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Thread: Extinction and the Dread of Insignificance

  1. #1 Extinction and the Dread of Insignificance 
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    Extinction and the Dread of Insignificance

    Becker compares three great thinkers Otto Rank, Wilhelm Reich, and Carl Jung to conclude that the three provide us nothing with which to connect their conclusions except that they dissented from Freud. However, there is agreement on the answer to the fundamental question, “What causes evil in human affairs?”

    This agreement is also the agreement in all of the human sciences; “man wants above all to endure and prosper, to achieve immortality in some way”.

    Wo/man wants, above all, to reject the knowledge of mortality; s/he does so by seeking to assure immortality in some way. Mortality is connected to our animal nature and thereby wo/man reaches for some way of being transcendent of that nature. As our mental capacity increased we rejected other animals with a vengeance because these other animals “embodied what man feared most, a nameless and faceless death.

    Our fears are buried deeply within our unconsciousness by repression, that great discovery of the science of psychoanalysis. This repression “is achieved by the symbolic engineering of culture, which everywhere serves men as an antidote to terror by giving them a new and durable life beyond that of the body”.

    I have recently finished reading “The Art of War” an article in the March 12, 2007 edition of “Time” by Lev Grossman. The article is about a, largely computer generated, movie regarding a war in ancient Greece. The movie’s title is “The 300 Spartans” and Zack Snyder is the director. The movie is, except for the human actors, a virtual world created by digital movie techniques. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...5241-2,00.html

    “Snyder is one of a small, hypertechnical fringe of directors who are exploring a new way to make movies by discarding props, sets, extras and real-life locations and replacing them with their computer-generated equivalents.”

    “With so much computer-generated make-believe going on, the actor’s physicality is the movie’s only link to the real world…every frame was manipulated and color-shifted to create an intense, thunderstorm palette…The result is a gorgeous, dreamlike movie that’s almost perfect. Every frame is neat and composed, like an oil painting, not a hair or a grain of sand out of place. All noise and dissonance have been digitally eliminated. Maybe that’s the only way to make a war movie right now, or at least, the only way to make a war movie that’s not an antiwar movie…That’s why it’s a piece of mythology. It’s what we would hope for. “300” is a vision of war as ennobling and morally unambiguous and spectacularly good-looking.”

    That’s one hell of a special effect. And this movie is, I find, an insight into the meaning of “evil in human affairs”. We are all directors of our individual and our community’s virtual reality.

    I suspect we have repressed such conscious thoughts about mortality that we are inclined to dispatch with a shrug any talk of such matters; do you ever consciously seek to “achieve immortality in some way”?


    Quotes from “Escape from Evil”—Ernest Becker


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  3. #2  
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    Many people spend time, at some point, coming to some terms with their mortality, and in a sense this act involves "efforts to achieve immortality," if only in the stage of denying mortality. Likewise, many people hope to contribute to the world in some way, believing that this gives life 'meaning,' and seen as something that outlasts their own life(immortality). Still, the desire to contribute something may be equally rooted in our social nature, ie have some biological drive rather than being purely a mental mechanism.


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    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    totally
    everything is mathematical.
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    Is that all you can say organic god?
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fusion
    Is that all you can say organic god?
    Totally.
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    *gasp* Janebenet killed chaotic requisition and claimed his avatar!
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fusion
    *gasp* Janebenet killed chaotic requisition and claimed his avatar!
    I’ve changed it again. Don’t tell Chaotic what I’ve done though.
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    I note a mention of CGI and movies created with in that frame work. Fun that they may well be it is altering "Reality". I am a fan of The Matrix series of movies and I see within that series some of that imaginary space comming into the reality of life. It seems to me that some Clown dreams a dreams makes it a fictional movie then people watch, absorb then try to put that dream into our reality. We are becoming more like a fictional fiction than truth. We watch the Yanks, Sniff their Butts, like what we smell and then try to become the Smell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikrum View Post
    I note a mention of CGI and movies created with in that frame work. Fun that they may well be it is altering "Reality". I am a fan of The Matrix series of movies and I see within that series some of that imaginary space comming into the reality of life. It seems to me that some Clown dreams a dreams makes it a fictional movie then people watch, absorb then try to put that dream into our reality. We are becoming more like a fictional fiction than truth. We watch the Yanks, Sniff their Butts, like what we smell and then try to become the Smell.
    wtf?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Extinction and the Dread of Insignificance
    5 years ago we thought this thread extinct. I hope Coberst is still with us though, I liked that guy for some reason. I'd like to ask him how, when you already are, can you dread insignificance?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Extinction and the Dread of Insignificance
    5 years ago we thought this thread extinct. I hope Coberst is still with us though, I liked that guy for some reason. I'd like to ask him how, when you already are, can you dread insignificance?

    I am afraid that the member has not shown any activity for more than 3 years.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    I am afraid that the member has not shown any activity for more than 3 years.
    I take it you mean posting activity.
    Coberst's brain activity has been dormant for much longer than that.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    I am afraid that the member has not shown any activity for more than 3 years.
    I take it you mean posting activity.
    Coberst's brain activity has been dormant for much longer than that.

    Yes, I meant posting activity.
    Anyway, why do you state that member Coberst's brain activity has been dormant for more than 3 years?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    I've encountered him on a couple of science forums over the years.
    His posts tend to be a regurgitation of someone else's thoughts, usually badly and/ or randomly attributed with little or no follow-up.
    The OP in this thread is a classic example: quotes, vaguely-connected (or largely-unconnected) comments and no actual question or point raised.
    A sort of "Random quote of the day" with no context, no personal point of view put forward. As if he's read something and thinks, for some reason, that we all should read it.
    But he doesn't engage or discuss, doesn't seem to have a point of view on what he's quoted.

    The last time I responded to one his posts (elsewhere) I, for the sake of the exercise, decided to take a 180 degree opposed position and proceeded to demolish his argument point by point.
    Did he reply?
    Did he respond?
    Nah...
    (Although quite a few others joined in and a merry time was had by all).

    He was a hit-and-run poster who didn't do anything BUT post someone else's arguments - a bot could do just as well.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Coberst was an old guy who lived alone somewhere in the hills of Appalachia. I suspect he has probably passed on by now. Somehow, late in life he decided to pursue self study of philosophy. He thought that he would be the savior of the world by imparting his knowledge that was revealed to him late in life. He imagined he had a readership on the various science forums where he posted. He was notorious for never engaging in any dialogue and wanted to treat the forum like a blog. On the few occasions when he was cornered into a response, he was unable to defend his ideas. All he could do was parrot some quotes from whatever book he was reading at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Coberst was an old guy who lived alone somewhere in the hills of Appalachia. I suspect he has probably passed on by now. Somehow, late in life he decided to pursue self study of philosophy. He thought that he would be the savior of the world by imparting his knowledge that was revealed to him late in life. He imagined he had a readership on the various science forums where he posted. He was notorious for never engaging in any dialogue and wanted to treat the forum like a blog. On the few occasions when he was cornered into a response, he was unable to defend his ideas. All he could do was parrot some quotes from whatever book he was reading at the time.

    Well, that explains Dywyddyr's comment and the content of the OP.
    However, it seems that we are still plagued by some members who use this forum as a personal blog.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  18. #17  
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    We ARE insignificant.
    Morals are manmade.
    Whatever "good" or "evil" commited on this little rock will in a cosmic microsecond be gone and forgotten forever.

    Being insignificant feels good. Complete freedom.
    When it comes to philosophy, critical thinking is needed. But the main ingridient - is the power to accept what you think is true - not what you want to be true.

    Always look upon yourself from the outside. Consider yourself, your thoughts, your ideas and your beliefs objectively and subjectively both. Then renounce your own subjective personality and carve out your soul, replacing it with a tabula rasa. Become the EYE. You will be empty. But you will see everything, objectively. Realize that since cause and effect shaped your first personality, you had no freedom to choose who you became. Therefore your original self was too flawed to see absolute truth.

    To become a vessel of wisdom beyond that of normal people, you must first empty the vessel containing your ego and personality. You will be the most empty, and at the same time the most full vessel of knowledge there is.
    The price of power is never cheap. But hey... we are all insignificant. So the sacrifice of one for oneself - before the end - is worth it.

    Warning: Side effects include existential and moral nihilism, complete emotional emptyness, great manipulative powers via speechcraft and the complete disregard for all life including your own. Added with depression, sorrow, suicidal thoughts and major personality disorders if you attempt this but fail going all the way.

    To check your progress, witness either a mass murder with a gun pointed at your head or a horrible accident where many die including your own life being in danger. Only if you feel nothing at all except for forced biological responses like adrenaline, can you ascend the highest heights of philosophy.

    To become a perfect philosopher, you must not only experience being good and evil at both extremes but also reject the terms complety. An "Evil" person will never become truly wise, same with a "good" or neutral one. To truly become the perfect philosopher you must experience all emotions and also reject them. Roleplay mandatory. A man who really loves wisdom is always willing to sacrifice his humanity for it, for there is no more true thirst for knowledge than allowing your own personality to die.
    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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