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  1. #21
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    There is nothing "natural" within Human culture
    Everything humanity does is natural.. We are indigenous to the Planet.. we are part of nature , our behavior is natural.
    I mean what else do we even have to compare it to? Animals?

    If the rest of you post isn't the biggest pile of self serving verbal diarrhea I have ever had served to me.. I don't know what is.

    You make a lot of "factual statements" in the name of keeping an open mind. Yet your opinion is as narrow as any of the others you are speaking against.
    You are speaking about a political situation like you know more about it than the people who live in it.
    Then you speak of arrogance in others.
    Why don't I start telling you how things are on your street, and let's see how much credibility you give me??.
    Yeah I thought so..

    Your ideas and opinions are always welcome..
    But please don't be a zealot..
    Merci bien

  2. #22
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    Ever hear this Joke?

    So A British sailor and French sailor are sitting in a tavern..

    And the Frenchman is lamenting the many defeats to the hands of the English suffered by the French.
    "Mon Dieu" he says.. "no matter what we do. no matter how great our numbers, not matter our strategy, we cannot defeat you English.. why???"

    So The British man replies.. "Well see.. we pray to God before every battle"
    The French cries.. "Zoot Alors!!.. So do we"
    "Yes" Says the Brit
    "But.... we pray in English"

  3. #23
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    There is nothing "natural" within Human culture. You can't say there is indeed a "natural trend" unless you subscribe to some outdated fascistic ideas like social darwinism.
    And it's easy to prove that point: just check Arclight's post.

    Everything here, every reaction is POLITICAL, cultural or related to this complex notion we call "Identity". Now think Ontologically rather than in a conveniently selfish, pseudo-utilitarian way.

    Languages are not mere tools, and never will be (unless you're monolingual yourself and unable to understand what it means to be able to stimulate other areas of your brain). There are part of our cultural identities, there are part of our common heritage, the heritage of mankind. With every new language comes new sounds, new thoughts, new ways to formulate new ideas. A world dominated by an an unique language is the dream of every would-be totalitarian mind, a world of extreme conformity.

    I say we should mourn the disappearance of so many heritages, just like we mourn the disappearance of the countless species that used to live in what remains of the tropical rain forest. There's no reason to be happy or to accept that "unavoidable trend", if you're able to catch the metaphor.
    The thing is, you're not offering any logical arguments, or explaining WHY we should value French so much. Can you honestly tell me that the world will be that much poorer for the loss of ONE of many bastardized versions of Latin in a primarily English-speaking country? I can sort of see why you would make such an argument towards preservation of rare tribal languages like Cherokee, but French is by no means a unique or nearly extinct language. I'm sure it will be spoken in France for a long time to come. There is very little that is unique to France... it is a typical European culture in most respects. And Western European culture is not in any danger of disappearing soon.

    Now, I do agree that people should try to learn more than one language. But I think it should be a language that is actually useful, like Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. Languages that will help them in a global marketplace. French is a language that limits you to very small areas in the world that offer little opportunity.

    Oh, and that argument about everything being culture or political, rather than utilitarian? That would make it even easier for me to dismiss what you're saying... you only care because you're French, and you want to see French culture maintain some kind of influence in Canada, because you believe that it may indirectly benefit you in terms of France maintaining a limited sort of political power over Quebec. Now who's selfish? Napoleon is dead, your Empire has crumbled, your revolution was a failure, and all you have left is your wine, your passion, and your pride. The "lingua franca" of the world is no longer French. Deal with it.

    Now of course, that argument in the above paragraph is absurd, but if I insisted on looking at everything a political context rather than a utilitarian one, that's what my arguments would look like. Not very intelligent, is it?

  4. #24
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    Tabarnak!

    I disagree. The French language hasn't evolved very much lately, and if it goes extinct, it goes extinct.
    Tiens donc! "The French language hasn't evolved very much lately".... This is a very surprising assertion. Are you a fluent French speaker? Do you share notions of linguistics, should you feel the need to compare?

    Arrogance, arrogance.


    The whole purpose of language is to communicate, and if people find other languages more effective for communication (or find that learning the language is pointless since no one else speaks it), then it should be assimilated/absorbed by more useful languages or just discarded.
    "Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated."


    Take what's useful and get rid of the rest (stripped for spare parts). Don't get me wrong, my father's side of the family is completely Francophone, and my mother's side is half-Francophone, but I, as a few others have said, have no interest in maintaining French for its own sake. It would be an artificially preserved culture. Furthermore, being different does not justify preservation, especially since language, to me, is strictly utilitarian.
    And for the other point: NO. Languages aren't tools. There is something else associated with their use, something else you can't even deny. For instance, languages have the unique ability to "shape" our thoughts.
    If you master several foreign languages, this property will become more and more obvious.



    Besides, despite the fact everyone seems to hate the French where I am from, French is still alive and kicking in New Brunswick without legislation to ensure its safety. We even have earpieces you can wear in the Legislative Assembly that translates what the speaker is saying into either English of French. The language can survive on its own over here.
    No. French is dying in Acadia.

    Then again, Quebec doesn't hold NB french in very high regard. I have encountered some pretty nasty snobbery from visiting Quebecers in my time at the tourist bureau (And the French here isn't very pretty or formal, so I can understand their issue, but still, show some respect!). Quebec is probably afraid their language will turn into Frenglish, and they'll start speaking like they're from Moncton.

    I just don't give two shits about this cultural oversensitivity.
    Because you are in the position of the strong that oppresses the weak, and even more perverse, you seem to believe that this oppression is thoroughly justified, that you're doing this for a good purpose, to save those poor French-speaking barbarians from their intellectual underdevelopment.

    Are you aware that's technically the definition of cultural imperialism?

    Arrogance, arrogance.

    And we French people did the same thing with African people. So I know how to recognize that special self-statisfied contempt, maybe because I have a more critical stance over the history of my own nation?

    Guess.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #25
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Now of course, that argument in the above paragraph is absurd, but if I insisted on looking at everything a political context rather than a utilitarian one, that's what my arguments would look like. Not very intelligent, is it?
    Indeed, since you acknowledge it your arguments don't seem especially intelligent, because they discard so many aspects of contemporary human life that they look almost absurd for an outsider's view.
    Are you aware that taking the real world into account is part of the "Thinking process", as defined in this site?

    Do you really think you can discard Sociology, Identity, Politics and Culture with just a snap of fingers thanks to your pseudo-utilitarian fascistic bullshit?

    Be realistic, just for a change.

    Thinking the world should submit only to what you want it to be is maybe the greatest arrogance of all. And a tremendous mistake, if there should only be one. You have to accept it the way it really is.

    -----

    Learning a language has nothing to do with "opportunities" nor "global marketplaces". This reduction of meaning is extremely trivial, if not ludicrous.

    When you learn a language, what you gain first is the access to a a completely different culture, new ways to shape or to represent things, events, anything meaningful for us human beings.
    You do not gain access to a new market, or rather, that is only a secondary, very minor benefit, and only relevant for a minority of people. I did not learn English for those minor reasons, but because I enjoyed English culture, English litteracy, English poetry, and so on. I did it because I felt CURIOUS about my environment, and also because we in Brittany often feel much more closer to our cousins beyond the Channel (just a sail away) than the average French: once again, a culturally inherited trait.

    Curiosity. And a light flavoring of Yeats, Eliot and Beckett (who happened to be a close friend and neighbour of my aunt).

    Do you think that when people learn how to play a musical instrument, they do it only for utilitarian purposes, to gain access to "new markets"??
    Yet millions of people are doing it.
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 02-13-2011 at 10:40 PM.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    Everything humanity does is natural.. We are indigenous to the Planet.. we are part of nature , our behavior is natural.
    I mean what else do we even have to compare it to? Animals?
    So you really want to engage in an epistemological debate over this complex question? Do you want to go as far as the Fusis/Techné/Thesis theory (->φύσις/τέχνη/θέσις like the ancient Greek would call it), of the definition of what is really natural or artificial?
    Now, to speak like one of my mentors, the whole world is part of the technosphere, whether you want it or not. Think to Global Warming.

    If the rest of you post isn't the biggest pile of self serving verbal diarrhea I have ever had served to me.. I don't know what is.
    Please, don't indulge yourself into scatophilia.

    You make a lot of "factual statements" in the name of keeping an open mind. Yet your opinion is as narrow as any of the others you are speaking against.
    Prove it.

    You are speaking about a political situation like you know more about it than the people who live in it.
    Plain demagogy.

    Then you speak of arrogance in others.
    Why don't I start telling you how things are on your street, and let's see how much credibility you give me??.
    Maybe because I can speak French and English, while you can't.
    And should I mention I equally enjoy both cultures?

    But please don't be a zealot..
    Merci bien
    Who are the zealots, tell me? The millions of French-speaking Quebecers you openly despise and almost treat as sub-humans who should be happy to discard their own identity?

    To paraphrase Jonathan Swift, according to you, I fear a zealot should have anybody else's faces but your own.

    Classic tale.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    So you really want to engage in an epistemological debate over this complex question? Do you want to go as far as the Fusis/Techné/Thesis theory (->φύσις/τέχνη/θέσις like the ancient Greek would call it), of the definition of what is really natural or artificial?
    Now, to speak like one of my mentor, the whole world is part of the technosphere, whether you want it or not. Think to Global Warming.



    Plase, don't indulge yourself into scatophilia.



    Prove it.



    Plain demagogy.



    Maybe because I can speak French and English, while you can't.
    And should I mention I equally enjoy both cultures?



    Who is the zealot, tell me? The millions of French-speaking Quebecers you openly despise?

    To paraphrase Jonathan Swift, according to you, I fear a zealot should have anybody else's faces but your own.

    Classic.
    OK let's boil this down to it's essence then shall we?

    You care about the French language.. at lot of people share your passion .. a lot of people don't.
    You wont convert people no matter how clever and intelligent you try to be about it.

    Legally speaking Bill 101 is unconstitutional.. It is not law of protection.. it s a law of oppression.
    Guess it depends which side of the fence you are standing on.
    The side I am standing on says.. it's a fascist law , it's xenophobic, and it's illegal .
    Yet they are such a fairly treated conquered people their law is in place anyway.

    The other fact is.. Most people just don't care about French culture or the language,except the French.. once again.. It is you who needs to come to grips with this.
    Not me.. I am happy to speak a language I can go anywhere with.
    I am happy my culture can be found on the four corners of the Earth..

  8. #28
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Indeed, since you say it your arguments aren't especially intelligent, because they discard so many aspects of contemporary human life that they look almost absurd for an outsider's view.
    Are you aware that taking the real world into account is part of the "Thinking process", as defined in this site?

    Do you really think you can discard Sociology, Identity, Politics and Culture thanks to just a snap of finger with your pseudo-utilitarian fascistic bullshit?

    Be realistic, just for a change.

    Thinking the world should submit with only what you want it to be is maybe the greatest arrogance of all. And a tremendous mistake, if there should only be one. You have to accept it the way it really is.
    I agree with you. But from my perspective, it doesn't like YOU are taking reality into account. And the reality is English dominance. What language do you use to speak to anyone else outside of France? It seems like you want to deny it. Okay, I'll ask you something. If the situations were reversed, and French was the dominant language in most of the world... and the effort was towards trying to preserve English in Quebec, would you care? Would most of the French-speakers care? I doubt that they would. Perhaps English speakers are arrogant, but would not ANY speakers of a language in that position be arrogant? Are we any worse than you would be?

    I never even said that I wished the reality of English dominance. It is convenient for me (understatement of the year), yes, but even if I hated it, that wouldn't make it any less true. I don't want the world to submit only to what I wish it to be. I'm only offering my opinions and my beliefs about what I think would make sense. If others don't wish to follow them, that is their prerogative. I can agree to disagree.
    -----
    Learning a language has nothing to do with "opportunities" nor "global marketplaces". This reduction of meaning is extremely trivial, if not ludicrous.

    When you learn a language, what you gain first is the access to a a completely different culture, new ways to shape or to represent things, events, anything meaningful for us human beings.
    You do not gain access to a new market, or rather, that only a secondary, very minor benefit, and only relevant for a minority of people. I did not learn English for those ridiculous reasons, but because I enjoyed English culture, English litteracy, English poetry, and so on. I did it because I felt CURIOUS about my environment, and also because we in Brittany we often feel much more closer to our cousins beyond the Channel (just a sail away) than the average French: once again, a culturally inherited trait.

    Curiosity. And a light flavoring of Yeats, Eliot and Beckett (who happened to be a close friend and neighbour of my aunt).

    Do you think that when people learn how to play a musical instrument, they do it only for utilitarian purposes, to gain access to "new markets"??
    Well, many of the Chinese, Arabian peoples, and Japanese have learned English for such reasons, have they not? They don't care for English culture at all, they learn the language so they can trade with us and communicate with us. Hispanic workers come here and learn it to find a job. Perhaps it is different in Europe, though. I know not. What I'm saying is that there are a non-negligible number of people who would learn languages for such reasons, even if you would not. Do you deny that?

    Okay, I think I'm beginning to see your point, though... what you are concerned about, is the loss of our ability to interpret the vast body of French literature in a non-translated form, because you feel that something would be lost in that translation. You feel that there is something valuable and unique to French culture that is irreplaceable. From your perspective, French is unique and beautiful. From mine, it is just another Romance language like Spanish, only far less popular. However, you speak French, and I do not know one word of it. I have to concede that this places you in a better position to judge that than myself.

    All right. I'll try to listen, and stop judging. What do you believe that speakers of other languages have to gain from learning French in particular? What would they gain from it that they wouldn't gain from learning Spanish? What is unique about French? What is so special about it, that people in this particular area, and no other, should be compelled to speak it and be educated in it if they don't wish to be? Why is French important? What do you believe the implications would be if Quebec began mostly transitioning to speaking English rather than French?

    I had a friend once who drilled it into my head that that's not why people do it. I had actually been making the argument that learning musical instruments was an obsolete art, because all instruments could be reproduced on synthesizers in a satisfying form... of course, she berated me and shouted that "people don't like it," and said that something about the specific way an instrument is played and held is part of what inspires the creativity behind a song, or a genre of music. She said that without different instruments, creativity would eventually dry up and all music would become similar, because it would all be produced in the same way. That the feel in the hand and the way the vibrations are created in the air, means something, and has a specific effect on people beyond just the specific notes. That while the gist of a song can be captured in a recording, a part of its essence can only be experienced when it's played by a live band, by individual people rather than a machine producing the notes mechanically. Having never heard music produced by a live band, and being aware of the difference in quality and nature of things that are machine-made and handmade... I accepted this argument.

    Are you making a similar argument about languages that she was making about music?

  9. #29
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post

    You care about the French language.. at lot of people share your passion .. a lot of people don't.
    You wont convert people no matter how clever and intelligent you try to be about it.
    No matter how you try to reduce the issue to French people and French language, you will fail.
    It's not the real issue.
    The subject is dominance and submission. The subject is cultural imperialism, and maybe multiculturalism as a viable alternative/concept.

    The side I am standing on says.. it's a fascist law , it's xenophobic, and it's illegal .
    Yet they are such a fairly treated conquered people their law is in place anyway.
    No matter which side you're standing on, it seems you're not really aware what the words "fascism" or "xenophobia" mean. At least, as practical or political theories.
    What did you learn in school?

    The other fact is.. Most people just don't care about French culture or the language,except the French.. once again.. It is you who needs to come to grips with this.
    Not me.. I am happy to speak a language I can go anywhere with.
    I am happy my culture can be found on the four corners of the Earth..
    No. I don't care about the French language per se, this is just an exemple. And French has also been a tool of cultural oppression in the past, nothing to brag about, and perhaps another reason why English shouldn't try to follow these dubious tracks.

    The more I read you, the more I realize that the fence between us is not only a linguistic one, but an education one.
    It's not only arrogance and selfishness I see, it's above all a total lack of curiosity for others, for what's fundamentally different than you.

    Apathy and self-contentment I'd say.


    (Now the paradox is that you pretend to be a Fe-dominant while I'm supposed to be an awful NT agitator... It seems our roles here are reversed...)
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    No matter how you try to reduce the issue to French people and French language, you will fail.
    It's not the real matter.
    The subject is dominance and submission. The subject is cultural imperialism, and maybe multiculturalism as a viable alternative/concept.



    No matter which side you're standing on, it seems you're not really aware what the words "fascism" or "xenophobia" mean. At least, as practical or political theories.
    What did you learn in school?



    No. I don't care about the French language per se, this is just an exemple. And French has also been a tool of cultural oppression in the past, nothing to brag about, and perhaps another reason why English shouldn't try to follow these dubious tracks.

    The more I read you, the more I realize that the fence between us is not only a linguistic one, but an education one.
    It's not only arrogance and selfishness I see, it's above all a total lack of curiosity for others, for what's fundamentally different than you.

    Apathy and self-contentment I'd say.


    (Now the paradox is that you pretend to be a Fe-dominant while I'm supposed to be an awful NT agitator... It seems our roles here are reversed...)
    All I see going on is you projecting. And you are also quick to label people.

    And you are not using Fe .. you are using the same old tried and true NT method of debate..
    Why should I care about what you care about??.. that is the point..
    I don't care.. you just keep trying to convert me over to your point of view and I ain't budging..
    I have heard all your arguments, before.. I am more informed and educated that you know..
    It's typical of the French to claim everyone else is ignorant and arrogant, when they don't get what they want.
    I am not alone in pointing out your blaring hypocrisy.

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