a new understanding of today, time and space.

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

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:59 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote: from prior post: I think I have a solution....
you may be able to see the problem......

I have been accused of not bringing my solutions to the ground.....
I am weaving theories in the air and not being aware of the
I am not engaging in a particular context, a particular set of
conflicting goods.....in other words, say gun control or abortion,
what are my "solutions" given the current reality of modern day America?

It is suggested that I bring this "general description" assessment of "values"
down to earth and explain how my "values" is worked out in the "real" world.....


No, my point is less about examining particular solutions in particular contexts, and more about examining the extent to which any proposed solutions are embedded in the lives that we live. More so than in the abstract arguments embedded in "general descriptions" of human interactions.

And here it only makes sense to bring the arguments themselves down out of the clouds.

Instead, in my view, this is where you stay:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: the problem as I see it isn't about "working" out my values in the real world....
the problem is discovering what my values are.....

for example, if I act without any recourse to my values, my actions are
mindless, "ad hoc" (ad hoc means "for this", "for this situation" it is used
to describe something that has been formed or used for a specical and immediate
purpose without prior planning... ad hoc means temporary, improvised, makeshift)

and we cannot hold ourselves to such actions as gun control or abortions using
ad hoc thinking.... we must engage in such thinking with something more permanent,
something that is useful today and tomorrow..........

in thinking about abortions or gun control, I must base my actions about
such matters based upon the values I hold.... if I call myself "pro-life"
and hold that all life is sacred, then my actions in regards to abortions
becomes quite clear....if I instead belief in a woman's right to choose,
then my actions become also quite clear....the actions we take
are dictated by the values we hold...….

the values you accept dictates the actions you take.....

it is really that simple...…


So, back again I then go to this: How on earth does this "general description" "world of words" assessment deal with the points I raise in my signature threads?

From my frame of mind, we discover our values in and through the actual trajectory of our lives. Those on both sides of the gun control and abortion debates can make your argument above.

But, then, as well, if they have become objectivists as a result of the same existential trajectory, they insist that all rational people must be either pro-life or pro-choice. Pro-citizens or pro-government.

They can't accept that their own value judgments are existential contraptions rooted in dasein. That their own values are derived from a world of contingency, chance and change. A world where values are always subject to reconfiguration given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge.

Instead, they stick to a frame of mind like this one:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: it isn't enough to engage in some discussion about what to do about
gun control or abortion, we must hold to some values before we can even
hold a discussion about any actions we are to engage in......

to take the discussion of values out of the clouds must mean we first
engage in the discussion about our values and then and only then can
we discuss the conflicting goods of abortion or gun control.....

to act without any understanding of values is to act "ad hoc"
makeshift and improvised with no thought to time, past, present or
future...… whereas values give us some manner to act past, present
and future.....it is by values that we can begin to discuss those actions
we are to take on the ground...… some understanding of values
means that sometimes a meeting of the minds on specific actions
like abortion or gun control, cannot be achieved... if you are inflexible
and dam and determined that abortion is flouting god's laws, then
there is really no room for engagement between two opposing viewpoints...
there can be no agreement between opposing and conflicting viewpoints.....


Once again, in my view, there is nothing different between a liberal objectivist noting this and a conservative objectivist noting it in turn. It's just that it is their understanding of values that leads all truly rational men and women to choose to act as they do "down on the ground".

Peter Kropotkin wrote: in my long life, I have seen two sides dig in on the question of values
and no possibility of rapprochement or reconciliation existed....it happens....
is this the case in modern America today? the two sides of the left and right
have dug in and have different values about such idea's as abortion and
gun control and education and voter rights and with such digging in, no
possibility of reconciliation exists.... now what?


In other words, doesn't this basically describe the moral objectivists on both sides?

Now what? Well, in my view, the "best of all possible worlds" still revolves around "moderation, negotiation and compromise" given a political format embodied in "democracy and the rule of law".

Only, unlike the objectivists, I am still down in my "hole" even here --- "fractured and fragmented" given the manner in which I have come to understand "I" at the intersection of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

But that's where folks like you and Wendy don't want to be. Or, rather, so it seems to me. You are able to connect the dots between value formation, value judgments and political actions such that you feel considerably more at one with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do".

Trust me: I've been there myself. With God and with No God. I know how comforting and consoling it is to feel "grounded" in a sense that, even if politically the other side prevails, we know that we are on the right side morally.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: all I can say is we must engage in an understanding
of our values before we can engage in any actions.....

the truth is really simple in this regards....

the values you accept dictate the actions you take...….


Nothing could be less simple in my view. Why? Because it involves taking all of the factors at play here -- genetic, memetic, historical, cultural, interpersonal, individual -- and thinking that if only we truly do understand the creation of our own values we can come to act them out "morally".

Which, given the points raised in my signature threads, is not at all the way things play out in the real world.

Instead, from my frame of mind, the enormous complexities at play in the real world is the last thing the liberal and conservative objectivists are interested in examining.

Instead we get stuff like this:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: the conflicting goods or conflicting values that exists in America
cannot be solved by violence or separating the country...
we must engage in some dialogue between the two sides.....

more then likely it will be the left that brings about the peace because
the left is about dialogue, consensus building, tolerance.....
so it would seem to me, that any solution must come from the left.....

but and this is important, it cannot come from the left forsaking their values
any more then it can come from the right forsaking their values...
to abandoned our values is to abandoned what makes us human
as I have engaged in an understanding of what it means to be human
and the negative and positive discussion of what it means to be human
cannot be dismissed.....are we to rise above to become more human,
or are we to lower ourselves to become human/animal?

that is the basic distinction between the left and the right...
do we rise to become human, more human or do we lower ourselves
to become more instinctual, more animal?

our engagement with values is one way we can rise to become human,
all too human...… we cannot become too engaged with actions until
we have worked out our values for "the values you accept, dictate
the actions you take"

so before we begin discussions between the left and right and before
we decide on any actions, we must be clear about what our values are....
we must be, within ourselves, clear about what values are we to engage with
and what those values mean?


More or less the manner in which many conservatives would assess the situation. Only it's the liberals and their values fucking everything up.

Again, the only time these "general descriptions" give way to actual discussions of policy relating to particular contexts involving particular conflicting goods, is when the objectivists trade political prejudices. Then each side accuses the other of being woefully obtuse when it comes to understanding the true nature of "values".

This part:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: so as in any journey, we must begin within ourselves...……

so, what the values that are going to drive your actions?

so, ask yourself, in regards to say, gun control, what actions should I take?

and the answer comes from the values we choose....

but then one might ask, why those values and not another?

values are simply another way of asking ourselves what is important?

I value justice, I value freedom...I accept those values as values worth
holding on to......and one might again ask, why those values and not other values?

because I think that human beings do better with those values instead of
the security values.. but Kropotkin, why?


And Kropotkin tells them why. Then Wendy tells them why, instead, her own values must prevail.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: and that is how we go down the rabbit hole..... doubting every single
choice and decision we make... it is kinda like the dog chasing its tail....


No, that is where I am now. Down in my "hole" "fractured and fragmented". I might champion "moderation, negotiation and compromise" as the best of all possible worlds, but I am still no less imploded, no less splintered in my reaction to issues like abortion and gun control.

What I am unable to do [anymore] is to think myself into viewing all of this as you do:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: yes, we could doubt ourselves until the cows come home, but at some point,
you think to yourselve, I am comfortable with certain values..and I will stick
with them....


You say that...

Peter Kropotkin wrote: ...the world isn't black and white,
or right or wrong or good or evil..... it is various shades of gray....
and the choices we make need to reflect that gray in our lives....


But that's not how you sound when you are castigating IQ45 for building his wall, or for backing the NRA or for pandering to the pro-life folks.

Here it is more the stuff of the "one of us" vs. "one of them" folks. And that is precisely what I no longer have access to myself.

But then up you go:

Peter Kropotkin wrote: sometimes, we have to just pick an area and run... it may not
be logical or rational or philosophical, but it is, what it is....

we humans live in that messy gray area where sometimes logic
and rational thought and philosophical thought isn't going to
solve our questions....

love for example... it is messy and exists in that gray area
where logic and rational thought and philosophical thought
isn't going to help one to understand love...

and yet, love maybe one of the most important aspects of being human...
and yet we cannot define it, we cannot measure it, we cannot
time it or weigh it or number it.... it just is...…..and to
measure it or weigh it or be scientific about love isn't going to
help one find out what love is or solve our questions about love....
you just have to go through it.... leap as it were into love...…

you cannot be logical or rational or philosophical about love...…

and you can't be logical or rational or philosophical about certain parts
of our human lives...….


In other words, as I see it, thinking yourself into a frame of mind that provides whatever it takes to sustain at least some measure of comfort and consolation when you look out at a world bursting at the seams with very, very real human pain and suffering.

I get that part. I really do. I'm just not able to accomplish it myself anymore.
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 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:04 am

I don't mean to ignore you Iam, but I have other fish to fry today...…

what if, what if life is a test.....

and what if the various moralities we see, are test....
for example,

A. the ancient Mayans where thousands were slaughter to
fullfill some religious concept

B. where it was socially acceptable for older men to have
"relationships" with younger men... pederasty was socially acceptable.....
and expected......

C. where incest was acceptable as in the Pharaohs practice
incest and the house of Hasburgs was inflicted with genetic
disease after so many generations of inbreeding.....

D. where one was stoically like the Romans....

E. or the religious like the bible, the old testament...
for example the story of Abraham and his attempted sacrifice of
his son Issac....that was a test of Abraham's faith......

we are tested in so many different ways in this life...…

how does our current morality test us? does our current morality
even ask us much to do? Not really.... the bar in our society is
really, really low.... we don't even have to obey the 10 commandments....

ask IQ45 who has broken most of them and probably all of them...…
and yet he is the American standard of morality as the president is
ground zero for American morality and has been for generations.....

to test faith, upon what do we require from people?

we require nothing more from people outside of the two great crimes of our modern age....
stealing and insubordination...….. taking what isn't yours
and disobeying the authorities...…...

how do we test this theory?

name me our great "American moralities"?

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:41 am

when challenged to what their morality was, most people
would simply say, "I do whatever the law is"
thus exposes the great problem....that morality is
simply the law... and morality isn't the law....
the law at one point or another has allowed incest
and slavery and Jim Crow laws and prevented interracial marriages
and treated women as property first by their fathers, then if death took
the father, her brothers then at marriage her husband......and
legally one could only vote if you held property and was a white male....

to take the law as morality is false because the law is simply
a listing of the bigotry and biases and prejudices of an age....

but is the law a simply listing of the bigotry and prejudice of an
age or does the law have some eternal properties that can be held
true throughout time?

it is said, that the law of god is eternal and yet, the laws of man has
made exceptions to every part of the 10 commandments....
thou shall not kill... unless one is fighting for one's country...
thou shall not kill.... unless one is a policeman "protecting" his life....
thou shall not kill.....unless in Florida and "stand your ground" law allows
one to kill...….
thou shall not kill.....unless one has temporary insanity.....

the great number of exceptions to "thou shall not kill" seems to suggest
that god's law really doesn't mean much....

and sticking with the great American "morality"... there are far fewer
exceptions to "thou shall not steal" then there are to "thou shall not kill"
where we hold stealing to be of greater offense then then killing.....

the law reacts with far greater power in offences of stealing then it
does in killing....in other words, a man who murders has
a far greater chance of escaping punishment then does a man who
is caught stealing.....and a wealthy man who does either, murder or steals
is far more likely to escape punishment then a man of color or a poor man,
because the law takes notice of one's wealth and skin color and punishes
accordingly......in other words, the law punishes selectively depending
upon one wealth or title or skin color...…..and selective punishment
depending upon one's status has little or nothing to do with "morality"...

for morality has nothing to do with one's wealth or skin color or title..
but morality has everything to do with one's actions regardless of one's
situation in life.... morality isn't about the color of one's skin nor does
it have anything to do with wealth nor does it have anything to do with
one's status or title...………but the law does engage with such superficial
matters and thus the law pretends to be about morality and the law isn't
about the law nor is it about morality... it is simply a tool that uses
the societies prejudices and biases and bigotry as its standard...….

so we have at the bottom, the law....
then the next level is morality....
do we have another level above morality?

ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

a question for us "moderns"

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:11 pm

a man came into my store and shot another man to death...…

discuss that ethically...…..

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:21 pm

if we are to accept and understand the bible....

then the man who killed is wrong...…

thou shall not kill...……

it doesn't matter under what circumstances may
have occurred...….thou shall not kill....

if we were Christians... but that particular brand of human
being no longer exists....Kierkegaard showed us that......

so, a man shoots another man to death.....

discuss ethically....

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby promethean75 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:32 pm

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

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:59 pm

promethean75: this is not a genuine philosophical problem. we'd wax endlessly in philosophy if we tried to work it out. the solution is the pragmatic return to the old ways of thrasymachus...


K: actually, this might be the one genuine philosophical problem we have.....

ethics or otherwise known as morality.... same thing.....

"ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves
systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right
and wrong conduct. the field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns
matters of VALUE, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called
axiology...…"


at this point, I will bring in a related matter....

the other day I was in Berkley CA, not very far from me....and I was
heading toward a very good bookstore there called "Moes"...
I bought a book on history... and that got me to thinking.....

how does the historian engage in history and how does the
philosopher engage in philosophy and how does the scientist engage
in science? Now the question I was thinking about was this, how does
one practice their craft, say a historian, reveal about the other
crafts, say philosophy or science...so, a historian might engage
in some person, event or time period.... so a historian might
engage in the Vietnam war or he might ask about the American
attitude about the Vietnam war or he might engage with
Kennedy's or LBJ attitude to the war or he might give a history
of the war... he can isolate on one person or one time period
or one event within that war....he can go to original sources
and/or news accounts of his area of interest.. he could go to
other sources say, what the French or the British thought about the war....

he engages in the past, present and the future of his area of interest....
what did the Vietnam war mean to Vietnam and what does it mean today?
that is an historical understanding of the Vietnam war....

so how does this compare to a philosopher interest... say,
one is interested in Ethics.. how would one go about engaging
in ethics? you can go historical and survey ethics from an historical
perspective.... the Egyptians thought of ethics as....
and the Mayans thought of ethics as.....and follow the history of ethics from
a certain time period to another time period or to our time period.....

the second way of understanding ethics is to engage in a study of ethics
based on various philosophers... so we can follow ethics philosophical/historically
from philosopher to philosopher, so we can follow ethics from the pre-Socrates
to Socrates to Aristotle to St. Augustine and what each person believed or thought
about ethics......and we can carry this method all the way to modern philosophers
like Nietzsche or Heidigger……..Nietzsche understanding of ethics relied on
Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics".... if you don't understand the "Nicomachean ethics"
you don't understand Nietzsche view of ethics.... that is another method of understanding
ethics..... you can use the historical method or you can use the philosophical/historical
method... or you can study ethics as practice today.....a sociological method
of understand ethics... using the way we practice ethics today to understand
ethics...…..

so how would this compare to a scientist understanding?

a scientist would see an event, say an apple dropping out of a tree...
and he would try to understand that event..... first he would try to
understand if the event had a human beginning... did the apple fall
because of something a human did? then the scientist might investigate
if there was some historical understanding of the event....did anyone
else see this event and what was their conclusion of it? did the event
have some natural cause to it? and if so, what was the natural cause?

today, we have Newton to thank for our understanding of the apple, but
try to think about the apple falling down before Newton? How would
you go about investigating an apple falling out of a tree if you didn't
have Newton to guide you?

so we have a couple of different methods of investigating
events, people or time periods...…

so, once again, how would we go about investigating ethics?

we could use the historical method.. follow the history
of ethics, which would mean we could either
follow the intellectual understanding of ethics,
follow what philosophers and/or religious thinkers
thought about ethics...….

which leads us to another method of investigation..
the religious method.....god himself has dictated
our ethics.. how are we to engage in our conduct to
other human beings and to god?

thinkers like Kierkegaard thought that the only matter at hand
was to understand our relationship to god... to be a good Christian...
as he said.....if we get that right, the rest of the problem would
solve itself... what problem? the problem of our conduct to
other human beings, both individually and collectively.....

I exist individually... and that is what Kierkegaard thought matter most....
not as a group, for within the group thought K. lies untruth.....

I can only approach god as an individual... not as part of a group....

but the basic and most fundamental understanding of human beings
lie within one fact, we are social creatures.....if we existed alone,
we would have no need for ethics, nor any need for philosophy or history,
or economics or art or government....ethics only exists because
we are social creatures.. we must engage with our fellow human beings...
if we do not engage with other human beings, we develop mental problems,
such as anxiety and other mental issues that come from isolation from
human beings....that is why solitary confinement is the worst punishment
we can force upon people.... it literally drives people insane.....

so how do begin our engagement with ethics?

we begin by understanding the word, ethics.....

the English word "ethics" is derived from the ancient Greek word,
"Ethikos" meaning "relating to one's character" the very basis of
ethics is involving to "one's character".... which itself come from
"ethos" meaning "character, moral nature"...…

the very basic understanding of the word "ethics" begin by
understanding that ethics is about "one's character" "one's moral
nature"...…….

some have said that "most people confuse ethics with behaving
in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs, and the law,
and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept" but how does this
notion of "ethics" involving "one's character" have to do with
"ethics in behaving in accordance to social convention, religious belief,
and the law?" one doesn't need character to engage in "ethics" socially
as in social convention or religious belief or the law...…all that is needed
there is simple compliance... not understanding nor character, just compliance....

the very question of "ethics" stands within the Kantian question of "how should we live?"

what should my engagement with my fellow human beings be?

we have enough to begin to think about ethics.....

let us think about what ethics means to me, both individually
and collectively?

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby promethean75 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:15 pm

so, once again, how would we go about investigating ethics?


we perform a marxist-foucaultean archaeology of ruling class ideology to plot the gradual, isomorphic development of each ethico-moral paradigm and to what socio-economic age and circumstances it pertained to.

what we are looking for is the ruling hegemony of philosophical thought at each stage. in other words, what brand of bullshit existed in what century, and what asshat is responsible for making it up.
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:28 pm

promethean75 wrote:
so, once again, how would we go about investigating ethics?


we perform a marxist-foucaultean archaeology of ruling class ideology to plot the gradual, isomorphic development of each ethico-moral paradigm and to what socio-economic age and circumstances it pertained to.

what we are looking for is the ruling hegemony of philosophical thought at each stage. in other words, what brand of bullshit existed in what century, and what asshat is responsible for making it up.



K: perhaps.....

so, how would we go about investigating, understanding "ethics"?

according to my friends at "Wiki" from whom I have stolen most
of my stuff involving ethics so far, there are three major areas of
study within ethics today,

1. meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of
moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be determined..

2. Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining
a "moral" course of action....

3. applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted)
to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action....


so, meta-ethics is a branch of philosophical ethics that asks how we
understand, know about, and what we mean when we talk about what is
right or wrong...….. a meta-ethical question is abstract and relates
to a wide range of more specific practical questions. For example,
"is it ever possible to have secure knowledge of what is right or wrong?"
that is a meta-ethical question...…

how do we "know" what is right and wrong.... it could be considered
to be similar to questions of epistemology: which is the study of knowledge...
how do we know? the study of the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge...
and here the limits of our understanding of right and wrong....
this is the theoretical branch of the study of right or wrong....
the theoretical study of ethics....not the practical application....

then we have "moral skepticism" which is a class of metaethical theories
that all members of which entail that no one has any moral knowledge...….
they claim that moral knowledge is impossible in the theoretical understanding
of ethics...… Morals skepticism is opposed to moral realism: the view that there
is knowable and objective moral truths.....members of this viewpoint is
Hume, Stirner and Nietzsche.....the conclusion of each comes down to this...
"we are never justified in believing that moral claims are true and even more so
we never know that ANY moral claim is true"

the next understanding is the "Normative ethics" which is the study of ethical actions....
it is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering
how one ought to act, morally speaking...….
Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because normative ethics examines standards
for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning
of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts....

we shall stop here and think about this.....

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:37 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:I don't mean to ignore you Iam, but I have other fish to fry today...…



No problem. My interest [as always] revolves around the manner in which we have come to understand moral nihilism in different ways. And I am always more intent on bringing "philosophical discussions" of this "out into the world". In other words, embedded in contexts in which folks like liberals and conservatives argue from what I construe [politically] to be an "objectivist frame of mind".
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 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:51 pm

and the final area we have is applied ethics...
that is concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted)
to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action.....

now we can use applied ethics for a particular field of application:
bioethics, business ethic, machine ethics, military ethics, political ethics,
public sector ethics, publication ethics, relational ethics, animal ethics....
there are lots of areas of applied ethics.....


now in regards to the questions of ethics, we can do an historical study
which means we think about ethics historically....
so one facet of ethics historically is what might be called, Virtue ethics,
which describes the character of an moral agent as a driving force
for ethical behavior, and it is used to describe the ethics of Socrates,
Aristotle and other early Greek philosophers........ self-knowledge
was considered necessary for success and inherently an essential good....

for Socrates, a person must become aware of every fact (and its context)
relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge. He posited
that people will naturally do what is good if, if they know what is right.
Evil or bad actions are the results of ignorance..... any person who "knows"
what is truly right will automatically do it, according to Socrates.....while
he accorded knowledge to virtue, he similarly equated virtue to joy.. the truly
wise man will know what is right, do what is right, and therefore be happy.....

for Aristotle, when a person acts in accordance with virtue this person, will do
good and be content... unhappiness and frustration are caused by doing wrong,
leading to failed goals and a poor life...…… happiness was held to be the ultimate goal..
and the practice of virtues is the surest path to happiness.....

if we look at various ethical systems after Aristotle, we find that the
Greeks pretty much defined the ethical systems we work with today...

for example, the Greeks worked out Stoicism and hedonism and Epicureanism...

three such examples of the ethical life....

and not until Kant do we find another ethical system....

we have other lesser well known ethical systems, State consequentialism,
consequentialism, Utilitarianism... research those on Wiki at your convenience...

and we reach the Kantian portion of the show....

Deontology: is a approach to ethics that determines goodness or rightness from
examining acts, or the rules and duties that the person doing the act strove to fulfill....

which is oppose to consequentialism, which is the rightness is based on the
consequences of an act, not the act itself....

under Deontology, a act may be considered right even if the act produces a bad
consequence, if, if it follows the rule or moral law... according to deontological
viewpoint, people have a duty to act in a way that does those things that
are inherently good as act...(truth telling for example)….for Kant,
it isn't the consequences of actions that make them right or wrong, but
the motives (expressed as maxims) of the person who carries out the action....

so now we have the groundwork of ethics laid out...
but we still don't any theory to work out....
and we don't have any practical matters to work out...
so, what next?

I would suggest that we take time to understand ethics as
it has been practiced since the beginning of time,
the religious ethics....

for most of human history, ethics has been guided by a religious
context...what is right, what is ethical, right and wrong has
been determined by god and the religious framework that
a society has in place....the ancient Greeks ethics was
worked out in regards to the Greek religion, what was ethical
was decided by god and their laws.... the bible is one long
argument for this description of the ethical... both in the old
testament and the new... and in both, god is the only basis for
ethical behavior...….

and the last 2000 years has been one long test of this theory of
the ethical by the religious....think about the word, god and the word, good,
at least in English, the relationship cannot be denied... now other languages
may have a different understanding, but in English...….

when the religious lost its hold on the public, when ism's and ideologies
was no longer how people viewed ethics, in other words, god is dead,
also meant his ethics was also dead.... what/how are we going to
act ethically if there is no religious basis of ethics? that is the question
of Nietzsche...… what is the basis of morality without the rules of god?

upon what rules are we going to act ethically if we aren't going to act
religiously? what standards are we to use to decide if an act is right or wrong,
or ethical? if we don't have a religious basis for our ethical standards?

this is the "modern" question and the question upon the last 200 years
has been working out... what is right and wrong if there is no god or a
religious basis for our actions?

and here we stand..... the most important question we "moderns" have,
upon what standards are we to use to judge what is "moral"?
upon what basis are we to judge right or wrong?

what is ethical given we have no agreed upon basis for judgement?
no already agreed upon standards for what is right or wrong?

now we are ready to engage in ethics/morality...…


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

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:47 am

ok, we now take leave of our friends at wiki....

let us take two distinct and separate events...
one is abortion and the other is the death penalty....

both are bitterly fought in the U.S...

if you look into history, rare if ever, was there a
legal remedy for abortions... there was always folk
solutions for abortions and history is full of these
folk remedies for abortions.. from the Greeks and Romans
into the modern age, say before the 20th century...
you can read about folk solutions to bringing about abortions....

not until the 20th century was there ever legal questions.... and
before that is because of the Christianity there were ever any questions...

the crimalization of abortion occured in modern times....
and that is based upon religous precepts... for example,
their wasn't laws against abortion until 1821....
and the number of laws increased against abortion
up til the civil war...and what do we know about the U.S. up until
the civil war period? the great awakenings of the U.S....
for example, the first great awakening was from 1730 to about 1740...
there was a tremendous religious revival in America during these years....
the second great awakening was roughly from 1790 to about 1840 with
each decade gaining strength in religous fevor....so we have just before the
civil war a great religious awakening.....

the third great awakening began roughly around 1850 and lasted roughly
to 1900.... into this mix we get our anti-abortions laws...…

the 4th great awakening, and some deny this, came about
during the 1960's to the early 1970's.... but having lived during this era,
I believe that the 4th great awakening came during the 1980's and is still
going on.....it is tied up in the cultural wars that have plagued this country
since 1980's......and is tied up into the strength of the religious right that
has tied up American's into wasted cultural wars that has cost America dearly in
the progress of America since 1980's...

the battle for or against abortion is tied up in the context of
American history..... let us say, you remove the religious context
of abortion.. what is left?

the abortion wars of the last 40 years is tied up into two conflicting
classes of people.. we have a conflict of interest in the abortion wars...
those who believe that abortion is a sin against god.. or those who
believe that abortion is a woman's choice to her body....

let us further examine this..... those who oppose abortions claim
to be defending the rights of the unborn... but can we claim to
defend the rights of the unborn by those who have no vested interest
in that child's birth? for example, if my wife is pregnant and others, for
religious purposes, deny her right to an abortion.. but they have
no vested interest in my wife's pregnancy.. it doesn't effect them...
those who oppose abortion do so based on their own interpretations
of religious laws.. which my wife doesn't believe in... so why do we
allow religious beliefs to become secular law? if we were to do so,
then we are no longer a representative democracy, we are a theocracy....
which is government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded
as divinely guided... in many theocracies, government leaders are
members of the clergy and the state's legal system is based upon
religious law... examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran,
and the Vatican..... but the problem with, one of, with
being a theocracy is deciding upon which religion is
the one true religion... how do we decide upon which religion
is the "true" religion? do we use Christianity? if we do so, then
we are guilty of basing our government and religion upon
our childhood indoctrinations... indoctrinations we haven't yet
overcome...…..

should abortions be barred or should they be allowed?

depending upon where one sit's, it can be either!

you can host a great deal of arguments in which barring
abortions is favored and you can host a great deal of arguments
in which abortions can be allowed...…….

but Kropotkin... I want to know the "truth"... how can we
know what is the truth? favor abortions or ban abortions?

we can try to use ethics/morality to understand this question.....

how do we use ethics to systematizing, or defending or
recommending a course of action, the right or wrong of abortion?

we have been given three basic area's of study:
the meta-ethics concerning the theoretical meaning and reference
of moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be
determined....

we have the Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining
a moral course of actions....

and we have applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted)
to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action...……


so we have the:

the meta-ethics is the abstract understanding of abortions...

the normative is the general understanding of determining
a course of action regards to abortion

and the applied ethics, is concerning what a person is obligated (or permitted)
to do in a specific situation or concerning a particular domain of action...
regarding to abortion...…

meta-ethics would be an abstract look at abortion from a historical
viewpoint.. abortions were legal, for the most part, historically...
and this gives us one understanding of a viewpoint of abortions....

we have the normative ethics, in which we create values upon
which we can then make choices in regards to abortions...…

I am pro-life and thus I am oppose to abortions....

I am pro-choice and thus I favor abortions....

values which determines one viewpoint on abortions...

and then we have the practical application to abortions...

but the practical applications of abortion cannot be
decided by outside forces such as anti-abortions forces based
upon religious values because the practical application is by
definition is done by the one who is doing the practical application.....

if I were to make a choice, a moral choice, I must make a choice
under some system...… be it abstract or normative or practical.....

and in our understanding of abstract, it means the many and
the normative can mean the many or the few and the practical
can only mean the one... we cannot practice a test for example
using the many, for the many won't take the test, only the one will take
the test and only the one is influenced or impacted by that test...
the many isn't impacted by one person taking a test.... just as
abortion doesn't impact the many, it only impacts the one.....
practical application only impacts one and that is the person who
is doing the practical application...….

in taking a driving test, who is impacted? the many, the few or the one?

after the test, afterwards then the many, the few and the one is impacted,
but not during the test....

you have to show how having an abortion is somehow impacting
the many, the few or the one... one might argue that an abortion
impacts the fetus... but a fetus isn't aware of or isn't in any way, shape, or form
aware it is alive... it is non sentient, not aware..... now recall, because
of my birth defect, my mother was given a choice to have an abortion,
(which to this day, she denies, but I have heard otherwise and that is my story)
if she had aborted me, I would not have been aware of, nor was I sentient...
if we were to allow the argument that sentience isn't a factor, then
we are faced with the problem of thinking that radiation treatment
isn't doable because it kills none sentient cells.. anything that is non sentient
is now given protection under this very strict interpretation of not being
to kill anything that is alive...…

we cannot, under this idea, to allow any type of damage to skin or cells
or body parts because they are alive, even though they are none sentient.....

we cannot operate on people because that operation will kill skin cells
being operated under, even though they aren't sentient.... we have made
modern medicine impossible because it will kill alive cells.....

if we are to understand the religious argument correctly,
then we cannot now allow any type of damage to occur to
any type of living cells....

now recall, a fetus is just a collection of cells...
if we prevent the abortion based on a fetus being alive,
then we have ended modern medicine because it kills
collection of cells every time modern medicine engages....

and sentience isn't a factor, at least according to anti-abortion forces....

so carried to its logical conclusion, we cannot allow modern medicine
to happen because it does the exact same thing as an abortions....

are the force oppose to abortions willing to carry their objections to
its logical conclusions?

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

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:59 am

our next take is on the death penalty....

if we look at the death penalty historically,
we see that capital punishment has been practiced
since the beginning of time....we have two theories behind
capital punishment, one is punishment, an eye for an eye
and the other is prevention... if people are punished for
actions taken, it might prevent such actions....

for example, in English history, capital punishment
in England during the 18th century, the number of capital
offences to more then 200 different offences including pickpocketing
during which while people were being hung for being pickpockets, the crowd
was being worked by people pickpocketing..... capital punishment
has never been shown to change any type of behavior of people....
so we are left with capital punishment as being strictly a form
of punishment... and putting someone to death for being a pickpocket,
is simply out of proportion to the crime being committed....

there has to be proportional cause and effects of capital punishment
to punishment...………..

we have more to go, but I am tired after a long day of posting...
so later....

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:47 pm

as time is limited, work in less then an hour...I shall
forsake capital punishment at this time and discuss something else....

in my prior take on abortion and capital punishment and ethics,
I could have taken an entirely different argument, I could have
gone completely different in my argument for or against abortion
or even ethics......

but that is one of the problems with ethics and life and existence..
the ambiguity that exists in ethics and life and existence....

as human beings, it isn't about the certainties that we have that
define us, but it is our ambiguous nature that defines us.....

what is true and certain today, isn't so true or certain tomorrow.....

our philosophies must reflect the ambiguity that exists in our life.....

values like justice and love and charity and hope all exist within a state
of uncertainty and that uncertainty lies within the ambiguity that defines our lives....

philosophy is a search for certainty and certainty doens't exists within
any part of the human existence... one might say, but we are all going to die...
I can't say that for sure.. I can't even state if all human beings that have existed
have died, I can't know for sure if all human beings who have existed, have died...
that is simply nothing more then speculation on my part.....

reduced to it basic elements, existence has two states, on and off...
I am existing and aware of it right now.... that is the on state,
or I am not existing and I cannot be aware of that.....that is the off switch....

everything else is momentary, temporary, full of ambiguity.....

but Kropotkin, you have not discussed this or you have missed that....

yep, that is part of the ambiguity of our lives..... we cannot
see parts of our own lives and we cannot see the whole picture of existence....

at most, we deal with a small part of existence and we must include that
in our report to humanity...……...think of it like the spectrum of light,
we humans can only see a small slice of the spectrum of light that exists,
and we react as if that small slice of light is the entire spectrum of what is
possible, but it isn't.... it is a small sliver that what we can see with our human eyes....

and our report to our fellow human beings must include the fact that we can only
see a small portion of light within a much larger spectrum of possibilities...…..

we exists within ambiguity and we must finally acknowledge that fact
and philosophize within that ambiguity that is existence.....

Kropotkin.....
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wind up with neither."
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:20 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote: ok,should abortions be barred or should they be allowed?

depending upon where one sit's, it can be either!


But: where one "sits" is, in my view, predicated largely on my own understanding of "I" here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"moral philosopohy in the lives we live".

One comes to believe that abortion is either moral or immoral, just as one becomes a liberal or a conservative, not because science or philosophy has pinned down what all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to believe or be, but because their frame of mind is shaped and molded existentially by the life they lived.

And since they have still more life to live there is always the possibility that new experiences will reconfigure "I" yet again.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: you can host a great deal of arguments in which barring
abortions is favored and you can host a great deal of arguments
in which abortions can be allowed...…….


Conflicting goods. That's the second component of my own moral assessment here. Even if one is able to be convinced that, out in the world of conflicted value judgments, their own "I" is the real thing, is who they really are "deep down inside" at the level of, say, the "soul", both sides are able to pose arguments that the other side is not able to make go away. With unwanted pregnancies and abortion, either the unborn baby dies or women are forced to give birth.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: but Kropotkin... I want to know the "truth"... how can we
know what is the truth? favor abortions or ban abortions?


Cue the third component of my own assessment: political power.

The part where the moral assumptions of both liberals and conservations must be reconfigured into laws that can be enforced.

Such that actual behaviors themselves are either rewarded or punished.
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 Meno_ » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:34 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote: ok,should abortions be barred or should they be allowed?

depending upon where one sit's, it can be either!


But: where one "sits" is, in my view, predicated largely on my own understanding of "I" here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"moral philosopohy in the lives we live".

One comes to believe that abortion is either moral or immoral, just as one becomes a liberal or a conservative, not because science or philosophy has pinned down what all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to believe or be, but because their frame of mind is shaped and molded existentially by the life they lived.

And since they have still more life to live there is always the possibility that new experiences will reconfigure "I" yet again.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: you can host a great deal of arguments in which barring
abortions is favored and you can host a great deal of arguments
in which abortions can be allowed...…….


Conflicting goods. That's the second component of my own moral assessment here. Even if one is able to be convinced that, out in the world of conflicted value judgments, their own "I" is the real thing, is who they really are "deep down inside" at the level of, say, the "soul", both sides are able to pose arguments that the other side is not able to make go away. With unwanted pregnancies and abortion, either the unborn baby dies or women are forced to give birth.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: but Kropotkin... I want to know the "truth"... how can we
know what is the truth? favor abortions or ban abortions?


Cue the third component of my own assessment: political power.

The part where the moral assumptions of both liberals and conservations must be reconfigured into laws that can be enforced.

Such that actual behaviors themselves are either rewarded or punished.



And then there is science where the phylogenetic passage of the embryo undergoes all genetic changes, where it is not consistent with being human.
It goes.through all physiological changes up until the second trimester.
And it is really science which is mostly determinitive, with the last trimester being definitive .
That excludes most arguments based on theistic concerns.
This argument is compelling .
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:54 pm

as I am still working out some idea's, I shall work on those instead of
answering IAM or Meno….

I have brought a point which I think is vastly unrated and that is
ambiguity.... we are faced with, in fact I think the trait that would
best describe modern life would be ambiguity.. for example,
we have in the past, 3 types of sexual orientation,
heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual.... that pretty much covered
the list of sexual orientation..... but today, today we have dozen's
of possibilities....

(now, this is not a topic I am very familiar with so, if I make a mistake,
it is an honest mistake due to lack of knowledge and nothing more)

we have Androgynous, asexual, binary, non-binary, LGBTQ, pan sexual,
to name a few possibilities...… this ambiguity as to our sexual gender
and orientations didn't occur before the modern age...…..
so, perhaps 1900, might be the point where mainstream
sexual fluidity comes into being...…

this fluidity doesn't happen in a vacuum... we see ambiguity
in all area's of our life....perhaps we should define ambiguity....

Ambiguity: noun... the quality of being open to more then one interpretation;
inexactness..... ambiguity and its cousin, ambivalence....
have entered the modern world in a way never seen before.....

we cannot say things are black and white or right or wrong because
everything is open to more then one interpretation....

I am a white man.... and yet, I came from Africa as did all human beings....
so, am I white or am I black or perhaps it is the completely wrong way to look at it....

genetically, a black man from Africa and a white man like myself are within
98 % genetical similar...…

as human beings, we are faced with ambiguity all the time.....everything
has more then one interpretation... even good and evil and right and wrong,
up and down, black and white, in the end, it is all shades of gray...ambiguity....

and ambiguity has come to dominate our understanding of ethics....
punishment.... for many of us, we doubt the effectiveness of punishment,
the traditional forms of punishment such as capital punishment and
prison for everything.....we can no longer afford to see punishment
for criminals as being black and white, right or wrong...…

a man who steal a loaf of bread to feed his family because he can't find
a job.... does he really deserve punishment? because his inability to find
a job doesn't necessarily result from any fault of his, the economy is bad
and no one is hiring... so why are we punishing someone because of
factors outside of his control?

there are multiple possibilities to engage a person outside of putting
them into prison. perhaps, our need to punish, for revenge, needs to
take a back seat to our understanding the challenges we all face as we
go through this existence...….

when I was young, I was a typical young man, very black and white,
everything was straight forward and there was no ambiguity in life...
there was only one interpretation to everything I saw...…

not so much today....just because I am comfortable with certain aspects
of life, such as my sexuality doesn't mean others are as comfortable with it...
they are faced with ambiguity in regards to their gender and orientation....

where I am ambiguous as to the need for and the results of our modern
day punishment whereas others are rock solid in favor of the death penalty
or long term punishment for crimes committed.....

the question of ethics also has differences of understanding between
those who think/feel black and white and those who think/feel shades of
gray...

our existence is an existence of ambiguity, a question of more then one
interpretation of everything...….

we cannot explain or understand ethics, (or any other matter of modern existence)
until we work out the various ambiguities we have in our modern existence...…..


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

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:53 am

let us return to ethics and abortion....with the addition of ambiguity...…

BOB says, "abortion is wrong.. it is murder"..... all the while BOB
is holding a sign defending capital punishment.....the question
of abortion is strictly a question of ambiguity....with no real answers in sight....

from where I sit, a fetus is a collection of cells.. no different then
the cancer cells we wipe out or kill with radiation.....and we happily
kill those cells because it might mean a longer life for us....yet,
life is life and all life must be protected which means we cannot kill
cancer cells because all life must be protected.......

that is but one interpretation of abortion...we can create
as many different interpretations as there are stars in the sky....

if we are going to practice capital punishment, then we
have already said, not all life is sacred....... the questions then comes
down to degree's and shades of gray.......ambigious is life.. full
of interpretations.....

when the United States Supreme court of the United States comes down
with ruling about law, it is nothing more then an interpretation of existing
laws and quite often, a justice will give a dissenting opinion and that
dissenting opinion is just another interpretation of the law....
even something as cut and dry as the law is not only subject to,
but is based upon various interpretations of the law... the law is
based upon ambiguity... which ambiguity are we going to follow today?

and who is to say that the court evens make the "right" decision when
"clearly" the court has gotten many such decisions wrong, really and radically
wrong decisions, one of which helped caused our civil war, Dred Scott v. Sanford....
other badly disputed decisions have been citizens united, bush v. Gore and of course,
Plessy v. Ferguson.....

now the other side will say the "wrong" decisions were Roe v. Wade
and Marbury v. Madison and Miranda v. Arizona...… it is all a matter of
viewpoint, of perspective, a matter of interpretation...….

what is right or wrong? it is a matter of interpretation... welcome to
the 21st century... where we are not guided by principles but by
interpretations... or as they say, ambiguities.....

so what is justice? just another interpretation...
what is truth? just another interpretation.....
what is honesty? another interpretation.....

what is philosophy or history or ethics or justice?

they are inquiries into the various interpretations of said subjects.....

we have interpretations of the civil war and of the Revolutionary war
and interpretations of the French Revolution and interpretations
of the middle ages and interpretations of the industrial age
and interpretations of the assassination of JFK and Gandhi
and MLK... or as I like to call them.... history is ambiguous as to
the causes of the events that history likes to study.....
there is an interpretation for every act, word, moment,
event that ever was...……

and we can expect no different with such actions as abortions
and capital punishment...…

so, one might scream in anger... Kropotkin, Kropotkin,
say you are right... what is the solution?

who said that there was a solution...
and I'm not even sure we want a solution to this vexing problem...….

and we have reached the Zen moment of the program...
at first the mountains were calm and peaceful,
and the sea was smooth like glass, and the river
quietly flowed in its banks.....

then during the Zen moment, the mountains danced and
the sea rose and clashed high in the air and the river overflowed
it banks.....

and after the Zen moment, the mountain resumes being calm and quiet
and the sea returns to being peaceful like a glass and the river returns
to its bank and flows softly into the sea...…..

how do we overcome ambiguity or how do I learn to love ambiguity?


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

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:16 pm

we live in a world where ambiguity rules...…

but it wasn't always like that....

in a religious world, we have far less ambiguity..
the entire Christian religion is an attempt to limit
the amount of ambiguity in the world.....

but even here, as I have pointed out earlier, the Christian
doesn't really hold to the laws of god.... thou shall not kill...
and still we find many, many workarounds to this fundamental
law of god.....

the point of the 10 commandments is to reduce or end ambiguity
in the world... the entire idea of god is to eliminate ambiguity...
by taking the rules of the game of human existence and placing them
outside of human ambiguity....thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal,
thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, thou shall not take the lord's name in
vain.... rules of human existence....but because of the human need to
avoid responsibility, for denial, we have found many types of reasons not to
follow god's rules..... we offer many different interpretations for "thou shall not kill"
to avoid being pinned down into one and only one context...… one possibility....
one choice...….. because we humans understand that human existence requires
us to keep our options open, to keep as many possibilities as possible, so we
find loopholes and workarounds for the might word of god.. thou shall...…..

it is not just the religious that engages in ambiguity and possibilities,
but science itself engages in ambiguity... Schrodinger's cat is an engagement,
a thought experiment which is about the possibilities of a cat being either
alive or being dead.... these possibilities, these ambiguities are at the heart of
science... but example, Nils Bohr didn't think that Schrodinger's cat was
an scientific issue because long before the observer saw the cat, opened the box,
the cat would already be alive or dead.

and Bohr's answer is just another interpretation of Schrodinger's cat,
another possibility, another ambiguity...…

and quantum mechanics is just another version of ambiguity in the science world....

if something has more then one possibility, more then one interpretation, then
it is ambiguous...…

But Kropotkin, everything has more then one possibility, more then one interpretation?

yep, and that is my point!

do we want to escape a universe where everything has more then one interpretation?

Maybe not, not if the universe doesn't allow just a single choice...…

or said another way...…….we exists in an ambiguous universe.....

we live in a universe where two distinct and opposing arguments
can both be completely right and both can be completely wrong...…

those who argue for abortions and those who argue against can both
be right or wrong, as the case maybe, but both can be right... so how do
we solve this problem?

one possibility might be to raise the argument above a single argument
and make the argument about society at large...… abortions aren't mandatory,
they are choices, they are possibilities... abortions exists inside of ambiguity....

so one solution is to raise the stakes to a societal issue....
is the society better off or does it have more structure with abortions
or is society worse off with abortions? raise the stake to involve
all of society instead of just the one....given the immense problems
that we have because of overpopulation, we must give serious consideration
to allowing abortions..... that is one example of using the larger considerations
of society to better understand a smaller solution...……..if we keep the argument
of abortion limited to just the individual, we might come up with one small solution,
but, but if we expand the argument of abortion to society, to the whole, then
other solutions might come to mine...…….

the problem is simple, we think only in terms of how an issue impacts
us personally, when in fact, issues we think of as personal, are issues
that impacts us as a group or as a society...…….. we are social creatures...
and we exist socially, within a group or a society.....

the truth is, we don't have issues that impact us alone and only us..
no, are issues are social issues, native to the group or the society at large....

are you alone? are you alienated? are you disconnected from society?

those aren't single person issues, they are issued of the group and issues
of society...…. we don't exist alone and we don't have single, individual problems

we exist and our issues exist within a group or within a society.. not individually.....

so let us begin our understanding into ambiguity as an problem that isn't
a individual, personal problem, ambiguity is an group/social/society issue...…

ambiguity is about the many possibilities/many interpretations that
exists within our lives...…. and those possibilities are social in nature
because we are social in nature...….

two people can hold two distinct, opposing opinions and they both
can be right because they are discussing different possibilities
that exist for human beings...…. so we must expand our understanding
of what it means to be human to include the fact that we are social creatures...
we must engage with other human beings and we must be a part of the social order
that is the lesson of evolution.... some creatures evolved into solitary creatures,
but most animals, most, are social creatures that exists within a group.....

we human beings have expanded the group to include all, the society.....
and if there is one thing human beings do, is expand their understanding...
basic human understanding... of everyone goes from understanding the one,
myself, to two, my parents, three brothers, sisters, grand parents uncles and aunts....

then we see ourselves in larger groups, in kindergarten and in the lower elementary
schools...

we travel from understanding one, me,.... to understanding all, society...….

and as for our concept of ambiguous.... it is still there regardless of how far
we travel..... we can simply accept that life is full of ambiguity.....
and deal with it...or even learn to love it..... maybe...…….

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:26 pm

modern words:

doubt, uncertainty, vagueness, enigma, equivocation, inconclusiveness,
obscurity, indeterminateness, unclearness, equivocacy,

and all of these words are under ambiguity in the Thesaurus.

and the antonyms for ambiguity are:

certainty, clarity, clearness, definiteness, explicitness, lucidity...…

I can see which words are words that describe the modern world better.....


But Kropotkin, you still haven't told us how to overcome the problem
of ambiguity.....

No, no I haven't......

now we have another word which pretty well describes the modern world,
nihilism.....

what is the connection between nihilism and ambiguity?

Nihilism is the nagation of human beings and their values
and ambiguity is 1. doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention.
2. an unclear, indefinity, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc:

so we understand that nihilism rises first which is the negation of human beings
and their values... this negation leads us to ambiguity because it is the values
which identify as being human and those values are/were destoryed in
the rise of capitalism and the rise of the industrial age....

and because of that destruction of those values, we are uncertain,
full of doubt, unclear, ambiguous about who we are and
what it means to be human...….

as it is the values that define us as human beings, we need to
return to values as a means of fighting ambiguity.....

if we hold to the value "justice", then we are not being ambiguous are we?

Now one might say, we can equally hold to the negative values and distance
us from ambiguity... that is certainly the hope of all those deplorables...…

but we cannot, for reasons already shown, hold onto negative values...
individually and collectively

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:38 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote: modern words:

doubt, uncertainty, vagueness, enigma, equivocation, inconclusiveness,
obscurity, indeterminateness, unclearness, equivocacy,

and all of these words are under ambiguity in the Thesaurus.

and the antonyms for ambiguity are:

certainty, clarity, clearness, definiteness, explicitness, lucidity...…

I can see which words are words that describe the modern world better.....


Again, we'll need a context. Centuries ago, any number of things in the either/or world seemed ambiguous, inexplicable, uncertain, obscure to many. They were attributed to the gods. But now today science has been able to provide the "moderns" with explanations such that actual objective facts are there to be found by those who are willing to go looking for them.

Instead, the ambiguity and uncertainty remain embedded far more in the is/ought world...the world of conflicting moral and political value judgments.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: now we have another word which pretty well describes the modern world,
nihilism.....

what is the connection between nihilism and ambiguity?

Nihilism is the nagation of human beings and their values
and ambiguity is 1. doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention.
2. an unclear, indefinity, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc:

so we understand that nihilism rises first which is the negation of human beings
and their values... this negation leads us to ambiguity because it is the values
which identify as being human and those values are/were destoryed in
the rise of capitalism and the rise of the industrial age....


Yes, if you wish to pursue nihilism in these "general description" "intellectual contraptions" that's your prerogative. But my own rendition of it does not "negate" human beings and their values, it situates them existentially out in a particular world awash in contingency, chance and change.

It tries to make a distinction between the meaning of words able to be clearly understood and connected to the world around us -- "Trump", "wall", "Mexico", "illegal", "immigrants" -- and the meaning of words that are instead rooted more ambiguously in dasein -- "justice", "freedom", "right", "wrong", "good", "bad".

Peter Kropotkin wrote: if we hold to the value "justice", then we are not being ambiguous are we?


In what set of circumstances? Based on what set of assumptions regarding that which is said to encompass just values or unjust values?

What the moral and political objectivists do [in my view] is to stuff justice here into two bags: the "one of us" bag and the "one of them" bag. Then -- presto! -- ambiguity and uncertainty are gone!! The is/ought world becomes just another extension of the either/or world. And that presumably will always "comfort and console" folks like you and Wendy.

Just as it surely once comforted and consoled me.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: Now one might say, we can equally hold to the negative values and distance
us from ambiguity... that is certainly the hope of all those deplorables...…

but we cannot, for reasons already shown, hold onto negative values...
individually and collectively

Kropotkin


Note to others:

If you were to bring this general description assessment down to earth and connect the dots between what you think he means here and a context that you are familiar with, how might it help us to better understand his own interpretation of justice/"justice".

In other words, positive and negative values in regard to what particular conflicting behaviors in what particular situation?
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 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:03 am

Peter Kropotkin: modern words:

doubt, uncertainty, vagueness, enigma, equivocation, inconclusiveness,
obscurity, indeterminateness, unclearness, equivocacy,

and all of these words are under ambiguity in the Thesaurus.

and the antonyms for ambiguity are:

certainty, clarity, clearness, definiteness, explicitness, lucidity...…

I can see which words are words that describe the modern world better....."

IAM: Again, we'll need a context. Centuries ago, any number of things in the either/or world seemed ambiguous, inexplicable, uncertain, obscure to many. They were attributed to the gods. But now today science has been able to provide the "moderns" with explanations such that actual objective facts are there to be found by those who are willing to go looking for them.
Instead, the ambiguity and uncertainty remain embedded far more in the is/ought world...the world of conflicting moral and political value judgments.

K: The words themselves are the context....and I disagree with your interpretation,
again a word of ambiguity, in regards to the past... human beings were far less
ambiguous then today.. but why K..... because they could depend upon god being
the "guarantor".. in other words, despite the uncertain and inexplicable universe,
god was still a fixture and however obscure to humans, still in charge...
thus the need for faith in god.. to remove the skin deep ambiguity and see
the certainty that god promised...if only we believe, have faith in.....

K: the world of conflicting moral and political value judgments is a modern concept..
it certainly didn't exist during the middle ages and it certainly didn't exist during
the Renaissance.... read history as I have done, and see that the world was black
and white, good and evil, right or wrong.... ambiguity as a concept didn't really
exist until Kierkegaard.. read Kant or Hegel and there is no, none ambiguity
about either one...

K: now we have another word which pretty well describes the modern world, nihilism.....
what is the connection between nihilism and ambiguity?
Nihilism is the nagation of human beings and their values
and ambiguity is 1. doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention.
2. an unclear, indefinity, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc:
so we understand that nihilism rises first which is the negation of human beings
and their values... this negation leads us to ambiguity because it is the values
which identify as being human and those values are/were destoryed in
the rise of capitalism and the rise of the industrial age...."

IAM: Yes, if you wish to pursue nihilism in these "general description" "intellectual contraptions" that's your prerogative. But my own rendition of it does not "negate" human beings and their values, it situates them existentially out in a particular world awash in contingency, chance and change.
It tries to make a distinction between the meaning of words able to be clearly understood and connected to the world around us -- "Trump", "wall", "Mexico", "illegal", "immigrants" -- and the meaning of words that are instead rooted more ambiguously in dasein -- "justice", "freedom", "right", "wrong", "good", "bad".

K: think historically.... the words "intellectual contraptions" or "Nihilism" or "Dasein"
"freedom" didn't exist until at the earliest, the French revolution...….what you are engaging
in is a critique of modern existence....which could only, only exist during our "modern" age....

the words contingency, chance, change changed in meaning because of modern science
and its understanding of the universe as being contingent, lacking purpose, accidental....
random, see Darwin or quantum mechanics or Schrodinger's cat.....

you are thinking "past" in thinking that there are definite meanings and terms
answered.... no, that is the point, the modern point... I cannot say.. if we hold these
values and we engage in this action in this way, this will be justice.... the universe
is too random, to accidental to work in this fashion.....all we can give is
this vague understanding of the concept of "justice" and we can't even
properly, as you wish, say if we act with justice in the case of abortion,
and justice in the case of abortion means we allow or we disallow abortion....
and we allow or disallow abortions for this reason or that reason...
we cannot go there because the universe itself is random and accidental...

you want specific answers for specific cases and the reasons why.....

and I cannot give you that.... there is to much interpretations, ambiguity
in our modern world to say, yes, the specific answer for that specific case
and the reason why is...…..it just doesn't work that way... if we have only
one specific and one specific cause only, yes, yes we can say specifically
the answer to abortion, what is justice in regards to abortion is.....
but we cannot... there is no one answer to any one specific case...
the world is too random, to subject to chance to allow us to give
one specific answer to one specific case and why that answer is justice....
it simply doesn't work that way... I am sorry... I truly am.. because
the universe would be so much easier if we could pin down
one specific answer to one specific case and why...
abortion is wrong because it isn't just... that is just another
interpretation... and saying abortion is right because it is about
freedom of choice is just another interpretation...

everything, every answer, every question is simply just another
interpretation, just another ambiguity in life....

I simply cannot give you what I don't have...
certainty, a positive, secure, satisfied, self-confident answer to
any of your questions.. because certainty doesn't exist.. at least
not in our ambiguous world....I don't even have answers to my questions....
which is why I am always in doubt.....

Peter Kropotkin: if we hold to the value "justice", then we are not being ambiguous are we?"

IAM: In what set of circumstances? Based on what set of assumptions regarding that which is said to encompass just values or unjust values?
What the moral and political objectivists do [in my view] is to stuff justice here into two bags: the "one of us" bag and the "one of them" bag. Then -- presto! -- ambiguity and uncertainty are gone!! The is/ought world becomes just another extension of the either/or world. And that presumably will always "comfort and console" folks like you and Wendy.
Just as it surely once comforted and consoled me.

K: as I have stated earlier, it doesn't matter under what set of circumstances and what set
of assumptions we have.... the nature of "nature" is simply too chaotic and random, to
ever believe we can pin down circumstances or assumptions, to connect the dots,
as it were...the "connecting the dots" you call for, assumes that we have a
secure, undoubtful, convinced universe.... it is not....our universe is random,
chaotic, doubtful, uncertain, questionable and thus any attempt, any attempt to connect
the dots will fail because every single circumstance and every single assumption including
such values as justice and hate and love... has too many ambiguities,
too many uncertainties about it to be of use, to use.....
every single circumstance is full of ambiguity.. simple as that..
and to pin it down, to connect the dots is impossible because of the
ambiguity, because of the different interpretations we can pile upon
any circumstance, upon any assumptions......

Peter Kropotkin: Now one might say, we can equally hold to the negative values and distance
us from ambiguity... that is certainly the hope of all those deplorables...…
but we cannot, for reasons already shown, hold onto negative values...
individually and collectively

IAM: Note to others:

If you were to bring this general description assessment down to earth and connect the dots between what you think he means here and a context that you are familiar with, how might it help us to better understand his own interpretation of justice/"justice".
In other words, positive and negative values in regard to what particular conflicting behaviors in what particular situation?[/quote]

K: and every single particular conflicting behavior and every single situation and every
single value such as justice, is full of interpretations which means full of ambiguity....
the very ambiguity of our lives prevent us from answering the questions you ask.....

I cannot, cannot under any circumstance, connect the dots, in the way you ask,
because the very pattern of the dots is random and chaotic which leads us
to random and chaotic answers........

our universe, our lives, our society is ruled by chance and randomness
and accidental and is contingent upon forces outside of us......

you may as well ask, ....god is...
and I will ask, which god, the buddhist god, the christian god, the hindu god,
the jewish god... there are so many interpetations to the idea of god,
so many different possibilities to god, that we cannot connect the dots about
god unless we cheat and define god so narrowly that only a very narrow
defination about god will work and such a narrow definition about god
isn't really god, is it? if you have interpretations and possibilities, then
you cannot, cannot under any circumstances define god or any other
random concept because there are so many interpretations and possibilities
for every single concept in existence....what is justice? as I can think of
10 or 12 different interpretations or possibilties for the concept of justice,
that I cannot answer the question, what is justice? it is the very ambiguity
that is present in concepts like justice that makes it impossible for us to define
such concepts......to connect the dots requires one and one only fixed
possibility and one and one only possibility doesn't exist...….

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:50 pm

and so what is the answer to the "ambiguity problem"?

I am not sure there is one.....ambiguity is so fundamental to
our "modern" existence that to try to avoid it is to avoid
being human.....

we have choices, we have possibilities, we are random creatures
in a random universe.. or so says science.. again, see Darwin or
quantum machanics...... how does one find purpose or a solution
to ambiguity in the midst of all that random choices or possibilities?

today, we have many who try to use other methods of overcoming
this randomness/possibilities among them are those who proclaim
themselves, proud boys, religious, born again, antifa, white nationalist,
nationalism, in fact, anyone who loudly and for all to hear that they
are vehemently or fervently in favor of the above ism's and ideologies
are usually just trying to avoid the confusion of ambiguity.....

but perhaps, perhaps, the answer lies in much smaller hopes...

we find our meaning and purpose not in such loud and dramatic
fashion as in such pointless exercises as nationalism or the religious.....

we can find our meaning and purpose in the small and personal task
of knowing thyself... who am I? Am I a nationalist? that matters less
then, am I a good person? or does believe in god trump, the secure knowledge
that one gets from a honest appraisel of who they are.........

I can be a dad, a husband, brother, son, worker, consumer, citizen,
non-believer, philosopher.....as the moment calls for.....
if I do the "right" thing.....but of course, IAM will demand that
I clarify what the "right" thing is and by what criteria I use to determine
what the "right" is and then make it "real" by showing what the "right"
thing is in very specific situations... connect the dots, as it were.....

but that is the point, the "right" thing for me, may not be the "right" thing
for you and in any given situation, the "right" thing will change in both action
and in who does it... for example, the "right" thing maybe to walk away from
a possible fight, but then again, depending on the circumstances, the "right"
thing maybe to engage in a fight.... it depends on who is talking and what
is the circumstances for us to "know" what the "right" thing to do is...….

for many years, many years, I was a pacifist... a complete pacifist...
but I have found on occasion, that, for whatever reason, I was forced into
a fight and today, being a father and husband, I would fight for my family....
but once again, we are dealing with possibilities and random actions..
that cannot be planned for or anticipated before hand...….

so what may be "right" in one situation, maybe completely wrong in
a different situation and depending on who is involved...…
it is as I have noted, ambiguous.

so what is the solution? my understanding of who I am.....
today, because of who I am and how I got here, I am far more
willing to walk away from a fight then before...why? circumstances...
I am now old and I have physical issues that prevent me from
making it a good fight....
(I don't mind losing a fight as long as I make it a fight worth fighting)

but today, today that avenue is closing fast... I can no longer physically
fight..so I must work out matters differently whereas someone younger,
might just engage in a physical battle... the situation and who is involved
changes what is "right" or "wrong" or said another way,
the ambiguities of any situation tells us how we can react to that situation..
the possibilities, the choices, the randomness.. all intermix to
give us our range of possibilities in any given situation.....

"right" and "wrong", no longer exist in a world full of ambiguities.....

we can limit what is possible if, if we begin the task of knowing ourselves....

if we know what is possible for us, we know what possibilities are no
longer available to us or what possibilities are available to us...
but that is only possible if we know ourselves. if we know what our values
are, if we know who we are, if we know what we are capable of....

this small understanding of who we are, can determine our larger
range of possibilities and choices...….

so, we begin... to know thyself... and that is the first step to
removing ambiguity.. or at least limiting how much ambiguity
we have in our lives....we might not ever be able to remove or eliminate
ambiguity, but at least we can limit it.....

it is all so vague and undetermined... but that is our modern
understanding of the world... shades of gray...…

no longer is it black or white, right or wrong, up or down....
those are old fashion idea's, pre-modern idea's...….

what is the right thing to do at this second, at this moment,
can be completely wrong, 5 minutes from now...

there are no dots to connect... because the dots themselves change
with every passing situation and every passing possibility.....

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:05 pm

Again, we'll need a context. Centuries ago, any number of things in the either/or world seemed ambiguous, inexplicable, uncertain, obscure to many. They were attributed to the gods. But now today science has been able to provide the "moderns" with explanations such that actual objective facts are there to be found by those who are willing to go looking for them.

Instead, the ambiguity and uncertainty remain embedded far more in the is/ought world...the world of conflicting moral and political value judgments.


Peter Kropotkin wrote: The words themselves are the context....and I disagree with your interpretation,
again a word of ambiguity, in regards to the past... human beings were far less
ambiguous then today.. but why K..... because they could depend upon god being
the "guarantor".. in other words, despite the uncertain and inexplicable universe,
god was still a fixture and however obscure to humans, still in charge...
thus the need for faith in god.. to remove the skin deep ambiguity and see
the certainty that god promised...if only we believe, have faith in.....


Yeah, that's basically my argument too. No God, no transcending font to resolve the conflicting goods that mere mortals, very much lacking in omniscience, have been plagued with now going back at least to the invention of philosophy itself.

Peter Kropotkin wrote:the world of conflicting moral and political value judgments is a modern concept..
it certainly didn't exist during the middle ages and it certainly didn't exist during
the Renaissance.... read history as I have done, and see that the world was black
and white, good and evil, right or wrong.... ambiguity as a concept didn't really
exist until Kierkegaard.. read Kant or Hegel and there is no, none ambiguity
about either one...


Human wants and needs have been in conflct ever since human wants and needs came into existence. Thus rules of behavior have existed in every and all human community...both historically and culturally. Predicated on one or another combination of might makes right, right make might, and [since the advent of capitalism] democracy and the rule of law.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: now we have another word which pretty well describes the modern world, nihilism.....
what is the connection between nihilism and ambiguity?
Nihilism is the nagation of human beings and their values
and ambiguity is 1. doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention.
2. an unclear, indefinity, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc:
so we understand that nihilism rises first which is the negation of human beings
and their values... this negation leads us to ambiguity because it is the values
which identify as being human and those values are/were destoryed in
the rise of capitalism and the rise of the industrial age...."


Again and again and again: another "general description". You raised this point above and I responded to it.

So...

Yes, if you wish to pursue nihilism in these "general description" "intellectual contraptions" that's your prerogative. But my own rendition of it does not "negate" human beings and their values, it situates them existentially out in a particular world awash in contingency, chance and change.
It tries to make a distinction between the meaning of words able to be clearly understood and connected to the world around us -- "Trump", "wall", "Mexico", "illegal", "immigrants" -- and the meaning of words that are instead rooted more ambiguously in dasein -- "justice", "freedom", "right", "wrong", "good", "bad".


Peter Kropotkin wrote:think historically.... the words "intellectual contraptions" or "Nihilism" or "Dasein"
"freedom" didn't exist until at the earliest, the French revolution...….what you are engaging
in is a critique of modern existence....which could only, only exist during our "modern" age....

the words contingency, chance, change changed in meaning because of modern science
and its understanding of the universe as being contingent, lacking purpose, accidental....
random, see Darwin or quantum mechanics or Schrodinger's cat.....

you are thinking "past" in thinking that there are definite meanings and terms
answered.... no, that is the point, the modern point... I cannot say.. if we hold these
values and we engage in this action in this way, this will be justice.... the universe
is too random, to accidental to work in this fashion.....all we can give is
this vague understanding of the concept of "justice" and we can't even
properly, as you wish, say if we act with justice in the case of abortion,
and justice in the case of abortion means we allow or we disallow abortion....
and we allow or disallow abortions for this reason or that reason...
we cannot go there because the universe itself is random and accidental...


Yes, another "world of words" torrent that completely ignores the distinction I make between less ambiguous words like "Trump", "wall", "Mexico", "illegal", "immigrants" in the either/or world and considerably more ambiguous words like "justice", "freedom", "right", "wrong", "good", "bad" in the is/ought world.

And with regard to conflicting goods rooted in dasein, we "go there" because it is embedded in the "human condition" itself. There's no getting around conflicting goods. Unless of course for some they die and go to Heaven. Or, for others, they insist their own value judgments are the only rational ones around and [down here] become objectivists.

Peter Kropotkin wrote: you want specific answers for specific cases and the reasons why.....

and I cannot give you that.... there is to much interpretations, ambiguity
in our modern world to say, yes, the specific answer for that specific case
and the reason why is...…..it just doesn't work that way... if we have only
one specific and one specific cause only, yes, yes we can say specifically
the answer to abortion, what is justice in regards to abortion is.....
but we cannot... there is no one answer to any one specific case...
the world is too random, to subject to chance to allow us to give
one specific answer to one specific case and why that answer is justice....
it simply doesn't work that way... I am sorry... I truly am.. because
the universe would be so much easier if we could pin down
one specific answer to one specific case and why...
abortion is wrong because it isn't just... that is just another
interpretation... and saying abortion is right because it is about
freedom of choice is just another interpretation...


Again, from my frame of mind, the difference between you and I here is that I provide an argument rooted in the points I raise in my signature threads, and you just seem to shrug and say "that's just the way it is".

I explain why, given the components of my own moral philosophy, answers appear to be embodied in "existential contraptions" flowing out of the actual trajectory of our lives.

So, what are the more or less systemic components of your own moral philosophy? When, in other words, you take on what I construe to be the political prejudices of conservatives like Wendy with your own liberal political prejudices.

Prejudices that I share myself but understand in a very different way.

You say...

Peter Kropotkin wrote: I simply cannot give you what I don't have...
certainty, a positive, secure, satisfied, self-confident answer to
any of your questions.. because certainty doesn't exist.. at least
not in our ambiguous world....I don't even have answers to my questions....
which is why I am always in doubt.....


Okay, but in your reaction to folks like Trump and Wendy, you strike me as another moral and political objectivist intent on arguing that your own value judgments are embraced by you with little or no ambiguity at all. You are right and they are wrong because you embody what is true and they embody what is false.

Where's that ambiguity then?

Peter Kropotkin wrote: if we hold to the value "justice", then we are not being ambiguous are we?"


In what set of circumstances? Based on what set of assumptions regarding that which is said to encompass just values or unjust values?

What the moral and political objectivists do [in my view] is to stuff justice here into two bags: the "one of us" bag and the "one of them" bag. Then -- presto! -- ambiguity and uncertainty are gone!! The is/ought world becomes just another extension of the either/or world. And that presumably will always "comfort and console" folks like you and Wendy.

Just as it surely once comforted and consoled me.


Peter Kropotkin wrote: as I have stated earlier, it doesn't matter under what set of circumstances and what set
of assumptions we have.... the nature of "nature" is simply too chaotic and random, to
ever believe we can pin down circumstances or assumptions, to connect the dots,
as it were...the "connecting the dots" you call for, assumes that we have a
secure, undoubtful, convinced universe.... it is not....our universe is random,
chaotic, doubtful, uncertain, questionable and thus any attempt, any attempt to connect
the dots will fail because every single circumstance and every single assumption including
such values as justice and hate and love... has too many ambiguities,
too many uncertainties about it to be of use, to use.....
every single circumstance is full of ambiguity.. simple as that..
and to pin it down, to connect the dots is impossible because of the
ambiguity, because of the different interpretations we can pile upon
any circumstance, upon any assumptions......


First, of course, this argument is predicated on the assumption that what appears random and chaotic to us isn't really just the inherent manifestation of a wholly determined universe.

And my point is that interactions in the either/or world appear to be anything but random and chaotic. They are simply predicted on the ontological -- teleological? -- order that science is grappling to understand going back to a comprehensive understanding of existence itself.

And, given some measure of human autonomy, even the interactions in the is/ought world are far from being random and chaotic. Instead, they appear embedded in the countless variables that go into human social, political and economic interactions --- many of which we do not fully understand or control. "I" here is always an enormously complex intertwining of genes and memes.
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 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:14 pm

I am going to try to answer your questions in a slightly different way today....

ambiguity: the quality of being open to more then one interpretation: inexactness,
synonyms: ambivalence, equivocation, more obscurity, uncertainty, puzzle,
doubtfulness, enigma.....

ambiguity is tied to possibilities and chance and randomness...
it is ambiguous because there are so many possibilities and
because it is so random and as chance plays a major role in our lives....

I am a man born during the hunter-gatherer age, which lasted a million years
or so, depending upon whom you talk to....

what possibilities did I have during the hunter-gatherer stage of civilization?
not that many... I can hunt or I can gather (although realistically it was women
who gathered and men hunted) I could have been a priest/shaman, chief of the tribe,
warrior, a tool maker, the list I can make of possibilities of the hunter-gatherer isn't
really that large..... there are limited possibilities for the hunter-gatherer...
which means the possibilities are also limited... and limited possibilities means
limited ambiguity....chance and randomness still played a role, but frankly
there weren't a whole lot of possibilities for a human being during this time period...
thus there was a limited amount of ambiguity..

as the centuries passed and cities came to be built, the possibilities of
a human being grew.. chance and randomness still existed but
possibilities like becoming an artist or an musician or a painter or
a hunter or a farmer or a priest or a soldier or …….

the human story is the increase of the possibilities for us...…
you can tell the human story in terms of the growth of possibilities
for us.... cats cannot increase their possibilities nor can dogs nor
can cows or bats or elephants or tree's..... the human story is the story
of our increased possibilities as human beings....

however with the increase of our possibilities comes an increase in
the ambiguity in our lives. Ambiguity is about the possibilities,
the possible interpretations that can exists within any given
situation/ possibility.....

as human beings increase their possibilities, they increase the possibility of
ambiguity...ambiguity is inherent in our growth as a species.....it is part
of who we are......I can no more reduce my ambiguity then I can tear
out my heart...….. we can look at anything, anything at all, and we
can have different interpretations, see different possibilities in anything....

the only way to reduce ambiguity in our lives is to reduce our possibilities....

let us take an example...… a thought experiment:

picture a red ball on the ground...….

there is nothing around but that red ball....

so what are the possibilities, the interpretations of
that ball?

I can offhand think of at least 4 possibilities, a child lost his ball,
an art work, a random event because the ball is actually
isn't there... it is a reflection of something else because the ball is clear...
and others might be able to arrive at a far greater number of possibilities
for that red ball.... that ball because of the number of interpretations,
possibilities, has a great deal of ambiguity..... there is nothing clear or
straight forward about a red ball sitting in the middle of nowhere...…

we humans for simplicity sakes, often mentally reduce the possible
interpretations or possibilities for any given event or situation.....

what are my possibilities right now? I cannot physically do the things I used
to be able to do, but I still have plenty of possibilities available to me....
I could write a book, done that, and I could travel, done that,
and I could start to train to walk either part of or the entire
pacific crest trail.... that has always intrigued me.. as I have walked bits
and pieces over the year....I could just quit my job as a checker, sell my place
and retire... another possibility...… as a 60 year old man, my possibilities are
less then they were 10 or 20 years ago, but they still exist...…

I have the possibility for ambiguity because I have still have possibilities...
once I have been reduced to one choice, one possibility then I have reduced
the number of possible interpretations, the number of possibilities.....

justice is just another ambiguity because justice has a number of
interpretations, a number of different possibilities...…

and when the possibility of justice collides with the possibility of
freedom, we have a collision of conflicting values, of conflicting
goods.....how do we decide between two conflicting values or
two conflicting goods?

as a liberal, I have made my two values being freedom and justice...
what happens when my two primary values collide?

let us take another ongoing, current situation.....

we have those who favor security, the right and then
there are those who favor freedom...….

and we have those who favor security, wanting to limit
freedom, to watch everyone, a police state, where we
have no freedom to speak or to write or to think....
because those who demand security want to be completely
safe, they want to limit freedom or completely end freedom
in the name of safety.....

so they allow the state to moniter our mail, our e-mail, our
telephone conversations, our text messages and all in the name of
security, safety...…

but as a liberal, I want freedom, so I am more then willing to
be a little less safe and to have greater freedom...so, If I could,
I would end all state monitoring of all communications, no more
listening to our phone conversations, no more invasions of our
privacy in the name of security, safety...no more monitoring
our e-mails or our text messaging or our mail...………

I am far more in favor of freedom, which is a value,
then I am afraid which is security, another value....
I favor one value over another.....

now the questions resides, why that value over the other value?

because freedom offers us more possibilities then does safety/security.....

but of course, IAM wants specifics acts based upon specific grounds....

but I have my value/values of freedom.... and with that in mind,
I can decide best how to act when we have conflicting goods or values.....

I will always choose the path of freedom over security...
in other words, given two choices of actions, I will pick
the one that creates or allows greater freedom...

that is how I choose between competing values/goods.....

the value which creates the greatest possibility is the value I will
choose.....

and I can hear IAM saying, but Kropotkin... how do you know?

and I remember I live in a random, chaotic, universe full
of possibilities... I cannot know anything... I have no
basis upon which to make any choice because every single
choice is full of possibilities, ambiguities...……. so
I make the choice that I favor, justice and freedom
over security/safety.... but Kropotkin, you could be wrong...
yep, I could be wrong......and I could make the wrong choice...
choose the wrong possibility... life is like that... we have choices,
possibilities, ambiguities that face us every single step of our human existence...….

there is no right or wrong choice when trying to make a choice between
various possibilities... in other words, I maybe very wrong in my choices
of "liberal" values, freedom, justice, love.....
but we exist within an ambiguous universe....

where my choices are made blind.... and every choice is
full of ambiguity....full of possible interpretations.....
I cannot say with certainty that my "values" are better or
more meaningful then Wendy's values.... I simply can't know.....
I cannot assume or even think that my values have more
meaning or are better then Wendy's.....

they are simply my values, made in the midst of millions
of possible values... why? I have no justification for the values
I have chosen.....the choice of those values are as random
and chaotic as any choice of values we might make....

all I can do is stand here and say, I have these values...
they are conditional values which represent me at this time....

as I have noted before, I have changed my values more then once...
both politically and philosophically....so a battle over values earlier
in my life would have me picking different values because I held different
values...…

our lives are temporary, transient, and our values quite often change
to meet our current temporary situation.....as a teenager, I held
different values because I was a teenager, now I am an old man,
and I hold different values....so this conflict between values, between
conflicting goods changes because those who hold these values, these
goods as it were, changes...…..


the battle between conflicting goods/values is a temporary conflict...
because the values are temporary....today, I will fight the good fight
for freedom and justice... tomorrow, I might renounce those values
and turn to the dark side (but even saying the dark side is a relative one
you have to compare and contrast viewpoints and values to even understand
them, little less condemn them)

Wendy's values/goods as it were, may in fact be correct...
just not from where I sit......the situation determines if the values/
conflicting goods have any "value".. if they are worth being held....

my values are just that, my values.. and Wendy's values are just that
Wendy's values....I cannot honestly say whose values are "right" or "wrong"
but I hold unto my values because I "think" or "believe" that my values
are the right ones... but that is based upon nothing more then
what my own values are.... and as we have seen, those values are changeable...

in the end.. we are left with nothing solid or lasting or permanent....
when I die, my values die with me....and my viewpoint dies with it.....

and when St. Peter asks me, Kropotkin... were you right or wrong?
were you good or evil? where you are friend to human beings and life?

I honestly can't say if I was right or wrong, good or evil.....

I just don't know because my life has been a life of ambiguity,
of possibilities, a life full of choices and chances...….

I cannot speak of yesterday or of tomorrow.....

I can only speak of right here, right now...
and right here and right now.....

I hold these values...….

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
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