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Can't find meaning

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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1/11/2014 9:54:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
So at least 2 years ago I came to a pretty unremarkable conclusion based on relatively simple reasoning. That is - the concept of blame makes no sense. That which precedes an event in a causal series is the reason for the event's occurrence, and so if nothing precedes an event, then the event has no reason. When we blame things, we attack the primary cause or what we consider the primary reason with the supposition that the event did not have to occur as it did - and once you change that primary cause or primary reason for a different primary cause a different event arises. Paradoxically, however, a primary cause with no precedent has no reason - and because there is no reason, the primary cause has no mode of change; there is nothing to manipulate in order to alter the way it occurred.

So while we blame the primary event because nothing forced it to occur, there is nothing that could have been done to change it because there is no preceding cause to determine its occurrence.

This has affected my thinking in the following ways. When people blame me for things, I'm overcome by a feeling of helplessness because I'm so strongly convinced that the aforementioned perspective is correct. When I find myself blaming others for things I'm overcome by a feeling of hopelessness, for the same reason. And this isn't a matter of some magic liberation by being told that I'm wrong and there's freewill, or by being told to abandon the perspective. I would have to be sincerely convinced for that to happen. This is a matter of something I genuinely believe is an easily arrived conclusion about the state of human existence, for which there is no real sensible counterargument.

I'm not even sure what I'm asking by making this thread. Perhaps I just wanted to verbalize what has become a perpetual, intellectual knot, or a day-to-day psychological obstruction. Or perhaps I just want to hear some counter arguments that could possibly convince me otherwise. Or maybe I just want some sort of helpful retort.

Regardless, any sort of response would be appreciated.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,248
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1/14/2014 8:31:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/11/2014 9:54:42 PM, 000ike wrote:
So at least 2 years ago I came to a pretty unremarkable conclusion based on relatively simple reasoning. That is - the concept of blame makes no sense. That which precedes an event in a causal series is the reason for the event's occurrence, and so if nothing precedes an event, then the event has no reason. When we blame things, we attack the primary cause or what we consider the primary reason with the supposition that the event did not have to occur as it did - and once you change that primary cause or primary reason for a different primary cause a different event arises. Paradoxically, however, a primary cause with no precedent has no reason - and because there is no reason, the primary cause has no mode of change; there is nothing to manipulate in order to alter the way it occurred.

So while we blame the primary event because nothing forced it to occur, there is nothing that could have been done to change it because there is no preceding cause to determine its occurrence.

This has affected my thinking in the following ways. When people blame me for things, I'm overcome by a feeling of helplessness because I'm so strongly convinced that the aforementioned perspective is correct. When I find myself blaming others for things I'm overcome by a feeling of hopelessness, for the same reason. And this isn't a matter of some magic liberation by being told that I'm wrong and there's freewill, or by being told to abandon the perspective. I would have to be sincerely convinced for that to happen. This is a matter of something I genuinely believe is an easily arrived conclusion about the state of human existence, for which there is no real sensible counterargument.

I'm not even sure what I'm asking by making this thread. Perhaps I just wanted to verbalize what has become a perpetual, intellectual knot, or a day-to-day psychological obstruction. Or perhaps I just want to hear some counter arguments that could possibly convince me otherwise. Or maybe I just want some sort of helpful retort.

Regardless, any sort of response would be appreciated.

Dwelling on the past would evoke feelings of helplessness in anyone. The mistakes we make are fixed, regardless of whether we have the ability to freely correct them in the future. I don't think "I could have done differently, but now I can't, and I should feel bad" is any less depressing a conclusion to contemplate. For this reason, I don't think blame or guilt are useful concepts, and I don't think your rejection of their basis must rob you of any emotional utility (I don't think they provide any). Of course, feelings aren't always rational, and I don't mean to in any way invalidate yours, but it's something to consider.