Is the tragedy of man fear?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Why?, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    If we didn't have fear, how would we make it past childhood? if there was no fear, you wouldn't teach it to your kids.
    You need fear to survive.
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    You need someone to show you that you haven't anything to be affraid of, without a guide then fear will take hold.
     
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  5. Satyr Banned Banned

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    What I fear the most is the accumulated force of stupidity, that starts of as a tiny ball of innocuous frozen water and eventually becomes an avalanche burying everything in its path.
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    What's even more scary is people that think they know something but really don't.
     
  8. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

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    Or people that think that they are smarter than everyone else, but fail to show it.
     
  9. Satyr Banned Banned

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    We didn't ask for your confession, bitch!
     
  10. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

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  11. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, but greed itself is usually just a reaction.

    Most of human ambition is merely an attempt to distract oneself from mortality.
     
  12. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    I fail to see what any of this has to do with 'the tragedy of man'.

    More to the point however, is that i fail to see any supporting argument for the position that 'man' is subject to such a teleological principle as 'tragedy'.
     
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I really, really doubt that last statement. People rarely even comtemplate their mortality and thus have no need to be distracted from it. While it may certainly cross their minds from time to time, they quickly pass it off and get on with whatever they happen to interested in at the moment.
     
  14. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for bringing this up.

    IMO, the concept of "tragedy" is envoked in oder to make some sense of and to give some dignity to the chaotic mess of suffering, happiness, insanity, creativity, stupidity etc. that human life tends to be perceived as.
     
  15. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    My italics.


    With this I agree.
    Note however, your choice of word; to invoke something is to create it. If there is any tragedy, it is purely because we have chosen to identify it as such.
     
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    If that were the case there would be no religion and spirituality, as these are realms in which the central problem of mortality is addressed and hopefully resolved.

    Few aspects of human culture can compete with them in terms of energy, time and attention expended.
     
  17. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    (I need to work on my spelling!

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    I am very reluctant to use the concept of choice, though.

    Not to make light, but to put it bluntly - It's not like there was a time when people would sit down and go, "Allright. We have a choice between the following options: We can view our life either as a tragedy, or a comedy, or a travesty, or a tragicomedy. Which one will we pick?"

    IMO, it's more likely that the view that life is a tragedy has developed over time, little by little, from numerous sources. Each of these sources might be subject to conscious choice - but I don't think these choices were consciously made with the intent to arrive at the notion of tragedy.
     
  18. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    People often are. People would rather believe that something beyond their control is responsible for their 'fate' (sic), rather than being responsible for it. Don't interpret this to mean that I'm disparaging you or your reluctance in particular; it's simply the case that for the most part, people fear being overwhelmed with the depth of responsibility they would face if they chose to see it.

    (On a side note, it is this fear of responsibility that is the primary thrust behind organized religions, IMO

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    Indeed it's exactly like that..... see below.


    IMO, it's more likely that the view that life is a tragedy has developed over time, little by little, from numerous sources. Each of these sources might be subject to conscious choice - but I don't think these choices were consciously made with the intent to arrive at the notion of tragedy.[/QUOTE]

    With this I agree.
    The process is gradual, but ultimately it does lead to a decision. Now, whether or not you could say this choice is made consciously or not is a matter for another debate.
    Suffice it to say, when it comes to how an individual judges their life, it is only that individual that can make that judgment (in any meaningful way). In effect, the choice is made passively, over time, as one encounters events and their effects. It is only after the fact that one chooses to apply the label 'tragedy' (or comedy, or waste, etc....).
     
  19. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, this is a common charge against those reluctant to apply the concept of choice, and yes, the reasons you mention certainly apply to many people.

    However, my reasons for being reluctant about choice are different.
    Namely, we must distinguish between explanation and instruction. Generally, it is my impression that people are very poor at distinguishing the two, and usually mix them up. A lot of mental distress (with the according consequences) derives from this mixing up the two.
    Of course the two are closely connected, but not to be confused.

    One thing is to say, You should pay attention to what you do. You should be careful. You should evaluate your options and make a rational decision. - this is an instruction.

    Another thing is to say, You chose to get angry. You chose to make a mistake. You chose to ignore me. There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. - that is an explanation, at least a possible one.

    But nowadays, it seems rude to use phrasings with should, need, ought, and must, and people frequently veil their instructions in explanations. Yet, their intentions are not clearly expressed, explanations get mixed up with instructions, and chaos flourishes.


    Perhaps. I am more inclined to think that the main thrust behind many religions, esp. theisms, is the double bind resulting from an overwhelming and irrational sense of responsibility that is instilled into people. Double binds are excellent tools for manipulation.

    For example, according to some Christian doctrines, we are responsible for either going to hell, or to heaven; according to them, this is a choice. But IMO, this is not a choice, because there are several requirements to be met that are not under my control - for example, the Bible in fact being the Word of God, and Jesus actually having redeemed us. I can't prove that they are what they claim, but if I don't prove it, I'll go to hell.

    So I think the hell/heaven situation is not about responsibility, but more about a unilaterally imposed obligation (to believe what someone tells us), under threat of extreme duress. And according to human law at least, unilaterally imposed obligations do not constitute responsibility.
    If anything, many religions have severely twisted the concept of responsibility.


    Again, I'm cautios here and refer to distinguishing between explanation and instruction.
     
  20. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    Fear is what stops people in their endeavors and crashes their dreams into dust. Yes, fear is the greatest tragedy of ours. Even a fool who is fearless will go a little farther than a smartie who is scared.

    But fear is not what causes armed conflict.
     
  21. Non-Logical-Idea-Guy Fat people can't smile. Registered Senior Member

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    if no-one feared for their life then nothing would happen. - why do people work - for money - so have a house and food to survive - oh wait i don't particularly care about surviving, no work for me then.

    if you don't value your life then there is nothing / very little that i can think of that you would care about.
     
  22. Tnerb Banned Banned

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    Fear is also as nlig says an imperative to our behavior.
     
  23. Tnerb Banned Banned

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    Very well said Glaucon.

    Perfectly well said I would think.

    You've elaborated it on a very good level.

    Amazing.

    It's a shame, you know that those people who have strokes or what not and their responsibility is doomed to failure at their debilitatedness or such. That hopefully they can regain it.

    What I do not understand...

    Is why some people choose irresponsibleness? Is it truely their fault that they are christians or such and choose to believe in organized religion or what knot (as you have explained...) or, that they choose to believe in things that are so called irresponsible?

    ...
    I'm sure the answer would be, "people choose irresponsibleness because it is their deterministic features" LOL

    Such BS.


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