How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 Can Anyone Other Than A Recluse   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  ]
 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Can Anyone Other Than A Recluse

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


100 posted 07-26-2008 05:57 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*chuckling*

Yer alright, BK.



(and what, no Jungian stuff? I read a lot of Edinger...so I was hoping ya'll would get around to that too. *pout*)

Please continue on, folks.

This is so much better than Dr. Phil.

And my apologies to John. We can start another thread if you find this annoying, k? Love to all.



Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


101 posted 07-27-2008 02:26 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     I like Edinger, but his notion of self is a bit different than what we've been talking about here.

     We've been talking about a sense of self that I thinks harks more back to childhood and the self that's rooted in the various experiences of personhood that come out of that.  We haven't really touched on Kohut and the "self-psychologists" that have grown out of the psychoanalytic movement since the late 60's and early 70's.  Or, really, on any of the "object relations" notions of self that have come from the British psychoanalytic folks.  I find these interesting, but I suspect that for most others here, they'd simply bore the paint off a wall.  It's more than I think people want to know about.

     Eddinger, on the other hand, is Jungian, and his notion of self is somewhat different than what we've been talking about.  His notion of self (the Jungians talk about Self with a capital S, because they see it as an Archetype) is that it is something that is assembled, if one works hard and is lucky, toward the end of life.  It's an achievement, a culmination, a sort of a spiritual and psychological masterwork of integration.

     I think it's worth talking about, but not monologuing about.  So if anybody wants to chuck the notion around, I'd be glad to learn from you and to toss in my two cents.
Thoughts?

BobK.
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


102 posted 07-27-2008 02:30 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     In other words, I don't want to bore people blue and sound like a stuffed shirt while I'm doing it.  I need other people to help carry the load.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


103 posted 07-27-2008 02:53 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
We've been talking about a sense of self that I thinks harks more back to childhood and the self that's rooted in the various experiences of personhood that come out of that.


Okay, let's just start there. (again)

I thought we were just generally discussing the sense of self. But this is good, since this helps clarify where you're coming from, because I really don't recall anyone agreeing upon this. Sure, we skirted the issue, but we still have other dynamics to consider, such as genetics and our environment (the old nature vs. nurture argument) as well as distinct differences of the resulting biology of both (character formation) familial and social indoctrination, and even environmental influences, in addition to inevitable traumas inflicted by introduction/withdrawal of all the above. (I guess we can eventually come to a point where I can protest the proclivity of rampant drugging of children for being children, and questionable diagnoses of these children as "bi-polar" while their young brains are still in developmental stages.)

But that's one of my quantum leaps.

So, I guess I am asking a question of sorts.

If you were to design a pie, how much would you proportion (on the average, of course) to nature (genetics) to nurture (yo Freudian "mamma") to societal environment?

Add anything else in there you might feel I neglected.

K? okay!

Thank you in advance, BK, and btw? BK backwards, is KB, and then you'd be me, and you wouldn't want that, not wouldya?

*chuckling*

(Oh we can even argue about when those developmental stages begin and cease--since I have been known to quibble a point.)
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


104 posted 07-27-2008 05:28 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Serenity,

          You don't seem backwards in any way that I can make out; why suggest it?

     The reason I mention childhood self above is not because that has to be where self is either located or formed, it's simply where the discussion's taken us so far.  I think that the self is something that in constant flux throughout life and can take a number of developmental pathways.  They've been doing research in Faith Development at the Harvard Divinity School since at least the mid seventies that parallels the work they've been doing in Moral Development at the School of Education there (originally under Lawrence Kohlberg), and though they could do with people to translate their English into readability, it's all on the intellectually interesting side.  They try to speak about "development" and "Developmental Stages" without suggesting that one stage is "higher" or "better" than those previous to it, which has always seemed to me to be a piece of magnificent slight of hand to me.  They always make it sound true and noble while you're listening to them talk, but the distinctions that they make tend to evaporate when they aren't present to whisper in your ear.  They were also, at one point, and may still be, reasonably firm about the notion of Adult Development.  I am also a firm believer in this.  Surprise, surprise, as they used to have Andy Griffith say (that was Andy Griffith, wasn't it? Maybe it was somebody on The Beverly Hillbillies.)  People continue to develop after they hit 21.  Coulda fooled me.

     So no, I don't believe we did agree on the self as being the thing that develops in childhood.  I did mention Jung a couple of times early in the thread, but people took the thread in other directions, as was their right.  The notion of the childhood development of self simply seemed to develop on its own when the discussion veered into what the "true self" was.  Perhaps others remember the history of the discussion differently and would like to give a more accurate accounting?  I live to be corrected.

     The actual question of the sense of the self is an interesting question in itself, by the way, though not the one I think you were speaking about.  I think you were talking about what everybody's notions happened to be of what the self might actually be, sort of an intellectual accounting for the background of the self.  Interesting, yes?

     But what I was suggesting, as it crossed my mind just now was slightly different, that is, How do you account for the continuous sense of self (this is me) across a variety of different and sometimes conflicting mental states, opinions, feelings and thoughts and periods of time.  The person involved will still say "That was me," at least most of the time, even though they were then a Democrat and are now  a-political, were then a catholic and are now a hindu, were then celibate and are now polygamous, were then unhappy and now thrilled, were then a woman and now a man.  The internal experience of such a person may still be that of the same "self."  In fact, some of us would be surprised if it were not that person's experience.  How can a person change virtually everything about themselves and still retain the same "self."  Or, conversely, insist that who they are and what they are doing is not "me," is not "myself,"  despite all pictorial evidence to the contrary?

     There are all sorts of practices inflicted upon children, Serenity, that I think should not be.  I believe these are reflections of practices that are inflicted on other reasonably powerless populations in the society, like the poor, the mad, the physically handicapped, people of color.  Sometimes these are completely reasonless and bizarre oppressions, sometimes these are misguided attempts at caretaking.  Who knows all the reasons people experiment on other people?

     A lot of kids get diagnoses they shouldn't get.  The flip side of that is that there are lots of kid who haven't gotten diagnoses they should have gotten and which might have proven helpful.  Until recently, for example, children could not be given a diagnosis of depression.  There were no depressed children in The United States.  A lot of children showed symptoms of depression, mind you, but they were not allowed to be treated for depression because there was no such thing as childhood depression.  Children, in fact, occasionally killed themselves mysteriously for reasons that were a complete puzzle to their doctors because there was no such thing as childhood depression.  And why was there no such thing as childhood depression?

     Because everybody knew what a happy time childhood was for everybody.  You'd have to be some sort of dolt to think there was childhood depression.  And none of these doctors were dolts, no sir, because it said so right on their diplomas.  It said, "Doctor."  It did not say "Dolt."  And there were no available doctors who wanted it written on their diplomas.  It simply wasn't scientific.

     Unfortunately there are kids who show symptoms that are very much like bipolar disorder, and you ignore them at their peril.  The question about exactly how to treat them has not, to my mind, been resolved, so the question of whether it's wise to treat them or not isn't one I would care to tackle without a much closer look at the research.  What does medication do to the developmental pathway?  Is it less disruptive to treat of not to treat?  How does this affect the mortality rate of this illness?

     It sounds to me that you have some firm answers on this matter.  Perhaps you've considered these questions, and would care to share your thoughts and information about them with me and with others.  I wouldn't know much more about such stuff than behavioral management and some basic psychotherapy, depending in the actual clinical presentation.  I know I don't want to over stimulate somebody in a manic state; I've seen what happens and I have great compassion for those who remember their experiences in this state and who have seen people they love in such a state.  Having known friends in this condition was heartbreaking.

     As for Pies, I thing that everybody's pie is a bit different.  Doesn't that sound strange?  But I think it's true.  Everybody's going to have particularly heavy proportions of one ingredient and relatively lighter proportions of another.  Depending on the mix, the actual flavor of the pie is going to differ, isn't it?  If the genetic package is really great, and the childhood not so good, then the actual social matrix may play a relatively large part in the outcome, as may chance encounters with people in the person's life.  The actual package of some not so great genetic packages can be a help in some cases, as, say, in Down's syndrome, where along with the various problems with retardation in learning ability and frequent cardiac problems, tell-tale tongue and palm markings, you will also find an almost universally sunny, kind and friendly disposition.  Somehow that seems genetically coded in as well, and these folks are almost always pleased with other people and think decently of themselves.

     I've known geniuses who would be thrilled to have that.

     We can talk further at another time.  A pleasure.  Yours, BobK.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


105 posted 07-27-2008 09:02 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Um, I had to scan through this--but I wanted you to know I'd read it, and I will certainly come back to it, weather allowing.

And nodding, about everybody's pies being different, but maybe you could help me without something else.

Tonight, though. Karen sleeps. Thunderstorms keep pushing through here, and my dog Fred has Post Traumatic Stress from Hurricane Rita. (Not even kidding.)

so I sleep tonight, so I'll think better tomorrow, k?

There's a lot of stuff here and I'd like to give you the same consideration of time into thought that you have given me. (Besides, Generation Kill is on and I love that show.)

Thanks!

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


106 posted 07-28-2008 03:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay.

I brought up that bit about the pie, not because I was looking for a "standard" to embrace, I was hoping to get a glimpse of how you see it.

I've a proclivity to look for authorities on subjects, yes, and I do question them (sometimes ad nauseum) and sometimes I agree, and sometimes I don't. So fear not Bob, I can be a teeny bit obstinate, and will not take your answers to be any thing more than informed opinion.

I've also had second thoughts about discussing the medication of children. It's a sensitive subject and I don't think either of us want to run the risk of being too persuasive or misguiding someone else on such a delicate subject. (I don't mind discussion on the general subject privately, but I don't think I care to toss about broad-stroke opinions on that one.)

It's enough to concede that since everybody's pies are different. I thank you for that, because it does get to my original question of how to accurately assess one's "self", which relates to "being" one's self, which relates to a consensus of "identitiy".

It's the old quandary of defining insanity without a definition of sanity.

Or even just plain old "normal" vs. "peculiar", eh?

(It's okay, Bob, that amused me.)

But I tell ya what, instead of the pie, I'll start a new thread using a more symbolic means, since this expansion of John's original question is branching out so quickly, it has turned into a baobob.



See ya in another thread, I hope! I'm off to post!
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


107 posted 07-28-2008 08:39 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     You can fix an average or a mean by statistical methods, but I'm not sure what use that would have for our current discussion.  You can even establish units of deviation away from that average and call them standards as well, though the notion of a standard deviation (not quite in the sense that the statisticians mean it) seems unlikely to me, a sort of oxymoron.  The word "normal" some Jungian or another tells us comes from the greek word meaning "carpenter's square."  I'm more than willing to take him at his word, since I find the derivation charming.

     While psychology and sociology seem pretty good about talking about the nature of deviance and abnormality, or if not pretty good, then at least they seem to do a lot of it, it would seem to me that the notion of what's decent and alright seems pretty massively understudied, and that we're simply not prepared to grapple with the notions in any welcoming fashion.

     I for one can be good at saying what's wrong.  This is an important skill, and one I value.  But I'm also fascinated by my lack of skill in formulating and expressing at least the beginnings of what is or at least may be right.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


108 posted 07-28-2008 09:14 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay. I had to read that very slow.

I actually smiled at "standard deviation".

I think I like that. Survival dictates that at times. (I'm thinking of extreme situations, like, um, say, war, or prison, but of course, there are more subtle variances of differing societal mores.)

You kinda lost me after that, though.

Or maybe I lost myself. I'm somewhere in the adjustments of subtleties of behaviors when a person is thrust from one environment where taboo behaviors are not only expected, but applauded (or simply retrospectively lauded) and into the "calmer waters" that allow one to practice agreed upon custom as polite behavior.

The confusion that a person would feel being subjected to that type of abrupt change just might make them seem peculiar.

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


109 posted 07-29-2008 04:22 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
http://www.ezgeta.com/ja.html


.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


110 posted 07-29-2008 04:51 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

John? You make good medicine.

Beautiful...
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


111 posted 07-29-2008 10:12 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I agree.  That is beautiful.

Stephen
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


112 posted 08-14-2008 01:51 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi John -- reading all this, I still don't "get it."  I can't fathom how we can not be ourselves, recluse or not.  

All the jazz about upbring, moral consideration, impluses etc allmight add up to who one currently "is," but this "isness" is a "so," an inescapable "so," whether one interacts with others or not.  One's reflection on an individual "suchness" is irrelevant.  Their trip, so to speak.  The recluses or interactive human beings reflection on others is irrelevant.

Perhaps you are talking about the nature of "pretense," in which one tries not to be who on is.  It doesn't seem to work that way.  If one pretends, for any reason, to be not whom one is, one IS one who pretends to be not whom one is.  Totally authentic.

For me, and it's likely my thinking is unacceptable, your question is a non-qustion.

The quoted poem in one of your responses, is charming, but IMO, silly as thought.  

There is an old question, "who is watching?" which is a grand way to drive yourself nuts.  No one is watching.  There is no you outside of you.  

There is a ton of stuff which takes place outside of us,that we are not the center of, or even tangentially involved in.  We can't sweat it unless we choose to, and then the sweating IS you.

All our (said non judgementally) deceit, lies, compromises etc are who we are.  Just as are all of loving acts, charitability, self-restraint and so on.

If one chooses to act on impluse without regard for consequences, or cannot help but do so, that is who one is.  If one is restrained from acting on impulse without regard for consequences, that is who one is.

It doesn't matter how one gets to where one is.  We're here right now exactly as we are -- and it can transform in an instant, leaving us exactly there right then.

And nobody is keeping score.

Best, Jim Aitken

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


113 posted 08-14-2008 02:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

The manner and severity in which our own conscience reacts, or the way we can successfully gag it and go on living free (but in a kind of unperturbed malaise) ... is a clue that someone is watching.  Who you are, still matters beyond your own skin.  But I'll bet you believe that already.


Stephen  
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


114 posted 08-15-2008 12:12 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          You have just been confronted by a religious position that is utterly different from your own.  Denial is a perfectly reasonable first response but will probably not hold up well over the long term as road to an authentic and open dialogue, should either of you want such a thing.  Jim is actually telling you exactly what he means to be saying, near as I can tell, and is reporting his experience, near as I can tell, with an honesty as utterly sincere as your own.  You won't often see that.

     It looks as if Jim doesn't believe somebody is watching. If Jim believes nothing he does matters outside his own skin, you'd have to show me where he said so.  I don't see it in his text.  I suspect you expected to find it there.

Sincerely yours, BobK.

Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


115 posted 08-15-2008 09:27 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
All our (said non judgementally) deceit, lies, compromises etc are who we are.  Just as are all of loving acts, charitability, self-restraint and so on.


I think that approach is what often makes many problems in how people treat people.  People more and more become treated like deeds, abstract things, or objects, instead of like actual people.  

Even a man that commits the worst crime doesn't deserve to be treated as if he is the crime.

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


116 posted 08-16-2008 05:18 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
You have just been confronted by a religious position that is utterly different from your own.  Denial is a perfectly reasonable first response but will probably not hold up well over the long term as road to an authentic and open dialogue, should either of you want such a thing.  Jim is actually telling you exactly what he means to be saying, near as I can tell, and is reporting his experience, near as I can tell, with an honesty as utterly sincere as your own.  You won't often see that.

     It looks as if Jim doesn't believe somebody is watching. If Jim believes nothing he does matters outside his own skin, you'd have to show me where he said so.  I don't see it in his text.  I suspect you expected to find it there.



Well I can always rest assured that Bob is watching me.  


I appreciate your concern to see that Jim and I have authentic dialogue ... but I think we really do.  I consider Jim a friend, and we have some talk now and again even outside of the forum.  And because of that genuine respect we have, I think that challenges can be sanguinely received either way.  My statement was only an expression of what I consider to be the logical outcome of a suggested direction ... not at all an accusation or anything along those lines.  Actually I know that Jim doesn't think or practice such an absurdity.  I know how good he is to his wife and others.  I only wanted to point out that his heart doesn't necessarily jive with certain philosophies that are really and rationally more at home with a kind of solipsism (or even nihilism).


Stephen
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


117 posted 08-16-2008 06:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          Woody Allen once reported that he flunked a college metaphysics exam for cheating by looking into the soul of the guy sitting next to him in class.  It's not clear to me he ever really broke the habit, and I wonder sometimes if his sense of humor was onto something when it suggested to him that doing so might actually be cheating.  I haven't entirely decided.  

     Though I'd be interested in knowing if Jim thinks your evaluation of his heart in respect to this particular case is the same as his own.  If you're out there, Jim?

     As for the comment dropping in the forrest, I am certain that it exists even if I don't hear it, which is why I get so paranoid.  "Rest  assured Bob is watching me. . . ?"
Tell me, Stephanos, have you been saying things about me while you thought I wasn't listening?  I knew it all along!

     One can love deeply, feel compassion and put others first without being a Christian or even necessarily a Deist, and it is done all the time.  That it is done all the time doesn't mean that Christianity or your particular form of it are any less wonderful than you believe them to be.

     Not precisely in line because the theology and the point are somewhat different, as I was writing this I was reminded of one of the most wonderful religious poems I believe I've ever read, a sonnet of all things, written by the poet James Wright called Saint Judas.  It may even be in the book of the same name.  I read it about 40 years ago and I still find it very much an emotional part of me.  You could probably find it somewhere on the web, and it would be more than worth the search.

Best to you from he who doesn't see his nose in front of his face,

Bob
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


118 posted 08-18-2008 11:31 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
One can love deeply, feel compassion and put others first without being a Christian or even necessarily a Deist, and it is done all the time.  That it is done all the time doesn't mean that Christianity or your particular form of it are any less wonderful than you believe them to be.


But of course.  We are (by creation) all made in the image of God.  Love is not limited to Christians.  I've never suggested that it was.


And Bob, I don't mind your watchfulness.  You always want equity and respect in the relations of everyone.  And I respect you for that.


Stephen
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


119 posted 08-18-2008 10:19 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2


Hi Ess:  RE:  “Even a man that commits the worst crime doesn't deserve to be treated as if he is the crime.”

There is a bit to gnaw on here, starting with “deserve,” a wonderfully loaded word implying a judgmental stance.   Of course we make judgments all the time, and some of them even count.   The notion of “judge not that you be not judged” is one of those confounding adages that work poorly on metaphysical and pragmatic levels, yet hang around forever.  To be non-judgmental involves making a choice, a “judgment” to not  judge.  To make a judgment, an adjudication, requires impartiality, a quality of being non-judgmental.

Lets posit for argument’s sake that murder is the worst crime.  Call it a moral absolute.  A murderer is not a murderer until he/she murders.  At that point, how can one draw a distinction between the murderer and the act of murder.  Or turn it on it’s head and suggest that laying down one’s life for one’s brother is the most charitable of acts.  What is the distinction between the individual and the act?

It’s possible that indifference is the worst of crimes, and the harshest of treatments the most charitable of acts.

.RE: “I think that approach is what often makes many problems in how people treat people. People more and more become treated like deeds, abstract things, or objects, instead of like actual people.”

Deeds are not abstract things, and objects are neither deeds nor abstractions.  Which doesn’t mean these can’t be seen as actual to people.  You are what you do, you are what you think about it, and you are what you are.


“Stephen, RE: “We are (by creation) all made in the image of God.”  Yikes!  You mean I’ve looked like Whoopi Goldberg all along and haven’t noticed?
Slightly more seriously, we seem to diverge in our inquiries along the line of “Who Creates,” manifested in a deity, and “What Creates,” which has no manifestation. They are not two ways of looking at the same thing.  The difference is not subtle.


Bob K:  One way to determine if you have a nose even if you can’t see it is to walk into a  thick plate glass door and break it, your nose, that is, as I recently did at our local pizzeria.

Anecdote:  At a friend’s wedding, I was introduced to the Abbess of the LA Zen Center.  We got to chatting, and I mentioned that I used to sit Zazen at retreats, but after breaking my ankles and having them screwed back together, I couldn’t get past the pain.  Her response:  “So sit in a chair.”  Another one of those nose opening moments!

Best, Jimbeaux
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


120 posted 08-20-2008 02:54 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
  A murderer is not a murderer until he/she murders. At that point, how can one draw a distinction between the murderer and the act of murder.  Or turn it on it’s head and suggest that laying down one’s life for one’s brother is the most charitable of acts.  What is the distinction between the individual and the act?



"A murderer", is literally not a murderer at all.  He is literally only a human.   "Murderer" (or any other action-based name) is just a confusion of the human and the action, treating them as if they are bound in one being, while they are not.  However, I am not totally against using such a "confusion".   It is so ingrained in languages, that it is almost impossible to avoid.   But I think it ought to be used with much discretion.  We should use it because it is sometimes important to refer to a man according to his actions/behavior, not because we should no longer make a distinction between those things.  The distinction between the individual and the act is just that: the distinction that the individual is the individual and that the act is the act, and that they are not one and the same.


Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


121 posted 08-20-2008 01:42 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Essorant,

           I have heard you assert this before.  I believe this is a point of view; not anything like an established fact but a respectable position which I myself move into and out of without much clear understanding of why I would actually do so.  I'm reasonably sure I could defend either side of this proposition, and I also believe that your mind is flexible and subtle enough to do so as well, in all likelihood, more capably than mine.  Am I misreading things here?
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


122 posted 08-20-2008 10:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
"A murderer", is literally not a murderer at all.  He is literally only a human.   "Murderer" (or any other action-based name) is just a confusion of the human and the action, treating them as if they are bound in one being, while they are not.


Since "murderer" does not mean "murder" but "one who murders", it is a perfectly acceptable definition.

It is still the human being who conceived and committed the act itself (both internally and externally-  'read "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor D. for a really good psychological sketch of the phenomenon')  

Does that mean he should ever be identified with that?  Not necessarily.  I believe in redemption and forgiveness, though it is a rare find.  Do I believe we are to treat others according to deeds only?  Not exactly.  For moral / religious reasons I think "Hate the Sin, Love the sinner" is a pretty good principle, even if problematic for us.  A person is made in the likeness of God, no matter how far down in degredation he or she goes.  But sadly, sometimes perpetual sins (and labels associated with them) are never gotten rid of.  If you don't want to say "We are what we do", you at least have to admit "Who we are determines what we do".  I'm not sure there's a difference, other than semantical.  


Stephen  
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


123 posted 08-21-2008 01:31 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob

No, I can't defend both sides, for I find it very wrong to treat people and their actions as one and the same.  It results in treating people on the same level as we treat their actions instead of treating them as equal human beings (as much as possible), despite their actions.  


Stephanos,

quote:
Since "murderer" does not mean "murder" but "one who murders", it is a perfectly acceptable definition.

Saying "one who murders" is little different from saying  "This person = murdering".   It is a semi-metaphor, in that, even though it directly refers to a human, it indirectly refers to the act of murder through referring to the person.  Therefore, no, the "murder" part is not literally part of what the person is.  The part of being a human though is.   As I mentioned earlier, I am not totally against using such names, but against using them without discretion.   I also generally don't find them more helpful most of the time.  Most of the time they may be less helpful.  For example, calling a woman "prostitute" over and over again, is just another way of treating a woman like a prostitute, instead of like a woman that is and deserves better.   No different with "theif" "rapist" "murderer", "criminal" "sinner", etc.  
quote:
If you don't want to say "We are what we do", you at least have to admit "Who we are determines what we do".


I think I agree.  But what we do as general and common is not whence the problems come.  We all do the same thing: live the human life, but it is how we do it that brings about better or worse, good and evil.  Being human determines a common "fire" so to speak, but it doesn't determine specifically how we use that fire.  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-21-2008 03:05 PM).]

Earl Robertson
Senior Member
since 01-21-2008
Posts 753
BC, Canada


124 posted 08-23-2008 12:14 AM       View Profile for Earl Robertson   Email Earl Robertson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Robertson

"If you don't want to say "We are what we do", you at least have to admit "Who we are determines what we do"."

Now this is what I want to say! We are the sum of all our actions, impulses, desires, thoughts and vices. ALL of them. And each one changes us slightly for better or worse.
To use the murderer example, I must be at a certain moral level to be capable of hot blooded murder, a lower one for cold blooded murder. After the act however I am worse than I was. Also in the contemplation of murder (or any other evil act) automaticaly brings me closer to the level of doing it.
The same is true of good and neutral acts.
In fact that is why "knowing oneself" is so impossible, because the very act of looking at yourself changes you. In reality we choose who we are, through tiny little acts, thoughts and encouraged (or discouraged) emotion everyday. We do not realize we are doing so because that would require a self awareness which would color everything about us. A self awareness which does at times exist but cannot exist at all times.    

Be who you are
And say what you feel
'Cause those who mind don't matter
And those who matter don't mind
-Dr Suess

 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> Can Anyone Other Than A Recluse   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors