Is ignorance the cause of all tragedies?
Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:51 PM
Although we can strive to overcome our ignorance to some extent , it is a path that takes all our lifespan, a path of personal growth were there is no end. Maybe one day the tragedies that plague humanity like poverty and discrimination will be things of the past as we achieve harmony in our collective existence.
So what do you think about the origin of all tragedies? Do you agree or think about other causes? Please share your thoughts about the matter.
Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:14 AM
Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:26 AM
I don't think it's a very likely hypothesis, though I can't say it's impossible. Put simply, omniscience is not necessarily the same as omnipotence; knowing everything there is to know is not necessarily the same as being capable of doing anything or everything relevant to averting tragedies.
The tragedies in our lives are the consequence of our ignorance, and thinking that part of the human essence is it as part of our imperfection, we are destined to suffer.
A couple conclusions I've come to as a result:
-If impossibilities in the general sense exist, then even if you can do everything possible, you won't be able to do anything impossible, and perhaps some tragedies will be impossible to avert.
-Even if it is impossible to avert any given tragedy, it may be impossible even for the collective of humanity to avert all tragedies - optimization with constraints that results in a choice between different maximizations and minimizations may result.
Perspective is a huge issue here; perhaps a tragedy in your life was the consequence of your ignorance, but the consequence of my knowledge of how to take advantage of you, creating a tragedy for you and a benefit for me. If you were granted knowledge of my knowledge to the extent of being able to prevent me taking advantage of you, then that might in turn be a tragedy for me, even if I was not ignorant of your knowledge of my knowledge of you and my desire to take advantage of you (and so on and so forth). I could rephrase this a million different ways, but I think you get my basic point: knowledge may not bring about an end to opposition, and opposition seems to be an important force in suffering, which is what you seem to be focusing on rather than tragedy.
The tragedies in our lives are the consequence of our ignorance,
Death seems to be generally recognized as a tragedy, and from some viewpoints seems inevitable not only for all living things, but for life itself. If this is true, knowing that death is inevitable and true will likely be a completely random influence on whether people suffer or not; some might be tortured by their fading mortality, some may be relieved at the eventual escape from existence. In that sense, I suspect some quote about ignorance being a blessing and/or a curse is pretty reasonable.
I believe there are many more ways to poke large holes in this argument, but I think I'd like to start there; furthermore, again, the quote from Socrates would be appreciated (or, clear definitions of "suffer," "ignorance" and "tragedy" as meant here).
Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:03 AM
Furthermore, Nietzsche adds that said "sins" that Socrates mentions are the cause of tragedy. So by simple comparison: if sins cause tragedy and Ignorance causes sins, then ignorance causes tragedy.
Another point is the "suffering" , from my point of view It is completely intrinsic of human nature. There is no suffering outside of man. In consequence, it is born from us. Natural phenomena (defining phenomena as all possible occurrences within its own axis that intersects the plane of time, creating the actual events that happens in existence) can not be considered as cause for our suffering, nor blessings from a divine entity. They are void of human meaning and only are what they are.
In that context death is just a natural phenomena and can not cause suffering, but humans beget poverty , so it could be considered a real cause. Moreover I interpret suffer as the metaphysical feeling that brings spiritual or moral pain, not of flesh.
Finally, "tragedy" defined by Nietzsche is the child begotten by Apollinian and Dionysian art.
Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:16 AM
Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:41 AM
Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:08 PM
That said, it depends on what you define as a modern tragedy. At least, the modern uses of the word. I will say this: in terms of human error, ignorance is a huge issue. In terms of financial messes, it is ignorance and ignoring the past. Causes of wars and in particular disasters are ignorance. The giant messes in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were caused by complete ignorance of the culture and mentalities of the Middle East, as well as human nature. When you invade a country, for whatever reason, the local people will be pissed because you are interfering in their own affairs. This has occurred again and again throughout history, and no one learns this most basic lesson. This is the cause of the lingering animosity within Japanese culture towards the United States. Code Geass is a revised version of WWII with Japan as the victim and non-aggressor with the USA analogue as the obvious villain who destroy the historical culture. This is from one of the few examples in history of a country-wide reconstruction done correctly. I attribute this to Emperor Hirohito announcing the surrender and allowing the Japanese people to accept what happened. The cultural leader of the country allowed the initial hatred to be tempered, but it is still there. In that light, how are our values in the USA going to be enforced in the Middle East? I doubt they will. As a lover of history, I doubt the USA's efforts in the middle East will succeed.
As another note, this is one of the core reasons why Isreal is despised by every other country in the Middle East. Isreal is, by proxy, seen as the evidence of Western countries interfering in the lives of Middle-Eastern people. It is the symbol of it, and one of the reasons there is so much hatred.
The problem is people like staying ignorant. They don't want their views challenged that much, and want promises of easy answers. Nothing in life is ever really easy, and fighting ignorance is nigh impossible. Just look at the hatred towards Islam in the United States. Many Americans do not bother to try and understand what Islam is actually like. Many Americans do not want to understand the Islamic culture, the history of Islam, the triumphs and failures of Muslim Nations throughout history, or how efforts by Islamic scholars shaped Western culture. It is easier to see all Muslims as "Terrorists" or "Evil" than look at the community as a whole who want the same things most Christians want. They want to be left alone, they do not want other people interfering with their holy sites, they want food and shelter for their families, they want to follow their religion without being persecuted. All of these things are the same desires of most Christians. As a Catholic, how would you feel if some Jewish/Muslim/Buddhist/Hindu group took over and occupied the Vatican or Rome? You would, understandably, be pissed. This happened back in 1095. It led to one of the worst cases of religious warfare in human history, called the Crusades. The same principle applies today.
People just want to stay ignorant and believe easy answers are the solution. Changing this is just not going to happen.
Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:05 AM
If people don't help you when you are among them and you are in need, that is cowardy and bitchery. Easy as that.
Ignorance makes people evil and evil people are what the world is mostly made of. Few or much evil into you always makes you evil. And if you show that usually against others, directly or not, then you're a villain, wether small of big.
Edited by marcus90, 14 August 2012 - 07:06 AM.
Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:59 AM
I think that one point to become a wise person is trying to know a bit of everything that surround our life, trying to comprehend a bit those who are different from us, so we can prevent tragedies like social conflicts from religious to political matters.
Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:46 PM
Environment causes tragedy in the sense that they result in unfortunate occurrences that simply cannot be stopped. For example, if there is a tornado, then it cannot be stopped and it results in various tragedies, such as the death of many and the razing of property.
As for humanity's reason for tragedy, I would say it has three more sub-categories: mental illness, conflicting goals, and, indeed, ignorance.
Mental illness covers the unfortunate occurrences that are the result of people with pure malice in their hearts--those people are not well in the head as proven by their nature. Psychotic serial killers cause tragedy simply for a purpose that is only comprehending by their minds and those like them: enjoyment, hatred, or some other base reason.
Conflicting goals is what I'd label as the most common human source of tragedy. I can think of three primary cases where this comes into play: romance, economy, and war. In romance, it could be about two people wanting the same person and ultimately that means one or both of them will walk away with a loss; in economy, it could be two companies wanting complete monopoly on their market, which will cause them to combat each other and compete for the highest sales and profit; in war, it could be caused by a want of territory (Alexander the Great) or religious credo (the war in Irag), but generally the other side's purpose is defense... and it will almost always result in one side losing, except in the case where peace is declared. The reason I label conflicting goals as the most common is it is the one most likely to cause at least one party to suffer as a result. It's also most common because humanity is usually perfectly aware that they're causing misfortune to the opposing side, but they go for their own goals anyway.
Ignorance, too, occurs. But it gets confusing because one could bend each of these three causes to seem to be the one that is the root of the tragedy. For example, Hitler wanted to eradicate all Jews. He could be considered mentally ill (which seems likely, being able to murder all of those people without remorse), one could consider it to be conflicting goals of his beliefs versus those of the Jews, or it could be ignorance in that he simply doesn't understand the standpoint of the Jews and instead wishes to destroy them.
But the causes don't have to be mutually exclusive. So in the end, I'd say tragedy is usually a combination between conflicting goals and ignorance, although sometimes it can include mental illness.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:38 PM
In order to stop humanity tragedies, we need both at the same time.Still, omniscience =/= omnipotence, but in that case I believe tragedies become mere acidents.
Other tragedies, such as environmental ones, are difficult to be stopped, and they oftenly don't depend on humans to happen (hurricanes, for example). I think sickness caused by plagues could also be applied here. In the end, it depends a lot of what kind of tragedy we are talking about.
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