Your life repeated forever

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3029
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by LuckyR » December 28th, 2017, 4:54 pm

Of course, you stipulated in the OP that it is an attitude, not a reality. BUT if an attitude is going to alter your behavior, you kind of have to take it seriously (as if it might actually happen). Naturally some won't and therefore won't change anything about their choices, but I figured we were excluding those from the discussion.
"As usual... it depends."

Maxcady10001
Posts: 445
Joined: September 12th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by Maxcady10001 » December 30th, 2017, 1:52 am

Adopting Nietzsche's eternal recurrence would allow someone to assign more meaning to their life, since they'd live it over and over again. Kind of like a marriage, you think you'll be with the person a long time, so you marry a person you like. You would want to live that life forever. You would be able to rejoice whenever you felt something wonderful, because you believe you'll feel it for an eternity after. That's the only advantage I can think of. I think the whole point of Nietzsche's idea is to overcome nihilism. How much credence do you give to Nietzsche's idea? Could you see the universe as an infintely repeating circle, that is the will to power,
everything always in the process of becoming?
The disadvantage would be not knowing your past lives, always wondering if you've had the same horrible experiences an eternity before now, and believing you may have them for an eternity after.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7238
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by Greta » December 30th, 2017, 2:51 am

Burning ghost wrote:
December 28th, 2017, 2:23 am
I would like to hear about the advantages and disadvantages of taking on this attitude ...

We should live our lives as if we will have to live them over and over again for "eternity".

How would this view of life help you live a good life and how may it lead to you living a bad life - please, no dancing around the concepts of "good" and "bad" you all get the gist of what is meant here. Also, note this is not a case of believing this will be so only a means of comporting yourself in life and living it to the full.
This looks like a life hack to me. Certain ways of looking at things are motivating, depending on the person. For those whose early lives were disastrous, such a notion would be more dispiriting than motivating. Karma is a more comforting idea for the traumatised as the trauma would represent debt paid.

Burning ghost
Posts: 2641
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by Burning ghost » December 30th, 2017, 3:01 am

Max -

Nietzsche never looked at is as anything other than an interesting hypothetical approach toward how to view life in general. I see the thought behind his thinking to be something like living a life you'd be interested to read the story about.

Don't get caught up in the idea of being able to live your life over and over again in a different way. The point of it, so it seems to me, is to live a life you'd happily repeat again. The bonus of this mindset does appear to be to instill within yourself the want and need for exploration, and the take away aspect of this is the fear of the unknown overwhelming you.

In both respects the fear of the unknown can make you stagate or over reach. Wanting to know and experience more than you can will leave you feeling hollow just as much as being feaful of change. In this respect it seems to me that as a hypothetical thought it leads me to think about how best to ascertain some plan as to how to adhere to my nature and fulfill myself in areas where I am strongest and then build from there toward the future and be able to venture further into the unknown with a good anchor.

Nietzsche spent time looking at pessimism and optimism. Today I find it curious that whilt we are rather timid creatures and deeply cautious about stepping beyond our immediate comforts, we're also on an individual level "hard-wired" for optimism.

I have formed one hypothesis that humans on the individual level are optimistic, yet on the group level grow to be ever more pessimistic. I admit it is a very limited and loose "hypothesis" and at the momemt just one of many things I ponder.

One thing does seem to be reasonably true. Within a group of 10 people it is easier to make changes, yet within a group of 100 it is not so easy to achieve. The competition and cooperation dynamics, plus the differences in social groupings and idea formation and appropriation makes this all a very cumbersome thing contemplate.

On a poltical footing it seesm to me the utopian attitudes often brought up are worthy aims, yet irrational in practice. This is not to say we should settle for worse, only that we should perhaps adhere to our cautious nature until we can more carefully surpass it. I cannot remember who it was who said it, but if everyone had what they wanted and there was no need to work for food or shelter, then we'd likely destroy the system simply to give ourselves something to do. I think this is very true on humanity, but saying that I do not think we are incapable of coping with such a "utopia" without destroying it, yet the current culturally climate looks too immature at the moment and I could not see this changing anytime soon. We are a young species and maybe such flights of fancy may be available to us within a few more centuries once we muddle through the current cultural, communcation and information explosions we're right in the heart of today.

The Eternal Recurrance, at least for me, echoes warnings about reaching too far too quickly or remaining stagnant for too long. The individual, is after all, reflected throughout human society to some degree.
AKA badgerjelly

Burning ghost
Posts: 2641
Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by Burning ghost » December 30th, 2017, 3:12 am

Greta -

Comfort ... the opium of the masses. Not that I am suggesting Marxism! haha! Just looking at a more human application to the world than one shrouded in ideas of eternally rebirth. The karmic idea seems to merely offer an escape route to another life and the eventual withdrawal from life completely because it frames "living" as a suffering to be avoided rather than embraced. For this reason I find the "karmic" idea a little repulsive.

I prefer the mantra of "No pain, no gain," to the mantra of "All life is suffering"; although there is no denying that life often does brim over with suffering. I do think a lot of worldly suffering is a choice - but I accept that some get dealt a bad hand.

I think it was Dickens who talked about "pity" and the poor? (may have been someone else completely, I forget!) Basically he said it was demeaning to pity a beggar on the street because they don't want your pity. He simply looked at them with an understanding that it could, given other circumstances of life, be him in such a position and born into a different family. When I first read that many years ago it really struck chord within me. On the surface it looks like a partly cold remark, yet when you look more deeply it appears nothing other than true regard for a fellow human being void of the delusions of pity or privilege.
AKA badgerjelly

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7238
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Your life repeated forever

Post by Greta » December 30th, 2017, 3:21 am

Burning ghost wrote:
December 30th, 2017, 3:12 am
Greta -

Comfort ... the opium of the masses. Not that I am suggesting Marxism! haha! Just looking at a more human application to the world than one shrouded in ideas of eternally rebirth. The karmic idea seems to merely offer an escape route to another life and the eventual withdrawal from life completely because it frames "living" as a suffering to be avoided rather than embraced. For this reason I find the "karmic" idea a little repulsive.

I prefer the mantra of "No pain, no gain," to the mantra of "All life is suffering"; although there is no denying that life often does brim over with suffering. I do think a lot of worldly suffering is a choice - but I accept that some get dealt a bad hand.
It's no coincidence that the idea was birthed in the subcontinent where life has long been so awful for so many that, if they did not believe that life could be improved upon, they would simply let go. In terms of natural selection, those who don't let go will logically be more likely to suvive and spread their genes. And in the also-difficult Middle East, things were bad enough that they dreamed of a heavenly afterlife to make up for the horros of this one.

When one is raised in a safe western middle class circumstances, it's no doubt harder to relate to these ideas, although plenty manage to :)
Burning ghost wrote:I think it was Dickens who talked about "pity" and the poor? (may have been someone else completely, I forget!) Basically he said it was demeaning to pity a beggar on the street because they don't want your pity. He simply looked at them with an understanding that it could, given other circumstances of life, be him in such a position and born into a different family. When I first read that many years ago it really struck chord within me. On the surface it looks like a partly cold remark, yet when you look more deeply it appears nothing other than true regard for a fellow human being void of the delusions of pity or privilege.
I like it too. Mum used to say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I" and my easy recall now, decades on, suggests that it stuck.

Post Reply