• Aryamoy Mitra
    156
    Here are three, foundational presuppositions - that underlie this thread (they may be erroneous - feel free to falsify them).

    1) Rationalizing one's existence is arduous and painful, and there are no unequivocal answers - only uncomfortable, and affirming ones.

    2) Rationalizing one's existence, can only be undertaken with a finite set of constraints (time, mainly) - rendering that one can't philosophize endlessly, before convening on a decision.

    3) That a decision or appraisal emerges, after some length of time, is what accords all meaning to the exercise (to commence with).

    In light of these three propositions (if you accept them), is it at all worth rationalizing one's being? If not, you're no longer examining your life. If you do, you're likely embarking on an inexhaustible venture.
  • Zophie
    176
    To me rationalization is where a belief-seeking agent selects the conceptual framework which best supports the information. Why pick the arduous and painful paradigm when there are in principle an infinite number of hypotheses that can support any given observation?
  • baker
    1k
    In light of these three propositions (if you accept them), is it at all worth rationalizing one's being? If not, you're no longer examining your life. If you do, you're likely embarking on an inexhaustible venture.Aryamoy Mitra
    It seems that one cannot not attempt to rationalize one's existence, so it's moot as to whether it's worth to rationalize one's existence or not.

    Who decides whether x amount of self-examination is not enough and so still falls under "the unexamined life" which is, purportedly, not worth living?
  • javi2541997
    595
    ), is it at all worth rationalizing one's being?Aryamoy Mitra

    Despite the fact as you good explained previously that is painful rationalising one’s being, I guess it is worthy because at least we are more open minded. I rather live in a serious pain in my mind/awareness when I acquire then sense about myself.
    It is true that all of those who never thought about this fact tend to be more happy because they do not think about all of the issues. Nevertheless, I guess it is worst living in a blind life than painful real one.
    But this is just my thought...
  • javi2541997
    595
    Why pick the arduous and painful paradigm when there are in principle an infinite number of hypotheses that can support any given observation?Zophie

    Could be but in the long run or most of the times the paradigm of pain tend to be in the most of the cases.
  • Zophie
    176
    Seek a fairer game. Most are rigged with traps for honest people.
  • javi2541997
    595
    Seek a fairer game. Most are rigged with traps for honest people.Zophie

    Good quote :up: :100:
  • TheMadFool
    9.1k
    I don't quite get what you mean by rationalizing. To my knowledge, that term carries a negative connotation viz. the tendency to attribute one's actions to reasons that are better, therefore more easily accepted by our egos, than the real, usually embarrassing, reasons for them.

    This kind of rationalizing takes place, as I'm led to believe, at the subconscious level, under our radar and therefore goes unnoticed. It makes one feel good so I don't get how rationalizing can be "arduous and painful".
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.6k
    If not, you're no longer examining your life.Aryamoy Mitra



    Don't know what you mean by "rationalizing." If you refer to seeking an explanation or justification of your existence, I don't think you examine your life by doing so. Your life is what you do and what happens to you as a living part of the universe, and it's quite possible to examine that without pondering why you exist.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156


    I don't quite get what you mean by rationalizing. To my knowledge, that term carries a negative connotation viz. the tendency to attribute one's actions to reasons that are better, therefore more easily accepted by our egos, than the real, usually embarrassing, reasons for them.

    This kind of rationalizing takes place, as I'm led to believe, at the subconscious level, under our radar and therefore goes unnoticed. It makes one feel good so I don't get how rationalizing can be "arduous and painful".
    TheMadFool

    Admittedly, the term bears the negative connotation you've discussed - and it wasn't at the forefront of my mind, whilst creating this thread. Nonetheless, here's what I was suggesting:

    By rationalizing their life, I'm implying that an individual seek and locate an underlying rationale, or a set of rationales that can engender, justify and/or demonstrate the proposition that their life is meaningful - therefore according them reason to continually exist, or an affirmation to their own being. For example, if one were a hedonist - they might instantly invoke that premise, to strive towards a life of mitigating sentient suffering, or maximizing the converse.

    What I'm positing, is that if this process were undertaken in a manner that wasn't perfunctory - with sustained chains of reasoning - it'd almost certainly be arduous (since one might discover about themselves, or their being truths they'd rather not), and without an unequivocal end.



    Don't know what you mean by "rationalizing." If you refer to seeking an explanation or justification of your existence, I don't think you examine your life by doing so. Your life is what you do and what happens to you as a living part of the universe, and it's quite possible to examine that without pondering why you exist.Ciceronianus the White

    Do read my reply to TheMadFool's inquiry, if that elucidates what the intended implications of the term were, under this thread. One can examine their life without being pensive over its necessity, but refraining from any contemplation in that regard is antithetical to all philosophy - isn't it? Why assess the structural or metaphysical underpinnings of your life, if you aren't trying to decipher or extract a meaning from it? One can synthesize an epistemic conclusion from the former, but hardly apprehend a motive without the latter.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156


    To me rationalization is where a belief-seeking agent selects the conceptual framework which best supports the information. Why pick the arduous and painful paradigm when there are in principle an infinite number of hypotheses that can support any given observation?Zophie

    If one is consolidating every hypothesis with an equal sincerity, in order to explicate a specific truth, then they will - after an inevitable length of time, chance across a disconcerting one. Many of them may even be veracious in contradistinction to other, far more palatable alternatives.

    Seek a fairer game. Most are rigged with traps for honest people.Zophie

    That's a profound tenet, but it's also amenable to being evaluated. For example, in order to rationalize that motive, one may have to axiomatize a greater precedence to honesty, over falsity. If one seeks to rationalize it any further, they'll find themselves in the quandary of having to reverse-trace where that precedence stems from - which might engender introspective, but nonetheless upsetting statements (eg: an empiricist and atheist reverse-tracing a moral construct, to an unchallenged doctrinal belief).
  • Joshs
    1.2k
    one can't philosophize endlessly, before convening on a decision.Aryamoy Mitra
    That a decision or appraisal emerges, after some length of time, is what accords all meaning to the exercise (to commence with).Aryamoy Mitra
    you're likely embarking on an inexhaustible venture.Aryamoy Mitra
    is it at all worth rationalizing one's being?Aryamoy Mitra

    You make it sound like profound life meanings are some finite set of propositions that we either grasp or fail to grasp.

    Let me offer two suppositions to counter your argument. First, if ‘rationalizing one’s existence’ is going to have any significance to one’s actually lived life, it will have to centrally involve insights concerning improving one’s understanding of and empathy with other people.

    Second, such insights are not a matter of adequation with reality, but with production of reality , which is a developmental process, meaning every step, however small , along the way can benefit one enormously in getting along with others ( and oneself), and thereby enriching one’s capacity for joy. So you better get started. Think how much time you’ve wasted thinking you needed to hand in a completed report! If it makes you feel any better , all of us , whether philosopher or not, is in a sense ‘rationalizing our life’ every day we live.

    Our day to day behavior is the posing of questions that our subsequent experience either validates or invalidates, causing us to re-evaluate our sense of the world as we progress through it. This rationalizing need not be in propositional form, but it may make you happier to articulate it this way if you have a predilection for analytic philosophy.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.6k
    One can examine their life without being pensive over its necessity, but refraining from any contemplation in that regard is antithetical to all philosophy - isn't it? Why assess the structural or metaphysical underpinnings of your life, if you aren't trying to decipher or extract a meaning from it?Aryamoy Mitra

    I like to think that philosophy has something to do with being reasonable, and I think being reasonable leads me, and should lead others, to consider the assumption being made. That assumption is that our existence must be necessary in some way, for some reason, and so must in turn have some special meaning, some special purpose. That's quite an assumption given that we're each one of several billion creatures living on a speck in an unimaginably vast universe. It would seem more reasonable to think that we merely are, and haven't come into being to meet a particular need of the universe or achieve a particular goal preset for us by fate.

    That said, we may examine ourselves and the world around us and make intelligent judgments regarding what it is we should do and how we should live, as a part of living. We need not have come into existence for a particular reason to do that.
  • Manuel
    315
    1) Rationalizing one's existence is arduous and painful, and there are no unequivocal answers - only uncomfortable, and affirming ones.

    2) Rationalizing one's existence, can only be undertaken with a finite set of constraints (time, mainly) - rendering that one can't philosophize endlessly, before convening on a decision.

    3) That a decision or appraisal emerges, after some length of time, is what accords all meaning to the exercise (to commence with).

    In light of these three propositions (if you accept them), is it at all worth rationalizing one's being?
    Aryamoy Mitra

    Well, there's a lot here to talk about. I very much like, and have vividly felt, your second proposition. That we are pressed for time in coming up appropriate judgements and reactions is a big problem. I'm unsure if an infinite amount of time would make it better, because then we'd simply postpone everything, but the time factor is crucial.

    In order to give a better reply to what your asking, I'd have to know a little bit more about what you mean when you say "rationalizing one's existence". Would this imply passing judgments on oneself, or does it imply trying to give adequate reasons for having done X or y? Or is it something in between, or is something else?

    Absent a clearer idea of what type of thing you have in mind, I'd guess that thinking about oneself is OK so far as it makes you better, in some very broad manner. Otherwise, the option remaining here would be to conclude that most of the time you think about yourself, you feel like crap, so why exist?

    I don't think we need be that severe on ourselves. We really, really have to get red of the idea of "role models", Gandhi, King, etc., etc. Such people did acts of supreme good and helped many people reach a more just society, but they had significant negative aspects about them. I'm not suggesting that you should not find a person or persons you admire, but keep in mind we're all human.

    That's my general view, unless I'm missing something important.
  • Tom Storm
    714
    ) Rationalizing one's existence is arduous and painful, and there are no unequivocal answers - only uncomfortable, and affirming ones.Aryamoy Mitra

    I wouldn't accept that it is painful or arduous. I wouldn't accept that there are only uncomfortable or affirming ones. Plenty of ideas are simply there without particular value. And sometimes the value only emerges with time.

    Rationalizing one's existence, can only be undertaken with a finite set of constraints (time, mainly) - rendering that one can't philosophize endlessly, before convening on a decision.Aryamoy Mitra

    Sure, so? Are you simply trying to say that getting to the bottom of things is impossible with a time limit so at some point you have to act? I agree that time is limited and that action is preferable over analysis paralysis.

    3) That a decision or appraisal emerges, after some length of time, is what accords all meaning to the exercise (to commence with).Aryamoy Mitra

    Not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean that actions decided upon give the exercise its meaning? If so that's not particularly surprising.


    Is all this because you are anxious not to fuck up in life and mean to ponder all proposed steps before taking them?

    I am personally not a fan of analysis and it seems to be a particular trap of the fearful. When things go wrong you will know. You often know before they go wrong. Just get on with it and you will find in action all that you need. Mistakes are a part of life and often the best part. There are happy accidents and there are mistakes you learn from. Reflection occasionally is useful but don't over do it. If you have mental health issues or problematic substance misuse then counselling or a support group will be a better path.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156


    In order to give a better reply to what your asking, I'd have to know a little bit more about what you mean when you say "rationalizing one's existence". Would this imply passing judgments on oneself, or does it imply trying to give adequate reasons for having done X or y? Or is it something in between, or is something else?Manuel

    Thanks, for your cogently written answer.

    Insofar as 'rationalizing one's existence' is concerned, here's the definition I conveyed to TheMadFool. Do apprise me if you concur with it; I'm aware that conventionally, the term is used in a different context (this was pinpointed afterwards).

    By rationalizing their life, I'm implying that an individual seek and locate an underlying rationale, or a set of rationales that can engender, justify and/or demonstrate the proposition that their life is meaningful - therefore according them reason to continually exist, or an affirmation to their own being. For example, if one were a hedonist - they might instantly invoke that premise, to strive towards a life of mitigating sentient suffering, or maximizing the converse.

    Now, in order to attain a conclusion - they might (prospectively) commence with justifying individual behaviors (as you've cited), acts and sentiments - and then integrating them, if plausible, into a larger mode of being.

    In most instances, this would imply passing judgments on oneself, since introspection will inevitably lead to some form of self-appraisal. If possible, it might also entail drawing forth reasons for separate actions - both before, and after engaging in them.

    I don't think we need be that severe on ourselves. We really, really have to get red of the idea of "role models", Gandhi, King, etc., etc. Such people did acts of supreme good and helped many people reach a more just society, but they had significant negative aspects about them. I'm not suggesting that you should not find a person or persons you admire, but keep in mind we're all human.Manuel

    Exactly. So perhaps, by refuting infallible idols altogether - one might be less critical of themselves while self-rationalizing, which can consequently lower the strain of having to confront one's inadequacies. Is that what you're suggesting?
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156


    I wouldn't accept that it is painful or arduous. I wouldn't accept that there are only uncomfortable or affirming ones. Plenty of ideas are simply there without particular value. And sometimes the value only emerges with time.Tom Storm

    Several ideas reside without a particular value (or an ambivalent one), but when introspecting - isn't one bound to ascribe qualitative attributes to them? If one doesn't, wouldn't they cease to advance any intelligible line of reasoning, since they'd abnegate all precedence orders? For example, when construing their own value hierarchies, wouldn't an individual be inclined to discover - or even conjure - propensities to previously unknown values, before favoring them?

    Sure, so? Are you simply trying to say that getting to the bottom of things is impossible with a time limit so at some point you have to act? I agree that time is limited and that action is preferable over analysis paralysis.Tom Storm

    Yes, that is precisely what I mean. If one is being thoroughly analytic, they might not be able to act - invariably - with sufficiently generated, thorough conclusions. Being overly analytic does bear that logistical constraint, which is why rationalizations can be impractical (on occassion).

    Not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean that actions decided upon give the exercise its meaning? If so that's not particularly surprising.Tom Storm

    Whatever statement (or appraisal/conclusion) a singular rationalization results in, may or may not entail an act - but if a conclusion doesn't even exist, then the underlying attempt at rationalization will have been rendered meaningless. That's what I mean. You're right; it may be a truism.

    Is all this because you are anxious not to fuck up in life and mean to ponder all proposed steps before taking them?

    I am personally not a fan of analysis and it seems to be a particular trap of the fearful. When things go wrong you will know. You often know before they go wrong. Just get on with it and you will find in action all that you need. Mistakes are a part of life and often the best part. There are happy accidents and there are mistakes you learn from. Reflection occasionally is useful but don't over do it. If you have mental health issues or problematic substance misuse then counselling or a support group will be a better path.
    Tom Storm

    I concur entirely with your assertions; serendipity, novelty and chaotic uncertainty is necessary. Personally, I don't believe that fixating on propositional chains of reasoning is of a tremendous utility, either; I do believe, nonetheless, that being analytic to a substantive extent is necessary - both in the practical attainments of one's life, and in deriving/extracting meanings from it. I'm sure that there are multiplicities of epistemic philosophies that are non-analytic, and equally incentivizing; being systematically reflective, nevertheless, may be both time-efficient (again, if the constraints discussed above are in principle discounted) and self-reinforcing.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156


    Thanks for these criticisms; I can't really rebut them.

    As I've iterated to Tom Storm, there are a plethora of misgivings against premeditating one's self-reflections; one needs to 'live' more vividly and less intermittently than they need to (or are able to) 'rationalize living'.
  • Manuel
    315

    As you describe it, that's a very difficult question to answer in a straightforward manner, in the sense that this seems to me to be individual dependent. Not that thinking about yourself in a group context is wrong or anything like that, but simply that you can only try to influence your behavior and thoughts.

    I think one can try to pass judgements on oneself on occasion, but not too frequently, because in my experience it tends to paralyze or sends me into circular thinking that doesn't do anyone any good, neither me nor the goals or ideas I may want to concretize. As strange as it may sound, I think that the question of rationalizing one's existence in relation to the idea of life being meaningful need not be connected at all. Which is to say that, you should do what you consider to be correct under your own understanding irrespective of the meaning you think your life has.

    If you start with the premise that your life must have some meaning, intrinsic meaning that is, you are adding an extra burden to what already is a very difficult situation for anyone, as it brings forth the idea that you must do X, Y or Z for your life to have had any meaning at all. But what if X, Y or Z aren't attainable or your interest change or your views change? If you don't manage to fulfill any of your pre-established goals, then by definition you're going to conclude your life is a failure. I don't see how that helps you.

    As for the idols, yes, that's more or less the idea. Comparing yourself to others is often a big mistake. Each person has there own baggage and there are things you simply can't do that others can do, and vice versa.
  • Possibility
    2k
    Great response, Josh. :up:
  • TaySan
    187
    Imagine waking up blind. You'd be in the same sheer panic as the day you were born. When you first saw the light. This is because of a sudden loss of sense. Your ratio.

    But perhaps you mean the difference between active and passive rationalization. I try to balance ugly truths with pretty much anything pleasant. Some times it works better than others. But life can be beautiful. And it certainly will get better than this pandemic. :)
  • TheMadFool
    9.1k
    Admittedly, the term bears the negative connotation you've discussed - and it wasn't at the forefront of my mind, whilst creating this thread. Nonetheless, here's what I was suggesting:

    By rationalizing their life, I'm implying that an individual seek and locate an underlying rationale, or a set of rationales that can engender, justify and/or demonstrate the proposition that their life is meaningful - therefore according them reason to continually exist, or an affirmation to their own being. For example, if one were a hedonist - they might instantly invoke that premise, to strive towards a life of mitigating sentient suffering, or maximizing the converse.

    What I'm positing, is that if this process were undertaken in a manner that wasn't perfunctory - with sustained chains of reasoning - it'd almost certainly be arduous (since one might discover about themselves, or their being truths they'd rather not), and without an unequivocal end.
    Aryamoy Mitra

    Oh! It first looked like you were taking us down the path of the Socratic examined life but what you actually want to say is that the quest to discover the meaning of life is either going to end sad - no such luck - or going to end bad - you won't like what you find. I share your sentiment, all gloom and doom as it is but I wouldn't go so far as to say that such misery as this applies to each and every person without the possibility of a few pleasant surprises in the form of exceptions to this rather depressing rule. If I've learnt anything from my life it's this - be a cynic and it'll do you good but, every now and then, definitely even if rarely, you'll meet people - probably dumb or a wolf in sheep's clothing, doesn't matter - who'll make you wanna rethink your attitude. I digress but my point is to stick to your guns regarding your views on the meaning of life - the prognosis doesn't look good - but do expect some outliers, there usually are a few.
  • baker
    1k
    One can examine their life without being pensive over its necessity, but refraining from any contemplation in that regard is antithetical to all philosophy - isn't it? Why assess the structural or metaphysical underpinnings of your life, if you aren't trying to decipher or extract a meaning from it? One can synthesize an epistemic conclusion from the former, but hardly apprehend a motive without the latter.Aryamoy Mitra
    Philosophy is supposed to be love of wisdom.
    Wisdom should have something vitally to do with how one goes about one's daily life, 24/7.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156
    Philosophy is supposed to be love of wisdom.
    Wisdom should have something vitally to do with how one goes about one's daily life, 24/7.
    baker

    That's an agreeable statement. Don't you think, however, that deciphering a larger meaning can aid the living of one's life?
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156
    Imagine waking up blind. You'd be in the same sheer panic as the day you were born. When you first saw the light. This is because of a sudden loss of sense. Your ratio.

    But perhaps you mean the difference between active and passive rationalization. I try to balance ugly truths with pretty much anything pleasant. Some times it works better than others. But life can be beautiful. And it certainly will get better than this pandemic. :)
    TaySan

    Let's hope it does.

    We've traversed great distances, but it's almost as though our lives are analogous to scaling a metaphorical hill that's increasingly uphill.
  • baker
    1k
    That's an agreeable statement. Don't you think, however, that deciphering a larger meaning can aid the living of one's life?Aryamoy Mitra
    That assumes that there exists a "larger meaning" and that one only needs to "decipher" it.
    Based on what should one assume that (or better yet: take it for granted)?
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156

    Deciphering wasn't perhaps a wise choice, then.
    There doesn't have to a priori exist a 'larger meaning'; one can conjure it on their own.
  • TaySan
    187
    I never experienced life that way. You know, there always have been problems on Earth. And there probably always will to some degree. The question for me is: Can I make my life worth living? Regardless of what the rest of existence does.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    In light of these three propositions (if you accept them), is it at all worth rationalizing one's being? If not, you're no longer examining your life. If you do, you're likely embarking on an inexhaustible venture.Aryamoy Mitra

    You have a choice?
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156
    Wait, don't we all have one? Electing to underpin your being with a rationale(s) is voluntary, isn't it?
  • Banno
    11.6k
    So you could continue on without further rationalising?

    Well, go for it.

    I couldn't.
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