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The Insolvable Problem

 
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 05:46 pm
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world? And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue? How are we supposed to be happy after that? Are we supposed to ignore everything that is evil and pretend it isn't there? While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,580 • Replies: 31
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Emil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 02:14 am
@Smiley451,
Is that really an ethical question? Seems more practically minded to me.

I'm not so sure it will persist no matter what we do, as in every human. It won't. But it will probably since people want to continue doing that stuff.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 03:34 am
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?

Well, the opposite is also true, While a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him.

There are ugly things.

And there are beautiful things.

So if you find yourself gazing into the abyss too much - have a look at the pinnacle.
Outbackzaq
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 03:52 am
@Dave Allen,
If people only looked at the atrocities that humans are capable of, then i don't see the human race being able to live on as a functioning society or at least a functioning society as i see it.
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 05:23 am
@Outbackzaq,
Outbackzaq;92322 wrote:
If people only looked at the atrocities that humans are capable of, then i don't see the human race being able to live on as a functioning society or at least a functioning society as i see it.


But to do that and then conclude something from that would be an informal fallacy.
Outbackzaq
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 05:35 am
@Emil,
wow well Im sorry that my suggestion was flawed but just let me say that you have enlightened my day that link was a good read. Ill think about what i have said and maybe come back with a better thought for you:)
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 05:39 am
@Smiley451,
Dave speaks true - particularly his last line of advice. Don't gaze too long at the muck; it's there and will overwhelm us if we dwell on it. Check out the positive too - let it, at least as much as the depressing things bring you down, bring you up.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 07:23 am
@Khethil,
This is what I do:

Instead of observing the the most heinous stuff, I observe stuff that is simply sad. And I think about what sadness exists and why happiness exists, and I try to figure out things on a much smaller scale first. And then I think what the more extreme stuff might be all about. And I reach some equilibrium with it.

Rich
0 Replies
 
Emil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 08:58 am
@Outbackzaq,
Outbackzaq;92340 wrote:
wow well Im sorry that my suggestion was flawed but just let me say that you have enlightened my day that link was a good read. Ill think about what i have said and maybe come back with a better thought for you:)


Perhaps a general introduction to logic would be a good idea for you to read. You can pick on up at your library. There is one called Possible Worlds but it is very technical, thorough and long (naturally I love it! Wink). You might want to pick up a simpler one. I read at least two logic textbooks before picking up Possible Worlds. After learning at least propositional logic, then you should maybe read up on the various fallacies. The page I linked you to is very good at that. There is even a taxonomythat gives you an overview of all the common fallacies.
Labyrinth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 09:48 am
@Emil,
Another stance could be that looking away from the filth doesn't make it disappear. Horror may overrun those who do try to ignore it. Pointing out the ugly and asking why and how is a step towards the positive.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Sep, 2009 11:24 am
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world?


Well, that would certainly depend on the horrible thing being witnessed, wouldn't it? For instance, if one were witnessing their house being burned down, and they were inside of it, I'd say the thing one is supposed to do is get out. Yanno, that whole stop, drop, and roll thing, without the stopping, dropping, or rolling.

Quote:
And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue?


In my instance, one should continue... running (until you're about 40 feet from the house to avoid any flying debris).

Quote:
How are we supposed to be happy after that?


In my instance, assuming you made it out of the house alive, I think it would be quite easy to be happy. It may even be a natural response to the near death experience. Certainly relief would be felt, I'd think.

Quote:
Are we supposed to ignore everything that is evil and pretend it isn't there?


Ignoring the wreckage that was once your house would only prolong your homelessness. No, I say face it head on and go live with some friends or relatives until you find other living arragenements!

Quote:
While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?


Wow, quite a picture you've painted for us.

Your OP was deceivingly vague and misleading. I was expecting to be served an insolvable problem, and instead I received an emotional spiel about a woman carrying her son's head. You're really going to need to be more specific - not only regarding the horrible things you've referring to, but also the problem you seem to find insolvable.
Belial phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 11:33 am
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world? And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue? How are we supposed to be happy after that? Are we supposed to ignore everything that is evil and pretend it isn't there? While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?


Oddly enough a quote from an anime works very well here(Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X):
"Each man must seize happiness for himself, regardless of the sorry state of the world."
If everyone spent their lives being unhappy because of other peoples' troubles, human civilization might be even more of a depressing mess than it is to some people now.
Helping others is all well and good, but giving up your happiness for them is not necessary. Though Perhaps some people are just the self-sacrificing type. :/
0 Replies
 
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 05:25 pm
@Smiley451,
Dr. David Mefford has worked out a "Hierarchy of Evil" in which he uses axio-logic (Formal Axiology in its symbolic form) to differentiate degrees of evil. It is most eddifying as a new way to speak about, say, killing. See last paragraph on p. 126 of his article in the current Journal of Formal Axiology:Theory and Practice.

Edmund Husserl's Phenomenology has a lot to say about the differeng perspectives one may put on a single situation or occurrence. There may be as many perspectives as there are natural numbers, namely a countable amount of viewpoints. Why give yourself pain by dwelling on the pessimistic ones?? Also see a unique little book by Arnold M. Patent with the title DEATH, TAXES AND OTHER ILLUSIONS.(NY, Celebration Publishing, 1989) 175 pp.
It may help enormously by giving you a new way of looking at the phenomena.

Also, for further insight, see Soren Kierkegaard,three essays: Either/Or; Fear And Trembling; and his Sickness Unto Death.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 06:12 pm
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world? And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue? How are we supposed to be happy after that? Are we supposed to ignore everything that is evil and pretend it isn't there? While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?


Hello Smiley, why are you observing what you are observing? Has such occurrences happened in your personal domain? How did you get exposed to it? Was it by artificial means? Was it something out of your control and you were forced to witness it? Now if they are happening in your front yard, I suggest you move. If they are seen on your television set, I suggest you turn it off. I suggest you eliminate all that is not of your control and stay away from it. Try to enjoy the surroundings you do live in and make the best of it. The odds of you experiencing what you have described are billions to one. Literally! if you can do something about,then do it, if not, don't worry about it or you will live your life vicarious in it. It is your decision. Smile

William
0 Replies
 
Leonard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 06:58 pm
@Smiley451,
Every day, we hear of a murder or shooting in some suburban neighbourhood, and simply turn a blind eye. Of course, we are selfish about our own safety, and the tribulations of others are not important to us even if we claim they are. The plagues of life are inevitable, and finding a warm place somewhere in your heart will help. At the worst times in life it is best to understand that it can't get any worse.
Some say karma doesn't exist, but in some way, indulging in the grief of others will find its way back to you. No science can say that you won't feel guilty for something wrong.
Octal
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 08:46 pm
@Leonard,
Schopenhauer had an idea that even though 99% of your body is doing well and healthy the one pinch in your foot, only 1% of your body, is hurting you, but you can't overcome that 1% with 99%, and thus all you can think about if your foot.

After all, the support-pole of everything successful is blissful unawareness of it's faults.

Also, it's important to remember two things: without suffering there is no rejoicement; and the concept of the optimistic pessimist: they know the world is bad (and thus aren't "ignorant"), but are pleased with it, and know that it is better that way (i.e. Camus's "The struggle alone is enough to fill a man's heart"; or that there are two types of happy people in the world, those who are stupider than everyone else, and those who are much smarter than everyone else; and they also find that it gives them places to improve, because if heaven was really "perfect", then it would get awfully boring up there [and even one could never improve the situation, it's the constant quest, the process that counts. The futility makes it worthwhile.]) thus being a pessimists without the negation of the will.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Sep, 2009 09:15 pm
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world?
You find a way to make the world better, help people, foster positivity and trust and respect and wellness.
0 Replies
 
deepthot
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 03:00 pm
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world? And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue? ...

Greetings, Smiley

As soon as you can do so, get your local library to stock these books - or get them for you through Inter-Library Loan - and read it all the way through. It is a priceless response to your dilemmas.

Peter McWilliams & John-Roger, YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE LUXURY OF A NEGATIVE THOUGHT, (Los Angeles, Prelude Press, 1988, 1989) or [ten years ago, after its second edition came out, one could order it @ $15 by calling (800) 674-6569. That number may still be active(?)

I also highly recommend Robert S. Hartman, FREEDOM TO LIVE, an autobiography. See if you can get a copy of that fabulous book. It contains much philosophy, explained so clearly.
0 Replies
 
Absolution phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 03:23 pm
@Smiley451,
Smiley451;92285 wrote:
What are we supposed to do when we see the horrible things that occur in our world? And, upon seeing them, how are we to continue? How are we supposed to be happy after that? Are we supposed to ignore everything that is evil and pretend it isn't there? While a young lady's lover is asking her to marry him, a young boy is having his head sawed off and his mother will be forced to carry it through the streets. How can we be happy if we know that these things will persist regardless of what we do?


There may be many answers to this. So here is just a few of my opinions on the subject. It seems that intelligence is neither good nor evil, as those with greater intelligence are capable of greater good and greater evil. Now with my life experience I could not have understood what good was if I didn't experience evil. So maybe greater evil yields greater good? Does that make evil in one way good? And I have always found a paradox where heavily religious mothers murder their children thus ensuring their entrance into "heaven" and sacrificing themselves to "hell".

These paradoxes, rise a bigger debate, what is good, what is evil, and even what is true. As a skeptic, I do not fully know what is truely good or what is truely evil. I continue because I simply do not know. I walk because staying is equally unjustified as moving in this state of mind. Maybe we can by happy because we can wonder if that boy is in heaven. Maybe the key is to have enough doubt and questioning to look what the true meaning of the situation is and what it may truely be (such as an exit to a grander life or an experience in desiring a greater good).
0 Replies
 
NoOne phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 03:59 pm
@Smiley451,
I was not aware that the goal of one was to be either happy or sad. The fact of the matter is, how well one thinks, determines how well one does in life.
One must remember a general rule, as one cannot eat for someone, or breath for someone, or hear for someone, neither can one think for someone. But this does not mean that we are impotent--for the evolutionary difference between man and the other animals is that whereas they adapt to the environment, man is evolving to adapt the environment to himself.

Thus, if you truly care for man's inhumanity towards man, one must see it as not man against man, or man for man, but man as embriotic. One cannot do for another, one cannot think for another, but one can provide objects in his environment, which he may or may not take advantage of to further himself. What he does with what you provide is his own choice, the fact that you provide it is yours.

If men cannot stand to critisize themselves, harden them by critique, if men care not to think, do not think for them. If men care not to work, resist the theft of your life to support them. If men attempt to hord knowldge, buy books and ebook them and give them away freely. There is much that can be done, but crying that we are still evolving does not help anyone.

In my case, we had a known genius in the class, and I was considered mentally handicapped. I was an embarassment. The only thing left, for all preparations were made to ship me off, was an IQ test. Ever see an IQ tester about to piss his pants? It demonstrated that I was smarter than then genius, the problem is, I do not have the same psycholgical profile of lower IQ people. I can not, and do not relate well. We see the world from very different places. Psych books just call us strange. I coud have been anything I wanted, I decided to devote my life to solving problems others considered impossible, and what I found I find incredible. So, one learns it step by step and tries to learn ways of teaching it, even by habit, for this habit will eventually lead to physical change. Depression slows us down--depressions caused by self doubt and the realization of our own limitations. But we cannot stop, those like me, it is us, learning to master thought, and living with staring face to face with our own shortcommings every day.
0 Replies
 
 

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