Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Pembroke

  • Rank
  1. You say here "Why is choosing to do things you find enjoyable NOT a rational decision?" I said: "what I am saying is that the enjoyment I feel of a thing is not a rational decision " Those are different. What you said implies that one already finds something enjoyable and then subsequently chooses to do it or not, whereas what I said is that one does not choose whether one feels enjoyment of a thing in the first place. So no, they are not the same, and that is what you have quoted me saying above. I don't get why this is so hard for you to understand either. The quote of me in bold I still stand by. The first example you gave of a person choosing to enjoy a thing: "Except when one goes to a movie one has been excited to see." You said that I used the words "may not", and the context I used those words in was to say that a person may not feel any excitement to see a movie. That is the case for me now, I actually don't enjoy watching movies in general and I don't feel any excitement towards the prospect of watching any of them. I can't choose to feel excited about it, because that feeling does not occur to me at the prospect of watching any movie. I said that even if I was excited to watch one which I'm not), then it could happen that I watched a movie and felt disappointed in it. While I don't have that current experience in a movie, I have a memory in my youth of feeling excited for Halloween to go with my family to a pumpkin patch and when we went on the outing I felt strangely empty about the experience and frankly disappointed. I was young then and I did not engage in a process of consideration of all the reasons I did not like the pumpkin patch, I simply had a reaction of disappointment to it. I think this is applicable to all of your examples, that one simply reacts to these stimuli with approbation or disapprobation, one does not choose beforehand to enjoy or not enjoy, one feels that way as a result of the experience. You used the example of a good Comic con (something you enjoy). That is very well that you enjoy it, I'm not in any way discounting your feelings, but just because I do not have an equivalent of Comic Con, does not mean that I can rationally choose to materialize something that I react with a feeling of approbation towards. I am driven to respond on this site, for example, but honestly I get a feeling of anxiety at the thought of it, rather than a feeling of enjoyment... and that is how my experiences are. I don't really want to personalize this conversation because I think it works on the level of ideas, but I can use myself for the sake of concrete examples.
  2. It wasn't an impression so much as a direct quote, you see. No I don't see that in the quote you provided there. I still think that enjoyment I feel is a reaction in a moment to the experience and not a decision. First, one may not experience anticipation or excitement to see a movie in the first place. Even if one did, one could watch it and feel a disappointment in the movie, which wouldn't be rationally chosen but a reaction to the experience of watching it itself. One could stand before a mirror and smile but not truly feel happy, and hope to have a good day but experience a bad one. The same for the rest, the actual quality of the experience is a reaction that a person experiences and not one which is chosen. The same for negative experiences. I don't see you have proven anything, you are merely trying to say that one can choose to feel a given way from an experience, but that isn't true or by any means given.
  3. I wouldn't say that choosing to do things you find enjoyable isn't a rational decision, my appologies if I gave that impression. What I'm saying is that one doesn't rationally choose to gain enjoyment from a thing or not, it is an experience which arises from the interaction with the thing. But is this analogy pointing to something like, even if the experiences are negative, they are sill analogous to the fullness and in some way worthwhile? If it is the latter then I don't see it.
  4. If I reiterate what I mean, would you then provide a response to it? When I used the word instinct, I meant that, when engaging in a given activity, I will either feel enjoyment or some other positive emotion or else I will feel discomfort or some other negative emotion, I might also feel ambivalent or neutral towards the experience. When I say that enjoyment is based on instinct, what I am saying is that the enjoyment I feel of a thing is not a rational decision, it is a reaction which takes place in me. It would be similar for seeing something as beautiful, it either strikes someone that way or it does not.
  5. Do you mean humans (as in through generations of accumulated knowledge) or individuals by the end of their lives? I'm also curious if you have any reason for thinking so. To expand on what I'm getting at for the sake of clarity (hopefully). In the past, value was not conceived subjectively, people thought in moral absolutes. But we have come (most of us) to locate value in the subject who gives it to things. The problem which I am trying to illustrate is that these applying of value depends on an instinct (rather than the rational function of reason), we have to already value things, instinctively. But in the absence of that instinct (whether it be towards life, towards morals) there are not arguments (at least that I can see, but I am open to hearing arguments from others) which can convince us to see the world in such a way that we don't already. I would be willing to follow this line of reasoning with others, which is what I'm trying to do by posting here. I do not revel in the above described situation. I think that it is also true for morals though, but I think the question of whether to keep living is more central. I am not the first by any means to go over this issue. It is the subject of the work by Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (Sisyphus being a figure akin to the one I'm describing, whose existence consists of rolling a boulder up a hill which subsequently rolls back down only to roll it up again and repeat for all eternity). That work by Camus is focused on whether suicide is philosophically justified.
  6. Yes, I agree that it's subjective. But I think that's the issue, because our experience of a thing (positive or negative) depends on an instinct, not on a reason. So a given individual might not be able to choose the reaction they have to things. What I am wondering is whether, if the instincts of a given human being predispose them to have negative reactions to stimuli (subjectively), is the life worth living which is experienced in that negative light?
  7. What I am getting at is this: If meaning is not inherent in things - which seems to be the consensus, then it depends on an individual giving a meaning to the thing. But if an individual is unable to believe in a meaning then the process is impossible. Likewise for value. Enjoyment of things is dependent on an instinct (one does not choose to feel enjoyment for a particular thing, it is an experience which arises in the individual). Because these things are based on instincts (whether one is instinctually able to believe or to feel enjoyment) then they are not bound by reason. They are in a sense irrational aspects of the human. I wanted to explore whether life is still worth living for this individual. Is there something about life itself that makes it worth living, or is it some aspect of the experience. I'm wondering when you asked "Is there anything else you feel needs to be stripped from this individual before you can decide if they should live?" if you are somehow angry about this, as if I am committing some kind of injustice by asking. I am not stripping any individual of these things. If I must be honest this individual is myself, and I haven't stripped myself of anything that was not already missing. Can you elaborate on why you think it doesn't matter? If the experience is to be negative (even hypothetically), why would the individual wish to continue surviving to experience it?
  8. Okay, I will accept that you say, but somehow the issue I am pointing out still stands, don't you agree? If we then accept that the issue must be subjective, because the subject must decide whether to take his/her life, then on those grounds, there isn't really an argument against it, as is attempted by the OP of this thread. The reason I added the word enjoyable, for example, was because I wondered whether someone thought that a life which is not enjoyable could still be worth living (for that individual). I think that my discussion with Phi for All might be coming towards the issue that I was trying to get at. The problem I am having with the line of reasoning that you're giving is that it has to be supposed that someone would want to know or experience what comes next whatever it is. Phi for All has pointed out that I am setting up an argument which is designed to fail, but rather than that being a criticism of what I'm doing it's kind of the point. I know that may sound strange, but it is because I am trying to probe the limits of subjectivism (value is generally held as subjective in our age, whereas in previous ages it was not held as subjective) and there are consequences of this. For example moral nihilism.
  9. I am willing to follow your line of reasoning, but I suppose we will have to iron out either where I don't understand or else where a certain conclusion must rest (at least insofar as together we have reached a stand-still). I don't know what you are asking when you ask "wouldn't this have to be the way everyone feels about their worth?". Is it then fallacious or somehow misguided to ask, "If a given subject does not feel that life has intrinsic worth, is there reason for that subject to feel that it does?" Though you didn't say so, I do still think that this line of questioning is relevant to the thread, because if an individual does not experience their life as inherently meaningful enjoyable, or valuable, what would be a reason to keep living (ie. an argument against suicide for this individual)? The question of suicide is dependent on having a life to take. Is that what you're saying? If so, I will agree to that, but I don't think that the question of whether one should commit suicide is completely encaspulated by that fact. The original post of yours I am particularly referring to runs as follows: "It’s preferable to prevent an immediate prospect of death in favour of a less certain future, even if that future seems unavoidable (which it isn’t)." One problem I have with the comment is that you don't give an explanation as to why it is "preferable", but it also relies on the ability of someone to experience a future which makes life somehow desirable or worthwhile, which isn't a given. I don't only mean that someone may live an entirely tragic life, which is a possibility, but that someone could experience anything that happens as undesirable. The reason I am putting this in this particular thread is because, in particularly the latter case (that all is experienced as undesireable) is there still an argument against suicide? That is also why I felt that the issue of the intrinsic worth of life is relevant, rather than extrinsic (some event or else some meaning which is given to it by experiencing subjects).
  10. I don't think that I'm ignoring other subjects. I would be happy to talk about it. I can create another thread, but I don't think this is off topic because I think it is relevant to whether the arguments against suicide are truly good arguments. Why I think it doesn't matter in this case what other subjects feel about life (that it has intrinsic value) is because if a given subject does not feel that it has intrinsic worth, how would it be relevant to them if others think it does, unless it is some objective quality which is universally applicable (particularly to their own situation)? In other words, even if I made another topic about the intrinsic worth of life, to follow the reasoning I am on in this subject, I would need to refer back to the notion of suicide, because the question would be whether it is worth it to continue living under any conditions. I don't think your reiteration answered this issue. We can talk about how our lives affect those around us, sure, but it doesn't necessarily have bearing about whether a particular subject would find their lives worth living. And then you said that value and worth people define for themselves, but if someone defines value in such a way that life does not fit their definition, life could still appear not worth living. This is relevant to the subject of this thread because it could have specific bearing on whether an individual choses to continue living, and whether arguments directed against that act are relevant or effective. I did downvote your comments because I found them unhelpful. The replies I made to others should clarify why I disagree with you, but to reiterate it I don't think that the question of suicide (writ large as a philosophical issue, rather than in certain particular cases or as psychological issues) is dependent on conditions which may subsequently improve, but on whether life is intrinsically worth living. If you feel that my downvoting is in some way unfair or ill intended, I will take them away because I don't see the system as particularly helpful, since the feeling that I or any others have about a given statement is irrelevant to whether it is true or not (and I think the voting system represents the former rather than the latter).
  11. Well I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion of my line of reasoning because if the value of life is subjective and a subject does not see a value in it then by that standard the life does not have value. If one follows that line of reasoning one is also saying that life does not have intrinsic worth, which was my question originally. We might never know how many lives we affect, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it matters if we affect lives at all, or at least that isn't here proven.
  12. I have a few questions regarding this if you're up for continuing the conversation. First, If someone was, for example, enslaved, would you still consider the positives able to be seen and up to the individual to choose to see them and therefore think it worth living? Second, if someone did not see them, either because they chose not to or for some reason was unable to, would life still be worth living and if so why?
  13. The problem I have with this response is that it's a hypothetical. There isn't always something around the corner, because we can point to lives that turned out disasterously. I would accept an argument that we don't know, but then the question I am concerned with is if all turns out poorly at the final moment, was the life still worth living and if so for what reason? You said that one should write a different story for oneself, but you cannot be suggesting that "anything is possible"? because there are limits to possibility. What I am wondering with my entrance into this thread is if someone experienced a completely negative life (either because of explicit experiences or their interpretation or feeling about all experiences) is life still worth living regardless?
  14. I suppose then I would still ask about the second part of the original statement you responded to: What if the continued existence of the person would cause a significant degree of distress (this is presumably what you mean by the harm of their suicide), for example of they would act chronically depressed and speak negatively about life, become a financial burden or homeless, etc.? If you're up for it, could you elaborate on one of the questions I asked DrP, namely: Could you also elaborate reasons on why would would do things for the world, particularly if one had adverse experiences from the world and other people? What if it matters to a person and therefore causes distress to the individual? Also to be clear, though I said this in my original post in this thread, the reason that I am considering this is because I would like to contemplate whether life is innately good or whether it is good for something else (eg. experiences one has of the world).
  15. I hope you don't mind me pressing this because I am curious about whether life is innately worth living or if it's only worth living under certain conditions. You need only respond if you feel up for it. You said that one does not know what is around the corner, but should we think that, in a hypothetical scenario where nothing could would come around the corner, is that life then not worth living, or is it worth living regardless of endless drudgery if that was the case, and if so for what reason? In a second scenario, even if someone did not have explicitly adverse experiences but simply had a distaste for everything in life, regardless of what would come, would life be worth living and if so for what reason? Could you also elaborate reasons on why would would do things for the world, particularly if one had adverse experiences from the world and other people?
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.