Ethical Self Concept

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deepthot
 
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 08:33 pm
@Reconstructo,
Greetings, Reconstructo

My impression of you is that you are an open-minded and fair person. Good qualities to have.

Thanks for letting us know that everything is okayso far. Please continuing scanning all three papers and keep us informed as to whether the paradigm presented therein has possibilities for restructuring ethics.
Is it an advancement? Can you, with your knowledge of science, sharpen up any of the concepts? Can you find some interesting relationship among any pair of terms? ...Any suggestions that might be constructive? Etc.

Our Self-image - which is part of our self-concept - also contains, as a subset, our self-identity. It is who we say we are. It is our response to the query: Who am I?

Since our self-image consists of sentences we say to ourself, it can be changed. This is the good news. Peolple can, and do all the time, alter their self-identity. They can stretch it or constrict it. They can start telling themselves "I'm a Winner; I am in some sense a success; I now decide to be a happy person ...every day."

They can affirm: "I'm not going to violate my principles ---even if I become a politician. I know that politics entails compromise (as well as diplomacy - a nice word for fibbing; as well as getting as many as possible on your bandwagon; as well as defining the opposition before they define you) but one thing I will not compromise on is my basic principles." There are a select few on the national level I could name who live by this self-concept.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 11:00 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;131690 wrote:

Since our self-image consists of sentences we say to ourself, it can be changed. This is the good news. Peolple can, and do all the time, alter their self-identity. They can stretch it or constrict it. They can start telling themselves "I'm a Winner; I am in some sense a success; I now decide to be a happy person ...every day."


For good or ill, our self-image also consists of sentences said to us. We thrown into a particular childhood and culture. We are not as self-created as certain self-conceptions cause us to want to be. Hamlet is my symbol for continual self-subversion (or reconstruction). A person with universal intentions will perhaps find and keep a relative stasis. But the creator/poet wrestles with the anxiety of influence. This anxiety is a goad to self-subversion/reinvention. I'm especially interested in the imagined personality of a Shakespeare. The greatest happiness for the greatest number is good notion. Just as good perhaps is the maximum realization of self-potential by the lucky few positioned for this. Are you familiar with the novel Brave New World?
 
deepthot
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 02:48 pm
@Reconstructo,
Yes, I agree that we unquestioningly absorb statements from our relatives and neighbors, and song lyrics, and teachers and role models.

BRAVE NEW WORLD is a dystopia. I am not proposing a utopia, so I fail to see the relevance to what I write. Also I do not advocate using drugs.

I agree with the author of THE AGE OF THE UNTHINKABLE who argues that we can never know which new grain of sand will cause the avalanche in a sand pile to occur. He says that instead of planning our future like an architect with a blueprint towards some perfect state, we need to become like farmers that cultivate goodness from moment to moment. We need to become "virtuosos" of the present moment. Instead of trying to prevent every disaster, we need to become like the immune system that has resiliency..

If we develop the moral character of which I speak in my papers we will have that resiliency. It may takes hundreds of hours of deliberate practice in ethical behavior to overcome our immoral ways, to break our bad habits, such as, for example, shop-lifting; or it may be taught to us at an early impressionable age but I am urging that we get clear about "which way is up", about which value system gives us optimum return in life.

Dissing others is a bad habit. It is one of the many ways we violate the dignity of other persons What I like about this Forum as compared with other philosophy forums, is that we are civil here: we don't put one another down.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 02:53 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;131940 wrote:
Yes, I agree that we unquestioningly absorb statements from our relatives and neighbors, and song lyrics, and teachers and role models.

BRAVE NEW WORLD is a dystopia. I am not proposing a utopia, so I fail to see the relevance to what I write. Also I do not advocate using drugs.

I agree with the author of THE AGE OF THE UNTHINKABLE who argues that we can never know which new grain of sand will cause the avalanche in a sand pile to occur. He says that instead of planning our future like an architect with a blueprint towards some perfect state, we need to become like farmers that cultivate goodness from moment to moment. We need to become "virtuosos" of the present moment. Instead of trying to prevent every disaster, we need to become like the immune system that has resiliency..

If we develop the moral character of which I speak in my papers we will have that resiliency. It may takes hundreds of hours of deliberate practice in ethical behavior to overcome our immoral ways, to break our bad habits, such as, for example, shop-lifting; or it may be taught to us at an early impressionable age but I am urging that we get clear about "which way is up", about which value system gives us optimum return in life.

Dissing others is a bad habit. It is one of the many ways we violate the dignity of other persons What I like about this Forum as compared with other philosophy forums, is that we are civil here: we don't put one another down.


Well said. I would add that it's still an open question as to which way is up. We all have limited experience to judge from. You are against drug-use, for instance. But have you tried them? Many great individuals have. Many have not. You say spiritual growth is the goal, and that pleasure is a by-product. But others would simply make pleasure the goal, like the hedonists. From there, they might recommend spiritual growth as a method for attaining pleasure.

You're a solid guy in my eyes, for what it's worth. No offense intended if I suggest gaps in your M. O.
 
JFM phil
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 03:49 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Do all humans have some concept or ideal that they try to live up to?
Quote:


Yes and its called psychological hedonism
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 03:56 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131965 wrote:
Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Do all humans have some concept or ideal that they try to live up to?


Yes and its called psychological hedonism


I would tend to agree, but how does that account for depression? Is depression just a physical version of psychological hedonism? I would think it would be since if the brain malfunctions its "desires" change as well.
 
JFM phil
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:05 pm
@Scottydamion,
Scottydamion;131967 wrote:
I would tend to agree, but how does that account for depression? Is depression just a physical version of psychological hedonism? I would think it would be since if the brain malfunctions its "desires" change as well.


hmmm...well im a bit confused, can you clarify what you mean by "a physical version"
 
Scottydamion
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 04:16 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131975 wrote:
hmmm...well im a bit confused, can you clarify what you mean by "a physical version"


Perhaps I should've said an abnormal psychological hedonistic desire. If something changes physically with how the brain works, there is a resultant psychological change. I use depression as it represents a chemical imbalance, but one could allude to parts of the brain being taken out.

It is the difference between looking at the program or looking at the code. It is most likely a symbolic difference but I think it helps diffuse some confusion over "pleasure" being solely about happy or self-enlarging things.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 06:03 pm
@JFM phil,
JFM;131965 wrote:
Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Do all humans have some concept or ideal that they try to live up to?
Quote:


Yes and its called psychological hedonism


Thanks for joining the thread. My response: while I do feel that pleasure is involved, I also think that your answer is a bit ambiguous.

I feel like you might be saying that we always pursue pleasure, automatically. This is something I can generally agree with.

But if you are saying that we universally make the philosophy of hedonism our "ethical self concept, " I would have to disagree.

To give you an idea of what I'm investigating, here are examples from depth-psychology.

Quote:

In Freudian psychology, the ego ideal (or ideal ego) is "an image of the perfect self towards which the ego should aspire."[1]

Quote:

In Jungian theory, the Self is one of the archetypes. It signifies the coherent whole, unified consciousness and unconscious of a person. The Self, according to Jung, is realised as the product of individuation, which in Jungian view is the process of integrating one's personality. For Jung, the self is symbolised by the circle (especially when divided in four quadrants), the square, or the mandala.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:53 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Do all humans have some concept or ideal that they try to live up to? Do some of us have several clashing self-concepts?

Where do such concepts come from? How do they evolve or change? Do we have a sort of ethical instinct that causes us to construct an ideal self? How does this ideal self or self-ideal connect to philosophical views?
We will do and think whatever the majority tells us to do. People in the middle east will stone eachother because they'r taught to, condem dancing because they'r taught to condem it.

In Japan under the 2nd Gulf War, some japaneese hostages wold be freed and run out crying in shame of being captured, covering their faces. All other nations would see this opposit, as a joyful moment.
 
reasoning logic
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 05:30 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132507 wrote:
We will do and think whatever the majority tells us to do. People in the middle east will stone eachother because they'r taught to, condem dancing because they'r taught to condem it.

In Japan under the 2nd Gulf War, some japaneese hostages wold be freed and run out crying in shame of being captured, covering their faces. All other nations would see this opposit, as a joyful moment.


I do agree with you. From what I understand from test work by sociologist we are influenced by others that we relate to. example, If you are related to a certain political group such as republican or democrat, and there is a debate about a theory and you have 100 scientist that are specialist in the field that is being questioned, "test the therory, many people will take the side that their political party has already believed. [no mater the out come of the results]

Studies have shown that if 98 scientist say one thing and 2 scientist say another many will believe that the 2 are correct if the results conform to their political parties view.
That seems logical does it not?Smile
Reasoning Self Logic
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 07:11 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132507 wrote:
We will do and think whatever the majority tells us to do.


Generally, that's true. But there are exceptions, and these exceptions change the societies they live in. Or so it seems to me. May I ask if you feel this statement (in quote box) applies to you?
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 07:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;132582 wrote:
Generally, that's true. But there are exceptions, and these exceptions change the societies they live in. Or so it seems to me. May I ask if you feel this statement (in quote box) applies to you?
Ofcause there are people that stands above group think, weirdos that wouldn't belive in god such as Leonardo Da Vinci.

What I intended to write was "most" ..we = most.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 07:53 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132585 wrote:
Ofcause there are people that stands above group think, weirdos that wouldn't belive in god such as Leonardo Da Vinci.

What I intended to write was "most" ..we = most.


I agree with you, then. I also identify myself with the exception. A philosopher is one who thinks differently as a matter of principle.
 
groundedspirit
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 09:03 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;132507 wrote:
We will do and think whatever the majority tells us to do.


This "assumption" and the implied general acceptance of it concerns me greatly.
I may start a new thread soon intended to touch on this as well as other related concepts.

But I am afraid that this concept and attitude is growing and contributing greatly to the demise of the human (and other) species.

Somewhere along the line the general concept of self, free will and personal ethics in relation to the greater whole (community of living things) has been buried by acceptance/promotion of the quest for "power".
It seems to be of little value in current society.
And this "majority" you speak of seems to be exactly that - "society".

Is it too late to pull back from this brink ?
I truly don't know..............

GS
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 10:20 am
@groundedspirit,
groundedspirit;133548 wrote:
This "assumption" and the implied general acceptance of it concerns me greatly.
I may start a new thread soon intended to touch on this as well as other related concepts.

But I am afraid that this concept and attitude is growing and contributing greatly to the demise of the human (and other) species.

Somewhere along the line the general concept of self, free will and personal ethics in relation to the greater whole (community of living things) has been buried by acceptance/promotion of the quest for "power".
It seems to be of little value in current society.
And this "majority" you speak of seems to be exactly that - "society".

Is it too late to pull back from this brink ?
I truly don't know..............

GS
Our self-concepts are shaped by the fact that we exist in relation to other humans. Inevitably, culture and history influence ideals.

I tend to agree with the Joseph Campbell types that we can learn from mythology. There's a western myth that's been told in at least four different ways: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the oldest: Psyche and Eros. The story represents the dance of psychic energy. The psyche itself is the ballroom... the forum for the dynamism resulting from fragmentation.

People will tend to gravitate toward this or that mythological character. I think there's little choice involved, in the same way trees don't choose to be different from grass. Some people are born to be heroic. Some are born to be healers. The pure will only seeks expression. It doesn't really care if the most beautiful or most horrendous example of an archetype is produced... I say this because when I'm overtaken by the will to create, I have no concept of good or evil. I nicknamed this: the dragon. The dragon's companion is the dove: a kind of counter will which, being separate from the undeniable rush of the force of creation, can stop and reflect. The dragon and the dove are a double image of self. Together they create the image of the ideal. Choice is a matter of channeling the will. The dove therefore, represents binding of the will.

To me, Richard III is a story about the will unbound. If you walk through the woods with heavy hiking boots, you feel like Superman. Take the shoes off and you'll have to step carefully. Pain stops you. Richard has become invincible because he doesn't have the ability to feel the sting of the dove.

The end of the story explains the result of identifying entirely with the dragon: the unbound will exists in a state of meaninglessness. Richard can't find any transportation because there's no longer any meaning in any course of action. Because he wouldn't be stopped by guilt, he's stopped by pointlessness. The point... or purpose can only return when the self regains a vantage point on itself. In the same way we demand of an artist to explain a work of art, we demand of whatever a meaning to life. In this, we're seeing ourselves as objects, like works of art.

Though the artists may eloquently articulate the meaning of a piece to the delight of the viewers, the truth remains in the shadows: there's no inherent point. The point is created. But only through interaction between the dragon and the dove. The dragon will never be able to produce purpose on its on. Any ambitions to do so will require a blindfold.
 
groundedspirit
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 11:18 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;133563 wrote:
Our self-concepts are shaped by the fact that we exist in relation to other humans. Inevitably, culture and history influence ideals.


Hello Arjuna,

I'm quite unclear on the point of your post (in relation to my statement/question).

Of course individuals are subject to influence by all outside forces.
But are you saying people are no more than puppets ? Flags flapping in the breeze ?

At first glance I do sometimes wonder.............

GS
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 12:15 pm
@groundedspirit,
groundedspirit;133580 wrote:
Hello Arjuna,

I'm quite unclear on the point of your post (in relation to my statement/question).

Of course individuals are subject to influence by all outside forces.
But are you saying people are no more than puppets ? Flags flapping in the breeze ?

At first glance I do sometimes wonder.............

GS
Hi! Sorry. I think people are like cells in a multicellular organism. Each one is an individual. They aren't made to live outside the body, though.

And if the individuals are sick, so is the body. When we start to complain of too much emphasis on society and not enough on the individual, that may be a sign that the individuals are suffering. It's time to examine their suffering and ask why. How would you answer that?
 
William
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 04:19 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Do all humans have some concept or ideal that they try to live up to? Do some of us have several clashing self-concepts?


Ha, depends on the one that is them most profitable; it may be more than what is self sufficient. Not to wax lightly on what you say but self and the concept of that is so difficult to know, with all the outside influences impose on individuals, who or what the self is. The clashing's you mention could be moods or mixed emotions?

Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
Where do such concepts come from?


That which is the most popular? A result of being needed and conforming to that which veils the innate self? These are good questions you raise recon and I can only offer what it is that I think. People are so ready willing able to be a part, they will do anything to do that even sacrificing self. The innate self, and it begins at an early age. We don't let our children be who they are we want them to be like us and do what we do and think so we don't have to worry about them. In affect we are trying to clone them, ha! Ring a bell. That's what technology is up to, ha no good in my opinion. We are trying to build the perfect human. Ha. One we can program to do what we think is good. Damn!


Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
How do they evolve or change? Do we have a sort of ethical instinct that causes us to construct an ideal self?


Absolutely! That's what death is all about. That is the journey. The finding of the innate self and all the good that we are that is aligning with where ever the universe is going or God, as it were. Of which I feel are one and the same. God's Debris or pieces.

Reconstructo;127377 wrote:
How does this ideal self or self-ideal connect to philosophical views?


Good question. I'd like to know the answer to that one myself. If we didn't ponder so much we might begin to understand who we are is such a way we would not question and argue so much. It's as though we are looking for someone we could get along with and we find them, then we adopt them for ourselves so we won't be so alone and oop's there goes another self sacrifice and then we form in groups. God only knows what it would be like if we all were recognized for who we were and the many ways we would compliment/complement each other without judging each other trying to figure out which one we want to be.

Ha, it's like asking a person for their identification and then they have to prove who they are. If it doesn't meet certain criteria, they are breaking the law and null and void. Pay the piper, please or be penalized.
A maligned version of a not so benevolent "big brother". "Hell, I don't know who I am; who do you want me to be", ha! "If you tell me that then perhaps I might be able to oblige". Or then there's "Who wants to know"? Ouch!!! Ye doth ask too much, ha! Or more suicidal, "It's none of your business who I am; who the hell are you"! That's the one I particularly like.

Metaphysically is like even though we don't know who we are, we know we are in there somewhere and inadvertently hiding whoever that is for fear of losing it. Now don't ask me what that means because I don't know. It as if we could only get rid of all that we are not, then we could be free to be who we are and so very comfortable in that self and the sufficiency it offers. If we have ample or more and others can benefit, we give that away because we have it and don't need it so they can have it too because we have an abundance of what it is they are lacking.
I don't know all that implies of what I just said but it sure sounded good, ha! Perhaps you can add something to it or detract? I hope I didn't zoom out too far. Ha!

William
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 06:49 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;133588 wrote:
Hi! Sorry. I think people are like cells in a multicellular organism. Each one is an individual. They aren't made to live outside the body, though.

And if the individuals are sick, so is the body. When we start to complain of too much emphasis on society and not enough on the individual, that may be a sign that the individuals are suffering. It's time to examine their suffering and ask why. How would you answer that?


Well said. You know that H is always criticized for seeing this, that humans want immersion in a living culture, one that reflects their deepest values. We are hardwired for utopia, one might say.

True freedom is obeying the law because the law is a reflection of our ideals. For instance, we don't steal and wound because we recognize the inferiority of such behavior, not just because it's prudent.

Of course I can tell that you already understand all this. So I am just agreeing with some footnotes! :bigsmile:
 
 

 
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