01-24-09, 02:15 PM #1
The human paradox might correctly be said to be: Humans are the one member of the animal kingdom wherein many members consider themselves to be also a member of a supernatural kingdom.
I define a paradox here to mean a common sense view of reality that is a logical contradiction, which presents a problem that cannot be solved but only ameliorated in some way through the process of our comprehending its nature.
Because most, but not all, humans are possessed by this paradoxical world view we pay a heavy price due to our constant effort to preserve this “fantastic ambition” rather than understanding its source and making corrections accordingly.
As a member of the animal kingdom we consume to live. We have an appetite and in feeding that appetite we often kill and consume other animals. We feel good after we consume and we will do whatever is necessary to continue to consume and to live. We have an absolute attraction to Eros, i.e. we have a consuming desire to do what is necessary to preserve our life.
Good is that which promotes our life and evil is that which threatens our life.
Eros drives us to a desire to live forever. Our brain has developed to the point at which we recognize that we will die but we are driven by the urge not to die.
“Man transcends death not only by continuing to feed his appetites, but especially by finding a meaning for his life, some kind of larger scheme into which he fits…the “immortal self” can take very spiritual forms, and spirituality is not a simple reflex of hunger and fear. It is an expression of the will to live, the burning desire of the creature to count, to make a difference on the planet because he has lived, has emerged from it, and has worked, suffered, and died.”
Many humans express this common sense view of belonging to a supernatural world through their religious belief; however, even those who are not religious are often captives of the mind/body dichotomy that is so prevalent in Western philosophy.
I think that to deal effectively with this paradox we must become sophisticated enough to comprehend its source and to modify it at that point or not at all.
What do you think?
Quotes from “Escape from Evil” by Ernest Becker
01-24-09, 02:23 PM #2
how do we know that dolphins do not consider themselves of an another supernatural kingdom?
01-24-09, 02:24 PM #3
01-24-09, 02:38 PM #4
01-24-09, 03:32 PM #5
I suppose humans could be viewed as something of a remarkably curious paradox. Not only are humans supposedly "animals," part of nature, but we also transcend nature, which sort of fuels my view, that we should be encouraged to multiply naturally a bit like animals, after marriage of course, welcoming babies to happen as they happen, and yet humans should also transcend nature, by not letting natural boundaries constrain our natural population growth. Something like letting the baby within the womb, eventually naturally "outgrow" the womb, towards whatever "birth" or transition into a far better realm, seems to possibly await.
Too bad, so people people are so closed-minded, as to not see the curious beauty of such strange and curious paradoxes, that so much benefit humans.
01-24-09, 03:36 PM #6
A few hours ago, I watched a “save the shark” program on TV which concluded with “While this program ran, 15,000 more sharks were killed.” Program also stated that more than 90% of the sharks have been killed. (By long line fishing mainly for the shark fins.) It pointed out that the population of small fish (not of commercial size. Fish that freely pass thru the trawlers nets) that sharks mainly feed on is now rapidly expanding and most are at the bottom of the food chain. This explosion of small fish is now devouring the photoplanton, faster than replacement rate.
Most of the world’s oxygen is produced by photoplanton of the oceans and photoplanton is the principle “sink” for the CO2 man’s burning of fossil fuels is releasing. Trees make only a relatively small contribution to both these essential tasks, and man is cutting them down – mainly for firewood but also for the fine mahogany etc furniture the richer humans can afford to buy. Main reason the Amazon forest is being destroyed is that a single mahogany tree can be worth $1000 when delivered illegally to the saw mill. (That is equal to about 6 months work at the minium wage in Brazil - a strong incentive to illegally cut the trees down in the huge un-policable forest.) The illegal loggers burn that area of the forest to hid their crimes after taking a few selected trees.
Think about this next time you enjoy a shark meat dinner on your mahogany table.
The TV program had some shocking scenes – sharks pulled on ship’s deck, for less than a minute while a couple of men cut all their fins off and then pushed them back into the water. This was followed by some under water video showing them sink, helpless without their fins, to the bottom to slowly bleed to death, if not killed by lack of oxygen first. (Sharks must constantly swim to force water thru their gills.) Either way it is about as horrible death as I can imagine. I did not see the start of the program and do not remember for sure, but think it was a BBC documentary.
SUMMARY: It is man who now decides (either knowing or in ignorance) which creatures live or die, not nature as it has been for millions of prior years. Man is clearly an out of control cancer that is killing much of the evolved biosphere, and probably himself when it is too badly disturbed from the conditions under which mankind evolved. That big brain ape is probably mother nature’s greatest mistake in the long run. Too "smart" (and arrogant) for his own good. - That is the real paradox.
Last edited by Billy T; 01-24-09 at 07:05 PM.
01-24-09, 05:07 PM #7
and congratulations to the Thread starter Coberst.
It is obvious that we do not work to our own survival in a way that is consistent to the long term.
Immediate gratification vs long term needs is a constant part of this conflict or paradox.
A hungry man in Brasil dying from starvation is not going to be too concerned about what happens in 100 years is he?
01-24-09, 05:22 PM #8
I might add as part of discussion that I have noticed I guess like a lot of observant people that the worlds population seems to have moved away from investing in their post-death futures.
In other words leaving less behind for family and children to inherit or utilize for their own children's futures etc.
An example classically shown is planned obsolescence, automobiles , houses, roads, commercial buildings, airports, and other infrastructures, systems, etc all planned to last only relatively short periods.
Government investment in major infrastructure such as energy delivery systems, food chain and supply, and logistic's have all suffered and moved towards shorter and shorter terms.
A distinct lack of vision beyond the next century is evident.
I have friends in Europe living in over 1000 year old houses [ no not mansions just houses] . Built to last hey?
However do they build like that today? Ha
The pyramids of Egypt as another example, Greek and Roman artifacts etc..
All will out last our modern investments by many years...
01-24-09, 05:29 PM #9
01-24-09, 08:13 PM #10
And the pyramids are not "lasting". When completed, they had perfectly-smooth surfaces that gleaned in the sunlight, were parts of massive complexes of other support structures which are all dust, and had interiors which have now been gutted.
You worship antiquity too much. I suspect it is an extension of your Naturalistic Fallacy, which is the dumbest and most evil philosophy on the planet today.
01-24-09, 08:29 PM #11
01-24-09, 08:30 PM #12
Also regarding automobiles it is a fact that most if not all contemporary manufacturers wind back supply of components and parts in s given time frame. You should know this. And I wonder why you don't?
Also a simple observation turns into a conspiracy theory in your mind which says more about what you actually fear than what you suggest you don't.
The facts remain to be seen if you choose to look..and of course our shark fishermen and forest burners do as you do and ignore the obvious ramifications of their actions because of their greed and selfish short term interests.
Tell me Swivel do you have children that are going to choke on your self denial and ignorance?
Conspiracy theory indeed!
01-24-09, 08:40 PM #13
You are comparing the age of a pile of rocks to the age of modern structures? How can you tell how long modern structures last?
Here's the mistake: You scan the entire Earth and see the 5 things still standing (though you mention Roman ruins which are just that... in ruins). The things you CAN'T SEE are the billions of ancient structures that rotted, burned and crumbled. The obvious nature of this bias is mind-numbing.
We have a lunar landing module on the moon that will be in great shape, barring the sort of unlucky meteor strike that would end any structure, ancient or modern, long after everything your precious ancients ever build. Same goes for our space probes, artificial diamonds, our gold bars, our bunkers, our modern concrete buildings, etc...
Auto manufacturers stop stocking parts for older vehicles because there are less and less of them on the road. There is no such thing as planned obsolescence. Every manufacturer is competing with the others to create longer-lasting tires, batteries, light-bulbs, computers, TV's, etc...
You aren't even close to being correct here.
01-24-09, 09:28 PM #14
01-24-09, 09:31 PM #15
The local super expensive ultra modern Shopping centre is expecting to be ready for demolishing in 60 years according to the engineers that built it.
Years ago families invested in-perpetuity, family name, assets and welfare...don;t see that all that much these days.
01-24-09, 10:04 PM #16
The legacy of Chernobyl reactor #4 is good testimony to short sited-ness and I suppose you will consider that to be a conspiracy theory?
still burning and super hot even today. Any thoughts as to what that underground fire is doing to the environment?
please note that coinçidence if you like of Gorby and Reagen meeting for the first time 3 months earlier to wind down the USSR - [I dont believe in coincidence by the way]
01-24-09, 10:05 PM #17
And one of the first pyramids cracked its foundation and was abandoned. Another started to shift and was also abandoned. They didn't even last one lifetime! And after the first intermediary phase Pharaohs saw the pyramids for the colossal failures that they were and started burying themselves in the valley of the Kings. You are worshiping something that you haven't studied, obviously.
Some primitive societies lived in structures that had to be re-built every day. Europe is littered with the shells of castles, crumbling and ruined. Your major argument still hinges on large piles of crumbling rock that didn't even serve their intended purpose: to protect the bodies and treasures of the dead.
Big-time fail, dude.
01-25-09, 02:14 AM #18
I think that one substantial consequence of this mind/body dichotomy is that today we are left with a Sunday-school morality as our guide for adaptation of relationships in a high tech world.
01-25-09, 02:17 AM #19
Originally Posted by swivel
It is also true that, for example, few of the houses being constructed today in the suburbs of the US will last as long as a great deal - not a vanishingly small percentage - of the construction visible in the older cities and more prosperous rural areas of Europe.
We seem to have entered an era of unprecedented human expansion and influence, and we do lack an appropriate ethical support or moral structure to guide our doings. The old agricultural and pastoral religions are simply not adequate for the modern decisions.
01-25-09, 02:38 AM #20
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