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rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-25, 06:03 AM
What do you think is the role of the intellectuals in a world ravaged by corruption, violence and vices?

Should they stay away from it? Why?
What should they do if they choose to become involved in it ?

P.S. Please stay away from political issues.

damienpaul
2003-Dec-25, 06:05 AM
very good question, something thatb I have been thinking of too:

1. play their game for our advantage

2. do our 'own' thing

its a tricky one indeed

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-25, 06:11 AM
But intellectuals are the real 'Homo Sapiens' (Wise men).
So, doesn't great responsiblity come with great power?

damienpaul
2003-Dec-25, 06:19 AM
very true, a valid point, maybe we need to take over????

Chook
2003-Dec-25, 09:49 AM
rahuldandekar:
You asked the forum: "What do you think is the role of the intellectuals in a world ravaged by corruption, violence and vices?"

Please state your definition of an "intellectual". Do you mean a "wise" person; a "professionally educated" person; a "philosopher"?

My grandfather was (in my opinion) very "wise" in human affairs - but uneducated.
I once knew a medical doctor who (in my opinion) was a bit of a fool.

Your question does not have a simple answer because "terrorism" is differently spawned than "corruption" - and both political and religious fanaticism come into the picture - topics not allowed to be discussed here (because we can't be kind and tolerant with each other, unfortunately.)

You have challenged us with a very interesting question - not easily answered.

Tinaa
2003-Dec-25, 05:20 PM
In any society, we need the thinkers, the dreamers, the doers and the workers. War is generally a bad thing, however, some of the inventions war has provided us with items that are used everyday. Are these worth the deaths that occured? We probably would not have gone to space if it weren't for the Cold War. I think humankind needs adversity to make new leaps in tech. Would we be better off as an agrarian society? That would never get us into to space, find cures for cancer and AIDS, keep eggs from sticking to the pan, etc. And we'd be killing each other with hatchets. We need people (intellectuals?) who can see the possiblities beyond what/where we are now. We also need people to see that things get done and people who actually do what needs to get done. We need intellectuals, but we really need more people who are willing to get their hands dirty! I think the intellectuals need to learn to get their hands dirty. And Chook, it must be part of the human condition, that passions so easily and quickly override common sense.

jimmy
2003-Dec-25, 05:30 PM
So true, Tina; especially the last line.
I mean I know it is wrong to do violence, but if someone is threatening my loved ones, I'll cream em'.
Shalom, jimmy.

Chook
2003-Dec-25, 07:38 PM
Gosh - I'd love to be with you three and chew over the matter, mellowed with a couple of bottles of nice red - and something Tinaa's cooked up.

Talk about Space Travel! For us just to get to Tex-arse in half-an-hour would be great!

Tinaa - you raised an interesting point - "I think humankind needs adversity to make new leaps in tech."

The problem is - someone is the victim of adversity. Your lovely daughter? I don't think you'd agree on that one. Someone, you assert, has to suffer for advances in technology.

But is this true? Who is paying for Cancer Research? I'm sure your fertile mind can conjure up some schemes to stimulate "new leaps in tech". How about a competition (between individuals, states, nations)?

We compete for uni entrance; we audition for that artistic position; we enter the race. No war is needed. Competition is in our blood. Fellows will be falling over themselves to compete for the affection of your daughter (I hope you've schooled her well, Tinaa - we've got three of 'em!)

So - I suggest that adversity in NOT necessary to make new leaps in tech.

Back to you :rolleyes: .

Tinaa
2003-Dec-25, 10:25 PM
Unfortunately, through the ages, most competitions have been wars. In the US, people have no problem paying for more prisons to incarcerate youth offenders, however, ask for more money for the schools, where education may decrease the number of youth offenders, you get a resounding "NO." Same with science. If we are finding new ways to fight a war, spend the money. But, suggest taxes be raised to prevent a war, the same resounding "NO." I'm not saying it is right, but it seems like that is the way it is.

And about my daughters, my husband seems to remember all too well how he was as a boy. He thinks he has to protect them from guys like him :blink: I am teaching them to think and take care of themselves!

As much as I like to believe in the best of human nature, war, even the cold war, needs must drives human ingenuity. Necessity is the mother of invention. The only reason, I think, we made it to the moon was just to beat Russia there, not as Pres. Kennedy said, "not because it is easy, but because it is hard." It wasn't to further the quest for knowledge, it was so that, like gorillas, we could beat our chests, and scare off any competitors. In most of history, the leaps in tech were due to competition, competition in the fastest ways to kill each other, take the land, have the resources, etc. I do hope there is a way to fire up the testosterone without having lives at stake. (Not that women can't compete, but look who is running most of the world now.) B)

When have humans really taken leaps in tech without the threat of war?

Chook
2003-Dec-25, 10:48 PM
Just a quick one before we go swimming Tinaa:
Great accomplishments have often taken in depression and need - poor Mozart couldn't feed himself in the end; great scientists excel for their art - the Curies for example; what has war and violence to do with the great acomplishments of Gottesberg (early 1900s), Yale or Princeton? Dr. Who (Stephan H.) has accomplished through adversity.

My slave calls ...

We'll do a lap for you :)

Tinaa
2003-Dec-25, 11:45 PM
Okay Chook, you've given me a challege I hope I lose, but...

Madame Curie had much adversity in her life. When WWI broke out in Europe she knew she must act fast. She knew that x-rays could help military surgeons locate bullets and shrapnel faster and help soldiers live. War was the reason she worked so quickly to train women to run the machines. This would have happened anyway, but war made it crucial it happen quickly.

From some of the things I have read, Hawking was an indifferent student at first. He only took physics because math wasn't available. Would he have been the incredible physicist he is, if he had not been struck with ALS? I hope so, but sometimes we succeed because of the obstacles, not inspite of them. Either adversity in our private life or in the bigger picture seems to fuel the intellect.

I don't know much about the others, except we were talking leaps in tech, not accoplishments. So many of the great people in history had to overcome great adversity.

Einstein said it best : "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

damienpaul
2003-Dec-26, 02:30 AM
I agree with you Tinaa, through adversity, intellect is fueled, i can give a shining example of something my father did:

It was a bushfire and we were surrounded, the firetrucks were further down the estate dealing with spot fires in people front yards and the fire front that had just torn through their back fences (we were 200 metres from the fire front). Spot fires had just started in our backyard and on our roof.

Inspired by macgiver, by the beer in his hand or just the desire to save family and property, my dad connected all the hose fittings together, to the garden watering systems and then he punctured our water tank!!!! causing the water to spray in all directions - this bought us some time to hose down the roof and to put out the fire that had started just outside mum and dad's room. By 6this stage the fire front was barely behind our backfence and the fire trucks were using our driveway as a thoroughfare.

What dad had developed then was a simple means to surround the house with a fountain of water (i know it has already been done - but he showed how to use pre existing materials)

the house was saved, the shed was lost, the chook pen was saved, the cubby house was not, the clothesline was saved, the vegie patch was not - we were saved

Fraser
2003-Dec-26, 04:13 AM
Call me an optimist, but I don't really think we're living in a time of violence, corruption and vice. I think we have a very efficient media system that makes its money preying on the sensational stories it can dig up.

I know in the US and here in Canada, violent crime is at an all time low. Average incomes are rising around the world, and things are generally getting better.

There are still problems, like AIDS, terrorism, etc, and role of intellectuals should be same as it ever was. Promote tolerance and understanding, and get off your duff to make the world a better place. Use that mighty brain to think of clever solutions to problems and then implement them.

damienpaul
2003-Dec-26, 04:19 AM
Just as my dad did

Chook
2003-Dec-26, 06:24 AM
;) I KNEW that Fraser would agree with ME Tinaa :P

But, with respect, I don't agree with his optimism:
"I don't really think we're living in a time of violence, corruption and vice."

Terrorism has created a new and unprecedented dimension of mass fear and suffering all around the world. Tell us - how can you fight an evil that is invisible and unknowable; that strikes at will anywhere, against anybody?

Corruption and vice have always been around since the world began. But on the scale that we hear about in Asia, the Middle East and Russia?

Until bin Laden is captured the world should be on high alert.

Peace?

Chook
2003-Dec-26, 06:29 AM
Quote Fraser:
"Promote tolerance and understanding, and get off your duff to make the world a better place. Use that mighty brain to think of clever solutions to problems and then implement them."

Bravo! :)

Chook
2003-Dec-26, 06:31 AM
FRASER FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!! ((((:D))))

damienpaul
2003-Dec-26, 10:06 AM
well you have my vote also!!!!!

Fraser
2003-Dec-26, 12:10 PM
Nice. Australian votes go a long way here in Canada. It's some kind of Commonwealth rule, I think. ;-)

damienpaul
2003-Dec-26, 01:50 PM
i hear 1 aussie vote can really sway a decision!!!

jimmy
2003-Dec-26, 03:46 PM
Maybe we should look for an intellectual to help us with this dilemma? Ooooooohhhhhhh! bad jimmy!!!

Einstein said:" The significant problems we face can never be solved at the level of thinking that created them."

Tolerance is nice, but understanding is better!

P.S. Can Americans vote for president Frasier?

damienpaul
2003-Dec-26, 04:49 PM
yes indeed, bad jimmy!!!! :lol: tolerance and understanding really go hand in hand

Tinaa
2003-Dec-26, 05:16 PM
You know Chook, terrorism is born from hopelessness and despair. If your life is hell on earth, and there are promises of paradise on the other side, well... If you can feed your kids you are less likely to want to die for a cause.

I am doing my best to make my little corner of the world a better place. Tolerance, understanding and education is the answer.

But, how do we tolerate intolerance? It is fine and dandy to turn the other cheek, but are we supposed to get beat to death?

I still say adversity is necessary. Competition with oneself you may call it. Some people give up, others make great contributions to mankind.

jimmy
2003-Dec-26, 06:12 PM
Yes, people like Gandhi, and later Martin Luther King used non violence and non cooperation very successfully. I don't know how that would work against terrorism, though.

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-27, 11:18 AM
Now, I visit this topic after two days, and I find lots of replies, and nothing like that has ever happened to any of my topics before! :rolleyes:

Anyway, I am here now.


You asked the forum: "What do you think is the role of the intellectuals in a world ravaged by corruption, violence and vices?"

Please state your definition of an "intellectual". Do you mean a "wise" person; a "professionally educated" person; a "philosopher"?

Chook, by 'Intellectuals', I actually mean a "proffessionally educated person" who also is a "philosopher" (in his own mind). This may seem to narrow the group, but I believe it is not too narrow and just right. A person may be wise, but only an educated person knows of the ways of the world and can react sensibly to them only if he is a philosopher (I am speaking in a general sense).


Call me an optimist, but I don't really think we're living in a time of violence, corruption and vice. I know in the US and here in Canada, violent crime is at an all time low.

I know fraser, but that is not the case around the world, and not in my country atleast (India).


Yes, people like Gandhi, and later Martin Luther King used non violence and non cooperation very successfully. I don't know how that would work against terrorism, though

It would work if we show them kindness and not make them feel inferior and neglected. Even Osama bin Laden had reasons. If we wouldn't have given him reasons, we would not have regarded him as an enemy. After all, everyone is human, and every human likes to be shown kindness.

P.S. Fraser for president. :D

Fraser
2003-Dec-27, 12:17 PM
Are you absolutely sure that life in India is degrading? Your GDP is expected to grow between 5-7% this year. In South Asia, the number of people living on less than $1 a day has dropped from 40% in 1990 to 30% today and expected to be less than 20% in 10 years. By what criteria are you measuring this worsening?

But even if some aspects are worsening, then you've just found some causes to dedicate yourself to. :-)

Chook
2003-Dec-28, 12:19 AM
Tinaa;
I agree with you totally -
" ... terrorism is born from hopelessness and despair. If your life is hell on earth, and there are promises of paradise on the other side, well... If you can feed your kids you are less likely to want to die for a cause."

Unlike an educated friend of mine (a Prof. at Cornell) who "... asserts that terrorism is caused by a lack of education ... blah blah blah."

We had this discussion right after 9/11 and, in my opinion, YOU are right and he is totally misguided (with respect!).

(I still wouldn't mind that red though.)

kashi
2003-Dec-28, 03:56 AM
Yes, but you are more likely to be able to feed your kids when you've got an education aren't you?

I don't think a GDP increase translates to lifestyle improvement at all!

Let's steer this thread away from politics please. There are many different views on the causes of terrorism and people are likely to disagree, and get angry about it.

Faulkner
2003-Dec-28, 07:30 AM
Call me an optimist, but I don't really think we're living in a time of violence, corruption and vice.

Sheesh, Fraser, spend a weekend drinking **** with me!!! Ha ha...

Chook
2003-Dec-28, 09:03 AM
I'd like to be a fly on he wall if ever Kashi, Damienpaul & Faulkner ever "spend a weekend drinking p**s" together.

OK - I won&#39;t hold my breath <_< .

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-28, 09:38 AM
Fraser, I say that life in india is degrading because even though the economy (or anything else) is increasing, honesty and right and wrong are being neglected.

You can&#39;t build a house out of decaying bricks. The hearts of the people must be pure.

kashi
2003-Dec-28, 11:49 AM
I&#39;m not driving up to Alice Springs. They can come to Melbourne.

Tinaa
2003-Dec-28, 05:04 PM
You can&#39;t legislate morality or pure hearts.

Chook
2003-Dec-28, 06:53 PM
Quote Tinaa:
"You can&#39;t legislate morality or pure hearts."

We shouldn&#39;t agree like this, Tinaa. People will start talking ;)

Matthew
2003-Dec-30, 03:43 AM
Chook, by &#39;Intellectuals&#39;, I actually mean a "proffessionally educated person" who also is a "philosopher" (in his own mind). This may seem to narrow the group, but I believe it is not too narrow and just right. A person may be wise, but only an educated person knows of the ways of the world and can react sensibly to them only if he is a philosopher (I am speaking in a general sense).

What is intelligence? The person who makes the atomic bomb, or the person who doesn&#39;t understand how the nuclear bomb works, but tries to stop it?

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-30, 01:20 PM
An Intelligent person is one who tries to elevate the spirituality and morality of mankind and has had a good education, providing him with sufficient mental powers to do so.


You can&#39;t legislate morality or pure hearts
I know, but I believe that a society&#39;s morality can be judged. Such principles have been given by ancient wise persons.
(you can argue that times change, but I say humans do not change)

QJones
2003-Dec-30, 10:54 PM
Actually, you can legislate morality. The government can pass "moral" laws and force people to obey them. Often "moral" laws have a good reason for being passed, but many people don&#39;t like them. But, usually, it&#39;s merely the first generation who objects - with proper education, secondary generations acknowlege these morals.

An example, and this is tough to do, would be conservation. Conservation laws irked many people in the 70&#39;s and 80&#39;s, but many &#39;under-20s&#39; people consider conservation to be the right thing to do.

I&#39;ve posted my opinion of the duties of intellectuals before. Mainly, I believe that society can be improved and advanced. However, most people would agree, but few would act. I think people with resources should devote their resources to improving the whole.

I intend to live a long, long time - and I&#39;d like the world to be a better place in the future. I find self-interest is the best motivator, so the longer people live, the more they&#39;d like the world to improve.

Josh
2003-Dec-30, 11:02 PM
In addition to what QJones said ... there are a lot of places that have a Good Samaritin Act. Basically you have to help other people in need if you can.

QJones
2003-Dec-31, 08:02 PM
Heh, in Alberta, the Good Samartan Act means that, if you help an injured person in good faith, you can&#39;t be sued for accidentally hurting them.

For example, if you break someone&#39;s neck while pulling them from a burning car, you can&#39;t be sued for doing it (if it is deemed to be a &#39;best effort&#39; act).

Chook
2003-Dec-31, 09:14 PM
Today most medical doctors here in Australia won&#39;t stop and assist the victims of a motor vehicle accident because of the danger of litigation - an absolutely terrible situation.

Maybe we should press for the Good Samaritan Act here.

Planetwatcher
2004-Jan-01, 03:08 AM
Actually, you can legislate morality. The government can pass "moral" laws and force people to obey them. Often "moral" laws have a good reason for being passed, but many people don&#39;t like them. But, usually, it&#39;s merely the first generation who objects - with proper education, secondary generations acknowlege these morals.
I don&#39;t aggree. History is filled with failed attempts to legislate morality, and some attempts still fail.

Examples include Prohabition, Segragation, The Equal Rights Admendment, Abortion, Slavery, Right to Work laws, Right to unionize laws.
I could easily go on.

Now in many cases a law was passed, some even very good laws. But they are often ignored by those who feel their freedom of will is being imposed upon.

The best way to spread morality is by education, which means someone has to teach it. Forcing one&#39;s will upon another will never bring about morality.

My father once taught me the following, &#39;A man convinced against his will,
is of the same opinon still.&#39;

damienpaul
2004-Jan-02, 11:39 AM
i would sit with many of the &#39;intellectuals&#39; here and drink p##s except for the fact i do not drink and i would entice all to a nice game of scrabble

Chook
2004-Jan-02, 09:32 PM
Geez you&#39;re booring Alice&#33; :angry:

Anyway - as a newly-married man haven&#39;t you got more to do than play b****y Scrabble these days (like - study Anatomy LOL)?

:P

damienpaul
2004-Jan-03, 07:09 AM
rooster rooster rooster&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; you are as mad as a hatter&#33;

jimmy
2004-Jan-03, 07:31 AM
very entertaining :lol: carry on boys, carry on :lol:

damienpaul
2004-Jan-03, 07:36 AM
oh we carry on alright&#33;&#33;&#33; alice and the rooster - the grudge match :lol: :wacko:

jimmy
2004-Jan-03, 07:41 AM
sounds like a wrestling team???welcome back damo.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-03, 07:42 AM
hmmmmm interesting match up - teacher vs. chicken

Chook
2004-Jan-03, 09:27 AM
Look out Alice&#33;
Red Rooster here .. PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK PECK :P

(Profound stuff :) )

damienpaul
2004-Jan-04, 02:07 AM
look out rooster&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

Alice here&#33; rum rum rum rum

ultra profound stuff