• baker
    1k
    Can you provide an example of the kind of winner and situation you mean?Tom Storm
    For example, my neighbor, who cut into the slope our house is on, destabilized the terrain, so that our house is in danger of collapsing. As if that wasn't enough, he built the chimney and the AC exhaust right under our living room and bedroom windows. And he laughs!
    Lawsuits are so expensive that it's not worth taking him to court.
    He's the winner in this.

    - - -

    This doesn't follow at all. People routinely do things they think will make them happy and end up doing themselves more harm than good.Pantagruel
    Some do that, sure.

    I doubt very much that the majority people who live by the might makes right credo qualify as happy. Are bullies usually happy people?
    Of course. Look at their self-confidence, their smugness!
  • baker
    1k
    I've found that the Bungled and the Botched are also happy and live worthwhile, meaningful lives.Banno
    The question is, how do they do it?

    I mean, without resorting to religion, because a religion is not something that one could take up at will.

    SO I take it that the premise of this thread is fucked.
    How?
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Learn not to think of the world in terms of winners and losers. Go hang out with disabled folk for a while, or the terminally ill. Get some perspective.

    OR give some consideration to Solon and Croesus.
  • baker
    1k
    Since everybody is bringing Christianity into this discussion as the salvation for the powerless,Joshs
    Yes, Christianity tends to be portrayed that way, although I don't see why. Christians have pretty much always been in the position of power anyway.

    Christian piety arose as will to power becoming sickly and turning against itself, as a strategy of those who were oppressed to gain revenge against those who dominated them by elevating self-denial ( the ascetic ideal) to a primary principle.
    But how are Christians "denying themselves"? By not killing everyone they feel like killing?

    I suggest the terms of the OP’s query, in construing power as an opposition between those who are powerful and those who are powerless, already pre-suppose the ascetic ideal.
    I don't understand what you mean.

    How does, for example, pointing out that your boss has more power over you than you do over your boss, pre-suppose the ascetic ideal?

    - - -

    What do you mean by "right"? Winning something does not make one right. It simply makes one a winner.Harry Hindu
    What could be more important than winning??

    Just look at humans vs neanderthals. Who is now extinct?
    Everyone has to die at some point. This is not a consolation.
  • T H E
    147

    Your neighbors sound like assholes. If it is at all possible, even if it's a pain in the ass, you might want to move.
  • baker
    1k
    Your neighbors sound like assholes. If it is at all possible, even if it's a pain in the ass, you might want to move.T H E
    We can't insure or sell the house, it's been rendered worthless.
    Us moving would be just the final jewel in the crown of his victory.

    See, this is power: to be able to fuck someone up like that, legally. And still be a good Christian, a good person. Morally superior.
  • baker
    1k
    Yes. Non-religious "theories" that come to mind: Hellenic Cynicism, Epicureanism, Stoicism, Pyrrhonism ... Chinese Dàojiā ... Indian (non-Vedic) Śramaṇa tradition of e.g. Jainism, Buddhism, Charvaka ...180 Proof
    The latter are religions, and the former still require metaphysical hinge commitments that one cannot take up at will.

    (Or is philosophy, like history, written by victors?)
    The mainstream tradition of Western Philosophy (Plato-Aristotle-Aquinas + Descartes-Kant-Hegel) is "written by the victors" but there's always been counter-traditional writings by e.g. Hellenes, Nominalists, Immanentists (i.e. radical secularists), Freethinkers, Libertarians, Pragmat(ic)ists, Absurdists, etc ...
    Thanks, I'll have to look into those (I'm not yet familiar with all of them).

    - - -

    It makes right if it benefits you. Conquest, besting or outwitting another, or otherwise doing something you would not wish to be done to yourself, etc. If not, it's wrong. Criminal activity, terrorism, cheating, etc. Hypocrisy is a pledge one takes and a lifestyle one embraces, one that can be sustained with adequate numbers and resources, but if ever placed under impartial and non-biased scrutiny won't stand for much.Outlander
    There is no world court, no impartial and non-biased scrutiny.

    A man without a conscious is no man at all, just another beast of the Earth. They will busy themselves with worldly pleasures, material pursuits, and other vain pastimes until they expire, at which point another will surely take their place. Going through the motions of life absent of a conscious or empathy for one's fellow man, what do you have? A purposeless, transient being who knows only to steal, kill, and destroy. One who will never truly know the finer things in life that do not come with a price tag or physical value, for he will be too busy defending that which does, with mind, body, and soul. A life with little more compassion outside of that which serves the self.
    Or maybe that's an idle fantasy the losers tell themselves. Perhaps homo homini lupus is simply as good as it gets, and that's it.
    Sorry, I'd like to believe you; I used to think that way as well, until recent events made me radically reconsider my stance.
  • T H E
    147

    That truly sucks. I don't know if it's feasible to abandon ship and rent somewhere, but I'd be afraid that something like that would drive me to violence. I've had problematic neighbors but never on the level you describe. I can see how the 'good Christian' hypocrisy adds to the dismay and rage.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    The latter are religions, and the former still require metaphysical hinge commitments that one cannot take up at will.baker
    They each have non-religious sects or schools; as far as "metaphysical hinge commitments", those are matters of aesthetic taste (i.e. "the absolute" is in the third-eye of the beholder).
  • baker
    1k
    We have several cats who are used to the luxuries of having a considerable garden. Moving/renting would mean that we'd have to move to a much smaller place, having to find new homes for the cats, or killing them. And all this for the sake of pleasing the Christian capitalist. He is free to live as he pleases, while others are not.

    Here's the thing: What do situations like this tell us about the workings of the universe? My only conclusion so far is that might makes right.
  • Outlander
    1.1k
    There is no world court, no impartial and non-biased scrutiny.baker

    Oh but there's greater. It just hasn't been implemented here yet. So, yeah you're right.

    Or maybe that's an idle fantasy the losers tell themselves. Perhaps homo homini lupus is simply as good as it gets, and that's it.
    Sorry, I'd like to believe you; I used to think that way as well, until recent events made me radically reconsider my stance.
    baker

    Could be. So circumstance dictates your reality. And if something were to work in your favor or ever begin to support the premise, you'd jump ideological ships yet again. Yeah.. that's typically how it goes here. Perhaps, as the song goes, we're all just dust in the wind. A man should be firmly grounded in something, even as the tides rise and fall. But to each their own.
  • T H E
    147

    I think might just makes 'I can get away with this for now.' After all, if you really thought might = right, you'd have to acknowledge the virtue of your neighbor, whereas I think you'd like to beat his virtue out of him (I would want to in your shoes, and that's what would scare me, the fear that I'd snap and end up in prison, or dead by my own hand to evade prison.)

    I'd say not that might makes right but that the world is unfair, that nature is amoral, that sometimes the wicked prosper.
  • T H E
    147
    Perhaps, as the song goes, we're all just dust in the wind. A man should be firmly grounded in something, even as the tides rise and fall.Outlander

    I also feel that 'a man should be firmly grounded in something.' What is this drive toward to some kind of distance from the moment? I like Epictetus & Epicurus. What ideal person is at the center here? How can we keep off the ordinary madness? Be serene, magnanimous, a good citizen, a good friend ? Ain't that the game?
  • T H E
    147
    i.e. "the absolute" is in the third-eye of the beholder180 Proof

    :grin:
  • Banno
    11.6k
    His house is below yours, dug in?

    Must have some clever waterproofing.

    Wonder where the stormwater from you and your other neighbours runs.

    Just sayin'.
  • baker
    1k
    Could be. So circumstance dictates your reality. And if something were to work in your favor or ever begin to support the premise, you'd jump ideological ships yet again. Yeah.. that's typically how it goes here. Perhaps, as the song goes, we're all just dust in the wind. A man should be firmly grounded in something, even as the tides rise and fall. But to each their own.Outlander
    I haven't jumped ideological ships quite yet, but I do radically question what I have believed so far.
    It's that firm grounding that I'm looking for, something that will hold come rain or high water. I haven't found that yet.

    - - -

    I think might just makes 'I can get away with this for now.' After all, if you really thought might = right, you'd have to acknowledge the virtue of your neighbor --whereas I think you'd like to beat his virtue out of him (I would in your shoes, and that's what would scare me, the fear that I'd snap and end up in prison.)T H E
    I don't actually believe that might makes right -- but I fear it does. Because if you look at how the world usually works: the powerful do get to call the shots.

    I make a point of reading stories about survivors, to see if some useful insights can be gained on how to cope with adversity.
    In most stories I've seen so far, the person depended on religion. Religion isn't an option for me.
    Most others are really just about doing practical things, almost as if the hardship one is experiencing has nothing to do with the metaphysics of the workings of the universe. I find this peculiar and I suspect those personal accounts are holding back vital information, things that the survivor realized when coping with the hardship, but which they conspicuously refuse to share with others.
  • baker
    1k
    Thanks. Yes, thought about that. Unfortunately, the situation is such that the unmanaged storm water would cause damage to our house as well by risking a landslide. I'm actually in the process of reworking the whole drainage issue primarily to protect our house.
  • baker
    1k
    A few things you might want to read around: "ressentiment" in Nietzsche from the blowhards can use this to punch down angle. "bourgeoise morality" is a Marxoid concept for the blowhards to punch up with. The idea of a "justification narrative" is useful in that regard too.fdrake
    Okay, thanks, I looked up those. Not yet sure how they compute in all this.

    Also, a word of unsolicited advice, don't think you're above and untouched by these things just because you can recognise them for what they are. You're implicated, like I am. No values escape rhetorical context.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    Obviously, life lives off of life, life consumes life. Big fish eat the little fish. There isn't necessarily an evil motive in all this consumption, it's just beings trying to survive. And, of course, when a bigger being with bigger and more complex appetites tries to survive, the damage they do to others is much more than when smaller beings are just trying to survive. Such is the nature of life, such is the nature of consumption.

    This is what I sometimes think when I look out the window, and it gives me a small measure of peace.
  • T H E
    147
    In most stories I've seen so far, the person depended on religion. Religion isn't an option for me.
    Most others are really just about doing practical things, almost as if the hardship one is experiencing has nothing to do with the metaphysics of the workings of the universe. I find this peculiar and I suspect those personal accounts are holding back vital information, things that the survivor realized when coping with the hardship, but which they conspicuously refuse to share with others.
    baker

    That helps. I'm with you on the 'ideological crisis' inspired by misfortune that becomes its own second-layer on that misfortune. I'm also with you on religion not being an option (for some people it just isn't.)
    Maybe there is something that survivor's can't even find words for, perhaps because it's not conceptual. It's amazing and even disturbing what people can get used to (being 600 lbs, being paraplegic, cockroach-infested homes, working on the cutting line in a chicken processing plant, etc.) But all of these forms of inconvenience and discomfort aren't necessarily as bad as festering resentment. Yet there's something obscene about noble platitudes in the face of others' suffering, and that's why I suggest a more 'materialistic' approach. If things aren't quite bad enough so that you have to move, a gradual resignation to the shittiness of the situation seems like the only option. I guess I know that you already know this, and I wish had something better for you now and for me when things get bad in my life at some point, as they surely will, us being so damned fragile and stuck together down here. Hopefully it's a little comforting to have your suffering recognized. I guess that's a strategy I use, universalizing my trauma, squeezing what juice I can from it.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.1k
    What could be more important than winning??baker
    Being right.

    Just look at humans vs neanderthals. Who is now extinct?
    Everyone has to die at some point. This is not a consolation.
    baker
    Then your point is that no one ever actually wins?
  • baker
    1k
    What could be more important than winning??
    — baker
    Being right.
    Harry Hindu
    But who decides what being right is?

    Just look at humans vs neanderthals. Who is now extinct?
    Everyone has to die at some point. This is not a consolation.
    — baker
    Then your point is that no one ever actually wins?
    No, just that since everyone is subject to death anyway, death is nothing special, not a sign of failure.

    Becoming extinct is a failure in terms of a species. But dying, as an individual, is not failure, because everyone dies anyway.

    Looking at the topic matter from the perspective of the species is too general, given that we're talking about intraspecies competition, ie. person vs. person.
  • baker
    1k
    Maybe there is something that survivor's can't even find words for, perhaps because it's not conceptual. It's amazing and even disturbing what people can get used to (being 600 lbs, being paraplegic, cockroach-infested homes, working on the cutting line in a chicken processing plant, etc.) But all of these forms of inconvenience and discomfort aren't necessarily as bad as festering resentment.T H E
    Yes, the resentment festers.

    Yet there's something obscene about noble platitudes in the face of others' suffering, and that's why I suggest a more 'materialistic' approach. If things aren't quite bad enough so that you have to move, a gradual resignation to the shittiness of the situation seems like the only option.
    There is a point of no return. When one ventures on the path of resignating oneself to a shitty situation, there comes a point from whence on one cannot return to the human race anymore. A point from whence on one will never be accepted as an at least potentially worthy human being anymore. A point from whence on one cannot even conceive of oneself as an at least potentially worthy human being.
    Resentment, bad as it is, at least keeps one away from that path, or at least keeps one away from reaching that point of no return. That resentment is the last thing that binds one such person to humanity.

    I guess that's moral realism for the underdog.

    I guess I know that you already know this, and I wish had something better for you now and for me when things get bad in my life at some point, as they surely will, us being so damned fragile and stuck together down here. Hopefully it's a little comforting to have your suffering recognized. I guess that's a strategy I use, universalizing my trauma, squeezing what juice I can from it.
    Thanks.
  • baker
    1k
    They each have non-religious sects or schools;180 Proof
    What use is, for example, Buddhism without nirvana, karma, and rebirth (as the non-religious secular Buddhists would have it)? It's like a car without an engine.

    as far as "metaphysical hinge commitments", those are matters of aesthetic taste (i.e. "the absolute" is in the third-eye of the beholder).
    Oh. That's bold.
  • 180 Proof
    3.1k
    Ask a Ch'an/Zen practitioner. As the Buddha purportedly had taught his disciples

    Whether the world is finite or infinite, limited or unlimited, the problem of your liberation remains the same.

    Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.
    :fire:
    It's like a car without an engine
    On the contrary, it's more like a Pegasus without wings.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    So Jesus is an avatar for the Father.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.1k
    But who decides what being right is?baker
    Natural selection?

    No, just that since everyone is subject to death anyway, death is nothing special, not a sign of failure.

    Becoming extinct is a failure in terms of a species. But dying, as an individual, is not failure, because everyone dies anyway.
    baker
    99% of all species that have existed are now extinct. We could say the same for every individual that has existed.. Who's to say that all species are destined to become extinct like individuals are destined to die?
  • baker
    1k
    Ask a Chan/Zen practitioner. As the Buddha purportedly had taught his disciples180 Proof
    As far as the Pali suttas go, the Buddha taught nibbana, kamma, and rebirth.

    Whether the world is finite or infinite, limited or unlimited, the problem of your liberation remains the same.

    Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.
    Yes, the standard passage when one is looking for a thought-terminating cliche.

    Trying to turn the Buddha's teachings against themselves, by using one teaching to undermine another is inconsistent, to say the least.

    It's like a car without an engine
    On the contrary, it's more like a Pegasus without wings.
    A secularized version of Buddhism (ie. a Buddhism without nibbana, kamma, and rebirth) is a system of beliefs and practices that infantilizes the person who abides by them and keeps them on the level of good boy/good girl morality.
  • baker
    1k
    Natural selection?Harry Hindu
    In that case, the prospects for a theory of morality are rather hopeless, if we have to wait for "nature" to deliver the verdict. (We'll possibly be dead by then.)

    99% of all species that have existed are now extinct. We could say the same for every individual that has existed.. Who's to say that all species are destined to become extinct like individuals are destined to die?
    Unless one takes solace and salvation in being a member of a particular species, the above is irrelevant.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Is there a theory of how even the losers and the underdogs can have some peace of mind and some sense that their life is worth living?baker

    Philosophical pessemism..there is suffering in the world that is inevitable. Best never to have been. Prevent future suffering and form Communities of Catharsis to allow for communal venting and sense of not being the only sufferer. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps advice and Pollyanna moralizing not allowed.
  • baker
    1k
    That's going gently into that bad night.
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