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Thread: Philisophical Question

  1. #1

    Default Philisophical Question

    This has been making me think for a while now. Well you know how that in the early years of life we as children are taught to share, that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important? Why is that? Especially since that once you come of age(18) you are brought up to not share, be the bes, and not everyone is equal to you. If you don't think that why, then you certainly see it happening and see it taking practice. So my question here is this...why do we bring children up to think to share,that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important?

  2. #2

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    Because people really should share and be equal and all that, but humanity is corrupt.

  3. #3

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    Well, it seems to me that as a young child, we're taught those things because that's how it should be. However, as we mature we find that those ideals can hardly ever be true. Part of growing up is figuring out that the world is far from a perfect place, and you have to deal with it. I think that parents teach their children those ideals so that the kids know what they should aim for in life, even if it isn't always possible.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    This has been making me think for a while now. Well you know how that in the early years of life we as children are taught to share, that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important? Why is that? Especially since that once you come of age(18) you are brought up to not share, be the bes, and not everyone is equal to you. If you don't think that why, then you certainly see it happening and see it taking practice. So my question here is this...why do we bring children up to think to share,that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important?
    1. Sharing is important. This lesson continues into adulthood.
    2. Everyone is not equal; by birth or effort, these gaps can be widened or closed. If that's what they're teaching kids these days (and why should it not be, what with flat primary and secondary coursework?), then it's a great disservice.
    3. Being the best at everything is a fool's errand.


    What you seem to be asking is this: why do we tell children these things that seem untrue? If this is your question, I would point to #1 and #3 as the correct way to go, and #2 needs to be understood, but treated with compassion and civility.

  5. #5

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    Just popping in to suggest that 'good behaviors' taught to children also function to ease the task of managing child behavior.

    As for 'equality' and 'sharing'--those are developmentally important to social creatures who work together to form structures of inequality in the world. Lessons kids learn when young should help foster cooperation. Cooperation is later used to screw the other guy(s) out of their resources.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maytricks View Post
    I think that parents teach their children those ideals so that the kids know what they should aim for in life, even if it isn't always possible.
    I think Maytricks hit it on the head here, it's what we SHOULD strive for and id like to think that people with some sort of a conscience do still share, although it's fair we are not all equal, we still need to be mindful not to put down others who are not quite as apt at something as us, or vica-versa, not get to disheartned when people are...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    This has been making me think for a while now. Well you know how that in the early years of life we as children are taught to share, that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important? Why is that? Especially since that once you come of age(18) you are brought up to not share, be the bes, and not everyone is equal to you. If you don't think that why, then you certainly see it happening and see it taking practice. So my question here is this...why do we bring children up to think to share,that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important?
    Being able to share is an important virtue to have in a good society. Children are taught to share because everybody benefits from that happening, a free-for-all society would be a horrible one to live in. It also means that as a society we make not sharing, selfishness, a bad thing. Sure adults can be selfish, but they are badly judged if they are!
    I'm not sure why you say that after 18 you are told not to share. There's a difference between having high aspirations and chasing them, and just plain being selfish.

    The equality thing is more complicated because 'being equal' can mean different things. When we say it to children, we are talking about a fundamental meaning: everybody has the same basic human rights, people shouldn't be discriminated against unfairly because of who they are. It's an important lesson. Again, I don't know why after 18 this is has changed in your opinion. Clearly some people are unequal in circumstances, but that doesn't change the childhood lesson at all.

    As for the best thing: that's simply the difference between being the best you can be, and being the best at everything. We're always told to do the former and never the latter.

  8. #8

    Default Capability vs. rights, Equality vs. equivalence



    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    [*]Everyone is not equal; by birth or effort, these gaps can be widened or closed.
    In what context do we mean equal? Certainly in capabilities, we are different, but when it comes to rights we have (in theory) equal rights. Conflating these two yields many a dystopian science-fiction future where your position in society is related to your intelligence, and the upper echelons of society end up abusing the lower classes who are treated like animals.

    There's also the confusion of equal and equivalent. I have stronger skills with computers and language, but just average skills in cooking. A trained chef may excel in cooking, but be average in language and computer skills. Are we equivalent? Certainly not; if you stick me in his kitchen his restaurant will fail. But are we equal? Well, how do we "sum up" the values of the skills into something that can be compared, like a simple number?

    And therein lies the problem: when we start thinking it makes sense to do that, as we're often asked to do, we stop seeing the complexity, the humanity of the people being compared, and start just seeing them as things, reducible to a simple ranking. And if your rank is too low, you're worthless. I don't believe that's right.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    This has been making me think for a while now. Well you know how that in the early years of life we as children are taught to share, that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important? Why is that? Especially since that once you come of age(18) you are brought up to not share, be the bes, and not everyone is equal to you. If you don't think that why, then you certainly see it happening and see it taking practice. So my question here is this...why do we bring children up to think to share,that everyone is equal to you, and being the best at everything is not important?
    Who teaches that?

    I was taught, and passed on to my kids

    1. You're not allowed to kill and eat your siblings.
    2. Be nice to non-siblings because dad isn't going to bail you out if you kill and eat them.
    3. You are the best. Trust your own judgement over anyone elses unless they can prove they're right. (Hasn't happened yet.....)

    Of course I'm kidding, but not all that much. I was raised to be self-reliant, and tried to pass that on.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peri View Post
    In what context do we mean equal? Certainly in capabilities, we are different, but when it comes to rights we have (in theory) equal rights. Conflating these two yields many a dystopian science-fiction future where your position in society is related to your intelligence, and the upper echelons of society end up abusing the lower classes who are treated like animals.

    There's also the confusion of equal and equivalent. I have stronger skills with computers and language, but just average skills in cooking. A trained chef may excel in cooking, but be average in language and computer skills. Are we equivalent? Certainly not; if you stick me in his kitchen his restaurant will fail. But are we equal? Well, how do we "sum up" the values of the skills into something that can be compared, like a simple number?

    And therein lies the problem: when we start thinking it makes sense to do that, as we're often asked to do, we stop seeing the complexity, the humanity of the people being compared, and start just seeing them as things, reducible to a simple ranking. And if your rank is too low, you're worthless. I don't believe that's right.
    Agreed. You cannot distill and aggregate people into any one metric.

    There is inequity in the world, and there are things that I excel at that you may not, and vice versa. But this is good: a world of me would be awesome, but having sex would just be masturbation then.

    Wait--you would push for ranking by intelligence?? That thinking hasn't been seen in the West in AGES. Seriously, though: were I under attack from the Mongols, I want a warlord leader rather than a bookish monk. Different attributes for different situations.

    BUT: I think we need to teach children that, NO, they will not be equal to their peers. Some will be more advanced (growth, intellect, social prowess...) and some less so. This gives a sense of scale and scope to the world as well as avoiding the Idiot's Trap of thinking that there is no one better than they.

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