Title lovingly ripped from the Frank Sinatra classic
“Just do it.. Well, actually, do it hard”
“What?”“Y’know? Like, don’t kill me softly.”“So like stab you or something?”“No, do better than that. Disembowel me. Cut out my eyeball and make me eat it, then open up my ribcage and have me watch it as I digest.”“That’s disgusting. How do you even think of that?”
“It’s not about the actual act. You can do anything, it just can’t be something I can do on my own.”“Why?”“Cause I want to kill myself. If I am willing to take my own life doesn’t it make sense that I shouldnt be too worried about the method? I’ve always tried to be humble, that’s why I never got anywhere. So why should I die a humble death? Why shouldn‘t I make a statement in the only way I ever could? Or rather, YOU ever could. I can’t do anything worth remembering. Suicide happens all the time. It’s a brief news story and then people forget about it. A murder though? A ghastly eviceration with lots of evidence and pictures and gore? That will stay with everyone for life! No one can just swallow something like that. It wont say “This is the kid you bullied and crushed so badly that he wanted to die” No, this is divine providence saying, “This poor innocent died like this for nothing. Now imagine what awaits you, you poor misguided jackass!” It’s visceral, it’s effective, it will be my greatest achievement. And you can help me achieve it.”“What the fuck is wrong with you? You poor misguided shithead. You aren’t humble, you are fucking full of it. You think you are so looked down on. That you are this angel, this diamond in the rough, who is the only one capable of sending a truly “inspiring” message. You can’t even think of what it would mean for the executioner. Hell, after all this you make me want to kill you…. softly….. In all the ways you would hate, just so you could come off your virtuous perch and the rest of us could just get on with living.”
“Who the fuck do you take me for?”“A man who wants purpose, nothing more”“You think I have no purpose? You think you grant me that?”
“As far as I’m concerned, yeah”“Pleasing you? Catering to a person? Doing something for someone else? That is what is going to make life worthwhile”“If it’ll get you out, then yeah”“Who the fuck are you? You, so important that pleasing you makes every moment of my life fantastic. So great that I may seek pleasure only from your satisfaction? So fucking important that no other person I meet, no other person I touch, no other person I love, live with, cherish or adore will make my life any more fucking meaningful? Who the fuck are you to think like that? and why the fuck would I want to please you for it?”
“So is that a no? Is any single person assigned worth to you? Can you only focus on the big picture? Is thinking of yourself supposed to be about other people?”“No, thinking about others is the only way you can think for yourself”
“Then why the fuck am I still standing here?”
“Because you thought it necessary to ask that”
“I wish people like psychologists and philosophers or maybe even urban planners would run for government”“That’s a view only two people in the world hold. Students and professors”
If you want to avoid tyranny turn to anarchism.If you want to search for the perfect response then don’t respond at all.If you want to profit, join the majority by thinking individuallyIf you want to think individually look to those around youIf you want self worth, work for everyone but yourselfIf you want to please others think of how you please yourself
I feel like I’ve written a good amount on the subject on this page. However, it’s also distinctly possible that I havent. Mostly its someone that I can pal around with and that is a bit opposite of me. I would prefer someone I can play very easily off of, like a good scene partner in improv. As far as the opposite thing goes I feel like I need someone who doesnt view the world the way I do, to balance things out a bit. Someone who is a bit more positive and cheery in their relationships than I am. Finally, someone I dont have to worry about. I worry about people I care about. I dont care about most people so I could give less of a damn, but if there is a woman I really like I tend to be a smidgen on the protective side, so its nice to have a young lady I can trust to keep herself classy
I have a couple different answers to that. There are women that I would certainly date. So in that sense, yes, I have. However, there are not women I have the ability to date. So in THAT sense, no. A lot of that is due to women having interest in other men, combined my unfortunate knowledge of their interest, and my inability to “score chicks,” to put it misogynistically and colloquially. Hell yeah to the second question though. Having a girlfriend would be rad!
*disclaimer* this does not mean I am so desperate that I will take ANY and ALL women that approach me. But your chances are pretty high
So apparently I attend the empirically calculated “happiest college” in the United States. Now that raises several questions. As a cynic and a skeptic I have an obligation to prove this notion wrong. However, it seems entirely feasible to me, at the moment. My first method of counter-calculation was to find social reasons for unhappiness. I am used to vain vapid individuals who stir up controversy and strife in order to assign a purpose to an otherwise meaningless existence. This doesn’t work here though. People are too nice. There are no fights. No testosterone driven overly masculine disputes over the rights to a certain woman. No dick measuring contests between men, no cattiness between women. It’s a culture that propagates forgiveness in the face of offense and a lack of offenses in favor of nurturing friendly relationships. Its an anomaly to me, but it seems to work. This is a place where people just want to be homies. Since I wasnt able to find malcontent in student relations, I decided to turn my attention to the administration. This is where I found out WHY we are so “happy” around here. The administration here serves one function, enabling. The “man” here never seeks inhibit. If minors want to drink and party during the weekend Cmc will buy the beer. If a kid wants to take a class outside the path projected for him, he or she can. I feel like this pushes kids towards bigger things, allows them to accomplish more, and, in turn, makes them “happier.” More importantly though, it allows people who have never had the opportunity to exist on their own the ability to THRIVE on their own. The two things that I have traditionally associated with lowering school morale have become two strong suits for this college. A culture of friendliness and a hands off administration. Common goodwill towards other humans combined with total freedom and no inhibitions from out higher ups. I hope the allegorical implications are immediately apparent and present here. I can’t write anymore without a political slant.
There is no point in politics. The study of government and analysis of political viewpoints is wholly inept. How can you hope to understand someone’s unique and arbitrary political beliefs and then ascribe them to a group? The only contributing factor in political decision is psychology. Political beliefs are a perverse amalgamation of accumulated human experience. As is religion, morality and personality. This seems simple and inane, “of course someone’s belief systems, political and otherwise, stem from their experiences.” And it is that simple. More so, since it is that simple I find it genuinely troubling that people are so concerned with groupthink, mob mentality, and conforming and identifying with an organization to validate their beliefs. Furthermore, I believe we are unfit to decide anything as a unified body. How can we vote for the greater good of the United States when the entire formation of our beliefs is solely personal? We are not fit to decide the outcome of an entire nation based on opinions held solely to benefit ourselves. Individuals hold the only effective method of governance, and can only extend it as far as themselves. A government is just a conduit for chaos and misjudgment. The only purpose of the government is to funnel the conflicting of beliefs of several individuals into a non functioning puppet, no, symbol, of discourse. A puppet is tangible, has function, has people inside or behind it. A government is empty, has only a veil of meaning. Not to mention puppets bring people joy. Have you seen Sesame Street? It’s awesome. The government isn’t that awesome. You can’t compare waiting at the DMV to watching Oscar the Grouch.
I would hope that all of you are familiar with Perry and his dialogue on personal identity and immortality. If not you will be by the time you finish your Philosophy GE or you should take a trip over to Google in order to better understand this post and the inspiration behind it. This dialogue occurs between 2 fictional characters, the dying Gretchen Weirob and her friend Miller. Gretchen Weirob is afraid of dying. More specifically, Gretchen Weirob is afraid that when her body gives out her soul will lose its only vessel and she will cease to exist. Her friend Miller tries to assuage her fears and convince her that her soul will carry on long past the death of her body but Weirob won’t have it. Ultimately, Weirob abandons the notion that she can know her soul, and resolves that she will never know whether or not her soul carries on after she shuffles off the mortal coil. However, the assumptions made by Miller and Weirob as well as Weirob’s argument beg for closer examination. The correlation between the soul and psychology, the consistency of personal identity through time, and the ability to sense a soul could all bring Weirob’s views into new light and give her reason to believe in a continued existence, though maybe not to the extent she hopes for.
A key assumption Weirob and Miller make is that soul’s are roughly equivalent to a person’s psychology. They decide that there is no way of discerning psychological processes and personality traits and proceed through the dialogue without making a clear enough distinction between the two. Unfortunately, examining psychology as proof of a soul’s existence rather than as a soul itself could have dramatically changed Weirob’s feelings about the reality of a soul. Instead of looking at psychology as a synonym for the soul I think they must be examined as two separate entities with a cause and effect relationship. We cannot know that the two are different but it is entirely possible that a person’s psychology is a result of the contents of their soul, or that what we perceive as a soul is simply just all the information, behaviors, memories, and processes of our minds. Since we cannot know whether or not either one is true we cannot yet dissert the first point of Weirob’s argument: that we have no way of knowing whether or not a soul exists. However, we have evidence to support the notion that psychology is a facet and/or a product of the soul. Imagine a person who suffers from clinical depression. Modern medicine will tell us that there is a chemical imbalance in this person’s brain, and we can prove that to be true. But what caused this imbalance? What abstract aspect of this person’s personality caused his brain to produce less serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine? We can prescribe lithium pills and this person will function normally, but deep down, at his or her core, this person will always suffer from depression. Something predates the functions of his or her brain. This is evidence of a soul that maintains personality on a more profound non-physical level and our ability to quantify and observe the consequences of this soul give us reason to believe that we can “know” at least some aspects of a soul’s nature.
John Locke would disagree with this assumption, and say that our personality and psyche are solely a compilation of experiences, that we are Tabula Rasa. But what if a person is unable to experience the world? Does this person no longer have a thoughts or a soul? A person in a vegetative state or someone who is paralyzed can still think. Someone with no bodily functions can still identify themselves. For a more extreme example imagine someone born paralyzed, blind, and deaf. This person has no way of experiencing the world on a physical level, but they can still think. What they experience on a sensory level would be just a void to you and me, but how do we know they do not have a personality? How do we know they do not have thoughts and feelings? If in fact they did, it must mean they possess a soul, a soul that inhabits something we can only barely consider a body and that exists despite the absence of a conduit to physically manifest it. As easy as it is to believe John Locke and the notion that we are blank slates and forged through experience we cannot discredit people who can not have bodily experiences as devoid of thoughts and personality.
However, just because we have a soul does not mean it persists through time and past our bodily limits. Weirob and Miller assume that personal identity and, by extension, soul identity persists through time. This does not have to be the case though. It is entirely possible that a soul is a fluid fluctuating entity; which would explain why we would not have any knowledge of our own souls being a continuation of ourselves in a past life. We can have lunch with someone and see that person hours later at dinner and assume this person is the same soul. However, people change, and people change deeply. In that period of a few hours they could have a life altering experience and their personality, and quite possibly their soul, could be changed forever. Their soul is not constant, and is subject to change; we just perceive them as similar. For example: my own mother has undergone dramatic lifestyle changes since I was a child, but I still recognize her and identify her as the same person. Psychology has a name for this response: perceptual constancy. Perceptual constancy is a survival instinct we have that allows us to recognize something after a dramatic change. Our ability, and tendency, to use perceptual constancy means we can use a set of learned behaviors and responses to more easily interact with whatever object, or person, or soul we perceive. I do not recognize my mother as the same exact person because her soul has remained exactly the same but because it is easier for me to interact with her under that assumption.
And now I break a core tenant of Relativist morality and force my beliefs onto the poor unfortunate soul cursed with reading them. The soul is constant and changing all at the same time. It is our baseline, our underlying selves, but it can shift and sway. Is our soul unlike the Tao? “It is hidden but always present. I don’t know who gave birth to it.” These words come from the 4th passage in Dao De Jing and explain the Dao, the force and flow that governs the universe. Do these not apply to our souls though? Our souls exist without us knowing them, we cannot say where they came from but they will never leave. They guide us, they give us structure, they give us order. Our souls are like the Tao and it is entirely possible the two are linked. Our souls reflect the universe because they are our portals into it. If this is true we can extend certain truths about the Dao to our souls. “It is always present within you…. It was never born, thus it can never die… Approach it and there is no beginning, follow it and there is no end. You can’t know it but you can be it… Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source… It [the Tao] flows through all things…You will endure forever.. it is merged with all things and hidden in their hearts” (Tao Te Ching passages 6,7,14, 16, 25, 33, 34) Indeed “The master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao” (Tao Te Ching passage 21). If our souls are like the Tao and part of the Tao and the Tao never dies, is always constant and always changing then can we not assume our souls will live on? Maybe all Weirob needed was a little faith and a few hours with Laozi to give her hope.
The fact that souls are constantly changing and evolving explains why we cannot know whether we contain the same soul after our bodies die. I could have the same soul as an 18th century poet, but it has undergone so many changes since then that it may be completely different from what it was back then. Furthermore, experience and memory must also be separate from the soul. A large portion of who we are is based on memory, experience and behaviors we have learned. Psychologists tell us that these traits are connected to specific parts of the brain like the temporal and frontal lobes. These parts of the brain only grow and develop through experience. So while we may have a soul that gives us some kind of baseline personality, like in the case of our depressed person, most of who we are is connected to our brain. Our brain, which is a part of our bodies and which will die along with it. A soul can live on and can be affected by the experiences of a person, but the knowledge of those specific experiences dies with the brain and explains why we would not be able to recall who we were in a past body. Now, go back to the possibility of a cause and effect relationship the brain and soul may have. The soul may affect the brain and be the cause of unexplainable personality traits like depression, but on the flipside the brain and the experiences it holds could change the soul on a deeper level. This is unfortunate for Weirob and her hope of continued existence, but does make it more probable that her soul and some aspects of her personality will carry on. She may not have the same memories in a different body, but her memories can change her soul and that can live on.
Now that the assumptions Miller and Weirob have made about the soul have been changed, Weirob’s argument carries far different implications and some of her points can be rendered differently. Weirob’s first point in her argument is that the soul cannot be sensed in any way. The previous depression example has already given evidence that the soul can be a distinct driving force in personality and brain function. Since certain mental states and personality traits must be predisposed by the soul then our ability to perceive those changes and characteristics makes it possible for us to have some perception of the soul. Furthermore, how is it possible for us to come up with the idea of a soul unless without some notion that it exists? We can imagine things, but not things that exist and operate completely outside our plain of perception. Scientists have proposed several dimensions outside of our sensory perception. Things may exist we cannot even imagine because they cannot be perceived through sight, smell or touch. But we can imagine a soul. How can we have this concept without perception? In order to conceive of the notion of a soul we must perceive it somehow, and maybe, at the very least, something like it exists and Weirob has a reason to hope.
Since Weirob believes we cannot sense the soul; she also asserts that we cannot say whether or not a soul remains constant from one hour, one day, or one lifetime to the next. However, Miller retorts that our ability to introspect over time and identify constant personality traits allows us to believe otherwise. Weirob believes that we cannot sense ALL souls, but we can certainly sense our own and if we can know certain things about us stay constant throughout time then we can assume that other souls can do the same. Though souls may be subject to alterations over time, we can sense those in ourselves and assume that, by extension, other souls act in the same fashion.
So where does that leave me? It leaves me immortal. It leaves me believing that I will survive in a way Weirob thought impossible. It means after I die my soul will return to the Tao and everything I went through in my life will have changed this soul and maybe someday, when my soul is reincarnated and returns to a body I will have made some impact.
Sorry to disappoint. and sorry I took so long to answer this. Your information is a bit skewed and viewpoint completely justified based on the knowledge available to you. Contrary to the things stated on my tumblr, I am not as sad and despicable as I make myself out to be. This is just my sole venue for ranting and venting. My problems are completely petty, as you made a point to note, hence my reluctance to bitch and moan in a real world setting. This is just the place any bit of misfortune makes its way to. The masturbation comment rubs me the wrong way as well. (See what I did there? Masturbation RUBS! I’m killing myself). Venting is not a form of personal pleasure, more a form of concrete examination of what I am feeling at a particular moment in time. This allows me a way to reflect on changes in life and attitude as well as an avenue for remembering, and subsequently learning from, mistakes I’ve made. As for your closing statement, optimism doesnt work for me. The universe works regardless of your belief or viewpoint. Living in pessimism is a personal decision consciously made so that I can expect and prepare for any bad event that may happen to befall me. Being negative does not facilitate bad things coming to me, those will happen no matter what I believe. I just like to think myself prepared for when they more often than not present themselves.