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We are animals . . . but we don’t have to act like it

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Please be informed that we will be shortly sending you our latest monologue directly by email. It's a pdf, and only takes up 8MB of disk space.

 

Moat that dam!

 

-S-

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*headdesk headdesk headdesk*

 

WHY DO I KEEP READING THIS STUFF?!

 

(goes off to consciously will chloroplasts to spontaneously generate in his freakin' skin so he has the energy to process the giant mounds of text)

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Originally Posted By: Ephesos
WHY DO I KEEP READING THIS STUFF?!


You are a glutton for punishment?
It might be easier to wire yourself into a USB port to power yourself off your computer.

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Hah, again I don't know the backstory going on here at all, and this is the first time I've ever read what Synergy is saying. That being said, I don't at all mind reading his posts, and I really don't see anyone actually addressing their substance. I'm sure that's because they probably don't feel like it would be fruitful, but I'd rather see substance than mockery.

 

Most of what I'm really getting from reading Synergy's posts are Asimov-esque science-fictiony predictions that could certainly hold some level of truth.

 

Originally Posted By: synergy
So far, life has been almost exclusively operating on an unconscious level (think autopilot/instinct.) Once it hits the point where it advances sufficiently in its conscious awareness of itself and, subsequently understands the nature of all life, and then begins to harness its own capacities through consciousness, that's when the really fun part begins.

 

This intuitively makes sense for a distant-future prediction about where our civilization can go with advancing technology. Something a la small genetic modifications, general increased scientific understanding, and developing more useful technologies all which lead to increases in our brain power, stamina, whathaveyou, which allow increased development of said technologies. Given tens of thousands of years, I have no idea what will become of this, but I can see it producing humans very different than we are.

 

Then you say stuff like this, and it sounds like you're abusing quantum science and saying a lot of mystical mumbo jumbo:

 

Originally Posted By: synergy
Collapsing quantum fields of infinite possibility intentionally into the singular actuality of your choice is a powerful tool indeed.

 

And then it sounds like you make many claims in which you pretend to knowledge you don't really have:

 

Originally Posted By: synergy
Necessarily so. The drive of life dictates that it has to happen at this time in our evolution, so no one could stop it if they wanted to. Life/God is way bigger than us and will do what it's going to do. And like I said, it could be with or without us, but my vote of confidence is for the latter.

 

Originally Posted By: synergy
We'll demonstrate a higher way, but it will require a higher consciousness than we've mostly been operating in so far. Namely an awareness once again that anything we do cannot be separate from ourself. What we do to any other part of life, we do to ourself.

 

Will we? I see it as an entirely possible outcome that we will be hit by a meteor, destroy ourselves with nuclear war or some other catastrophic event, and otherwise utterly fail as a species. I hope we don't, but there's no evidence for an external force preventing this from happening.

 

This is where I find your thinking to run into immense trouble, and correct me if I'm mischaracterizing you. The problem with thinking our future is predestined a certain way is the same problem I have with religious people who believe in an afterlife or that God is sitting there making sure nothing goes awry: namely, it lets people be okay with not actually doing something to influence a situation themselves. Why bother saving dying people from an earthquake if they're just going to be living happily forever in heaven afterwards? Why take steps here and now to ensure we don't end up in a nuclear holocaust if there's some underlying force of nature at work protecting us? I think this is dangerous thinking indeed. Purpose exists, but it's whatever we decide to make it. I agree in large part with how you think we, as a species, should develop. But I think the only way that's going to happen is if we actually do it, and it could certainly go another way.

 

At the heart of the matter, I think, is that the universe behaves exactly like it should if, at the bottom of it, there is no intrinsic purpose or direction or guiding force. There are no apparent special, unexplainable events in the history of life on earth that are not consistent with regular random genetic variation, random events like asteroid collisions, random tectonic shifts, and so forth. Sometimes organisms go extinct, sometimes they get hit by lightning, sometimes they are amazingly successful, and sometimes, like certain bacteria, they sit around for billions of years not really doing much.

 

Human nature itself is clear evidence of this. We can become angry to the point that we make dumb decisions; we have impractical built-in evolutionary baggage like a love of sweet foods that is producing ever-escalating levels of obesity; we have a tendency to divide people into groups and be totally non-empathetic towards people not inside our group (people not of our race, sexism, people from other countries, people of different religion); and, as history has demonstrated, we have a near-limitless ability to believe things that are manifestly false about the world. Dancing cannot make it rain, nor is there any good reason to believe Zeus is a real deity. That hasn't stopped people from attributing actions and meaning to various sources that I'm sure you will freely admit are non-existent. We constantly seek explanations for why events occur, and this can be an incredibly powerful tool for discovery, curiosity, and advancement. But you have to be careful about applying it too liberally, and looking for meaning everywhere.

 

So the only sort of arguments of universal meaning that I think hold water would be to say that the entire universe was somehow externally tinkered with at the outset, having its initial conditions preset, and then allowed to run its course. Which I freely admit is totally possible. But then why make it look like there's no design? It could be some elaborate plan by a previous civilization that evolved similarly to us, become god-like in nature, then created a new universe or collapsed the universe back on itself in exactly the right way to produce our big bang. Maybe we'll eventually do something like this. It's certainly fun to think about, but I think it strains credulity to place bets one way or another.

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Originally Posted By: 12899

tl;dr


I didn't post a tl;dr summary because the tl;dr part was expressly directed at Synergy. Thanks for letting everyone know you didn't read it though. That was a really useful and thoughtful post. And how you managed to double the size of the original post without actually adding anything! Great job old boy.

*facepalm*

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Quote:
Will we? I see it as an entirely possible outcome that we will be hit by a meteor, destroy ourselves with nuclear war or some other catastrophic event, and otherwise utterly fail as a species. I hope we don't, but there's no evidence for an external force preventing this from happening.

we have a larger chance of dying from a meteor than being hit by lightening, and yellowstone is on the verge of exploding.
i think we are all closer to death than we care to admit.

oh, Thuryl don't kill your self we will miss you.

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Originally Posted By: I need no introduction
we have a larger chance of dying from a meteor than being hit by lightening, and yellowstone is on the verge of exploding.
i think we are all closer to death than we care to admit.


Er... I'm not sure "on the verge" is accurate. Certainly, it could explode, and if it did the U.S. would be kinda hosed. But it's not going to happen this week.

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Originally Posted By: Goldenking
Pleas for helping the environment often bank on morality and the "nature of nature" arguments. However, to be perfectly frank, people don't care about the sacred nature of nature that we supposedly have an obligation to defend. What people do care about is power, and survival. Any effective call that people make concerning the environment has to have a real, demonstrable impact that we must avert. This impact has to be, in effect, greater than the the inconvenience of being more green. People don't so much care about saving the polar bears, but they do care about not getting flooded out by rising sea levels.

Frankly, even if any of you may feel that, for personal reasons, saving nature is enough of a reason to save nature, the majority of people need something more substantial to rally behind.

Um, yeah, except the people who have the most resources will be the least effected by environmental problems while the people who will be severely effected don't have many resources to work with, so making that sort of argument instead of a moral/ethics-based one is useless.

---

Originally Posted By: Salmon
When did this thread start sucking so badly?

Always.

Dikiyoba.

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Even the people with the most resources will be affected, though, or their children will be. And their beach houses certainly will be. The problem is mostly that it's hard to sell a change in lifestyle today to prevent a drastic change tomorrow when the exact mechanisms and exact change are unclear. If climatologists could just say how many millions will not have to be spent in the next thirty years to save your waterfront property if you reduce your carbon footprint so much, people would probably get on board. Concrete numbers work wonders.

 

—Alorael, who finds Sporefrog's post well-reasoned and apt. It's also likely to turn into the same morass that has resulted in Synergy being dismissed as whipping out New Age buzzwords.

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Originally Posted By: Extravehicular Activities
—Alorael, who finds Sporefrog's post well-reasoned and apt. It's also likely to turn into the same morass that has resulted in Synergy being dismissed as whipping out New Age buzzwords.


I've already berated him for this aptitude. He assures me, he has no control over it. It's Tourette's, after a fashion.

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I have to say I love the optimistic well-wishers who compose this forum. Thank you, as ever, for your warm, kind, and gentle votes of confidence, appreciation, and tolerance. You surely inspire one to wish to demonstrate one's best.

 

For Sporefrog: Thank you for the considerate discussion you offer. I'm enjoying it, and I appreciate your generosity of spirit.

 

Here are some short statements that may clarify where I'm coming from. One: Anything I state is, of course, an opinion, though I don't mean it's the product of my fantasy. Two: I don't believe in predetermination of the kind where any particular future is inevitable. The kind of future I believe we will experience is still entirely dependent on whether or not we choose to do what it takes to get there. Three: I don't believe in an external force to push us in any direction. I believe in an internal one that is hard-written into the coding of all life. Four: I do believe in a universal consciousness or God, as we most often describe it, behind the existence, and therefore purpose for all of life. Point four shapes everything else more than any other point, because let's face it, it's a big one. It probably means we'll differ on the meaning of a lot of things we each observe, or whether we see inherent meaning in them at all. Five: I do believe that the future evolution of consciousness may involve learning to manipulate energy/matter on the quantum level, consciously choosing a particular selection out of the field of possibilities. I don't see this as bizarre or mystical at all, just on the very fringe of scientific exploration at present.

 

To elaborate on point two: I heartily agree with you that it is vitally important that we do something—a lot of things—and not be passive and apathetic about where we are going. I share a similar concern that a number of religious (and non-religious) beliefs in our world lead people to be passive, to the detriment of us all. And, incidentally, the only way to change the world is to change beliefs. I see that we tend to focus on any other level than the one of beliefs in trying to fix our problems. My girlfriend just called and mentioned how one person zoomed to take a parking spot she was waiting for, and another turned the wrong way down the road to take the other. This was at the flagship Costco here in Kirkland, WA. I see this behavior as a largely unconscious result of the survival of the fittest/I am separate from everything else belief system. When we believe, as some like that Jesus fellow or Buddha or others came around claiming, that we are one, connected, inseparable from one another and therefore would do well to treat each other as ourself, it leads to very different behaviors. Belief is everything and I don't see the ones we've collectively embraced for a few millennia now serving us and life too successfully.

 

We need to direct ourselves consciously, mindfully into our future at this point, as we face a nearly full capacity of human population on the planet. I think Student of Trinity is probably right that we will balance out around 10 billion. Self-determination under an adapted and expanded set of beliefs is the only way I can see us make it to a far distant possible trippy, sci-fi kind of reality like I describe, if that is indeed what awaits us.

 

The nature of consciousness is free will and choice for ourselves. But we have to make choices that work with the whole. I think dialogs, even like this, are an essential part of that process. They can create new thoughts for us, which can lead to new beliefs, which will result in new behaviors. I get repeated comments that I engage these dialogs because I am trying to convince someone of something through argument. That's not the point. For me, it's the whole notion of putting more ideas, thoughts, and possibilities into the mix. Time, and the individual will sort it all out for the self. Ideas are like seeds which may germinate eventually upon further experience and information.

 

If our future is not like what I'm describing, I still expect it will be something similarly far beyond our present capacities—and even our imaginations. The evolution of consciousness itself is what is most powerful and fascinating to me. I think we've underexamined the possibilities in increasing orders of consciousness developing. One scale of order is the community that makes up any complex organism. Can we imagine what is possible if organization and consciousness were taken up another equivalent level, another magnitude of order? I really do think life is going to keep making fantastic advances of this sort wherever it exists, as long as it persists.

 

To elaborate on points three and four together: The collective choice is up to us. There's no God that needs it to happen any particular way or is limited by what happens on this wee planet. We can obliterate life on this planet if we choose, and the show will go on elsewhere. God continues to enjoy its expression. My point is the show is going on, and it is here with the specific purpose of going on somewhere. I doubt we're the only show in town. But we've got a pretty good show roughly drafted here so far. It would be a shame for all that creativity to go to waste. And as I like to vote repeatedly, I think we are going to keep this show going, but we may have some rough performances coming up to mixed review, as we tinker dramatically with the script. We've told a good story for a long time, but the audience is getting restless and we've learned so much more about our craft. Time to amp it up a notch. No one wants to see Cats forever. Well, almost no one. I think we have a couple of furries here.

 

The origin of life on this planet and in this universe itself is intriguing, and remains our biggest mystery probably. How and where does life start at all? It is possible other life planted or generated life by intention on this planet or that this entire universe is the intentional creation of other life. I think we have a way to go before we'd even have the means to figure that one out.

 

Sporefrog (and anyone else for that matter), will you paint more of a picture for me where you imagine life and human beings will be going in your paradigm? And, how about making it your most optimistic picture, at that? The less optimistic ones are probably all too familiar by now.

 

-S-

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Originally Posted By: Synergy
Sporefrog (and anyone else for that matter), will you paint more of a picture for me where you imagine life and human beings will be going in your paradigm? And, how about making it your most optimistic picture, at that? The less optimistic ones are probably all too familiar by now.

-S-


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So, Thuryl, do you consider Zager And Evans' song to be a more optimistic or less optimistic picture? I thought it was optimistic that they sang we might lazily take another 7,500 years to destroy ourselves.

 

-S-

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I don't think the song would sound as good if each stanza was an increment of several decades. Even the *510 lines sound jarring (intentional, or were they running out of things that rhyme with 'five'?).

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Originally Posted By: Synergy
So, Thuryl, do you consider Zager And Evans' song to be a more optimistic or less optimistic picture? I thought it was optimistic that they sang we might lazily take another 7,500 years to destroy ourselves.

-S-


i saw that post before you edited it

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An addendum for Sporefrog on human nature, which you brought up and I didn't address.

 

I think our take on what human nature is depends a whole lot on where we are looking, would you agree? I will agree that the collective majority of human behavior through recorded history reflects the depiction you offered. I also see the exceptions in the mix, pointing to another way. What do we make of the anomalies, if we even have eyes to see them? If you believe accounts of figures like Jesus or Buddha being at all as described, do they represent human nature, because they didn't behave according to what you describe as human nature. What do we make of altruism, of the seeming human instinct for many people to react before they even have time to think to risk their life to save that of a stranger? Is that human nature?

 

I will suggest that the qualities we presently see as human nature are the resulting product of human beings when they are operating under certain beliefs and assumptions about themselves. I see some of our deepest beliefs root us in fear, and therefore, a large part of our collective and individual behavior is motivated by fear. And we all know that fear leads to the Dark Side™.

 

What might "human nature" look like if we were operating on a different set of beliefs about ourselves and the nature of life? I guess I'm saying that a whole lot of what we consider to be human nature might be better seen as the product of human nurture, millennia of thoughts directed toward ourselves since the dawn of consciousness and eventually codified through millennia more of religious and governmental practices. We may have been behaving a certain way for what seems like a long time now, but it doesn't mean it's hard coded into our being.

 

-S-

 

P.S. - Yeah, Thuryl, I said 10,000 years at first, before I thought a little more about the actual math.

 

P.P.S. - By the way, Thuryl, I'm quite curious what this conundrum you mentioned yesterday that you're facing is. I'll bet a lot of us are. Do you care to elaborate?

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Originally Posted By: Synergy
P.S. - Yeah, Thuryl, I said 10,000 years at first, before I thought a little more about the actual math.


yeah i was gonna be all smug and correct you but you beat me to it

Originally Posted By: Synergy
P.P.S. - By the way, Thuryl, I'm quite curious what this conundrum you mentioned yesterday that you're facing is. I'll bet a lot of us are. Do you care to elaborate?


aw hell why not i've already told half the damn forums anyway

i think i'm transgendered. throughout pretty much my entire life i've had a vague but persistent discomfort with myself and with the way that others treat me. i've always identified more closely with women than men and there are a bunch of events in my past that make more sense in light of this. and it's becoming increasingly obvious that this isn't just some delusion produced by my depression and anxiety that's going to go away if i take more paxil or develop better social skills or something

so yeah that's it pretty much. and half my family is really into the whole religion thing so i don't hold out very much hope that they'll be supportive. if i'm lucky they'll just never speak to me again; if i'm unlucky they'll attempt an exorcism.

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Quote:
half my family is really into the whole religion thing so i don't hold out very much hope that they'll be supportive.


There's a transgendered woman in our church who came to us after her former church rejected her. (They were cool with *him*, but not with her.)

Before joining she came to our pastor and asked him if the church would accept her; she couldn't stand any more rejection.

He wrote a letter to the regular members, and met with some of them face-to-face, and asked them.

Mind you this is not an overly liberal church -- we've got the full gammut of political and theological views. This is a Baptist church, albeit American Baptist (not Southern Baptist.)

One of our older members, a WWII vet, not someone I'd normally think of as progressive, pointed to the part of our church covenant which states that all are welcome, and said, "well, either we mean this, or we should change the covenant." Everyone decided they meant it, and this woman is now an active member of our women's group and of our church.

All that to say: rejection is heartbreaking, but there's acceptance to be found, too, even among more conservative folks. I wish you strength and joy and acceptance and meaning.

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thanks for the support but these are the sort of people who believe in a literal gay conspiracy to undermine moral values so basically any hopes i might have of them accepting me rest on them being massive hypocrites

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Originally Posted By: Synergy
I also see the exceptions in the mix, pointing to another way. What do we make of the anomalies, if we even have eyes to see them? If you believe accounts of figures like Jesus or Buddha being at all as described, do they represent human nature, because they didn't behave according to what you describe as human nature. What do we make of altruism, of the seeming human instinct for many people to react before they even have time to think to risk their life to save that of a stranger? Is that human nature?


Pol Pot.
Jack the Ripper.
generic serial killer.

If you are going to seriously look at the behavior of Jesus, Mohammed, or any other prophet as being a preferable extreme of human behavior, you are projecting your own desires for the human race. There is no reason to think that their actions are (as an absolute) more preferable than those of the folks I mentioned. Heck, there are probably hundreds like Pol Pot throughout history.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
i think i'm transgendered.


Right. I saw that coming. Maybe it's just because I frequent LGBTQ forums, but as soon as I saw "living a lie", transgenderism came to mind.

This post should not have been made.

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Well for one thing, I don't at all want to sit here philosophizing about the future while Thuryl has very real and present problems. Those are some tough circumstances, and if there's one thing you can count on most religious people not to be supportive of, it's something like that. I can't imagine the anxiety of growing up with a family who would view who you are as a person as a corruption or tainted.

 

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck to you Thuryl.

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Originally Posted By: Sporefrog
Well for one thing, I don't at all want to sit here philosophizing about the future while Thuryl has very real and present problems.


naw go ahead, philosophising about the future has been a very effective defence mechanism for me to avoid my problems for the past 23 years so i don't see why anyone should stop now

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Good luck Thuryl on whatever you decide. I doubt people here will feel any different since I don't think you will mellow out. You'll still be the same as when you post your 20,000th post in a few years.

 

Your family will be different, but they aren't Muslim so I don't think they will stone you.

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Thuryl, thanks for being hugely gutsy and sharing. You've got some real courage. That's got to be a monumental set of feelings and choices you are contending with. Here we are bantering about nature, and you are wrestling with one of the most mysterious, loaded, and polarizing issues nature seems to deliver to us—our sexual and gender identity. I know this kind of issue is less rare than it might appear to many of us who have never had to face it head on, but that's of little comfort in one's own immediate environment, when facing less than sympathetic or tolerant loved ones.

 

You've got big choices to make. No one can advise you what to do or when to do it—you know for yourself. If there's anything I feel like I could put forth, it's that we tend to be healthier and happier when we get to be true to who we are, even when it comes at outward cost. I believe in plenty of love and support in the world, and it can come from the most unexpected, unsought places.

 

Regardless of any scrappy moments we've had here in the past Thuryl, I've always regarded you with admiration. You call it like you see it, you're bold, and you've got that savagely witty, irreverent Aussie humor I particularly enjoy, frequently even when it's aimed at me. I think you're a very cool person. I think you have what it takes to figure out what to do about this and see it through, and you know you have a lot of people who care and support you, even if they are flung all over the globe out of sight.

 

There's a very empowering book on one man's journey through gender identity called "She's Not There." This man identified himself as female, but was going through adult life as a male. She eventually made the transition and managed to create a beautiful life for herself.

 

Best wishes, my friend,

 

-S-

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best of luck on whatever you path you take Thuryl/Lilith?, when you do decide (if you haven't already) i hope you don't let your family effect your choice.

it is better to be rejected by others than by yourself.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Your family will be different, but they aren't Muslim so I don't think they will stone you.

Way to not take the situation seriously, and make an insulting generalization about Islam, at the same time.

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Hey slarty way to be very cavalier most of the time except when it is time to criticize someone publicly when it would have been more politic to do it in private. Yay you.

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I'll respond to your first post, Synergy, then get to the second.

 

Originally Posted By: Synergy
I see this behavior as a largely unconscious result of the survival of the fittest/I am separate from everything else belief system. When we believe, as some like that Jesus fellow or Buddha or others came around claiming, that we are one, connected, inseparable from one another and therefore would do well to treat each other as ourself, it leads to very different behaviors.

 

While I do agree with you that some people are certainly selfish, I'd also like to point out that there are a great many other, less sinister, explanations for something like taking a parking spot. One is being angry for another reason, another is simply not seeing another person waiting (I have mistakenly done this), another is just not taking the situation all that seriously, since there's really no negative result from taking a parking spot other than a few seconds inconvenience, and so forth.

 

But beyond that, I do totally agree with you that we would be well-served to start treating each other more like ourselves. But let's be clear: by this statement, one can mean something like believing we are all connected through some invisible energy that binds us all together, or that we really are all one being, and all sorts of supernatural stuff like that. Or one can simply say that everyone is better served in the longterm when we work together. Two heads are generally better than one, the most prosperous times in history have been when war is minimal and cultures trade information rather than fight for it, and mutual destruction is certainly a situation to avoid.

 

It sounds like your real argument is that the belief system you propose would be useful for everyone to adopt. That is a separate question from whether or not it is true. What I want you to consider, is that you can reach all of the conclusions you're making about how such a belief system might look without presupposing anything without evidence, like the existence of a God-ish force integrated into all life.

 

The major culprit (we're complex organisms, so it's obviously not the only reason) behind our sometimes selfish attitude, as I've said before, is tribalism, and it has very distinct and easily-understandable evolutionary roots. It explains both our altruism and love of people we consider like us and part of our group, and it explains the incredible aggression and horrors we humans are capable of inflicting on those not like us. Just like acknowledging our love of sugary foods paired with the knowledge that overeating them can cause serious health problems shows us that we should be very careful about how much of them we eat, knowledge of our ability to separate people into groups can be a cautionary tale of how easy it is to do harm to others. This is made manifest by millenia of slavery and racism, and is easily recognizeable in the many clearly intelligent and generally good people throughout history who have felt basically no empathy for some of their fellow humans -- to take a recent example, take the treatment of African-Americans over the past few centuries by people who wrote a document saying that "all men are created equal."

 

The fact that we have these tendencies to begin with is clear evidence to me that there is nothing but neutrality at work in nature. Evolution cannot see into the future to decide that there is a better way, but we can. I don't mean to suggest for a moment that we are doomed to continuously behave tribally, just because we have the capacity to do so. This is no more true than it is to say we must uncontrollably eat sugar just because it's tasty. Violence has decreased enormously century by century. We can consciously recognize that our differences are miniscule, and our future better off by expanding the "us" in "us vs them" to everyone, as is made clear by Carl Sagan in this youtube:

 

 

And I do think there are certainly some ways in which we are all, in fact, connected. Our ability to learn from one another is nearly limitless, and even a quick glance at the last few thousand years shows that the transmission of culture though books and stories (and now the internet) has been incredible. Every word in our head was created by someone at some time in history. This is one of my favorite quotes from someone on another forum:

 

Zapski posting on skepchick.org:

Quote:
"In seriousness, I as an atheist think that there is no soul in the dualistic sense. However, I think that what is essentially us leaves our bodies at all times, every time we interact with others. Like raindrops in a pond, the ripples we make affect all the other drops, and all the ripples that hit us are changed by our ripples.

 

Humanity has one giant soul-soup in which we all make bigger or smaller ripples. What I say shapes you, what you say shapes me. When I recall something you said or did, or if some action of yours consciously or unconsciously affects me or my actions or ideas, that is your “soul” having its effect.

 

Carl Sagan (for example) made a big splash in the soul-soup. Many of us are shaped by his words and actions.

 

Religion has it backwards: Your soul doesn’t leave your body at the moment of death, it stops leaving your body, and echos in the lives of others.

 

We are the heaven in which our dead reside."

 

This reality exists with or without a belief in the supernatural. I think one lure towards magical thinking is that people often conclude that a "scientific" or "materialistic" view of the world necessarily means it's simple, boring, and unmajestic. This is nonsense. As Carl Sagan often said, our current understanding of the science is that we are one of the things that hydrogen atoms do, given 13.7 billion years time.

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Hopefully I've addressed this in my first post, but to clarify:

 

Originally Posted By: synergy
I also see the exceptions in the mix, pointing to another way. What do we make of the anomalies, if we even have eyes to see them? If you believe accounts of figures like Jesus or Buddha being at all as described, do they represent human nature, because they didn't behave according to what you describe as human nature.

 

First off, have you noticed how descriptions of people and their actions tend to get more and more fantastical the further back they happened to live? I don't for a minute think it's likely that all or most of the things ascribed to Buddha or Jesus actually happened, but I don't want that to confuse the issue. Take a more recent, well-established example like Gandhi. Everything that I am saying is totally compatible with someone like that, or any non-supernatural account of someone like Jesus or Buddha (i.e. a revolutionary moral leader) existing. The sheer recognition that our genetics have, for all intents and purposes, not changed in a few tens of thousands of years, yet we have gone from tribal hunters and gatherers to our present day society certainly speaks to the plasticity of the human brain.

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Originally Posted By: ZIPPERLITH ZEPPELINICLES
<pre><b>HEY POOR, HEY POOR, HEY POOR YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE POOR ANYMORE.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDGSDFGDSFHGSFBD</b></pre>


okay seriously is the bold preformatted text some kind of meme or something because now i'm starting to see it on other forums too

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Quote:
Words fail.

Yeah. I keep trying to come up with something to say that's helpful, but the right words aren't coming. I mean, being transgender sucks in many ways and while it'll probably get easier for you once some of the confusion goes away, it's not a situation that's likely to stop sucking anytime soon. Still, ten years is a lot of time and progress is being made, so hopefully it won't suck forever.

Dikiyoba.

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All caps. Horrible accent. I conclude that Slarty is possessed by the Demon of Good Taste.

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Originally Posted By: Niemand
All caps. Horrible accent. I conclude that Slarty is possessed by the Demon of Good Taste.


If this is truly the case, then perhaps it is time to ready the Blessed Shotgun of Merciful Thread-Killing.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Quote:
Words fail.

Yeah. I keep trying to come up with something to say that's helpful, but the right words aren't coming. I mean, being transgender sucks in many ways and while it'll probably get easier for you once some of the confusion goes away, it's not a situation that's likely to stop sucking anytime soon. Still, ten years is a lot of time and progress is being made, so hopefully it won't suck forever.

Dikiyoba.


hey no worries, you were really helpful on AIM earlier and i know you're doing your best to be supportive which is all i can ask, i'm not expecting magical solutions to all my problems because i know there aren't any

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
thanks for the support but these are the sort of people who believe in a literal gay conspiracy to undermine moral values so basically any hopes i might have of them accepting me rest on them being massive hypocrites

Don't give up hope, massive hypocrites are pretty common.

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Online communities like this one aren't great substitutes for real life ones, because the interaction bandwidth is just too limited. Drawing emotional sustenance from interactions like we have here is like breathing through a straw. But the air that gets through is real air, as far as it goes, and sometimes the message is the medium.

 

And there is an upside to the fact that all we have from each other are our posts. It's that our posts are all we have from each other. So, no matter what Thuryl goes through in real life, here is a place where Thuryl will always be Thuryl. That doesn't even depend on us all being wonderful people; it's much more reliably ensured by the simple fact that what Thuryl is here won't change. Nobody's going to reassess their opinion of Roots, forgive the puns, diss Maimonides, or forget ten thousand sharp comments. Here, that stuff's what's real.

 

Maybe we'll have to adjust our pronouns, but we regularly have little pronoun discussions/revelations about lots of members, and it's just a minor grammar issue.

 

I guess it could go the other way, too: if anyone does decide that they want a complete identity change, here that's just a matter of creating a new account. Everyone will accept that the new identity is a completely new person, because for us it simply is. And in between, one can change username, avatar, custom title, and sig line — and it registers immediately as a real change.

 

All this only goes as far as it goes, of course, but it does go somewhere. As a community we have the merits of our defects, and this means that a lot of baggage that weighs tons in real life is simply absent here. Needless to say, this is not a special service extended to Thuryl; it's the general deal that goes for all of us.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
I guess it could go the other way, too: if anyone does decide that they want a complete identity change, here that's just a matter of creating a new account. Everyone will accept that the new identity is a completely new person, because for us it simply is. And in between, one can change username, avatar, custom title, and sig line — and it registers immediately as a real change.

By this logic, getting a haircut and a new wardrobe makes you an entirely new and different person too. Uh, no.

Dikiyoba.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba

By this logic, getting a haircut and a new wardrobe makes you an entirely new and different person too. Uh, no.

Dikiyoba.


You could ask Brittany Spears how shaving her head worked out. At least once her court ordered guardian lets her talk. For some people that does create a new person since they change their behavior as part of the process.

Changing your identity is easier online because you control the information that everyone sees. Thuryl isn't going to significantly alter any of his behavior that we see. To newer members and lurkers that haven't seen the older posts, a new PDN or account won't mean anything.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba

By this logic, getting a haircut and a new wardrobe makes you an entirely new and different person too. Uh, no.

Dikiyoba.


Disagree with you there Dikiyoba. We can't help but respond to how people perceive us just as how we create an image of someone based on how we see them. Someone who, for example, begins to take better care of themselves would potentially become more approachable and garner more positive interactions. Inward changes would surely follow. Haircuts and new wardrobes often do cause changes that extend beyond the superficial as does the continual process of growing comfortable with who we are. Sounds a bit weird perhaps, but we all have stuff about ourselves that we aren't comfortable with.

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