37 votes

What's the longest running quandary/debate you've had with yourself?

What question have you asked yourself multiple times but have not come to a solid conclusion? Why have you not been able to come up with a answer that satisfies you?

edit: only now do I realize I misspelled quandry

118 comments

  1. [29]
    Wes
    Link
    Separating art from the artist. It's something that logically I know should be possible, but it's still difficult for me to come to terms with. When I know an artist holds offensive views, or has...

    Separating art from the artist. It's something that logically I know should be possible, but it's still difficult for me to come to terms with. When I know an artist holds offensive views, or has acted poorly in the past, their art can become "tainted" for me, and that's unfortunate.

    Do we ignore Lovecraft's racism, and OSC's homophobia? Brendan Eich's contributions to tech? Jeremy Soule's wonderful music? I've been stewing on this question for most of my life and I still don't know.

    30 votes
    1. [22]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      My general rule regarding that is, it's fine to separate the art from the artist after they are dead and/or no longer profiting from their artistic works, but while they are still alive and...

      My general rule regarding that is, it's fine to separate the art from the artist after they are dead and/or no longer profiting from their artistic works, but while they are still alive and profiting from it I try my best avoid supporting, in any way, those with views I see as morally/ethically abhorrent.

      E.g. Orson Scott Card is a despicable human being, so until he is dead I refuse to buy his novels (or the movie that is based on them), since I don't want to indirectly help him spread his heinous, bigoted messages. And Brendan Eich's similar views on homosexuality, while less extreme than Card's, are still just as distasteful to me, so I refuse to support Brave browser until he is no longer involved in the project, no matter how noble the supposed intentions behind it are.

      16 votes
      1. [12]
        skybrian
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        This is sort of related to a conundrum I have about trade. If you think of it as supporting an author or not, then it seems like a big step to take. Either there is a monetary relationship or...

        This is sort of related to a conundrum I have about trade.

        If you think of it as supporting an author or not, then it seems like a big step to take. Either there is a monetary relationship or there isn't.

        On the other hand, if you look at the amount of money involved, the royalties are probably less than a dollar which is trivial, almost the same as no money at all. I wouldn't think of scrutinizing a retail employee's morals in a similar way when buying a cup of hot chocolate.

        What about bigger purchases? Should you worry when you get your car fixed that you might be helping a racist mechanic make a living?

        Trade is an abstraction. You normally look at the goods you're getting and much they cost. You're not looking at a complete history of the product's manufacture and you're not scrutinizing the political beliefs and relationships of everyone whose labor went into it. To do that with any rigor seems very intrusive, like too much politics being injected into everyday life and too little privacy for the people involved.

        We clearly do break the abstraction sometimes though. For the author of a book it's right out there in the open. But what if they wrote under a pen name? Would you feel betrayed?

        8 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Sure, you can go down the philosophical rabbit hole here and drive yourself mad... but for me it's not about unraveling some moral/ethical conundrum, or worrying about any external "omniscient"...

          Sure, you can go down the philosophical rabbit hole here and drive yourself mad... but for me it's not about unraveling some moral/ethical conundrum, or worrying about any external "omniscient" judgment of my actions, it's just about me doing what I personally can, using what I know, to try and make the world a better place from a practical/pragmatic perspective.

          I don't know my local coffee shop owner's personal opinions on homosexuality, nor my mechanic's, and it would be inappropriate for me to pry into that... and so given that, I accept that there is no need for me to make a judgment call there, unless my knowledge of them changes (e.g. they say something homophobic in my presence, or I hear about them doing so in front of others). However, I do know Orson Scott Card's and Brendan Eich's stances because they have intentionally gone out of their way to publicly state them in an attempt to justify and/or promulgate them, and so that's when I am forced to make a judgement call.

          I can't know everything, and I accept that, but IMO once I do know something about the person (or corporation) I am (directly or indirectly) doing business with (however abstracted that "business" may be), it would be unethical of me to ignore any of their stated stances (that I am aware of) that I find morally/ethically abhorrent, and continue to do business with them.

          Funnily enough, despite my being an atheist, the "Serenity prayer" sums up my feelings on this issue (and many others, TBH):

          God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
          Courage to change the things I can,
          and Wisdom to know the difference

          12 votes
        2. [10]
          stephen
          Link Parent
          There isn't just money at stake here though. Also at stake are the "daily construction of society" and the stochastic emergence of social norms. To use 100% less jargon, there is peer pressure and...

          if you look at the amount of money involved

          There isn't just money at stake here though.

          Also at stake are the "daily construction of society" and the stochastic emergence of social norms. To use 100% less jargon, there is peer pressure and the way people perceive acceptable behavior at stake.

          Sure, the amount of financial support is negligible. But it doesn't occur in a vacuum. Your behaviors are being perceived by people around you and there perception of your decisions effect what they consider "normal" behavior. You may only be giving X problematic figure $1 for Y problematic product but it becomes $2 when they person you discussed the product with overlooks the problems of X and Y because you (and perhaps others) normalized it when you decided that supporting problematic individuals/works was OK.

          too much politics

          As such, there is not limit or end to the politics of everyday live. Just consider the root word polis meaning a body of citizens. Politics is a complex system which emerges every day from the behaviors of whatever body of citizens. Every choice is political in as much as it is perceptible by others.

          Some other points:

          I wouldn't think of scrutinizing a retail employee's morals in a similar way when buying a cup of hot chocolate.

          I wouldn't either. But the array of choices is not the same for consumer and cashier are not the same. Selling labor to acquire money in not a choice under capitalism. Buying hot chocolate from say, famously anti-queer Chick-fil-a is. You could say that workers have a slate of choices but they are contingent on much higher-stakes issues than "who will trade me $2 for hot chocolate" like proximity to child care and home, who is hiring when you're applying etc. If you have a principle like "gay people are people and deserve equal treatment" it's much more forgivable for a random person to work at a chick-fil-a than to shop at one as it's more likely that working at that Chick-fil-a wasn't really that much of a choice.

          Should you worry when you get your car fixed that you might be helping a racist mechanic make a living?

          Operative word here is might. We know for a fact Orson Scott Card is a shitlord and moreover that he uses his platform as a prominent figure to stochastically normalize being a shitlord. Your mechanic could be a racist but you don't know that for a fact and even so, it's not like your mechanic broadcasts their intolerance to millions of people with their best selling works of fiction or verified twitter account with thousands of followers.

          You're not looking at a complete history of the product's manufacture and you're not scrutinizing the political beliefs and relationships of everyone whose labor went into it. To do that with any rigor seems very intrusive

          Why not look into its manufacture? Why not scrutinize manufacturers? Capitalists love to talk about voting with your dollar. Why resign yourself to being a low information voter?

          Plus, part of this issue is what to do when a pattern of problematic behavior comes to light. Yeah I might not know right now if my mechanic is a racist and it's probably not worth my time to dig too deep. But it becomes a different choice when someone comes to me with a detailed account of them being an intolerant bigot for years.

          6 votes
          1. [9]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            On the other hand, taking political action on whatever information conveniently falls into our laps is the mechanism that enables bad interaction patterns on Twitter, etc. People get singled out...

            On the other hand, taking political action on whatever information conveniently falls into our laps is the mechanism that enables bad interaction patterns on Twitter, etc. People get singled out because they had insufficient opsec or someone is angry and happened to talk about it in a compelling way that went viral.

            The amount of scrutiny given to certain actions that blew up seems highly random and unfair, often outweighing the unfairness of the original action. Of course things started out unfair but I'm not at all sure it's an improvement?

            Why not scrutinize manufacturers?

            Well, someone should, but the question is how to do it both fairly and efficiently? Individual analysis of each purchase decision is inefficient, tedious, and ultimately unworkable. (For example, it would not make sense for each restaurant customer to inspect the kitchen themselves; there would be no time to actually cook.) This is why we have abstractions. It's a service that a good store will provide, giving you a curated collection of good stuff rather than just giving you every choice and letting you figure it out on your own.

            It's nice when it works, but performance is uneven.

            3 votes
            1. [8]
              stephen
              Link Parent
              That's a very fine point which I had not considered. Though I am not sure what conclusion to draw. Sure, the mechanism by which information falls in our collective lap is fickle, disorganized,...

              On the other hand, taking political action on whatever information conveniently falls into our laps is the mechanism that enables bad interaction patterns on Twitter, etc.

              That's a very fine point which I had not considered. Though I am not sure what conclusion to draw. Sure, the mechanism by which information falls in our collective lap is fickle, disorganized, even unfair or subject to manipulation. But does that mean it is ethical to ignore it? If you're prominently shitty and insensitive to go viral at all in the first place maybe there is something instructive for us all to take away.

              insufficient opsec

              I am also unsure of how to apply this. Was is Louie CK's opsec that was lacking when he was serially inappropriate with women? Would better security protocols prevented Keven Hart from repeatedly and voluntarily making public, unapologetic anti-gay slurs on twitter over several years? Moreover, was it unfair when sustained social media backlash and interpersonal learning brought him to the conclusion that he was wrong to """"joke"""" about beating the gay out of his son and that he would not do that again?

              4 votes
              1. [7]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                By "insufficient opsec" I was thinking about people being doxed rather than people publishing under their own name, which is a different form of bad judgement. But yes, those examples do sound...

                By "insufficient opsec" I was thinking about people being doxed rather than people publishing under their own name, which is a different form of bad judgement.

                But yes, those examples do sound very bad. On the other hand, isn't that why you (and now we) have heard of them?

                Here's the ethical case to ignore a lot of this stuff: we hear so much out of context. Are the famous jerks worse around women than non-famous jerks sensible enough to stay off Twitter? Is that guy (whoever he is) actually a bad father or does he just talk like one?

                They are celebrities, but they are also (in my case, not for their fans) people I don't know who never said anything to me and I wouldn't know anything about them if other people didn't tell me about this bad thing they allegedly did.

                When you get a keyhole glimpse of a stranger doing something bad, without any kind of context, what should you do with the information? And does your answer change if a bunch of people send you a thousand different keyhole glimpses of unknown accuracy to sort through?

                It seems like a lot of judging to do if you're going to research it properly. More than a full time job. Maybe we should prioritize?

                Getting back to the subject, though, if you're going to spend the time reading some books by someone, that might be a bigger commitment and more reason to care. Sometimes the reason to read a book is to learn about its author and maybe you shouldn't limit that to what's written in the book?

                2 votes
                1. [6]
                  stephen
                  Link Parent
                  This is analogous to the ironic 4chan nazis. It doesn't matter what you are or aren't. What matters is how you are presenting and the way people perceive acceptable behavior. And if you are...

                  Is that guy (whoever he is) actually a bad father or does he just talk like one?

                  This is analogous to the ironic 4chan nazis. It doesn't matter what you are or aren't. What matters is how you are presenting and the way people perceive acceptable behavior. And if you are presenting as a child-beating gay-hater but actually are just joking it doesn't matter what the truth of your heart is. The negative effects of normalizing the behavior of actual child-beating gay-haters has been publicly normalized, not just to fans but to anyone who sees whatever content this message is in.

                  I am not sure what context in which comments similar to "If I caught my son playing with dolls I would beat the shit out of him" is acceptable. So I am not sure what to make of your keyhole analogy.

                  4 votes
                  1. [5]
                    skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    I meant that the thing they posted is definitely bad but it's not valid to extrapolate from that to pretending you know all about the person who posted it. This is extrapolating wildly from little...

                    I meant that the thing they posted is definitely bad but it's not valid to extrapolate from that to pretending you know all about the person who posted it. This is extrapolating wildly from little data, much like a view through a keyhole doesn't let you see everything on the room. A tweet is not a life history.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Micycle_the_Bichael
                      Link Parent
                      Every relationship you have with any person is viewing them through a number of keyholes. Every person has to decide how many keyholes and how bad what they see through that keyhole is to make a...

                      Every relationship you have with any person is viewing them through a number of keyholes. Every person has to decide how many keyholes and how bad what they see through that keyhole is to make a judgement call. If someone wants to decide that "I would beat my son if I found them playing with dolls" isn't enough of a keyhole to make a judgment call, then that is up to them. That's enough of a keyhole for me to feel comfortable saying they're homophobic and an asshole.

                      2 votes
                      1. skybrian
                        Link Parent
                        There is the question of what the judgement is for: what are you actually doing based on this judgement? I would be entirely comfortable downvoting and/or blocking them. I think this falls under...

                        There is the question of what the judgement is for: what are you actually doing based on this judgement? I would be entirely comfortable downvoting and/or blocking them. I think this falls under free association - only so much time in a day, and it's okay to make snap decisions about what we're going to read and who we associate with. Not reading stuff, not spending any time on it, should be considered the default and there should be a reason to spend time on it.

                        But see my other comment in response to stephen for more on this.

                        1 vote
                    2. [2]
                      stephen
                      Link Parent
                      I don't think it's down to knowing everything about someone. It's about calling out certain actions.

                      pretending you know all about the person who posted it

                      I don't think it's down to knowing everything about someone. It's about calling out certain actions.

                      1 vote
                      1. skybrian
                        Link Parent
                        So the question is, what should we do when someone makes a terrible comment, given how little we actually know about the person who made it? Flagging or downvoting it (like on Hacker News) makes a...

                        So the question is, what should we do when someone makes a terrible comment, given how little we actually know about the person who made it?

                        Flagging or downvoting it (like on Hacker News) makes a lot of sense. This helps the moderation system work and does a favor for other people who don't have to read that crap. In some places the account might get banned either temporarily or permanently, which also makes sense for the same reasons. And although it's deemphasized, seeing what gets downvoted is useful feedback not only for the person who did the terrible thing but others getting an idea what the community will accept.

                        Responding to a comment and thereby resharing it with your followers (as on Twitter) is the opposite of that. It seems counterproductive because it makes things worse for your followers? There is stuff I would never had heard about except that some of my friends inadvertently tell me. (Incidentally I recommend realtwitter.com which is a simple redirect that avoids this.)

                        That just seems like bad software design, since it's quite difficult sometimes to resist the impulse to respond. Hacker News at least has a speedbump here, disabling responses temporarily if they seem too heated.

                        It seems like call-out culture sometimes includes efforts to go beyond that and try to get people fired, though? Maybe they should be fired but I don't think we should feel confident making a decision about someone's job based on a keyhole view? Fortunately it's not actually our call.

                        3 votes
      2. [7]
        ibis
        Link Parent
        Hannah Gatsby touched on this issue in Nannette (if you have netflix I absolutely recommend checking it out). She talks about Picasso, (which is a slightly different situation to some you...

        Hannah Gatsby touched on this issue in Nannette (if you have netflix I absolutely recommend checking it out).

        She talks about Picasso, (which is a slightly different situation to some you mentioned), and raised the point that the elevation and admiration of his name is why his paintings are worth so much. You can't really separate the art from the artist, because no one would pay anything for a Picasso painting if it didn't have his name on it. Even though he is dead now, elevating his work is the same thing as elevating him as a person, and he was a garbage person towards women.

        7 votes
        1. [6]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That strikes me as a completely impractical approach, since if one were to abide by it, the art of every artist who ever lived in times past, when social mores and values were different, would...

          That strikes me as a completely impractical approach, since if one were to abide by it, the art of every artist who ever lived in times past, when social mores and values were different, would likely have to be ruled out unless they were incredibly progressive for their time. So IMO people being products of their times needs to be factored in, and the longer someone is dead, the more divorced their personal ideals and actions gets from their work. E.g. Very few people know of Picasso's womanizing these days, and so someone expressing appreciation for his work nowadays says absolutely nothing about about their own views on that totally unrelated subject, nor does it promote that sexist behavior in any way whatsoever.

          Now, someone who is still alive and still propagating their abhorrent views is another matter entirely though, and that is where the line should be drawn, IMO.

          3 votes
          1. [5]
            ibis
            Link Parent
            You're welcome to your view, but just so we're clear - Picasso was not just a womaniser. One of Picasso's lovers was impregnated by him at the age of 17 (he was 45) and later killed herself. She's...

            You're welcome to your view, but just so we're clear - Picasso was not just a womaniser.

            One of Picasso's lovers was impregnated by him at the age of 17 (he was 45) and later killed herself. She's not even the only one of his partners to kill herself, and many others suffered break downs because of him. At least one of the muses featured in his paints was physically abused by him.

            These are the same women who are in his paintings. You literally can not separate some of his artwork from the women who he destroyed and injured - because they are his art.

            9 votes
            1. [4]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              TBH I still don't really see how that matters, now that he is dead. I can still appreciate the beauty of this piece regardless of the circumstances surrounding its subject and creation. And my...

              TBH I still don't really see how that matters, now that he is dead. I can still appreciate the beauty of this piece regardless of the circumstances surrounding its subject and creation. And my appreciation of it does not further harm to anyone, as far as I can tell. It makes me incredibly sad to hear about that, but it does not change my valuation of the art itself, nor (I hope) does it reflect on me personally for still appreciating it despite the circumstances surrounding its creation.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                ibis
                Link Parent
                I again suggest you watch Nannette by Hannah Gatsby. She studied art history and is more aware of how Picasso and his muses are remembered. She is a victim of physical violence herself, and she...

                I again suggest you watch Nannette by Hannah Gatsby. She studied art history and is more aware of how Picasso and his muses are remembered.

                She is a victim of physical violence herself, and she does a great job of articulating the rage and pain of living in a society that admires serial abusers and ignores the women that they destroyed.

                10 votes
                1. cfabbro
                  Link Parent
                  Fair enough, I will check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

                  Fair enough, I will check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

                  4 votes
                2. stephen
                  Link Parent
                  Reading your comments in this thread made me feel some kind of way - especially this part: Thanks for sharing that. I will definitely be filing this point away for later.

                  Reading your comments in this thread made me feel some kind of way - especially this part:

                  she does a great job of articulating the rage and pain of living in a society that admires serial abusers and ignores the women that they destroyed

                  Thanks for sharing that. I will definitely be filing this point away for later.

                  3 votes
      3. [2]
        SunSpotter
        Link Parent
        When you say you don't want to buy OSC books so as not to support him, do you mean to include buying secondhand books as well? Personally I don't see anything wrong with buying secondhand books in...

        When you say you don't want to buy OSC books so as not to support him, do you mean to include buying secondhand books as well?

        Personally I don't see anything wrong with buying secondhand books in this case because he won't make any money from the sale. Same logic goes for any artist really. If you can find it at a thrift store or used book store, I don't see the harm.

        1 vote
        1. stephen
          Link Parent
          I would assume so since buying a used OSC book still reinforces his brand to other people and re-establishes the notion that his work is worth considering in light of the rest of his life. There's...

          do you mean to include buying secondhand books as well?

          I would assume so since buying a used OSC book still reinforces his brand to other people and re-establishes the notion that his work is worth considering in light of the rest of his life. There's more at play here than just money.

          3 votes
    2. [2]
      jai
      Link Parent
      The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes is a great essay on this subject. Additionally Lindsay Ellis has a great video analysing the themes of that essay in the context of modern movies and books.

      The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes is a great essay on this subject.

      Additionally Lindsay Ellis has a great video analysing the themes of that essay in the context of modern movies and books.

      11 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        Idk what my problem is... Why haven't I watched every Lindsay Ellis video yet...

        Idk what my problem is... Why haven't I watched every Lindsay Ellis video yet...

        2 votes
    3. aymm
      Link Parent
      That's an issue I'm facing too. I used to be really into the Harry Potter books, and still consider myself a big fan. But Rowling has become... a bit problematic over time

      That's an issue I'm facing too. I used to be really into the Harry Potter books, and still consider myself a big fan. But Rowling has become... a bit problematic over time

      5 votes
    4. [3]
      moonbathers
      Link Parent
      I have a semi-serious rule of thumb I call the Mustaine line. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth became a born-again Christian and has some pretty shitty Ted Nugent, Clint Eastwood-esque political views....

      I have a semi-serious rule of thumb I call the Mustaine line. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth became a born-again Christian and has some pretty shitty Ted Nugent, Clint Eastwood-esque political views. But as far as I'm aware he's not openly racist or homophobic or anything (although I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong), so I'm ok buying his music once in a while. If someone is a shittier person than him, though, I don't buy their music. Fortunately I haven't run into too much trouble with that so far.

      4 votes
      1. elcuello
        Link Parent
        I've been listening to Megadeth since the 90s and I just stopped listening to what he have to say many years ago. I must say I enjoyed his snarky political comments in his lyrics more when I...

        I've been listening to Megadeth since the 90s and I just stopped listening to what he have to say many years ago. I must say I enjoyed his snarky political comments in his lyrics more when I agreed with him but now I just don't pay that much attention to them.

        3 votes
      2. Grand0rbiter
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I have a similar rule too. I love Megadeth, but Mustaine, while an asshole, doesn't say anything over the top. I wouldn't be surprised too if he suddenly starts saying homophobic shit, but i hope...

        I have a similar rule too. I love Megadeth, but Mustaine, while an asshole, doesn't say anything over the top. I wouldn't be surprised too if he suddenly starts saying homophobic shit, but i hope not.

        I had to stop listening to two bands that i loved. Mgla (i threw my shirt away), because i found out they are Nazis and Incantation, because he is a pedophile.

        1 vote
  2. [5]
    lionirdeadman
    Link
    "Do I have friends?" Because well, of course I know people but : Will they simply vanish with time like my highschool or childhood friends? I'm not invited to activities they do, do they not like...

    "Do I have friends?"

    Because well, of course I know people but :

    • Will they simply vanish with time like my highschool or childhood friends?
    • I'm not invited to activities they do, do they not like me or did they not think of it?
    • I try to start conversations every so often but they don't do the same, do they not want to talk to me?

    I don't think I'll ever be happy with any answers I come up with other than potentially "I am an awful friend" or "I am asking too much out of them" but even those are not very satisfactory because I'm not sure how I'd become a better friend nor would I want to be asking too much of them because it's a relationship I really want.

    19 votes
    1. [3]
      DyslexicStoner240
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This spoke to me cause I used to have the same dilemma some years ago. Now it's gonna sound like a cliché, but at some point something just clicked and I started being the friend I wanted to have...

      This spoke to me cause I used to have the same dilemma some years ago.

      Now it's gonna sound like a cliché, but at some point something just clicked and I started being the friend I wanted to have towards others.

      Just be the one to take the initiative with your acquaintances: organise a dinner at your place, arrange a meeting to hang out at some cafe, do whatever; worst case scenario they're gonna let you know by word or with actions to back off.

      I find it fun to just make a round of calls on some weekend or the other to my friends, just to hear what's up, how they're doing and stuff.

      Is it unconventional in this day and age? Yes.
      Does it have the possibility to be awkward? Yes, but is avoidable by simply being outgoing and saying it how it is "I had nothing to do, wandered what you were doing and wanted to just bother you and talk about whatever for 10 mins".
      So far noone has complained and instead guys and girls alike seemed to be happy someone was thinking about them.

      To reiterate, be the one to take the initiative, never be the one to bring up politics or religion, convince yourself that 80% of the people you know are socially inept when face to face with acquaintances they are not truly in confidence with and you're good to go. Oh and don't stink. Nobody likes being around stinkos.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        The thing is, I'm not sure what to do, I basically never go out of my home, I can count the number of restaurants and places I know on my fingers so it's quite hard to do but it's something I'll...

        The thing is, I'm not sure what to do, I basically never go out of my home, I can count the number of restaurants and places I know on my fingers so it's quite hard to do but it's something I'll have to figure out with time, I suppose.

        Calling rather than texting could make things more interesting but also a lot more awkward when you don't know what to talk about compared to messaging but I think I'll try to do this once I get a phone.

        Now the question is, since you've started doing that, do they initiate anything?

        5 votes
        1. DyslexicStoner240
          Link Parent
          I assume you're American; I'll admit that outside of gaming I've never had a face to face friendship with someone from the States, still people from over the pond have always struck me as...

          I assume you're American; I'll admit that outside of gaming I've never had a face to face friendship with someone from the States, still people from over the pond have always struck me as generally outgoing.
          I'm also assuming you're autonomous transportation and financial wise.

          There is no real recipe or guidelines to make friends, especially without knowing your age, if you're at uni and so on; only one thing is certain, you have to feel at ease around strangers and people in general, and that's something you have to learn for yourself.

          Here are some ideas on stuff you can try out:

          Sign up for a dancing course, or an improv course or something where you have to collaborate with other people.

          Go somewhere you don't know in your city or town, try striking a quick convo when ordering stuff at a Starbucks or whatever, learn to smile and feel confident.

          Wanna try something adventurous? Fake being from out of town, stop someone and ask for directions to wherever, saying something along the lines of 'my phone died on me, I'm stranded and trying to get to location xyz'. Learn to read other people's reactions, and from that experiment on how to seem as friendly and outgoing as possible.

          Go to a physical retail store and just browse, strike a conversation with an assistant by saying something relatable like 'man, you know how sometimes socks just disappear in your washing machine? The other day it reappeared and totally ruined this shirt was washing! Silly me! By the way what color would you say could fit me the most?'

          I can guarantee once you'll start feeling confident around strangers, handling people you're already acquainted with will be a breeze.

          About your last question, yes; once I gained more confidence and started taking the initiative friends also started texting, chatting and inviting me along.

          Again, learn to smile, be pleasant, steer clear from controversial topics unless someone else has brought them up, always take the initiative and most of all be confident.

          PM me if you wanna be more specific on the situation.

          4 votes
    2. zara
      Link Parent
      It sounds to me like you have acquaintances, not true friends, which is what you're looking for. But acquaintances can become true friends, it's just that the process takes a while and has to pass...

      It sounds to me like you have acquaintances, not true friends, which is what you're looking for. But acquaintances can become true friends, it's just that the process takes a while and has to pass muster, I think.

      3 votes
  3. [4]
    Foreigner
    Link
    I have a lot of these, but one in particular comes back to me from time to time and I don't know if I'll ever find an answer I could be at peace with. It has to do with my username - what do I say...

    I have a lot of these, but one in particular comes back to me from time to time and I don't know if I'll ever find an answer I could be at peace with. It has to do with my username - what do I say when people ask me where am I from? I have a default answer, but it doesn't really feel honest. Where am I from really; what -is- my cultural identity?

    From birth I've had two different nationalities. Two different countries, with different cultures, in two different continents (Africa and Europe). They do share quite a bit of history - one is a former colony of the other. I was born in the former colony, and half of my extended family is from there. However, it was ingrained in me by my parents, for as long as I can remember, that I am from the 'other' country. Ethnically I am a human mutt, so I don't especially look like I am from either place. I look like I could come from a lot of different places and nowhere in particular at the same time.

    We left when I was still young but old enough to remember much of my childhood there. Two other countries later (each on opppsite ends of Asia), my parents decided we needed to get back to our "roots". Around my early teens, we moved to the country of my 'default' nationality. I was bitter about the move - I was happy in country #3, this new place felt like the complete opposite and I didn't identify with "my country" at all. Though the country's language was still my "mother tongue", by that point I'd been in international schools so long, English had taken over as the new mother tongue. Is it even possible to claim two? I still went to an international school, but now I had extended family around. I had grown accustomed to being an expat among expats and this was very different. Though my extended family never really did anything to make me feel left out, I always felt like a foreigner. It took years and moving away for me to grow as fond of this country as I had others before it - but it was here that I first realised I was practically born a foreigner, and would likely never stop feeling like one.

    The story doesn't stop there though. I went to university in England, completing my Master's before inevitably moving on again. I actually felt at home in England and assimilated fairly quickly. If anything, I probably identify most with British culture, but I can't really say that, can I? Ethnically and legally there's nothing British about me. To add insult to injury, I sound generically American (if you've met people who grew up going to international schools, you'll know the accent I'm talking about). Still there was something about England that made me feel like I belonged there. I wondered for a long time if I should have never left - that is until the Brexit vote. It was a cold reminder that no, I never really belonged there either, no matter how much it felt like home.

    Just after the recession hit, I found my first job in the country I live in now (still in Europe). I had no expectations coming here, it really was just for the job, purely transactional. Eventually I met my wife, who is from here, we bought a house together and have two children. It's been 11 years, and I'm about to apply for nationality. If it is granted, it will be my 3rd. I speak the language, I've immersed myself in this country's culture and norms, I've built my life and my family here. But in all this time I haven't grown any fonder of this country than I was when I first set foot in this place. Though there are many things I like about where I live, there are probably more I've grown to dislike and even deeply resent. No telling if the grass is greener elsewhere, or which grass I'd even want to try, but if I could I would leave, fast. Unfortunately, for reasons that are numerous and complicated, I'm stuck here for the foreseeable future. It all still feels very transactional, like a marriage of convenience. Maybe one day the feeling will change, or at least I hope it does.

    Every place I've lived has left cultural marks, some places more than others. But I can't say I'm from any of these places. I barely identify with the country I was born in, and I don't feel like I'm fully from the country I was told I am from. I can't say I'm from both when asked because that sounds odd and pretentious - shouldn't I just pick one and stick with it? I can't say I'm bits and pieces of all the places I've lived and maybe even more than that. That might be the truest answer I can come up with, but in an era where national identity and cultural ownership are increasingly scrutinised, I don't feel I'm allowed to pick more than one side. Some days I wish "I don't know" would be a good enough answer, for others, as well as myself.

    11 votes
    1. envy
      Link Parent
      In my limited experience, people simply want a way to identify common experiences with you. I simply list the places I have lived for a significant portion of my life, and it gives people a chance...

      In my limited experience, people simply want a way to identify common experiences with you.

      I simply list the places I have lived for a significant portion of my life, and it gives people a chance to say "Oh, I've been there" or "Oh, I've always wanted to go there" or "I met a guy who lived there once, did you ever meet him too?"

      5 votes
    2. zara
      Link Parent
      Dude, as a mixed kid whose family moved away from both of my parents' home countries, I can totally relate. I'm a lot of things and I don't fit into any particular box. At this point in my life,...

      Dude, as a mixed kid whose family moved away from both of my parents' home countries, I can totally relate. I'm a lot of things and I don't fit into any particular box.

      At this point in my life, I've just accepted that I'll never truly fit in, no matter where I go, so the best that I can do is make myself comfortable where I am. The one silver lining is that people like you and me tend to be very good at adapting to different places and therefore can make a home anywhere, even if it doesn't feel like it's ours.

      3 votes
  4. [7]
    DyslexicStoner240
    Link
    Is it actually ok to criticise obviously despicable practices on social media? To clarify, with 'obviously despicable practices' I mean all those beliefs that only pander to extremists, outcasts...

    Is it actually ok to criticise obviously despicable practices on social media?

    To clarify, with 'obviously despicable practices' I mean all those beliefs that only pander to extremists, outcasts or plain crazy bozos, e.g. the earth being flat, vaccinations causing autism, climate change being a hoax, predatory scams (like Goop) and so on...

    Up until some years ago I believed it was wise to bring light to state truths in hope of dispelling doubts and false facts, it just made sense.
    Recently though I've come to realise that denouncing these kind of bogus beliefs just makes them more obvious to that 1% willing to buy into them and ultimately giving that minority a chance to actually reply on the non-issue, creating an illusion that a debate about it is necessary, acceptable and worthwhile.

    It's paradoxical really, one can either speak against obvious BS with the intention of shutting it down (while still shining a spotlight on it) or just stfu with the hope it'll not catch on and instead fade into obscurity (but allowing it to stay in the meantime).

    I still don't know what's the best way to act in these cases honestly...

    16 votes
    1. [3]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I think you have a valid point, that content creators need to be careful not to boost the popularity of whatever it is they are criticizing, but I think this is the wrong thing to worry about....

      I think you have a valid point, that content creators need to be careful not to boost the popularity of whatever it is they are criticizing, but I think this is the wrong thing to worry about.

      Basically, I think the thing you should instead be worrying about is why people espousing "despicable thing X" are allowed to use social media in the first place. Why is Twitter not banning transphobes? Why isn't Facebook actually moderating racism on its platform? Why does reddit allow The_Donald to persist?

      I don't think the "big issue" that we should be worrying about is whether we help boost shitty opinions by criticizing them, but rather, we should be worried (and furious) about the fact that massive social media sites, that have an enormous effect on the world, are hosting these shitty opinions in ways they would literally never do in a physical space.

      I would say that social media is out of control, but it was never under control. For the entities running these massive social media sites, where the issue of despicable content is greatest, actually moderating these shitty opinions would be at odds with their goals of continuous prosperity and growth. Thus, the shitty opinions are allowed to persist.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        DyslexicStoner240
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I initially wanted to point out how backlash from banning 'internet environment xyz' still gives these groups major exposure on other platforms, but then I read the direct questions you posed:...

        I initially wanted to point out how backlash from banning 'internet environment xyz' still gives these groups major exposure on other platforms, but then I read the direct questions you posed:

        Why is Twitter not banning transphobes? Why isn't Facebook actually moderating racism on its platform? Why does reddit allow The_Donald to persist?

        While the first and second question I think still come down to gross incompetence, a sprinkle of maliciousness and outright technical difficulties in detection and quarantine measures (all of which could be solved in a matter of weeks if they were actually meaning to fix the situation), I've realised I have no answer to the 3rd question.

        Sometimes I decide to hazmat-suit-up and delve to the frontpages of the most toxic and irredeemable subreddits - say theredpill, T_D, MensRights and so on - just to see what kind of shit is brewing in the Crock-Pot. There is literally nothing worthwhile ever coming from those environments, only the occasional brigade, doxxing incident or whatever.

        The bottom line being, screw the minor observations I wanted to make about your comment, you're actually making an extremely solid point, why are these environments still allowed at all on mainstream websites?

        Edit:
        Also I am glad you mentioned content creators, cause that's the exact people I had in mind when I was typing out the OP.

        6 votes
        1. reifyresonance
          Link Parent
          The answer I've seen for Reddit is it brings ad revenue. Also on Twitter, controversy = engagement = more time on site = ad revenue.

          The answer I've seen for Reddit is it brings ad revenue. Also on Twitter, controversy = engagement = more time on site = ad revenue.

          6 votes
    2. [3]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Are you involved with the skeptical movement at all? This is a question that comes up there quite frequently. The stance that most in the skeptical movement have is that you won't convince the...

      Are you involved with the skeptical movement at all? This is a question that comes up there quite frequently. The stance that most in the skeptical movement have is that you won't convince the true believers because they aren't using logic to reach their conclusions. But by having the debate in the open, in public, you will likely plant the seeds of doubt in people who might be on the fence but not have either the time or logical skills to figure out how something might be a scam or at least incorrect. They won't wake up, read your post and have the answer, but they might see you and others posting stuff saying, "No, this is BS," and then later when they think about it remember what you said.

      Also, this stuff is cyclical. In the 1970s stories about BigFoot and aliens were very popular. TV shows regularly had (serious) episodes with both. By the 1980s you were seen as a crackpot if you believed in those things. I think there's been a resurgence of some of these things in the last decade or so. It will die down (but never go away) over the next decade, probably. At least, it will if there are voices out there explaining why it's unlikely these things are real.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        DyslexicStoner240
        Link Parent
        No idea what the skeptical movement is tbh, I'll have to look it up later on this evening when I'm home. I was just thinking about how while writing the OP I was finding it difficult to find the...

        No idea what the skeptical movement is tbh, I'll have to look it up later on this evening when I'm home.

        I was just thinking about how while writing the OP I was finding it difficult to find the right words to express what I had in mind. Giving Wikipedia's page a skim read seems to confirm it is indeed expressing the general concept I had in mind.

        Thanks for the heads up, I'm sure it'll be a worthwhile read!

        5 votes
        1. Wes
          Link Parent
          If I can recommend one resource on skepticism, it would be the blog NeuroLogica. If you prefer an audible format, the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast is also excellent. They are both run...

          If I can recommend one resource on skepticism, it would be the blog NeuroLogica. If you prefer an audible format, the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast is also excellent. They are both run by Dr. Steven Novella.

          https://theness.com/neurologicablog/
          https://www.theskepticsguide.org/

          4 votes
  5. [5]
    HoolaBoola
    Link
    "Am I a girl?" "I AM a girl!" "But am I, really? I feel ok as a boy..." "No, I can't deal with this. I'm a girl!" "Not so sure. Maybe I'm just a boy after all" ... 10 years later, I've come to...

    "Am I a girl?"

    "I AM a girl!"

    "But am I, really? I feel ok as a boy..."

    "No, I can't deal with this. I'm a girl!"

    "Not so sure. Maybe I'm just a boy after all"

    ...

    10 years later, I've come to decide that I might be a girl.

    14 votes
    1. [4]
      zara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Do you think you'll ever be able to say definitively that you are or are not a girl?

      Do you think you'll ever be able to say definitively that you are or are not a girl?

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        HoolaBoola
        Link Parent
        I don't know, perhaps not. I have a strong feeling that I want to be a girl, but at the moment, it feels wrong to say I am one. I hope that changes if/when I start hormone therapy

        I don't know, perhaps not. I have a strong feeling that I want to be a girl, but at the moment, it feels wrong to say I am one. I hope that changes if/when I start hormone therapy

        5 votes
        1. zara
          Link Parent
          I wish you luck, then.

          I wish you luck, then.

          4 votes
        2. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          I think one thing that has helped me is knowing that the question "am I a girl?" is a very common question that most girls asks themselves. I know a lot of cis girls who've asked themselves the...

          I think one thing that has helped me is knowing that the question "am I a girl?" is a very common question that most girls asks themselves. I know a lot of cis girls who've asked themselves the same question because they happen to enjoy doing something that is not stereotypically girly or find themselves questioning whether they are really beautiful enough or strong enough or emotional enough or whatever transient quality that 'defines a girl' happens to be on their mind and that they don't quite identify with.

          4 votes
  6. [9]
    GreaterPorpoise
    Link
    None of this will be new to anybody else who's had to come out, but I've been debating whether to tell my parents (in order of acceptability) that I'm bi/pansexual, non-binary and an atheist. If I...

    None of this will be new to anybody else who's had to come out, but I've been debating whether to tell my parents (in order of acceptability) that I'm bi/pansexual, non-binary and an atheist.

    If I do, how much do I tell, how do I explain it and when? Or if I don't, how can I keep hiding it, permanently or just until I change my mind? It's a question that I can only escape by coming out, but I can't take anything back once I do.

    Pros of coming out:

    • closure in knowing where I stand and that I did all I could
    • confrontation opens the path for resolution and reconciliation if any
    • able to rebuild and move onto whatever's next
    • a potentially stronger, healthier, positive relationship built on truth and acceptance, or failing that, on honesty and boundaries at least
    • can live my life more freely without secrets from them, either with acceptance or with distance

    Cons:

    • the emotional fallout and relationship strain is a (temporary but intense) burden for everybody
    • the possibility that the relationship may never be positive again or that past (forgiven-ish) abuses and attempts to control me may resurface
    • the reputation damage and possible alienation for myself and my family due to:
    • widespread lack of support in this non-western culture
    • they might forgive my sexuality and gender, but the atheism may disrupt their own faith and sense of purpose in life, with the possibility they may never bounce back

    I've been caught in this loop for a few years now. I love them so much even if they drive me up the wall. i've been leaning towards telling them when I've established my own separate household, but sometimes, I feel the impulse to tell them everything in moments of frustration or sometimes, the urge to just escape to a new life and never tell them anything but the bare minimum to spare all of us some heartache.

    Maybe there's something about the situation that I'm missing.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      For all these reasons and more I waited to come out to my parents and brother until I was 32. I came out as non-binary, pansexual, and polyamorous all at the same time. Quite a lot to drop on them...

      For all these reasons and more I waited to come out to my parents and brother until I was 32. I came out as non-binary, pansexual, and polyamorous all at the same time. Quite a lot to drop on them at the same time, and I was quite a bit worried about how they would respond given some of the things they had said in the past.

      I had decided that I needed to tell them because I've been slowly realizing how important it is to my sense of self and happiness to stop being cis-het passing. Much like bottling up anger is bound to result in explosions of anger when you can bottle it up no more, bottling up my gay does the same and it just wasn't healthy for me in a way I didn't realize until I stopped bottling it up.

      I'm still working on the whole coming out at work thing, since it's pretty much guaranteed to stifle my own career, but after listening to a particularly inspiring talk by an important and successful female anchor who just released a book I decided that being my 'authentic self' is perhaps the greatest asset I bring to any company.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        GreaterPorpoise
        Link Parent
        I hope coming out at work goes well for you! Unfortunately, the work culture (or culture, fullstop) here isn't so developed so I don't expect to come out publicly, just to people I'm close to,...

        I hope coming out at work goes well for you! Unfortunately, the work culture (or culture, fullstop) here isn't so developed so I don't expect to come out publicly, just to people I'm close to, which is enough for my own sense of self and happiness. I'm happy to move on if I don't have a friend's acceptance, but it's harder if moving on is less feasible, like with SOs or family whose lives are tangled up in yours. If you don't mind my asking, how is your relationship with your parents and brother now?

        What you said does ring true though, it takes less for tension to escalate into outright conflict between myself and my parents. I think keeping such big secrets stirs up resentment and bitterness because it's so one-sided. Not to mention hinder the natural development/maturation? of relationships because you're actively working to keep your side of it the same. Being closeted always exacts a higher cost than it seems. I don't know that this has given me an answer to my dilemma but I've got a lot to think about, thank you for listening and sharing.

        3 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Something that helped me come to the realization that I needed to come out at work was that I realized that regardless of how good or bad it is, there will always be jobs where you're accepted for...

          Unfortunately, the work culture (or culture, fullstop) here isn't so developed so I don't expect to come out publicly, just to people I'm close to, which is enough for my own sense of self and happiness.

          Something that helped me come to the realization that I needed to come out at work was that I realized that regardless of how good or bad it is, there will always be jobs where you're accepted for who you are and jobs where you will not be. The idea that I could come out at work and then be not accepted is actually an incentive for me to come out because I frankly don't want to work somewhere I'm not accepted for who I truly am.

          it's harder if moving on is less feasible, like with SOs or family whose lives are tangled up in yours.

          You're absolutely right. I might be a bit weird, but I've always been a big fan of the idea of 'chosen' family. Frankly, I don't care how difficult it is to extricate myself from a complicated situation - what I care about is who I choose to spend my time with. If someone is not healthy for me, I'm usually quick to cut them out of my life. To be fair, I'm also an extremely independent person and have been in many ways since the 3rd grade.

          If you don't mind my asking, how is your relationship with your parents and brother now?

          They have all been incredibly supportive and I think that sentiment can be best be summed up by something my brother said maybe thirty minutes after coming out to him - he told me that he was upset that I didn't tell him all of this earlier. None of the queerness phased him in the least, only the hesitance to open up to him was what was bothersome.

          Being closeted always exacts a higher cost than it seems.

          I never really understood that until last year, but I think part of that was an artifact of who I chose to know different aspects of myself. I always had people I could talk to about being sexually into a wide variety of people, about the struggles of being poly and about how I don't understand gender ... but I didn't realize how much it hurt me and how much less happy I was that I had to keep some of those aspects secret from others. I was internalizing hatred and phobia for people like myself and allowing it to persist in a world which does not deserve it. I can't control how others are going to react and respond to my queerness, but I can control the message that I send out, and I just feel so much better giving off a positive one rather than one that is neutral, secretive, or worse.

          2 votes
    2. [5]
      zara
      Link Parent
      Do you think it's necessary for you to come out? Not just now but ever?

      Do you think it's necessary for you to come out? Not just now but ever?

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        GreaterPorpoise
        Link Parent
        As non-binary, not at all. But I hate the prospect of lying about my church attendance and non-heterosexual relationships for the rest of my parents' lifetimes. I want to give myself a chance of...

        As non-binary, not at all. But I hate the prospect of lying about my church attendance and non-heterosexual relationships for the rest of my parents' lifetimes. I want to give myself a chance of acceptance, give them a chance to prove their love is the unconditional kind.

        The thing stopping me is the non-zero chance that there's no acceptance at all, waiting on the other side of coming out and ensuing adjustment period. It's worth it if there is, but if not, the relationship will be worse off with nothing gained for anybody.

        Some one described being closeted as having Schödinger's parental love, and that's true here for the whole relationship. I'd describe it as having great potential to be healthy and wholesome, and equally great potential to be unhealthy and toxic.

        It used to be abusive, so some days, I feel like a victim who needs to cut them off so I can start healing. Other days, I am too full of love and affection to even imagine not having them in my life. I don't really know what option is healthiest for me.

        (As some added context, I am an only child in a culture where it is customary to look after your parents in their old age, at least financially. I know they're not entitled to it, but I plan to do this no matter what. It feels irresponsible and unnecessary to leave them in poverty, if I have the means to look after them, even at a distance).

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          zara
          Link Parent
          Ah I see. You're got quite the conundrum. I'm sorry that I don't have any good advice for you (I'm straight) but what I can tell you that I'm listening to you and that I hope one day your parents...

          Ah I see. You're got quite the conundrum. I'm sorry that I don't have any good advice for you (I'm straight) but what I can tell you that I'm listening to you and that I hope one day your parents will have changed enough for you to be comfortable telling them.

          Feel free to message me privately if you ever need to vent and such.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            GreaterPorpoise
            Link Parent
            Thank you for listening and for making this thread! I wasn't expecting a definitive answer to my quandary, but I think writing and laying it all out helped put some things in perspective.

            Thank you for listening and for making this thread! I wasn't expecting a definitive answer to my quandary, but I think writing and laying it all out helped put some things in perspective.

            3 votes
            1. zara
              Link Parent
              You're very welcome, and my offer will always stand. :)

              You're very welcome, and my offer will always stand. :)

              1 vote
  7. [8]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Outside of the usual self doubt of "Am I happy/upfront with myself/doing well," my big question is "If I feel compelled to do an altruistic thing, is it really altruistic or am I just doing it to...

    Outside of the usual self doubt of "Am I happy/upfront with myself/doing well," my big question is "If I feel compelled to do an altruistic thing, is it really altruistic or am I just doing it to feel better about myself?" I guess there's no real difference outside of my own head, but can I really consider myself a good person if I'm just so happen to be scratching an itch with good consiquences attached?

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      zara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Personally, I don't mind it when I or other people do good things because it makes them feel better, as long as the good thing gets done. Does that make sense? I just want whatever needs to be...

      Personally, I don't mind it when I or other people do good things because it makes them feel better, as long as the good thing gets done. Does that make sense? I just want whatever needs to be done to actually be done.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        Ditto. And even if a kind act is partially motivated by personal gratification, I don't think that taints the act in any way. IMO it's perfectly okay (and perfectly normal/acceptable/natural) to...

        Ditto. And even if a kind act is partially motivated by personal gratification, I don't think that taints the act in any way. IMO it's perfectly okay (and perfectly normal/acceptable/natural) to feel good when you do good things for others. :)

        7 votes
        1. moocow1452
          Link Parent
          OP and @zara: I know that. I guess it's just an internalized hangup that "it's only good when I feel bad about it," and I know it's illogical. But I guess that's why it keeps coming up in my head.

          OP and @zara: I know that. I guess it's just an internalized hangup that "it's only good when I feel bad about it," and I know it's illogical. But I guess that's why it keeps coming up in my head.

          4 votes
    2. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      If you feel like you should be doing altruistic things, that's indication that you are a good person. If anything, I think this is more of an indication of "very good"ness and not in any way...

      If you feel like you should be doing altruistic things, that's indication that you are a good person. If anything, I think this is more of an indication of "very good"ness and not in any way taking away from anything. Doing good things because it makes you feel good is great!

      If you did good things because someone told you to do it, and you hated doing them, but you did for fear of reprisal, then that's doing good for the wrong reasons. I would argue that is less good.

      7 votes
    3. [2]
      reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      This helped me resolve, to some extent, my version of that debate:

      This helped me resolve, to some extent, my version of that debate:

      "The mere fact that I am acting on my wants does not mean that I am acting selfishly; that depends on what it is that I want. If I want only my own good, and care nothing for others, then I am selfish; but if I also want other people to be well off and happy, and if I act on that desire, then my action is not selfish."
      -- James Rachels, Egoism and Moral Scepticism

      5 votes
      1. wundumguy
        Link Parent
        I really really like this. Puts how I feel into words perfectly

        I really really like this. Puts how I feel into words perfectly

        3 votes
    4. scrambo
      Link Parent
      I like this thought because I've asked my dad a similar-ish question and we both disagree on how we each responded to it. My question is this: "Is true good having no bad impulses, or is it having...

      I like this thought because I've asked my dad a similar-ish question and we both disagree on how we each responded to it. My question is this: "Is true good having no bad impulses, or is it having bad impulses but not acting on them?" I suppose one needs to define what "true good" is to get anything out of the question in the first place. His answer is that "True good is the absence of 'bad'". Mine, is that "true good is the ability to forgo bad". I think it also probably gives insight into how I try to live my life, and relates to my answer farther down this thread.

      2 votes
  8. [11]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    "Is there a God?" I am an agnostic, always asking, always searching. I don't feel that faith that the religious do, and I don't feel the certainty that atheists do. I have been in this state for...

    "Is there a God?"

    I am an agnostic, always asking, always searching. I don't feel that faith that the religious do, and I don't feel the certainty that atheists do. I have been in this state for three decades now, and it's honestly frustrating.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      gpl
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This would probably be my answer too. I was raised (and still am) Catholic, and I have a deep appreciation for the sheer amount of thought that has gone into this question not only by Catholic...

      This would probably be my answer too. I was raised (and still am) Catholic, and I have a deep appreciation for the sheer amount of thought that has gone into this question not only by Catholic thinkers over the last 2000 years, but also people in many other traditions and faiths. As a scientist, I am also skeptical of extraordinary claims without evidence.

      At this point, I think I slightly lean towards some type of metaphysical event/principle being needed for existence. I am far from convinced that whatever that principle is has the same properties that we might call God. For me, the most useful thing has been to reduce the question to the most fundamental formulation, and from there build back up. For me, that has been considering the question of "Why is there something rather than nothing", which has ever so slightly lead me to the aforementioned stance. I am at the least increasingly convinced there cannot be, even in principle, a scientific answer to that question. I guess then my answer to the OP might be: "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        reese
        Link Parent
        Nothingness is an artificial concept. When we speak of 'nonexistence,' 'zero', 'nil,' 'void,' etc., we're always relating these formulations to something. How would we define zero without other...

        Nothingness is an artificial concept. When we speak of 'nonexistence,' 'zero', 'nil,' 'void,' etc., we're always relating these formulations to something. How would we define zero without other numbers accompanying it? Zero would have no meaning in that case. In this sense, we may conclude that zero is "made" of non-zero elements. It's not much of an additive identity without other numbers to add.

        Our symbols seem to only be capable of conveying things relative to other things, which suggests everything is profoundly inter-related. We grasp for absolutes starting with capital letters, like God, Mystery, Nothingness, and Nirvana. I personally do not know if it's possible for a human being to conceive of any one of these things in all its capitalized glory, but I do know, when we try, we can have interesting conversations and achieve wonderful things (assuming we don't choose stuff like Fascism).

        Back to your question: I would say there is something and nothing. If it were the case that there were nothing rather than something, then it begs the question: just how Nothing is nothing if it can be related to something? Dr. Seuss may be the only person who might have the answer to that question, but he's dead. Is he something? Is he nothing? Maybe a little bit of both.

        2 votes
        1. Moonchild
          Link Parent
          Hard disagree. All this indicates is something inescapable* about the way humans understand the world. There is no meaning without pattern and separation. The very idea of meaning is entrenched in...

          Nothingness is an artificial concept. When we speak of 'nonexistence,' 'zero', 'nil,' 'void,' etc., we're always relating these formulations to something. How would we define zero without other numbers accompanying it? [...] Our symbols seem to only be capable of conveying things relative to other things, which suggests everything is profoundly inter-related.

          Hard disagree. All this indicates is something inescapable* about the way humans understand the world. There is no meaning without pattern and separation. The very idea of meaning is entrenched in pattern. This is how humans work. But that doesn't mean that's how the world works.

          *: probably

          2 votes
    2. JoylessAubergine
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is mine too. I have been thinking about starting a thread on it but i wasn't even sure of what i would be asking. "is there a god" "do you believe in god" "what are your metaphysical beliefs"...

      This is mine too. I have been thinking about starting a thread on it but i wasn't even sure of what i would be asking. "is there a god" "do you believe in god" "what are your metaphysical beliefs" "how have you religious beliefs changed over the years" something along those lines.

      I have only been "searching" for about 7 years. I went from being a three carriage catholic who didnt believe, to "God is not Great" type atheist for a few years and then a general apathy towards religious and atheists until over the past seven years i have found myself jealous of those with faith and appreciating the role religion and faith has played in history.

      EDIT: Just noticed that 3 of us who responded to you were raised catholic. Must be something in the wine

      3 votes
    3. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Eylrid
        Link Parent
        It's certain that there are things that we don't know about, and don't know we don't know. The universe is big and we haven't scratched the surface of it. But once you start getting specific about...

        It's certain that there are things that we don't know about, and don't know we don't know. The universe is big and we haven't scratched the surface of it. But once you start getting specific about does something with traits X,Y and Z exist it narrows down the likely hood. Are there beings in the universe with power that would astound us? Quite plausibly. They would just have to be a bit ahead of us in tech development. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (Arthur C. Clark)

        Are there powerful beings whose power extends to our world? Maybe, but less likely. Are there powerful beings who invisibly intervene in our daily lives? A lot less likely. Are there powerful interventionist beings who communicate their will to humans? If they are intervening then it's not much of a stretch that they might subtly communicate, but it still drops the overall probability. Are there powerful, interventionist, will communicating beings who are actually worth listening to? That have any claim to higher morality? That care about our well being? Each additional requirement drops the probability.

        Is there a powerful, interventionist, will communicating, moral, benevolent, loving being named Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Buddha or Thor telling people to not eat pork, not work on Saturday or not work on Sunday, or to go on a pilgrimage? Unlikely is putting it mildly.

        2 votes
    4. FishFingus
      Link Parent
      Oh, I guess I've kind of settled there too. I don't really know what to put in as my religion/spirituality on forms, so something different probably goes in the box each time. You can believe in...

      Oh, I guess I've kind of settled there too. I don't really know what to put in as my religion/spirituality on forms, so something different probably goes in the box each time. You can believe in patron deities for elements, parts of the natural world and even different occupations, like they have in China. That seems like a fairly fun and guilt-free way of doing things. Really, you can put a god in anything. The way I see it, you might as well try and make something fun out of it instead.

      2 votes
    5. [4]
      Arshan
      Link Parent
      I was in the same boat as you for a long time; I wondered about the nature of existence and if a creator is necessary. I was raised as a catholic, but I fairly quickly moved closer to agnosticism....

      I was in the same boat as you for a long time; I wondered about the nature of existence and if a creator is necessary. I was raised as a catholic, but I fairly quickly moved closer to agnosticism. Eventually, I rested on the idea that something must be uncaused, something must always be. Most people anthropomorphize this uncaused cause and worship it; I prefer to simply "deify" matter / energy and go about my day. I uncomfortably rested on this assumption for a long time.

      However at some point ( I honestly don't remember when), it just clicked in my brain that it didn't matter what the answer was. I do exist, in whatever way we exist; the how is unanswerable. To be clear, I am not saying there isn't an answer, just that we can never know it. Mormans could be 100% right about everything, but there is no way for any of us to know that. Atheists could be a 100% right, but the atheistic world is not discernably different from the Morman world. We are born, do some stuff and then die, probably within a 100 rotations of a rock around a really big ball of energy. Does the why matter?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        zara
        Link Parent
        You've pretty much explained my thoughts on this particular matter. Maybe we should call ourselves apathists?

        You've pretty much explained my thoughts on this particular matter. Maybe we should call ourselves apathists?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Arshan
          Link Parent
          I know I have heard that term before, but it never clicked for me. It felt weird to categorize myself around not caring about something, though I don't care about sportsball either. :)

          I know I have heard that term before, but it never clicked for me. It felt weird to categorize myself around not caring about something, though I don't care about sportsball either. :)

          3 votes
          1. zara
            Link Parent
            It does feel odd to put a label on yourself that says you DON'T care, but it works for me so I'm sticking with it.

            It does feel odd to put a label on yourself that says you DON'T care, but it works for me so I'm sticking with it.

            1 vote
  9. [6]
    ffmike
    Link
    Starting around age 50, it's been "what's the point in trying to live a good life if I'm halfway to death anyhow?" I seem to be getting increasingly morbid as I age.

    Starting around age 50, it's been "what's the point in trying to live a good life if I'm halfway to death anyhow?" I seem to be getting increasingly morbid as I age.

    6 votes
    1. DyslexicStoner240
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Don't get me wrong with what I'm about to say, I don't want to be rude or sound pretentious. Think of it under a logical standpoint: there are no negative outcomes to living a good life - it just...

      Don't get me wrong with what I'm about to say, I don't want to be rude or sound pretentious.
      Think of it under a logical standpoint: there are no negative outcomes to living a good life - it just takes effort to achieve; instead there can be countless issues arising for you, your friends or loved ones in living unhealthily by the day.

      I'm still in my 20s, so I may not know any better, but if not for yourself then try to live a good life for those who care about you.

      Think of it as a long hike you're having with a shitload of strangers: some are having it rougher, others are having a ball seeing all kinds of interesting animals, taking cool pictures and stuff and bumping into interesting fellas; it just wouldn't be cool to start complaining and bum other people who happen to be around you cause you're half way there and your experience has just been meh so far, right? Plus who knows what could lay behind this or that tree!

      It's concerning to think of it like you've explained, because at that point what's stopping you from just pushing the logic a bit further towards depression or worse?

      On top of that (pardon me if i egoistically bring it to my POV) what does hearing something like that from someone up ahead on the journey I've just started leave me with?

      edit: formatting

      6 votes
    2. zara
      Link Parent
      What constitutes a good life?

      What constitutes a good life?

      3 votes
    3. [3]
      stephen
      Link Parent
      This explains the way boomers, older gen xers and silent gen-ers vote pretty elegantly.... lbvs

      Starting around age 50, it's been "what's the point in trying to live a good life if I'm halfway to death anyhow?"

      This explains the way boomers, older gen xers and silent gen-ers vote pretty elegantly.... lbvs

      2 votes
      1. ffmike
        Link Parent
        Well...it's an explanation, sure. Though personally, I'm an outlier in those voting patterns.

        Well...it's an explanation, sure. Though personally, I'm an outlier in those voting patterns.

        4 votes
      2. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        I personally blame Fox news, not bothering with technical details, changes in the economy for young people and doing labor like farming and factorywork for decades and suddenly becoming completely...

        This explains the way boomers, older gen xers and silent gen-ers vote pretty elegantly

        I personally blame Fox news, not bothering with technical details, changes in the economy for young people and doing labor like farming and factorywork for decades and suddenly becoming completely useless because of some machine that can do that labor better than you. Although after looking for statistics not much suggests even half of people worked in factories and farms from the 50's to the 80's but I digress.

  10. [2]
    scrambo
    Link
    The longest running debate i've had with myself seems to be much less "grand" compared to some of the other ones here. It boils down to me asking myself: "Am I an asshole". Sometimes, it's an...

    The longest running debate i've had with myself seems to be much less "grand" compared to some of the other ones here. It boils down to me asking myself: "Am I an asshole". Sometimes, it's an 'in-general' context, sometimes it's more of a situational question like "am I being unreasonable in this discussion/argument". I find it hard to ever come to a conclusion on many things and this question is no different. Maybe it points to a lack of confidence on my part, or lack of knowledge, or maybe a mixture of both.

    I'm sure if you were to ask my SO, or parents, or friends, they would all say "No, of course he's not". But they don't know me like I know me. Nobody knows me how I know myself. I have done shitty things in the past, and I've done my best to be a better person after that. To "balance the scales" so to speak. There are some things I can't "atone" for, and as such I can only try to improve the good:bad ratio that I contribute to the world. My Dad gave me some very good advice in the aftermath of one of my poor choices, and I still think about it, and try to follow it to this day.

    "You can't change what's already been done. The best thing you can do now is to wake up tomorrow and try to be a better person."

    6 votes
    1. Eylrid
      Link Parent
      It sounds to me like you've got the right ingredients to be a good person. Being a good person starts with wanting to be a good person. It is only through examining your actions and how they...

      It sounds to me like you've got the right ingredients to be a good person. Being a good person starts with wanting to be a good person. It is only through examining your actions and how they affect others that you can improve them. Self guilt (as long as it's not taken to a crippling extreme) is a good thing because it pushes you to do better in the future. No matter how good of a person you are there will be moments that you hurt other people. The best thing you can do is try to make it right if you can and learn from it.

      3 votes
  11. [9]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    A few questions I haven't really been able to answer adequately and have been slowly chipping away at over the years What is gender, really? What is romance? What's the right balance between...

    A few questions I haven't really been able to answer adequately and have been slowly chipping away at over the years

    • What is gender, really?
    • What is romance?
    • What's the right balance between saving and spending money?
    • Is something wrong with me, or is something seriously wrong with the entire world?
    • Why are so many people so selfish?
    • How come I'm able to abstractly understand my own worth, but entirely unable to appropriately weigh it against others and usually end up self-sacrificing for the benefit of others, whether they are worthy of such a sacrifice or not?
    6 votes
    1. [4]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      I guiltily admit I keep getting tripped up on gender myself. As far as I can tell, the English language just needs a reboot and societal gender norms need to gtfo. I feel like I'm clumsily...

      I guiltily admit I keep getting tripped up on gender myself. As far as I can tell, the English language just needs a reboot and societal gender norms need to gtfo.

      I feel like I'm clumsily stumbling my way into somehow accidentally becoming a transphobic bigot anytime I think about it:

      Like I'm a cisdude and my brain is mostly a youtube clip show half of the time, so I have no idea what it's like to not associate with my assigned gender. Would it be things like having my favorite color be purple? Or how much I love musicals? Or how I hate sports, have a high-ish pitched voice, and want to wear those long sweaters that are all the rage? If I am considered a man but I love a lot of the things considered effeminate by society, wouldn't changing my gender identity to female just re-enforce a sort of sexist framework within the English language? Why shouldn't I just stick with my male pronouns and identity and tell those sexist norms to fuck off?

      Are the they/them pronouns essentially a sledgehammer to these norms and are making their own combination of the two?

      I have no idea. But again, I'm a cisdude-- so I'm kinda just letting it get sorted out by whoever's affected by it most, and I'll respect/use whatever pronouns they want me to use in the interim.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        A combination of this and not understanding what gender is supposed to represent is the reason why I identify as non-binary. Like to me, the idea that 'male' or 'female' tells you literally...

        Are the they/them pronouns essentially a sledgehammer to these norms and are making their own combination of the two?

        A combination of this and not understanding what gender is supposed to represent is the reason why I identify as non-binary.

        Like to me, the idea that 'male' or 'female' tells you literally anything about a person is just a foreign concept. You might as well say you're a 'groble' or a 'blorp' or some other nonsense.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Douglas
          Link Parent
          Gotcha. So you're essentially giving yourself a blank slate away from whatever assumptions the other party is making about you through your gender by going with non-binary?

          Gotcha. So you're essentially giving yourself a blank slate away from whatever assumptions the other party is making about you through your gender by going with non-binary?

          3 votes
          1. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            I mean, that's impossible as they will likely have at least some exposure to the idea of non-binary through people they have met or popular culture. It's more an act of defiance than anything - I...

            I mean, that's impossible as they will likely have at least some exposure to the idea of non-binary through people they have met or popular culture.

            It's more an act of defiance than anything - I disagree with and don't really understand the purpose of gender, so I'm choosing to be something that isn't well defined yet. A 'blorp' by another name, if you will.

            3 votes
    2. [4]
      reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      It's the world. 100%. But there's still a kind of beauty in it, both incidental and consequential from what I think you're talking about.

      It's the world. 100%.

      But there's still a kind of beauty in it, both incidental and consequential from what I think you're talking about.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Oh? Please do elaborate what you mean

        But there's still a kind of beauty in it, both incidental and consequential

        Oh? Please do elaborate what you mean

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          reifyresonance
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I had a bit of a break with reality, or maybe I saw things as they really were for a minute. (Can talk more about that in dm) I saw how everything we have wrought is so, so ugly. Roads are scars...

          I had a bit of a break with reality, or maybe I saw things as they really were for a minute. (Can talk more about that in dm) I saw how everything we have wrought is so, so ugly. Roads are scars on the land, the prison system is absolutely unforgivable, etc etc. The advice a friend gave me helped a lot:

          But people see what they want to see, and the world, and our very nature, makes us inclined to only care about ourselves and blind us to the suffering of others. There is ugliness and suffering in the world, but there is also beauty and joy. Concentrate on this moment, and the fact that one one will ever be able to enjoy it as you are. Consider how wondrous it is that you exist at all.

          Don’t focus too much on the world right now, just do you. If you want to save a drowning person, you have to know how to swim.

          I've found that intentionally being grateful for things helps. The world may be wrong, fundamentally, but there's still the trees and the grass and the wild geese. You can also find beauty in how people struggle for a better world.

          I am still convinced the world is all wrong. It is not wrong to the point where despair is the only option.

          I don't know if any of that is helpful, maybe I missed the mark completely, but if it might have been I thought I should share it.

          4 votes
          1. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            This is a wonderfully sweet sentiment. Thank you for sharing. 💜

            This is a wonderfully sweet sentiment. Thank you for sharing. 💜

            3 votes
  12. [2]
    krg
    Link
    ideal self vs. realized self, mostly. I think the baggage of caring on personal associations can make it hard to drive towards the "ideal." Sometimes I feel like dropping it all and becoming a...

    ideal self vs. realized self, mostly.

    I think the baggage of caring on personal associations can make it hard to drive towards the "ideal." Sometimes I feel like dropping it all and becoming a hermit in some desert town.* though, most likely I'd fine myself falling into old habits. plus, I guess it'd be the coward's way out. I should probably just bear down, make those changes, and deal with the repercussions of alienating some folk.

    then again, I sometimes wonder if I'm placing lofty expectations on myself. maybe I am living a decent life? (though, I'd wager history would show that not to be the case, at this point)

    anyway, that's a bit o my internal struggle.

    *I can see why some find the idea of being "born again" appealing

    5 votes
    1. zara
      Link Parent
      Ah, isn't it awful that the past is always right behind us? I have the same struggle with my feelings of disassociation. I can put distance between myself and my past experiences, but it comes at...

      Ah, isn't it awful that the past is always right behind us?

      I have the same struggle with my feelings of disassociation. I can put distance between myself and my past experiences, but it comes at the cost of not being able to embrace me as a person, including and up to forgetting things that I know are important.

      There are days where I cringe at old memories, and days where I'm super fucking happy to be me and other days where I am so momumentally sad at where my life is (and how it's not progressing in the way that I'd like).

      Maybe it'll always be a struggle, but for right now, I'm just so grateful to be here.

      2 votes
  13. [6]
    stephen
    Link
    How much should I strive to embody my ideals based given how this could complicate my life? In the words the great thinker and doer Grace Lee Boggs :You cannot change any society unless you take...

    How much should I strive to embody my ideals based given how this could complicate my life?

    In the words the great thinker and doer Grace Lee Boggs :You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it."

    As a self-professed environmentalist and political radical, I think about this any time I put something in the trash, step in a car, read something, do something, etc. Basically I walk through life conflicted, thinking and talking one way and acting and choosing in as only somewhat similar way.

    On the one hand, I want to live a life of principle and embody the sorts of changes I want to see in the world. On the other hand, I'm (not actually so) freshly out of a uni program that left me real burnt out and would like to live an easy, hedonic life for at least a little bit. I am at once very motivated to produce less waste and give more of my time to radical liberatory struggle, at the same time as I can barely motivate myself whatsoever.

    Now that I'm approaching two years out of school, and living a somewhat stable, comfortable existence I feel like maybe it's time to push myself a little more than I have been. Yet, I am very wary of pushing too hard again and burning out again since the consequences are less "fail a test or have a bad review" and more "lose my job and fleeting grasp on financial security."

    Writing this out has been really helpful though. Maybe starting with committed, sustained baby steps is the way to go.

    Shout out to Zara for this question. This is a great thread.

    4 votes
    1. zara
      Link Parent
      Aw, thanks for the shout out! I was just curious about how other people struggle with their internal dilemmas, and I was trying to see if a little bit of dialogue could help them out. Also, I...

      Aw, thanks for the shout out! I was just curious about how other people struggle with their internal dilemmas, and I was trying to see if a little bit of dialogue could help them out.

      Also, I totally get where you're coming from when it comes to sticking to your ideals. I really, really, really don't like the fact that most of the stuff in the US (where I live) is made in China, a country known for several human rights violations (what is happening to the Uygurs is absolutely tragic and makes me wanna cry). So I try to not buy stuff that says "Made in China", but sometimes it feels like I can't afford to take a stand against it. :/

      1 vote
    2. [4]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      I personally take a view of 'find someone with your ideals in a power structure and give them enough power to fulfill said ideals or enter the power structure to do it yourself.' Basically find...

      I personally take a view of 'find someone with your ideals in a power structure and give them enough power to fulfill said ideals or enter the power structure to do it yourself.' Basically find someone looking for the change you want and get them what they need to make it (can be a Bernie-type politician looking to improve young people's lives or a tech startup with an actual moral code.) Note that they are the ones making said change, not you, you are helping them achieve because in the modern world you either get a politician to do what you want or you become that politician. Activism is a method of spreading that message but not accomplishing it, and armed insurrection is a last resort in case the existing power structures literally lock you out of them. Bernie may be a millionaire who flies first-class but he wants what you want and ultimately, you're the one giving him the donation to make that flight and so he can enact the policy to let you live a life similar to his someday, or at least have the ability to try something to get there.

      1. [3]
        stephen
        Link Parent
        Big big disagree. My issue here is that I feel trapped between my disempowerment and desire to struggle for change (either as an individual or as a member of a movement) and my desire to protect...

        Big big disagree. My issue here is that I feel trapped between my disempowerment and desire to struggle for change (either as an individual or as a member of a movement) and my desire to protect my mental health from burnout. I am struggling for a way to exercise autonomy and create empowerment against repression and societal/structural obstacles. Sitting back and giving some yet-to-let-me-down politician is like... the exact inverse of what I'm getting at here.

        find someone with your ideals in a power structure and give them enough power to fulfill said ideals or enter the power structure to do it yourself.

        I take the All power to the people approach myself. Angela Davis said it well when she said "You can't trust the government to do the work of movements." I find it incredibly demoralizing to consider that they only way for me to engage with societal change is through the medium of another, more powerful person.

        Activism is a method of spreading that message but not accomplishing it, and armed insurrection is a last resort in case the existing power structures literally lock you out of them.

        And between these two is direct action. Which I find the most compelling. Again drawing from the Black Panther Party, if people are hungry you don't sit around planning a pressure campaign and maybe one day some politician will propose some amendment. You get some people together and start cooking. Well, you could, but people are gonna be hungry in the mean time.

        Though I'm not totally opposed to insurrection....

        Bernie may be a millionaire who flies first-class

        Lol he actually very famously flies coach iirc

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Kuromantis
          Link Parent
          So your ideal self is something analogous to the Hong Kong protesters during their first weeks, with boycotts, human supply chains, use of anonymous communication apps and the like to sustain...

          I take the 'All power to the people' approach myself. Angela Davis said it well when she said "You can't trust the government to do the work of movements." I find it incredibly demoralizing to consider that they only way for me to engage with societal change is through the medium of another, more powerful person.

          Activism is a method of spreading that message but not accomplishing it, and armed insurrection is a last resort in case the existing power structures literally lock you out of them.

          And between these two is direct action. Which I find the most compelling. Again drawing from the Black Panther Party, if people are hungry you don't sit around planning a pressure campaign and maybe one day some politician will propose some amendment. You get some people together and start cooking. Well, you could, but people are gonna be hungry in the mean time.

          (Though I'm not totally opposed to insurrection....)

          So your ideal self is something analogous to the Hong Kong protesters during their first weeks, with boycotts, human supply chains, use of anonymous communication apps and the like to sustain themselves? In that case then I don't know what you should do, since the status quo and your ideal are so far apart.

          3 votes
          1. stephen
            Link Parent
            Yes exactly. I'm glad I was able to communicate myself clearly since this is a pretty muddled issue up in my noodle.

            Yes exactly. I'm glad I was able to communicate myself clearly since this is a pretty muddled issue up in my noodle.

            4 votes
  14. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      stephen
      Link Parent
      Well if science is failing us then maybe it's time to turn to ethic and no matter how you draw the line, women, ethically, have human rights. And part of that means that people get to make choices...

      At the end of the day it's just a matter of when you think people get human rights, and there's really no objective, scientific way to draw that line.

      Well if science is failing us then maybe it's time to turn to ethic and no matter how you draw the line, women, ethically, have human rights. And part of that means that people get to make choices about their bodies. It wouldn't be the state's place to tell me how to cut my hair or which nipple to pierce, whether or not to get a vasectomy or how to tend to the health of my colon.

      Why should it be ethical to hold a uterus to any other standard?

      I'm very pro-choice and that includes the right to choose not to have an abortion. If people are ethically opposed to abortion, great! Congrats on having any ethics whatsoever! You're 100% ahead of all high frequency traders. But also, keep it to yourself! It's not your place and it's sure as shit not the state's place to tell anyone what to do with their bodies - not least of all something as life-changing and drastic as bringing a human baby to term in your own personal womb.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. stephen
          Link Parent
          Personally I'd say this begins once the baby is more of an self-sufficient organism than a parasite. But this doesn't happen until later in the pregnancy when abortions are only common in the...

          the issue is when does the child's rights kick in

          Personally I'd say this begins once the baby is more of an self-sufficient organism than a parasite. But this doesn't happen until later in the pregnancy when abortions are only common in the context of a medical danger to the mother. Women who are gonna get and stay pregnant long enough to have a fetus that can self-sustain are committed to being a mother. They would only abort if their doctor said there is a good chance the pregnancy poses a health risk.

          So as far as I can see there's really no reason to ban abortion.

          2 votes
    2. zara
      Link Parent
      I'm pro-choice too, and I struggle with this sometimes too. I'm a young woman and would VERY MUCH LIKE to keep abortion rights. But I can also see where someone like you is coming from, as...

      I'm pro-choice too, and I struggle with this sometimes too. I'm a young woman and would VERY MUCH LIKE to keep abortion rights. But I can also see where someone like you is coming from, as late-term abortions make me uneasy, even though I know they're medically necessary in order to protect the mother.

      But honestly? I do get kinda pissed off when I have discussions about abortion, because I just know that if men could get pregnant the way women could, there wouldn't be a discussion; they would just have that right.

      1 vote
  15. [3]
    grahamiam
    (edited )
    Link
    Urban versus rural living. It's just a thought exercise until retirement as my wife and my careers only overlap in cities but... Cities have more to offer in terms of convenience, diversity, and...

    Urban versus rural living. It's just a thought exercise until retirement as my wife and my careers only overlap in cities but...

    Cities have more to offer in terms of convenience, diversity, and opportunity. It's also probably more environmentally friendly to live in a city, and from personal experience it's a little easier for me to be physically active in a city.

    However, one of the greatest sources of joy in my life is having dogs, something that a city makes, in my opinion, much less ethical. I also like the self sufficiency possible in a rural area, and I like being able to really know and make a difference in my community.

    I think city will win in my life, but so much of it depends on lifestyle. I also haven't seriously looked for more diverse, less conservative rural areas. Do they exist?

    Some people say living 30-60 minutes outside of a city is the answer, but none of the communities fitting that bill outside Austin or Houston were attractive except maybe San Marcos. Maybe college towns are the answer.

    4 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Someplace like Bloomington, Indiana might fit your bill pretty well. It's got culture and amenities because of the university, but it gets rural really quick outside of the urban hub. If I wasn't...

      Someplace like Bloomington, Indiana might fit your bill pretty well. It's got culture and amenities because of the university, but it gets rural really quick outside of the urban hub. If I wasn't in a fantastic situation on the coast it's where I'd be.

      1 vote
    2. zara
      Link Parent
      Have you looked at any college towns so far?

      Have you looked at any college towns so far?

      1 vote
  16. [3]
    iiv
    Link
    I just realized that I don't have anything like that. I don't involve myself in basically anything, if I do it's more of a curiosity, not that I actually care. A question posted in this thread was...

    I just realized that I don't have anything like that. I don't involve myself in basically anything, if I do it's more of a curiosity, not that I actually care.

    A question posted in this thread was about how to (and if you should) separate art from the artist. It is incredibly easy to me, it is my normal stance. If I don't think about something, it's out of my mind. If Hitler wrote The Great Gatsby nothing would stop me from reading and enjoying it except other people's judgments.

    I don't get angry. I'm not apathic, I get sad and can feel sympathy and empathy. But I feel like my emotions are under my control, not the other way around. I've never been paralyzed with fear or hit/wanted to hit someone in anger. I've never even screamed or shouted in anger. The angriest I've felt is "upsetness", from what I've seen other describe feelings as, and as soon as I stop thinking about it I stop feeling upset.

    I forgive people immediately. I have no hard feelings to literally anyone. People I meet seem to not believe me when I say things like this. "There must be something/someone you're angry at." But no.

    I am happy. I live a fulfilling life and I am content. But I am curious, I want to know everything, and... feel everything. I feel like my body and mind are separated, like I'm looking out into the world, like I'm a passenger on a train. I go with the flow and I'm satisfied. Is that normal? (The worst thing (or maybe the best) is that I'm not even bothered if it is normal. I'm me, and I'm content.)

    3 votes
    1. zara
      Link Parent
      Oh jeez dude, I'm so happy for you. :) I hope you continue to be you.

      Oh jeez dude, I'm so happy for you. :)

      I hope you continue to be you.

      1 vote
    2. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. iiv
        Link Parent
        Interesting, never heard of that (except as a "normal" adjective). Thanks for the link, seems like there are more people like me.

        Interesting, never heard of that (except as a "normal" adjective). Thanks for the link, seems like there are more people like me.

        1 vote
  17. [5]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    After thinking long and hard about this issue, I realized me and myself are usually in agreement. But I can tell you about some hard problems I frequently contemplate that haven't been solved yet:...

    After thinking long and hard about this issue, I realized me and myself are usually in agreement.

    But I can tell you about some hard problems I frequently contemplate that haven't been solved yet:

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      zara
      Link Parent
      I find it interesting that you say these are your big quandries, as both of them are non-issues to me. Evilness to me is someone deliberately trying to hurt someone just for the hell of it, and in...

      I find it interesting that you say these are your big quandries, as both of them are non-issues to me.

      Evilness to me is someone deliberately trying to hurt someone just for the hell of it, and in general just not giving a damn about other people. I don't have answers as to why that person acts that way, I just make sure to protect myself and others from someone like that, including staying away and warning other people.

      As to your second question: I don't care because it's not relevant to my life so I don't worry about it. But I'll probably agree with you in that this question is one in which I'll probably never get a concrete answer to.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        The problem of evil to which I referred is not the one you describe, but rather the one below. From the link: I can certainly understand how the second might be irrelevant for not only you but...

        The problem of evil to which I referred is not the one you describe, but rather the one below. From the link:

        The evidential problem of evil is the problem of determining whether and, if so, to what extent the existence of evil (or certain instances, kinds, quantities, or distributions of evil) constitutes evidence against the existence of God, that is to say, a being perfect in power, knowledge and goodness.

        I can certainly understand how the second might be irrelevant for not only you but most people. It is not an immediate concern. But, as a member of the group of the things that exist, it fascinates me that we seem to be the norm. Existence simply does not make much logical sense. The article I linked has compelling arguments that indicate this is not a trivial question.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          zara
          Link Parent
          Whoops! Sorry, I misinterpreted that question about evil. The way that Christians have explained it to me was that God can't stop evil people because people have freedom, and God has too much...

          Whoops! Sorry, I misinterpreted that question about evil. The way that Christians have explained it to me was that God can't stop evil people because people have freedom, and God has too much respect and love for humanity to take that away from anyone, whether they're evil or not. Honestly, I always saw that as a pretty flimsy excuse because of the whole thing with Adam and Eve and the apples but to each their own, I guess.

          I'll go back and actually try to read both articles when I have the time, but right now I need to get off tildes and start getting ready for work.

          But be prepared to have a lively and respectable conversation on philosophy when I return, Mr Big!

          1 vote
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            Sure! But I must warn you that, while a believer, I don't pretend everything surrounding my faith is logically defensible, so the conversation may be a lot less lively than you anticipate!

            Sure! But I must warn you that, while a believer, I don't pretend everything surrounding my faith is logically defensible, so the conversation may be a lot less lively than you anticipate!

            2 votes
  18. reifyresonance
    Link
    It's one I don't think I'll solve, but: "what is there, what is it like, and what should I do about it?" Also: what is the nature of mind? how am I conscious? [redacted by my own mind for...

    It's one I don't think I'll solve, but: "what is there, what is it like, and what should I do about it?"

    Also:

    • what is the nature of mind? how am I conscious?
    • [redacted by my own mind for potential existential panic] (I'm not sure what that one is but I'm not about to think about it right now!)
    • who am I? who will I be? (I'm a bit better at this one than I used to be)
    • what should I read next?
    • how can I be better?
    2 votes