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What Philosophy Takes

suppose someone wanted to know what i know today about philosophy.

they better be as smart, honest and good at learning as me or put in as much time/attention/effort as me. if they are way behind on both, how is that going to work?

if you aren't even close in either area, but you pretend you're learning FI, you're being irresponsible and lying to yourself. you don't actually have a plan to learn it which makes sense and which appears workable if you stop and look at it in broad strokes.

consider, seriously, what advantages you have, compared to me, if any. consider your actual, realistic capabilities. if the situation looks bad, that is good information to know, which you can use to formulate a plan for dealing with your actual situation. it's better to have some kind of plan than to ignore the situation and work with no plan or with a plan for a different (more positive) situation you aren't in.

if you're young, this stuff still applies to you. if you aren't doing much to learn philosophy now, when will you? it doesn't get easier if you wait. it gets harder. over time you will get less honest and more tied up in a different non-FI life.

whatever issues you have with FI, they won't go away by themselves. waiting won't fix anything. face them now, or don't pretend you're going to face them at all.

if you're really young, you may find it helpful to do things like learn to read first. there's audiobooks, but it isn't really just about reading, it's also vocabulary and other related skills. putting effort into improving your ability to read is directly related to FI, it's directly working on one of the issues separating you from FI. that's fine.

if you're doing something which isn't directly related, but which you think will help with FI, post it and see if others agree with your plan or think you're fooling yourself. if you're fooling yourself, the sooner you find out the sooner you can fix it. (or do you want to fool yourself?)

Elliot Temple on June 22, 2017

Messages (4)

how could somebody want to fool themselves?

like how could somebody say the words "i want to fool myself" to himself?

Anonymous at 4:20 PM on June 22, 2017 | #8728 | reply | quote

this reminds me of something. a christian was telling me about a particular criticism of he knows about why he believes in christianity.

he believes in christianity, at least partly, because he doesn't believe that some things that happened in his life could be explained as just coincidences. he thinks those events could only have happened if there is a God. for example, he has pain, then he prays to God, then he feels better.

people have told him that an alternative explanation for these events is the placebo effect. and his answer to that is "well even if it is just placebo effect, it works! so..."

this is him saying "well even if i am just fooling myself, it's working!"

what exactly does he think is working?

same Anon as above at 4:24 PM on June 22, 2017 | #8729 | reply | quote

> like how could somebody say the words "i want to fool myself" to himself?

you don't have to say those words to yourself to do it. you don't have to think clearly about what you're doing or why. you don't have to understand yourself.

it's possible to say those exact words if you have some confusion about how life works, how morality works, how reason works, how English works, etc.

people don't commonly say those exact words. but they say *related* things. e.g. that they dislike philosophy discussion, or they aren't an intellectual, or they find "comfort" in Christianity, or they tried to be unconventional but it was too hard so they stopped.

people seem to find it easier to admit bad things in songs. e.g. consider these very popular lyrics which people teach to their young children:


> No right, no wrong, no rules for me,

> I'm free!

btw the same song contains a blatant lie:

> The cold never bothered me anyway

which is a typical kind of lie people tell. something bothered them – and often still bothers them – but they lie and say they aren't bothered.

people lie to themselves more than to others. they face various pressures in life and want to be various things and there are contradictions so they have to either make honest choices to reject some things ... or lie. that's one of the many ways they end up lying to themselves. rationalizations are common.

there are plenty of things people don't like about reason, thinking, truth-seeking. like some truths say they are WRONG to want to "let it go" as the song is titled, which is a rejection of thinking and problem solving in favor of GIVING UP on sorting out their life rationally. instead of dealing with the issues, stop worrying about them... but most people don't want to openly embrace irrationality, openly reject morality, etc, so they lie. they say they are singing "let it go" and it's just fun and blah blah blah. ask them what it means to them and watch them lie. and they aren't just lying to you. they are lying to themselves that it means good things, then acting on it like it means bad things.

indoctrinating children with subtle lies is worth over a billion dollars... people pay for the *help* lying. they want to go to Pleasure Island (Pinocchio was a different kind of movie) but they don't want to admit that's what they want, so they need to fool themselves.

> what exactly does he think is working?

he isn't doing much thinking... he didn't think that through clearly with rational analysis, and he doesn't want to. he'd rather let reason go right along with morality.

curi at 6:39 PM on June 22, 2017 | #8731 | reply | quote

#9065 ad spammer!

ff at 7:02 AM on September 22, 2017 | #9066 | reply | quote

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