• Philosophy of Drugs and Drug use

    Why do you have such a negative attitude towards drug use?
  • Philosophy of Drugs and Drug use
    You mind is not "altered"; it is impaired.Jeremiah

    This just assumes that people operate best/ideally when sober, and all drugs decrease how one functions. I don't buy it. People can work longer and harder when on stimulants like caffeine and amphetamines. Some people claim they're more creative on certain drugs. People with pain issues certainly operate better when they've ingested opiates. Most people are better at socialization after taking benzos, alcohol, or MDMA. I certainly dance better after a few drinks!

    There might be some subjectivity in weighing the pros and the cons, but assuming there's not a real legitimate purpose, it's probably a better idea to live within a normal state of consciousness.Hanover

    Why is 'for enjoyment' not a legitimate purpose though?

    This reminds me of the cannabis debate where somehow it's seen as better/more acceptable to use cannabis for pain, than for plain enjoyment. Society seems to be more willing to 'allow' cannabis use when there's a medical reason, rather than because the person wants to do it, for their own enjoyment.

    Society seems to really look down upon people who want to take drugs because they enjoy it. They have to have some sort of medical reason. I really don't see why getting pleasure out drug use is so vilified in our culture. I think it's something to do with people seeing the pleasure gained from drug use as 'unearned', as if you should have to work far harder to enjoy yourself.
  • "Comfortable Pessimism"
    No, I'm not excluding us in saying that. I really don't know what to do to be happy etc. I simply don't understand my own body or psychology well enough, and so I stay miserable because I seriously don't understand what to do not to be.The Great Whatever

    This made me laugh! If it's any comfort I feel the exact same way.

    What about drug use? Have you tried that for your misery? What's your thoughts on it as a means to be happy?
  • "Comfortable Pessimism"
    Active, purpose-driven pessimism eschews aesthetic comfort and decadence for a prescription to end the problem once and for all. This entails participating in and supporting public institutions focused on maximizing welfare and making the world a better place, and actively advocating pessimistic philosophies, within the constraints of self-preservation.darthbarracuda

    To be fair a lot of those 'comfortable pessimists' espoused anti-natalistism, something which really would 'end the problem once and for all' once implemented. Neither Schopenhauer, the Buddha, nor Emil Cioran had children.
  • Is suffering all there is ?
    If pleasure is merely an absence or negation of suffering, then graveyards must be filled with the happiest people of all!

    Personally I think genuine pleasure exists. Granted, it's fairly rare though (too rare - this world could sure do with some improving!). I'd say our default state is suffering, suffering is a far more motivating force in our lives, suffering (and our evasion away from it) is what keeps us living, and not say our movement towards pleasure. Suffering is what our pleasure always fades away to. I don't buy this notion that "you wouldn't be able to feel pleasure without suffering", or "suffering is what makes the good times good", "nobody would know what pleasure was without first suffering". There's genuine pleasure in this world - which means there's genuine 'good', there's something of actual positive value.

    What about drug induced pleasures/euphorias? Surely these aren't just (entirely) the negation of some suffering or another? IV meth, or speedballs for example - it's self-evident these are genuinely pleasurable. Rolling on MDMA!

    I think I'd start genuinely considering suicide if all I did was suffer, and pleasure was some sort of illusion.

    The problem is not that pleasure doesn't exist, or that it's some sort of illusion, or that pleasure isn't actually positive in the way suffering is negative/bad. The problem instead is just it's rarity. A lot rarer than I think most people believe (or want to believe).
  • Epicurus, or Philosophy Incarnate
    By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. — Epicurus

    Then graveyards must be the happiest places on earth...
  • Don't you hate it. . .
    Doxylamine works for me when I can't sleep, better than most prescription sleeping meds I've tried.
  • What are you playing right now?
    Internet poker, mostly 2-7 triple draw and baduci. Primarily on pokerstars.

    Triple draw is so frustrating, manic depression - the card game version. Half the time I want to smash a brick into my face and end it all. But the other half I'm on a heater taking pot after pot.

    It mostly balances out.
  • The manipulative nature of desires
    Suffering motivates us to act, in order to stop feeling it, or prevent it being felt. This is perpetual. We will do this till the day we day, because we have bodily needs - food, water, shelter, etc. Hunger is suffering, thirst is suffering, cold is suffering. So we must act, expend effort and energy, struggle to avoid it. Because if we don't, the suffering will intensify greatly, until we die a horrible painful death, of starvation, thirst, exposure, etc. Life is a constant struggle to avoid suffering, and the consequence of avoiding all these various sufferings is that we continue to exist (and suffer). So I would not say that "we avoid suffering because we want to continue living". Rather, I'd say that we want to avoid suffering (because it feels bad, it's unwanted, it hurts), and the consequence of this is continued existence. Evolution has fine tuned this, whereby we feel hunger, so we struggle to find something to eat, and then we feel thirst, so we must expend effort to drink, and then we get cold, so we find some clothes or heat, etc. It's a constant series of sufferings in various forms, which motivate us to perform different actions - which produces the overall effect of continued existence (and continued suffering).

    The horrible thing is that when we avoid all our bodily sufferings, we're not rewarded with anything (aside from not feeling suffering), there's no prize, no compensation for our struggle. All we achieve is a state which the dead get through no effort at all, and don't have to suffer and struggle for it. We just feel 'not-bad'. Our physical needs are met, now what? We are confronted with the emptiness of existence, it's inherent lack of value, it's ambivalence - you could take it or leave it. And we become bored, and restless. We are so used to perpetually being in action, struggling from suffering that when we rest, we simply don't know what to do with ourselves. We need tofind something to do. When our attention isn't being absorbed into something, when we lack a goal or purpose, we face life itself. And it's empty. So we must invent goals, we must invent something to absorb our attention into. We must put made up goals ahead of ourselves, so that we struggle towards those instead.

    And we are so dumb, that psychologically we imagine it all paying off in the future. "I'll be happy when I achieve x, or when I reach y, or when I get z". But when we reach xyz, perhaps we feel some momentary excitement, or joy, but soon, due to our once again lacking purpose, goals or direction to distract us from the emptiness of existence, we are confronted with it again, and lapse into suffering. We become anxious and restless. And it just repeats. "I'll be happy when I reach a".

    And due to psychological complexity, how complicated we are (as opposed to say a cow), we have more needs than just bodily. We experience a far greater range of suffering than other animals. We need social contact, we need to feel valued, we need to feel like what we do is meaningful, we need to feel part of a wider, greater whole (a society, a country, the human race, etc). It's just endless. Life is just a constant race, a struggle to avoid a vast range of sufferings. Because we experience such a wide range, we develop the complex and complicated societies we see today. There's no real end goal. We may tell ourselves we do it all for 'x', it all has 'y' meaning, and that's why we live and struggle. But this isn't the case. We struggle simply because suffering hurts. Pain hurts, cold hurts, hunger hurts, and so we do whatever we need to, to avoid these various sufferings. The resulting effect being continued biological existence. But we also feel the suffering of meaninglessness, and so we must invent justifications/reasons for our struggle ("we may tell ourselves we do it all for 'x'), to try and give us some psychological comfort, to avoid the ennui and anxiousness.

    And there's all kinds of other sufferings as well. This is just the normal functioning humans life. Everything can go wrong, addiction, mental illness, physical illness, heartbreak, rejection, fingers down chalkboard, car crashes, being harmed by empathy (you feel bad when others do), I could go on for days.

    But yet, there's no true pleasure in this world. There's no genuinely positively valued experiences. Suffering has negative value, and yet pleasure is not positive. At best it's neutral. What pleasure actually consists of, is an experience of 'losing oneself'. We say that we feel pleasure in moments when we become absorbed into something so much that we forget our existence, our struggle. We say eating good food is pleasurable. What actually happens is we become lost into the flavor sensation, we focus so much on it that we lose our sense of ourselves and forget we exist. This is what happens in sports, movies, music, sex, massages. Pleasure is nothing but a brief respite from suffering, through completely absorbing ones attention into something. An orgasm feels good, not because it's an actual genuinely good sensation in-itself. Rather, the feeling is so strong that our attention is overwhelmed into it, and we lose our sense of self, of being in the world, if only for a brief moment.

    I'm writing this post right now, because I have secured my bodily needs, and the emptiness of the world is confronting me head on. I need to find something to do, to distract myself, to absorb my attention into. Just so happens that the complicated thought involved in doing philosophy, much like a puzzle to solve, takes a lot of concentration/attention, so that I don't have to face the emptiness of merely existence anymore. Soon this wont be enough, my attention will stop being absorbed by my thoughts, it doesn't last. And so I'm downloading an episode to watch soon. I've prepared to avoid the future suffering.

    I don't think most people are really aware of how bad their lives are, and the world is. It's suffering all the way down. There are no motivations for action that are not a kind of suffering. We seek 'pleasurable' (which we falsely believe are genuine goods) experiences only because the lack of them is a kind of suffering. Anyone with any sense of empathy should conclude that creating another being that will have suffering inflicted upon them, day in and day out, until it finally overwhelms them and they die, is clearly not the right thing to do. It's cruel and unnecessary. But most people are deluded about the value of their lives. They are masters of pollyannaism, or just genuinely lack empathy. Some of the reasons people have children are downright shocking. "So someone will care for me in my old age", "to save my marriage", "to get money from the government". And then there's people who do it unthinkingly, because that's the thing that you do. You become an adult, you find a partner, you have children and settle down. And so they do that, because that's the thing that you do. thedoxa.

    Life consists of nothing more than a struggle away from suffering, and brief respites from suffering by forgetting you exist, essentially. Losing oneself into a moment, or a sensation. That's it. We delude ourselves by perpetually imagining the future better than it will be in reality. We imagine happiness ahead, we don't really understand that we'll never reach the future, we'll always be here, presently suffering and struggling. And then one day our bodies will be lethally harmed, or give out, and we will die.

    Humour and laughter is an important and effective counter to suffering. It's probably the best way to deal/respond to it. Find a way to keep laughing, try not to get too depressed.
  • How to reconcile the biology of sense organs with our sensory perceptions?
    Here's how to reconcile them: Biological sense organs are nothing but a particular type of sense-perception.

    That was easy.

    If you press on the side of your eye, your vision doubles. If you lose your eyes, you become blind, losing your tongue means you can't taste anything. If you lose all your sense organs/brain, then presumably you cease to have perceptions altogether and die. There's clearly something special about sense organs, that I don't think can simply be explained by saying that what clearly looks like a casual relationship between sense organs and perceptions is mere correlations of perceptions or coincidence. As in, it's just a correlation that one loses their taste perception after one loses their tongue, and there's no casual relationship between your tongue and your sense of taste. There's something deeper going on than that. I suppose I cannot prove this 100% though, but neither can we about a lot of things and yet we still believe it (eg, that I am talking to another conscious person through this forum).
  • Suicide and hedonism
    What about just "I am suffering, therefore suicide."

    Seems perfectly logical. Everyone still living is blue-pilled as fuck.
  • Early essay on Cyrenaic ethics and epistemology
    All I am arguing is that if for the sake of argument we grant that such a simulation, indistinguishable from real life were possible, then we would be able to choose whether to partake or not; and that the choices we make could arguably depend on our preferred model of ethics.John

    But if it was truly subjectively indistinguishable, it would just be a choice between continuing to experience the suffering of real life, or for your real life experience to become far more pleasurable. Almost everyone would pick the latter. To know that it's a simulated world you're entering is for it to not be subjectively distinguishable (because the two worlds are distinguished into simulated and real).
  • Early essay on Cyrenaic ethics and epistemology
    The thing is that if you believe pleasure machine experiences could be subjectively indistinguishable from real life experiences, then you at the very least are an epistemological solipsist.

    What you are saying is that you could subtract minds from your experience of others and literally nothing would change experientially. And the only way this could be is if you exist in your own private 'experience world'. Which entails epistemological solipsism, because you can't know other minds exist.

    And if the pleasure machine experience could be subjectively indistinguishable from real life experience, it therefore must go both ways - real life experience could be subjectively indistinguishable from simulated experience. And if that's the case, how do you even know you're in real life, and not the simulated experience world?

    The problem here is thinking that your experience is caused by your brain.
  • How to reconcile the biology of sense organs with our sensory perceptions?
    Lets say physiological sense organs/nervous systems give rise/cause this experience that you are presently undergoing.

    But the problem here is that our physiological sense organs are only known about through perception. So, your eyes and brain are causing your visual perception of seeing this screen. But what am I actually referring to here with "eyes" and "brain"? I say that what my physiological eye is, to me, is experiential. I can touch it, I feel myself moving it, I see it in the mirror, and I read and learn about it's function. Nothing about my understanding, and conception of my physiological eye is anything which transcends my experience. And yet this is precisely what the physiological eye must be in order it to be causing my visual perceptions. Otherwise you are in the situation where the cause is the effect. The eye causes it's own physiological existence.

    So what I am saying is there nothing about a physiological organ which goes beyond experience. And so, if the physiological eye is causing your visual perceptions, then eg in the case of looking in the mirror at your eyes, your eyes are causing the very existence of themselves. Because you look in the mirror at a physiological eye. And how you look is through visual perception, which is itself caused by the physiological eye (among other things).So here, your perception has created your eyes own physiological existence to you.

    Can things be the both a cause and an effect? Can they cause themselves? Seems incoherent.
  • The Paradox of Purpose
    So then I ask, what is it about our species that we keep putting more people into the world if we can reflect upon procreation itself, and even choose to stop the process. All the X reasons that are used when self-reflected upon (in other words not just "accidents" which themselves could have been avoided easily), are absurd when taken as reasons in and of themselves. I just chose "redemption" because that answer is a great example of what does not even need to occur in the first place if humans were not born. Redemption does not need to take place if there is no one to exist who needs redeeming. So what is it about the human project, that it has to be carried forth? What are we doing here that we need to be here? And again, if you answer that with any X reason, that reason can be taken to its logical end where it becomes an absurdity because it becomes circular logic.schopenhauer1

    No argument here. I'm never having children either, life is full of suffering and it would br immoral to inflict it upon someone who can't consent, and whose only escape if he doesn't appreciate the 'gift' is to violently, lethally harm his body until he's dead, causing suffering for everyone around who cares about him.

    Personally, I used to care about antinatalism a lot. I believed there was a great moral imperative to prevent babies from being brought into the world. What could more important than to bring about the cessation of suffering entirely? What an opportunity this generation has, to completely end all human suffering, and the only thing we need do is choose not to do something. But I just don't care about it as much anymore. It's not my suffering that's being created, it really doesn't affect me at all. Other people will always choose to breed, there's really no stopping it (unless you invent some biological weapon which sterilizes the entire world), and it seems most people born basically delude themselves into thinking life's great and they weren't harmed by birth. Does it really matter that much if the are born? They themselves don't even think they were harmed, so why even care that they actually were?

    Why actually care about the hypothetical suffering of non-existent babies? Would your life actually improve in any way if you convinced people not to breed?
  • Early essay on Cyrenaic ethics and epistemology
    Secondly, we learn from a very young age that instant gratification in all things tends to lead to very bad results. I could empty my bank account right now, max out my credit cards, and have a rip roaring time today. But I know that I will be regretting and paying for that decision for weeks to come. So I employ some modicum of self-control.Marchesk

    Does this actually make sense though, to defer current pleasure for future ones?

    The only time pleasure can ever be experienced is now. When you defer the possibility of experiencing pleasure now, so that you may experience greater pleasure in the future, I'm not sure you are actually better off. I think this kind of deferring is motivated by seeing pleasure as a sort of quantitative thing. Whereby drinking alcohol on Monday morning you experience say 5 pleasure units, but on Friday night you will experience 12 pleasure units. And so there's more intrinsic goodness on Friday than Monday. But, this is not the case. Pleasure = intrinsically good, and good is good. There can be no greater intrinsic 'goodness' when it's the very same thing in both cases (pleasure). Sure, you may prefer Heroin over Meth, but that doesn't mean Heroin is more intrinsically good. Intrinsic goodness is an all or nothing thing, and not a scale.

    Life exists only presently, so pleasures are only experienced now. So to hold off on reaching one's goal (intrinsic 'goodness'), so that you can reach the exact same goal 4 days from now is nonsensical. You could have just not waited and reached the very same goal.
    Also, you will never actually get to the future anyway as you never leave the present. The future pleasure you are deferring your possible current pleasurable experience towards will never actually be experienced by you. The future, where you think the greater pleasure experience will be perpetually remains ahead of you. You'll always be deferring towards it. The only time you can possibly experience pleasure is right now. It's like sitting on a donkey with a carrot in your hand ready to eat it, and then putting the carrot on a stick and holding it in front of the donkey because you think you'll be better off when you catch up to it. Intrinsic goodness is intrinsic goodness - it's all or nothing, and not a scale. Something is not more i intrinsically good than another intrinsically good thing.

    So, an example. You find alcohol pleasurable, but it's Monday morning. You have the choice to a) drink the alcohol right now and feel pleasure, or b) defer the present experience of pleasurable drunkenness until Friday night because you believe it will be more pleasurable then (because eg, you might be with friends, or you wont have to worry about working hungover the next day). What do you pick?
    You could have experienced what's intrinsically good right now, but you chose not to for 4 days so that you can experience what's intrinsically good then. All deferring pleasure is, is you choosing not to do a pleasurable action. Nothing is achieved, you don't actually gain anything.

    It's seems warranted on the face of it to balk at this idea of not really planning ahead, but when analysed logically, it makes sense. All deferring to a future, greater experience of pleasure achieves, is to miss an opportunity to experience what's good in life. You missed out on experiencing pleasure for 4 days so that you can finally presently experience pleasure. Well what was the point of that, when you can just presently experience intrinsic goodness right now? Which is the only time you could ever feel pleasure anyway. Pleasure is always experienced presently, so deferring an opportunity for a present experience of pleasure until a future time is pointless, all you've done is chosen not to feel the good in life for 4 days. All so that you can in 4 days do nothing greater than what you could have done now - experience the good in life. Why wait?
  • Problematic scenario for subjective idealism
    I don't know why this fallacy keeps repeating itself. There's a difference between "to be is to be perceived" and "to be is to be perceived by me". You can't go from the former to "others are exhausted by my perception of them".Michael

    Yeah but the default position is realism, and one generally comes to idealsim through epistemic concerns about realism. And so it only seems logical that the epistemic concern will follow a natural progression from external world -> ideal world -> my ideal world. Otherwise you don't have epistemic concerns in general, you just have epistemic concerns about the material world.

    I mean sure, a subjective idealist can just dogmatically assert the existence of other minds, even though he does not perceive them himself. But it's kind of non-nonsensical to do this, along with bad philosophy.
  • Problematic scenario for subjective idealism
    In any case, the OP is an example of many of the kinds of objections that Berkeley's imagined opponents came up with in his dialogues. He didn't address the 'drugged water pitcher' scenarioWayfarer

    I believe OP is arguing against a subjective idealism where the only minds that exist are human minds (and possibly, some animals). Whereas the drugged water for Berkeley's idealism continues to be 'held' in existence by the mind of god. His whole argument makes no sense if he's arguing against Berkeley.
  • How to reconcile the biology of sense organs with our sensory perceptions?
    (This by the way is how to understand Kant's distinction between 'discursive' and 'intellectual' intuition: Kant's theory of the in-itself has nothing to do with the vulgar idea that there is a world that is 'beyond' perception in the sense that it has perceptual qualities that we cannot know. Rather, the in-itself is aperceptual, it has qualities which have nothing to do with perception, and that is why it will remain a 'thing-in-itself'. It is not that there are parts of the world that are 'beyond knowledge', as if a superior, non-human, or divine knowledge could grasp it, but that the very idea of knowledge is no longer applicable to certain aspects of the world, that is is a simple 'category error' to say we can know such and such beyond our experience of it. This is why Kant remained an empirical realist no less than he was a 'transcendental idealist').StreetlightX

    Then doesn't this do away with the notion of anything causing our perceptions altogether?

    What's causing our perceptions is a 'thing-in-itself' (if it's perceptual, then our sense organs are literally the cause of their own existence), but if knowledge doesn't apply to 'things-in-themselves', then it makes no sense to say they cause our perceptions. So the whole notion of perception having some cause dissolves.
  • Early essay on Cyrenaic ethics and epistemology
    Actually, my suffering analogy is wrong. Think of it as like 6 hands stuck in the fish tank holding heat lamps. So, the beetle doesn't strive away from the heat in any aimless direction, rather, his path ahead is shaped by avoiding the other areas of heat/suffering caused by the other heat lamps. The beetle tries to walk in whatever direction has the least amount of heat, which constantly changes because as it walks, the heat lamps move as well. Also note, the hands get in each others way, so the heat lamps can't just converge into a single circle of heat following the beetle. His path is always shaped by avoiding suffering.

    The beetle is like a river, trying to take the path of least resistance. The rivers course is guided by whatever forces conform it's direction.

    Yes I realize that at this point the analogy has become far too complicated to be worthwhile and I might as well have just talked about suffering directly. Lol.