• dog
    89
    Do you think it is short sighted to think that the good moods mean that life must be good? Can evaluation be separated from mood? If not, why not?schopenhauer1

    To be clear there is a continuity of personality through moods. A good mood doesn't wipe out years of linguistic and physical habit. But a person in love can be terrified of death as nothingness. They can be terrified that the species will go extinct and the experience of being in love (and so on) lost forever. Reproduction is our flight from death. Sexual love is arguably our sweetest pleasure. No big surprise that this kind of system would be evolved.

    And in a truly bad mood that sees life as a net evil, the fear is that we won't go extinct. I may escape to the grave, but I am also in the others not yet born. Occasionally there's a story about a parent killing their kids and themselves. I can only understand this in terms of a depression that is (in its view) protecting the children from suffering. They all flee to death together. I remember a story where the parent was the father. He did the apparently evil dirty work. He took the guilt and evil on his shoulders to do the misunderstood good. As awful as the crime is, this is one of the more generous readings of the father's motives.

    Does mood justify bringing new people in existence? What is the point of more people experiencing life? If my premise is life is survival, comfort, finding entertainment- why should those things be experienced by yet a new person?schopenhauer1

    As above, the individual in a good mood values life. He or she wants to share the experience as a net good. If this person is abstract, he or she may want to give humanity more time. It's possible that most suffering will be eradicated. It's possible that our species is in its technological infancy. We can know start playing with our own code. We are close perhaps to leaving this planet. If we are still here a million years from now, then these times might be the stuff of scary bedtimes stories. But we can only get there is (foolish or not) we persevere. A hopeful (and abstract) person might find extra motivation in this.

    How about contingent harms? This would be the classical Western view of "good experience' and "bad experience". Why do the good experiences make up for the bad ones? What about the unforeseen bad experiences? What about the variables of people's psyches, physiology and circumstances that make some people prone to worse experiences than others?schopenhauer1

    Indeed. In a bad mood I tend to think of all the terrible stuff that could happen as well as the terrible stuff that will happen. I also feel for life's bigger losers (we're all at least small or medium sized losers). In a good mood I'm absorbed in the object or project. In this approximately neutral mood I can turn things around in my mind abstractly.

    You may not believe me, but I think I understand your position. I think I could argue from an approximation of it. But I could also argue the other side. In my life, my 'real' position varies with my mood. I may write the feel good novel of the year and then get depressed and hang myself. It's possible. The hanging wouldn't necessarily be any more definition of my true nature than the feel good novel. A final action doesn't necessarily have any extra weight, just as death-bed mumblings aren't the sum of a man's thinking. I've known artists whose art was joyful to kill themselves. I've known depressive types live to be old men. I think lots of artist types swing back and forth from higher Heavens to lower Hells.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.8k
    To be clear there is a continuity of personality through moods. A good mood doesn't wipe out years of linguistic and physical habit. But a person in love can be terrified of death as nothingness. They can be terrified that the species will go extinct and the experience of being in love (and so on) lost forever. Reproduction is our flight from death. Sexual love is arguably our sweetest pleasure. No big surprise that this kind of system would be evolved.

    And in a truly bad mood that sees life as a net evil, the fear is that we won't go extinct. I may escape to the grave, but I am also in the others not yet born. Occasionally there's a story about a parent killing their kids and themselves. I can only understand this in terms of a depression that is (in its view) protecting the children from suffering. They all flee to death together. I remember a story where the parent was the father. He did the apparently evil dirty work. He took the guilt and evil on his shoulders to do the misunderstood good. As awful as the crime is, this is one of the more generous readings of the father's motives.
    dog

    I'm going to reply here with a reply I had to Bitter Crank in another thread:

    People read into their happy emotions too easily. Sex happens at a time of optimal contentment. Feelings of oxytocin start pouring in and dopamine and all of a sudden every care in the world is washed away in ideas of future ideals of two parents and babies in household, etc.

    Let's back up though. What does my term of instrumentality really mean? It means that the world keeps turning, the universe keeps expanding, that energy keeps on transferring, and entropy keeps on its steady path. That is to say, that happiness is always on the horizon (hope swinging I mentioned in other posts). When goals are "obtained" are often not as good or too fleeting compared to the effort to get it (yes yes, eye roll eye roll... it's not the goal but the process to get there BS., not buying it..just slogans to make people not think about it).. we still need to maintain ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our comforts, our anxieties, our neuroses, our social lives, our intellectual minds, etc. etc. etc. It's all just energy put forth to keep maintaining ourselves, that does not stop until death. Why ALL of THIS WORK AND ENERGY? Does it really need to be started anew for a next generation?

    We really are living in the eternal twilight of Christian sentiments. There is "something" special that we are DOING here.. It all MEANS something to "FEEL" to "ACHIEVE" to "INTELLECTUALIZE" to "CONNECT".. all buzzwords of anchoring mechanisms to latch onto as our WILLFUL nature rushes forward, putting forth more energy but for to stay alive, keep occupied, and stay comfortable.. All the while being exposed to depridations, sickness, annoyances, and painful circumstances that inevitably befall us.. It doesn't NEED to be expanded to more people.

    Indeed. In a bad mood I tend to think of all the terrible stuff that could happen as well as the terrible stuff that will happen. I also feel for life's bigger losers (we're all at least small or medium sized losers). In a good mood I'm absorbed in the object or project. In this approximately neutral mood I can turn things around in my mind abstractly.

    You may not believe me, but I think I understand your position. I think I could argue from an approximation of it. But I could also argue the other side. In my life, my 'real' position varies with my mood. I may write the feel good novel of the year and then get depressed and hang myself. It's possible. The hanging wouldn't necessarily be any more definition of my true nature than the feel good novel. A final action doesn't necessarily have any extra weight, just as death-bed mumblings aren't the sum of a man's thinking. I've known artists whose art was joyful to kill themselves. I've known depressive types live to be old men. I think lots of artist types swing back and forth from higher Heavens to lower Hells.
    dog

    But again, should mood dictate evaluation of life. Is it possible to prevent suffering for future generations sans our own mood at the time of evaluation? It may be hard, but if the argument from structural and contingent suffering is taken into consideration, perhaps it can.

    Believe it or not, I get your point. In a good mood, you may lose perspective. Life seems to be going well, so why would I tempt fate by thinking of its negative qualities? This just belies our superstitious natures.. "Best not tempt the gods by thinking of the negatives, in the throes of my positive experience". I get it, man meets women, falls in love, doesn't understand why the world is so bad. Again, the question is can humans separate evaluations from their particular moods? You seem to be indicating that this is an absolute no.
  • dog
    89
    When goals are "obtained" are often not as good or too fleeting compared to the effort to get it (yes yes, eye roll eye roll... it's not the goal but the process to get there BS., not buying it..just slogans to make people not think about it).. we still need to maintain ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our comforts, our anxieties, our neuroses, our social lives, our intellectual minds, etc. etc. etc. It's all just energy put forth to keep maintaining ourselves, that does not stop until death. Why ALL of THIS WORK AND ENERGY? Does it really need to be started anew for a next generation?schopenhauer1

    This is an excellent description of a mode. I've been there, and I may be there again. But the slogans that this mood doesn't buy are the truth of another mode.

    We really are living in the eternal twilight of Christian sentiments. There is "something" special that we are DOING here.. It all MEANS something to "FEEL" to "ACHIEVE" to "INTELLECTUALIZE" to "CONNECT".. all buzzwords of anchoring mechanisms to latch onto as our WILLFUL nature rushes forward, putting forth more energy but for to stay alive, keep occupied, and stay comfortable.. All the while being exposed to depridations, sickness, annoyances, and painful circumstances that inevitably befall us.. It doesn't NEED to be expanded to more people.schopenhauer1

    This captures the religious/philosophical quest. It's a part-time though important game. That small part which is not dog seeks god.

    I can't see a clear distance from your position and a late version of this quest. Aren't 'life is suffering' and 'the world is evil' connected to our Christian heritage? Renouncing the evil will to live is an old-school spiritual mission, right? I can imagine a pessimist finding out he is going to die peacefully in his sleep that night and being annoyed that he hasn't finished his pessimist masterpiece.

    Ho do we get beyond words and poses? I think we have to look at actions to see beliefs. Some people will suffer greatly in order to survive a threat to their future. Others hang themselves in a situation that others from the outside consider the dream itself. You might call the first person the victim of an illusion. Others would call the other person the victim of an illusion. But who is neutral here?

    The project I'm immersed in as I write this involves something understanding as many perspectives as possible (breadth and flexibility of consciousness). I could boil this down further to the pursuit/maintenance of sex appeal and charisma. Philosophy 'should' make one a more beautiful animal, let's say. And sometimes the animal doesn't provide the raw material. Then philosophy helps one die. (That's the voice of a perspective. It sounds good now and might not later.)

    In a good mood, you may lose perspective.schopenhauer1

    Sure, you lose the perspective of the bad mood. And in the bad mood you lose the perspective of the good mood.

    A lazy but down-to-earth vision of science is (as said elsewhere) technology that works whether one believes in it or not. Philosophy and religion are still valuable to individuals, but I think their effectiveness depends on an emotional investment therein (on believing in them via action especially). This is itself the voice of a perspective. Defining science isn't the work of science. But it is a perspective that keeps its own fragility in mind and strives for expansion on one hand and adaptation on the other. [None of this matters to the person who really wants to die, though. It looks like everything 'rational' is grounded in the threat/promise of the future.]
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