Making iambiguous's day

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Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:01 pm

There's been a lot of talk about iambiguous and his obsession with dasein lately.

This has sparked my interest.

Now I know what you're all thinking: shut up, gib! Don't stir the beast! Let it die!

Well, I'm sorry, but I'm going to act for me this time, not for you.

I'm curious to know about deisin, at least Biggy's rendition of it.

So, Biggy, if you're reading this, what can you tell me about dasein? We are talking about Heidegger's concept, aren't we? From what I understand, which is very little, dasein is one's "being in the world". It is a form of phenomenalism, of subjectivism (maybe even idealism?). Right?

And are you a strict follower of Heidegger's philosophy? Part of it only? Or are you just taking his concept of dasein and running with it in your own direction?

Can't wait to see what I'm getting myself into! :D
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:01 am

OH, COME ON!!!
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:18 pm

This is the philosophy forum.

So, if you have a genuine interest in discussing dasein [as I understand it] in an intelligent and civil manner, here's what to do.

1] Go here: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=189516

2] Read the OP.

3] Come back to this thread and note a] the manner in which you do not agree with my reasoning and b] the manner in which it is not applicable to you when your own value judgments come into conflict with another.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:34 am

iambiguous wrote:1] Go here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=189516

2] Read the OP.

3] Come back to this thread and note a] the manner in which you do not agree with my reasoning and b] the manner in which it is not applicable to you when your own value judgments come into conflict with another.


First of all, Biggy, thank you very much for giving me a chance.

Second, that thread don't seem to long. I'll have a read and get back to you. May not be soon, but I will get back to you.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:36 pm

gib wrote:First of all, Biggy, thank you very much for giving me a chance.

Second, that thread don't seem to long. I'll have a read and get back to you. May not be soon, but I will get back to you.


Fine, I'll be looking for your reaction here.

And perhaps we can entice others who are considerably more skeptical of my rendition of it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:30 am

Hey Biggy,

Just wanted you to know I haven't forgot this thread. I read about 3/4 through your "debating dasein" thread when I got nauseous. I will read through the last quarter soon and get back to you.

Interesting so far.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:02 pm

gib wrote:Hey Biggy,

Just wanted you to know I haven't forgot this thread. I read about 3/4 through your "debating dasein" thread when I got nauseous. I will read through the last quarter soon and get back to you.

Interesting so far.


Nauseous? That doesn't portend well regarding your willingness to discuss this intelligently.

Really, I'm not interested in engaging either the Kids here or those out to make me the argument.

Instead, what interests me is this: a] the manner in which you do not agree with my reasoning on the thread and b] the manner in which it is not applicable to you when your own value judgments come into conflict with another.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Iambiguous wrote:Nauseous?


Yeah, nauseous--just at that 3/4 point in the thread--it's where the discussion finally degraded to the usual childish tit for tat:

Uccisor: Well, you do this.

Iambiguous: Yeah well, you do that.

Uccisor: But you did it first.

Iambiguous: No, you did it first.

* ralph!!! *

Anyway, I finally got around to reading that entire thread (it probably would have been much quicker if I just read the OP but I decided to go through the whole thread). It gave me a taste of your philosophical position and style, what you're trying to do, and also what kind of beef others have with you (Uccisor in particular).

You definitely seem to have your philosophy and your approach down to a well rehearsed formula, and I see nothing so far to suggest it is of poor philosophical quality. It's your agenda, what you aim to do with your philosophy when you engage in discussions, that most people seem to have qualms with. But we'll see how things go with me, a subjectivist, idealist, and relativist.

First thing I'd like to note is your comment from the other thread:

Iambiguous wrote:Also, note that Gib has started a new thread in the philosophy forum. It will revolve around those who have perused the OP above and are then willing to discuss a] the manner in which they do not agree with my reasoning and b] the manner in which it is not applicable to their own value judgments when they come into conflict with another.


We can certainly go there if you want, but that's not *necessarily* where I intended to go with this thread. However, I can see how it would easily migrate over to a discussion on a) and b), so I don't think we'll be avoiding that.

First, however, I would like to start with my original questions:

gib wrote:So, Biggy, if you're reading this, what can you tell me about dasein? We are talking about Heidegger's concept, aren't we? From what I understand, which is very little, dasein is one's "being in the world".


and:

gib wrote:It is a form of phenomenalism, of subjectivism (maybe even idealism?). Right?


and:

gib wrote:And are you a strict follower of Heidegger's philosophy? Part of it only? Or are you just taking his concept of dasein and running with it in your own direction?


Then we can discuss a) and b). But I have to warn you, I'm not sure yet that a) I do disagree with your reasoning, and that b) it isn't applicable to my value judgements when they conflict with those of others. <-- So there may not be anything to discuss on this front.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:50 pm

gib wrote:
First thing I'd like to note is your comment from the other thread:

Iambiguous wrote:Also, note that Gib has started a new thread in the philosophy forum. It will revolve around those who have perused the OP above and are then willing to discuss a] the manner in which they do not agree with my reasoning and b] the manner in which it is not applicable to their own value judgments when they come into conflict with another.


We can certainly go there if you want, but that's not *necessarily* where I intended to go with this thread. However, I can see how it would easily migrate over to a discussion on a) and b), so I don't think we'll be avoiding that.


Well, I'll be honest:

My main interest in discussing human identity revolves around the extent to which conflicting narratives regarding it are embedded in our reactions to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments that are exchanged in a world where ultimately what counts is not what you believe is true "in your head" but in what you are able to establish and then sustain in a world in which political and economic power will ultimately prevail.

gib wrote:First, however, I would like to start with my original questions:

So, Biggy, if you're reading this, what can you tell me about dasein? We are talking about Heidegger's concept, aren't we? From what I understand, which is very little, dasein is one's "being in the world".


As I noted elsewhere...

Way back at Towson State University I did read Heidegger in Walt Fuch's class.

But not since.

Mainly I was struck by the idea of being "thrown" at birth -- thrown in a purely fortuitous, adventitious manner -- into a particular historical and cultural context. A particular world. And then as an individual accumulating your own set of "personal experiences" that will never, ever completely overlap that of another's.

It dawned on me: What parts of "I" transcend this? Surely my genetic makeup, my congenital predispositions, my gender, the color of my skin, the purely demographic components of my life.

But what aspects of "I" are more profoundly embedded subjectively in personal opinions and political prejudices?

In other words, that aspect of dasein far, far more problematically embodied in contingency chance and change.

The part that revolves around conflicting goods and political economy.

gib wrote:It is a form of phenomenalism, of subjectivism (maybe even idealism?). Right?


My frame of mind revolves around phenomenon embodied in the actual flesh and blood interaction of men and women out in a particular world such that these interactions precipitate conflicts when different people come up with different [subjective/intersubjective] assessments regarding what the rules of behavior ought to be in any particular human community.

gib wrote:But I have to warn you, I'm not sure yet that a) I do disagree with your reasoning, and that b) it isn't applicable to my value judgements when they conflict with those of others. <-- So there may not be anything to discuss on this front.


Okay. My own assessment of dasein has led me to this conclusion. My "dilemma":

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

What I am most curious to discuss then is the extent to which this either is or is not applicable to you when confronted with those who confront you in turn with value judgments that they insist are more rational than your own.

Is there a way using the tools of philosophy to resolve disputes such as this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:23 am

iambiguous wrote:My main interest in discussing human identity revolves around the extent to which conflicting narratives regarding it are embedded in our reactions to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments that are exchanged in a world where ultimately what counts is not what you believe is true "in your head" but in what you are able to establish and then sustain in a world in which political and economic power will ultimately prevail.


That's quite a packaged statement. It's almost as if you just summarized your entire philosophy in one succinct (or not so succinct) sentence.

I *think* I get the gist of it.

Right now, however, I'm going to put it asside (hope you don't mind) and focus on your answers to my questions. I feel this is an important preliminary step because these will help define, for me, the background from which you are coming, and I can make better sense out of your statement above.

You answered my last question first:

gib wrote:And are you a strict follower of Heidegger's philosophy? Part of it only? Or are you just taking his concept of dasein and running with it in your own direction?


Iambiguous wrote:Way back at Towson State University I did read Heidegger in Walt Fuch's class.

But not since.


So it sounds as though you're taking Heidegger's concept of dasein and running with it.

Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:So, Biggy, if you're reading this, what can you tell me about dasein? We are talking about Heidegger's concept, aren't we? From what I understand, which is very little, dasein is one's "being in the world".


...

Mainly I was struck by the idea of being "thrown" at birth -- thrown in a purely fortuitous, adventitious manner -- into a particular historical and cultural context. A particular world. And then as an individual accumulating your own set of "personal experiences" that will never, ever completely overlap that of another's.

...


Would you say this is how you understand "dasein"?

Iambiguous wrote:But what aspects of "I" are more profoundly embedded subjectively in personal opinions and political prejudices?

In other words, that aspect of dasein far, far more problematically embodied in contingency chance and change.

The part that revolves around conflicting goods and political economy.


So it's this "part" of dasein that you are most interested in, the part that is rooted in our subjective opinions and political prejudices?

Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:It is a form of phenomenalism, of subjectivism (maybe even idealism?). Right?
My frame of mind revolves around phenomenon embodied in the actual flesh and blood interaction of men and women out in a particular world such that these interactions precipitate conflicts when different people come up with different [subjective/intersubjective] assessments regarding what the rules of behavior ought to be in any particular human community.


I think the closest this comes to a "yes" to my question is in your use of the word "phenomenon" in "...phenomenon embodied in the actual flesh and blood interaction of men and women..." So you seem to agree that we are indeed dealing with phenomena (i.e. how things seem) but you also seem to regard those phenomena as real, objective, entities out in the world (flesh and blood men and women). You go on to say more than this, of course, about our interactions, with our prejudices, biases, opinions, values, beliefs ultimately leading to interpersonal and political conflict, but this I suppose is just more phenomena.

I suppose the question comes down to: are you a realist when it comes to our subjective perspectives on the world, or is all this nothing over and above mental apparitions?

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

What I am most curious to discuss then is the extent to which this either is or is not applicable to you when confronted with those who confront you in turn with value judgments that they insist are more rational than your own.


I don't see how it could not apply to me. I mean, aren't we all "thrown" into a particular historical, sociopolitical context? Don't these historical, sociopolitical contexts define who we are to a certain degree?

But when you say "...I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction..." do you mean in that same moment, that same life, being that same self, in the same historical, sociopolitical context? Or do you mean you could have been thrown into a different historical, sociopolitical context, and grew up with different opinions and prejudices, and made different choices?

And how does admitting this cause the "I" to fragment?

Iambiguous wrote:Is there a way using the tools of philosophy to resolve disputes such as this?


Well, sure there is. Resolving these kinds of disputes is doing philosophy.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:24 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:My main interest in discussing human identity revolves around the extent to which conflicting narratives regarding it are embedded in our reactions to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments that are exchanged in a world where ultimately what counts is not what you believe is true "in your head" but in what you are able to establish and then sustain in a world in which political and economic power will ultimately prevail.


That's quite a packaged statement. It's almost as if you just summarized your entire philosophy in one succinct (or not so succinct) sentence.


From my frame of mind [here and now] philosophy has devolved down to this: How ought one to live?

Is this something that philosophers [using the tools at their disposal] can effectively address? And, in particular, when, in addressing it, different individuals come to embrace narratives/agendas that lead to conflict?

gib wrote:And are you a strict follower of Heidegger's philosophy? Part of it only? Or are you just taking his concept of dasein and running with it in your own direction?


Iambiguous wrote:Way back at Towson State University I did read Heidegger in Walt Fuch's class.

But not since.


gib wrote: So it sounds as though you're taking Heidegger's concept of dasein and running with it.


All I can do is note my reaction to the word "dasein":

Dasein is a German word which means "being there" or "presence" often translated in English with the word "existence". It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger particularly in his magnum opus Being and Time. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings.

When we are born we are born here and not there. We are born now and not before or after.

What then is the implication of that as it pertains to the manner in which [through our indoctrination as children] we come to acquire a particular identity? And, especially, as we come to embrace particular moral and political values, particular Gods, particular emotional and psychological reactions to particular events?

But: What of those who come to grasp the existential implications of this, and then ask: How is philosophy able to examine this in such a manner that it is able to propose a methodology for discovering/reaching the "real self" able to know objectively which human behaviors reflect the moral obligation of all rational human beings when conflicts occur.

So, yes, the aspect of dasein that most interest me [by far] is "the part that is rooted in our subjective opinions and political prejudices?"

gib wrote: I suppose the question comes down to: are you a realist when it comes to our subjective perspectives on the world, or is all this nothing over and above mental apparitions?


Well there is the distinction that is made between "realism" in a philosophical sense and "realism" in a moral/political sense.

Very different points of departure, right?

I do not believe in God. I do not believe in Platonic "forms" that, linked to God, somehow transcend conflicting human interactions in the cave.

With respect to value judgments, we live in the cave from the day we are born until the day that we die. At least as far as I am concerned. Unless of course someone who does not believe this is able to demonstrate to me that I should not believe it either.

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

What I am most curious to discuss then is the extent to which this either is or is not applicable to you when confronted with those who confront you in turn with value judgments that they insist are more rational than your own.


gib wrote: I don't see how it could not apply to me. I mean, aren't we all "thrown" into a particular historical, sociopolitical context? Don't these historical, sociopolitical contexts define who we are to a certain degree?


Yes, but my point revolves around those who insist that philosophers are somehow able to transcend all of this and to define/deduce into existence an epistemological "intellectual contraption" whereby all rational men and women are able to invest their one "true self" in behaviors deemed to be the obligation of all reasonable men and women to embrace.

gib wrote: But when you say "...I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction..." do you mean in that same moment, that same life, being that same self, in the same historical, sociopolitical context? Or do you mean you could have been thrown into a different historical, sociopolitical context, and grew up with different opinions and prejudices, and made different choices?


By that I point to this:

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


And what is this but an actual flesh and blood example of how my own values were rooted in dasein. I'm merely noting how it is the accumulation of actual experiences in our life [many of which we have only so much understanding or control over] that can "bump" our lives in any number of different directions. Thus, when we think of "I" in terms of our moral and political values, we need to focus as much on what we did not experience as on what we did.

gib wrote: And how does admitting this cause the "I" to fragment?


Because the more experiences you have the more "I" comes to reflect these experiences as an embodiment of the accumulation of them. It's the difference between being born and raised in a tiny village somewhere where everyone has a place and everyone is in their place [from the cradle to the grave], and being born in the modern world where day after day after day you are bombarded with so much that might be other than who think you are. Meaning there are that many more opportunities that something [or someone] will change that.

Iambiguous wrote:Is there a way using the tools of philosophy to resolve disputes such as this?



gib wrote: Well, sure there is. Resolving these kinds of disputes is doing philosophy.


Okay, choose a particular moral/political conflict and note that which all of us now agree on [philosophically] as the resolution.

Instead, what we have are the objectivists among us insisting that if you embrace their own political prejudices, then it is "resolved". Or those who argue that the resolution is out there [theoretically] but that philosophers have just not been able yet to pin it down.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:29 am

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind [here and now] philosophy has devolved down to this: How ought one to live?


Yes, and this, I believe, is the outcome of synchronizing philosophy with our basic needs as an animal in the game of survival. If philosophy is put to any use at all, it might as well be in line with what we, as a species, are trying to accomplish: our own survival.

iambiguous wrote:Is this something that philosophers [using the tools at their disposal] can effectively address? And, in particular, when, in addressing it, different individuals come to embrace narratives/agendas that lead to conflict?


As I said before, I think this can be done. But at the same time, I see this question being branched off into two different forms: 1) Can philosophers, as a global community, establish a formal methodology for resolving all conflicts based on historical, sociopolitical (and personal?) contexts that any human being might get ensnared by? 2) Can one particular individual, who happens to get into a conflict with another particular individual over conflicts between their historically, and sociopolitically based opinions and prejudices, resolve the conflict by engaging in philosophy with the other individual?

^^ These are two very different questions, I feel.

My answers the these questions are: 1) maybe, 2): yes, it happens all the time.

The next question, on my mind, would be: if 2) is a definitive yes, then is it possible for several such individuals to come together, using the tools of philosophy to resolve their differences, and form an entire network of individuals who are at least willing to use such tools to resolve interpersonal conflict? Do you think, if this were possible, that such a network might happen upon a general formula that works universally? For all such human conflicts?

iambiguous wrote:Dasein is a German word which means "being there" or "presence" often translated in English with the word "existence". It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger particularly in his magnum opus Being and Time. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings.


Thank you for that! :D

BTW, I'm not always sure whether you're quoting yourself or someone else. <-- Just FYI.

iambiguous wrote:When we are born we are born here and not there. We are born now and not before or after.

What then is the implication of that as it pertains to the manner in which [through our indoctrination as children] we come to acquire a particular identity? And, especially, as we come to embrace particular moral and political values, particular Gods, particular emotional and psychological reactions to particular events?


I suppose the implication of that is that none of it is our fault. If we had no say in the particular here and now we found ourselves in when we were thrown into this life, how can we be blamed for acquiring the particular values, beliefs, predispositions, etc. that we eventually acquire? How can we be blamed for making the choices we make?

Are they even choices?

I don't think this kind of philosophy denies the freedom of choice, the freedom of our will, does it? So even if it is not our fault that we were thrown into the particular set of circumstances we were thrown into, we may still bear some degree of responsibility for all the choices we make thereafter.

However, I don't think the severity of retribution for any so-called immoral acts would be nearly as severe as the objectivist would make them. I think the fact that we are not responsible for being in this world in the first place would certainly dampen the severity of retribution.

iambiguous wrote:But: What of those who come to grasp the existential implications of this, and then ask: How is philosophy able to examine this in such a manner that it is able to propose a methodology for discovering/reaching the "real self" able to know objectively which human behaviors reflect the moral obligation of all rational human beings when conflicts occur.


It seems to me they become objectivists.

On the other hand, how can this be if they got there by "grasping the existential implications of this"?

But at this point, I'm still not quite sure what you mean by the "real self".

All philosophy begins as a prejudice. It begins with subjective, personal opinions raised to the level of a "premise". From there, the attempt is to draw implications from these premises using semi-rational principles of thought and arrive at a solid conclusion. Are you asking whether philosophy, given this, is able to arrive at something truly objective and universally applicable?

iambiguous wrote:Well there is the distinction that is made between "realism" in a philosophical sense and "realism" in a moral/political sense.

Very different points of departure, right?

I do not believe in God. I do not believe in Platonic "forms" that, linked to God, somehow transcend conflicting human interactions in the cave.

With respect to value judgments, we live in the cave from the day we are born until the day that we die. At least as far as I am concerned. Unless of course someone who does not believe this is able to demonstrate to me that I should not believe it either.


Ok, so you're a nihilist.

Nihilists, in my experience, typically doubt the reality that we come to know through cognition (knowledge, opinion, rational deduction, etc.), but they have faith in the empirical reality we come to know through sensations.

That seems to describe your outlook so far.

(you'll have to forgive me--I'm an idealist--everything is mental for me :lol:)

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but my point revolves around those who insist that philosophers are somehow able to transcend all of this and to define/deduce into existence an epistemological "intellectual contraption" whereby all rational men and women are able to invest their one "true self" in behaviors deemed to be the obligation of all reasonable men and women to embrace.


Well, it's an interesting question in any case. To be sure, men are capable of arriving at consensus over things that seem undeniably objective--mathematics for example.

iambiguous wrote:And what is this but an actual flesh and blood example of how my own values were rooted in dasein. I'm merely noting how it is the accumulation of actual experiences in our life [many of which we have only so much understanding or control over] that can "bump" our lives in any number of different directions. Thus, when we think of "I" in terms of our moral and political values, we need to focus as much on what we did not experience as on what we did.


Maybe we do. But I think I get your point even without that (having to focus on what we did not experience). You seem to be trying to emphasize how this accumulation of circumstances, as arbitrary and contingent as they seem to be, contributes just as much if not more to our beliefs and values and morality as any instinct within us to "think rationally". Indeed, if these arbitrary and contingent circumstances were different, we would no doubt have adopted different beliefs, values, and morals. <-- It's against the backdrop of this arbitrariness and contingency that your speaking, isn't it? I was hung up on our freedom to make such choices verses our not-being-able-to-help-it (I'm not going to use the word determinism) because of being "thrown" into it. <-- I take it this is not relevant to the point you're making.. or is it?

iambiguous wrote:Because the more experiences you have the more "I" comes to reflect these experiences as an embodiment of the accumulation of them. It's the difference between being born and raised in a tiny village somewhere where everyone has a place and everyone is in their place [from the cradle to the grave], and being born in the modern world where day after day after day you are bombarded with so much that might be other than who think you are. Meaning there are that many more opportunities that something [or someone] will change that.


Well, ok, but does this mean the I "fragments"? Or does it simply reveal that the I is fluid? That it changes from day to day? That it doesn't remain constant?

iambiguous wrote:Okay, choose a particular moral/political conflict and note that which all of us now agree on [philosophically] as the resolution.


:lol: Maybe this answers my question above: what do you mean by philosophy being used to resolve these kinds of conflicts?

My answers were: 1) maybe, and 2) yes, it happens all the time.

You look like you're asking me to provide an example of 1). I don't have an example. I said "maybe" only because I don't see why this is impossible in principle.

But 2) I definitely think is possible and indeed happens all the time.

Do you still want an example?

iambiguous wrote:Instead, what we have are the objectivists among us insisting that if you embrace their own political prejudices, then it is "resolved". Or those who argue that the resolution is out there [theoretically] but that philosophers have just not been able yet to pin it down.


The former I think are stupid. The latter are at least hopeful, though perhaps foolish. But personally, I don't see what could be gained by giving up hope.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Mr Reasonable » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:52 am

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:
Really, I'm not interested in engaging either the Kids here or those out to make me the argument.



Your actions contradict this statement.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:34 pm

mr reasonable wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:
Really, I'm not interested in engaging either the Kids here or those out to make me the argument.



Your actions contradict this statement.


I think you misattributed the quote.
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Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:37 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind [here and now] philosophy has devolved down to this: How ought one to live?


Yes, and this, I believe, is the outcome of synchronizing philosophy with our basic needs as an animal in the game of survival. If philosophy is put to any use at all, it might as well be in line with what we, as a species, are trying to accomplish: our own survival.


There was a time when our species was just starting out. Long before the invention of philosophy. And long, long before the division of labor that precipitated the modern industrial state. Survival in the caves and survival in the modern metropolis -- how is it the same? how is it different? How would philosophers make that distinction?

iambiguous wrote:Is this something that philosophers [using the tools at their disposal] can effectively address? And, in particular, when, in addressing it, different individuals come to embrace narratives/agendas that lead to conflict?


gib wrote: As I said before, I think this can be done. But at the same time, I see this question being branched off into two different forms: 1) Can philosophers, as a global community, establish a formal methodology for resolving all conflicts based on historical, sociopolitical (and personal?) contexts that any human being might get ensnared by? 2) Can one particular individual, who happens to get into a conflict with another particular individual over conflicts between their historically, and sociopolitically based opinions and prejudices, resolve the conflict by engaging in philosophy with the other individual?


My point though is this: Yes, perhaps, it might be possible that philosophers can accomplish this. That one day they will. But what would that argument even begin to sound like such that the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting good is rendered more or less moot?

gib wrote: These are two very different questions, I feel.


I don't see this distinction. With respect to the conflicting goods clearly embedded in an issue like abortion [the birth of the baby vs. a woman's right to kill it] there either is an optimal resolution amongst philosophers or between individuals or there is not. Or so it would seem to me.

gib wrote: My answers the these questions are: 1) maybe, 2): yes, it happens all the time.


What happens all the time? Sure, between two particular individuals an agreement can be reached in which both parties are able to overlap philosophically. But how is this the same as establishing that their agreement is a reflection of the objective truth? For example, in a democracy everyone agrees to abide by the law and the law either allows for abortion on demand, no abortions at all or some abortions in particular sets of circumstances.

But this in my view does not establish that any particular law is a reflection of the objective truth pertaining to conflicting views on the morality of abortion.

And then there those individuals who insist that morality revolves solely around their own self-gratification. Their concern with the law is only that if they break it [or if they behave in a way that the community deems to be immoral] they don't get caught.

gib wrote: The next question, on my mind, would be: if 2) is a definitive yes, then is it possible for several such individuals to come together, using the tools of philosophy to resolve their differences, and form an entire network of individuals who are at least willing to use such tools to resolve interpersonal conflict? Do you think, if this were possible, that such a network might happen upon a general formula that works universally? For all such human conflicts?


Well, other than in the form of a political consensus reached in any particular community [or in one or another world of words i.e. Plato's Republic], when has such a network ever been established such that particular behaviors have been shown either to be or not to be in sync with an "ideal" or a "superior judgment"? A frame of mind in which dasein as I understand it becomes moot?

iambiguous wrote:When we are born we are born here and not there. We are born now and not before or after.

What then is the implication of that as it pertains to the manner in which [through our indoctrination as children] we come to acquire a particular identity? And, especially, as we come to embrace particular moral and political values, particular Gods, particular emotional and psychological reactions to particular events?


gib wrote: I suppose the implication of that is that none of it is our fault. If we had no say in the particular here and now we found ourselves in when we were thrown into this life, how can we be blamed for acquiring the particular values, beliefs, predispositions, etc. that we eventually acquire? How can we be blamed for making the choices we make?


Yes, but increasingly in the modern world the child becomes an adult and acquires more autonomy. How then, in choosing more for herself, is she able to embrace behaviors said to be rational and virtuous rather than irrational and lacking in virtue? How is dasein any less implicated in her life given that what she chooses will still revolve largely around the experiences that she has [and does not have] the people that she meets [and does not meet] and the knowledge/information that she comes into contact with [and does not come into contact with]?

iambiguous wrote:But: What of those who come to grasp the existential implications of this, and then ask: How is philosophy able to examine this in such a manner that it is able to propose a methodology for discovering/reaching the "real self" able to know objectively which human behaviors reflect the moral obligation of all rational human beings when conflicts occur.


gib wrote: It seems to me they become objectivists.


In my view, they become objectivists given the extent to which they come to believe that the "real me" does embody the most rational/ethical behaviors.

gib wrote: On the other hand, how can this be if they got there by "grasping the existential implications of this"?


Once you come to grasp them as I do, moral objectivism is no longer an option. Or, rather, it isn't until someone is able to convince me otherwise.

gib wrote: But at this point, I'm still not quite sure what you mean by the "real self".


That part revolves around this part:

It dawned on me: What parts of "I" transcend this? Surely my genetic makeup, my congenital predispositions, my gender, the color of my skin, the purely demographic components of my life.

But what aspects of "I" are more profoundly embedded subjectively in personal opinions and political prejudices?

In other words, that aspect of dasein far, far more problematically embodied in contingency chance and change.

The part that revolves around conflicting goods and political economy.


In other words, as though, if you stripped away all of the existential layers of your life, you would get to the "core you" -- the essential part able to grasp the way the world really is objectively. Including the part that revolves around "right" and "wrong", "good" and "evil".

gib wrote: All philosophy begins as a prejudice. It begins with subjective, personal opinions raised to the level of a "premise". From there, the attempt is to draw implications from these premises using semi-rational principles of thought and arrive at a solid conclusion. Are you asking whether philosophy, given this, is able to arrive at something truly objective and universally applicable?


In whatever manner others might construe the meaning of philosophy, my own interest in it revolves around its limitations -- limitations pertaining to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting goods embraced in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein.

gib wrote: Nihilists, in my experience, typically doubt the reality that we come to know through cognition (knowledge, opinion, rational deduction, etc.), but they have faith in the empirical reality we come to know through sensations.


Well, not me. I don't doubt the objective reality of mathematics or the laws of physics or the logical rules of language. And our senses often deceive us.

Instead, my interest in nihilism revolves around the relationship between human identity, moral values, political ideals and political economy.

gib wrote: Well, ok, but does this mean the I "fragments"? Or does it simply reveal that the I is fluid? That it changes from day to day? That it doesn't remain constant?


Yeah, that works for me.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:22 pm

iambiguous

My main interest in discussing human identity


Is the way in which someone looks on their self and their individual human identity the same as the feeling of "what it is like to be me"?

revolves around the extent to which conflicting narratives regarding it are embedded in our reactions to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments that are exchanged in a world where ultimately what counts is not what you believe is true "in your head" but in what you are able to establish and then sustain in a world in which political and economic power will ultimately prevail.


I kind of thought that dasein is more like what is experienced on the deepest level when everything else has been stripped away, our ego, our personal identify, our so-called chauvinism, our intellectual thoughts and what is left is simply a kind of nakedness which cannot be denied which we have to affirm in ourself and accept. I thought dasein was who we are and know ourselves to be at our core. Don't mean to be redundant here.

In other words, what it is like to be me - without all of the baggage.

I suppose that I am wrong in this according to you or am I?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:38 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote: iambiguous

My main interest in discussing human identity


Is the way in which someone looks on their self and their individual human identity the same as the feeling of "what it is like to be me"?


Sartre is famous for suggesting that, "Hell is other people". And I always assumed that he was not merely pointing out the obvious: that people can make our lives hell. Instead, people are hell because they objectify us. They take out of us only that which they first put into us: themselves.

I merely suggest that, the more you think about it, the more we are in turn hell to ourselves. Why? Because there is so much about what we think and feel [pertaining to "I" and to our value judgments] that is prefabricated in our youth. And so much that is predicated on a particular set of experiences, relationships and sources of knowledge that we come upon [oft times fortuitously] as more autonomous adults. And in a world teeming with contingency, chance and change.

So, from my frame of mind, dasein can be as much about what you have long forgotten as about what you have not. There are thousands upon thousands of variables that came together over the course of any one particular life as they did versus how you remember them coming together. "I" is simply how you have come to piece them all together "here and now" in order to embrace one moral/political agenda rather than another.

And, besides, whichever side you happen to come down on, both sides are able to make arguments the other side's arguments don't make go away. That's the part where dasein meets conflicting goods: out in a particular world rooted in political economy.

revolves around the extent to which conflicting narratives regarding it are embedded in our reactions to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments that are exchanged in a world where ultimately what counts is not what you believe is true "in your head" but in what you are able to establish and then sustain in a world in which political and economic power will ultimately prevail.


Arcturus Descending wrote: I kind of thought that dasein is more like what is experienced on the deepest level when everything else has been stripped away, our ego, our personal identify, our so-called chauvinism, our intellectual thoughts and what is left is simply a kind of nakedness which cannot be denied which we have to affirm in ourself and accept. I thought dasein was who we are and know ourselves to be at our core. Don't mean to be redundant here.


This is more or less the opposite of my own frame of mind. Dasein [for me] always revolves far more around "becoming" than "being". At least pertaining to the relationship between "I" and conflicting moral/political values/ideals. From my frame of mind there is no "core self" able to attach itself to an objective truth. There are only the particular existential layers of the life that you have lived that predispose you to go in one direction rather than another.

There is then either becoming aware of this or not. And then deciding that, once you are aware of it, what are the implications for your own "self", your own "values/ideals"?

My hunch is that many folks [whom I call objectivists] don't feel at all comfortable with the implications of what I suggest here at all. What do they suggest about their own self-identity? What do they suggest about their own values?

After all, I suggest that so much here is embedded in both an existential fabrication [as a child] and in an existential contraption [as an adult]. That "I" is considerably less "solid" here than many are willing to acknowledge.

And I know this in part because I still recall so vividly my own reaction to Mary's abortion in conjunction with William Barrett's conjectures regarding "rival goods". The first cracks in my own "objectivist mind" began to appear. And it became disorienting to say the least. And now here I am today ever entangled in my "dilemma" above.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 pm

iambiguous wrote:There was a time when our species was just starting out. Long before the invention of philosophy. And long, long before the division of labor that precipitated the modern industrial state. Survival in the caves and survival in the modern metropolis -- how is it the same? how is it different? How would philosophers make that distinction?


Well, there are obvious differences--money, for example--but you must be talking about something much more abstract--perhaps how me must adapt our natural instincts? As a response to my comment about synchronizing philosophy with our basic animal needs, it is true that philosophy emerged long before any considerations of what its pragmatic uses might be (how we ought to live), but if philosophy has funneled down to that question, it can only be because that question has been deemed by modern philosophers as the most important, and that is because of our modern understanding of our position in the game of survival. This could change if our understandings of the world and our cultural values change.

iambiguous wrote:My point though is this: Yes, perhaps, it might be possible that philosophers can accomplish this. That one day they will. But what would that argument even begin to sound like such that the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting good is rendered more or less moot?


I don't profess to know this. Moreover, I don't even know how it could possibly be applied. Most people who end up getting into conflicts over their values and belief, regardless of whether it stems from dasein or whether there is an objective way of settling such matters, just want to win the conflict. They aren't interesting in a generalized formulaic solution to such conflicts that a team of philosophers may have come up with, let alone understand it or even heard of it.

This is why I'm placing all my bets on 2); that is, two individuals doing a bit of philosophy to solve their differences. Option 1), though possible in principle, is entirely impractical, even if it one day happens.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:These are two very different questions, I feel.

I don't see this distinction.


Well, for one thing, option 1) amounts to a generalized formula for resolving all differences between conflicting human values and beliefs rooted in dasein, whereas 2) amounts only to a solution to a particular problem (between two particular men); say, for example, an employer and a manager were disputing the prospect of highering a man of a different race (say X). The employer is an X-ist while the manager is not. They can engage in philosophy to raise and attempt to answer the question: is someone who is X but has Y in their blood (say Y is the race of the employer and manager) still subject to the same treatment as someone who is X through-and-through? If this question is as yet unanswered between the two men, then there is the opportunity to do a bit of philosophy to arrive at an answer that satisfies them both.

For another thing, option 1) is the approach whereby the formula is arrived at first, and then it awaits conflicts in the world to be applied to, whereas 2) starts with a conflict and then philosophy is engaged in to arrive at a solution.

iambiguous wrote:With respect to the conflicting goods clearly embedded in an issue like abortion [the birth of the baby vs. a woman's right to kill it] there either is an optimal resolution amongst philosophers or between individuals or there is not.


Yes, but when you funnel it down to a particular conflict, like abortion vs. the right to life, you don't need a generalized formula that is universally applicable. You can come up with solutions that make sense in the abortion vs. right to life conflict but may not make sense in other conflicts, and if it is between a particular set of individuals, the solution they come up with may not be satisfactory to other individuals in conflict over the same issue (for example, the particular individuals in question may be debating the right for a women to abort her child because she was raped, whereas the same debate may come up at a later time between different individuals but the woman in question was not raped).

iambiguous wrote:What happens all the time? Sure, between two particular individuals an agreement can be reached in which both parties are able to overlap philosophically. But how is this the same as establishing that their agreement is a reflection of the objective truth?


Does it have to be objective? If a conflict is resolved, is that not all that matters?

But let's see if we can answer your question anyway. Obviously, not all conflict resolutions are going to be objective, but that doesn't mean none of them are. I guess it depends on what you mean by "objective": do you mean using objective means (i.e. rationality and logic) to arrive at conclusions, or do you mean arriving at objective "truth"? I think it's easily possible to be rational throughout a debate such that an impartial logician could give his assessment saying, yes, the arguments are objectively valid. But I don't think it's possible to arrive at an objectively true conclusion around issues of morality or value judgements, if that's what you mean, conclusions such as "abortion is wrong" <-- I don't think there's anything objective about that.

iambiguous wrote:Well, other than in the form of a political consensus reached in any particular community [or in one or another world of words i.e. Plato's Republic], when has such a network ever been established such that particular behaviors have been shown either to be or not to be in sync with an "ideal" or a "superior judgment"? A frame of mind in which dasein as I understand it becomes moot?


Well, given that your interest is in arriving at objective truth, I think the chances of this happening are dismal. I've been thinking more in terms of using philosophy for individuals to reason out their differences, but to arrive at objective truth is a different and much taller order. But if there is any hope at all, it might be in observing how individuals work out their differences using philosophy and reason and trying to extract a pattern or common methodology. If there is such a pattern or methodology to be discovered, it *might* be raised to the level of a generalized formula that can be applied to any human differences. But again, I must stress that it most likely will not be a formula that can be imposed on individuals--they most likely will have to mutually agree to use it on their own initiative.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but increasingly in the modern world the child becomes an adult and acquires more autonomy. How then, in choosing more for herself, is she able to embrace behaviors said to be rational and virtuous rather than irrational and lacking in virtue? How is dasein any less implicated in her life given that what she chooses will still revolve largely around the experiences that she has [and does not have] the people that she meets [and does not meet] and the knowledge/information that she comes into contact with [and does not come into contact with]?


Are you asking how it's possible to escape the effects of dasein given autonomy and maturity? In other words, it is thought by many that through the freedom we acquired after maturing and gaining our autonomy, we can "rise above" all our past conditioning and indoctrinations, that we can see what really matters, objectively, rationally. And I think there is some truth to this, but it too is no doubt greatly influence by a culture that encourages rising above petty biases and inherited values and beliefs (assuming we know how to identify them).

It's an interesting question as it requires distinguishing between whether such a thing is merely possible and whether it happens to any great degree. Even in thinking about the nihilists who seem to be capable of dismissing the ideas of morality and values and religious beliefs, etc., it must have been their dasein, their life circumstances and experiences that lead them to their nihilistic stance; and even if we could say that such a nihilistic stance is "objective truth" in the final analysis, they would still at least look like just another force in the social tapestry of conflicting values and positions.

iambiguous wrote:Once you come to grasp them as I do, moral objectivism is no longer an option.


That would be the rational conclusion to come to, I would think. But the irony is with the type of people you're talking about: those who grasp the implications of dasein, as you say, but then proceed to inquire about an objective and universally applicable methodology for resolving interpersonal conflicts rooted in dasein using the tools of philosophy. This conviction must hinge on the belief that there is the potential for human thought to look at the world through objective and impersonal spectacles, and I think there is, but as I said earlier, this potential is confounded by more than just a few variables: how can one be sure they are viewing the world with truly objective spectacles instead of yet more of dasein's effects, for example? Also, how to know whether the person you're dealing with (the person you're in conflict with) is willing and able to do the same. And given that this is possible, will it provide everything we need to resolve all conflicts revolving around value judgements? I mean, having the ability to view the world objectively does not convert inherently subjective value judgements to objective truths--they just fail to show up on the radar.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, as though, if you stripped away all of the existential layers of your life, you would get to the "core you" -- the essential part able to grasp the way the world really is objectively. Including the part that revolves around "right" and "wrong", "good" and "evil".


So this is an "I" which is projected to exist beyond "genetic makeup, my congenital predispositions, my gender, the color of my skin, the purely demographic components of my life..." This would be an extremely difficult "I" to prove the existence of, extremely difficult to prove the persist of.

iambiguous wrote:In whatever manner others might construe the meaning of philosophy, my own interest in it revolves around its limitations -- limitations pertaining to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting goods embraced in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein.


And you believe arriving at objective solutions to the conflicts arising from dasein is one of those limitation.

iambiguous wrote:Well, not me. I don't doubt the objective reality of mathematics or the laws of physics or the logical rules of language.


Ah, but here, we're talking about the objective reality of abstract things, not concrete objects. A lot of nihilists would dismiss the reality of these things on just these grounds, but I can still see how they would be relevant to your questions. Your question, if I may paraphrase, is whether philosophy is capable of establishing the objective legitimacy of certain conclusions revolving around moral value judgements (and other such things) even if that entails talking about purely abstract concepts. It's important, therefore, to not be nihilistic about these things.

iambiguous wrote:Instead, my interest in nihilism revolves around the relationship between human identity, moral values, political ideals and political economy.


These are the things whose reality you doubt, correct?
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Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
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gib
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:10 am

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:There was a time when our species was just starting out. Long before the invention of philosophy. And long, long before the division of labor that precipitated the modern industrial state. Survival in the caves and survival in the modern metropolis -- how is it the same? how is it different? How would philosophers make that distinction?


Well, there are obvious differences--money, for example--but you must be talking about something much more abstract--perhaps how me must adapt our natural instincts? As a response to my comment about synchronizing philosophy with our basic animal needs, it is true that philosophy emerged long before any considerations of what its pragmatic uses might be (how we ought to live), but if philosophy has funneled down to that question, it can only be because that question has been deemed by modern philosophers as the most important, and that is because of our modern understanding of our position in the game of survival. This could change if our understandings of the world and our cultural values change.


From my perspective, the main distinction here is more in line with that which the KT objectivists always bring up: natural morality.

In the beginning -- think the opening scene from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey...or the entire film Quest For Fire -- "natural morality" had little or nothing in the way of historical or cultural contexts. At least not in the manner in which we have come to understand these things today. In other words, rooted in, among other things, "civilization" and "enlightenment". Back then, at the birth of the species, it was far closer to the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, might makes right.

Period.

And back then people basically lived in small, homogeneous communities in which there was a clearly defined place for everyone and it was just understood that everyone would go to the grave clearly embodying his or her place.

Re dasein, how far has the modern industrial state come from that?

Well, as always, it depends on who you ask.

But there are those among us today who will insist -- in reflecting one or another rendition of Nietzsche's "will to power" -- that modern moral philosophy is largely just a sham. Or a scam. That, in a Godless world, we are "beyond good and evil". But: in order to qualify as "one of us" you have to agree that what is "natural" pertaining to human behavior is what "we" say it is. And, at KT, that is always what Satyr/Lyssa says it is.

In other words, abstractly, in the lectures. In a scholastic "analysis" that is said to constitute "serious philosophy". Serious philosophy that is said to encompass a "general description" of the human condition.

And we have the same sort here in turn.

iambiguous wrote:My point though is this: Yes, perhaps, it might be possible that philosophers can accomplish this. That one day they will. But what would that argument even begin to sound like such that the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting good is rendered more or less moot?


gib wrote: I don't profess to know this. Moreover, I don't even know how it could possibly be applied. Most people who end up getting into conflicts over their values and belief, regardless of whether it stems from dasein or whether there is an objective way of settling such matters, just want to win the conflict. They aren't interesting in a generalized formulaic solution to such conflicts that a team of philosophers may have come up with, let alone understand it or even heard of it.


That seems reasonable to me. And this is when I suggest one of three possible "models" that aim to achieve it:

1] might makes right -- a purely autocratic regime
2] right makes might -- a theocratic regime; or one propelled by political ideology; or one [theoreticallly] sustained by philosopher-kings
3] democracy and the rule of law -- the modern industrial state

I merely point out in turn the manner in which [in the modern world] political and economic power will always be crucial factors in determining what those laws will be. In other words, the global economy owned and operated by the moral nihilists concerned by and large only with this: show me the money.

Though, sure, two individuals, in sharing a respect for the tools of philosophy, might use them in order to come to an agreement when one of their own value judgments come into conflict.

I merely note the gap between this and any assumption that might form between them that their own resolution reflects a frame of mind such that if others do not embrace it in turn they are wrong. Or, for the KT ilk, they become "retards" or "morons" or "imbeciles".

iambiguous wrote:With respect to the conflicting goods clearly embedded in an issue like abortion [the birth of the baby vs. a woman's right to kill it] there either is an optimal resolution amongst philosophers or between individuals or there is not.


gib wrote: Yes, but when you funnel it down to a particular conflict, like abortion vs. the right to life, you don't need a generalized formula that is universally applicable. You can come up with solutions that make sense in the abortion vs. right to life conflict but may not make sense in other conflicts, and if it is between a particular set of individuals, the solution they come up with may not be satisfactory to other individuals in conflict over the same issue (for example, the particular individuals in question may be debating the right for a women to abort her child because she was raped, whereas the same debate may come up at a later time between different individuals but the woman in question was not raped).


You may not need a "generalized formula that is universally applicable", true; but, in the absence of it, it would seem to always come down to the particular circumstantial parameters of this or that abortion; and then the subjective/subjunctive points of view regarding an understanding of them. But how does that obviate the points I raise regarding dasein and conflicting goods? We are still confronted with the real world implications of either allowing the baby to live or allowing the woman [and the doctor] to kill it.

And the same sort of thing can be noted regarding all of the other moral and political conflicts that have ever divided the "civilized" and "enlightened" world now for centuries. What has really changed from the time of, say, Plato and Aristotle?

As opposed to what has in fact changed regarding medical science and its capacity to perform abortions with considerably less risk to [and considerably more comfort for] the pregnant woman?

As for the relationship between abortion and rape, the fact that an innocent unborn baby exists as a result of a rape doesn't make him or her any less dead if aborted. Is this then the "right thing to do"? How can this possibly be determined objectively?

My own frame of mind here then becomes entangled in this:

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

And that is when I ask the moral objectivists [either pro-life or pro-choice] to note how they are not entangled in it themselves.

Well, other than by noting that "in their head" they do not "believe" that they are. Or that they simply just "know" that they are not.

In other words:

iambiguous wrote:What happens all the time? Sure, between two particular individuals an agreement can be reached in which both parties are able to overlap philosophically. But how is this the same as establishing that their agreement is a reflection of the objective truth?


gib wrote: Does it have to be objective? If a conflict is resolved, is that not all that matters?


But my point revolves entirely around challenging those who insist not only that it does have to be objective, but that they have in fact already discovered/invented what the actual objective resolution is. And that, of course, is precisely when I confront them with the manner in which I myself construe these conflicts [instead] in terms of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

gib wrote: But let's see if we can answer your question anyway. Obviously, not all conflict resolutions are going to be objective, but that doesn't mean none of them are.


Okay, note one that is. Note one in which if you don't share that frame of mind you are necessarily being irrational; or you are wrong; or, if you act otherwise, you are behaving immorally.

gib wrote: I guess it depends on what you mean by "objective": do you mean using objective means (i.e. rationality and logic) to arrive at conclusions, or do you mean arriving at objective "truth"?


I make it quite clear regarding what I construe to be an "objectivist mind". It is one in which the objectivists argues that you must share their own values or emulate their own behaviors. In other words, if you do embrace their own alleged rational and logical premises than your conclusion will in turn reflect the objective truth. Why? Because theirs does.

Otherwise you are "wrong". You are not "one of us".

gib wrote: I think it's easily possible to be rational throughout a debate such that an impartial logician could give his assessment saying, yes, the arguments are objectively valid. But I don't think it's possible to arrive at an objectively true conclusion around issues of morality or value judgements, if that's what you mean, conclusions such as "abortion is wrong" <-- I don't think there's anything objective about that.


Yes, I can basically agree with this. In fact, you might even call it my point. Then we can shift gears so as to explore the manner in which I came to this conclusion based on the manner in which I scrutinize human interactions that come into conflict from the perspective of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

As opposed to the components of your own argument that had persuaded you to think like this.

iambiguous wrote:...increasingly in the modern world the child becomes an adult and acquires more autonomy. How then, in choosing more for herself, is she able to embrace behaviors said to be rational and virtuous rather than irrational and lacking in virtue? How is dasein any less implicated in her life given that what she chooses will still revolve largely around the experiences that she has [and does not have] the people that she meets [and does not meet] and the knowledge/information that she comes into contact with [and does not come into contact with]?


gib wrote: Are you asking how it's possible to escape the effects of dasein given autonomy and maturity? In other words, it is thought by many that through the freedom we acquired after maturing and gaining our autonomy, we can "rise above" all our past conditioning and indoctrinations, that we can see what really matters, objectively, rationally.


Yes, this is largely what I seek to explore here at ILP:

In my view, one crucial difference between people is the extent to which they become more or less self-conscious of this. Why? Because, obviously, to the extent that they do, they can attempt to deconstruct the past and then reconstruct the future into one of their own more autonomous making.

But then what does this really mean? That is the question that has always fascinated me the most. Once I become cognizant of how profoundly problematic my "self" is, what can "I" do about it? And what are the philosophical implications of acknowledging that identity is, by and large, an existential contraption that is always subject to change without notice? What can we "anchor" our identity to so as to make this prefabricated...fabricated...refabricated world seem less vertiginous? And, thus, more certain.


In other words, using the tools of philosophy, what can we know to be true for all of us: having already recognized the extent to which as children we are basically indoctrinated to view the world [morally and politically] as others instruct us.

And it should be noted that while it is "indoctrination", it is often imparted lovingly. In other words, out of a genuine conviction that you are teaching your children to believe that which is the one true distinction between right and wrong.

That's why it is invariably so effective.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, as though, if you stripped away all of the existential layers of your life, you would get to the "core you" -- the essential part able to grasp the way the world really is objectively. Including the part that revolves around "right" and "wrong", "good" and "evil".


gib wrote: So this is an "I" which is projected to exist beyond "genetic makeup, my congenital predispositions, my gender, the color of my skin, the purely demographic components of my life..." This would be an extremely difficult "I" to prove the existence of, extremely difficult to prove the persist of.


I don't doubt that the manner in which I peruse [and then construe] these things [these relationships] might not be reflective of a truly sophisticated frame of mind. That, in other words, those who do have a far more sophisticated understanding of philosophy as a discipline, might be able to poke any number of holes in the arguments I make.

"I" is after all the most complex and enigmatic form of matter that has ever evolved from the Big Bang; or from whatever it is that first brought existence itself into existence. Whatever that might possibly mean.

But it does seem reasonable to me that a distinction can be made between those aspects of my "self" that are anchored biologically, demographically, factually etc., in the "objective truth", and those aspects which seem to be considerably more problematic. Contingent instead on the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein as it pertains to one's sense of identity, one's moral and political values, one's emotional and psychological reactions to events in the world around us.

iambiguous wrote:In whatever manner others might construe the meaning of philosophy, my own interest in it revolves around its limitations -- limitations pertaining to conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting goods embraced in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein.


gib wrote: And you believe arriving at objective solutions to the conflicts arising from dasein is one of those limitation.


Yes, I believe that most folks embrace a set of moral values because 1] they are indoctrinated as children in a particular historical and cultural context to embody one frame of mind rather than another and 2] because they had a particular set of personal experiences, relationships, sources of information/knowledge etc., that predisposed them to go in one rather than another direction.

And that these existential components are deeply embedded in them such that they may or may not be privy to [aware of] just how much [or how little] control and understanding they really have of or over these enormously complex interactions. Some obviously more so than others. But even to the extent that one thinks this through long and hard, they are still confronted with the gap between what they think they know about them and all that would need to be known in order to actually be fully or wholly informed.

iambiguous wrote:I don't doubt the objective reality of mathematics or the laws of physics or the logical rules of language.


gib wrote: Ah, but here, we're talking about the objective reality of abstract things, not concrete objects.


On the contrary, an objective understanding of the laws of nature is precisely what makes it possible to engineer all of things [objects] that most of us just take for granted. Including this very technology that we use to exchange these abstractions.

gib wrote: Your question, if I may paraphrase, is whether philosophy is capable of establishing the objective legitimacy of certain conclusions revolving around moral value judgements (and other such things) even if that entails talking about purely abstract concepts. It's important, therefore, to not be nihilistic about these things.


From my frame of mind, in a world sans God, moral nihilism seems to be the most reasonable manner in which to address conflicting value judgments that precipitate conflicting behaviors.

On the other hand, moral nihilists are just as capable of precipitating and inflicting human pain and suffering as are the moral objectivists. Even more so if you focus the beam in on those who own and operated the global economy. After all, I suspect that very few of them are motivated by...deontological considerations?
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
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:00 pm

iambiguous wrote:In the beginning -- think the opening scene from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey...or the entire film Quest For Fire -- "natural morality" had little or nothing in the way of historical or cultural contexts. At least not in the manner in which we have come to understand these things today. In other words, rooted in, among other things, "civilization" and "enlightenment". Back then, at the birth of the species, it was far closer to the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, might makes right.


I'm not sure there was such a thing as morality back then--not in concept anyway--but I think there were certain acts or things people would say or personality types that would anger most people--lying for example--and when you think about most of these behaviors and such that usually anger people in virtue of their "immoral" character (what we would call "immoral" today) they do seem like the kinds of things that would undo the survival of the species if taken to excess. If everyone lied constantly, for example, then communication and social harmony would break down and we would lose one of the most essential pillars of our survival: social cohesion and security.

Yes, I am saying that an instinct for morality existed even back then, at least an aversion to certain behaviors and such, which was loosely rooted in our genes (I say loosely because these aversions can be easily overridden or changed, but it's common enough to say that there must be some universal instinct within man to abhor certain kinds of behaviors).

However, it must be said that, at least in my experience, the instinct to respond to so-called "immoral" behaviors seems largely directed towards others and not to one's self. So whereas it might infuriate you when someone keeps lying, you most likely wouldn't bat an eye at the thought of lying yourself.

iambiguous wrote:1] might makes right -- a purely autocratic regime
2] right makes might -- a theocratic regime; or one propelled by political ideology; or one [theoreticallly] sustained by philosopher-kings
3] democracy and the rule of law -- the modern industrial state

I merely point out in turn the manner in which [in the modern world] political and economic power will always be crucial factors in determining what those laws will be. In other words, the global economy owned and operated by the moral nihilists concerned by and large only with this: show me the money.


Are you saying it is the moral nihilists who will climb to the top in any of these regimes?

iambiguous wrote:You may not need a "generalized formula that is universally applicable", true; but, in the absence of it, it would seem to always come down to the particular circumstantial parameters of this or that abortion; and then the subjective/subjunctive points of view regarding an understanding of them. But how does that obviate the points I raise regarding dasein and conflicting goods? We are still confronted with the real world implications of either allowing the baby to live or allowing the woman [and the doctor] to kill it.


Yes, if the main concern is to find the ultimate objective "moral right" then this approach is useless. But as a moral nihilist, I would think this isn't the main concern. The main concern would be: how to establish harmony and peace between people given their conflicting views and values. Though this itself is nearly just as impractical.

iambiguous wrote:As for the relationship between abortion and rape, the fact that an innocent unborn baby exists as a result of a rape doesn't make him or her any less dead if aborted. Is this then the "right thing to do"? How can this possibly be determined objectively?


I don't know. Is this taken into consideration by the individuals involved in the dispute? Is this your concern? Are you asking with a view towards finding the objective moral right or simply resolving the dispute between the two individuals involved.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:But let's see if we can answer your question anyway. Obviously, not all conflict resolutions are going to be objective, but that doesn't mean none of them are.


Okay, note one that is.


Like I said, it depends on what you mean by "objective". I asked this question because it occurs to me that you are after an "objectively true" conclusion as opposed to using objective means to arrive at what might still be a subjective conclusion. I agree with the rationalists and objectivists that reason and logic--an objective method for dispute resolution--can be used to objectively arrive at conclusions (which might still be subjective in their content); but as far as arriving at conclusions that are demonstrated to be "objectively true" in that very process, I take back what I said, at least in regards to morality and value judgements rooted in dasein.

iambiguous wrote:I make it quite clear regarding what I construe to be an "objectivist mind". It is one in which the objectivists argues that you must share their own values or emulate their own behaviors.


I don't think this is what's at the core of the objectivist mindset; it's just a typical end result. Whatever beliefs or values she holds, the objectivist/rationalist believes that she arrived at those beliefs (or verified them) through an objective and rational process. Therefore, it is sometimes the case that she takes it as a foregone conclusion that any disagreement with her amounts to a misuse of, or a failure to use, that same process. It isn't just because they disagree that the objectivist accuses others of being irrational or blind or wrong, etc., but it will often correlate with disagreement.

It has more to do with stubbornness, in my opinion, than being an objectivist, stubbornness in regards to re-examining the grounds upon which the objectivist rests her beliefs and values, for unless she thinks herself infallible, she should take the time to examine the reasoning the other person brings to the table and compare with her own reasoning to see if any new light is shed on the matter which might possibly point to alternate conclusions.

But there is always going to be great resistance to this. Why? Not so much because one is an objectivist, but because objectivism is being used as a crutch, a crutch to hold up some preferred position, some preferred value system, that can be used as leverage against others who work against one's own interests. By painting such positions and values in the objectivist light, one feels she has bolstered her position and made it all the more difficult for others to contend with. But the minute that sticking to her objectivist/rationalist guns forces her to abandon her original position (because, like I said, even objectivists make the occasional mistake), there will be great resistance to re-examining her reasoning, for that would entail a great risk to her own interests, interests that were just previously being served by that same reasoning now being challenged.

iambiguous wrote:But it does seem reasonable to me that a distinction can be made between those aspects of my "self" that are anchored biologically, demographically, factually etc., in the "objective truth", and those aspects which seem to be considerably more problematic. Contingent instead on the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein as it pertains to one's sense of identity, one's moral and political values, one's emotional and psychological reactions to events in the world around us.


So what are you saying here? Are you saying such an "I" actually exists? And if so, is it different from the I that "fragments"?

iambiguous wrote:On the contrary, an objective understanding of the laws of nature is precisely what makes it possible to engineer all of things [objects] that most of us just take for granted. Including this very technology that we use to exchange these abstractions.


Yes, it makes it possible, but that's still different from saying the laws of nature really exist as tangible things. This is part of what makes human thought work so well--it actually abstracts out imaginary constructs, uses them to form inner models of reality and make predictions about it, then in applying the principles that hold these models together and allow for these predictions, you get things like technology, art, and human civilization. My favorite example is the mathematical construct i--the imaginary number--so named precisely because mathematicians are up front about the fact that they just made it up, but they would never confess to making such a bold move unless they knew it would be useful, and you do get marvelous artifacts of technology from it. Concepts and ideas can prove to be very useful, but that doesn't mean they reflect anything real (not in a concrete/tangible sense in any case).

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind, in a world sans God, moral nihilism seems to be the most reasonable manner in which to address conflicting value judgments that precipitate conflicting behaviors.

On the other hand, moral nihilists are just as capable of precipitating and inflicting human pain and suffering as are the moral objectivists. Even more so if you focus the beam in on those who own and operated the global economy. After all, I suspect that very few of them are motivated by...deontological considerations?


I hear that loud and clear.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:48 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:In the beginning -- think the opening scene from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey...or the entire film Quest For Fire -- "natural morality" had little or nothing in the way of historical or cultural contexts. At least not in the manner in which we have come to understand these things today. In other words, rooted in, among other things, "civilization" and "enlightenment". Back then, at the birth of the species, it was far closer to the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, might makes right.


I'm not sure there was such a thing as morality back then--not in concept anyway--but I think there were certain acts or things people would say or personality types that would anger most people--lying for example--and when you think about most of these behaviors and such that usually anger people in virtue of their "immoral" character (what we would call "immoral" today) they do seem like the kinds of things that would undo the survival of the species if taken to excess. If everyone lied constantly, for example, then communication and social harmony would break down and we would lose one of the most essential pillars of our survival: social cohesion and security.


But lying would seem to be much like anything else [even back then]: It would invariably depend on the context and the frame of mind from which that context is understood. As a rule, truth-telling is crucial to social cohesion. But, again, that assumes that the set of behaviors deemed to embody a cohesive whole in any particular community is anything other than a particular political consensus that would revolve around those able to enforce it.

gib wrote: Yes, I am saying that an instinct for morality existed even back then, at least an aversion to certain behaviors and such, which was loosely rooted in our genes (I say loosely because these aversions can be easily overridden or changed, but it's common enough to say that there must be some universal instinct within man to abhor certain kinds of behaviors).


How then would the philosopher today intertwine nature and nurture in order to root out a set of behaviors that comes closest to the manner in which, say, someone like Kant approached lying?

It would seem the closer we come to behaviors said to be rooted in instinct the farther away we would get from morality encompassed in an intellectual contraption where the "truth" seems more applicable to fusing definitions and deductions derived from certain epistemological assumptions regarding what is said to reflect what we either can or cannot actually know about these things philosophically. And thus objectively? And this always strikes me as rather tautological.

gib wrote: However, it must be said that, at least in my experience, the instinct to respond to so-called "immoral" behaviors seems largely directed towards others and not to one's self. So whereas it might infuriate you when someone keeps lying, you most likely wouldn't bat an eye at the thought of lying yourself.


Yes, we rationalize it. But this sort of thing would seem to be synchronized with a world in which the assumption is made that there is no God. Why? Because if there is a God [one said to be omniscient and omnipotent] any and all lies would [could] then be judged wholly from an all-knowing, all-powerful transcendental font.

iambiguous wrote:1] might makes right -- a purely autocratic regime
2] right makes might -- a theocratic regime; or one propelled by political ideology; or one [theoreticallly] sustained by philosopher-kings
3] democracy and the rule of law -- the modern industrial state

I merely point out in turn the manner in which [in the modern world] political and economic power will always be crucial factors in determining what those laws will be. In other words, the global economy owned and operated by the moral nihilists concerned by and large only with this: show me the money.


gib wrote: Are you saying it is the moral nihilists who will climb to the top in any of these regimes?


My argument here revolves around the assumption that in Godless universe, a moral nihilist able to enforce his or her own agenda, could only be supplanted by another who becomes even more powerful still.

It's just that in the modern industrial state [one generally governed by democracy and the rule of law], might makes right is often in contention with right makes might. In other words, those who assume that, in using the tools of philosophy, we are able to either prescribe and to proscribe human behaviors based on a so-called "civilized" or "enlightened" frame of mind. Which in the modern world often revolved around one or another ideological contraption. No God but an assumption that Reason is close enough.

iambiguous wrote:You may not need a "generalized formula that is universally applicable", true; but, in the absence of it, it would seem to always come down to the particular circumstantial parameters of this or that abortion; and then the subjective/subjunctive points of view regarding an understanding of them. But how does that obviate the points I raise regarding dasein and conflicting goods? We are still confronted with the real world implications of either allowing the baby to live or allowing the woman [and the doctor] to kill it.


gib wrote: Yes, if the main concern is to find the ultimate objective "moral right" then this approach is useless. But as a moral nihilist, I would think this isn't the main concern. The main concern would be: how to establish harmony and peace between people given their conflicting views and values. Though this itself is nearly just as impractical.


Well, my main concern as a moral nihilist is in coming up with the least dysfunctional manner in which to reconcile this...

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

...with a practical frame of mind in interacting with others. In other words, if you think as I do, wouldn't you just abandon the effort altogether? I have explored this in some depth with folks like Moreno, but he has since abandoned our exchanges because, well, my frame of mind seems to...disturb him.

iambiguous wrote:As for the relationship between abortion and rape, the fact that an innocent unborn baby exists as a result of a rape doesn't make him or her any less dead if aborted. Is this then the "right thing to do"? How can this possibly be determined objectively?


gib wrote: I don't know. Is this taken into consideration by the individuals involved in the dispute? Is this your concern? Are you asking with a view towards finding the objective moral right or simply resolving the dispute between the two individuals involved.


I'm asking with a view toward anyone offering a possible resolution such that the conflicting goods here can ever be resolved. What would that argument even begin to sound like?

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:But let's see if we can answer your question anyway. Obviously, not all conflict resolutions are going to be objective, but that doesn't mean none of them are.


Okay, note one that is.


gib wrote:Like I said, it depends on what you mean by "objective".


By objective I mean a resolution such that one is able to demonstrate [existentially] that all rational men and women must share it or they cease to be rational men and women.

gib wrote: I asked this question because it occurs to me that you are after an "objectively true" conclusion as opposed to using objective means to arrive at what might still be a subjective conclusion. I agree with the rationalists and objectivists that reason and logic--an objective method for dispute resolution--can be used to objectively arrive at conclusions (which might still be subjective in their content); but as far as arriving at conclusions that are demonstrated to be "objectively true" in that very process, I take back what I said, at least in regards to morality and value judgements rooted in dasein.


Yes, this is the sort of thing that is discussed on threads like this one: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=190059

In other words, an exchange in which it is agreed that in discussing the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" philosophically, we are all at least on the same page...epistemologically? What I do though is to ask those who believe that their own distinction is the optimal one to take their conclusions out into the world of conflicting human behaviors derived from conflicting value judgments and then to note the practical import of their premises/conclusions.

Yet when I do so I am often greeted with disdain. I just don't "get" that what they are doing is what "serious philosophers" pursue while my own approach is entirely inappropriate. It's not real philosophy.

In other words:

iambiguous wrote:I make it quite clear regarding what I construe to be an "objectivist mind". It is one in which the objectivists argues that you must share their own values or emulate their own behaviors.


gib wrote: I don't think this is what's at the core of the objectivist mindset; it's just a typical end result. Whatever beliefs or values she holds, the objectivist/rationalist believes that she arrived at those beliefs (or verified them) through an objective and rational process.


Yes, this is perhaps the best way to put it. But why are they so reluctant then to plug their own "objective and rational processes" into a context in which their own behaviors/value judgment come into conflict with another. As though it misses the whole point of philosophy.

In fact, I often imagine a group of committed Kantians discussing value judgments of their own that clearly come into conflict while each and every one of them defends deontology.

iambiguous wrote:But it does seem reasonable to me that a distinction can be made between those aspects of my "self" that are anchored biologically, demographically, factually etc., in the "objective truth", and those aspects which seem to be considerably more problematic. Contingent instead on the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein as it pertains to one's sense of identity, one's moral and political values, one's emotional and psychological reactions to events in the world around us.


gib wrote: So what are you saying here? Are you saying such an "I" actually exists? And if so, is it different from the I that "fragments"?


I'm saying there is an actual physical entity that comes out of the mother's womb; and that over the course of his or her life acquires a frame of mind encompassed/embodied in "I". I did this, I did that. Where I focus the beam here is on the distinction between what can in fact to be demonstrated as "objectively true" regarding what this physical entity does or does not do and what unfolds when other physical entities get into a conflict regarding this: "Well, he did this, that's true, but what he ought to have done is that instead".

But only pertaining to moral and political value judgments. in other words, as I bring up time and again with mr reasonable, if his own "I" is playing the stock market, there are clearly those choices that he ought to do if his goal is to make rather than to lose money.

But if someone comes along and says "'I' believe that playing the stock market is not something that a moral person would do", how, using the tools of philosophy is this settled?

Again, there may be Kantians who embrace capitalism and Kantians who embrace socialism. While both insist that their politcal values here fall within the framework of a deontological ethics.

Huh?

Well, that's my reaction anyway.

iambiguous wrote:On the contrary, an objective understanding of the laws of nature is precisely what makes it possible to engineer all of things [objects] that most of us just take for granted. Including this very technology that we use to exchange these abstractions.


gib wrote: Yes, it makes it possible, but that's still different from saying the laws of nature really exist as tangible things. This is part of what makes human thought work so well--it actually abstracts out imaginary constructs, uses them to form inner models of reality and make predictions about it, then in applying the principles that hold these models together and allow for these predictions, you get things like technology, art, and human civilization. My favorite example is the mathematical construct i--the imaginary number--so named precisely because mathematicians are up front about the fact that they just made it up, but they would never confess to making such a bold move unless they knew it would be useful, and you do get marvelous artifacts of technology from it. Concepts and ideas can prove to be very useful, but that doesn't mean they reflect anything real (not in a concrete/tangible sense in any case).


Admittedly, this is the sort of analysis I have the most difficulty wrapping my head around. I think: how exactly is it applicable [for all practical purposes] to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as they manifest themselves "out in the world" of actual human interactions that come into conflict?

It may be entirely sound epistemologically but how would it actually be useful in resolving the sort of moral and political conflicts that generate what we call, for example, "the news" from day to day? In other words, the things that often most preoccupy us in our interactions with others.

Everything is fine as long as [for whatever reason] harmony prevails. But what about all the times when it does not? Of what "use value" and "exchange value" is the epistemological agenda then?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:26 am

iambiguous wrote:But lying would seem to be much like anything else [even back then]: It would invariably depend on the context and the frame of mind from which that context is understood. As a rule, truth-telling is crucial to social cohesion. But, again, that assumes that the set of behaviors deemed to embody a cohesive whole in any particular community is anything other than a particular political consensus that would revolve around those able to enforce it.


Well, sure, the "truth" is still subjective, but that doesn't take away from the point that there was (or might have been) an aversion to lying (or what was thought to be a lie), which implies certain psychological precursors to morality.

iambiguous wrote:How then would the philosopher today intertwine nature and nurture in order to root out a set of behaviors that comes closest to the manner in which, say, someone like Kant approached lying?


Why would they want to? I understand what you're getting at: how to translate morality qua instinct into morality qua objective truth (which is not even what Kant tried to do--he started with the assumption that man had, not so much a proto-moral instinct, but the capacity of pure reason, and from that he reasoned his way to an objective universal morality). That's not the conclusion I would aim to reach starting with my assumption of morality qua instinct in early man. Moral relativism is the conclusion I would aim to reach. For me, morality is ultimately determined by one's conscience--whatever one feels "right" about--which is different from simply rationalizing something to yourself so that you can sleep at night. That being said, I think morality is real, just not absolute (it will differ from one conscience to another)--and as an idealist, I believe that the subjectivity of morality is what makes it real (though still relative).

iambiguous wrote:Yes, we rationalize it. But this sort of thing would seem to be synchronized with a world in which the assumption is made that there is no God. Why? Because if there is a God [one said to be omniscient and omnipotent] any and all lies would [could] then be judged wholly from an all-knowing, all-powerful transcendental font.


Yes, that's a round about way of talking about the moral instinct from the other side of the coin--rather than feeling scorn for those who would lie, one feels guilt or fear about the prospect of being accused a liar in the eyes of other--and if that other is God himself, what guilt and fear!

iambiguous wrote:Well, my main concern as a moral nihilist is in coming up with the least dysfunctional manner in which to reconcile this...

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

...with a practical frame of mind in interacting with others. In other words, if you think as I do, wouldn't you just abandon the effort altogether? I have explored this in some depth with folks like Moreno, but he has since abandoned our exchanges because, well, my frame of mind seems to...disturb him.


Have you tried moral relativism?

I honestly think the best you can do is to abandon any universal or objective morality and focus on reconciling the moral conflicts between two particular moral systems--between two individuals or two groups. If morality really isn't objective, then objective morality is impossible in principle. That leaves aligning everyone with a subjective morality, which is impossible in practice. Reconciling two particular moralities is at least philosophically possible (I suppose it probably depends on the moralities in question, but I believe with effort and a willingness to be reasonable, it can be done). You would still need all participants to honor the philosophical spirit of the reconciliation, being open to reason and new ideas, but I believe it could be done.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Are you asking with a view towards finding the objective moral right or simply resolving the dispute between the two individuals involved.
I'm asking with a view toward anyone offering a possible resolution such that the conflicting goods here can ever be resolved. What would that argument even begin to sound like?


Like I've been suggesting, it depends on the individuals involved... which implies you're focus should be more on the latter.

iambiguous wrote:By objective I mean a resolution such that one is able to demonstrate [existentially] that all rational men and women must share it or they cease to be rational men and women.


And what are the facts we are starting with? In order to be deemed rational, one must begin with a set of premises. Are we starting with empirical findings or are we looking for a set of shared, but undemonstrable, assumptions?

iambiguous wrote:In other words, an exchange in which it is agreed that in discussing the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" philosophically, we are all at least on the same page...epistemologically? What I do though is to ask those who believe that their own distinction is the optimal one to take their conclusions out into the world of conflicting human behaviors derived from conflicting value judgments and then to note the practical import of their premises/conclusions.


You mean, take whatever conclusions are left over when all subjective assumptions and opinions are put aside?

iambiguous wrote:I'm saying there is an actual physical entity that comes out of the mother's womb; and that over the course of his or her life acquires a frame of mind encompassed/embodied in "I". I did this, I did that. Where I focus the beam here is on the distinction between what can in fact to be demonstrated as "objectively true" regarding what this physical entity does or does not do and what unfolds when other physical entities get into a conflict regarding this: "Well, he did this, that's true, but what he ought to have done is that instead".


Well, this tells me that, for you, there is no question that the "I" is real, but it's the "ought" which is supposed to apply to this "I" which you question. And I take it that whatever it is about the "I" which renders it subject to so many "oughts" equally comes into question when the "oughts" come into question. When the "oughts" are shown to be baseless, so are those aspects of the "I" which make them subject to the "oughts" (thus the fragmentation).

So I guess the question is: is there anything left of the "I", after this fragmentation, other than the physical entity we are at our birth?

iambiguous wrote:Admittedly, this is the sort of analysis I have the most difficulty wrapping my head around. I think: how exactly is it applicable [for all practical purposes] to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as they manifest themselves "out in the world" of actual human interactions that come into conflict?

It may be entirely sound epistemologically but how would it actually be useful in resolving the sort of moral and political conflicts that generate what we call, for example, "the news" from day to day? In other words, the things that often most preoccupy us in our interactions with others.


If I understand you correctly, you're asking something similar to the question: why is it that everyone can agree on the results of mathematics, but not on the results of philosophy even when we commit ourselves to rigorous logic? I mean, today we have a thorough and rigorous system of logic, full with objective rules and notation that more or less mimics those of mathematics (I'm thinking of predicate calculus). Why are we not able to make the same kinds of strides in philosophy with this as we are in mathematics with its counterpart?

^^ Is that what you mean?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:53 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But lying would seem to be much like anything else [even back then]: It would invariably depend on the context and the frame of mind from which that context is understood. As a rule, truth-telling is crucial to social cohesion. But, again, that assumes that the set of behaviors deemed to embody a cohesive whole in any particular community is anything other than a particular political consensus that would revolve around those able to enforce it.


Well, sure, the "truth" is still subjective, but that doesn't take away from the point that there was (or might have been) an aversion to lying (or what was thought to be a lie), which implies certain psychological precursors to morality.


Yes, I would tend to agree with this. There are aspects of human interaction that some will attempt to grasp philosophically -- aspects rooted in biological imperatives that we have barely begun to scratch the surface regarding. Nature intertwined in nurture. But how exactly? Where does biology end and philosophy begin here?

And lying is certainly a crucial component of this. After all, how would any particular human society sustain functional interactions if the folks in it had to spent most of their time trying to establish whether or not others were lying to them?

But how then is this implicated philosophically in deontology? Or in an ethical agenda that focuses the beam more on consequences [or on utility] construed from the perspective of dasein?

This is what always fascinates me. That crucial distinction I come back to time and again.

In other words...

iambiguous wrote:How then would the philosopher today intertwine nature and nurture in order to root out a set of behaviors that comes closest to the manner in which, say, someone like Kant approached lying?


gib wrote: Why would they want to?


For whatever reason that they might choose to. My point is more in the vicinity of exploring whether or not it is possible to do at all. In other words, what does it mean to argue that, if one wishes to be thought of as a rational human being, one is obligated to think or to feel or to behave in a particular way? But: out in a world bursting at the seams with conflicting goods derived from a point of view that I construe to be embodied in dasein?

gib wrote: I understand what you're getting at: how to translate morality qua instinct into morality qua objective truth (which is not even what Kant tried to do--he started with the assumption that man had, not so much a proto-moral instinct, but the capacity of pure reason, and from that he reasoned his way to an objective universal morality). That's not the conclusion I would aim to reach starting with my assumption of morality qua instinct in early man.


In responding to this, I would ask the Kantian to take this generally abstract assessment out into the world of actual conflicting human behaviors. In other words, to note how he or she might translate their intellectual assumptions into actual working [functional] human relationships in a particular context out in a particular world.

gib wrote: Moral relativism is the conclusion I would aim to reach. For me, morality is ultimately determined by one's conscience--whatever one feels "right" about--which is different from simply rationalizing something to yourself so that you can sleep at night. That being said, I think morality is real, just not absolute (it will differ from one conscience to another)--and as an idealist, I believe that the subjectivity of morality is what makes it real (though still relative).


For me, a "conscience" is no less fabricated existentially re indoctrination as a child; and then reconfigured over and again as an existential contraption throughout adulthood. What the objectivists then do in my view is to obviate the "agony of choice in the face of uncertainty" by subsuming it in one or another scholastic assessment. A world of words whereby a lie is deemed not only to be at odds with objective reality but as well to the extent to which others don't share a particular moral or political agenda said to be in sync with an objective assessment of human reality.

iambiguous wrote:Well, my main concern as a moral nihilist is in coming up with the least dysfunctional manner in which to reconcile this...

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

...with a practical frame of mind in interacting with others. In other words, if you think as I do, wouldn't you just abandon the effort altogether? I have explored this in some depth with folks like Moreno, but he has since abandoned our exchanges because, well, my frame of mind seems to...disturb him.


gib wrote: Have you tried moral relativism?


That only works up to a point for me.

For example, one can embrace the frame of mind that "they are right from their side and we are right from ours". But the assumption is still made that a distinction between right and wrong can be made. But: If you are convinced [as I am] that, in being on one rather than the other side, this is still the embodiment of dasein, then you are acknowledging that had your life been different you might have been on the other side. There does not appear to be a way to extricate oneself from this. And if both sides can embrace a reasonable argument for acting in opposition to each other, there does not appear to be a way to extricate oneself from this either.

Well, other than through taking that "existential leap" such that "here and now" you think this rather than that. But all the while knowing that new experiences, new relationships, new ideas etc., might yank you in another direction.

You suggest:

gib wrote: I honestly think the best you can do is to abandon any universal or objective morality and focus on reconciling the moral conflicts between two particular moral systems--between two individuals or two groups. If morality really isn't objective, then objective morality is impossible in principle. That leaves aligning everyone with a subjective morality, which is impossible in practice. Reconciling two particular moralities is at least philosophically possible (I suppose it probably depends on the moralities in question, but I believe with effort and a willingness to be reasonable, it can be done). You would still need all participants to honor the philosophical spirit of the reconciliation, being open to reason and new ideas, but I believe it could be done.


But what I am always more curious in exploring are actual examples of this "out in the world" such that I might begin to glimpse a possible exit from my "dilemma" above.

That is why I will invariably ask of those whom I construe to be moral objectivist to note how my dilemma above is not applicable to them when their own values come into conflicts with others. In this way they are basically forced to take their "analysis" out into the world that we actually live in.

iambiguous wrote:By objective I mean a resolution such that one is able to demonstrate [existentially] that all rational men and women must share it or they cease to be rational men and women.


gib wrote: And what are the facts we are starting with? In order to be deemed rational, one must begin with a set of premises. Are we starting with empirical findings or are we looking for a set of shared, but undemonstrable, assumptions?


My point though is that both sides can accumulate facts to defend their own moral or political agenda. For example, it is a fact that if you execute Jim for murdering Jane there will be many who loved Jane who view this as justice. Their pain revolves around the loss of Jane. On the other hand, there will be those who loved Jim who view his execution as unjust. Their pain revolves around the loss of Jim.

Which side then is said to reflect the objective truth? Either rationally or empirically? Instead, from my perspective, this is always profoundly [problematically] embedded existentially on particular paths such that both paths are able to be defended as "the right one".

iambiguous wrote:I'm saying there is an actual physical entity that comes out of the mother's womb; and that over the course of his or her life acquires a frame of mind encompassed/embodied in "I". I did this, I did that. Where I focus the beam here is on the distinction between what can in fact to be demonstrated as "objectively true" regarding what this physical entity does or does not do and what unfolds when other physical entities get into a conflict regarding this: "Well, he did this, that's true, but what he ought to have done is that instead".


gib wrote: Well, this tells me that, for you, there is no question that the "I" is real, but it's the "ought" which is supposed to apply to this "I" which you question.


I'm suggesting that there are clearly aspects of "I" that transcend "personal opinion". You either are or you are not this or that. For instance, you either are or you are not 4' 10" tall. How then would others react if you insisted that you ought to be 6' 10" instead? Why? Because you want to play in the NBA.

There are simply aspects of "you" that are unequivocally linked objectively to "the facts of life".

iambiguous wrote:Admittedly, this is the sort of analysis I have the most difficulty wrapping my head around. I think: how exactly is it applicable [for all practical purposes] to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as they manifest themselves "out in the world" of actual human interactions that come into conflict?

It may be entirely sound epistemologically but how would it actually be useful in resolving the sort of moral and political conflicts that generate what we call, for example, "the news" from day to day? In other words, the things that often most preoccupy us in our interactions with others.


gib wrote: If I understand you correctly, you're asking something similar to the question: why is it that everyone can agree on the results of mathematics, but not on the results of philosophy even when we commit ourselves to rigorous logic?


By and large, I'm asking those intent on exploring that which philosophers can in fact know with certainty regarding the things that most interest me -- human identity and conflicting goods -- to take the "intellectual contraptions" that I can't quite wrap my head around out into the world and, there, to intertwine their ideas [or ideals] existentially in a particular context.

In other words [basically] to "illustrate" their text such that their points might become considerably less abstract.

In fact, more often than not, it is when [as construed by me] their serial abstractions then become serial assertions that I often interject in order to point out that, as I see it, their arguments are generally just defined or deduced into existence as "analysis".

And, sure, with regard to some aspects of logic and epistemology this just goes with the territory. There's no getting around it. I just don't believe that a substantive discussion of identity or values or political power can stop there.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:07 pm

Hey Biggy,

Haven't forgot about this thread. Stay tuned.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:16 am

Hey Biggy,

Sorry for ignoring this thread for so long. I seem to be losing steam. I think the reason is that I started this thread curious about the details of your philosophy, and now I feel like I've got the gist of it (though I'm sure I can always probe deeper). However, I don't want to leave this thread hanging, so I'm going to continue for a little more.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, I would tend to agree with this. There are aspects of human interaction that some will attempt to grasp philosophically -- aspects rooted in biological imperatives that we have barely begun to scratch the surface regarding. Nature intertwined in nurture. But how exactly? Where does biology end and philosophy begin here?

And lying is certainly a crucial component of this. After all, how would any particular human society sustain functional interactions if the folks in it had to spent most of their time trying to establish whether or not others were lying to them?

But how then is this implicated philosophically in deontology? Or in an ethical agenda that focuses the beam more on consequences [or on utility] construed from the perspective of dasein?

This is what always fascinates me. That crucial distinction I come back to time and again.

In other words...

iambiguous wrote:How then would the philosopher today intertwine nature and nurture in order to root out a set of behaviors that comes closest to the manner in which, say, someone like Kant approached lying?



This is only a problem for objectivists.

For a subjectivist like myself, what's first and foremost real in any moral situation is the particular set of circumstances involving the particular set of people it involves, and how that makes one feel morally. Once that's established, then one can philosophically contemplate the generalizability of the circumstance and the people involved and draw certain abstract conclusions about the highest moral principles that apply. In other words, as a subjectivist, we start with: this person is bad for lying about this or that under these particular circumstances. This is rooted in visceral feelings and emotional reactions. Joe, for example, might be pissed off at Sam for lying: "He's a God damned liar! He lied to me about the price of the car!" <-- That rage contains the seeds of what might later grow to be the abstract philosophical concept of a particular morality, but in order to derive that concept, one has to posit the assumption that one is seeing some objective moral truth in the sentiment of rage. Joe can translate his statement "Sam is a God damn liar," into "Sam is a bad person for lying," which in turn can be generalized as "Lying makes one a bad person."

But then comes all the questions about whether certain exceptions might apply, or whether one can imagine a case of lying that doesn't seem so bad after all. Lying to a murderer about the whereabouts of a potential victim, for example. Or maybe lying yourself in order to get out of a questionable situation. The question must be asked: would the same grounds for this moral scenario, the same visceral feelings and emotional reactions from which we drew our moral conclusions, be illicited under every conceivable circumstance? The answer must be this: to the extent to which these visceral feelings and emotional reactions won't be illicited under every conceivable circumstance, we cannot generalize our moral conclusions in the abstract and the impersonally objective.

Some will try. Some will say "Lying is unequivocally wrong... except if it's to a murderer asking where his victim is... or if it's for your own good... or if I'm doing it, etc." <-- But there's no end to how complicated this can get.

In other words, I, as a subjectivist, don't feel the need to go this far. The visceral feelings and emotions that are illicited by this or that situation are enough for me to recognize instances of morality, and by the same token, I recognize the subjectivity and the relativity of it. I don't feel the need, as I presume most objectivists do, to abstract out certain moral principles from this, moral principles that would allegedly apply universally and unconditionally. <-- I don't think this can be done. This is why I don't see the need to answer this question any further; I don't see why you would be so hung up on actually finding a way to translate these visceral feelings and emotions into an impersonal deontology akin to Kantian ethics--unless you only mean it as a challenge to objectivists.

Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Why would they want to?


For whatever reason that they might choose to. My point is more in the vicinity of exploring whether or not it is possible to do at all. In other words, what does it mean to argue that, if one wishes to be thought of as a rational human being, one is obligated to think or to feel or to behave in a particular way? But: out in a world bursting at the seams with conflicting goods derived from a point of view that I construe to be embodied in dasein?


I'd give this question the same treatment as above--namely, that it's not feasible to expect to take these subjectively based, dasein-based values and beliefs and apply them to the real world. This may seem disappointing to some, but there's a reason I keep falling back on the prospect of trying to reconcile the differences between particular parties in the context of particular stand-stills. That, in my estimation, is somewhat more feasible (though still highly unlikely to work). The question I'd ask is: what's wrong with handling conflicts between groups of people on a case-by-case basis?

Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: I understand what you're getting at: how to translate morality qua instinct into morality qua objective truth (which is not even what Kant tried to do--he started with the assumption that man had, not so much a proto-moral instinct, but the capacity of pure reason, and from that he reasoned his way to an objective universal morality). That's not the conclusion I would aim to reach starting with my assumption of morality qua instinct in early man.


In responding to this, I would ask the Kantian to take this generally abstract assessment out into the world of actual conflicting human behaviors. In other words, to note how he or she might translate their intellectual assumptions into actual working [functional] human relationships in a particular context out in a particular world.


Again, same treatment.

Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Moral relativism is the conclusion I would aim to reach. For me, morality is ultimately determined by one's conscience--whatever one feels "right" about--which is different from simply rationalizing something to yourself so that you can sleep at night. That being said, I think morality is real, just not absolute (it will differ from one conscience to another)--and as an idealist, I believe that the subjectivity of morality is what makes it real (though still relative).


For me, a "conscience" is no less fabricated existentially re indoctrination as a child; Yes. and then reconfigured over and again as an existential contraption throughout adulthood. Yes. What the objectivists then do in my view is to obviate the "agony of choice in the face of uncertainty" by subsuming it in one or another scholastic assessment. A world of words whereby a lie is deemed not only to be at odds with objective reality but as well to the extent to which others don't share a particular moral or political agenda said to be in sync with an objective assessment of human reality.


I have no problem agreeing that the conscience is a product of intoctrination, as you say, and subject to reconfiguration and change over the course of one's life time--it is a product of dasein like anything else--but the point for a subjectivist like me is not where the conscience comes from or what it's rooted in, but what it feels like. If, to the subject, his conscience tells him that such-and-such act is "good", then that is what constitutes the good for him in that moment.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Have you tried moral relativism?


That only works up to a point for me.

For example, one can embrace the frame of mind that "they are right from their side and we are right from ours". But the assumption is still made that a distinction between right and wrong can be made. But: If you are convinced [as I am] that, in being on one rather than the other side, this is still the embodiment of dasein, then you are acknowledging that had your life been different you might have been on the other side. There does not appear to be a way to extricate oneself from this. And if both sides can embrace a reasonable argument for acting in opposition to each other, there does not appear to be a way to extricate oneself from this either.


You're right, but one can still be relativistic in one's view even in acknowledging this. One would simply say: if I had gone the other way, then only in relation to that other (hypothetical) way would my views now be wrong. But the fact remains that I am here now, with my current views and my current values, and relative to those, other opposing or conflicting views are wrong, even the ones I may have just as easily embraced in another life.

Think of it this way: it's like Einsteinian relativism. Recognizing the inextricability of dasein in human experiences and human life, which leads irrevocably to the conclusion that our moral objectivism is really baseless, is much like recognizing the baselessness of absolute motion. For every frame of reference in which we say that object X is moving, there is an equally legitimate frame of reference in which we can say that object X is not moving. But rather than draw the conclusion that motion is illusory, we can draw the more reasonable conclusion that something is moving, but what that is exactly is a relative matter--which is to say that now we realize that to say such a thing is meaningless unless we specify the reference frame in which the object is moving.

Remember, the subjectivism of one's position and values means that the reality of these depends only on how one feels about them--not on whether one can rigorously craft a convincing or thoroughly deductive argument, or whether one can amass irrefutable evidence, but simply on how one feels, on what reality seems to one in the moment. Any conflict resulting from that can be resolved through relativism.

Iambiguous wrote:You suggest:

gib wrote: I honestly think the best you can do is to abandon any universal or objective morality and focus on reconciling the moral conflicts between two particular moral systems--between two individuals or two groups. If morality really isn't objective, then objective morality is impossible in principle. That leaves aligning everyone with a subjective morality, which is impossible in practice. Reconciling two particular moralities is at least philosophically possible (I suppose it probably depends on the moralities in question, but I believe with effort and a willingness to be reasonable, it can be done). You would still need all participants to honor the philosophical spirit of the reconciliation, being open to reason and new ideas, but I believe it could be done.


But what I am always more curious in exploring are actual examples of this "out in the world" such that I might begin to glimpse a possible exit from my "dilemma" above.

That is why I will invariably ask of those whom I construe to be moral objectivist to note how my dilemma above is not applicable to them when their own values come into conflicts with others. In this way they are basically forced to take their "analysis" out into the world that we actually live in.


I have very little else to say about this as I've given my opinion on this numerous times before: I think it's just shy of a pipe dream. It's the kind of thing to which one is apt to say: Good luck with that!

I get that for you this is a "dilemma"--you must feel passionate about it to an extent--yet I've gotten the impression you wish to convince objectivists of its futility--not that you're looking to objectivists for an answer, but that you wish for objectivists to abandon the endeavor.

iambiguous wrote:By objective I mean a resolution such that one is able to demonstrate [existentially] that all rational men and women must share it or they cease to be rational men and women.


This could be taken in two ways: internal objectivity and external objectivity. One can try to demonstrate internal objectivity such that everyone who is "rational" must concur with it just by scrutinizing the logical structure of an idea or argument:

1) All grass is green.
2) All men are grass.
3) Therefore, all men are green.

There is technically nothing wrong with the logical structure of this argument, but it obviously has nothing to do with reality (at least one of the premises doesn't).

On the other hand, if the objective person is he who is able to demonstrate to all rational men and women what they must concede, then this presupposed a common starting point for all such men and women--some common aspect or state of reality to which we all have access, that we can all verify for ourselves--and that implies external objectivity--the objectivity of: that object there really exists.
Iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: And what are the facts we are starting with? In order to be deemed rational, one must begin with a set of premises. Are we starting with empirical findings or are we looking for a set of shared, but undemonstrable, assumptions?


My point though is that both sides can accumulate facts to defend their own moral or political agenda. For example, it is a fact that if you execute Jim for murdering Jane there will be many who loved Jane who view this as justice. Their pain revolves around the loss of Jane. On the other hand, there will be those who loved Jim who view his execution as unjust. Their pain revolves around the loss of Jim.

Which side then is said to reflect the objective truth? Either rationally or empirically? Instead, from my perspective, this is always profoundly [problematically] embedded existentially on particular paths such that both paths are able to be defended as "the right one".


The problem here, as with most controversial issues, is that it is a mix of both empirical facts and metaphysical assumptions. The empirical facts in this example are clear: Jim murdered Jane--everyone agree with this. The metaphysical premises is: Murder is wrong. And on this point, the parties will not agree. Jane's family will be the first to put forward this point, but then Jim's family will protest: murder may be wrong, but not in the case of self-defense (for example), and that's what it was in Jim's case. Then a whole other round of argumentation will take place--they will put aside the question of murder--whether it happened or whether it is wrong--and focus on the question of self-defense--bringing in, once again, other empirical facts and other metaphysical assumptions. This can go on indefinitely.

In other words, insofar as the "facts" are clearly empirical, there will rarely be a problem with consensus, but it's all the metaphysical/rational assumptions which are deliberately used to muddy up the waters.

iambiguous wrote:I'm saying there is an actual physical entity that comes out of the mother's womb; and that over the course of his or her life acquires a frame of mind encompassed/embodied in "I". I did this, I did that. Where I focus the beam here is on the distinction between what can in fact to be demonstrated as "objectively true" regarding what this physical entity does or does not do and what unfolds when other physical entities get into a conflict regarding this: "Well, he did this, that's true, but what he ought to have done is that instead".

gib wrote: Well, this tells me that, for you, there is no question that the "I" is real, but it's the "ought" which is supposed to apply to this "I" which you question.


I'm suggesting that there are clearly aspects of "I" that transcend "personal opinion". You either are or you are not this or that. For instance, you either are or you are not 4' 10" tall. How then would others react if you insisted that you ought to be 6' 10" instead? Why? Because you want to play in the NBA.

There are simply aspects of "you" that are unequivocally linked objectively to "the facts of life".


Right, and it reminds me of Hume's distinction between "is" and "ought"--that one can never get to an "ought" from an "is". That being 4' 10" means that one ought to be 6' 10" if one wants to play in the NBA, for example, does not follow, for one could just as easily argue that the NBA ought not to consist of so many tall people.

iambiguous wrote:Admittedly, this is the sort of analysis I have the most difficulty wrapping my head around. I think: how exactly is it applicable [for all practical purposes] to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as they manifest themselves "out in the world" of actual human interactions that come into conflict?

It may be entirely sound epistemologically but how would it actually be useful in resolving the sort of moral and political conflicts that generate what we call, for example, "the news" from day to day? In other words, the things that often most preoccupy us in our interactions with others.

gib wrote: If I understand you correctly, you're asking something similar to the question: why is it that everyone can agree on the results of mathematics, but not on the results of philosophy even when we commit ourselves to rigorous logic?


By and large, I'm asking those intent on exploring that which philosophers can in fact know with certainty regarding the things that most interest me -- human identity and conflicting goods -- to take the "intellectual contraptions" that I can't quite wrap my head around out into the world and, there, to intertwine their ideas [or ideals] existentially in a particular context.

In other words [basically] to "illustrate" their text such that their points might become considerably less abstract.

In fact, more often than not, it is when [as construed by me] their serial abstractions then become serial assertions that I often interject in order to point out that, as I see it, their arguments are generally just defined or deduced into existence as "analysis".

And, sure, with regard to some aspects of logic and epistemology this just goes with the territory. There's no getting around it. I just don't believe that a substantive discussion of identity or values or political power can stop there.


You're right, it doesn't stop there--it isn't designed to--these "intellectual contraptions" that are the products of human analysis are meant to be reapplied to the world. People will naturally be inclined to do so after arriving at their abstract philosophical conclusions.

The problem, in my opinion, is that this process only works half-decently when the focus is over phenomena or subjects that one can be impersonal or unbiased about--for example, how photosynthesis works--for here, people can apply rational analysis without worrying too much that personal bias or unconscious alterior agendas will enter the picture (unless one is invested, as a scientist, in his own contrived hypothesis about how photosynthesis works--then his reputation, career, and livelihood are on the line). This, I believe, is the function for which rational analysis evolved for--figuring out the physical, tangible, hands-on aspects of the world.

Of course, we know that this function has been extended into all kinds of other realms--the spiritual, psychological, and the sociopolitical, among many others--and to an extent it works--not as well as the physical and the tangible--but it works well enough for us to have survived this long. The problem is the degree to which it doesn't work, and the problem here is that its shortcomings in these spheres (the spiritual, psychological, sociopolitical, etc.) is that we are so highly invested in the conclusions we arrive at. If it could be determined that abortion is, in fact, objectively wrong, think about how many people would have to be accountable for this fact--how many people have spent their lives fighting for pro-choice policies, how many people have actually had abortions, how many people would have to compromise their values, their reputations, their careers, etc. This is why when it comes to issues in which we have an extreaordinary amount of personal interest invested, we will allow emotion, bias, and selfish motives to persuade and corrupt our rational thinking. We will deliberately (though most of the time unconsciously) steer our thinking towards the conclusions we have already decided beforehand to arrive at.

We have evolved with this tendency because rational thinking, it turns out, proves useful in conjunction with other motives and mental processes in, not so much arriving at objectively true conclusions, but in meeting our self-interests and ultimately our survival.
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