human nature - inherently good or evil?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by IowaGuy, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Nonsense, Wil we actually know exists and has written actual things right here in front of us . . . all of what Jesus said is hearsay, nothing material has ever been found that came from the hand of the Son of God.

    So; I'll take Wil's word over God's
     
  2. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    You know Wil? Does Wil do good or evil?

    Are you a Son of Wil?
     
  3. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    I submit that by your definition of "free", relationships also bring freedom, and that a person alone in the wilderness is equally a slave.

    You should formulate your experiments to answer this question. I believe you will then understand prayer and be a better Dad.

    What doctor or lawyer does not prostitute themselves? The person that asks questions and seeks answers, finds answers. (Prayer).

    I attribute the interaction with God to God's will, in addition to my own.

    How does a prophecy self fulfill? If I ask for an answer from God, I did not see that I had the answer. Many times there are surprises.

    Was Krisnamurti fully-aware? What person is ever fully-aware? It sounds like God did not pray to Krisnamurti very often. :D

    You are thinking cause and effect, but you don't know the cause.

    Yes, I believe in divine intervention, but the perspective of God is different than a man. I see that people get stuck in a rut that serves neither themselves, nor others, any good, and they fail to seek help or they have been beaten down. If by "personal relationship" you mean that the relationship with God is different for every person, then yes. It is not necessarily that way though.

    I know. I believe so is Lunatik, and Wil, and many others here. From my life perspective, it is clearly false. I say that from the interaction, but here is a test of the logic:

    If you are responsible for your actions, and your wife is responsible for her actions, and Lunatik is responsible for Lunatik's actions, and Wil is responsible for Wil's actions, and I am responsible for my actions... and the actions of each are physically in this Universe, then this universe is composed partly of everyone's actions. Are all of my actions in your life? No. Are any of my actions in your life? Any? Same for the others? Are all of God's actions in your life? Any? Remember, the Pantheist perspective says that my actions, and the actions of others, are part of that greater essence. So then, even by the Pantheist perspective: God does have actions, and the relationships are personal.
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    "If you are responsible for your actions, and your wife is responsible for her actions, and Lunatik is responsible for Lunatik's actions, and Wil is responsible for Wil's actions, and I am responsible for my actions... and the actions of each are physically in this Universe, then this universe is composed partly of everyone's actions. Are all of my actions in your life? No. Are any of my actions in your life? Any? Same for the others? Are all of God's actions in your life? Any? Remember, the Pantheist perspective says that my actions, and the actions of others, are part of that greater essence. So then, even by the Pantheist perspective: God does have actions, and the relationships are personal."

    No, the pantheist equates G!d to the universe (all that there is). The sum of the actions of the entities within the universe would then be G!d's actions. There actions would, of course, impact (given the constraints of causality, tiem, space, relativity, quantum and all that) other entities. Are thoise actions personal? Only insofar as the causal agent has a personal relationship with the imapcted entity. The relationship would be personal with an agent (some other agent) but with G!d.... pretty impersonal.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  5. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    You think prayer makes someone a better Dad?

    You think not following one's own will makes someone a better Dad? You are also a father, who's will do you follow when parenting if not your own?


    You don’t think we are all connected? You don’t think anyone else’s actions affect your life?

    The family in Brazil who has 12 kids and cuts down the rainforest to grow coffee, does that affect you?

    When SeattleGal pays or doesn’t pay her taxes, does that affect your life?

    When I vote, does that affect your life?

    When Lunitik fills his SUV with gasoline, does that affect you?

    When someone makes a conscious decision to lower their carbon footprint, does that affect Luecy7’s life?

    This list can literally go on forever. These actions have no effect on your life? You are not part of this “cumulative essence”?

    "Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe."
    - John Muir
     
  6. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    There is quality to how a person answers their child's prayers of them.

    It is not an either-or: my will or their will. My children may ask me to do or support things that I do not see value in, have learned to detest, or do not wish to spend my time doing. I speak my viewpoint, but try to take part as they wish so that they may learn from the activity, or that I may learn more about them and their viewpoint. After all, children get asked to do the same.

    To varying degrees.

    Minutia. The effect and power of history is only what it is afforded.
     
  7. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    What is the difference between answering a child's prayer of their parent and answering a child's request of their parent? Would this quality you speak of in a parent (associated with prayer), therefore, be absent in Buddhists?


    Sounds to me like it's an action of your own will when it's all said and done. Can you give an example of when you've done something that's been entirely someone else's will and not your own?

    As I said earlier, sometimes my kids' will aligns with my own. But when it doesn't, I don't follow their will, I follow my own.


    That's pretty vague, care to elaborate as to how exactly you think humans are connected and how we aren't?



    Each one might be minutia in and of itself. But the cumulative essence of millions of these actions is anything but minutia, and affects all of our lives whether you "afford" it or not.
     
  8. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    The quality is not necessarily absent in a follower of Buddhism. If you see the value, then prayer to a higher father, like a great grand-father, is no different.

    The question is, will you become like a child and align your will to theirs, for their benefit to learn, even as you think you know better? You ask for an example: I have two daughters. Right now one of them has it in their head that they wish to be in a beauty pagent, and the other wishes to try it too. As a college educated parent, I have in mind better activities for them. I have expressed to them that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that in my eye there are better activities for them to do, than to chase the eye of those particular judges who never really get to know them. They are asking myself and my wife, to help them. We have to invest time and money into this. It is not beauty in my eye, but if they can bare the discussion with me, then we will do it.

    It could be drugs, gambling, pre-marital sex, or even criminal activity. I don't have to partake myself, but I can't prevent others from disobeying me. If they came to us telling us that they really wanted to try an illicit drug, which I have never done, but they wanted to do it in our home which they view as a safer environment to do it in, what do you think my answer would be? What would your answer be? If they can bare my rebuke, which will be lengthy and detailed, yet they still insist on doing it, then they can do it in our home. I will challenge them, but the reality is, only the people who have done those drugs, truly know about their susceptibility to addiction.

    You are looking for a physical dependence. The degree of physical dependence and control is variable. The further two people are physically away from each other, the less they can physically affect each other. If a person is living on Mars, the potential for them to physically affect the life of someone living on Earth, is less. The more that someone knows about you, the greater power they have in affecting your life, either for, or against, your will. There is a physical time lag, and a loss of control, with distance. With God this limitation apparently does not exist.

    Does the blind, deaf, and dumb minutia seek to willfully affect your life? Do you seek and pray to the blind, deaf, and dumb minutia, to willfully affect your life? If your relationship is with the minutia, then so be it. Is your relationship with your wife similarly that disconnected?
     
  9. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    My opinion is the same as the view presented by the Scriptures that man is inherently good, as we have in Ecclesiastes 7:29, that God has made man upright. Then, with the ill use of his freewill, man degenerated into adopting the practice of evil.
    Ben
     
  10. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    I agree with you on man being inherently good , I believe misinterpretation and false beliefs and miscommunication leads to evil acts. Acts of kindness are what overcomes this.
     
  11. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    IowaGuy
    exquisite creature

    the Christianity u describe
    is a brand of Calvinism brought to New England by the Puritans
    & furthered (in America) by "revivals" every few generations

    my heritage is that of Quakers
    arriving in America not long after the Puritans &
    purchasing land from Native Americans in New Jersey & Pennsylvania & Long Island
    believing each person is inherently good (no one a "savage")

    but u don't have to look to the Society of Friends (or Buddhism) to
    find this optimistic ground-of-belief in American religion

    back during the Great Awakening in 1740s New England , when
    Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield are haranguing audiences with "hellfire" & "redemption"
    there are Enlightenment-influenced ("Arminian") Boston pastors like
    Charles Chauncy & Jonathan Mayhew , who repudiate the "religious Phrenzy" in their midst

    they do not accept the Awakening's vision of human depravity
    & see persons as naturally (if not morally "good" , at least) morally "improvable"
    capable of cultivating
    an actual likeness to Gyd in knowledge , righteousness & true holiness (Chauncy)

    & over the decades , this view carries the day in New England
    laying the foundation for the even more radical 19th century view of William Ellery Channing
    (who questions "the Trinity" & "Divine Revelation" & "Inerrancy of Scripture")

    Channing
    talking much like his contemporary (the Quaker) Elias Hicks , about
    the "Light Indwelling"
    declares (in his famous 1828 "Likeness to Gyd" address)
    the idea of Gyd , sublime & awful as it is
    is the idea of our own spiritual nature , purified & enlarged to infinity


    (looking to English Romanticism & German Idealism for inspiration)
    Channing's preacher-protégés
    (Transcendentalist) Ralph Waldo Emerson & (social Progressive) Theodore Parker
    popularize & extend Channing's radical ideas
    & American "Liberal Christianity" embarks
    (eventually embracing in later generations , a "Gyd is love" social gospel)

    Emerson , Parker & other great 19th century preachers
    popularize Channing so successfully that , by the early 20th century
    the "inherently good" position has largely won the day in American Christian thinking

    then (circa 1920)
    comes the backlash

    Channing-(& Co.)'s seeming "apostasy" becomes more than Conservative Christians can swallow
    (looking to them like a "naturalization" , a de-Supernatural-ization of Gyd)
    & the "Fundamentalist" movement in America is born

    depravity (the Calvinist view of humans as "inherent evil") again
    begins to move back toward center-stage in American religious thinking

    & in this battle of belief which has ensued over the last 9 decades
    the conservative "Redemption by Faith" crowd has gradually gained the upper hand over
    the liberal "Light & Love" folk

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    but this (ideological) battle all begs the question surrounding
    u'r word inherent , IowaGuy

    (inherent "good" or "evil" ?
    tell me
    which of the two is genetic ? , is hardwired in humans ? )

    to get beyond opinion , u need a little science

    Sam Harris in The Moral Landscape
    David Brooks in The Social Animal
    each point to the Haidt/Graham/Nosek studies , anthropological investigations , which suggest
    that "morality" is instinctual (genetically hardwired) in human beings

    here is Brooks' summary (pages 286-287)
    social (& religious ?) liberals likely find Commandments 1 & 2 relatively attractive
    but not Commandments 3 & 4 , which
    social (& religious ?) conservatives likely do find attractive

    Commandment 5 is indeed most problematical
    attractive mostly to athletic-teams & soldiers , street-gangs & terrorist cells

    if Haidt/Graham/Nosek are correct , that these 5 "moral concerns" are (in fact)
    hardwired Commandments within every human person upon this planet
    are these "good" (?)
    or are these "bad" (?)
    commandments ? ? ? ? ?

    should u
    "follow u'r nature"
    on each of the 5 points ? , or
    "fight against u'r own nature" ?

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    to me , this (good/bad issue) is a moot point

    u are looking at 5 ironclad social laws which had
    enabled human "clan-based" hunter-gatherer bands
    to survive , for tens of thousands of years

    but , IowaGuy
    is the purpose of human existence , merely
    the "survival instinct" ?
    (is "genetic endurance" , is successful Survival just another word for "Gyd" ? )

    just because the 5 innate Commandments are u'r & my aboriginal social laws
    does that mean u or i should follow these social rules , blindly ?
    (because "Gyd made us this way" ? )

    this quandary is the place where Idealism has always been so problematical
    by always looking back to an "origin"
    (a-priori & categorical-imperative & first-cause & pure-form) , &
    attempting to locate some kind of Divinity , at this rarified place

    these 5 Commandments may be the Primary Rules of social conduct
    but my vote
    goes to Secondary Rules of social conduct , as
    the ones which will prove (over the long-run) to be the more significant

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    10,000 years ago , when humans start farming & herding
    persons (like u & i) begin to build social-structures larger than that of the clan-group
    & begin to prize something , something inconceivable to subsistence hunter-gatherers
    (a celestial sensation , brand new on this planet)

    "prosperity"

    "prosperity" is the central organizing feature of the ancient (polytheistic) moral system
    its tenets (now) only tangentially related to the 5 innate Commandments

    a change so radical , at the core of human social conduct
    an agrarian person has become a new type of human being
    (become something unforeseen , something not programmed at the level of her or his genes)

    this person (a creature like u) has not only learned to domesticate plants & animals
    this person (u) has (in a sense) learned to domesticate her or his own self

    (or perhaps more theologically , in all u'r humility
    u come to realize that "powers greater than u" are here at-work , &
    that these Powers have acted to "domesticate u"
    so that u now perceive u'rself as a humble beast of burden , bent upon serving Their needs
    hence , the birth of the forceful-deities of polytheism)

    but , IowaGuy
    what has triggered this self-domestication ?

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    there is a famous (rather cruel) test child-psychologists perform on young children

    the researcher will place a cookie on a plate in front of the child
    & tell the child that
    u can eat this cookie now , or
    if u wait until i return & not eat this cookie
    u can then have 2 cookies


    what's cruel , is that the researcher never returns
    the child waits & waits & waits some more , & eventually
    desire ("for the bird in the hand") overcomes greed ("for the 2 in the bush") &
    the child eats the cookie sitting in front of them

    when the researcher leaves the room
    a stopwatch is clicked on , cataloguing
    how long this particular child can resist temptation

    this is the point of the study , the child's
    "self-restraint"

    while genetic factors may be involved , these factors are at best
    Secondary (or indirect) Rules of conduct (things not hardwired)
    reinforced by things trained into the child (or gotten subliminally) from
    parents or older children (reinforced by "nurturing")
    a learned-ability (an internalized ability) to "delay gratification"

    (while hunter-gatherers display this trait from time to time , this
    putting-off of gratification is the very core of the agrarian life-style
    almost a prayer
    u plant seeds & pray that these will grow & produce food-stuffs
    produce results , many months down the road)

    those researchers doing these studies of young-children , track each child into adulthood
    & (years later) the results are startlingly consistent , statistically
    the children who have "resisted temptation" longest , are ones who
    (later in life) achieve proportionally the highest income levels
    (the greatest prosperity
    "prosperity" being the highest spiritual-joy possible to be found in the ancient Temple Religions)

    & this all arises from , not a genetic trait (inside u)
    but just the opposite
    a person's restraint of their natural impulses

    u'r self-restraint

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Gyd works
    not thru natural impulses (hardwired in the human genome)
    but (instead) by
    working against natural-impulses

    thru self-restraint
    thru self-domestication

    ("self-restraint" is just one of the Secondary Rules
    of social conduct , though it is the first & perhaps foremost of these
    the aim of all Secondary Rules , being
    to swerve "nature" , to course-correct it & fine-tune it)

    the vector of Gyd's works
    points not to the past, but to the future

    it is here , IowaGuy
    (not via genuflecting to Ideas of "inherently good" or "inherently evil"
    but via conscientiously working against the genome's natural-impulses & innate-designs
    whether they appear "good" or appear "evil" , at their surface value)
    it is here , where

    working against u'r genetic inheritance
    u partner with Gyd

     
  12. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    some context
    good & evil as problematical concepts in the ancient world
    (moral freedom = guile & reciprocity
    rebelling in a subtle/survivable way & keeping the trade routes open)



    "microeconomics" is my major emphasis , back when i'm in college
    as this sub-discipline relates to a modern "service economy"
    (hospitality industry , in particular)

    but i always have problems with the principal tenet of its theory
    "economic self-interest" , i.e. (its "theory of value")
    every choice made by an individual is an economic choice
    involving a cost/benefit analysis , or
    involving the making of a risk/reward calculation
    before investing energy & assets into this "choice" (into making "the buy")

    (valuable = reward which is greater than the cost , the profit greater than the loss)

    this is supposed to be what it means
    for u
    to "act economically" in the world

    this is (in a word) "egoism"
    at its most simple & basic (as naked self-interest)
    "good" = "economically viable" in a zero-sum game
    (u win , the other-guy loses) , where
    bad or "evil" = failure (u lose & the other-guy wins)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    on the face of it
    economics would not seem to apply very well to religious ideas
    but that is where i find Rodney Stark interesting
    (& ultimately , deeply problematical) by his
    applying micro-economic "theory of value" to religious transactions
    (A Theory of Religion)

    Stark produces interesting conclusions about the nature of "religious behavior"
    about how real-world "transactions" (including religious transactions) deal-in
    abstract "valuables"
    that is , the kind of less-tangible (ethereal) commodities valued by religious individuals

    "hopes" (expectations) purchased by
    bought-into by
    individuals-of-faith , via their
    doing "good" works

    altruism (here) being just another form of
    (a more abstract , or deferred) egoism
    pay now , the reward (to u'r self) comes later
    (afterlife)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    but "single economic-operators"
    (u doing-business by u'r self alone) are pretty rare in human history
    (contract-laborers , solo entrepreneurs)
    becoming common in Spain only after 1550
    common in the rest of Europe after 1600
    common later still in the rest of the world

    go back in time to the ancient herder or ancient planter
    & u are looking at family-based or clan-based economic enterprises

    back then , all businesses are (in a sense) "cottage industries"
    each , sort of a joint-venture operation
    a business-operation run by the (usually male , but sometimes female) head of the family
    but necessarily employing wives & sons & unmarried daughters
    & concubines & slaves & occasional adopted hirelings &
    suitors for u'r daughters (remember Jacob trying to win Rachel ? )

    attempting to reduce religious or economic behavior to
    either "altruism" or "egoism"
    is not a good fit
    (in the ancient world "common-interest" & "self-interest" were frequently identical)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    a better fit is genetic theory
    the theory that all behavior stems from the "selfish gene"
    from the genome

    suggesting that
    "egoism" and "altruism" are relative values
    what might be good for the narrow gene-pool
    might be bad for the larger group-gene-pool
    (& vice versa)

    what is "good" for the individual might be "bad" for the family
    what is "good" for the family might be "bad" for the clan
    what is "good" for the clan might be "bad" for the larger tribe
    what is "good" for the tribe might be "bad" for the larger racial-group
    what is "good" for the racial-group might be "bad" for the rest of humanity

    (i would extend this to
    what is "good" for humanity might be "bad" for other creatures
    on this planet , on or beyond
    but this discussion i'll leave for another post)

    the self-interest of u'r "core genome"
    (the selfish-gene which wants to replicate itself endlessly into the future)
    this self-interest
    is entirely relative to how narrowly or broadly u look at the gene's "survival instinct"
    (narrow = egoism , broad = altruism)
    which makes both egoism & altruism very problematical
    (which is "good" ? & which is "evil" ?
    when viewed morally/religiously ? ? or economically ? ?)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    the theory of "sociobiology" posits 4 "value transactions" instead of 2
    1) egoism
    2) altruism
    3) guile
    4) reciprocity

    the theory posits that all creatures are "sociable" to some degree
    that true "self-interest" rests at the "genotype" level
    (not at the level of the individual "organism")
    that "egoism" & "altruism" are relative (often indistinguishable) drives

    what makes humans unique amongst creatures of this planet
    is u'r & my mastery of "transaction #3" & "transaction #4"
    "guile" & "reciprocity" are not actually basic-drives , but (rather) are
    regulators of basic drives

    "guile" wears the "mask of altruism" to achieve egoistic ends
    "reciprocity" wears the "mask of egoism" to achieve altruistic ends

    "guile" & "reciprocity" are not innate genetic drives
    but "creatural" drives , working with-&-against genetic drives
    so as to make behavior-decisions which are not based upon inheritance
    but sprout-to-life free & independent of any inherent (genetic) drives

    guile & reciprocity regulate
    u'r & my
    hardwired drives
    they step u back/away-from these baseline drives , so that ...

    u can make u'r moral decisions
    free of (undue) influence
    (detached from the "survival necessities" of u'r base-level genome-imperatives)

    (living u'r life at the level of , not u'r drives but at
    the level of "regulation of u'r natural drives" , this
    "with-&-against"-ness
    is where a person's freedom actually comes from)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    if u read the Bible's Book of Genesis from (as it were) "back to front"
    it is a virtual essay (one long parable) upon the practice of "guile"
    (a "trickster" folktale with Yahweh acting as an Enki-like trickster deity)

    one character in each tale plays-like she or he is observant-of commonly-held values
    but instead this character lies or cheats or tricks other individuals
    in order to achieve their own (but ultimately Yahweh's) purposes

    in the ancient world , if u'r clan or tribe is
    an "out-group" at the fringe of a successful major civilization
    there is a tendency (within such a group as u'rs) to be rebellious

    either to be "resentful" toward the wealth & power of this nearby major civilization , or
    to have a "sense of calling" which points in a different direction from that of the larger civilization

    the former is (in that sense) "value"-directed guile (which is tradition-embracing) , while
    the latter is "purpose"-directed guile (which seeks a new kind of future)

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Zeus (the chief-god of ancient Greek civilization) is
    just another noisy mountain-top god full of lightning & thunder
    (a "weather god" , as is Yahweh's job-description in his early days)
    but Zeus has two other qualities of importance

    Zeus is a wily god , with subtle long-term stratagems
    Zeus is a god of hospitality for travelers/strangers

    civilized rulers (in the ancient world)
    exchange gifts with strangers

    (here) there is no net profit for either party (as there would be with marauding)
    but the "profit" is long-term , in that
    trade-relations (networks of economic & cultural transactions) are instituted
    (the other-party's surplus "goods" become , by sailing-ship or donkey-caravan
    u'r party's exotic luxury commodities)
    knotting-together a trade-network which profits both parties , down the road apiece
    (win-win)

    prosperity comes to everyone in the trading network , as long as
    u can keep the trade-routes open

    the planet's first empire , that of Sargon of Akkad
    has a vast trading network , which eventually falls apart
    (Sargon tries to keep the trade-routes open by force)

    later the Ur-III rulers in Mesopotamia keep the trade-routes open more successfully
    thru diplomacy

    both force & diplomacy have remained the key tools
    used by "civilization" for maintaining general prosperity & peace
    (key tools for , keeping the trade-routes open)
    but this always works best when there is a
    self-interested reciprocity involved

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    u find broad social meaning
    ("meaningful" morality)
    not in (innate drives like) egoism or altruism
    but in utilizing (instead) the "regulators" of these two innate-drives

    guile & reciprocity
    (rebelling in a subtle/survivable way & keeping the trade-routes open)

    this (to my way of looking) is where
    (in the ancient social world
    or even in the modern social world)

    u will find divinity

    (& , alongside it
    find meaningful freedom)

     
  13. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Salishan, good points. I would point out that your problem with micro-economics is widely shared. Just look at Smith's Theory of Sentiments (written just before Wealth of Nations). Clearly he wrote Wealth as a way to capture the non-monetary values of what should be economics. You also can look at behavioral or neuro or physics economics, a very recent attack on the monetary assumptions of micro-economics.

    Panta Rhei!
    (Everything Flows!)
     
  14. Eva

    Eva New Member

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    Okay, lets NOT put this consideration to far away from home and ask it this was: are you human? How do YOU feel when someone does something bad? Of course you feel bad when you see cruelty/abuse/mistreatment. And it means that you are inherently good. Who if not a good person would feel like that? How do you feel when you see an act of kindness/love/care? Of course your response to it is positive. It is yet another proof that inherently you are good.

    And I believe we can generalize the results of the test. Even though there may be rare examples of deviant people who act in the way of enjoying cruelty, it may be only appearances. Probably they don’t honestly feel that way either. If you know someone like that, ask what they REALLY feel. Personally I don’t know a single person who would flunk this test for our inherent goodness. Which means: I don’t know anyone who would be evil by nature.

    About the consequences of our beliefs of our nature: HUGE. If you come to a person believing that person is evil, being suspicious and fearful towards him/her, I bet the response you will get will not be very pleasing. For a contrast a person you treat as a good person will be more likely to show you kindness and genuine goodness. It is really that simple.
     
  15. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    some thoughts on minutia


    Luecy7
    exquisite creature

    i part company (only half-agreeing) with IowaGuy regarding "minutia"
    to me , it is not the "cumulative effect" of millions of bits of minutia
    which is significant
    instead , what is significant is
    this one bit of minutia in itself

    i am a nut for visual art
    if i spot a new art gallery , i will jaywalk across the street to check-out the exhibit

    inside the painting before u
    (if u'r eye has been trained-to-see by Modernist art critics)
    u look at the painting's "formal" concerns (Clement Greenberg)
    or its "psychological" content (Lucy Lippard)
    (but if u'r esthetic eye came of age under the rule of Postmodernism)
    u attune u'rself to the artwork's "signature concept" (Arthur Danto)
    or the emotional contour of the artist's "private quest" (Rosalind Krauss)

    standing before a canvas , i can play any of these 4 perceptual games
    but they (now) bore me
    they are archaic , are "analog" modes of perception
    unfit for the digital era u & i now live in

    today , i look for two interrelated things in a painting
    1) the software
    (the gambit the artist is spinning , directed at u the onlooker)
    2) the minutia
    (that one brushstroke or pictorial detail which
    turns a run-of-the-mill picture into something startling)

    something slightly out of place , which
    jars the nerves , or shifts the context
    (something which takes u the viewer out of u'r comfort zone
    maybe even , out of u'r self)

    minutia
    is something important to truth-seekers of the secular world
    to scientists & historians , to police detectives & journalists
    that one factual detail which busts-apart a long-held theory
    that one item of evidence which proves to be the smoking-gun in an investigation

    but in the religious realm , of morality & spirituality
    minutia is (in a different way , also) critical

    it is not the "big things" about a boy i'm with , but the minutia which tells me
    i want to sleep with this guy , i can trust this guy

    or when i pull a Henry David Thoreau & step outside myself in the presence of nature
    it is not nature's (sentimental) beauty which brings-on this breach
    no , it is
    (uh , u got it) the minutia
    (the little unexpected detail before me , which turns the switch
    &
    speaks volumes , about everything else around it)

    in a world of moral relativity
    where "good" & "evil" are murky concepts
    u need a compass to point u in the right direction

    a world , where "big ideas" (ideologically-driven prescriptions) are highly suspect
    (are deeply problematical)
    it is the minutia

    the minutia , where
    u can (if u look hard & deep enough) locate u'r bearings
    & (with contemplation , maybe just) begin to

    see consequence
    {originally posted 10-25-2011}​
     
  16. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Luecy7
    exquisite creature

    Do you claim to know me? Do you intend that as some form of a blind compliment?

    i am a nut for visual art
    ...
    today , i look for two interrelated things in a painting
    1) the software
    (the gambit the artist is spinning , directed at u the onlooker)
    2) the minutia
    (that one brushstroke or pictorial detail which
    turns a run-of-the-mill picture into something startling)

    3) Doing (or attempting) art, as the artist does? If you wish to know some software and some minutia, as perhaps the artist did, then don't you think it would be good to get out of the seat and go do the art? Go play the sport?

    minutia
    is something important to truth-seekers of the secular world
    to scientists & historians , to police detectives & journalists
    that one factual detail which busts-apart a long-held theory
    that one item of evidence which proves to be the smoking-gun in an investigation

    I'd say a truth-seeker who does not seek by doing, and claims to see the evidence, has actually fabricated it. Even a scientist will agree that it is a theory, or a hypothesis, until you've done it.

    the minutia , where
    u can (if u look hard & deep enough) locate u'r bearings
    & (with contemplation , maybe just) begin to
    see consequence

    I find that contemplation is good. The consequence of contemplation only, is not so good.
     
  17. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    honest doing


    Luecy7
    exquisite creature

    people who see the world
    thru the looking-glass of ideology

    fail to see the minutia
    (the tiny details of real-life which
    put the lie to their systematic world-view)

    thus fail to perceive the
    actual consequences of their ideology

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    art is not
    (nor ever has been)
    about "contemplation"

    it is like how Thoreau looks at nature
    u have to look hard (& deep)

    u have to have empathy for the patterns , & drives
    of what u are looking at (outside) , & of what (inside) u are
    apprehending , deep within u'r self

    (whether u are artist , or
    the observer of art)

    it is the stuff of honesty

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Luecy7 , would u have Thoreau
    himself try to build a nest as efficiently & diligently as
    the nest of the critters
    which he spends hours (days) carefully observing
    as their nest-building endeavor progresses
    ?

    Thoreau observes , he writes
    (i frequently write about the art i observe
    what about u ? )

    yes , it is important to engage in the world , but
    if i simply make art (my own art)
    with no thought of anything else (anything outside of me)
    this would be solipsism
    (this would be to reject engaging in the world)

    (what do u "write about" , Luecy7 ?
    what do u look hard at ?
    what do u deeply engage in ?
    where is u'r "honesty" ? )

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    the "software" & the "minutia"
    this is what Thoreau writes about
    this is what i write about

    because (when u genuinely engage in the world)
    these are the two
    (these are the extreme) edges of reality
    which matter


     
  18. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    Luecy7
    exquisite creature

    Paul of Tarsus thinks
    all humanity is marked by the Fall of Adam

    but Paul sees each individual person as
    a creature of spirit , too
    spirit connected directly to the Divine

    if only , u find the grace to embrace it

     
  19. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    So then you intend it as a blind accusation. I find that the Divine is not an it. I shall presume: neither are you. Thus whether or not you are exquisite, I shall not be calling you a creature. The girls that I know wouldn't appreciate it, and neither would I. :)
     

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