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 Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival

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AutSider

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PostSubject: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:26 pm

The following exchange prompted me to think about this subject and inspired me to make this thread:

zinnat13 wrote:
Arbiter of Change wrote:
zinnat13 wrote:
Try to be nimble and flexible in the life for the time being. Do not try to force the issues. Weakness have its own strengths. Storms can uproot only huge and tall trees, not grass. The grass can move and bend here and here with the winds, but will stood straight again, as soon as the the storm will pass. But, once a tree is uprooted, it is gone forever.

Another possible interpretation:

The tree stands its ground, tall and mighty, a force to be reckoned with. Strong and independent, it lives hundreds of years, wages battles with numerous winds and never bends to other's will, for it would rather die. Preserving integrity and affecting the world around itself, continuously growing it towers above it and keeps ascending until its undoing.

The grass lives a pitiful, meaningless life - it bends to what is current, whatever it is. The grass has no identity of it own, no individuality, it is a collective. Its existence is short, its potential for growth more limited than that of a tree. It leaves no relevant impact in the world.

Change,

I do not think you got it.

The analogy does not say that grass is more follow worthy than tree always. It talkes about only a particular context: the storm or bad times.

That is only when the example of the grass should be followed. Means, ego and rigidness would not work in adversities. One should be ready to adjust according to the circumstances.

A weak but adjustable person can survive bad times easily than a srong but rigid/egoistic one. What will happen to both of them in good time is a different issue.

With love,
Sanjay

The tree in this case I understood to symbolize a proud, virtuous person who prioritizes intellectual/moral integrity above survival and would rather die than succumb to what they consider immoral/evil/untrue.
The grass is the one who chooses the path of least resistance, whose intellectual and moral positions are dependent on how well they contribute to their survival regardless of the truth, facts, and what they actually consider moral/true.

The grass can, sometimes, if it is convenient, assume the true/moral positions like a tree does, and it is consistent with the concept of a grass if it contributes to their survival.
But can a tree prioritize survival above intellectual/moral integrity and still remain a mighty, proud and strong tree?

A practical example would be: If Nazis/Communists were to try and take your neighbors/friends/family away, would you prioritize your own survival and not do anything or would you try to help at the risk of your survival? Do you think you would be acting less morally if you let them get taken, or do you think it's equally justified not to do anything because it threatens your survival? Also, would you react differently depending on the degree of intimacy in relationships you developed with people about to be taken away (a neighbor, a friend or family)?

The crux of the issue: Is personal survival the only function of morality? Or does it extend to something beyond it, such as protecting other people and values we identify with? Or is that also a type of survival, if we the things that survived because of a person's sacrifice are a part of their identity?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My position is that the grass is despicable and morally reprehensible. It conforms to mass thinking, which usually results in mass stupidity, weakness, and independence. I would rather die fighting for my values than live a worthless life of lies and submission. The only exception is the 'retreat to fight another day' scenario.



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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:40 pm

No; there are master and slave morals.

Master morals are not only about-self-preservation and survivalism as an ends-in-itself... but growth, dominance, self-assertion, a means of creating gulfs and putting distance and gradations to stand out clearly for and as what one is - as a standard-setting.

With such gulfs, one can be indifferent [by which I dont mean insensitive] and live amongst the herd, uninfected. An individual who is a master is not an atomic individual - his self is the summation of his whole organic history and the representation of his past, his heritage, etc. Here flourishing means, not just the individual atomic self, but the whole shape-forming ideal.


Some threads to see:

Lyssa wrote:
"For some, its a question of survival and self-preservation - pagan converts to Xtianity.
Would you kneel before a bishop, or would you rather have your head chopped off because of self-esteem?
Is it life at any cost, or only a dignified, principled life that is worth living?

So I ask musing... was it self-love at the cost of self-esteem when many pagans converted to Xt.?
Two issues here.

1. A man clinging to his self - he makes his self emerge from his esteem. And so, he survives at any cost knowing he can always adjust his sense of self by whatever he esteems at the moment, or cowardly takes out his life and escapes when something threatens to injure his reputation - if things have failed with him, he believes he himself is a failure and so suicides.

2. A man possessing his self - he makes esteem emerge from him self. And so, he either survives knowing his self is intact by enduring the disgrace, or he survives post-humously knowing it takes honourable death and self-sacrifice to keep a heroism-meme alive. If there were no heroes who died *from honour [not *for honour - i.e. Xtianity.], if there were no honour-conscious memes of dead heroes, and myths and stories to tell, a culture cannot survive. It becomes feminized.
Dead heroic memes are as necessary to a culture's survival as are living heroic genes enduring disgraces to preserve and carry forward a culture.

J.-Xt. marking Christ as the last abs. sacrifice, and hyper-inflating individuals to the point of making them unsacrificiable, and condemning violence, aggression, masculinity is thwarting heroism, and the development of any culture. J.Xt. is and promotes and can promote only a cult-ure, a semblance, not a living culture.

The self-clinging man is narcissistic and is in love with the image of himself.
The self-possessed man is masterly and is in love with himself.

Men can no longer be men. They have to think a hundred things before they can spontaneously act or speak. This is the case on some heavy duty philosophy forums, never mind the real world where its even worse.
This is RAPE. Mental Assault. Spiritual Battery.
This is Happening as we speak.

How many have had to swallow their pride, their self-esteem and forced to a submissive position?

Yet, the world was always war. Life was always violence, rape, pillage, exploitation. Nothing new about this.

How we behave, even if No One were to be watching or aware of our actions, is what will equally get woven into the future. Its a Design We Set.
Its the disposition and spirit we take into things, not the act itself.
A Deed is always in becoming.
Its not the cowardly deed itself but what one makes it Become... to where one leads it.

The Past is only an Inheritance. 'You' are what YOU Earn. And You will be what you chose to save from all that was given, and all that you gathered.

En-trusting your awareness to another makes you ripe for slavery.

When the sun sets and the moon sets and the light outside has gone, strike up your inner light and awaken your self by yourself."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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Magnus Anderson

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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:52 am

I am not sure that tree/grass analogy is adequate. Plants are brain-less. What we're talking about here refers to our brains.

It is a question of long-term survival vs. short-term survival.

Would you risk short-term survival for the sake of long-term survival?

Brains give us long-term survival advantage at the cost of short-term survival.

Every increase in strength is at the same increase in weakness. This is inescapable.

Flexibility is a good thing but only if it starts with rigidity (endurance.) Moreover, no matter how flexible you become the Universe will keep forcing you back into rigidity.

Manimals aren't animals, they are manimals, people who place their brains after their actions, who start with flexibility and move towards rigidity.
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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:58 am

There's safety in being small and disappearing in a multitude, and allowing yourself to be blown about by every breeze. There is danger in size and height, and resisting the forces that push against us in the world.

It seems obvious that greatness implies danger, or smallness safety.

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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:45 am

Brain seeks to maintain its internal order/hierarchy, to protect itself from degenerating into a disorganized mess. "Being connected to one's past", "aesthetics" and "integrity" are some of the alternative ways to describe the same phenomenon.

The question is: what is more important, your brain or your body?

Brain > body means risking your life for the sake of mental organization and long-term survival.

Brain < body means risking your mental organization (autonomy, independence, integrity, etc.) for the sake of hedonistic/manimalistic short-term survival.

EDIT:

I am, of course, wrong when I say that they value body more than they value brain. Values and hierarchies are created by the brain. Since they have no brain they value nothing, or rather, they value everything (their brains being fragmented means their values shift depending on how they feel.) They never set any hierarchies whatsoever.

Is brain more valuable than body? No, they are both important . . .

Like Aeon saying that order is not superior to chaos because they are both important . . .
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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Sat May 02, 2015 3:41 pm

Magnus Anderson

The tree/grass analogy is about symbolism of the physical properties of the tree/grass, how they are analogous to some human mental properties, it doesn't compare the (non-existent) mental properties of trees/grass to those of humans.

Can you explain what you mean by long-term survival and short-term survival? It doesn't appear that there is that much of a relevant difference between living 60 years and 100. Quality of life is more important than quantity.
I assume you're aiming at something else, or? Perhaps something along the lines of how stronger body and muscles may be more fit for survival in certain everyday situations, such as self-defense, attracting females, and being an imposing figure amongst other males, but that, concerning long-term survival of humanity itself, brains contribute to our evolution and therefore survival more efficiently, rendering individual strong bodies useless and irrelevant on a global scale?

As for increase in strength being an increase in weakness, I agree, but I'm not sure if we're thinking of same things when we say it. I can somewhat understand the frustration iambiguous has with abstract language in the Identity thread.  People can end up, after pages of discussion, concluding that they simply disagreed about what terms meant, but that their reasoning and/or experience of the world is more or less agreeable and consistent. This is why I prefer to use concrete examples as well.
Every increase in strength is an amendment, or overcoming of a weakness, which simultaneously opens up new weaknesses, but an actual increase in strength means that the overall strength/weakness ratio increased despite the addition of that new weakness. Only the falsely perceived increase in weakness (not an actual one) doesn't positively affect the overall balance.

I'm not sure what you mean by flexibility and rigidity either, so I'll continue assuming and trying to be the great interpreter. It's crucial to start with rigid moral rules of your own and then modify them depending on how functional and practical they prove to be in reality, but still preserve their essence.
The person who starts with flexibility is open to manipulation and, consequently, exploitation. Having no proper rules to judge the world by, they are lost in it and easily infatuated with the first emotionally appealing morals/ideology of the, more rigid, stranger.


I'd rather break than bend, I am only flexible insofar as I actually find something to be worthy of being introduced in my system of beliefs and substituting what currently occupies that position. For example, I don't give 2 shits about how many people worship God, how many imbeciles and cowards are willing to bend to the authority of the church because they're too dumb or too afraid to face reality sincerely, if I don't find it worthy (having a decent probability of being true), they can all go fuck themselves.


And Lyssa, thanks for your post and sources, I have to read the threads and give it some thought to decide where I stand.
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PostSubject: Re: Intellectual/Moral Integrity vs Survival Sun May 03, 2015 3:01 am

Quote :
The tree/grass analogy is about symbolism of the physical properties of the tree/grass, how they are analogous to some human mental properties, it doesn't compare the (non-existent) mental properties of trees/grass to those of humans.

Sure, it's a good metaphor.

However. Rigidity and flexibility are properties of a system. When ranking properties, it is a good habit to rank them in relation to a system, as well as in relation to a context, before moving onto general rank. If one leaves out the system, as well as the context, one becomes too general, and that is dangerous. We must ask, rigidity/flexibility of what? of what kind of system?

Rigidity isn't necessarily better than flexibility.

When we speak of tree being proud and grass being pitiful we are projecting our brains on them. In doing so, we are confusing the values of rigidity and flexibility in terms of our brains with the values of rigidity and flexibility in terms of plants.

Here we're talking about our brains, and then again, only about certain parts of our brains.

Quote :
Can you explain what you mean by long-term survival and short-term survival? It doesn't appear that there is that much of a relevant difference between living 60 years and 100. Quality of life is more important than quantity.

As with rigidity/flexibility, when speaking of survival we must ask ourselves survival of what?

A single thing does not survive. Rather, many things survive and many things die. And then, it's not either-or, but a degree of survival.

I understand survival much more generally. For example, I take reproduction to be an extension of our survival, a compensation for our mortality.

An individual does not simply live through his own body, he also lives through others. And this is where intelligence is very useful.

Quote :
I'm not sure what you mean by flexibility and rigidity either, so I'll continue assuming and trying to be the great interpreter. It's crucial to start with rigid moral rules of your own and then modify them depending on how functional and practical they prove to be in reality, but still preserve their essence.

The person who starts with flexibility is open to manipulation and, consequently, exploitation. Having no proper rules to judge the world by, they are lost in it and easily infatuated with the first emotionally appealing morals/ideology of the, more rigid, stranger.

This is close, but not exactly what I mean.

Again, we need to ask, what is supposed to be rigid?

Sure, our brain, but what parts of our brain? The entire brain?

Nope. Our brains must be both rigid and flexibile, so we must figure out what parts of it are supposed to be rigid and what parts of it are supposed to be flexible (and when and how and many other questions.) This is where the distinction between humans and manimals exposes itself.

Our senses? They should be as flexible as possible. They are supposed to sense reality, what is outside of our control, the other. Freezing them falsifies reality, makes us solipsistic.

Our thoughts? They too should be flexible.

Our habits? Should be flexible as well.

Our will? The capacity to endure uncertainty? Should be rigid.

Then comes the question of context, but I'll leave that out from this post.

Human: rigid will, flexible senses/thoughts/habits.
Manimal: flexible will, rigid senses/thoughts/habits.

This is also the difference between being strong-willed (human) and stubborn (manimal.)

A healthy man starts from his "comfort zone", which is to say from what he really is, and expands from there gradually, in a linear manner. He knows his limits so he cannot act in any sort of way. He is said to be "rigid". Through gradual development, he becomes more and more flexible.

A degenerate leaves his comfort zone to "tolerate" what is outside of his strength. He tries to expand in a rushed, uncontrolled, unorganized, non-linear manner. He's pretentious. He thereby becomes "flexible".
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