The Over-examined Life is not worth Living

The Over-examined Life is not worth Living
mayor of simpleton
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Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 4:12 PM:

transfinite wrote:
Suppose you discover that all of your friends have higher IQs and incomes than you have, think you are a jerk, laugh at you behind your back and prefer that you not hang out with them. Suppose you discover that (as a male) you have the small penis in the world, that both heterosexual and homosexual people think you are physically repulsive, that your spouse is having an affair with one or both of your parents, that some of your inoperative brain cells are becoming cancerous, that your employer thinks you are the lease valuable worker, that your parents tried to abort you before you were born, that your dog hates you but hangs around for the free room and board, that.................................etc.



"... you address the issue of this cancer in your brain, as none of your friends, relatives or employers pay you any notice, that you are too 'stupid' to follow convention and establish methods of investigation, that results in you making a few observations and investigations in an uncoventional unscientific manner, all on your own, as no one else would do such a stupid thing and all of this crapy self-knowledge leads you make a discovery, ignored by all others, of how to cure every form of cancer out there with a simple inexpensive mixed drink; therefore you arrive at a conclusion that none of this negative crap really matters."

This is just as unlikely as the list that you have presented.

Question: Do we have an established standard of measure as to what is 'over-examined' and 'under-examined' or are we just rating the scale upon information that you just don't care to know about yourself? raised eyebrow

Meow!

GREG
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Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 4:31 PM:

I would think that the guy with the smallest penis in the world whom everyone finds detestable and so forth would be exceeding glad that he had brain cancer. I may be mistaken, however. Perhaps he likes his life, nano-dick and all.

Which raises an interesting question which probably can't be answered unless pleasure can be precisely measured: do men with large penises experience more pleasure during orgasm than men with small penises?

As to the issue at hand, you can't keep pulling up a turnip to see how big it is getting. Some self-examination has utility (some people need more than others) as long it doesn't inhibit growth (like, by dithering about everything so that one never gets anything done).
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#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 4:37 PM:

transfinite wrote:
I am not disagreeing with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living but rather I am agreeing with Aristotle's advocacy of moderation in life. I believe an over-examined life can be as counter-productive as an unexamined one. I will give some examples below of excessive self-knowledge:
Suppose you discover that all of your friends have higher IQs and incomes than you have, think you are a jerk, laugh at you behind your back and prefer that you not hang out with them. Suppose you discover that (as a male) you have the small penis in the world, that both heterosexual and homosexual people think you are physically repulsive, that your spouse is having an affair with one or both of your parents, that some of your inoperative brain cells are becoming cancerous, that your employer thinks you are the lease valuable worker, that your parents tried to abort you before you were born, that your dog hates you but hangs around for the free room and board, that.................................etc.

Oh man. My mistake. Had to read through this yet one more time....

And just started laughing and laughing. There's a thread somewhere about why their is humor at all, and maybe I should place myself in treatment there. But its just one of those stories where you could string it out indefinitely, and I am torn between saying "he went for a medical deferrment, and they didn't even bother with the examination", and saying "yes, that describes life nicely, thank you."

Makes me wonder about transfinite, hopefully just a good imagination.

I say you have no choice, you are going to examine or not examine as your little heart sees fit, and there is a way we travel, one our own, but then there is this, which I had pulled just today, wanted to read it for some reason (from Steppenwolf), wanted to 'examine' it:

And naturally they don't want to think;
they were made to live, not to think!
And he who thinks, who makes thinking
to his main occupation, he can come far,
but he has confused the water with the land
and the day will come that he drowns.


[later]

It was cold, oh yes, it was cold but also still
wonderfully still and vast, like the cold still space
in which the stars rotate.


Edited by mutemaler on Jul 27, 2010 - 4:44 PM
transfinite
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#14 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 4:48 PM:

Mayor of Simpleton wrote:

"... you address the issue of this cancer in your brain, as none of your friends, relatives or employers pay you any notice, that you are too 'stupid' to follow convention and establish methods of investigation, that results in you making a few observations and investigations in an uncoventional unscientific manner, all on your own, as no one else would do such a stupid thing and all of this crapy self-knowledge leads you make a discovery, ignored by all others, of how to cure every form of cancer out there with a simple inexpensive mixed drink; therefore you arrive at a conclusion that none of this negative crap really matters."
This is just as unlikely as the list that you have presented. “

Reply:

Unfortunately, there are some terminal cancers that are undetectable before they occur and are unresponsive afterwards. Obviously, we would want to know about treatable conditions beforehand, but I don't think it would do any good to worry about something that is beyond our control. My wife died of a rare form of lung cancer (BAC) that was unresponsive to treatment and unsymtomatic before it had reached stage IV. What good would it have been for us to know about this beforehand if there was nothing we could do about it. I don't think it is helpful to know bad things if we can't change them.

Philosopher By Choice
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#15 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 6:05 PM:

You can only change what you know. Meaning; it not often a pleasure to be aware of negative "things*" surrounding one but it might be for the better, it might help you realize things you want to change.

* apologize for lack of better term

Cheers
discoveryii
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#16 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 6:08 PM:

I like to think of it more along the lines of reading a book and analyzing it. If you read one page and the write a 3 page paper analyzing that page, read another page, how the hell will you ever see the whole picture? You have to read huge chunks and then analyze it. In life, you have to just live/listen sometimes, and analyze things after a huge load comes along.
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Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 10:08 PM:

transfinite wrote:
Suppose you discover that all of your friends have higher IQs and incomes than you have, think you are a jerk, laugh at you behind your back and prefer that you not hang out with them. Suppose you discover that (as a male) you have the small penis in the world, that both heterosexual and homosexual people think you are physically repulsive, that your spouse is having an affair with one or both of your parents, that some of your inoperative brain cells are becoming cancerous, that your employer thinks you are the lease valuable worker, that your parents tried to abort you before you were born, that your dog hates you but hangs around for the free room and board, that.................................etc.
It sounds pretty dire, but Dick Cheney hasn't killed himself yet. sticking out tongue
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 27, 2010 - 10:40 PM:

BitterCrank wrote:
I would think that the guy with the smallest penis in the world whom everyone finds detestable and so forth would be exceeding glad that he had brain cancer. I may be mistaken, however. Perhaps he likes his life, nano-dick and all.
grin

And if he does like his life, then obviously all those issues aren't as bad as transfinite makes them out to be. Moreover, this unfortunate soul has somehow managed to get himself a spouse despite his general (and genital) appearance. He has also apparently learned how to read the minds of dogs. That has to be a marketable talent.
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#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 28, 2010 - 12:35 AM:

transfinite wrote:

Suppose you discover that all of your friends have higher IQs and incomes than you have


You can work on that.

transfinite wrote:

think you are a jerk, laugh at you behind your back and prefer that you not hang out with them. Suppose you discover that (as a male) you have the small penis in the world


You can try a method of enlarge your penis.

transfinite wrote:

that both heterosexual and homosexual people think you are physically repulsive,


You can work on that too.
By the way, I don't think it's a problem for a straight person not be attractive for same sex.

transfinite wrote:

that your spouse is having an affair with one or both of your parents


Divorce.

transfinite wrote:

that some of your inoperative brain cells are becoming cancerous


Earlier diagnoses means more chance to get cured.

transfinite wrote:
, that your dog hates you but hangs around for the free room and board


Dogs just don't think this way.
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#20 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jul 28, 2010 - 12:51 AM:

I don't suppose you have just been to a Woody Allen festival.....
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