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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Forget optimism and pessimism, because the liberal democracies of today are the most prosperous and free places ever in history. That's realism.
    Simple, succinct, and absolutely true.

  2. #12
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    No, I'm just interested in how underlying optimism or pessimism in the dominant ideas in any society can make or break it, whether its faith/religion, ideology or atheism.
    It depends how, to take the case of Victor, you arrived to liberal democracy.

    Where did your philosophic journey begin?

    If you started it with Hobbes or Voltaire, then you're likely to be a cynical/pessimistic person.

    If, on the other hand, you started it with Spinoza or Rousseau, then, stubborn optimism probably has your preference.

    And Locke would stand in the middle grey area.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    It depends how, to take the case of Victor, you arrived to liberal democracy.

    Where did your philosophic journey begin?

    If you started it with Hobbes or Voltaire, then you're likely to be a cynical/pessimistic person.

    If, on the other hand, you started it with Spinoza or Rousseau, then, stubborn optimism probably has your preference.

    And Locke would stand in the middle grey area.
    Good question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Good question.
    How do you perceive the true nature of Man, Victor?

    Do you think it's a reasonable animal, do you think it shares a fragment of divine light within his soul, or do you rather think it's a selfish parasite always thriving on the expense of others, and that has to be tamed by brute force if it wants to get civilized?

    Or something else?

    What is the nature of Man?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    What is the nature of Man?
    I tend to agree with Pascal on this one:

    "What kind of freak is man! What a novelty he is, how absurd he is, how chaotic and what a mass of contradictions, and yet what a prodigy! He is judge of all things, yet a feeble worm. He is repository of truth, and yet sinks into such doubt and error. He is the glory and the scum of the universe!"


    Man has his good traits, but he also has his bad traits. You have to take both natures into account to truely understand(and even appreciate) man in his fullness.

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