Henrik Unné

An hypothesis about intelligence

111 posts in this topic

Since objections to my view keep coming, no matter how many times I meet the objections, I would like to summarize my view. I would like to know what, if anything, is wrong with my view, as summarized below.

Thesis: The majority of the members of mankind are morally depraved.

Argument:

1) The majority of the members of mankind are second-handers. I think that all Objectivista can agree about that.

2) All second-handers are self-made, by the repeated choice not to think, which gets automatized.

3) By becoming a second-hander you lose your ability so survive, other than by sheer luck (since you become dependent on the thinking of others, if you do not think yourself).

So my harsh evaluation of second-handers as such, is based on two facts - second-handedness is volitional, and enormously much is at stake. And since the majority of the members of mankind are second-handers, I pronounce a harsh moral judgment on the majority of the members of mankind.

That does not make me a cynic. A cynic is a person who says that men are depraved *by nature*. But my very point is that the majority of the members of mankind have become morally depraved *by choice*.

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Since I do not control any other individual´s consciousness, I cannot force any of my workmates to listen to me, if they choose not to listen. But I can blame them for making that choice.

Not if their choice was the result of your failing to communicate well.

Whenever I am not getting through to someone, I always check to see if I have put my argument in terms that the particular person I am addressing can understand. Their context of knowledge and their hierarchy of values is something I must be aware of and address. This is a point that Dr. Peikoff stresses over and over again in his "Objective Communication" course.

As a class exercise in the course, Dr. Peikoff had two of the students, both Objectivists, debate religion with one arguing for theism and one for atheism. The atheist made such a poor argument that in everyone's opinion, including Dr. Peikoff's, the theist won! Learning good communication skills is crucial and I think you will find Dr. Peikoff's course very valuable if you want to be heard and understood.

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Henrik, you started this thread talking about differences in intelligence and their possible bases. Obviously the discussion has veered from that, but does come back to a point you have made repeatedly in this and other threads, and have now summarized below. I'm not sure my responses to your summary will be any different than what others have said, but here it is.

Thesis: The majority of the members of mankind are morally depraved.

I disagree, and I think it is a very rare person who can make such a statement with any amount of certainty, and I find it more likely that no one can honestly make this statement.

However, what if I agreed with you? What if I, too, condemned the majority of mankind as morally depraved--would that be helpful to you in some way? I ask because of the frequency with which you have brought this issue up. I obviously don't know your reasons for doing so, especially since you state your belief with seeming conviction. So, maybe you can help me understand why this is an ongoing issue for you if, in fact, you are convinced you're right?

Argument:

1) The majority of the members of mankind are second-handers. I think that all Objectivista can agree about that.

I don't. I see that many people have instances of second-handedness, but are not fundamentally second-handed. When it comes down to it, I have no idea what percent of mankind is second-handed, and neither do you.

As others, particularly Betsy, have very correctly pointed out, you look at others' behavior and make assumptions about what's happening in their minds--but you deny these are assumptions and instead hold them as facts, from which you then make your argument.

As a psychologist, it is my job to understand the mind and what's going on in others' minds, but I've learned to be quite modest about my ability to know for certain what's in another's mind and how he uses it. In fact, I operate on the premise that I have no idea what's on another's mind and how he uses it until I ask and get a response, and even then I recognize there is far more to each person I meet than what they choose to share. Of course, once I get responses I'm in a better position to know. But even at that I'm not at all comfortable making generalizations about mankind from this.

3) By becoming a second-hander you lose your ability so survive, other than by sheer luck (since you become dependent on the thinking of others, if you do not think yourself).

It's true that giving up one's independent judgment would necessitate relying completely on someone else's. But if this were true of the majority of mankind, then everything would have completely collapsed ages ago (if it was ever created in the first place). Most people run their own lives, make choices about what values to pursue, and attempt to do so. That the values they pursue are not seemingly the same as yours doesn't make them immoral. And I emphasize the word "seemingly" because, again, you are not in a position to know firsthand the what or how of another's consciousness.

So my harsh evaluation of second-handers as such, is based on two facts - second-handedness is volitional, and enormously much is at stake. And since the majority of the members of mankind are second-handers, I pronounce a harsh moral judgment on the majority of the members of mankind.

Henrik, before replying here I re-read your thread regarding the psychological value of contempt. I suspect that this discussion ties into that, just as other, similar discussions have. I understand that you see value in such an emotion, and I'm realistic enough not to try and change your mind. But I would ask you to consider the possibility that your contempt for others ties you to them in ways that I wouldn't want for you. You claim to be emotionally independent from others and basically at peace. However, by your own words and the intensity of such emotions as contempt, I find this hard to believe. Nevertheless, it's your life and, as always, I wish you well in it.

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I am not blaming my workmates morally for being mistaken, I am blaming them for not putting forth any effort to check if they have made errors in their knowledge, and for not making any significant effort to correct the errors that they have made (they often refuse to listen when their established, mistaken premises are challenged for example), and to fill in the blanks in their knowledge. And they should listen, because nobody is justified in assuming that he is infallible, and that there are no errors in his established premises. The kind of person who reasons - "I am so smart that I do not need to listen to alternative viewpoints." is unspeakably arrogant.
I do not think that it is my responsibility to "adjust" to my workmates´ irrational unwillingness to listen to new (to them) ideas. It is *their* responsibility to realize that they cannot assume that I am wrong and/or not worth listening to, before they have heard what I have to say.

[...]

If the swine (excuse the expression, but that is the way the saying that I am alluding to is worded) reject the pearls, then it is the fault of the swine, not of the person who is throwing the pearls to them (I am conceited enough to think that I have a lot of valuable knowledge that I could teach the people around me, and that they would benefit from that knowledge, it is Objectivism after all).

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It is not rocket science that you need knowledge of such abstact subjects as political science and economics, in order to understand world events.

But it is not self-evident either.

And it is not rocket science that you need to understand world events in order to live and prosper in the world. So everyone who values his life must in reason pursue knowledge of such subjects as political schience and economics (and of philosophy, if they have come far enough to know that philosophy is the ultimate motor of the world).

That is certainly not self-evident or obvious either.

In "Philosophy: Who Needs It" Ayn Rand told the West Point cadets:

Now some of you might say, as many people do: "Aw, I never think in such abstract terms—I want to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems—what do I need philosophy for?" My answer is: In order to be able to deal with concrete, particular, real-life problems—i.e., in order to be able to live on earth.

She then went on to explain and to prove this as a crucial first step in persuading them. People who aren't interested in abstract ideas can be reachable with the right approach. Observe how Ayn Rand did it.

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No, I do not say that "common men" are, by nature, second-handers. I say that the *majority* of common men have become second-handers by *choice*, and they are therefore morally culpable. My premise that the majority of "common men" in the world today are second-handers, is an induction, which is supported by a wealth of evidence. How could you explain the state fo the world today, if the majority of men were *first-handers*? And I am not alone in thinking that the majority of men in the world have chosen to become second-handers. Harry Binswanger for one, has written extensively on the subject on the HBList. And I think that Ayn Rand herself would agree that the second-handers outnumber the first-handers by a very wide margin. Howard Roark is the exception, not the norm.

And second-handers are "by definition" men who do not think much, since there is no thought that is not independent. Why do I evaluate second-handers as such as harshly as I do? Because second-handers are made by their *own choices*. All men are self-made, in the metaphysical,not the economic, sense. Including the second-handers. That is in the nature of being a human being. Human beings are *volitional*.

Strange as it may seem, I apparently take free will more seriously than many other Objectivists do.

Henrik, your comments here are precisely what my analysis that you quoted is about. Induction will not lead you to your conclusions. Further, you have not used induction. You have taken unjustified big jumps about what goes on in the minds of men, minds which are not available to you, based upon observation of a very small number of actions of a small number of men, and you have not undertaken any actual investigations.

What you think Ayn Rand would agree with seems to be based on what you want.

If Harry did argue that "most men are second-hander" give us a quotation, please. From what you said earlier, you disagreed with him. I would like to see that he was willing to give any kind of a quantification, even with the qualifications you mentioned above.

The "state of the world" is never the result of the thoughts and actions of "common men" but of intellectual leaders. Again, this argument is meaningless, and faulty.

I have no idea what your last sentence is suppose to mean.

I say again, the logical mistakes you are making are not trivial.

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Since objections to my view keep coming, no matter how many times I meet the objections, I would like to summarize my view. I would like to know what, if anything, is wrong with my view, as summarized below.

Thesis: The majority of the members of mankind are morally depraved.

Argument:

1) The majority of the members of mankind are second-handers. I think that all Objectivista can agree about that.

2) All second-handers are self-made, by the repeated choice not to think, which gets automatized.

3) By becoming a second-hander you lose your ability so survive, other than by sheer luck (since you become dependent on the thinking of others, if you do not think yourself).

So my harsh evaluation of second-handers as such, is based on two facts - second-handedness is volitional, and enormously much is at stake. And since the majority of the members of mankind are second-handers, I pronounce a harsh moral judgment on the majority of the members of mankind.

That does not make me a cynic. A cynic is a person who says that men are depraved *by nature*. But my very point is that the majority of the members of mankind have become morally depraved *by choice*.

See here for your logical errors.

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If Harry did argue that "most men are second-hander" give us a quotation, please. From what you said earlier, you disagreed with him. I would like to see that he was willing to give any kind of a quantification, even with the qualifications you mentioned above.

The "state of the world" is never the result of the thoughts and actions of "common men" but of intellectual leaders. Again, this argument is meaningless, and faulty.

I have no idea what your last sentence is suppose to mean.

I say again, the logical mistakes you are making are not trivial.

The state of the world is the result of *both* the actions of the intellectual leaders, *and* of the defaults on the responsibility of thinking committed by most of the rest of mankind. The evil among the intellectual leaders would not be able to "succeed" if more of the rest of mankind bothered to think about the issues.

As for the quotation from Harry, I do not save each day´s issue of the HBLIst, so I cannot give you an exact quote. But I do remember very clearly that just a few weeks ago, Harry wrote a long piece in which he emphasized that even in an ideal, Objectivist society, we can expect that *most* of the citizens would be second-handers. Because the primary choice to focus is not determined by external factors. Harry was adamant about that.

What are the non-trivial logical mistakes that I am making. I suppose that you think that I leap to conclusions on scanty evidence. Are there any other logical fallacies that you think I am committing?

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Henrik, before replying here I re-read your thread regarding the psychological value of contempt. I suspect that this discussion ties into that, just as other, similar discussions have. I understand that you see value in such an emotion, and I'm realistic enough not to try and change your mind. But I would ask you to consider the possibility that your contempt for others ties you to them in ways that I wouldn't want for you. You claim to be emotionally independent from others and basically at peace. However, by your own words and the intensity of such emotions as contempt, I find this hard to believe. Nevertheless, it's your life and, as always, I wish you well in it.

I suppose that I feel so strongly about the second-handedness that I believe characterizes the majority of mankind, because my own life experiences have brought home to me very forcefully the price that is being paid for the second-handedness.

My own parents were second-handers. They did not bother to think. It was too much effort, and entailed too much responsibility. Now, my parents were *not* malicious. They had good intentions. They wanted to promote my well-being. But they nearly got me killed. Because they never bothered to think, to find out the rational answers to question of, for example, ethics and psychology, they taught me egregiously wrong-headed ideas, such as altruism and duty ethics. And they were such utter hypocrites. They assured me time and again that they loved me, but whatever love they felt for me was not enough to get them to do some serious thinking.

Since I was not independent enough to reject the ideas that my parents, and my schoolteachers taught me, I became so depressed when I was in my early teens that I made two suicide attempts at the age of 15, and became schizophrenic. I still feel a lot of bitterness towards my parents. And that fuels my hate for second-handedness, and second-handers. I shudder when I think that maybe right now, other innocent youngsters are going through the same kind of suffering that I went through when I was young, as a result of the second-handedness of the adults around them. And I cannot help but feel hate and contempt for those second-handed adults.

I do not think that I am applying a double standard, when I blame my parents, despite the fact that it was also my own fault that I became unhappy, since I was not independent enough to reject their ideas. At least I corrected my errors when I became older. I did not resign myself to a life of mental passivity, and of ignorance, as they did. (The virtue that my parents defaulted on was of course integrity. If they valued me, then they should have gone to the trouble of thinking, and of acquiring knowedge.)

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My parting thought on this issue: even if 99.999999% of all men are second handers, so what? How does that change anything with regard to the tiny percentage of independent men who DO exist? Yes, it's annoying to have to deal with such people, but those of us who are independent find excellent ways to live our lives and pursue our values. I do every day. When my career and life started stagnating a bit, I took steps to change that by 1) getting a new position in my company and 2) moving from the US to Australia. No one stopped me and the people who value me were extremely encouraging.

I think there's a bit of looking through the eyeglass in reverse here. You can exert a lot of energy lamenting the dearth of independent people in the world -OR- you can actively pursue your goals and seek out like minded people. I have chosen the latter method and it has worked wonders for me.

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Since objections to my view keep coming, no matter how many times I meet the objections, I would like to summarize my view. I would like to know what, if anything, is wrong with my view, as summarized below.

Thesis: The majority of the members of mankind are morally depraved.

Argument:

1) The majority of the members of mankind are second-handers. I think that all Objectivista can agree about that.

2) All second-handers are self-made, by the repeated choice not to think, which gets automatized.

3) By becoming a second-hander you lose your ability so survive, other than by sheer luck (since you become dependent on the thinking of others, if you do not think yourself).

Logical errors you're committing? Well, for starters you could read my last two posts.

But here is another good one. Your above argument, which you call your summary, the first premise is the same as the conclusion, only in different wording. What you have is not actually an argument, but several restatements of the same idea. As Ayn Rand stated in her definition and elaboration: second-handers = people who have put consciousness ahead of reality = choosing not to think = moral depravity. There is no movement connecting ideas and reaching a conclusion.

Now, please, do not take this as anything but an honest question, have you studied logic? Read Ruby or Joseph? These days I do not see the emphasis that Ayn Rand placed on actually studying logic in the 60’s. It will only help anyone interested in clear thinking.

As for your attempt to make the "common man" responsible for events, according to your own conclusions, if you are right that "common man" fails at the attempt to focus on the world, and that he is an important element in the major events of the world, then reason and freedom will never prevail, and have could never prevail. Huh.... such fairytales I read of in history. Your comments seem to be a wild attempt to make your view of "common man" important.

Really, the issue itself is not very important. The only reasons for having this discussion are the general question of volition and the effort to help someone clear up their thinking.

You have not in fact met any of the objections. You have restated the same things over and over again. Not a single reply has met the point of the objection.

You have claimed to be using induction, without supplying details of that process. A few frustrating observations of the actions of a few men is not induction. From what you have said Harry has discussed this issue in some detail, yet you say that you disagree with him, without any more justification than the same casual observation. (Causal meaning that you did not actually investigate, did not question the individuals, just took their reactions to be all about you, and were frustrated. A good thing to learn is that it isn't all about you. People have their own concerns, even dump, everyday, common people.) From what I have read you have not seriously considered the comments offered. Betsy gave you several excellent reasons why your interpretations of the actions of the people that bothered you were wrong. You merely repeated that they had to be second-handers. The reasoning appears on the face of it to be circular.

To bad you have deleted Harry's material. I know that it was well reasoned. Maybe you might not be willing to listen to us. Maybe you would be willing to learn from his mental processes.

As for Harry views on "common man", I will look for his own statement.

I've done my best for you Henrik.

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My take is that the problem is not the way I present my ideas, but the nature of the ideas. My workmates do not want to have their cherised established premises called into question. For example they cannot stand the thought that there might be something wrong with the welfare state, which takes care of them. I could of course refrain from attempting the Sisyphos task of challenging the welfare state, but I value my integrity, so I challenge it nevertheless, and when they refuse to listen, I pronounce moral judgment on them. I take morality seriously. If that makes me moralistic and/or bitter, then so be it. I feel a psychological need to pronounce moral judgment on the injustice and the "volitional stupidity" that fills the world today.

Perhaps they get defensive when they think that their ideas and values are being attacked, and that they are being - unjustly - attacked when you pronounce moral judgments.

I don't see what you expect to accomplish here. All you get is some momentary psychological satisfaction by alienating your workmates. It seems like a waste of time and energy to me.

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My parting thought on this issue: even if 99.999999% of all men are second handers, so what? How does that change anything with regard to the tiny percentage of independent men who DO exist? Yes, it's annoying to have to deal with such people, but those of us who are independent find excellent ways to live our lives and pursue our values. I do every day. When my career and life started stagnating a bit, I took steps to change that by 1) getting a new position in my company and 2) moving from the US to Australia. No one stopped me and the people who value me were extremely encouraging.

I think there's a bit of looking through the eyeglass in reverse here. You can exert a lot of energy lamenting the dearth of independent people in the world -OR- you can actively pursue your goals and seek out like minded people. I have chosen the latter method and it has worked wonders for me.

I don´t exert much energy lamenting the dearth of indepencent people in the world, I have never spent much time on the subject before I wrote my posts here on the subject. And that just took some time, it did not take much energy. I do pursue goals. Unfortunately I have only found two like-minded people here in Stockholm. They are of course my best friends. I see no conflict between concentrating on pursuing goals, and feeling disgust about the people around me. The disgust does not "get me down".

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Henrik, your comments here are precisely what my analysis that you quoted is about. Induction will not lead you to your conclusions. Further, you have not used induction. You have taken unjustified big jumps about what goes on in the minds of men, minds which are not available to you, based upon observation of a very small number of actions of a small number of men, and you have not undertaken any actual investigations.

What you think Ayn Rand would agree with seems to be based on what you want.

If Harry did argue that "most men are second-hander" give us a quotation, please. From what you said earlier, you disagreed with him. I would like to see that he was willing to give any kind of a quantification, even with the qualifications you mentioned above.

The "state of the world" is never the result of the thoughts and actions of "common men" but of intellectual leaders. Again, this argument is meaningless, and faulty.

I have no idea what your last sentence is suppose to mean.

I say again, the logical mistakes you are making are not trivial.

If I committed the fallacy of drawing conclusions on scanty evidence, what about you? How much do you know about how many men I have observed over my life, and about the quantity and the quality of the thinking that I have done? You have not observed me observing, and you have not directly observed my consciousness.

The concrete examples of men that I have observed, that I have given here, constitute only a *minute* fraction of all the men that I have observed over the course of my life. For obvious reasons, I cannot give you an exhaustive list of all the instances of second-handedness that I have observed over the years. And neither do I have the time or space here to give you an account of all the reasoning that I have done about the possible causes of the phenomena that I have observed. When I have observed people, I have mulled over the question of what alternative explanations there could be for their behavior. I have not just jumped to the conclusions that I have reached. It was not before the last year that I finally drew these conclusions about second-handers, some 29 years after I began studying Objectivism. I do not think that that was hasty.

As to agreement with Harry Binswanger, I agree with his view that the majority of the members of mankind are second-handers, but I disagree with his "soft" moral evaluation of these second-handers.

What was my last sentence meant to mean? That I am more inclined, apparently, than most other Objectivists, to judge adults morally, because of the fact that they are volitional beings, and most of their errors of knowledge are ultimately their own fault, because they did not try hard enough to find out the truth. The difference between me and most of the others in this Forum is that I do not have as much forebearance with errors of knowledge, since I think that those errors are usually the individual´s own fault. If people did made a more reasonable effort to acuire knowledge, then they would not be so ignorant, and they would not make so many errors of knowledge. Most of the rest in this Forum, seem to view far more errors of knowledge as being innocent ones, than I do.

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My take is that the problem is not the way I present my ideas, but the nature of the ideas. My workmates do not want to have their cherised established premises called into question. For example they cannot stand the thought that there might be something wrong with the welfare state, which takes care of them. I could of course refrain from attempting the Sisyphos task of challenging the welfare state, but I value my integrity, so I challenge it nevertheless, and when they refuse to listen, I pronounce moral judgment on them. I take morality seriously. If that makes me moralistic and/or bitter, then so be it. I feel a psychological need to pronounce moral judgment on the injustice and the "volitional stupidity" that fills the world today.

Perhaps they get defensive when they think that their ideas and values are being attacked, and that they are being - unjustly - attacked when you pronounce moral judgments.

I don't see what you expect to accomplish here. All you get is some momentary psychological satisfaction by alienating your workmates. It seems like a waste of time and energy to me.

I have never told any of my workmates that I despise them, although I do despise many of them. I have at most said to some of them that I regard particular views of theirs as being odious (for example hostility to liberal immigration policies). I am not so stupid that I go out of my way to antagonize people. But on the other hand, I am not such a coward that I try to water down my views, or do not speak up when warranted.

And I do not think that I am wasting my time when I speak up, even though I rarely wind up "converting" anyone. As Ayn Rand pointed out, you should speak up even when the listeners are irrational, because your dissent will tend to undermine theie self-confidence, and so they will not be able to harm your values so much in the future.

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Did you consider that your workmates could just Google you and find your real name and you saying these things about them?

Be careful Henrik... there's a reason all my accounts are under random assortments of letters and numbers :D

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Did you consider that your workmates could just Google you and find your real name and you saying these things about them?

Be careful Henrik... there's a reason all my accounts are under random assortments of letters and numbers :D

Which is the same reason that I am Carlos, the dashing mexican bandito who visits this forum, instead of some guy named ________ who lives in _________ working as a ___________.

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In all seriousness it's a huge issue in France - loads of kids sanctioned and people fired because their boss/teacher took the time to Google them.

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I think there's a bit of looking through the eyeglass in reverse here. You can exert a lot of energy lamenting the dearth of independent people in the world -OR- you can actively pursue your goals and seek out like minded people. I have chosen the latter method and it has worked wonders for me.

I don´t exert much energy lamenting the dearth of indepencent people in the world, I have never spent much time on the subject before I wrote my posts here on the subject. And that just took some time, it did not take much energy. I do pursue goals. Unfortunately I have only found two like-minded people here in Stockholm. They are of course my best friends. I see no conflict between concentrating on pursuing goals, and feeling disgust about the people around me. The disgust does not "get me down".

If that's the case, then you are giving the impression to everyone here that you DO spend a lot of time worrying about this matter. Otherwise a lot of us wouldn't be arguing that you're better off focusing on your own values and leaving these other people to their devices.

I do have to wonder, though: why so much time and energy spent on here TALKING about these second handers? What value do YOU derive from it? A philosophical lament is to me akin to ruminating about a personal issue: it doesn't get you anywhere and people tire of it pretty quickly. There's a reason the saying 'get over it already' exists.

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As for the quotation from Harry, I do not save each day´s issue of the HBLIst, so I cannot give you an exact quote. But I do remember very clearly that just a few weeks ago, Harry wrote a long piece in which he emphasized that even in an ideal, Objectivist society, we can expect that *most* of the citizens would be second-handers. Because the primary choice to focus is not determined by external factors. Harry was adamant about that.

I saved that discussion and most HBLers disagreed with Harry including several professional philosophers and psychologists. Afterward, Harry qualified his position and seemed to soften it somewhat.

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My own parents were second-handers. They did not bother to think. It was too much effort, and entailed too much responsibility. Now, my parents were *not* malicious. They had good intentions. They wanted to promote my well-being. But they nearly got me killed. [...]

I do not think that I am applying a double standard, when I blame my parents, despite the fact that it was also my own fault that I became unhappy, since I was not independent enough to reject their ideas. At least I corrected my errors when I became older.

Good for you! I can see how much you have accomplished.

What concerns me is that the horrible early experiences with your parents hasn't just affected your evaluation of them and relationship with them, but has affected your metaphysical view of people as such in ways that seriously interfere with the enjoyment of life.

The bad news is that early experiences usually do that. The good news is that with psychological insight -- usually requiring professional assistance -- you can understand and deal with early trauma, overcome it, and finally be free of it. I know. I've done it and it was worth it.

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The bad news is that early experiences usually do that. The good news is that with psychological insight -- usually requiring professional assistance -- you can understand and deal with early trauma, overcome it, and finally be free of it. I know. I've done it and it was worth it.
I concur with Betsy. I wouldn't want to discount the effort required to emerge with a healthy sense of life. It is possible, though, and I am living proof of it, as are others who post here.

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Did you consider that your workmates could just Google you and find your real name and you saying these things about them?

Be careful Henrik... there's a reason all my accounts are under random assortments of letters and numbers :D

I don´t mind if my workmates find out these things that I am saying about them. I am not afraid of them. But I do not go out of my way to tell them that I despise most of them, since I do not want to be obnoxious.

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My own parents were second-handers. They did not bother to think. It was too much effort, and entailed too much responsibility. Now, my parents were *not* malicious. They had good intentions. They wanted to promote my well-being. But they nearly got me killed. [...]

I do not think that I am applying a double standard, when I blame my parents, despite the fact that it was also my own fault that I became unhappy, since I was not independent enough to reject their ideas. At least I corrected my errors when I became older.

Good for you! I can see how much you have accomplished.

What concerns me is that the horrible early experiences with your parents hasn't just affected your evaluation of them and relationship with them, but has affected your metaphysical view of people as such in ways that seriously interfere with the enjoyment of life.

The bad news is that early experiences usually do that. The good news is that with psychological insight -- usually requiring professional assistance -- you can understand and deal with early trauma, overcome it, and finally be free of it. I know. I've done it and it was worth it.

But I don´t think that there is anything wrong with me. I do not think that it is a mistake of mine to evaluate the second-handers the way I do, despite the fact that it is a very different evaluation than the one most people make. I believe that it is not the case that my evaluation is mistaken, but that other people, because they have not had the experiences that I had when young, do not realize the price that innocent people must be paying right now because of the depravity of the second-handers. I do not put all the blame on Kant for what my parents did, and for what second-handers in general do. The second-handers bear a large part of the responsibility also, for not bothering to find out what is wrong with the ideas extant in society today. I know that "common men" can find out, if only they try hard enough, because I did it myself, despite laboring under major handicapps.

So, in short, even though almost everyone here disagrees with me, I believe that I am right and that they are wrong. And I believe that the reason so many people are wrong, are that my valuable experiences are very unusual.

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Henrik, I believe that part of your pessimism towards other humans comes from your location more than anything else. I used to feel that way in France; a trip to the US, and living in London, went a long way towards making me more optimistic.

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