Making iambiguous's day

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:38 pm

Of course, Faust is a perspectivist. But: is he a perspectivist such that pertaining to conflicting goods and sociopathic behavior he is able to rank particular behaviors as more or less rational?
It would be pretty strange if he could not do such a ranking.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:41 pm

Which you basically avoid like the plague.

Of course with you God does seem to be in there....somewhere. Though you never really seem willing to discuss that "out in the world" that you actually live in from day to day.


You can stop repeating this. I don't intend to discuss any of it with you. :D
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:54 pm

phyllo wrote:Is the sociopath living 'the good life'? Yes, if it's self-defined.


Again, if we accept the dictionary definition of a sociopath as "characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one's goals", we can then ask: To what extent is any one particular individual more or less self-conscious of behaving in this manner?

After all, some folks are more or less on automatic pilot here. They behave in this manner towards others but they really don't give it a whole lot of thought. It is basically the way their life has become shaped and molded by all the variables [experiences, relationships] that have become intertwined in any one particular "I".

Others, however, do think about human behavior more in depth. And they might decide that if there is no God, self-gratification is not necessarily an irrational frame of mind around which to choose ones behaviors. So they act as they do because they are able to rationalize what they do. Indeed, the "show me the money" mentality of those on display in films like Boiler Room and Wall Street are prime examples of this.

It is in fact the moral and political objectivists who insist the factors that I focus in on [dasein, conflicting goods, political economy] are largely moot. Why? Because the rational mind is able to concoct one or another deontological agenda around which the "virtuous" man and woman strives.

And the fact that these "Kingdoms of Ends" are themselves often hopelessly at odds with each other?

Well, go ahead, ask them about that.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:55 pm

phyllo wrote:
Which you basically avoid like the plague.

Of course with you God does seem to be in there....somewhere. Though you never really seem willing to discuss that "out in the world" that you actually live in from day to day.


You can stop repeating this. I don't intend to discuss any of it with you. :D


Note to others:

Why do you suppose this is?
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 phyllo » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:12 pm

phyllo wrote :
I don't intend to discuss any of it with you. :D


Iambig replied :
Note to others:

Why do you suppose this is?

I can provide you with an answer.

It's because I don't believe that you have any interest in what I have to say. Every time that I have opened up about something, you proceeded to try to fit me into your stereotype of an objectivist. You just want to repeat your established argument. You don't really care about my unique experiences or thoughts. Therefore, I do not care to share them any longer.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:38 pm

Faust wrote: iam - you are raising the same three to four points that you always have. I am merely asking that you explain why you claim that consciousness should be demonstrated epistemically/ontologically and the "I" scientifically.

For that matter, I am at a loss as to why how we ought to live is mutually exclusive to how we must live. Everything has limits.


What I am curious about is the extent to which either "serious philosophers" or "reasonable adults" have come to particular conclusions regarding human "consciousness" --- insofar as those conclusions are then made applicable when their actual behaviors come into conflict over value judgments.

How ought one to live? That's my "thing" here. So, if your own conclusions regarding your own conscious mind is not inclined to go there then you should move on to others. That's the only place left that I am inclined to go to.

But, sure, if the 3 or 4 points that I raise are raised in such a manner that they are not technically correct, by all means, point that out. But only to the extent that the points made are then able to be embedded in particular contexts that involve the components of my own argument: identity, value judgments and political power.

Faust wrote: But when I suggest that you have established a false dichotomy, you will ask what on earth I mean. Or you will wonder what it means in a world of negotiation and compromise.


A false dichotomy pertaining to what particular context? Either one or another rendition of might makes right, right makes might or moderation, negotiation and compromise prevails in any particular circumstantial context.

Choose one among the many conflicts available "in the news" and let's discuss it more substantively.

Faust wrote: What is there to negotiate in a pre-determined world?


More to the point: are the negotiations only as they ever could have been?

Faust wrote: What happened to you that you are so afraid of mere ideas?


Cite points I raised above that indicate this. I'm not at all sure what you mean here.

Faust wrote: One may live with a closed mind, or an open one. Or is that too much "serious" philosophy?


My argument clearly revolves around keeping an open mind regarding the world of "is/ought". Even pertaining to the conclusions that I have come to "here and now". After all, am I not myself someone who, through new experiences, relationships and sources of information, might come to change my mind yet again about these things. As I have so many times in the past.

Faust wrote: One may live obsessed with the evils of objectivism or one may recognize a set of psychological truths, biological mandates and physical limitations and make the best of it.


Hardly obsessed.

But what I am most curious to explore is how "one may recognize a set of psychological truths, biological mandates and physical limitations and make the best of it" , is or is not a reasonable reflection on or reaction to either 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.

Or this:

* She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;
*She realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;
*Insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.
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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 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:05 pm

iambiguous wrote:All that I am now interested in here at ILP is this: the manner in which, however someone defines the meaning of a particular word, they note the relevance of that definition in a particular context in which human behaviors come into conflict over value judgments.

Duly noted, but what I'm interested in is trying to paraphrase you in my own words. I am defining "prong #1" and "prong #2" in my own words, but I'm at least trying to mimic your meaning. In what way is the "dilemma of the 'I' fragmenting" and the "dilemma of being entangled in a world bursting at the seams with dasein-based conflicts" (prongs #1 and #2 respectively) relevant in a particular context in which human behaviors come into conflict over value judgments? Isn't this what you're trying explain?

Someone is either able to explain to me what they mean by "consciousness" <-- Forget consciousness, that has nothing to do with prong #1. here or they are not. But I am not arguing that if 1] I don't understand them or 2] I don't agree with them, the problem is with them. I readily acknowledge that the problem may well be with me.

All we can do here is to struggle [century after century after century] to pin these things down. But: Epistemologically and existentially.


Yes, and I think this is just human nature manifesting itself--it will always be thus; I don't think this struggle is leading to any resolution.

iambiguous wrote:For me, this all revolves around "demonstration". The conscious "I" believes or claims to know particular things about its "self", about its "self" out in a particular world.

But what can it demonstrate [empirically, scientifically, mathematically, logically etc.] <-- So "demonstration" isn't limited to the scientific kind for you. as in fact true? One can believe that the state executes prisoners in Texas. And one can surely demonstrate it. One can believe as well that these executions are moral. But how can one demonstrate it? In other words, to demonstrate that in the same manner in which it can be demonstrated that the executions occur.


So a way of making it undeniable?

iambiguous wrote:Okay, but what is crucial is that, if you are alone, isolated from all other conscious entities, there is no one to judge you. But if you are alone and believe in God then your behaviors will be judged.

Yes, the ever watchful eye of the all mighty. Still though, I take you to be saying that an objective morality requires God. The man on the island by himself may feel compelled to uphold some kind of morality (lest he be condemned by God) but it's still going to be an existential contraption/fabrication (and you can imagine a Muslim stuck on one island and a Christian stuck on another half way around the world, both of whom thinking the other's religion is the root of all evil). Unless what you mean to say is that God can create morality. <-- That would make it objectively real.

But, sure, the moral struggle may unfold inside your head alone. For example, you may have convinced yourself that it is unethical to consume animal flesh. But what if on this particular island you either consume the flesh of animals or you starve to death.


Then you either accept hypocrisy or you change your ethics (or die <-- ethics has always been about challenging one's will).

iambiguous wrote:Yes, of course, "for all practical purposes" a consensus can be formed between two or more people. But: An existential contraption if there ever was one. One group of people can agree that abortion is moral. Another group can agree that abortion is immoral. And as long as they never cross paths....


Well, this comes back to my question: what's more of a dilemma to you? Are you more interested with finding an objectively demonstrable morality in order to decide who's right and who's wrong? Or are you more interested in resolving conflict. If the latter, it doesn't matter that the consensus two or more people come to is an existential contraption--so long as it brings peace between them. But if the former, then I don't think you'll ever get what you're looking for, even if it was the whole world.

iambiguous wrote:I'm looking for an argument that might convince me that the "objective truth" as it is applicable to "either/or" relationships is in turn applicable to "is/ought" relationships. An argument that can then be demonstrated "out in the world" and not just "up in the clouds" as intellectual contraptions.


Yes, and it would seem to me that such a demonstration would qualify as establishing the "objective truth".

iambiguous wrote:I mean this: that your values and the values of those you come into conflict with do not seem able to be resolved using the tools of either philosophy or science. They are instead rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And calling yourself a "subjectivist" doesn't make that any less applicable. Or so it seems to me. You might convince him to change his mind and come over to your side [or the other way around] but that doesn't make my dilemma go away. Well, not if you're me.


If your dilemma revolves around finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality, then I agree. If on the other hand, your dilemma revolves around finding ways to resolve conflict, then frankly I'm surprised at this point why you don't see how an approach like mine might be a feasible alternative to the traditional objectivist's approach.

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective, the most important philosophical question is this: How ought one to live? Is there a way in which to determine this deontolgically? Some conclude that there is. And that, indeed, they have already discovered or invented the actual agenda. Then their curiosity gets shrunk down to wondering why there are those who do not agree.

It's funny how the unconscious works away at us, isn't it? One day we might say that what's driving us is just a bit of curiosity, but then once we find our answers, we suddenly feel compelled to reach for a further goal--maybe doing something based on those answers. It's like the unconscious knows that it must split up its ultimate goal into smaller "micro" goals, only allowing one into consciousness at a time so that we're never aware at any one moment what we're really trying to achieve in the end.

It's like the way men will sometimes tell themselves: I'm in love with her. And then once they have sex, he "suddenly" realizes that all he really ever wanted was sex, and now he just doesn't have those fuzzy mushy feelings anymore. He has to tell himself he's in love with her, because whatever he tells himself is what he'll tell her.


The rest [for me] is now more or less embedded in "waiting for godot". Waiting to die. Finding distractions. One of which [ironically] is probing the extent to which my priorities now might possibly be nudged in another direction.


This is why I find it hard to believe that your inquiry into the question of how an objective moralism can be demonstrated is nothing more than a matter of curiosity. I mean, you put way too much energy and thought into these discussions for it to be just a matter of trivial curiosity. Your writing betrays a level of seriousness on par with the seriousness of one's day job, one's way of making a living in order to survive, a pet project that consumes you. This pursuit of looking for a demonstration of an convincing objective morality seems more like a stepping stone that you, consciously or otherwise, know you need to take in order to move back into the world of conflicts and value judgements. It's like you feel the only way to deal with others in such a world is to be able to demonstrate definitively--once and for all--that you're right and others are wrong.

If I can suggest, I'd like to say to you that this is not a very effective strategy, that in the social world, there's a whole swack of different strategies for getting by and dealing with people, more than just a rigorous application of the traditional objectivist approach.

iambiguous wrote:Not sure what you are suggesting here about leverage. But I'll stick by the argument that those who argue that something does in fact exist bear the burden of demonstrating that this is true.


Ok, but that's a rule you can impose on others. It doesn't mean everyone's automatically going to feel compelled to follow that rule (whether at their own hands or those of another).

By "leverage" I mean the belief in God can be used by the atheist to convince the theist to do certain things (possibly to end the conflict). For example, he can say: God would want you to practice love and compassion. This insistence on conflicting with me isn't very loving and compassionate. <-- He can do this before demanding a proof of God's existence.

iambiguous wrote:Someone argues that something either is or is not true. They argue, for example, that Hillary Clinton is campaigning to become president of the United States. Can they demonstrate that? Next they argue that Hillary Clinton ought to be elected to the office because her values are more rational and more ethical. Can they demonstrate that?

It seems rather clear to me: the first proposition can in fact be demonstrated to be true objectively for all of us. The second can only be construed [if I am right] to be a personal/subjective opinion rooted in dasein and in conflicting goods.

Yes, you may be successful in "convincing" others that her values are "in fact" the most rational and ethical. But is that then the same thing as demonstrating that they are?

No, not always, not if "demonstration" implies a level of rigor and undeniability on par with mathematical proof.

And I am not arguing that "we absolutely must have in our philosophical tool belt a moral objectivism that is the demonstrably correct one and/or that can be brought to the table in the midst of conflict with others as a guaranteed solution by which all such conflicts will be resolved."

On the contrary, my argument is that this almost certainly does not exist; and, if not, what then is our best hope to sutain the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions?

And that's where my proposed solutions come in. I've been trying to argue that you can't convince the whole world to follow one ultimate moral path or another, but you can 1) work with individuals and small groups ("two or more individuals" as it were), and 2) what you and these individuals/groups come up with doesn't have to be the objectively demonstrable truth--it can still be an existential contraption/fabrication--but that doesn't necessarily stop it from working as a resolution between you and those individuals/groups that ends the conflict between you.

^ This seems like a simple idea to me. But you seem to struggle to understanding it.


Well, my own "political leap" here is in the general direction of "moderation, negotiation and compromise"; embodied politically in one or another rendition of democracy and the rule of law.

And here there is really no room for the objectivist mentality. In fact, moral objectivists ever and always pose the danger of forming or becoming a part of an autocratic, authoritarian polity. A regime hell-bent on imposing their own dogmas on everyone else. Or in eliminating those not perceived to be "one of us".

I just recognize in turn that moral nihilism can be equally dangerous and destructive. I have absolutely no illusions about that.


You see why I'm confused here, don't you? Any time I propose an approach towards resolving conflict between people (other than by way of the traditional objectivist approach) you tell me: this doesn't resolve my dilemma. I am therefore left to presume your dilemma is that of trying to find a objectively demonstrable moralism that will decide, once and for all, who's right and who's wrong. But here you seem, once again, very interested in resolving conflict between people. You seemingly put your dilemma of trying to find an objectively demonstrable moralism aside--settling on the conclusion that it just can't be done--and move onto "moderation, negotiation and compromise" (which you said a few times is not all that different from the approach I'm proposing). Does this still not resolve your dilemma? What does moderation, negotiation and compromise need to do that it isn't doing already? Will you really not be satisfied until all conflict and all prejudicial value judgements cease and the world finally lives in harmony and peace?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Is_Yde_opN » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:35 pm

Sometimes people talk a lot without saying much.
Probably more often than not actually.
But anyway, if we want or need to understand them for our own sake and if the conventional approach of projecting our qualities onto them as a template to begin understanding them repeatedly fails, then why not try ignoring what they talk and find out what they are saying between the lines.

To say it more straight-forward - To not care about the bullshit, to ignore it, to assume that they are by nature duplicitous and thus we have to look at the patterns of the interaction themselves.


Iambig does not actually care about resolving his ‘dilemma’ of conflicting goods. He does not care about exploring it. - No.
It’s whining, complaining, it’s yammering.
And yammering is not about seeking counsel of any sort, nor about argumentation. It’s a way of establishing a narrative. Thankfully he is not one of those nasty authoritarian objectivists who declare their worldview so that it is immediately obvious, straight-forward so to speak, what is happening.

With yammering it is not always obvious at the start. In some instances it’s similar to ‘concern trolling’.
“Look, I have this trouble with resolving conflicting goods…”

While the message between the lines, repeatedly, is a different one.
It is - Reality, nature, does not matter when it comes to morality.
Neither is there truth, there is popularity.


…and there are those who know how to impress those who are a bit slower than themselves.
That's the brave old world 2.0.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:All that I am now interested in here at ILP is this: the manner in which, however someone defines the meaning of a particular word, they note the relevance of that definition in a particular context in which human behaviors come into conflict over value judgments.


gib wrote: Duly noted, but what I'm interested in is trying to paraphrase you in my own words. I am defining "prong #1" and "prong #2" in my own words, but I'm at least trying to mimic your meaning. In what way is the "dilemma of the 'I' fragmenting" and the "dilemma of being entangled in a world bursting at the seams with dasein-based conflicts" (prongs #1 and #2 respectively) relevant in a particular context in which human behaviors come into conflict over value judgments? Isn't this what you're trying explain?


Here I grapple with trying to understand the extent to which your "subjectivist" frame of mind is not in turn entangled [hopelessly? inherently?] in my dilemma above. "I" fragments only with respect to conflicting behaviors rooted in dasein rooted in conflicting value judgments rooted in conflicting goods rooted "out in a particular world" where what counts [ultimately] is the power one either has or does not have to enforce a particular moral/political agenda.

From my frame of mind it is as though you are saying, "yes, I understand what you are trying to convey [re prong #2] but my own fragmentation [re prong #1] is not nearly as crippling."

We are just not in sync regarding what it means for the mind to be fragmented when it recognizes the manner in which values are existential fabrications/contraptions out in a world where there are no resolutions to the endless conflicts that beset us. Only political prejudices derived from any particular existential leap. Bumping into conflicting prejudices whereby a "consensus" may or may not be reached.

Unless of course I am wrong. And while I often note this, I don't think many fully grasp the extent to which I recognize that I may well be. There were just too many times in the past when I was absolutely certain about one or another narrative. Only to have new experiences, new relationships, new sources of knowledge/information etc., bring the whole thing crumbling down.

iambiguous wrote:For me, this all revolves around "demonstration". The conscious "I" believes or claims to know particular things about its "self", about its "self" out in a particular world.

But what can it demonstrate [empirically, scientifically, mathematically, logically etc.]


gib wrote: So "demonstration" isn't limited to the scientific kind for you.


It is about one's capacity to show others that what they believe is true "in their head" is that which all rational men and women are obligated to believe is true in turn because it has been shown [scientifically or otherwise] to in fact be true.

We don't need a team of scientists to show/demonstrate that it is in fact true that gun violence is rampant in America. But: Are there any scientists able to demonstrate what ought to be done about it? Are there scientists/philosophers around able to establish that private citizens either ought or ought not be permitted to own guns?

iambiguous wrote:Okay, but what is crucial is that, if you are alone, isolated from all other conscious entities, there is no one to judge you. But if you are alone and believe in God then your behaviors will be judged.


gib wrote: Yes, the ever watchful eye of the all mighty. Still though, I take you to be saying that an objective morality requires God.


Yes. But then another paradox pops up. If God is said to be omniscient then morality would seem to be moot. Why? Because mere mortals can never choose to do anything that God is not already cognizant of. Similarly, if science proves beyond all doubt that human autonomy is an illusion -- i.e. we "choose" only that which we could not not have chosen -- than morality would seem to be moot here as well.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, of course, "for all practical purposes" a consensus can be formed between two or more people. But: An existential contraption if there ever was one. One group of people can agree that abortion is moral. Another group can agree that abortion is immoral. And as long as they never cross paths....


gib wrote: Well, this comes back to my question: what's more of a dilemma to you? Are you more interested with finding an objectively demonstrable morality in order to decide who's right and who's wrong? Or are you more interested in resolving conflict. If the latter, it doesn't matter that the consensus two or more people come to is an existential contraption--so long as it brings peace between them. But if the former, then I don't think you'll ever get what you're looking for, even if it was the whole world.


If, regarding the aborting of human babies, you are able to demonstrate the existence of an objective morality then the conflict is resolved in the sense that one side's chosen behaviors are more or less in sync with it. The side less in sync with it might still choose to behave as they do, but it can at least be demonstrated that their behaviors are less reasonable. And for many objectivists, the less reasonable the less virtuous.

It would be as though a God is shown to exist objectively but some still refuse to obey His Commandments.

As for the "consensus", sure, if, within any given community, an agreement results in a harmonious interact among all citizens, fine. "For all practical purposes" it is as though morality here is objective. My point though is that this does not make it so. Variables within the community can change, disturbing the consensus. Or this community can come into contact with another community that does not share their moral values. Then what?

I mean this: that your values and the values of those you come into conflict with do not seem able to be resolved using the tools of either philosophy or science. They are instead rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And calling yourself a "subjectivist" doesn't make that any less applicable. Or so it seems to me. You might convince him to change his mind and come over to your side [or the other way around] but that doesn't make my dilemma go away. Well, not if you're me.


gib wrote: If your dilemma revolves around finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality, then I agree. If on the other hand, your dilemma revolves around finding ways to resolve conflict, then frankly I'm surprised at this point why you don't see how an approach like mine might be a feasible alternative to the traditional objectivist's approach.


That's because as much as I do explore possible antidotes to my dilemma, I am also here to expose what I construe to be the dangers inherent in moral objectivism. For many objectivists the only "resolution" to the conflict revolves around the extent to which others are willing to become "one of us".

And then there are those who manage to convince themselves that in establishing a consensus my dilemma goes away. But that is true only to the extent that one is able to demonstrate that the components of my dilemma -- dasein, conflicting goods, political economy -- are no longer applicable pertaining to the consensus itself.

The rest [for me] is now more or less embedded in "waiting for godot". Waiting to die. Finding distractions. One of which [ironically] is probing the extent to which my priorities now might possibly be nudged in another direction.


gib wrote: This is why I find it hard to believe that your inquiry into the question of how an objective moralism can be demonstrated is nothing more than a matter of curiosity. I mean, you put way too much energy and thought into these discussions for it to be just a matter of trivial curiosity. Your writing betrays a level of seriousness on par with the seriousness of one's day job, one's way of making a living in order to survive, a pet project that consumes you. This pursuit of looking for a demonstration of an convincing objective morality seems more like a stepping stone that you, consciously or otherwise, know you need to take in order to move back into the world of conflicts and value judgements. It's like you feel the only way to deal with others in such a world is to be able to demonstrate definitively--once and for all--that you're right and others are wrong.


Maybe. Human psychology is hard to pin down: Why do we do what we do? How do we know for sure what motivates us?

I think my motivation revolves mostly around engaging objectivists in polemics. Wielding words as swords.

And then there's the part about death. And the part about what's on the other side. And the part about how one connects the dots between God on that side and morality on this side. The stuff I explore here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=186929

But, sure, you might actually be closer to the "real reason" than I am.

The bottom line however is that for health reasons I am no longer "out in the world" interacting with others. I am just basically waiting to die. And in the interim needing distractions to fill up the hours: music, film, PBS, the Science Channel, philosophy. And other lesser things. "Strategy" no longer really enters into anymore. Here though we are always at the intersection of "my philosophy of life" and "my options".

iambiguous wrote:Not sure what you are suggesting here about leverage. But I'll stick by the argument that those who argue that something does in fact exist bear the burden of demonstrating that this is true.


gib wrote: Ok, but that's a rule you can impose on others. It doesn't mean everyone's automatically going to feel compelled to follow that rule (whether at their own hands or those of another).


Well, if others wish to argue the fact that they believe or claim to know that God does exist [or that abortion is immoral or that modern art isn't beautiful etc.], is as far as they need go, then, fine, that "works" for them.

Just not for me.

gib wrote: By "leverage" I mean the belief in God can be used by the atheist to convince the theist to do certain things (possibly to end the conflict). For example, he can say: God would want you to practice love and compassion. This insistence on conflicting with me isn't very loving and compassionate. <-- He can do this before demanding a proof of God's existence.


Sorry, still not quite sure what you mean here. The theist can always come up with a frame of mind that "answers" the objections of the atheist. For example, the theist might note that in bringing the atheist over to God she is practising the ultimate in love and compassion.

And I am not arguing that "we absolutely must have in our philosophical tool belt a moral objectivism that is the demonstrably correct one and/or that can be brought to the table in the midst of conflict with others as a guaranteed solution by which all such conflicts will be resolved."

On the contrary, my argument is that this almost certainly does not exist; and, if not, what then is our best hope to sutain the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions?


gib wrote: And that's where my proposed solutions come in. I've been trying to argue that you can't convince the whole world to follow one ultimate moral path or another, but you can 1) work with individuals and small groups ("two or more individuals" as it were), and 2) what you and these individuals/groups come up with doesn't have to be the objectively demonstrable truth--it can still be an existential contraption/fabrication--but that doesn't necessarily stop it from working as a resolution between you and those individuals/groups that ends the conflict between you.
^ This seems like a simple idea to me. But you seem to struggle to understanding it.


Yes, you work with others to form practical solutions "here and now" for any one particular community of men and women. But to the extent that you acknowledge the practical implications of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy is the extent to which you recognize this consensus as just an existential contraption. Ever subject to change in world awash in contingency, chance and change.

In other words, there any number of actual new contexts that can unfold in which the idea becomes less and less simple. If the conflicting goods revolving around abortion was confined to just a small village isolated from the "modern world", one might be more inclined to imagine your frame of mind. But in the modern industrial metropolis? Where customs and folkways and mores become the law of the land? What's the consensus there? And how is it not always precarious?

Well, my own "political leap" here is in the general direction of "moderation, negotiation and compromise"; embodied politically in one or another rendition of democracy and the rule of law.

And here there is really no room for the objectivist mentality. In fact, moral objectivists ever and always pose the danger of forming or becoming a part of an autocratic, authoritarian polity. A regime hell-bent on imposing their own dogmas on everyone else. Or in eliminating those not perceived to be "one of us".

I just recognize in turn that moral nihilism can be equally dangerous and destructive. I have absolutely no illusions about that.


gib wrote: You see why I'm confused here, don't you? Any time I propose an approach towards resolving conflict between people (other than by way of the traditional objectivist approach) you tell me: this doesn't resolve my dilemma. I am therefore left to presume your dilemma is that of trying to find a objectively demonstrable moralism that will decide, once and for all, who's right and who's wrong.


I would agree that only to the extent that there does in fact exist a foundation upon which to establish an objective morality [rooted either in God or Reason] does it appear likely [to me] that my dilemma will ever go away.

gib wrote: But here you seem, once again, very interested in resolving conflict between people. You seemingly put your dilemma of trying to find an objectively demonstrable moralism aside--settling on the conclusion that it just can't be done--and move onto "moderation, negotiation and compromise" (which you said a few times is not all that different from the approach I'm proposing). Does this still not resolve your dilemma? What does moderation, negotiation and compromise need to do that it isn't doing already? Will you really not be satisfied until all conflict and all prejudicial value judgements cease and the world finally lives in harmony and peace?


In "resolving" conflicts. And, if my own frame of mind pertaining to moral nihilism is correct, that would revolve around moderation, negotiation and compromise: democracy and the rule of law. It's just that I don't have any illusions regarding the contributions here of folks like Marx [political economy] and Nietzsche [beyond good and evil].

But: How can my dilemma really be blunted in a world where any particular examples of moderation, negotiation and compromise are still embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? They don't go away. "I" is still profoundly fragmented.
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 iambiguous » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:35 pm

Is_Yde_opN wrote:Sometimes people talk a lot without saying much.
Probably more often than not actually.
But anyway, if we want or need to understand them for our own sake and if the conventional approach of projecting our qualities onto them as a template to begin understanding them repeatedly fails, then why not try ignoring what they talk and find out what they are saying between the lines.

To say it more straight-forward - To not care about the bullshit, to ignore it, to assume that they are by nature duplicitous and thus we have to look at the patterns of the interaction themselves.


Iambig does not actually care about resolving his ‘dilemma’ of conflicting goods. He does not care about exploring it. - No.
It’s whining, complaining, it’s yammering.
And yammering is not about seeking counsel of any sort, nor about argumentation. It’s a way of establishing a narrative. Thankfully he is not one of those nasty authoritarian objectivists who declare their worldview so that it is immediately obvious, straight-forward so to speak, what is happening.

With yammering it is not always obvious at the start. In some instances it’s similar to ‘concern trolling’.
“Look, I have this trouble with resolving conflicting goods…”

While the message between the lines, repeatedly, is a different one.
It is - Reality, nature, does not matter when it comes to morality.
Neither is there truth, there is popularity.


…and there are those who know how to impress those who are a bit slower than themselves.
That's the brave old world 2.0.



Note to others...

As you might well imagine, I have bumped into this sort of "rebuttal" time and again over the years.

Instead of actually engaging in depth the points that I raise -- as Gib clearly is -- he/she makes me the argument instead.

Yawn.

On the other hand, I am certainly willing to start anew. This poster seems to argue that I argue that "reality, nature does matter when it comes to morality."

Now, I suspect he/she means this: "My own analysis of reality and nature is by definition the default in assessing any and all conflicting goods."

Go ahead, ask him/her.

Or, okay, I will:

Is that what you mean?

And, whether you do or you don't, choose a set of behaviors that we are all familiar with and we can discuss how all rational human beings are obligated to behave. Is this in whatever particular manner that you presume to be in sync with "reality and nature".

Indeed, can you give us an example whereby your own value judgment is shown [demonstrated] to be in sync with the truth rather than in sync with that which is merely popular?
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 Is_Yde_opN » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:25 pm

Note to others...
"Is there anybody out there?"
"Can you hear me?"

....
Well can you, can you show me what is not about popularity??
....
The points I raise... not that they are the truth... but anyway there is no truth, all argumentation is ultimately just a popularity contest, am I right??
I don't mean right, I do mean do you like what I am saying, do you prefer what I am saying, does it make you feel good, better, the best you've come to know thus far??
...


As I was saying.
tsk tsk tsk...

You accept no arguments, you are not interested in any so why not make it about you?
That's what is actually interesting about you - Your points aren't. Or let's say arguing about those points in particular with you (and the 'with you' is the emphasis here) isn't interesting.


So what if your those points are not being popular (here), why keep repeating them? Unable to learn from a lack of popularity? Not capable of changing to a more popular way of seeing the world?
What keeps you coming back and resisting the resistance of those who reject your way of looking at reality? What fuels your agenda? It's not the popularity which keeps you coming back.

So how do you actually know what is popular? Because you have heard it on TV? From the reporters? From the academics?
All those institutions which are across the board unpopular at the moment? As in below 50% popular.

Besides that, you do know that popularity can be manufactured by a small part of the society, right?
Not to an absolute degree but we won't get into that, not with you anyway.

R.B. Cialdini in Influence - ... wrote:To discover what they are, we can once again look to the American experience in the Chinese prison camps of Korea. It is important to understand that the major intent of the Chinese was not simply to extract information from their prisoners. It was to indoctrinate them, to change their attitudes and perceptions of themselves, of their political system, of their country's role in the war, and of communism. And there is evidence that the program often worked alarmingly well.
Dr. Henry Segal, chief of the neuropsychiatric evaluation team that examined returning POWs at the war's end, reported that war-related beliefs had been substantially shifted. The majority of the men believed the Chinese story that the United States had used germ warfare, and many felt that their own forces had been the initial aggressors in starting the war.


Maybe happiness is it. The more happier the better.
Happiness ratings are through the roof I hear, ever increasing in progressive wonderland.
Actually they are not but then they say that misery loves company so you won't be dismayed about that.

Tyranny yes or no is not your concern.
Authoritarianism yes or no does not matter either.
What matters to you in that regard is who gets to be the one who tells everybody how it's going to be. And that's not about a particular person but about a quality. Truth is a big no no. Feelz is goood.

And what kind of Truth am I actually talking about in this case? Is it the truth as understood by an actual moral objectivist? No. I mean, that's the puppet that iambig enjoys to attack but it's just a ruse, maybe even unbeknownst to him himself. What is a big no no for iambig (and many others) is actual reality.
And now some will think, - "Well, it's always just an interpretation of reality. What makes you think that you understand how things really are?"
To what I will say - Sure. But me knowing what it is, is not important in what I am saying here, because no matter what it is, what is essential, what is of utmost importance to iambig (and many like him in that regard) is that interpretation of reality is free to be whatever it pleases. We can say, reality might as well not even exist, it's ideally of no consideration, not worthwhile to even attempt to understand what it really is.

See, it doesn't matter what reality is. The critique and argumentation of iambig (and m...) is not aimed at criticising a particular view or argument of somebody, anybody. No. It's saying that reality outside manmade interpretations ought not to matter. Ought not to matter. That's the core ought imperative here which is conveyed with various rhetorical techniques.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:13 pm

All that furious huffing and puffing and Is_Yde_opN still doesn't manage to get around to this:

...choose a set of behaviors that we are all familiar with and we can discuss how all rational human beings are obligated to behave. Is this in whatever particular manner that you presume to be in sync with "reality and nature"?

Indeed, can you give us an example whereby your own value judgment is shown [demonstrated] to be in sync with the truth rather than in sync with that which is merely popular?


Well, except in the most general sort of way. You know, like Satyr/Lyssa once did. Among others.

Prong #2 we call it here.

Besides, just as sheriff Jason McCullough was always only on his way to Australia, I am only always waiting here for godot.

You ain't godot, are you? :-k
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 Is_Yde_opN » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:11 am

Biggy wrote:Indeed, can you give us an example whereby your own value judgment is shown [demonstrated] to be in sync with the truth rather than in sync with that which is merely popular?


When would a value judgement be disengaged from reality?
Are those people disengaged from reality?

Apparently, according to Biggy they are in an alternate dimension he calls Dasein.
And in that dimension reality doesn't matter.

Now Biggy'esque people would argue - "But you are telling everybody what reality is, what it means, what one ought to do!"
Really? You haven't understood what people are saying when you 'raise your points'.

Abortion - Yes or No?
Biggster would like to reduce all inquiry down to his level where the answer is reduced to either Yes or No or his enlightened "It's all just an opinion, man".
And after he has done so he will pat himself on the back for reducing it to the level of the moral objectivist thinking.

Because for Biggster the Yes or the No tells something about how much in touch with reality somebody is, or, he would like us all to believe that that's the way how it would or could work and since that would be ridiculous, reality and truth is ridiculed.

Or to put it in a nutshell for the above average - The way how Biggy thinks of truth and reality and morality is how a moral objectivist thinks about those things.

The slow minded might protest at this, thinking - "Preposterous, ridiculous, me, thinking like a moral objectivist, the opposite is the case!"
The framework, the framework is the same, what is truth, what is reality, what is morality supposed to be - that's adopted from the moral objectivist.
And no, that's not the one and only framework. That's the framework of somebody who wants to escape reality with sweet lies that they tell themselves, hopefully able to postpone the day of social failure till another generation.

Reminds me of teenagers learning the mysteries of "Nothing is true and everything is permitted."
LOL
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:50 am

Hey Biggy,

Just wanted to say I haven't forgotten about you. Been busy. This Friday I'm going to *try* to get my latest installment of the Rick and Morty thread posted, and if I have time after, I'll respond to you. Otherwise, it may be another week. But I will reply.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:57 pm

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind it is as though you are saying, "yes, I understand what you are trying to convey [re prong #2] but my own fragmentation [re prong #1] is not nearly as crippling."


Not only is it not as crippling, I don't feel crippled at all. My identity will always be in flux, but right now, I'm definitely sure that I'm a subjectivist (and a relativist).

From what I understand, the crippling effect of recognizing the nature of prong #2, and drawing it to its logical conclusion vis-a-vis the groundlessness of all our values and "isms" (not just moral), is that when we recognize the groundlessness of our "ism", we recognize the groundlessness of our "ist"--that is, if we identify ourselves with our "ism" we call ourselves an "ist" (for example, I believe in determinism, therefore I am a determinist), so if the "ism" crumbles, so does the "ist"--we end up in an existential crisis of sorts in which we no longer know who we are.

But there's a hidden assumption in the above. It assumes all "isms" are subject to this--subject to crumbling at the realization of our position in the world as dasein-based creatures caught up in interpersonal conflicts with each other over moral value judgements and prejudices, and that our "isms" are latched onto or invented, bringing with them all the rationalizations and objectivist justifications that we can muster, as a means of standing our grounds in the midst of this conflict. But clearly, not all "isms" crumble at this realization. You yourself continue to believe in the reality of the physical world (you hold onto empiricism). You also admit to being a nihilist.

What I was trying to argue earlier in this thread is that it depends on the content and the logical structure of the "ism" in question. The realization that we are all dasein-based creatures caught up in conflict is a proposition. It has implications for other propositions. What those implications are depends on the logical structure, the internal content, of those other propositions.

In order to understand why my "ism", and therefore my "ist", doesn't crumble at this realization, you have to understand what my "ism" is saying. Is it saying something that is in conflict with this realization? Is it unaffected? Are they codependent on each other? But you seemed not to want to go out on the metaphysical branch (which is what my theory is), so at this point, my subjectivism is rather black boxed for you. (Keep in mind that as much as metaphysical flights of fancy may be a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo, they are thought patterns with a certain logical structure, and that structure will still have implications for sudden realizations of all kinds; the effect of these implications on one's sense of identity is unpredictable unless you thoroughly understand the structure itself).

iambiguous wrote:It is about one's capacity to show others that what they believe is true "in their head" is that which all rational men and women are obligated to believe is true in turn because it has been shown [scientifically or otherwise] to in fact be true.


Fair enough. Keep in mind, though, that showing something to be true is not always equivalent to convincing someone. Many people can be convinced by something that has been notably less than "shown" and there are those who will remain steadfastly ignorant in the face of being shown undeniable proof. In other words, even if one could demonstrate something that "shows" something to be a fact in reality (such that all rational men and women are obligated to concede), you may not see a difference in the patterns of behavior and/or reactions of others compared to any other instance of someone trying to argue their point to someone else.

iambiguous wrote:Yes. But then another paradox pops up. If God is said to be omniscient then morality would seem to be moot. Why? Because mere mortals can never choose to do anything that God is not already cognizant of. Similarly, if science proves beyond all doubt that human autonomy is an illusion -- i.e. we "choose" only that which we could not not have chosen -- than morality would seem to be moot here as well.


Hmm, well, so much for morality requiring God.

iambiguous wrote:If, regarding the aborting of human babies, you are able to demonstrate the existence of an objective morality then the conflict is resolved in the sense that one side's chosen behaviors are more or less in sync with it. The side less in sync with it might still choose to behave as they do, but it can at least be demonstrated that their behaviors are less reasonable. And for many objectivists, the less reasonable the less virtuous.

Right, so proving who's right and who's wrong.

It would be as though a God is shown to exist objectively but some still refuse to obey His Commandments.

As for the "consensus", sure, if, within any given community, an agreement results in a harmonious interact among all citizens, fine. "For all practical purposes" it is as though morality here is objective. My point though is that this does not make it so. Variables within the community can change, disturbing the consensus. Or this community can come into contact with another community that does not share their moral values. Then what?


This shows a concern on your part for an all-or-nothing solution to conflicts (which I questioned at the end of my last post to you). But supposing we had an all or nothing solution to the problem along the lines of community consensus--suppose the whole world was the "community" and everyone somehow agreed on a moral consensus--then your point still stands that it doesn't make their consensus the objective moral truth. So I take it you would still have a qualm with this. I further take it, therefore, that your concern is indeed with finding an objective demonstration of the truth of such a consensus, a demonstration that all rational men and women would be obliged to agree with. But as I've been emphasizing throughout this thread, and as you seem to concur with now, this wouldn't necessarily end the conflict--it would merely give us some guidance on which side to support and which side to resist. The side that we resist, however, will in all likelihood continue to stand up for the moral values they have held all along.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:If your dilemma revolves around finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality, then I agree. If on the other hand, your dilemma revolves around finding ways to resolve conflict, then frankly I'm surprised at this point why you don't see how an approach like mine might be a feasible alternative to the traditional objectivist's approach.


That's because as much as I do explore possible antidotes to my dilemma, I am also here to expose what I construe to be the dangers inherent in moral objectivism. For many objectivists the only "resolution" to the conflict revolves around the extent to which others are willing to become "one of us".

And then there are those who manage to convince themselves that in establishing a consensus my dilemma goes away. But that is true only to the extent that one is able to demonstrate that the components of my dilemma -- dasein, conflicting goods, political economy -- are no longer applicable pertaining to the consensus itself.


Well, given what we seem to have established just now (i.e. in regards to what is more of a dilemma to you: demonstrating who's right or ending conflict), I can see why my approach, though an alternative to the tradition objectivist approach (as I'm calling it), wouldn't resolve your dilemma. It wouldn't be a "demonstration" of objective truth (not necessarily) except in the relativistic sense that it would be the truth to those involved. (Keep in mind, however, that even if there were a demonstration of objective truth to be had, my approach might still be useful in uncovering it.)

iambiguous wrote:Maybe. Human psychology is hard to pin down: Why do we do what we do? How do we know for sure what motivates us?

I think my motivation revolves mostly around engaging objectivists in polemics. Wielding words as swords.

^ Which can be fun! :D

And then there's the part about death. And the part about what's on the other side. And the part about how one connects the dots between God on that side and morality on this side. The stuff I explore here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=186929

But, sure, you might actually be closer to the "real reason" than I am.

The bottom line however is that for health reasons <-- Are we talking mental health or physical? (or both?) I am no longer "out in the world" interacting with others. I am just basically waiting to die. And in the interim needing distractions to fill up the hours: music, film, PBS, the Science Channel, philosophy. And other lesser things. "Strategy" no longer really enters into anymore. Here though we are always at the intersection of "my philosophy of life" and "my options".


You might just have an abrasive personality--a drive to enter into conflict with others--and this just doesn't work out in the world where people will retaliate and there will be consequences. Here on the internet, however, you have a kind of "safe haven" from which to challenge and argue with people without risking any serious consequence to yourself (except that you will sometimes piss people off and get on their bad side). I imagine that if in your past, you've actively participated in activist movements (Marxism, feminism, etc.) then you're not adverse to engaging with people out in the world. But I imagine that, by the same token, your experiences with this have been less than satisfying. I can see how, after a while, one who participates in socially active lifestyles such as this might become, not only exhausted by the unfavorable reactions and animosity one would receive from the opposition, but disillusioned to the inefficacy of trying to convince others of the validity of one's own moral position, at least via the traditional objectivist approach (and then your nihilist/existential philosophy comes in). This disillusioning would certainly kill any motivation to continue trying, which may be when you decided to seclude yourself from the world (but you tell me).

iambiguous wrote:Sorry, still not quite sure what you mean here. The theist can always come up with a frame of mind that "answers" the objections of the atheist. For example, the theist might note that in bringing the atheist over to God she is practising the ultimate in love and compassion.


Yes, if what's ultimately driving the theist is to convert the atheist. Keep in mind my example was really a Mickey Mouse example--I don't think that would actually work in the real world (unless the theist was an absolute push over)--but it's the kind of approach one might take that would play on what the opposition already believes, not on what one's self believes in an attempt to push it on the opposition as a replacement for what the opposition believes (which is why I was saying that arguing for proof of God's existence would work against this approach). In the real world, an atheist who decides to use this approach would have to come up with something a lot more sophisticated than "conflicting with me isn't very loving" but it would be in the same vein of utilizing what the theist already believes.

But let's say, for argument's sake, that the theist was hellbent on converting the atheist (probably not the most appropriate choice of words). I think my approach would still work but you'd really have to embrace a subjectivist frame of mind in this case. In other words, you would have to allow yourself to be convert (at least temporarily) and then begin work on utilizing the theist's beliefs (which you now also believe) to accomplish your goal (if the goal is not accomplished already--i.e. the conflict is ended now that you've been converted). The reason this requires being a thorough going subjectivist is that, for the subjectivist, there is no absolute truth, and therefore one wouldn't feel he is going against the truth, or his values, by switching over to another's view (it would be like an Einsteinian relativist, who begins by saying that it is we who are moving when we walk down the street, deciding to switch perspectives in the middle of a conflict with someone who insists that it's really the street moving backwards; the Einsteinian should have no problem with this since his own beliefs say that either perspective is valid). Of course, there may still be more work to be done after this point (if the conflict is really serious, then it's most likely over something of far more reaching consequence than whether or not God exists, most likely over moral obligations to do something in the world), but in getting over the conflict of conversion, the (former) atheist can now work with the theist to arrive at a conclusion about how to act in the world that works more smoothly with his original goals (it's easier to reason with someone who believes you are on their side rather than in conflict with them).

And yes, there is the possibility that the conversion itself may change the former atheist's ultimate objective, but this shouldn't be taken for a foregone conclusion; and furthermore, the subjectivist approach that I'm imagining would allow for an active process of submitting to conversion--by which I mean a psychological process that the subjectivist can control and customize (thought systems are very much like computer programs--they are incredibly versatile); the subjectivist, in other words, can adapt his beliefs in such a way that it satisfies the opposition's need to have him converted while at the same time maintaining the feasibility of attaining his original goal.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, you work with others to form practical solutions "here and now" for any one particular community of men and women. But to the extent that you acknowledge the practical implications of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy is the extent to which you recognize this consensus as just an existential contraption. Ever subject to change in world awash in contingency, chance and change.

In other words, there any number of actual new contexts that can unfold in which the idea becomes less and less simple. If the conflicting goods revolving around abortion was confined to just a small village isolated from the "modern world", one might be more inclined to imagine your frame of mind. But in the modern industrial metropolis? Where customs and folkways and mores become the law of the land? What's the consensus there? And how is it not always precarious?


Keep in mind, this is in response to your point that "On the contrary, my argument is that this almost certainly does not exist; and, if not, what then is our best hope to sutain the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions?" If you agree that we cannot establish a universally applicable demonstration of the objectively correct morality, then this is the next best hope (as far as I'm concerned). The fact that whatever consensus we come to as a community is subject to change or to challenge by another community is merely a few of the imperfections of "the next best thing" <-- It's the "next" best thing because it isn't perfect.

It's as if you acknowledge that the ideal solution (i.e. establishing a universally demonstrable objective morality) is impossible yet you cannot accept this fact.

iambiguous wrote:I would agree that only to the extent that there does in fact exist a foundation upon which to establish an objective morality [rooted either in God or Reason] does it appear likely [to me] that my dilemma will ever go away.


Ok, so the elusiveness of this ideal solution (to wit, what I mentioned above) more or less is your dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:In "resolving" conflicts. And, if my own frame of mind pertaining to moral nihilism is correct, that would revolve around moderation, negotiation and compromise: democracy and the rule of law. It's just that I don't have any illusions regarding the contributions here of folks like Marx [political economy] and Nietzsche [beyond good and evil].

But: How can my dilemma really be blunted in a world where any particular examples of moderation, negotiation and compromise are still embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? They don't go away. "I" is still profoundly fragmented.


Yes, so it seems like, despite being disillusioned to its impossibility, you still need a demonstration of a particular objectivist morality in order to get out of your dilemma.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:36 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind it is as though you are saying, "yes, I understand what you are trying to convey [re prong #2] but my own fragmentation [re prong #1] is not nearly as crippling."


Not only is it not as crippling, I don't feel crippled at all. My identity will always be in flux, but right now, I'm definitely sure that I'm a subjectivist (and a relativist).


Well, here, in my view, a frame of mind like this is sustained to the extent to which it is not put to the test out in the world of actual moral/political conflicts. Conflicts in which there are actual existential consequences that you have to live with. Or endure.

Which is why [in my view] more folks are not subjectivists/relativists/moral nihilists. They need to believe [psychologically] that their value judgments are not just leaps of faith, political prejudices, existential fabrications/contraptions rooted in dasein.

They need to believe that when goods come into conflict, their own values reflect the most rational and virtuous manner in which to embrace an issue. As a "cause" for example.

They need to believe that "right makes might" reflects the noblest approach to political economy.

So, to what extent are your own values put to the test in conflicts with others? To what extent are you forced to live with consequences that trouble you, impale you, enrage you?

That's why I always focus the beam here on exploring actual reactions that we experience in particular contexts in which our values are challenged by others.

I ask folks to note these particular contexts in which conflicts occur and then the extent to which they are not entangled in my dilemma above.

Or are they as entangled as I am but have come to embody a frame of mind that enables them to just shrug it off more effectively than I am able to?

Again: I ask them to note an example of a particular conflict that they have encountered. In other words, in the manner in which my experience with John and Mary and Mary's abortion set the stage for upending my own objectivist frame of mind.

Yes, I recognize that in calling myself a moral nihilist, I am creating a frame of mind in which I too am making a distinction between "one of us" and "one of them". But I also recognize that this too is rooted in dasein. And that moral nihilism may in fact not be the most reasonable frame of mind here. But all I can do then is seek out the narratives of others. In search of one able to convince me to change my mind. After all, lots of folks in the past have succeeded in doing just that.

gib wrote: But clearly, not all "isms" crumble at this realization. You yourself continue to believe in the reality of the physical world (you hold onto empiricism).


Yes, but empirical truths/facts are intertwined in the world of either/or. The world that physicists and chemists and astronomers and mathematicians etc. explore and decypher. The world in which engineers are able to reconfigure the scholastic/theoretical stuff into actual technologies that work precisely because they are predicated on a world that [so far] seems entirely embedded in either/or.

You can be a hardcore moral objectivist or a hardcore moral nihilist and that stuff doesn't change. Dasein [as I understand it here -- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529 -- is basically moot.

gib wrote: In order to understand why my "ism", and therefore my "ist", doesn't crumble at this realization, you have to understand what my "ism" is saying. Is it saying something that is in conflict with this realization? Is it unaffected? Are they codependent on each other? But you seemed not to want to go out on the metaphysical branch (which is what my theory is), so at this point, my subjectivism is rather black boxed for you. (Keep in mind that as much as metaphysical flights of fancy may be a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo, they are thought patterns with a certain logical structure, and that structure will still have implications for sudden realizations of all kinds; the effect of these implications on one's sense of identity is unpredictable unless you thoroughly understand the structure itself).


This however is the sort of "analysis" which [over and again] I have the most difficulty grappling with as it relates to actual contexts in which value judgments come into conflict. Conflicts that precipitate actual existential confrontations -- as small as a fist fight or as consequential as a world war.

And out on the metaphysical branch we come to grapple with such imponderables as determinism. If we live in a wholly determined world this exchange itself is only as it ever could have been. Out towards the very end of that metaphysical branch, all of us are forced to acknowledge this:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

Only this: Things become all that more problematic once we shift gears from either/or to is/ought.

As for the "consensus", sure, if, within any given community, an agreement results in a harmonious interact among all citizens, fine. "For all practical purposes" it is as though morality here is objective. My point though is that this does not make it so. Variables within the community can change, disturbing the consensus. Or this community can come into contact with another community that does not share their moral values. Then what?


gib wrote: This shows a concern on your part for an all-or-nothing solution to conflicts (which I questioned at the end of my last post to you). But supposing we had an all or nothing solution to the problem along the lines of community consensus--suppose the whole world was the "community" and everyone somehow agreed on a moral consensus--then your point still stands that it doesn't make their consensus the objective moral truth. So I take it you would still have a qualm with this.

I further take it, therefore, that your concern is indeed with finding an objective demonstration of the truth of such a consensus, a demonstration that all rational men and women would be obliged to agree with. But as I've been emphasizing throughout this thread, and as you seem to concur with now, this wouldn't necessarily end the conflict--it would merely give us some guidance on which side to support and which side to resist. The side that we resist, however, will in all likelihood continue to stand up for the moral values they have held all along.


The problem here [from my perspective] is that I have not encountered such a demonstration. We would need to have a context in which either a God, the God, my God was shown to exist or, sans God, an argument rooted in Reason emerged able to demonstrate that either aborting an unborn baby was more rational/virtuous or protecting the right of women to choose abortion was more rational/virtuous.

Until then, yeah, my qualms remain. I just don't equate my own qualms with the objective truth.

And, sure, in a world that is not entirely determined, the measure of human autonomy that might exist would still be more or less able to choose to be sync with either God or Reason.

gib wrote: I imagine that if in your past, you've actively participated in activist movements (Marxism, feminism, etc.) then you're not adverse to engaging with people out in the world. But I imagine that, by the same token, your experiences with this have been less than satisfying. I can see how, after a while, one who participates in socially active lifestyles such as this might become, not only exhausted by the unfavorable reactions and animosity one would receive from the opposition, but disillusioned to the inefficacy of trying to convince others of the validity of one's own moral position, at least via the traditional objectivist approach (and then your nihilist/existential philosophy comes in). This disillusioning would certainly kill any motivation to continue trying, which may be when you decided to seclude yourself from the world (but you tell me).


What I often ponder here is this: What if I had come to embrace moral nihilism right from the start? Could I have managed then to take that political trajectory from the RCP and the SWP, to NAM, DSOC and finally DSA?

Existentialism was always there percolating in the back of my mind. I was fascinated with the Camus/Sartre "split". It's just that I was always able [back then] to take that leap to Marx. Until I bumped into Mary's abortion and William Barrett. Then slowly over time I became less and less of an objectivist. Finally, I met a Thai woman who introduced me to folks like Derrida. Then I really began to question all the more the relationship between words and worlds.

gib wrote: Yes, if what's ultimately driving the theist is to convert the atheist. Keep in mind my example was really a Mickey Mouse example--I don't think that would actually work in the real world (unless the theist was an absolute push over)--but it's the kind of approach one might take that would play on what the opposition already believes, not on what one's self believes in an attempt to push it on the opposition as a replacement for what the opposition believes (which is why I was saying that arguing for proof of God's existence would work against this approach). In the real world, an atheist who decides to use this approach would have to come up with something a lot more sophisticated than "conflicting with me isn't very loving" but it would be in the same vein of utilizing what the theist already believes.

But let's say, for argument's sake, that the theist was hellbent on converting the atheist (probably not the most appropriate choice of words). I think my approach would still work but you'd really have to embrace a subjectivist frame of mind in this case. In other words, you would have to allow yourself to be convert (at least temporarily) and then begin work on utilizing the theist's beliefs (which you now also believe) to accomplish your goal (if the goal is not accomplished already--i.e. the conflict is ended now that you've been converted). The reason this requires being a thorough going subjectivist is that, for the subjectivist, there is no absolute truth, and therefore one wouldn't feel he is going against the truth, or his values, by switching over to another's view (it would be like an Einsteinian relativist, who begins by saying that it is we who are moving when we walk down the street, deciding to switch perspectives in the middle of a conflict with someone who insists that it's really the street moving backwards; the Einsteinian should have no problem with this since his own beliefs say that either perspective is valid). Of course, there may still be more work to be done after this point (if the conflict is really serious, then it's most likely over something of far more reaching consequence than whether or not God exists, most likely over moral obligations to do something in the world), but in getting over the conflict of conversion, the (former) atheist can now work with the theist to arrive at a conclusion about how to act in the world that works more smoothly with his original goals (it's easier to reason with someone who believes you are on their side rather than in conflict with them).

And yes, there is the possibility that the conversion itself may change the former atheist's ultimate objective, but this shouldn't be taken for a foregone conclusion; and furthermore, the subjectivist approach that I'm imagining would allow for an active process of submitting to conversion--by which I mean a psychological process that the subjectivist can control and customize (thought systems are very much like computer programs--they are incredibly versatile); the subjectivist, in other words, can adapt his beliefs in such a way that it satisfies the opposition's need to have him converted while at the same time maintaining the feasibility of attaining his original goal.


I'm not really sure how to react to this because my own focus is always on the extent to which an analysis [a set of assumptions] of this sort is applicable to prong #2.

With God you have that crucial transcendental font that [ultimately] renders subjectivism either moot or enables subjectivists to defer to God when their value judgments come to clash.

My problem with God though remains the same: the extent to which He is said to be omniscient. Once you go there, how can you speak realistically of human autonomy? And once that goes how can you speak realistically of dasein/conflicting goods/political economy at all?

gib wrote: If you agree that we cannot establish a universally applicable demonstration of the objectively correct morality, then this is the next best hope (as far as I'm concerned). The fact that whatever consensus we come to as a community is subject to change or to challenge by another community is merely a few of the imperfections of "the next best thing" <-- It's the "next" best thing because it isn't perfect.


Of course this might fall into that category we call "the best of all possible worlds". Acknowledging that this is always expressed "here and now" and as a political prejudice.

gib wrote: It's as if you acknowledge that the ideal solution (i.e. establishing a universally demonstrable objective morality) is impossible yet you cannot accept this fact.


What I cannot accept [so far] is any argument that might possibly resolve this. This in my view is right around the corner from, "why does anything exist at all?", or, "why is existence this way and not some other way"?

Except that once you interject "is/ought" into the mix, it only becomes all the more mind-boggling still.

And I don't argue that ideal/natural solutions don't exist, only that "here and now" I don't believe that they do. But that in itself is still just a frame of mind "in my head".

In other words:

iambiguous wrote:I would agree that only to the extent that there does in fact exist a foundation upon which to establish an objective morality [rooted either in God or Reason] does it appear likely [to me] that my dilemma will ever go away.


gib wrote: Ok, so the elusiveness of this ideal solution (to wit, what I mentioned above) more or less is your dilemma.


Sure, that comes a lot closer than arguing that it does not exist.

Period.

Really, how the hell would/could "I" possibly know that?!! It's just that many an objectivist over the years has gotten pissed off at me because I dared to suggest that this might be true of them too.

They simply have too much invested psychologically in their "one of us" mentality. The Good Guys. The Only Ones Who Really Have It All Figured Out.

iambiguous wrote:In "resolving" conflicts. And, if my own frame of mind pertaining to moral nihilism is correct, that would revolve around moderation, negotiation and compromise: democracy and the rule of law. It's just that I don't have any illusions regarding the contributions here of folks like Marx [political economy] and Nietzsche [beyond good and evil].

But: How can my dilemma really be blunted in a world where any particular examples of moderation, negotiation and compromise are still embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? They don't go away. "I" is still profoundly fragmented.


gib wrote: Yes, so it seems like, despite being disillusioned to its impossibility, you still need a demonstration of a particular objectivist morality in order to get out of your dilemma.


Sure. If it does exist then it either is or is not able to be demonstrated sans God.

The problem with objectivists however [Satyr/Lyssa there, Turd, Jacob, James S. Saint here] is this: As soon as you reject their own narrative/solution [almost always encompassed in one or another Intellectual Contraption] you become "one of them". You get on their shit list. Then they either ban you to the dungeons, put you on ignore, or shift gears to huffing and puffing.

Or so it certainly seems to me.
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 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:32 am

iambiguous wrote:Well, here, in my view, a frame of mind like this is sustained to the extent to which it is not put to the test out in the world of actual moral/political conflicts. Conflicts in which there are actual existential consequences that you have to live with. Or endure.

Yes, and this is what I've been saying. My theory belongs squarely in the field of metaphysics. It's a theory on consciousness, on the relation between mind and matter, and also perception and reality. It is only loosely connected to questions of politics and morality.

Which is why [in my view] more folks are not subjectivists/relativists/moral nihilists. They need to believe [psychologically] that their value judgments are not just leaps of faith, political prejudices, existential fabrications/contraptions rooted in dasein.

They need to believe that when goods come into conflict, their own values reflect the most rational and virtuous manner in which to embrace an issue. As a "cause" for example.

They need to believe that "right makes might" reflects the noblest approach to political economy.

So, to what extent are your own values put to the test in conflicts with others? To what extent are you forced to live with consequences that trouble you, impale you, enrage you?

Drug use is the first thing that comes to mind, but even that is quite indirectly related to my core philosophy. My philosophy only really promotes the exploration of alternate mind states--and not even as a moral imperative, but more as something that one can do if it pleases him. It's on par with how a scientist probably thinks of his right to conduct controlled experiments or a Christian his right to attend Church.

And that being said, there are methods of exploring alternate mind states without drugs (so they say), so it's not like such explorations hinge on drug use. I'd be perfectly open to alternatives.


That's why I always focus the beam here on exploring actual reactions that we experience in particular contexts in which our values are challenged by others.

I ask folks to note these particular contexts in which conflicts occur and then the extent to which they are not entangled in my dilemma above.

Or are they as entangled as I am but have come to embody a frame of mind that enables them to just shrug it off more effectively than I am able to?

I think it depends on how frequently, and to what intensity, people have come into the kinds of conflicts that really bring these questions to the fore. I imagine you're talking about confronting people in contexts like protests or demonstrations (where there sometimes is the danger of things getting violent), or in legal contexts such as a court of law where someone's life is to be determined. In my cozy corner of the world, I don't think a lot of people have had many experiences like that. We did note in the last post that the way you describe your past sounds as if you have been through a few ordeals such as these. We all have our values and our beliefs, but unless we're constantly running into situations like that, I think we do tend to shrug it off as you put it.

Again: I ask them to note an example of a particular conflict that they have encountered. In other words, in the manner in which my experience with John and Mary and Mary's abortion set the stage for upending my own objectivist frame of mind.

Yes, I recognize that in calling myself a moral nihilist, I am creating a frame of mind in which I too am making a distinction between "one of us" and "one of them". But I also recognize that this too is rooted in dasein. And that moral nihilism may in fact not be the most reasonable frame of mind here. But all I can do then is seek out the narratives of others. In search of one able to convince me to change my mind. After all, lots of folks in the past have succeeded in doing just that.


And you see that your moral nihilism doesn't fragment nearly as easily. Some philosophies, in virtue of what they say, are affected differently by special facts and propositions (such as the realization of prong #2) that are brought into the mix.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but empirical truths/facts are intertwined in the world of either/or. The world that physicists and chemists and astronomers and mathematicians etc. explore and decypher. The world in which engineers are able to reconfigure the scholastic/theoretical stuff into actual technologies that work precisely because they are predicated on a world that [so far] seems entirely embedded in either/or.

Yes, but this isn't an exception to my point, it's an example. You've simply laid out the reason why the epiphany of prong #2 has little effect on your empiricism. Prong #2 says that anything which is an existential contraption/fabrication is undermined by the very fact that it is an existential contraption/fabrication. Empiricism on the other hand, says that the world of either/or is definitely not an existential contraption/fabrication, so it is not affected by this realization. What I'm telling you is that, given what my subjectivism actually says, it, like empiricism, is not as easily defeated just by the the implications of prong #2--namely, that it is an existential contraption/fabrication (hint: an existential contraption/fabrication, to me, is not "unreal"--it's just "invented").

You can be a hardcore moral objectivist or a hardcore moral nihilist and that stuff doesn't change. Dasein [as I understand it here -- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529 -- is basically moot.

This however is the sort of "analysis" which [over and again] I have the most difficulty grappling with as it relates to actual contexts in which value judgments come into conflict. Conflicts that precipitate actual existential confrontations -- as small as a fist fight or as consequential as a world war.


Sure, I understand that, but what I'm saying is that in order to understand how the practices of a particular "ism" pan out in such conflicts, you first need to understand what such "isms" are saying (in general, apart from context)--otherwise, there's no way of knowing what behaviors a particular "ism" will prescribe--if religion A says "defeat your enemies" while religion B says "submit to your enemies"--knowing this makes the behaviors of adherents to each religion very predictable--but if you want to jump straight to the context of conflict, without understanding what the "isms" involved are saying, you will be missing vital pieces of information that won't allow you to make such predictions nearly as easily.

iambiguous wrote:And out on the metaphysical branch we come to grapple with such imponderables as determinism. If we live in a wholly determined world this exchange itself is only as it ever could have been. Out towards the very end of that metaphysical branch, all of us are forced to acknowledge this:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

Run that by me again?

Only this: Things become all that more problematic once we shift gears from either/or to is/ought.


Yes, I can see how that would heighten the imperative to be sure we know what the moral facts of life are (and even when we feel we know them all, the question remains whether there are any moral secrets hidden in the unknown unknowns). But before we go there, please run by me once more how going to the extreme ends of metaphysics leads to knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns?

iambiguous wrote:The problem here [from my perspective] is that I have not encountered such a demonstration. Of course not! We would need to have a context in which either a God, the God, my God was shown to exist or, sans God, an argument rooted in Reason emerged able to demonstrate that either aborting an unborn baby was more rational/virtuous or protecting the right of women to choose abortion was more rational/virtuous.

Until then, yeah, my qualms remain. I just don't equate my own qualms with the objective truth.


But they do seem to be correlated. Objective demonstration, no qualms; less than an objective demonstrations, qualms.

iambiguous wrote:What I often ponder here is this: What if I had come to embrace moral nihilism right from the start? Could I have managed then to take that political trajectory from the RCP and the SWP, to NAM, DSOC and finally DSA?

The what now? Sorry, I don't know what those acronyms stand for.

Existentialism was always there percolating in the back of my mind. I was fascinated with the Camus/Sartre "split". It's just that I was always able [back then] to take that leap to Marx. Until I bumped into Mary's abortion and William Barrett. Then slowly over time I became less and less of an objectivist. Finally, I met a Thai woman who introduced me to folks like Derrida. Then I really began to question all the more the relationship between words and worlds.


This all sounds very interesting, but I have to confess I'm not all that familiar with the Camus/Sartre split, or Mary's abortion and how that relates to William Barrett, or the intricacies of Derrida's philosophy (although I *think* he's the father of desconstructionism, isn't he?). But I guess you're relaying to me the path you've walked to get where you are now.

iamnbiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Yes, if what's ultimately driving the theist is to convert the atheist. Keep in mind my example was really a Mickey Mouse example--I don't think that would actually work in the real world (unless the theist was an absolute push over)--but it's the kind of approach one might take that would play on what the opposition already believes, not on what one's self believes in an attempt to push it on the opposition as a replacement for what the opposition believes (which is why I was saying that arguing for proof of God's existence would work against this approach). In the real world, an atheist who decides to use this approach would have to come up with something a lot more sophisticated than "conflicting with me isn't very loving" but it would be in the same vein of utilizing what the theist already believes.

But let's say, for argument's sake, that the theist was hellbent on converting the atheist (probably not the most appropriate choice of words). I think my approach would still work but you'd really have to embrace a subjectivist frame of mind in this case. In other words, you would have to allow yourself to be convert (at least temporarily) and then begin work on utilizing the theist's beliefs (which you now also believe) to accomplish your goal (if the goal is not accomplished already--i.e. the conflict is ended now that you've been converted). The reason this requires being a thorough going subjectivist is that, for the subjectivist, there is no absolute truth, and therefore one wouldn't feel he is going against the truth, or his values, by switching over to another's view (it would be like an Einsteinian relativist, who begins by saying that it is we who are moving when we walk down the street, deciding to switch perspectives in the middle of a conflict with someone who insists that it's really the street moving backwards; the Einsteinian should have no problem with this since his own beliefs say that either perspective is valid). Of course, there may still be more work to be done after this point (if the conflict is really serious, then it's most likely over something of far more reaching consequence than whether or not God exists, most likely over moral obligations to do something in the world), but in getting over the conflict of conversion, the (former) atheist can now work with the theist to arrive at a conclusion about how to act in the world that works more smoothly with his original goals (it's easier to reason with someone who believes you are on their side rather than in conflict with them).

And yes, there is the possibility that the conversion itself may change the former atheist's ultimate objective, but this shouldn't be taken for a foregone conclusion; and furthermore, the subjectivist approach that I'm imagining would allow for an active process of submitting to conversion--by which I mean a psychological process that the subjectivist can control and customize (thought systems are very much like computer programs--they are incredibly versatile); the subjectivist, in other words, can adapt his beliefs in such a way that it satisfies the opposition's need to have him converted while at the same time maintaining the feasibility of attaining his original goal.


I'm not really sure how to react to this because my own focus is always on the extent to which an analysis [a set of assumptions] of this sort is applicable to prong #2.

But the whole thing was about how it applies to prong #2.

With God you have that crucial transcendental font that [ultimately] renders subjectivism either moot or enables subjectivists to defer to God when their value judgments come to clash.

That's one of the features of my subjectivism that isn't shared in common with other forms of subjectivism (or idealism in this case). Yes, my subjectivism leads to a certain conception of "God", but it doesn't hinge on God like classical idealism does--God, in my subjectivism, is more of a conclusion, an end point, more than a starting point or a premise which, if rejected, results in the entire edifice collapsing.

And as I said above, my values and my morality are only loosely connected to my subjectivism.


My problem with God though remains the same: the extent to which He is said to be omniscient. Once you go there, how can you speak realistically of human autonomy? And once that goes how can you speak realistically of dasein/conflicting goods/political economy at all?


As I said above, my conception of God is more a consequence of my subjectivism than a foundation, and therefore the way my God is conceptualized depends not on tradition or religious orthodoxy, but on what my subjectivism actually says. Without going into that, I will say that the closest my God comes to being omniscient is to say that all knowledge that happens to exist (in the minds of intelligent beings) is had by it. But does my God know everything? To me, that's an incoherent notion. (I do believe that this God feels everything, but I draw a sharp distinction between feeling and knowing.

iambiguous wrote:Of course this might fall into that category we call "the best of all possible worlds". Acknowledging that this is always expressed "here and now" and as a political prejudice.


Are you saying that it is reasonable to hold out for the hope that, one day, we will have a universally applicable moral standard that can be absolutely and objectively demonstrable?

iambiguous wrote:What I cannot accept [so far] is any argument that might possibly resolve this. What does this mean? You cannot accept any argument that might possibly offer the ideal solution? So you don't want the ideal solution? Again, I am confused as to what your dilemma is. This in my view is right around the corner from, "why does anything exist at all?", or, "why is existence this way and not some other way"?

Which means what? That the question is meaningless? That it's too complex? That it's unrealistic to expect a answer?

Except that once you interject "is/ought" into the mix, it only becomes all the more mind-boggling still.

I'll bet.

And I don't argue that ideal/natural solutions don't exist, only that "here and now" I don't believe that they do. <-- You realize that could be taken as an oxymoron. But that in itself is still just a frame of mind "in my head".

In other words:

iambiguous wrote:I would agree that only to the extent that there does in fact exist a foundation upon which to establish an objective morality [rooted either in God or Reason] does it appear likely [to me] that my dilemma will ever go away.


gib wrote:Ok, so the elusiveness of this ideal solution (to wit, what I mentioned above) more or less is your dilemma.


Sure, that comes a lot closer than arguing that it does not exist.

Ok, I get it.

Period.

I said I got it! :lol:

Really, how the hell would/could "I" possibly know that?!! It's just that many an objectivist over the years has gotten pissed off at me because I dared to suggest that this might be true of them too.

They simply have too much invested psychologically in their "one of us" mentality. The Good Guys. The Only Ones Who Really Have It All Figured Out.

Yes, I'm totally on board with this.

Sure. If it does exist then it either is or is not able to be demonstrated sans God.

The problem with objectivists however [Satyr/Lyssa there, Turd, Jacob, James S. Saint here] is this: As soon as you reject their own narrative/solution [almost always encompassed in one or another Intellectual Contraption] you become "one of them". You get on their shit list. Then they either ban you to the dungeons, put you on ignore, or shift gears to huffing and puffing.

Or so it certainly seems to me.


Possibly, this could have to do with their penchant for drawing boundaries or distinctions. You know--us vs. them, fact vs. falsehood.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:14 pm

gib wrote: Yes, and this is what I've been saying. My theory belongs squarely in the field of metaphysics. It's a theory on consciousness, on the relation between mind and matter, and also perception and reality. It is only loosely connected to questions of politics and morality.


My interest however revolves more around the extent to which any theoretical speculation about human consciousness becomes applicable to a particular consciousness in a particular existential context. As this pertains to conflicting value judgments.

Which is why [in my view] more folks are not subjectivists/relativists/moral nihilists. They need to believe [psychologically] that their value judgments are not just leaps of faith, political prejudices, existential fabrications/contraptions rooted in dasein.

They need to believe that when goods come into conflict, their own values reflect the most rational and virtuous manner in which to embrace an issue. As a "cause" for example.

They need to believe that "right makes might" reflects the noblest approach to political economy.

So, to what extent are your own values put to the test in conflicts with others? To what extent are you forced to live with consequences that trouble you, impale you, enrage you?


gib wrote: Drug use is the first thing that comes to mind, but even that is quite indirectly related to my core philosophy. My philosophy only really promotes the exploration of alternate mind states--and not even as a moral imperative, but more as something that one can do if it pleases him. It's on par with how a scientist probably thinks of his right to conduct controlled experiments or a Christian his right to attend Church.

And that being said, there are methods of exploring alternate mind states without drugs (so they say), so it's not like such explorations hinge on drug use. I'd be perfectly open to alternatives.


My reaction here however doesn't really change. In a particular context where values come into conflict, how would any "alternative mind states" effectively transcend the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

I could achieve an alternative mind state through drugs or meditation or some other method, but in interacting with others socially, politically and economically, how would conflicts be resolved other than re 1] might makes right 2] right makes might or 3] democracy and the rule of law.

gib wrote: What I'm telling you is that, given what my subjectivism actually says, it, like empiricism, is not as easily defeated just by the the implications of prong #2--namely, that it is an existential contraption/fabrication (hint: an existential contraption/fabrication, to me, is not "unreal"--it's just "invented").


The bottom line [mine]: How this actually plays out "in reality" when value judgments come into conflict. Given a particular frame of mind, you choose to behave in a particular way in a particular context and this triggers particular [positive/negative] reactions in others. How then would the manner in which you embrace "subjectivism" obviate the dilemma that [as a moral nihilist] I would find myself in?

Thus when you suggest...

gib wrote: Sure, I understand that, but what I'm saying is that in order to understand how the practices of a particular "ism" pan out in such conflicts, you first need to understand what such "isms" are saying (in general, apart from context)--otherwise, there's no way of knowing what behaviors a particular "ism" will prescribe--if religion A says "defeat your enemies" while religion B says "submit to your enemies"--knowing this makes the behaviors of adherents to each religion very predictable--but if you want to jump straight to the context of conflict, without understanding what the "isms" involved are saying, you will be missing vital pieces of information that won't allow you to make such predictions nearly as easily.


....I am unable to grasp how this might be applicable to any particular context in which values [religious, political or otherwise] do come to clash. Not in the manner in which thngs become clearer [for me] given the components of my own dilemma.

That "clarity" [for the moral nihilist -- this one] becomes hopelessly entangled in ambiguity and ambivalence.

iambiguous wrote:And out on the metaphysical branch we come to grapple with such imponderables as determinism. If we live in a wholly determined world this exchange itself is only as it ever could have been. Out towards the very end of that metaphysical branch, all of us are forced to acknowledge this:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

Only this: Things become all that more problematic once we shift gears from either/or to is/ought.


gib wrote: Yes, I can see how that would heighten the imperative to be sure we know what the moral facts of life are (and even when we feel we know them all, the question remains whether there are any moral secrets hidden in the unknown unknowns). But before we go there, please run by me once more how going to the extreme ends of metaphysics leads to knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns?


What, in any particular context, does it mean to speak of "the moral facts" from the persective of a mere mortal ensconced in a particular historical, cultural and experiential context? A particular set of personal experiences, personal relationships, personal interactions with particular ideas and knowledge?

Now, from the perspective of an omniscient God there are no unknowns. Mere mortals however are far, far, far, far from being omniscient.

Thus, regarding an issue like abortion, there appear to objective truths that can in fact be established as applicable to all -- human biology, the sexual libido, becoming pregancy, the medical act of aborting a fetus.

But what are "the facts" regarding the ethics of abortion? Given the vast and the varied contexts in which any particular abortion might occur --- and the vast and the varied intellectual and emotional reactions to it --- how [realistically] could all that would need to known in order to render an objective assessment be accumulated?

What would that argument sound like?

And then how would that particular assessment be integrated into what would also need to be known regarding the nature of Reality and Existence itself?

iambiguous wrote:What I often ponder here is this: What if I had come to embrace moral nihilism right from the start? Could I have managed then to take that political trajectory from the RCP and the SWP, to NAM, DSOC and finally DSA?


gib wrote: The what now? Sorry, I don't know what those acronyms stand for.


Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, the New American Movement, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Democratic Socialist of America. Those were groups I was once a member of. My political trajectory before I abandoned objectivism.

The Camus/Sartre "split" pertained by and large to the extent to which human interaction revolved more around "I" or "we". Mary's abortion is embedded in this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin. 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 Supannika introduced me to folks like Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Adorno.

And, in particular [for me], Richard Rorty and ironism:

* She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;

*She realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;

*Insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.


Then it all comes down to what this is applicable to. And this [again, for me] lies in distinguishing the world of either/or from the world of is/ought.

gib wrote:Yes, if what's ultimately driving the theist is to convert the atheist. Keep in mind my example was really a Mickey Mouse example--I don't think that would actually work in the real world (unless the theist was an absolute push over)--but it's the kind of approach one might take that would play on what the opposition already believes, not on what one's self believes in an attempt to push it on the opposition as a replacement for what the opposition believes (which is why I was saying that arguing for proof of God's existence would work against this approach). In the real world, an atheist who decides to use this approach would have to come up with something a lot more sophisticated than "conflicting with me isn't very loving" but it would be in the same vein of utilizing what the theist already believes.

But let's say, for argument's sake, that the theist was hell bent on converting the atheist (probably not the most appropriate choice of words). I think my approach would still work but you'd really have to embrace a subjectivist frame of mind in this case. In other words, you would have to allow yourself to be convert (at least temporarily) and then begin work on utilizing the theist's beliefs (which you now also believe) to accomplish your goal (if the goal is not accomplished already--i.e. the conflict is ended now that you've been converted). The reason this requires being a thorough going subjectivist is that, for the subjectivist, there is no absolute truth, and therefore one wouldn't feel he is going against the truth, or his values, by switching over to another's view (it would be like an Einsteinian relativist, who begins by saying that it is we who are moving when we walk down the street, deciding to switch perspectives in the middle of a conflict with someone who insists that it's really the street moving backwards; the Einsteinian should have no problem with this since his own beliefs say that either perspective is valid). Of course, there may still be more work to be done after this point (if the conflict is really serious, then it's most likely over something of far more reaching consequence than whether or not God exists, most likely over moral obligations to do something in the world), but in getting over the conflict of conversion, the (former) atheist can now work with the theist to arrive at a conclusion about how to act in the world that works more smoothly with his original goals (it's easier to reason with someone who believes you are on their side rather than in conflict with them).

And yes, there is the possibility that the conversion itself may change the former atheist's ultimate objective, but this shouldn't be taken for a foregone conclusion; and furthermore, the subjectivist approach that I'm imagining would allow for an active process of submitting to conversion--by which I mean a psychological process that the subjectivist can control and customize (thought systems are very much like computer programs--they are incredibly versatile); the subjectivist, in other words, can adapt his beliefs in such a way that it satisfies the opposition's need to have him converted while at the same time maintaining the feasibility of attaining his original goal.


I'm not really sure how to react to this because my own focus is always on the extent to which an analysis [a set of assumptions] of this sort is applicable to prong #2.


gib wrote: But the whole thing was about how it applies to prong #2.


Then the problem revolves around my failure [yet] to grasp it. In particular the practical implications of it re prong #2. And as that pertains to the dilemma in which I am entangled.

Perhaps we will never succeed in closing this gap. But that often happens in exchanges of this sort here. We are puzzled as to why others are not able to understand that which seems so perspicuous to us.

With God you have that crucial transcendental font that [ultimately] renders subjectivism either moot or enables subjectivists to defer to God when their value judgments come to clash.


gib wrote: That's one of the features of my subjectivism that isn't shared in common with other forms of subjectivism (or idealism in this case). Yes, my subjectivism leads to a certain conception of "God", but it doesn't hinge on God like classical idealism does--God, in my subjectivism, is more of a conclusion, an end point, more than a starting point or a premise which, if rejected, results in the entire edifice collapsing.


Again, my reaction is always the same: How does your "certain conception of God" become applicable for all practical purposes out in the world of human interactions that come into conflict over values?

How do you take him "out of your head" in order to convey a meaning to someone who challenges a particular behavior of yours?

Also, how can you really trust what your subjectivism "says about him"? How do you move beyond the extent to which this too is embedded in dasein --- in the particular trajectory of your lived life that precipitated particular experiences, relationships, ideas etc.. Existential variables that [from my perspective] become largely a fabricated frame of mind? A frame of mind that, given the manner in which I construe these things, is always subject to further change given new experiences, relationships, ideas etc.

When you note...

gib wrote: ....I will say that the closest my God comes to being omniscient is to say that all knowledge that happens to exist (in the minds of intelligent beings) is had by it. But does my God know everything? To me, that's an incoherent notion. (I do believe that this God feels everything, but I draw a sharp distinction between feeling and knowing.


...I think...

If all knowledge [of all things?] is had by your God, how do you reconcile this with human autonomy?

And again: How would you be able to take this belief out of your head and to demonstrate why it is a frame of mind that all reasonable men and women ought to subscribe to.

Is it possible that you believe this because, emotionally, psychologically, it is a comfort and a consolation of sorts? Something [finally] to anchor the subjectivist "I" to?

iambiguous wrote:Of course this might fall into that category we call "the best of all possible worlds". Acknowledging that this is always expressed "here and now" and as a political prejudice.


gib wrote: Are you saying that it is reasonable to hold out for the hope that, one day, we will have a universally applicable moral standard that can be absolutely and objectively demonstrable?


I am merely pointing out that, of late, I have not come across an argument that might persuade me to believe that such an objective moral standard does in fact exist.

As for whether this might be a "good" thing or not, what counts first and foremost is that it does in fact exit. If in fact it does exist. Here of course what counts is the extent to which there are consequences for choosing not to abide by the standard demonstrated to in fact exist.

That's why many ecclesiastics embrace Hell, and many secular ideologues embrace reeducation camps and prison and execution.

iambiguous wrote:What I cannot accept [so far] is any argument that might possibly resolve this.


gib wrote: What does this mean? You cannot accept any argument that might possibly offer the ideal solution? So you don't want the ideal solution? Again, I am confused as to what your dilemma is.


No, by "accept", I simply mean to agree with. And my dilemma is rooted in this. If my dilemma were in fact resolved with an argument that convinced me of one or another objective standard, that would not necessarily resolve it for others.

One would have to reach the point where [for all reasonable men and women] rejecting the objective moral standard would become the equivalent of rejecting 1 + 1 = 2, or rejecting the laws of nature, or rejecting the logical rules of language.

This in my view is right around the corner from, "why does anything exist at all?", or, "why is existence this way and not some other way"?


gib wrote: Which means what? That the question is meaningless? That it's too complex? That it's unrealistic to expect a answer?


Well, this sort of imponderable evokes Donald Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns again.

How does the mind [whether "subjectivist" or "objectivist"] even begin to grapple with the very essence/nature of Existence itself? In fact one of the unknown unknowns might well revolve around the extent to which the human mind is even capable of answering this.

And I don't argue that ideal/natural solutions don't exist, only that "here and now" I don't believe that they do.


gib wrote: You realize that could be taken as an oxymoron.[/color] But that in itself is still just a frame of mind "in my head".


Don't we all go to the grave oblivious to The Answer here? Don't we all go to the grave clinging instead to that which we believe or think we know "in our head"?
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 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:01 pm

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Yes, and this is what I've been saying. My theory belongs squarely in the field of metaphysics. It's a theory on consciousness, on the relation between mind and matter, and also perception and reality. It is only loosely connected to questions of politics and morality.


My interest however revolves more around the extent to which any theoretical speculation about human consciousness becomes applicable to a particular consciousness in a particular existential context. As this pertains to conflicting value judgments.


Should we drop the subject then? I mean, we could probe into it. Obviously, there must be some ways in which my view on consciousness impact my behavior in particular situations; it's just that my views touch primarily on ontological and metaphysical questions--how things are--and not so much on how one should act in this or that situation, or on what counts as "right" and what counts as "wrong". What this means is, for one thing, that I'm not going to be totally resolved about my answers to your question--as in: this is definitely what I would do--and for another thing, even if I were resolved about my answers to your questions, I couldn't say with any accuracy how much of that is influence by my philosophies on consciousness and how much on other things in my life. If that's less than satisfactory to you, perhaps we should drop the subject.

iambiguous wrote:My reaction here however doesn't really change. In a particular context where values come into conflict, how would any "alternative mind states" effectively transcend the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

I could achieve an alternative mind state through drugs or meditation or some other method, but in interacting with others socially, politically and economically, how would conflicts be resolved other than re 1] might makes right 2] right makes might or 3] democracy and the rule of law.


Drug use is thought to be immoral--in fact, they've got laws against it--I thought that would be obvious.

But I don't protest my right to use drugs, I'm not a lobbyist. I'll usually do them in the privacy of my own home.

The closest I've come to conflict with others over my drug use is a few times here on ILP (actually, come to think of it, I've gotten into huge fights with my ex over it, but I'm separated from her now). I've gotten a bit of flack over it and a few jabs here and there at ILP, but I don't know if that satisfies your inquiries. We could get into my issues with my ex, but I may have to draw a line if it came to revealing personal information about her. If I were to bring my views on the moral permissibility of drug use to the level of politics, I'd probably choose method 3).

iambiguous wrote:The bottom line [mine]: How this actually plays out "in reality" when value judgments come into conflict. Given a particular frame of mind, you choose to behave in a particular way in a particular context and this triggers particular [positive/negative] reactions in others. How then would the manner in which you embrace "subjectivism" obviate the dilemma that [as a moral nihilist] I would find myself in?


Like I said, my subjectivism only permits me (so far) to obviate prong #1 of your dilemma--I have not encountered any conflict thus far that would bring my "ism" crashing to the ground and so my "ist"--my 'I'--has not fragmented. But the dilemma of prong #2 remains alive and well (though I don't seem to be in as much angst over it as you seem to be).

iambiguous wrote:Thus when you suggest...

gib wrote:Sure, I understand that, but what I'm saying is that in order to understand how the practices of a particular "ism" pan out in such conflicts, you first need to understand what such "isms" are saying (in general, apart from context)--otherwise, there's no way of knowing what behaviors a particular "ism" will prescribe--if religion A says "defeat your enemies" while religion B says "submit to your enemies"--knowing this makes the behaviors of adherents to each religion very predictable--but if you want to jump straight to the context of conflict, without understanding what the "isms" involved are saying, you will be missing vital pieces of information that won't allow you to make such predictions nearly as easily.


....I am unable to grasp how this might be applicable to any particular context in which values [religious, political or otherwise] do come to clash. Not in the manner in which thngs become clearer [for me] given the components of my own dilemma.

That "clarity" [for the moral nihilist -- this one] becomes hopelessly entangled in ambiguity and ambivalence.


Are you saying that if one explains his philosophy to you in the abstract, or in general, without giving concrete examples of how it would be implemented in the real world, then you have trouble understanding it? But given a series of concrete examples, you can then infer the abstract or general template of his philosophy? Sort of an inductive method rather than a deductive one? No wonder you shy away from metaphysics.

iambiguous wrote:What, in any particular context, does it mean to speak of "the moral facts" from the persective of a mere mortal ensconced in a particular historical, cultural and experiential context? A particular set of personal experiences, personal relationships, personal interactions with particular ideas and knowledge?

Now, from the perspective of an omniscient God there are no unknowns. Mere mortals however are far, far, far, far from being omniscient.

Thus, regarding an issue like abortion, there appear to objective truths that can in fact be established as applicable to all -- human biology, the sexual libido, becoming pregancy, the medical act of aborting a fetus.

But what are "the facts" regarding the ethics of abortion? Given the vast and the varied contexts in which any particular abortion might occur --- and the vast and the varied intellectual and emotional reactions to it --- how [realistically] could all that would need to known in order to render an objective assessment be accumulated?

What would that argument sound like?

And then how would that particular assessment be integrated into what would also need to be known regarding the nature of Reality and Existence itself?


Well, what you seem to be getting at is the utility of metaphysics to establish certainty (and how little utility it might actually have in this department). But my point is not so much that metaphysics can lead us to the truth (and secure a sense of certainty about this truth), but just that people have metaphysical beliefs. The impossibility of absolute certainty in respect to metaphysics may discourage certain people like you from pursuing it, but this is not true of everyone. There's a whole shmorgas board of philosophers--from Aristotle, to Augustine, to Hegal--who delved deep into metaphysics and left the world with specific philosophies to follow. I'm not going to say they found certainty, let alone speculate on whether or not they thought they found certainty, but I'm just going to point out that it can be done--clinging to a particular metaphysical philosophy, that is, and feeling "certain enough" to give it your mental stamp of approval (i.e. the green light to say: this is what I believe). Once that's accomplished, it will run on your brain like a computer program and determine how you react in specific situations. And my further point is: that behavior can't be determined unless you understand at least something of the content of the metaphysical philosophy in question. You don't have to believe it--let alone recognize its certainty--you just have to know that it's the philosophy you're dealing with--the program running on the neurological computer that's presently making your life difficult.

In fact, the analogy to computer programs works perfectly here: how you would resolve a war going on between a bunch of robots? Well, understanding the software programs running through their CPUs might be a good start.

iambiguous wrote:Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party, the New American Movement, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Democratic Socialist of America. Those were groups I was once a member of. My political trajectory before I abandoned objectivism.


Thank you for that. (Trust me, I tried googling those--weird shit came up that I know you didn't mean).

iambiguous wrote:Then the problem revolves around my failure [yet] to grasp it. In particular the practical implications of it re prong #2. And as that pertains to the dilemma in which I am entangled.

Perhaps we will never succeed in closing this gap. But that often happens in exchanges of this sort here. We are puzzled as to why others are not able to understand that which seems so perspicuous to us.


It might have something to do with your comment above--that you find it difficult to grasp abstract or general perspectives without being given at least a few concrete examples. Admittedly, I'm being very abstract in the above. I mean, I'm trying to supply some concrete, albeit hypothetical examples (with the theist and the atheist and how the latter tries to engage the former) but these are just hypothetical and I am having a tough time trying to image an actual real world example that's happened before.

iambiguous wrote:Again, my reaction is always the same: How does your "certain conception of God" become applicable for all practical purposes out in the world of human interactions that come into conflict over values?

This is probably the part of my philosophy that's the least applicable to the real world... unlike traditional religion which has God as the moral authority for all mankind, and therefore has direct implications for how man should behave.

How do you take him "out of your head" in order to convey a meaning to someone who challenges a particular behavior of yours?

Never had to so far.

Also, how can you really trust what your subjectivism "says about him"? How do you move beyond the extent to which this too is embedded in dasein The point is that for me, being rooted in dasein isn't at odds with my beliefs being rooted in reality --- in the particular trajectory of your lived life that precipitated particular experiences, relationships, ideas etc.. Existential variables that [from my perspective] become largely a fabricated frame of mind? A frame of mind that, given the manner in which I construe these things, is always subject to further change given new experiences, relationships, ideas etc.


Again, what I mean by "fabricate" seems slight different from what you mean. So whereas we both agree that being dasein based creatures living through our hands-on experiences results in all sorts of existential fabrications/contraptions, this to me only means that they are "invented", whereas you seem to also think of them as "false" (again, my analogy to baking a cake comes in: we invent it but that doesn't make it unreal).

Further, I've never really felt the need to "prove" my subjectivism--either to myself or someone else--I've always thought of it as more of a "proposal" than a fact (i.e. I tend only to present it as a proposal of a certain metaphysics that we might accept). Indeed, I'm not sure how one would go about "proving" it--it seems to fall in the camp of one of those "unfalsifiable" theories as they say. That coupled with the fact that the theory itself says that whatever existential fabrication/contraption one invents supplies its own reality fosters a frame of mind in which I feel satisfied that everything I need in order to accept the theory is there in the theory itself--which is another way of saying I rely more on the theory's own inner logical integrity than on whether or not it matches the actual state of things "out there".

I won't deny the theory can be wrong, that it *might* not match the actual state of things "out there" after all--but given that I think of it as a "proposal" only and that I recognize its unfalsifiability, the rest is all just a matter of how I feel about accepting it on that basis or rejecting it on account of some inner need to cling to something I can verify empirically/objectively. And all that "accepting" means here is that it's just the latest philosophy that has landed on my brain, and that it has survived so far, and that I feel no need to reject it (i.e. it's allowed to stay). I'm fully aware, like you, that my continued experiences in the world, with people, with new philosophies and outlooks, with challenges to my current philosophy, will always have the potential to upheave my current philosophy... it just hasn't happened yet.

iambiguous wrote:...I think...

If all knowledge [of all things? No.] is had by your God, how do you reconcile this with human autonomy?

It's not all knowledge of all things, it's all knowledge that happens to exist (in the minds of intelligent beings). Essentially, my God has this knowledge because we have this knowledge. We are that part of God which knows.

And again: How would you be able to take this belief out of your head and to demonstrate why it is a frame of mind that all reasonable men and women ought to subscribe to.

Don't feel the need to.

Is it possible that you believe this because, emotionally, psychologically, it is a comfort and a consolation of sorts? Something [finally] to anchor the subjectivist "I" to?


Well, like I said, "God" is a conclusion my subjectivism comes to, not an anchor on which it hinges. The subjectivism itself brings me comfort, but that's true of anybody and the "ism" they hold onto (it's the feeling of "this works for me"). Again, finding comfort in a philosophy isn't necessarily grounds to invalidate it. One can easily imagine a philosophy that brings comfort and at the same time is true. <-- So long as this is the case, the fact that my philosophy brings me comfort isn't sufficient to upheave it.

iambiguous wrote:I am merely pointing out that, of late, I have not come across an argument that might persuade me to believe that such an objective moral standard does in fact exist.


Or that it doesn't. This was in response to you calling my "next best thing" a political prejudice. Which I acknowledge. It's always possible that there is something better of which I am not thinking. So I take you simply to be pointing out a fact rather than holding out hope.

iambiguous wrote:How does the mind [whether "subjectivist" or "objectivist"] even begin to grapple with the very essence/nature of Existence itself? In fact one of the unknown unknowns might well revolve around the extent to which the human mind is even capable of answering this.


Yes, the idea that metaphysics can actually enable one to arrive at "knowledge" with absolute certainty, let alone knowledge that you've covered all knowledge (i.e. there are no more unknown unknowns), is folly in my opinion. This is why I don't use metaphysics for this purpose. However, as a proposal, my theory puts a spin on the question of how we can know the very essence of Existence itself: it says that it is in the nature of existence to be completely exposed. That is, for example, when you look at an apple, not only do you see that it exists, but what you see of it (and what you experience of it in general--through sensory perception, thoughts, emotions, everything) is all there is to the apple. My theory says that experience is the essence of existence. This is in opposition to the Kantian theory of noumenal things-in-themselves, things that exist "hidden" from our experience, inaccessible and unknowable. My theory says that in order for a thing to exist, it has to be experienced, and it has to be experienced as the essence of its existence. So if this proposal is true, then we can know the essence of existence--it's there right in front of our eyes--the catch being, of course, that that's a emphatic "if". So it remains that I don't actually know that my proposal is true, and therefore I can't claim to actually know the essence of existence--I just have a theory.

iambiguous wrote:Don't we all go to the grave oblivious to The Answer here? Don't we all go to the grave clinging instead to that which we believe or think we know "in our head"?


Yes, but if you really believe it in your head, there really is no practical difference between arguing that X is the case and arguing that you believe X is the case.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Meno_ » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:30 pm

iambiguous wrote:
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.[
/quote]

Sorry to be so late to the invitation, but have noticed this forum in conjunction to current events and find it fitting. Hope to fill in the discussion with Gib along the way.

Intentionality has very much to do with basic things, such as trying to get out from under a miscinceivedly characterized grey area of establishing juncture between conflicting values and the consequential use of power. The identification now standing in this grey area has shifted from the nihilistic position of perceiving this, replaced by the Nietczhean focus on power for it's own sake.

Therefore this slide is a populist misrepresentation, and the identity as such as it is suffers the fate of a reduced periphery of perception, and has been shelved there. Here the objective and subjective worlds beg the question of differing values, thus, the nihilistic contraption just as suspect as the unnecessary out of the world abstractions which brought them into focus in the first place.

But they were consequential to the events surrounding the violent war ridden 20 th. Entury, so they were far from groundless.

It is the intentional use of power which can re focus the elements surrounding values, and place them into the position they deserve to be, the activation of movement away from clarity surrounding the contextual determinants of relating them to each other, re establishing, what for die hard Kantians are very problematic to begin with.

Holding, intending to hold principles , go far, in terms of resisting attempts to derail such attempts.

The existential epoch does not necessarily dictate a total nihilistic collapse, even with the demise of a credible ground.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:13 pm

jerkey wrote:Intentionality has very much to do with basic things, such as trying to get out from under a miscinceivedly characterized grey area of establishing juncture between conflicting values and the consequential use of power. The identification now standing in this grey area has shifted from the nihilistic position of perceiving this, replaced by the Nietczhean focus on power for it's own sake.


Biggy seems to be a nihilist through-and-through, and I'm not sure that needs to be replaced by a Nietzschean will to power. I think Biggy would agree that everyone's striving in the conflict to reach a level of domination over the other guy.

jerkey wrote:Therefore this slide is a populist misrepresentation, and the identity as such as it is suffers the fate of a reduced periphery of perception, So we're better off with the nihilist perspective? and has been shelved there. Here the objective (nihilism) and subjective (Nietzscheanism) worlds beg the question of differing values, thus, the nihilistic contraption just as suspect as the unnecessary out of the world abstractions which brought them into focus in the first place.


Yes, this is what I questioned with Biggy a few times in this thread; he seems to be relatively certain about his nihilism though--even though in principle I think it's subject to the same criticism it permits Biggy to level against all other "isms"--but that just goes to show that however vulnerable a philosophy in principle, the philosopher himself can hold true to that philosophy without necessarily any struggle.

jerkey wrote:But they were consequential to the events surrounding the violent war ridden 20 th. Entury, so they were far from groundless.


Meh--one could say that the wars of the 20th century were for the most part the result of what Biggy's calling existential contraptions/fabrications, and that maybe nihilism is the best way to go if you want to mitigate war as much as possible.

jerkey wrote:It is the intentional use of power which can re focus the elements surrounding values, and place them into the position they deserve to be, the activation of movement away from clarity surrounding the contextual determinants of relating them to each other, re establishing, what for die hard Kantians are very problematic to begin with.


But isn't power itself arbitrary? The powerful elites of today certainly impose their values on those under them, but it's just random chance who gets to be those powerful elites, for tomorrow a different elite, with different values to impose, will take their place. This is definitely problematic for a Kantian--that is, one who is always trying to keep clear the categorical imperative; with ever shift values in a world of ever shift powers, the Kantian has his work cut out for him trying to translate the current values of the day into the categorical imperative which he aims to keep constant.

jerkey wrote:Holding, intending to hold principles , go far, in terms of resisting attempts to derail such attempts.


When is it beneficial to hold to one principles and when is it beneficial to adapt one principles? Is the best survival strategy always to remain inflexible amidst the flux? Or should one change his values and principles in order to meet the trends of the day?

jerkey wrote:The existential epoch does not necessarily dictate a total nihilistic collapse, even with the demise of a credible ground.


This is true. Human thought is very versatile and innovative.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:25 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Yes, and this is what I've been saying. My theory belongs squarely in the field of metaphysics. It's a theory on consciousness, on the relation between mind and matter, and also perception and reality. It is only loosely connected to questions of politics and morality.


My interest however revolves more around the extent to which any theoretical speculation about human consciousness becomes applicable to a particular consciousness in a particular existential context. As this pertains to conflicting value judgments.


Should we drop the subject then? I mean, we could probe into it. Obviously, there must be some ways in which my view on consciousness impact my behavior in particular situations; it's just that my views touch primarily on ontological and metaphysical questions--how things are--and not so much on how one should act in this or that situation, or on what counts as "right" and what counts as "wrong". What this means is, for one thing, that I'm not going to be totally resolved about my answers to your question--as in: this is definitely what I would do--and for another thing, even if I were resolved about my answers to your questions, I couldn't say with any accuracy how much of that is influence by my philosophies on consciousness and how much on other things in my life. If that's less than satisfactory to you, perhaps we should drop the subject.


Here I just bump into the same uncertainty. I'm not really able to comprehend how this frame of mind is applicable regarding interactions in which we must choose to do one thing rather than another. It's like trying to wrap my head around the idea of determinism. If consciousness is just mindful matter and matter [all matter] obeys immutable laws then even prong #2 issues dissolve into...inevitability?

It's the difference between thinking about what it means to think about doing something and actually doing it. There may be no difference at all. But that involves an understanding of "mind" that is way beyond me.

And then there's the part where I make a distinction here between the world of either/or and the world of is/ought. Again, the human mind may be such that this distinction itself is only an illusion.

But how might this be demonstrated philosophically?

iambiguous wrote:The bottom line [mine]: How this actually plays out "in reality" when value judgments come into conflict. Given a particular frame of mind, you choose to behave in a particular way in a particular context and this triggers particular [positive/negative] reactions in others. How then would the manner in which you embrace "subjectivism" obviate the dilemma that [as a moral nihilist] I would find myself in?


gib wrote: Like I said, my subjectivism only permits me (so far) to obviate prong #1 of your dilemma--I have not encountered any conflict thus far that would bring my "ism" crashing to the ground and so my "ist"--my 'I'--has not fragmented. But the dilemma of prong #2 remains alive and well (though I don't seem to be in as much angst over it as you seem to be).


This may well be something that I never fully understand. The preponderance of human behaviors/interactions do not involve conflicting value judges. Instead, they revolve around conscious minds choosing particular goals/objectives and then coming up with behaviors that must be chosen in order to accomplish the task.

If you are pregnant and don't want to be then you can choose to have an abortion. At least in most parts of the world. This is applicable to the conscious minds of all women in this situation. The "angst" part only comes about when others react [subjectively] to what the mind must choose in order to stop the pregnancy.

gib wrote: Are you saying that if one explains his philosophy to you in the abstract, or in general, without giving concrete examples of how it would be implemented in the real world, then you have trouble understanding it?


But "understanding" here pertains to either agreeing with or not agreeing with the definition and the meaning given to the words used in the analysis/argument itself.

Now, if two doctors are discussing abortion as a medical procedure, the words here reference aspects of human biology that are the same for all pregnant women. And even in regard to exceptional cases, the words pertain to the actual physical interactions in any particular pregnant body.

Thus they can understand each other clearly [in the abstract] without having to actually perform an abortion.

When ethicists discuss the morality of killing the baby, they too can understand each other in an abstract exchange. But sooner or later their arguments get around to resolving the dispute. And unlike with the doctor, who either successfully aborts the baby or does not, there does not appear to be a way for the ethicist to either succeed or fail. Both can make reasonable arguments. But neither can make the points raised by the other go away.

Here there are so many possible combinations of existential variables, who could possibly wrap their mind around them all? And that's before we get to the ubiquitous subjunctive reactions --- reactions rooted in minds that respond emotionally in turn. And then the parts intertwined in the more primitive parts of the brain. And the parts buried in the subconscious and the unconscious mind.

This may well all be fathomed some day by neuroscientists. But by philosophers?

gib wrote: But given a series of concrete examples, you can then infer the abstract or general template of his philosophy? Sort of an inductive method rather than a deductive one? No wonder you shy away from metaphysics.


I still come back to this:

1] encompass a philosophy of mind, of consciousness, of choice, of behavior
2] note a particular context in which your mind, your consciousness, your choice, your behavior came into conflict with another
3] how are the two connected
4] how is your mind not entangled in my own dilemma above

iambiguous wrote:What, in any particular context, does it mean to speak of "the moral facts" from the persective of a mere mortal ensconced in a particular historical, cultural and experiential context? A particular set of personal experiences, personal relationships, personal interactions with particular ideas and knowledge?

Now, from the perspective of an omniscient God there are no unknowns. Mere mortals however are far, far, far, far from being omniscient.

Thus, regarding an issue like abortion, there appear to objective truths that can in fact be established as applicable to all -- human biology, the sexual libido, becoming pregancy, the medical act of aborting a fetus.

But what are "the facts" regarding the ethics of abortion? Given the vast and the varied contexts in which any particular abortion might occur --- and the vast and the varied intellectual and emotional reactions to it --- how [realistically] could all that would need to known in order to render an objective assessment be accumulated?

What would that argument sound like?

And then how would that particular assessment be integrated into what would also need to be known regarding the nature of Reality and Existence itself?


gib wrote:
Well, what you seem to be getting at is the utility of metaphysics to establish certainty (and how little utility it might actually have in this department). But my point is not so much that metaphysics can lead us to the truth (and secure a sense of certainty about this truth), but just that people have metaphysical beliefs. The impossibility of absolute certainty in respect to metaphysics may discourage certain people like you from pursuing it, but this is not true of everyone.


I'm not discouraging folks from probing into the ontological -- and, perhaps, teleological -- nature of Existence and Reality itself. Nor in exploring the part that "consciousness" plays in it. Instead, my own fascination revolves around the parts where the world of either/or becomes entangled in the world of is/ought. How ought one to live in this world?

Or is even that just another manifestation of the either/or world?

gib wrote: And my further point is: that behavior can't be determined unless you understand at least something of the content of the metaphysical philosophy in question. You don't have to believe it--let alone recognize its certainty--you just have to know that it's the philosophy you're dealing with--the program running on the neurological computer that's presently making your life difficult.


What's making my life problematic is the manner in which, in connecting the dots as I do between dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, it has engendered my dilemma.

Now, where that fits into "metaphysics", others are either able to explain to me or they are not. I simply acknolwedge the fact that their failure may well be more a reflection on me than them.

But if philosophers around the globe today really were close -- or considerably closer than philosophers going all the way back to the pre-Socratics -- to solving the mystery of Existence and Reality metaphysically, isn't that all we would be talking about?

gib wrote: ...what I mean by "fabricate" seems slight different from what you mean. So whereas we both agree that being dasein based creatures living through our hands-on experiences results in all sorts of existential fabrications/contraptions, this to me only means that they are "invented", whereas you seem to also think of them as "false" (again, my analogy to baking a cake comes in: we invent it but that doesn't make it unreal).


The individual mind of a child is fabricated to reflect the reality of the world of adults. Still, some of what the child is taught is true for all, while other things are rooted considerably more in particular moral and political narratives/agendas.

From my frame of mind, these beliefs are less false than they are not true objectively.

Unless perhaps they are true objectively. But in order for this to be the case others would have to demonstrate [to me] how they are able to in fact establish this.

In other words, to establish that a particular abortion either is moral or immoral in the same manner in which the facts of the pregnancy itself can be established; or in the manner in thich doctors perform the abortion as a medical procedure.

iambiguous wrote:...I think...

If all knowledge...is had by your God, how do you reconcile this with human autonomy?


gib wrote: It's not all knowledge of all things, it's all knowledge that happens to exist (in the minds of intelligent beings). Essentially, my God has this knowledge because we have this knowledge. We are that part of God which knows.


Nope, I can't wrap my head around this at all. I have no idea how something like this could be anything other than an "intellectual contraption". With the God of the Christians, Moslems and Jews, I can at least imagine Him as an "entity" "up there" in "Heaven". But your God here is a complete cypher to me: "a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure."

As I noted above:

How would you be able to take this belief out of your head and to demonstrate why it is a frame of mind that all reasonable men and women ought to subscribe to.


gib wrote: Don't feel the need to.


Then it is not likely that you will ever convey to someone like me how your conception of God is applicable to the world that we live and interact in.

iambiguous wrote:How does the mind [whether "subjectivist" or "objectivist"] even begin to grapple with the very essence/nature of Existence itself? In fact one of the unknown unknowns might well revolve around the extent to which the human mind is even capable of answering this.


gib wrote: Yes, the idea that metaphysics can actually enable one to arrive at "knowledge" with absolute certainty, let alone knowledge that you've covered all knowledge (i.e. there are no more unknown unknowns), is folly in my opinion. This is why I don't use metaphysics for this purpose. However, as a proposal, my theory puts a spin on the question of how we can know the very essence of Existence itself: it says that it is in the nature of existence to be completely exposed.


Yet I always come back to pondering what "on earth" something like this might possibly mean pertaining to a particular context out in a particular world. "Completely exposed" how? And how/why does being/feeling "completely exposed" matter when you are faced with choosing one thing rather than another.

Either in the world of either/or, or the world of is/ought?

gib wrote: That is, for example, when you look at an apple, not only do you see that it exists, but what you see of it (and what you experience of it in general--through sensory perception, thoughts, emotions, everything) is all there is to the apple. My theory says that experience is the essence of existence. This is in opposition to the Kantian theory of noumenal things-in-themselves, things that exist "hidden" from our experience, inaccessible and unknowable. My theory says that in order for a thing to exist, it has to be experienced, and it has to be experienced as the essence of its existence. So if this proposal is true, then we can know the essence of existence--it's there right in front of our eyes--the catch being, of course, that that's a emphatic "if". So it remains that I don't actually know that my proposal is true, and therefore I can't claim to actually know the essence of existence--I just have a theory.


Admittedly, much of this is beyond my capacity to pin down. And, in part, that is why arguments that champion determinism can sometimes be so appealing. Things are as they are because they are not some other way. And they are not some other way because there is no other way that they could ever have been.

We're ignorant by design.

iambiguous wrote:Don't we all go to the grave oblivious to The Answer here? Don't we all go to the grave clinging instead to that which we believe or think we know "in our head"?


gib wrote: Yes, but if you really believe it in your head, there really is no practical difference between arguing that X is the case and arguing that you believe X is the case.


Yet there are any number of examples in which what some once believed to be true "in their head" [the earth is flat etc.] turned out to be false. Thus there is always the possibility in these cases -- in the world of either/or -- to change minds. In other words, to demonstrate that what you do believe "in your head" is in fact what all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe.

With human behaviors that come into conflict over value judgments [rooted at least in part in dasein and in a particular political economy], what are all reasonable men and women obligated to believe then?
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 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:38 am

iambiguous wrote:Here I just bump into the same uncertainty. I'm not really able to comprehend how this frame of mind is applicable regarding interactions in which we must choose to do one thing rather than another. It's like trying to wrap my head around the idea of determinism. If consciousness is just mindful matter and matter [all matter] obeys immutable laws then even prong #2 issues dissolve into...inevitability?


And is this a hurdle to understanding the frame of mind itself or understanding its implications for how to act in the world?

iambiguous wrote:This may well be something that I never fully understand. The preponderance of human behaviors/interactions do not involve conflicting value judges. Instead, they revolve around conscious minds choosing particular goals/objectives and then coming up with behaviors that must be chosen in order to accomplish the task.

If you are pregnant and don't want to be then you can choose to have an abortion. At least in most parts of the world. This is applicable to the conscious minds of all women in this situation. The "angst" part only comes about when others react [subjectively] to what the mind must choose in order to stop the pregnancy.


And usually, only for the one who's the target of these reactions. Most of us understand that these kinds of friction exist between people, but as spectators only hearing about it from afar, not really having close relations to the people involved, it's hard to feel angst. The people who are in the thick of these conflicts definitely feel angst, and most likely people who have lived through experiences like this. The latter most likely have a heightened sensitivity to these kinds of things--even as bystanders just hearing about it--they become "triggered" as they say.

Given that, in your past, you've been more closely involved with conflicts of this sort, you may be more sensitive to the issues of prong #2 than the rest of us, and so to you it is a big deal, even just philosophically, and it may perplex you why others don't seem nearly as concerned about it. <-- This may be your answer. It may not be that others have a philosophy or an approach to the conflicts of prong #2 that you don't, it may just be that they haven't been involved in conflict as much as you have.

iambiguous wrote:But "understanding" here pertains to either agreeing with or not agreeing with the definition and the meaning given to the words used in the analysis/argument itself.

Ah ha! So, for example, you wouldn't be able to begin to understand my subjectivism unless I explained to you what I mean by terms like "consciousness", "experience", "qualia", etc., and the only way to render an adequate definition of these terms is to tie them into concrete examples in the real world. Otherwise, you will have one understanding of a term like "consciousness" and I will have another, and according to my understanding, certain implications can be drawn from it but not for you. Thus when I point out how these implications follow from my concept of "consciousness", you react with "no they don't". <-- Thus, you just end up lost in confusion.

Now, if two doctors are discussing abortion as a medical procedure, the words here reference aspects of human biology that are the same for all pregnant women. And even in regard to exceptional cases, the words pertain to the actual physical interactions in any particular pregnant body.

Thus they can understand each other clearly [in the abstract] without having to actually perform an abortion.

This is why I wrote a book on my philosophy of consciousness. When explicating this stuff, I obviously have to start from somewhere, somewhere that the reader can understand. So after taking the reader through a critical dissection of physicalism (nothing new) and exploring some of the other common approaches to the philosophy of mind in Chapter 1, I jump straight into the brain sciences in Chapter 2. This, hopefully, gives the reader something solid on which to ground some of the more abstract philosophy I get into in later chapters. When it comes to my actual philosophy of consciousness, I begin by tying what we know about the brain to subjective experience. As the focus, at this point, becomes subjective experience itself, there is very little, short of its neurological counterpart, I can point to in the concrete world to say: here is an example of a subjective experience. Nevertheless, I make the assumption that when I talk about something like the taste of wine, my readers will know what I'm talking about. It's true that their experience might be different from mine, but not so different as to disagree that it tastes bitter, or that children probably wouldn't like it, or that it's similar to the taste of champagne. So I make the assumption that I can talk about our common subjective experiences to the point that I can draw some implications from the way the experience feels and people will, in general, know where I'm coming from.

When ethicists discuss the morality of killing the baby, they too can understand each other in an abstract exchange. But sooner or later their arguments get around to resolving the dispute. And unlike with the doctor, who either successfully aborts the baby or does not, there does not appear to be a way for the ethicist to either succeed or fail. Both can make reasonable arguments. But neither can make the points raised by the other go away.

Here there are so many possible combinations of existential variables, who could possibly wrap their mind around them all? And that's before we get to the ubiquitous subjunctive reactions --- reactions rooted in minds that respond emotionally in turn. And then the parts intertwined in the more primitive parts of the brain. And the parts buried in the subconscious and the unconscious mind.

This may well all be fathomed some day by neuroscientists. But by philosophers?


I think a general principle that behooves all philosophers is to refrain as much as possible from contradicting well established scientific fact. Whatever we end up learning about the brain scientists, philosophers ought to follow.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:But given a series of concrete examples, you can then infer the abstract or general template of his philosophy? Sort of an inductive method rather than a deductive one? No wonder you shy away from metaphysics.


I still come back to this:

1] encompass a philosophy of mind, of consciousness, of choice, of behavior
2] note a particular context in which your mind, your consciousness, your choice, your behavior came into conflict with another
3] how are the two connected
4] how is your mind not entangled in my own dilemma above


I'm not sure whether this is a yes or a no to my question. Seems more like a set of instructions/questions you're asking others to observe in order to help you understand their views.

The move from 1) to 2) seems kind of odd: it's like asking one to encompass a theory of how the body works, and then to note a time when his body came into conflict with another (say in a war, for example). How would his theory about his body change what happens when it gets shot by bullets?

I suppose you might mean to ask: how would he explain in terms of his theory what happens to his body when it gets hit by bullets, in which case I guess you're asking me to describe what happens when I enter into conflict with another in terms of my theory of consciousness. Is that what you mean?

iambiguous wrote:I'm not discouraging folks from probing into the ontological -- and, perhaps, teleological -- nature of Existence and Reality itself. Nor in exploring the part that "consciousness" plays in it. Instead, my own fascination revolves around the parts where the world of either/or becomes entangled in the world of is/ought. How ought one to live in this world?

Or is even that just another manifestation of the either/or world?


Would it be fair to say then that your interest in metaphysics lies along a specific branch--the metaphysics of morality and its relation to the world of either/or--but that the crux of the problem is the same as that found in all other branches of metaphysics: that finding certainty in the insights one arrives at remains indefinitely elusive? (This sounds like just another way of phrasing your dilemma.) It's just that unlike questions of consciousness, being, transcendentalism, questions of morality and how that is practiced in the world of either/or is of tantamount importance, and so it tends to compel one to take it seriously?

iambiguous wrote:What's making my life problematic is the manner in which, in connecting the dots as I do between dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, it has engendered my dilemma.

Yes, which begins with other people making your life difficult (prong #2). Without that, there wouldn't be a prong #2, and thus no dots to connect.

Now, where that fits into "metaphysics", others are either able to explain to me or they are not. I simply acknolwedge the fact that their failure may well be more a reflection on me than them.

But whether or not you understand how the dots and their connections fit into metaphysics has no bearing on the fact that other people will have their own metaphysical beliefs and values--whether you agree with them or not, whether one can be certain about them or not--and those metaphysical beliefs will determine (at least partially) their behavior--their behavior towards you when they enter into conflict with you, and what triggers them to enter into conflict with you. You don't need to know how you the dots are connected in order to investigate and understand other people's metaphysics.

But if philosophers around the globe today really were close -- or considerably closer than philosophers going all the way back to the pre-Socratics -- to solving the mystery of Existence and Reality metaphysically, isn't that all we would be talking about?


Well, many philosophers think they are close. Problem is they all disagree with each other. And I'm sure that is all that's talked about amongst that small handful of philosophers.

iambiguous wrote:The individual mind of a child is fabricated to reflect the reality of the world of adults. Still, some of what the child is taught is true for all, while other things are rooted considerably more in particular moral and political narratives/agendas.

From my frame of mind, these beliefs are less false than they are not true objectively.

No fact of the matter, in other words. That's *something* like what I believe but not quite. My take on the invention of truths is based on relativism--it's true (there is a fact of the matter) for a particular individual.

Unless perhaps they are true objectively. But in order for this to be the case others would have to demonstrate [to me] how they are able to in fact establish this.

In other words, to establish that a particular abortion either is moral or immoral in the same manner in which the facts of the pregnancy itself can be established; or in the manner in thich doctors perform the abortion as a medical procedure.


Yes, we all have our criteria for accepting truth.

iambiguous wrote:Nope, I can't wrap my head around this at all. I have no idea how something like this could be anything other than an "intellectual contraption". With the God of the Christians, Moslems and Jews, I can at least imagine Him as an "entity" "up there" in "Heaven". But your God here is a complete cypher to me: "a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure."


My God is the universe--plain and simple--I'm a patheist. I think sans God, you would probably understand the concept of knowledge existing in the minds of intelligent beings, and that it follows from this that such knowledge also exists in the universe. So I would think the problematic part is: how is God the universe?

The reason this is cryptic to you is (partly) because I haven't layed out all the gory details of my philosophy, just some of the conclusions I've come to. This is why I wrote a book.

iambiguous wrote:Then it is not likely that you will ever convey to someone like me how your conception of God is applicable to the world that we live and interact in.


Maybe not. But it is a two way street. As I said above, I wrote a book to (hopefully) accomplish this purpose, but you'd have to be interested in reading it.

iambiguous wrote:Yet I always come back to pondering what "on earth" something like this might possibly mean pertaining to a particular context out in a particular world. "Completely exposed" how? That's answered in what follows: "That is, for example, when you look at an apple, not only do you see that it exists, but what you see of it (and what you experience of it in general--through sensory perception, thoughts, emotions, everything) is all there is to the apple." And how/why does being/feeling "completely exposed" matter when you are faced with choosing one thing rather than another.


It was just a commentary on the metaphysical problem of the nature (or essence) of existence--not meant to explain why it matters when choosing one thing rather than another.

iambiguous wrote:Yet there are any number of examples in which what some once believed to be true "in their head" [the earth is flat etc.] turned out to be false. So saying: I believe X to be the case, is like saying: X is the case, but I could be wrong. Thus there is always the possibility in these cases -- in the world of either/or -- to change minds. In other words, to demonstrate that what you do believe "in your head" is in fact what all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe.

With human behaviors that come into conflict over value judgments [rooted at least in part in dasein and in a particular political economy], what are all reasonable men and women obligated to believe then?


Indeed! I think we already came to an agreement on this one--there is no objective answer (right?).
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby James S Saint » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:51 am

gib wrote:Whatever we end up learning about the brain scientists, philosophers ought to follow.

Nullius in Verba
James S Saint wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Scientific knowledge is provisional so is therefore not absolutely true

Well, it might be true, but the scientific method cannot reveal whether it is really true or merely has yet to be proven false. Science can prove some things false, but it cannot prove anything to be true (except by converse of a falsity).

I happen to know beyond all question that the conservation of energy rule is actually absolutely true. But science can't tell you that. What you should be asking is why science ever thought that it even might be true. Even scientists of today can't tell you that.

Good philosophers made good scientists back then, but it doesn't work the other way around.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Arminius » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:37 pm

James S Saint wrote:
gib wrote:Whatever we end up learning about the brain scientists, philosophers ought to follow.

Nullius in Verba
James S Saint wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Scientific knowledge is provisional so is therefore not absolutely true

Well, it might be true, but the scientific method cannot reveal whether it is really true or merely has yet to be proven false. Science can prove some things false, but it cannot prove anything to be true (except by converse of a falsity).

I happen to know beyond all question that the conservation of energy rule is actually absolutely true. But science can't tell you that. What you should be asking is why science ever thought that it even might be true. Even scientists of today can't tell you that.

Good philosophers made good scientists back then, but it doesn't work the other way around.

That seems to be true, unfortunately, or should we hope that it will become untrue?
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