Portrait of an American Hero

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by Immanuel Can »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:46 am ...the victory is not because of the suffering but in not letting it defeat us.
True; but there would be no victory if there were no arduous circumstances...then there would be no achievement, no heroism, no mercy, no empathy, and so on; and the growth of character that accompanies perseverance, pluck, determination and triumph would not happen at all.

Things that are easy rarely teach us much. Things that are hard teach us lots, and can make us better people.

So the relation is dialectical, which means not that the suffering alone produces the goods, but the tension between our determination and the obstacles produces the goods in a dialectical way -- that is, not out of merely one or the other, but out of their relation to each other.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:07 am
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:46 am ...the victory is not because of the suffering but in not letting it defeat us.
True; but there would be no victory if there were no arduous circumstances...then there would be no achievement, no heroism, no mercy, no empathy, and so on; and the growth of character that accompanies perseverance, pluck, determination and triumph would not happen at all.

Things that are easy rarely teach us much. Things that are hard teach us lots, and can make us better people.

So the relation is dialectical, which means not that the suffering alone produces the goods, but the tension between our determination and the obstacles produces the goods in a dialectical way -- that is, not out of merely one or the other, but out of their relation to each other.
And that explains why suffering is good? OK, then. Enjoy your suffering.

Personally I find all the things you describe the very things that make life worth living, not suffering. I don't expect life to be easy, painless, or free of problems. I expect it to be what it is, a constant excruciatingly difficult labor of love, requiring self-disciplined mind directed effort. Every aspect of that effort for me is enjoyment, from the muscle-aching exertion to long hours of patiently enduring discomfort for the reward of that effort, which is my life. I do not regard them as suffering. Pain, as a concomitant part of work, is not suffering.

Suffering is any harm, deprivation, loss, discomfort, or pain, one experiences that is without any mitigating reward of greater value to the sufferer than the suffering. I just don't know how anyone can see any positive value in that.

I think we are not agreeing on what we mean by suffering. I really cannot believe you think suffering, as I have described it, can have a positive value, though your views of retributive justice seem to.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:33 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:07 am
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:46 am ...the victory is not because of the suffering but in not letting it defeat us.
True; but there would be no victory if there were no arduous circumstances...then there would be no achievement, no heroism, no mercy, no empathy, and so on; and the growth of character that accompanies perseverance, pluck, determination and triumph would not happen at all.

Things that are easy rarely teach us much. Things that are hard teach us lots, and can make us better people.

So the relation is dialectical, which means not that the suffering alone produces the goods, but the tension between our determination and the obstacles produces the goods in a dialectical way -- that is, not out of merely one or the other, but out of their relation to each other.
And that explains why suffering is good? OK,
Ah, you didn't hear me, I see.

I did not say that suffering is intrinsically good; I said it's dialectically contributory to the good.

Or am I speaking unclearly here...are you familiar with what a "dialectical tension" is, and how thesis-antithesis is supposed to generate synthesis in one? :?
Personally I find all the things you describe the very things that make life worth living, not suffering.
Ah, but that's the point: in a world without any struggle, problems, suffering, etc., we would have none of all these goods that "make life worth living," as you put it.

Think of it this way: living a life with no struggle, no pain, no resistance, no difficulties, no problems, etc., all the things we might bundle into the idea of "suffering," is like showing up for a football game with no opposition. You might have nice uniforms, and you could still hack the ball around a bit; but you couldn't have a real "game" without opponents, and you wouldn't merit any cheers from the crowd if you did just kick the ball into the other net unopposed. You wouldn't really show your skill, wouldn't become more fit, wouldn't amaze and dazzle the crowd, and at the end, you wouldn't really have achieved anything. And if somebody handed you a trophy, what would it be worth? Not only had you done nothing to deserve it, you'd paid no price to achieve it. You'd have no bruises, no sweat, no aches and pains, and no injuries, it's true -- that's a nice feature. But you'd also have achieved nothing, and I think most of us would believe that a good man ought to be too embarrassed to be handed a trophy under such conditions, and would rightly decline.

So there are implications to yearning for such a world. Maybe it's not the unqualified good we might at first imagine.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:53 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:33 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:07 am
True; but there would be no victory if there were no arduous circumstances...then there would be no achievement, no heroism, no mercy, no empathy, and so on; and the growth of character that accompanies perseverance, pluck, determination and triumph would not happen at all.

Things that are easy rarely teach us much. Things that are hard teach us lots, and can make us better people.

So the relation is dialectical, which means not that the suffering alone produces the goods, but the tension between our determination and the obstacles produces the goods in a dialectical way -- that is, not out of merely one or the other, but out of their relation to each other.
And that explains why suffering is good? OK,
Ah, you didn't hear me, I see.

I did not say that suffering is intrinsically good; I said it's dialectically contributory to the good.

Or am I speaking unclearly here...are you familiar with what a "dialectical tension" is, and how thesis-antithesis is supposed to generate synthesis in one? :?
Personally I find all the things you describe the very things that make life worth living, not suffering.
Ah, but that's the point: in a world without any struggle, problems, suffering, etc., we would have none of all these goods that "make life worth living," as you put it.

Think of it this way: living a life with no struggle, no pain, no resistance, no difficulties, no problems, etc., all the things we might bundle into the idea of "suffering," is like showing up for a football game with no opposition. You might have nice uniforms, and you could still hack the ball around a bit; but you couldn't have a real "game" without opponents, and you wouldn't merit any cheers from the crowd if you did just kick the ball into the other net unopposed. You wouldn't really show your skill, wouldn't become more fit, wouldn't amaze and dazzle the crowd, and at the end, you wouldn't really have achieved anything. And if somebody handed you a trophy, what would it be worth? Not only had you done nothing to deserve it, you'd paid no price to achieve it. You'd have no bruises, no sweat, no aches and pains, and no injuries, it's true -- that's a nice feature. But you'd also have achieved nothing, and I think most of us would believe that a good man ought to be too embarrassed to be handed a trophy under such conditions, and would rightly decline.

So there are implications to yearning for such a world. Maybe it's not the unqualified good we might at first imagine.
Well, OK. We aren't even talking about the same thing anymore. Thanks for the comments.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:58 pm Well, OK. We aren't even talking about the same thing anymore. Thanks for the comments.
If you say so.

You're welcome. Thanks for your feedback, too.
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