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To be alone

  1. Jun 19, 2007 #1

    JasonRox

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    I was thinking about this for awhile.

    Read this quote:

    "Some people believe in God and others in extraterrestrial life, either way we’re not alone."

    Or think about how you go to the emergency room, and you want to be with someone. Or you're trying to quit smoking, but it can be relieving knowing you're not alone when it comes to the difficult times.

    It's not merely a higher power thing like God, but I mean in general. Obviously we can't compare God and extraterrestrial life, but literally in either case you're not alone.

    Throw in some thoughts on maybe how you feel with things are going down or high, and how not being alone makes it so much better. Or maybe you don't feel this way at all, so try to elaborate on that with examples you've had.

    Note: Let's keep this constructive and no religious views included or commented on.
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2007 #2
    i don't think people need anyone. it's just habitual. i look at the greats who probably spent most of their lives holed up in a room hanging out with no one but books.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2007 #3

    JasonRox

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    You have an example?
     
  5. Jun 19, 2007 #4

    baywax

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    A.H.Maslow studied quite a few examples of people who were most comfortable being alone. This was a psychological study with a focus on his pet theory of "Self Actualization".

    More here:

    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html

    The need to share one's experiences is not going to be an innate function of the body. It will be an imprinted trait or "learned behavior" that stems from family life or the lack thereof. If we look at the different backgrounds, lifestyles and trials and errors of each individual we can usually see where they get their behavioral traits. Someone who has been through a traumatic family crisis or national crisis or natural disaster will have certain obsessions that someone who has not been through this will have. The need to share one's experience with a "god" or an "extraterrestrial" will most certainly stem from unfulfilled psychological and physiological requirements in their past experience or from an abundance of these requirements being fulfilled.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  6. Jun 19, 2007 #5

    Moonbear

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    Okay, I'm probably just weird, but when things aren't going well, I WANT to be alone. Usually, problems are caused by other people, so the last thing I want is more people around when I have something that needs fixing. I only like being around other people when things are going well and I want to share the joy.

    I assume that's what you're generally getting at, that people need comfort from something or someone external to themselves. Some derive that comfort from a belief in something supernatural, others only from the physical presence of another human. I don't think that's generalizable, though I certainly do agree that is something that some people, probably many or most people, do need, but not all. Some find their greatest strength from within themselves, and would rather not depend on other people.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2007 #6

    Math Is Hard

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    Jason's quote made me think of something Anne Foerst said about our desire to build robots.
    http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~frank/BerkeleyGroks_Foerst.htm
     
  8. Jun 19, 2007 #7

    JasonRox

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    That's a nice catch MIH!

    That's the kind of loneliness idea I'm looking for. I know some people can enjoy being alone, even myself, but I mean there seems to be this other kind of loneliness.
     
  9. Jun 19, 2007 #8

    Moonbear

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    Maybe a matter of semantics, but it seems what that quote MIH is talking about is less about loneliness and more about solitariness.
     
  10. Jun 19, 2007 #9
    No matter how I feel, I alway's want to be around happy people. Happy people as in happy of things that improve life[I consider becoming happier an improvement in life; like smiling or laughing] without degrading or sacrificing someone elses. A good example of this is people that tell jokes (and know that what they say won't hurt others).
     
  11. Jun 19, 2007 #10

    Evo

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    While I enjoy being in the company of people I like, I don't seek their company. I am happy alone and prefer being alone to being surrounded by people.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2007 #11
    When things go wrong I prefer to be alone, it's difficult enough to keep my spirits up without having to convince others that I'm okay.
    Anyway at the most critical moments I somehow find myself alone and I always belived that we are meant to alone during such times.
     
  13. Jun 19, 2007 #12

    JasonRox

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    I want to know more than just being alone personally. Maybe more as a social group not wanting to be alone.
     
  14. Jun 19, 2007 #13
    Well it really depends though. There are times when we want to be with people, and there are times when we want to be alone.

    People creating superficial characters because they feel lonely is just a theory. Although, i believe in a very similar version that people believe in God not because of feeling lonely but because being afraid of death. Another reason would be for the explanation of life and the beginning and the end of everything.

    Still, i think that the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial lives is higher than the probability of the existence of a God.
     
  15. Jun 20, 2007 #14

    BobG

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    Most people enjoy being part of some group. It's like Vonnegut's "God Bless You, Mr Rosewater" where people even make up artificial 'extended families', like being a Hoosier, for example.

    I bought a Jeep Wrangler earlier this year and I see the same thing. People in Jeep Wranglers wave at each other when we pass on the road. It's kind of silly, but I still do it.

    I hear that people that drive VW Beetles do the same thing. That seems strange to me. I guess they don't play 'Slug Bug' like normal people do.
     
  16. Jun 20, 2007 #15
    I actually had a few friends in college who were the same as me and prefered being alone when trying to figure out solutions to problems in life, or worrying about something. Once we (3 of us) were bored with tv, sitting in my living room, so we shut it off. We sat there for just under three hours without saying a word, without trying to communicate with eachother. There was no pressure to make someone laugh, keep everyone entertained. Never got bored. Just sat and thought about whatever was going on in our lives (i assume they did, i did). It was actually pretty great, to be with people yet still be silent. I don't think I would have sat silently by myself without doing anything else, it took two more people to be truely alone with my thoughts.
     
  17. Jun 20, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    I'm not sure what you're asking. If you don't collect information about individuals, how do you know what the group does? Otherwise, you'll have a sample bias toward only those who congregate in groups, thus prefer not being alone. :confused: Did I misunderstand your question?
     
  18. Jun 20, 2007 #17

    JasonRox

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    What I mean is that you can have people wanting to be alone but believe in God. That's not really being alone.

    Or they believe in extraterristrial life, still not alone.

    Or looking forward to robotics, still lonely.
     
  19. Jun 20, 2007 #18

    Evo

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    Sure, many people feel that god is a personal freind that they can talk to. Many people talk to a deceased love one. I talk to my animals, I talk to my computer, usually it's not a good conversation. I talk to myself a lot. Some people talk to plants. In some parts of the world ancestor worship is very popular.
     
  20. Jun 20, 2007 #19

    baywax

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    If you're uncomfortable being alone, get used to it.

    Although we're all one big happy family of humans who stem from one genetic mutation that took place god (or the extraterrestrials:bugeye:) knows how many millions of years ago in Africa, each one of us is soley responsible for our thoughts and each one of us is solely responsible for our actions. There's no one to blame. There's no one to console. There's no one more in tune with you than.... you. So, enjoy yourself because you are the only person that can truely appreciate (or depreciate) your experience like you do!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007
  21. Jun 20, 2007 #20

    Moonbear

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    And there are those of us who don't believe in any of those. I have a cat, but didn't have one of those for a long time either.
     
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