Thursday, January 25, 2018

696: Again we made the newspaper.......

If you want to know whether we are up to date with the subjects we address here, just listen to the following. It is from my newspaper of last Saturday.
- QUOTE - Is man good by nature? Or are we wild savages and is our aggression only contained under a thin layer of cultural varnish? 
It seems to be a nineteenth century question that has long since been answered by modern biology, but the opposite is true. 
The jury is still in deliberation, not in the least because the suspect has shown contradictory behavior. 
Sometimes man is more violent than any animal, but usually we know very well how to keep the sweet peace. 
For both visions examples can be found in nature. Advocates of the noble savage point at the bonobo, a primate that rarely quarrels. 
That is our natural nature, they argue, the violence has crept into it through civilization, because we built settlements, acquired property and developed weapons. 
No, says the other camp, look at the baboon or the chimpanzee. 
They have a tight hierarchy based on violence and in their conflicts they regularly kill members of the group. That is how we are - only social agreements keep us in line. - END QUOTE -
Almost the same as our Hobbes - Rousseau story. 
The reason for the newspaper text was an article on a publication of the anthropologist / primatologist Richard Wrangham in the American science magazine Pnas.
Richard Walter Wrangham (born 1948) is a British scientist. Following his years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, 
he became the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and his research group is now part of the newly established Department of Human Evolutionary Biology.
His main point in the article is, that the aggressiveness in man is treated one - dimensionally,
while according to Wrangham there are two dimensions: there is PROACTIVE  and REACTIVE aggression.
Catching a prey or killing an opponent or enemy are examples of proactive aggression. The perpetrator acts cold-blooded and takes as little risk as possible.
The situation is different when you feel threatened or frustrated. Then an aggressor is angry and excited and kicks and slaps around without asking himself, if this is wise and reasonable.
Wrangham claims that aggression is in the genen of homo sapiens, but that by "self-domestication" during his evolution he has learnt to control himself.
The hypothesis, because it isn't more, sounds attractive, but there is no proof. The criticism of Wrangham is, 
that he straightforward assumes, that  that homo sapiens by nature is an aggressive individual.
Frans de Waal, that other famous primatologist, wonders, why the aggressive Chimp is always the leading character 
and why the peaceful Bonobo, as well as the female genes in general are constantly kept out of sight in this debate.
The conclusion is that Hobbes and Rousseau were both right or wrong. In other words, it is 2018 and we still have no clue 
whether our evolutionary ancestors used to live in peace with each other or loved to smash each others skulls as their basic entertainment.
Thank you for your attention.... ^_^

The Discussion

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I think personality might come into play a bit here as well as external influences
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example i cant feel myself having anything of that in me
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes....
[13:21] herman Bergson: and what strikes me all the time is that they time and again want to come up with a theory that usus one feature only as the explaining one
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are men afraid to show their female side?..Afraid not to be manly?
[13:21] herman Bergson: Either we are aggressive OR we are peaceful
[13:22] herman Bergson: why can't we be both...
[13:22] herman Bergson: And as Beertje seems to this theory creating male dominated? :-)
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and the influence of all the aggressive movies and games
[13:23] CB Axel: We're peaceful towards our own groups and violent toward anyone we view as different.
[13:23] herman Bergson: At least that is a general observation indeed CB
[13:24] herman Bergson: Maybe from an evolutionary perspective, because we want to defend our food and women
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): much I think are based on norms, males should not cry, they should be macho ect ect not show weakness bla bla
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thus violence is a result of them trying to live up to this strange norm
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): which i think is not natural at all
[13:25] herman Bergson: so violent behavior is caused by culture...?!
[13:25] CB Axel: Women need to stop expecting men to be our protectors. Most violence against women come from male members of their own group.
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a big bit i think is caused by this indeed
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe to ventilate the stress
[13:26] CB Axel: I think you're probably right to a certain extent, Bejiita.
[13:26] CB Axel: I think there are other factors involved, too.
[13:26] CB Axel: Maybe
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there are other factors too i guess
[13:27] herman Bergson: And of course that ever presence of religions, belief systems
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: religious or political...
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a combination of many things
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and the social ladder
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: mmmh - so in general - the existence of expectations is the root?
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but which are natural and wich are not so to say
[[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is poverty a reason for violence?
[13:29] herman Bergson: never the root, Ciska, but one of the possible roots, I'd say
[13:29] CB Axel: In the past physical strength was needed to protect the family and to do many jobs. Men had to be the protectors and providers then.
[13:29] herman Bergson: History shows it is Beertje
[13:29] CB Axel: Things have changed, but I'm not sure that what is expected of men has changed.
[13:30] CB Axel: They still have to be strong, decisive, and in charge.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, the old norms still holds
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have not changed much
[13:30] herman Bergson: To be  a winner or a looser is still a main feature of the American dream, I'd say
[13:30] CB Axel: Actually, they DON'T have to be all that. We just act like they must.
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: well changed must be lived - women hat to live theirs too
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: their change
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: by going to work
[13:30] CB Axel: Women have to stop demanding that of men, and men have to let women take over some of the old roles.
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: and voicing their truths.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things have to change for sure
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki, i better get back to the reparty i came from before it ends
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lot going on today
[13:32] CB Axel: Women don't need men to provide for them or protect them any more. Men have to stop acting like women do need them and need to start being someone women want to have in their lives.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:32] CB Axel: Being wanted but not needed.
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think it is all because of our inclination of binary thinking....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa indeed
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): think this binary thing play a great role as well
[13:32] herman Bergson: The US / THEM thinking....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nothing in between
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki gotta run
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but cu next time
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:33] CB Axel: Aw. Bye, Bejiita.
[13:33] herman Bergson: Ok Bejiita....have fun :-)
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] herman Bergson: Guess we'll never know this basic feature of our Self....
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the us/them thinking , wasn't that always the case?
[13:34] herman Bergson: It was Beertje
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): nothing has changed
[13:35] herman Bergson: You believe or you are an atheist.....
[13:35] herman Bergson: no...this method of thinking is and has been always popular
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): everyone believes something..even an atheist
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: yeppje Beertje
[13:36] herman Bergson: I disagree Beertje....
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): o?
[13:36] herman Bergson: It is a too easy use of the word "belief"
[13:37] herman Bergson: If you want to start such a debate you first need to define "to believe"
[13:37] herman Bergson: for instance....religious vs. not religious
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i don't want to start a debate..
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it was just a thought
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes I know...I only point at the fact that it is a loose statement.....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: no I disagree there
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: belief is the absence of proven knowledge
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: and it applies to all kinds of states
[13:39] herman Bergson: ok Ciska :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: That is a way to define belief....
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: for example to the misinformed one too
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: and as everyone has field where they cannot know things
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: we all believe
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: atheists too
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: they just do not admit it
[13:40] herman Bergson: but when you look at science, which claims to be knowledge, we have to conclude that all this knowledge is based on assumptions about reality....
[13:40] herman Bergson: Take for instance the Big Bang theory.....
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: of course - so there are a lot of beliefs there too
[13:40] herman Bergson: only base on assumptions
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: economy is based on assuptions
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: assumptions
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: and we see where that leads us
[13:41] herman Bergson: whole neoliberalism is based on an assumption.....
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: gender issues are based on assumptions
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: so
[13:41] herman Bergson: the belief in the self regulating market......
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: there is a lot of belief out there
[13:42] CB Axel: Science is based on assumptions that can be tested.
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: not all cb
[13:42] herman Bergson: In fact  we only live by our believes about reality....
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: even atheists
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: so the statement u started herman
[13:43] herman Bergson: can deduce hypotheses from assumptions and you can test them indeed
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: is just not true
[13:43] herman Bergson: as I said...define "belief"
[13:44] herman Bergson: if you define it as assumptions about reality everyone you may call a believer....
[13:44] herman Bergson: but that is a trivial conclusion, I'd say
[13:45] herman Bergson: It becomes only questionable when you can not test deductions that are deduced from your assumptions
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: so to take a mindset and just condemn it because it uses assumption just as anything  else is not trivial`?
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: for me thats the same level of triviality
[13:45] herman Bergson: I am sorry...I don't get your point Ciska
[13:46] CB Axel: I don't condemn anyone's beliefs. I just don't want them to dictate how I should act based on their beliefs.
[13:46] CB Axel: Go ahead and believe in a god. I have not seen proof of a god, so I don't believe.
[13:46] CB Axel: If someone can prove to me the existence of a god, I'll change my mind.
[13:46] herman Bergson: That is what I mean by deducing testable  hypotheses from assumptions
[13:47] herman Bergson: I agree CB
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: no one need to believe in god - thats an individual thing
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: no one needs to believe in economics - thats an individual thing too
[13:48] herman Bergson: not in an epistemological sense....
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: the later has just more influence on how we live
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: in a society which does
[13:48] CB Axel: Tell that to people in the US who want to make laws that violate my rights by imposing their beliefs on me.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: yes - they already did that and called it economy CB - without a god
[13:49] herman Bergson smiles
[13:49] herman Bergson: Indeed Ciska :-)
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: so now the god people try the same thing
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: of course u are pissed by that
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: I totally get that
[13:50] herman Bergson: What do you mean?
[13:50] herman Bergson: Which people?
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what do they want you to do CB?
[13:50] CB Axel: Not me personally, but I see them trying to control other people.
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: but the truth is - u could be as much pissed by the economy rules which were established and now hinder people from getting the health insurance they need if they do not have certain jobs
[13:50] CB Axel: People who want to marry whomever they love.
[13:51] CB Axel: People who don't want children.
[13:51] herman Bergson: Do you think of debates on abortion or euthanasia or homosexuality and marriage and so on?
[13:51] CB Axel: I wish every unwanted baby born in the US was left on an anti-abortionist's doorstep.
[13:51] CB Axel: Yes, Herman. Exactly those things.
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: CB I  totally get that - but without religion - there are people too having such ideas and boding over those - GOD is just a symbol to put that under
[13:52] herman Bergson: Still a long way to go......
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: I am not pro Religion should dictate a state things - not at all
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: I am just pro seeing things as they are
[13:53] CB Axel: I don't see what God has to do with the economy, other than people using God as a reason to screw over other people.
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: and beliefs are beliefs
[13:53] herman Bergson: As I said is any  ideology that imposes its will on others
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: o - the churches who promote that promote specific economy goals too
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: they are highly political in the US
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: I totally see that.
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: I just don't want the same mistakes to happen in the future with different labels
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: then we had in the past with the label religion
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: if we want to change it does not help to repeat the same system with another name
[13:55] herman Bergson: Tell that Mr.Twitter in the White hOuse :-)))
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: hehhe
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: well
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: he makes his reality
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: in a way he is a believer
[13:56] CB Axel: He is his own god.
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:56] herman Bergson: Guess we saved the world enough again for today :-))
[13:57] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe
[13:57] CB Axel: LOL
[13:57] herman Bergson: SO time to dismiss this class :-)
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i believe it's time to go to sleep
[13:57] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:57] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:57] CB Axel: Goede nacht
[13:57] CB Axel: Y'all
[13:57] herman Bergson: Yoiur place or my place?
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :) welterusten CB
[13:58] herman Bergson: Bye CB
[13:58] CB Axel: See you all, Thursday.
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: cu cb take care
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i sleep in my place
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten Beertje
[13:58] herman Bergson smiles
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: and welterusten herman
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten Ciska
[13:58] herman Bergson: ok...
[13:58] herman Bergson: then I'll sleep at my place :-)
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)))

[13:59] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): goodnight, welterusten, Gute Nacht

695: How we alienate from our true self.....

In the search of our true Self you have trouble to evade the binary thinking and reasoning, I referred to last Tuesday.
Although Rousseau did not accurately explained, what our true and natural self is, he pointed at least at some features, which are not part of our true self: competition and egoism.
And these traits are almost unnoticed forced upon us by society. Feelings of pride and vanity are stimulated in us due to social expectations.
The quintessence is that we thus alienate from our true self, according to Rousseau.
This conviction, that we get out of touch with our basic needs, alienate from our true roots, you also find in the ideas of Karl Marx (1818 - 1883).
The culprit is here the free market economy and the industrial revolution. 
Workers spend their lives at conveyor belts in huge factories, producing just a small part of some product.
The craftsman, for instance the carpenter, is in an essential way connected with the things he makes, while the worker in the factory only makes legs for chairs.
He may even never have seen the complete and finished chair of which he makes parts all day. The only thing he sees at the end of the month is his salary.
Of course this way of production makes mass production possible, but in the eyes of Marx it also undermines the close relation between worker, production process and end product.
In that sense the worker not only becomes alienated from the end product of his work but also from his true self,
Like Rousseau Marx has a lot to say about how we alienate from our true self. On the other hand they both are not really clear about what this natural state of man is, which he is alienating from.
At the base of their thoughts is a kind of utopia, where we all live and can enjoy our true self. Unfortunately it has led to often seriously totalitarian societies .
Nevertheless philosophers like Rousseau and Marx bring negative features of our social organization to our attention. Things like greed and exploitation of human labor. 
But also here we can become trapped in a binary approach. For instance in a debate about what is greedy behavior and what is not.
At the beginning of "One-Dimensional Man" (1964) Marcuse writes, "The people recognize themselves in their commodities; 
they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment,"
Do we need all these products, the latest smartphones, Nike shoes and Gucci bags? Are they our basic needs? Is consumerism our true self?
I am always amazed, when I hear that for instance Facebook made a profit of billions of dollars. And how? Only by selling advertisement space for companies.
It means that we are constantly bombarded with advertisement through all kinds of channels. Are they offering what we really need?
As you see, Rousseau, Marx, Marcuse, they all show us how we lose sight on our true self. I'll use this weekend to try and find my authentic self.
Give it a try too.... and thank you for your attention again ^_^

The Discussion

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): been looking for weeks!!
[13:19] herman Bergson: Any luck already, Gemma? ^_^
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the same as you
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still looking
[13:21] herman Bergson smiles
[13:21] herman Bergson: I am having ideas about this Self....
[13:21] herman Bergson: To begin with we all have a feeling of personal identity....
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:22] herman Bergson: When you get up every morning you still feel you are the same person as yesterday
[13:22] herman Bergson: You might say to I am not the same for I have changed my mind om some serious matters
[13:23] herman Bergson: But still there is that transcendent I
[13:23] herman Bergson: The spectator in yourself
[13:24] herman Bergson: I am still wondering about this lin eof thinking....
[13:24] herman Bergson: For in a way I have the idea that this "I" is empty.......
[13:25] herman Bergson: But yet an active coordinator and organizer
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:25] herman Bergson: Our conscious is a constant flow of information....
[13:25] herman Bergson: coming from inside and outside....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Just the constant buzzing of the central nervoussystem
[13:26] herman Bergson: and then there is that organizer.....
[13:27] bergfrau Apfelbaum: my husband will be able to tell me. or my children :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: our own consciousness....our "This is me" :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: What will he tell Bergie?
[13:28] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i think he know my ME better
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): aha
[13:28] herman Bergson: hmmm...
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:29] herman Bergson: Some lectures ago I told you about the biases we have.....biases we are not aware of
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is quite well possible that an other person could bring them to your attention indeed
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that awful test
[13:30] herman Bergson: ahh yes...those tests :-)
[13:31] herman Bergson: On the other hand I'd say that such biases are normal....
[13:31] herman Bergson: a pert of this ME/organizer
[13:31] herman Bergson: a part
[13:32] herman Bergson: It wouldl be exhausting when we had to be aware of how to organize all our input each second...
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it would
[13:32] herman Bergson: We develop patterns, habits....
[13:32] herman Bergson: Like David Hume said: Custom is the great guide of life
[13:33] herman Bergson: So maybe analyzing this organizer in us tells us about our true Self ??!!
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): how to do that
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): isnt that all introspection??
[13:34] herman Bergson: yes
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we talked about ages ago?
[13:34] herman Bergson: Not necessarily....
[13:34] herman Bergson: Can be part of it.....
[13:35] herman Bergson: But  analyzing the way you interact with your environment in the broadest sense .....might also be wa y to insight
[13:35] CB Axel: Hello, Beertje
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Hi there Beertje
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sooo sorry
[13:35] herman Bergson: Hello Beertje :-)
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hihi
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello Herman and class
[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hi:-)) Beertje
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are still struggling
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): with self
[13:36] herman Bergson: As you  see....I am still thinking about it....
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: Hello Beertje
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hallo Ciska
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I missed a lot I guess
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): The Self is a tricky beast indeed
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it will be in the blog
[13:38] herman Bergson: It is elusive...yes....but maybe we can catch it yet
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): me, myself and I were forgotten the class
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope so
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe¨
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): catching is hard
[13:39] herman Bergson: I still have the feeling that we eventually can come to conclusions that make sense
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): o thank you Bergie:)
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hopw so
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope so
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:39] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yvw:-)
[13:40] herman Bergson: Where there is time, there is hope Gemma....and we still have time :-)
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): just that
[13:40] herman Bergson: He not yet pressed his big RED BUTTON :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed we are still here
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and we have not blown away by the storm
[13:41] herman Bergson: And it's one that works, he has promissed
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or cold
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa i heard there is a massive storm now ongoing
[13:42] herman Bergson: Ok....I'd better dismiss the class, now that we start talking about the weather ^_^
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): up here in Sweden there is no sign of the storm however
[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)))
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well was interesting as usual
[13:42] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation :-)
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman  - thanx everyone
[13:42] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thought provoking
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as  usual
[13:43] herman Bergson: good ^_^
[13:43] CB Axel: I'll see you all on Tuesday. I'm off to search for myself in a theater. °͜°
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh good cb
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): have fun
[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you all:-)
[13:43] herman Bergson: Very nice CB
[13:43] herman Bergson: I have to search for some flowers now in my inventory :-)

694: Are we intrinsically good or bad...?

What is the authentic Self? Who are we really? We are aware of our pose, playing roles, faking attitudes. We do all kinds of things.
We love binary thinking. So, when we look at ourselves,  it is just a small step you think: what am I really as human being: good or bad?
It sounds like a simple question, but we look at questions philosophically. So this is not a simple question.
The first thing I want to bring to your attention is the evolutionary perspective on homo sapiens since Darwin.
If you are willing to accept, that we are just like chimps and bonobos part of the animal kingdom, the afore mentioned question gets a different meaning.
Suppose you look at bonobos and you ask yourself the question: are these animals intrinsically good or bad?, I guess you might frown.
Or when you generalize the question....are animals intrinsically good or bad? You feel, that this is a kind of silly question,
because these concepts of good and bad do not apply to nature in general at all, but only to us , who have a sense of morality.
In other words, WE invented good and bad as concepts, of which we assume that they are applicable to our reality.
Then we start hot is bad.....NO!, your opponents says is good and we really believe it leads a reasonable debate.
But take the binary couple: warm - cold. It is warm it is cold today. Fact however is the question,  who sets the standard  for what is to be called warm or cold. 
What I want to say is, that this primitive binary thinking leads to nothing. Just take this: you are Republican or Democrat. I won't elaborate on that any further.
The point I want to make is, that all these Black or White discussions are artificial and ignore the fact that in reality there are at least 50 shades of Grey between black and white.
But in the history of philosophy we also had these two guys, stuck in the binary thinking: Hobbes (1588 - 1679) and Rousseau (1712 -1778).
According to Hobbes, if you were looking for your true self, you would find a real bad guy deep inside. Only rationality and a social contract keeps you in check.
According to Rousseau Hobbes creates an important fallacy,  makes really a mistake.
In his description of the natural state Hobbes based this on the human as we know it now and then places it in a situation without laws and regulations.
That is, of course, asking for problems. After all, the current person is constantly trying to be better, more handsome, richer and more successful than the rest.
The moment that all rules and laws disappear, this can only lead to a war. 
Hobbes, however, ignores the influence that society has had on human nature, argues Rousseau. 
Hobbes thinks that a society is necessary to make competitive egoists peacefully live together. 
But according to Rousseau, it is precisely society that has made us into competitive egoists. 
The natural state of man was much more peaceful and rosier than that of man in society.
In my opinion Rousseau was more on the right track than Hobbes. When you look at Bonobo and Chimp colonies,
what you see is that bonobos a more gentle and social towards each other and chimps more aggressive.
It looks like we are not just good or just bad in our true Self, but  a kind of mixture of bonobo and chimp behavior with many shades of grey.
In one respect Rousseau may have seen itncorrectly. The fact that society, culture can harm and distort our true Self.
In that context I only want to point at "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)", where Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) says: "Greed is good!"
I may be mistaken, but I thought it was in that movie.
Thank you for your attention again ... ^_^

The Discussion

[13:22] Nasty Calamity: smiles
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:22] herman Bergson: Sorry...messed up my pulpit :-)
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ...has to read 50 shades of grey..
[13:23] Nasty Calamity: bonobos dont have messy pulpits
[13:23] herman Bergson: Got it as an Audio book for you Beertje :-)
[13:23] herman Bergson: Saves you the reading.....:-))
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes please:))
[13:23] CB Axel: Tim Minchin has a song about how people love to look at things as black or white. I can't think of the title of it, though.
[13:23] herman Bergson: No they don't Nasty...
[13:24] herman Bergson: So Iam no bonobo :-)
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes...that either / or thinking is a horror
[13:24] herman Bergson: It is so stupid actually...
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe our true self can be found when we are all alone
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: thats something I would support Beertje ;)
[13:25] herman Bergson: To begin with Beertje, my idea is that the Self is a process, like conscious is also a process
[13:26] herman Bergson: In that sense there is not "something" to discover
[13:26] CB Axel: The self is something we are constantly molding.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Like Heraclitus already said....
[13:26] herman Bergson: you never can step twice in the same river...panta rei
[13:27] herman Bergson: YEs CB
[13:27] herman Bergson: Take water.....
[13:27] herman Bergson: it is liquid....
[13:27] Nasty Calamity: so sorry - real life is calling me -  jumps off the chair and waddles away.
[13:27] herman Bergson: but it is impossible too take out the liquidity, nor pinpoint a something that is the liquidity
[13:28] herman Bergson: Bye NAsty :-)
[13:28] Nasty Calamity is offline.
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye then nasty
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed it is a property
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not something separate
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes...and we may say...a property of the brain....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): boil it or cool it down and you however can change these properties
[13:29] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to steam or ice
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): gas and solid
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its still the same substance chemically however
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes but that doesnt change the issue....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): h2O
[13:30] herman Bergson: when you isolate the composing molecules, you hardly or even not at all can deduce liquidity from their properties
[13:30] herman Bergson: it is like these brain scans.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: you can analyse the brain up to its molecules....
[13:31] herman Bergson: but nowhere you find the property consciousness in them
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:31] herman Bergson: Like life....
[13:31] herman Bergson: we know every molecule of your body....
[13:32] herman Bergson: but put in a jar....there will not be a Bejiita coming to life ^_^
[13:32] herman Bergson: This is what fascinates me about the Self, Consciousness and Life
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it takes more to it, much more complex stuff going on
[13:34] herman Bergson: it shows how simplistic this black/white reasoning is
[13:34] herman Bergson: But we love it....especially politicians :-))
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed very true
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and this have some really sad consequences sometimes when people get divided into either this or that but nothing in between
[13:35] herman Bergson: YEs Bejiita....
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example people in need of assistance loosing it cause the laws are so square
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): taking into the account no variations from their "norm"
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but we are all unique
[13:36] herman Bergson: and it goes deeper, for it is closely related to our almost biological inclination to see US and THEM
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its just to make it easy for them i guess while they just care for themselves
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): making tons of money
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): doing a really lossy job
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thus they refuse to see the reality
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in fact our Self is stuck in our bodies
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the fine details
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a prison for our minds
[13:37] herman Bergson: it is Beertje :-)
[13:38] herman Bergson: In a way the body is the carrier of the continuity of the Self
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess you can call it something like this
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: the body is the watercarrier through experiences ;)
[13:39] herman Bergson: No brain no body no continuity isn space and time for consciousness....which we maybe could call the Self :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: Maybe consciousness is the awareness of the constant stream of sensory input and the input prom the processed data by the brain
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: still something has to be aware ;)
[13:42] herman Bergson: Awareness is an emergent property of the nervous system in this context....most organisms have it....
[13:42] herman Bergson: the ability to interact with its environment
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: but how is it sorted?
[13:43] herman Bergson: it is just there ...just like rain or air
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: well still we have an entity that sorts that one
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: all the input we are aware of
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes...the is a filter....
[13:44] herman Bergson: like there are colors we cannot see or sounds we can not hear.....while other organisms can
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: but we can influence how
[13:44] herman Bergson: yes yes....that is the interesting matter here....
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: so there is something
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: which can do that
[13:45] herman Bergson: we step beyond our awareness....and can think
[13:45] herman Bergson: you still look for a "something" Ciska?
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: no not really ;)
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: I can call it experience of self - that something
[13:46] herman Bergson: A process is an interaction between elements....and it results in some effect....
[13:46] herman Bergson: what we see elements no process....
[13:47] herman Bergson: yet the proces is essential for a certain state of the elements....
[13:47] herman Bergson: like we need boiling water for tea :-)
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we need education to develop our self
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yummy!
[13:48] herman Bergson: So, I am beginning to assume that the Self, like consciousness or life are processes...
[13:49] herman Bergson: When you say a thing like that Beertje it sounds as if the self is a thing you can work on...
[13:50] herman Bergson: I agree that you can shape a person by education....
[13:50] herman Bergson: But also without education he will be a person, an identity, a Self
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:51] herman Bergson: I am only thinking out loud at the moment.....:-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i guess its true
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but with education you will know more about everything around you
[13:52] CB Axel: Not if it's a bad or biased education.
[13:52] herman Bergson: I changes your possibilities to interact with your environment
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: you will have different perspectives with education
[13:53] herman Bergson: True CB...
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: does not say anything about the quality of those
[13:53] CB Axel: Right, Ciska.
[13:53] herman Bergson: And that is how we all have been educated.....biased ^_^
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: or the usefulness
[13:54] herman Bergson: That is why there are `republicans and Democrats in the US :-))
[13:54] CB Axel: People believe in the god they've been taught to believe in, for instance.
[13:54] herman Bergson: As I said....we all are biased....^_^
[13:54] CB Axel: My parents must have been bad teachers. They're Republicans who raised me as an Episcopalian. Now I'm a liberal atheist. lol
[13:55] herman Bergson: And it is the task of philosophy to make clear how and in what sense one is biased
[13:55] herman Bergson: Guess you are a philosopher, CB :-))
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] CB Axel: My father would say I'm a pain in the neck.
[13:56] herman Bergson: Better  there than somewhere else :-)
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:56] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): give him a jar of Tigerbalm
[13:57] CB Axel: lol
[13:57] herman Bergson: Well...I guess you've got enough to think about again for today :-)))
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not to use tfor that 'else'
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): TAKE AWAY THAT TIGERBALM! IT SMELLS!
[13:57] herman Bergson: So...thank you all again for yourparticipation.....
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): smells like mothballs
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:58] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well interestng again
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: thanx all
[13:58] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cuon thursday I guess
[13:58] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and Class!
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:59] herman Bergson: Bergie gave me a classic stream...gonna try that
[13:59] CB Axel: See you Thursday. Must run. Bye.
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten beertje
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now all
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: enjoy bejiita
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten herman
[14:00] bergfrau Apfelbaum: gute nacht Beertje:-)
[14:00] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita :-)