1. princess K
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    princess K Member

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    philosophy Q

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by princess K, Jun 12, 2008.

    Well in my philosophy class we discussed the question "what do we accept as normal" .... I thought this could create an interesting thread, so what do you think...

    My answer was: We accept what the rest of society precieve as 'normal' so it depends on who you encounter in every day life as to what you accept as 'normal'. we don't decide off out own backs what is 'normal' we adopt the views of the society we live in.

    A philosopher *can't remember his name, oopsies.* said famously that *we accept the world as it is presented to us*
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would say we accept what surrounded us as we developed from infancy as normal. This is why people who grow up in abusive families so often end up in abusive relationships. As horrible as the abuse makes them feel, all the signs that make other people shy away from an abuser say "Welcome home" to the person who grew up in that environment.

    There is comfort, and an irresistable pull, in familiarity, no matter how terrible the surface aspects are.
     
  3. princess K
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    princess K Member

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    I agree, familiarity *even something terrible* can be comforting.
    Also, if we are around a certain behaviour for long enough, it becomes normal. Hence why we adopt traits of friends etc :)

    Although what I don't get is why is it that some people find what the rest of their society find so 'weird' as normal. e.g I am in love with piercings, like mutiple amounts of piercings, and see nothing 'abnormal', but most of society see it as something 'that only weirdos do'
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I must say that this rings a bell with me.

    I grew up in the military and joined the military myself after leaving the nest. I have always had a hard time understanding the whole you can only control your own reactions philosophy because of this upbringing.

    In the military, no one is overly concerned with personal reactions. It is the initial action which is controlled. This is necessary in the military, trust me.

    It sounds despotic when applied to civilian life, but still, it is what I grew up with so I have a hard time understanding the behavior of people sometimes when they initiate actions that are detrimental to themselves or others.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    while we might 'accept' all sorts of awful stuff as 'normal' in our earliest childhood, as soon as our thinking brain is activated and in full swing, we have the ability to 'judge' whether it's 'ok' or not... so, at 9, i realized that all the stuff i was being taught in catholic school that was accepted by catholic 'society' was bunk, and i went on playing with my best friend who was a protestant and loving my dad who was an agnostic, knowing they weren't bad and damned to hell, and that i wouldn't go to hell for it!
     
  6. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    As has already been hinted at, I don't think our sense of "normality" is a product of our exposure to society, as much as it's a product of our immediate enviornment and relationships during adolesence. Maybe that's why they call them "formative years" ;)

    As Cogito mentioned, those people who grew up in abusive families, often end up reenacting that abuse when they have families of their own, as tragic and unfair as that may seem. These people may know rationally that this isn't "normal" behavior, but ultimately, what we BELIEVE is informed by that which we experience first hand. Most of us are empiricists, rather than rationalists, whether we want to admit it or not ;)
     
  7. princess K
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    princess K Member

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    however when you are little you may think of something as 'abnormal' and then when you are exposed to the culture that accepts it as 'normal' your views change
    e.g the way someone dresses, you may think that dressing a certain way is 'weird' then accept it as normal after being put into a situation with lots of people all dressing that way and seeing it as v.'normal' ;)
     
  8. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    I agree someone's mind can change, definately. And prolonged exposure to things which one might once have viewed as "abnormal" can bring about such a change. However, i think it depends on how deeply held the conviction is, and also whether or not there are pragmatic justifications reinforcing it. To use your fashion example: a logical person who thinks dressing a particular way is "weird" would have a sort of internal conflict between this belief, and the fact that there's no logical reason to class one fashion choice as any more or less normal than another. At some point or other he/she is going to have to rationalise that conflict internally.

    However, without that open minded, objective analysis, i think it might simply be more a case of the individual becoming de-sensitised to "weird" stuff. Is that the same as redefining his or her sense of normality? I'm not really sure either way. Perhaps, I guess :)
     
  9. StrontiumEthics
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    StrontiumEthics New Member

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    I agree 100% Cogito !
     
  10. StrontiumEthics
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    StrontiumEthics New Member

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    I dissagree, because how are you able to tell wrong from right? Based on the things you learn as a child. From youth, you collect idea's due to exposure to society, and use it to formulate your own idea's. For example, who tells you that a Dress is for girls, and jeans are for guys? Who tells you that being gay/lesbian is right/wrong? All do to exposure. Yes, some of our determination of normality does DEVELOPE, and BUILD as we get older, but is not ultimatly devolped when where older. Thats why old people, always critize the younger generation, simply because they cant cope with the new "normal". Looking forward to here your feedback!
     
  11. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say people perceptions of what is normal or not is to do with their own experiences and personal attitudes. Take dress sence for example, people refer to their style of dressing as being "normal", whether meant malitiosly or not, that is how they refer to it. I think this apliies with everything.

    I think it has a lot to do with how a person has been brought up, which is why there are idffering opinions on "normal" betwen cultures. Also, tabboo and the law comes into it. The general public do not percive murder as being normal, but some people disagree. Does this mean the people who murder are not normal, because they are going againt the general consensis?

    I honestly do not think that "noraml" is a real thing, and I really try to avoid using the word to describe something as normal as it comes down personal opinio at the end of the day.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    speaking as a mother of 7, i can attest to the fact that a child will accept as 'normal' anything that is presented as normal to him/her... and/or is observed to be 'usual' behavior/whatever by the child, so it is then 'normal' to him/her...
     

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