Peter Voluntaryist Walker

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The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Change Your Life)

The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Change Your Life) 
Looking for an antidote to modern culture's emphasis on romantic love? Perhaps we can learn from the diverse forms of emotional attachment prized by the ancient Greeks.
Roman Krznaric posted Dec 27, 2013
This article originally appeared in Sojourners.
 
Today's coffee culture has an incredibly sophisticated vocabulary. Do you want a cappuccino, an espresso, a skinny latte, or maybe an iced caramel macchiato?
Eros involved a loss of control that frightened the Greeks.
The ancient Greeks were just as sophisticated in the way they talked about love, recognizing six different varieties. They would have been shocked by our crudeness in using a single word both to whisper "l love you" over a candlelit meal and to casually sign an email "lots of love."
So what were the six loves known to the Greeks? And how can they inspire us to move beyond our current addiction to romantic love, which has 94 percent of young people hoping—but often failing—to find a unique soul mate who can satisfy all their emotional needs?

1. Eros, or sexual passion

The first kind of love was eros, named after the Greek god of fertility, and it represented the idea of sexual passion and desire. But the Greeks didn't always think of it as something positive, as we tend to do today. In fact, eros was viewed as a dangerous, fiery, and irrational form of love that could take hold of you and possess you—an attitude shared by many later spiritual thinkers, such as the Christian writer C.S. Lewis.

Eros involved a loss of control that frightened the Greeks. Which is odd, because losing control is precisely what many people now seek in a relationship. Don't we all hope to fall "madly" in love?

2. Philia, or deep friendship

The second variety of love was philia or friendship, which the Greeks valued far more than the base sexuality of eros. Philia concerned the deep comradely friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them. (Another kind of philia, sometimes called storge, embodied the love between parents and their children.)
We can all ask ourselves how much of this comradely philia we have in our lives. It's an important question in an age when we attempt to amass "friends" on Facebook or "followers" on Twitter—achievements that would have hardly impressed the Greeks.
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3. Ludus, or playful love

This was the Greeks' idea of playful love, which referred to the affection between children or young lovers. We've all had a taste of it in the flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit around in a bar bantering and laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing.
Dancing with strangers may be the ultimate ludic activity, almost a playful substitute for sex itself. Social norms may frown on this kind of adult frivolity, but a little more ludus might be just what we need to spice up our love lives.

4. Agape, or love for everyone

The fourth love, and perhaps the most radical, was agape or selfless love. This was a love that you extended to all people, whether family members or distant strangers. Agape was later translated into Latin as caritas, which is the origin of our word "charity."
C.S. Lewis referred to it as "gift love," the highest form of Christian love. But it also appears in other religious traditions, such as the idea of mettā or "universal loving kindness" in Theravāda Buddhism.
There is growing evidence that agape is in a dangerous decline in many countries. Empathy levels in the U.S. have declined sharply over the past 40 years, with the steepest fall occurring in the past decade. We urgently need to revive our capacity to care about strangers.

5. Pragma, or longstanding love

Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples.
Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance.
The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on "falling in love" and need to learn more how to "stand in love." Pragma is precisely about standing in love—making an effort to give love rather than just receive it. With about a third of first marriages in the U.S. ending through divorce or separation in the first 10 years, the Greeks would surely think we should bring a serious dose of pragma into our relationships.

6. Philautia, or love of the self

The Greek's sixth variety of love was philautia or self-love. And the clever Greeks realized there were two types. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune. A healthier version enhanced your wider capacity to love.

This article is based on the author's new book, How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life.
The idea was that if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others (as is reflected in the Buddhist-inspired concept of "self-compassion"). Or, as Aristotle put it, "All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man's feelings for himself."
The ancient Greeks found diverse kinds of love in relationships with a wide range of people—friends, family, spouses, strangers, and even themselves. This contrasts with our typical focus on a single romantic relationship, where we hope to find all the different loves wrapped into a single person or soul mate. The message from the Greeks is to nurture the varieties of love and tap into its many sources. Don't just seek eros, but cultivate philia by spending more time with old friends, or develop ludus by dancing the night away.
Moreover, we should abandon our obsession with perfection. Don't expect your partner to offer you all the varieties of love, all of the time (with the danger that you may toss aside a partner who fails to live up to your desires). Recognize that a relationship may begin with plenty of eros and ludus, then evolve toward embodying more pragma or agape.
The diverse Greek system of loves can also provide consolation. By mapping out the extent to which all six loves are present in your life, you might discover you've got a lot more love than you had ever imagined—even if you feel an absence of a physical lover.
It's time we introduced the six varieties of Greek love into our everyday way of speaking and thinking. If the art of coffee deserves its own sophisticated vocabulary, then why not the art of love?

http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/the-ancient-greeks-6-words-for-love-and-why-knowing-them-can-change-your-life

The art of argument | Jordan Peterson


The art of argument | Jordan Peterson
58,106 views Recommended for you
Published on Jul 15, 2018



Description

Do you really want to win an argument, or do you want to find mutual ground and understanding? Canadian psychologist and author Jordan Peterson feels that in most cases it's the latter. It might take some getting used to, he posits, as acquiescence by its very nature means admitting that you're wrong in some way.

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Jordan Peterson: So how do you deal with situations where your words are likely to be used out of context, let’s say.

And that’s a situation I’ve encountered. Well, you see, you encounter a situation like that very frequently. Everyone does in their life. If you’re having a discussion with someone you live with, for example, so someone you have to be with for a long time – a lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband—sibling for that matter. You’re going to have contentious discussions about how to move forward and it’s very frequently the case that your words will be – that you’ll be straw-manned. Your words will be taken out of context.

The other person (and you too!) will try to win instead of trying to solve the problem. What you have to kind of decide is – well two things. The first thing is: you’re probably wrong in some important way. And you might think "Well, so what?" But no, it’s not so simple. Being wrong in some important way is like having a map that doesn’t correspond to the streets.

If you’re wrong in some important way, when you go to where you’re going you will get lost and you might end up in a neighborhood that you don’t want to visit! So it actually matters if you’re wrong.

And so now if you’re talking to someone who is acting in opposition to you, it’s possible that during your contentious discussion they will tell you something—about how you’re wrong—that’s accurate. Now you’re not going to be very happy about that, because like who wants to discover that they’re wrong?

But it’s better to figure out that your map is inaccurate than it is to get lost.

And so one of the things you have to remember when you’re discussing things with people, even if they’re out to defeat you, let’s say, is that there is some glimmering of the possibility that you could walk away with more knowledge than you walked in with.

And that’s worth – that can be worth paying quite a price for.

And so I’ve had the opportunity to engage in public debate of an exceptionally contentious nature for let’s say 18 months nonstop, fundamentally. And it’s been very stressful. But the upshot of that is that my arguments are in much better shape than they were, and—I shouldn’t say that. My THOUGHTS are much more refined than they were at the beginning of this process. It’s not my arguments are in better shape. That’s not the right way to think about it.

It’s that I’m clearer about what I know. I can articulate it better. And that’s all forged in the heat of conflict.

If you’re discussing a contentious issue with someone you love and that you have to live with and put up with, you want to listen to them. Because what you really want to do is establish a lasting peace, and you might even have to make their arguments for them. Maybe you’re more verbally fluent than your partner (which doesn’t mean, by the way, that you’re more right, it just means you can construct better arguments on the fly. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re more accurate).

You might have to help your partner formulate their arguments so that you can really get to grips with what it is that they’re trying to say. So that you can alter the way that you’re constructing your own narrative and your joint narrative, so that you’re not butting heads unnecessarily as you move forward through life.

It’s not a very good idea to win an argument with your wife. That isn’t what you want, because then you have a defeated partner. And a defeated partner is not happy. And a defeated partner is often out to reclaim the defeat.

And so as a strategy for moving forward with someone who you’re going to wake up beside 5,000 times it’s not a very advisable strategy. It’s better to listen, to flesh out the argument on both sides, and to see if you can come to a mutually acceptable negotiated settlement. And that’s the case in most encounters in life if you can manage that. But it’s easy to want to win.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXaQLT8V638

Marcus Aurelius: "When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself:"

"When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural." ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Fundamentalism / Ideology In General and Anarchists In Particular Release Four(1)



Fundamentalism / Ideology In General and Anarchists In Particular
Release Four(1)

Textbook movies about Fundamentalists / Ideologues (FIs) include Agora, starring Rachel Weisz; and American History X, starring Edward Norton. I identify FIs by their shared logic-fail / propaganda case for their beliefs, whether intentionally or unintentionally: "God" by whatever name or ism, is on their side; e.g., "Because pure freaking magic, that’s why"; or "Because that’s what I believe". If another disagrees, FIs add more non sequiturs, or escape logic with methods such as "Agree to disagree", escalation up to and including violence, or squid-fogging(2).

For instance, some Islamic FIs initiate fraud / property-destruction / theft / violence / etc because they claim having God aka Allah on their side. Some Christian FIs(3) make the same case for KKK type actions / inactions(4). The same pattern applies to many groups(5), including FI anarchists / voluntaryists. They exist at different points on the traditional left-right spectrum (e.g., respectively AnCom and AnCap); with anarchy sometimes as their version of "God is on my side", and sometimes with themselves as "God".

I claim to be a voluntaryist type of anarchist, but not an FI. My voluntaryist-anarchist political position is multi-generational and non-aggressionist in the tradition of Carl Jung (towards the middle of the traditional spectrum), Noam Chomsky (more left), and Murray Rothbard (more right). Where I see myself on this spectrum is irrelevant to this short essay.

To conclude, deciding if one is or isn’t an FI requires at least an understanding of Aristotelian logic, archetypes, introspection, and others’ feedback. I don’t claim perfection, but I do claim to be a free-thinker(6), the opposite of an FI.

(1) Update published Oct 7, 2019, on my Facebook page under "Notes". Updates: Wordsmithing; Ver Two abbreviations; Ver Three conclusion paragraph added; Ver 4 endnote 5 added details. Like the New York cab driver joke Passenger: "Do you know how to get to Carnegie Hall?" Driver: "Practice, practice, practice."

- By anarchist / voluntaryist / etc, I mean self-identified. By argument, I mean two sides each making a logic-based case, not verbally or otherwise fighting.

- I use the slash to mean *and / or*, and dashes when two or more words together result in one meaning. I put some words / phrases / terms in between two asterisks to not lose meaning in plain text. I use *etc* without a period when it doesn’t end a sentence. *e.g.* is Latin for "for example"; and *i.e.* Latin for "that is".

(2) All logic-fails / propaganda-techniques are variations of *non sequitur* (Latin for "does not follow"). Examples include skipped premises; changing word meanings in mid-argument; not having an agreed-upon axiom (i.e., an agreed-upon foundation such as what the argument subject is); argument from authority (e.g.., Einstein was a socialist and so socialism is best); and argument from emotion (e.g., escalation, "You’re wrong because f*** you", up to and including violence).

- Credit goes to Stefan Molyneux on his call-in show for me realizing the squid-fog concept. A defensive squid or octopus creates a large black cloud, and when the fog clears, the squid or octopus is long gone. I saw a mother do this when confronted about sibling favoritism. Rather than talking about it, so she threw an extreme emotional fit, and by the time all present were over the shock, she was in her car down the road. Similar squid-fog techniques include adults crying like children, taking infinitely repeating time-outs, etc, etc.

(3) "inaction" here referring to not helping when basic morality archetypes say to.

(4) The Bible is empirically much longer than the Quran and thus has a wider range of interpretations; e.g,, in the US 1700s and 1800s, the Methodist Church split into the anti-slavery Northern Methodist Church and pro-slavery Southern Methodist Church; both claiming to read the Bible without any intrerpretation. An FI 12-stepper once told me in reference to the AA literature "Only read the black letters on the white page with nothing added or taken away." I hold this is impossible because all individual human minds process complex abstract concepts differently, with the exception of FI programmed minds -- but even among those, there are sometimes disagreements.

(5) Some FI self-proclaimed anarchists such as some Antifas interpret their ism as justification / rationalization for initiating fraud / property-destruction / theft / violence / etc; claiming fill-in-the-blank "________ started it." The same principle applies to those whom Thomas Sowell calls "The Anointed Ones"; e.i., elected and unelected bureaucrats, politicians, college administrators, etc, etc, who raise and spend taxpayer money collected at gunpoint in fraudulent and ridiculous ways almost all, if not all, taxpayers vehemently disagree with.

(6) I partly agree with the Wikipedia definition: "Freethought (or ‘free thought’) is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed only on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or dogma." I say "partly" because I also agree with Carl Jung’s concept of archetypes; further, I claim to know nothing 100%. Rather I consider all my knowledges to have a percentage of probability.

- For instance, did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone if at all in the JFK assassination? I say 99% probability no. Is global warming/climate change caused by us humans? I say the question is way too simple and instead of answering, needs to be broken down into several questions, such as "What role, if any, do humans play in global warming/climate change; and if so, approximately what percentage are we presently playing?"

- This endnote is close to a copy-and-paste from one or more of my other essays.

Aristotle's Three Laws of Thought

(About ten short paragraphs, Revision Three, Copyleft 2018-06-13, Peter Voluntaryist Walker.)

Introduction:

- "Formal logics were developed in ancient times in China, India, and Greece. Greek methods, particularly Aristotelian logic (or term logic) as found in the Organon, found wide application and acceptance in science and mathematics for millennia" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_logic).

- The Three Laws of Thought credited to Aristotle are Identity, Non-Contradiction, and Excluded Middle. There's much more to logic, but this is a good beginning.

- Please note: All logical fallacies are non sequiturs (Latin for "Does not follow"). For instance, if a professional politician and I have a beer and a nice talk together and I think that makes him/her/etcetera nice in real life, I committed a non sequitur because of the Law of Identity.

1. The Law of Identity says a thing can only be itself, aka A=A. Professional politicians are not nice people in real life because a person can only be one or the other. That said, situational reality sometimes makes it to one's advantage to have a politician in one's corner.

1.a. Another example is Shakespeare said a rose is a rose by any other name, and the same is true of the homo sapiens individual. An example violation is when people dehumanize each other, a textbook case being when Hitler dehumanized anyone he tagged "Jew" as being less than human.

1.b. All namecalling dehumanizes and is filler, meaning a replacement for content in an argument (argument in the context of making a case for or against something being true). Rudeness in general is also a form of namecalling because it's a practice of treating humans as less than human.

2. The Law of Non-contradiction says everything has an opposite and a thing cannot be its opposite.

2.a. For instance some people argue against property rights while simultaneously using parts of their body as they see fit in order to communicate their message; thus refuting the existence of the very thing they're doing. These are self-defeating arguments.

2.b. Claiming a knowledge exists when it doesn't is also self contradicting. An example is people stating as fact they know what *you* think, understand, like, etc., when it's impossible for anyone but you to know without sensors wired directly into your brain. They can can calculate probabilities based on your observable behavior, but there's a large gap (aka does not follow, aka non sequitur error) between brain and outward behavior. For instance you may understand something and simply choose not to let on that you do.

3. The Law of the Excluded Middle says an argument can't be true and false at the same time. "Either I will call my mother tomorrow, or I won't call my mother tomorrow. One or the other of these statements about the future must be true. The principle that either a given statement or its denial is true is called the 'Law of Excluded Middle.'" (David Hunt)

3.a. This law primarily addresses the semantics of accurately stating a problem or proposition. For instance, if an agreement has good and bad parts, it's not a 100% good or bad agreement; to accurately describe it, it has two or more parts needing to each be understood separately from the other part(s). Thus I also call the excluded middle *conflation*, similar to what Ayn Rand called The Package Deal. It's a critical law of logic because, whether intentionally or not, semantics often mislead.

3.b. Another conflation error is to conflate the already unconflated. For instance the non-aggression principal (NAP) says it's immoral to initiate coercion. Many say this is a too simplistic "truncated argument" because it allegedly ignores things such as the alleged necessity of central planning or the alleged social contract. But according to The Law of Identity, adding such things would make it no longer the NAP. In such cases the avoided NAP core proposition is whether or not initiating coercion is moral -- a complex argument involving definitions and interpretations of coercion, morality, initiation, and complex circumstances such as lifeboat scenarios and raising children. Therefore the NAP isn't over simplified or truncated; rather it's either a valid or invalid premise to be argued on its own merits. If it's accepted as valid, then issues such as central planning and social contracts can be measured against it. If the NAP is invalid, obviously it's irrelevant; but simply refusing to consider it is a non sequitur.

3.c. An equally common conflation error is goldplating; a textbook example being contractors for the USA Department of Defense writing specifications for hammers and toilet seats that made perfectly usable generic items unacceptable for no reason other than profit. Doing so provided the very same contractors with opportunities to sell hammers and toilet seats meeting their own specifications at multiple times the profit of generic items. Goldplating applies to present mainstream culture portrayals of critical thinking; that is, mainstream culture presents the tools of critical thinking such as logic as too complex for anyone to understand other than spokespersons for the hyper-elite.

__________________________________________

Endnotes - None at this time.