Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

General philosophy discussions. If you are not sure where to place your thread, please post it here. Share favorite quotes, discuss philosophers, and other topics.

Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Lomax on February 26th, 2018, 4:21 pm 

Serpent » February 26th, 2018, 7:37 pm wrote:In the meantime, it will neutralize all the Socrates-type critics (Chomsky springs to mind) it can catch.

Be fair. Socrates went out of his way to argue against himself.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on February 26th, 2018, 4:32 pm 

Lomax » February 26th, 2018, 3:21 pm wrote:[In the meantime, it will neutralize all the Socrates-type critics (Chomsky springs to mind) it can catch.]
Be fair. Socrates went out of his way to argue against himself.

Yes; he was a deliberate gadfly. But Chomsky is no less outspoken on American policy, and no more popular with the American right. Other critics of the present administration have reason to be concerned for their safety, as well.
I don't think it's unfair to posit that all political regimes defend themselves from negative review, and the more corrupt they are, the harder they fight opposition, and the longer they've been corrupt, the more established means they of beating down opposition.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Asparagus on February 26th, 2018, 6:05 pm 

Serpent wrote: . Other critics of the present administration have reason to be concerned for their safety, as well..

Who are you talking about?

I think the main danger of Trump is that he'll cause a portion of the American population (including me) to die of embarrassment. I've already started getting my affairs in order.

Otherwise, it might not have been too smart to erase regulations on the financial sector and then step on the economy's gas pedal with a tax cut. But if we have another 2008-2009 style meltdown, my assessment will be that it was going to happen sooner or later.
Asparagus
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on February 26th, 2018, 7:44 pm 

Asparagus » February 26th, 2018, 5:05 pm wrote:Who are you talking about?

The ones I kiss on the cheek.
No, I'm not necessarily even talking about direct government action; it's enough to point the fat finger and the lunatic fringe will do the dirty work. Trump is pretty quick to designate 'enemies' over trivial criticisms. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/frederica-wilson-trump-call-to-widow-is-getting-threats-office-says/
Imagine what a less incompetent administration can do to more serious critics!

I think the main danger of Trump is that he'll cause a portion of the American population (including me) to die of embarrassment. I've already started getting my affairs in order.

Just walk around with a paper bag over your head. Put it on Youtube and go viral. Pretty soon, all of America will be divided into head-gear camps, so they'll be clear on which target is whose fair game.

Otherwise, it might not have been too smart to erase regulations on the financial sector and then step on the economy's gas pedal with a tax cut. But if we have another 2008-2009 style meltdown, my assessment will be that it was going to happen sooner or later.

Everything does, sooner or later. Coulda been later, though. And less awful.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Asparagus on February 26th, 2018, 11:39 pm 

Serpent wrote: it's enough to point the fat finger and the lunatic fringe will do the dirty work.

Nice alliteration.
Asparagus
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 27th, 2018, 12:05 am 

Serpent » February 27th, 2018, 3:37 am wrote:The private vices of leaders don't matter, so long as they remain private. That's why nobody cares what Kennedy got up to - except conservatives who use it as an excuse for their own leaders' excesses.

I have already discussed this on the Trump dictatorship thread, so I'll just take it from there and post it again with some tweaks.

Would you agree that the king and his advisers need to have mental clarity - to be able to assess risks competently in order to competently rule their kingdom or nation? And would you likewise agree that an individual person needs to be able to do so also in order to remain healthy in amongst all the threats constantly lurking around corners or within their domestic sphere?

I hope that it is glaringly obvious to you that the more competently a person can assess risks, then the more efficiently and thus wisely they can continue living. Therefore, anything that compromises their risk assessment capacities compromises their potential to govern their own health as well as the health of their nation. And as we know - as many studies show - mental calculations are compromised by sex, wine, and fury - or, in more everyday terms, if you like: thinking below the belt, beer goggles, and red mists.

Socrates, in his asceticism, however, kept his senses clear, and this approach to 'ruling oneself' became championed by the likes of Diogenes of Synope, and his cynic protege Crates of Thebes. Crates is thus attributed with having written the following poem - a satire of a popular Homeric equivalent, presenting Pera (the Cynic's knapsack) as an actual place to arrive at:

There is a city, Pera in the wine-dark sea of folly,
Fair and fat, though filthy, with nothing much inside.
Never does there sail to it any foolish stranger,
Or lewd fellow who takes delight in the rumps of whores,
But it merely carries thyme and garlic, figs and loaves,
Things over which people do not fight or go to war,
Nor stand they to arms for small change or glory.


So would you not agree that a ruler or body of government advisers who are regularly indulging in wine and the rumps of whores will have their risk assessment capabilities heavily compromised through beer goggles and thinking below the belt? I believe that THIS is the source of moral chastisement regarding the over-indulgence in wine and whores, not to mention the 'madness' of anger that the Stoics harped on about, that has historically been present in all societies. Because such activities compromise the rational mind. And if the leader is irrational, then how can they calculate the safety of their population?

The big difference is, when a high elected official acts like a pig in public, he's setting an example and issuing an invitations for his followers to do likewise. When that piggishness includes graft, misappropriation of public funds, influence peddling, nepotism, abuse of power and compromise of the national interest, and those vices are given free rein among the ruling class, that government will sink into the swamp. In the meantime, it will neutralize all the Socrates-type critics (Chomsky springs to mind) it can catch.

The sinking into the swamp may take a long long time, however - they can just start wars and invade other countries and keep on rallying the population to that 'cause' - hasn't this been the case with the West for hundreds of years? The piggishness itself is not the problem, it is how those vices disrupt the rational potential of a human being. That is why Socrates and the Cynics were so keen on asceticism. They were aware of such factors as post-coital tristesse - as the Greek doctor Galen wrote: "Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster."

Just look at Caligula and Nero for good examples of why the leader's vices need to be kept in check. And this applies to individual heads of households, or even personal health practices - otherwise you'll "go blind" ;P A person should not be ruled by anger lest they murder someone whilst seeing red, and similarly they should not be ruled by lust lest they commit sex crimes whilst thinking below the belt. This is all common sense, isn't it? And it is not the acts of murder or sex crimes themselves that are the problem - people watch their dogs engage in such activities every day around the world and laugh heartily. Nay, it is the condition of mind that allows the perpetrator to think that such acts are worth carrying out - the same condition of mind that they may be using to make choices on behalf of their family or nation.

This is why Socrates apparently said 'rule yourself'. Make sex and anger serve your virtuous inclinations, rather than the other way around. Again - it is not complex - it is just prioritising the human over the pig, and such an approach can be rolled out to every aspect of governing a state.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 27th, 2018, 12:54 am 

An interesting and relevant quote from Albee, G.W. (1977) The Protestant ethic, sex and psychotherapy, American Psychologist, 32, 150–61:
“Capitalism required the development of a high level of rationality accompanied by repression and control of pleasure seeking. This meant the strict control of impulses and the development of a work ethic in which a majority of persons derived a high degree of satisfaction from hard work. Capitalism also demanded personal efforts to achieve long-range goals, an increase in personal autonomy and independence . . . The system depended on a heavy emphasis on thrift and ingenuity and, above all else, on the strong control and repression of sexuality.
(Albee 1977: 154)”
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on February 27th, 2018, 12:58 am 

Mossling » February 26th, 2018, 11:05 pm wrote:Would you agree that the king and his advisers need to have mental clarity - to be able to assess risks competently in order to competently rule their kingdom or nation?

That would be desirable, but is rare. It doesn't really help if the self-indulgent king has an ascetic, but evil advisor, who can assess the risk, but doesn't care who gets hurt for his ends.
And would you likewise agree that an individual person needs to be able to do so also in order to remain healthy in amongst all the threats constantly lurking around corners or within their domestic sphere?

That's more common than mental clarity in rulers, but if you live under a volcano, it doesn't help to know the risk, unless you're free to move somewhere else.

I hope that it is glaringly obvious to you that the more competently a person can assess risks, then the more efficiently and thus wisely they can continue living.

Glaringly. So now we know why we're about to become extinct.

So would you not agree that a ruler or body of government advisers who are regularly indulging in wine and the rumps of whores will have their risk assessment capabilities heavily compromised through beer goggles and thinking below the belt?

I have no frickin idea! Some hold their drink better than others, some think quite clearly between debouches - and many ascetics are stark staring mad; get themselves and other people martyred.
I believe that THIS is the source of moral chastisement

What difference has moral chastisement ever make to how the world is ruled? The Bible is full of prophets banging on about the woes that will come upon faithless Israel - but the conquerors didn't give a flying fig about the moral rectitude of the conquered: they just did what were going to do. So the doom prophets are always vindicated.

The sinking into the swamp may take a long long time, however - they can just start wars and invade other countries and keep on rallying the population to that 'cause' - hasn't this been the case with the West for hundreds of years?

I give it 5 years, if the clown car isn't replaced by something dramatically more roadworthy.
They're already running out of bombs. Wars are expensive. Populations grow tired of rallying.
Also, there is the distinct possibility of going extinct a lot sooner.

The piggishness itself is not the problem, it is how those vices disrupt the rational potential of a human being.

No, it's public piggishness, breaking the political, social, judicial and economic fabric of the nation.
the Greek doctor Galen wrote: "Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster."

The good Greek doctor was full of 'hit.

This is why Socrates apparently said

It doesn't matter what he said. It doesn't matter what he did.
Socrates is entirely irrelevant to governance - then or now.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 27th, 2018, 1:13 am 

Serpent » February 27th, 2018, 1:58 pm wrote:It doesn't matter what he said. It doesn't matter what he did.
Socrates is entirely irrelevant to governance - then or now.

I see. Case closed then, eh?

I believe your rationality is compromised somewhat when you think that holding drink is comparable to being able to assess risks competently, that ascetics are one of a kind, and that moral chastisement has no political repercussions. Boy, would Bill Clinton love to believe that last one.

Humans must eat, prioritise their kin, and have sex - there will always be a piggishness to those necessities, and the realisation post-orgasm - especially for a man, that in the minutes (hopefully, haha) leading up to it, they were not fully in possession of their wits, is a fact of life that can never be avoided.

Thus, we are piggish or animalistic in many ways, and it is our choice whether to react to that fact like a pig or bull or monkey or whatever animal one cares to choose, or one can remain human and rational and prioritise the more Enlightened - rational - side to our condition.

Socrates chose the latter and is still championed for it - because that is the more human behaviour. Thus, some people considered him fit to be their ruler - their philosopher king. I would certainly feel safer under the rulership of a person like that.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Braininvat liked this post


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Braininvat on February 27th, 2018, 10:41 am 

Trump doesn't drink alcohol. Imagine what the past year would have been like, if he did. Violin solos and cities in flame come to mind.
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6378
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills
Mossling liked this post


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on February 27th, 2018, 11:37 am 

Mossling » February 27th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:[Socrates is entirely irrelevant to governance - then or now.]
I see. Case closed then, eh?

The case for philosophers being rulers was never even opened. Philosophers do not rule, and never have. It's unlikely they ever will. Sometimes they may influence on those who do rule - but, how much? They say Alexander the great was kind to his lovers because of Aristotle's mentorship - but it didn't stop him sacking half the cities of the known world.

I believe your rationality is compromised somewhat when you think that holding drink is comparable to being able to assess risks competently,

I didn't say comparable. I said some men can hold their liquor better than others; some romp only on weekends; some lose their heads on vainglory or some pious quest; some are mad with hereditary syphilis; some have crappy judgment even if they're celibate and sober and self-righteous; some can figure the risk and say: "It's worth 3000 dead to take that hill." - those are called generals and have big statues erected after death. You can't know which is which until you see the results of their cumulative decisions.
As we see the resulting present world, most leaders throughout history seem to have had poor risk-assessment skills, even though there was never a shortage of philosophers to tell them how wrong they were.

and that moral chastisement has no political repercussions. Boy, would Bill Clinton love to believe that last one.

Which philosopher chastised him? The version I heard was, he was impeached by political opponents who didn't (given their own conduct) care about the morality, but were desperate to stop universal health care. They tried to destroy the reputation of clean-and-sober-and-faithful Barack Obama for the same reason.
For a sex-addled fool, he was a damn sight better president than either righteous Bush.
During Clinton’s time in the White House, America enjoyed an era of peace and prosperity, marked by low unemployment, declining crime rates and a budget surplus.
http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/bill-clinton

Humans must eat, prioritise their kin, and have sex - there will always be a piggishness to those necessities,

I was referring to Animal Farm.
and the realisation post-orgasm - especially for a man, that in the minutes (hopefully, haha) leading up to it, they were not fully in possession of their wits, is a fact of life that can never be avoided.

I hope you never try to use that as a defense in a murder trial.
And it makes no difference to government whether the people running it have sex or not, drink wine or not, smoke pot or not, in their spare time. It matters whether they understand the job and have the skills to carry it out and take responsibility for the outcome of their decisions.

Socrates chose the latter and is still championed for it - because that is the more human behaviour. Thus, some people considered him fit to be their ruler - their philosopher king. I would certainly feel safer under the rulership of a person like that.

Some people consider Donald trump fit to be their ruler and philosopher king. That doesn't make him fit, and it didn't make Socrates king.

I'm sure he was quite admirable. At least, from hearsay - which is all we know.
I'm sure he was a very responsible lover - if he loved anyone at all.
And it's still irrelevant.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby BadgerJelly on February 27th, 2018, 12:03 pm 

I think this sums up this thread for me:

And it's still irrelevant.


Sorry, I just happening to be reading in this area and thought something more would come of this mention of Scorates :(

Any chance of getting into "mantic" and the insanities of human emotions? Not sure if it was in The Republic, Phraedrus or Parmenides where Socrates talked of "mantic" (which I found to be an intriguing term, as I did with "kalos".)
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5205
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 28th, 2018, 12:47 am 

Serpent » February 28th, 2018, 12:37 am wrote:
Mossling » February 27th, 2018, 12:13 am wrote:[Socrates is entirely irrelevant to governance - then or now.]
I see. Case closed then, eh?

The case for philosophers being rulers was never even opened. Philosophers do not rule, and never have. It's unlikely they ever will. Sometimes they may influence on those who do rule - but, how much? They say Alexander the great was kind to his lovers because of Aristotle's mentorship - but it didn't stop him sacking half the cities of the known world.

I believe your rationality is compromised somewhat when you think that holding drink is comparable to being able to assess risks competently,

I didn't say comparable. I said some men can hold their liquor better than others; some romp only on weekends; some lose their heads on vainglory or some pious quest; some are mad with hereditary syphilis; some have crappy judgment even if they're celibate and sober and self-righteous; some can figure the risk and say: "It's worth 3000 dead to take that hill." - those are called generals and have big statues erected after death. You can't know which is which until you see the results of their cumulative decisions.
As we see the resulting present world, most leaders throughout history seem to have had poor risk-assessment skills, even though there was never a shortage of philosophers to tell them how wrong they were.

and that moral chastisement has no political repercussions. Boy, would Bill Clinton love to believe that last one.

Which philosopher chastised him? The version I heard was, he was impeached by political opponents who didn't (given their own conduct) care about the morality, but were desperate to stop universal health care. They tried to destroy the reputation of clean-and-sober-and-faithful Barack Obama for the same reason.
For a sex-addled fool, he was a damn sight better president than either righteous Bush.
During Clinton’s time in the White House, America enjoyed an era of peace and prosperity, marked by low unemployment, declining crime rates and a budget surplus.
http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/bill-clinton

Humans must eat, prioritise their kin, and have sex - there will always be a piggishness to those necessities,

I was referring to Animal Farm.
and the realisation post-orgasm - especially for a man, that in the minutes (hopefully, haha) leading up to it, they were not fully in possession of their wits, is a fact of life that can never be avoided.

I hope you never try to use that as a defense in a murder trial.
And it makes no difference to government whether the people running it have sex or not, drink wine or not, smoke pot or not, in their spare time. It matters whether they understand the job and have the skills to carry it out and take responsibility for the outcome of their decisions.

Socrates chose the latter and is still championed for it - because that is the more human behaviour. Thus, some people considered him fit to be their ruler - their philosopher king. I would certainly feel safer under the rulership of a person like that.

Some people consider Donald trump fit to be their ruler and philosopher king. That doesn't make him fit, and it didn't make Socrates king.

I'm sure he was quite admirable. At least, from hearsay - which is all we know.
I'm sure he was a very responsible lover - if he loved anyone at all.
And it's still irrelevant.

Marcus Aurelius - Stoic philosopher, championed Socrates. Roman Emperor and still read widely today.

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations wrote:Which is recorded of Socrates, that he was able both to abstain from, and to enjoy, those things which many are too weak to abstain from, and cannot enjoy without excess. But to be strong enough both to bear the one and to be sober in the other is the mark of a man who has a perfect and invincible soul.


But let's not be pedantic here - everyone is a philosopher - everyone has a philosophy by which they live - everyone has a love of efficiency, and efficiency is wisdom. A philosopher is a wisdom-lover.

Trump thinks he's wise, you think you are wise, and I value wisdom also. So let's not make distinctions here about people who have been formally declared philosophers - post-humously or otherwise, because we all philosophise.

And there are plenty of studies showing that risk-assessment limitations are encountered once sexual arousal happens, or anger arrives, or alcohol is taken in - it's just biology, my friend. A quick search on Google scholar will reveal all you need to know about that. Your argument to the contrary is apparently your hopeful personal opinion.

As usual, I'm backing up my arguments with direct sources and scientific studies, and my interlocutors are not. Getting a little tiresome.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 28th, 2018, 12:51 am 

BadgerJelly » February 28th, 2018, 1:03 am wrote:I think this sums up this thread for me:

And it's still irrelevant.


Sorry, I just happening to be reading in this area and thought something more would come of this mention of Scorates :(

Any chance of getting into "mantic" and the insanities of human emotions? Not sure if it was in The Republic, Phraedrus or Parmenides where Socrates talked of "mantic" (which I found to be an intriguing term, as I did with "kalos".)

something is coming about here and I hope more will.

You are apparently saying that you want to hijack this thread - perhaps because there is rigor present here and you want to divert it's attention towards your personal interests? Why not just start a new thread?
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 28th, 2018, 12:52 am 

Braininvat » February 27th, 2018, 11:41 pm wrote:Trump doesn't drink alcohol. Imagine what the past year would have been like, if he did. Violin solos and cities in flame come to mind.

Lol, absolutely.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby BadgerJelly on February 28th, 2018, 3:33 am 

Mossling » February 28th, 2018, 12:51 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 28th, 2018, 1:03 am wrote:I think this sums up this thread for me:

And it's still irrelevant.


Sorry, I just happening to be reading in this area and thought something more would come of this mention of Scorates :(

Any chance of getting into "mantic" and the insanities of human emotions? Not sure if it was in The Republic, Phraedrus or Parmenides where Socrates talked of "mantic" (which I found to be an intriguing term, as I did with "kalos".)

something is coming about here and I hope more will.

You are apparently saying that you want to hijack this thread - perhaps because there is rigor present here and you want to divert it's attention towards your personal interests? Why not just start a new thread?


Because is seems pretty stupid to start a thread about the same subject. How can I be "hijacking" the thread and yet you're "hopeful" what I mentioned will come into the discussion?

We've already concluded that Bloch was talking nonsense. What I thought was going to happen was a look at the passionate disposition of humans and such - to equivocate ancient Greek city states to today's world is a bit strange; although the following patterns of Alexander The Great and the Roman Empire certainly tried to apply the ideas of Aristotle and Plato to wider reaching arenas.

I am currently reading The Cave and The Light by Herman in which he is discussing the course of history in the western world and the effect of Plato's and Aristotle's thoughts on the direction of history - although it does seem he has, obviously, tended to polarize these two historical figures rather than focus on the common connections.

I am unsure what the theme or direction of this thread is now? I was offering suggestions rather than getting bogged down in a tit-for-tat about the significance of Socratic thought and focusing on Plato's words about human passions - the "good" and "bad" of the extreme mental states.

Are we only talking about the psychological condition of leaders or humans in general? From what I can tell the Platonic idea set out to frame a vision of the "ideal man", taken up by Christos myth, and that we shouldn't aim to attain to be the same as this figure, but to use it as a guide to move toward - the idea of the "best" to be striven for.

From Herman's book:

All around him and his school, the Roman Empire was steadily coming apart. Plotinus ignored it. He proposed to the emperor Philip creating a new city to be called Platonopolis, where Plotinus and other philosophers could find peace and shelter ...

Philip listened politely but nothing came of the plans. With Germans streaming across the Rhine, Goths plundering cities in Greece, and the Parthians hammering away from the east, the emperor had other things to worry about. With Plotinus we have come to the last loosening of the ties of loyalty between empire and its best and brightest. "The wise man," Plotinus said, "will attach no importance to the loss of his country." True happiness (eudaimonia) requires a flight from all worldly connections toward a higher end, the final union of the soul with God.

... On his deathbed his last words were, "Strive to lead back the God within you to the Divine in the universe."


I should add that previously Herman had been outlining the "hole in the soul" created by the expansion of the Roman Empire. In what he, and Plotinus, writes there is the suggestion that the greatest time of the Roman Empire was when it was united and expanding into new frontiers. There is a hint of stagnation being the primary cause of corruption and lack of what I would call "meaning conflict" or a "good fight."

This, as far as I can see, does relate to the kind of human passions that cause us so many problems and so many triumphs. The idea of "conquest" seems to be innately human and today, as in the past, without a meaningful direction backed by an understanding of the self we're doomed to fall apart as a society when "meaningful conflict" is elusive - then stagnation, in fighting and moral corruption sets in due to lack of a natural frontier to push up against. I have also seen this argued for elsewhere by someone (cannot remember who) with the interesting idea of geographical frontiers being physically bounded in the modern world (I think it was Elon Musk??) and that creating NEW physical frontiers helps us establish the metaphorical ground for abstract expansion too. Likely I reason the internet has become such a dynamic force for human society and why today people are beginning to try and inhibit its reach politically.

One example would be the warnings of cyber attacks and such things being the beginnings of setting limits upon this abstract realm. Once such a fertile world has been delimited then where is there for human mental expansion? What is there for us to "move into"? At the heart of this is the human heart and its desire to fulfill certain innate desires of pushing to the limits and creating new frontiers.

What Plato and Aristotle did (and many others in that period) was to set up institutions that were all about intellectual expansion. What the struggle appears to have been about, then and now, is how to nurture society for the greater good of all and how to care for, but now unduly inhibit, the human desire for conquest/exploration/danger.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5205
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on February 28th, 2018, 7:04 am 

BadgerJelly » February 28th, 2018, 4:33 pm wrote:What Plato and Aristotle did (and many others in that period) was to set up institutions that were all about intellectual expansion.

Indeed - and that is what I have been highlighting on this thread - how can one expand one's intellectual grasp on the truth when the clarity of one's calculative intellectual mind is compromised by sex, wine, and fury?

Intellectual expansion can only go hand in hand with moderation at the very least, and asceticism (of a Socratic sort) lends itself perfectly to such an endeavour. I don't know why this point is apparently being ignored by you guys here. Haha - it's just me and the last 'good' old Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (and perhaps BIV) diggin Socrates' wisdom. For it apparently makes perfect scientific sense.

What the struggle appears to have been about, then and now, is how to nurture society for the greater good of all and how to care for, but now unduly inhibit, the human desire for conquest/exploration/danger.

I do not believe that there is any human desire for conquest and danger, actually - I believe that is a more feral desire. Humanity is about cooperation and efficiency from where I am standing - peaceful wisdom. The tigers are all locked up in the zoo now - there is only Homo tigris to worry about. But those semi-humans will be at the mercy of their passions and thus less rational, and will be always put on a leash by Homo sapiens.

As it happens Socrates was a fearsome and highly formidable warrior - defending his wounded general on the battlefield so as to secure his life and equipment - fighting off a number of men. This was also a huge part of his identity in Athens - he had the respect of the tigers as well as the humans.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby BadgerJelly on February 28th, 2018, 9:44 am 

I disagree. I think humanity thrives of, and craves for, soem kind of "crisis". I guess I'd have done better to frame this as "challange", but my point is that no matter what we're talking about a necessary conflict and I believe (speaking at leats for myself) I am most human when "up against it."

In terms of "danger" I was referring to facing your fears rather than creating a bubble of comfort and ignirance to live in.

As for "mantic" it is precisely a kind of letting your instincts guide you. Socrates talked about the madness that is "god given" rather than a "lesser" form of passionate madness.

I find the quote later ...
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5205
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on February 28th, 2018, 12:00 pm 

Mossling -- And there are plenty of studies showing that risk-assessment limitations are encountered once sexual arousal happens, or anger arrives, or alcohol is taken in - it's just biology, my friend. A quick search on Google scholar will reveal all you need to know about that. Your argument to the contrary is apparently your hopeful personal opinion.

Do you assert that any person who has ever had or desired intercourse, who has ever drunk alcohol or been angry about anything cannot make a rational decision? I'm trying to imagine Socrates defending his fallen general without the slightest trace of ire in his heart. Or maybe the anger wore off by the time he made those wise pronouncements?
What I said was,
- statesmen can be horny, drunk, or pissed on Saturday and still make sound decision on Monday.
- philosopher and statesman are two different occupations
- no matter how right his moral conduct may be, a philosopher is unlikely to rule a country
- social ethics rarely determine political strategy; sexual proclivity never does
- therefore, the sexual conduct of a long-dead philosopher have no relevance to modern politics

As usual, I'm backing up my arguments with direct sources and scientific studies, and my interlocutors are not.

I did cite a source for the only factual rebuttal I made, regarding Bill Clinton - which was a biggie, topic-wise: bullseye, even.
The arguments you made so persuasively were way off in left field. I'm sure everything you said is true; I just don't see them applying to the case in point.
Getting a little tiresome.

Then I will weary you no more.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby wolfhnd on March 1st, 2018, 5:09 am 

BadgerJelly

Thought you would enjoy this chat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezhjumayRsg
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4559
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on March 1st, 2018, 7:43 am 

BadgerJelly » February 28th, 2018, 10:44 pm wrote:I disagree. I think humanity thrives of, and craves for, soem kind of "crisis". I guess I'd have done better to frame this as "challange", but my point is that no matter what we're talking about a necessary conflict and I believe (speaking at leats for myself) I am most human when "up against it."

Yes - healthy stress to prompt us to grow. Stress as opposed to distress, however. As the Stoics liked to say - "Conquer yourself."

Image

These guys championed Socrates, however - with his 'rule yourself' message.

Serpent wrote:Do you assert that any person who has ever had or desired intercourse, who has ever drunk alcohol or been angry about anything cannot make a rational decision?

Nope.

However, sustained and prolonged indulgences in such states can seal the 'truths' discerned during those states into one's cultural perspective.

If you spend hours drinking with your buddies every night, for example, and decide that "every hole is a goal", then such a perspective can become THE perspective - a general cultural bubble - like a view that 'every woman who smiles in the vicinity of a celebrity can be kissed without waiting for consent,' for example...

What is much better known, however, is how cognitive distortions created from emotional turmoil filter into an emotionally turbulent person's general life view - a general malaise of 'black and white thinking' - winners and losers, and so forth. The Stoics talked of the madness of anger - how that irrational state can really mess someone up in their general day-to-day thinking.

Serpent wrote:I'm trying to imagine Socrates defending his fallen general without the slightest trace of ire in his heart. Or maybe the anger wore off by the time he made those wise pronouncements?

Are you asserting that a person cannot engage in battle without succumbing to emotional turbulence? Do not tiger-keepers in zoos, or lion-tamers have confidence in their ability to manage potentially lethal ferocity?

Serpent wrote:no matter how right his moral conduct may be, a philosopher is unlikely to rule a country

That's not what I was asserting, anyway. I believe that EVERY person is a philosopher. It's just that some people like to specialise in discussing it explicitly through words more than others, and perhaps even like to steal from oriental classics and pass it off as their own along with convoluted passages of impenetrable waffle and thereby be declared an original thinker.

Lincoln had a philosophy, as did Bin Laden, as does Trump. I don't see much of a distinction between formal philosophers and governing leaders who even admit that they govern according to their own personal philosophies.

Serpent wrote:- social ethics rarely determine political strategy;

Political strategy is, at its heart, either to cooperate honestly or cheat when interacting with an economic agency (See R. Axelrod's work - The Evolution of Cooperative Behavior). And those choices are deeply ethical ones and they begin with one's own body - do you cheat your hearts wish to remain healthy or do you honour it? Do you cheat your hearts wish to maintain one's dignity, or do you honour it? Thus, the political strategy one has towards one's own heart becomes the way one relates to the human heart in general - other peoples' hearts, and populations in general.

Serpent wrote:sexual proclivity never does

Do you tell your wife that you love only her, whilst imagine another woman when making love to her? Or do you make the effort to honour your romantic ideals that your relationship with her was founded upon? Everything we do is ethics, and thus political. There is no division between philosophers or political activity. Everything is philosophically-driven and politically significant, is it not? That's why Bill Clinton's aberrations were viewed as so politically significant in the hearts of the average person, no?

Image
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Serpent on March 1st, 2018, 9:54 am 

Mossling -- Everything is philosophically-driven and politically significant, is it not? That's why Bill Clinton's aberrations were viewed as so politically significant in the hearts of the average person, no?

No, no. No, no, no and no. As I've umpteenly explicated.
The real world, real people, real life do not fit on a poster.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Asparagus on March 1st, 2018, 10:00 am 

So Mossling, the only rational people are the ones who abstain from sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

I think those people are in danger of exploding.
Asparagus
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on March 1st, 2018, 10:14 am 

Asparagus » March 1st, 2018, 11:00 pm wrote:So Mossling, the only rational people are the ones who abstain from sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

I think those people are in danger of exploding.

Drugs will of course affect your nervous system and therefore your risk-assessment faculties, and sex need not become an exercise in decorating connective tissue with finery. Post-orgasmic distress can be gotten rid of quite quickly if one wishes it seems. Rock and roll can be listened to without emotional arousal.

There are moderate paths available. One does not have to end up like Ozzy Osbourne.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Asparagus on March 1st, 2018, 10:24 am 

@Mossling
So you're warning about extremes? Ok. I was just thinking about the way Nietzsche thought about the Dionysian. Among other things, it's our connection to the earth. Deny it entirely and you're disconnected from your roots. Not that a person needs wine to experience it. You can get high off a winter breeze if you're in the right state of mind. Its related to a sense of the sacred.
Asparagus
Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: 16 Dec 2017
Blog: View Blog (2)
Lomax liked this post


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on March 3rd, 2018, 12:28 am 

Asparagus » March 1st, 2018, 11:24 pm wrote:@Mossling
So you're warning about extremes? Ok. I was just thinking about the way Nietzsche thought about the Dionysian. Among other things, it's our connection to the earth. Deny it entirely and you're disconnected from your roots. Not that a person needs wine to experience it. You can get high off a winter breeze if you're in the right state of mind. Its related to a sense of the sacred.

I don't think that these philosophers were so much about moderation as they were about service - duty - and being capable of delivering that service adequately. So it is not about prohibition or denial of pleasure as it is about remaining functional within one's office.

Thus, path or Way tends to be emphasised over asceticism - the way of philosophy or the noble warrior, and so forth.

'Coveting thy neighbours wife' is a violation of one's social contract even before we get on to any ideas of divine law. And if one is in the habit of making every smiling beauty in one's vicinity one's potential wife without even waiting to check if she is married or even welcoming of one's advances, well, then there is the problem... one is obviously not in the habit of prioritising the social contract, let alone any divine law.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Lomax on March 3rd, 2018, 7:13 am 

Mossling » March 1st, 2018, 3:14 pm wrote:
Asparagus » March 1st, 2018, 11:00 pm wrote:So Mossling, the only rational people are the ones who abstain from sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

I think those people are in danger of exploding.

Drugs will of course affect your nervous system and therefore your risk-assessment faculties, and sex need not become an exercise in decorating connective tissue with finery. Post-orgasmic distress can be gotten rid of quite quickly if one wishes it seems. Rock and roll can be listened to without emotional arousal.


If we don't want to affect our nervous systems or our emotions we're going to have to give up on a lot more than drugs, sex and rock and roll. Start with literature, travel, and friendship. Move on to comedy, music more generally, and dreams. Don't stop there.

Oy vey. Give me insanity, then.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on March 3rd, 2018, 8:04 am 

Lomax » March 3rd, 2018, 8:13 pm wrote:
Mossling » March 1st, 2018, 3:14 pm wrote:
Asparagus » March 1st, 2018, 11:00 pm wrote:So Mossling, the only rational people are the ones who abstain from sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

I think those people are in danger of exploding.

Drugs will of course affect your nervous system and therefore your risk-assessment faculties, and sex need not become an exercise in decorating connective tissue with finery. Post-orgasmic distress can be gotten rid of quite quickly if one wishes it seems. Rock and roll can be listened to without emotional arousal.


If we don't want to affect our nervous systems or our emotions we're going to have to give up on a lot more than drugs, sex and rock and roll. Start with literature, travel, and friendship. Move on to comedy, music more generally, and dreams. Don't stop there.

Oy vey. Give me insanity, then.

Haha, I don't see it as extreme as that - I see it as simply a matter of managing emotional arousal - especially anger and panic, and avoiding self-medicating with, or otherwise relying on psychoactive substances in order to socialise or go to work.

Everything else that is found in the common sphere is not as much of a threat to the average person's functionality... apparently.

Everyone knows overindulgence in porn creates 'porno vision,' but that tends to be managed through social pressures in more everyday ways - guys don't want their buddies looking at the wives and girlfriends as potential stars in their pornographic fantasies, for example. Thus, perversion radars apparently tend to be scanning most of the time - it is just that for people in more responsible and celebrated roles, things can get more complex and serious because they are supposed to be championing the social mores that keep society unified and which has delivered their celebrity status.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Lomax on March 3rd, 2018, 8:51 am 

Mossling » March 3rd, 2018, 1:04 pm wrote:Haha, I don't see it as extreme as that - I see it as simply a matter of managing emotional arousal - especially anger and panic, and avoiding self-medicating with, or otherwise relying on psychoactive substances in order to socialise or go to work.

Well I'm still not convinced. I've been working on zero-hour contracts, for three years, in a town that's rotten with illegal and unethical business practices. Today I scored my third victory. In anger, I wrote a facebook status 12 months ago about a company that was systematically employing people (including me), not paying them at all, and then sacking them without due process. By repeating this practice it was running a restaurant-and-cocktail-bar without the burden of a wage packet. My status was shared about a thousand times in two days and severely damaged the company's reputation. I have inside knowledge from a legal official that, while a tribunal case was being brought against this company about once a week back then, things have gone quiet since. In other words I think my bloody-mindedness, my passion and my willingness to cut off my nose to spite my face (they threatened me with a libel case) forced it to behave. Since then I've put two other businesses in their place. I'm getting out of the bar industry and starting a 9-5 on Monday partly because I'm approaching the point at which landlords are afraid to employ me.

My town offers a free employment rights advice service which I found indispensable in some of my battles. The council is now planning on cutting its funding - due, it seems many of us, to a personal grudge between the lead councillor and the service's manager. I gave an angry speech on budget day which was quoted in the headline of the local news; opposition councillors are asking me to run as a candidate; and so on.

It's true that I don't need anger management therapy, but neither does your average rock and roller, or even perhaps your average cocaine user. I've experimented with a large range of narcotics myself - the reason I compared them firstly to literature is that I think they can serve a similar purpose. Proust says the voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new things but in having new eyes; Zadie Smith says the value of fiction is that it gives us an insight into other forms of consciousness, other ways of thinking. Well who claims the same cannot be said of recreational drugs? One is mindful not to get addicted, but then one is mindful not to get addicted to anything.

I don't know if you've ever taken pseudoephedrine (a legal tonic) but it sends me loopy. A friend called me in a panic the other week saying they'd left their dissertation until the last day and needed help with the more menial parts of writing it (finding citations, etc). It took us 25 solid hours and we finished it with a minute to spare. We couldn't have done it on a cup of tea and a perfectly composed mindset.

I don't think there's much point trying to deny our primal nature, or our hedonistic impulses, or our need of different moods for different situations. Yes, these things can be mishandled - but that doesn't really tell us anything about them, does it? A spoon can be mishandled.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


Re: Socrates' Sexual Behaviour

Postby Mossling on March 3rd, 2018, 9:53 am 

Lomax » March 3rd, 2018, 9:51 pm wrote: One is mindful not to get addicted, but then one is mindful not to get addicted to anything.
[...]
Yes, these things can be mishandled - but that doesn't really tell us anything about them, does it? A spoon can be mishandled.

Indeed - so it is the way one conducts affairs - from what philosophical foundation one operates - that matters most.

Does one invite one's friend out for a drink to bond better or to get them drunk before asking to borrow some money?

Does one buy one's romantic partner roses on valentines day to get her to put out, or to celebrate romance in general? - Which is highly likely to make her 'put out,' in any case.

And so on and so forth. This is why I think Socrates emphasised that the truest philosophy is how one lives one's life - not how one crafts ones sentences. Ultimate philosophy is beyond words.
User avatar
Mossling
Active Member
 
Posts: 1248
Joined: 02 Jul 2009


Previous

Return to Anything Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests