Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

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Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

Post Number:#1  Postby Danzr » September 9th, 2017, 6:02 am

"Not all people can achieve salvation. Most people who can achieve salvation require suffering. Altruistic conduct removes suffering. Thus, altruistic conduct is not (always) helpful. Altruistic conduct is only helpful for those who cannot achieve salvation. Yet how can one know that one “helps” via altruism is not hindered on their (possible) path to salvation? ”

A paradox, I thought is a set of propositions which, taken individually are true. Yet when combined they yield an inconsistency. As such, I am at a loss for how the above is a paradox (an "epistemic paradox" as I was told). Or maybe I am missing something?
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Can the following be formulated as a paradox?



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Re: Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

Post Number:#2  Postby Ranvier » September 9th, 2017, 3:46 pm

This becomes a paradox when taken literally, I imagine. It's of little comfort to a child who burned his hand when mother says: "at least now you know not to do this again" as a "salvation" for the future. Everyone can achieve "salvation" as we'll all suffer pain in aging before death. We "chose" to be here in this physical reality, if you wish to argue that "God" placed us here to suffer.

-- Updated September 9th, 2017, 3:53 pm to add the following --

The suffering of other people is an opportunity for us to learn who we are, as the child's mother did.
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Re: Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

Post Number:#3  Postby Commonsense2 » September 10th, 2017, 11:49 pm

Danzr wrote:"Not all people can achieve salvation. Most people who can achieve salvation require suffering. Altruistic conduct removes suffering. Thus, altruistic conduct is not (always) helpful. Altruistic conduct is only helpful for those who cannot achieve salvation. Yet how can one know that one “helps” via altruism is not hindered on their (possible) path to salvation? ”

A paradox, I thought is a set of propositions which, taken individually are true. Yet when combined they yield an inconsistency. As such, I am at a loss for how the above is a paradox (an "epistemic paradox" as I was told). Or maybe I am missing something?


Putting the question first, how can you know that the person you’re trying to help via acts of altruism isn’t being hindered instead of being helped?

Given that not all people can achieve salvation,
And given that most people who can achieve salvation require suffering,
And given that altruistic conduct removes suffering (from another person’s life),
It follows that removing suffering from another person’s life will make that person less likely to achieve salvation,
And, therefore, altruistic conduct is not helpful to a person who has suffering, because it does the opposite of helping that person to achieve salvation,
And also, altruistic conduct, i.e. removing suffering, can only help someone who has no suffering, but altruistic acts cannot help someone who has no suffering because there is no suffering to be removed.

But if altruistic behavior does not help someone who has suffering, shouldn’t it help someone who has no suffering?

BTW, there are paradoxes within the paradox. For instance, once suffering has been removed, the removal of suffering becomes a cause of suffering, because being less likely to achieve salvation can be a source of suffering. Etc.
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Re: Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

Post Number:#4  Postby Danzr » September 12th, 2017, 5:53 am

Commonsense2 wrote:
Danzr wrote:"Not all people can achieve salvation. Most people who can achieve salvation require suffering. Altruistic conduct removes suffering. Thus, altruistic conduct is not (always) helpful. Altruistic conduct is only helpful for those who cannot achieve salvation. Yet how can one know that one “helps” via altruism is not hindered on their (possible) path to salvation? ”

A paradox, I thought is a set of propositions which, taken individually are true. Yet when combined they yield an inconsistency. As such, I am at a loss for how the above is a paradox (an "epistemic paradox" as I was told). Or maybe I am missing something?


Putting the question first, how can you know that the person you’re trying to help via acts of altruism isn’t being hindered instead of being helped?

Given that not all people can achieve salvation,
And given that most people who can achieve salvation require suffering,
And given that altruistic conduct removes suffering (from another person’s life),
It follows that removing suffering from another person’s life will make that person less likely to achieve salvation,
And, therefore, altruistic conduct is not helpful to a person who has suffering, because it does the opposite of helping that person to achieve salvation,
And also, altruistic conduct, i.e. removing suffering, can only help someone who has no suffering, but altruistic acts cannot help someone who has no suffering because there is no suffering to be removed.

But if altruistic behavior does not help someone who has suffering, shouldn’t it help someone who has no suffering?

BTW, there are paradoxes within the paradox. For instance, once suffering has been removed, the removal of suffering becomes a cause of suffering, because being less likely to achieve salvation can be a source of suffering. Etc.



Good answer, thanks. I'm assuming you see (5) as the paradoxical proposition?

An epistemic paradox.

Now, as a response, one can argue that altruistic conduct only makes the fact of suffering more poignant to the sufferer and thus leads to his or her salvation.
Similarly, it could actually increase a future instance of suffering (a "compounded" suffering); one is less hardened to suffering or the like...
A way to dispel it?

"because being less likely to achieve salvation can be a source of suffering" : I like this thought, but in the argument, the recipient is oblivious to whether they can reach salvation or not.

Thanks again!
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Re: Can the following be formulated as a paradox?

Post Number:#5  Postby Danzr » September 12th, 2017, 5:57 am

Commonsense2 wrote:
Danzr wrote:"Not all people can achieve salvation. Most people who can achieve salvation require suffering. Altruistic conduct removes suffering. Thus, altruistic conduct is not (always) helpful. Altruistic conduct is only helpful for those who cannot achieve salvation. Yet how can one know that one “helps” via altruism is not hindered on their (possible) path to salvation? ”

A paradox, I thought is a set of propositions which, taken individually are true. Yet when combined they yield an inconsistency. As such, I am at a loss for how the above is a paradox (an "epistemic paradox" as I was told). Or maybe I am missing something?


Putting the question first, how can you know that the person you’re trying to help via acts of altruism isn’t being hindered instead of being helped?

Given that not all people can achieve salvation,
And given that most people who can achieve salvation require suffering,
And given that altruistic conduct removes suffering (from another person’s life),
It follows that removing suffering from another person’s life will make that person less likely to achieve salvation,
And, therefore, altruistic conduct is not helpful to a person who has suffering, because it does the opposite of helping that person to achieve salvation,
And also, altruistic conduct, i.e. removing suffering, can only help someone who has no suffering, but altruistic acts cannot help someone who has no suffering because there is no suffering to be removed.

But if altruistic behavior does not help someone who has suffering, shouldn’t it help someone who has no suffering?

BTW, there are paradoxes within the paradox. For instance, once suffering has been removed, the removal of suffering becomes a cause of suffering, because being less likely to achieve salvation can be a source of suffering. Etc.



Good answer, thanks. I'm assuming you see (5) as the paradoxical proposition?

An epistemic paradox.

Now, as a response, one can argue that altruistic conduct only makes the fact of suffering more poignant to the sufferer and thus leads to his or her salvation.
Similarly, it could actually increase a future instance of suffering (a "compounded" suffering); one is less hardened to suffering or the like...
A way to dispel it?

"because being less likely to achieve salvation can be a source of suffering" : I like this thought, but in the argument, the recipient is oblivious to whether they can reach salvation or not.

Thanks again!
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