Groups Value Quotes

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A caste system is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that sets the presumed supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of other groups.
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Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
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It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
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Ryan O'Connell
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The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth.
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Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
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The cultural authenticity of cloth arises not from the purity of its origins but from the ways in which individuals and groups turn textiles to their own purposes. Consumers, not producers, determine the meaning and value of textiles.
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Virginia Postrel (The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World)
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Instead of appreciating complexity, people tend to affiliate with one or another social dogma. Because our knowledge is enmeshed with that of others, the community shapes our beliefs and attitudes. It is so hard to reject an opinion shared by our peers that too often we don’t even try to evaluate claims based on their merits. We let our group do our thinking for us. Appreciating the communal nature of knowledge should make us more realistic about what’s determining our beliefs and values.
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Steven Sloman (The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone)
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A great liberal betrayal is afoot. Unfortunately, many “fellow-travelers” of Islamism are on the liberal side of this debate. I call them “regressive leftists”; they are in fact reverse racists. They have a poverty of expectation for minority groups, believing them to be homogenous and inherently opposed to human rights values. They are culturally reductive in how they see “Eastern”—and in my case, Islamic—culture, and they are culturally deterministic in attempting to freeze their ideal of it in order to satisfy their orientalist fetish. While they rightly question every aspect of their “own” Western culture in the name of progress, they censure liberal Muslims who attempt to do so within Islam, and they choose to side instead with every regressive reactionary in the name of “cultural authenticity” and anticolonialism. They claim that their reason for refusing to criticize any policy, foreign or domestic—other than those of what they consider “their own” government—is that they are not responsible for other governments’ actions. However, they leap whenever any (not merely their own) liberal democratic government commits a policy error, while generally ignoring almost every fascist, theocratic, or Muslim-led dictatorial regime and group in the world. It is as if their brains cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. Besides, since when has such isolationism been a trait of liberal internationalists? It is a right-wing trait. They hold what they think of as “native” communities—and I use that word deliberately—to lesser standards than the ones they claim apply to all “their” people, who happen to be mainly white, and that’s why I call it reverse racism. In holding “native” communities to lesser—or more culturally “authentic”—standards, they automatically disempower those communities. They stifle their ambitions. They cut them out of the system entirely, because there’s no aspiration left. These communities end up in self-segregated “Muslim areas” where the only thing their members aspire to is being tin-pot community leaders, like ghetto chieftains. The “fellow-travelers” fetishize these “Muslim” ghettos in the name of “cultural authenticity” and identity politics, and the ghetto chieftains are often the leading errand boys for them. Identity politics and the pseudo-liberal search for cultural authenticity result in nothing but a downward spiral of competing medieval religious or cultural assertions, fights over who are the “real” Muslims, ever increasing misogyny, homophobia, sectarianism, and extremism. This is not liberal. Among the left, this is a remnant of the socialist approach that prioritizes group identity over individual autonomy. Among the right, it is ironically a throwback from the British colonial “divide and rule” approach. Classical liberalism focuses on individual autonomy. I refer here to liberalism as it is understood in the philosophical sense, not as it’s understood in the United States to refer to the Democratic Party—that’s a party-political usage. The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
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Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
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Some philosophical research projects — or problematics, to speak with the more literary types — are rather like working out the truths of chess. A set of mutually agreed-upon rules are presupposed — and seldom discussed — and the implications of those rules are worked out, articulated, debated, refined. So far, so good. Chess is a deep and important human artifact, about which much of value has been written. But some philosophical research projects are more like working out the truths of chmess. Chmess is just like chess except that the king can move two squares in any direction, not one. I just invented it. … There are just as many a priori truths of chmess as there are of chess (an infinity), and they are just as hard to discover. And that means that if people actually did get involved in investigating the truths of chmess, they would make mistakes, which would need to be corrected, and this opens up a whole new field of a priori investigation, the higher-order truths of chmess … Now none of this is child’s play. In fact, one might be able to demonstrate considerable brilliance in the group activity of working out the higher-order truths of chmess. Here is where psychologist Donald Hebb’s dictum comes in handy: If it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing well.
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Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking)
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There is a certain strain of modern Western sociopolitical thinker that aggressively admires “meritocracy.” Every society should be a meritocracy, argue these adherents, and we should not pass laws that favor one group of people over another, for any reason. There should be no affirmative action laws for university admissions, no initiatives to gender-balance workforces. The cream shall simply rise to the top! These people (usually heterosexual, rich, white men, with a bookshelf full of Ayn Rand novels) conveniently forget that for a meritocracy to work—for a society to properly value and celebrate hard work and individual success —the people within the society need to start from the same point of origin. Otherwise, the cream isn’t rising to the top— the people who were closest to the top already are rising to the top, and the whole concept of meritocracy crumbles to dust. What they are actually calling for, these people, is a pseudo-meritocracy that does not distinguish between the accomplishments of a man with a Mayflower last name who inherited a billion dollars from his dad and those of a Black woman who was born into poverty in a redlined neighborhood in a state that enforces draconian, racist laws. (Some people, as the old saying goes, were born on third base and think they hit a triple.) It’s not a meritocracy if some runners start the race ten feet from the finish line and some are denied entry to the race because of systemic biases within the Racing Commission.
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Michael Schur (How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question)
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The unconscious, then, might well be the authority we have to appeal to, since it is a neutral region of the psyche where everything that is divided and antagonistic in consciousness flows together into groupings and configurations. These, when raised to the light of consciousness, reveal a nature that exhibits the constituents of one side as much as the other; they nevertheless belong to neither but occupy an independent middle position. It is this position that constitutes both their value and their non-value for consciousness. They are worthless in so far as nothing clearly distinguishable can be perceived from their configuration, thus leaving consciousness embarrassed and perplexed; but valuable in so far as it is just their undifferentiated state that gives them that symbolic character which is essential to the content of the mediating will.
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C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
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As you know, the public conversation about the connection between Islamic ideology and Muslim intolerance and violence has been stifled by political correctness. In the West, there is now a large industry of apology and obfuscation designed, it would seem, to protect Muslims from having to grapple with the kinds of facts we’ve been talking about. The humanities and social science departments of every university are filled with scholars and pseudo-scholars—deemed to be experts in terrorism, religion, Islamic jurisprudence, anthropology, political science, and other fields—who claim that Muslim extremism is never what it seems. These experts insist that we can never take Islamists and jihadists at their word and that none of their declarations about God, paradise, martyrdom, and the evils of apostasy have anything to do with their real motivations. When one asks what the motivations of Islamists and jihadists actually are, one encounters a tsunami of liberal delusion. Needless to say, the West is to blame for all the mayhem we see in Muslim societies. After all, how would we feel if outside powers and their mapmakers had divided our lands and stolen our oil? These beleaguered people just want what everyone else wants out of life. They want economic and political security. They want good schools for their kids. They want to be free to flourish in ways that would be fully compatible with a global civil society. Liberals imagine that jihadists and Islamists are acting as anyone else would given a similar history of unhappy encounters with the West. And they totally discount the role that religious beliefs play in inspiring a group like the Islamic State—to the point where it would be impossible for a jihadist to prove that he was doing anything for religious reasons. Apparently, it’s not enough for an educated person with economic opportunities to devote himself to the most extreme and austere version of Islam, to articulate his religious reasons for doing so ad nauseam, and even to go so far as to confess his certainty about martyrdom on video before blowing himself up in a crowd. Such demonstrations of religious fanaticism are somehow considered rhetorically insufficient to prove that he really believed what he said he believed. Of course, if he said he did these things because he was filled with despair and felt nothing but revulsion for humanity, or because he was determined to sacrifice himself to rid his nation of tyranny, such a psychological or political motive would be accepted at face value. This double standard is guaranteed to exonerate religion every time. The game is rigged.
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Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
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Whether they are true does not diminish their symbolic value.
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Jeremy Robinson (Helios (Cerberus Group, #2))
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Work by psychologist Jonathan Haidt of New York University groups moral concerns into five domains—those related to obedience, loyalty, purity, fairness, and harm avoidance. His influential work has shown that political conservatives and highly religious people tilt in the direction of particularly valuing obedience, loyalty, and purity. The Left and the irreligious, in contrast, are more concerned with fairness and harm avoidance.
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Robert M. Sapolsky (Determined: A Science of Life without Free Will)
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Leadership has an electrifying edge when it comes to shaping culture. Trailblazing leaders carve out the vision, values, and behaviors that guide a group. With unwavering integrity, they ignite trust and foster collaboration, forging a culture that pushes boundaries. These audacious leaders infuse purpose, propelling individuals and cultivating a culture of relentless innovation and unquenchable curiosity.
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Donna Karlin (Culture Catalyst: Igniting an Era of Inclusion, Innovation and Growth)
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once we belong to a group, our survival instinct will constantly prompt us to interpret and rationalize everything in our lives and surroundings to reinforce that our group is the right one. We will feel an unrelenting urge to reject any indication that our group or its values could be wrong.
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Arnie Benn (Evolutionology: The Power Of Knowing How People Work: Your Life, Instinct, & Emotional Intelligence (A Practical Guide))
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Any human being is surely both: an I, special, discrete; and a We, part of a family, a country, a culture. In the best of worlds, the We—the group—values the I for its uniqueness, and the I knows itself through its relationships with others. If the balance is understood and respected—or so we fondly believe—there need not be a conflict.
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Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
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The first step is asking what kind of church are we? VALUE DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT It asks why we do what we do? The answer will reveal the church's core values. They are what drive the church, MISSIONS DEVELOPMENT The church's mission statement answers the functional question what are we supposed to be doing? This will enable each church to personalize the great commission and implement it in their unique ministry context. ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN This answers the question what is going on out there? This helps churches anticipate trends and coming changes in the general environment, that affect society, technology, economy, politics. This positions the church to be creative and proactive in thinking, so that we are not over whelmed or left behind in our ministry. VISION DEVELOPMENT While the Mission provides a statement of where the church is going, while the vision paints a picture of what that will look like. Vision development is seeing the church's future for it to happen. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT The strategy answers the question: How will we get to where we want to be? Once we know (Missions) and see (Vision) where we are going, we must decide how we will get there. A well thought through strategy consists of a target group we want to reach.
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Albert O. Aina (10 Healthy System for Healthy Church Growth)
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The Baldwin strategy was the best way to play the game when nothing was known about which cards had already been played. Their analysis was for a single deck because that was the only version played in Nevada at the time. The Baldwin group also showed that the advice of the reigning gambling experts was poor, unnecessarily giving the casinos an extra 2 percent advantage. Any strategy table for blackjack must tell the player how to act for each case that can arise from the ten possible values of the dealer’s upcard versus each of the fifty-five different pairs of cards that can be dealt to the player. To find the best way for the player to manage his cards in each of these 550 different situations, you need to calculate all the possible ways subsequent cards can be dealt and the payoffs that result. There may be thousands, even millions of ways each hand can play out. Do this for each of the 550 situations and the computations just for the complete deck become enormous. If you are dealt a pair, the strategy table must tell you whether or not to split it. The next decision is whether or not to double down, which is to double your bet and draw exactly one card to the first two cards of a hand. Your final decision is whether to draw more cards or to stop (“stand”). Once I had figured out a winning strategy, I planned to condense these myriad decisions onto tiny pictorial cards, just as I had with the Baldwin strategy. This would allow me to visualize patterns, making it much easier to recall what to do in each of the 550 possible cases.
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Edward O. Thorp (A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market)
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Israeli caution toward Russia in 2022 was unsurprising because Israeli surveillance firm Cellebrite had sold Vladimir Putin phone-hacking technology that he used on dissidents and political opponents for years, deploying it tens of thousands of times. Israel didn’t sell the powerful NSO Group phone-hacking tool, Pegasus, to Ukraine despite the country having asked for it since 2019: it did not want to anger Moscow. Israel was thus complicit in Russia’s descent into autocracy. Within days of the Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the global share prices of defense contractors soared, including Israel’s biggest, Elbit Systems, whose stock climbed 70 percent higher than the year before. One of the most highly sought-after Israeli weapons is a missile interception system. US financial analysts from Citi argued that investment in weapons manufacturers was the ethical thing to do because “defending the values of liberal democracies and creating a deterrent … preserves peace and global stability.”19 Israeli cyber firms were in huge demand. Israel’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said that Israel would benefit financially because European nations wanted Israeli armaments.20 She said the quiet part out loud, unashamed of seeing opportunity in a moment of crisis. “We have unprecedented opportunities, and the potential is crazy,” an Israeli defense industry source told Haaretz.21
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Antony Loewenstein (The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World)