It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

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Steve3007
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Steve3007 »

Scott wrote:Do you agree?
No, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, and no.

(Were they all supposed to be different ways of phrasing the same question?)
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Belindi wrote: April 18th, 2021, 3:53 am It is hard to see how a galley slave could own any sense of purpose.
One of my favorite books is Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, a previous prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. I think that book addresses your point almost spot on.

The Gulag Archipalego is also another book that has stuck with me throughout the years, though I originally read it about 15 years ago. It was written by a former prisoner in a Soviet gulag.

There is a Sofi proverb that goes like this: When the ego weeps for what it has lost, the spirit rejoices for what it has found.

If one feels so compelled to have some kind of purpose to work, sweat, and bleed for and towards, what if you make inner peace your purpose? What if making the most of the conscious present at all times is held as your purpose, or at least your placeholder for purpose when lacking some other more desirable purpose that indirectly brings more inner peace?

***
Scott wrote: April 17th, 2021, 9:32 pm If I am understanding correctly you are saying a single ant is more like a person than a ball. What about a single blade of grass? What about an apple?

Do you think it's possible that a man-made robot with AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?

Do you think it's possible that a AI-made robot with its own separate AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?

Personally, I might rank a self-driving Tesla as outranking an ant, on the humanity spectrum that is.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 18th, 2021, 10:29 pm In the spectrum that we are dealing with now, living things are organized in their own section of the ranking line, separate from non-living things. And among living things, sentient beings are classified in their own section separate from non-sentient living beings. That's why an ant will be on the same side of humans and closer to humans than an apple. An AI robot is still a non-living thing and non-sentient. As good as a machine that it can be emulating behavior of living things, it is just an inanimate thing.
Can you define what you mean by "inanimate"?

What about a biological virus like the coronavirus? Is that more like a ball or a human? More like a ball or a blade of grass?

What about a highly contagious computer virus driven by an incredibly clever AI? Where would that fall on your spectrum between ball, blade of grass, ant, and human?

Also, while I deeply appreciate your response given, I would still love to know your direct answers to these questions already asked:

Is a single blade of grass more like a human than a self-driving car is?

Is a single apple more like a human than a self-driving car is?

Do you think it's possible that a man-made robot with AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?

Do you think it's possible that an AI-made robot with its own separate AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?



Scott wrote: April 17th, 2021, 9:32 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm What I meant is that you define a set of [external] circumstances for which you can settle in and find fulfillment, away from practical necessity (which necessarily involves the stress of dealing with constraints), and closer to other more intimate needs, such as being surrounded and in more direct contact with natural beauty, or away of people and urban spaces (if you're an introvert), or just the opposite if you're an extrovert. Whatever makes it for you.

[Emphasis added.]
That is not what I mean by inner peace. Perhaps, to avoid confusion, you can stop calling that thing "inner peace" and instead call it "circumstantial satisfaction" or "pleasure and comfort"?
Count Lucanor wrote: April 18th, 2021, 10:29 pm I could have written "one defines a set of [external] circumstances for which one can settle in and find fulfillment".

In any case, I think I explained why "circumstantial satisfaction" or "pleasure and comfort" does not reflect accurately my understanding of what inner peace is. And adding the adjective "external" to the circumstances described does not change a bit the meaning, as explained before.
Why does neither "circumstantial satisfaction" nor "pleasure and comfort" fit what you are describing and (mis-labeling IMO) as "inner peace"?

Would "circumstantial emotional fulfillment" be an accurate label for what you are describing?

Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm Bravery and cowardice, OTOH, are not feelings themselves either, they are abstract concepts about our tendencies to have feelings of fear or lack of it, in given situations
I disagree that bravery (versus cowardice) is about our tendency to have feelings of fear. As I use the words, bravery is not a tendency towards fearlessness or fearfulness. The continuum between extreme bravery and extreme cowardice is a different spectrum than the continuum between feeling extreme fear versus fearlessness, and both of those can be distinguished from the third dimension that represents the third continuum between how dangerous/safe or generally scary/unscary a situation is.

Bravery is not defined by the absence of a feeling of fear. The brave person and the coward can each feel the same amount fear in essentially the same external circumstances (e.g. a same roller coaster or an effectively similar gladiator battle) but because one is brave and is a coward behave very differently.

Inner peace, as I use the phrase, is like bravery in that way. Except where bravery can be seen as an overcoming of, transcendence of, and/or a spiritual freedom from fear, inner peace would be a parallel process but towards discomfort and the (arguably endless) suffering that is unfilled desire.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm One does not have "bravery". There's no concrete quality, power or feeling that gets "affected" by anything. We simply call bravery to our most frequent disposition in terms of fear to given situations in life involving danger or difficulties.
Sure, you can say that; and likewise you could equally the following: One does not have 'inner peace'. There's no concrete quality, power, or feeling that gets "affected" by anything. We simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving discomfort, difficulties, or unfulfilled desire.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm I am talking about something that one has regardless of whether they get what they desire.
I understand that, as you use words like "had" and "has", nobody "has" bravery or inner peace.

In that way, the concepts of bravery, confidence, and inner peace are a bit more abstract than concepts like fear, pleasure, or sexual gratification.

I typically use English and the words "has" and "had" differently such that it absolutely means something to say one person has more bravery than another, but I will do my best to conform my usage of those words to match your usage when communicating with you.

Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm If it means simply going beyond basic conditions of our existence, sort of climbing Maslow's pyramid, while remaining in the immanent world that we all live, then it would be OK to use "transcendence". Fear remains, desire remains, we just learn to control those feelings as we experience life, which involves concrete situations.
I totally agree with this.

It reminds me of what I wrote in this other post in a different topics, which includes in part the following:


I think as humans we can all relate to the endless insatiation you describe, and the frustrating paradox of setting one's goal as to not have targets or goals, to eliminate desire entirely. What works for me is to remember that transcendence is not equal to elimination. Being brave (i.e. transcending fear) is not the same as being fearless; in fact, quite the opposite: without fear, bravery becomes impossible if not meaningless. Likewise, I would not recommend seeking to eliminate desire entirely, namely since that seems impossible. In fact, I suspect it is that impossibility to which Nietzsche referred when he wrote that "to live is to suffer but to survive is to find meaning in the suffering". To be alive is to be at war, war against death and war to fulfill the desires of an insatiable vessel that at some level never thinks the figurative grass is green enough and always wants to chase yet greener grass. The goal thus cannot be to eliminate such endless desire and the endless journey to ever-more new targets and goals created by an insatiable human mind in an insatiable human body. Instead, one can--if one truly wants to--transcend those desires. If desire (and fear, pain, anger, jealousy, etc.) is like water, and the opposite of inner peace is like drowning, then transcendence is like learning to swim, not draining the ocean and getting rid of the water.

Scott wrote:Temptation (and its opposite) cannot even be described without referencing in some way that kind of transcendence, the difference between the true self versus the ego, the urges of the body, or some kind of other false self (i.e. some other feeling that the true self is consciously observing). Dissociation helps some people respect the difference, such as saying, "I notice my body is feeling fear" instead of saying, "I feel fear", or saying, "My body feels comfort in log cabins," or saying, "My body tends to have an anxious fear response in social situations." I find it helps to associate with choices, and by extension that which I can control, rather than uncontrollable feelings. If I choose to go on the treadmill, I have inner peace even though by most other metrics it is a uncomfortable unpleasant miserable endeavor that is tantamount to literal torture.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm]I don't have any trouble with this description. Since I define inner peace as a long-term disposition or attitude towards life, even if it actually ends up being temporary and short, a particular instance of stress, pain, etc., might not be enough to override that disposition. The whole point is that inner peace is achievable, but it can slip out of our hands too.
Strictly speaking, if we cannot "have" bravery and cannot "have" inner peace (since they are both so abstract), then they cannot slip out of hands because they could never be in our hands in the first place.

Nonetheless, I agree that a person can go from being a brave person to a cowardly power or vice versa, and can go from being a person with inner peace to a person without inner peace or vice versa, and can go from being a confident honest person to being a non-confident person or vice versa.

However, all of those traits, qualities, and/or persistent-tending states are categorically different than feelings like fear, pain, or hunger or other qualities highly situational qualities such as wealth all of which are highly contingent on the vicissitudes of circumstance and happenstance.

Personal qualities or traits like bravery, confidence, or inner peace can change or fluctuate, but feelings (e.g. fear, hunger, pain, pleasure, etc.) tend to fluctuate, or at least tend to fluctuate much more.

Personal qualities or traits like bravery, confidence, or inner peace tend to correspond to matters that are within one's control (i.e. one's choices), but in contrast feelings (e.g. fear, hunger, desire, pain, pleasure, etc.) correspond to things that are generally speaking outside of one's control, like the weather, or whether one win's the lottery, or whether one has a log cabin or had a log cabin but then the log cabin burned down and no one is homeless. Sometimes the foundation-like traits such as bravery, confidence, inner peace, and honesty only shine, or shine most, when the external circumstances are the least comfortable and pleasurable. If one's external heaven is a log cabin and one's place where one feels safest and the least fear is inside of a log cabin, it will be easier to see if that person has the qualities of inner peace and bravery once they are deprived of a log cabin, and it will be hardest to tell if they have the traits of inner peace and bravery when in the log cabin. In other words, it's easiest to falsely conflate bravery with fearlessness when one is not feeling much fear and is in a relatively safe situation, but the difference is revealed most clearly in an opposite situation. Likewise, it's easiest to falsely conflate pleasure, comfort, situational satisfaction, and/or circumstantial emotional fulfillment with what I call inner peace when one is in a situation that is pleasurable, comfortable, circumstantially satisfying, and circumstantially emotionally fulfilling, but it is easiest to see the difference in an opposite scenario.

Generally speaking, you can't choose to not feel fear, but at least with the appropriate skills and mindfulness techniques you can choose to be brave and honest, which is part of why the latter tend to be so significantly more persistent.

Generally speaking, you can't choose to not have desire, and you can't choose to be consistently comfortable. In other words, you will generally feel discomfort, pain, and the suffering of unfulfilled desire every single day you are alive no matter what you do and no matter how lucky the external situation seems. But you can--at least with the appropriate skills and mindfulness techniques--have inner peace through it all--the ups and downs of external happenstance--because inner peace, like bravery, confidence, and honesty, is much more related to choice and personality than those uncontrollable fickle feelings like pain, hunger, desire, and pleasure or the external situations one encounters, such as luckily stumbling upon a buffet of food, or unluckily getting lost in a sunny food-less desert through no fault of one's own, or winning the lottery, or having one's log cabin struck by lightening and burned down leaving one homeless and hungry, or the birth of a beloved new baby, or the sudden unexpected death of a dearly beloved family member.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Steve3007 wrote: April 19th, 2021, 10:05 am
Scott wrote:Do you agree?
No, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, and no.

(Were they all supposed to be different ways of phrasing the same question?)
Color-coding your answers as green for agree and red for disagree, I get the following:
[1] It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

[2] It is preferable to live one day with true contentment than live a thousand discontent years.

[3] It is preferable to live honestly in heaven for one day than live in a nightmarish hell for a thousand years.

[4] It is preferable to live spiritually free for one day than to live as a spiritual slave--feeling like a prisoner in one's own body--for a thousand years.

[5] It is preferable to be content than comfortable.

[6] It is preferable to be embrace discomfort than to be a comfort addict.

[7] It is preferable to escape the comfort zone than become its prisoner or slave.

[8] It is preferable to unconditionally love the grass beneath your feet than to always see the grass on the other side as greener, greener meaning more worthy of love or more conducive to true content inner peace (e.g. "once I make a million dollars, then I will finally be happy"; "once I reach my goal weight, then I will finally be content").

[9] It is preferable to live free and die sooner than live longer as a slave, whether a slave to other humans or a slave to addiction, money, or comfort.
Assuming I got that right, do you mind explaining why you disagree with the ones with which you disagree, and what would be your preferred alternative?

For instance, in regard to #5, are you saying that you would rather be comfortable and discontent than content but uncomfortable? If so, how is that not equivalent to being trapped in the comfort zone and/or addicted to comfort?

The nine statements aren't meant to be identical, but for me they are very closely correlated in what they mean and thus for me I agree with all nine. For instance, in the way I look at things, having content inner peace is for me equivalent to being "honest in heaven" and having the opposite of inner peace is equivalent to being in a "nightmarish hell". Of course, that means I believe in a sense a miserable person who has the opposite of inner peace would be in hell no matter how otherwise heavenly their external circumstances are claimed to be--because they carry their hellish misery with them wherever they go. In the way, I would never answer #3 differently than I answered #2 and #1 because the first three are essentially identical in effective meaning to me.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Belindi »

Scott wrote:
My wife will not come outside seeing my shake my fist at the sky, and ask me what I'm doing, only to hear me reply, "I am trying to change the weather!" That won't happen because it's too inconsistent with my philosophy.

I believe in the unconditional acceptance of unchangeable reality.
But what is unchangable varies with the quality and quantity of information. When we arrive at the question 'Nature or nurture?' we should look at as much evidence as we can , with all due courage and tenacity, decide what is a law of nature, and what is culture or prejudice.

Some events have been accepted laws of nature and are now considered to be cultural prejudice. Among such events are those where the men concerned are prejudiced that black men are naturally inferior to white men. And another such events are those where poor people are considered to be natural social inferiors.

To presume that any event , including a weather event, is an unchangeable law of nature can lead to social prejudice, and historically has done so.

The weather must be regarded are potentially man-made and not law of nature. The weather is changing due to man-made climate change which we know is dangerous, and we must act to stop man made climate change which will alter the weather .

Quiescent attitude as personal mental hygiene may be a reasonable strategical attitude where the enemy is too strong to contend with. I endorse reasoned rebellion against status quo. Unless we continually look out for misinformation and greed all societies will regress to uncivilised rule of the strong, greedy, and active.

In an earlier post I quoted Jesus. His endorsing of the kingdom of God within you is not social quiescence ; Jesus came to bring a sword and, as far as we can interpret Jesus and his life, the sword was to be wielded in the cause of Jews and Judaism. I.e. the rule of Jews by Jews and not by the Roman colonialists.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Steve3007 »

Scott wrote:Do you agree?
Steve3007 wrote:No, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, and no.

(Were they all supposed to be different ways of phrasing the same question?)
Scott wrote:Color-coding your answers as green for agree and red for disagree, I get the following:...
I appreciate the effort you've gone to to clarify the meaning of my string of yes's and no's!
Scott wrote:Assuming I got that right, do you mind explaining why you disagree with the ones with which you disagree, and what would be your preferred alternative?
A short initial answer: My reason for not giving 9 yes's or 9 no's was that wordings can be interpreted by different people in different ways. To take the first one:

"It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without."

I interpret that one-day-long life of inner peace as not really any life at all. It sounds too bland. I'd rather take the turmoil and the slings and arrows of my life as it is, and rage, rage against the dying of the light at the end of it.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Can you define what you mean by "inanimate"?
It lacks the autonomous, self-regulating behavior of biological processes. It has not life, no agency, no purpose-driven mechanisms, no metabolism.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm What about a biological virus like the coronavirus? Is that more like a ball or a human? More like a ball or a blade of grass?
Viruses have always been at the frontier between life and non-life. I would put them among living things, but I don't think I can settle that debate.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm What about a highly contagious computer virus driven by an incredibly clever AI? Where would that fall on your spectrum between ball, blade of grass, ant, and human?
Computer viruses are named that way as a mere analogy of biological viruses, but they are just computer programs, algorithms, coded electric impulses in machines, which are still inanimate objects, and certainly not clever.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Also, while I deeply appreciate your response given, I would still love to know your direct answers to these questions already asked:

Is a single blade of grass more like a human than a self-driving car is?

Is a single apple more like a human than a self-driving car is?
It''s an odd comparison, considering the huge differences between the biology of grass, apples and humans. But still, they are biological organisms, unlike cars.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Do you think it's possible that a man-made robot with AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?
No. I guess it would be possible to make a machine so complex and sophisticated as to simulate almost perfectly the behavior of humans, but it would not be real human-like behavior, which implies conscious will, agency and self-regulating processes; it would be just a good imitation of a lifeless machine.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Do you think it's possible that an AI-made robot with its own separate AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?[/i]
Again, no.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Why does neither "circumstantial satisfaction" nor "pleasure and comfort" fit what you are describing and (mis-labeling IMO) as "inner peace"?

Would "circumstantial emotional fulfillment" be an accurate label for what you are describing?
"Circumstantial" sounds to me related to a specific, short-term, temporary situation, such as those related to pleasure and comfort. By definition, you cannot settle for things that have short-term life. One could also think of "circumstantial" in the broader, long-term sense, but I suspect that is not the meaning you pretend my words to convey. We should also not confuse specific pleasure and comfort situations with the long-term steadiness of moments of pleasure and comfort. Such a stable provision of joyful states, which in theory would guarantee avoiding the opposite: a steady provision of stressful and painful states, could well be part of a person's long-term needs, that once satisfied would allow settling and finding long-term fulfillment. I'm not saying this would be all that is necessary, but if one looks at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, having some basic things covered provides a foundation for seeking fulfillment of higher-level needs.

Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm Bravery and cowardice, OTOH, are not feelings themselves either, they are abstract concepts about our tendencies to have feelings of fear or lack of it, in given situations
I disagree that bravery (versus cowardice) is about our tendency to have feelings of fear. As I use the words, bravery is not a tendency towards fearlessness or fearfulness. The continuum between extreme bravery and extreme cowardice is a different spectrum than the continuum between feeling extreme fear versus fearlessness, and both of those can be distinguished from the third dimension that represents the third continuum between how dangerous/safe or generally scary/unscary a situation is.
I should have elaborated a bit more: We simply call bravery to our most frequent disposition in terms of fear to given situations in life involving danger or difficulties...as it is displayed or perceived in our concrete actions, or at least in our potential to act more frequently in one way or another. One can have fear or not. While it remains an intimate, not shared feeling, no one knows, nor will declare that we are brave or coward. As soon as we act in given situations, we then show bravery or cowardice. Some people argue that bravery is not lack of fear, but the will to act despite the feelings of fear, and some will argue that it is the will to act without feelings of fear, despite the obvious risks, that will comply with being brave. In any case, the involved feelings are meaningless without the situations in which the subjects display them.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Bravery is not defined by the absence of a feeling of fear. The brave person and the coward can each feel the same amount fear in essentially the same external circumstances (e.g. a same roller coaster or an effectively similar gladiator battle) but because one is brave and is a coward behave very differently.

Inner peace, as I use the phrase, is like bravery in that way. Except where bravery can be seen as an overcoming of, transcendence of, and/or a spiritual freedom from fear, inner peace would be a parallel process but towards discomfort and the (arguably endless) suffering that is unfilled desire.
If one shows a frequent, consistent disposition to being coward or brave in life situations, then one will be regarded as coward or brave in a long-term sense. There are always the concrete situations and the general concept abstracted from them, and there are consistent and repetitive instances of said concrete situations, as well as the general, abstract concept of that steadiness. Inner peace refers to that steadiness.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Sure, you can say that; and likewise you could equally the following: One does not have 'inner peace'. There's no concrete quality, power, or feeling that gets "affected" by anything.
So far, so good. I don't mind using that language, as long as there is no hypostatization of abstract concepts.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm We simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving discomfort, difficulties, or unfulfilled desire.
That is not my description. Note I didn't make a correlation between feelings (as displayed in concrete acts) and states in life.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm I am talking about something that one has regardless of whether they get what they desire.
I understand that, as you use words like "had" and "has", nobody "has" bravery or inner peace.
Yes, as I said, I don't mind using that language, as long as there is no hypostatization of abstract concepts.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm In that way, the concepts of bravery, confidence, and inner peace are a bit more abstract than concepts like fear, pleasure, or sexual gratification.
If we are not talking about concrete situations, all of them are abstractions. The first group, however, tends to imply the general, abstract concept of the steadiness of such general cases.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm I typically use English and the words "has" and "had" differently such that it absolutely means something to say one person has more bravery than another, but I will do my best to conform my usage of those words to match your usage when communicating with you.
I'm not a native English speaker, but in Spanish, and I suppose in every language, those uses are permitted without denoting the literal meaning of possessing a concrete thing.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm If it means simply going beyond basic conditions of our existence, sort of climbing Maslow's pyramid, while remaining in the immanent world that we all live, then it would be OK to use "transcendence". Fear remains, desire remains, we just learn to control those feelings as we experience life, which involves concrete situations.
I totally agree with this.

It reminds me of what I wrote in this other post in a different topics, which includes in part the following:


I think as humans we can all relate to the endless insatiation you describe, and the frustrating paradox of setting one's goal as to not have targets or goals, to eliminate desire entirely. What works for me is to remember that transcendence is not equal to elimination. Being brave (i.e. transcending fear) is not the same as being fearless; in fact, quite the opposite: without fear, bravery becomes impossible if not meaningless. Likewise, I would not recommend seeking to eliminate desire entirely, namely since that seems impossible. In fact, I suspect it is that impossibility to which Nietzsche referred when he wrote that "to live is to suffer but to survive is to find meaning in the suffering". To be alive is to be at war, war against death and war to fulfill the desires of an insatiable vessel that at some level never thinks the figurative grass is green enough and always wants to chase yet greener grass. The goal thus cannot be to eliminate such endless desire and the endless journey to ever-more new targets and goals created by an insatiable human mind in an insatiable human body. Instead, one can--if one truly wants to--transcend those desires. If desire (and fear, pain, anger, jealousy, etc.) is like water, and the opposite of inner peace is like drowning, then transcendence is like learning to swim, not draining the ocean and getting rid of the water.
Learning to swim is learning to have control of your body immersed in an environment with properties one cannot change easily. There are several levels of swimming, but all would rely in some basic skills covered, as learning to float, controlling your breathing, etc., and then one can develop different styles, from the most basic, to the most sophisticated. Some will focus on speed and some others on resistance, some on practical reasons, and some others for pure fun, some for selfish reasons, some others for altruistic ones. Some will swim downstream and some others will find joy in swimming upstream. As a metaphor of life, it could work. All lives are different, we all navigate different waters, have different skills and find meaning in different interests and goals.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm]I don't have any trouble with this description. Since I define inner peace as a long-term disposition or attitude towards life, even if it actually ends up being temporary and short, a particular instance of stress, pain, etc., might not be enough to override that disposition. The whole point is that inner peace is achievable, but it can slip out of our hands too.
Strictly speaking, if we cannot "have" bravery and cannot "have" inner peace (since they are both so abstract), then they cannot slip out of hands because they could never be in our hands in the first place.
The two concepts don't seem to relate. I can think of "having" inner peace in the sense of achieving a state of mind related to the long-term circumstances in one's life, but I cannot think of "having" bravery in the same sense. Inner peace is a point in the journey, bravery is a skill that might be helpful in some points of the journey.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm However, all of those traits, qualities, and/or persistent-tending states are categorically different than feelings like fear, pain, or hunger or other qualities highly situational qualities such as wealth all of which are highly contingent on the vicissitudes of circumstance and happenstance.
Everything is situational, we are all immersed in some waters, and just by being there our inner qualities, necessary for dealing with them, become visible. Actually, they are shaped, developed, when dealing with that environment.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Personal qualities or traits like bravery, confidence, or inner peace can change or fluctuate, but feelings (e.g. fear, hunger, pain, pleasure, etc.) tend to fluctuate, or at least tend to fluctuate much more.

Personal qualities or traits like bravery, confidence, or inner peace tend to correspond to matters that are within one's control (i.e. one's choices), but in contrast feelings (e.g. fear, hunger, desire, pain, pleasure, etc.) correspond to things that are generally speaking outside of one's control, like the weather, or whether one win's the lottery, or whether one has a log cabin or had a log cabin but then the log cabin burned down and no one is homeless.
Again, I don't see inner peace as a personal quality. In any case, neither bravery, confidence, etc., are qualities that are fully, not even extensively, within our control. They are typical traits of our characters that are shaped in the environments we are raised. Of course, as all traits in our characters, we can work on them. I was very shy and introverted as a kid, for reasons that I understood later in life and had to do with particular circumstances in which I was raised, but I worked on it and was able to overcome my shyness, even though I still remain more or less introverted. All of this meant having to deal with stressful situations and involved working on feelings of fear, confidence, etc., which would denote bravery, but this is not that much different from controlling your hunger, desires, pains, pleasures, etc.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Generally speaking, you can't choose to not feel fear, but at least with the appropriate skills and mindfulness techniques you can choose to be brave and honest, which is part of why the latter tend to be so significantly more persistent.
I still see bravery in relation to fear, so I cannot agree.
Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Generally speaking, you can't choose to not have desire, and you can't choose to be consistently comfortable. In other words, you will generally feel discomfort, pain, and the suffering of unfulfilled desire every single day you are alive no matter what you do and no matter how lucky the external situation seems. But you can--at least with the appropriate skills and mindfulness techniques--have inner peace through it all--the ups and downs of external happenstance--because inner peace, like bravery, confidence, and honesty, is much more related to choice and personality than those uncontrollable fickle feelings like pain, hunger, desire, and pleasure or the external situations one encounters, such as luckily stumbling upon a buffet of food, or unluckily getting lost in a sunny food-less desert through no fault of one's own, or winning the lottery, or having one's log cabin struck by lightening and burned down leaving one homeless and hungry, or the birth of a beloved new baby, or the sudden unexpected death of a dearly beloved family member.
I cannot agree, because I don't see, as you do, a separation between inner life and outer life. It is one life in a continuum of intimate, subjective states, intertwined with the objective reality in which we are immersed. Any mindfulness, as any process of introspection, will require your consciousness to be aware of the waters in which you are adjusting your own self to float, swim and survive.
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

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Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Can you define what you mean by "inanimate"?
Count Lucanor wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 10:42 pm It lacks the autonomous, self-regulating behavior of biological processes. It has not life, no agency, no purpose-driven mechanisms, no metabolism.
That's a useful definition of inanimate. Thank you for sharing.

In this case, a self-driving car seems to be at least partly if not fully animate, especially if it is programmed to go to the fueling station or electric charger and re-charge itself like a Roomba does.

Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Do you think it's possible that a man-made robot with AI could ever be more like a human than an ant is human-like?
Count Lucanor wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 10:42 pm No. I guess it would be possible to make a machine so complex and sophisticated as to simulate almost perfectly the behavior of humans, but it would not be real human-like behavior, which implies conscious will, agency and self-regulating processes; it would be just a good imitation of a lifeless machine.
What if the AI-building robots accidentally made an atom-by-atom replica of an ant?

Would the coincidental artificial ant, which would be atomically indistinguishable from a natural ant, be more human-like than a blade of grass is human-like? In other words, which would be closer to being a human: the artificial ant or a blade of grass?


Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm Why does neither "circumstantial satisfaction" nor "pleasure and comfort" fit what you are describing and (mis-labeling IMO) as "inner peace"?

Would "circumstantial emotional fulfillment" be an accurate label for what you are describing?
Count Lucanor wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 10:42 pm "Circumstantial" sounds to me related to a specific, short-term, temporary situation, such as those related to pleasure and comfort. By definition, you cannot settle for things that have short-term life. One could also think of "circumstantial" in the broader, long-term sense, but I suspect that is not the meaning you pretend my words to convey. We should also not confuse specific pleasure and comfort situations with the long-term steadiness of moments of pleasure and comfort. Such a stable provision of joyful states, which in theory would guarantee avoiding the opposite: a steady provision of stressful and painful states, could well be part of a person's long-term needs, that once satisfied would allow settling and finding long-term fulfillment. I'm not saying this would be all that is necessary, but if one looks at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, having some basic things covered provides a foundation for seeking fulfillment of higher-level needs.
Would "circumstantial emotional fulfillment associated with consistent long-term circumstances" be a roughly accurate label or definition for what you labeling (mis-labeling, in my opinion) as "inner peace"?


Scott wrote: April 21st, 2021, 4:57 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm Bravery and cowardice, OTOH, are not feelings themselves either, they are abstract concepts about our tendencies to have feelings of fear or lack of it, in given situations
I disagree that bravery (versus cowardice) is about our tendency to have feelings of fear. As I use the words, bravery is not a tendency towards fearlessness or fearfulness. The continuum between extreme bravery and extreme cowardice is a different spectrum than the continuum between feeling extreme fear versus fearlessness, and both of those can be distinguished from the third dimension that represents the third continuum between how dangerous/safe or generally scary/unscary a situation is.
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm Some people argue that bravery is not lack of fear, but the will to act despite the feelings of fear,
That is how I use the word, and in my anecdotal personal and possibly misleading experience that is how I think most people I know use the word. But words are equivocal and tend to vary in common usage by time and location. For instance, a British friend I play DnD with told me that in the UK they use the word quite in the exact opposite way we use it in the USA. I think one cannot reasonably argue about what a word, symbol, or piece of art means, at least not with the speaker/artist, since the words or art mean whatever the person who spoke them or made it intended to convey by the words or art.

Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm In any case, the involved feelings are meaningless without the situations in which the subjects display them.
I don't necessarily disagree. Nonetheless, feelings are not the only factor to consider. Choices are another factor.

I suspect bravery has more to do with personality and choices, including what kind of choices one tends to make. Fear is just a feeling, like hunger or pain. However, the interplay between fear and bravery can have a long-term persistent affect on one's feelings, as a feedback loop of sorts. Obsessive fears, especially when approached with cowardice, can have a way of becoming self-fulfilling or at least of making matters scarier or more dangerous. An example is someone who drowns because they are panicking. Another example is a jealous possessive person in a romantic relationship whose possessive jealousy ruins the relationship and pushes the other party to leave or cheat.

As I use the word, to conflate fearlessness with bravery would be like conflating a lack of dietary self-discipline with hunger. Dietary self-discipline is not a matter of not feeling hunger; rather, the latter (feeling huger) is simply what most commonly puts the former (dietary self-discipline) to the test. But the interplay between the two can make distinguishing the two in practice more difficult, such as with feedback loops. For instance, someone who overeats then thereby typically causes their regular appetite or sugar addiction to increase, much like an alcoholic grows a stronger urge to habitually drink yet more alcohol by drinking more alcohol, a runaway process making it easy to falsely conflate the feeling or urge with the slave-like obedience to the feeling or urge. The two different things can often create a feedback loop with each other.

Count Lucanor wrote:One does not have "bravery". There's no concrete quality, power or feeling that gets "affected" by anything. We simply call bravery to our most frequent disposition in terms of fear to given situations in life involving danger or difficulties.
Scott wrote:We simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving discomfort, difficulties, or unfulfilled desire.
Count Lucanor wrote: That is not my description. Note I didn't make a correlation between feelings (as displayed in concrete acts) and states in life.
I am not sure what you mean here.

Nonetheless, perhaps this modified version resolves your concern:

We can simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving poverty and difficulties.

Scott wrote:Strictly speaking, if we cannot "have" bravery and cannot "have" inner peace (since they are both so abstract), then they cannot slip out of hands because they could never be in our hands in the first place.
Count Lucanor wrote: The two concepts don't seem to relate. I can think of "having" inner peace in the sense of achieving a state of mind related to the long-term circumstances in one's life, but I cannot think of "having" bravery in the same sense. Inner peace is a point in the journey, bravery is a skill that might be helpful in some points of the journey.
The two concepts don't seem to relate as you use the phrase "inner peace". In other words, you use the phrase "inner peace" to refer to something different than that to which I use the phrase to refer, and the concept to which you use that label to refer does not relate to bravery in the way I described. I fully agree with you about that.

However, in contrast, in the way I use the phrase inner peace, it does (I believe) relate to bravery in the way I've described, and there are significant parallels between bravery and inner peace.

As I use the terms, I would say that roughly speaking bravery is to fear what inner peace is to unfulfilled desire (i.e. suffering).

For the same reason, as I use the terms, bravery is to fearlessness (a futile goal IMO) what inner peace is to desirelessness (another futile goal IMO).
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Steve3007 wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 5:52 am "It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without."

I interpret that one-day-long life of inner peace as not really any life at all. It sounds too bland. I'd rather take the turmoil and the slings and arrows of my life as it is, and rage, rage against the dying of the light at the end of it.
Fair enough, but I would argue that the way you describe embracing turmoil and the slings and arrows of life is symptomatic of inner peace and therefore you cheated. :lol:
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Belindi wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 3:59 am Scott wrote:
Scott wrote:My wife will not come outside seeing my shake my fist at the sky, and ask me what I'm doing, only to hear me reply, "I am trying to change the weather!" That won't happen because it's too inconsistent with my philosophy.

I believe in the unconditional acceptance of unchangeable reality.
But what is unchangable varies with the quality and quantity of information. When we arrive at the question 'Nature or nurture?' we should look at as much evidence as we can , with all due courage and tenacity, decide what is a law of nature, and what is culture or prejudice.

Some events have been accepted laws of nature and are now considered to be cultural prejudice. Among such events are those where the men concerned are prejudiced that black men are naturally inferior to white men. And another such events are those where poor people are considered to be natural social inferiors.

To presume that any event , including a weather event, is an unchangeable law of nature can lead to social prejudice, and historically has done so.

The weather must be regarded are potentially man-made and not law of nature. The weather is changing due to man-made climate change which we know is dangerous, and we must act to stop man made climate change which will alter the weather .
I agree that something that is considered as unchangeable can be revealed as changeable or vice versa.

Causal determinism would suggest that all reality is technically unchangeable, and thus maybe that all choice and perceived change is illusionary, dependent in part on ignorance.

When making future-oriented choices we have to deal with ignorance, meaning the fact that we aren't omniscient, so we don't know what can be changed (if anything) and what the actual consequences of a choice will be.

For that reason, I am fond of the phrase "do my best".

Even though there is no try in my philosophy, there is the acceptance of ignorance the concept of doing my best. I only take responsibility and only for my controllable intentions and choices, not genuinely unintended consequences or anything out of my control.

If I intend to murder someone, but fail, to me the intention is possibly the only thing that really matters anyway.

Likewise, if I do my best to charitably save someone's life, but fail, then I do not frame that as me trying to do something I can't and failing.

The folly would be in trying to change something you know or--genuinely believe to know--is unchangeable. In other words, that would be trying to control that which you know you cannot control.

I never try; I only choose.

In practice, the most familiar example of accepting unchangeable reality might be accepting the past.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

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Scott wrote:Fair enough, but I would argue that the way you describe embracing turmoil and the slings and arrows of life is symptomatic of inner peace and therefore you cheated. :lol:
:lol: . It's starting to sound like the answers to the questions in the OP should be "yes" by definition, in a begging the question kind of way, because it sound like you're defining "inner peace" as that which is preferable to one. So if I opt for the slings and arrows, that means they're preferable to me, so they, for me, constitute inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm That's a useful definition of inanimate. Thank you for sharing.

In this case, a self-driving car seems to be at least partly if not fully animate, especially if it is programmed to go to the fueling station or electric charger and re-charge itself like a Roomba does.
Being animate of inanimate implies discrete states, either they are or they aren't. A partly animate thing would be comparable to a partly pregnant woman. It is not possible.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm What if the AI-building robots accidentally made an atom-by-atom replica of an ant?
Then it would have made an actual ant, not a replica.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm Would the coincidental artificial ant, which would be atomically indistinguishable from a natural ant, be more human-like than a blade of grass is human-like? In other words, which would be closer to being a human: the artificial ant or a blade of grass?
If it's an ant, it's an ant.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm Would "circumstantial emotional fulfillment associated with consistent long-term circumstances" be a roughly accurate label or definition for what you labeling (mis-labeling, in my opinion) as "inner peace"?
Yes, I guess it is a roughly accurate label.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm Some people argue that bravery is not lack of fear, but the will to act despite the feelings of fear,
That is how I use the word, and in my anecdotal personal and possibly misleading experience that is how I think most people I know use the word. But words are equivocal and tend to vary in common usage by time and location. For instance, a British friend I play DnD with told me that in the UK they use the word quite in the exact opposite way we use it in the USA. I think one cannot reasonably argue about what a word, symbol, or piece of art means, at least not with the speaker/artist, since the words or art mean whatever the person who spoke them or made it intended to convey by the words or art.
I don't have much of a problem with people calling bravery either to an attitude that reflects fearlessness, or that reflects a will to act despite the feelings of fear.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: April 13th, 2021, 9:24 pm In any case, the involved feelings are meaningless without the situations in which the subjects display them.
I don't necessarily disagree. Nonetheless, feelings are not the only factor to consider. Choices are another factor.
I agree, they surely are. Feelings might affect our choices, which are part of situations in which subjects act.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm As I use the word, to conflate fearlessness with bravery would be like conflating a lack of dietary self-discipline with hunger. Dietary self-discipline is not a matter of not feeling hunger; rather, the latter (feeling huger) is simply what most commonly puts the former (dietary self-discipline) to the test. But the interplay between the two can make distinguishing the two in practice more difficult, such as with feedback loops. For instance, someone who overeats then thereby typically causes their regular appetite or sugar addiction to increase, much like an alcoholic grows a stronger urge to habitually drink yet more alcohol by drinking more alcohol, a runaway process making it easy to falsely conflate the feeling or urge with the slave-like obedience to the feeling or urge. The two different things can often create a feedback loop with each other.
I don't think this is an appropriate comparison, I don't understand it. Hunger and eating habits don't seem to have the same relation than fearlessness and bravery.

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm
Scott wrote:We simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving discomfort, difficulties, or unfulfilled desire.
Count Lucanor wrote: That is not my description. Note I didn't make a correlation between feelings (as displayed in concrete acts) and states in life.
I am not sure what you mean here.

Nonetheless, perhaps this modified version resolves your concern:

We can simply call "inner peace" to our most frequent disposition in terms of discomfort and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) to given situations in life involving poverty and difficulties.
None of this reflects my position and what I have said. I never implied that inner peace necessarily involved something to do with feelings of comfort or discomfort, poverty or wealth, etc. I said that in every person's life, there can be desired long-term states and at a given point, a balance between the desired states and the states actually achieved, and this could give them inner peace. If a person finds that comfort is a basic requirement in their life, then most likely it will be in the path of their search for inner peace. Doesn't mean everyone's needs are the same, nor their search for inner peace.

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: The two concepts don't seem to relate. I can think of "having" inner peace in the sense of achieving a state of mind related to the long-term circumstances in one's life, but I cannot think of "having" bravery in the same sense. Inner peace is a point in the journey, bravery is a skill that might be helpful in some points of the journey.
The two concepts don't seem to relate as you use the phrase "inner peace". In other words, you use the phrase "inner peace" to refer to something different than that to which I use the phrase to refer, and the concept to which you use that label to refer does not relate to bravery in the way I described. I fully agree with you about that.
My point was that inner peace was more like a state of mind, a way of seeing life, but bravery is not.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm However, in contrast, in the way I use the phrase inner peace, it does (I believe) relate to bravery in the way I've described, and there are significant parallels between bravery and inner peace.
I don't mind acknowledging that to reach a state of mind of inner peace, one must deal with life's situations that may require courage, bravery, such as having to overcome difficulties.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm As I use the terms, I would say that roughly speaking bravery is to fear what inner peace is to unfulfilled desire (i.e. suffering).
I don't mind that description either. One could show bravery in the presence of fear and one could have inner peace (a long term commitment) in the presence of short-term stressful situations.
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm For the same reason, as I use the terms, bravery is to fearlessness (a futile goal IMO) what inner peace is to desirelessness (another futile goal IMO).
I see an obvious relationship between the terms fearlessness and bravery, so that in many cases they could be used as synonyms. One never stops having desires, but if by desirelessness we mean an state of such fulfillment that one can keep going without major ambitions in life, perhaps there's also a relationship between the terms inner peace and desirelessness, but not synonymy.
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Belindi »

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:37 pm
Belindi wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 3:59 am Scott wrote:
Scott wrote:My wife will not come outside seeing my shake my fist at the sky, and ask me what I'm doing, only to hear me reply, "I am trying to change the weather!" That won't happen because it's too inconsistent with my philosophy.

I believe in the unconditional acceptance of unchangeable reality.
But what is unchangable varies with the quality and quantity of information. When we arrive at the question 'Nature or nurture?' we should look at as much evidence as we can , with all due courage and tenacity, decide what is a law of nature, and what is culture or prejudice.

Some events have been accepted laws of nature and are now considered to be cultural prejudice. Among such events are those where the men concerned are prejudiced that black men are naturally inferior to white men. And another such events are those where poor people are considered to be natural social inferiors.

To presume that any event , including a weather event, is an unchangeable law of nature can lead to social prejudice, and historically has done so.

The weather must be regarded are potentially man-made and not law of nature. The weather is changing due to man-made climate change which we know is dangerous, and we must act to stop man made climate change which will alter the weather .
I agree that something that is considered as unchangeable can be revealed as changeable or vice versa.

Causal determinism would suggest that all reality is technically unchangeable, and thus maybe that all choice and perceived change is illusionary, dependent in part on ignorance.

When making future-oriented choices we have to deal with ignorance, meaning the fact that we aren't omniscient, so we don't know what can be changed (if anything) and what the actual consequences of a choice will be.

For that reason, I am fond of the phrase "do my best".

Even though there is no try in my philosophy, there is the acceptance of ignorance the concept of doing my best. I only take responsibility and only for my controllable intentions and choices, not genuinely unintended consequences or anything out of my control.

If I intend to murder someone, but fail, to me the intention is possibly the only thing that really matters anyway.

Likewise, if I do my best to charitably save someone's life, but fail, then I do not frame that as me trying to do something I can't and failing.

The folly would be in trying to change something you know or--genuinely believe to know--is unchangeable. In other words, that would be trying to control that which you know you cannot control.

I never try; I only choose.

In practice, the most familiar example of accepting unchangeable reality might be accepting the past.
If I intend to murder someone, but fail, to me the intention is possibly the only thing that really matters anyway.
Intention is probably a main key to inner peace, what it is and what to do to attain it without losing authenticity. I mean intention is the key to living a good life. Inner peace is a transient by-product of intention.

Individuals vary as to how they are able to intend. Count Lucanor and you, Scott, have debated animate and inanimate. I think animate and inanimate differ only according to qualia as those affect the subject which is a stone, an ant, or a human being. I guess we will never know what qualia an ant can experience, far less a stone, but we can guess.

Some human individuals are less able than others to empathise with others' qualia; a small child attributes qualia to dolls that look like people or animals so the small child's sympathy may be strong but her empathy is immature. Intentions depend on information available which places more moral responsibility and demand for courage on the shoulders of the well informed i.e. the strong. The strong, well informed human individuals can intend on behalf of others more than can the weak and ignorant. It follows that good intentions are all the better intentions when they are directed towards others.

Inner peace is best cultivated, like a good night's sleep, to recreate good intentions and not with the intention of having fun. There is a lot of work to be done.

I am not so sure about accepting the past. We revise history in the light of increased information, and revision affects the stories we tell ourselves about our personal pasts.

I agree about the value of living in the 'present'. However it is better also to set aside some time and energy for reviewing the past and predicting the future whilst always regarding these activities as best guesses.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm That's a useful definition of inanimate. Thank you for sharing.

In this case, a self-driving car seems to be at least partly if not fully animate, especially if it is programmed to go to the fueling station or electric charger and re-charge itself like a Roomba does.
Being animate of inanimate implies discrete states, either they are or they aren't.
This may point to a fundamental difference in our philosophy and form of communication. As I see it, concepts and conceptualizations are fundamentally binary, such that conceptually a thing (meaning a concept) is either X or is not X, regardless of what X is. If X is tall, then a thing is either tall or not tall. If X is blue, then a thing is either blue or not blue. In practice, I believe concrete reality is never binary (figuratively black-and-white) in that way--there is not such thing as discreet states in concrete reality--but instead only various shades of gray making up holistic reality without the pixelating borders of conceptualization. It's merely in conceptualization that we create conceptual and often arbitrary borders and categories for various figurative shades of gray into 'black', 'white', and 'gray'.

In other words, I don't be the perfections implied by conceptualization exist in concrete reality. For example, we can categorize real objects as being 'spherical' or 'not spherical' but in true concrete reality, there are no perfect spheres, or perfect anythings. These platonic ideals, in my belief, are fictions of conceptualization.

Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm A partly animate thing would be comparable to a partly pregnant woman. It is not possible.
I believe a collection of arguments about abortion show an opposite perspective may be more accurate, including debates about things like the Plan B Pill.

I see no justification or sound argument at all to support the idea that life or animacy is black-and-white, where suddenly in an infinitesimal instant lifeless/inanimate material instantly goes from being totally 100% unalive/inanimate to 100% totally alive/animate.

Even for adult humans, it's not the case; hence why I think there is great wisdom and truth in the following sentence I've heard many say: Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives.

A similar sentiment goes like this: The important thing is not how many years are in your life but how much life is in your years.

It might be true that a fertilized egg is more alive/animate than a non-fertilized egg or a single sperm cell, or that a one-month old human embryo (counting from time of conception) is more alive than a zygote, or a crying already born human baby may be more alive/animate than a one-month old human embryo (counting from time of conception).

I see no evidence that these kinds of things can be accurately divided in a black-and-white way.

I think a better analogy may be age of consent laws, such as how in one jurisdiction it could be the case that a day before someone's 18th birthday (when the person is 17 years, 364 days old, counting from time of birth) the person is considered 100% unable to consent, and then two days later is considered totally able to consent. The idea of discreet states is a symptom of conceptualization, not reality itself. As such, the exact conceptual borders between the black-states and the white-states tend to be arbitrary and controversial, since reality is actually a continuum of dancing grays.



Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm What if the AI-building robots accidentally made an atom-by-atom replica of an ant?
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm Then it would have made an actual ant, not a replica.
So then you agree that human-made AI machines can make living and animate creatures?

Instead of accidentally making an ant (not by purposely copying nature but by pure happenstance), we could easily imagine the AI instead makes something that is very similar to an atom-by-atom ant, but is even more intelligent with even more features, such as having 12 legs and WiFi connectivity, an ant-like Superant.

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm As I use the word, to conflate fearlessness with bravery would be like conflating a lack of dietary self-discipline with hunger. Dietary self-discipline is not a matter of not feeling hunger; rather, the latter (feeling huger) is simply what most commonly puts the former (dietary self-discipline) to the test. But the interplay between the two can make distinguishing the two in practice more difficult, such as with feedback loops. For instance, someone who overeats then thereby typically causes their regular appetite or sugar addiction to increase, much like an alcoholic grows a stronger urge to habitually drink yet more alcohol by drinking more alcohol, a runaway process making it easy to falsely conflate the feeling or urge with the slave-like obedience to the feeling or urge. The two different things can often create a feedback loop with each other.
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm I don't think this is an appropriate comparison, I don't understand it. Hunger and eating habits don't seem to have the same relation than fearlessness and bravery.
Perhaps I can explain the analogy better like this:

Dietary self-discipline is to hunger as bravery is to fear.

Dietary self-discipline is to choosing not to eat despite feeling hunger as bravery is to choosing to do a scary thing despite feeling fear.

Hunger, fear, and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) are all feelings, but also manifest as urges. Hunger may urge someone to eat, fear may urge someone to not do a scary thing, and the feeling that is unfulfilled desire (i.e. suffering) may urge someone to chase the desired thing in some way (e.g. trying to buy an expensive car one covets).

Needless to say, a person is not their feelings, and we have many words that describe the kinds of people and personality traits who best exemplify that fact. I like the terms self-discipline or spiritual freedom. In that sense, one might describe a coward as somebody who behaves like a slave to fear, or an active alcoholic as a slave to the urge to drink, or as a prisoner to their addiction. The same can be said of food addiction, with obesity and food addiction being among the highest documented causes of death in some countries.

Addiction to comfort is arguably the most fundamental of all addictions. Even the textbook stereotypical alcoholic is presumably seeking comfort from the drink. So the opposite of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) may be the prison that is the comfort zone.

We aren't our feeling, but it can be hard to be ourselves when we falsely identify with our feelings or otherwise make false idols of those feelings.

Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm As I use the terms, I would say that roughly speaking bravery is to fear what inner peace is to unfulfilled desire (i.e. suffering).
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm I don't mind that description either. One could show bravery in the presence of fear and one could have inner peace (a long term commitment) in the presence of short-term stressful situations.
I agree.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by popeye1945 »

Hi Scot,
Yes, it is preferable to live but one day with inner peace than a thousand years without it, assuming in that thousand years you would not experience inner peace. Our identities are a sum of past experiences and experiences in the present, we otherwise have no identity. From the moment we are born into this world as that which experiences but are otherwise anonymous, experience is everything to consciousness.
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Count Lucanor
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Re: It is preferable to live one day with inner peace than a thousand years without.

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm Being animate of inanimate implies discrete states, either they are or they aren't.
This may point to a fundamental difference in our philosophy and form of communication. As I see it, concepts and conceptualizations are fundamentally binary, such that conceptually a thing (meaning a concept) is either X or is not X, regardless of what X is. If X is tall, then a thing is either tall or not tall. If X is blue, then a thing is either blue or not blue. In practice, I believe concrete reality is never binary (figuratively black-and-white) in that way--there is not such thing as discreet states in concrete reality--but instead only various shades of gray making up holistic reality without the pixelating borders of conceptualization. It's merely in conceptualization that we create conceptual and often arbitrary borders and categories for various figurative shades of gray into 'black', 'white', and 'gray'.
I never said everything has discrete states. The properties of some things simply cannot be measured in grades, such as being pregnant, being a male, being a mammal, being inanimate, being pregnant, etc. Other things can, and height is one of them, so it makes sense to say that someone is 1.78 meters tall and another one is 1.55 meters tall. It doesn't make sense to talk about a 0.5 mammal or a 0.75 pregnant woman or a partly inanimate object. One could talk about levels of progress or development, such as being in the third trimester of pregnancy, or being at some stage of development in mammalian physiology, etc., but that refers to the process something is going through, not the property of the thing itself.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm In other words, I don't be the perfections implied by conceptualization exist in concrete reality. For example, we can categorize real objects as being 'spherical' or 'not spherical' but in true concrete reality, there are no perfect spheres, or perfect anythings. These platonic ideals, in my belief, are fictions of conceptualization.
Nothing in real life is identical to its abstract concept, but relations between real things and between abstract concepts are preserved. The animate/inanimate properties, whether they refer to concrete things or their abstract concepts, are preserved. There's no middle degree between the animate and inanimate properties, or between pregnant/non-pregnant/ mammal/non-mammal, etc. And of course, no middle degree between spherical/non-spherical, but adding the adjective "perfect" leads to confusion, since perfection does seem to have degrees, and things can be "almost perfect" or in other levels of perfection. Can a woman's pregnancy be in some point along the spectrum of perfection? Can a thing be "perfectly" non-living (inanimate)? Doesn't make much sense.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm A partly animate thing would be comparable to a partly pregnant woman. It is not possible.
I believe a collection of arguments about abortion show an opposite perspective may be more accurate, including debates about things like the Plan B Pill.
No, you're confusing the level of development of the woman's pregnancy (a process in itself) with the property of the women being pregnant.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm I see no justification or sound argument at all to support the idea that life or animacy is black-and-white, where suddenly in an infinitesimal instant lifeless/inanimate material instantly goes from being totally 100% unalive/inanimate to 100% totally alive/animate.
Biology has pretty solid definition of what is life and what is not, and there's no "in-between". I don't think there's any controversy about that.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm Even for adult humans, it's not the case; hence why I think there is great wisdom and truth in the following sentence I've heard many say: Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives.

A similar sentiment goes like this: The important thing is not how many years are in your life but how much life is in your years.
I understand this as having to do with life's experiences, not with the biological concept of life and non-life.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm It might be true that a fertilized egg is more alive/animate than a non-fertilized egg or a single sperm cell, or that a one-month old human embryo (counting from time of conception) is more alive than a zygote, or a crying already born human baby may be more alive/animate than a one-month old human embryo (counting from time of conception).
I don't thing an egg, fertilized or not, is considered an inanimate object.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm I see no evidence that these kinds of things can be accurately divided in a black-and-white way.
There's plenty of evidence in biological sciences. Not even a controversy there.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm I think a better analogy may be age of consent laws, such as how in one jurisdiction it could be the case that a day before someone's 18th birthday (when the person is 17 years, 364 days old, counting from time of birth) the person is considered 100% unable to consent, and then two days later is considered totally able to consent. The idea of discreet states is a symptom of conceptualization, not reality itself. As such, the exact conceptual borders between the black-states and the white-states tend to be arbitrary and controversial, since reality is actually a continuum of dancing grays.
Since human psychology and social life are so complex, since there's so much diversity, variations among individuals, precise definitions of people's characteristics and behaviors according to given parameters are impossible, so for practical purposes average estimations are used and conventions set, and then people judged against the convention (which is not unfair at all, given that conventions [laws] are public and people are aware they can be made accountable on that basis). So the age of consent is merely a rule, not a stated property of individuals. Sometimes, given special circumstances, it is made too obvious that the criteria for setting the rule doesn't apply to a particular case, such as when a minor is judged as an adult because of the type of crime committed.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm
Scott wrote: April 24th, 2021, 3:16 pm What if the AI-building robots accidentally made an atom-by-atom replica of an ant?
Count Lucanor wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm Then it would have made an actual ant, not a replica.
So then you agree that human-made AI machines can make living and animate creatures?
No, I cannot agree. I never said anything like that. I only said that in the hypothetical scenario that you proposed (which I don't think is possible), if a robot made something identical to an ant, it would be an ant by its own right. Robots are simply way too far from achieving such a thing and they are most likely completely unable to do so, as the current state of technology shows.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm Instead of accidentally making an ant (not by purposely copying nature but by pure happenstance), we could easily imagine the AI instead makes something that is very similar to an atom-by-atom ant, but is even more intelligent with even more features, such as having 12 legs and WiFi connectivity, an ant-like Superant.
Yeah, we can imagine all sorts of things. It's called science-fiction.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm Hunger, fear, and suffering (i.e. unfulfilled desire) are all feelings, but also manifest as urges. Hunger may urge someone to eat, fear may urge someone to not do a scary thing, and the feeling that is unfulfilled desire (i.e. suffering) may urge someone to chase the desired thing in some way (e.g. trying to buy an expensive car one covets).
I'm not sure I can agree with fear being an urge. You're conflating urges with emotions. Fear is an emotion, not an urge, like hunger, thirst and sexual desire. That emotions drive us to do things doesn't mean the emotions themselves are urges.
Scott wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 7:40 pm Needless to say, a person is not their feelings, and we have many words that describe the kinds of people and personality traits who best exemplify that fact. I like the terms self-discipline or spiritual freedom. In that sense, one might describe a coward as somebody who behaves like a slave to fear, or an active alcoholic as a slave to the urge to drink, or as a prisoner to their addiction. The same can be said of food addiction, with obesity and food addiction being among the highest documented causes of death in some countries.

Addiction to comfort is arguably the most fundamental of all addictions. Even the textbook stereotypical alcoholic is presumably seeking comfort from the drink. So the opposite of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) may be the prison that is the comfort zone.
I could agree with the description of cowards, alcoholics and addicts, although you tend to use some metaphorical figures such as "being a slave of" which do not clarify the concepts, but make it a bit obscure. Rather than saying that a coward behaves like a slave to fear, I would say that a coward, motivated by the presence of fear, chooses the lower risk/impact scenario over the higher risk/impact scenario. A brave person, on the contrary, despite the presence of fear, and motivated by other feelings, chooses the higher risk/impact scenario. In these cases, people maintain the control of their actions, they can't hardly be said to be "slaves". About addicts, the motivating mechanism is pleasure (an emotion), but what is to choose here appears to be between short-term benefit with long-term harm or long-term benefit with short-term deprivation. Not sure about comfort being treated the same as these other concepts and I would not conflate it with pleasure, as you seem to suggest. It's a more complex state of being and moldable to diverse circumstances, includes an array of feelings and also practical reasoning, so I wouldn't so easily call someone an addict to comfort just because comfort is a key part of their lives. When you look at it, everyone is seeking some sort of comfort, even the person that voluntarily deprives himself of resources to focus on a supposedly interior world, it could be said that they are just looking for inner comfort.
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
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