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 Post subject: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/16/10 07:53:58 PM 
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At some tragic point in history, man plunged from the cliff of balance, stewardship and unity, and into the abyss of chaos, carelessness and hate. They now delusionally plummet toward inevitability while celebrating their conventionalism and morbid mastery of ignoring the latter stages of actualizing their fate.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/16/10 08:53:14 PM 
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Before I comment, I have to ask. Around what time/event did this descent begin? It seems to me that life is, today, better than it has ever been before for most people. There was never balance or unity.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/17/10 06:21:55 AM 
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Big Doug wrote:
It seems to me that life is, today, better than it has ever been before for most people.


Before I respond, how do you define "most" and "better"?

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/17/10 07:52:25 AM 
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I don't see why most should need defining. What I mean by better is that people are living longer, are healthier, have more wealth and leisure time, and are more literate and generally educated than they were in the past. And don't get me started on the rights of women.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/20/10 07:15:11 PM 
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I live in a community where there has not been a murder in the 4 or 5 years I've lived here, and very few divorces; most of these women stay home, including my wife, and the community is in generally good health.

Not that this is evidenced-based, but I think its a legitimate argument to parallel the collapse of society, from Brady Bunch and I love Lucy to Jersey Shore, with the feminist movement. I think we needed to appreciate our women more and love them like the queens they are; but I do not think having women in the work force proved to be effective. Please, I do understand single women and unmarried women...Yet women went to work and children were left to figure life on their own and lets measure the results: amongst teens: suicide rates up, adolescent detention up, adolescent violent death up and children committed to mental health services, astronomical.

And I think your definition of most is presumptuous, cause of the third world countries and countries where women do not have the same rights as men. Not saying that this is right or wrong, I'm just saying how did you come up with "most". We are at a place in time where most western nations define a fulfilling life as one without bearing children. And nations that do not have equal rights for their women are having plenty of children and causing western nations problems as these growing families and their values spread across the globe. So again, most and better? I am not so sure...

As far as our praised developments...Yes we can read a word but we cannot read each other, so we compete, devastate the earth and war, and to what end? Most enjoying something better. Hmmm?

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/21/10 10:32:24 PM 
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I agree with you in that women's rights have not been advanced uniformly. It's true that in some places, like the US, great advances have been made, while in other places, like, say Saudi Arabia, people generally hold Dark Ages views on the issue. That contrast actually goes to my point. See, in places like these it's true that you can't say things are better for women, but you can't say that things are worse either. Rather, a bad tradition has been preserved in those places.

In other words, it's you that has to keep things in perspective. Yes, it's awful how they treat women in many parts of the world. Men in Afghanistan, for example, sometimes throw acid at little girls for the high crime of going to school. Woman are covered from head to tow in Saudi Arabia and cannot leave the home without a male relative to escort them. But as terrible as that is, it's not new. It's not as if people got together and decided to treat women poorly. They've been doing it for thousands upon thousands of years. But in many places, and not just the West, things are better. Rwanda, for example, is the first country to have a representative body in which women outnumber men. And while we've never had a female head of state, the current heads of state of the Philippines, Liberia, and India are all women.

As far as feminism goes, I think I should say that the question of whether or not you believe that a woman should be treated equally in the work place is a separate question from whether or not they should be working in the first place. It's perfectly coherent, for example, to believe that the proper place for a woman is in the home while at the same time agreeing that women should not be legally discriminated against. And all feminism really means is that women should be treated equally under the law. Besides, the ideal of the stay at home mother is one that is not even available for all that subscribe to it. You mentioned single mothers for one. But there are also households that rely on two incomes, as well as those where the father cannot find work. (You really do need to take into account that in most places, over the last ten years or so, cost of living has increased while wages have remained stagnant.) Furthermore there are also plenty of couples that don't want children. And there are also plenty of stay at home dads.

I should also point out that, while I Love Lucy was on the air, you and I would have been legally barred from voting in many parts of the country.

With respect to war, we're actually living in one of the most peaceful times in human history. I think because we can turn on the news to find images of car bombs, service men firing machine guns, or stories about local homicides, we get this belief that we live in an increasingly violent place. This is untrue. At no point in history were you less likely to die by another man's hand than today. Check this book. Or look to your Bible. We discussed Numbers 31 a while back. This is a story in which a genocide takes place. This is a story in which young girls are taken as sex slaves. And yet, this is a story that didn't offend people's moral sensibilities. This is probably due to the fact that it accurately reflected the realities of tribal warfare in the Bronze Age.

My point is this: things are not perfect. They're not even close to perfect. But things in the past were not better either. Progress has been made.


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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/23/10 04:26:37 PM 
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ooh great thread!

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/26/10 09:55:42 PM 
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I understand your perspective, but believe that your conclusion on this matter is short sighted, lacking universal and historical input. Several thoughts should be considered before deciding on today versus yesterday:

Your feminists arguments are mute points, because queens used to walk this earth, Cleopatra and Nefertiti to name a few. And I have read of tribes that would consult their women before making macro decisions. Colonization destroyed the acceptance of the woman adviser and the woman in power. Colonization has killed a lot! It has killed the sacredness of everything, from man, to the woman and to the child; from the God and to the earth. In western and religious nations, women fight for their rights, but thank Jah Jah there's an alternative to western and religious.

Also, you speak of this being a more peaceful time. This is purely subjective; at best, a guess to make a point. We know that there has always been wars, and nothing has changed about that, other than the amount of wealth in circulation around the globe. We maintained the war against humanity and added the war against earth and despite being able to borrow from national credit cards that carry no limit. Proof in itself that man is not smarter today. We give nations bad credit.

And lets consider this western and religious freedom for women, the one that includes turning the business of prostitution and sex into industry, packaged for all and comes free with prescription drugs and alcohol. So now children are having children despite having no way to support them. Maybe drachonian laws assured scarlet letters, but if shaming one stopped communities from creating and perpetuating cycles of poverty, then I can hardly say it is an easy choice, to decide between today and yesterday.

Also, we may not have had a vote, but it required a vote in western and religious nations; but we had a choice, because war has always been an option, it is an option today and was an option yesterday. As black people, we chose not to war. And we chose to ignore Marcus Garvey, when he said return to our first love.

Think about the number of kings and queens on the earth today, princes and princesses, and think about how a nation's wealth sat on the pillars of livestock and agriculture rather than on paper and projections, real value versus fake ones...Maybe ignorance is bliss. And I am not calling you ignorant...we live in a world where something lacking intrinsic value control centralized markets. Something that has no value is given value that becomes what the world values, currency, and this something of no value, the fake, is more protected than human life. Sorry, but I think man is dumber than ever!

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/27/10 08:47:24 AM 
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You both are making excellent points, and I agree with most of them from both of you. But none of them hold more weight than this one:

Big Doug wrote:
There was never balance or unity.


With new times comes a new poison.

I honestly couldn't, and don't think anyone could, place a scale on times being better or worse for humankind or suggest that there is a rise or fall in quality because our view is going to be entirely subjective regardless of how much research is done and insight provided. Not everyone is going to be represented, or fully represented, in texts of history or reports of today. Feelings of "war" and "peace" all depend on the "when" and the "where." And there will always be changing of what is considered unfair or inhumane treatment of others. From treatment of women to treatment of children. From treatment of the sick to treatment of criminals. There never has been a universal agreement upon mankind about such things. Even within a single nation. What some consider an improvement, others can equally argue that it's a decline. The subject of the "death penalty" is a perfect example.

Point is, you'll never be able to put yourself into life in the Middle Ages and say, "Okay, times here were much worse than the 21st Century is." Mainly because you'd have to consider your point of reference, on both ends. From what view of the 21st Century are you looking? From what view of the Middle Ages are you comparing that 21st-Century-view to? Are they both equal representatives of humankind as a whole?


Free$peech:
I agree with you wholeheartedly on the "value" of currency. I would rather see a market of trading goods for goods, exchange of services, etc. But no matter what is considered "wealth" or has "value," you can't forget that as long as there's a consideration of such things there will always be a "poor" and "invaluable." Whatever is valuable and in demand for the times will influence who becomes wealthy and who becomes a peasant.

The mention of queens that used to rule... Your mention of Cleopatra and Nefertiti are mute for the simple fact that Egyptian law would not allow queens to rule without a king/co-regent. This is why Cleopatra was married to two of her brothers (married a second after the first one died). Also, there's the thought of how the queens come to power. Most are through family ties, in which they still required a co-regent. Some placed into power by certain influences, such as Cleopatra, in which she still required a co-regent. And some by force, such as Catherine of Russia, who was placed on the throne after a conspiracy against her husband ousted him. And others who came to power only after the death of their co-regent. Without the influence that men held in the world, none of these women would be who/what they are in history, in my opinion. Also, Doug did, in fact, point out current women of power, so I really don't see where you were going with that:

Big Doug wrote:
Rwanda, for example, is the first country to have a representative body in which women outnumber men. And while we've never had a female head of state, the current heads of state of the Philippines, Liberia, and India are all women.


Doug:
In regards to us living in the most peaceful times in human history, I agree to an extent. Only to an extent because I think population and the combination of laws (domestic and international), technology, and media plays a large role in the "level of peace." I say population because with the number of people on the planet today, the number of lives lost to violence doesn't seem as drastic as they would have 5-600 years ago. Logically, it would be thought that with this increase of population, the increase of violent occurrences would match that. That's where I think the combination of laws, technology, and media come into play, along with the increase of population. There are less places of seclusion to commit such acts, more penalties, more restrictions on weapons, and quicker coverage of incidents (should they be covered). Sure, I may not get shot to death in a bar in Texas for touching the wrong man's whiskey today like I would in the 1800's, but would that be the case in all places of the world today?

I, personally, can not feel that times are any more peaceful than previous times because that ratio of kills-to-population is lower. Especially when this is all, again, relative to location of occurrence.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/27/10 10:55:13 AM 
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Yes, some of those women served as co-regents, but there are others that served, even if temporarily, as regent, Pharaoh, and was buried as a king, even given boats to travel to the afterlife. Also, there were empress in China's dynasty as well...but I understand your point. I didn't want to go through a whole list of women rulers. My point was that every philosophy and culture and man did not believe their women to be incapable of ruling and leading.

As far as the "currency": It takes a delusional or stupid people to place such a high value on something that has no value. This is the reason I have moved full steam ahead in developing gardens and livestock, because freedom comes through the ownership of land and livestock, as Booker T Washington said. And this is so clear now! And when the markets of "value" collapses, I fret not! And, of course, god willing....We have been duped into putting value on things that have no value, and all at the expense of family, earth and good; at the expense of things sacred.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/27/10 05:07:58 PM 
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Free$peech wrote:
My point was that every philosophy and culture and man did not believe their women to be incapable of ruling and leading.


Most definitely, but Doug never really suggested that either. Which is why I wasn't sure why you were pointing that out. No matter, though.

Free$peech wrote:
As far as the "currency": It takes a delusional or stupid people to place such a high value on something that has no value. This is the reason I have moved full steam ahead in developing gardens and livestock, because freedom comes through the ownership of land and livestock, as Booker T Washington said. And this is so clear now! And when the markets of "value" collapses, I fret not! And, of course, god willing....We have been duped into putting value on things that have no value, and all at the expense of family, earth and good; at the expense of things sacred.


Again, I agree wholeheartedly and have always seen this as the way to build. But there will always be reason to fret unless you are either extremely fortunate, or unless you have been, or plan on, building a loyal group/community to inhabit and defend this land of yours. Protection of such possessions (essentially that's what they boil down to being) is all the more vital. When the markets of "value" collapses, well... you know what happens between the haves and havenots. A plunge from the cliff of balance, stewardship and unity, and into the abyss of chaos, carelessness and hate. Or something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/29/10 03:07:37 PM 
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Some points for Free$peech:

Free$peech wrote:
Your feminists arguments are mute points, because queens used to walk this earth, Cleopatra and Nefertiti to name a few. And I have read of tribes that would consult their women before making macro decisions. Colonization destroyed the acceptance of the woman adviser and the woman in power. Colonization has killed a lot! It has killed the sacredness of everything, from man, to the woman and to the child; from the God and to the earth. In western and religious nations, women fight for their rights, but thank Jah Jah there's an alternative to western and religious.


I think One Term already dealt effectively with your assertions about Nefertiti and Cleopatra. Furthermore, I really don't think that a monarchy in which a female head of state comes to power is at all comparable to the popular election of a female head of state or a majority female parliament in the first place. And so I don't see why you think it somehow counts against my argument that attitudes about the equality of women have changed. I didn't think that was all that controversial. I mean, England had queens too. That didn't mean that women were equal under the law.

Still, even if Egypt were a society in which men and women were considered equals this would not go against my argument. For example, I've read about Native societies in which men and women were assigned different roles by gender but were ultimately equal. If that's true then that's great. But I also know of societies in which women were not equal to men. Most of the tribes of Afghanistan, for example, took the Koran's suggestions about gender roles very seriously. And to go back to the Egyptians, a form of female genital mutilation, one of many that's still performed in parts of Africa and the Middle East is thought to have originated in the Nile Valley a century or so before Cleopatra. And it seems to me, and I'm obviously not a historian, that this sort of situation was largely more prevalent than situations in which men and women were equals. So nah, I don't think that you can blame colonists for bringing that. You can blame them for a lot of things but not that.

But let's go back to violence. Here's an example that I'm a little more knowledgeable about: Mexico. Prior to being conquered by the Spanish, the Aztecs had built up one of the most advanced civilizations in all of the world. And a trip from the ruins of Tenochtitlan to the increasingly violent city that now surrounds it might lead one to come to the conclusion that modernization has resulted in an unraveling of society. But, to be sure, the past was not so idyllic. The practice of human sacrifice was central to the Aztecs. Tens of thousands of people (some historians think the number is higher) would be sacrificed to the gods in a given year in an attempt to appease the gods and allow the continuation of the universe. The most famous of those sacrifices, sacrifices to the war god, Huitzilopochtli, involved the removal of a young man's still beating heart. But there was also the god Tialoc, to whom crying children were sacrificed (and yes, they had to be crying). And so, we might look at the pervasive drug violence in Mexico and be rightly concerned about it. But it pales in comparison to the violence of the pre-Columbian Aztecs. 20,000 people have lost their lives since 2006, whereas that many might have been sacrificed in a single festival. This is what I really want to drive home. We have this image in our head of a past in which there was less violence, inequality, disease, etc but that's just a myth.

Now, I'm not saying that things are better in all places than they were in the past. For example, it's hard to think of a worst time to live in Somalia than now. And the aforementioned Afghanistan has not been the same since the Soviets invaded them. What I'm saying is that things are, on the whole, better. When you take a look at Europe, the Americas and recently Asia, it's hard not to see progress. To be sure, most of sub-Saharan Africa is still dealing with the effects of colonialism and years of very bad self rule, most notably in the case of Zimbabwe. The Congo is the middle of a particularly awful war. The ongoing genocide in the Sudan has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people the displacement of almost 3 million people, most of whom are now in refuge camps in Chad. And then there's the AIDS epidemic. I'd also say that in the near future, Africa's probably going to get worse before it gets better. Increasingly rapid urbanization will mean more and larger slums, more disease, and more crime, etc. I'm not unaware of these things. But my argument is not that things are better in all places. My argument is that, on the whole, things are better.

Some quicker points:

Free$peech wrote:
Also, you speak of this being a more peaceful time. This is purely subjective; at best, a guess to make a point.


No. This is pretty objective. We can compare levels of violence today to estimates of levels of violence in history by examining the evidence. I don't know what you mean by subjective.

Free$peech wrote:
And lets consider this western and religious freedom for women, the one that includes turning the business of prostitution and sex into industry, packaged for all and comes free with prescription drugs and alcohol. So now children are having children despite having no way to support them. Maybe drachonian laws assured scarlet letters, but if shaming one stopped communities from creating and perpetuating cycles of poverty, then I can hardly say it is an easy choice, to decide between today and yesterday.


Prostitution is called the world's oldest profession for a reason. It's always been around. And personally, I don't have a problem with it, provided people enter into it willingly and are able to maintain their autonomy. In other words, I'd be in favor of legal brothels but not say, the massage parlors where women, almost always immigrants, are held against their will, which is what we have in many places today. But I guess we'll disagree there. With respect to sexual promiscuity, you're oversimplifying things. Western European nations, as far as I know, do not have scarlet letters or anything like that. And yet they have significantly lower rate of teen pregnancies and abortions. So no, it's an easy choice. There are obviously other means available to us to achieve that end.

As far as currency goes, I completely disagree. Currency allows for a complex economy and the efficient division of labor. Still, a look at Zimbabwe does indeed remind us that it can all fall apart. So I can understand where you're coming from even if I disagree.

To One Term:

I agree with you in that the term better is subjective, but the measurements that I use to define what better means are not. In other words, there are either more people being murdered or there are less. There are either more people going to school or there are less. Etc. Maybe people disagree with my definition of better. Okay. I'm prepared to make the argument that it's a good thing that more children are educated today than they were in the past.

Some disagreements might be a little more difficult. I didn't mention religiosity in making my case. But Free$peech brought it up. He and I would no doubt disagree on whether or not it's a good thing for people to have faith in God. And that's fine. I think everyone should go godless. He doesn't. But so what? We can't make arguments unless everyone agrees with what we have to say?

And I also agree that I am applying modern standards, but again, so what? The fact that American whites thought, for example, that the slavery was justifiable does not enter into my thinking about the issue. Nor does the fact that many whites violently opposed Reconstruction. Their opinion is one that does not matter to me. Do they matter to you? Men in Afghanistan probably think it's perfectly acceptable to throw battery acid on little girls. They probably wouldn't do it otherwise. But so what? I still think that I have the right to condemn them and say that what they're doing is wrong. It seems like you're trying to throw some sort of moral relativism at me. And there are few moral theories or theories in general that I have less respect for than moral relativism.

Also, I can almost understand your point regarding the ratio of violence with respect to the population. But I have to ask, how else are we supposed to compare two time periods when the population has changed? To use an illustration, suppose there are two cities. One city has 10 thousand people. The other city has 10 million people. Suppose that in a given year about 100 murders will take place in each of these cities. Does it make sense to object to the large city being characterized as less violent? Would it make sense to say something like:

"I, personally, can not feel that the large city is any more peaceful than the small city because that ratio of kills-to-population is lower. Especially when this is all, again, relative to location of occurrence."

One Term wrote:
Sure, I may not get shot to death in a bar in Texas for touching the wrong man's whiskey today like I would in the 1800's, but would that be the case in all places of the world today?


Yes. If you were to go to Somalia today then, as a foreigner, you are almost guaranteed to be kidnapped and or murdered. If you're unlucky enough to live there, you'll find yourself dealing with young men high on a drug called khat with AK-47s. They sometimes drive around on trucks and shoot people. You'll also find that this is a place where people are still stoned to death in accordance with Sharia law. In other words, it's the worst of all worlds. You get the destructive power of modern weaponry without any of the modern advances in law, society, etc that you outlined. You get the most barbaric implementation of Islamic law without the sort of social stability that it is intended to bring.

To sum up, things are totally rad and getting radder. Appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/29/10 04:14:33 PM 
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Big Doug wrote:
To One Term:

I agree with you in that the term better is subjective, but the measurements that I use to define what better means are not. In other words, there are either more people being murdered or there are less.


And I would not say there are less.

Big Doug wrote:
And I also agree that I am applying modern standards, but again, so what? The fact that American whites thought, for example, that the slavery was justifiable does not enter into my thinking about the issue. Nor does the fact that many whites violently opposed Reconstruction. Their opinion is one that does not matter to me. Do they matter to you? Men in Afghanistan probably think it's perfectly acceptable to throw battery acid on little girls. They probably wouldn't do it otherwise. But so what? I still think that I have the right to condemn them and say that what they're doing is wrong. It seems like you're trying to throw some sort of moral relativism at me. And there are few moral theories or theories in general that I have less respect for than moral relativism.


To each his own. But if no opinions that don't coincide with your own matter to you, how can you form an opinion that suggests life is better for people worldwide?

Big Doug wrote:
Also, I can almost understand your point regarding the ratio of violence with respect to the population. But I have to ask, how else are we supposed to compare two time periods when the population has changed? To use an illustration, suppose there are two cities. One city has 10 thousand people. The other city has 10 million people. Suppose that in a given year about 100 murders will take place in each of these cities. Does it make sense to object to the large city being characterized as less violent? Would it make sense to say something like:

"I, personally, can not feel that the large city is any more peaceful than the small city because that ratio of kills-to-population is lower. Especially when this is all, again, relative to location of occurrence."


Point taken.


Big Doug wrote:
To sum up, things are totally rad and getting radder. !Challes!


Always loved this clip!

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/29/10 04:33:52 PM 
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One Term wrote:
Big Doug wrote:
To One Term:

I agree with you in that the term better is subjective, but the measurements that I use to define what better means are not. In other words, there are either more people being murdered or there are less.


And I would not say there are less.


And that would be something that we could go and test, using data collected today along with historical data. And as far as I can tell, the evidence is on my side. But I'd love to see evidence presented for your view. My point there was simply that this is an objective question.

One Term wrote:
To each his own. But if no opinions that don't coincide with your own matter to you, how can you form an opinion that suggests life is better for people worldwide?


I never said that no opinions other than my own matter. In fact, I gave you an example of a situation where someone might disagree with me and I wrote that this is a legitimate and fundamental difference of opinion. That said, I don't think that all opinions are worth considering. I don't care how many people think that one race is inferior to another, for example. That's not an opinion worth taking into consideration. I don't care how many people think that girls should be denied access to education. That's not an opinion worth taking into consideration. I don't care how many people think Barack Obama was born in Kenya. I don't care how many people think that the world is 6,000 years old. Etc.

Again, if I am trying to argue that it's a good thing that slavery is over, do I have to take into account the opinions or worldviews of its proponents? The more I think about it, I don't even understand what point you even think that you're making.

One Term wrote:
Big Doug wrote:
To sum up, things are totally rad and getting radder. !Challes!


Always loved this clip!


Louis CK is and ever shall be that dude.


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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/30/10 09:30:29 AM 
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Perhaps a perspective means I am not countering anyone's argument. I am simply offering a perspective. One Term dealt with Cleopatra and Nefertiti, but there were others that were not co-regents, but regents, complete power. And America has yet to have a head of state, the so called leader of the free world. Other tribes had predominantly men in their counsel but considered it wise to consult their women before making decisions to go to war, so in some cultures women's opinions were highly esteemed. In our culture, there's a 50% divorce rate, a pornofication of women and few make up the senate and congress.

As far as data, I guess you win because records were not always kept...

Also, I have taken into consideration the destroying of the earth, the increased dependence of people and increased dependence on prescriptions drugs to feel "right". You consider this advances, but I consider it failing. Again, my perspective. Also, I talked about western nations considering a burden to have children...yes I can look to the iphone and internet as great advances, but I do not, but this is my perspective.

I think ideally, in families consisting of a father, mother and children, that the woman should stay at home and the man should be harvesting the earth and caring for his livestock, because that is freedom, according to Booker T Washington and myself. The Matrix is absolutely correct, man is a slave, a battery, to enhance the growth of enslaving ideals and countries rather than enhancing the person and the human spirit. I do not gauge success on the ability to reach the moon, I gauge it by looking at the human spirit and today it is divided, dependent and without a vision of where to go and what to serve.

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/30/10 11:27:25 AM 
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Free$peech wrote:
Perhaps a perspective means I am not countering anyone's argument. I am simply offering a perspective. One Term dealt with Cleopatra and Nefertiti, but there were others that were not co-regents, but regents, complete power. And America has yet to have a head of state, the so called leader of the free world. Other tribes had predominantly men in their counsel but considered it wise to consult their women before making decisions to go to war, so in some cultures women's opinions were highly esteemed. In our culture, there's a 50% divorce rate, a pornofication of women and few make up the senate and congress.


I really don't care whether or not you're interested in countering my argument. In my original post, I was responding specifically to this:

At some tragic point in history, man plunged from the cliff of balance, stewardship and unity, and into the abyss of chaos, carelessness and hate.

I just don't think it's at all defensible to argue that, at some point we were really living the virtues of "balance, stewardship and unity." I just don't think that there's much meat on the bones of a lot of those "everything's going to hell" narratives. That's what I was really trying to get across. There was no golden age, no peak and therefore no descent into chaos. I mean, I agree that it's bad that we often objectify women in pornography and in the media. But maybe that's better than the Victorian sensibilities that we're still shaking off. Or maybe it's an unfortunate consequence of freedom of speech and sexual liberation.

Free$peech wrote:
As far as data, I guess you win because records were not always kept...


That's true. And even if records were kept, it's not always clear that they're trustworthy. I mentioned human sacrifice earlier and this is a perfect example. Both the Spanish and the Aztecs had incentives to exaggerate the extent of human sacrifice that was going on. The Spanish obviously had an incentive to write sensational stories for the people back home. And the Aztecs could use the inflated numbers to terrify enemy tribes.

Still, my point was that this is an objective question. Either there is more violence now or there is not. The trick is that we have a very limited amount of information to work with in answering the question. Maybe we can't make a good estimate. Who knows? But if that's the case and I can't make my argument for improvement, then you can't make the argument for decline, either.

Free$peech wrote:
Also, I have taken into consideration the destroying of the earth, the increased dependence of people and increased dependence on prescriptions drugs to feel "right". You consider this advances, but I consider it failing. Again, my perspective. Also, I talked about western nations considering a burden to have children...yes I can look to the iphone and internet as great advances, but I do not, but this is my perspective.


When you put it like that, you have a point. We are doing terrible damage to the earth and have been for the last 150 years or so. But I don't know that you can blame it on a departure from some sort of past stewardship that we as humans were practicing. Some peoples did indeed consider themselves a part of nature and acted as stewards. Others did not. However, in the past, those people just didn't have the power to do that sort of damage. And our realization of our responsibility for this was long overdue. Furthermore, our current governments just don't seem to have the will, the incentive or the ability to address these problems head on. With global warming, for example, I predict that we'll embrace the extremely problematic solution of geoengineering in the coming decades rather than adopt a sensible solution now, while such a solution is feasible.

With regard to people relying on prescription drugs, I don't really see a big problem with that in most cases. My father, for example, has bad knees from years upon years of balling motherfuckers the fuck up. Years ago, I guess he would have just walked in agonizing pain or stopped walking altogether. Nowadays we have pain medication, knee replacements, etc. I don't think it makes someone weak to make use of these things. Same goes for depression and things like that. That said, there are obviously those people that self-medicate and depend on pharmaceuticals in the same way people depend on alcohol. But there you go. People have depended on alcohol and all sorts of narcotics throughout history. It's not new.

And that's all I really want to get across. Things are bad. Things have always been bad. And in a lot of ways things are much better. Though, I think that One Term was correct when he added this though:

One Term wrote:
With new times comes a new poison.


Indeed. And that complicates the story I was trying to tell. With modern technology, for example, you can cure diseases, feed and educate more people, etc. But you can also cause more pollution, make genocidal campaigns more efficient, and give nations the ability to destroy the world several times over.


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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/30/10 07:21:19 PM 
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Big Doug wrote:
And that would be something that we could go and test, using data collected today along with historical data. And as far as I can tell, the evidence is on my side. But I'd love to see evidence presented for your view.


I would love to see that, as well. But I think a portion of my first words in this thread (second post, of course), as well as the recent exchange between Free$peech and yourself in regards to "data" sort of explain why the possibilities of such evidence is slim.

Big Doug wrote:
I never said that no opinions other than my own matter. In fact, I gave you an example of a situation where someone might disagree with me and I wrote that this is a legitimate and fundamental difference of opinion. That said, I don't think that all opinions are worth considering. I don't care how many people think that one race is inferior to another, for example. That's not an opinion worth taking into consideration. I don't care how many people think that girls should be denied access to education. That's not an opinion worth taking into consideration. I don't care how many people think Barack Obama was born in Kenya. I don't care how many people think that the world is 6,000 years old. Etc.

Again, if I am trying to argue that it's a good thing that slavery is over, do I have to take into account the opinions or worldviews of its proponents? The more I think about it, I don't even understand what point you even think that you're making.


To me, taking into consideration one's opinion, or way of thinking, is leading towards understanding. Not necessarily understanding in the sense of complying, but understanding in the sense of seeing a reasoning behind such an opinion. Which could, in turn, lead to the possibility of altering such an opinion with equal reasoning. But from what you're writing here, it's like you're saying, "Squash that shit, sir! You're wrong!"

On the subject of slavery (and I'm assuming you're referring to that of African descendants in America), for instance: It's suggested that there were in fact slaves who were content with their state of being. Within a sense a "brainwashing," so to speak, by developing a need for their master. Also the comfort of knowing that if they're "good," they will be taken care of and see no reason for freedom. Would considering why they think this way be wrong? Would it not help in an effort to alter their way of thinking "for the better?"

A more personal instance: Refer to the beginning of this thread. After your first response, Free$peech could have just said, "Fuck that! I don't care how much you think things are better for most of us! I think things are in a downward-spiral!" and left it at that. But each of you delved into a "explain yourself" dialogue which, I think, led to some great discussion. I don't believe you can effectively argue one's opinion, let alone change one's opinion, without understanding their opinion.

A principle of know your enemy is implied in both instances. You've got to know the beast before you can tame it. Whatever analogy. I'll always feel like writings and recordings of George Rockwell taught me just as much as those of Malcolm X. That's my point.

In no way am I suggesting that a change of opinion is a possibility in all, or even most, cases. But I do think that before a "better for the whole" can be suggested, you'd have to consider "the whole."


Free$peech wrote:
Perhaps a perspective means I am not countering anyone's argument. I am simply offering a perspective.


Dude, to put it bluntly: You fuckin' countered. Several times. And not just with perspectives.

Free$peech wrote:
I think ideally, in families consisting of a father, mother and children, that the woman should stay at home and the man should be harvesting the earth and caring for his livestock, because that is freedom, according to Booker T Washington and myself. The Matrix is absolutely correct, man is a slave, a battery, to enhance the growth of enslaving ideals and countries rather than enhancing the person and the human spirit.


I think calling that freedom is very hypocritical to the woman, in this ideal. And it seems to be forming a "Matrix" of its own, if you ask me. Just a thought. But please note that I'm basing this thought solely on what you've said here, as I cannot say I know the full ins-and-outs of your ideal.

Free$peech wrote:
The Matrix is absolutely correct, man is a slave, a battery, to enhance the growth of enslaving ideals and countries rather than enhancing the person and the human spirit. I do not gauge success on the ability to reach the moon, I gauge it by looking at the human spirit and today it is divided, dependent and without a vision of where to go and what to serve.


Here's where I've gotten really confused on what you're saying. Because I'll bet you that the majority of this planet's inhabitants will tell you they have an exact vision of what to serve to keep their spirit from being "divided." Are you disagreeing with them? And, if so, does that make you no less different from them?

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/30/10 08:09:00 PM 
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In my first several post I said what I think. What I think is a counter? Okay, then I countered, if my perspective is a counter. I acknowledged points Big Doug made and then reiterated my perspective, I said how I think things ought to be and why I think things are worse now. I have built on my initial perspective and that perspective was challenged by you and Big Doug, and rather than resign to "Well that's your opinion!" I offered more of what I believe. I never said you or Big Doug was wrong, at the most, I have asked for clarity on words, but you think I countered. Your perspective!

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The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.--
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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 03/31/10 06:11:16 PM 
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Free$peech wrote:
I have built on my initial perspective and that perspective was challenged by you and Big Doug, and rather than resign to "Well that's your opinion!" I offered more of what I believe. I never said you or Big Doug was wrong, at the most, I have asked for clarity on words...


One Term wrote:
A more personal instance: Refer to the beginning of this thread. After your first response, Free$peech could have just said, "Fuck that! I don't care how much you think things are better for most of us! I think things are in a downward-spiral!" and left it at that. But each of you delved into a "explain yourself" dialogue which, I think, led to some great discussion.


Yeah, I pretty much already said that. And I commend you for that.

Now, as for your perspectives... I agree you offered your perspective initially. And followed-up with perspectives. No doubt. But was everything you followed-up with a perspective? For one of many, you brought forward the argument of how queens used to rule. Is that just your point of view?

But forget that shit... it's a bit off-track anyways. My apologies for accelerating that train. I'm interested in this ideal of Man in the field and Woman stay home, and how this can improve the human spirit. Could you please explain? Or direct to a source that could?

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 Post subject: Re: Perhaps A Perspective...
PostPosted: 04/01/10 12:32:21 PM 
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One Term wrote:
To me, taking into consideration one's opinion, or way of thinking, is leading towards understanding. Not necessarily understanding in the sense of complying, but understanding in the sense of seeing a reasoning behind such an opinion. Which could, in turn, lead to the possibility of altering such an opinion with equal reasoning. But from what you're writing here, it's like you're saying, "Squash that shit, sir! You're wrong!"

On the subject of slavery (and I'm assuming you're referring to that of African descendants in America), for instance: It's suggested that there were in fact slaves who were content with their state of being. Within a sense a "brainwashing," so to speak, by developing a need for their master. Also the comfort of knowing that if they're "good," they will be taken care of and see no reason for freedom. Would considering why they think this way be wrong? Would it not help in an effort to alter their way of thinking "for the better?"


Ah, I suppose I can agree with that. If I'm debating a man that thinks it's perfectly acceptable to throw acid at little girls for the crime of seeking an education, for example, then I'll probably try to do my best at undermining his justification for that view without completely alienating him and thus shutting off debate (probably by citing the Koran or, possibly, by arguing for its unreliability). Still, this is not exactly what you were initially arguing. You were arguing that considerations of what constituted humane treatment of criminals, for example, were "entirely subjective."

One Term wrote:
Feelings of "war" and "peace" all depend on the "when" and the "where." And there will always be changing of what is considered unfair or inhumane treatment of others. From treatment of women to treatment of children. From treatment of the sick to treatment of criminals. There never has been a universal agreement upon mankind about such things. Even within a single nation. What some consider an improvement, others can equally argue that it's a decline. The subject of the "death penalty" is a perfect example.


I disagree. In Iran, for example, it is illegal to execute a virgin woman. But sometimes virgin women commit capital offenses. Therefore, if a virgin woman is convicted of a capital crime, that woman will be raped so that her execution is legal. Now, I agree with you in that we can debate the merits of capital punishment. And over the years, I've been on both sides of the issue. But it seems to me that in this case nearly any moral theory, with the exception of your apparent moral relativism and the divine command theory of the Iranian theocracy, will lead you to believe that the rape of our hypothetical virgin criminal is very plainly wrong. This is what I'm talking about when I say that I'm comfortable dismissing certain opinions. I really don't care about the moral leanings of someone that thinks that rape is sometimes justified. And I don't really care "when" or "where" that rape happens.


Peace

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