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RE: [existlist] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith: To Con Oneself

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  • james tan
    eduard, that engineer u mentioned seems to lack passion. i am inclined to think he is living in bad faith, though the precise nature requires existential
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 2 7:36 AM
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      eduard,

      that engineer u mentioned seems to lack passion. i am inclined to think he
      is living in bad faith, though the precise nature requires "existential
      psychoanalysis". he seems to lack authenticity. he seem to just to get by.
      his kind of attitude reminds me of what happened when i was in the army - it
      is precisely the same attitude some of the soldiers had. but the soldiers
      here are mostly draftees, not a voluntary vocation. i'd say ur first
      paragraph pretty much described what is meant by bad faith.

      james.


      From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
      Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith: To Con Oneself
      Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 07:02:28 -0400

      James,

      I found several "Bad Faith" references on the web.
      The following seems the best:

      << Sartre regarded this freedom to make choices
      as a great burden to bear but something we must
      understand and accept. Some people find this hard.
      People who are scared by the burden of freedom
      sometimes fall victim to a kind of intellectual
      deception that Sartre calls "bad faith". They
      allow themselves to be misled into thinking that
      they do not have the freedom of choice. When
      people say things like "I'm just doing my job"
      they are guilty of bad faith because they are
      using their job as a reason to avoid making their
      own choices. When someone denies that they have
      choice in this way they are acting as though they
      only exist en-soi rather than pour-soi. Those who
      thus slip into the anonymous masses will never be
      other than members of the impersonal flock, having
      fled from themselves into self-deception. On the
      other hand our freedom obliges us to make
      something of ourselves, to live "authentically" or
      "truly". >>

      I would seem to me that, by the above, a person
      would be in "bad faith" if the act is against his
      own personal moral code and this does not require
      having a goal as such. For example, if in the
      military, a man kills when his own moral code is
      towards pacifism, there is bad faith if he uses
      the excuse of being ordered to kill. I should
      think that Sartre would say that the person had
      the ability for free choice to not kill.

      Sometimes "bad faith" is difficult to identify
      when one looks at someone else's behaviour. For
      example, I am aware of a fellow engineer who is
      just sitting there waiting for his next pay
      cheque. He does not seek out technical problems
      which require solution, as this would mean that he
      would have to do some work. His view seems to be
      that it is up to management to tell him what do.
      But management is not normally informed of what is
      going on at the lower levels and therefore he can
      be assured of long periods of doing nothing.

      Now the question may be put as to whether he is
      actually acting in "bad faith". One could say
      that he is authentic to himself in that he is
      inclined to be lazy. Yet surely, in choosing the
      engineering discipline, he should behave in a
      pro-active fashion to solve problems. But over
      the years of being a civil servant he has learned
      that it is possible to avoid work and this has
      become his present attitude. So can we look back
      into history to say that he is acting in "bad
      faith" to his original choice of becoming an
      engineer ... or is he now acting authentically
      because of his present attitude which he has
      adopted??

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 12:09 AM
      To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith:
      To Con Oneself

      i understand sartre's bad faith as self-deception.
      a man who employs
      deception in politics, military affairs, or even
      business is deliberately
      manipulative to get what he wants; it is 'bad
      faith', i think, not in
      sartre's sense - such a man is in no way self
      deceiving. many military or
      political (or sexual) conquests and strategies
      would have been impossible
      without deception, and the victor is fully aware
      of his goals and the means
      to get them. means to ends. even question of
      integrity is means to end.
      ultimately, it is the end that justify. the only
      question is, is one in bad
      faith who doesnt even know his goal in life? is
      conventional morality, such
      as "thou shall not kill, steal, lie.....etc",
      something that is imposed (by
      society or religion) or chosen? is conventional
      morality consistent with
      one's self chosen goal in life? if not, and if one
      still adheres to it, then
      he is indeed in bad faith. disclaimer: my
      understanding of sartre may be
      twisted.
      james.


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    • Eduard Alf
      james, I suppose that more would be found if he was sent for psychoanalysis. All that can be done at this time is to look on the surface and make a guess. The
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 2 12:34 PM
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        james,

        I suppose that more would be found if he was sent
        for psychoanalysis. All that can be done at this
        time is to look on the surface and make a guess.
        The example makes me think about the element of
        time. People tend to start out with some
        expectation of life and career. The choose to
        become an engineer or doctor or whatever. But, as
        the years go by, they settle into something less
        consequential. In a sense, one could say that
        with their present attitude they are being
        authentic. Yet they are in a state of "bad faith"
        with themselves, in that they have convinced
        themselves of the worth of being less than they
        could be.

        eduard

        -----Original Message-----
        From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 10:36 AM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: Reflections on Bad
        Faith: To Con Oneself


        eduard,

        that engineer u mentioned seems to lack passion. i
        am inclined to think he
        is living in bad faith, though the precise nature
        requires "existential
        psychoanalysis". he seems to lack authenticity. he
        seem to just to get by.
        his kind of attitude reminds me of what happened
        when i was in the army - it
        is precisely the same attitude some of the
        soldiers had. but the soldiers
        here are mostly draftees, not a voluntary
        vocation. i'd say ur first
        paragraph pretty much described what is meant by
        bad faith.

        james.
      • james tan
        i agree with u that bad faith basically is the inability or unwillingness to accept truth about oneself. u asked a interesting question: if i know that i am
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 2 7:14 PM
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          i agree with u that bad faith basically is the inability or unwillingness to
          accept truth about oneself. u asked a interesting question: "if 'i know'
          that i am lying to myself, how could i really be deceived". i think this is
          just another manifestation of bad faith. one may 'know', but one may not
          'accept', thus the self deception. there are two components here: one the
          intellectual, the other the emotional. his cognitive ability enables him to
          'know', but emotionally, he cannot or do not want to 'accept' that fact
          about himself - and thus, there is really a difference in iq and eq.
          research has shown that not all high scorers in iq are successful in life,
          whereas what is common among the 'achievers' in life are a good healthy dose
          of eq. eq enables people to accept the facts about themselves, which has a
          important effect in making the right decision in how they would
          realistically use their resources. more or less, they know their own
          strengths AND limits, they know what they want - and people engaged in bad
          faith is precisely lacking in these areas, so that without even these basic,
          fundamental psychological elements, they end up ineffective and maladaptive,
          and unhappy. freud went a step further in positing the unconscious, so that
          self deception may not even be 'known' to the person concerned.

          james.


          From: "decker150" <decker150@...>
          Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
          To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Sartre] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith: To Con Oneself
          Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2002 01:40:55 -0000

          Well, I wonder about that. Bad faith had a sense to it that oneself
          was mainly deceived in the process. If 'I know' that I am lying to
          myself, how could I really be deceived. It strikes me that bad faith
          neccessitates a believing of something that is not truth without the
          self-realization that it's actually untrue. The solitary or
          autonomous act of bad faith occurs when I am unwilling or unable to
          recognize that truth about myself. It seems to have little to do
          with 'the others' around me, but has it's central affect on oneself.

          Please help me here if I am wrong - Joe

          --- In Sartre@y..., Debby Coley <debbycoley@y...> wrote:
          > My thinking on this is that the person in question is
          > the one acting in bad faith, the self-deceived, is an
          > active participant in the act of lying to another and
          > simultaneously lying to his/her self. There is no
          > duality in the act of lying as the liar lies to
          > him/her self as well as lying to another person.
          > Sartre states in "Being and Nothingness" that "Bad
          > faith on the contrary implies in essence the unity of
          > a single consciousness"(89). ..."There must be an an
          > original intention and a project of bad faith as such
          > and a pre-reflective apprehension (of) consciousness
          > as affecting itself with bad faith" (89). As far as
          > the question of that decker raises fits along with the
          > concept of bad faith. The liar knows the truth
          > distinctly and yet chooses to lie for whatever reason,
          > thus lying to himself/herself and to the recipient of
          > the lie. Surely, these types of entities that Decker
          > mentions are aware that they are lying to others and
          > likewise lying to themselves. I apologize if I have
          > become repetitious.
          > debby
          > --- decker150 <decker150@y...> wrote:
          > > I was wondering, do you think Sartre extended bad
          > > faith to include
          > > deception towards other beings? I've been thinking
          > > about the social
          > > fraud which is not criminal. Also, the thought came
          > > to me of 'the
          > > mask', or the greek concept of the hypocrises, the
          > > actor behind the
          > > mask: This could be the pedaphile priest, the
          > > unfaithful spouse, the
          > > well honored employee who steals, the person who is
          > > two-faced, the
          > > pretender, someone who acts like a friend but
          > > doesn't stick with you
          > > through thick and thin. The corporate slizziness of
          > > Enron and
          > > MCIworld? Are these bad faith? A lack of the
          > > authentic, the genuine
          > > and the true? The confidence trickster?
          > >
          > > Joe
          > >
          > > --- In Sartre@y..., praxistence@a... wrote:
          > > > In Truth & Existence, Sartre provides an example
          > > of bad faith: the
          > > woman who
          > > > knows she is ill but refuses to see a doctor.
          > > People ask, "What's
          > > the
          > > > matter?," & she says, "Oh, nothing."
          > > >
          > > > How many of us do this kind of thing every day?
          > > But I suspect that
          > > true bad
          > > > faith is to exhibit a pattern of this sort of
          > > conduct: people that
          > > NEVER see
          > > > (or say they never see) a doctor. My favorite is
          > > somebody that
          > > retires from
          > > > some company or agency after umpteen-plus years, &
          > > the report
          > > concludes with,
          > > > "never taken a sick day."
          > > >
          > > > Have there never been days when someone just
          > > didn't feel well? Was
          > > the person
          > > > sick but went to work anyway? If so, who else got
          > > sick because
          > > someone
          > > > refused to take sick day?
          > > >
          > > > Here in the US of A, it's apparent that, with this
          > > example, we
          > > actually
          > > > celebrate the person of bad faith: "Oh, I've never
          > > taken a sick
          > > day!" "Hey,
          > > > well good for you!" Moreover, even if the person
          > > has consciously
          > > refused to
          > > > take a sick day for umpteen-plus years, in order
          > > to be able to say,
          > > on
          > > > retirement, "Hey, no sick days for me!," is this
          > > not also bad
          > > faith? At
          > > > retirement, this is the legacy one leaves?: no
          > > sick days?
          > > >
          > > > If anyone disagrees, please say so, but I think
          > > Joe is on to
          > > something: good
          > > > faith v. bad faith. Good faith in taking sick
          > > days when one knows
          > > one is
          > > > sick is far more admirable than being able to
          > > leave the legacy of
          > > no sick
          > > > days taken.
          > > >
          > > > Unfortunately, at least here in the States, bad
          > > faith gets the seal
          > > of
          > > > approval until one is lawfully taken to task for
          > > bad faith, e.g.,
          > > failing to
          > > > carry out a contract in good faith
          > > >
          > > > Of course, there're also the cases of people that
          > > take off sick
          > > when they're
          > > > not: this is likewise bad faith: deceiving
          > > oneself, deceiving
          > > others, &
          > > > knowing one is deceiving others.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
          > > removed]
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > =====
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
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        • daniel_needles
          James, Interesting distinction. Thanks. Daniel ... unwillingness to ... know ... this is ... may not ... one the ... enables him to ... fact ... eq. ... in
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 3 3:04 PM
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            James,
            Interesting distinction. Thanks.
            Daniel

            --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
            >
            > i agree with u that bad faith basically is the inability or
            unwillingness to
            > accept truth about oneself. u asked a interesting question: "if 'i
            know'
            > that i am lying to myself, how could i really be deceived". i think
            this is
            > just another manifestation of bad faith. one may 'know', but one
            may not
            > 'accept', thus the self deception. there are two components here:
            one the
            > intellectual, the other the emotional. his cognitive ability
            enables him to
            > 'know', but emotionally, he cannot or do not want to 'accept' that
            fact
            > about himself - and thus, there is really a difference in iq and
            eq.
            > research has shown that not all high scorers in iq are successful
            in life,
            > whereas what is common among the 'achievers' in life are a good
            healthy dose
            > of eq. eq enables people to accept the facts about themselves,
            which has a
            > important effect in making the right decision in how they would
            > realistically use their resources. more or less, they know their
            own
            > strengths AND limits, they know what they want - and people engaged
            in bad
            > faith is precisely lacking in these areas, so that without even
            these basic,
            > fundamental psychological elements, they end up ineffective and
            maladaptive,
            > and unhappy. freud went a step further in positing the unconscious,
            so that
            > self deception may not even be 'known' to the person concerned.
            >
            > james.
            >
            >
            > From: "decker150" <decker150@y...>
            > Reply-To: Sartre@y...
            > To: Sartre@y...
            > Subject: [Sartre] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith: To Con Oneself
            > Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2002 01:40:55 -0000
            >
            > Well, I wonder about that. Bad faith had a sense to it that oneself
            > was mainly deceived in the process. If 'I know' that I am lying to
            > myself, how could I really be deceived. It strikes me that bad
            faith
            > neccessitates a believing of something that is not truth without the
            > self-realization that it's actually untrue. The solitary or
            > autonomous act of bad faith occurs when I am unwilling or unable to
            > recognize that truth about myself. It seems to have little to do
            > with 'the others' around me, but has it's central affect on oneself.
            >
            > Please help me here if I am wrong - Joe
            >
            > --- In Sartre@y..., Debby Coley <debbycoley@y...> wrote:
            > > My thinking on this is that the person in question is
            > > the one acting in bad faith, the self-deceived, is an
            > > active participant in the act of lying to another and
            > > simultaneously lying to his/her self. There is no
            > > duality in the act of lying as the liar lies to
            > > him/her self as well as lying to another person.
            > > Sartre states in "Being and Nothingness" that "Bad
            > > faith on the contrary implies in essence the unity of
            > > a single consciousness"(89). ..."There must be an an
            > > original intention and a project of bad faith as such
            > > and a pre-reflective apprehension (of) consciousness
            > > as affecting itself with bad faith" (89). As far as
            > > the question of that decker raises fits along with the
            > > concept of bad faith. The liar knows the truth
            > > distinctly and yet chooses to lie for whatever reason,
            > > thus lying to himself/herself and to the recipient of
            > > the lie. Surely, these types of entities that Decker
            > > mentions are aware that they are lying to others and
            > > likewise lying to themselves. I apologize if I have
            > > become repetitious.
            > > debby
            > > --- decker150 <decker150@y...> wrote:
            > > > I was wondering, do you think Sartre extended bad
            > > > faith to include
            > > > deception towards other beings? I've been thinking
            > > > about the social
            > > > fraud which is not criminal. Also, the thought came
            > > > to me of 'the
            > > > mask', or the greek concept of the hypocrises, the
            > > > actor behind the
            > > > mask: This could be the pedaphile priest, the
            > > > unfaithful spouse, the
            > > > well honored employee who steals, the person who is
            > > > two-faced, the
            > > > pretender, someone who acts like a friend but
            > > > doesn't stick with you
            > > > through thick and thin. The corporate slizziness of
            > > > Enron and
            > > > MCIworld? Are these bad faith? A lack of the
            > > > authentic, the genuine
            > > > and the true? The confidence trickster?
            > > >
            > > > Joe
            > > >
            > > > --- In Sartre@y..., praxistence@a... wrote:
            > > > > In Truth & Existence, Sartre provides an example
            > > > of bad faith: the
            > > > woman who
            > > > > knows she is ill but refuses to see a doctor.
            > > > People ask, "What's
            > > > the
            > > > > matter?," & she says, "Oh, nothing."
            > > > >
            > > > > How many of us do this kind of thing every day?
            > > > But I suspect that
            > > > true bad
            > > > > faith is to exhibit a pattern of this sort of
            > > > conduct: people that
            > > > NEVER see
            > > > > (or say they never see) a doctor. My favorite is
            > > > somebody that
            > > > retires from
            > > > > some company or agency after umpteen-plus years, &
            > > > the report
            > > > concludes with,
            > > > > "never taken a sick day."
            > > > >
            > > > > Have there never been days when someone just
            > > > didn't feel well? Was
            > > > the person
            > > > > sick but went to work anyway? If so, who else got
            > > > sick because
            > > > someone
            > > > > refused to take sick day?
            > > > >
            > > > > Here in the US of A, it's apparent that, with this
            > > > example, we
            > > > actually
            > > > > celebrate the person of bad faith: "Oh, I've never
            > > > taken a sick
            > > > day!" "Hey,
            > > > > well good for you!" Moreover, even if the person
            > > > has consciously
            > > > refused to
            > > > > take a sick day for umpteen-plus years, in order
            > > > to be able to say,
            > > > on
            > > > > retirement, "Hey, no sick days for me!," is this
            > > > not also bad
            > > > faith? At
            > > > > retirement, this is the legacy one leaves?: no
            > > > sick days?
            > > > >
            > > > > If anyone disagrees, please say so, but I think
            > > > Joe is on to
            > > > something: good
            > > > > faith v. bad faith. Good faith in taking sick
            > > > days when one knows
            > > > one is
            > > > > sick is far more admirable than being able to
            > > > leave the legacy of
            > > > no sick
            > > > > days taken.
            > > > >
            > > > > Unfortunately, at least here in the States, bad
            > > > faith gets the seal
            > > > of
            > > > > approval until one is lawfully taken to task for
            > > > bad faith, e.g.,
            > > > failing to
            > > > > carry out a contract in good faith
            > > > >
            > > > > Of course, there're also the cases of people that
            > > > take off sick
            > > > when they're
            > > > > not: this is likewise bad faith: deceiving
            > > > oneself, deceiving
            > > > others, &
            > > > > knowing one is deceiving others.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
            > > > removed]
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > > =====
            > >
            > >
            > > __________________________________________________
            > > Do You Yahoo!?
            > > Sign up for SBC Yahoo! Dial - First Month Free
            > > http://sbc.yahoo.com
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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          • james tan
            deceiving others as a result of deceiving oneself may be true, but i doubt sartre was really as concerned about that as the full implication of deceiving
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 4 7:52 AM
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              deceiving others as a result of deceiving oneself may be true, but i doubt
              sartre was really as concerned about that as the full implication of
              deceiving oneself for oneself (not so much for others, though it comes in
              the package. but strictly, deception of others is only considered deception
              [and not mere misleading] when there is a intention, so a sincerely self
              deceived person cannot deceive others because there isnt any intention to do
              so; and IF there is intention, a cunning person can present facts and
              'truth' in such a way that the victim can end up being deceived in
              interpretation).

              james.


              From: praxistence@...
              Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Sartre] Re: Reflections on Bad Faith: To Con Oneself
              Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 22:29:38 EDT

              I suspect that when you deceive yourself, you're also going to deceive
              others: you're seldom going to deceive yourself into believing you are not
              sick but simultaneously tell others you have TB. I'm guessing (anyone else
              disagreeing, please challenge) that for Sartre bad faith in deceiving
              oneself
              implies that you're likewise gonna be deceiving others.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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