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  1. #61
    shadow boxer strawberries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Beauty is entirely subjective, intelligence is not. Intelligence has direct benefits over its absence. Thinking beauty is important has no direct benefits over thinking it's unimportant.

    If you could convince someone with an ugly self-perception that beauty didn't matter, it would solve all of their problems on the issue. Their self-esteem would never take a hit again due to appearances, and they would judge less by them.
    there are objective standards of attractiveness: health, symmetry, pedomorphy, hip to waist ratio... we are biologically wired to value physical attractiveness as it suggests fertility.

    i can't say whether the experience was ultimately positive or negative for those women, as i don't know them or what they experienced during the programme. hopefully they were able to form some new positive associations regarding their body. to try to convince these women that their appearance doesn't mattter would be condescending. there has been much research done on the benefits of being attractive: higher salaries, more successful interpersonal relationships, better treatment by the legal system etc.

    interestingly, lark had rodin's thinker statue as an avatar for a while. i remember lark being quite unimpressed when someone brought it up in the 'what's the gayest thing you do' thread. it's a beautiful bronzed form of a naked man - stripped of everything but his meditative thoughts.

    does rendering an image in bronze make it somehow more virtuous than a photograph? or are we upset that the photographer's subjects are women? :rolli:

    i'm glad that rodin didn't feel compelled to smother his thinker's superb musculature with modesty.

    rodin on the thinker:


    The Thinker has a story. In the days long gone by I conceived the idea of the Gates of Hell. Before the door, seated on the rock, Dante thinking of the plan of the poem behind him... all the characters from the Divine Comedy. This project was not realized. Thin ascetic Dante in his straight robe separated from all the rest would have been without meaning. Guided by my first inspiration I conceived another thinker, a naked man, seated on a rock, his fist against his teeth, he dreams. The fertile thought slowly elaborates itself within his brain. He is no longer a dreamer, he is a creator



  2. #62
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Servitude existed prior to Christian religion.
    Very true.

    Even the Jesus Christ character and most of the Bible isn't original. Christianity copied the Messiah, the resurrection, the final judgment, the virgin birth, the dying on a cross, the born on December 25th, the 3 wise men, the gold, myrrh and frankincense thing, the Last Supper with the 12 Disciples, etc....

    All that was copied from Mithra and Zoroastrianism. An earlier religion. Plagiarism!! Blatant. Or the largest coincidence ever? Wouldn't God be more original than to copy an earlier false religion? If a God exists, it's for damn sure not a Christian one, IMO.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries View Post
    there are objective standards of attractiveness: health, symmetry, pedomorphy, hip to waist ratio... we are biologically wired to value physical attractiveness as it suggests fertility.
    They aren't objective. As soon as one person doesn't find something attractive, it is not objectively attractive. A homosexual male is a simple example of someone not finding any of that attractive.

    Beauty is entirely in the subject. Intelligence is vague and ambiguous, but when a clear definition is used, it is entirely in the object.

    For all we know those results are influenced more by culture than biology, but that's besides the point. Even if it was "wired" into us, we can still change that (with varied levels of extremity), but that is again besides the point. Just wanted to mention them.

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries View Post
    to try to convince these women that their appearance doesn't mattter would be condescending. there has been much research done on the benefits of being attractive: higher salaries, more successful interpersonal relationships, better treatment by the legal system etc.
    And here is a misunderstanding of the word "matter". Sure, convincing them not to base their happiness on how they look won't change other people's reactions. People will still be prejudice towards the cultural standards of attractiveness, as their are with skin color, gender, age and such.

    They can still choose to play that game, and get prejudice on their side. I simply meant convincing them not to base their well-being on how they look, and not to judge themselves and others based on appearances. I'll repeat that I don't think it is a realistic option, just an ideal one.

    I should have been clearer on definitions there, and I apologise for that.

  4. #64
    shadow boxer strawberries's Avatar
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    i'm not talking exclusively about sexual attraction - i'm talking about generally accepted standards of health/attractiveness. a homosexual man won't want to shag an attractive woman, but he can certainly discern a conventionally attractive woman from an ugly one. of course we receive cultural conditioning that mitigates our base biological instincts, but we can't completely override them.

    and arguably tests that quantify/define intelligence are culturally skewed.

  5. #65
    Senior Member chachamaru's Avatar
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    I think women have learned to objectify themselves in order to measure their self worth.

    And by women, I mean white, middle class, American/"western" women. Also, those minority women who have become assimilated.

    I share Lark's concern that this might... be problematic?
    a cat is fine too

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries View Post
    i'm not talking exclusively about sexual attraction - i'm talking about generally accepted standards of health/attractiveness. a homosexual man won't want to shag an attractive woman, but he can certainly discern a conventionally attractive woman from an ugly one. of course we receive cultural conditioning that mitigates our base biological instincts, but we can't completely override them.

    and arguably tests that quantify/define intelligence are culturally skewed.
    And again, all it takes is one person saying it's not attractive. Doesn't matter what type of attractiveness it is. You even say "generally accepted", highlighting the fact that the only reason it's considered a standard at all is because a lot of people (subjects) think it is.

    Sure there might be some weirder definitions of intelligence used, it is just a word after all. The vast majority however, and what I am referring to, are independent of the observer. How fast someone works out an arithmetical problem is not dependent on who is watching, and even the more complex definitions come down to stuff as simple as that (like IQ, the ability to be happy, or self-criticism). As with anything, human bias is involved, but beauty standards are a human bias.

    Do you have any evidence that their are "base biological instincts" affecting what we find attractive? We have no "base biological instincts" around walking or wearing clothes, yet the vast majority of humanity walks and wears clothes. I can think of some experiments that might answer that question, but they are very inhumane.

  7. #67
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chachamaru View Post
    I think women have learned to objectify themselves in order to measure their self worth.

    And by women, I mean white, middle class, American/"western" women. Also, those minority women who have become assimilated.

    I share Lark's concern that this might... be problematic?
    Indeedy. I mean, they have an entirely aisle dedicated to the concept in retail stores for goodness sakes.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  8. #68
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    Indeedy. I mean, they have an entirely aisle dedicated to the concept in retail stores for goodness sakes.
    It's a little insane, the amount of industry generated off female beauty nowadays.

    Then again, I'm inclined to think it's a human problem, something in our make-up (ha ha -- look, a pun!), not a society-generated one.
    Because every freakin' society I can think of has problems like this, from one degree or another, don't they?
    It might be accentuated more in one society, but the problem has persisted over the course of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm
    They aren't objective. As soon as one person doesn't find something attractive, it is not objectively attractive. A homosexual male is a simple example of someone not finding any of that attractive.

    Beauty is entirely in the subject. Intelligence is vague and ambiguous, but when a clear definition is used, it is entirely in the object.
    I am going to differ a bit in that I think, from individual to individual, beauty is not universal, but we can look at broader patterns across cultures and see trends in beauty. Human insecurity also seems universal, so it's likely that the pump gets primed in women based on the cultural standards of the day; the insecurity persists, but it looks different from culture to culture. Same thing with standards of beauty.

    Quote Originally Posted by AjBlaise
    There has been some very sharp tacks who held religious views. I also think, back in 500 B.C. all the way to the 1600s and beyond, religious answers to everyday questions were more plausible, because logical scientific answers weren't available to compete with the supernatural theories. We haven't quite gotten a grip on how the world and universe actually works, until very recently. And even now, what we know, is probably so little compared to what's out there. And where science and technology will take us 50, 100, 500 years from now.

    So perhaps a great mind would be more inclined in the past to hold strong religious views, than they are in the present, is what I think. Is that terribly arrogant and untrue, do you think?
    I think there are many things now that we can provide in-depth explanation for that, in the past, were relegated necessarily to the realm of superstition and religious belief, yes, in order to provide a comforting explanation. And I think maybe we will discover even more things as we examine the human mind, and see how cells and organisms develop, and be able to recreate various natural processes that we yet cannot, that will answer many more questions.

    But typically none of that answers the question, "Why" or "What if?" Faith was never supposed to be an antagonist of "reality," it was supposed to be a parallel and integrated frame via which to view and experience it. it offers explanations that provide meaning.

    I think you'd be pretty hard-pressed, if I just go by the contents of your arguments I've seen in this thread, to go the distance with Aquinas or even Kant. Don't ask me what that means.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #69
    shadow boxer strawberries's Avatar
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    erm, one person saying someone isn't attractive doesn't mean there aren't identifiable patterns in attractiveness. there are many studies on biology and attractiveness that have been conducted all over the world with similar results; symmetry, pedomorphy, hip to waist ratio etc are linked to attractiveness in women, as i mentioned. evidence? i linked to a piece on the way attractiveness relates to fertility/hormones earlier. why are beauty standards to use your term a 'human bias'? not by accident. they're linked to biology.

    there is also much literature on the cultural bias of iq tests if you care to investigate.

  10. #70
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's a little insane, the amount of industry generated off female beauty nowadays.

    Then again, I'm inclined to think it's a human problem, something in our make-up (ha ha -- look, a pun!), not a society-generated one.
    Because every freakin' society I can think of has problems like this, from one degree or another, don't they?
    It might be accentuated more in one society, but the problem has persisted over the course of time.
    Oh I have no doubt your correct about this. I guess I just share the thought that it bears further consideration given the age we're living in (mass media/internet/all that) the consequences that putting so much emphasis on physical beauty on people. I know personally many women who are truly wonderful, beautiful people who tear themselves to pieces because they live in a society that places such an enormously high standard on beauty

    It sucks and makes me sad
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

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