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 There Is A Sickness That Haunts The Western World
Boredfree 489 posts, incept 2021-09-15
2022-07-31 21:08:23


No altruism is ever conducted by a disinterested person!

I believe most 'altruism' is likely done in hope it extinguishes a past sin.

People usually help others because they see it as benefiting them in some way. Few actually help (just to help) without any perceived kickback. It's the human way.

People who take pride in themselves and the world around them right many ills unnoticed. They pick up trash, stop to remove rocks from the road, ect because such problems are within their abilities to right. They are a secret army helping society maintain at least a level of civilization.

I tend to believe (I wasn't born until 69) in the 1950s people felt this way. But this is because many authors I've read painted it as such.

Growing up I remember a neighbor who worked for the Forest Service driving around and making sure everything was nice. Graffiti, broken restrooms and trash were some of what he had to deal with, mostly post 1970 (our family spent a lot of time with him after he retired - before that he HATED us because my dad had long hair and longhaired freaks are who disrespected the forest). My last few trips to Bald Rock in Berry Creek where I came of age were appalling. Let me just say, people are animals, and dirty ones at that.

Try to pick-up at least a piece of trash a day. It's a start. Seriously.

The problem is most people want to point a finger rather than their thumb when dealing with challenges.
Tonythetiger 645 posts, incept 2019-01-27
2022-07-31 21:20:05

Memo from Elite Central

Distribution: Elites everywhere

Flap is on the verge of figuring it out. Declare an Emergency!


"War is when the Government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself." - Benjamin Franklin
Radiosity 1k posts, incept 2009-03-05
2022-08-01 07:11:30

WE must save this...
WE must save that...
WE, WE, WE...

Notice how it's always WE that must save the world, but it's always US that have to suffer and be deprived of everything good in order to do it?

Karlwolf 2 posts, incept 2010-02-10
2022-08-01 10:51:59

This was a great, great post!
Vernonb 2k posts, incept 2009-06-03
2022-08-01 12:14:07

Great piece. Born in 1962.
They started that IMS for math shit the second semester of my 4th grade. Before 8th they got rid of it.

Just something for Lazy ass teachers. IMO.

I came from a po dunk Class A school in the low country of SC. That one schools scores however was what the state submitted to the Feds when it came to funding. This shows the corruption of the system. We did take the state math tournaments for about 10 years straight. If went downhill two years after my class graduated.

I graduated valedictorian of my high school. I was so far ahead of my peers in scores I could have made Cs in every course my last 2 years. There was no gifted or talented but they put me in the near equivalent of special ed in first grade. Only a truly interested teacher realized it was not a lack of mentality acuity but severe hearing issues. There were 3 of us misclassified.She separated us and gave special instructions.
By end of first grade all of us were reading at a 5th grade level.

No one helped me get to college. Guidance counselors only helped the "rich" or politically connected kids.

Finally I got a scholarship to the number 3 school in southeast at the time. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

I reserve altruism for those that have truly had a bad turn of no fault of their own. Most people are the architects of their own destruction as I have found.

I am grateful for those that realize reality is often beyond simple observation.

"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Margbp 27 posts, incept 2021-12-02
2022-08-01 12:31:45

The sickness is too much leisure. Or comfortableness. Or maybe just say it's living at a certain (higher) standard of living that allows a person to spend time on worthless pursuits (like being a victim). Victimhood has become an idol to be worshiped. As such it becomes the reason (or the excuse) why so many people are failing at life. All that time spent on being a victim leaves little time to advance a career, find a spouse or contribute to society. It's way easier to whip out the victim card and get back to avoiding anything that looks like work & normal life. People have removed the challenges from life. No religion. No marriage. No children. No working. Nothing that would create expectations.

Another excuse for being lazy. I see it in all ages. I have a family member only works just enough so he doesn't get stressed and his anxiety stays under control.

My grandfather farmed 22 acres by walking behind a mule AND he ran a sawmill. I know people who barely work 40/week who come home exhausted and can't do anything worthwhile. So they watch videos or play video games. My dad came home and mowed the lawn or went down to basement to work on something. My parents rarely watched tv.

There a satisfaction from accomplishing something that takes real effort & thinking to do. My dad built all these wooden storage boxes to store our stuff while camping. I read that playing video games gives the players the same sense of accomplishment. But one is more useful. Try to tell someone that and you get called a boomer.

Leber 33 posts, incept 2021-11-27
2022-08-01 12:32:01

Don't disagree, but there is another question behind the moral failure.
People have not suddenly changed and decided to become adherents of evil;
Like they all became lazy in the thirties and refused to work and became hobos.

Moral failure has come about because of changes to the social structure. On the one hand this is a matter of scale, where people have no concrete responsibility and accountability but form the tiniest of links in a very long chain: You are not trusting or ripping off (or being ripped off by) the local shoe-maker when you buy a pair of nikes, you are part of a huge chain of events of which you generally do not even have an overview. It is easier to feel responsible for your kid with the dirty diaper than to feel personally responsible for the customer base of a corporation.

On the other hand, it has to do with the organization of society, which does not (for a large share of, if not all people) meet fundamental human needs, the need for belonging, feeling connected to others, the feeling that an important contribution is being demanded of you that matters, that it is important to others how you behave, etc etc. People become demoralized and become free floating anonymous agents.
Tristan 721 posts, incept 2009-04-08
2022-08-02 16:02:05

A talent is a measure, something weighed, an amount. A "bag of gold" cheapens it, for sure, but in a way, so does considering it to be nothing more than "an ability" or a "station in life". Good morals are embedded into what Jesus says, but the first line of the parable should be examined:
For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
"It" is referring to the kingdom of heaven, which is the target and core of the gospel message, the Bible generally, and all of creation. The man is Jesus himself. His servants are those who accept that position and also those who do not. His property could be considered to be wealth or standing or skills, since everything belongs to him, but everything he speaks of is primarily spiritual, not temporal, so what he entrusts to his servants is also primarily spiritual; namely, well, human souls.

It is good to consider the message in the parable to be about giving to the poor, and using talents in service to others, and showing mercy where it isn't deserved. Only consider that the purpose is not only in doing good for others, but also in acknowledging the servants' position relative to the man giving these talents.

The offense of the third servant was not so much his 0% ROI, but his failure to recognize his own place, judging his master as "a hard man, reaping where [he] did not sow." Altruism doesn't change this.

The real treasure of the parable is:
You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.
Jesus teaches that the entire law of God hinges on two things: Loving God and loving others. The author here describes the latter beautifully by tending to those in need. Loving God means first accepting that lowly position of need yourself.

This parable has layers of meaning. This is the first layer, in which a person examines himself and his position relative to God. A servant faithful with little is given more, and the parable takes on a new meaning in the context of the church and the measures given of the Holy Spirit.

Also, I do want to point out that Jesus does not say to teach a man to fish. I don't know who came up with that. He says to fishermen, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Very different meaning, and again, it's spirit versus flesh; kingdom of heaven versus the world; eternal versus temporal. His focus is always on the former.

Also, also, I do dispute this:
I cannot look around this planet and observe all of its beauty and say, there was no divine intervention here! At the same time, I am well aware that I cannot use the bible as a science book, nor can I use it as a history book. It has its flaws.

The scope of this claim is far too broad to cover as an afterthought, but it could make a good bar topic. If you haven't read this thesis that gives a very different perspective concerning the bible (and other ancient texts) as a valid historical and even scientific source, as far as collection of data is concerned, then I highly recommend doing so when you have some time and an open mind:
Written in 1966 and it is scientifically dense! Not like what passes for science today. It's a shame what has been taught in school for generations and this perspective is buried in obscurity.
Fireishot 1 posts, incept 2022-07-23
2022-08-06 17:12:43

Hello everyone, longtime reader, first time poster.

I read that playing video games gives the players the same sense of accomplishment. But one is more useful. Try to tell someone that and you get called a boomer.

I was just talking about this yesterday. My husband and I played video games extensively in college and a few years afterward. We played MMO RPGs where you spend a lot of time leveling up your character. Working together with other players to control certain aspects of the game was extremely satisfying and fulfilling. I remember one occasion where our clan was attempting to stealthily take over the all of most lucrative dungeons in the game. It was also the night before finals, but all I cared about was what we were doing in the game. Working to achieve this goal was more satisfying to me than studying to get a better grade.

I completely understand how people can throw themselves into video games to get that sense of accomplishment. I think is a symptom of the sickness the OP references that we can see everywhere. Part of the sickness in our society is the expectation for instant gratification. There's an expectation for immediate reward. People want to immediately be good at anything they do and quickly become frustrated at failure. It's easy to turn on the video game and "work" towards a goal. Turning that same desire to complete a goal in real life takes so much more energy and is not (usually) immediately satisfying. After an exhausting day at work, people go to what gives them immediate gratification.

It seems it takes an exceptionally motivated person these days to use their time and energy to work towards a goal or self-improvement. I don't blame the video games, you tube or netfix or various other distractions that can be a welcome way to relax when not taken to excess. I think part of the blame today is on parents who give their kids free access to electronic devices instead of letting them figure out how to deal with boredom. In order to build a desire for self-improvement, kids also need healthy conflicts like sports, competitions, challenges, something where they can experience failure. They learn how to experience disappointment without being totally destroyed by it. They will learn from disappointment that they don't not want to experience it and will work to improve and when they succeed they experience the joy of victory and will want to repeat that in other aspects of life.

I'm glad I had those experiences as a child and even though I was way too into gaming in college, I did pass my classes that quarter, kept my weekend job and managed to complete my other obligations. I had enough fear of failure to not go too deep in the rabbit hole. I still like video games, but have kept to games that don't require a ridiculous amount of time to be satisfying. Having children is a great way to be to busy for excessive gaming. :D

Obviously there's more than one factor that causes people to lose themselves in alternate realities, but having children has made me think a lot about how childhood experiences shape adult motivations. Adults are of course responsible for what path they choose and parents can't be blamed for all their failures, but one of the greatest responsibilities of a parent is to give their kids solid foundations of valuable character building experiences.
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