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Why is this not Utopia?

Tucker

Lion Rampant
Where angels go, trouble follows.


Why are we made to live in a disjointed world where everyone wants to be treated well, yet some can commit atrocities against others and even against themselves? How does a toddler, sitting on the floor with his bankie and baba, turn into an unrecognizable fiend? More to the point, how can a good person be murdered? Tears are falling around the world. A virtual city of sorrow has been created with the taking of Katrina Lepp. This was not what insurance companies call an "Act of God;" this was not a flood, nor mechanical failure, nor a meteor falling from the sky. It was reprehensible, abominable, willful human activity. How? Why?


There are three main schools of opinion, with regard to the reasons for the terrible things people sometimes do. Are violent criminals genetically predisposed from birth? Can factors in upbringing and environment predict disorered adult behaviors? Or, is there a pervasive, entity-like Evil in the world, a universally present force, like God (as some believe) or gravity? Some combination from among the three?


Myself, I suspect that it's the first two; genetics and/or environment, predominating their influence on a psyche on a sliding scale. I take it as fact that even the most caring and attentive parents can produce or adopt a child with marked antisocial tendencies from the start. Known developmental disorders can usually be identified in these cases. There's also no question that a typical wounded animal, which many clothed bipeds are, will strike savagely and disproportionately to its actual level of security.


But we differ from the other animals in two important, and perhaps interrelated, ways. Tests show that only our species can anticipate the future, beyond what we see in front of us. The dog burying his bones is not consciously planning; he is reacting instinctively and unconsciously, just as evolution made him and all his kind. That's why the squeaky toys sometimes end up in the hole.


The other major distinction is our conscious capacity for malice, even toward one we've never encountered and of whose life we know nothing. Even the mad dog bites only in response to a perceived threat. One thing you'll never see is Rover acting in a way that suggests he's being guided by an evil intelligent spirit, or Satan, if you will. He's not going to put rollerskates on the stairs, outside of cheesy fiction, to get Master to fall and break his neck. The Devil doesn't make us do it. We live in a crazy mode of sensory overload, where buzzers go off in our faces and where comfort and enjoyment of our brief lives take a back seat to conformity and productivity. What are we building, and for whom? We evolved eating fruit and nipping fish out of streams for hundreds of thousands of years. That doesn't describe many lives today. Can our brains take the modern chatter level and ever-increasing pace of change? What if they can't? Could the brutal yet undeniably uber-brilliant Unabomber's anti-technology diatribe that he called a "manifesto," and thought so much of that this lifelong wallflower killed to bring it attention, be making a valid if blood-soaked point? Will future generations be forced by logic and necessity to create the idyllic Utopian society that we all really want? My point here is that I think we all, and I mean basically all seven billion of us, could do ourselves a divine favor with the overtly simple act of just stopping and smelling the roses.


And that's Tucker, having Tucker thoughts. What are yours?
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
Tucker have deep thoughts!

That's pretty deep, the how and why and all that stuff. But I agree, we're here for a short time, so make it a good time! This is one of the reasons I so enjoy wilderness camping. It is a reminder of the things that are necessary and those which are both luxury and burden. Nothing better than a special treat of finding tiny wild strawberries to really make you appreciate things.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
There are three main schools of opinion, with regard to the reasons for the terrible things people sometimes do. Are violent criminals genetically predisposed from birth? Can factors in upbringing and environment predict disorered adult behaviors? Or, is there a pervasive, entity-like Evil in the world, a universally present force, like God (as some believe) or gravity? Some combination from among the three?
I think its all 3. I believe that man is inherited evil and that we're all capable of really ugly offenses against each other. Upbringing and genetics can certainly increase ones vileness.


My point here is that I think we all, and I mean basically all seven billion of us, could do ourselves a divine favor with the overtly simple act of just stopping and smelling the roses.
Yeah, me too. The past month, I've planted a very large garden. I thought my joy would come from the hedge I've placed against hyper-inflating food prices, but the real joy has come from communing with nature. Seeing seeds go from tiny dried flecks to green plants. Smelling new tomato plants. Checking out of life for a little bit every day really may be the secret to it all.
 

shelgarr

Registered Member
The 3 men, the parents, seem to have doomed Katrina. She was dealt some bad hands in this life. Remember though, she pulled a few aces with GF, and that hero neighbor of hers. Katrina had the instinct to reach out and to care for others. What she left behind was a group of people and friends that won't forget. That's a royal flush.

I love roses, and tomatos. (Gardening is one of my hobbys.) They're simple but bring so much pleasure. I sat at lunch with a friend yesterday and we touched on the topic of the royal wedding. She said she would "love all that", and I am one that wouldn't. You can see a reflection of that in her life too, and as well in mine. She is outgoing, a leader, acquires things, loves attention, is super friendly, energetic, compulsive, decisive. I, on the other hand like to lounge around, read, help, use a forum, quiet, private, ponder, observe, listen. One is neither better than the other, but my point is that these deeply rooted preferences (traits) are unavoidable. Her rose is neon and flashy. Mine is subtle and still.

True, I think she and other like her, probably miss out on the benefits of a simpler calmer life. I bet she thinks I'm boring as hell and sympathizes that I can't buy a desiger purse every month. Not to mention, how many people accept and settle before they've reached their preference. Or do we all end up in some state of compromise? Like I only have 2 cats and would rather have 20 and live in a tract home rather than a custom. Or only fullfill ourselves with snippets of enjoyment? Like, one rose bush versus five.

Outside of these "norms", into the world of psychoses like those that torture or kill, there is no way to rationalize that. They have different criteria that would be untouched by a moment in childhood that showed them to stop and smell the roses. Likely they'l reach out and tear it off the plant.

The formation of life, and the existence of the human body with it's intricate brain, and intense potential that something will go wrong is evident all around us. We see the severly handicapped bodies, the progression of terrible illness both congential and pathogenic, and within the brain at the cellular level there is the possibilities of enough malfunctions to fill a book. So given all that, isn't it logical that we'd see the same sickness in personality??

All around me I'm both frustrated and elated by what I see and experience. My toddlers were allowed to take all the time in the world to examine little rocks and blades of grass during our walks. Meanwhile, the neighbors around me would be scooping theirs up from a nice time outside and running them off to Disneyland. To each their own...a time and place for everything. Yet, I so enjoy my teens now that are content with a movie, a trip to the bookstore, or walk with the dog. Simplicity.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
There are three main schools of opinion, with regard to the reasons for the terrible things people sometimes do. Are violent criminals genetically predisposed from birth? Can factors in upbringing and environment predict disorered adult behaviors? Or, is there a pervasive, entity-like Evil in the world, a universally present force, like God (as some believe) or gravity? Some combination from among the three?
There is no abject evil that drives people to commit horrible things. What we have is scarcity- a limited amount of food, land, and valuables for people to squabble over. People are desperate, and do stupid things. We have genetics that lead to the mentally ill, the addictive personalities, the Type-A dominants, and the sociopaths. We have terrible environments that produce monstrosities, both human and animal. Overall, utopia can't be achieved- there's a book called The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin. A group of political anarchists move to another planet entirely from the statists, but still eventually their utopia breaks down. Their problem is that there will always be power structures, and thus some people will use and exploit others. Nobody can truly collectivize water- water is in a specific place. Then who collects it, distributes it? These people control it, even in a 'stateless' society.

It becomes a problem. Evil will spring up as long as mutations exist in our DNA. And utopias always fall apart, no matter how much you isolate them from the rot.
 

C-Mach

Registered Member
Why are we not a utopia? Because men are not perfect, and men have self-interest at heart. However, perfection derives from imperfection. ;)
 

Tucker

Lion Rampant
Why are we not a utopia? Because men are not perfect, and men have self-interest at heart. However, perfection derives from imperfection. ;)
This strikes me as more of a partial answer than not. A lot of acts are committed that manly self-interest, as I know it, doesn't come anywhere close to explaining.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
So, altruism is just a myth then?
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
Yes. Altruism is a myth. Men who are altruistic either have an ulterior motive or believe in altruism because it gives them satisfaction.
There's a major difference between doing something for someone else because it makes you happy to do so, and doing something that benefits nobody but yourself. The former we call "altruism".
 
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