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Thread: On the division of humanity

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    Anthropos mhc's Avatar
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    On the division of humanity

    Ok, withholding the debate about whether or not humanity actually is divided or not, i deliver this response:

    huh-hmm (clearing throat)

    The one fundamental characteristic principle fundamental to consciousness, whose prevalence seems to occur amongst the entire species of humans is causality. that everything must serve a purpose. perhaps one possible reasoning behind this rational is that, without cause, what purpose would anything have. magnified on a grandiose scale this reasoning manifests as such things as 'what is the purpose of me?' or 'what purpose is my life?'

    with such strong self doubting reasonings such as these, it is no wonder the power of causality to incite cognitive dissonance when a persons actions or motifs are not inline with their own goals or more importantly, their own morals. infact, if i may, i would go so far as to state that cognitive dissonance created in such a manner is capable of creating an out of control spiral of self doubt and further cognitive dissonance to the point of an afflicted individual creating a cause of having no cause - or in extreme cases, the creation of imaginary identities who are responsible for 'cause'.

    Further more, i would like to add that, causes concocted of self greed that only seek to benefit small portions of the human race, only serve to help divide consciousness via cognitive dissonance of individuals by teaching through example that cause is capable of imparting pain and suffering on ones fellow humans, on a grand scale.

    In light of this reasoning, I am of the opinion that if a cause capable of benefitting the entire human race is created, humanity would cease to be divided, and more importantly the suffering bought about by self doubt, cognitive dissonance or the more extreme manifestations of afflictions of consciousness such as the creation of imaginary identities, would cease.
    Last edited by mhc; 12-22-2014 at 05:05 AM.
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    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    This was confusing to read at first because of the way you're using some words: You've used causality incorrectly to refer to the "idealistic purpose" kind of cause. It would make more sense to just drop the use of cause throughout and just talk about purpose.

    To respond to a couple of the points you put forth:

    1. I think people are not just divided on the kinds of purposes they subscribe to or believe in, but also on the existence of objective vs. subjective purpose. I would suggest that large proportions of (religious and irreligious) people strongly believe in the existence of objective purpose, and this belief significantly informs their worldview. This is a starkly different teleological position to the other large group who reject the existence of any objective purpose. It is strange, and perhaps revealing about the way we think, that we have such strong & divisive opinions over an issue for which there is no evidence or chance of resolution.

    2. "I am of the opinion that if a cause capable of benefitting the entire human race is created, humanity would cease to be divided". How difficult is it to come up with a purpose like that? It seems trivial: "Love your neighbour" is a simple one that springs to mind. And yet, despite this being a widely known principle, humanity remains divided. So perhaps we need to look to reasons for these divisions other than a poor collective imagination for coming up with uniting purposes.

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    Anthropos mhc's Avatar
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    (apologies for the erroneous word usage)

    one possible reason for these divisions could be the anthropomorphism of ones reality. that is, that an individual believes that they are their consciousness. put another way, if someone believes that they are the collective experiences of their life as opposed to the being experiencing the life, everyone and everything then becomes them, or a part of them. with this erroneous view of reality and/or the human race, on an individual level, ones fellow human beings are reduced to 'them', which in turn creates the false identity of 'i' or 'me'. with this way of thinking, any cause then becomes either 'for me and against them' or 'for them and against me' - just the type of fuel that cognitive dissonance needs when the individual does not want to be 'against them' or 'against me'.

    to simply 'love your neighbour' becomes difficult when the neighbour in question acts in a way which we may find difficult to love. however, if the neighbours actions aligned with a common cause, it would then become easier to love the fact that the neighbour is for a common cause - and any individual action then would become less relevant

    Are you able to describe the main differences of objective and subjective purpose you mentioned?
    is a subjective purpose a purpose that one "feels" in some way purposeful about?
    Quote Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
    I think people are not just divided on the kinds of purposes they subscribe to or believe in, but also on the existence of objective vs. subjective purpose.
    Last edited by mhc; 12-22-2014 at 06:06 AM.
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    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    one possible reason for these divisions could be the anthropomorphism of ones reality.
    The anthropomorphism angle is interesting. Perhaps the tendency to seek objective meaning/purpose is related to the tendency to anthropomorphise, leading people to project their own purposes onto the universe?

    Are you able to describe the main differences of objective and subjective purpose you mentioned?
    is a subjective purpose a purpose that one "feels" in some way purposeful about?
    Objective purpose just means purpose that exists independently of our minds. The source might be god, or the universe, or destiny, or something undefined or intangible. Subjective purpose originates and exists solely in the mind, and is derived from personal (subjective) ideology & values.

    I suspect this teleological divide may also be largely cultural, in the sense that we're conditioned to believe that purpose & meaning that originates within ourselves is less important than purpose/meaning that originates externally. I also think people confuse the concept of a "universal" or commonly-held principle with the concept of an objective principle. Personally I think purpose & meaning only exist as constructs of the mind, and to refer to them as external or objective is nonsensical. I think the distinction is fundamentally a cognitive error, and is the source of much existential angst. It can be hard to let go of the idea of a greater purpose. Whereas if we started out believing that all purpose is personal & subjective (and thus, all on a level playing field), we wouldn't have that existential problem where we feel we are losing something by rejecting the existence of objective purpose.

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    Anthropos mhc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
    I suspect this teleological divide may also be largely cultural, in the sense that we're conditioned to believe that purpose & meaning that originates within ourselves is less important than purpose/meaning that originates externally.
    yes i agree with this. on an interesting note, if we assumed a subjective purpose to 'be happy', that would not be possible unless there was also the equal and opposite as to 'be unhappy'.

    to avoid this division we could act in tune with an objective purpose so as to shift blame or origin of feelings to. however this would also create a division between 'self' and 'feelings'.
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    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    yes i agree with this. on an interesting note, if we assumed a subjective purpose to 'be happy', that would not be possible unless there was also the equal and opposite as to 'be unhappy'.
    I don't think this is the truism that many think it is. Sure, our experience of happiness/unhappiness, pleasure/pain might be given context by past experiences, but our experience of those states isn't perfectly calibrated around the median of past experiences. A person might lead a fulfilled, happy life never having experienced hardship (and vice-versa). I think the idea you're describing has its roots in theology, as an explanation for why god allows suffering to exist, and I don't buy it. Suffering is not a necessary requirement for the existence of happiness/pleasure. Suffering exists simply because it's evolutionarily advantageous.

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    Anthropos mhc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
    I don't think this is the truism that many think it is. Sure, our experience of happiness/unhappiness, pleasure/pain might be given context by past experiences, but our experience of those states isn't perfectly calibrated around the median of past experiences. A person might lead a fulfilled, happy life never having experienced hardship (and vice-versa). I think the idea you're describing has its roots in theology, as an explanation for why god allows suffering to exist, and I don't buy it. Suffering is not a necessary requirement for the existence of happiness/pleasure. Suffering exists simply because it's evolutionarily advantageous.
    I do agree with most of your insights that you mention here, however i would argue against my point being rooted in theology and/or god. however i may not have necessarily explained my point properly (and i would state at this time that i don't fully understand the point which i was relaying). I was implying of a duality that may exist that enables us the opportunity to label 'things' (things of which don't physically exist - perhaps abstract things) - independent of whether god exists or not. it is true that happiness could exist without sadness (assuming they are opposites), however without experiencing each an individual may not be able to recognise either. then one could ask of happiness, is it still happiness without knowing that it is happy?

    The anthropomorphism angle is interesting. Perhaps the tendency to seek objective meaning/purpose is related to the tendency to anthropomorphise, leading people to project their own purposes onto the universe?
    i find this question that you have asked very interesting. if what you suggest is so, perhaps anthropomorphism is a result of not wanting to accept a purpose? for example, if an individual were to reject a certain purpose, and had no valid identity to attach it to, the consciousness could perhaps 'pin' it to 'objects' such as the universe or things in it or, abstract objects of the mind, i.e. thoughts or ideas. add a bit of cognitive dissonance thrown in to shield against the rejection of the purpose, and viola - we have a god - or universe?

    maybe a bit of a far stretch?
    Last edited by mhc; 12-24-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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