A Conversation for Evil from a Western Perspective
Mark Rest Started conversation Apr 15, 2000
Thanks for informing me of Nietzsche's view of Evil. No doubt you are aware of his strange wish for his friends. He wished suddfering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment and indignities. His reason for doing so was not evil, quite the reverse. His philosophy suggests that one cannot experience great joy without experiencing great sadness and he wanted his friends to experience great sadness.
I think he was the man most in contact with the human condition. He predicted that others would understand him around about the start of the third millenium. i e. 2000 or 2001. Arthur C Clarke suggests that 2010 is more likely. With h2g2 on the internet both are possible. Anyway I'm off to order 3001 from amazon.com to find out what he has got to say happens after a millenium of everyone understanding the human condition. I'm not very hopeful though Clarke does throw reason out the window regularly.
Mark Rest Posted Apr 15, 2000
I've just reread my post and realised I've got the sense of it all wrong. Nietzsche wanted his friends to experience great joy and great sadness. Personally I've been there and I'm happy experiencing just a little of each.
Daedalus Posted May 20, 2000
I can not be convinced that Nietzsche was in contact with the human condition. He was so completely out there as to be almost completely insane. His "must know sadness to know joy" theory is ancient and yet still wrong (to me, i know i'm being very self centered here, but that's all i have to go off of). That theory goes right along with "there must be a hell to vindicate the existance of heaven. But why? Why does ultimate good need a balance? Can human brains just not accept something that good? I don't believe that either. OK, now that i've turned this thread into the Daedalus show...
sorry, i just had to respond.
Mark Rest Posted May 30, 2000
Your views are important, Socrates teaches us to think for ourselves. And I agree with you why should there be a link between joy and sadness. I've since seen the Channel 4 series The Consolations of Philosophy. I think a more important message is that it requires effort to acheive something worthwhile. This is close to being self evident as anyone can work out the easy stuff. You talk about Nietzsche's insanity. May I remind you that Einstein and Mendel also had breakdowns. Maybe profund thought leaves people more open to this condition?
Diana Posted Sep 12, 2000
"Socrates teaches us to think for ourselves."
Well, we should think for ourselves, but... not becasue Socrates teaches us to. (You didn't mean the comment in that way, I don't think... but... it's funny to read it that way. Irony, and all.)
"And I agree with you why should there be a link between joy and sadness."
I disagree. Both joy and sadness are neurological responses to situations. If there are more of certain types of situations, there will be more joy. If there are more of other types of situations, there will be more sadness.
"May I remind you that Einstein and Mendel also had breakdowns. Maybe profund thought leaves people more open to this condition"
It's just plain being smart, in many cases, that leads to that condition. How to explain... I guess, too much bullshit being taken in by a brain that integrates information more than do most brains. Very roughly.
Part of the solution is for smart people to quit accepting the bullshit... ... perfect place for this reference... think: "Wonko the Sane."
Romanadvoratrelundar III Posted Dec 27, 2000
"Both joy and sadness are neurological responses to situations. If there are more of certain types of situations, there will be more joy. If there are more of other types of situations, there will be more sadness."
By stating that sadness, joy, or any emotion for that matter, are the result of "certain types of situations", you are implying that exposure to these specific stimuli will invoke a specific neurological response (much like the sensation of pain upon touching extreme heat), which will in turn generate that specific emotion. (For example, the loss of one's home or death of a friend will invoke sadness and the birth of a child or receiving an expensive gift will invoke joy). Well, that's bunk.
The experience of emotion has nothing whatsoever to do with any "certain type" of experience because there is no such thing as an objectively "happy" or "sad" experience. Emotion results from the MEANING which the experiencer has assigned to the experience. For example, the loss of a home could be received with great sadness if the experiencer believes rebuilding is beyond his ability, or if he believes that it contains irreplaceable belongings. But if the experiencer sees has full confidence and enjoyment of rebuilding, or enjoys the idea of "wiping the slate clean," he may experience considerable happiness.
It is only cultural or personal prejudice that leads us to believe that there are such things as universally "joyful" or "sad" experiences.
Regardless, however, your statement did not really address the quote to which you were responding -- that there is "a link between joy and sadness." Even if emotions really were just "neurological responses," there could still be a link between them -- just as there is a link between the sensations of heat and cold.
"It's just plain being smart, in many cases, that leads to that condition [of a breakdown]."
No, not really. Because there are many different types of intelligence, not all of which lead to profound genius -- or mental breakdown.
"How to explain... I guess, too much bullshit being taken in by a brain that integrates information more than do most brains. Very roughly."
Wrong again, I'm afraid. The breakdown is caused by a DIFFICULTY in integrating the information taken in by a brain that has access to too much data. According to Jung (who also suffered a breakdown) a highly intuitive psyche has access to both physical and metaphysical (intuitive) data -- whereas many "high IQ" types merely have access to physical data, and great facility in manipulating it.
But an intuitive mind is open to an onslaught of overwhelming and often contradictory information and, in his/her struggle to make sense of it, can suffer a breakdown.
"Part of the solution is for smart people to quit accepting the bullshit..."
Well, that's actually part of the problem -- as stated before, it's the struggle to make sense of so much data that causes paralysis. After all, how does one discern the "bullshit" from the "non-bullshit"? Doesn't the careless throwing-about of convenient "good" and "bad" labels impale any effort towards profound thought?
Needless to say, I do not believe that anyone as capable of great thought and insight as Nietzsche, Freud, Mendel or Jung would dismiss anything as "bullshit" without at least some examination. And the ability to truly, authentically comprehend life and experience is worth a little paralysis. Don't you think...?
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