1. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    Does true beauty manifest itself through self-preservation?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by M9A8E6S4TO, Jun 5, 2009.

    People are always striving to be happy. To do this, we create works of art that will outlast us. We create a memorable character ( ourselves ) that will be remembered among our friends, sometimes community, and sometimes even farther than that ( say, the world ).

    Is this the right way of doing things? Is creating something that will outlast yourself an important checkpoint on the path to happiness? Is this morally wrong or morally right?
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I was kind of confused by the question. Are you talking about a book/movie being more beautiful the longer it lasts?
     
  3. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    I mean: People are always striving to be happy. To do this, we create works of art that will outlast us. We create a memorable character ( ourselves ) that will be remembered among our friends, sometimes community, and sometimes even farther than that ( say, the world ).

    Is this the right way of doing things? Is creating something that will outlast yourself an important checkpoint on the path to happiness?
     
  4. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I don't think it is.

    To expand that, I think just the opposite. I think that true beauty manifests itself in self sacrifice for the good of others rather than the building up of one's own self. In fact, I think that it's quite an ugly thing to do.

    Be charitable, but be charitable and expect nothing in return.
     
  5. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here is your fallacy.
    Maybe that's what you would like to accomplish, but it's not necessarily something that would make eveyone happy.

    Take me, for example. Leaving an impression on the world would be honorable; I'd love to impact enough people in that way. But I dont need to make a monument with my name attached to it in order to be happy.
    In fact, I'm not even trying to. Yes, I write, and I harbor this idea that maybe I'd write this amazing book... but in reality, even if I did, I know myself well enough to know that manuscript would never make it to a publishing house.

    In fact, if that was a keystone to happiness, the entire world would be depressed.

    And I dont even know how to address your question of morals... I suppose if one was trying to leave a lasting impact on the world, it would depend on the tactics used.
    Jesus and Hitler both made lasting impacts, after all.
     
  6. becca
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    becca New Member Contributor

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    No. I don't think it is. I think that we create, because we love creating.

    In a deeper aspect of creativity, I will share my theory with you.

    I am a Christian, so I believe that God created us in His Image. That could mean we kinda look like him, but I think one of the big things that means is, we have been given the gift of creativity.

    God created many wonderful things (humans included). No other creature on earth seems inclined to make art, to create new and useful things. They don't have the imagination for it. So, I believe that part of being created in God's image, was us being able to think up new things and make them. It really is a wonderful talent. It also comes with the desire to do so (create). I think when we make something new, or special, like as writers, writing a new story. It fullfils this need within us.

    I don't think it has to do with leaving something 'lasting' to make us happy. I think it is the creating itself that we find pleasure in, and then we just want to share. Because hey, we are social animals!
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Be a good parent/family member/partner/friend... whatever. We are only tiny little specks in the universe, it's only up close our lives have meaning. There are people in this country who have never heard of Charles Dickens. They all know Yunus Emre though. No one's 'fame' is of any importance.
     
  8. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I write because I an unable to not write. Somethings I have written have never been seen by anyone else and that is how it will stay. My happiness is not impacted in any way by whether or not my writing "outlasts" me. In any case, how would one know if their writing outlasted them. I'm pretty sure, once I die, it won't make the slightest bit of difference to me if I am remembered or not, so why should it have any bearing on my happiness?
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    With an end goal of having something that outlasts our individual lifetime... No. I don't think this is either a checkpoint or a route or method guaranteed to bring a person happiness. It might be for some people. People who are "driven" or "highly ambitious" might have this consciously or subconsciously as a goal, and for them this may well be the dynamic that brings happiness. But this won't apply to everyone, not even most. I think the Indigo Girls sum it up best in the line:

    The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.

    The Indigo Girls
     
  10. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I'm just the opposite. I know of Dickens but never heard of the other schmo.
     
  11. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    I have no desire to create a monument in my name, either. I don't think many people do ( except some tyrannical dictators, maybe... ). However, I do think everyone has their own "monuments"... things that they pride themselves on and that they want others to remember them having.

    For example... Of course we all love our friends and our family.. but what if our friends and family never could love or care in the slightest for us the way that we care for them? What if they all completely forgot about us the moment we left the room? If that was the case, would we spend as much time with them as we do? What, then, is our reason for spending time with them?

    I guess I should have said, "assuming a man with a normal, you-and-I, definition of morals." We might not agree on some things, but it probably goes without saying that both of us, and everyone else on this forum, prefers Jesus' morals to Hitler's.
     
  12. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    EDIT: I thought that when I reposted it would merge my posts into one. It didn't, so I'll edit this post from now on.

    But is it even humanly possible to charitable without expecting anything in return? Have you ever done it? Has anyone you ever know done it? Every time we give, we build ourselves in some way. We build our character, our integrity, our general morals... and even if we thought we were NOT building ourselves in any way, we would still be building our character because we would then believe we are giving something for nothing.
     
  13. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think Lavarian was saying expect nothing in return from others. How you choose to use your decisions to build yourself up is a separate matter.
     
  14. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    You, and everyone else including me, telling others that they write things that nobody will ever see is the same as letting others see your writing. We create an image in people's minds.. that there is something more to us that others don't know. I don't know, but it just seems to me like all we humans ever strive to do is become a god. As beautiful or as ugly or as right or wrong as that is, it seems like our motive.

    edit: CRAP, I forgot to edit my post. Haha. I'm sorry. I will remember next time.
     
  15. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    As much as I'd like it to, this thread probably shouldn't turn into a 'measuring contest.' ;)

    To answer you, yes, it is indeed humanly possible to be charitable and expect nothing return. In fact, to avoid the temptation of pride and expecting something in return, it's often best to do it in secret. Yes, I have done it, and I do not think I am better than anyone else for having done so.
    Sometimes it's possible to care about someone else so much that you do something strictly for their well being and honestly do not care if they know it was you.

    P.S. I may have come off a bit rough, but it was not intended to attack you. Apologies if you took it that way.
     
  16. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    Of course I don't want a measuring contest! I just wanted to know if you, or anyone else here ( including me ), or anyone else on the planet, has ever truly sacrificed something. I mean, gaining nothing in return.

    When you and I give to people.. for say, Christmas presents or charities, we gain even if nobody ever knows we do it, because we build our character. If we didn't gain, if we didn't build our character, would we still do it?
     
  17. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    "What's it all about, really, when you get right down to it?"
    —Death of the Discworld

    It is said that someone at a party once asked the famous philosipher Ly Tin Wheedle, "Why are you here?" and the reply took three years.
    —Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

    Kokoro: "Doctor S! Everybody's troubled! Why do you always do horrible things like this?"
    Doctor S: "I am doing nothing more than playing my role. We are all actors. I am the master of evil. And you are the hero of good. Roles given to us. Roads laid out for us by destiny. For the happy conclusion that we'll someday reach..."
    Kokoro: "Er... You're trying to make this all complicated and philosophical to throw me off! I guess I'll just attack! Magical Gravity Beams!"
    -— School Days, Magical Heart Kokoro-chan OVA
     
  18. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure that's a valid question.
    Because if the gain is internal and involuntary...

    It's sort of like "What is north of the north pole?"
     
  19. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    Whether gain is internal or external doesn't really matter, and whether the gain is involuntary or voluntary.. well, I don't know what you mean. I don't think the question is like the one you just showed me, though.

    The question I am asking you is this: What is your motive for doing anything you ever do? The reason I didn't ask that in the first place is because I've already got my hypothesis and I'm testing it out. My hypothesis is that behind a person's every action is a will to survive, a will to keep their ego and identity alive for as long as they can.
     
  20. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well I certainly hope that it's not true, though I'm not sure that mere survival has much to do with maintaining one's ego or identity.

    I think behind most people's actions there's likely a motive for external self gain and pride. If they do it for that reason, rather than a sincere care or concern for others, then there is no internal self gain. Having both gains, though possible, would be difficult to achieve and couldn't be without the help of another who witnessed the act. But then if you know that somoene else witnessed it, there comes the tempation for pride again.
     
  21. M9A8E6S4TO
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    M9A8E6S4TO Senior Member

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    You're right! And it'd be so hard, fighting that temptation...
     
  22. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Hmm >_> That's kind of an extraordinarily difficult hypothesis to test/prove - in the sense that if that's where you're coming from, it's extremely easy to conclude that to be a person's motivation (conscious or unconscious) for all the choices they make and the actions they take.

    If I am undersatnding you correctly, for example, I read a newspaper story
    years ago about a woman who fought off a mountain lion that had attacked her son, saving him but being killed herself.

    That was, as I see it, an instinctual reaction to do whatever it takes to protect your loved one, yet on a less emotional level it could be put forward that she was motivated to do this to because she was protecting her genetic legacy and/or even that by taking such action she was creating a greater legacy of her own 'character' (to use your term) and would be spoken about, remembered for years afterwards - as I just demonstrated.

    In that way, the hypothesis can definitely be argued for, but I'm not entirely sure it can be tested, as I think the ego (character) is often defensive and secretive, unwilling to part with all of it's secrets.
     
  23. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indeed. I'm pretty sure everyone struggles with it. I don't think it's something that can easily be done on one's own.
     
  24. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's what I meant when I said monuments in the first place; it was meant to be a broader interpretation.
    I dont think everyone does have something they want others to remember them having or having done. I dont. When I die, if it comforts someone to have something that I've done or previously owned, that's fine, but I would be perfectly fine having all of my possessions burned, too. Whether anyone remembers me or not would not be a concern to me.
    I dont understand. Your original post suggests a post-mortem scenario, but this example is in the present. Those are two totally different answers; post-mortem, I wouldnt care if all my possessions were burned, but I do care if they're burned while I'm still living.
    For this specific example, I'd find someone who could love and care for me; I know that feeling well. And if I couldnt find anyone... well, we'd have a post mortem scenario on our hands. As a social creature, if I could not be heard, seen, or understood, I'd probably off myself.

    "Right now" motives are drastically different than "After I die" motives.
    I still dont understand.
    The morals of Jesus and / or Hilter is irrelevant; you and I still view them with the same 'normal' morals as anyone else. You asked if leaving a mark after death was moral. I said it depends on the way it is done. Hitler's mark, in my 'normal' opinion, was not exactly the best. Jesus's mark, in my 'normal' opinion, was much better in contrast.
     
  25. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that hypothesis is kind of impossible to prove or disprove. Like Gone Wishing pointed out, you can look at someone's actions and interpret the reasons behind them in many different ways. How could anyone ever prove that the mother who saved her child was doing it to protect her genetic legacy vs that she was doing it selflessly because she loved her child? You can't.
     

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