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Nerian

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  1. Thanks
    Nerian reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in Pleasure and Value   
    Because it doesn't have to be rare or ephemeral. As @DonAthos observed, although you may or may not be able to find happiness in the next few hours or days, in the long run your overall quality of life (the quantity of joy you can experience) is in your own hands. 
    That's exactly what the purpose of Egoism is; for you to learn how to correctly apply your brain and your hands to the pursuit of consistently-experienced happiness.
     
    For example, I'm at work right now (on my lunch break). I've been working 10 hours a day, five or six days a week, and frankly it sucks. As much as it truly sucks right now, though, I know it'll be worth it on payday; it'll result in a net gain of my own happiness.
    This is exactly analogous to your working out in order to pick up hot chicks. The trick to doing it correctly is to understand which desires are worth pursuing (will lead to happiness) and which aren't, and that's where Egoism comes in.
     
    Whether it's worth it to pursue your own happiness, in the first place, is something you have to judge for yourself. All I can try to give you is hope.
     
  2. Thanks
    Nerian reacted to DonAthos in Pleasure and Value   
    I want to tread lightly here, because personal advice is often not so great (especially in a forum like this, between two people who don't really know one another) -- and also because, it sounds like you might be going through something. Depression is serious business. Many people require professional help to break through the negative thought/emotion cycle that depression represents. I have no idea whether that applies to you, but if it does, don't be afraid or too proud to seek it out.
    To be honest, my experience is 1) happiness is not "rare" and 2) I don't experience much "mental suffering." Were it otherwise, I would look to make some changes in my life.
    Instead, happiness is a (mostly) persistent state for me. Recently, I was involved in a small auto accident. It sucked. But even then, I didn't really experience what I could describe as "mental suffering," and it was not long after the accident that I was again enjoying my life in a characteristic fashion. Earlier this year, I went through some severe medical problems. It sucked. A lot. And I suffered a lot, too. But my "mental suffering" was mostly confined to finding some way out of my physical distress, and when I finally managed that, things quickly got back on track for me. There have been other challenges, of course; life is full of them, and some can be very tough to deal with. Some days, I'm not particularly happy; but when that happens, I rest assured that whatever mood or funk will soon pass, like the rain.
    But I am fortunate to have been able to surround myself with things that, on a day to day basis, provide me with enjoyment, such that I can weather these storms. These include my work, my environment, my daily routines and hobbies, and (powerfully) my family. I've worked hard to make each of these contribute in a positive fashion to my life, as best as I know how, and I think that they give me support against most of the shocks of daily life.
    Now, all that said, there has been a period in my life where it was mostly mental suffering, and not so much enjoyment... many, many years ago, I suffered a bout of severe depression. At the time I did not, but if I thought something like that were threatening me today, I would strongly consider going to a therapist for assistance; it was the worst part of my life, and nothing I intend to revisit.
    In the event that you do not consider yourself to be so depressed that you need such assistance (or you are set against the idea, for whatever reason, though I would advise you to reconsider if so), and if you're in the market for advice (keeping my caveats in mind), I would recommend that you investigate the possibility of making some changes for yourself. Try to adjust the ratio of enjoyment to suffering. This may require big changes and/or small alterations to what you already do and experience. (Probably you should not make big changes to your life without due consideration.)
    Some concretes that you could look at immediately are: are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting daily exercise (even as little as a 10 minute walk)? Are you eating healthfully/well? Getting enough sunshine/vitamin D?
    After that (or maybe before), I'd wonder if the mental suffering you're experiencing is attributable to anything specific and correctable. If you have a thorn in your paw, best to pull it out.
    Then, I would probably look at career/school. Does your vocation excite you? Is it something that you're passionate about? Or if it's not, is there something out there you've discovered that would excite you, and inspire your efforts daily? (And if you haven't found something like that, can you take steps to continue to look?) What is the mountain that you yearn to climb? What steps can you take in the near future, or today, to put you on the path to climbing it?
    Maybe you're already on such a path, but you dislike the grind required to get you to where you want to be. In my experience, we must all of us spend some time in the quarry. If so, be on the look out for all of the small things you can do -- the small rewards and treats you can provide yourself -- to lighten the load. Once upon a time, I had a two hour commute; four hours daily, in Los Angeles traffic. That was... not pleasant. So I subscribed to an audiobook service, and managed to change my commute into something I could (at least somewhat) look forward to. There were times when it was the best part of my day.
    I could go on in this fashion (and if you would like more suggestions, let me know), but the overall point is that... a good life has to be worked for, and achieved, step-by-step. It's not enough to learn that A=A; you don't just wake up the next day with a smile on your face (though the thrill of that initial discovery is pretty majestic). It takes a lot of work (and thought, and time) to create the kind of life that will provide you with a happiness that is more substantial and enduring than "a rare ephemeral scrap of mental enjoyment." But in my experience, it is worth it.
  3. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Pleasure and Value   
    Thank you, kind stranger  
  4. Thanks
    Nerian reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in Pleasure and Value   
    Actually, though, this one is much better.
     
  5. Sad
    Nerian got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Pleasure and Value   
    Are they innate? I don't know. I don't know anything anymore. I don't know what there is even to do in life. What's the point of any of it. What's innate, what's learned? I don't know. But there seems to be nothing worth the struggle. Happiness? A brief spurt of emotional pleasure in a long drag of suffering and effort. How is that worth it? I don't know. It seems like nothing much is worth it. 
  6. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from epistemologue in Meaning of the newborn cry   
    Boom.
    Because it's a drive, an inclination, an instinct. Man has a nature. Man has innate drives. Values are not chosen. 
    Don't be afraid to throw out tabula rasa.
  7. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from softwareNerd in Do Objectivists Truly Understand the "Other Side" that They're Lambasting?   
    What makes life worth living is not living life. Life for its own sake is tedious, boring, dutiful, meaningless.
    What makes life living is the concrete experiences one enjoys within it. The pleasures one derives from things. Satisfying one's desires. Pre-rational, visceral, gut-level enjoyment. Withouth rhyme or reason, you just like it. And then life has value as a means to those experiences. Life is not the end, it's a means to an end. Strikingly opposite to Objectivist thought.
    In my direct experience that is the case.
    All the Objectivist virtue and ethics couldn't make me happy or make me want to live. It's when I started listening to my own desires and pleasures, and enjoying things for their own intrinsic pleasure that life started to have value and happiness seemed possible.
    When you're depressed, the only thing that matters is how you feel. That life is a value has no power to shake them from their depression, because it's not true for them. Life is only a value if your specific life is a value to you for other things.
    Many Objectivists will shift gears and agree that's what they meant all along but they are doing a bait and switch with the meaning of the term life, and it contradicts the fine print of the ethics.
  8. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from epistemologue in Meaning of the newborn cry   
    Boom.
    Because it's a drive, an inclination, an instinct. Man has a nature. Man has innate drives. Values are not chosen. 
    Don't be afraid to throw out tabula rasa.
  9. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from epistemologue in Does death give life meaning? Does happiness require struggling to survive?   
    Yep. It's absurd. Throw it out.
    What makes life worth living has nothing to do with conditional state of existence. The idea that an immortal human would have no reason to act totally ignores the reality of human psychology. If I'm immortal, I can still enjoy the same things, so why wouldn't I? I don't enjoy myself to survive, I enjoy myself to enjoy myself.
  10. Like
    Nerian got a reaction from softwareNerd in Do Objectivists Truly Understand the "Other Side" that They're Lambasting?   
    What makes life worth living is not living life. Life for its own sake is tedious, boring, dutiful, meaningless.
    What makes life living is the concrete experiences one enjoys within it. The pleasures one derives from things. Satisfying one's desires. Pre-rational, visceral, gut-level enjoyment. Withouth rhyme or reason, you just like it. And then life has value as a means to those experiences. Life is not the end, it's a means to an end. Strikingly opposite to Objectivist thought.
    In my direct experience that is the case.
    All the Objectivist virtue and ethics couldn't make me happy or make me want to live. It's when I started listening to my own desires and pleasures, and enjoying things for their own intrinsic pleasure that life started to have value and happiness seemed possible.
    When you're depressed, the only thing that matters is how you feel. That life is a value has no power to shake them from their depression, because it's not true for them. Life is only a value if your specific life is a value to you for other things.
    Many Objectivists will shift gears and agree that's what they meant all along but they are doing a bait and switch with the meaning of the term life, and it contradicts the fine print of the ethics.
  11. Like
    Nerian reacted to Plasmatic in What are the implications of existence regarding plasma?   
    Frank said:

    Absolute non-sequitor.... The concept existence applies to everything that exist. A perfect example of why physicist (and physics students) need philosophy of science.
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