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NORMALITY - The Ever elusive word


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#16    icile_xele

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 07:07 PM

View Postlonglongago, on 18 April 2010 - 04:24 AM, said:

Why one feels what one feels ..
Can the root of this be ever determined ?

When you look at the unknown factor in the human brain ,
' Learned behavior '  appears to be just the tip of an Iceberg .

While I agree that personality types vary (as it's part of the reason we react and understand various situations in different ways), I'm a little hard pressed to believe that there is some dark nature which is more responsible for our actions than experience and understanding. Can the roots of feelings ever be determined? I believe so, and I say that from experience. It's not easy, and it can be rather complex as some conclusions are drawn in layers. I haven't seen anything in my personal observations thus far that would suggest that there is some other mysterious cause behind the feelings and choices of people.

No, I'm not a psychologist :). So, of course, whatever I say will naturally be taken with a grain of salt. However, it seems to me that most of these things are connected to past events and how they were interpreted. There's the self and one's perception of the self. Most of what I see coming out of people has something to do with the defense of self-perception when the emotions are involved. Emotions, to me, are very intense and super fast thoughts. This is why when we acknowledge our feelings and the causes of them, those feelings may be subdued. It turns these emotions into thoughts that we can actually reason with. The choice to do so, or to refuse to do so, still has much to do with this perception of self and personal security.


#17    Mr Walker

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:52 AM

IMO there are at least two forms of normal.

There is  the mathematical norm or central position

While there may be significant variations from that norm, a behavioural norm can be established similarly.

Then there are logical norms or normal behaviour. So behaviour with an evolved positive survival value, or even a neutral survival value, may be considered normal, while behaviour which is not may be considered abberant or non conforming.  Thus a self destructive behaviour, or a behaviour which is socially destructive rather than constructive, could be seen as not normal behviour.

Im am sure this is not an accepted psychological viewpoint, but it is a logical and commonsense one. It is not normal(in the second sense of normality) for evolved animals, and particularly self aware and sapient ones, to be self destructive, or to be destructive of the society which nurtures, supports, and facilitates their survival.
If that were normal, then such species would struggle to survive and prosper.

Violence to other members of society may be normal behaviour, if it does not threaten, and especially if it promotes, either  self survival, or the strengthening of the society in which a being is embedded.

Thus for an ape to kill the young of a rival male and "rape" all available females is normal. For a human being it is not, becuase our self awareness, and the structure of our societies based on our sapience, is significantly different to that of those apes.

We ensure our own, and our species, genetic survival and diversity through different means.

Edited by Mr Walker, 22 April 2010 - 05:54 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#18    Sthenno

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 06:09 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 22 April 2010 - 05:52 AM, said:



Then there are logical norms or normal behaviour. So behaviour with an evolved positive survival value, or even a neutral survival value, may be considered normal, while behaviour which is not may be considered abberant or non conforming.  Thus a self destructive behaviour, or a behaviour which is socially destructive rather than constructive, could be seen as not normal behviour.

Im am sure this is not an accepted psychological viewpoint, but it is a logical and commonsense one. It is not normal(in the second sense of normality) for evolved animals, and particularly self aware and sapient ones, to be self destructive, or to be destructive of the society which nurtures, supports, and facilitates their survival.
If that were normal, then such species would struggle to survive and prosper.



However, we seem to have turned this on its head. Self destructive behaviour such as drinking, eating badly, not exercising etc. are seen as the norm while those on a 'health kick' are seen as not normal. Similarly, the destruction of our environment has become the norm, and environmental awareness has, at least until recently, been abnormal behaviour.

I think our survival patterns are so complex and varied now that it would be impossible to draw a norm anywhere. We can establish what's 'normal' for certain definable factors like height and weight, but it terms of psychology there is no normal.


#19    Agent X

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 04:52 PM

Normal is a dirty four letter expletive.

There really is no such thing. All it really is is a bunch of unthinking robots where everybody's the same because being different is just oh so scary and life threatening.

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#20    longlongago

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:36 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 22 April 2010 - 05:52 AM, said:

IMO there are at least two forms of normal.

There is  the mathematical norm or central position

While there may be significant variations from that norm, a behavioural norm can be established similarly.

Then there are logical norms or normal behaviour. So behaviour with an evolved positive survival value, or even a neutral survival value, may be considered normal, while behaviour which is not may be considered abberant or non conforming.  Thus a self destructive behaviour, or a behaviour which is socially destructive rather than constructive, could be seen as not normal behviour.

Im am sure this is not an accepted psychological viewpoint, but it is a logical and commonsense one. It is not normal(in the second sense of normality) for evolved animals, and particularly self aware and sapient ones, to be self destructive, or to be destructive of the society which nurtures, supports, and facilitates their survival.
If that were normal, then such species would struggle to survive and prosper.

Violence to other members of society may be normal behaviour, if it does not threaten, and especially if it promotes, either  self survival, or the strengthening of the society in which a being is embedded.


The CRUX of your argument seems to be the word ' Sapience ' .
Aren't you taking it for granted .. and isn't it true that the word more belongs to
an Anthropocentric world view ?

Quote

Thus for an ape to kill the young of a rival male and "rape" all available females is normal. For a human being it is not, because our self awareness, and the structure of our societies based on our sapience, is significantly different to that of those apes.

May be you choose to see only the ' Order ' in a society ,
And not the ' Chaos ' within ..


#21    Black Hound

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:47 PM

I do love this section, sooo much."Normal" is one of those "non-sense" words. It seems one has to compare something to it in order to define it.So what is "normal", is Charles Manson "normal"? and if so, how come and if not, why not? It seems the majority defines what is "normal" in any  society, at any given time,until proven wrong by a shift in the number of those that think the majority, now the minority, is wrong and now they make the rules.


#22    Sthenno

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:55 PM

View PostGraveyard Hound, on 22 April 2010 - 08:47 PM, said:

I do love this section, sooo much."Normal" is one of those "non-sense" words. It seems one has to compare something to it in order to define it.So what is "normal", is Charles Manson "normal"? and if so, how come and if not, why not? It seems the majority defines what is "normal" in any  society, at any given time,until proven wrong by a shift in the number of those that think the majority, now the minority, is wrong and now they make the rules.

Ah, but that would be too simple. If there was a majority of people with similar characteristics and personality traits, they would automatically become the norm. But people are too different. So how do you reach a majority decision on what the 'norm' is when you all have completely different perceptions of it.

It's a nonsense word in this context - doesn't mean anything.


#23    Mr Walker

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 02:51 AM

View PostSthenno, on 22 April 2010 - 06:09 AM, said:

However, we seem to have turned this on its head. Self destructive behaviour such as drinking, eating badly, not exercising etc. are seen as the norm while those on a 'health kick' are seen as not normal. Similarly, the destruction of our environment has become the norm, and environmental awareness has, at least until recently, been abnormal behaviour.

I think our survival patterns are so complex and varied now that it would be impossible to draw a norm anywhere. We can establish what's 'normal' for certain definable factors like height and weight, but it terms of psychology there is no normal.
This is true in part. Self destructive behaviour may become the social norm, but it may remain non normal behaviour in terms of evolved norms which promote survival and constructive behaviour.

I dont think its beyond the ability of either mathematicians or psychologists to establish norm referenced behaviours, or to establish what behaviours are not normal.

To claim any behaviour may be normal is statistically incorrect and also tends to be a copout. On the other hand establishing statistical parameters for what is normal, and what is not, is not a justification (in itself) to make judgements about the worth or value of one behaviour vis a vis another. Behaviours need to be judged on their outcomes rather than on their "normality"

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#24    Mr Walker

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 03:04 AM

[quote]name='longlongago' date='23 April 2010 - 03:06 AM' timestamp='1271957819' post='3387049']
The CRUX of your argument seems to be the word ' Sapience ' .
Aren't you taking it for granted .. and isn't it true that the word more belongs to
an Anthropocentric world view ?[/quote]

In a non sapient world normal is easy to define mathematically and statistically. There are programmes which do it. However once an entity develops sapience, not only does self aware choice come into it, but so to do the complexes of sapience eg fetishes, phobias, psychological normality and abberance.  Once we symbolise and categorise, via language, tha t has to be taken into account in our understandings and definitions of normality.
Mathematics clearly defines norms and thus normality so, in that sense, it is not anthropomorhic but certainly within human culture and society we determine norms and normality by many non mathematical and quite overtly anthropomorphic methods.
[quote]

May be you choose to see only the ' Order ' in a society ,
And not the ' Chaos ' within ..[/quote] While order and chaos exist in both the natural and the sapient world, the difference is, that for its own survival, sapience always attempts to make or create order out of chaos Sapient beings survive not by innate strenght but by the application of sapience One evolved principle to understand, better survive and also adapt the worl around us is the process of identification, categorization, comparison, evaluation etc etc
One of the most basic processes within this is establishing patterns and predictability, and thus what is expected or normal and what is unexpected or non normal. Such identifications not only promote sapient survival but also play  a part in the evolution of sapience itself
So, while a sapient being sees order and chaos, its natural evolved "instinct" is to make sense of the chaos and to shape it into order. The establishment of normal behaviour is critical in this process.

There is very little chaos, and a great deal of order, in any human activity. That is due to our evolved natures and learned responses to our environments.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#25    Black Hound

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:44 PM

View Postlonglongago, on 16 April 2010 - 02:23 PM, said:

Is there such a thing as ' Normal '

Or is it merely a Substitute for ' Socially acceptable ' behavior ..
Aded, as determined by  the majority of the particular society, whose created the standards all are judged by. As a famous t-shirt once said,"I'm Normal but I'm Not sure About the Rest of You".





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