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Existentialism

Existentialism
(03-20-2022, 11:27 PM)airportkid Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:09 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: ... Knowing that feelings aren't controllable a priori we can still control how we respond to them, and the same goes with perceptions ...

I think that's the crux.  How we ACT in response to emotion or perception is (hopefully) tempered by conscious consideration, where conscious consideration is more or less "who we are", and the raw emotion/perception a driving factor, but not THE factor, if we're wise, and recognize that emotion/perception are not trustworthy, just quick and immediate.  I think we agree there, if that's your point.

"Meta" doesn't stop at "me". Having feelings is not the same as being my feelings.
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The following 2 users Like Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • Dom, Kim
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Existentialism
(03-20-2022, 11:30 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:09 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:00 PM)airportkid Wrote: I'm sorry, I don't know what that means.  Are you saying that who we are is separate from what we are?  That there's a "soul" separate from the chemistry and processes of biology?  Maybe you're not saying those things but then I don't know what you're saying.

I'm not saying those things. I'm saying that our feelings need not define who we are. Feelings are temporary and transient. Say, if I get angry at a customer for being ultra-picky or something, is that anger me? Only if I let that be so. I also have the alternative of telling myself that this is simply a transient feeling, and refusing to go off on the guy, and instead maintaining my demeanor; and coming back to the issue after my emotional spate has run its course.

This has nothing to do with souls or any of that claptrap. Our feelings only define us as people if we allow them to do so. We can change how we perceive the world, and thereby change how we respond to it. Knowing that feelings aren't controllable a priori we can still control how we respond to them, and the same goes with perceptions.

Our feelings are no less definitive of who we are than the traits and proclivities picked up through nature and nurture, nor the beliefs, likes, dislikes, and curious tics we acquired similarly.  We are simply the totality of what we have been, or so I believe.  To walk away from that, to me, is to wander into the romantic territory of true selves that are always other than what we have been, and things like soul mates, all six of them that we happened to coincidentally find in serial fashion.

Right, and our feelings are no more definitive, either, which is why as I mentioned earlier that I personally aim at balancing feelings and rationality -- so that neither Apollo nor Dionysius rules me, but so that I may, perhaps, rule myself.

It's not about a romantic value of my "true self" whatever that might be. I reckon that myself has changed throughout my life and so there's no one "true self" of me that I must adhere to. I am, as you say, the totality of my experience. But that also means that while I may experience emotions, they too are not definitive of who I am.

It works for me. I'm not trying to be preachy, and if I am someone please steer me into shallower waters. I only know what works for me, and ain't trying to present any answers outside of what works for me.
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Existentialism
(03-20-2022, 11:34 PM)Dom Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:09 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:00 PM)airportkid Wrote: I'm sorry, I don't know what that means.  Are you saying that who we are is separate from what we are?  That there's a "soul" separate from the chemistry and processes of biology?  Maybe you're not saying those things but then I don't know what you're saying.

I'm not saying those things. I'm saying that our feelings need not define who we are. Feelings are temporary and transient. Say, if I get angry at a customer for being ultra-picky or something, is that anger me? Only if I let that be so. I also have the alternative of telling myself that this is simply a transient feeling, and refusing to go off on the guy, and instead maintaining my demeanor; and coming back to the issue after my emotional spate has run its course.

This has nothing to do with souls or any of that claptrap. Our feelings only define us as people if we allow them to do so. We can change how we perceive the world, and thereby change how we respond to it. Knowing that feelings aren't controllable a priori we can still control how we respond to them, and the same goes with perceptions.

That works unless your chemistry is off and a ton of adrenalin is released. The fact that you can choose not to act on this is that either you have a good chemical balance, which is genetic, or you have been exposed to this feeling so frequently that your body responds with a much lighter reaction. 

We're all different, I don't even get angry.

Yeah, I can't speak intelligently about chemical imbalances and I hope no one thinks I'm trying to.
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Existentialism
(03-21-2022, 12:43 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:34 PM)Dom Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 11:09 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I'm not saying those things. I'm saying that our feelings need not define who we are. Feelings are temporary and transient. Say, if I get angry at a customer for being ultra-picky or something, is that anger me? Only if I let that be so. I also have the alternative of telling myself that this is simply a transient feeling, and refusing to go off on the guy, and instead maintaining my demeanor; and coming back to the issue after my emotional spate has run its course.

This has nothing to do with souls or any of that claptrap. Our feelings only define us as people if we allow them to do so. We can change how we perceive the world, and thereby change how we respond to it. Knowing that feelings aren't controllable a priori we can still control how we respond to them, and the same goes with perceptions.

That works unless your chemistry is off and a ton of adrenalin is released. The fact that you can choose not to act on this is that either you have a good chemical balance, which is genetic, or you have been exposed to this feeling so frequently that your body responds with a much lighter reaction. 

We're all different, I don't even get angry.

Yeah, I can't speak intelligently about chemical imbalances and I hope no one thinks I'm trying to.

Yep, and for most people it can be learned to alter the behaviors that are induced by release of chemicals.  But not everyone, and not always. When there is an overload, things go awry. And, when it doesn't harm someone else, it can be a good thing to let her rip. Restores balance, which is it's purpose in the first place.
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Existentialism
(03-21-2022, 01:57 AM)Dom Wrote: Yep, and for most people it can be learned to alter the behaviors that are induced by release of chemicals.  But not everyone, and not always. When there is an overload, things go awry. And, when it doesn't harm someone else, it can be a good thing to let her rip. Restores balance, which is it's purpose in the first place.

The habits you exercise get stronger, not weaker.

Although a lot of people still believe that catharsis works, it doesn't according to the research I've read.  Here's a short summary, although I've read the same from several different sources:

Quote:Catharsis:

In summary, venting anger is like using gasoline to put out a fire: It just makes things worse. Venting keeps arousal levels high and keeps aggressive thoughts and angry feelings alive—it is merely practicing how to behave more aggressively.
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Existentialism
(03-20-2022, 09:15 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 05:17 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-20-2022, 01:14 AM)Dom Wrote: Emotion is not something your consciousness produces or controls, and you can't really turn it off. 

This is where we still disagree.

I remember an instance with my grandmother.  We were visiting her at her home in Indiana, and she got upset because we had ignored it was her 80th birthday (if I remember correctly).  So she sat down at the dining room table and sadly sang "Happy Birthday" to herself.  It was kind of pathetic.

What she didn't realize was that we had planned a surprise birthday party for her later that day, with more of her relatives yet to show up for the occasion.  If she had known that fact, she would not have experienced the same emotions.

So my conclusion remains that consciousness does control our emotional reactions in many instances, and once we realize that fact we can take more control over them.  Even just shifting our attention to something else changes our emotions.

Honestly, haven't you ever changed your emotional reactions by reinterpreting what you're seeing?

That story doesn't support your point.  In it, the reality changed.  She didn't alter her emotions by altering her thinking absent outside impetus.

The reality was always the same.  It was my grandmother's perception which changed due to more information.  In fact, my grandmother should have known we were not ignoring her birthday by the fact that we had traveled an hour and a half to her home to visit.  It was she who ignored the more likely interpretation, not we who ignored her birthday.

So my point was that my grandmother could have reacted differently but didn't. People are responsible for how they express their feelings, as well as for moderating them in accordance with realities. At the very least, they could make inquiries when presented with ambiguous information instead of jumping to conclusions.
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Existentialism
Old post, but I'll chime in here.

It is very much possible to be both a "New Atheist" and an atheistic existentialist at the same time. One does not negate the other.
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Existentialism
"Man simply is." - Jean-Paul Sartre
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