James Zhang


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The problem to ALL the world's conflicts problems, etc. is society.

This will be hard to explain briefly, so I will provide one situation as an example. But I have reasoned many situations and I've come to one conclusion.

Society is the problem. The problem of why people are greedy, why there is corruption, why there is theft, murder, why there was the Columbine shooting, why there was the Virginia Tech shooting, why there is bullying, why there is "terrorism", (I can go on forever)... The answer to all these questions is simply how we are raised. That is the fundamental problem. Why did the Virginia Tech shooter kill all those guys? Because he was mentally unstable. Why was he mentally unstable? I think it's because he was very depressed at one point or very self-loathing. Why would he feel that way? Society imposed its will on him. As in, he was forced to be someone he was not, or else he wouldn't be accepted by society. And so my theory about all human life (just a theory, but I think it's a good one), is that ALL HUMANS WANT TO FEEL LIKE THEY BELONG. They all want to fit in society in some way. They want people to accept them for who they are. That's why some people want to put on a mask so that people would accept them. That's why people may hate themselves for being different because they think something is wrong with them and they try to change who they are, but then realize they cannot change who they are or how they feel. And it becomes frustrating. And if no one understands the way they feel or think, then it becomes lonely. And when you feel so lonely like that, you can contemplate suicide, or mentally unstableness. All sorts of negative emotions arise from deep depression as a result.

I have multiple explanations for this, and it's too much to address in this brief summary. So that's why I want to start a discussion with anyone.

But I will say this. I think we need to worry about this now because how can we stop a genius from nuking the entire world? When there's a will, there's a way nowadays.

  • Aug 1 2012: Hi JZ, I do think what you are stating in your opening discussion topic is also of great importance. I feel those of us living in civilised or first world societies assume that because they are often democratic and free, that we live in socities that are tolerant and understanding, by default. That we mentally accept and believe that all our fellow human kin are included, accepted and tolerated within these societies. I think that we somehow believe this to be true despite evidence revealing otherwise to our personal senses and experience. This may be because theses values are explained as fundamental prerequisites to our civilised or first world societies values'. Yet, I think that because this is the projected image that we have taken the image for actual reality. I think in actual reality, this only holds true if we behave in certain accepted/expected ways, perceive things from certain accepted/expected perspectives and/or appear in a certain accepted/expected ways. We seem to be behaving like we do in order to remain accepted/tolerated, but I suspect, like myself, who I am as known and perceived by myself, is often very different to my stage/everyday persona. I interact on an everyday level with only a very limited aspect of myself, usually the practical aspect of myself, the worker aspect of myself, but there is so much more to me. I am assuming that this is true of some or all others too. It is very interesting getting to find out and know myself more but not easy as the dominant part of me who interacts in daily life has also subconsciously learnt the flipside too. Those that do not work are unacceptable or unpalatable, those that fall into the margins of society are unacceptable, those of a minority set such as gays, drug users are unacceptable. They are not directly persecuted or abused ( although instances do occur, and can happen to any of us at times for manifold reasons ) but neither are they embraced, welcomed. Tbc....
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      Aug 1 2012: I feel like I'm a very confident individual who knows who I am and what I think, feel, and believe in. I don't want people to view me for who I am not, or else that would be the same as just denying your own existence.

      A lot of people are very judgmental and unaccepting. Take the Virginia Tech guy for example. Most people hated the guy for shooting all those people. I can understand the hate, but for me that's not how I really felt. I have concluded that the guy was severely lonely and angry at himself and the world. If my conclusion is true, I feel more pity and sympathy for him than hate. If I had gone through some kind of deep loneliness and depression like that, I would have done something drastic like suicide myself.

      So what I believe in is that there needs to be a better system that can accept people for who they are, not for who they are not, and while we're all different, we're probably more alike than people realize.
  • Jul 24 2012: I agree that society is the problem... the problem being that we've come to a place where being ostracized is an excuse for murder. Sorry, but not everybody who feels like an outcast shoots up a school. I was bullied as a child and I've always felt like no one understands me - but guess what? I've never committed a crime - or even attempted suicide! Where's my medal?

    There comes a point where people have to be responsible for their actions. Blaming it all on "society" is a cop-out.
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      Jul 24 2012: Some people react differently to the same thing because everyone's different. Of all the crazy and society-destructive guys I've heard about, a lot of them turn out to be social outcasts, loners, or just angry or mentally unstable people. For less extreme cases, you may choose to go along with society's imposing, and force to become someone you're not. You may say only the things that people want to hear, not say the things that you really think. You may listen to some mainstream music only because everyone else is doing it, not because you really like it. Maybe, maybe not. But then something I've eventually concluded is that every human being in this world wants to feel like they belong. They want to fit in society. They want people to listen to what they have to say or think or feel, or else they may think "something is wrong with me." And when people think like that, they can try to be someone they're not, they may hate society and hate the self for not being the "same" as everyone else, and/or they may feel depressed.

      So with that said, why didn't you commit crime like the other more extreme cases? Why weren't you society-destructive?

      And how can people be responsible for their actions if they don't understand the impacts of their actions? And if they are aware of their actions, then why did they choose to act on them anyways knowing full well the impacts?
      • Jul 25 2012: Mental illness is not an excuse for crimes that require a lot of planning. If you are capable of such planning, you are capable of realizing the consequences of your actions. Society may force suffering on some people, but what each person does about it is up to them.

        btw, these criminals are not loners. Loners are people who want to be alone. These are people who want attention but can't get it.
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          Jul 25 2012: Then why do some people treat Autism like it's a mental disorder?

          What would you do if you grew up all alone, and no one cared about you, and no one wanted to listen to you, and no one wanted to even understand you?
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          Jul 25 2012: You tell me if you really WANTED to be alone. You didn't ask for this, this was just the environment that you were thrown into.
    • Jul 24 2012: I blame society. Unless one believe in satan or something like that, then there's only two influences that shape you. Your genes and the environment that shaped you. If we ignore the small influence of genes, then there is nothing you can say or do that is not directly related to how you were shaped. Even if you use society as an excuse to do whatever you want - that is still a 'simple' cause and effect from the environment. Politicians, war-mongers, 'criminals', corporate psycopats became what they became and cannot change by them selves.

      Ergo there is nothing else to blame than society (The structures and tools used).

      ps. glad you turned out allright! ;-)
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    Jul 24 2012: i kind of agree to that description. cooperation among people is the key to civilization. however, it should be voluntary and mutually beneficial. many times we observe anxious, forced, fearful social interactions. people do crazy things in order to be accepted by peers, and if they are not accepted, they do even crazier things. people seek for control and higher position. it is the source of many problems.
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      Jul 24 2012: Right, and I think that in order for us cooperate among people, we need some kind of universal understanding with each other. And ultimately, we're not gonna achieve that by trying to change the minds of all of today's people, it's just too hard. But we can shape the minds of children and the new generation, and increase the number of people who can understand.
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    Jul 24 2012: Howdy James
    I can agree with some of what your saying so there's part I'm on the other side . I long ago came to the conclusion I don't want to fit in or put on a mask to make people believe I'm someone I not. I believe to solve the proplems have a standerd of common curtiousy nothing to difficult ie. Please ,thank you, excuse me, mam and sir. Now that we have that it gets simple keep your nose in your own bussniess this goes for your personal life and world affairs. If you do those little things you have got a hell of a start to ending a large part of the problems. Then to finish if you really want to fix it get rid of man and he won't screw it up.
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      Jul 24 2012: And in regards to your final statement, you're right, the man behind the gun is the problem, not the gun itself. However, I think that man will get rid of himself naturally. We all will die eventually. And with his death, so will his problems and issues, unless the children whom he raised still inherit his ideas, thinkings and beliefs. Society changes with newer generations. And if we can raise the newer generations to have the qualities of curiosity and caring, then in the long run, we should get rid of 95% of the problems from yesterday's society.
  • Jul 25 2012: Society can be part of the problem, but it is not the problem itself. The individual has to play a role in that society for a problem to surface. Beyond that, unknown factors not relating to society can cause a problem to surface to. The environment cannot just be the problem alone.
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      Jul 25 2012: and what has caused the individual to play the role to be the problem? Here's a question. Are all problems caused by some misunderstanding or some disagreement in some way?
      • Jul 25 2012: Well, society does not hold the individual in chains in most cases. The individual is only partially influenced by society. All problems can be neither of those things. Problems can erupt out of pure incidence,a total fluke beyond mankind's capabilities.
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          Jul 26 2012: Ok sorry, my bad, I should clarify myself. Are all social problems caused by some misunderstanding or some disagreement in some way?
      • Jul 26 2012: Well, those type of problems are defined by misunderstanding.
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          Jul 27 2012: So then are there any social problems that aren't defined by a misunderstanding? That aren't caused by a misunderstanding?
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          Jul 27 2012: Err, so then how do we fix this or improve this? I think most people have concluded that more people need to understand, which then translates to everyone needs education and knowledge so they can understand a lot of things, so that they don't misunderstand things.
      • Jul 27 2012: Well, social problems are problems with the interactions of people. It is utterly impossible to stop social problems, since, it is impossible to make everyone agree and follow everything together. It is actually better to have this because if everyone agree and follow everything together, then, we would not be this far advance in time. We should actually have problems in society in order for us to correct them; hence, we improve society with each correction. Now, let me go back, if society were to reach total harmony, then, I believe we were be an worse condition than if society were not to reach harmony. What do you think?
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          Jul 27 2012: well, after much thought recently, I've ran into a logical dilemma, and you're right, atm there really is no way of achieving true universal understanding, as new problems always arise while some problems are fixed.

          It's just weird to think of how contradicting the world is, and yet it just works.
      • Jul 28 2012: Nature performs best in a chaotic environment. I am not referring this is the best way mankind works; however, you get the message.
  • Jul 24 2012: If we all simply expressed truth as we behold it from moment to moment within our quotidien lives, we would transform the world to be the happy place of our greatest dreams. Society is composed of individuals. Let's stop passing on the incorrect brainwashing of our ancestors. "History" is misleading us from one war to another, from changing the names of "enemies." As individuals we must take back our lives from those in the past who sought to control our thoughts, beliefs, behavior through devices such as "religions." Free yourself to be the wonderful person you want all people to be and then make a point of hanging out with your positive peers. POWER TO THE POSITIVE!
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      Jul 24 2012: I agree with your sentiments! I honestly think that a society where everyone only tells truths will ultimately become "Utopia." As Michio Kaku said, we have stopped evolving physically as most of us don't need to fight for survival anymore, but we are still evolving intellectually. And maybe our next level as a civilization is to achieve understanding on a universal level. And that is how we evolve into a greater civilization.

      But I want to clarify one thing. I don't think history is misleading us. History's just a gigantic log of events for us to use and learn from and adapt into that higher level of civilization. There is no good or evil about it, it is what it is, objective. It only "misleads" people if that's how they see it.
      • Jul 24 2012: James, I have noticed that people who study history tend to repeat the mistakes of history. Societies go from war to war to war, changing the names of the villains and heroes, thinking these murders of strangers will solve some problem. Wars cause pain and suffering and death. History is written and histories are published by a selective few. Those incidents of history you believe you are getting accurate information about, are limited to the perspective of the historian. and the publisher. I enjoy historical novels. Interesting reading. It is the individual behavior of you and me and our contemporaries who have the power to co-create the world we desire to experience. Let's do it. Truth is powerful. So is love. Any positive act or word has positive impacts. HAPPY TODAY.
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          Jul 24 2012: Right but the fact that we have people like you who realize that wars cause pain and suffering is because we became more aware. We already know that wars cause suffering, we can learn that from history. But then we eventually start realizing, well why do we have wars in the first place? This is where I've concluded that maybe we have wars because of all these misunderstandings. Misunderstandings of cultures, beliefs, etc. And why do these kinds of misunderstandings happen? Because maybe your parents have taught you in some way that these are "bad" people. And thus, we may fail to see that you and the other person are the same thing in the respect that we are all human beings. And I believe all human beings have the same quality that is: We all want to feel like we belong.

          But how did I conclude this? Because history has given me the kind of information for me to use.
      • Jul 24 2012: James, I believe you may have learned a lot from your own personal experiences. Perhaps you learned more from your own life than you learned from the portions of the lives of dead people who are written up as the heroes and villains of history.
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          Jul 24 2012: Thank you! While I can't say my life has been that eventful, I did learn a lot from my experiences, and also from history and recent history. I think this way because I think therefore I am, but I also believe that society has allowed me to think this way.
      • Jul 24 2012: James, I respect you for expressing your true thoughts and feelings. Thank you. I hope you allow yourself to do a whole lot of positive things today that cause positive impacts on you and on others. Best wishes for success in every category of your life.
  • Jul 24 2012: It is not society.
    It is unjust systems that were set up with ulterior motives for creating power, wealth, control, oppression, suppression, persecution, prosecution, incarceration, inequality, poverty, and slavery.

    These systems cannot be made just. They have to be done away with and new, just systems created or built in their place.

    Why have humans been fighting (since the beginning) to get out from underneath oppression, poverty and so on, when they didn't create it?
    Humans are still battling for their freedom of existence and right to be: to be free, safe, secure, a member of civilization (which by the way has not yet begun or does not yet exist), with rights for all and a right to an equal share of the resources of the planet that belong to all life on the planet.

    It isn't human nature. It isn't a done deal.

    Breakdowns in families, marriages and in fact, in all forms of human relationships, have occurred and continue to occur because of the extreme stresses applied to all of these relational environments by unjust systems.

    Our unjust systems have destroyed much of the world's environments needed for life and continued sustenance and thus they have done the same to all relationships. It isn't society per se. It is the system that cares only for itself and not we humans.

    Please stop discussing these topics using the same old words, failed ideas and means and methods that don't work.
    The proof is in the continued millennium-long breakdown that is showing itself to us all.
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      Jul 24 2012: Why are there unjust systems? What makes the unjust system unjust? Why is there corruption and greedy people? Why are they greedy and corrupt in the first place? What are some cases of good wealthy people or good politicians?

      So if you think it is the unjust system, not society, how can we create a "just" system?

      "Why have humans been fighting to get out from underneath oppression, and poverty and so on, when they didn't create it?" Because they were more educated and have realized their own power. And as more and more people started to realize this, there is a new demand created called freedom. When the demand for freedom becomes so powerful, the supply will eventually react accordingly and provide that freedom. When America had slavery why were the slave owners reluctant to teach slaves to read? Because they feared the slaves would figure out to rebel and overthrow them. But as the African-Americans soon became smarter, you end up with people like Martin Luther King Jr. who was a reflection of the demand for a large amount of people, and the government thus needed to answer that demand for freedom with supply of freedom eventually.

      And as for my "failed ideas and methods that don't work" I believe they do work because it worked for me and it worked on a lot of other people. When something works, I study it and contrast it to things that didn't work.
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    Jul 24 2012: It is the society. You are right.
    First, its the breakdown in the family structure, failed marriages and abusive relationships. All these are more likely to produce terrible individuals than a family founded and bounded by love.

    Then the failed family causes a faulty and unhelpful value system.

    Failed family relationships and lack of love may seem like minor faults. Such would be the thought of some people who would think a small leak can not sink a ship because its the size of the Titanic.
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      Jul 24 2012: Right, I believe failed marriages and abusive relationships are examples of bad environments that kids grow up with. Which I believe can also contribute to their loneliness, because without caring parents, how can they themselves know to care?

      And yeah, lack of love is not as minor as it seems. If I were to grow up in an environment where no one will listen to me, understand me, care about me or care about what I think, then I would be very lonely. I would be so lonely that I may have thoughts like "what's wrong with me" or "why don't anyone care about me" and I can seriously see myself suiciding, had I not grown up the way I did. And you know what I can then understand why there are people like the Columbine shooter, or the Virginia Tech shooter, or maybe even the more recent Aurora Hills shooter. Because at some point in their life, they must have felt so alone, they must have felt such a disconnect from our society, that they are driven to insanity.

      But the thing is, times are changing now. We now realize that there are more and more autistic or aspergers kids, who are regarded as "geniuses" but "abnormal" and have a hard time to communicate with others socially by society's standards (well maybe not aspergers). And we also now realize that access of weapons of mass destruction like AK-47's and such are much easier now. I'm just saying, what is to stop a mentally unstable genius from hacking into the government systems and gaining access to the nukes, and blowing us up?
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    Jul 24 2012: But then there's the problem of the guys who do understand the value of common courtesy and then chooses not to say thank you mam, sir, etc. Then it should be our job to ask, "why is he being this way?"
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    Jul 24 2012: You're right, and this common courtesy that you're saying is a language of respect. However, not everyone understands why you need to say that, and then some other people may think it comes off as rudeness. So it's not that they're really being rude, it's that they don't understand its importance. And then you may then not understand why they don't understand why common courtesy is important, and the misunderstanding and miscommunication forms. So really, we are all at fault for not understanding each other.

    But I really do appreciate your comment, it has showed me that you are among the many good and concerned people out there. So thank you sir, for listening to and considered what I have to say :)