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Human Paradox


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#1    coberst

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

Human Paradox

The human paradox might correctly be said to be: Humans are the one member of the animal kingdom wherein many members consider themselves to be also a member of a supernatural kingdom.

I define a paradox here to mean a common sense view of reality that is a logical contradiction, which presents a problem that cannot be solved but only ameliorated in some way through the process of our comprehending its nature.

Because most, but not all, humans are possessed by this paradoxical world view we pay a heavy price due to our constant effort to preserve this “fantastic ambition” rather than understanding its source and making corrections accordingly.  

As a member of the animal kingdom we consume to live.  We have an appetite and in feeding that appetite we often kill and consume other animals.  We feel good after we consume and we will do whatever is necessary to continue to consume and to live.  We have an absolute attraction to Eros, i.e. we have a consuming desire to do what is necessary to preserve our life.

Good is that which promotes our life and evil is that which threatens our life.

Eros drives us to a desire to live forever.  Our brain has developed to the point at which we recognize that we will die but we are driven by the urge not to die.  

“Man transcends death not only by continuing to feed his appetites, but especially by finding a meaning for his life, some kind of larger scheme into which he fits…the “immortal self” can take very spiritual forms, and spirituality is not a simple reflex of hunger and fear.  It is an expression of the will to live, the burning desire of the creature to count, to make a difference on the planet because he has lived, has emerged from it, and has worked, suffered, and died.”

Many humans express this common sense view of belonging to a supernatural world through their religious belief; however, even those who are not religious are often captives of the mind/body dichotomy that is so prevalent in Western philosophy.  

I think that to deal effectively with this paradox we must become sophisticated enough to comprehend its source and to modify it at that point or not at all.

What do you think?

Quotes from “Escape from Evil” by Ernest Becker






#2    Nik Xues

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 10:31 PM

Not to be come sophisticated but rather simple and to the point.

The greatest part of learning is to look back at where we once were. children help in this greatly as they are still very simple and have not yet been contaminated by societies unnessecary actions.

To truly become immortal one must devour everything and become self-sustaining Or save time and devour oneself. The snake which gnaws its own tail.

True Scientists consider all possibilities until they have evidence stating otherwise.
the others are idiots simply waiting for proof of existence.

#3    Kevin7557

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:48 AM

coberst on Jan 24 2009, 01:40 PM, said:

Human Paradox

The human paradox might correctly be said to be: Humans are the one member of the animal kingdom wherein many members consider themselves to be also a member of a supernatural kingdom.

I define a paradox here to mean a common sense view of reality that is a logical contradiction, which presents a problem that cannot be solved but only ameliorated in some way through the process of our comprehending its nature.

Because most, but not all, humans are possessed by this paradoxical world view we pay a heavy price due to our constant effort to preserve this “fantastic ambition” rather than understanding its source and making corrections accordingly.  

As a member of the animal kingdom we consume to live.  We have an appetite and in feeding that appetite we often kill and consume other animals.  We feel good after we consume and we will do whatever is necessary to continue to consume and to live.  We have an absolute attraction to Eros, i.e. we have a consuming desire to do what is necessary to preserve our life.

Good is that which promotes our life and evil is that which threatens our life.

Eros drives us to a desire to live forever.  Our brain has developed to the point at which we recognize that we will die but we are driven by the urge not to die.  

“Man transcends death not only by continuing to feed his appetites, but especially by finding a meaning for his life, some kind of larger scheme into which he fits…the “immortal self” can take very spiritual forms, and spirituality is not a simple reflex of hunger and fear.  It is an expression of the will to live, the burning desire of the creature to count, to make a difference on the planet because he has lived, has emerged from it, and has worked, suffered, and died.”

Many humans express this common sense view of belonging to a supernatural world through their religious belief; however, even those who are not religious are often captives of the mind/body dichotomy that is so prevalent in Western philosophy.  

I think that to deal effectively with this paradox we must become sophisticated enough to comprehend its source and to modify it at that point or not at all.

What do you think?

Quotes from “Escape from Evil” by Ernest Becker

I disagree. I don't think people think they belong to a kingdom unless you are using the word to mean Grouping in which case then they would sortof. But first I must disagrea with your observation of good and evil. Good and evil are for the most classifications of action that one ether deems appropriate or inappropraite to do and the term good is put on to incurage people and evil to discourage but looking past the basic nature of labels and to the deep meaning of the words. Evil is more of a darker nature. It does not intentially threaten life. There are thing deemed good which are quite bad toward life, but good is more a lighter nature. They are not inhearently what you define them as but more of a natural thing which we attempt to define. It is more complicated but you get my point.

As for the base discussion I also have to disagree. I believe the paranormal is more of another part of the bigger picture which people attempt to define which spawns religion. While some mearly believe to substain their existance because they don't want it to end here, others seak deeper meaning/understanding in/of the next world out of various personal reasons. The paranormal is a term people give to things they don't understand when in fact it is normal funtion of the world but it is not fully understood.

As for our consumption in the begining we did consume but we evolved and began to have thought. With these thoughts formed Intelegents and now we progress eliminating natural selection and baser insticts do to evolution. The normal for the rest of the animal kinddom is no more for us. We seek understanding of our world. We build and alter our world to suit our needs now vs just living and moving where it was good at the time.

As for Eros. I do think in a way we do share this as we want our decendents to succeed and we want to prosper. But we now do so in different ways than we used to. The base for not wanting to die is there but many find peace in death and accept it and in fact choose to die. Not suicide but some claim that when they were in this survival situation they became aware of the fact that they could just turn it off at any time to quote one of them. It is also called strong will to live. Yet not everyone has the same instinct to keep living and the ones that do have reasons for wanting to continue living other than the fact they just don't want to die but some just don't want to die. The concept of people wanting to be god is prevalant but we have created morals and now follow morals not because we have decided that they are right but because they are deemed right without giving it thought. This would be a collective thing. The human race has become something different do to evolution and we are no longer bond to basic law of nature and are now defining out own world and wish to understand the final unknown beside space. It is so close that we all see it eventually but we don't know it which arrises in our questioning of it but the problem is that many are not open minded to the new possibilities cause of religion defining the area. We are very complicated species most definitly so and the world matches.

Be good or the Boogeyman will come and get you and punish you for your sins.

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Deus est vigilo vos. Nos es vigilo deus.
That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn!

#4    coberst

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:11 PM


“Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awareness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the same thing.  As awareness calls for types of heroic dedication that his culture no longer provides for him, society contrives to help him forget.”

Ernest Becker has woven a great tapestry, which represents his answer to the question ‘what are we humans doing, why are we doing it, and how can we do it better?’

Becker has written four books “Beyond Alienation”, “Escape from Evil”, “Denial of Death”, and “The Birth and Death of Meaning”; all of which are essential components of his tapestry.  Ernest Becker (1924-1974), a distinguished social theorist, popular teacher of anthropology and sociology psychology, won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for the “Denial of Death”.  

Becker provides the reader with a broad and comprehensible synopsis of the accomplishments of the sciences of anthropology, psychology, sociology, and psychoanalysis.  Knowledge of these accomplishments provides the modern reader with the means for a substantial comprehension of why humans do as they do.

Becker declares that these sciences prove that humans are not genetically driven to be the evil creatures that the reader of history might conclude them to be.  We humans are victims of the societies that we create in our effort to flee the anxiety of death.  We have created artificial meanings that were designed to hide our anxieties from our self; in this effort we have managed to create an evil far surpassing any that our natural animal nature could cause.

Becker summarizes this synoptic journey of discovery with a suggested solution, which if we were to change the curriculums in our colleges and universities we could develop a citizenry with the necessary understanding to restructure our society in a manner less destructive and more in tune with our human nature.

The only disagreement I have with Becker’s tapestry is in this solution he offers.  I am convinced that he has failed to elaborate on an important step that is implied in his work but not given sufficient emphasis.  That step is one wherein the general adult population takes up the responsibility that citizens of a democracy must take on; adults must develop a hobby “get a life—get an intellectual life”.  In other words, it will be necessary that a significant share of the general population first comprehend these matters sufficiently to recognize the need for the proposed changes to our colleges and universities.








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