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Most likely to save the world

  1. May 14, 2003 #1
    What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2003 #2
    1. You have committed a falacy. Loaded question. All who answer take the assumption that mankind has a self-destructive nature

    Example: Loren, have you stopped beating your children yet?

    2. Philosophy - A given set of rules and regulations one tries to impose onto a population.

    3. The only correct answer to your question is the Anti-Philosophy.

    4. Let me ask you a question in return, and don't dare answer it.

    5. What type of cheese can best save Adolf Hitler from dying? That question and yours make about the same sense.

    6. Do not take offense, but be prepared for verbal ridicule when asking a falacious non-question.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2003
  4. May 14, 2003 #3
    I would add as well that the question has an additional assertion:

    Humans are inherently self-destructive

    Is something bothering you Loren? Perhaps being more specific might help. Just a thought.
  5. May 14, 2003 #4
    I gathered the same thought; Loren had a bad day. What's up pup?

  6. May 14, 2003 #5
    Nevertheless, thank you for your answer, Logical Atheist: the Anti-philosophy. Not that my question is so loaded, but too loaded for some.

    My children are thankful that I don't have any. And that cheese - limburger, whose pungency can raise the dead.
  7. May 15, 2003 #6
    Loren. I challenge you to write a single sentence question that is more loaded than that without using comas. It can't be done. It's so classic it's in my logic book.

    If you want a question answered, take the time to write a question that is simplistically sensable, please.
  8. May 15, 2003 #7
    Is mankind self-destructive or not self-destuctrive? And yet I think it's an assertion we -- those of us who are not "anti-humanitarian" -- can relate to.

    Aside from that, what's the best possible hope for humanity?
    Last edited: May 15, 2003
  9. May 15, 2003 #8
    Does mankind on the whole have self-destructive nature? ALthough this can be claimed partly true, it is undoubtly the case that mankind has other qualities to, that until now, has prevent us from mass-self-destruction.
    So clearly that is not the only aspect of the reality of human nature that counts.

    This as an introduction to this issue.

    As to the question which kind of philosophy would fist best to mankind, I would argue that the 'best' philosophy, is
    1) still to be developed, and will continue to be developed
    2) has the property of best reflecting the way how the world (including man itself) IS, and now how we like to see it.

    And my personal judgement would be, that the best philosophy I know of that would fit this prescription would be that of dialectical-materialism (reflecting on the world, mankind, society, as it is, on the basis of acknowledging an objective world does exist independend of our mind, which we are able to know and understand, and on the basis of the dialectical way of development), although I acknowledge the fact that this philosophy is not to be considered "finished" and still need to be further developed. Apart form that there are other philosophies around that could complement our understanding of nature, mankind, the world, etc., like for instance some eastern philosophies.

    Most important however is not to adapt a philosophy to change the way we perceive of the world, but to change the world itself.
  10. May 15, 2003 #9
    Are you speaking of a totalitarian philosophy, such as Marxism? I've always thought of philosophy as being adoptive rather than imposed? ...

    Afraid not. When taken within context of what's implied (even if you don't fully comprehend), then I think it requires deliberation. Even if you don't have time for it!

    Actually I would have to go with limburger myself.

    :smile: ... Oh, and ... :wink: ...
  11. May 15, 2003 #10
    Fallacies aside, I would say a philosophy that truly respects individuality.
  12. May 15, 2003 #11
    The human race abides; therefore it is not self-destructive. Of course, this self-destruction might still come about in the future. Well then! Let us suppose that the nature of mankind is self-destructive - what could possibly keep man's nature from destroying him? There cannot be any doubt: the destruction of his nature. But then this destruction must come from the outside: if mankind is self-destructive, the destruction of its own nature will destroy the species. But suppose aliens would - with some giant laser - penetrate into the very heart of mankind and alter man's nature: this would mean that man is no longer what he used to be! If the nature of man is self-destructive, then a human being who is not self-destructive is not really a man... Therefore, the only thing that could put an end to man's self-destruction is his actual self-destruction! Thus the philosophy that you're looking for must be a philosophy of active nihilism: one that stimulates man to do everything in his power to realise the destruction of mankind as whole - even if this means the prolongation of the individual's existence, so one can destroy even more lives in a lifetime. It would be a waste to destroy your own life only. The ideal life of man would be the life of the last man, who, after killing everyone that remained, finally kills off himself.
  13. May 15, 2003 #12
    LogicalAtheist and wuliheron,

    Thank you for your true concern. PF seems to be changing, and I not with it. I seem to be burned out on physics, and do not have the argumentive capability to participate in philosophy. But enough of my personal tribulations.

    I had intended my question to be open to the religious and nonreligious alike, if it seems too much apocalyptic to you. It was also meant to be positive, if a bit broad. I think you both and heusdens best answered with your inference, a philosophy that does not assume mankind to be destructive - at least that had eventually an uplifting effect on me.

    What philosophy maximizes peaceful practice worldwide in a practical manner?

  14. May 15, 2003 #13
    Ya got it all wrong. You are not an insult to Philosophy, Philosophy is an insult to you!
  15. May 15, 2003 #14
    To paraphrase the founder of Formal Consensus, C. T. Butler, if war consists of aggressive acts of destruction then peace consists of constructive and accepting acts. Peace is as much an attitude as it is a behavior and that attitude begins with each of us as individuals at least as much as it originates with society in general or any particular organization or school of thought. Thus, the answer to your question is easy, a philosophy of acceptance maximizes peaceful practice worldwide on a practical level.

    However, not everyone is apparently willing to currently adopt such a philosophy. Nonetheless, an accepting philosophy can accomodate this situation. Rather than pushing any particular agenda, an accepting philosophy goes with the flow. It just isn't possible to force people to be nice to each other, love each other, etc. but that isn't to say it is impossible to encourage such things.

    I'm reminded of people Like Gandhi, King, Mendella, and Mother Jones. Each had their own unique styles but what remained consistent was their acceptance and living demonstration of peace. They accepted the situation as it presented itself, accepted their personal power to change the situation, and made it happen.
  16. May 15, 2003 #15
    I endeavor to accept others. However, can't implementing such a philosophy lead to one's own destruction? (Ghandi and King assasinated, Mandela in prison 20 years.) Mother Jones, the exception, lived over 100 years(?)
  17. May 16, 2003 #16
    Certainly it can lead to an early demise for some, but others such as Lao Tzu lived long and full lives if legend is to be believed. It is as much a question of the specific individual, circumstances, and how accepting they are as anything else.

    To take an extreme example, Taoism is rather famous for its emphasis on longevity practices such as eating a restricted diet and exercising, but the practice is much more profound than that. Taoist masters are said to be consumate actors and masters of disguise, to see trouble coming when no one else can and doing subtle and sometimes strange things to prevent it occuring, etc.

    The origins of such practices are evident in the anarchistic prehistoric shamanism from which Taoism arose. In their tradition, the consumate fool plays a central role and is elevated above the morally righteous, clever, powerful, etc. Stories commonly depict them becoming accidently embroiled in feuds such as the hatfields and McCoys, yet, without apparently trying to do anything or just being the fools that they are they bumble their way through and everything almost magically straightens out behind them.

    Mother Jones I mentioned in particular for just that reason. She was just such a clown-like figure who bumbled her way through resolving one situation after another yet lived to a ripe old age. In comparison to people like Lincon, King, and Mendella she was without dignity and possessed a very down to earth gritty charm that appealled to the salt of the earth and eluded all others.

    This is a stark contrast to the more modern western tradition of martyrdom first cultivated by the eary Jews and so highly prized. Here is an elegant quote from Lao Tzu expressing this profound kind of accepting attitude:


    What is the difference between assent and denial?
    What is the difference between beautiful and ugly?
    What is the difference between fearsome and afraid?
    The people are merry as if at a magnificent party
    Or playing in the park at springtime,
    But I am tranquil and wandering,
    Like a newborn before it learns to smile,
    Alone, with no true home.
    The people have enough and to spare,
    Where I have nothing,
    And my heart is foolish,
    Muddled and cloudy.
    The people are bright and certain,
    Where I am dim and confused;
    The people are clever and wise,
    Where I am dull and ignorant;
    Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea,
    Attached to nothing.
    The people are busy with purpose,
    Where I am impractical and rough;
    I do not share the peoples' cares
    But I am fed at nature's breast.
  18. May 16, 2003 #17


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    It can't. Philosophy is a product of human nature, or better still a component of human nature. It is not given from some higher order. If mankind's nature is ultimately self-destructive (and I doubt this), then philosophy too will only lead us to this route. What we see as leading us away from destruction may simply be our self-destructive senses deluding us. We can only hope that they do not, and hence presume that mankind's nature is not in fact self-destructive. It CAN be self-destructive, but this state is not inherent.
  19. May 16, 2003 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Re: Most likely to save the world

    But we can still use logic such as: "It is not logical to hunt a species to extinction" [who can name that quote?], therefore, we should regulate hunting. Doesn't self preservation come with its own logic; hence an inherent basis for the philosophies of politics, economics, and for social norms and standards? The problem I see is a lack of philosophy as applied to these issues. I think the world still runs on Social Darwinism - if I am using the term correctly. I mean survival of the fittest. This does not benefit the survival of the species - us.
    Last edited: May 16, 2003
  20. May 16, 2003 #19
    Well, I was thinking FZ+ was meaning something like...

    Nothing you can do that can’t be done,
    Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung...
    Lyric line from a Beatles tune.

    How can we come up with a philosophy that is denied to us by our very nature?
  21. May 16, 2003 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Well, I was thinking FZ+ was meaning something like...

    We create a common belief that goes beyond our nature.
    Last edited: May 16, 2003
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