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Featured [INFJ] What is the meaning/purpose of your existence?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TheFool, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I want to end poverty, disease, and conquer all that is evil.
     
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  2. Cristofori

    Cristofori Newbie

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    To put humanity 200 years into the future. It's complicated.
     
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  3. Maikl Jexocuha

    Maikl Jexocuha Community Member

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    LOL!
     
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  4. Maikl Jexocuha

    Maikl Jexocuha Community Member

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    If unable to make a difference or fall short of lifting the spirits of the 21st century's generations... Then the only thing that keeps me pushing is fulfilling the dream of my childhood: Just making really cool shit!
     
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  5. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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  6. philostam

    philostam Newbie

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    Hi there. I'm new on this forum (I heard about it on Ren's youtube page) and I want to join in the discussion.

    I consider myself a pragmatist INTP. When i was younger (i'm 26 now), I was definitely a very stereotypical INTP (from the descriptions): lazy, procrastinating, just going to random social events, smoking, driking, philosopyzing etc, But over time, thanks to the influence of my best friend (INTJ) and girlfriend (INFJ) I changed dramatically and became much more career focused and ambitious. So here is my current life philosophy:

    My whole philosophy starts with the point that I heard in one of JBP's talks. That point now became my go-to response when I deal with nihilists. Whenever someone tells me there is no meaning to life, I always ask them do they really think there is no meaning in pain/suffering. Everyone quickly realises that actually, yes, we cannot pretend that pain doesn't matter. So that's at least a start; I want a life free of unnecesary pain/suffering.

    When I was younger, my biggest obsession was "figuring" myself out. I was unhappy with myself, so I was focusing on wisdom, pyschology, typology, therapy etc. Over time, I managed to become healthier and happier with myself, so the next logical step was to focus on education and career. I'm still at that stage, and I must say it gives me tremendous meaning to see my skills building and advancing in my field. I'm a bit of a late bloomer, but I just finished my bachelors in Economics and will now probably pursue masters in Statistics.

    So yeah, there is something very pragmatic about my approach. What gives my life meaning is mental/physical health, good relationships, having a reasonable plan for education/career. Perhaps it's simple, but It works.
     
  7. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    I am very much a nihilist in every sense of the word.

    Not one single solitary thing means anything. Joy, suffering, happiness, and pain, are meaningless.

    Art, music, philosophy.....all meaningless. Look in thrift stores. You will see old family photos being sold in the frames. You will see paintings someone did so lovingly and expressive.....it didn’t mean shit to anyone.

    However!!!!!! This sounds bleak, but it’s beautiful!!!!

    Because everything means nothing. We are free to give meaning to what we want! We are not defined by another’s ideals as to what is valuable or isn’t. There needs to be no purpose in our joys or sufferings we don’t give meaning to.

    It’s a shame humans don’t fully comprehend what nihilism is truely about.
     
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  8. philostam

    philostam Newbie

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    This mindset doesn't sound the most healthy for me. I haven't yet met a happy and fulfilled nihilst. Only you know if you're an exception. :grinning:
     
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  9. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Ok, here's a possible challenge to your position.

    This is a passage from Bertrand Russell's chapter on Spinoza in his History of Western Philosophy:

    "But how about misfortunes to people whom you love? Let us think of some of the things that are likely to happen in our time to inhabitants of Europe or China. Suppose you are a Jew, and your family has been massacred. Suppose you are an underground worker against the Nazis, and your wife has been shot because you could not be caught. Suppose your husband, for some purely imaginary crime, has been sent to forced labour in the Arctic, and has died of cruelty and starvation. Suppose your daughter has been raped and then killed by enemy soldiers. Ought you, in these circumstances, to preserve a philosophic calm?"

    This was written in the early 1940s, but still applies today. It was directed at Stoicism but I think it also applies to nihilism. How would you meet Russell's challenge from a nihilist's point of view?
     
    #49 Ren, Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  10. MINFJToothFairy

    MINFJToothFairy Permanent Fixture

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    Knowledge and education. Especially that involving social media and cheap alcohol drenched youth.
     
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  11. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    All of this has meaning because the one experiencing it gave meaning to it.

    Just like diamonds. They are only valuable because someone says they are. Money only has worth because someone says so.

    I was married 20 years. With her for 22 years. Now divorced for 3 years. The marriage means nothing to me and I don’t care about her at all outside her being the mother of my children. Her family means exactly nothing to me at all. Her boyfriend means nothing to me either.

    My kids mean something because I wanted them and helped create them. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been born.

    I have one love and keeps me in limerence. That’s because I choose to give her meaning in my life.

    It seems we don’t have a choice when in reality we do.

    I choose to hate the color yellow, but for a time my favorite color was blue because someone told me it was my favorite. I choose green because I like it but give meaning to blue by choice.
     
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  12. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    I would bet you haven’t met a nihilist either.
    My point is, it isn’t the miserable pointless existing many suppose.

    Why else would Nietze (sp) have published books on the topic?
     
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  13. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    Case and point. /thread

    Namaste motherfuckers!
     
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  14. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    I can't be more honest than to admit that I find this to be an extremely weak defense against Russell's challenge.
     
  15. In the Wings

    In the Wings Community Member

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    What I "ought" to do is irrelevant. The question is what would I do. It's entirely in keeping with nihilism as a philosophy to decide in that moment to do everything in your power to prevent that stuff from happening again, not necessarily because you are obligated to but because you desire to.
     
  16. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    You make an interesting argument. But let's suppose that oughtness is indeed irrelevant and leaves desire as the motive force for action. In the cases mentioned by Russell, I agree that this works well enough for nihilism, since presumably a man will love his family, a wife will love her husband, etc. So you could say that it is love that motivates action and that oughtness does not have to come into the picture. But what about a situation in which a man sells Jews to the nazis, or members of the resistance to be tortured, because he fears for his own life and wants to ingratiate himself with the occupying power? In a way his 'desire' to save his skin is quite understandable, and so is his fear. But would you really hold that oughtness is irrelevant in this case as well, i.e. that such an act is morally irrelevant? The man acted in accordance with his desire. It just happened to be not love, but fear. What does nihilism have to say about this kind of case, which happened hundreds of times during WWII? It seems to me to be kind of weak to just say: "Well, the man just did that, because that is what he would do."

    I'm far from decided on these questions myself, by the way. I'm just thinking out loud and imagining difficult/controversial cases, which are often the most interesting ones.
     
  17. In the Wings

    In the Wings Community Member

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    This is an interesting case, because back when I was a moral realist I actually would've said that acting in defense of your own life* was always morally neutral, regardless of what you had to do to preserve it. This wouldn't have been to say that we should then allow people to condemn others to death for that reason, but rather that preventing it wouldn't be crushing evil as much as it would be working to preserve the lives of many more people (which would be a good thing to do and also something that passes the preserving life test).

    So my response as a moral nihilist would be similar. These people may not be objectively in "the wrong", but nor are we on the outside in the wrong for trying to stop them from doing that. Nor would anyone on the inside be in the wrong for stopping them. If one were to have a desire to protect people from the Nazis out of, for instance, personal pride ("I'm not going to give in to their threats" ) that would also be justified under nihilism. (In fact, from what little I know of Nietzsche I think he'd respect that reasoning a lot)

    *I hadn't at the time thought about important distinctions like when is it acting in defense of one's own life versus unjustified risk-aversion.
     
  18. MINFJToothFairy

    MINFJToothFairy Permanent Fixture

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    That was very INFJ of you @Ren. I'm not enough of an enneagram literate to know for certain whether it's 4 or 5 of you, but that was absolutely very INFJ of you. :tearsofjoy:


    These things wire us into overthinking overdrive. Lol.

    So humanity places meaning on attachments to the detriment of philosophic calm at the loss of the attachment, whether tragic or not. When feelings begin to conflict with identified purposes in life, the internal conflict makes the body conjure a mental disease like depression to help us recover from the intellectual/spiritual/emotional anomaly. So maybe it's not necessarily a matter of retaining philosophic calm per se but ensuring the body will survive the ensuing infection (mental illness) whether that conjures a serial killer like backlash or a Mother Teresa poker face. Basically, it's procedural. The purpose doesn't end with conflicting morals. It is simply a catalyst for evolution. It's time to change or progress in purpose, that's all.

    So basically I'm asking why does the definition of morality have to be subjected to the finite when nearly everything around us is changing? Suppose we allow notions of morality to evolve, would we lose our purpose then? Would we lose the anchors of our existence should we allow definitions of morality or purpose to change? What if existence is the only sole purpose of our existence? Then all is meaningless. What if existence at a precise moment in time within a precise state and with a precise set standards of morality is all that matters? Say we lengthen that moment to a lifetime, our lifetime. Doesn't that add enough purpose or meaning to our life? Suppose we change several times within our lifetime, aren't we simply being evolutionary?

    Anyway, why do certain things have to be finite? As a matter of our choice and finding our place in this world. Finity gives us form that is easier to understand but I think we all too often forget that change and motion is interesting intellectual key to a lot of things.
     
    #58 MINFJToothFairy, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  19. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    I see your point but don’t understand what you mean.

    Maybe I’m not being very clear in my thoughts....
     
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  20. Skrimpshidy

    Skrimpshidy Community Member

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    If you knew me or my life...


    I stood staring at a tornado while it blasted me marveling. My life meant nothing till someone said my name.

    I woke up in a fire! It was all in flames!?

    I wam in the ocean during a hurricane and got swept by undertoe for miles and got out!

    I put my family in my truck and drove through and between traffic

    to get them out of a tornado! At times grabbed my kids and forced them into our neighbor’s shelter.

    I stood and cussed the storms! One time I stood in the street cussing the storm threatening my family.
    My ex wife told and for the first time ever cussed me.

    Second I got on the porch, grapefruit hail rained down.

    Prior, it was only golf ball size and I stood looking and getting beat to shit!

    I have and will continue to experience it all.


    Because I give meaning to what I do.
    Now, tell me about some prick who wrote a story!

    Nazis? I should’ve incarnated then but I have fought them and am in position to go to fucking prison to protect my friend who is a Greek Orthodox priest.

    Tell me about your books.
     
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