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Thread: Can to much philosophy ruin a person?

  1. #1 Can to much philosophy ruin a person? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    When I was young I was goodhearted, innocent, polite and had high morals and ethics. I have always been naturally curious about the world, peoples behaviour and the big questions in life. And the more answers I got from life the better it felt, and i developed a hunger for knowledge (On a philosophical level)

    When I got older, one of the first lessons I took to heart is the one in my signature. I decided I wanted to know the truth despite the pain it brought - truth over comfort and an unfiltered view of the world. The older I got the more lies I uncovered and the less respect I developed for my fellow man due to their immaturity and stupidity. (Examples being grown ups fighting over trivial things despite having a good life, stupidity being people living as willing slaves under dogma like religion)

    Ive spent more time on daydreaming and philosophizing than on anything else. On everything from small to big. I consider myself perceptive and wise, but by NO MEANS do I consider myself smart ( I suck at math and practical stuff). Some days to the extreme Ive spent hours thinking about simple moral dilemmas.

    One thing I take pride in - that started early in my life, was distancing myself from my own personality and body. Considering it an object - ever observing and learning using my own body and mind as an experiment. One example was when I was 12 years old. I knew stealing was bad because I had been taught so. So what did I do? I knew who I was, and stole from a store. I wasnt caught and thought "Nothing has changed, Im still the same person.... this doesent make me evil or immoral. This action does not change me as a person"

    Now lets look at the present. I have become cold, manipulative and calculating. On the outside and in a social setting I am warm, make people laugh and people say Im charismatic and a good person. But these are only social tools I use to further my own goals. In truth I have become a misanthropist after all my observing. Ive come to the conclution that moral and existential nihilism is the "closest thing to absolute truth" and I stand by its message that "there is no good or evil, only cause and effect".

    I dont really know myself anymore. I gave away my own personality in exchange for knowledge without subjective hinderance. I have accumulated knowledge through wisdom and I use it to use others and further my own mundane physical desires - because my body is for me a disposable tool. I dont value it - my life, or others life. With the knowledge that humanity wont survive the cold empty darkness of space who can deem any action evil when noone will be left to remember anything of it in a small cosmological second.

    Ramblings aside, here is my point and question:

    I dedicated everything to find the answers of life, and even sacrificed my personality for it - because I didnt want my own mind to shroud total objective truth.
    Now that Ive spent my life philosophizing - not only do I feel left with nothing. I feel Ive lost my innocence, my humanity and that I have become a cold, calculating, manipulative empty shell. If a car almost hits me and I walk away whistling - I fear it isnt ataraxia - but nihilism. Not calm, but emptiness.

    Do you think any person going down the road of knowledge will eventually end up like this? Does knowledge of the world, oneself, others and existence corrupt you? Is it me that is wrong, the world or something else?

    As a child I knew little to nothing. And I feel that for every answer I got, my thirst increased. And as I have continued drinking from the vast amounts of the waters of knowledge. I am finally...atlast... sated. But at what price when surrounded by dry desert? I feel ruined.


    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.....
    Q: Which wolf will win?
    A: The one you feed.


    --
    "I dedicated everything to find the answers of life,"
    I think a lot of people get bitter trying to answer invalid questions, and finding out there really is no answer, or unable to accept the only fundamental answer--which is between their legs. Once you get past that point, you start making your own purpose--because you want to, not because someone else says so. Hopefully that new purpose has something to do with helping--others, your community, your planet...etc.


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    @ Razier: I sometimes have the same feeling as you, the more we know, the more we suffering/ bewidered. And I keep thinking about the lesson behind the Bible tale: God forbid Adam and Eva eating the Apple which give them knowledge... Is it to keep them from suffering? (I am not a christian, I am an inactive Buddhist). But I would choose to know :-).
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    And Jesus forgave all that that, writing all things anew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post

    stupidity being people living as willing slaves under dogma like religion

    I feel ruined.
    I note your contempt for other people's philosophy, even while admitting that your own has failed.
    Strange likes this.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    When I got older, one of the first lessons I took to heart is the one in my signature. I decided I wanted to know the truth despite the pain it brought - truth over comfort and an unfiltered view of the world.
    Maybe your first mistake was looking for Absolute Truth (outside of religion).

    The older I got the more lies I uncovered and the less respect I developed for my fellow man due to their immaturity and stupidity. (Examples being grown ups fighting over trivial things despite having a good life, stupidity being people living as willing slaves under dogma like religion)
    Sounds to me like you would have been a miserable git misanthrope even if you hadn't spent too long worrying about irrelevancies.

    One example was when I was 12 years old. I knew stealing was bad because I had been taught so. So what did I do? I knew who I was, and stole from a store. I wasnt caught and thought "Nothing has changed, Im still the same person.... this doesent make me evil or immoral. This action does not change me as a person"
    That action does make you immoral (evil might be a bit strong). If it didn't change you as a person, that may be because you were always immoral.

    Now lets look at the present. I have become cold, manipulative and calculating. On the outside and in a social setting I am warm, make people laugh and people say Im charismatic and a good person. But these are only social tools I use to further my own goals.
    Sounds like symptoms of psychopathy to me.

    Do you think any person going down the road of knowledge will eventually end up like this?
    No. It's probably down to your genes and environment.

    And as I have continued drinking from the vast amounts of the waters of knowledge. I am finally...atlast... sated.
    There was another thread about how the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. If you think you have learnt everything then perhaps you have learnt nothing.
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    Too m uch "V"philospophy right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    There was another thread about how the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. If you think you have learnt everything then perhaps you have learnt nothing.
    True :| Though the immoral part doesent relate to me personally as I believe ethics and morals are human made constructs selfishly made for survival and programming people for the best of the masses.

    And maybe you are right Lynx, maybe I have been manipulating myself aswell. Hiding behind a cover of wanting truth yet seeing only what I wish to see... feeding negativity and spiteful emotions.

    Maybe when I grow older my views will change.

    The thing Im afraid off the most is the devaluing process of life (my own, others, living sentinent beings in general) this road has led me on.

    I may have sociopathic/psychopathic signs - but Ive been shown so much goodness since birth I am incapable of hurting anyone (not even animals) and I tend to think this has been "programmed" into me by the environment Ive grown up in. I'll probably just continue on with my life finnishing studies, getting a job, settle down then die of old age. I fear how I wouldve ended up if I had gotten a bad start in life.

    I would still like to point out that my main "discovery" is that the more I feel I know, the more I am... dunno what word to use in English really... ruined, corrupted. It just feels like the simple pleasures in life from a naive childs perspectives are replaced by a cynic living in my brain pusingh out the thoughts that all good deeds are done in self interest.

    Trying to find a way to keep on with philosophy without getting miserable. I wont say that it hasnt granted me alot, it has. It is the price Im worried about.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    bad philosophy
    is like bad poetry
    there is a lot of it out there
    be selective if you can
    paracelsus said
    it is the dose which makes the poison
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    There was another thread about how the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. If you think you have learnt everything then perhaps you have learnt nothing.
    True :| Though the immoral part doesent relate to me personally as I believe ethics and morals are human made constructs selfishly made for survival and programming people for the best of the masses.

    And maybe you are right Lynx, maybe I have been manipulating myself aswell. Hiding behind a cover of wanting truth yet seeing only what I wish to see... feeding negativity and spiteful emotions.

    Maybe when I grow older my views will change.

    The thing Im afraid off the most is the devaluing process of life (my own, others, living sentinent beings in general) this road has led me on.

    I may have sociopathic/psychopathic signs - but Ive been shown so much goodness since birth I am incapable of hurting anyone (not even animals) and I tend to think this has been "programmed" into me by the environment Ive grown up in. I'll probably just continue on with my life finnishing studies, getting a job, settle down then die of old age. I fear how I wouldve ended up if I had gotten a bad start in life.

    I would still like to point out that my main "discovery" is that the more I feel I know, the more I am... dunno what word to use in English really... ruined, corrupted. It just feels like the simple pleasures in life from a naive childs perspectives are replaced by a cynic living in my brain pusingh out the thoughts that all good deeds are done in self interest.

    Trying to find a way to keep on with philosophy without getting miserable. I wont say that it hasnt granted me alot, it has. It is the price Im worried about.

    It is a matter of changing your attitude towards how you feel about yourself and how you perceive others to be. Everyone has good and bad qualities since none of us are perfect. The first living organisms that learned by cooperating with one another that they all benefited much more then if they did it alone. This is where your attitude comes into play - you could view that the first organisms were still selfish and only cooperated enough to get their needs met. On a emotional level - feelings of resentment of having to cooperate (imprisonment), hatred for life in general, and so on adds up to a pretty miserable existance.

    Or you can have the attitude that by cooperating and helping others that promotes feelings of willingless to participate (freedom), a love for life in general, and so on adds up to a feeling that you lived a rich fulfilled life of existance. Stop focusing on the negative aspects of behavior you perceive of the world's living entities and look for the qualities that made us successful as a species.
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    Thank you for the discussion. I believe anybody with any sense of conscience and a "real" desire to be better tomorrow than we are today ponders the same questions. Introspection is valuable to know who we are. Sometimes its a rocky road but the support of others who have gone through it before us and a certain degree of "faith" gets us through the more difficult days. Please correct me if I am wrong but one of the tenets of buddhism is that life is suffering; suffering can be ammeliorated by getting rid of ignorance, attachment, and the craving that stem from such ignorance. Suffering can be surpressed by: right views, right intention, right speech, right conduct, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right contemplation. I am heartened to see that I am not the only one that questions such paradoxical, quizzical dilemmas
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    I agree with you and it is through my experience is why I gave the response that i did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archy View Post
    bad philosophy
    is like bad poetry
    there is a lot of it out there
    Spoken by one who knows of what he speaks
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    I would still like to point out that my main "discovery" is that the more I feel I know, the more I am... dunno what word to use in English really... ruined, corrupted. It just feels like the simple pleasures in life from a naive childs perspectives are replaced by a cynic living in my brain pusingh out the thoughts that all good deeds are done in self interest.

    Trying to find a way to keep on with philosophy without getting miserable.
    Are you sure that what you're talking about is 'philosophy'?


    " " Language may be getting in the way here, but it looks much more to me that what you're talking about is maturing and not knowing what to do with the discovery that noone, especially yourself, is perfect. And it's true.

    Not one of us is as good as we could, or maybe should, be. Even those brave, patient, marvelous people who work for Medecins Sans Frontieres or as animal rescuers or firefighters or other admirable occupations - even they can have imperfections that would make them difficult to live with or even to like as an acquaintance. And they certainly wouldn't regard themselves as perfect, or even good enough.

    And your views won't necessarily change for the better as you grow older - there are plenty of people in old folks' homes who are as miserable and difficult as they were when they were teenagers. Your views will develop and change a bit if you ensure that you have as much experience of different things as you can and contact with people with different interests as you can. You might find a new best friend or a lifelong interest at an archery club or by helping out at a local free meals service or by getting a job as a jeweller.

    As for philosophy, it's hard. If you want to study it properly make sure your maths skills are up to the mark because logic will be a horrible trial to you otherwise. You also need to get on top of a goodly amount of history. Not just of science - there's a lot of physics and biology and other science-y stuff about perception and behaviour and similar stuff - but also of literature, politics and general knowledge of world events.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    There was another thread about how the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. If you think you have learnt everything then perhaps you have learnt nothing.
    True :| Though the immoral part doesent relate to me personally as I believe ethics and morals are human made constructs selfishly made for survival and programming people for the best of the masses.
    That is another symptom of psychopathy: finding excuses for your behavior or things that happen to you. You knowingly and deliberately did something you know to be wrong ... but somehow it is not your fault.

    I may have sociopathic/psychopathic signs - but Ive been shown so much goodness since birth I am incapable of hurting anyone (not even animals) and I tend to think this has been "programmed" into me by the environment Ive grown up in.
    That is good; otherwise you might have been a serial killer by now.




    I would still like to point out that my main "discovery" is that the more I feel I know, the more I am... dunno what word to use in English really... ruined, corrupted. It just feels like the simple pleasures in life from a naive childs perspectives are replaced by a cynic living in my brain pusingh out the thoughts that all good deeds are done in self interest.
    I saw a report of some studies into altruism recently. I dont remember the exact number but the number of "good deeds" outnumber selfish actions by about 10,000 to 1. And these were done with no expectation or even possibility of reward.

    So your negative views of humanity are entirely of your own invention.
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    So I am back to work today, a slow Saturday- waiting for the phone to ring, while waiting, reading Bertrand Russell and goggling quaint phrases I couldn't comprehend- while goggling, I chanced upon your soul searching and poignant thread, titled; Can too much philosophy ruin a person? It touched me enough that unbidden tears flowed while reading it, as some of the bitter truths you excavated about yourself in your quest to seek truth over comforting lies, resonates with me too, those doubts are also my nights of Gethsemane.

    I immediately registered onto this site exclusively to thank you Raziell.

    Thank You for touching my heart!
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    Hi! Raziell!

    Here is the root of your problem:
    "a cynic living in my brain pushing out the thought that all good deeds are done in self interest."

    We are not in control of our emotions and our feelings.
    They enter unbidden into our consciousness:

    We experience pain...is the right thing to do to avoid it?
    In the dentist chair we stay and try to ignore it...
    but attacked on the street we try to escape.

    Without your self interest theres no reason for you to find the right thing to do!

    Any act seems as good as another to you.

    But doing the right thing has good consequences for EVERYBODY!

    Your cynic is our enemy trying to destroy you.
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    I have found this forum during some desperate moments at getting down to the bottom of my ailment. I have the same story as Raziell; ever since I was a child I have always been curious not only about life, but more so about the dark side of life. The dark side always gravitated me for some reason. Looking back at my life I can see that all my interests involved anything that's dark, pessimistic in essence. Started listening to metal music (still love it, though not as keenly) when I was 12 - I always liked bands with profound, contemplative and philosophical lyrics. At the age of 12, I had no idea what existentialism was but realizing all of this now as an adult, I was always attracted to anything that had existentialist aspects to it. Regardless of my ignorance of philosophy at that age I always gravitated yet again towards literature/philosophy that concerned the inner life, morality, being and existence. At the age of 18 I had chanced upon existentialism and I finally knew my passion had a name and since that time I have been an avid reader of lots of existentialist thinkers. Now I am 24, diagnosed with clinical depression and I can't help but feel that I somehow ruined myself by my own hands. I fed my pathos far more generously than my eros (this goes back to the point that Lynx_fox made). I am stuck underneath the bell jar and I can't find a way out. I wish I can erase all I have learned in my life and start anew. Nihilism is eating away at me and nothing ever interests me anymore. Absolutely nothing. Zero passion, zero hopes and zero dreams. Psychiatrists don't seem to understand this. I don't have any issues just a debilitating existential crisis that is so overwhelming that death seems the only escape.
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    my philosophy is this. don't be afraid to try new things and once they've been tried there's no reason to do it again especially if you were successful and had fun doing it, on the other hand if it wasn't fun then make it memorable and have a freind or relative with you that can laugh at it and share it with others on how bad you failed it, mostly try not taking anything very seriously, even death, because in the grand scheme of it all, what's a few years of life to an eternity of something other than life. or even simpler, quality over quantity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Ive come to the conclution that moral and existential nihilism is the "closest thing to absolute truth" and I stand by its message that "there is no good or evil, only cause and effect".
    Cheer up: Your mistaken
    But not completely!
    It will take me some time to explain,
    but not now; I saw this just before I should go to sleep!
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    The older I got the more lies I uncovered and the less respect I developed for my fellow man due to their immaturity and stupidity. (Examples being grown ups fighting over trivial things despite having a good life, stupidity being people living as willing slaves under dogma like religion)



    I am not a slave of my religion. I believe in it. Tell me how I am a slave. You are the one that is a slave. You are a slave of your human flaws, you are too immature to realize them. You insult other people to make yourself feel better. If you are as hungry for knowledge as you say you are, try learning to tell me why it is that religion is a wrong, horrible thing, and anyone who follows it is lesser than you.
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