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Atheist Social Network?
#51

Atheist Social Network?
(09-14-2021, 09:46 AM)trdsf Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 07:47 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 07:20 AM)trdsf Wrote: Meh.  I'm better suited to an antisocial network.
I wonder if you mean more like a "non-social" network..  "Anti-social" seems a bit mean for you.
You might be surprised.  I have quite a misanthropic streak that probably comes from the severe bullying of my school years (back when it was the victim's fault for "not standing up for himself" rather than the bully's fault for being a sociopathic little shit), though I make an effort to not let it control me.

But the actual truth is no, generally speaking I really don't like people much -- I like individuals, but as a group humans are disappointing compared to what they're capable of.
Completely agree.
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#52

Atheist Social Network?
(09-19-2021, 05:24 PM)mordant Wrote:
(09-14-2021, 09:46 AM)trdsf Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 07:47 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I wonder if you mean more like a "non-social" network..  "Anti-social" seems a bit mean for you.
You might be surprised.  I have quite a misanthropic streak that probably comes from the severe bullying of my school years (back when it was the victim's fault for "not standing up for himself" rather than the bully's fault for being a sociopathic little shit), though I make an effort to not let it control me.

But the actual truth is no, generally speaking I really don't like people much -- I like individuals, but as a group humans are disappointing compared to what they're capable of.
Completely agree.

Me too.
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#53

Atheist Social Network?
(09-16-2021, 06:45 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I was a small kid in high school and there were a couple of bullies.  Actually, the major school bullies even left me alone.  I went through school rather quietly.  They had bigger fish to fry, so to speak.  But one minor bully noticed me.  He didn't actually start a fight, but he had an underling and got HIM to bother me.  Not much came of it.  He surprised me with a punch in the gym locker and I hit him back a bit harder.  End of "fight".

There was another though who really bothered me.  I could never figure out why.  He had a habitred (learned through experience I suppose) to only threaten me when I was wearing a backpack full of schoolbooks (harder to fight then).  I declined all offers of fight, knowing that the moment I went to take off the backpack, he and his friend (they always need support) would attack. I didn't even know his name or why he was picking at me.

Then one night in a cold November high school football game, I was sitting in the stands with my younger brother.  I hate coffee, but I got a cup just to keep my hands warm.  Guess who popped up next to me?  The bully.  I told him to go away.  He splashed the paper cup of coffee into my face.  I'm physically peaceful, but I broke.   And I don't recall much of it.  But from what was described by others later, I screamed "I'm gonna kill you, kid"  (really I didn't even know his name).

Apparently, I grabbed him and tossed him down several layers of the bleacher seats and was pounding his head on a lower one when they pulled us apart.  I "came to" quickly. One of the people who separated us was a favorite teacher of mine and he was shocked at my action!  I just broke down into tears at my actions.

On the other hand, I never saw that kid again.  Either someone realized that he was a real problem or he just avoided me I'll never know.  Sometimes things are arranged by adults and you never know exactly how.  Or why.  All I know is that no one in high school ever bothered me again (and some bullies could have, being bigger and a lot stronger than me).

I learned to "avoid" conflicts.  I got better at it later so long it it was non-physical.  

Now as to "generally speaking I really don't like people much -- I like individuals, but as a group humans are disappointing compared to what they're capable of" ...  We seem to be opposite in that regard.  I have great hope for humanity in general, but I don't like most individual ones very much.

I keep in mind that 1/2 of individual humans are dumber than average, and that "average" is not especially impressive.  I come here for the more thoughtful types.  

I expect that "humanity" will continue for a long time (in spite of bombs and differences).  I expect we will last a good long time "somehow".  But damn sometimes I sure think 90% of us are useless.  But I sure like "humanity" more than "individuals"... Facepalm
In these matters, so much turns on perception rather than reality.

I was a pretty compliant kid, quietly studious, etc. Sometime in the sixth grade some little asshat targeted me for bullying and was harassing me physically while we stood in line waiting for the bell to admit us to the building. Like you, I "broke" and went after him, which was all the more impressive since basically 100% of the other kids assumed I didn't have it in me. Through some total trick of balance combined doubtless with adrenaline, I managed to flip him over my head as if I were a martial arts expert and he came crashing down on his back. I did not even look to see how he was, I just quietly went back to my place in line and ignored him. Like your bully, he never acosted me again. Bullies are always cowards, and I had simply made the risk of messing with me too great. I was no longer weak in his eyes. Plus, he now had something to live down.

But this wasn't my only such encounter.

Another time some kid was following me home and hurling verbal abuse at me. I endured it for a time, then turned on him and whatever expression was on my face stopped him in its tracks. I said words to the effect that he was a worthless piece of shit and less than nothing. I recall using the specific term "swine" which is not a word I would ever use in any context, it just came to me. He stared at me a second and then started crying. He continued to follow me, but now he was begging me to forgive him. I don't recall the final resolution to that ... I was probably too pissed to let him off the hook, so I'm sorry to say I wasn't big or compassionate about it. And I'm not sure to this day that I should have been. Sometimes you have to sit with the consequences of your actions in order to learn from them. I showed him what my view of him was, that his words had consequences for his reputation, and maybe he needed to suffer with that for a time in order for it to sink in.

So ... sometimes they are just thugs who understand only force; sometimes they are acting out in ways even they don't understand and just aren't their best selves and arguably deserve some compassion -- they might even be turned into friends or at least allies.

My last story is less about bullies than about popularity, which influences who chooses to bully you, or whether they choose to. We had a gun safety class in 7th grade (it was a rural school district) and each of us got to shoot skeets. Three each. Most missed them all, a few hit one, I got the first two out of three. After that, to my amazement (because WTF did it matter?!) everyone was in awe of me. I was thereafter known as "Bullet". Alas, this only protected me for another couple of years because it was null and void when I got to High School.

As to individuals vs humanity ... I think it is a function of whether you see humanity more as an ideal to strive for or if you assess humanity as it is. If you see humanity as an ideal then most individuals will fall short. If you see humanity as the averaged-out consequences of everyone's actions, then some individuals will stand out as having better behavior. I tend to see humanity as pretty awful overall these days, which gives individuals room to show themselves better than that.
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#54

Atheist Social Network?
(09-19-2021, 05:24 PM)mordant Wrote:
(09-14-2021, 09:46 AM)trdsf Wrote:
(09-13-2021, 07:47 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I wonder if you mean more like a "non-social" network..  "Anti-social" seems a bit mean for you.
You might be surprised.  I have quite a misanthropic streak that probably comes from the severe bullying of my school years (back when it was the victim's fault for "not standing up for himself" rather than the bully's fault for being a sociopathic little shit), though I make an effort to not let it control me.

But the actual truth is no, generally speaking I really don't like people much -- I like individuals, but as a group humans are disappointing compared to what they're capable of.
Completely agree.

People don't exist. Individuals do.
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