• Agustino
    4.2k
    Yes, because goodness is telling people they worship at the altar of pussy and using the word "fuck" a lot. No one is falling for your bullshit, Agustino.Baden
    Yeah too bad that my argument wasn't even about that. It was about the direction of rationality itself, which is always aimed at the good. Even if goodness isn't using the word fuck a lot, that has nothing to do with the argument I was actually making there. I am directed towards goodness even when I do bad, because I do the said action thinking it is good. It's a mistake in judgement that makes the difference, as I said.

    All you've done in this discussion is distract from a potentially sensible debate with Question and I'm not going to let you continue to get away with that.Baden
    How about you or BC or Hanover actually even start addressing any of my arguments?
  • Bitter Crank
    2.3k
    Get thee to a monastery ASAP -- any one that will have you.
  • Baden
    1.5k
    How about you or BC or Hanover actually even start addressing any of my arguments?Agustino

    We tried and within a couple of posts you descended into a potty-mouthed rant. I guess you need a few more trips to Mount Athos before you can figure out why that's a bad thing.
  • Agustino
    4.2k
    I don't have time right now, but i will soon quote you lengthy arguments that none of you have even bothered to address
  • Question
    721
    Yes, because goodness is telling people they worship at the altar of pussy and using the word "fuck" a lot. No one is falling for your bullshit, Agustino. All you've done in this discussion is distract from a potentially sensible debate with Question and I'm not going to let you continue to get away with that.Baden

    Well, for the most part, I have found what Agustino has said to be pretty agreeable. I don't think he has said anything outrageous, like the sort you might see coming from a religious zealot about going to hell for masturbating, which is another matter altogether.

    All in all, this has been a wholesome and good debate in my opinion.
  • Baden
    1.5k


    Glad you're happy. Anyway, that's enough meta for now. Let's get back to the matter at hand.
  • Hanover
    1.1k
    Why would you have drawn a distinction between need and desire had I said desire and not need? This response makes no sense.
  • Hanover
    1.1k
    I've set you to ignore. If it helps your ego to think it's because you're too wise and irrefutable do that.
  • Question
    721

    Fair game, I'll readdress your post.

    Suppose you're terribly wrong here and that the need for sex and the satisfaction of that need is a more mature response than a person who has successfully repressed that need. Suppose your premise is utter nonsense, that elimination of or simply lacking sexual urge is unrelated entirely to virtue, morality, maturity or any superior power? That does seem to be your underlying unsupportable premise.

    It strikes me that those who go without are either (1) misled religiously, (2) asexually constructed, or (3) socially incapable. Advocating chastity therefore arises because you either (1) wish to convert others to your religion, (2) are incapable of understanding sexuality due to your own asexuality, or (3) are trying to justify your own social limitations.
    Hanover

    What my readings in philosophy have taught me, meaning where I'm coming from, is that unfulfilled wants and desires cause suffering and anguish, which in turn lead to other undesirable emotions. I don't think there's much controversy over that.

    As a constantly aspiring Stoic, I feel compelled to listen to my brethren Christians and not indulge in the pleasurable aspects of life. Please understand that I have nothing against people who indulge in pleasures and such matters. However, I hold people who can master their desires and wants in higher regard to those who do not... and the history of philosophy and religion would stand with me in that value of self-mastery.

    I hope to have clarified where my position is coming from, rather from some neuroticism or other psychobabble some might assume.
  • Bitter Crank
    2.3k
    Please understand that I have nothing against people who indulge in pleasures and such matters. However, I hold people who can master their desires and wants in higher regard to those who do not...Question

    And that is a perfectly reasonable position to take. You are entitled to hold in high regard people who master their desires, if you so wish. I too think it a good idea for people to be on top of their desires, rather than the other way around. I admire people who have been very faithful and devoted to their good political causes, even though they were pretty much lost from the get go. They may have been fools, but... so be it.

    neuroticism or other psychobabbleQuestion

    Well, the dividing line between good psycho-social theory and practice and psychobabble has always been kind of fuzzy. I think there is such a thing as good psycho-social theory, and I've heard plenty of psychobabble too.
  • Bitter Crank
    2.3k
    After many, many posts, reposts, and counterposts, what have you learned--or what remains confusing?
  • Question
    721


    That I need to find a time machine and go back to the 1950's.
  • Baden
    1.5k
    What my readings in philosophy have taught me, meaning where I'm coming from, is that unfulfilled wants and desires cause suffering and anguish, which in turn lead to other undesirable emotions. I don't think there's much controversy over that.Question

    Yes, but if sex is available it would be a fulfilled natural desire like eating and sleeping. And if it's not available, there's no need to make any effort to deny it to yourself.

    ...that value of self-mastery.Question

    I don't necessarily accept that "self-mastery" is the right phrase here. I associate self-mastery with the elimination of negative behaviours and the cultivation of positive ones. Sex is certainly not a negative behaviour on a biological level. It's actually beneficial for health as we've more or less agreed. Then on a social and emotional level, some types of sex may be good, some bad, and it's quite possible to avoid the bad and pursue the good. Finally, on an intellectual level sex is more or less irrelevant either way. Given that, I would refer to the long-term self-denial of sex more as self-mortification than self-mastery just as denying yourself junk food might be referred to as self-mastery while denying yourself the required amount of calories a day -even if the food is healthy- would be self-mortification.

    I hope to have clarified where my position is coming from, rather from some neuroticism or other psychobabble some might assume.Question

    Hand-waving isn't an argument. We have drives and they have psychological effects and it doesn't take much psychobabble to work out that denying natural drives may cause physical and psychological harm. Having said that, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you find celibacy works for you, then it works, and no amount of psychological theorizing can make it wrong.
  • Question
    721
    Yes, but if sex is available it would be a fulfilled natural desire like eating and sleeping. And if it's not available, there's no need to make any effort to deny it to yourself.Baden

    Yes; but, we are insatiable creatures. Nothing seems to satisfy us. I might be taking things to the extreme; but, I deny myself any wants and desires that are contrary to reason.

    I don't necessarily accept that "self-mastery" is the right phrase here. I associate self-mastery with the elimination of negative behaviours and the cultivation of positive ones. Sex is certainly not a negative behaviour on a biological level. It's actually beneficial for health as we've more or less agreed. Then on a social and emotional level, some types of sex may be good, some bad, and it's quite possible to avoid the bad and pursue the good. Finally, on an intellectual level sex is more or less irrelevant either way. Given that, I would refer to the long-term self-denial of sex more as self-mortification than self-mastery just as denying yourself junk food might be referred to as self-mastery while denying yourself the required amount of calories a day -even if the food is healthy- would be self-mortification.Baden

    You call it self-mortification, I call it self-mastery. Semantics.

    Hand-waving isn't an argument. We have drives and they have psychological effects and it doesn't take much psychobabble to work out that denying natural drives may cause physical and psychological harm. Having said that, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you find celibacy works for you, then it works, and no amount of psychological theorizing can make it wrong.Baden

    But, isn't it amazing that we can overcome these drives and desires? There is an implicit triumph of reason and intellect over the incessant pangs of the most primitive aspect of human nature.

    St. Augustine's Confessions can be summarized in that he stopped having sex because he loved God so much more.
  • Agustino
    4.2k
    Below are my arguments that have never been addressed, or have been improperly addressed (although many of them have in fact never been replied to even once):

    I think this raises an interesting problem. Even the materialist and atheist Epicurus considered sex to be a natural desire, but not a need. He distinguished between three types of desire - natural and necessary desires (such as food, water, air, sleep - these we call needs today), natural and non-necessary desires (like sex, this we call a want), and artificial desires (like the desire for fame - which he claimed are empty and vacuous).

    To consider sex a need is an entirely modern invention, and quite frankly it screams weakness to me from 100 miles. "woah woah I need my toy!" cries the kid. Really? I thought we're supposed to grow up and put behind childish things, but apparently not. Nobody dies from not having sex. Yet try to go without eating and drinking for a few days, and you'll see what happens.

    Personally - I consider the sexual instinct, in its untainted form, to be nothing bad - like Epicurus said, a natural desire. For example, I consider it natural for someone to desire children, a family, intimacy and love. That's not a need, it is a want, although it is a natural want, as opposed to an artificial one. But this kind of sexual instinct doesn't find its fulfilment except in particular circumstances - love, and life-long commitment to each other and the children. However - these things aren't always possible, or at least aren't possible in just about any circumstance or in just about any point in time. And there's nothing wrong in living without them, because again, it is a want. The fact that it is a natural want makes no difference to this. Only the factor of necessity is relevant. It's immoral to deny yourself necessities - like food, water, and so forth. And if you think about it, by not engaging in casual sex you aren't even denying yourself anything, because casual sex wouldn't fulfil the end goal of sex anyway (neither intimacy nor children would occur). You're just recognising that at present your natural desire cannot find the object of its fulfilment. This recognition is the way you accept your sexual instinct without repression contrary to what BC and Baden think. Having casual sex would just make you feel guilty and frustrated at yourself - it would certainly not fulfil your desire. That's why it is irrational. It's not even helpful.

    But you see, the moderns, in order to be able to propagate the idea of promiscuity and casual sex, must make sex into a necessity - otherwise how can they claim, as Hanover does, that to live a celibate lifestyle is immoral and inferior? Furthermore, the even deeper problem is that it's not the Churches tricking people into celibacy - even the materialist and atheist Epicurus advocated celibacy for the sage.

    I've been listening to this Hanover type of rhetoric almost all my life, especially when I lived in the West. A rhetoric which is actually quite blind to many of the realities of life. I don't mean to insult Hanover, but I often find this rhetoric in those who are well educated, but not very well educated - they are superficial, they see just the surface of the issues.
    Agustino

    Oh common, as if the whole game doesn't change if they are desires and not needs? Really Hanover. Have some dignity man. This is philosophy, not your local pub, where you can take your anachronistic and medieval views against celibacy for granted.

    I mean, don't you look at sages like Epicurus, Epictetus, Aristotle, etc. and what they said about sex and celibacy? Do you really take your own self to be above all of them, such that you can denounce their views without even mounting an argument against it, by mere prejudice and sophistry? Have you made yourself into a latter day Hume? I get that you like to live your life as part of modern culture and buy into the views that the media is feeding you. You think that's normal because that's how you grew up, you're like the man in Plato's cave, you know nothing else about what's outside. And you think celibacy is abnormal because you haven't been surrounded by it, so it is alien to you and strange. Therefore you are prejudiced against it. That's very unphilosophical, and it's sad to see that your argument ended with that - mere prejudice.
    Agustino

    What makes men different to women regarding abstinence? :sAgustino

    People having sex is a market - for condoms, for sex toys, for medication for STDs, for abortions, for contraceptives, for pornography, for dating agencies/websites, for alcohol, etc. So what you're saying isn't the complete truth, again. People having more sex = more business of all sorts - including psychotherapy, and whatever else people need because they fuck themselves up through improper actions. The more hyped up the desire for sex is - as you are hyping it up for example - the more markets exist, and the more stupidly people behave, and so the more others can earn. Having folks in the chains of lust is a good way to sell to them. If we didn't hype up people's sex-drive, we couldn't even use sex in advertising. We use it precisely because we have gotten to the point where we've destroyed morality, and have gotten most people to give in to their lusts. And so, if they give in to their lusts, they will keep buying our products. Quite simple math. If I was a rich capitalist, I wouldn't want the common people to be free of lust... that would be fucking terrible, how I would I get them to buy all sorts of shit then?

    Advertising sex as good for health is, for example, a way to get people interested in sex. Then when I advertise my deodorant, people are more interested in it, because they associate sex with something far more important than it actually is. Why? Because I have trained them to do so. And it's always easier to train people to give in to lust, than to train them in virtue. That's actually an interesting subject - why is that?
    Agustino

    And I could go on... However, I only do this to show how futile this is as a way of achieving apodeictic knowledge with regards to what the case really is psychologically. Celibacy has far more health benefits than sexual intercourse if the participant is ready and prepared for it, and evidence abounds, especially historical evidence. The greatest of warriors in history for example - Miyamoto Musashi for example - practiced celibacy. It's a pity that we have these big brains today who question what is backed up by all of our present and past knowledge based on some variation of the now defunct Freud schemes, and in accordance with the dominant worldview of their culture.Agustino

    Why do you presume that sex is the biological end? That's false as I've shown in the post to BC and to you which both of you haven't addressed. Reproduction and survival - NOT sex - are the biological ends. Having sex at the wrong time or with the wrong person is CONTRARY to the biological ends. There's nothing wrong with sexual desire per se, it must be ordered to its proper aims - which aren't sexual pleasure, but love and reproduction/survival. If you're having sex in any circumstance where there is neither love nor reproduction/survival benefits then you're a fool. Please refer to my previous post on these matters a couple of pages ago for more detailed explanationsAgustino

    Prestige in this context isn't equivalent to social power - it's equivalent to personal strength. It has to do with, as Kant would say, respecting your own self, and to respect your own self you have to act in accordance to the dictates of practical reason. If you give in to your lusts, then you don't respect your own self, you are shameful.Agustino

    I'm not sure this is the case - I've visited and lived with monks before on Mount Athos, and there is no neuroticism there, I can assure you of that. You give me a call when you even speak with a monk, much less live for awhile with them. You sound like one my friends who thinks that the celibates (monks) have orgies when no on is looking... >:OAgustino

    I disagree. It's not sex that is of the essence, it's survival. Because it's survival there are many other considerations that go into what actions one will engage in. Reproduction (not sex, and this is important) is very relevant to survival, because on a biological level, part of us (part of our genes) will survive in our offspring. But it's not sufficient to conceive the offspring (have sex) in order to ensure the survival of those genes. Quite the contrary, conceiving the offspring at the wrong time (or with the wrong person) may lead to my demise, as well as the demise of my future offspring. So there is no natural unrestrained sexual desire, because if this was the case, it wouldn't maximise the chance of survival. That's why we've developed intelligence - to be able to judge what conditions would maximise our survival.

    Now it's quite clear that a monogamous relationship is the best for myself, as well as for my offspring (the two are identical). And ideally, a strong, disciplined, cultured, and large family needs to be built around that initial relationship - such that not only my children survive - but they survive with a big advantage - ie they're left in great social positions, being leading men/women in their communities, etc. This maximises the chances of survival, from a purely biological point of view, and is best achieved if the whole family works as a single mind.

    Now the problem with promiscuity is that it doesn't make sense from a purely biological point of view. What use reproducing if most of that seed is spilled and wasted, and your children are in no better position to reproduce than you yourself are? That's nonsense. Most who practice promiscuity aren't even interested in reproducing - many don't even want to have children. They just want to have the sex. That is not a natural drive at all. That's contrary to nature. Their survival doesn't benefit one iota because of it, on the contrary, it may actually be threatened. That I would define as a neurosis indeed.
    Agustino

    :-! facile to say, but I didn't start here exactly. Back before I had my first girlfriend I experienced this kind of desire for, I guess you could say, orgasm, and probably I did want to have sex with some of the "hot girls". It mostly manifested through watching pornography and masturbation. But after I started dating my first girlfriend, I got cured of the pornography and masturbation (because she "forced" me to stop :P ) and after my second girlfriend was never that interested just in sex anymore. In my mind, from my perspective, I simply understood that there's not much to gain from sex outside a long-committed life-long relationship, and just the physical pleasure, without the psychological isn't much pleasure anyway. I don't understand why people go their whole life without making these realisations, bound in the chains of their sexual desire. I mean common... if I can do it, how can there be folks more than double my age who are still so into their sexual desire - I see old folks running after the young girls it's so hilarious! Like is that for real? >:O That's kind of embarrassing for them I think. Even at that advanced age, when they should be paragons of wisdom, they are still worshipping at the altar of pussy. Give me a break >:O

    Sexual desire has its purposes - like survival and reproduction, but to chase it as end-in-itself - that is crazy, or immature to say the least.
    Agustino

    Why is it preferable than, for example, to abstain from it until the long-term relationship? It seems you and Bitter Crank are stuck with Freud! Common... there's so much more to psychology than Freud, that's old news today! What's with these three level schemes? Ego, Super-Ego and id become intellect, biology, and social - my days... If I was Voegelin I'd say you two (and your papa Freud) are Gnostics par-excellence!Agustino

    But it is part of my biology to desire to have sex such that I have offspring which have the longest chance of survival, which requires that me and my woman are loyal to each other and never compromise. If I want to build a dynasty of a family and have my children dominate their social environment (thus maximising survival), then there needs to be unity, discipline and focus in the family. Otherwise, sooner or later we will all be gone. Spilling your seed randomly in the hopes that some of your offspring will survive is the way to waste it. If I care for my offspring, then I can't just pick some slut that enjoys having as much sex as possible with just about anyone - that would be a disaster! I need someone who is a master of her sexuality, who doesn't give in to her lusts.

    Your assumption that I simply desire to have sex is wrong. I don't. I desire to have sex in such and such a situation and no other. Furthermore, the human organism has needs that aren't biological - just as other animals do. Why does the dog whose owner dies, why does he refuse to eat, becomes depressed, and also dies? There's things in life far more important than sex or food or survival for that matter.
    Agustino
  • Agustino
    4.2k
    All things? Nope.Heister Eggcart
    Which things don't you do because you think them good?

    So drawn to "Goodness" that you'd rather please your penis than live a still life among monksHeister Eggcart
    Again, this doesn't disprove my point. Even if I'd rather please my penis (he said it!) than live a still life among monks, all that means is that I judge it to be good to please my penis, hence why I do it. I may be wrong now in my judgement - that pleasing my penis is good - but it doesn't follow from that that I'm not directed towards goodness.

    Just how you think having children is good.Heister Eggcart
    Yes kinda like that.

    So who judges his judgement to be wrong? You? If so, who judges your judgement of his judgement?Heister Eggcart
    In this case me. Everyone judges for themselves.

    This doesn't follow at all.Heister Eggcart
    You are defined by reason - it is part of your essence to be a rational animal. If you don't seek goodness, then you are irrational, and if you are irrational you - the rational animal - doesn't exist.

    How'd you figure this out?Heister Eggcart
    By watching the structure of our reasoning faculty, and noticing that it is always aimed towards goodness, even when I do evil.

    I can say the same of your own judgement, that marital sex in fact propagates suffering and pain. According to your wonky logic, my judgement is as right as yours.Heister Eggcart
    My logic doesn't determine which judgement is right. It only makes the point that we're both pursuing our paths because we judge them to be good. That's a commonality we share, despite all our differences.

    Has? So God's supposed Being is as much a quality as our own being...interesting......Heister Eggcart
    Goodness is more primary than Being - that's the idea.
  • Agustino
    4.2k
    In addition, for all those who have never worked in research in a scientific evidence based field (notice I didn't say philosophical), I think knowledge of the contents of this video down below may be helpful to you, and may cure your addiction of "research studies" for proving things, especially with regards to sex. The way to approach such subjects is to form common sense explanatory frameworks, not to gather evidence and test hypotheses statistically - pretty much any result can be obtained that way. And this is actually a good topic of discussion - if my theories are right, it's very possible that the rate of false information spreading is greater than the rate of true information, and hence our access to truth is actually becoming more and more limited, while we - the fools - are thinking that we have more access to truth than ever ;)

  • Bitter Crank
    2.3k
    That I need to find a time machine and go back to the 1950's.Question

    I recommend that you set the dial on the time machine farther back than the 1950s. The 1950s were the nativity decade of beatniks, Hells Angels, rock and roll, discovering communists and homosexuals under every bush, and other harbingers of the various sexual horrors that were to come.

    Skip the 1940s -- too much WWII. The 1930s were kind of bad, what with the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and massive government overreach. Prohibition in the 1920s was a great corruptor, with all sorts of people from different races and classes mixing at illegal bars--way too loose. The Klamp Down Ladies had lost their grip. The 19-teen years ended up with World War I, so you will probably want to skip that decade too.

    The first decade of the 20th Century might be suitable. There was quite a bit of interesting technical innovation; the Klamp Down Ladies still had society under control what with Jim Crow and Edwardian manners. Hypocrisy was rife but sex was officially out of sight (and not the 60s "out of sight, man" kind). Alert I: the century did begin with a Presidential Assassination - President McKinley on September 14, 1901, so bad things were already happening to good people. McKinley had led America to a Glorious Victory in the Spanish American War, and had erected protective tariffs for the Good of All. Alert II: There were Bohemians in New York who practiced deviant life styles, but you'll be able to avoid them if you settle in Peoria, Illinois -- Bohemians didn't play in Peoria.

    Once you leave the 20th century, you'll have to choose your times carefully. Sex reared its sultry head ever so often. Mozart wrote an opera about a famous serial seducer, Don Giovanni. It premiered on October 28, 1787.
  • Agustino
    4.2k
    I think there's a difference between folks having sex, and us having a culture that's about sex, as we do today. Sex didn't use to be a source of self-esteem in the past, among many other things, and it was taboo to discuss openly, unlike today. You wouldn't have discussions with people you barely know at work regarding what you've done last night. Even if some people still behaved in immoral ways, they had some sort of decency and restraint - some of them at least. It was rare for example to find a woman proud about how many men she slept with - or even a man going around everywhere bragging about his sexual exploits - there was a modicum of shame and decency involved.
  • Bitter Crank
    2.3k
    Sex didn't use to be a source of self-esteem in the past, among many other things, and it was taboo to discuss openly, unlike today.Agustino

    It is always difficult to grasp precisely what people did or didn't feel or do in historical periods to which we are not privy. Whether such a thing as "self esteem" exists now, or existed in the past, and whether it has any importance at all has been debated here recently. My assumption is that good sex (however the two parties defined it) has usually been pleasing to people, but not always. Individual psychology usually plays a bigger role than culture when it comes to personal satisfaction.

    I would agree that manners have often ruled out open, certainly public, detailed discussions of sexual behavior. I don't know how my parents talked about sex (they were born in 1905 and 1907) because they practically never did. We children were raised in a small crowded house, so... We are all pretty sure that they didn't.

    Even if some people still behaved in immoral ways, they had some sort of decency and restraintAgustino

    You may not, but I think there is a difference between manners and morals. Morals might dictate that infidelity is wrong. Manners might rule that discrete infidelity without messy entanglements (like inconvenient offspring) is socially acceptable. In saying that, I am not saying that manners trumps morality, (Donald doesn't seem to know the difference) but, for some people, manners governs behavior more than morals--and it has for centuries.

    Please don't argue with me here; I am not claiming that infidelity is OK. I am only claiming that the rules of morals and manners are not the same thing. Personally, I generally favor morals over manners.

    Manners have at various times been at odds with morals, and people did sometimes opt for good manners over morals -- thinking of some characters in the Canterbury Tales for instance, which Chaucer started writing around 1389. Several of the Tales are about sexual (mis?)behavior, with details (check out the Miller's Tale).

    The lesson here is that including these ribald tales in the book for public consumption was OK in 1389. People enjoyed the story about the young lady who thrust her derriere out the window (in the dark) to be kissed, rather than her head, and the man being surprised that "the lady had a beard".

    Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) wrote the Decameron, which is like the Canterbury Tales -- it's a conceit that a group of people told these stories to each other to pass the time. There's also hanky panky there -- some of it involving nuns, as I recollect (it's been a long time since).
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