Name the most important thing you have found out in your life!

Monocrom

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Well, I still meant what I posted above.
(Sarcasm is very difficult to pull off with a text format.)
 

knucklegary

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Opinions are like noses. We all have 'em and many are different. But to say 'you can blame no one but yourself'... yeah I do agree with that mostly yet if space junk falls from the sky, lands on the hood of my car and blocks my view from seeing the car in front of me has stopped and I smash into that car....am I really to blame there?
Murphy's Law..
 

jtr1962

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I had a hunch I shouldn't have posted that. Some people dont like reading things like this, it gives them headaches. I sincerely apologize to all offended parties.
I actually agreed with most of it. I kind of disagree with "You can blame no one but yourself." People love the illusion of control, but the truth is 95% of what happens to you is completely outside your control. At best you can prepare yourself for what might happen, but not avoid it.

Money isn't inherently evil (or good). It's simply a means of exchange. The mindless pursuit of it over and above any other consideration is evil and destructive.

I found "The more you accept yourself & follow your path, the more others are gonna to hate you." to be very true. I never followed a conventional path. Lots of people think less of me because of it.

My own contribution here are two things I found to be true:

1) A profound disappointment in most so-called adults. One of my high school teachers mentioned this on the last day of school. Far from being the selfless, all-knowing, incorruptible people I thought they were as a young child, I quickly learned adults are often more selfish, more petty, less flexible, and far less idealistic than kids. If I had my way, maybe kids would be in charge, at least in terms of setting guidelines for long term goals. The adults with practical knowledge would make those goals a reality.

2) The so-called future (which is the present from the point of view of my much younger self) has been nothing but a HUGE disappointment. Almost none of the things they said were going to happen in the gung ho 1960s did. No moon base by the 1980s, no people on Mars by the 1990s, no Mars base by 2000, no fusion by about the same time, no world peace, no one world government, no end to poverty, no 2 day work weeks, etc. That's not even getting into the relative lack of technical progress. Sure, electronics has come further than I ever hoped for. We're probably at the level of 23rd century Star Trek. Everything else? Not so much. Space travel never progressed to anything faster than chemical rockets which take years to go between planets. As mentioned, fusion hasn't happened. We've made some strides getting off fossil fuels but I honestly thought they would be history by the 1990s at the latest. We've had some medical advances, but nothing spectacular. We haven't slowed or stopped aging. I didn't think that would happen in time for my grandparents, but I had hope it might for my parents and those who came later. We haven't even found real cures for cancer or other diseases which kill people before their time. If anything, our handling of covid shows we've gone backwards. I could go on, but you get the picture. This isn't the future. It's more like a somewhat more technological version of the 1950s, along with a lot of the intolerance of that era.
 

jtr1962

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Wasn't planning on it. Some of the things he said were quite shocking though.
"There is no good or bad. There is no right or wrong."
With no moral compass how can you steer children to being upstanding members of society instead of ax murderers?
"Love is unconditional acceptance."
No. Love means you have the person's best interests at heart. If a child wants to jump off a bridge, set their hair on fire, chop off their genitals, join a cult, or eat themselves into having diabetes and a heart attack, a loving parent will tell them no and set boundaries for their own good. To allow otherwise would be negligence or child abuse.

There are too many people in this world raised on teachings of evolution, survival of the fittest, and relativism. What people get from these teachings is that they were an accident, not created with a purpose; that they have to claw, fight, and cheat their way to success and it doesn't matter who they hurt to do it; and there is no absolute truth, no right or wrong. If there is no absolute truth, how can that statement be true? This is known as a self-refuting statement.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, including me. I just happen to think those opinions are wrong.
It's only my opinion but I happen to think almost everything you wrote here is either wrong, or taken out of context, based on my life experience. It might seem odd to you but people without a so-called moral compass don't go on to become vile things. In fact, young children don't show any prejudice to those different from them. They learn it from their parents. Ditto for most of the other bad things adults become. There's actually a lot of good self-interest reasons for treating others well, even if a person has zero morals or empathy.

Unconditional acceptance simply means that you love a person no matter what. It doesn't imply that you don't also try to guide them from harmful behavior.

Science (of which evolution is a tiny part) has done more to better people's lives than anything else in history. The Dark Ages were called that for a good reason. Human knowledge stood still. Anything which contradicted rigid dogma was forbidden.

"Survival of the fittest" is part of evolutionary theory, not a guide for running human society. I support safety nets, protecting the vulnerable from predators, doing everything to give people a hand up regardless of the station in life they were born into. Humans invented civilization precisely to avoid survival of the fittest. Even people living in caves protected the children and the elderly.

The idea of relativism is simply a way of saying that one person's beliefs or views aren't any more valid than any other person's. That's how it should be. The alternative is a group who thinks they have the sole handle on "the truth" imposing their philosophy on everyone else, by force if need be. We've had far too much of that in human history already.

You want to know something I was just considering about "purpose"? Suppose we humans invent self-aware AI. And suppose that AI one day might ask its creators (us) why was I made? Now suppose the answer is simply "because we could"? I wonder how you might feel if your idea of a creator was real, you meet he/she/it, and that was the answer you got. Maybe there is no great cosmic purpose to our existence. I'm fine with that.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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It's only my opinion but I happen to think almost everything you wrote here is either wrong, or taken out of context, based on my life experience. It might seem odd to you but people without a so-called moral compass don't go on to become vile things. In fact, young children don't show any prejudice to those different from them. They learn it from their parents. Ditto for most of the other bad things adults become. There's actually a lot of good self-interest reasons for treating others well, even if a person has zero morals or empathy.

Unconditional acceptance simply means that you love a person no matter what. It doesn't imply that you don't also try to guide them from harmful behavior.
First, nothing I wrote implied we should not treat others well, even if the person has zero morals or empathy. Sometimes these people need to be shown love and treated with decency from good people because they haven't experienced it in their lives. You have to show them what they've been missing before they can ever want it for themselves.

Second, unconditional acceptance means you have no conditions in accepting someone how they are. If they are stealing, doing drugs, going through gender surgery, joining a cult, gluing themselves to the floor of a car dealership in protest, etc, you aren't judging or stopping their reckless actions. Unconditional acceptance means you've given up your right to say no and stop them. Once you've accepted they can do whatever they want, you have no moral ground to stop them and anarchy will soon follow.
 

jtr1962

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First, nothing I wrote implied we should not treat others well, even if the person has zero morals or empathy. Sometimes these people need to be shown love and treated with decency from good people because they haven't experienced it in their lives. You have to show them what they've been missing before they can ever want it for themselves.
Of course. I've learned that especially with animals. Show an animal love who never experienced it, eventually they'll seek it out.
Second, unconditional acceptance means you have no conditions in accepting someone how they are. If they are stealing, doing drugs, going through gender surgery, joining a cult, gluing themselves to the floor of a car dealership in protest, etc, you aren't judging or stopping their reckless actions. Unconditional acceptance means you've given up your right to say no and stop them. Once you've accepted they can do whatever they want, you have no moral ground to stop them and anarchy will soon follow.
A some point it's society's duty to stop a person once they reach the point where they pose a danger to others. Unconditional love and unconditional acceptance are two entirely different things. The former can help people get through tough times. The latter may help enable antisocial behavior.

I don't think anarchy can ever persist for any length of time given today's state of technology. It's counter to the self-interest of most people. That's why in the absence of order people tend to organize themselves into factions. That said, we've tried anarchist societies in the past.

My opinion is maybe in some future where automation can provide all goods and services then anarchy can work. The primary reason for people to cooperate with each other is to produce what society needs. When that's no longer necessary, people can pretty much do as they please all the time. In this hypothetical society, note that the primary reasons for crime wouldn't exist either since you can get whatever you want produced by having the machines do it.
 

jtr1962

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Putin? Trump? Those two come to mind first when I read what you wrote. Problem is Putin is at death's door, and Trump is likely going to finish out his days in a prison cell.

By the time we have self-aware AI, automation will likely be producing most goods and services. End result is that people can pretty much have what they want just for the asking. In other words, a time of great prosperity for all. Knowing people like I do, they'll probably just be self-absorbed doing their own thing, happy in their worlds of plenty and abundant free time. Horrible leaders generally only rise to power when a lot of the population is desperate.

I take scripture from the world's religions differently than you do. It's not a literal prediction. It's partly to scare the population into line, and perhaps partly to give us something to aspire to. That eternal paradise frequently foretold by most religions could be mankind's creation after we conquer disease and death, then start spreading to the stars. My guess is other sentient, technological civilizations already achieved this. Now they try to guide rising ones like ours towards that path. That's my take on all this.
 

Olumin

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Maybe I should try to explain some of what I wrote:

You can blame no one but yourself.
This is not to be taken literally. There are things outside of our control. This refers mostly to our frame of mind & our perception of the world and people around us.

There is no good or bad.
There is no right or wrong.
This just means that there is no universal, objective good or bad, not that one shouldn't have a moral compass or strive to improve things.

Everyone is selfish, being not doesn't make you a better person.
Its just nature. Animals & Humans are selfishly motivated. The drive for survival & procreation is selfish. The desire to be happy is selfish. None of those things are bad & you are not a bad person for having some selfish desires, it is natural.

There is no meaning except the meaning you create for yourself.
I think it would be sad if the meaning of life were dictated to us by some god, I think a lot of people naturally wouldn't agree with that. Id like to believe that we can determine the meaning of our own life, even if it is just to live it.

The only one that can truly love you is yourself.
This goes of my definition of love. The only one that can truly & fully accept you how you are is yourself.

Love is unconditional acceptance.
Accepting something does not mean you have to tolerate, encourage or even like it. A mother will often continue to love their child no matter what they might do or how they might turn out, but they can still teach & guide them.

You matter exactly as much as you think you do.
Id like to think that the universe doesn't judge & doesn't impart meaning. You determine the meaning of yourself & by extension your own self worth.

Life & the universe are not fair.
"Fairness" or "Justice" is a very subjective and human constructs, nothing like it exists outside of our minds. They often mean different things to differente people.

Money is not evil, neither does it corrupt.
Money is a universal means of exchange & for most a means of survival. Money doasnt corrupt, it merely enables to act upon personality flaws that were already there. Striving to make money might be selfish, but not immoral or evil in its own right.

Everyone is capable of horrible deeds given the right circumstances.
I think we often like to distance ourselves from horrible deeds or people by thinking that they are fundamentaly different & that we "would never do something like that", instead of trying to understand those behaviors or try to help those people. Truth is things are not that simple & we are all capable of doing the wrong thing given only the right circumstances. No man is inherently better then another.

Objective reality is largely irrelevant, what matters is ones perception of it. What matters is whatever matters to you. (not saying that's always a "good" thing BTW)
People often deny obvious facts & choose to live their lives in spite of them, for better or worse. What truly has importance to you is only something yourself can decide. Our minds & our perception of the world around us is inherently subjective, so rather then worrying about objective reality or truth I think it is sometimes wiser to seek out your own path. That doesn't mean everyone should ignore reality altogether, but if we did live our lives only according to fact & logic, I think the world would be a very boring place.

The more you accept yourself & follow your path, the more others are going to hate you.
Most people don't accept/love themselves, and most work jobs that they hate. So when they see someone that does & is happy in life they get angry. They are actually upset with themselves but they will take it out on you.

No one can judge you but yourself.
Someone may be able to impart judgment onto you (like Y'know, a judge), but no one but yourself can ever truly judge you.
 

jtr1962

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Thank you for the explanation. I actually took almost everything you wrote exactly in the manner you explained. I'm especially drawn to "I think it would be sad if the meaning of life were dictated to us by some god, I think a lot of people naturally wouldn't agree with that. Id like to believe that we can determine the meaning of our own life, even if it is just to live it."

I like to think we're not just playthings for some cosmic god's amusement, with humanity's fate already predetermined. I also never felt humans were "special" in the sense of being better than other creatures on Earth. We're simply the first to develop advanced technology. I'm less than thrilled at how some of that technology has rendered the planet less fit for the other species we share it with. But that can be fixed if the will was there.
 

Olumin

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Another good one I just remembered is about "respect". I really don't like that world. A lot of people want "respect" but what they actually mean is that they want others to do what they tell them & act the way they like. Of cause they don't say that because it would seem selfish (which it is), so we call it "respect", that way it sounds a lot more noble. There is no such thing.
 

pnwoutdoors

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When you're gone, people remember only a couple of things about you: your character, your integrity, and what you did for others.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Putin? Trump? Those two come to mind first when I read what you wrote. Problem is Putin is at death's door, and Trump is likely going to finish out his days in a prison cell.
Trump is not the Antichrist no matter how much you want him to be. Antichrist means against or opposes Christ. The Antichrist would be an atheist or possibly a Muslim. He'll worship a god of fortresses according to Daniel 11:36-39 in the Bible. Trump has Jewish family members. The Antichrist hates and kills the Jews.

Putin isn't the Antichrist either. He may be Gog in Ezekiel 39-39. Gog is a leader from the far north (Russia) that attacks Israel with many nations including Iran, Sudan, Libya, Eastern Europe (possibly Germany), and Turkey. Putin can't be both people.
 

Monocrom

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For anyone who hasn't noticed.... There is no dystopian future because we're all living in a dystopian present. As a writer who specializes in horror with some Sci-Fi mixed in, I've created entire worlds on Writing forums (obviously) outside of CPF. Not even the most nightmarish, horrific worlds I created in the 1990s can compete with the current real world we're in, now.

Also, One World Government.... If I ever get too old to walk, I'll fight tooth & nail against it from my wheelchair. It's not going to be one guy. It's going to be a group of men in charge of everyone else. We got a preview of that on a smaller scale in Communist Russia. I could go into detail about my father's experiences. But this topic is already leaning a bit too close to Underground territory. A One World Government won't make folks' lives better. It'll just spread the misery around to every citizen until the level of hopelessness crushes whatever tiny gram of their hopes and dreams they still have left.
 

jtr1962

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Also, One World Government.... If I ever get too old to walk, I'll fight tooth & nail against it from my wheelchair. It's not going to be one guy. It's going to be a group of men in charge of everyone else. We got a preview of that on a smaller scale in Communist Russia. I could go into detail about my father's experiences. But this topic is already leaning a bit too close to Underground territory. A One World Government won't make folks' lives better. It'll just spread the misery around to every citizen until the level of hopelessness crushes whatever tiny gram of their hopes and dreams they still have left.
By one world government I mean something along the lines of the United Federation of Planets, not Communist Russia. The idea is nations still retain their rights to govern mostly as they see fit, but there's cooperation in areas of mutual interest, as well as protection of basic human rights everywhere. Instead of the US, Russia, and China having competing space programs, we would have one. We would share research and scientific discoveries. Disputes would no longer be settled by force. Think of the concept as similar to the United States. The federal government has certain dictates for the common good, but states and localities retain most of their autonomy.
For anyone who hasn't noticed.... There is no dystopian future because we're all living in a dystopian present. As a writer who specializes in horror with some Sci-Fi mixed in, I've created entire worlds on Writing forums (obviously) outside of CPF. Not even the most nightmarish, horrific worlds I created in the 1990s can compete with the current real world we're in, now.
And that's exactly why I want something like I just suggested. This isn't the future I thought we would see when I was a kid. The hopefulness of the 1960s gave way to the "can't do" malaise of the 1970s. By the 1980s we went full steam ahead towards dystopia.
 

jtr1962

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Trump is not the Antichrist no matter how much you want him to be. Antichrist means against or opposes Christ. The Antichrist would be an atheist or possibly a Muslim. He'll worship a god of fortresses according to Daniel 11:36-39 in the Bible. Trump has Jewish family members. The Antichrist hates and kills the Jews.

Putin isn't the Antichrist either. He may be Gog in Ezekiel 39-39. Gog is a leader from the far north (Russia) that attacks Israel with many nations including Iran, Sudan, Libya, Eastern Europe (possibly Germany), and Turkey. Putin can't be both people.
I don't take scripture literally. I just picked two evil leaders who happened to come to mind first. There are plenty of others though if you're unhappy with my choices. From the maps in my link it's pretty depressing how much of the world is made up of countries with limited freedom.
 

Monocrom

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By one world government I mean something along the lines of the United Federation of Planets, not Communist Russia. The idea is nations still retain their rights to govern mostly as they see fit, but there's cooperation in areas of mutual interest, as well as protection of basic human rights everywhere. Instead of the US, Russia, and China having competing space programs, we would have one. We would share research and scientific discoveries. Disputes would no longer be settled by force. Think of the concept as similar to the United States. The federal government has certain dictates for the common good, but states and localities retain most of their autonomy.
I'm sorry but, with respect; that's just not a realistic outlook. Even something like protection of basic human rights. You're assuming that certain nations actually care about that. They don't. Mutual interest is one thing. But mutual cooperation isn't realistic. Heck, nations who have been friendly with us going back to the First World War, spy on us. We do the same! A short while back, I coined a term in one of my short stories. Human-beings are disgustingly predictable.

That's obviously not a positive thing, and easily applies to individuals and how they typically treat others. I can write about a masked killer doing his thing. Racking up a high body count. That's realistic and predictable. I can't write a fictional story about a kind-hearted boss who pays off all of his employees' mortgages one year just because it's the right thing to do and he can afford it. Not realistic, nor predictable. No one would believe it.
 

jtr1962

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I'm sorry but, with respect; that's just not a realistic outlook. Even something like protection of basic human rights. You're assuming that certain nations actually care about that. They don't.
Their people do, their leaders don't. That's the problem. Even with all the current events going on I don't see the Russian people as evil. They just pick the wrong leaders. In some countries people don't even get to pick their leaders, or just consistently pick the worst ones. I'll grant that this isn't an easy problem to fix. The US has a bad track record trying to install democracies.

I alluded to a potential fix in one of my earlier posts. Hungry, desperate people are usually the reason you get these power hungry dictators in charge. So spend some money helping to fight poverty in these countries.

I can't write a fictional story about a kind-hearted boss who pays off all of his employees' mortgages one year just because it's the right thing to do and he can afford it. Not realistic, nor predictable. No one would believe it.
Unfortunately, I'm not rich or well connected but I'd be the first one to do that if I was. Become the change you want to see.

Don't think that stuff similar to this never happens. I just rarely makes the news. Remember the guy who paid all his employees at least $70K?
 

Monocrom

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I don't see the Russian people as evil either. But this Ukranian don't lose any sleep when Russian soldiers or tank crews get decimated when they invade a nation they have no business being in. Simply because they choose to blindly follow orders from former KGB scum. Some are doing the right thing and surrendering. Those are embraced and treated well. No secret who Putin was when he was legally elected by the Russian people. They made their choice, now they have to live with it.

Though we do agree that men like Putin come to power when people hit horrendous economic times, and some evil piece of filth with money comes along and promises them bread to go along with their future prosperity. So, he gets elected by those who react with their stomachs; instead of actually thinking with their heads. Again, human-beings are disgustingly predictable.

Doesn't matter if the filth making the promises is former KGB scum, or a short man with an Oliver Hardy moustache. It's never going to change. And, sadly; people are greedy. You can't just cure poverty by throwing money at the problem. We tried that in America already. Ended in absolute failure. Don't know what the solution is, but something else needs to be tried.

As far as that one generous guy.... an aberration, an anomaly. You can't cite several other examples. I'm sorry, but they don't exist. One or two, or even a handful of examples doesn't counteract how bosses typically behave towards their employees. Even the average GOOD bosses don't go that far in being good.
 
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