questions without answers

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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:48 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
pilgrim_tom wrote:To the readers of my posts here ...


My arrogance has revealed it's ugly 'face' ... yet again!

I want people to 'see' what I 'see' and I'm in a hurry to get there.

I apologize ... please forgive me.


We all obviously want people to "see" what we see or we wouldn't be posting in here. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that.


Some of us are more in a hurry to get there and some are less in a hurry to get there. It nice to savor some things. It's nice to allow some things to stew a bit. All kinds of flavors come out that way.

But why are you in a hurry to get there? Is it arrogance or simply impatience to move things along? Can that also be arrogance? :-k Perhaps not. Arrogance might only enter in when one cares little for what the other posts.

You are forgiven. Go in peace and more slowly. :evilfun:


:lol: Very cute Arc. If you dislike the educator aspect of your soul, which was solidified in your above post, what would you rather it be called?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:52 pm

tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:30 am

WendyDarling wrote:tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?


Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:24 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote: iambiguous,


In other words, how on earth is any particular one of us able to untangle it sufficiently enough to speculate on the very nature of Reality and Existence itself?


But we do that as a community, don't we? The world of science, philosophy, psychology - I daresay even religion when it's based on right reason and the search for truth, not fantasy. But maybe I'm wrong insofar as religion goes,.
Haven't scientists always attempted to untangle the nature of reality and existence, bit by bit, each standing on the shoulders of those who came before?
It's a very large task and the way I look at it, there can never be an end to it. But consider the progress we have made.


But what doesn't change here is this:

The gap that still does exist between all of the things that we speculate about on all of the threads created here and the manner in which the conclusions arrived at either do or do not fit into the very ontological nature of existence itself.

Thus someone like James S. Saint can insist that regarding the "physics of psychology", this...

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=192555

...reflects what is true.

My point though is always to make that crucial distinction between what he believes here "in his head" to be true and what he can actually demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe "in their heads" in turn.

So, does he? Or, for that matter, do I myself in regard to my own contributions here?

Arcturus Descending wrote:
We also do this by trying to learn about who we are, exploring our selves individually and our psyches, what makes us "tick" , what our relationships to others consist of and how we relate to others.


Yes, but to what extent is the philosopher then able to transcend the parts rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? In other words, in order to arrive at a frame of mind said to reflect the optimal or the only rational understanding of human interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. And that is the part I zero in on.

With respect to issues like abortion there are any number of questions in which there clearly are answers. And the answers are apllicable to all of us. Again, the world of either/or.

Let alone provide answers to questions that revolve around the existential relationship between identity, value judgments and political economy.


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's all a process. We turn on the light by discussion. How can one size fit all when we all come from different "places" but don't we get closer to the truth when we begin to see shared ethical and moral values, and when we're able to see the validity and right reason when it comes to some ethical and moral decisions - for instance the abortion issue? When it comes to human beings, can there actually be one absolute truth or can there only be a meeting of the minds, mutual agreement on what is considered to be valid and just reasonable?


But when we actually bring speculation like this down to earth and assess its applicibility/relevance to an issue like abortion, we soon bump into all of the conflicting renditions of what it means to "turn on the light", to get "closer to the truth", to share "valid and right reasons".

That's why I always advocate democracy and the rule of law [moderation, negotiation, comnpromise] over might makes right or right makes might. But that doesn't make this...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...go away. So I come to places like ILP in order to explore the narratives of those who profess not to be entangled in it.

...once you come to believe that questions of this sort don't have answers that are applicable to all, this increases your own options considerably. Why? Because your behaviors are not tied [re your "conscience"] to "doing the right thing".


Arcturus Descending wrote: I'm not sure I grasp what you're saying here. Can you elaborate a bit more and/or give me an example? Your statement kind of raises a red flag for me but since I'm not really sure what you're speaking about, I'll wait for you to explain.


It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil". Or, as someone once suggested, that, in the absence of God, all things are permitted. Why? Because all things can be rationalized.

And then there is the mentality of the sociopath. He starts with the assumption that in a Godless universe morality revolves solely around self-gratification.

All behaviors are then permitted providing that you don't get caught doing something that others don't approve of. And provided that if you are caught you are willing and able to endure the consequences -- the punishments of those who do not subscribe to this frame of mind.

Or the nihilistic agenda of those who own and operate the global economy today. Doesn't it basically revolve around 1] show me the money 2] what's in it for me and 3] I've got mine, Jack.

What might seem "satisfactory" to me here and now is no less a particular frame of mind entangled existentially in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Most folks however manage to convince themselves that when they feel that their own behaviors are "satisfactory" they are "for all practical purposes" close enough to having done the "right thing".


Arcturus Descending wrote: But isn't it true that we can only take a thing so far? We have taken the time to think things out, to weigh all the pros and cons, to see what consequences may come from going this way or that way, and when that bell goes off in our heads - a "yes", we simply take that best path and then just let go. We are only human and we cannot foresee all the consequences. Random things happen but again we weigh all things conscientiously and then take the plunge.


Yes, but folks all along the political spectrum come to different -- conflicting -- conclusions regarding the part where the bell goes off. And the part where they find the right path.

Then what? Again, the option [as I see it] is generally a very, very complex intertwining of might makes right, right makes might and democracy.

There is an "ought" attached to means and an "ought" attached to ends.


Arcturus Descending wrote: By ought, do you mean what is necessary to do, what you must do, what you see fit to do?


Ought to because it is the right [moral, ethical] thing to do.

Thus:

Once you have managed to convince yourself of a particular end [it's the right thing to do] then you just calulate what you ought to do in order to achieve it. That then precipitates titantic arguments about which particular ends justify which particular means. But at least most are certain of the ends involved.

That's just not an option for me. Well, not "here and now".


Arcturus Descending wrote: You asked the question: "How ought I to live". Are you speaking of ethical questions here? That's what I thought at first but now I'm not sure after having read the above. Are you speaking of anything that a person might desire to do, any path he may take to further his life?
Explain this to me a little further.


Okay, I'll try. On other threads, mr reasonable and I would go back and forth about this very distinction.

He is convinced that playing the stock market is something that he ought to do because in playing the stock market it affords him the opportunity to live a particular lifestyle. Once that is settled "in his head" he can then focus on what he ought to do in order to be successful at it.

But others argue that playing the stock market is something which ethical men and women ought not to do. Why? Because it is linked to the capitalist political economy which they have come to conclude is an exploitative system that must be overthrown and replaced with something else. Socialism for example.

Very different "oughts", right?

But it really comes down to the distinction that I always make between that which we believe to be true [or claim to know as true] "in our heads" and that which we are able in turn to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe.


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's probably just me but I'm having difficulty seeing much of a distinction here. Can you shed more light on the above.


Take capital punishment.

Suppose you believe that Texas has executed more prisoners in recent years than any other state in the union. Is this true? Well, you can google it: https://mic.com/articles/51647/kimberly ... .M4ODSzJ9U

And if you suspect that this is all [or mostly] fabricated there are any number of sources in the criminal justice system that you can go to in order to get the facts. And, given this, I'd suggest that all rational men and women are obligated to believe it.

But suppose you believe that capital punishment is wrong. That it is immoral and not reflective of a civilized people.

How would you go about demonstrating that all rational human beings are obligated to believe that it's true?

Here you bump into this: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.res ... eID=002000

Both sides accumulate particular political prejudices that, from my point of view, are largely rooted in dasein. They come to embody conflicting goods such that both sets of arguments can be deemed reasonable -- given an initial set of assumptions.

Thus both sides make arguments that the arguments of the other side can't and don't and won't make go away.

Finally, what counts out in the real world is which side has the actual power to enforce a particular moral/political agenda.

What do YOU mean here by "brought down to earth"?


That, with respect to the relationship between personal identity, value judgments and political power, any analysis accummulated by those who probe ethics philosophically must be integrated existentially into the world that we live in -- a world in which conflicts over the relationship between "I" and "evil" and "politics" are everywhere.


Arcturus Descending wrote: I watched a movie the other night which brought home the question to me: "How ought I (or one) to live? It's called Never Let Me Go. It was about children who were created to be genetically-engineered organ donors to serve their Originals, the ones which they were "cloned" after. It reminded me of nazi Germany.


I saw that movie too. In fact, I included my own reaction to it in my film thread:

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2366290&hilit=Mark+Romanek#p2366290

And, yes, most of us will react to it disapprovingly. Just as most of us will react to Nazi Germany disapprovingly. I know that I do. But I also have no illusions that this reaction is anything other than an existential contraption. There are, after all, many, many others who would not react disapprovingly at all.

Thus how would the philosophers go about constructing an argument able to demonstrate that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to react to either context in The Right Way?

My only point is that one way or the other it all appears to really be "beyond good and evil".


Arcturus Descending wrote: That's how I would sum the movie I saw. At the same time, there has to be some code by which we live, some way in which we could and would see the true horizon beyond good and evil. Peering through that ambiguity to make sense of what would cause the least harm and the greatest amount of good. We all have different answers to that.


My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.

And those that tried [like Kant] ever and always alluded to one or another transcendent moral font. Which most called God. Or "the Gods".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Harbal » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Humpty wrote: get stabbed in the heart, get stabbed in a major organ,

Organs don't come much more major than the heart.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:51 am

pilgrim_tom wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?


Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html


Named God?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:47 am

WendyDarling wrote:
pilgrim_tom wrote:The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?

Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html

Named God?


No ... named walking stick ... some might call it a "staff"

OTH ... different folks have different views on what a walking stick/staff may symbolize ... I'm good with "it's a piece of wood"
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:05 am

Oh, I thought God was your support throughout your treks.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:48 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Oh, I thought God was your support throughout your treks.


Yes ... God has been my support all my life ... as I mentioned in another OP ... the demarcation line between NO awareness and awareness happened about 25 years ago.

OTH ... perhaps there is some truth in a notion I have often heard and read ... paraphrasing ... God hearkens no competition.

This notion may explain the path chosen by the desert fathers who sought isolation from the world ... the Buddhist monks who sought remote isolated caves to practice their meditation.

Perhaps it is difficult to hear God's soft voice ... His whisper ... in the crowd.

On my treks I had no agenda ... no time table ... no destination ... and most of the walking was "off road" ... goat trails ... away from the crowd.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:18 am

Then you were not alone, ever. Yes, when God chooses to converse, quiet solitude lacks distractions.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:37 pm

:lol: Very cute Arc. If you dislike the educator aspect of your soul, which was solidified in your above post, what would you rather it be called?


I wrote the below:

I don't consider myself to be a spiritualist or a leader - I don't want to lead or follow. I can kind of understand where the "educator" part came from though I don't like that term either with reference to myself.


I'm just kind of quirky that way. I do prefer some words over others. I believe that an educator educates in ways which I cannot - but I may be wrong.
I don't really see myself as one who is "skilled" in teaching.
I do like to shed some "light" on things though and to try to give another way of thinking. lol
I suppose that one can call that an educator.

See, not much of an educator. But again, I can understand based on my answers how that word would crop up.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:31 pm

Iambiguous,

I'm beginning to work on it. :evilfun: Kind of strapped for time this week.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:42 pm

iambiguous,



My point though is always to make that crucial distinction between what he believes here "in his head" to be true and what he can actually demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe "in their heads" in turn.


I may be wrong here but is there actually much of a distinction there when what it appears to come down to is simply "belief" ~~ does it matter who is doing the believing? Of course, we do have to look "to the source.
I may not be understanding your statement though.

We also do this by trying to learn about who we are, exploring our selves individually and our psyches, what makes us "tick" , what our relationships to others consist of and how we relate to others.

Yes, but to what extent is the philosopher then able to transcend the parts rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? In other words, in order to arrive at a frame of mind said to reflect the optimal or the only rational understanding of human interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. And that is the part I zero in on.


That would necessarily depend on the individual philosopher and on his desire to think objectively as much as possible and not simply subjectively - according to how he himself alone views things.

By attempting to think in a more logical as opposed to a more emotional way when examining all issues thoroughly.


Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking, Fast and Slow said:

“Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.”

He also said:

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.


By being more aware of our biases and how they reflect our thinking and trying to transcend them or plow through them.


With respect to issues like abortion there are any number of questions in which there clearly are answers. And the answers are apllicable to all of us. Again, the world of either/or.


What criteria is used to form an objective viewpoint on these so-called answers?
For instance, insofar as a particular abortion issue goes, what particular answer would apply to all?


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's all a process. We turn on the light by discussion. How can one size fit all when we all come from different "places" but don't we get closer to the truth when we begin to see shared ethical and moral values, and when we're able to see the validity and right reason when it comes to some ethical and moral decisions - for instance the abortion issue? When it comes to human beings, can there actually be one absolute truth or can there only be a meeting of the minds, mutual agreement on what is considered to be valid and just reasonable?

Iam wrote; But when we actually bring speculation like this down to earth and assess its applicibility/relevance to an issue like abortion, we soon bump into all of the conflicting renditions of what it means to "turn on the light", to get "closer to the truth", to share "valid and right reasons".


Why is this? Because when it comes down to life and death and quality of life issues which are close to the heart, we all tend to subjectify things according to our life experiences maybe?

Carl Jung once said something to the effect (paraphrasing) that life gives us problems and it is up to us to find solutions to them.
Can there actually be solutions to some things? Sometimes life is so messy. Where do we start? That's a subjective reaction. lol


That's why I always advocate democracy and the rule of law [moderation, negotiation, comnpromise] over might makes right or right makes might. But that doesn't make this...


I agree with the above. "Might makes right" is simply based on ego and arrogance and a lack of clear thinking ~ at least to me and "right makes might" is not necessarily true either unless one honestly has the courage of his/her convictions and the will and courage to make things happen.


If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and


But is that necessarily a negative thing to keep in mind? Being aware of that may help us transcend subjectivity long enough to focus "outside of ourselves" in a manner of speaking.


that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap,


I wonder just how many we can say there are? If I say that our natural resources are precious and that if we misuse them, we will not have them for long, there will still be others who will turn around and say "so what" - what's the big deal".
If I say, with Carl Jung, that truth is based on the concert of "many voices", than how does that pertain to Nazi Germany, which could, in my eyes, readily refute that saying?


I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction.


Well, then, you might have to ask yourself why it was that you determined to go in this direction and not that? After reflecting on that, you might come to realize that at the time it was the best and only way for you to go. Then you detach from the thought.


Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


Within reason, we have to have the courage of our convictions and why we did this and not that - unless we eventually come to see that there might have been a better way. After all, we are not perfect and we do not think perfectly and in such a complete, thorough way but we strive to as we go along.


.
... So I come to places like ILP in order to explore the narratives of those who profess not to be entangled in it.


Have you come to any conclusion about WHY they are not entangled in it?


Arcturus Descending: I'm not sure I grasp what you're saying here. Can you elaborate a bit more and/or give me an example? Your statement kind of raises a red flag for me but since I'm not really sure what you're speaking about, I'll wait for you to explain.

Iam: It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil".


But we have evolved into consciousness and conscience. What rational humane being would think that way? It sounds like more of an excuse to me.
Even without a god, there can be a moral and ethical way of behavior even if it may have in part arisen from the instinct for humanity to survive.
Wasn't morality and an ethical way of living already infused in people before the concept of a god or a personal god appeared on Earth?
There are atheists who have more of a positive code of living than that of many christians.


Or, as someone once suggested, that, in the absence of God, all things are permitted. Why? Because all things can be rationalized.


That wouldn't be conducive to our survival. It's a thought not well thought out by barbarians. lol


What might seem "satisfactory" to me here and now is no less a particular frame of mind entangled existentially in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Most folks however manage to convince themselves that when they feel that their own behaviors are "satisfactory" they are "for all practical purposes" close enough to having done the "right thing".


So, what would YOU yourself use as a yardstick to determine that what you have done is necessarily satisfactory and the "right thing" to have done?
Don't you think that at some point one has to have confidence or trust that what they have done or what they do was/is rooted in and came from the most positive part of them which also seeks no harm? We can live in a degree of uncertainly since we cannot see a whole picture (which is why we use cognitive thinking) without becoming scrupulous - which would only tend to make us paralyzed or frozen, psychically speaking.


Yes, but folks all along the political spectrum come to different -- conflicting -- conclusions regarding the part where the bell goes off. And the part where they find the right path.

Then what? Again, the option [as I see it] is generally a very, very complex intertwining of might makes right, right makes might and democracy.


Perhaps it does all come down to how perception reveals brain differences or how the brain influences individual perception, notwithstanding how we choose to hold to the same patterns which we have developed.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... nt-jan-11/


Arcturus Descending: By ought, do you mean what is necessary to do, what you must do, what you see fit to do?

IaM: Ought to because it is the right [moral, ethical] thing to do.


So, how do we move away from that "ought" when it may be sullied by bias and simply personal opinion since it is not necessarily based on actual truth but on subjective thinking and personal preference ~~ which may be faulty?


Thus:
Once you have managed to convince yourself of a particular end [it's the right thing to do] then you just calulate what you ought to do in order to achieve it. That then precipitates titantic arguments about which particular ends justify which particular means. But at least most are certain of the ends involved.

That's just not an option for me. Well, not "here and now".


I may be wrong here since I don't really know you but you seem to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty :evilfun: ...like I love the mystery of the unknown and unrevealed and the uncertain, and see beauty in it, you would appear to love the unending unanswered ad continuum questions without answers. Maybe one of the reasons I love this kind of art.

https://www.google.com/search?q=jackson+pollock+paintings&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ0qrjqs_SAhXIx4MKHXVADJIQ_AUIBigB&biw=1093&bih=530#imgrc=9p1-StNAcAkqnM:


Insofar as the stock market scenario goes, I don't necessarily believe that those "oughts" are so different. They are just the opposites sides of the same coin and are based on personal preferences stemming from belief and so-called necessity issuing from unconscious fear at times. This probably goes back to the brain/perception concept.



But it really comes down to the distinction that I always make between that which we believe to be true [or claim to know as true] "in our heads" and that which we are able in turn to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe.


Yes.
As far as the stock market scenario goes, mr. reasonable at some point might come to change his "ought" thinking insofar as it was not so wise an endeavor or way of thinking but I'm probably wrong there. I would say that mr. has a gambler's spirit. We're all gamblers in some ways or other ways but we pick and choose those ways - some are safer than others and with some, we are robbed of our personal freedoms.

The same goes for the ones opposed to playing the stock market. One cannot fully know the effect of either decision on the economy.
Okay, I'm rambling...


Iam wrote: Take capital punishment.

But suppose you believe that capital punishment is wrong. That it is immoral and not reflective of a civilized people.

How would you go about demonstrating that all rational human beings are obligated to believe that it's true?


No rational human being is obligated to believe that a particular thing IS true but we are obligated to search out what, in actuality, IS objectively true under different circumstances and what would cause the least amount of harm.

Let us suppose that capital punishment is, under certain circumstances, the only reasonable, just, intelligent way to go. How to prove that?

Show the crime photos of the poor child who was raped and then murdered by the predator. Who in their right mind would not opt for capital punishment under those circumstances?

Civilized people are not necessarily sentimental, indulging in empathy and compassion toward those who do not deserve it, when what is necessary is to protect the children and society from predators and psychopaths.

Of course, the only terrible fly in the ointment so to speak would be if an innocent man were to die. But when we know beyond the shadow of a doubt and not just based on some circumstantial evidence that he/she committed a heinous crime - that head has to roll, in a matter of speaking.


What do YOU mean here by "brought down to earth"?

That, with respect to the relationship between personal identity, value judgments and political power, any analysis accummulated by those who probe ethics philosophically must be integrated existentially into the world that we live in -- a world in which conflicts over the relationship between "I" and "evil" and "politics" are everywhere.


Ah, such a difficult task to meet. That is where ambiguity will always "live on" in a sense.


I realize that what I said above about the heinous crimes of predators deserving capital punishment may sound absolutist and it was. But I also do realize that there are extenuating circumstances ~ like insanity and/or other deeply disturbing mental illness issues that need to be brought into account. For me, a predator who loves and lives for what he does does deserve capital punishment though some would say that that itself is a sign of insanity.
But then again - what do we do with cancer cells?


“I do not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolutes, but on a narrow, rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but [only] the certainty of meeting what remains, undisclosed.”
― Martin Buber



Arcturus Descending wrote: I watched a movie the other night which brought home the question to me: "How ought I (or one) to live? It's called Never Let Me Go. It was about children who were created to be genetically-engineered organ donors to serve their Originals, the ones which they were "cloned" after. It reminded me of nazi Germany.



Iam wrote; And, yes, most of us will react to it disapprovingly. Just as most of us will react to Nazi Germany disapprovingly. I know that I do. But I also have no illusions that this reaction is anything other than an existential contraption. There are, after all, many, many others who would not react disapprovingly at all.



Disapprovingly is putting it mildly, Iam.
I wonder about the kind of people who would not react disapprovingly. Would they be the people for whom "anything goes", people who exercise a complete and personal laissez faire attitude? People for whom other children have no deep value or right to happiness? People who have no code at all that they live by?

How could anyone not be enraged over children being brought into this world simply to be slaves, to have their organs harvested and sold until finally their bodies just give way and die. That attitude in itself is a nazi attitude, is it not?
When we've reached the point that something like this becomes blase and normal to us, that's when humanity ought to just pack it in because then we have become far far far less than human.


Director Mark Romanek has said that, as in the film, everyone has to uncover their relationship to our own mortality; we have two options: either go against it, or try to figure out a way around it


...or live and let live.


Keira Knightley feels that the film's story is alarming, but has said that the film is "more about humanity's ability to look the other way". "You know in fact that if your morals can go out the window if you think you can survive in a certain way, whatever your morals may be".


A very good and tragic example of the above is a play called "Good".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_(play)


Good is a play about the causes rather than the consequences of Nazism, about morality and seduction. It explores how a "good" man gets caught up in the intricate web of personal and social reasons why the average person might be seduced in to what we see as abhorrent. The author thus rejects the view that the Nazi atrocities are explained as a result of the simple conspiracy of criminals and psychopaths. Further the lesson of Nazism and the play are not just about the revulsion of six million dead but a warning about popular movements that lead to holocausts. Not judgmental of its protagonist, Good invites to question just what a "good" man is and does and where the bounds of responsibility lie.[2]


How dangerous it can be when we are not aware of how easy it can be to morally detach ourselves from things if we are not vigilant to our flaws and laziness ~~ how easy it is to become something other than what we "think" we are. Why?

Why indeed ~~ when we are nothing but Good!



Thus how would the philosophers go about constructing an argument able to demonstrate that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to react to either context in The Right Way?


First, I would let go of the word "virtuous". lol Then the phrase "The Right Way" would have to be defined or redefined.


My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.


Do you mean to say that they have not actually barely touched the surface?


I have an intuition that I would not make a very good philosopher of ethics since I am not much of a detached person in some ways. My personal biases might so enter in. lol
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:18 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
My point though is always to make that crucial distinction between what he believes here "in his head" to be true and what he can actually demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe "in their heads" in turn.


I may be wrong here but is there actually much of a distinction there when what it appears to come down to is simply "belief" ~~ does it matter who is doing the believing? Of course, we do have to look "to the source.
I may not be understanding your statement though.


Again, the distinction [my distinction] revolves around the world of either/or, where someone is able to demonstrate that in fact something is true [Mary did have an abortion], and the world of is/ought, where someone believes that something is true [abortion is immoral] but she is not able to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to share that belief in turn.

On the other hand, this gets tricky. Why? Because if you believe that something is true, you will behave as though what you believe is true. And then, whether it is true or not, there will still be consequences. And then the lives of others are impacted [for better or worse] by/in these consequences.

Thus whether it can be demonstrated [philosophically or otherwise] that abortion is either moral or immoral, there will still be a particular set of laws that either prescribe or proscribe actual behaviors.

We also do this by trying to learn about who we are, exploring our selves individually and our psyches, what makes us "tick" , what our relationships to others consist of and how we relate to others.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking, Fast and Slow said:

“Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.”


From my frame of mind, the world of is/ought is ever bursting at the seams with folks who have high confidence in their own moral narratives. Even when the narratives completely contradict each other.

My point then is to suggest that this is rooted largely in dasein rather than in one or another deontological -- philosophical, religious, ideological, natural etc. -- assessment of human interaction.

Arcturus Descending wrote:He also said:

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.


On the other hand, the moral and political objectivists will all insist that ignorance can be vanquished if only everyone will embrace their own narrative. Ignorance to them is a defect, ignorance to me is embedded instead in my dilemma above. To be ignorant of "the right thing to do" is just an acknowledgment that this can never be known.

Unless, of course, it can. But then someone must be able to convince me of that. In other words, to demonstrate that what they choose to do is that which all rational/virtuous men and women are obligated to do in turn.

With respect to issues like abortion there are any number of questions in which there clearly are answers. And the answers are apllicable to all of us. Again, the world of either/or.


Arcturus Descending wrote:What criteria is used to form an objective viewpoint on these so-called answers?
For instance, insofar as a particular abortion issue goes, what particular answer would apply to all?


The criteria would revolve around facts. Facts able to be shared. For example, it is a fact that the Republicans in Congress were not able to replace Obama's health care package with their own. Now, can or cannot that be established as in fact true objectively for all of us?

Of course it possible for someone to argue that unless you were there when these decisions were being made you can't know with absolute certainty that it is true. Who knows, maybe the whole thing was being staged by the folks behind the curtain. Or maybe the solipsists are correct.

Even here objectivity still requires leaps, right?

On the other hand how do we go about demonstrating whether Obama or Trump are being more reasonable regarding health care in America? Which of the plans reflects a more virtuous approach to healthcare?

And that's before we get to the parts here that are embedded in political economy. The medical industrial complex.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Within reason, we have to have the courage of our convictions and why we did this and not that - unless we eventually come to see that there might have been a better way. After all, we are not perfect and we do not think perfectly and in such a complete, thorough way but we strive to as we go along.


My argument regarding speculation like this is always the same though. It reflects a "general description" of human interaction. But once these conjectures are embedded in an actual existential context, the manner in which we have "thought this through in our head" -- as it applies to an issue like abortion -- is still no less entangled in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

... So I come to places like ILP in order to explore the narratives of those who profess not to be entangled in it.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Have you come to any conclusion about WHY they are not entangled in it?


Yes, it revolves [by and large] around this:

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".


In other words, in order to sustain a "self" that is construed to be both whole and virtuous, objectivists reap the psychological rewards of seeming to be both complete and coherent. "I" becomes less a fragmented, fractured existential contraption and more a frame of mind that is only as it should be.

But, again, this is far more applicable to the world of is/ought. The world of either/or is [reasonably] true for all of us --- however much we might come into conflict regarding what it is.

Arcturus Descending: I'm not sure I grasp what you're saying here. Can you elaborate a bit more and/or give me an example? Your statement kind of raises a red flag for me but since I'm not really sure what you're speaking about, I'll wait for you to explain.


It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil".


Arcturus Descending wrote:But we have evolved into consciousness and conscience. What rational humane being would think that way? It sounds like more of an excuse to me.
Even without a god, there can be a moral and ethical way of behavior even if it may have in part arisen from the instinct for humanity to survive.
Wasn't morality and an ethical way of living already infused in people before the concept of a god or a personal god appeared on Earth?
There are atheists who have more of a positive code of living than that of many christians.


Again [from my frame of mind], another "general description" of human interaction. But: What does it mean to be "rational and humane" when confronting any of the hundreds and hundreds of moral and political conflicts that have beset the species down through the ages?

Here I note the manner in which I see these conflicts as hopelessly entangled in my dilemma. And all I can do then to is hear out the arguments of those who claim not to be entangled in it.

Take any political conflagration --- abortion, homosexuality, gender roles, animal rights, gun control, the role of government, social, political and economic justice, separation of church and state, capital punishment, war and peace, ...and on and on and on....

You tell me: Which human behaviors here will be more rather than less "conducive to our survival"?

I don't have "yardstick" here. Instead, I note the manner in which reasonable arguments can be from many conflicting sides, arguments derived largely from dasein.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Don't you think that at some point one has to have confidence or trust that what they have done or what they do was/is rooted in and came from the most positive part of them which also seeks no harm? We can live in a degree of uncertainly since we cannot see a whole picture (which is why we use cognitive thinking) without becoming scrupulous - which would only tend to make us paralyzed or frozen, psychically speaking.


Yes, but what happens when those on both sides of any particular moral/political divide embrace this frame of mind, and still insist that their own agenda is less uncertain and reflects a greater understanding of the whole picture?

The real world in other words.

Once you have managed to convince yourself of a particular end [it's the right thing to do] then you just calulate what you ought to do in order to achieve it. That then precipitates titantic arguments about which particular ends justify which particular means. But at least most are certain of the ends involved.

That's just not an option for me. Well, not "here and now".


Arcturus Descending wrote:I may be wrong here since I don't really know you but you seem to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty :evilfun:


The closer one gets to oblivion, and the more one immerses oneself in a world bursting at the seams with human pain and suffering [following the news for example], the more one comes face to face with the implications of living in an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

One or another rendition of this in other words: https://youtu.be/VKcAYMb5uk4

But: That frame of mind is always embedded in 1] a particular philosophy of life and 2] a particular set of circumstances.

You reach a particular juncture then when the ambiguity and the uncertainty becomes increasingly less tolerable. But it would seem then that few frames of mind are more embedded in dasein than this one.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Let us suppose that capital punishment is, under certain circumstances, the only reasonable, just, intelligent way to go. How to prove that?

Show the crime photos of the poor child who was raped and then murdered by the predator. Who in their right mind would not opt for capital punishment under those circumstances?


Yet many on the other side insist that "who in their right mind would sanction the state taking the life of a citizen". And there will always be a pile of mitigating and aggravating circumstances that tug us in both directions. And what of the pain and the suffering that will be inflicted on the loved ones of the prisoner who is executed? They committed no crime. They too are innocent. Or may well be.

Again, there are any number of political narratives that can be raised here. But where is the argument that makes the conflicting points brought up by all sides go away?

What argument encompasses the optimal or the only "civilized" thing to do?

“I do not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolutes, but on a narrow, rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but [only] the certainty of meeting what remains, undisclosed.”
― Martin Buber


That seems to by another rendition of this:

For the choice in...human [moral conflicts] is almost never between a good and an evil, where both are plainly marked as such and the choice therefore made in all the certitude of reason; rather it is between rival goods, where one is bound to do some evil either way, and where the the ultimate outcome and even---or most of all---our own motives are unclear to us. The terror of confronting oneself in such a situation is so great that most people panic and try to take cover under any universal rules that will apply, if only to save them from the task of choosing themselves.
--- William Barrett


And then for folks like me that's just around the corner from this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

And then, well, here we are: me tugging others down into it or others yanking me up out of it.

Keira Knightley feels that the film's story is alarming, but has said that the film is "more about humanity's ability to look the other way". "You know in fact that if your morals can go out the window if you think you can survive in a certain way, whatever your morals may be".


That's just one way to look at it though. Depending on how you construe the meaning of the Good, one's morals may or may not go out the window. In fact, once you are convinced that the Nazis have come to embody the Good, then right and wrong becomes embedded in construing the world as a battle between "one of us" and "one of them".

Or "good and evil" comes to revolve around the "masters" and the "slaves". The masters invested either in might makes right or right makes might. Or, from the perspective of the sociopath, it ever and always revolves around self-gratification. You may not share this point of view, but how do you make it go away? Philosophically, for example.

Politically, on the other hand, the alternatives seem to be either might makes right/right makes might, or democracy and the rule of law.

My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Do you mean to say that they have not actually barely touched the surface?


From my frame of mind there is no surface. There are only points of view regarding a particular rendition of the surface that is rooted historically, culturally and experientially. And in a world in which human interactions are ever tangled, knotted, twisted etc., in contingency, chance and change.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: questions without answers

Postby Meno_ » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:30 pm

Right. So there are no absolutely identifiable either/or's, there are many choices which signify probability curves, as most likely.

Perspectivism and contextualism , reduced to the need for immediacy of results in absolute distinctions.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:16 pm

Harbal wrote:
Humpty wrote: get stabbed in the heart, get stabbed in a major organ,

Organs don't come much more major than the heart.


Have we found a way as of yet to transplant a brain, Harbal - not speaking of science fiction?

But on second thought, is it easier to work with a damaged brain or a damaged heart, physically speaking?
That's an honest question.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:31 pm

Did you know that ducks like peanut butter sandwiches?

This seemed like the thread to ask that in.

They don't really much care for jalapeno cheddar bread, though. Kept bugging me for bread, and one of them stole a peanut butter sandwich of mine, so gave them something to burn their tail feathers on.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:38 pm

Some Guy in History wrote:Did you know that ducks like peanut butter sandwiches?

This seemed like the thread to ask that in.

They don't really much care for jalapeno cheddar bread, though. Kept bugging me for bread, and one of them stole a peanut butter sandwich of mine, so gave them something to burn their tail feathers on.


Apparently, your question DOES NOT belong in this thread since there is an answer to your question - it is within your very question.

Did you know that ducks fight and squabble but then afterwards they shake off the emotions along with the water on their feathers and fly away - holding no more thought or anger about them.

We might learn a thing or two from them? YES?
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Some Guy in History » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:15 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
Some Guy in History wrote:Did you know that ducks like peanut butter sandwiches?

This seemed like the thread to ask that in.

They don't really much care for jalapeno cheddar bread, though. Kept bugging me for bread, and one of them stole a peanut butter sandwich of mine, so gave them something to burn their tail feathers on.


Apparently, your question DOES NOT belong in this thread since there is an answer to your question - it is within your very question.

Did you know that ducks fight and squabble but then afterwards they shake off the emotions along with the water on their feathers and fly away - holding no more thought or anger about them.

We might learn a thing or two from them? YES?


I got one to proposition a dude for peanut butter sandwiches the other day. It was funny as hell. Ducks are fun.


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:40 pm

iambiguous,

Okay, I get your distinction and meaning between either/or and is/ought.

On the other hand, this gets tricky. Why? Because if you believe that something is true, you will behave as though what you believe is true. And then, whether it is true or not, there will still be consequences. And then the lives of others are impacted [for better or worse] by/in these consequences.


Normally, you will behave as if something is true. So, you are making the statement of how beliefs can influence and impact our lives and how necessary it is to examine them.

Thus whether it can be demonstrated [philosophically or otherwise] that abortion is either moral or immoral, there will still be a particular set of laws that either prescribe or proscribe actual behaviors.


Well, considering how we have seen laws changing, the question "How ought I to live" enters in here, not being answered according to what we necessarily believe, but what is the greatest good for all concerned.


My point then is to suggest that this is rooted largely in dasein rather than in one or another deontological -- philosophical, religious, ideological, natural etc. -- assessment of human interaction.


There comes a time for many of us (hopefully) though where we grow into the self-realization that the effects of our individual human experiences, how they have ultimately come to effect our own thinking, and who we "believe" we have become as a result of them, are capable of causing biased perceptions and beliefs which we hang onto. This knowledge can be the means which hold us in restraints and allow us to "take another look" as far as what is the most favorable action to take based on "true" value and not on individual need and belief.

Kahneman also said:

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.

I find this to be true and also because we are not comfortable with living in ambiguity.
We need solutions and resolutions NOW.
But I do intuit that there ARE parts of our lives where we can try to make more sense of them by reflection and practical means and can succeed.


On the other hand, the moral and political objectivists will all insist that ignorance can be vanquished if only everyone will embrace their own narrative.


Embracing them are helpful but not enough. That's just the first step of the journey. Studying them is important too. But I'm not sure what you mean here by "embracing"them. Are you speaking here of "amor fati" or simply calling them to mind, gathering them in?


Ignorance to them is a defect


:-k I have two ways of defining "ignorance". One is never having learned something and the other is "having learned" something but still not getting it or caring to get it. There is a distinction there for me. Anyway, the latter to me is more of a defect or a flaw in a person. I have a problem seeing the former as a defect but I may be wrong. Knowledge is important. The more we know, the more capable we are of making clean practical decisions.


ignorance to me is embedded instead in my dilemma above. To be ignorant of "the right thing to do" is just an acknowledgment that this can never be known.


I don't agree with you here unless I'm not understanding your meaning.
This kind of borders on futilism, don't you think? NEVER BE KNOWN? I will say though that at times it is only in "hindsight" when we come to know if something was the so-called "right thing to do" or not.
There are too many variables and people concerned to know definitely how something will turn out. We don't live in a vacuum.

But there is still something about your statement that doesn't ring true for me. It seems to me that with this mind set a person would freeze up/be paralyzed and wouldn't be able to make any decision. All we can Do is make a decision based on as many facts as we have.


Unless, of course, it can. But then someone must be able to convince me of that. In other words, to demonstrate that what they choose to do is that which all rational/virtuous men and women are obligated to do in turn.


Yes, and you seem to have said it here. There are those who are rational. (I don't so much like the world virtuous.) Maybe noble would be better suited here. Not all men and women are rational and noble so how could something having to do with morality/ethics, what ought to be done be embraced by all? But you did say all rational....Humans are also individuals with freedom of choice and different ways of looking at something and how things ought to be done. But I may be wrong here. I suppose it would have to be something which is a matter of life and death like those who fought in the French Resistance. Those men and women "knew" that their only choice in a sense took choice away from them. If that made any sense. I sometimes have difficulty in expressing myself.


For instance, insofar as a particular abortion issue goes, what particular answer would apply to all?

The criteria would revolve around facts. Facts able to be shared. For example, it is a fact that the Republicans in Congress were not able to replace Obama's health care package with their own. Now, can or cannot that be established as in fact true objectively for all of us?


Perhaps it is also a fact that many Republicans saw that move as very foolish - not having to do with "were not able to" but with the practical. Can you imagine the chaos that might have created?

Insofar as people wanting to do what they would do with the abortion issue ~~for many people, facts would not be a deterrent from abortion. We humans cannot always transcend our fears and desires.


Of course it possible for someone to argue that unless you were there when these decisions were being made you can't know with absolute certainty that it is true. Who knows, maybe the whole thing was being staged by the folks behind the curtain. Or maybe the solipsists are correct.


Where is "there"? Are you speaking of the health care package here?
The solipsist? How does one even wrap his/her brain around that kind of thinking? How could a solipsist be correct or even "see" anything which involves other people or history in the making? I wonder what creates the solipsist's mind? A lonely solitary upbringing - a compensation for not having ever been "seen" or known except by him/-her self. A pathological ego? Poor psychology lol.


On the other hand how do we go about demonstrating whether Obama or Trump are being more reasonable regarding health care in America?


By showing the middle path and the positives and negatives of both. They do both have them. We can't really know Trump's true intent but he does seem to want to rule this country as he did his business if in fact he did rule his business like a dictator of sorts. He likes to have his own way but I'm pretty sure that i may be biased somewhat but how far from the truth..................

Which of the plans reflects a more virtuous approach to healthcare?


Virtuous? You mean a truer reality? I like the word "practical" better?

In order to even contemplate the answer to this, we would have to know exactly what Trump's plans are, what they actually consist of, no? Promises mean nothing. Saying this and that means nothing. We don't even know what this and that are, in the final analysis. Putting his money where his mouth is is a beginning. There's that "in hindsight" again.
I take him with a grain of salt. His behavior has taught me to be skeptical of him. lol


My argument regarding speculation like this is always the same though. It reflects a "general description" of human interaction. But once these conjectures are embedded in an actual existential context, the manner in which we have "thought this through in our head" -- as it applies to an issue like abortion -- is still no less entangled in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.


This is true.

Sir Arthur Kent said: The course of human history is determined, not by what happens in the skies, but by what takes place in our hearts.
~~AND~~
As Shakespeare said: "All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances...."


History is going to unfold as it wills and as we will it. All that we can do is to remember that we can still be as self-determined as we wish to be and then just - Damn the Torpedoes! lol

Arcturus Descending: Have you come to any conclusion about WHY they are not entangled in it?

Yes, it revolves [by and large] around this:

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".


The above reminds me of a religious experience and difficult to break away from...too difficult and uncomfortable to begin to question and to doubt one's own beliefs/perspectives/interconnections. I'll use your word - they become "embedded" in the brain, difficult patterns of thought to break out of. ..difficult to take "The Road Not Taken" (Frost) ....

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The world of either/or is [reasonably] true for all of us --- however much we might come into conflict regarding what it is.

As an example?

Iam wrote: It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil".

Arcturus Descending
But we have evolved into consciousness and conscience. What rational humane being would think that way? It sounds like more of an excuse to me.
...

Iam wrote: Again [from my frame of mind], another "general description" of human interaction. But: What does it mean to be "rational and humane" when confronting any of the hundreds and hundreds of moral and political conflicts that have beset the species down through the ages?


That was probably a rhetorical question, right? :evilfun:
It's also a difficult one to answer ~ honestly. I think that we can get lost in a sea of insanity. We can lose our self in this turbulent sea. We would like to believe that, no matter what, we hopefully would remain rational and humane, because we seem to know ourselves so well. But I think that since there is so much inter-connectedness, so many influences, the negative, the pathological, can occur. We can become like viruses to one another, if we are not vigilant as to our weaknesses and flaws, how inhumane we can become under a particular set of circumstances, at the drop of a dime. This is why it is important to really try to know ourselves, not who we would like to be, but our true selves, every good and horrible/grotesque aspect of ourselves. Then we may hopefully have a good chance of remaining "rational and humane".


Here I note the manner in which I see these conflicts as hopelessly entangled in my dilemma. And all I can do then to is hear out the arguments of those who claim not to be entangled in it.


True. I wonder what it which allows these people to NOT see entanglements? What kind of people are they.


Take any political conflagration --- abortion, homosexuality, gender roles, animal rights, gun control, the role of government, social, political and economic justice, separation of church and state, capital punishment, war and peace, ...and on and on and on....

You tell me: Which human behaviors here will be more rather than less "conducive to our survival"?


I'm getting a headache reading it. lol
I'll just say separation of church and state. Only kidding.
Maybe that's one of the questions which have no answers, at least the way in which it is worded, or you have to say that it just depends on a multitude of things.
Your question is like putting a few pieces of a puzzle together and seeing the whole picture. We can't see into the future. The only answer we can give is that which is subjective and meaningful to our own selves.


"Arcturus Descending"]Don't you think that at some point one has to have confidence or trust that what they have done or what they do was/is rooted in and came from the most positive part of them which also seeks no harm?...

Iam wroter: Yes, but what happens when those on both sides of any particular moral/political divide embrace this frame of mind, and still insist that their own agenda is less uncertain and reflects a greater understanding of the whole pictureThe real world in other words.


Well, what would happen would necessarily depend on who the two individuals are and how open they are to re-thinking their subjective truths, how fearless they are in stepping out on that limb and being wrong or less right.

Anyway, it is true that one of them may be much closer to the truth than the other.
But why would it have to be Either Or? Would it be unreasonable or illogical to think that both could be right in their own way?


The closer one gets to oblivion, and the more one immerses oneself in a world bursting at the seams with human pain and suffering [following the news for example], the more one comes face to face with the implications of living in an essentially absurd and meaningless world.

True. This is why we have to try to learn to balance THAT with the other side of the coin.


AD: Show the crime photos of the poor child who was raped and then murdered by the predator. Who in their right mind would not opt for capital punishment under those circumstances?

Iam wrote: Yet many on the other side insist that "who in their right mind would sanction the state taking the life of a citizen".


Yet these people do not see the life of the child which was taken in such a horrible way? That so-called citizen made his albeit unconscious choice to give up his life when he took another life in such a way. Choices have consequences.

And there will always be a pile of mitigating and aggravating circumstances that tug us in both directions. And what of the pain and the suffering that will be inflicted on the loved ones of the prisoner who is executed? They committed no crime. They too are innocent. Or may well be.


So the compassion which we could feel for them would exonerate the rapist/murderer? And what of the compassion that these loved ones have for the child who will not grow up, who died a horrible death? I know the that law is not always logical but how illogical is it? I realize that remembering that child might not take away their pain but it can make more sense of why HE had to die even though they can't embrace that thought. There are some mothers who would only think of their rapist/murdering sons and not of the life of that child.

You must think of me as Ivan the Terrible by now. :evilfun:
On another note though, if during discovery it came to be revealed that this man as a child was continually physically and sexually abused, I could, if I was able to think only of the man as a child, and how he became such a predator, opt for him to spend the rest of his life in prison ~ the rest of his life! ~ and not get the lethal injection.

On the other hand, if it was revealed through DNA that he also committed other rape and murder acts but was never caught, despite his childhood, I would opt for the injection.


Again, there are any number of political narratives that can be raised here. But where is the argument that makes the conflicting points brought up by all sides go away?

What argument encompasses the optimal or the only "civilized" thing to do?

That would take a great many arguments. We all think with different minds. I don't suppose the argument or issues WOULD go away.


Arc:
“I do not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolutes, but on a narrow, rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but [only] the certainty of meeting what remains, undisclosed.”
― Martin Buber


Iam: That seems to by another rendition of this:

For the choice in...human [moral conflicts] is almost never between a good and an evil, where both are plainly marked as such and the choice therefore made in all the certitude of reason; rather it is between rival goods, where one is bound to do some evil either way, and where the the ultimate outcome and even---or most of all---our own motives are unclear to us. The terror of confronting oneself in such a situation is so great that most people panic and try to take cover under any universal rules that will apply, if only to save them from the task of choosing themselves.
--- William Barrett


I wouldn't say NEVER between a good and an evil. Insofar as this scenario goes, I don't look upon the life of a rapist murderer as a rival good or some kind of conflicting good so I don't at all think of his death by capital punishment as an evil at all - not when considering all that that child experienced as she was being raped and murdered.
Don't you think that the punishment must fit the crime? As a Mom, I may be biased but had I never become a Mom, I still can't see myself as having any other recourse but what i said.


And then for folks like me that's just around the corner from this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


But there are times, when it is a matter of plain justice and balance, logic, not simply dasein. I'm not saying that I believe in "an eye for an eye" because I don't (at least I don't think I don't - all things must be measured) and when you consider it, a quick needle in the arm or however it is done, does not compare to the living hell which that child went through...so one can't even call it an eye for an eye.


.... Depending on how you construe the meaning of the Good, one's morals may or may not go out the window. In fact, once you are convinced that the Nazis have come to embody the Good, then right and wrong becomes embedded in construing the world as a battle between "one of us" and "one of them".


Isn't the "good" to be measured according to results and consequences? 6 million Jews were murdered during the holocaust. Are they simply to be collateral damage for some so-called good which came out of it? How could we even justify that?


Or "good and evil" comes to revolve around the "masters" and the "slaves". The masters invested either in might makes right or right makes might. Or, from the perspective of the sociopath, it ever and always revolves around self-gratification. You may not share this point of view, but how do you make it go away? Philosophically, for example.


Will those philosophies ever really go away? All one can do is to relate to others by discussion individually and to try to chip away at their beliefs/perspectives, putting holes in them, getting in some light (our light) if they are even willing to listen. Will one succeed? That would depend on how deeply those attitudes are buried in their depths.
But do we not try?


My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.


That would be some Magnum opus. Have you began that writing as of yet? :mrgreen:
Seriously though...
But you can't say that nothing has been achieved insofar as "serious philosophers" diving into the above, can you" Maybe even a great deal...
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


I learn as I write!
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:28 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
On the other hand, this gets tricky. Why? Because if you believe that something is true, you will behave as though what you believe is true. And then, whether it is true or not, there will still be consequences. And then the lives of others are impacted [for better or worse] by/in these consequences.


Normally, you will behave as if something is true. So, you are making the statement of how beliefs can influence and impact our lives and how necessary it is to examine them.


Actually, I am suggesting that when you examine what you believe is true about the either/or world, it either is or is not in sync with what is true. It gets tricky though because the whole truth may not actually be demonstrable. But when you examine what you believe is true about the is/ought world, you bump into dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Now, there may or may not be a whole truth here in turn, but it would seem to be considerably more problematic when you set about to demonstrate it to others.

Thus whether it can be demonstrated [philosophically or otherwise] that abortion is either moral or immoral, there will still be a particular set of laws that either prescribe or proscribe actual behaviors.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Well, considering how we have seen laws changing, the question "How ought I to live" enters in here, not being answered according to what we necessarily believe, but what is the greatest good for all concerned.


It changes in a democracy because different political factions gain access to power. And while most folks in the factions are objectivists, they are willing to concede power to the "opposition". But they still insist that the "greatest good for all concerned" is to think and feel just like they do.

My point then is to suggest that this is rooted largely in dasein rather than in one or another deontological -- philosophical, religious, ideological, natural etc. -- assessment of human interaction.


Arcturus Descending wrote: Kahneman also said:

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.

I find this to be true and also because we are not comfortable with living in ambiguity.
We need solutions and resolutions NOW.
But I do intuit that there ARE parts of our lives where we can try to make more sense of them by reflection and practical means and can succeed.


But then we are back again to this very simple fact: that folks on both sides [all sides] of any particular moral conflict are able to convince themselves that "success" revolves entirely around their own subjective narrative, their own political agenda. That the folks on the other side are the ones anchored to their own ignorance.

ignorance to me is embedded instead in my dilemma above. To be ignorant of "the right thing to do" is just an acknowledgment that this can never be known.


Arcturus Descending wrote:I don't agree with you here unless I'm not understanding your meaning.
This kind of borders on futilism, don't you think? NEVER BE KNOWN? I will say though that at times it is only in "hindsight" when we come to know if something was the so-called "right thing to do" or not.


It is true that there may well be "the right thing to do". My point was merely to note that to the extent one is entangled as I am in my dilemma there does not appear to be a way in which to know this.

Though, sure, someone may yet succeed in yanking me up out of it.

Arcturus Descending wrote:But there is still something about your statement that doesn't ring true for me. It seems to me that with this mind set a person would freeze up/be paralyzed and wouldn't be able to make any decision. All we can Do is make a decision based on as many facts as we have.


And that is precisely my point: That I do become "paralyzed" when confronted with moral/political conflicts. Though, sure, as folks like Moreno would note, I do encompass a "liberal" frame of mind regarding many particular issues. But not in the manner in which the liberal objectivists do. I recognize that the extent to which I am "liberal" regarding an issue like abortion, it is merely embedded in a particular existential contraption. This one:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

And, in my view, it is this frame of mind that the objectivists are most intent on shunning. After all, what if it is applicable to them too? What if they find themselves hopelessly pulled and tugged in conflicting directions?

On the other hand how do we go about demonstrating whether Obama or Trump are being more reasonable regarding health care in America?


Arcturus Descending wrote:By showing the middle path and the positives and negatives of both. They do both have them.


But this observation is abstract. We would need to get down to particular contexts in which liberals and conservatives, capitalists and socialists, individualists and collectivists etc., discuss and debate "positives and negatives". What particular middle path pertaining to what particular set of circumstances out in what particular world historically, culturally and experientially.

Arcturus Descending wrote:Don't you think that at some point one has to have confidence or trust that what they have done or what they do was/is rooted in and came from the most positive part of them which also seeks no harm?...


Yes, but what happens when those on both sides of any particular moral/political divide embrace this frame of mind, and still insist that their own agenda is less uncertain and reflects a greater understanding of the whole pictureThe real world in other words.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Well, what would happen would necessarily depend on who the two individuals are and how open they are to re-thinking their subjective truths, how fearless they are in stepping out on that limb and being wrong or less right.


Exactly. But as soon as "I" situate these more tolerant and fearless folks out in a particular world entangled in a particular set of actual circumstances, "I" become entangled in an enormously complex and convoluted set of variables that come -- existentially -- to constitute and embody "you" and "me" and "we" and "them".

The rest [literally] is history. Human history to date, right?

Arcturus Descending wrote:Anyway, it is true that one of them may be much closer to the truth than the other.


That's true, I agree. But how exactly would they go about demonstrating to others that they are? How would this be accomplished given the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? All I can do here is to solicit alternative frames of mind.

Arcturus Descending wrote:But why would it have to be Either Or? Would it be unreasonable or illogical to think that both could be right in their own way?


Well, that's my point. The objectivists however obviate ambiguity and uncertainty by subsuming human value judgments into the either/or world.

We then become obligated to behave in particular ways because this obligation is anchored to the most or the only reasonable manner in which to think about things if you wish to be thought of as a rational and virtuous and noble human being. To, in other words, become [and then remain] "one of us".

Show the crime photos of the poor child who was raped and then murdered by the predator. Who in their right mind would not opt for capital punishment under those circumstances?


Yet many on the other side insist that "who in their right mind would sanction the state taking the life of a citizen".


Arcturus Descending wrote:Yet these people do not see the life of the child which was taken in such a horrible way? That so-called citizen made his albeit unconscious choice to give up his life when he took another life in such a way. Choices have consequences.


Yes, and when the state executes the prisoner there are consequences for those who love him too. And they may well be innocent children in turn.

And there will always be a pile of mitigating and aggravating circumstances that tug us in both directions. And what of the pain and the suffering that will be inflicted on the loved ones of the prisoner who is executed? They committed no crime. They too are innocent. Or may well be.


Arcturus Descending wrote:So the compassion which we could feel for them would exonerate the rapist/murderer? And what of the compassion that these loved ones have for the child who will not grow up, who died a horrible death? I know the that law is not always logical but how illogical is it? I realize that remembering that child might not take away their pain but it can make more sense of why HE had to die even though they can't embrace that thought. There are some mothers who would only think of their rapist/murdering sons and not of the life of that child.


All this reveals is how reasonable arguments can be made to rationalize a particular moral conclusion. As though the other side doesn't have their own rendition of it.

Check out this: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2359312&hilit=dead+man+walking+tim+robbins#p2359312

So, you tell me: Which side comes closer to the actual truth here?

You argue that "there are times, when it is a matter of plain justice and balance, logic, not simply dasein." Yet from my frame of mind this is veritably bursting at the seams with dasein. As though it is possible regarding any particular abortion or execution to encompass "plain justice and balance" such that all rational and virtuous and noble men and women are obligated to accept it as that.

.... Depending on how you construe the meaning of the Good, one's morals may or may not go out the window. In fact, once you are convinced that the Nazis have come to embody the Good, then right and wrong becomes embedded in construing the world as a battle between "one of us" and "one of them".


Arcturus Descending wrote:Isn't the "good" to be measured according to results and consequences? 6 million Jews were murdered during the holocaust. Are they simply to be collateral damage for some so-called good which came out of it? How could we even justify that?


Here the objectivists just go around and around in circles. The Nazis who embraced Hitler's moral narrative construed the extermination of the Jews as "good". And thus a good result could only be their extermination.

Or consider on a much smaller scale the recent vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch in the Senate. For the Republicans, getting him onto the Supreme Court was the Good. So if they had to use the nuclear option to do it, well, that end justified that means.

Once you are convinced that your own moral and political values reflect the highest order of human interaction, well, you do what you must, don't you?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:19 pm

Here's my question: We hear a lot of shit about Mrs. Ippi, but whatever happened to Mr. Ippi?
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue May 09, 2017 3:20 pm

IAMBIGUOUS,

I'm working on it. I'm kind of besieged these days. Work
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


I learn as I write!
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat May 13, 2017 5:16 pm

Iambiguous,

But I do intuit that there ARE parts of our lives where we can try to make more sense of them by reflection and practical means and can succeed.

But then we are back again to this very simple fact: that folks on both sides [all sides] of any particular moral conflict are able to convince themselves that "success" revolves entirely around their own subjective narrative, their own political agenda. That the folks on the other side are the ones anchored to their own ignorance.


Yes, but about what I said above your quote. Wouldn't that necessarily help in avoiding those subjective pitfalls and biases?
True, you are correct in a way and that is the world's reality. Human beings have been this way from the beginning of consciousness and I think that we will continue to be this way.
Many simply believe that their own perception is the only real perception.


AD: I don't agree with you here unless I'm not understanding your meaning.
This kind of borders on futilism, don't you think? NEVER BE KNOWN? I will say though that at times it is only in "hindsight" when we come to know if something was the so-called "right thing to do" or not.

Iam: It is true that there may well be "the right thing to do". My point was merely to note that to the extent one is entangled as I am in my dilemma there does not appear to be a way in which to know this.

Though, sure, someone may yet succeed in yanking me up out of it.


That might be part of the point. If we do not see a way out of something, perhaps there cannot be any way out of something for us. If we see one, we could find one. It will be there waiting. Too simplistic?
Have you ever stopped to examine this belief of yours ~~ and WHY you think as you do? Go back to its origin?

I can't recall which Indiana Jones movie it was but there was a scene where he was being chased and he had to get across this really wide chasm or die I suppose lol. He first had to have faith that there was some kind of an "invisible bridge", (as he was told) so to speak, to get him across. But in order for him to get across he had to take that first step into what "appeared" to be nothingness before him. Taking the step was what caused the bridge to appear.

Arcturus Descending....It seems to me that with this mind set a person would freeze up/be paralyzed and wouldn't be able to make any decision. All we can Do is make a decision based on as many facts as we have.

IAM: And that is precisely my point: That I do become "paralyzed" when confronted with moral/political conflicts.


Perhaps this is only because you want to remain honest and maintain your integrity about things. Let's face it, as YOU do realize, many of us believe and come to downright KNOW (lol) that our way of thinking is the ONLY one.
Perhaps there is a better word for what you experience then becoming "paralyzed".

Though, sure, as folks like Moreno would note, I do encompass a "liberal" frame of mind regarding many particular issues.

I see nothing wrong with that - but for me, subjectively thinking, it would depend on what those issues are. "Living and let living" insofar as no one is getting hurt or hurting others, would be my guidepost. But can it be as simplistic as that ~ since we cannot know all of the ways in which something could go wrong.

But of course, even there - living and let living" we would all have our own perceptions about that. Discussing and giving reasons could help but then again, the "hard nuts to crack" would stay closed.
..................

Interesting journey you have had and I would suggest that you are still on one.
Yes, we all have our own particular existential contraptions. The thought just occurred to me that we might also call them "traps".

7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.


First of all, how far along was Mary?
Can you give me John's points. Please do not refer back to another thread. Can you just quickly give them to me here? Or not. :evilfun:
Did you, at the time, talk to Mary in support of the unborn child who had no voice?

You needn't respond to the above questions if it will muddy the waters here.

Proceeding....

Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism) is the meta-ethical view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong.


in·her·ent·ly
adverb
in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way.
"the work is inherently dangerous"

There seems, to me, to be something amiss in that way of thinking, as per that example. It would appear that the moral nihilist does not bring future possibilities and/or consequences of his/her actions or those of others into consideration.

If someone kills a young mother, and her children grow up motherless, do you see that as NOT being inherently wrong, considering how the course of those children's lives can turn out?
If someone is an innocent, in what universe would that not be inherently wrong?

I can agree with you on some level, depending on certain circumstances, how practicing some moral nihilism could be beneficial toward someone, especially toward some innocent, despite what the law says.

For instance, if someone kills a rapist and murderer of children. Yes, I realize that I keep going back to that one. The rapist/murderer, because of some stupid legal mistake, some kind of legality, despite the knowledge that he has raped and murdered and at other times too, gets off. I would not be opposed at all if someone managed to find and kill him. Why? Because this action has already saved children sometime in the future.

The way I interpret "inherently" from the above definition, "killing someone" could be considered wrong, depending on the consequences of the action, the suffering of others, the effects which may occur. in opposition to the mandate "to do no harm". I don't know if I expressed that in an understandable way. It seems to me that the moral nihilist exercises no consciousness or right judgment when it comes to ethics or morality. He/she lives in the world where the "survival of the fittest" is prevalent and advocated. Or would I be wrong?

Just a thought here ~~ insofar as the moral nihilism goes, how could we know that Mary and John's child would not have grow up to become the scientist who found a cure for some dread disease? Or that the child at some future day would be in the right place at the right time and save countless lives.
But I realize that possibilities are just that ~ possibilities. But still...actions have consequences all the way into the future. History teaches that. .. personal history teaches that.

Arcturus Descending
By showing the middle path and the positives and negatives of both. They do both have them.

But this observation is abstract. We would need to get down to particular contexts in which liberals and conservatives, capitalists and socialists, individualists and collectivists etc., discuss and debate "positives and negatives". ...


That was understood but yes I was being too abstract there. The thought occurred to me that depending on the reality of issues, perhaps the "middle path" might not necessarily be the one to follow. But investigating, brainstorming et cetera would be the way to go.
All manner of art would be necessary to utilize, with reference to your "abstract" word. :evilfun:

AD: Well, what would happen would necessarily depend on who the two individuals are and how open they are to re-thinking their subjective truths, how fearless they are in stepping out on that limb and being wrong or less right.

Iam: Exactly. But as soon as "I" situate these more tolerant and fearless folks out in a particular world entangled in a particular set of actual circumstances, "I" become entangled in an enormously complex and convoluted set of variables that come -- existentially -- to constitute and embody "you" and "me" and "we" and "them".


As a buddhist (I believe) once said: "So What!" :mrgreen:

I may be wrong in my intuition (it can be quite faulty) but I think, that in essence, this has become your Gordian Knot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot

I have had a few in my life which I have tried to work on and I seem to find that the more I actually go about trying to cut them, rid myself of them, they have a way of becoming entangled again. They are tricky little contrary things.

REALLY thinking out of that box might help.
I had a kind of wee epiphany this morning as I was drinking my coffee that I just might not be "thinking out of the box" insofar as my questioning and contemplating the origin of a god. lol We get kind of set in our ways and thoughts. Perhaps in my case because my scientific knowledge is quite limited ~~ QUITE???? ~~ LOL and also the way in which I think leaves a lot to be desired. Anyway, if the way in which we are thinking holds nothing new for us, it's best to look for a different path or not to follow any path per se. Just to wait and see what comes to us/occurs - but to definitely abandon our familiar starting point.

What is it that they say is the definition of insanity: "To continue to do (or to think) in the same way, and yet expect to have different results. (paraphrasing here).

The Gordian Knot is a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem (disentangling an "impossible" knot) solved easily by loophole or "thinking outside the box" ("cutting the Gordian knot"):

Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter
— Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47


The rest [literally] is history. Human history to date, right?

Arcturus Descending
Anyway, it is true that one of them may be much closer to the truth than the other.

That's true, I agree. But how exactly would they go about demonstrating to others that they are? How would this be accomplished given the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? All I can do here is to solicit alternative frames of mind.


Maybe that would necessarily depend more on how you might receive and be open to their arguments and observations. Sometimes what occurs/results depends more on how we change our behavior and responses. Can we change those of others? We don't lose the "I" but we can put away the ego for the sake of the "team". I don't know if that made any sense to you. :oops:
I wasn't here in any way saying that you are egoistical, Iam, just referring to your own sense of relating -- above quote.

We then become obligated to behave in particular ways because this obligation is anchored to the most or the only reasonable manner in which to think about things if you wish to be thought of as a rational and virtuous and noble human being. To, in other words, become [and then remain] "one of us".


I sometimes have such a problem with that "virtuous" word. Don't know why. :-k
Is it possible that the "above" people "need" others to think and feel as they do? If they have the courage of their own convictions, why do they need the company of others to side with, to think alike?
Are we the Borg?

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.”
― Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto): Notes from a Secret Journal

~~~~ and last but not least ~~~~

“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

Yes, there is always nature. That quote is so profound to me.
Does nature expect us to be as it is? Well, we already are actually, in a sense. :evilfun:

Yes, and when the state executes the prisoner there are consequences for those who love him too. And they may well be innocent children in turn.


What degree of difference do you see between one who will spend the rest of his life in prison for a heinous crime and one who is executed - insofar as the the consequences for his innocent children go?

I wonder really, in the mind of the child, who will grow up, what the degree of difference is. A man has raped and murdered children. Does he get to live for the sake of his innocent child{ren]? The greatest damage has already been done.
Where is the justice in that - I mean the ACTUAL justice? That's not really a rhetorical question.
Some might say that living on the streets is far worse than being in prison.

I know that my way of thinking is not the only one.

Arcturus Descending
So the compassion which we could feel for them would exonerate the rapist/murderer? And what of the compassion that these loved ones have for the child who will not grow up, who died a horrible death? I know the that law is not always logical but how illogical is it? I realize that remembering that child might not take away their pain but it can make more sense of why HE had to die even though they can't embrace that thought. There are some mothers who would only think of their rapist/murdering sons and not of the life of that child.

All this reveals is how reasonable arguments can be made to rationalize a particular moral conclusion. As though the other side doesn't have their own rendition of it.


..."and so it goes".

You argue that "there are times, when it is a matter of plain justice and balance, logic, not simply dasein." Yet from my frame of mind this is veritably bursting at the seams with dasein. As though it is possible regarding any particular abortion or execution to encompass "plain justice and balance" such that all rational and virtuous and noble men and women are obligated to accept it as that.


Was I saying that everyone ought to accept my thoughts and point of view on this? No. I was just giving mine. Obviously, it is in the hands of better or worse people than myself.
What do you feel? Do you feel that these people have the right to live considering what they have done to others?


The Nazis who embraced Hitler's moral narrative construed the extermination of the Jews as "good". And thus a good result could only be their extermination.


...not by my definition of construed. They were simply barbaric unfeeling, apathetic murdering people who followed like sheep the orders of another barbaric, unfeeling murderous wimp without conscious thought or compassion for their fellowman.

Once you are convinced that your own moral and political values reflect the highest order of human interaction, well, you do what you must, don't you?


So, what are you saying here? That we must not follow our own code of ethical behavior? C'mon. There are instances when there is no question of what is right and what is wrong. Not all instances but many.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 18, 2017 7:17 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
But I do intuit that there ARE parts of our lives where we can try to make more sense of them by reflection and practical means and can succeed.


But then we are back again to this very simple fact: that folks on both sides [all sides] of any particular moral conflict are able to convince themselves that "success" revolves entirely around their own subjective narrative, their own political agenda. That the folks on the other side are the ones anchored to their own ignorance.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Yes, but about what I said above your quote. Wouldn't that necessarily help in avoiding those subjective pitfalls and biases?


Intuition is always tricky. It somehow intertwines that part of the brain which functions on the cognizant level -- on a rational basis -- with those parts that are embedded in our subjunctive reactions; reactions that become tangled further in the subconscious and unconscious parts of "mind".

From my frame of mind though many aspects of it are no less embedded in dasein and conflicting goods.

Arcturus Descending wrote:True, you are correct in a way and that is the world's reality. Human beings have been this way from the beginning of consciousness and I think that we will continue to be this way.
Many simply believe that their own perception is the only real perception.


That's why I always request that when these enormously complex relationships are explored in exchanges like this one, we bring our own speculations as "down to earth" as we possibly can.

For example, today many folks might react to the Trump/Russia scandal "intuitively". Well, what does that mean? There are the actual facts that either will or will not be brought to the surface. Objective truths. And then there are the reactions of individuals to those facts. In other words, both the folks at Fox News and at MSNBC will have intuitive reactions to it. But how ought one to react to it? And in the best of all possible worlds what should be true?

Have you ever stopped to examine this belief of yours ~~ and WHY you think as you do? Go back to its origin?


Again, that is embedded in this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

Which is why I always ask folks to think through their own value judgments in this manner. How is what they think is "the right thing to do" the embodiment of a particular existential trajectory? And how much instead is able to be derived philosophically from an entirely rational frame of mind.

And that is precisely my point: That I do become "paralyzed" when confronted with moral/political conflicts.


Arcturus Descending wrote:Perhaps this is only because you want to remain honest and maintain your integrity about things.


My point though is that folks on both sides of any particular moral conflagration insist that they are being honest. That they have integrity. They simply embrace two conflicting sets of assumptions regarding that which is construed to be "the good".

Arcturus Descending wrote:First of all, how far along was Mary?
Can you give me John's points. Please do not refer back to another thread. Can you just quickly give them to me here? Or not. :evilfun:
Did you, at the time, talk to Mary in support of the unborn child who had no voice?


She was around two months pregnant. And John, while once supporting a woman's right to choose, found himself [existentially] getting all torn up inside when he couldn't think his way out of believing that the unborn are human babies; and that this baby was in part him.

And I supported Mary all the way at first. But as I noted above I was also coming to understand John's frame of mind better; and I had read William Barratt's Irrational Man which really got me to thinking about "rival goods".

Conflicting goods as I have come to call them.

Arcturus Descending wrote: Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism) is the meta-ethical view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong.


in·her·ent·ly
adverb
in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way.
"the work is inherently dangerous"

There seems, to me, to be something amiss in that way of thinking, as per that example. It would appear that the moral nihilist does not bring future possibilities and/or consequences of his/her actions or those of others into consideration.


Is aborting a human fetus more or less "permanently, essentially, or characteristically" immoral than forcing a pregnant woman to give birth?

Arcturus Descending wrote: If someone kills a young mother, and her children grow up motherless, do you see that as NOT being inherently wrong, considering how the course of those children's lives can turn out?
If someone is an innocent, in what universe would that not be inherently wrong?


From the perspective of the sociopaths and the narcissists, killing the mother may well be something that [for whatever reason] they conclude is the right thing to do. Why? Because from their point of view, morality [in a Godless universe more often than not] revolves around that which gratifies them.

Again, for whatever reason.

Same for the rapist.

Which in part is why Gods are invented. To obviate that. God because when we speak of something being inherently right or wrong, how is that to be established by any particular mere mortal in the absense of God?

Still, this is how you and most folks think about it [either with or without God]:

Arcturus Descending wrote:The way I interpret "inherently" from the above definition, "killing someone" could be considered wrong, depending on the consequences of the action, the suffering of others, the effects which may occur. in opposition to the mandate "to do no harm". I don't know if I expressed that in an understandable way. It seems to me that the moral nihilist exercises no consciousness or right judgment when it comes to ethics or morality. He/she lives in the world where the "survival of the fittest" is prevalent and advocated. Or would I be wrong?


I am not able to think this way. Or, rather, not here and now. Instead, I am still entangled in my dilemma above.

But [for me] it is less a question of being right or wrong and more a matter of what particular initial assumptions [premises] you subscribe to. I see these as political prejudices. And not something that can be derived deontologically from a proper philosophical analysis.

And ever and always I acknowledge that I may well be thinking this through in the wrong way. But I still have to be convinced of that, don't I?

"I" from my frame of mind is profoundly embedded in a Gordian Knot: when interacting with others in the world of is/ought. On the other hand, where is that loophole to untangle "me" here.

Once you are convinced that your own moral and political values reflect the highest order of human interaction, well, you do what you must, don't you?


Arcturus Descending wrote:So, what are you saying here? That we must not follow our own code of ethical behavior? C'mon. There are instances when there is no question of what is right and what is wrong. Not all instances but many.


I have tried to explain the manner in which I think about this:

1] that any particular individual's "code of ethical behavior" is largely an existential contraption rooted in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts; and ever evolving over time in a world awash in contingency change and change
2] that "codes of ethical behaviors" become embedded in conflicting assessments of right and wrong embedded in conflciting goods
3] that however one feels about value judgments and ideals "in their head" what really counts is the extent to which "out in the world" they are able to actually enforce what they believe to be true in any particular community.

Though, sure, I can well understand why this sort of thinking might disturb others. After all, it disturbs me. Only I can't think myself out of it.

Here and now.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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