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  1. #1
    Senor Membrane
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    Default Are Societies Directed by Values?

    I've had this problem of not being able to relate to the way the world is run. It's been there for a long time. I've never been able to get a firm grip of the issue, it has been "just a feeling" and a lot of unrelated events. Maybe it helps to make a list of the latest "WTF?!" -events:

    -Contractors in Iraq
    -Katrina and the abandonment of New Orleans
    -Lehman Bros and the other guys
    -Monsanto and their monopoly of soybean
    -Greece and the lack of regulation by EU

    Well, there's only a few. Usually when I read the newspaper I find at least one "WTF?!"-event. Anyways, the way I link these is that in every case I have this feeling that no normal good person would allow these things to happen, if they knew all the facts when making the decision. So, why did they happen? No one knew the facts? They were just innocent mistakes?

    I started thinking that what if it is the ruling principles or their absence in the society. Now we measure success by growth in GDP. It seems to be the main goal. What if we changed that? What would be the results if we measured success by the wellbeing of people? It would be hard to measure, but I think it would be possible. If we started taxing things and services that are harmful to wellbeing and reduce taxes of things that are good for you. We should also take in consideration if the production of goods is harmful to environment or to the people who make these products. To stabilize the economy, we could tax money transactions. That would make it harder for the speculators to make such a mess...

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the biggest problem is anonymity.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I think the biggest problem is anonymity.
    That is definitely part of it. If all the companies had someone on the top to take full personal responsibility of everything that the company does, it would make a huge difference.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    That is definitely part of it. If all the companies had someone on the top to take full personal responsibility of everything that the company does, it would make a huge difference.
    That's one of the biggest problems with the idea of corporations. It allows people, as a group, to do things that they would never get away with if they did it by themselves.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #5
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That's one of the biggest problems with the idea of corporations. It allows people, as a group, to do things that they would never get away with if they did it by themselves.
    Absolutely, and are allowed to do so indefintiely, as corporations can exist far past the date of their founding partners' demise.

    Scary stuff actually.
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  6. #6
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    Yeah, the corporations have in a way become independent living entities. Closest thing there is to artificial life... Too bad that they seem to have the moral code of a cancer.

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The problem is that different societies have different values.

    Tribal societies like Afghanistan have tribal values. Authoritarian societies like China have authoritarian values and Western societies have Enlightenment values.

    So tribal societies don't value authoritarian or Enlightenment values and so on.

    This is based on the fact that there has never been a civilization not based on a religion. And religions have incompatible world views and values.

    And also different societies have different child rearing practices.

    And we all think our values are the best, except in my case, I am right.

    There is an exception though - there is no Chinese mathematics or Chinese chemistry or Chinese astronomy, or American astronomy or Afghan astronomy. There is only mathematics or chemistry or astronomy.

    So scientists from any society share the same values of evidence and reason. Otherwise science doesn't work.

    But science does work, from modern medicine to Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    However science is counter-intuitive and we learn to speak intuitively at our mother's knee. And so under stress we fall back on the comfort of mother. And so we believe all kinds of intuitive things like astrology or MBTI or Creationism, or Chinese medicine, or jihad and martyrdom, or God the Father, or the Analects of Confucius. Or we even find comfort in animism.

    It seems the only way out is free and open conversation - quite like what we are doing here - that is why freedom of speech is so important.

  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    This is the sort of subject where an absolute answer is of course unknown to me, and even speculating would be so complicated that it sort of makes me go I don't feel up to trying...

    My very short response is: The apparent presenve of social values, or at least people acting on them, breaks down more the larger a population gets.
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  9. #9
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I've had this problem of not being able to relate to the way the world is run. It's been there for a long time. I've never been able to get a firm grip of the issue, it has been "just a feeling" and a lot of unrelated events. Maybe it helps to make a list of the latest "WTF?!" -events:

    -Contractors in Iraq
    -Katrina and the abandonment of New Orleans
    -Lehman Bros and the other guys
    -Monsanto and their monopoly of soybean
    -Greece and the lack of regulation by EU

    Well, there's only a few. Usually when I read the newspaper I find at least one "WTF?!"-event. Anyways, the way I link these is that in every case I have this feeling that no normal good person would allow these things to happen, if they knew all the facts when making the decision. So, why did they happen? No one knew the facts? They were just innocent mistakes?

    I started thinking that what if it is the ruling principles or their absence in the society. Now we measure success by growth in GDP. It seems to be the main goal. What if we changed that? What would be the results if we measured success by the wellbeing of people? It would be hard to measure, but I think it would be possible. If we started taxing things and services that are harmful to wellbeing and reduce taxes of things that are good for you. We should also take in consideration if the production of goods is harmful to environment or to the people who make these products. To stabilize the economy, we could tax money transactions. That would make it harder for the speculators to make such a mess...

    What do you think?
    Yeu'd become a socalist country.

    Considering how hard they worked to force the capitalist thing in the first place, it'd be near impossible to change now since the people have been forcefed dogma and propaganda for so long that they don't WANT to be happy or healthy or give a damn about anyone else. They want to have lots of STUFF, lots of MONEY, lots of personal gain. Everyone who doesn't have STUFF sucks and should be ignored because they're obviously lazy bastards.



    Now, that being said, yes, it's obvious societies are directed by their values. That's whot a society is. Srsly. People of like minded beliefs band together, this's how societies are formed in the first place. If they didn't have similar beliefs, it eventually cracks and turns into civil war. In the USA, there's only two parties and they both agree for the most part on most topics, with only minor issues with the specific details. They're not going to be total polar opposites of each other; their core values are still the same; their interpretation of such is the difference.

    It's like having say... christianity, there's literally THOUSANDS of different denominations... but they have the same root values, they just interpret the specific details differently is all.

    But yes, to answer yeur question, societies are directed by values. Laws are built upon those values. Dogma, religions, propaganda, it all is comprised of the same stuff from the same place.

    People will simply go towards like minded others. Or be forcefed the same stuff until they join them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MafiaAngel180's Avatar
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    I think we consume far too much. Corporations would be NOTHING without us. If there aren't better regulations, we could turn our backs on them and focus strictly on responsible businesses because they are out there.

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