21 December 2012

Short exposition on the decline of society in the US

With the latest school shooting in Connecticut, I've decided to cast my lens of knowledge upon just what the heck is wrong with the US as I see it. Oh good, here comes a nutjob rant. But not really.

Factor one is the news media. Here they are only willing to report on sensationalized "news", stuff that can be quickly spoon fed to the viewing audience and then discarded. The news is becoming 140 words, stuttering for sake of reporting. Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other as Israel continues to be an army of occupation. Bahrain is detaining and executing its own citizens who are trying to effect change. Yet this real news is just passing thought in the US news media. In their estimation, most Americans do not care what happens elsewhere in the world and would in fact prefer to hear the latest "news" about D-List celebrities. 

Factor two are social websites. Oh the horror of calling them out. As the world "shrinks" due to technological advances, people are becoming more isolated even though they are becoming more "social" online. What things like Facebook and the ilk offer are places for like-minded individuals to come together, and that is not a wrong thing. But, to borrow from Rorty's private language schema, groups who maintain a public facade are able to find other private-minded individuals who share their same beliefs. And that is where the true danger starts. While I am not calling for censorship, I am making clear that social media is a contributor to violence. Undeniably. 

Factor three is what I call the electronic babysitter. Twenty years ago it was just the television (and cable tv). Here in our present though it is the Wii, xbox, Netflix, Ninjafruit, iPads, ... The job of parenting has been outsourced to bits and bytes. While a child learns that an M-16 is an effective weapon against zombies, they are not learning the importance of eating vegetables, or why REM sleep is necessary for proper brain function. 

Factor four are the reality shows. But of course they do not involve any true form of reality. But what they do is implant the idea that no matter how screwed up a person is, or lazy, or conniving,  there is a good chance someone will pay them money to film it. Reality tv is like passing an accident on the freeway. You do not want to look but feel compelled. But that is where the similarity ends. Reality tv feeds entitlement. And that leads us to my final factor.

Five - 'merica. We laugh at sites like "People of Walmart" and others such as that. We spend hours adding captions to cat pictures. We expect our government to give us stuff, no matter the political leaning. In 'merica stuff just comes to us because we deserve it and if we don't get it we are pissed off. We are seeing a decline in life expectancy, a decline in worldwide educational standing, and yet we argue whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to use the word "marriage" to describe their coupling. 

Add any combination of the five factors together and it is not hard to see why children are grabbing guns and killing other children. Why men alone in cabins are gathering fertilizer and explosives together and driving them to federal buildings. Why there is a general malaise in this country in regards to virtually every topic that was once vitally important.

We, as Americans, are failing each other and ourselves. We have lost our integrity.

02 December 2012

Does sex just feel good or is it objectification of others?

Without a doubt, sex is a physical act, one acted upon every second of each day by a myriad of creatures. Being human, we feel this "necessity" to pare it down to some sort of Davidsonian act, an act that needs the subconscious motivations explained. But do we?

In its simplest form, two (or more) beings engage in coitus. The base desire is procreation. It is something that is encoded in all known dna from elephants to amoebas. We couple with another, and not necessarily with a differing sex, because our genetics tell us we need to do so. Even Spock had to (Star Trek bonus points).

Being advanced creatures with few peers, or so we think, should we be above base instincts? Should we deny the animal within? And if we do not, why do we not?

Kant had the idea that sex was a degradation of human nature, a "necessary evil" almost. We participated because it was our nature to do so. To follow that line, one that could avoid having sex would be a more enlightened being. Hence chastity amongst religious sectors. In a nutshell, we have sex because we can't avoid it.

Davidson would argue (and Haack as well) that our need for sexual coupling may have nothing to do at all with fulfilling sexual need, but emotional ones or even naricissistic ones. We have sex because it appeases something other than a base instinct, from boredom to dominance of another.

Person 'A' finds person 'B' attractive. A's hormones begin to work against him/her and compel one to approach B for the sole intent of coupling. B accepts because of the same hormone reaction. What follows afterwards is not part of the sexual experience. It is the act itself that matters, the one that is in question.

In its simplest form, sexual congress is the conjoining of at least 2 individuals/creatures for the sole purpose of attempting to procreate. Whether that happens or not is moot. It is the act itself that matters. And it is in that act that Davidsonian/Pessimistic arguments fall to the wayside. Procreation overrules all other base desires.

As example, one finds another attractive. A to B. A has a subconscious reaction that causes A to desire to procreate, subconscious or not. What follows has nothing to do with the act itself. A may rape B or go home an masturbate or even have sex with C while thinking of B. In the end, the desire to attempt to procreate is satisfied.

In the end, as long as the desire to procreate is satisfied objectification of others and such is an extension of that desire and one that can be parsed from it. It is a perversion or sexual diet that while dependent upon procreation, uses it only as its initial source motivation. We have initially have sex because we want to create children. What follows once the clothes are removed can be entirely different.