Is it just me, or why is everyone seeking some kind of personal notion of satisfaction? It seems to be a better life mentality to relish in the cold reality of accepting the inevitable pains of life. That is, see pain as satisfaction. Rejection is a kind of pain, but what's that adage "Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb." Is this not a concept? Like, in my own opinion, I believe that the meaning of life is to get to the next logical step until life ends and that we all do this subconsciously under the guise of other beliefs and that the swarm interactions of all people doing this is what causes the empirically/scientifically verifiable notion of progress. Is this way of thinking an established belief system? I'd like to read/practice up on it if so.

Further exposition:

But, then again, other people's next steps are going to conflict, which produces one of three outcomes: 1 winner, 2 winners, 2 losers

But, to win is to attain satisfaction, no? I don't know, I just think that satisfaction should happen upon you as an unbeknownst consequence of your endurance. You know, I think what I'm asking is in the attainment of satisfaction is it better that it be sought after or given as a consequence?

But, then, among all those who have attained satisfaction as a consequence of their endurance at least one will have sought it prior, which kind of seems to nullify my purposed righteous method of satisfaction attainment.

Ok, now I'm having a one-electron universe moment where it doesn't seem to matter and all is equivalent.

  • 1
    See Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book I.
    – virmaior
    Jan 28, 2018 at 22:28
  • And along with @virmaior 's Aristotle citation, you might also want to take a look at youtube.com/watch?v=nrIPxlFzDi0 for some more contemporary counterpoint:)
    – user19423
    Jan 29, 2018 at 1:13
  • @JohnForkosh, I personally believe in the moral philosophy of Benny Benassi's Satisfaction Video I. One must first be "push[ed]" so "[one] can get [one's] satisfaction." Very deep. Jan 29, 2018 at 1:44
  • In other words, the Benassian theory of pain starts with a push, or a touch in some cases, and only through this form of pain does one realize the true form of satisfaction. Jan 29, 2018 at 1:47
  • You know that xkcd "Fields Arranged by Purity" comic? What is the belief system equivalent of the mathematician? Jan 29, 2018 at 3:02

4 Answers 4

It seems to be a better life mentality to relish in the cold reality of accepting the inevitable pains of life. Is this not a concept?

Something like this?

Remember that following desire promises the attainment of that of which you are desirous; and aversion promises the avoiding that to which you are averse. However, he who fails to obtain the object of his desire is disappointed, and he who incurs the object of his aversion wretched. If, then, you confine your aversion to those objects only which are contrary to the natural use of your faculties, which you have in your own control, you will never incur anything to which you are averse. But if you are averse to sickness, or death, or poverty, you will be wretched.

This is a snippet from The Enchiridion, by Epictetus (translated by Elizabeth Carter). Epictetus's general attitude towards life is about accepting things beyond your control, even things which otherwise would cause pain and suffering. He believed that essentially when you build expectations of things beyond your control, including things having to do with your life and health and the life/health of your loved ones, you're only setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, you should accept these things as what they are; temporary states. Epictetus's personal experiences were interesting as well; he was lame from childhood and born a slave.

Epictetus was from the Stoic school of thought.

  • I think a feeling of dissatisfaction is possibly manifested by comparison to other lifestyles. Like, a Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses kind of mentality, but I have friends who are off the hook don't give a fxxx, you know, almost like a honey badger when it comes to their relative "societal class." That is, their life circumstance are so volatile that they're kinda numb to the idea of purpose. They just do. They just continue. They just don't care. They, myself included, ignore pain or see it as fuel for the next step whatever it may be. Jan 29, 2018 at 2:19
  • For example, skiers. Every skier I've met has had multiple debilitating, hospitalizing injuries that most would see as an end to continuity. I've seen the photos. It's ridiculous. They are like my above described honey badger character. They don't care about the pain. They just continue until they end. Jan 29, 2018 at 2:55
  • In the Enchiridion specifically, verse 44 disdains keeping up with the Jones's by trivializing the importance of property. Verse 10 describes pain as simply an opportunity for fortitude. Verse 29 describes judging a situation and then just going for it if it is your thing, with the example of combat on consideration of the possibility of losing. The same verse mocks toying with such things halfway as child's play. BTW, I'm not exactly preaching Enchiridion to you per se, just finding correlations to your comments in it that you might find interesting.
    – H Walters
    Jan 29, 2018 at 3:06
  • "...per se..." - Yes, I'm aware. ^_^ Jan 29, 2018 at 3:07

it's kinda like dh lawrence had this idea of 2 people meeting on a road, and instead of just passing and glancing away they decided to accept what he calls "the confrontation between their souls"

it's like freeing the brave, wreckless gods within us all

  • What you are describing would actually make a great Subway parody of a lone Subway employee and one customer. Possibly set to the instrumentals of KOHH - ”If I Die Tonight feat. Dutch Montana, SALU” Jan 29, 2018 at 3:14

"seeking some kind of personal notion of satisfaction" "see pain as satisfaction"
"the swarm interactions of all people [causes] progress"

So, the fact you can pin 'satisfaction' or 'happiness' or 'utility' or whatever else, on to literally anything people choose to want, even pain, is why you can think it's what everyone wants. But it's just retroactive labelling. It's easy to see the 'mass' of people as having some simple motivations, and oneself as complex and sophisticated, but that just lacks imagination. People are on all kinds of crazy trips.

"meaning of life is to get to the next logical step"
"Is this way of thinking an established belief system?"

It seems like you want Sartre's experience of nausea, or Camus' confrontation with the absurd. Or maybe you are working towards a nihilist position. But to figure that our you need to state your position more clearly. Does the meaning of the steps from inside or outside? Is it the steps themselves, or relational, or purely subjective?

  • By "everyone" ('mass'), I mean everyone I've noticed/perceived lately that is exhibiting this mode of life. Jan 29, 2018 at 0:37
  • I don't accept nihilism. There is always a next step to any action. I believe that realizing what your next step is is the meaning of life. I'm calling it "nextism." ^_^ If it had a slogan it'd be: "Stop toiling, just do what's next." Jan 29, 2018 at 1:50
  • If nihilism and suicide are correlated it's because their next step was to end. Which may be mutually beneficial vis a vis society and the ender. Jan 29, 2018 at 2:45
  • "People are on all kinds of crazy trips." - I agree. Jan 29, 2018 at 3:49
  • I don't see how your 'Next Stepism' contributes anything, analysis, guidance, framework.. It seems like abandonment of philosophy. Also I don't think you know how nihilism works.
    – CriglCragl
    Jan 29, 2018 at 16:57

I'm currently in an Aristotle course and I clarified parts of his argument from Nicomachean Ethics Book I for some casual short response. I think this is from chapter six or seven:

All actions, in essence, have some purpose in mind, but for some, the purpose of the action is not in and of itself the ultimate purpose. The end of the former means becomes the mean to another end. For example, we seek money not because we value what money inherently is, but what follows from money (i.e. food, flexibility, shelter, luxury, etc.), and this is true for many actions and ends. But what is the chief end, or "good," that we are after of which is in and of itself an end and only an end, where no other purpose follows? Simply put, what is the final, inherent good for which we pursue all others? Certainly, our actions have some ultimate end in mind, something by which all other needs derive. (Aristotle thinks that if this is not the case then we would have an infinite loop. He doesn't like infinite regress and thinks it makes it meaningless.) Aristotle theorizes that the chief good is happiness, or “eudaimonia,” a successful quality of life, not the momentary emotion (think fulfillment). His reasoning is that we never choose happiness for the sake of something else, but choose everything else for the sake of happiness. We can choose things like honor, virtue, and justice for themselves, but we also seek them for happiness. Things that we do for the sake of other things are instrumental goods. Virtue, honor, etc. are instrumental and inherent goods. Happiness seems to be the only things that is only an inherent good. Happiness does not necessarily depend on concepts from which it follows, it is entirely self-sufficient and since we desire happiness and we seek means to this end. If happiness was not the ultimate end, we would act differently, for our actions would require different means. In the same sense, weightlifters lift weights and sprinters sprint; you do not train weightlifters to be olympic sprinters, for their goal is to lift weights, not sprint and vice versa. We do not stumble across happiness as the end to a particular means in which we thought was an end, our target is always happiness, whether through conscious intent or otherwise. Money in and of itself is not the ultimate end and only end, whether I believe it to be so or not, since money produces other things (i.e. the flexibility money allows can act as an instrument for virtuous actions that make one happy, making money not the final end, but happiness).

If any of my claims do not seem to have further explanation, he explains them later on in Nicomachean Ethics. He expands on many facets of happiness including pleasure and virtue. I recommend reading it, it might be helpful in understanding what I said, and just in general.

  • Can you expound on this: "We do not stumble across happiness as the end to a particular means in which we thought was an end" Jan 30, 2018 at 7:13
  • What I mean by this is that Aristotle is of the view that whether are consciously aware or not, our goal ultimately is happiness. Happiness is not something that just happens to be a product of the thing we thought was ultimate end, we were seeking happiness all along as the ultimate end, and the former was just a means to it. Happiness is not an unexpected byproduct, but it was what we were chasing all along. Hope this clears it up!
    – Phro
    Jan 30, 2018 at 7:54

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