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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. 23 Sep '08 15:53
    how about ghost?
  2. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    23 Sep '08 17:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by EmLasker
    how about ghost?
    No, I don't believe in either. Social Darwinism was a ludicrous misreading of a brilliant idea. Ghosts are a figment of your imagination. Anything else?
  3. 24 Sep '08 07:44
    Originally posted by PBE6
    No, I don't believe in either. Social Darwinism was a ludicrous misreading of a brilliant idea. Ghosts are a figment of your imagination. Anything else?
    I believe in the socially positive effects of the Darwin Awards, if that's any help.

    Richard
  4. 24 Sep '08 16:49 / 2 edits
    From wikipedia, for whatever it is worth...

    Social Darwinism is a theory that competition among all individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies.

    On the basis of this definition, I can accept it as an explanation for why and how societies and their rules change over time, with the caveat that frequently societies on all levels will sometimes toss out a good component of social behavior or idea for one that is inferior and does not work as well. We are all, after all, fallible, especially in groups.

    As for ghosts, I think of them as being largely a myth, a sort of phantom sought after by people who desire they should exist for whatever reason.

    That does not mean, however, that the phenomona which are attributed to ghosts don't have a supernatural explanation, or that they are simply figments of the imagination. There may be more to it than meets the eye, but I don't personally know anything of the matter.
  5. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    24 Sep '08 17:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by geepamoogle
    From wikipedia, for whatever it is worth...

    Social Darwinism is a theory that competition among all individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies.

    On the basis of this definition, I can accept it as an explanation for why and how societies and their rules change over time, with the caveat that frequently societies here may be more to it than meets the eye, but I don't personally know anything of the matter.
    Biological evolution requires a few things, most notably that the progenitor passes on its genes to its progeny with the possibility of mutation. Some mutations will increase the progeny's contribution to the makeup of the next generation (through more durable organisms, organisms that create more children, organisms that can monopolize and use more resources, etc...) and therefore become more dominant over time. This is the intelligent reading of Darwin's ideas that you and I and most other reasonable people adopt, and I think it can be applied to ideas and rules as well (as per Dawkin's "meme" hypothesis, for instance).

    Social Darwinists took this idea and applied it to social programs like welfare, hopsitalization of the insane, etc... and concluded that by helping the "weak" and "undesirable" persist (seemingly in defiance of Natural Law), humanity was setting itself down a path of "regression" as the "strong" elements would no longer weed out the "weak". Eugenics was one of the movements borne out of this desire to stay the regression of humanity, through forcible sterilization of the poor and infirm. Unfortunately, by regarding evolutionary "progress" (another misinterpretation of Darwin's ideas) as the main goal, most social Darwinists (but eugenicists in particular) forgot about one of the most important attributes of a successful and well-functioning society - respect of the individual rights - and replaced it with a gruesomely twisted socialist ideal.

    I think you're right (in part at least) about ghosts, that some people's desire not to have to deal with loss makes them see ghosts of loved ones. The desire for longevity might play into it as well, but there are other causes, too. Apparently, part of the brain is tuned to interpret certain inputs as supernatural phenomena. There's even a helmet to stimulate it!

    http://www.boingboing.net/2003/03/25/religion-helmet-simu.html
  6. 24 Sep '08 22:42
    Originally posted by PBE6
    Social Darwinists took this idea and applied it to social programs like welfare, hopsitalization of the insane, etc... and concluded that by helping the "weak" and "undesirable" persist (seemingly in defiance of Natural Law), humanity was setting itself down a path of "regression" as the "strong" elements would no longer weed out the "weak". Eugenics was one o ...[text shortened]... the individual rights - and replaced it with a gruesomely twisted socialist ideal.
    You make a good point there PBE6. Following the this progression of thought with social Darwinism does lead to a society which does not act in a manner we find morally acceptable, one which does not respect the people within it as having value outside what they can do for society as a whole, and the society which pursues this as a goal will soon become a horrid thing.

    One of the problems, and the one I had in mind with my caveat, was as follows: That the thing which an individual, group, or society might decide to use as their competitive goal might lead to adopting ideas and practices which are less beneficial on the whole (and which may neglect very important areas of life entirely), but which seem to improve the specific area in mind.

    As an example, take the people who do things in the name of beauty which may have significant negative side effects. They are competing to become more beautiful, and this drives them to evolve new practices, even if these are to their detriment. (How many kids started smoking to become more cool?)

    However, I do think that, for better or worse, social Darwinism as a sort of process does occur within our societies at all levels, as a lot of the changes people make within their lives are either directly or indirectly related to a desire to "keep up with the Joneses" if you will, and for some to outdo them in some area. It does not mean that I think this is always good, nor that I think it holds any moral greatness, because I would disagree with both..
  7. Standard member 8D
    Fixer
    27 Sep '08 09:39 / 1 edit
    Any time man decides it is a good idea to start controlling a society or group through laws or coercion it ends in utter failure over the long haul. A society and/or system needs to finds itself through the natural pressure of the system.

    Communism is one example of a system of government that tries to control everything and then eventually seems to fall down. I am beginning to believe Democracy may just be a system that works a little longer before it fails (its controls are more insidious and agreed through "group think"...LOL or so some would believe).

    People see what they want to see. Miracles happen if you believe in miracles. Ghosts exist for people who believe they exist. I can add no more to that idea.
  8. Standard member eldragonfly
    leperchaun messiah
    27 Sep '08 21:50
    Originally posted by 8D
    People see what they want to see. Miracles happen if you believe in miracles. Ghosts exist for people who believe they exist. I can add no more to that idea.
    Groupthink = Homerthink.
  9. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    29 Sep '08 13:22
    Is "Social Darwinism" a term applied to the evolution of society or to the evolution of the components of that society? Wiki implies both.
    1.
    I believe 'survival of the fittest' applies to everything. The best businesses survive, the best inventions survive, the best TV sit-coms survive. (Obviously "best" needs to be defined but lets assume best = most suited to purpose"

    It can be applied to society and we can see that feudalism survived while conditions were right but then floundered, we see that Soviet Communism has also failed (will the Free Market be next?) Each failure leaves a vacuum for a better solution to fill.

    The failure of this of course is that it is the CURRENT CONDITIONS which dictate the surviving system and the future (even if foreseen) has no effect.

    2.
    Moving on to Darwinism within a specific society we encounter Eugenics. I think it rather obvious that the civilised world is actually regressing - in that it is not the strongest individuals who survive and pass on their genes. We allow the feeble-minded to procreate and positively encourage those that cannot support themselves to have large families.

    BUT, however daft this may seem I think any other course of action to be abhorrent to civilised society and the rights of any individual should not be comprimised.