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49 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

This would probably be true if the brain were only made of the limbic system.

But the human brain is so much more...

Michael

Can you provide any examples of people whose self-esteem had nothing to do with social meaning/culture/validation?

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31 minutes ago, Lightyearsaway said:

Can you provide any examples of people whose self-esteem had nothing to do with social meaning/culture/validation?

L,

Sure.

Hermits. Sole survivors of shipwrecks. Some who have been later rescued have kept up a high level of self-esteem over years of solitude going from their interviews. And so on.

I can even dig into more (pioneers, certain prisoners in years of solitary confinement and so on), but I'm not going to play a game of gotcha and semantics with this.

Besides, I don't say self-esteem has nothing to do with approval from others. I say that approval from others is merely one component among many. You are the one who claims self-esteem is only about social validation, and to you (based on your words so far) that comes from humans being aware and terrified of death.

That is your One True God, so worship Him. I'm not interested...

:) 

Michael

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

Not sure if you're aware of the glaring contradiction in this statement...

Korben,

As you are aware from our offline communication on writing, I am crazy busy right now. I'm glad this poster showed up to discuss Terror Management Theory because I had not heard of it before. So I intend to look into it a bit to see if there are any tidbits of wisdom to be gleaned. I suspect there might be.

But looking at this from the "identify correctly than judge" mental process that I use with new ideas is far different than arguing with an acolyte who only sees the world through that prism. (Besides, he's light years away from where we are. :) )

So I, like you, am pretty sure this poster is not aware of the contradiction (attributing a collective of individuals with a power that the individuals in the collective are incapable of being attributed with--which is the same as saying a bunch of giraffes generates elephant powers :) ), but I am not sure this contradiction is in the theory itself. I need to look first.

William seems to be doing a great job of taking a first look. He really shines when he gets like this.

Michael

 

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You have to give out newest poster credit for hanging in there so far.

--Brant

I hope he makes it to the other side--the side we're standing on

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11 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

I wasn't aware that that's what you meant by love.

Go back and quote the whole post and tack on your comment to that.

--Brant

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Hermits. Sole survivors of shipwrecks. Some who have been later rescued have kept up a high level of self-esteem over years of solitude going from their interviews. And so on.

I can even dig into more (pioneers, certain prisoners in years of solitary confinement and so on), but I'm not going to play a game of gotcha and semantics with this.

Besides, I don't say self-esteem has nothing to do with approval from others. I say that approval from others is merely one component among many. You are the one who claims self-esteem is only about social validation, and to you (based on your words so far) that comes from humans being aware and terrified of death.

That is your One True God, so worship Him. I'm not interested...

:) 

Michael

 

Overwhelmingly, self-esteem comes from social validation by the culture we live in or that we subscribe too. What else? 

 

Yes, we have freak examples of people who were raised by wolves or some of the other things you mention, but those are statistically insignificant. 

 

I may add that many of your examples do involve people maintaining or developing a self-esteem based on their previous socially constructed culture.  They may pray to God; they may abide by or build upon previous rules and behaviors learned. 

 

Traditional hermits, for example, come from a religious background. And religion is a social construct. The term was in fact originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction.   

 

Pioneers certainly carried with them much of their previous culture, and pioneering itself was in many instances encouraged by their previous cultural social environment. 

 

Sole shipwreck survivors tend to be too busy trying to survive to do much of anything else, but they often do maintain or build upon many of their previous self-esteem constructs. 

 

As for solitary confinement in prison, many people go insane, but those who don't devise interesting strategies, often having to do with imagining interactions with people or concepts from their previous culture. But we're talking desperate survival mode here. A few examples I could find:

 

. While he was in “the box,” Perez talked to himself out loud. He kept journals. For a while, he regularly wrote out and responded to famous historical quotes.

He also used his imagination to time travel, imagining “alternate endings to past interactions with people—what if I said this? Or what if I would’ve invited her for coffee or something like that?” He wrote about painful relationships and episodes, reframing them and extracting a lesson.“I used to lie in bed with my eyes closed,” says Perez, “thinking about my past, thinking about my future, planning for the future. Some of it was based on reality, and the other—borderline fantasy.” He tapped into a tunnel-like experience, creating a personal space for himself inside the tiny physical space of his cell. Over time, he got more intentional about how he was using his time in his “mental workspace,” as Schlegel refers to the overlapping networks that allow intentional imagination to take place. Perez believes what he ended up doing “bordered on meditation.”

 

 

. Michael Jewell, a Texan inmate, had a similar experience. After Jewell’s 1970 death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, he served 40 years, seven of which were spent in near-total isolation. He says he used to kill time for hours working out detailed visualizations of himself in a vivid alternate reality, where he could inhabit open spaces and converse with people. “I might imagine myself at a park and come upon a person sitting on a bench,” he says. “I would ask if she or he minded if I sat down. I’d say something like, ‘Great weather today.’ The other person would respond something like, ‘It is indeed. I hope it continues until the [football game].’ ‘I know what you mean. In another couple of weeks it’s going to be cold as a witch’s tit in Wisconsin.’ As we conversed, I would watch joggers, bicyclists, and skateboarders pass by. The conversation might go on for half an hour or so. When I opened my eyes and stood, I would feel refreshed and even invigorated.”

 

 

. Hussain Al-Shahristani, Saddam Hussein’s former chief scientific adviser, spent a decade in solitary confinement at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. He survived, according to the BBC, by “taking refuge in a world of abstractions, making up mathematical problems, which he then tried to solve.” 

 

 

. While imprisoned in a German concentration camp during World War II, the Russian Jewish mathematics professor Jakow Trachtenberg watched as his fellow prisoners “gave up hope and died even before being sent to their death.” To survive, he developed an innovative method of performing rapid mental calculation, known today as the Trachtenberg system.

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This Terror Management Theory (Wikipedia) stuff sounds like a new-age version of Existentialism. I'm not interested.

5 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

 

Overwhelmingly, self-esteem comes from social validation by the culture we live in or that we subscribe too. What else? 

How far does "social" extend here? Is it only family, family and friends, them plus people known through work, them plus acquaintances, all of one's countrymen, the indefinite powers-that-be, the whole world? The word social is a convenient tool of hucksters. 

“It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - Atlas Shrugged.

 

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5 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

 

Overwhelmingly, self-esteem comes from social validation by the culture we live in or that we subscribe too. What else? 

 

Yes, we have freak examples of people who were raised by wolves or some of the other things you mention, but those are statistically insignificant. 

 

I may add that many of your examples do involve people maintaining or developing a self-esteem based on their previous socially constructed culture.  They may pray to God; they may abide by or build upon previous rules and behaviors learned. 

 

Traditional hermits, for example, come from a religious background. And religion is a social construct. The term was in fact originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction.   

 

Pioneers certainly carried with them much of their previous culture, and pioneering itself was in many instances encouraged by their previous cultural social environment. 

 

Sole shipwreck survivors tend to be too busy trying to survive to do much of anything else, but they often do maintain or build upon many of their previous self-esteem constructs. 

 

As for solitary confinement in prison, many people go insane, but those who don't devise interesting strategies, often having to do with imagining interactions with people or concepts from their previous culture. But we're talking desperate survival mode here. A few examples I could find:

 

. While he was in “the box,” Perez talked to himself out loud. He kept journals. For a while, he regularly wrote out and responded to famous historical quotes.

He also used his imagination to time travel, imagining “alternate endings to past interactions with people—what if I said this? Or what if I would’ve invited her for coffee or something like that?” He wrote about painful relationships and episodes, reframing them and extracting a lesson.“I used to lie in bed with my eyes closed,” says Perez, “thinking about my past, thinking about my future, planning for the future. Some of it was based on reality, and the other—borderline fantasy.” He tapped into a tunnel-like experience, creating a personal space for himself inside the tiny physical space of his cell. Over time, he got more intentional about how he was using his time in his “mental workspace,” as Schlegel refers to the overlapping networks that allow intentional imagination to take place. Perez believes what he ended up doing “bordered on meditation.”

 

 

. Michael Jewell, a Texan inmate, had a similar experience. After Jewell’s 1970 death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, he served 40 years, seven of which were spent in near-total isolation. He says he used to kill time for hours working out detailed visualizations of himself in a vivid alternate reality, where he could inhabit open spaces and converse with people. “I might imagine myself at a park and come upon a person sitting on a bench,” he says. “I would ask if she or he minded if I sat down. I’d say something like, ‘Great weather today.’ The other person would respond something like, ‘It is indeed. I hope it continues until the [football game].’ ‘I know what you mean. In another couple of weeks it’s going to be cold as a witch’s tit in Wisconsin.’ As we conversed, I would watch joggers, bicyclists, and skateboarders pass by. The conversation might go on for half an hour or so. When I opened my eyes and stood, I would feel refreshed and even invigorated.”

 

 

. Hussain Al-Shahristani, Saddam Hussein’s former chief scientific adviser, spent a decade in solitary confinement at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. He survived, according to the BBC, by “taking refuge in a world of abstractions, making up mathematical problems, which he then tried to solve.” 

 

 

. While imprisoned in a German concentration camp during World War II, the Russian Jewish mathematics professor Jakow Trachtenberg watched as his fellow prisoners “gave up hope and died even before being sent to their death.” To survive, he developed an innovative method of performing rapid mental calculation, known today as the Trachtenberg system.

If you're going to criticize self esteem stop completely misrepresenting it.

Thanks for some data.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, merjet said:
6 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

 

Overwhelmingly, self-esteem comes from social validation by the culture we live in or that we subscribe too. What else? 

This Terror Management Theory (Wikipedia) stuff sounds like a new-age version of Existentialism. I'm not interested.

How far does "social" extend here? Is it only family, family and friends, them plus people known through work, them plus acquaintances, all of one's countrymen, the indefinite powers-that-be, the whole world? The word social is a convenient tool of hucksters. 

“It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - Atlas Shrugged.

 

Your interest in TMT, or lack thereof, has no bearing on the veracity of the hundreds of TMT studies that have been conducted. 

"Social" refers to groups of people. The words "culture we live in or that we subscribe to" were meant to give an indication. People can subscribe to the meaning and value of sub-cultures within larger cultures, or to a mixture of many such social constructs.

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3 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

If you're going to criticize self esteem stop completely misrepresenting it.

Brant,

He's not only misrepresenting self-esteem, he's misrepresenting social constructs through a bait and switch. It goes like this:

All people learn things from other people (and he calls anything that comes from other people "social constructs"). That's the bait.

Now the switch: Therefore, no person has anything else in his head other than what he learned from other people.

(Apropos, if no one has anything in their head other than what came from other people, God only knows what is in anyone's head. All anyone has in their head apparently came from someone else, who got their whatever in their head from someone else, and so on. And that lack of substance is scary. No wonder this guy thinks fear is the Big Kahuna of the universe. :) )

Thus, in this way of thinking, a person alone on a desert island could not possibly keep up a high self esteem by not letting go of his capacity to choose what to do in this new environment and act on it (like Viktor Frankl's choice in Man's Search for Meaning), but instead his self-esteem is pegged ONLY to his past experience among others--and it all runs on fear

What a miserable little view of volition.

I'm not going to discuss anything further with this poster about the Terror Management Theory because I want to take a real honest look at it. And the yapping of true believers like him is always a nuisance when one is trying to concentrate. They always want to prove that you must BELIEVE, that their theory is THE ONE TRUE TRUTH, that they are LIGHT YEARS AWAY. :) 

Let's just say that true believers offer a social construct for learning something new (i.e., their own nonstop yapping and honking in your ear about how great/true/eternal/non-refutable/just-plain-awesome their belief is regardless of the issue) that doesn't work for independent thinkers. An independent thinker is not a parrot. His mind requires more than simple repetition. :) 

After I get a handle on this TMT idea, I might go back to discussing it with him if he's still around. (And even then, it might end up being nothing more than tiresome discussions like those in O-Land where the only purpose and subtext by an acolyte is to prove Rand was right and defend her from perceived attacks.) If not, not. But I'm so damn busy right now, that might be awhile.

Michael

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I looked into TMT a little bit more and found it to be another belief system on a death premise.  Death is a non-volitional event (to most), a deterministic one, and since humans are self-aware a person has thought about this and it had frightened them.  This fear is now held consciously or unconsciously, or a mixture of both, and seems TMT prefers the unconscious kind as a represssion or supression, then if it hits the conscious realm an evasion or some kind of defense value (or lack and compensation).  Regardless, in TMT you can't escape this fear just like you can't escape death, so this becomes determinism that affects your actions.  TMT indicates humans hold death as the ultimate standard of value, or non-life if one prefers (as death anxiety and rationalizations can take many forms).  So take death or non-life as the base of a morality, use social or mythical hero modeling for virtue, keeping in mind this whole hero thing is delusional because we're really just not as good as any other animal, add in social validation for self-esteem, then we have a fundamental recipe for what is called TMT.  Anyway, that's some of my take on it so far, as an addition to my post about it yesterday.

(And of course, Objectivists hold life as the ultimate standard of value to base morality on--life as a condition of a living being...)

 

Edited by KorbenDallas
added a few more thoughts, editing

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Michael,

it's not that the illusion of self-importance is impossible without others, it's just much harder to attain, and not applicable to most people

Korben,

my take on morality is that at least part of it is wired, as shown by scholars like Marc Hauser and John Mikhail, but that our fear of death highjacked our "moral instinct" (as well as various other more primitive mental functions) via culture i.e. via the various beliefs and activities that could provide us with the illusion of being persons of value in a world of meaning. Everyone tends to feel righteous and moral in their actions, even the worst mass murderers e.g. a member of Isis and a a Gung-ho American nationalist both apply the same moral instinct, but from different cultural lenses. They both see themselves as good, and the other as evil. All of us tend to see ourselves as good.

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On 6/20/2016 at 8:21 AM, merjet said:

This Terror Management Theory (Wikipedia) stuff sounds like a new-age version of Existentialism. I'm not interested.

How far does "social" extend here? Is it only family, family and friends, them plus people known through work, them plus acquaintances, all of one's countrymen, the indefinite powers-that-be, the whole world? The word social is a convenient tool of hucksters. 

“It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - Atlas Shrugged.

 

That great Philosopher Woody Allen put it this way:  I do not fear Death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens.....

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3 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

That great Philosopher Woody Allen put it this way:  I do not fear Death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens.....

From a purely rational perspective, Epicurus was right when he said "That which is the most awful of evils, death, is nothing to us, since when we exist there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist." However, humans don't just have rationality. We have emotions; some of which we simply cannot avoid.

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17 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

Korben,

my take on morality is that at least part of it is wired, as shown by scholars like Marc Hauser and John Mikhail, but that our fear of death highjacked our "moral instinct" (as well as various other more primitive mental functions) via culture i.e. via the various beliefs and activities that could provide us with the illusion of being persons of value in a world of meaning.

I am one that will say that any kind of wiring in our brains that might cause our mind to do things beyond our control is false.  I say because it violates the one function that we do have, our only true freedom, if we care to use it, volition.  (And other reasons.)  So the first part of your statement I will categorically reject, but there are others on this board who might consider it.

For the second part, why does it have to be an illusion of being persons of value?  Why can't it be real value?
 

17 hours ago, Lightyearsaway said:

Everyone tends to feel righteous and moral in their actions, even the worst mass murderers e.g. a member of Isis and a a Gung-ho American nationalist both apply the same moral instinct, but from different cultural lenses. They both see themselves as good, and the other as evil. All of us tend to see ourselves as good.

I'm going to say that Robert Hare, who studied psychopaths and wrote one of (if not the) leading book on the subject Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, would say this is likely not the case about mass muderers.  Martha Stout, who studied and wrote about sociopaths and published the book The Sociopath Next Door, would say this is likely not the case.  Psychopaths and sociopaths are monsters, and likely they don't give a shit about seeing themselves as good----or evil, or righteous.  If a person physically murders someone, or mentally murders someone, they are wrong, they are evil.  Period.

If a member of ISIS thinks he is good, then he is delusional.  And I'll say there are likely members of ISIS performing horrific acts and like the feeling of evil, that aren't psychopaths or sociopaths.

The moral evaluation of murder is objective, however, and a cultural factor doesn't change that.  Ideology doesn't change that.  No matter the time, the place, the country, the time period, or the civilization.

Edited by KorbenDallas
needed to readdress the first part of the post, grammar

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Lightyearsaway,
 
First, you put in a definition of self-esteem that you said was from Branden, but it is not.  Branden never defined the "disposition to experience oneself" as anything other than an internal experience.  We can experience pain, pleasure, joy, sadness, etc.  But you added this "grounded in reality" phrase that was never in Branden's definition. 
 
You added "fulfillment, success and achievement."  Branden was still talking about a "disposition to experience oneself" as competent and worthy.  Surely you know the difference between feeling incompetent to do something (nervous, anxious, fearful) because you've not had adequate study,  training or practice, and how different confidence feels when you have studied, practiced and mastered something?  Self-esteem is like that except that it isn't about a single skill or area of endeavor but rather a background tendency to experience a generalized kind of confidence.  Our consciousness is our connection to reality - not just to understand it, but how to take actions, and which actions to take.  There is a kind of confidence that comes of using it correctly (and a lot of internal misery if we don't).
 
You said that Branden's theory of self-esteem is grounded in social consensus.  That's so wrong.  For Branden, self-esteem (high or low) was a result of how the person used their consciousness.  It might have been Nathaniel, or maybe it was someone else, who wrote about a cat curled up, napping, on the floor in front of the fireplace.  As the fire burned down, the room became colder, the cat experienced discomfort and moved closer to the fire.  And if someone threw another log on the fire, and it burned stronger, the room became warmer, and the cat moved away from the fire. Human's have far more options in how they exercise their awareness and self-awareness.  We can choose to be more (or less) conscious, more or less accepting of those aspects of ourselves we don't like, and so forth.  As we exercise the choices we have in how we are using our consciousness, there is a score-keeper that rates the fit of our usage with reality.  That score-keeper is self-esteem.  It is like the pain/pleasure mechanism of the cat, but it is tied to a volitional use of consciousness that is so much more complex.
 
Here are the six pillars Nathaniel Branden wrote of:
1.The Practice of Living Consciously
2.The Practice of Self-Acceptance
3.The Practice of Self-Responsibility
4.The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
5.The Practice of Living Purposefully
6.The Practice of Personal Integrity
 
Do you imagine that if you turned your mind off, engaged in denial, rationalization, and hysterical emotionalism instead of focusing your reason, as your normal mode of using your consciousness, that you'd feel more or less competent to meet life's challenges?  Clearly there is a spectrum along which we can be aware - and for any given situation some kinds and degrees of awareness are more appropriate than others.  People who have formed a practice of avoiding being as conscious of what is happening (inside and outside) are going to pay a price for that.
 
Don't you imagine that a person who is unable to accept who they are or what they have done will be fighting an internal struggle - a struggle that will make it harder to feel worthy of love or happiness?
 
Do you believe that a person can regularly avoid taking responsibility for what they do or what they should do will be able to have as many successes as those who take responsibility?  To make a practice of avoiding personal responsibility implies a strong degree of fearful avoidance of aspects of reality - of causality.
 
Do you imagine that if you were unable or unwilling to express yourself, or to be on your own side in a conflict where you believed you were right, or were willing to let people see what you believed that you would experience yourself as more competent to meet life's challenges, or less.  Branden once said that self-assertiveness was like letting your inner music be heard.
 
Do you imagine that person who lives in a way that avoids being purposeful is going to have that much success?  Think as clearly?  There is a major disconnect with reality where we have to act, and actions need to be successful, and that can't even be judged but by comparing results to the initial goals (purposes).  Living without being adequately purposeful is always going to diminish ones experience of themselves as competent to deal with what might come up.
 
Do you imagine that if you frequently violated your own standards and principles that you'd experience yourself as more worthy of success or less? 
---------------------
 
The concepts of cultural relativity and social constructs as reality are responsible for no end of mischief in modern academia and it is sad to see how fast they are spilling out into the rest of our culture.
---------------------
 
You wrote, "...the very existence of the [six pillars] book bespeaks a social lack - the impoverished self-esteem granting capacity of our culture."
 
Again, self-esteem is an automatic reflection of how we use our consciousness, and has nothing to do with the culture (not directly) and it would be a major concern even if one were alone on an island somewhere.  Culture's can't grant self-esteem, but they can encourage a psychic commitment to a delusion.  But we all know, or should know, that delusion is an attempt to escape reality.  It is like a heavy dose of a mind-altering drug and is no more likely to produce any good results long-term.
 
 

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Quote

I am one that will say that any kind of wiring in our brains that might cause our mind to do things beyond our control is false.  I say because it violates the one function that we do have, our only true freedom, if we care to use it, volition.  (And other reasons.) 

 

Some highly trained meditators can exert more control over their minds, but we have instincts, and various deterministic elements in our biological system. Plenty of evidence for that. 

 

 

Quote

 

I'm going to say that Robert Hare, who studied psychopaths and wrote one of (if not the) leading book on the subject Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, would say this is likely not the case about mass murderers. 

 

 

 

 

I was referring to righteous political leaders, who tend to kill way more people than lone psychopaths. In general, the notion that we tend to see ourselves as good stands.

 

 

Quote

 

If a member of ISIS thinks he is good, then he is delusional.  And I'll say there are likely members of ISIS performing horrific acts and like the feeling of evil, that aren't psychopaths or sociopaths. The moral evaluation of murder is objective, however, and a cultural factor doesn't change that.  Ideology doesn't change that.  No matter the time, the place, the country, the time period, or the civilization.

 

 

 

 

I also mentioned a gung-ho American nationalist, and yet, by omitting him in your response, you imply that the possibility of his “goodness” is a less “delusional” concept than for the Isis member. 

 

That itself proves cultural relativity. Let’s look at what we know from cold, hard facts. forget media opinion, forget cultural biases. From wikipedia

 

The Lancet, one of the oldest scientific medical journals in the world, published two peer-reviewed studies on the effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation on the Iraqi mortality rate. The second survey[2][3][4] published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006 (in those 3 years alone). 601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were due to violence. 31% (186,318) of those were attributed to the US-led Coalition, 24% (144,246) to others, and 46% (276,472) unknown. The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56% or 336,575), car bomb (13% or 78,133), other explosion/ordnance (14%), air strike (13% or 78,133), accident (2% or 12,020), and unknown (2%).

 

So you really have no similar evidence of ISIS killing as many people. And yet, you would feel far more reluctant to say “If a member of the US military thinks he is good, then he is delusional.”

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

you added this "grounded in reality" phrase that was never in Branden's definition.

 

 

 

 

False. i will quote Branden directly “If it is not grounded in reality… it is not self-esteem."

 

http://www.nathanielbranden.com/on-self-esteem

 

Quote

 

You said that Branden's theory of self-esteem is grounded in social consensus.  That's so wrong….Do you imagine that person who lives in a way that avoids being purposeful is going to have that much success?

 

 

 

Isn’t the “success” and “achievement” that Branden alludes to, culturally relative?. i’ll repeat what I said in the review:

 

The self-esteem gotten from putting a spear through a fish’s head would be, according to Branden, more “grounded in reality” in a Tribal African culture than in say, American culture, where putting a rubber ball through a hoop would provide a self-esteem more “grounded in reality”. If I invent a game of speed counting blades of grass in various geometric patterns, I should, according to Branden, only “realistically” value my achievements in the game once the game has gained some popularity. If no one wants to play the game, then I can’t gain any self-esteem from it. It is only if others decide to value the game, and if I can then prove my proficiency in the game, that I can “realistically” gain self-esteem. Using this example, “false” self-esteem, according to Branden, would mean thinking that I was better (or worse) at the game than I really was.

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There's no hope. I don't think there ever really was. The man is trapped in his suppositions unleavened by the context of more general knowledge. He thinks Peter Keating was a man of self esteem--that is, if he knows Keating from a hole in the ground.

--Brant

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On 6/20/2016 at 6:38 AM, Lightyearsaway said:

Your interest in TMT, or lack thereof, has no bearing on the veracity of the hundreds of TMT studies that have been conducted. 

"Social" refers to groups of people. The words "culture we live in or that we subscribe to" were meant to give an indication. People can subscribe to the meaning and value of sub-cultures within larger cultures, or to a mixture of many such social constructs.

There are hundreds of "studies" validating AGW. AGW is scientific garbage promoted by garbage collectors pretending to be knowledge producers grandstanding on what they now call from their last redoubt: "CLIMATE CHANGE!" (The climate has been changing on this planet for 4 1/2 billion years and will continue to change for the next 4 1/2 billion.)

--Brant

is this too fast for you?     I        can           slow               it                    down

I'm not trying to drive you away; I don't care if you stay; I want you to care to stay; all I know about you is you've got brains, but you've fucked them up--so did Ayn Rand, but she got a hell of a lot right; if you drop this TM shit all that will be left is YOU--isn't that enough?

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To asses reality, we have to look at both, the quantity and the quality of studies i.e. we have to delve into the specifics, into concrete criticisms and methods. The existence of studies in other subjects that you regard as illegitimate tells us nothing about the subject at hand.

I may add that just as everyone tends to perceive themselves as good and moral, most people also see themselves as being rational. So the mere repetition of the word "rational" in relation to oneself, or one's belief system carries no information.

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5 minutes ago, Lightyearsaway said:

To asses reality, we have to look at both, the quantity and the quality of studies i.e. we have to delve into the specifics, into concrete criticisms and methods. The existence of studies in other subjects that you regard as illegitimate tells us nothing about the subject at hand.

I may add that just as everyone tends to perceive themselves as good and moral, most people also see themselves as being rational. So the mere repetition of the word "rational" in relation to oneself, or one's belief system carries no information.

You are trapped in  a whirlpool of didacticism.

--Brant

truncated brainwork

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 why does it have to be an illusion of being persons of value?  Why can't it be real value?

tell me what you think about the value of my grass counting game in my original post and we can go from there. I'll repeat: 

If I invent a game of speed counting blades of grass in various geometric patterns, I should, according to Branden, only “realistically” value my achievements in the game once the game has gained some popularity. If no one wants to play the game, then I can’t gain any self-esteem from it. It is only if others decide to value the game, and if I can then prove my proficiency in the game, that I can “realistically” gain self-esteem.

Btw, I'd be curious to know what you think about the following statement by Ernest Becker, where he (very broadly) describes the main forms of heroism/self-esteem that have taken place throughout history:

"We can ask about any epoch, what are the main social forms of heroism available? We can take a sweep over history and see how these forms vary and how they animate each epoch. For primitive man, who practiced the ritual renewal of nature, each person could be a cosmic hero of a quite definite kind: he could contribute with his powers and observances to the replenishment of cosmic life. Gradually, as societies became more complex and differentiated into classes, cosmic heroism became the property of special classes like divine kings and the military. With the rise of money coinage one could be a money hero and privately protect himself and his offspring by the accumulation of visible gold-power. With Christianity something new came into the world: the heroism of renunciation of this world and the satisfactions of this life, which is why the pagans thought Christianity was crazy. It was a sort of antiheroism by an animal who denied life in order to deny evil. Buddhism did the same thing even more extremely, denying all possible worlds. In modern times, with the Enlightenment, began again a new paganism of the exploitation and enjoyment of earthly life, partly as a reaction against the Christian renunciation of the world. Now a new type of productive and scientific hero came into prominence, and we are still living this today. More cars produced by Detroit, higher stock­ market prices, more profits, more goods moving-all this equals more heroism. And with the French Revolution anther type of modern hero was codified: the revolutionary hero who will bring an end to injustice and evil once and for all, by bringing into being a new utopian society perfect in its purity."

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