Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

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Lucian Hodoboc
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Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

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Post by Lucian Hodoboc »

Is desiring to experience life (with its struggles and occasional moments of happiness) while being aware that your existence is an incredibly limited, meaningless, accidental period of awareness in the middle of an eternity of nothingness a rational behavior, from a psychological point of view? What do you think? Is desiring to remain alive without believing in an objective purpose and an afterlife rational?

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #21

Post by nobspeople »

Lucian Hodoboc wrote: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:28 am Is desiring to experience life (with its struggles and occasional moments of happiness) while being aware that your existence is an incredibly limited, meaningless, accidental period of awareness in the middle of an eternity of nothingness a rational behavior, from a psychological point of view? What do you think? Is desiring to remain alive without believing in an objective purpose and an afterlife rational?
I don't find life itself at all rational. It simply 'is'. Too many times I think people look too hard at things and try to justify their POV instead of just enjoying the life they have.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #22

Post by Purple Knight »

Yes but desires can't be rational anyway.

Why does a Vulcan get up in the morning? Because he wants to.

He won't tell you that but it's true. He'll argue with you for an hour and twenty minutes about how getting up serves some objective he has that he deems to be rational, but the objective he's seeking (which is probably pursuit of knowledge) is ultimately some arbitrary value-judgment that he considers this thing valuable and worth pursuing.

If you think life itself is valuable and worth pursuing, you just saved me an hour and twenty minutes. And it's no less rational. You're just more honest.

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #23

Post by Dimmesdale »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:52 pm Yes but desires can't be rational anyway.

Why does a Vulcan get up in the morning? Because he wants to.

He won't tell you that but it's true. He'll argue with you for an hour and twenty minutes about how getting up serves some objective he has that he deems to be rational, but the objective he's seeking (which is probably pursuit of knowledge) is ultimately some arbitrary value-judgment that he considers this thing valuable and worth pursuing.

If you think life itself is valuable and worth pursuing, you just saved me an hour and twenty minutes. And it's no less rational. You're just more honest.
I disagree. But perhaps we think of the wrong definition of "rational."

If by "rational" you mean some ultimate, "meta" reason for "why" a person desires the way he does, then I would agree it's a case of infinite turtles all the way down. It is in a sense pointless to ask such a "why" because at root all fundamental desires simply ARE. To be is to be, in other words.

But that doesn't make them irrational or arbitrary.

This is because they are not based on some random fluctuation of freedom. Rather, nature, not arbitrary freedom, is the determining factor. And nature is not shifty or liable to whims. It is fixed. There is an essence underlying things like human or animal nature, which necessarily brings to bear certain desires. For example, a beaver's nature is to chomp wood. He didn't decide to do so. His nature brings him to liking chomping wood. He had no decision in the matter.

People nowadays act as if they are their own masters, decide what THEY want to do. But they are blind. They don't realize how tightly controlled they are by their own nature. People think they are being "original" whereas really their own preprogrammed emotions and impulses are doing 80% of the "deciding."

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #24

Post by Purple Knight »

Dimmesdale wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:56 pmPeople nowadays act as if they are their own masters, decide what THEY want to do. But they are blind. They don't realize how tightly controlled they are by their own nature. People think they are being "original" whereas really their own preprogrammed emotions and impulses are doing 80% of the "deciding."
And we can't get out of that even if we ignore our desires. The idea most people probably have is that the Vulcan is better than the human is better than the beaver is better than the pig (the pig not even having an objective like the beaver does). And yes, it's probably good if people try not to roll around in the mud or in other words, just indulge every immediate desire.

But when you ignore one desire you are either just moved by the next one or you don't get up in the morning. That's my main point. And I don't think I have a basis to say that one desire is "higher" than the other.

I'm not going to make value-judgments for other people about which desires are better or more rational than others. I have enough problem doing that in my own life.

What I think people mean by rational (in this context) is working towards the goal in the most efficient manner possible. But if life itself is the goal, that may apparently make one the pig, but so what? Setting the goal is outside the bounds of what can be assessed by rationality. You may say, well, he gave himself an easy mark, but if that's really what he wants he can't help that it wasn't that difficult a goal to hit.

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #25

Post by Dimmesdale »

Purple Knight wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:25 pm
But when you ignore one desire you are either just moved by the next one or you don't get up in the morning. That's my main point. And I don't think I have a basis to say that one desire is "higher" than the other.
Nah, that's a pitiful outlook. One is not an animal or an impersonal domino, at the mercy of instinctual desires. One is free.

You are a human being. I think if you looked inside yourself, you would find something called "nobility." You are a noble creature, and you shouldn't be conditioned to only liking honey buns.

I take the view that the soul is a driver, and the mind is the chariot, and desires are the horses.

You have the capacity to guide your desires in the form of horses. It is up to you whether you want to downgrade yourself or promote yourself. That tension is always there, ever present..... It comes with being a human being.

Most people nowadays can't stand this self-consciousness however. It's too intense. They prefer to phlegmatically go to sleep. But ignoring this self-consciousness doesn't vitiate it. It only covers it temporarily. And then situations arise to shock you out of that sleep. It's the universe saying to you: "evolve."

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Re: Is desiring to live without an objective purpose irrational?

Post #26

Post by Dimmesdale »

Also, I'm not contradicting myself with the above. One is free, but not absolutely free. That should be clear. There is always some level of "wiggle room" to decide. Even if that is only the sincere prayer "have mercy on me Lord, a sinner."

One has to decide whether to fall on the side of nobility, or squalor. And THEN one is controlled by each respective force.

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