Friday, July 6, 2012

15. Indifference

Some philosopher thinks that human beings have progressed when it comes to morality since the modern age. The reason is that people can feel unforgivable feelings for unreasonable harm or injury of people who live in the opposite side on the earth or other parts on the earth in general beyond race and ethnicity.
Individuals who do not have that kind of feelings cannot say so because they think it is shameful, evil, anti-intelligence and anti-modernistic attitudes to speak so. It became a common sense that people, as the same human beings, cannot recognize poverty or anti-humanistic behavior or harm, as a result of these behavior, as just. It is usually argued that moral evolution occurred in human beings because of extension of interests and empathy.
   A lot of philosophy of success demands that people should have sincere interests in others. It means that people who have no interests cannot be successful. In this context, having interests are praised and indifference are criticized.
The critical point is that these interests are not the same. Interests argued in the context of moral evolution are not interests in people but in the moral society. If there are interests in people in this context, then these interests may be the by-product of the interests in the moral society. It is the same interests if people are interested in their own society. In this case, people are interested in the way to the society but not in individuals as well.
The more extending people’s interests, the more the view point of the interests move toward the society from individuals. The more increase the interests in the society, the more decrease the interests in people in the real world. The society is divided into the small societies and becoming diverse: life-style, preferences, special fields of expertise and interpersonal relationship. If people are meeting neighbors, then people may meet with them as a member of different groups. I do not focus on whether it’s good or not. I just believe that it is important to note the fact that the post-modern people are always separating interests in people from interests in the society. This idea is necessary to think about the different conflicts between an individual vs. an organization /society.
I heard the story about an elite student who was jailed because of excessive demonstration about workers’ right. This student did not have conversation with workers who were also in the jail. It indicated that the student was interested in the thought but not in people.
It is also the similar story that a person who is interested in human rights may not be interested in people. These people are not a few. Rather, it seems to be clear tendency of the modern society. I may be the one of them.
Is there anyone who you are talking with but you are not interested in? Why?
Is it because of the deficiency of empathy or of benefits? Is it because of conflicts? Conflicts can generate either strong interests or indifferences. In many cases, risks are in the indifferences. I do not care about philosophy of success; however, I think it is important to have some interests and not to be indifferent in any case. It is not necessary to have strong interests but to have minimum interests so that it can facilitate in understanding the others.

14. Pressure of Tolerance

              Interpersonal conflicts, in many cases, converts into conflicts of feelings. If the conflicts are in the field of academia, it is really rare case that people cannot bring its conflicts to friendship. Conflicts in religion are also easily converted into conflicts of feelings, if there is a man of religion who is expected to have tolerance, or a man who told that one achieved enlightenment and call them as a man of religion. In both cases, these are preferred conflicts because there are grounds to conflicts.
              Conflicts of feelings can be expressed as “unforgivable”. Unforgivable feelings can be attributed to the fact of the past, to the conflicts of thoughts or to cultural differences. Some might attribute these feelings to physiological sense, to emotion, or to “no reason”. If someone threats property or life, then unforgivable feelings can come out. Unforgivable feelings can be elicited by reason or unreason, although there are a few individuals who think its origin. It is because the feelings of unforgivable are temporal feelings that alleviate, extinct or shut it up before it is converted into concrete conflicts.
              In a daily life, in many cases, cost is greater than the benefit to express individual conflicts. It is impossible to obtain larger gain than the cost except for winning the litigation or settlements that enables for people to get a large amount of compensation. Conflicts are much larger costs for organization and the society than individuals. The case which is required to corporative attitudes or tolerance is recommended not because it is a moral but because it is profitable. One of the ideal goals of education is to cope with individual conflicts by smoothly and sociably. 
Considering to the Japanese society, its social condition— corporative attitudes are excessively demanded—prevent them from maturation of conflicts. Suppressed conflict energy is released to the target as bullying because bullying is a rare opportunity to release this energy. The unique Japanese bullying as social pathology— a lot of people can be forced to have corporative attitudes toward to the person who is bullying— is attributed to the absence of reasonable conflict experiences.
One of the remedies for this social pathology is to make people understand that rejecting or ignoring of unforgivable feelings as negative is unreasonable. People who speak ill of their supervisor with drinking should not be disrespect as immaturity of self-regulation. Whatever the form is, it is important to express or recognize these feelings. Excessive suppression as tolerance can distort the recognition of their natural feelings. It is required that people should notice its risk to distort people’s recognition and feelings.
It is also true that speaking ill of their supervisor with their colleagues cannot be conflicts. The important point here is to judge if it should be the problem to be dealt with speaking ill of or should make it real conflicts. If individual always attempt to avoid any conflicts because of cost-benefits calculations, then they may be prone to select the option which seems to make maximum profits. Yet, someone may have this thought as belief or may think it is inevitable judgments. There is however, not a few people disagree with that belief. These people believe that people can change their future society by their will and have the will to seek for the better world. It is natural that there are conflicts between people who recognize and take responsibility to long term goals, and people who are prone to get short term benefits.
Expressing conflicts can convert asymmetrical conflicts into symmetrical conflicts. In order to express conflicts, it needs to be the better grounds and technique of conflicts. That better grounds have to allow people to express their conflicts with reason and language in front of the opponents but not expressing as violation, speaking ill of, or conspiracy. 
This is the opened and flattered world where there is easy access to the Internet. The Internet can allow people to expose their information and utterance. This indicates that the Internet can be used as a basis or an infrastructure of conflicts. I think that people should use the Internet as means for this purpose.
The important lessons from the philosophy of conflicts are what people should reevaluate the origin of conflicts, should have the will to express conflicts beyond personal interests without thinking conflicts as negative, should make better grounds to reasonable conflicts, should have enough experiences of conflicts, should exclude the excessive corporation and should fight against tolerance pressure. Having these attitudes is the responsibility for future, and can produce hope and can help to preserve humanity.
Taking a conflict position appropriately is far better choice to suppress their feelings to avoid making conflicts in a daily life. Appropriate conflicts mean what expressing true reason and tell the reason of unforgivable feelings appropriately. It is easy to say. It is; however, difficult to practice it if there are asymmetry between standpoints. If people face to such a case, then they should consider the strategy that enables for individuals to express the conflicts and take an advantage of them. In this case, interpersonal conflicts turned into conflicts which connect to the third party.

13. Conflicts and Interests: A Conflict Case4

              Here is a story between a person who work as a chief of the human resource department, and a person who work as a head of a section of the same department. Name James for the former and Alex for the latter. In the human resource department, the reformation of the evaluation for people was discussed in order to adapt the current economic environment. James and Alex were agreed with the basic concepts of the reformation plan. This section is special because a lot of people are working only for this section and as a result, the solidarity between people is strong.
              James changed his attitude toward the reformation plan when they provide the document with the member of the meeting to discuss this reformation plan. He said that the reformation plan will not be accepted by the workers above 40 years old, and he told Alex that this plan should be completely revised. Not only was Alex perplexed, but also other colleagues of him were so. Alex was perplexed because the meeting will be held in a month. It seemed too impossible for him to revise and write a new document for the meeting. Moreover, Alex was not sure what kind of reformation plan can be acceptable because James did not point out specific points. Furthermore, Alex was responsible for making this reformation plan. He was afraid of being penalized if he cannot make a new reformation plan only a month. Thus, Alex became nervous with James.
              James rejected the reformation plan because he thought his interests. He calculated the effect of the new plan. As a result, he notices that he could lose 20,000,000 yen for life-earnings if this plan was passed. James knew that this plan was profitable for the company, although he did not want to accept this plan because of his interests. He also thought that Alex was responsible for this plan. He knew that he would not receive any damage if this plan was not accepted.
              In this case, they share the same goal, values and means. In addition, their personal relationship was not distracted. It is; however, it must be recalled the fact that the differences in the standpoints can cause different interests. There are few people who can free from their own standpoint. Moreover, it may harm others.
              It is really difficult to give up the status quo for people even though they believe that the society should be more equal. It is extremely difficult to free from own standpoints. It is easy to criticize that behavior as egoism, although it is also easy to advocate egoism. Thus, the problem is the limitation of the egoism. The egoists want to be recognized their maximum autonomy regulated by the law and culture. They try to argue that minimum regulation of autonomy whereas anti-egoists argue to maximize the minimum regulation. This debate is in vain because most of the problems are end of the spectrum.
              The strength of the standpoint is different. In this case, James is in a stronger standpoint than Alex. James utilized his position to reject the reformation plan. I do not want to argue that the problem is strength and weakness of each standpoint. It is inevitable that there are strong and weak standpoints in the world. In some cases, these differences are large and fixed, but in the other case, are not.
              In this case, I am not sure that Alex who seemed to be a weaker standpoint did counterattack or he might be succeeded as a result of the attack. Differences in standpoints are different from the relationship between dominance and obedience. Foucault pointed out the fact that there is some sort of freedom, and this freedom produces the power and it was represented as different standpoints. If there is no freedom between dominance and obedience, then it can eliminate standpoints and it can be the condition that the complete domination eliminates the notion of the domination. It eventually eliminates the notion of the standpoints.
              People are affiliated with the multiple societies and multiple standpoints. Some might devote his life to utter their idealism whereas the others might devote their life to criticize egoism. I am thinking of both and consider to how to balance these different notions. I am not sure that I can have another option.
              I am not able to sympathize with the optimists who ignored the real world or egoists who cannot understand others. As Shakespeare says, “All the world stage, every men and women were merely players.”  It is not the problem of judgment whether it is good or evil but it is reality in the worlds. Standpoints or interests are naturally produced. It is not reasonable to reject and disprove that fact. Rather, people should recognize themselves as players in the world.

12. Identity: A Conflict Case 3

             Here is a conflict story between two people who are working in the same company. One of them is a worker, and the other is a manager and is a supervisor of him. Let’s say, Tom for worker and Jason for the manager. The relationship between Tom and Jason were not bad. One day, Jason blamed Tom for putting Tom’s favorite figure on the desk in the office. Jason said, “This figure is not appropriate to have because you are mature adult.” This trivial phrase dramatically changed their relationship. For Jason, this figure was valueless whereas this figure was one of the significant symbols which embody Tom’s value. Thus, it was unacceptable violation for Tom to be blamed for having this figure and he might feel disrespect from Jason. Tom started having antagonistic attitudes because of this unacceptable attack from Jason afterwards. Jason noticed this attitudinal change, although he did not notice the reason. Tom became less conscientious for working and he felt uneasiness in seeing Jason’s face. Tom still puts his favorite figure on the desk. 
              I will discuss not the figure but identity. I wonder if the figure for him may be the idle for religion. If it is true, then it can be inappropriate to bring such religious and holly items in the office. A lot of company prohibit bringing the religious items, although Tom’s favorite figure are a clearly religious item or not.
              Alternative interpretation is that it can be a star for Tom but not religious item. The constitution protects the freedom of speech, thoughts and religion. If this alternative interpretation is true, it can argue that Jason’s behavior can be considered to harm this freedom.
              Now, I do not argue the questions: who should be judge and how should the judge evaluate specific value. Instead, I will answer the question why this situation is caused. It is reasonable to think that judgments are unavoidable and the judge must be human beings. In the case argued above, it is not required to judge and no possibility to be judged. In many cases, I assume that the conflicts are usually not judged, and are invisible or covered up. I think that people initially assert their situation that they are injured their identity when they felt disrespect, disgrace and when they guess its reason.
              Identity is unique. Not a few cases are invisible from others. People feel their identity when they are affiliated with specific social and cultural groups. Family, the place where people were born, school, a company, a club, a party, a group with sharing specific interests, a religious group, social activist party, a political party, a social position, a career, generation, ethnicity, nation, and specific historical views, all of them can be the origin of the identity. If people analyze the identity of themselves or others, then they can notice that the strength differences among demographic characters, or notice that some characters are not consciously recognized, or notice the distorted and complicated figures of identity.
              Identity is an extension of social and cultural aspects of self-recognition. Therefore, people can feel pride, self-awareness, responsibility for the group or notions which can produce solidarity with them. Identity—these characteristics produced by the solidarity with specific group or notions—must not be disproved or disrespected. Rather it must be natural and sound, although it depends on the characteristics of the group or notion.
              Considering the case of a baseball game, a pitcher threw a ball at the middle of high where an idle batter of a pitcher can easily hit a homerun, without thinking a team. This case must be criticized. If he exposed this thought, he could be expelled from a team, and no team could recruit him. A game exists when the players recognize their identity each other. If this game is inside of the civilization, then there must be respect each other. It is, however, in real world, not a few coaches told players that they should have antagonistic mind as if they were killing the members of the other team. It did not violate the law, so it can be protected due to the right of freedom of speech. It is free to do so, however, not a few people think it is immoral.
              Some people might feel their school as their identity. There are many people who graduated from the famous institutions take a pride of their educated school, even though they do not explicitly say so. Yet, I do not understand how to evaluate such people who graduated the most prestigious schools and do not make any contributions for the academia or the society. I highly expect that they would make a contribution not to devaluate their institution, although those people who think as I thought are minority.
              Thanks to the fame of the school, it is nothing more than the psychological effects to believe exaggerated self. Nevertheless, people are prone to have overestimated images of them. For instance, I heard many cases that corporations recruit people as executives those who graduated the most prestigious institutions, even though just appeal their company to the public. One professor said that the purpose of the university is to sale the name and fame to students. It is true because it is impossible to obtain the brand of the most prestigious school if the individual do not graduate from that school.
              Identity has both positive and negative meanings. On the one hand, it can facilitate and promote the activation and development of a specific group. On the other hand, it can also provide the cause and reason of conflicts with people. Considering its effect to individuals, it can be true that excessive and exaggerated identity can cause satisfaction and pleasure. This, however, can also make people machine that can be functioned as a part of the organization. This is the case that individual lose their identity. Yet, someone might justify this situation as right way of life not as a result of depraved identity. Revaluation of self-identity and imagining others identity must be valuable in order to live with furthering the understanding of human nature and the society.