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Everything posted by StephenK

  1. As a non American, I'd like some insight into this. From what I can discern through the media, your society is more polarized now than it has been in a long, long time. That being said, will this polarization just 'disappear' in coming years, or will it fester and grow, regardless of who wins the current election? How do you move forward in a climate like this? Has the damage already been done?
  2. This is a good point. One thing that seems to be missing from the entire debate around diet is that we may each have unique physiological responses to food, based on our genetics. I suppose we could get to the point in the future where we have diets based on our DNA which would allow us to more easily navigate the ethical territory pertaining to meat consumption.
  3. I pretty much agree with this. It's important not to view this through a moral lens, but through the lens of ignorance hindering our ability to exercise compassion effectively. Many people are simply ignorant to the suffering caused in eating meat.
  4. No, your tone did not push me away. It is the very reason I got into an argument with you in the first place (after seeing some of your other posts on this forum). I tend to get drawn to people with overly confrontational tones and therefore I take stubborn positions that cloud my better judgement, regardless of the topic. It is a silly trap to fall into. But I did. I think the root of the issue is that I strawmanned your position by assuming you were saying: “All suffering within the black community (including that of the human condition) can be effectively explained by socioeconomic factors and slavery, and that by extension is your fault because you’re white.” I thought you were implying that genetics had no part to play in the suffering we experience as human beings. I realize now that was a silly, emotionally driven strawman to make, but I believe that it is one that a lot of people fall into. But yes, I agree: Socioeconomic factors and historical injustices explain the difference in outcomes that exist between groups. I think another error I made was assuming that socioeconomics and institutional racism are used interchangeably, whereas the reality is that institutional racism is a subset of socioeconomics? I think the larger issue is that I am not fully educated on the terminology used, nor what it is pointing to.
  5. To everyone in this thread that I may have offended with my ‘suck it up’ attitude: I apologize for my tone and closed mindedness throughout my posts on this topic. I realize now that I have an unhealthy obsession with the ‘personal responsibility’ narrative due to a conservative upbringing. That has caused me to be blind to and ignore the effects of things that people can not control -- things they have no responsibility for.
  6. No need. Your line of questioning to your mother points to implicit errors in your phrasing of the problem, and hence exposes errors in your reasoning. You can't go forward. Anything you assert downstream becomes strawman gibberish with citations on top. If you're willing to admit that you phrased the problem badly to your mother, then perhaps some traction could be found in this argument. Do you think that just because you're wealthy you can't have a victim mentality and be miserable? You truly are privileged. But let's drop the personal back and forth, since it's not getting to the root of the issue. 1) Do you admit that you phrased the questions to your mother poorly? 2) What percentage of the negative attitudes and behaviors within the black community can be attributed exclusively to socio-economic factors and slavery? 3) What socio-economic factors in particular do you think are to blame? 4) Is it possible for a black person to fall into poverty without slavery and socioeconomic factors being the cause? 5) If you say 100% to question 2, do you then deny that there is any genetic component to the negative attitudes and behaviors that we (the human race) exhibit? That is, is there a biological or genetic component to the condition we collectively as humans experience (things like fear, anger, pain, etc)? That is, does our biology as human beings play no role in our experience of the world? Does it play no role in the human condition? Answer this carefully and please don't conflate the statement that humans have genetics with some kind of appeal to 'race realism'. Saying that genetics influence our experience of the world is not the same as ascribing to race-realism, for without genetics, we could not exist. 6) If you give an answer less than 100%, what is that percentage then? And how much of that do you take personal responsibility for? 7) What percentage of negative attitudes and behaviors is slavery responsible for? 8) What percentage of the negative attitudes and behaviors is modern socio-economics responsible for? @Forestluv I'd like to see your answer to these questions as well, as you seem to be firmly grounded in the biological sciences.
  7. @dyslexicCnut Ok, I’ll reassert my position for the sake of brevity, since you’re not picking up on the nuanced aspects of what is being said. The implication of this second question is that slavery and socio-economic factors are the sole cause of the negative attitudes and behaviors in black communities. My answer to this question then is an emphatic no, because it is impossible for that to be true. There are aspects to negative attitudes and behaviors that are emergent from the human condition itself: whether you are black, white, yellow or gold. To ascribe all these negative attitudes and behaviors to two factors is dishonest and flat out wrong and reeks of the stretch of looking for a scapegoat. Two factors can not adequately explain the sum total of the negative attitudes and behaviors in the black community, nor any community for that matter. Slavery and socio-economics is not equivalent to the sum total of the environment, but a subset of the environment. And yes, genetics do play into the environment, as the genes responsible for black skin will influence the social encounters you have, and hence cause feedback loops in the environment. To ignore genetics is an act of supreme naivety. However you keep on fallaciously conflating socio-economics and slavery with the environment as a whole. Even though the sun is a driving component in weather, it does not ‘cause’ weather, nor is it ‘the weather’. Note that you did not say, “"Is it possible that slavery and modern socio-economic factors are partially to blame for some of the dysfunctional aspects of the black community?"” To that question, I’d say yes, I agree. But you’re not into asking nuanced questions now are you -- hence my sympathy for your mother. So in a sense, your desire to assign all blame to socio-economics and slavery is to forfeit any personal responsibility for the suffering that emerges from the human condition. All that being said, I agree with your mother. Your line of questioning implies a lack of ownership over the human condition and your own life… a cop out if you will. But the reason you can’t see this is because you’re obsessed with seeing reality through the lens of white-supremacists/nazis/race-realists (insert whatever buzzword you're fixated on) and assigning blame on other human beings for every bit of misery that may befall you, as is evident in your attitude. And it is this very attitude of seeing all your misery as coming from other humans that makes you and your ideology as dangerous as that that emerges from extreme political right. But I understand why you're upset: I'm revoking your victim card, which is bound to get you enraged. But so be it. The sooner you drop that thing, the better.
  8. @dyslexicCnut You need to take a chill pill and learn to stop creating strawman arguments. Let go of your victim mentality. You'll get there eventually. And you'll be happier for it.
  9. Yes. This is going to be Leo in a decade after getting in touch with his Russian roots and taking his love teachings to the next level ✌:
  10. @Gidiot @Leo Gura Yes, communism would work great if people were innately more altruistic. But right now in 2020, communism is like giving a 1000 horse power super-car to a 5 year old child and his friends. The child is simply not developed enough to wield such power. And to give such power to a child would be an act of cruelty in my opinion. Give them a bike instead. But yes, I agree with your message: if humanity is to evolve, we have to move towards more expansive ideals , which communism embodies better than nationalism/fascism.
  11. Interestingly, I could rephrase your statement and generate a talking point on the opposite side of the political spectrum: "Yes, any far-left politics in America will functionally be communist in its outcome -- which is what Blue conservatives are reacting to. I totally get that." It is interesting that both sides (left/right) appeal to the slippery slope argument.
  12. It is certainly the case that slavery and socio-economic factors are not to blame and do not explain the entire picture. In the same way the sun does not cause the weather. This is just reality. Are they contributing factors? Certainly. Note how your line of questioning sets up slavery and socio-economic factors as the cause of all problems in the black community, without the nuance of it being part of a larger more complex picture within the domain of the environment. Note also that you've completely rejected the idea of genetics/epigenetics coming into play (which, strictly speaking, is part of the environment as well) which makes you blind to the effects of epigenetics and hence blind to reality. Note also how you leave no space for the idea of personal responsibility -- just constantly externalizing problems and playing the blame game. A word of spiritual advice: constantly trying to externalize issues is going to lead to a life full of misery. You're implementing black and white thinking (pun intended) and searching for an easy scapegoat. This is how a lazy mind operates. Unfortunately your desire will never align with reality. So your mamma is right. That is a cop-out. Again, this line of questioning sets up the duality of 'I have zero responsibility for the miserable aspects of my life.' (someone else is to blame) or 'it's all my fault because of genetics'(I am to blame). Note how victim-hood and the blame game are central to your phrasing of the question. Reality will not conform to your black and white thinking, because reality is not black and white. No complex system has a singular causal agent. The nature of complex systems is that they are multifaceted with feedback mechanisms within and without. As for your mother, I think her using the word 'cop-out' is a polite way of saying: "Life is hard. Own it. Stop being a victim and stop being a cry-baby."
  13. @mandyjw I think you're spot on. Western society to a large extent has fetishized the 'self' and its atomized individuals cannot even conceive of real community anymore. This is epitomized by how many parents are 'ecstatic' for their kids to move out of the house at 18, as if to say, "Finally, I can get rid of you. Now I can enjoy my life!" Or when their parents get old, the kids say, "Let them go to an old age home. Not my problem." It has become a cult of 'me' and our narcissism and vanity will come back to bite us when we least expect it. When you're told from a young age that all life is about is finding an attractive partner, accumulating wealth, having a high social status (that can only be achieved through wealth/physicality) etc etc, when you're someone that isn't attractive, or socially capable, or innovative, you'll grow to resent yourself, and hence resent society for setting up standards you can not live up to, and the lack of a social safety net can lead a lot of people into dark, dark places. That being said, I think the vast majority of involuntary celibates have little to no violent intent. My hypothesis is that most are probably depressed and/or suicidal, and societies fixation of labeling incels as violent freaks is only going to make the problem worse. Our society has a big problem with the idea of virginity.
  14. What would you do if today was your last day? What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? What are you grateful for? Where do you see your life in 10 years? What limiting beliefs are you holding on to? What kind of person do you enjoy spending time with?
  15. Yep, something as simple as gardening and growing your own vegetables offers physical exercise (save money on going to a gym), getting in touch with your food, exposure to sunlight and stress reduction and even extended life expectancy according to some research. If someone sly businessmen could figure out how to monetize gardening with all its health benefits, they'd make millions hehe ?
  16. Sure. Whatever word/words we choose to point to the simplicity/actuality of our our current experience works for me. No need to apologize. I didn't interpret your words as argumentative.
  17. @Scholar Consciousness has a way of fooling us into perceiving something that is utterly 1-dimensional as multidimensional and infinitely complex. A good example of this is the feeling of self -- when the mind latches onto a feeling/sensation within consciousness it deems to be 'self', you can directly observe how that sensation of 'self' is nothing more than a raw, 1-dimensional experience (possibly in the body or behind the eyes). That is, the experience is utterly simple, obvious, clear, actual. However, the mind has to aggregate other conscious experiences on top of it (the feeling of self) to create the illusion of depth/complexity/ego. In fact, what is consciousness other than a series of 1 dimensional experiences arising one after another in rapid succession? Advanced Vipassana meditation practitioners are able to observe through the apparent fluidity of consciousness and observe on after another the distinct 'atoms' of experience that make up thoughts. A movie seems fluid and real until we slow down the frames per second enough that we see the illusion for what it is: a series of pictures on a screen.
  18. The fact that you feel rage towards them means you don't truly believe this imo. Sounds like suppressed resentment.
  19. @Free Mind Yes, that has been my impression as well. There seems to be little correlation. However, and this is conjecture on my part, there does seem to be something to the idea of 'the right stress at the right time' leading to some kind of fruition/awakening. The right set of circumstances can tip one into massive insight territory. An example of this would be how intense week-long meditation retreats can trigger massive awakenings in some people but not others, whilst others can wake up in the midst of a major depressive episode (Eckart Tolle).
  20. Is awakening forged more easily with an easy or hard life? Many of those that have awakened did not have very easy lives prior to their awakening, nor did they have lives wherein Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs was fully met. How much does awakening correlate with easy/hard life conditions? Looking forward to your responses.
  21. There is a weird crumbling of that hierarchy that occurs when an individual becomes awakened. Those that are awakened often have very little need for family, creative activities, intimate relationships, prestige and accomplishments, or even friends (all this depending on the degree of the awakening). Maslow's hierarchy of needs is meaningful in most cases with most people, but when awakening enters the picture, the hierarchy begins to fall apart and makes very little sense.