• Noble Dust
    2k


    Oh come on, you're going to go into detailed responses to others, but ignore the small second paragraph of my response you so readily agreed with? The small paragraph that goes against your views?
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    Oh come on, you're going to go into detailed responses to others, but ignore the small second paragraph of my response you so readily agreed with? The small paragraph that goes against your views?Noble Dust

    What exactly do you want me to comment on? You said it is a matter of why we live, no? Do you want me to answer why we continue to live rather than commit suicide?
  • Bitter Crank
    4.7k
    Do you want me to answer why we continue to live rather than commit suicide?schopenhauer1

    Yes.
  • Noble Dust
    2k


    I want you to answer this:

    Which has nothing to say about why life should be lived, which is the implied question within your question. The recognition of the uncertainty and the insincerity are good starting points, however.Noble Dust
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k


    Assuming Bitter Crank is answering for Noble Dust- the pain of life is not so unbearable as to go against the biological instinct/enculturation of survival. This is not an indictment that life is therefore something which is necessary, too-good-not-to-continue, etc. etc.

    Also, may I add, that is the point- we are going by our nature based on our survival/maintenance/boredom motivations.. this is not a positive reason for existence, just what we do. Labels are put on after.

    I feel a classical notion is that we do stuff to compensate for other stuff.. I did this negative experience so I can experience this positive experience. See, isn't life worth it? I think it's more than this simple equation.
  • Noble Dust
    2k
    Assuming Bitter Crank is answering for Noble Dust-schopenhauer1

    He is not.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    I want you to answer this:Noble Dust

    I guess I am asking- is this about why we don't commit suicide?
  • Noble Dust
    2k


    No; re-read the first paragraph that you agreed with, and then the second short one that I assume you don't agree with.

    By detailing how I think we don't know why we live life, I wasn't specifically agreeing with you, but rather cutting to the chase of why I think you started this thread. But, in doing that, I was tacitly agreeing with you that we mainly don't know why we live life. Then, in the second short paragraph, I was emphasizing that the fact that we don't know why we live life says nothing about the implicit question of whether life is worth living, which I know you're getting at; or, as you put it, with your assumption, whether or not we should commit suicide.
  • dog
    89
    We are always hoping.. Everything on the horizon seems good- we swing from hope to hope, thinking that after this or that endeavor or long-term project, this will bring some salvation or answer.schopenhauer1

    'There is no joy in the tavern as on the road thereto' says a character in one of Cormac's novels. To truly feel on the way (the pleasure of anticipation) does seem like a genuine temporary salvation. That's another shade of meaning of instrumentalism. We are future-oriented problem solvers. Our hands and words serve as instruments (forceps) that give birth to a desired future. It's a platitude that we are often less satisfied than we expected. What comes to mind is a person who loves to be in love more than they love the individual object of love.

    Granted they are quibbles, but I think everything is really categorized in these ways very broadly. Survival-through-cultural-means, maintenance-through-cultural-means, fleeing-boredom-through-cultural means is really useful in understanding where we are coming from.schopenhauer1

    Don't get me wrong. It's a strong categorization. But here's an example of an objection. Boredom is not-being-in-love or being trapped in un-stimulating circumstances. It gives rise to a consciousness of futility. The feeling tone helps open up a thinking that justifies death. A person who's always 'in love' can't take nihilism/pessimism seriously. They can cognize the abstractions, but it's natural for them to advise the ultimately emotional retort: be fascinated as I am in a project and that futility vanishes. Of course we can't will ourselves into fascination, even if we can seek out the conditions for its possibility. In short, I associate boredom with frustration and frustration with a desire to die. That desire to die looks for reasons/justifications/methods like any other desire. Even if nihilism/pessimism is true in some sense, it also seems like the rationalization of a mood.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    Then, in the second short paragraph, I was emphasizing that the fact that we don't know why we don't live life says nothing about the implicit question of whether life is worth living, which I know you're getting at; or, as you put it, with your assumption, whether or not we should commit suicide.Noble Dust

    The question is to get people's understanding of why they think life is worth living. I am curious to see people's take on it which usually leads back to the usual theme of instrumentality.
  • Noble Dust
    2k


    I've read about your idea of instrumentality, but remind me.

    And by the way, I was right, then, that this thread is basically a loaded question, right?
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    And by the way, I was right, then, that this thread is basically a loaded question, right?Noble Dust

    I don't know, that depends- is life a loaded question? ;). What is your point though? Gadfly the gadfly right? Question the questioner.. Get it. Provide a response, make a positive claim about something.

    Instrumentality- I've stated so many times.. here is one way I phrased it: Here is the idea of instrumentality- the absurd feeling that can be experienced from apprehension of the constant need to put forth energy to pursue goals and actions in waking life. This feeling can make us question the whole human enterprise itself of maintaining mundane repetitive upkeep, maintaining institutions, and pursuing any action that eats up free time simply for the sake of being alive and having no other choice. There is also a feeling of futility as, the linguistic- general processor brain cannot get out of its own circular loop of awareness of this. Another part of the feeling of futility is the idea that there is no ultimate completion from any goal or action. It is that idea that there is nothing truly fulfilling. Time moves forward and we must make more goals and actions.

    Another way I phrased it is in this thread here: This long-range emptiness to all projects I call "instrumentality". It is instrumental in that we pursue but with no final satisfaction to any particular goal, just a general striving that underlies our linguistic-conceptual minds. Conceptually we can break this general Will or Striving into three basic categories of motivation: survival (in a cultural and/or economic context), seeking comfort/maintenance (e.g. you clean your house, you brush your teeth, you make your bed, etc. etc.), fleeing boredom (e.g. you get lonely, you pursue a hobby, you make art, you take a walk, etc. etc). All the most complex goals/technologies/outputs come from a combination of those three underlying motivations. However, these motivations are simply conceptual breakdowns of our originary Striving/Will that manifests from within us in the first place. It is an instrumental moving-forward-but-for-no-reason. All goals are subsumed by the simple sheer need in our waking daily lives for striving/willing.

    So yes, we slap on a label after-the-fact for what we are doing it for. The problem is, as you indicated, that we are an existential creature. Whereas other animals may have motivations of survival (and perhaps maintenance/boredom for higher level animals), they are not self-reflective to our degree. We are the animals that know that we simply live to live to live. Our conceptual minds turn in on ourselves and there is no easy way out by slapping a label on why we do anything. We simply keep the continual striving for survival/maintenance/boredom-avoidance going to the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and so on and so on and so on. Meanwhile, we are plagued by the contingencies of our circumstances- mental/physical conditions, uncomfortable circumstances, tragedies, and what not.

    Hence I categorize suffering into two main camps- structural suffering and contingent suffering.

    Structural suffering is the instrumental nature of existence- the striving that is never satisfied, the motivations of want/desire (survival/comfort/maintenance/boredom) that lead to the repetitious Sisyphean aspect of existence (yet another day of survival, comfort seeking, boredom fleeing).

    Contingent suffering is the circumstances which can be different for each person is identified with classical notions of suffering in the West (i.e. circumstances of physical/mental pain, circumstances of negative situations, etc. etc.).
  • Noble Dust
    2k
    I don't know, that depends- is life a loaded question?schopenhauer1

    That's unrelated to whether this thread was a loaded question, and obviously a diversion.

    What is your point though? Gadfly the gadfly right? Question the questioner.. Get it. Provide a response, make a positive claim about something.schopenhauer1

    My point is that this thread was a loaded question, which you know, since you started it.

    the absurd feeling that can be experienced from apprehension of the constant need to put forth energy to pursue goals and actions in waking life. This feeling can make us question the whole human enterprise itself of maintaining mundane repetitive upkeep, maintaining institutions, and pursuing any actionschopenhauer1

    I fully identify with that sentiment.

    free timeschopenhauer1

    Free as opposed to what?

    Another part of the feeling of futility is the idea that there is no ultimate completion from any goal or action. It is that idea that there is nothing truly fulfilling. Time moves forward and we must make more goals and actions.schopenhauer1

    The feeling of futility is predicated on the very concept of completion, fulfillment, etc. So the nihilistic experience of moving from "the possibility of fulfillment" to "the loss of fulfillment" begins with the concept of fulfillment. Where does that concept come from? Not just social causes; look at any society other than our nihilistic twilight world, and you'll find concepts of fulfillment writ large everywhere.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    That's unrelated to whether this thread was a loaded question, and obviously a diversion.Noble Dust

    No it's not actually. Whether life is a loaded question is something prior to me asking about it.

    I fully identify with that sentiment.Noble Dust

    Cool.

    Free as opposed to what?Noble Dust

    Just meaning activities that we deem to be our non-work time. Much of this can be seen as arbitrary, but the way our culture has it set up, is that we psychologically/socially make space for "work-time" and then make space for our personal "free time". Of course, it can be any combination of work/non-work time that you can think of. Any activity not related directly to the attainment of some survival goal (i.e. work-to get money- to buy stuff- to live in a first world country, OR hunt/gather/build and maintain hut/subsistence farm, etc. etc.).

    The feeling of futility is predicated on the very concept of completion, fulfillment, etc. So the nihilistic experience of moving from "the possibility of fulfillment" to "the loss of fulfillment" begins with the concept of fulfillment. Where does that concept come from? Not just social causes; look at any society other than our nihilistic twilight world, and you'll find concepts of fulfillment writ large everywhere.Noble Dust

    Don't follow. The very point is that it's all instrumental, yet we are self-aware of this. We are existential animals, not just animals that can "be" without knowing it. Thus, some animal-life, primary consciousness, non-linguistic, non-reflective state is not really an option.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    A person who's always 'in love' can't take nihilism/pessimism seriously. They can cognize the abstractions, but it's natural for them to advise the ultimately emotional retort: be fascinated as I am in a project and that futility vanishes. Of course we can't will ourselves into fascination, even if we can seek out the conditions for its possibility.dog

    Ah yes, those oxcytocin feelings of love.. that doesn't last, is not sustained, life moves forward, the novelty wears off. In fact, it is these type of enthrallments that beget more life which brings more instrumental existence on a new person.
  • Noble Dust
    2k
    Whether life is a loaded question is something prior to me asking about it.schopenhauer1

    No, lol. If your worldview is that life is not worth living, and then you make a thread called "what do you live for everyday", then you're definitely asking a loaded question; begging the question, essentially, from your own point of view.

    Don't follow. The very point is that it's all instrumental, yet we are self-aware of this. We are existential animals, not just animals that can "be" without knowing it. Thus, some animal-life, primary consciousness, non-linguistic, non-reflective state is not really an option.schopenhauer1

    What are existential animals?
  • Noble Dust
    2k


    I see you made an edit there which added a lot of paragraphs. I'll get to it when I can, assuming you wanted me to respond, despite the fact that I wouldn't have seen it unless I had scrolled up.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    No, lol. If your worldview is that life is not worth living, and then you make a thread called "what do you live for everyday", then you're definitely asking a loaded question; begging the question, essentially, from your own point of view.Noble Dust

    But you are missing the point of how I phrased it. And, most people know my point of view here, I would suspect after 10+ years on this and the previous forum. Though, some newer posters have probably caught the drift rather quickly.

    What are existential animals?Noble Dust

    Animals that can self-reflect on their own existence. They know they have an existence and question what is the point.
  • Noble Dust
    2k
    But you are missing the point of how I phrased it. And, most people know my point of view here, I would suspect after 10+ years on this and the previous forum. Though, some newer posters have probably caught the drift rather quickly.schopenhauer1

    So since I'm a mere 1-year guy, I'm not worth debating? Got it. Sorry.
  • schopenhauer1
    1.5k
    So since I'm a mere 1-year guy, I'm not worth debating? Got it. Sorry.Noble Dust

    Oh stop with the histrionics. That's beneath you, no? You clearly know my point of view, since you are stating it now. My point was that no one was expecting me to tie it all together with a nice bow.
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