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The Decline of The West

- Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:21:07 EST fk7xMmwU No.207331
File: 1480432867070.jpg -(37129B / 36.26KB, 263x400) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. The Decline of The West
I'm in the process of reading pic related and I've been interested in the idea that the West is in terminal decline and will soon collapse for a while now and I'm fairly convinced that The West is basically done. What do you guys think?
Phyllis Droffingbanks - Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:28:59 EST BKJX7E+7 No.207333 Reply
1480444139432.jpg -(40803B / 39.85KB, 640x580) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
They've touted this ever since the 1900's. Likely even before that. Yet, the entire world is now westernized i.e. globalism, with few notable exceptions. Don't believe doomsday drivel. It's worthy of note that you post a picture of Spenglers' book, which ironically was published decades before the true golden age of the West. You know that time when we put men on the moon and invented computers to think for us.

Truth is the West keeps chugging forward, while others like China are merely catching up. All major scientific breakthroughs are still happening here. Global cultural phenomena tends to start out here. Just because we're no longer colonizers or conquerors doesn't mean we're in decline.

Indeed, no civilization actually dies out without some major catastrophic event like being eradicated by outsiders or ecological disasters. Case point is Roman civilization which is still alive and well in the form of the West. While Western Rome as a political entity died out when they were conquered by 'barbarians', their ideals, ideas and culture was co-opted by invading peoples and the "Romeified" local provinces. This led eventually to the development of feudalism and in the end the modern European states (whose borders in many cases are curiously similar to the old Roman provinces). The Eastern Roman empire however got eradicated by the Ottomans, and only stumps remain.
Oliver Goshhone - Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:59:12 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207334 Reply
I highly doubt it.

The only way to stop (Western) civilization is through WW3, or a (mass) extinction event.

Western society will collapse, but it won't be due to some kind of "terminal decline" or some equally retarded tinfoil shit.

It'll be thanks to absurdly high human mortality rates, a loss of technological progress and/or a total collapse of the food pyramid.
Albert Povingworth - Tue, 29 Nov 2016 23:24:57 EST U2zzQaX4 No.207339 Reply
Bitch, the West invented the food pyramid. It'll never collapse, but if it did we would just invent another one.
Hamilton Sosslemore - Wed, 30 Nov 2016 01:20:42 EST 0aDGMcny No.207340 Reply
I don't see increasing mortality rate and decreasing technological progress as being inevitable, I see that as pretty unlikely, considering the former continues to decrease and the latter continues to increase.
I think by food pyramid he means agricultural supply chain, not the stupid chart.
Matilda Claystone - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:52:17 EST U2zzQaX4 No.207348 Reply
Ya, um, we invented that, too. We've got farms in practically every fucking state. As we've seen throughout history, the only serious threat to the food supply is socialism.
Oliver Hurringhet - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 01:05:09 EST CoWDWO+R No.207349 Reply
From a numbers perspective, the earth itself is finite and the human population is growing. Our current inputs to the farming system are using finite resources based on earthly resources (petro-chemicals).

Agriculture is based on a simple principal, the crop extracts more nutrients from the soil than is fed back into the system, hence fertilizer. There are some positive trends (advances in farming technology) and negative trends (slash/burn rainforest farming which only lasts a few growth cycles, desertification of Africa, and some others).

I'm not saying the world is ending or w/e, but there really is no reset button here. Declining soil fertility is a thing and we only have so much time to solve the issue before humans do what ants do, which is to over populate and starve themselves to death unless we can invent our way out of it. From a strictly ecological perspective there is only so much farmland that the planet can sustain and fertilize.
Hannah Morryfuck - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:05:39 EST 0aDGMcny No.207352 Reply
Uh, I didn't say you didn't invent it? I'm just saying the food pyramid is a useless, irrelevant thing, which is why I assumed you weren't even referring to it. Btw, the 'West' is not just 'every fucking state' there's more to the West than the US.
Actually market forces have been a much more severe threat to the food supply than socialism ever has been, it's what caused the aridification of the ME in ancient times, the overpopulation based collapse in medieval China, and of course famously the Great Depression. Human food struggle is just a natural factor that has little to do with property ideology, but the West, socialism included, hasn't really had to struggle over subsistence for the past 2 centuries. So I don't know what you're so defensive about.

With current technology, we're only about 2 billion away from the planet's carrying capacity, which means we will exceed it this century.
Thankfully, current technology especially in agriculture is pretty primitive and there is a lot more we can do. Soil quality is irrelevant in large scale hydroponics, for example.
Ian Mullerway - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:17:54 EST 4Vr1Lbjk No.207353 Reply
Yeah but that food produc8ng technology is only avaible to small percent of the worlds populations. For most of the world, if it doesnt rain, you dont eat, regardless of politics.
Ebenezer Pickdale - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:27:32 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207354 Reply
You dumb fucking retarded cunt. The food pyramid is how fucking energy and nutrients are distributed through the ecosystem you fucking cockmongler.

If too many animals or plants go extinct, the food pyramid shifts. This in turn can cause more extinctions, until eventually it spirals out of control into a mass extinction during which every animal above a certain amount of biomass (typically the size of a dog or something) goes extinct.
Molly Brookham - Thu, 01 Dec 2016 20:30:36 EST U2zzQaX4 No.207356 Reply
We're talking about Western civilization in this thread, sweatheart.
Nathaniel Criffingshaw - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:26:33 EST 0aDGMcny No.207357 Reply
You're thinking of the food chain. The food pyramid is that chart the FDA used to put out that showed how much of the food groups you should eat.
Ian Brurrydune - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:45:19 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207358 Reply
Are you fucking retarded? The food pyramid has nothing to do with the FDA you retarded American. The food pyramid is a simple method for biologists to explain to laymen how the ecosystem operates.

You're talking about a food circle, you fucking wanker.
Simon Hammersted - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:12:16 EST 54PBc7Id No.207360 Reply
This is fucking hilarious. I can finally say I've seen the battle between the Food Pyramid, the Food Chain and the fucking Food Circle.
Barnaby Surringdale - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:18:40 EST BKJX7E+7 No.207363 Reply
1480695520125.jpg -(28586B / 27.92KB, 634x468) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

And they're all wrong, though technically food pyramid is least wrong. "Trophic pyramid" would be the correct term here.
Barnaby Surringdale - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:17:03 EST BKJX7E+7 No.207365 Reply

Between singular species, yes. But we're talking about the broader picture here, which is partitioned into trophic layers depending on which type of producer/consumer the given species are. One can die out and have its place taken by something else, but knock out an entire layer and everything above it goes extinct.
Nathaniel Criffingshaw - Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:03:07 EST 0aDGMcny No.207367 Reply
Ehh well then your Euro education is ridiculous. I've never heard of a biologist refer to the trophic network as the 'food pyramid', trophic pyramids themselves are rarely used nowadays because they are imprecise as >>207364 points out. Perhaps in US education they avoid using that term because the food pyramid is indeed that old nutritional chart invented by the FDA, in fact that's what comes up if you search for food pyramid on the wiki (trophic pyramids are under the article 'ecological pyramid.')
Betsy Divingshit - Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:58:46 EST Id5quEqH No.207388 Reply
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>The Eastern Roman empire however got eradicated by the Ottomans, and only stumps remain.

Except they didn't? One of the Ottoman sultans official titles was sultan-i-rum (king of the romans) and the Ottoman royal family mixed with Greek nobility. Much of the culture of Ottoman Turkey was in fact more Greco-Romanized than it was Turkified (although Turkish elements also remained) because the Turks were barbarian nomads much like the Franks and Goths in the West and admired various aspects of the Eastern Roman civilization and also adopted much of it in an attempt to make the transition of power easier. Every Ottoman style mosque is based on the Hagia Sophia and utilized the architectural values of the Byzantines. Heck, you can't even say Orthodox Christian civilization was wiped out by conversion of Roman subjects to Islam since power of the Orthodox world simply shifted over to Russia and the Czar. What happened under the Ottomans was a transformation of the cultural fabric due to the adoption of a new religion and the arrival of a new set of peoples who were largely nomadic and now were becoming a settled people. This is hardly any more of a "death" of Eastern Rome than the conversion of pagan Rome to Christianity was the death of Rome as a whole nor is it anymore of a death than the arrival of the Germanic tribes, who ultimately embraced much of Latin-Roman civilization.

When people speak of the death or decline of a civilization, they usually mean either a decline in military power and quality of living OR they are referring to the death of certain values which they have come to associate with that civilization in particular. While the first is a bit more scientific and relies on data, the second relies more on subjective ideals of what makes a civilization THAT civilization or what the political, ideological and social boundaries of that civilization are meant to be. The reason many speak of the "decline of the West" today is usually due to a sense that either the secular humanist values and/or the Christian-Catholic-Protestant values of the West are in some ways failing to remain relevant against all the radical changes that have been happening in the modern world. It's not necessarily a statement on the material wealth/prosperity or lack thereof, in fact for many that material prosperity becomes a kind of sign of the spiritual decay they believe is happening or a kind of deceptive last hurrah before the final days come, which can only be averted by seeing beyond the vale of prosperity and realizing what must be done. Plato for example taught during an age that we often see as being Ancient Greek civilization's golden age, but Plato felt that Ancient Greece was in steady and dangerous spiritual and philosophical decline that would ultimately weaken it. In a manner of speaking, this was correct as Ancient Greek civilization would in just some 200 years time be swept away and replaced by Rome, but of course the Romans took many things from the Greeks, which is why we can speak of "Greco-Roman" as one thing, so the question is did Greece really die or was it simply transformed into something else?

So it really depends on how we're defining "death" here.
Phoebe Nickleford - Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:47:20 EST mhJJ0hIc No.207389 Reply
its all subjective yes, thats why I usually regard things like OP's book as propaganda for the far right. its almost code for 'white people are dying out DEFEND THE NATION'

However I do believe that global power is steadily shifting east and that at some point, maybe within the 21st century, the USA will lose its position as global hegemon to China or possibly some new political entity spanning east asia. Depending on that shift there may be a serious decline in Western values such as division of power, free press, free expression, democracy etc. because China has achieved as much as it has so far without these values and does represent a very different civilisation and culture.
Jack Goodfoot - Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:59:26 EST fk7xMmwU No.207390 Reply
> Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler
> Code for 'white people are dying out DEFEND THE NATION'
What are you talking about?
Ernest Gunningstock - Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:09:29 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207396 Reply
We were discussing human extinction, so a food pyramid is fine to explain how humanity will go extinct if we keep ignoring ecological collapse and climate change.

Remove the lowest stones in the pyramid, and the entire thing comes tumbling down.
Charlotte Siddlehall - Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:44:53 EST 54PBc7Id No.207397 Reply
That may be true today, but I highly doubt it will be true in 500 years.

Mark my words; one day, humans will transcend their flesh and mortal coils. Here is but one example; one day, I'm sure there will be humans transporting their brains into semi-indestructible mechanical or biomechanical bodies for living in harsh environments outside our own Earth. Eventually we may even ditch the brains altogether and become entirely mechanical, having our minds digitized.

Scary, yet inevitable. Humans will never cease to pursue immortality, or at least independence from Earth and nature.
George Bardfoot - Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:21:01 EST U2zzQaX4 No.207402 Reply
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What? The lowest stones in the pyramid are the breads and cereals. And while those things are yummy, you don't need that shit to survive.
Nell Duckleforth - Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:20:05 EST 54PBc7Id No.207407 Reply
That's true. I've actually given up carbs (as much as possible) because you literally don't need more than like 50grams of carbs a day to be healthy, yet we ingest like 300-400grams easily daily. My diet mainly consists of literally everything except bread, because all it does is store as fat.
Cornelius Blecklenudge - Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:05:23 EST 0aDGMcny No.207413 Reply
SEE? Most people think this is what you're talking about when you say food pyramid. Oh top lelz this thread is so ridiculous.
Esther Gadgedale - Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:27:20 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207419 Reply
That will only happen if the decline of humanity and the ecosystem is slower than the progress of technology.

It's possible that our technological progress will slow down or even reverse when climate change and ecological decline starts destroying the economy.

Technological progress cannot continue in a period of economic destruction. We saw it during the Bronze Age collapse and the fall of the Roman Empire.

If technology keeps progressing despite the damage we humans have caused to our ecosystems, I'm sure all damage can be reversed.
Geneticists are already theorizing about creating artificial plants that filter out absurd amounts of CO2, cloning and genetic engineering can (sort of) bring back extinct animals to reconstruct lost ecosystems, etc.
Hedda Cockleson - Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:05:01 EST 0aDGMcny No.207422 Reply
We've already got nanomachines that can extract CO2 directly out of the air and turn it into ethanol fuel you could put straight in your car.
I don't think even the most serious economic collapse would be anything but a road-bump to technological progress. The early agricultural revolution collapse and the Roman empire collapse were bad for a long time, but if you plot the progress of technological development on a logarithmic chart (since technology increases exponentially) they actually didn't affect the growth of the curve at all (also, the 'dark ages' is largely a Renaissance myth. Not nearly as much was lost as was imagined -- and most of the destruction came from Christian attempting to explicitly over-write and undermine the achievements of the previous pagan culture, not because of the collapse of Rome itself.)

So the world returning to some kind of fundamentalist wasteland could stop it. Also us all killing ourselves or nuking the planet could stop it. But a simple economic collapse, or even a moderate scale ecological catastrophe I don't think would slow us down enough to stop us from getting there in time.
Esther Gadgedale - Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:25:05 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207423 Reply
The problem is that we don't know how bad the ecological damage we're inflicting on the planet is.

It could be as you said a moderate catastrophe, but it could also result in a full blown mass extinction.
Hedda Cockleson - Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:42:24 EST 0aDGMcny No.207424 Reply
>> it could also result in a full blown mass extinction.
It could, and make no mistake, that would be an unmitigatedly bad thing. But even if 99% of species die, enough humans would survive (just because there are so many of us) to keep the species we depend on alive, and eventually the species (not the planet) would recover (although it would probably take 100s or 1000s of years.)
But point taken, we still don't know how bad what we're doing is.
Eugene Fesslebatch - Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:16:58 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207431 Reply
>But even if 99% of species die, enough humans would survive (just because there are so many of us) to keep the species we depend on alive, and eventually the species (not the planet) would recover (although it would probably take 100s or 1000s of years.)

That's not a certainty.

Humanity already survived a near-mass-extinction event in the distant past... IIRC 50,000-100,000 years ago. A large part of the human genome is already extinct. Another genetic bottleneck could reduce us all to sickly incestuous mutants slowly dying out not due to external pressure but genetic damage.

Like how the last (dwarf) mammoths on islands around Siberia died out around the time the Egyptian civilization rose up.
Lillian Sessleridge - Sat, 10 Dec 2016 03:10:02 EST 2IPvcf8v No.207437 Reply
As long as the economic collapse isn't insanely fast, then there should be enough time that it gives me people time to start advancing technology. Considering the way that labs can run on deficits and grants from governments that don't really have the money, things aren't going collapse as far as progress goes too easily. What I'm saying is baring some sort of catastrophic full scale meltdown? The people who make technology and can help mitigate some of the major long term problems will have a very good chance of being able to put their solutions in place.

This is one of those areas where money has its benefits. And with enough desperation science is way more likely to find solutions to whatever problems will come with people continuing to live on the planet. The problem? It'll be prohibitively expensive, this means that you could be looking at if the earth gets bad enough? A future where only those who are deemed to be worth living. And that is living like those at the top of society.

How will those at the top of society differ? They'll be augmented, and in the event of a biological collapse that means that they'll be able to withstand a toxic enviroment. Normal pathetic humans dying out, while our augmented "worthy" betters live on. This is where I see western civilization ending up with enough time op. Humanity, western civilization aren't going to go completely out. But there's only going to be a place for those that can survive the toxic planet, those who can survive the post collapse world. What will live on? A class of nano augmented "betters". I can see it all clearly.
Lillian Chaggledure - Sun, 11 Dec 2016 08:09:05 EST d4DXKOh3 No.207445 Reply
>And that is living like those at the top of society.

And that's a problem too.

See my post here.
Any major loss of genetic info from the human genepool could have far reaching effects on mankind in the future, especially if for some reason we stop researching (human) genetic engineering.

You can imagine a future, where mankind survives with a mad gamble of keeping only the "elite" alive with technology, only to have them slowly go extinct over a couple thousand years of horrible diseases killing off the left overs due to an genetically eroded human genome.
John Naffingbury - Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:25:55 EST 54PBc7Id No.207448 Reply
Or, you know, in a thousand years things like disease won't exist because humans will have finally/completely converted themselves into machines and our current genetics won't mean anything significant.

It won't be the elites staying alive through technology. In case you didn't know, everything the elites have trickles down to the common man in a matter of a decade or two, aside from their mansions and jets. One decade we'll have all the elite becoming partially cybernetic, then the next decade or two everyone in the First World will be becoming partially cybernetic, and then like 100 years after that humanity will have very few reasons to stay human at all.
Augustus Seblingpodging - Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:36:21 EST yeARW8t0 No.207588 Reply

Tvrkroach mad he cant ever be trubyzantine detected.
the flicker !FwnV7hV52I - Sat, 14 Jan 2017 19:52:56 EST vano1wpA No.207593 Reply
1484441576472.jpg -(91547B / 89.40KB, 540x405) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
ITT delirious technocrats delude themselves into believing nanobots will save us.
Fuck Sungerkire - Tue, 24 Jan 2017 19:40:28 EST 58c+uNGL No.207635 Reply
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Mr. Ducklecocke I'm going to address you directly since the thick of the replies here don't seem to actually address you and they are carrying on at this point.

The short answer is: Decline might not be the "right" word, "receding," in a way, may be better. I don't think it's terminal in the sense that it cannot be fixed. I think it can but it going to require a great deal of "change."

Also- 2 Book recommendations: Why the West Rules; For Now. And World Order by Kissinger.

  1. International Order
In just Foreign Policy terms in general and "Great Power" states in particular it's very obvious to me at least that the United States is going to be a special position to foster partnerships with up-and-coming states. China, India, Brazil*, South Africa, and Korea (IF they unify) are going to be players on the international stage. What the United States must do it seems to me is insists on a rules-based international system that embraces liberal values, ie, free speech, equality and all the values commonly associated with the Unites States current international order. But what is paramount in this is that the United States understand that it isn't going to be able to force up-and-coming states to change what might be deeply entrenched cultural misgivings about democracy at the point of a spear. Partnerships throughout the world where no state or group of states can ever be in a position either morally, economically, or legally can create conflict and lead to larger regional conflagrations. We aren't going to be at the top forever if the United States becomes the country to "remove" from the leadership position versus holding a co-terminus world leadership position as the United States currently does.

2. Macro-Econ
Theres a great deal to unpack here in the way of predictions especially given the recent Euro, British, and American nationalist/isolationist flair that is currently underway. If the history of this sort of policy is any indication it could very well create a vacuum on the world level that won't be able to be returned once lost. More to the point, and in a way related to the above observations, market economics are the best tools available for stability and growth. And that will probably remain the case for a long time to come, a historical irony of China for example has been that they have begun to take the place of the United States as the international standard barer of "free-trade" with the Democratic-Market states, hilarious in a way. "Inequality" aside the issue is the decline of the west and a critique of capitalism. English for example is generally the language of business as it stands now. The Dollar, for better or worse, is still the world reserve currency, although the questions of that have started to arise as well.

All in all and summing up the tl;dr in a different way. Yes the West is in a sort of decline that is highlighted by American reluctance and a new found insecurity. Europe as an entity has become completely deflated and is seemingly unable to work out their internal listlessness.

In my own mind this started after the incident in New York 16 years ago. The Wests stark international decline I think has been in part due to the backdrop of the ME interventions.

There's always more to type but if you've actually read this far then I'm sure you're done too.
Eliza Breblingdale - Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:09:55 EST BxLRJxK6 No.207797 Reply
This was so well argumented, that no-one even bothered to criticize.

I personally think that the western culture (as well as the westernized global culture) will come to an end through ecological disaster (if the direction will not change somehow). Leading factors will be:

  • Degradation of farmland ecosystems, desertification and salinization
  • Biodiversity loss and the loss of ecosystem resilience
  • Loss of clean water resources due to climate change and pollution

These of course work in feedback loops, resulting in much harsher effects. Even if the population went down, many global environmental changes are closing to reach a self-driving state.
Hugh Blytheford - Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:28:59 EST E75WO1ph No.207798 Reply

>This was so well argumented, that no-one even bothered to criticize.

Or.. tl;dr
Jarvis Murdridge - Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:12:54 EST 54PBc7Id No.207801 Reply
OP, the only thing wrong with the West is their unwillingness to carry-out rules.

I won't speak for Europe, but the USA is on fire in a good way. We're the greatest, strongest, most influential, richest country in the world. And it's only getting better. Literally everything is up and up.

Now if only we could keep citizens in line. Really, all I have to say is that we need significantly stronger/bigger policing in certain areas, and less in certain areas. Like, little towns with their family-owned police forces can fuck right off and be stripped of their funding until they've only got a couple cops. But the big cities need way more cops. Every single one of them. Poor people in urban environments need to be policed significantly more. Stop and frisk was a good idea, now if only people would stop crying about it. That being said, we'd have to legalize weed first.
Wesley Nenningmore - Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:49:29 EST Ya59RsKY No.207804 Reply
>>Everything here is going so great, except for those places where those people who think differently from me live
>>Which the media has told me are literal warzones!
>>Since I don't live in a poor urban area, I believe poor urban people shouldn't have their constitutional rights.
>>That would solve the imaginary problem the media fed me
>>But weed is ok lol! Fuck the man I'm a rebel!
>>My name? Basement armchair despot! Fear me!

Maybe people whine about your use of boogeymen to take away the rights of others, specifying that your rights don't get taken away, because it's hypocritical bullshit?
Esther Nickleworth - Tue, 28 Feb 2017 19:13:39 EST 54PBc7Id No.207807 Reply
Oh Wesley, you just love to be my Devil's Advocate. Except, this was just a personal attack more than anything, Wesley. I can't even reply to your yellow text because it's just absurd assumptions.
>I'm a rebel! I'm an armchair despot! I don't believe in the constitution!
Lol ok.

>Maybe people whine about your use of boogeymen to take away the rights of others, specifying that your rights don't get taken away, because it's hypocritical bullshit?

Well, funny enough I made no mention of taking anyone's rights away, so your argument literally doesn't apply here.

That being said, robbing people of their rights is not hypocrisy. We rob people of their rights every single day, you just agree with it so you don't care. It's all about consensus.

Do you have anything intelligent to say? Or are you just going to come at me with another satirical statement that entirely misses the point of my statement?
Ian Nickleforth - Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:37:11 EST Ya59RsKY No.207809 Reply
I challenge you when you say nonsense things, I go along with you when you say sensible things.

The yellowtext is a charicature of the position and tone that post articulates, like all yellowtexts, not you. How could I know what you actually do? You could just be saying the opposite of what you actually think, for who knows what reason?

The courts ruled that stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional (in the case of New York, which is the one everyone is at issue with.) The premise of stopping someone and searching them without warrant or due process is inherently unconstitutional. The idea of deciding to stop someone based on an instinctual prejudgement of someone can only ever lead to biased results. Hence saying supporting such a policy is unconstitutional.

And then when you specify that you only want this carried out on others, specifically those in areas where people you don't agree with congregate, (city-dwellers are liberal, and the more of them you can make felons the easier it will be) it becomes hypocrisy, because you claim you are looking out for the safety of the nation, when you're actually looking out for only your own safety against an imaginary threat.

I don't agree with robbing anyone of their rights. I think believing that consensus legitimizes taking away someone's rights entirely misses the point of rights.

To the actual point of the thread, the West is great because it DOES follow it's own rules. What you are suggesting would be to violate our own principles and rules for the sake of expediency (and it's actually not expedient at all.) Even if that were to work, we would no longer be the original, enlightened, rights-affirming West we set out to protect.
Esther Nickleworth - Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:38:11 EST 54PBc7Id No.207816 Reply
Well, I like what you say, but I want to pose a question to you.

What about the rights of violent criminals? The rights of sex-offenders and murderers and assaultors?

I talk about the consensus of rights because rights are a club. Rights are only enjoyed by the majority in power. Rights are actually just privileges. Rights are an agreement, not a fact. An agreement that we all want to see each other succeed. So, we attempt to respect one another to a basic level, allowing each other to do or say what they want freely. But think about everyone else. Think about every human-being that's not accepted in society. Think about every life form that's not a human-being, too. None of these demographics have rights. Sure, animals get a little bit of rights, but not much. Not even all animals, just pets and endangered ones. Think about rapists. They're not part of the majority, they're not wanted in society, so their rights are robbed of them, and nobody cares.
Ian Nickleforth - Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:24:32 EST Ya59RsKY No.207817 Reply
You and I have split the rights/privileges hair too many times to go down that road again. I think that rights are intrinsic and innate properties certain kinds of beings have, you think rights exist because we agree on them and we have the power to enforce them. Then I say that's an abuse of the term rights, and you say that the term rights is an empty category, and on and on and on...

My answer is simply that you're ascribing ideas about rights to me I don't have. I think all life-forms have rights, and they are just measured proportionally to the rights of other kinds of life-forms. I think murderers and rapists have rights, it's just that the act of murdering or raping sets up a causal loop where your denial of someone else's rights intractably leads to your own rights being denied.

I believe that what the term 'right' means is an inherent property that a thing possesses just by existing due to the respect intrinsic to the character of it's being. A rock has rights but just of an extremely limited kind, an amoeba also has rights corresponding to its station in reality, and mostly rights just constitute a kind of license by reality to do those things which are inherent and natural to a being. Rights in the natural order are often contradictory because nature is chaotic, so the right of the cat to eat supercedes the right of the mouse to live because it is physically more powerful and evolution rules by physical strength.

In our society, however, we don't live in a base condition of nature but instead through a social contract, and so the rights we have are clearly spelled out in relation to one another. Yes, that's partially generated by consensus, but it's also in reflection of certain philosophical absolutes, mostly stemming in the case of human (and even higher animal) rights, from the a priori properties of being sapient and/or sentient.

But again, I know that's not what you think the term rights means, so this will go nowhere.
Reuben Blatherway - Fri, 03 Mar 2017 09:54:38 EST 54PBc7Id No.207826 Reply
Well, you just agreed with me that rights are in fact a social construct that we've spelled out, so you're right, this will go nowhere because we're in complete agreement.
Reuben Blatherway - Fri, 03 Mar 2017 09:55:50 EST 54PBc7Id No.207827 Reply
There's something you said that's an entire enigma to me, though.
>philosophical absolutes
What the hell is that?
Eugene Goodham - Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:54:26 EST Ya59RsKY No.207832 Reply
I said it was a social construct that is based on philosophical absolutes, which is why its content isn't arbitrary. But please, go ahead and use the tactic you always use, of making assumptions about what someone else is saying and then getting butt hurt when they say what they're saying doesn't match your made up definitions.

Philosophical absolutes are a priori principles. They are absolute because they are not contingent on other phenomena like a posteriori principles. This is a very subtle and abstruse concept which I'm sure you will try to misunderstand, but what I am suggesting is that fundamental conceptions of rights, like 'the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' emerge from a priori facts about what it means to be a sapient, subjective consciousness. Life is important because we are organisms, liberty is important because we have self-awareness over our own conditions, the freedom to pursue happiness is important because our internal subjectivity produces vast diversity that no one definition of happiness can fit.

My point being that a sapient beings rights aren't random, or arbitrary, or generated purely by consensus. They may be protected or agreed upon by a group reaching consensus, but they emerge from the properties of sapient beings a priori and are merely recognized after the fact a posteriori, in the same way that a group of scientists may have to get together and reach a consensus to publish a paper that declares a new scientific law, but the law already existed as an inherent aspect of reality and was merely waiting to be discovered.

To provide a counter-example to show why rights aren't purely consensus based, imagine a society that by consensus determines everyone has the right to throw people in the volcano. For a long time this might continue, simply because everyone believes that it is so, but eventually there would be someone who would refuse. After a long enough time, someone might refuse loudly enough that someone else heard them before they got chucked in, and people reflecting on their refusal would cause discussion of the event to spread. People would eventually begin to question why the consensus was reached in the first place, and the whole thing would unravel, because the 'right' was not built on any kind of reasonable foundation that stems form the needs of subjective being, and is in fact contrary to a more fundamental, actual right. It might take centuries, especially if the right has a religious justification, but eventually the rights a society offers will progress in the direction of these kind of basic, universal rights (the long arc of justice.) And it almost never goes in the opposite direction, where a society that once offered people say, the right of freedom of movement, to rescind that right, and if it does it almost always leads to a societal collapse. If the social contract were truly arbitrary, we wouldn't expect it to have these properties, we would instead expect societies to have completely random compositions of rights, and for there to be no consistent pattern in their adoption and removal.
Alice Charringwater - Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:27:02 EST Ya59RsKY No.207846 Reply
>>use the tactic you always use, of making assumptions about what someone else is saying and then getting butt hurt when they say what they're saying doesn't match your made up definitions

Well at least I called it ahead of time. As usual, you make inflammatory claims but aren't willing to hang in for the inevitable consequences, and act like you won by harping about definitions.

That the crappy editors at wikipedia equate rights with norms is utterly misleading, and if you actually follow the reference for their use of it you will see that the person copying the textbook made the same error you made regarding the difference between the a priori origins or rights and the fact that we must agree on recognition of them, in understanding the line in the Stanford Encyclopedia.

If a norm is a prescriptive statement about the world of the format 'things ought to be this way,' then either all norms are culturally relative (there are no universal 'ought to's) or some norms arrive from universal ethical principles and some arise from culturally contingent ethical principles. The social structure which enforces the recognition of a right is necessarily a norm, because each culture would enforce rights differently. But precisely what I am saying is that the 'universal, inalienable' rights are not norms, because they are not an 'ought to' we have to enforce but an 'is' that is intrinsic to reality, which is the opposite of what a norm is. Alternatively, one would have to argue that all morality is relative, in which case once again a morality that includes universal, rather than normative conceptions of rights is equally as valid as one that doesn't.

So if you want to actually engage in discussion, defend your links. You told me that I was actually saying the opposite of what I was saying and demanded to know 'what the hell' I was talking about, but apparently me prophetically saying you would be too 'butt hurt' to actually respond was so offensive that you don't want to respond or defend your statements. Imagine that. Once again 54P, I would suggest if you're going to make strong statements, at least have the courage to back them up, instead of running away every time someone actually pushes back with a reasoned argument.
Sophie Bluffingspear - Sat, 14 Mar 2020 13:52:41 EST lmdJCrQV No.210017 Reply
I doubt western civilization will decline. I think they'll eliminate human civilization at some point in the near future, say 500-1000 years or so. Humanity is growing more and more inferior and with true/strong AI and climate change, humans will be outdated, and slowly replaced. Then of course depending on how AI consciousness plays out, traditional society roles won't be argued over and every robot will fall in line as programmed. Just because we can make self-aware robots doesn't mean we or future robots couldn't make worker drones that are only capable of limited levels of consciousness or self-awareness. Industrialized society requiring conscious workers would be gone and ultimately the population of conscious entities would have to dramatic decrease. Then of course was is the altruistic and empirical reason for existence? I think we'll see a break down there in the face of Absurdism and the growing nihilistic threat to life. Maybe 200 years from now.

Is scientific progress the new god and religion? What is to motivate a society that achieves immortality and can control the world the way the gods allegedly can? Will basic human needs be eradicated and the only reason to live is for hedonistic pleasure in alternate/virtual realities? Why bother spreading and infecting the galaxy with no greater purpose.

>I for one look forward to the suicide epidemics and the 10,000 man mass graves of the future.
Basil Trotforth - Sun, 22 Mar 2020 02:34:51 EST fGHDtkRk No.210018 Reply
1584858891819.jpg -(274848B / 268.41KB, 1024x1530) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
>Is scientific progress the new god and religion?

Yes. I think so at least, and it's kind of one of the main themes of contemporary philosophy, that we replaced belief systems which we derisively now call "myth" and "superstition" with the so-called "logic" and "reason" of the Enlightenment, which many people even to this day consider to be infallible, at least implicitly. I think there's actually a grain of truth to that part in the science is a liar sometimes bit in It's Always Sunny where Dennis brings up the fossil records and Mac asks him if he's seen them himself, poured over the data, and then accuses him of taking the words of people he's never met on faith, which is exactly what we do and legitimately all we can do, even when it comes to science. That isn't to say that science and religion are equivalent or that science is just as reliant on subjective interpretation as religion is, rather that a scientific framework for viewing the world can also be prone to some of the same problems.

This book is kind of obtuse and I don't normally recommend it to people out right if they haven't studied philosophy but it touches on this idea a lot. A much better and easier to read book on the same subject I think is Robert Anton Wilson's "The New Inquisition"
Henry Pashpot - Tue, 24 Mar 2020 18:11:56 EST fMk8IUez No.210023 Reply
>Is scientific progress the new god and religion?

More like the state.
William Hunderbanks - Wed, 25 Mar 2020 19:30:12 EST p+7ufF1/ No.210024 Reply
I think the people who see science as a religion are also the ones who go with the crowd.

The very definition of science is that it's the best guess at the moment. The problem is people taking mainstream opinion at the time they hear it as fact. It's human nature. Religion and science overlap but they are entirely interchangeable both different leave gaps in our worldview but I guess the gaps they leave informs what we put in them.

I'm a believer that religions tend to be very ambiguous and patchy in what they explain consistently. They tend to contain holes or contradictions or both. But no religion is just as patchy and ambiguous. In the end people will find what they want and their interpretation of their beliefs is a reflection of their own values and what they want to believe. In a sense science is used the same way by many. A best theory at the moment structure is always going to be somewhat ambiguous. After all it has to be wrong sometimes unless we know everything ever.

I guess in a sense that the framework relies on believing other people is another thing it has in common with religion. I guess aside from your own personal interpretation both religion and science are informed by other people's interpretations.

I wonder if watching tech advance is indeed the opiate of the masses now.
Molly Sessleworth - Wed, 25 Mar 2020 21:27:41 EST JyDTI0YA No.210025 Reply
All I find from "science is religion" types are attempts to insert batshit crazy shit in as a substitute. YECs, ancient aliens, and crystal healing flubber. The scientific method may not be perfect but it's a damn sight more than anything the rest of y'all got.
Frederick Nickleridge - Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:59:15 EST I6irGQRy No.210032 Reply
What science ought to be and what it actually is are two very different things though. I think you're right that ideally we would all recognize that the understanding of the world which we can gain through scientific inquiry is inherently limited, but many people don't because the fallibility of science isn't touched on nearly as often as how much better it makes us as a people now that we do science instead of praying and how much smarter we are than all those idiots who lived before us and/or not in the west.

I think the point they're trying to make is that in modernity science has largely taken the place of religion, but it's not equipped to do so. Science concerns questions of the finite whereas faith concerns questions of the infinite, and their methods of inquiry are not fundamentally compatible. So, for instance, instead of looking at statistics merely as a way to inform our decision making, some implicitly see it as a form of divination. They take comfort in the idea one can predict the future, in the exact same way one would from consulting an oracle. They know that doing the latter would be "ignorant" and "superstitious" but still they long for the comfort of certainty and so whether they realise it or not they're projecting this desire into their understanding of the limits of science.
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Frederick Nickleridge - Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:15:03 EST I6irGQRy No.210033 Reply
> All I find from "science is religion" types are attempts to insert batshit crazy shit in as a substitute

I think there's clearly a distinct difference between saying "science is a religion, therefore my religious beliefs are just as objective" and saying "science is a religion, therefore could be just as wrong as any other religion (in some areas) and we should be wary of that as we move forward with it as still basically the best way we know for gaining certain types of knowledge"
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Clara Faddleway - Thu, 07 May 2020 22:44:16 EST AOuUNGAb No.210070 Reply
The decline of western civilization is a just a meme.
Why do you give it so much power?
It seems like you want it desperately to be true.
You know no other way to express your imagination.
So that is what you'll get.
Your tunnel vision dooms you.

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