A Brave New World

R13...

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#1
I don't know if any of you guys read the Aldous Huxley book, but there's an interesting portion of the book where the world controller has a deep intellectual/philosophical conversation with the Savage (about God & religion).

For a background see here...

“Take this, for example,” he said, and in his deep voice once more began to read: “‘A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false—a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.’”
More...
“Then you think there is no God?” “No, I think there quite probably is one.” “Then why? …” Mustapha Mond checked him. “But he manifests himself in different ways to different men. In premodern times he manifested himself as the being that’s described in these books. Now …” “How does he manifest himself now?” asked the Savage. “Well, he manifests himself as an absence; as though he weren’t there at all.” “That’s your fault.” “Call it the fault of civilization. God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That’s why I have to keep these books locked up in the safe. They’re smut. People would be shocked if …” The Savage interrupted him. “But isn’t it natural to feel there’s a God?” “You might as well ask if it’s natural to do up one’s trousers with zippers,” said the Controller sarcastically. “You remind me of another of those old fellows called Bradley. He defined philosophy as the finding of bad reason for what one believes by instinct. As if one believed anything by instinct!


It's probably better that you read the book for a full background. An excellent read too.
 
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R13...

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#3
The debate that the Savage has with the world controller is whether people should have all their choices determined for them.

In the world state there's no suffering, no pain & promiscuity for example is encouraged. At the same time people have no families (thus no mourning), you can have any woman or man you want as long as their in your caste (people are pre-conditioned to only desire those of their own caste & to believe their caste is better than the others) Solitude is discouraged, people are not allowed to be alone not even for a moment. The idea is that is there's a desire then it ought to be satisfied right away. These people are trying to eliminate the gap between a desire & its fulfilment.
 

copacetic

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#4
I have read the book, AGES ago though, and I have read the excerpts. What is your point here exactly? I say this politely, I am just not entirely certain what you are saying here. :eek:
 

R13...

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#5
I have read the book, AGES ago though, and I have read the excerpts. What is your point here exactly? I say this politely, I am just not entirely certain what you are saying here. :eek:
I wonder (philosophically of course) if a such a world is better than what we have...
 

copacetic

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#6
I wonder (philosophically of course) if a such a world is better than what we have...
Well, I find it strange that you think atheists would fit well into this world. I fail to understand why people ascribe all sorts of expected bahaviour to atheists.

Anyway, I am an atheist, and I find the notion of a society such as that quite reprehensible. Why do you say:

Our atheist friends would fit quite well in the world state of brave new world.
I don't get it.
 

R13...

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#7
Well, I find it strange that you think atheists would fit well into this world. I fail to understand why people ascribe all sorts of expected bahaviour to atheists.

Anyway, I am an atheist, and I find the notion of a society such as that quite reprehensible. Why do you say:



I don't get it.
That comment was probably ill considered on my part...:eek:
 

Geriatrix

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#8
I read the book. It was alright, not worth the hype though. If I remember correctly, after societies exposure to some of the savages ideas the people went murderous and sadistic. Hmmm.
 

R13...

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#9
I read the book. It was alright, not worth the hype though. If I remember correctly, after societies exposure to some of the savages ideas the people went murderous and sadistic. Hmmm.
Only when the savage threw away their soma, but they got subdued with more soma... It's the conversation between Mustapha & John that's really interesting.
I mean why do we need families, love, solitude...? Surely that's what drives people to look for a deeper meaning?

A friend once called me and asked if there's more to life, he'd achieved all he could, was happily married, good job & he wanted to know if there was more.
 

Geriatrix

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#11
Only when the savage threw away their soma, but they got subdued with more soma... It's the conversation between Mustapha & John that's really interesting.
I mean why do we need families, love, solitude...? Surely that's what drives people to look for a deeper meaning?
We're herd animals, we need a pack! :p :D

A friend once called me and asked if there's more to life, he'd achieved all he could, was happily married, good job & he wanted to know if there was more.
Yep. When people live in relative ease and have their basic needs met they tend to get an existential crisis. I've got family who became religions because of it and I've got some friends who left religion because of it. People deal with it differently.
 

alloytoo

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#12
We're herd animals, we need a pack! :p :D
An interesting observation, in our world atheists tend go contary to the herd mentality, they tend toward independant thinking, whereas in Brave New World religion hasn't been no much stamped out but squeezed out.

If you consider God a cigarette, the people of Brave New World are perminantly nicotine patched, not non-smokers.

It appears to be a common theist mistake to lump the patchers (instant gratification generation) with the non-smokers and assume that the Camel ad will appeal to both.
 

Geriatrix

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#13
An interesting observation, in our world atheists tend go contary to the herd mentality, they tend toward independant thinking, whereas in Brave New World religion hasn't been no much stamped out but squeezed out.
All herds have their rambunctious members. Its what brings in new behaviors which might lead to better environmental adaptions for the whole group later on. Without rambunctiousness there will be no progress and the herd would stale out. And a stale herd in a changing environment would lead to disaster.

If you consider God a cigarette, the people of Brave New World are perminantly nicotine patched, not non-smokers.

It appears to be a common theist mistake to lump the patchers (instant gratification generation) with the non-smokers and assume that the Camel ad will appeal to both.
Interesting comparison.
 

alloytoo

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#14
All herds have their rambunctious members. Its what brings in new behaviors which might lead to better environmental adaptions for the whole group later on. Without rambunctiousness there will be no progress and the herd would stale out. And a stale herd in a changing environment would lead to disaster.


Interesting comparison.
I thought so :p
 

Vanilla Sky

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#15
We find no god, therefore god exists. Wow.
I think that line implies that God is inevitable. Meaning, whoever is on top of the chain is God. For example, Obama is the most powerful and influential person on this planet putting him on top of the food chain. If there is no other God then he would default to a God.

Although, if this were true, I'd imagine there to be a president of the universe that we don't know about.
 

alloytoo

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#16
I think that line implies that God is inevitable. Meaning, whoever is on top of the chain is God. For example, Obama is the most powerful and influential person on this planet putting him on top of the food chain. If there is no other God then he would default to a God.

Although, if this were true, I'd imagine there to be a president of the universe that we don't know about.
Zaphod?
 
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