living an authentic life?

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hue-man
 
Reply Wed 8 Apr, 2009 06:28 pm
@Idale,
Idale wrote:
Hi,

like i promised here comes my first question concerning Sartre and his essay existentialism is a humanism:

Do you think there is definite content to living an authentic life?

So far i could only say: that there is no definite content, everyone has to choose it for oneself, because there is no right or wrong, therefore no one has the right to dictate someone else how to live his life.

What do you think? Do you have anything else in mind, my answer seems pretty short for such an important topic.

Thanks a lot

Idale


I don't believe that anyone should have a right to dictate how people should live their lives, but I do feel that people have a right to advise people on how they should live their lives.

I do not agree that there is no right or wrong when it comes to ethics. Right is the accordance of an act with ultimate goodness (in contrast to proximate goodness). Wrong is the discordance of an act with ultimate goodness. I am not saying that these things are objectively true or false. I am a non-cognitivist, which means that I don't believe that moral sentences are objective, and so I don't believe that they make true or false statements. Moral sentences only make right or wrong statements based on subjective (not relative), emotive and prescriptive underpinnings. I am saying that right and wrong relate to the subjectivity of the mind, but right and wrong, in terms of ethics, are not concepts that are merely relative. Their is a universality to right and wrong. This universality is based on the good or bad consequences of an act, and the link is the human condition.

I believe that living the authentic life means living a life that values the substantial over the superficial. Many people believe that happiness can only come with lots of money, sex, fame, fancy items, etc. The reality is that these things mean very little to developing true sustaining happiness. The happiness that these superficial values give is temporary at best, and over valuing them can lead to bad outcomes at worst. We are fooled into believing that these things lead to true happiness because of the structure of our societies. Advertisements and other forms of capitalist media create the illusion that these things bring about true happiness by associating these things with the things that we all really want and need in life. What we really need is food, clothing, and shelter. What we really want is love, fellowship, and good health. By advertisers associating the superficial with the essential, many of us are fooled into believing that superficial values are the key to ultimate happiness.
 
MJA
 
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 08:40 am
@hue-man,
The Heart Rings True

An authentic life is a true life.
Then to live a true life is to be true.
But the wonderful Socrates would ask: What is true?
Well, true is simply you.
So how does One know with certainty,
When he is authentically true?
Listen to your own heart,
For it will ring loud and clear,
When true and you are One.
Ring........

=
MJA
 
Khethil
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 07:54 am
@Idale,
When our actions and words match what we most esteem - what we truly believe most valuable - proportionately, we are living more authentically. In this hypocracy, no matter how small, is held to a minimum and an honest, critical effort is made to eliminate it.

Letting our doubts, as well as our most ardently-held convictions, find purchase as possibilities, too, is authentic.

... or so I think.
 
Belial phil
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 01:20 pm
@MJA,
MJA;38094 wrote:
I think there is absolute right and wrong, but surely not everyone agrees.


If not everyone agrees, how can it be absolute?
 
Leonard
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 05:04 pm
@Idale,
For something to be authentic there must be a way for it to be unauthentic, or it couldn't be so.

It's too subjective to call something unauthentic, but for the sake of time i'll assume it means 'something which deviates from what it should be', or 'something conflicting with the general characteristics of other somethings.' I ask, what could you do wrong in life?
Everyone who is living an authentic life is alive, you can't be living an unauthentic life or you wouldn't be alive. To live an authentic life, you are obligated to fulfill the tasks you need to live to your set age of death. So if you attempt suicide, that is unauthentic relative to what life should be.

If you sit there without a job, unless you are currently incapable of getting a job or that getting one would be more trouble than it's worth, you are not living an authentic life.

Anyone can interpret the meaning of authentic differently, but I explained as well as I could what my take on an aouthentic life is.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 13 Sep, 2009 04:49 am
@Idale,
another key issue is self-awareness. If you act without self-awareness it is unlikely that you will be authentic, because you won't be aware of your own motivations or what is causing you to act. You need to be able to see yourself as you are and be totally straight with yourself.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 08:30 am
@Idale,
Authentic comes from the word "Author." To be authentic means that one must be the "author" of one's life.

How is that possible? From the moment you were born you never had a chance. Your life has been defined for you. Even if you have left behind your up-bringing you still live in a world where everything has been defined for you. Language uses you, you don't use it. A table is a table, a chair is a chair, up is up, and down is down. It doesn't matter what each are called in the different languages of the world, a table is for "tabling" and a chair is for "sitting."

You can "cop" an attitude about "table." You can agree or disagree with "table." You can argue all of the points of view you may have about "table", (variety, substance, use, etc.) but what you may not notice is that "table" is defining the time you are spending in conversation about "table." Your ancestors have passed this legacy down to you and they gave you no other choice. We all "swim" in this legacy and it dominates who we are.

The only way to be authentic is to dismantle the web of misconceptions and presuppositions and think them through. As you dismantle the "web" you will "show up" in a clearing and you will know who you are. That's authentic.

Keep your eyes open for a new post I am working on. It will be called "The Legacy, The Chasm and The "Leap." You will find it at Philosophy Forum - Dasein I invite you to go there and read "The Subject is The Predicate" and "Reading Heidegger."

Dasein
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 12:48 am
@Dasein,
Dasein;100087 wrote:
Authentic comes from the word "Author." To be authentic means that one must be the "author" of one's life.

How is that possible? From the moment you were born you never had a chance. Your life has been defined for you. Even if you have left behind your up-bringing you still live in a world where everything has been defined for you. Language uses you, you don't use it. A table is a table, a chair is a chair, up is up, and down is down. It doesn't matter what each are called in the different languages of the world, a table is for "tabling" and a chair is for "sitting."

You can "cop" an attitude about "table." You can agree or disagree with "table." You can argue all of the points of view you may have about "table", (variety, substance, use, etc.) but what you may not notice is that "table" is defining the time you are spending in conversation about "table." Your ancestors have passed this legacy down to you and they gave you no other choice. We all "swim" in this legacy and it dominates who we are.

The only way to be authentic is to dismantle the web of misconceptions and presuppositions and think them through. As you dismantle the "web" you will "show up" in a clearing and you will know who you are. That's authentic.

Keep your eyes open for a new post I am working on. It will be called "The Legacy, The Chasm and The "Leap." You will find it at Philosophy Forum - Dasein I invite you to go there and read "The Subject is The Predicate" and "Reading Heidegger."

Dasein


is it "authentiking" that at the moment i am "typing" on a laptop computer which is "sitting" on a board "measuring" 3 feet by 1 1/2 feet and "having" a "curving" cutout on one side so that it is "fitting" against my body as i am "sitting" on a recliner that is "chairing" me while the board is "resting" on its arms so that it is "tableing" the computer as i now am "submitting" this reply and "asking" you what's "happening"?
 
Dasein
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 06:35 am
@Idale,
Longknowledge;

I am "wondering." How does:
Quote:
is it "authentiking" that at the moment i am "typing" on a laptop computer which is "sitting" on a board "measuring" 3 feet by 1 1/2 feet and "having" a "curving" cutout on one side so that it is "fitting" against my body as i am "sitting" on a recliner that is "chairing" me while the board is "resting" on its arms so that it is "tableing" the computer as i now am "submitting" this reply and "asking" you what's "happening"?


move the conversation forward?

Is it your intent to not move the conversation forward?

Heidegger defines thinking as "let something lie there and take it to heart," How do I do that wih your response?

Do I dismiss you as a person who will only waste my time?

Dasein
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 07:47 pm
@Dasein,
Dasein;100271 wrote:
Longknowledge;

I am "wondering." How does:


move the conversation forward?

Is it your intent to not move the conversation forward?

Heidegger defines thinking as "let something lie there and take it to heart," How do I do that wih your response?

Do I dismiss you as a person who will only waste my time?

Dasein


Dear Dasein,

Sorry. I was just "funning" with your "posting" a little bit.
My point was: Is the "chair" part of my "table" and/or the "table" part of my "chair"?

I will look up what Ortega has to say on authenticity, which is a lot.

Ortega defines thinking as whatever man does when he doesn't know what to do.
In the past this has included reading entrails, consulting oracles, waiting for omens, etc.

But I'm going try letting your response lie there for a while and take it to heart.

Have you read my posting at "On Being in Heidegger and Aristotle" here?
I hope it isn't a waste of your time.

Sincerely,

longknowledge
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 29 Oct, 2009 10:19 pm
@Dasein,
Dasein;100087 wrote:
Authentic comes from the word "Author." To be authentic means that one must be the "author" of one's life.

How is that possible? From the moment you were born you never had a chance. Your life has been defined for you. Even if you have left behind your up-bringing you still live in a world where everything has been defined for you. Language uses you, you don't use it. A table is a table, a chair is a chair, up is up, and down is down. It doesn't matter what each are called in the different languages of the world, a table is for "tabling" and a chair is for "sitting."

You can "cop" an attitude about "table." You can agree or disagree with "table." You can argue all of the points of view you may have about "table", (variety, substance, use, etc.) but what you may not notice is that "table" is defining the time you are spending in conversation about "table." Your ancestors have passed this legacy down to you and they gave you no other choice. We all "swim" in this legacy and it dominates who we are.

The only way to be authentic is to dismantle the web of misconceptions and presuppositions and think them through. As you dismantle the "web" you will "show up" in a clearing and you will know who you are. That's authentic.

Keep your eyes open for a new post I am working on. It will be called "The Legacy, The Chasm and The "Leap." You will find it at Philosophy Forum - Dasein I invite you to go there and read "The Subject is The Predicate" and "Reading Heidegger."

Dasein


I agree with this stance. One way to look at it, or practise it, is to live as if you are a volunteer - that you volunteered to be born, and have basically taken on your situation. I know that it is hard to accept that we can literally have done that, insofar as we weren't around to make the choices, but from a gnostic or platonist viewpoint, it is not so clear cut.

Anyway, that aside, I agree with the initial premise of this post, but not the undertone of despondency that creeps in with 'you didn't have a chance'. If you own your experience, and totally own up to who you are, that is the essential first step to authentic life (AS DISTINCT from mere existence which is a generally tawdry affair).
 
Dasein
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 08:00 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;

Thanks for the contribution. What you're pointing to could have been better said with "How is that possible? From the moment you were born your life has been defined for you."

Thank you,
Dasein
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 08:35 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;100593 wrote:
I agree with this stance. One way to look at it, or practise it, is to live as if you are a volunteer - that you volunteered to be born, and have basically taken on your situation. I know that it is hard to accept that we can literally have done that, insofar as we weren't around to make the choices, but from a gnostic or platonist viewpoint, it is not so clear cut.

Anyway, that aside, I agree with the initial premise of this post, but not the undertone of despondency that creeps in with 'you didn't have a chance'. If you own your experience, and totally own up to who you are, that is the essential first step to authentic life (AS DISTINCT from mere existence which is a generally tawdry affair).


Quotes from Ortega y Gasset:

Metaphysical activity is an inevitable ingredient of human life; even more, [. . .] it is what man is always doing, and all his other occupations are decantings precipitated from it.

The metaphysician, having to renounce every opinion which he himself does not fabricate, being unable to accept from others any opinion as good and firm, must make it all himself, or what is the same thing, he has to remain alone.

For other quotes by Ortega on Metaphysics go here.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 09:33 am
@longknowledge,
Longknowledge;

In my opinion you place way too much emphasis on Ortega y Gasset and not enough on longknowledge. You say you have been reading Gasset for 50 years. In all that time has anybody ever mentioned the possibility that what is showing up on the page has nothing to do with Gasset? Has anybody ever told you that the only thing you can see on the page is you looking at you?

Obviously you are going to do what you are going to do but I would like to see you step out from behind the curtain and quote longknowledge. Stepping out from behind the curtain would be authentic.

BTW, I do know that when you are quoting Gasset, you are actually quoting longknowledge. There's nobody out there.

I wish you all the best my friend.

Dasein
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 09:39 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;100654 wrote:
Quotes from Ortega y Gasset:

The metaphysician, having to renounce every opinion which he himself does not fabricate, being unable to accept from others any opinion as good and firm, must make it all himself, or what is the same thing, he has to remain alone.


Well said. I have realised that for the really important questions in life, there is 'no adjudication'. You can't appeal to some authority to make a ruling or confirm whether what you understand is true or false - because any such authorities are basically in the same position as you yourself. So you have to make a stand yourself, to the very best of your ability, and grounded only in that conviction.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 09:41 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;

I suggest you read Emerson's essay on "Self-Reliance." You will get an incredible look at you.

Dasein
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 10:32 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;100593 wrote:
I agree with this stance. One way to look at it, or practise it, is to live as if you are a volunteer - that you volunteered to be born, and have basically taken on your situation. I know that it is hard to accept that we can literally have done that, insofar as we weren't around to make the choices, but from a gnostic or platonist viewpoint, it is not so clear cut.

Anyway, that aside, I agree with the initial premise of this post, but not the undertone of despondency that creeps in with 'you didn't have a chance'. If you own your experience, and totally own up to who you are, that is the essential first step to authentic life (AS DISTINCT from mere existence which is a generally tawdry affair).


More to the point, is this further thought from Ortega's What is Philosophy? Translated from the Spanish by Mildred Adams (New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1960), p. 221:

sostenemos, sustain] ourselves in the air, balancing ourselves on a thin wire, carrying the weight of our lives above the crossroads of the world. And with this we do not prejudge whether our existence will be gay or sad: whichever it is, it is built out of an endless need for solving the problem of itself'

By the way, Dasein, I quote Ortega a lot because during those 50 years I have become convinced of the truthfulness of his thought. Yes, when I quote Ortega I am sustaining that his thought corresponds with my own. Not being such a gifted writer, I find that he can express what I think far better than I could myself. What I try to do is to insert his thought into appropriate places in the discussions of this Forum, since it is little known in the United States, if not in Europe, in the hope that it will contribute a different perspective to the conversation. If you have specific questions about the points I'm trying to make by including the quotes, I will try to answer them in my own words.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 11:01 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;

All I am saying is that it isn't "his thought." It is you. You are not sustaining "his thought", you are bringing "you" to life. It is not a "minor technical point" that I am making, it is an invitation. You are "the truthfulness of his thought" and when you read Gasset you re-cognize you otherwise you couldn't know it as "truthful."

You have been on the planet for over 70 years. It's time for you to be dangerous!

If you don't take me up on my invitation it won't change what I've said.

Dasein
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 11:58 am
@Dasein,
Dasein;100671 wrote:
longknowledge;

All I am saying is that it isn't "his thought." It is you. You are not sustaining "his thought", you are bringing "you" to life. It is not a "minor technical point" that I am making, it is an invitation. You are "the truthfulness of his thought" and when you read Gasset you re-cognize you otherwise you couldn't know it as "truthful."

You have been on the planet for over 70 years. It's time for you to be dangerous!

If you don't take me up on my invitation it won't change what I've said.

Dasein


Dear Dasein,

I'm well aware of Nietzsche's dictum "Live Dangerously!" More to the point is Fichte's dictum [and Ortega's, who quotes him, if you'll pardon the expression]: "Life is danger."

I have confirmed this from my own experience. Last December I sustained a heart attack requiring quadruple by-pass surgery, from which I have recovered, except for some damage to the nerves in my hands and right foot. In September, right after my 70th birthday, I had a fall on a sidewalk, because of the condition of my foot. Fortunately, I just skinned my knee and bumped my head slightly. Last Fall, when I joined the Forum, I had hoped to make a lot of contributions right away. Unfortunately, because of my recovery, I had to delay until this Fall to begin again. And then there's global warming!

[I certify that the above paragraph is in my own words and if there is any resemblance to words or statements that have been said or written by others elsewhere at any time in the past, present or future, I blame it on my native tongue, the English language. I think that Ortega said somewhere, and don't quote me, that every language implies a metaphysics.]

I'll admit that recently I've tried to "live dangerously" by trying to read Heidegger's book, The Question of Being," but I found it incomprehensible.
I'm now working on Aristotle's Metaphysics. Any further questions?

I "invited" you to read Ortega's Some Lessons in Metaphysics. Have you done so? Do you think it will be too dangerous to do so.

I'll admit tha
 
Dasein
 
Reply Fri 30 Oct, 2009 12:50 pm
@longknowledge,
Longknowledge;

Don't worry about comprehension, just read the book. Please read my blog "Reading Heidegger." I went through the "comprehension" thing. Eventually I "caught up" to Heidegger and then realized that comprehension was what I was using to avoid reading and stay in control. You don't realize that right away. You just have to trust that "you" know what you're doing and you woldn't be doing something that you weren't ready to do.

Dasein
 
 

 
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