Most likely to save the world

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
LogicalAtheist
Originally posted by Loren Booda
What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
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.
 
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  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
LogicalAtheist
I gathered the same thought; Loren had a bad day. What's up pup?


Originally posted by wuliheron
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
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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.
 
  • #6
LogicalAtheist
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.
 
  • #7
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Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
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?
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?
 
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  • #8
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Originally posted by Loren Booda
What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
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.
 
  • #9
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Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
2. Philosophy - A given set of rules and regulations one tries to impose onto a population.
Are you speaking of a totalitarian philosophy, such as Marxism? I've always thought of philosophy as being adoptive rather than imposed? ...


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


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.
Actually I would have to go with limburger myself.


6. Do not take offense, but be prepared for verbal ridicule when asking a falacious non-question.
:smile: ... Oh, and ... :wink: ...
 
  • #10
BoulderHead
Originally posted by Loren Booda
What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
Fallacies aside, I would say a philosophy that truly respects individuality.
 
  • #11
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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.
 
  • #12
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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?

Boodism?
 
  • #13
LogicalAtheist
Originally posted by Loren Booda
I seem to be burned out on physics, and do not have the argumentive capability to participate in philosophy.
Ya got it all wrong. You are not an insult to Philosophy, Philosophy is an insult to you!
 
  • #14
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Originally posted by Loren Booda
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?

Boodism?
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.
 
  • #15
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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(?)
 
  • #16
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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:

Wandering

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.
 
  • #17
FZ+
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Originally posted by Loren Booda
What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
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.
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Originally posted by FZ+
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.
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.
 
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  • #19
BoulderHead
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?
 
  • #20
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
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?
We create a common belief that goes beyond our nature.
 
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  • #21
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
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?
If you turn the question on its head it makes more sense.

Why do you assume the philosophies we have are not denied to us by our very nature?

Obviously we understand a great deal, but that is not the same thing as saying we understand in the deep sense. That's why there is art.
 
  • #22
jammieg
There will always be some bad in humanity, but more good.
A better question might be, what is best
in humanity to help them do good to themselves and each other, what promotes growth and prosperity in the individual or a nation?
An inclusive religious one that is adaptive.
Religions have done more good than anything anyone ever said in this forum.
The morals of the individual are the primary factor to prosperity, as are a nations. Greed and selfishness are dying evolutionary concepts to cooperation.
Why religion?
Because there are many things in life that
are easy to know and can take a lifetime to understand by doing them, often a person must have faith in a principle and do this thing many times before it becomes clear that it is a sound principle.
 
  • #23
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Faith requires trust. Therefore a religion must either win people's trust or instill them with fear. Trust requires more than fear: it requires respect. People cannot but follow those in power; but if this power relies on terror they will follow unwillingly, until their pauperisation drives them to rebel. If, on the other hand, this power relies on respect, if people have the feeling that those in power have a right to it, that power is in the right hands, then they will comply voluntarily.
 
  • #24
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Originally posted by Loren Booda
What philosophy can best save mankind from its self-destructive nature?
Hey that would be great if we could all get along. But what's going to happen to Mother Earth? Don't you think we should adopt some sort of philosophy that involves saving the planet?


From the thread, https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1869&perpage=15&pagenumber=1" ...

Originally posted by Iacchus32
And so brings up the issue of science, with its intellectual and rational pursuits, which is truly a masculine discipline. Does anyone disagree? Ah, but where did science originate, if not without a mother? Could it be? Yes! Mother Church! Replete with her quirky sentimental notions of reality and the hereafter. Ah, but none of these silly notions can be proven you say? Why should I take heed then? Isn't the very fact that science is the son of its mother possible proof enough? Whereas if you were to take any self-respecting native American and asked who his mother was he would say, The Great Mother, which is Mother Earth, and hence "his religion." Why shouldn't we follow suit, and stop forsaking our mother? (the planet). Isn't it about time the prodigal son returned home to his Mother, and to his Father, the Husband of his Mother?

Mind you I am not the churchgoing type here, but am only saying these things to illustrate a point.


Originally posted by kyle_soule
I agree with everything above this point. I don't believe the "mother of science" is the church though.

I think science lies in oneself due to a natural inquisition of the things around us; not because of any church influence, for this to be true the church would have to be a natural state. If the church was a natural state you would expect to see evidence of it in other animal societies, and, IMO, you couldn't make an argument for this that is unquestionably a church--as recognized by the animals society.

I'm sure you could find things that would resemble a church, as we demonstrate it to be, in other animal societies, but you would first have to start looking with the intent of finding one. This isn't scientific though, as you would start with something you want to prove and develop around it. Doing this would invalidate any findings for a scientific mind.
But when you view science in terms of being rebellious against the Church, and hence the "prodigal son," then the idea of it becomes very plausible.

And at what point do you think we need to get together and do something about this planet? Don't you think it's about time we reconciled things with our mother and, very much like the Native American Indian, view her as sacred? Wouldn't this be a good common cause for getting science and religion together? Where science could do the necessary research and religion would be means of implementing it on a "local level?" (through our beliefs). It seems like it would be a lot easier than getting the government to do something about it!


Originally posted by kyle_soule
Indeed it would be, although, I don't believe science is a rebellion from religion, I believe religion originated due to a lack of understand of our world (which could only be expected with the primative tools) and a need for purpose in life, that was logical at the time. It is religion that places science in the position of challenge.
That's because science is the outcropping of religion and religion views science as rebellious. And yet it's entirely possible that the church is as you say, wholly ignorant. Which isn't to say it didn't have legitimate grounds for being established in the first place.


Religion isn't the way to get together, it would create more "Holy Wars" because religion is too general and different cultures just won't agree on all points. Science, IMHO, is the answer, it is universal no matter the culture. The Native American's of old, or now? What I mean by this is, the Native American's that are getting rich from Vegas casino's, or the Native American's that are still true to their ancestors?
Why would we have to concern ourselves so much with other cultures? I think if we could establish a means by which to cooperate in the United States alone it would make a tremendous difference. And perhaps other cultures will then follow suit? By "self-respecting" Native Americans, I meant those who were true to their ancestors.


Science is in direct conflict with the views of religion -I would like to make the distinction between conflict and challenge, science does not want to convert people to science, it is not a belief system- it is highly unlikely science and religion will ever come together, and why would science want to do the dirty work of a already existent model? That isn't science at all. All this said, bringing science and religion together probably is easier than getting the government to help out:smile: But that is political, and that's a whole different story.
I think science (via technology) is just as much a culprit in ravaging the environment as anyone else, if not more so. Therefore I think science has the responsibility to help in developing ways to conserve our resources, while offering possible solutions on how to adapt our livestyles to the "needs of the planet." Which, could then be implemented through the belief systems operating within the church. In which case it becomes like a "grass roots" movement. The sooner we get on track with such an idea the better off we'll be in the long run!


Originally posted by kyle_soule
Well, I meant it would be incredibly hard to combine Muslims and Christians, I think there is a cultural difference between the two religions. Also, a major problem that would arise between joining religions into one is that religion, as you know, deals with Heaven and hell, when one religion thinks you must be baptised to go to Heaven and another thinks you don't, you will find those two religions just won't ever come together.
But still I don't think there's any reason why a few basic tenets couldn't be adopted in order to establish common grounds by which everyone could agree, irrespective of what each other's (overall) faith might entail.


I think science is trying to "clean up their act", for example, these new fuel cell cars, science is under obligation to fix these cars that they have made that are polluting our cities. People are against the fuel cell cars, I'm not knowledgeable on the arguments though, so I can't say anymore. But I think science is trying.
Well it's a start. And yet I have very little faith in the government's ability to address this on its own, because it involves change on a more personal level where, like the Native Americans, we need to understand, at least in some capacity, that Mother Earth is sacred. And, that perhaps the days of big business and consumerism have come and gone? ... I think we would all better off living "simpler" lives anyway, where perhaps we could focus more on the "philosophy of life" (quality versus quantity). Sooner or later this issue will to have to be addressed though.


Originally posted by kyle_soule
Do you mean that, for example, Buddha would not longer be Buddha, just God, all titles being omitted? If so, to an extent this has already been done, just not accepted by everyone because it raises the issue of "my God is still better than your God" and then people fight.
No, I mean adopt a few basic tenets about what we need to do about cleaning up the environment, and perhaps adopt them into our overall system of belief. Whether we wished to remain Buddhist, or Christian, or whatever, would be entirely up to us.


I agree completely with living simpler lives! I would even say I'm disgusted by the current state of humans.
Well, when considering a simpler life used to be the rule, that is until recently, with the advent of modern technology over the past 75 years, maybe that adjustment wouldn't be so difficult to make? But then again who knows? People do love power! Of course that doesn't mean we couldn't coexist with technology, but rather use it in order to maintain a certain standard of existence, so we don't find the need to "toil in the soil" so to speak. Although I think it's good to encourage people to be more reliant upon themselves. Who knows? ...


Originally posted by kyle_soule
OK, let me see if I understand this now, you want all the religions in the world to push for a cleaner earth, for the purpose of becoming one, or coming back to "Her"? But the religions would only unite on these points, notwithstanding their other religious views, per se?
Essentially yes. Although as I said, perhaps we could begin with the United States, which is primarily "Christian" in its views. By which we can set a good example for the rest to follow suit? I know it all sounds kind of far-fetched, but maybe at some point people will realize it's necessary? It might also give the Church something useful to do for a change, and woudn't that be something!
 
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  • #25
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Originally posted by Loren Booda
LogicalAtheist and wuliheron,
I seem to be burned out on physics, and do not have the argumentive capability to participate in philosophy.
You're doing fine Loren. I can assure you that, based on the responses from LogicalAtheist both here and elsewhere, that he/she doesn't have a clue what philosophy is.
 

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