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post #41 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:22 AM
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Part 2:

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Originally Posted by LonelyLurker View Post
I'm sure that's true for some people but that's not how it is for me at all. From what I can tell, most people who excel at things don't simply accept failure (they'll accept that it happened, but not that it's just as good as succeeding), they generally get upset and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Who ever said that failing is "just as good as succeeding"? You're putting words in my mouth.

Succeeding is obviously not the same as failing. They produce two entirely different results. All USL does is guarantee you won't hate yourself and act self-destructively just because you failed at something. I still feel disappointment, regret, guilt, etc., just like everyone else. This idea you keep bringing up that USL = unconditional approval is a strawman. I've never made any claim like that.

You don't approve of the drug habit of a person you care about. You disapprove the hell out of something like that because you love them.

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If they loved me because of who I was as a person, considering I'm that person all of the time why would their love be temporary? And yes I would be happier if I was loved because I am who I am rather than merely getting it by default (again family is different so the automatic love still has value, just less, at least to me, it seems like more of an obligation than anything).
Ofc you would be happier if you were loved for being a worthwhile person. Your own beliefs dictate that outcome because you have CSL. In your mind, love has to be earned. The more people love you, the better you must be, and the better you're allowed to feel about yourself. That's how CSL works. That's the carrot. It would be very odd if that wasn't how you felt about it.

Talk to anyone with poor self-esteem and they will agree with you: they want to be loved because they're "worth" loving. They don't want to be loved "just because". They'd rather spend their whole life feeling hated and hating themselves than just love themselves as they are because the idea of loving someone who isn't "worth" loving is horrifying. The cultural conditioning is deep.

But my thinking is completely different from yours. It has nothing do with with "deserving" or "earning" love. Those terms only apply to people with CSL. I love people because I find them interesting or delightful or fun to be around. I love people the same way I love colors or landscapes or paintings or music. You can keep your banker's love. I'm done keeping scorecards.

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Yes that would be a problem, but that's not what I'm advocating so I'll leave it to someone who feels that way to defend that position. I would also see a problem with someone in a relationship that didn't feel like they had to do anything to keep your love, they would become complacent. You seem to be jumping to extreme examples, as I said before, everything doesn't have to be binary.
I'm not going to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn't make me happy because I love myself and I deserve to be happy. If they stopped trying to make me happy, and I was miserable, it would be healthy for me to end the relationship. Again: USL has nothing to do with unconditional approval.

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I have never thought that in my life, so now you know at least one exception to that rule.
Okay, then you're the first CSL person who hasn't made that argument. Blew my friend's mind when they asked me if I thought Hitler should have loved himself unconditionally and I said yes.

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This is a no true scotsman fallacy, you seem to assume that all people who love themselves unconditionally must view others like you do, I'm not sure why.
I wouldn't know. I've never met another person who loves themselves unconditionally. So I have to admit, my sample size is small. But there is a logic to the way this stuff works. If self-worth is unconditional, and everyone has equal worth, there's no way to rank people.

Most of the problems I see in the world are a result of people believing that some people are more worthwhile than others. That's what things like sexism, racism, homophobia, nationalism, class conflict and religious intolerance are based on. I'm done with all that, thanks.

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Just looking around at how people treat others compared to how they want others to treat them would suggest this isn't the way most people are.
Because they believe that a person's worth is conditional. There are plenty of poor people who look down on other poor people for being poor because they consider poverty shameful. It's self-hating, and it's a product of CSL. Self-hating Jews, self-hating gays -- it's so common people like that are cliches.

But I'm not talking about that. Because I specifically said: someone who doesn't see anything shameful in being poor is not going to look down on someone else for being poor. If they do, then obviously they do consider poverty shameful. But ofc, if they're CSL, they could find any number of other reasons to look down on people who just happen to also be poor. Maybe they look down on them for being uneducated or lazy or black?

If you think being smart is important, and you consider yourself smart, you're not going to look down on other people for being smart. That would create a really bad case of cognitive dissonance. It's not easy to believe two contradictory things at the same time; that it's good and praiseworthy for you to be smart, but bad and shameful for someone else to be smart.

The psychological logic of USL makes ranking people seem irrational. I suppose it's possible that someone could be USL and also completely irrational, but it doesn't seem any more likely than a CSL person being completely irrational, so it would be irrational to consider it a realistic fear.

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post #42 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:43 AM
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Although this thread could be worded a bit better, I agree. Self worth and self love is a crucial aspect for happiness. You will never truly be happy if you have a negative perception of yourself. That is why it's so important to work on developing self esteem and self acceptance. This is something I have always heard, but never truly understood until very recently. That just goes to show depression and anxiety can really **** with your perception on life...

I understand learning to accept yourself can be very difficult. It isn't easy to simply just wake up and love yourself one day, especially after years of constant turmoil telling yourself otherwise... But it is possible. You just need to work on it, just like you would with any other skill. Just remember there is nothing wrong with you. No matter what problems you feel may exist, you need to remember that it's okay. It's okay to be you. This is the only life you'll ever live. You need to try to find peace within yourself. Hating yourself and wallowing up in self pity won't do you any good. It's honestly easier to fall into darkness, especially after being there for so long... But you need to fight in order to reach the light. Happiness is something you need to work hard for.

Always remember: If you don't accept yourself, you will never believe in yourself. If you don't believe you can do anything, you will never try to do anything. If you never try, you will never attempt to change the circumstances of your life. If you never change the circumstances of your life, you will live your life in unhappiness.

It is okay to be you. It is okay to feel broken. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to have flaws. You are only human. But you need to look past all of that self hatred, and remember you are capable. You have potential. You can live a happy life. You just need to try. You need to forgive yourself for everything that has happened in your life thus far. There is no point sulking in the past. You need to focus on today. You need to focus on what you can do right now. Remember despite how you may feel, there is nothing wrong with you. The only thing that needs fixing is your perception.
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post #43 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 07:35 AM
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Part One
Part one! Uh oh, I'm in trouble.


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You're interpreting all of my statements through the lens of conditional worth and reading things into my statements that aren't there.
It's certainly possible that I'm misunderstanding you, so let me ask you a couple of questions so when can get on the same page.

1) Earlier you inferred that self-critical thoughts where unhealthy, but now you seem to be saying that self-critique is valuable. Are you talking about 2 different types of self-critique?

2) Wouldn't USL be the highest form of self-esteem? If someone needs external validation in order to have self-esteem I personally wouldn't agree that their self-esteem is all that high.


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I never said that CSL was synonymous with low self-esteem. In fact, "low" and "high" self-esteem are the two poles of CSL, not USL. USL has nothing to do with high and low; it's unconditional. There are tons and tons of people out there with high (I prefer the terms "inflated" and "deflated") self-esteem because they compare themselves to other people, see that they're better-looking or richer or smarter or whatever and feel that this gives them permission to feel superior to people who aren't "as good" as they are.
Again, this doesn't reflect my views so I can't really comment on it. My self-esteem has absolutely nothing to do with how I compare to other people, but I would of course accept that this seems to be the case for the vast majority of people.


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And I specifically said: "you'll notice what it isn't. It isn't liking or agreeing with everything they do. It isn't giving them permission to do whatever they want", a part you conveniently neglected to quote.
Hold on a sec, just need to remove this knife from my back.

OK, I'll admit it. Even though I don't want kids if I ever ended up with one/some they would undoubtedly receive the unconditional love you refer to by default, but as I said, family seems to work differently.

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One of the ways that children end up with negative self-concepts is through misinterpreting their parents' actions. If you run out into the street and your parent freaks out and yells at you, it's possible that you could come to the conclusion that your parent hates you. That's because kids are stupid; they come to all sorts of wrong conclusions about things. They become convinced that they're unlovable because their parents ignore them; or that they're a bad person because their parents always yell at them. That's why it's really important for parents to continually affirm their children; to make sure that the kids know that they're lovable and worthwhile people. I think a lot of self-esteem issues arise from parents not understanding this and failing to affirm their children appropriately.
Sure, I'd agree with this. The only thing I would say is that if I had a child I would let them know that the (unconditional?) love I have for them is because they are my child, meaning that I will forgive them of much more than other people will. If they want other people to give them love/opportunities they will have to try and earn it, as it/they won't be given by default.


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Ofc. The same is true for me. Because there are two people in a relationship, and I love myself, so I'm not going to let my partner treat me disrespectfully. If my partner were abusive, or it was otherwise unhealthy for me to stay with them, I would leave them because I love myself.
While the end result seems like it would be similar for you and I, my reasoning would be that I deserve to be treated in the way I treat others. If I was an abusive person I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I deserve someone better than myself (I might want someone who's better than me but I wouldn't feel as though I deserve it in the sense of entitlement).

I personally don't believe I should ever demand anything from anybody unless I can also offer it in return.


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Believing that you are objectively superior or inferior to other people seems obviously irrational to me, like believing that some colors are objectively better than others. But most people seem to think that way.
And I specifically said: "Value is subjective", boom, payback, don't like that do you?


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post #44 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 07:35 AM
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Who ever said that failing is "just as good as succeeding"? You're putting words in my mouth.
Surely if everything is equally valuable failing must be just as good as succeeding by definition. Otherwise there must be superior and inferior outcomes.


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Succeeding is obviously not the same as failing. They produce two entirely different results. All USL does is guarantee you won't hate yourself and act self-destructively just because you failed at something.
This is that binary thinking again, there's a middle ground between love and hate, just because I think that I am now better than I was it doesn't necessarily mean that I hated myself before.


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This idea you keep bringing up that USL = unconditional approval is a strawman. I've never made any claim like that.
Hmm, that could be fair.

Would it be better to say that USL = unconditional acceptance, at least in your opinion?


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In your mind, love has to be earned.
Yes.

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The more people love you, the better you must be, and the better you're allowed to feel about yourself. That's how CSL works. That's the carrot. It would be very odd if that wasn't how you felt about it.
Nope.

I think you might be attributing beliefs to me incorrectly (I've told you before that the way I'm wired doesn't seem to be representative of the wider population), you should probably just ask me what I think about certain things, I'd tell you, and it would be much easier than guessing.


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I love people because I find them interesting or delightful or fun to be around. I love people the same way I love colors or landscapes or paintings or music. You can keep your banker's love. I'm done keeping scorecards.
You do realise that being interesting, delightful or fun to be around is how they earn your love don't you?

If they don't have to do anything to earn/deserve your love then you should be giving it to everybody, I assume this isn't the case however.


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I wouldn't know. I've never met another person who loves themselves unconditionally. So I have to admit, my sample size is small. But there is a logic to the way this stuff works. If self-worth is unconditional, and everyone has equal worth, there's no way to rank people.
That's the non-sequitur, why would you assume that if someone has USL (I doubt you're the only one ) they would necessarily think the emboldened part? Plus, most people don't appear to be logical thinkers anyway so the point is largely moot.


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Most of the problems I see in the world are a result of people believing that some people are more worthwhile than others. That's what things like sexism, racism, homophobia, nationalism, class conflict and religious intolerance are based on. I'm done with all that, thanks.
Sure, tribalism causes many problems but I think you're being naive to think that people having USL would magically erase tribalism (as you seem to be suggesting).


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That would create a really bad case of cognitive dissonance. It's not easy to believe two contradictory things at the same time; that it's good and praiseworthy for you to be smart, but bad and shameful for someone else to be smart.
It seems that it's incredibly easy for most people to believe contradictory things, most people don't seem to be experiencing any cognitive dissonance, they just practice compartmentalisation (the 2 are often incorrectly used interchangeably).


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I suppose it's possible that someone could be USL and also completely irrational, but it doesn't seem any more likely than a CSL person being completely irrational, so it would be irrational to consider it a realistic fear.
In my experience most people are irrational, not completely (another extreme example), but irrational all the same.

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post #45 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:41 AM
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there is no evidence that is wrong with you. You can find evidence of your arm or your dog but nothing that is wrong with you, that is what this is about
you asked for evidence. i provided evidence. now you claim it is invalid. I call bs on this one.

even with a great number of disorders, a person still carries intrinsic worth and has a right to be loved. To accept that one IS inherently flawed yet still deserves love is a much more powerful thing than total denial.

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you asked for evidence. i provided evidence. now you claim it is invalid. I call bs on this one.

even with a great number of disorders, a person still carries intrinsic worth and has a right to be loved. To accept that one IS inherently flawed yet still deserves love is a much more powerful thing than total denial.
No one is entlited to anything, even love, those are just invalid opinions. Just because somebody says something doesnt mean its a fact.

But is it really evidence that having disorders means anything about you? Maybe you were just unlucky, maybe you had bad environments, maybe you experienced traumatic situations, how do you know its means something about YOU?
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post #47 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 03:26 PM
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No one is entlited to anything, even love, those are just invalid opinions. Just because somebody says something doesnt mean its a fact.
True.


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But is it really evidence that having disorders means anything about you? Maybe you were just unlucky, maybe you had bad environments, maybe you experienced traumatic situations, how do you know its means something about YOU?
How do you know it doesn't? Even if i am simply unlucky, those circumstances will still have had an effect upon me.

For instance, some children, because they were not raised in a proper environment, have developed learning disorders. My disorders are no different. Whether or not i am directly responsible for them, it is clear that there is still "something" wrong with me.

If your objection is that there is nothing intrinsically morally wrong with someone suffering from those disorders, then yes, i agree with you, but that point was not clearly made.

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I want to stop so bad

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then do it, from this day on.
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post #50 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 07:41 PM
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It honestly might be the key to everything.. just making sure you like yourself, and loving yourself.
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post #51 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:27 PM
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Part one! Uh oh, I'm in trouble.


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1) Earlier you inferred that self-critical thoughts where unhealthy, but now you seem to be saying that self-critique is valuable. Are you talking about 2 different types of self-critique?
Self-hating and self-degrading thoughts are unhealthy; self-critical thoughts are not. I never said self-criticism was bad.

Self-critical: "I am physically unattractive."
Self-degrading: "I am too ugly to love."

A person can be critical without being self-punishing. I am physically unattractive to ... pretty much everyone. That's just being objective about my physical desirability. It's not self-hating to call oneself ugly if one is, in fact, ugly. It's just like acknowledging that one is poor or unhealthy. It doesn't automatically make you a bad or less worthwhile person, and it doesn't mean you should feel badly about yourself or punish yourself for being that way.

Unconditional self-love is feeling this way about everything. When you are free to love yourself as you are, you can be ruthlessly critical about your flaws because acknowledging them doesn't make you withhold love from yourself. There's nothing to be gained by being dishonest. It's people who believe that a person's worth can be measured that pretend to be better than they are to win respect from themselves and other people. What good does that respect do me when I already have as much respect for myself as I can use?

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2) Wouldn't USL be the highest form of self-esteem? If someone needs external validation in order to have self-esteem I personally wouldn't agree that their self-esteem is all that high.
USL is the healthiest form of self-esteem. There's a difference between "healthy" and "highest".

If you believe that a person's worth can be measured, and that the more good traits a person has, the more worthwhile they are, then people who are rich, talented, smart, and beautiful are naturally going to feel inclined to believe that they are superior to other people. If you feel superior to others, your self-esteem is inflated, not healthy. If you feel inferior to others, your self-esteem is deflated.

Healthy self-esteem is recognizing that all people are equally deserving of respect, even if you don't like or agree with them. It's not healthy to feel superior or inferior to other people. Superiority is arrogance, conceit. A person with USL doesn't feel that way. They feel equal to everyone. That doesn't mean they're blind to differences. They can acknowledge that some people are smarter or more talented than others; but those differences say absolutely nothing about a person's worth or their right to feel USL.

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Again, this doesn't reflect my views so I can't really comment on it. My self-esteem has absolutely nothing to do with how I compare to other people, but I would of course accept that this seems to be the case for the vast majority of people.
It doesn't have to. Most people compare themselves to others to determine their own worth; but quite a few people measure their own worth by their own internal standards. If they live up to their own standards, then they give themselves permission to love themselves; if they don't, then they punish themselves. They still have CSL, it's just that it works according to their own idiosyncratic principles. Many people who exist outside of mainstream culture have internal compasses like this.

I have my own values. I don't much care if people don't share them. But I don't punish myself for failing to live up to my own standards by calling myself names and acting self-destructively. I just try to do better next time. I try to live up to those standards not because I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't, but because achieving those ideals would give me pleasure.

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OK, I'll admit it. Even though I don't want kids if I ever ended up with one/some they would undoubtedly receive the unconditional love you refer to by default, but as I said, family seems to work differently.
Family works the way it typically works because everyone believes in CSL. The way some parents love their children unconditionally is the exception. But it's the natural way for people to relate to themselves.

But even if a parent loves their child unconditionally, they rarely love themselves unconditionally, so the child learns how to love themselves conditionally by emulating the parent (and culture in general). This is how USL, which is natural and innate, like the survival instinct, gets transformed into CSL.

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Sure, I'd agree with this. The only thing I would say is that if I had a child I would let them know that the (unconditional?) love I have for them is because they are my child, meaning that I will forgive them of much more than other people will. If they want other people to give them love/opportunities they will have to try and earn it, as it/they won't be given by default.
I was bullied ruthlessly in hs. The last thing I would do is create the impression in my own child that other people can or will like them just the way they are. What I would teach them is that it's okay if other people don't like them. And that no matter what other people call them, it doesn't make them a not worthwhile or lovable person.

When I was in hs people encouraged me to kill myself. I let people convince me that I was less worthwhile, and that I deserved to die. I was suicidal for many years after that ... right until I realized that CSL was total bs.

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While the end result seems like it would be similar for you and I, my reasoning would be that I deserve to be treated in the way I treat others. If I was an abusive person I wouldn't be able to convince myself that I deserve someone better than myself (I might want someone who's better than me but I wouldn't feel as though I deserve it in the sense of entitlement).

I personally don't believe I should ever demand anything from anybody unless I can also offer it in return.
I've been saying for years: "Don't ask someone else to do something you're not willing to do yourself." Deserving to be treated the way you treat others is just implied in USL. You treat everyone with respect because everyone is a worthwhile person and deserves to be treated with respect. That doesn't mean you have to agree with people you don't agree with. (And it certainly doesn't mean it's okie dokie to let people harm other people.) I get into bitter arguments with people all the time. But I still respect their essential humanity and I don't wish them harm. Being wrong (imo) doesn't make them evil or inferior. It makes them misguided or perhaps ill. Being USL hasn't dulled my critical faculties at all.

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And I specifically said: "Value is subjective"
Sure. It's subjective. It just so happens that I think believing that some people are superior or inferior, aside from a practical sense (eg. dancing, programming), is a form of delusion. You're welcome to think otherwise.

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post #52 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:28 PM
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Surely if everything is equally valuable failing must be just as good as succeeding by definition. Otherwise there must be superior and inferior outcomes.
You're conflating completely different things: outcomes with feelings of self-worth. I've never claimed that every outcome is equally desirable.

Failing at a task is not equally "valuable" to succeeding. They're different results. If you fail to do something, you'll probably learn something from your failure. That's one kind of experience: you tried something, it didn't work, you learned something. If you succeed, you get the result that you want and you can move onto something else. That's a different kind of experience.

Deciding that failing is "bad" and succeeding is "good" is a judgment we make about the outcome, not part of the outcome. There's no reason to feel bad about failing to do something. People fail all the time in millions of different ways. It's a normal part of learning. The only way to avoid failure is to be omniscient and omnipotent.

A surgeon killing their patient on the operating table is obviously not as desirable as saving their life. But as a surgeon with USL would see every patient as being a worthwhile person, and because they are a worthwhile person themselves and deserve the best outcome themselves ("success"), they will do their best to save the patient.

Not punishing yourself for failure does not mean you don't care about the outcome of your actions. I'm very much concerned to get the best possible outcome, because I want my life to be as good as it can be, because I am a worthwhile person, and the best way to get the best life for myself, the life I deserve, is to be as good as I can be at all the things that matter. But I don't push myself because I'm afraid of the punishment I will receive if I fail; I push because I'm worth it. I have as much right to succeed as everyone else.

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This is that binary thinking again, there's a middle ground between love and hate, just because I think that I am now better than I was it doesn't necessarily mean that I hated myself before.
Right. But USL is important for people who do hate themselves. If you don't have any problems with your self-esteem, then more power to you. But that's not true for many people.

Many people do hate and despise themselves, and that's who these posts are directed at. They hate and despise themselves because their love is conditional. CSL automatically implies that people who perceive themselves as being inferior will hate themselves, people who perceive themselves as superior will be narcissists, and most people, those with traits that work out to approximately "average" will feel more or less neutral about themselves. This "neutrality" is mistaken for health because it's so common, but it's purely accidental, an arbitrary outcome of comparative equations. CSL people who consider themselves normal and healthy are justly appalled by the way narcissists behave and want to avoid becoming that way themselves. But narcissism is a disorder of CSL. It has nothing to do with USL. USL is the cure for narcissism, just like it's the cure for inferiority.

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Would it be better to say that USL = unconditional acceptance, at least in your opinion?
I don't think there is a perfect term because of the connotations each word has. By using USL, I have to explain that it's not unconditional approval or narcissism. By using unconditional acceptance, I would have to explain that it doesn't mean apathy or indifference to outcomes.

USL includes accepting that one would like to be a better person than they are. But unconditional self-acceptance might suggest to some people that it means never feeling any desire to improve oneself. Improving oneself is normal, natural, and healthy, just like it's normal, natural, and healthy to try to make the lives of the people you care about better. When people talk about "self-acceptance" they usually mean "learn how to feel okay about something you can't change". But I'm not talking about that (though you might have to do that in certain cases). Imo, it's perfectly fine to work your tail off to achieve all your heart's desires to whatever degree you can achieve them, so long as you're not trampling on other people in the process. I am not a passive person; I am a passionate person.

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I think you might be attributing beliefs to me incorrectly (I've told you before that the way I'm wired doesn't seem to be representative of the wider population), you should probably just ask me what I think about certain things, I'd tell you, and it would be much easier than guessing.
Sorry. That's how it works for most people with CSL.

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You do realise that being interesting, delightful or fun to be around is how they earn your love don't you?

If they don't have to do anything to earn/deserve your love then you should be giving it to everybody, I assume this isn't the case however.
That's just how you're framing it. A situation can be framed in more than one way. There's a huge difference between spending time with someone because you enjoy their company and believing that some people are superior to other people.

Like I said, you can prefer octopuses over dolphins without believing that octopuses are a superior kind of animal. You can prefer pizza over lobster without believing that pizza is a superior kind of food. You can prefer spending time with certain people without believing that they're superior to other people.

What are octopuses and pizzas doing to "earn" my preference? They simply exist as they are; I appreciate them as they are. You can make up some kind of elaborate argument to explain how they're "earning" my appreciation, but it won't have anything to do with my subjective experience of octopuses and pizza.

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That's the non-sequitur, why would you assume that if someone has USL (I doubt you're the only one ) they would necessarily think the emboldened part? Plus, most people don't appear to be logical thinkers anyway so the point is largely moot.
I assume it for the same reason I assume that all atheists don't believe in God. Because a person who believes that some people are worth more than other people is not USL. They believe in conditional worth.

So what you're saying is like: "How can you speak for other atheists and claim that all atheists don't believe in God?" I can say it because they believe something that is incompatible with the meaning of USL. Sure, maybe someone thinks they're USL but really believes that some people are more equal than others. But in that case, they're merely confused and not really USL. Like a person who calls themselves an atheist but believes in God.

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Sure, tribalism causes many problems but I think you're being naive to think that people having USL would magically erase tribalism (as you seem to be suggesting).
It wouldn't erase cultural differences. And it wouldn't erase cultural criticism. I am very critical of the beliefs and behaviors of certain groups of people. What it would do is eliminate the idea that other groups are inferior and less deserving of respect simply because you disagree with them.

A racist is someone who believes people of other races are inferior to people of their own race. Someone who is USL can acknowledge that there are differences, but don't accept that those differences say something about an individual's worth. And yes, a racist should absolutely strive to become self-loving. They should love themselves unconditionally, despite their racism. Because USL is incompatible with the idea of relative worth, and over time they will begin to see the error in their own thinking and stop being racist. They may still acknowledge physical or cultural differences, but they will no long see themselves as superior or other races as inferior for being different.

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It seems that it's incredibly easy for most people to believe contradictory things, most people don't seem to be experiencing any cognitive dissonance, they just practice compartmentalisation (the 2 are often incorrectly used interchangeably).
Sure. I'm willing to believe that some people believe in God but call themselves an atheist. But that means that they're confused and using the wrong label to describe themselves. You don't change the definition of atheist to include people that believe in God, and you don't change the definition of USL to include people who believe in conditional worth.

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In my experience most people are irrational, not completely (another extreme example), but irrational all the same.
I couldn't agree more.

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #53 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:36 AM
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Self-hating and self-degrading thoughts are unhealthy; self-critical thoughts are not. I never said self-criticism was bad.

Self-critical: "I am physically unattractive."
Self-degrading: "I am too ugly to love."
OK, in that case we agree, but if you go on to say that self-criticism is bad I'll have no choice but to bring it up and claim my victory.


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Unconditional self-love is feeling this way about everything. When you are free to love yourself as you are, you can be ruthlessly critical about your flaws because acknowledging them doesn't make you withhold love from yourself.
This just seems like a low bar for "love", this is probably our sticking point. This just sounds like not being irrational, whether that irrationality is positive or negative.


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It's people who believe that a person's worth can be measured that pretend to be better than they are to win respect from themselves and other people. What good does that respect do me when I already have as much respect for myself as I can use?
I agree.

Do I, do...I...have...USL? Nah.


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Healthy self-esteem is recognizing that all people are equally deserving of respect, even if you don't like or agree with them.
Ah good, we finally get to disagree.

The day I treat people who treat me like s*** the same as people who treat me well and think of them as equal is the day my self-esteem has completely disappeared.


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It doesn't have to. Most people compare themselves to others to determine their own worth; but quite a few people measure their own worth by their own internal standards. If they live up to their own standards, then they give themselves permission to love themselves; if they don't, then they punish themselves.
I don't know why you seem to have this rigid view that everyone who has USL would be just like you and everyone with CSL would be like the caricature you've created. If I fail to meet my standards I also seek to improve, what I don't do is pretend that these shortcomings are absolutely fine and inconsequential, that just sounds like an abdication of personal responsibility.


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I was bullied ruthlessly in hs. The last thing I would do is create the impression in my own child that other people can or will like them just the way they are. What I would teach them is that it's okay if other people don't like them. And that no matter what other people call them, it doesn't make them a not worthwhile or lovable person.
Of course I would agree with this but you know full well that's not what I meant.


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Sure. It's subjective. It just so happens that I think believing that some people are superior or inferior, aside from a practical sense (eg. dancing, programming), is a form of delusion. You're welcome to think otherwise.
But all of my metrics are practical, are you a hypocrite? Do you think critically? Are you kind? Do you have a sense of humour? Are you empathetic? Etc, etc. I don't care about race, gender, socio economic status or the things most people seem to think makes someone valuable.

I reject societies standards.

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post #54 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:36 AM
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I've just realised that the thread title sounds like "stop hitting yourself" which made me think of someone terrorising their younger sibling. Just thought I'd share that with everybody.

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A surgeon killing their patient on the operating table is obviously not as desirable as saving their life. But as a surgeon with USL would see every patient as being a worthwhile person, and because they are a worthwhile person themselves and deserve the best outcome themselves ("success"), they will do their best to save the patient.

Not punishing yourself for failure does not mean you don't care about the outcome of your actions. I'm very much concerned to get the best possible outcome, because I want my life to be as good as it can be, because I am a worthwhile person, and the best way to get the best life for myself, the life I deserve, is to be as good as I can be at all the things that matter. But I don't push myself because I'm afraid of the punishment I will receive if I fail; I push because I'm worth it. I have as much right to succeed as everyone else.
OK, let's use this as an example. If a surgeon was constantly killing their patients even though they were undertaking routine operations, do they deserve to be a surgeon (they really really want it and it will make them really really happy )?

Would this hypothetical surgeon have as much of a right to succeed at being a surgeon as other surgeons who don't kill their patients?

Just because you kill you patients that doesn't mean you don't deserve to be a surgeon does it? That's something those CSL losers would say isn't it.


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Right. But USL is important for people who do hate themselves. If you don't have any problems with your self-esteem, then more power to you. But that's not true for many people.
I was the person who hated themselves and thought they weren't worthy of anything when I was younger. The way I overcame this was by realising that there was no reason that I had to adopt societies standards as my own and most importantly challenging all irrational thinking (whether it be positive or negative). Maybe USL would be more effective for most people, who knows?


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But narcissism is a disorder of CSL. It has nothing to do with USL. USL is the cure for narcissism, just like it's the cure for inferiority.
Quite the panacea you have there.


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I don't think there is a perfect term because of the connotations each word has. By using USL, I have to explain that it's not unconditional approval or narcissism. By using unconditional acceptance, I would have to explain that it doesn't mean apathy or indifference to outcomes.
Could this difficulty be due to you being...wrong?


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Like I said, you can prefer octopuses over dolphins without believing that octopuses are a superior kind of animal. You can prefer pizza over lobster without believing that pizza is a superior kind of food. You can prefer spending time with certain people without believing that they're superior to other people.
Isn't preference considering one thing as superior to another? As previously stated just because I may view something/somebody as inferior it doesn't mean that I hate them, think they're worthless or would ever seek to hurt/damage them.

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What are octopuses and pizzas doing to "earn" my preference?
Whatever the reason you prefer them is the answer to your question. You don't always have to make an effort to "earn" something, that would only be the case if everyone was actually equal (which they aren't).


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I assume it for the same reason I assume that all atheists don't believe in God. Because a person who believes that some people are worth more than other people is not USL. They believe in conditional worth.
I notice you dropped the "self" from "conditional worth", this highlights the error you are making. You are assuming that people consistently apply the standards they have for themselves to others, which is baseless IMO. USL doesn't mean you have unconditional love for everyone, it means you have unconditional love for yourself. You may well have both but it wouldn't be in the definition, this isn't the case for atheism.


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So what you're saying is like: "How can you speak for other atheists and claim that all atheists don't believe in God?" I can say it because they believe something that is incompatible with the meaning of USL. Sure, maybe someone thinks they're USL but really believes that some people are more equal than others. But in that case, they're merely confused and not really USL. Like a person who calls themselves an atheist but believes in God.
I can show you a dictionary definition for "atheism" can you do the same for USL? If not your definition is a personal one and you're committing a "No true Scotsman" fallacy.


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I couldn't agree more.
Well at least we agree on tha...hold on a minute.

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post #55 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 04:15 PM
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I agree. Do I, do...I...have...USL? Nah.
I never said you do it. But most people with CSL do. We've already talked about the difference between private vs public metrics of worth.

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Ah good, we finally get to disagree.

The day I treat people who treat me like s*** the same as people who treat me well and think of them as equal is the day my self-esteem has completely disappeared.
Lol. I knew that would get you.

I'm talking about respecting their basic humanity, their right to exist, and their right to pursue happiness. I don't conflate a person's actions with their essential worth.

A person may have contemptible beliefs, and do horrible things. I will most certainly let them know how I feel about their ideas and actions. I will defend myself and others from their actions if I'm able to. I hand out tongue lashings all the time on the forum.

But I don't consider anyone inferior to myself or worth less than myself. I consider them foolish or misguided or cruel or selfish. Those are all things that can hopefully be changed. And if they have some kind of condition that can't be changed (eg. psychopathy) then they just have to be separated from the rest of the population so that no one gets hurt. Then we do what we can to understand them and help them if possible.

Feeling this way hasn't affected my self-esteem at all. It's rock solid. Because my self-love is completely unimpeded. It doesn't matter if I respect the humanity of my enemies because I don't consider any of them my superior. What does it cost me to feel this way? If I don't like someone, or think that they're dangerous, I just stay away from them, and warn other people what they're like. I've been trying to convince my sister to leave her bf for years now. But I can see how trying to feel this way would seem threatening to a person who doesn't understand this perspective.

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I don't know why you seem to have this rigid view that everyone who has USL would be just like you and everyone with CSL would be like the caricature you've created. If I fail to meet my standards I also seek to improve, what I don't do is pretend that these shortcomings are absolutely fine and inconsequential, that just sounds like an abdication of personal responsibility.
Because you can't have USL and believe in the relative worth of persons at the same time. I've already explained this. It doesn't work. You might think you have USL, but if you believe in relative worth then you don't; you have some kind of CSL, though the only condition might be: "It's okay for me, but not for anyone else." That's still a condition. If you apply one set of standards to yourself, and another set of standards to other people, then what you are is a hypocrite, not USL.

I have to talk in caricatures to talk about a general phenomenon. I can't describe a dozen different possibilities every time I make a point. But I have never at any point said that all CSL people are the same. What I've said is that they all share a process of ranking people: some people are superior, others inferior. If they don't rank people, then they're probably USL.

But the criteria they use can be basically anything, which is why every CSL person ranks people slightly differently. Christians have one system, feminists another, scientifically minded atheists another. The possibilities are endless. You can follow your own standards, but if your love is conditional on those standards, then you will also evaluate the worth of other people based on those standards. Which you've already admitted. You may not care what they think of you, but you care a great deal about what you think of them. You absolutely refuse to give up your right to consider some people inferior. That's your choice.

But you really seem stuck on this idea that I think everything is absolutely hunky dory no matter what my actions are. Which is not my position at all, and I've rejected it multiple times. You're arguing against a strawman. If your child does things you know are harmful to themselves or others, you stop them. You explain why it's bad. You set limits on their behavior. I am exactly the same way with myself. I take my own happiness and the happiness of others very seriously. You're confusing actions with individuals.

A person's actions may be contemptible, but a person is not contemptible. I can condemn a person's actions without condemning them as a person and calling them a worthless good-for-nothing. If a person is behaving in destructive ways, there is probably a reason. They are misguided, or self-hating, or ill. I'm interested in getting them out of that state so that they can be a happier, less destructive person. It makes zero sense at all to be USL and allow self-destructive or other-destructive behaviors. Having high standards and personal responsibility are part and parcel of USL because you have to be that way to be a loving person.

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But all of my metrics are practical, are you a hypocrite? Do you think critically? Are you kind? Do you have a sense of humour? Are you empathetic? Etc, etc. I don't care about race, gender, socio economic status or the things most people seem to think makes someone valuable.
Your metric of who is superior/inferior is not practical. All the others are. As I've said (repeatedly) I can rank people in terms of how smart or talented or kind, etc., they are. But having those traits doesn't make them worth more than other people. It just makes them smarter or more talented or kinder, etc.

It seems completely irrational to me to try to rank people in terms of worth. I don't know how that could be anything but a completely worthless, arbitrarily subjective metric. With anything else, there are ways of measuring. You can tell who's a better cook by eating their food, or who's a better runner by watching them race. What you can't do is tell who's a better person because there is no way to be a better or worse person. But that doesn't mean that there aren't better and worse people for you, personally, to spend your time with. If I enjoy one person's company more than another's, I'll spend time with that person and not the latter.

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I reject societies standards.
So do I. This entire argument is me rejecting the way 99.99% of the world's population thinks about self-esteem and the worth of persons. I'm used to disagreeing with almost everyone about almost everything. It tends to make me a very unpopular person. And, at times, a "tyrant".

It takes a lot of self-esteem to stand up and tell the rest of the world they're wrong about something.

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OK, let's use this as an example. If a surgeon was constantly killing their patients even though they were undertaking routine operations, do they deserve to be a surgeon (they really really want it and it will make them really really happy )?

Would this hypothetical surgeon have as much of a right to succeed at being a surgeon as other surgeons who don't kill their patients?

Just because you kill you patients that doesn't mean you don't deserve to be a surgeon does it? That's something those CSL losers would say isn't it.
There's that strawman again. Why would a bad surgeon have as much right to be a surgeon as a good surgeon? If you're a terrible surgeon, you shouldn't be a surgeon. But not being qualified to be a surgeon doesn't mean you should feel bad about it. Lots of people would be terrible surgeons. Should they all feel badly about it?

A person like that can either learn how to be a good surgeon, or find something else that makes them happy. A loving person doesn't take risks with the lives of other people. Nor should those who are qualified to be surgeons feel superior to those who aren't. They can take pride in their abilities as long as they don't fall prey to the delusion that being good at something makes them a better or more worthwhile person than other people. That kind of narcissism is a product of CSL.

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I was the person who hated themselves and thought they weren't worthy of anything when I was younger. The way I overcame this was by realising that there was no reason that I had to adopt societies standards as my own and most importantly challenging all irrational thinking (whether it be positive or negative). Maybe USL would be more effective for most people, who knows?
I was the same way. I was suicidal for years. People convinced me I was a disgusting and shameful type of person. I mean, if everybody is telling you that, it's hard to disprove them, isn't it? It's a little irrational, isn't it, to believe something that absolutely no one else believes in?

I got through it by realizing that no one knows. No one is actually in any position to judge the worth of another person. It's arbitrary and subjective. It doesn't matter if everyone thinks I'm a disgusting, contemptible person, because they're all wrong. They just don't know it.

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Quite the panacea you have there.
I'm not claiming to have a panacea. Being this way hasn't solved all my problems. It's only solved a certain, very specific problem: unhealthy self-esteem. Unhealthy self-esteem includes both deflated and inflated self-esteem. The way to fix your self-esteem is to realize that there are no better or worse people.

I do think this idea -- that some animals are more equal than others -- contributes to a lot of other problems beyond just self-esteem, but it's all conjecture at this point, since obviously almost no one thinks this way.

So ... what if I'm right?

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #56 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 04:18 PM
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This just seems like a low bar for "love", this is probably our sticking point. This just sounds like not being irrational, whether that irrationality is positive or negative.
Did you mean "not being rational"?

There is never any rational reason to stop loving yourself. There's an absolute I'll stand by. Because anything other than self-love leads to unhealthy results. That doesn't mean you can't choose to hate yourself if you happen to enjoy those kinds of experiences and all the complications self-destructive behaviors bring in their wake. Some people just like to live dangerously. Hating yourself is a great way to get yourself into trouble.

USL is always supporting your own health and growth no matter who you are and what you've done. It's not (as I've said multiple times now) approving of everything you are and everything you've done. There's nothing "low bar" about this. You can be as critical as you want about all your own traits and actions (I certainly am); what I don't do is punish myself for not being perfect. I don't call myself a worthless, useless, unlovable person.

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Could this difficulty be due to you being...wrong?
Why would you make that assumption? Philosophers, poets, and saints have been arguing over the definition of love for thousands of years. Why would you assume I could solve that interpretive problem in a single stroke on a forum post?

Calling me 'wrong' isn't an argument, btw.

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Isn't preference considering one thing as superior to another? As previously stated just because I may view something/somebody as inferior it doesn't mean that I hate them, think they're worthless or would ever seek to hurt/damage them.
No, it's not the same. I don't know how many times I can explain this. If you don't get it, you won't get it. But anyway...

I can prefer something without deluding myself into believing that what I prefer is objectively superior to what I don't prefer. People do this all the time without difficulty. They prefer a certain color, but don't consider other colors objectively inferior. They prefer certain foods without thinking that people who prefer other foods are objectively stupid or born with defective taste buds. It seems silly and irrational, doesn't it, to believe that red has more of "something" than blue? Something that makes it worth more than blue? That makes it superior in some objective way?

I prefer some people over other people because they personally make me happy. That doesn't mean I believe that people who don't make me happy are inferior. I'm sure most of them make someone else just as happy as the people I prefer make me happy, just as I know that green makes some people just as happy as orange makes me. There is no objective ranking involved. So there is no reason to feel bad about my preferences. There is no reason to look down on anyone simply because I don't prefer them. I may look down on their actions or beliefs, but that doesn't mean I believe they are objectively inferior or worth less than me. They're merely mistaken or ignorant (imo).

And I'm not saying that all CSL people are hateful, destructive people. That would be pretty silly, since almost everyone believes in CSL but most people are perfectly nice. What I'm saying is that CSL is what leads some people to have deflated or inflated self-esteem. And sometimes that manifests as hateful and destructive behavior. And I'm not saying that USL would never lead to violence; if I had to use force to defend someone, or myself, I would. And I wouldn't feel guilty about it.

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Whatever the reason you prefer them is the answer to your question. You don't always have to make an effort to "earn" something, that would only be the case if everyone was actually equal (which they aren't).
Everyone has equal worth because imo the idea that people can have worth is delusional. Everyone is unequal in almost every other way you can imagine. The only thing I've ever disputed is the worth of individuals as a whole. I've never disputed that people are different and have different strengths and weaknesses. I simply don't think that just because someone has more good than bad traits, and someone else has more bad than good traits, that the first person is superior to the latter. No one has any reason to consider themselves inferior or superior as a person. But it would clearly be silly not to acknowledge that you're a better or worse surgeon, etc.

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I notice you dropped the "self" from "conditional worth", this highlights the error you are making. You are assuming that people consistently apply the standards they have for themselves to others, which is baseless IMO. USL doesn't mean you have unconditional love for everyone, it means you have unconditional love for yourself. You may well have both but it wouldn't be in the definition, this isn't the case for atheism.
No. I'm aware that many people apply different standards to themselves than they apply to other people. That's what being a hypocrite is. You haven't pointed out any error in my thinking. If you believe in conditional worth, then you believe in CSL and the conditional worth of other people. You don't have to rank them by the same metric. Lots of people believe that because they're superior to other people, they deserve some things more than they do.

But I don't see how it's possible to be USL and hold a different, conditional standard for other people. It's like believing in God but calling yourself an atheist. My beliefs prevent me from thinking about other people in conditional terms. I stopped thinking about other people in conditional terms at the same time I stopped thinking of myself that way. What you're trying to get me to accept is something like me realizing that the earth revolves around the sun for me, but not for other people. That's the kind of cognitive dissonance I'm talking about. Like believing there is no God, but that there is a God at the same time. USL and conditional worth are contradictory concepts.

I don't talk about unconditional love for other people because that calls up too many associations that don't match my experience. Images of self-sacrifice, destruction of the ego ... all that religious propaganda. I'm obviously going to take a much greater interest in my own life, and the lives of my friends, than I will in the lives of people I don't know. It wouldn't be self-loving to sacrifice my own happiness for the happiness of others, which is what 'unconditional (other) love' seems to imply to people. But I don't wish anyone ill, and if I'm able to help them in a way that doesn't detract from my own happiness, I will. I will always support their own growth and happiness. But that doesn't mean I have to like them or enjoy spending time with them. But I don't feel like getting into an argument over that.

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I can show you a dictionary definition for "atheism" can you do the same for USL? If not your definition is a personal one and you're committing a "No true Scotsman" fallacy.
Fine. I'm defining it now. They have to be defined at some point, don't they? Dictionaries are human inventions, after all.

No true Scotsman doesn't apply because, to my knowledge, no one else has elected to join my club.

Like I said, I've never met another person who thinks exactly as I do. I'm not trying to define Christianity or feminism. I'm trying to define my own experience. It just seems obvious to me that the implications should hold good for everyone else. When Galileo became convinced that the Earth revolved around the Sun, it wasn't irrational for him to assume that it was true for everyone else on Earth at the same time. It seems self-evidently true to me that people can't be ranked, and that anyone who sees that will not rank people. Just as it seems self-evidently true that if I don't believe in God, there is no God even if other people believe there is one.

You don't assume that maybe it's true that there is no God for you, but that there is for other people. Or that the Earth revolves around the Sun for you, but not for other people. Certain kinds of assumptions can be made because the logic is self-evident. But if you don't share my experiences and can't follow my logic then you won't see why it's self-evident. And, ofc, I could be wrong. Just as atheists could be wrong. But my experience and thinking has led me to this point and I am now incapable of believing what I used to believe.

We can stop any time you like, btw. I think we're starting to circle.

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #57 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 11:31 PM
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This is supposed to be post 2/2, I didn't make a mistake I am merely trying to keep you on your toes.

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Did you mean "not being rational"?
No, no I did not.


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Originally Posted by truant View Post
There is never any rational reason to stop loving yourself. There's an absolute I'll stand by. Because anything other than self-love leads to unhealthy results. That doesn't mean you can't choose to hate yourself if you happen to enjoy those kinds of experiences and all the complications self-destructive behaviors bring in their wake. Some people just like to live dangerously. Hating yourself is a great way to get yourself into trouble.
I don't get the feeling you're the type of person that can't handle nuance, why are trying to make this discussion so binary? Love or hate aren't the only ways you can feel about yourself, stop being difficult .


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what I don't do is punish myself for not being perfect. I don't call myself a worthless, useless, unlovable person.
Neither do I, so...

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Why would you make that assumption?
Nobody made an assumption, hence the use of the word "could".

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Calling me 'wrong' isn't an argument, btw.
No, suggesting you might be wrong (in an inquisitive manner) wasn't an argument, it was a question.

A question I think most people should ask themselves more often. I could be wrong about absolutely everything, including this current topic, admitting that doesn't make me uncomfortable or defensive in the slightest.


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No, it's not the same. I don't know how many times I can explain this. If you don't get it, you won't get it. But anyway...
So because I disagree it must mean that I "don't get it"? That's not an argument either.


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I can prefer something without deluding myself into believing that what I prefer is objectively superior to what I don't prefer. People do this all the time without difficulty. They prefer a certain color, but don't consider other colors objectively inferior.
Who said anything about objectivity?

Do you really think that when people say something is superior they think they can prove it? Of course you can come up with examples in which this is the case but you seem to be trying to impose that upon all instances for some reason.

You think USL is superior, can you prove it?


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No. I'm aware that many people apply different standards to themselves than they apply to other people. That's what being a hypocrite is. You haven't pointed out any error in my thinking.
The error is that you seem to think that if someone had USL they would magically cease being a hypocrite.


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Lots of people believe that because they're superior to other people, they deserve some things more than they do.
Like being a surgeon for example.


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But I don't see how it's possible to be USL and hold a different, conditional standard for other people.
Because USL makes it impossible to be a hypocrite?


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It's like believing in God but calling yourself an atheist. My beliefs prevent me from thinking about other people in conditional terms. I stopped thinking about other people in conditional terms at the same time I stopped thinking of myself that way. What you're trying to get me to accept is something like me realizing that the earth revolves around the sun for me, but not for other people. That's the kind of cognitive dissonance I'm talking about. Like believing there is no God, but that there is a God at the same time. USL and conditional worth are contradictory concepts.
Unless there is discomfort there is no cognitive dissonance. What about people makes you think they would have any issues with holding contradictory beliefs?


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But I don't wish anyone ill, and if I'm able to help them in a way that doesn't detract from my own happiness, I will. I will always support their own growth and happiness. But that doesn't mean I have to like them or enjoy spending time with them. But I don't feel like getting into an argument over that.
I'm not sure why you would think we would argue about that, it seems clear that we agree as far as that's concerned.


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Like I said, I've never met another person who thinks exactly as I do. I'm not trying to define Christianity or feminism. I'm trying to define my own experience. It just seems obvious to me that the implications should hold good for everyone else. When Galileo became convinced that the Earth revolved around the Sun, it wasn't irrational for him to assume that it was true for everyone else on Earth at the same time. It seems self-evidently true to me that people can't be ranked, and that anyone who sees that will not rank people. Just as it seems self-evidently true that if I don't believe in God, there is no God even if other people believe there is one.
That's fine, there's nothing wrong with that as long as you realise that it's a personal definition and as such you can't expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to share it.

I have a personal definition for intelligence, it has nothing to do with how much knowledge someone has or how educated they are. It is based on a person's ability to think, learn and apply what they have learnt, but I know other people don't share my definition. I use my definition to evaluate others but other people may care less about the things I care about and be more impressed with qualifications etc.


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You don't assume that maybe it's true that there is no God for you, but that there is for other people. Or that the Earth revolves around the Sun for you, but not for other people. Certain kinds of assumptions can be made because the logic is self-evident. But if you don't share my experiences and can't follow my logic then you won't see why it's self-evident.
The difference would be that planetary orbits or the (non-conceptual) existence (or non-existence) of God exists external to other people meaning that it applies globally. How people view others exists internally and thus doesn't apply globally, you can't realistically assume that they think or would react in the same way you would. For some people USL might be catastrophic, then again it might not, the point is I can't assume that I know.


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And, ofc, I could be wrong.
OMG you said it.


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We can stop any time you like, btw. I think we're starting to circle.
Yeah, I didn't reply to some parts as I thought we'd already addressed them.

Good natured competition is always welcome. We managed to get to the end without anyone getting angry, we're making progress.

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post #58 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 11:31 PM
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This is supposed to be post 1/2, OK I admit it, I made a mistake, happy now?

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Lol. I knew that would get you.
You know me so well.


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I'm talking about respecting their basic humanity, their right to exist, and their right to pursue happiness. I don't conflate a person's actions with their essential worth.
Sure, but even then it's conditional based on actions, if someone was actively trying to kill a member of my family and the only way I could stop them was to try and kill them first, then they would have forfeited their right to exist. Of course this is an extreme example but if any example exists it proves that it is still conditional.


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But I can see how trying to feel this way would seem threatening to a person who doesn't understand this perspective.
It's not threatening, it just seems silly not to think that some people are better than other people based on whatever your personal values are. It doesn't mean that the people you see as lacking are necessarily to be held in contempt etc.


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But you really seem stuck on this idea that I think everything is absolutely hunky dory no matter what my actions are. Which is not my position at all, and I've rejected it multiple times. You're arguing against a strawman. If your child does things you know are harmful to themselves or others, you stop them. You explain why it's bad. You set limits on their behavior. I am exactly the same way with myself. I take my own happiness and the happiness of others very seriously. You're confusing actions with individuals.
At any given point you must feel that your actions (which are part of you and reflect who you are) are "absolutely fine" or "not absolutely fine". If you think they are absolutely fine then you do feel everything is "hunky dory" if you don't think they are absolutely fine (and therefore by extension don't think that you are absolutely fine) wouldn't this come under the "beating your self up" behaviour you warn of? I don't view adults (including myself) as children, I expect more of them.


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Your metric of who is superior/inferior is not practical. All the others are. As I've said (repeatedly) I can rank people in terms of how smart or talented or kind, etc., they are. But having those traits doesn't make them worth more than other people. It just makes them smarter or more talented or kinder, etc.
Of course they're practical, if someone has these qualities but doesn't demonstrate them they end up with the people that don't have them. And having and demonstrating these qualities makes them worth more to me, that has nothing to do with their place in the wider society, I don't think my personal opinion is that important to anyone else.


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You can tell who's a better cook by eating their food...
Which is subjective (based on your personal tastes).


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What you can't do is tell who's a better person because there is no way to be a better or worse person.
If this is true then...

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But that doesn't mean that there aren't better and worse people for you, personally, to spend your time with. If I enjoy one person's company more than another's, I'll spend time with that person and not the latter.
how exactly would you go about doing this?

I've never claimed to be speaking for humanity, only myself, everyone else can think/value whatever they want to.


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There's that strawman again. Why would a bad surgeon have as much right to be a surgeon as a good surgeon? If you're a terrible surgeon, you shouldn't be a surgeon. But not being qualified to be a surgeon doesn't mean you should feel bad about it. Lots of people would be terrible surgeons. Should they all feel badly about it?
Being a surgeon would make them happy, you stated that everyone deserves to pursue happiness regardless of actions. Not allowing them to be a surgeon would prevent them from pursuing happiness (you don't get to choose what would make other people happy), therefore, no strawman exists.


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It's a little irrational, isn't it, to believe something that absolutely no one else believes in?
A rational person would realise that that is merely an argument from popularity.


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I got through it by realizing that no one knows. No one is actually in any position to judge the worth of another person. It's arbitrary and subjective. It doesn't matter if everyone thinks I'm a disgusting, contemptible person, because they're all wrong. They just don't know it.
If no one knows, you can't know that they're wrong, you don't get to have it both ways.


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The way to fix your self-esteem is to realize that there are no better or worse people.
There's that absolute thinking again, surely you can at least concede that it's a way to improve self-esteem as opposed to the way.


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So ... what if I'm right?
If you're right then it would be interesting and the idea should be propagated. I can't ever see it working in practice with human beings, but I can't say for sure that it wouldn't.

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post #59 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 12:03 AM
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I could go on (and on...) but I'll let you have the last word, @LonelyLurker . I'm sure people are sick to death of seeing my posts. Thanks for the chat.

In science, ideology tends to corrupt; absolute ideology [corrupts] absolutely" - Robert Nisbet
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post #60 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 11:14 AM
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I could go on (and on...) but I'll let you have the last word, @LonelyLurker . I'm sure people are sick to death of seeing my posts. Thanks for the chat.
No problem, I appreciated being able to exercise my mental muscles a bit so thanks for that.

Until the next time.

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