Friday, January 11, 2008

Truth And Other Things!

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

This quote from Oscar Wilde has a great deal of meaning. Its implications for each human, if you think about it, are profound. Are we in fact merely composite imitations of other people?

The fact is that, initially, each baby learns by direct imitation then, slowly, through being exposed to the thoughts, opinions, actions and cautions of parents. Then it's off to childcare then kindergarten where the alphabet is introduced, then to many years of schooling based upon learning and regurgitating what teachers say while also absorbing what books and television say. Later a young man or woman may go to university and learn and regurgitate what lecturers and professors say the merry-go-round of imitation turns.

But where is there place in all this for original thought? Where is there the opportunity to find one's own truth? It seems that we mainly learn the 'truth' from others who in turn have learned it from other others. What if the first person to cite the truth got it wrong? For example, once people were told the world was flat!

On a previous post, the University article, one commenter asked for 'citations.' In other words, what I was maintaining could have no credibility unless someone else, someone 'important', had said it first and I used their words to justify my thoughts. How programmed can people be? Answer: completely!

Perhaps that's why truth is so hard to find. As Schopenhauer said: All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Thanks to Phill for bringing it to my attention.

So it seems that the following applies: most people's knowledge, views and beliefs come from imitating other people. Then, should someone, a non-conformist with a questioning mind, present an opposing point of view (shock, horror) most people will ridicule that person. If that fails to silence the dissenter, then they will attack him or her, in a pack if necessary. Then, ironically, if the opposing point of view eventually turns out to be right, these same people, with a straight face, will say, "Well, everyone knew that!"

Sometimes I think it pays to be a conformist! But a man has to do what a man has to do.

Photo Link.

P.S. While we're talking about conformity, the author of one blog, an 'academic' no less, assertively tells his flock: I’m getting fed up...with people who flagrantly disregard moderation requests in order to make some idiosyncratic point about their own beliefs or views.

How can a comment not be idiosyncratic? How can a comment not express its writer's view or belief? Perhaps the author should write all the comments!


Phill said...

"Sometimes I think it pays to be a conformist! This is very evident on some blogs."

Daniel the reason the world is in the state it is in is,as you have remarked earlier,and you are correct, there is no original thoughts coming from any where.

This is most evident in the current search for who will represent their party for the next U.S. President.The only thing that has changed is the names of the candidates,the rhetoric is the same now, as when Kennedy was on the hustings.And by the way that's something unfortunately I remember.

I watched the debate between the republican candidates this morning,I wasn't so shocked at the absolute shallowness of the candidates,as the asinine comments and the crowds reaction(clapping)most of them I sincerely believe couldn't find Iraq on a map.

Our favorite blogs are just a symptom of what has changed society into what some would say is the Anarchy we are experiencing now.The area of most concern to me is law and order,some if they had their way would no doubt reward murder and other extreme crimes of savagery with holidays abroad.

We could all give examples all day,my brother gave up teaching because of the sexual innuendo that has been created by the feminist movement,every male teacher is a potential kiddy fiddler.After 20 yrs, he now is a OHAS officer for a mining company.

My son has just gone through a messy divorce,which was not his fault,he is the consummate family man,his missus was as we would say playing up. Not only did he lose his home,he now pays $450.00 a week in maintenance,that's a lot of tucker and clothes for two kids ha ha.My point here is,academics have been the cause of these unmitigated disasters in society,they will deny it of course but it is true none the less.

When you get into a debate with them,they will start to insult your intelligence with a history lesson of the obvious.But don't give up on it,there are some good ones out there as you know.Like I said in another comment I don't take it to serious.

Which state is your farm in by the way?

Best wishes.

Daniel said...

In NSW, Phill. Funny thing is that I thought that certain blogs were the only places left that allowed freedom of expression. Silly me!

Some of them are run by folk on a huge ego-trip not genuine people who have a real interest in making the world a better place.


Phill said...

"How can a comment not be idiosyncratic? How can a comment not express its writer's view or belief? Not much room for original thought or truth on that blog, eh?"

Sorry Daniel I forgot to comment on that bit,yes I had a good laugh when I saw the moderators comment.

If I am aloud to put words in his mouth?What he should have said was!"It's o/k to be down right rude and patronizing,but there should be no replies, with any levity or tongue in cheek.

Phill said...

"Some of them are run by folk on a huge ego-trip not genuine people who have a real interest in making the world a better place."

The particular blog is not an expression of ideas it is a competition of styles.There are obviously some very intelligent people that comment on it,but that is the problem,the confusion is made between i.q. and education.and Wit,which I have seen none of ha ha.

And you being an x teacher needs no further explanation from me. Best wishes.

Coffee Messiah said...


Yikes! ; (

Ever since schools gave up the arts, weather music, art etc, critical thinking flew out the window. I'm sure it was done for a reason, that being having people follow, rather than lead.

Alas, there are many pockets of critical thinkers, as you well know.

Hopefully we shall remain among them.


Oh, and the "election" thing....quite depressing as to the manipulation of the whole mess.

Good to get rid of gw, but, will any "change" really occur?

We shall C......

bluegrrrrl said...

Hi Daniel!
There is a lot of truth to what you're saying here--I am continually perplexed by the demand to conform in all areas. It's a lot easier, I think, to let other people do the thinking for us, spout off other people's opinions as if they were our own. On this side of the pond, that certainly seems to be what our "leaders" expect of us...toe the party line like good little sheep, don't ask questions...

betmo said...

i have a former friend who fancies herself a writer- but has decided not to allow comments because (my words not hers but the implication is there) only certain folks will be able to have an informed and intelligent conversation. don't get me wrong- i don't believe that everyone's skill is equal and there are folks out there (trolls) who argue simply to argue- and not develop ideas or conversation. people misconstrue 'proof' and they want you to prove your ideas and theories as facts. i have to agree with the assessment about education- at least here in the states. people are programmed to think a certain way. people have been dissected and parsed and programmed to act in certain ways. look at the way that obama's message is being sucked in by the masses without a moment's thought- because he has tapped into the desire for 'change.' that's the buzzword that causes the hypnotized to act. cheers to you!

Lil Sparrow said...

I believe ..... I think, I would like to express.... in my opinion ..... are any of these really mine or learned repsonse?

I think that we cave on individuality due to loneliness and fear of rejection ... fear of having ACCESS to the herd cut off.

I must admit though that I am surrounded by people very different than the usual .... which makes me feel a seperation .....but conformity also horrifies me.... why do we all wish to be the same? Why do we celebrate white bread, white sugar and beige walls? Why do we celebrate placid human beings? Is this just not being wasteful?

Peace and Blessings

Lil Sparrow

Worried American said...

Daniel, we Americans from the land of the free soon won't have to concern ourselves with beliefs or independent thought. The Though Police are coming.
Check out: http://www.informationclearinghouse.

Also check out the Statement the only decent Repub Rep. made re above:
Scroll down to "Speeches and Statements".
Click on December 5, 2007 "Remarks - Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act".
Scroll down and click on View.

I had read hints of this coming as far back as 2001 after 911 but this confirmation makes me horrible ill and afraid for my country and my people. I will post this on IAB soon.

And what does it mean for the rest of the world, especially those countries who slavishly follow the lead of the US?

Daniel said...

Coffee, there are thinkers but, too often, they are pushed into tiny corners and isolated. Deliberately!

Bluegrrrrl, our masters just love sheeple. They are just so easy to herd and they believe anything you tell them.

Betmo, it's worrying how some blogs try to groom those who comment, try to make them conform to a narrow prescription. This blog encourages original thinkers and radical non-conformists.

Lil, you radical you! But we humans need to break the typical conformist mold if we are to progress beyond our current savagery.

Worried, I just experienced one of the thought police on another blog! I'll checkout the links. I also just checked out my calender. It says 2008 but perhaps it should say 1984!

Cheers to all!

Lucyp said...

I have often heard the same mantra repeated back at me parrot fashion from people who disagree with some of my views, especially the Iraq War when i would hear almost word for word that which had come out of the mouth of Blair or Bush.

I hope it is too late in the day to ask Phil how he came to the conclusion that 'because of the sexual innuendo that has been created by the feminist movement,every male teacher is a potential kiddy fiddler'

Phill said...

Lucyp,Hey don;t get me wrong I should have put the word, PERCEPTION has been created, that male teachers are all potential kiddy fiddlers.

I will assume you have read Germain Greer? Well her thoughts and ideas and the academics, has the male of the species absolutely confused as to what their actual role in society is.

The social academics have turned Australia on its head,it is not even possible to discipline your own children here with out risk from the dept of social services,accusing you of being Atilla the Hun..I might add this does not include beating them into an inch of their life,as some would have you believe.

Fortunately for me I come from a functional family for want of a better word.So I haven't had some of the problems.

I hope you got the drift.

Worried American said...

"because of the sexual innuendo that has been created by the feminist movement,every male teacher is a potential kiddy fiddler."

I won't comment on the "feminist movement" I think possibly the extensive publicity and warnings about child sex abuse is a contributing factor to suspicion of male teachers. Sexual abuse of children needs to be publicized and public awareness aroused.

BUT it has made many male teachers more reserved and stand-offish with their students. My friend Bob recently retired; excepting for his college years and stint in the Vietnam War, he has taught school all his adult life. He was a dedicated educator. On his paltry teacher's salary he purchased at his own expense numbers of books for the reading table he set up in his 5th grade classroom. He included classic comics, contending that at least the children would read them and thus improve their reading skills. He enlisted volunteers to work with hands on projects of helping the children build panoramas illustrating a current subject - anything to engage the students' interest and encourage them to learn.

He understood that when a child acted out in class, it often indicated that the child had problems. He would keep the child after school for conferences, gradually winning the child's trust and leading them to open up and talk out their troubles. He encouraged children with praise, pats on the back, and comforted them with hugs.

The time came - NO MORE!.If a child acted out, off to the principal's office for discipline. Words replaced pats and hugs. He employed no physical contact at all and no alone time with a child. He felt such compassion for his students but feared that his previous actions would be misinterpreted. He could not risk the destruction of his career and reputation, nor psychological damage to any child who might be drawn in to an unfair accusation or suspicion.

It was a loss for the children. Too bad. I was one of his classroom volunteers for 2 years and saw how his students admired and adored him and strove to earn good marks to please him. That went by the board when he backed away from them. I think for some children, he had served as a father image and role model.