Re: Future Society

This is a conversation that took place entirely through comments, on another idea, which I have replied to with this. I replied and moved it to a different category, due to the original category being unsuited for the direction the conversation was taking. (It was originally in Policy and Politics > Education)


I wanted to move it here primarily because this category was better suited for it, but also to get others in on the conversation. (It's started to sink to the bottom, and I at least find it to be relatively interesting...) DerekPritchard's original question was along the lines of "Should there be a parenting license?"

DerekPritchard
I'm consistently seeing parents who want to have a child then cant keep up with the prerequisites of society. Todays society needs provactive parents with the frame of mind to teach and educate correctly with insentive. I hate seeing kids lives slide down the drain specifically from the traits and values specifically taken from their parents. Of course im not asking for some bar exam test, but we need to start somewhere. What do you think?


Zalethon
I disagree. I am sure I don't have all the facts about it, but there are already certain checks in place. Most extremist liberals, and I'm sure some others, would say that the government has no place putting their nose in their business, including how they raise their children. However, even I believe that government interference should be severely limited. (I'm a liberal democrat, but not an extremist.)

It sounds like what you suggest would create something of a dystopian society. Would you raise a child, give him the best possible education and moral values, and then deny him the right to have a child? How would you enforce it? What would the punishment be for having a child in blatant disregard to the rules?


DerekPritchard
Well its just an idea lol. The fact that our society is evolving and too much freedom can hurt the overall potential of what this society could achieve if everyone were influenced the correct way. I'm not saying neccessarily to put more "control over the people," but to correct the flow of man. It hurts our personal morals to be controlled even "correctly," but some adjustments for the good of man kind will probably be made in the coming decades. I think its possible to eliminate many problems by leaving primitive behaviors behind as technology increases. Education would increase ten fold as is proven to be the best medicine for a provactive society. Soon we will "make" babys there we be no births there will be robots as bodys there will be less and less primitive ways per se. This is in a sense moving forward in my eyes. What do you think?


Zalethon
It still sounds very dystopian to me. To 'make' babies, by which I assume you mean apply cloning technology toward reproduction rather than actually reproduce. This could be a marvelous and miraculous advancement for those who find themselves unable to have their own children, but to rob people in general the chance to bring their own child into the world doesn't sound right to me.

As for robots as bodies, the human body is about as robotic and advanced as we're ever going to get. Again, such advancements could be very useful, and a blessing for various people. I very much doubt our entire bodies will be replaced, though.


DerekPritchard
Ok i admit im catagorizing this train of thought quite far in the future. But.. while technology does increase putting morality and basic given primitive values aside in the future it will be better to have robotic more efficient bodies that are more adapt to survival and the extraction of a constant-- "living" body. Putting an infinite life sustainability into a reality. I have seen interesting sci fi future theorys that are identical to this as well. We will be forced to leave this planet and into another solar system to continue survival. Thus making it a probable prerequisite for life as we know it. Moving attention toward "creating" babies it is much more favorable in the fact that it is more efficient it might sound disgusting now but life will evolve into more *effective ways of reproducing rather than that of primitive ways. And i dont neccessarily mean "cloning" just the thought of reproducing in a more effecient manner. With your input I've come to realize maybe its a little too far in the future to come to terms with maybe not. Do you see this as completely out of reach?


Zalethon
It doesn't sound out of reach so much as very disturbing, to me. It seems like if such a future comes into existence, it will ultimately lead to a decline in personal relationships. If we aim for efficiency rather than happiness, what is the point of continuing to survive?

You compare your ideas to a science fiction scenario, yet in most science fiction such beings that prize efficiency over all tend to be viewed in a very negative fashion.

Such technology could come into play in the next fifty or hundred years, possibly. But I doubt if the Human race will ever want to entirely adopt them, as a lifestyle.

And at any rate, currently human nature is such that these technologies would be advertised, and sold rather than freely distributed among our people, even those who could desperately use them.

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Politics & Current Affairs

Political division is nothing new. Throughout American history there have been numerous flare ups in which the political arena was more than just tense but incideniary. In a letter addressed to William Hamilton in 1800, Thomas Jefferson once lamented about how an emotional fervor had swept over the populace in regards to a certain political issue at the time. It disturbed him greatly to see how these political issues seemed to seep into every area of life and even affect people's interpersonal relationships. At one point in the letter he states:

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

Today, we Americans find ourselves in a similar situation, with our political environment even more splintered due to a number of factors. The advent of mass digital media, siloed identity-driven political groups, and a societal lack of understanding of basic discursive fundamentals all contribute to the problem.

Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.

The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?


Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression

In a 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey by Cato, it was found that 71% of Americans believe that political correctness had silenced important discussions necessary to our society. Many have pointed to draconian university policies regarding political correctness as a contributing factor to this phenomenon.

It's a great irony that, colleges, once true bastions of free-speech, counterculture and progressiveness, have now devolved into reactionary tribal politics.

Many years ago, one could count on the fact that universities would be the first places where you could espouse and debate any controversial idea without consequence. The decline of staple subjects that deal with the wisdom of the ancients, historical reference points, and civic discourse could be to blame for this exaggerated partisanship boiling on campuses.

Young people seeking an education are given a disservice when fed biased ideology, even if such ideology is presented with the best of intentions. Politics are but one small sliver for society and the human condition at large. Universities would do well to instead teach the principles of healthy discourse and engagement across the ideological spectrum.

The fundamentals of logic, debate and the rich artistic heritage of western civilization need to be the central focus of an education. They help to create a well-rounded citizen that can deal with controversial political issues.

It has been found that in the abstract, college students generally support and endorse the first amendment, but there's a catch when it comes to actually practicing it. This was explored in a Gallup survey titled: Free Expression on Campus: What college students think about First amendment issues.

In their findings the authors state:

"The vast majority say free speech is important to democracy and favor an open learning environment that promotes the airing of a wide variety of ideas. However, the actions of some students in recent years — from milder actions such as claiming to be threatened by messages written in chalk promoting Trump's candidacy to the most extreme acts of engaging in violence to stop attempted speeches — raise issues of just how committed college students are to
upholding First Amendment ideals.

Most college students do not condone more aggressive actions to squelch speech, like violence and shouting down speakers, although there are some who do. However, students do support many policies or actions that place limits on speech, including free speech zones, speech codes and campus prohibitions on hate speech, suggesting that their commitment to free speech has limits. As one example, barely a majority think handing out literature on controversial issues is "always acceptable."

With this in mind, the problems seen on college campuses are also being seen on a whole through other pockets of society and regular everyday civic discourse. Look no further than the dreaded and cliche prospect of political discussion at Thanksgiving dinner.

Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner

As a result of this increased tribalization of views, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to engage in polite conversation with people possessing opposing viewpoints. The authors of a recent Hidden Tribes study broke down the political "tribes" in which many find themselves in:

  • Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
  • Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
  • Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
  • Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
  • Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
  • Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
  • Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
    Patriotic.

Understanding these different viewpoints and the hidden tribes we may belong to will be essential in having conversations with those we disagree with. This might just come to a head when it's Thanksgiving and you have a mix of many different personalities, ages, and viewpoints.

It's interesting to note the authors found that:

"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."

You'll find that depending on what group you identify with, that nearly 100 percent of the time you'll believe in the same way the rest of your group constituents do.

Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:

  • 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
  • 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
  • 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people's preferred gender pronouns.
  • 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
  • 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
  • 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.

Understanding the fact that tribal membership indicates what you believe, can help you return to the fundamentals for proper political engagement

Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:

  • Avoid logical fallacies. Essentially at the core, a logical fallacy is anything that detracts from the debate and seeks to attack the person rather than the idea and stray from the topic at hand.
  • Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
  • Have the idea that there is nothing out of bounds for inquiry or conversation once you get down to an even stronger or new perspective of whatever you were discussing.
  • Keep in mind the maxim of : Do not listen with the intent to reply. But with the intent to understand.
  • We're not trying to proselytize nor shout others down with our rhetoric, but come to understand one another again.
  • If we're tied too closely to some in-group we no longer become an individual but a clone of someone else's ideology.

Civic discourse in the divisive age

Debate and civic discourse is inherently messy. Add into the mix an ignorance of history, rabid politicization and debased political discourse, you can see that it will be very difficult in mending this discursive staple of a functional civilization.

There is still hope that this great divide can be mended, because it has to be. The Hidden Tribes authors at one point state:

"In the era of social media and partisan news outlets, America's differences have become
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.


Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."

We need to start teaching people how to approach subjects from less of an emotional or baseless educational bias or identity, especially in the event that the subject matter could be construed to be controversial or uncomfortable.

This will be the beginning of a new era of understanding, inclusion and the defeat of regressive philosophies that threaten the core of our nation and civilization.