A psychiatrist's solution

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A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#1  Postby Hereandnow » July 15th, 2017, 7:35 pm

A man (Professor Rick Roderick, namely), finishing with his appointment with his psychiatrist, begins to leave the office. The doctor is aware of his depression and his obsession with tragic fantasies and offers the man a prescription for a popular antidepressant. The man refuses, saying. "No thanks, I drink." He reaches for the door knob, then turns thoughtfully and asks, "Doc, Why?....Why are we born to suffer and die?" The psychiatrist struggles with the question, which had really never occurred to her, at least in any serious way. She then falls silent for a bit, finally responding, "I think you think too much."

What is the psychiatrist's problem here? Is she right? Is such a question simply a sign of a psychopathology? Such an unhappy man, he must be ill to worry so. If you don't think this kind of reasoning is right, then you have some explaining to do. For what makes the psychiatrist's answer so galactically absurd goes to the single, most profound philosophical question, I mean by parsecs, that exists. It is what religion is all about. (Please, forget about god just for a moment; and then continue forgetting. The question of the human religious condition begins here, with this psychiatrist's solution. God comes in much later, like icing on a cake.)
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A psychiatrist's solution



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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#2  Postby LuckyR » July 17th, 2017, 2:07 am

Hereandnow wrote:A man (Professor Rick Roderick, namely), finishing with his appointment with his psychiatrist, begins to leave the office. The doctor is aware of his depression and his obsession with tragic fantasies and offers the man a prescription for a popular antidepressant. The man refuses, saying. "No thanks, I drink." He reaches for the door knob, then turns thoughtfully and asks, "Doc, Why?....Why are we born to suffer and die?" The psychiatrist struggles with the question, which had really never occurred to her, at least in any serious way. She then falls silent for a bit, finally responding, "I think you think too much."

What is the psychiatrist's problem here? Is she right? Is such a question simply a sign of a psychopathology? Such an unhappy man, he must be ill to worry so. If you don't think this kind of reasoning is right, then you have some explaining to do. For what makes the psychiatrist's answer so galactically absurd goes to the single, most profound philosophical question, I mean by parsecs, that exists. It is what religion is all about. (Please, forget about god just for a moment; and then continue forgetting. The question of the human religious condition begins here, with this psychiatrist's solution. God comes in much later, like icing on a cake.)


A couple of things. First, psychiatrists commonly ask questions, not answer them. Thus a real Mental Health professional would likely ask what brought about the original inquiry, not spend time trying to wing an answer to a question that has mystified great minds since the dawn of time. The evidence of psychopathology likely preceded the question, hence the appointment. Sounds like either a made up story or a very green psychiatrist.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#3  Postby Spectrum » July 17th, 2017, 2:48 am

Hereandnow wrote: She then falls silent for a bit, finally responding, "I think you think too much."
What is the psychiatrist's problem here? Is she right?

She is ignorant of human nature re mortality, question of death and its related psychology.

I wrote in this post;
viewtopic.php?p=288572#p288572
Spectrum wrote:There are two main categories relating to the fear of death, i.e.
1. The conscious fear of the threat of death [normally suppressed]
2. The unconscious or subliminal primal fear pulsating within depths of the mind.


Is such a question simply a sign of a psychopathology? Such an unhappy man, he must be ill to worry so.

The conscious fear of the threat of death is normally suppressed to facilitate normal living.
Generally this fear is brought to consciousness every now and then when one is triggered by various reasons, e.g. death of kins, friends, other people, etc. Normally this is quickly suppressed in time.
However there are exceptions where this conscious fear is active all the time and this psychopathology which is called thanatophobia which must be dealt with by a psychiatrist who specialize in treating such a problem.

The issue with Professor Rick Roderick that need to be established is how serious [what degree] is he affected by the conscious fear of mortality or the subliminal psychological angst of the existential crisis/dilemma.

If his question is seemingly one off as trigger by some specific circumstance, then it will go away in time. But if his question about death and conscious fear of mortality is persistent and caused terrible anxieties then he need to see a psychiatrist who specialize in the treatment of thanatophobia [not his current ignorant psychiatrist].

If you don't think this kind of reasoning is right, then you have some explaining to do.
For what makes the psychiatrist's answer so galactically absurd goes to the single, most profound philosophical question, I mean by parsecs, that exists. It is what religion is all about. (Please, forget about god just for a moment; and then continue forgetting. The question of the human religious condition begins here, with this psychiatrist's solution. God comes in much later, like icing on a cake.)

If the problem is associated with mortality and psychological angst, then religion could be helpful depending on Roderick's inclinations for theistic or non-theistic religions. Alternatively he could opt for other secular methods to deal with the psychological angst.

In the case of Roderick's problem of question of death and depression, that is a double whammy. The treatment should be accompanied with doses of self-psycho-analysis.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#4  Postby Greta » July 17th, 2017, 4:15 am

How many of us here have been told at some point that we think too much?

There are times in our lives when many of us need to engage existential questions and there are other times when we need to simply get things done. Ideally the times of contemplation help to provide a philosophical foundation for any future efforts.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#5  Postby Hereandnow » July 17th, 2017, 11:45 am

LuckyR wrote:
A couple of things. First, psychiatrists commonly ask questions, not answer them. Thus a real Mental Health professional would likely ask what brought about the original inquiry, not spend time trying to wing an answer to a question that has mystified great minds since the dawn of time. The evidence of psychopathology likely preceded the question, hence the appointment. Sounds like either a made up story or a very green psychiatrist.


Maybe, on the matter of winging it; but sorry, this is off point. The question goes to the tendency we have to dismiss unhappiness as a pathology. Usually, I would admit, this is the case: it is a matter of some unresolved psychosocial issue that gives rise to depression. What about matters of conscience and its sting of guilt? Or, in this case, the terrible revelation that we are "thrown" into a world to suffer, and all of the systems of thought brought to bare upon this business fail completely to redeem, say, the medieval mother watching her children's finger tips turn black with gangrene as a symptom of bubonic plague,while she sees the signs emerging in herself. The point really is this: suffering as a working concept is readily ameliorated simply by belonging to a system of language and culture. That is what language qua language does; it takes the mystery out and replaces it with the certitude and familiarity. But removed from these habits of judgment, we are faced with the sheer "giveness" of suffering. Suffering is a structural part of our Being here, and there is nothing psychiatry can say about this; nor can evolutionary theory (in which I abide, I should add) bring any relief to the question. Indeed science is mute on the matter. This changes the game for humans altogether, for the religion has in this its foundation. The human condition is inherently religious because we suffer and die, and no science can amend this.

-- Updated July 17th, 2017, 12:01 pm to add the following --

As a quick addendum, anticipating the response that science does in fact "amend" suffering, I need to say that no matter how much science can reduce suffering and replace it with joy, the issue here is not one jot diminished, for science can never touch in understanding what it cannot witness empirically, and suffering, joy, bliss, tragedy, and all of what we call *value* and its corresponding *care*, These are, if you will, invisible, or, as Wittgenstein put it in his Lecture on Ethics, transcendence. Puts the ball squarely in religion's court, this transcendental question.

-- Updated July 17th, 2017, 12:21 pm to add the following --

Spectrum wrote:
There are two main categories relating to the fear of death, i.e.
1. The conscious fear of the threat of death [normally suppressed]
2. The unconscious or subliminal primal fear pulsating within depths of the mind.

The conscious fear of the threat of death is normally suppressed to facilitate normal living.
Generally this fear is brought to consciousness every now and then when one is triggered by various reasons, e.g. death of kins, friends, other people, etc. Normally this is quickly suppressed in time.
However there are exceptions where this conscious fear is active all the time and this psychopathology which is called thanatophobia which must be dealt with by a psychiatrist who specialize in treating such a problem.

The issue with Professor Rick Roderick that need to be established is how serious [what degree] is he affected by the conscious fear of mortality or the subliminal psychological angst of the existential crisis/dilemma.

If his question is seemingly one off as trigger by some specific circumstance, then it will go away in time. But if his question about death and conscious fear of mortality is persistent and caused terrible anxieties then he need to see a psychiatrist who specialize in the treatment of thanatophobia [not his current ignorant psychiatrist].
If the problem is associated with mortality and psychological angst, then religion could be helpful depending on Roderick's inclinations for theistic or non-theistic religions. Alternatively he could opt for other secular methods to deal with the psychological angst.

In the case of Roderick's problem of question of death and depression, that is a double whammy. The treatment should be accompanied with doses of self-psycho-analysis.


I won't argue against any of this. But it does buy into the assumption that suffering is understood by discussions that are quantifiable in their dealing with it. It is, in the mind of a psychiatrist, the pathology of suffering in the mind of a patient that is exclusively of concern. Psychiatrists are not philosophers, and they do not know how to give analysis at the level of basic questions. They assume a lot that a philosopher takes as a starting point for inquiry into the nature of suffering, that is, into its very presence as presence. So put aside the fact that Rick Roderick had an unhappy childhood, or that he watched is parents die; and put aside the medieval bromides popular religions can provide. These are frankly just diversions. Suffering runs deeper than this, and is given to analysis that is more primordial since this brings thought close to phenomena and therefore far from the architectonics of any relevant science. Science rests on assumptions that it cannot and will not examine. Here, philosophy begins.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#6  Postby Fan of Science » July 17th, 2017, 1:14 pm

As far as psychiatrists are concerned --- I never met one who didn't need one.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#7  Postby Hereandnow » July 17th, 2017, 1:31 pm

Maybe, Fan of Science, that's why they do what many do it. On the other hand, interesting reading is r. d. liang's Divided Self, in which he criticizes psychiatrists for being so distant from the actual reality of mental illness due to their preconceptions. Liang is one of the very few in the profession who read existential philosophy.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#8  Postby LuckyR » July 17th, 2017, 1:56 pm

Fan of Science wrote:As far as psychiatrists are concerned --- I never met one who didn't need one.


It is my understanding that in most (if not all) training programs for psychiatry require personal psychoanalysis for the residents.

-- Updated July 17th, 2017, 11:21 am to add the following --

Hereandnow wrote:
LuckyR wrote:
A couple of things. First, psychiatrists commonly ask questions, not answer them. Thus a real Mental Health professional would likely ask what brought about the original inquiry, not spend time trying to wing an answer to a question that has mystified great minds since the dawn of time. The evidence of psychopathology likely preceded the question, hence the appointment. Sounds like either a made up story or a very green psychiatrist.


Maybe, on the matter of winging it; but sorry, this is off point. The question goes to the tendency we have to dismiss unhappiness as a pathology. Usually, I would admit, this is the case: it is a matter of some unresolved psychosocial issue that gives rise to depression. What about matters of conscience and its sting of guilt? Or, in this case, the terrible revelation that we are "thrown" into a world to suffer, and all of the systems of thought brought to bare upon this business fail completely to redeem, say, the medieval mother watching her children's finger tips turn black with gangrene as a symptom of bubonic plague,while she sees the signs emerging in herself. The point really is this: suffering as a working concept is readily ameliorated simply by belonging to a system of language and culture. That is what language qua language does; it takes the mystery out and replaces it with the certitude and familiarity. But removed from these habits of judgment, we are faced with the sheer "giveness" of suffering. Suffering is a structural part of our Being here, and there is nothing psychiatry can say about this; nor can evolutionary theory (in which I abide, I should add) bring any relief to the question. Indeed science is mute on the matter. This changes the game for humans altogether, for the religion has in this its foundation. The human condition is inherently religious because we suffer and die, and no science can amend this.


Perhaps some definition of terms will clear up this discussion, since it is suffering from some confusion of topics. Some folks are sick (they have a diagnosis of pathology) others have symptoms. There is of course tremendous overlap between the two. Commonly the pathology (disease process) causes the symptoms. Though it is also common for folks to have symptoms without a pathologic diagnosis. In such cases often Western Medicine can intervene and treat the symptoms with a full knowledge and understanding that the patient is not, in fact, "sick" in the sense of suffering from a commonly understood condition called: "disease".

Thus if someone suffers a tragedy and is rightfully in emotional turmoil, this is the expected reaction, not pathology. And, as noted above Western Medicine can sometimes intervene and make some progress in the alleviation of the symptoms. The above does not require a rethinking of the role of Medicine (particularly the Mental Health fields), it is a significant part of common practice.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#9  Postby Hereandnow » July 17th, 2017, 5:10 pm

LuckyR wrote:
And, as noted above Western Medicine can sometimes intervene and make some progress in the alleviation of the symptoms.


But the problem is really about "intervening". An intervention assumes knowledge of a problem. What kind of "problem" is the knowledge that we are undeservedly, arbitrarily thrown into a world of suffering? Is it a pathology to be afflicted with the horror of understanding that Being as such, out of the womb of infinity, tortures so horribly?

It is not a question that science can deal with at all. So we must put aside all references to the way things generally go in the ways of medical diagnosis and prescription. This is a wholly new field of inquiry that takes things as they are themselves (as Husserl would put it). Taking suffering as it is in itself is not to encourage science; it is to suspend it.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#10  Postby -0+ » July 18th, 2017, 3:01 am

Hereandnow wrote:"Doc, Why?....Why are we born to suffer and die?" The psychiatrist struggles with the question, which had really never occurred to her, at least in any serious way. She then falls silent for a bit, finally responding, "I think you think too much."

What is the psychiatrist's problem here? Is she right?


If that's what she truly thinks then she is right. She may or may not be right in thinking he thinks too much. It may be that he hasn't been thinking enough about this.

Hereandnow wrote:Is such a question simply a sign of a psychopathology?


Not necessarily. Such a question can be asked without psychopathology. The psychopathology may depend on how much the question bothers him.

However, the question may include a false assumption. The psychiatrist could have chosen to question the question. Can it be assumed that we are born to suffer and die? Is it possible we are born to live? Suffering and death may be part of life, but there can be more to life than this?

Looking at the bigger picture, it seems there may be some evolutionary benefits of suffering and death, otherwise life would evolve differently.

What might be some evolutionary benefits of suffering and death?

Death makes room for the next generation, some of whom may be genetically better equipped to adapt to the latest environment.

What about suffering? We can ask what are are the causes and effects of suffering?

Behind every case of suffering there is some kind of internal conflict. Internal conflict between ideas about what "should" be and perceptions of reality are common. Such ideas may be driven by desire, judgement, etc. Effects of suffering include unpleasant feelings and discomfort. There are at least 2 ways to resolve internal conflict and ease the suffering: change reality to be more in line with ideas of how things should be; change ideas to be more in line with how things really are. One of these ways may be easier than the other. The stronger the idea, the harder it will be to change this, applying more pressure to change reality. Suffering helps to drive and motivate change and try different things. This can lead to helpful discoveries and developments. Without suffering, people would be more content to stay where they are, not change anything, and be more vulnerable to predation.

Problems can occur if people have strong ideas that something should change and they are not able to change this thing. The internal conflict remains unresolved, the suffering persists, and nothing changes. Persistent suffering like this could be viewed as a psychopathology and this may not have any evolutionary benefit.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#11  Postby Hereandnow » July 18th, 2017, 11:07 am

-0+ wrote:
Can it be assumed that we are born to suffer and die? Is it possible we are born to live? Suffering and death may be part of life, but there can be more to life than this?


A little confusing here: we certainly are born into suffering. This is a given. Death has been a given so far, but who know how the future i=of things will go. Frankly though, it is not death as a simple termination of life that is of concern. It is the caring about death that constitutes a kind of suffering, so it is not a matter that goes beyond what is encompassed by the term 'suffering'. The issue about suffering is the failure of the world to redeem the suffering it inflicts. the world, as we know it, is not a stand alone world, that is, as it stands, it is indefensible, lacking a justification that is required by suffering. don't look at it as a problem fit for science, or to spelled out in accessible terms of evolutionary theory. The "terms" are not accessible at all. All there is is a plain and clear lack, as Augustine would put it. A lack of any response in the disclosures of the world through science and philosophy to a single human's suffering. We are used to placing our thinking in bodies of accepted and familiar talk. This must be discarded, for suffering in and of itself is a given, like "being appeared to redly" is an intuitive given expressed in the language of phenomenology.

Also, keep in mind that an evolutionist's theory would say suffering is a survivor in the course of evolution because it serves best the interests of survival and reproduction. Who could argue with this, but it is not to the point, for the question goes deeper than this: how is it that suffering is even a possibility in an evolutionary matrix? How is it, what does it mean about the world we are in, that Being even possesses dispositionally suffering circumstances?

It is simply a given. And once this is realized, religion has its existential foundation.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#12  Postby LuckyR » July 19th, 2017, 3:29 am

Hereandnow wrote:
LuckyR wrote:
And, as noted above Western Medicine can sometimes intervene and make some progress in the alleviation of the symptoms.


But the problem is really about "intervening". An intervention assumes knowledge of a problem. What kind of "problem" is the knowledge that we are undeservedly, arbitrarily thrown into a world of suffering? Is it a pathology to be afflicted with the horror of understanding that Being as such, out of the womb of infinity, tortures so horribly?

It is not a question that science can deal with at all. So we must put aside all references to the way things generally go in the ways of medical diagnosis and prescription. This is a wholly new field of inquiry that takes things as they are themselves (as Husserl would put it). Taking suffering as it is in itself is not to encourage science; it is to suspend it.


You have been to an actual doctor before, right?

Medical professionals don't knock on people's doors and start prescribing. Patients who are seeking assistance go to doctors with an expectation of an intervention to improve their situation. What kind of a doctor wouldn't try their best to help folks?

You clearly would not seek medical help for a philosophical problem and rightly so. However, the patient in the OP was in a psychiatrists office.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#13  Postby -0+ » July 20th, 2017, 7:34 am

Hereandnow wrote:A little confusing here: we certainly are born into suffering. This is a given.


This is questionable.

Hereandnow wrote:The issue about suffering is the failure of the world to redeem the suffering it inflicts.


This is one way of looking at it. Another way is to consider that (psychological) suffering is the failure of an individual to resolve internal conflict, especially between perceptions of how the world is and judgements of how the world "should" be ... One way may promote victim mentality more than the other. One can blame the world or accept responsibility for one's own suffering.

Hereandnow wrote:don't look at it as a problem fit for science, or to spelled out in accessible terms of evolutionary theory. The "terms" are not accessible at all. All there is is a plain and clear lack, as Augustine would put it. A lack of any response in the disclosures of the world through science and philosophy to a single human's suffering. [...] Also, keep in mind that an evolutionist's theory would say suffering is a survivor in the course of evolution because it serves best the interests of survival and reproduction. Who could argue with this, but it is not to the point, for the question goes deeper than this:


Psychological suffering is an internal experience. Behaviour associated with suffering can be scientifically observed, but the suffering itself can not - unless science is directed inward ...

It has been claimed that true religion is science directed inwards. Scientific methods could be directed inward to examine one's own suffering to try to understand it, its causes and effects, etc. A psychiatrist could assist the process, and shared experiences may also help to understand, but only the professor can directly examine his own suffering.

The 4 Noble Truths in Buddhism are primarily about suffering: the presence of suffering; the origin/cause of suffering; the ending of suffering (by ending the cause of suffering); and ways to achieve this.

Craving and attachment to desire have been identified as causes. Ending the causes can end existing suffering and prevent future suffering.

In the professor's case, obsession with tragic fantasies may be a cause of his depression. Rather than look at ending the cause, the psychiatrist offers him a remedy (an antidepressant). She might prefer that he continues to be her patient. He refuses, saying he drinks. Alcohol is a depressant. He might not be sick enough of his sickness yet to stop being sick. He might prefer to continue being her patient ...

Her response to his question is, "I think you think too much". If his fantasies are caused by thinking then ending his thinking may end his fantasies which may end his depression. On the other hand, his fantasies may arise in the absence of healthier thinking ...

The 4 noble truths address the cause of the suffering, and how to end the suffering by ending the cause, but they don't address the effects of suffering. It may be assumed that the effects are all negative and it is a given that anyone would want to end their suffering, but what if this is questioned and the effects of suffering are examined more closely? One may experience unpleasantness ... Then what happens? Are the same effects observed every time? If not, what might explain any differences?

What about the bigger picture? Examining one's own suffering may not be enough to see the bigger picture. This is where philosophy can come into play. This may require some thinking ...

Hereandnow wrote:how is it that suffering is even a possibility in an evolutionary matrix?


Evolution relies on change. Suffering helps to drive change. More precisely, suffering motivates efforts to resolve internal conflict, which results in change. Failure to resolve the conflict results in persistent suffering rather than change.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#14  Postby Hereandnow » July 20th, 2017, 12:16 pm

A little confusing here: we certainly are born into suffering. This is a given.


This is questionable.

How?

The issue about suffering is the failure of the world to redeem the suffering it inflicts.


This is one way of looking at it. Another way is to consider that (psychological) suffering is the failure of an individual to resolve internal conflict, especially between perceptions of how the world is and judgements of how the world "should" be ... One way may promote victim mentality more than the other. One can blame the world or accept responsibility for one's own suffering.


The "another way" puts the matter in a different argument. I am not arguing that people have issues and should take responsibility and so forth. My thoughts go to conditions logically prior to this, meaning, in order to talk about a psychologist's sound advice, you simply have to assume what is given and work through it to achieve some end and not bring the matter to the level of basic questions. It is in this latter that the problem at hand lies. Put it this way: All of the problems we can think of, psychological or otherwise are given regions of contingency in which "redemption" is fought after and discovered. You have a flat tire, but you are not lost and wandering (even if you are, there is a world, the assumption of a world that does know how to address the issue); you have service stations, triple A and so forth--these are your redemption in such a situation. But when it comes to what is given, presence as such, there is no redemption, and the presence terrible suffering sits there as an undeniable feature of the world, but, in my view, impossible as-it-stands. There is, and i borrow this term from Hillary Putman, but for my own use, in the appearance of suffering a "logic" of evil intuitively figured in, and the evidence for this lies exclusively in the suffering itself. Evil, or moral "badness." Some may say the world does not wear its moral dimensions on its sleeve, but I beg to differ: it is as obvious as pain itself.



don't look at it as a problem fit for science, or to spelled out in accessible terms of evolutionary theory. The "terms" are not accessible at all. All there is is a plain and clear lack, as Augustine would put it. A lack of any response in the disclosures of the world through science and philosophy to a single human's suffering. [...] Also, keep in mind that an evolutionist's theory would say suffering is a survivor in the course of evolution because it serves best the interests of survival and reproduction. Who could argue with this, but it is not to the point, for the question goes deeper than this:


Psychological suffering is an internal experience. Behaviour associated with suffering can be scientifically observed, but the suffering itself can not - unless science is directed inward ...


Well, I don't think you can say suffering cannot be witnessed. But you can say its being "bad" cannot, though I also say it "bad" of it is intuitively clear, if a mystery to empirical observation.

It has been claimed that true religion is science directed inwards. Scientific methods could be directed inward to examine one's own suffering to try to understand it, its causes and effects, etc. A psychiatrist could assist the process, and shared experiences may also help to understand, but only the professor can directly examine his own suffering.


I side with Heidegger on this. we cannot "say" the presence of anything; rather, we can only "know" things taken up "as" in language. There world of presences as such are utterly transcendent. But in the "isness" I differ on this. I hold that we know in an absolute sense suffering and joy, though not knowing what they are interpretatively beyond their "badness" and "goodness" which are concepts that possess this absolute. Wittgenstein and Heidegger would say i am speaking nonsense. I beg to differ.

The 4 Noble Truths in Buddhism are primarily about suffering: the presence of suffering; the origin/cause of suffering; the ending of suffering (by ending the cause of suffering); and ways to achieve this.


Buddhism is a way of liberation, not inquiry into basic questions. Ironically, because tells us to shut up and let the world "speak" it allows for the intimation of extraordinary understanding. Husserl's "epoche" has a place here, but this is another fascinating issue.


The 4 noble truths address the cause of the suffering, and how to end the suffering by ending the cause, but they don't address the effects of suffering. It may be assumed that the effects are all negative and it is a given that anyone would want to end their suffering, but what if this is questioned and the effects of suffering are examined more closely? One may experience unpleasantness ... Then what happens? Are the same effects observed every time? If not, what might explain any differences?

Yeah, I don't take issue with Buddhism. I think I am a Buddhist, in fact. But this is where thinking begins, by shutting down presuppositions and allow things to clear.

What about the bigger picture? Examining one's own suffering may not be enough to see the bigger picture. This is where philosophy can come into play. This may require some thinking ...


right, I think the big picture, the more it comes into view, there more we pull away the pragmatic fictions that rule our thinking.

how is it that suffering is even a possibility in an evolutionary matrix?


Evolution relies on change. Suffering helps to drive change. More precisely, suffering motivates efforts to resolve internal conflict, which results in change. Failure to resolve the conflict results in persistent suffering rather than change.


Not what i had in mind. I can see with everyone else how evolution works on this: Suffering encourages survival and reproduction. But wht is IT doing there in the first place, I wonder.
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post Number:#15  Postby -0+ » July 20th, 2017, 10:30 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
A little confusing here: we certainly are born into suffering. This is a given.

This is questionable.

How?


By asking: Are we really born into suffering?

If you (any of you reading this) believe we are, what is your belief based on? Personal experience? Indoctrination?

Suffering is an internal experience. What can you know about the suffering of others? Anyone (including robots) may complain or otherwise appear to be suffering, but how can you tell if they are genuinely suffering or not?

What do know about your own suffering? Are you actually suffering at this very moment? If you are, are you able focus all your awareness on your suffering and still experience suffering to the same degree? Do you have memories of suffering? How reliable are these memories, especially around the time you were born? How can you tell for sure that you were actually born into suffering? Is it possible you didn't begin to suffer until later in life? When did you start to entertain tragic fantasies?

Hereandnow wrote:Well, I don't think you can say suffering cannot be witnessed.


Anyone can say this. Is this not true? One can witness one's own dreams, thoughts, and feelings, including suffering. How can anyone witness anyone else's dreams or suffering?

Hereandnow wrote:right, I think the big picture, the more it comes into view, there more we pull away the pragmatic fictions that rule our thinking.


Do ideas like, we are born into suffering, and the world has failed to redeem the suffering it inflicts, count as tragic fantasies?

Hereandnow wrote:Suffering encourages survival and reproduction. But wht is IT doing there in the first place, I wonder.


Was it really there in the first place?
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