a new understanding of today, time and space.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:17 pm

we are convinced by modern propaganda that we need to
live by various isms and ideologies... patriotism, nationalism,
racial purity, American exceptionalism.....and that we should
live our lives within these "truths"... we should be patriots
and live our lives within the banner of patriotism.....
a truth by which we can live out our lives....

the problem (one of many) is that the ism of patriotism is that
it is a mass production ism...we individual human beings, small
and puny, are suppose to find greater glory and a higher purpose
in life by living via patriotism... America first..... MAGA....

that makes my life, my individual life subject to being negated
and dehumanized by forces outside of myself.... I am negated,
denied for love of country..... if country comes first, I come last...….
that is nihilism.....and if I fully embrace the idea of patriotism,
then I negate people who are not Americans.. only Americans
have value.... all others are negated and dehumanized.....
by practicing patriotism, I practice nihilism...…

any ism or ideology also promotes this idea of those that embrace
the ism and ideology come first and all others come second....
thus they are negated and dehumanized... any ism or ideology
practices with truth and conviction practices nihilism...the
negation of human beings and their values...…

upon what values and beliefs can I rest knowing I
am not practicing nihilism?

all men are created equal.....nope, how about...….

"all human beings are created equal"

upon that viewpoint, can I truly say, I am not practicing nihilism...

but I am negating and denying all other life, thus even accepting all human
beings as equal, I still practice nihilism by not including all life....

thus the equation goes like this.....

"all life is create equal"

Now, I am not practicing nihilism.... only by including, not excluding,
but by inclusion can I say, I am not practicing nihilism...…..

"so stages upon a life's way"

we practice nihilism every time we exclude... it is only until we
accept all life do we not practice nihilism...….

thus we are born and we see only ourselves
and as we grow older, we see our parents
and as we grow even older, we see our siblings
and then we see aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces
and we see grandparents....

and then as we grow older, we begin to see other children
and we see other adults and we see that our world is large
and varied...…

we learn to accept other human beings and then we begin to accept
animals as equal... until we don't see animals as our equals.....

the path of being human takes us from one to few to many and with luck,
finally all... we learn to accept all as equal....
and that is the road we must take as human beings...…

to accept only some as equal, we practice nihilism....

it is only until we accept all as equal is when we no longer
practice nihilism.....

so, do you practice nihilism by only accepting some as equal
and not all as equal?

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:02 pm

Peter Kropotkin:

you who opposes me... why are you so invested in the nihilism that
dominates your life? why not engage in something outside of nihilism?

why not engage in something that is positive.....something like pursuit
of justice as equality.....or if you like, find some other positive
aspect to engage in like love or hope or charity....... there are hundreds
of positive possibilities for you to engage in... but you are so invested in
your nihlism that you can't see anything outside of your nihilism.......
your hate, your anger, your greed or your lust or.........

IMP:Not sure which particular nihilist you have in mind, of course, but as a nihilist myself, I'd like to respond to this.

First of all, historically, one needs to make an important distinction here between means and ends.

There have been any number of political idealists over the years who, in embracing one or another "kingdom of ends", have managed to rationalize and then to justify it "by any means necessary". This can be embodied in a belief in God or in a political ideology or in a deontological philosophical concoction. One way or another though the end comes to justify the means. And it is in focusing in on the means employed to bring about the end that some come around to identifying any particular religious or political or philosophical movement as "nihilistic".

After all, in employing particular means -- inquisitions, revolutions, jihads, final solutions, genocides, education camps, gulags, etc. -- an enormous amount of human pain and suffering can follow.

But it follows ironically enough because it is believed by these moral and political idealists/objectivists that they and they alone have discovered the one and the only truly rational and virtuous set of commandments.

Thou shalt do only what "one of us" have determined is "the right thing to do".

So, then it comes down to any particular context involving any particular conflicting behaviors, in which folks like you and Wendy insist that "engaging in something positive" is to think and feel and say and do the things that you do.

Again, it only depends on how far, given a particular context, you have come to believe that others are in fact obligated to share your own political values if they wish to be thought of as reasonable and ethical human beings.

Also, on the more constructive side, nihilism can be used to advocate moderation, negotiation and compromise in the pursuit of legal prescriptions and proscriptions. The pursuit of rewards and punishments. Democracy and the rule of law revolve precisely around the assumption that dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest [might makes right] and philosopher-kings [right makes might] may not be the right way to go.

Well, taking into account all that stuff from Marx and Engels of course.

K: in rereading the last few pages of this thread, I notice at no point have
I suggested any direct actions, I have not said, do this and you will be saved...
in any physical sense.... my call to "action" has been strictly about an
reexamination of values....it is about the values and other inner matters that
I have spoken about.....the battle we fight to become human is an inner
struggle.....overcoming our childhood indoctrinations and finding the values
that we truly are and then with that known, becoming who we are by
living live within those values.....the truth of our existence is found
when we find our values and then live within those values... that is the battle...
it has nothing whatsover to do with any physical engagement with the world.....

the battle to become human lies within us...within our struggle to engage in
finding our values and then discovering how to live those values.....

at no point have I suggested a physical action to find our values... for finding
values isn't about a physical struggle... although in fairness, one may learn
the values you live by within some sort of physical struggle... many a soldier
at war discovered within their heart, lies a commitment to peace and love
and charity...they just never knew that those values laid within their heart..
until force to confront those values within the midst of fighting a war...…

my call to "action" is simple... turn off the TV, turn off the lights,
sit quietly and listen to one's own heart and question the values
you were raised with...…. question the nihilism that currently infects
this "modern" age...….

my call to action is simply a call to question what it means to be human.....

what should I believe in? this is one of the Kantian questions that we still
struggle with because we don't listen to that inner voice that haunts
all of us...….we negate that inner voice, silence that inner voice for fear
that we might learn that we aren't true humans, but we live at the edge of
the animal/human line instead of being human, truly human....

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:41 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote: Peter Kropotkin:

you who opposes me... why are you so invested in the nihilism that
dominates your life? why not engage in something outside of nihilism?

why not engage in something that is positive.....something like pursuit
of justice as equality.....or if you like, find some other positive
aspect to engage in like love or hope or charity....... there are hundreds
of positive possibilities for you to engage in... but you are so invested in
your nihlism that you can't see anything outside of your nihilism.......
your hate, your anger, your greed or your lust or.........


Indeed, and there are any number of moral and political objectivists here who can hurl this sort of righteous accusation at the nihilists among us.

And then turn right around and insist that others are obligated to embrace their own rendition of equality and justice...their own moral and political prejudices.

That this is what it means to be embrace "positive possibilities".

It's just that some are willing to go to extremes. They do embrace "by any means necessary" as the length to which they are willing to go to, say, "make America great again".

After all, it's hardly ever the nihilist who goes on a rampage and starts shooting other targeted human beings at random. When is the last time one of these shooters penned a manifesto that embraced the points that I am raising?

To paraphrase Shane, nihilism is as good or bad as the person wielding it.

Only, unlike Shane, I don't just assume that good and bad necessarily reflect the behaviors that I would choose.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: in rereading the last few pages of this thread, I notice at no point have
I suggested any direct actions, I have not said, do this and you will be saved...
in any physical sense.... my call to "action" has been strictly about an
reexamination of values....it is about the values and other inner matters that
I have spoken about.....the battle we fight to become human is an inner
struggle.....overcoming our childhood indoctrinations and finding the values
that we truly are and then with that known, becoming who we are by
living live within those values.....the truth of our existence is found
when we find our values and then live within those values... that is the battle...


In other words, you feel more comfortable discussing all of this in "general description" assessments of human interactions. That if, overall, others thought like you do here, they would somehow just come to embody your own moral and political prejudices.

Like the Wendys/conservatives here won't more or less share your own overall assessment...but come to believe instead that if folks really and truly did "reexamine their values" they would vote for Trump again in 2020. Or they would join the NRA.

They would finally become "human".

But that is basically the "hole" that "I" find myself in here. And I sure as shit have come to understand why the objectivists among us wish to avoid going down that road.

And, again, all I can do is to hear them out. Thinking maybe, just maybe, one of them will actually succeed in enabling me to yank myself up out of the hole I'm in.

After all, I really have nothing left to lose now other than life itself.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:31 pm

after several days of being sick with a cold, I finally
am feeling better, just have a cough...…. man, are coughs tough to
get rid of....anyway, am feeling better... I shall deal with IMP's last post
later today, as I have other fish to fry today...…

as I was sick, I was clearly "not myself"... but then I got to wonder,
what that was, I was "not myself" but how do we understand that idea of
"not myself"? it suggests that there is something that is "myself"
and on certain occasions, I am no longer that "myself".....

how are we to understand that "myself"?

I might on occasion say, "Man is that guy pissing me off"

ok, so who is that "me" in this sentence?

as a child, I had a "myself" but it is clearly different then the "myself"
I am today..... time, events, people, challenges has made me different then
I was as a child, but what does that even mean? I was a certain person as a child,
and now I am not that child... is the child then nonexistent? does that child still
live on in me? and if so, where can I discover that child that once existed within me?

that me, that child, was me and is no longer, so is this concept of a "myself" a "me"
simply a moving, never fixed, temporary... "Me"?

in other words, am I just a series of temporary identities that we assume
and just as easily change?

is there really a "myself" a "Me" present within me?

or is this concept of a "myself" a "Me" just a transient, ephemeral, ad hoc,
solution to what we call life?

that there is no permanent, enduring, lasting "myself" "Me" might come
as a surprise to some, perhaps to everyone... but we must consider the
possibility that we human beings have as transient inner self as we have
transient bodies?

that we have ad hoc reactions to people, events, places, is no surprise...
we see this all the time... we might react to the same event in quite
different ways depending upon how "we" feel...… the exact same event
at times will provoke several different possible reactions from "me" depending
upon how "I" feel that day...…

it is this fleeting and temporary nature of who we are that complicates
our understanding of what our possibilities might be...….

as I grow older, I am becoming much more aware of the importance
of the million years of "pre-history" of human beings....

we are because of those million years of (for a lack of better term)
practice of being human...… we see that we today are simply
a reflection of those centuries of pre-history.....

and that says something about our programming, our instincts,
that makes us human...………….

today, I live in the year 2019, August 8.. (both of these are artificial
understanding that actually has no meaning in the world)

but I am a construct of both my immediate birth and childhood
and the construct of a million years of pre-history...….

you cannot divide or separate the two out..... I like watching sports,
always have, but I have come to believe that my watching sports
and people watching plays and TV shows and comedies and in general,
watching people perform is the result of the pre-history of human beings...
think about it, we have a million years of sitting in front of the
campfire and what better way to pass the time while we eat or
spending time before bed by watching others perform and dance
or make music....we watch these things today because of a million
years of human beings entertaining themselves before a campfire..
and that is coded into us.... we like cooked food because of a million
years of human beings eating cooked food.. it is coded into us...…

the modern human being is simply the result of a million years of
pre-history.... if you want to understand modern human beings,
think about the million years of human beings that came before us
and imagine how they responded to people, events, idea's.....
and you will have a very good idea of what we are today....

if today, we don't have a "fixed" self, a fixed "myself" a fixed "me"
then we have a million years of humans before us to thank for...or not thank....

we are because of those million years of pre-history...…..

we must think of human beings in terms of what has gone before,
we need to think of human beings in regards to our evolution,
how we got here has made us who we are...…. if you fail to take
into account our pre-history, then you fail to take into account
what it means to be human...….

modern man is the result in some way, either reaction to or reaction from
that million years of pre-history...…

think of man, human beings, say 400,000 years ago... how would they
react to any given situation? and then think about how you would react to
the same event?

your reaction comes from their reaction......

we are the accumulation of all those years of pre-history...…

we are because they were...…

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:01 pm

let us delve a little deeper into this....

we see animals and they react to things by instinct...
they are unable to react to something outside of instinct..
unless they are taught.... animals that are normally afraid of
human beings, can be taught to be less afraid of human beings....
we see this all the time....

an animal, how does it normally respond to events?

the instinct we call, "fight or flight"..... and we humans also
have this instinct.... but, we can overcome this instinct
and we have many examples in our own lives that show us how
we have overcome our instinct to "fight or flight"...…

think back to those million years of pre-history....
how the instinct of "fight or flight" has served us very
well over the generations...…

but we can overcome our instincts, overcome our programming
and this is what it means to be human.... for we are not the sum
of our instincts as animals are the sum of their instincts.....

a dog can only react a certain instinctual way to people or events,
but a human can overcome their instinctual way to react to people
or events.... it is that overcoming that makes us human..
and in part we are able to overcome is because of the humans in
our pre-history were able to overcome their instinctual reaction to
events or other people...…

now let us return to the problem of the "myself" the "me"

what does our pre-history tell us about this problem of the "Me" or
the "myself"?

let us think out of the box, as it were, let us suppose that
because we don't have a fixed, set, programming, instincts,
that animals have, that allows us to survive and prosper
in the way that we have...….

think about having a set, fixed instincts during that million years
of pre-history... we can react one way and one way only,
the fixed programming, instincts, to any given problem or issue
that we were given..... in other words, animals given a problem
react by "fight or flight" and for animals, it works... but given
our particular situation, it seems to suggest that the "fight or flight"
answer to every problem, every issue didn't always work....

by not having a set, fixed.. "myself" or "me" we could
better answer the problem of existence that we faced during
our million years of pre-history...….if we could answer every
problem with only a set response, we probably wouldn't have
survive to this day...… our survival depends upon human beings
not having a fixed or set programming, our instincts, to every
problem....

the very key to human survival was because we had an ad hoc
answer to the problems of human existence...… we didn't
answer every question by a fixed and set answer, instincts,
but because we didn't have a fixed, set nature, we were able to
solve the problems of existence because of our flexible,
ad hoc "myself" or "Me"...….

this would suggest that the conservative idea that we have a fixed and set
identity would be wrong.... the leopard could change it spots as the situation
requires or demands...… we are changeable because we don't have a fixed
or set "me" or "Myself"...……..

the very nature of human beings is ad hoc, temporary, transient....
and we are who we are because of that fact...….

so I ask you... who are you?

and you might answer.... I am this today.... but tomorrow
may be a different story... for I have overcome my million year's
of instincts..... and that is why my very nature is transitory, perishable,
ad hoc...……..

I am...…..ad hoc...….

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:33 pm

now if we are "ad hoc" as I have suggested, then
this would answer the question of why we search for
something eternal, something permanent... as we don't
have something eternal, permanent within us, the thing
we call, "Me" "myself" doesn't really exist, that "me" is really
just an ad hoc realm of "being", then we have to address the
question of "what am I to do"?...….

so our search for the permanent, the eternal is really just an search
for something that is permanent, eternal inside of us... it has nothing to
do with god or heaven or hell or even sin... but it has everything to do with
the fact that we have as programming, no set rules or fundamental internal
programming, instinct that we can depend upon to act with or understand
our place in the universe...…

indeed, how can we understand our place in the universe if we have
only an "ad hoc" response to events or people?

if on different days, we respond differently to the exact same
event or phenomenon, then we are responding in an "ad hoc"
manner to those event's or phenomenon...…

how can we place ourselves in the universe if we, our "me"
or "myself" is simply an ad hoc response to events or phenomenon?

thus we attempt to rejoin that which is permanent or "forever"
by our attempt to return to that which is permanent or forever...
such as heaven or hell or ending reincarnation.....

this need of our to find completeness is the result of our
not being complete in this lifetime but that is not possible..
for we exists, both in externally, body and internally, mind/soul
as incomplete.. because we exist as "ad hoc".. to events
and people.....

we search for a completeness that can never come, that can never
be possible because the incompleteness is due to our own nature,
our own "ad hoc" nature...……

thus striving for heaven or completeness or some permanent "being" is
simply a waste of time...….we are "ad hoc" creatures...
internally and externally...…….

let us accept that and understand that...….

but if we reject our search for some permanent, eternal "being"
either in heaven or in rejecting reincarnation...
then we do we do?

Again, recall Kant's question of existence, "What are we to do"?

if we reject the search for an eternal existence, then what should we do?

replace our search for an eternal "Me" or an eternal "myself" with something
else...….

we must search, that much is true, but what should we be searching for?

possibilities....

think about that...

until the next post...

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:19 pm

ok, next post and I have another idea, so the possibilities post,
will have to wait...…..

so, if we don't have permanent, enduring, immutable "me" or "myself"
then we have an "ad hoc" internal, transitory "me" or "myself"....

if this is true, then we can better understand Kierkegaard possibilities...
for example, the aesthetic, the religious, the ethical....
if we don't have a "permanent" "me" or "myself"
then it is possible for us to adopt as personalities, because there is no
permanent, eternal personality, we can adopt as personalities
the aesthetic, or the ethical or the religious personality...
K. different stages only works if, if we don't have a permanent
and eternal personality...…. if we have an "ad hoc" "me"
or "myself" then we can easily adapt the aesthetic or the ethical
stage in our life.... we can become because there is nothing else in
us to replace... if we are "ad hoc" human beings, then we
can become the aesthetic or the ethical or the religious
person or we can become something else.....
there is only a temporary, transitory "Me" or "myself" and
we can replace anything temporary, transitory easily enough
with something else......and that goes with a couch or TV just
as easily as the "me" or "myself"...……

I have seen mean people go being nice and nice people going
to be mean and that suggests that we don't have anything internal
that is permanent or enduring..... we are simply ad hoc creatures that
can change the nature of what we are by making a choice....

if we can choose to be loving or mean or kind or selfish or hateful or
angry.... then the "me" or the "myself" inside of me is temporary,
transitory...impermanent..... and we can choose to become something else...

we can decide the nature of who we are if we are "ad hoc"
creatures that only react to the events of the day with
an "ad hoc" reaction...………..

we have a choice in the nature of who we are.....
I would suggest that to further advance the systems we
live in, that we should engage in positive, human responses
to our environment.... in other words, we can choose to
be human, fully human by embracing our higher possibilities
of love, peace, hope, charity and justice.. among some possibilities....


yes, yes, we can choose to adopt some of our lower, negative possibilities of
greed and anger and hate and lust and injustice.... there is nothing to stop
one from adopting these negative possibilities but I would suggest that
to adopt one or more of these negative possibilities is to damage oneself
and damage the various system that we are a part of...……

hate and anger and lust impacts negatively upon the human systems....
for hate and anger and lust doesn't increase the energy into a system
but take energy out of a system, that is entropy.... and we as living creatures
must oppose this entropy for if we have enough entropy in our systems,
our systems will begin to fail.... in any system, any system if there is
enough entropy in that system, the system will fail.... hate and anger
and lust take energy out of a system.. love and peace and justice
puts energy into a system... that is why we must adopt
positive values because they increase the energy into a system.....

and all this is possible because we don't have a fixed or permanent
"me" or "myself" within us...… and we can choose the positive
possibilities that are inherent within human beings...…..

if there is a set and/or fixed "me" or "myself" then we do not
have the possibility to choose some other "me" or "myself"

if you have a fixed or set belief system, it takes quite a bit to
want to choose another fixed or set belief system...
but if we react to our environment "ad hoc" then we can easily
replace one set of beliefs with another set of beliefs...…
all that is required is the determination to make such a change....

we can choose to be ethical or be aesthetic or religious or, or something else....

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:51 pm

if there is no fixed, set "me" or "myself" then there is no
point to psychology.....for psychology cannot change or enable
change to some fixed or set "me" or "myself".....

if I am a "leopard" who cannot change my "spots", then
there is no point in attempting to change my "spots"...
no need for psychology to change my "spots".....
for I am fixed, set, in who I am......and that cannot
be changed regardless of the method I use to change....

but if we are, as I have suggested, having a transient, temporary
"me" or "myself" or an "ad hoc" me, then we can use psychology to
create change in that transient, temporary "me"...…

psychology isn't the only method to create change, but simply
the best known one at the moment... we can induce change
by simply working on the parts or aspects of us, that is hurting
our personal self... or said another way, we are learning to
engage within the system we find ourselves in...… it is all about
being able to work with or engage with the various systems we
find ourselves in... be it personal relationships, another system,
or within a business system or even within our own personal
system.... if we are to find peace and happiness, we must be
able to function within our own personal system... if we suffer
from alienation or disconnection from ourselves, that
requires some method to reconnect to who we are....
and psychology would be one such method.....

and this would suggest that there is not a permanent or
fixed or set "me" or "myself"

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:10 pm

ok, now to return to this idea of pursuing possibilities....

if we think about the past and what are our possibilities..
we can see that our possibilities are limited by
our society, our environment...

for example, a man living in the pre-history of human beings,
can only be a couple of things... a hunter, perhaps a maker
of tools, a shaman, leader of a tribe, the possibilities that
one could be were rather limited due to the limited nature of
the tribe or what was possible by the enviroment....

as we see from the passage of time into say, the Roman era
or the Greek era, we can see an expansion of our human possibilities...

we can be soldiers or thinkers or Architect or a wood worker or
perhaps we can join Socrates as being a stonemason...or any number
of possibilities that were available to a human being at that time...
but not to women.... they had much more limited possibilities....

and during the Middle ages, what was possible changed from the Greek or
Roman era to the Medieval times, at least in Western Europe...
but in Islamic lands or the far east, what was possible was different....

and in our modern era, what is possible has once again changed...
we have so many more possibilities because of our times, our era,
that we can be so many things, so many possibilities....

so, what is possible for us is dependent upon our environment,
our society..... we cannot become something that our society,
our environment will not allow...…….I cannot for example,
be a hunter gatherer like humans did for a million year's because
given our current society, our current environment being a hunter/gatherer
isn't possible....

was it possible for western medieval man to be a philosopher?
no, not as we know it because the environment, the society
wasn't able to allow that possibility for human beings...
but because of changes in our society, our environment,
it is possible for a human being to be a philosopher...…..

so with this in mind, instead of pursuing freedom or
pursuing money/profits.... we should engage in a pursuit
of what is possible for us......pursue the boundaries of what
it means to be human..... my own personal pursuit of
what is possible for me is limited by my own personal
situation... I am old and that fact limits what is possible
for me... I no longer have the possibility of running a 5 minute mile
as I did in my youth.. I can no longer run a marathon as I did
in my youth... I can no longer play baseball as I did in my youth..
I am limited in my possibilities... but not totally limited, just
physically limited because of my being old....but I can engage in
a pursuit of what is possible for me.... given my limited physical
possibilities I am constrained as to what is possible for me, but
I can mentally and emotionally engage in a pursuit of what it means
to be human at my age...….how does an old man become engage
in who he is.... that engagement, that pursuit is still possible for me....

that possibility still exists for me.. and so I can engage in that
and other possibilities of what it means to be human, even at
my advanced age of 60...

the possibility of pursuing wealth has never done anything for me..
in fact, the pursuit of wealth has damaged me in my pursuit
of what it means to be human...…

so what does it mean to be human? I engage in those possibilities
that I am still able to engage with...…..

I explore those possibilities that I can still become...

as we should explore our possibilities of what it means to be human....

find our possibilities.....and that is the goal of life... to discover,
to find out what is possible for us to engage in...….

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:09 pm

for many religious thinkers like Kierkegaard, man/human beings only
have value if, if they are in the what K. called "The religious" mode....

human beings have value if and only if, they honor and believe
in god and all the ensuring myths that comes with such a belief system.....

the problem, one of, is that by placing god first, you place human beings
second including yourself.....can I achieve something without some
belief in god?

I believe that holding a belief in god actually denies, negates us
as human beings...to honor god is to deny us....we cannot, at the same time,
honor god and honor us........ it is pretty much one or the other....

and I choose man/human beings.....

so the question becomes, how do I become human, truly and
fully higher human being?

As I have suggested, one path and perhaps the most honest one is to
negate, deny god and all that it entails to hold a belief in god.....

to honor one is to deny the other.......

and the path to becoming human, fully human requires us to follow
the path of human beings.... which is to deny god.....

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:13 pm

can we be religious without holding a belief in god?

yes, that is, perhaps, the question facing our modern times...

how can we hold religious beliefs without believing in god?

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:50 pm

it never hurts to occasionally look at one has done...

I have spent a lifetime searching.... oftentimes not even sure
what I was searching for.....the writers I have most admired have
spent their lives searching for god... I am not that ambitious.....
I am simply searching for what it means to be human....

the fact I have worked with such anonymity suggests that I
am either doing something really right or, more likely, really wrong....

yet, as with Luther, I can do no other........

I must seek my truth where ever it brings me.....

or perhaps said differently, I have lost my faith in all modern
ism's and ideologies... religious and otherwise.....

I cannot consent to the modern ism of representative democracy because
it isn't representative and it isn't democracy....

I cannot consent to any religious concept because to do so means I must
negate, devalue human beings and their values.... I will not engage in any
such nihilism.....

in fact, it may be said that my fight with the modern age is a fight
over the modern age nihilism.... I cannot consent to nihilism...
no matter how "popular" it might be......and it seems to me that
every single ism and ideology of the modern age is simply another
aspect of nihilism....and I cannot consent.....

how does one create a positive value system without any recourse
to the modern age nihilism is the question...…

they say that the gospel is about the good news.....but I cannot see any good
news coming out of the gospel...… it is full of nihilism of human beings...
the negation of human beings and their values...….

if I cannot consent to any modern day ism or ideology, then
I must find some other ground upon to engage in and perhaps,
that ground is finding our values and then engaging upon those values
without recourse to an ism or ideology......the values themselves gives us
our reason for engagement....to love is to love and that positive truth maybe
enough to allow us some engagement with our modern world.... we don't stand
upon some ism or ideology and engage with the world in the truth of that ism.....

we don't use that ism to create meaning within the world... we can use our values
be it love or justice to create said meaning within the world.... perhaps...….

if nihilism is the enemy, then what is the answer to the question of friend?

what can I believe in that suggest I exists within the truth?

what is the opposite of nihilism?

if the modern age is nihilism personified, then what is the answer to
the question of, how do we fight nihilism?

the Kantian question of "what am I to do?" is asked in regards to
how can I fight against the nihilism of the modern age?

that nihilism is so prevalent in our modern age, we cannot even see
another answer to the question, what is opposite to nihilism?

do the questions "What am I to do" or "What am I to believe in"
or "what should I hope for"....is any other answer possible outside of
our modern nihilism?

I wonder?

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:55 am

this question of existential, of having an existential nature...
arises because an existential nature can only exists within a
temporary, transient existence....

if we were permanent, everlasting, enduring.... we wouldn't
have an existential nature.... the existential crisis can only exists
because we are temporary, transient.....

existential means transient, temporary, of short lived...…

am I understood? not really my problem.....

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:56 am

as far as the existential questions go, Kantian questions of
"what am I to do"? and "What should we believe in?"
and "what should we hope for?"... the
basic existential question of humans since before we created writing is this:

how can I be saved?

the entire bible can be said to be a treatise on how one can be saved....
as is the method of the Buddha, to be saved one must end suffering which
means we must end being reincarnated.... the path to being saved is a long
one...

the modern world has many different diverse means of being saved....
the protestants have their method and Marx created another method of being saved,
the path of dialectical materialism... other modern methods of being saved is
the various ism's and ideologies of the modern age, faith in capitalism, faith
in nationalism, faith in white power, faith in equality, faith in justice,
faith in democracy, faith in the money/profits,

we can find more methods of being saved then we can shake a tree at...…

this question of being saved is not only a modern one, but an ancient one....
but I wonder what in our pre-history has us now asking for us to be saved?

how does being saved fit into our pre-history?

this would suggest that being saved, this question of humans wanting to be
saved is a question that began after the pre-history part of human history.....

we have seen many diverse attempts to be saved, we have seen faith as one
method and suffering as another and pain as another method of being saved.....
sacrifice as being another method of being saved...…

and we have seen belief in various ism's and ideologies as being
a method of being saved......

but a question seems to be begging: do we actually need to be saved?
and saved from what exactly?

if we knew what we were being saved from, we could then
understand the question of which method of being saved should
we use...…… the why answers the way...…

what way can we be saved is answered by what are we being saved from?

but personally, for the life of me, I can't understand this need to be saved.....

why is this need to be saved, so prominent in the hearts and minds of my fellow
human beings?

we have so many religious feelings from the days of yore, feelings like
guilt, sin, being saved, to be one with god or the universe....

why do we need these religious feelings? what are we being saved from?
why do we need guilt? what is sin? why do we need to be one with god or the
universe?

these too are existential questions.... just not my existential questions.....

"what are we to do?" does the answer to this question involve being saved?
or does the existential question involve sin or guilt or connection to the one?

perhaps, perhaps we need new questions, modern questions to ask ourselves.....

how do we have religious feelings without a god?

or perhaps we should ask, "what should we believe in?" without reference
to any religion or to any particular god...…..

so ask yourself, how am I to be saved?

and saved from what?

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:55 pm

have very little time as it is the wife's birthday and we are leaving soon....

for those who think life is a comedy
for those who feel life is tragedy

the existentialist (for the most part) believe that because there is no
god, life is "absurd".... but that is simply not true.....

life seems absurd because it doesn't seem to connected to anything of value...….

we have the day to day nonsense of existence in which we seem to hold
absurd lives.... it is for those lives that the saying was created that

"most people lead lives of quiet desperation"

but our lives don't have to of "quiet desperation" if we hold to
the ideal that every moment has as great a value as every other moment....

if we infuse our moments in life with value... then we aren't living lives
of quiet desperation.... we are living moments of great beauty and of great
significance...

time up... must leave...

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby promethean75 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:33 pm

On behalf of ILP, I'd like to wish Mrs. Kropotkin a happy birfday.
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:05 am

promethean75 wrote:On behalf of ILP, I'd like to wish Mrs. Kropotkin a happy birfday.



K: and she says thank you..... she is ____ years old... or several years younger then myself...
if I list her age, I'M a dead man..so I don't....

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:01 am

again short on time...…

we have the courage of our convictions, patriotism and white nationalism
and bigotry and prejudice and all forms of other indoctrinations.....

those white nationalist that believe that being white is somehow superior...
we are never told why, but somehow, white is right......

they never engage in any type of reflection about what their
beliefs actually mean.... what does it mean to be a white nationalist?

it proclaims a superiority that supposedly exists, but for the life of me,
I cannot see..... where is the courage for an attack upon on convictions?

it doesn't happen because these white nationalist don't have the real courage
of their convictions........ it isn't about shooting people up that shows us real
courage of belief... no, that is far too easy an action to prove one's faith....

it takes no courage at all to shoot unarmed people or to even shoot children...
what bravery does it take to shoot unarm children? what courage does it take
to shoot unarmed civilians? none, none at all.... no, these are not acts of courage...

just as it takes several people to beat up on defenseless person isn't an act of courage,
but is an act of gutless cowardice.... no, real courage, real bravery isn't a phony act
of violence that can't be stopped by the person who is being beaten....

no, real courage is to ask yourself, what does it mean to be a white nationalist
and is that belief really honest or true?

for most people, they never actually stop and think about what they truly
believe in.... courage of actions means nothing if not preceded by a true
and genuine attack upon one's conviction...… it is easy to beat up people
or to shoot people compared to an honest courage of holding oneself
accountable for one's convictions...……

what does it mean to be a white nationalist?

it means to be a gutless coward because you cannot face an
attack upon your own convictions... you are afraid if you engage
in a true engagement with your convictions, you might find them
to be wrong... and that is the greatest horror of being human...

of finding out that your convictions are wrong, that they are false....
better dead then to discover that one has held false and phony
convictions.... because to make that discovery, one needs true courage,
true bravery...…..

we feel brave and strong by holding our convictions....
but what if, what if you are wrong.... do you have the courage,
the bravery to face that possibility? no, and thus you are a gutless
coward....

now the infinite capacity of human for denial means that people will
read this and say, "boy, other people are sure gutless losers" and never,
never connect my words with who they are.....because of the capacity
of humans for self delusion is perhaps our greatest gift.....

we never ask, am I right? or we never ask, "what if I am wrong"? no,
because we don't think we are wrong..... and hence the remarkable
ability of human in being self deluded....

it is always someone else fault or someone's else problems....
it is the jews or the immigrant or the elite or the "libturd" that is
at fault for all the problems in the world, never us... why we are
innocent and blameless.....it is this gift for self delusion that
drives hatred and bigotry and those who follow such destructive
behavior such white nationalism and patriotism...…

when will you have the courage to face your role in the world....

and then the marvelous capacity for self delusion kicks in and it is always
someone else's fault.....

if you cannot have the courage to face your own role in the modern world,
then you certainly don't have the courage of your own convictions....

they are lies and self delusion.. you who believe in nationalism and patriotism
and white is right... have the courage of an attack upon your convictions...
don't hide behind your self delusion.....

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:13 pm

it is no mystery that I don't fit into this world.....
I am not at home in modern America circa 2019.....

I don't believe in the myriad of ism's and ideologies that
is part and parcel of America today...

I believe that the notable ism's and ideologies
that drive America today are dangerous to us as human beings....
patriotism, nationalism, IQ45 white's first policy, tribalism, capitalism,
representative democracy (as noted before, it isn't representative and it isn't democracy)
religions such as Catholicism and Christianity and even Buddhism...…
are dangerous to us as human beings.....ism's and ideologies
that force us to deny our basic nature of being human... the long list
of ism's and ideologies I listed and others are in reality, nihilistic
and demand that we deny human beings and our values...… this attack
of mine is an attack upon anything that demands as down payment,
our acceptance of nihilism...for that is what our modern ism's and ideologies
are, nihilism.....

some might say, I want to leave human beings naked and exposed without
the coverage of ism's and ideologies to warm them.....

I can still be a good democrat and a good American and a good worker/
producer and still want something else...… an engagement with the values
that make us human, truly human.....it is not enough to engage with our
obligations of being human, working and fulfilling the task of
putting food on the table.. the Maslow hierarchy can still be accomplished
even while I am making an inquiry into the values that I have discovered
in my pursuit of knowing thyself.... I can know thyself and I can find/
engage in an understanding of the indoctrinated values I have and I
can overcome with new values that reflect who I am and still engage
in achieving Maslow's pyramid...……….

the two task are not exclusive.....and I am trying to suggest to you that
you can work, and play and be all the things human beings can be and still,
still be able to engage in the pursuit of values that aren't nihilistic...….

we don't have to exist in a monastery to discover our values....

we just have to think inwards...….come to an engagement with who
we are and what our values should be..... we can engage with the
Kantian/Kropotkin questions and still accomplish our task of
fulfilling Maslow's the lower level task of his hierarchy....

disengage in ism's and ideologies and engage in values like justice.....

it is simply a task of a reevaluation of values and that occurs in our head
and in our heart...…it is a not a physical action I am asking for, but
a change of viewpoints that can only occur within us...….

the battle to become human don't lie out there but
lies within us.....

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:45 pm

philosophy: an inquiry into that which makes us human....

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:02 pm

modern man blames.. oh, I would be different if I were
rich or taller or handsomer, lived in a better age, or could believe
in something or immigrants didn't take away my possibilities,
or the libturds or the jews or whatever else we can blame today....

but striving to become who one is isn't about playing the blame game...
it simply about discovering what we were indoctrinated with, overcoming
them and then using the newly discovered values to incorporate into ourselves
to become who we are...……

to engage within the search to become human isn't about blaming the age or
the state or the family or one's handicaps... no, as long as one engages in
the blame game, one cannot, cannot discover the values
that we are to become who we are...………

Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:22 pm

the notion that life is a exercise in in finding salvation is
nonsense.... to be saved from what? to be saved for what?

to be saved from my sins? why my sins are trivial, inconsequential,
they are barely the effort to recollect them...…..

but if we are in full engagement with our "sins"
then we cannot engage in our becoming who we are.....

the pursuit of sinning and then making lists of our sins is
keeping us from doing the important matter of becoming human....
to engage in listing our sins is to avoid the hard task of bringing to
the light who we are and what our values are...…..to find truth is to
shine the light upon who we are, who we really are....

to shine the light on who we are is to avoid the self-delusion
and personal dishonesty that we human so love to do....

to the man who loudly proclaims to the world.. "I make no apologies for
who I am" is still a man missing the point.....

it isn't about who we are but about what is next....

but Kropotkin.. you are contradicting yourself....

good.... own the contradiction...
become human....



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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:51 pm

what can we mean by saying "one should become human" ?

"he does not negate any more"

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:05 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:

I cannot consent to any religious concept because to do so means I must
negate, devalue human beings and their values.... I will not engage in any
such nihilism.....


Again, nothing seems more preposterous to me then to equate God and religion with nihilism. Other than in how, historically, religious fanatics often sought to spread and then to defend their own particular "Kingdom of ends". In other words, "by any means necessary". Precipitating all manner of inquisitions and jihads and crusades and dark ages.

Now, sure, in rejecting objective morality and political ideals, certain nihilists can inflict their own horror stories on the world. After all, for example, anything and everything is rationalized by those who own and operate the global economy today. When the "meaning of life" is basically reduced down to "show me the money" life can unequivocally become "nasty, brutish and short" for countless millions around the globe.

But these state capitalist thugs would hardly be inclined to explore the meaning of nihilism philosophically.

So, are you?

Are you [and folks like Wendy from the other side of the political aisle] willing to explore your own value judgments as "existential contraptions" rooted more in the life that you have lived rather than in your capacity to demonstrate why all rational human beings are obligated to think like you do?

Instead, over and again, in my opinion, you fall back on "general description" assessments of this sort:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: in fact, it may be said that my fight with the modern age is a fight
over the modern age nihilism.... I cannot consent to nihilism...
no matter how "popular" it might be......and it seems to me that
every single ism and ideology of the modern age is simply another
aspect of nihilism....and I cannot consent.....


What on earth does this mean?!

Note a particular context, a particular set of conflicting goods, and explain to us what you mean by nihilism here.

How does the nihilist behave when confronting the political prejudices rooted in an issue like, say, gun control? And how ought all rational and virtuous human beings think about the relationship here between a government and its citizens?

You insist that you "cannot consent to the modern ism of representative democracy because it isn't representative and it isn't democracy...."

Okay, with respect to gun ownership, what frame of mind, what legal prescriptions and proscriptions, not attached to any "ism", would be embraced by you and your ilk such that Wendy and her ilk are shown to be wrong to think as they do. Why? Because they do not think as you do.

How here is moderation, negotiation and compromise embedded in democracy and the rule of law not perhaps "the best of all possible worlds"?

Instead [in my view] you head straight back up into the clouds of abstraction:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: if I cannot consent to any modern day ism or ideology, then
I must find some other ground upon to engage in and perhaps,
that ground is finding our values and then engaging upon those values
without recourse to an ism or ideology......the values themselves gives us
our reason for engagement....to love is to love and that positive truth maybe
enough to allow us some engagement with our modern world.... we don't stand
upon some ism or ideology and engage with the world in the truth of that ism.....

we don't use that ism to create meaning within the world... we can use our values
be it love or justice to create said meaning within the world.... perhaps...….


All I can do then is to suggest you bring this "general description" assessment of "values" down out of the clouds and explore it more substantively by noting how your own values with respect to a moral or political conflict familiar to most of us might be grappled with "for all practical purposes" in the course of living our lives from day to day.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: if nihilism is the enemy, then what is the answer to the question of friend?

what can I believe in that suggest I exists within the truth?

what is the opposite of nihilism?


For me nihilism is neither inherently good nor bad, friend nor foe. Instead it is rooted in the manner which I have come to grapple with and grasp "I" out in the is/ought world. It is contained in the threads that I include in my signature:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

Others can explore them or not. And, for those that do, they can then point out the ways in which they do not agree with me. Why instead they choose not to be nihilists.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:13 pm

K: I wondered how long it would take for you to respond :-"

my objections to religions is simple enough
that they promote nihilism...and once again,
I have defined nihilism as the negation of both
human beings and their values.....

it is plainly evident to me that religions and the belief in god,
negate, deny human beings and their values.....

if that it isn't evident to you, isn't really my problem....

but I shall try to explain...… again...

if we put god first, then we put humans second..
and second in this context is a negation of us and our values.....

you have often complained of my "abstractions" in defining my
terms...… and yet, I only have abstractions to explain what I mean....

I cannot, cannot speak to what you or anyone else might think, feel or
believe.... to do so would be not much more then a guess.... is to assume
evidence/facts not in already presented in court..... as the courts might say..

I treat this as I would a court case... I am presenting evidence that
doesn't presume evidence that hasn't been introduced into court...

when I speak of justice, I cannot make justice a personal action...
I was treated justly when X occurred....I can only say, justice
is equality... thus treating justice as an abstract concept...

the concept of justice by its very nature is abstract... it can only
be reduced down to a certain point....and it cannot be reduced
any further....I cannot bring the concept of justice down to
the level of immediateness.... which is right here, right now...

in the clouds is where certain concepts exists because of their
nature..... but one might argue that by allowing justice to remain
in the clouds, we can get a much better sense of justice....

for example, we can get a better sense of things by getting a birds eye
view instead of being in the midst of things..... I can see my condo on its own level,
but by getting a birds eye view, I have a better sense of how my condo looks
and how it fits into the area...….

we get up in our own vantage point, our own viewpoint whereas if we
can separate ourselves from our own viewpoint, we can get a
better sense of where we stand.....

I see how my viewpoint limits me, but if I can get a wider vision of
where I stand, I can better understand where I fit....for example,
I have a sense of justice... but in order to better grasp how
I understand justice, I must compare/contrast justice from others who
have given justice some thought to it......so, I study Plato, for example,
and by comparing and contrasting his thought with mine, I can get a better
sense of what my understanding of justice is.. or if I compare/contrast justice
with, say Rawls, I better understand what justice is.... this understanding is
best served by keeping its distance from me, a birds eye view as it were...

trying to bring justice out of the clouds and bringing it back to
specific human actions is ok, but it fails on so many levels to
properly understand what justice is because of the fact that
all systems are by their nature incomplete... we have an incomplete
understanding of our beliefs because we are so close to them....

which brings me to another idea, which by the way has nothing whatsoever to do
with your "complaint" about my keeping things in the clouds, sorry....

Kierkegaard believed that "in the crowd lies untruth" that truth can only
exists within the individual... but I have found over the years that
we humans are best served by a crowd... by that I mean, it is in
a group setting that we uncover the truth.... by myself, I make mistakes,
things I miss because of my viewpoint which allows blind spots....
but my wife sees things that I miss, her viewpoint allows her to
catch things my blind spot misses.. and I catch things in her blind spots....

and a group catches things that we individuals miss.... in other words, there
is such a thing as group wisdom.... now one may say, that is all in the air
and is not connected to anything on the ground....and that may be your
blind spot...maybe things don't have to be always connected to things..
perhaps some aspect of abstract thinking is good and valid but also some
aspects of keeping it grounded is good....

or in other words, I like a birds eye view of things and you don't...
you want everything clean and specific and grounded... I don't....
there is no right or wrong here.. just different viewpoints.....

you want something that I cannot deliver... specific, grounded actionable
thinking..... I don't do that... I exist and think in birds eye vision....

it doesn't make me right or wrong, just as it doesn't make you right or wrong....

I almost never begin by creating an end thought where I must create
a path to that specific ending... my thoughts have no specific ending in mind...
I simply work it out until I have no more to go and that becomes my ending...…

it all sounds very vague and imprecise and obscure what I say... but it works for
me... I have no agenda when I write.. I simply write and see where it takes me....
which can be very problematic... I am ok with problematic as I am ok with
chaos and disorder and uncertainty...…….

I don't need to be certain with anything....does this have anything to do with
you or your objections to my way of staying in the clouds?
not a thing...…. but I write for me, not for you.....
and I write to clarify my thoughts about what it means to be human.....
you can take from it what you want and discard the rest.. it won't hurt my
feelings...….and to be honest, this is about as close to answering your questions
as I can get..... again sorry....

I hold myself only to my standards... not your standards....

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 7304
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

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