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Thread: Courage

  1. #11
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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  3. #13

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    Please define courage in your own words.

    Courage is going through with doing something supported by the very idea of courage itself that you would have been too afraid to do otherwise.

    Do you see it as a great virtue or is it mostly overrated?

    I can appreciate its situational utility, but after defining it in my own words it seems quite foolish. Oh well. I am a fool.

    Are there different types of courage?

    No, just different situations.

    Where does courage come from?

    a combination of fear and our tendency to dislike feeling out of control

    What's something you could do to make your life better right now by drawing forth a ton of courage?

    define "better"

  4. #14
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucrativeSid View Post
    Please define courage in your own words.

    Tell me what it means to you personally.
    I don't really understand courage. Or rather I've just never experienced or otherwise witnessed it.
    I've been called brave/courageous, but I'm not really. I never risk anything I'd care about losing.

    For example I'd gamble my own life in a forest fire to finish a game of chess. If I die, so what? I'm dead. I can't care.

    The essential difference between me and the people who watch on the sidelines -- the ones calling me brave -- is, I don't care about... anything, so I'm willing to do things that others wouldn't.
    I've never seen anyone gamble with something they cared about unless they didn't know they were gambling it.

    Basically I don't think courage exists without stupidity and negligence, and in that case, it's still not really courage, it's just blindness.

    So courage doesn't exist.
    Do you see it as a great virtue or is it mostly overrated?
    If it does exist, it's only in doing something you fear. If it's a real fear, then either you're choosing the lesser of two evils, or you're an idiot.

    If the cost is intelligence, it can't be good so no, I don't value courage.
    (That's right: I don't lose a wink of sleep knowing that I'm not courageous.)

    Are there different types of courage?
    Yeah, stupid courage, and the kind where you're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    But like I said, neither of those count.

    Where does courage come from?
    Conventional application of the term leads me to suspect that courage comes from lacking value in maintenance of order.

    Like... are we talking about wherefrom in the brain?
    You're not wondering about some kind of magic... thing... that gives us courage, are you?
    we fukin won boys

  5. #15
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    Please define courage in your own words.

    i think there are 2 forms of courage, the lack of fear and overcoming fear. the latter is more impressive because courage is a virtue therefore there should be some sort of internal process going on. i don't count the lack of fear a virtue just as i don't see beauty as a virtue.

    Tell me what it means to you personally.

    i'm your classic over-thinker, so a lot of stuff scares me cos i can't 'just do it'. i think courage is something that i have developed throughout the years and only because i am aware of an action's drawbacks.

    Do you see it as a great virtue or is it mostly overrated?

    it is a virtue in itself, but yes, it can be overblown. it is brave to save a child who is drowning, but it is also brave to jump off a cliff or to start a war. either courage is a virtue measured only by its intensity (ie. it's bad to have both too much or too little of it), or it is one that is only good when paired with other virtues or intelligence. i think the consequential path (it is only good if it leads to good results) is a dangerous one. if by being nice to everybody causes me to get beat up, then the consequencialist may say that the right thing to do is not to be nice. that's obviously BS.

    Are there different types of courage?

    yes, as i said before there are 2 types. one is to overcome fear, the other one is the lack of fear. it's kind of like the difference between intelligence and ignorance.

    Where does courage come from?

    as with all virtues, there are only two answers. it's either intrinsically good or instrumentally good. if it's both, we'll just call it intrinsically good. i have a problem calling everything a social construct as eventually we would need some sort of intrinsic good for us to hang our hat on. courage itself may not be intrinsically good but it may be an immediate branch of something that is.

    What's something you could do to make your life better right now by drawing forth a ton of courage?

    improving my 'flirting prowess' i guess. i always over-think the courting stage of a relationship. it would be good if i can completely overcome these fears.
    Those are my questions, but feel free to break the format and respond however you'd like.

  6. #16
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    I see a wide range of different rationalizations, beliefs, and attitudes around the concept of courage. (Just as I suspected.)

    Some of you have made your answers very clear and understandable, so they do not require responses. Your words are valued and appreciated.

    Others have asked questions themselves, or given answers that are less than common, so I will address those now.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post

    Are there different types of courage?

    I think so. There is physical courage, such as someone risking their own life to save someone else. Then there is personal, non-physical courage, such as doing public speaking despite being terrified of it or overcoming a phobia. And there is inner courage, such as breaking down internal denial and facing internal pain as part of personal growth. (er, my names for these types of courage lack a little something)
    I like the three categories that you have come up with. The third one is my favorite because it's the most confusing one. It's not something that you can simply just do by using will power. It constantly grates on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    But moral courage is quite rare.
    I agree. I think physical courage is easy because even if you fail, you still look like a hero. With moral courage, even success can have terrible consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    Believe.
    Could you elaborate on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I decided to gather some wise sayings on Courage:


    Confucius Analects
    To see what is right and not to do it, is want of courage.

    Anais Nin
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.


    La Rochefoucauld
    Perfect courage means doing unwitnessed what we would be capable of with the world looking on.
    I like these three quotes a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Better? On what standard...? I could be brave and quit my job, but that would let down my wife, our plans and our future.
    It either makes your life better or it doesn't. There is no standard. If you hate your job and quit in order to find a job you like more, then you might fail and lose everything or you might succeed and be a lot happier. I guess your success would depend on how courageously you fought for whatever you wanted. Unless you're just talking about being reckless and quitting your job because you don't like it, without a plan to replace it with something more enjoyable or better paying.

    Quote Originally Posted by notjeffgoldblum View Post
    define "better"
    You're just being difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    I never risk anything I'd care about losing.
    And you don't care about losing anything? For you then, it must all be about gain, like the fun of finishing the chess game even though you might die. So maybe the only thing you'd hate to lose is the inability to live freely. (Death excluded.)

    I like your responses because they are different. I'm just not sure I completely understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Basically I don't think courage exists without stupidity and negligence, and in that case, it's still not really courage, it's just blindness.
    If you want more in life, and you're afraid of going for it, that's stupidity and negligence? Is that because it's stupid to be afraid of something that will only make your life better? Have you ever wanted to do something that you were afraid to do for some reason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    You're not wondering about some kind of magic... thing... that gives us courage, are you?
    Yes, I'm an ENTP who's looking for some kind of magic thing. Are you saying it doesn't exist?

    I'm just curious as to what people will say. Heart, head, intelligence, desire, compassion, love, greed, stupidity, divine powers, instincts, etc...
    "When a resolute young fellow steps up the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find that it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #17
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucrativeSid View Post
    And you don't care about losing anything? For you then, it must all be about gain, like the fun of finishing the chess game even though you might die. So maybe the only thing you'd hate to lose is the inability to live freely. (Death excluded.)
    If I were wheelchair bound I'd ride it down a flight of stairs.

    I like your responses because they are different. I'm just not sure I completely understand.
    It's pretty simple really. By the dictionary definition, courage can't exist by default.
    Or well... not that it can't exist, just that it never does. Risking death like the example I mentioned... the whole point of doing that is for a thrill. If it wasn't then that's either because the person didn't know they were at risk (hence it's not a thrill, and not courageous), or wanted to die.

    A thrill involves choosing the less psychically painful of two options: boredom and safety or risk and danger?
    If you choose safe, then you'd kick yourselves for the rest of your lives for not doing it.
    If you choose dangerous and they live, then you get what you wanted.
    If you die, then you don't care because you can't care because you're dead.
    If you only maim yourself, you're an incompetent who can't commit, and don't count.



    If you want more in life, and you're afraid of going for it, that's stupidity and negligence? Is that because it's stupid to be afraid of something that will only make your life better? Have you ever wanted to do something that you were afraid to do for some reason?
    Of course. And it was stupid of me to be afraid.

    Don't think I hold myself to a different standard...

    Yes, I'm an ENTP who's looking for some kind of magic thing. Are you saying it doesn't exist?
    It took me a while to get over it too.
    we fukin won boys

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    It's pretty simple really. By the dictionary definition, courage can't exist by default.
    Or well... not that it can't exist, just that it never does. Risking death like the example I mentioned... the whole point of doing that is for a thrill. If it wasn't then that's either because the person didn't know they were at risk (hence it's not a thrill, and not courageous), or wanted to die.
    But what about when people risk their lives to save other people? They're not really doing it for a thrill. If you're strictly talking about playing chess in a fire, then I agree. Thrill, death, or ignorance, none of which indicate courage.
    "When a resolute young fellow steps up the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find that it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #19
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Tell me what it means to you personally.

    Accepting a possible risk in exchange for possibly achieving something.


    Do you see it as a great virtue or is it mostly overrated?

    Depends on the reason and risk that you are taking. (Yeah, I know, it's not much of an answer) It's caused me to get hurt or fail many times and also has let me accomplish things no one else could.

    Are there different types of courage?

    Self, and for others. Self being taking a risk to accomplish something for yourself, and for others being taking a risk to try to help or accomplish something for other people.

    Where does courage come from?

    Your own personal values (what is worth being courageous for) and personality. (How often you are courageous).

    What's something you could do to make your life better right now by drawing forth a ton of courage?

    Not sure. I tend to not hesitate in things that require courage (I'm a bit of a risk-taker), soooo....nothing at the moment.
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  10. #20
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucrativeSid View Post
    But what about when people risk their lives to save other people? They're not really doing it for a thrill.
    Maybe they are.

    Granted there very well may be some people who don't do it for the thrill, but it doesn't have to be a thrill for it to be the greater of the psychologically satisfying choices.
    Someone who has enough awareness of themselves would probably have the foresight to know they'd hate themselves if they didn't try and save the person.
    Then you're still picking the easier one.
    Is it necessarily courageous if you're presented with a boolean situation wherein neither outcome is favorable? I mean if the rigors of the world require one to choose from two insufferable actions (even in an ultimate situation where death is in question) choosing the one that would be more self-satisfying (or least damaging) is only natural. If you choose wrong, then it's likely because you didn't know. Not because you were brave and you wanted to challenge yourself.

    I'm really trying to approach this issue with a clean value-slate.
    In the example I provided, boredom is worse than death. Or perhaps failure to complete is worse.
    So the participants do the cowardly thing by risking their lives.

    But then, perhaps this answers the question "where does courage come from" in that courage comes from valuing things that might put life and limb at risk, in which case, it's easier to be courageous.

    This isn't a joke. I've been called courageous before. I've been called bold... brave... I don't really think I am. I'd rather be fired than bored/insulted. So I either joke around to the point of annoyance, or taunt the other employees, or overtly gamble or condescend to the other employees or lash out and whatever else I do.

    Of course, they view it as boldness, which is favorable (or at least entertaining), so I'm not fired.

    How backwards.

    But the point remains that these bold things I do that someone more timid wouldn't, are actually the easy way out for me, and likely are for the others who earn public approval by what appears to be self sacrificing.

    Essentially I'm splitting the question the question by asking whether one can be courageous if one chooses what's easier and then answering the rest. In typical psychology, the most immediately intuitive idea is that survival is the lesser of all evils, but I honestly believe the human survival instinct can be switched off (the suicide rate basically proves it...) being perhaps not so strong itself, but only strongly supported by evolutionary implementation. Where the survival instinct is shut off, those mechanisms might still work, thence having to focus their energies elsewhere (thrill seeking as an example).

    If you're strictly talking about playing chess in a fire, then I agree.
    I'm not. My example was intended as an abstract icon.
    Thrill, death, or ignorance, none of which indicate courage.
    Which is my point...



    I like these questions.
    First thing in a while that made me really think.
    we fukin won boys

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