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Does Evil Exist?

Yes
29% (8 votes)
No
57% (16 votes)
Unsure
7% (2 votes)
Other
7% (2 votes)
Total votes: 28

Posted By

Lone Wolf
Jul 12 2006 22:51

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jef costello
Jul 18 2006 09:31
revol68 wrote:
johno wrote:
I think we use the term ‘evil’ when we want to distance ourselves from something, when we don’t want to understand it, the person or action, or frame it within a context, as to do so would be horrifying to our self-image, it would fracture our sense of self. I think we can defend ourselves against the anxiety of acknowledging our own destructive impulses, if not actions, by dissociating these aspects of our self. Thus in saying an act or a person is evil we are precluding any understanding that could lead to the possibility of recognition or empathy, and the unbearable anxiety and distress that would surely follow. It allows us to externalise inner conflict that arouses rage, anger, and hate - it allows us to disavow it. Of course evil exists (in a constrcuted sense), we need it to. neutral

nah, i think we can and must understand evil not as something "outside", in saying the holocaust is evil, one is not trying to distance it rather we need to see how it is not some grand anomalie, not some qualitively different event, so unmentionable evil but instead was an evil rooted in everyday actions, low level conformity, economics and a thousand other factors that we do not tend to see as evil. The evil of the holocaust can not be disintangled from the evils of the state and capital, abstracts that are perhaps truely "evil" in that they care nothing for desires, passions or needs, ruthlessly marching over real flesh and bone. In this sense the Holocaust was a real evil, it represents a pinnacle of such instrumental reason, self perpeuating, bureacratic and totally uncaring.

I agree with both of these to an extent. There is definitely an attempt to distance oneself from certain atrocities, it's hardly surprising that instead of attempting to debate why someone would take a broken bottle to a six month old we simply explain it using evil. There is no justification for it, but that does not mean we should not try to understand it. I'd also like to point out that many people do not justify tings to themselves, they simply remove themselves from judgement. A rapist doesn't need to justify himself, he simply has to act on hs desires with absolutely no regard for his victim.

If we are to use evil then should we try to use other words, like virtuous? I can understand where you are coming from Revol, but as our most basic problem as comunists is that people do not engage with ideas, they do not question, then we should try to avoid using a term that encourages this. A term that is repeatedly and openly used to shut down debate and prevent thought.

It reminds me of a friend I had who was a nasty violent fucker, but he couldn't understand that other people would have a reaction to anything. If someone insulted him, the he had a right to hurt them, but if he insulted someone and they hurt him, then he would have to hurt them for hurting him. He couldn't understand that his actions would have consequences, that they would affect people and incite reactions.

Quote:
But a sociopath is not defined by somesort of medical framework, it is defined by the persons actions. So labelling someone a sociopath tells us no more than labelling them evil on the basis of their "evil" actions.

Revol this is circular logic and you know it. It certainly doesn't support your argument.

There is a simple qualitative difference. Evil is a term that comes from religion, it's use as a superlative could be seen as an attempt to renegotiate the meaning but when it comes to ethics I don't think that we need superlatives, we're not writing tabloid 'news' stories here. "Bad" is an ethical judgement, I'd personally go for wrong. I don't see the need to create a sliding scale of morality. The sheer scale of the holocaust is terrifying, but I honestly dislike people using it as an example as it is always trotted out to justify things. Saddam is the new Hitler, so it's ok to invade. The Taliban/serbs/whoever the fuck are nazis. One crime may be more serious in it's impact than another that does not make it more wrong. When a friend of mine was raped I didn't think to myself "at least it wasn't a baby, that would have been more evil" I was there for someone who needed me to be there, because that was the right thing to do. The only thing that bothers me is that he was never punished for it, he wasn't even corrected. My friend was too afraid to hurt him and she couldn't even tell her family, due to religion they would have probably judged her decision to be in his room and naked as evil. I think that was similarly damaging.

Would you consider murder evil? Most murders are exceptional events, most murderers are normal people. Murder has a very low re-offending rate.

johno
Jul 18 2006 14:55
revol68 wrote:
I can call it evil whilst recognising it's roots and hown it can happen,

Yes, well, of course you can. I’m not arguing that we debase ourselves and talk in some form of language that is inaccessible and abstract, I think that in itself is one of the things that can distance any movement from its grass roots. So I'm not saying that a)we do away with the word OR b) that using it necessarily implies a lack of analysis, although of course, in the main, the two go hand in hand - although having said that, they don't have to, which in part is what I thought was being demonstrated. And, since the thread was about whether or not evil exists it seems fairly reasonable to examine the use of the word from multiple perspectives, I was merely adding one, and don't need to rehash it again. I accept and agree with a lot of what went before but just thought I’d add to it, coming from a different angle - is there such a thing as a discussion with you or does it all have to be antagonistic? How very inclusive.

revol68 wrote:
that my calling it evil is an expression of moral disgust that is more articulate and expressive than saying "well they just have different moral schema, which I find distasteful".

Those aren’t even equivalent statements in different narratives so it doesn't quite hold up. Again, I kinda get what you’re saying but don’t really see it as being totally relevant to what I have said, at least in the sense that I read it. I was merely talking about how language can be used to distance or decieve ourselves, how it structures our interaction with the world and our relationships with ourselves and others...

revol68 wrote:
We have went over this argument about 6 pages ago Johnty, so we don't need you come in like Geoffery Beattie

John – At one level of analysis we can both agree that “evil” is a judgement based on a subjective perception and that the judged act itself, and the appraisal of it, have to be located within a social, political, cultural, and economic contextual framework -, that’s fairly commonsensical. What I was adding to this was bringing to light my own thoughts on the defensive nature of calling something “evil”, and the way in which we use that to distance ourselves not just from intellectual understanding but also affective empathising and identification - and indeed YES I would imagine that is a healthy thing for most of us, but it does hinder a greater level of personal awareness, if we feel the want or need to go there - I'm not saying we should or we have to. I fail to see how you are taking such an issue with that – how is that in opposition to you said? I’m just adding to the picture. It’s not “either / or”, its “both / and”.

And I really don’t know what the reference to that knob Beattie is all about other than it being an attempt to insult me ( =/ ), or undermine what I’m saying when what you’re saying clearly doesn’t.

revol68 wrote:
And as for the Capital thing, well you seemed to be disagreeing with my claim that capital has no desires beyond it's valorisation because it panders and shapes certain desires. I was pointing out that this is merely secondary, and capital itself has no desires.

I’m not sure (and this isn't directly related to any of the above), but if I think about it - if capital is intimately tied to a relationship between people, and thus a human creation then I would imagine that it would have to be invested with desires. Also, ok no object in itself has any desires when abstracted from the human world they inhabit, but when placed within their subjective context, the one you were arguing I was trying to step outside of, then I guess I would say that most objects, systems etc etc acquire meaning and pursue, projects and uses to fulfil our needs and demands. We cannot appraise something with projecting certain impulses or wishes or fears into it...

jef costello
Jul 18 2006 16:38
revol68 wrote:
The purpose of this thread was to try and find alternative concepts of evil, that move beyond the simple Judeo Christian binaries, to give some coherency, some meaning back to a word most of us feel uncomfortable giving up, yet aren't totally comfortable with either.
Quote:
If we look at liberal concept of the "criminal" being somehow ill, or unbalanced, and need to be cured, this is really no different than the ideas of exorcism and purging, except one comes with a social worker in dog collar and the other comes with a priest in a tie. The idea is that the problem is rooted in the individual, that they can be reconciled with the world. But what if it is the case that the world is criminal, what if it's more a case not of the criminal being out of balance, but so intune that they risk exposing the very criminality at the heart of society?

Interesting post Revol, I think I understand what you are getting at, but surely this is an argument against the word sociopath rather than for using the word evil. I agree with what you are saying but I don't see how you calling such a person evil differs from calling them a sociopath.

Where would you put evil Revol? Is it at the extreme end of a spectrum of good and bad acts or does it describe a particular type of act. It seems as if you are using evil to describe things which are incomprehensibly bad, in which case I think that describing them as ill is acceptable, personally I can understand some crimes, but there are others which I simply cannot, it is those ones where I find it hard to believe that the person carrying them out is not mentally ill to an extent. I would consider a complete lack of empathy to be a mental illness, possibly one that could not be cured.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Jul 18 2006 16:41

Yes, evil does exist. The State and Capitalism are evil, and with the overwhelming prominence of these, it'd make more sense to ask if good exists. The world is so overwhelmingly bad, it is a wonder anyone thinks it's good.

Ta

bgb

jef costello
Jul 18 2006 17:05
Quote:
And in a way I think modern society is based around "curing", which to my mind is just a PC way of saying "stopping people engaging in behaviours we deem unacceptable, wrong or repulsive". I'm quite prepared to say that i think some people don't need cured, they don't want to be cured and that we patronise them more by assuming they want cured, maybe some people just wish to pit themselves against society, to transgress all taboos, maybe they aren't insane, maybe they really just don't care. Maybe we need to just accept such people need stopped.

On a practical level some people do and will need stopping. Unfortunately there will almost certainly continue to be dangerous people even in a communist society. I think we are probably talking about seperate issues here, I disagree with the medicalisation of crime, but I do think that to commit certain crimes there must be a mental problem and the optimist in me hopes that this problem could be solved.

lem
Jul 18 2006 21:22

I think a non demonic theory of evil, is possible.

Could say it allows a link to the past, or that thematizing things is how we present the world to the other, or something neutral

I quite like the irrationality it implies, not captured by "sociopath" which annoys me.

I've probably met some sociopaths (I suppose everyone has wink ), they don't have to be violent, its stupid to medicalize stuff, especially encouraging other people to medicalize stuff.

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 04:27
revol68 wrote:
well, you see I don't have a stable concept of evil in my own head, rather i'm trying to draw somethings out, hence why i'm getting frustrated on this thread.

I think that it is fair to call some people sociopaths, and I also think that it is fair to refer to some peoples actions and behaviour as evil, I know that this tells us nothing of the causes and doesn't offer cures in any way. And in a way I think modern society is based around "curing", which to my mind is just a PC way of saying "stopping people engaging in behaviours we deem unacceptable, wrong or repulsive". I'm quite prepared to say that i think some people don't need cured, they don't want to be cured and that we patronise them more by assuming they want cured, maybe some people just wish to pit themselves against society, to transgress all taboos, maybe they aren't insane, maybe they really just don't care. Maybe we need to just accept such people need stopped.

This shouldn't stop us looking to produce a society in which such people are rare, but it also means we have to accept that there is no cure for some people.

When we look at the sociopathic behaviour of dictators and world leaders, do we wish to cure them or stop them. Yes, we understand that their behaviour is tied up with a social structure, but at the same time that matters little, what matters is stopping them, that will mean often destroying them as well as the social system they are legitimised in.

Great post Revol. That is kinda my point. That there is a minority of peeps whose modus operandi can probably never be comprehended, and for whom there is no "cure". They must simply be stopped. End of. My concern is that by feeling we can "cure" absolutely everyone (including those who I said earlier and Revol said certainly do not WANT to be cured) we are buying into a liberal notion that by doing the "right" thing we are "invincible" and can control and contain that which is uncontrollable and uncontainable (other than in the sense of physical isolation - the only remedy.) This smacks of a God complex to me. And evil/evil peeps having an intelligence they tap into this weakness/arrogance/naivety to eg negotiate early release from prison. Or attempt to - the reward for the liberal being having their ego fed. A recent example would be Lord Longfords support of Myra Hindley.

Not only is there the danger of evil peeps being free to commit their awful acts, there is also the issue of this distracting us from helping the vast majority who can be helped. And most importantly the victims. Who always seem to be overlooked as it is more glamorous and exciting to look at the evil-doers. Knowing this attention is granted them,some killers/torturers are motivated in part by the media attention their acts will garner. Being the centre of attention feeds their ego big time. It is up to us as a society to not pander to this need by not giving them the attention they seek. Ignoring them and isolating them is the best response. It is good to starve a greedy ego! Doubt if anyone will disagree with me about this point of avoiding sensationalist media reporting.

Saii - Do know you did not mean to overlook the victims. But they are overlooked. It is unconsious. I think it is partly for the reason I have given above and partly because people do not know HOW to help.

Saii and Nemo - I appreciate your recognition of the awful experiences I mentioned. It means a lot. That was all I was seeking in this Thread. Just recognition. When what was said was ignored totally I was pretty upset. It seemed so callous. Then Dave said it was because it sounded so awful he didn't know what to say...though did say something after which was nice...

Guys..can I make a suggestion..if you don't know what to say but want to acknowledge something brave and heavy someone you admire has just said then say just that!!! Say: "I don't know what to say because that is so heavy but you are brave and I admire you". That will do! This recognition is the half-way house between full on sympathy/emotional support (appropriate in a different time and place to Thought, say, when I refer to it in the Intro thread at a later date) and ignoring it which feels both rude and hurtful even though I know full well that was not intended. I know you are all good-hearted. I feel that. Honestly guys - it is not about thinking of clever things to say. Just a simple short sentence of recognition will suffice.

I think another factor is that - Saii - you said you assumed the thread was just about scientific analysis though you admit you only leapt in halfway through.Nemo thought similar. But if you read my opening post that started the thread I opened up the discussion to include other aspects such as psychology/personal experiences etc. So please if someone starts a thread (particularly on a subject as heavy as this) could you check what the originators intentions were at the start instead of assuming it!!! That simple courtesy could have avoided this confusion and upset to me.

However having made the above point I think I need to recognise that I am new to libcom and my style is different to what you are used to and yours is different to what I am used to!! You guys are used to mostly abstract discussions in Thought and am I new to even using an internet site and how about how it is different to "normal" discussion. I just think we need to get used to each other! smile I am new to abstract discourse - you guys are new to strong femmes steaming into Thought with discussions on sex and evil! tongue . I think I owe you guys a bit of an apology for not recognising it is these differences that were at play.

The only thing I am upset with now is - (as above para) just read my opening posts!!!!!!

I have more to say but will post now in case the thing crashes...

Love

LW X

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 04:52

Hi peeps

As it appears necessary just want to reiterate that

People still use the word evil because it has a purpose in that there are occasions when no other word is adequate. It may FEEL that this is not so if you haven't "met" it but IMHO when you have believe me nothing else will do. And its most important use is allowing freedom of expression to those who need to heal from these terrible wounds and asking them to dilute their use of language to fulfil a liberal need is simply not on. (I know you are not saying this explicitly guys but it is implicit if we remove the word and supply no creditable alternative. And noone has yet come up with one.)

The other reason to pay attention to the victims is only they can recognise what they have encountered if it is encountered once more. Academics/liberals etc can be fooled. Witnesses/victims cannot. Once you have encountered it once you can recognise it again no worries. I know some of you may doubt this and I don't blame you. You have to experience it to know. I CAN tell you that I have both the psychological knowledge AND experience. And it is my experience that is my fool-proof compass. The soul sees what the mind cannot comprehend.

Better go as it is 0545 peeps. I love you all (feeling generous after the upset earlier in the week) - that is love the quality not love the passion!

Love

LW X

PS Appreciate you for referring to your own experiences Nemo and Dave. Feel free to post more/pm now or at a later stage if you want.

jef costello
Jul 19 2006 05:50

Lone Wolf, I appreciate that you'e had bad experiences and I don't want to belittle them in any way but I don't particularly agree with you. We live in a society that endlessly fetishes the victim and condemns the perpetrator. I don't think that the emotional involvement of a victim is necessary or even desirable when it coms to addressing a crime. If someone has committed a crime the aim is to rectify damage as much as possible and prevent it from hapening again. I may be going off topic here, but I really feel strongly about this.

Quote:
And it is my experience that is my fool-proof compass. The soul sees what the mind cannot comprehend.

Being a victim does not necessarily give you any special insight into anything, it simply means that something shit hapened to you. Like the parents of Sarah Payne, I know that they've suffered the death of a child, I can't comprehend their pain, but I do know that they are fetishised by sections of the media, exploited for political purposes, with their suffering thrown open to the world by people with no interest in ending it. They demand a law in recognition of their daughter that would not have saved her and would put an end to any hope of rehabilitation for a certain type of offender. I'm not defending criminals, I cannot comprehend what they've done, but if we do not believe in redemption or the ability for people to change then we cannot be communists. We do not have to see this as guaranteed or universal but we have to believe in it none the less and do our best to bring it into existence. If we cease to believe that criminals are people then we have submitted to an old testament view of evil and we are no longer able to do anything but punish.

I'm going to start a new thread on crime and punishment, this isn't the place.

the button
Jul 19 2006 08:45
Jef Costello wrote:
Quote:
And it is my experience that is my fool-proof compass. The soul sees what the mind cannot comprehend.

Being a victim does not necessarily give you any special insight into anything

Well said, that Jef.

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 16:16

Jef - Agree with you re: the fetishisation of the pain of Sarah Payne's family. You are right about being a victim not necessarily giving special insight. Necessarily is the key word here.

Two main points I want make to make here:.

a) It CAN give special insight. It depends on the person - who it happens to and how they decide to work with what has happened to them. Would you say that someone like Primo Levi or even myself lacks insight??? I hardly think so.

b) Sorry it know it upsets you guys for me to say this but the greatest insight can only ever come from first-hand experience. Only if you experience something can you really really truly KNOW it.

The other point I want to reiterate is the one Revol and I made on concentrating resources on where they can be utilised, not where they cannot. We have to be practical also surely? If we want to manage a humane and workable society.

Also - I know this is about my work but would just like to say that the reason I get such great success in helping my clients is because they are inspired by my ability to survive (and ability to provide unconditional lover) NOT by my academic insights. Which I also have btw. Our new world will be created on a basis of love. Not academia. Academia IMO (in this context) should be the route (or one of)in which we learn to treat ourselves and each other with decency. It should not be a replacement for it.

Love

LW X

Bodach gun bhrigh
Jul 19 2006 16:23

But surely jef, being a victim of capitalism in whatever aspect is the only reason most people become anarchists? To have suffered personally produces insight because you have to understand what has happened to you.

If no-one suffered, there would be no opposition to suffering, and therefore no anarchism.

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 16:28

Bodach - tongue That is so true. That IS the reason I became anarchist. I almost overlooked that. You rule. Great! We are coming out of the clouds and back down to earth. It might not be so nice as the clouds. But it is real. And once we are real we can start to achieve something.

Bodach gun bhrigh
Jul 19 2006 16:58

8) embarrassed

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:11

I'm not a victim, my background is in the ruling class. I came to my position because it seemed logical. Are you saying my anarchist ideology has less intrinsic worth than yours and I should never argue with you on the subject again because your life has some shit in it that mine doesn't? Why are you calling yourself a anarchist if that's the case? It sounds more like a plan for a future vanguard of victims.

Edit: and lone wolf, I'm getting really tired with this constant barrage of calling people naive, or having their heads in the clouds or being unsympathetic simply because they disagree with you. Cut it out.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:30

I stopped doing science of any kind at A-Level with exceedingly poor results. I do however get annoyed at lazy/illogical thinking, particularly from people whose views I otherwise respect (I probably wouldn't even start a debate on the subject with a christian, as the end product would be 99.9% assured from the start).

I was debating whether to come into this again and decided not to because I couldn't be arsed dealing with an argument which basically comes down to 'Evil is what I say it is', same as I give up when Christians say 'It's a matter of belief', but Bodach (who I was aiming it at, hence changing over when speaking to LW) was implying superiority when he said suffering gives you a 'special' insight (ie. one that non-sufferers can't match).

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:39

As I said earlier, I don't reject the word, I reject the idea that it, as an entity, exists. The question was

Quote:
Does Evil Exist?

Not 'how would you define evil' or 'should we use the word evil'.

roll eyes to you too. As I said, I have no wish to plough back into this.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:46

No patronising intended, though if it makes you feel any better, your own attitude has seemed nothing but to my eyes, so if you are feeling patronised then you are in good company.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:52

From my point of view or as a detatched entity? tongue

edit: Actually, I think the answer is probably no, even if the absolute of my ideal was reached.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 17:56

That's your mistake wink

lem
Jul 19 2006 18:42

IMO, it is clear that experience of something can give insight.

To say that its wooly thinking - to say that eveything can always be summed in a few words, is silly. Or, intuition, isn't a wooly concept, except those who want to think out of context.

What experience definetly doesn't do, though, is give any insight into institutional punishemnt. Or, if punishemnt is not going to be stopped (which maybe it ought, really, with rahbillitation instead) it ought not be condoned by any council or council state. Maybe militias would be needed, to make sure that things don't get "out of control".

So, I reckon institutionalized punishment is worse. Maybe I just hate the state circle A

lem
Jul 19 2006 19:09

Maybe that sounded a bit stupid. But, I think, that most people on here, see something a bit wrong about holding people 100% responsible for vigilante type stuff. Without necessarily wanting to condone it.

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 19:48
Saii wrote:
I'm not a victim, my background is in the ruling class. I came to my position because it seemed logical. Are you saying my anarchist ideology has less intrinsic worth than yours and I should never argue with you on the subject again because your life has some shit in it that mine doesn't? Why are you calling yourself a anarchist if that's the case? It sounds more like a plan for a future vanguard of victims.

Edit: and lone wolf, I'm getting really tired with this constant barrage of calling people naive, or having their heads in the clouds or being unsympathetic simply because they disagree with you. Cut it out.

Ouch!! You are really hammering Bodach and I there. Re-read our posts. Neither of us wrote with any aggression or suggesting anything personal to you. Neither of us are saying your views have no merit because you may have had experiences different to us. We are simply saying that insight gained from personal experience is valuable. That would obviously include your own. As Revol says all of us suffer under capitalism to some extent. All our experiences and observations are valid.

I'M getting really tired, Saii, with posting rational yet empathetic posts and being met with inaccurate and out-of-proportion aggression. What "constant barrage" of calling people naive?? roll eyes One comment once about 8 pages ago. One comment about head in the clouds - a general point reiterating the need to achieve what we know we can, not what we (probably) can't though in a dream world we would like to. I am just saying it is not the ideal world and we have to work with what is.

For the record even when they are being hostile I am NEVER

unsympathetic to anyone. I have no problems with people disagreeing with me.Just about them adopting a hostile tone when they do so.

Disagree all you want Saii - just don't tell me to "cut it out" when I am saying things you do not wish to hear. We all hear things we don't wish to hear from time to time. An attempt to shut things down or be aggressive is no response. We need to open up dialogue, not crush it.

The goal, surely, when dealing with each other is not to "win" but open up??

Love

LW X

PS (To everyone) I am also not comfortable with the word victim tbh. Funnily enough, I have never characterised myself that way. I also dislike the connotations. My personal truth is that I have suffered greatly at the hands of authoritarian others and that as a result decided to both practice anarchism AND therapy to help others come to terms with awful experiences also. I am happy with my chosen path though not what I had to go through to reach it. Its just that there isn't a short and snappy way of saying all that!!! But..nah victimhood is not for me. I just....try to practice empathy to those who ARE stuck in that mode. But it can be very very trying. I agree with that. neutral

Bodach gun bhrigh
Jul 19 2006 19:59

Sorry, saii, I think being logical about capitalism implies that you can relate other people's suffering to your own, I'm not trying to be superior, just making the point that if capitalism didn't produce suffering in anybody, why would we object to it? And surely the suffering of others causes you suffering in yourself? But as lem said, experience does produce insight, otherwise, there would be no way of even thinking about the negative side of capitalism.

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 20:02

Bodach - embarrassed You were nice to Saii, I hammered him!! You are a good man. I have much to learn from you. (2nd big compliment from me today..are you going to blush again???Perhaps two this time?)

Love

LW X

Lone Wolf
Jul 19 2006 20:06
revol68 wrote:
I also find it absurd that Sai's logic is somehow above the petty world of passions and emotions.

tongue "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, such shaping fantasies, that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends." WS.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 20:36

I wasn't taking it personally, I was merely using myself as an example.

But nevertheless, in various comments, you seem to make it clear that you think your view, on this subject at least, is the one with most relevance because of your experiences.

Quote:
You have to experience it to know.
Quote:
Sorry it know it upsets you guys for me to say this but the greatest insight can only ever come from first-hand experience.

If that is not what you meant then fair enough, but tbh I agree with other people on the personal, it's not the same as general.

I've recently been badly hurt by the actions of one of my closest friends, but tbh I feel that simply put me too close to the subject to be very rational rather than giving me a special insight (though strangely enough, most people who have spoken to me about it have said I'm being way too rational).

I'm not expecting kid gloves because of this however, because I'm only bringing it up as an example and personally think you'd need to know me and my circumstances to have any realistic empathy (as opposed to sympathy) for me - which is something I have no desire to go into.

What I don't wish to hear is you telling people they are in some way not able to understand or not being practical (and I count, apart from the three that I noted above, a good dozen cases in the five or so pages that you post in where this crops up). I'm not asking you to curb your discourse, I'm asking you to stop talking to people as if they are incapable of understanding or are unable to be empathetic or lacking in practicality when they don't agree with you.

As I said earlier, although I don't know the intimate details, I wouldn't wish any pain on anyone, ever. I have seen and heard of enough in places all over the world, from columbian trade unionists whose kids are decapitated in front of them before themselves being scalped and garroted, to mass genocide in south america and asia and even experienced some (very - I wouldn't pretend in the slightest to have had pain of the likes of that) little of my own, that I strive to lessen it wherever I can. Most of the people on here are the same way. Please don't mistake a style of argument for a lack of regard.

lem
Jul 19 2006 20:42

sad

Erm, yeah, I'm, not defending the idea that experience can give you insight, by making you angry, this would just be irrationalism. But, to be able to think completely in context, if its possible to do. I think the idae is defensible, anyway.

Rob Ray
Jul 19 2006 20:47
Quote:
I also find it absurd that Sai's logic is somehow above the petty world of passions and emotions.

Sadly, it isn't. I'd like it to be, but as I am a mere machine of flesh, bone and mushy bits, bound up with a cocktail of bizarre chemicals, it ain't gonna happen.

Having said that, I'd prefer to fetishise logic over emotion, because personally I find leading with emotion is a fucking stupid way to live life (which strangely enough as a personal philosophy orginally comes from my experiences of being unable to control my emotions as a child with ADHD - but I don't think that makes my view on the subject any more insightful).

lem
Jul 19 2006 21:02

I see insight or intution as something between emotion and thought, it seems to have that quality. I see it as an informed slight leaning, a subtle thing, not at all like the bruteness of an emotion. Maybe where your uncertainty (in that, uncertainty is may be som,ething between emotion and thought, and is unsure) points. And that, its for when no logical answer can be found.

Apparently, its an alledged direct relation, analogous to visual seeing, between the mind and something abstarct and so not accesible to the senses. Its being used recently for thoughts and feelings from thought experiments. So its linked tyo imagination.