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Invisibleorechron
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Cynicism
    #4412992 - 07/16/05 11:08 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

What are you thoughts on cynicism and cynics? What do you consider a cynic to be? There seems be be a prevailing attitude in our society that being cynical is a bad thing. I can recall countless times when I've related an experience or news article to a friend or relative and as far as I can reason any of these tellings are judged to be cynical if self-interest, greed, lying, cheating, or what have you is shown to exist in what is generally considered to be a good person or organization.

This has baffled me for years. Why is acknowledging that not everything we may wish to be true may not necessarily be true so horribly difficult? Of course a cynical approach may be used to excess but to deny its usefulness in the pursuit of truth seems horribly vain and idealistic.


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Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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InvisibleFucknuckle
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4413029 - 07/16/05 11:18 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Ok this may seem like an ignorant question and it is.

Please explain the definition of " Being a Cynic "

What is Cynicism ?

I have a good idea but before I engage in this discussion. I want to be very clear about this subject.


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What it is, is what it is my Brother.
It is as it is, so suffer thru it.


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Cynicism [Re: Fucknuckle]
    #4413043 - 07/16/05 11:22 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

For the sake of argument let's use the modern definition of cynicism found on wikipedia.

Nowadays the word generally describes, somewhat pejoratively, the opinions of those inclined to disbelieve in human sincerity, in virtue, or in altruism: individuals who maintain that only self-interest motivates human behavior. A modern cynic typically has a highly contemptuous attitude towards social norms, especially those which serve more of a ritualistic purpose than a practical one, and will tend to dismiss a substantial proportion of popular beliefs, conventional morality and accepted wisdom as irrelevant or obsolete nonsense.

While my own take on the idea tends to be more on the classical side I believe this is the definition most commonly used on this forum when a poster is referred to as a cynic.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4413046 - 07/16/05 11:23 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Being cynical is part of a healthy lifestyle. :grin: Nothing wrong there. It's when you forget the word "part" that problems arise. To be a proper cynic one must leave his personal bias aside. Not an easy thing to do. And it behooves one to remember that they don't have all the "facts", because the facts are not all in. :grin: :mushroom2:


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"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleFucknuckle
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Re: Cynicism [Re: Icelander]
    #4413108 - 07/16/05 11:42 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

OK what I get out of that is pretty much what I thought.

Yes I think that to a certain degree it is healthy and gives a person a balanced outlook.

But I also think that it steams from a lack of understanding. As in " since I don't get it I'll just pass it off as unrealistic "
or " It didn't work for me so it can't be true "

What I don't get is why is a Cynical approach to an idea have to be so judge mental. I suppose that a person would have to be judgmental to be Cynical. It would seem it goes hand in hand

IS there a balanced Cynic ? Can a person be quick to say it ain't so without really investigating ?


The part of Cynicism I have a hard time with. Is the ignorant Cynic.


I think all real truthful exploration of anything must start from a certain degree of Cynicism. This is one path to real truth.



But there are another group of Cynics......... The ones who are so unable to trust in anything or anyone they have no choice but to be destructive to others. I don't think these people do it on purpose. It is the fact they have no real grasp on what can happen if they let it.


Anyway..........Cynicism has it's place if one is to be honest. But as with many emotional context one must be very careful. Cynicism can be like a sword to another's soul.


But a true Cynic could care less about anothers soul. They perceive others not to have one and a Cynic is not responsible for anothers feelings.

Hurt feelings are the feelers problem


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What it is, is what it is my Brother.
It is as it is, so suffer thru it.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4413148 - 07/16/05 11:51 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I see cynicism, as a negative view. Having a realistic view is healthy, but having an unrealistic view based on negative misconceptions (cynicism) is unhealthy.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Cynicism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4413258 - 07/17/05 12:27 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

"A Cynic is a spy who aims to discover what things are friendly or hostile to man; after making accurate observations, he then comes back and reports the truth."
-Epictetus

I see cynicism, as a negative view. Having a realistic view is healthy, but having an unrealistic view based on negative misconceptions (cynicism) is unhealthy.

Hue, could you expand on that? Calling cynicism an unrealistic view based on negative misconceptions and an unhealthy one at that seems presumptive to me, especially when that is not demonstrated. \


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4413284 - 07/17/05 12:35 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Here is a collection of definitions:
"1. Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others: a cynical dismissal of the politician's promise to reform the campaign finance system.
2. Selfishly or callously calculating: showed a cynical disregard for the safety of his troops in his efforts to advance his reputation.
3. Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness: a cynical view of the average voter's intelligence.
4. Expressing jaded or scornful skepticism or negativity: cynical laughter."
You see cynicism is a wantonly negative view. This means that it is negative in reflection of the attittude of the cynic. That makes it an unrealistic view because it is based on irrational emotions. A realistic view is seeing thing for what they are the positive AND the negative.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Cynicism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4413370 - 07/17/05 01:08 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

You're putting words in my mouth there.

A cynical view does not necessitate seeing all things in a negative light but rather seeing all things as being potentially negative.

Another definition of a cynic
1. An idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision.

Rather than answer my questions your definitions only further my point about the rather ambiguous state of cynicism in modern times. Instead of picking and choosing what definitions support your position would you actually expand upon what you had said? Perhaps an example? According to the modern wikipedia definition, which in my opinion is nearly neutral in its treatment of cynical thought, you are incorrectly attempting to discredit the idea by calling it an emotional response while simultaneously suggesting it to be cold and calculating.

It seems to me that you are confusing a cynical use of skepticism with negativity when it yields unfavorable results and then attempting to causally imply this discovery as a shortcoming of the discoverer

As an aside regarding the 3rd definition:
What if the average voter is my intellectual inferior?


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Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4413842 - 07/17/05 03:12 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

"Critics of cynics often regard cynicism as a form of nihilism and as damaging to the function of life. Cynics often regard those critics as the nihilists."

Heh.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4414245 - 07/17/05 11:10 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

"Rather than answer my questions your definitions only further my point about the rather ambiguous state of cynicism in modern times."

Those definitions were from a dictionary and they are not my own. I am merely forming my opinion on the actual definition of the word. I am not placing words in anybodys mouth, but my own. You asked what our thoughts on cynicism are....so I stated mine. It is not a positon of disagreement, it is only a position.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4414775 - 07/17/05 02:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

The thing about cynicism is that it results from experience. People don't wake up one day and say out of the blue, "I've decided I'm no longer gonna trust people. Today I become a cynic." It's not really a position taken by choice but rather forced on someone by experience. So although it's nice to give people the benefit of doubt, that's a bit difficult to do when their experience has told them time and time again that people will act primarily in their own self-interest. I see cynicism as a healthy part of that wall that people build around themselves in order not to get hurt. If you're not at least partly cynical people will take advantage of you. This is guaranteed.

Hmmm that reads a bit cynical eh?  :grin:


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Cynicism vs running smoothly on faith or previous laurels [Re: moog]
    #4414794 - 07/17/05 02:56 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

check your expectations and check again
and if it is an investment of measure
do it again,

check check double check again if it is a major issue.

cynicism like that, for the purpose of verification, has great value.

cynicism from outside happens from your friends, if you have neglected to ask the right questions yourself, at an important juncture in our life.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Cynicism [Re: orechron]
    #4422554 - 07/19/05 09:50 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

perhaps a cynic is one who only believes that there's selfishness
perhaps an idealist believes that people are benevolent when it doesn't help them to be

altruism and selfishness

to be realistic, they both exist.

i'd like to say: never one without the other. ...in what way is that true?


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"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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