Enlightening Conversations

Discussion in 'Funstuff and Inspiration' started by Larinda McRaven, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Currently pondering "love is a verb." I'm not sure I buy it, but it's starting to make more sense. And, in light of various wossnames, it's about as close to describing the ambivalence I'm feeling now toward various people and situations.

    Along the same vein, am pondering the idea that you don't have to like someone in order to act with love towards them. Or something. I admit it's not well thought out. Perhaps it's not so much acting with love towards them but acting with respect for my own morals, and my own sense of self-respect, or kindness. Or something. And does it really matter in the long run, if the actions are good, and are good to other people.

    Much ambivalence. Much pondering.
    chomsky likes this.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    for me...love simply as a feeling is cheap, easy and fleeting....rather than saying love is a verb (which I like by the way, because talk is cheap) ...I prefer to say that love is a decision...which for me means that feelings come and go...the way that long-term loving relationship is maintained is by making loving choices, and taking loving actions even in the absence of feeling...it doesn't mean acting in-authentically, it means understanding that emotions fluctuate... and knowing that often it is what we do that nurtures and sustains what we wish to feel....
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...interesting.

    Background: my FIL has cancer. Caught early, very high successful treatment rate, so I'm not terribly alarmed as yet. But you all know some of the history, and how I feel about him and MIL. No love. I don't wish the man ill, but I certainly don't like him.

    And...yet...they're family. I will be there to help him, and her, when they need help. I will offer (well, have offered) before they ask. I don't know what to make of my motivations, or the situation in general. But they're family. Period. As much as I dislike him, I won't turn my back on him. I couldn't live with myself if I did that.

    So...yeah. Ambivalent. Pondering. Mostly, though, just accepting; this is what I have to do to feel at peace with myself and my ethics. What that means in the grander scheme of things?...well, whatever.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    ah, that is a different issue and is, IMV, simply about is what is the humane thing to do... you don't have to pretend to adore the man, but you have an obligation to do what is loving toward your husband in how you behave at this time and I am sure, given the past history with them, that the extent of that which would be sensible and appropriate is to do what you can to make sure that the man's comfort and dignity remains intact via whatever care he is going to need, which doesn't mean that you have to be the one providing it...that someone is dying doesn't mean that all previous modes of understanding the relationships must be altered inappropriately and in a way that still won't work....try not to live the whole future of it though..try to live just each occasion at a time, focusing on what your husband is feeling he needs to do
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    For me, family is the people you help, protect, support, regardless of whether you like them or enjoy their company.
  6. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    and Watch your back, because some M*****F***** is going to assassinate your character, twist your words, misinterpret your actions, and tell you what you think.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wonderful, optimistic sentiment to share with fourteen and fifteen year olds. lol.
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    and as the Pink Floyd song goes..
    "No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teachers leave them kids alone"
    chomsky likes this.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I spent some time thinking about this before responding, P, and couldn't come up with a darn thing to add to what fascination said so well.
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

  11. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I actually happened on it while it was broadcasting (don't normally watch 60 minutes). Made sense to me, and short-circuits any need to understand why humans are so ready to hate on the "other". It's hard-wired.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I think its a tribal instinct.
  13. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I'm stealing this...
    bordertangoman likes this.
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Yes, but what is interesting is how finely diced the tribes can be. How people choose their tribe. This is like that Star Trek episode with the people that are black on one side, and white on the other. The crew of the enterprise can't figure out what distinguishes the two warring sides until someone explains that one side is white on the left, and the other is white on the right. The moral of the episode was that tribalism is pretty stupid, but this research shows that this is an instinct we are born with.
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I agree; now are you a black tiger with yellow stripes or a yellow tiger with black stripes? ;)
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    IMV, it's learned and passed down... When we are young, receptive and needing protection by those who have great influence on our lives, we are generally pummeled (even "lovingly") to varying degrees by tribal concepts of "virtue": "Because you belong to our ethnic/religious/political/philosophical/familial group, you must believe in this Thing and do that Thing, which will keep you a member of our group in good standing, so we will love, support and value you." Same business, repeated over and over again.

    Those that recognize this can break (or remain) free of it, and there is no "us-them" inclination to hate or exclude.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  17. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    No offense, Samina, but did you watch the video? The whole point here is the tribalism actually precedes any teaching. Yes, you get indoctrinated into the identities of the tribes, but the inclination to tribalism is instinctual, not taught, according to that research.
    It is not just a matter of unlearning the tribal distinctions we learn growing up, but a continual process of recognizing when we have divided the world into us and other.
  18. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I did watch the video...my response was a dissenting one. Just because he's a so-called expert in something and on TV doesn't mean he's right. I take issue with his intimation that babies, humans, We, are inherently immoral and need his idea of further "education" so as not to be so.
  19. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Hmm. So, from my perspective as a scientist, assuming the research results were not presented with a bias, it is perfectly reasonable from an evolutionary perspective that tribalism is instinctual. Every animal has instincts about the four F's, why should humans be any different? Humans are the only animals we know of that can choose not to follow their instincts. Instincts are not moral or immoral, they are how we are wired to survive in the environment in which we evolved for millions of years. Those instincts may not adapt us well to our modern world, but we are fortunate in having the ability to adapt, and to act against both those instincts we are wired with, as well as against all we get taught growing up.

    What is immoral is when you know something is wrong, and you do it anyway. Is a small child who stomps on a worm immoral if they haven't been taught about empathy, the sanctity of life, etc., etc. Is the tiger who eats the child that fell into his enclosure immoral?

    Morality is learned, an infant is not capable of being moral or immoral.
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    So in your view, humans are born with no instinctive sense of what is humane or not humane, but they are born with an instinctive sense of tribalism that would be inherently divisive? What if a child is born with a strong sense of tribalism with humanity at large...?

    There are all kinds of moral constructs that humans contrive, and those have to be taught. But what about a moral construct that is inherently universal in nature, superior to the differentiating types... That possibility is assumed in the view you are expressing not to exist.

    As Larinda suggested, it's a thought-provoking subject, quite rich.

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