Special: Are you it?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Turambar, Jul 18, 2012.

?

So? Do you think you're special?

  1. Yes!

    9 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. No...

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  1. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    This is a subject that's been bugging me in a rather dualistic way. I think it's best if I present it in the form of a question. Ask yourself this and answer in all honesty;


    Do you think you are special?


    Do you think that you are set apart, do you think you are above par, of notable intellect, maybe extraordinary athletic capabilities. Do you, maybe, believe destiny has carved out something special for you?
    In short, do you think you are set above the masses?

    And, if so, why? And, if not, why not?


    EDIT: I think this best describes the question I wanted to present;

     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  2. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    (things I do to procrastinate... ^^)

    Am I special?
    I guess not.
    As the nice High School teacher said in his rather famous speech: Even if you are 1 special person out of 10 000 people - you're still not alone, because there's 7billion people on this planet (0r 8, I lost count in China, sorry)
    And, as Homer Simpson said: No matter how good you are, there's always an Asian who is better than you ;)

    So no, I do not have outstanding qualities.
    BUT enough qualities to make a change in my surroundings; enough character to be special to the people who like me and I'm set-apart enough so that in case I die there's no one there to replace me for my family and friends.
    In the history of humanity and in the history of this planet, we are all insignificant. Nobodies. Midgets. Meaningless. Completely disposable. Nobody wants us, nobody needs us. Who cares?
    In the history of our lives, of the lives of people close to us, we are all special. We have a meaning. We can't be replaced. We are all equally special to the people who love us.
    We are all special (and the implication that ergo none of us is in this case doesn't count. Because we are all special to someone, but not all special to everyone)

    Did that cover the question or am I way off topic?
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Nono, I think you've got the idea :) I've kept the question rather broad for people to interpret.

    I do want to note, though, that 7 billion people does not mean that your chance of being special is 1 in 7.000.000.000. There have been lots of special people. Maybe you don't need to have extraordinary skills to make a significant difference or contribution to this world but I suppose it's all a matter of perspective.
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    To begin with, I do not believe in destiny, karma, or any name you pin on such things. However, plain old dumb luck is apart of our lives. It's not to say that luck is anything more or less than 'probability', but certainly you cannot change the circumstances of your birth, early nurturing environment, or genetic foundation, and those three things are integral in all that you are and all that you can become. The rest is nothing but possibilities, and that is what the individual is responsible for.


    Am I "special"... compared to who or what?

    Because of nothing more than dumb luck I was born with an above average brain and healthy body, born into a loving family with good parents who nurtured me to maturity, I had great friends growing up and still have great friends; most of these things are mostly beyond my control and can be chalked up to luck and circumstance.

    So if we put genetic predisposition and luck aside what else is there to set one person above another?.. I'd say it's 'risk' and how an individual deals with bad luck and less than ideal circumstances. Are you willing to take a chance on a long shot, are you able to bounce back from outrageous misfortune, do you have courage and the steadfastness to make yourself into a better person?
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I don't think it's a question of comparison. I suppose you have a mental image of yourself and your position in the world. Is that a self image significantly above par, is it one of mediocrity? One of the masses? Or do you have yourself set aside?
     
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'm definitely set apart from the masses and I confidently place myself above most of humanity.

    My primary criteria for judging one's own worth is how do you act and react under pressure. Will you sacrifice your own well being, do you become more engaged or less engaged when the screws are applied. The other component is 'creativity', or the lack there of... I rank creativity very highly.
     
  7. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    I do not think I'm special, and i dont have any outstanding qualities, but for some people you will always be special. But no one is better than the other on this planet. If everyone's special and unique, that means no one really is.
     
  8. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I'm not special at all.
     
  9. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    The vast diversity of the population doesn't really qualify people to be labeled special, there is without a doubt hundreds or thousands of people with your exact skill set and probably even more that are better at those skills. Personally I have absolutely no skills or talents any redundant trait that is commonly labeled special I don't even have.

    Creativity isn't super objective, some people hate some art and others love it. Some designs are really creative but are too complex. While it promotes free thought it isn't really good, bad, or even special. Some people would consider savants with a knack for playing complex songs at a young age special when they function just as a sound emitting device with a heartbeat requiring no creativity.

    I don't think all people are "special" but some do have valued skill sets, but so many other people exist that the overlapping of these skills makes the value less. People like to attribute a value to human life saying every person is special, I wish I could say the same, but half of us including myself could die off in a flash and there would be nobody would be affect except there would probably be less people to work in the fast food industry.
     
  10. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    Ill go with Running on this one and I took the liberty of voting "yes" simply because I like that thought ^^
     
  11. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Yes and no. I'm certainly special for certain people, but compared to the rest of the world - and this issue of a comparison with several billion people has been mentioned already - I wouldn't say I'm special. If strangers got to know me and/or my CV, they wouldn't say "damn, that gal's something really special!".
    I sometimes have the feeling that every second person says they're special, "different" in some way, but... Is that even possible? I doubt that. Of course it might be possible that my life style or anything else about me is entirely different from the life styles of my neighbours or any of the people living in this apartment building, but then again, those are only less than 50 of several billion people.
    Although I'd very much like the idea of me being something/someone special, I usually try to think realistically and admit that I'm not. However, I think that's a great motivation. Don't we all want to be special in some way? Well, let's do something about it. :D
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I find it interesting that the tone of the thread is that you're either born with special abilities or you're not.

    I've always considered being "special", or talented to a high degree at something to be a quality you have to work at, usually for many years. I think a serious problem arises when people who consider themselves special also feel they're entitled to certain things, and don't much care how they obtain those things.

    I'm guessing that's what Turambar was hinting at in his original post, that there's a "dualistic" quality to feeling that you are special.
     
  13. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    The thing is this: We are born with only one set of eyes. Our view on the world is that from behind our own eyes. And (at least most of us) see people all day. People which we recognize to be, more or less, the same as we are. And, however hard we try, for instance by means of empathy, we can never actually take the perspective of someone else. As a result, from behind our own eyes, the world devides into two distinct categories; me - and the rest of the world. So from the get-go, we've set ourselves apart and we can see this in children. All children thing they're special and, with the culture that we have, that is actually encouraged to believe that we are by parents and other grownups.

    For reasons given above, I can't speak for everyone. However, people do think that they, in the small universe behind their eyes, they are by and large right. And that other people, at least the ones who don't agree, are wrong. However unlikely that is. The things we are good at tend to Matter. Things we're not so good at or don't catch our interest are somewhere between unimportant and trivial, in general at least (and I don't particularly feel I am an exception). From a personal perspective, it's hard not to feel above average since everyone is good at at least something. I've heard a statistic that 80% of the people feel their intelligence is above average or higher. Now, that statistic probably primed your brain, but ask yourself in all honesty - do you feel you are intelligent above average?

    And yet, as people have shown, we also know that the statistics don't pan out. We can't be all special or set aside or something. Or, if we are, being special can't be really that special. The interesting bit is, of course, that people generally don't live by it. In a dialogue, people should be talking half the time and listening the other. They way I observe it's more likely to be 80-20. For both parties! We all know how it works... No one is really inclined to let go of the thought that whatever is brewing behind their lenses is probably wrong. And insignificant. I mean, right? Raise hands...

    And now the real question comes out; accepting that our initial assumption of specialness (for lack of a better word) is wrong, should we try to live by it and force upon ourselves some sort of perceived mediocrity? Should we embrace the thought that, given the numbers we are looking at, our special little selves are completely insignificant? Or is that too tall a task? Is it a simple matter of personal pride? Or is there something else at hand and would we go crazy if we let go of what we assume is correct?

    Let's just say I'm struggling :)

    EDIT:

    Yes, I think you've got the spirit of it there :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  14. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Once you understand how big the universe is and compare how "special" you may be with the impact you can make on it none of us are really that special or powerful. Most of our skills are artificial, our talents are man-made for man-made things. We've blocked off nature and created a world where the only thing that matters is how fast you can make money. You can be born with a knack or be trained, but your skills are still being used for means you might not always agree with because we are only cogs in the machine of industry and when one cog fails another one can easily be molded by the education system.

    In summary, we are all disposable, forgettable, and have no control over anything that is interesting. Still people are great and can be mighty in our artificial world but it is too easy to forget that this world only matters to us and nothing else.
     
  15. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    I'm interpreting special to mean more like different. I think I am, biologically. Not many people have the conditions I have and many less have multiples at the same time, so in that regard I'm relatively unique. As far as ability goes I don't think so, but try not to think about it since its kinda depressing to know that no matter what I do or how good I get, unless I happen to be an Olympian I'll never be particularly good at anything. I do think though that being special is entirely relative to your surroundings, people, and culture. Who am I competing with to be considered special? The world? My community? My school?
     
  16. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    Basically... nope. I really don't think there's anything special about me at all. Maybe one day there will be. But myself as I am now, and what I have been leading up to the present time then... nah. Not so special.
     
  17. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    The whole question hinges on your semantics, self vision, and looking glass self vision. Also if you want to look at things with a small scale or even on a cosmic level. And if your definition of special scales with that. When I do judge things myself I tend to put them on the larger end of the comparative scale so things like self value or personal and local problems seem distant to me.
     
  18. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    This thread is an interesting read :) It made me remember something:
    I have a friend who is into new-age spirituality in a big way. Out of curiosity, I went to a lecture presentation with her once and the speaker was someone who claimed to have had a random epiphany that changed her life forever for the better. The thought that was such a big revelation for her was this: "The universe (or God or.... fill in the blank with whatever deity, word or concept works for you here) created vast galaxies, planets and stars, life and beauty etc etc etc. At one point it/he/she decided that all that could wait for a moment because I needed to be created too."
    What does everybody think about that?
     
  19. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's the universal concept that we're all special, but those few who are more special get to profit from it.
     
  20. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    *laughs*
    I suppose some people equate being "special" with notoriety or financial success but that wasn't what I meant when I asked what everybody thought about the above listed revelation.

    What I wanted to know was, does that person's revelation strike a cord within you personally? Is that concept a surprise to you or does it seem like you already knew that (ie: this is not such a BIG revelation actually)? Maybe you think it's just some mediocre person's justification for wanting to feel special?