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Pride?

 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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08 May 2018 05:39
 

If the universe is truly deterministic (a notion to which many ascribe);

and if every individual who lives or has ever lived is the confluence of genetics and experience (a basic and undeniable truth of biology and physics);

“pride” has absolutely no foundation whatsoever.

The following was purportedly written by Paul in the New Testament, but that makes it no less a true statement: “For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”  1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

Pride—

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
2. the state or feeling of being proud.
3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself.
5. something that causes a person or persons to be proud.
6. the best of a group, class, society, etc.
7. the most flourishing state or period.

—can only be self-deceivingly false.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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08 May 2018 07:21
 

As pointed out in the luck thread, we are who we are primarily because of luck, or being “blessed”, depending on your perspective.  Furthermore, while we live as though we have free will, in reality we don’t, as it’s all a result of cause/effect.  These facts further undermine pride. This really hurts joby, who likes to brag about how good looking he is.  Also hurts Mario, who likes to brag about how spiritual and godly he is. In reality, we have nothing to be proud of.  But it’s hard not to feel proud of your kids or grandkids, your school sports team, etc. The sensation of pride, like everything else, is just part of the deterministic universe.  It’s built into us by evolution to bind us to the family, the clan, the tribe.

 
bbearren
 
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08 May 2018 09:11
 
EN - 08 May 2018 07:21 AM

As pointed out in the luck thread, we are who we are primarily because of luck, or being “blessed”, depending on your perspective.

The confluence of genetics and experience.

Furthermore, while we live as though we have free will, in reality we don’t, as it’s all a result of cause/effect.  These facts further undermine pride. This really hurts joby, who likes to brag about how good looking he is.  Also hurts Mario, who likes to brag about how spiritual and godly he is. In reality, we have nothing to be proud of.

There is no basis for being proud of those things over which we have absolutely no control.

But it’s hard not to feel proud of your kids or grandkids, your school sports team, etc.

What happened to critical thinking?  Acknowledgement of the reality the we have no influence over such things is all that’s required.

The sensation of pride, like everything else, is just part of the deterministic universe.  It’s built into us by evolution to bind us to the family, the clan, the tribe.

For some of us, a sensation of pride was not included.  That probability notwithstanding, if one were truly to apply critical thinking, in reality pride has no reason, no standing, no justification.

LaPlace’s Demon was a thought experiment conceived long before the realization of quantum mechanics.  “In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle (also known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle) is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known.  Introduced first in 1927, by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, it states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa.”

Determinism breaks very early on— “The earliest phases of the Big Bang are subject to much speculation. In the most common models the universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with a very high energy density and huge temperatures and pressures and was very rapidly expanding and cooling. Approximately 10^?37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the universe grew exponentially during which time density fluctuations that occurred because of the uncertainty principle were amplified into the seeds that would later form the large-scale structure of the universe.  After inflation stopped, reheating occurred until the universe obtained the temperatures required for the production of a quark–gluon plasma as well as all other elementary particles.  Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle–antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.  At some point, an unknown reaction called baryogenesis violated the conservation of baryon number, leading to a very small excess of quarks and leptons over antiquarks and antileptons—of the order of one part in 30 million. This resulted in the predominance of matter over antimatter in the present universe.”

LaPlace’s Demon is an impossible imaginary intellect.  The uncertainty principle has been confirmed time after time in multiple experiments in multiple realms of physics and quantum mechanics.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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08 May 2018 09:39
 
bbearren - 08 May 2018 09:11 AM

For some of us, a sensation of pride was not included.  That probability notwithstanding, if one were truly to apply critical thinking, in reality pride has no reason, no standing, no justification.

I suspect those who have never felt this are in a distinct minority.  Most people have, at some point in their lives, felt “proud” of someone or something.  Of course, critical thinking tells us that there is no basis for actual pride. But the feeling or emotion remains. I’ll watch my granddaughter graduate from high school in less than a month, and I’ll feel “proud of her”.  Of course, I realize that she is who she is because of nature and nurture, things over which she had no control. But the feeling of pride does serve to bond me to her and to the family in some sense. I’m not trying to justify it rationally - just saying it exists (in most people, I think - the auditorium will be full of “proud” parents) and that it does serve a purpose.  But, like any emotion, it can get out of control and blind one to reason.

I’m not opposing your position, by the way - you are correct.  Just pointing out that most people (I believe) feel emotions that are not necessarily rationally based.

 
nonverbal
 
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08 May 2018 13:39
 
bbearren - 08 May 2018 05:39 AM

If the universe is truly deterministic (a notion to which many ascribe);

and if every individual who lives or has ever lived is the confluence of genetics and experience (a basic and undeniable truth of biology and physics);

“pride” has absolutely no foundation whatsoever.

The following was purportedly written by Paul in the New Testament, but that makes it no less a true statement: “For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”  1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

Pride—

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
2. the state or feeling of being proud.
3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself.
5. something that causes a person or persons to be proud.
6. the best of a group, class, society, etc.
7. the most flourishing state or period.

—can only be self-deceivingly false.

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

 
 
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08 May 2018 16:32
 
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 01:39 PM

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

What is meant by “free” “will”?  What constraints does one impose on the use of these two words in combination?

 
 
nonverbal
 
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08 May 2018 17:05
 
bbearren - 08 May 2018 04:32 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 01:39 PM

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

What is meant by “free” “will”?  What constraints does one impose on the use of these two words in combination?

At this point, Free Will means very little.

 

[ Edited: 08 May 2018 17:08 by nonverbal]
 
 
no_profundia
 
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08 May 2018 18:27
 

For some of us, a sensation of pride was not included.

I seriously doubt there is any human (aside from those born with serious brain defects) who does not/has not felt the emotion of pride. Someone who lacked the emotion of pride would also probably lack the contrary emotions (shame, embarrassment) as well as more complex emotions that are constructed out of other emotions (jealousy, heartbreak). The physiological expressions associated with pride and shame are universal across cultures and (likely) have a very long evolutionary history. The notion that someone with a perfectly well-developed and well-functioning brain might not have the brain systems responsible for producing the emotion of pride seems incredibly unlikely.

While pride might not make rational sense when taking a God’s eye view I think it makes perfect sense from an evolutionary standpoint as a motivating system in the brain. I think someone who did not feel pride at all would probably suffer from an extreme lack of motivation and would have a hard time functioning in society. If a person truly did not care whether their boss thought they were doing a good job or not, or did not care at all about the status that comes from having a job, I think they would have a hard time motivating themselves to do anything beyond getting the minimum number of calories into their mouths each day (this notion of pride falls under your 4th definition).

I think your quote from Paul “For who makes you different than anyone else?” is gesturing towards a specific form of pride. It is a form of pride that makes us feel that we are different and special. For example, we might imagine that we don’t experience basic human emotions like everyone else. That we are above those emotions and can take a God’s eye view of the universe and rise above the stupidity of the rest of humanity. That is a form of pride that I think is destructive. Life is much better when we just allow ourselves to be human.

 
 
bbearren
 
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08 May 2018 18:31
 
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 05:05 PM
bbearren - 08 May 2018 04:32 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 01:39 PM

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

What is meant by “free” “will”?  What constraints does one impose on the use of these two words in combination?

At this point, Free Will means very little.

If that’s the case, I have very little argument at this point, it would seem, even in a combination of arguing both in favor of and in opposition to.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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08 May 2018 18:39
 
bbearren - 08 May 2018 06:31 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 05:05 PM
bbearren - 08 May 2018 04:32 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 01:39 PM

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

What is meant by “free” “will”?  What constraints does one impose on the use of these two words in combination?

At this point, Free Will means very little.

If that’s the case, I have very little argument at this point, it would seem, even in a combination of arguing both in favor of and in opposition to.

We’re in complete agreement, bb.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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08 May 2018 18:48
 
no_profundia - 08 May 2018 06:27 PM

For some of us, a sensation of pride was not included.

I seriously doubt there is any human (aside from those born with serious brain defects) who does not/has not felt the emotion of pride. Someone who lacked the emotion of pride would also probably lack the contrary emotions (shame, embarrassment) as well as more complex emotions that are constructed out of other emotions (jealousy, heartbreak). The physiological expressions associated with pride and shame are universal across cultures and (likely) have a very long evolutionary history. The notion that someone with a perfectly well-developed and well-functioning brain might not have the brain systems responsible for producing the emotion of pride seems incredibly unlikely.

While pride might not make rational sense when taking a God’s eye view I think it makes perfect sense from an evolutionary standpoint as a motivating system in the brain. I think someone who did not feel pride at all would probably suffer from an extreme lack of motivation and would have a hard time functioning in society. If a person truly did not care whether their boss thought they were doing a good job or not, or did not care at all about the status that comes from having a job, I think they would have a hard time motivating themselves to do anything beyond getting the minimum number of calories into their mouths each day (this notion of pride falls under your 4th definition).

I think your quote from Paul “For who makes you different than anyone else?” is gesturing towards a specific form of pride. It is a form of pride that makes us feel that we are different and special. For example, we might imagine that we don’t experience basic human emotions like everyone else. That we are above those emotions and can take a God’s eye view of the universe and rise above the stupidity of the rest of humanity. That is a form of pride that I think is destructive. Life is much better when we just allow ourselves to be human.

That’s beautifully put.

 
 
bbearren
 
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08 May 2018 20:05
 
no_profundia - 08 May 2018 06:27 PM

For some of us, a sensation of pride was not included.

I think someone who did not feel pride at all would probably suffer from an extreme lack of motivation and would have a hard time functioning in society. If a person truly did not care whether their boss thought they were doing a good job or not, or did not care at all about the status that comes from having a job, I think they would have a hard time motivating themselves to do anything beyond getting the minimum number of calories into their mouths each day (this notion of pride falls under your 4th definition).

In this episode of the Project Reason Forum Podcast, I talk with long-time patron bbearren otherwise known as The Owl Guy. We discussed mining, phosphates, plant management and leeching with clay pools. Don’t worry, I left all that out. Instead, here’s a discussion about just how enigmatic a theology can be.

Podcast Eight: The Owl Guy

 
 
bbearren
 
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08 May 2018 20:09
 
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 06:39 PM
bbearren - 08 May 2018 06:31 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 05:05 PM
bbearren - 08 May 2018 04:32 PM
nonverbal - 08 May 2018 01:39 PM

Are you being perhaps a bit guarded, bbearren? Lately you seem to be arguing both in favor of and in opposition to free will.

What is meant by “free” “will”?  What constraints does one impose on the use of these two words in combination?

At this point, Free Will means very little.

If that’s the case, I have very little argument at this point, it would seem, even in a combination of arguing both in favor of and in opposition to.

We’re in complete agreement, bb.

Note the bold.

 
 
NL.
 
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08 May 2018 23:54
 
bbearren - 08 May 2018 05:39 AM

If the universe is truly deterministic (a notion to which many ascribe);

and if every individual who lives or has ever lived is the confluence of genetics and experience (a basic and undeniable truth of biology and physics);

“pride” has absolutely no foundation whatsoever.

The following was purportedly written by Paul in the New Testament, but that makes it no less a true statement: “For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”  1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

Pride—

1. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
2. the state or feeling of being proud.
3. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
4. pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself.
5. something that causes a person or persons to be proud.
6. the best of a group, class, society, etc.
7. the most flourishing state or period.

—can only be self-deceivingly false.


I think this word has become semantically muddled since the days when it was declared that “pride goeth before a fall”, and that pride is a deadly sin.


The definition above, for example, invokes the word dignity twice. But compare the etymology of the word pride with the etymology of the word dignity.


Not sure how accurately this website depicts the Buddhist definition of ‘mana’, but if it’s fairly accurate, it seems to follow similar lines in saying that:

Mana is a Buddhist term that is translated as “pride”, “arrogance”, or “conceit”. It is defined as an inflated mind that makes whatever is suitable, such as wealth or learning, to be the foundation of pride. It creates the basis for disrespecting others and for the occurrence of suffering.


If I am understanding that correctly, it sounds very similar to the subtle distinction between dignity / pride that has perhaps been lost in our own language over the centuries. Dignity - what is suitable - vs. pride - what is arrogant. After all, when we talk about ‘gay pride’, well, I’m not homosexual but I assume that means ‘gay dignity’, certainly not ‘gay arrogance’, right? Or when we tell someone to “Shape up and take some pride in your work”, we don’t mean “Shape up and take an arrogant attitude towards your work.” To say that you are adamantly not proud of your children in our culture would represent an unhealthy parental attitude, not an admirable declaration that you were not arrogant or conceited about your offspring. Etc.


(An aside - I think that when it comes to pride, societal mores often fight fire with fire. We take pride in not being too proud. Materialism? We all like to indulge our loved ones, but when you get to Real Housewives or My Super Sweet 16 indulgence, society makes it clear that you are not actually indulging them, you are making them garish. Education? A good thing until you’re called an out of touch Ivory Tower type. On the other hand - being ‘just one of the guys’? Admirable until you are a Michael Scott from The Office type. Self-esteem? People take pride in being humble, not narcissistic. Etc. Again - it can be a source of pride not to be too proud!)

[ Edited: 09 May 2018 00:04 by NL.]
 
mapadofu
 
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09 May 2018 05:41
 

I don’t see anything in the definition you cited that indicates a relationship between free will (or indeterminism) and experiencing those kinds of feelings.

We don’t have free will, and yet we still do and feel stuff.

[ Edited: 09 May 2018 06:41 by mapadofu]
 
Jan_CAN
 
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09 May 2018 07:36
 

I agree ... without free will, one would “still do and feel stuff”.

Personally, my conscious brain has decided to have free will, to make those choices that are available, although limited, by the causal chain (the deterministic universe), so I feel quite justified in feeling pride for all kinds of stuff.  Mostly for stuff I had nothing to do with myself, but done by those in close relationship.  But the opposite of pride (shame?) – a conscience – that we need to experience firsthand.  To take responsibility for our own actions.  Or what’s the point.

As those who don’t believe in free will still live and experience their daily lives as if they can make choices, then whether or not there is free will seems to be a moot point.

[ Edited: 09 May 2018 07:39 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
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