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Posted by Baldur on Tuesday, October 06 2020 at 07:13:56AM
In reply to ♡♡ THIS IS THE ANSWER EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR ♡♡♡ posted by Children First! on Monday, September 28 2020 at 0:19:25PM

Thank you for introducing these subjects. I have many ideas in common with you, but also some differences of opinion. I think you should at least consider some other viewpoints.

1. "Putting children first" - on the one hand seems a noble idea, but it isn't necessarily. One of the examples commonly understood is known to people who have flown on commercial airlines: in the event of cabin depressurization adults are to put their own oxygen masks on first, in order to ensure that they retain consciousness long enough to make sure any children traveling with them are also taken care of. If they put the mask on their child first, they might not have time to put their own mask on before losing consciousness, and eventually die due to a lack of oxygen, thus depriving their child of a caregiver - but also a young child might squirm out of their mask even if it is put on properly, and without a conscious adult to help them both may die.

Along the same lines, historically men ate first because they had to maintain their strength, and it was their strength which ensured the survival of their whole family. It was men who did the hardest labor of producing or acquiring food, and if they weakened and were unable to perform this labor everyone else would fail with them. After men came women, and only after all the laborers were fed was it time to feed the children. In hard times the family could thus survive. Even if sometimes the children died of hunger, the adults could produce more children in better times and the family as a whole could survive.

I know this sounds harsh, but this is the reality of life in a world without modern technology. The choices made did not mean that adults did not value and love their children - it just meant that they understood that there would be no children without their parents, and that sacrificing adults for the sake of children would be no kindness to children if they were left without any means to survive.

It is also worth noting that many of our culture's problems stem from the "cult of childhood" that was initiated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which promotes a false idea of childhood "innocence" which is ultimately most harmful to children themselves.

Likewise, we should remember that caring about children also means caring about the culture they will enter as adults, and their lives as adults. Giving children everything they might want as children bears the risk of setting them up to fail as adults - and that is not compassionate at all.

Incidentally, the lower life expectancy in the past is an average life expectancy. Life expectancy was lower primarily due to high infant mortality - that is, high mortality among children, particularly under the age of 5. Those who reached adulthood were about as likely to reach old age as we are now. The Bible gives the expected lifespan as 70.

2. I know that there are some pathologies within our current system that is commonly called capitalism, but it is important to bear in mind a few points.

First, what we have is not really free market capitalism, but a type of mercantilism. In other words, it is rigged, with numerous protectionist laws that impede new participants from fully engaging in the system, and thereby preventing many of the innovations which allow us to do more with less and thereby improve the human condition.

Second, historically our capitalist system was moderated by social and cultural institutions that promoted a community feeling and encouraged people to look out for one another. Neither the capitalist system nor any other economic system can work without that feeling of community and without people looking out for one another. I have talked to many people who grew up in communist countries, and they have told me how the reality worked - that people became even more selfish and cared even less for their fellow citizens within that authoritarian economic framework. Those attitudes became so fixed in those cultures that even now, thirty years after the fall of those governments, social researchers find that the people in those countries are more selfish than those in traditionally "capitalist" countries.

(Dissident, no offense to you, but I am speaking about how communism has always been implemented in practice at a national scale, not how it might be practiced voluntarily at a small scale by people who know and care about each other.)

Third, despite the many problems in our capitalist societies, they have still done far more to improve the human condition than any societies with other economic systems have done. One of the key points is that those seeking profit through voluntary exchange can only succeed if they actually meet the needs of those they seek to profit from, whereas in authoritarian systems those seeking profits do not have to care about the opinions of others.

Incidentally, if you think that capitalism leads to environmental degradation, you might want to look at the environmental degradation under non-capitalist systems. There's a reason why the most capitalist societies today also tend to have the cleanest and healthiest environments. The only environmental advantage that some other systems have is that once millions of people are dead nature can reclaim some of the places they lived.

3. As for social nudity - I have no problem with nudism and think it has many benefits, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary either - especially as an everyday affair. You make some good points about the effects of having no exposure to nudity, but that is primarily a North American thing. In most cultures around the world there are socially accepted opportunities to see the opposite sex naked, and those cultures do not seem to have the same problems that we see in North America. In parts of northern Europe this might happen in saunas where friends and family gather together in the nude, and in other places it might take the form of communal baths or something else. My impression is that this even includes very conservative Islamic cultures, where thanks to large families children at least have the opportunity of seeing some of their younger relatives nude.

I think a big part of the problem in North America is that we gradually changed from having large, extended families where children would naturally see some of their siblings, cousins, or nieces and nephews nude, to an extreme form of the nuclear family in which many American children can grow to adulthood without having seen anyone of the opposite sex naked. I do agree that in its extreme form this is absolutely pathological.

I am time-constrained at the moment, so I will stop with those points, but I do hope that you will consider the contrary experiences that some of the others here have had.


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