Is misanthropy unavoidable?

" And on passing his fortieth year, any man of the slightest power of mind—any man, that is, who has more than the sorry share of intellect with which nature has endowed five-sixth of mankind—will hardly fail to show some trace of misanthropy…"

----------Arthur Schopenhaur the Ages of Life

Schopenhaur invented a genius metaphor to describe human relationships, this metaphor is called hedgehog’s dilemma:

“A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told in the English phrase “to keep their distance”. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked.”

He concluded:

“A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.”

It seems misanthropy is the only wise option, it is unavoidable.

When I carefully exam daily human interactions I realize in this world every person draws a circle around him or her, every individual is the Centre of that circle, the circumference of that circle is the boundary of his or her behaviors(selfish as well as unselfish), The area of a circle, that is the scope of all his or her behaviors is decided by the radius of the circle, and this radius is the very drive of self-preservation in every individual or “the will to live” as Schopenhaur called it.

Schopenhaur once sums up the ethics used to regulate all human interactions: to sacrifice oneself for the wellbeing of others is called “good”, to sacrifice other people’s wellbeing for oneself is called “bad”, and to sacrifice both is called “just”, I want to add that an act that benefits both are called" selfless" (because a selfless act always has pleasant psychological rewards for the person who helps others, in any human relationships, helpers usually are the stronger party)

And this can be show in a Venn diagram with two circles representing oneself and another person.( “you” doesn’t refer to any person in real life)

This view on human relations is indeed very gloomy, but as people grow older, the more they experience human interactions, the more they will agree with this worldview, and misanthropy seems to be the only option.

Schopenhaur describes his own experience:

“In my young days, I was always pleased to hear a ring at the door, Ah! thought I, now for something pleasant. but in later life my feelings on such occasions were rather akin to dismay than to pleasure: heaven help me!thought I, what am I to do?”

I like this OP, I actually don’t have much to say to it, other than I liked it and found it interesting.

I certainly feel the truth of it more with every news item i read. People are getting up to some seriously bad and crazy antics in very large numbers - at a time when we had expected sanity to prevail. I come from the second half of the 20th century, an era of expanding knowledge, tolerance, responsibility and optimism. To see it all collapse into hateful, superstitious tribal violence is … disheartening, to put it mildly. As a species, we’re not doing well.

On the personal front, as one grows older, one collects a bagful of disappointments, bereavements and betrayals. Old friends and relatives die; the next generation becomes estranged; conflicts arise and irreparable damage is done. Forgiveness and reconciliation work as long as you can imagine that a relationship has a future. However, with experience, you learn to tell which relationships are viable and which are doomed. You learn to cut people loose before they hurt you too much. And, of course, some people cut you off, as well.

It’s easier to withdraw from frequent close contact; settle for socializing and acquaintanceship rather than try to make new friends. If you have one trusted buddy, a loyal mate and maybe a child or grandchild whose company you enjoy, consider yourself very fortunate.

Many philosophical questions are based on the “subject/object”-problem. So also in this case. The question “Is misanthropy unavoidable?” assumes that misanthropy exists. But does “misanthropy” obejctively exist? Or is “misanthropy” merely a subjective interpretation? Or is it both? And if it is both: Do we have to Interpret “misanthropy” more objectively or more subjectively? Is "misanthropy"a malicious assumption of those who are really “misanthropes” or even “misanthropists”, whereby “misanthropy” would be proven? Or is “misanthropy” something like “pessimism”? But does “pessimism” obejctively exist? Or is “pessimism” merely a subjective interpretation? Or is it both? And if it is both: Do we have to interpret “pessimism” more objectively or more subjectively?

If it is true that “existence is that which has affect” (James S. Saint), then we can determine that misanthropy exists, because misanthropy has affect, regardless whether it is more obejectively or more subjectively interpreted. But this does not answer the question whether humans are misanthropes or even misanthropists or not. The Ancient Greek said that their gods are like humans and that some of them are misanthropes. What if merely the gods are misanthropes, so that we - the humans - are merely the victims? What if merely we - the humans - are misanthropes, so that the gods are the victims? If it is true that we can experience misanthropy (because it has affect), then we can say, that we experience it either by our doing (active) or by our suffering (passive). Children are less powerful than adults. What can they do, if they want to become powerful? They can love, believe, and hope that they will be powerful in the future. And what can adults do, if they are not powerful (enough) and wnat to become (more) powerful? They can love, believe, and hope that they will be (more) powerful in the future; but in addition they can something what children do not can: the adults can try to overthrow the rulers. But therefor they have to be angry, furious, irate, revengeful, eveil (from the viewpoint of the rulers), and misanthropic, often while they project the misanthropy on the rulers, regardless whether it is right (true) or worng (false). They can say that the rulers are misanthropes, because e.g. they let the other humans suffer, and now the rulers have to be those who suffer. But the question is: Is it right to think and do this? And the main question is: Does this lead to more misanthropy or not?

So if one human or even the whole humanity becomes older, this can but does not have to mean more misanthropy. Schopenhauer - as one example amongst many others - was probably a pessimist, a misanthrope, or even a misanthropist, and when he lived the humanity was already very old, and when he was old there was prabbaly more misanthropy in him than ever before. But how should we value it? Is an optimist a better human? I say: No, because it depends on. And please do not forget: Most “optimists” are no real optimists. So the question of “optimism vs. pessimism” has mainly become a rhetorical one. And the question of “misanthropy vs. philanthropy” too!

So my answer to the question whether misanthropy is unavoidable is: Probably yes, but there are many lies involved when it comes to answer the question: Who is misanthropic?

Spring forward, and the hedge-hog becomes studied as a rat is, and becomes disqualified on basis of the great difference between it and a human being. the hedgehog dilemma is already loaded with a literal, genus type of preference.

The dilemma becomes doubtful, and doubt itself is a veritable sign of indifference. but we are evolving, away from the hedgehog, and leaving classical conditioning far behind, as such, we are reinterpreting data, in light of new and learned knowledge. the hedgehog becomes a prisoner of his own genus, whereas the specie of man, wants to liberate himself. Within and without his relationships.
The prisoner’so dilemma has freed man from a typical genus type interpretation toward a more statistical way of looking at human behavior. They both resemble each other, but within the modicum of a differance, a prior differance, or rather a prioritized difference, which has ex post facto replaced an early identification of various ways of looking at data correlations. prisoners cooperation is the key, and they will cooperate to an accommodation of the best case scenario, where both individual and group benefits are the model. This is similar to the Venn diagram pictured above, but there is the difference, of effective control of the selfless center, it is the group who commands it, and it is not based on each individual’s need to go through and test the approximate arrangement of each individual participant.

in this way, I see the seeming originality of the differential concept of group interaction, by the integrative effort of the family, the primal grouping within each game of interaction. That the language game is prior in the sense of interpretation is valid,magazines only in the sense that it is a reinterpretation of the way similarity was first east abolished between individual members of involved aggregates in the hedge hog concept, making all the difference in the world between the affect, of determining temporal and special determinants on such aggregates. This was a new idea, and the confusion arises because of the lifting of temporality for an epoch, a restraint toward experiencing an interval of static arrangemeant. Even in the hedgehog example, it has to be admitted, stasis is affective only as long as conditions ascribe to such, but conditions change within and without, and then there is another attempt at re arrangement.
This is not quite the case with the prisoners.Their knowledge of change. Is factored into the equation, and the arrangement is only as temporary , as the limits imposed on how long the changing situation will be adhered to. Within prisoners, this is determined by not their gross mutual dislike, but their awareness that such dislike is derivative of the very conditions which has made their co operation the key for a best group scenario to benefit them all.
This is the function of the similar way their experiences are interpreted, and not the random way that each has to constantly interpret their own stance vis a vis all of the other members within the aggregate.

This forum has settled this question.
Only subjectivity exists, and so the human subject cannot at the same time hate itself and be healthy.

I just can’t see porcupines being dumb enough to not be in their burrows, being in a group, or pricking each other just from huddling since their spines lay flat as fur does. Not genius at all.
Keeping our distance is for survival and keeping the species healthy. Pack/herd animals do this. Only hive creatures pile up constantly. A society of individuals must have healthy barriers or the self is lost. The youth tests and push past barriers for survival, education and to create new branches.

Which forum? ILP? Settled? This question? Which question?

Only subjectivity exists? …? … :question::-k:question:

Not even close.

And subjectivity creates hatred. It doesn’t resolve it.

Is it not the belief here that all is subjective and that there is no objective anything?

Are you kidding?
Where in the hell did you get that idea? :-s

Just because the majority of members are insane, doesn’t mean that any issue has been resolved, in fact, quite the opposite.

Without objectivity, there can be no subjectivity.
Subjectivity is a subset of objectivity.

Realize that the statement;
"The truth is that there is only subjectivity", is itself an objective claim.

I am only insane on Tuesdays and the 6th Sunday of every month containing the letter P.

Yes, but how do the insane know when that is? :-k

The majority on ILP are insane?

That little voice that sounds off like a Cuckoo alarm clock???

I take it that you are new here. :confused:

… that often oversleeps.

No month contains 6 Sundays. That requires at least 36 days.

… as I said. :-"

It works hard when its wound up.

You are not familiar with the insane calendar. But, then I may be speaking of last year’s calender, the 6th Sunday may happen in the months that contain 12 letters or the letter F.