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.
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.
Let alone provide answers to questions that revolve around the existential relationship between identity, value judgments and political economy.
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?
Either/or to me is like black and white. It kind of ends further exploration and discovery, no?
True. But for all practical purposes as it relates to our day to day interactions with others, mathematics, the physical laws of nature and the logical rules of language, suffice [for me] to allow us to make a reasonably clear distinction between the either/or world and the world of is/ought.
I may have spoken too soon about what I said above. I don't really like to make absolutist statements. There are areas which are either or.
I am interested in an example which you would give me between the either/or world and the world of is/ought.
But what of the world of is/ought? How many questions here are there without answers? Objective answers applicable to all.
I think that you're looking for the holy grail, Iambiguous.
I changed my answer a bit to the above question. It isn't that there aren't answers as much as there are different perspectives different kinds of subjective thought. Maybe that's obvious but I say it anyway.
I may be wrong but would is/ought deal more with those moral/ethical questions?
1] I recognize that my own narrative here is just another subjective/subjunctive contraption that may well be wrong
Not necessarily wrong but just one of many. If it has validity, I don't think it's wrong. Why are there many different kinds of fish in the sea? lol Not a very good analogy maybe.
2] 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".
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.
Arcturus Descending ...Humanity is complicated. We don't even begin to know ourselves at times so how can questions be so clear-cut? But don't you think that we can explain them in some satisfactory way?
Here I just tumble over and over and over again into my dilemma.
I don't think that that is necessarily a bad thing. You might tend to be more cautious since you realize just how much ambiguity there appears to be in the world.
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".
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.
There is an "ought" attached to means and an "ought" attached to ends.
By ought, do you mean what is necessary to do, what you must do, what you see fit to do? lol I guess that'll do it.
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, "here and now".
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.
Sometimes people may enter into "how ought I to live" and how their lives might be affected? Of course, in the final analysis, we make our decisions and someone may always be hurt, not because we did a hurtful thing in reaching for our own stars, but because certain people would choose to keep us on their terms and not ours. If any of that made sense. There is often some kind of conflicted goods involved.
I know this is not too philosophical a discussion, is it?
On the contrary, this has more or less become the center of the universe for me now philosophically. And, over and again, in my discussions with one or another objectivist, this is where I bring the discussion. From my frame of mind, what does it mean to take philosophy "seriously" if, eventually, the "analysis" is not integrated into our actual interactions with others?
I hope that you realize that I was not referring above to the thread per se but to the non philosophical ways in which I respond. I'm not a scholar.
As to your last statement, I share your viewpoint.
To me, analytic philosophy is basically just words talking about words. Words defining and defending other words. And, sure, it's important to define and defend one or another epistemological framework. I certainly agree with that. After all, what can we know for certain? But to never take these ponderous scholastic contraptions down out of the ivory tower? Nope, not in exchanges with me.
Perhaps one could also use the word "brainstorming" here. Do you think that that fits?
It's the things which CAN NEVER be known for certain which are vital perhaps because that is where conflicted goods and ethical issues enter in. Perhaps one can really reach THE TRUTH OF IT but we (all of us) may reach some little truths of it.
the need to subsist, to sustain one's existence itself. The part that swirls around our biological imperatives: food, water, clothing, shelter, reproduction, defense.
Arcturus Descending How do You answer the question: "How ought I to live" with regard to the above?
"Whatever works". And with all of the ambiguity and uncertainty that this entails.
With regard to how I ought to live, I thought you might bring others into the equation. In an ideal world, our existence would also include the needs of others, no? and how to protect our natural resources for future generations.
Wouldn't we all experience our dasein differently?
Again, there are those things that all of us are hard-wired to think and to feel and to do as a result of the evolution of life on earth itself. There is the empirical world around us. Here "I" is more or less interchangable historically and culturally. My "I" -- "I" rooted in dasein -- revolves instead around the world of is/ought. Around customs and mores and rituals and laws. Around those behaviors that tend to either be prescribed or proscribed in any particular community.
So, we would all experience dasein differently though - but then again, insofar as you are using the world, many others might share the same
experience or outlook or ...I'm groping for a word here that isn't coming through.
For example, there is what we can know to be a fact about the Trump administration here in America; and then there is the manner in which we react to those facts.
With much skepticism and caution. I listened to his address last night, the whole hour and a half. I thought it went rather well for him - he wasn't his usual "self" but for me it is easy for anyone to say what they want and what they will do but I also think that it is much ego for him. I think that he was kind of performing and trying to "win" over his opponents. I had the impression that he felt that all of this was going to be easy. There is so much of a process there - can he be that naive or is it just plain hubris? I may be wrong but I also had the sense that certain things had been set up also, kind of manipulation to smooth out ruffled feathers but I didn't feel it was based on honesty and real commitment. But maybe I am wrong. Certain things just didn't make sense based on previous remarks he made. I'm a skeptic.
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.
It's probably just me but I'm having difficulty seeing much of a distinction here. Can you shed more light on the above
Yes, but those who wish to reconfigure ILP back to the time when what they construe to be more "serious philosophy" was the rule have their "reason and logic" and those who actually like it more the way it is now have their own. And both sides can insist that they are being honest in their assessment.
Perhaps both sides need to stand back and take another look. Maybe a happy medium between both but I lean much more to how things were in the past. At the same time, things do have to evolve in a way...things always have a way of evolving, devolving is maybe a better word but I see no problem with a community of ILP who is friendly and kind of a social watering hole but within reason. Like the work break - then back to the real and important things. There are far too many non sensible threads on this forum. What comes to me is that if we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem. In other words, don't even respond to the nonsense though at times that is difficult.
On the other hand, who is to say what the proper "balance" here must be?
Oh, I would say that those with reasonable minds who more or less maintain balance in here, those who are able to see the difference between too much absurdity and inaneness ~~ and a little social frolicking which might be the icing on the cake in a philosophy forum. But that's just my thinking and not necessarily "right".
Things are not always right or wrong ~~ just more right than wrong and visa versa.
See, there is just so much ambiguity in the world. But isn't it fun to try to plow through it?
Arcturus Descending 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.
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.
These poor children were bred and manipulated and brainwashed into believing only one thing - it was their duty after growing up to one day sacrifice their selves through a number of operations - through giving their organs. They were raised to believe/to know this and that at some point there would be that last "donation" which would end their lives. I began to question how these adults could possibly not run away, not want to be free, not realize what was being done to them. Of course, it dawned on me that it was embedded in their brains and their minds that this was to be their journey - how could they respond or react otherwise?. A few, who were more aware even if unconsciously, wanted to postpone the inevitable by "receiving" deferrals. In other words, two people in love might be able to wait a while before going throught the organ donations but that was all a hoax. Anyway -- it made me realize (though I already realize) just how inhumane and callous we can be as humans.
These children were nothing more than cattle to these adults who lied to them.
I suppose that they felt that since they were "clones" they were not entitled to be free and to live happy productive lives. They saw nothing of the beauty and what was real about them ~ they were just tools to be used.The Originals evidently had the money to "clone" their selves. No one seemed to see these children and later adults as "individuals in their own right". They were just forms of slaves to be used when it was called for.
The movie broke my heart and made me so angry. It was science fiction but then again who knows how far science without compassion, ethics and restraints can go?
After all was said and done, I asked myself the question: Under what set of circumstances might I do what these originals did? Would I be capable of doing the same thing in order to survive, to perpetuate my life and perhaps the life of my children? Can I really know what I would be capable of doing under certain circumstances if I had the opportunity? I left the question unanswered because sadly can I really answer that question though I might want to believe that I would be incapable of it? Even thinking about it at this moment, the tears are rolling down my face.
The question: "How ought I to live" doesn't necessarily give all the answers especially when it comes to issues of the quality of life ~~ and death, those hardcore questions. I can't imagine myself to ever be a nazi pig but in moments and situations which go way beyond any norm which we can imagine ~~ how would I choose to live?
Just another ambiguous question.
Clearly, those who fancy themselves as "masters of the universe" don't want to belive their great accomplishments are "beyond my control". On the other hand, it would be rather comforting for those who consider their lives to more or less be in the toilet to think, "yes, it is all beyond my control".
There are those who feel that they are totally responsible for their being self-determined and those who take the futile, pessimistic attitude of having no autonomy at all.
My only point is that one way or the other it all appears to really be "beyond good and evil".
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.
But that just brings me back to this:
Zorba: Why do the young die, why does anyone die, tell me.
Basil: I don't know.
Zorba: What's the use of all your damn books? If they don't tell you that, what the hell do they tell you?
Basil: They tell me about the agony of men who can't answer questions like yours.
That's profound. It brings me back to Rilke's beautiful words:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
That gives us the incentive and courage to continue on living, not just despite it all, but because of it all. After all, isn't that all we have?