Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:37 pm

Don't you have an emotional need to kill and rape men (in that order)?
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Tab » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:48 pm

I'd say, if you undertake a novel action, or more probably find yourself having undertaken one seemingly out of no-where, previously foreign to your character (as you remember/hold it to be personaly) then you immediately begin to rationalize it.

Actually no, before you can choose to undertake an action previously foreign to your experience of self, you must rationalize it.

If you find yourself to have taken an action spontaneously, previously foreign to your experience of self, you must rationalize afterwards.

This is the classic "ironing out the bumps in your personal narritive" rationalization.

2nd case, desire vs. Reason, or proximal temptation vs. Long-term plans.

i.e.. instant cake vs. diet plan. Both selves long term and short will rationalize like lawyers in a courtroom.
Last edited by Tab on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:59 pm

One Liner wrote:Don't you have an emotional need to kill and rape men (in that order)?


I won't presume that because your post followed mine you are speaking to me here.
But if you are, kindly let me know and I will respond even though your response is "off the wall" to my way of thinking!
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:02 pm

Yes, I am responding to you but not accusing you of anything.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Tab » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:04 pm

Ok, had a breath of fresh air.

So, there are two 'yous' - one, the external you, which everyone sees. This you is demonstrated by actions, including speech actions, which everyone can observe/hear. And two, the internal you, which is the monologue you produce when you ask yourself, or more likely a questionnaire in a magazine asks you "what kind of person are you..?"

Which is the 'real' you..? Depends who's answering.

We rationalize for two reasons, one personal, one social. Both though, stem from the same cause. Trust.

Say I've known Jim for ages. We met in "Don't punch kids in the face club" back in '92. One day however, we're walking down the street talking crap about some crap on tv. Then Jim just turns round and punches this cute little girl right into next week. Her lollipop lands next to most of her teeth on the floor.

Holy crap I think. Jim's never done that before. In fact, most of my friendship with Jim is based on us not being the kind of people who punch kids in the face. Oh noes, my wasted emotional investment. Who is this guy..? I mean, shit, If he can do that - right out of the blue like that - he... he... could do anything...

Jim starts to splutter, "I, I never told you this Bob... but you see that girl's dress yeah..? You see it's an unusual combination of plaid and magenta..? That, that's the exact colour that my abusive babysitter used to wear whenever she beat me as a child, I guess... I guess... I just lashed out... Oh God, I'm so sorry."

Now, after that rationalization I can amend my view of Jim from "ex-friend, unpredictable maniac, do not approach." To "friend, predictable, beware of color aversion, otherwise trustworthy." I'm happy because via this social mechanic, I can retain my useful possession, ie. the object I denote as ' my friend jim' in which I have invested much time, and maybe some money. Loss aversion avoided - win.

From jim's pov. his novel action, out of nowhere, deeply disturbed his internal sense of self. Cognitive dissonance hurts. So to mend the giant plot-hole that just exploded out of nowhere in his personal narrative, he instinctively rationalized. When we say cognitive dissonance, what do we mean..? This where our 'to be in two minds' bit comes in, the cake/not cake selves. Immediate desire, and long term planner. Any long term planner self has very much invested in the idea that 'the me I was last week, will be the same me as next week." You can't make a plan about anything if the major variable involved (yourself in this case) is something you can't predict.

So, to restore the trust essential to personal function Jim must immediately square away the unprecedented action of his 'live' self with his "planner" self. In rationalizing, by adding a condition to his self-observed action "I randomly punch kids" to turn it into "I only punch kids wearing magenta plaid" he's allowed his planner self to trust his live self again, and get back to planning ahead, though now with an added proviso in the user-manual.

Whether the rationalization is actually true or not, doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is a), Jim is able to function on a personal basis, and b) Jim can function in the social arena without ostracism.

The little girl actually turned out to be an evil alien clone, shaped like a little girl. So that's ok.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:12 pm

One Liner wrote:
Arminius wrote:
One Liner wrote:Hence, all rationilzation is deceptive even if we take life is self preservation as the so called "meaning of life" (which is a rationilzation in itself).

No.

Your "no" is just a rationilzation and nothing more.

According to your own last one liner your last one liner is "a rationilzation and nothing more".
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:21 pm

Self-preservation is primarily and thus also meaningfully significant. Otherwise there would be no evolution.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:35 pm

Arminius wrote:According to your own last one liner your last one liner is "a rationilzation and nothing more".

I am not arguing with you on that one as you are correct.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:39 pm

Arminius wrote:Self-preservation is primarily and thus also meaningfully significant. Otherwise there would be no evolution.

So you are telling me that self preservation is meaningful and evolution is meaningful and life is meaningful and you are also telling me that this is not rationalizing as it is a fact that this meaningfulness is impregnated in this meaningful universe.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:58 pm

No, One Liner.

Read my post again, please, and then you will probably know what meaningful is and what rationalizing is.

If not, then read the following tab text:

I did NOT say that evolution was meaningful.
I did NOT say that life was meaningful.
I did NOT say that this was not rationalizing.
I did NOT say that it was a fact that this meaningfulness was impregnated in this meaningful universe.
I did NOT say that there was a meaningfulness.
I did NOT say that this universe was meaningful.
I merely said that self-preservation was meaningful. And I meant that it was meaningful for for each living being, because otherwise each living being would not defend the own life ... and so on. This does NOT automatically mean that life is meaningful, that evolution is meaningful, that there is meaningfulness, that the universe is meaningful. It means that self-preservation is meaningful.

Or read the following thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=190325.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:32 am

I merely said that self-preservation was meaningful. And I meant that it was meaningful for for each living being, because otherwise each living being would not defend the own life ... and so on.

So, self preservation preserves meaningless things and this action is meaningful.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:08 pm

One Liner wrote:
I merely said that self-preservation was meaningful. And I meant that it was meaningful for for each living being, because otherwise each living being would not defend the own life ... and so on.

So, self preservation preserves meaningless things and this action is meaningful.


Obviously one would have to see their self and their life as having meaning or the fight or flight instinct would be meaningless.

I, at times, can look at myself as a nihilist, but for me it's more a case of detaching from or whittling down certain things which I come to see as having no more meaning in my life anymore where once I found them to be meaningful; as an example, like when we throw away certain clothes which we haven't worn in awhile and know we just don't need, among other things which hold no more meaning. Human beings are just this way. Things lose meaning and other things may come to be meaningful. It's a question of discernment.
Giving up certain things create more space in our lives and in our own minds.
You seem to take nihilism beyond the outer edges of our galaxy.

So, self preservation preserves meaningless things and this action is meaningful


At second glance, not being able to know if you meant this just as you seem to have stated it above, I guess I can say that for some people, preserving meaningless things, things which for most reasonable people might be considered meaningless, could be construed as a form of self-preservation if the thing they are preserving, the thing which they feel hardput to do away with, is a meaningless thin[s] which they so self-identify with, which has no basis in reality. For instance, what hoarders do. But that might be the opposite end of the spectrum.

So you might have a point whether or not you were aware of it.
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:17 pm

I tend to agree with you Arcturus, in that if a thing is being preserved then that thing must be meaningful to the individual (even to hoarders).
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:10 am

One Liner wrote:So, self preservation preserves meaningless things and this action is meaningful.

No, One Liner. You are always putting words into my mouth I never said.

I did NOT say that self-preservation preserved meaningless things. I merely said that self-preservation was meaningful. And I meant that it was meaningful for for each living being, because otherwise each living being would not defend the own life ... and so on. This does NOT automatically mean that life is meaningful, that evolution is meaningful, that there is meaningfulness, that the universe is meaningful. It means that self-preservation is meaningful.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:07 am

Arminus, to put it simply, self preservation preserves self just like self propulsion propels self (they don't by default have an attribute of "meaningful").
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:04 pm

No, One Liner, you are wrong again.

If somebody (a strong "I" for example) threatens you with a gun, what are you going to do then? Wait. Let me guess: You are going to do nothing.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:26 pm

Self preservation occurs when the the self acts on its own, without outside help, to protect itself and it is a collection of various behaviours and biological responses that does not have the attribute of "meaningful".
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:51 pm

Self-preservation occurs with the first living being.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:09 pm

Weak and strong molecular bonds also occurs with the first living being (along with countless other phenomena that collectively sustain life).
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:41 pm

That does not contradict the self-preservation. On the contrary: It emphasizes it.
Last edited by Arminius on Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:34 pm

So, a valid conclusion to draw is that strong and weak molecular bonds must be meaningful as they preserve life.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:49 pm

NOBODY said that (except you).

I said: "it emphasizes it" (source: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=171462&p=2622255#p2622238), and that does NOT mean that it (itself!) preserves it.

Again: Try to read correctly, One Liner.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:00 pm

So you are inferring that the words used in this context ("emphasising" and "meaningful") are not deceptive rationalizations.
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby Arminius » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:15 pm

One Liner wrote:So you are inferring that the words used in this context ("emphasising" and "meaningful") are not deceptive rationalizations.

Where did I say that?
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Re: Rationalizing: How do we know for sure that we aren't?

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Arminus, look at the topic of this discussion.
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