April 28th, 2008, 05:55 PM
Just Another Philistine
Maslow described it as a social need, one step above Security. It's still a need, though, for connection to another human being or group of human beings. When the connection is felt, the feeling is good.
I suspect it is not fashionable, though, to describe oneself as having needs and working their satisfaction. Sounds sort of unmanly.
April 29th, 2008, 09:32 AM
GW -- I don't think it's deceptive (self or otherwise). And I also don't think it's a deception that we can think outside of ourselves. No, the subjective isn't transcended at all. I can't feel your comfort, I only have my own. So if you're in need, it brings me comfort to imagine bringing comfort to you. But it's my definition of comfort. It's entirely self-reflective. But I don't think that needs to lessen the value of it.
We see the problems from this all the time. Governments and charity organizations will throw money at a problem and hope that fixes it. The thing is, most of the problems that governments and charities have come down to money. So they do what they know.
It's like Paris Hilton donating a bunch of high fashion clothing to poor kids in a slum. There's an outside chance that the clothes will inspire one kid and give them a goal to work towards. But it does nothing to address the actual problem. Relative to Paris, I can see why she might think it was a good idea. Fashion is probably a comfort to her. You give to others the comfort you imagine for yourself. Based on your own values, your own version of the moral code. What else can we do?
The real problem with charity is charity-snobbery. Which you'll note is the exact process we've been describing here all along: conflicting personal values. I think Paris donating clothes is a crappy superficial pointless thing to do. A lot of people would agree with me, but Paris' peers probably wouldn't. It's tough to legitimately fault people for not knowing what they don't know. Can we really call that deception?
The difference between building someone a house and donating couture probably has more to do with how many people can identify with each course of action. Pretty much everyone will agree that giving someone a home is a good thing. And the fact that it will likely outlast you probably brings extra comfort along the legacy idea. All these socialized ideals are present in our minds somewhere.
April 30th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Just Another Philistine
Back to the thread for a minute:
". . a thought comes when ‘it’ wishes, and not when ‘I’ wish, so that it is a falsification of the facts of the case to say the subject ‘I’ is the condition of the predicate ‘think’. It thinks: but that this ‘it’ is precisely the famous old ‘ego’ is, to put it mildly, only a superstition, an assertion, and assuredly not an ‘immediate certainty’. . . . Even the ‘it’ contains an interpretation of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. One infers here according to the grammatical habit: ‘thinking is an activity; every activity requires an agent; consequently... ’.
Found this on a page of quotes from Nietzche. Haven't read Nietzche, so I cannot say how pure the wuote might be but this thought resonates with the our discussion of the biologic process while it maintains the mystery of same.
April 30th, 2008, 04:02 PM
That's Nietzsche. Yes, he was very concerned with the exact same things we've been pondering here.
HE, you should read him! Really you should. I'm not saying this in a prescriptive way, but in a 'wow, you'd find him fascinating' way.