Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Use this forum to discuss the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W. Forgey
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Sushan
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Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sushan »

This topic is about the October 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, The Prepper's Medical Handbook by William W Forgey


Google Says,
Prepper is a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
The author says,
Obviously, prepping requires forethought with regard to food, water supplies, power, and protection—all areas of significant technical preparation requiring skill sets and supplies. Self-reliant medical care is no exception.
(Location 642 - Kindle version)

Being ready for anything can be useful in disastrous situations. But at the same time the possibility for disasters to occur is not that much high and unnecessary stockpiling will be a waste of resources in many occasions.

What do you think? Is it good to be a prepper or not?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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ApolloZillion
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by ApolloZillion »

This reminds me of the concept of 'false truths', which I first heard advocated through the following example, (paraphrasing),

Imagine as a child that you grew up in an area with a large population of hedgehogs. If your parents both told you that hedgehogs could propel spikes out of their body to anyone within 6 feet of them, that would be a lie. And if you believed that lie, this would actually serve to keep you safe from hedgehogs.

As someone very passionate about understanding truths on objective issues (and adamant that subjective issues are in fact subjective; especially as I'm a musical artist - but let's leave that discussion for another time), this concept challenged and intrigued me. There's no denying that it's possible to have a positive effect - like helping a child stay safe, through a lie. The thing is, the parents know the truth. The parents know that hedgehogs do not have the capacity to shoot projectile spikes. And yet they, presumably, are safe from hedgehogs. Wouldn't it be better to imbue the children with the same wisdom that allows the parents to safely coexist in a world of hedgehogs?

So, while being a doomsday prepper may have some perceived benefits even if the doomsday never comes (accrual of resources, learning medical skills, etc), I would argue that it's only truly worthwhile if the doomsday actually eventuates. Much like how there may be benefits to being religious even if God didn't exist (such as being careful of one's behaviour for fear/responsibility of feeling watched by a higher power), but at the end of the day, the real question is whether there is in fact a God or not.

Much love,
Apollo Z
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Sy Borg
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sy Borg »

If things reach a point where I need to live in a bomb shelter to survive, I'd be inclined to leave the arena for hardier souls. No doubt some people will think that reverting to a savage Mad Max lifestyle is better than death, others won't.
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Sushan
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sushan »

ApolloZillion wrote: October 8th, 2021, 8:09 pm This reminds me of the concept of 'false truths', which I first heard advocated through the following example, (paraphrasing),

Imagine as a child that you grew up in an area with a large population of hedgehogs. If your parents both told you that hedgehogs could propel spikes out of their body to anyone within 6 feet of them, that would be a lie. And if you believed that lie, this would actually serve to keep you safe from hedgehogs.

As someone very passionate about understanding truths on objective issues (and adamant that subjective issues are in fact subjective; especially as I'm a musical artist - but let's leave that discussion for another time), this concept challenged and intrigued me. There's no denying that it's possible to have a positive effect - like helping a child stay safe, through a lie. The thing is, the parents know the truth. The parents know that hedgehogs do not have the capacity to shoot projectile spikes. And yet they, presumably, are safe from hedgehogs. Wouldn't it be better to imbue the children with the same wisdom that allows the parents to safely coexist in a world of hedgehogs?

So, while being a doomsday prepper may have some perceived benefits even if the doomsday never comes (accrual of resources, learning medical skills, etc), I would argue that it's only truly worthwhile if the doomsday actually eventuates. Much like how there may be benefits to being religious even if God didn't exist (such as being careful of one's behaviour for fear/responsibility of feeling watched by a higher power), but at the end of the day, the real question is whether there is in fact a God or not.

Much love,
Apollo Z
You have a point. Yes, there are benefits of being ready for any situation considering one's safety. It can be protecting a kid with a harmless lie, or being prepared with medical skills and equipment for a possible disaster.

But I think being a prepper keeps his mind under pressure. He will always be looking for possible problems and he may not be able to enjoy life as the rest of the people. And his overprotective nature will make him an annoyance to his team mates. While acquiring skills and being prepared is important, being over prepared and overprotective can be disastrous than being beneficial.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Sushan
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sushan »

Sy Borg wrote: October 8th, 2021, 9:28 pm If things reach a point where I need to live in a bomb shelter to survive, I'd be inclined to leave the arena for hardier souls. No doubt some people will think that reverting to a savage Mad Max lifestyle is better than death, others won't.
Tolerating and sustainability are different than being a prepper. One can be prepared for any disastrous situation with skills and equipment, yet he may not hold the mental capacity to apply them in an actual disaster with all the pressure in him in the true scenario. In extreme situations even a prepper might feel like it is better to die than survive. And I do not think the definition for a prepper contains the mental preparation part. I feel about a prepper as a negative fellow who thinks any situation can turned into a bad one.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sy Borg »

Sushan wrote: October 14th, 2021, 7:47 pm
Sy Borg wrote: October 8th, 2021, 9:28 pm If things reach a point where I need to live in a bomb shelter to survive, I'd be inclined to leave the arena for hardier souls. No doubt some people will think that reverting to a savage Mad Max lifestyle is better than death, others won't.
Tolerating and sustainability are different than being a prepper. One can be prepared for any disastrous situation with skills and equipment, yet he may not hold the mental capacity to apply them in an actual disaster with all the pressure in him in the true scenario. In extreme situations even a prepper might feel like it is better to die than survive. And I do not think the definition for a prepper contains the mental preparation part. I feel about a prepper as a negative fellow who thinks any situation can turned into a bad one.
If one spends years creating a special hidey-hole to stay safe lest society breaks down, then it would be rather short-sighted not to consider the mental aspects of survival. Personally, I think it unlikely that humans will venture far into space for this reason. Being locked in a confined space, with a lethal environment all around, has documented ill effects on mental health. That's why submariners need to be carefully screened - and they have a safe place to go to when no on duty, which wouldn't be the case should societies become irradiated or lawless.
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by LuckyR »

What separates a prepper from an average citizen is how low of a probability of a problem they are willing to put energy into addressing. Lots of folks wear seat belts, pay their health insurance premiums and lock their doors at night. That's because they calculate (correctly) that doing so outweighs the statistical chance of car accidents, illness and burglary. OTOH, the chance of civil war (in the US), nuclear apocalypse and a major earthquake in Iowa are felt by average citizens to be low enough probability to not expend time, energy and resources on preparing for them. Preppers do.
"As usual... it depends."
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Sushan
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sushan »

Sy Borg wrote: October 14th, 2021, 8:04 pm
Sushan wrote: October 14th, 2021, 7:47 pm
Sy Borg wrote: October 8th, 2021, 9:28 pm If things reach a point where I need to live in a bomb shelter to survive, I'd be inclined to leave the arena for hardier souls. No doubt some people will think that reverting to a savage Mad Max lifestyle is better than death, others won't.
Tolerating and sustainability are different than being a prepper. One can be prepared for any disastrous situation with skills and equipment, yet he may not hold the mental capacity to apply them in an actual disaster with all the pressure in him in the true scenario. In extreme situations even a prepper might feel like it is better to die than survive. And I do not think the definition for a prepper contains the mental preparation part. I feel about a prepper as a negative fellow who thinks any situation can turned into a bad one.
If one spends years creating a special hidey-hole to stay safe lest society breaks down, then it would be rather short-sighted not to consider the mental aspects of survival. Personally, I think it unlikely that humans will venture far into space for this reason. Being locked in a confined space, with a lethal environment all around, has documented ill effects on mental health. That's why submariners need to be carefully screened - and they have a safe place to go to when no on duty, which wouldn't be the case should societies become irradiated or lawless.
Definitely such a closed space will have a huge mental effect on any human being, and we even witnessed it with lesser secluded conditions which came up with the Covid situation. Being a prepper is also some kind of a similar situation because the person is always preparing his mind (thinking so) to face a disaster. But what he actually does is finding ways to overcome his (unwarranted) fears. So he is maintaining a mental hidey-hole, and it may possibly carry the same impact on his mentality on the long run.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Sy Borg
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sy Borg »

Sushan wrote: October 15th, 2021, 2:27 am
Sy Borg wrote: October 14th, 2021, 8:04 pm
Sushan wrote: October 14th, 2021, 7:47 pm
Sy Borg wrote: October 8th, 2021, 9:28 pm If things reach a point where I need to live in a bomb shelter to survive, I'd be inclined to leave the arena for hardier souls. No doubt some people will think that reverting to a savage Mad Max lifestyle is better than death, others won't.
Tolerating and sustainability are different than being a prepper. One can be prepared for any disastrous situation with skills and equipment, yet he may not hold the mental capacity to apply them in an actual disaster with all the pressure in him in the true scenario. In extreme situations even a prepper might feel like it is better to die than survive. And I do not think the definition for a prepper contains the mental preparation part. I feel about a prepper as a negative fellow who thinks any situation can turned into a bad one.
If one spends years creating a special hidey-hole to stay safe lest society breaks down, then it would be rather short-sighted not to consider the mental aspects of survival. Personally, I think it unlikely that humans will venture far into space for this reason. Being locked in a confined space, with a lethal environment all around, has documented ill effects on mental health. That's why submariners need to be carefully screened - and they have a safe place to go to when no on duty, which wouldn't be the case should societies become irradiated or lawless.
Definitely such a closed space will have a huge mental effect on any human being, and we even witnessed it with lesser secluded conditions which came up with the Covid situation. Being a prepper is also some kind of a similar situation because the person is always preparing his mind (thinking so) to face a disaster. But what he actually does is finding ways to overcome his (unwarranted) fears. So he is maintaining a mental hidey-hole, and it may possibly carry the same impact on his mentality on the long run.
The beauty of predicting catastrophe is that you are certain to be right. There will come a day when humans are extinct on the planet. A doomsayer is never proved wrong because life is inherently uncertain and disasters happen.

Ultimately it's a matter of timing, much like prepping for disaster in financial markets by investing in commodities. If you move too soon you can lose significant opportunities. If you move too slowly, you may be vulnerable when things go awry. No matter what you do in life, it is a gamble to some extent.
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Sushan
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Re: Being a prepper, is it good or bad?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: October 15th, 2021, 2:19 am What separates a prepper from an average citizen is how low of a probability of a problem they are willing to put energy into addressing. Lots of folks wear seat belts, pay their health insurance premiums and lock their doors at night. That's because they calculate (correctly) that doing so outweighs the statistical chance of car accidents, illness and burglary. OTOH, the chance of civil war (in the US), nuclear apocalypse and a major earthquake in Iowa are felt by average citizens to be low enough probability to not expend time, energy and resources on preparing for them. Preppers do.
Well explained. But there is another category that wear seat belts to avoid law suits, pay insurance expecting the final profit, and lock the doors at night just for the sake of locking. Then they must be taken as people who have miscalculated the probability of risk or as people who do not care about any risk.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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