1.        Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?

To never attempt in the first place

2.       If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?

The education system. I don’t see that value of memorizing facts or having everybody do the same thing. Children should be given an opportunity to explore and truly discover what it is that they adore doing.

3.       To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?

Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. Fate is to be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way. Destiny is the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.

 That depends on how much you can understand about yourself and others.  Belief, thoughts or conclusions made about experiences are what drive our behavior.  Humanity is limited in that we don’t know how others experience life, we are not necessarily sure if the beliefs that we have formed are true and what others might do based on their beliefs.  It seems there is very little room to have much control over what happens during the course of your life.  Things that you are told will work may not work and things that you are told will not work may work. It’s hard to say. The best one can do is to try and learn as much as they can about themselves, so that maybe that will lead to a life of more joy without the dependence on others for happiness. Nothing has to be set in stone.

4.       Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture?

Nurture - individual's personal experiences.  Nature - an individual's innate qualities or genetics.

Nurture shapes our personality more.  As a result of our unique experiences and knowledge we have received from our care-givers is what drives our behavior.  Our values, our desires, our expectations of life are what lead us to pursue or not pursue what we do in life.  I don’t see how genetics alone could have much impact on thought processes.

5.       Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right?

Right? What’s the right thing and how do you do something right? There are too many exceptions to the rule when it comes to the right thing. I suppose the best answer would be to do what you think is right for you.

6.       What one piece of advice would you offer to a newborn infant?

How can you offer advice to a newborn?  Question makes no sense.

7.       Where is the line between insanity and creativity?

The line is very fine. When you get lost in your creativity and lose the ability to stay grounded with a grasp on how to function in or with society, then you have probably crossed the line.  One must be able to have the ability to communicate with others and take care of their self.

8.       What is true happiness?

The moments in life when you lose all track of time. You are fully engaged in what you are doing and do not wish to be anywhere else or doing anything else. 

9.       What things hold you back from doing the things that you really want to?

One reason is fear of the unknown and either not knowing what to expect or expecting something bad to happen. The other problem is that you don’t know what you want to do or you don’t know how to do what you want to do and are not sure where to find more information on learning about it.

10.   What makes you, you?

My beliefs, my values, I suppose.

11.   What is the truth?

Your belief system is the foundation for your entire life. What you believe is what you expect. So when your mind has given its attention to a thought long enough that it has become a belief and has been accepted without a doubt that it will transpire, then an expectation of it has been created. Because your expectation of “it” that makes it true (to you).

12.   What is reality?

When you woke up this morning, you found the world largely as you left it. You were still you; the room in which you awoke was the same one you went to sleep in. The outside world had not been rearranged and the future remained unknowable. Reality is a matter of perception. How can you know for sure? We cannot know that we are all processing information from the 5 senses in the same way. There is an external reality that exists independently of our observations of it. If there is, how can we know? The question "what exists?" reduces to questions such as "what do we mean by 'know'?" Plato had a go at it 2400 years ago, defining "knowledge" as "justified true belief". But testing the justification or the truth of beliefs traces back to our perceptions, and we know these can deceive us. Whatever reality is, it isn’t what it seems.

13.   Do you make your own decisions, or let others make them for you?

I make my own choices. Sometimes, I have asked others for their opinion and then either chose to take their advice or didn’t but that is still my choice. Other times my right to choose has been taken away from me and no matter what I decided, I had no control.

14.   What makes a good friend?

Someone who loves you for you. Someone who shares experiences with you----thoughts, emotions, and activities both in good times and during the tougher moments of life. Someone who you feel a deeper connection with. Spending time with her/him is meaningful and cherished. Someone who you relate to and they relate to you----relationship.

15.   Why do people fear losing things that they do not even have yet?

What comes to mind when I read this question is the fear of losing people, more specifically a romantic relationship.  You can never “have” people so you can never really lose them.  The idea that is associated with having a person committed to you through your whole lives is very appealing and a very strong desire.  When you begin a relationship and you are consumed with fear and worry about whether or not that person will leave, then you are fearing losing something you don’t have and never will.  We can’t “have” people.

16.   Who defines good and evil?

Each individual probably mostly based on collective teachings learned throughout life.

17.   What is the difference between living and being alive?

Not sure if there is a difference. When I think about it.  Living has more of a boring connotation to it…like, making a living—working for my room and board. Being alive has more excitement…like, music makes me come alive!

18.   Is a “wrong” act okay if nobody ever knows about it?

If you know and believe it is wrong---it is wrong---not ok. It will be harmful to you to go against your own goodwill and do something that you don’t believe is ok to do.

19.   Who decides what morality is?

Morality is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. Each individual should discover for themselves what they truly believe when it comes to accepting something as right/wrong or good/bad. Question everything.

20.   How do you know that your experience of consciousness is the same as other people’s experience of consciousness?

You do not know.  There are so many factors involved in what makes up each individual’s consciousness that it seems like there is no way that any two people would experience that as the same.

21.   What is true strength?

When facing a difficult challenge, it is important to adapt to new experiences and not to resist change. The greater your adaptive capacity, the more likely it is that you will thrive----EVOLVE.

22.   What is true love? (My experience of what I believed was “true” love)

An initially innocent moment of attraction led to my eventual idealization of a man to the point of divinity. He became the answer to the question of what I wanted in life.  I became blindly attached to him, becoming incapable of making a realistic analysis of the situation; projecting all my illusions onto him. Even now when I think of him I still cannot see any fault in him. Not one. He remains an image, which will not break. I see him in an extraordinary way, an overwhelming goodness. He appeared beyond wise when it came to understanding behavior and relating/connecting to other people, a very caring person. 

He’d watch as I’d get lost dancing under the stars and I’d ask what him what he was doing and he’d say, “I’m just enjoying watching you enjoy yourself.” I felt seen, I truly existed and I was ALIVE! I felt heard, he empathized, he listened and he shared with me---a “true” connection. He was fully present and completely attentive in the moment and there was no place that I would have rather been.  I felt completely satisfied and fulfilled-----enjoying what we shared entirely. It was playful, it was intimate, it was emotional, it was everything.

Most people accept that true happiness is more than a string of moment-to-moment pleasures—instead, it's probably better described as a more constant state of "fulfillment" or "contentedness."----or “true” love.

Was it real? That was how I experienced it---so, I’d say yes of course it was.

23.   Is a family still relevant in the modern world?

Of course, we all have family

24.   What role does honor play in today’s society?

Honor - respect that is given to someone who is admired; good reputation: good quality or character as judged by other people; high moral standards of behavior.

I am not sure, I haven’t noticed.  Can’t think of an example which I have observed.

25.   If money cannot buy happiness, can you ever be truly happy with no money?

Probably, as long as your basic needs for survival were being met.

26.       How do you know your perceptions are real?

Perceptions is way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression. I don’t know. Aren’t they real if I believe them? Don’t they become a self-fulfilling prophecy? The way that I interpret life experience has created my identity. All those messages have become the filters through which I create reality…my self-image, and I act on them as if they’re true.

 27.       How much control do you have over your life?

Not sure. There is that which we have control over, and that which we have no control over. Wisdom is knowing the difference. I have choices. Choices are the catalyst for change. I can choose to change or choose to be trapped. Doing nothing is a choice. My reaction during in any given situation is my choice and influences the direction my life will take. One of our basic human needs is a sense of control, to know that we have a choice, that our actions make a difference. For decades, psychologists have studied this concept as locus of control (LOC). The more internal our LOC, the more we believe our own efforts determine what happens in our lives; the more external our LOC, the more we feel our lives are controlled by outside forces.

 28.       What is freedom?

To ask nothing. To depend on nothing. To expect nothing. ~Ayn Rand

 29.       Isn’t one person’s terrorist another person’s freedom fighter?

Terrorists are people who spread terror. They do so by injuring and killing people, especially innocent people. Terrorists don’t kill just for the thrill of it. They aim to cause fear and intimidation as a way of achieving certain political ends.  But freedom fighters also do that in some cases.  If you focus on the cause, freedom fighters may appear honorable, but if you focus on their tactics both are terrorists. It is an error of moral reasoning to focus only on their cause.

 30.       What happens after we die?

Lots of things happen after you die. They just don’t involve you. ~Louis C.K.

 31.       What defines you?

Not much. I am more of a purple person-never really fit on one side or another. I am curious. I am self-motivated. I enjoy philosophy-does that make me a philosopher? I don’t believe in god, I guess that makes me an atheist. I am not in a relationship, so I guess that makes me single.

 32.       What do people strive for after enlightenment?

Enlightenment the state of having knowledge or understanding: the act of giving someone knowledge or understanding. Initially, I would say in order to understand themselves and others so that they can gain more insight as to why certain patterns in their life continue to repeat---and having learned that to figure out have to change their thoughts and behaviors in order to reach goals. 

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Oh if only life were that simple, lol!!! The more I learn the less I know and the more I grow the more it hurts. If only I didn't know what I know, I could be comfortable. There's a threshold when religion leaves the mind when you must jump off a philosophical cliff. In that moment there is chaos. And the rest of your life you can spend trying to make sense of the chaos, but....that too brings more chaos. So do we ever know enough to ever be comfortable? No. Is it fun to try? YES!!!!! LOL!

Love the convo girl ;)
It is fun :)

RE: What does it mean to jump off a philosophical cliff?

A friend once described losing his faith like committing identity suicide. I think for me it was more like realizing that my entire life was all wrong. That everything I did was to make someone else happy. So the leap off the cliff is more of a step of assertiveness and strength for the first time. And once you take that leap there is no turning back. So all the things that I once thought were true are now on the table for debate, lol. I liked your answers to the questions, but yet I thought things like, "happiness....hmmmm what is happiness? what is love?"...you know?

Many women think this way Chelsey. It is SOOOO common it's not even funny. We are made this way by the way we are raised and the injustices that are handed down to us by a sick society. I think the first step is to recognize that it's not your fault. And that it is (thankfully) something we can change :-).....if we are brave enough to face it and change it...

"I don’t see how genetics alone could have much impact on thought processes."

Except for, presumably, things like Trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome) which is a genetic disorder that has a profound impact on thought processes.

And then there's schizophrenia. The person often shows absolutely no signs or symptoms until about age 18-25. That's the most common age range for the first psychotic break. Nothing to do with nurture, apparently.
There is lots of new emerging research in the field of mental illnesses. The more we learn it seems that the most fascinating it gets!

Here is one example: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/21/schizophrenia-...

I have PTSD. They've recently found new information that even a year ago was unclear: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140916123636.htm

It think it could be both, a genetic pre-disposition plus life experiences. Who knows how many unknowing alcoholics are walking around in dry places.

@Chelsey

I know a bit about schizophrenia too.  What's your experience, if you don't mind saying?  How do you think nurture is related?

Wow Chelsey, that's a powerful story! From what I know of mental illness, it is highly linked to abuse. I know someone who suffers from this as well. I suppose my words of caution would be to realize that you won't know when your mind is playing tricks on you until it is too late. Opting to go without supervision of a psychiatrist when you have any mental illness (even something as common as depression) is dangerous because it IS a mental illness.

As I mentioned I have PTSD. I now know that I have had it since early childhood. It went undetected and untreated until last year. I am now suffering the physical repercussions on my physical health. My immune system is shot to hell with the constant stress that I have carried around on my shoulders, and I have become so hyper-sensitive to every little thing, that I have to be SUPER careful about what I do, who I surround myself with, and basically guarding myself from more trauma, because I have reached I think the limit of what my body can handle as far as stress and trauma. I can't take any more.

This can happen to anyone. Study after study confirms that stress kills you. Going without treatment of your trauma will catch up to anyone. It is important to face and deal with. I do very much admire your courage. I just want to stress to you the importance of taking care of yourself :) hugs
RE:
I don't agree with what you say about the supervision of a psychiatrist

I also enjoy our conversations Chelsey. Here's something that you may want to consider. And again, no hard feelings if you disagree but you should know all the facts to make an informed decision. With any mental illness if left untreated it DOES get worse. There is a saying that "Wellness begins with WE." finding professionals who can be part of your recovery is important. You shouldn't have to do it alone. There is no shame in accepting help. Especially when it's from people you are paying to be your non-judgmental, unbias party in the process. They are sometimes the safest people. They can help you understand yourself in a way that you can't do by yourself. I tried for a LONG time to make sense of my life, but never could by myself. That's not a weakness, it's just reality. When you've been abused you don't know what's normal or healthy. You don't know when you are "OK" for a while. You need a support system. I go to therapy, was on medicine for almost a year, (came off as directed by my doctor) I have a support group, and I journal....I mean, I have done a LOT....but I couldn't have done it alone. no way.
I suppose you're right.....yes I like Carrie, she is a beautiful singer. This is my favorite live performer of hers alongside a legend.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ7ZmaL2480" target="_blank">https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ7ZmaL2480

If you had diabetes, would you justify not seeking treatment by saying insulin may work for one but not for another, nobody can give me instructions on how to live, I get to choose whether I stabilize my blood-glucose levels?  Do you think that would be a responsible approach to self-care?

Mental illness still carries a stigma in our society which I hope will soon disappear.  Be careful not to stigmatize yourself right out of something that could be very helpful.

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