Tag Archives: mental

Self Deception as a Good Thing?

30 Nov

Sorry for my lack of activity on this website. I have just had a Thanksgiving break, and now have 3 weeks of the semester left and school is getting more and more stressful, so the writing may be sparse from here on out.

In an ethics class the other day, the issue of self deception came up and made we want to talk more about it. Self deception is something that is looked at psychologically and epistemologically. This is an issue that defies logic and reason. When one comes upon a situation and that person deceives him/herself, the deception involved may defy logic and reason. This utter temporary rejection of reason and logic makes me want to think about it more. When I talk about it here I am thinking mostly about the dire situations people have in life only.

If you want to look into it beyond my ramblings about it you can go to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article about it here:  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/self-deception/

Also, there is a 20 question questionnaire to find out if you deceive yourself. I could not find the entire questionnaire, but a blog contains a few of them and discusses them. I found this blog helpful in understanding self deception:                     http://melissafiction.blogspot.com/2010/06/28-self-deception-questionnaire.html

Self deception is something that a mind does when one wants to believe something that they know is not true. Thinking of it in an example, have you ever had any hatred for either of your parents? If you say no, you are deceiving yourself. I would think there is an issue deeper below your answer of no. There are many other questions like this where if you answer no you are/have been deceiving yourself (another one, to any attractive girl do you think of them as hot/sexy/very attractive?). My thoughts on this entire matter is that people deceive themselves because they want to believe something as truth (I’m sure most see it as this in one way or another).

Go to this link to see a key example of self deception:  http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s13e05-fishsticks This is a South Park episode where Jimmy comes up with the joke “Do you like fishsticks? Yes. Do you like to put fishsticks in your mouth? Yes. What are you a gay fish?”. Cartman just happened to be present when Jimmy comes up with the joke. Cartman ends up rationalizing with self deception (as he does with everything else) that he himself came up with the joke and Jimmy had little part in it, when really Jimmy came up with the whole thing. Just watch the episode, not only will you see some examples of self deception but you will get a great laugh. Many South Park episodes involve Cartman who do these ‘mental gymnastics’ as Kyle puts it.

Self deception can go one of two ways. It can go the way where one goes about believing something untrue that they just want to believe (Cartman believing he came up with the fishsticks joke to get all the fame and to be awesome), or it can go the way that one believes something they would never really want to be true ( a man believing his wife cheats on him because of mere suppositions with little evidence of her doing this). I think also that self deception can be done subconsciously or intentionally.

First I think we should look at the truth when viewing one’s own life. Life itself is a hard thing to take, and truths of it are hard to maintain. Because of this it is my thought that self deception can be a good thing rather than bad. It can be a bad thing most of the time (especially the other way self deception goes, or twisted self deception), because logic and reason are set aside in self deception. It can be immediately understood, and it as well should be, that self deception is a bad thing because the truth should be always what is sought after. For the most part truth is what we all try to find. When looking at other things besides aspects of science, history, philosophy and other disciplines, such as one’s life and the problems it has, truth might not be the best thing for a person.

Truth of one’s life is a hard thing to keep depending on the situation. Keeping one’s sanity may be at stake when looking at the truth. The truth is painful and can often do more harm than good in certain specific situations. It is because of this that I think that regular and regulated (rather I have no idea how) self deception is not a bad thing.

Self deception pushing the truth away I think should only be temporary. One’s truth needs to be confronted and accepted at some point because in the end I think truth is the most important thing one keeps, even if it is held off for short or long periods of time.

I keep talking about one pushing the truth away, and that one should confront and accept the truth at a certain point. This is more difficult than immediately said.  I have heard this in more places than in just my thoughts. To even be thinking about self deception of oneself, that person must ask him/herself “Have I been deceiving myself? and if so where?” If this is answered by the person honestly, one’s self deceptions can be unpacked and evaluated for the real truth about one’s life to come out.

I have done this once all of problems and issues in life have receded, and it is really a good thing to view the truths one has denied.

This was just a simple bunch of thoughts I had on the subject of self deception, and my apologies if it was too random and mis concentrated.

I like to think of self deception (not the twisted self deception) as white lies we tell ourselves for the good of ours and others’ lives.

If you feel differently please say so on Twitter, email, or comment below.

Thanks for the support.

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G.E. Moore’s Sense Data and of the Hallucinative Forms

30 Aug

After explaining sense data in the previous writing on Moore’s sense data, I feel it is necessary to address the forms of sense data that do not usually come about, and even may not even be connected to an object.

This is just a brief discussion about sense data’s objects that it comes from. When Moore introduced the sense datum he exemplified and explained most about the actual sense data, and little of where it comes from. Epistemology from Moore to Russell and on can lead to and often involve rejection of metaphysics and theology (like the Vienna Circle), making the relation between sense data and its material object not something searched for. I am concerned with both epistemology and metaphysics and where the sense data comes from concerns me more than the sense data itself mostly because the sense data itself is easy to understand, but its source is something difficult and ambiguous.

Moore even stated that sense data comes from a variety of sources that either may or may not have an object. After understanding Moore, the sources of sense data I state to exist are similar and almost equal. Sense data generates from one of these things: 1) material objects 2)redistribution of color without object 3) the mind’s images. I mainly am concerned with the third category in this brief discussion because I discussed sense data of material objects and redistribution of color in my previous writing about Moore’s sense data. My reason for having concern with the third category is because the first two categories exist because they reside with an outlining object. A tulip resides in category 1 because there is an outline to it that is the flower and the color within it (yellows and greens) are the sense data that is represented to our minds.  The mind’s images do not work the same way and are wholly ambiguous in nature.

The mind is a complex entity and does many complex processes causing confusion within us by many ways of doing so. A mirage known to come before one thirsty and tired in a desert can create any image the mind chooses and we will believe the image to be a true object when really it is only imaginary. After not sleeping for days the same thing will happen. After taking certain harmful narcotics the same thing (in a more extravagant way) will happen. One with schizophrenia will have the same thing happen to him but in a more scary and different way. All of these things appear to us in the same form as sense data in that a tulip actually existing will look just as clear in color and shape as a miraged bottle off water. These pseudo-sense data being unusual are ambiguous and I know not what to think of them because of the fact that I know not where their sense data originates from.

I choose to equate a material object’s sense data with a hallucination or schizophrenic image because in both states of mind both look exactly the same in color and clarity. The only inference I can possibly make is that for hallucinations of all forms no sense data is present. After going through logic and epistemological contemplation, (I actually did go through a lot of thinking metaphysically even about it), I do not see any possibility that true sense data exists unless an object lies beneath.

No sense data can be perceived unless an object lies beneath.

I say this boldly and confidently because all hallucinations being compared to true object originated sense data are faulty and inconsistent. Sense data obviously exists when objects push the data strongly through consistency and clarity. Even though all hallucinations are always as clear and visible as object sense data, the hallucinations appear less frequently for the object it portrays and is very inconsistent. The hallucination can be clearly discerned from the object sense data. If we can see the clear distinction between real sense data and sense data of the hallucinative form, we can decide which is truthful and which is false. My philosophical statement is that the hallucinative form of sense data has no object behind it and therefore is false in nature and origin. The mind, however, is complex enough to deceive us with these sense data of the hallucinative form, and making this distinction is a must.

For this, it was necessary to speak only to sense data of the hallucinative form while a person is awake because when one is asleep it is easy to understand the state one is in because of clarity and usualness of the data being perceived. I felt the need to discuss the hallucinative sense data and to discern it from the true sense data Moore states to exist. We all have stayed up to late and seen something unreal, and some of us may have even taken a hallucinogen narcotic, and some of us may be (not myself) schizophrenics, so I felt it necessary to understand what is true amidst all our perceptions.

Thanks for the support. Longer writings on Deleuze, Berkeley, Locke, Heidegger and more to come in the near to more distant future.

Jean Baudrillard The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact: Mental Diaspora of the Networks

11 Aug

Mental diaspora of the networks is stated by Baudrillard to mean the disconnection between the symbolic images and the reality. This occurs causing the lack of ability for  value judgments to occur among other inabilities to trust symbols and images. Baudrillard states this to happen because  of the fact that we cannot take media and its symbols for reality, and we must search further for truth. As I read this part of the Intelligence of Evil I was lead to ask why, and how this mental diaspora could have happened. knowing that why/how it happened may be the key to deciphering the diaspora. Baudrillard states little about why/how, and mostly about what, and how it effects the people exposed to the media and its misleading images. The what and how it affects is to be discussed here, but I first want to dedicate some discussion as to why and how this mental diaspora happened in the first place. First, these inferences being solely of my own, I think that media, images, symbolism, and art have greatly progressed over the years and have gotten more non-conforming to the art around it. Media has grown to include everything including a growing area of it that diverges from the main stream. By now, this diverging media from the main stream has to be about a half of all media, symbols, images, and art. I must add about this diverging media from the main stream that its qualifications do not include coherence with reality. This front of media, knowing of the other half cohering to reality, mostly does not cohere with reality for artistic, creative, and entertaining purposes. This growing diversity of media I think is what causes the mental diaspora. Baudrillard did little in his book to talk about why, or how it came to be, but I find it extremely important in knowing what, and how it is now.

Baudrillard states that mental diaspora of the networks occurs (and does so rapidly) when 2 opposite poles (of symbol or media) merge into each other until each emergence previously distinguishable is no longer able to be taken from it. The 2 opposite poles existing often coheres with reality allowing us to have some understanding as to what media denotes reality, but when the mental diaspora occurs, this deciphering ability toward the reality basically disappears. Moreover, Baudrillard exemplifies in the book his discussion with Susan Sontag on the one time they witnessed on television about the moon, where Sontag states that she viewed images of the moon (a screen showing the moon) but she did not really see the moon from the television. The network between media and reality was at first strict in that media denoted some sort of reality, but the diaspora scattered all of the media and infused it with the diverging unreal media. When at first virtual intelligence denoted a high level of intelligence, if we still relied on virtual intelligence we would all be ignorant and basically stupid. The mental diaspora of the networks infused the reality coherent media with the diverging and emerging creative yet not reality coherent media, causing all media to be contaminated, and allowing none of it to be truly trusted for knowledge about truth and reality. I may have exaggerated this mental diaspora of the networks a little too much, but I still feel I have accurately stated it for its face value. This diaspora can be exemplified  by Fox News pretty much having been reporting truthful stories and politics before the mental diaspora of the networks (recognize the poles of truthful news, and tabloid news), and after the diaspora, not being able to know what is truthful or real reports on a blatantly tabloidal scandal. Or, another example, before the diaspora, a person looking for heterosexual entertainment, could easily find it and get what the person wants, but after the diaspora, the same person may see a piece of media that looks totally heterosexual on the outside, and appears so throughout, but gives the person not what he/she wants, and ends up really being homosexual when the media is fully viewed. Before the diaspora, that material would have been clearly represented as homosexual, and no ‘hetero’ labels would be assigned to it. The diaspora of the networks makes it hard for any media to denote reality because of how all of the media has homogenized with each other. Also, if the diaspora had not occurred, picking out movies to see in the theater would be a lot easier because we would know for sure whether we would probably like a movie or not. We would never have to see a bad movie again. But, for example, the movie The Informant looks like it might be funny because of the photo on the cover, and because of the way it converses with the viewer of the ad, making someone think it a better movie than it actually is. I rented the movie thinking that the dork on the front of the cover would mean it would be a funny movie, but it turned out to be about a worker at an ethanol oil company and a crisis that happens there. And I like informative, interesting  movies, but in my opinion the Informant was not interesting by any means, so this ad mislead me. I think the diaspora effected even more propaganda and advertising in that these advertising and propaganda projects are more misleading every day. For some forms of media, the diaspora was a good thing, like for art, I believe the diaspora served a good purpose, and it was good for it to happen. I say this because I think that art should not have a presupposed meaning to it. The artist should have his/her own meaning for the artwork, and it should be left up to the viewer to interpret it in any other way. The diaspora helps the industry of art, but art is only a division of media. The diaspora was negative for (advertising and propaganda like said before) political campaigns, news, and for non fiction writing. It did well for fiction/literature writing because it often leaves meaning/interpretation up to the reader. Politics, and campaigns are badly effected by the diaspora because the tendency to ‘rake muck’ occurs more because of the homogenized media. Muck is raked on bills, propositions, lawmakers, and politicians even if the muck is not true muck, but the muck badly effects those trying to help the nation with his/her political tactics. Overall, I do not think things would work out if the mental diaspora of the networks had not occurred by now because of how society has developed around it. I may be taking the notion of the diaspora way too far, but I feel that it does in fact go as far as I say.

Like always, @Reply on Twitter, comment below, or email at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com to discuss your opinions, and if I stated anything wrong.

Thanks for the support.