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Author Topic: Why is it tolerated?  (Read 9025 times)

Offline Hadrian

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Why is it tolerated?
« on: 15/04/2006 11:59:11 »
I noticed this site edits out profanities which don't have the potential to hurt people physically but tolerate information about making explosives that can. Who is to say what idiot is out there using this knowledge to make real booms to kill and injure. Personally I think this is the worst sort of use that the internet can be put to along with the exploitation of children.  Why is it tolerated?  

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.


 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #1 on: 15/04/2006 12:19:27 »
Since I don't use profanities (excepting if I am quoting someone else, or when involved in a technical discussion of the etymology of words, and the word in question is one that might be regarded as a profanity – bear in mind that even at the time when it was illegal to print certain words in English books and newspapers, those words were still printed in the dictionaries); so I was not aware of any censoring going on of profanities.

Whether profanities can hurt or not is really a matter of whether words can hurt at all or not (or whether cartoons can hurt or not).

As for the publishing of ideas about explosives – I do believe that the censoring of knowledge is inappropriate, and it is far better that people know all, and can judge for themselves (including judging the harm they might do) than that we try and burn all the books that contain unpleasant truths.

I do think that there are some people who get too obsessed by explosives (although, to be fair, in my youth, I also went through a pyrotechnic phase, and no harm came of it – I never wished to harm anyone, and always took great caution not to do so, but I still liked to make the odd bang); but it is perfectly legitimate that a science forum should discuss explosives (even in the context of how to avoid them – but you cannot know how to avoid them without having some understanding of how to make them).



George
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #2 on: 15/04/2006 12:26:04 »
Thanks George I would have never thought of burning book by myself. Bless the internet. By the way when will we be posting links about the scientific way to use chemical warfare for the home user?

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

sharkeyandgeorge

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #3 on: 15/04/2006 13:35:43 »
just google it hadrian im sure there are plenty of sites that will help you

J.B.S Haldane on the perforated eardrums which were a consequence of his pressure experiments "the drum generally heals up; and if a hole remains in it, although one is somewhat deaf, one can blow tobacco smoke out of  the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment".
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #4 on: 15/04/2006 14:14:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by Hadrian
 By the way when will we be posting links about the scientific way to use chemical warfare for the home user?




Phosgene and cyanide are very easy to synthesise, and I'm pretty sure that some of my books at home will contain the means to do so (is that Special Branch I hear knocking at my door :)).  I think I have the chemical formula, but not instructions for synthesis, for mustard gas and sarin; but as you say, I'm pretty sure they exist out there on the Internet somewhere.

Must say, I have never actually entertained the thought of trying even to synthesise cyanide, which is the least toxic of all, and in fact is anyway a naturally occurring substance; let alone any of the others.

That having been said, there are perfectly legitimate non-military uses for cyanide, and for organophosphates (of which sarin is an example), and possibly even for the others.



George
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #5 on: 15/04/2006 17:44:40 »
Ur, fundamentally I suspect, although I don't know, that it would be because the software used to create the webpage edits out profanities of its own accord.
It would be pretty bleedin' difficult automatically to remove references to, say, nerve agents without removing all references to nerves by the same means. Which would sort-of trash the site without achieving the desired objective.

There's a pretty fine line between discouraging the sharing of information which will allow idiots to damage themselves and allowing people to express an intelligent interest in the chemistry behind this stuff. Bearing in mind that there are far more "cook book" like sites out there which allow these, er, people to find out how to do ill advised things with unstable chemistry I don't think the discussion on this site is likely to do much to increase the ability of anyone who wants to damage themselves or indeed other people, and provided some moderately sane people chip in with remarks about what a bad idea actually applying some of this stuff would be some of these back garden chemists might be discouraged from causing themselves long term harm rather than just going to a forum where the only show in town is a bunch of bigger-bang idiots.
Or maybe I hope for too much. I dunno.

Just as an experiment because I'm interested:
S****horpe
Cockroaches
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #6 on: 16/04/2006 01:29:32 »
quote:
Originally posted by rosy

Just as an experiment because I'm interested:
S****horpe



I assume the 4 asterisks were meant to relate to a part of the female anotomy, contained within a town in North Lincolnshire.

Well, it does demonstrate that we do have some very crude (in the other way), and somewhat silly, filtering.





George
« Last Edit: 16/04/2006 01:29:58 by another_someone »
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2006 13:28:58 »
Does the fact that such information is freely available on the internet justify a site like this also putting it out. Child pron is also on the internet would you consider it showing it as part of a discussion on the psychological effect of such images?  

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #8 on: 19/04/2006 20:22:58 »
quote:
Originally posted by Hadrian
Does the fact that such information is freely available on the internet justify a site like this also putting it out. Child pron is also on the internet would you consider it showing it as part of a discussion on the psychological effect of such images?




This site does not, in any active sense, put out such information.

The question only is whether this site should seek to actively censor such information.

Since such information is consistent with the broad remit of the site, it cannot argue that it is off-topic (there are things discussed that are far more off-topic).

Would it benefit the promotion of an interest in science, which is the supposed remit of this site, to deny people knowledge about the chemistry of explosives?

You might argue that the site should do more to get convert people's interest in creating bangs to understanding the chemistry behind it.  There will be many people who in any case start their interest in chemistry by a childhood liking for making bangs (I am sure many chemists did start out that way), but no doubt it might be argued that someone might make a more active effort in that.  It would be a great shame if we destroyed someone's future interest in chemistry because we told them they were naughty boys for wanting to make a little bang.

I think it is important that, no matter what aspect of chemistry we are looking at, we try our best to infuse a culture of safety in those who are keen on experiment – safety for themselves and safety for others; but this is different from saying that we should undermine their curiosity.

If explosions are so bad, then should we seek to prohibit public firework displays?

Yes, it is childish; but that is what children are, and even adults still have a streak of the child they once were within them.



George
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #9 on: 21/04/2006 00:24:56 »
Perhaps my view on this is coloured by the fact that the words pipe boom in my country is linked to death and maiming. As for C4 well what can I say? We do not live in the innocent times were a bang was simply a thrill. I myself indulged in such escapades in my youth. But now yes I heat to see my son doing the same knowing that many innocent people have suffered at the hands of such technology.  You letting your nostalgia cloud you judgment. The always has to standards. Thinks to be stood for and this is one of them. It is just not defendable to give out this information with out taking responsibility for how it could be used. Not matter what anyone says the next pipe boom that kill or hurts anyone may have been made from information supplied from this site.

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #10 on: 21/04/2006 00:52:08 »
quote:
Originally posted by Hadrian

Perhaps my view on this is coloured by the fact that the words pipe boom in my country is linked to death and maiming.



Yes, I can understand that – and I think it perfectly reasonable that you made your unease felt about that issue.

There is, to my mind, a clear difference between making something that goes bang, and making something that sends out chunks of shrapnel.

Nonetheless, I would rather that the question was put here, and someone has a chance to suggest that producing shrapnel is not a good thing to be doing, rather than that the issue was just quietly censored, and without any comment.

quote:

We do not live in the innocent times were a bang was simply a thrill. I myself indulged in such escapades in my youth. But now yes I heat to see my son doing the same knowing that many innocent people have suffered at the hands of such technology.



It is a difficult balance to draw.

As I said, I would rather teach people how to do dangerous things safely, than to leave them in ignorance and pretend that dangerous things simply don't exist.

As a comparison, it is generally considered preferable that young children are taught to swim, because water can be dangerous – otherwise, we could simply teach them never to near the water.

quote:

  You letting your nostalgia cloud you judgment.



Maybe – maybe it is just that I find it difficult to condemn someone else if I will not condemn myself for the same.

quote:

Thinks to be stood for and this is one of them. It is just not defendable to give out this information with out taking responsibility for how it could be used.



I do not disagree with that, but equally, I do not think the answer is to suppress the information, but rather to add to that information enough to ensure that one educates people not only in the technology but in its appropriate application.




George
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #11 on: 21/04/2006 01:44:59 »
There are two forms of censorship. Firstly the forum software removes words which could offend such as sexually explicit language or swear words and is used as the forums moderators the second form can’t be online 24/7 checking every single word of every post.  
Sometimes words are replaced with asterisks which shouldn’t be like in Rosy's example "S****horpe"  but most of us know what was removed and therefore can still understand what was intended and its far better for the software to be slightly over zealous in its censorship than the occasional word slipping through and upsetting our members and possibly deterring some people from using this/our forum.


The problem with censoring what subject matter should be allowed is where do you draw the line. Occasionally threads do have to be deleted or edited due to their content but they tend to be posts which have been posted explicitly to offend by mindless morons who get a buzz out of upsetting people. And obviously their are certain things which can not be allowed out common decency and due to the age of some of our members, but in general I tend to agree with another someone when he said  
quote:
"I do believe that the censoring of knowledge is inappropriate, and it is far better that people know all, and can judge for themselves (including judging the harm they might do) than that we try and burn all the books that contain unpleasant truths."
hm-mm I’m agreeing with George again:)

In general this web site doesnt need a great deal of policing which is a credit to its members as the vast majority of them tend to be good decent people. ;):)

Michael
« Last Edit: 21/04/2006 01:49:55 by ukmicky »
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #12 on: 21/04/2006 07:52:55 »
I not into censorship in an over all sense. I believe in standards that reflect the level of reasonability that is taken. There plenty of sites out there that have no standards at all that will post anything. There is also way of getting information other then the internet. The same way you and I first learnt to make such devices.  I certainly would never burn any book, but dose that mean that I have to accept in my house or on a site I was in some way reasonable for? I say again, no matter what anyone has to say the next pipe boom that kill or hurts anyone may have been made from information supplied from this site and as such those who allow this information have to take some of the reasonability how ever slight. Especially in the light of the world today where terror is and the tools of it are all around us. This site does need such posts on it. It is only hurt by its presences. Please remove them not for me but for the integrity of this site.  Do it because you won't be part of party to anything that is used to hurt or kill others. There are only a few subjects out there that reasonable people who care for others keep away from and this is one of them.  Yes judgment has to be taken on these standards. Yes I would love to be still in a time where this information was simply fun. Yes I did this sort of thing myself as a young boy. I also wandered the country side alone and talked to strangers out of politeness. We live in different times. Times where good people have to stand up and say enough is enough. We are fighting them on our beaches my friends. We are fight for the harts and minds of our young people and the only weapons we have is our own integrity and standards. In the world we live in today this information is obscene and offensive.  It betrays the memory of those who have suffered from the outcome of such information. Many of whom are you country people, your citizens.  If nothing else remove  it out of solidarity to them.

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #13 on: 21/04/2006 08:33:47 »
Hadrian,

I have to disagree with just about everything you have said.

In every age, people have said that their age faces threats that are more terrible than any age before, and have used that to enforce more draconian measures than ever before.

In one sense ofcourse, in each age that technology has moved forward, the threat from that technology has moved forward also; but in another sense, human beings are no different from what they ever were.

Since explosives were first invented, they were used by 'terrorists', whether we are talking about Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, or the 'anarchists' of the nineteenth century, or the 'terrorists' of the 20th century – they are all the same people, just with different labels.

If one looks at the attacks on the World Trade Centre, it was not the knowledge of bombs that made the attack so deadly, it was the knowledge of how to fly an aeroplane – so maybe we should suppress any knowledge about flying aeroplanes?

It is not the tool that makes the terrorist, it is the hatred.  Taking away the tool will only cause them to find another tool - what you have to do is to take away the hatred.

There are those who would argue that the teaching of history causes more terrorists than the teaching of the chemistry of explosives – so should one ban the teaching of history?  Certainly, there have been many politicians, and political groups, who have at various times tried to insist that only their particular version of history should be taught, and that any alternate version of history should be disallowed – these politicians have clearly felt more threatened by the wrong history books than the wrong chemistry books.

I would not choose to ban either the chemistry nor the history, but to teach the wisdom and judgement to try and use both positively and to the benefit of mankind.

If you choose to deny people knowledge (that is what you do by applying censorship), then you are treating people with distrust – and they will respond by treating you with distrust – that is human nature.

You have to accept that trusting people comes with risks, but the alternative is such a horrible alternative that one has to ask whether you really want to go down the road where no-one is willing to trust anyone else.  Sometimes one just has to take the risk, because running away from such risks is to run into a hell that I cannot imagine you would desire any more than I.  If we were to run into such a hell, then would we really have achieved any victory over terrorism and hatred?



George
« Last Edit: 21/04/2006 22:07:29 by another_someone »
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #14 on: 21/04/2006 10:15:06 »
Bless you George your consistent I give you that. You simply can't see the point I am making. It is nothing to do with censorship. That is a red herring. If the information is already freely available elsewhere how can it be censorship? You are defending a position   because it yours and you have already decided on it. Is it because you can't accept the reasonability that you shear in holding such a position   ? Of it simply you pride?  You say you have to trust people. Yes you do but can you trust everyone with everything?  Would you give children this information?  Or are you going to run behind “it’s the parents reasonability to know what their child is viewing?” if just one person is hurt. Just one innocent bystander by a boom made from information form this site would you even blink? Delude to yourself all you want it can be defended

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
« Last Edit: 21/04/2006 10:16:40 by Hadrian »
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #15 on: 21/04/2006 11:01:56 »
quote:
Originally posted by Hadrian
You simply can't see the point I am making. It is nothing to do with censorship. That is a red herring. If the information is already freely available elsewhere how can it be censorship?



Censorship is local as well as global.  If we ban such information here, then it is censorship here.

quote:

 You are defending a position   because it yours and you have already decided on it. Is it because you can't accept the reasonability that you shear in holding such a position   ? Of it simply you pride?  You say you have to trust people. Yes you do but can you trust everyone with everything?



I start from a presumption of trust – that does not mean that I do not decide to withdraw that trust if an individual demonstrates themselves not to be able to respect that trust; but I am a great believer in innocent until proven guilty.

quote:

Would you give children this information?  Or are you going to run behind “it’s the parents reasonability to know what their child is viewing?”



Actually, yes I would.  If they are old enough to understand what it means, then they are old enough to be taught to understand how to use it – and if it came to that, I'd rather that I was able to teach them how to use it then that they would find out for themselves and without any guidance I might be able to offer (as you say, the information is out there).

I would argue that telling them “I will not give you this information, but you can go to someone else to get this information” is a greater shirking of one's responsibility, than to say that “this is the information you asked for, but it comes attached with some guidance as to how to use that information responsibly”.

quote:

 if just one person is hurt. Just one innocent bystander by a boom made from information form this site would you even blink? Delude to yourself all you want it can be defended



No, I do not delude myself – freedom must come at a price, for nothing in this world comes without a price attached.

We are now so afraid of innocent deaths that as soon as one child dies on a school outing, schools suddenly decide it is too dangerous to allow any child to go on a school outing, so every child then suffers.

Death is always a tragedy, but if every single death means that we restrict everyone else's freedom, then what life are we left with?  We have to accept that in the real world, if you want to live a life worth living, then the risk of premature death must come as a part of that package.

We live in a world where teachers are afraid of giving a child a hug, lest they be accused of sexual assault; where we would not stop to help a person in trouble lest we find ourselves in trouble; where the avoidance of risk is more important than to seek to help people.

We have to stop being paranoid about death, and do more to seek to embrace life.  Death will find us all in the end, it may be sooner, or it may be later; but at least give us the chance to live first, and do not keep us prisoners in our own fears.



George
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #16 on: 21/04/2006 11:37:24 »
I am not going to go picking wholes in you argument in the vain hope you see things differently despite the wild connections you make  between the foredoom of everyone to have information about booms over death of one person. We will just have to agree to differ on this one.  I just hope you never have to see at first hand just how terrible it is to look at human flesh torn from bones or the sight of an upturned pram still smouldering. Or live with the ringing in you ears for the rest of you life or the memory of the smell of death mingled with explosives. Or the terrible sobbing of a mother who has lost her child.

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #17 on: 21/04/2006 15:32:28 »
WOW - I find myself agreeing with George more and more.  
quote:

    quote:
    Would you give children this information? Or are you going to run behind “it’s the parents reasonability to know what their child is viewing?”



Actually, yes I would. If they are old enough to understand what it means, then they are old enough to be taught to understand how to use it – and if it came to that, I'd rather that I was able to teach them how to use it then that they would find out for themselves and without any guidance I might be able to offer (as you say, the information is out there).

I would argue that telling them “I will not give you this information, but you can go to someone else to get this information” is a greater shirking of one's responsibility, than to say that “this is the information you asked for, but it comes attached with some guidance as to how to use that information responsibly”.


My personal belief is that ignorance and hatred are what kill people.  For example, when I was a young child, I was shot in the back with a .22 shot gun by a teenaged boy.  His parents went shopping and left the child at home alone, they did not lock up their guns.  This boy was taught how to use his weapon, but was not taught about gun safety and responsibility.  He shot at a squirrel, but never considered that bullet could travel through the woods into my neighborhood.

I nearly bled to death before getting to the emergency room.  After surgery my parents were told that the bullet was too close to my spine to remove it.  They said it was a miracle that I survived, and an even greater miracle that I wasn't paralyzed for life. I don't blame the shooter.  I believe the blame lies with the parents for not educating the child.  I forgave them years ago, because anger, hatred and unforgiveness are poisons that fill you up and make you miserable, but that's another subject.  I can only hope that the boy and his parents learned from this.

I grew up in a family that hunts.  We had guns in our home.  We were taught early on that they were DEADLY and they were not toys.  My dad always kept them in a locked gun cabinet with chains running through the trigger.  I probably have a dozen or more guns in my home now, all locked in a  fireproof gun vault.  Although I do not enjoy shooting guns or hunting, my husband and children do.  I am not afraid of guns, I am afraid of ignorance and hatred.

Here is where I disagree with you George.
quote:

We live in a world where teachers are afraid of giving a child a hug, lest they be accused of sexual assault; where we would not stop to help a person in trouble lest we find ourselves in trouble; where the avoidance of risk is more important than to seek to help people.

We have to stop being paranoid about death, and do more to seek to embrace life. Death will find us all in the end, it may be sooner, or it may be later; but at least give us the chance to live first, and do not keep us prisoners in our own fears.


My opinions on this would be far too long winded, but the jest of it is this.  My daughter drives now and is on her own alot.  I think its sad that I've had to teach her that she has the right to be rude to people.  I think you should be polite if at all possible, but people are pushy.  I don't want her helping strangers in the mall, or a parking lot.  I would rather her be rude to strangers and be alive and well, than to be polite all the time and be dead or missing.

Carolyn
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #18 on: 21/04/2006 15:41:29 »
My I ask what duty of care do we have towards children that have dysfunctional parents? Or are we to simply abandon them?

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #19 on: 21/04/2006 15:51:36 »
I wish I knew how to answer that.  I wonder what you are considering a dysfunctional parent?
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #20 on: 21/04/2006 16:18:33 »
Well I could fill books on that. But lets just say ones who for what ever reason don't care what their kids do.


Also what about week mined people who are easily influenced do they need to be shown due care by esteemed sites such as this.  


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Offline Carolyn

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #21 on: 21/04/2006 16:40:27 »
I encounter numerous children who have parents like that.  I wish I could take them all in and show them what it is like to grow up in a loving home.  Unfortunately, that is just not realistic or affordable for me.  And honestly, I probably don't have the patience for it.  However, my children have friends with parents like that.  We open our home and our hearts to them and try to let them know they can come to us for anything.  If we can't help them, they know we will find someone that can.  We also let them know that they have to follow our rules when they are in our home.  That is non-negotiable.  We can't help everyone of them, but we do what we can.

Unfortunately, we can't control week minded people.  If we could, there wouldn't be dysfunctional parents.  I personally love this site.  I started coming on for the zeta thread, but found all the other threads informative, and sometimes comical. I have learned alot here.  I haven't traveled much, so I'm not exposed to different cultures.  One thing I have learned is that we're not that different.  That's just one of the things I love about this site.  I have found people here to be helpful whenever they can.  There are things on here that I don't agree with, but I still like it here and would not have a problem if my 12yr old son came here.  Well, I wouldn't want him to read everything I've written, but overall, I wouldn't have a problem with it.  That being said, I have a good relationship with my children and we discuss everything from sex to bombs, and the dangers of both.  I realize that not every parent has that kind of relationship and the most we can hope for is that any information found here is not used dangerously.
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #22 on: 21/04/2006 17:18:03 »
I like this site too very much. If did not care deeply for it I would not bother you post such a topic. The last century was remarkable in many ways some good some bad. It heard it said at conference in Rome that we managed to kill over 100 million people between wars and murder. This only reflects a small fraction of the people who were injured physically and mentally too. It is now thought that our genes are not closed to events in our lives. So like karma we go on paying for the things we do into future generations. There was a time when it was socially expectable to drink and drive and to even boost about it the next day. Now it not. Making booms that have the potential to kill will someday be viewed this way. This century is our chance to amend for the excess of death we inflicted on one another. Tuning our backs on violence can not be ala cart. To do it we have to turn away from all the tools of violence too. We want to hold on to our guns and swords because deep down we still need the power they offer us. Booms are devices for destruction. Humans have spent their short time on this planet destroying everything in there path. Of course we love to blow up things it in our destructive nature. But we can transcend this. That is our choice and like all things it starts in mind. It is in the thoughts and ides we have.  It is in our values. I am only asking why we tolerate one value over another. One that belonging to the past and one may be part of a possible future for all mankind. A world in harmony with nature. A world at peace.

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

another_someone

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Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #23 on: 21/04/2006 21:29:50 »
quote:
Originally posted by Hadrian
Making booms that have the potential to kill will someday be viewed this way. This century is our chance to amend for the excess of death we inflicted on one another. Tuning our backs on violence can not be ala cart. To do it we have to turn away from all the tools of violence too.



Booms do not kills people – when you drive your car, there are thousands of explosions per second going on inside the engine.

Explosives, in a general sense, are a very valuable tool of humanity (even more so than guns, which themselves use explosive propellants).  To deny people the right to create explosions would be to undermine half the industries that we use one of their tools.  The space industry uses explosives, and even the air bags in your car that are supposed to save your life uses explosives (no, that does not go bang, it is not that powerful an explosive – but explosive it is, and air bags can kill).

Knives probably kill more people each day than explosions do, and motor cars certainly do.

Certainly, our government in this country has tried to curtail the sale and use of knives; but not to great effect.  A knife, like so much else in life, is a multi-purpose tool, and killing is only one use you can put it too.

quote:

 We want to hold on to our guns and swords because deep down we still need the power they offer us. Booms are devices for destruction.



Yes, and if you have a tower block you wish to remove, that is an act of destruction, for which you can use explosives.

Yes, knives and explosives do give us power – would you choose to make humans powerless?

quote:

 Humans have spent their short time on this planet destroying everything in there path.



There is very little difference between construction and destruction – for he who constructs, must first destroy that which was before.

When you build a house, you must destroy whatever lay on the ground before the house was there.

When you get food for your meal, you must destroy the life of that which you are about to eat (that is even true if all you eat is vegetable).

quote:

 Of course we love to blow up things it in our destructive nature.



No, I think it is a misjudgement to suggest that humans like to destroy – at least in a narrow sense.

What humans like is to feel that they can make a difference (even if that difference is simply to make a load bang).  As I said, when i was a teenager, I like making explosives and pyrotechnics; but I never sought to destroy anything (except maybe the tranquillity of the neighbourhood).

Ofcourse, as I said above, to make a difference, one must in some way destroy the past – but for most people, that is not the primary purpose of their actions.  Even those dreaded terrorists believe (however naively) that they are trying to create a better future, and their act of destruction is in their own minds simply a way to wipe away the past in order to construct what they see as a better future.

quote:

I am only asking why we tolerate one value over another. One that belonging to the past and one may be part of a possible future for all mankind. A world in harmony with nature. A world at peace.



Most of us, even Osama bin Laden, want peace, but we want peace on our terms, and not on someone else's terms.  The problem is, when people want peace so much that they are willing to kill anyone who does not agree with the peace that they desire.

The Palestinians and Israeli's also both very desperately want peace; it is simply that neither is willing to accept peace on the other parties terms; and both would rather kill they other than give way on their own demands.

Maybe what we should seek first is a bit of tolerance, to allow other people the legitimacy of their values just as much as we believe in our own values.  Ultimately, can we really have peace if we cannot show tolerance?  Can we have peace, if we are only willing to allow peace on our terms?

As for being in harmony with nature, and being at peace – but nature is never at peace – to quote an oft used cliché “nature is red in claw and tooth”.  If we want peace, then do we not want to overcome nature, rather than live according to its laws?




George
« Last Edit: 21/04/2006 22:06:52 by another_someone »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #24 on: 21/04/2006 21:51:30 »
quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn

Here is where I disagree with you George.
quote:

We live in a world where teachers are afraid of giving a child a hug, lest they be accused of sexual assault; where we would not stop to help a person in trouble lest we find ourselves in trouble; where the avoidance of risk is more important than to seek to help people.

We have to stop being paranoid about death, and do more to seek to embrace life. Death will find us all in the end, it may be sooner, or it may be later; but at least give us the chance to live first, and do not keep us prisoners in our own fears.


My opinions on this would be far too long winded, but the jest of it is this.  My daughter drives now and is on her own alot.  I think its sad that I've had to teach her that she has the right to be rude to people.  I think you should be polite if at all possible, but people are pushy.  I don't want her helping strangers in the mall, or a parking lot.  I would rather her be rude to strangers and be alive and well, than to be polite all the time and be dead or missing.

Carolyn



I understand where you are coming from, and I realise there was a certain element of idealism in what I said; but equally, I would ask, if your daughter lay hurt and bleeding to death, would you wish everyone to simply walk away for fear of the risks of getting involved?

It may sound like I am some sort of 'goody goody' – I am not.  I can think back to quite a few occasions where I had to make a split second decision whether to help someone or not, and I did nothing.  I hope there are a few occasions where I did make a positive difference; but I am more haunted by those occasions where I remember that I did not.  I have standards, but I recognise those standards as that which one should seek to achieve, not necessarily that which mere human beings are always able to achieve.

I am not talking about politeness – I have never been too hung up on politeness – that is mere superficiality.  I am talking about offering help when it is needed, not merely telling someone what the time is is they ask you in the street.

The point I was making was not whether we can live in a world without fear; but whether we should aim for a world where we are ever more dominated by the fear of the worst others might do, or seek to try and allow people to do the best within the available circumstances.  The real world is not black and white; but in which direction do you wish to push it?



George
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Why is it tolerated?
« Reply #24 on: 21/04/2006 21:51:30 »

 

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