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  #1    
Old July 12th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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Should society be lead by the best? Should society be composed of the best?

If everybody in the world became suddenly virtuous overnight, would that be like the society of the best as we envision it? Would such a state be desirable? Should it be pursued?
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Old July 14th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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I'm surprised that no one has said anything on this topic as I find it interesting.

A short answer to your questions: No.

The reason I say no to your questions (all of them) is that everyone has a different version of 'Best'. What you think is best is different than what I think is best.

The people I believe would be 'best' to lead/compose the world/pursue is freethinking individuals who has no religious affiliation and are able to give all humans the same rights/rules. They would also have to lead with some leniency but still uphold the law.

I'm sure there are others who would want something like this since I didn't go into detail but once that had been fleshed out there will be a quick change in opinion.

Just a quick afterthought but the second question (Should society be composed of the best) implies that no other person will do. I imagine it as something like mass genocide since they're trying to create the 'best' people based on certain criteria. I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it like that but that automatically comes to mind.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:57 AM
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By "best" do you mean we should all become super smart, strong, attractive and generally perfect people? Ugh god no. Because I would be ostracized from society pretty quickly :D While it would have some clear cut benefits like leaps forward in Science/technology and the burden of not having to give welfare and assistance to the less than perfect it is truly evil and would require genocide to fulfill such a goal. Morally reprehensible, but even if it wasn't would we still do it? No. Society is driven by the lower class, far below the best. If we didn't have farmers, factory workers, garbage men, soldiers, cops etc then our world would be out of control and chaotic. I'd personally take pride in having to work for a living then living a cushy life as one of the elite. You can't have the best without supports to prop them up I also think it would be really boring if everyone was the best at everything, that would lead to dull dinner conversations :/

I can see the benefits of only societies best existing but it would be some horrible dream world. Normal people are more fun. Variety is the spice of life!

(Also, this thread reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer dooms the planet on Y2K and all the best and brightest people evacuate to Mars while the rest of humanity dies. Would you like to be on that space shuttle to the new world?)
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Last edited by Limerent; July 15th, 2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 10:11 AM
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I think elitism is a large part of what is wrong with our society today. Unfortunately the other options are limited as well, and achieving a proper balance is difficult. Sometimes the tyranny of the many can be more cruel than the tyranny of the few. The converse is also true, and an ideal and stable balance of power has not yet been contrived or found.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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I dunno. I don't really care for the kind of anti-intellectualism that comes as a backlash to perceived or real elitism. I don't really have a problem per se with wanting "the best" in a lot of areas of society. We really should have the best scientists and engineers and teachers and so on, right? And I'd really like to see our leaders be the most virtuous and intelligent among us, but it makes some people go "Boo! Elitist! I'm voting for Sarah Palin."

But yeah, I think we should all strive to be better than we are. I'm not saying I think we're all horrible people who should feel bad that we're not perfect, but nobody is perfect and there's nothing bad about trying to better yourself even if you're already a good person.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshbl56 View Post
I'm surprised that no one has said anything on this topic as I find it interesting.

A short answer to your questions: No.

The reason I say no to your questions (all of them) is that everyone has a different version of 'Best'. What you think is best is different than what I think is best.

The people I believe would be 'best' to lead/compose the world/pursue is freethinking individuals who has no religious affiliation and are able to give all humans the same rights/rules. They would also have to lead with some leniency but still uphold the law.

I'm sure there are others who would want something like this since I didn't go into detail but once that had been fleshed out there will be a quick change in opinion.

Just a quick afterthought but the second question (Should society be composed of the best) implies that no other person will do. I imagine it as something like mass genocide since they're trying to create the 'best' people based on certain criteria. I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it like that but that automatically comes to mind.
You seem to be implying that "best" is relativistic. I think "vague" would be a better term. Yes, "best at what" applies, but the idea that there is no objective way to determine who would be better at leading (which is what you seem to be saying) is absurd. Maybe I misunderstood.
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"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"- Isaac Asimov, Column in Newsweek (21 January 1980) [source]
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Old July 21st, 2013, 10:20 AM
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If the "best" is hard to define, then what about a society without the "worst"? And while one may say that's equally hard to define, well, it certainly is referred to much more often in speech.

Does there exist in your world view certain undesirable peoples? Whether it those who don't fit will in society, those not engaged enough in society, those engaged in ways counter to society's interests? I'm trying to leave this vague to let you guys do the exploring.

And also, if there had to be a class of the "best", what should that criteria be? Wisdom? Compassion? Courage? Fame/renown?
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
If the "best" is hard to define, then what about a society without the "worst"? And while one may say that's equally hard to define, well, it certainly is referred to much more often in speech.

Does there exist in your world view certain undesirable peoples? Whether it those who don't fit will in society, those not engaged enough in society, those engaged in ways counter to society's interests? I'm trying to leave this vague to let you guys do the exploring.

And also, if there had to be a class of the "best", what should that criteria be? Wisdom? Compassion? Courage? Fame/renown?
Sometimes, but Gandhi had some things to say about separating bad from good. Mostly that it would have to be violent, and he was opposed to that. I think I agree.

If it could be done without violence? I don't know. Maybe. I think we need all sorts, though. I think having discussion about pretty much every topic is a good thing, though. It's good to be questioned on things.
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"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H. L. Mencken, unsourced

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"- Isaac Asimov, Column in Newsweek (21 January 1980) [source]
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