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Old 10-16-2017, 11:23 AM   #26
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Some of us aren't so much half assed as we are ONE AND A half assed lol!
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:56 PM   #27
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Some of us aren't so much half assed as we are ONE AND A half assed lol!
One and a half assed beats half AND whole assed every time!
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:13 PM   #28
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sorry that happened.

People who do things like this are immature. Hope you can forget about them.

It's tough to do but remember they have to live with the shitty thing they did, something that will eat at them in the back of their mind like an itch you can't scratch. Because when we know we are guilty of hurting someone purposely you can't just fix it or forget it and sure time passes but for the rest of their life they can't be happy knowing what a shitty person they really are inside.

You are able to continue being a good person.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:19 AM   #29
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It confounds me that there actually are enough "people" (to use the term loosely) to make crappy behavior a "trend." I guess they're the same types as trolls. I just don't understand why anybody would choose to put themselves in that category.
I've studied this by investigating a few of the more open trolls, and my conclusion is that they come in a few categories. Some genuinely enjoy being disruptive. It gives them a sort of weird thrill to tear down what others build, or at least to interfere in the happiness and contentment of people, to the best of their ability. A lot of these people seem to have been taught tolerance and good behavior from birth, however, so I think, whether they know it or not, many of them fall into the second category.

The second category is people who look around themselves, see a ton of people who are at peace with the way the world is, yet they know that something is wrong, but when they bring it up politely and with good reasoning, no one will even stop to listen to them. They examine the internet, find that the people with the loudest and most noticeable voices are also the biggest jerks, and decide "well, that doesn't look so hard. I can do that too."

I would have been part of that second category, had it not been that I started following a person online who was very civil and presented his case like a gentleman. It taught me the value of being coherent and polite when making your points. Still, some people will choose disruptive and cruel methods as an expression of how they feel inside, which is category 3.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:34 PM   #30
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I've studied this by investigating a few of the more open trolls, and my conclusion is that they come in a few categories. Some genuinely enjoy being disruptive. It gives them a sort of weird thrill to tear down what others build, or at least to interfere in the happiness and contentment of people, to the best of their ability. A lot of these people seem to have been taught tolerance and good behavior from birth, however, so I think, whether they know it or not, many of them fall into the second category.

The second category is people who look around themselves, see a ton of people who are at peace with the way the world is, yet they know that something is wrong, but when they bring it up politely and with good reasoning, no one will even stop to listen to them. They examine the internet, find that the people with the loudest and most noticeable voices are also the biggest jerks, and decide "well, that doesn't look so hard. I can do that too."

I would have been part of that second category, had it not been that I started following a person online who was very civil and presented his case like a gentleman. It taught me the value of being coherent and polite when making your points. Still, some people will choose disruptive and cruel methods as an expression of how they feel inside, which is category 3.
Maybe I'm more judgmental and less forgiving, but once someone is deliberately cruel, without provocation, to an innocent person (or being), they've lost their human status in my eyes. I understand and relate to the reasons for raging against society and/or general human behavior, and there have been times in my life when such anger almost consumed me. At those times I was particularly ready and willing to smash anyone who affronted me or mine, but hurting any innocent party was inconceivable no matter how angry I was. Doing so would be cowardly and contemptible, as is the "pig" who was the original subject of this thread.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:37 PM   #31
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Maybe I'm more judgmental and less forgiving, but once someone is deliberately cruel, without provocation, to an innocent person (or being), they've lost their human status in my eyes. I understand and relate to the reasons for raging against society and/or general human behavior, and there have been times in my life when such anger almost consumed me. At those times I was particularly ready and willing to smash anyone who affronted me or mine, but hurting any innocent party was inconceivable no matter how angry I was. Doing so would be cowardly and contemptible, as is the "pig" who was the original subject of this thread.
I'm actually quite judgmental and I find forgiveness very difficult. Still, I don't have much choice but to acknowledge the humanity of trolls as purely a definitional matter. Humans are, by definition, rational animals, and trolls may not be rational at the moment, but they do still have at least the potential for rational thought.

As far as learning to forgive, that comes in two stages; refusing to cling to old wounds, and refusing to hold grudges against individual people. The first type I try to embrace in all circumstances. If not, I'd be a much worse and more unhappy person. The second type usually isn't even an issue, unless the person in question is someone I personally know in my real life (they often aren't.) If they are, my usual approach is to think about other things until I see them again, so that I can approach them in a clear-headed way. Often, I'll remember some rotten thing I did in the past, and remind myself of the forgiveness that I need too. These techniques have helped me learn to cope with many disappointments in my life.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:26 PM   #32
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I'm actually quite judgmental and I find forgiveness very difficult. Still, I don't have much choice but to acknowledge the humanity of trolls as purely a definitional matter. Humans are, by definition, rational animals, and trolls may not be rational at the moment, but they do still have at least the potential for rational thought.

As far as learning to forgive, that comes in two stages; refusing to cling to old wounds, and refusing to hold grudges against individual people. The first type I try to embrace in all circumstances. If not, I'd be a much worse and more unhappy person. The second type usually isn't even an issue, unless the person in question is someone I personally know in my real life (they often aren't.) If they are, my usual approach is to think about other things until I see them again, so that I can approach them in a clear-headed way. Often, I'll remember some rotten thing I did in the past, and remind myself of the forgiveness that I need too. These techniques have helped me learn to cope with many disappointments in my life.
I must respectfully disagree about humans being rational by definition. If our species was rational, there would be no wars, very little poverty, and no overpopulation, and we would not be on the brink of destroying our own planet. Each human is capable of some degree of reasoning; some of us try to exercise that capability as much as possible (for good or ill), and others don't even seem to try.

I do agree that clinging to old wounds is a pointless exercise that will only make the wounded party more miserable. I think it's wise, however, to remember who has harmed you, if only as a precaution against allowing them to harm you again in the future. This need not rise to the level of seeking revenge.

As to forgiveness, for me it depends on (a) the circumstances (including the nature and degree of the offense), and (b) whether or not the offending party regrets their behavior.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:14 AM   #33
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I must respectfully disagree about humans being rational by definition. If our species was rational, there would be no wars, very little poverty, and no overpopulation, and we would not be on the brink of destroying our own planet.
"Rational" and "perfect" are two different things. What you're referring to isn't a limit in the human mind, but rather, in the human heart, and all of that is as a result of people having free will. I do think most human beings fail to use proper reasoning when evaluating data most of the time, but they do still have reasoning capability.

As for destroying the planet itself, I'm not sure what you're referring to, unless there's some government Death Star project I've not been made aware of.

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Each human is capable of some degree of reasoning; some of us try to exercise that capability as much as possible (for good or ill), and others don't even seem to try.
Exactly my point.

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I do agree that clinging to old wounds is a pointless exercise that will only make the wounded party more miserable. I think it's wise, however, to remember who has harmed you, if only as a precaution against allowing them to harm you again in the future. This need not rise to the level of seeking revenge.
Exactly. Vengeance doesn't fall within our capacity as mortals.

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As to forgiveness, for me it depends on (a) the circumstances (including the nature and degree of the offense), and (b) whether or not the offending party regrets their behavior.
That last one will mean a lot more when it comes to whether the person finds forgiveness in an ultimate sense.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:54 AM   #34
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"Rational" and "perfect" are two different things. What you're referring to isn't a limit in the human mind, but rather, in the human heart, and all of that is as a result of people having free will. I do think most human beings fail to use proper reasoning when evaluating data most of the time, but they do still have reasoning capability.

As for destroying the planet itself, I'm not sure what you're referring to, unless there's some government Death Star project I've not been made aware of.

Exactly. Vengeance doesn't fall within our capacity as mortals.

That last one will mean a lot more when it comes to whether the person finds forgiveness in an ultimate sense.
Again, I respectfully disagree. (I think our differences stem from the fact that you're a Christian and I'm an atheist. We'd best not get into a theological discussion, however, or we'll end up getting kicked off the board.)

Perfection can't be achieved, but rationality and honorable behavior can. Our ability to reason is limited by our mental capabilities and obfuscated by our predilection for rationalizing away evidence that doesn't conform to our wishes and prejudices. Honorable behavior proceeds from our individual value systems. Reasoning against one's own desires and/or prejudices and engaging in inconvenient but honorable behavior aren't easy, but they provide the only available avenue for giving your life meaning (at least in my world).

We are destroying the planet through overpopulation, pollution, and man-made global warming, and our government's policies are rapidly accelerating the process. We' don't need a Death Star - our policies will achieve the same end result, although it may take a century or two to play out.

Vengeance is certainly within our capacity, although it's seldom a wise choice. Of course, the idea of ultimate forgiveness is outside my belief system.

Different strokes, I guess.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:58 PM   #35
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Perfection can't be achieved, but rationality and honorable behavior can.
Wow. I'd be miserable if I thought honorable conduct was the best I could hope for.

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Our ability to reason is limited by our mental capabilities and obfuscated by our predilection for rationalizing away evidence that doesn't conform to our wishes and prejudices. Honorable behavior proceeds from our individual value systems. Reasoning against one's own desires and/or prejudices and engaging in inconvenient but honorable behavior aren't easy, but they provide the only available avenue for giving your life meaning (at least in my world).
In what sense? I don't see how behaving honorably provides meaning in any way. A tiny, rational animal behaves honorably, vs behaving dishonorably, but in both cases, it's just a different kind of behavior pattern. Unless you can actually sympathize with at least some of your fellow men (a function of the heart,) I don't see why one behavior pattern would be any more meaningful than another.

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We are destroying the planet through overpopulation, pollution, and man-made global warming, and our government's policies are rapidly accelerating the process. We' don't need a Death Star - our policies will achieve the same end result, although it may take a century or two to play out.
Well, this is disputed, of course, but putting that aside, even in the worst case scenario projections, the potential damage would only be to the ecosystem; not the planet itself. The Earth would continue rotating around the sun at the same trajectory, even if we scorched the world's surface into a cinder.

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Vengeance is certainly within our capacity, although it's seldom a wise choice.
I think a lot of that depends on what you want, ultimately, out of life. If your goals have nothing to do with people being able to get along, or mankind surviving for a prolonged period, then a lot of this would seem academic.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:53 PM   #36
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Wow. I'd be miserable if I thought honorable conduct was the best I could hope for.
Really? What do you think is the best you can hope for? In any case, I never said anything about "hoping for" honorable conduct. That's something you work at, not hope for.

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In what sense? I don't see how behaving honorably provides meaning in any way. A tiny, rational animal behaves honorably, vs behaving dishonorably, but in both cases, it's just a different kind of behavior pattern. Unless you can actually sympathize with at least some of your fellow men (a function of the heart,) I don't see why one behavior pattern would be any more meaningful than another.
Again, read what I actually said. You can choose to (and make every effort to) act in as rational and honorable manner as possible and thereby give your life meaning. You've said you're interested in philosophy: read Epictetus on the four major virtues of Stoicism: courage, justice, self-control, and wisdom. (Side note: the Stoic virtues of wisdom and justice encompass compassion.) I include those virtues within the parameters of acting rationally and honorably, which again, can provide meaning to your life. (Another side note: you can only hope to achieve such meaning in your own eyes, since you have little control over anyone else's opinions.) Read the utilitarian philosophers, particularly Jeremy Bentham, and the existentialists, particularly Camus, and the modern-day humanists such as Paul Kurtz and Peter Singer. Google "The Affirmations of Humanism." That should give you an idea of where I'm coming from. I recognize that your belief system is completely different from mine and never the twain shall meet, so there's not much point in taking this further.

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Well, this is disputed, of course, but putting that aside, even in the worst case scenario projections, the potential damage would only be to the ecosystem; not the planet itself. The Earth would continue rotating around the sun at the same trajectory, even if we scorched the world's surface into a cinder.
Yeah, it's disputed by maybe three percent of the scientists who actually study the topic. I obviously didn't mean that climate change, overpopulation, and pollution would obliterate the Earth itself. The planet will merely be rendered nearly or entirely uninhabitable by most life forms, including the humans who are bringing that happy state about.

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I think a lot of that depends on what you want, ultimately, out of life. If your goals have nothing to do with people being able to get along, or mankind surviving for a prolonged period, then a lot of this would seem academic.
Of course I think people should be able to get along and hope that mankind will survive for a prolonged period. I do what I can, but so far I haven't been able to accomplish either. Have you?
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:16 AM   #37
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Really? What do you think is the best you can hope for? In any case, I never said anything about "hoping for" honorable conduct. That's something you work at, not hope for.
The term "the best I could hope for" in no way implies sitting around and wishing upon a star. Everything that people hope to have requires work, if it's achievable.

As for my hopes and dreams, to put it in the simplest possible terms; a fix. A total fix, for everything. I could, of course, expand on that, but it'd be better to do by PM, lest the thread topic be further derailed. For now, let's just say that even if everyone in the world were constantly telling me to grow up, it would in no way decrease the scope of my desires, needs or dreams.

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You can choose to (and make every effort to) act in as rational and honorable manner as possible and thereby give your life meaning. You've said you're interested in philosophy: read Epictetus on the four major virtues of Stoicism: courage, justice, self-control, and wisdom. (Side note: the Stoic virtues of wisdom and justice encompass compassion.)
I have read Epictetus' work on the virtues, and I don't recall him saying that virtue gives "meaning" to life. One person, for instance, may demonstrate tremendous courage in the face of a devastating opponent, while another flees before a much weaker threat, but the coward's life is no more meaningless than that of the courageous man. In fact, the coward has good reasons to flee; he's afraid of dying or being injured. The courageous man may have good reasons to be courageous as well, but even if he does, it's hard to see how his courage is "meaningful" as such.

As for the virtues of wisdom and justice encompassing compassion, it seems that they would actually be opposed to one another in many situations. For instance, if a person knows that their job is being endangered by a dozen competitors on the other side of town. For this reason, their desire to continue supporting their family; their compassion towards their loved ones, may interfere with their wisdom and desire for their competitors to be treated justly.

I also think that the way in which Epictetus selected his virtues was too simplistic and arbitrary. He rejected things like wealth and pleasure as "good" because they don't necessary benefit the possessor in all cases, yet courage frequently doesn't benefit the person who possesses it, and he selected that as a virtue. Wisdom offers little in the way of benefit in certain conditions, and indeed, often leads to scorn and ridicule when others are foolish. He seems to be presupposing a larger type of "benefit" than the traditional, measurable ones, and on his stoic world view, I just don't see any justification for that.

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I include those virtues within the parameters of acting rationally and honorably, which again, can provide meaning to your life.
Again; what sort of meaning? In what sense? Of what does this meaning consist, and where does it derive from?

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(Another side note: you can only hope to achieve such meaning in your own eyes, since you have little control over anyone else's opinions.)
Oh. Well, if "meaning" is just some opinion, then what you call meaning is really just another word for self-esteem, and that can be had, even without the virtues in any sense. On this view, the person with the most meaning in life is the narcissist, whose opinion of their own meaning and worth is completely independent of the views of others, and, indeed, of the facts as well.

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Read the utilitarian philosophers, particularly Jeremy Bentham, and the existentialists, particularly Camus, and the modern-day humanists such as Paul Kurtz and Peter Singer. Google "The Affirmations of Humanism." That should give you an idea of where I'm coming from. I recognize that your belief system is completely different from mine and never the twain shall meet, so there's not much point in taking this further.
I suppose not. I just don't see how "meaning" can be claimed, unless "meaning" is a real thing, or a real aspect of a thing which has it.

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I obviously didn't mean that climate change, overpopulation, and pollution would obliterate the Earth itself. The planet will merely be rendered nearly or entirely uninhabitable by most life forms, including the humans who are bringing that happy state about.
I get that. Still, let's not overstate the matter. Humans are really quite small, and the damage they can cause is much smaller than they often think it is. That's my point.

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Of course I think people should be able to get along and hope that mankind will survive for a prolonged period. I do what I can, but so far I haven't been able to accomplish either. Have you?
No, but those aren't really my goals, so that's not surprising.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:30 PM   #38
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I have read Epictetus' work on the virtues, and I don't recall him saying that virtue gives "meaning" to life. One person, for instance, may demonstrate tremendous courage in the face of a devastating opponent, while another flees before a much weaker threat, but the coward's life is no more meaningless than that of the courageous man. In fact, the coward has good reasons to flee; he's afraid of dying or being injured. The courageous man may have good reasons to be courageous as well, but even if he does, it's hard to see how his courage is "meaningful" as such.

As for the virtues of wisdom and justice encompassing compassion, it seems that they would actually be opposed to one another in many situations. For instance, if a person knows that their job is being endangered by a dozen competitors on the other side of town. For this reason, their desire to continue supporting their family; their compassion towards their loved ones, may interfere with their wisdom and desire for their competitors to be treated justly.

I also think that the way in which Epictetus selected his virtues was too simplistic and arbitrary. He rejected things like wealth and pleasure as "good" because they don't necessary benefit the possessor in all cases, yet courage frequently doesn't benefit the person who possesses it, and he selected that as a virtue. Wisdom offers little in the way of benefit in certain conditions, and indeed, often leads to scorn and ridicule when others are foolish. He seems to be presupposing a larger type of "benefit" than the traditional, measurable ones, and on his stoic world view, I just don't see any justification for that.
Let me clarify what I'm getting at when I talk about giving one's life "meaning." I believe meaning is entirely relative and subjective, applying only to the person to whom a thing is meaningful. Our lives are meaningful to ourselves and may or may not be meaningful to anyone else. In fact, our lives have very little meaning (probably none) to the universe as a whole, or even to the vast majority of people.

Epictetus did, in fact, address this. At one point he compared virtue to a garment worn by the nobility, stating (and I'm admittedly paraphrasing), "Most people are content to be part of the white cloth. I choose to be part of the purple lining." I disagree with a lot of the positions taken by Epictetus (and the rest of the Stoics), but I like his take on the virtues.

I think that a deeper analysis of his ideas about wisdom and courage would prove them both to be compatible with compassion. Courage without wisdom is merely foolhardiness; wisdom without courage is of little practical use. Empathy and compassion are qualities that should be incorporated (where applicable) when making decisions requiring courage and wisdom, but the best (most "virtuous") outcome may require going with the lesser of two evils.


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Oh. Well, if "meaning" is just some opinion, then what you call meaning is really just another word for self-esteem, and that can be had, even without the virtues in any sense. On this view, the person with the most meaning in life is the narcissist, whose opinion of their own meaning and worth is completely independent of the views of others, and, indeed, of the facts as well.
Again, as I'm using it here, "meaning" is a standard applied by an individual when determining whether his/her life has value in his/her own eyes.
It's not the same as self-esteem; giving your life meaning (again, in your own eyes) will result in self-esteem.

All narcissists think their lives have great meaning, but that opinion is pathologically delusional in everyone else's eyes. We don't have to take narcissists seriously, and they can be left to their delusions unless those delusions lead to actions that are harmful to others.


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I get that. Still, let's not overstate the matter. Humans are really quite small, and the damage they can cause is much smaller than they often think it is. That's my point.
True, but they are creating a disproportionately large mess here on Earth that has become a serious threat to our small lives.

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No, but those aren't really my goals, so that's not surprising.
So why would you imply that those goals should be mine? And even if they were your goals or mine, I rather doubt that either of us could come anywhere close to achieving them.

Once again, we've gone way off thread. Agree to disagree and move on?
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:25 PM   #39
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Humans are, by definition, rational animals.
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I must respectfully disagree about humans being rational by definition.
Going back to what started the discussion, TwoSwords is technically correct: the definition, in this case, comes from Aristotle. However, Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who hung out with scholars like Plato, and this doubtlessly influenced his outlook.

I would say that you're both right. Children of school age can understand a very simple rational explanation, but they cannot yet generate one on their own and consequently make decisions mostly by impulse. A great number of people never get beyond this stage, which is why grocery stores put the candy next to the checkout line. Most people can use means-to-end reasoning, i.e. figure out a way to get something they want, but cannot reason out whether they ought to want that particular thing. A minority can analyze their own motives and conflicting desires and reason impartially.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:37 PM   #40
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Once again, we've gone way off thread. Agree to disagree and move on?
Once again, there's so much to reply to here, and while I'd much prefer to continue this by PM, it seems strange to leave all of this unanswered.

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Let me clarify what I'm getting at when I talk about giving one's life "meaning." I believe meaning is entirely relative and subjective, applying only to the person to whom a thing is meaningful. Our lives are meaningful to ourselves and may or may not be meaningful to anyone else. In fact, our lives have very little meaning (probably none) to the universe as a whole, or even to the vast majority of people.
On my view, our lives have no meaning at all to the universe as a whole, because the universe is not an intelligent creature able to perceive meaning, and due to the universal heat death, it will leave no evidence of our existence in the end. Only if one acknowledges transcendent realities is there any hope for a deeper meaning than the purely subjective and temporary one that you affirm.

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Epictetus did, in fact, address this. At one point he compared virtue to a garment worn by the nobility, stating (and I'm admittedly paraphrasing), "Most people are content to be part of the white cloth. I choose to be part of the purple lining." I disagree with a lot of the positions taken by Epictetus (and the rest of the Stoics), but I like his take on the virtues.
I agree with him that the nobility will use the virtues of ordinary people to their own ends, whether we like it or not. I'm not sure what else he means to say here.

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I think that a deeper analysis of his ideas about wisdom and courage would prove them both to be compatible with compassion. Courage without wisdom is merely foolhardiness; wisdom without courage is of little practical use. Empathy and compassion are qualities that should be incorporated (where applicable) when making decisions requiring courage and wisdom, but the best (most "virtuous") outcome may require going with the lesser of two evils.
My problem wasn't really with them being incompatible, but that I just don't see how one could derive compassion from just wisdom and justice. It doesn't seem to follow. At most, you'd end up with something like equity according to some understanding of the world, but that still doesn't really bring you to compassion as such.

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All narcissists think their lives have great meaning, but that opinion is pathologically delusional in everyone else's eyes. We don't have to take narcissists seriously, and they can be left to their delusions unless those delusions lead to actions that are harmful to others.
Well, just a minute. A second ago, you said...

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I believe meaning is entirely relative and subjective, applying only to the person to whom a thing is meaningful.
That position seems not to play nicely with this one...

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...that opinion is pathologically delusional in everyone else's eyes.
If the meaning of the life of the narcissist only applies to the person to whom it's meaningful; himself, why does it matter whether everyone else in the world thinks it's delusional?

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True, but they are creating a disproportionately large mess here on Earth that has become a serious threat to our small lives.
No argument there. Whether you believe in man-made global warming or not, there's no denying that human beings cause far too much death to their own kind.

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So why would you imply that those goals should be mine?
You said they were. Didn't you?

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And even if they were your goals or mine, I rather doubt that either of us could come anywhere close to achieving them.
Right. We're just not strong enough to win on our own.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:42 PM   #41
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Going back to what started the discussion, TwoSwords is technically correct: the definition, in this case, comes from Aristotle. However, Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who hung out with scholars like Plato, and this doubtlessly influenced his outlook.

I would say that you're both right. Children of school age can understand a very simple rational explanation, but they cannot yet generate one on their own and consequently make decisions mostly by impulse. A great number of people never get beyond this stage, which is why grocery stores put the candy next to the checkout line. Most people can use means-to-end reasoning, i.e. figure out a way to get something they want, but cannot reason out whether they ought to want that particular thing. A minority can analyze their own motives and conflicting desires and reason impartially.
Aristotle was of a Greek school of thought, and indeed, much of Greek and early Roman society was steeped in this kind of firm, logical and intellectual knowledge tradition. It's one of the reasons why they grew so powerful. I've seen students of various nations, and how they react to logic and knowledge, and honestly, there does seem to be a trend in modern education systems away from logic and knowledge, in the sense of being able to follow causes to their effects. This is at its worst in nations where schools fall under the dominion of the government. I have my own theories about why that would be.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:20 PM   #42
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Some of us don't believe our lives have meaning. Mine doesn't.

I just try to stay out of the way of 'good' and not enable 'bad'.

The 'pigger' (?) in this incident has acted deplorably. Forgiveness is not mine to grant on anything beyond a scale of what is personal to me.

To the original poster, I'm sorry you had to experience this person's bad actions.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:11 AM   #43
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Going back to what started the discussion, TwoSwords is technically correct: the definition, in this case, comes from Aristotle. However, Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who hung out with scholars like Plato, and this doubtlessly influenced his outlook.

I would say that you're both right. Children of school age can understand a very simple rational explanation, but they cannot yet generate one on their own and consequently make decisions mostly by impulse. A great number of people never get beyond this stage, which is why grocery stores put the candy next to the checkout line. Most people can use means-to-end reasoning, i.e. figure out a way to get something they want, but cannot reason out whether they ought to want that particular thing. A minority can analyze their own motives and conflicting desires and reason impartially.
You're absolutely right. Aristotle, and quite a few philosophers afterwards, did embrace that definition, and different people do display different levels of rationality. When I wrote about humanity being irrational, I was zeroed in on the irrationality displayed by the collective power centers of our species (mostly government and big industry) whose short-sighted greed and self-interest are leading us to destruction. Sometimes I tend to narrow my focus a little too much.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:23 AM   #44
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Some of us don't believe our lives have meaning. Mine doesn't.

I just try to stay out of the way of 'good' and not enable 'bad'.

The 'pigger' (?) in this incident has acted deplorably. Forgiveness is not mine to grant on anything beyond a scale of what is personal to me.

To the original poster, I'm sorry you had to experience this person's bad actions.
I pretty much agree with you all the way. I was only talking about creating meaning in one's own eyes, by one's own definition, which is totally subjective. I kind of doubt that there's such a thing as meaning on an absolute level.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:28 AM   #45
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Once again, there's so much to reply to here, and while I'd much prefer to continue this by PM, it seems strange to leave all of this unanswered.



On my view, our lives have no meaning at all to the universe as a whole, because the universe is not an intelligent creature able to perceive meaning, and due to the universal heat death, it will leave no evidence of our existence in the end. Only if one acknowledges transcendent realities is there any hope for a deeper meaning than the purely subjective and temporary one that you affirm.



I agree with him that the nobility will use the virtues of ordinary people to their own ends, whether we like it or not. I'm not sure what else he means to say here.



My problem wasn't really with them being incompatible, but that I just don't see how one could derive compassion from just wisdom and justice. It doesn't seem to follow. At most, you'd end up with something like equity according to some understanding of the world, but that still doesn't really bring you to compassion as such.



Well, just a minute. A second ago, you said...



That position seems not to play nicely with this one...



If the meaning of the life of the narcissist only applies to the person to whom it's meaningful; himself, why does it matter whether everyone else in the world thinks it's delusional?



No argument there. Whether you believe in man-made global warming or not, there's no denying that human beings cause far too much death to their own kind.



You said they were. Didn't you?



Right. We're just not strong enough to win on our own.
Naturally I have a few response to the above, but I'm going to shut up, take a deep breath and call it a day. No hard feelings.
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