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Thread: Ideology: Humanity’s Weakest Link

  1. #1 Ideology: Humanity’s Weakest Link 
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    Ideology: Humanity’s Weakest Link

    To study a domain of knowledge one can take several ‘points of view’. One can concentrate on the narrow perspectives or one can take on the ‘standpoint of the whole’. Every citizen of every society has a point of view about almost everything. Opinions are quickly stated on most anything that is within the domain of discussion of a society at a specific time. And that opinion, no matter how bereft of careful consideration, often carries great emotional momentum.

    Society is less a collection of individuals and more a system of points of view. A society is a matrix of positions. To be a member of society is to be part of a pre-structured social space. An individual has multiple roles; within each role is an established point of view. On occasion this is a considered point of view; more often than not it is an unconscious legacy of past experience.

    Each of us harbors a hierarchy of views and I think that in every society there is a dominant position or point of view or ideology. The American dominant ideology is structured about the dominant value system, which is to maximize production and consumption.

    The dominant ideology, like all ideologies or points of view, is narrow and dominated by the self interest of the commanding group who establish the view and maintain its superior position within the society. Being a partial point of view the dominant ideology is biased, distorted and unaware of its own assumptions. The partial point of view often claims universality and absolute validity. In some cases the claims are based on ignorance and in many cases it is based on self-interest.


    An individual may be a Catholic, Republican, American, Capitalist, plus many other ideologies, and when one ideology conflicts with another, the emotionally stronger trumps the weaker. Likewise one ideology will trump all the rest.

    Who controls the dominant ideology in your nation? I am convinced that in the USA the corporate and institutional management control the dominant ideology and the dominant ideology is capitalism, i.e. the acquisition of wealth through the maximization of production and consumption.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore timel's Avatar
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    I would say that having all kind of Ideologies is correct and needed.

    Democracy = all kind of Ideologies which create a need for a debate.
    In the states there are 2 big main parties. Democrate and Republicains. I wonder how much speach have the other parties?
    http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm

    The numbers are impressive!

    Now ideology as a definition is : An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things

    Ignorance I agree. There's a big part of Ignorance in an ideology.
    Now self-interrest. I desagree. It is more an ideal.

    For example: In the americain system. Beeing so Liberal expanded freedom and chances for "almost" everyone. This is already good.


    In France from where I come. People are strongly opposed in many cases to pure capitalism. They consider that governement should protect people, take care of health and provide full education and now is more and more inclined to a slightly more capitalist approach. Though people consider that you don't need to posses the world to live well and a good gestion of your life will help you to live well.
    (Five partys in France: Communist- Socialist- Center- Right - Extrem right) And a few ramification in some of those.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    The United States has been divided on many issues. When people can find reasonable compromises then we do well. Unfortuanately there are often issues on which people refuse to compromise and the result is that the country swings from one extreme to another as either point of view gains the upper hand. The U.S has certainly proven that a free market is certainly a source of energy and wealth but we have also learned that all of that energy and wealth can go up in smoke if we let greedy people get carried away. This is a lesson that we are learning again recently as the excessive deregulation starting with Reagan is now bearing its bitter fruits in a series of economic disasters, proving to us again that a free market without oversight and regulation is very foolish.
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Well, there is regulated capitalism, or Keynesianism, which is the ideology of most Americans although they might not call it that, and there is Chicago School Capitalism, which abhors regulation and which the Bush, and before that the Reagan administrations tried to impose on an unwary society, with disastrous results both times. Democracies will always, in the end, reject extreme capitalism in favor of a more regulated version, which is what the coming election will demonstrate.
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  6. #5  
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    We are taught, both by our educational institutions and through social osmosis, that we are creatures who can find truth by a dispassionate search of reality for that truth. We learn that we have the ability through “a dispassionate mind that makes decisions by weighing the evidence and reasoning to the most valid conclusions” to reach conclusions about truth. “This bears no relation to how the mind and brain works.”

    A study of cognitive science, psychology, and other domains of knowledge convince me that we have a partisan brain. That is too say that we generally exhibit a blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance to a set of abstract ideas when that set of ideas is also held by other members of the society. We tend to be unduly influenced by group think. We are unduly influenced by a group psychology.


    Drew Westen, in his book “The Political Brain”, speaks of the study of the brains of “fifteen committed Democrats and fifteen confirmed Republicans”.

    The brains of these partisans were scanned for activity while they read a series of slides. “Our goal was to present them with reasoning tasks that would lead a “dispassionate” observer to an obvious logical conclusion, but would be in direct conflict with the conclusion a partisan Democrat or Republican would want to reach about his party’s candidate.”

    The results of this testing showed that “when partisans face threatening information, not only are they likely to “reason” to emotionally biased conclusions, but we can trace their neural footprints as they do it…When confronted with potentially troubling political information, a network of neurons becomes active that produces distress…The brain registers the conflict between data and desire and begins the search for ways to turn off the spigot of unpleasant emotion.”

    There was further interesting results from the test. The brain not only shut down distress but very quickly “the neural circuits charged with regulation of emotional state seemed to recruit beliefs that eliminated the distress and conflict partisans had experienced when confronted unpleasant realities. And this all seemed to happen with little involvement of the neural circuits normally involved in reasoning.”

    “The partisan brain did not seem satisfied with just feeling better. It worked overtime to feel good, activating circuits that give partisans a jolt of positive reinforcement for their biased reasoning.”
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