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Thread: Irrational

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I do believe that mankind is more rationalising than reasoning or rational, I think I read it in a quote from the author who wrote Starship troppers first of all and I hate that author but even a stopped clock is right once or twice a day.

    I believe some of the greatest insights have come from psychoanalytical sources and they all testify about the power of affect rather than rational cognition, I think they are right about that and only a few people can manage in a sinlge lifetime to really achieve balance between rational and affective drives. I wouldnt consider myself or most of the people I know to be in that category.
    My personal opinion is that most human drives are essentially that of animals we are. I don't mean it to sound negative, there's nothing wrong with being an animal. I think that most of our "sophistication" as humans serves only to hide our true nature (from ourselves as much as from others), not to improve on it. And I think that it's not about balance - it would suggest that emotions and intellect are somehow mutually exclusive. The key is to discover and acknowledge our underlying nature and to use rational thought to efficiently manage the costs of keeping it happy. Reasoning should not be viewed as a replacement for affective drives, but rather as a mediator between them and the external world.

    I also like Jung's model of the unconscious, aka the Shadow. I haven't really read any of his works, but from what I've read about his views, I think I can strongly relate. I don't like Freud's versions, as they seem to be oversimplified. Plus, Freud was a pervert who thought everyone is like him

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad3k View Post
    My personal opinion is that most human drives are essentially that of animals we are. I don't mean it to sound negative, there's nothing wrong with being an animal. I think that most of our "sophistication" as humans serves only to hide our true nature (from ourselves as much as from others), not to improve on it. And I think that it's not about balance - it would suggest that emotions and intellect are somehow mutually exclusive. The key is to discover and acknowledge our underlying nature and to use rational thought to efficiently manage the costs of keeping it happy. Reasoning should not be viewed as a replacement for affective drives, but rather as a mediator between them and the external world.

    I also like Jung's model of the unconscious, aka the Shadow. I haven't really read any of his works, but from what I've read about his views, I think I can strongly relate. I don't like Freud's versions, as they seem to be oversimplified. Plus, Freud was a pervert who thought everyone is like him
    Er, that's a bit of a gross generalisation about the father of psychoanalysis there. Plus what you say about intellect simply being employed to mediate between the world and the true, ie animal, self is much closer to Freud than Jung.

    I'm not sure I agree with you about human nature either, humans arent simply animals, we may have had a common ancestry with some animals, ie great apes, although that was even before prehistory, imagining that animal drives are still fine and intellect and consciousness hasnt had a transformative effect on the human species is just wrong to my mind. At least that's how I see it.

    I like natural philosophy, even some naturalistic psychology of the sort you're talking about but I dont like it when it crosses over into mysticism or is tantamount to a bunch of rationalisations of incivility or carnality.

  3. #13
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    @Lark
    That thing about Freud (if that's what you're talking about) wasn't meant to be taken seriously. Though I believe that he may have had some problems of his own that he projected onto the others.

    Maybe my choice of words wasn't perfect. Misunderstanding may also arise from underestimating the complexity and depth of some animals. Try watching some documentaries about orangutans, especially how they interact with each other. I was just amazed by how human they are. They are capable of so many of our emotions - they can be happy, depressed, calm, angry, upset, playful. They even comfort their friends when they are depressed or in difficult situation. The difference between them and us is that we are better at speaking and solving abstract problems. This allowed us in turn to create culture that accumulates our experiences and makes it possible to pass great amounts of knowledge to succeeding generations. Also, it may not be obvious for us, but things like ethics are a luxury - they are good, but not so useful when you have to fight (literally) for survival.

    It's easy (and makes us feel better) to think we don't have much in common with animals (in terms of behavior), because we're on so much different level than they are. But is it really true, or merely wishful thinking? I'm not saying this to justify incivility, carnality, or whatever. The point I'm trying to make is that our intellectual abilities give us really great potential, but it all goes to waste when we use it only for pretending that we're oh so special, while unknowingly just satisfying our animal desires. I believe that we can transcend what is animal, but for it to be possible, we first have to acknowledge who we really are.

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