Socrates is the problem

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Socrates is the problem

#1  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 3:17 am

Socrates is reputed to have said “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
By language and experience we understand Socrates to be elevating "discuss ideas" as our chief, best, imperative.
Discussing ideas is the best activity, which is why we are here.

Aristotle took this and developed his square of opposition which is an excellent example of the unfounded idea. Unfounded in that it establishes an infinite hall of mental mirrors in which understanding the truth demands the creation and leveraging of mental constructs. Aristotelian Truth is true only until it is confuted. Western society is founded on Aristotle's unbounded lust for mental accomplishments which has, I claim, led to the social alienation of so many people resulting in self-harming and antisocial behavior.

My philosophy is founded on the maxims of "The most dangerous person to you is yourself" and "You can never know who has the ability to harm you so the attitudes and concerns of others can never be ignored" . Thus Kant's categorical imperative “I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law” is replaced by “I ought never to act in such a way as to harm myself or others because the results are likely to render me non-viable.”
I cannot deny that I had/have parents and so my very existence is predicated on their existence. I cannot deny that I exist because of others as the others have the power to render me non-viable. Once we accept the imperatives imposed upon us by life we can better balance the pursuit of intellectualism against the sanity needed to persist in daily life.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#2  Postby laklak » Sep 05, 2018 4:09 am

Unless you know you can take them.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#3  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 4:22 am

laklak wrote:Unless you know you can take them.


By take you mean to render them non-viable first? If so, you are deluded. You must accept that your actions will trigger other people into saying "quick temper, unpredictable, dangerous, this dude has to go and right soon". And there are always lots more people. People who you never thought were there. This site is RationalSkepticism. Let's do some rationality.

But of course, my take on your "take" might be wrong. :coffee:
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#4  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 5:22 am

wisedupearly wrote:Thus Kant's categorical imperative “I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law” is replaced by “I ought never to act in such a way as to harm myself or others because the results are likely to render me non-viable.”


wisedupearly wrote:You must accept that your actions will trigger other people into saying "quick temper, unpredictable, dangerous, this dude has to go and right soon".


I think what you're selling here is the idea that people in general require a disincentive in order not to behave like beasts. People tend to get tangled up in red tape long before they run into that evil mother in some dusty saloon in the Wild West. Also pay attention to Ambrose Bierce, who said, "Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum." Most people live far longer than just long enough to reproduce successfully, and their main problem is really just having too much time on their hands. So on that analysis, one ought never to act in such a way that one loses the chance to grow old enough to become cynical.

wisedupearly wrote:Aristotelian Truth is true only until it is confuted.


If you're declining that lust for mental accomplishment, I don't think you could have put it any more plainly.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#5  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 6:00 am

To take the last first. Modern society is, IMHO, is foundationless as religion is failing and Aristotelian philosophy is basically the endless and impractical pursuit of "logical" forms and categories. The vast majority of society is incapable of getting value from engaging with Aristotelian philosophy. In fact, life is very much a disaster for people unless they are extremely talented, beautiful, or intellectual. Society appears to say "You lack world class accomplishments? You are a loser". Day in and day out the mass media pushes the message.

I am endeavoring to establish a logical/practical basis for morality and self-worth that does not depend on religion or politeness or reciprocity. My position is that people are irrational only because they lack a founding philosophy that formalizes the imperatives demanded by reality and evolution. Respect your ability to perceive reality and form the mental constructs needed to navigate the world. Your value does not depend on understanding complex quaternions. Can you blame people if society spends absolutely no effort on time on developing sanity? We can put men into space but seem completely uninterested in the mental wellbeing of the people.

To counter Elbert Hubbard: "What do we say to death? Not today, for I am busy with life"
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#6  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 7:45 am

wisedupearly wrote:To take the last first. Modern society is, IMHO, is foundationless as religion is failing and Aristotelian philosophy is basically the endless and impractical pursuit of "logical" forms and categories. The vast majority of society is incapable of getting value from engaging with Aristotelian philosophy. In fact, life is very much a disaster for people unless they are extremely talented, beautiful, or intellectual. Society appears to say "You lack world class accomplishments? You are a loser". Day in and day out the mass media pushes the message.

I am endeavoring to establish a logical/practical basis for morality and self-worth that does not depend on religion or politeness or reciprocity....


Try harder. Why do we need this 'basis' for morality and self-worth? I'm assuming the answer is that we need a response to religious morality to save 'society', which you say is failing. What of it? The solution is not to invent a substitute religion that just leaves out 'God', but continues with the rest of the ex-recto assertions that religion is fond of. Society will continue to fail with that kind of tripe. The biggest problem society faces is that it hasn't failed completely, yet, so that some can still worry that it's failing.

wisedupearly wrote:Your value does not depend on understanding complex quaternions.


So you say. Thanks for announcing your preferences. I like quaternions but agree they're not for everyone. I don't worry about whether or not they will save society. Anyone can blather a bunch of disjointed filosofeezing. Few can master quaternions, and so distinguish themselves. The world is still full of filosofeezing, so you're entering a crowded field from which no one has emerged save by opinion. It's not an opinion to decide whether or not you've mastered quaternions.

wisedupearly wrote:Can you blame people if society spends absolutely no effort on time on developing sanity?


Quit worrying about everyone else's sanity, and keep a firm grasp on your own. Anyone has room for improvement, here, but decding you've found the Way, the Truth, and the Light is not the droid you're looking for.

wisedupearly wrote:To counter Elbert Hubbard: "What do we say to death? Not today, for I am busy with life"


Why do we have to say something to Death? Does Death give a shit? I like aphorisms as much as the next fellow, perhaps even more, but really.... Give me (something better than) Norman Vincent Peale, or give me Death.

wisedupearly wrote:Socrates is reputed to have said “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”


Take a look at the News, Politics and Current Events threads to discover that it's not as simple as what Socrates said. Sometimes, weak minds just don't know which is which.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#7  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 8:32 am

Quick question.
How do you save yourself from self-harming activities/decisions such opioid abuse, drinking, ennui etc?
I am sure that there are many people who are self-harming who could benefit from your advice. You might chose to call them defective and just watch them as they fall but eventually you will be impacted. Pithy aphorisms will not assuage the hurt or offset the cost.

Society is now like the expressway on to which more and more drivers are throwing trash. How much trash can thrown before the expressway effectively becomes unusable?

Sorry the message of complex quaternions went awry, it was merely an example.

As to religion, it is what people adopt in the absence of a truly effective philosophy.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#8  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 8:55 am

wisedupearly wrote:How do you save yourself from self-harming activities/decisions such opioid abuse, drinking, ennui etc?


Why should we assume a priori that anyone is subject to these activities? Yes, we certainly know after the fact that some people are, but it's probably too late to reach them with an all-powerful philosophy.

wisedupearly wrote:Society is now like the expressway on to which more and more drivers are throwing trash. How much trash can thrown before the expressway effectively becomes unusable?


Do you still have hope of progress, or Progress as it stands in humanistic religions? Are you anxious that society might break down completely? If not, then you're just judging the tastes of people whose tastes don't coincide with yours.

wisedupearly wrote:
As to religion, it is what people adopt in the absence of a truly effective philosophy.


True effectiveness is not established by naming the target only after you've loosed the projectile and it landed near something you are now nominating as the target. I mean, you have implied some objective, sure, but how is that the True Objective? If you learned religion as a child, and rejected it as a young adult, I can understand a reluctance to go on without a True Objective, but really.

If Socrates is a problem for you, and the alternative is just making shit up that sounds good to you, go back to the drawing board.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#9  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 9:39 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Why should we assume a priori that anyone is subject to these activities? Yes, we certainly know after the fact that some people are...
I believe you have answered your own question. Since self-harming occurs and it seems impossible to predict which will and which will not, the rational decision is to treat all as potentially self-harming or indeed dangerous to others.

Are you anxious that society might break down completely?
Yes

How can anyone claim to be rational if they dismiss the impact of the sanity of other people on their own safety and the safety of their family and friends?
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#10  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 9:43 am

wisedupearly wrote:Since self-harming occurs and it seems impossible to predict which will and which will not, the rational decision is to treat all as potentially self-harming or indeed dangerous to others.


No, it isn't. You can rationalize your anxiety, but that doesn't (by itself) validate your anxiety.

wisedupearly wrote:
How can anyone claim to be rational if they dismiss the impact of the sanity of other people on their own safety and the safety of their family and friends?


Claiming to be rational is overrated (mainly by claimants), and rightly so. Overestimating the irrationality of others does not demonstrate danger. This stuff is fairly subjective, so I would not base an all-powerful philosophy upon it.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#11  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 9:57 am

Underestimating the irrationality of others vs. Underestimating the rationality of others
Which do you think is more dangerous given that the self-harming does exist and is rapidly escalating?

This is only for opioid OD but people appear to be taking anything and everything to escape their lives.
https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/opioid-overdose-death-rates/?activeTab=graph&currentTimeframe=0&startTimeframe=17&selectedDistributions=opioid-overdose-death-rate-age-adjusted&selectedRows=%7B%22wrapups%22:%7B%22united-states%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#12  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 10:35 am

wisedupearly wrote:Underestimating the irrationality of others vs. Underestimating the rationality of others
Which do you think is more dangerous given that the self-harming does exist and is rapidly escalating?


So, OK, you're more or less identifying irrationality with avoidable danger, here. Now what? Tell us more about 'danger'. Tell us more about how you think rationality avoids danger. There you have your tautology. So you need to say a bit more about danger. You might be making the mistake that irrationality is avoidable, you know, by using an all-powerful philosophy. But you still have to validate your philosophy with something more than a tautology between rationality and 'avoiding danger'. Plenty of animals that do not traffic in rationality avoid danger as a matter of course. Perhaps you're saying that people are members of the only species that doesn't do this. If so, extinction's too good for them. Even if we can avoid danger, sometimes the extant conditions preclude survival, since we might just starve to death. Lots of folks think cannibalism isn't an option, but we know better.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#13  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 11:04 am

You go to a bar where some stranger offers to sell you "some good shit, blow your mind".
The irrational decision is to buy the junk and take the risk of death, or worse a really boring time.
The rational choice is to demand the dude take the drugs he is selling (you get to choose which one) to see if they are fatal or not.
You walk into a seedy bar and shout that all the guys are limp-dicks and not worth a toss. Is this irrational and dangerous?
You decide that your life is crap and you decide to cut yourself. Is this irrational and dangerous?
You roommate starts collecting guns and acting paranoid, you do nothing. Is this irrational and dangerous?
You give up on yourself and stop working. Is this irrational and dangerous?
You know that the tap water is impure but you keep drinking it. Is this irrational and dangerous?

this web site is called Rational Skepticism. I can see you are skeptical. What is your definition of rational?
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#14  Postby Hermit » Sep 05, 2018 12:01 pm

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed,
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#15  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 05, 2018 12:15 pm

wisedupearly wrote:
this web site is called Rational Skepticism. I can see you are skeptical. What is your definition of rational?


It doesn't consist in going around asking people to define abstract terms as if you were the only one around who knew what you were talking about.

What's your definition of 'normal'. Hint: This is going to involve a study of statistics, or else a lot of wibble. Now you're going to be able to take a stab at 'rational' and 'irrational'. Get with it, chum. While you're at it, look up all the definitions of 'chum'. Be aware of references to fishing.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#16  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 12:26 pm

For Hermit.
Socrates will not be missed. He started the fascination with mental constructs. Socrates was half in half out as regards humanism.
Reading Phaedo you can see that Socrates is still attached to the human condition. He thinks that humans need a little more white horse black horse allegories to get things straight. Aristotle says screw that, I have forms, categories, and the Ontological Square. Mental constructs all the way. The human condition does not enter into the picture.
The Church came along and said "we need a bit of science so its Aristotle in the school and the Church will take care of the human condition with dogma."
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#17  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 12:33 pm

Cito di Pense wrote: Get with it, chum. While you're at it, look up all the definitions of 'chum'. Be aware of references to fishing.


Chum is how you catch the stupid fish, in large numbers, right?
You asked for details, you got them.
Care to discuss the first example of irrational being dangerous? Teen suicide rate in UK has jumped 67% since 2010. Rational? Discuss. The floor is yours.
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#18  Postby felltoearth » Sep 05, 2018 12:35 pm

wisedupearly wrote:Socrates is reputed to have said “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
By language and experience we understand Socrates to be elevating "discuss ideas" as our chief, best, imperative.
Discussing ideas is the best activity, which is why we are here.

Aristotle took this and developed his square of opposition which is an excellent example of the unfounded idea. Unfounded in that it establishes an infinite hall of mental mirrors in which understanding the truth demands the creation and leveraging of mental constructs. Aristotelian Truth is true only until it is confuted. Western society is founded on Aristotle's unbounded lust for mental accomplishments which has, I claim, led to the social alienation of so many people resulting in self-harming and antisocial behavior.

My philosophy is founded on the maxims of "The most dangerous person to you is yourself" and "You can never know who has the ability to harm you so the attitudes and concerns of others can never be ignored" . Thus Kant's categorical imperative “I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law” is replaced by “I ought never to act in such a way as to harm myself or others because the results are likely to render me non-viable.”
I cannot deny that I had/have parents and so my very existence is predicated on their existence. I cannot deny that I exist because of others as the others have the power to render me non-viable. Once we accept the imperatives imposed upon us by life we can better balance the pursuit of intellectualism against the sanity needed to persist in daily life.


This boils down to “people can kill me, but my ability to talk my way out of it is beneficial.” Why even bring up Socrates for such an obvious point?
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#19  Postby Hermit » Sep 05, 2018 12:39 pm

wisedupearly wrote:Aristotle says screw that

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
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Re: Socrates is the problem

#20  Postby wisedupearly » Sep 05, 2018 12:56 pm

felltoearth wrote:
wisedupearly wrote:
This boils down to “people can kill me, but my ability to talk my way out of it is beneficial.” Why even bring up Socrates for such an obvious point?


umm, not exactly my point. My argument is that Western philosophy (founded on Socrates and Aristotle) is focused excessively on the individual and too little on the individual's position within the community. This means that people who are unable or unwilling to exert the mental horsepower needed to follow Kant (as an example only) get nothing. They get maths, science, etc etc in a do or die competition. Failing to make grades or failing to see society's point of view leads most people to depression. They do get a lot of a legal warnings as to what will happen if they get stroppy.

The usual moral guidelines outside religion involve aphorisms such as "Do as you would be done by" which I believe are far too passive. What is needed is an understanding of how our attitudes can negatively impact those around us and indeed ourselves.
The costs imposed are offset by a reconnection with our basic faculty of perception. We used it in childhood and it still exists, all though now we are habituated to it.
BTW. IMHO, if I am in the position that I can talk to the crazy one it is far too late. Best to work for the rational society rather than sit around and complain about the boredom.
Last edited by wisedupearly on Sep 05, 2018 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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