by Terry 49 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Markfromcali
    You are NOT FREE to escape from your nature, from the fact that REASON is your means of survival--so that for you, who are a human being, the question "to be or not to be" is the question "to think or not to think" they are the same question.

    and yet..

    The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not.

    So there are atleast parts of us for which survival is not dependent on the process of the mind, and this goes along with what Stinkypantz is pointing out. Can we by thought do as little as heal a small cut, or even digest the food we put into our bodies? So my question is does thought insure survival of much more than the thought based mind itself? I am not saying one is more important than the other, the point is you have both the body and the mind. So I'm sorry, but I cannot rule out the reality which is not thought based as it is just as prevalent as thought, actually more so in a way. More to the point, I see no usefulness is isolating or emphasizing thought when that is the exact way people are limiting themselves when they suffer from mental disease. A sports enthusiast can make insightful comments on his favorite team from the couch, but an athlete can actually perform these feats.

    In any hour of your life you are only free TO THINK or to EVADE.

    And yet we see that many do evade a reality that is plain to others by their particular way of thinking. Of course, often times people don't know any better either. After all if your entire reality is thought based then you will not see that which is not though based. At that point it is simply a matter of whether you are aware of the nuances of life beyond your cognitive filters.

  • Markfromcali
    Your discussion of emotions is excellent, but I have a question. If emotions are the result of prewired "survival" instincts, why has the highest form of human endeavor always been the denial of self?

    Well there's a couple of different points here. Is selfless behavior really emotionally based, and is it in fact a denial of self or rather seeing through what is taken to be self? We tend to think of dramatic examples where some heroic effort is made to save another person, but frankly a guy that makes no drama over having to clean the bathroom at work is selfless as well - in fact that is more likely to be a permanent 'trait' rather than a momentary manifestation. It's just they way he is, (assuming this is not someone used to doing janitorial work) and there is no thought of the work being beneath him. Self-esteem would not apply here, as all of that would be mental processes that serve no purpose other than a persistent struggle over some illusory sense of self, otherwise known as ego. The only thing it does is in coming up with some sense of self, but it isn't actually useful in anything. You might say it's just self involved mental tail chasing.

  • Annanias

    But you didn't answer the question. Why has every society, religion, civilization valued self-sacrifice above everything else and seen it as the road to Nirvana or Valhalla or where ever? Even the Etruscans (about as close to pure Hedonist as they get, except for maybe Hollywood) understood and promoted the sacrifice of one for another. I asked one guy why he thought that they had Congressional Medals of Honor and he replied that it "was a morale thing". That if they gave medals for running off and hiding in the woods (the "natural" thing to do?), "then that's what everybody would do!" Hmmmm

  • logansrun

    I haven't read through this entire thread, but I would like to say, briefly, that emotion plays a very important role in human consciousness. There is no one who thinks only logically and "rationally" -- I repeat, no one. If there were, they wouldn't even be anything close to what we call human. Emotion, like any guide, can be helpful or not.

    Balance between our emotional and logical side seems to be best.


  • Markfromcali


    Well obviously if there isn't some degree of self sacrifice on behalf of the individual the coherence of the larger collective would suffer, in the relative world of cause and effect. I understand they have some model of this in political science.

    But to answer your question, of course if the individual does not have this sense of separate self in the first place then it is not a sacrifice at all, it is only such a big sacrifice to people because their illusory self is the thing they most cherish, and for someone to give that on behalf of others is the most generous gift as far as they are concerned - so naturally it is held in high regard and valued. As shocking and unbelieveable as it may sound, to some the idea of self sacrifice is kind of a joke. If your sense of self extends beyond this person here then giving this life on behalf of the greater whole is just giving to yourself. This is why I say it is not necessarily an emotional thing, it is not motivated by some ideology either, not even the idea of self sacrifice being noble and what have you. It comes out of what is called selflessness, but again to one with such a disposition it's all the self. Obviously that can be there to some degree even when there is a lot of emotion involved, but emotion only appears to be the motivation because experientially emotion is dominant at that point in time.

  • Terry

    ANNANIAS: Your discussion of emotions is excellent, but I have a question. If emotions are the result of prewired "survival" instincts, why has the highest form of human endeavor always been the denial of self?



    That is one of the most powerful questions you could ask; and it is vitally important to understand.

    The only way to control people is to overcome their defense against being controlled. The main line of defense a human has is their rational mind. The rational mind judges facts by comparing data with reality. To protect ourselves we have to have concern with ourselves. We don't guard what we don't value. Consequently, by disarming the "concern with self" a thief and a slave master use the same strategy: disarm our concern with self.

    SELFISHNESS is painted with the black brush as evil. Religion disables our concern for self by disabling our rational mind and planting an evil twin: obedience that leads to paradise. The next step to mind-control is to subsitute CONCERN FOR OTHERS in place of concern for self.

    ALTRUISM declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is GOOD, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action becomes THE ONLY CRITERION of moral value--as so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

    Don't miss the point that this leads to slavery. Our personal value becomes chained to SERVICE TO OTHERS. Our approval depends on that evaluation of our service BY OTHERS.

    ALTRUISM leads to immorality, oddly enough!! How? We gain nothing personally by serving our own interests under altruism because we are declared selfish and unworthy. By turning ourself into a sacrifice on behalf of others we gain value under such a system. Is it any wonder that the only way to survive and prosper under Altruism is to become a hypocrite? You must go underground to meet your own needs. This splits a person off from their declared values (Service on behalf of others) and forces them to violate their values in order to survive.

    Religion makes man unworthy except when he serves. But, by giving up himself, man destroys his value TO himself. He must CHEAT to win.

    History bears this out.

    Jehovah's Witnesses are prime examples of people who only have "value" if they continually give themselves up to service and self-sacrifice. It devalues them educationally and financially and in terms of self-esteem. Consequently they either implode or they live double lives: one apparently "moral" and the other hidden and "immoral".

    Altruism leads to cynicism because nobody can live without self-esteem. Altruism leads to guilt because men cannot dare reject it lest they be marked as "evil". Altruism leads to hypocricy because man must benefit himself "on the sly".

    The tyrant, the witchdoctor, the priest, the slavemaster all use Altruism equally! Serving the needs of the group; of the cause; of the nation; of the faith substitute for serving the needs of the self and it is used to make slaves of men. They dare not disagree or they will be shunned in one case or executed or imprisioned in the other.

    MAN MUST BE THE BENEFICIARY of his own moral actions or he is fragmented into a hapless brute at the mercy of a master who will use and abuse him by enslaving him in service.

    To attack so-called "selfishness" is to attack self-esteem in reality.

    We are trained to be sheep from almost the moment we are born and few escape this slavery.

    We are taught not to be loyal to our own selves but to be loyal and to serve:

    1.The family

    2.the Faith

    3.The Nation (patriotism)

    4.The party (political philosophy)

    We are taught to be servants to OTHERS and not to ourselves. We are ridiculed and ostracised if we think for ourselves. The price of becoming an INDIVIDUAL among sheep is a high price indeed and only the strongest and most sane of men ever succeeds.

    And that, my friend, should answer the question:Why is the highest form of human endeavor considered to be denial of self?

  • Terry

    POLE ASKS: Terry

    Are you assuming that everybody's born with exactly the same "tabula rasa" and it's only later experiences that shape our emotions, whether they are volitional or not?

    *************************************************************************************************************** Pole, no. Organically: no. Talent-wise? no. Each person has what he has and no more or less. What is "the same" is the blankness of the slate in terms of EXPERIENCE. A Mozart or Beethoven is not born the same as you or me. They have an enormous capacity that we do not have. What requires enormous work on the part of one person is easily achieved by sheer (inherited) talent on the part of another. We are all created equal only in terms of our human nature; what makes us human. We are not equal in terms of our capacity.

  • Terry

    STINKYPANTS: " I do not believe that you can choose to negate emotions. For women specifically, and even men on certain levels, we have hormonal changes that at least once a month manifest themselves. If hormones can cause these changes once a month, why can't this be the case at other times? Your emotional responses are not always about choice or thought."



    Negating emotions? Why would we?

    If we can see that there is an organic and physical aspect to our health we won't be surprised that a broken arm affects our ability to pitch a no-hitter. How we "deal with" our broken arm depends on our understanding of the limits of human behavior and the reality of impairment.

    My discussion of emotions deals with our VALUATION of what we FEEL. Do we only deal with what we feel? Do we understand that feelings come from more than one source?

    1.Feelings come from values.

    2.Feelings come from brain chemicals.

    If I drink a pint of whiskey I will feel things physically in a different way than if I did not drink a pint of whiskey. If I deny any connection between alcohol and impairment I am not dealing with the reality of the situation. How many people drink and then drive? They deny the reality of the cause : drinking and the effect: drunkeness and impairment.

    Are they shocked and surprised if they get stopped by the police and declare they are being persecuted?

    That is the sort of thing I'm dealing with in my post. Effects (emotions) have definite causes. How we deal with the reality of the causes and the effects determines our coping mechanism.

    A feeling is not necessarily an emotion.

    Sometimes when you drink too much an ugly person looks pretty good. The distortion of perception leads to distortion of action filtered through misperception.

    A "monthly" hormonal spurt is no different than drinking and looking at a butt-ugly barfly and saying: "Mmmmm, doggies! Hot stuff!"

  • Markfromcali

    I want to point out that I actually agree with Terry to an extent on the issue of self. We tend to think of self OR others, thus in an exclusive sense, whereas what I am pointing out is a selflessness that is self AND others, which is inclusive - it is simply in context. What Terry is describing naturally leads to a strange twist, essentially one is encouraged to fake selflessness by the religion or whatever. The idea of do unto others as you would do unto yourself becomes a psychological projection, and that displays itself in behaviors such as forcing your religion down other people's throats. Naturally if you are including this self, this mind and body here then it is taken care of as well. Functionally speaking you simply take it all into consideration, the 'big picture' as they say, which is just smarter. In contrast one who simply tries to separate oneself without being conscious of whats going on around him is simply being a raging rebel without a clue.

  • Annanias

    Terry, your discussion of emotions and realities is well taken. However, we seem to be dealing in the abstract here as there is an apparent unstated assumption that all things remain equal, which is not true. One of the concepts that physics is just beginning to explore both philosophically as well as experimentally is that of parallel universes. (There seems to be a growing belief that, at least on the sub atomic level, particles drift across universes and can be afeected by particles in neighboring universes. This is one direction being explored to explain the paradox of gravity being instantaenous while light has speed.) While as JWs, we dealt with parallel universes all the time, namely, the spiritual world and the physical world. The problem that this causes in any algorithmic discussion as to reality in this universe is that there is the potential of some totally separate individual just messing with us. That no matter how altruistic, hedonistic, selfish, selfless, cruel, happy, depressed, kind we might be, the results may not be linear in relation to our actions because some body is rigging the game. Now, this tends to brush up against what the Romans believed about religion in that, to them, what we did, who we were, made no difference. Not because it was predestined, but because we were just helpless weiners with whom the Gods did as they pleased.

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