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Critique My Philosophy of Life?
Posted: 25 February 2014 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 211 ]
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TimB - 25 February 2014 01:23 PM

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.

Yes,that is exactly my position.

Lois

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Posted: 25 February 2014 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 212 ]
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Lois - 25 February 2014 03:25 PM
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?

There are plenty of studies that support the effectiveness of CBT, which in turn supports the notion that we have some control over our emotions.  One meta-analysis of these studies may be found at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584580/

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Posted: 25 February 2014 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 213 ]
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Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 03:34 PM
Lois - 25 February 2014 03:25 PM
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?

There are plenty of studies that support the effectiveness of CBT, which in turn supports the notion that we have some control over our emotions.  One meta-analysis of these studies may be found at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584580/


There are plenty of scientific studies using brain scans under laboratory conditions that show we make decisions before we are consciously aware of them.
Here’s one:

“When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

“We already had evidence that it is possible to detect brain activity associated with movement before someone is aware of making a decision to move. Work presented this week at the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) conference in London not only extends it to abstract decisions, but suggests that it might even be possible to pre-emptively reverse a decision before a person realises they’ve made it.”

When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23367-brain-imaging-spots-our-abstract-choices-before-we-do.html#.Uw1bXGt5mSO

That and other such tests show that we don’t have free will. We aren’t conscious of our decision making activity.


“Kreiman agrees, but says that these early results at least bring the question of free will out of the realms of magic and mystery. ‘There is no magic. There are neurons, and there are ions that flow through membranes, and that it what is orchestrating our decisions,” he says. “We don’t need to invoke freedom.’”


Lois

[ Edited: 25 February 2014 08:19 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 25 February 2014 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 214 ]
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Lois - 25 February 2014 08:09 PM

There are plenty of scientific studies using brain scans under laboratory conditions that show we make decisions before we are consciously aware of them.
Here’s one:

“When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

“We already had evidence that it is possible to detect brain activity associated with movement before someone is aware of making a decision to move. Work presented this week at the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) conference in London not only extends it to abstract decisions, but suggests that it might even be possible to pre-emptively reverse a decision before a person realises they’ve made it.”

When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23367-brain-imaging-spots-our-abstract-choices-before-we-do.html#.Uw1bXGt5mSO

That and other such tests show that we don’t have free will. We aren’t conscious of our decision making activity.


“Kreiman agrees, but says that these early results at least bring the question of free will out of the realms of magic and mystery. ‘There is no magic. There are neurons, and there are ions that flow through membranes, and that it what is orchestrating our decisions,” he says. “We don’t need to invoke freedom.’”


Lois

All of the above is perfectly compatible with the therapeutic success of CBT and the ability to at least partially control one’s emotions through cognitive methods. 

In other words, your cited studies do not, in any way, support your bald assertion that we have no control over our emotions.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 215 ]
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Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

If you are going to have regrets, you will have them. 

 

It was this that looked like fatalism Lois. What is the point of it? It’s just a tautology.

Usually what’s behind it is the idea that the future will be the same whatever you do and so you have no control over it.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 216 ]
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Even if our perception of our “selves” making choices is a complete illusion (perhaps this is an ongoing question), we are still doing the behaviors that can impact our emotional responses. And the cues for rational self-talk still exist, and the modified behavior of thinking rational thoughts still exist, and the positive impact on one’s emotional state still exist. So whether you view all of this happening without the influence of a consciously aware self, there are still individuals who go through the cognitive behavioral therapy process and wind up functioning more successfully than they were previously.

Thus some persons fortunate enough to be exposed to CBT might not wind up being, for instance, as regretful as persons who do not go through that process.  OTOH, persons who are exposed to fatalistic statements, might decline the opportunity for developing and practicing rational “self” talk, as this may be one of the determining factors for not behaving in ways that are more rational for them.  (All this without the existing illusion of a self making choices, being a controlling factor at all.)

That is possible.  I, personally, don’t buy it, but that may be because my illusion of my self making choices is too powerful.

 Signature 

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 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 217 ]
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In case no one got the irony of my last sentence in post 216, my “illusion of self making choices” was a determining factor in my behavior of “not buying it”.

 Signature 

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: 26 February 2014 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 218 ]
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Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 02:22 PM
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.

Yes I did, in post #201 and by my agreement with TimB’s analysis. In #204 you said I had to refute your assertions and in other posts you said I have to refute something in the document. If you don’t really want feedback, don’t ask for it.

Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 02:22 PM

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”.

I acknowledged that you said that, and noted that you only say it. The rest of your document and your comments state a strong preference for remaining uninvolved. You can’t deny it.

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Posted: 26 February 2014 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 219 ]
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Lausten - 26 February 2014 09:12 AM
Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 02:22 PM
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.

Yes I did, in post #201 and by my agreement with TimB’s analysis. In #204 you said I had to refute your assertions and in other posts you said I have to refute something in the document. If you don’t really want feedback, don’t ask for it.

Neither you nor TimB have made a persuasive case that more than a very small percentage of people can individually have a significant political effect on society.  If you feel that you can make such a case, then do so.

Lausten - 26 February 2014 09:12 AM
Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 02:22 PM

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”.

I acknowledged that you said that, and noted that you only say it. The rest of your document and your comments state a strong preference for remaining uninvolved. You can’t deny it.

You have not refuted my argument that my philosophy accommodates your psychological makeup and your motivation to “live by principles that promote peace”.

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Posted: 26 February 2014 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 220 ]
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Philosofer123 - 26 February 2014 11:30 AM

Neither you nor TimB have made a persuasive case that more than a very small percentage of people can individually have a significant political effect on society.  If you feel that you can make such a case, then do so.

You’re asking an awful lot. If it were possible to explain exactly how to build a movement that could change the world with any degree of certainty that it would work, then the world would be a very different place. I can’t do that anymore than you can show that your philosophy of life will actually lead to peace of mind. There are a myriad of mitigating factors that could cause it to fail; foreign invasion and occupation, concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, policies that lead to the destruction of the middle class, flood, a crazy neighbor. There are also many factors that you don’t mention required for its success; You need to be in a position to make the choices you suggest, you need free time and peaceful places to retreat to, you need a fair amount of freedom, you need opportunities. Those things didn’t just drop out of the sky.

You might want to look into how a small church in Georgia started the civil rights movement or read “They should have served that Cup of Coffee”, about the peace movement in the 60’s. But really, if a small number of people don’t make big change, why do we acknowledge individuals at all? Why do we care about a speech Steve Jobs made or call someone the most powerful man in America?

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Posted: 26 February 2014 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 221 ]
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Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 08:41 PM
Lois - 25 February 2014 08:09 PM

There are plenty of scientific studies using brain scans under laboratory conditions that show we make decisions before we are consciously aware of them.
Here’s one:

“When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

“We already had evidence that it is possible to detect brain activity associated with movement before someone is aware of making a decision to move. Work presented this week at the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) conference in London not only extends it to abstract decisions, but suggests that it might even be possible to pre-emptively reverse a decision before a person realises they’ve made it.”

When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23367-brain-imaging-spots-our-abstract-choices-before-we-do.html#.Uw1bXGt5mSO

That and other such tests show that we don’t have free will. We aren’t conscious of our decision making activity.


“Kreiman agrees, but says that these early results at least bring the question of free will out of the realms of magic and mystery. ‘There is no magic. There are neurons, and there are ions that flow through membranes, and that it what is orchestrating our decisions,” he says. “We don’t need to invoke freedom.’”


Lois

All of the above is perfectly compatible with the therapeutic success of CBT and the ability to at least partially control one’s emotions through cognitive methods. 

In other words, your cited studies do not, in any way, support your bald assertion that we have no control over our emotions.

Any control or lack of control is determined by factors we are unaware of. When it comes to the few factors we are aware of, we have no idea which ones take precedence nor how many unconscious factors are at work. We have no control and the fact that we think we have control is also determined. That’s how I read the research.

Lois

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Posted: 26 February 2014 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 222 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 February 2014 08:50 PM
Lois - 25 February 2014 01:27 AM

If you are going to have regrets, you will have them. 

 

It was this that looked like fatalism Lois. What is the point of it? It’s just a tautology.

Usually what’s behind it is the idea that the future will be the same whatever you do and so you have no control over it.


The same as what?

Lois

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Posted: 26 February 2014 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 223 ]
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TimB - 25 February 2014 11:17 PM

Even if our perception of our “selves” making choices is a complete illusion (perhaps this is an ongoing question), we are still doing the behaviors that can impact our emotional responses. And the cues for rational self-talk still exist, and the modified behavior of thinking rational thoughts still exist, and the positive impact on one’s emotional state still exist. So whether you view all of this happening without the influence of a consciously aware self, there are still individuals who go through the cognitive behavioral therapy process and wind up functioning more successfully than they were previously.

Thus some persons fortunate enough to be exposed to CBT might not wind up being, for instance, as regretful as persons who do not go through that process.  OTOH, persons who are exposed to fatalistic statements, might decline the opportunity for developing and practicing rational “self” talk, as this may be one of the determining factors for not behaving in ways that are more rational for them.  (All this without the existing illusion of a self making choices, being a controlling factor at all.)

That is possible.  I, personally, don’t buy it, but that may be because my illusion of my self making choices is too powerful.

It is possible, though, to understand the actual process and still feel as if you are in control. It isn’t that hard to do. Any intelligent person can do it. It’s a little like watching a movie.  You get caught up in the story and you suspend disbelief. But you never lose sight of the fact that it’s only a movie.

Lois

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Posted: 26 February 2014 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 224 ]
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Lausten - 26 February 2014 12:39 PM
Philosofer123 - 26 February 2014 11:30 AM

Neither you nor TimB have made a persuasive case that more than a very small percentage of people can individually have a significant political effect on society.  If you feel that you can make such a case, then do so.

You’re asking an awful lot.

Until you can make such a case, I see no reason to modify the document.

Lausten - 26 February 2014 12:39 PM

But really, if a small number of people don’t make big change, why do we acknowledge individuals at all? Why do we care about a speech Steve Jobs made or call someone the most powerful man in America?

I do not dispute that a very small percentage of people can individually have a significant political effect on society, and this fact is perfectly compatible with my qualified guideline of usually avoiding political activity.  In order to demonstrate that my philosophy requires modification, you need to show that more than a very small percentage of people can individually have a significant political effect on society.

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Posted: 26 February 2014 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 225 ]
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Lois - 26 February 2014 12:53 PM
Philosofer123 - 25 February 2014 08:41 PM

All of the above is perfectly compatible with the therapeutic success of CBT and the ability to at least partially control one’s emotions through cognitive methods. 

In other words, your cited studies do not, in any way, support your bald assertion that we have no control over our emotions.

Any control or lack of control is determined by factors we are unaware of. When it comes to the few factors we are aware of, we have no idea which ones take precedence nor how many unconscious factors are at work. We have no control and the fact that we think we have control is also determined. That’s how I read the research.

Lois

Even if the studies you cite support the conclusions you attempt to draw (which is doubtful), their support of your assertion that “we have no control over our emotions” would be tenuous and indirect, at best.

By contrast, the numerous studies on CBT demonstrate conclusively that CBT is therapeutically effective, thereby directly demonstrating that we have at least some control over our emotions.

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