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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    And under liberal democracy, the prioritization, by definition contained in the very term, is liberty.
    I would agree with you in that there can be no equality without liberty, so yes, I prioritize liberty over equality.

    However liberal democracy is more sophisticated.

    Liberal democracy is based on the limitation of power. Indeed your own liberal democracy is based on the limitation of power by the Separation of Powers.

    So the deeper problem is: how to limit power?

    And the genius of liberal democracy is to limit power with power.

    So we have a government and a loyal oppostion, we have the separation of powers, we have a constitution, we have a civil society.

    And at an abstract level: freedom limits equality, and equality limits freedom.

    So whereas I personally value freedom and free speech above equality, liberal democracy doesn't make that distinction, and seeks to pursue freedom and equality together, for the practical purpose of limiting power.

    The danger you and I face in prioritorizing freedom is that we may seek to maximise freedom rather than limiting the power of freedom, and this can lead to corruption.

  2. #112
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Norms are not spontaneous expressions of inherent tendencies. They are tools used by people to control their fellows. As with any tool, they can be used for good or for ill.
    Whether or not something is spontaneous or not has nothing to do with whether or not it arises from our biology.

    Everything about our culture and behavior arises from our biology. You cannot separate what you call natural from what you call unnatural any more than you can separate the mind from the body. Your distinction is completely arbitrary and subjective. The only argument against this involves the invocation of supernatural forces (like patriarchy, karma, or god).
    "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."

  3. #113
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    ^ Somewhat this as well.

  4. #114
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Whether or not something is spontaneous or not has nothing to do with whether or not it arises from our biology.

    Everything about our culture and behavior arises from our biology. You cannot separate what you call natural from what you call unnatural any more than you can separate the mind from the body. Your distinction is completely arbitrary and subjective. The only argument against this involves the invocation of supernatural forces (like patriarchy, karma, or god).
    There is a difference between an innate behavior and an acquired one. This is mostly likely the difference that is being suggested.

    Brain plasticity allows us to carry about behavior that would not have necessarily taken place without it. Culture and the tools of culture allows us to transfer that between people. Thus, most of gender norms may exist as behavior acquired through plasticity, and thus, at least in theory, a population could emerge without any of the catalysts of that acquired information affecting them and they would not have gender norms anything like ours, if there would be gender norms at all.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #115
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    There is a difference between an innate behavior and an acquired one. This is mostly likely the difference that is being suggested.

    Brain plasticity allows us to carry about behavior that would not have necessarily taken place without it. Culture and the tools of culture allows us to transfer that between people. Thus, most of gender norms may exist as behavior acquired through plasticity, and thus, at least in theory, a population could emerge without any of the catalysts of that acquired information affecting them and they would not have gender norms anything like ours, if there would be gender norms at all.
    Okay, but culture and ideas go through selection just like biology. There is nothing about our biology or culture that is outside of evolution. This implied idea that gender roles are something that has been imposed upon humans by some nefarious being (or men, same thing) is silly.
    "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. #116
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Okay, but culture and ideas go through selection just like biology. There is nothing about our biology or culture that is outside of evolution.
    Ah. This is true in a sense, but cultural evolution works very differently from biological evolution. Even memeticists will acknowledge that and they analogize the two way too much.

    Furthermore, a constant argument made for gender norms that has been raised here, is dependent on the notion that they are innate and biologically selected in and of themselves, rather than just an acquired product of brain plasticity as a thing we evolved. It's rhetorically important. If there is no such biological basis as such, a big and old argument for gender norms is dead. The evolution and descent of culture is just not the same thing and cannot stand in to make those arguments work precisely because it allows the slate to be altered or even wiped blank.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #117
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Ah. This is true in a sense, but cultural evolution works very differently from biological evolution. Even memeticists will acknowledge that and they analogize the two way too much.

    Furthermore, a constant argument made for gender norms that has been raised here, is dependent on the notion that they are innate and biologically selected in and of themselves, rather than just an acquired product of brain plasticity as a thing we evolved. It's rhetorically important. If there is no such biological basis as such, a big and old argument for gender norms is dead. The evolution and descent of culture is just not the same thing and cannot stand in to make those arguments work precisely because it allows the slate to be altered or even wiped blank.
    Even with the biological basis, you can still argue against gender norms. Our technology has progressed far more quickly than our culture and biology can keep up. As a result, gender roles are now obsolete, at least in developed nations. It's really that simple.

    I disagree with most of the stuff the author said, but I also disagree with a lot of the stuff people criticizing the author have said. My biggest beef with all of these gender discussions is the inherent premise that all men have always had the upper hand (male privilege) and all women have always been oppressed (female privilege does not exist) simply because of their gender, this idea that men and women compete against each other like rival tribes. People don't often state it explicitly, but it underlies a lot of arguments.
    "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."

  8. #118
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Whether or not something is spontaneous or not has nothing to do with whether or not it arises from our biology.

    Everything about our culture and behavior arises from our biology. You cannot separate what you call natural from what you call unnatural any more than you can separate the mind from the body. Your distinction is completely arbitrary and subjective. The only argument against this involves the invocation of supernatural forces (like patriarchy, karma, or god).
    If you are of the opinion that every thought, feeling, and mental process is simply a product of biological processes, then your claim would follow. I don't think it is that simple, but that is a separate discussion. Norms are essentially enforced standardization. Some subset of a population does things a certain way, or thinks they should be done that way, and imposes them on everyone, or everyone in a given category. Occasionally the norms and categories match up with true biological necessity (i.e. women should get pap smears). Often, however, any correlation is at best a stretch, and many people must go against their nature in conforming to the norms. The norms then are simply an expression of the baser instincts of those imposing them. If these instincts originate in biology, it is a part of our biology that we should overcome as counterproductive. The power (im)balance resulting from traditional gender division of labor and daily activities is a good example of this, and as much as problem as the fact that gender norms are no longer needed.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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