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Just because your ancestors did it don't make it right

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posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:09 PM
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Yes I'm aware of my grammatical error; I did it on purpose.

I've been hearing an awful lot lately about how people have been doing this or that for thousands of years, how the ancients believed this or that, how someone from the past who was smart did something a certain way and this is an honest argument as to why a social activity or behavior is right or wrong. In short that because something is traditional or customary it is in essence the right thing to do.

Am I missing something? Did we somehow lose the ability to apply critical thinking to our lives? Does all the experience, investigation, and history of humanity since an idea first came about mean nothing?

I'm going to pick a few social mores that I think this applies to but I'm sure a quick flip through your mental Rolodex will reveal many more.

If I were to walk to the store naked I would get arrested. They would call it indecent exposure. I am no nudist and I don't really care to walk to the store naked, but I really can't understand why on earth this would be a negative thing. It isn't obscene or suggestive, it really hurts nobody. But at some point many years ago someone decided the nude human body was taboo in the western world. Why?

If I decided that I wanted to practice polyandry / polygamy and my wife and I took extra spouses I would get arrested, fined, and it wouldn't be allowed. Why? Is there a good reason for this? Or is it just because someone said so a long time ago?

What if I just didn't ever want to get married and never have any children; people look at you like you're insane! Why?

What if I decided to not value money and could be happy in a small apartment making minimum wage for the rest of my life? My family would think I'm nuts, and society would eventually punish me. Why?

Wouldn't it seem that if we ignored the customs and traditions in general and just applied our own critical thinking and went towards what we needed to be happy that the world might be a better place?

Finally the reason I even bring this up: I have a feeling it is these very social traditions that drive many of the things most of us are here to expose, reject, and become aware of. It is these very customs that increase the risk of TSHTF day and also make society less ready if something DOES every happen!




posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:15 PM
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You have valid points, my people back in the day lived in wikkiups and ran around chasing nuts and the eventual deer, and wearing coyote's as hats(A tradition I tend to implement as soon as possible) so I can see your point. Sometimes traditions really do interfere with the running of a government and/or a society. I present to you the dualistic society of Turkye (That how they like to spell it) they have been struggling for year's about modernization in the vein of Attaturk, and trying to be a Muslim country. So much so there have been a lot of debates and people arrested on the count of it. Don't take that as an anti-Muslim quote or What Muslims's can't modernize!!? Kind of thing either, it is just trying to hold on to the past, and trying to be part of the EU at the same time. It is an interesting topic if anyone studies it indepth. One foot in Asia and one Europe so it is a perfect case of what you are talking about.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:33 PM
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Yeah, it ticks me often when the no-technology hippies say that the "ancients knew better". Somehow without "technology" the world would be a better place.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:38 PM
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Hmmm...

One of my ancestors burned an English village to the ground (true story). I understand from our UK friends here on ATS that type of behavior is frowned upon there today and when I've visited I've found the UK to be a lovely place. So, its a valid point.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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Great additions!

Peoples struggling to modernize while holding on to their religious traditions -- How difficult must it be to know that you could improve your quality of life, farming practices for more food, a more comfortable house etc but your religious traditions tell you it is wrong;

Technophobic people rejecting technology that improves quality of life because of a deep rooted belief that this technology isn't how it was done in some idealized version of the past.

I think both of those things might cause a little resentment and hostility towards those who can accept the new?

Not to mention when you want to burn down a pesky village and your ancestors could but now you can't! This isn't where I was going but maybe we stick to tradition because there are other things our ancestors could do that we can't?



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by Jinglelord
Did we somehow lose the ability to apply critical thinking to our lives?


..."we", as in the entire population of Earth, are an extremely diverse bunch... some couldnt think their way out of a paper sack if both ends were open... some are so intelligent that they're barely comprehendable to those who fall in the middle of the spectrum... its always been that way... so, the answer to your question is --- no, many within the "we" never had critical thinking skills in the first place...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
Does all the experience, investigation, and history of humanity since an idea first came about mean nothing?


...depends... if you ask a person who has never known anything but extreme poverty and is slowly dying of malnutrition, they'd probably perceive you as too spoiled to know how good you got it... btw, i didnt mean you personally, jinglelord...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
But at some point many years ago someone decided the nude human body was taboo in the western world. Why?


...the misuse of religion forcing the hand of politics or versa visa...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
If I decided that I wanted to practice polyandry / polygamy and my wife and I took extra spouses I would get arrested, fined, and it wouldn't be allowed.


...you'd only get arrested/fined/penalized if you were stupid about it and tried to have more than one legal marriage at a time... theres no law against shackin up or co-habitating with your exs (yet)...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
Why? Is there a good reason for this? Or is it just because someone said so a long time ago?


...the misuse of religion forcing the hand of politics or versa visa...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
What if I just didn't ever want to get married and never have any children; people look at you like you're insane! Why?


...because they're idiots...



Originally posted by Jinglelord
What if I decided to not value money and could be happy in a small apartment making minimum wage for the rest of my life? My family would think I'm nuts, and society would eventually punish me. Why?


...your family can think what they want... cant control that (legally)...

...as for society eventually punishing you, care to elaborate?...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
Wouldn't it seem that if we ignored the customs and traditions in general and just applied our own critical thinking and went towards what we needed to be happy that the world might be a better place?


...in a perfect world, yeah - but - that place doesnt exist and it never will - because - humans are too diverse... just because you're a nice guy, that doesnt mean everyone is...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
I have a feeling it is these very social traditions that drive many of the things most of us are here to expose, reject, and become aware of.


...i can see your point on that but i dont agree that social traditions are a driver... in many cases, such as politics and/or religion, they've been turned into a herding / hurting tool but something much bigger is doing the driving - and - i'm not implying a supernatural force but a bunch of decadently rich narcissistic psychopaths...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
It is these very customs that increase the risk of TSHTF day and also make society less ready if something DOES every happen!


...which customs?... there are millions and not all are bad or used as tools against us... besides, folks have been predicting and stressing over the day the shtf for eons... so thats a social tradition too - a not so healthy one sometimes because it seems to easily breed paranoia, obsessiveness and even anti-social behaviors but thats jmo...



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Wyn Hawks

...depends... if you ask a person who has never known anything but extreme poverty and is slowly dying of malnutrition, they'd probably perceive you as too spoiled to know how good you got it... btw, i didnt mean you personally, jinglelord...


Feel free to include me in that. Anyone who has the time and resources to pontificate about traditions on the internet has got to be at least a little spoiled right?



...the misuse of religion forcing the hand of politics or versa visa...


My perspective is that politics and religion are using the tendency towards tradition and custom as a control mechanism...



...your family can think what they want... cant control that (legally)...

...as for society eventually punishing you, care to elaborate?...


I would love to elaborate but you caught my half formed thought and I can't logically elaborate... boo on me!



...i can see your point on that but i dont agree that social traditions are a driver... in many cases, such as politics and/or religion, they've been turned into a herding / hurting tool but something much bigger is doing the driving - and - i'm not implying a supernatural force but a bunch of decadently rich narcissistic psychopaths...


This is where we only slightly disagree (I really do agree with all your other comments) but you brought up exactly what I was beating on the bushes to flush out. I strongly believe that our traditions and customs are being used as tool, and even being perpetrated by the forces you speak of in order to drive and control society to its ultimate end.

I don't know what that end is exactly and don't have a comprehensive list of exactly which traditions are pushed but you can bet anything being pushed hard by a major religion or political group is likely an offending tradition.



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by Jinglelord
Anyone who has the time and resources to pontificate about traditions on the internet has got to be at least a little spoiled right?


...ahahahaaa!... yep, including me - sittin here woofin on ice cream and a chocolate covered banana while reading your post...



Originally posted by Jinglelord
My perspective is that politics and religion are using the tendency towards tradition and custom as a control mechanism...


...we're sayin the same thing... i just give a little leeway with the "misuse of" phrase...



...as for society eventually punishing you, care to elaborate?...



Originally posted by Jinglelord
I would love to elaborate but you caught my half formed thought and I can't logically elaborate... boo on me!


...no worries... i'll give an example...


...a little over 3yrs ago, i quit my job and moved to another city to take of my mother, a widow with advanced alzheimers... sounds real noble - yeah, yeah - forget that... my motivation was purely selfish, totally narcissistic - all about me...

...some of my friends said i was making a big mistake because, after mom dies or has to go into a nursing home, i'll have a hard time finding a job because of my age (late 50s now) - like i was too stupid to have considered that possible reality prior to making my decision...

...they also said that i was screwing myself (like thats a sin) by not paying into social security - like i'm ever gonna get what i've already paid in (idiots)...

...so, you see, thats why i hit on your comment about society eventually punishing you for living as you choose if it does not meet their approval... as for the possibility of society getting their collective panties in a wad over my choice of lifestyle - i give that as much credence as the "when shtf" hysteria...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
I was beating on the bushes


...i have days when i would LOVE to beat on some bushs...



Originally posted by Jinglelord
I strongly believe that our traditions and customs are being used as tool, and even being perpetrated by the forces you speak of in order to drive and control society to its ultimate end.


...i agree except for the "to its ultimate end" part - because - if they kill society, who will they rule?... who will fight the wars that make them richer?... they're psychos but they're not insane...


Originally posted by Jinglelord
you can bet anything being pushed hard by a major religion or political group is likely an offending tradition.


...monkey see monkey do is probably our oldest tradition and it was surely perceived as a good thing - until - the first monkey exhibited greed... then the suffering en masse started and that created another flow of thought that suggested that just because you can doesnt mean you should... however, greed was still perceived as a very good thing for those who had evolved into hawgs...



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 03:12 AM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


When I said driving to the ultimate end I didn't mean "the end" it was supposed to mean driving us to conform to their ultimate plan. I agree they have no desire to destroy everything... whoever "they" is I'm not really sure.

And thank you for giving an example where I didn't have one!



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 

You raise a valid point and I have seen this, too, being used in a kind of blind way. But the opposite argument is that old traditions have "stood the test of time." So as we grow as a culture, tradition accumulates, and the need to evaluate it skillfully increases. Hidden in our traditions are some great, abiding truths. But if they had been completely and perfectly expressed, why have they not been successfully applied in all these years to perfect our culture? So we must take all these teachings and glean from them the most valuable parts, and then revise them in the light of experience and observation to give them even greater workability. Those who wish to rely on tradition or traditional teachings without re-evaluating them on a continuing basis are just mentally lazy. Though I can sympathize with such persons, I cannot give them the right to lead the world.



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by l_e_cox
 

Well said!

I think my biggest concern is that people can be lead to place where they will be miserable by following their customs and traditions. Maybe this isn't such a bad way to do things... You're right those people who don't reevaluate are mentally lazy. Would it then make sense that the tradition of hard labor "Good ole American roll up your sleeves and get to work" is necessary for those who are too lazy to rethink their actions in order to keep them productive?



posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


I agree with you.

I'm a vegetarian, so I hear this fallacious argument a lot from meat-eaters attempting to defend their position.

''We've been eating meat for millions of years'' or ''our ancestors have been farming livestock for thousands of years''.

Now, whether someone is a meat-eater or a vegetarian is irrelevant to my point, as from an objective level, it is clear that the argument is not logically valid, as I normally point out, by using such examples as cannibalism, rape, human sacrifices, paedophila, and killing unhealthy or disabled babies...

That usually shuts them up.



Also, on another more practical level, the application of this argument would lead to a stagnation of society, as nothing would ever progress, and society would be based around tradition, rather than what would necessarily be best for the inhabitants of the society.

I have nothing wrong - and in fact agree - with having a traditional base for society, as long as no aspects of the base are considered to be unquestionable or immutable.

I think the most succesful society would be one that is allowed to fluorish, and where change is made, not for the sake of it, but because it could be improved by having certain aspects tweaked here and there, as long as there is a logical and reasoned argument for the change.

After all, that's how our ancestors have been doing it.



posted on Jan, 16 2011 @ 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
reply to post by Jinglelord
 


I agree with you.

I'm a vegetarian, so I hear this fallacious argument a lot from meat-eaters attempting to defend their position.

''We've been eating meat for millions of years'' or ''our ancestors have been farming livestock for thousands of years''.


I've found that this is something people tend to hold even more sacred than their religious and political views. If I tell a beef eating country boy that I think eating meat is wrong I would've come out of it better if I just said I thought Jesus was fraud...



Also, on another more practical level, the application of this argument would lead to a stagnation of society, as nothing would ever progress, and society would be based around tradition, rather than what would necessarily be best for the inhabitants of the society.

I have nothing wrong - and in fact agree - with having a traditional base for society, as long as no aspects of the base are considered to be unquestionable or immutable.

I think the most succesful society would be one that is allowed to fluorish, and where change is made, not for the sake of it, but because it could be improved by having certain aspects tweaked here and there, as long as there is a logical and reasoned argument for the change.

After all, that's how our ancestors have been doing it.


I feel like there will always be a logical reason for change as long as people are miserable. But I'm not sure human's aren't wired to always have some level of misery.

I also would like if instead of tradition as a base we used something more fun... like Jello (Or the equivalent that doesn't use animal products)

Either way I agree with you because ultimately I think you're right.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by Jinglelord
 


Good thread man.I was just thinking this over the holidays as me & my steppops struggled to bring a heavy Christmas tree home from Ralphs,up to our 3rd floor apartment.I just kept thinking "Wow.Is this really necessary?...Why are we bringin a TREE into the house?Trees belong outdoors...What does this have to do with Jesus' birthday anyway?...Who even thought of this?...Wouldn't a small Christmas plant be more feasible?...How'd this get so popular?.."And don't get me started on the mess all those leaves make.

Christmas trees = Worst tradition ever



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:48 AM
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Nice post, liked many of your points. The only thing to add would be: liberate yourself, from your society, and your peer pressures. Reject everything that makes you unhappy, embrace your dreams.
Remember, in society in general, 99.9% of the people are moronic sheeple, that only manage to stand up strait because they where told that is the way. Are you going to permit these idiots to keep you from your dreams, wishes, and happiness; or are you going to ignore them, and free yourself from "words, and opinions".
The only free, and happy people I know are Mental Anarchists, who don't give a them about the "rule of the land", the ancestors, "what's expected from them", "family honor", and all that crap. Like my father used to say: "to be happy you must make your hobbies, and passions, the only entities that rule tour life".



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:18 AM
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The only tradition that withstood the ultimate test of time was humans' ability to change, move on, adapt, evolve. All the rest were just fads that disappeared with the people who clung to them.


Originally posted by Jinglelord

I've found that this is something people tend to hold even more sacred than their religious and political views. If I tell a beef eating country boy that I think eating meat is wrong I would've come out of it better if I just said I thought Jesus was fraud...


Yeah, I've been there too. It never ceases to amaze me how much importance they place on meat eating. Let' say someone doesn't eat nuts and berries. Can you imagine the crowd preaching to them about the importance of eating nuts and berries, and how our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate nuts and berries? If animals are just another food group, why get so passionate about it?



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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nevermind
edit on 18-1-2011 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by Wallachian
 


Well I'm allergic to nuts and I do constantly catch lectures for not eating nuts... ha haa People look at me like I'm some sort of weirdo when I turn down an almond, even after I explain I still get a suspicious look.

But you're right, nowhere near what I've seen vegetarians endure. I'm not a vegetarian but I do recognize it is the most sustainable form of living and I highly respect those who are. I suppose as CerBeRus said above I need to liberate myself from society!



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 03:37 AM
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Originally posted by davespanners
nevermind
edit on 18-1-2011 by davespanners because: (no reason given)


Bloody brilliant! Star for you.





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