PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, October 26, 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Why is it important to have difficulties?

Dear Friends,

This week we are discussing the topic: Why is it important to have

Carlos has kindly sent us some ideas about the topic which you will find
below. I have also included a short essay.

I do think that difficulties are very necessary in our daily lives. I do
mean to have them. Also for societies, companies, etc. Just think what
it would be like if there were no difficulties. Boring and with no
challenges there would be no reasons to improve, and, many times, to live.
We set goals that need to be achieved, and always want to be successful
in achieving them. But I do think the real problem starts here.
How important is it to achieve them? In what time frame? What reasons do
we have? Well, maybe if we take ourselves very seriously and not as
philosophers, clowns or comedians life could be very troublesome for us.
Without difficulties creativity, innovation and power are difficult to
be obtained, and people and societies degrade. Is the process of
creation and destruction, so needed by nature to make us strong?
Illusions, milestones and goals are the cement that form our paranoia.


From Lawrence Why is it important to have difficulties?

Difficulties are part of nature and not just the sole burden of human
beings. The question is, however, how do we move from something that is
a natural fact, or better a natural phenomenon, to something that is

The accepted idea is that evolution progresses on the principle of
"survival of the fittest". And even in our language survival implies
strife and difficulties. We also have the myth that suffering makes us
stronger; again a concept, suffering, fully impregnated with the idea of

Even if we use the term "natural selection" we inherently understand
that this is not an easy matter. At the very lease natural selection
implies that we are candidates that can survive. But whether we use
-natural selection- or -survival of the fittest- we are talking about
biological principles. And this is where we need to be clear between our
language of values and our understanding of nature. Nature has no
values, it is rational minds that can describe the world in terms of
values; at least beyond such questions as "does it want to eat me?",
"can I eat it?" and "can I mate with it?"

Our ability to go beyond these three questions is what makes us
different from the rest of biology. But our ability to reason beyond
basic biology does not imply that biology follows our understanding of
biology. Biology has no say in whether there are difficulties or not:
there just are difficulties because that's the way the universe works.

But if difficulties are supposed to have a scope in our life, I would
argue that there is an even more powerful phenomenon that determines our
future: random events. And of course by random I mean unforeseen or
unexpected events. In essence, events beyond our control.

Difficulties are a human concept; it's how we interpret events and
experiences, but what matters is how we cope and manage difficulties.
This is the only input we have for survival, but of course, how we deal
with difficulties is an important key to our survival because even we
have the means to interact with the environment. And one of those means
is to understand that sometimes we might have to stand our ground and
fight, and sometimes we need to run away from a dangerous situation: the
fight or flight principle is a defence against difficulties.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Why is it important
to have difficulties?

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