why society should be more accepting of a Utopia

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by M00se1989, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    Mrs. Levitas claims:

    In William Morris’s 1890 utopia News from Nowhere, there is a very short chapter, ‘Concerning Politics’. The visitor, William Guest, asks his informant ‘How do you manage with politics?’. He receives the reply ‘… we are very well off as to politics, - because we have none.’ This lecture is about the relationship between sociology and utopia, and some might expect it to be equally brief, and for the same reason, that there is none.

    H. G. Wells, however, whose A Modern Utopia was published a hundred years ago this year, thought otherwise. He argued that:

    … the creation of utopias – and their exhaustive criticism – is the proper and distinctive method of sociology (Wells 1914: 204)

    This is counter-intuitive. Sociology, surely, is a discipline of social science, and even those who doubt its scientific credentials, or question the meaning of scientificity itself would argue that it offers thick description and explanation of reality, of what IS. Utopia, on the other hand, is essentially about what is not, and what ought to be. The only relationship between the two that would seem to make sense, therefore, is a sociology of utopia, in which sociology is the master narrative explaining the various forms and expressions of utopianism in relation to their social context. Wells’s statement implies something else – that we must consider sociology as utopia, and utopia as sociology.​

    she also states that it is not the idea that is debated it is the physical attainment society itself bumps heads on.

    Levitas, Ruth. "The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society, or, Why Sociologists and Others Should Take Utopia More Seriously". (n.d.) Bristol.ac.uk. July 27, 2010.



    Mod Edit: Add source citation; see Action Note at #2590465/54.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2010
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  3. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    There is no such thing as Utopia, unless we change the basic nature of Homo sapiens.

    Human variability is such that what is excellent for one person is anathema for another.

    For example ; I am non religious, and opposed to anyone ramming that nonsense down my, or anyone else's, throat. Yet a religious person would include in his/her definition of Utopia, a very strong religious commitment.

    Can we change human nature? Maybe. Some time in the not too distant future perhaps? Genetically modifying people to make them all good natured vegetables? Drugging them to make them placid, perhaps?

    If we did that, we could make Utopia. Of course, you have to ask yourself if that is actually desirable. Personally, I see a degree of stress and conflict as essential to driving our species on to greater things. But that is just me.
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I think they are possible with like minded individuals on a voluntary basis. They should be relatively isolated from the world and self-sufficient. We will see successful models before it's ever implemented on a large scale (out of necessity).
     
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    There have been many attempts of this, they usually get referred to as "Cult Groups". (The Jonestown Massacre being a rather upsetting but altogether true story about how a dysfunctional perception of Utopia involved the mass killing of people through poisoned Koolaid)

    Utopian societies have always been slated, mainly due to the dystopian detractors like Masochists. Obviously all people have their own individual reasoning, their own beliefs, their own opinions. While some might genuinely look towards "working together for the common good", others will be looking for the "Getting everyone else to work together so I don't have to do jack shiznit to get whatever I want". The Latter are the usual persons referred to as Phat Kats or "Corporate Money Grabbing Whores" (take your pick)

    I can't remember which author was interviewed (It's a tossup between P. K. Dick and William Gibson, Heck it could of been Orwell) however they let loose a rather interesting gem for those of you out there interested in writing Scifi stories, They defined at first they would invent within their mind a Utopian society with all it's splender and refinements, the pinnacle of human achievement. At this point they suggested that a Utopian society does not make for a decent story, what makes for a decent story is how that Utopian society climaxes and then fails under it's own weight, either by protagnoists identifying flaws within the system and causing an underground movement to pull the society apart or by society itself failing naturally and crumbling over time. (The stories from that can be how the society attempts to reinvent itself to keep "control" but in turn becomes more and more Authoritarian like "Nineteen Eighty-Four".)
    .
     
  8. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    It is by a summation of everything mathematical, probable, but also basic (which is going to occur naturally in the world already) that we are going to change our school of thought. The generation that is existing now. So instead of being greedy to ourselves let us voice our opinions amongst eachother and make it a better place.
    If we teach our children in other words they will learn our world better than us, that is how expansions are made in the world of knowledge. A person's life can always be made to think of a utopia or just be happy to be alive. I say get rid of the (unnecessary or repetitive) (items or ideas) in school and they will learn faster. and instead of letting a student climb let them drop into their life. ECCE!! HOMO sapiens have always been able to inspire each other through a greater intellect being present and accurately explaining the details (being a good teacher in other words). We put the best learners with the best teachers already in colleges, why not do the same in a nearby school. have them show up from time to time and answer a couple questions that pertains to their subject in more basic words. Set up some sort of program for it. it would at-least be a good start. on an optional basis.

    besides what walks on four legs at first, two legs in the middle and, three legs at the end of it's life?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  9. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    You never hear about the successful ones. It's boring.
     
  11. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    and what mental institution imposes these experiments??? there also has to be some person with the right leadership skills on the island otherwise it just turns into Gillagans. Besides this is a successful on in an (evolutionary/brave new world) kind of sense. the difference being evolution is on top and holds more concrete values than the imaginary brave new world ones.
    also correlates to the hindu caste system which we should hope to break the barriers of in a utopia. Barriers also correlates to dogs in a societal sense that a fence will make them fight, but if left to socialize they will become part of a pack.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  12. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    and it all correlates to the statement

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.


    because we are always stepping on each-other's toes some times for somebody's benefit.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Really?
    How does "a summation of everything mathematical" apply to human society?

    And you believe this because...?

    What do you regard as "unnecessary and repetitive"?

    Examples please.
    Which utopian societies?
    How, exactly, have these masochists slated the utopian societies?

    Untrue. Metaphysics is not physics. In Greek or any other language. One clue is that there are two separate words for the two different things, and they're both Greek words.

    That isn't a statement.
     
  14. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Hey, I thought you were an advocate of utopias, why do you call their experimentation a "mental institution"? There doesn't necessarily have to be a charismatic leader, it all depends on how the utopia is designed. It may be egalitarian, where everyone shares leadership equally.
     
  15. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Coughmyquotecough

    For the record, to make quotes here on sciforums you need both an opening [ quote] tag and a closing [ /quote] tag or you end up bleeding a quote into your post and people make mistakes about who said what.

    As for an answer to the query, I've yet to see a Utopian Society exist. I mean lets take a look at an example, for instance those working at CERN currently. They all have a Utilitarian goal, at least that's what all the funding is for, moving science on, building bigger and better bombs. Out of those that work together there, they don't all move in the same direction like a school of fish, occasionally they can abraise each other and have conflicting views (an example would be Walt Wagner and his interpretation of events of the LHC)

    Okay CERN scientists aren't necessarily Masochists, but their views aren't always going to be in alignment with each other, in fact some might form a pseudo-masochist view by adopting and opposition perspective just for the sake of generally creating a decent philosophical perspective.

    Although saying that, I'm sure if you walked into a Pub there and offered up a round to all the Scientists and technicians, it would be Utopic while the taps flowed.
     
  16. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Ergh!!
    Sorry.

    I can state that is true for at least one of the team, from personal experience. But he didn't want to talk physics he wanted to talk about butterflies and rocks. :bawl:
     
  17. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Of course, to make meaningful statements on this topic, we need an agreement on what utopia actually is. Guess what? I do not think that is possible.

    In a purely materialistic sense, humankind is moving towards it anyway, already. In the past 100 years, the number of people afflicted by hunger has reduced; the number dying per year as a result of war has been dropping since the end of WWII, and we are conquering more and more diseases.

    In addition, at least in the wealthy west, we have been slowly reducing the need for back breaking work.

    Assuming current trends continue, it is predictable that, within another 100 years, robotics will be highly develeped and reduce even further the need for hard physical, or boring repetitive manual work. Medicine will improve. Hopefully hunger and war will reduce substantially.

    Those trends indicate a move towards a kind of utopia, even if it is utopia only in the material sense.
     
  18. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

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    I've had this conversation with may smart people and we all agree that a Utopian society is not possible with a population greater than a few hundred (maybe a few thousand). Once you move past this 'Village status' then we must find some other form of government to bind the smaller communities together. The only way to create a complete 'National Utopian Society' (NUS) is by eliminating the freedom of choice and this is not acceptable to me. A constant rule of mine, when considering a Utopian society, is that all people are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Those we've already discovered are in fact rooted in truth (it may not be the hole truth but it's still truth).
    I would argue that it's not the basic nature of Humans that would need to be changed but instead our social conditioning. I believe we altered our instinctive behaviors a long time ago. Sure it happened thousands of years ago but we still insist on our modified practices. This brings me to my personal desire for a NUS. I hate money. I hate money. I hate money. I hate money and if you missed it the first time, I hate money. A Utopian society is the only form of governance that eliminates it. I've made it a 'personal goal of mine' to create a viable government based on a localized Utopian society (more of an intellectual exercise than a actual way to govern individuals). The hole premiss of a Utopian society is meant to challenge our social conditioning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  19. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Personally, I do not even agree that small utopias can exist. There have been literally thousands of attempts to set up utopian communes in many nations. Few of these survive even ten years. The usual reason for termination is that the members start quarreling among themselves over how the commune should be run.

    Occasionally, a utopian commune is led by a single person with sufficient charisma to hold it together through these ups and downs. However, even that does not last. Either the charismatic leader dies, or gets disillusioned, or else goes off the rails himself.

    We have the example of Jonestown. A case here in my country was the Centrepoint commune under the leadership of a charismatic 'guru' called Bert Potter.
    http://www.crime.co.nz/c-files.aspx?ID=1844
    Bert Potter abused his position and ended up doing 16 years in jail for child rape.

    Frankly, the closest we have got to a utopia is the current democracy we all live in. Highly imperfect, of course. However, at least there are guarantees of human rights, and laws and police to keep people from misbehaving too much. I think the system will continue to improve. Computers and robotics will give us further tools for creating an improved society.
     
  20. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

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    This was all about religion and personally, I think that every human being on the face of the Earth should learn about this incident in great detail. It is a cautionary tail about putting to much faith in a single individual. To call it a Utopian society is only partly correct. All the members of 'The Peoples Temple' were asked to hand over all they had to the temple. This gave Jim Jones a great deal of centralized power and authority which is counter intuitive to a true Utopian society. This also highlights a fundamental flaw in the idea of a Utopia. Idividual greed and the want to control (Alpha behavior).
     
  21. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

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    What about the Amish? They are the closest thing we currently have to a viable Utopian society. They have lasted more than one hundred years witnout falling apart.
     
  22. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    I am not sure we could describe the Amish as Utopian. They certainly do not permit the freedoms the rest of us value so much. For example : an Amish can only marry another member of the Mennonite church. If you fall in love outside the faith, you either leave the church, or have to leave your loved one.

    Anyone who fails to abide by the rules of the church gets shunned, or even excommunicated. They are harsh and unforgiving. Not IMHO a utopia.

    I am not sure you could describe them as stable either. The original faith has already split into 8 sub sects.
     
  23. M00se1989 Banned Banned

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    It is already utopian in some form . it's just our differing views on each-other's words or specific language.

    soma...soma..soma. I do not NEED nor WANT.
     

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