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Critique My Philosophy of Life?
Posted: 24 February 2014 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 196 ]
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TimB - 24 February 2014 09:14 PM
Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 09:03 PM

...
I would be delighted to modify my philosophy if it were true that avoiding political activity is not usually individually optimal.  However, avoiding political activity is, in fact, usually individually optimal.

I am not contesting that it is usually individually optimal in the short term.  I am suggesting that it is not optimal for all of us individuals, in the long term, when too many persons, (or when, otherwise potentially, exceptionally efficacious individuals) subscribe to avoiding political activism.

I am saying that it is usually individually optimal—in the long term—to avoid political activity.  Whether it is “optimal for all of us individuals, in the long term, when too many persons, (or when, otherwise potentially, exceptionally efficacious individuals) subscribe to avoiding political activism” is irrelevant to my philosophy.

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Posted: 24 February 2014 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 197 ]
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Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 09:20 PM
TimB - 24 February 2014 09:14 PM
Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 09:03 PM

...
I would be delighted to modify my philosophy if it were true that avoiding political activity is not usually individually optimal.  However, avoiding political activity is, in fact, usually individually optimal.

I am not contesting that it is usually individually optimal in the short term.  I am suggesting that it is not optimal for all of us individuals, in the long term, when too many persons, (or when, otherwise potentially, exceptionally efficacious individuals) subscribe to avoiding political activism.

I am saying that it is usually individually optimal—in the long term—to avoid political activity.  Whether it is “optimal for all of us individuals, in the long term, when too many persons, (or when, otherwise potentially, exceptionally efficacious individuals) subscribe to avoiding political activism” is irrelevant to my philosophy.

All of us, includes you and others who subscribe to your philosophy.  So it is usually optimal in the long term for individuals to avoid political activity, but only when not enough people subscribe to your philosophy on political activism and not enough potentially positively politically efficacious persons do not subscribe to your philosophy. 

Look, you have probably spent years coming up with this.  I have only thought about it since I started reading this thread a number of hours ago.  It is natural, I think that you would oppose any challenges, except that you did ask for feedback.  I have tried enough, I think, to expose to you what I think is a valid practical societal problem that could potentially evolve from too many people living by your worldview suggestions for too long (with the impact that it would, quite possibly, no longer be usually optimal for any of us individuals including you and subscribers to your philosophy) . 

Debating is not my forte. And it is not of much importance to me to win a debate.  It is important to me to get my point across.  I think that I have made a sufficient effort at that.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 24 February 2014 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 198 ]
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TimB - 24 February 2014 09:48 PM
Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 09:20 PM

I am saying that it is usually individually optimal—in the long term—to avoid political activity.  Whether it is “optimal for all of us individuals, in the long term, when too many persons, (or when, otherwise potentially, exceptionally efficacious individuals) subscribe to avoiding political activism” is irrelevant to my philosophy.

All of us, includes you and others who subscribe to your philosophy.  So it is usually optimal in the long term for individuals to avoid political activity, but only when not enough people subscribe to your philosophy on political activism and not enough potentially positively politically efficacious persons do not subscribe to your philosophy.

Look, you have probably spent years coming up with this.  I have only thought about it since I started reading this thread a number of hours ago.  It is natural, I think that you would oppose any challenges, except that you did ask for feedback.  I have tried enough, I think, to expose to you what I think is a valid practical societal problem that could potentially evolve from too many people living by your worldview suggestions for too long (with the impact that it would, quite possibly, no longer be usually optimal for any of us individuals including you and subscribers to your philosophy) .

As I have noted before, the probability that sharing my philosophy will result in a radical regime change is infinitesimally small.  Therefore, I see no reason to change the document.

TimB - 24 February 2014 09:48 PM

Debating is not my forte. And it is not of much importance to me to win a debate.  It is important to me to get my point across.  I think that I have made a sufficient effort at that.

As you note above, I have spent several years developing my philosophy.  And given the amount of thought that I have put into it, I do not take revisions lightly.  I debate challenges to the document because it is only when I lose a debate that I am persuaded that the document needs revision.

TimB, thanks again for your comments and suggestions.  While it has not resulted in a change to the document, I appreciate your time and effort.  I also appreciate your civility, which is rare on these forums.  Should you have any thoughts on any other part of my philosophy, please do not hesitate to share them.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 199 ]
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Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 07:22 PM
Lois - 24 February 2014 07:09 PM

If you find yourself on your deathbed and have children and grandchildren who will live many years after you’re gone, you may regret not doing what you could have done to make their lives more rewarding and less painful. Sometimes political action can do that. Suppose, as one example, they are left to deal with a cruel dictatorship that might have been averted with your own political involvement? Of course you can’t be sure that your involvement would have made a difference, but it might have. That’s where regret comes in, with what you could have done.
Lois

Unfortunately, the chances that my individual political involvement would avert a dictatorship are so infinitesimally small that it is not worth the effort.  Again, this point is made in the document.

Regarding regret, there are a number of techniques in the document that can eliminate that particular emotion.  Most importantly, free will impossibilism renders regret irrational (see middle of page 6).

It may be irrational but we have no control over it. If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune. No matter how you live your life or what your philosophy is, you can’t control the emotions you feel or how you react to them. You can only try to fool yourself, which you have apparently done in spades.

Lois

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Posted: 25 February 2014 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 200 ]
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Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

It may be irrational but we have no control over it. If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune. No matter how you live your life or what your philosophy is, you can’t control the emotions you feel or how you react to them. You can only try to fool yourself, which you have apparently done in spades.

You are confusing the topic of determinism with fatalism: whatever you are reasoning or thinking, the same will happen anyway. This standpoint is philosophically wrong, and in conflict with the partially empirically confirmed effectivity of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the idea that our thinking about situations influences the way we feel about them, and not necessary only the other way round.

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GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 25 February 2014 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 201 ]
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As you have repeated it a half dozen times, you are obviously convinced that the individual doesn’t make a difference. Or in your words, the probability of your philosophy causing political change is infinitesimally small. There really is no point in discussing this with you if you aren’t willing to reconsider that point. TimB gave a good example, I was thinking about slavery myself, but I’m glad I didn’t bother formulating anything because you’ve shown it is a waste of time engaging you.

It’s a great philosophy, but it has the same problem that Marxism, Libertarianism and Anarchy all have in common, they rely on an existing structure that is creating wealth and investing capital for continual improvement. The Libertarian says that whatever deal they make in that structure, the spoils belong to them. The Marxist says everything belongs to everybody equally, but provides no mechanism for everybody to invest in the future. The Anarchist doesn’t care. You place peace of mind above all else, and if you start feeling like you should have done something for your grandchildren you go meditate because that feeling is irrational.

Sorry for being harsh, but we’ve been patient and I’m done reading your repeated assertions.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 202 ]
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Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 10:08 PM

...TimB, thanks again for your comments and suggestions.  While it has not resulted in a change to the document, I appreciate your time and effort.  I also appreciate your civility, which is rare on these forums.  Should you have any thoughts on any other part of my philosophy, please do not hesitate to share them.

Okay, You might add that individuals should keep their atheism a secret.  There are 13 countries in the world, today, where atheism is punishable by death.  Even in our country, where the national Constitution protects “freedom of religion”, we are not necessarily, politically that far away from societal abuse for unbelief.  In Texas, the State Constitution says that one cannot be barred from public office for religious reasons, as long as they acknowledge belief in a Supreme Being.  Their are several other states with constitutional provisions along the same lines.

Or you can just hope that there are enough politically efficacious atheists who do not subscribe to your proscription against political activism, to protect you in your quest for peace of mind.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 203 ]
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GdB - 25 February 2014 04:59 AM
Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

It may be irrational but we have no control over it. If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune. No matter how you live your life or what your philosophy is, you can’t control the emotions you feel or how you react to them. You can only try to fool yourself, which you have apparently done in spades.

You are confusing the topic of determinism with fatalism: whatever you are reasoning or thinking, the same will happen anyway. This standpoint is philosophically wrong, and in conflict with the partially empirically confirmed effectivity of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the idea that our thinking about situations influences the way we feel about them, and not necessary only the other way round.

Yes, CBT has been shown to be effective, and most of the techniques in my document are based on CBT theory. 

Lois’ bald assertion that “we have no control” over our emotions is simply false.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 204 ]
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Lausten - 25 February 2014 07:44 AM

As you have repeated it a half dozen times, you are obviously convinced that the individual doesn’t make a difference. Or in your words, the probability of your philosophy causing political change is infinitesimally small. There really is no point in discussing this with you if you aren’t willing to reconsider that point. TimB gave a good example, I was thinking about slavery myself, but I’m glad I didn’t bother formulating anything because you’ve shown it is a waste of time engaging you.

It’s a great philosophy, but it has the same problem that Marxism, Libertarianism and Anarchy all have in common, they rely on an existing structure that is creating wealth and investing capital for continual improvement. The Libertarian says that whatever deal they make in that structure, the spoils belong to them. The Marxist says everything belongs to everybody equally, but provides no mechanism for everybody to invest in the future. The Anarchist doesn’t care. You place peace of mind above all else, and if you start feeling like you should have done something for your grandchildren you go meditate because that feeling is irrational.

Sorry for being harsh, but we’ve been patient and I’m done reading your repeated assertions.

Nothing in your post refutes anything in my philosophy. 

If you do not want to read my assertions, you may (1) attempt to refute them (which you have not), or (2) exit this thread.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 205 ]
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TimB - 25 February 2014 12:51 PM
Philosofer123 - 24 February 2014 10:08 PM

...TimB, thanks again for your comments and suggestions.  While it has not resulted in a change to the document, I appreciate your time and effort.  I also appreciate your civility, which is rare on these forums.  Should you have any thoughts on any other part of my philosophy, please do not hesitate to share them.

Okay, You might add that individuals should keep their atheism a secret.  There are 13 countries in the world, today, where atheism is punishable by death.  Even in our country, where the national Constitution protects “freedom of religion”, we are not necessarily, politically that far away from societal abuse for unbelief.  In Texas, the State Constitution says that one cannot be barred from public office for religious reasons, as long as they acknowledge belief in a Supreme Being.  Their are several other states with constitutional provisions along the same lines.

Or you can just hope that there are enough politically efficacious atheists who do not subscribe to your proscription against political activism, to protect you in your quest for peace of mind.

Not a bad idea, but there are also costs of remaining “in the closet”.  On balance, it is not clear what should be recommended.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 206 ]
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Of course there are many kinds of things that we can do that impact our emotional states, including changing our verbal behavior.  Lois, I imagine would argue, however, that everything we do is determined by factors (other than our perceived self) that control our behavior.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 207 ]
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Lausten - 25 February 2014 01:12 PM

You place peace of mind above all else, and if you start feeling like you should have done something for your grandchildren you go meditate because that feeling is irrational.

Nothing in your post refutes anything in my philosophy. 

If you do not want to read my assertions, you may (1) attempt to refute them (which you have not), or (2) exit this thread.

Your powers here are limited. I’ll comment as I see fit.

You don’t state within the document that your philosophy will lead to a better world and within these comments you agree that is not your intent and you don’t even feel strongly about individuals having any impact on the world. So there is nothing to refute. It’s an underlying assumption of yours.

My philosophy runs more along these lines;
Variants of Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has:
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.
Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed individual can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

And the history of major changes is my evidence.

I would rather come to the end of my life, tired, bruised and frustrated, but knowing that I lived by principles that promote peace, than to maximize my personal peace knowing there are others left wanting. I can still incorporate much of your philosophy because the more I am at peace with myself, the better I can work at peace for all. But that doesn’t seem to be what you are saying.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 208 ]
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Lausten - 25 February 2014 01:38 PM

You don’t state within the document that your philosophy will lead to a better world and within these comments you agree that is not your intent and you don’t even feel strongly about individuals having any impact on the world. So there is nothing to refute. It’s an underlying assumption of yours.

Clearly, then, there is something to refute—my “assumption” (and you have not clearly stated what that “assumption” is). 

You have not attempted refute my “assumption”, so I can only assume that you are unable to do so.

Lausten - 25 February 2014 01:38 PM

My philosophy runs more along these lines;
Variants of Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has:
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.
Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed individual can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

And the history of major changes is my evidence.

The fact that there is a very small percentage of individuals in history who have made significant societal changes is perfectly compatible with my recommendation in the document that “practically speaking, in a large polity, it may make sense to avoid politics altogether, as political activity may disturb one’s mind, and one’s personal efforts would likely have little or no ultimate effect.”

The words in bold are qualifiers, demonstrating that my recommendation allows for exceptions.

Lausten - 25 February 2014 01:38 PM

I would rather come to the end of my life, tired, bruised and frustrated, but knowing that I lived by principles that promote peace, than to maximize my personal peace knowing there are others left wanting. I can still incorporate much of your philosophy because the more I am at peace with myself, the better I can work at peace for all. But that doesn’t seem to be what you are saying.

Why do you want to “know that you lived by principles that promote peace”?  Clearly because you empathize strongly with others.  And why do you not want to “know that there are others left wanting”?  Because you empathize strongly with others, and you would not have peace of mind if you “know that there are others left wanting”.

As stated in my document:

“Empathetic feelings (if one has them), while perhaps not derived from self-interest, incorporate the welfare of others into one’s own state of mind. Therefore, optimizing one’s state of mind over one’s lifetime usually takes into account adequately one’s empathetic feelings.” (middle of page 5)

Therefore, my philosophy accommodates your psychological makeup and your motivation to “live by principles that promote peace”.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 209 ]
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GdB - 25 February 2014 04:59 AM
Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

It may be irrational but we have no control over it. If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune. No matter how you live your life or what your philosophy is, you can’t control the emotions you feel or how you react to them. You can only try to fool yourself, which you have apparently done in spades.

You are confusing the topic of determinism with fatalism: whatever you are reasoning or thinking, the same will happen anyway. This standpoint is philosophically wrong, and in conflict with the partially empirically confirmed effectivity of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the idea that our thinking about situations influences the way we feel about them, and not necessary only the other way round.

I never said hey don’t, but we can’t know how much influence there is nor whether those influences take precedence. Everything we do and think goes into the big stew and what happens to it then is not under our control. I don’t confuse fatalism with determinism but you apparently do. Fatalism implies that everything is set in stone from the beginning.  Determinism implies that the end result comes from constant changes along the way. What is similar is that we have no conscious control over the process or the end result no matter how much thinking about situations we do.

Lois

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Posted: 25 February 2014 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 210 ]
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Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 01:07 PM
GdB - 25 February 2014 04:59 AM
Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

It may be irrational but we have no control over it. If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune. No matter how you live your life or what your philosophy is, you can’t control the emotions you feel or how you react to them. You can only try to fool yourself, which you have apparently done in spades.

You are confusing the topic of determinism with fatalism: whatever you are reasoning or thinking, the same will happen anyway. This standpoint is philosophically wrong, and in conflict with the partially empirically confirmed effectivity of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the idea that our thinking about situations influences the way we feel about them, and not necessary only the other way round.

Yes, CBT has been shown to be effective, and most of the techniques in my document are based on CBT theory. 

Lois’ bald assertion that “we have no control” over our emotions is simply false.

Where is your scientific evidence for that?

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