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The Cost of Stayin Alive!


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#1    coberst

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:14 PM

The Cost of Stayin Alive!

I once asked a professor of philosophy “what is philosophy about?” he responded “philosophy is a radically critical self-consciousness”.  It took me thirty years to understand this statement.

I shall take a “radically critical self-conscious” look at the question of longevity in these troubled times.

My generation and my children’s generation have not prepared my grandchildren’s generation for the mess that we are leaving to them.  One easily understood aspect of this mess, though not the most important, is the massive debt past generations are leaving to future generations.  

The tea party’s clamor about public debt makes this matter obvious to us on a daily basis.  Has the tea party taken a radically critical self-conscious look of this problem?  I think not, but who would claim that these people are intellectually sophisticated?  

Imagine that instead of a tea party we faced daily the much publicized clamor of reasoned judgment by an older generation of intellectually sophisticated citizens.

A person who has lived 75 years, such as me, might ask him or her self “is every additional day of life for me worth $100 to my family?”
  

I receive about $1,500 a month in social security or $50 a day.  I am adding another $50 a day to cover other costs such as health care and the consumption of the earth’s natural resources.  This $100 a day does not include other costs that my family will endure as a result of my dieing slowly over the remainder of my life.  

I put this on a family values basis because we American citizens have learned to hide reality from our conscious considerations.  If we put it on a national basis we will not comprehend the reality of the situation.

I can think of only one way that we old folks can pay our way sufficiently to justify living longer than 75 years.  The way that old folks can pay their way is by preparing themselves to become intellectually sophisticated before they are old (just as we prepare financially for old age) so that they can provide to society a storehouse of networked understanding to help fellow citizens to make good judgments regarding matters of culture and government.


#2    Slorri

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

Perhaps the changes in society are so fast now that most things one has learned are deemed out of date when we get old.
Kids rule the world now. They are a strong economical factor and they don't listen to old folks.

Good cultural philosophy does not always go hand in hand with the economical rat race.


#3    coberst

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 03:04 PM

View PostSlorri, on 17 April 2010 - 07:00 PM, said:

Perhaps the changes in society are so fast now that most things one has learned are deemed out of date when we get old.
Kids rule the world now. They are a strong economical factor and they don't listen to old folks.

Good cultural philosophy does not always go hand in hand with the economical rat race.

Why does the challenge of becoming intellectually sophisticated frighten everyone so?

First, I will say that our (American) culture is very anti-intellectual and therein, I think, lays the rub.  

We are anti-intellectual because those who control public policy (Corporate America) keep us like dumb bovine because it is easier to manipulate a naïve person than a sophisticated person.


#4    Slorri

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:10 PM

But also a lot of people don't like to (or can't) take responsibility in society. Perhaps it's convenient.
Sure, the corporations exploit us, and we let them.


#5    puridalan

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 01:45 AM

Also on a side note 'cost of staying alive', you wouldn't believe how many people 10 yrs prior say for example I will not live if I get HIV or paralyzed. However, when faced with being HIV positive ten years later or a car accident that paralzyes them from the legs down..you will be suprised how many of those individuals still keep themselves alive. It is not just being alive itself, but the quality of life. Sometimes even just having a little good quality of life is enough to make one want to live, even though dealing with major handicaps/chronic diseases like AIDs or duchens disease. It's funny because sometimes you really cannot put a 'cost' on living.


#6    Mr Walker

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:34 AM

View Postcoberst, on 17 April 2010 - 04:14 PM, said:

The Cost of Stayin Alive!

I once asked a professor of philosophy “what is philosophy about?” he responded “philosophy is a radically critical self-consciousness”.  It took me thirty years to understand this statement.

I shall take a “radically critical self-conscious” look at the question of longevity in these troubled times.

My generation and my children’s generation have not prepared my grandchildren’s generation for the mess that we are leaving to them.  One easily understood aspect of this mess, though not the most important, is the massive debt past generations are leaving to future generations.  

The tea party’s clamor about public debt makes this matter obvious to us on a daily basis.  Has the tea party taken a radically critical self-conscious look of this problem?  I think not, but who would claim that these people are intellectually sophisticated?  

Imagine that instead of a tea party we faced daily the much publicized clamor of reasoned judgment by an older generation of intellectually sophisticated citizens.

A person who has lived 75 years, such as me, might ask him or her self “is every additional day of life for me worth $100 to my family?”
  

I receive about $1,500 a month in social security or $50 a day.  I am adding another $50 a day to cover other costs such as health care and the consumption of the earth’s natural resources.  This $100 a day does not include other costs that my family will endure as a result of my dieing slowly over the remainder of my life.  

I put this on a family values basis because we American citizens have learned to hide reality from our conscious considerations.  If we put it on a national basis we will not comprehend the reality of the situation.

I can think of only one way that we old folks can pay our way sufficiently to justify living longer than 75 years.  The way that old folks can pay their way is by preparing themselves to become intellectually sophisticated before they are old (just as we prepare financially for old age) so that they can provide to society a storehouse of networked understanding to help fellow citizens to make good judgments regarding matters of culture and government.
This supposes that a person has some debt or cost to a community. In modern societies most people who live to old age have accrued a social asset ie society owes them. While we should all do the best we can to support ourselves in old age, an effective working modern society will provide for older members. In reality some medical intervention may become so costly as to be prohibitive, but this is  generally an exception. Older people also should have social and legal freedom to weigh up their lives in terms of health, pain, enjoyment, etc and make their own decisions as to when to end their lives. So to use your example, as a younger person you paid your social wage You paid for you kids education and up bringing. You contributed to the cost of the infrastructure and services you use Your family(and society in general) has a fiducial duty, along with a moral responsibility to pay your way if, and when, you can no longer do so.

Of course, old age is relative. Older people can contribute significantly to society both through paid employment and as unpaid volunteers. If you baby sit the grandkids, run a family taxi service  etc, do you charge your children an economic rate for your services. If not, then the work you do remains as valuable, intrinsically, as if they had to pay for it, and thus a credit on your side of the ledger.

Edited by Mr Walker, 22 April 2010 - 05:36 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.

#7    coberst

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 11:07 AM

View Postpuridalan, on 20 April 2010 - 01:45 AM, said:

Also on a side note 'cost of staying alive', you wouldn't believe how many people 10 yrs prior say for example I will not live if I get HIV or paralyzed. However, when faced with being HIV positive ten years later or a car accident that paralzyes them from the legs down..you will be suprised how many of those individuals still keep themselves alive. It is not just being alive itself, but the quality of life. Sometimes even just having a little good quality of life is enough to make one want to live, even though dealing with major handicaps/chronic diseases like AIDs or duchens disease. It's funny because sometimes you really cannot put a 'cost' on living.

Because it is future generations who must carry the burden of the old and ill we must recognize that stayin alive is a moral question.  Our animal nature is constantly sending us impulses "stay alive no matter what".


#8    Alien Being

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 11:48 PM

View Postcoberst, on 18 April 2010 - 03:04 PM, said:

Why does the challenge of becoming intellectually sophisticated frighten everyone so?

First, I will say that our (American) culture is very anti-intellectual and therein, I think, lays the rub.  

We are anti-intellectual because those who control public policy (Corporate America) keep us like dumb bovine because it is easier to manipulate a naïve person than a sophisticated person.

Obviously illness takes hold of some older people but if they are mentally fit which most are then you have a huge resevoir of experience and knowledge which isnt being taken advantage off. Imagine what a company could do with these people on the board offering advice when many have working in a field all their lives.

American society is consumer orientated. They arent interested in your rights only that you buy products and pay taxes. The society in the US is geared more to making money than people and ignorant, dumb downed people are easier to lead and to sell to.





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