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Is idealism positive or negative?

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posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:15 AM
First, the definition:

The practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically

Idealism is negative IMHO. It's one thing when it's just talk. I see lots of idealists on this forum but I know that most of them will not act on their idealism so I think that's fairly harmless. However, when idealism is put into action, that's when it gets ugly.


Muhammed married a six year old bride. But Islam has evolved in 1500 years. In Hamas land, in 2009, the brides are almost seven.

Mass Muslim Marriage

450 Grooms Wed GIRLS Under Ten In Gaza

A gala event has occurred in Gaza.

Hamas sponsored a mass wedding for four hundred and fifty couples. Most of the grooms were in their mid to late twenties; most of brides were under ten.
Link to article

Idealism caused the following.

11-year-old rape victim denied abortion gives birth in Paraguay

That girl had to risk her life to have a baby that she didn't want because of idealism. Because of idealism, both her life and the baby's life will probably be ruined.

Do you need more examples of how evil idealism can be?

Pol Pot

Why go on? The list is endless.
edit on 12-9-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:19 AM
a reply to: Profusion

As an Idealistic Cynic, I believe you have to balance idealism with cynicism.

While it's nice to have ideas, at the same thing you have to see things realistically as well.

posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:24 AM

originally posted by: starwarsisreal
a reply to: Profusion

As an Idealistic Cynic, I believe you have to balance idealism with cynicism.

While it's nice to have ideas, at the same thing you have to see things realistically as well.

There are lots of people that seem to be unable to see the difference between their personal truth and any absolute truth that may exist. That causes huge problems.

originally posted by: Profusion
Let's get definitions out of the way first.

I don't think there is a set definition of "personal truth." My interpretation is the following:

Personal truth is what someone has come to believe as "true" for them or to them through individual experiences or insights.

Solipsism has a fixed definition:

a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known

I'm a believer in personal truth. I think it's a very real and useful concept. The problem I have is when people state personal truth as absolute truth. (Please don't argue in this thread about whether or not absolute truth exists. The people I'm discussing here obviously do believe that absolute truth exists so whether it exists in reality is a red herring in this thread in my opinion.)

When do you know that someone is stating personal truth as absolute truth? In my experience, that usually happens when someone discusses how their personal truth is equal to absolute truth. Let's say we're discussing the topic, "Are apples red?" A color blind person (suffering from protanopia) that demanded that their personal truth was absolute truth would assert that apples aren't red because they've never seen a red apple.

I've seen the concept of personal truth as absolute truth carried to unbelievable extremes. For example, I've heard people say (paraphrasing), "I know X, Y, or Z (as absolute truth) about Jesus based on my personal walk with him." I think that's absurd but I respect the concept of personal truth so as long as that belief stays in the realm of personal truth, I've got no problem with it.

The next step that sometimes happens is where solipsism comes in. Sometimes people that have a personal truth want to claim that it's absolute truth with no evidence offered at all (or insufficient evidence is offered to prove what they're arguing). At that point, they're expunging everyone else's right to have personal truth (or to express any possible absolute truth for that matter) and that is de facto solipsism.

Why? Because by stripping everyone else of the right to have their own personal truth (while claiming your personal truth is absolute truth), you're stating literally, "your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known." By shutting everyone else's personal truth (and any possible absolute truth) out like that, you're exhibiting solipsism, by definition.

And generally speaking, in my experience, once we get that far, don't even try discussing absolute truth with someone acting like a solipsist, that's going nowhere.
edit on 12-9-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:32 AM
a reply to: Profusion

I see your point. Actually one of biggest problem with idealism is people want believe in their own expectations too much even though it is negatively impacting them.

For example, in relationships, one thing I notice is many times many people, even though their relationship is obviously falling apart would try to believe nothing bad is happening and the relationship will last forever.

posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 12:37 AM
a reply to: Profusion

Idealism isn't positive or negative. It's simply an idea (or maybe a tool).

You have to live in the world as it is.

Idealism is essentially the way you or I "wish" the world would be. We can try to implement that in small ways. We can treat others fairly, give them the benefit of the doubt, etc

At the same time, it's important that we realize that not everyone else shares our views, and as much fun as it is to speak as if we are enlightened, the only person that is going to take care of you and your family is you...

In other words, it is a rough, #ty world out there but we have to play the game we find ourselves in... but keeping the daydreams of our ideals as a compass is a good thing.

posted on Sep, 12 2015 @ 09:21 PM
a reply to: Profusion

Why did you link to a known hoax?

Hamas didn't organize any mass wedding of children in Palestine. That was a wedding between two adults, and the little girls were bridesmaids.

And denying a child an abortion out of religious principles isn't idealism, it's a cynical imposition of the established order upon an innocent. If it had happened in the US it might have been a political statement related to the abortion debate. In Paraguay it's just ingrown prejudice and Roman Catholicism.

Idealism is neither good nor bad. It's just naive.

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