Pold World Philosophy

27 05 2013

Regular readers may have already sussed out my philosophy, but I thought I’d expound upon what I call the Pold World Philosophy.

Self Reflection

The foundation of PWP is self-reflection. ‘Know Thyself” as the Greek aphorism states. First, you have to understand what motivates you. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you react the way you do to different things? It is not  as important to know the origin of your motivations; it is important to know what your motivations are. Is it greed, sloth, narcissism, empathy, charity?

Value System

Now that you know where you are, you need to figure out where you are going. What is your value system? For me, it is the Judeo-Christian value system. For others, it may be a humanist value system. I’m sure even cannibals have their own value system. Whatever it is, you need to have a firm understanding of the goals of your value system. The main purpose of value systems is to ensure that societies run smoothly. If the goals of a value system are well understood by everyone, and a large majority attempt to reach those goals, the society will be stable.

Measure Up

You know where you are and where you would like to be, now you are ready to measure yourself up. How do your motivations align with your value system? Are your motivations pure? A pure motivation is one that is in harmony with the goals of your value system. For example, if I help an elderly lady cross the street, my motivation is pure if I’m doing it out of love and respect for her. My motivation is tarnished if I do it so that any onlookers can see what a great person I am. My motivation is unpure if I do it so that I can pilfer her purse while she is distracted.

Autonomy

The next step, now that you know how far you need to go, is to start getting there. The problem is that progress requires work. Our nature sometimes, especially if we are lazy, is to try to get through with as little work as possible. It would be great if we could just let someone else pull us along the path we’ve laid out for ourselves. The problem with that is it doesn’t work that way. When we blame others for our setbacks, we are relinquishing our autonomy. When we do things because others want us to or try to compel us to, we are giving up our autonomy.

I’m not saying to just do whatever you want and to heck with the consequences. Nor am I telling you that you should ignore the feelings or desires of your friends so that you can assert your independence. Remember the goal of your value system is for societal cohesion. Most value systems would have you behave altruistically not selfishly. What I’m saying is that you are at the helm of your own actions. You have autonomy. Use it to line up your life with your value system.

Avoid things that hamper your ability to use your autonomy. The use of mood altering drugs takes you out of the driver seat. Addictions of any kind will alter your ability to make pure choices; they will be clouded by your desire to fulfill your craving.

Respect the Autonomy of Others

Not everyone will have the exact same value system as you, but most people’s value systems do have similar goals. When you use your autonomy to infringe on someone else’s autonomy, you are not working with pure motivations. We all at some level want to control our world, however, that’s not how things work. There are ways of bringing others desires into focus with your own that do not involve guilt, intimidation, criticism or other boorish tactics.  You are not really going to change people’s behaviors doing that. What you will accomplish is resentment by that person toward yourself.

Conclusion

Those are the basics of the Pold World Philosphy. I think I would have to write a book to get into all of the intricacies of my philosophy, or at the very least, I have this blog to fill it out. The key is the process, though, not any end state. Growth happens through the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

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