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James Giles
06-09-2004, 02:06 PM
IMHO, inconsiderate people are just coming from a very hurt and fearful place. They are misguided in their thinking that it all about them and what they want. They are often frustrated because the world doesn't do what they want it to.

I think you hit the nail on the head. The masses no longer believe in the "great chain of being", with God at the top of the hierarchy and man lower down in the chain below angels. Now we live in an era of postmodernism where men and women think they have evolved to the state of God, and are in control of their own destinies. But reality always comes along and slaps these people in the face, thus we have a world filled with very frustrated and angry people.

Chris Birke
06-09-2004, 05:11 PM
Just to voice another view,

I don't beleive in god, and I'm a scientific determinialist (which pretty much means I believe in fate). Thus, I think that everything that happened for a web of reasons, and don't feel the need to blame any cause.

I also don't think there is a seperation in this chain between me and anything else, which I think gives me the inclination to be understanding and forgiving.

Not all that is postmodernisim is bad =D.

I think a lot of other stuff too, but that's probably irrelavant.

James Giles
06-09-2004, 11:39 PM
Just to voice another view,

I don't beleive in god, and I'm a scientific determinialist (which pretty much means I believe in fate). Thus, I think that everything that happened for a web of reasons, and don't feel the need to blame any cause.

I also don't think there is a seperation in this chain between me and anything else, which I think gives me the inclination to be understanding and forgiving.

Not all that is postmodernisim is bad =D.

I think a lot of other stuff too, but that's probably irrelavant.

Actually Chris, that sounds like a healthy point of view. As long as you have the inclination to understand others and be forgiving, and that allows you to go through your daily routines and show consideration for others; that is what counts. :)

The point I was trying to make really was this: Take two large groups of people and put them in separate societies. One group of people (Group A) believes that there is this God out there in the sky in his chair looking down on them and observing every move they make. If they do "evil" he will punish them and if they do "good" they will not be punished.

The other group of people (Group B) are postmodernists. They do not believe in good or evil per se; it is all relative to them. There are no absolutes as far as they are concerned: there is no absolute truth, no absolute good or evil, no absolute self for that matter...everything is "evolving". So therefore there is little respect for tradition, elders, laws, anything laid down by ancestors, or any authority figure.

In my opinion, Group A will have a tendency to show more respect to others in public and treat others with more consideration than Group B because if for no other reason, to do otherwise is to invite the wrath of the God that they believe in.

I am not saying that a person has to believe in God to show consideration to others, I am just saying that I think that postmodern thought can lead to a state of mind where one can habitually do "evil" things to others and not feel an ounce of guilt or shame over it.

An extreme case would be a serial killer; a maniac that can torture and kill innocent victims without any remorse. To a lesser degree, you have people that just go about their daily affairs treating people rudely in public on a regular basis with no conscience whatsoever.

I am only 39 years old, but I have noticed, like the poster of this thread noted, that there is indeed a drastic change in the attitudes and behaviors of people in public (for the worse). It seems there is no longer such thing as good manners. Thank the heavens for Aikdo! :D

JJF
06-10-2004, 01:00 AM
Over here acros the world in little cosy Denmark we seem to have exactly the same problem. There is a tendency towards egoism and sefilshness. I suspect it migth have something to do with the generel trend towards right-wing governments throughout the world, but what is cause and what is effect I cannot say.

It's beyond doubt however that the ever increasing focus upon effektivity and productivity and the constanct boost of our consumer society is playing a part in this. The faster we have to run and the more we have to work, the less 'idle' time is left for reflection and self improvement.

Maybe we don't need that new iaito, hakama, blender, flat screen television set or SUV. Maybe we should stop looking at our neighbours worldly possesions wantig to do as good or better, and start looking at those in our world that posesses an air of harmony. Isn't that really a far better goal to strive for ? At least I think it's more compatible with being kind to other people.

Sorry if this got a bit high-winded. It's a major issue for me, as I can talk the talk but not walk the walk.... I AM however trying to improve, and even small steps count as progress.

Finally I believe most MA's are good for the spirit as they in some form entail respect for other human beings. At least once you reach a certain level. Now everebody go practice, and remember to be nice to everyone around you.

drDalek
06-10-2004, 01:30 AM
Over here acros the world in little cosy Denmark we seem to have exactly the same problem. There is a tendency towards egoism and sefilshness. I suspect it migth have something to do with the generel trend towards right-wing governments throughout the world, but what is cause and what is effect I cannot say. :confused:


It's beyond doubt however that the ever increasing focus upon effektivity and productivity and the constanct boost of our consumer society is playing a part in this. The faster we have to run and the more we have to work, the less 'idle' time is left for reflection and self improvement.

Maybe we don't need that new iaito, hakama, blender, flat screen television set or SUV. Maybe we should stop looking at our neighbours worldly possesions wantig to do as good or better, and start looking at those in our world that posesses an air of harmony.

<snip>



There used to be even less "idle" time in the past when people had to do mindnumbing household and farm chores all day and being materialistic has nothing to do with your circumstances, like everything in life, its a choice. You can either try and keep up with the Joneses or stop worrying what they think about you and do your own thing.

People being assholes also dont have anything to do with the kind of government in place, unless your "right wing" government make some demand that you must be surly, which is ridiculous. Everyone is good and pure inside but people just lose touch with this, either because they dont know that they are good and are still on that old self-destructive ego trip of thinking that they are "born bad" or because being good and pure has somehow lead to them getting hurt previously. There is no reason to blame the government for this you filthy hippie :D

James Giles
06-10-2004, 02:18 AM
It's beyond doubt however that the ever increasing focus upon effektivity and productivity and the constanct boost of our consumer society is playing a part in this. The faster we have to run and the more we have to work, the less 'idle' time is left for reflection and self improvement. .

Excellent point. I know here in the United States, people are having to work many more hours per week than they did 20 years ago, to maintain the same standard of living. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull (and rude?) boy".

There is also a tendency here (in the U.S) of inflated prices on goods (that tear up quickly and have to replaced) and services, and at the same time there is a tendency toward low ( and even decreasing!) wages. I know this makes me angry, but I try not to take it out on strangers in public.

My problem is with the way people drive. I really have to work on my attitude with that.
[/QUOTE]

JJF
06-10-2004, 02:57 AM
There used to be even less "idle" time in the past when people had to do mindnumbing household and farm chores all day

True - but some types of work enables you to think while working. Not easy when you work in knowledgebased industries which are much more common today. Actually I was talking on a 10-20 year scale, but I wasn't specific enough.


being materialistic has nothing to do with your circumstances, like everything in life, its a choice. You can either try and keep up with the Joneses or stop worrying what they think about you and do your own thing.

Ahhh the famous free will... :D It's true it's up to yourself (I think that was implied in what I wrote) but it's just not that easy. Unless your have a strong character it's a lot easier to go along with the flow.


People being assholes also dont have anything to do with the kind of government in place, unless your "right wing" government make some demand that you must be surly, which is ridiculous.


I'm guessing you're not a democrat right ? ;) I wasen't talking about a government dictating 'being surly' (who's being ridiculous ?). What I'm talking about is the present Danish government claiming we should get out of recession by producing and consuming more. They encourage working longer hours thereby forcing the children to spend more time in daycare. They punish the unemployed and they create laws that keep foreigners out of Denmark even though we are undermanned in many occupations. I believe what they are doing is indirectly forcing us to run faster and work more which I KNOW will create more stress and thereby lead to less patience with your suroundings.

I'm not going to get started on the administration of Mr. Bush himself, as I'm not entirely up to speed on current events in the US, but I'm not getting a much better picture from over there. Correct me if I'm wrong.


Everyone is good and pure inside but people just lose touch with this, either because they dont know that they are good and are still on that old self-destructive ego trip of thinking that they are "born bad" or because being good and pure has somehow lead to them getting hurt previously.


.... and you're calling ME a hippie :P


There is no reason to blame the government for this


You are absolutely right. Since we have democracy it's basically our own fault. However the government at any time seems to set the agenda, and as I described above the enforced politics of the government influences the everyday of every person in the country.


you filthy hippie :D

Hippie ? - might be - but I did shower this morning so i'm not that filthy yet :D

Anyway - I did say that I was getting a bit high winded, but I stand by my point of view.

Chris Birke
06-10-2004, 05:03 AM
My mother was born in Germany right before the war, her father was captured and interned as a prisoner in Arizona, which he liked so much better than Germany (one could see the sun) he had word sent that the family should immigrate. My mother's town had no cars, televisions, electricity, etc. Until the day she packed to travel (at 8 years old) she had never left about a 20 mile radius. Her family had lived in the area for generations. Everyone she saw, she knew. Maybe in all they were 150 people? It was expected that she would live with them for the rest of her life, and with this came certain natural tendencies (sameness, loyalty, respect). To not do these things meant you would simply not survivie.

However, the world changes.

When I was born (in Houston) I was one among 4 million or so. There was my immediate family, but I've got no extended family. I did encounter hundreds of strangers on a weekly basis, at school, the grocery store, the mall, the movies. I knew the names of the hundred kids I went to elementary school with. Cars were everywhere. I was driven (and later drove) hundreds of miles in a week. Most people I saw, I never saw again. If they hurt me and left, no one would punish them. People of different ages didn't interact outside of school, and that was a very distant sort of interaction.

If you begin to comprehend the difference between the last 2000 years and the last 200, to think that people "seem to be getting more inconsiderate" is a gross underestimation.

//

My problem with your evaluation of postmodernism is that you ascribe things to it without giving credit to it's practitioners.

Of course if you describe it like that it seems illogical.

I could say, there is a group that believes in God, and act his will that blue eyes shall be subsurvient to green eyes, because that is the natural order of things. Those who resist this order shall be punished, perhaps even killed, as all this is condoned by God. Therefore the society will be oppressive and intolerant of the views of others (who think that blue eyes and green eyes are equal, or even that two green eyes should be allowed to marry).

But that is an over simplification.

In reality a well thought out postmodern viewpoint is very similar to a well thought out religious one.

Postmodernism might not have a fixed set of values, but that does not mean we act without them. We create our own morality (morality is an inescapible element of our existence), and for and by it are obliged to enforce it. We do not tolerate murder because we are postmodern anymore than you tolerate it because a god says its ok.

Postmodernism means I believe we determine and agree upon what's right and wrong (and what's right and wrong is based on what the society decides), not any spiritual or external source, not a formal religion. We also believe these values may change, but I hope considering the history of but one generation, you can see why I feel thats needed.

Besides that, I think we probably agree on most things.