Who can we believe?

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posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 09:43 PM
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Hello ATS community. This place can really suck you in. I never thought I would actually start a thread. I figured I would just hang out make the occasional comment. Be s smart ass, and maybe make a point here and there. And then I noticed something just today. that made me stop and think. No I didn't see a ufo didn't get any information from people in the know. No eureka on the Kennedy assassination. 9/11 still unsolved.

No what got me to thinking was something a lot less in your face. something I've been aware of for some time intellectually, but in a practical way, it had never really been driven home for me. Today it was. What I am hoping for is input form other members who have experienced something similar. and how this realization affected them and their thinking. For me it was a bit of a shock and made me question some of my positions, not so much the content of those positions or the principals which drove to these positions, but rather the intensity and certitude of my convictions and what these passions do to my judgment.

Today I commented on two different threads. Both very similar. Both stories detailing personal experiences of the original posters.

One was a story by a hardworking individual describing an acquaintance who had milked and bilked the social safety net in all manners available, living a rather lavish lifestyle void of any honest work. This to me was obviously a piece extolling the evils of government programs and wasteful spending with a side emphasis on the despicable character of anyone involved in such programs. Well this did not ring of authenticity, and I said as much in my comment..

The other was a tale of a man and his family enduring the hardships of an unforgiving economy, and the heartless nature of corporate decision making in a narrowly focused agenda based on short term profit at a great human expense. That being, the authors unemployment, continued unemployment, and the injustice done to his wife by corporations scratching each others back.

Well this latter story is right up my philosophical alley, and I jumped on this with all the acceptance and outrage I could muster.

Later after reflecting on each story it became somewhat clear both are likely just that, stories. Each containing extreme examples taken from several stories, arranged into one powerful narrative. The part that occupies my thoughts and prompted me to start this thread, was the ease with which my response in both cases was created.

May be that I m just a natural born reactionary, but perhaps forces are at work in this and other media to foster and nurture reactionary thinking over thoughtful thinking, for a purpose.What might that purpose be? Conspiracy? Perhaps.

We humans are a diverse lot and being at odds may just be a natural state. How much of what we hear in the political rhetoric has a designed purpose and how much is opinionated people spouting off. Maybe the conspiracy is not hatched, by the few against the many, but hides in the thoughts of each individual, and the best efforts to expose this conspiracy would begin here. But passion needs flames, and flames need fanning.

So how much of this is just angry individuals trying to make their case, and how much is a top down effort to keep us divided and limit the potential for organized thoughtful reaction?




posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:00 PM
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People cause the division, the media and script writers use it to bolster their position. It can seem like it is all a programmed conspiracy but in reality it is just human nature and people will continue to divide themselves along a given line until the end of time.

There is an old saying that is relevant to this, it goes:
Put 12 people in a locked room and, while they may not be able to pick a leader, they will all agree on someone to hate.

Division begins almost at birth and continues through life in almost every aspect.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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This is why most people probably aren`t willing to get up and actually take real action.it`s not because they are lazy or apathetic it`s probably because they aren`t willing to put reputation and life on the line for something they may not even be the truth.

if you think about it the colonist took a huge leap of faith by starting a war with england based merely on what they read in the newspapers.
you would never be able to do that today, the british are coming? really? prove it? i can`t see any brits from my house and that video of brits marching up bunker hill looks like CGI to me.



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:21 PM
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Aw come on, you can believe me
....oops.... Didn't I hear you say you needed a light for your cigarette?



posted on Sep, 18 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by okyouwin
 


Dear okyouwin,

Fair question. Now, on one level, what does it matter if these people were telling the truth or not? As we read these posts we are frequently really considering a morality question, consider what they right to be hypothetical and the questions remain.

I think the more important issue that you raise has to do with your knee jerk reaction (your words). I am in my early 50s (really) and have seen how people are less and less patient over the years. Part of this comes out in talking to them, a news article is brought up and rather than analyzing it, they immediately tell you how they feel about it. The articles are meant to push your buttons and are loaded with bias and half truths. Our political choices are passion driven.

We are trained to like certain types of people and dislike others; but, it is based on the term we use to describe them. We also tend to hear one story and then believe that all of "those people" do the same thing. Some illegal alien buys a home by lying about how much he makes and lives off welfare and eats lobster. People then immediately say how that is what the illegals do. One person used to represent everyone that we have grouped together.

In school we are taught to give snap answers, we are rewarded for parroting back what we were told faster and more complete, not for thinking. We are taught slogans. Here is something to consider. ATS is about the best debate you can find and that includes from the people that are some of the worst contributors. At least the people on ATS read and write and many research things and challenge people.

We live in a world of sound bites and speculation. Our political discourse has degraded to a for or against mentality. For the past 40 years children were asked in school how they felt about the news rather than what they thought about it.

In college a Professor was being snide and made the statement that Republicans were hypocrites because they against abortion but for the death penalty. I responded by saying that liberals were hypocrites because they were for abortions and against the death penalty, I said the difference was weather one wanted to kill the guilty or the innocent. He flipped and decided to have a real conversation about the issues. This was a class on Political Science for non-political scientists (I was a political science major and just needed another class and knew the professor). As the professor began to raise the real issues and question me vigorously, one of the students stood up and asked the professor if what we were discussing was going to be on the test. The professor looked at the class and told them that the debate, the discussion was what political science was really about. I need to say that while I am against abortion, I would not outlaw it, I am also against slavery.

Let us agree that this is not about abortion, the incident merely provides an example of a couple of things. Firstly, the teacher sought to make a deep observation through propaganda that sounded good. I responded in the same propaganda manner showing that the issues were not that simple, only then was he ready to have a real conversation. We both used labels to characterize whole groups, both were wrong. Not all Republicans are against abortion and not all liberals are against the death penalty. The people listening were intended to have an emotional response and they did, the one's that listened. The vast majority of them didn't care about the issues, they had a yes or no opinion and stopped listening to the issues.

Lets us consider how the media words things. Lets say a 19 year old boy is making out with a 17 year old girl and that they have gone to school together since they were kids. The girls parents get angry and have the boy arrested for underage sex. Because the boy did not sleep with her it is reduced to child molestation. The headline could read "Police officers son arrested for child molestation and given a reduced sentence" or it could say, "Teenager arrested for kissing girlfriend". People read the headline, have an immediate reaction and may or may not read the story or think about the issues.



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by okyouwin
 


Dear okyouwin,

Fair question. Now, on one level, what does it matter if these people were telling the truth or not? As we read these posts we are frequently really considering a morality question, consider what they right to be hypothetical and the questions remain.

I think the more important issue that you raise has to do with your knee jerk reaction (your words). I am in my early 50s (really) and have seen how people are less and less patient over the years. Part of this comes out in talking to them, a news article is brought up and rather than analyzing it, they immediately tell you how they feel about it. The articles are meant to push your buttons and are loaded with bias and half truths. Our political choices are passion driven.

We are trained to like certain types of people and dislike others; but, it is based on the term we use to describe them. We also tend to hear one story and then believe that all of "those people" do the same thing. Some illegal alien buys a home by lying about how much he makes and lives off welfare and eats lobster. People then immediately say how that is what the illegals do. One person used to represent everyone that we have grouped together.

In school we are taught to give snap answers, we are rewarded for parroting back what we were told faster and more complete, not for thinking. We are taught slogans. Here is something to consider. ATS is about the best debate you can find and that includes from the people that are some of the worst contributors. At least the people on ATS read and write and many research things and challenge people.

We live in a world of sound bites and speculation. Our political discourse has degraded to a for or against mentality. For the past 40 years children were asked in school how they felt about the news rather than what they thought about it.

In college a Professor was being snide and made the statement that Republicans were hypocrites because they against abortion but for the death penalty. I responded by saying that liberals were hypocrites because they were for abortions and against the death penalty, I said the difference was weather one wanted to kill the guilty or the innocent. He flipped and decided to have a real conversation about the issues. This was a class on Political Science for non-political scientists (I was a political science major and just needed another class and knew the professor). As the professor began to raise the real issues and question me vigorously, one of the students stood up and asked the professor if what we were discussing was going to be on the test. The professor looked at the class and told them that the debate, the discussion was what political science was really about. I need to say that while I am against abortion, I would not outlaw it, I am also against slavery.

Let us agree that this is not about abortion, the incident merely provides an example of a couple of things. Firstly, the teacher sought to make a deep observation through propaganda that sounded good. I responded in the same propaganda manner showing that the issues were not that simple, only then was he ready to have a real conversation. We both used labels to characterize whole groups, both were wrong. Not all Republicans are against abortion and not all liberals are against the death penalty. The people listening were intended to have an emotional response and they did, the one's that listened. The vast majority of them didn't care about the issues, they had a yes or no opinion and stopped listening to the issues.

Lets us consider how the media words things. Lets say a 19 year old boy is making out with a 17 year old girl and that they have gone to school together since they were kids. The girls parents get angry and have the boy arrested for underage sex. Because the boy did not sleep with her it is reduced to child molestation. ...


Well you have touched on quite a bit here. I like the part about how you feel about the news? vs. What do you think about the news?

People are always ready with an opinion. and a quick thoughtless response has generally proven to be effective in quelling debate, so no wonder we resort to it. Meaningful conversation and idea exchange is better facilitated when pretensions and preconceptions are placed to the side.

But I guess my question is. While we are most all aware of the ordinary run of the mill white noise triggers, are there more complex designed efforts to which we are subjected. and should we concede that there are, to what purpose, and how to best resist them?



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by rickymouse
Aw come on, you can believe me
....oops.... Didn't I hear you say you needed a light for your cigarette?


Ricky, I ain't believing anything you tell me man.



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by Tardacus
This is why most people probably aren`t willing to get up and actually take real action.it`s not because they are lazy or apathetic it`s probably because they aren`t willing to put reputation and life on the line for something they may not even be the truth.

if you think about it the colonist took a huge leap of faith by starting a war with england based merely on what they read in the newspapers.
you would never be able to do that today, the british are coming? really? prove it? i can`t see any brits from my house and that video of brits marching up bunker hill looks like CGI to me.


You sir have likely hit very close the real purpose.



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 01:12 AM
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Originally posted by redbarron626
People cause the division, the media and script writers use it to bolster their position. It can seem like it is all a programmed conspiracy but in reality it is just human nature and people will continue to divide themselves along a given line until the end of time.

There is an old saying that is relevant to this, it goes:
Put 12 people in a locked room and, while they may not be able to pick a leader, they will all agree on someone to hate.

Division begins almost at birth and continues through life in almost every aspect.


I'm with you, I think it's a human condition. I'm just wondering, to what extent have those who wish to manipulate our actions, played on this basic human trait?



posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:59 AM
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The system itself is the problem. I am not saying fight the system or anything like that, but the world doesn't have to be this way. At the very fabric of American culture is based on the notion of sovereignty. Thomas Hobbes, was one of the first people to touch on this subject through a thought experiment, about the true state of human nature,

Hobbes understood that since homo-sapiens are sentient beings, whose consciousness alone dictates their situational response, he argued that in an absolute state of nature all decisions made on behalf of an individual would stem inherently from their need to survive. This state of nature would be comprised of hostility towards others due to the scarcity of sustainable resources, which he inevitably believed would result in war. He thus concluded that unless compromise could be made to establish a system of order out of this perceived chaos that ultimately the world of all against all would have continued.

Hobbes and John Locke's Social Contract Theory acknowledges the reciprocation of power to the de facto (the established system) from an individual inherently capable of self-governance. This in turn establishes credibility for the de facto by individual adherence to mandated laws. However the integrity of this contract can only be maintained if the de facto provides the individual a means to accessing the resources needed to sustain life. This is because, if an individual’s necessities are unable to be addressed by the de facto, all benefits of relinquishing absolute self-governance through a social contract will become void. Hobbes and Locke establishes the framework of sovereignty under these same princples.

The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 estbalishes political ideaology of sovereignty.

However, Jean-Jacques Rousseau contradicted Hobbes and Locke's states of nature, by stating that it wasn't until the first person claimed ownership over a life sustaining resource, that scarcity and the subsequent system we live in now was accepted as the de facto.
This changed the inherent nature of humans collectively. I stand firm in my belief, that desperate people do desperate things,and as a result, people accepted a social contract as a means of their survival. This system continues on, to use tangible representations of wealth, and thus you have monopoly money based on faith.
It should be noted, that to rationalize this subequent disparity of wealth, and to justify this oppression, people were told through religion,
to accept this worldly injustice, because you'll be compensated in the afterlife by way of Heaven.

I assure you, this system will end. But it is really a good thing, not bad. It really falls to people to determine how it has to. You can believe that our inherent human nature will drive us to destroy ourselves. Or we can transcend this system, and realize that everything is actually free. Once you stop drinking the kool-aid, it's hard to go back.





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