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  1. #11
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    I can identify with you quite a bit! Esp with regards to the media - I've thought a fair bit how much the media determines what's acceptable and what's not - kinda scary! Sound horrible, but I've kinda accepted that's the way things are. Luckily I've stumbled down a career path (also within international development ) that should allow me to make quite positive changes to people's lives, and still "save the world" in my own little way :P

    Edit: Just remembered, I'm not sure this is what you're quite looking for in the way of advice buuuut something that "helped" me quite a bit was to talk to speaking to my dad - he's quite into his politics and I had all these amazing, wonderful ideas about how society should be, and how communism only doesn't work because society is impefect etc, but talking to him I guess made me realise how difficult it would be for people to live in a drastically different way - at least the ones I'd imagined haha. I suppose this is kinda unreassuring (is that a word?!) though as I've probably become the person you didn't want to be - sorry if it is!

  2. #12
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    First of all I think that someone needs to teach you that peoples belifs are expendable as well as their emotions. Beliefs usually come and go so there is no point in treating them as holy cows. Especially since most people fall into a trap that they think only about what other people think and completly ignore the impersonal part of things such as physical laws or or the fact that amount(s) of certain resources is what is generating things in a society. You simply must realize that there is nothing wrong with challanging other people if you think that you can make a stand. Since if they can't stand in a direct argument against you there is a fair chance that they got something wrong in their lives/picture of the world no matter in what they believe. Especially since they don't understand that when you look at the big/complex picture of the world it is possible that they are going against their values but they simply don't realize it.

  3. #13
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    that is excellent.

    i remember in an ethics class i took, when this question was raised: twenty people are hanging from one edge of the building; your dad from the other. you only have time to save one. which do you choose?

    and yep, i chose my dad. monkeysphere ftw.

    gotta say though, that little analysis, while brilliant, doesn't give many suggestions for how to confront the issue. typical cracked.
    Oh. I'd save the twenty people. If it was my mom...the twenty people. For pretty much anybody-the twenty people. It only breaks down when I get to my kids. Then I'd save my kid but be left with horrific pain and likely kill myself because I was so selfish that I put my own needs above the greater welfare of those around me. Dude. That's weird.

    Anyways OP, I get what you are saying. There have been points where i found the wastefulness and selfishness of society nauseating. I didnt say anything mind you, except I requested not to get christmas presents....When I told them I was going to donate money to charity rather than give them gifts? "Christmas is about ME getting gifts." Yeah they just got gift cards after that. I hate chrsitmas...

    I couldnt run away and escape the selfishness, but I tend think about this time I picked up an interesting hindu lesson. I suppose one way to reach enlightenment is through the path of action. Basically in everything that you do throughout the day, dedicate that action to "god" or the greater welfare of those around you, I suppose. Seek to make your actions into ways to give back even if indirectly. Like stop and pick up the pieice of trash on the ground, take time to smile a bit more at the waitress, buy the homeless guy a coffee. Weird things like planting a garden because the garden will give others the slightest bit of happiness as they drive by. I suppose I have built this into a lifestyle kinda-I try and do little things to make others day just a tiny bit better-and the reward is that I feel like my actions had meaning I suppose.

  4. #14
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Oh. I'd save the twenty people. If it was my mom...the twenty people. For pretty much anybody-the twenty people. It only breaks down when I get to my kids. Then I'd save my kid but be left with horrific pain and likely kill myself because I was so selfish that I put my own needs above the greater welfare of those around me. Dude. That's weird.
    well and you know, at first, i thought the same thing. but then we discussed it in class over a period of like three days, eventually i changed my mind, because essentially the question became weighting human lives, and i really don't think that we can do it. i mean it seems logical to say that two humans are more valuable than one, but then what if you're comparing two serial killers versus mother teresa? you know? it just gets so fuzzy. so i've kind of thrown logic out the door on this one, and just go with deep instinctual feeling.

    i hate those "would you do this or this" questions anyway. i would choose the damn third option, because there's always a third option.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    well and you know, at first, i thought the same thing. but then we discussed it in class over a period of like three days, eventually i changed my mind, because essentially the question became weighting human lives, and i really don't think that we can do it. i mean it seems logical to say that two humans are more valuable than one, but then what if you're comparing two serial killers versus mother teresa? you know? it just gets so fuzzy. so i've kind of thrown logic out the door on this one, and just go with deep instinctual feeling.

    i hate those "would you do this or this" questions anyway. i would choose the damn third option, because there's always a third option.
    I'm in agreement with you skylights. It's instinctive to save our own. It just is. This is so deep in the human psyche that people have to basically be conditioned NOT to be racist or nationalist. Tribalism is human.

    Even more so the instinct to preserve one's genetic material in the form of one's children, and I don't think there's anything worth commiting suicide over if Orobas as a mother saved her kids over random twenty people. That's her genes getting into the next generation, as well as the love and attachment factor, not to mention that I think it's logical to value a younger person's life over an elderly person in many cases. It's why I (and many other people) get less upset when old people die.

    MOAR doesn't mean BETTER, and it's impossible to apply ethical reason sanely in such a situation, IMO.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I couldnt run away and escape the selfishness, but I tend think about this time I picked up an interesting hindu lesson. I suppose one way to reach enlightenment is through the path of action. Basically in everything that you do throughout the day, dedicate that action to "god" or the greater welfare of those around you, I suppose. Seek to make your actions into ways to give back even if indirectly. Like stop and pick up the pieice of trash on the ground, take time to smile a bit more at the waitress, buy the homeless guy a coffee. Weird things like planting a garden because the garden will give others the slightest bit of happiness as they drive by. I suppose I have built this into a lifestyle kinda-I try and do little things to make others day just a tiny bit better-and the reward is that I feel like my actions had meaning I suppose.
    I think this is a very wonderful insight.

    I also think you are a wonderfully unselfish person.

  7. #17
    That's my name biotch! JoSunshine's Avatar
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    ^ Agreed that the sentiment that Orobas expresses is lovely. I too agree that it is unlikely that I can change the world, but I can do small things everyday that make a difference to one person...random acts of kindness, I call them.

    Back to the OP. Let me start by saying I agree with you that we live in a society where entitlement and materialism runs ramped and I personally don't like it. Not a week goes by that I don't long for a more humane society. That being said I consider myself very fortunate to have been born in a society and country where the suffering is minimal compared to that of third world countries.

    As far as your predicament goes, it sounds like you don't want your family to judge you or belittle your beliefs. At the same time, it sounds like you judge and belittle theirs. I say this with all due respect. I think perhaps the first step is looking at your family with compassion. They have been raised in this society where being successful materially is valued. They aren't trying to be "bad" people, on the contrary they are trying to be "good" people based on the values of the society they have been raised in.

    I understand that you want to point out what you see as the error of their ways, but no matter how strongly you believe your values are "right" they are no more right than your family's values. Values are subjective. When speaking to them don't point out what they are doing "wrong" or what is "wrong" with this society. Talk about what you are going to do and focus on the good you want to do and not the "bad" you are leaving. If they try to dissuade you or even attack your values, don't attack back. Just firmly state your purpose and don't ask or expect them to change or even accept what you are doing. Be true to yourself and honest and direct with those you love about your desires, while being compassionate and respectful of theirs. I think you will be surprised at how the people who truly love you will respond. By trying to avoid conflict by not expressing your feelings (notice I say expressing your feelings, not attacking their beliefs) you aren't giving your family the opportunity to love you for who you are...I think you may be surprised at the results. Even if there is initial push-back, family almost always comes around and often time the relationship is even stronger.

    The other thing I would say is live well and be humble. Live the life you are intended to live. I think in the long term, your friends and family may even grow to respect your choice if you show them with grace and not moral superiority that you are living a fulfilling life.

    I wish you all the best.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. " - Dr. Seuss
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  8. #18
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    When religion is taken out of the equation, there is nothing good about acting against one's own best interest. In the real world, the greatest social good will come from most people acting to further their own enlightened self interest. Unconditional altruism will cause as much harm as good.

  9. #19
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    well and you know, at first, i thought the same thing. but then we discussed it in class over a period of like three days, eventually i changed my mind, because essentially the question became weighting human lives, and i really don't think that we can do it. i mean it seems logical to say that two humans are more valuable than one, but then what if you're comparing two serial killers versus mother teresa? you know? it just gets so fuzzy. so i've kind of thrown logic out the door on this one, and just go with deep instinctual feeling.

    i hate those "would you do this or this" questions anyway. i would choose the damn third option, because there's always a third option.
    Ah, but this is a case where I cant logic my way out of it-My answer was totally Fi visceral in nature. I realize that logically it is perfectly reasonable to place those close to you above others-but it doesnt change how I "feel". I suspect it is very much in the realm of my Fi having an odd kink, perhaps not a good one. When younger I felt the pain of the world a great deal more, like the cries of those in the most pain are the requests for help that I hear the loudest-even when those close to me are in less need, so I should help them first.

  10. #20
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    i don't think your Fi is messed up, oro. i think it's good that we all have slightly different values. we need both people who are going to take care of those close to them and people who are in the most pain.

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