Misanthropy

I’d like your thoughts on the following:

When considering what Man is capable of misdeeds and violence, and acknowledging the low level of wisdom of the common man, is it possible not to fall into misanthropy?

Do you manage to balance what you love in friends, family and art, against what you hate in Mankind, and end up with a positive view on Man?

I guess most people that really think deep about Man end up with a depression, because it isn’t the way you were raised to believe; Man can be so very evil, and it is way more common than one might think.

At least for myself, I don’t know a single thinker that didn’t go through severe depression because of this. When you have killed every single illusion about the world, and see it as it is - Man is just an animal formed by Evolution to be selfish in order to preserve itself and its tribe.

Please don’t focus on that last sentence in your reply, since that is a discussion of its own, my main question is regarding misanthropy.

  • Kristian

Yeah. You could hold that man is only this way because of a (contemporary) social system. Further, you might say man is not not really lacking in wisdom, rather, education, because of the said social system.

I’m going through something of the same. Socrates says that wisdom will bring a knowledge of the good life, and thus happiness. Someone else said - With great wisdom, comes great sorrow. Who is right? I don’t know.

But in light of scientific facts, and knowing the lengths mankind is capable of, I say screw mankind, and only worry about yourself, and those you come into contact with, and learn to care about. America is going down the shitter, but it’s my home, and I love it to death. And the rest of the world aint so peachy-kee either. So what are you left with but yourself?

“you might say man is not not really lacking in wisdom, rather, education, because of the said social system.”

Society has taken it upon themselves to give their children knowledge, not wisdom. Knowledge is having the facts, wisdom is knowing what to do with them. It’s up to each for themselves to understand that.

Many wo/men have exhibited stupidity under various social systems throughout the ages. I think you just have to learn to accept the fact that evil stupid people are all around us. We can’t change that, but we can change how we feel about it. Besides, people like that make the rest of us look good!

If knowledge increases sorrow, then love makes one naive and weak. Polemarchus once said something about seeing things within a framework of ethical ideas. I agree with that. One must have one’s love, one’s knowledge, one’s work, one’s compassion, “One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star!” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Thank you for many wise words.

Yes, but since the social system is created by men, it will continue to create people with too little wisdom. I’m afraid our genetic material will make it hard for us to finally get a social system that promotes wisdom.

I vote for the sorrow part. When you start killing your illusions (as is inevitable when you start to think hard), you take away the innocence of the mind, and this is tough for everyone. To say it with Ibsen:

Take the life-lie away from the average man and straight away you take away his happiness.

This is applicable also for people of wisdom. We are all average men before we start thinking.

This is where I ended up too. But it’s depressing, especially since I always wanted to help the World when I was younger. I wanted to dedicate my life to improving things. Now I know it is an impossible task, and (even worse) that Man doesn’t deserve that help.

Very true. But what is difficult to accept is that the majority of men allow selfishness to govern them, and lack wisdom, the way I see it. Women are in fact a bit better, for one they do not turn to violence that often.

LOL! :slight_smile:

  • Kristian

It is a sad, but crucial day when you seriously embark on a quest to unherstand humanity. It is impossible for any wise person not to find darkness and despair. All you were once taught seems like nothing compared to this newfound knowledge.

But that is just the intial reaction - some embrace the feeling and give up hope, while other more opitimistic people pin their hopes on humanity. And still others are in limbo, presently undecided as both sides have good arguments.

I guess my youth prevails and I can’t give up hope. I have thought about what it would be like to give it up; so lonely and bitter. What would be the point of life without hope? Why live any longer? It is almost a life necessity for me to believe that we can do better.

But it is very possible that sooner or later, time will change that. As for now, I can’t give up hope. There are good people and good things about the world. To have tried and failed is better than not to have tried at all.

For me, it is not so much the stupidity of a lot of people, as it is their superficiality. They seriously ponder mere trivialities and mock things that should be thought upon. A lot of people are petty, too. They only want to talk about what their neighbor is doing, or their material possessions, etc.

Being ignorant is not bad as long as you are ignorant of your ignorance, it’s wanting to remain that way after you have been awakened that is the sin.

Misanthropy is pretty much the tale of my life. Basically because people seem to have an undying vendetta with rationality. I think most folks prefer to rely on their gut feeling to make decisions. I also never understood their desire to fit in and it angered me to the point of me purposely trying not to conform. Even now, I loathe the few friends I have for their sympathy towards conformity. Don’t even get me started on explaining why I don’t have a girlfriend :stuck_out_tongue:

I really wonder sometimes how you philosophers get by talking to these superficial people and not telling them to stop boring you. Then again, maybe I’m a sociopath :evilfun:

Hey,

You make it sound like a bad thing that man is what man is! Every animal is selfish, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of for any creature, but man has the added benefit of the capacity to form exquisite thoughts that no other known species can.

The death of one’s delusions, like any other death of a person or thing you care about is of course painful and saddening. But time heals all wounds…

But then eventually, without really even noticing it, you become smarter, stronger, happier and most importantly, more free to use your capacity to form exquisite thoughts. That is, unless you resuscitated the delusion(s). If you don’t resuscitate those delusions, you will eventually feel what people feel for long dead relatives - acceptance… and you’ll come to accept man as man is. Man qua man.

The beliefs (the lies about man’s true nature, among others) you held that were passed onto you from religions or other errant philosophies which you may have used as a crutch and probably thought were beneficial to you were actually monkeys riding on your back.

To be free of those monkeys is at first disconcerting, intimidating and uncomfortable, but in time you wonder how you ever carried them for so long.

And after becoming accustomed to them being gone, you may find some others there that you don’t want to carry around anymore, too, and go through this whole process again.

After the bitterness comes resignation, and with resignation comes freedom. A sad form of freedom, but freedom nevertheless. You accept the fact that you can do little or nothing with the state of Mankind, and then you are free to pursue other aspects of life, such as the good life with friends and family.

Do people like this exist? Most people I know that have awakened have been compelled to pursue the truth. Some have the fear of what they might find, of course. Especially when they search themselves, and find dark things.

I mainly try to avoid mindless chatter, and I try to find conversations that give me something. This implies spending time with the awakened.

That was my point exactly! My whole thread comes from a profound disappointment with Man. Which of course is meaningless (as everything else), but nevertheless creates pain.

I see Man as a huge Evolutionary Dead End, and I’m caught in it.

  • Kristian

After the bitterness comes resignation, and with resignation comes freedom. A sad form of freedom, but freedom nevertheless. You accept the fact that you can do little or nothing with the state of Mankind, and then you are free to pursue other aspects of life, such as the good life with friends and family.

Do people like this exist? Most people I know that have awakened have been compelled to pursue the truth. Some have the fear of what they might find, of course. Especially when they search themselves, and find dark things.

I mainly try to avoid mindless chatter, and I try to find conversations that give me something. This implies spending time with the awakened.

That was my point exactly! My whole thread comes from a profound disappointment with Man. Which of course is meaningless (as everything else), but nevertheless creates pain.

I see Man as a huge Evolutionary Dead End, and I’m caught in it.

  • Kristian