Thread: [Merged] My Philosophy of Life
View Single Post
Old 3rd December 2013, 08:06 AM   #37
Penultimate Amazing
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 16,668
Originally Posted by Philosofer123 View Post
Yes. And if you disagree, please explain.
We aren't discussing my philosophy of life. If you're unwilling to discuss yours, why bother with this thread?

To answer your question, no, I would not consider it a good life. I have specific goals I want to accomplish in my life, and I can't do that as an orgasmic oyster.

But let me add that I would not choose to become a joyful-human-consciousness-in-an-oyster, solely because this would likely harm those for whom I have empathy, including family and close friends. Facing such a choice would constitute one of those extreme hypothetical situations (such as Nozick's Experience Machine) where empathetic feelings would not be adequately incorporated into one's state of mind.
Okay. So the only thing keeping you from becoming an orgasmic oyster is your "empathy" (however you define it) towards family and close friends, the latter of which you chose. This means that what's preventing you from living a life of pure bliss is your obligations to others. They are holding you back.

More seriously (not that the above isn't a serious criticism, but it's a criticism of your wordig not your meaning), it's your assumptions about harming those around you that prevents you from taking the path you deem to be a worthy end. It's what you think they think. Note that you talk about empathy, NOT knowledge of their opinions. You talk about feelings, not data.

You've also set empathy up as the critical aspect of morality. There are a number of assumptions inherent in such a set-up, not the least of which is the idea that emotions are dominant over rationality--which contradicts your whole anti-emotion stance.

And as I point out in the document, one may take pleasure in the fact that one is not currently experiencing significant negative emotions.
Pleasure is the absence of pain?

Originally Posted by Akri
You cannot care about something that you are emotionally detached from. Caring is an emotion directed toward something, and to be emotionally detached from that thing you can't have any emotions toward it. So you cannot care about the things which you are emotionally detached from.
I want to emphasize this point. I once thought as you do, Philosofer123. It is a VERY serious error--a potentially deadly one, and I mean that quite literally. Emotions and emotional attachment are CRITICAL to life. Human life requires action, and actions require choices. Studies of dissociative disorder clearly show that emotions are vital to making choices, and my own experiences bear this out. When I could shut emotions down entirely, I couldn't decide on anything. I was very obedient, but not very involved. A person without emotions (or is "emotionally detached" or whatever euphamism for this state that you wish to use)--speaking from personal experience--is essentially a robot made of meat. They suck at being a human, because they've abandoned one of the things that makes us human; they suck at being a robot because meat is fragile.

It seems to me that your entire philosophy is nothing more than a defense mechanism against what you consider negative emotions. The fact that you equate pleasure with the absence of pain is a very good indication of that. The thing is, such a view is false. Pleasure is every bit as real as pain, and every bit as rational (which is to say, some is, some isn't). The trick isn't to cut yourself off from them, or to dissociate yourself from emotions--the trick is to figure out why you experience negative emotions and to fix those problems, while at the same time seeking out positive ones. And no, I don't expect you to believe me, not in one conversation. It took me a decade to work through that error. I'm giving you my answer; unfortunately, you have to work out the details yourself I've found.

Originally Posted by JoeBentley
As to the broader question of the OP if you are assigning a "philosophy" to your life you are almost certainly making it more complicated then it needs to be.
The fact that someone can make such a statement on an ostensibly educational forum and expect to be taken seriously is quite a damning commentary on Western civilization. What you're saying is that we shouldn't engage in introspection, that we shouldn't try to figure out why we do what we do and what to do moving forward. The whole of our culture is built on people who quite emphatically disagree with you.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top