Was Socrates blissfull?

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Arjen
 
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 02:33 am
The Oracle of Delphi told Socrates that of all men in Athens he was wisest. This must have come as a surprise to Socrates because he, as all you no doubt know, always declared: "I know that I know nothing" (and most likely he was not even sure of that).

People often say that "ignorance is bliss" and, in a way, I agree with those people. Things take place as they do and we make of those things what we will. Some face death with more chear and joy then some others face life; truth is in the eye of the beholder, if you will.

Combining those thoughts, was Socrates not blissfull?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 07:11 pm
@Arjen,
In the last words of Socrates, "gulp gulp gulpOne is truly wise who thinks themselves ignorant, because ignorance implies that there is more to learn as one cannot know everything.

Was Socrates blissful?1. Do people believe what they want to regardless of the facts?

Yeah, the moon is made of swiss cheese and the craters are made of provolone.

2. Do some face death with more cheer and joy than those that face life?

Yes, that's what is called EMO... or depressed... or suicidal... or a combination of the three. Ram Daas would say "death is like taking of a tight shoe." Unfortunately the shoe was masking some particularly bad foot odor and the wearer should have worn some type of orthodics and treated that questionable rash on the pinky toe. Mainly... death ain't all its cracked up to be.

3. Is truth in the eye of the beholder?
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 05:54 am
@Arjen,
Well, thanks for those thoughts right there. I was hoping more on reactions on the thought that epoche has the result that one experiences more of what is taking place and that epoche also makes for "bliss" in the sense that "bliss" is the absence of judging one's own state and therefore undifined experiencing.

Your reply made me laugh though, so thanks.

p.s. I ment experience in this case not in Kant's manner; so not in the sense that it has to do with metafysics.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 08:13 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
The Oracle of Delphi told Socrates that of all men in Athens he was wisest. This must have come as a surprise to Socrates because he, as all you no doubt know, always declared: "I know that I know nothing" (and most likely he was not even sure of that).

People often say that "ignorance is bliss" and, in a way, I agree with those people. Things take place as they do and we make of those things what we will. Some face death with more chear and joy then some others face life; truth is in the eye of the beholder, if you will.

Combining those thoughts, was Socrates not blissfull?


Hi Arjen,Smile

Yes I suppose he was, for combining those above thoughts, not only does he take the high ground of dispute in claiming no knowledge at the outset, but he seems to realize to that man does not take action/actions but reacts to what is present, man simply has an alternative of chosen reactions, but reaction is what he is.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 11:01 am
@boagie,
Hi Boagie, I think I like your vision on this. The suggestion that people are merely reacting seems very much the case. Sometimes people can also be a cause of an effect I think; but to do that one needs a gideline; an idea of what is right to do (ethics?). Socrates seems more effect then cause because he knows that he knows nothing in that sense.

Somehow the parallel doesn't seem to fit though. It seems as though Socrates takes a place that is neither cause, nor effect; as if he absorbs the "vector" (if you will). Do you see what I mean?
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 11:46 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
Hi Boagie, I think I like your vision on this. The suggestion that people are merely reacting seems very much the case. Sometimes people can also be a cause of an effect I think; but to do that one needs a gideline; an idea of what is right to do (ethics?). Socrates seems more effect then cause because he knows that he knows nothing in that sense.

Somehow the parallel doesn't seem to fit though. It seems as though Socrates takes a place that is neither cause, nor effect; as if he absorbs the "vector" (if you will). Do you see what I mean?


Hi Arjen, its been awhile!

No I think that is my point, there is only reaction. If you try to condition your reaction with ethics or morality you know that, that is a human construct. You are reacting to something in order to wish to construct a morality, after which, it will be the morality you react to. Socrates perhaps knowning there is only reaction, reacts to that as a choreographer of the play of choices. If you know that you know nothing, if you know there is only reaction, the only job available is that of a choreographer of choice.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 02:24 pm
@Arjen,
It certainly has been a long time Boagie, lets just say my attention was focussed elsewhere. It is good to be back though. Smile

I like your thought on the matter, but I would like you to considder this:

If humans would only react, there would be no "creation" by humans. I think that there is. If all humans would do was react to causes would not everyone merely be experiencing what was pre-ordained?

Perhaps what I mean is best illustrated by the difference between empirism and rationalism. Rationalism holds that there are two parts of the mind: a metaphysical part and a part that is a priori. If humans would only react, would that not mean just metaphysics: cause and effect? However, the a priori also holds within it a promise of human creation; because it stands outside reason (and thereby cause and effect?). What do you think of that?
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 03:43 pm
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
It certainly has been a long time Boagie, lets just say my attention was focussed elsewhere. It is good to be back though. Smile

I like your thought on the matter, but I would like you to considder this:

If humans would only react, there would be no "creation" by humans. I think that there is. If all humans would do was react to causes would not everyone merely be experiencing what was pre-ordained?

Perhaps what I mean is best illustrated by the difference between empirism and rationalism. Rationalism holds that there are two parts of the mind: a metaphysical part and a part that is a priori. If humans would only react, would that not mean just metaphysics: cause and effect? However, the a priori also holds within it a promise of human creation; because it stands outside reason (and thereby cause and effect?). What do you think of that?


Arjen,Smile

:)Actually I am delighted to have some speculation on the topic of all being reaction, so far people just seem to ignore it or think I've stripped my gears. Creativity is indeed intriguing but as I stated somewhere else today, creativity is extension. So, what is the modivation for a creative reaction? I think you will agree that there is no outward movement which is not modivated, to react to that modivation is to concretize the concept of all being reaction.

:)Actually I would think the artistic medium and an abstract idea are what modivate a creative reaction. As far as cause and effect are concerned I do not believe there is a cause, there are but relational reactions, perhaps there was a cause in the begining but that would make it a historical cause and its only maybe. All of reality is based on relational reactions, if the relation or its two way reaction were not, reality would not be. Consciousness as reaction, as life, is simply a different perspective which presently just makes more sense to me.

Just ask yourself this, is there action/reaction without modivation, everything is moved by modivation, thus everything is a reaction. Actually I am begining to wonder why this is not the common perspective, no one has trouble with the idea that the physical world determines the course of evolutionary development simply by being, and it is, its being, which all organisms react to. Actually I wonder what kind of transformations in our thinking this understanding might effect--relationally of course.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 06:36 pm
@Arjen,
I'm absolutely sure Socrates had moments of bliss. I imagine we all do at some point.

But bliss is not something sustainable. Bliss is a momentary emotion. So I do not think there is much sense in wondering if he was blissful.

We might wonder if he was happy. And I think that is closer to what Arjen is asking. Even the old phrase "Ignorance is bliss" tends to be taken as meaning "Ignorance is happiness". As for the answer: there's no way to tell. You'd have to ask Socrates, and even then, he might not know. If Plato's and Xenophon's accounts are any evidence, then Socrates seems to have been a reasonably happy man.

I do not think wisdom causes harm to happiness, quite the opposite. If you are ignorant, how will you know what happiness is, much less how to find it? Sure, the wise and foolish can have moments of bliss, but the wise are best able to discover happiness as the ignorant do not even know where to begin looking.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 07:12 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos,Smile

"The more intelligent one is, the more knowledgable one becomes, the more one increase one's sorrow." Schopenhauer

SmileI think your right about the over use of certain terms, if one is to have expectations of great or constant happyness one is setting one's self up for disappointment. There is something to be said for ignorance and perhaps unawareness, example, if there is a condition developing in the world say the population explosion and there is nothing you can do about it, your fate tied to the folly of the population as a whole. You are better off not being stressed with concern about it, better to be unaware---the more one increases one's knowledge, the more one increases his sorrow. Why do children seem so happy, because they are blissfully unaware of the human conditon.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 07:21 pm
@Arjen,
I think constant happiness should be the goal. The problem is discovering what happiness is. Bliss, momentary feelings of happiness, these are not satisfaction, and seeking them will only increase our dissatisfaction. Hmmm.... maybe that's the better word, satisfaction.

Quote:
There is something to be said for ignorance and perhaps unawareness, example, if there is a condition developing in the world say the population explosion and there is nothing you can do about it, your fate tied to the folly of the population as a whole. You are better off not being stressed with concern about it. --the more one increase one's sorrow.


Are we better off without said concern? I agree that stress is certainly not to be sought, but I imagine we could know of some terrible situation, be concerned and aware of the conditions, and not place undue stress on ourselves; after all, as you point out, there is little that we can do.

It also seems that concern is vital to happiness. Ignorance may tend to promote blissfulness, but wisdom, I think, promotes contentedness.

Let's imagine going through life trying our best to avoid the suffering of the world. How much can we avoid? And what happens when we finally encounter great suffering? That sort of shock may be too much for someone who has been otherwise ignorant of the extent of suffering. Or maybe the shock would be just enough for him to realize how serious suffering is, and why we should try to mitigate suffering.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 08:36 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos,Smile

:)Yes, I think your right, satisfaction is the better term, even more pointenly as one looks back upon ones life. Apparently a certain amount of stress is said to be healthy, not enough and things start sluggishly to slow down. Sensory deprivation you might say is an extreme case, there is no stimulus for a given time, then, the individual starts to breakdown, the lack of stress becomes overwhelming stressful.

Smile"Wisdom promotes contentedness", yes, do you think this comes of greater control over oneself or over ones environment? It seems to me a person intent on avoiding something, is already aware of its unpleasant nature maybe not realistically, it maybe nothing at all-------unawarness is bliss then! I think you have something there though, unless a person is aware of the possiablities of suffering, how truely dreadful it can be, it is not likely he will be move adequately by compassion for the individual in that circumstance. I think we've left Socrates all alone.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 11:51 pm
@boagie,
I am wondering what Boagie ment with "modivation". At first I thought motivation, after that it reminded me of modi (as Spinoza used it). Neither seems to make much sense though. Perhaps I simply don't agree Wink

Responing to the general line of thought you two seem to have going I'd like to say that I definately don't agree on two points:

1) I do not think that satisfaction, happyness or eudaemonia are or should be humanities goals in life. If indeed that were the case men such as Joseph Mengele (a.k.a. the angel of death) could very well be closer to it than you or I. I refuse to accept that. In that sense I even refuse to think of life as having "goals"; if life consisted of goals we would be misled in trying to find truth of any kind. Is it not in epoche that we view that which takes place most accurately, thanks to the absence of "goals"; of definitions?

2) Both of you seem to think emotions such as shock, concern or compassion have something to do with bliss. Perhaps that directs us to the question what "bliss" really is: an emotion or a feeling? This question usually baffles people so I'll clarify my personal opinion on this matter. My thought is that feeling exists a priori, our frame of reference (metaphysical) "bends" (if you will) feeling into the emotion (empirics) that takes place. Spinoza's philosophy on emotions is very much like it (albeit a little less "complete" due to some paradoxes); perhaps that is why Boagie's word modification reminded me of him.

Anyway, my opinion in the matter is that bliss may just be the absence of said "bending" by our frame of reference and therefore the absence of emotion; a pure "feeling" if you will.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 12:29 am
@Arjen,
Arjen,Smile

Sorry about the spelling error. Actually I don't think I even know what the topic is at this point, maybe someone could steer us back on course.:eek:
 
Arjen
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 03:07 am
@Arjen,
I'd say we are pretty on-topic with the epoche and absence of "goals" in the sense that this is the ignorance ment in "bliss". Also I think we are pretty much on-topic with the question wether "bliss" is an emotion (metafysically formed) or a feeling (transcendental). Then again, what do I know? What would on-topic be to you?
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 08:10 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
I'd say we are pretty on-topic with the epoche and absence of "goals" in the sense that this is the ignorance ment in "bliss". Also I think we are pretty much on-topic with the question wether "bliss" is an emotion (metafysically formed) or a feeling (transcendental). Then again, what do I know? What would on-topic be to you?


Arjen,Smile

:)Are we then trying to discern emotions from feelings and to what end? Without goals, I believe this means without dreams, a form of poverty. We are moving forward in direction, but to what object? What understanding are we reaching for? Ignorance is not the source of bliss, ignorance is the source of oblivion, unawareness, but again, to what end, is it bliss we are trying focus in on? Does not bliss mean ultimate satisfaction? A summation of fulfilment. so, perhaps it is just my own orientation which is temporally in need.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 09:08 am
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Are we then trying to discern emotions from feelings and to what end?

Because they are two different things with different sources. An insight into this allows us to takes this into a new perspective I think.

Quote:

Without goals, I believe this means without dreams, a form of poverty.

If riches are measured by delusions I'd agree. Take into account that humans are just that: humans. There is no way of knowing what is true to us because we do not have a standing outside "the all" so we cannot be objective. Being a subject does not necessarily mean judging. That would be subjective. By realising this we can allow ourselves only the perceive and experience. This places us back into our antropological selves in a way which could be described as blissfull. Is not the absence of delusions bliss?

Quote:

We are moving forward in direction, but to what object? What understanding are we reaching for? Ignorance is not the source of bliss, ignorance is the source of oblivion, unawareness, but again, to what end, is it bliss we are trying focus in on? Does not bliss mean ultimate satisfaction? A summation of fulfilment. so, perhaps it is just my own orientation which is temporally in need.

What do you need goals for, apart from fullfilling the needs of the human society? My posts were not ment as an ethical guide or anything, just a thought on the matter. I do not think we should strive for anything. I think bliss is the result of that. I also think ignorance is a poorly chosen word.

Do you see my point as to epoche and bliss?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 12:23 pm
@Arjen,
Quote:
Yes, I think your right, satisfaction is the better term, even more pointenly as one looks back upon ones life. Apparently a certain amount of stress is said to be healthy, not enough and things start sluggishly to slow down. Sensory deprivation you might say is an extreme case, there is no stimulus for a given time, then, the individual starts to breakdown, the lack of stress becomes overwhelming stressful.


Stress being healthy? What do you mean "things start sluggishly to slow down"? Interesting.

Quote:
"Wisdom promotes contentedness", yes, do you think this comes of greater control over oneself or over ones environment?


Both, sort of. I'm not particularly wise (obviously), but I think wisdom does beget self control. Wisdom also begets an understanding of one's self and the relation of one's self to one's environment. So not necessarily control over the environment, but harmony with one's environment.

Quote:
It seems to me a person intent on avoiding something, is already aware of its unpleasant nature maybe not realistically, it maybe nothing at all-------unawarness is bliss then!


But how can they be aware if they have no knowledge of something? At best, they can be aware of other people's claims about something. Imagine if you have never tried cheese. You've seen it in the grocery store, but your mother said it would kill you, so you stay away. The only way for you to overcome this would be to gain knowledge about cheese.

Though, maybe you are right about unawareness being bliss. If I, being ignorant, snort a bunch of cocaine, I'll know bliss.

Quote:
I think we've left Socrates all alone.


What more is there to say about him?

Quote:
1) I do not think that satisfaction, happyness or eudaemonia are or should be humanities goals in life. If indeed that were the case men such as Joseph Mengele (a.k.a. the angel of death) could very well be closer to it than you or I. I refuse to accept that. In that sense I even refuse to think of life as having "goals"; if life consisted of goals we would be misled in trying to find truth of any kind. Is it not in epoche that we view that which takes place most accurately, thanks to the absence of "goals"; of definitions?


Life doesn't consist of goals, it consists of living. But I do not think we should have any trouble saying that happiness should be a goal of human life. Whatever we do, wouldn't it be better to be truly happy than otherwise?
As for radicals, who cause much harm to others, I do not think they can be happy. They might be blissful, they might even be entirely content with their disposition. But to be content with a violent disposition is, I think, psychological disease. I am not healthy if I am sick, and my mind is not healthy enough to be truly happy if I am insane.

Quote:
My thought is that feeling exists a priori, our frame of reference (metaphysical) "bends" (if you will) feeling into the emotion (empirics) that takes place.


Feeling exists by pure reason? I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. What is with metaphysical bending? An emotion is the way I feel. No need for metaphysical speculation.

So, to answer your question, bliss is an emotion; people feel blissful.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 01:14 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Life doesn't consist of goals, it consists of living. But I do not think we should have any trouble saying that happiness should be a goal of human life. Whatever we do, wouldn't it be better to be truly happy than otherwise?

In that sense being "truly happy" would become a goal. I think such judgements are not "stable" enough to function as an ethical norm. In what way do you think this idea is justified?

Quote:

As for radicals, who cause much harm to others, I do not think they can be happy. They might be blissful, they might even be entirely content with their disposition. But to be content with a violent disposition is, I think, psychological disease. I am not healthy if I am sick, and my mind is not healthy enough to be truly happy if I am insane.

On the other hand, there are times when life calls for violence; when hunting for instance. The example I mentioned is an extreme, but I think every person is violent now and again but everybody can still be "trly happy". It is an opinion; a state of mind. Some people are "truly happy" when fighting a war. Those people exist.

Quote:

Feeling exists by pure reason? I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. What is with metaphysical bending? An emotion is the way I feel. No need for metaphysical speculation.

A priori is not pure reason; metaphysics is. That which exists a priori is the way we think; the possible combinations. That is why people also call maths a priori. I would like to stress the difference between feelings and emotions. That is an important distinction and it makes understanding oneself a lot easier.

Quote:

So, to answer your question, bliss is an emotion; people feel blissful.

I think what we lack in this discussion is common definitions on the words used. Without that we can keep on talking without ever getting anywhere. I hope the distinction between feelings and emotions was clear enough. Feelings are what exists and emotions are formed by use of our frame of reference. If you think bliss is an emotion, you most likely have a solid definition of it. I would like to know the definition you are using.
 
midas77
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 05:13 am
@boagie,
What socrates said or did not say we really can not know. As far as I know, Socrates never wrote anything, he might even be illiterate. Most of what we know of Socrates comes from his fan, Plato. Did Socrates claim he does not know anything, "or does he mean "In fron of truth, my knowledge is but nothing?" I believe it is what he means. To attain truth, one must have humility in front of knowledge. Because if we are not humble, we will not be open to what it says.
 
 

 
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