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Posted by gotyournumberpal on Friday, December 13, 2002 at 19:36:27 :
In Reply to: Re: For the record posted by Spratley on Friday, December 13, 2002 at 11:28:04 :
I draw a clear distinction between judging behavior and judging motive, because I recognize, both intellectually and morally, that I am not capable of knowing motive, I can only observe behavior and its effects.
I think it's a question of both humility and having a just appreciation of one's own human limitations. None of us are all-knowing. There are limits, and we have to accept it and work within those limits.
For you to say that Joe's behavior can be attributed to his pain, is judging motive, based on the assumption that you have special insights. That is your hubris. You make that assumption based on your own feelings and behavior and that of others you may have observed in life. You want to believe others are just like you. Yet, as I pointed out to you before, psychotics are not like other people, and this is evident in the behavior itself. Again, I'll insist that you are making assumptions based on projections of yourself, and not based on insight or knowledge into Joe, and I believe this line of reasoning is leading you in the wrong direction and possibly blinding you to what's really there.
As far as knowing someone's thoughts, you can only know as much as they reveal through their own words and actions, when you go beyond that you are crossing the boundary to the unknown.
When I say that Joe's behavior is sociopathic or psychotic, I am describing his behavior. It is evident to me by the words and deeds I see on my screen. To humiliate, to denigrate, to smear, to attack the dignity of another person, these are verbs, they are deeds, and therefore judgeable. You might argue with my assessment, you might have another word for it, some might call his behavior evil. These questions are open to debate and interpretation, but when you state his motive for his actions, being that he is feeling pain, you are making an assumption.
His lack of humanity can more rightly be seen as a lack of feeling, hence a complete lack of empathy for the feelings of others. Once again, this lack is evident in his behavior. I do not know the cause of it, I only know that it is. I am willing to question what the cause might be, while you presume to already know.
Keep questioning. Most of all, question your own assumptions.
: : What you call insight might also be a case of reading in and projecting yourself. It is always dangerous to think that you know more about another person than they know about themselves. You have feelings, you may act out angrily when you're hurt as most people do, but psychotics by definition are not like most people, they do not have the same inner landscape and are not motivated in the same way that most normal people are, and this abnormality is evident in their anti-social behavior. There are many children who have unhappy upbringings, who are hurt, but they don't all go around torturing animals, they don't all grow up to be serial killers, or Internet board bullies.
: Let's be careful with our thoughts. You called him a sociopath in your last post. . and I may be wrong but you sound like you're calling him a psychopath now (note, psychopath doesn;t necessarily mean hallucinations and homocidal tendencies. . . it can actually be amundane pathology). So you have opinions of him yourself. If we went around telling ourselves that we can't know about another person. . . there' quite a bit that we'd have to toss out of the human experience. Some would say that the ability to understand another person's thoughts is a crucial characteristic of humanity. The fact that you have a mind means that you have some idea of how minds work. The key being that I don't just jump to conclusions --despite what Joe might say, and despite what the rules of humility advise, I am a damn intelligent person who's thought quite a bit about what makes a person chronically rude and disrespectful. You might not agree with my conclusions, but they're pretty well thought out.
: I'll go to the grave asserting that people who hurt other people --whether they enjoty it or not-- are reacting to a pain inside themselves. No matter what anyone says I ought or ought not do.
: : The point I am making is that you don't know and will never know the inner landscape of any other person but yourself, and you ought not to speak as if you do. To operate under the premise that you can know the inner psychological workings of another person will cause you to err more often than not in your judgements of other people. Instead of dealing with what is right in front of you, what can be seen and evaluated on its own terms by the behavior, you are poking around in someone else's psyche, and that should be off limits to you or anyone.
: How can one never know another's mind? We get information and evidence about other people's minds all the time. Don't get hung up on the idea that other people's mind are private and essentially unknowable. It is true that we can never experience another person's mind like we can our own. But we can totally know things about another person's mind both because we know what its like to have a mind, and because we can gather information about another person's mind. I beleive that some peopel are better at this than others. I bleeive I am good at taking the information I have about other people's minds and constructing ideas about them . They may be imperfect ideas, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful, or that they don;t resemble that person's mind.
: : I don't mean to sound like I'm chiding you, I just think you're barking up the wrong tree, though all in all I have to say that I commend you for shining a light on board bullying. Most peope will look the otherway or deny the existence of a bully in their midst, and this usually empowers the predator while leaving his prey defenseless. I would simply suggest that you stick to what can be known, what is in evidence, and not what you read in by your own "insights" into the psychology of the person, but confine your analysis to the psychodynamics of their behavior.
: See, that's what I thought I was doing. It is a fairly reliable psychodynamic principle that those who hurt usually feel hurt inside themselves. I haven't asked Joe if his momma used to touch his dinky. I haven't asked Joe what the wounds are inside of him. I have merely pointed out what is psychodynamically obvious to me given his behavior. And I do it so that he might take a look into his own mind someday. I guess I'm not sure what distinction you're making. I am examining someone's behavior and trying to understand why they behave that way. Given what you've said, I think that could fit under both the sticking on of hands into someone's psyche and analyzing psychodynamics based on behavior. I'm not sure why you attribure one to me but not the other.
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