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Old 2010-07-08, 18:59   Link #1
Kaijo
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Idealism vs. Cynicism, FIGHT-O!

Given the clashes that tend to come up, I thought I'd put up a place for this as a scientific experiment. And so we don't go offtopic every time someone objects to what I say elsewhere. :P

Taken from the tv tropes page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...VersusCynicism

So, where are you?

I suppose it goes without saying that I am roughly 90% cynic (which I prefer to call pragmatism or realism), and 10% idealistic. Because while I may think positive and hope that people won't snap when I share my life experiences, or give advice, reality tends to prove me otherwise.

I could give numerous examples of things wrong with the world (copyright, genocide, corporate 'ethics' erosion of privacy, civil liberties) to explain why, but suffice it to say, the vast majority of my positive thinking when I was younger, was brutally destroyed by reality.

Think different? Now is your chance to step up, and let's see if we can keep this in a thread where it belongs, and avoid going off topic elsewhere. =)
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Old 2010-07-08, 19:19   Link #2
Lio
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I don't think this thread was necessary. You can tell just from the Dating thread that these kinds of discussions usually don't turn out well.

I'm neither a cynic nor an idealist. I don't believe in idealism or cynicism. Actually, it's more like I don't unnecessarily try to box myself in these concepts.

Does anybody think that trying to categorize yourself as an idealist or a cynic only takes the infinite possibilities of life and confines it into an artificial, conceptual box?
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Old 2010-07-08, 19:50   Link #3
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I don't think so. In fact, it's my belief it better prepares you. If you can better predict how the world around you is going to react, and can prepare a response that maximizes your return, you end up more effective. In short, it's about learning the world as it really is, and dealing with it on those terms.

At any rate, that's why it's a sliding scale.

But as I said, this is partly a scientific experiment, too. If people don't want to confront these issues, then it will die, and I can at least say I tried.

Perhaps I was too idealistic in thinking so. :P
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Old 2010-07-08, 20:14   Link #4
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I'm an idealist, I've been called a cynical (it's modern term), but I doubt it means the cynicism Kaijo is referring to. To be more accurate, I'm more cautious and "You have to earn my trust."

I won't publicly announce my ideals or my thought process on the matter because that would cause an uproar of mostly unfavorable responses.

Personally thinking, I want malice to disappear from this world as much as possible, so people can be happier.
Logically speaking, people are too fragile themselves to maintain that sort of peaceful living.

I think this is partial trolling. Since you don't make threads of these sorts on a whim, considering their volatile and easily flammable topics and debates. I suppose that's up to the person though.

On a fundamental basis - this thread is leaning towards idealism. Because it's suppose to be an ideal location where many parties can discuss and debate either idealism or cynicism. That is it's ideal purpose.

Ahh, well... I'm probably tripping and strangling what I'm really saying. So I'll let someone else explain the particulars.
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Old 2010-07-08, 21:16   Link #5
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I believe my PoV has been proven enough times already

I've stopped working on ideals (mine or other's) since they have the tendency to blow up in my face

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Fat chance I'll be walking down that road!

Doesn't mean I'm something like a leech, I still believe in 'good' people, and still have my own concience to deal with (and he's an even bigger *** than me)
and, being realistic, I never know what tomorrow may bring (that's why I still end up putting in an effort)
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Old 2010-07-08, 21:27   Link #6
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I sense many potential flame wars in this thread if it remains active.

Anyway, short and to the point, I'm an idealist; nothing especially complicated about it, and I honestly prefer to not get into debates about the finer parts of it. IMO you believe what you believe, so any debates about it are pretty much lost before they even begin. It's nearly impossible to change someone's beliefs if they honestly believe in them.
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Old 2010-07-08, 21:30   Link #7
sergho
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cynicism is the great destroyer

it will rob you of everything good in life

the love of a good woman, belief in yourself

hopefully you'll reach a point where you become cynical about cynicism

well, you need a tiny bit of cynicism so you can buy a used car
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Old 2010-07-08, 21:32   Link #8
Ricky Controversy
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At the risk of getting bricked for this quote:

Optimism or despair? Let's rumba!

I'm obnoxiously optimistic. I believe that humanity is overall more good than it is evil, and I try my hardest to open my heart enough to give some love to every person I meet no matter what. I'm far from that mark, but I get a little closer every day.
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Old 2010-07-08, 21:56   Link #9
ChainLegacy
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I try to operate off of a set of personal ideals while holding a somewhat cynical worldview, if that makes sense. I understand idealism doesn't turn out as 'ideally' as we hope. Despite that, I think it is worth possessing some standards and beliefs that allow us to work towards goals.
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Old 2010-07-08, 22:54   Link #10
Master_Yoma
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A good cynicism is all ways fun nothing like watch some one who have every thing go to nothing
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Old 2010-07-09, 00:42   Link #11
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I think I'm a fairly unique case. Yes, I was a cynic for a good long while, but then I got tired of being a cynic.

Seriously, at some point, I figured that being a constant mope is just sapping energy unnecessarily out of my life, when I have better use for that energy on more constructive stuff; like say learning new things, or academically observing how humans interact with each other, amongst other things. I'm not sure where that turning point came from, but I bet it was during my university studies; specifically, the subject that I majored in.

Now, I'm still not what you'd call an idealist by any measure, but neither do I go out of my way to be cynical about everything either. I just bumble through life as best as I can, learning stuff along the way, and it's actually worked out pretty well; much better than when I was wasting my time moping through life.
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Old 2010-07-09, 01:12   Link #12
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Oh dear. I've been cynical for nearly a decade and that might be hard to believe considering my age and my upbringing.

I don't know what it has always been, but I simply have not been able to get along well with people. The funny part is, often times in life people think they are getting along well with me and even think I'm nice. I often have a poor opinion of anyone around me, and I usually try to bring down anyone's actions with their own selfish desires. Of course, I don't let too much of this slip out.

This has not been something I've really learned or something in me that has been cultivated by someone else... I don't even think I'm better than anyone else, in fact, I envy other people's abilities at times to think positively since it seems that I naturally cannot.

Perhaps this is why I seem to be completely demotivated in everything I do in school and other aspects of my life. While I'm about to be a 2nd year math major at my University (And I'm in some super accelerated program go figure) I cannot take interest in these things at all.

The only conclusion that I have been able to form for myself, due to my lack of spiritual beliefs especially, is that I try to entertain myself with whatever hobbies I can find.

Cynicism has done me good in some ways, it lets be less stressed, more perceptive of other people's intentions, helps me deal with people in a business scenario, and just leads to overall less disappointment in life because I'm already disappointed.

Unfortunately, I do believe this has hampered my lifestyle as I do not make effective or productive use of my time. I am one of the laziest individuals you'll ever meet, and I am not one of those people you would enjoy having a drink with in a bar ever. I do not make anyone feel good, and I tend to make those around me think in a very negative manner.

Other than that though, I would say I'm fine .
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Old 2010-07-09, 01:17   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascaloth View Post
I think I'm a fairly unique case. Yes, I was a cynic for a good long while, but then I got tired of being a cynic.

Seriously, at some point, I figured that being a constant mope is just sapping energy unnecessarily out of my life, when I have better use for that energy on more constructive stuff; like say learning new things, or academically observing how humans interact with each other, amongst other things. I'm not sure where that turning point came from, but I bet it was during my university studies; specifically, the subject that I majored in.

Now, I'm still not what you'd call an idealist by any measure, but neither do I go out of my way to be cynical about everything either. I just bumble through life as best as I can, learning stuff along the way, and it's actually worked out pretty well; much better than when I was wasting my time moping through life.
What is that quote again? Better an idiot than a cynic?

IMO, there's nothing wrong with being a cynic, however there is a good deal of people who cannot differentiate between an idealist, optimist, pragmatist and pessimist.

Basically, the simplified logical definition would be :

Idealist : Someone who sets their goal high and works towards it, and rarely using a stop loss.

Optimist :
Someone who does something and hopes for the best (that is why they choose to only view things positively right?).

Pragmatist : Someone who is preoccupied with building steps upwards down to the very last detail, often setting one stop loss too many.

Pessimist : Someone who does something but is only prepared for nothing except the worst case scenario.

So how would you classify a cynic? Someone who's always negatively charged? In fact, it would be better to classify them as hardcore pragmatists/pessimists due to everyone's view of the world are LARGELY generalised. If we are to quote everything in speech, be it casual or non-casual, we would contradict our beliefs and words.

Also, there are people who call themselves realists and bask in their light of being down to earth, where logically, a realist is nothing more than a frog in a well. They never ask "why" and simply sees a limited view and one-way trips to live.

A few years ago, I met with this guy* who called me a negaholic due to my "excessively negative" outlook on life, then calling himself an optimist. I had my doubts at that time about my views people often lambast as negative, and was wondering if I should change my mindset. After the 2008 meltdown, Operation Cast Lead and what I have been through in NS, I decided that I shouldn't : everyone's view is unique, however only a handful are willing to seek knowledge and use it : the very aggressive ones are often branded "negatively charged and unmotivated". Optimists, as often they call themselves, are the majority psychology, thus the reason why the middle-income class is often the largest in a number of societies, and they are always the ones who are complaining about the wealth consolidation in the higher levels rather than those below them.

Despite me not liking positive people like idealists and optimists (I detest the latter), I have got plenty of respect for idealists - all the odds stacked against them and they still dare to dream really big dreams. Lenin, Marx, Benjamin Franklin, just to name a few, they initially dreamed of the impossible which came true (though communism collapsed due to internal corruption, bureaucracy and ineffective economic management).

In short, idealists set a goal for humanity, pragmatists come up with a plan for it, pessimists contest the idea by stating possible downfalls of moving in that direction and optimists move in the direction of it.

Cynicism is the termed coined to describe pessimists, and in hard times, pragmatists. However it does not discount the fact that a healthy dose of it can shield yourself from the biggest falls of being a human : fear and greed.

* - That guy lost his job at the bank. What did I say about job security again? Yep, there is no such thing as free lunch, and your job doesn't even give you lunch : it gives you money to pay for your lunch. In short, by controlling your income, they control the most important thing to your adult life - a stable income stream. So what are you saying about negaholics? So is "too expensive to maintain" still an impossibility?
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Old 2010-07-09, 06:07   Link #14
Mystique
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Was wondering when Saintess would jump on this and give definitions. It just seems to be something you have a habit of doing, I've noticed
Haven't taken the 'quiz' thingy, but to use Saintess' little guide there, then I'm a Idealist and Optimist.

In short, I live with the fairies up in the clouds in La-La land whenever I can, tied to a piece of string that connects to "earth". (reality)
I only come down if a situation calls for it, in which my very rational, adult realist self comes to the front stage.
Since she's a boring, responsible sod, once the situation no longer calls for her, then I fly back to the clouds!

This means, by not means am I blind to the sadness, the anger, the pain and misery of our species and our world.
But I'm also much more aware (rather I aim to see the good that's out there, which as always is so so so easily blinded by bad things)
- about the beauty of our planet,
- about the amazing things we can do and have done as humans,
- about the pure strength of the human will power (see shounen anime, lol)
- about those who live frugal, yet simple and happy lives (usually outside of the West who are more exposed to their mortality, I've noticed)

And I've been told that I see too much good in people, heh.
Well someone's gotta, while I'm surrounded by online peeps of "I hate people!" for years and years, it gets boring after a while, don't you think.

It's cause life is so painful and hard, which is why I try to spread laughs, silliness and fun to those around me (see some crazy-ass posts of mine).
If I can get a person to smile or giggle somewhere in a day, then I'm not doing too bad.
That person smiles and then smiles at someone, who may cheer up and feel better towards someone else and so on.
A positive chain reaction, rather than a negative one.

That's all that's to it.
Human bodies age, wither and die but a person is kept alive by 'memories'.
Make as many good ones as you can cause that's all you'll be able to leave behind when you depart or rely on when those you care about leave you.
Lord knows that I've been to tens and tens of funerals, rejected to go with my parents for tens and tens more, but have never been to a single wedding.
Death is all too normal for me ever since childhood (although at 4-13 years old or so, it was like another family get together party with all your cousins and kiddy friends, lol)

I am all to aware of how fragile we all are, how there is no guarentee on tomorrow at all (even more so, living in freaking Earthquake land) and so, perhaps that also drives me to fight, keep going and make the most of it as much as possible, which then includes my love and practice for dance, singing and music. ^^

Then again the beauty of death is to try to enjoy and value life, since as a species, we love taking things for granted
Hard to do as you get older and your heart is inflicted with pain either from heartbreak or major bad situations in life, but it's always good to try to keep that inner kid alive and well, methinks that's the secret to eternal youth.
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Old 2010-07-09, 10:04   Link #15
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I'm much more of an idealist. That I can say when clicking on Kaijo's link and reading the article. I probably have at a few times been somewhat cynical I guess. I am also quite a dreamer and I have a very short attention span when listening to long boring speeches. But it's not up to the point that I'm delusional or whatever. We have to face reality but I'm quite happy when I'm able to find something beautiful and good in things that may seem all bad.
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Old 2010-07-09, 14:04   Link #16
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
Was wondering when Saintess would jump on this and give definitions. It just seems to be something you have a habit of doing, I've noticed
Haven't taken the 'quiz' thingy, but to use Saintess' little guide there, then I'm a Idealist and Optimist.
You do realise by now that I have a very fixed pattern in writing longer posts right? Screw dyslexia.

Quote:
Then again the beauty of death is to try to enjoy and value life, since as a species, we love taking things for granted
Hard to do as you get older and your heart is inflicted with pain either from heartbreak or major bad situations in life, but it's always good to try to keep that inner kid alive and well, methinks that's the secret to eternal youth.
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway. So why not include "enjoy life" in the equation?

Honestly speaking, I had been a victim of both physical bullying and roadkill, so I know how it feels like to be very close to death, and especially how painful it is to be physically helpless. And seeing how people would avoid saving others, even though they are not in danger of death, made me see life as having zero value in actuality - the value we give ourselves and others are nothing but words.

In short, life or death is inevitable, when the time comes to living, live it. When the time comes for you to die, let go and exeunt. So as to quote Shakespeare's As You Like It....

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;


and of course nothing rings truer as such.....

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
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Old 2010-07-09, 18:34   Link #17
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Honestly speaking, I had been a victim of both physical bullying and roadkill, so I know how it feels like to be very close to death, and especially how painful it is to be physically helpless. And seeing how people would avoid saving others, even though they are not in danger of death, made me see life as having zero value in actuality - the value we give ourselves and others are nothing but words.
And yet, when I see perfomers out there making music, living life after being rasied as child soliders, only taught to kill or be killed or rape or domestic abuse victims who also may have have tasted death alike you, being victim of brutal cruelty set up homes and hospices and shelters to give other women a chance to escape the fates they sadly were exposed to, one has to wonder about the nature (and perhaps upbringing) of the individual who'll either turn a tragic event into something beneficial or damn the entire human race despite only living in perhaps 1% of the planet.

Chey is one of those who in my opinion, if she hated the world, I'd not blame her but instead has fought for her happiness and wellbing and is doing much, much better, as well as supporting others who've fallen into a similar bad fate as her.
Kinda envokes a certain kinda reverence or sincere respect, if not just inspires others, but I wonder where the difference lies or if it's just 'part of their character' on how humans handle difficult events.

Guess it does fall into the realm of the cynism vs optimism.
Die anyway so what's the point (I'd ask, why are you still here then if you see being alive as pointless) vs die anyway so let's make the most of it, make the kick ass memories and go out with a smile if possible.

(btw, the stage anology is freaky cause it's a common one i use and I know i've not read that Shakespeare play yet, lol)
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Old 2010-07-09, 18:40   Link #18
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I'm probably learning towards cynical. I believe that when shit hits the fan, people's true nature will show. Many "Friends" will leave you when the going gets tough, "love" becomes a moot point without money, the government only respects your rights when it's convenient. Ideals and morals easily crumble when it's no longer convenient to uphold them.

Life is inherently pointless. You will die, and for the vast majority of people will not remember you or anything you did. You may lie to yourself that there's a greater purpose, but that's only what they taught you to feel better for yourself. Sure, there's a few that will stand out, but it won't be you. They'll keep perpetuating the myth so they can keep shitting on you.

The history books only care about the leaders, but not the ones that toiled beneath them. The true heroes are often the nameless, the people in the history books merely take all the credit. (Sure some deserve it, but many more too).

Most people will work many hours their whole lives to save up a little money but others will piss away the same amount in a day because they were born in the right place. Tons of people are just doomed to struggle forever in a faint hope that their descendants don't have to.

But it's ok anyways, since everything will burn out, until there's nothing left.

However, in all of this, I think that even if life is pointless and nothing matters, it's also not a problem to stop worrying and enjoy the little things that come across you. And also to hope that everything could be a little better even for a moment before you leave this world. And there is no point to have a defeatist mindset. Even if it doesn't matter, why does it have to matter anyways?

In other words, life sucks-- but it's all we got. Treasure it and maybe help others treasure it too.
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Old 2010-07-09, 20:03   Link #19
sergho
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the smile of your newborn son

the brush of a maidens hand across your cheek

the first rays of the sun after a long harsh winter

a kitten attacking your hand

the sound of ice cracking in a tall glass of ice tea

finding your kindergarten note book
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Old 2010-07-09, 21:07   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Oh dear. I've been cynical for nearly a decade and that might be hard to believe considering my age and my upbringing.

I don't know what it has always been, but I simply have not been able to get along well with people. The funny part is, often times in life people think they are getting along well with me and even think I'm nice. I often have a poor opinion of anyone around me, and I usually try to bring down anyone's actions with their own selfish desires. Of course, I don't let too much of this slip out.

This has not been something I've really learned or something in me that has been cultivated by someone else... I don't even think I'm better than anyone else, in fact, I envy other people's abilities at times to think positively since it seems that I naturally cannot.

Perhaps this is why I seem to be completely demotivated in everything I do in school and other aspects of my life. While I'm about to be a 2nd year math major at my University (And I'm in some super accelerated program go figure) I cannot take interest in these things at all.

The only conclusion that I have been able to form for myself, due to my lack of spiritual beliefs especially, is that I try to entertain myself with whatever hobbies I can find.

Cynicism has done me good in some ways, it lets be less stressed, more perceptive of other people's intentions, helps me deal with people in a business scenario, and just leads to overall less disappointment in life because I'm already disappointed.

Unfortunately, I do believe this has hampered my lifestyle as I do not make effective or productive use of my time. I am one of the laziest individuals you'll ever meet, and I am not one of those people you would enjoy having a drink with in a bar ever. I do not make anyone feel good, and I tend to make those around me think in a very negative manner.

Other than that though, I would say I'm fine .
...

Are you my long-lost brother?
No, seriously, this is exactly me down to every detail, with the exception that I couldn't have worded it as well.
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