your view of the irresolvable

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michaels
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your view of the irresolvable

Postby michaels » 14 Dec 2016, 14:02

In this post-ethical century, when honesty and forthrightness are seen as quaint memories of a naive past, it's hard not to be aware of the irresolvable problem of collective living.

All human success, and even survival, depends on strategy. Without strategizing, no one succeeds, or even survives. Yet "strategy" is just a euphemism for deceitfulness from concealment. It's one of the tragedies of our subspecies (h. sapiens sapiens is a SUBspecies as there also used to be a h. sapiens idaltu) that deceitfulness and concealment are requirements of viability in the human world. That is why we are, by nature, strategizers. I have yet to meet a single person who did not strategize at some point or another. I know I've definitely strategized, helplessly, despite my best efforts to the contrary.

Yet we are also by nature uncoverers. It offends us to the core when things are hidden from us, and we can rage when we are deceived from concealment.

Thus we end up in the silly position of deceiving others from concealment, while demanding honesty and forthrightness from them; while they deceive us from concealment, while demanding honesty and forthrightness from us.

This irresolvable conflict within our own natures is also an irresolvable conflict within collective life. It makes harmony unsustainable and sometimes outright impossible.

Do you see a solution? I don't, unless extinction is a solution.

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KAGU143
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Re: your view of the irresolvable

Postby KAGU143 » 15 Dec 2016, 06:26

My solution is to accept the fact that we are all equally flawed, and to not expect other people to behave any better than I do.
In other words, they are forgiven in advance and I don't assume that they are being intentionally deceitful - only that they are trying to optimize their own chance of survival - like all other successful kinds of life forms on this planet, including myself.

And that's okay. We're only critters after all, and we might even become friends at some point because we already have something in common.
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michaels
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Re: your view of the irresolvable

Postby michaels » 15 Dec 2016, 06:41

"Critter" is slang for "creature," and creatures are created; which could launch an extremely tiresome and irresolvable debate that it's wise not to touch with a twelve-foot Hungarian, let alone a ten-foot pole. So I'm not going to.

But you're probably aware that my home city, Toronto, is the world capital of Biologism, that unconscious quasi-religion that preaches that people are no more than lumps of meat with bodily functions. I have long had trouble with buying into that religion, so I remain a misfit in this city. Hopefully there are people here who see value in recognizing a purely human side to our subspecies, one that distinguishes us from beasts. It doesn't have to be scalarly superior to what distinguishes other species, as the old scalar ranking of living things is obsolete, but it should be something with redeeming value.

The prevailing view among today's tiny minority of wisely silent, wise people is that humanity is that, which tries to take each other's money. It's as if Money were an incarnate demon with its own agenda and strategies separate from human ones, and certainly separate from the bald pieces of plastic that the poor regard as money and the dissociated numbers stashed deep inside the RAM and hard drives of computers that the rich regard as money. I wish I could see twenty-first century people as being something other than one-dimensional ripoff artists who devote their whole waking day to ripping each other off, but it's hard to notice any other distinguishing characteristic in RL people any more.

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KAGU143
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Re: your view of the irresolvable

Postby KAGU143 » 15 Dec 2016, 16:30

I don't really identify with any sort of religion, although I think that Humanist probably comes closest to expressing what I believe. Not quite perfect, but close.

I use "critter" as a form of endearment because I do genuinely like animals, including their human counterparts, especially if I can keep a short distance away from them. (Allergies in the first case, self-preservation in the second.)
I admit that I may have gone about it backwards, or I might just be weird (it's totally possible!) but I had a lot of trouble dealing with the dark side of human behavior back when I used to believe that we were supposed to be morally superior to animals.

Then, at some point, I wondered why I was perfectly able to accept sexual aggression, territorial behavior, predation, jockeying for social position, etc, in animals without hating them for it at all. They just do what they do. They can't help it, and some of their behaviors are quite entertaining or even touching, like their various courtship rituals, pair bonding, nurturing parental behavior, etc. Displacement activities have always amused me, too, as have hoarding behaviors. (Like collecting objects or money - 'not so different from stealing and then burying ALL of the nuts from the feeder when you think about it.)
If I could accept animalistic behavior in animals, then why not humans?

The more I observed people, the more I recognized the same exact behaviors in humans that I saw in animals. Instead of making me despise humans, it helped me to appreciate them more, because I was able to see and appreciate many of the same redeeming qualities that I find so fascinating and endearing in animals. I was finally able to make peace with myself and my species by concluding that we actually manage to do pretty well, all things considered, at least most of the time.
We could do better. In fact, we could do MUCH better, but we haven't left the great ape mentality far enough behind us yet.
I don't know if we ever will. Maybe if we ever colonize outer space, but I'm skeptical about that ever happening.

The thing that I believe threatens us the most, as a species, is our tendency to substitute unquestioning belief for rational thought. I realize that it would have had evolutionary advantages in the past, because it saves a lot of brain energy, and so it might be too ingrained for us to overcome. We can't help but look for patterns, and then to accept them as meaningful when we think we have found some. The problem is that we, as a species, often don't seem to be able to distinguish between facts that can be proven and beliefs that fit our own confirmation biases.

I'm no better than anybody else, either. Even being aware of it and striving to stay intellectually honest, I can STILL find myself slipping into old familiar thought patterns, just because they are easier.

Maybe it really IS irresolvable. :/
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michaels
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Re: your view of the irresolvable

Postby michaels » 15 Dec 2016, 17:07

There's a lot of sound science in what you say. Science is kind of a faddish thing, with yesterday's cutting edge displaced by today's cutting edge displaced by tomorrow's cutting edge in a kind of fashion-runway manner; but, sticking to what I've read of recent views in psychology, a lot of our mental slackness really is just a matter of saving energy. In the bad old days when the first humans walked the earth 200,000 years ago, which we have not evolved from because evolution requires millions of years, resources were very scarce and hard and energy-intensive to get. Energy conservation was paramount back then for the sake of simply keeping body and soul together (which makes today's obsession with "efficiency" in the business world so comical to someone not steeped in business-world cultspeak sophistries). Today, however, we have such abundant resources produced by the world as a whole that every single one of the eight billion of us could live a life of opulent luxury if our distribution of those resources were not satanically bad. Our tiny number of remaining farmers grow enough ingredients for enough of our excessively rich food to make 100 billion people obese, and the reason that starvation and malnutrition still occur among the paltry eight billion of us is a global food distribution system more evil than the devil. But then that evil arises precisely from the fact that we have not changed at all from 200,000 years ago. The incredible transformations our environment has undergone have not affected our biology at all, and that biology interferes with our attemps to run the world in a way that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

I have the same instinct to gush "Aww, how cute!" when I see a kitten playing or the face of a baby harp seal, as everyone else does. I also acknowledge that you have much deeper and more substantive knowledge of animals than I do. But, tell me, how endearing do you find the hunting and mating habits of a jellyfish, a carnivorous plant or a spider? Do you really have a soft spot for predators tearing chunks of flesh off their prey while the prey is still alive and bleeding to death? I have trouble understanding that. Such things make nature ugly and spiteful to me. And let's not even get into what is objectively the horror of gestation and childbirth, the developmental sociopathy of children that we excuse as them being "just kids" when adults who behaved the way kids do would quickly end up in prison, the fact that immortality would be a far worse horror for us than mortality is and death is horrible enough and there is no third choice.

So I see the reason for all the shittiness in human life, but that doesn't dispose me well toward people in general. Once in a while, I encounter a person who actually seems human, the way you do, and that feels good; but soon enough I encounter twenty other people who could give lessons in evil to the devil, and all good feeling I had for our kind goes away again.

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CatBunny
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Re: your view of the irresolvable

Postby CatBunny » 26 Dec 2016, 07:18

I think if we ponder that there must be something deeper to our existence we are just going to get depressed realizing we aren't that great. I just accept life as it is, to expect more is just the human condition to feed our ego.

Maybe we should just realize that being a dumb animal is better than nothing
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