Sunday, November 8, 2020

Unbearability and Attractiveness

Pain is wrong, evil, bad, say some. But to me, it is almost always at worst unbearable, in itself. Pleasure is right and good, say some. But to me, it is often at best attractive.

If something is attractive enough, you find it difficult or impossible to resist trusting it, moving toward it, taking it in. If it is unbearable enough, you find it difficult or impossible to resist closing off to it, distrusting it, moving away from it, destroying it, shutting it down.

But is it you that values what is attractive? Or that disvalues what is unbearable? Not necessarily. You can value what is unbearable and disvalue what is attractive. Nor is it clear that what is attractive ought to be valued, or what is unbearable ought not to be valued. It is practical, all things being equal, that your attractions and valuings, and what is unbearable to you and your disvaluings, line up. But it is not necessarily right that they do so, except insofar as what is practical makes it more possible to pursue what is really right.


(Added 2 December 2020)

Things which cannot be borne for all eternity are at least a little bit unbearable. If you can bear it for all eternity, it's fully bearable.

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