• TimeLine
    2.6k
    Love lies between the subject and the object which the lover apprehends as beautiful.Metaphysician Undercover

    This unity is symbolic. I have never fallen in love and I am still searching. I believe in this rational, authentic love that I write above so much so that I am waiting rather than attempting to alleviate this isolation by forming faux attachments. My desires are not in control of my motivations neither do I care about societal expectations of what apparently makes a perfect man, but I can rationally determine and can see straight through liars and they make up a vast majority.

    I have said earlier that no one can see me because I have yet to meet a man that is not blindly following in some way, neither have I met a man who has the courage to let go of his past as well as his social conditions to improve himself and epitomise this form of Good - to be capable of giving love through virtue, righteousness, justice - rather than focusing his attention to try and be lovable through power, popularity or money.

    I have not met a man who I admire and this admiration is what is beautiful. Someone who can think for themselves, who stands apart from society, who understands how to give love to all things and thus is capable of moral consciousness. Someone who can feel the world around him, to be a part of it and improve it just as he would himself.

    Someone who is conscious and can see, likewise, who I actually am in return. Only when two people are capable of giving love - rather than wanting it - can actually know how to give love to one another.
  • Agustino
    11k
    Let me break LOVE down for you.TimeLine
    >:O >:O >:O

    Your theories on love are somewhat hilarious :P
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    Do I actually have to ask why, because I am sure your response is going to be as agitating as your use of emoticons.
  • Agustino
    11k
    The love is palpable.Noble Dust
    Yes, TimeLine has moved to a new form of philosophy, whereby we show what we mean through our way of acting, not through what we say X-)
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    Transcendental idealism is not a new form of philosophy.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    Just because we do not understand what we are saying to ourselves through our feelings does not mean it makes no sense, but it makes no sense only because we are not rational enough to understand ourselves independent from the social conditions.TimeLine

    All right, I can accept this principle. When it appears like love, internal feelings, emotions, and things of the subconscious are illogical and irrational, it is not really the case that they are, what is really the case is that the conscious mind is being irrational by trying to understand them through principles which do not apply. Love is not really contrary to reason at all, it's just that the rational mind hasn't developed the principles required to properly understand it, so it attempts to understand with principles that are not suited. Because love doesn't conform to these principles, it appears to be irrational, when in reality the mind is being irrational.

    So for instance, these things in the category of becoming, like matter and potency, which Aristotle demonstrated defy the law of excluded middle, are not really irrational or illogical at all, it's just that the conscious mind would be irrational if trying to understand them with conventional logic. The development of modal logic for example, would render these things intelligible. What about love then? As Plato described, it is derived from this category of becoming, but it has a deeper element which expresses, or displays the beauty of its true essence in creativity. From sexual reproduction through all artistic endeavours, to the creation of mores, social customs and institutions, the beauty of love's creations is there for the rational mind to observe and behold. What kind of principles can the rational mind adopt, to comprehend this seemingly incomprehensible beauty?

    That's why Plato turned to "the good", because the good makes all the beauty of creation intelligible. It gives a reason to this creativity, it is good. But by doing this we open up a pitfall for ourselves. Unless we can say what it is good for, then "the good" of all these beautiful creations, i.e. the claim that they are "good", is just deception. Under this guise of deception, love is lost, and all these beautiful things become very ugly.

    Love can only be possible under autonomous conditions and so many people believe love is somehow unconditional. If that were so, why - realistically - are there so many examples of how unsuccessful love is, of how miserable people can be in relationships, or how obvious it is that it is not lasting? People form attachments based on false perceptions that they have conformed to from their social environment because they are consistently told that love is irrational or illogical, that it is beyond them in someway, given to them and that they must sacrifice themselves and let things be.TimeLine

    If we allow that true love is not unconditional, then we must give a reason for love. As is evident from what Socrates has learned from Diotima, the reason for love is creation. Where love is evident to us is in the beauty of things which are created. So we can infer that love is behind, as inspiration for the creation of these beautiful things. Love creates. Of course that is most evident in the creation of children, but as Socrates indicated it takes teaching to learn to see the love behind all the other created things, right up to the institutions of humanity. They are all inspired by love.

    If people are unsuccessful in love, as you describe, then these people misunderstand love, and are expecting the wrong thing from it. As we said earlier, love is not well taught in our society, so our social environment does not really prepare us for love. If one approaches love without the true perspective, which is the desire to create something beautiful, then that individual has no idea of what they want from love, and could get locked into a relationship of forever searching for what love can give, finding nothing, being miserable and frustrated. If one approaches love with the true perspective, then that individual will judge the potential partner for their merits and capacity for creating that thing of beauty which is desired, just like the artist chooses the palette. The artist knows the right and wrong colours, and if the wrong colour has been chosen, takes measures to correct the mistake immediately. But if the artist has no idea of what is being created on the canvas, how could the artist know whether the colour is the right or wrong colour? Likewise, if the lover has no idea of what is wanted from the relationship, the beautiful thing to be created, how can that lover know if the beloved is the right or wrong person.

    You can only give love to the world rationally or appropriately when you have learnt to love and respect yourself, because only then are you even capable of giving love. Otherwise, how you give love is faux, adapting to the social requisites and indoctrinated perceptions given to you. The problem with your view about this whole negation of one's autonomy is that you assume the latter (to love yourself) to be a type of self-conceit or arrogance, probably because you have mistaken the vast majority of people who are conceited to love themselves, that, and moral worthiness to be a type of self-sacrifice or meekness and solitude.TimeLine

    Contrary to what you say here, I perceive that in our society there are virtually no social requisites, no indoctrinated perceptions of love. The perceptions of love in the population are so varied and scattered that there is no convention, no indoctrination. Not only does this leave the autonomous individual with no clear approach to relationships with others, but also no approach to what it means "to love and respect yourself". So it is one thing to say that the lover must learn how to love and respect oneself before being able to give love, but if that person has not been taught what it means to give love, how can that person give it to oneself? Where does the person ever learn this, except from the love which has been given to that person as a child? And in recognizing that the love necessarily came from someone else, the person's autonomy must be surrendered in order that the individual can recognize and understand what love is. The person cannot love oneself without understanding what love is. This requires learning what love is. And learning what love is is to see that my very existence is dependent on the love of others. To understand what love is is to surrender one's autonomy. That is where we have to accept as a rational principle, that which appears to the conscious mind as irrational, making the rational mind conform to love instead of doing the inverse which is impossible. If you fail to surrender your autonomy, then you have failed in learning what love is, and you will fail in any attempt to love yourself.

    While love is paradoxical, it is a result of the human condition, of us being capable or being aware of our own existence.TimeLine

    To be aware of one's own being is to be aware of the conditions of becoming. This is to be aware that one's being has come from something else. Our existence is dependent on those who brought us into this world, so when we consider temporal extension, autonomy is an illusion. Our autonomy, our freedom, is a function of the present moment. Descartes misleads us, saying I am at the present moment thinking, therefore "I am". But this "I am", of the present moment is not being at all, it's just a moment of becoming as described by Hegel. Being, existing, is to have temporal extension. To be aware of one's own existence is to be aware of one's place in time, to be aware that one's self is just a moment of becoming in the temporal extension prior to one's self, and posterior to one's self. Phenomenology is very relevant. Descartes misrepresented his own existence. He wanted to be, so he represented "I want to be" with "I am". But saying what you want, doesn't make it so, and that is why some form of phenomenology is more appropriate for understanding the true human condition.

    When you are trapped in a mind conformed to social requirements as per your learning, one continues to "love" only specific people or objects and it is usually those who "love" them return (which is really just acceptance or a type of social congratulations for following these unwritten rules), and that gives one that sense of unity because such social acceptance alleviates the anxiety we feel since it enables or justifies our conformism and silences our desire for autonomy.TimeLine

    You seem to be blind to the true role of love in our society, and that is its creative power. Did your mother not love you? Do you not attribute your existence to the love of your parents? How can you deny this biological unity between you and your parents, as if love were nothing more than a social convention? Is this not a real biological unity to you? And is love not an aspect of this biological unity? If love is an aspect of this biological unity, how can you portray it as social convention and unwritten rules? Clearly love cannot be described in terms of "social requirements", "social congratulations", or "social acceptance", because it is a feature of the biology of the organism, not a feature of society. Social institutions are a creation of love.

    When you are elevated to a level of autonomous agency and begin identifying with the world independently, you are capable of true love and this is love to all things and not objects. This capacity to give love to all things is really defined as moral consciousness, and so that feeling within is real or authentic. What that means is that when you have learnt to give love rather than want love, you are actually being loving and not falsely.TimeLine

    So I would assume that to elevate oneself to the level of autonomous agency is to apprehend oneself as a biological organism. To truly understand love, is to perceive it as a property of the biological organism. So to be capable of true love is to be capable of loving according to what is appropriate to the biology of the particular organism, and this is regardless of social conformities, and social requirements, etc.. Then all these social conventions ought to conform to true love, otherwise they'll become irrational principles, by which we'll be attempting to understand love through principles which are inapplicable.

    An autonomous agent can see or perceive the world correctly and they can see that most people are blindly conforming. This is very isolating. I have always said that no one can see me for this reason. As true love or moral consciousness is to love all things and not something specific, all things are symbolic of the form of Good.TimeLine

    And if I understand you correctly, you are saying we ought to follow love, which is a property of each individual biological organism, rather than blindly conforming to social conventions. It would be this blind conformation, to principles which are not necessarily consistent with the love that the individual has, which causes confusion and anxiety for the person.

    This unity is symbolic.TimeLine

    The unity is not really symbolic though, it is a real unity of dependence. The created is dependent on the creator. The relationship between them is love, and it is not merely symbolic. Suppose you desire a relationship of love. This is a desire to create something beautiful, a loving relationship. If it comes about, in the future, that you create this beautiful relationship, then the you of the past is still real as creator of this thing of beauty in a relationship with it, which is more than symbolic. it is a relationship of dependence.

    I have said earlier that no one can see me because I have yet to meet a man that is not blindly following in some way, neither have I met a man who has the courage to let go of his past as well as his social conditions to improve himself and epitomise this form of Good - to be capable of giving love through virtue, righteousness, justice - rather than focusing his attention to try and be lovable through power, popularity or money.TimeLine

    Perhaps you should not include letting go of the past, as a condition. There is always a relationship of dependency between the past and the present, as well as the present and the future, and this makes us who we are. It is not to assert determinism, and deny the possibility of change, but to recognize that we are biological organisms. We cannot change the biology of the person to be according to rational principles, so we need to change our rational principles to be in harmony with the biology of the person.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    All right, I can accept this principle. When it appears like love, internal feelings, emotions, and things of the subconscious are illogical and irrational, it is not really the case that they are, what is really the case is that the conscious mind is being irrational by trying to understand them through principles which do not apply. Love is not really contrary to reason at all, it's just that the rational mind hasn't developed the principles required to properly understand it, so it attempts to understand with principles that are not suited. Because love doesn't conform to these principles, it appears to be irrational, when in reality the mind is being irrational.Metaphysician Undercover

    (Y)

    Exactly. So, when a person conforms or follows and has yet to transcend to become an autonomous agent, he is incapable of 'true love' because he simply cannot consciously and rationally understand what that actually is. He instead forms symbiotic attachments to people or objects based on his social environment that enables him to be accepted and congratulated as he seeks only to be loved. This 'anxiety' within him is telling him through his feelings that something is wrong with this, but he just doesn't get it. We are loving or moral by our very nature, but it only switches on or is authentic when we become conscious of our own existence and accept our separateness, thus when we become capable of thinking rationally. That is when we become aware of right kind of person and have the courage to go against our family or friends to follow our heart because we see the beauty in goodness and not what we have been taught to think is beautiful that we blindly follow and accept.

    Problem here is that people are becoming better and better at prolonging the blindness, making submission to this conformism more tempting, more trustworthy. Being irrational is appearing more and more reasonable. But I can tell because a person incapable of being a friend is incapable of understanding love. Friendship, to me, is the very symbol of empathy, because those that lack moral consciousness refuse the virtue of happiness and respect in others and only care for themselves and those objects that they need.

    Perhaps you should not include letting go of the past, as a condition. There is always a relationship of dependency between the past and the present, as well as the present and the future, and this makes us who we are.Metaphysician Undercover

    Some people think that our memories are recorded and that when we reflect, we are rewinding and playing those moments as they are. This is not true. Our brains are dynamic, improving as we continue to learn and progress and when we reflect, we are reinterpreting, adding to existing gaps, forming connections that were never actually there in the first place. We continuously reconstruct our own memories and history and so, if you really think about it, there is even neuroscientifically an arrow of time that compels us forward as we progress and while our past experiences are embedded in this process, our memories are actually what you are at this very moment. There is no 'past' and 'we' are just symbols of our experiences.

    This is why symbols is a very interesting aspect to how we identify and interpret our experiences, the idealism here that makes stories, parables - even dream interpretation - all dependent on this symbolic realm that has a language independent of words. A sign, for instance, holding up my fore and middle finger forward speaks of 'peace' and parables say one thing but mean something else. Meaning is beyond language and that is why moral concepts like virtue, righteousness, justice - love - is all beyond what we can articulate. I mean, we can draw inferences to particular objects or experiences, but we never able to explain the very form of beauty, or good.

    So, when you say:

    Suppose you desire a relationship of love. This is a desire to create something beautiful, a loving relationship.Metaphysician Undercover

    We desire a story that we interpret through symbolic representations that gives us meaning. Our life is just a story.

    How sad it is for a vast majority who play minor characters doing the same bullshit that everyone else is doing. They haven't created their own story, they just play a silent, inconsequential part thinking that the applaud is to them.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    Exactly. So, when a person conforms or follows and has yet to transcend to become an autonomous agent, he is incapable of 'true love' because he simply cannot consciously and rationally understand what that actually is. He instead forms symbiotic attachments to people or objects based on his social environment that enables him to be accepted and congratulated as he seeks only to be loved. This 'anxiety' within him is telling him through his feelings that something is wrong with this, but he just doesn't get it. We are loving or moral by our very nature, but it only switches on or is authentic when we become conscious of our own existence and accept our separateness, thus when we become capable of thinking rationally. That is when we become aware of right kind of person and have the courage to go against our family or friends to follow our heart because we see the beauty in goodness and not what we have been taught to think is beautiful that we blindly follow and accept.TimeLine

    I see things differently. What you describe, I apprehend as only a first step toward transcendence. This recognizing oneself as an autonomous agent only puts one into a position of selfishness. The person has distanced oneself from the conforms of society in an effort to find one's true position. But that true position will not be found until the autonomous agent manages to establish a relationship back with society. So this maturing process must consist of both of these two steps, to avoid selfishness. Otherwise the autonomous agent who has broken the ties of conformity, to find one's true authentic being, would not re-establish any connections with society, isolating oneself like the Unabomber.

    So the person who has broken these ties of conformity and found one's authentic being as an autonomous agent, must now find love to transcend one's own being and re-establish one's position in society. That's what's described in Plato's "Symposium"; Socrates in his education in love is taught to see the beauty in all the creations of humanity, all the institutions of society. What I described is that one has to find love within oneself, as an integral part of the autonomous agent. Once we recognize that there is such a thing as love, that it is real, within ourselves, and cannot be rationally negated, we see that even though it is inherent within our very being, it came from somewhere else. We can see that it came from our parents, and their love is responsible for our being. So the love which inheres within ourselves, as an integral part of the authentic, autonomous agent, came from somewhere else. I, the autonomous agent, did not create the love which is in me. And by recognizing that this love is real, the autonomous agent must recognize that the ties which one has to others goes far deeper than all the ties of social conformity which one is free to break, and which one actually breaks in becoming, and proving oneself to be an autonomous agent. The autonomous agent is the authentic being, but love as an essential part of the autonomous agent is the manifestation of a deep bond of unity which cannot be broken by the autonomous agent without a contrived and forceful denial of the reality of one's own love, which amounts to a deep self-deception.

    Some people think that our memories are recorded and that when we reflect, we are rewinding and playing those moments as they are. This is not true. Our brains are dynamic, improving as we continue to learn and progress and when we reflect, we are reinterpreting, adding to existing gaps, forming connections that were never actually there in the first place. We continuously reconstruct our own memories and history and so, if you really think about it, there is even neuroscientifically an arrow of time that compels us forward as we progress and while our past experiences are embedded in this process, our memories are actually what you are at this very moment. There is no 'past' and 'we' are just symbols of our experiences.TimeLine

    Let's say our memory is like this. Each time one recalls a particular event, the event is reconstructed in the mind. The memory serves the self, so the authentic person has a desire to reconstruct the event exactly as it was, each time, thus preserving the event, in precision. The event is remembered much more clearly and precisely in mental images than it is in symbols like words, because the words can't capture everything, and they introduce ambiguity. So the authentic, autonomous agent, desires to remember things precisely as they were, in images, while the inauthentic puts words to the images, seeking a technique to communicate the event to others, rather than seeking to remember the event precisely as it was. So using words or symbols as a memory aid is an element of inauthenticity, and the inauthenticity is evident from the way that people embellish the events by changing the words in small ways.

    Once the words are set to the memory, describing the event, the words are easier to remember than the images, and the authentic mind succumbs to the pressure of the inauthentic, giving up the images and the corresponding precision, allowing the event to be remembered in words. This bears heavily on your statement "There is no 'past' and 'we' are just symbols of our experiences.". If we are just "symbols" of our experience, then are we authentic, or are we inauthentic symbols? Do we symbolize our experience in images or in representations of those images, words? This is why Plato dismissed the narrative as unreal untrustworthy, and something to be avoided, because it is removed from reality by two places.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    This recognizing oneself as an autonomous agent only puts one into a position of selfishness.Metaphysician Undercover

    It puts one into a position of consciousness, a unity of apperception or consciousness-self consciousness and that objectively you are separate; transcendence is this awareness that enables your sensibility and understanding to be constructed rationally or honestly. This awareness of your own existence enables you to be conscious of the existence of others in space and time and that is the beginning of being empathetic, that you identify with the world around you and this is the exact opposite of being selfish. A person who blindly conforms does so because they are selfish, unable to give love and even if they technically do nothing wrong or immoral, their 'good behaviour' is only because they follow rather than actually feel, so you have it the wrong way around. An genuine, autonomous agent and this transcendence is the beginning of love - i.e., moral consciousness.

    This love or moral consciousness thus unifies us with the world of objects in space and time, we care for all things and this is why I say that an indication of a person who has not transcended is a person who is unable to be a friend.

    So the person who has broken these ties of conformity and found one's authentic being as an autonomous agent, must now find love to transcend one's own being and re-establish one's position in society.Metaphysician Undercover

    When we have reached this moral consciousness, meaning is no longer given to us but rather we form meaning of our self as part of objects in space in the observable world simultaneously with idealisms that we construct to understand our experiences symbolically - that we form meaning through a story of ourselves - and this is the unity between consciousness and imagination and why we are even capable of love and morality. The process following the moment we reach transcendence is really about practice, about articulating love and experiencing the 'I' in the 'We'. This is why God epitomises the ultimate and everlasting, the foremost symbol of Good and we begin to adapt our behaviour to explain how to be moral or loving. We are just a story because meaning is ultimately symbolic. So when you say:

    So the authentic, autonomous agent, desires to remember things precisely as they were, in images, while the inauthentic puts words to the images, seeking a technique to communicate the event to others, rather than seeking to remember the event precisely as it was. So using words or symbols as a memory aid is an element of inauthenticity, and the inauthenticity is evident from the way that people embellish the events by changing the words in small ways.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is kind of interesting, because our interpretation of these symbolic inferences is really dependent on our understanding since it is about what we experience as a thinking subject, but it nevertheless depends on this unity between our experiences in the natural and observable world and the symbolic construction of our experiences that gives meaning to them. This is why being rational is essential, the absence of fear that causes us to retreat into the safety of conformism. Think of repressed memories and how we are capable of diluting our actual experiences.

    Think of a biblical parable; there is a moral symbol in the story - the story itself is just a story put in words but the symbol is not articulated in the written format - and to understand the symbol is dependent on your own state of mind. If we articulate or put words to this symbol and explain that the parable means 'such and such', it loses the purpose of being a parable so to speak because people can believe that this parable means exactly 'such and such'. It is meaning that is given to them and they have conformed to, thus inauthentic. The purpose of the parable is no longer as it was supposed to be - our interpretation - because what is our interpretation is authentic.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    This awareness of your own existence enables you to be conscious of the existence of others in space and time and that is the beginning of being empathetic, that you identify with the world around you and this is the exact opposite of being selfish.TimeLine

    This is our main point of disagreement now. I think that being self-conscious in no way necessitates any degree of empathy. This is why it is necessary to posit the existence of love, to account for the empathy which is observed. If the self-conscious being can establish autonomy by freeing oneself from the conformities of society, and this autonomy is authentic, then the relationship between this being and others is not necessarily respectful or empathetic, unless there is something like love within, which guides the autonomous, self-conscious agent in this direction.

    A person who blindly conforms does so because they are selfish, unable to give love and even if they technically do nothing wrong or immoral, their 'good behaviour' is only because they follow rather than actually feel, so you have it the wrong way around. An genuine, autonomous agent and this transcendence is the beginning of love - i.e., moral consciousness.TimeLine

    This cannot be the "beginning" of love, because love must already be inherent within the autonomous agent. Having freed oneself from conformity, to become an autonomous agent, produces a position of no social obligation, or obligation toward any other person or thing including the feelings of empathy and respect. As an authentic, autonomous agent, the guiding principles for that individual can only come from within the individual, not society or anyone else. If the person does not find empathy and respect for others, within, then that person might find hate and disrespect, as my example of the Unabomber. The autonomous agent would be equally likely to turn hateful and disrespectful, as likely to turn empathetic and respectful.

    But what we observe is that self-conscious autonomous agents are far more likely to turn empathetic and respectful than hateful and disrespectful. So there must be a reason for this, and that reason is love. Love cannot come to the person as a beginning, because that would imply no love already within, and this "beginning" would necessarily come from an external source, because a beginning consisting of something coming from nothing is impossible. But the autonomous agent has no inclination to accept anything, including love, from any external source, so we must conclude that one finds the love (or at least the kernel of love) as already existing within. That is why the person who turns to hate and disrespect can only do this through the means of a deep self-deception. If the love were not already there within, then any autonomous agent could freely turn to hate and disrespect. Instead, one cannot easily or readily turn to hate and disrespect, but must make an effort, and practise self-deception, suppressing the love within, to do this.

    Think of a biblical parable; there is a moral symbol in the story - the story itself is just a story put in words but the symbol is not articulated in the written format - and to understand the symbol is dependent on your own state of mind. If we articulate or put words to this symbol and explain that the parable means 'such and such', it loses the purpose of being a parable so to speak because people can believe that this parable means exactly 'such and such'. It is meaning that is given to them and they have conformed to, thus inauthentic. The purpose of the parable is no longer as it was supposed to be - our interpretation - because what is our interpretation is authentic.TimeLine

    I think that there are two distinct ways of symbolizing things, two distinct forms of intention behind the act of symbolizing. Therefore there are two distinct types of meaning, according to that division. In the one case, the autonomous agent seeks a memory aid, and writes, marks, or takes note of something. This is authentic, because the goal here is to establish a clear, precise, and unchanging relationship between the symbol and the thing symbolized, as the autonomous agent desires a true memory. In the other case, the autonomous agent seeks to communicate something to others. In this case, the meaning is not true, it's inauthentic, because the intent of the agent is other than what is symbolized (meant) by the words. This is what allows for deception, the agent symbolizes what one wants the other to apprehend, not what is truly within the agent's mind. So inauthentic language (communication) works in this way, what is symbolized by the words is not a true meaning, while authentic language attempts to establish a true, precise, and unchanging relation between the symbol and what is in the mind.

    Inauthentic language creates ambiguity, as an unavoidable consequence. I believe that the biblical parable makes use of the ambiguity found in inauthentic language, to allow that different people find different meaning in the same words, i.e., different interpretations. This is common in all sorts of artistic expression, like lyric and poetry. What is implied in the nature of the parable is that your interpretation is the true, or authentic interpretation despite the fact that it is different from the interpretations of others, which are also true and authentic interpretations.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    This is our main point of disagreement now. I think that being self-conscious in no way necessitates any degree of empathy. This is why it is necessary to posit the existence of love, to account for the empathy which is observed. If the self-conscious being can establish autonomy by freeing oneself from the conformities of society, and this autonomy is authentic, then the relationship between this being and others is not necessarily respectful or empathetic, unless there is something like love within, which guides the autonomous, self-conscious agent in this direction.Metaphysician Undercover

    Everything is about our will or motivations; our ego, reason and rational thought, knowledge, personality, all of what we are is dependent on our will. The problem is not the ego or the mind, neither is it society, but how our will motivates the ego or mind to act or think. We do not need to remove them completely in order to obtain some purity in our motivations, no annihilation of an ego - the 'self' - will make any difference. All we have is a healthy ego (moral consciousness) or a toxic one (i.e. narcissism) and our motives depend on this transcendence.

    The ego regulates the decisions between our instinctual drives (immoral) and our conception of what is correct behaviour (moral) that we learn through our experiences with the external world, such as our family and society. Our instinctual drives are unconscious just as much as conforming to society and so one is not consciously malicious but rather mindlessly driven to act. There is a unity between these two - conformism and instinctual drives - where one has conformed to social expectations and so adapted to present themselves as "good" while underlying all that is a will driven by unconscious desires. This is why so many people do immoral things like cheating or other socially unacceptable acts while still pretending to be good; their "goodness" is just an act, an archetype to save them from getting into trouble (think Ring of Gyges). It is also why people have been driven by "love" to do bad things because their conception of love is wrong and why rational thought is imperative. In this situation, love is not the wrong, just the motivation; so why do we think that our ego is bad?

    This love within that you speak of is moral consciousness. What I am saying is that "love" IS "moral consciousness" and one cannot love unless they are morally conscious. Love is not given to us by some gracious external force, it is something we already have but remains dormant until we transcend that mindlessness and where our will is driven by our understanding. There is still "ego" here, an egoism that motivates altruism because you exist and you are the one motivated to act. Altruism can be genuine or authentic because our ego is just the regulator between our unconscious drives and our rational values.

    Returning back to symbols and imagination, when we become conscious of ourselves as separate to our environment, that we have the self-awareness and the capacity to think and take responsibility for our own behaviour, we begin to understand that others can experience the same (hence empathy) but the feeling - the feeling of pain or hurt at the suffering in others - is just projection, hence why one begins to give love or becoming morally conscious. It is a closer understanding of your own mental state and the emotional responses that you experience and we merely share in defining the psychological experience. You are mistaking this feeling as authenticating the experience, but feelings themselves are also dependent on our will or motivations; evil people can feel pleasure at the pain in others.

    We could become "aware" that we have done wrong long after we have done it, and that could produce feelings of "guilt" and such feelings could arouse a change in our behaviour. The awareness is the key, the consciousness and the feelings follow that leads to moral behaviour. This is what I meant when I said "beginning of love" and the authenticity here is that an autonomous agent chooses willingly and independently to be "good" rather than driven by society.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    Everything is about our will or motivations; our ego, reason and rational thought, knowledge, personality, all of what we are is dependent on our will. The problem is not the ego or the mind, neither is it society, but how our will motivates the ego or mind to act or think. We do not need to remove them completely in order to obtain some purity in our motivations, no annihilation of an ego - the 'self' - will make any difference. All we have is a healthy ego (moral consciousness) or a toxic one (i.e. narcissism) and our motives depend on this transcendence.TimeLine

    What the will is, is not an easy question. There is much disagreement between people. We tend to tie "will" to "intention", such that if an act is willful, it is intentional, and vise versa. And intention is tied to purpose. But then people want to tie intention to consciousness as well, such that non-conscious things cannot have intention. However, we observe intention and purpose throughout biological organism, we see that even plants act with purpose, therefore intention. So if intention is tied to consciousness, this would incline some people to assign consciousness to plants. I like to break the connection between will and consciousness, such that will, as the motivation for action, is property of the subconscious. There is however, a from of willing which may be more proper to the conscious mind itself, and this is the will to refrain from acting, what is called willpower. It is through willpower that we resist temptations, and break habits which the conscious mind determines as bad. Willpower, the power to resist, is what I tie to the conscious mind.

    It is also why people have been driven by "love" to do bad things because their conception of love is wrong and why rational thought is imperative. In this situation, love is not the wrong, just the motivation; so why do we think that our ego is bad?TimeLine

    If you accept my proposal, that the drive to act, the will as motivator, is deep in the unconscious, instinctual as you say, and also there is a conscious level of the will which gives us a restraint from acting, willpower, then you will see that the issue is very complex. Augustine, who was probably the first to discuss the nature of free will, grappled with this problem to a considerable extent. Plato demonstrated that virtue exists as the manifestation of a type of knowledge, but this exposed a deeper problem, that one can know what is good, and still do what is bad. So virtue requires more than just knowing what is good, it requires a method for preventing oneself from doing what is bad. As it turns out, this is what we call willpower, and it is necessary for the conscious mind to have willpower if it is going to have any control over the subconscious levels, because to enable morality, immorality must be prevented.

    This is why Augustine describes free will as the means by which we free ourselves from the temporal existence associated with the bodily functions of the sensible world, allowing our minds to follow the true intelligible principles of the eternal realm. We do this through willpower. The important point being that we have no proper approach to the intelligible until after we restrain ourselves. Prior to restraint, the mind would be full of confusion and anxiety from the hypocrisy of always doing what one knows ought not be done. This is where Agustino made a good suggestion earlier in the thread, concerning meditation, because meditation is a practise of restraint.

    The ego regulates the decisions between our instinctual drives (immoral) and our conception of what is correct behaviour (moral) that we learn through our experiences with the external world, such as our family and society.TimeLine

    If this is a function of the ego, then what the ego needs, in order to avoid anxiety and frustration, is will power. I believe willpower is something which can be cultured, encouraged, almost like we can make it a habit to restrain from habits. Meditation was one suggestion, but I'm a very active person, and I like to encourage myself toward doing a large variety of different things to avoid falling into habits. I practise willpower by doing things I otherwise wouldn't be inclined to do.

    This love within that you speak of is moral consciousness.TimeLine

    So I wouldn't characterize this love within as any form of consciousness. It is right at the core of our instinctual, biological, being. We all feel a need for social relations, companionship, sexual relations, etc.. As fundamental needs, we feel selfish desires like the desire for food and the means for personal subsistence, but we also feel the desire for social relations which is derived from love. I think this love is inherent within all living beings, other animals show love, insects have social relations, and Peter Wohlleben for instance, argues in "The Hidden Life of trees" that trees have complex, and particularly loving, social relations through their roots. This is what I mean by the love within, it's inherent and fundamental to our being, as an integral part of life itself. And that's why I argue that to deny it, and turn toward hate, disrespect, and resentment toward others, in a general way, requires a deep self-deception. This would be similar to denying that being alive has any significance. However, these characteristics which I assert are the manifestations of love, (we might call this the beauty of the living world) are not easily apprehended by us as derivatives of love. So we need teaching and guidance in this direction.

    Moral consciousness would be one such derivative, a manifestation of love. But consciousness takes us to another level, the level at which willpower plays a role. And willpower has the capacity, to an extent, to suppress the instinctual, biological activities, whether they are selfish acts of subsistence, or loving acts of social relations. Then the conscious mind may be influential on the basis of decisions concerning what ought and ought not be done. The conscious mind must itself be watched though, because it may be selfish, and this is evident from our tendency to rationalize things. When we find reasons for doing things which we know are bad, we rationalize, to make these things appear to be good. So as much as we might find it necessary to suppress some instinctual actions which are derived from the deep inner love, for the sake of some moral principles, we must be careful not to be falling into a situation of rationalization. If there is not a high degree of consistency between the deep instinctual love, and what the rational principles of moral consciousness dictate as loving principles, then I think there is a problem. This is why I think that ultimately the rational mind must follow the principles of love, rather than vise versa, because the rational mind can make unloving principles appear to be good. But this cannot be good because it is contrary to the fundamental nature of being alive.

    This is what I meant when I said "beginning of love" and the authenticity here is that an autonomous agent chooses willingly and independently to be "good" rather than driven by society.TimeLine

    Yes, this is the point. The autonomous agent can apprehend oneself to be completely independent from society, and therefore make decisions based on one's own mind, not based on principles derived from society, what society wants of one. And, there is an inclination for that autonomous agent to choose what is good. But this is "good" in a sense completely different from the sense of "good" given by societal norms, because the autonomous agent has produced independence from the "good" of societal norms, and is free to choose one's own good. So it must be the case that the autonomous agent is guided by a sense of "good" which comes from deep within, intuitive, rather than learned from society. This is the love that is deep within. You might call it "moral consciousness" but I don't think it's a consciousness at all, because we don't really apprehend it with the conscious mind. It's an intuition, which is not molded by the conscious mind, but molds the conscious mind.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    Can I just say, MU, that while this thread has not been challenging for me, it has certainly been great having a conversation with someone who actually understands and the fact that I have not had to filter through silly emotions and irrational suggestions (that is what the subject of love does), well, it has been really satisfying to say the least, especially for the opportunity to articulate my opinions on this subject with greater clarity.

    But then people want to tie intention to consciousness as well, such that non-conscious things cannot have intention.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is problematic; intoxication and criminal liability questions intent different to other crimes (mens rea). There is basic intent, but when someone is not conscious like they are intoxicated, how do we measure intent? While the law would not offer an acquittal for a crime committed during intoxication, the effect of the intoxication does 'direct' the individual to behave immorally that could reduce the sentence. If a person is mindlessly following and unable to ascertain the quality of his own mental state - while still guilty - if he does what everyone else is doing and if they do not see such behaviour as wrong, is it immoral?

    What we need to prove there is some unity between action and intention, but if intention is a mental state there needs to be some awareness or consciousness that motivates action because you are doing it for a reason or with a purpose. It is therefore causally teleological. Reason itself is a mental state or a quality - a free choice - and the reason why so many people want to escape into determinism is to safeguard them from the frightening gloom of free-will and making bad choices. The intention therefore needs to be unified and in some way epistemically articulated. Psychologically, however, the quality of these choices can be formed through beliefs - think of ultranationalist political ideology - and determining the quality of such beliefs is even more complex.

    Our instinctual drives are natural - a man wants to have sex with a woman - but these drives are unconscious. Like your comparative on plants or other biological organisms, our instinctual drives are a natural part of our biological system and the motivation it assigns is entirely propelled for the pleasure it offers like food to a hungry animal or pollen to a bee. It is evolutionary and beyond reason. This motivation is pleasure; if a man desires a woman because of such instinctual drives, he could try and justify it by forming a 'belief' that somehow his desire for pleasure is 'love' but the unity here is not real. Conformism or blindly following is automaton and the reason why people have this pathology of normalcy is due to the pleasure it gives having people accept you and appreciate you.

    Plato demonstrated that virtue exists as the manifestation of a type of knowledge, but this exposed a deeper problem, that one can know what is good, and still do what is bad.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is a good point, but it brings to mind the Aristotlean conception of happiness: There are three prominent types of life: pleasure, political and contemplative. The mass of mankind is slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts; they have some ground for this view since they are imitating many of those in high places. People of superior refinement identify happiness with honour, or virtue, and generally the political life. I am thinking about a man who falls in love - authentically - with a woman that does not 'fit' in a positive category - say she is unattractive - and may impact on his social standing and so he turns his back on her. There is a certain level of courage in virtue, or 'willpower' as you call it that motivates the individual to avoid being "slavish" by seeking the pleasure social approval affords. This, again, depends on the quality of their mental state or their capacity to rationalise adequately and honestly. Reason, it would seem, regulates our behaviour and so it should be our imperative to ensure its adequate function by consistently seeking to improve ourselves.
  • Posty McPostface
    2.8k
    It's interesting that this thread turned to a discussion about love. I have read Harry Frankfurt's The Reasons of Love. He makes a strong case that the highest good attainable is that of self-love... from which acts of virtue derive from.

    What do other members think about this? At face value one feels as though he is advocating some form of narcissism or infatuation with one's self; but, if you think about it, then self-love is what the world needs. To love another one has to love oneself to some degree to be worthy of their love.

    The internal cynic and critic squirms with unease:

    *How can I love myself! I am an 'XYZ' after all!*
    *I don't deserve love, that's only for romantics!*
    and so on...
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    Can I just say, MU, that while this thread has not been challenging for me, it has certainly been great having a conversation with someone who actually understands and the fact that I have not had to filter through silly emotions and irrational suggestions (that is what the subject of love does), well, it has been really satisfying to say the least, especially for the opportunity to articulate my opinions on this subject with greater clarity.TimeLine

    The feeling is mutual, it's nice to be engaged in a discussion which motivates constructive thought, and expands one's own ideas.

    This is problematic; intoxication and criminal liability questions intent different to other crimes (mens rea). There is basic intent, but when someone is not conscious like they are intoxicated, how do we measure intent? While the law would not offer an acquittal for a crime committed during intoxication, the effect of the intoxication does 'direct' the individual to behave immorally that could reduce the sentence. If a person is mindlessly following and unable to ascertain the quality of his own mental state - while still guilty - if he does what everyone else is doing and if they do not see such behaviour as wrong, is it immoral?TimeLine

    The legal system has a rather unique way of defining intention, and it's pragmatic, in the sense that it serves their purposes. But I don't think we want to take the discussion in that direction, because we'll approach the problem which Agustino already brought up. Agustino insisted that thoughts, and actions, which are not consciously chosen by the agent are in some important way, not thoughts and actions of the agent. But that's contradictory nonsense, and leads into a weird dualism where some of your thoughts and actions are your own, and some are not your own. The legal system distinguishes based on responsibility. So even if one is not legally responsible, this does not mean that the person's thoughts and actions are in some way not that person's.

    It is because of issues like this, as well as the ones I mentioned already, that I extend "intention" all the way to the unconscious levels of the living being. The motivation for living acts is intention at all levels. Living acts are in general, carried out for a purpose, and this implies intention, regardless of whether the act is freely chosen by a conscious mind.

    What we need to prove there is some unity between action and intention, but if intention is a mental state there needs to be some awareness or consciousness that motivates action because you are doing it for a reason or with a purpose. It is therefore causally teleological. Reason itself is a mental state or a quality - a free choice - and the reason why so many people want to escape into determinism is to safeguard them from the frightening gloom of free-will and making bad choices. The intention therefore needs to be unified and in some way epistemically articulated. Psychologically, however, the quality of these choices can be formed through beliefs - think of ultranationalist political ideology - and determining the quality of such beliefs is even more complex.TimeLine

    What I have defined is not a unity between the conscious mind and intention, but a division. All the activity of a living being is intentional, meaning it is carried out with purpose. The conscious mind has the capacity to prevent activity, through willpower. This defines the division between the conscious mind and the intentional acts of the living being. By preventing actions the conscious mind provides the conditions required to consider options. Therefore "intention" as the motivator of action, and seated deep in the unconscious level, is actually opposed, and therefore distinct from, conscious willpower which is the preventer of action.

    Our instinctual drives are natural - a man wants to have sex with a woman - but these drives are unconscious. Like your comparative on plants or other biological organisms, our instinctual drives are a natural part of our biological system and the motivation it assigns is entirely propelled for the pleasure it offers like food to a hungry animal or pollen to a bee. It is evolutionary and beyond reason. This motivation is pleasure; if a man desires a woman because of such instinctual drives, he could try and justify it by forming a 'belief' that somehow his desire for pleasure is 'love' but the unity here is not real. Conformism or blindly following is automaton and the reason why people have this pathology of normalcy is due to the pleasure it gives having people accept you and appreciate you.TimeLine

    Under the model I just outlined, the instinctual, natural drives, are all intentional, in the sense of the actions being carried out for a purpose. You claim the "motivation is pleasure". But that cannot be correct in this model. The real motivator is the real intent, the real purpose behind the act, at the natural, biological level. The purpose behind the sexual act is reproduction, and this is the real motivator. The conscious mind however, apprehends the sexual act as pleasurable, and therefore sees it as a desirable option.

    Notice, that I have separated the way that the conscious mind apprehends the act, from the way that the act naturally comes into occurrence from within the being. There are all sorts of biological processes going on within the living being, and this is where I have located intention. Each process is carried out for a reason, a purpose, and therefore it is intentional. The conscious mind has developed the capacity to observe the actions of the organism as a whole, as well as the organism's inclinations toward action. It has the capacity to prevent actions, willpower. Certain actions, like eating, sex, etc., appear pleasurable to the conscious mind, as a result of the biological processes within the organism. There is intention, a reason, purpose, behind these biological processes, which make these acts appear pleasurable to the conscious mind. So there are biological processes within the being, whose purpose is to make these acts appear pleasurable to the conscious mind. I can conclude that the reason why these acts appear pleasurable to the conscious mind, the purpose for this, is so that the conscious mind will not use its willpower to prevent these acts.

    In this way we see that the pleasure which the conscious mind apprehends, is only at the surface of the act. It is not the case that the act is desired by the conscious mind, because of the perceived pleasure. And it is not the case that the conscious mind is the intentional "cause" of the act because it apprehends pleasure. What is really the case, is that there are all sorts of biological activities going on within the organism, which are all being carried out for various purposes. Some of these activities are being carried out for the purpose of making the sex act appear pleasurable to the conscious mind. This inclines the conscious mind to allow the organism to proceed with the activities perceived as necessary to bring about the apprehended pleasure.

    That is why I argue that it is not the case that loving acts of the individual are motivated by an apprehended pleasure, making the loving acts consciously chosen acts of the autonomous agent. What I think is really the case, is that some of the biological processes of the unconscious are naturally inclining the agent to act in a loving way, while some are inclining the agent to act in a selfish way. There is an incompatibility here which makes anxiety a completely natural occurrence. The autonomous agent must learn how to maximize one's conscious willpower, and use it in a balanced way

    In this way, we cannot say that pleasure is a motivator. All the motivators are the biological processes going on within the organism. Some of these processes make certain actions of the organism appear pleasurable to the conscious mind. The conscious mind thus chooses to allow these actions to proceed from the underlying motivators, relinquishing the willpower that it has over these motivators. Sometimes the conscious mind doesn't even have control and we call this losing control of oneself. But the pleasure which the conscious mind apprehends, doesn't really motivate the action, it simply overpowers the conscious mind's willpower to resist.
  • TimeLine
    2.6k
    . Agustino insisted that thoughts, and actions, which are not consciously chosen by the agent are in some important way, not thoughts and actions of the agent. But that's contradictory nonsense, and leads into a weird dualism where some of your thoughts and actions are your own, and some are not your own. The legal system distinguishes based on responsibility. So even if one is not legally responsible, this does not mean that the person's thoughts and actions are in some way not that person's.Metaphysician Undercover

    The way that I see 'conscious' and 'unconscious' psychologically is the dichotomy between learned behaviour - our relationship with the external world and language - along with our own personal selfhood. So a person could be feeling anxious, isolated and without any sense of meaning (unconscious) while consciously they could consume their energy and time with activities and would have trouble articulating why they feel that way. Like people who have a 'perfect' life - loving partner, nice home, money and security - and yet are still miserable; they cannot articulate why and so to them the anxiety is the problem rather than the mode of existence, that it is somehow not your own feeling and it needs to be ignored. The way that they articulate their identity is based on a type of contrast to normalcy, and Agu is guilty of articulating that in other places by purporting his want of a trophy wife who has specific behavioural attributes, an unrealistic idealism devoid of substance and motivated by his religio-social commitments. For it to work, he would need to find someone living in the same delusion as him.

    While responsibility attempts - in the philosophy of law - to rationalise the purpose of the law, intent is the determinant to understand the severity of the crime itself and the ultimate punishment. In the case of self-defence, for instance, the motivation when proven that they subjectively acted out of self-defence confirms that they are no longer liable for the crime because it would not have been committed otherwise. Legally and philosophically there is that conflict between subjective and objective in the concept of mens rea in similar vein to this unconscious and conscious realms or the learned 'I' and the actual 'I'.

    What I have defined is not a unity between the conscious mind and intention, but a division. All the activity of a living being is intentional, meaning it is carried out with purpose. The conscious mind has the capacity to prevent activity, through willpower. This defines the division between the conscious mind and the intentional acts of the living being. By preventing actions the conscious mind provides the conditions required to consider options. Therefore "intention" as the motivator of action, and seated deep in the unconscious level, is actually opposed, and therefore distinct from, conscious willpower which is the preventer of action.Metaphysician Undercover

    I agree, but not so much the way you have stated here. So, say a person becomes conscious of themselves and feels the angst as we had originally stated, but this subjective feeling of alienation is a phenomenon too overwhelming due to an intense lack of self-esteem that they choose to conform. While they may be mindlessly following, the fact is that they have chosen to do this (hence why I am a compatibilist) and therefore intentional. Only children or one without the cognitive capacity is safe from the moral burden of such intentional activity.

    You claim the "motivation is pleasure". But that cannot be correct in this model. The real motivator is the real intent, the real purpose behind the act, at the natural, biological level. The purpose behind the sexual act is reproduction, and this is the real motivator. The conscious mind however, apprehends the sexual act as pleasurable, and therefore sees it as a desirable option.Metaphysician Undercover

    I have been going round and round with this one and even started a new thread about it. I cannot really come to grips with this, maybe look at my other thread and discuss there.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.8k
    Like people who have a 'perfect' life - loving partner, nice home, money and security - and yet are still miserable; they cannot articulate why and so to them the anxiety is the problem rather than the mode of existence, that it is somehow not your own feeling and it needs to be ignored.TimeLine

    This is what I disagree with, that feelings from the unconscious, are somehow not your own feelings. And the position that the law takes does not validate this claim. The law simply has a system for assigning responsibility to a specific class of actions. This does not mean that actions which you are not responsible for, are not still your own actions.

    In fact, I assign a higher level of authenticity of the self, to the unconscious levels than to the conscious. The unconscious is more foundational, more basic. This is why, as we discussed earlier, the conscious has extreme difficulty to understand the unconscious, because the unconscious is far more substantial. So when there is inconsistency between the life of the consciousness, and the life of the unconscious, despite the appearance that the conscious is "happy", and the unconscious is "unsettled", it is the conscious mind which must change its attitude, to bring stability to the unconscious.

    Legally and philosophically there is that conflict between subjective and objective in the concept of mens rea in similar vein to this unconscious and conscious realms or the learned 'I' and the actual 'I'.TimeLine

    So the "learned I", the conscious I, is really the inauthentic "I", it is the "I" in the perspective of the legal system, and moral responsibility. The authentic "I", the "actual I", is the composite of the whole, the conscious and unconscious. For the two, the conscious and the unconscious, to live together, in harmony, requires that the conscious has proper respect for its place. The necessity of the conscious mind having proper respect for its place is easily exemplified by "I want to do something which it is impossible for me to do".

    I agree, but not so much the way you have stated here. So, say a person becomes conscious of themselves and feels the angst as we had originally stated, but this subjective feeling of alienation is a phenomenon too overwhelming due to an intense lack of self-esteem that they choose to conform. While they may be mindlessly following, the fact is that they have chosen to do this (hence why I am a compatibilist) and therefore intentional. Only children or one without the cognitive capacity is safe from the moral burden of such intentional activity.TimeLine

    I believe that the vast majority of things which we learn through the conscious mind, social conventions, have been created to be consistent with the underlying unconscious I. They have been created from thousands and thousands of years of effort, and have been formed to promote health and harmony within the individual. This is the influence of love. So to chose to conform is usually a good thing for the authentic self (the union of conscious and unconscious) because the accepted social conventions general promote personal harmony. However, society changes, there is growth, new principles are put forward, new norms are produced, and much of this is in a trial and error fashion, not necessarily designed by true love. Meanwhile, each person is unique, and much of this uniqueness is due to the complexities of the underlying unconscious. So choosing to conform at each instance, is not necessarily the best option for harmony in the individual. However, we generally have many choices even within societal norms, so we can often shape our choices in conformity, so as to best maintain personal harmony.
  • Agustino
    11k
    Dearest MU :heart: :snicker:

    I am back.

    You continue with your faulty logic. You argue "if an action is not freely chosen, it is not mine, in a very important sense of the term". But you have no premise to support this conditional, it's based in an absurdity. You conclude that because I am not morally responsible for the actions therefore the actions are not mine.Metaphysician Undercover
    There's nothing absurd with my conditional. If you do not will the actions, then they are not yours, since they occur without your will. If mind control was real, and someone could mind control you and get you to do a nefarious deed, would you say that it is you who did the nefarious did, or rather the person who mind controlled you?

    You need a further premise to support your conclusion, and you cannot state that premise without contradiction. "A person's actions are not that person's actions if one is not morally responsible".
    You've acknowledged the contradiction already.
    Metaphysician Undercover
    Here's the other premise: actions performed with the body and/or mind of another are not that person's actions if they do not will them. No contradiction.

    Unless you can clear up this contradiction, you have no argument.Metaphysician Undercover
    Done.

    How do you propose to separate the actions from the person, to support your claim that the actions are not the person's actions?Metaphysician Undercover
    Based on whether the person wills the actions or not when they occur.

    Clearly, it doesn't suffice to say that we can separate the actions from the person on a basis of moral responsibility, because dogs, cats and other animals all have actions without moral responsibility.Metaphysician Undercover
    We were talking just about humans. If you want to generalise to other animals, then obviously moral responsibility is not required. But one of the two components of moral responsibility (which are will and reason) is still required. Animals lack reason, but they do not lack will.

    Some for instance, have been known to insist that I am the conduit for God, God is thinking through my mind. Such an argument is commonly dismissed as lunacy though.Metaphysician Undercover
    Like your hero Socrates right? He claimed to have had a daemon which spoke with him.

    Again, this is all wrong. The action of pushing the button belongs to you. The action of forcing you to push the button belongs to the other. Even if responsibility for pushing the button is transferred to the other, this in no way indicates that the action itself is the other's. "Responsibility for", and "the action" refer to two distinct things.Metaphysician Undercover
    No, the action is not mine in the sense I've specified above. I do not will the action, and hence I cannot be morally responsible for it. From a moral point of view, the action is not mine. From a biological point of view, or a physical one if you want it, the action belongs to my body as the immediate initiator.
  • CuddlyHedgehog
    459
    I find regular doses of Vitamin D3 to be very helpful.Metaphysician Undercover



    Anecdotal evidence of efficacy.
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