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What do we have the right to want?

User Thread
 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Black Gold is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What do we have the right to want?
This is more of a spiritual thing I guess...

People wonder what life is about, and how to best live our lives, and what the best choices are to make, and the best light in which to see things...

Along these lines...
...what do we have the right to want?

Basically what this is asking is, what should we want for ourselves, that is truly in the interests of all others?

You may decide you want to win the lottery. But if you do nothing with the money, except get a free ride for the rest of your life, what good has been done?

You may decide you might like to try a job or university course. But if your heart isn't in it, you're taking the opportunity from someone else.

You may want to be entirely selfless and give all things away. But then you may not take good enough care and provide enough for yourself and those close to you.

This is a difficult question, as benefits come from both sides...
I guess we need to find a way to the most reliable things to want, and keep an eye open for times where doing what we might think we want is not always the what we truly want.

Your thoughts?

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"There is no negative one..."
 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm not sure if my thoughts on this are going to be in tune with the kind of response you are looking for, but I'm going to try anyway because I think I understand the question posed.

quote:
what should we want for ourselves, that is truly in the interests of all others?


Right now, all I can think of are general things that I think all humans strive to attain in their lives, at some point.

In my understanding, these would be such things as:

* Freedom
* Good health
* Equality
* Happiness

So, I think because all humans naturally strive for these things in their lives, I would say that we naturally already want things that benefit us as a collective.

Some people do not know how to go about attaining these things in our own lives, & some haven't even yet come to any understanding of what they truly want, and how that can be achieved. I think that a lot of people are like this.

The thing is, because so many people (majority?) are unaware of what they truly want and how to attain those things healthily, they end up seeking skewed versions of what it means for them to be free, happy, healthy and so on. This then has a negative impact on all levels of society, as people move about in their day to day jobs, build their businesses and pursue careers. Their actions within society inevitably reflect these skewed understandings.

Of course, I think everyone takes a different route to pursuing something like freedom, but I think the idea in itself more or less has a universal feeling/definition that can be understood and felt by all humans.

quote:
I guess we need to find a way to the most reliable things to want, and keep an eye open for times where doing what we might think we want is not always the what we truly want.


Perhaps the most reliable thing to want, for all humans, is the truth about themselves. An in-depth understanding about yourself, your vices, how those vices affect you and those around you, and what you truly want from life. Then to have an understanding of how to attain, develop and purge ourselves of these things in ways that are right and healthy for us.

So, I think Individual people working from the inside out is the best way for humanity to progress. The more and more people who work to truly understand all that they possibly can about themselves, the more in sync with each other we will naturally become, the healthier, happier and free our societies will become.

I guess what I'm saying here, all comes down to whether or not you believe that there is a common good, & that the world can reach a universal and common understanding of that common good, things like (in my opinion) freedom, equality, happiness and health. I personally believe in this.

I hope this has been in line with answering the question/s you have posed.

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[  Edited by vigil at   ]
 30yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Hedgehog is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
...what do we have the right to want?


My intial answer to this is that we have the right to want anything we desire. Even murderers who want to kill, have the right to want to do so. We can dream whatever we want, however, acting on those wants is different.
I would say that people have the right to want whatever they desire as long as it does not infringe on other's rights or freedom. So the murderer who desires to kill has the right to desire to do so but he does not have the right to act on that desire.

quote:
Basically what this is asking is, what should we want for ourselves, that is truly in the interests of all others?


I agree with what Vigil said about "working from the inside out".

How could a person successfully determine what is best for themself, if they are concerned about what is best for others? To know what is best for yourself, you must understand yourself and your own wants.

I want to point out that wants and desires have no connection with other people unless those wants and desires contain wants about other people. For example, " I want to give to the poor because it will make me feel good that I did what I could." This want is directly connected with other people. I can still have a want such as, "I want to finish the novel I have been reading because it will make me feel good to finish something.", but it has nothing to do with other people.

It seems that you assume that every person wants to help, and cares about, other people. To be perfectly frank, I do not. I know myself enough to know that I do not care about other people and I am perfectly content with only caring about myself and my loved ones. Everyone else, as far as I am concerned, does not exist. To me, you are an alias with something to say. lol

The question of what we should want for ourselves, that is truly in the interests of all others, seems like a contradiction in my case. If I answer the question what we should want for ourselves, then I would say whatever makes you happy. Happiness is the only thing that truly matters and so we should want happiness for ourselves.

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 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
I want to point out that wants and desires have no connection with other people unless those wants and desires contain wants about other people. For example, " I want to give to the poor because it will make me feel good that I did what I could." This want is directly connected with other people. I can still have a want such as, "I want to finish the novel I have been reading because it will make me feel good to finish something.", but it has nothing to do with other people.


I think on the surface this might seem correct, but to dig a little deeper, I believe that the things we concern ourselves with, when added together, all add to our general outlook and behaviour around other people. It is what we absorb from whatever we concern ourselves with, that influence us to change ourselves, to behave certain ways, to view things certain ways.
It is whether or not what we concern ourselves with, has a negative or positive impact on our spirit. If we concern ourselves with things that make us feel negatively about whatever, you will probably then reflect this within society in some way.

For instance, a young girl who concerns herself with reading beauty magazines, will most likely absorb the underlying message of something like "flawless skin is perfect skin. And perfection is beauty". She will then go and buy make up to cover up her "flaws" because this message has a negative impact on her self-esteem. Her buying this make up not only supports the people within the industry that have put her down, it also sends the message across to other young girls that she supports this outlook. And the trend continues.


quote:
It seems that you assume that every person wants to help, and cares about, other people. To be perfectly frank, I do not. I know myself enough to know that I do not care about other people and I am perfectly content with only caring about myself and my loved ones. Everyone else, as far as I am concerned, does not exist. To me, you are an alias with something to say. lol


I remember you saying that you volunteered for the salvation army? Did you do this because you were forced to? I know you have entered at least one discussion about what would be best for people, and in my view, one does not tend to partake in a topic that they do not have at least some level of care for.

You have also said that you want to be a teacher in order to try to influence change within the system. Or you agreed to this at least (I think, probably have to recheck that thread). So, naturally you probably care about the education of young people, people that you do not know, that are a part of society and will grow up to be in control of society one day. I would certainly hope that you would care about this.

Perhaps you are just feeling a bit jaded about people?

ps. Do I detect awakend in your post somewhere?

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 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
It seems that you assume that every person wants to help, and cares about, other people.


I actually forgot to point something out about this bit.

I believe that people have varying degrees of empathy and care for society in general. I think that a key point in my first post in this thread, that I perhaps didn't make very clear, is this:

I think that all humans naturally want and strive for the same key things. I have already listed what I think these things are.
In a sense, I believe we are pre-programmed to desire certain things as a species, and that this creates a commonality between each and every one of us. This common thread makes these desires become part of a universal good, because they are things that we are all trying to attain for ourselves.

If we are all striving to attain these same basic wants for ourselves in a healthy and thoughtful manner (starting from within) I think that this would lead to us, as a whole, pushing aside ideals that are false and negative to take on more truthful, healthier understandings/ideals. And I do believe that there are such things as universal truths, pertaining to the human spirit, that we can all agree to.

For example, I believe something like "beauty is not skin deep" is something that I believe everyone, in their healthy states of mind, would agree to. Ideas such as "we are more than our appearance", and that "we are all beautiful in our own ways" benefits the whole of humanity, because it is a truth that gives more significance to the our spirit and I believe it to be a truth that our spirits are more important than the vessels which they inhabit. And I think everyone, if they searched themselves well and hard enough, would eventually come to see this if they didn't already.

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 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Jacker_Jones is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I didn't read everyone's posts but I would simply answer, like Karl Marx said From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. If you need more, you should get more. If you are talented you should get more.

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"I love to see people struggling for their purpose in life..."
 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hmm.

Perhaps people should start to ask themselves whether or not they participate in certain threads, in order to try to increase their general understanding of the topic, or just to give their two cents, seemingly without trying to understand anything beyond the first thought that enters their brain.

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 30yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Hedgehog is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
lol, I'm not sure if you are referring to JackerJones or me, but I do want to participate in this thread. I just don't have time to check everyday.

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[  Edited by Hedgehog at   ]
 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It started with Jacker, but I guess I wanted to write it out so that anyone who read it, including myself, might find themselves considering their reasonings behind participating in certain discussions. I think we would all benefit by asking ourselves this question regularly.

All you did just then Jacker, was quote Marx without inputting any of your own reasonings, or even your personal understanding of what you think BlackGold meant by his question. It's as though you didn't even try or care, because there's no evidence of any real thought in your post.

If you didn't have the time to write a more in-depth reply, or didn't really care about trying to further everyones understanding of the question, nevermind your own, why did you post?

I think the next time you post, Jacker, perhaps with the sole intention of defending yourself, maybe you should also consider the original question further and actually try to make a more substantial effort at truly connecting with BlackGold's question, instead of just regurgitating a quote that everyone has probably heard a gazillion times before and leaving it at that.

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 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Jacker_Jones is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Yes you are correct I should have read the post before answering and with more explanation.

The karl marx quote is a good reference to how you should live materially. You should live better, materially if you are in a position of greater importance because your health will generally be worse for the added stress in your life. This is why people of higher status should get paid more than people who live in low stress jobs.

You should also get more if you need more. For instance two men work in a factory and one is single and young and the other has a family of four to feed. The man with the family should get paid more for the same job because they simply need more.

That solves your material questions but, what about things that are not quantitative? Happiness, love etcetera. Really that brings into and about a whole new line of questions? I think really only you have the answer to that, I get great happiness and joy from being with friends and my girlfriend.

Do you have the right to friends? Well you have to be a friend to get a friend. Really you will feel good about yourself if you surround yourself with people who you like and are good to you.

Nothing ventured, Nothing gained! The more you do in life, generally the more you learn and the more you get out of it. You should really try and get as much as you can in life because really you only live once. It doesn't necessarily mean try and earn as much as you can but if you get a chance to talk to someone, you should do it. If you get a chance to try something new, you should do it. You have the right to want to try anything because really towards the end of your life your going to look back and be like you know, I had a lot of fun I met a lot of really interesting people, I learned a lot of interesting things. I guess what I'm getting at is really why limit yourself unless you are living in gross excess.

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"I love to see people struggling for their purpose in life..."
 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Nothing ventured, Nothing gained! The more you do in life, generally the more you learn and the more you get out of it. You should really try and get as much as you can in life because really you only live once. It doesn't necessarily mean try and earn as much as you can but if you get a chance to talk to someone, you should do it. If you get a chance to try something new, you should do it.


I totally agree with this.

Also, I don't think we should live our lives trying to want specific things that are in the interests of all others. That's just not going to happen, everyone has to figure themselves out in their own ways. If that means you need to do a university course to try to work out what you're interested in (for instance, because SCHOOL failed to highlight this to you in the first place) and being unsure if that's what you really want to do, then so be it. If you're taking that opportunity away from someone, that's just how it's going to be. I'm sure if someone had their hearts set on doing something. they'd find a way to do it, despite whatever the world throws at them.

If you pursue something in the interests of trying to learn more about what you actually want & need from life, I think that's the only real justification you need. How else are we to learn these things?

I think the most important thing is to keep a lifelong habit of re-assessing how happy you are in your life, as our positive and negative emotions are, I believe, how we measure the quality of life we are leading. As long as you are taking the path of trying to understand and improve yourself and your situation in life, and doing things that are good for you, that suit you agenda, I think this is more important and effective than trying to keep everyone else happy. You shouldn't be expected to do that, unless of course, you have a responsibility toward them. But generally, everyone else is in charge of themselves.

If you look after yourself first, figuring out as much as you can about yourself, I think you'll help others more effectively.
Also, because we all tend to share the same kind of problems, you can actually help more than you know, if you're figuring out how to overcome them in your own life and sharing your experiences with others, because your knowledge will most probably become invaluable pieces of information to other people.

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 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Black Gold is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think you're spot on about the university course thing, Vigil...
Although it would be a shame, in some ways, if the other student did miss out on that particular opportunity.
I think it comes down to, as you say, figuring out as much as you can about yourself which would help most here...

I've also been impressed by the other posts.

Essentially, I guess it goes beyond avoiding selfishness, and more toward truly knowing yourself.

I think there is merit to the idea of doing things in the interests of everyone (rather than just others... don't forget yourself) in that it seems just.

Truly knowing things here would be best, but that's something we've been trying to talk about in another thread this year.

I think, when you don't know for sure, opting for the safest options (when all is considered) is the likeliest proper outcome...

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"There is no negative one..."
 42yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
We all have the right to want whatever we wish, to act however we like, and to recieve the consequences of both our thoughts and actions accordingly.

Which want of mine do I feel is more right than any other?

My want fo somehow find a way to inspire all to take back their divine power.

The only answer I know to stripping those of undeserved and abused power.

But to do that, someone has to inspire in the masses the courage to face personal responsibility.

And though once life is properly seen and lived without fear this becomes natural and self evident, untill then...

Fear will control, and those who control our fears will continue to control us.

So my offhand offerring will be one of my favorite revelations.

The opposite of love is not hate. It is fear.

Hate is a symptom, a reaction to fear, love is the opposite and the solution to fear.

That is why love and forgiveness solve most known issues.

Even if "evil" ones should erradicate the earth of all loving beings, we are all eternal conscious energy, and consciousness supercedes physicallity, there is nothing to fear in death.

But life is worth defending... with love.

There truly is nothing to fear but fear itself.

I even love fear for making me love life and loving even more.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
[  Edited by Ironwood at   ]
 31yrs • F
A CTL of 1 means that vigil is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I fricken love this part.

quote:
The opposite of love is not hate. It is fear.

Hate is a symptom, a reaction to fear, love is the opposite and the solution to fear.



*high fives ironwood*

quote:
I think there is merit to the idea of doing things in the interests of everyone (rather than just others... don't forget yourself) in that it seems just.


I agree that understanding of the self moves beyond selfishness.

So I think it also goes to say that the paths we take to achieve this, also move beyond selfishness, and I believe that is true also. I don't think that everyone consciously has the desire to help the whole of humanity, but that doesn't make whatever endeavours they choose to take up, to be purely selfish & not in the interest of humanity and our collective spirit.

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[  Edited by vigil at   ]
 30yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Hedgehog is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm sorry it took me so long to respond.


"I believe that the things we concern ourselves with, when added together, all add to our general outlook and behaviour around other people."


I agree that our actions and decisions many times influence others and are influenced by others. What I was trying to say was that when we think about what we want, it does not have to be connected to what others want. It can, if that is what we want, be a selfish want or simply not connected with others. Like you have pointed out, however, a lot of the time, our wants are connected with others and it is probably a good idea to take it into consideration.



"I remember you saying that you volunteered for the salvation army? Did you do this because you were forced to? I know you have entered at least one discussion about what would be best for people, and in my view, one does not tend to partake in a topic that they do not have at least some level of care for.

You have also said that you want to be a teacher in order to try to influence change within the system. Or you agreed to this at least (I think, probably have to recheck that thread). So, naturally you probably care about the education of young people, people that you do not know, that are a part of society and will grow up to be in control of society one day. I would certainly hope that you would care about this.

Perhaps you are just feeling a bit jaded about people?

ps. Do I detect awakend in your post somewhere?"


To answer your question about working at the salvation army, I did it for high school community service hours. So yes, I was forced to, kinda. Also , the thread about helping people that I posted in was actually about why people are bad.

I want to be a teacher because I want to influence change. I don't really care about the person, but I do care about the future of humanity. The reason that I don't care about other people is because they disappoint me so often. I hate to use the cliche term, but they are "sheep" and no fun to be around. Teaching children critical thinking skills and to enjoy education is my way of balancing it some. Plus, kids are less like people and more like, well, kids. lol

And maybe I do sound like awakend but that's just because I'm around him so much. lol

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What do we have the right to want?
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