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Thread: Enlightenment now and meaning of life

  1. Top | #21
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg
    What? The poor's main struggle today is with obesity. Historically that's extreme luxury. So you're so incredibly wrong on this is bizarre. And frankly, I don't even understand how you're thinking or what you mean?
    He wasn't talking about food alone, though? Health, happiness, and prosperity are not enjoyed by the majority of people living today, as long as you don't fall into the conservative trap of calling everybody in the United States royalty because most of us have access to running water, which is about all I get from your "historically" clause.
    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.

    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation

  2. Top | #22
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg
    What? The poor's main struggle today is with obesity. Historically that's extreme luxury. So you're so incredibly wrong on this is bizarre. And frankly, I don't even understand how you're thinking or what you mean?
    He wasn't talking about food alone, though? Health, happiness, and prosperity are not enjoyed by the majority of people living today, as long as you don't fall into the conservative trap of calling everybody in the United States royalty because most of us have access to running water, which is about all I get from your "historically" clause.
    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.
    You've lost the plot, my friend. Looking at material wealth and health in absolute terms betrays a vast ignorance about social mobility, freedom to pursue aspirations, to relax, to have some control over the course of one's life, to have a say in the way society is run... you're leaving all of that to the oligarchs because poor people today have cell phones and TVs and Queen Victoria didn't.

    Compared to her, do the poor of today have the freedom to choose whether or not to sell their labor for the majority of their lives?

    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    I have lots of black friends and they seem to be doing okay. I don't know what these civil rights people are so uppity about. Slaves are better off than they ever were in Africa, right?

    If you're trying to present a caricature of the very worst and most stultifying impulses in civilization, as a contrast to the anger and dissatisfaction that has enabled every luxury you enjoy, you're doing a fine job. But you are most assuredly not a lefty. I would place your views in what Tariq Ali has called "the extreme centre" along with compassionate conservatism and moderate libertarianism.

  3. Top | #23
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.
    You've lost the plot, my friend. Looking at material wealth and health in absolute terms betrays a vast ignorance about social mobility, freedom to pursue aspirations, to relax, to have some control over the course of one's life, to have a say in the way society is run... you're leaving all of that to the oligarchs because poor people today have cell phones and TVs and Queen Victoria didn't.

    Compared to her, do the poor of today have the freedom to choose whether or not to sell their labor for the majority of their lives?
    Are you high? WTF are you talking about? Everything you just listed used to be way worse and for everybody. Social mobility? Not that long ago most of the rungs of the modern ladder didn't even exist. What's the social mobility in that? I was thinking about stuff like antibiotics, refrigerators and aircondition. All stuff that queen Victoria didn't have.


    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    I have lots of black friends and they seem to be doing okay. I don't know what these civil rights people are so uppity about. Slaves are better off than they ever were in Africa, right?

    If you're trying to present a caricature of the very worst and most stultifying impulses in civilization, as a contrast to the anger and dissatisfaction that has enabled every luxury you enjoy, you're doing a fine job. But you are most assuredly not a lefty. I would place your views in what Tariq Ali has called "the extreme centre" along with compassionate conservatism and moderate libertarianism.
    Again... wtf are you talking about? How is anything of what you wrote in this paragraph relevant to anything I said? Saying that life today is pretty fucking amazing for everybody, isn't the same thing as saying that everything is perfect, and that we should stop trying to make it better. Which I've never said.

    It's fucking hilarious that you manage to label me as conservative. Whatever drugs you're taking, you should probably cut down. That shit can't be healthy.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg
    What? The poor's main struggle today is with obesity. Historically that's extreme luxury. So you're so incredibly wrong on this is bizarre. And frankly, I don't even understand how you're thinking or what you mean?
    He wasn't talking about food alone, though? Health, happiness, and prosperity are not enjoyed by the majority of people living today, as long as you don't fall into the conservative trap of calling everybody in the United States royalty because most of us have access to running water, which is about all I get from your "historically" clause.
    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.

    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    The Queen knew where her next meal was coming from.

    She did not have to submit to some "boss" and do mind-numbing labor daily.

    She had healthier food.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Are you high? WTF are you talking about? Everything you just listed used to be way worse and for everybody. Social mobility? Not that long ago most of the rungs of the modern ladder didn't even exist. What's the social mobility in that? I was thinking about stuff like antibiotics, refrigerators and aircondition. All stuff that queen Victoria didn't have.


    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    I have lots of black friends and they seem to be doing okay. I don't know what these civil rights people are so uppity about. Slaves are better off than they ever were in Africa, right?

    If you're trying to present a caricature of the very worst and most stultifying impulses in civilization, as a contrast to the anger and dissatisfaction that has enabled every luxury you enjoy, you're doing a fine job. But you are most assuredly not a lefty. I would place your views in what Tariq Ali has called "the extreme centre" along with compassionate conservatism and moderate libertarianism.
    Again... wtf are you talking about? How is anything of what you wrote in this paragraph relevant to anything I said? Saying that life today is pretty fucking amazing for everybody, isn't the same thing as saying that everything is perfect, and that we should stop trying to make it better. Which I've never said.

    It's fucking hilarious that you manage to label me as conservative. Whatever drugs you're taking, you should probably cut down. That shit can't be healthy.
    These two things can be true at the same time:

    - we're better off than we were before
    - we're not, as a whole, well off, unless your metric for well off is 'not starving to death on the regular', which as it turns out is actually still fairly common

  6. Top | #26
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.

    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    The Queen knew where her next meal was coming from.

    She did not have to submit to some "boss" and do mind-numbing labor daily.

    She had healthier food.
    No, she had godawful food loaded with sugar that caused her teeth to fall out because they, at that time, knew nothing about nutrition. The 19'th century recipes had extreme amounts of sugar in them.

    And she lived in constant fear of even the most mundane infection. Doing absolutely anything before antibiotics was potentially lethal.

    Her life was extremely limited. She might not have had a boss. But the alternatives available to her were very limited.

    Any shitty hairdresser in Luton has travelled more widely than queen Victoria did. Have met more cultures. Met more interesting people.

    Life sucked back then for everyone. A lot has changed. We're all better off today. Everybody.

  7. Top | #27
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Are you high? WTF are you talking about? Everything you just listed used to be way worse and for everybody.
    But not for Her Highness. Which was my entire point. Your comment to rousseau was off base; the poor of the world today are not better off than the rich of yesteryear just because they have air conditioning.

    Saying that life today is pretty fucking amazing for everybody, isn't the same thing as saying that everything is perfect, and that we should stop trying to make it better. Which I've never said.
    It's ignorant and trivializes the actual suffering of poor people in a way that nobody on the left would ever do. It's taken straight from the playbook of the propaganda machine that strives to limit everybody's conception of "trying to make it better" to encompass no more than "make incremental changes within the system and don't inconvenience anybody too much". Basically apologia for oppression. Tell someone in adult diapers on an assembly line in Taiwan for 16 hours a day that her life is fucking amazing because she can keep her food cold all day long, and that she is less susceptible to bacterial infection than the former Queen of England, who lived in a castle waited on by Indian servants because she was born. And keep outside of throwing range if there happen to be any rocks nearby.

    The left = solidarity with the poor and working class, period. Saying "The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance" is the opposite of solidarity with the poor.

  8. Top | #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Are you high? WTF are you talking about? Everything you just listed used to be way worse and for everybody.
    But not for Her Highness. Which was my entire point. Your comment to rousseau was off base; the poor of the world today are not better off than the rich of yesteryear just because they have air conditioning.

    Saying that life today is pretty fucking amazing for everybody, isn't the same thing as saying that everything is perfect, and that we should stop trying to make it better. Which I've never said.
    It's ignorant and trivializes the actual suffering of poor people in a way that nobody on the left would ever do. It's taken straight from the playbook of the propaganda machine that strives to limit everybody's conception of "trying to make it better" to encompass no more than "make incremental changes within the system and don't inconvenience anybody too much". Basically apologia for oppression. Tell someone in adult diapers on an assembly line in Taiwan for 16 hours a day that her life is fucking amazing because she can keep her food cold all day long, and that she is less susceptible to bacterial infection than the former Queen of England, who lived in a castle waited on by Indian servants because she was born. And keep outside of throwing range if there happen to be any rocks nearby.

    The left = solidarity with the poor and working class, period. Saying "The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance" is the opposite of solidarity with the poor.
    In fairness, I understand where his argument's coming from, but I think it's a matter of definition. He's right that the world is better off in absolute terms, but he's wrong that this is some kind of accomplishment of science, and not just an unintended consequence of a bunch of capitalists trying to make money.

    And in the long-run this growth in absolute terms is probably ephemeral, because there is no such thing as 'growth', there is only an 'increased rate of consumption' of the world's resources. The scientific revolution coincides with what historians are calling an energy bonanza. People are more food secure because of fossil fuels.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Ehe... yes I am. And why not? It is factually correct that a member of the western poor working class today has a better life, materially and healthwise than queen Victoria had. They have a lot less to fear in life. The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance.

    I'm a lefty btw. This isn't a conservative opinion IMHO. It's the opinion of anybody who gives it any thought. Or should be.

    The norm for most people who have ever lived is constant grinding poverty. Long periods of meagre rations and reoccuring starvation. Extremely one sided diets. Chronic malnutrition. I've personally never had to starve more than a couple of hours in my entire life. That's pretty high marks for a civilisation
    The Queen knew where her next meal was coming from.

    She did not have to submit to some "boss" and do mind-numbing labor daily.

    She had healthier food.
    No, she had godawful food loaded with sugar that caused her teeth to fall out because they, at that time, knew nothing about nutrition. The 19'th century recipes had extreme amounts of sugar in them.
    21st century foods have extreme amounts of sugar in them.

    People's teeth are still falling out.

    But the Queen did not have all the added chemicals in her food that people do today.

    And she lived in constant fear of even the most mundane infection. Doing absolutely anything before antibiotics was potentially lethal.
    People did have immune systems and most infections did not kill you.

    It is doubtful anybody lived in constant fear of some rare event that effected other people.

    Her life was extremely limited. She might not have had a boss. But the alternatives available to her were very limited.
    She had the power to walk away at any second.

    Life sucked back then for everyone. A lot has changed. We're all better off today. Everybody.
    Life sucked if you were not connected to the ruling dictators called "royalty".

  10. Top | #30
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    But not for Her Highness. Which was my entire point. Your comment to rousseau was off base; the poor of the world today are not better off than the rich of yesteryear just because they have air conditioning.



    It's ignorant and trivializes the actual suffering of poor people in a way that nobody on the left would ever do. It's taken straight from the playbook of the propaganda machine that strives to limit everybody's conception of "trying to make it better" to encompass no more than "make incremental changes within the system and don't inconvenience anybody too much". Basically apologia for oppression. Tell someone in adult diapers on an assembly line in Taiwan for 16 hours a day that her life is fucking amazing because she can keep her food cold all day long, and that she is less susceptible to bacterial infection than the former Queen of England, who lived in a castle waited on by Indian servants because she was born. And keep outside of throwing range if there happen to be any rocks nearby.

    The left = solidarity with the poor and working class, period. Saying "The only reason some people might think that the poor today have it bad is frankly just ignorance" is the opposite of solidarity with the poor.
    In fairness, I understand where his argument's coming from, but I think it's a matter of definition. He's right that the world is better off in absolute terms, but he's wrong that this is some kind of accomplishment of science, and not just an unintended consequence of a bunch of capitalists trying to make money.

    And in the long-run this growth in absolute terms is probably ephemeral, because there is no such thing as 'growth', there is only an 'increased rate of consumption' of the world's resources. The scientific revolution coincides with what historians are calling an energy bonanza. People are more food secure because of fossil fuels.
    Resources are not consumed, they are just moved around. Energy is consumed to keep the entropy low; But as long as we have cheap energy and the technology to produce and exploit it, we cannot run out of anything.

    The sun will provide free energy for at least a few more eons; Thorium can do the same - so we have two independent sources of effectively limitless energy available. All we need in order to never run out of any resource is to implement means to cheaply produce that energy in a useful form, and to cheaply distribute it to where it is in demand. With cheap nuclear energy, it's even fairly easy to reconcentrate and extract the excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.

    The only irreplaceable 'resource' is biodiversity.

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