Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:35 am

The Voice of Time wrote:
Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:49 am
WanderingLands wrote:The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world.
You mean to go nuts? Yeah, I can see how suffering can help a person go nuts. What follows is going to be a ridicule of your crazy talk:

Kill yourself... the easiest way of liberating yourself from the material world ^^ You cease to exist, a corpse takes your place and lots of worms are gonna be really happy.

You can start by stopping to eat, since food is obviously something that holds you back and part of the material world.

Second perhaps should be your computer, if the food was bad, just imagine how much material obsession went into making your computer!

When you think about it, you should start moving into nature, maybe a cave for starters to avoid all those unnecessary human-made structures, but after a while, you should really stop caring about where you are, as obviously everything around you is material so it should stop mattering to you whether you're cold, or hungry, or bored to death. They are all just phantoms, like a little devil trying to lure you to delight in life.

End of ridicule.

As for Enlightenment, a person actually does a lot of Enlightening throughout their lives, realizing this and that and becoming more wise from it. I think the best recipe for Enlightenment is to try out the world in its diversity, and reflect on your experimentation. There's no recipe for Enlightenment because there's no ultimate recipe for wisdom, because wisdom depends on the entire development and variability of the world and universe at large.
I would never quote the Bible as authority, but there are a few true things in it. Your description reminded me of this one:

"Test (try) all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by RCSaunders » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:51 am

Felasco wrote:
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:02 pm
Turning off thought is possible, ...
You have certainly proved that!

This neurotic love affair with, "suffering," is a kind of self-inflicted desease. The purpose of life is not to evade suffering but to achieve joy.

User avatar
vegetariantaxidermy
Posts: 9095
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:45 am
Location: Narniabiznus

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:38 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8AuYmID4wc

It can make for great music.

Spyrith
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:22 am

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Spyrith » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:36 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:51 am
Felasco wrote:
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:02 pm
Turning off thought is possible, ...
You have certainly proved that!

This neurotic love affair with, "suffering," is a kind of self-inflicted desease. The purpose of life is not to evade suffering but to achieve joy.
The interesting part about this is that most people choose to pursue a source of joy that requires suffering obtain.

Someone who wants to become a doctor must deal with the lost years of youth and crushing debt.
Someone who wants to build a business must deal with the stress of uncertainty and counting money.
Someone who wants children must deal with the tedious and annoying parts of parenthood.

I think most people don't fetishize suffering and instead just want to achieve joy. However, they assume by default that joy requires suffering and pay that price without even thinking about it.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by RCSaunders » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:17 am

Spyrith wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:36 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:51 am
Felasco wrote:
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:02 pm
Turning off thought is possible, ...
You have certainly proved that!

This neurotic love affair with, "suffering," is a kind of self-inflicted desease. The purpose of life is not to evade suffering but to achieve joy.
The interesting part about this is that most people choose to pursue a source of joy that requires suffering obtain.

Someone who wants to become a doctor must deal with the lost years of youth and crushing debt.
Someone who wants to build a business must deal with the stress of uncertainty and counting money.
Someone who wants children must deal with the tedious and annoying parts of parenthood.

I think most people don't fetishize suffering and instead just want to achieve joy. However, they assume by default that joy requires suffering and pay that price without even thinking about it.
If all you mean is that there is nothing of value in this world that can be achieved or acquired without effort, and the more value it is, the more it will cost one in, effort, and enduring the less pleasant aspects of life to achieve the best, that is hardly suffering.

I suppose it seems like suffering to all the coddled snow flakes who have never learned that one must work and choose to do things that are difficult in order to achieve anything worth achieving. No truly sane individual considers their work and effort, suffering, even when it requires enduring physical pain and emotional discomfort.

Spyrith
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:22 am

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Spyrith » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:40 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:17 am
If all you mean is that there is nothing of value in this world that can be achieved or acquired without effort, and the more value it is, the more it will cost one in, effort, and enduring the less pleasant aspects of life to achieve the best, that is hardly suffering.

I suppose it seems like suffering to all the coddled snow flakes who have never learned that one must work and choose to do things that are difficult in order to achieve anything worth achieving. No truly sane individual considers their work and effort, suffering, even when it requires enduring physical pain and emotional discomfort.
That is a good point, so I will nuance the argument.

Most of the times, it's not actually certain that by enduring the suffering you will actually obtain the source of joy.

Let's say you want to be an actor, but simply don't have the talent and have less expressivity than a limp fish. You do everything required to become an actor: do training courses, go to auditions, rehearse etc etc, but nobody ever even gives you the smallest role.

This limp fish actor practically endures all the suffering willingly, but doesn't obtain even the smallest source of joy that would come out of actual acting.

You could argue that the limp fish actor should just change what could bring him joy. However, it's possible that he will constantly choose sources of joy that he cannot achieve. Thus, he will constantly choose to experience the suffering, but will never be capable of actually reaching the places that provide joy.

If you ask the limp fish actor, life is suffering and then you die.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by RCSaunders » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:36 pm

Spyrith wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:40 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:17 am
If all you mean is that there is nothing of value in this world that can be achieved or acquired without effort, and the more value it is, the more it will cost one in, effort, and enduring the less pleasant aspects of life to achieve the best, that is hardly suffering.

I suppose it seems like suffering to all the coddled snow flakes who have never learned that one must work and choose to do things that are difficult in order to achieve anything worth achieving. No truly sane individual considers their work and effort, suffering, even when it requires enduring physical pain and emotional discomfort.
That is a good point, so I will nuance the argument.

Most of the times, it's not actually certain that by enduring the suffering you will actually obtain the source of joy.

Let's say you want to be an actor, but simply don't have the talent and have less expressivity than a limp fish. You do everything required to become an actor: do training courses, go to auditions, rehearse etc etc, but nobody ever even gives you the smallest role.

This limp fish actor practically endures all the suffering willingly, but doesn't obtain even the smallest source of joy that would come out of actual acting.

You could argue that the limp fish actor should just change what could bring him joy. However, it's possible that he will constantly choose sources of joy that he cannot achieve. Thus, he will constantly choose to experience the suffering, but will never be capable of actually reaching the places that provide joy.

If you ask the limp fish actor, life is suffering and then you die.
Many people do exactly the kind of thing you describe, perhaps not to the extreme your "limp fish," goes to, but certainly pursuing what their own ability and natural assets make impossible to them. It's a terrible mistake, usually resulting form a kind of denial of one's own best self-evaluation or the illusion that one's feelings and desires are right sources for making choices, "I've felt all my life that I ought to be an actor." No doubt, they suffer, but it's not an objective, it is the consequence of bad choices, of not objectively seeking what truly would lead to one's enjoyment of their life.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3109
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by bahman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:06 pm

WanderingLands wrote:
Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:40 am
Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
Suffering is evil. It is however right to do evil sometimes.

Gary Childress
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: The Domain of Confusion

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Gary Childress » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:50 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:06 pm
WanderingLands wrote:
Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:40 am
Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
Suffering is evil. It is however right to do evil sometimes.
How can it be right to do evil? Is it likewise evil to do right? Evil is evil and is never good. Just like suffering isn't good either.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3109
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by bahman » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:31 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:50 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:06 pm
WanderingLands wrote:
Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:40 am
Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
Suffering is evil. It is however right to do evil sometimes.
How can it be right to do evil? Is it likewise evil to do right? Evil is evil and is never good. Just like suffering isn't good either.
You put pressure on your opponent when you play chess for example. This is evil but right.

Gary Childress
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: The Domain of Confusion

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Gary Childress » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:42 pm

bahman wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:31 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:50 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:06 pm

Suffering is evil. It is however right to do evil sometimes.
How can it be right to do evil? Is it likewise evil to do right? Evil is evil and is never good. Just like suffering isn't good either.
You put pressure on your opponent when you play chess for example. This is evil but right.
Playing chess isn't "evil" it's a game played for entertainment and no one is hurt except maybe a sore ego. However, real war is definitely evil.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3109
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by bahman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:33 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:42 pm
bahman wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:31 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:50 pm


How can it be right to do evil? Is it likewise evil to do right? Evil is evil and is never good. Just like suffering isn't good either.
You put pressure on your opponent when you play chess for example. This is evil but right.
Playing chess isn't "evil" it's a game played for entertainment and no one is hurt except maybe a sore ego. However, real war is definitely evil.
Hurting anything including ego is evil.

Gary Childress
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:08 pm
Location: The Domain of Confusion

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Gary Childress » Wed May 20, 2020 2:32 am

bahman wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:33 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:42 pm
bahman wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:31 pm

You put pressure on your opponent when you play chess for example. This is evil but right.
Playing chess isn't "evil" it's a game played for entertainment and no one is hurt except maybe a sore ego. However, real war is definitely evil.
Hurting anything including ego is evil.
So would you prefer being in a war or playing a game of chess? Or are they both the same kind of "evil?"

Wyman
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Wyman » Wed May 20, 2020 2:47 am

WanderingLands wrote:
Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:23 pm
I like your post, Felasco. You have definitely captured what I was saying, though yours was put differently than mine.

Now, it is correct that life is like a ball, where it is thrown (birth), it flies up (life), but it falls (old age), and then it hits the ground (death). It is true that life is like a ball; however, many people always want more from it. Many think they can get it from material pleassure; others try to become more healthier (even try to find eternal life), and more stronger.

I would also like to add that seeking things is a good thing, as a way to overcoming things (I see that Frederich Nietszche was mentioned on this thread), but it is also good to be content with where you are and to not get worked up over perfection. That way, you can be content with suffering, and which can thus be let go and just live life.
Oof. Have you read Dostoevsky? He literally claimed that the only route to happiness is through suffering The ball analogy, though, is not good (understatement).

User avatar
attofishpi
Posts: 4051
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am
Location: Orion Spur
Contact:

Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by attofishpi » Thu May 21, 2020 4:56 pm

Wyman wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:47 am
WanderingLands wrote:
Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:23 pm
I like your post, Felasco. You have definitely captured what I was saying, though yours was put differently than mine.

Now, it is correct that life is like a ball, where it is thrown (birth), it flies up (life), but it falls (old age), and then it hits the ground (death). It is true that life is like a ball; however, many people always want more from it. Many think they can get it from material pleassure; others try to become more healthier (even try to find eternal life), and more stronger.

I would also like to add that seeking things is a good thing, as a way to overcoming things (I see that Frederich Nietszche was mentioned on this thread), but it is also good to be content with where you are and to not get worked up over perfection. That way, you can be content with suffering, and which can thus be let go and just live life.
Oof. Have you read Dostoevsky? He literally claimed that the only route to happiness is through suffering.
That makes a huge amount of sense to me, but only if the suffering stops!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests