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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comeback Girl View Post
    Gays can have kids nowadays, just not by accident. I think that's pretty delightful.
    And how much does that cost? I suppose well off gays can have kids, but not everyone can drop a down payment on a house to have kids.

  2. #42
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comeback Girl View Post
    Gays can have kids nowadays, just not by accident. I think that's pretty delightful.
    If you think in monogamous type relationships yes. But if they were in a open/poly relationship it might also be natural?

  3. #43
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    Sooner or later, manners become counterproductive if they're not heartfelt, so they are useful only as far as they are relative to the culture they're carried out in. That said, this thread demonstrates that there's a notable amount of people who reject certain social niceties, so I see no apparent reason why they can't just be animals with each other so long as the sentiments are mutually understood.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Over the years civilizations figure out what their people like and what maximizes social benefits to the populace. This is why I'm somewhat traditional, because I'm not willing to throw out centuries of trial and error and cultural evolution because some johhny come lately thinks he's the first person who ever had a good idea.
    But some traditions and manners are like the C64, well adapted to the circumstances of their origin and useful for a time. But circumstances change, and today a C64 can barely order a meal at Burger King.

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    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    OK I'll justify it. When we are nice to each other, like kids saying yes sir and no ma'am to adults, opening doors, saying thanks and just generally being respectful makes life more enjoyable. Enough people where I'm from agree with this assertion that manners have been normalized in society.
    Hi I'm not going to reply to the matters more related to gay marriage as, of course, that is highly likely to result in thread derailment. The point was Nico's also, so it's up to him if he wants to follow up on it.

    I think you are misrepresenting cause and effect here. Those today who agree with the assertion that politeness norms make life more enjoyable were also those who were taught those norms from birth. In other words, these norms don't govern because the population of the moment think they are justified. Rather, the population thinks they are justified because they are the norms that govern. When you ask someone; "why do address your father as sir?" they will give justifications but not the actual cause of their behavior--that they were taught to.

    Now, I will have to point out a few things so my position won't be misunderstood here. Firstly, I'm not saying codes of courtesy cannot be justified--only that the justification used should be sufficient in itself to warrant the code, with no credence given to tradition in itself, and with a full awareness that, initially, and with no small persistence, one's intuition will move to defend what one has been taught thoughtlessly. Secondly, just because I am saying that justifications usually given for norms are insufficient, or that norms can be unjustifiable generally, I am not saying that norms were never justified at one point or another. As you say, they usually had a benefit to society (note, not necessarily a benefit to individuals, truth, or other societies) that justified their existence in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Over the years civilizations figure out what their people like and what maximizes social benefits to the populace. This is why I'm somewhat traditional, because I'm not willing to throw out centuries of trial and error and cultural evolution because some johhny come lately thinks he's the first person who ever had a good idea.
    And of course my previous leads on to discussion of this point. I do indeed recognize the process of cultural/social evolution that has occurred and which will continue to occur. Two points.

    1 Somewhat tritely I'd like to point out since extensive, particularly free self-examination and questioning of cultural holy cows is a relatively new phenomena, it hardly seems fair to call its proponents "johnny come lately's". They and their sort had much smaller scope for such activity historically, and a such their influence over society was less. They were late to the party mostly because nobody wants to turn up at their own funeral early.

    2 Here is my more interesting point. We both agree that something similar to a cultural evolution has taken place over the multiple centuries in which societies, cultures, civilizations have had the chance to evolve and compete amongst one another but it seems after this we have a division in view. I think you've mistaken the object (which is to say the beneficiary) of societal evolution. It is not the happiness or wealth of individuals nor, directly or consistently, even the majority of the population that society would propagate. Society benefits itself. A "fit" society is one that continues to exist or expands. Napoleonic France, surrounded by royalist enemies, survived and expanded because its culture allowed and encouraged revolutionary new methods of conscription, not because it made its people happy. The British Empire controlled huge areas of the world yet did so through the suffering of the majority--the working classes under the horrific new working conditions of the industrial revolution. Oppression, fear, bigotry, ignorance, lies, delusions, persecution, slavery-- these are all so much more useful for a society to enlarge or continue its existence than for its people to be happy or have their wishes met. And evolution is about survival. Norms are the genes of society; they have developed because they help a society survive and spread itself--"goodness" is going to be secondary (which is not to say they wont be good).


    Which makes it no surprise that many norms were horrible, and that other norms are unjustifiable now that notions such as freedom and truth have taken hold. Maybe--controversial opinion--norms from the ages of say, racism and slavery are worth interrogating. Again, I feel the need to point out that I am not actually claiming that our common codes of conduct don't have good justification under modern lighting, only that a thorough examination (the first stage of which might well be seemingly trite complaints going on in this thread!) is a worthy objective.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eruca View Post
    Now, I will have to point out a few things so my position won't be misunderstood here. Firstly, I'm not saying codes of courtesy cannot be justified--only that the justification used should be sufficient in itself.
    I've already justified it as much as I'm going to.

    Regardless of what arguments I came up with, you would not find them sufficient. The arguments I've made are sufficient for many, but to someone predisposed against tradition nothing would ever be sufficient. This is one of the reasons I have a tendency to state my position and just leave it there. I could spend hours constructing and argument and citing appropriate links, but I'm a busy working person and have better shit to do than argue culture with someone I've never met on the internet.

    self-examination and questioning of cultural holy cows is a relatively new phenomena, it hardly seems fair to call its proponents "johnny come lately's".
    Hence Johnny come lately. It's the new hip thing that has not yet been accurately measured against tradition. Fads come in for a time, then they get played out, and people turn back to tradition. Like I said in another thread, I think we are reaching what I like to call peak progressive right now. Its been the mainstream thing for about the last eight years. But the more mainstream it is the less cool it is. The cultural market in my opinion is about as saturated with progressivism as its going to get. We will see tradition come back into vogue before too long. Now it won't be the exact same tradition that we had the last time tradition was in vogue, but it will be an evolved improved version of it.

    People have been questioning things for years, but the current form of it is new and is "johnny come lately". Luckily its not nearly as cool to be progressive as it was in '08. Shits getting played out.

    Libertarianism is the new hip thing.

    2 Here is my more interesting point. We both agree that something similar to a cultural evolution has taken place over the multiple centuries in which societies, cultures, civilizations have had the chance to evolve and compete amongst one another but it seems after this we have a division in view. I think you've mistaken the object (which is to say the beneficiary) of societal evolution. It is not the happiness or wealth of individuals nor, directly or consistently, even the majority of the population that society would propagate. Society benefits itself. A "fit" society is one that continues to exist or expands. Napoleonic France, surrounded by royalist enemies, survived and expanded because its culture allowed and encouraged revolutionary new methods of conscription, not because it made its people happy. The British Empire controlled huge areas of the world yet did so through the suffering of the majority--the working classes under the horrific new working conditions of the industrial revolution. Oppression, fear, bigotry, ignorance, lies, delusions, persecution, slavery-- these are all so much more useful for a society to enlarge or continue its existence than for its people to be happy or have their wishes met. And evolution is about survival. Norms are the genes of society; they have developed because they help a society survive and spread itself--"goodness" is going to be secondary (which is not to say they wont be good).
    Ugh I don't really have time to unpack and debunk all this, but just for a moment let me ask you something.

    Who was better off, the serf in a fiefdom sworn to his lord and king and for all intents and purposes a slave, or the factory worker in the industrial revolution?

  7. #47
    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Who was better off, the serf in a fiefdom sworn to his lord and king and for all intents and purposes a slave, or the factory worker in the industrial revolution?
    I'm happy how our exchange has gone so I'll be leaving things there, but I do have to wander where you are going with your question here, so I'll answer you.

    I would say the factory worker in the industrial revolution had it worse, though both were very awful so in a way it is a hard call. When we looks at the life expectancies it is hard to say-- the average expectancy in liverpool (center of industry) was 26 during the industrial revolution, while the average in London was 37. Conversely, the average expectancy of a serf was 35. I can get you the sources if you require.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eruca View Post
    I'm happy how our exchange has gone so I'll be leaving things there, but I do have to wander where you are going with your question here, so I'll answer you.

    I would say the factory worker in the industrial revolution had it worse, though both were very awful so in a way it is a hard call. When we looks at the life expectancies it is hard to say-- the average expectancy in liverpool (center of industry) was 26 during the industrial revolution, while the average in London was 37. Conversely, the average expectancy of a serf was 35. I can get you the sources if you require.
    So the whole freedom to do what you want under industrialism doesn't come into play?

    Also, lets not forget the freedom to rise above your station.

    I can see how having a lord look after you would be attractive to one who's comfortable with state control.

    Luckily freedom is kind of a big deal in the States.

  9. #49
    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So the whole freedom to do what you want under industrialism doesn't come into play?

    Also, lets not forget the freedom to rise above your station.

    I can see how having a lord look after you would be attractive to one who's comfortable with state control.

    Luckily freedom is kind of a big deal in the States.
    The freedom of a working class industrial laborer was highly minimal. For one thing, opportunity to rise above their station was extremely low. Only the middle classes had a real chance of rising up, those lucky enough to have an education. This is not your bog-standard agricultural laborer who has came into the city to find work. (Likely driven off the land due to agricultural laws that favored larger farm owners) They had nothing but the clothes on there back, so to speak. Now if you had asked which i'd prefer; a, say, priest or baron in the middle ages or a middle class clerk of fair education in the industrial era I would very much prefer the latter.

    What you seem to be saying is that better a bad life of freedom than a good life of slavery; but describing industrial laborers as free is a bit of a stretch. They were free to some extent, but mostly free to get paid just enough to eat and die in their droves from overwork and horrific living conditions. Real freedom only came about due to unionization (and I can bet what you think of those!).

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eruca View Post
    The freedom of a working class industrial laborer was highly minimal. For one thing, opportunity to rise above their station was extremely low. Only the middle classes had a real chance of rising up, those lucky enough to have an education. This is not your bog-standard agricultural laborer who has come into the city to find work. They had nothing but the clothes on there back, so to speak. Now if you had asked which i'd prefer; a, say, priest or baron in the middle ages or a middle class clerk of fair education in the industrial era I would very much prefer the latter.

    What you seem to be saying is that better a bad life of freedom than a good life of slavery; but describing industrial laborers as free is a bit of a stretch. They were free to some extent, but mostly free to get paid just enough to eat and die in their droves from overwork and horrific living conditions. Real freedom only came about due to unionization (and I can bet what you think of those!).
    I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

    But then again I have the talents and disposition to compete favorably in a capitalist system.

    Not everyone can say the same.

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