Is volitional restraint bad?

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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:12 pm

Magnus Andersson wrote:In such a case, creating room would simply mean slowing down the rate at which one's focus changes.


If creating room means what you say I have no problem with it because where my issue lied was in understanding something such as room as a constant space rather than one which changes with characteristics of mutations. The latter case really the space is really something like the quantity of activity measured at any given point.

Do you mean to say that, rather than restraining an unwanted impulse by doing (something else), one would do it best by slowing down the rate at one one's focus changes?
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:42 pm

Do you mean to say that, rather than restraining an unwanted impulse by doing (something else), one would do it best by slowing down the rate at one one's focus changes?


If all you want to do is restrain your impulse, then there is no better way to do it than by slowing it down.

Why would you want to restrain it by doing something else? Why would you do something else when all you want to do is restrain your impulse?

On the other hand, if you want to do something, rather than merely restrain yourself, then it would be better if you could change your focus immediately, but only under the condition you are not going to overwhelm yourself.

In the case that the change of focus is overwhelming, then you need to create as much room as you can by slowing down the rate of your neural activity. Then, you have to take steps that are of sufficient size, not too big and not too small (i.e. you must control the speed of your neural activity in order to make sure it's within limits.)
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:49 pm

I consider any act of volitional restraint to itself be an action, so a mode of doing, engaging a change of behaviour.

It could be helpful if you described a circumstance, one you have particularly in mind, and we will see whether at the point when restraint is necessary, some change in the action is also necessary or not.

Magnus Anderson wrote:...you need to create as much room as you can by slowing down the rate of your neural activity. Then, you have to take steps that are sufficient size (i.e. you must control the speed of your neural activity .)


What you describe above are instances of doing. "You need to... you have to..." This is how I understand doing and this is why I said that one restrains oneself by doing.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:50 pm

Yes, they are actions. Here is a question for you: is there anything in the universe that is itself not a form of action?

Inanimate objects that we consider to be inactive are active too just not in the manner that we expect them to be. This becomes evident when you take a closer look.

I am not sure why you're placing so much emphasis on the fact that both doing and not-doing are actions.

The point is that they are different types of actions.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:00 pm

I did not deny that there are different types of actions. I replied to the question you posed earlier in the thread with the answer that one foregoes by doing. The reason we were talking about human actions in particular as opposed to those of inanimate objects is because the question is about volition. I don't think we are in a fundamental disagreement, but perhaps some disagreement about terminology.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:44 pm

Is it really necessary to emphasize that both doing and foregoing are actions?

I see no reason that it is.

The question posed in my OP is whether it is better to forego by doing (non-volitional restraint) or forego without doing (volitional restraint.)

The fact that both doing and foregoing are actions does not resolve this question.

These are two different techniques. The aim of this thread is to compare them, which means, to determine their trade-off's, their pro's and con's, whether their value is independent from or dependent on situations, thus whether their value can be described in binary terms, as either good or bad, and so on and so forth.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:05 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:The question posed in my OP is whether it is better to forego by doing (non-volitional restraint) or forego without doing (volitional restraint.)
The fact that both doing and foregoing are actions does not resolve this question.


It is the fact that they are both forms of doing, not one of doing and the other of not doing.

Magnus Anderson wrote:The question posed in my OP is whether it is better to forego by doing (non-volitional restraint) or forego without doing (volitional restraint.)


Can you describe an example of "non-volitional restraint"?

Considering the definition of volitional, wouldn't acting (doing) be volitional?
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:17 am

It is the fact that they are both forms of doing, not one of doing and the other of not doing.


You are forcing me to repeat myself.

The fact that they are both forms of doing (= action) does not resolve the question. It is thus irrelevant remark. The point is that they are different forms of doing. Because they are different, they can be compared. The aim of this thread is to compare them.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:09 pm

It is significant because the characteristics of what is being compared influences how one compares them. The implication is that whether one acts by choosing an entirely new activity or by slowing down an occuring one or engaging in rest (which may well be activity) would depend on the situation or individual which calls for restraint and so perhaps cannot be compared on the basis of ideal types.

Also, you did not give an example of a non-volitional restraint.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:58 pm

The fact that they are both actions says almost nothing about the two techniques.

It's a given, a common-sense, that they are actions.

When you're comparing cars you are not going to emphasize the fact that both cars are . . . cars. It's already known that they are cars.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:03 pm

You either did not understand or chose not to respond to what I said. Likewise in the case of cars, choosing which car would depend on the circumstance.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:13 pm

Can you describe an example of "non-volitional restraint"?


Volitional act is an act that you want to perform (i.e. it's what you set as a goal.)

Non-volitional act is an act that you do not want to bring about but that nonetheless occurs as a consequence of what you want to bring about.

Non-volitional restraint, then, is any restraint that is a side-effect of volitional doing of some sort.

To restrain means to turn off some activity.

You can do so as a goal e.g. "I want to turn off some activity".
Or it might be a consequence of you trying to do something else e.g. "I want to turn on something else".

If you're doing something inappropriate (e.g. eating junk food) you can either focus on that impulse in order to turn it off (volitional restraint) or you can focus on some other activity (e.g. doing your homework) and hope that this activity will squeeze your inappropriate impulse out (non-volitional restraint.)
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:14 pm

Xenophon wrote:You either did not understand or chose not to respond to what I said. Likewise in the case of cars, choosing which car would depend on the circumstance.


Yes and that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are cars as opposed to something else (e.g. basketball players.)
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:27 pm

Yes, but the point is that the two options of restraint cannot be examined as ideal types but are types of reactions to given situations in which case a particular option would suit best, but the situations must be specified (which in the case of restraint would include also things like characteristics of individuals needing restraint) before the correct answer is chosen.
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:39 pm

How does that follow from the fact that they are both actions?

You are evading this question.

If you want to argue that the value of these two techniques is situation dependent, then fine. If you want to argue that their value is not binary good/bad but multifaceted pros/cons, then fine.

But how does any of that follow from the fact that they are actions?
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Re: Is volitional restraint bad?

Postby Xenophon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:51 pm

You must take what I am saying in the context as well. It follows because we are wondering whether one form of restraint is better than another (which I understood to be engaging in a different activity from the restrained one which is not some form of rest/recuperation) or else restraint by engaging in some form of rest/recuperation (I am using the latter terms somewhat loosely because I wasn't completely sure whether you were categorizing a decrease of momentum as rest or not but it seemed you were because of you use of the word room.) The way you had phrased this was a dichotomy between foregoing by doing or foregoing without doing. I didn't feel the phrasing made sense to the implication because I feel that the engagement of volitional impulses towards rest are modes of doing for an individual. We discussed all this at length and I think in many regards we found our differences to lie within our word choices, though there was more covered certainly.

Now I am saying because these are both things we must do, if we are to volitionally restrain ourselves at all, they become alternatives. I do not see them as an either/or, as you suggested, because I do not understand the realm on which our volition engages with circumstances to be of that quality where only two options are posed, nor yet to I understand it to be a situation where any option the mind could land open is open. I have said that I think potentia lies within preceding circumstances including qualities. This is why I feel like particulars must be engaged upon questions of this kind, often the particulars are intimate, if an individual is determining private affairs, and as you pointed out information is also lacking which limits the human mind from being able to give an infallible account regarding what has yet to come.
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