Think for yourself, question authority.

There aren’t many people these days that don’t question authority. Authority is questioned every way til Sunday these days. But what that exposes is the masses questioning becomes nonsensical, comical, down right ridiculous at times. Perhaps the masses shouldn’t think for themselves. Perhaps they only question authority or at least pretend to question authority, because of this motto that now runs deep through American psyche, at least in action. The government is the least trusted institution since sliced bread. Of course, sliced bread lost all trustworthiness when we realized that … uh, wait that’s the acid kicking in.

Ok of course they questioning authority is very popular. It wasn’t really always that way, back in good ole USA it seemed the government for the most part was doing the right thing by us and whatever the president said, well, the president said. He’s our leader, we must obey him. Wasn’t that the sentiment in the early 20th century and a little beyond?

The question now is, do the masses have the ability to think for themselves? Even when “authority” - at least the authority of thinking for themselves, questioning authority has spread like fad through the population… Now everyone’s opinion is heard on the internet… And they still herd up in sheep like flocks. So can this population that is diseased with confirmation bias actually think for themselves? No of course not… even their contrarian viewpoints are now herded up on production lines and spewed out to them by infotainment news sources. Conspiracy theories thrive these days. A population educated on ignorance and assumptions, is what we have. The masses are speaking, and they are very, very stupid.

You are one of the masses.

Well aren’t we all. But that’s beside the point.

No, it is exactly the point.

Individuals that are more isolated are better at questioning the status quo. Of course there can be small groups of people exchanging ideas, as with groups conversing with other groups. The mass conditioning that’s been going on for a long time is a major impediment to the masses being able to critically think. Another thing to entertain is that relying too much on the opinions of others, within the masses, can also be stiffling to free thought.

Fine, we should all do what we can of course, but the question transcends little old me and you, or anyone else in this forum. It is about the general population. Can the general population be relied upon to think for themselves? Do they need more control? Less control?

It is important indeed to realize that we are “masses” when we speak about “the masses”. Maybe it is also important to think about whether one is speaking from the masses within oneself, the conditioning of oneself, too, when one is speaking.

It can be very difficult, it seems to me, in my plethora of experiences, to know when originality, autonomy, and so forth is speaking out of me, and not rather learned behavior, indoctrination, and therefore, “authority”.

What is authority? Besides the fact of individuals in positions of relative degrees of power, such as the president, and police officers, and parents, and so on. Can one identify the masses within oneself? The authority within oneself? The president, the police officer, the news anchor, within oneself? Can one see it? Can one speak free of it?

Because even when we speak from the perspective of a rebel, aren’t we still merely echoing the the thoughts of the authorities of the rebel? So in order to question authority, it seems to me, we have to find out what authority means not just outside of ourselves, but what authority means within ourselves, so we can identify it, and maybe give ourselves an opportunity to speak about authority independent of authority, all authority. And that means speaking free of conditioning, and of course that is very, very, very difficult. Because even the language we are speaking in is a conditioning.

What I do is accommodate a diversity of opinion on a variety of subject matter without necessarily making any value judgement. This has the advantage
of making me open to positions I may not hold myself. Though nowadays I am more interested in simply seeing how others think rather than formulating
my own rigid world view. I find that even with things I think or know to be true that I am becoming less emotional in respect of them. I put this down to
favouring logic over emotion as a tool of understanding. And to the fact too that life is temporary but death is permanent so having fixed opinions set in
stone is somewhat superfluous. So I learn for the sake of learning. But I want to know as much as I can for knowledge acquisition is my major goal in life

First question; no. People who are terribly concerned with ‘thinking for themselves’ are never going to be satisfied with what the general population is up to, since the whole reason they believe themsleves to be ‘thinking for themselves’ is their own defiance of the status quo. So this resentment of the masses and scolding them for being stupid will always be with us- it is the reflection of one’s sense of superiority to them.

Do they need more/less control? Need it for what end? There are all sorts of social reforms that will probably never happen on their own, and if you are in favor of those reforms, then yeah, the only way you’re going to get them is by controlling the shit out of the masses. That doesn’t mean that the reforms are necessarily good, or that the people wanting to change things are right.

How old are you, may I ask?

But don’t you think certain cultures have at least more or less culture? What about, even the 90’s, albeit there may be some romanticism… But things were different then. People were making efforts to accept each other. Through those efforts, we learned we were not ready.

On your second response… To your ends… To your desires

I am fifty one. But my age is only one of the reasons why I think the way I do. The other is my psychology. I am
a loner and the advantage of that is I have no one influencing my thinking process. So there is no peer pressure
on me to think a certain way since I can think however I wish without consequence. Being a loner means I have
more time to myself to think and so can see that I am just passing through and that nothing matters in the end
As I already said this acceptance allows me to see things from a more logical and so less emotional perspective

We are beings literally made of emotions. Would you rather be a Computer or the words on the page of a book about computers? Or perhaps you would rather be a song that is never heard?

We are not just emotional beings but logical ones too. I myself find a logical perspective to be
preferable to an emotional one. Though to each their own as this is not something set in stone

You’re gonna have to tell me what you mean by ‘culture’ in that second sense before I can answer that.

So…are you trying to say that ‘thinking for yourself’ is necessarily a synonym for tolerance, acceptance, and all that shit? If not, I really don’t see what this has to do with anything I said.

No. People don’t need to be controlled for my ends.

EDIT: Boy, this thread turned into a bunch of crazy rambling quick.

We are not “literally made of emotions”. And computers are made by us, the homo sapiens. Do you know what the word “sapiens” means?

Excellent thread WWIII. I like to take it one more step, think for yourself and destroy all authority. :smiley:

Now, history has shown us that most revolutions or radical change comes from organized small minorities of individuals.

I always tell people if you’re ever expecting the majority of stupid sheople to get off their lazy complacent asses you’ll be greatly disappointed. This is why I don’t care about a majority of people. They’re worthless and useless cattle. Fuck’em.

Uccisore is a part of the exceptional chosen. He was blessed and ordained by Ayn Rand herself right before she died.

What is authority? Centralized power.

Social reforms? Well, there’s a terminology that is amusing. I have another terminology to add with your concept of social reforms, epic failure.