• Apologies to the Women of this Forum
    I will copy a little of my PM response here:

    Thanks for the apology, Noah. Appreciate that is not an easy thing to do.

    I also regret that I didn't follow Baden's advice to ignore the thread.
    I didn't take any great joy in any of my exchanges with you and others...

    ...I am taking a bit of a break now from the forum.
    Best wishes.
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    You’re a bully, too. That’s the thing. Even bullies have bullies. No one is innocent in this world, and nobody asked you to stick your nose in.Noah Te Stroete

    No. That I am not. However, those that bully generally have been bullied.
    I recognise that.

    If I am guilty of anything it is in disrupting the flow of this immature rant.
    It is not bullying to raise an objection to unacceptable behaviour or expression.
    It is bullying to try and stifle any such objection by ganging up and poking fun.
    To make it so that the next person who has an objection is put off.
    I understand why others wisely ignore - who needs a target painted on their back.
    Nobody asked me to get involved - nobody has to. I am an independent thinker.
    That is what philosophy is about. In my eyes.

    I will say no more.
  • The Solemn Duty of Joy.
    The OP was poetic, and obviously subject to interpretation. As we are to learn, it references deep loss suffered by the author. Had it specifically referenced such loss, the only appropriate response would be to express condolences, but it wasn't. Based upon that, I'm not even sure what we ought be talking about here, but this is what I brought to the table, as it were.Hanover

    Well, I guess you know that not everything that is poetic gives specific references.
    There is no need to express condolence. It is a tool to explore, in this case 'joy' in relation to religion. Seen as a 'solemn duty'. But not by me and others who question 'why a duty?'.There is no specific question as such in the OP. Why would one be necessary to start a philosophical discussion ?

    From wiki:

    " A philosophical poet is an author or scholar who employs poetic devices, styles, or forms to explore subjects common to the field of philosophy. Their writing often addresses questions related to the meaning of life, the nature of being (ontology), theories of knowledge and knowing (epistemology), principles of beauty (aesthetics), first principles of things (metaphysics) or the existence of God. Some may make broad philosophical inquires and engage with diverse philosophical topics throughout their poetry, while others may concentrate within one branch of philosophical poetry. For example, Dante is considered by some to be both a philosophical poet, in a general sense, as well as a metaphysical poet."

    I don't know where to take this because I don't see it as philosophy or even philosophy or religion, but as a personal expression of faith.Hanover

    Having read the wiki article, do you understand better why it can be both - an expression of faith and a question of philosophy ?

    It Isn't so hard to understand. Even if the words sound depressing to you, this is not necessarily indicative of a writer being depressed. The realistic view from the window, even if painted in hues of grey, can still bring joy to the experiencer. Even if the costs and benefits of life experience, including pessimistic philosophy forum rants, are difficult to weigh up, in the moment there is a joy.

    "The best I can do, the best I can make of it, is that at this moment, this life, this dissatisfaction, this waiting, is joyful - I want to be here. Add this moment to the plus-side in your dismal calculation."

    No matter what the world holds in store, there is a faith - possibly like your sense of the divine - that makes everything all right.
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    Oh, that. You noticed? I thought that you might have been too busy gallantly riding in on your high horse to save the day, with your noble armour of pure brilliant white glistening in the dazzling sun, a reflection of your saintly nature and inestimable virtue.S

    You don't deny the bully boy tactic, then ?
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    I dunno... sounds kinda white knight-ey to me.S

    What do you mean by 'white knight' ?
    There are various definitions: Knight

    Also the way you used the term originally in an appeal to your 'audience' :
    "Ladies and gentleman, I believe we have ourselves a white knight."
    Sounded...I dunno...kinda like a persuasive rhetoric designed to capture a sense of ridicule and sway feelings against the alleged 'white knight'.
    A kinda bully boy tactic.
  • The Solemn Duty of Joy.
    Either that or I refuse to listen because it seems so missing the point. My enlightenment is just different I suppose. I see the divine in the actual divine I guess as opposed to a kitty cat jumping on a child's lap, or whatever.Hanover

    What is the point that it seems to be missing ?
    What do you mean by 'enlightenment' ?
    What is the 'divine' ? What is the difference between the 'actual' divine as opposed to...what...the joy that can be found by ordinary mortals ? Even as they cope with life in general.
    What is wrong with having a 'sense of closeness and unity' - even if such manifested itself...and why wouldn't you feel included...or is it that you reject it. For your own personal reasons...
  • The Solemn Duty of Joy.
    Very well. I just see this discussion as trying to convince one's self to be joyful despite it all. I find joy because of it all.Hanover

    Ah well. Sometimes people see what they want to see...and disregard the rest.

    Simon and Garfunkel - the Boxer

    I am just a poor boy
    Though my story's seldom told
    I have squandered my resistance
    For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises
    All lies and jests
    Still a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest.
  • The Solemn Duty of Joy.
    Thanks for bringing some thoughtful joy...
    — Amity

    That was joy? I shudder to think what pain is. The best that was was a method for enduring pain.

    For me, yes. Thoughtful joy. Perhaps I am on the same wavelength...having been accused of being a killjoy elsewhere by a different kind of joy rider.

    Unenlightened's words spoke to me. Others might dance to another tune...c'est la vie.
  • The Solemn Duty of Joy.
    I don't know if I am particularly sensitive, or particularly insensitive. Probably, I haven't conveyed anything very clearly. But consider the condition of bereavement. One suffers, and to refuse the suffering is to deny the value of what has been lost. Mourning is thus a celebration. My pain of loss honours the life that has ended.unenlightened

    I enjoyed reading your OP; clearly a sensitive reflection - why would you doubt that ?
    It reminded me of a Christian outlook and a book written by C.S. Lewis ' Surprised by Joy'.

    " I have been emboldened to write of it because I notice that a man seldom mentions what he had supposed to be his most idiosyncratic sensations without receiving from at least one (often more) of those present the reply, 'What! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.” 
    ― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

    Strange how we can think we are the only ones to experience a tingle when a piece of music or a singer hits the right notes. If asked 'What did you think of that ?' during the interval it is easy to say 'Beautiful' but how often can we find the words to share the raw experience of joy, or awe.

    Same with mourning a loss. From wiki:

    Surprised by Joy is an allusion to William Wordsworth's poem, "Surprised By Joy — Impatient As The Wind", relating an incident when Wordsworth forgot the death of his beloved daughter:[citation needed]

    Surprised by joy — impatient as the Wind
    I turned to share the transport — Oh! with whom
    But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
    That spot which no vicissitude can find?
    Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind —
    But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
    Even for the least division of an hour,
    Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
    To my most grievous loss? — That thought's return
    Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
    Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
    Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
    That neither present time, nor years unborn
    Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

    And, of course, the mention of Wordsworth brings to mind that host of golden daffodils.

    "...Continuous as the stars that shine
    and twinkle on the Milky Way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    tossing their heads in sprightly dance..."

    Your OP similarly reflecting lines of sight flashing in the moment:

    "Seeing the perfect line of the gull's flight, hearing the subtle silence behind the chuckling kettle, noticing the silver beads running along the washing-line. The best I can do, the best I can make of it, is that at this moment, this life, this dissatisfaction, this waiting, is joyful - I want to be here. Add this moment to the plus-side in your dismal calculation."


    put it here in philosophy of religion, because it is faith beyond reason and beyond the frivolity of mere fact.unenlightened

    It is appropriately placed, even if I lost my religious joy some time ago.
    We can all experience the awesome wonder. If we but look. No duty required.
    Thanks for bringing some thoughtful joy...
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    But you could not resist coming to see what was happening could youSir2u

    Well, yes I did resist.And had dismissed it from mind, even if there was a niggling doubt that it should be challenged. Just as Baden has advised others, it was ignored. Rightly or wrongly.

    However, someone contacted me about the 'wits' on TPF and how a poster had complained to no apparent avail; the moderator response being that it is the Lounge. He also pointed out the interesting difference in moderation and tolerance levels between the main philo forums.

    On OPC this 'discussion' would have been deleted and those involved given warnings or worse. It might be seen as oppressive, although plenty games are played there too. Fun for some to find a clever form of words which draw others to the limit and then stand back and smile as the poor manipulated sods cross over and get banned.

    On PN hardly anything gets deleted. It might be seen as a place which has deteriorated in quality in direct contrast to its physical presence as The Philosophy Now magazine.

    I think TPF has the Goldilocks effect. The principle of getting it just right - not too hot or cold - with a team of active and caring moderators. This forum is the best of the bunch, as far as my experience goes. So, thanks to all who keep it going.

    Or one rotten killjoy ruins the fun. Yep, certainly wouldn't want that to spread.S

    Just as you are given freedom of expression, so I enjoy mine. My comments were never likely to kill joy.
    Indeed, the very opposite has happened. Just as expected. It didn't take long for the buddies in arms to link up.

    Someone earlier talked about respect for some and not others. So, some criteria of rightness or wrongness is carried along. My own view is that I respect all living beings as sentient creatures. I am no 'white knight' ( ladies and gentlemen :roll: ) but I will sometimes call out the behaviour and expressions of others.
    I support those brave enough to stick their heads above the parapet and acknowledge a certain wisdom in those who choose to ignore.

    That's all. Gotta go check my halo is sitting right :halo:
  • So, What Should We Do?

    Thanks for response.
    We are in agreement. I also said:

    The answer to what should we do - depends on complex and interacting factors.
    We should start by concentrating on the present. Look at evidence and use reason. Educate.

    So, I am not focusing on some hypothetical future catastrophe but on the here and now, as per Guardian article:

    ..In this age of multiple emergencies – climate chaos, pollution, social alienation – we should remember that technologies exist to serve us, not to dominate us...."Amity
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    Anyone who would stick up for someone as purely evil as Ayn Rand is no friend of mine.Noah Te Stroete

    In case you haven't noticed, I'm not here to be friends with anyone. I don't even use any 'foes and friends' function where it exists on other forums. I ignore or not, as I will. I had ignored this thread until I decided to support someone else's objection.

    At times you need to speak your mind. We all have our own ways.
    Clearly, the Lounge is a safe place to let rip. The question is: can people be bothered to challenge, or not.
    Sometimes I do. For better or worse...
    Like I said to Baden, I am done.
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    You'll have to ask them. But in general, we all try to walk the line between being permissive and illiberal, and someone will always be unhappy.Baden

    I appreciate the fine line and degree of tolerance required, especially in a philosophy forum.

    I have said all that I needed to.
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    One discussion out of hundreds does not a stinking hellhole cesspit make.Baden

    You are right. I was referring to the thread but you know how shit spreads...or how one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel...

    As it is, I don't see any reason to give it attention or to get upset by it.Baden

    Fair enough. Do other moderators hold the same view about this kind of 'discussion' ?
    It is not about being upset, it is about challenging online behaviour.

    We can and might. It was a joke.Baden

    A joke ?
    In what sense ?
  • Ayn Rand was a whiny little bitch
    There was a lounge when I left. It wasn't as if it was a /hum/ sub that would make even the dirtbag left feel like maybe they've been immature long enough and should start looking for a job with a good 401k.Akanthinos

    It's one discussion out of hundreds in the Lounge. Just ignore it like most of the rest of us do.Baden

    I had been going to ignore this whole immature rant. Including stuff like:

    Holy shit, S. Calm your tits down... Don't pick on Noah Te Stroete. He be cool.
    — Wallows

    If he's cool, which he definitely isn't, it's only because he has a sharp tongue like me.

    Did you notice that HE never denied having tits? :gasp:
    Maybe we should re-think what we have surmised about other members of the forum. :chin:

    The title itself I simply rolled my eyes at and felt utter contempt at such expression.

    However, given that someone has raised an objection I feel obliged to add my thoughts. I expect more object but can't be bothered complaining, given the attitude of the moderator(s).

    It might just be one out of many, and it is in the Lounge where apparently anything goes but really, this is an abomination. It can't be ignored if this is still to be considered a quality site.
    A 'Lounge' indeed. More like a stinking hellhole of cesspit filled with outpourings from the sexist and the disturbed who think themselves hilarious.

    I suppose we're not allowed close this. :sad:Baden

    Why not ?
  • So, What Should We Do?
    One can OD on converging catastrophes. I fully believe they are on the way BUT in the mean time there is no advantage in going crazy with all the bad news out thereBitter Crank

    It is true we can overdo the sense of catastrophe overtaking the world.
    Not just on the way but already here. Fish boiling.

    Some journalists try to tell or sell us the way forward. Here is one:

    ""...In this age of multiple emergencies – climate chaos, pollution, social alienation – we should remember that technologies exist to serve us, not to dominate us. It is time to drive the car out of our lives."

    So, how not to OD and go overboard...get rid of all media. Fake news. Uh--huh.
    Read fiction as a distraction or to be uplifted.
    Balance with the real.
  • So, What Should We Do?
    it just looked like your responses were aimed more at othersTogetherTurtle

    You are right. I was responding to others as part of the discussion.
    I just thought you might have picked up a little something and responded to it, even if to say it was irrelevant.
  • So, What Should We Do?
    This one is interesting.TogetherTurtle

    So, nothing for me...yet ?
    How very disappointing :sad:
  • The Foolishness Of Political Correctness
    Yes, online articles that were linked and referenced. I originally posted this on another forum but when I reposted it here the quote function did not copy. The spacing and ellipsis show parts of the articles that are missing.Fooloso4

    It would be good if you could post the link to the PN forum discussion if possible.
    A comparison might be interesting.

    In fact, in a private message to someone I said: " It really is nothing more than what a few minutes of online research will yield." I just edited the post to make clear that I was quotingFooloso4

    And I hope the someone replied that it was a bit more than that !
    I include myself when I say that some could spend more time on minimal research. And I think it is necessary to base opinions on as much evidence as can be found. From different perspectives.

    However, some - if they could even be bothered to research - lack your experience and intelligence to use what is discovered or revealed. Even the way you approach and cope with responses is admirable. I am glad that you are here in all your various capabilities.

    It is quite difficult at times to make distinctions between article quotes and own thoughts.
    I make a bit of a mess of it.
    However, accusations of plagiarism simply show unwarranted antipathy towards a genuine writer whose work reflects serious analysis.
  • The Foolishness Of Political Correctness
    [ Re Fooloso4's post] a catalog of American liberal grievances with a tenuous relationship to the OP - was a careless copy-paste job from various online articles. I am pretty sure that not a word of it is original.SophistiCat

    What utter nonsense - it seems you are simply out to denigrate without even donning a thinking cap.

    I agree with your assessment of Fooloso4's substantive and well written post.
    I didn't feel it necessary to add my opinion until this latest from Sophisticat.
    The contrast in content, style and attitude says it all.
    Still, it all counts towards a lively discussion...
    A bit of care and attention helps.
  • Help with my philosophy exam
    I wish there was a way to upload a picture then I could show you exactly what they are expectingHelen G

    There are other ways you can show the requirements of your philosophy exam, no ?
    It does seem to be a bit heavy for an access introductory course.
  • Help with my philosophy exam
    I was wondering if you bright sparks would be of more help to me.Helen G

    So, it's been a while. How did your presentation go ? You never did get back to us.
  • So, What Should We Do?
    What will be your moral fundament of what is cruel and selfish when raising new generations?Aleksander

    Welcome, Aleksander.

    When educating the young, is it necessary to establish 'a moral fundament of what is cruel and selfish' ?

    Depending on the age and circumstances, there will already be instances of unfairness and experiences, of perhaps bullying, which can be talked about from various perspectives. Also, the more positive experiences as a contrast.

    There is a natural feeling of what is right and wrong. This can be the source of further examination.
    I don't know how much of that is included in the curriculum or even as a way to inform individual or group discussion. However, the earlier we become aware of both internal and external factors related to wellbeingness, the better - in my opinion.

    What would be your 'moral fundament' ?
  • So, What Should We Do?
    I think what causes many problems is that individual humans make choices at the expense of others/the environment, and they don't intend to mend the damage they caused. I'm generalizing, but I also think people that hurt other living things for personal gain are only comfortable doing so because they are selfish or bitter. It's a lack of love. Many times I think the community fails in raising them to be good people. So I think the best we can do to reduce the number of people that grow up to make selfish decisions is to take responsibility for showing love and respect to everyone in arm's reach. The more people that do that, the more that impulse will spread over time.

    That's what I think.

    Welcome, mejonat.
    I think what you think points to a basic and continuing problem for all living beings.
    It is a power issue at different levels and interactions.
    No matter what happens in the future, this will persist.
    We have real problems right now which need to be addressed.
    Some things are improving along with pressure groups and increased knowledge or awareness of what is actually going on.
    If things are to change then those in power responsible for atrocious events or even simply poor decision making should be held to account. The system right now needs looking at. The question is how and by whom. There will still be contenders for power positions to enable a different way forward.

    Some people talk of empathy as if it is only a philosophical concept to be argued about.
    If I had a fantasy wish it would be for people to be plugged in to the real experiences of others. *

    For example, the recent story of an Argentinian 11yr old - one of 1,000's - forced to give birth via caesarian section after having been raped. In this case by the grandmother's boyfriend.

    ...She had to undergo what is called a hysterotomy abortion, in which the foetus is removed via a small incision in the abdomen, similar to a caesarean section. Rescued by hospital staff, the foetus survived the procedure but is not expected to live.

    Lucía discovered she was 17 weeks pregnant in January. A week later, she was admitted to hospital after an apparent suicide attempt. She, along with her family and women’s rights supporters, requested an abortion.

    Court papers show that Lucía had told psychologists: “I want you to remove what the old man put inside me.”

    But what followed was a battle between the health and opinion of the child and her parents, and the stance of the local authorities.

    The answer to what should we do - depends on complex and interacting factors.
    We should start by concentrating on the present. Look at evidence and use reason. Educate.

    * virtual experience might still not be the answer in those determined to pursue selfish interests to the detriment of others and the planet. In that case, it has to be 'off with their heads' .

    In a calmer and less provocative vein, issues of morality can be discussed from an early age. For example:

    The "veil of ignorance" is a method of determining the morality of issues. It amounts to imagine what a decision-maker would choose if they had enough information to know the consequences of their possible decisions for everyone but would not know, or would not take into account, which person he or she is.
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    Trying to stay on subject. And working out how this fits in with 'paths to wisdom', 'spiritual truth' or just plain old how to be a well-functioning human.
    5.2 has interesting discussion re moral significance of empathy.


    ...While some evidence for empathy as a “building block” of morality has come from an evolutionary perspective and ethology (DeWaal 2006 & 2009), to a large extent the contemporary philosophical debate about the moral significance of empathy —and whether or not we should conceive of morality in a sentimentalist or rationalist manner— has been driven by the results of empirical investigations into the causes of psychopathy and autism...

  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    I switched off because it was lengthy and it looks like we more or less agree.S

    Yes. I quoted too much from articles. Never mind, eh.
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    You think people can be taught to feel? To think, yes, there are definitely ways in which we can improve our thinking, and many of them can be taught. But teaching someone to feel? How would/could that work? :chin:
    — Pattern-chaser

    Empathy tasks. You know, like, imagine how you would feel if that were you?

    It comes from education in literature and the arts.Ilya B Shambat

    1.Can you teach people how to feel ? Not always. Most people already feel. Humans are sentient.

    However, if they lack this, then sometimes action or therapy; early intervention is required.
    Compare Extreme Physical v Psychological conditions.
    In physical. Think paralysis. Rehabilitation of a healing brain.
    In psychology. Think psychopathy. Rehabilitation of serial killers ? So, more about developing the right kind of feelings towards others ? Has that ever worked ?


    Much still needs to be understood about why and how individuals with psychopathy seem to have the potential to empathize sometimes but have this capacity switched off by default. For therapists, our finding suggests that the best approach may not be to teach them empathy - they already seem capable of empathy. Instead, therapies may need to learn to be empathic always.

    How to do so is unclear, but it might be best to start such training early, before violence has become a way of life.

    A recent study from the group of Essi Viding at the UCL in London has shown that a callous unemotional subgroup of kids with conduct disorder already seem to lack spontaneous empathy: they also activate their empathic brain less when simply watching others in pain. These kids are known to have a heightened risk of becoming psychopathic adults. Intervening early, in these children, to make empathy automatic, might be a promising approach.

    For more information about the neural basis of empathy and psychopathy, have a look at the book The Empathic Brain.
    ---------- End of article excerpt.

    2. Can you teach people how to have empathy? Yes.
    There are different ways and not every way is the right way for everyone. You wouldn't necessarily want children to approach strangers in the street, as per strategy 3 in this article.



    Open Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird and one line will jump out at you: "You never really understand another person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."...

    ...A good warm up is to do a quick assessment of your empathic abilities. Neuropsychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has devised a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes in which you are shown 36 pairs of eyes and have to choose one of four words that best describes what each person is feeling or thinking - for instance, jealous, arrogant, panicked or hateful.

    The average score of around 26 suggests that the majority of people are surprisingly good - though far from perfect - at visually reading others' emotions.

    Going a step further, there are three simple but powerful strategies for unleashing the empathic potential that is latent in our neural circuitry...

    1.Make a habit of Listening
    Let people have their say, hold back from interrupting and even reflect back what they've told you so they knew you were really listening. There's a term for doing this - "radical listening".

    2. Develop an awareness of others who contribute to our lives but who may be hidden from us.
    Bring in your sense of curiosity.

    "Bertolt Brecht wrote a wonderful poem about this called A Worker Reads History, which begins: "Who built the seven gates of Thebes? / The books are filled with the names of kings / Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?" - from article

    3. Become curious about strangers in the street
    I used to regularly walk past a homeless man around the corner from where I live in Oxford and take virtually no notice of him. One day I stopped to speak to him.

    It turned out his name was Alan Human and he had a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. We subsequently developed a friendship based on our mutual interest in Aristotle's ethics and pepperoni pizza.

    This encounter taught me that having conversations with strangers opens up our empathic minds. We can not only meet fascinating people but also challenge the assumptions and prejudices that we have about others based on their appearance, accents or backgrounds.

    Empathy is the cornerstone of healthy human relationships.

    As the psychologist and inventor of emotional intelligence Daniel Goleman puts it, without empathy a person is "emotionally tone deaf".

    ---------- End of article excerpt.
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    I understand basically what you mean by this ‘feeling of goodness’, but personally I am reluctant to use the word ‘goodness’ because it implies a dichotomy that promotes binary thinking and judgement (good/evil), which drastically limits our awareness of the universe.

    When we experience ‘spiritual truth’ I think we do get a positive or ‘good’ feeling about an experience or situation as it occurs. The ‘vagueness’ comes from our preference for solid, objective evidence to back up or substantiate this feeling - we want to pinpoint it in space time so we can verify it with those around us, because it might just be that we’re going crazy.

    I agree the the word 'goodness' implies the opposite 'badness'.
    Such black and white thinking is used in various political battles. You are either with us (good) or against us (bad). The basis for self righteousness and an unforgiving attitude to those with different values.

    So, goodness is defined as:

    the quality of being morally right and admirable:
    I believe in the basic goodness of human nature.

    When we experience ‘spiritual truth’ I think we do get a positive or ‘good’ feeling about an experience or situation as it occurs. The ‘vagueness’ comes from our preference for solid, objective evidence to back up or substantiate this feeling - we want to pinpoint it in space timPossibility

    So would you say that the dictionary example of 'a belief in the basic goodness of human nature' is a 'spiritual truth' ?
    Given the other side of the goodness coin, I would argue that an experiencer of any 'spiritual truth' would need to accept that it might be perceived as morally wrong or not true from another perspective.

    I think the 'feeling of goodness' is vague because it is a sense not a fact. It is not black or white. Or an absolute spiritual truth. It is qualitative not quantitative.

    If I find that what is true in one context does not hold true in another, then I haven’t reached a spiritual truth - it’s probably still caught up in structures of language, culture, ideology, gender identity or other limiting experiences of the universe. I need to get beyond context. Only by listening, learning and imagining how others experience the universe, can I get a sense of what might be true in every experience.Possibility

    I don't think it possible to get beyond context. As you say, others experience the world differently and at different times according to culture, identity and changes. I doubt there is a single spiritual truth which you can reach. However, googling the term 'spiritual truth' you will find those that can list umpteen.

    As for your ‘headache’, in my experience, pain is just a signal that energy, effort and attention is required to adjust to change. Change is a necessary process of life - so to avoid pain is to avoid living.Possibility

    Our experience, knowledge and understanding of pain is not the same. You have given a narrow definition. It is deeper and more complex than that.
    I agree that change and pain are a part of life. However, to avoid pain is not to avoid living.
    How could it be ?

    Wisdom is not the same as knowledge, which is not the same as understanding[...] I think ‘wisdom’, therefore, is a relative term - we can gain wisdom as we learn to understand different subjective experiences that recognise or approach spiritual truth, but I don’t think there is an endpoint to wisdom, or any specific wisdom to attain.Possibility

    Wisdom - the love of which seems central to philosophy - from

    " What is wisdom? Philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders, poets, novelists, life coaches, and a variety of other important thinkers have tried to understand the concept of wisdom. This entry will provide a brief and general overview, and analysis of, several philosophical views on the topic of wisdom. It is not intended to capture the many interesting and important approaches to wisdom found in other fields of inquiry. Moreover, this entry will focus on several major ideas in the Western philosophical tradition. In particular, it will focus on five general approaches to understanding what it takes to be wise: (1) wisdom as epistemic humility, (2) wisdom as epistemic accuracy, (3) wisdom as knowledge, (4) a hybrid theory of wisdom, and (5) wisdom as rationality."
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom

    Thanks for link. Most helpful. I was intrigued by one of the meanings: 'of the tutelary genius of individuals'.
    And that brought me right back to Socrates, here:

    " Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

    You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.[2]
    2. Plato. Apology of Socrates. 40 b."

    Fooloso4: I cannot recall anywhere where Socrates says it led him astray.

    I meant the perception of having a daimon might be wrong. That is to say, why would it not be an inner voice from a more natural source. So, where did it lead him ? Apart from not to be a politician...which is something he might have felt very strongly about. Nothing to do with the divine.

    Interesting that elsewhere the daimon does seem to give advice. And yes. We will never know.
    Especially when dealing with fiction. And different contexts.
    That is the beauty of trying to understand, I suppose.
    The pain and the pleasure.
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom

    OK, thanks. Understand your clarifications. Except about the divine aspect of his 'daimon'.
    Where does it say it is divine ?
    And if only felt as such, the perception could be wrong, no ?
    It could be a sign of mental disturbance ? Auditory hallucinations?
    Or more commonly, a sense of conscience ?
    A gut feel that the consequences of a proposed action would be bad.
    Or a quick fire judgement, based on experience.

    That would explain why the daimon never gave advice as to what to do.
    Isn't it easier to feel queasy or uneasy about doing something wrong than to get a direct positive message as to what action is best ?
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    What is a 'spiritual truth' ?
    — Amity

    I would describe pure ‘spiritual truth’ as an element of knowledge, understanding or wisdom that we recognise as universal or eternal. It is true (consistent) regardless of who experiences it, where, when or how they experience it and under what circumstances.

    This truth does not directly translate to anything other than experience, however. Despite countless attempts to substantiate or declare universal or eternal truths, we have yet to succeed at this in any language.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer, so clearly.
    It is useful to hear from different perspectives.
    I get the sense of a spiritual truth as something that people might know as as a feeling of 'goodness'.
    But it is all too vague to make much sense when it comes to 'wisdom'.
    I think that what might be true in one context, might not hold true in another.

    It might be wise for me to discontinue this discussion right now because I have a headache.
    It might be wise for me to continue even though I have a headache.
    It might not be true that I have a headache.
    It might be the case that I am having a spiritual awakening.
    Nobody said it would be painless. Thinking, emotion, all part of the ordinary world. Who needs transcendence ?
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    One problem when answers take precedence over questions is that we do not ask whether the question it answers was a good question.

    In the Apology Socrates claims that human wisdom is worthless. One way in which this is true is that knowing you do not know does not allow you to do the kinds of things that those who do know something can do with their knowledge. As with his daimon who warns him what not to do but never advises him as to what he should do, there is no certainty as to what is the best course of action, the best way to live. It is the question of what is best that leads. And in the absence of knowledge of what is best perhaps human wisdom has something to do with knowing how best to proceed knowing that one does not know what is best.

    Asking a good question - or asking a question in a good way...that would seem to be the aim of a quality OP. But sometimes we just got to start with what we've got. A question. And answers can provide a way forward.

    Why would saying 'I know I don't know' not allow me to do the 'kinds of things that those who do know something can do with their knowledge' ?
    Forgive my denseness but I really do have a headache.

    About Socrates: what form did his 'daimon' take ? In addition to his reasoning and questioning he also had access to some 'spirit' ? Did his daimon appear out of thin air, or did he summon it ?
    Was he 'wise' to listen to it ?
    There is no certainty either way, is there ?

    "Perhaps human wisdom has something to do with knowing how best to proceed knowing that one does not know what is best."
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    I agree about the importance of understanding all human capacitites. How to carefully think, feel and describe so as to improve communication and action.

    I am not sure that a combination is 'faster than either modality acting alone'.
    Why would you think that- or what is your source for that belief ?

    My source for that belief is simply that, if you have use of two modalities rather than one, you get to the point faster and fuller than if you have use only of one modality.Ilya B Shambat

    OK. Here's to fast and free-flowing modalities to help me get to 'the point', whatever that is.

    Trouble is I got a headache :sad:
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    Who are 'the wise' ?
    — Amity

    Good question. Can one who is not wise recognize the wise? Do those who are not wise, out of their ignorance, only imagine what it is to be wise?

    Is that an example of wisdom ? When you have more questions than answers ?
    When you can say 'I do not know' but still be willing to broaden perspective...and change if necessary.

    Interesting to consider how we imagine 'the wise' to be. To look.
    What image comes to mind ? Don't think about it too hard.
    How programmed are we...
  • Purpose, Or Lack Thereof
    I think it's important to ask if "purpose" is a discovery or merely another invention by the human mind?Furiou5

    'Purpose' as a word or concept is a made-up human word.
    Created by the mind for what purpose ? Purpose here meaning function.
    To communicate.

    Purpose in our lives. We can think about at different levels. Why is it important for you to ask the question, and in the way that you did. Your purpose: intention, motivation...

    And what do you think of the responses so far?
    Welcome, by the way :smile:
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    Combining the rational and the intuitive creates a fuller, more integrated, picture, and it does so faster than either modality acting alone. People should be taught both to think and to feel. And then they should be taught to synthesize both, creating a more complete understanding doing so faster than can be done either through feeling or through thinking by itself.Ilya B Shambat

    I agree about the importance of understanding all human capacitites. How to carefully think, feel and describe so as to improve communication and action.

    I am not sure that a combination is 'faster than either modality acting alone'.
    Why would you think that- or what is your source for that belief ?
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    An expression of spiritual truth is always subjective. This doesn’t mean that it is ‘my truth’ as opposed to ‘your truth’, but that it is my expression of my subjective experience of a spiritual truth. I don’t believe you can plainly state a ‘spiritual truth’ with words that can be understood objectively. But I think you can express this spiritual truth in such a way that enables many people to ‘feel’ a connection with your personal experience of this truth. That doesn’t mean the words you use are an accurate or objective expression of the ‘truth’ itself.

    I think we experience truth as a combination of thought and feeling. I agree that we should be taught to both think and feel in equal measure, and to synthesise both approaches in order to understand and communicate truth as a complete experience.

    There is some good sense here; an ability to connect words and experience with self and others.
    It is not an easy task to accurately describe feelings. Often words come out my mouth and I wonder where they came from ! It wasn't at all what I meant to say, or even what I was thinking...

    What is a 'spiritual truth' ?
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    Only the wise can know if there are paths to wisdom. Do we know that they followed a path or walked a path that can be followed?Fooloso4

    Who are 'the wise' ?
  • Thinking, Feeling And Paths To Wisdom
    We recognise intuition to a certain extent, and we recognise emotion, but the underlying element of our subjective experience that informs both is tricky to pin down.

    We can’t locate it in the mind or in any particular organ of the body. It is ‘felt’ deep in our core, tingling in our extremities and also in the air around us and between us.

    It occurs in the present moment, hits us without warning and leaves no physical trace of evidence except a vague sense of its interaction with our mental processes. This makes it easy enough to dismiss or explain away after the moment has passed. But in the moment it is as real and influential as any other part of our experience.

    Exactly this. Thanks for such clear, concise and beautiful writing.
  • Purpose, Or Lack Thereof
    I don’t know that we have ‘removed’ survival as a purpose or instinct. Perhaps we have embedded it into the structures that protect us from feeling threatened, that make us believe we are no longer vulnerable? If one threatens those structures, we may be motivated to fight for their survival.

    But ‘purpose’ attempts to connect everything that motivates and influences ‘me’, at different levels of awareness, together into a cohesive whole that I can then defer to whenever I’m overwhelmed by options.

    Personally, I think it’s a way of making sense of life, of simplifying it.

    Everything you write here makes sense to me. The overall sense of purpose at different levels of awareness of one's self acting within a community.

    I never thought of it in terms of deferment in times of trouble. However, when you think about it, if there is no higher power to which you can pray for assistance, or some other Oracle, then all you got is yourself, your critical faculties and your values.

    To reach that point of discernment - to make sense of life and to simplify it - how many paths are travelled, with or without clear purpose ?
    How many teachers do you follow, have you get where you are ?

    What if you don't know where to start... or end ?