Member Rara Avis
Poetic Justice - Before I address some of your comments, I have a few words on interaction here at Passions. We are a community, a family, in many ways. As such, we operate on a few basic principles to not only allow an enjoyable place for people to visit, but a safe one as well. These tenets all revolve around the ideas of Respect and Tolerance. This disallows attacks on other members. While we are 100% tolerant of other's beliefs, we insist that they be presented in a respectful manner. Some of your comments are less than respectful and I'll ask that please ensure that they are in the future. If you have an issue with something a person says, address your comments to the statement, not the person. This will help us keep Passions as comfortable for everyone as possible and help avoid things like the flaming you're speaking of.
Ok - first, I have a feeling that it's going to be nigh unto impossible to help you see through these seemingly nihilistic goggles you're looking through. That won't prevent me from trying to knock down what I feel are some pretty narrow-sighted statements, however.
quote:Whoa! Full stop, back up, put on the brakes! Where, I have to ask, are you getting this? If an entire society says that it's not selfish, then, by definition, isn't it no longer selfish? It would seem to me that if a mass majority agrees that a rose is a rose, then, well, it's a rose. Secondly, you speak further down about education going toward a reduction of evil, yet say that we don't realize it? That seems contradictory - unless you're going to suggest that you're the only intelligent, educated person in the world?
Exactly. And our society today says that's not selfish. But it is. We are all very selfish. Incredibly selfish. Me, you, your neighbor, the president. But we don't realize it because we all are.
quote:Incredibly good? So let me see - this is from your perspective, right? - you must come from a wealthy family who cared for you and was kind and loving at all times, with no drama, no skeletons… you must have had a beautiful childhood… oh wait, you've mentioned your misery. Well, that's selfish, of course, because instead of worrying about the things in your life, you should have been over in Africa, dedicating yourself to the good of a people who haven't asked for your help - help, I might add, that you obviously weren't in a position, mentally, emotionally, or likely fiscally, to hand out. Again, your scales aren't coming into balance here. To sacrifice yourself for something you value is noble indeed. To do it in such a mindless fashion is close to slavery. Sacrifice only means something if it truly comes from the heart - and without "selfishness" in your own life, giving to another means less than a slave cutting through cotton for his master.
I'm just saying that we have it incredibly good here…
quote:I'm still waiting for your calculations showing which human lives are more valuable than others.
…and to fret over one person dying when there are thousands dying elsewhere every day, in more horrible and painful ways I might add, is almost ignorant.
quote:I cut out your reasoning because it becomes moot at this point. If human life has no value, then what does it matter if thirty people die here while hundreds die elsewhere? The concept of selfishness no longer matters once you claim that there is no value in that which you are suggesting should be saved. But if you maintain your tenet of selfishness, then life has meaning, has value, and I have to ask once more what you determine that value to be.
I don't place a whole lot of value on a human life…
quote:Firstly, simply because you are a member of a race does not discount you from racism. To declaim an entire race as "something" bypasses individuality and jumps right on into the very racism you're declaiming. A person is a person, white, purple, black or green - it doesn't matter. What you're suggesting isn't something you can attribute to a color (because that would imply that white people are cruel because of their color, which would be an ignorant statement), rather, you can attribute it to a balance of power. If you want examples of cruelty, you can look up some history on the Moors, perhaps some of the ancient Egyptian lines, study the Chinese Dynasties, or perhaps peek at some Arabian atrocities. Throughout history we have people being "evil." Their color is a trait, not a causative agent.
…or maybe I just don't place a lot of value on white people's lives. Now, I'm white too, so I'm not racist, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that white people are the most evil people on Earth--in the past and present.
I've debated covering inherent evil with you, but think I'd rather leave that to another time, if at all. I used to believe that guilt was inherent, that the only true innocence was ignorance. I don't feel that way anymore, because I believe that true evil comes as a result of ignorance, not from an abundance.
quote:Nope, I didn't inform you. I have now though - when will you be here to help my sister out? Or my friend? She's still walking around on crutches, broke, because she's been out of work for several weeks now. No, I doubt you will be. But let me ask you this: when was the last time an African came up to you and told you of his/her situation and asked you for help? I've never had one ask me for anything. I've had Sally Struthers waddling around the TV screen telling me they need help, but they never made me aware of it,.
Did you ever inform me of any of that?
quote:Yes, you were aware of the realities of this world when these things happened. Countless numbers of people die here in the US alone every year. You can tally the results from a thousand different surveys as to the cause of death, but in the end, they are dead. This isn't something that's hidden, that we know nothing about. How many times have you heard of someone being seriously injured in a car accident? Starving after losing their job? Injured in a war for our freedom? All the time, all the time, all too often.
Was I even aware of the realities of this world when these things happened?
quote:Really? Ask my sister how petty working a full-time job and going to school full-time is. Warn you though, better duck, she might not be too happy about it. And of course it's petty that my 10-month-old nephew is in pain and doesn't understand what's happening to him. That's really petty. We should immediately stop manufacturing products that will help ease his pain and start sending all those resources over to Africa, because, after all, it's a petty thing.
Besides, these are all very petty concerns(except for the car accident one and the gang member one, if it was that bad).
I understand what you're trying to do here, Poetic Justice - it's the "good of the few vs. the good of the many" scenario. There are places where this is an applicable and right philosophy to pursue, I believe, and if you're just looking at the base numbers, I can even understand how you can say that we should save sixty people in Africa (I recognize "Africa" is merely representative of all "places" that 'need' help) over ten in America. But you're neglecting to look at the larger picture - the picture that shows the outcome if we expend all our resources to feed overpopulated countries without forwarding our own lives. It's an outcome that ends in inevitable slavery to a cause that started out with the best intentions. Once we start feeding them all our excess, what happens when we have dry times? What happens when they become adjusted to our help - so much so that they grow to depend on us like children, unable to fend for themselves because we've debilitated their drive for survival with consistent handouts? We end up in the same place, only now, we need help. You can call it selfless, but I call it ignorant.
quote:I take it you've never been around babies? There is nothing on the face of this planet more selfish than a baby. It exists solely to take - food, attention, care, etc. A baby is incapable of giving. We perceive it as giving because of the joy we receive when they smile or when we recognize our contribution to a growing person.
… babies are human in the purest form, and they are completely selfish and uncaring about what's going on around them until they reach about a year old I think it is.
quote:If all people are evil, and life has no value, what does it matter? Besides, I see virtually no tolerance in anything I've read from you so far. You say we're all human, all the "same", yet you say white man is the most evil race. You say we all live on the same planet, yet you want me to travel across the world to help someone else, when they have never come here to help me? *shaking head* I don't buy it.
See, another thing. Homefront? Do we not all live on the same planet? Are we not all human? It's because of the borders that seperate us that this planet is in the almost perpetual state of war it is in. There is always a war going on. Why? Because instead of accepting, or at least tolerating other peoples' ideas and beliefs, we choose to change or kill them.
quote:Show me proof. It's preposterous to think you can lay a national fear at one man's feet. I'm not justifying or denying the perceived threat, but I will deny that it could have come from one person.
Take Communism for example. Woodrow Wilson started the "red fever" by declaring them as evil, and democracy as good. What you don't know is that Wilson started several covert operations to keep the latin american countries from leaving 3rd world status and "threatening democracy".
quote:This is the first statement you've made that I wholly agree with. What I disagree with is your implication that Communism would be the ultimate way to go. Communism defeats the entire purpose of being human. It denies individuality of belief and preference and renders life as a sterile gear in a huge, churning, pointless machine. Our system, such as it is, is imperfect. But until a better one comes about that allows me to be different, to discuss issues on the internet with people from all over the world without fear of isolation or repercussion, I'm sticking with what we have.
Communism is not bad, Stalin was. In an ideal world, communism is the government of choice, because everyone is equal. But people are selfish and aren't content to be equal, they always want to have more than the other guy. So corrupt leaders come into power and mess everything up.
quote:Nope, that's exactly what I was hearing from you. How can one person's life be worth any less than another's? What if you save the wrong person? What if you save the guy who goes nuts with the A-Bomb, along with all his compatriots instead of the single man who would develop a cure for cancer? Would you say the scales changed then? I don't know. I'm not trying to put a value on a human's life because I know full well that I'm now able to do so. Are you?
By your reasoning some lives become worth less than others. And yes, I believe the more lives you can save, the better.
quote:Peace is a farce and the bread of a stagnant society. Without the input of strife (whether in the form of personal or national) we would have no reason to advance. The idea of Eden may sound good to some people, but not to this boy. I want challenges, I want differences, I want people to argue with, because I want to keep advancing. Man wasn't built for Eden, whether Biblical or metaphorical. It's not and never will be in his nature - and I like it that way.
I don't know why I feel this way, as I've made it pretty clear that I despise the human race and everything it is, but maybe deep down inside I have hope that in the future we will transcend all this and live in harmony.
quote:This statement is ridiculous. You've just finished telling me that you aim for a society filled with harmony. You're whole basis for people being selfish is based on the "fact" that we won't help others far away… and then you suggest that in order to teach someone a lesson we should degrade to animalistic urges and become violent? Wow - threw me for a loop with that one.
You can't fight sticks and stones with knowledge or maturity. Sometimes you have to lower yourself to someone else's level to fight back; beat them at their own game and they turn away in shame. Hey, I like the way that sounds.
Ok - I think I'll finish there and let hush have her own with ya.