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  1. #11
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Made me think of this distinction. Your article is certainly worth thinking about.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairdoug View Post
    ^ I wish I could be so detatched...I'd be less bitter and frustrated. I think we're closer to the scenario Carlin envisions than we give ourselves credit for, and I find this really alarming. Also, I found the title really ironic given the whole 'hope and change' thing.


    That said, fascinating article with valid and interesting insights, despite the author's apparent inability to distinguish between hedonism and individualism.
    I'm nowhere near that pessimistic.

    In my heart of hearts I'm an optimist and believe that man will continue to successfully (if sometimes fitfully) struggle on.

    For me that kind of pessimism would be very bad. I would go from wanting to see how I can make things better to how exciting can I make the world's demise.

    EDIT - We owe it to all the aliens out there to one day show them how awesome the human race is.

  3. #13
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    It was an interesting series of thoughts that he tried to map out in the public's subconscious, but it seems as though most of it is dug from "so far" down in our psyche that it's more in the writer's imagination than ours. Hard to say which.

    Edit: Actually, the second half gives some evidence and examples, makes the picture both clearer and more complicated. Hmm...
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great One View Post
    I hate both Romney and Obama, but I think Romney is the lesser of the two evils.
    I always figured Obama for the lesser of two evils. Not that I want to debate it. I don't suppose I care enough to. Just noting.
    Dirt Farmer

  5. #15
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Romney cannot comprehend what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, and I'm not talking about being unable to choose between 5-star restaurants. I cannot trust someone to lead who is completely incapable of relating to the vast majority of our species.
    "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."

  6. #16
    Senior Member Elisius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Romney cannot comprehend what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, and I'm not talking about being unable to choose between 5-star restaurants. I cannot trust someone to lead who is completely incapable of relating to the vast majority of our species.
    Couldn't have put it better myself.
    Power without humility isolates, power without restraint creates delusion, to be born into arrogant, unrestrained power is to be born into isolation and to be showered with delusion.

    This article is so blatantly pro-Romney it may as well be a bumper sticker.
    He seems to believe that Romney believes in the whole society while Obama believes in the individual. Yet Romney is the conservative who believes we all should make it on our own, without the help of any higher power beyond the basic neccesities of childhood.
    He conflates giving help to others with propagating weakness, clearly he's never needed a government scholarship. Or gone hungry.
    A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

  7. #17
    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheStarchDefenders View Post
    I always figured Obama for the lesser of two evils. Not that I want to debate it. I don't suppose I care enough to. Just noting.
    I'm not even sure I'll vote this year to tell the truth.

  8. #18
    Junior Member nharkey's Avatar
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    Hmm, I am struggling with this a little as being the most basic conflict of visions. It certainly separates a tribal vision from what I think is an uber-tribal vision (government is your tribe, not family), and I certainly would not disagree with that. However, I think there is something else (perhaps deeper) that underlies all of this, and that is an assumption about the nature of human nature. I owe a lot of my thinking about this to Thomas Sowell's Conflict of Visions, but remarkably enough I clarified it some more for my self while writing a book on Parenting by Temperament. If you have the patience to read through a quote about human nature in babies I will try to carry this forward. "...young children are both loving and cooperative and selfish and demanding--depending on the circumstances. This is not only okay, it is absolutely necessary. Because they really do have to motivate themselves, children also come equipped with determination, perseverance, and a perfectly useful sense that their needs are the most important thing in the world. The screaming newborn is acting from an instinctive reflex that seeks to relieve discomfort, hunger or distress, but the screaming six month old who has just dropped a spoon from the high chair and wants it back--now-- is asserting her absolute intent ( and right) to have it so. Writers may describe this as self-centered, or that even more dreadful sounding word--egocentric. Of course it is. What you may or may not have considered is that this is a good thing. Nature sees to it that children have the tools, first to motivate parents to feed and care for them, and then to allow them to try to master everything they come upon, as fast as their little neurons can get it together. The wet or hungry baby who lay there thinking "oh dear, I wonder if anyone would get upset if I cry?" would be in serious risk of malnutrition or at least a lot of soggy diapers."

    Brushing past all the parentese, my point is that for all human beings, regardless of temperament differences, cultural differences, etc. life starts with the self, not with others. If we grow up well and wisely we come to care about others (also) and perhaps even put them first under some special circumstances with children, spouses, close family, but this does not extend to faceless strangers in ever widening circles. Early in his book Sowell makes the point that it would be utterly exhausting and unproductive if we desperately grieved every time a tragedy happened to anyone, anywhere in the world.

    We do come to recognize that the limitations on what we can have are built into the life we want to share with others. We learn to cooperate and share, but it never changes the essential duty and desire that we have to take care of ourselves. Friends, families and governments may be able to change our behaviors, but not our inner drive to organize our own lives in pleasing ways, nor our decreasing sense of emotional closeness to others who are less and less known and at further and further distance from us. Socialism/communism ends up having to turn coercive because it assumes that "from each according to this abilities and to each according to his needs" will just naturally happen under the right sort of government. It doesn't and never will, and so government has to give us the ugly boot in the face to keep the state going. And of course that really isn't productive either and it all eventually collapses.

    So, for me, the most fundamental difference in vision is that a. human nature is a given and is much as I have described it, or b. human nature is plastic and the right government can get us all behaving as it wishes.

  9. #19
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nharkey View Post
    So, for me, the most fundamental difference in vision is that a. human nature is a given and is much as I have described it, or b. human nature is plastic and the right government can get us all behaving as it wishes.
    I think that statement, like the OP, is oversimplified. I would agree that conservatives are more conservative (duh!) about making societal changes, and one justification is that human nature can't be changed. But implicit in that rationale is that the social structure we've got are either the best possible given human nature, or the cost of changing the social structures outweighs the benefit. Conservatives also tend to over-ascribe things to personal moral failure (which tends to reinforce going with the status quo, since it implies that those who fail deserve it in some sense).

    Liberals, on the other hand, tend to see current social structures as things that can be improved upon, and tend to be over-aware of those who aren't well served by the current social structures. Hence, they see more benefit and lower cost to changing things. However, liberals tend to ascribe too much to circumstances (which also fits with their love of complexity), and tend to ignore the value of the corrective feedback loop of actions having consequences. Plus, as people like Haidt point out, tribalism is one of the only ways to trigger altruism, so things that undermine group identity can be bad for society as a whole.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Romney cannot comprehend what it's like to not know where your next meal is coming from, and I'm not talking about being unable to choose between 5-star restaurants. I cannot trust someone to lead who is completely incapable of relating to the vast majority of our species.

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