• Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    After many, many posts, reposts, and counterposts, what have you learned--or what remains confusing?
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k


    That I need to find a time machine and go back to the 1950's.
  • Baden
    6.6k
    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.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k
    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
    11.3k
    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
    11.3k
    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
    11.3k
    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
    6.3k
    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
    11.3k
    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
    6.3k
    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).
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Manners might rule that discrete infidelity without messy entanglements (like inconvenient offspring) is socially acceptable.Bitter Crank
    How can it be discrete if there's always the possibility that the other party will find out? :s It seems to me whoever thinks it can be discrete is deluding themselves.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.6k


    To me that reads more like a question of ignoring the behaviour or not raising it, rather than it being beyond discovery. Something like a society which pretends nothing is going on for social decorum, where manners are more important than recognising or stopping abuse.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    To me that reads more like a question of ignoring the behaviour or not raising it, rather than it being beyond discovery. A society which pretends nothing is going on for social decorum, where manners are more important than recognising or stopping abuse.TheWillowOfDarkness
    I agree with you. But I'm asking the question to BC, apparently he thinks it can be discrete, and if it's discrete, it's somehow less morally wrong than otherwise because, for example, he might think someone can only be hurt by what they know, not by what they don't know. So say I cheat on my wife, BC may be of the opinion that I've done no wrong, so long as I'm careful to cover the tracks and my wife never finds out. This opinion is very common actually in the public at large.
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    Which things don't you do because you think them good?Agustino

    Typing on a keyboard is not a good, or any other amoral action.

    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.Agustino

    Casanova might have said and done the same thing. He was having sex because he judged that it was the good.

    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.

    Yep, you may be wrong. You also may be wrong about your judgement of the good always being sought, regardless of wrong judgments!

    In this case me. Everyone judges for themselves.Agustino

    Great, so you judged God to be and not the other way around. Glad we've settled that!

    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.Agustino

    Goodness is not rationality, however. One may be rational without striving for the good. If you contest that, okay, but then what will you, and I, use in order to best find the truth to our disagreement? Ah yes,reason.

    By watching the structure of our reasoning faculty, and noticing that it is always aimed towards goodness, even when I do evil.Agustino

    Sounds like a good excuse to fuck bitches since we're aimed at "God" regardless of what we do.

    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.Agustino

    As I said before, you have judged that we all pursue the good, which means that such a judgement cannot be true because you've already said that "logic doesn't determine which judgement is right."

    Goodness is more primary than Being - that's the idea.Agustino

    And an unintelligible one at that.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Typing on a keyboard is not a good, or any other amoral action.Heister Eggcart
    You type on a keyboard because you want to communicate, and you want to communicate because you see it as good no?

    Casanova might have said and done the same thing. He was having sex because he judged that it was the good.Heister Eggcart
    Sure.

    Yep, you may be wrong. You also may be wrong about your judgement of the good always being sought, regardless of wrong judgments!Heister Eggcart
    That's not a judgement but the observation of the way reason functions.

    Goodness is not rationality, however.Heister Eggcart
    I agree.

    One may be rational without striving for the good.Heister Eggcart
    Nope. They will think they're striving for the good, even while they're not - just like Casanova.

    If you contest that, okay, but then what will you, and I, use in order to best find the truth to our disagreement? Ah yes,reason.Heister Eggcart
    Our faculties of judgement.

    Sounds like a good excuse to fuck bitches since we're aimed at "God" regardless of what we do.Heister Eggcart
    Nope - that's not what I said. If you know that ****ing bitches is wrong, and you go and **** bitches, then you're just acting irrationally. (I promised Baden not to say that word >:O but you're tempting me :P ) If you don't know that doing the bitches is wrong - and instead you think it's good - then you are sinning, but you are acting rationally.

    As I said before, you have judged that we all pursue the good, which means that such a judgement cannot be true because you've already said that "logic doesn't determine which judgement is right."Heister Eggcart
    A judgement isn't the same as an observation. We observe facts. We judge meanings.

    And an unintelligible one at that.Heister Eggcart
    Not to Plato ;)
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    I'm asking the question to BC, apparently he thinks it can be discrete, and if it's discrete, it's somehow less morally wrong than otherwiseAgustino

    I did not say that manners were more important than morals. I said "I generally favor morals over manners". In the judgement of people who value manners very highly, however, "discretion is the better part of valor" as Falstaff says to King Henry IV in the eponymously named play. In the past as in the present, those with lots of power and wealth to control their PR could get away with more than you could, for example. The associates of the rich and powerful almost always had a good deal to gain by (almost always) valuing decorum above legal proceedings.

    he might think someone can only be hurt by what they know, not by what they don't know. So say I cheat on my wife, BC may be of the opinion that I've done no wrong, so long as I'm careful to cover the tracks and my wife never finds out. This opinion is very common actually in the public at large.Agustino

    Anyone who has worked in public health programs knows that what people do not know can definitely hurt them.

    As for your cheating on your wife, especially considering everything you have said about adultery, you would be so very, very guilty of sin that possibly your burning at the stake would not be too severe. But I digress.

    Sins, crimes, and wrong-doing not discovered are still sins, crimes, and wrong-doing whether anybody knows about it or not. That said, the consequences of sins, crimes, and wrong-doing might be greatly lessened for everyone concerned IF nobody new about it. For instance...

    Russia and the United States spy on each other. Everybody in the spied-upon-country counts this as a very bad thing. But it continues, and is carried out between many allies and enemies. It is normal operating procedure. Spying causes real losses to the spied-upon and real gains for the spying upon. Again, SOP. The worst thing that can happen is for a spy operation to be revealed. Revelations disrupt SOP in the spying nation as well as the spied upon nation. It is better for covert operations if the two nations acknowledge (very privately) that there was a slip up, and then carry on as per usual.

    Carrying on as per usual doesn't mean anybody is happy about spying; it just means that they recognize that spying is a matter that should be kept private--at home and abroad. Revealing all this stuff is just bad manners. Putin was publicly caught trying to fiddle with American Elections and the Russians have been punished, both publicly and (presumably) privately. (Nobody thinks the punishments were very painful, except perhaps to a few very inconvenienced operatives who had to return to Russia, of all places.) No more beach side clam bakes for them! Putin said the Russians would magnanimously not retaliate in kind. Does that mean that Putin is taking the high road? Heavens, no. It just means that Putin will proceed to retaliate in private. And when he does, we will probably not say anything about it.

    A different case: If a child is found to have had sex with the child next door (lets say they are 8 and 10), the worse thing that can happen for the two children is for the 4 parents to go berserk on the two children that had an unauthorized sexual encounter. The parents' hysteria means that the children will never discuss sex with their parents again--ever. The consequences are worse than the "crime".
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    You type on a keyboard because you want to communicate, and you want to communicate because you see it as good no?Agustino

    I don't intend to do the good by typing on a keyboard, no. It's about as amoral an action you can get.

    That's not a judgement but the observation of the way reason functions.Agustino

    Fine, it's my observation that you're wrong. We good, now?

    Nope. They will think they're striving for the good, even while they're not - just like Casanova.Agustino

    How do you know that he's not?

    Our faculties of judgement.Agustino

    The same faculties that brought you to the conclusion that we only seek the good, >:O

    Nope - that's not what I said. If you know that fucking bitches is wrong, and you go and fuck bitches, then you're just acting irrationally.Agustino

    You're not allowing for disagreement between judgments.

    A judgement isn't the same as an observation. We observe facts. We judge meanings.Agustino

    Fucking bitches is not factually wrong. And if you'd like to judge whether it's morally wrong, then what do you have to use in order to do that? Reason. The same thing that governs why someone may think the complete opposite.
  • Janus
    5.7k
    Fucking bitches is not factually wrongHeister Eggcart

    So, you're OK with bestiality then?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    You're muddling up matters and confusing different concepts.

    I don't intend to do the good by typing on a keyboard, no. It's about as amoral an action you can get.Heister Eggcart
    Do you intend to communicate by typing on a keyboard? If you do, then why do you intend to communicate? Because you think this is good.

    Fine, it's my observation that you're wrong. We good, now?Heister Eggcart
    You don't OBSERVE right and wrong, you judge things to be right and wrong. You observe facts - for example the color of leaves of the tree out your window.

    How do you know that he's not?Heister Eggcart
    My judgement tells me.

    The same faculties that brought you to the conclusion that we only seek the good, >:OHeister Eggcart
    Actually no, because the faculty of judgement =/ reason in the way I've been using it. Reason is the way we function - we do things for certain reasons. That's what rationality is - a creature is rational if it holds reasons for doing X and Y.

    Fucking bitches is not factually wrong.Heister Eggcart
    Yep, we judge it to be wrong. But this isn't to say our judgements can be objective.

    And if you'd like to judge whether it's morally wrong, then what do you have to use in order to do that? Reason.Heister Eggcart
    If I judge it to be wrong, I clearly am not using reason to do it.

    The same thing that governs why someone may think the complete opposite.Heister Eggcart
    Differences in judgement are not differences of reason.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I did not say that manners were more important than morals. I said "I generally favor morals over manners". In the judgement of people who value manners very highly, however, "discretion is the better part of valor" as Falstaff says to King Henry IV in the eponymously named play. In the past as in the present, those with lots of power and wealth to control their PR could get away with more than you could, for example. The associates of the rich and powerful almost always had a good deal to gain by (almost always) valuing decorum above legal proceedings.Bitter Crank
    Okay I agree.

    As for your cheating on your wife, especially considering everything you have said about adultery, you would be so very, very guilty of sin that possibly your burning at the stake would not be too severe. But I digress.Bitter Crank
    >:O I won't do it don't worry.

    Sins, crimes, and wrong-doing not discovered are still sins, crimes, and wrong-doing whether anybody knows about it or not. That said, the consequences of sins, crimes, and wrong-doing might be greatly lessened for everyone concerned IF nobody new about it.Bitter Crank
    Okay. Say I cheat on my wife. Now if I don't tell her, she may never find out, and our relationship may go on. But - that's like tricking my wife to stay in a relationship with me, that's wrong. Withholding the truth from her is immoral, because she should be able to decide if she still wants to stay with a man who cheated on her or not. Sure, the consequences of sin may be more severe this way, so? That's preferable to being a little snitch and lying your way. So if I have any honor or dignity, I will tell her, and if she decides to leave, then she's in her full rights to do that, as I have done wrong. If she decides to forgive me and stay, I'll be very grateful to her, but I certainly don't EXPECT her to do that, nor should I force her to stay with me against her will by lying to her.

    If a child is found to have had sex with the child next door (lets say they are 8 and 10), the worse thing that can happen for the two children is for the 4 parents to go berserk on the two children that had an unauthorized sexual encounterBitter Crank
    What's bad about a child of 8 and 10 "having sex"? :s Or what's sinful about that? At that age they don't even know what sex is, they're just learning their bodies and playing around with each other, including with their sexual organs. They don't even know what they're doing. I did that too at that age! >:O 4-5 of us would do that together actually when we were kids at 8ish, both girls and guys. Does the fact that I put my penis around another male's anus and touch his penis at 8 mean that I am a homosexual to you?! >:O Or does it mean that I had sex with them? Does it mean because we used to touch each other's organs and so forth that we were having an orgy?! In fact, our parents once heard us talking about it, and they lectured us for 15 minutes, then let us go, and we were back to doing the same thing almost immediately >:O - children don't take these matters seriously, they're just learning about their bodies at that young age, which is actually great! It's not actually possible to "have sex" until you're around 12 or perhaps even older 14 and onwards. That's when it becomes sinful, because it actually becomes possible to have it - your psychology is sufficiently developed to allow for it. I also remember we were playing soccer and when one of us would bend over to pick the ball up, the dog would jump on us and start humping us - we had a lot of fun because we were curious what the hell the dog is up to! Does that make us practitioners of zoophilia according to you? >:O In fact, even now I tell this story to people when I want to shock them - my girlfriends actually all found it hilarious!

    For example ... I never even knew what ejaculation was until I was 12, when I accidentally found out and got scared >:O and then researched online to see what the hell had actually happened! Then I tried to do it again and make it happen out of curiosity. Then I started to research and investigate these matters, and then got into pornography etc. until I met my first girlfriend at around 16-17. And I never talked with my parents about sex, but that would just have been embarrassing. They did try to talk to me about it once when I was around 14 but I wasn't very welcoming to the talk. So they stopped. It's kind of embarrassing to do that, I don't understand why anyone would talk with their parents about it. Even when I had a girlfriend, I never told my parents about it. But I've seen folks who talk with their parents openly about that kind of stuff, and I'm like WTF :-O - disgusting! Why would anyone do that?

    If my child actually tries to talk to me about sex, I'll send them off to learn by themselves by directing them to the right books. But I'd definitely not discuss things with them.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    It's kind of embarrassing to do that, I don't understand why anyone would talk with their parents about it.Agustino

    Right. Well, I didn't talk to my parents about sex, either. Quite unimaginable. But... There has to be something better than overly frank sex talk between parent and child at one extreme, and nothing at the other. An encyclopedia was the only impersonal source of information I could consult and a 1950s encyclopedia wasn't all that helpful, either. (It was fine for anatomy, but that's about it.)
  • Hanover
    3.9k
    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.Question

    A personal question I suppose, but it does bear some relevance, which is whether you are intentionally and rationally denying yourself opportunity or whether the complexities of initiating a relationship have simply been too great for you to overcome, so you've rationalized your disengagement as being a decision of a higher order, as opposed to admitting to and attempting to correct social ineptitude. It's relevant simply because it goes to whether your Stocism is a choice directed to higher happiness, as opposed to it being the path of least resistance. I can say that it's far from certain (and candidly doubtful) whether abandoning desire will lead to happiness as opposed to robbing you of those things that really do matter. That is, have there been available women in your life that you pushed away to both of your dismay, or has it never come quite close to that?

    Whether this smacks of personal advice as opposed to philosophical inquiry, I don't know. It's certainly not analytical philosophy, but more of the type of philosophy practiced by the various ancient Greek schools, where philosophy was more about trying to figure out how to live one's life than in whatever we do now. But, regardless, when one tells me that they've consciously denied themselves of the rock star life, the obvious follow up question to ask is whether you had a rock star life available to you that you could deny yourself of.

    Just my thoughts.
  • Emptyheady
    228
    Desire is innate and is not a choice, nor can it be eradicated -- at best suppressed with some nasty unforeseen side effects. This is why I think Buddhism is fundamentally mistaken and numbing yourself leads to alienation. I believe in two personal virtues, ambition and discipline. Buddhism kills the former.

    It is fascinating to see the enormous ad hoc or post hoc rationalisations people make to deal with the biological nature of human existence.

    I deny myself any wants and desires that are contrary to reason.Question

    Hume was on the right track when he said: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."

    "The emotions are mechanisms that set the brain’s highest-level goals. Once triggered by a propitious moment, an emotion triggers the cascade of subgoals and sub-subgoals that we call thinking and acting. Because the goals and means are woven into a multiply nested control structure of subgoals within subgoals within subgoals, no sharp line divides thinking from feeling, nor does thinking inevitably precede feeling or vice versa (notwithstanding the century of debate within psychology over which comes first)." Pinker
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    whether you are intentionally and rationally denying yourself opportunity or whether the complexities of initiating a relationship have simply been too great for you to overcome, so you've rationalized your disengagement as being a decision of a higher order, as opposed to admitting to and attempting to correct social ineptitude.Hanover
    Well this is a bit twisted from the start. As I have explained, we don't simply have the desire for sex in a vacuum. Sex isn't end-in-itself either, and is rather subservient to the purpose of reproduction and intimacy. In order to get what you want in life, it's always more important to say no than to say yes. "Yes"-saying is probably one of the top reasons why people fail to satisfy the strongest desires of the human organism. They are too impatient, and too keen to satisfy their desires, and they hurry head-on towards their own destruction - because of impatience.

    I've known a few of those people who "never" deny themselves "opportunities" - they have never ended up well, even when they succeeded, and that's the saddest thing. The saddest thing is to put up with shit in order to, say, have sex - or agree to be in a relationship with the wrong person, just to have sex - people who do that are weak. For example I knew this girl who was desperate to have a boyfriend after her previous boyfriend broke up with her. So she would take every opportunity. And I remember listening to her telling me that she would date almost anyone she got the chance, she would put up with such and such, and she was always disappointed etc. and I didn't tell her of course, but in my mind I thought "what a ****ing idiot".

    I'm speaking honestly here - you have to deny yourself everything so that you may win what really matters. You don't humiliate yourself for a little bit of sex - I've never done that, nor would I ever do it. That's shameful beyond words, and I have distaste for anyone who ever does that. So when you talk about the "complexities of initiating a relationship" it sounds to me like you're talking about sucking up and humiliating yourself in all sorts of ways which may be socially required, just to do what? To have sex. It's not even like you're going to be doing something great! At least when you humiliate yourself it should be for a noble cause. But the man or woman humiliating themselves to have sex? That's disgusting, not even worth mentioning.

    So for example when I refuse the advances of a woman - am I denying myself, or am I really winning? Am I lacking social capacity, or am I simply refusing to humiliate myself for what isn't even worth grabbing? I don't want nor need some woman just to have sex with her. What I need her for is much much greater than that, and not many women would be capable of such undertakings. So what point would it be to bother? That would be stupid. It would mean denying myself what is most true of me, wasting my time, risking myself when it's not worth taking a risk.

    In psychological circles, to find the essence of one's being, one question is asked - what would be your last words of advice to a child/grandchild on your deathbed? And for me, I'd say "Never put your head down, always keep your head high - never bow, never let yourself be bought with either money, sex or power and never sacrifice your dignity for any of these - for dignity is the one thing you can take with you in the grave, and nothing can snatch it away unless you give it. Everything the world can offer is perishable - more important than winning is not losing - only he who can lose the whole world and not move can also gain it".

    I believe in two personal virtues, ambition and disciplineEmptyheady
    I agree about ambition, but I think it depends from person to person, not everyone is so constructed. Some people are destroyed by their ambition.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k
    A personal question I suppose, but it does bear some relevance, which is whether you are intentionally and rationally denying yourself opportunity or whether the complexities of initiating a relationship have simply been too great for you to overcome, so you've rationalized your disengagement as being a decision of a higher order, as opposed to admitting to and attempting to correct social ineptitude.Hanover

    I suppose up until this point my denial of the act of sex has been a semi-conscious decision. I can say that I have had the opportunity to "seize the opportunity," so to speak, but have never acted on it. Like, I said, this is probably due to psychological reasons as it's impossible for me to give you a clear and objective answer as you surely know.

    It's relevant simply because it goes to whether your Stocism is a choice directed to higher happiness, as opposed to it being the path of least resistance.Hanover

    Chicken or egg? Is Stoicism all just a rationalization for, as you say, my personal social ineptitude or has my social ineptitude resulted from my Stoic attitude (as if!).

    I can say that it's far from certain (and candidly doubtful) whether abandoning desire will lead to happiness as opposed to robbing you of those things that really do matter.Hanover

    Maybe not directly to happiness; but, certainly less unhappiness.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k
    "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."Emptyheady

    This is fundamentally flawed. The success of therapy and psychology along with specific elements of it, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, attest against this interpretation of reason only being a slave to passions.
  • Janus
    5.7k
    Hume was on the right track when he said: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."Emptyheady

    That seems to be a fairly empty-headed thing to say. Is this a reasoned conclusion or is it motivated by passion?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Chicken or egg? Is Stoicism all just a rationalization for, as you say, my personal social ineptitude or has my social ineptitude resulted from my Stoic attitude (as if!).Question
    But the real and more fundamental question is always whether something really is social ineptitude or the conscious desire of the person in question to act in that manner. Some people view not seizing the opportunity as if it's equivalent with social ineptitude - in their mind, someone who doesn't seize the opportunity isn't aware of it because they are somehow socially inept (or so the story goes). But the truth is often more complicated than this.

    Take Myshkin from Dostoyevsky's Idiot. Everyone takes him to be an idiot, and not understand the world he's living in, however, the real truth, as the narrator knows, is that he's actually the one who understands everyone else, but simply doesn't want to behave like them. To me, social ineptitude would only apply to someone who cannot understand the movements of society around them. But I may be perfectly able to understand them, and yet through my actions, it may appear to others that I don't understand them. I too often am like this.

    Maybe not directly to happiness; but, certainly less unhappiness.Question
    This is similar to my principle - first do not lose, only worry about winning after you're sure about step number 1 :P

    This is fundamentally flawed. The success of therapy and psychology along with specific elements of it, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, attest against this interpretation of reason only being a slave to passions.Question
    Yes I definitely agree here, although reason isn't completely independent of the passions in the following sense. What you aim for is determined by your passions. For example, someone plays golf because they like it, while someone else plays tennis because that's what they like. Passion still does that, and it's not negative to that extent. However to the extent that it would make you chase after, for example, sex, I agree it's negative.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k
    Yes I definitely agree here, although reason isn't completely independent of the passions in the following sense. What you aim for is determined by your passions. For example, someone plays golf because they like it, while someone else plays tennis because that's what they like. Passion still does that, and it's not negative to that extent. However to the extent that it would make you chase after, for example, sex, I agree it's negative.Agustino

    While, I do not think we have absolute control over our passions, and would rather live in the world where we don't, as emotions are quite good, as opposed to those devoid of them (sociopaths, psychopaths)...

    However, I do think the will precedes reason; but, the amount of work and effort that reason applies in polishing and making a goal a reality is certainly underappreciated in my opinion.

    Reason has a will of its own.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.7k
    Take Myshkin from Dostoyevsky's Idiot.Agustino

    I have to read more Dostoyevsky, that is for certain.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.