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Why care what others think?

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blankslate
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Posted 12/18/08 - 12:30 AM:
Subject: Why care what others think?
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions. This got me thinking about a slightly correlating subject though- many people like to insert their opinion on subjects (like hopefully you will do) and converse, interact, and relate with others. Why do people care about others' opinions?
Spindlework
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Posted 12/18/08 - 1:24 AM:

blankslate wrote:
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions. This got me thinking about a slightly correlating subject though- many people like to insert their opinion on subjects (like hopefully you will do) and converse, interact, and relate with others. Why do people care about others' opinions?

We are all vaults holding the summation of our experience and the thought processes subsequent, and yet the amount of experience one individual holds is infinitesimal next to the sum of human experience. Experience shapes and polishes the "lens" of our perspective, if you'll forgive a clumsy metaphor; everyone's lens is shaped differently, ranging from subtle differences to the extreme, and there is a different perception in each despite an identical focus. Through the vessel of communication, and/or specifically opinions if you will, we can gain insight into these differences and be one step closer to the zenith of clarity that is the wisdom and mastery of existence--the only thing we have, in my opinion smiling face Open your vault and let me look at the jewels within ... through my loupe of course.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 12/18/08 - 4:13 AM:

We are social beings.
We need eachother, not just emotionally, but physically: We make our own lives better by the graces of others. It has always been like that, but in recent times the level of organisation in our society has gone up exponentially. I'm not sure if we're entirely adapted to that yet.
e.
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Posted 12/18/08 - 5:12 AM:

blankslate wrote:
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions. This got me thinking about a slightly correlating subject though- many people like to insert their opinion on subjects (like hopefully you will do) and converse, interact, and relate with others. Why do people care about others' opinions?


Blank,

Caring about other's opinions can be debilitating if we take it too far, which many people do. A few years ago, people in my world were always saying "How was it for you?" after every social encounter. It became a bit of a joke.

Maybe we can care for each other without caring too much about opinions, except of course that everyone is entitled to have them.

That's my opinion. smiling face

e.
libertygrl
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Posted 12/18/08 - 1:15 PM:

praxis posted an interesting study not too long ago in the thought crimes thread:

www.age-of-the-sage.org/psy...ocial/asch_conformity.html

my thoughts were that the results of this study suggest a biological conditioning stemming from thousands of years of situations in which the individual was forced to depend on the group literally for his or her life. smoki's above response touches on this as well.

of course, along the line of e's thoughts, caring what people think is not necessarily the same as conformity (although i agree that for many it is). rather, we can care about a person's opinion in the interest of getting to know them better. this kind of caring serves the spirit of exploration (and love).

on a related note. in her book for your own good: hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence, alice miller talks about the natural tendency we have to use the admiration we receive from others as a foundation for our self-esteem. this is especially common of course in romantic relationships. problems arise when the relationship dissolves, or when the individual is not consistently exposed to admiration. miller draws the conclusion then that the most solid foundation one can build for one's self-esteem is rooted in the trait of sincerity, or "when self-esteem is based on the authenticity of one's own feelings". to put it simply, be honest with yourself and others, and feel good about knowing that you are. this authenticity is a trait that is not dependent on how you look, or what you have achieved in the last week. it's a solid thing to rely on, no matter what happens in your relationships which may come or go. i thought this was great advice.

how about you, blankslate, what are your thoughts on the topic? and your thoughts on locke's conclusion, if i may ask?

smiling facelib
Spindlework
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Posted 12/18/08 - 2:17 PM:

blankslate wrote:
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions.


Emotions are too fundamental. For instance, the desire to learn how to paint is an emotion. What exactly would a purely logic-driven existence consist of? What is logical or optimal is fantastically subjective and is the crux of countless philosophical debates. I can see very specific situations where emotions would be unnecessary responses, though as a sort of comprehensive philosophy I see no merit. In poker for example, it is all too common to make the correct decision (a winning play) and still be the victim of statistical variance and lose; often this results in the "victim" reacting with negative emotion. Getting cut off on the highway comes to mind as well. Emotions are essential, but using them wisely is what's important, in my opinion.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 12/18/08 - 11:52 PM:

History shows again, again, again that opinion can be fortified with power to the detriment of a minority.

The Nazi's had terrible opinions.
Two words: Religious Dogma.

Edited by Nihil Loc on 12/18/08 - 11:57 PM
e.
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Posted 12/19/08 - 4:28 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
miller draws the conclusion then that the most solid foundation one can build for one's self-esteem is rooted in the trait of sincerity, or "when self-esteem is based on the authenticity of one's own feelings".
smiling facelib


Lib,

In Martin Buber's "I and Thou" Buber talks about the sincerity that occurs when people understand each other and (as E.M. Forster said) - connect.

It is very disappointing when we are dealing with a person who is insincere and hides it well. Much of the world's miseries come from this mischevious mindset, and it certainly does test our own self esteem when we are hoodwinked in this way. Buber's point is that the best authenticity is reciprocal.

Maybe an insincere parent would be the apotheosis of failure in this regard.

e.

PS - I am reminded that being drawn into debate by an internet Troll is a good example of the above. There is a point when we realise it is a troll, and for myself I just feel glad that the troll isn't me. Guess that is my self esteem kicking in. smiling face


smokinpristiformis
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Posted 12/19/08 - 8:28 AM:

There is no rational basis for the world's greatest inventions.
Something truly original does not show up on the statistical charts, simply because it hasn't occured before.
e.
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Posted 12/20/08 - 4:28 AM:

havohej wrote:
In this case we are using a cinematic experience to show us a version of our world, a version as we would like to see it, one that embodies our own values, desires and mores, one that is not just a mere recreation of physical reality in our own image.


Hav,

I saw a photo of myself yesterday, taken incognito by my daughter. I didn't look the way I expected, and the photo didn't represent me as I had imagined myself to be. Guess I have been walking around in a construct, but maybe we all do that, individually and in groups?

Getting back to the OP. It seems my opinion of myself was wrong, and it upset me a bit. I would have wanted other's opinions to confirm my opinion of myself, but even I couldn't confirm my opinion of myself!

e.


Edited by e. on 12/20/08 - 4:44 AM
""SOG""
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Posted 12/27/08 - 12:13 AM:

I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions. This got me thinking about a slightly correlating subject though- many people like to insert their opinion on subjects (like hopefully you will do) and converse, interact, and relate with others. Why do people care about others' opinions?
_________________________________________________________________________
Humans are always finding ways to make others recognize them. Why? Because the human always wants to be proud. Proud of what they have, are, and what they're not. Thus they listen to others to adjust themselves to fit-in with the rest of society, be it a movie or how they look.
e.
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Posted 01/02/09 - 4:40 AM:

""SOG"" wrote:
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions. This got me thinking about a slightly correlating subject though- many people like to insert their opinion on subjects (like hopefully you will do) and converse, interact, and relate with others. Why do people care about others' opinions?
_________________________________________________________________________
Humans are always finding ways to make others recognize them. Why? Because the human always wants to be proud. Proud of what they have, are, and what they're not. Thus they listen to others to adjust themselves to fit-in with the rest of society, be it a movie or how they look.


SOG,

That's true. Think how we feel when we tell someone about an achievement and they rubbish it.

Also, think how much we like a person if they complement us on something we have done or how we look.

e.


Zum
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Posted 01/24/09 - 1:40 AM:

Hi, this is Zum. Seems to me the term "care about" is awfully ambiguous. I care about opinions I disagree with--the disagreement matters to me; the more strongly I disagree, the more I care. If I think the opinions are dangerous and that the opinion-holder has the power to carry them out, I care a lot. If I respect someone who expresses an opinion on a topic I haven't made up my mind about, I carefully examine his or her opinion. If I want to be accepted by someone, I have an investment in that person's opinion of me: the care follows from the desire as an emotional entailment. And so forth.
Morgena
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Posted 01/24/09 - 10:25 AM:

@ blankslate, I have had long thoughts about the same issue, and today I think that I found the right answer for it all.

As you surely do know, most people do have moral values which does influence their way they think of certain things, and everybody does value his own moral way of thinking, which not seldom leads to hate, discriminations and a lack of tolerance or even fear.

I’m afraid; everybody has to find his own way of how to deal with those people wink


Zum
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Posted 01/24/09 - 7:47 PM:

Another point is that in a society as impacted as this one is--especially in the cities--other people and their thoughts ARE the environment. So considered, it's clear why one cares about them. One prefers a clean, spiffy, sweet-smelling environment near ponds or the ocean, with polite temperatures, to an odoriferous dump always too hot or too cold--unless, of course, the second environment has serious compensatory stuff to offer. In the same way, I suppose, one generally prefers to step outside into an environment of friendliness and pleasant interaction. This would be an environment in which on is well-thought-of...

A "minority" person who has lived with discrimination would not ask why one cares what people think, if "people" refers to the ones with the power. Such a person might inquire instead why people are not more rational in their thoughts.
henry quirk
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Posted 01/26/09 - 12:52 PM:

'Why care what others think?'

other than my own idiosyncratic (usually pragmatic) reasons: i can't imagine why i should
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Posted 02/07/09 - 1:36 AM:

Why care what others think? It's part of being a team player, a good worker. If you don't care what others think, you're going to really make an ass of yourself. People don't like to hire uncooperative people because they only think for themselves and care little for others. A person who does not consider others is called inconsiderate, another term which is synonymous, with "Unemployed."
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Posted 02/07/09 - 8:43 AM:

davidlahiff wrote:
Why care what others think? It's part of being a team player, a good worker. If you don't care what others think, you're going to really make an ass of yourself. People don't like to hire uncooperative people because they only think for themselves and care little for others. A person who does not consider others is called inconsiderate, another term which is synonymous, with "Unemployed."



Just another pragmatic reason, no? smiling face
henry quirk
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Posted 02/07/09 - 3:36 PM:

'Why care what others think? It's part of being a team player, a good worker.'

that may be the case for you, david, but i self-employ

as for being a team player (a cog): what's the value in that?

speaking only for myself: i see none

as for being a good worker: i do all right by myself, for myself...so: why do i need to give a damn about the opinions of others?


'If you don't care what others think, you're going to really make an ass of yourself.'

that's a possibility, not a given...keeping one's own counsel doesn't automatically lead to outrageous behavior or expression

in fact: in my experience, not giving a damn about anyone else's opinion generally leads to a quiet life

-----

'Just another pragmatic reason, no?'

indeed!

if one is mired in someone else's river of shit, then -- yeah -- one will have to 'play nice'

since i'm hanging out on the river bank: screw that noise... --henry
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Posted 02/09/09 - 5:13 PM:

I don't care what others 'think', only what they DO. Their thoughts are their own, for good or bad, right or wrong. As long as they stay in their head where they belong, others can think whatever their little hearts desire.


davidlahiff wrote:

Why care what others think? It's part of being a team player, a good worker. If you don't care what others think, you're going to really make an ass of yourself.


In who's eyes? 'Others'? Who cares?

Self-worth ought not hinge on the vain opinions of this faceless mass of 'others' and their group-mind.


davidlahiff wrote:

People don't like to hire uncooperative people because they only think for themselves and care little for others.


There is a HUGE difference between people who 'only think for themselves' and 'only think OF themselves'. The latter are usually called egoists, while the former are called free-thinkers. These former are the same people that build the social institutions that create the opportunities for the mindless masses to congeal their opinions into one homogeneous blob and force them upon those who for lack of malaise refuse to accept the law and judgment of others uncritically.

Which is rather paradoxical.


davidlahiff wrote:

A person who does not consider others is called inconsiderate, another term which is synonymous, with "Unemployed."


Or 'self-employed' as the case may be. Let's not neglect the quite obvious fact that the most manipulative people on the earth are those that are constantly 'thinking of others'. If they did not 'think of others' then they wouldn't be able to leverage those others to do things that are beneficial them and their personal goals.

8)
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Posted 02/15/09 - 9:36 PM:

That is why I feel the animals are lucky, for they need not think as they can't.

As long as we can think and as long as coexistence is mandatory for our existence and upliftment, we ought to care to think and also care what others think? BUT ONLY AS LONG.

Now how do we describe those who are perceived as those who do not care what others think? A Dictator? Surely he thinks only about his existence and hence coexistence is on his terms and that is why he does not care.

A mad man? a selfish man? antisocial? or perhaps GOD? Only these can afford not to care what others think, always. For the others even if we can do it once in a while at a risk, it is common sense that it is not feasible in this system created and managed by humans.




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Posted 02/15/09 - 10:51 PM:

hi vijay, welcome smiling face
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Posted 03/04/09 - 6:21 AM:

blankslate wrote:
I was recently thinking about Locke's conclusion that because events that are going to happen happen, it is unnecessary to react to them with emotions.


locke was putting it mildly. extending his argument should reveal that because events that are going to happen happen, (no one is bothered by the tautology there?) it is unnecessary to do anything at all. i don't know why he decided to pick on emotions. if emotions serve no purpose, what purpose does thought or action serve?

they are our driving force. this isn't to say that hunger is an emotion necessarily, but it is like emotion. locke doesn't seem to be interested in biology or in our process of thinking. he simply dismisses it with a flowery way of saying "why bother?"

any argument supporting action or simple curiousity ought to vindicate emotion as well. emotions can get out of control, just as we can lose control of anything that serves a purpose. if he's honest, he'll admit that emotion drove him to ask the question, i'm sure he doesn't see it that way. what he's done is what nihilists do, they conclude that if you can't determine the point of something, (life) then there isn't one. but it also means there's no point in the question or the answer.

opinions are information that help us understand each other, communicate, and interact. caring too much makes us doormats ripe for exploitation, while caring too little... it's easy to see what that does to people. opinions are related to sentiment, sentiment to emotions, and the false premise that he seems to operate on is that emotions can be separated from thought and thought will still function. but to answer his tautology (if there's no point, why bother?) with a tautology, we have emotions so that we don't become sociopathic. we consider each other's opinions for the same reason we care about each other, and each other's feelings.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 03/04/09 - 7:51 AM:

related to this subject: google - 'the monkeysphere' (cracked, 2005)
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Posted 03/04/09 - 12:24 PM:

vijay077 wrote:

That is why I feel the animals are lucky, for they need not think as they can't.


Non-human animals can't think?

What exactly are you describing by the word 'think' here?

Non-human animals are sentient, they react to situations, are dynamic, adaptive, can problem solve, some can make and use tools, they can communicate with each other, and so on.

Anything human beings possess, other animals possess to in a greater or lesser degree. And we can find analogues for practically all the same behavioural patterns in human and non-human social groups.


vijay077 wrote:

Now how do we describe those who are perceived as those who do not care what others think?


Free human beings.


Again, thoughts are personal. In the social sphere only actions matter. I don't and should not care if my neighbours hate me, so long as they don't prevent me from living my life, so long as they don't violate my rights, my freedom, or my happiness.

Worrying what others think and how others judge is the foundation of neurosis. Judge not lest ye be judged, it is said. In other words, think what you will, but it's not your business to judge others. And if I am not judged by others, then what they think is irrelevant to me.

8)
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