1. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    16 Nov '14 20:37
    ...is not something one is supposed to do. However, if the current reality is not acceptable, is it possible that living in denial of that reality is a method of changing it?
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    16 Nov '14 21:261 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    ...is not something one is supposed to do. However, if the current reality is not acceptable, is it possible that living in denial of that reality is a method of changing it?
    Are you asking whether people would take either the blue or the red pill?
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    17 Nov '14 01:32
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Are you asking whether people would take either the blue or the red pill?
    Ha!
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    17 Nov '14 14:43
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Are you asking whether people would take either the blue or the red pill?
    Or, Don't cut the RED wire!
  5. Standard memberRJHinds
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    18 Nov '14 16:021 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    ...is not something one is supposed to do. However, if the current reality is not acceptable, is it possible that living in denial of that reality is a method of changing it?
    Believing in God as creator, maker, and judge has not been acceptable for some throughout the history of man, so they have come up with many fairy tales in an attempt to deny that reality. The fairy tale of the evolution of man has become the most dominate denial of reality that we encounter in today's world. It is sad, but true.
  6. Standard memberLundos
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    18 Nov '14 16:08
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Believing in God as creator, maker, and judge has not been acceptable for some throughout the history of man, so they have come up with many fairy tales in an attempt to deny that reality. The fairy tale of the evolution of man has become the most dominate denial of reality that we encounter in today's world. It is sad, but true.
    😴😴😴😴😴😴😞
  7. Standard memberLundos
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    18 Nov '14 16:13
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Are you asking whether people would take either the blue or the red pill?
    The red or the blue pill is a dilemma from the first chapters in Epistemology (or at least is was when I studied).

    I guess its always an individual choice, but I have always preferred knowledge over discomfort.
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    18 Nov '14 16:16
    Originally posted by Lundos
    The red or the blue pill is a dilemma from the first chapters in Epistemology (or at least is was when I studied).

    I guess its always an individual choice, but I have always preferred knowledge over discomfort.
    So you would be happy sleeping on a bed of nails because you KNOW it's a bed of nails?
  9. Standard memberLundos
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    18 Nov '14 17:07
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So you would be happy sleeping on a bed of nails because you KNOW it's a bed of nails?
    I would prefer knowing it was a bed of nails and not some poisoned teeth of an unknown monster I slept on. Then I could learn the art of sleeping on a bed of nails. Its very hard to adjust or make changes if you don't know or understand the source.
    Of course, it would be even better sleeping in a normal (for me) bed.
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    18 Nov '14 21:241 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    ...is not something one is supposed to do. However, if the current reality is not acceptable, is it possible that living in denial of that reality is a method of changing it?
    To change one's perspective or attitude on some matter is also to change reality in some respect, owing to the fact that our mental lives are a component of reality. This is something that I think vistesd has referred to as the "inseparable entanglement" of our mentality and reality. That is to say, our mental attitudes are not somehow wholly separate from reality but also intimately entangled up with it. On the other hand, unfortunate or unpleasant aspects of reality do not somehow dissolve just because one turns a blind eye to them. In this sense, there is an external reality that is not entangled with, or dependent on, our attitudes.

    We could consider a concrete example of, say, one's coming to the awareness that he or she will die someday. This can be quite an unpleasant aspect of reality. It can bring about existential dread and even crippling fear. Suppose this person is in fact gripped by dread of this awareness. Then, if he or she could change his or her attitude to one of denial or ignorance, then it would indeed change reality in the sense that it would substantially change this person's mental attitude toward the prospects of death and spare his or her reflective energy for more positive, enabling thoughts. But, of course, it would not change the reality of the matter that this person will one day die. There are also many problems with this approach, including (1) it is unseemly from an epistemic perspective, since it promotes ignorance and/or denial, which are generally not considered worthy or appropriate ends for cognizers (ignorance can be perfectly appropriate depending on the specifics, but this is more a case of willful ignorance, which is generally not a noble thing) ; (2) there is a problem of efficacy, since it concerns trying to influence doxastic states that are generally not under one's direct control; and (3) there is yet another problem of efficacy, since this approach reinforces and draws on a perennial source of existential conflict and suffering, which is the craving for the world to be something other than what it is. As such, this is generally not a healthy or appropriate approach, and I cannot recommend it.

    The way I see it, there are generally three elements to conflicts of awareness: (a) The fact that the world has some aspect UA; (b) the fact that subject S knows (a); and (c) the fact that S has strong negative affective attitudes towards (a) or (b) or both. Relieve any of (a), (b), or (c) and the conflict is relieved. The denial/ignorance approach aims to relieve (b), but this seems like the very worst approach to me, pursuant to the problems I mentioned above. A much better approach would be to attack either (a) or (c), perhaps depending on whether or not (a) is something reasonably within S's control. If the unpleasant aspect of the world, UA, is reformable, then one viable option is to just change the world for the better such that UA does not obtain (then (b) will naturally also no longer obtain, too). If UA is not reformable, then one should attack (c) through promoting a healthy acceptance of UA. Attacking (c) is one option that is always viable, regardless of whether or not UA is reformable by S. As such, it is perhaps the most powerful approach. However, it requires practices in ego dissolution, which is the main tool for this work.

    At any rate, getting back to your initial question, there are at least a couple ways to think about the question. In one construal, you are asking if relieving (b) can also relieve (a). The general answer is clearly no. In another construal, the question is whether relieving (b) can clear up the conflict. Yes it can; but it would seem to be a very poor, impoverished approach to meeting that goal.
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    18 Nov '14 21:27
    Originally posted by Lundos
    I would prefer knowing it was a bed of nails and not some poisoned teeth of an unknown monster I slept on. Then I could learn the art of sleeping on a bed of nails. Its very hard to adjust or make changes if you don't know or understand the source.
    Of course, it would be even better sleeping in a normal (for me) bed.
    Then I could learn the art of sleeping on a bed of nails. Its very hard to adjust or make changes if you don't know or understand the source.
    Of course, it would be even better sleeping in a normal (for me) bed.


    Well said. Let's strive to understand the world for what it is, warts and all. Then, depending on the specifics, we either learn healthy acceptance of warts, or we just get some wart remover.
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    19 Nov '14 16:021 edit
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    ...is not something one is supposed to do. However, if the current reality is not acceptable, is it possible that living in denial of that reality is a method of changing it?
    There is a part of reality that can only be ascertained by the exercise of a part of our being. The exercise is prayer.

    There is a dimension to life which can only be substantiated by the use of an "organ" [for lack of any better word] which results in genuine prayer.

    If you don't pray or are very unwilling to pray, it is hard [maybe not impossible] but hard to substantiate a certain real dimension to reality.

    You have to use your praying organ to approach some realm of the reality.

    Now I have put this in four somewhat similar sentences. None of them are as perfect as I would like. But I have put it in four expressions which intend to convey the same thing.

    And once more, assuming there are some really seeking people reading. There is an "organ" as a part of your humanity which is exercised when in genuine prayer. Without this exercise, substantiating a certain aspect of real reality is too easily missed.
  13. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    19 Nov '14 16:17
    Originally posted by Lundos
    The red or the blue pill is a dilemma from the first chapters in Epistemology (or at least is was when I studied).

    I guess its always an individual choice, but I have always preferred knowledge over discomfort.
    I'm sure you meant, "knowledge over comfort".

    That is an easy thing to say for a person with a prosperous life, like most of us in the 1st world.

    But consider a person who suffers the death of someone very close to them. Can we blame them for avoiding reality at least for a little while, until the grief is less overwhelming and can be dealt with?

    Or someone like MLK, who confronted a world in which lynching was the norm - and refused to accept that reality?

    Further - what if he had failed? Should he then have figured out a way to accept it? "Oh well, I guess people of color are going to be lynched on occasion. Guess I'd better figure out how to deal. Perhaps teach my colored brethren to act meekly when confronted by white authority in the faint hope they will be shown mercy."
  14. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    19 Nov '14 16:25
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    To change one's perspective or attitude on some matter is also to change reality in some respect, owing to the fact that our mental lives are a component of reality. This is something that I think vistesd has referred to as the "inseparable entanglement" of our mentality and reality. That is to say, our mental attitudes are not somehow wholly separate f ...[text shortened]... t. Yes it can; but it would seem to be a very poor, impoverished approach to meeting that goal.
    Since people love references to the Matrix movie so much [I don't exempt myself] - consider this.

    A world in which some sort of environmental catastrophe has taken hold - and most humans have died. Industrial infrastructure has crumbled due to lack of people to maintain it. Those few that remain can only eke out a miserable existence where survival is the only goal they have time to think about.

    But they are offered a choice - to live inside the Matrix, in a simulated world more like the real world that once was. A world in which they can focus on 'meaningful relationships and projects' instead of a constant struggle to keep a little life in their body.

    It won't be 'real', but it will relieve their suffering. At that point, could we not say that reality is overrated? And would that person care that their willful ignorance of reality was an 'impoverished' attitude?
  15. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    19 Nov '14 16:29
    Originally posted by sonship
    There is a part of reality that can only be ascertained by the exercise of a part of our being. The exercise is prayer.

    There is a dimension to life which can only be substantiated by the use of an "organ" [for lack of any better word] which results in genuine prayer.

    If you don't pray or are very unwilling to pray, it is hard [maybe not impossible] ...[text shortened]... er. Without this exercise, substantiating a certain aspect of real reality is too easily missed.
    What is prayer?

    Is it a conversation? A request for assistance? A sharing of experiences? A giving of thanks? An expression of concern for others and wishing them well? Some sort of combination of the above?

    Is it anything not included above?
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