Is tradition good? Does it serve a positive, useful purpose? Has it held us back more than it helped us? Is tradition something valuable in and of itself? Is it useful for other ends? Are you tired of this barrage of questions?
In purely evolutionary terms, yes, it's good and serves a useful purpose. Tradition is one of the most helpful memes, since it is one of the few memes that are instrumental, not in the propogation, but in the continued existence of so many other memes.Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Is tradition good? Does it serve a positive, useful purpose?
Probably in some cases, but, for the most part, I think it has helped more than hurt.Has it held us back more than it helped us?
Yes, but it may be tradition that causes me to think so. Tradition is one of the strongest memes of the "nurture" part of our own personal evolution, as individuals. It cements us into a belief system, it is what allows us to trust in science and other philosophies, and it has a very special survival mechanism: It makes us think it's a good thing.Is tradition something valuable in and of itself?
Not at all. Indeed, I constantly look forward to the next "Dan post", since they almost always force me to think about things from new angles.Are you tired of this barrage of questions?
Very good analogy, selfAdjoint. However, what does it mean when one moves, so as to avoid running into a tree? I hope I'm not taking the metaphor too far here, but it seems that this could be one of the instances that I referred to - agreeing with Dan - wherein tradition can "hold society back" sometime, rather than "helping it forward".Originally posted by selfAdjoint
Consider riding a bicycle. Part of your stability comes from your steering and pedaling. But part of it also comes from your former steering and pedaling; from your built up momentum.
I think tradition in society is like that. Some of it is necessary so that society doesn't just become random "fais ce que vouldras". But too much can cause problems, just as if you don't correct your bike's momentum you can run into a tree.
That, again, is probably a matter of degree. Reverence helps in the propogation and replication of useful traditions, but it can be taken too far.Originally posted by Dissident Dan
What about reverence for tradition? Do we need to have reverence for tradition in order to gain its benefits? Would eliminating the reverence prevent some of the negative effects of tradition?
What's your address? Can I come over? That sounds so much better than turkey!Originally posted by sandinmyears
I still make tamales every Christmas.
And yet, isn't your tendency toward questioning tradition part of the tradition of skepticism and philosophical inquiry? Just a question.Originally posted by Dissident Dan
As I am reading your posts, most, if not all, the traditions that you all are referring to are the celebration kind. The kind that doesn't really have a meaning except as a way to have fun and bond.
These kinds of traditions, I think, are the good ones.
I think that danger lies in traditions that dictate what we believe to be true. Although, now that I think about it, the celebration traditions can be bad, too. if the rites of the tradition may involve something bad (extreme imaginary example: eating the homeless).
My view is that traditions can be fun to take part in and have a place, but that we should never put them beyond questioning. And we should never think that our own traditions are necessarily the "right" way and others' traditions are the "wrong" way.
LoL.Originally posted by Mentat
And yet, isn't your tendency toward questioning tradition part of the tradition of skepticism and philosophical inquiry? Just a question.
Just figured I'd mess with ya a bit .Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Maybe. But I think that my level of skepticism is wayyy above that of my society, in general. But, hell, question questioning. Let's not get into absurd tangents and abstractions, though.