Wednesday, May 29, 2013

476: A conclusion of the Art Not to Be an Egoist

Is it true that the human being basically is a selfish animal and that everything else is just a thin layer of culture? Is that us,  as Ayn Rand and Josef Kirschner claim?

With this question I began the first lecture of this project: an extensive investigation of  human nature.

To cut it short: the answer on the question is for me a plain NO. Nor is the human being by nature inclined to use violence to get  things his way.

How should we look at life? What life fits human nature best? Here I could quote Plato and Aristotle, because they already answered this question,

but I'll quote Robert Skidelsky, (born 25 April 1939). He  is a British economic historian of Russian origin and the author of a major, award-winning, three-volume biography of British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946).

- quote -
So what is to be done? First, we must convince ourselves that there is something called the good life, and that money is simply a means to it. 

To say that my purpose in life is to make more and more money is as insane as saying my purpose in eating is to get fatter and fatter. (…)

(..), unless we take a collective decision to get off the consumption treadmill we will never get to the point of saying “enough is enough”.
- end quote -

Utopian? No. Could a Cro-Magnon man, who lived a 40.000 years ago ever have imagined the world we live in now, the knowledge and science we have now?

Neither can we imagine the future, but so far the homo sapiens survived till now. And there are a lot of thinkers, economists, scientist, politicians, action groups, who pave the way for a possible future.

Human nature is not a destructive, but a constructive  feature of the homo sapiens. Let's take that for a start. However, there has to change a lot.

To begin with humanity as such. That is not a homogeneous group of individuals. While we live in a high tech society, others live in a world that resembles our Middle Ages and some still live like the Cro-Magnon.

Our brain is not a balanced unity. It is not a rational computer but emotion driven like we also see in the behavior chimpanzees and Bonobo monkeys. However, we have that extra, consciousness.

This makes us creatures that can learn new behavior. Like we have learnt not to murder each other because of different religious ideas. However, not yet everybody in this world has learnt that.

You may not believe it, but according to (evolutionary) psychologist Steven Pinker in his latest book "The Better Angels of Our Nature", mankind has become less violent through the ages.

I think, that I have given you enough arguments to prove that human nature is basically constructive, social and cooperative,  but from the Middle Ages to now is some 500 years, if you look at the present situation. 

So just give the homo sapiens time to realize that Aristotle was right, that he has to focus on a Good Life, which is something completely different from economic growth and material status.

This concludes this project. As final homework I strongly advise you to read and do more reading using that site as a starting point.

The next project will be on Non Western Philosophy. A challenge for me and , I guess, for you too, because I'll still look at Eastern philosophy with my Western eyes.

Main Resources:
Richard David Precht, Die Kunst kein Egoist zu sein (2012)
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: Thank you ..the floor is yours
[13:21] Debbie DJ: wow.. thanks herman
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:22] Lizzy Pleides: thank you herman!
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:22] Loo Zeta-Ah: thanks
[13:22] Debbie DJ: Sidelsky sounds like a good thinker...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: and hi Bejiita
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: hi Ciska
[13:22] herman Bergson: Oh yes..check him out definitely Debbie
[13:22] herman Bergson: Harvard prof
[13:23] herman Bergson: you know....
[13:23] Loo Zeta-Ah: I was thinking about co-operation in terms of the miners that were trapped underground, but yet we have professionalized destruction and become detached from it, but can blow each other up spectaularly
[13:23] herman Bergson: we are in a moment of time where enough is enough indeed
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:23] Lizzy Pleides: I hardly can believe that mankind has become less violent
[13:24] Loo Zeta-AhLoo Zeta-Ah agrees with Lizzy
[13:24] herman Bergson: lots of researches has shown that in increase of income doen NOT imply an increase of happiness
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: its hard to think like that indeed with whats going on in syria mexico ect
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy....but it is true...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: but also I've read some history and indeed there was lot of wars and similar in the middle ages
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: yes - but its really might be us knowing it all...
[13:25] herman Bergson: if you look at the numbers...
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: before people did not.
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: wb debbie
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: however in some countries i see a fallback where religious extremists take over , like with Iran 1979, before then iran was developing, now is back in medieval ultra religious sharia and similar
[13:26] herman Bergson: Bejiita....
[13:27] herman Bergson: in our world of today the problem is ...the number of it...what is happening...
[13:27] Lizzy Pleides: the islam originally was very tolerant
[13:27] herman Bergson: And the worst thing are the Media...
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: its always what people make of it... any religion....
[13:28] herman Bergson: there is nothing wrong with the islam Lizzy..
[13:28] Debbie DJ: the media are to blame for lots of our ills...
[13:28] herman Bergson: the biggest islam country is Indonesia..ever heard of?
[13:28] Loo Zeta-Ah: Islam = peace
[13:28] Debbie DJ: but we would be lost without news.
[13:28] Loo Zeta-Ah: it is extremism that is the issue
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: most muslims are good indeed, the prob is that those extremists make use of it the wrong way
[13:28] herman Bergson: what we are whitnissing is tribal conflicts...
[13:29] herman Bergson: prehistoric drives...
[13:29] Debbie DJ: Lets remind ourselves who has the most guns.
[13:29] Loo Zeta-Ah: Even Christian Extremists are violent if not physically then theologically
[13:29] Bejiita Imako:I've checked a bit and i think nowhere in the koran it says deprive women their rights start jihads and similar
[13:29] Debbie DJ: and who starts wars routinely?
[13:29] Lizzy Pleides: yes Debbie
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes Loo...
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: so its a good religion in its basics i d say
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: islam
[13:30] herman Bergson: so the first thing that has to be removed from this earth is religious thinking!
[13:30] Loo Zeta-AhLoo Zeta-Ah will have to disagree ;
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: I prefer science and proof of stuff before religious thinking
[13:31] herman Bergson: If you only count the dead caused by religious differnces...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: when someone can prove to me there is a god and show me i believe it, same with ghosts
[13:31] Debbie DJ: I dont really do God anymore :(
[13:31] Loo Zeta-Ah: But to section ourselves off under 'religion' is not right
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: =
[13:31] herman Bergson: But that is nonsense Bejiita...
[13:31] herman Bergson: You ask for a proof for what?
[13:32] herman Bergson: we are part of nature....
[13:32] herman Bergson: related evolutionary to other primates..
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is all..
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: a concrete proof like a being of that kind really is there, will be hard indeed
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: is there a god or is it just the laws of physics?
[13:32] herman Bergson: but what for, Bejiita..
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: dont know myself
[13:33] Lizzy Pleides: maybe you can replace the word God with the word Nature
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: that could be the thing to do yes
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: how do you know love exists Bejiita?
[13:33] herman Bergson: all chipms on this planet lived a happy life for centuries without any religion
[13:33] Debbie DJ: It is unimaginable that there is an old man who looks like us ruining our lives from afar, and laughing at our errors.
[13:33] Lizzy Pleides: that's a clichee debbie
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah: Eeeeekkk not how I see God
[13:34] Debbie DJ: well, its the simplification - there is some entity planning our universe???
[13:34] herman Bergson: There is not a single organism on this planet that shows religious ideas...
[13:34] herman Bergson: except us...
[13:34] Debbie DJ: us
[13:34] Loo Zeta-Ah: I am a Christian feminist the 'holy Spirit' in the bible is female named
[13:35] herman Bergson: thence..these ideas are only the creation of the extra of our brain
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: so- still the question - how do you know love exists then herman?
[13:35] Debbie DJ: When god made white men she was only joking.
[13:35] Loo Zeta-Ah: it is Western patriarchy that has undermined the perception of God
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: tricky subject indeed, however take thunder for ex, i believe more in that particles rub against each other to create a high voltage then the wrath of a god, been proven that lightning is electricity, also the difference between warm and cold air is what create the winds
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: love is a concept as god is - its just words we use for something we experience
[13:35] herman Bergson: Love exists Ciska....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: sure
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: love is a nice feeling
[13:35] Bejiita Imako:
[13:35] herman Bergson: that is not our human speciality...
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: ofc it does!
[13:36] herman Bergson: the elephant mother cant leave her dead calf...
[13:36] Debbie DJ: We often confuse love and sex and money.
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: you experience it
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: some people would say they experience god
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: thats how you know
[13:36] herman Bergson: chimps respond to the dead body of a fellow chimp....they look....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: hmm indeed
[13:36] Debbie DJ: like" I love that ferrari, i can get some girls with it"
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: bmaybee some people can sense stuff others cant
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: dont know
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: so... we are basically irritated by the word god
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: cause we know it in form of the old man
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: f.e.
[13:37] Debbie DJ: Yes ciska.
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: true Ciska
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: or whatever
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: but when you look closer
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: its a concept
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: like love
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: or truth
[13:37] Debbie DJ: A bad concept. It makes us irresponsible, and intolerant
[13:37] Loo Zeta-Ah: Ohh dear I have to go as my daughter just joined Twitter and needing help eeeeekk!!!
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: the problem kicks in
[13:38] Loo Zeta-Ah: Thanks
[13:38] Debbie DJ: Bye loo....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: when people start to make rules from it and dominate
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehe ok
[13:38] herman Bergson: sorry Ciska...
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: bye then loo
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: bye loo
[13:38] Lizzy Pleides: TC Loo
[13:38] herman Bergson: But I don't get it....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: smiles
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: you will
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: you are going to do eastern philosophy
[13:38] herman Bergson: what is this about love,,,
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: my thesis is
[13:39] herman Bergson: that is a normal social behavior...a bonding between is wolves apes or men
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: that its a problem of language really
[13:39] herman Bergson: can't be...
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: as people would say their relationship to god is a bonding
[13:39] herman Bergson: language is just our creation...
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: a bonding to what is good and right
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: f,.e.
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: thats just one way to see it
[13:40] Debbie DJ: so what is good and right?
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: i'll give you someone who explains it perfectly
[13:40] Debbie DJ: Herman explained ethics and morals very carefully
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: just the first minutes from this:
[13:41] herman Bergson: ok..lets check out this youtube for a moment...
[13:41] herman Bergson: class suppended :-))
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: oki
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: just first minute actually
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: thats what happening when people make religion from god
[13:42] herman Bergson: message 'blocke dplugin'..
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: aww - pitty ;)
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: the problem is people feel love
[13:42] herman Bergson: to cut it short...
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: but they can feel anything else - like something they call god too
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: then someone comes and makes a concept from it
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: to make it more explainable
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: thats religion
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: and that makes the problems. then
[13:43] Debbie DJ: Baloney.
[13:44] herman Bergson: relgion is a kind o behavior of people that transcends reality...and is a cause of a lot of ...well to sya it polite ..quarrel
[13:45] herman Bergson: Religion is a product of huma culture...
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:45] Debbie DJ: yes.
[13:45] herman Bergson: that is all...
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: cause we need words to communicate
[13:45] herman Bergson: there is no metaphysical reality behind it what so ever
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: but god is not religion
[13:45] herman Bergson: no ciska...
[13:45] Debbie DJ: in the beginning there was the word?
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: thats just a word for something which cannot be explained
[13:46] herman Bergson: because we want to feel as a group...
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: religion is our way to try dealing with a god
[13:46] herman Bergson: it is a socially bonding mechanism...
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: thats religion yes
[13:46] herman Bergson: the US ....and the OTHERS situation
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: but the feeling before
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: where it comes from
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: we call god
[13:46] herman Bergson: no....
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: and we make a religion around it
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: either islam
[13:46] Lizzy Pleides: religion tries to explain what we we can't explain
[13:46] herman Bergson: we call if defense...
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: or christian etc
[13:46] Debbie DJ: God is different. He is Omnipotent.
[13:47] herman Bergson: rpotection of the group
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: yes how does something like that gets started, some one must have seen something and created from it
[13:47] herman Bergson: we call it survival of the group..
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: right lizzy - thats how i see it
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: its a concept
[13:47] herman Bergson: we call it US!
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha
[13:47] Debbie DJ: So any god is good then ciska?
[13:48] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie....
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: for ex who wrote the bible, did he got the things in the bible from god or just made it up?, the one who wrote the first bible?
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: noone knowa
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: knows
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: no debbie
[13:48] herman Bergson: as long ads it represents the US feeling...
[13:48] Debbie DJ: isn't god just another word for love then?
[13:48] herman Bergson: within the clan yes Debbie
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: god is a word for something we cannot explain but feel
[13:49] Debbie DJ: *•.¸MwAHh¸.•*
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: then we give it a word
[13:49] Debbie DJ: i mean hmmm
[13:49] Debbie DJ:  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: and from that on
[13:49] herman Bergson: sorry Cuiska..
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: we start to define
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats religion
[13:49] herman Bergson: but that is not really philosophical..
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: maybe not
[13:49] herman Bergson: it is not
[13:50] herman Bergson: no maybe possible here
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: its a bit more chomsky
[13:50] Debbie DJ: Read Dawkins and The God Delusion... it will help you understand why having God around is a bad idea.
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: nothing is wrong with religion as long as politicians don't use it for their purposes
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well Dawkins goes in too hard maybe...but he has a point
[13:50] Debbie DJ: Lizzy - nearly all wars are based on religeon
[13:50] Debbie DJ: and each army prays to god for help
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: letting religion rule a country is a reallu big dilemma inmdeed
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: that's what I said
[13:51] herman Bergson: Just hold on fr a momnt....
[13:51] Debbie DJ: yes.. sorry.
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: there is a difference between god and religion
[13:51] herman Bergson: be silent...and think....
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: religion creates the tribe wars
[13:51] herman Bergson: waht are you....?
[13:51] Debbie DJ: ha ha.
[13:51] herman Bergson: a physical body...
[13:51] Debbie DJ: in the name of god.
[13:52] herman Bergson: be silent I said Debbie !
[13:52] herman Bergson: just start fromwhat you know..
[13:52] herman Bergson: you are a body ..
[13:52] herman Bergson: an organism..
[13:52] herman Bergson: whenyou look at evolution you understand tyour origing...
[13:52] herman Bergson: then what..?
[13:53] herman Bergson: where does that god idea come from???
[13:53] herman Bergson: makes no sense at all
[13:53] herman Bergson: UNLESS...
[13:53] herman Bergson: you look how our brain is wired...
[13:53] herman Bergson: the fears..
[13:53] herman Bergson: the incertainty..
[13:54] herman Bergson: all the things we dont know.....
[13:54] herman Bergson: then our fantasy.....
[13:54] herman Bergson: there MUST be one who knows it all
[13:54] herman Bergson: nonsesne...
[13:55] herman Bergson: for where did this one get all his knowledge from..and so on
[13:55] herman Bergson: we dont know everything...
[13:55] herman Bergson: but what problemis that....
[13:56] herman Bergson: we are looking for a good life on thiis earth....
[13:56] herman Bergson: and some of us have a good live...
[13:56] herman Bergson: allyou who sit there...
[13:56] herman Bergson: do you need more?
[13:56] herman Bergson: I dont...
[13:57] herman Bergson: enough is enough...!
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: im sattisfied with all i got
[13:57] Bejiita Imako:
[13:57] Debbie DJ: God must have come from the dinosaurs who were dominant here for 135 Million years, before God made adam 5000 years ago.
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: and god created the world, they used god as an explanation for when everything started and so
[13:58] herman Bergson: sorry Debbie but we were already around 350000 years before adam showed up
[13:58] herman Bergson: 35000
[13:58] Debbie DJ: True, but dinosaurs dominated for 135 Million years....
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: becuase then they could make a definition that if god created the world he also had the control over weather eartquakes, the great flood and things like that
[13:59] herman Bergson: Well that must have been then before god was here Debbie :-)
[13:59] Lizzy Pleides: I don't imagine God as an old wise man but i know that we are living is a world with priciples and rules of nature
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: Hi Rodney
[13:59] herman Bergson: never thought about that :-)
[13:59] Rodney Handrick: Hi Ciska
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: hi Rodney
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: Me neither Lizzy
[14:00] Rodney Handrick: Hi Bejiita
[14:00] .: Beertje :.: hello Rodney
[14:00] Debbie DJ: Hi rodney
[14:00] Rodney Handrick: Hii Beertie
[14:00] herman Bergson: Oh yes Lizzy...absolutely...
[14:00] Rodney Handrick: Hi Debbie
[14:00] herman Bergson: Just one simpel principle...
[14:01] herman Bergson: you can not go out and just kill somebody (for fun or whatever reason)
[14:01] herman Bergson: Stronger argument even...
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: so very true
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: and logocal
[14:01] Debbie DJ: That doesn't hold anymore.
[14:02] herman Bergson: there is no reason for violence at all to settle problems...
[14:02] Debbie DJ: one question - UAV
[14:02] herman Bergson: there are sociesties on thsi earth that do not know violence...or only minimal
[14:02] herman Bergson: k Debbie
[14:03] Rodney Handrick: what societies would they be...?
[14:03] herman Bergson: We are capable to live together on this earth without violence...
[14:03] Debbie DJ: UAV drones are permitted to kill targets remotely.
[14:04] herman Bergson:
[14:04] Debbie DJ: and without culpability apparently.
[14:04] herman Bergson: for you Rodney
[14:04] Rodney Handrick: I live near the Amish
[14:04] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Lizzy Pleides donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[14:04] Rodney Handrick: thanks Herman
[14:05] Rodney Handrick: those societies are not that progressive
[14:05] herman Bergson: the main conclusion for me of this project is: WE HAVE TO LEARN...
[14:05] Rodney Handrick: new ideas are "not" taken well!
[14:06] herman Bergson: and acept that we are part of nature...
[14:06] herman Bergson: and thsu drop all that religious ideas
[14:06] herman Bergson: We are NOT special on this palnet..just a product of evolution...
[14:07] Rodney Handrick: agreed
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: yes indeed
[14:07] Lizzy Pleides: it is probably already a religious idea that we are a part of nature ??
[14:07] herman Bergson: and as such....just a next stage of development of the organisn homo sapiens on this globe
[14:07] Debbie DJ: Herman, this series has been intruiging, and very thought provoking. You have shown me hope, and done so without using mumbo jumbo. Thank you , and i will be back for the next series.
[14:08] herman Bergson: Thank you Debbie...
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: yes same for me
[14:08] herman Bergson: You made my day!
[14:08] Lizzy Pleides: yes that was a wonderful series!
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: yes
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: very
[14:08] Debbie DJ: :)
[14:08] Bejiita Imako:
[14:08] Rodney Handrick: you know me Herman...:-)
[14:08] herman Bergson: thank you all for your participation
[14:08] Debbie DJ: Herman
[14:09] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[14:09] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[14:09] Bejiita Imako: this have been awesome
[14:09] herman Bergson: Rodney..that you are here...that is really th eultimate for me :-))
[14:09] Bejiita Imako: looks forward to next chapter
[14:09] Bejiita Imako: will be really interesting
[14:09] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman I'm looking forward to the next series
[14:10] Debbie DJ: And thanks class for the lively engagements, and patience with my rantings...
[14:10] herman Bergson: Thank you all
[14:10] herman Bergson: Classs dismissed :-))
[14:10] Debbie DJ: when does the next series start?
[14:10] Ciska Riverstone: have a great day or night everyone
[14:10] Bejiita Imako: same to u all
[14:10] Bejiita Imako:
[14:10] Lizzy Pleides: you to Ciska
[14:10] Bejiita Imako: cu next time
[14:10] Lizzy Pleides: byee
[14:10] Rodney Handrick: you too
[14:10] Ciska Riverstone: byee
[14:10] herman Bergson: Next Thurssday goes on..:-))
[14:10] .: Beertje :.: bye Ciska
[14:10] Bejiita Imako: bye herman and all
[14:10] Bejiita Imako:
[14:10] .: Beertje :.: bye bejiita
[14:11] Debbie DJ: cool. cu thursday Herman... night night.
[14:11] herman Bergson: ok
[14:11] .: Beertje :.: goodnight Herman

No comments:

Post a Comment