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Old 05 Dec 2017, 01:32 PM   #681793 / #11
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Originally Posted by Michel View Post
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
He he... well.. I'm not a humanist. To me humanism is the first wave of post Christian secularists.
okay... thank you for the link, talking about both Nietzsche and Marx, two people I try to understand. But then, it was a friend who called me first, a humanist. Since he is a French doctor in medicine, I thought he knew what he was talking about. I am only an old senile grand-father. I "think" I am humanist but ... I am no longer sure.

Here is my story: born from a middle-class Belgian bourgeoisie, I became a typical hippie, complaining about everything, disliking everything, without having to worry about a thing because I could do what I wanted, I had a loving mother who gave me money when I needed it.
Then, in 1971, I was in Marrakesh, Morocco when I saw a boy of my age, begging in the street. He had no legs, was in a box with four wheels and moved by pushing with his hands. He had a big smile! He smiled all the time. I gave him some money and the day after, he was there, again, with the same smile. And I was bitter, I did't smile. I felt everything was wrong. People were stupid. then ... I understood!

I understood what happiness is: to have an occupation and be appreciated for it. Then I became interested to find out how we, humans, work. My wife is a retired social worker and we have had interesting discussions about the society and what can be done.

You focus on President Trump and Brexit. I have a photo that I can share (if I knew how to attach it to this message) but you have seen it before: It is President Obama who congratulates Trump at the inauguration. The photo is a symbol of democracy: the peaceful passage of power from one to the other. Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it ... incredible?

And my bottom line will be this: When I am on the ground, my aircraft tank is half full. Once in the air, it is half empty. But it is only in my head and I can (and try) to control that.
You can love other humans in spite of not being a humanist. I do. The problem with humanism is that they uphold it to a duty. Something you should do. Ok, fine. But based on what? I need more than just assertions.

When I was in Cambodia next to me a poor farmer skidded off the road on his motorbike. I scraped him out of the ditch, took him in my car to the nearest hospital. They said they wouldn't treat him because he didn't have insurance. So I paid the bill. My plane left the next day so I never knew what happened to him.

I did all that, in spite of not being a humanists. I did't do it out of duty. I did it because it made me feel good. I didn't do it for his sake. I did it for my sake. I didn't do it to score points. Or to raise my status in the community. I only did it because it made me feel good about it.

I recommend both Nietzsche and Marx. Both brilliant philosophers. Marx gets a lot of shit for how communist dictatorships turned out. But his philosophy is more than that.

To sum up Nietzsche's morality in short (this is extremely short) you could say that if you are vulnerable, you think murder is wrong. If you have stuff that can be stolen, you think stealing is wrong. If you have nothing and you are desperate those morals are out the window. Upholding life as sacred is just you wanting other people to see your life as sacred, so they wont kill you and take your stuff.

Marx is similar. He says we respond to incentives. If we live in a society that punishes murder, we think murder is wrong. If we don't, then we won't. But it's not that we'd murder if we could get away with it. But that this social structure warps out mental state and means we can't think of it in other ways. That's why he claims that being poor means that your mind is similarly likely to be warped by those you are dependent on for your subsistence. The insidious nature of capitalism. Something like that.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT claiming that I've captured both these philosophers entire body of work. Just the main gist of it IMHO. Marx was an extremely prolific writer. His thought is hard to pin down in just a couple of lines.
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg
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