Virtues and the individual

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Namelesss
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Namelesss » December 18th, 2017, 8:19 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:
December 17th, 2017, 1:16 am
By between us all, do you mean bean everything that makes up the universe, known and unknown?
Fine, that works for me.
Usually when I say 'Us all' it refers to all of us unique (momentary) Perspectives (Souls), all throughout the Universe, ever.
You say achieving unconditioned virtuosity is uncommon, but not impossible, yet it does defy human nature, to be unconditionally anything defies human nature.

"Human nature" is ego.
Ego is a swirling chaos of flickering images, some of which is believed to define a 'self' that can 'possess things', the common 'I am... (fill in the blank with whatever mirage thought/ego offers, at the moment)'.

From a religious Perspective, FWIW, is that thought/ego is the 'Forbidden Fruit' (tm), that blinds one to unconditional Love/Enlightenment! A powerful 'distraction'.
And the fruits of 'human nature' is history, even today.
Human nature can be transcended.
It happens more and more.

Everything people do is conditional. We are having a conversation, under the condition we are both reasonable.
Yes! Thought = language = duality = conditional essentially not Reality! Words are lies if taken literally. Metaphor at best.
If there is 'context', there is 'condition'.
You say you are showing me the way to unconditional virtuosity, but you're also telling me I have to be more than a human being. This does not seem fair.
“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi

tat tvam asi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tat_Tvam_Asi)
Also, you made this topic about the metaphysical by introducing unconditional virtues.
When conditional 'virtues' (of the ego) are mentioned, as in this topic, a natural response is balance.
Imbalance always calls to balance!
The problem with the 'conditioned mind' is that it is impossible to conceive of the 'unconditional'. It must be experienced to be Known! Imag-ination is unequipped to handle the load! *__-

Namelesss
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Namelesss » December 18th, 2017, 8:21 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:
December 18th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Nameless
I have started a topic in the metaphysics section for discussing the impossibility of any ultimate reality.
I repeat; imbalance calls to balance, calls to the opposite Perspective.
See you there! *__-

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fletcher
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by fletcher » December 18th, 2017, 11:56 pm

Prudence is the most important virtue according to Aristotle in his work "Nicomachean Ethics". A prudent person benefits because with wisdom and caution one avoids foolish action and makes smart decisions. My interpretation is that your main point is that all virtues are disadvantageous to the individual because it requires sacrifice and is eventually more harmful than good to the individual. However, prudence has a direct relationship of positive impact on the persons life.

Additionally you cite courage as being an example of a virtue that is not beneficial to the individual, but rather it is prized because it benefits others. Yet a person who lacks any sort of courage and instead acts with cowardice is harmed far worse for they will not take any risks whatsoever. A good example of a person being rewarded for their courage is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for he benefited both himself and others around the world with his courageous civil rights movement. Although he was eventually killed, most consider his life as extremely successful and beneficial both to himself and to all of humankind. For if he did not have nearly as much courage as he did he would have to live out his life with the knowledge that he could of made a difference or changed the world but instead he did not.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Maxcady10001 » December 19th, 2017, 1:36 am

Fletcher

Prudence can be just as easily construed as harmful as the other virtues, because how does one delineate between what is foolish and what is wise? Only someone who knows the future is capable of this. A prudent decision is just as easily deemed a foolish one by its outcome.
(For anyone who has seen my thread on rationality, prudence is not rationality I am not treading old ground.)

Also, prudence is completely contradictory to courage. A person never acts with prudence and courage. Look at your own example of MLK Jr, he went on those marches as a courageous man, but while doing it was subjected to violent acts, and could have been killed. A prudent man would have done otherwise.
And your interpretation of his acts being beneficial to himself is definitely arguable. Because he's dead.
On your last point, he could not have, because he did not. If he did not act in such a courageous way, he could not have acted in a courageous way after the chance had passed.
Also, I did not realize this before, though I did mention it briefly in an earlier post, the relationship between the individual and the species that I have been pointing out, can be said to be the same as the one between nature and the species. What is best for the species is not so for nature. It is most convenient for people to drive cars that run on oil but it is not best for nature. And all the arguments that I have made so far for the individual and the species follow in tge same way for nature and the individual.

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Freudian Monkey
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Freudian Monkey » December 19th, 2017, 3:58 pm

I didn't read through the whole thread, so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned already, but I think you all should check Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

It's an excellent book that explores the conflict the individual experiences between wanting to be a productive and exemplary member of a society/social group and his selfish interests. Despite it's title, the book doesn't only deal with religion and politics, but essentially about how people behave in different social contexts and how we're all self-righteous hypocrites driven by instincts rather than rational reasoning. Not a philosophy book, but really illuminating nonetheless.

Read it if you have time, you'll be pleased you did.

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fletcher
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by fletcher » December 19th, 2017, 5:10 pm

You raise some good points and this is an interesting question. Let me restate my opinion.

Consider kindness for it is a desirable quality most seek in people, yet it is also beneficial to the person who possesses it. Most desire being around kind people because they are pleasant company compared to people who possess animosity. Additionally, people who possess kindness are rewarded far more than they are harmed because they find it easier to make friends. Also people tend to treat them better because it is easier to justify being mean to a mean person than being mean to a kind person. While kindness could be misinterpreted as weakness, friendliness does not ensue weakness because friendly people tend to have more friends and do not necessarily exist without any backbone.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Maxcady10001 » December 20th, 2017, 10:48 am

Well what is considered a kindness, I think, is too subjective to be called a virtue. It is not as "objective" as honesty or humility or obedience or justice. Euthanasia is considered a kindness by some, and an unjustified suicide by others. To be kind can also mean to be cruel. If I hit a deer with a car, and upon seeing it critically injured I end its life, am I cruel or kind?
Besides this, to be kind involves a sacrifice of some kind, whether it be time or effort or money or pride, it involves some sacrifice for the individual.

Judaka
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Judaka » December 22nd, 2017, 7:56 am

Your extremely generalised OP makes for easy target from many different perspectives, obviously virtues do not only lead to ruination, virtues are not similar enough to each other to all result in such a specific outcome. However I will offer you a cynical (perhaps already mentioned) perspective about virtues that might be useful seeing as you are clearly cynical about them. Human psychology involves wants and needs beyond materialism, we want to rise up the social ladder and prove ourselves to others, whether it feeds our egos, gives us opportunities within society or appeases people we care about. Obtaining or practicing what one considers to be a virtue likely possesses benefits like these and so much more, such as a sense of achievement and pride, improved self-esteem, a sense of belonging and the list goes on and on.

So while the actual virtues themselves may be bankrupt of practical value, considerations such as these may explain why they are and always will be attractive and valuable to people.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by SimpleGuy » December 23rd, 2017, 1:23 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:
December 15th, 2017, 2:01 pm
I understand your point now. And I have another question for you. Do what you call virtues of wisdom, knowledge, and intellectual skill, ever act against the definition of a virtue, which is behavior showing high moral standards? If these things act against the definition of a virtue, can they be called virtues? I ask this because wisdom, knowledge and intellectual skill do not always equal moral behavior. Also it is not clear whether you agree with Nietzsche and deny the existence of virtues and morals, or you just believe the meaning of virtues have been perverted by society.
I have to confess, that all virtues are just personal virtues, that one has built up by yourself for your own satisfaction. Nietzsche claims the absence of any values, and conjures with it in his works the will to power , the nihilism as a streaming that establishes a european way to budhism (at least as far as i understoood his works). To reduce him to a simple denier is too much a simplification, the pure insight and strength of an individual comes from nietzsche from the power to defeat yourself against any odds, the so called will power, that overwhelms for every human any other power , and befeats it and denies all other forces , except you own will to prevail over your own body and is by it's streaming related to schopenhauer, and his famous work "welt als wille und vorstellung" , translated as "world as the private will and imgagination". In shopenhauers visionary booklets the same will power manifests itself as a metaphysical variable the transforms your will and your imagination into real world scenarios. Nietzsch called this shamanic power the superior power of a human beeing. But the virtues were for him just illusions , projected by religions and other people build up to distort this power. In fact i agree in one thing that all virtues , are just personally imagined virtues for oneself.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by SimpleGuy » December 23rd, 2017, 1:27 pm

For nietzsche the only virtue that existed for real, was the personal defeating of ones own weakness, through simple action of will, which is the manifestation of the only true god like capability of an individual for oneself. All other values were of minor importance for every human beeing, because the self-defeat of ones own feeble will was the highest of all gifts for him. Not for me , but for him.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by SimpleGuy » December 23rd, 2017, 1:33 pm

Once one obtains this capability to overcome ones own feebleness, the capability to shape the world through pure will and imagination , came into to play and with it all deities , morals and powers of all other human beeings passed off into void.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Maxcady10001 » December 23rd, 2017, 1:46 pm

I think that's an oversimplification of Nietzsche's views.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by SimpleGuy » December 23rd, 2017, 2:12 pm

Aristotle gave a good statement about virtues , in his book topos:

He who uses virtue also uses good, since virtue is a good thing, but the one who uses half, even half, means to divide(split into) by two and the two is straight.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Maxcady10001 » December 23rd, 2017, 2:25 pm

Could you possibly go further into the quote from Aristotle's Topos, as I have not read it.

Eduk
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Re: Virtues and the individual

Post by Eduk » January 3rd, 2018, 10:31 am

I do listen to Harris's podcast, despite what he's done in claiming free will. I do not want to make this a free will thread, but if you can, please explain what you mean by no one knows what free will is, and compatibilism is logically possible.
Sorry if I am a bit late here.
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe in both without being logically inconsistent.
Easy enough to google, and wikipedia will do a better job than me in explaining it.

I just stumbled upon this bite sized video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCOWaaTj4A&t=2s

It is a good example of what Compatibilism is. Generally I think free will is ill defined.
Unknown means unknown.

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