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The Inner Conflict Of Modern People


Legion
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I have a question that I am hoping will jump start a little discussion. I am doing some research for a story that I may write. At the moment I am trying to piece together the elements of a plot. I know that it is conflict that propels a plot, gives it drama, and makes it interesting. And I think it is often the presence of an inner conflict in the protagonist that really holds our interest.

 

I also want to write a story that resonates with people today. And this brings me to my question. Do any of you think there is an inner conflict that most modern people share? And if so, what do you perceive this conflict as being?

 

I’ve searched a little bit and here is one man’s assertion on the nature modern people’s inner conflict…

 

“In every one of us today there is a deep uncertainty that stems from our inner conflict, from the separation between our spiritual and our technological life.” –Paul Tournier, The Whole Person in a Broken World

 

Read more here... http://www.mrrena.com/misc/Tournier.shtml

 

Do any of you agree with Dr. Tournier? If so, why? And if not, do you think there is some other inner conflict that riddles modern people?

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Gotta disagree with the doctor. For some reason he keeps equating throwing out Christianity with throwing out all spirituality, arts and philosophy. Not sure where he gets that from. Even better he goes on stating that we are all "impregnated" with Christianity and mankind's issues result from denial of it's creator.

Where does he get this stuff from.

 

Though there may be something to the idea of a conflict in modern man. Course without having been around to see the rest of history anything we say will just be speculation. So sounds like fun :)

 

So that's my take on the article, I'll have some input on the other question raised later.

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For some reason he keeps equating throwing out Christianity with throwing out all spirituality, arts and philosophy. Not sure where he gets that from.

Yeah Doc, I find that a bit odd too. And I would think most people who know anything about history would recognize that spirituality, art, and philosophy were around long before Christianity came on the scene. I was mainly throwing Tournier’s opinion out there as a starting point.

 

So that's my take on the article, I'll have some input on the other question raised later.

I look forward to it Doc.

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All right, I read that...phew.

 

I think that was an overly academic rant about how "throwing out God" somehow made the world a terrible place and people unhappy.

 

Humans have had there share of unhappiness throughout time, and if I read the statistics correctly people are gradually becoming happier. But with our many, many toys, we are able to read, hear, and see all the negativity at new and improved speeds and definitions. So we are able to see all the shades of brown this world has to offer as well. There are many legitimate and petty things to be angry and depressed over.

 

I find the assumption that humans are entitled to some overwhelming contentedness another assumption I do not care for. Feelings are reactionary things that come and go based on our environment, but once again religious dogma, particularly Christian dogma puts this idea in our minds that we must act and feel a certain way because: god is so great, ect.

 

I think we are coming into a new age of thought that says, material things are nice, but freedom to live as we please, under rational guidelines are better. Forcing our brains into that tiny box of medieval thought can only undo or bring new, more destructive patterns with the technology we currently have, because religion, especially the Abrahamic Religions are extremely warlike and irrational.

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My inner conflict is between duty to society and freedom to self

 

... although my hubs, who has just caught me eating a digestive topped with a slice of really fine cheddar (I'm supposed to be following a vegan diet for health reasons) says as far as he's concerned my main conflict is'cheese'

 

If you go with spirituality v technology - would this be a conflict one side would win? Or are you looking for ways to bring in peaceful co existence?

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Conflicts? We don't need no stinking conflicts....

 

1) Trust

2) Obvious moral conflicts that give rise to society vs. self

3) Definition of success

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I think that was an overly academic rant about how "throwing out God" somehow made the world a terrible place and people unhappy.

Yeah Shion, I tend to agree.

 

My inner conflict is between duty to society and freedom to self

Hey Alice, it’s good to see you.

 

I would think that most people in most times experience this kind of inner conflict. I guess I was looking for an inner conflict which was unique to modern people, if it exists.

 

If you go with spirituality v technology - would this be a conflict one side would win? Or are you looking for ways to bring in peaceful co existence?

Well I doubt that I will use a spirituality/technology conflict, but whatever conflict I use must be resolved by the end of any story. That’s what readers generally expect. And I think the resolution of any conflict would depend on the nature of the conflict.

 

Conflicts? We don't need no stinking conflicts....

End, this is the Coliseum and I was expecting a higher level of discourse.

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From the Article:

 

This modern man adheres by turns to the most contradictory new doctrines—individualism, totalitarianism, Nietzcheanism, existentialism, scientism, or Freudianism. He regulates his conduct in accord with them; but at the bottom of his soul he preserves an ideal and a conception of life which he owes to Christianity; the idea of a divine law, qualms of conscience when he violates it, fear of punishment, the need for pardon, grace, and reconciliation with God and man, the yearning for a complete renewal of his being, and at the same time for personal fulfillment and fellowship with others. Indeed, he has received all these ideas from God himself through the teaching of the church; and therefore he cannot erase them from his consciousness. Dr. Jung has said that every person over thirty-five years of age avers unconsciously or consciously that he is dominated by the fear of death and the religious problem.

 

I did not have time to read the entire article, Legion, but this paragraph I thought has some truth to it.

 

Of course I do not personally believe "he has received all these ideas from God himself", but the fact is that we were taught this as Christians.

 

I think there is a deep conflict between science and religion, which really has not been resolved. I think it may be possible and necessary to resolve it, but this has not happened yet.

 

There is also a conflict between rationality and the irrational. Do you know what I mean, Legion? Yes, the irrational is part of the human condition. Let us face it. This is neither good nor bad, its just a fact. There is a denial of this irrationality in modern life. There is almost no outlet for it except art (the value of which is minimized in this culture) and religion. Religion, beginning with the Protestant Reformation and clearly since the 18th century Enlightenment, has been tamed down and made "rational". Much as I personally dislike the pentecostal movement with all its dancing around, fainting, speaking in fake languages -- its success I attribute to meeting this deep need for an irrational release. We see a lot of religious window-shopping in this country, people increasingly do not remain with the religion, let alone the church denomination, they were brought up in. They are searching for something that will resolve their anxiety about life and death, their helplessness and their feeling of just being a cog in a machine.

 

Surely there is a problem in modern society when even though we have solved so many of our problems of sheer survival (clean water, food, shelter, etc.)through technology that so many people are not only unhappy, but they are very angry. People who seem to have every material comfort available to them. Our technological culture has tamed people and they resent it to the core.

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Very interesting Deva, thank you. Let me think about this further.

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End, this is the Coliseum and I was expecting a higher level of discourse.

 

 

Humor can sometimes be a higher level of discourse. If you not aware of the reference, it is from Blazing Saddles....

 

Please go back an reread "Trust" being at the top of my list....an internal struggle that weighs within, for example, either to perceive you as an arrogant jackass or still consider you a friend.

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Surely there is a problem in modern society when even though we have solved so many of our problems of sheer survival (clean water, food, shelter, etc.)through technology that so many people are not only unhappy, but they are very angry. People who seem to have every material comfort available to them. Our technological culture has tamed people and they resent it to the core.

 

A part of the discontent in people, because we have "filled in the map," if I may use a Pirates of the Caribbean reference. I think this goes back to our evolution as a species. There is a drive to keep expanding, exploring, because doing that has benefited our species provided new problems, new resources that has allowed us to advance.

 

But I don't think we as a species are entitled to contentment. In fact I think it would be damaging. Our discontentment can be turned to exploring and unlocking knowledge that we have not thought of before.

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Eh again I have little time or energy to devote to this. Great topic though.

 

I'll try to get some thoughts down now so that I can come back to this later.

 

An obvious one to me is the conflict in modern people between their biology and society. Physiologically and psychologically, I'd imagine.

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