## Which ones is more tempting, Knowledge or Ignorance?

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Moderator: Only_Humean

Forum rules
Forum Philosophy

### Which ones is more tempting, Knowledge or Ignorance?

Some people rather stay ignorant to human suffering, others rather know as much as possible, even though they will end up also suffering from it.

Which is more tempting, and why?
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky

Clementine

Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Knowledge is more tempting and you correctly attributed the qualifier of suffering. But the suffering doesn't <i>always</i> get attributed to knowledge. Knowledge is more tempting for me not because of knowledge, but because of the act of thinking. I know only too well how little I know, but I take great pleasure in thinking about things. Do this long enough and one develops a natural emotional high associated with thinking, even when it's thinking done about a bad thing or negative situation. Too many people don't like to think because they realize bad things, what they don't think about is whether the bad things are true or not. I have a little quote I once made that relates my point here..."I would rather live with the pain of truth than to live with the pain of lies."

If something I think about makes me realize that my friend is hurting others and to everything that I can think of to doubt that enters my mind as false, then I am convinced to a high degree (but not completely) that my friend is hurting others. If I could know the truth of all things no matter how bad I would still want to know. Imagine the movie matrix but put a spin on it that makes us out to be the worst possible things, oh wait, that is what the movie does. Remember, we are the virus. Can't we take that information and help ourselves to help the earth rejuvenate that which we destroy? Isn't that what we are doing? With this knowledge of my friend hurting others, I can proceed to think about how to approach him/her and discuss the matter to see if there is further evidence to suggest s/he is hurting others and to help them see that it is not something they really want to do, but instead a defence mechanism they have created because of some traumatic event with people that they know not how to face.

To me knowledge is not an absolute, but a temporary. We must live by knowledge of things despite the fact that we know it isn't absolute in order to survive. But what is true today is shown to be untrue tomorrow and vice versa. But most often it happens that the truth we think we know is incomplete. Ie. I may say that my great-grandfather is dead. But what I understand by the word 'dead' may not be true of what happens to people when they...'die' - limits of language - argh!

Ignorance leads to non-existence. What is the point of life if you wish not to know anything? I know I am drawing a huge generalization here, but I do so to illustrate a point. That being that life for me is worth living because no matter where I am, whether jail, nature, home, school, job, highway, etc etc I can always wonder about something and attempt to eleviate my ignorance which paradoxically never gets eleviated completely.

I also wanted to mention something about the quote from Cypher in matrix: "Ignorance is bliss". This is misunderstood by many to mean that to know not of things is to be in bliss. But that is not so nor is it what is intended with the statement. Ignorance being bliss is when a person knows or thinks only partially of a thing, that partiality being the good things about a thing. Ie. When a girl looks at Brad Pitt and thinks he is so good looking she gets that warm attractive feeling in the pit of her stomach, but if she knew for example that Brad Pitt does crack, beats Jennifer Aniston, and has murdered three people without probable cause - then that feeling would subside (for most) - but Brad Pitt wouldn't physically look any different. Not knowing these bad things leaves a person with an incomplete picture of a thing; which leads the mind to complete the picture by itself, ie. I always here girls talking about how he must be so romantic, considerate, loving, strong, chivalrous, etc etc. This is ignorance and why it is seen as bliss in my opinion.

Magius
Magnanimous

Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am

Cool question Cle.

"I would rather live with the pain of truth than to live with the pain of lies."

This is beautiful!

You know I must always find something bad to say so here I go. (I have to boost my self-esteem somehow.) The optimist that I am, I can find no pain in truth. For me, I think I would change it around to, "I would rather live with the joy of truth than the joy of ignorance." Beautiful sentence though. I will have to remember that one.

"Ignorance is bliss." Well, yeah, if you are the ignorant one. The one whose suffering is being ignored will have a different perspective. I find that all suffering roots in ignorance itself. Upon the realization of someone's suffering, you are more apt to lend a helping hand. Or in the case that you are the source of the suffering, you are more apt to stop causing the suffering. Enlightment brings about bliss for everyone. So I would say that "Enlightment is the greatest bliss." Would you agree?
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

Skeptic
(Jason Hill)

Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Ignorance leads to non-existence. What is the point of life if you wish not to know anything?

This is something I couldn't agree more heartily with. It is one of the cornerstones of my whole personal philosophy. It can be phrased another way as "One has to choose to be human." I'm currently working on a thesis to post in the essay section on this topic. It's a tangeld explaination, but every part of the web relates to the other. Here's the basic premise.

"The ability to think/reason is what separates man from the lower orders of animal (his humaness); however, thinking/reasoning is not automatic/instinctual - It takes practice! Man must choose to be human.

One can not be blamed for being ignorant. Like in Plato's metaphor of the cave, if they know nothing of the outside then they can't be blamed for knowing nothing else. However, once one is shown the outside (reason) if they are to choose to go back into the cave (ignorance), they are to deny their humanity. To choose ignorance is to decieve one's self."

It may be more tempting to choose ignorance rather than face some harsh truths, but I know I could neverl ive with the SHAME of knowingly decieving myself and denying my own humanity.

Why dshould one abandon reason for insanity?
No paragraph breaks in your post? tl;dr.
Qzxtvbzr

Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:54 pm
Location: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

--
-----This is a most excellent question. Yes, "Pity makes suffering contagious", as one philosopher put it.
--
-----Ignorance may be bliss for the one who is ignorant, but for the people who are a victim of the ignorance it is hardly bliss, more like perdition.
--
----- I don't think that staying ignorant to human suffering is wise because we are so interconnected. What affects the rest of the world, affects me. Modern technological advances in both the transportation and communication industries have homogenized the human race as well as made us aware of our now small planet. Assuming that i can do something about the immense amount of suffering that goes on in the world, i'd want to be as informed as i could possibly be about said suffering. I think most people remain ignorant, thinking that really nothing of any importance can be accomplished, not realizing that "every little bit helps".
--
----- Which is more tempting? to overlook suffering, or to "suffer with" by helping? I think that this is an ethical question and should be asked from that perspective. E.G. What is my motivation for helping?, what are the expected consequences? What is the nature of the suffering on both accounts?, etc. If by helping i am only prolonging your suffering, perhaps i really should'nt. (Like loaning $1000 to a crack addict). If my help costs me little and helps you temendously, perhaps i should(Like feeding a hungry child when i own a mansion), but these are simply utilitarian considerations. -- ---- What about the view that by helping another person i have only transferred the suffering onto myself? Am i truly more able to bear this burden? "Take what you want and pay for it", as the Spanish say. Even as some say if suffering transforms one; is there a limit to the amount of suffering i can bear? If i take on others suffering, am i thereby less able to be transformed? (The "feedback" no longer being a closed loop). Where i don't learn from my mistakes, but from others'. Perhaps by not taking on as much suffering now, i'll be able to take on more in the future. -- ----- To summarize. If i remain ignorant of other's suffering, i do not share in their agony, but perhaps i create a little pollyanna suffering of my own. If i become informed about the suffering of others and am not able to help them i have created a guilt-ridden hell for myself. If i become informed about the suffering of others and am able to help them then hopefully i can make the world a better place. "..All life is the struggle, the effort to be itself. The difficulties I meet with in order to realise my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilise my activities, my capacities.."GASSET"..For enjoyment and innocence are the most modest things: neither want to be looked for. One should have them-but one should look rather for guilt and pain!.."NIETZSCHE"..The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.." CAMUS Marshall McDaniel Philosopher Posts: 1922 Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2002 11:11 pm Location: Roanoke, Va, U.S.A. My pessimistic side may emanate from what I have written... Skeptic stated: The optimist that I am, I can find no pain in truth. For me, I think I would change it around to, "I would rather live with the joy of truth than the joy of ignorance." Beautiful sentence though. I will have to remember that one. No pain in truth? To help you realize my point, I want to ask you if you have seen the movie 'Fifth Element'? If you have, then try to remember that the fifth element (girl 'Leilu' with red hair) begins to cry and temporarly refuses to help save the world because of the truth of how much 'bad' there is in the world. It isn't until Bruce tells her that there are such things as 'love' to live for does she save the world. My point being that the truth hurts! You find out that your girlfriend cheats on you, it hurts, whether you think it was meant to be or not - being deceived hurts. But it doesn't hurt until you know the truth of it, since, while you are being lied to that she loves you and that you are the only one for her; you are happy in your ignorance. But once the truth comes out, it hurts. Skeptic stated: I find that all suffering roots in ignorance itself. I don't agree with that, although I would agree that ignorance brings with it an unconscious suffering, there are cases in which ignorance can be bliss. But I personally think that the bliss from knowing the truth, in the end, is a greater bliss than the bliss from ignorance. To draw an analogy, if a rock falls from a cliff and crushes my foot, I will be suffer greatly and no amount of rationalization will change the suffering I get from my foot being crushed. Skeptic stated: Upon the realization of someone's suffering, you are more apt to lend a helping hand. Or in the case that you are the source of the suffering, you are more apt to stop causing the suffering. Enlightment brings about bliss for everyone. Not necessarily. (1)Many people realize that they are causing others distress but don't know why. So they may wish to stop causing them suffering and distress but don't know how to. (2)Believe it or not there are people out there that actually get off on hurting people. Enlightenment also brings for some a sense of power, power that they want to use and abuse. Skeptic asked: So I would say that "Enlightment is the greatest bliss." Would you agree? I am taking your word enlightenment to mean knowledge, but remember that I don't believe we can ever really know something as an absolute truth, only as a temporary state. Having said that, I will say the enlightenment can be a form of bliss, but it can also be a form of suffering. As to what is the GREATEST for of bliss, I would have to say that for me it is <i>felicity</i>. What's your take? Magius Magnanimous Posts: 1489 Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am Location: Ontario, Canada Magius Knowledge is more tempting for me not because of knowledge, but because of the act of thinking. You could think about silly things all day. We are always thinking, right? Magius Too many people don't like to think because they realize bad things, what they don't think about is whether the bad things are true or not. Funny enough is the fact that knowing the â€˜bad thingsâ€™ is addictive. You want to know more and moreâ€¦ in some sort of self-destructiveness. Camus said once â€˜There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral; namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from themâ€™ Magius â€œI would rather live with the pain of truth than to live with the pain of lies." I guess so, but you can only choose such thing when is too late to go back to the cave anyway. Magius But what is true today is shown to be untrue tomorrow and vice versa. Oh, I must agree with that. Quoting again, Trotsky once said â€˜we are like climbers, going up a mountain against an avalancheâ€™. I know he was talking about the communists and the present system at the time, but it can be applicable to every person who knows what the majority doesnâ€™t, or are not interested. Like you saidâ€¦ the Matrix. Everyone is an â€˜agentâ€™ till they are disconnected from the system. Magius Ignorance leads to non-existence. What is the point of life if you wish not to know anything? Animals donâ€™t know anything apart from instinctâ€¦ and they exist. But if you mean the absence of knowledge of something by someone, than I agree. Likeâ€¦ If I wasnâ€™t typing in this forum, you would never know I existed, so, for you I was non-existent. But I was existent before, you just didnâ€™t know me. Skeptic The optimist that I am, I can find no pain in truth. No? You donâ€™t think human race is generally horrible? That we are devastating the world? That we starve our own people, and hate some because they have different colour to their skin, different languages, different hair, eyes and personalities? Doesnâ€™t bother you to think that we value money above all suffering? That we created to destroy and destroy to createâ€¦ all for the sake of the so called progress? Is it joyful for you to know that there are some people ruling the world you live in without your concern, killing it, making you a slave of their own personal interest? I know I am a bit misanthropic, but being optimist about some truths is quite absurd. Skeptic "Ignorance is bliss." Well, yeah, if you are the ignorant one. The one whose suffering is being ignored will have a different perspective. I aunt used to sayâ€¦ â€˜We, who are in the middle, are the ones who suffer the most. We know the truth, we know how weak and exploited we are. The elite has the knowledge, like we do, but they are not exploited, and the poor have no knowledge of their exploitation, so they are too ignorant to sufferâ€™. If course she is referring to the pain of knowledgeâ€¦ not physical. Skeptic "Enlightment is the greatest bliss." If you could bring it to every one, total enlightenment, then yes. But there are still people who see others suffering and canâ€™t be empathic to their pain. Qzxtvbzr if they know nothing of the outside The thing is not if they know nothing about itâ€¦ that would make them curious. Is the lack of knowledge that there IS an outside which makes them not to be blame for their ignorance. Qzxtvbzr However, once one is shown the outside (reason) if they are to choose to go back into the cave (ignorance), they are to deny their humanity I donâ€™t think this is possible. Once you know, you canâ€™t forget or ignore, right? Qzxtvbzr It may be more tempting to choose ignorance rather than face some harsh truths When you are able to make such choice, is too late. One is never aware of their ignorance, till they are faced with knowledge, only then they would be able to choose which way to go, cos they would have seen the second door, but then itâ€™s too late, the door which leads to ignorance is shut behind them. Last edited by Clementine on Thu Dec 05, 2002 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total. Cle "Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky Clementine Posts: 161 Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm Location: UK No pain in truth? To help you realize my point, I want to ask you . . . I think I do realize your point and it is a very good point. I didn't mean to make you out as a pessismist. There is always a pessimistic view and an optimistic view to everything. Neither should be avoided. This is why I said that I loved your quote. It really clicked with me. After I thought about it though, I felt that their was an optimistic view as well, hence my post. My point being that the truth hurts! Yeah it does! If I said that it didn't then I would be lying to you. But there is an ultimate truth that says that all of mankind is playing the same game and that game will end the same for everyone. See what I mean? Suffering is equal in the eyes of death. I liked Marshall's quote, "Pity makes suffering contagious". or another quote I found, "You should not grieve for what is unavoidable." or how about this one per Rilke: "If it were possible for us to see further than our knowledge extends and out a little over the outworks of our surmising, perhaps we should then bear our sorrows with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new, something unknown, has entered into us. The more patient, quiet and open we are in our sorrowing, the more deeply and the more unhesitatingly will the new thing enter us, the better shall we deserve it, the more will it be our own destiny." Rainer Maria Rilke Optimism rocks! and that is what I call enlightenment. The knowledge of optimism is the only true solution to suffering. Although, I thinks Plato makes the best point in this pragmatic gesture. "The law would say that to be patient under suffering is best, and that we should not give way to impatience, as there is no knowing whether such things are good or evil; and nothing is gained by impatience; also, because no human thing is of serious importance, and grief stands in the way of that which at the moment is most required. What is most required? That we should take counsel about what has happened, and when the dice have been thrown order our affairs in the way which reason deems best; not, like children who have had a fall, keeping hold of the part struck and wasting time in setting up a howl, but always accustoming the soul forthwith to apply a remedy, raising up that which is sickly and fallen, banishing the cry of sorrow by the healing art." Plato Last edited by Skeptic on Thu Dec 05, 2002 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total. Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?!" "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." Skeptic (Jason Hill) Posts: 660 Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA Clementine, Yes we are always thinking on some level. What I am referring to is knowledge being tempting for me because of the process of getting that knowledge, ie. experimentation, deduction, rationalization, theory, etc. I cannot find 2436x3175=7734300 this interesting as it stands. It is the end product. For me it's the means that grab my interest, for instance, we are taught in school when working the above on paper to work backwards. We multiply the '5' in 3175 by the '6' in 2436 and so on till the '2' in 2436. Then we move to the '7' in 3175 and do the same thing with 2436. But, when I do this equation in my head, it is too much to remember and leave to much room for err to do the math in my head using the same process. I found that I can work out the number very quickly and accurately if in my head I work the number from front to back, opposite to what we are taught. For instance, take the '3' in 3175 and remember that it is in the thousands spot and multiply it by the '2' in 2436. You get 6,000,000 (remember this number). Then do '3000' times 400, you get 1,200,000. So now, we need not keep anything more complicated online in our memory but the addition of these two number. Which is 7,200,000. We can completely forget the numbers we actually summed up. Each additional part that gets multiplied simply gets added on, always leaving only one number to remember that keeps getting added on. My point here being is that through deliberation, conscious thinking, which I have come to enjoy; I found a simple way to do complicated math in my head pretty quickly. This analogy can be applied to all situations of life. So you see, I don't think anything I think about is as you said 'silly'... You could think about silly things all day. We are always thinking, right? Clementine stated: Funny enough is the fact that knowing the â€˜bad thingsâ€™ is addictive. You want to know more and moreâ€¦ in some sort of self-destructiveness. Camus said once â€˜There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral; namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from themâ€™ I don't think it is self-destructive. The quote you provided, I disagree with on my part and on a few others part. But Camus would be correct about the majority of people. I too believe that too many intelligent people stick to knowledge as if it was their prize, trophy, and something to show off with. But my point is that I am aware of how little I know, hence I do not take pleasure in knowledge for I know I can never get the whole truth. But the process of attaining partial truth is worth living a life of contemplation if I could. I am not a prey to my truths, I am a prey to my environment, as we all are. I am ALWAYS open to new ideas no matter how bogus they may be, but one must be good at expressing and articulating their opposing point so that I may understand. Anyone can say infinity exists, but a miniscule few can actually give a convincing argument for it. Clementine stated: so, but you can only choose such thing when is too late to go back to the cave anyway. Can you elaborate on this point, I'm not sure what you mean here. Clementine stated: Animals donâ€™t know anything apart from instinctâ€¦ and they exist. But if you mean the absence of knowledge of something by someone, than I agree. Likeâ€¦ If I wasnâ€™t typing in this forum, you would never know I existed, so, for you I was non-existent. But I was existent before, you just didnâ€™t know me. Animals don't know anything apart from instinct, how can you be so certain? There isn't a single animal in the world that can act apart from instinct? What I meant with ignorance leading to non-existence is that if you favour ignorance, then you have no ambition to learn anything about life, which means you will do nothing for life. You are a waste, you may as well not exist. I am very well aware that there are billions of people existing while I am not aware of them nor have I met them, speaking in the construct of what is assumed ofcourse - I mean I could imagine the matrix or some other alternate reality where, ie. solipsism. What's your take? Magius Magnanimous Posts: 1489 Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am Location: Ontario, Canada Magius So you see, I don't think anything I think about is as you said 'silly' I didnâ€™t say what were the silly things people think of.. I wasnâ€™t referring to you personally either, for I believe that people in this forum like thinking about philosophical issues. Magius I don't think it is self-destructive. But if it hurts and you inflict it in yourself, thatâ€™s self-destructive, isnâ€™t it? I take pleasure from learning, I find it addictive too. I want to find out more and more, even tho I know I will never know everything having only 1 life to leave, so I run against time almost. Yet, I canâ€™t say I am happier person now than I was on my teens. I brought me sadness and responsibilityâ€¦ and as consequence, guiltiness. Is a love and hate thing, I like it, yet canâ€™t say it makes me happier, thatâ€™s why I find it self-destructive. Magius Can you elaborate on this point, I'm not sure what you mean here Sure. I said â€˜but you can only choose such thing when is too late to go back to the cave anyway. â€˜ Letâ€™s use the cave example. You are ignorant to the out side, your world is based in shadows of real objects that you canâ€™t properly see. But you are happy there. You have friends, everyone knows what to talk about, everyone respect each other. One day, you are taken off the cave and, for the 1st time, you can see the out side. Someone is there and explain everything to you. You are no ignorant to it anymore, now you know something else about the world. You go back into the cave, to tell your friends what you have seen, what you know, and suddenly they think you went mad, that you are crazy. You feel you gained something, but you lost a lot. Can you go back to the cave and forget about what you know? No you canâ€™t choose to be ignorant anymore, you already know it, it was an experience not a story, you experience the outside. Can you choose not having this experience? No, cos it happened already and you cant go back in time. Before you were aware of the outside you couldnâ€™t choose being ignorant, because you didnâ€™t know you were, but when you realized that there was an outside and you experienced it, you canâ€™t choose the ignorance of the cave, itâ€™s too late. That is what I mean, when you are able to make a choice between being ignorant or not, itâ€™s too late. Magius Animals don't know anything apart from instinct, how can you be so certain? I donâ€™t think science proved they are able to question past, future and present. They also canâ€™t question their existenceâ€¦Can a lion choose to be vegetarian because he empathic to the preyâ€™s pain? But we know, by science, that the majority of animals donâ€™t have the same ability to think as we do. Magius What I meant with ignorance leading to non-existence is that if you favour ignorance, then you have no ambition to learn anything about life, which means you will do nothing for life. You mean, not learning AT ALL? I still donâ€™t agree with you there. I canâ€™t understand how not willing to learn will make you non-existent. I agree that if you donâ€™t learn you will do nothing for life and nothing for yourselfâ€¦ you will be nothing as in lacking somethingâ€¦ but donâ€™t see how it can mean non-existent. Andâ€¦ am not just â€˜disagreeingâ€™ in an annoying wayâ€¦ I really want you to explain it better, cos you might be right and I am just not getting it. Last edited by Clementine on Thu Dec 05, 2002 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total. Cle "Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky Clementine Posts: 161 Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm Location: UK ... Cle "Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky Clementine Posts: 161 Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm Location: UK Skeptic stated: But there is an ultimate truth that says that all of mankind is playing the same game and that game will end the same for everyone. See what I mean? Suffering is equal in the eyes of death. What ultimate truth is that? What game? What end is it that is same for everyone, please don't say death because that is not an answer. If I tell that life is the same for everyone because we all live. I will be correct, but what have I said? Nothing. We don't know enough about death to judge whether it is the same for everyone. Furthermore, you assume in your last statement that to die means to suffer. I don't necessarily agree. I believe it is possible, but I don't see any rationale sense to bring me to such a conclusion. I am just as justified to say that death tastes like a tangerine. The last statement sounds great, almost out of a poem, but again; what have we learned or really said? "You should not grieve for what is unavoidable." I don't necessarily agree. I believe there is a reason human beings were given the emotion of grievance. Moreover, there is much to learn from things one greives. Despite that what has happened cannot be changed in the time it happened, but things can be done about it in the present of you grieving about it or in the near or far future. Without grievance, why give anything in the past any thought? It is all unavoidable...I hope you see my point. What's your take? Magius Magnanimous Posts: 1489 Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am Location: Ontario, Canada Clementine stated: But if it hurts and you inflict it in yourself, thatâ€™s self-destructive, isnâ€™t it? I take pleasure from learning, I find it addictive too. I want to find out more and more, even tho I know I will never know everything having only 1 life to leave, so I run against time almost. Yet, I canâ€™t say I am happier person now than I was on my teens. I brought me sadness and responsibilityâ€¦ and as consequence, guiltiness. Is a love and hate thing, I like it, yet canâ€™t say it makes me happier, thatâ€™s why I find it self-destructive. To the first part of the sentence, I must answer no. Aside from the obvious opposition questions, yes there are those who mutilate themselves, those who cut themselves because of depression or some kind of a mental disorder. But for the most part, especially what we have been talking about, suffering can and usually is a self-promoting thing. I did mention that quote about "no gain no pain" didn't I? Well if I didn't I'm saying it now. Furthermore, don't we learn to enjoy through pain? I know when I was young I feared roller-coaster like the plague, but once I pushed my suffering far enough and got on one (I cried on one of them - I was young) and than another, and another - I came to love being on roller-coasters. Many people have an urge to hate doing what others ask them to do, whether its your parents, boss, or friend - we would all rather listen to ourselves. But we get use to it, and some of us even come to long for it because we need to feel important. When we are young we are sometimes spanked or smacked because we don't listen. The point is suffering, but it's only the means, the end is for us to learn not to do something dangerous. Ie. put our hands on really hot things because we will get hurt (stove, fire, etc). Some of us suffer greatly in elementary or highschool when we get beat up by bullies. But this inadvertantly makes us stronger (for the most part) and we grow to defend ourselves from such situations, some of us even become those bullies. Where would action movies, martial arts, wrestling be if suffering and pain were self-destructive? We can even look at the example of rough sex, some people get off on pain. Many people like going for the type of person that will give them a challenge, someone who will ignore them, not return phone calls, etc. People don't want a perfect match for themselves until many years later when they become wise. People wonder why they argue,bitch, and complain when they know their problem. They want it cause their life would be boring otherwise. Now these last statements were said in a general manner, and I just want to make sure to emphasize the fact that I say this because majority (50% + 1 atleast) of people are like this. This isn't to be taken that you are like this, that I am like this, or that everyone is like this. Just speaking in the general sense. If you have a love hate relationship with anyone or anything, then there is an error in your logic with yourself. You have not come to the part of your life as I was saying before where you realize the truth for yourself. You probably don't want to have the responsibilities you do, you probably rushed into things with something in your life. For many it is love, sex, babies, drugs, changing yourself to fit in, trying to grow up, etc. But if you are yourself, I guarantee you will not have a love-hate relationship with life. As to your allegory of the cave example, I should have mentioned that I am very familiar with the allegory of the cave. My take on it is a little different, as much as I agree with you that once a person knows the truth they cannot turn back. There is still room for alteration. What I mean is, you stick to the supposition that once you return from outside back in the cave you cannot go back, it's the experience, so you cannot erase it. Yes I agree, but each experience can be altered in the mind for understanding. For instance, you go on a date with a guy whom you thought was sweet for all things he said and did. But you may later come to realize that he was just trying to get you in bed and was only doing those nice things not to be nice or because he meant them, but because he wanted to get laid. Your perception will change of that situation, but the situation has not changed in itself. To relate it to the allegory of the cave, a person should return to the cave and try to get his/her friends out. If they think them insane, the person will learn yet even more. They will learn something they couldn't have learnt had they not gone back in the cave, that being that people who do not know the truth, and are told the truth find it unbelievable. Or what I think the allegory is trying to say is that people don't want to know the truth because of the pain they must go through. To relate that to life, all people know they would like others to be honest with them, but they don't want to hear things like "I think you shouldn't use the eye shadow" or "buddy, the way you talk just doesn't suit you according to me". Most people would rather not know that. I would (I don't wear eye shadow, but I hope everyone gets my point). Furthermore, people find it hard to be honest because it causes a lot of uncomfortable situations...they are not willing to be honest despite the fact that they know they should, because of the pain associated with it. So what I am trying to say is, that I don't agree that when you have a choice between ignorance or not it is too late. I think it is never to late. There is always something that can be done to amend your mind. Clementine stated: I donâ€™t think science proved they are able to question past, future and present. They also canâ€™t question their existenceâ€¦Can a lion choose to be vegetarian because he empathic to the preyâ€™s pain? But we know, by science, that the majority of animals donâ€™t have the same ability to think as we do. You are committing the argument from ignorance. Which is when a person arguing against you says "You are wrong, therefore I am right". Yes science hasn't provent that animals can think like us. But does that mean they can't? Still, should I be wrong about animals being able to think, does that mean that they can't? 'Think' is a general word. If you prove to me that animals do not have language, does that mean they can't think? Well, what can animals think about and what can't they? Than let;s compare that to what humans can think about and what we can't. many say language, or self-realization, or reason. I think animals have reason, for one needs to reason the things around them in order to survive. Sure, it may not be the same reason as we humans do, but draw me the line between reasoning for animals and the reasoning for humans. See there is no line, I took psychology, philosophy, and history. And I know the this topic is controversial all over the world. So even if you can prove me wrong, you have a far way to go to prove yourself right, which is the argument from ignorance. Finally, not willing to learn doesn't lead to non-existence, it leads to you 'might as well not existing'. What's your take? Magius Magnanimous Posts: 1489 Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am Location: Ontario, Canada Knowledge is as tempting as Ignorance. But I think the way is to ignore knownledge, somehow.. I mean, not to put such a great price on it. (After all, one is knowledge, another is wisdom.) More important to you is a friend, than one who knows much. And, in the end, more important to the world. inward Posts: 156 Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm ### This is leading us nowwhere... but there you go Magius yes there are those who mutilate themselves, those who cut themselves because of depression or some kind of a mental disorder So for you the only way of self-destruction is physically? Magius don't we learn to enjoy through pain? I know when I was young I feared roller-coaster like the plague, but once I pushed my suffering far enough and got on one (I cried on one of them - I was young) and than another, and another - I came to love being on roller-coasters. Knowing people who self-destruct (physically) allows me to say that is the same processâ€¦ you hurt yourself, with time you like the pain, you hurt yourself more for pleasure. If you do study psychology as you said, you might know that it is not a silly 'personality disorder' as doctors like to call it. Magius When we are young we are sometimes spanked or smacked because we don't listen. The point is suffering, but it's only the means, the end is for us to learn not to do something dangerous I am just trying to prove the point that you can self-destruct mentally. Being smacked is more of a psychological suffering than really physical. You trust you parents and they are angry with you, you feel guilty, so the main point of this soft of punishment is to make you suffer psychologically. So if someone can do it to you, you can also do it to yourself. Magius Where would action movies, martial arts, wrestling be if suffering and pain were self-destructive? Where is the pleasure in wrestling? The pleasure is painâ€¦ so, if you do it yourself, if you put yourself in a situation where you will certainly get hurt, it is self-destruction, self-harm, self-punishmentâ€¦ call whatever you want. It is still self-inflicted harm. Enough of this now. Magius what I think the allegory is trying to say is that people don't want to know the truth because of the pain they must go through. To relate that to life, all people know they would like others to be honest with them, but they don't want to hear things like "I think you shouldn't use the eye shadow" or "buddy, the way you talk just doesn't suit you according to me". Most people would rather not know that. I would (I don't wear eye shadow, but I hope everyone gets my point). I agree with what you said before this point. But donâ€™t you think that those people who are still in the cave might just find this person insane? Do you think is possible that they just donâ€™t think there is an outside at all? You are right about the honesty bit. People donâ€™t want to know certain things, so yeah, they choose not to know itâ€¦ like the eye liner thingâ€¦ but you canâ€™t compare this with the allegory of the cave. The eye liner is a question of taste, is not the truth. Someone could think the person looks great with it. Whether in the cave, is a total new experience, a revelation that only one person could see. And what he saw might still not even the the truth, but the knowledge of the outside, the experience were true. Magius Furthermore, people find it hard to be honest because it causes a lot of uncomfortable situations...they are not willing to be honest despite the fact that they know they should, because of the pain associated with it Honesty is extremely necessary. I wouldnâ€™t let friend going out with horrible eye linersâ€¦ I would definitely try to be honest without being rude. Now, I see no point in telling a person that they have an ugly voice when they canâ€™t do anything about it and itâ€™s not gonna change the personâ€™s voice is you tell them. Well, suppose they want to be a singerâ€¦ you will have to say (if the person asks you) in a polite way that you (personal opinion) think the voice is not the best one in the world but they could try. There is a big difference in being honest and being rude. I praise honesty above all things, probably, and I am rarely rudeâ€¦ I guess. Hehe Magius So what I am trying to say is, that I don't agree that when you have a choice between ignorance or not it is too late. I think it is never to late. There is always something that can be done to amend your mind. We will have to disagree then. Magius If you prove to me that animals do not have language, does that mean they can't think? Did I say that? No. I said they donâ€™t have the ABILITY to think like we do. I didnâ€™t say the DONâ€™T think, and I didnâ€™t say the DONâ€™T have a language of their own. So you should stop distorting the words I say. You also didnâ€™t reply you my question â€˜Can a lion choose to be vegetarian because he empathic to the preyâ€™s pain?â€™. If you are still in your senses you will have to agree that no, a lion wonâ€™t choose to be a vegetarian because he is empathic to his foodâ€™s pain. Can we be empathic to other beings pain? Yes we can,â€¦ as far as I know. Magius I think animals have reason, for one needs to reason the things around them in order to survive. Sure, it may not be the same reason as we humans do, but draw me the line between reasoning for animals and the reasoning for humans Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been trying to say. They donâ€™t have the ability to think like we doâ€¦doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t think or have a reason of their own. Animals are irrational and they act irrationally. Humans are supposed to be rationalâ€¦ I guess you can draw a line there, maybe Magius So even if you can prove me wrong, you have a far way to go to prove yourself right, which is the argument from ignorance. Wellâ€¦I never said you were wrong. I might be right thoâ€¦or thatâ€™s not possible? You know very little about animal instincts and human instincts thoâ€¦ and yes, I know juts a bit about it. But you also havenâ€™t showed me anything that might deny the fact that animals have got the same ability to think as we doâ€¦You say â€˜oh, because science havenâ€™t proved doesnâ€™t mean it doesnâ€™t existâ€™â€¦ true, but you need to give me something more thereâ€¦Wouldnâ€™t animals be fighting for the worlds leadership if they could? Wouldnâ€™t animals be gathering together to for an army against humans because we are destroying nature? Give me something that show that science might be wrongâ€¦ that animals have the same ability as we do, that they can question past, present and future and even debate about existence and religion. I will definitely change my mind or look more into my view if you do show me something, an example... anything. Cle "Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky Clementine Posts: 161 Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm Location: UK I stated: yes there are those who mutilate themselves, those who cut themselves because of depression or some kind of a mental disorder Clementine responded: So for you the only way of self-destruction is physically? No. What I was trying to tell you is that you are correct in that there are forms of physical and mental (I did mention depression - I think it self destructive) that are self-destructive, but what you didn't paste is me telling you about forms of mental and physical that HURT but are not self destructive and all of this is only a fraction of my response to your... But if it hurts and you inflict it in yourself, thatâ€™s self-destructive, isnâ€™t it? We are all very well aware of how self-destructive we can be, but most of us don't know how to demarcate what is positive pain and what is self-destructive pain. I was attempting to illustrate the line between the two. Just to give you another example, I have been doing martial arts for most of my life. Some of the training I was doing in the past, to many would appear self-destructive, ie. beating myself over the ribs with a stick (makes the rib muscles elastic and tough). The amount of pain I inflict on myself is, as strangely as this is going to sound, in harmony with how much my muscles need in order to further develop. But not going over the line of actually doing any damage. The same way, a martial artist who breaks a concrete slab with a strike from his hand could be seen to be self destructive (it hurts). It's in the way it happens. In the same way I can think of loving a woman, but I can DO the act of loving a woman in a self-promoting way or a self-destructive way. But each can damaging physically, mentally, and emotionally. This damaging (hurt) can be good for you or bad for you. Clementine stated: Knowing people who self-destruct (physically) allows me to say that is the same processâ€¦ you hurt yourself, with time you like the pain, you hurt yourself more for pleasure. If you do study psychology as you said, you might know that it is not a silly 'personality disorder' as doctors like to call it. If you still can't imagine what I am talking about when I say that hurting oneself doesn't mean they are self-destructive, then think of all the times you felt pain and if it wasn't for the pain you would not be where you are today. People don't self-destruct Clementine, some force outside of them coerces them and their logic to do so, whether that is the right or wrong thing to do is beyond the scope of my post. No one is born wanting to commit suicide. When you forget something or you make a mistake you might slam your hand down on a table, punch a wall, yell, scream, etc but you are not doing it so you self-destruct, you are doing it because you want to make sure you don't forget or that you don't make the same mistake next time. Just the same reason parents may spank their children. Clementine stated: I am just trying to prove the point that you can self-destruct mentally. Yet up until now you have not said so, I agree that a person can self-destruct mentally. But what I won't agree with you on is your answer to this question "What exactly do you see as self-destructive within the mind?" Clementine stated: Being smacked is more of a psychological suffering than really physical. You trust you parents and they are angry with you, you feel guilty, so the main point of this soft of punishment is to make you suffer psychologically. Clementine! You couldn't be more wrong. You think parents want to make their children suffer psychologically when they get spanked!?! Like you said parents want to give the child punishment so they REALIZE what to do or not to do, but not to make them suffer psychologically. When you yell at or slap your husband in a argument, do you do so because you want to give him psychological suffering? No, you are frustrated and you don't know how to get something across to him, you just wish to make him understand; to such a degree that we end up hurting others physically and YES even emotionally, but we don't do it with the premeditated purpose of giving them psychological suffering. Clementine stated: So if someone can do it to you, you can also do it to yourself. Yes, but that is not the whole picture once again. No one will argue that we can't be self-destructive, but I am trying to show you that you are generalizing pain and self-destructiveness to an illogical degree. Clementine stated: Where is the pleasure in wrestling? The pleasure is painâ€¦ so, if you do it yourself, if you put yourself in a situation where you will certainly get hurt, it is self-destruction, self-harm, self-punishmentâ€¦ call whatever you want. It is still self-inflicted harm. Clementine, I don't agree with wrestling either. But, the owner of the wrestling federation won an award for being able to capture the toughest age group to capture, I believe it's the 18-25 year olds. No movie, song, comic, fashion, car, or anything else has been able to capture the attention of 18-25 year olds like wrestling has. There must be some kind of pleasure in it, what do you think it might be? Clementine, you say that if you put yourself into a situation where you will certainly get hurt, it is self-destruction - yet now all of a sudden you make it sound as if it was the same thing as self-punishment, self-harm but it is not. Self-destruction is the act of destroying oneself. Self-harm just means you are harming yourself or giving yourself pain without any assumption as to why. It doesn't have to be to destroy yourself. You gotta open your mind here to see the differences. Self-punishment is the act of giving oneself pain because they believe they have done something wrong and want to make sure they don't do it anymore. This is yet another different thing. All three terms are different. There can be a case in which they are all the same, I do agree with that - but this is not the majority case. To promote your point I will say that I can imagine a person wanting to destroy themselves (self-destruct) by harming themselves (self-harm) to the point of death for the reason that they feel they have done something wrong and the only way they can see themselves not doing it anymore (self-punishment) is to destroy themselves. Clementine stated: I agree with what you said before this point. But donâ€™t you think that those people who are still in the cave might just find this person insane? Do you think is possible that they just donâ€™t think there is an outside at all? Ofcourse they would see them as insane. My point was that despite that, I think the person should still go down. Ofcourse they will think that there is no outside at all if they think that person to be insane. That still doesn't mean they shouldn't go down. I asked: If you prove to me that animals do not have language, does that mean they can't think? Clementine answered: Did I say that? No. I said they donâ€™t have the ABILITY to think like we do. I didnâ€™t say the DONâ€™T think, and I didnâ€™t say the DONâ€™T have a language of their own. So you should stop distorting the words I say. I didn't say you said that, I was asking a question. Clementine, I think you are forgetting what got this line of questioning started in the first place, Clementine stated: Animals donâ€™t know anything apart from instinctâ€¦ This whole time I have only been trying to get you to realize that animals do know something more than just instinct. I never disagreed that they can't think like us. I only suggested that you can't truly know that and there is still a possibility that they can think like us they just can't express it. Personally I think the human mind carries all the information of the universe from day one and life is just a lesson in expressing that knowledge. Now I have finally got you to say that they think, just not like humans.You did say they don't think because you say they know nothing apart form instinct, instinct I guess your going to argue is thinking. You suggest now that animals do have a language of their own, this is a far way away from animals knowing nothing apart from instinct. Clementine, it appears to me that you are distorting your own words, I continue only to try to unravel what it is you are trying to say to me. You must realize that there isn't much I can go on when you form you sentences in the following manner "I didn't say they don't have a language of their own" - okay, but does that mean that you think that they do have a language of their own? You see, you need to be more clear with what YOU actually think, what YOUR opinion is, and most importantly; stick with it - or drop it - but don't argue both ways, people may come to see you as a hypocrit or they may feel insulted as though you are not paying attention to the discussion. Clementine stated: You also didnâ€™t reply you my question â€˜Can a lion choose to be vegetarian because he empathic to the preyâ€™s pain?â€™. If you are still in your senses you will have to agree that no, a lion wonâ€™t choose to be a vegetarian because he is empathic to his foodâ€™s pain. Can we be empathic to other beings pain? Yes we can,â€¦ as far as I know. To reply to your question, I think you question to be irrelevant. I don't think a lion stops to think about the pain of his prey the same way you don't think about a cow being slaughtered when you eat beef. But I wish to point out another problem with your discussion style, if you truly care about another persons opinion and wish to hear it, then you wont say things like "If you are still in your senses you will have to agree that no, a..." - you are insulting my intelligence here. I have no choice but to conform to your statement, luckily I do, but if I didn't my response to you would be one you would not enjoy. Remember, it was once seen as an absolute truth, as obvious as the breath you take, that the earth was square - yet it isn't. Always try to keep an open mind and give people enough respect to answer your questions with their own mind and not with your own confines. Yes Clementine, we can be empathic to other beings pain, but are there not moments when we are not? How do we know that there are not moments in which a lion can be empathic as well? This is the whole problem, it is so hard to learn about something that doesn't come right out and tell you, like animals. Clementine stated: Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been trying to say. They donâ€™t have the ability to think like we doâ€¦doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t think or have a reason of their own. Again, are you saying that you think that they can think and do have a reason of their own? Clementine stated: Animals are irrational and they act irrationally. Humans are supposed to be rationalâ€¦ I guess you can draw a line there, maybe Hold on now, your doing that whole contradictory thing again. How do you know animals are irrational? As far as I know animals act quite rationally, sometimes more so than humans. When an animal is hungary it eats, when it eats it either rests or plays. It plays in order to build energy. It rests in order to also build energy when tired or to conserve energy for future use. When tired an animal sleeps. But it does all these things in the rational way, in that an animal will not eat a tree or a rock, it eats what is usually good for it. When it rests, it doesn't rest in a lake or on a spike, it rests in a cool corner under a branch in order to be out of the sun and also to be inconspicuous from hunters and for the potential of prey coming right by it. Seems rational to me. Clementine stated: But you also havenâ€™t showed me anything that might deny the fact that animals have got the same ability to think as we do But I never argued that they think like we do. I said that I believe they do think, just not like we do. But I also said that I am open to the idea that they do think like us, but they just can't express it like we do. But I will try to show you anyway, I once read a book based on a true story (a film was made out of it as well) about these two dogs. I don't remember the whole story, for I read it as a kid, but the point is that at the end of the movie one of the dogs dies and gets barried in the back of the farm where the dogs reside. Red ferns begin to grow over the grave of this barried dog. Anyway, the other dog would not eat or listen to the owner, it would simply lie down on top of the soil over the grave until it died as well. This is irrational, as you believe all animals are and I argued against in the previous paragraphs. But this is irrationality to the point of us understanding a higher consciousness within the dog, do you not agree? Would you not say that the dog was sad? If animals no nothing apart from instinct then why be sad? Secondly, one of my professors in university told the class about his cat. It was a vicious cat that attacked all other cats. One day my prof bought a new mirror and brought it in the house. Before putting it up he left in against a wall while he went to get a hammer and nail. He came back to find his cat attacking the mirror. From that day on (he hung the mirror two inches off the ground) the cat would go upto the mirror and admire itself. It learned that it was a reflection of itself. Clementine stated: Wouldnâ€™t animals be fighting for the worlds leadership if they could? No, because they can't express it and they lack the tools (ie. functional fingers like ours, they have fingers but they can't do the same things we can with ours). There are other factors. Clementine stated: Wouldnâ€™t animals be gathering together to for an army against humans because we are destroying nature? It is one thing to suppose that animals may think like us, but you are assuming that animals are environmental. If your going to anthropomorphize humans onto animals, then you should follow the logic and know that not all animals would be environmentalists just as all humans are not all environmentalists. Clementine stated: Give me something that show that science might be wrongâ€¦ that animals have the same ability as we do, that they can question past, present and future I feel this is exactly what I have done throughout this post. Clementine stated: and even debate about existence and religion. I will definitely change my mind or look more into my view if you do show me something, an example... anything. Clementine, why would I show you that animals can debate about anything? Are you not reading my posts, are you paying attention, I stated in previous posts that animals do not have our language. How can I show they debate anything? The same way I cannot know what it's like to be a bat because it uses Sonar to understand it's reality, a bat cannot know what it's like for me and the way I see reality. Remember that religion was created by humans, why would animals talk religion? Suppose that there are aliens, they live on another planet. They develop a #$SD12SA# and we create an a-bomb. These two things differ, but your argument goes that aliens can't think like humans because they don't know about an a-bomb and humans can't think like aliens because we don't know what an #\$SD12SA# is. But so what? Does that mean that both can't think? In the same way because we created religion (a concept) doesn't mean that animals cannot think or that they cannot think like us, it just means that they haven't thought of religion yet.

Magius
Magnanimous

Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am

I think this is getting far to personal and as I have no idea who you are and as you have no idea who I am, I will stop this â€˜argumentâ€™. Just to answer one tiny thing

To reply to your question, I think you question to be irrelevant. I don't think a lion stops to think about the pain of his prey the same way you don't think about a cow being slaughtered when you eat beef.

To show once again you are getting personal and don't know who you are talking to (and I donâ€™t mean here that I didnâ€™t get personal too), you assume I eat meat, well, you are wrong, I donâ€™t. So I do think about the animal.

I am no insulting your intelligent at all. If I said something that made you feel this way, than I do apologize.

Nothing I have posted could makes me a hypocrite, as the word means a dissimulation of oneâ€™s character of belief, one who assumes a false appearance, who feigns he is not what he is, to feel or believe in something they donâ€™t actually feel or believe, someone with false pretender to virtue or piety. I could indeed me mistaken or being contradictory, as you said, but still it doesnâ€™t make me a hypocrite. You should choose your words carefully, hypocrite is a strong word and fortunately, canâ€™t be applied to me.

After you suggested I could be seen as a hypocrite, I stopped reading your post. There is no reason why we try together to look for an answer while you see me as this kind of person.
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky

Clementine

Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Clementine,
please review these quotes I cut out of my post and try to see that I did not tell you that you are a hypocrit...

Clementine, it appears to me that you are distorting your own words, I continue only to try to unravel what it is you are trying to say to me.

You see, you need to be more clear with what YOU actually think, what YOUR opinion is, and most importantly; stick with it - or drop it - but don't argue both ways, people may come to see you as a hypocrit or they may feel insulted as though you are not paying attention to the discussion.

Your definition of hypocrit is generally correct, but do you not see how what I have said in the above paragraph possibly leads to hypocrisy? I say possibly because I wish you to remember that I never called you a hypocrit, I just said that from the way you have written you posts it may appear to others that you are a hypocrit. That is not the same thing as calling you a hypocrit out right. If you wish, go through some of the posts I have written in the past and notice that when I believe someone to be a hypocrit beyond any reasonable doubt, then I come out and call them a hypocrit. I will call anyone anything I see them as, but I am careful with the words I choose.

Clementine stated:
Nothing I have posted could makes me a hypocrite, as the word means a dissimulation of oneâ€™s character of belief, one who assumes a false appearance, who feigns he is not what he is, to feel or believe in something they donâ€™t actually feel or believe, someone with false pretender to virtue or piety.

Clementine, again please don't think that I trying to be harsh on you but unless you are God I do not see how it is possible for you to make the statement so confidently "Nothing I have posted could makes me a hypocrite", how do you know? Are all of us not hypocrits at some time in our lives? Are all your posts so well thought out prior to you posting them that there isn't a chance in hell that you could have said something that you yourself don't believe? Having taken psychology as you already know I have, there are myriad experiences in each persons day that they act not in accordance to their beleifs, and a majority of those times go completely unnoticed by the person. We are not conscious of the hypocrisy we live by. So how are you so certain that this wasn't one of those times? I mean I would have understood if you said "When I said animals.... it was not hypocritical of me because...[enter justificiation]". But like you once told me, you gotta give me something to work with here....anything.

Clementine stated:
After you suggested I could be seen as a hypocrite, I stopped reading your post. There is no reason why we try together to look for an answer while you see me as this kind of person.

I don't see you as any kind of a person, I don't think I know enough about you to make a judgement. There are very few people on this board that I have made any judgement on whatsoever, whether positive or negative. All my posts to you are based on your words and not on anything personal dealing with you yourself. For all I know you are the next Mother Theresa and I wouldn't know any different. Just because it appears you have mixed up some concepts doesn't make you a bad person, heck I do it, we all do it. It makes us stronger to admit we can do this, to admit when we are told that we are wrong and say "yes, I am wrong"; what we are left with then is to correct to error. Don't you want to have a better understanding of animals and the differences between them and humans? I know I do, I can't say that I have some well thought out answer to the question despite my rigorous education in religion, philosophy, and the mind/body problem. I hope you can find what I have said comforting enough to go back and finish my previous post. But if not, I understand. Just so we understand each other, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, I do not have a judgement about you as a person, I don't think YOU are a hypocrit - but I do believe that there is a good chance you have made some hypocritical statements (statements you don't actually believe).

Magius
Magnanimous

Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am

John Stuart Mill had observed that "no instructed person" would consent to becoming an ignoramus even if he were persuaded that as an ignoramus he would be happier than he presently is.

Also, Plato said that a person who had found knowledge would rather be the slave of the poorest master than be ignorant.
Wasif

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 5:12 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Wasif stated:
John Stuart Mill had observed that "no instructed person" would consent to becoming an ignoramus even if he were persuaded that as an ignoramus he would be happier than he presently is.

Also, Plato said that a person who had found knowledge would rather be the slave of the poorest master than be ignorant.

I agree, but where I disagree is with the attainment of knowledge. Seeking and attaining knowledge is hard work, very few strive for it. Which explains why the majority of the worlds population are ignoramus'. Ofcourse, once a person has knowledge they are happy with it and would think it irrationale to want to be without it - but again, no one is very willing to go the extra mile to attain knowledge, it's like everyone just expects it to fall on their lap.

Magius
Magnanimous

Posts: 1489
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 7:08 am

Just for clarification, by the second part of your statement do you mean to say that the people who seek knowledge in such matters will suffer as a result of their knowledge, or that they will become aware of their own suffering?

In my personal opinion a person should seek to be aware that suffering does occur beyond the scope of our personal interaction, but should not take great pains to immerse themselves in the suffering of others. Simply having knowledge of their pain is normally enough to allow one to empathize, and this ability to associate with anothers' pain contributes to a healthy understanding of the self as well as identifying yourself to that person as a human who feels for their dilemma.
Zenapproach

Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:43 pm
Location: MA

I remember reading a book when I was younger about a civilization whom lived without war, sickness, or lack of love....who were comforted by warmth, food, and all material things imaginable.....but through their existance each citizen in turn had to go deep into the sewers where a child lay chained, broken, cold, starved and wretchedly sick but never dying and continue to do the worst things to this child as if it were some ritual that would prevent the civilization above from ever experiencing such things and before the citizen left they looked into the childs eyes and said "Id rather be me then you." and the child replied "Id rather be neither of us."

~JL
"I want to remove the veils of ignorance...to make my perspective limitless, to discover emotions and places in consciousness that make the universe seem childish....but ill settle for a beer and a backrub."

JohnnyLegion

Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 8:56 pm
Location: Where the shadows tease the light to touch