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Love of Wisdom

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posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Usually we think about philosophylove of wisdom – as something very high classed.

A subject only philosophers like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Galileo Galilei, Decartes or Nietzsche are dealing with.
But not the ordinary man in the street.

Is this true?

I don't think so.

Everybody of us loves wisdom – especially if you are an ATS member.
We try to deny ignorance – we deny not-knowing – so we want to know, we want to gain knowledge, we love wisdom.

This forum is also called the philosopher.s café, and this thread is going to be the bistro of the forum.
A coffee to go, a cookie of philosophy.

There are many words, phrases we use and hear everyday, we have a concept of the meaning, but we will see that everybody depending on his/her culture has a different concept.

I would love to discuss these normal terms on a philosophical level with you. Don't expect me to give the answers, I am looking forward to read your thoughts before I am going to express mine

Hopefully the discussion will lead us to the next term, the next expression. If not, we will add a new term each week.


Hopefully this will be a lot of fun.
Hopefully we will gain more knowledge and also gain more understanding of each other.

One word doesn't bother me really but I am very aware of it since it is used every day by many people. Usually they use it to separate themselves from other people. They use it to make themselves look better or others to look weird.

I am talking about the small word:

normal



People say:
"It is normal to work 8 hours a day"
"It is not normal to sleep only 2 hours a night"

But what does normal mean?
What does it mean to you?
Why are we using it so often?




posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by orange-light
 




But what does normal mean?


Sufficiently common as to cause no particular surprise or notice when it occurs, or to be cause for surprise when it does not.

Conditions of normalcy will vary by observer for different conditions and events. For example, if I drop a ball from my hand here on earth, it would be unlikely to cause any particular suprise to earthbound observers if that ball were to fall to the ground. Thus, it could be described as a normal result. But if I do the exact same thing a billion miles out into space, earthbound observers would be unlikely to expect it to immediately fall away at earth gravity acceleration. If it did, it might be deescribed as not a normal event.

Applying the idea to people is no different. In some parts of the world it would come as no surprise for a 30 year old man to be married to a 14 year old girl. It is a sufficiently common event that no one would be likely to be surprised by it. But the same phenemonen in the western world would be sufficiently rare as to cause some people to be shocked.

Normalcy is a function of an observers expectation.



What does it mean to you?


See above. It's not a word I use often, as accounting for the expectations of observers other than myself is sometimes tricky, and since those expectations are often different than my own, the word is rarely very useful for effective communication.



Why are we using it so often?


Some people have firm expectations for the world and people around them. For some it is a survival mechanism. For example, "It's us vs. them, and I identify "them" by how different they are from me." For others it's a matter of cognitive dissonance. When observable reality doesn't match their expectations, it can be unpleasant. Others feel the need to impose their expectations on others. There are many possible reasons for fixation on one's perception of what is normal.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 05:50 PM
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I find it interesting when people use the word:

TRY

I see the word as a built in excuse for failing. Example: "I will try to come by and see you later today." By including the word try, the person now has a built in excuse: "I'm sorry, I tried...". When I hear the word used in the context of the example above I interpreted it to mean, "I'm not going to come by later, and I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I'll say Try instead".

Another example is in goal setting, and this usage of the word I find most disturbing. Example: "I am going to try and lose 10 pounds by the end of this month!". A month comes and goes and the person luckily has a reprieve in that they "tried". "Oh well, I tried and couldn't do it. Maybe next time".

I believe try is a word that people who are comfortable with themselves and know where they are going in life seldom use. There is no reason to try when you can easily make up your mind that you will or you won't. If you will then make it happen. If you won't, then so be it!

What are your thoughts?



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by orange-light
 


Normal is subjective to the user...

I believe it is pack mentality...
Everyone is unique, so we need a foundation to function as a social group.

Natural law/common law is such a foundation, that provide basic rules we can use to interact as a group.
The word normal for me indicates lack of wisdom, as it stifles the uniqueness and turns us into one of the mindless herd.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 06:18 PM
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I live near the Border of Mexico, so it is not too unusual that the part of Normal that sticks out to me is "mal". The meaning of 'mal' is "bad", "ill", or "wrongful". To be honest I even pronounce this word the same as you would in Spanish, Nor-Mal, with the latter part expressed like saying "Mall". I am certain if someone from the North or East were to sit and listen to me they would hear lots of my words pronounced with a Spanish Alphabet pronunciation.

Coupled with the "Nor" which could be viewed as "without", I see the word Normal as meaning "without bad", and of course that is true in so many ways. It doesn't indicate health by any means, but it does sort of pull you in the middle ground between the best and the worst of any condition.

Perhaps to be Normal means you are dull because that is sort of middle ground between fun and "not-so-fun".

Maybe to be Normal means your not pretty, your not successful, or that you are not really an "Achiever".

Sad little word this "Normal". I sure am glad I am not normal.



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by orange-light
 


All actions, facts and concepts that harmonize with the established values or norms the user of the term believes in, or expects from the addressed subject.

Norms or standards, programmed in everyone by culture and socialization. Easier to gain than to let loose. Once aware of your own norms and their relativity, you'll no longer use the word 'normal' carelessly, for it becomes an empty shell. My norm is not per se your norm.
Let's say the values and norms of a contemporary majority give definition to the word 'normal' in their society.


edit on 15/9/10 by Movhisattva because: extra's



posted on Sep, 15 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by orange-light
 


The philosophy which professional philosophers do is much more analytical and methodological than that of laymen. Although everyone is capable of pondering, they rarely go into such depths in their ponderings as philosophers. But they as everyone esle, are bounded by their dogmas, beliefs and concepts.

Normal means any creature, event or phenomena that can be perceived to be usual (perhaps a quantity that occurs in most observed cases) in certain context. Out of context things are abnomals.

So if most of people do 8hr work days, it is normal to work 8hrs per day. But we cannot really apply that same normal to other areas, for example, say that someone is not normal person because one work only 4hrs/day. As mentioned in above post, normal should be used carefully.

-v



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by orange-light
Usually we think about philosophylove of wisdom – as something very high classed.


People say:
"It is normal to work 8 hours a day"
"It is not normal to sleep only 2 hours a night"

But what does normal mean?
What does it mean to you?
Why are we using it so often?




To say something is "normal" is not normal at all in my opinion.

We use "normal" to generalize people and if they are not "normal" they must be "crazy"

I think some people use it to make people fall in line with others for "control"

Is it "normal" for us to be under laws?
Who decided that these laws were "normal"?
If 51 percent of people want a law to pass does that make them "normal"?
Are the other 49 percent of the people "not normal"?

If I say the sky is blue but you say its purple which one of us is "normal"?
Did a "normal" person decide what blue or purple looks like?
Would it be "normal" to name colors by numbers? black=0 white=1 grey=2 red=3 blue=4

I have a hard time with "normal" if we could bring people back to life that lived 1000 years ago and they retained all there memories, would they think we are "normal" or "not normal"?

If you make yourself walk and talk like everyone you meet does that make you "normal"?

Thanks for the post orange-light it made me think



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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thanks for contributing to this thread so far

much appreciated.

as far as i understand normality is different in different cultures, right?
but we also share a certain normality which based on the so called laws of nature.

all living beings have to fill up with oxygen in some way.
some breath, some filter water with gills - and i since i am not a biologist i bet there are many other systems to get hold of oxygen.

so filling up with oxygen can be called normal!

as a human being it is normal to breath. we are not able to fill up oxygen in water, that.s why we drown, we are not made for that.

as LordBucket would say: a surprise if somebody could breath water, so breathing water is not normal.

so a gravitation like the one on this planet is normal for us
a gravitation like the one on the moon is not normal
quiet easy ;D



Originally posted by LordBucket


Applying the idea to people is no different. In some parts of the world it would come as no surprise for a 30 year old man to be married to a 14 year old girl. It is a sufficiently common event that no one would be likely to be surprised by it. But the same phenemonen in the western world would be sufficiently rare as to cause some people to be shocked.


this is a good example for a cultural difference of normality
in our western world this phenomenon is quiet abnormal
but a couple of centuries ago it was normal here as well

same goes for arranged marriages
some cultures still believe in it
as western society has waved bye bye

food
way of acting
believes
how man and women live together
way of dressing

…………

the list is endless


but i think we use this term also to fit into a group, a community.
to make us better than other who might not belong to the way we are thinking





Why are we using it so often?


Some people have firm expectations for the world and people around them. For some it is a survival mechanism. For example, "It's us vs. them, and I identify "them" by how different they are from me." For others it's a matter of cognitive dissonance. When observable reality doesn't match their expectations, it can be unpleasant. Others feel the need to impose their expectations on others. There are many possible reasons for fixation on one's perception of what is normal.


exactly

good quote lordbucket


and i have to admit that i hate nothing more as if some people use this term to judge people "that.s not normal"
huuu it is not the way they think it should be!

the usage of "normal" shows - in my thinking - the grade of tolerance.
the more often you think or express "that.s not normal" the less tolerant you are towards your fellow humans



Originally posted by coder
I find it interesting when people use the word:

TRY

I see the word as a built in excuse for failing. Example: "I will try to come by and see you later today." By including the word try, the person now has a built in excuse: "I'm sorry, I tried...". When I hear the word used in the context of the example above I interpreted it to mean, "I'm not going to come by later, and I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I'll say Try instead".


oh yeah coder
that.s also a classic one


i have to confess that i am guilty of using the word "try" far to often.
why?
i don.t want people to pin me


usually i am going to do my best, really
it is not about hurting people.s feelings it is about not being hurted by myself




If you will then make it happen. If you won't, then so be it!



i often have heard this: if you will then make it happen
actually it usually leaves me confused

i want to make it happen, but i don.t know how!
e.g. i want to be successful as a free graphic designer, i know that i am doing great stuff, atleast i don.t know how to get customers, so i don.t know how to let it happen to be successful.

or maybe success is also used differently in people.s minds


Originally posted by jean59
The word normal for me indicates lack of wisdom, as it stifles the uniqueness and turns us into one of the mindless herd.


i just love your expression



like the fashion victims: it is normal to wear shorts no matter if it suits you or not, like a herd of lemmings everybody is wearing shorts


priceless jean




Originally posted by Greensage

Coupled with the "Nor" which could be viewed as "without", I see the word Normal as meaning "without bad", and of course that is true in so many ways.


that.s an interesting definition.
but saidly enough normality for many people in this world is not "without bad" it is war and crime






Perhaps to be Normal means you are dull because that is sort of middle ground between fun and "not-so-fun".


so as kind of average?


I sure am glad I am not normal.


me too



Originally posted by Movhisattva

All actions, facts and concepts that harmonize with the established values or norms the user of the term believes in, or expects from the addressed subject.


so we learn about norms during our socialization and education


Once aware of your own norms and their relativity, you'll no longer use the word 'normal' carelessly, for it becomes an empty shell. My norm is not per se your norm.


that.s for sure
but it also means that i have to think about the learned norms - some will become my own norms and other will be replaced, right?
but couldn.t these norms be called a moral codex?

it starts to get interesting

i would so love to discuss about moral and success


so normal could also mean that we all follow the same codex of morailty?


Originally posted by v01i0

The philosophy which professional philosophers do is much more analytical and methodological than that of laymen.


is that so?
any proves for that?

or isn.t this just a judgement of the philosophical capacities of ordinary people?

i wouldn.t call the process of reflecting about life and moral etc. just pondering, hopefully it leads to deeper insights and understanding.

mere pondering might be a symptom for a depression.



Normal means any creature, event or phenomena that can be perceived to be usual (perhaps a quantity that occurs in most observed cases) in certain context. Out of context things are abnomals.


so normal can be called ordinary?
being into context?
into which context?
and why is something out of context abnormal?

if we go back to the example of lordbucket "30 year old man marrying a 14 year old girl"
western society would call this abnormal, not part of our moral concept
but 200 years ago it was not abnormal in our area!

we changed the context? the norms? the way of thinking?


Originally posted by Trudge

To say something is "normal" is not normal at all in my opinion.


love you for that





We use "normal" to generalize people and if they are not "normal" they must be "crazy"

and craziness scares us, it is out of control

i think people have a desire to classify their fellow humans

"the crazy red haired lady next door she is not normal" means she is not like us, maybe she is to independent!



Is it "normal" for us to be under laws?
Who decided that these laws were "normal"?
If 51 percent of people want a law to pass does that make them "normal"?
Are the other 49 percent of the people "not normal"?

i guess there have been times without laws but in my opinion people always tried to follow a moral codex!
some ended up becoming religions, others ended up in laws.
and if 51% want something, than it is not usually normal, it is just about majority




If I say the sky is blue but you say its purple which one of us is "normal"?


both, we just have different ways to describe colors.

and the decision to call the color of leaves green and the color of the sky blue is a convention
we decided on day in our past how to describe our reality
maybe again a decision of majority.



I have a hard time with "normal" if we could bring people back to life that lived 1000 years ago and they retained all there memories, would they think we are "normal" or "not normal"?


normality as a concept of culture and time where we live!
certainly compared to the lives of those 1000 years ago we don.t live normal neither do we to those living 1000 years in the future.
i don.t live normal compared to a girl in china or japan or saud arabia, maybe not even compared to one in london, los angeles or munich.

i can only live in my own way, that.s my normality!
but it is just me




If you make yourself walk and talk like everyone you meet does that make you "normal"?


some might think so
but i don.t want to be like everybody else
i just want to be me
call me normal or abnormal i just don.t care anymore!




Thanks for the post orange-light it made me think



you are very welcome my friend

if you don.t mind ladies and gentlemen time for the next challenge


moral



any thoughts?



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 07:33 PM
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for those who come across this thread later - feel free to add your thoughts to the words, phrases and terms we have already discussed


so normal is still on the line as well as our new moral




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