Michael - art and narrow-mindedness: I often wonder why there are not more people who will agree with you on art. If you look at someone like Albert Einstein, he said that he would favor a society in which people would develop their artistic and scientific talents and potential. In other words, he equated art with science in terms of its relevance and importance. I don't know if he just said that to avoid conflict with people who love art, but I think probably not. Then there are people like Orson Scott Card, who say that the only purpose of art is to try to change the world around us. So he writes various science fiction stories to do this. I suppose one could make a case that some art helps propagate human values, point out social injustice, etc., but everything that art teaches is based on the assumption that happiness is the goal of life. I doubt that art will be very effective or very relevant in teaching anything besides that.
You seem to be very rare in standing against art and happiness. If that is the case, then I wonder what your plans are for life? I know you are still young, but do you know roughly what you plan to be doing? Part of the reason I ask is that I'm trying to see if you are interested in collaborating on goals to actually change this society.
If you have a few ideas you'd like to add to the site, you can always send them to me. If you have a lot of ideas, you can create a whole separate page, which helps to gain more exposure.
I think there are equal reasons to choose the word narrow-minded versus open-minded. I chose narrow-minded because society thinks that it is good to be open-minded, but obviously that type of open-mindedness that people are in favor of isn't doing much good. An open-minded person would say that you are being narrow-minded because you are trying to criticize art and being happy, just because you don't understand it. To him being open means to accept other people's ideas as being valid for them personally, even if you personally disagree. We can try to redefine what the word open-minded means and say we're open-minded, or we can redefine what the word narrow-minded means and say we're narrow-minded. I think being narrow is an accurate description in some ways because there are millions of ideas out there and we're trying to ignore those that are irrelevant, whereas an open-minded person would be overwhelmed by the large number of ideas and end up regarding them all as equally valid, whether it's religion, art, or science.
Candidate - goals on life: In your e mail you asked what my goals for life were. My answer is, i dont know. I would probobly like to hve a job that I dont have to work very hard, but still pays a decent amount of money. I would like to find a way to change socitey, but in this stage of my life I think it would be most wise to simply defy everything that society tells me is acceptable and later try to actually change this society that we all live in.
The other day in school my English teacher assigned the class an essay for us to write about something that makes us happy. I was confused by this question so I told my teacher that I couldnt answer that question. I asked her to define what she meant by being happy. Her answer was "something that makes you feel good". She could not explain it any further. I concluded that it is just discouraging to argue with these kind of people and I was wondering If you have any ideas for what I should say to people who think this way. It is discouraging to have people ridicule me for something an dnot be able to convince them the way you have convinced me.
I think philosophy is very important. I belive that if we dont waste our time on such things as art, fun, and physical activities, and spend more time inside our own heads, then we can conclude just how meaningless society is. This of course is not conformist and therefore meaningless philosophy, but real philosophy.
Michael - Re: goals on life: If I was assigned an essay to write about something that makes me happy, I would probably just interpret the assignment as "write about anything". Nobody can prove that what you wrote about isn't what makes you happy, especially if you argue that it does in the essay. So I think I would write the essay in a way that best proves the pointlessness of being happy. The thesis could be something like "it makes me happy when I think about how I have realized the pointlessness of being happy, and how I won't waste any more time with various activities that society makes us believe are necessary to lead a happy life".
It would be nice if there was a way you could verbally demonstrate to the teacher the pointlessness of the assignment. I never had the conversational skill myself to do this, but it might be possible. One problem that is especially difficult to overcome is that it takes a lot of time to think of convincing arguments to prove people wrong. I suppose one could say something like "by giving us this assignment you are implicitly promoting this society's ideology, which states that individual happiness is the goal of life. Why, for example, do you not assign us an essay, telling us to write about something that makes us feel hatred? Because you are trying to encourage and make us feel that happiness is a good thing, and hatred is a bad thing. When looked at objectively, however, both are just human emotions and neither can be said to be superior."
I don't think I have the skill to make up something like that in a real situation, but at least it seems theoretically possible to make the teacher and the rest of the class look stupid by articulating a contradicting point of view.
By the way, every Saturday at 9am (PDT) and 12noon (EDT), we hold a conference in a chat room. There are up to four of us right now who attend this, and we talk about various topics, usually focusing around how to change society. If you're interested, I can give you the details on how to join us. Just let me know.
Candidate - arguing with people: Thank you for the ideas. Untill I figure out an effective argument to our cause i have decided to just avoid talking to people about the subject, no matter how hard it is to keep quiet when people throw their lives away to society.
I was wondering, do you have any heroes or idols? I want to know if anyone is even worth looking up to. Some of mine right now are Malcom X, Muhammad Ali ( not for his boxing skill but more for resist the draft) and Mumia Abu-Jamal. I am interested in hearing your response on this question.
I am of course interested in the saturday meetings and would like to have more details on how to join them.
Michael - Re: arguing with people: Today's Saturday meeting was postponed until tomorrow at noon EDT, 9am PDT. All you have to do is ... [went on to explain technical details on how to join]
I do not have or ever had a true idol in the past. I have studied how a few of the great historical figures (Einstein, Hitler, Kant, and a few others) have lived their lives, but I didn't look up to them.
A few more e-mails were exchanged in which the candidate briefly expressed interest in attending the conferences, but he stopped communicating without ever attending a conference.