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Schopenhauer, Panpsychism, Nihilism

The Grey Man

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#1
What follows is crude. Its purpose is to stimulate discourse and to respond to some posts made in the “Awaiting Orders” thread and in other places.



Consider that central identity of Schopenhauer which has been shamelessly appropriated by his present-day coattail riders David Chalmers and Giulio Tononi: that between the Cartesian simple subject (“I”) and an act of will, between the phenomenological and the causal properties of experience, between perception and appétition, which in Leibniz’s Monadologie are adamantly separate elements of consciousness.

Consider also, reciprocally, that other identity of Schopenhauer which Chalmers and Tononi have not adopted, but which is the complement of the first in forming a complete image of the world: namely, that between what is known indirectly as the changes undergone by the organic spatial relations that thoroughly characterize the manifoldness of objects in space (that complex which Tononi calls “integrated information” and which Leibniz calls the “multitude dans l’unité”) comprehended by the subject in a transient act of cognition- the passage of time in Kant’s transcendental unity of apperception- and what is known directly as the penetration of this cognitive space by a temporal willing. In other words, the second is an identity between what is seen extensively as a transcendent causal order, as the patterns manifest in the changes undergone by mutually individuated entities (māyā: the matter of natural philosophy, which is the expression of a universal through particulars, the revelation of a truth which is a sum of facts) and what is felt immanently and intensively as willing (duḥkha: the matter of art, which is the expression of universals through a particular, the revelation through facts of a truth by and through their more or less immediate- less or more physiognomic- stimulation of affect), that immensely revelatory element of experience which contemporary philosophers of the mind have all but ignored to flatter their misguided sense of objectivity and which, at its most intense, we call passion and suffering.

The first identity starts with the subject and moves to the object (ex uno plures) whereas the second starts with the object and moves to the subject (e pluribus unum), however both express the same thought: that consciousness is fundamentally a union of opposites, of willing (time) and idea (space). The latter stands to the former much as does an invisible vessel whose form is revealed only when it is filled with opaque matter (to paraphrase Hamlet, “nothing is either good or bad or red or green, but thinking makes it so”*).

* To make the inflection from the phenomenological to the causal meaning of this, the difference between seeing red and seeing green is the difference between transmitting a digit in a binary message as aught and as naught, which is to say that there is no difference except that in the effects upon the receivers of the message, what messages result from these, and so on. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the incoming message is the medium is the outgoing message is the medium is the incoming...ad infinitum.” In other words, qualia are ineffable except insofar as their relations with other qualia can be elucidated because they are nothing more than these relations, and these relations, as a whole, nothing more than the full characterization of the objective complex as patient and, reciprocally, of the simple subject as agent. πάντα ῥεῖ- everything flows.
Escher Drawing Hands.jpg

Meanwhile, the temporal-willful aspect of the “I” stands to the spatial-phenomenal as do the tensions in a length of thread to the shape it assumes as it is woven into a tapestry. The tensions tell us how the thread has been stretched and squeezed to accommodate its neighbours and vice versa, and this gives us an inkling of how its neighbours may in turn have been stretched, squeezed, and made tense to accommodate it, but this does not tell us how, on the whole, they have been made tense, nor indeed that the whole tapestry is not one endless strand and that when we speak of one thread and its neighbours straining against themselves to form an interdependent lattice (δίκη ἔρις- strife is justice; to Goethe, this is the compensatory opposition between the drive to formation, the Bildungstrieb in the microcosm and in the macrocosm), we are not speaking of a single thread which is both immanent and transcendent in all.

Endlessknot_svg.png

From Wikipedia:

The Druze (/druːz/; Arabic: درزي‎ darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz; Hebrew: דרוזי‎ drūzī plural דרוזים, druzim) are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia who self-identify as unitarians (Al-Muwaḥḥidūn/Muwahhidun). Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of all people from the Mountain of Druze region, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet.

...

The main Druze doctrine states that God is both transcendent and immanent, in which he is above all attributes but at the same time he is present.

In their desire to maintain a rigid confession of unity, they stripped from God all attributes (tanzīh). In God, there are no attributes distinct from his essence. He is wise, mighty, and just, not by wisdom, might and justice, but by his own essence. God is "the whole of existence", rather than "above existence" or on his throne, which would make him "limited". There is neither "how", "when", nor "where" about him; he is incomprehensible.

The tapestry is the thing in itself, that which can only be comprehended negatively and thus intelligibly as that which is not the “I”. In our view it remains the same mysterium tremendum, the same unspeakable noumenon that it was to Kant. Every act disappears into the unfathomable abyss of our ignorance, its full transcendent significance never to be revealed.

Cartoon Jethro said:
A single thread in a tapestry,
though its colour brightly shines,
can never see its purpose,
in the pattern of the grand design.
It is this profound limit on human knowledge that permitted Leibniz to postulate an ungainly separation between perception and appetition that has constantly to be mediated by a micro-managing God. It is also what permits pompous utilitarians to champion grand political endeavours dedicated to the illustrious tradition of craven slave morality predicated upon the ludicrous claim that that the minds of humans and some animals are alone the heirs to suffering even though the objective corollary of suffering- causation- is present everywhere else in nature. Leibniz’s mill argument, to my mind, placed the onus decisively on them to justify their archaic dualistic nonsense some 300 years ago, not that I expect dull ideologues to condescend to questions of philosophy, regardless of how morally relevant they are to their foolish projects. Anyway, if I’m not mistaken, we stand with Schopenhauer at the summit of Western philosophy, for no doctrine before or since has provided so elegant and comprehensive a solution to the “riddle of existence”, as he called it, excepting those of such rare giants as Gautama and Heraclitus, with whose thought his converged. And in philosophy, parsimony, and no assurance of being right, is the best result one can hope for.

Thoughts? I would like to be told I'm wrong. Convincingly.
 

Cognisant

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#2
You had me at crude and stimulating.
 

Lagomorph

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#3
I see good and bad here. It seems we agree; you're describing what I visualize! :D

On the other hand, this is the most Ti-heavy explanation of a complex, intangible understanding of reality that I've ever seen. You're... describing what I visualize. :ahh:
 

QuickTwist

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#4
Hm...

I think the real question is in what the "I" asks about others. As I understand it, because the "I" has asked about the possibility of the "other" this means that the "other" exists if only in our mind.

So then the natural assumption is to ask the question of "what is god?" If we have seen in our mind's eye the existence of a "greater other" does this mean that because we have envisioned it that it is true (at least to our limited perspective)?
 

Hadoblado

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#6
Jesus Christ that is a thick sludge of words.

Honestly I find it impossible to even begin wrapping my head around what you just wrote, not because it's dumb or anything, but just from the writing style. I'm not invested enough to put in the effort to decipher this.

See for yourself, control+f -> "."

You are packaging your sentences faaaar too full. It might make sense for you, because you have an intimate knowledge of what you're saying, but this doesn't feel like communication, it feels like you're gate-keeping people <200IQ from engaging with your posts.

That said, I like the gist I'm getting from a quick look over, so if you put some more effort into dumbing it down for us smooth brain normies, that'd be great.
 

Pizzabeak

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#7
He might be adding support to the Judeo-Christian model of reality and science. When there's existentialism, there's basically no point to life. People try to cope and it's an attitude you can't tell is right or wrong unless there was enough time to think it through/see things through all the way.
 

Animekitty

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#8
Change creates time, space and physics. This makes distinct multiplicities but also monads. Unisons. As energy flows forward a backward flow emerges. Reality is created in the head. From your vantage point that is. All actions are will to maintain the stability of your life system. Too hot, go to cold. Too cold, go to warm. (Homeostasis). (sleep cycles) But will is also predicting and understands the self, ego, the I. It can know what it can do and that it exists. This can be because of a backward and forward flow maintaining one's existence. Which is a creation generator of understanding. We make inside use our subjectivity by attentiveness as much out our objectification. Resistance to change simply means other paths are used. It's in the alignment of paths more become accessible. The goal is to get all of the memory working together. To drop resistance of flow between them.

I hope I said something of use.
 

The Grey Man

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#9
Hm...

I think the real question is in what the "I" asks about others. As I understand it, because the "I" has asked about the possibility of the "other" this means that the "other" exists if only in our mind.

So then the natural assumption is to ask the question of "what is god?" If we have seen in our mind's eye the existence of a "greater other" does this mean that because we have envisioned it that it is true (at least to our limited perspective)?
th3A4RQ3PB.jpg

That the "other" is possible means that the "I" is capable of comprehending it in concreto (i.e. as an actual, immanent object) only symbolically, as a representation of a part of a logical system which has as its objective corollary a conceptual structure embodied by a concomitant structure in the brain. In other words, what is possible is comprehended by the subject intellectually and only intellectually or, to use Kantian terminology, intelligibly. As to whether it might be comprehended beyond the subject, by another subject, empirically (in concreto), this question can only be decided by a problematical judgment: We don't know. It is undecidable by either apodictic proof (analytic judgment elucidating the "logical" (really, still phenomenological, if they are to have any claim to even an ideal existence) properties of a conceptual structure) or assertoric statement of fact (synthetic judgment describing the phenomenological properties of an actual experience) because it is not a question of the immanent, but a possible transcendent existence, not of phenomena, but of the noumenon, which, again, is unspeakable and, with the Druze, empirically incomprehensible.

As for your second paragraph, no man has ever envisioned "in his mind's eye" the mind of any other because Kant's transcendental unity of apperception is just that: a unity. As Kant said, all representations are accompanied by a Cartesian "I think"; consciousness is both complex (objective; spatial-phenomenal) and simple (subjective; temporal-willful), with Leibniz, a "multitude dans l’unité". Schopenhauer, that inexhaustible fountainhead of delightful metaphors, described the "I think" as the string upon which all ideas string themselves as on a string of pearls.* Now, just as a necklace can have many pearls, but a pearl only one necklace, so a simple Cartesian ego can have many objects, but no object be shared by two egos so that they combine, for this would strip them of their simplicity and, with it, their respective "I"-hoods. So says Leibniz: "Les Monades n’ont point de fenêtres, par lesquelles quelque chose y puisse entrer ou sortir (Monads do not have windows through which something might enter or leave)." This principle is termed the Axiom of Exclusion in Tononi's Integrated Information Theory.

* I presented the pearls themselves as yet more strings twisting around and straining against the first to illustrate that, while idea and willing are the radical elements of consciousness, the latter is always and everywhere the substratum of the former. The strings which are knitted together to form the tapestry have each of them their shape, express their idea, by dint of the forces they exert upon each other and not the other way around.

Seeing red is just the surface phenomenon, the stage magic of māyā; what is really happening is that you are being made to see red and acting as one who sees red (again, paraphrasing McLuhan: "The medium is the message is you."). And, as I said before, seeing red is aught, seeing green naught, or is it the other way around? It matters not, for both, like all qualia, are an 'x', an extrinsically-defined feature of the objective-extensive aspect of the world (the idea), one among the multitude, an element of information, which alone is the matter of natural philosophy.

It is not so with willing. Willing is not information, but necessity. In the idea, in nature, we see in persistent symmetries* a phantasmagorical shadow of necessity that we can never be sure is not an optical illusion, as if cast by a stage magician, but which- with a degree of confidence commensurate with its persistence, following the great Bacon- we call causality (the problematicality of just such a transcendental judgment, the "problem of induction", as we know, having been pointed out very lucidly by Hume even when Kant was just a boy); in willing, we feel the genuine article! Causation is the immanent manifestation of time in space; feeling is time, our only glimpse of the transcendent, as through a keyhole.

2g46kh.jpg

(* Symmetry is, at best, the mere assurance of transcendent order embedded in space, rhythm its felt unfolding in time. Thus, music goes beyond rationalism in a way; it doesn't just assert that there is a transcendent order, it makes one.)

The objective complex is through and through dependently originated, passive being, the simple subject through and through self-sufficient, active becoming. Just as "this goodly frame the earth" is supported by a prohibitively inhospitable, hellish core of molten metal, so the quintessence of the world, that which lies at the foundation of all phenomena, no matter how peaceful (metastable), is suffering, duḥkha. Fire is, after all, the fundamental element, as Heraclitus believed. The flame is not the accident, but the fuel.

Cruz_de_Santa_Susana.jpg

Passion is like the hot Icelandic geyser that conducts some of the heat in the heart of the earth to the surface, thus giving the keen observer a glimpse of the true composition of the planet. It is an unpardonable act of negligence that who would fain pose as our intelligentsia still ignore this perennial clarion call to philosophical reflection! Still they go on thoughtlessly espousing utilitarianism in some variant or another, as if Schopenhauer had never lived and as if, contemporaneously, the insights of the ancient Indian sages had not been publically disseminated in the West!

Utilitarianism is the philosophy of the Antichrist. Without a shred of evidence, it postulates a dumb "unconscious" nature that can inflict suffering upon "conscious" life and, inexplicably, not the other way around. It claims the torments of the will to be the exclusive curse of humans and a few very sagacious animals merely because they resemble humans, even though the enterprise of natural philosophy has failed to furnish a solution to the "hard" problem (the magnitude of Chalmers' understatement here is downright farcical) of how objects magically conjure up the subject- their own condition of possibility (as if there was any...I repeat...ANY REASON TO THINK THAT THEY DO!!!). The core of the earth becomes the sky, up becomes down, and a whole world is deceived.

Motoko Kusanagi said:
We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice.
So it is that such vacuous concepts as "rights" and "equality" become mantras for battalions of indolent, willfully ignorant time-serving intellectuals and battle cries for armies of thick-skulled optimists.

Whatsoever is great about the world is not good, but terrible and wondrous.
Whosoever is great is capable of bearing it with grace.

Hamlet said:
What a piece of work is man! How noble
in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and
moving, how express and admirable! In action how
like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god! The
beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And
yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
The Lion Turtle said:
The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light.
Goethe said:
Do not, I beg you, look for anything behind phenomena. They are themselves their own lesson.

(Again, crude. The goal is stimulating.)
 

Pizzabeak

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#10
No one knows what happens after you die. So you can "live life to the fullest", because you can, or just try to impress whomever, probably your self.

And not a single one of you, admittedly, even came close to the mark when trying to comprehend this thread. Take like a year's worth leave and study up on that, then, before you can even say anything let alone do something about it. Plus, take your little nihilistic, existential crisis and shove it up anything. Nothing is off limits, you're allowed to kill. It's a conversation, make up your own rules, and just laugh at the suffering and attempts to alleviate it.

Be original. And better yet, try saving the planet. Then, just die anyway while trying to read and write as much as possible.
 

QuickTwist

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#11
@The Grey Man,

Perspective is all we have. When I say we have asked the question, it means we have thought about the answer. I am not arguing asking the question cannot be split up categorically between the object and subject, but that in asking the question it gives us an answer. Whether this answer is phenomenological or literal might be the same thing. And in getting our answer, it is us who needs to categorize, not that the categorization is obviously apparent.

I am trying to explain, help me understand.
 

Lagomorph

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#12
I'm working on something more thorough because this thread deserves a better reception. It's not intended to refute so much as compliment.

I'm posting this comment because my processing speed is slow and my attention span short; I may need prodding.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#13
I hope to re-read the original post and make a reply to it, but for now I'll just focus on this
Utilitarianism is the philosophy of the Antichrist. Without a shred of evidence, it postulates a dumb "unconscious" nature that can inflict suffering upon "conscious" life and, inexplicably, not the other way around.
Why is utilitarianism the philosophy of the Antichrist?

Also, is it inherent to the idea of utilitarianism that nature is unconscious? As I see it, according to utilitarianism at its core, the ultimate measure of the goodness inherent in something must be expressed though the subject(s). Experience is key, because it is seen as all that can be known, at least known directly (I'm here starting to feel the other things you mentioned click into place). This does not suggest that the non-experienced is irrelevant, if indeed anything exists which does not exist through experience, but that its value comes though its effects on experience. So, nature, all aspects of it, may have their own kind of direct experience. Is your issue here the idea that something has to be experienced to have importance, or something else?

To me, utilitarianism is a statement about near-total altruism (it takes, perhaps, the existence of other minds for granted, though not necessarily saying what does or doesn't consist of (a) mind) as well as a regard for the longest possible trajectory of time that can be considered. Various brands of utilitarianism will add additional claims onto this, and I don't know if I've quite seen utilitarianism expressed in as pure/generalised a form as I would like, but I think that summarises how I see it.

Anyhow, I'll return to this thread later and try to comprehend it more holistically/thoroughly.
 

onesteptwostep

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#14
Well I'm at the airport reading this, but it just seems like you were really impressed with Schopenhauer and his pessimistic existentialism. I think his thinking can apply to a lot of people today, but I think Sartre more really hits the spot with his existential take. Being from Hegel's era I think his views are a bit broad and not hitting the individual enough (which Sartre does). If you're into reading atheistic existentialism, I'd recommend Sartre and Camus.
 
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#15
They are separate elements of consciousness but they are still both known indirectly. The construction of models always contains an indirect relationship to the world. Passion and suffering is directly experienced in a (sensual) sense, but, indirectly understood, and yes, that is correct, they can be phenomena which re-orientate being. They do not reveal - what they lead to is obscurantism, wishful thinking, projection, and conflation. If they do reveal something then that something is localised potentials striving for fulfilment (our slavery to our evolutionary inheritance) and it can and is integrated into the models of self-hood, and we can and do infer the basis of these relationships as they have been developed over time. It is no glimpse of the transcendent, it is a glimpse of a specific relationship, not a feeling of anything transcendental.

On suffering... That the objective corollary of suffering is causation is contextually true, and these are the limits of that claim in my opinion. It's probably not a universal, and it seems that you are conflating tension with suffering. My opinion is all suffering (and passion) is tension but not all tension is suffering. Suffering is a more complex form containing the element of tension and tension is the natural consequence of the lack of harmony, of difference, of multiplicity. Tension exists between the 1 and the 0, swinging back and forth.

What Hamlet is saying is do not conflate the object of your thought with the thought itself, but what he didn't say is, do not be foolish enough to completely dissociate the object of your thought with the thought itself on that recognition. It's similar to McLuhan's statement. What Jethro is recognising is the the limits of inter-connectivity while to my mind falsely implying the existence of a centralised experience moving beyond said limits across decentralised inter-connected entities.

What do you mean by "transcendental" casual order - why transcendental? Why universals? Is that what we infer or do you believe that that is the case? All transcendentalism is absolutely assumed, without any possibility of support [evidence], and this must be so. In my opinion the world is demonstratively non-transcendent - every Law, theory, and pattern is fleeting, and even that statement of the fleeting nature of phenomena is simply a presumption based on present data. Live infinitely and chase the ends of infinity, and then come back with claims of transcendence and universals.
 

The Grey Man

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#16
They are separate elements of consciousness but they are still both known indirectly. The construction of models always contains an indirect relationship to the world. Passion and suffering is directly experienced in a (sensual) sense, but, indirectly understood, and yes, that is correct, they can be phenomena which re-orientate being. They do not reveal - what they lead to is obscurantism, wishful thinking, projection, and conflation. If they do reveal something then that something is localised potentials striving for fulfilment (our slavery to our evolutionary inheritance) and it can and is integrated into the models of self-hood, and we can and do infer the basis of these relationships as they have been developed over time. It is no glimpse of the transcendent, it is a glimpse of a specific relationship, not a feeling of anything transcendental.
How can passion and suffering not be revealing? That I see a cow out in the field does not mean that, in any transcendent (extrasensory; noumenal) sense, there really is a cow out in the field, but that does not change the fact that I see it, however illusorily. Similarly, the pain I feel when I stub my toe is...well, it's there, as anything can be! You're right, suffering (and in my view, the whole of a subjective experience) is localised potentials striving for fulfillment, but that we're capable of feeling this frustration with complete certainty seems to me the key to understanding what we really are. I'll elaborate at the end of this post.

On suffering... That the objective corollary of suffering is causation is contextually true, and these are the limits of that claim in my opinion. It's probably not a universal, and it seems that you are conflating tension with suffering. My opinion is all suffering (and passion) is tension but not all tension is suffering. Suffering is a more complex form containing the element of tension and tension is the natural consequence of the lack of harmony, of difference, of multiplicity. Tension exists between the 1 and the 0, swinging back and forth.
Yes, I have conflated tension with suffering because subjective pain seems to coincide with bodily distress or other objective conditions that are disadvantageous to our propagating our genes, conditions that we are predisposed to strive to rectify- our evolutionary inheritance is giving us the whip and, from an objective standpoint, this is a purely causal process. How is it that you think suffering only contains tension? I'm actually very interested to hear this since this seems to be a point where I veer from other people's views dramatically.

What Hamlet is saying is do not conflate the object of your thought with the thought itself, but what he didn't say is, do not be foolish enough to completely dissociate the object of your thought with the thought itself on that recognition. It's similar to McLuhan's statement. What Jethro is recognising is the the limits of inter-connectivity while to my mind falsely implying the existence of a centralised experience moving beyond said limits across decentralised inter-connected entities.

What do you mean by "transcendental" casual order - why transcendental? Why universals? Is that what we infer or do you believe that that is the case? All transcendentalism is absolutely assumed, without any possibility of support [evidence], and this must be so. In my opinion the world is demonstratively non-transcendent - every Law, theory, and pattern is fleeting, and even that statement of the fleeting nature of phenomena is simply a presumption based on present data. Live infinitely and chase the ends of infinity, and then come back with claims of transcendence and universals.
I have only used the word 'transcendental' in the Kantian sense, referring to an entity that is the condition of possibility for another (e.g. space is a condition of possibility for objects in space).

What I meant by "what is seen extensively as a transcendent causal order" is the succession of objective conditions in space with respect to time. It is the symmetries in the series of events unfolding before the subject, the "natural laws" which are the matter of natural philosophy, causation. If Event A always follows Event B, we have the appearance of a transcendent order. We can, with Sir Francis Bacon, assert with confidence that, for every instance of Event A, there is a subsequent Event B; indeed, all feats of human ingenuity are the result of just such an inference. But, since this claim extends to all possible instances of Event A, it is a transcendent claim, and therefore problematical, as Hume pointed out, hence my comment about causation being a mere shadow of necessity that we can never be sure is not an optical illusion. Events are accidents, and no assurance of a law.

Willing, on the other hand, is no shadow of necessity, but the real thing. We don't just see it, we feel it. It is suffering, passion, striving, tension, frustration; at its less forceful it is temperature, pressure, taste, smell, touch, sound, and, at its very weakest, light. Whenever we speak of something extended, we are speaking of space, the objective aspect of consciousness; whenever we speak of something intensive, we are speaking of time, the subjective aspect. In my view, consciousness hovers, as it were, between these two poles. There are thus two ways of describing it: as a spatial complex, a concatenation of passive objects, and as a simple substance, an active subject. The former tells you how your environment acts upon you, the latter how you act upon it (in a very, very limited way- again, keyhole), but they are two ways of describing the same thing. Far from disassociating the thought and the object, I'm identifying them as two aspects of the same thing.

Aside: I'm making a response to the other responses to this thread, perhaps a finer slurry through which Hado will find it the more agreeable to wade. It might take me a while though.
 

QuickTwist

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#17
@The Grey Man,

Are you saying there is or is not a separation of self?
 

The Grey Man

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#18
Are you saying there is or is not a separation of self?
A separation of self from what?

Well I'm at the airport reading this, but it just seems like you were really impressed with Schopenhauer and his pessimistic existentialism. I think his thinking can apply to a lot of people today, but I think Sartre more really hits the spot with his existential take. Being from Hegel's era I think his views are a bit broad and not hitting the individual enough (which Sartre does). If you're into reading atheistic existentialism, I'd recommend Sartre and Camus.
What do you mean by too broad? How much hitting the individual is enough? :confused:
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#19
The Grey Man said:
The first identity starts with the subject and moves to the object (ex uno plures) whereas the second starts with the object and moves to the subject (e pluribus unum)
So, is this essentially extroversion and introversion, respectively?*

(with will relating to judgement and perception/apperception relating to perception)

* or alternatively, "is this essentially what extroversion and introversion are?"
 

The Grey Man

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#20
The Grey Man said:
The first identity starts with the subject and moves to the object (ex uno plures) whereas the second starts with the object and moves to the subject (e pluribus unum)
So, is this essentially extroversion and introversion, respectively?*

(with will relating to judgement and perception/apperception relating to perception)

* or alternatively, "is this essentially what extroversion and introversion are?"
Both identities are essentially metacognitive inductive judgments.

In consciousness, I feel certain acts of will. These are localised intensive features of experience that seem to influence subsequent events in space. For example, whenever I touch something very hot with my finger, there is pain at that location- an act of will- and my arm immediately recoils. Subjective necessity seems to be translating into objective causality. Willing, it seems, is causation "viewed from the inside". From here, I make the generalization that any feature of experience whatsoever exerts some causal influence, whether I myself become conscious of it or not. This is the first identity and this is the thesis of Integrated Information Theory which was anticipated by Chalmers' double-aspect theory, which is why it is absolutely baffling to me that neither system so much as mentions the will, the very thing whose fundamentally unsatisfactory, striving, necessary character should be the most suggestive of the active nature of consciousness.

The second identity is the reciprocal of the first. Whereas the first identity asserts that the features of one's subjective experience have, without exception, an objective corollary, the second asserts that, conversely, events in space have, without exception, subjective experiences- wills of their own- corresponding to them. This is Goethean physiognomy and this is the "panpsychism" mentioned in the thread title.

Both identities say the same thing- that nothing in consciousness is ornamental, everything has meaning (which I think very neat and parsimonious)- but in opposite ways. The first says that the subject means something for some object, the second that the object means something for some subject. Together, they say that subject and object are two sides of the same coin: will and idea, the tension undergone and the path taken by the thread as it weaves under and over its neighbours.

I'm not sure how one might go about mapping this onto Jungian theory. The first identity is a belief that features of consciousness per se affect the world, even if only in very minute ways. Sounds vaguely mystical. Ni? The second identity is empathy, "feeling oneself into" objects. Fe? Not that I see any reason why these functions should be prerequisites to arriving at these conclusions.
 

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#21

The Grey Man

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I'm saying that, while we have every reason to believe that they influence each other, yet there remains an unbridgeable discontinuity of understanding between them, a 'problem of other minds'. To be alone in the abyss, haunted by phantasms of one's own creation, benevolent and malevolent, is just what it means to be "me". However, we are so constituted as to be able "feel ourselves into", to project feelings onto some of those objects. This is called empathy or, at high degrees of intensity, compassion, and this is how, in a way, an "other" can emerge for us which may or may not be an accurate representation of the mental state of any actual subject expressing itself through that object.
 

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Damned if you do, damned if you don't. It's almost hardly even "coincendtia oppositorum", which I made a thread about years ago (and can link to it or just search my posts and threads) and exchanged a few posts with someone there.

Whatever isn't being said by someone, someone else will "notice" and want to fill in the blanks of what could be missing. So it's nothing really mind blowing at all.

I wish I could make it even more crazy and bizarre (i.e. "mind blowing") for you but the further down the rabbit hole you go there's basically aliens.
 

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#24
(This post started as a response to one of QuickTwist's posts, but now I guess it’s for everyone who has responded to or is viewing this thread.)

A thing does not exist because we give it a name and ask after it. A thing exists because it exists because it exists…because existence is not an accident that can be predicated of the subject in concreto (as an object), but the subject itself. I exist and existence is me and I am phenomena. Whatever else existence might be, other than me, other than these phenomena (these hands, this keyboard, etc.), is unknown and unknowable because what is known and knowable is in and through me and I in and through these phenomena. This is Cartesian doubt and this, in large part, is Kant’s transcendental idealism. His formidable Critique of Pure Reason can be viewed as a painstakingly thorough elaboration of Leibniz’s pithy observation, “Monads have no windows”. This is the negative complement to the cogito whereby the unknown and unknowable noumenon is introduced as the counterpart to knowledge (empirical phenomena). Through this “Axiom of Exclusion”, first Leibniz, then Kant, were able to “deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”. Both placed their faith in a greater good attainable in the world. To Leibniz, this good was the irresistible will of a benevolent and omnipotent God, whereas Kant saw it as a possible consequence of human free will expressed in perpetual world peace through the universal adoption of a uniform ethical code by world governments and the subsequent dissolution of discrete nations as such into a borderless cosmopolis under decentralized representative government. Kant is thus paid lip service by Western politicians who dally in philosophy far more often than is Leibniz in this period of increasingly irreligious, culturally amorphous, materialistic Western liberal democracies propagating their ideology of universal human rights and economic integration around the world under the leadership of the United States of America, this period of unprecedented personal liberty* and technological progress whose watchword is the motto of New York: excelsior.

(* That most men and women of the West squander the liberty procured by more virile generations by laughing “outdated” values like duty and discipline to scorn and grazing in the lotus field of insipid popular “culture” (see: cultural oblivion), rendering them docile prey for predatory extra-systemic oligarchs as the wretched vermin issue forth from our “institutes of higher learning” to pick at the scraps in the name of “social justice” and the combined power of Russia and China looms on the horizon, does not concern us here. This thread asks whether Kant’s Kingdom of Ends is a good thing, not how to achieve it.)

I don’t know about you, but I find both of these ethical systems unconvincing. Both thinkers, like Descartes, seem to have so thoroughly entrenched themselves in the ego that they could secure no credible foothold in the outside world. Their metaphysics are basically phenomenological and can thus be understood by anyone to a certain extent (everyone knows Leibniz’s appetition and Kant’s transcendental unity of apperception, even if they haven’t given them those names), but their optimism concerning the whole world- deterministic in the one case and libertarian in the other- is insupportable. Leibniz asserts the existence of his beneficent God on the basis of the ontological argument; Kant refutes the ontological argument in the aforementioned Critique, instead identifying his good with the indefinite prosperity and wellbeing of the human race, apparently for no reason other than a desire to align his ethical doctrine with common sense. This common-sense, essentially humanitarian doctrine reaches its clearest expression in the utilitarian axiom, expounded most famously by J.S. Mill, that the greatest good of the greatest number is the conditio sine qua non of the best antecedent course of action as distinct from its alternatives.

At a glance, this principle seems sound. Of course! What more could be hoped for than the greatest good of the greatest number? It’s common sense! But what are we talking about when we say “the number”? What is this the number of? “It is the number”, replies the typical utilitarian, “of conscious beings who experience pleasure and suffering like you and me. Pleasure is positive and suffering negative utility. The more utility, the better.” This is a straightforward, satisfactory answer. The answers, however, that I get when I ask how utilitarianism can be applied- that is, how the utility sums associated with mutually exclusive courses of action, each to each, can be elucidated so that we can weigh them against each other as motives on the scales of Justice, as it were, in order to make an informed righteous decision- are anything but and, though it hardly needs to be said, an ethical doctrine that cannot be applied is superfluous.

Utilitarians, almost without exception, bridge the gap between their doctrine and its implementation using a combination of selective physiognomy and Baconian induction. What I mean by this is that they: first, recognize themselves as conscious beings who experience pleasure and suffering; second, identify the objective corollaries of their own experiences in relation to their own bodies; third, identify similar events in relation to a finite number of bodies which resemble their own (i.e. those other humans and some human-like animals); and, finally, infer that these events correspond to certain subjective experiences as do similar events which occur in relation to their own bodies. This enables them to, presuming knowledge of how each of the contradictory courses of action available to them will affect the bodies which they have identified as their fellow “conscious beings”, discern with some confidence which course of action will produce the most utility by “feeling themselves into” whosoever might be subjected to pleasure or suffering by their actions. But how do they know that they are not being too selective in their physiognomic survey of nature?

We have no reason to think that other human beings are ‘philosophical zombies’ who don’t feel as we do. Supposing that they are answers no questions, but only begs one: Why am I alone the subject of experience? For this reason, the possibility is only taken seriously by the incorrigible skeptic who has only analytic and no synthetic ability, that introverted cognate of Narcissus, who couldn’t tear his gaze away from his own appearance in the external world. And yet, the belief is still commonplace that subjective experience is the endowment of precious few objects in the observable universe. There is no consensus on what it the demarcation between “conscious” and “unconscious” nature, but most agree at least that there is one, and that conscious beings are far, far outnumbered by unconscious objects, just as the stars in the night sky are mere pinpricks of light against an immense canvas of black.

Why? What gives us the idea that that there are unconscious objects at all? And what if, as I am inclined to believe based on the overwhelming preponderance of empirical evidence that the human brain, the seat of the human mind, is, contra Descartes, in unbroken continuity with nature, the converse is also true, that whatsoever exists in nature has also an inner mental being, a spirit? As sickening to me as the philistinic acquisitiveness of the Left and the surfeited lethargy of the Right are, what is history against this immensity not of black, but of warmth and light, of colour no less vibrant, though perhaps less exquisitely combined, than that which we find in “the paragon of animals” as reflected in the looking glass of aesthetic contemplation? What is the state, what is community, what is family, what is woman, what is the promise of immortality either through the perpetuation of genetic information or the incomparable freedom of a manmade superintelligence that throws off the husk of its vegetal-animal substrates to rove the cosmos, emancipated at last from the Earth-binding evolutionary conditioning into which it was born, what is all this in the face of a universe that is, after all, a plenum of monads, as Leibniz envisioned it, and, more than that, a vast ocean of Goethean compensatory tension in which the wellbeing of “conscious beings” means nothing whatever?

I have never believed in God, even as a boy, the child of unobservant Catholic parents, and my secular education with its compartmentalization of “religious truth and scientific truth” (at bottom, the same vacuous and impudent “idealism-realism” dichotomy used to repudiate any moral feeling by those unaspiring intellectual dregs who should have dug ditches but, by historical accident, we find polluting our university halls) only encouraged my facile dismissal of all religion as “mere superstition”. But Schopenhauer was right: man is not a microcosmos, but each man’s idea of the world- nature- is a macranthropos. I have in this thread expounded the idea that man is at once agent (simple subject; cause; act of will; existence; substance; intention; necessity; vital temporal striving) and patient (objective complex; effect; act of perception; essence; accident; extension; change; lifeless substance in space). Now, the consciousness that is the union of these opposites- of will and idea, truth and fact, verb and noun, ātman and māyā, yáng and yīn- must also be the fundamental entity treated by Western natural philosophy, for can we not say truly with Mach that the sole aim of physics is to furnish a maximally parsimonious account of phenomena? And what are these phenomena but the “multitude dans l’unité”, the objective complex? It seems that we overcome skepticism and acquire knowledge of symmetries in the world as disclosed in experience (which we comprehend intelligibly- conceptually- as laws of nature which are not concrete explanations, but simplified abstract accounts of species of phenomena, and thus can only become motives for the engineer with the assistance of Baconian induction) not by looking away from the pool of Narcissus, but by looking closer. The examination of objective facts is, reciprocally, examination of the subject. It is today common for Western intellectuals, while basking in the benefits of humanity’s amassed knowledge of nature/itself (which manifest most conspicuously as a marvelous plethora of humanitarian technological innovations in medicine, agriculture, infrastructure, etc.), to mock religious holdouts, whose reserve in lauding mankind’s material progress seems a betrayal of a pitiably myopic worldview, for paying homage to a “God of the gaps” in human knowledge. But if Western philosophy- and indeed the philosophy of all civilizations- has taught us anything, it’s that this God of the gaps must be very powerful indeed. This whole thread has been about the identity of the subjective and objective aspects of experience, in that the latter supervenes upon the former, just as a thread assumes the shape- expresses the idea- of a tapestry only by resisting- willing against- itself. Just as it is not necessary that a thread should form a tapestry, but that it should form a tapestry if and only if it resists itself thus, so it seems to me that it is not necessary that I should see red, but that I should see red if and only if my environment acts upon me, and I it (for these mean one and the same thing), such that I see red. But what is the thread that is always and everywhere doing the resisting, what is act, what is necessity? It is no thing at all such as we can comprehend, it is noumenon, Wittgenstein’s “whereof one cannot speak” the quintessence of being. I don’t know a better word for this mysterium tremendum than God, nor a better name for the quiet resplendence of this moment, in this parochial corner in the universe with this natural scene or work of art, than grace.

I await your responses, should you choose to respond, with interest.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#25
The answers, however, that I get when I ask how utilitarianism can be applied- that is, how the utility sums associated with mutually exclusive courses of action, each to each, can be elucidated so that we can weigh them against each other as motives on the scales of Justice, as it were, in order to make an informed righteous decision- are anything but and, though it hardly needs to be said, an ethical doctrine that cannot be applied is superfluous.
Yes, for sure. Utilitarianism may or may not be "true in theory", but directly applying it is near-impossible.

I wrote an essay on this topic last year. I can send it to you if you'd like.
 

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#27
Now would seem a good time to move on from descriptive to prescriptive considerations, even if only to say that I have none to offer. The matter of my ethics, such as they are, is not the imperative, that law to which righteous conduct per se is bound (e.g. Kant's categorical imperative or the aforementioned axiomatic criterion of utilitarianism), but grace bestowed by providence (the operations of the omnipotent metaphysical will) necessarily and through human works (man as a manifestation of the will) only accidentally. At the present moment, my ethical thought has more in common with the election doctrine of Reformed Christianity than with the system of any prominent secular Western philosopher save Schopenhauer.

Now, to those who would object that this morality does not recognize any ability of mankind to improve the world, let alone furnish instructions as to how to do so, I would reply by asking how it is that they came by the assumption that improving the world is an essential aim of morality. There are, as far as I can tell, three distinct kinds of morality (not to say that other, parallel rubrics such as meta, normative, applied, deontological, consequentialist, etc. are not also valid), and only one of them is at all concerned with improving the world.

There is concrete morality, which is a species of meme, a superorganism that has supervened upon the evolutionarily stable strategies that have emerged from the interactions between self-replicating permutations of genetic material, mediated by a shared environment, that are the history of the human race. It manifests as the individual vehicle’s self-preservation instinct* and as the obligation felt by one individual to another, to mother to her child, the soldier to his nation. This kind of morality aims unconsciously for immortality, affirming the everlasting will at every step. It is not wise, but prudent. Its opposite is not evil, but carelessness.

(* The grotesquely overdeveloped form of which is egoism, the "morality" of banal characters who use their intellect only to perfect their animal acquisitiveness, never neglecting to congratulate themselves on the "cleverness" of repressing the dim awareness of an intersubjective reality to dumbly gorge themselves on sweet morsels.)

Anti-morality, is an individual recognition of the vanity of humanitarian endeavours. It has no aims at all, but consists in quiet compassion and resignation, a graceful demeanour. It is not prudent, but wise. Its opposite is not evil, but ignorance.

Finally, there is abstract morality, which is a sort of abortive hybrid between the first two kinds produced by academic cranks. Like anti-morality, it seeks wisdom in personal reflection, but utterly miscarries the effort and finds itself grappling with crude and cumbersome concepts of its own creation like “rights”, “equality”, and “utility”, grotesque, mutilated forms of words that properly belong to the description of concrete morality, such as duty, family, and honour. It is the most superfluous of the three kinds, for it is neither prudent nor wise, and this not despite, but because of its preoccupation with world-improvement. Its opposite is evil, and it deals in concepts that require a similar amount of outrageous Procrusteanism to have any concrete meaning, as I’ve already shown to be the case with utilitarianism and the invented Cartesian division between “conscious” and “unconscious” nature that it takes for granted. It is not adapted to the exigencies of survival, nor any other concrete feature of reality; accordingly, its adherents are both careless and ignorant.

Utilitarianism is the abstract morality par excellence, for it reduces all of existence to a one-dimensional good-bad continuum with an insurpassable apex of pleasure set up as one pole and the profoundest abyss of suffering as the other. An ethical system couldn’t possibly get more abstract- and less capable of application- than this! The English jurist Jeremy Bentham is the progenitor of this theory and thus the founder of a line of tedious pedants that extends from Mill to Sidgwick to Singer. He also campaigned energetically against religion, so I suppose he can also be regarded as a grandfather to all those prominent Anglo-American anti-theist public intellectuals who today shock us with the incongruity between the crudity of their thought with regards to religion and the superiority of their learning (among whom I count Harris, Hitchens, and even Dawkins, whose enlightening descriptions of evolutionary processes for the laity have influenced this very post). As befitting his place in history, we see in him a prototype of the error of the abstract moralist: the confounding of morality with utopian thinking. From the perspective of a person governed by concrete morals, it is perhaps very much to be hoped that human history should one day resolve itself into a miraculous Kingdom of Ends in which the wellbeing of every individual is pursued infallibly and without deleterious consequences for their survivability, but even if we could somehow accelerate our progress towards this state of affairs by Herculean feats of statesmanship, what would have been gained in light of the ceaseless tension and balance- strife and justice- that we find at the heart of all things? The closer to heaven we build our Tower of Babel, the more must its foundations extend into the depths of perdition.

The utilitarian seeks the greatest good of the greatest number. But what is this a number of? “It is the number”, replies the typical utilitarian, “of conscious beings who experience pleasure and suffering like you and me.” No. It is the number of beings to whom we’ve chosen to attribute consciousness to the exclusion of all others in order to reconcile our comforting optimism with the yet-dim realization that we live in not a meaningless, but a terribly meaningful universe.
 

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#28
From the perspective of a person governed by concrete morals, it is perhaps very much to be hoped that human history should one day resolve itself into a miraculous Kingdom of Ends in which the wellbeing of every individual is pursued infallibly and without deleterious consequences for their survivability
I think the simulation hypothesis is the most correct view of reality.
So I do think that inevitable wellbeing is certain in happening to all.
 

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#29
I await your responses, should you choose to respond, with interest.
One need only do one thing to see God, to do the phenomenal, to embody the supernatural. One need only see the poor and the sick as an equal to himself and he will see God, he will do the phenomenal, and he will surpass that what is natural.
 

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#30
Morality is simply the monitoring of the nature of action which stems from oneself.

Whether we are aware of it or not, our actions have a moral nature, whether that be by their (intended) effects or something else, and to be moral simply means to be aware of that and thus strive to choose the better action.

A way to vindicate the view that actions are moral is to suppose the contrary.

Contrary position: no action is inherently more right than another, i.e. all actions are equal.

But then, the choice to decide to view things as moral would in that case be equal to the choice to pay no attention to morality, because these positions are equal.

But if actions truly do have morality, then it would surely be beneficial to suppose that they do so as to be more in line with the truth (which is not to say that an incorrect understanding of morality will necessarily be overall beneficial, except insofar as that it allows itself to evolve into a truer picture)

So since seeing actions as moral would be neither good nor bad if there is no morality, but be good if there is, one should see their actions as having the potential to be measured according to morality.
 

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#31
If I do as you suggest and assume that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives, the question remains, How is it that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives? Since I don't even know that it is, I might ask, How is it that some action of mine is better than its alternatives, if at all?

The best answer anyone can come up with seems to be that an action is not good or bad by virtue of its effects, but by virtue of itself as a mental state (grace). Consequentialist philosophy is a mess.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#32
Consequentialist philosophy is a mess.
Yes, for example the idea of chaos, which supposes that we cannot predict the effect of certain actions at all beyond some point. One moment the effects may be good, the other bad.

So, the truth of the goodness of the action should have been contained at the moment that it was willed. Yet, it should be proven right by its effects.


So, the idea behind utilitarianism or similar is that - there can be good or bad mental states (I don't mean the will), and there are certain actions which will inevitably lead to one or another. If we act in line with moral law, we need not pay attention to the effects of the actions (perhaps), and can judge solely by intention - yet, an accurate measure of the effects of an action should be consistent with whether the action was in a favourable stance regarding moral law.
 

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#33
If you intend for the best outcome, the best you can do is to go on your intuition to bring it about. In effect you allow things to happen in the best way it can happen.
Wu wei is the same conceptually as grace. Effortless doing. And in this case, coming in alignment with the moral good by allowing the good to just happen. Intuition is key.
 

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#34
If we act in line with moral law, we need not pay attention to the effects of the actions (perhaps), and can judge solely by intention - yet, an accurate measure of the effects of an action should be consistent with whether the action was in a favourable stance regarding moral law.
It sounds like the ability to take an accurate measure of the utility of the effects of an action is presumed in the application of utilitarianism, which brings us back to the problem of distinguishing "conscious" from "unconscious" nature that I originally pointed out, not to mention the problem of chaos that you mentioned. These seem to me to be prohibitive barriers to applying the theory.
 

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#35
My sister has a baby and I noticed how she is becoming smarter every day. I heard a story that babies in an orphanage were not cared for and they remained vegetables the rest of their lives. The development of babies and children is modulated by the care they receive. There are radically different outcomes from the quality of care.

Growth of brain will shape the pathway for self-regulation. For instance, when you think in your head thing is a form of regulation. When you see with your eye ala Extroverted Sensing this is self-regulation. The Budha said that everything is temporary/impermanent. If you follow what that is, it is that the wires in the brain direct signals and the signals change where the wires direct. This explains Perception and Judgement and it explains why Babies need adults to learn how to self-regulate.

Again thinking is a for or self-regulation. The mind controls the mind. But the mind is not static. It always changes and its form is what gives it control of its self (the will). You can imagine you are a video game character that has a virtual brain that changes and allows you to think a be in the world. You are like a ghost which is my understanding of existence now. I have a body but I realize I can be separate from it. I do not need to cling to anything. It is like how Jesus walked through the door into the room of the disciples. Many people have said Introverted Intuition is like this. Detachment from the body. In the end, this is possible from the mind self-regulating.

The directions of the wires change. This can be harnessed for the mind to control the mind. Will is self-regulating control. We begin life modulated by our caretakers.

Once we are self-sustaining we have power over our internal and external attention mechanism. We direct change of the wires through attention.
 

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#36
If I do as you suggest and assume that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives, the question remains, How is it that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives? Since I don't even know that it is, I might ask, How is it that some action of mine is better than its alternatives, if at all?

The best answer anyone can come up with seems to be that an action is not good or bad by virtue of its effects, but by virtue of itself as a mental state (grace). Consequentialist philosophy is a mess.
This makes you look stupid.
Just keep reading and writing and maybe you'll hit the nail on the head eventually.
 

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#37
If I do as you suggest and assume that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives, the question remains, How is it that some possible action of mine is better than its alternatives? Since I don't even know that it is, I might ask, How is it that some action of mine is better than its alternatives, if at all?

The best answer anyone can come up with seems to be that an action is not good or bad by virtue of its effects, but by virtue of itself as a mental state (grace). Consequentialist philosophy is a mess.
I suppose I would ask you if you yourself know what is "good". If you don't, your moral compass is in dire straights.
 

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#38
Lots of people "know" what's good. People with strong morals. But, as I said before, human morals simply aren't for achieving what's good, they're for survival, even if the actual humans don't realize it. These morals are not based on, nor can they be refuted by any subtle argument any more than any other organ or expedient of the human body. And people understood this, until recently. Now, they're confused, aimless, uprooted by a topsy-turvy society that pays more attention to abstractions than concrete things, and they go rummaging through the petrified thought processes of academics looking for what should be a real feeling inside of them. Pizzabeak says I need to read and write more but perhaps too much reading and writing is precisely the problem.
 

QuickTwist

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#39
Lots of people "know" what's good. People with strong morals. But, as I said before, human morals simply aren't for achieving what's good, they're for survival, even if the actual humans don't realize it. These morals are not based on, nor can they be refuted by any subtle argument any more than any other organ or expedient of the human body. And people understood this, until recently. Now, they're confused, aimless, uprooted by a topsy-turvy society that pays more attention to abstractions than concrete things, and they go rummaging through the petrified thought processes of academics looking for what should be a real feeling inside of them. Pizzabeak says I need to read and write more but perhaps too much reading and writing is precisely the problem.
I am not quite sure what gives you the idea that the world is becoming less materialistic. As I understand it, the world is becoming more focused on "objectivity" and less on "morals". Ofc it depends what one's interpretation is, but I can say in my opinion of the world that the world is becoming less concerned with things that are not strictly quantifiable such as what is good, wholesome, and upright.

To be sure, our culture in the west is at an impasse of different ideas that counter each other. But I would say these different points of view tend to be getting more "reason" based and less "wisdom" based. IMO, things are only getting worse and not better. But I have hope. I have hope that there will be a great change in the pursuit of truth, which is not easily quantifiable by science because of its transcendent nature.
 

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#40
:facepalm:

I'm not sure what gives you the idea that I got the idea that the world is becoming less materialistic! I agree that society is becoming more focused on objectivity and less on morals- on seeing (objective aspect of consciousness) rather than feeling (subjective aspect), to tie in with my earlier posts here- and in my opinion, a preoccupation with abstractions has dovetailed with this development because facts (objects/relations in space) and the figures that represent them belong to the objective aspect of things. The subjective question- where to orient the will, how to act, what to do- is neglected. What is good, wholesome, and upright? There was a time, not too long ago, when this wasn't a question. People knew what to do, and they had to, because the exigencies of life didn't leave them much time for contemplation. Sartre's questions of "defining oneself" and "authenticity" would have been irrelevant even to my great grandparents. Now, with the increase of quality of life and leisure time, everything and everyone has become a question, and life no more forthcoming with answers, just more permissive to the idleness that spawns the questions.

The idle intellect despises the masons that built its ivory tower. From its lofty vantage, it commands the earth, the sea, the very vault of heaven, whatsoever is extended and perfect. But when it turns its gaze downward, it sees only an appalling abyss. The objectification of every religious and moral conviction that lies at the foundation of civilization is a non sequitur, an error, and errors are unacceptable to the sheltered intellectual class, so they set about extirpating traditional morality and replacing it with facts, hypotheses, and conjectures, apparently not recognizing the danger of attempting to replace the foundations of an erect structure with insubstantial words. They do not see the value of tradition, for how could they? Value is not seen at all! It is felt, and feeling is as offensive to these insipid calculators as the masons are to the pampered noble. Bias? How common!

I agree that it's getting worse. Western culture has already dissipated much of its vitality and become a sprawling necrotic imperium, much like Classical culture in the time of Caesar. Compare the staunchly traditional, God-fearing puritans of the early American colonies with the North American city dweller of today, who blithely shuffles from one alcohol-soaked, muzak-blaring weekend bender to the next, oblivious to his heritage and without a care for his legacy. Panem et circenses indeed. I wonder if there will be any Western culture to speak of in 100 years. Probably just a seething Leviathanic swarm of slaves to an oligarchic precipitate, or perhaps a Borg-like artificial superintelligence :slashnew:
 

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#41
:facepalm:

I'm not sure what gives you the idea that I got the idea that the world is becoming less materialistic! I agree that society is becoming more focused on objectivity and less on morals- on seeing (objective aspect of consciousness) rather than feeling (subjective aspect), to tie in with my earlier posts here- and in my opinion, a preoccupation with abstractions has dovetailed with this development because facts (objects/relations in space) and the figures that represent them belong to the objective aspect of things. The subjective question- where to orient the will, how to act, what to do- is neglected. What is good, wholesome, and upright? There was a time, not too long ago, when this wasn't a question. People knew what to do, and they had to, because the exigencies of life didn't leave them much time for contemplation. Sartre's questions of "defining oneself" and "authenticity" would have been irrelevant even to my great grandparents. Now, with the increase of quality of life and leisure time, everything and everyone has become a question, and life no more forthcoming with answers, just more permissive to the idleness that spawns the questions.

The idle intellect despises the masons that built its ivory tower. From its lofty vantage, it commands the earth, the sea, the very vault of heaven, whatsoever is extended and perfect. But when it turns its gaze downward, it sees only an appalling abyss. The objectification of every religious and moral conviction that lies at the foundation of civilization is a non sequitur, an error, and errors are unacceptable to the sheltered intellectual class, so they set about extirpating traditional morality and replacing it with facts, hypotheses, and conjectures, apparently not recognizing the danger of attempting to replace the foundations of an erect structure with insubstantial words. They do not see the value of tradition, for how could they? Value is not seen at all! It is felt, and feeling is as offensive to these insipid calculators as the masons are to the pampered noble. Bias? How common!

I agree that it's getting worse. Western culture has already dissipated much of its vitality and become a sprawling necrotic imperium, much like Classical culture in the time of Caesar. Compare the staunchly traditional, God-fearing puritans of the early American colonies with the North American city dweller of today, who blithely shuffles from one alcohol-soaked, muzak-blaring weekend bender to the next, oblivious to his heritage and without a care for his legacy. Panem et circenses indeed. I wonder if there will be any Western culture to speak of in 100 years. Probably just a seething Leviathanic swarm of slaves to an oligarchic precipitate, or perhaps a Borg-like artificial superintelligence :slashnew:
OK, we are on the same page, this is good. I also think we are largely in agreement here.

What tripped me up about your previous comment was that you said that morals are for survival. I disagreed that morals should be used primarily to "keep people alive." I think instead whatever good we do, we should do for its own sake rather than even a benefit to our own personal well being, and in fact, I think sometimes we may have to sacrifice our own well being for the good of another.
 
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