The Absurdity of Labels

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posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:07 AM
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So far, along the fairly uneventful path to my ultimate end, I’ve found that most beings I’ve met have mastered the subtle—or sometimes not so subtle—art of classification. People have boldly asserted to me or others that I’m an atheist, a cynic, a misanthrope, a pessimist, a humanist, a communist, a conservative, a pantheist, a liberal, a philosopher, a dreamer, a Buddhist, a nihilist, a feminist, a Canadian, an artist, a lumberjack, a surfer, a westerner, and so on and so on. The list would go on forever—or at least until there weren’t any words left to describe me. But when I reflect on my seemingly multi-faceted persona, I become completely aware that these labels do not define me at all, and to arrive at a conclusion of “what I am” would be utterly impossible.

The very concept of the label—some sort of name tag that identifies or defines who I am, as if I was a product of some assembly line, or some abstract idea—is absolutely absurd. The Aristotelean logic involved in deciding whether I am either this or that, either A or B or either A or not A, is completely ridiculous. How does one decide what he is when he’s varying degrees of all things? I am both A and B. I am both A and not A. I am not white or black, but varying degrees of both and many colors. I am not man or animal, but varying degrees of both. I am not hot or cold, but somewhere in between. I am everything.

I have to chuckle when someone declares: “this is what I am!” like he’s ready to become a martyr and die for a flag, a mere classification. He would die for an idea, a fleeting thought, simply because he has the sheer arrogance to believe he is this classification. An American will call himself an American because he resides within the boarders of America. He will give up his entire being and kill other beings to protect those boarders, those lines someone once drew on a map. An atheist will get in heated battles defending the completely intangible atheist banner, even if he shares some of the values that christians and muslims do. We are immodest and stupid to believe our own fundamental lie: “this is what I am.”

I understand that classification has its utility. It enables others to turn you into something less abstract and chaotic for the purposes of their own understanding. They vivisect your personality and label all of the pieces. Then they sew you back together into some frankenstein of your former self. You become something fragmented to them, something not real; and with your labels you are bestowed all of the baggage they come with, as if you were guilty by association.

If you make the mistake of believing these identifiers, or worse yet you become your own label, immediately stop and reflect. You aren’t your labels, you are an unclassifiable ambiguity to which no one has the right to distinguish—not even yourself.

Are you a defender of your labels?
edit on 25-5-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
So far, along the fairly uneventful path to my ultimate end,


Well, that's one way to put it I suppose. However I wouldn't say it's most definitely an end, but do believe as you wish!!


when I reflect on my seemingly multi-faceted persona, I become completely aware that these labels do not define me at all, and to arrive at a conclusion of “what I am” would be utterly impossible.


Amen. Me and you both, friend.



The very concept of the label—some sort of name tag that identifies or defines who I am, as if I was a product of some assembly line, or some abstract idea—is absolutely absurd.


Agreed, the individual and state of personal perception cannot be labeled. Period.



The Aristotelean logic involved in deciding whether I am either this or that, either A or B or either A or not A, is completely ridiculous. How does one decide what he is when he’s varying degrees of all things? I am both A and B. I am both A and not A. I am not white or black, but varying degrees of both and many colors. I am not man or animal, but varying degrees of both. I am not hot or cold, but somewhere in between. I am everything.


Couldn't of said it better myself.



I have to chuckle when someone declares: “this is what I am!” like he’s ready to become a martyr and die for a flag, a mere classification. He would die for an idea, a fleeting thought, simply because he has the sheer arrogance to believe he is this classification.


Humans, interesting species we are.



I understand that classification has its utility. It enables others to turn you into something less abstract and chaotic for the purposes of their own understanding. They vivisect your personality and label all of the pieces. Then they sew you back together into some frankenstein of your former self. You become something fragmented to them, something not real; and with your labels you are bestowed all of the baggage they come with, as if you were guilty by association.

If you make the mistake of believing these identifiers, or worse yet you become your own label, immediately stop and reflect. You aren’t your labels, you are an unclassifiable ambiguity to which no one has the right to distinguish—not even yourself.

Are you a defender of your labels?


I suppose being a defender of my person would be considered being a defending a label. However, I rarely find the need to defend what it is I am, more so I enjoy attempt trying to explain what I am. Language doesn't quite work out all that well though, it's only a glimpse into what one may see.

S&F



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
[mo
Excellent post....labels just serve to de-personalise, and only serve to assist individuals / authorities in making assumptions about you, often erroneous. Even more sinister, it helps online advertisers target you, based on any information they have....



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:25 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Are you a defender of your labels?


I don't live in the metaphysical world, so yes.

If you think labels is only partial meaning, then no labels is no meaning.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


I'm failing to see anything metaphysical about his post.

Perhaps you should invest some time in studying philosophy?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


Which label would you become a martyr for first? out of curiosity...



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by MrJohnSmith
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
[mo
Excellent post....labels just serve to de-personalise, and only serve to assist individuals / authorities in making assumptions about you, often erroneous. Even more sinister, it helps online advertisers target you, based on any information they have....


If you don't use labels, how do you communicate/get personal with someone? Any effort to articulate to someone would be reduced to meaningless squabble.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by satron
 


Which label would you become a martyr for first? out of curiosity...


Depends on the situation.

Would you do something like that for anything?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


By that do you mean put my being in harms way for an idea? No.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


By interacting with people as little as possible. I, m happy with my own company most of the time.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:38 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by satron
 


By that do you mean put my being in harms way for an idea? No.


I meant it in the same way you meant it when you asked me, label or idea.

You wouldn't even do it to save your relative or child?

How do you know that you aren't putting yourself in harms way for an idea now? I say this because I think it's absurd for someone to think that they live without labels. At the very least, there would be a communication break down between you and other people.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:42 AM
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Originally posted by MrJohnSmith
reply to post by satron
 


By interacting with people as little as possible. I, m happy with my own company most of the time.


How does that come to be, to find happiness by not interacting with people? Are you saying you are merely introverted, or someone who might be considered to be schizoid?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:45 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


And in thus, we can see one whom labels in fruition, and isn't the best at doing so.

You never did address my post, by the way.




posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:49 AM
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Originally posted by b3l13v3
reply to post by satron
 


And in thus, we can see one whom labels in fruition, and isn't the best at doing so.

You never did address my post, by the way.



aklsjf;laksjf;laskjf;aslkfjas;lkfjas;fkljasd;fklaj

Is that interesting to you?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:53 AM
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Originally posted by satron

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by satron
 


By that do you mean put my being in harms way for an idea? No.


I meant it in the same way you meant it when you asked me, label or idea.

You wouldn't even do it to save your relative or child?

How do you know that you aren't putting yourself in harms way for an idea now? I say this because I think it's absurd for someone to think that they live without labels. At the very least, there would be a communication break down between you and other people.


A relative or child is something tangible. An idea is not.

It would be impossible to not classify things. It is an optimization of language. I never said I live without labels, I just don't defend them with my life, or even any anger whatsoever, because they aren't true.

Are you the labels you prescribe to yourself? or the ones that others give you?



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 02:08 AM
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reply to post by satron
 


In short, yes.

Mainly because I'm wondering if you're speaking in a cryptic language, being the unlikely situation - or if you're deliberately not making sense.

Either way quite entertaining.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 02:10 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

A relative or child is something tangible. An idea is not.


Yeah but if you want to save your child, what is you're reason? Love? Is that tangible in a world where labels are absurd?


It would be impossible to not classify things. It is an optimization of language. I never said I live without labels, I just don't defend them with my life, or even any anger whatsoever, because they aren't true.


So you still want labels, you're just arguing for a crayon box with less variably hued crayons?


Are you the labels you prescribe to yourself? or the ones that others give you?


I'm an arguer and I'm a person that would like to see utility in ideas.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by b3l13v3
reply to post by satron
 


In short, yes.

Mainly because I'm wondering if you're speaking in a cryptic language, being the unlikely situation - or if you're deliberately not making sense.

Either way quite entertaining.


I call it "home row slam dance", and I apologize if it was too hard to understand.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 02:20 AM
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Originally posted by satron

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

A relative or child is something tangible. An idea is not.


Yeah but if you want to save your child, what is you're reason? Love? Is that tangible in a world where labels are absurd?


It would be impossible to not classify things. It is an optimization of language. I never said I live without labels, I just don't defend them with my life, or even any anger whatsoever, because they aren't true.


So you still want labels, you're just arguing for a crayon box with less variably hued crayons?


Are you the labels you prescribe to yourself? or the ones that others give you?


I'm an arguer and I'm a person that would like to see utility in ideas.


The feelings associated with love are fairly tangible in my opinion. The word love? Not so much.

I do see you're defending your labels. You assert you are an arguer, so you go ahead and argue, because that's what you think you are. That is fine, but one would have to assume that all you do is argue, or do you sometimes not argue? like someone who isn't an arguer does? If that is the case, then you are lying to yourself, and you are neither an arguer or someone who doesn't argue.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


ive never liked labels, always been a firm beleiver that you should look at people and see all of their qualities not just on or two



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