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Old 04-19-2017, 09:20 PM
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Does philosophy eventually lead to misery?


https://www.amazon.com/Pessimism-Phi.../dp/0691141126
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/09844...rb_top?ie=UTF8

That humans are burdened by time. That hope is a curse, and that philosophy and reason just bring misery by dispelling illusions (among other things), or that consciousness is a disease.

Reading the book makes it almost hard to believe he’s married with kids.

You have Rousseau going on about how man was happier in early times and how we are slaves to the judgment and opinion of others. That our desires can never be truly satisfied because novelty is in a losing war against time. Then leopardi saying that living longer isnt good of life is just empty and actually endorses risky behavior, saying we can’t achieve happiness but we distract ourselves. They all seem to agree that we can’t be happy. If that’s true then what’s the point in living, how can they be against suicide.

Not to mention they argue that reason and philosophical thinking is the result of man’s ills, that it doesn’t offer solutions to problems. It just dispels the illusions that make us happy. The same goes for knowledge.

They say no one deserves or is entitled to happiness (so what does that mean about the issues in the world, do we leave them? What about abuse of others?)

The author does a poor job of making it seem like it has a benefit despite what the summary says. In a sense it says there’s no point in doing anything since it won’t bring happiness.

Things of that nature make me wonder if there is really any good to doing it. It seems like all it does is make people miserable. It seems to me that the people who don't use it live happier not having to question things about their lives. The illusions they have let them live happily. But once introduced to the methods of philosophy then the questioning becomes like some kind of parasite, undoing the life you have carefully wrought. Even questioning the fact whether living longer is even a good thing any more. There's less and less positives that result from doing it.

Wouldn't it be better to just live in illusion and be happy?
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:15 PM
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Haven't we been down this road already?
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:10 PM
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Like if people like Richard Feynman did not explain decades ago how shallow is to just live with a limited view of things.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/0...chard-feynman/
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I have a friend who’s an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,” and I think that he’s kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe…
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The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.
In essence, some may decide to just live in an illusion and be happy, but for the ones investigating the nature of things they are more likely to find much, much more awesomeness and happiness than the ones that limit themselves by choice. Don't see also how pessimism should lead only to sadness, that old saying that goes like: "Expect the best, plan for the worst & prepare to be surprised" does talk about keeping a pessimistic outlook to things, but the end result is that when a bad situation comes the one that was prepared and not living in a happy illusion is the one that ends up with a happier situation.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:02 AM
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Except that isn't pessimism, that's still optimism. Pessimism says that we are unable to obtain happiness, well to be exact they say that freedom and happiness are not compatible. That knowledge just brings suffering (and one man's view doesn't overturn that). That the illusions we have as children are broken by knowledge, that the more we know the more we are displeased with things around us.

Pessimism has no expectations, especially positive ones. It says that time is a burden to humans and that consciousness is a disease. That awareness of our death is suffering and that we foolishly chase after our desires in the belief that if we just meet them we will be happy, but we won't. Because we were sold that lie that we must be happy, we deserve it, it is owed to us.

That is essentially what they speak of. There is pessimism the mind set, but this refers to the philosophy.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:04 AM
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessimism

The dictionary defines the philosophy as a belief that the world is as bad as it could be and that evil triumphs in the end.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:41 AM
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Except that isn't pessimism, that's still optimism. Pessimism says that we are unable to obtain happiness, well to be exact they say that freedom and happiness are not compatible.
Either you're working from an awful, soul-sucking definition of "happiness", or pessimism is flat-out wrong. I was happy yesterday. I am happy today. I may not be happy tomorrow, but I'm likely to be happy at some time in the next week. Now, you may say that isn't "happiness", but if so, I'd say your definition is fundamentally broken. As the comic puts it, if simply thinking too much about happiness makes you unhappy, somewhere, something has gone very wrong.

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That knowledge just brings suffering (and one man's view doesn't overturn that). That the illusions we have as children are broken by knowledge, that the more we know the more we are displeased with things around us.
Hmm. See, I have the following problem with this statement: the internet.

Seriously, if I were born 20 years earlier, I wouldn't have access to any of the wonderful things I so take for granted these days. Things which exist solely because we know more about the world. I wouldn't know that my friend Alice exists, and I wouldn't know that she shares one of my favorite kinks, and has the kind of bustline worth killing for. I wouldn't even know my favorite kink actually exists.

Also, due to what we know today, we're safer, healthier, live longer and more comfortably, and are just overall better off than at any point in history.

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Pessimism has no expectations, especially positive ones. It says that time is a burden to humans and that consciousness is a disease. That awareness of our death is suffering and that we foolishly chase after our desires in the belief that if we just meet them we will be happy, but we won't. Because we were sold that lie that we must be happy, we deserve it, it is owed to us.
What a bizarre and stupid philosophy.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:50 AM
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You already started a thread about how pointless philosophy is. Are you going to rehash the same bullshit, like every single one of your other threads?

Reported.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:59 AM
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I'm skeptical of the premise that happiness is something worthwhile. Americas are obsessed with being happy, a cultural mix of status displays and a creepy group conformity. In some other countries if one goes around smiling for no reason people will think you're mental, or trying to manipulate them. Happiness can be seen as immature, something for carefree children, not thinking adults wrestling with serious issues like war, environmental degradation, or the atomization of society.

I don't know if there's any consensus on the topic, but you can find studies indicating that happiness is correlated with selfishness, a lack of empathy, and carelessness when it comes to weighing risks. So it may not be all that great, except for feeling good, which could describe other vices, like drugs or gambling. If reading philosophy shakes you out of your happiness bubble that's probably a good thing.

Last edited by marshmallow; 04-20-2017 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:25 AM
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Sure, sometimes philosophical enquiry leads us to unpleasant conclusions. So does medicine. So does astronomy. So does climate science. So does...pretty much every field of enquiry at least some of the time.

Besides, the specific list that the OP gives are far from universal truths of philosophy. Several are clearly false IMO, and others are baseless sweeping statements.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:16 AM
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No, because somewhere down the road you realise it's all a load of bollocks and you live happily ever after.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:34 AM
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Does philosophy eventually lead to misery?
Only if you incorrectly define the term, such that it does.

Next?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:39 AM
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That the illusions we have as children are broken by knowledge, that the more we know the more we are displeased with things around us.
That's a good thing, because otherwise problems don't get fixed. Each generation comes of age, recognizes the injustice and stupidity of the status quo, and does their part to shift it a bit in a more humane and equitable direction.

The illusions we have as children are the problem, not the solution.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:13 AM
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I saw this sticker on the window of a dilapidated pickup truck this morning. Couldn't tell if the driver looked miserable.

*An accompanying ticker read "I (heart) quantum mechanics".
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:58 AM
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Wouldn't it be better to just live in illusion and be happy?
In your case, and I mean this sincerely, yes. I am sorry you are miserable. Whatever you are trying to work through here isn't effective.

Bottom line: Life is Suffering. Buddha said this THOUSANDS of years ago. That has NOTHING to do with Philosphy's goodness or badness, it is Life. Focus on how to manage your head given this Truth. Heck, Buddha has a few ways - and eightfold path even! - meant to help us manage our heads given this truth.

We each must choose how to engage our lives. What you have been trying has clearly not been working. Try something else.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:09 AM
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessimism

The dictionary defines the philosophy as a belief that the world is as bad as it could be and that evil triumphs in the end.
Still missing the point, and the proper definition of it when when "pessimism" is talked about in Philosophical issues.

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Philosophical pessimism is the related idea that views the world in a strictly anti-optimistic fashion. This form of pessimism is not an emotional disposition as the term commonly connotes. Instead, it is a philosophy or worldview that directly challenges the notion of progress and what may be considered the faith-based claims of optimism. Philosophical pessimists are often existential nihilists believing that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. Their responses to this condition, however, are widely varied and often life-affirming.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 04-20-2017 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:33 AM
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You can't exist as a sapient being without philosophy just like you can't speak without an accent. So the question is simply should you put more time and effort into thinking about things than you absolutely have to?

I think so. That's what makes life interesting. But that's just me thinking about things. Maybe thinking isn't your thing, so do whatever floats your boat. But I'd argue that on the whole it makes life better, not worse. Not sure how that maps onto a poorly defined term like "happy", however.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:07 AM
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You can't exist as a sapient being without philosophy just like you can't speak without an accent. So the question is simply should you put more time and effort into thinking about things than you absolutely have to?
Indeed, by defining "philosophy" as "thinking" then everyone engages in philosophy with every breathing moment.

The OP falls into the trap of straw-manning and circular-arguing the concept of "philosophy" as thinking a certain way (and in a certain way) that necessarily results in something called misery.

Do certain philosophies lead to misery? Probably.

Do certain philosophies lead to happiness? Most certainly.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:28 AM
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You already started a thread about how pointless philosophy is. Are you going to rehash the same bullshit, like every single one of your other threads?

Reported.
A couple things that are separate from each other:
  1. If you don't find it worthwhile to comment on a particular topic, please don't threadshit.
  2. Generally we ask that reports be kept private (except for spam) otherwise they can be seen as antagonistic.
I do agree that this is a related topic to a previous thread in IMHO, though I think the question of whether philosophy is worth studying can be seen distinctly from whether the study of it leads to misery. My take is that this is better suited to IMHO rather than Great Debates so I am moving it there.

[/moderating]
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:47 AM
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A couple things that are separate from each other:
  1. If you don't find it worthwhile to comment on a particular topic, please don't threadshit.
  2. Generally we ask that reports be kept private (except for spam) otherwise they can be seen as antagonistic.
I do agree that this is a related topic to a previous thread in IMHO, though I think the question of whether philosophy is worth studying can be seen distinctly from whether the study of it leads to misery. My take is that this is better suited to IMHO rather than Great Debates so I am moving it there.

[/moderating]
FWIW any of us who read and participated in that past thread understand that the meat of this op is a complete rehash of the past premise: how our poster's life has been made miserable by exposure to philosophy. It's of course up to you to decide if what this OP is doing a forbidden behavior or not and I appreciate that my stating what I see it clearly as would not be permissible.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 AM
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Indeed, by defining "philosophy" as "thinking" then everyone engages in philosophy with every breathing moment.
Close. I'd say it's something like "structured thinking" or "organized thinking" or perhaps "deep thinking".

In my personal definition of "philosophy", everyone has to do it at least some of the time, but I wouldn't call thinking of the "what should I order at McDonald's" variety to be "philosophy". But "what are my goals in life, why am I here, how do I relate to other people, is the world even real or just an illusion, etc" are all philosophical questions that most people think about at least sometimes throughout their lives.

At the minimum, living as a conscious being in the world requires a crude mental model of that world, and one's place in it. That's philosophy. Or at least a philosophy. Not everyone is good at it, necessarily, but everyone does it to some degree.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:17 AM
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No, because somewhere down the road you realise it's all a load of bollocks and you live happily ever after.
Or, you discover that most people don't bother to think these things out, and are motivated to be civil members of society, and things actually go on pretty well, with the same result: you live happily ever after.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:36 AM
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I'm skeptical of the premise that happiness is something worthwhile. Americas are obsessed with being happy, a cultural mix of status displays and a creepy group conformity. In some other countries if one goes around smiling for no reason people will think you're mental, or trying to manipulate them. Happiness can be seen as immature, something for carefree children, not thinking adults wrestling with serious issues like war, environmental degradation, or the atomization of society.

I don't know if there's any consensus on the topic, but you can find studies indicating that happiness is correlated with selfishness, a lack of empathy, and carelessness when it comes to weighing risks. So it may not be all that great, except for feeling good, which could describe other vices, like drugs or gambling. If reading philosophy shakes you out of your happiness bubble that's probably a good thing.
That all depends on how we're defining "happiness." Your linked article seems to be using the word to mean a positive, cheerful mood—but that's not what everyone means by the word. I'm pretty sure it's not what Thomas Jefferson (et al) meant by it when referring to "the pursuit of happiness."

There have been books written on the "philosophy of happiness": what happiness is, how to get it, and why it's important, from the point of view of philosophy (perhaps assisted by psychology or other relevant fields). Off the top of my head, I can think of The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, Happiness Is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, not to mention all the names in Wikipedia's article "Philosophy of happiness".
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:39 AM
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I saw this sticker on the window of a dilapidated pickup truck this morning. Couldn't tell if the driver looked miserable.

*An accompanying ticker read "I (heart) quantum mechanics".
I hope I'm not the only one who initially read that "H" as a "K" ...
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:28 PM
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Either you're working from an awful, soul-sucking definition of "happiness", or pessimism is flat-out wrong. I was happy yesterday. I am happy today. I may not be happy tomorrow, but I'm likely to be happy at some time in the next week. Now, you may say that isn't "happiness", but if so, I'd say your definition is fundamentally broken. As the comic puts it, if simply thinking too much about happiness makes you unhappy, somewhere, something has gone very wrong.



Hmm. See, I have the following problem with this statement: the internet.

Seriously, if I were born 20 years earlier, I wouldn't have access to any of the wonderful things I so take for granted these days. Things which exist solely because we know more about the world. I wouldn't know that my friend Alice exists, and I wouldn't know that she shares one of my favorite kinks, and has the kind of bustline worth killing for. I wouldn't even know my favorite kink actually exists.

Also, due to what we know today, we're safer, healthier, live longer and more comfortably, and are just overall better off than at any point in history.



What a bizarre and stupid philosophy.
That seems similar to one approach to the problem that pessimism acknowledges.

But then there are the points were it argues that our very consciousness and self awareness is a disease.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/antimod...a-disease/amp/
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:10 PM
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Does philosophy eventually lead to misery?


Only if you're reading Soren Kierkegaard.


Chapter titles from The Sickness Unto Death (1849):

Part One: The Sickness Unto Death Is Despair

A: Despair is the Sickness unto Death

B: The Universality of This Sickness (Despair)

C: The Forms of this Sickness (Despair)


Part Two: Despair Is Sin


A: Despair Is Sin

B: The Continuance of Sin

Last edited by CalMeacham; 04-20-2017 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:56 PM
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Does philosophy eventually lead to misery?

Nope. Philosophy (specifically Existentialism) has made me very happy.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:19 PM
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...
But then there are the points were it argues that our very consciousness and self awareness is a disease.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/antimod...a-disease/amp/
If you or that author consider "disease" to be a state of less than normal or typical function, then that's clearly nonsense since substantially all of us have consciousness and self-awareness. It can't be simultaneously almost universal and also sub-standard.

If by "disease" you / they mean it's a bug not a feature of human nature, well then the best counter is this: "Whatcha gonna do about it?"

You're stuck with the fact you're you, the sky is blue, it's cold in winter, we only have 2 hands, water is wet, there are only 24 hours in a day, and flowers smell nice. Oh yeah, and in 100 years you'll be dead and rotted, perhaps after a really shitty year of misery.

As much as we might prefer those things to be different, we're stuck with them. Navel-gazing about some alternate universe is unproductive. Learning how to work within the limits we're stuck with is part of the game.

You can choose to play fully. You can choose to play partially and spend lots or little energy and time whining about the rules. Or you can choose not to play at all and take the nearest exit. The choice exists. Make a decision and stick with it.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:02 PM
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Here is the point being made about consciousness:

All self-reflection is accompanied by a feeling of disgust. The more one comes to understand oneself as a “self,” and the ensuing responsibility of becoming his own self, the more one is inclined towards despondency and inaction – and ultimately, a loathing of the self.

In other words, the more a self becomes aware of itself, through its structural involvement in and towards the world, the less capable it is of enjoying itself and the world it finds itself. “Ignorance is bliss” is a truism, but it’s all the more illustrative in light of the fact that the heightened awareness that accompanies the understanding of having a self to begin with brings with it the burden of responsibility and choice. But such choice, insofar as one must first and foremost exercise the power to choose to become a self at all, takes place in a nullity.

To become a self is an exercise in subjectivity, and necessarily entails the responsibility of determining yourself on account of your own self, through your affirmative stance towards your being-in-the-world. At the same time, the requisite choice to become oneself is subject to the perpetual flux and contingency of the universe, and thus will forever be exist within the broader context of the nothingness.

At its height, consciousness of the self raises the concrete individual self to the highest level of understanding: namely, through the existential-structures of lived space, time, corporality and relatedness. But all knowledge, and especially knowledge of the self, exists in a direct inverse relationship to the ability to live with oneself.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:50 PM
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But all knowledge, and especially knowledge of the self, exists in a direct inverse relationship to the ability to live with oneself.
No. I, and most others posting to this and your other threads, disagree with your fundamental premise. Now what?

Dude, talk to someone in real life. We're faceless internet denizens. You are trying to blame something outside yourself for something going on in your head. Knock it off.

Last edited by WordMan; 04-21-2017 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:04 PM
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Here is the point being made about consciousness:

All self-reflection is accompanied by a feeling of disgust. The more one comes to understand oneself as a “self,” and the ensuing responsibility of becoming his own self, the more one is inclined towards despondency and inaction – and ultimately, a loathing of the self.

In other words, the more a self becomes aware of itself, through its structural involvement in and towards the world, the less capable it is of enjoying itself and the world it finds itself. “Ignorance is bliss” is a truism, but it’s all the more illustrative in light of the fact that the heightened awareness that accompanies the understanding of having a self to begin with brings with it the burden of responsibility and choice. But such choice, insofar as one must first and foremost exercise the power to choose to become a self at all, takes place in a nullity.

To become a self is an exercise in subjectivity, and necessarily entails the responsibility of determining yourself on account of your own self, through your affirmative stance towards your being-in-the-world. At the same time, the requisite choice to become oneself is subject to the perpetual flux and contingency of the universe, and thus will forever be exist within the broader context of the nothingness.

At its height, consciousness of the self raises the concrete individual self to the highest level of understanding: namely, through the existential-structures of lived space, time, corporality and relatedness. But all knowledge, and especially knowledge of the self, exists in a direct inverse relationship to the ability to live with oneself.
This pseudo-intellectual word salad aside, my advice to you is - get over yourself. Try being somebody else. Somebody much less self-involved.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:43 PM
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That all depends on how we're defining "happiness." Your linked article seems to be using the word to mean a positive, cheerful mood—but that's not what everyone means by the word. I'm pretty sure it's not what Thomas Jefferson (et al) meant by it when referring to "the pursuit of happiness."

There have been books written on the "philosophy of happiness": what happiness is, how to get it, and why it's important, from the point of view of philosophy (perhaps assisted by psychology or other relevant fields). Off the top of my head, I can think of The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, Happiness Is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, not to mention all the names in Wikipedia's article "Philosophy of happiness".
To add my recent favorites: Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided and
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman.

The OP is taking his own clinical depression and blaming philosophy for it. I kind of get it. Some philosophies can really mess you up if you're already floundering in despair. I had a course on Existentialism in college; the professor warned anyone clinically depressed not to take it. I took it anyway, and even though I loved it, I became so suicidal that I had to withdraw (like, from all courses, for a year.) Existentialism can be the path out, though, too.

For me, the way out is Zen Buddhism, which deconstructs what is commonly thought of as the ''self'' anyway, and which takes suffering as a given, but posits that contentment is still possible despite the inevitability of pain. I've lived with chronic severe depression since my early teens; that's 21 years of having a brain with the default setting of ''despair.'' Self-loathing is an ongoing battle. Buddhism takes the sting out of it, reminds me that dissatisfaction with life is an inevitable aspect of existence, so it is not major crisis to be solved. When I hate myself, or life, or I am overwhelmed... that is just part of what life is made of. It really helps, because it separates me from the collection of thoughts and behaviors I call the ''self,'' and I begin to feel absurdly grateful even for the ways my brain is horrible. And I stop trying to fix every mental and emotional problem I've ever had, and just chill out a bit.

I frankly don't care whether it's all an illusion or a self-delusion or not. I have work to do, people to love, experiences to have, books to write. My philosophy is life-affirming. My depression is not.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:57 PM
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“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
― Frank Zappa
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:38 PM
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This pseudo-intellectual word salad ...
Oooo - have a recipe?

  #34  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:27 PM
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Here is the point being made about consciousness:

All self-reflection is accompanied by a feeling of disgust. The more one comes to understand oneself as a “self,” and the ensuing responsibility of becoming his own self, the more one is inclined towards despondency and inaction – and ultimately, a loathing of the self.
...
Let me rephrase this for you so it's more complete and more accurate
All self-reflection by machineaforce is accompanied by a feeling of disgust. Most other humans don't have this feature.

The more machineaforce comes to understand himself as a “self,” and the ensuing responsibility of becoming his own self, the more machineaforce is inclined towards despondency and inaction – and ultimately, a loathing of machineaforce. Mot other humans don't have this feature.
Your reality is what it is. You drew the short straw on depression. Other people are short or tall or fat or Afghan or North Korean. I'm not so naïve as to suggest "just snap out of it". We all know that's bunk.

But stop making assertions about universal truths that only apply to people such as yourself with a fairly rare fairly significant abnormality. You don't help yourself and you don't help us.

Some people are deathly allergic to peanuts. My advice to them is also straightforward: don't eat peanuts. The good news is most of them are not attracted to peanuts as a moth is to a flame.

I have no doubt the stuff you're reading is toxic to you. So don't read it. That's the first step on the road to not thinking relentlessly about it over and over, burning a bad habit into your brain.

Spice Weasel is very wise and has walked much the same path as you're struggling with. It is not easy. Life, even for "normies" (as the alcoholics call non-addicts) isn't easy. There is effort in every day. There's also reward. Even if the reward on the worst of days is simply chalking up another day.

The world has a bunch of ugly. The world has a bunch of beauty. Both are there for your picking. The good news is that you get to choose which to pick. The bad news is you must choose which to pick.
  #35  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:33 AM
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Thoughtful summary. Machinaforce, do you see any of this? We all see someone banging his head against a wall of his own making, and hurting himself.
  #36  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:21 PM
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Thoughtful summary. Machinaforce, do you see any of this? We all see someone banging his head against a wall of his own making, and hurting himself.
First off let me say I'm not clinically depressed. In fact I didn't get this way until I read philosophy which essentially broke the way I viewed the world. It started with Buddhism. Then nihilism. Eventually it seemed like all it was good for is misery. The ones who say otherwise seem to be an anomaly and not the norm.

I mean I looked through Rousseau's work. How modern life is morally bankrupt, that man was happier in his early days, that knowledge simply invites suffering. Hard to argue with that.

Simply put, I wasn't persistently depressed until learning about philosophy and the incessant questioning of things I hold dear. It breaks things without helping you pick the pieces up. Life is short so why INTENTIONALLY inflict that kind of damage to yourself.
  #37  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:32 PM
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First off let me say I'm not clinically depressed. In fact I didn't get this way until I read philosophy which essentially broke the way I viewed the world. It started with Buddhism. Then nihilism. Eventually it seemed like all it was good for is misery. The ones who say otherwise seem to be an anomaly and not the norm.

I mean I looked through Rousseau's work. How modern life is morally bankrupt, that man was happier in his early days, that knowledge simply invites suffering. Hard to argue with that.

Simply put, I wasn't persistently depressed until learning about philosophy and the incessant questioning of things I hold dear. It breaks things without helping you pick the pieces up. Life is short so why INTENTIONALLY inflict that kind of damage to yourself.
I can understand that to some degree. I got into philosophy about 2 years ago but I doubt at anywhere near the depth that you did. I have come to the conclusion that if I address anything that is currently unsolvable or unknowable I do it strictly as entertainment and I devote no real energy to it.

On the other hand I love the opportunities it gives us to solve a problem, to look into things much deeper than we ever have. It makes me feel better by far.
  #38  
Old 04-23-2017, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
First off let me say I'm not clinically depressed. In fact I didn't get this way until I read philosophy which essentially broke the way I viewed the world. It started with Buddhism. Then nihilism. Eventually it seemed like all it was good for is misery. The ones who say otherwise seem to be an anomaly and not the norm.

I mean I looked through Rousseau's work. How modern life is morally bankrupt, that man was happier in his early days, that knowledge simply invites suffering. Hard to argue with that.

Simply put, I wasn't persistently depressed until learning about philosophy and the incessant questioning of things I hold dear. It breaks things without helping you pick the pieces up. Life is short so why INTENTIONALLY inflict that kind of damage to yourself.
Rousseau is a stupid fuckface. That's an academic term.

Seriously, he's a twit and a philosopher-as-pundit not worth reading, like say Voltaire.

Dude, you may not be clinically depressed but you are in a death-spiral of reinforcing conclusions. Faceless Dopers, not matter how handsome and erudite , aren't going to break that cycle for you. Yes?

We are telling you that your internal mental cycle is both toxic and breakable. You have to decide if that's worth pursuing.
  #39  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
First off let me say I'm not clinically depressed. In fact I didn't get this way until I read philosophy which essentially broke the way I viewed the world. It started with Buddhism. Then nihilism. Eventually, it seemed like all it was good for is misery. The ones who say otherwise seem to be an anomaly and not the norm.
If you absorb yourself in the most depressing philosophies, you are going to feel rather hopeless about things. There is a wide range of philosophical approaches to life, and your problem, ironically, is that you're positing nihilism as absolute truth. Why the fuck should this small group of philosophers corner the market on truth? It's just like, someone's opinion, man. And you could spend the rest of your life studying philosophy and not achieve exposure to every idea that has ever existed. I'd say broaden your horizons. If Rousseau depresses you, read something else.

Quote:
The ones who say otherwise seem to be an anomaly and not the norm.
Nonsense. Pretty much everyone in this thread says otherwise. Most people don't think about this shit at all. I do, but I've learned to make peace with it, and I learned to do that through absorbing multiple philosophical and psychological perspectives and piecing them together in a way that suits me. So if the study of philosophy is your chief route for understanding yourself and your world, you simply haven't studied enough to fix what broke. Nihilism is the foundation of existentialism, which is the jumping off point for creating meaning in your life. Or maybe that doesn't work for you. So cobble together something else.

And yes, based on your posting history here, it seems you're very depressed. It doesn't matter what caused it. You're stuck in a distorted cognitive feedback loop that you have deluded yourself into believing is rational because it feels true. I don't know how old you are, but you seem very young, and you have a lot of learning ahead of you, so chill the fuck out and maybe don't rush to conclusions about the nature of life, the universe and everything until you've been around a bit longer.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 04-23-2017 at 11:27 AM.
  #40  
Old 04-23-2017, 11:47 AM
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The entire point of moral philosophy, from Plato, through Aristotle, then the Stoics, Epicureans and Cynics, and from there all the way to modern times, is to figure out how to achieve happiness. So if you do philosophy right, it'll make you happy.

Or, in other words: Does philosophy lead to misery? Only if you do it wrong. And by doing it wrong, I mostly mean reading Hegel. Not because of anything Hegel says, since personally I've never understood a single sentence of it, so who knows what he's even on about. Just because the act of reading Hegel makes you bloody miserable. So don't do that.
  #41  
Old 04-23-2017, 01:19 PM
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Agreement with Martian Bigfoot. Moral Philosophy is supposed to explore how people can be happy, and the other major branch of Philosophy is supposed to explore what is true, and how we know it.

If these make you miserable, it is only because you will have concluded, somehow, that existence itself is miserable. That's one valid way of thinking! One can argue that life is miserable, we're all screwed, when we aren't hungry we're bored, and that "All's for the worst in this worst of all possible worlds."

Shrug. Why not? It's as valid as Panglosseanism, ultimately. As is usual, the real truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and the value of Moderation is probably the most valuable thing to be gleaned from classic/ancient philosophy.
  #42  
Old 04-23-2017, 02:21 PM
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Rousseau is a stupid fuckface. ....
Yeah? Well Immanuel Kant was a real pissant.
  #43  
Old 04-23-2017, 02:30 PM
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when we aren't hungry we're bored
On the plus side: Sufficiently advanced hunger will make any later boredom indistinguishable from happiness.

"How am I feeling today? I'm bored. Wait, I'm only bored? Score!" Does backflip, clicks heels.
  #44  
Old 04-23-2017, 04:07 PM
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Grin! Gotta admit, boredom beats the hell out of outright terror, an emotional state not uncommon in human history.

Also, for boredom, there is a cure. An easy one! Tell a story, write a song, paint a picture, bake cookies (list goes on nigh unto forever.)
  #45  
Old 04-23-2017, 04:37 PM
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Indeed! So fun.

What do you think of Rousseau?
  #46  
Old 04-23-2017, 04:43 PM
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Indeed! So fun.

What do you think of Rousseau?
Rousseau could be mastered
as he was constantly plastered
  #47  
Old 04-23-2017, 08:11 PM
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Rousseau could be mastered
as he was constantly plastered
Yes thanks. Seriously. He represents, what, rhetoric and populist aspiration over anything real.
  #48  
Old 04-23-2017, 08:48 PM
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There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya bout the rising of the... what?
  #49  
Old 04-23-2017, 08:54 PM
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Oh, I got to the sing-along part now. N/m.

/Emily Litella
  #50  
Old 04-23-2017, 09:48 PM
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Hey all, first post here. Just was thinking about this stuff this morning actually! Interesting thread.

First off, I'll say that I'm not really well read on the classics and philosophy etc. I prefer to slowly absorb/test philosophies against the real world. So I do read from time to time, but then take time to apply it and see what sticks. I'm going to give an unequivocal NO to the OP's question.

Being uninformed doesn't make you happy, although contemplating all this existential stuff can be somewhat overwhelming at times. Still, I think taking time to understand on a deeper level is (as one person posted above) ultimately the gateway to a much more satisfying life (I've tested this one personally, and it checks out for me).

I think the main issue is that too many people aren't asking the right questions.

Instead of "does this make me happy?" I ask something more along the lines of "what am I willing to suffer for?" (I don't mean suffer in the sense that you always have to be suffering, but rather, "what is so valuable to me that I would sacrifice a lot to get it/keep it?"). I think when we can answer that question (honestly), we'll know what really matters to us and really satisfies us. I'll give an example from my own existence. I worked a 9-5 job for years because I thought it was what I was supposed to do to get "happiness", but I hated it. I was never cut out for it.

So I just quit, and backpacked Asia for years.

I've spent a lot of time more or less broke. But you know what? I'm satisfied as hell with life. I'd never go back. The adventure is way more valuable to me than the discomfort or lack of $$$. I think that's what I mean. I'd rather live "poor" (I still have a computer after all, I'm not really poor) than be stuck with something that crushes my spirit (which is naturally adventurous).

In the words of a mentor: "Spend lavishly on the things you value. Cut costs mercilessly on the things you don't."
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