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Thread: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Ideologies are belief systems based on some observations or acts of faith which are designed to help organise the observed and chaotic world in which we live using a scaffolding-schema to filter and make sense of what is going on around us. In that sense ideologies are useful and legitimate tools for comprehending the complex world around us.

    The danger comes when adherence to an ideology becomes so strong that it disables reason and empathy in the follower and then makes that follower intolerant or even potentially hostile to other ideologies or points of view. Worse still is when that adherence to one ideological position blinds a follower to even considering contradictory facts which call into question the basic tenets of the cherished ideology. That's when the trouble really starts and societal gulfs form between various ideological factions leading to inter-factional enmity, kulturkampf and potential violence. That is the illegitimate facet of the tool of ideology.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    No, that is the fatal flaw of the person who has no idea of the ideology apart from what he has been told about it.
    Ideology is not an illusion, it is a discussion point. Somewhere to begin thinking about certain ideas.

    It is the person who becomes a fanatic about an ideology and will only treat it as if it is gospel, never to be changed or tampered with that the ideology then becomes something bad.
    You are making my case stronger. Ideology is all about rigid thinking, otherwise it is no longer an ideology.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilroddy View Post
    Ideologies are belief systems based on some observations or acts of faith which are designed to help organise the observed and chaotic world in which we live using a scaffolding-schema to filter and make sense of what is going on around us. In that sense ideologies are useful and legitimate tools for comprehending the complex world around us.

    The danger comes when adherence to an ideology becomes so strong that it disables reason and empathy in the follower and then makes that follower intolerant or even potentially hostile to other ideologies or points of view. Worse still is when that adherence to one ideological position blinds a follower to even considering contradictory facts which call into question the basic tenets of the cherished ideology. That's when the trouble really starts and societal gulfs form between various ideological factions leading to inter-factional enmity, kulturkampf and potential violence. That is the illegitimate facet of the tool of ideology.

    Cheers.
    Evilroddy.
    Ideology is a tool best not used at all.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    You are making my case stronger. Ideology is all about rigid thinking, otherwise it is no longer an ideology.
    It can be. But that is the fault of the thinker, not the ideology. You might as well blame the hammer for the users sore thumb.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    It depends on your relationship with that ideology. If you identify with an ideology because others of that ideology happen to share a lot of your views, that is fine. But if you identify with an ideology and then turn to others of that ideology to see how you should think and believe, then that is wrong.
    Formerly BrewerBob

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    It can be. But that is the fault of the thinker, not the ideology. You might as well blame the hammer for the users sore thumb.
    A hammer is a limited purpose tool. An ideology is something entirely different. It requires belief in a set of ideas which may or may not match up with reality. It is entirely subjective and attempts to reduce complex reality to a particular point of view. The hammer makes no claims of being a screwdriver.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    A hammer is a limited purpose tool. An ideology is something entirely different. It requires belief in a set of ideas which may or may not match up with reality. It is entirely subjective and attempts to reduce complex reality to a particular point of view. The hammer makes no claims of being a screwdriver.
    The analogy represented using something badly rather than the extent to which it can be used.

    One does not have ideologies of reality, one has theories of reality. Understanding of gravity becomes a theory of gravity, not an ideology of gravity.

    Ideology is subjective and it is supposed to be flexible in order to accommodate the presence of reality. But when used badly it turns into a zealous belief system.

    Ideology does not require a belief in any ideas, It requires a willingness to look at ideas in a positive way. But again to many use it to look at things in a bad way. The example of the right wing conservatives here who insist upon thinking up the most stupidest way of doing socialism and then insisting it has to be done that way.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    The analogy represented using something badly rather than the extent to which it can be used.

    One does not have ideologies of reality, one has theories of reality. Understanding of gravity becomes a theory of gravity, not an ideology of gravity.

    Ideology is subjective and it is supposed to be flexible in order to accommodate the presence of reality. But when used badly it turns into a zealous belief system.

    Ideology does not require a belief in any ideas, It requires a willingness to look at ideas in a positive way. But again to many use it to look at things in a bad way. The example of the right wing conservatives here who insist upon thinking up the most stupidest way of doing socialism and then insisting it has to be done that way.
    Ideologies are subjective; gravity is not. Once an ideology becomes flexible, it is no longer an ideology, unless you call pragmatism an ideology.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    Ideology is a tool best not used at all.
    devildavid:

    I value and respect the implied suspicion of ideologies which I detect in your cautionary advice and I support your implied reticence to dependence on others' ideologies without critical review and a willingness to set ideology aside at a certain point in life. However human use of ideologies may be unavoidable, based on our past performance as a species. Ideologies are tools, the use of which may be unavoidable, given the human organism's need to make its own sense out of a world which does not function on and defies any sensible principles usually. They probably can't be avoided and are if used properly a useful stepping-stone towards gaining enough personal understanding (albeit an ersatz and thoroughly bio--centric understanding) to begin to analyse the chaotic interpersonal and societal currents churning around us. As long as ideology is subservient to reason and empathy, it is fine.

    The moment ideology becomes dominant and the ideological adherent submits uncritically to the tenets of the ideology without reasonable review and basic human empathy is when the ideology derails the human's quest for understanding and replaces it with slavish supplication to an external code of thought and implied behaviour. Human's have the gift of the capacity of reason bestowed upon them by chance or divine providence and they must use that reason as best they can to make their way through life. They also have the capacity for empathy which acts as a buffer to temper extremism, fundamentalism and misbehaviour in a social context. Ideology, as a useful stepping-stone, allows human's to develop their own mental schema by borrowing from others' until each rational and sane human can stand on their own and supplant others' ideologies with their own reason-based understanding tempered by empathy. Of course this does not apply to irrational or insane humans but does apply to the majority of us, most of the time.

    Cheers.
    Evilroddy.
    Last edited by Evilroddy; 05-16-18 at 07:02 PM.

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    Re: Do ideologies do more harm than good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilroddy View Post
    devildavid:

    I value and respect the implied suspicion of ideologies which I detect in your cautionary advice and I support your implied reticence to dependence on others' ideologies without critical review and a willingness to set ideology aside at a certain point in life. However human use of ideologies may be unavoidable, based on our past performance as a species. Ideologies are tools, the use of which may be unavoidable, given the human organism's need to make its own sense out of a world which does not function on and defies any sensible principles usually. They probably can't be avoided and are if used properly a useful stepping-stone towards gaining enough personal understanding (albeit an ersatz and thoroughly bio--centric understanding) to begin to analyse the chaotic interpersonal and societal currents churning around us. As long as ideology is subservient to reason and empathy, it is fine.

    The moment ideology becomes dominant and the ideological adherent submits uncritically to the tenets of the ideology without reasonable review and basic human empathy is when the ideology derails the human's quest for understanding and replaces it with slavish supplication to an external code of thought and implied behaviour. Human's have the gift of the capacity of reason bestowed upon them by chance or divine providence and they must use that reason as best they can to make their way through life. They also have the capacity for empathy which acts as a buffer to temper extremism, fundamentalism and misbehaviour in a social context. Ideology, as a useful stepping-stone, allows human's to develop their own mental schema by borrowing from others' until each rational and sane human can stand on their own and supplant others' ideologies with their own reason-based understanding tempered by empathy. Of course this does not apply to irrational or insane humans but does apply to the majority of us, most of the time.

    Cheers.
    Evilroddy.
    I think the dangers far outweigh any perceived benefits. But most people don't really understand or embrace specific ideologies. Ideology is normally the tool of those in power, used as a tool to keep order. it is normally implemented crudely and in broad strokes, so as not to confuse people. Mostly it is used to appeal to emotions, and not to be examined too deeply.
    Remember Bowling Green! Remember Atlanta! Remember Sweden!

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