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    1. I've been thinking about this a lot recently. All humans are guaranteed some degree of suffering. As non-persons cannot give consent, are we not in a sense forcing this suffering on non-consenting...

      I've been thinking about this a lot recently. All humans are guaranteed some degree of suffering. As non-persons cannot give consent, are we not in a sense forcing this suffering on non-consenting sentient beings by bringing said beings into existence? In addition to this, there is always the risk that, no matter how good the environment of his upbringing, one may lead an utterly miserable existence. Does procreation not also expose those produced to this risk? Add on to this the toll that new life takes on our society and the environment, and it seems to me that there is no good reason at all to procreate, and that it is probably always wrong.

      28 votes
    2. I've been interested in meditation for some time now - tempted by the insight into the human condition that it purports to offer - but I haven't yet experienced any kind of 'breakthrough' moment...

      I've been interested in meditation for some time now - tempted by the insight into the human condition that it purports to offer - but I haven't yet experienced any kind of 'breakthrough' moment that has brought any clarity, let alone insight.

      I have read Sam Harris's Waking Up, and have done some of the course in his app. The most I've been able to achieve is to observe (and subsequently limit, control) getting angry. This has proven pretty useful but doesn't feel profound.

      Anyway, I'm now about half way through D. E. Harding's On Having No Head, and I am struggling with it.

      I keep telling myself to stick with it because what he's saying might become clear, but I'm finding the reasoning behind it to be wilfully obtuse at times. I fear I'm exposing myself as some kind of idiot in even asking about it, but can someone help me see his point?

      He talks about looking at what you're pointing at. Makes sense. I can see those things, therefore they're there.
      And then to point at your face. You can't see that. Ok. Makes sense. I can't see that, therefore it's not there?
      I can vaguely see a blur of my nose, but that isn't anything worth worrying about?

      But I can demonstrate that it's there. I can photograph it. I can look at it in a mirror. I can touch it and feel it (and it can feel).

      I feel like I'm the fool staring at a metaphor and screaming about it not being real but I can't see the bit I'm missing!

      Does anyone have any insight they can share?

      4 votes
    3. If reality is a simulation, then why is evil allowed to exist, or why did our creators let evil exist? I know that the point of having a simulation is so that we can learn about life, but why is...

      If reality is a simulation, then why is evil allowed to exist, or why did our creators let evil exist?

      I know that the point of having a simulation is so that we can learn about life, but why is it more likely to be in a simulation with 'real' characteristics rather than one where everything is utter happiness? Why didn't our creators make infinitely more simulations where people are just happy all the time?

      Of course this brings us to the question of whether you can know happiness without pain. If reality is a simulation, couldn't it be possible to make people happiness with only the memory of pain (or just knowledge of pain) without actual pain? I would think so.

      What do you think?

      9 votes
    4. One of my biggest hobbies and passions over the last 10 or 15 years has been essentially all of the above. I'm not the smartest or the most well-read lady out there by any means but I enjoy...

      One of my biggest hobbies and passions over the last 10 or 15 years has been essentially all of the above. I'm not the smartest or the most well-read lady out there by any means but I enjoy exploring the more shadowy realms of discourse. There's lots and lots of dross but occasionally a nugget of something magnificent, and over the years it's eroded away my original scientific materialist atheism completely and my thinking now is more animist, panpsychist, deist. I've spent years off and on experimenting with (actual, not stage) magic, and though I was never super committed to the full ceremonial experience like others I've seen, it's become a part of how I think.

      So I was wondering if there's any here that don't fit into the typical scientific materialist box in one form or another. And if so, what're you reading or experimenting with right now?

      Currently I'm reading through Conversations with God and it's persuaded me to start practicing loving-kindness meditation. I've only been at that a few days but I'm interested to see what impact it has on my daily life. It's definitely true that up until these past few days I've never actively focused on trying to love myself and others, which kind of surprises me when I think about it. But that sort of thing isn't really something I see emphasized in our culture or in my own little circle.

      How about you?

      21 votes
    5. I'm interested in patterns and culture. I think it's a fascinating topic from many perspectives. Mathematically there are many tools for pattern analysis and formation, but at the same time...

      I'm interested in patterns and culture. I think it's a fascinating topic from many perspectives. Mathematically there are many tools for pattern analysis and formation, but at the same time philosophically our minds try to make things fit into patterns generally (maybe because it requires more energy to remember a whole thing than a set of rules that describe the thing). A mathematical example of cases where order arises from pure disorder (or maximum entropy) would be Ramsey theory.

      I'd like to discuss the cultural influence on our pattern analysis/synthesis, but also explore a bit what is a pattern, whether everything is a pattern or nothing is a pattern, whether patterns are interesting in themselves or not, etc.

      I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for readings in this area, or if anyone has an opinion on it. I know of many works regarding a single pattern (for example the different theories of linguistics, the different theories of music, the different theories of cooking... you get the idea) but I've never seen a meta-perspective on why are we so interested on patterns and whether our approach actually makes sense.

      Thanks!

      9 votes
    6. Even just joking about it people get their panties in a bunch. Like, who's to disapprove of someone doing what THEY want with their OWN life? We can all co-exist when it comes to other big life...

      Even just joking about it people get their panties in a bunch. Like, who's to disapprove of someone doing what THEY want with their OWN life?

      We can all co-exist when it comes to other big life decisions like unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking, careers, marriage, kids, etc but god forbid someone mentioning suicide. Because that's fucked up.

      I just don't understand the audacity of someone to sit there and tell me "you can't talk like that" when ever I am feeling that way. Maybe the person could offer help? Or maybe instead of assuming I'm being a manipulative asshole take a second to think "hey, this person might actually kill them-self".

      I AM NOT SUICIDALE! I was and maybe somedays I am again but I am in the process of recovery and finding things that give life meaning. It just peeves me when somethings so unexpected it just gets shoved in the "we don't talk about that" category or "seek professional help" category. Like bitch 1) I think it's time we talk about it and 2) I've been seeking professional help for 2 years now.

      What if a person wants more info on possible ways to kill themselves? So what? Yeah but think about the loved ones! Well lets talk about that too! I think communication is key. Like, me saying I want to die to my parents and them being like "hey that's cool. We love you and support you in your decision to end your own life" would be absolutely fucking amazing. But noooooo.... say anything like that and it's all "go to the mental hospital" or "no I don't want you to die" like what? Are you telling me what to do with my life?

      I personally think sanctioned suicide should be legal. I legit think there should be centers you can check yourself into to get put down. There, I said it. I mean, if you believe in heaven why wouldn't you kill yourself and also if you don't believe in heaven why wouldn't you kill yourself? LOL.

      I am just merely asking why is it taboo?

      /rant

      Sorry if this isn't the right place to post. Seriously hoping for actual discussion here vs on reddit you just get a lot of people commenting help line numbers like can we just TALK ABOUT IT?

      27 votes
    7. I'm having a hard time wording any of this, so I apologize if this is rambly, badly titled, and especially if it's not qualifying quality Most people occasionally talk to themselves, I'm sure, and...

      I'm having a hard time wording any of this, so I apologize if this is rambly, badly titled, and especially if it's not qualifying quality

      Most people occasionally talk to themselves, I'm sure, and I've seen cases on reddit where people develop different personalities to talk to (tulpas mainly). But what I'm talking about doesn't feel like the same thing as that. I remember reading this article in school about this debate in psychology, it was suggested that what we consider us, isn't the only one there. There's this instinctual 'black box' thing there that also has a say in the matter, but we never know its there (unless things go wrong)

      Then I found out about when some patients are given a corpus callosotomy (that thing where they cut the wire between the two halves of the brain) they begin to exhibit some strange behaviors that are completely out of their control. But that isn't even the whole story because technically all they lost was the ability to rationalize what their "alien hand" was doing. If the hemispheres weren't split, they'd have still moved their hand but they would know exactly why, and wouldn't be freaked out by it.

      Long story short, I grew up with the impression that "me" is some wacky tag team of consciousness. Whenever I remember something out of the blue, or whenever I improvise some answer in college, or even when I notice myself eyeing up the fridge more than usual; I'll actually 'have a little chat' with myself in my head. Sometimes it's pure amazement and praise, other times its reminders to be disciplined. Nothing is ever said back, obviously, I'd be worried something was.

      I'm not even sure why I made this post. I suppose I'm just curious if any of this had the potential to backfire (negative feedback loop) or be a harmful way of thinking, as well as hear your thoughts on subconsciousness.

      13 votes