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Moment of Silence

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TimovieMan - 16 December 2012 10:27 AM

What were the statistics that compared the US to Canada? About the same amount of guns per resident, but only 1% of the amount of gunshot victims per year in Canada? That says a lot, too.

I’m aware of the disparity between the US and Canada. There are any number of humorous reasons I could give, but none would be humorous in the context of this conversation.

I live in a relatively wealthy suburb of Chicago. Not a day goes by, it seems, when I don’t pick up a copy of the Trib, or watch the local evening news, when I don’t read/see some report of a person under the age of 15 gunned down accidentally in a “drive-by” shooting. I’m ashamed to say that it happens so often that I have become numbed by the news. This news, Newtown, hit me hard enough to cause a reaction because this didn’t happen in a neighborhood I wouldn’t drive through, let alone drive to. It hit me because it happened in a community that mirrors my own. I’m embarassed by this viewpoint, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

tsa - 16 December 2012 12:50 PM

The Onion had a good piece about the shooting.

Very good article. However, for all the “F-Bombs” it dropped, I never saw the proposal that stated how we might stop this “WTF event” from ever happening again.

     

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rtrooney - 16 December 2012 07:50 PM
tsa - 16 December 2012 12:50 PM

The Onion had a good piece about the shooting.

Very good article. However, for all the “F-Bombs” it dropped, I never saw the proposal that stated how we might stop this “WTF event” from ever happening again.

That’s just the point. As with the linesman who was kicked to death in The Netherlands last week, nobody knows what to do about it.

     
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There are no quick solutions. It’d have to be a slow process, starting from the way we bring up children, all the way to the utter selfishness of those in power.

Philosophers are talking about this a lot (most recently, my father talked about having read Amin Maalouf’s text about this). Everything in our societies is nowadays more and more oriented into producing people who are cost-efficient (both in the sense that more and more of their work and other time is “efficiently” utilized for the benefit of the economy, and in their civilian behaviour is one of mass consumption). There is less and less effort given for the development of the person and the people, while all the effort is given to financial development. The end result is the cold, calculative, egoistic sociopath (and this isn’t just words - just recently it has been proven that in our societies it is the sociopath who does best and that a huge number of those in charge are in fact sociopaths). This is what our societies produce, and so here we see the end result.

Philosophers are constantly urging for the increase of humanism in schools again (arts and humanist subjects have been constantly decreased, but they are vital to the self-growth and empathy of the person (and empathy is something that constantly diminishes in capitalism). Because, however, capitalism is a system of selfishm and neverending gain (greed, one might say) and those in charge only care about the further increase of their status.

Empathy is a threat to the hypercapitalism we more and more live in today. And as was said, those in charge are those who don’t care about humanist values, who only care about themselves, and so who only want more and more financial advantage. They can also secure themselves from most harm done by this. (And obviously, there are masses of people who do wish for more regulation, more humanism, etc., who do the best they can to help others, but they can’t affect things on the large scale - and it seems that the more money (and so in this world the more absolute power) you have, the less you care about other people)

And because capitalism is not just the economic system of the society, it is the full mindset of it, this kind of idea of constant economic growth (at the expense of humanity) infiltrates the thinking of everyone, not just the bigshots.

Capitalism is so far the “best” (in practice) we’ve been able to come up with, but it has the tendency to quickly get far too far at the cost of those who are “serving” it, if it is left unregulated. And that isn’t just about financial crises (but again, there we see the same circle - those who manipulated it to happen can be unaffected by it and in fact gain from it, while everyone else suffers), it’s about the well-being and the mindset of the entire population.

And so, it’s a very slow process of bringing humanity and empathy back into the values of the society (now purely the values of capitalism).


Okay, rant over Tongue

     
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UPtimist - 17 December 2012 05:56 AM

There are no quick solutions. It’d have to be a slow process, starting from the way we bring up children, all the way to the utter selfishness of those in power.

Philosophers are talking about this a lot (most recently, my father talked about having read Amin Maalouf’s text about this). Everything in our societies is nowadays more and more oriented into producing people who are cost-efficient (both in the sense that more and more of their work and other time is “efficiently” utilized for the benefit of the economy, and in their civilian behaviour is one of mass consumption). There is less and less effort given for the development of the person and the people, while all the effort is given to financial development. The end result is the cold, calculative, egoistic sociopath (and this isn’t just words - just recently it has been proven that in our societies it is the sociopath who does best and that a huge number of those in charge are in fact sociopaths). This is what our societies produce, and so here we see the end result.

Philosophers are constantly urging for the increase of humanism in schools again (arts and humanist subjects have been constantly decreased, but they are vital to the self-growth and empathy of the person (and empathy is something that constantly diminishes in capitalism). Because, however, capitalism is a system of selfishm and neverending gain (greed, one might say) and those in charge only care about the further increase of their status.

Empathy is a threat to the hypercapitalism we more and more live in today. And as was said, those in charge are those who don’t care about humanist values, who only care about themselves, and so who only want more and more financial advantage. They can also secure themselves from most harm done by this. (And obviously, there are masses of people who do wish for more regulation, more humanism, etc., who do the best they can to help others, but they can’t affect things on the large scale - and it seems that the more money (and so in this world the more absolute power) you have, the less you care about other people)

And because capitalism is not just the economic system of the society, it is the full mindset of it, this kind of idea of constant economic growth (at the expense of humanity) infiltrates the thinking of everyone, not just the bigshots.

Capitalism is so far the “best” (in practice) we’ve been able to come up with, but it has the tendency to quickly get far too far at the cost of those who are “serving” it, if it is left unregulated. And that isn’t just about financial crises (but again, there we see the same circle - those who manipulated it to happen can be unaffected by it and in fact gain from it, while everyone else suffers), it’s about the well-being and the mindset of the entire population.

And so, it’s a very slow process of bringing humanity and empathy back into the values of the society (now purely the values of capitalism).


Okay, rant over Tongue

I agree with what you said, but is bringing empathy back going to change much? The main goal of the schools is still going to be preparing its students to compete in the cut-throat world, and the losers of that game won’t be consoled much by a few tacked-on empathy classes. It would be nice if they were, but if they fail to achieve high grades, a good job and lots of friends they will still feel unappreciated, outcast from society, because it is the expectations of society that says they are.

It’s a nice idea but I think impossible. Maybe it’s just my idea of real empathy, which would be saying to someone else while going for a job “hey, you need this job more than I do so I’m going to let you have it”. Not just words of sympathy. But that is not possible to imagine this kind of caring attitude work in a world that works only because it is selfish.

     
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UPtimist - 17 December 2012 05:56 AM

There are no quick solutions. It’d have to be a slow process, starting from the way we bring up children, all the way to the utter selfishness of those in power…

Capitalism is so far the “best” (in practice) we’ve been able to come up with, but it has the tendency to quickly get far too far at the cost of those who are “serving” it, if it is left unregulated. And that isn’t just about financial crises (but again, there we see the same circle - those who manipulated it to happen can be unaffected by it and in fact gain from it, while everyone else suffers), it’s about the well-being and the mindset of the entire population.

And so, it’s a very slow process of bringing humanity and empathy back into the values of the society (now purely the values of capitalism).


Okay, rant over Tongue

I think mass media’s exploitation at rampant,made people thinks violent attacks in civil societies are bad omen about system’s today and future and there’s a need of control,no they’always been there and they always will be.

     

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Someone posted this over at Mystery Manor.  It’s an article from the mother of a mentally ill child, and I think it’s appropriate to post it here as well.
I am Adam Lanza’s Mother

     

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If it is the same person, she was interviewed yesterday morning on the Today show. Very frightening. At what point does a parent have to consider having a child committed for fear something similar might happen. Or worse, if they don’t, and something does happen, what is the liability, let alone the eternal guilt?

     

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rtrooney - 18 December 2012 07:20 PM

If it is the same person, she was interviewed yesterday morning on the Today show. Very frightening. At what point does a parent have to consider having a child committed for fear something similar might happen. Or worse, if they don’t, and something does happen, what is the liability, let alone the eternal guilt?

It could have been Lionel Shriver. I’ve seen her being interviewed a coupl eo ftimes recently.

She wrote the award winning novel “We need to talk about Kevin” which is about a fictional school massacre written from the mother of the killer’s POV.

They made a really good movie version

 

     

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Zifnab - 17 December 2012 06:37 AM

I agree with what you said, but is bringing empathy back going to change much? The main goal of the schools is still going to be preparing its students to compete in the cut-throat world, and the losers of that game won’t be consoled much by a few tacked-on empathy classes. It would be nice if they were, but if they fail to achieve high grades, a good job and lots of friends they will still feel unappreciated, outcast from society, because it is the expectations of society that says they are.

It’s a nice idea but I think impossible. Maybe it’s just my idea of real empathy, which would be saying to someone else while going for a job “hey, you need this job more than I do so I’m going to let you have it”. Not just words of sympathy. But that is not possible to imagine this kind of caring attitude work in a world that works only because it is selfish.

Well, there you have it. The capitalism we live in won’t allow for anyone to care about anyone unless the whole system is radically changed (or at least changed back to how it used to be, to some extent).

Of course, what I talked about, it’s not really exactly the same as what you talked about. For me it’s about a world view altogether, something that comes slowly through different attitudes (and it starts from all the way in school, but it’s present everywhere), not a class in school. And it’s not a matter of division of goods by a standard of absolute justice (which is sort of the case in the example there) but rather an arranging of things so that the system is as least unfair as possible. And, maybe most importantly, it’s about the recognition of the humanity of each individual, not seeing them as the tools of the Economy (as is pretty much the case now). Sort of like Kant’s categorical imperative (the second formulation).

Something like the competition for jobs, well, that’s not really central here (or rather, I suppose it is but only on a more general level). The competition would be much better for those involved if those in charge were to actually care about anyone or anything except short-term maximum gain. I mean that the person who in your case deserves the job more but doesn’t get it still has something to fall back on and gets the support they need to survive.

Because the world isn’t a game of Monopoly where anyone can succeed. It’s a clear division of those who can and those who can’t - and the dividing line is quickly becoming more and more unreachable for more and more people.

     

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Surely the point isn’t added “empathy classes” or even the promotion of social egalitarianism on its own. It’s the value of humanities in teaching a depth of thinking and feeling, in enabling people to find (and seek) meaning in life and to formulate meaningful notions of themselves, existence and each other.

(Of course the practical matter of gun control and, crucially, mental health care, still must come into it to prevent and treat the ones who nonetheless find themselves in these positions.)

     
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Yes, exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you Smile

(Proves that I should leave the talking to other people Wink)

     

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