Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Motivation part 1

First I'll address the question of what I mean by part 1, which is to say that why would there be a follow up? Simply put there are many substantial philosophies on motivation, its sources, it's uses, it's purpose, and many other facets. Today I'm focusing on one particular philosophy by a german which I can't seem to substantiate which all I know for sure is it was a german philosopher, speculatively I believe it was Kant. The idea proposed may have already been mentioned in a previous blog however it's worth expanding on. Simply put he surmised that it hardly mattered what you did so much as why you did it. That no action was ever good or evil in itself that everything was contextual and used motivation as the significant determination for judgement of a deed.

In a thought exercise from this idea I present a scene, in which there is a dead man on the floor a female witness to the events, and a male suspect believed to have caused the death of the man on the floor. The straight forward facts as that stands would likely find the man guilty of an evil deed because premature death from human forces is widely considered evil regardless of context.

In the example let's say the suspect killed the man in a process of self defense. This then becomes morally acceptable and while possibly still evil is now understandably justifiable and there in not worthy of social punishment by the policies of the location in which it occurred. However then let us say that while it was self defense the suspect did in fact want to kill the man and the man attacking him merely provided a convenient excuse. Then what grey area are you in? Let us say though then that his desires came from things told to him by the witness prior to the event. Who is guilty then? What if the dead man attacked the suspect under false pretense? Perhaps they had a heated argument before anyone attacked the other. Things are not always so clear. This could have easily been a scenario motivated by greed, lust, anger,  miscommunication, or any number of variables and which of them becomes important when determining so called "justice" as determined by localized policies.

Next time you realize an opportunity to examine a scenario I challenge you to transcend things as they are presented and find the motivation of it all. You may surprise yourself when you realize why you're doing what you're doing or why someone else is doing what they're doing. Not all action is physical either, it may simply be a conversation, or in the process of reading or watching something listening to something even. For example, why are you reading this, and why am I writing it? Not the straight forward answers you expect of "because I want to, or I like it" rather I am likely writing because it's a channel for my thoughts and the subject material is because of my emotions. Possibly you're reading because you seek to further your understanding of the world and yourself, or believe this may make an improvement in your life or you're confused and looking for answers in unlikely places. This is less of a focus however on self examination as it is on observation of the world just to clarify.

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