Are we as a society mean and selfish?

  • easterndude69

    Posts: 632

    Feb 24, 2013 11:15 PM GMT
    People generally think of myself as a nice guy, but I've been thinking about how I've been treating certain people, and I'm honestly not sure I can think of myself as such. I've been thinking about how even so-called nice people are still mean to certain people. Some people who think they are good people are those who discriminate against other people that they label as a group like the "druggies" or "alcoholics". Even "good" people laugh at others who fail or pick on those who are inferior. Even I sometimes pick on those who I feel are inferior to me. We all laugh at the losers and dumb people. While it's generally frowned upon to judge someone based on race, orientation, religion, gender, what about the other types of people like weird people, awkward people, nerds, geeks, etc. who are commonly picked on? Even people who think they are "nice" still pick on those who they feel are "weird" or "abnormal" or "awkward".

    While it's not really brought up, what about when someone is in need? Most of us either ridicule him or just walk by as if it doesn't matter to us. It's true that it's our discretion as to who we help or if we help someone in need. When someone is being bullied, most people just join in or walk by or ignore it as it doesn't pertain to them. Most people won't help others outside their own circle of friends/family. I felt bad one time when one of my friend's roommates was being picked on for being really weird and awkward by a lot of people on his floor(and all his roommates including my friend who didn't like him). He didn't do anything wrong to anyone, but people just didn't like him. His own roommate(the one who shares a room with him) hates him with a burning passion. Although I didn't really like him either, I still thought it was wrong for them to pick on him like that as he prob had an issue that stemmed from his childhood or adolescence. I knew that from what he told me he was pretty sheltered so I didn't think it was entirely his fault that he was that way. Alas, some argued that there was no reason to feel bad for him since he wasn't working to improve himself.

    Even the people who are not as socially accepted who have found their own group(like the group of rejects or nerds) can still be mean as they are usually the ones who laugh at stupid people or who think of the popular people as losers since they may think drinking and partying is only what losers do. In other words, they develop their own superiority complex. In fact, every group does this whether they are socially accepted or not.

    What do you think? Are we mean and selfish as a society, or are we only human?
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Feb 24, 2013 11:21 PM GMT
    You know what the says about assume don't you?

    It makes an 'ass' of 'u' and 'me'
  • easterndude69

    Posts: 632

    Feb 24, 2013 11:27 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidYou know what the says about assume don't you?

    It makes an 'ass' of 'u' and 'me'


    Well, some of this I've realized from personal experience I didn't assume everything but it does seem prevalent at least where I've been.
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    Feb 25, 2013 12:10 AM GMT
    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/
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    Feb 25, 2013 12:30 AM GMT
    That's the problem with society... We inherently label people as groups. If everyone were blind then we would become a peaceful, loving and productive nation. People want to be judged as what society wants them to be (which is ingrained in their culture). The problem with that is you can be perceived as fake and you'll lose your sanity eventually.
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    Feb 25, 2013 12:33 AM GMT
    Great a thread attacking assholes! What's next, I can't urinate on homeless people? Kick puppies? I mean c'mon! icon_biggrin.gif
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Feb 25, 2013 2:20 AM GMT
    Wow great post!. I really had to look at my own behaviour and I realized I'm guilty of making fun of people at work who are pissing everyone else off too, or idiots.

    Even idiots are a minority, as we are. They have rights too.

    No I'm not joking.
  • easterndude69

    Posts: 632

    Feb 25, 2013 2:57 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidWow great post!. I really had to look at my own behaviour and I realized I'm guilty of making fun of people at work who are pissing everyone else off too, or idiots.

    Even idiots are a minority, as we are. They have rights too.

    No I'm not joking.


    Yeah, but it's easy to get caught up in laughing at others cause we normally accept it in our society. I'm not saying we can NEVER laugh at anyone, but there's a difference between picking on someone in a harmful way to demean them than teasing someone just to mess around but in a friendly manner. But even "idiots" can be good people too. A lack of intelligence or knowledge doesn't necessarily mean we should hate on them. I have a few friends who may not be the smartest, but I still love em the same. Some "stupid" people do try to learn and increase their knowledge.
  • easterndude69

    Posts: 632

    Feb 25, 2013 3:03 AM GMT
    ven_detta saidThat's the problem with society... We inherently label people as groups. If everyone were blind then we would become a peaceful, loving and productive nation. People want to be judged as what society wants them to be (which is ingrained in their culture). The problem with that is you can be perceived as fake and you'll lose your sanity eventually.


    I agree. I'm trying to break away from the construct as much as possible. Alas, it's no easy task esp being a young college student at a school where ppl act like they're in high school as it's a small university with less than 6,000 kids. We habitually categorize other people based on how we see them. It's been how we have behaved in society for generations.
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    Feb 25, 2013 3:10 AM GMT
    There have been times in my life where I've seen such cruelty, it made me question our species. But then, we all share things like mercy and grace. And that's redeeming enough.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 25, 2013 3:17 AM GMT
    In a society where ensuring we have the latest fashion and gadgets is more important than a child dying from malnutrition, violence, or disease every three seconds, you're damn right we're in a selfish society.
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    Feb 25, 2013 3:48 AM GMT
    Sure, why not? icon_neutral.gif
  • BmwKid92

    Posts: 1097

    Feb 25, 2013 3:59 AM GMT
    intimidating paragraph, some1 put i didnt read gif on here
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    Feb 25, 2013 4:02 AM GMT
    As a society, I don't think so, because it contains a mixture of both good and bad people and when we begin to judge something it always looks small and inferior to us...

    people group and categorize other people who they feel inferior to them because they are judging them and the same thing can be applied on 'considering whole society as mean and selfish'.

    My point is that we can do great things together when we stop judging ourselves and people around us, and making fun out of it...
    as long as people don't accept this fact they are living like a 'frog in a well' Never want to come outside of the well but thinking that the well in which the frog is living is the only world that exists and the world outside the well is a mere illusion

    “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    I didn't put the quote because it was told by Mother Teresa, but because it is the truth.
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    Feb 25, 2013 4:07 AM GMT
    Hurt people hurt people. And there are a lot of hurt people out there who also tend to be loudmouths.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Feb 25, 2013 4:16 AM GMT
    Yes.

    Worlds wealthiest 16 percent uses 80 percent of natural resources.
    In the U.S. alone, says Emily Matthews of the World Resources Institute, every man, woman and child is responsible for the consumption of about 25 tons of raw materials each year.

    Americans, while making up only four percent of the worlds population, operate one third of its automobiles. U.S. citizens consume one quarter of the worlds global energy supply.


    Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy.
    On average, one American consumes as much energy as

    2 Japanese

    6 Mexicans

    13 Chinese

    31 Indians

    128 Bangladeshis

    307 Tanzanians

    370 Ethiopians
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 25, 2013 4:27 AM GMT
    we are absolutely selfish and often mean
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    Feb 25, 2013 5:07 AM GMT
    From 2011...
    https://www.cafonline.org/publications/2011-publications/world-giving-index-2011.aspx
    "The USA is currently the world's most giving nation"

    As of 2012...
    https://www.cafonline.org/PDF/WorldGivingIndex2012WEB.pdf
    "The high levels of involvement in the three giving behaviours in Australia mean that this country sits at the top of the World Giving Index this year."

    Following shows the breakdowns for 2012...

    2012-giving-top-20-Resized_zps41a6a282.j

    5-year-giving-top-20-as-of-_zpsf5852d28.

    top-10-helping-a-stranger-R_zpsb56ea624.

    top-10-helping-stranger-by-_zpse1a0b680.

    top-10-number-of-people-don_zps202b7f02.

    top-10-volunteer-time-by-po_zps7fc9ae84.
  • pharmstudent

    Posts: 162

    Feb 25, 2013 5:17 AM GMT
    Even mother Theresa is not as altruistic as you may think- she's selfish like the rest of us...she knew her merits will take her to Heaven and awards her to be a Saint. If you really think about it every action and decision you make is pretty much based on your survival needs first.
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    Feb 25, 2013 5:19 AM GMT
    I suggest reading Atlas Shrugged.
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    Feb 25, 2013 5:26 AM GMT
    There is a saying that is I believe from scripture.Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.For all the evil and coldness and cruelty in the world there is so much more love,kindness and compassion.icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 25, 2013 5:52 AM GMT
    pharmstudent saidEven mother Theresa is not as altruistic as you may think- she's selfish like the rest of us...she knew her merits will take her to Heaven and awards her to be a Saint. If you really think about it every action and decision you make is pretty much based on your survival needs first.


    Try telling that to the soldier who threw himself on a grenade to save the men in his unit. I wonder how much time he had in reacting to first consider his reward.

    But also, within the Mahayana branch of Buddhism are considered Bodhisattva who forgo nirvana for themselves in favor of helping others off the wheel.

    Thus it is written in the Abhisamayalankara that ""because of realization one does not remain in samsara, because of compassion one does not remain in peace."

    The motivation for helping others in this sense derives not from any promised reward but simply as a function of the arising of compassion.
  • Kairr

    Posts: 239

    Feb 25, 2013 5:59 AM GMT
    was the data relative to the number of population though.

    egoist here btw
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    Feb 25, 2013 6:01 AM GMT
    pharmstudent saidEven mother Theresa is not as altruistic as you may think- she's selfish like the rest of us...she knew her merits will take her to Heaven and awards her to be a Saint. If you really think about it every action and decision you make is pretty much based on your survival needs first.



    Survival needs! that's what cave men and barbarians do, not us!
    we are way ahead of them & and we live in cities not in small social groups...

    and your comment about Mother Teresa, I wish you to know more about her...then you'll definitely change your opinion...
    She is one of the living examples who showed to the world the real power of love.
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    Feb 25, 2013 6:58 AM GMT
    Kairr saidwas the data relative to the number of population though.

    egoist here btw


    As I recently supplied some data I'll presume your post references mine?

    Then being egoist, you'll understand my not doing further work for you gratis but in my compassion for you in your request, I kindly refer you to the links already provided where you'll find for yourself their methodology.