Showing posts with label cosmopolitanism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cosmopolitanism. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Global Citizens in a Cosmopolitan Society


He is not saying that globalization of society is preferable, but that breaking out of the tribal/national box is desirable.  Considering oneself a "global citizen" in a cosmopolitan society is an ideal.  Imposing globalization on idiots is impossible.  Some people cannot see beyond their sect/tribe/nation/God and half the time crap on people slightly different from the norms of the tribe.  In general social Darwinism (natural not imposed) will eliminate the worst excesses of tribalism. But evolutionary time scales are generational not annual.  Since the major threats to human survival are global, it may be a moot point whether globalization will even have a chance at working.

I am optimistic, humans have survived greater threats than these current ones, but the process will certainly not be pretty. "'I'm learning Chinese' says Werhner von Braun."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Origins of Morality

I have an extremely rational and objective basis for my morality.  It started at 2 or 3 when I was taught not to hurt other friends even accidentally because they would avoid me in the future and I would have no friends to play with.  Simple, rational, objective, social consequence based morality.  As I got older the definition of hurt and responsible behavior that defined the morality became more complex and stringent, but it was very simple.  If you want to play in this society you must be responsible for your behavior and avoid hurting the people who are part of it.   

The society which I choose to identify as my own is the society of highly educated, intelligent, cosmopolitans.  The definition of hurt includes the treatment of any other person as a lesser being, to be exploited or used in any way that is detrimental to their own interests. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Enlightenment and Cosmopolitanism v Religion

From a Jonathan Korman Facebook thread on The Death of the New Age 
The problem with all religions, traditional, New Age, Pagan and for that matter sport warrior worship,  is that they focus inward. If not on self on the small group of "us."  Only "we" can save the world by converting everyone to "our" solution.  While some religions are moving toward the celebration of life, all life, it seems that no God, goddess, or guru can figure out how to satisfy the ego needs for belonging with a concern for those not like "us."  The Enlightenment and its modern descendent Cosmopolitanism does not give the ego the intermediate step of "us" but forces concern for all.

It begins with Jefferson. All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalianable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.  Implicit in this statement is that these rights are accepted and enforced by all reasonable and civic minded people collectively and individually ready and willing to mutually pledge to their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor.  They do not pledge to a leader or to a nation but to each other and to a cause.   

Friday, July 2, 2010

Maturity in Theists and Atheists

What is an athiest? - Beliefnet

I realized why I think of a certain type of atheists this way, it is because they do remind me so much of fundamentalist Christians. But for the sake of argument I think I have come up with better terms to describe these types of atheists in relationship to other atheists and in relationship to their glaring similarity with fundamentalist Christians. Keep in mind I am not saying atheism is a religion. We all know it is not. These terms have nothing to do with age.

Mature Atheist/Mature Theist

1) They are mainly concerned with how they view the universe and do not understand why others want to change other people’s views.
2) They are comfortable with their views.
3) They like listening to others views.
4) They like or at least do not run away when new ideas which cause them cognitive dissidence. It gives them something to maul over.
5) They like people who challenge them.
6) They see a certain type of change as growth not as an indicator of being inconsistent.
7) They do not make changes lightly it is almost always a gradual change and it is never done out of fear.
8) If no one else thought like they did they would still not change their views because popularity of views is not important to them.
9) Their morality is like an invisible undershirt that is with them at all times. It is made up of hundreds of little pieces that have been sewn together. Each piece has been picked with great care. The welfare of not only their self but many others has been considered while picking each piece.
10) Their family, clubs, and friends are not picked because they share their views about the existence of God or the non-existence of God.

Immature Atheist/Immature Theist

1) They do not trust anyone that does not share their view. Be it that a god does not exist or that a God does exist.
2) They know they are correct.
3) They think that everyone would be better off thinking like them.
4) They feel distain for people who do not think like them.
5) Their mind is closed to others who do not think like them in debates.
6) They can not admit to others logical points even when they know they are logical.
7) They are fearful.
8) They think they know the truth and anyone that can not see that is ether stupid, brainwashed or angry.
9) They can not change therefore they can not grow because to them it would mean they were not correct before and they can not handle that.
10) They pick their family ,clubs and friends because they agree with them about God existing or not existing.

What do you think?


As usual Shirley, you nailed it.

About the only thing you left out was that Mature Atheists and Mature Theists will be working comfortably together to build the Cosmopolitan society that is the only hope for the survival of the human race, as well as in most other useful human activities.

The moral undershirt in 9) is well described by Kwame Appiah in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.

I am sure maul is a spell-checker ambiguity in 4) but I love it. There is nothing more fun than mauling over cognitive dissonance. If you can't resolve it, just get a bigger maul.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Modern Villages.

Genetic Origins of Human Morality - Beliefnet #5

Still, it's more very good news for professional sport.

Modern humans haven't moved much beyond the village or parish. The only difference is that we now have the means and incentive to choose our own village or occasionally more than one. As churches have lost their village status, other groups take up the slack, and as you point out sport teams provide the same religious fervor (and bigotry and violence) that churches once provided. The pub crawl is another. Arts groups can be another. I notice that SF Symphony has its own web2.0 social networking site. Every University has its social site, with the line between alumni and students blurring drastically.

I see this as an interim step to Appiah's Cosmopolitanism which I expect will be the next step in human moral evolution. I am not sure where the social village will be found, but I expect the university communities will end up as the choice for the well educated.

I don't see work as satisfying community social needs, with a few exceptions. Here in silicon valley Google and Apple seem to be viable communities, but that does not seem to be the norm. Most work experiences are devoid of moral value unless one views raping the world for personal gain as a moral value.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stoic Cosmopolitanism

Redefining Love - Beliefnet

A distinctive feature of Stoicism is its cosmopolitanism. All people are manifestations of the one universal spirit and should, according to the Stoics, live in brotherly love and readily help one another.

"So after 1977 years of Christian parochialism and hate we are finally getting back to the ancient truth:

All people are manifestations of the one universal spirit and should live in brotherly love and readily help one another.


For those wondering the date 33 CE was chosen to exclude Jesus and include Paul in Christian parochialism.

With the Stoic above and Jesus' Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. One can hardly go wrong.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cosmopolitan Communities.

The Basis of Human Morality - Beliefnet

We live and move and have our being not only as individuals but in community. [edited for readability]

J'C: "Historically our community has been imposed on us typically by religions, and more recently by other social units like universities, companies, and civic clubs. Perhaps a major change in "Community" is that the world is so large and interconnected that the "Community" is no longer defined by institutions, but by ad-hoc associations of like minded people, who may for instance be members of a church, a company, on the board of an arts organization, participate in alumni activities from their University and of course on the internet. These associations may be international in scope, but the important thing is the cosmopolitan nature of the association. People are not defined by where they live, go to church, work, recreate, but what they contribute to the association. I see this as a fundamental change in human social organization, and a hopeful one. It is hard to work up a good hate if there is no group to hate."

This may in fact be the direction of evolution for humans. Couples are breeding later in life after establishing themselves in the various groups that define their "community." Modern medicine has pushed back the female biological clock to the point that age is no longer a consideration for contributing to the gene pool. It is still common for couples to form in a university, but normally the other associations are established and the larger "community" they will be a part of is clear. But the pressure for the MRS degree in the university is off, and men and women feel confident that once established in their "community" the appropriate mate will come along to do their part for replacement fecundity. Note, the child(ren)are never accidents, and are assured of a supportive home to grow from.

I see a ring speciation going on here. The traditional communities will continue the present breeding pattern of a few kids in late teens or early 20s divorce at 25 and mom struggles to give the kids a good life. Enough dads will stick around to keep the community together, but the centrifugal force of the single mom driving her kids to succeed any way they can, sports or academics usually, seems to me to be fatal to the traditional community. Certainly they will never be comfortable with the cosmopolitan communities, and interbreeding will be rare.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Belonging to Life

Please tell me what 'belonging to life' means to you as it means nothing to me, so far.

“Love is not everything but we are less than nothing without Love.”

I think for me the realization of what 'belonging to life' meant was during the birth of my first child. I had no idea what I was in for the moment labor began. I had prepared for natural child birth, knew what physically was expected, but nothing prepared me for the 'force' that took over my body and mind. It was the most POWERFUL force I have ever experienced! It is LIFE that births us and it is LIFE that ages us and eventually takes our breath away. IMHO, it is life that owns us.
Wendyness from beliefnet

Thank you

I understand what you mean and I agree in the sense that we are biological, living beings, first and foremost. I understand it as 'membership' rather than 'ownership' -

The Buddhist says to the Hot Dog Vendor, 'Make me one with everything.'

This is my personal vision –

May I be one with every other living entity, that is to say, let it be that I become a member of the unity of all living things; may my life also be a positive contribution to all other living things, both while I am alive and on into the future through the efforts spurred by my legacy.”

From a PM response to Wendyness, with permission.

I have frequently noted that I am from from a long, long line of organisms that made enough difference in the life of at least one other organism and the environment that supported them to "say" lets make more of us. In most cases this was a purposeful choice, if only the prettiest hindquarters, but generally something more important than that, some evidence of something that would make the "more of us" a little better than either of us with a little nicer place to live in. That was the easy and fun part. Then came the fulfillment part to "more of us" the care, the feeding, the final "you are on your own now, carry on."

The fact that uncountable ancestors did just that is why I am here, and the drive to "carry on" is what makes me part of everything, or as Wendyness said owns me. The carrying on is much more interesting for humans, as they (and their dogs if Jon Franklin is correct.)have in a real sense taken control over their environment to the extent that the legacy scope is huge. We have domesticated our food sources, and to a lesser extent our social and intellectual resources. But it is in the social and intellectual areas where the drive to carry on has the most impact and most responsibility. It is no longer enough just to make "more of us." It is necessary to make the environment they are going to live in amenable to fulfilled living.

Religion may have been the earliest attempt to domesticate our social environment, and seems to have been dominant for most of the Holocene human history. It also seemed to be responsible for the human intellectual legacy and the suppression of same. The separation of the intellectual legacy from the religious was the next great change. The invasion of the intellectual institutions into the social area is perhaps the current challenge for those driven to preserve the human legacy. Whether we like it or not it seems that being one with life or with everything is now contingent on humans solving their social problems.

I frankly don't think religion is up to the challenge, and will be relegated to keeping the majority content with their lot in life. Those with the intellectual capability to remake the human social structure into the necessary cosmopolitan paradigm are now responsible for the human legacy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Each religion is alone true.

The blue roads of thinking: Materialism and God:
Each religion is alone true, that is to say, that at the moment we are thinking of it we must bring as much attention to bear on it as if there were nothing else...A 'synthesis' of religion implies a lower quality of attention.
Simone Weil

C'J: In a long lifetime of studying, and learning from religions, it is necessary to suspend disbelief to this extent to get anything from them. When I am singing a Mass it it impossible to do it right or learn from the experience if there are any reservations about God or the belief set you are singing about.
One of the reasons I do not attempt to build a coherent whole from what I learn is that not only are they alone true, they are also alone false. I suspect that if any had been true in the sense of having a true connection to God, I would have by now found God. Unlike Simone, the fact that all religions are alone false led me not to God but to a cosmopolitan understanding of morality, meaning and purpose in life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can Boomers find a community on the net? : the promised land is under your feet: "Novelist Wallace Stegner was a close observer of American culture. He once observed that people in this country can generally be assigned to one of two categories: “boomers” or “stickers.” He lamented that the former—folks who with very little forethought will pull up stakes and head for the latest boomtown—were becoming increasingly dominant. Modern society, Stegner complained, schools its citizens in discontent and encourages us to “get up and get out.” The itch for greener pastures or greater adventure—symptomatic, perhaps, of an unresolved frontier fixation—is one we just can’t resist scratching. But, Stegner wrote, “Neither the country nor the society we build out of it can be healthy if we don’t stop raiding and running and learn to be quiet part of the time, and acquire the sense not of ownership, but of belonging.”"

There are very few of us who can find what we need for personal fulfillment if we become "Stickers" for the sake of sticking and building and maintaining a community. The school to meet our aspirations may be across the country or around the world. The job we have prepared for may not be in the same community as the school where we learned our trade. Then we grow in our trade and outgrow the job that started our career, or our significant other may have outgrown the community we live in and another community change is in order.

Friends and associates in our monkeysphere also scatter so even if we would like to be stickers, the rest of the community isn't and we are stuck with a bunch of new neighbors, new industries, and even a bunch of new people in our church. that may change it beyond our comfort level.

There may still be a few communities where sticking is a possibility, but they are rare and the vibrant cutting edge industry that is a necessity for such a community, works against the stickers maintaining a stable community.

Where are we to find our roots? Is it possible that soil and bricks are no longer necessary for rootedness, but that the nascent communities on the internet will become the new roots for the boomers? Is facebook our new village green or post office where we get our daily social strokes? Are blogs the coffee houses where we share our profound ideas with like minded profound thinkers? Is our little piece of the net the new community where the boomers are rooted? I think so. There will still be meet ups and face time but they will be increasingly mediated on the net, and with few exceptions community roots in jobs, churches, and neighborhoods will be non-existent.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moral Standards

Is there a moral position without God?:

"Morals are not beliefs they are behavior patterns bred into us over millions of years of being dependent on our social group for survival. Doing what we must for the good of the social group is the beginning and the end of moral behavior. If the social group is religious, doing what the mediator says God wants is part of the package. Many of us have a more cosmopolitan social group see Appiah, Cosmopolitanism - Ethics in a World of Strangers and the insular and usually xenophobic morality of religious groups just does not work for us."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So that all children can fly : watching the evidence change: "In the hours and days after November 4, a saying made its way across the Internet that speaks cogently to the stream of history in which we now stand:
Rosa sat so that Martin could walk. Martin walked so that Obama could run. Obama ran so that our children can fly.”

J'C: Some of the world has matured to where those identifiers of "other" are obsolete:

We are not quite to the Cosmopolitan World yet where the only thing that counts is "What you can do for your Country" or "planet" these days. But that day is approaching. Those parts of the world where these identifiers are still operable will find it increasingly hard to compete in the Cosmopolitan World. The reaction will unfortunately be violent, and it will be interesting to see how we the cosmopolitans will handle the violence. We obviously have the hoof and mouth solution, tried already in Iraq. I wonder if there is any other. It may be that quarantine will work as those dysfunctional societies destroy themselves, and they will. It will be hard to stand by and watch, but is there any other choice? Is the nuclear hoof and mouth solution kinder? The "neutron" bomb to reduce fallout?
Is there an answer? The question is getting unavoidable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Indoctrinating Children

Do believers really believe? - Beliefnet Forums: "It is quite natural for humans to indoctrinate their children in the ways of their society. In fact it would be inhuman not to. If the ways of their society are religious, as they are for much of the world, indoctrinating children to believe instead of think is natural and will insure that the child will fit right in with the society of which hesh is a part.

Whether this is a good thing for a modern, knowledge based, cosmopolitan society, is an entirely different question which I think will be answered naturally by social evolution. Those societies where the children are indoctrinated to think rather than believe, seem to be ascendant (I am talking China and India here) and those societies where children are taught to believe seem to be having trouble even maintaining their infrastructure."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Prejudice in modern society.

Prejudice is a normal and powerful coping mechanism for humans dealing with people who are not in their village or parish.Prejudice v Evidence - Beliefnet Forums: "Beliefnet Forums > FAITHS & PRACTICES > Discussion, Dialogue and Debate > Discuss Atheism > Prejudice v Evidence"