OMNILIBRIUM
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DanielLC 2 May 2015 06:21 PM
63%

What precisely is wrong with it?

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melian 2 May 2015 06:58 PM
67%

Are you being serious now? If someone called you a hypocrite or a coward wouldn't you feel at least somewhat upset or angry?

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DanielLC 3 May 2015 01:44 PM
62%

I might feel upset that they're using words with a bad connotation and thereby insulting me. But the same would apply if they called me reckless. Things aren't bad just because there are words for them with negative connotation.

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melian 3 May 2015 06:22 PM
67%

Things aren't bad just because there are words for them with negative connotation.

Certainly, but that does not change the fact that they make us unhappy. A person may be able to convince himself that logically there is nothing wrong with being a hypocrite, but he still knows that people around him think otherwise. That knowledge alone is sufficient to induce mental discomfort.

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DanielLC 4 May 2015 01:23 PM
64%

Then don't describe them using words with negative connotation. Don't say you're a coward. Say you're cautious. Don't say you're a hypocrite and a conformist. Say you're pragmatic. People have a lot of ideals. A lot of them contradict, and the ones that don't tend to be a bad idea to be too extreme with.

If you don't like the fact that you're not lawful stupid, the answer isn't to become lawful stupid. It's to stop idealizing lawful stupid.

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melian 4 May 2015 07:26 PM
67%

Humans have the ability to invent excuses for virtually any action or character trait, but these excuses can only go so far. A man may tell himself that he is “not a hypocrite, only pragmatic”, but he would still know that others don’t accept his interpretation. Whether we like it or not, humans are social animals who care about opinion of others.

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antat 4 May 2015 09:30 PM
60%

There's literally billions of people whose opinions I don't care about. Of the people that know me, if they thought I was [some negative character trait], for most of them, I would not care. For the rest, I would attempt to rectify it, either by attempting to correct their view of that trait, correct their view of me, or not caring about their opinion anymore.

I'm willing to grant you that you would feel upset if someone thought you were a coward, but it's not true that everyone feels that way.


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melian 5 May 2015 11:14 AM
69%

Obviously, people vary a lot in their sensitivity to public opinion. Most can ignore the opinions of strangers (even of billions of strangers provided they are sufficiently far away). Ignoring people close to you is a totally different matter. To be able not to care about anyone’s opinion (including colleagues, friends and family) a person has to be on the very far end of the spectrum.

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Fwiffo 19 May 2015 02:54 PM
55%

You are saying that you would try to rectify a strangers view but not correct a close friend? I was expecting that if there was a division people would care about the opinions of people they have to interact with.

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DanielLC 4 May 2015 08:23 PM
59%

And whether we like it or not, humans are social animals who are really good at justifying things.

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antat 4 May 2015 09:34 PM
61%

No.

It's very situational, but there's a range of emotions I may feel. Humor comes to mind first. Disbelief. Indifference. All those are far more likely than anger.

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melian 5 May 2015 11:18 AM
70%

Imagine that everyone you care about calls you that (including all your friends, family and colleagues). Would you still be able to treat it with indifference and humor?

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Fwiffo 7 May 2015 03:04 PM
56%

While understandable that is not that reasonable a reaction. One of the themes in Back To The Future is that Marty gives tremendous power to others over his life when he can be dared to do almost anything by threat of being called a chicken. He learns to overcome that and finally prevents a bad decision he would have made had he followed his habit. Mastering you own emotions is a way more developed way to maintain ones peace of mind rather than being slave to (potentially) harmful societal norms.

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melian 7 May 2015 04:01 PM
71%

I’m not saying getting upset in this situation is the right thing to do. It is an unconscious reaction. You may learn not to act upon it (like Marty in your example). But you cannot entirely suppress it, just like you can’t teach yourself not to feel physical pain.

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Fwiffo 8 May 2015 12:31 PM
57%

I understand that if you have a concious decision that is different from a subconcious one the end result is more likely to be more in tune with the unconsious one. However it is possible to understand this also on a more visceral unconcious level. When you do this it is no longer supression, there is nothing to resist.

Also while I know it isn't a common position I think it is possible to have no negative affect form pain signals. You technically still feel it and can adjust your behavoiur with it but it doesn't feel bad. I recognise the skill level required to pull this off is very high and is more of a proof of concept than a practical solution to anything.

People usually do not actively manage what emotional mechanics they are operating under but deep change and growth can affect them. One could view this case as an extension of the principle of being able to autonomously come up with and adopt a viewpoint. People who fail to do so are depedent and are effectively not independent. Do you need permission from someone else to have the opinion you would like to have? If there is a disapproval you can not stand then your freedom of thought is limited. It is also theorethically rather unsound that somehow you should be able to come by with only approved thoughts. In order to preserve the freedom of the community and the freedom of yourself you need to be able to be disproved without it being an error state (that is you need to be able to come to have a different opinion).

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julia1 7 May 2015 07:13 PM
64%

It probably depends on your personal set of values. For some people, being intellectually honest, unafraid to express their opinion and so stand up for freedom of speech and thought are important values. I can imagine such people feeling uncomfortable if they choose to hide their opinions in order to avoid negative consequences. Going to an extreme, in authoritarian countries (such as, e.g. Soviet Union), openly expressing your opinion, when it goes against the party line, is an act of extreme courage, and was often secretly admired by many other people. I am sure that those same people didn't feel very proud of themselves for not doing the same (though in this case not speaking out is of course quite understandable). In free societies this is not so extreme, which can make this dilemma more difficult. You won't be killed or jailed for unorthodox opinions, the negative consequences will be much milder. It is then more difficult to justify keeping quiet to oneself.

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DanielLC 8 May 2015 12:18 PM
56%

Valuing intellectual honesty etc. is similar to valuing your own happiness. If that's what you care about, then maybe ignoring evidence is your best option. But if your terminal value is something outside of yourself, then intellectual honesty etc. may not be good instrumental values.

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julia1 8 May 2015 07:18 PM
64%

I am not sure I understand this comment. Wouldn't willfully ignoring evidence be intellectually dishonest? What do you mean by "your terminal value is something outside yourself"?

Also, I was just responding to "What is wrong with being hypocrite or a coward", in the sense that many people feel this is wrong.

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DanielLC 8 May 2015 08:29 PM
53%

> What do you mean by "your terminal value is something outside yourself"?

I terminally value the happiness of others. Since there's so many more of them, this will outweigh any values I have about my own intellectual honesty. Intellectual honesty is only useful as a means to an end.

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julia1 9 May 2015 05:04 AM
62%

Intellectual honesty is only useful as a means to an end.


Well in your case maybe it is. Other people may view it as an important value in its own right - I know I do.

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DanielLC 9 May 2015 09:42 PM
56%

I am not trying to address what to do if you care primarily about yourself. I'm addressing what to do if you care primarily about others.

If you mean to say that you care about intellectual honesty in general, your personal intellectual honesty is negligible. It's more important to donate money to save lives so that those people can live to be intellectually honest or something like that.

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Fwiffo 16 May 2015 06:21 PM
55%

It might be that in the soviet context everyone was more aware that the hard step was willing to accept the social downfall. However in typical western society the hard step is realising that you do not live as you say. The other plausible explanation is trying to be subversive by outrigth lying to others. But genuine naivete/stupidity is a real one too. In a western society the link from theory to action might be so thin that people forget that it even can be modulated. A soviet person that full knows what he would like to say if he didn't have to be shot for it isn't hypocrite in the sense that I think we are meaning here. The thing would be if you were given a consequence free choice of action and a consequence free opportunity to speak and you claimed that people ought not to do what you did. Most people when faced with this kind of situation either take the theory more seriously and change their theorethical opinion or realise that the theory holds and they did a wrong thing gain an understanding under which they will not act so in the future.

Inability to part with faulty theory would mean it's more imporant to be ideological than (reasonably) right and inability to change behaviour means you are not committed to doing the right thing everywhere you understand what is the right thing to do. However living up to the sense of what you understand to be good and what others understand to be good are quite different things and it is very reasonable to act good according to you and bad according to others. In fact it is not that defensible to act what you think is wrong based only because others think it is right!

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