Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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Philosofer123
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Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

Over the past few years, I have created my philosophy of life, a 14-page document that may be found at the following link:

http://philosofer123.wordpress.com

I do my best to live my philosophy, and I have found the entire exercise to be personally very beneficial.

My philosophy is a living document, and I welcome any feedback (criticisms, counterarguments, enhancements, or otherwise) that you may have. In fact, the primary purpose of this post is to solicit feedback so that the document may be improved.

Enjoy!
Last edited by Philosofer123 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HexHammer
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by HexHammer »

You need to rewrite most of your stuff and read up on psychology, ingelligences, etc. It's obvious that you havn't really read up on modern science of how human precieve things.
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The Voice of Time
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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Would be best if you could pick out something in particular that you'd like to discuss.
Philosofer123
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

The Voice of Time wrote:Would be best if you could pick out something in particular that you'd like to discuss.
I am looking for feedback on any part of the document. The more specific, the better. The discussion can then proceed from there.
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HexHammer
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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Dude, respond to my post please!
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

HexHammer wrote:Dude, respond to my post please!
As things stand, I have nothing to which to respond. Please be more specific with your criticism--try to refute specific arguments in the document, or pick out specific statements with which you disagree and explain why.
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HexHammer
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by HexHammer »

Philosofer123 wrote:
HexHammer wrote:Dude, respond to my post please!
As things stand, I have nothing to which to respond. Please be more specific with your criticism--try to refute specific arguments in the document, or pick out specific statements with which you disagree and explain why.
You could at least confirm that you intend to read up on the things that I have encouranged you to do, else you just waste your own and our time with this.
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The Voice of Time
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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It's hard to talk about it because it's kinda "your" philosophy of life and philosophies of life are kinda personal stuff that you make for yourself primarily, but it doesn't look very much like a philosophy of life, as for instance this example which I'm gonna critique:
Free will impossibilism is the view that free will is impossible

I define “free will” as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one’s

I find the following regress argument against the existence of free will to be compelling:

For any agent S and intentional action A, S does A because of the way S is in certain mental intentional actions respects. Therefore, to be ultimately responsible for A-ing, S must be responsible for being that way in the relevant respects. But to be responsible for being that way, S must have chosen to become (or intentionally brought it about that he would become) that way in the past. But if S chose to become that way, then his choice was a product of the way he was in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be responsible for that choice, he would need to be responsible for being that way. But this process results in a vicious regress. Therefore, S cannot be ultimately responsible for his A-ing, and thus cannot have free will.

More concisely, free will requires ultimate self-origination, which is impossible
You are talking about how somebody can be the cause of their own actions, however, free will is a flexible term, so it doesn't just mean talking about responsibility and blame. One way of viewing free will for instance is that it's the ability to be unpredictable in your thought and action, that for instance a human being after years of cultivation can still make remarkable breaks with his environment, always providing a sense that a mind is never fully under anyone's control and always subject to "breaking free" of any pattern of action. This is the view I have of free will.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Another critique:
Existential skepticism

Existential skepticism is the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value

I believe that existential skepticism follows from the combination of atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism and moral skepticism

According to this combination of views and modern science, life is a randomly generated, contingent and nonmoral phenomenon that is devoid of free will and destined for annihilation in a blink of the cosmic eye, at both the individual level and the aggregate level.

As such, it is difficult to imagine what kind of inherent meaning, purpose or value that life could possibly have. However, one’s life may still have subjective meaning, purpose and/or value, and one may still subjectively value the lives of others
Why is subjective meaning, purpose and value not intrinsic value? If people value their lives, isn't that value intrinsic to them? And to the universe observing and adjusting towards their actions, isn't that intrinsic also to the universe? If the universe decides to kill anyone, the universe may disagree with that person on whether or not that individual has an intrinsic value, but for every moment you are alive, the universe is in effect recognizing you for having intrinsic value, I think that is something to think about.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

The Voice of Time wrote:It's hard to talk about it because it's kinda "your" philosophy of life and philosophies of life are kinda personal stuff that you make for yourself primarily, but it doesn't look very much like a philosophy of life, as for instance this example which I'm gonna critique:
Free will impossibilism is the view that free will is impossible

I define “free will” as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one’s

I find the following regress argument against the existence of free will to be compelling:

For any agent S and intentional action A, S does A because of the way S is in certain mental intentional actions respects. Therefore, to be ultimately responsible for A-ing, S must be responsible for being that way in the relevant respects. But to be responsible for being that way, S must have chosen to become (or intentionally brought it about that he would become) that way in the past. But if S chose to become that way, then his choice was a product of the way he was in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be responsible for that choice, he would need to be responsible for being that way. But this process results in a vicious regress. Therefore, S cannot be ultimately responsible for his A-ing, and thus cannot have free will.

More concisely, free will requires ultimate self-origination, which is impossible
You are talking about how somebody can be the cause of their own actions, however, free will is a flexible term, so it doesn't just mean talking about responsibility and blame. One way of viewing free will for instance is that it's the ability to be unpredictable in your thought and action, that for instance a human being after years of cultivation can still make remarkable breaks with his environment, always providing a sense that a mind is never fully under anyone's control and always subject to "breaking free" of any pattern of action. This is the view I have of free will.
I define free will the way I do for a reason. If one cannot be ultimately responsible for one's actions, then a whole range of negative emotions--including regret, guilt, anger, resentment and hatred--are rendered irrational (see bottom of page 6). As a result of this realization, one may significantly reduce or eliminate these emotions, which is instrumental in achieving maintaining peace of mind, which I have derived as my primary goal in life.

Other possible definitions of free will are irrelevant to my philosophy.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

The Voice of Time wrote:Another critique:
Existential skepticism

Existential skepticism is the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value

I believe that existential skepticism follows from the combination of atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism and moral skepticism

According to this combination of views and modern science, life is a randomly generated, contingent and nonmoral phenomenon that is devoid of free will and destined for annihilation in a blink of the cosmic eye, at both the individual level and the aggregate level.

As such, it is difficult to imagine what kind of inherent meaning, purpose or value that life could possibly have. However, one’s life may still have subjective meaning, purpose and/or value, and one may still subjectively value the lives of others
Why is subjective meaning, purpose and value not intrinsic value? If people value their lives, isn't that value intrinsic to them? And to the universe observing and adjusting towards their actions, isn't that intrinsic also to the universe? If the universe decides to kill anyone, the universe may disagree with that person on whether or not that individual has an intrinsic value, but for every moment you are alive, the universe is in effect recognizing you for having intrinsic value, I think that is something to think about.
If one's life has inherent value, then in some sense, others are obligated to recognize this value. However, I see nothing that obligates anyone to value the life of another. This is what I mean by "inherent value".

Also, you seem to be operating on the strange assumption that the universe itself has a mind. If you can justify this assumption, please do so.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Another:
However, death is not always harmful for the one who dies, as there are cases in which one would truly be “better off dead” after time X (if the remainder of one’s life after time X were fairly certain to be spent with a very disturbed mind)

In these cases, I feel that suicide is rational—assuming that one’s expected future

However, a disciplined mind should be disturbed only by severe physical pain or suffering outweighs both one’s subjective value of staying alive and one’s feelings of empathy (if one has them) for those who would suffer if one committed suicide discomfort

That said, I believe that it is irrational to fear either death or the state of being dead

As non-existence, the harm of death is the deprivation of future pleasant states of mind

One should not fear the deprivation of future pleasant states of mind, at least not in the same way one would fear future disturbed states of mind (such as distress or grief)

The state of being dead is not painful, as one’s consciousness ends upon death (according to afterlife skepticism)

If one does not feel horror upon contemplating one’s pre-vital non-existence, then why fear post-mortem non-existence?

As another analogy, consider dreamless sleep, which is generally not feared. As dreamless sleep is mentally analogous to the state of being dead, there is no reason to fear the state of being dead.

Regarding derivative harm from harming those for whom one has empathy, I would argue that while one may justifiably anticipate one’s death with a touch of sadness, such anticipation need not involve fear

Death is inevitable, and at best, one may have only partial control over its timing. Therefore, worrying about death serves no purpose.
I wrote on the impossibility of death having value in and of itself in a thread about assisted suicide to the mentally ill, and I claimed further, that the desire and want for suicide is a mental illness in and of itself, as it cannot have value, and can therefore only be desired for itself by the conjuring of imaginative value. The argumenting starts with this post: viewtopic.php?p=149853#p149853 and continues in a fight with "Hobbe's Choice" over the course of a few pages. I too allowed for it to have value some places, but only as an instrument for a great cause external and unrelated to it, and never for itself.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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Philosofer123 wrote:If one's life has intrinsic value, then in some sense, others are obligated to recognize this value. However, I see nothing that obligates anyone to value the life of another. This is what I mean by "intrinsic value".

Also, you seem to be operating on the strange assumption that the universe itself has a mind. If you can justify this assumption, please do so.
The obligations people have are created by their sense of belonging to any form of philosophy of life, so it's a very circular situation, where your obligation is what you believe your obligation to be, and you believe an obligation to be what it is when you allow your feelings to cling onto the idea that details it. It's like this: if you are in-loved with an idea of a good thing to do, you are obligated to do it. If you are in-loved with the idea to preserve somebody's life, you are obligated to do so. If not, it all becomes as intelligible as trying to enforce a faith onto somebody or make somebody love someone they don't love. The obligation isn't really there, but somebody might try really hard to get it there by pretending it is there for long enough. Alternatively though, you can believe in law and order and stuff like that, and it might make you in turn believe in the intrinsic value of life, but more in the sense that you are "marrying into a family", where you are friendly but not a lover with the family members, you are conditionally obligating yourself, so it becomes more an extrinsic value.

About the "mind of the universe", if you think about what a mind "does" in effect out in the real world, there's not much difference between our mind and anything that controls something else. The universe obviously controls itself (at least in the sense that the universe "is everything", and not just a brick in an even larger piece like a multiverse or superuniverse), so in that sense it's analogous to our mind, and the recognition is the way in which the universe acts like another person would if they were recognizing you, not in the most human sense perhaps, but in the general sense, things like not causing you large amounts of harm for instance or giving you a nice spot to build a house on.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

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The Voice of Time wrote:Another:
However, death is not always harmful for the one who dies, as there are cases in which one would truly be “better off dead” after time X (if the remainder of one’s life after time X were fairly certain to be spent with a very disturbed mind)

In these cases, I feel that suicide is rational—assuming that one’s expected future

However, a disciplined mind should be disturbed only by severe physical pain or suffering outweighs both one’s subjective value of staying alive and one’s feelings of empathy (if one has them) for those who would suffer if one committed suicide discomfort

That said, I believe that it is irrational to fear either death or the state of being dead

As non-existence, the harm of death is the deprivation of future pleasant states of mind

One should not fear the deprivation of future pleasant states of mind, at least not in the same way one would fear future disturbed states of mind (such as distress or grief)

The state of being dead is not painful, as one’s consciousness ends upon death (according to afterlife skepticism)

If one does not feel horror upon contemplating one’s pre-vital non-existence, then why fear post-mortem non-existence?

As another analogy, consider dreamless sleep, which is generally not feared. As dreamless sleep is mentally analogous to the state of being dead, there is no reason to fear the state of being dead.

Regarding derivative harm from harming those for whom one has empathy, I would argue that while one may justifiably anticipate one’s death with a touch of sadness, such anticipation need not involve fear

Death is inevitable, and at best, one may have only partial control over its timing. Therefore, worrying about death serves no purpose.
I wrote on the impossibility of death having value in and of itself in a thread about assisted suicide to the mentally ill, and I claimed further, that the desire and want for suicide is a mental illness in and of itself, as it cannot have value, and can therefore only be desired for itself by the conjuring of imaginative value. The argumenting starts with this post: viewtopic.php?p=149853#p149853 and continues in a fight with "Hobbe's Choice" over the course of a few pages. I too allowed for it to have value some places, but only as an instrument for a great cause external and unrelated to it, and never for itself.
I do not claim that death has value. I simply say that death may not be harmful in some types of extreme circumstances.
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Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Post by Philosofer123 »

The Voice of Time wrote:
Philosofer123 wrote:If one's life has intrinsic value, then in some sense, others are obligated to recognize this value. However, I see nothing that obligates anyone to value the life of another. This is what I mean by "intrinsic value".

Also, you seem to be operating on the strange assumption that the universe itself has a mind. If you can justify this assumption, please do so.
The obligations people have are created by their sense of belonging to any form of philosophy of life, so it's a very circular situation, where your obligation is what you believe your obligation to be, and you believe an obligation to be what it is when you allow your feelings to cling onto the idea that details it. It's like this: if you are in-loved with an idea of a good thing to do, you are obligated to do it. If you are in-loved with the idea to preserve somebody's life, you are obligated to do so. If not, it all becomes as intelligible as trying to enforce a faith onto somebody or make somebody love someone they don't love. The obligation isn't really there, but somebody might try really hard to get it there by pretending it is there for long enough. Alternatively though, you can believe in law and order and stuff like that, and it might make you in turn believe in the intrinsic value of life, but more in the sense that you are "marrying into a family", where you are friendly but not a lover with the family members, you are conditionally obligating yourself, so it becomes more an extrinsic value.

About the "mind of the universe", if you think about what a mind "does" in effect out in the real world, there's not much difference between our mind and anything that controls something else. The universe obviously controls itself (at least in the sense that the universe "is everything", and not just a brick in an even larger piece like a multiverse or superuniverse), so in that sense it's analogous to our mind, and the recognition is the way in which the universe acts like another person would if they were recognizing you, not in the most human sense perhaps, but in the general sense, things like not causing you large amounts of harm for instance or giving you a nice spot to build a house on.
When I say "obligation", I am referring to objective (mind-independent) obligation.

You have not shown that the universe has a "mind" in any meaningful sense of the term. A mind has subjective experience and intention, which the universe as a whole does not appear to have.
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