Do feelings matter?

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Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 22nd, 2017, 10:57 am 

It has been said that I obsess over the need to be respectful, and three threads that I have enjoyed have been closed. I am trying to understand what is happening, so I am asking do feelings matter? What is the relationship between cultural and our response to the feelings of others? Might some cultures be more prone to violating people than others or are all cultures equally likely to exploit others or equally likely to go to war?

Has anyone seen the series "Humans" an AMC program? This program seems to be excellent philosophy as it uses androids to make a point about what is just and what is not. I would say feelings matter a lot, but often in the forum, we behave as though feelings are not important. So what do you think?
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Dave_Oblad on March 22nd, 2017, 1:22 pm 

Hi Athena,

Just a quick drive by.. have to head out very shortly.

I think it's very important to respect everyone regardless. Forums can be educational and a good place for debates as long as we focus on ideas and not the presenter. Debates carry information that is educational, sometimes more about how a debate is conducted than the content of the debate.

Yes.. I love the program "Humans". It has come up with some twists even I had not considered in thinking about Androids. Synths want their equal rights and are jealous of Humans and some Humans want the Immortality and Eternal Youth that Synths enjoy.

Soon, they must get into allowing Synths to worship and if Synths have souls.. etc. Both trying to become the other and now.. moving consciousness between both species. Saving your child from cancer by moving their minds to a fabricated child Synth, but that Synth will always be a child.. body wise.

And one can't avoid the issues around how Humans have always treated their slaves and how slaves eventually lash back with civil war against the Masters. Or a Synth defending itself from Human Violence but gets the raw end of the deal because Synths are just machines and can be scrapped with near impunity by the Authorities.

If a Human loves a Synth, is it ok to defend your Synth from human violence or disrespect? Is it fair for Synths to show the same disrespect to Humans as they receive from Humans? How far from Human appearance must a Synth deviate before it's just another Machine? What if your Synth wants to get paid so it can afford personal upgrades or repairs?

What if your Smartphone wants to Marry the Smartphone next door? Not for Sex of course, but to maintain a closer Relationship. (Note: that's not in the program but just a thought from me..lol)

Anyway, exactly the kind of programming we need to make us start thinking about such issues as we move closer to seeing such become a reality, sooner or later.

There was another thread around here somewhere about the culture shock to Aboriginal tribes as they get exposed to modern Cultures. We are advancing so fast, that even many of us "Modern" folks are now the new Aboriginals.

Ok.. have to go.. later..

Best Wishes,
Dave :^)
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 22nd, 2017, 3:10 pm 

Human being are creatures of habit. This means whatever free will they may have can be a little hard to see for much of it is employed to program themselves with automatic reactions to a variety of situations. And changing these habits are difficult. One of the more pernicious bad habits is self-deception. We build an image of ourselves which is a mixture of honest self-reflection and what we want to be. This is not entirely a bad thing because this is part of how we change ourselves to become what we want. But the draw back is that it can make us blind to the reality of where we are at. Furthermore, we suffer from much the same thing on a family/cultural level and these contribute a blindness which is even harder to overcome.

I am well are that there things about myself which are very hard for me to see. The only way I have been able to observe them is through the reactions of other people. When enough people have the same reaction then I start to believe there must be something to it, even if I cannot see it myself. Of course, there is no guarantee they are right, because that cultural blindness works both ways. Sometimes it is the culture which programs people to respond in certain ways and that can be just as deceptive as our own self-perception. But since the observation of others is the only way we can uncover our own mis-perceptions it doesn't pay to dismiss the consistent observations of others too lightly.

Athena » March 22nd, 2017, 9:57 am wrote:It has been said that I obsess over the need to be respectful, and three threads that I have enjoyed have been closed. I am trying to understand what is happening, so I am asking do feelings matter?

That may have more to do with the way the moderators operate in this forum than anything to do with you. They seem to close things down when a particular interaction gets heated in order to make decisions on how to proceed before things blow up completely.

Athena » March 22nd, 2017, 9:57 am wrote: What is the relationship between cultural and our response to the feelings of others? Might some cultures be more prone to violating people than others or are all cultures equally likely to exploit others or equally likely to go to war?

Definitely! The way different cultures view, define and practice things like discussion and conflict can vary considerably. This is something on which I have seen a lot of variation between different families and areas entirely within the United States. Of course when you go to other countries than your own this can be much worse of a problem. Cultures often don't even consider that things can be done in a way differently than they do them and their way is simply the standard of right and wrong. (And yes I think there are places in the US like this too.)

Athena » March 22nd, 2017, 9:57 am wrote:Has anyone seen the series "Humans" an AMC program? This program seems to be excellent philosophy as it uses androids to make a point about what is just and what is not. I would say feelings matter a lot, but often in the forum, we behave as though feelings are not important. So what do you think?

I have not seen the program.

I often say that I come to my conclusions by looking at ALL the evidence and that evidence includes all of my subjective experiences like feelings. The trick however is how you use this evidence. The fact that feelings exist should not be ignored, but it does not mean you should believe what the feelings are telling you all the time. I frequently remind people that life cannot be reduced to objective observation -- it requires subjective participation. To overlook this is to indulge in self-deception.

Becoming more effective in communication is a long learning process. But I think expectations that communication can necessarily avoid trouble and conflict is a little naive. On the contrary, I would venture to say that if all trouble and conflict is avoided then real communication is also ultimately avoided as well. Quite often, communication requires digging out and challenging tightly held premises as well as self-deceptions and this is not going to happen without the mess of an emotional battleground.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby wolfhnd on March 23rd, 2017, 12:03 am 

Feelings matter but your feelings are your responsibility.

Language can be a weapon but for every weapon their is a shield or a counter move. Adults are expected to have developed the social skills to deflect most verbal attacks. Children are a different issue and that is why they are protected from say sexually or other forms of free expression that they are not equipped to process by age restrictions. For the most part adults are only protect from free speech if it is slanderous. Without getting into the fine points of almost toothless slander laws for our purposes we can condense the concept of slander to untruths. Most forums condense the concept even further to any personal attack. As long as the discussion is conducted without overt personal attacks and all parties are interested primarily in seeking the"truth" feelings are too subjective to be a consideration.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby doogles on March 23rd, 2017, 6:17 am 

Athena wrote:It has been said that I obsess over the need to be respectful, and three threads that I have enjoyed have been closed. I am trying to understand what is happening, so I am asking do feelings matter? What is the relationship between cultural and our response to the feelings of others? Might some cultures be more prone to violating people than others or are all cultures equally likely to exploit others or equally likely to go to war?

Has anyone seen the series "Humans" an AMC program? This program seems to be excellent philosophy as it uses androids to make a point about what is just and what is not. I would say feelings matter a lot, but often in the forum, we behave as though feelings are not important. So what do you think?


Just touching very briefly on the question “Do feelings matter?” , I would like to go so far as to say that ‘feelings’ are somewhat paramount in the survival of animals from reptiles upwards at least.

Very simplistically, animals survive and propagate by avoiding those things that cause painful feelings and seeking out those things that cause pleasurable feelings. Consider a young mammal that nips its mother’s teat. A reactive mother nips the culprit back; the culprit feels the pain of the mother’s larger nip and learns to cease that behaviour.

Burrhus Skinner spent much of his working life demonstrating this with his Behaviourism philosophy.

So how does ‘respect‘ fit into this picture? I think I’ve made the point in this forum some years ago that human beings can be identified as having the same range of primitive drives as other mammals. I listed 19 such drives, but quite sensibly, some members queried the inclusion of some of the items I’d included in that list.
However, one of the drives that was not queried was the existence of a pecking order in many species. We feel good if people look up to us or praise us in any way for things that we do or say (as in this forum). We ‘feel’ bad when people belittle us or make us ‘feel’ inferior in any way. This can happen if others disrespect or belittle anyone’s contributions in this forum.

This is why we try to encourage one another to speak to the issues under discussion rather than the contributor. RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER’S CONTRIBUTION IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE FEELINGS MATTER.

We avoid this in public meetings by protocols and rules of conduct of meetings. We address our responses to the comments of others through a Chairperson or President (or ‘Speaker’ in Parliaments; and this is badly abused here in Australia), so that the dialogue becomes impersonal because it’s addressed objectively to a theoretically neutral intermediary.

I would like to say something here about the sixth sense that we all possess. Now if you just associated this with extra sensory perception (ESP), then you will understand why we are so far behind in understanding human nature. ESP should never be referred to as anything but a seventh sense because we all possess a sense of body feedback in addition to those five recognised senses we possess that keep us in touch with the world outside of our physical bodies.

It seems to me that whenever we get into discussions on ‘consciousness’ or emotions, everybody with a physiological turn of mind tends to talk about our five senses in touch with the outside world – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. I believe that we neglect in discussions our most important sense – our ever-present and most important sixth sense. The very fact that we generally regard our sixth sense as extra-sensory-perception is evidence for the point I’m making.

ESP should really be regarded as a seventh sense, and at superficial evaluation I realise that sounds ridiculous, but have a think about it.

It’s enough for now to state my opinion that ‘feelings’ are in fact the assortments and variations of feedback we receive from every part of our bodies to our brains every second of our awake state – from our skin (blood vessel changes; blushing, blanching), our muscle tone (tenseness {it’s very real}, relaxation), gut (stomach in knots, gnawing in stomach, involuntary evacuation), and possibly from arterial dilation and constriction systemically as well.

We are a social animal. We need to attempt to stay happy and contented with one another. I regard this very real, ever-present sixth sense feedback from our bodies as our ‘feelings’ and that they matter more than any other sense in our bodies if we are to be happy and contented with one another in life. Mutual respect for one another’s feelings does matter.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Eclogite on March 23rd, 2017, 9:18 am 

mitchellmckain » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:10 pm wrote:I am well are that there things about myself which are very hard for me to see. The only way I have been able to observe them is through the reactions of other people. When enough people have the same reaction then I start to believe there must be something to it, even if I cannot see it myself. Of course, there is no guarantee they are right, because that cultural blindness works both ways. Sometimes it is the culture which programs people to respond in certain ways and that can be just as deceptive as our own self-perception. But since the observation of others is the only way we can uncover our own mis-perceptions it doesn't pay to dismiss the consistent observations of others too lightly.
I have found the concept of Johari windows very useful in comprehending this aspect of self perception.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 23rd, 2017, 9:48 am 

Dave_Oblad » March 22nd, 2017, 11:22 am wrote:Hi Athena,

Just a quick drive by.. have to head out very shortly.

I think it's very important to respect everyone regardless. Forums can be educational and a good place for debates as long as we focus on ideas and not the presenter. Debates carry information that is educational, sometimes more about how a debate is conducted than the content of the debate.

Yes.. I love the program "Humans". It has come up with some twists even I had not considered in thinking about Androids. Synths want their equal rights and are jealous of Humans and some Humans want the Immortality and Eternal Youth that Synths enjoy.

Soon, they must get into allowing Synths to worship and if Synths have souls.. etc. Both trying to become the other and now.. moving consciousness between both species. Saving your child from cancer by moving their minds to a fabricated child Synth, but that Synth will always be a child.. body wise.

And one can't avoid the issues around how Humans have always treated their slaves and how slaves eventually lash back with civil war against the Masters. Or a Synth defending itself from Human Violence but gets the raw end of the deal because Synths are just machines and can be scrapped with near impunity by the Authorities.

If a Human loves a Synth, is it ok to defend your Synth from human violence or disrespect? Is it fair for Synths to show the same disrespect to Humans as they receive from Humans? How far from Human appearance must a Synth deviate before it's just another Machine? What if your Synth wants to get paid so it can afford personal upgrades or repairs?

What if your Smartphone wants to Marry the Smartphone next door? Not for Sex of course, but to maintain a closer Relationship. (Note: that's not in the program but just a thought from me..lol)

Anyway, exactly the kind of programming we need to make us start thinking about such issues as we move closer to seeing such become a reality, sooner or later.

There was another thread around here somewhere about the culture shock to Aboriginal tribes as they get exposed to modern Cultures. We are advancing so fast, that even many of us "Modern" folks are now the new Aboriginals.

Ok.. have to go.. later..

Best Wishes,
Dave :^)


I don't get "Humans" on my TV but a friend told me about it, and immediately I saw it as philosophy. I love the way the issues are presented. The original Star Trek was about presenting such issues, but I think Humans may be doing an even better job of this because it is even more obvious it is about our behavior and attitudes, and the alien isn't that alien.

In a closed thread it was said some people don't think philosophy is important, but doesn't Humans make it clear how important philosophy is? Thank you so much for your explanation of show issues!

I love thinking about the bigger picture of the whole nation and world. My old textbooks are very clearly about creating a culture of cooperation and public education has stopped transmitting that culture. In some schools, there may be a rising effort to social children, but we have so much resistance to public education doing this! Interestingly this has increased the drive to have charter schools, many of them announcing they are "Christian" and clearly concerned about behaviors. However, even when the effort was made, it failed to end racism and that brings me back to Humans- you say if a human's child dies that child's personality can be put in an android, but it will not grow up? That is something to talk about! That totally messes with our notion of being parents, and it brings in the problems of discrimination and emancipation.

I hope we can talk about the Human's show. Maybe I can find a neighbor who gets that channel?
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am 

wolfhnd » March 22nd, 2017, 10:03 pm wrote:Feelings matter but your feelings are your responsibility.

Language can be a weapon but for every weapon their is a shield or a counter move. Adults are expected to have developed the social skills to deflect most verbal attacks. Children are a different issue and that is why they are protected from say sexually or other forms of free expression that they are not equipped to process by age restrictions. For the most part adults are only protect from free speech if it is slanderous. Without getting into the fine points of almost toothless slander laws for our purposes we can condense the concept of slander to untruths. Most forums condense the concept even further to any personal attack. As long as the discussion is conducted without overt personal attacks and all parties are interested primarily in seeking the"truth" feelings are too subjective to be a consideration.


Really? You might be in a life long relationship, but I wonder what you have to offer if it is not consideration for the other person's feelings? I just don't think you are right unless you didn't mean exactly what you said. I have a pile of books from an 1872 book on Letter writing, conversation, etiquette, business- to many old school text books that say otherwise, and certainly you could not a sales person with the idea that making sales is not about having the ability to make others feel good. From Dale Carnegie to Lee Iacocca the word is the other person's feelings matter and success depends on a person's awareness of that. And considering many people choose their president with their feelings, rather than studying the issues and giving them much thought, I have concern that your notion of people being responsible for their own feelings, might cause a blind spot in understanding why humans behave as they do?

"Language can be a weapon but for every weapon their is a shield or a counter move." Are you saying when we come to the forum, we should be prepared for war? I am sure that delights many people who come to forums, and my friends think I am nuts for participating in forums where that is true. I speak for all the people who do not want engage in the war mode of relating to others. These are very intellectual people who have much to contribute conversations but do not to play the war game. Might you at least consider this possibility?

"Adults are expected to have developed the social skills to deflect most verbal attacks." I am sure Dale Carnegie to Lee Iacocca would agree with you, and they would also say your success depends on not putting the other person on the defensive. I also want to say this is not just about me, but everyone who has tried to participate in the forum and was driven away, or don't even attempt to engage because they think it is nuts to engage with people who lack good social skills. Let me modify that statement. Forums are typically dominated by males and males seem to love slamming each other. We can think of the forums as throwing balls in a hoop and bumping each other out of the way, or a wrestling match, or other rough play. For guys, this tends to be natural, but it is not so natural for gals, and I don't think you want your women to be just like the men. The biggest regret very successful women have is they are passing their childbearing years and still have not found a good mate. Traditionally, the woman's role has been being sensitive to the needs of others, and I think we have civilizations because of the first grandmother who got people to be considerate of each other. You all may not like where I coming from, but I think women have played an essential role, and I think it is pretty important to civilization that they continue to be protected, and that have the freedom to be feminine if they want to be. Women's liberation that forces them to be as men, is not my idea of being liberated! Women being locked out of male discussions has been terrible for human history. Do you notice you use words of war, and I am working for peace?

I think we might disagree with what is an overt personal attack. Like in football that object is to win and that means being aggressive, but there are some limits that I don't understand because I don't watch football. I get zero pleasure out of football, while men experience an increase their testosterone. The monthly cycle of being female is a very different experience, from the hormones affecting men, and instead of being ashamed of my difference, I am proud of it and will say again, I think the female difference is very important to civilizations, and perhaps our difference is important to continuing life on earth? I am not playing football or war games, but use my equality to argue in favor of my difference. Don't treat me another male. I don't like it. And don't deny me equality because I am not the same as you. Respect and value my difference. Thank you.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 23rd, 2017, 11:44 am 

[quote="doogles » March 23rd, 2017, 4:17 am

Just touching very briefly on the question “Do feelings matter?” , I would like to go so far as to say that ‘feelings’ are somewhat paramount in the survival of animals from reptiles upwards at least.

Very simplistically, animals survive and propagate by avoiding those things that cause painful feelings and seeking out those things that cause pleasurable feelings. Consider a young mammal that nips its mother’s teat. A reactive mother nips the culprit back; the culprit feels the pain of the mother’s larger nip and learns to cease that behaviour.

Burrhus Skinner spent much of his working life demonstrating this with his Behaviourism philosophy.

So how does ‘respect‘ fit into this picture? I think I’ve made the point in this forum some years ago that human beings can be identified as having the same range of primitive drives as other mammals. I listed 19 such drives, but quite sensibly, some members queried the inclusion of some of the items I’d included in that list.
However, one of the drives that was not queried was the existence of a pecking order in many species. We feel good if people look up to us or praise us in any way for things that we do or say (as in this forum). We ‘feel’ bad when people belittle us or make us ‘feel’ inferior in any way. This can happen if others disrespect or belittle anyone’s contributions in this forum.

This is why we try to encourage one another to speak to the issues under discussion rather than the contributor. RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER’S CONTRIBUTION IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE FEELINGS MATTER.

We avoid this in public meetings by protocols and rules of conduct of meetings. We address our responses to the comments of others through a Chairperson or President (or ‘Speaker’ in Parliaments; and this is badly abused here in Australia), so that the dialogue becomes impersonal because it’s addressed objectively to a theoretically neutral intermediary.

I would like to say something here about the sixth sense that we all possess. Now if you just associated this with extra sensory perception (ESP), then you will understand why we are so far behind in understanding human nature. ESP should never be referred to as anything but a seventh sense because we all possess a sense of body feedback in addition to those five recognised senses we possess that keep us in touch with the world outside of our physical bodies.

It seems to me that whenever we get into discussions on ‘consciousness’ or emotions, everybody with a physiological turn of mind tends to talk about our five senses in touch with the outside world – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. I believe that we neglect in discussions our most important sense – our ever-present and most important sixth sense. The very fact that we generally regard our sixth sense as extra-sensory-perception is evidence for the point I’m making.

ESP should really be regarded as a seventh sense, and at superficial evaluation I realise that sounds ridiculous, but have a think about it.

It’s enough for now to state my opinion that ‘feelings’ are in fact the assortments and variations of feedback we receive from every part of our bodies to our brains every second of our awake state – from our skin (blood vessel changes; blushing, blanching), our muscle tone (tenseness {it’s very real}, relaxation), gut (stomach in knots, gnawing in stomach, involuntary evacuation), and possibly from arterial dilation and constriction systemically as well.

We are a social animal. We need to attempt to stay happy and contented with one another. I regard this very real, ever-present sixth sense feedback from our bodies as our ‘feelings’ and that they matter more than any other sense in our bodies if we are to be happy and contented with one another in life. Mutual respect for one another’s feelings does matter.


I am blown away by the wisdom of your post. you said "I believe that we neglect in discussions our most important sense – our ever-present and most important sixth sense." This needs to be a part of main stream thinking.

Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease. Could this be a result of what we call "women's liberation"? There is no doubt that stress is related to heart problems on a few levels from increased comfort eating, to extra strain on the heart and flooding our brains with toxic stress hormones. We know there are racially caused stresses and health problems but are we up to date with what women's liberation may be doing to women physically?

Other post have said we should be skilled at defending ourselves, but clearly this is related to stress and stress is related to our health. At age 70 it might not be wise for me to load myself with avoidable stress, and at the same time avoiding life to avoid stress is not a good choice either. I love being female and older, because I think both give me an important point of view, and I love what you said about the value of considering or sixth sense. You really made this a health issue for me. Should I subject myself to being pushed by someone who takes pleasure in crushing his opponent and those who think we should be as prepared for this as we are prepared for war? Might that kind of thinking have something to do with why the US is willing to spend so much on war and so little on health?
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 23rd, 2017, 1:09 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 22nd, 2017, 1:10 pm wrote: Sometimes it is the culture which programs people to respond in certain ways and that can be just as deceptive as our own self-perception.


That is an interesting concept. If a person is Black in a White dominant culture, how might the affect the experience of being Black and the experience of being White? If a person is female in a culture that maintains women in a powerless position, how might that effect the experience of being female and conversely the experience of being male? Now let is shift that to being female in a culture that expects females to be just like males, and makes being feminine taboo, how might this change the male and female experience?

Is mainstream culture also like being an individual, in that it has a consciousness and subconscous, and might mainstream culture also be changed, as the individual can be changed?

That may have more to do with the way the moderators operate in this forum than anything to do with you. They seem to close things down when a particular interaction gets heated in order to make decisions on how to proceed before things blow up completely.


Okay, is it the desire to keep discussions cool? I just want to clarify your meaning. What is most effective way to avoid discussions getting over heated? I think it begins with being respectful and protecting the dignity of others and not making personal comments unless it was one that will make someone good about him or her self. That when we want to argue a point, we should copy and paste what was said, and then give our reasoning, which should have nothing to do with the character of another, or what qualities s/he is lacking, but our arguments should be restricted to the point. Like Dave says. Is that what we are agreeing to?

Cultures often don't even consider that things can be done in a way differently than they do them and their way is simply the standard of right and wrong. (And yes I think there are places in the US like this too.)


I think it was Edward T Hall's book "Beyond Culture" that completely shattered my confidence that I know reality. I read a couple of his books and very much value them. He said our cultures are like individuals having a consciousness and subconsciousness. Laugh, I never had to use LSD for a trip. I could just read a book and have a reality shift.

that evidence includes all of my subjective experiences like feelings.
The original Star Trek was always putting the value of our emotions into question. That obviously was the point of Spock the Vulcan who was contrasted with Captian Kirk the comparatively very emotional earth human. Once they split Kirk between a good Kirk and a bad Kirk and the good Kirk was way too weak to be a captain. I forget how this one ended. Does anyone remember?

Quite often, communication requires digging out and challenging tightly held premises as well as self-deceptions and this is not going to happen without the mess of an emotional battleground.


I am very pleased with the responses to the OP and I being made to think of things I have not considered, and what you said here is one of those things that is intriging? I live for those moments when someone makes me think about what I think. That is truly an enjoyable moment for me. I love it when I get the deeper meaning of something and enjoy learning. But all this seems to depend on responses from people who actually know the subject. When someone hasn't a glue what I am talking about but seems driven to prove I don't know what I am talking either, I get into trouble. That is an extremely frustrating experience. It really seems to depend on how much the other person knows on if what I am saying makes sense or not? I can detect thinking but not reasoning and there is an important difference. Laugh, it kind of is a difference between enjoying war or not.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby wolfhnd on March 23rd, 2017, 1:32 pm 

Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence

http://www.mintpressnews.com/woman-aggr ... ce/196746/

I don't know if the statistics presented in the above article are accurate or not but being empathetic and nurturing does not necessarily mean non-violent. These same instincts can provoke extreme defensive reactions when the object to which the empathy is attached seems to be under threat. It is reasonable to assume that the same instincts are provoked in verbal altercation as in physical confrontation.

The key point for the purposes of forum discussions is that debates are naturally adversarial. It requires a certain amount of emotional detachment to debate well. Personally I prefer to think of our conversations as discussions not debates but some of the same principles apply.

Discussing the value of politeness in fostering civilization is a completely different topic.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby hyksos on March 23rd, 2017, 1:46 pm 

Are you saying when we come to the forum, we should be prepared for war? I am sure that delights many people who come to forums, and my friends think I am nuts for participating in forums where that is true. I speak for all the people who do not want engage in the war mode of relating to others. These are very intellectual people who have much to contribute conversations but do not to play the war game. Might you at least consider this possibility?

I get the funny suspicion that this thread is a fallout from the Neri thread.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby vivian maxine on March 23rd, 2017, 2:21 pm 

Ah, doogles, I can't resist! You and I talked about this before. You cannot - I forbid it - suddenly shift our sixth sense to a seventh sense so you can fit in our body sense. We (big WE) have had this sixth sense for thousands of years and we absolutely refuse to give it up. <G>

Then again, maybe if you just don't take it away from us. ESP is a fun thing to have.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 23rd, 2017, 7:22 pm 

Athena » March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm wrote:Is mainstream culture also like being an individual, in that it has a consciousness and subconscous, and might mainstream culture also be changed, as the individual can be changed?

No. Communities often form a living organism in its own right, but it is not necessarily the equal of the individual members of the community. It can be either greater or lesser. All the observations and evidence point to human communities being quite stupid and inferior to the individual human. Perhaps it is only on the level of a worm or an amoeba by comparison.

Athena » March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm wrote:
that evidence includes all of my subjective experiences like feelings.
The original Star Trek was always putting the value of our emotions into question. That obviously was the point of Spock the Vulcan who was contrasted with Captian Kirk the comparatively very emotional earth human. Once they split Kirk between a good Kirk and a bad Kirk and the good Kirk was way too weak to be a captain. I forget how this one ended. Does anyone remember?

Sure. They figure out out to use the transporters to reverse the process.

The scifi example I like on this kind theme is HG Well's time machine, where the eloi suggests what happens if human beings live too long in idyllic circumstances. It refutes the idea that God (assuming He exists) should be held responsible for bad things that happen in our lives, for relieving human beings of that responsibility will only turn us into mindless sheep. But I think it connects to the Star Trek story as well. It suggests there is hardened element in our personalities given birth by our bad experiences which empowers us to deal with nasty situations and without it we are sheep-like and helpless.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Braininvat on March 25th, 2017, 8:33 pm 

Trek:OS liked its Manichean themes. A couple other episodes use transporter malfunctions, IIRC, to look at the duality of human nature. Many good posts in Athena's thread, just got back from break (where there was no internet - always a good change of pace for the mind), so want to catch up a bit. I like the mention of Johari windows, especially as they can help us see our blind spots. Meditation is also useful in allowing consciousness to "step back" a little from our motivations and deep emotional drives. Often helps in seeing how opposing parties often have considerable common ground and are seeking the same things. A lot of strife and conflicted feeling arise from bad or partial data.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 27th, 2017, 6:06 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 23rd, 2017, 5:22 pm wrote:
Athena » March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm wrote:Is mainstream culture also like being an individual, in that it has a consciousness and subconscous, and might mainstream culture also be changed, as the individual can be changed?

No. Communities often form a living organism in its own right, but it is not necessarily the equal of the individual members of the community. It can be either greater or lesser. All the observations and evidence point to human communities being quite stupid and inferior to the individual human. Perhaps it is only on the level of a worm or an amoeba by comparison.


I have read social pressure is very powerful and I believe that to be true. It is also my experience that social pressure is different in different communities. I know without a doubt that I avoid forums that are unpleasant for me, and that I chose to live and hang out people who share my values. If I like the people I am hanging with, I will conform to their preferences. If I don't like the people, I pull away and do not conform. I can not imagine being part of a stupid and inferior community, but a couple people in this forum lead me to question if I want to keep coming back. Unfortunately, the effect of just a couple of people is more powerful, than the effect of several pleasant people. In the past, I had less freedom, but now I don't have to stay anywhere that I don't want to be. Maybe I am just very fortunate but I am very happy with the people I am surrounded with, thanks my ability to be where I want to be. On the other hand, because I know life is not the same for everyone, I am very motivated to talk about what makes life good and what is harmful to our shared happiness and what Jefferson meant by our right to life, liberty and happiness, based on the philosophers before his time and the reasoning for democracy.

Sure. They figure out out to use the transporters to reverse the process.


I am sorry, but I don't know what that sentence has to do with anything?

The scifi example I like on this kind theme is HG Well's time machine, where the eloi suggests what happens if human beings live too long in idyllic circumstances. It refutes the idea that God (assuming He exists) should be held responsible for bad things that happen in our lives, for relieving human beings of that responsibility will only turn us into mindless sheep. But I think it connects to the Star Trek story as well. It suggests there is hardened element in our personalities given birth by our bad experiences which empowers us to deal with nasty situations and without it we are sheep-like and helpless.


What was wrong with the beautiful and gentle people? I do not remember any unhappiness to be corrected, except not wanting to be taken to the underground. But I am not sure I could be happy with what they had? I love learning and having a reason to learn, so that is necessary to my happiness, but maybe that can get conditioned out of people? I think you have made a good point that needs more consideration.

On Star Trek, or in any close quarters living situation, it is very important people get along with one another. The ability of people to get along with others is a top Russian priority when they send someone to live in the orbiting space station. What can we know about people getting along well and failing to do so?
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 28th, 2017, 6:40 pm 

quote mitchellmckain

Human being are creatures of habit. This means whatever free will they may have can be a little hard to see for much of it is employed to program themselves with automatic reactions to a variety of situations. And changing these habits are difficult.


Education is very important to what habits we learn. Liberal education prepares us to use our brains differently than education for technology. That difference affects our judgment, and our emotional wellbeing, our tolerance of differences and ability to get along. It just is not as simple as the fact that are creatures of habit, and we are prone to fast thinking, not slow thinking that is required for good judgment.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby NoShips on March 28th, 2017, 6:42 pm 

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” - Mark Twain
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 28th, 2017, 11:28 pm 

Athena » March 27th, 2017, 5:06 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » March 23rd, 2017, 5:22 pm wrote:
Athena » March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm wrote:Is mainstream culture also like being an individual, in that it has a consciousness and subconscous, and might mainstream culture also be changed, as the individual can be changed?

No. Communities often form a living organism in its own right, but it is not necessarily the equal of the individual members of the community. It can be either greater or lesser. All the observations and evidence point to human communities being quite stupid and inferior to the individual human. Perhaps it is only on the level of a worm or an amoeba by comparison.


I have read social pressure is very powerful and I believe that to be true. It is also my experience that social pressure is different in different communities. I know without a doubt that I avoid forums that are unpleasant for me, and that I chose to live and hang out people who share my values. If I like the people I am hanging with, I will conform to their preferences. If I don't like the people, I pull away and do not conform. I can not imagine being part of a stupid and inferior community, but a couple people in this forum lead me to question if I want to keep coming back. Unfortunately, the effect of just a couple of people is more powerful, than the effect of several pleasant people. In the past, I had less freedom, but now I don't have to stay anywhere that I don't want to be. Maybe I am just very fortunate but I am very happy with the people I am surrounded with, thanks my ability to be where I want to be. On the other hand, because I know life is not the same for everyone, I am very motivated to talk about what makes life good and what is harmful to our shared happiness and what Jefferson meant by our right to life, liberty and happiness, based on the philosophers before his time and the reasoning for democracy.

Finding people you are compatible with (or even of similar abilities) is not the same as being part of a community which is an intelligent living organism in its own right. The observations I am referring which show that human communities are inferior are the studies of mob behaviors and that Stanford prison experiment show how social dynamics have such a negative effect on people. I think the point is that our social skills as human beings simply is not on par with our other developments. Finding a group of like-minded people is NOT a counter-example. In that case you are simply not giving your social skills much of a workout.

Athena » March 27th, 2017, 5:06 pm wrote:
Sure. They figure out out to use the transporters to reverse the process.


I am sorry, but I don't know what that sentence has to do with anything?

You asked the question about a particular episode of Star Trek.

Athena » March 27th, 2017, 5:06 pm wrote:
The scifi example I like on this kind theme is HG Well's time machine, where the eloi suggests what happens if human beings live too long in idyllic circumstances. It refutes the idea that God (assuming He exists) should be held responsible for bad things that happen in our lives, for relieving human beings of that responsibility will only turn us into mindless sheep. But I think it connects to the Star Trek story as well. It suggests there is hardened element in our personalities given birth by our bad experiences which empowers us to deal with nasty situations and without it we are sheep-like and helpless.


What was wrong with the beautiful and gentle people? I do not remember any unhappiness to be corrected, except not wanting to be taken to the underground. But I am not sure I could be happy with what they had? I love learning and having a reason to learn, so that is necessary to my happiness, but maybe that can get conditioned out of people? I think you have made a good point that needs more consideration.

Yes, everything looked good/idyllic to begin with and then someone fell in a river and everyone simply watched the person drowning, doing nothing. He had to save this person himself and they couldn't even understand why he did that. That is when he first realized something was really wrong with these people. The next was when he watched them march off to the slaughter house as meat for the Morlocks, showing that these people were completely like sheep.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on March 31st, 2017, 5:53 pm 

mitchellmckain » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:28 pm wrote:Finding people you are compatible with (or even of similar abilities) is not the same as being part of a community which is an intelligent living organism in its own right. The observations I am referring which show that human communities are inferior are the studies of mob behaviors and that Stanford prison experiment show how social dynamics have such a negative effect on people. I think the point is that our social skills as human beings simply is not on par with our other developments. Finding a group of like-minded people is NOT a counter-example. In that case you are simply not giving your social skills much of a workout.


Human communities are inferior to what? I love the Stanford prison experiment, and nothing could be greater proof that feelings are important. It also tells us some jobs can distort people's judgment and I think we should be paying a whole more attention to this than we do.

I am not so sure about studies about mob behavior. I avoid mobs but does mob behavior define the quality of people in a community? Aren't mobs unusual, as most of us are tied to families and jobs, not mobs?

Yipes, I am out time already. Catch you later.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 1st, 2017, 2:45 am 

Athena » March 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » March 28th, 2017, 9:28 pm wrote:Finding people you are compatible with (or even of similar abilities) is not the same as being part of a community which is an intelligent living organism in its own right. The observations I am referring which show that human communities are inferior are the studies of mob behaviors and that Stanford prison experiment show how social dynamics have such a negative effect on people. I think the point is that our social skills as human beings simply is not on par with our other developments. Finding a group of like-minded people is NOT a counter-example. In that case you are simply not giving your social skills much of a workout.


Human communities are inferior to what?


The evidence suggests that human communities as living organisms in their own right are generally inferior to individual human beings. They tend to be more short sighted, less adaptable, and ruled by the lowest common denominator. It is not that they have to be, but that so far they are. Perhaps one day this will change -- we certainly hope so. Compare this to multi-cellular organisms (humans in particular) where the opposite is the case. We are more aware of the environment and more adaptable than the individual cells of the community. It is not that we do not benefit from being a part of a community (or that individuals do not sacrifice themselves for the community); in that we are similar to the multicellular organisms. But that much can be said of a worm. The fact is that the outlook for the human race is somewhat bleak because of the stupidity of human communities, creating more problems which threaten our own destruction. Individuals can see the problems and are largely helpless to deal with them. We try but we usually have to fight the greater human community to do it.

Athena » March 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » March 28th, 2017, 9:28 pm wrote:I love the Stanford prison experiment, and nothing could be greater proof that feelings are important. It also tells us some jobs can distort people's judgment and I think we should be paying a whole more attention to this than we do.

It is also an example of how easily a human community becomes much worse that the individuals who are a part of it. It is not some weird exception. This happens all the time in many situations.

Athena » March 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm wrote:I am not so sure about studies about mob behavior. I avoid mobs but does mob behavior define the quality of people in a community? Aren't mobs unusual, as most of us are tied to families and jobs, not mobs?

The quality of people in a community isn't the issue. The question is about the behavior of the community as a whole. Picking a select group never works (and it has been tried many times) because in a couple of generation they are gone and you have to deal with diversity again. The very fact that the community depends so heavily on the individuals who are a part of it is just another example of how the community is inferior to the individuals.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 1st, 2017, 5:20 pm 

mitchellmckain » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:45 pm wrote:The evidence suggests that human communities as living organisms in their own right are generally inferior to individual human beings. They tend to be more short sighted, less adaptable, and ruled by the lowest common denominator. It is not that they have to be, but that so far they are. Perhaps one day this will change -- we certainly hope so. Compare this to multi-cellular organisms (humans in particular) where the opposite is the case. We are more aware of the environment and more adaptable than the individual cells of the community. It is not that we do not benefit from being a part of a community (or that individuals do not sacrifice themselves for the community); in that we are similar to the multicellular organisms. But that much can be said of a worm. The fact is that the outlook for the human race is somewhat bleak because of the stupidity of human communities, creating more problems which threaten our own destruction. Individuals can see the problems and are largely helpless to deal with them. We try but we usually have to fight the greater human community to do it.


I wonder if you lived where I live if you would still say the same thing? I really want to discuss all your points, and I hope asking where you get your information will help. I have a different point of view.

Large cities with a lot of commerce are far more sophisticated than small rural towns. Democracies tend to encourage progress and perhaps our problem today is things are changing too fast? Religions tend to retard progress. I think conservatives tend to want to hold things in the past- perhaps as far back as when Moses got the ten commandments? Liberals want to move ahead.

Educated democracies welcome new comers, and also understand the importance of transmitting a culture to them. They tend to be far-sighted, are very adaptable and are ruled by good leaders. Before jumping into a reply, notice I said "educated democracies", and that I say that does not mean education for technology. Education for technology is good for slaves, but it is not good for citizens of democracy.

It is also an example of how easily a human community becomes much worse than the individuals who are a part of it. It is not some weird exception. This happens all the time in many situations.


What, the prison experiment is not a weird exception?! That experiment was nothing like a normal community and what happened was totally unexpected! The experiment was cut short because of how individuals were changing in that environment. That should tell us how important our environments are. How do think it applies to a normal community?

The quality of people in a community isn't the issue. The question is about the behavior of the community as a whole. Picking a select group never works (and it has been tried many times) because in a couple of generation they are gone and you have to deal with diversity again. The very fact that the community depends so heavily on the individuals who are a part of it is just another example of how the community is inferior to the individuals.


Why isn't the quality of the people in a community the issue? [b]I think the quality of the people is all important, and that has everything to do with every social statement I make, from the need to be respectful to the need to transmit a culture through education.

We are a community in this forum and we will attract people pleased by our culture and repel those who find our culture unattractive. Forums grow or die depending on their culture, and that is why there are moderators.

People are not the same in all communities. The quality of different communities makes all the difference because all social animals have a tendency to conform to the culture they find themselves in. Not only is the community where they are socialized make a huge difference, but so does their time in history. People born during the same historical period are called a cohort and this matters so much we name the cohorts. I am of the boomer generation when we thought we could make the world a better place. I think the attitude of the young today is pretty bad. For around a 100 years we passed on a culture for democracy and liberty, and we stopped doing that in 1958. When my generation dies there will be no left who remembers the democracy we defended in two world wars. I remember when we respected our elders, had privacy and stood against a police state, and I lived through the destruction of that wisdom and the destruction of traditional values and families. I know these changes are the ramification in changes in public education, and what you said just doesn't ring true, but I am quite sure what you have said is also published as the truth and I really do want to know your sources of information.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 1st, 2017, 5:30 pm 

wolfhnd » March 23rd, 2017, 11:32 am wrote:Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence

http://www.mintpressnews.com/woman-aggr ... ce/196746/

I don't know if the statistics presented in the above article are accurate or not but being empathetic and nurturing does not necessarily mean non-violent. These same instincts can provoke extreme defensive reactions when the object to which the empathy is attached seems to be under threat. It is reasonable to assume that the same instincts are provoked in verbal altercation as in physical confrontation.

The key point for the purposes of forum discussions is that debates are naturally adversarial. It requires a certain amount of emotional detachment to debate well. Personally I prefer to think of our conversations as discussions not debates but some of the same principles apply.

Discussing the value of politeness in fostering civilization is a completely different topic.


So why did you bring in something that could be so disruptive to the topic? I think you gave us a good example of moral decay than needs to be prevented through education and social organization. I assume barbaric women took such brutality as a normal fact of life. I think our developed ability to protect women and children means our civilization advanced, and I think since 1958 we have been destroying that advancement.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 2nd, 2017, 12:10 am 

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:I wonder if you lived where I live if you would still say the same thing?

No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote: I have a different point of view.

Sure we have a different point of view on a lot of things, but in this discussion I think it is mostly a communication issue.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:
It is also an example of how easily a human community becomes much worse than the individuals who are a part of it. It is not some weird exception. This happens all the time in many situations.

What, the prison experiment is not a weird exception?! That experiment was nothing like a normal community and what happened was totally unexpected! The experiment was cut short because of how individuals were changing in that environment. That should tell us how important our environments are. How do think it applies to a normal community?

The point of the experiment was to investigate human nature in group situations. It demonstrated how easily people let the group dynamic override personal morality and integrity.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:
The quality of people in a community isn't the issue. The question is about the behavior of the community as a whole. Picking a select group never works (and it has been tried many times) because in a couple of generation they are gone and you have to deal with diversity again. The very fact that the community depends so heavily on the individuals who are a part of it is just another example of how the community is inferior to the individuals.

Why isn't the quality of the people in a community the issue?

Because that was the whole point of the discussion. The life of the community is not the same as the life of the individual and the issue was to compare them. If you judge the community by the individual then you are not addressing the question at all.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote: I think the quality of the people is all important, and that has everything to do with every social statement I make, from the need to be respectful to the need to transmit a culture through education.

Yes the individuals is the most important thing because the community doesn't make much of a living organism in its own right by comparison.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:We are a community in this forum and we will attract people pleased by our culture and repel those who find our culture unattractive. Forums grow or die depending on their culture, and that is why there are moderators.

I already explained why a selective group like this doesn't count. It is what religions have been trying to do so many times in history. A select group of like minded people getting together to make their own utopia. Then the next generation comes along and it all falls apart. It shows that such like minded groups are a pseudo-community which is really only deceiving itself. Real community has to deal with the full diversity of human thought and character.

Athena » April 1st, 2017, 4:20 pm wrote:People are not the same in all communities. The quality of different communities makes all the difference because all social animals have a tendency to conform to the culture they find themselves in. Not only is the community where they are socialized make a huge difference, but so does their time in history. People born during the same historical period are called a cohort and this matters so much we name the cohorts. I am of the boomer generation when we thought we could make the world a better place. I think the attitude of the young today is pretty bad. For around a 100 years we passed on a culture for democracy and liberty, and we stopped doing that in 1958. When my generation dies there will be no left who remembers the democracy we defended in two world wars. I remember when we respected our elders, had privacy and stood against a police state, and I lived through the destruction of that wisdom and the destruction of traditional values and families. I know these changes are the ramification in changes in public education, and what you said just doesn't ring true, but I am quite sure what you have said is also published as the truth and I really do want to know your sources of information.

Whereas I think what they passed on during that 100 years was more of an illusion founded on willful self-deception. It was based on ignoring the rampant abuses in our society -- frankly rotten and sick to the very core. I find such idolization of the past to be rather amusing if not downright sad. Some love the medieval era when a more loathsome era of ignorance and squalor is hard for me to imagine. Some love Victorian England when the truth is that institutional immorality and abuse was outrageous. There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 2nd, 2017, 1:30 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 1st, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote: No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.


I woke this morning wondering if think China's fear of the people and efforts to control them is the way things should be?

Sure we have a different point of view on a lot of things, but in this discussion I think it is mostly a communication issue.


You obviously are thinking, and I like that, but I do know what you mean by a communication issue?

The point of the experiment was to investigate human nature in group situations. It demonstrated how easily people let the group dynamic override personal morality and integrity.


But the same causes of group dynamics can have the totally reverse effect and how to get the reverse effect is what all my writing in the last several years is about. That was behind the original purpose of free education, and preparing our young for good citizenship remained the purpose of education until 1958. And it is also why I stop reading posts when someone is disrespectful. Group dynamics rule and that is why we must take care of them. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. What is bad is being unaware and not knowing how to avoid the bad and encourage the good.

Because that was the whole point of the discussion. The life of the community is not the same as the life of the individual and the issue was to compare them. If you judge the community by the individual then you are not addressing the question at all.


I am totally lost. Education for democracy and liberty is essential to having either. Guiding group dynamics is essential. Individuals can change group dynamics for the better or worse. Newton and Locke changed them for the good, Hitler and his elk changed them for the worse. Mass education is very important to chosing good leaders and good laws. So are mods important to group dynamics. If someone enters the forum who is out to win, and badgers people without concern for their feelings, such a person will drive people who don't want to play like this away. I have seen this happen repeatedly in my several years on the internet. When I started there were no rules and mods, and forums were slaughter houses. Now forums have rules and mods, but the mods often slip into abusing their power and being one of the offenders. When this happens the forums do not grow and eventually die. One of the first forums I joined was super good with people from around the world, but it is poorly managed, and people dropped out. The forum struggled for many years and finally died. That is a sad thing, but it had the culture of a small town redneck bar, only those who enjoyed this stayed. People who were not already bonded to the group did not stay for long. That bonding is an important part of the success of any social organizations. I think we can learn a lot about democracy, and what the rules need to be by studying forums.

Yes the individuals is the most important thing because the community doesn't make much of a living organism in its own right by comparison.


I don't think the individual is important unless the individual contributes to the group. The future always depends on the group. Individuals are mortal and must be expendable. However, the strength of the group also depends on the how well the individuals contribute to the group. There is an importance to having a god, because it unites individuals and from this we get civilizations. The order is God, country, and family, and the individual makes up the country and family, but alone isn't worth much.

I already explained why a selective group like this doesn't count. It is what religions have been trying to do so many times in history. A select group of like minded people getting together to make their own utopia. Then the next generation comes along and it all falls apart. It shows that such like minded groups are a pseudo-community which is really only deceiving itself. Real community has to deal with the full diversity of human thought and character.


My goodness, what you said is like saying a slug in the garden doesn't matter, or a seed is unimportant. If you gardened you know that a slug or grass seed, will multiply and destroy the garden. So will all the good things grow and multiply when well cared for. A good garden and a good community require care. The US has not fallen in 200 hundred years, but it is just a baby nation compared to European countries, China and India. Sure all countries have their swings and if we do not improvement our judgment any civilization can fall. Religions and cultures are about dealing with diversity and also they must have integrity so they do not fall apart and disappear. We need to take care of our families, communities, and all social organizations for them to be strong and united.

Whereas I think what they passed on during that 100 years was more of an illusion founded on willful self-deception. It was based on ignoring the rampant abuses in our society -- frankly rotten and sick to the very core. I find such idolization of the past to be rather amusing if not downright sad. Some love the medieval era when a more loathsome era of ignorance and squalor is hard for me to imagine. Some love Victorian England when the truth is that institutional immorality and abuse was outrageous. There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.


Now we very strongly disagree and thank you so much for your opinion as I am working on a book and know I must address what you said in that book. Do you know, when the Prussians took control of Germany, the first thing they did was centralize education, and they destroyed Germany's heroes and praised their efficiency. They applied Prussian military bureaucracy to the citizens, and this brings the whole of Germany to Hitler's New World Order. Eisenhower called this social/political organization a Military Industrial Complex. Not only did the US adopt these educational and bureaucratic models, but it also destroyed its national heroes and began praising efficiency. My generation is aware of how such organizations are crushing individual liberty and power, but the young have nothing to compare the life experience too, and all they know is the good reasons for why things are as they are, and what was wrong in the past. And I have said the political problems we are having begin with Germany's model of education for technology for military and industrial purpose and leaving moral training to the church.

A major problem we face today is we lost our understanding of liberty depending on morality, and democracy depending our ability to work together. The propaganda we have had, through public education and the media, leaves the young to know only the bad and not the amazing progress we have made. You talk as though because we have had education for democracy we should have perfection overnight, but this is unrealistic thinking. Our social transition has been amazing, but it takes time, and while some changes were desirable, we have facing changes that are not desirable too. The modern point of view does not see our progress as that resulted from that education, but it is beating ourselves like the people during the plague who went from village to village whipping themselves, thinking this would appease a god and resolve the evil sweeping over them, because this is Prussian thinking and it replaced our education for better reasoning. Schools did not have the resources we have today. Education was not mandatory and children were used as laborers, as still happens in third world countries. Please keep arguing with me so I can develop my argument.

There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.
Wow, what you said is a huge shock! You have made it very clear how important the Greek and Roman classics are, and how important history is. I have known this is the problem we face today, but still the boldness with which said that is shocking. And I really appreciate your arguments so I can figure out how to explain what needs to be said.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 2nd, 2017, 1:32 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 1st, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote: No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.


I woke this morning wondering if you think China's fear of the people and efforts to control them is the way things should be?

Sure we have a different point of view on a lot of things, but in this discussion I think it is mostly a communication issue.


You obviously are thinking, and I like that, but I do know what you mean by a communication issue?

The point of the experiment was to investigate human nature in group situations. It demonstrated how easily people let the group dynamic override personal morality and integrity.


But the same causes of group dynamics can have the totally reverse effect and how to get the reverse effect is what all my writing in the last several years is about. That was behind the original purpose of free education, and preparing our young for good citizenship remained the purpose of education until 1958. And it is also why I stop reading posts when someone is disrespectful. Group dynamics rule and that is why we must take care of them. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. What is bad is being unaware and not knowing how to avoid the bad and encourage the good.

Because that was the whole point of the discussion. The life of the community is not the same as the life of the individual and the issue was to compare them. If you judge the community by the individual then you are not addressing the question at all.


I am totally lost. Education for democracy and liberty is essential to having either. Guiding group dynamics is essential. Individuals can change group dynamics for the better or worse. Newton and Locke changed them for the good, Hitler and his elk changed them for the worse. Mass education is very important to chosing good leaders and good laws. So are mods important to group dynamics. If someone enters the forum who is out to win, and badgers people without concern for their feelings, such a person will drive people who don't want to play like this away. I have seen this happen repeatedly in my several years on the internet. When I started there were no rules and mods, and forums were slaughter houses. Now forums have rules and mods, but the mods often slip into abusing their power and being one of the offenders. When this happens the forums do not grow and eventually die. One of the first forums I joined was super good with people from around the world, but it is poorly managed, and people dropped out. The forum struggled for many years and finally died. That is a sad thing, but it had the culture of a small town redneck bar, only those who enjoyed this stayed. People who were not already bonded to the group did not stay for long. That bonding is an important part of the success of any social organizations. I think we can learn a lot about democracy, and what the rules need to be by studying forums.

Yes the individuals is the most important thing because the community doesn't make much of a living organism in its own right by comparison.


I don't think the individual is important unless the individual contributes to the group. The future always depends on the group. Individuals are mortal and must be expendable. However, the strength of the group also depends on the how well the individuals contribute to the group. There is an importance to having a god, because it unites individuals and from this we get civilizations. The order is God, country, and family, and the individual makes up the country and family, but alone isn't worth much.

I already explained why a selective group like this doesn't count. It is what religions have been trying to do so many times in history. A select group of like minded people getting together to make their own utopia. Then the next generation comes along and it all falls apart. It shows that such like minded groups are a pseudo-community which is really only deceiving itself. Real community has to deal with the full diversity of human thought and character.


My goodness, what you said is like saying a slug in the garden doesn't matter, or a seed is unimportant. If you gardened you know that a slug or grass seed, will multiply and destroy the garden. So will all the good things grow and multiply when well cared for. A good garden and a good community require care. The US has not fallen in 200 hundred years, but it is just a baby nation compared to European countries, China and India. Sure all countries have their swings and if we do not improvement our judgment any civilization can fall. Religions and cultures are about dealing with diversity and also they must have integrity so they do not fall apart and disappear. We need to take care of our families, communities, and all social organizations for them to be strong and united.

Whereas I think what they passed on during that 100 years was more of an illusion founded on willful self-deception. It was based on ignoring the rampant abuses in our society -- frankly rotten and sick to the very core. I find such idolization of the past to be rather amusing if not downright sad. Some love the medieval era when a more loathsome era of ignorance and squalor is hard for me to imagine. Some love Victorian England when the truth is that institutional immorality and abuse was outrageous. There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.


Now we very strongly disagree and thank you so much for your opinion as I am working on a book and know I must address what you said in that book. Do you know, when the Prussians took control of Germany, the first thing they did was centralize education, and they destroyed Germany's heroes and praised their efficiency. They applied Prussian military bureaucracy to the citizens, and this brings the whole of Germany to Hitler's New World Order. Eisenhower called this social/political organization a Military Industrial Complex. Not only did the US adopt these educational and bureaucratic models, but it also destroyed its national heroes and began praising efficiency. My generation is aware of how such organizations are crushing individual liberty and power, but the young have nothing to compare the life experience too, and all they know is the good reasons for why things are as they are, and what was wrong in the past. And I have said the political problems we are having begin with Germany's model of education for technology for military and industrial purpose and leaving moral training to the church.

A major problem we face today is we lost our understanding of liberty depending on morality, and democracy depending our ability to work together. The propaganda we have had, through public education and the media, leaves the young to know only the bad and not the amazing progress we have made. You talk as though because we have had education for democracy we should have perfection overnight, but this is unrealistic thinking. Our social transition has been amazing, but it takes time, and while some changes were desirable, we have facing changes that are not desirable too. The modern point of view does not see our progress as that resulted from that education, but it is beating ourselves like the people during the plague who went from village to village whipping themselves, thinking this would appease a god and resolve the evil sweeping over them, because this is Prussian thinking and it replaced our education for better reasoning. Schools did not have the resources we have today. Education was not mandatory and children were used as laborers, as still happens in third world countries. Please keep arguing with me so I can develop my argument.

There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.
Wow, what you said is a huge shock! You have made it very clear how important the Greek and Roman classics are, and how important history is. I have known this is the problem we face today, but still the boldness with which said that is shocking. And I really appreciate your arguments so I can figure out how to explain what needs to be said.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 2nd, 2017, 2:14 pm 

Athena » April 2nd, 2017, 12:32 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » April 1st, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote: No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.


I woke this morning wondering if you think China's fear of the people and efforts to control them is the way things should be?

Of course a certain amount of fear is healthy. It is why we need checks and balances in government, as well as regulations in industry. But the biggest cost of repressive regimes is that they also repress our greatest resource which is the people themselves. Unlocking their industry and creativity is the greatest source of wealth in the modern era.

Perhaps the most significant thing to learn from my response is that I am looking at things are the largest scale in both area and time -- the whole species and over the long term, and not local temporary groups.


Athena » April 2nd, 2017, 12:32 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » April 1st, 2017, 10:10 pm wrote: No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.


There was NEVER anything good about ANY past era. It was all horrible and that is why things changed.
Wow, what you said is a huge shock! You have made it very clear how important the Greek and Roman classics are, and how important history is. I have known this is the problem we face today, but still the boldness with which said that is shocking. And I really appreciate your arguments so I can figure out how to explain what needs to be said.


Yes, of course, I did not mean that quite the way it sounded. Of course past eras have made important advances which we rely on heavily today. So let me rephrase that.

There was NEVER any previous era that was good and better than today. It was full of horrible practices that were highly destructive of human potential and that is why things have changed. But that doesn't mean we don't have a long way to go yet and nor does it mean that we have found the proper balance in all things. Things do tend somewhat to swing back and forth between extremes.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 3rd, 2017, 12:59 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 2nd, 2017, 12:14 pm wrote:
Of course a certain amount of fear is healthy. It is why we need checks and balances in government, as well as regulations in industry. But the biggest cost of repressive regimes is that they also repress our greatest resource which is the people themselves. Unlocking their industry and creativity is the greatest source of wealth in the modern era.


Okay, now we are working together.

As you have pointed out human beings can be very unpleasant animals and do some really awful things. Now the big question is, what do we do about that? Liberty demands an education for good moral judgment and this is not religious indoctrination. We need to look back at Athens and how their religion was transformed as a result of the Persian wars, and Athens development as a military power. I am talking what separated the east from the west- the notion that we are made in the image of the gods because we can reason. All our human rights are centered on that belief, and Christianity is not compatible with democracy because it opposes the notion that we are made in the image of the gods and it begins by telling us the wrong of desiring knowledge. Repeatedly the bible warns of the danger of pursuing knowledge and warns of the devil that delights in lying to us. Christians have stood against science and against education for independent thinking. There is however, agreement that humans can be just as bad as they are nice. It is just a matter of why this is so, and how to encourage the good and prevent the bad. I started this thread on a very particular point- the need to respect one another, and to consider the feelings of others. I find when I focus on the need to be respectful, that dramatically affects my point of view, compared to the point of view that I am superior to others and the best fit to correct them if the other likes that or not.

As for the checks and balance of government. We are not being the check on governmental powers that we need to be, but that is another argument.

Perhaps the most significant thing to learn from my response is that I am looking at things are the largest scale in both area and time -- the whole species and over the long term, and not local temporary groups.


Wow, that opens things to talk about. I love it! Perhaps we need, to begin with, what is our human nature? What does the prison experiment tell us about our nature? What does research on mob behavior tell us about our nature? Your turn to explain. The better you can explain the better this discussion will be. Like when you first put the piece of gum in your mouth, the flavor isn't that much, but you chew on it, the flavor intensifies. Let us chew on what you have said.


[quote="[url=http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=318987#p318987] No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.
How is it the same? We are so far from living as natural animals that I can not relate to what you said about the world being the same. There is an opinion that we are destroying our planet. That is not nature destroying our planet, but human activity destroying the planet. Native Americans would surely disagree with the idea that nothing has changed.

Yes, of course, I did not mean that quite the way it sounded. Of course past eras have made important advances which we rely on heavily today. So let me rephrase that.

There was NEVER any previous era that was good and better than today. It was full of horrible practices that were highly destructive of human potential and that is why things have changed. But that doesn't mean we don't have a long way to go yet and nor does it mean that we have found the proper balance in all things. Things do tend somewhat to swing back and forth between extremes.


Okay, you had me scared for a moment. I love discussion not fighting. We are back in my comfort zone of exploring what is so and why. How can we improve our ability to balance our desires with others and with nature? I think population control is essential! But population control goes against our insane need to grow and desire for cheap products that demands cheap labor. We need another thread to discuss these very serious matters. My threads are not popular. Perhaps if you started a new thread there would be more participation? Where I live was beautiful with much more land than people, and now the houses are getting small, with almost no yards, and the traffic is really getting bad. Old home owners are fighting this change but there is no way they can win because growth demands more and more people move in. But who wants to live in the population density of large cities? Especially the large city populations of New York, India, China, and Japan? How can we protect a more peaceful way of life and our environment?

Or to be on topic, what does having a small population versus a large population, have to do with our behaviors? What might ideas of good manners have to do with our ability to get along? If you jeer a friend and he jeers you back, is this equal to jeering a complete stranger? How about pressuring someone to perform at a higher level? Does the quality of our relation with the other matter? Can we brow beat a child into excelling at math, or is there a better way to get the child to do well? How about new comers to the forum? Might pointing out their personal faults and badgering them with questions to reveal their ignorance increase or decrease the activity of the forum? Do feelings matter? Should we expect people who are made to feel inferior and stupid to return? Is the forum made better getting rid inferior people? How many superior people join the forum and stay involved in a year's time?
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 5th, 2017, 8:22 pm 

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » April 2nd, 2017, 12:14 pm wrote:Of course a certain amount of fear is healthy. It is why we need checks and balances in government, as well as regulations in industry. But the biggest cost of repressive regimes is that they also repress our greatest resource which is the people themselves. Unlocking their industry and creativity is the greatest source of wealth in the modern era.


Okay, now we are working together.

As you have pointed out human beings can be very unpleasant animals and do some really awful things. Now the big question is, what do we do about that? Liberty demands an education for good moral judgment and this is not religious indoctrination. We need to look back at Athens and how their religion was transformed as a result of the Persian wars, and Athens development as a military power. I am talking what separated the east from the west- the notion that we are made in the image of the gods because we can reason.

This just makes you another religious sect that wants to cram (indoctrinate and brainwash) your beliefs on other people.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote: All our human rights are centered on that belief, and Christianity is not compatible with democracy because it opposes the notion that we are made in the image of the gods and it begins by telling us the wrong of desiring knowledge.

Nonsense. Christianity teaches that we are made in the image of the one God of love who created all things. It is NOT a teaching of all Christianity that it is wrong to desire knowledge. This is only the teaching of a few Christian and anti-Christian ideologues seeking to force their agenda on everyone. Furthermore, it is a Christian dominated world that brought back the practice of democracy so the idea they are not compatible is ridiculous.

There certainly are religions which are not compatible with a free society and I can certainly agree that being Christian does not guarantee that a particular sect will be compatible either.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote: Repeatedly the bible warns of the danger of pursuing knowledge and warns of the devil that delights in lying to us.

The Bible repeatedly advocates the seeking of wisdom. Knowledge by itself is simply a form of power and it is quite correct to warn about the lust for power. Furthermore is crystal clear that many human beings delight in deception as another means to power over others.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote: Christians have stood against science and against education for independent thinking.

Incorrect. Prejudice and bigotry finds examples for such outrageous generalizations to say that just about any group has stood against science, education and independent thinking. Notice my separation between the last too for it is a typical tactic of ideologues to advocate educations as a means for indoctrination and calling by such things as "education for independent thinking." Education is education and its goal is simply to introduce students to a variety of subjects. You don't indoctrinate people to independent thinking -- that is an oxymoron.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote: There is however, agreement that humans can be just as bad as they are nice. It is just a matter of why this is so, and how to encourage the good and prevent the bad. I started this thread on a very particular point- the need to respect one another, and to consider the feelings of others. I find when I focus on the need to be respectful, that dramatically affects my point of view, compared to the point of view that I am superior to others and the best fit to correct them if the other likes that or not.

Whereas I find talk of respect easily turning into another way of making oneself out to be superior to others and making oneself he measure of other people.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:
Perhaps the most significant thing to learn from my response is that I am looking at things are the largest scale in both area and time -- the whole species and over the long term, and not local temporary groups.

What does the prison experiment tell us about our nature? What does research on mob behavior tell us about our nature?

I already answered that question. They tell us that group dynamics easily overrides our personal morality and integrity. They tell us that our social skills are flawed in such a way that the groups we make out of a random selection of people tends to be more short-sided and stupid compared to the individual. Perhaps if we learned to better embrace our diversity of thought as an asset rather than an obstacle we could overcome this tendency. Or perhaps it is our tendency to think in terms of power structures and authority that causes us so many problems. Since you brought up the Bible, I am reminded of the the story in 1Samuel chapter 8 when the people of Israel demand a king. Or perhaps it is any number of bad habits which is to blame: blaming everything and everyone but ourselves when things go wrong, using the failings of others to excuse the failings of our own, wanting to be the one who dictates right and wrong to others without actually taking the time to learn the difference, dithering and delaying work that needs to be done until it is too late, etc...

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:
No it is irrelevant, because the world is the same.
How is it the same?

You asked if I would see things differently if I lived where you do. But however different the place you live, you still live in the same world with the same overwhelming problems due to the short-sighted stupidity of human communities.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:But who wants to live in the population density of large cities?

A great great great many people! ... such as those who live in such large cities. When they move elsewhere they quite often find life unbearable because so much of what they had is gone. And there is also the steady movement of people to large cities over the last millennia. No this is not a good argument. The only question of importance is whether (or how) the Earth can support too many of such cities.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:Can we brow beat a child into excelling at math, or is there a better way to get the child to do well? How about new comers to the forum? Might pointing out their personal faults and badgering them with questions to reveal their ignorance increase or decrease the activity of the forum? Do feelings matter?

No matter what your techniques of manipulation are, it is still manipulation. The only other approach is to give them all the facts so they can make an informed decision and the decision may still be to hate math.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:What might ideas of good manners have to do with our ability to get along?

The arbitrary cultural dictates of "good manners" has cause as much trouble as imperious religion. Indeed it is usually the fact that such cultural elements get mixed up in religion that is responsible for many of the problems there as well.

Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote: Should we expect people who are made to feel inferior and stupid to return? Is the forum made better getting rid inferior people? How many superior people join the forum and stay involved in a year's time?

I don't believe in superior people and inferior people -- only different people with different interests and different skills. But you cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you choose to value something then you have to put in the required work or you will not do well in it. That is life, for which daydreams are no substitute.
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Re: Do feelings matter?

Postby Athena on April 6th, 2017, 1:13 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 5th, 2017, 6:22 pm wrote:
Athena » April 3rd, 2017, 11:59 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » April 2nd, 2017, 12:14 pm wrote:Of course a certain amount of fear is healthy. It is why we need checks and balances in government, as well as regulations in industry. But the biggest cost of repressive regimes is that they also repress our greatest resource which is the people themselves. Unlocking their industry and creativity is the greatest source of wealth in the modern era.


Okay, now we are working together.

As you have pointed out human beings can be very unpleasant animals and do some really awful things. Now the big question is, what do we do about that? Liberty demands an education for good moral judgment and this is not religious indoctrination. We need to look back at Athens and how their religion was transformed as a result of the Persian wars, and Athens development as a military power. I am talking what separated the east from the west- the notion that we are made in the image of the gods because we can reason.

This just makes you another religious sect that wants to cram (indoctrinate and brainwash) your beliefs on other people.


Well, I can not think of a math formula to prove that statement, but perhaps you can link together words that demonstrate your reasoning? I can see you are disagreeing me, but your sentence does not clarify the thought you are disagreeing with, nor does it give better reasoning.
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