i am confused

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jgweed
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 12:17 pm
@Arya,
The forces of conformity to the norm always surround us, and can take very subtle as well as very overt and brutal forms. Those who have liberated themselves from slavishly following the crowd and its ready-made opinions often feel isolated and "different."

It was Nietzsche who wrote, "He who thinketh differently goeth voluntarily to the madhouse." Independent existence, challenged on many levels, can thus question itself; but if one accepts the need to live an authentic life, and to "be true to oneself," then one must also accept the burden of being seen as "different" and what amounts to social ostracism by generic people. But at the same time, there are those who willingly accept themselves---and more importantly, Others---as different, and it is with those that you should seek friendship.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 12:24 pm
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;82109 wrote:
Can we be sure of anything from what we know? If I knew Arya in person and she came to me proposing this problem I'd say the same thing as I did before.

I wonder... why go after me Kenneth? Hmmmmmmm?


I went "after" you? Does that mean that if someone voices some disagreement he is "after you"? It seems to me sensible not to dismiss the concerns of others as unfounded unless you have more information than you (or I) have about that person. What do you think?
 
bk-thinkaboom
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 12:45 pm
@Arya,
People are strange creatures, and although it doesn't happen often, if I ever find myself becoming angry, annoyed or irritated by a particular person or group of people, I take consolation in the process of wondering why they did that. Often I come to the conclusion that it's a group mentality thing.

In my High School there were loads of kids from the lower years who would hang around in little groups, and sometimes in one massive group. In between wrestling each other clumsily to the ground and throwing childish insults at each other with big dumb grins on their faces, these kids would occasionally taunt and throw food at my mates and I. I certainly regard patience as a worthwhile virtue, and so when this sort of thing happened I would simply ask them to stop, sometimes attempting to communicate in their twist on the English language and dropping in a few expletives for effect. This didn't really work, and the 'lunchtime supervisors' did nothing at all, blissfully unaware, although that's another story. The moment I realised they truly were ignorant in their group mentality was when I turned round in another attempt to make them stop throwing food (they had only been previously been throwing when I was looking the other way, then taunting when I turned round and asked them to stop). When I did this, one of the kids eventually just threw his half-eaten sandwich at my chest and guffawed with such fatuity that I half expected him to leap atop the dinner table and urinate openly in pride at his own actions. Whilst this did not happen, it showed that they really couldn't care less about what I thought about them or knew about their actions. Intense apathy.

Funnily enough, though, occasionally I would see members of this group around school on their own, and a couple of times they would look at me and then completely ignore me. I think once there was even about half of the group, but not the 'main kid', and they didn't even do anything. So really, as well as other things, I came to the conclusion that it was an opportunity for them to showcase their group status to each other; that would explain their eagerness to toss aside sensible behaviour and begin competing for the best taunts or the best food projectile. I was their target, and that was how they had decided to showcase their 'status' to one another.

I'm no psychologist, and things probably went a lot deeper than that, but I found some consolation in trying to work out why they acted as they did, and I felt grateful to know that I try my best not to succumb to such displays of ignorance.

Sorry for the rant, the point I was trying to make is that, for me, thinking is always the best way to go about things. I know that some people say deep thinking has an adverse effect on people who are stuck in a deep wave of depression, and, although I don't think I've ever been incredibly depressed, when I have felt at my worst, I have tried to just stick it out, and eventually I've got through things, because generally, thoughts change slightly over time, bringing with them changes in the way you think and your mood.

People do weird things like assign names, and some people are upset by this, and some people are perplexed as to why people would do such a thing. People differ, and the best us thoughtful people can do is try and get along with stuff, and hopefully more people will do the same.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 01:02 pm
@Arya,
I generally find that people who are horrible to me have got massive insecurities about themselves and are in turmoil internally and it comes out as nastiness. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it and they will lose interest if they do not get the required reaction, (childish really isn't it).
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 01:37 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;82117 wrote:
I went "after" you? Does that mean that if someone voices some disagreement he is "after you"? It seems to me sensible not to dismiss the concerns of others as unfounded unless you have more information than you (or I) have about that person. What do you think?


What I meant to say was-why did you say something to me instead one of the others that replied? I did not dismiss Arya's concerns. I just gave my assurence. In the eyes of a new born baby we're all normal. Yes I agree. It is unwise to 'dismiss the concersn of others as unfounded unless you have more information..' but that is not what I did.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 04:52 pm
@mister kitten,
Who cares if you're "normal"? Name a great, revered person who was normal.... not many come to mind.

Abnormality and freakishness is the spice of life - I feel sorry for the ones who are "normal". Though, it is best to be paid for abnormality, otherwise Nietzsche's warning is worth considering. In this society, if you can get paid for abnormality, the freak is received as smartly abnormal and not just too strange to accept.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 05:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;82164 wrote:
Who cares if you're "normal"? Name a great, revered person who was normal.... not many come to mind.

Abnormality and freakishness is the spice of life - I feel sorry for the ones who are "normal". Though, it is best to be paid for abnormality, otherwise Nietzsche's warning is worth considering. In this society, if you can get paid for abnormality, the freak is received as smartly abnormal and not just too strange to accept.


I am not sure what normality comes to, but even it it is true that many "great, revered person were not normal" what makes you think that they were "great and revered" because they were not normal? Maybe they were so despite their handicaps.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 06:43 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;82116 wrote:
The forces of conformity to the norm always surround us, and can take very subtle as well as very overt and brutal forms. Those who have liberated themselves from slavishly following the crowd and its ready-made opinions often feel isolated and "different."

It was Nietzsche who wrote, "He who thinketh differently goeth voluntarily to the madhouse." Independent existence, challenged on many levels, can thus question itself; but if one accepts the need to live an authentic life, and to "be true to oneself," then one must also accept the burden of being seen as "different" and what amounts to social ostracism by generic people. But at the same time, there are those who willingly accept themselves---and more importantly, Others---as different, and it is with those that you should seek friendship.


What makes you believe "generic" people exist? Should we really create a dichotomy involving those who are "different" and those who are "slaves to ready-made opinions"?

I hear this all too often, and it sounds good on paper. Hell, it even allows those who are critical thinkers to relish in their intellectual prowess. But, me thinks there really is no "generic" person. I'm not even sure there is a "herd". Some of the people I've met in my life do not enjoy thinking, philosophizing, or intently questioning the world around them, but who am I to say they're following the "herd" any more than I am? Realistically, I could be conforming just as much as they are, without even knowing. Again, it sounds good on paper, but it really seems like an empty self-assurance, a pat on the back, a way to say, "Hey, look at me, I'm unique!". It sounds elitist - I'm "different"!

It seems most of this spawns from the discrimination against conformity. We hear it everywhere, especially in the philosophy world. "Don't conform! Think for yourself!", they say. What about those people who have thought for themselves, but just decided, for whatever reason, it was easier to conform to X? Why do we have such a bad taste in our mouths concerning conformity - is it our yearning to be unique, to question authority, or something else? Why is conformity perceived as such a bad thing? It seems to me that the evaluation would depend.

Maybe Nietzsche just willingly castrated himself from society, not because of his "thinking differently", but because that was just the type of personality he had. He was introverted. He then tried to justify his introvertedness by ranting in his works, proclaiming he was "different". I mean, maybe the dude just had bad social skills. Is this possible?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 07:57 pm
@Zetherin,
kennethamy;82181 wrote:
I am not sure what normality comes to, but even it it is true that many "great, revered person were not normal" what makes you think that they were "great and revered" because they were not normal? Maybe they were so despite their handicaps.


Are you serious?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was remarkably abnormal: he was a brilliant and captivating orator, a man willing to die for his cause yet did not pursue the cause through violence, who created a sophisticated philosophy of non-violent resistance. None of this is normal. And he is not revered "despite" all of this, but because all of this.

Some abnormalities are handicaps, others are enablers for greatness and public benefit. Abnormality and handicap are not synonymous.

People of great genius are clearly not normal. But Einstein, Aristotle, Socrates, Nagarjuna, Nietzsche, and too many others to name are not revered "despite" their abnormal intellect, but because their abnormal intellect.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 11:26 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;82204 wrote:
Are you serious?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was remarkably abnormal: he was a brilliant and captivating orator, a man willing to die for his cause yet did not pursue the cause through violence, who created a sophisticated philosophy of non-violent resistance. None of this is normal. And he is not revered "despite" all of this, but because all of this.

Some abnormalities are handicaps, others are enablers for greatness and public benefit. Abnormality and handicap are not synonymous.

People of great genius are clearly not normal. But Einstein, Aristotle, Socrates, Nagarjuna, Nietzsche, and too many others to name are not revered "despite" their abnormal intellect, but because their abnormal intellect.


I think the point was, someone can be abnormal and not considered a "genius". Abnormality isn't a necessary condition for "genius", is it? (I ask this sincerely).

Next, the question was brought up: What defines normality or abnormality? Can a genius still be, at least in some ways, normal? And if he/she is in some ways considered normal, when do we begin to apply the label "normal" or "abnormal"? Couldn't we say he or she is abnormally good at math, but normally good at speaking? Or should we just call he or she abnormal because they're accomplished in math (even if they're lacking or normal in other things)?

Also what if they don't apply their genius, unlike the men you spoke of... could they be normal? A quiet, reserved, and unmotivated genius could just appear to be a normal guy (or girl), couldn't he (or she)?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 09:44 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;82242 wrote:
I think the point was, someone can be abnormal and not considered a "genius". Abnormality isn't a necessary condition for "genius", is it? (I ask this sincerely).


Oh, sure. As I said in the last post, some abnormalities are handicaps, others are enablers for greatness and the public good. It depends upon the nature of the abnormality and the person in whom it exists.

Remember what Thompson said: "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. "

That mix of qualities is abnormal, but in the right hands they can help to produce great works of art, which I think is evident in the man's literary production.

But, I would say that some degree of abnormality is a necessary condition for genius. Genius alone is certainly not normal, right?

Zetherin;82242 wrote:
Next, the question was brought up: What defines normality or abnormality?


Normality is, in any specific sense, indefinable. We can only say that something is abnormal in that it is uncommon amongst the species.

Zetherin;82242 wrote:
Can a genius still be, at least in some ways, normal?


We're all normal in some ways. I'm abnormal at least in that I post on this forum, but normal in the sense that I breathe air.

Zetherin;82242 wrote:
And if he/she is in some ways considered normal, when do we begin to apply the label "normal" or "abnormal"?


These are subjective labels that only make sense in context. We are not talking about blue or the number twelve, you know?

Zetherin;82242 wrote:
Also what if they don't apply their genius, unlike the men you spoke of... could they be normal? A quiet, reserved, and unmotivated genius could just appear to be a normal guy (or girl), couldn't he (or she)?


And that is, sadly, quite normal. Remember what Kerouac said: "You're a Genius all the time". And if he is right, which I believe him to be, quiet and unused genius is all too common.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 10:10 am
@Arya,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
These are subjective labels that only make sense in context. We are not talking about blue or the number twelve, you know?


Indeed. I just find it interesting when people label others "normal" or "abnormal", without specifying what exactly is normal or abnormal about the person they're referring to (This is also why I detest when people call another "weird", usually). This touches on what I was speaking about earlier: Is there really a "generic" person, or a "herd"? It seems to me that, just as you mentioned, there are normalities and abnormalities with all people. For me to immediately label another "generic" or "normal" seems a bit short-sighted, but I've witnessed many people throw this label out without regret. They call these people part of the "herd". Just who are these "herd" people? Does a "herd" exist? And if so, don't we all participate in some way?

I see an elitist position taken by those who consider themselves "different". Surely this isn't true for everyone, but I've recognized a pattern, and this intellectual pedestal is what I'm speaking of.
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 11:03 am
@bk-thinkaboom,
bk-thinkaboom;82120 wrote:
In my High School there were loads of kids from the lower years who would hang around in little groups, and sometimes in one massive group. In between wrestling each other clumsily to the ground and throwing childish insults at each other with big dumb grins on their faces, these kids would occasionally taunt and throw food at my mates and I. I certainly regard patience as a worthwhile virtue, and so when this sort of thing happened I would simply ask them to stop, sometimes attempting to communicate in their twist on the English language and dropping in a few expletives for effect. This didn't really work, and the 'lunchtime supervisors' did nothing at all, blissfully unaware, although that's another story. The moment I realised they truly were ignorant in their group mentality was when I turned round in another attempt to make them stop throwing food (they had only been previously been throwing when I was looking the other way, then taunting when I turned round and asked them to stop). When I did this, one of the kids eventually just threw his half-eaten sandwich at my chest and guffawed with such fatuity that I half expected him to leap atop the dinner table and urinate openly in pride at his own actions. Whilst this did not happen, it showed that they really couldn't care less about what I thought about them or knew about their actions. Intense apathy.
Your patience is admirable, id probally have already broken someone's nose =)

Zetherin;82322 wrote:
Indeed. I just find it interesting when people label others "normal" or "abnormal", without specifying what exactly is normal or abnormal about the person they're referring to (This is also why I detest when people call another "weird", usually). This touches on what I was speaking about earlier: Is there really a "generic" person, or a "herd"? It seems to me that, just as you mentioned, there are normalities and abnormalities with all people. For me to immediately label another "generic" or "normal" seems a bit short-sighted, but I've witnessed many people throw this label out without regret. They call these people part of the "herd". Just who are these "herd" people? Does a "herd" exist? And if so, don't we all participate in some way?

I see an elitist position taken by those who consider themselves "different". Surely this isn't true for everyone, but I've recognized a pattern, and this intellectual pedestal is what I'm speaking of.
The "herd" is the "legion of the others". It is the summing up of how people in the nation as a whole think, but none conforms completly to this summing up. Aka: We are under the impression such people exist, yet we will never find then if we search.

Some people have fear or disgust of what is different, leading some people to try to avoid being different. These two elements are what generate the "atmosphere of conformity" philosophers (self-proclaimed or not) hate. I think people who are "different" dont consider thenselves intellectually superior because they are different, but because they arent trying to be a "normal".
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 05:22 pm
@Arya,
manored wrote:
but none conforms completly to this summing up. Aka: We are under the impression such people exist, yet we will never find then if we search.


Yes, that's what I'm saying.

Quote:
Some people have fear or disgust of what is different, leading some people to try to avoid being different.


And leading yet others wanting to be different.

Quote:
I think people who are "different" dont consider thenselves intellectually superior because they are different, but because they arent trying to be a "normal".


Yes, and I'm not convinced this "normal" exists, at least not in the sense that I believe it's being hinted at. Those I've come across who consider themselves "different" (note I say consider themselves) seem to use this adjective as an ego booster. "Different" is actively encouraged, embraced, and praised. "Normal" is looked down upon, the ultimate blow to many an intellectual. And I fear there is a discrimination here bearing no master, no one to really blame, and more importantly (and more frighteningly) no "real" subject to protect. It's an elusive discrimination of epic, "What the hell?", proportions.
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:37 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;82394 wrote:
Yes, and I'm not convinced this "normal" exists, at least not in the sense that I believe it's being hinted at. Those I've come across who consider themselves "different" (note I say consider themselves) seem to use this adjective as an ego booster. "Different" is actively encouraged, embraced, and praised. "Normal" is looked down upon, the ultimate blow to many an intellectual. And I fear there is a discrimination here bearing no master, no one to really blame, and more importantly (and more frighteningly) no "real" subject to protect. It's an elusive discrimination of epic, "What the hell?", proportions.
I suppose its because then you have a large, working togheder population like we humans do, those who are different in a positive manner tend to be more valuable than those who arent, and thus while some seek to be normal to achieve social acceptance, some seek to be different in order to be valuable. There are even those who do both, trying to be normal then its about bad things and different then its about good things. This whole thing makes humanity sound so stupid =)
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2009 08:50 pm
@manored,
Zetherin;82322 wrote:

I see an elitist position taken by those who consider themselves "different". Surely this isn't true for everyone, but I've recognized a pattern, and this intellectual pedestal is what I'm speaking of.


Which is strange - that people elevate themselves for being different. Because you are right, we are all equally unique individual people.

But there are some who shun the expression of uniqueness. Similarly, there are people who celebrate such expression. And most of us practice both depending upon the circumstances.

With respect to intellectual pursuits, celebrating the expression of uniqueness, strangeness, whatever we chose to call it, is common because it is through uniqueness that innovation is made.
 
Leonard
 
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 03:47 pm
@Arya,
That's a problem all philosophers encounter eventually. People don't like people who are deeper and more thoughtfull than them. Shake it off, let the 'normal' people live their petty lives groveling for their sadistic bosses and coworkers. Enjoy a philosopher's life, being introspective is a good thing. Enjoy the finer side of life, rather than attempting to be someone you are not. Tell those overly-social fools that you aren't one of them, and that's fine. A normal person never makes something of themselves. Use your 'weaknesses' to your advantage, show everyone that they aren't really weaknesses, though don't overdo it because too much attention is bad.
Remember those things, you shouldn't feel bad.

---------- Post added 08-13-2009 at 04:51 PM ----------

In biology, mutations can be good, bad, or indifferent. Remember that different is good.
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 01:51 pm
@Leonard,
Leonard;83066 wrote:
That's a problem all philosophers encounter eventually. People don't like people who are deeper and more thoughtfull than them. Shake it off, let the 'normal' people live their petty lives groveling for their sadistic bosses and coworkers. Enjoy a philosopher's life, being introspective is a good thing. Enjoy the finer side of life, rather than attempting to be someone you are not. Tell those overly-social fools that you aren't one of them, and that's fine. A normal person never makes something of themselves. Use your 'weaknesses' to your advantage, show everyone that they aren't really weaknesses, though don't overdo it because too much attention is bad.
Remember those things, you shouldn't feel bad.

Hum, that sounds like a good plan, except that I think that this "proud" behavior is exactly what causes "normal" people to keep philosophers away from them... what means we would also be excluding ourselves from people even smarter than us that could help us ascend.
 
inunokanojo
 
Reply Sat 22 Aug, 2009 08:51 pm
@mister kitten,
Hello Arya. I too have this problem. My friends, family and just about anyone I know (with the exception of a few) always tell me that I'm weird because I don't talk or smile a lot and I don't like a lot of the same things that society considers normal things for females my age to like. Because of some of my opinions on certain things people often think I'm cold-hearted and I'm quite often told that I'm not normal. My response to them is always "Normal is overrated. I'm proud to be weird." So be proud that you are different and try not to let anyone get down because your not what their idea of 'normal' is. Smile
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Sun 23 Aug, 2009 06:25 am
@Arya,
no, you are not normal - not in the slightest; however, that's probably a good thing, unless of course by saying;

Quote:
... and the bad things in my view are good in their view ,,,


... you mean that by being nice and not killing people is bad, then, i would say you are not normal in a very bad, twisted way.
 
 

 
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