View Poll Results: Cynicism or Idealism

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  • Cynicism

    2 11.11%
  • Idealism

    5 27.78%
  • Both

    11 61.11%
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Thread: Cynicism vs Idealism

  1. #1
    Creepy-male

    Default Cynicism vs Idealism

    Make your case for one or the other

    discuss

  2. #2
    Creepy-female

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    I can't really think of them as one or the other. It's like different sides of the same coin. Or isn't there a phrase or something that talks about love and hate being extremely close? It's a lot like that. A polarity encased in a single entity. Sure it might be tough navigating the gap...or is it a gradient? But they can also be intertwined intimately! Bah. Well so far I've observed that cynicism isn't a neutral thing. Neutral is neutral. Cynicism is like idealism disappointed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    Cynicism is like idealism disappointed.
    Excellent turn of phrase. I like it.

    And I agree. I prefer "realism" to either one. Both cynicism and idealism strike me as unrealistic, intellectually lazy approaches to life.
    Quaero Veritas.

  4. #4
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    Cynicism is like idealism disappointed.
    Yes I like that quote alot also, I've heard that before in one form or another.

    but the thing is, to me it seems children come into the world idealists, but through their experiences with reality they develop a taste for cynicism as a result of reality crushing their ideals about the way things should "ideally" be. Somewhere along the line a person has to make peace with these two ideas it seems, either choose one outlook or another, or find some way to manage both... I am intriguied about what people will make of this question so I won't give away my answer.

    I know in alot of movies/books/stories/what not, its easy to identify the idealist and the cynic..... take something as simplistic and well known as star wars.... the idealist is luke skywalker, the cynic hans solo. Take the movie blood diamond, maybe a less known example, but leo's char was the cynic and connely was the idealist... the whole relationship between them was fueled by this element, she was the pure idealist that in her naive-state needed someone to handle the harsh reality, he was the rough cynic that needed to regain his belief in human goodness. Blah blah blah, you can draw up an endless source of characters comparissons... I remember the movie "Men of Honor".... the master chief was a highly cynical character and the black navy diver was the idealist pursuing some impossible dream. Gladiator.... maximus was more of the idealist, cicero was the cynic. Etc, you can probably do this all day with almost every movie you have ever seen. The most interesting thing is that some of the cynics have this element where they seem to be "completely defeated" and other cynics seem to just be skeptical about idealism. The "completely defeated" cynics make the antagonists and the skeptical cynics make the characters that aid the protagonist or they make the "anti-hero" ish protagonists that resolve this inner-conflict at the end of the plot line.

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    Cynicism vs Idealism.

    I've never gotten that far, or perhaps I'm beyond it.

  6. #6
    Poster Nutbag The Exception's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    I can't really think of them as one or the other. It's like different sides of the same coin. Or isn't there a phrase or something that talks about love and hate being extremely close? It's a lot like that. A polarity encased in a single entity. Sure it might be tough navigating the gap...or is it a gradient? But they can also be intertwined intimately! Bah. Well so far I've observed that cynicism isn't a neutral thing. Neutral is neutral. Cynicism is like idealism disappointed.
    This is a good explanation. I usually start out idealistic but turn cynical after a series of a disappointments. I then stay cynical for awhile then realize that it's not going to solve much to stay cynical. I then become more hopeful that things will turn themselves around but also careful to not be overly optimistic. In other words:
    Idealistic ------------> Cynical ---------------------> Realistic
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  7. #7
    Creepy-male

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    Good stuff, need moar opinions

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    Contrarian Traditionalist Krig the Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    This is a good explanation. I usually start out idealistic but turn cynical after a series of a disappointments. I then stay cynical for awhile then realize that it's not going to solve much to stay cynical. I then become more hopeful that things will turn themselves around but also careful to not be overly optimistic. In other words:
    Idealistic ------------> Cynical ---------------------> Realistic
    Yes, me too! It's kind of like Hegelian dialectic: thesis (idealism), antithesis (cynicism), and synthesis (realism).
    Quaero Veritas.

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    Realistic optimism > all.

    Cynicism and idealism are both unhealthy. I say I'd rather be cynical, but I am more naturally idealistic. I don't like it though. But I'm just not a practical person really, too 'spiritual and iei like' or whatever.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Realistic optimism > all.

    Cynicism and idealism are both unhealthy. I say I'd rather be cynical, but I am more naturally idealistic. I don't like it though. But I'm just not a practical person really, too 'spiritual and iei like' or whatever.
    I don't know....

    Besides what is "realistic optimism"? isn't optimism an idealistic notion and realism a cynical notion so isn't what you say basically cynical idealism? bringing us back to the duality of the nature of both.

    What I'd really be interesting in you is a given a face to the name of "Realistic optimism"...

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    That's why I said 'realistic' before the optimism. Knowing what you can accomplish with a bit of luck and effort is important, isn't it? Most people seem to have a problem with arrogance or inflated self of esteem though, which annoys me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    That's why I said 'realistic' before the optimism. Knowing what you can accomplish with a bit of luck and effort is important, isn't it? Most people seem to have a problem with arrogance or inflated self of esteem though, which annoys me.


    I am confused how you go from knowing what you can accomplish to some people having an inflated sense of self esteem.

    I mean are you basically saying that a large portion of people think too highly of what they are capable of?

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    I'd say I am mostly cynical, with one or two pockets of unbridled idealism.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Realistic optimism > all.

    Cynicism and idealism are both unhealthy. I say I'd rather be cynical, but I am more naturally idealistic. I don't like it though. But I'm just not a practical person really, too 'spiritual and iei like' or whatever.
    me too! I've actually used the term "realistic optimist" to describe myself in other contexts. This is exactly how I think. Although I voted for idealism. I think in part because when I was younger and my hopes were dashed, I became more realistic and that didn't really help things. At the time I felt like it helped me be a more balanced person but now I'm paying the price by feeling let down and disappointed with myself for not being more idealistic. I dunno. (midlife crisis...)
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  15. #15
    Creepy-male

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    I'm an idealist with a cynical sense of humor.

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    For the human race, I'm an idealist, for the universe, cynicism doesn't described my attitude...I'm more of a realist.

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    cynical about politics and power.

    idealistic about possibilities and potential.

    skeptical about people.

    realistic about new mousetraps.

    ILE

    those who are easily shocked.....should be shocked more often

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    Yeah, new mousetraps always bite you in the ass.

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    From what I have learned from abnormal psych optimism trumps pessimism in preventing mental disorders...
    “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” -Anton Chekhov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardia View Post
    From what I have learned from abnormal psych optimism trumps pessimism in preventing mental disorders...
    Pessimism, however, is different in concept from cynicism.
    "Alpha Quadra subforum. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." ~Obi-Wan Kenobi
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    I'm fundamentally an idealist. However, in practical terms, I know what will and will not *actually* happen, regardless of what I *want* to happen. But insofar as I continue wanting, aren't I an idealist to that extent? Cynicism is generally a waste of time, imo, but it can be a useful weapon when one's in a bad mood. Little more.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

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  22. #22
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by polikujm View Post
    Cynicism vs Idealism.

    I've never gotten that far, or perhaps I'm beyond it.
    I've been thinking about this for a while.....

    I don't get how you can be beyond it (or not there yet)... I thought this was more of a situation everyone faces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    Yeah, new mousetraps always bite you in the ass.

    yeah. they so do.

    ILE

    those who are easily shocked.....should be shocked more often

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    Pessimism, however, is different in concept from cynicism.
    I guess that it true though I tend to seem them as related.
    “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” -Anton Chekhov

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    I mean are you basically saying that a large portion of people think too highly of what they are capable of?
    Yes, I'm saying that. They think they are better than what they really are, which is more dangerous than somebody thinking they are less than what they really are. We like to go after people with 'low self-esteem' more than we like to go people with too high of self-esteem, but the people with too high self of esteem are the ones that are a threat to other people, if somebody just has too low of self-esteem why do we care? We only bother them because it makes our own lives feel better but they are only hurting themselves. I'd rather us be insecure and weak and have low self-esteem, then the other way around. But it takes actual balls to confront somebody who thinks they are the shit, it's just way too easy to go after somebody that is down about themselves. =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    I'm fundamentally an idealist. However, in practical terms, I know what will and will not *actually* happen, regardless of what I *want* to happen. But insofar as I continue wanting, aren't I an idealist to that extent? Cynicism is generally a waste of time, imo, but it can be a useful weapon when one's in a bad mood. Little more.
    yup. same! but sometimes I talk myself into thinking that maybe what I want to happen could actually happen, even when it's unlikely. It's a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. I go through these phases in my life when I'm very idealistic. then when I've been disappointed enough, the realism kicks in and I give up being idealistic for awhile. And then something happens and it starts all over again.
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Yes, I'm saying that. They think they are better than what they really are, which is more dangerous than somebody thinking they are less than what they really are. We like to go after people with 'low self-esteem' more than we like to go people with too high of self-esteem, but the people with too high self of esteem are the ones that are a threat to other people, if somebody just has too low of self-esteem why do we care? We only bother them because it makes our own lives feel better but they are only hurting themselves. I'd rather us be insecure and weak and have low self-esteem, then the other way around. But it takes actual balls to confront somebody who thinks they are the shit, it's just way too easy to go after somebody that is down about themselves. =)
    I agree. Plus, people with overly high self-esteem will be just as unhappy as people with low self-esteem, when their delusions crash into cold hard reality. These are the people who feel like the world owes them something because they're such special people. An attitude of entitlement can only lead to misery.
    Quaero Veritas.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Yes, I'm saying that. They think they are better than what they really are, which is more dangerous than somebody thinking they are less than what they really are. We like to go after people with 'low self-esteem' more than we like to go people with too high of self-esteem, but the people with too high self of esteem are the ones that are a threat to other people, if somebody just has too low of self-esteem why do we care? We only bother them because it makes our own lives feel better but they are only hurting themselves. I'd rather us be insecure and weak and have low self-esteem, then the other way around. But it takes actual balls to confront somebody who thinks they are the shit, it's just way too easy to go after somebody that is down about themselves. =)
    Alright, alright, that makes perfect sense, and I generally agree.

    The only thing that pops into my mind is that there is an idea of believing you have the potential to do something. Then there is an idea of believing you are ready to do something. They are NOT the same thing. Many people have the potential to run a marathon, but very few people are currently in condition to actually pick themselves up and do it.

    So where am I going with this? I am saying that when people evaluate what they are capable of I think they confuse the potential with the reality. For example, someone may believe they are strong and competent because they have some sort of fighting spirit inside them, but when they try to face down their challenges they fail horribly because they didn't channel that spirit into reality and train themselves to competency.

    I think this is what creates arrogant people who think too highly of themselves, they have the right spirit, but they aren't willing to mold and channel that spirit into something real because they believe themselves naturally superior, and that feeling natural superiority and entitlement is their downfall.

    So basically what I am saying, is that its not like a person is born as a fixed "arrogant person", its a barrier that people overcome in progressing in life, the ability to realize their potential and channel it succesfully... and the only way they learn is accepting their failures when they happen rather than blaming them on "reality".

    Now

    Would this for example be a form of realistic optimism, in your opinion... what is your impression of this idea?

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    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron View Post
    yup. same! but sometimes I talk myself into thinking that maybe what I want to happen could actually happen, even when it's unlikely. It's a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. I go through these phases in my life when I'm very idealistic. then when I've been disappointed enough, the realism kicks in and I give up being idealistic for awhile. And then something happens and it starts all over again.
    Me too. (sadface). Idealism-realism cycles can be very frustrating. But whatever. I guess that's life.

    Yes, I'm saying that. They think they are better than what they really are, which is more dangerous than somebody thinking they are less than what they really are.
    I don't know that it's necessarily "more dangerous" (I think the more or less danger comes in based on the degree to which they're off), but it's definitely as dangerous, and most people don't notice that, annoyingly enough.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    Me too. (sadface). Idealism-realism cycles can be very frustrating. But whatever. I guess that's life.
    I think that is life, lol. I'd be utterly shocked and surprised if no one went through this cycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    I don't know that it's necessarily "more dangerous" (I think the more or less danger comes in based on the degree to which they're off), but it's definitely as dangerous, and most people don't notice that, annoyingly enough.
    Lol now I need to make another topic on confidence vs arrogance. Because confidence isn't really bad, its critical to have faith in your abilities if you want to survive the ups and downs of life, but arrogance.... well its ugly, I hate seeing it in other people and I hate seeing it in myself. A touch of a little fun arrogance however isn't too bad though, I am talking about seriously being arrogant.... thats ugly.

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    I think generally, idealism is useless to the extent that it is purely idealistic, and cynicism is useless to the extent that it is purely cynical. What is necessary I believe is the reconciliation between the unrealistic aspects of idealism and the bitterness and pessimistic sentiments that often accompany cynicism. In the wake of an effective reconciliation I feel, "ideally," that you should find yourself in the place of the closest thing to realism.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic View Post
    I think generally, idealism is useless to the extent that it is purely idealistic, and cynicism is useless to the extent that it is purely cynical. What is necessary I believe is the reconciliation between the unrealistic aspects of idealism and the bitterness and pessimistic sentiments that often accompany cynicism. In the wake of an effective reconciliation I feel, "ideally," that you should find yourself in the place of the closest thing to realism.
    love this lol. it's all relative, baby.

    ILE

    those who are easily shocked.....should be shocked more often

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    Would this for example be a form of realistic optimism, in your opinion... what is your impression of this idea?
    Yeah. I guess it's something very small, because you kinda become something big through one small detail to the next. It's never in one grand gesture all at once, even though the mind wants it to be that. So I guess it's looking at the task before you, what you have to today, to work on where you want to be, and feeling confident you can do something today.

    That's why I hated those exercises in school 'what do you want to be in 10 years? Where do you want to go?' It's such a dumb question.

    Also I liked your example of the athlete with the 'right spirit' but just isn't there yet mechanically.

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    .

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    I like that chart.

    It made me think of ummm 'Assertive Sally, Bully Bart and Dora Doormat.' ;p

    Or 'I'm okay, you're okay.' As opposed to I'm not okay, you're okay. Or I'm not okay, you're not okay. Or I'm okay, you're not okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    I can't really think of them as one or the other. It's like different sides of the same coin. Or isn't there a phrase or something that talks about love and hate being extremely close? It's a lot like that. A polarity encased in a single entity. Sure it might be tough navigating the gap...or is it a gradient? But they can also be intertwined intimately! Bah. Well so far I've observed that cynicism isn't a neutral thing. Neutral is neutral. Cynicism is like idealism disappointed.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Yeah. I guess it's something very small, because you kinda become something big through one small detail to the next. It's never in one grand gesture all at once, even though the mind wants it to be that. So I guess it's looking at the task before you, what you have to today, to work on where you want to be, and feeling confident you can do something today.

    That's why I hated those exercises in school 'what do you want to be in 10 years? Where do you want to go?' It's such a dumb question.

    Also I liked your example of the athlete with the 'right spirit' but just isn't there yet mechanically.
    Of course, it doesn't occur overnight....

    I guess what I was thinking is its sometimes hard to differentiate between a true arrogant ass and a person who is merely confident because they are "high spirited". I mean no doubt its all fairly intuitive, and probably most NF's can identify it quite well, but I think its easy for other people to confuse and even NF's are ocasionally wrong about their evaluations of people. What is it that seperates the arrogance (negative) from confidence (positive)?

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    simple lol true confidence is just purely self-directive , there's technically no competition when you have improved yourself to the point where other people don't really matter anyway you know? then once you get everything you want, you can be an inspiration figure to others.

    arrogance is haughty and 'show-off' to others, kinda a 'nana i can do it and you can't', which causes retaliation and honest competition to start, something you don't want if you actually want to win. (you want to be fake nice to people like esther hicks)

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    NF isn't some mystical accurate understanding to human relationships. It's frequently erroneous. It's more of a better lens human behavior and nature as a *whole* then individualistically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    NF isn't some mystical accurate understanding to human relationships. It's frequently erroneous. It's more of a better lens human behavior and nature as a *whole* then individualistically.
    Didn't mean to make it sound mystical, I am just saying that they are more empathic and have an easier time of introjecting the emotional state of another person in themselves, giving them an ability to discern a person's motive as self-serving or altrustic. Other types may look for a logical soundness or sensibility, which can be misleading if a person is capable of smooth talking and rationalizing their behavior.

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