Why do we compare ourselves to others?

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

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Ghost
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Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by Ghost »

Is it to strive to become better than they are? Or to convince ourselves our lives are not so bad by comparison?

I struggle trying not to compare myself to others, I at least stay off of facebook and other social media websites where lives and photoshopped photos are posting to say "look at me!". But people are all around to compare to. It doesn't help my childhood and much of my adulthood has had many people say to me "Why can't you be more like.....?" or "I wish you could be more like.....".

Is there anything to actually gain from comparing ourselves to others?
Walker
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by Walker »

The best is both the measure and the enemy of the good.

Virtuosity: in music virtu; virtue in life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO53Xu6TZBg
Impenitent
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Because comparing ourselves to fish is pointless...

Post by Impenitent »

-Imp
Walker
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Re: Because comparing ourselves to fish is pointless...

Post by Walker »

Impenitent wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:21 pm-Imp
The little engine that could, swam upstream.
odysseus
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by odysseus »

It's not like one has a choice, Walker. The act of taking a stand of any kind implies comparison. Thinking at all is grounded in difference. When a person asks, why compare, comparison is implicit in the asking.
But you mean explicit comparison, not how comparison is structured into all things, I am guessing. Comparison is requisite for questioning, is it not? One cannot bring a critical thought to bear upon another, or, another's thinking, without being aware of difference. How does one stand apart, evaluate, discriminate, judge and the like without comparison? It is essential in the explicit sense, where one consciously takes up a position.
Or is it comparison that fails to achieve independence being so bound to what others think? One has to stand, you could say, on an issue,a lifestyle, in a belief, according to the merits themselves, others be damned. This is more in line with Kant's notion of enlightenment: dare to reason independently! Other philosophers, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, et al, put the matter as one where the common train of thought that runs through the collective mentality is to be eschewed in order to achieve authenticity.
But then, even here, is freedom from comparison even possible? Don't even our most private and independently conceived thoughts find their origin within the possibilities that have little to do with personal independence, since this can never understood apart from others?
Walker
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by Walker »

What separates the good from the best, and what is the nature of the best?

Is the best an idealization, aka an idol conceived or adopted by the good? (fantasy)

Is the best an edited, nostalgic past? (fantasy)

Is the best a manifested phenomenon of quality found in form or achievement (and ascertained as the best via empiricism based on inference)?
gaffo
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by gaffo »

ego
gaffo
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by gaffo »

Walker wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:38 am What separates the good from the best, and what is the nature of the best?

Is the best an idealization, aka an idol conceived or adopted by the good? (fantasy)

Is the best an edited, nostalgic past? (fantasy)

Is the best a manifested phenomenon of quality found in form or achievement (and ascertained as the best via empiricism based on inference)?
the best compare themselves to ideal selves - thier acheived self love/understanding to the ideal full self knowledge and forgiveness.

forgetting comparing yourself to others.
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attofishpi
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by attofishpi »

Ghost wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:48 am Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Is there anything to actually gain from comparing ourselves to others?
Yes, on the one hand we can realise how pathetic others are, and on the other hand we can realise how the pathetic people are incapable of realising how pathetic they are.

It help us that are not pathetic grasp how well we are actually positioned, well above stupid people, thus realising we can actually make a difference (since the pathetic people are stupid enough to easily manipulate (with enough injection into their primary source of information - 'social' media)
Dubious
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by Dubious »

We only do it when it's in our favor. It's the easiest way to score a cheap victory. We've always been very practical in that regard in spite of the fact it may occasionally backfire.
Gary Childress
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by Gary Childress »

My guess is that we compare ourselves to others because of the advantages it brings to our species in terms of survival and flourishing. What good is a great thinker or a great anyone who everyone else ignores and refuses to emulate? Where would we be as a species if everyone just sat around and picked our noses instead of copying the smart guy who waits until no one is looking before he does it?
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attofishpi
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Re: Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Post by attofishpi »

attofishpi wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:13 pm
Ghost wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:48 am Why do we compare ourselves to others?

Is there anything to actually gain from comparing ourselves to others?
Yes, on the one hand we can realise how pathetic others are, and on the other hand we can realise how the pathetic people are incapable of realising how pathetic they are.

It help us that are not pathetic grasp how well we are actually positioned, well above stupid people, thus realising we can actually make a difference (since the pathetic people are stupid enough to easily manipulate (with enough injection into their primary source of information - 'social' media)
Jesus, i can be arrogant sometimes. The ineptitude of people to pursue knowledge and self analyse that knowledge and continue to seek more knowledge based upon the knowledge they still, after their analysis, fail to understand is NOT what makes them pathetic.
It's those that don't bother in the first place that I consider pathetic.
Those that after school/uni...think, well that's that...learning is a chore. Yes it was, because you are too pathetic to put what you learned to a use that you are interested in...and mostly because it requires you to still learn more about it!
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