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  #151  
Old 05-14-2017, 12:11 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Not to mention the author who wrote it won quite a few awards for his horror fiction.
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  #152  
Old 05-14-2017, 12:31 AM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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Machinaforce, what do you want? Everyone commit suicide?
  #153  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:17 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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The book that I referenced states that the joy is just a distraction from the horrors of existence, the illusion of the self, the meaninglessness of our existence, and other things. Hence why he calls it the "conspiracy against the human race".
There's that word again.

I'll ask again: what would a "meaningful" existence even look like? What's the alternative to what we have?
  #154  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:41 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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The book that I referenced states that the joy is just a distraction from the horrors of existence, the illusion of the self, the meaninglessness of our existence, and other things. Hence why he calls it the "conspiracy against the human race".

The world and what we strive for is so small and meager compared to all of existence. Our struggles, dreams, and hopes but microsopic. Such a human centered view of existence.

Ligotti's anti-humanism is far more profound that the utilitarian influenced anti-natalism it is often naively linked. "Life is a confidence trick we must run on ourselves, hoping we do not catch on to any monkey business that would have us stripped of our defense mechanisms and standing stark naked before the silent, starring void" and "This would be for the good of all, for even those who know nothing about the conspiracy against the human race are among its injured parties.”
You have demonstrated, time and again, an unyielding willingness to ignore all evidence that contradicts your world view. You've yet to acknowledge that the majority of evidence contradicts your personal confirmation bias. This does not bode well for balanced and enlightened discussion of your pet subject.

The overwhelming evidence is this: Life, despite its challenges, its catastrophes, its tragedies, its relative brevity - persists. The tendency among living organisms is to survive, avoid pain & maximize pleasure.

It is pure arrogance and lack of understanding on your part that your personal failure to find meaning in your own life necessitates the same inability and failure in others. You would not, for example, insist that just because you don't understand math, that nobody else should understand it, thus rendering the entire idea of math useless - right?

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Not to mention the author who wrote it won quite a few awards for his horror fiction.
Proving that despite his nihilism, he seeks & finds pleasure and reward in a popular form of age old human expression - the trans-generational art of literature. If he was a true believer in his personal convictions, he would not spend time and energy involved in something as 'pointless' as the creative process. So I'd go so far as to call him a hypocrite; someone who lacks the courage of his own convictions.

Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-14-2017 at 09:42 AM.
  #155  
Old 05-14-2017, 01:16 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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There's that word again.

I'll ask again: what would a "meaningful" existence even look like? What's the alternative to what we have?
It would be one in high life being worth living could be an empirical fact instead of a question still up for debate. You probably wouldn't have antinatalism either.
  #156  
Old 05-14-2017, 01:27 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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You have demonstrated, time and again, an unyielding willingness to ignore all evidence that contradicts your world view. You've yet to acknowledge that the majority of evidence contradicts your personal confirmation bias. This does not bode well for balanced and enlightened discussion of your pet subject.

The overwhelming evidence is this: Life, despite its challenges, its catastrophes, its tragedies, its relative brevity - persists. The tendency among living organisms is to survive, avoid pain & maximize pleasure.

It is pure arrogance and lack of understanding on your part that your personal failure to find meaning in your own life necessitates the same inability and failure in others. You would not, for example, insist that just because you don't understand math, that nobody else should understand it, thus rendering the entire idea of math useless - right?



Proving that despite his nihilism, he seeks & finds pleasure and reward in a popular form of age old human expression - the trans-generational art of literature. If he was a true believer in his personal convictions, he would not spend time and energy involved in something as 'pointless' as the creative process. So I'd go so far as to call him a hypocrite; someone who lacks the courage of his own convictions.
I still say you are missing the point. The fact that a majority feel that way doesn't make it so. After all, you still have people attempting suicide. Not to mention that the majority can find themselves in the minority at some point and vice versa. It's an appeal to popularity and that's a fallacy. I had said that already, so that isn't evidence.

So far anything beyond anecdote doesn't seem to refute the logic made by what he and others are saying.

In regards to the author, he uses the whole surivival instinct as a reason to why he hasn't died yet. He also said he doesn't want to cause that kind of anguish on those close to him by taking his life. But that doesn't negate what is being said by him. He states that most just live in ignorance of how bad the human condition really is, that maybe the masses are just fooling themselves. In case you haven't learned, just because someone talks about suicide and hasn't done it doesn't mean they don't want to. It's very hard to actually go through with it.

Everyone's comments have clearly shown that they haven't read the posts I have made or looked at the links posted. If you did you wouldn't be showing the same tired responses that aren't counterpoints.
  #157  
Old 05-14-2017, 01:57 PM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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It would be one in high life being worth living could be an empirical fact instead of a question still up for debate. You probably wouldn't have antinatalism either.
That's not an answer, though. If life must have meaning to be worth living, answering that a meaningful life is one worth living doesn't answer the question of what meaningfulness is.
  #158  
Old 05-14-2017, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce
I still say you are missing the point. The fact that a majority feel that way doesn't make it so.
In this case it kind of does. The only way for your worldview to make sense outside of the sad few who believe as you do is if a large majority of people suited actions to the supposed misery and basically voluntarily stopped having kids. Ironically, it's generally more self focused (and generally affluent and focused on career and advancement) types who generally opt to not have kids. Just looking at the reality of how the world actually works and who opts out of kids and why shoots down your entire worldview and the question you are asking in the title.

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After all, you still have people attempting suicide.
As a percentage of the population it's a very small number. So...it doesn't negate the point that a large majority of people have kids nor that a large majority of people don't agree with your outlook on life. It SHOULD indicate something to you, but you seem immune to any sort of logic that contradicts your world view.

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Not to mention that the majority can find themselves in the minority at some point and vice versa.
Um...considering that standards of living are rising world wide and, in fact, we are in the greatest period of such advancement the world has ever seen, I seriously doubt that the large majority of people who feel life is worth living is suddenly going to shift. You can, of course, keep dreaming, but ain't gonna happen.

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It's an appeal to popularity and that's a fallacy.
Not in this case. Actions speak louder than words, and simply put the majority of people act as if their lives have means, are worth living (thus, the low percentage of people who suicide). Whether you want to believe it or not, whether it conforms to your world view or not, the actions of the majority of a given species ARE the norm. And that is the norm among humans. Maybe in some dystopian future this will all change but it hasn't happened in the few hundred thousand years our species has existed yet...and, frankly, shit was a lot worse in the past, yet folks STILL took pleasure in life and thought it was worth it to bring more humans to the party.

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So far anything beyond anecdote doesn't seem to refute the logic made by what he and others are saying.
The irony levels of this are, well, off the charts. Thanks for this...seriously, it's goofy shit like this that makes MY life worth living and a happier place.
  #159  
Old 05-14-2017, 03:26 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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I still say you are missing the point. The fact that a majority feel that way doesn't make it so. After all, you still have people attempting suicide. Not to mention that the majority can find themselves in the minority at some point and vice versa. It's an appeal to popularity and that's a fallacy. I had said that already, so that isn't evidence.

So far anything beyond anecdote doesn't seem to refute the logic made by what he and others are saying.

In regards to the author, he uses the whole surivival instinct as a reason to why he hasn't died yet. He also said he doesn't want to cause that kind of anguish on those close to him by taking his life. But that doesn't negate what is being said by him. He states that most just live in ignorance of how bad the human condition really is, that maybe the masses are just fooling themselves. In case you haven't learned, just because someone talks about suicide and hasn't done it doesn't mean they don't want to. It's very hard to actually go through with it.

Everyone's comments have clearly shown that they haven't read the posts I have made or looked at the links posted. If you did you wouldn't be showing the same tired responses that aren't counterpoints.
The sum total of your rebuttal, every single time to every single poster, is the equivalent of shutting your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming LA-LA-LA-NOT-LISTENING-LA-LA-LA....

You can call out whatever rhetorical fallacy you want, but just because they are the only response you have, doesn't mean you've won the argument, or even have a valid argument to present. You've not proven that your position is the predominant one, yet you insist that it is. The fact that there is evidence, backed by science, that your position is highly likely linked to mental illness (depression, most likely) only makes you want to ignore it, like a climate denialist ignoring the evidence that climate change is real.

The fact that you've found a small minority of like minded individuals who seem to have the same nihilistic view of the world doesn't mean you're onto something here. All you've done is find a community of like minded nihilists who enjoy moaning and obsessing about the fact that you just can't seem to find any joy or meaning in your daily existence. Every reason you've given so far is nothing but confirmation bias - you've excluded all evidence except a tiny fraction of unsupported opinion from like minded nihilists and anhedonics because it fits with your preconceived notions.

My guess is, is that you actually derive pleasure from all this bitching and whining about how void of meaning your life is. I agree with Human Action who (I believe) suggested that despite declaring that life is without joy and meaning, you actually derive joy and meaning from all this obsessive moping, knowing you are not alone with your nihilism.

You are in love with the self-indulgent imagery of standing alone naked and screaming into the void. Hey, some people are only happy when they are miserable. If so, brood away, Machinaforce. Whatever gives you meaning and doesn't hurt anybody else in the process.
  #160  
Old 05-14-2017, 06:07 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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It would be one in high life being worth living could be an empirical fact instead of a question still up for debate.
Was that English? Try again, please.

If you can write paragraphs about how meaningless life is, maybe you can also manage a single well-formed thought about what a meaningful life might be.
  #161  
Old 05-14-2017, 06:33 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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The fact that you haven't committed suicide tells me that you don't really believe in what you're selling.
  #162  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:44 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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The fact that you haven't committed suicide tells me that you don't really believe in what you're selling.
That's not true, it just means I've too afraid of death to do so. It's not exactly an easy thing to go through with.
  #163  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:03 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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The sum total of your rebuttal, every single time to every single poster, is the equivalent of shutting your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming LA-LA-LA-NOT-LISTENING-LA-LA-LA....

You can call out whatever rhetorical fallacy you want, but just because they are the only response you have, doesn't mean you've won the argument, or even have a valid argument to present. You've not proven that your position is the predominant one, yet you insist that it is. The fact that there is evidence, backed by science, that your position is highly likely linked to mental illness (depression, most likely) only makes you want to ignore it, like a climate denialist ignoring the evidence that climate change is real.

The fact that you've found a small minority of like minded individuals who seem to have the same nihilistic view of the world doesn't mean you're onto something here. All you've done is find a community of like minded nihilists who enjoy moaning and obsessing about the fact that you just can't seem to find any joy or meaning in your daily existence. Every reason you've given so far is nothing but confirmation bias - you've excluded all evidence except a tiny fraction of unsupported opinion from like minded nihilists and anhedonics because it fits with your preconceived notions.

My guess is, is that you actually derive pleasure from all this bitching and whining about how void of meaning your life is. I agree with Human Action who (I believe) suggested that despite declaring that life is without joy and meaning, you actually derive joy and meaning from all this obsessive moping, knowing you are not alone with your nihilism.

You are in love with the self-indulgent imagery of standing alone naked and screaming into the void. Hey, some people are only happy when they are miserable. If so, brood away, Machinaforce. Whatever gives you meaning and doesn't hurt anybody else in the process.
No, because I know that there hasn't been a strong point listed here that the links I have posted have not refuted.

You haven't read any of the links otherwise you would not be posting these replies, like I have said before. A position doesn't have to be predominant to be right. The majority of people, which you like to reference, don't think too much about meaning or anything deeper than what they have to do the next day. They probably could not even know where someone is coming from when they talk about things like this.

The majority live in blissful ignorance of the deeper questions of life that would likely shake them from why they do the things they do. Your evidence is flawed in that regard and likely reinforces the author's point, that most people have no idea.

We do what we do because of social influence, because it's acceptable. I rather doubt that if you exposed them to a fraction of this material that those surveys would likely yield the same results.

Their opinion is rooted in ignorance. That's why your evidence doesn't hold weight. I want to reject what they are saying, but I can't just do that because I don't like what they say. That would be confirmation bias and would make me as bad as everyone else who does that.

The bad news is that Ligotti is not widely known at all and that's why I can't find strong reasoning against his claims beyond one really well written two star review on amazon. Anywhere else I see him mentioned, which isn't very wide, seems to regard his analysis as accurate.

Last edited by Machinaforce; 05-14-2017 at 09:06 PM.
  #164  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:13 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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Machinaforce, what do you want people to do? What's your goal? Just say it, whatever it is.
  #165  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:29 PM
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No, because I know that there hasn't been a strong point listed here that the links I have posted have not refuted.
I read one of your links, a discussion on Reddit. People were arguing on the premise that any level of suffering justifies the desire to avoid creating more humans. It's a belief system; logic is useless.
  #166  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:44 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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No, because I know that there hasn't been a strong point listed here that the links I have posted have not refuted.

You haven't read any of the links otherwise you would not be posting these replies, like I have said before. A position doesn't have to be predominant to be right. The majority of people, which you like to reference, don't think too much about meaning or anything deeper than what they have to do the next day. They probably could not even know where someone is coming from when they talk about things like this.

The majority live in blissful ignorance of the deeper questions of life that would likely shake them from why they do the things they do. Your evidence is flawed in that regard and likely reinforces the author's point, that most people have no idea.

We do what we do because of social influence, because it's acceptable. I rather doubt that if you exposed them to a fraction of this material that those surveys would likely yield the same results.

Their opinion is rooted in ignorance. That's why your evidence doesn't hold weight. I want to reject what they are saying, but I can't just do that because I don't like what they say. That would be confirmation bias and would make me as bad as everyone else who does that.

The bad news is that Ligotti is not widely known at all and that's why I can't find strong reasoning against his claims beyond one really well written two star review on amazon. Anywhere else I see him mentioned, which isn't very wide, seems to regard his analysis as accurate.
This has become repetitive and tiresome.
I leave you to your wallowing in misery; Too afraid to die and too depressed to live.
  #167  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:03 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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This has become repetitive and tiresome.
I leave you to your wallowing in misery; Too afraid to die and too depressed to live.
If it's repetitive its because you haven't provided any evidence to the contrary. I have already listed why your "evidence" doesn't apply.

The fact that boredom is a factor in the human condition is reason enough. The compulsive urge to always having to be stimulated, never satisfied and always seeking. There is no permanent source of joy or happiness in the world.

Makes one wonder why we even put up with the suffering that happens to us, why live for tomorrow? Life just seems like a long struggle with little reward ending in death. What do we live for? Another temporary and fleeting joy, one after another? Seems like running through life with an eternal carrot on a stick.

Last edited by Machinaforce; 05-15-2017 at 06:05 PM.
  #168  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:04 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Machinaforce, what do you want people to do? What's your goal? Just say it, whatever it is.
I want a decent counterpoint to all of this that they have not anticipated and provided a counterargument that nulls it
  #169  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:18 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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I want a decent counterpoint to all of this that they have not anticipated and provided a counterargument that nulls it
Sic transit gloria mundi,
Dum vivimus vivamus.


Now, go wash your bowl.
  #170  
Old 05-16-2017, 08:29 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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If it's repetitive its because you haven't provided any evidence to the contrary. I have already listed why your "evidence" doesn't apply.

The fact that boredom is a factor in the human condition is reason enough. The compulsive urge to always having to be stimulated, never satisfied and always seeking. There is no permanent source of joy or happiness in the world.

Makes one wonder why we even put up with the suffering that happens to us, why live for tomorrow? Life just seems like a long struggle with little reward ending in death. What do we live for? Another temporary and fleeting joy, one after another? Seems like running through life with an eternal carrot on a stick.
Do you have a job?

Are you a student enrolled in a school?

Do you have friends?

Do you have pets that depend on you?

Do you exercise?

Do you have a good family relationships?

Do you have good reasons to leave the house?

Do you have a reason to get up every morning?

Do you take regular care of yourself and tend to your personal needs? (wash, cook, clean, laundry, dentist, GP, etc...)

Do you have hobbies & interests that don't include obsessive self-indulgent prevaricating?

Do you see a mental health professional on a regular basis?
  #171  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:38 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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I want a decent counterpoint to all of this that they have not anticipated and provided a counterargument that nulls it
For one thing, anhedonia only affects a small percentage of the population. It appears to be caused by problems within the brain, related to dopamine.

Therefore, people afflicted with anhedonia generalizing their experiences to everyone else is akin to a blind person insisting that everyone is blind, and vision is just a delusion.

Given that your argument is based on an anhedonic worldview, I would argue that it carries no weight with anyone whose brain doesn't have that breakdown in the dopamine system.
  #172  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:01 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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For one thing, anhedonia only affects a small percentage of the population. It appears to be caused by problems within the brain, related to dopamine.

Therefore, people afflicted with anhedonia generalizing their experiences to everyone else is akin to a blind person insisting that everyone is blind, and vision is just a delusion.

Given that your argument is based on an anhedonic worldview, I would argue that it carries no weight with anyone whose brain doesn't have that breakdown in the dopamine system.
Machinaforce has already rejected this reasoning as specious because dismissing mental illness is just a convenient way of dismissing the "valid" arguments offered by the mentally ill.

He doesn't want a reasonable rational response. He simply wants to reject out hand anything that doesn't agree with his twisted world view.
  #173  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:40 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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Machinaforce has already rejected this reasoning as specious because dismissing mental illness is just a convenient way of dismissing the "valid" arguments offered by the mentally ill.
Fair enough, but I'm not dismissing his argument, except for his attempts to universalize the experiences of a few, who have differently-functioning brains from the rest. Within the context of anhedonia, what he's saying might well hold true; that doesn't mean it applies to everybody else.

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He doesn't want a reasonable rational response. He simply wants to reject out hand anything that doesn't agree with his twisted world view.
True. I still find it bizarre how he's hung up on life being meaningless, but can't even suggest what a meaningful life would be. That's like complaining about not being able to see a color that doesn't exist - inventing a fictional problem out of whole cloth.
  #174  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:12 AM
Corry El Corry El is offline
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Ironically, it's generally more self focused (and generally affluent and focused on career and advancement) types who generally opt to not have kids.
But this is subject to a somewhat similar effect to that which makes the OP's argument silly, which I agree it is. 'What's a real argument for life having any meaning?', but what's a real argument for it not having any meaning? The OP just feels it doesn't, some other people also don't, most other people do (or act as if they do, and actions which imply it like building a family are at issue). Without seeming anti-intellectual, how much further can you really take it than that?

But similarly you can always deconstruct generosity or altruism. You can argue people who have kids do it to validate themselves emotionally in the shorter run (hell of an expensive and time consuming way, but still it's probably one elementl), or in the long run to have somebody likely to give a damn about them when they get old. But there's no denying your point either: not having kids can be a way to focus more money and attention on oneself now.

As disclaimer I have grown kids I think highly of. I'm glad they're around, not excluding looking to if I last long enough to become weak and helpless. Is it *why* we had them? No that wasn't the thinking, to the extent there was actual thinking, at the time. But I'm satisfied with my life. It has 'meaning' to me. Besides if someone has a mental medical issue where they are a threat to harm themselves and I can help, I have limited concern for whether other people feel their lives have meaning. That really is the epitome of one's own problem.

Last edited by Corry El; 05-16-2017 at 11:16 AM.
  #175  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:32 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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For one thing, anhedonia only affects a small percentage of the population. It appears to be caused by problems within the brain, related to dopamine.

Therefore, people afflicted with anhedonia generalizing their experiences to everyone else is akin to a blind person insisting that everyone is blind, and vision is just a delusion.

Given that your argument is based on an anhedonic worldview, I would argue that it carries no weight with anyone whose brain doesn't have that breakdown in the dopamine system.
It just seems like a cheap way of dismissing an author who has won quite a few awards in horror and who inspired the guy who created the TV show TRUE Detective. I just don't get how people here can ignore the support for his work and as well as the reviews for the apparent genius of his nonfiction on amazon.

Seems like event though he isn't widely known, those who know say the insight is piercing. I doubt everyone who says that is suffering from the same thing he is. I was just looking for logic to undo him and not just write him off as ill
  #176  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:33 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I also looked up the causes of anhedonia and it says it's not always due to illness
  #177  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:39 PM
XT XT is offline
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But this is subject to a somewhat similar effect to that which makes the OP's argument silly, which I agree it is. 'What's a real argument for life having any meaning?', but what's a real argument for it not having any meaning? The OP just feels it doesn't, some other people also don't, most other people do (or act as if they do, and actions which imply it like building a family are at issue). Without seeming anti-intellectual, how much further can you really take it than that?

But similarly you can always deconstruct generosity or altruism. You can argue people who have kids do it to validate themselves emotionally in the shorter run (hell of an expensive and time consuming way, but still it's probably one elementl), or in the long run to have somebody likely to give a damn about them when they get old. But there's no denying your point either: not having kids can be a way to focus more money and attention on oneself now.

As disclaimer I have grown kids I think highly of. I'm glad they're around, not excluding looking to if I last long enough to become weak and helpless. Is it *why* we had them? No that wasn't the thinking, to the extent there was actual thinking, at the time. But I'm satisfied with my life. It has 'meaning' to me. Besides if someone has a mental medical issue where they are a threat to harm themselves and I can help, I have limited concern for whether other people feel their lives have meaning. That really is the epitome of one's own problem.
I don't knock anyone who chooses not to have kids...I'm pro-choice all the way, baby! However, the OP was about selfishness...and I think, in general, people who choose not to have children in a modern nation generally do so for 'selfish' reasons...they are more concerned with their careers or just enjoying their lives and maybe their partners and perhaps pets. Basically, I don't believe being 'selfish' is a bad thing, to be honest.

YMMV, and I'm obviously painting with a very broad brush in all of the above. Not as ridiculously broad and misinformed as the OP, but still Tom Sawyer-esq in broadness. Gots to paint that fence, after all...
  #178  
Old 05-17-2017, 04:09 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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It just seems like a cheap way of dismissing an author who has won quite a few awards in horror and who inspired the guy who created the TV show TRUE Detective. I just don't get how people here can ignore the support for his work and as well as the reviews for the apparent genius of his nonfiction on amazon.

Seems like event though he isn't widely known, those who know say the insight is piercing. I doubt everyone who says that is suffering from the same thing he is. I was just looking for logic to undo him and not just write him off as ill
It's entirely reasonable to give him the recognition he deserves for his writing and creative contributions and still disagree with his world view that life has little/no meaning.

Oh, and his "apparent genius" is apparent to you and others of similar mindset. I find it inane and self-indulgent.

Try to understand something; just because a broken clock is right twice a day, it's still a broken clock.
  #179  
Old 05-17-2017, 04:35 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
It just seems like a cheap way of dismissing an author who has won quite a few awards in horror and who inspired the guy who created the TV show TRUE Detective. I just don't get how people here can ignore the support for his work and as well as the reviews for the apparent genius of his nonfiction on amazon.

Seems like event though he isn't widely known, those who know say the insight is piercing. I doubt everyone who says that is suffering from the same thing he is. I was just looking for logic to undo him and not just write him off as ill
This is a weird sort of appeal to authority.

It's weird because:

1. Someone who is a good writer and television producer doesn't necessarily have particular insight into the human condition. Are you seriously suggesting that we should believe this guy's philosophy because his work has good amazon reviews?

2. There are plenty of examples of brilliant creators who were also mentally ill. Sylvia Plath was a brilliant poet, and she also was seriously troubled and killed herself. The two aren't really related, and it isn't dismissing someone's talent to point out that they might be suffering from a lack of certain neurotransmitters.

I also think that you're missing the point. People aren't necessarily dismissing whoever this author is. They're dismissing your argument, which they have pointed out is bad and circular.
  #180  
Old 05-17-2017, 06:18 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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I would say that if you're complaining about life having no meaning and rejecting children because of it then you've missed the point. There is one command that nature has given all living creatures, reproduce. Children ARE what gives life meaning.
  #181  
Old 05-18-2017, 07:47 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
It just seems like a cheap way of dismissing an author who has won quite a few awards in horror and who inspired the guy who created the TV show TRUE Detective. I just don't get how people here can ignore the support for his work and as well as the reviews for the apparent genius of his nonfiction on amazon.

Seems like event though he isn't widely known, those who know say the insight is piercing. I doubt everyone who says that is suffering from the same thing he is. I was just looking for logic to undo him and not just write him off as ill
You say "dismissing", I say "contextualizing". To re-use an analogy, if a blind person told me that vision was a delusion and everyone was blind, I would disagree - but that doesn't mean that that person isn't blind; they are, and are explaining the world within the context of how they experience it.

Earlier you wrote that "joy is just a distraction from the horrors of existence, the illusion of the self, the meaninglessness of our existence." I'm willing to concede that this may be true for you - but not for everyone. For me, suffering is a distraction from the joy of existence; the "self" refers to my individual body, which is real; and the meaningless of existence is a pro, not a con (as noted earlier, and the question remains: what is this much-valued "meaningfulness" that you're seeking?).

As to the specifics of his book, I haven't read it, and thus can't speak to his claims, evidence, etc. If you wish to present some of his arguments, we can get to the point of refuting it (or not, depends on what it is, of course).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
I also looked up the causes of anhedonia and it says it's not always due to illness
No, but's it's always due to a physiological change in brain function.
  #182  
Old 05-18-2017, 02:24 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Thinking on it, I'm not sure we should use the value of life in the equation at all. I come to this conclusion on the basis of the theoretical question, 'why does any mating couple ever spend a single second not pregnant or trying to become pregnant?'

There are some couples who keep trying to have kids as often as possible and as long as possible. However, this is not the norm. At some point many couples choose not to have more kids. Or should I say, they brutally and viciously rip the opportunity for life away from all their as-yet-theoretical progeny!

If that sounds hyperbolic to you, then you don't believe that the opportunity for life is of paramount value. In fact we can come of for a rough estimate for the value of a theoretical descendant's life by examining the reasons why people choose to not have a child, or not to have another child. And from my admittedly limited experience, those reasons sometimes boil down to simple issues to time, money, or even mere convenience.

This tells me that the value of a potential life is way, way lower than the value of an actual life. Which is pretty obvious - we don't consider failing to get pregnant to be a crime equivalent to murder, even though the two both result in one less life.

This tells me that it's incorrect to use any analysis of the value of an existing life when determining whether having a kid is selfish. Personally, I think there is only one unselfish reason to have a child - if you believe that there are a set number of souls waiting to be born and a hard time limit for them to be born in and that if they don't get born in time then some sadistic entity will torture them or otherwise punish them for their failure to get born despite it clearly not having been their fault. This is the only situation where your action of having a child is sparing an existing entity from suffering. In all other situations people have children for their own reasons, which are all selfish.

Also I'm an atheist, so yeah. Having a child is something people do for their own benefit - they want a child of their own loins, and so they have one (or try to). Selfish. However I don't consider selfishness to be inherently harmful, so as long as you treat the kids decent once you have them, birth away.
  #183  
Old 05-18-2017, 10:18 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human Action View Post
You say "dismissing", I say "contextualizing". To re-use an analogy, if a blind person told me that vision was a delusion and everyone was blind, I would disagree - but that doesn't mean that that person isn't blind; they are, and are explaining the world within the context of how they experience it.

Earlier you wrote that "joy is just a distraction from the horrors of existence, the illusion of the self, the meaninglessness of our existence." I'm willing to concede that this may be true for you - but not for everyone. For me, suffering is a distraction from the joy of existence; the "self" refers to my individual body, which is real; and the meaningless of existence is a pro, not a con (as noted earlier, and the question remains: what is this much-valued "meaningfulness" that you're seeking?).

As to the specifics of his book, I haven't read it, and thus can't speak to his claims, evidence, etc. If you wish to present some of his arguments, we can get to the point of refuting it (or not, depends on what it is, of course).



No, but's it's always due to a physiological change in brain function.
I have listen then earlier in this thread and provided links to pages.
  #184  
Old 05-18-2017, 10:33 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
This is a weird sort of appeal to authority.

It's weird because:

1. Someone who is a good writer and television producer doesn't necessarily have particular insight into the human condition. Are you seriously suggesting that we should believe this guy's philosophy because his work has good amazon reviews?

2. There are plenty of examples of brilliant creators who were also mentally ill. Sylvia Plath was a brilliant poet, and she also was seriously troubled and killed herself. The two aren't really related, and it isn't dismissing someone's talent to point out that they might be suffering from a lack of certain neurotransmitters.

I also think that you're missing the point. People aren't necessarily dismissing whoever this author is. They're dismissing your argument, which they have pointed out is bad and circular.
But the author makes a point along those lines.

And the appeal to authority sounds right. I think that because there are reviews that are over 500 words in the five star and four star that it makes him right.
  #185  
Old 05-18-2017, 11:57 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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http://www.livescience.com/55999-is-...-illusion.html

These are thoughts about the existence of the self, think more like Buddhism. The growing consensus is that it doesn't exist.
  #186  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:51 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
But the author makes a point along those lines.

And the appeal to authority sounds right. I think that because there are reviews that are over 500 words in the five star and four star that it makes him right.
4 and 5 star ratings don't prove a damn thing except that there are some people who agree with the author's point of view. Nobody here disputes that there are people who agree with him. Doesn't mean they are right. The man is not a scientist, not a doctor, not a neurologist or sociologist. He's a book writer. You don't require any special qualifications to write books and doing so doesn't automatically make you the undisputed authority on the subject about which you're writing.

You're grasping at straws in an effort to deny that nihilism and anhedonia are often symptoms of depression - a real neurological condition which can directly impact the way you think and view the world. No-one questions that your experience seems REAL TO YOU. Everyone challenges your insistence that your personal experience MUST BE REAL FOR EVERYBODY.

Do you get that? Please address whether you understand and acknowledge the error in your thinking without linking to an irrelevant cite that lacks authority and avoids answering the question.
  #187  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:52 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
http://www.livescience.com/55999-is-...-illusion.html

These are thoughts about the existence of the self, think more like Buddhism. The growing consensus is that it doesn't exist.
This is an entirely different topic of conversation.
  #188  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:57 AM
Fuji Fuji is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
But the author makes a point along those lines.

And the appeal to authority sounds right. I think that because there are reviews that are over 500 words in the five star and four star that it makes him right.
I know another author, with whose work I am intimately familiar, who arrives at very different conclusions. His primary work has over 3,500 reviews, 83% of them of the 5-star variety. Since we're just appealing to authority as an acceptable rhetorical tactic, evidently...
  #189  
Old 05-19-2017, 09:08 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
The book that I referenced states that the joy is just a distraction from the horrors of existence, the illusion of the self, the meaninglessness of our existence, and other things.
The book is wrong, in my case and in the case of the majority of other people. If most of my life is happy and some of it is suffering, then it is meaningless to say that the suffering is real and the joy is "just" a distraction. If you look at a red brick wall where one of the bricks is gray, do you say that the wall is really gray?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce
I still say you are missing the point. The fact that a majority feel that way doesn't make it so.
Sure it does.

If the premise is "any amount of suffering outweighs any amount of joy" then the experience of the majority who find that the amount of joy in their lives does outweigh the suffering invalidates the premise. And if you reasonably expect that your children will agree with you that the joy in their lives will outweigh the suffering, then it is moral to have children.

I understand that you are miserable, and I am sorry for that.

Regards,
Shodan
  #190  
Old 05-19-2017, 11:34 AM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
And the appeal to authority sounds right. I think that because there are reviews that are over 500 words in the five star and four star that it makes him right.
You are claiming that amazon reviews mean this guy is correct? And not only that the star rating is relevant, but that the number of words written means something? And you don't see how absurd that is?

Perhaps we could return to:

Quote:
It would be one in high life being worth living could be an empirical fact instead of a question still up for debate.
This malformed and incoherent sentence was what you finally produced after multiple requests for what it would mean to live a "meaningful" life.

Please try again. Can you write a short paragraph about what the alternative is to the meaningless existence you see?
  #191  
Old 05-19-2017, 01:05 PM
femmejean femmejean is offline
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I don't know about 'selfish'. Don't really like that word. Don't think selfish is such a bad thing.

I think though that is despicable to have children when you can provide them with a better lifestyle. An example is my African family who have enough money to move to a developed country but stay in East Africa. What's worse is they had another child.

I think for example black people who live in the West and have an opportunity to make their child 'more beautiful' (marrying someone not of their race; caucasian or asian) and choose not to do so could be considered selfish. Same as those who raise their choose to bring their children in traditional, strict, religious households (when they can choose something better).


I know my former psychiatrist was previously married to a man but seeing as her son was feminine and she discovered that he needed a more nurturing parent, she divorced her husband (who she already had quite some problems with aside from his parenting) and married a lesbian. Her son who had quite some major emotional issues and diagnosed as autistic is now performing quite well and even above average.

Last edited by femmejean; 05-19-2017 at 01:05 PM.
  #192  
Old 05-19-2017, 01:31 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by femmejean View Post
I don't know about 'selfish'. Don't really like that word. Don't think selfish is such a bad thing.

I think though that is despicable to have children when you can provide them with a better lifestyle. An example is my African family who have enough money to move to a developed country but stay in East Africa. What's worse is they had another child.

I think for example black people who live in the West and have an opportunity to make their child 'more beautiful' (marrying someone not of their race; caucasian or asian) and choose not to do so could be considered selfish. Same as those who raise their choose to bring their children in traditional, strict, religious households (when they can choose something better).


I know my former psychiatrist was previously married to a man but seeing as her son was feminine and she discovered that he needed a more nurturing parent, she divorced her husband (who she already had quite some problems with aside from his parenting) and married a lesbian. Her son who had quite some major emotional issues and diagnosed as autistic is now performing quite well and even above average.
Holy Mother of God. I am in awe of the bolded statement. That is the single most bigoted thing I have read all year.
  #193  
Old 05-19-2017, 01:41 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by femmejean View Post
I know my former psychiatrist was previously married to a man but seeing as her son was feminine and she discovered that he needed a more nurturing parent, she divorced her husband (who she already had quite some problems with aside from his parenting) and married a lesbian. Her son who had quite some major emotional issues and diagnosed as autistic is now performing quite well and even above average.
Leaving aside your incredibly racist statement, how the hell do you know some much about the private life of your former psychiatrist?
  #194  
Old 05-19-2017, 01:53 PM
femmejean femmejean is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Leaving aside your incredibly racist statement, how the hell do you know some much about the private life of your former psychiatrist?
Met her son in a computer class...clicked with him as a friend and then he told me that his mother was a psychiatrist and her name so obviously I knew.

I had finished appointments with her and was formally discharged from the day clinic I attended two years and a half back so I don't think there were any patient-therapist conflicts.

She told me a bit more but her son was the one who told me the main story once I got connected with them.
  #195  
Old 05-19-2017, 02:21 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by femmejean View Post
I think for example black people who live in the West and have an opportunity to make their child 'more beautiful' (marrying someone not of their race; caucasian or asian) and choose not to do so could be considered selfish. Same as those who raise their choose to bring their children in traditional, strict, religious households (when they can choose something better).
That's earning you a warning femmejean. Either for hate speech or trolling.
  #196  
Old 05-20-2017, 06:55 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The book is wrong, in my case and in the case of the majority of other people. If most of my life is happy and some of it is suffering, then it is meaningless to say that the suffering is real and the joy is "just" a distraction. If you look at a red brick wall where one of the bricks is gray, do you say that the wall is really gray?
Sure it does.

If the premise is "any amount of suffering outweighs any amount of joy" then the experience of the majority who find that the amount of joy in their lives does outweigh the suffering invalidates the premise. And if you reasonably expect that your children will agree with you that the joy in their lives will outweigh the suffering, then it is moral to have children.

I understand that you are miserable, and I am sorry for that.

Regards,
Shodan
http://www.thecritique.com/articles/...anti-natalism/

Additional words on this.

But what about the millions who live in poverty? Those in the developed world don't really outnumber all of them? Not to mention how we tend to cause the majority of our suffering to ourselves.
  #197  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:16 PM
snfaulkner snfaulkner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
http://www.thecritique.com/articles/...anti-natalism/

Additional words on this.

But what about the millions who live in poverty? Those in the developed world don't really outnumber all of them? Not to mention how we tend to cause the majority of our suffering to ourselves.
This statement illustrates your naive world view. People living in poverty still experience joy, even if it is unfathomable to you.
  #198  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:22 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
http://www.thecritique.com/articles/...anti-natalism/

Additional words on this.

But what about the millions who live in poverty? Those in the developed world don't really outnumber all of them? Not to mention how we tend to cause the majority of our suffering to ourselves.
The worst person in poverty today is better off than most would have been 100 years ago.
  #199  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:36 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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First, there is ample evidence from psychological research that (most) people are prone to an optimism bias and are subject to other psychological traits that lead them to underestimate the amount of bad in life [4]. We thus have excellent reason for distrusting most people’s cheery assessments of how well their lives are going.

Second, when we look closely we notice just how much suffering there is. Consider, for example, the millions living in poverty or subjected to violence or the threat thereof. Psychological distress and disturbance is widespread. Rates of depression are high. Everybody suffers frustrations and bereavements. Life is often punctuated by periods of ill-health. Some of these pass without enduring effects but others have long-term sequelae. In poorer parts of the world, infectious diseases account for most of the burden of disease. However, those in the developed world are not exempt from appalling diseases. They suffer from strokes, from various degenerative diseases and from cancer.

Third, even if one thought that the best of human lives were good (enough), to procreate is to inflict, on the being you create, unacceptable risks of grotesque suffering, even if that occurs at the end of life. For example, 40% of men and 37% of women in Britain develop cancer at some point. Those are just terrible odds. To inflict them on another person by bringing him into existence is reckless. Rust Cohle expresses this idea when he says that he thinks “about the hubris it must take to yank a soul out of nonexistence into this … Force a life into this thresher …” [5] (His talk of souls should obviously be taken metaphorically.)
  #200  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:38 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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just a note on what it said in the link
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