I amended my response to answer your question about the treatment of bi-polar disorder, I expect we were both composing our posts at the same time - it happens when conversation is as lively as this one (you are so much fun to debate with ). Of course they should have treatment, if they want it. I say if they want it, because some people affected by the condition prefer not to take their lithium, at least occasionally, they like the euphoric highs and are prepared to suffer the lows to experience them. Heroin users should and are (the law aside) free to take it if they wish, what I object to is conditioning people so that such drug use offers their only respite from negative emotions. What I object to more, is conditioning people to believe that negative emtions are necessarily something to be feared. In fact, I'm not completely comfortable with the term negtive; to grieve for a lost loved one is not necessarily negative.learningphysics said:I understand the price. Many religions also state that the price of happiness is the sacrifice of those same things.
[of feelies] The experience is real whether or not there is some external reality where the events being seen and heard are actually happening.
Mond does not admit joylessness. He does admit sterility. You are equating sterility with joylessness. Bernard is unhappy in the BNW society. Most of the people in BNW are happy.
[of Alphas] Ok. They are a ruling elite. But there is a difference between the elite in BNW and in the real world. Firstly, quality of life. Usually elites are known to experience a better quality of life than the rest. The Alphas are no happier than anyone else. Also, usually the populace aspires to be in the elite. This is not the case in the BNW. Everyone is happy where they are.
My point with regards to the "ruling elite" was in response to what you said about the Alphas serving their own interests, and not what is good for the populace. This implies that the Alphas have something of importance that the others don't have? What do the Alphas have that nobody else does?
The Alphas have also lost "freedom, home, love, family".
I don't have any children. Personally I'd go through the electric torture, if it meant a lifetime of happiness. It is a short amount of pain for a lifetime of happiness. There is no comparison to the horrendous suffering that occurs in the real world.
But why are you so aversive towards the electric shock torture? It is a "low", and not nearly as bad as what happens in the real world. You are willing to accept the highs and lows in the "real world" but not in the BNW.
Right now in the real world, people are being tortured. This is a result of maintaining the status quo. This is "accepting the highs with the lows". Are you willing to take the place of someone that's being tortured? Somebody will go through it, if the world remains just as it is.
If you value freedom, then shouldn't the people be free to have their heroin if they so wish?
You just avoided the question. Are highs and lows good or bad? Should someone experiencing extremes in emotion do anything to stabilize them or not?
It is indeed a sad and terrible fact that people are being tortured and that unique, thinking, feeling human beings die in pain and squalor. In some respects, this is due to the maintenance of the staus quo, but when did I say that I am in favour of maintaining the staus quo? I simply do not want to live in a BNW-like world. We may be at cross-purposes here, I am all for a society in which everyone is happy and I have no problem with using psychotropic drugs as a tool to establish it; I take mirtazapine, myself. What is significantly different is that I am free to experience misery, should I perversely choose to. This important to me, because I want to make up my own mind about what makes me happy, about what happiness is.
I don't agree with the electric shock torture of infants being less terrible than events in the real world. Pain is terrible. Fear is terrible. Torture is terrible. Always, in every instance, for whatever end it is practised.
What the Alphas have that, say, the Epsilons do not, is a certain amount of intellectual freedom, at the very least. The lower castes are purposely stunted and frightened away from reading, by loud noises in their nursery dorms. There is also the prospect of exile for those high-ranking members of society who, because of the higher degree of intellectual freedom afforded them, are unable to assimilate the norms of mass consumption of obstacle golf. The bloke who writes the feelies (what's his name?) is pissed off, because he is frustrated and feels himself capable of greater things, but has no possible outlet for them. He is, at least free enough in his mind, to entertain such thoughts; the Deltas are not, because their brains have been deliberately poisoned. If you were a Delta, you would be incapable of this discussion. To say that you would not miss what you never had (I am anticipating your response here) is a fallacy. I've never been able to do quadratic equations, but I wish I could.
I cannot believe that you are serious when you say that you would allow your children to be tortured with electric shocks, if that meant avoiding a certain amount of misery in later life. I know you don't have any now, but you might have, one day, and you must know some one with children, or remember being one. I would die to prevent my children experiencing that. I expect a lot of other people would, too.
Finally, a virtual experience is just that. it is real in one sense, but only in the sense that a picture of an apple is real. The picture is real, but I can't eat it.