the only easy day was yesterday

Monday, October 20, 2008

Debt

This is a question i have been pondering on and off. Let me know your opinion.

How much does an individual owe to that which he/she owes his/her existance?

How far does the chain extend? (Mother, Father, Family, State, Economic System, Earth etc.)

My personal feeling is that there are somethings that I owe/am responcible more than others dispite the equally important role they/it played in the formation of my existance. More details in the oncoming discussion...

46 comments:

Jasper Yate said...

logically, ethical resposibility extends only to respecting the rights and dignity of others, insofar as your actions are not infringing on others' rights and dignity.

other than that you're left with personal feeling. your question banks on whether you feel that the person that gave you life deserves to be praised or reviled, which moreover goes to whether you see life as a blessing or are indifferent to the situation you've found yourself in (being alive). there's no answer, it's all up to whatever you feel. for there TO be A answer, there must be an ethically balanced universe external to us, which isn't an option.

tthis doesn't mean that there isn't an answer for you. what you have to decide is how you feel about the two base questions, and then what follows from them: are you happy that you are alive or are you dealing? to whom do you owe your life? if god then how do you return the favor? if parents howdo you return the favor? if grandparents...you get the point. its your decision where you want to carry it, but there's no guidline or standard, its just however you feel about it, whatever will make you not feel like crap.

Maddy said...

I just finished taking a phenomenology class, it was really called philosophy of mind but phenomenology dominated the class as a response to the "problem" of Cartesian dualism and internalism.

One of the things we talked about was how a person brings things to experience. One of the things that a person brings with them to experience is a cultural framework. Other things are moods, acquired significance, and a mode of representation of the world that lets people see possible actions in different contexts due to what's in front of them, and their capabilities. I think all these things have a lot to do with what you feel like you "owe".

Culturally, you are directed to respect the people who raised you, and who were concerned with your welfare and were interested in your interests.

Moods influence your overall understanding of the world. What attracts your attention or doesn't is entwined with moods. Wittgenstein says something about the happy mans world being different from the unhappy mans world. Your mood towards the world in general, like Jasper mentioned who knows when ("are you happy you're alive or are you dealing?") if you are happy or if you are just dealing probably influences how much you will feel like you "owe" to your existence.

Acquired significance, from previous experiences during which you were intimately related to the world will give you the sense of what you "owe" to or what you don't "owe" to. For instance if your parents or grandparents or favorite band or friends are significant to you in a positive way, in that they contributed and support who you are, you will probably want to give something back to them if you care about them...

Which brings me to modes of representation that allow you to see action-possibilities in different context. What are the possibilities of you "repaying" your parents and grandparents and the earth. If they have the significance, and you sense the possibility then you will most likely act on the opportunity...but for now, you don't need to worry about paying people back. Not unless you see a current appropriate (probably provided by the cultural framework and previous experience that gives you knowledge of the things you "owe" something) possibly action.

Jasper Yate said...

from glancing at what i said in my earlier post it looks like over structured over opinionated crap but in probably still in agreement with what i was saying.

as far as youve brough up phenomenology (of which i declare myself if not wholly then 80% ignorant simply for lack of my interests taking me in that direction) it seems an apt time to ask whether the question is 'what do i actually owe?' or 'what do i feel like i owe and is that feeling justified?' it seems that the line i was taking was a more ontologically sure argument - accepting the conditions that we live our lives with as valid, and taking an emotionless look at morals, one doesn't actually owe anything because it was the parents intention (no pun intended) to have a child and not an effort-repaying machine. that seems like what i may have been saying, which is relevent because it so greatly opposes what maddy was saying which seemed to have completely bypassed any concerns with the metaphysical actualities of the situation and delved straight into the phenomenological pertinence of each proponent of the idea of owing.

im too lazy right now to reformulate an opinion but if discussion continues ill reconsider...

Maddy said...

"which is relevent because it so greatly opposes what maddy was saying which seemed to have completely bypassed any concerns with the metaphysical actualities of the situation"

Oh you. Screw metaphysics.

Maddy said...

"intention (no pun intended)" i believe that is a double pun.

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