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Questions on emotion

1harderthanyouthink
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11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?
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bsh1
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11/28/2015 10:16:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

I am always going to choose emotion over non-emotion.

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?

That's a more challenging question. I think, that as long as their are moments of happiness, as long as their are things that bring joy or meaning to you, numbness should be rejected.

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

Depends on the case.

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

Would I, or do I? The latter is certainly the case, but it's a rather unwitting process, but would I do so consciously? I am not sure. Again, it depends on the case.

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?

Yes.
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Blade-of-Truth
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11/29/2015 10:30:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

I think the former is more preferable than the latter. My reasoning for this stems in my personal belief that emotion of any kind has the potential for giving rise to spiritual growth and a higher understanding of self. Having no emotion at all would lead to nothing but a stagnant existence in a world that's meant to give impactful experiences.

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?

The former, see above.

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

Yes I would, I'd consider it an act of the noble lie. It's a political concept originated by Plato in The Republic. Put simply, it is the idea that, if the cultivation of nobility of the soul is the purpose of the state, then it is in fact laudable to lie to the people too dumb to understand the necessity of virtue. Put even more simply, it means that false propaganda for the sake of the public welfare is totally acceptable.

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

No, that'd be impossible for me. Happiness and Honesty are both things we, as a society, generally hold in high regard. Whereas lying is an act that is generally frowned upon. I view this existence as one ruled by a system of duality, and therefore couldn't possibly achieve something like happiness from doing something on the opposite end of the spectrum like lying to myself.

With that said, I have lied to other people which has made me happy in some instances. Mostly because the lie protected them from a truth they aren't capable of facing at that point in time. The ignorance of others plays no role in my own salvation, so lying to others for their own sake has no ill effect on me. But lying to myself, that's a no no.

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?

That's a hard question to answer since each life is a subjective experience. For instance, maybe someone can see that their negative emotions merely means they have more to work on in terms of their own personal acceptance. Maybe someone else just see's the emotions as an unjustified burden and decides to end their human experience.

Emotions are, and always have been, an intriguing phenomena tied to the human experience. To this day prominent philosophers still argue on the purpose and origin of emotions, although the latter has been much less controversial. I personally love the Sophists, who essentially teach that if you're experiencing negative emotions - it's your own fault for viewing them as negative in the first place. They gave an example of a weeping father, mourning at his son's funeral. They say how the only reason the man is crying and experiencing sadness is because he is viewing his son's death as a negative thing. If he wished to avoid such emotions, he merely needs to alter his perception of his son's death to a less negative one.

Most say that it's a "cold philosophy" but I tend to agree with alot of it, and would say that ultimately it's the persons own fault that they are experiencing negative emotions. If they merely changed the way they perceived the experience, they'd perhaps not experience so much negative emotions.

This is also seen when people say things like "hey, look at the bright side!" It's all about altering your perception of the experience.
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sadolite
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11/29/2015 1:03:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?

The time when emotions cause problems positive or negative is when you use them as a bases to make decisions.
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Emilrose
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12/3/2015 7:24:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

It depends on what perspective you take; as 'negative' emotions can potentially be both a benefit and a detriment. In terms of practicality, I would say everyone having no emotions at all is better; that IS if they could function normally on a regular basis.

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?]

Oh, absolute numbness would be the most practical choice.

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

Yes, if it was dependant on their happiness--I would.

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

Likely not, because lying to yourself as an individual is a very different matter to lying to 'the masses'. I know that I would able to handle the truth.

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?

It is, but only if they can identify with and actually overcome those negative emotions--and develop a more detached and relaxed attitude to life. Indeed people do have their 'natural' characters and if you're someone who is inclined to experience negative emotions such a thing would not be simple, but with the mind it is possible. If the mind and *intellect* become the predominant force, such people could reach the point where their emotions can be rationalized. All they have to do is think--in a logical manner.

Besides that, I also believe that people are, on average, very preoccupied with themselves. So one theory is that if they become less preoccupied with themselves and realize that they are not the only people in the world to experience what you describe as 'negative emotions', this can enable them to minimize and (potentially) completely overlook what they may feel--just by focusing on other people and perhaps placing their interests and desires above their own. Again, it's all about applying the ability to think.
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TheFlex
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12/3/2015 7:50:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?

I want to say having no emotions at all could potentially be more beneficial since you'd be able to stop "beating around the bush" and get to the main points of subjects. I think it could lead to more practical and applicable solutions than decisions you would make where your judgments are clouded by emotions.

2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?

I would go with living in numbness for pretty much the same reasons as stated above.

3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?

Depends on the type of lie, I think. If you knew nothing was going to improve for society but wanted to keep them hopeful I think it's acceptable to tell them, "Everything's going to be fine." I would need some additional context or a deeper situation to fully explore this though.

4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

No.

5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?

Yes.
Kirigaya-Kazuto
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12/4/2015 2:26:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?
Mostly Negative Emotions would be better than none at all.
2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?
Negativity, at least you feel something over nothing.
3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?
Unfortunately yes I would, the general populace would rather live in ignorance than know a terrible truth
4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?
Done it before, so yes
5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?
Yes, all life is worth it.
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000ike
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12/4/2015 3:00:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
People's answers to these questions are predicated on a certain degree of separation from the concepts they discuss (assuming they are not, as we speak, depressed). The hot-cold empathy gap simply precludes any accurate appraisal of the value of life in a state of despondency, ...and even if you have experienced depression, your memory isn't sufficient to overcome that cognitive bias.

It's natural to expect this kind of rampant optimism about the value of life but I'm just reminding everyone that this is informed by a skewed conception of what's at stake,... and so it's not altogether unreasonable to say that life really might not be worth much if the subject experiences negative emotions the entire time (and there's no reasonable prospect that those emotions may be abated by medical intervention).
"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
000ike
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12/4/2015 3:45:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Also, with regard to people choosing perpetual negativity over perpetual stoicism on the grounds that there's inherent value in feeling,... obviously cognitive bias applies here, but perhaps there's also some conflation of what grief itself is with what tends to succeed it -- that is, what its expression generates. Crying tends to make people feel better and there are neurophysiological reasons for that, showing pain and receiving empathy and support tends to make people feel better, and perhaps that entire cycle is being melded into one (inaccurate) concept of what sadness is.

On the alternative, perhaps people are mistaking numbness for a certain variety of sadness, perhaps a sadness with a notion of surrender or capitulation, whose description might bear some likeness, but is nevertheless very negative in nature.

Regardless If you think of happiness as evaluative currency, then the question isn't complicated. Sadness - with the accurate definition, distilled and taken for what it is, is ostensibly worse than numbness (when also understood accurately).
"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
000ike
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12/4/2015 4:32:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/29/2015 10:30:53 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
They say how the only reason the man is crying and experiencing sadness is because he is viewing his son's death as a negative thing. If he wished to avoid such emotions, he merely needs to alter his perception of his son's death to a less negative one.

Most say that it's a "cold philosophy" but I tend to agree with alot of it, and would say that ultimately it's the persons own fault that they are experiencing negative emotions. If they merely changed the way they perceived the experience, they'd perhaps not experience so much negative emotions.

This is also seen when people say things like "hey, look at the bright side!" It's all about altering your perception of the experience.

That's completely absurd; there's no decision involved in the feeling of negativity --- that is to say, something that is intensely saddening cannot be made to seem positive.

Take a look at this: http://www.nytimes.com...

It's about patients who received deep brain stimulation of the amygdala (the locus of emotion) as an experimental last resort for severe depression. The treatment was literally like an on-off switch. It says: ""So we turn it on," Mayberg told me later, "and all of a sudden she says to me, 'It's very strange,' she says, 'I know you've been with me in the operating room this whole time. I know you care about me. But it's not that. I don't know what you just did. But I'm looking at you, and it's like I just feel suddenly more connected to you.' "Does the future of the treatment of severe depression lie with technology? Mayberg, stunned, signaled with her hand to the others, out of Deanna's view, to turn the stimulator off. "And they turn it off," Mayberg said, "and she goes: 'God, it's just so odd. You just went away again. I guess it wasn't really anything.'"

Mind you the woman didn't know they were literally flipping a switch, she was just reporting her experience.

And as additional indication that you can't intellectually vanquish sadness consider the finding that the brain recruits the same neural circuits as it does with pain to generate the sensation of sadness in some circumstances -- so when people say that something hurts emotionally, that's not entirely a figure of speech, it literally does hurt (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... ).

This all suggests that the philosophy you mentioned is wrong. And of course it's because it's essentially guessing answers to a question that falls comfortably within the domain of empirical science.
"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
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12/4/2015 5:39:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 4:32:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/29/2015 10:30:53 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
They say how the only reason the man is crying and experiencing sadness is because he is viewing his son's death as a negative thing. If he wished to avoid such emotions, he merely needs to alter his perception of his son's death to a less negative one.

Most say that it's a "cold philosophy" but I tend to agree with alot of it, and would say that ultimately it's the persons own fault that they are experiencing negative emotions. If they merely changed the way they perceived the experience, they'd perhaps not experience so much negative emotions.

This is also seen when people say things like "hey, look at the bright side!" It's all about altering your perception of the experience.

That's completely absurd; there's no decision involved in the feeling of negativity --- that is to say, something that is intensely saddening cannot be made to seem positive.

Take a look at this: http://www.nytimes.com...

It's about patients who received deep brain stimulation of the amygdala (the locus of emotion) as an experimental last resort for severe depression. The treatment was literally like an on-off switch. It says: ""So we turn it on," Mayberg told me later, "and all of a sudden she says to me, 'It's very strange,' she says, 'I know you've been with me in the operating room this whole time. I know you care about me. But it's not that. I don't know what you just did. But I'm looking at you, and it's like I just feel suddenly more connected to you.' "Does the future of the treatment of severe depression lie with technology? Mayberg, stunned, signaled with her hand to the others, out of Deanna's view, to turn the stimulator off. "And they turn it off," Mayberg said, "and she goes: 'God, it's just so odd. You just went away again. I guess it wasn't really anything.'"

Mind you the woman didn't know they were literally flipping a switch, she was just reporting her experience.

And as additional indication that you can't intellectually vanquish sadness consider the finding that the brain recruits the same neural circuits as it does with pain to generate the sensation of sadness in some circumstances -- so when people say that something hurts emotionally, that's not entirely a figure of speech, it literally does hurt (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... ).

This all suggests that the philosophy you mentioned is wrong. And of course it's because it's essentially guessing answers to a question that falls comfortably within the domain of empirical science.

I agree that Blade's philosophy is absurd (he makes it seem like avoiding sadness is so simple that anyone who fails to be happy must not be trying), but he's not entirely incorrect when he says that a change in perception can reduce or even eliminate feelings of sadness. Indeed, that's exactly why cognitive-behavioral therapy is so effective. CBT is all about getting people to challenge unrealistic beliefs and attitudes. Negative memories have a tendency to overshadow positive ones, which often means that one's sadness is based on a delusional view of oneself and the world. Sometimes all it takes to become less sad is to realize that one's sadness only makes sense in a world which doesn't exist. Usually the real world is far less scary than the world a depressed person has constructed.
1harderthanyouthink
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12/4/2015 7:57:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Usually the real world is far less scary than the world a depressed person has constructed."

What a gross simplification of depression.
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ShabShoral
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12/4/2015 7:59:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/28/2015 9:52:56 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I have a few questions for people to answer.

---

1. Is it better to have the vast majority of people have mostly negative emotions (sadness, despondency, etc.), or have everyone have no emotions at all?
None.
2. Personally, would you rather have your life dominated by negativity or live in absolute numbness?
Numbness.
3. Would you lie to the masses in order for them to be happy?
No.
4. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?
No.
5. Is life worth living if, on average, a person has negative emotions?
"Is life worth living" is an unanswerable question.
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ShabShoral
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12/4/2015 8:02:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 5:39:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

All philosophy is predicated on the absoluteness of the Will. That which is not willed is incoherent.
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000ike
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12/4/2015 8:11:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 5:39:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/4/2015 4:32:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/29/2015 10:30:53 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
They say how the only reason the man is crying and experiencing sadness is because he is viewing his son's death as a negative thing. If he wished to avoid such emotions, he merely needs to alter his perception of his son's death to a less negative one.

Most say that it's a "cold philosophy" but I tend to agree with alot of it, and would say that ultimately it's the persons own fault that they are experiencing negative emotions. If they merely changed the way they perceived the experience, they'd perhaps not experience so much negative emotions.

This is also seen when people say things like "hey, look at the bright side!" It's all about altering your perception of the experience.

That's completely absurd; there's no decision involved in the feeling of negativity --- that is to say, something that is intensely saddening cannot be made to seem positive.

Take a look at this: http://www.nytimes.com...

It's about patients who received deep brain stimulation of the amygdala (the locus of emotion) as an experimental last resort for severe depression. The treatment was literally like an on-off switch. It says: ""So we turn it on," Mayberg told me later, "and all of a sudden she says to me, 'It's very strange,' she says, 'I know you've been with me in the operating room this whole time. I know you care about me. But it's not that. I don't know what you just did. But I'm looking at you, and it's like I just feel suddenly more connected to you.' "Does the future of the treatment of severe depression lie with technology? Mayberg, stunned, signaled with her hand to the others, out of Deanna's view, to turn the stimulator off. "And they turn it off," Mayberg said, "and she goes: 'God, it's just so odd. You just went away again. I guess it wasn't really anything.'"

Mind you the woman didn't know they were literally flipping a switch, she was just reporting her experience.

And as additional indication that you can't intellectually vanquish sadness consider the finding that the brain recruits the same neural circuits as it does with pain to generate the sensation of sadness in some circumstances -- so when people say that something hurts emotionally, that's not entirely a figure of speech, it literally does hurt (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... ).

This all suggests that the philosophy you mentioned is wrong. And of course it's because it's essentially guessing answers to a question that falls comfortably within the domain of empirical science.

I agree that Blade's philosophy is absurd (he makes it seem like avoiding sadness is so simple that anyone who fails to be happy must not be trying), but he's not entirely incorrect when he says that a change in perception can reduce or even eliminate feelings of sadness. Indeed, that's exactly why cognitive-behavioral therapy is so effective. CBT is all about getting people to challenge unrealistic beliefs and attitudes. Negative memories have a tendency to overshadow positive ones, which often means that one's sadness is based on a delusional view of oneself and the world. Sometimes all it takes to become less sad is to realize that one's sadness only makes sense in a world which doesn't exist. Usually the real world is far less scary than the world a depressed person has constructed.

I accept this point, but just to add some qualifications as they concern BoT argument-- CBT obviously sounds like an intensive procedure to counteract something that's taken over one's psychic life by force. It's not much different from pharmacological intervention... except now you're using conscious neuronal pathways to effect the same sort of change. This is to say that the fact that personal effort proffers some success, does not indicate that one is sad because he/she chooses to be sad, or that sadness can be vanquished by such methods in all instances.
"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
Emilrose
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12/4/2015 8:50:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 3:00:30 PM, 000ike wrote:
People's answers to these questions are predicated on a certain degree of separation from the concepts they discuss (assuming they are not, as we speak, depressed). The hot-cold empathy gap simply precludes any accurate appraisal of the value of life in a state of despondency, ...and even if you have experienced depression, your memory isn't sufficient to overcome that cognitive bias.

It's natural to expect this kind of rampant optimism about the value of life but I'm just reminding everyone that this is informed by a skewed conception of what's at stake,... and so it's not altogether unreasonable to say that life really might not be worth much if the subject experiences negative emotions the entire time (and there's no reasonable prospect that those emotions may be abated by medical intervention).

This is to assume, however, that the said individual cannot contribute to anyone or anything else in the process of being depressed. I personally believe that everything has a function, even (in this example) a 'depressed' individual. Seemingly you're looking at it from the perspective of the individual themselves, but surrounding them will be an environment with other people and an 'outer' world--for example, who is to say that no-one can/could potentially benefit from their depression? I.E, a psychiatrist--someone who essentially makes a financial living out of those with these kind of issues.

In addition you have the pharmaceutical industry which makes a *significant* amount of profit from distributing drugs. On an objective scale, even the most negative things fulfil some form of purpose and there exists always advantages for people.
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000ike
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12/4/2015 9:00:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 8:50:24 PM, Emilrose wrote:
At 12/4/2015 3:00:30 PM, 000ike wrote:
People's answers to these questions are predicated on a certain degree of separation from the concepts they discuss (assuming they are not, as we speak, depressed). The hot-cold empathy gap simply precludes any accurate appraisal of the value of life in a state of despondency, ...and even if you have experienced depression, your memory isn't sufficient to overcome that cognitive bias.

It's natural to expect this kind of rampant optimism about the value of life but I'm just reminding everyone that this is informed by a skewed conception of what's at stake,... and so it's not altogether unreasonable to say that life really might not be worth much if the subject experiences negative emotions the entire time (and there's no reasonable prospect that those emotions may be abated by medical intervention).

This is to assume, however, that the said individual cannot contribute to anyone or anything else in the process of being depressed. I personally believe that everything has a function, even (in this example) a 'depressed' individual. Seemingly you're looking at it from the perspective of the individual themselves, but surrounding them will be an environment with other people and an 'outer' world--for example, who is to say that no-one can/could potentially benefit from their depression? I.E, a psychiatrist--someone who essentially makes a financial living out of those with these kind of issues.

In addition you have the pharmaceutical industry which makes a *significant* amount of profit from distributing drugs. On an objective scale, even the most negative things fulfil some form of purpose and there exists always advantages for people.

The question was never whether or not a person would retain an objectively valuable purpose in his or her social environment. The question was whether or not the individual would have incentive to continue existing if his or her life was completely bereft of joy.

Thus it is to be presumed that the depressed individual is assessing the value of his own life with respect to his experience of living it. I can't imagine why someone who's depressed would take into account his value to the pharmaceutical industry before settling on a course of action.
"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
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12/4/2015 9:17:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 7:57:06 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
"Usually the real world is far less scary than the world a depressed person has constructed."

What a gross simplification of depression.

What makes you think I was reducing depression to merely delusions? This is only one of the factors, and it doesn't always apply. Someone can be depressed because there are lonely, bored, constantly stressed out, or simply because their brain is malfunctioning.
Emilrose
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12/4/2015 9:57:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 9:00:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/4/2015 8:50:24 PM, Emilrose wrote:
At 12/4/2015 3:00:30 PM, 000ike wrote:
People's answers to these questions are predicated on a certain degree of separation from the concepts they discuss (assuming they are not, as we speak, depressed). The hot-cold empathy gap simply precludes any accurate appraisal of the value of life in a state of despondency, ...and even if you have experienced depression, your memory isn't sufficient to overcome that cognitive bias.

It's natural to expect this kind of rampant optimism about the value of life but I'm just reminding everyone that this is informed by a skewed conception of what's at stake,... and so it's not altogether unreasonable to say that life really might not be worth much if the subject experiences negative emotions the entire time (and there's no reasonable prospect that those emotions may be abated by medical intervention).

This is to assume, however, that the said individual cannot contribute to anyone or anything else in the process of being depressed. I personally believe that everything has a function, even (in this example) a 'depressed' individual. Seemingly you're looking at it from the perspective of the individual themselves, but surrounding them will be an environment with other people and an 'outer' world--for example, who is to say that no-one can/could potentially benefit from their depression? I.E, a psychiatrist--someone who essentially makes a financial living out of those with these kind of issues.

In addition you have the pharmaceutical industry which makes a *significant* amount of profit from distributing drugs. On an objective scale, even the most negative things fulfil some form of purpose and there exists always advantages for people.

The question was never whether or not a person would retain an objectively valuable purpose in his or her social environment. The question was whether or not the individual would have incentive to continue existing if his or her life was completely bereft of joy.

Indeed, I was just looking at the broader spectrum.

Though that's a valid question *if* we're taking the example of severe depression (in my opinion, it would have to be that for the life to be 'bereft of joy'.)

Thus it is to be presumed that the depressed individual is assessing the value of his own life with respect to his experience of living it. I can't imagine why someone who's depressed would take into account his value to the pharmaceutical industry before settling on a course of action.

I wasn't saying that they would take that into account, my point was that the individuals life--from a non-personal perspective, can potentially be a benefit to others, therefore making a their situation not an en entirely negative one.

Again though, this isn't referring to the individual themselves but the wider context surrounding them.
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12/5/2015 9:52:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 4:32:07 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/29/2015 10:30:53 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
They say how the only reason the man is crying and experiencing sadness is because he is viewing his son's death as a negative thing. If he wished to avoid such emotions, he merely needs to alter his perception of his son's death to a less negative one.

Most say that it's a "cold philosophy" but I tend to agree with alot of it, and would say that ultimately it's the persons own fault that they are experiencing negative emotions. If they merely changed the way they perceived the experience, they'd perhaps not experience so much negative emotions.

This is also seen when people say things like "hey, look at the bright side!" It's all about altering your perception of the experience.

That's completely absurd; there's no decision involved in the feeling of negativity --- that is to say, something that is intensely saddening cannot be made to seem positive.

You're saying two different things here. I agree with the former but disagree with the latter. While there is no decision making in the initial feeling of negativity, there is certainly the recognition that one is feeling negative and then taking action to alter those feelings.

Take a look at this: http://www.nytimes.com...

It's about patients who received deep brain stimulation of the amygdala (the locus of emotion) as an experimental last resort for severe depression. The treatment was literally like an on-off switch. It says: ""So we turn it on," Mayberg told me later, "and all of a sudden she says to me, 'It's very strange,' she says, 'I know you've been with me in the operating room this whole time. I know you care about me. But it's not that. I don't know what you just did. But I'm looking at you, and it's like I just feel suddenly more connected to you.' "Does the future of the treatment of severe depression lie with technology? Mayberg, stunned, signaled with her hand to the others, out of Deanna's view, to turn the stimulator off. "And they turn it off," Mayberg said, "and she goes: 'God, it's just so odd. You just went away again. I guess it wasn't really anything.'"

Mind you the woman didn't know they were literally flipping a switch, she was just reporting her experience.

Interesting article, thanks for sharing. It doesn't surprise me that electricity would have that effect when introduced to the brain at low levels like that. Our brain has been able to be manipulated in similar forms for a while now, as the article itself points out with the example of prozac. Seems like this article is really about the fact that we're starting to pin-point the exact "location" in the brain that's responsible. I don't see how this article negates my point though. My point is that we, too, have the power to control such emotions, as certain philosophers taught. While there are clearly people incapable of controlling their emotions, like in your article, that doesn't make the philosophy I shared any less valid. All it shows is that modern medicine is starting to discover stronger means of controlling emotions - such as depression.

And as additional indication that you can't intellectually vanquish sadness consider the finding that the brain recruits the same neural circuits as it does with pain to generate the sensation of sadness in some circumstances -- so when people say that something hurts emotionally, that's not entirely a figure of speech, it literally does hurt (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... ).

The abstract clearly states that when someone feels socially rejected the same *affective* but not *sensory* components of physical pain underlie the experience. While I would agree that physical pain can't be controlled through reasoning, it's not like they are feeling physical pain as your statement implies.

This all suggests that the philosophy you mentioned is wrong. And of course it's because it's essentially guessing answers to a question that falls comfortably within the domain of empirical science.

If we look at humans as mechanical beings that can only be fixed by means of science, then sure, I'd agree that the philosophy I shared is wrong. However, that isn't the case. It's merely one way to view humans. In the case of depression, I kind of despise stories like the woman in the first article. I believe there is always a source for the depression and think it's very easy for people to fall into a deep self-loathing hole where they "just don't know the cause"... rather than looking deep within and facing the unfortunate truth that's been slowly eating away at them.

The philosophy merely teaches that if someone is experiencing negative emotions it is ultimately their fault since they are the one allowing themself to feel those emotions after recognizing them as negative. Have you never tried cheering yourself up after recognizing that you're sad or upset? If so, you've done exactly what that school of philosophers suggest, and just because science is proving fruitful in the fight against depression, it clearly doesn't negate the validity of their philosophy.
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12/5/2015 10:00:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/4/2015 5:39:57 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
I agree that Blade's philosophy is absurd (he makes it seem like avoiding sadness is so simple that anyone who fails to be happy must not be trying),

Well, as I said, most people view it as a cold philosophy. Clearly there are chemical imbalances in certain individuals, so I'd never really say that *anyone* who fails to be happy isn't trying. I am, however, supportive of their teachings. I do believe that people have more control over their emotions than they know. It's just that in our society we are trained from birth to look outwards for help rather than looking within ourselves. I know this sounds like hippy-dippy nonsense, but I firmly believe we are emotionally weakened by our lack of reliance on the Self.

but he's not entirely incorrect when he says that a change in perception can reduce or even eliminate feelings of sadness. Indeed, that's exactly why cognitive-behavioral therapy is so effective. CBT is all about getting people to challenge unrealistic beliefs and attitudes. Negative memories have a tendency to overshadow positive ones, which often means that one's sadness is based on a delusional view of oneself and the world. Sometimes all it takes to become less sad is to realize that one's sadness only makes sense in a world which doesn't exist. Usually the real world is far less scary than the world a depressed person has constructed.
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