, and using these slaughtered trees to pay for more waste and gluttony.
Why should I not simply go live in the bush? Would society chastise me for not having helped to further its development? I say, what development? Sure, we have developed cures for diseases that kill or debilitate, but when we have cured them all, which way will we grow then? Will we develop luxury to an art, but make it available to everyone? Are we actually building towards a Utopia? Or, more realistically, will all our vaunted developments only drive us to overpopulate our earth before we do? Do we, as a society, know where we are developing toward? From someone from the present knowing the past and guessing at the future, it does not seem like society is going anywhere good. I'm just glad I won't be around to know for sure.
I realize this is a coldhearted way to view things; I'm not saying I wholeheartedly agree with everything, but it's more like, "if you think about it like this...". The part about today's "weak" is a bit too harsh, but it gets a point across. I realize that today's society is good in that a mother will not have to mourn the death of her newborn child, or that in some countries a poor man with no family can receive health care and government support to stay alive. I just think, what kind of life do you live if you are simply eating and using shelter to just stay alive? In ancient times, if you cannot provide, you simply die. You may live long and prosperous , or you would die fast. There is no in between. There is no 9-to-5 so you can fit into society's picture of a normal citizen.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:51 pm Post subject: (No subject)
After reading the first paragraph I dont agree so I didnt continue to read it. I have my own Philosophy and it goes something like this...
We are put on this earth for one thing, well actually 2 if you count death, but thats not important right now. We are put on this earth to be consumers of corporate products, to make the rich richer.
See everywhere and everything we do somebody makes money! You are born, the doctor gets paid (by gov't). You need clothing on your back because somebody thought they'd make a law banning nudity, so now a cloth store gets your money. Hey look you need to eat, so you goto the grocery store to buy your food. When you buy entertainment, somebody makes money. And than when you die a funeral home makes money off you. When you are barried in the ground you are finally not making anyone any richer than they are.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 8:10 pm Post subject: (No subject)
What is the point? Why are we here? Oldest question in the book. You know my real answer is steeped in my faith, but I would like to address some some of the basic points.
1. The university professor who is happily married and puts on musical productions is not the same as the cab drivers who ran off on 2 babies, has a live-in girlfriend that he beats now and again, likes watching TV 8hrs a day and increasing his sizable beer belly, are not the same.
From a basic intuitive point of view you have to say that whatever the point of this game called life, contestant #2 is not doing to well.
2. Society does cull the weak. I know it may not seem like it, but the reality is that for the most part what is attractive is also healthy. Facial beauty is often a measure of how symetrical. The attractive are more often placed in leadership roles, and are more likely to produce offspring.
3. If you are serious about examining "the meaning of it all" I have some Plato I can lend you. Not to suggest that He had all the answers but in the same way I examine programming books for what other programmers think I examine the thoughts of great thinker.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 8:26 pm Post subject: (No subject)
wow thats deep man.. thats it this is a now a sticky
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:19 am Post subject: (No subject)
Firstly, sir.. Did you mean to capitalize 'He' when you were talking about Plato? Thought it was kind of ironic since we were talking about God and a philosopher. :p
What I am saying is, there would be no cab-driving beer-drinking wife-beating slob OR a righteous society's darling University prof putting on musical productions if there was no society. There would be no war in Iraq or high gas prices or genocide if we never developed into the society we are today. If you could ask the caveman if he beat his wife, I don't think he would tell you he did. You could say there were no women's rights back then, but then again, men's rights were established by society as an extension of men's nature wanting to establish dominance.
Back when everyone was living together to bring down the deer to eat, backstabbers and people who didnt contribute did not have any place in society, and everyone worked together. No police because there was no organized crime. No people pondering the question of "why are we here"? Because like Mr. Mckenzie said, "what is the point"? Excellent, humans now have the power of free thought. Women's rights movement successes are hailed, and when communism or dictatorships are overthrown with disdain, with democratic countries cheering. People are more free nowadays, it is said, because nudity as a form of expression in art is more widely accepted and tasteful. People are more free nowadays, it is said, because children in some countries have access to free public education where they play Fishy. We had nudity in the cave man days, except nobody made such a big deal out of it.
** Note, I realize this is not a complete argument or thought or whatever...however, Mr. Mckenzie decided to read my post before I wanted him to...lol. Response is below.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:17 am Post subject: (No subject)
but all of these points are answering different questions. Basically you are addressing "was this development 'good' for 'us' as a whole?" Now obviously you need to define good, and define who us is. This brings us down a long line of what ifs.
The reality is that we can not change the past. We can never know what this word would be like if there was no gunpowder or no cities or no clothing. The only thing we can change is our own actions.
As far as a personal philosophy goes I think it is important to understand what our society is about (the good the bad and the ugly) then decide how we fit into this. But to reduce us all to unthinking beasts ignores some obvious truths, and some obvious good that does exist in the world.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 8:50 pm Post subject: (No subject)
Ok, I realize my argument is not really focused; I was thinking how I was jumping all over the place when I wrote my original post.
And I guess philosophy isn't a good word to describe it either... Andy, if you can think of a synonymish word, change it if you can. It's more like a thought process, where I took an node(Idea) and branch(Idea)'ed from it. Well geez, this IS compsci.ca isn't it?
Unthinking beasts may be more than what I was going for; humans will never be unthinking beasts, but really, what the heck happened for society to turn out the way it is? If we try to trace its course...
Society at its roots started out when groups of humans banded together to hunt or to oppose other groups of humans who encroached on their territory. I suppose when humans learned to communicate they were able to become more effective as social units. This is probably where diplomacy was invented. Diplomacy between tribe members, or with members of other tribes. So did people learn to backstab and lie when they learned how to communicate? Subtle manipulation afforded by clear communication could have been the cradle of modern society. Still, that is only maybe the root... Society today could have been shaped by the wants of one individual. This person was probably named Troy. Or Henry. Or Polonius. I think that perhaps this individual was the dominant in a tribe, and they enforced their views on their tribe. Somehow their views spread, and suddenly humankind in a large area had similar views. Who knows... If you're asking what it is I'm getting at, maybe its that I think a better use of the earth would have been if advanced society had never happened. How would that happen? Well how about if civilizations just routinely died out, like the Mayans?
I've gotta say this branch is just uninspired speculation. But you could picture some of it, couldn't you?
And another thing, one day when we have all the cures for everything, and a solution for any sort of non-human-caused death, mankind will overpopulate the Earth and people will start to fall off the edge...hehe. Seriously though, when people stop dying from sickness, people will start dying from lack of air, food, and standing room. What will we do then? Have annual cullings? Society needs to look into the long term more. How will society deal with spreading economic wealth around? How is it possible today, with inflation and exchange rates and all? Trade is another of our society's shortcomings... Say that our society does figure out a way to spread economic wealth, cure every disease, and even sustain this massive population. For some people, enough is just not enough. More is not even enough. There will always be someone who wants more. There can be no perfect society, but there surely can be better ones than ours right now.
Actually, I started thinking all of this one day when thinking about my future...lol I figured that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, probably a history teacher. I don't want to be a doctor who makes a lot of money, or a jet-setting CEO. I don't want to be a burger engineer at Burger King, and I don't want to be a mechanical engineer for whomever. I'm sure the people who can get into med school or law school feel pretty confident that they can spend the rest of their lives making easy money after a relatively worthwhile 7 year degree. But that doesn't appeal to me. I want to be like my role models, and to make my students look at me like I looked at my teachers. Teachers like Litterick, Caldwell, Dagg, Zieba, Hlady, Solotzo (sp.?) and even Mckenzie (stop reading this thread, sir), because they made class fun and learning a no-hassle byproduct. Then I got to thinking, when I have kids, I want them to have as good an oppurtunity as my parents have provided me. Tuition fees being what they are today, and a teacher's salary being around... 30k starting? I didn't know if I'd be able to pay for my kids' tuition. But if I couldn't they'd hafta qualify for a scholarship. And my childhood being what it is, with alot of (what I feel is) excessive parental pressure about my marks, I don't think I will have the same approach. So then I started thinking how I'd be as a parent. If I don't teach them good, they won't be motivated to do well in life, and then they will do the same to their kids. All this led me to think, back in the day, people didn't worry about tuition fees, or mortgages. People only worried about finding shelter and killing their next meal.
Yeah, I realize I think about weird things for my age, perhaps for any age. Wellll, once you get old, nothing is too weird to think about. Septuagenarian and older are excused to think about stuff like why their twelve cats seem to be getting smaller, or how their sprinkler system turns on at the same darn time every day, even in winter; they've made it this far. It's just thinking, and thinking is only human . I also realize this isn't the best persuasive writing I've ever done. But it is just a web forum after all. No critics that I'm afraid of here (except the NJ...he burns hard).
Also, I just wanted to add a little religious disclaimer here. I realize what I am putting out here may go against the religion of some people, but I don't mean to offend anyone. Everything I say here goes on the basis that you believe in or have heard of the theory of evolution. You can say man did not evolve from anything, or whatever you want; it's an open topic, and all comments are welcome.
Oh yeah, one last thing. I guess I don't need to change my avatar pic eh? All my posts in this thread have been long enough to justify it.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:43 pm Post subject: (No subject)
First off it's not so weird to think of these things at your age. I thought of the exact same things, and even though I was religious I had an equaly pesemistic view of things. I eventually realized that everything happens for a reason, and by-and-large people are good, and do what that feel is right. As for a desire to be a cave-man "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".
Again I suggest that if you are interested in the study of society, study it, but keep an open mind. More importantly focus on your own values and philosophy to ensure that you don't emulate the things that you hate in society.
As far as offending the pious, I wouldn't worry too much. Computer Science is filled with atheists. The truth is the truth. If you bring up a genuine question that shakes my faith the problem is not the question, it's my level of faith.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:43 pm Post subject: (No subject)
My dad gave me a very affirmative 'no' answer when I asked him if I could buy an air rifle. That sucks so much. Way to crush my dreams. I guess I'll hafta keep my XS-B18 800 FPS break-barrel .177 calibre air rifle with Monte Carlo stock and parkerized finish, along with 3-9x42 adjustable power scope and mount on layaway. Sweet, sweet, layaway. Farewell, my lovely.
Unless someone wants to keep it at their house for me...preferably someone with an open field near their house without many people
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:34 pm Post subject: (No subject)
I was offend by your litte easy there Dauntless. Not becuse it implyed anything about region or the existscan of a god but becouse of your second pargerft. How dare you go and say what poleop should be alowed to exist just so you can have your eclosive soticy of so called poleop who are geneticly prue and have a "clean" gene pool. How can you start going aroud and saying what kind of poleop are geneticly right?
Also i totaly disagaery with your litte idea there that killing off any one who dose not fit your gentick profile will hurt the human race. Even tho i diss like the way our socity is going now a days i do not think we whould be better off with out it all togther. It has chaged the way things work, no longer the pshicly strong rule, but is that a bad thing? If you realy think about it is not wrong, it is just how we are evolaling. Now intelgenc is becoming more import then phiscal abitys...why?...becuse we no longer have to be pshicaly strong, i mean being hetly is good a good thing but how offten do you have to go and kill some perditor on your way to school or wrok?
See, the formation of socity has just chaged who the weak are, it has not made it so there are no weak. Also this is hardly making the gene poll worse off, it is just chaging it. The one thing that truly whould mess it up whould be to go out and all the poleop you are considering weak. The main strigth in worlad today is our divistry, if we where to do what you impley whont you just be creating a new kind of socity that is just like this one X100? That whould be going agested nature's design even more then we are now. Also nature's design is eviotion, and we have evloed, we no longer need tobe sotrong physcialy to soverie and insted we are strong metealy.
You can go live out our life as a cave man with a club if you think that whould bring more meaing to your life, but i bivle that igroince is not as blisfull as some poleop say. I realy dislike our socity but i whould take it any day over one where poleops lives are detrmend by wthere they are genticalk like the set out guide lines.
Alougth i do aggery that we do need to stop kill the erath, it is the only one we have. I bilve that nothing is set yet, we can still turn it in to a Utopia if we can get over our difrreces (not kill every one who is weak inculed) and start wroking together for the good of every human and living thing on this earth. life is import we should try to persever as much of it as we can whtere it is weak or not.
And as for your littinng thing there on "Why are we here", there may be no awser to that and we may just be a random thing that happend. But we are not like the rest of the life here, just the fact that we can ask the question "Why are we here" makes us difrent. We can unnderstand how our actions will effect the wrold around us, for this reason i think we should be wroking on saving the life around us. May be this is why we are here, some one has to take care of the erath or may be we are here for totaly ther reasons, ether way for all we know this could be the only place where life exists in the univers so we should try to keep it avlie and stop our petty wars.
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Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:19 pm Post subject: (No subject)
First off, I want to address the line that stuck out to me the most.
Hacker Dan said,
How dare you go and say what poleop should be alowed to exist just so you can have your eclosive soticy of so called poleop who are geneticly prue and have a "clean" gene pool.
This is in response to how I said,
Society supports the reproduction of 'weak' human specimens, allowing a sort of genetic degeneration in the human gene pool. Whereas in primal times, only the physically and mentally attractive and strong would reproduce, nowadays anyone is.
The wording here is definitely harsher than I wanted it to be. I didn't want it to be harsh at all. In fact, now that I think about the idea I was originally trying to get across, it was a stupid point anyways, because, first off, any 'genetic degeneration' will probably be addressed in the future by advances in genetics. Secondly, yes, diversity is one of society's redeeming qualities.
Okay, I was a bit hardcore about "the weak". But I addressed that in the end paragraph. I also never said anything about fitting MY genetic profile. You are assuming I think I am one of the strong, the fit to survive. If this were that situation I was describing, I wouldn't be here. For long at least. I never implied that we should take nature into our own hands. I said that if we went back to our roots, man would be under the same rules that the rest of the living world is restricted by. To the point of man is no better than animal, only different. People view the circle of life as a neat way nature cleans up. Weak deer are eaten by strong wolves. The strong deer live to eat and reproduce. No strong deer starve because weak deer have eaten the food. This is viewed as good; this happens in a healthy ecosystem. With no natural predators, the deer starve to death eventually. If one wanted to take a compeletely realist view of things, we are the deer right now. We have no natural predators, and we are heading towards starvation. I do not think that we should change it by killing the weak so the strong have more food, that's not the case or the solution. Also, by strong, I don't mean just physically strong. I'm sure back then those who were intelligent or had other good social qualities were cared for by their family groups.
People are not better than animals because they can think. People are only a different kind of animal. No animal other than a human ever beat their mate, or blew their life on narcotics and killed people. Such a horrible thing as the Holocaust never happened outside of human history for a reason. Humans are the only race to be outright cruel; animals may kill for a need or out of instinct, but never to just inflict pain and cause misery.
Additionally, I was trying to address the fact that man believes himself superior because he can think. I think people tend to romanticize themselves because they can think. Our gift is the gift of thought, but animals don't have it and they get along fine. When a person dies, it is basically like they have become just another animal; there is no longer thought inside them. When a person dies, there is nothing. Just think about that, this is what really made me think. People that are living are unique and special, but we are just animals, and it is never more apparent than when we are returned to the soil. In the end, there is no difference. Just that the thinking man's way of living is causing suffering and destroying the earth.
Finally, for everyone who reads this in the future too. What I say in here is not meant to be taken to heart. This is not a case of supressed genocidal feelings. What was only meant to be a discussion has been interpreted as something else. I only wanted to put out some thoughts that I had the other night. I wanted to have people to talk about it with. I didn't want to offend anyone. That's why at the end of EVERY post I write something to that end. If you think its a stupid point, say that. It makes me feel... ashamed to have people say its offensive when I never meant it to be so and I don't feel like I deserve that. I definitely don't feel good about every word I say in the sense that I feel like some of them could be turned against me when I never meant to bring across that point.
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:48 pm Post subject: (No subject)
well i think it is a stupid poit to say that we whould be or where better off when we where more primitive. Also i dont think is side that we where better then anaimals. I agger that phsicaly we are all the same in the end but metaly or at least some part of us i whould like to bivle lives on. I just find it hard to bivle that we could stop our thinking even affter death, and i whould like to bivle that the contiones lives on in some way. What or how that may be i dont know and it may not even be importent as long as it dose. Alougth i could all ways be wrong and when we die we could be nothing, in that case we should live our lives to the fullest while we still can think and try to help put the erath on the right cores whell we are still here.
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Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:44 am Post subject: (No subject)
Ok, keeping it simple... I'm not really understanding you guys at all, but here is my thoughts on why we are here:
My thought: We are not here for any one reason. We are here for unique reasons, and that depends on our walk of life, our mental strength, our physical strength, etc. If you are a doctor, then you are meant to heal people, if you are a teacher you are meant to teach people, if you are a landlord, you are meant to collect the money that people owe you. If you are a prostitute you are meant to pleasure people, etc... The reason people are here is then practically for the continued existence of the human species, like someone said already. The continued existence of the human species is the continued existence of morality/immorality, intelligence, etc. at least on this planet. Society has practically now become the continued existence of self - through what someone said already, backstabbing, manipulation, the quest for the highest job, the quest to be the most powerful. BLAH BLAH BLAH.
i hope i made sense, i wasn't really thinking that hard on it and I didn't really read all the other posts (too long!!)...
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:00 pm Post subject: (No subject)
to only live for and to glorify God.
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:11 pm Post subject: (No subject)
Hey, there's no point in debating this... we are all gonna die someday, might as well save urselves from carpal tunnel syndrome...
Anyways, my thoughts: I think humans are not gonna survive, since we are the weakest of all, we depend on the one weakest organ for survival: The Brain. If put into the wild with gorillas without any of our tools or technology, or even clothes, Im sure a majority of us would not survive...