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Thursday, 28 February 2019

Self-deception

I'm afraid that I have applied self-deception in some of my relationships and for quite some years. It doesn't help that I always want to see the good in people, despite their deeds and words. Neither does it help that I usually blame myself first for things that went wrong. It's rather confronting seeing someone in a totally different light than before.

According to Wikipedia, "self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception."

I suspect that my self-deception is rooted in my eagerness of caring for someone. Hence, it's somehow related to the proverb that loves is blind. Self-deception isn't common to me. Mostly, I see people just the way they are. People in a victim role, however, pose a much greater challenge to me. 

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states: "Virtually every aspect of self-deception, including its definition and paradigmatic cases, is a matter of controversy among philosophers".

That controversy includes whether self-deception is: intentional, a belief, our own moral responsibility, morally problematic, beneficial or harmful, and "whether our penchant for self-deception was selected for or merely an accidental byproduct of our evolutionary history".

The various types of self-deception seem related to the various Greek words for love:
  • philía: brotherly/sisterly love and friendships;
  • éros: romantic love;
  • agápe: the love for a Supreme Being;
  • storgē: parental love;
  • pragma: convenient type of love like in elderly couples;
  • philautia: the love for one's own self.

The above list appears to answer some of the philosophical questions relating to self-deception. We are turning a blind eye to the ones we love and/or care for. This seems an intentional process driven by our subconscious rather than our conscious or unconscious. Most likely, this process is beneficial in the short-term and possibly harmful in the long-term, after the love has gone. 

“People go on marrying because they can't resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month's pleasure with a life's discomfort.” A quote by Thomas Hardy from Jude the Obscure (1895).

After The Love Has Gone (1979) by Earth Wind & Fire


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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