Are we "victims" of our desires?

Are we a type of “victim” to our own desires? What I mean is: we all have and do things that we enjoy, but do we have any control or say over what specific things/activities/etc. that we individually find enjoyment from?

For example, I find enjoyment is working with computers or reading a book, but I find no such pleasure from watching a movie or playing a musical instrument.

My sister, on the otherhand, loves watching movies and playing her harp, but hates using computers and loathes reading.

My point: Do we get to choose what we want to desire? :wink:

This may very well be a specific instance of the free will vs. determinism debate. To stay concrete, much like your examples about reading and computers vs. movies and music, it’s that you experience something from working on computers and reading that satisfies you and wants you to continue doing it, thus you stay interested. The same goes for your sister. The thing is that these feelings are not always permanent. For example, I used to be into computers, but now I am not, at least not to the same extent. I was never into reading for fun, until I decided one day to pick up a book about physics, and from there my library grew with books stemming from my original interest. What you might find is that if your sister read a book about harps, her interest in books might also grow. Or if somehow you woke up one day with the ability to play your favorite song on a guitar, your interest in guitar would probably grow. I think people could be interested in anything as long as there is something involved that relates to ones thinking.

Then again, this doesn’t say much about the true nature of interests, and this is where my response becomes a little more abstract. I think this is the heart of your question and it relates to where these initial feelings of interest come from. Do we actually choose these feelings in a way that we are unaware of, or are they innate? It’s a good question, and I can’t say that I know the answer to it…I don’t think there are many people who do since the debate of freewill vs. determinism is one of the most long lasting debates in philosophy.

ohh I thought this was about fantacy.

Desires are subjectional to personal prefereance in what you get out of them. Fantacies are just what you want and aren’t nessecarily grounded in reality leading to let down.

My brother is good a chemistry,… but in college is strickly taking art classes witch he also excells in. Why he doesn’t like chemistry seems to be because he doesn’t see the good in it. Maybe too much competention, and little reward for inventing the next supper glue. I should have sold him on bio-chemestry. Maybe he’d unlock why plants can make hydrogen so much more effecently then we can.

Fantacies lose their day drream standards when reality sets in. I like this point because so many peoples political and social oppinions are a fantacy.

Sorry if this is kind of confussing… :confused:

What I meant was: What determines what things/activities we will have desires for? Is the culture we grow up in solely responsible for this, or is this a mere result of differences in how each of our brains work? :wink:

I would say both have a direct influence on what our interests and desires are. Look at sibs that are raised in the same household the same way with the same parents 99% of the time they are very different in their desires and interest. Heck the 4 of us are so different we only can all agree on camping and not even that any more now that we are older. we all read and enjoy reading but, one sib picks up a book once every year or 2 and I read evey day the other 2 range between. And we all have different preferences. We are born with some preprogramming that is for sure, and such desires as you ask could well, be a part of that preprogramming. although I used to hate shrimp now I enjoy it.

This is just like the nature versus nurture debate.

To separate the two is to express a false dichtomy.

We cannot live by our nature alone, and we cannot live by nurture alone.

We live in a complex system of the relationship between the two.

We should not be looking at it as nature versus nurture, but rather nature through nurture.

And we should not look at this issue any differently.

While we are likely disposed towards certain types of activities through our genetic makeup, we are also compelled to certain activities through life experience and acquired behavior.

While one may be inclined towards playing basketball, for instance, by our genetic traits, such as having long arms and legs or having the hand/eye coordination necessary to have a mean jump shot. But while this might incline someone to pursue basketball, this desire could come from external sources as well: if all the other kids in someone’s neighborhood played basketball as their primary sport and the oppurunity to play was always available, then even someone who is not genetically disposed to basketball might be inclined to practice it.