Notices
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Society's Problems.

  1. #1 Society's Problems. 
    Forum Freshman Swordsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The infinite reaches of the net.
    Posts
    50
    I was recently told I hate the world, and had to correct the person who told me this. I don't hate the world, I hate society.

    I somehow get the feeling many of us on this forum have major problems with society.

    I don't have much time, so I thought I'd just start this thread and suggest we discuss all the faults we see in society.

    I'd say start with consumerism.


    "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." - As Laplace said when Napoleon wondered how the famous mathematician could write his book without mentioning God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    1. Hate is a destructive emotion. I generally try to avoid it.
    2. There is no point in hating an abstract construct such as society.
    3. Hating consumerism is as relevant as hating fire hydrants just because you have renamed them as dangerous sidewalk obstructions.

    Please don't hate me for my observations.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    130
    I think the 2nd point of Ophiolite is a very good one!
    And by the way, why don't you (the author of this topic) start with yourself instead of somebody "out there"?
    I am.
    You can't deny it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,120
    I do not dislike society

    I dislike a certain sheep mentality that runs through it though, but aside that, I like society.

    What is human life without it?


    ooh, I just thought of a couple! Over population and Labour.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    A current fault with society, to my way of thining, lies in the idea that economies must grow. This mantra has been repeated, implied, and used (effectively) for some time now.

    It is true that a growing economy is a good indicator of productivity and general wealth in a group. However, if growing the economy becomes the goal, then obviously conservation (ironically the same root as conservative) efforts could suffer.

    I believe a happy and healthy society should be possible with a flat economy.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    I don't see how you could a create no-growth society. Growth is a result of individuals and corporations recognizing or creating markets for stuff. Some stuff is beneficial - new medicines, solar panels; some is technically useless - frisbees, Britney Spears; some is disastrous - Cadillac Escalades, but all might have non-obvious benefits and drawbacks. A no-growth economy would have to ban enterprise, which, it seems to me, goes against human nature.

    How could a no-growth society be implemented? Taxation of enterprise, punishment of success, committees of experts pontificating on "good" and "bad" developments all spring to mind. I don't know how it could be done, even if we believe it's a desirable goal.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    There would be growth but it would be balanced by losses in other areas. The current mindset seems to require all growth, all the time. This consumes resources.

    Surely you could have innovation and new ideas without consuming resources?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Someone would have to be "the decider". Is it a good new product or a bad new product. Who will be the decider? It suggests an authoritarianism that western societies would not accept. But perhaps we could be re-educated.

    I agree, growth is promoted like a religion, but I just don't see what to do about it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    130
    I think it's a psychological issue:
    If everyone would be content with what he has and only wanted what is needed, no consumerism, then I think this would be a good point of departure. But almost all people in Western Society strive to be more-than-enough-successful, wealthy and rich. WHY?
    Excess numbs the senses. Now the question is, what numbing our senses for?
    I am.
    You can't deny it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by mastermind
    I think it's a psychological issue:
    If everyone would be content with what he has and only wanted what is needed, no consumerism, then I think this would be a good point of departure. But almost all people in Western Society strive to be more-than-enough-successful, wealthy and rich. WHY?
    Excess numbs the senses. Now the question is, what numbing our senses for?
    why is it not enough? because we're a hierarchical species. there's always going to be people with that drive to do better and get more than the next guy. and if you're surrounded by wealthy and rich people, then you have to be even wealthier and richer than they are. numbing the senses may contribute to this and reinforce it, but it's not the main driving force.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    Part of it may also be that 'excess' protects against lean times. Perhaps we evolved to acquire as much as we could, because that saw us through the winter, and now that there is not much by way of starvation and life-threatening illness in western society, the excesses become more obvious. They are never used up. Perhaps acquiring excess is physiologically based.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Perhaps we evolved to acquire as much as we could, because that saw us through the winter, and now that there is not much by way of starvation and life-threatening illness in western society, the excesses become more obvious.
    Good point.

    Acquisitiveness seems to have a short term focus, which is consistent with our evolutionary history, and may have worked just fine when populations were small. Now we still have this evolved trait, and a huge population, but we also have the ability to look further ahead than next winter. One would think we should be capable of agreeing on policies favorable to the survival of our great grandchildren, and not just for ourselves to survive next winter.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    927
    the laws of thermodynamics applies to economy as well.



    an abundance in one place MUST create a deficiency in another.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    the laws of thermodynamics applies to economy as well.

    an abundance in one place MUST create a deficiency in another.
    ..in a closed system.

    The idea of economic growth says that the the system - the economy - gets bigger. The planet, of course, doesn't. Perhaps that is the problem in a nutshell.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Perhaps we evolved to acquire as much as we could, because that saw us through the winter, and now that there is not much by way of starvation and life-threatening illness in western society, the excesses become more obvious.
    Good point.

    Acquisitiveness seems to have a short term focus, which is consistent with our evolutionary history, and may have worked just fine when populations were small. Now we still have this evolved trait, and a huge population, but we also have the ability to look further ahead than next winter. One would think we should be capable of agreeing on policies favorable to the survival of our great grandchildren, and not just for ourselves to survive next winter.
    I agree, free radical makes an excellent point. And yes, one would think that we could think past just ourselves - but the problem is that we've evolved to only look ahead to next winter. We were in small populations for the great majority of our evolution, and that viewpoint worked. Not only that, but stockpiling and hoarding resources for ourselves and our families is something we downright enjoy, since at the time this was an advantageous practice. It's hard to move the mind of the masses past this emotional driver.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    This is well worth a read, and might stimulate some more discussion.

    The Tragedy of the Commons
    Garrett Hardin

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten.../162/3859/1243
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •