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Old 03-25-2009, 12:54 PM
Strangelet Strangelet is offline
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Default Are we declining? Are we devolving?

In my opinion we are devolving as individual human beings and declining as social beings apace with the decline of our society. quickly.

any disagreements?

here's food for thought.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/...moral_bailout/


Quote:
We live in an age of moral nihilism. We have trashed our universities, turning them into vocational factories that produce corporate drones and chase after defense-related grants and funding. The humanities, the discipline that forces us to stand back and ask the broad moral questions of meaning and purpose, that challenges the validity of structures, that trains us to be self-reflective and critical of all cultural assumptions, have withered. Our press, which should promote such intellectual and moral questioning, confuses bread and circus with news and refuses to give a voice to critics who challenge not this bonus payment or that bailout but the pernicious superstructure of the corporate state itself. We kneel before a cult of the self, elaborately constructed by the architects of our consumer society, which dismisses compassion, sacrifice for the less fortunate, and honesty. The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. The capacity for manipulation is what is most highly prized. And our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:13 PM
jOHN rODRIGUEZ jOHN rODRIGUEZ is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Not the first time people have to take a step back and take a look at things. Although, I do believe denial's some individuals' best friend.

Don't mind me, maybe this:


UB40 - Food For Thought.

Cmon, cmon, cmon BAN ME!!!!


*****************************************

Per bryantm3 below(don't wanna seem like I'm trolling or anything, this place seems to have become the epidemy of fear of freedumb of speech. Or something):

VERY GOOD!!! Regardless of our differences of opinion, I've always viewed your writing as being that of bright kid. One thing the current environment of the media is their failure to realize, in this day an age of information, the immediate tranmission of opinions being available for the world to see how western civilization is shaping the world. So many mistakes in reporting for the world to see.

Let's hope they've learned their lesson, but don't hold your breath.
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Last edited by jOHN rODRIGUEZ; 03-25-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:06 PM
bryantm3 bryantm3 is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

freakin' a. it's always been like this. check out newspapers from 1900. as for universities, it's a natural evolution; now that many more people are going to university than used to be able to go, the university must serve the masses. graduate programs are for the movers and shakers. the university now serves the same purpose high school did in the 1800s.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:57 AM
Rog Rog is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

this is all very depressing........
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:21 AM
Sean Sean is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

I've thought about this idea quite a bit, and the angle I find most interesting is the evolutionary one. We're the first species that's taken direct control of the course of our evolution, and unfortunately, we seem to be catering far too much to the parts of society that simply shouldn't be thriving - specifically the dumb-ass parts of society. Every species has their dominant abilities that allow them to survive, and our dominant ability is intelligence. Instead of being super-strong like a chimpanzee or a lion, or super-fast like a cheetah or a gazelle, we managed to avoid predators and hunt prey through our smarts. But now, as we've seen in the recent US Presidential election, the word "intellectual" has come to be viewed as a negative label. It's pitiful, and it doesn't bode well for our future. But on the upside, at least we did end up electing the "intellectual" guy...

Anyone ever seen the movie "Idiocracy"? It speaks directly to this subject in a ridiculously funny way. I love that movie.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:11 PM
Strangelet Strangelet is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

we've got a three point plan

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Old 03-26-2009, 12:46 PM
jOHN rODRIGUEZ jOHN rODRIGUEZ is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelet View Post
we've got a three point plan


You should be banned plugging the world forums with this. Members take their views in the world forum very seriously blah, blah, blaaaaaahhhhhh.

That was damn funny though.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:50 PM
Deckard Deckard is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

Strangelet, I've been meaning to respond to this thread since you posted it. The truth is, despite this being something I've frequently wondered myself, I still don't know how to begin to answer adequately. Not through lack of evidence, rather there just seem to be so many factors and facets to consider.

Altruism/empathy v selfishness; the gut v the mind, intolerance v tolerance. Even trying to ascertain whether we're becoming more or less intelligent as a species is hampered by which aspects of intelligence we select (reasoning capacity? Attention span?), which societies we judge, which socio-economic group within those societies we focus on...

I hear what my grandparents were like - guided by prejudice, loving but simplistic folk. My nieces and nephews are all far more advanced - socially and intellectually - than I was at their ages. I read how intellect was respected at the beginning of the last century, of how much importance the working class placed in educating themselves in whatever way they could - and compare it to today's zeleb-magazine reading culture. I look at how journalism has devolved from well-funded investigativation, actual reporting, to brain-in-neutral churnalism. I look at how, generally speaking, society appears to possess less empathy these days than before. Yet we are undoubtedly more tolerant and enlightened in other ways. All these things just send out mixed signals, and I haven't the foggiest idea how to begin to put them into some sort of order.

About the only thing I can say with some confidence is that capitalism appears to be at the heart of much of what I personally view as a marked mental and moral decline.

Though I offer no alternative!

That first link is most certainly food for thought though, and a (genuinely) great polemic.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:46 PM
jOHN rODRIGUEZ jOHN rODRIGUEZ is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

This just keeps getting more fun & more fun!!!!
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:53 PM
Strangelet Strangelet is offline
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Default Re: Are we declining? Are we devolving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
Strangelet, I've been meaning to respond to this thread since you posted it. The truth is, despite this being something I've frequently wondered myself, I still don't know how to begin to answer adequately. Not through lack of evidence, rather there just seem to be so many factors and facets to consider.
which is why its fun to talk about

take a look at this quote from a speech given by Ann Coulter

Quote:
When Nietzsche famously said, “God is dead,” he was not exulting nor was he stating a preference (though he was an atheist). He was making an observation and a dire prediction. With belief in God all but gone from the intellectual classes, Nietzsche prophesied that people would soon begin to replace a faith in God with faith in governments -- “barbaric nationalistic brotherhoods,” he called them. As a result, he said, bloody and catastrophic wars would dominate the 20th century. He wrote this in 1888.


That's not what Neitzsche meant at all, even though she's making a great effort to warp it into justifying her jesus fascism against the likes of the holocaust and oval office blow jobs.

According to Walter Kauffman, what N. said was that a mad man comes to the crowd and laments the death of God, that we have killed him. And that it is a terrible secret kept by the thinkers, the common people don't know He's dead. And when they do find out, an age of barbarism will ensue, bringing with it wars the likes of which the world has never seen.

So, instead of the intellectuals causing the decline of society, its the common people as they come to grips with the impact of things like an ever expanding universe, entropy, darwinism, and Ted Haggard.

So how this relates to the current collapse is that, unlike the collapse of the u.s. economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, those guilty of greed and corruption are not a small oligargy. Its pretty much systemic in the culture, as discussed in the article.

i mean this is one possible interpretation. it certainly can't explain everything that's happening but the way things are heading it does seem to be a viable start to understanding.

Quote:
Yet we are undoubtedly more tolerant and enlightened in other ways.
my worry is that we take our hard won tolerance and just decide to stab everyone in the back, regardless of sex, gender, race, or creed.


Quote:
About the only thing I can say with some confidence is that capitalism appears to be at the heart of much of what I personally view as a marked mental and moral decline.
I really do understand this, but I would make a clear distinction between capitalism and corporatism, the latter being what is driving our economy more than the former.

For me its just about power heirarchies. Those with the power versus those without. And it seems like those in power can thrive in pretty much any kind of economy/political system, which is why, in my early 30's, I still don't know where I fall on the political spectrum.
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