• Jack Cummins
    423
    I am feeling a bit despondent because so much of the discussion on this site is about destruction as an ideal. Of course, there are some very positive issues and discussions as well. Also, everyone is entitled to their views and discussions. But having just read arguments in favour that it would be better if people were no longer brought into the world and in favour of murder I am wondering about the loss of highest aspirations for philosophy.

    Please don't think that I am trying to outlaw anyone's opinions but I am just wondering what is happening in philosophy if these are the new aspirations? Is philosophy itself collapsing into chaos?
  • Outlander
    747
    About? Not necessarily About defining limits or extremes both desired and undesired? Precisely.
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    I am not sure what you are saying at all. I think discussion about limits, extremes and desires are worth discussing if that is what you mean.
  • magritte
    136
    Should philosophy be telling people how to live or what the ideals of life lived to the fullest should be? Is philosophy capable of doing that?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    765
    Please don't think that I am trying to outlaw anyone's opinions but I am just wondering what is happening in philosophy if these are the new aspirations? Is philosophy itself collapsing into chaos?Jack Cummins

    I think it's more just a reflection of the forum than of philosophy itself. There are some members who are very into anti-natalism, and, I think as you put it "destruction as an ideal." I'd chalk this up to some of the members on the forum, but I just personally tend to avoid these topics because I've already had these types of discussions and I'm done with them now. I'm not going to entertain a pro-murder argument so I just avoid the thread.
  • Jack Cummins
    423



    Yes, you are quite right. It is best to ignore some threads if the discussion doesn't seem helpful. I did not make any response to the one on murder because I just knew it would be pointless if people had certain views I came away feeling really fed up after two people kept defending their beliefs that it would be better if humans did not exist any longer because it would end suffering.

    Saying that there are some really interesting posts, with very high levels of philosophical debate. I have just spent too much time reading the site on my phone because I am spending a lot of time at home presently. I do think that it is good that the site provides an open forum this does mean that some really extreme views are going to predominantly at times. But, I of all people do appreciate diversity and I would not want chocolate box discussion but ideas which generally areas for deep thought.
  • Philosophim
    442


    Philosophy is about questioning all things. To take what we assume, and really examine it at a logical level. Perhaps someone is concerned about such negative things, and is asking because they seek an answer to an emotional quandry they have.

    If you wish to answer their questions, strive to find the positive side. Really dig into their assumptions and see if it holds out. We should not be afraid that people ask questions about even the worst things. We should only be afraid that we do not give a proposal its just due and put it through its paces.

    That being said, I'm glad your voice is here. Don't worry about the doom and gloom people. Do what is right and meaningful by you. We can control nothing else.
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    Actually, the reason I did engage in discussions with the people with views that human beings would be best not existing was because I wished to understand where they were coming from. It also was in the context of discussion and pain which is worthy of exploration.

    The point where I got really fed up was after I explained that I had never procreated and I thought that he or she did not. Then the person said that they had procreated, was not experiencing suffering and just wished that they did not exist in case they ever had to suffer. I came away feeling the whole discussion had been rather despondent about all this.

    But I guess this was just a bad experience and this happens in all interaction. I have only been using the site for about a month, so I will learn from it. I am willing to explore and question almost all areas of debate with as open mind as possible but the point at which I will seek to withdraw is when I feel too despondent to continue.

    I had got to that point when I just started seeing the latest discussion was a logical defence of murder. I am not a moral absolutist but the thread did start to disturb me. Obviously, my disturbance is my issue and not anyone else's problem, but it was at this point that my own spontaneous response was to create this thread, really in attempt to balance discussion agenda.

    Nevertheless, as I probably said in an earlier response I do like discussion which is controversial and thought provoking. I like exploring unknown territories, but just need to know when to switch off when it gets overwhelming.

    I think one of my thoughts when I began this thread was whether others were feeling as I felt about some of the threads. I do think feelings about discussion need to be expressed rather than mere abstract logical arguments
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    22
    Suffering focused ethics are a minority view, especially antinatalism etc.

    While you should disengage when it becomes too stressful, without challenge these views would be reinforced within an echo chamber. This would be unhelpful for either side of the argument, provided their goal is the truth.
  • god must be atheist
    2.4k
    Philosophy is love of wisdom, and as such, it depends partly on finding the truth. The truth can be ugly, and there are sayings about that. Philosophy is not psychology, and definitely not supportive therapy. I philosophize because I am compelled to. If it's ugly, so be it... as long as it sells me the truth. Wishing for higher ideals to win is an anthropomorphic wishful thinking, and as such, it is a valid philosophy too, as long as it digs out the truth.
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    I definitely agree that philosophy is not supportive therapy. It is love of wisdom, but why does that only "partly depend on finding the truth''?
  • Hippyhead
    899
    Is philosophy itself collapsing into chaos?Jack Cummins

    Philosophy forums may over represent the phenomena that concerns you, because they tend to be dominated by privileged young suburban white almost men who are in the process of discovering that the world is not always a nice place. As they go through this stage they sometimes get carried away. I call it college sophomore syndrome.

    When I was that age I went on a binge of reading writers like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with his horrific descriptions of the Russian gulag, in between reading epic volumes about the Holocaust, and so on. It was a phase. I got over it.

    I actually remember the first moment it dawned on me that you couldn't always count on things to work out. I was maybe 12, walking down the block towards the beach at night. Nothing bad was happening at that moment, other than my maturing juvenile nerd brain awakening to the reality of suffering for the first time.

    Little suburban white boys. We have such transitions.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    627
    Should philosophy be about highest aspirations and ideals?Jack Cummins

    Just asking here, but do you believe that there is a consensus in philosophy as to what are the highest aspirations and ideals?
  • Jack Cummins
    423
    I do believe that there are many unanswered questions in philosophy. But I am struggling, with the bombardment of academic questions and those about truth. The many threads and so many questions.

    I will be back with questions but I need to stand back and think clearly. But I will be back, after reflection, because there is so much to discuss but in the meantIme if anyone wishes to say there areas of concern I will do my best to incorporate them into any threads which I create.

    We need to examine all aspects of reality and the creators of this site need to be thanked for creating a wonderful means of debate and discussion, in all its diversity.
  • Jack Cummins
    423


    I am replying to your question as to whether there is a consensus to the highest ideals and aspirations. I don't think that there is an actual consensus but I am interested in ethics as well as many other areas of philosophy. This would include areas such as medical ethics, economic ethics, as well as war, peace and the future.

    But I am certainly not part of the moral right. I like exploring issues from as many angles as possible
    I am very influenced by postmodernism and the whole deconstruction of language.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    627

    OK... my reason for asking you that question was if there isn't any clear consensus as to what 'highest ideals and aspirations' are then why should philosophy be bothered to set a target with intentional focus upon a goal that itself has never been agreed upon or have a unified standard of measure for levels of ideals or aspirations?

    (Banno's jigsaw puzzle might well apply here.)

    The question as it stands seems to imply that such a consensus or standard of measure not only exists, but can be in some way defined.

    I've been away from philosophy for quite a bit and was beginning to wonder if I missed that memo.

    Anyway...

    ... I'm intrigued by value theory (of which ethics is a sub-set) as well as questioning questions.
  • Albero
    29
    @Jack Cummins Learn to appreciate the doom and gloom people, because my personal views have always strengthened when I argue against them. That being said, I personally don’t conflate philosophy with highest aspirations and ideals (obviously people will disagree), but instead with a more balanced path. I’m a fan of Taoism, moral anti-realism, and stoicism (the latter two seem to be unpopular here) so I don’t think existence is inherently good or bad really.
  • Jack Cummins
    423
    I can appreciate a bit of doom and gloom. If you saw my CD collection. I embrace Joy Division, Nirvana and even a bit of Slipknot, not forgetting Korn.

    It is all about getting the right balance. We can descend to underworld and rise to shamanic ecstasy. But sometimes it is all about survival mode as well as the fate of humanity. I guess
    I just don't have that much sympathy with antinatalism. I just don't understand it and I can make more sense of death metal than the antinatist stance. But I prefer goth, ranging from Bauhaus, The Cure and Marilyn Manson and even a bit of Fields of the Nephilim at the right time.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    627
    I’m a fan of Taoism, moral anti-realism, and stoicism (the latter two seem to be unpopular here)Albero

    You might be surprised, but there are more with this sort of 'polarity' than you'd think.
    They tend to play with the cards tighter to their chest.
    Don't confuse acoustical volume with quantitative volume. ;)
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    627
    I can make more sense of death metal than the antinatist stance.Jack Cummins

    Yep!
  • Albero
    29
    well id say you should really aim to truly understand it before completely dismissing it. I’m definitely not an anti-natalist, but I’m also quite well read on what they have to say. I don’t think brooding Schopenhauerian pessimism is any more objective then blind, dumb optimism.
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    I am most certainly prepared to read the antinatalist philosophy. I am prepared to read all views because reading is the one thing I find easier to do more so than anything else, especially the most mundane tasks like washing and dressing

    What I will do is read though, because sometimes, especially with this site, it is so easy to react immediately. It is all about listening to even the most extreme viewpoints before leaping to reply. I don't have much sympathy with the antinatalists but I have to hear them to the fullest. I was impressed by Shopenhauer1's list of hates at least.
  • praxis
    2.9k
    I noticed the new topic titled "Is Murder Really That Bad?" but didn't read because it doesn't interest me. A little surprised by the title, though I recall thinking that this is a philosophy forum where everything should be questioned so sure.
  • Steven the Wyzard
    2
    In of itself, once a intelligence occurs via evolution, birth or some other force, if it is wholesome it would always carry within it a vision/dream/goal/plan of a higher state of being. All philosophy, that is the construction of the mind is about building unto the perfect design... unless its not.

    Not all entities seek higher states, some have dark purpose or are simply built to remain stagnant/sedentary. The solider is taught to be as a solider, not to envision internal or social change for a army of such beings would not produce the result the military training peoples are attempting to achieve.
  • 180 Proof
    2.1k

    Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. — Gilles Deleuze
    :death: :flower:
  • Gus Lamarch
    517
    But having just read arguments in favour that it would be better if people were no longer brought into the world and in favour of murder I am wondering about the loss of highest aspirations for philosophy.Jack Cummins

    Secularism, Decadence and Nihilism. The three virtues of the new generations that seek destruction. Don't worry about such thoughts, as things will get even worse...
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    But people are waking up to social inequalities more than ever in the time of Covid_19. Perhaps philosophy will be part of the ethical dilemmas of our time, especially the core values needed for the survival of many.
  • Gus Lamarch
    517
    But people are waking up to social inequalities more than ever in the time of Covid_19.Jack Cummins

    Social inequality has always existed and will always exist. Decay itself is the act of this new generation to take advantage of the possibility of lamenting and resenting the poorest even though they do nothing to help them. To believe that you can have economic, and social equality in a finite Universe, where things are finite and possibilities are too, is crazy.

    Perhaps philosophy will be part of the ethical dilemmas of our time, especially the core values needed for the survival of many.Jack Cummins

    Philosophy will simply be another political tool for the eventual indoctrination of the masses - as it was in Late Antiquity -, and after its function is accomplished, it will be discarded completely - in the form of the creation of another school of thought that is dogmatic, like theology during the Middle Ages -. You really don't believe that philosophy - let us be honest, from the moment it became accesible for the masses, it was no longer philosophy - will endure the way it is currently described and established, do you?

    people are waking upJack Cummins

    The status quo of our time is "breaking the status quo". Everyone is special and unique, until everyone is not anymore...
  • Jack Cummins
    423

    I don't think that it is all negative. The suffering of many in the world at the time of Covid_19 is leading to a lot of questioning. Nothing can be taken for granted any longer and even the politicians are not saying they have the answers.

    Of course there are many social inequalities but these are not going to be eradicated easily. But people who have previously considered themselves as invulnerable are becoming vulnerable. People who would have never thought that they would have to seek support through benefits are having to do so.

    There are many dangers of the current time, especially world wars. The fight could be over the vaccine for Covid_19. American government was first scapegoating China for the virus but if the vaccine launched works it could be a fierce political fight over resouces.

    Perhaps the philosophers' role is to steer thinking in a way which is transformative rather than nihilistic.
  • Gus Lamarch
    517
    Of course there are many social inequalities but these are not going to be eradicated easily.Jack Cummins

    I don't think you understood my previous point. These inequalities will NEVER be eradicated as there will always be a group claiming to have less than the rest. Humanity does not exist to live in conformity and equality with everyone, it lives to compete and be the best, which in itself is already a biological structure of the social hierarchy. If that is already part of our biology, it is a waste of time to be resentful for the cause of the weakest, unless it is used as a tool to exacerbate his ego towards his social niche - ex: I regret the misery in Africa and how I am very saddened for the afflicted. With this act, I am well seen in the eyes of those around me, while said Africans remain in misery and suffering -. This is horrendous and disgusting, this negative-egoism...

    There are many dangers of the current time, especially world wars. The fight could be over the vaccine for Covid_19. American government was first scapegoating China for the virus but if the vaccine launched works it could be a fierce political fight over resouces.Jack Cummins

    I can say that WWIII will not be due to a poor vaccine. I do not give 40 years that we will be fighting for the last sources of oil in the world, or we will be fighting for the simple offended ego of this intolerant mass ...

    Perhaps the philosophers' role is to steer thinking in a way which is transformative rather than nihilistic.Jack Cummins

    In fact, this type of thinking can be useful if a given philosopher is not biased and turns his philosophy into a mere vehicle through which he will preach his political bias - something that happens and a lot today -.
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