Civil Debates on Christianity and Religions


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:50 am
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As a tentative first step...

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...It might help if we agreed what these problems are!

This thread is for you to suggest what such problems might be. By all means also suggest your preferred solution, or methodology to arrive at such a solution.

As a starter, I would suggest that the world needs to eradicate absolute poverty, among all of humanity, while still remaining comfortably within the global ecological carrying capacity. If we can provide everyone with a comfortable living, the incentive for war and strife is much reduced. And if we can do that while still conserving the wild world, which is our inheritance of billions of years of evolution, so much the better. So, for me, saving the world is an optimising thing, rather than a maximising thing.

But, doubtless, you all have priorities of your own. Please feel free to share them.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:36 pm
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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2ndRateMind wrote:

As a starter, I would suggest that the world needs to eradicate absolute poverty, among all of humanity, while still remaining comfortably within the global ecological carrying capacity. If we can provide everyone with a comfortable living, the incentive for war and strife is much reduced. And if we can do that while still conserving the wild world, which is our inheritance of billions of years of evolution, so much the better. So, for me, saving the world is an optimising thing, rather than a maximising thing.


I would agree with your proposed idealized "end result". However, I would argue that you didn't really address what the specific problems are that are causing the current world situation, nor have you offered any solutions. All you've done is basically state what you would like the end results to be. That's hardly a "solution".

I would suggest that there are many problems. And while I have some suggestions for solutions, I'm not sure if they could be realistically achieved.

Here's are some problems I see:

1. Overpopulation

This problem often means with arguments as to whether or not its even a problem at all. I hold that it's far more problematic in some areas, and not so much in others.

How to solve the problem is also highly controversial. Obviously we don't want to reduce the population by killing anyone. However, population can be controlled by birth control, and good family planning. Even these issues can be highly controversial.

But just for the record I see overpopulation to be a major problem on planet earth in various areas specifically. And controlling (or providing motivating incentives) for how people procreate is an obvious path for solution.

2. Ecology and Climate Change

I personally see both ecology and climate change to be major problems.

The solutions are complex but they certainly exist. Clearly we need to change our lifestyles to address this problem and getting people to change their lifestyles is always difficult. I won't go into any details about precisely what I think should or could be done. But I do have lots of ideas to offer on that front.

3. War and Strife

I agree that war and strife are problems. I also agree that reducing the incentives for war and strife is a desired end result. However, precisely how this problem can be resolved is clearly not easy. Often times war and strife is caused because of cultural beliefs, and or traditions. For example, much of the problem in the Middle East is that people actually believe that some "God" gave them the rights to a particular land, and so they are fighting over who should get this "God-Promised" land. This actually comes down to getting people to address religious beliefs and whether or not they have any merit. Good luck addressing that problem.

Other situations, such as the situation in North Korea, have to do with cultural regimes and how they view the world, etc. Again, the solution to me is fairly obvious. What needs to be done is to change people's worldviews. It's a simply solution to recognize, but nowhere near as simple to actually implement. People simply aren't prepared to change their worldviews wholesale overnight.

After all, consider this: Why should North Korea agree to not have nuclear weapons whilst other countries such as the USA, China, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, etc, are free to have them? Clearly North Korea has a valid point. Why should the rest of the world demand that North Korea not have nukes, when the rest of the world has them?

Clearly there's a problem there that has no easy solution.

I would suggest also that many problems in the world are due to religious regimes where they try to force religious values, and or laws onto the masses. The solution is simple: Do away with religions. But to actually implement that solution is a whole other story.

4. Bad Economies and Financial Inequality.

This has clearly been recognized to be a social problem globally for the most part. Although there are some countries that have better economies than others.

Having recognized this problem I have solutions to offer here as well. The problem is that my solutions require a total rethinking of the entire economic systems. Something that current economic establishments simply aren't interested in hearing about. Especially since my solutions have not yet been proven to actually work. And they may in fact not work. My solutions require a lot of cooperation from everyone involved. Without that cooperation they aren't going to work. So while I have solutions to offer, those solutions are useless until everyone else climbs on board.

We currently see people arguing for various economic solutions today without success in getting people to back their ideas in large scale. For example Bernie Sanders in the USA is offering a complete revamping of the US economics, but he didn't win the election. So instead we end up with the economic ideas of Trump which are clearly geared toward returning things to the 1950's and reinforcing the separation of the rich and the poor. So Trump is taking the USA back to what has already gotten us in the financial boat we're already in.

Solution? Well, in the USA getting Trump out of office would be a great start. Very Happy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:06 pm
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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[Replying to post 1 by 2ndRateMind]

Greed

Lust

Jealousy

Envy

Pride

And the world has problems too!!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:04 pm
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One major problem is that humans are just now entering an era where they can pursue interests outside of fiefdoms and peasantry. The world is gradually getting safer, but the growing unrest comes from the fact that generations are being born that have never encountered the crushing lack of opportunity afforded by the past's economic conditions.

The way to correct this is higher education. Giving people the ability to resolve, internally, their need to maintain their health and relationships, their status and quality of life, without instinctively yearning for excess.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:17 am
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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[quote="Divine Insight"]
2ndRateMind wrote:

As a starter, I would suggest that the world needs to eradicate absolute poverty, among all of humanity, while still remaining comfortably within the global ecological carrying capacity. If we can provide everyone with a comfortable living, the incentive for war and strife is much reduced. And if we can do that while still conserving the wild world, which is our inheritance of billions of years of evolution, so much the better. So, for me, saving the world is an optimising thing, rather than a maximising thing.


Divine Insight wrote:

I would agree with your proposed idealized "end result". However, I would argue that you didn't really address what the specific problems are that are causing the current world situation, nor have you offered any solutions. All you've done is basically state what you would like the end results to be. That's hardly a "solution".


Agreed. But I never intended, or said I would expect, to offer a final solution. Instead, coming from a programming background, I am merely offering the opportunity for us all, in a collaborative exercise, to attempt to define what the world's problem is (or are, if you accept they are multiple). Only once we are clear on that, can the utopian exercise of designing a perfect world, or any course of action at all, command general allegiance and expect to actually work.

As might be said of where we are trying to get to. If we can't agree on that, further investigation and recommendations are useless.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 pm
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2ndRateMind wrote:

As might be said of where we are trying to get to. If we can't agree on that, further investigation and recommendations are useless.


I totally agree. And this is no doubt the single greatest problem for achieving your desired goal.

In the real world it's difficult for humans to work together toward a single goal when they don't all have the same goal.

Just take a look at what has happened in the USA since 2016. A demagogue has taken control of the country and is doing precisely what the definition of a demagogue describes:

demagogue - a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument.

Unfortunately this appeals to a lot of people. In the USA a decision has been made to reject humanity and favor economic greed.

People in need are being made into criminals at the board and being rejected. The environment has been discarded in favor of making a quick buck for the economy. Instead of bringing people together to achieve great things the current demagogue of the USA is doing everything he can to incite political civil war. Not only has he made criminals out of people in need of asylum, but he is also branding everyone who rejects his inhumane policies as being political criminals.

I don't mean to be focusing on the current state of the union of the USA, but this is just the most recent profound example of this sort of demagoguery. This sort of thing tend to become the norm of many political systems.

So how do we bring people together for a common goal when some people want to help others and create a healthy planet to live on, while others are just as happy trampling on the less fortunate and polluting their home to make a quick buck?

Humans simply aren't all on the same page.

For some humans raping the planet and spitting in the face of the impoverished is just fine. As long as they are making a quick buck that's all they care about.

But your goal is much grander than this. You have the desire to help all humans achieve a comfortable life while also maintaining a health home planet.

For whatever it's worth, I'm with you!

So the question now is how do we get rid of the demagogues? And how do we educate the people who are only interested in greed and selfish gains?

I guess those are the real problems.

If we can get the people to all want the same goal, then reaching those goals will most likely take care of themselves.

Unfortunately too many people are more than content with making a quick buck while polluting the planet and spitting on the impoverished. They'll worship the demagogue who leads them in their quest.

That appears to be the real problem.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:17 am
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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[Replying to post 6 by Divine Insight]

Yes, I would agree that Trump is an example of a demagogue. But in a democracy, even demagogues require votes. And they derive those votes from the under-educated. Seems to me, the US needs to resolve the under-education problem with investment in schools and colleges, particularly for the under-privileged, for the demagogue problem to go away.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:40 pm
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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2ndRateMind wrote:

[Replying to post 6 by Divine Insight]

Yes, I would agree that Trump is an example of a demagogue. But in a democracy, even demagogues require votes. And they derive those votes from the under-educated. Seems to me, the US needs to resolve the under-education problem with investment in schools and colleges, particularly for the under-privileged, for the demagogue problem to go away.



It would be nice if it was that easy. The problem is that it's not just a matter of investing in schools. There's also the problem of what the schools are actually teaching. Some schools across America actually teach bigotry and prejudice in not-so-obvious ways.

You need to realize that, as strange as this may sound, some school teachers actually voted for Trump. In fact, my next door neighbor teaches philosophy at a college. He not only voted for Trump in 2016, but he's a hard-core Trumper and intends on voting for Trump again in November.

So unfortunately education alone does not make people wise.

And in case you aren't aware the Trump administration has place Betsy DeVos in charge of the national school systems. She is draining money from the public school systems and diverting it into private schools. Mostly religious schools that teach religious bigotry based on a specific religion. Christianity in this case.

Let's not forget also that a large number of Christian Evangelists support Trump to the hilt and worship him above Jesus Christ. Did you see Trump's speech at the Nation Prayer Breakfast? Trump belittled Christ and rejected Christ's teaching right in front of the Christian Evangelists. And what did they do?

They applauded him!

Trump is their new God. Jesus Christ has been thrown under the bus by Trump. And not one Evangelist has stood up for Christ. They are all on the Trump Bandwagon.

These problems may seem simple to solve, but they aren't. They go far deeper than just investing more money into education. I imagine that most of the people at the prayer breakfast were at least high-school educated, and most likely had higher level degrees as well. Yet none of that seems to have helped.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:05 am
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[Replying to post 8 by Divine Insight]

Thank you for that. I concede to your superior knowledge of the state of American education. Nevertheless, I think that in the US you are perhaps more ready to espouse a single, partisan view of a complex world than we are in Europe. If there is one point I would encourage the teaching for the demolition of demagoguery, it would be from Socrates, as reported by Plato in his Republic: 'the wisest is he who knows only that he knows nothing'. Such an attitude does not prevent one from holding an opinion, but it does recognise that one's opinions are merely opinion, and leaves the mind open enough to consider impartially the other person's point of view.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:16 am
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Re: As a tentative first step...

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[Replying to post 8 by Divine Insight]

Incidentally, I could not find the place where Trump denigrated Christ in the 2020 prayer breakfast speech, though I would in no way disbelieve that he would be capable of that. A link would be most helpful.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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