Vanity arises when you believe beauty is a moral or social virtue. True virtue needs no classification.
You crave inference because you crave identity. You crave survival. If this process of ongoing inference, ongoing assumption, is disrupted, you will even kill to reestablish it. Does this sound absurd? You will even seek death to re-establish it. Martyrdom. What reality do you have beyond your beliefs?
It’s not at all absurd, especially considering allegiance to nation-state, religions, and other sources of identity.
Now here is the perhaps most important question. Do all beliefs have meaning?
To the person who believes, yes.
Don’t we invest them with meaning?
Yes, but varying degrees of importance?
I would disagree, nor do we invest them with meaning, and importance is irrelevant. A person may firmly believe that they need to commit themselves to their job and still feel like doing so gives no meaning.
Or to lose weight… Yes. They may believe very much that they must always look their best and still not feel like this effort has any real meaning. They will pursue these beliefs with a passion.
Or to exercise, or to do all sorts of things that hold no real meaning for that individual. To the point of self destruction, self mutilation, and still fail to find meaning. Why is this?
Holding the same beliefs believing that meaning will show up.
Maybe meaning is not something that we “find…” Sort of like pursuing “happiness.” The pursuit of happiness is meaningless, but meaning can make you feel happy. Indeed, but we are given to believe that meaning can be found. In the study of language and symbolism, they decode the meaning of any word or symbol based on its place in a pattern of relationships.
So what would give a belief meaning or deprive it of meaning?
Its referents? Its referents. Its relevants. Its stimulants. The degree to which it makes us feel whole, promotes integrity. I have a belief. My belief is that life’s existence is good. Does that belief have meaning? It is good that there is such a thing as life. I do firmly believe this.
Would the belief that life’s existence is an evil have meaning? What would it mean to view that fact that life exists as being a moral wrong? How could it have meaning? Humanity is a virus. I am human, therefore I am a virus. Does this have meaning? Does it connect to anything else? Does the idea that life’s existence is a moral evil connect to anything else? Allow any further inference?
There is nothing to build on. So shall I build on the belief that life is good? That life’s existence is good?
Yes, but only to a point. Why is there a qualifier?
Annihilating death would be problematic. Beyond a point of physical pain and burden, life itself is no longer “good” for that particular individual. Your body believes that life’s existence is good. This is why it keeps doing it.
If I infer that life’s existence is good, than I can also infer that forms in which life exists are good. Does this belief have meaning? Can it enable any further inference?
Yes, for most forms. Life is good or I believe it to be so, anyway.
Yes, you would find meaning in nurturing these things.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.