## on discussing god and religion

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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:Consider this practice among particular Amish communities: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumspringa

Now, I'm not really at all familiar with how this works "in reality", but it is certainly going in the right direction in regards to children. You show them your way and you defend it. But you let them challenge it...even to the point of going out into the world and seeing how others choose to live.

Then they make a more informed decision regarding which direction they want to go.
Eexcept these youths go out and go from very clear guidelines and very low stimuli to highly manipulative environments of which they have no experience, no knowledge of how to manage drugs, alcohol, sex - set boundaries, see warning signs of abusers, have social circles that know how to see warning signs of problems, parents to give emotional feedback to the crises that arise and so on. I do not think the Amish elders are rubbing their hands in Machievellian glee, but the truth is most of the youths come back precisely because it is not a realistic way to experience new things. It is tossing them in the deep end when they have never waded. They do this without the support of elders. Throw your kid in the ocean without ever giving them swimming lessons and that kid will stand a good chance of developing a phobia.

I see it as a very clever way to make it seem like the Anglish have a sick culture. Which they do. All cultures are sick or perhaps better put dangerous. And you are damn well going to feel sick and aweful in most cases if you have no orientation, no guidance, total freedom with things you have never experienced before, and vultures and parasites in that other cultures well aware of your naivte, lack of boundaries, etc.

To send you girls out like that is basically setting them for a very high liklihood of date rape or worse. The boys also run a set of serious risks. Of course most come crawling back into mommy and daddy's arms and think that other culture is fucking nuts.

It's a fake test.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Consider this practice among particular Amish communities: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumspringa

Now, I'm not really at all familiar with how this works "in reality", but it is certainly going in the right direction in regards to children. You show them your way and you defend it. But you let them challenge it...even to the point of going out into the world and seeing how others choose to live.

Then they make a more informed decision regarding which direction they want to go.

Eexcept these youths go out and go from very clear guidelines and very low stimuli to highly manipulative environments of which they have no experience, no knowledge of how to manage drugs, alcohol, sex - set boundaries, see warning signs of abusers, have social circles that know how to see warning signs of problems, parents to give emotional feedback to the crises that arise and so on. I do not think the Amish elders are rubbing their hands in Machievellian glee, but the truth is most of the youths come back precisely because it is not a realistic way to experience new things. It is tossing them in the deep end when they have never waded. They do this without the support of elders. Throw your kid in the ocean without ever giving them swimming lessons and that kid will stand a good chance of developing a phobia.

I see it as a very clever way to make it seem like the Anglish have a sick culture. Which they do. All cultures are sick or perhaps better put dangerous. And you are damn well going to feel sick and aweful in most cases if you have no orientation, no guidance, total freedom with things you have never experienced before, and vultures and parasites in that other cultures well aware of your naivte, lack of boundaries, etc.

Still, the narrative there is not all that far removed from the narrative here:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2333208&hilit=witness#p2333208

That any children John Book might bring into the world will have a better chance at either surviving or even flourishing in the modern world, doesn't change the part about the psychological foundations built right into objectivist religious dogmas.

His children will quite clearly be better acclimated to the postmodern mishmash of hopelessly conflicting narratives. But they still pay the price of living in a world that they construe [if they are a chip off Book's cynical block] to be essentially meaningless. And one that ends for all of eternity in oblivion.

The conflict here is still between the comfort and the consolation rooted in religion [on either side of the grave] and the many more options -- the "freedom" -- available to those who reject religion.

Still, the Amish are no more able to actually demonstrate the existence of their God than the atheists are able to demonstrate that we live in a No God World.

But: How would the choice that any one particular individual might make here [child or adult] not be profoundly embodied in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:Still, the narrative there is not all that far removed from the narrative here:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2333208&hilit=witness#p2333208

That any children John Book might bring into the world will have a better chance at either surviving or even flourishing in the modern world, doesn't change the part about the psychological foundations built right into objectivist religious dogmas.

OK. Let's look at the context. You make a value judgment, see your post above that I quote in my previous post, that the Amish are going in the right direction with rumspringa. (see there you are, making value judgments like all the objectivists, but that's not a problem with you as a dialogue partner, which is what I want to focus on). I point out the serious problems with what you consider 'the right direction'. It's is not a real allowing of freedom or exploring, it is in fact careless parenting, putting your children in harm's way and precisely not a process that allows exploration in a way most children can integrate. It does not allow an integratable experience of another way of living. Each culture includes mechanisms that protect people - to varying degrees - from the excesses or dangers of that culture. With NONE of these the dangers have no checks and balances. It's a rigged test. A fake test. Not an exploration of what it is to live in another culture. But in fact a process almost guaranteeing a return or at least a dangerous, likely in many ways unpleasant experience.

Instead of dealing with your value judgment in the context of my counterarguments that it might not be a right direction - Good, positive, moral, ethical - you shift to your criticism of objectivist postions, here religious ones.

You finish with:

But: How would the choice that any one particular individual might make here [child or adult] not be profoundly embodied in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein?
[/quote][/quote]

You make an value judgment evaluation of a process - rumspringa - that it is in the right direction. IOW not best practice, not without problems, but better than not doing this perhaps. Somewhere on a scale of good/bad as evaluated by you.

This meets my argument - well done or not - that this is actually not a good or even better process, but one designed to lead to failure and unpleasance.

You do not even acknowledge this questioning of your value judgment - iow you do not respond to my post - but simply drop back again into your binary value judgment - which includes that you have no way to evaluate, though you just did - and go on to talk about your issues, in part of the ad naseum - to use an adverb as a noun, which your approach has earned.

This is not a unique pattern on your part. It comes off as 'you have a value judgment of objectivists'. That because they are objectivists they are less likely to follow moderation, compromise, etc., which is the most morally acceptable position, given the problems of knowing what is objectively moral. You saw the Amish as, with Rumspringa, to that extant and on that issue, have a more moderate, exploratory option for their children. That is one that fits with what you consider the Good approach to human relations.

Now of course you do not couch this whole agenda with the moral judgments openly placed. They are implicit. But who cares about the hypocrisy implicit. Seriously, who cares.

The problem is the solipsism.
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Still, the narrative there is not all that far removed from the narrative here:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2333208&hilit=witness#p2333208

That any children John Book might bring into the world will have a better chance at either surviving or even flourishing in the modern world, doesn't change the part about the psychological foundations built right into objectivist religious dogmas.

OK. Let's look at the context. You make a value judgment, see your post above that I quote in my previous post, that the Amish are going in the right direction with rumspringa. (see there you are, making value judgments like all the objectivists, but that's not a problem with you as a dialogue partner, which is what I want to focus on). I point out the serious problems with what you consider 'the right direction'.

Again and again and again: If we choose to interact with others -- either online or offline -- we can expect others to react to our own reaction to human behaviors. My point is that my basically positive reaction to this Amish practice is rooted in dasein. Just as your basically negative reaction to my reaction is in turn.

In other words, where are the theologians or the philosophers or the ethicists able to demonstrate that this practice either is or is not in fact the "right thing to do"?

Instead, as with other "conflicting goods", we have reasonable arguments that can be made from both sides, arguments that are able to be deflected in some respects, but not made to go away entirely.

That is always my point here.

The objectivists among us are those who [in my view] insist that their value judgments reflect the optimal or the only rational [virtuous] point of view. And they predicate this assumption on God or reason or deontology or political ideology or on one or another rendition of what it is "natural" to do.

And this thread was created in order to explore with zinnat13 the manner in which religious folks might connect the dots between what they construe to be moral behavior on this side of the grave and what they construe to be their fate on the other side.

Also, for those who are not religious, the manner in which they configure "I" in their head in those contexts in which they must choose particular behaviors deemed by them "here and now" to be the "right thing to do".

How exactly does that work for them when they are entangled with others in one or another moral or political confrontation? How are they not in the hole that "I" am in then?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Each culture includes mechanisms that protect people - to varying degrees - from the excesses or dangers of that culture. With NONE of these the dangers have no checks and balances. It's a rigged test. A fake test. Not an exploration of what it is to live in another culture. But in fact a process almost guaranteeing a return or at least a dangerous, likely in many ways unpleasant experience.

Sure, for all practical purposes, I agree with this. But that doesn't mean that the test can't be reconfigured to minimize these objections.

We are still back to the point being made in Witness: that religious societies [in sync with God] embody human interactions that instill considerable comfort and consolation in mere mortals both on this side and the other side of the grave.

In Book's world that is basically missing. But out there he is afforded considerably more options from which to choose. He is "freer". Unless, of course, the No God folks concoct one or another political dogma, deontological intellectual contraption or assessment of Nature in which it is argued that in order to be deemed "one of us" others must toe the line.

Rachel: He's leaving, isn't he?
Eli: Tomorrow morning. He'll need his city clothes.
Rachel: But why? What does he have to go back to?
Eli: He's going back to his world, where he belongs. He knows it, and you know it, too.

How on earth would this exchange not be embodied in dasein?

Or has Eli actually pinned down the Whole Truth here?

My point is only to suggest that our reaction to the film and to Rumspringa are basically the same: existential contraptions. There are facts "in reality" here that we can both agree on as the objective truth. Out in the either/or world. But in shifting gears to our assessments of the facts in the is/ought world, objectivity often gives way to the subjective and the subjunctive.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You make an value judgment evaluation of a process - rumspringa - that it is in the right direction. IOW not best practice, not without problems, but better than not doing this perhaps. Somewhere on a scale of good/bad as evaluated by you.

Until you are able to grapple more effectively with the gap between my assessment of my own value judgments -- as existential contraptions rooted in dasein -- and your assessment of that -- as just another rendition of objectivism -- we are not likely to make much headway.

On the other hand, given the complexity of human psychology in all of this, that really doesn't surprise me. Here "I" is only more or less understood and/or controlled.

Or, sure, until I am able to grapple more effectively with your point here.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You do not even acknowledge this questioning of your value judgment - iow you do not respond to my post - but simply drop back again into your binary value judgment - which includes that you have no way to evaluate, though you just did - and go on to talk about your issues, in part of the ad naseum - to use an adverb as a noun, which your approach has earned.

From my frame of mind, a "binary" argument here would revolve around value judgments as either wholly embodied in dasein or as wholly embodied philosophically in the epistemological truth. Whereas I have come to see it as a profoundly complex and problematic intertwining of "I" and "we" and "them". Out in particular historical and cultural and experiential contexts. Entwined in both nature and nurture, genes and memes.

And ever evolving existentially in a world bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change.

And then going all the way back to the explanation for 1] why anything exist at all and 2] why this existence and not another.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Monotheism has to be connected to development of written language. There are a few theories on how that might have happened. But one theory that I’m exploring advances the idea that it was particularly the adoption of phoenetic alphabet (Phoenician) which facilitated the creation of monotheism, in the Middle East.

This is clearly a relationship that revolves around a sophisticated technical knowledge of human language. How it evolved genetically as a component of the evolution of life on earth and how, given the evolution of culture over the millenia, it evolved memetically to encompass any number of historical contexts.

But I would imagine a factor just as significant is the advent of science.

After all, before science enabled us to understand nature with the level of sophistication we take for granted today, any number of human communities attributed the forces of nature to "the Gods". Gods connected to the Sun and the Moon and the Earth. Gods interwined in the flora and the fauna around which human interactions became so crucial. Gods embedded in the stars and in extraterrestrial phenomena like solar and lunar eclipes, comets and asteroids.

Then one by one these events were explained as "natural phenomena" rooted in the "laws of nature".

But all the science in the world doesn't explain why anything exists at all, or what happens after we die, or how we ought to live our lives from the cradle to the grave.

Instead, that seems to revolve around the fact that our brains have evolved to a point where we can even raise questions like these.

And here a God, the God, our God fits the bill like nothing else.

And the icing on the cake of course is this: that to the extent we can think ourselves into believing in the God, the psychological and emotional components of our lives have something really, really soothing to fall back on.

In other words, whether God does or does not exist, He is almost certainly something that is going to be invented over and over and over again.

And all the more so in a postmodern world where the "meaning of life" has been deconstructed into any number of mere "lifestyles"
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Religion, like many other homo sapien type phenomena with higher cognitive functions involved, allows one to override primal functions. In fact religions have often taken this on as a central role: judging and controlling primal functions, hence their rules about sex, eating, emotions, including anger, and empathy.

In this sense religion is not all that different from any number of secular dogmas that most here are familiar with. It seeks to impose order on that which can only really be tamed by "thinking" oneself into a frame of mind that allows you to fall back on some overarching truth behind human interactions. Even the subjunctive "I" is made to do its bidding.

Sure, you feel powerful emotional and psychological reactions to the world around you; you are "driven" viscerally, sexually, primordially etc., by components of the brain that are ever in sync with the evolution of life itself.

But it is still all rooted in actual cognitive functions in actual individuals interacting with others in actual contexts. Thus both the controlling and the judging are no less existential contraptions.

It still always comes down to the specific behaviors that one is intent on controlling and judging.

And then the subjective/subjunctive reactions of those being controlled and/or judged.

In a No God world my own frame of mind here seems to be a reasonable assessment of "the human condition".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:In this sense religion is not all that different from any number of secular dogmas that most here are familiar with.
Agreed it can be cultural, familial, subcultural. It can be a rebellious stance. It can be philosophical: such as one decides the Stoics are the way to go. Many of the political ideologies have ideas about what can be expressed and how. Corporate culture has many habits here.

It seeks to impose order on that which can only really be tamed by "thinking" oneself into a frame of mind that allows you to fall back on some overarching truth behind human interactions.
It can also be socially enforced. Messages in your group via body language, social consequences - often never stated - professional consequences, and certainly parenting exerts tremendous control.
Even the subjunctive "I" is made to do its bidding.
Yes, the ego often thinks it has made choices or the choices are the obvious and/or good and/or tactical and/or sexy and/or cool, etc. choices. The ego may not even know that it is repressing something. In fact I think this is often more the rule. It is not like we go around noticing some huge isometric psychic pressure.

And of course one is also encouraged by ideologies and social pressures to HAVE certain emotions and express them, often when we do not have them.

Sure, you feel powerful emotional and psychological reactions to the world around you; you are "driven" viscerally, sexually, primordially etc., by components of the brain that are ever in sync with the evolution of life itself.
I am not sure what that means. How can something not be in synch with evolution?

But it is still all rooted in actual cognitive functions in actual individuals interacting with others in actual contexts. Thus both the controlling and the judging are no less existential contraptions.
I would say they fit the title existential contraptions more than what here are being called primal forces.

It still always comes down to the specific behaviors that one is intent on controlling and judging.
or more experientially, one has been trained to control and judge and certainly does not notice the full extent of this training in its moment to moment effects or otherwise.

And then, in the original context, I believe my point was that in contrast with Prismatic, I see religion as, like many other complicated human phenomena, not jsut primal, but in fact having significant components of higher primate brain functions. In fact, we seem to be the only religious animals, and further, just expressing primal drives is hardly religious. Some religions do allow extreme expression of emotion and body movement, but nearly always within VERY strict parameters, at specific times. Desires are much less likely to be included.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:In this sense religion is not all that different from any number of secular dogmas that most here are familiar with.
Agreed it can be cultural, familial, subcultural. It can be a rebellious stance. It can be philosophical: such as one decides the Stoics are the way to go. Many of the political ideologies have ideas about what can be expressed and how. Corporate culture has many habits here.

It seeks to impose order on that which can only really be tamed by "thinking" oneself into a frame of mind that allows you to fall back on some overarching truth behind human interactions.
It can also be socially enforced. Messages in your group via body language, social consequences - often never stated - professional consequences, and certainly parenting exerts tremendous control.
Even the subjunctive "I" is made to do its bidding.
Yes, the ego often thinks it has made choices or the choices are the obvious and/or good and/or tactical and/or sexy and/or cool, etc. choices. The ego may not even know that it is repressing something. In fact I think this is often more the rule. It is not like we go around noticing some huge isometric psychic pressure.

And of course one is also encouraged by ideologies and social pressures to HAVE certain emotions and express them, often when we do not have them.

I can more or less agree with all this. I would merely point to just how enormously complex the actual interactions of these variables can be out in a particular context, out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective/subjunctive point of view.

Then "for all pratical purposes" it has to come down to those thing able to be demonstrated as true objectively for all of us.

However one wants to define the meaning of an "objective truth" here.

Sure, you feel powerful emotional and psychological reactions to the world around you; you are "driven" viscerally, sexually, primordially etc., by components of the brain that are ever in sync with the evolution of life itself.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am not sure what that means. How can something not be in synch with evolution?

But: given any particular choice to behave in any one particular way in any one particular context, how in sync with the evolution of life on earth is it?

It would seem that, for example, in a wholly determined universe, our beahviors are in sync with the only behaviors that we ever could have "chosen".

But to the extent that we do have some measure of "human autonomy" how are our emotional and psychological and "driven" reactions not in turn more or less "existential contraptions"? To what extent are the "memes" that propel our behaviors [indoctinated or otherwise] able to be demonstrated as in sync epistemologically [ontologically? teleologically?] with the obligations of a rational human being?

It still always comes down to the specific behaviors that one is intent on controlling and judging.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: or more experientially, one has been trained to control and judge and certainly does not notice the full extent of this training in its moment to moment effects or otherwise.

There are those aspects of "I" here that flow from years and years of indoctrination [as a child] into the moral and political narratives of any one particular human community across space and time.

As I have noted on other threads, the crucial factor here is the extent to which any one individual becomes aware of this. And then once having recognized their values as historical, cultural and experiential contraptions, to what extent can they use the tools of philosophy [or science] to extract the most rational narrative of all.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: And then, in the original context, I believe my point was that in contrast with Prismatic, I see religion as, like many other complicated human phenomena, not jsut primal, but in fact having significant components of higher primate brain functions. In fact, we seem to be the only religious animals, and further, just expressing primal drives is hardly religious. Some religions do allow extreme expression of emotion and body movement, but nearly always within VERY strict parameters, at specific times. Desires are much less likely to be included.

For me these existential relationships are, above all else, tangled [maybe even impenetrably] in far too many social, political and economic permutations to ever be grasped [in a No God world] such that folks like Prismatic actually can demonstrate a set of "progressive behaviors" that all rational men and women are obligated to extol.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:I can more or less agree with all this. I would merely point to just how enormously complex the actual interactions of these variables can be out in a particular context, out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective/subjunctive point of view.
Sure, I am not sure what I wrote that might indicate I thought is was simple rather than complex.

Then "for all pratical purposes" it has to come down to those thing able to be demonstrated as true objectively for all of us.
I don't know where this comes in. 'It has to come down to...' Has to? I know you are interested in having this demonstrated to you. But I don't see where the normative 'has to' comes in. Clearly all sorts of things manage to be both widespread and not demonstrated as true for all of us.

I can see no real 'has to' out there. Do you see a real 'has to'? Isn't this just your - and others - want? It is not a practical obstacle to memes and systems. This almost comes off as a meta-objectivism.

But: given any particular choice to behave in any one particular way in any one particular context, how in sync with the evolution of life on earth is it?
I still don't know what you are trying to say. Are you asking if some particular idea is positively adaptive for and individual or humans in general? And if so how could anyone possibly even speculate without a specific meme as an example.

It would seem that, for example, in a wholly determined universe, our beahviors are in sync with the only behaviors that we ever could have "chosen".
Freely chosen or wholly determined, I still don't see how certain behaviors or memes are not in synch with evolution. If we all decide to stand on one leg, evolution will perhaps look different. We would be more poorly adapted. But evolution chugs merrily along with that set of processes.

But to the extent that we do have some measure of "human autonomy"
That start just makes no sense to me. If it has citation marks, human autonomy isn't really human autonomy. Or perhaps there is someone other meaning to the citation marks.

how are our emotional and psychological and "driven" reactions not in turn more or less "existential contraptions"? To what extent are the "memes" that propel our behaviors [indoctinated or otherwise] able to be demonstrated as in sync epistemologically [ontologically? teleologically?] with the obligations of a rational human being?
We are not just meme driven, but in any case I don't know how a rational human being is possible without existential contraptions. That's like saying a cell free mouse.

It still always comes down to the specific behaviors that one is intent on controlling and judging.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: or more experientially, one has been trained to control and judge and certainly does not notice the full extent of this training in its moment to moment effects or otherwise.

There are those aspects of "I" here that flow from years and years of indoctrination [as a child] into the moral and political narratives of any one particular human community across space and time.

As I have noted on other threads, the crucial factor here is the extent to which any one individual becomes aware of this. And then once having recognized their values as historical, cultural and experiential contraptions, to what extent can they use the tools of philosophy [or science] to extract the most rational narrative of all.
That's one choice. It's not mine. i don't aim for irrational, whatever that would mean. I just strive to make things better or not worse for what I care about. I don't think I can demonstrate that that is objectively more rational, in the abstract, or in what I care about, or in what I think makes thing better. In fact it is, to me almost a contradiction in terms. Much of it is based on subjective stuff. I like this I don't like that. The root emotional, experiential, preference-based. I am not a God's computer or something with objective preferences.

For me these existential relationships are, above all else, tangled [maybe even impenetrably] in far too many social, political and economic permutations to ever be grasped [in a No God world] such that folks like Prismatic actually can demonstrate a set of "progressive behaviors" that all rational men and women are obligated to extol.
Or folks unlike Prismatic. Someone like you for example. Or me. Or Phyllo. Or Zero Sum.

I can't say it is wrong, obviously, to try to demonstrate this or to try to get others to. I just can't find any reason to. I doubt I am less optimistic than you are that someone can.
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:I can more or less agree with all this. I would merely point to just how enormously complex the actual interactions of these variables can be out in a particular context, out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective/subjunctive point of view.
Sure, I am not sure what I wrote that might indicate I thought is was simple rather than complex.

My argument here always revolves around the length to which some seem to go in suggesting that how they construe these relationships here and now -- re the existential interaction of identity, values and political power -- is how others ought to construe them in turn. However simple or complex the arguments might be.

Think about it like this:

Over the centuries, in thousands upon thousands of exchanges much like this one, an enormous number of points have been passed back and forth. Now, what percentage of the points raised in these exchanges have you or I had access to? There are any number of perspectives here that neither of us have really pondered much at all. In contexts [across space and time] that neither of us have a clue regarding.

On the other hand, with regard to the either/or world, however many conflicting points there might have been about the "objective truth" over the centuries, there are fonts [nature, mathematics, logic] within the reach of all rational men and women to resolve them. At least until we go far enough out on the limb to broach the truly imponderable questions: why something and not nothing? why this something and not another?

For me, what we think and feel is true -- what we think and feel we know -- must come down to the extent to which we can demonstrate to others that they are obligated to think and to feel it too. Why? Because it is what we think and feel is true that motivates our actual behaviors. And it is our actual behaviors that precipitate actual consequences.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't know where this comes in. 'It has to come down to...' Has to? I know you are interested in having this demonstrated to you. But I don't see where the normative 'has to' comes in. Clearly all sorts of things manage to be both widespread and not demonstrated as true for all of us.

Well, what else is there? If Jane is concerned about becoming pregnant what does she have to know about human biology and the practice of safe sex? And this knowledge is applicable to all women over time and across space. There are things that they can know here because in fact these things are true. For everyone.

Now, is there a normative equivalent of "has to" here? Is there a set of knowledge applicable to all women over time and across space that will guide them if, even after becoming knowledgeable of human biology and the practice of safe sex, they still become pregnant?

Or if they are raped? Or if their only concern with morality here lies in pursuing that which sustains their own perceived self-interest?

Can they know if aborting the baby is the right thing or the wrong thing to do?

Can they even know for certain if as a "bundle of cells" a zygote or an embryo or a fetus is in fact a human being?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I can see no real 'has to' out there. Do you see a real 'has to'? Isn't this just your - and others - want? It is not a practical obstacle to memes and systems. This almost comes off as a meta-objectivism.

No, I can't see a real "has to" here. But that doesn't mean that there isn't one out there. Noted in one of those many discussions above that I have not had access to.

The point of this thread however revolves around exploring the arguments of those who broach God and religion as their font of chioce in pursuing the question of what a virtuous man or woman "has to do" on this side of the grave in order to attain immortality and salvation on the other side of it.

For particular secular thinkers however the font of choice is Nature. Sure, there are any number of historical and cultural and experiential memes out and about to twist and to contort our genetic predispositions into any number of social, political and economic configurations. But nature will out. Ah, but only if you construe the very nature of nature itself in precisely the same manner that they do.

The "synchronization" between genes and memes and morality is always embedded in one or another rendition of "one of us".

And then there are the folks like Marx and Engels who insist "has to" revolves around the "scientific" understanding of political economy.

And then there are the philosophers who deduce "has to" into existence out of one or another set of definitions attached to one or another deontological intellectual contraption.

My point is that all of this seems to revolve more around the psychological comfort and consolation one accumulates in being able to ground "I" in one or another "objectivist" frame of mind.

It would seem that, for example, in a wholly determined universe, our beahviors are in sync with the only behaviors that we ever could have "chosen".

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Freely chosen or wholly determined, I still don't see how certain behaviors or memes are not in synch with evolution. If we all decide to stand on one leg, evolution will perhaps look different. We would be more poorly adapted. But evolution chugs merrily along with that set of processes.

If someone argues that we should stand on one leg or cut off our thumbs, we can calculate the extent to which this either facilitates or retards our efforts to attain those things that we want and need. But what if someone argues that standing on two legs or having two thumbs is immoral. For whatever reason they come up with. How on earth would they go about demonstrating that?

There are those aspects of "I" here that flow from years and years of indoctrination [as a child] into the moral and political narratives of any one particular human community across space and time.

As I have noted on other threads, the crucial factor here is the extent to which any one individual becomes aware of this. And then once having recognized their values as historical, cultural and experiential contraptions, to what extent can they use the tools of philosophy [or science] to extract the most rational narrative of all.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: That's one choice. It's not mine. i don't aim for irrational, whatever that would mean. I just strive to make things better or not worse for what I care about. I don't think I can demonstrate that that is objectively more rational, in the abstract, or in what I care about, or in what I think makes thing better.

Okay, but sooner or later this "general description" of what you think is going to bump into others who think exactly the same way. Only what they insist "makes things better or worst" for them requires that you stop doing what you think makes things better for you.

Then what?

With God and religion, there is this transcending font able to resolve it. Unless, of course, the conflict revolves around two different Gods; or around the same God understood in two very different ways.

Back to this: Then what?

From my frame of mind such conflicts can only resolved through one or another rendition of might makes right, a consensus regarding right makes might, or moderation, negotiation and compromise.

But how any particular individual finally comes down here is, in my view, going to be embedded more in dasein than in that which the tools of philosophy are able to offer us.

But even here I recognize this as just one more existential contraption embedded in a world awash in contingency, chance and change. Thus "I" here -- my "I", your "I", their "I" -- will always be subject to reconfiguration given new experiences, new relationships and access to new knowledge, information and ideas.

The only thing that doesn't seem to change here are all of the relationships embedded in the either/or world.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:I can more or less agree with all this. I would merely point to just how enormously complex the actual interactions of these variables can be out in a particular context, out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective/subjunctive point of view.
Sure, I am not sure what I wrote that might indicate I thought is was simple rather than complex.

My argument here always revolves around the length to which some seem to go in suggesting that how they construe these relationships here and now -- re the existential interaction of identity, values and political power -- is how others ought to construe them in turn. However simple or complex the arguments might be.

Think about it like this:

Over the centuries, in thousands upon thousands of exchanges much like this one, an enormous number of points have been passed back and forth. Now, what percentage of the points raised in these exchanges have you or I had access to? There are any number of perspectives here that neither of us have really pondered much at all. In contexts [across space and time] that neither of us have a clue regarding.

On the other hand, with regard to the either/or world, however many conflicting points there might have been about the "objective truth" over the centuries, there are fonts [nature, mathematics, logic] within the reach of all rational men and women to resolve them. At least until we go far enough out on the limb to broach the truly imponderable questions: why something and not nothing? why this something and not another?

For me, what we think and feel is true -- what we think and feel we know -- must come down to the extent to which we can demonstrate to others that they are obligated to think and to feel it too. Why? Because it is what we think and feel is true that motivates our actual behaviors. And it is our actual behaviors that precipitate actual consequences.
I agreed it was complex and then said I couldn't see where I'd given the impression it was simple. I read the above twice and I can't see where you explained why you felt the need to tell me, iow what I said that led you to believe you needed to tell it was complex. IOW it seemed like you were correcting me, but I cannot see how or why.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't know where this comes in. 'It has to come down to...' Has to? I know you are interested in having this demonstrated to you. But I don't see where the normative 'has to' comes in. Clearly all sorts of things manage to be both widespread and not demonstrated as true for all of us.

Well, what else is there?
There's the 'not having a way to demonstrate it.' Which is your situation and mine. We can't demonstrate it such that all other rational people will agree. So, again, where does this has to come from?

If Jane is concerned about becoming pregnant what does she have to know about human biology and the practice of safe sex? And this knowledge is applicable to all women over time and across space. There are things that they can know here because in fact these things are true. For everyone.

Now, is there a normative equivalent of "has to" here? Is there a set of knowledge applicable to all women over time and across space that will guide them if, even after becoming knowledgeable of human biology and the practice of safe sex, they still become pregnant?

Or if they are raped? Or if their only concern with morality here lies in pursuing that which sustains their own perceived self-interest?

Can they know if aborting the baby is the right thing or the wrong thing to do?

Can they even know for certain if as a "bundle of cells" a zygote or an embryo or a fetus is in fact a human being?
Really, I get this. This is basic is ought distinction. When you said 'it has to come down to...' I don't know what that 'has to' or the 'it' mean. Please, never ever again explain the is ought distinction to me. Can you do me that minimal piece of respect? I understand that.

I just don't know what you are saying has to happen or be done?

It seemed like you were saying that 'it has to be demonstrated that this or that moral value is correct or moral rule is correct' I just can't see that it has to be demonstrated and i am pretty sure you don't think it can be.

Perhaps you mean, that for us to accept it, it 'has to be demonstrated'. Well, that may well be your criterion for why you would accept some rule. Personally, I am not looking for such demonstrations.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I can see no real 'has to' out there. Do you see a real 'has to'? Isn't this just your - and others - want? It is not a practical obstacle to memes and systems. This almost comes off as a meta-objectivism.

No, I can't see a real "has to" here. But that doesn't mean that there isn't one out there. Noted in one of those many discussions above that I have not had access to.
Fine, then it doesn't have to be demonstrated. You would like it to be, you request that people do this, but clearly it doesn't have to be.

It would seem that, for example, in a wholly determined universe, our beahviors are in sync with the only behaviors that we ever could have "chosen".

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Freely chosen or wholly determined, I still don't see how certain behaviors or memes are not in synch with evolution. If we all decide to stand on one leg, evolution will perhaps look different. We would be more poorly adapted. But evolution chugs merrily along with that set of processes.

If someone argues that we should stand on one leg or cut off our thumbs, we can calculate the extent to which this either facilitates or retards our efforts to attain those things that we want and need. But what if someone argues that standing on two legs or having two thumbs is immoral. For whatever reason they come up with. How on earth would they go about demonstrating that?
Is ought is ought. blab blab blab.

Again, I get the distinction.

If someone comes up with a moral that says having two thumbs is immoral, evolution will chug forward with no problems at all. If this meme catches on it will have effects on natural selection.

Again, how can anything be out of synch with evolution?

It seems like you are saying some memes might not be adaptive. Well, sure.

But nothing can be out of synch with evolution.

Okay, but sooner or later this "general description" of what you think is going to bump into others who think exactly the same way. Only what they insist "makes things better or worst" for them requires that you stop doing what you think makes things better for you.

Then what?
I use the tools I have to push for what I want for myself, people I care about, nature, etc. I have no magic wand to fix everything. All I said was I do not seek the utterly compelling narrative, set of morals, propanda rational arugment that makes everyone think my preferences are correct. In local dialogues, I might use some of this as tools. But I have no sense I can come up with the convincing argument for everyone - not being humble here, particularly, just stating the fact.

Can you understand that I might react differently to the problem than you do?

You withdraw. You seek for others to meet your criteria. You want a way to know how one should live.

I don't react to the problem that way. I try to makes things the way I prefer for myself and those things and entities I love. That's it.

From my frame of mind such conflicts can only resolved through one or another rendition of might makes right, a consensus regarding right makes might, or moderation, negotiation and compromise.
Power, morals or negotiations around preferences.

But how any particular individual finally comes down here is, in my view, going to be embedded more in dasein than in that which the tools of philosophy are able to offer us.

But even here I recognize this as just one more existential contraption embedded in a world awash in contingency, chance and change. Thus "I" here -- my "I", your "I", their "I" -- will always be subject to reconfiguration given new experiences, new relationships and access to new knowledge, information and ideas.
And my reaction is just to strive for what I want,which is driven, in part, by my empathy, for others, my desires and needs, and tastes and preferences in things.

I put this simply because in the abstract it is pretty simple. In practical day to day life it challenges all my various skills and lacks thereof.

I have no expection THE DOMINATING ARGUMENT, the INCONTROVERTABLE MORAL, or the like is going to appear.

You want to probe for this over and over. I see that as a waste of my time. But then that's based on what I enjoy, expect, like, dislike and so on.

I see no universal or objective has to involved in that pursuit. I do not think every rational person should be probing to find THE PERFECT RATIONAL PROOF OF SOME SET OF MORALS.

That doesn't mean I think you should stop. If it is what you want to do, do it.

I just don't buy the has to. If that's what you meant by 'has to'-
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:For me, what we think and feel is true -- what we think and feel we know -- must come down to the extent to which we can demonstrate to others that they are obligated to think and to feel it too. Why? Because it is what we think and feel is true that motivates our actual behaviors. And it is our actual behaviors that precipitate actual consequences.

I agreed it was complex and then said I couldn't see where I'd given the impression it was simple. I read the above twice and I can't see where you explained why you felt the need to tell me, iow what I said that led you to believe you needed to tell it was complex. IOW it seemed like you were correcting me, but I cannot see how or why.

The either/or world is complex too. But if reality there either is one thing or another the human mind is either able to tap into that or it is not.

On this thread of course some tap into it through God.

The question -- my question -- then becomes this: are mere mortals in a No God world able to tap into the ontological [teleological?] nature of Reality/Existence at all?

But: In the is ought/world some speculate that even in a No God world mere mortals can differentiate right from wrong behaviors. Moral obligations can be known.

I question you and others only to the extent that you/they argue that these mere mortals are able to tap into the real me tapping into the right thing to do.

You are either down in the hole with me here or you are not.

In other words, I'm just trying to grapple with how, out in a particular world where your own value judgments come into conflict with others, you describe to me that extent to which you believe [think you know] that you are not in the hole.

This is still not really clear to me at all. "I" am rather brutally fractured and fragmented out in the world of conflicting goods. How are others not?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't know where this comes in. 'It has to come down to...' Has to? I know you are interested in having this demonstrated to you. But I don't see where the normative 'has to' comes in. Clearly all sorts of things manage to be both widespread and not demonstrated as true for all of us.

Well, what else is there?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: There's the 'not having a way to demonstrate it.' Which is your situation and mine. We can't demonstrate it such that all other rational people will agree. So, again, where does this has to come from?

It comes from the fact that when we interact with others out in a particular world our wants and our needs come into conflict. And, when they do, others will often insist it is their own behaviors that reflect the right thing to do.

So, what else is there in these clashes except that both sides seek to demonstrate why and how their own behaviors ought to be the prescribed behaviors.

Thus:

If Jane is concerned about becoming pregnant what does she have to know about human biology and the practice of safe sex? And this knowledge is applicable to all women over time and across space. There are things that they can know here because in fact these things are true. For everyone.

Now, is there a normative equivalent of "has to" here? Is there a set of knowledge applicable to all women over time and across space that will guide them if, even after becoming knowledgeable of human biology and the practice of safe sex, they still become pregnant?

Or if they are raped? Or if their only concern with morality here lies in pursuing that which sustains their own perceived self-interest?

Can they know if aborting the baby is the right thing or the wrong thing to do?

Can they even know for certain if as a "bundle of cells" a zygote or an embryo or a fetus is in fact a human being?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Really, I get this. This is basic is ought distinction. When you said 'it has to come down to...' I don't know what that 'has to' or the 'it' mean. Please, never ever again explain the is ought distinction to me. Can you do me that minimal piece of respect? I understand that.

Well, apparently you don't "get it" in the manner in which "I" do. Otherwise the respect that we have for each other's intelligence here would revolve around the fact that we do think about these relationships in the same way. Or, if not, fully respect the fact that the other may well be more in sync with "the whole truth" here. And I always acknowledge that this may be the case.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I just don't know what you are saying has to happen or be done?

Well, what has to happen out in a world of actual human interactions is that one or another political contraption has to be devised for regulating human behaviors. I merely suggest that, for me, this revolves around the components of my own moral philosophy "here and now".

Karpel Tunnel wrote: It seemed like you were saying that 'it has to be demonstrated that this or that moral value is correct or moral rule is correct' I just can't see that it has to be demonstrated and i am pretty sure you don't think it can be.

All I can surmise is that you are making a point here that I am not understanding. If moral values don't have to be demonstrated as reflecting the most or the only rational/virtuous manner in which to interact socially, politically and economically, what criteria will be used to prescribe and proscribe human interactiuons in any particular community?

It would then come down to various combinations of might makes right and moderation, negotiation and compromise.

My point is simply that the moral objectivists insist it doesn't have to come down to that as long as others agree to embody their own doctrinaire and dogmatic political agenda. Derived through God or Reason or Philosophy or Science or Nature.

You may not be looking for these demonstrations but if you ever find yourself in the grip of those who do insist they have in fact demonstrated it [through their, arguments, their laws, their rewards and punishments], you may come a bit closer to understanding my own concerns about objectivisim in the is/ought world. If nothing else it is almost always authoritarian.

It's just that my own arguments here are no less an existential contraption in turn. My "I" here is floundering in a rampaging sea of uncertainty, ambiguity, ambivalance. And that's just on this side of the grave.

On the other hand, your "I"...

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I use the tools I have to push for what I want for myself, people I care about, nature, etc. I have no magic wand to fix everything. All I said was I do not seek the utterly compelling narrative, set of morals, propanda rational arugment that makes everyone think my preferences are correct. In local dialogues, I might use some of this as tools. But I have no sense I can come up with the convincing argument for everyone - not being humble here, particularly, just stating the fact.

Well, if what "you" want for yourself and the people you care about turns out to be just the embodiment of how I construe human interactions at the intersection of identity, value judgments and political power, then we are more or less in the same vicinity of each other.

That's what I struggle to construe: How you think of "I" out in a world teeming with conflicting goods. How are you not as fragmented and fractured as "I" am there?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Can you understand that I might react differently to the problem than you do?

Understand it? I am not able even to imagine "here and now" how it could possibly be any other way. That's the whole point of existential contraptions out in a world where the lives that we actually live can encompass any number of social, political and economic variables swirling about in any number of social, political and economic permutations.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You withdraw. You seek for others to meet your criteria. You want a way to know how one should live.

I withdraw in part because I am fully aware of how others react to the points I make. In other words, am I suggesting that this is how they too should think and feel in turn?

Shudder the thought!!

And I get that because I was once shuddering myself as an objectivist.

No, I don't seek others that will meet my criteria; I go in search of arguments able to convince me that these criteria [in the is/ought world] even exist at all.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't react to the problem that way. I try to makes things the way I prefer for myself and those things and entities I love. That's it.

Sure, this is basically what I imagine folks like Mr Reasonable are trying to convey in turn. How they think "here and now" works for them. And that's "simple" enough as far as they are concerned.

But: what happens when how they think and feel and behave comes into contact with a frame of mind that insists they should be thinking and feeling and behaving in another way instead?

Here there are the objectivists, the pragmatists and the nihilists.

I -- "I" -- probe for the "incontrovertible moral" because who am I to say that it does not exist? All I can do [for all practical purposes] is to confront those who claim to have already found it.

And, in particular, on this thread, those who claim that what they have found on this side of the grave has convinced them that immortality and salvation awaits "I" on the other side of the grave.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:The either/or world is complex too. But if reality there either is one thing or another the human mind is either able to tap into that or it is not.
Or it is not binary or black and white as they used to say. IOW perhaps it is partial, flawed, etc. But what you wrote here and after did not answer my question.

I question you and others only to the extent that you/they argue that these mere mortals are able to tap into the real me tapping into the right thing to do.

Well, you can stop questioning me because I don’t believe in objective morals.
You are either down in the hole with me here or you are not.

That is not a hole for me. I have been places I consider holes – when my father was dying and had no country to live in – you read that right – for example. But the lack of objective morals is not a hole for me.
In other words, I'm just trying to grapple with how, out in a particular world where your own value judgments come into conflict with others, you describe to me that extent to which you believe [think you know] that you are not in the hole.

I have explained a couple of times how I deal with conflicting desires (often framed by others and conflicting goods). I don’t want to repeat it again. I have no super solution, for myself or the world. I struggle using the variety of tools I have to make life the way I want it for myself and for others. This includes where possible also letting them live other ways and if I love them even helping them live in ways I would not want to.
I have no yearning to discover objective morals.
This is still not really clear to me at all. "I" am rather brutally fractured and fragmented out in the world of conflicting goods. How are others not?

If I thought of myself so much in the third person like you do, I would be more fractured. I don’t question how should one live? I ask, how do I want to live and how can I help myself and those I can affect live the lives they want. If I focused on our question, it would put me outside myself.
I don’t know if those habits of yours are part of why you are fractured to the degree you are, but I know they would contribute to my being fractured.
I make no claims to full unity. But it seems to me you are not searching for unity – at least not in the practices you engage in here. It seems like you are seeking universal answers, even objective ones first and primarily. You are going to solve it all and frankly it looks like ALL AT ONCE. When that magic bullet argument finally comes or does not. Not answers for Iambiguous in particular. I am not saying this is wrong, obviously, and I am not sure it is causal, but as a reaction it does not seem to me your approach focuses on unity. Now perhaps you thnk if you had objective morals, you would then have unity. I doubt that in the extreme. But I can’t be sure.

Further I don't think having objective morals, believing in them, leads to unity. And it certainly limits the tools most objectivists are willing to use. Limits the approaches.
People with objective morals, it seems to me, ALWAYS see parts of themselves as bad and in need of imprisonment. A split self is de rigeur.

It comes from the fact that when we interact with others out in a particular world our wants and our needs come into conflict. And, when they do, others will often insist it is their own behaviors that reflect the right thing to do.

So, what else is there in these clashes except that both sides seek to demonstrate why and how their own behaviors ought to be the prescribed behaviors.

Well, 1) there are the three approaches you often mention not just the one you focus on here as if it was the only one, then 2) there is the using their own beliefs against them approach 3) there is the use of current laws and guidelines. 4) there is avoidance, going around 5) there's the use of propaganda - not that I am running a PR firm or anything, but exposing what people are doing can work, using symbolic language can work and so on 6) there is the pretending to present an objective view, though I think this is one of the least effective, and so when I read this ‘has to’ I don’t get it. You seem to be searching for the holy grail.
I use a variety of tools, probably including others I haven’t mentioned here. I find life a struggle, but I have no yearning for objective morals. I don’t see those with them or thinking they have them magically evading life’s struggles and they also seem to add them on – the internal moral judgment goes with the outer, at least in the genuine ones. There are psychopaths who pretend to be objectivists, many rising high in government and business, and these lack the internal downside of objective morals.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Really, I get this. This is basic is ought distinction. When you said 'it has to come down to...' I don't know what that 'has to' or the 'it' mean. Please, never ever again explain the is ought distinction to me. Can you do me that minimal piece of respect? I understand that.

Well, apparently you don't "get it" in the manner in which "I" do. Otherwise the respect that we have for each other's intelligence here would revolve around the fact that we do think about these relationships in the same way. Or, if not, fully respect the fact that the other may well be more in sync with "the whole truth" here. And I always acknowledge that this may be the case.

I don’t react to the lack of objective morals – that is ones I can grab and demonstrate- the way you do. I do not yearn for them. I think that is what you cannot accept. Since that is not a hole for me I must not be able to get it. Which is odd, since given your own beliefs about dasein, I might have different reactions to the same beliefs.
Most of what I have reacted to in you is the way you behave and how you respond to me and others. You also assume a lot, which I have gone into elsewhere, but the is ought distinction I get. I don’t think you can get that I get it AND do not want to approach things like you do or find myself in a hole because of it.
Karpel Tunnel wrote: I just don't know what you are saying has to happen or be done?

Well, what has to happen out in a world of actual human interactions is that one or another political contraption has to be devised for regulating human behaviors. I merely suggest that, for me, this revolves around the components of my own moral philosophy "here and now".

Fuck this is so abstract. How does this shit affect you tomorrow? What conflicting goods will you encounter tomorrow – and I do not mean some shit you read online and get worked up about. I am talking about real life, grounded. Not abortion issues, because you seem to be a man. I mean you. This hole you are in, so far seems to be so abstract and disconnected from your own life. Note: I am sure you run into real life conflicts around values, but so far I just see very abstract not connected to your life stuff. And this last paragraph seems so cut off from you. I don’t know if this plays into your fragmentation, but from where I sit, I am trying to solve the problems I face directly first, which includes also the problems of family and close friends. I do struggle in my way for society and people I do not know and nature, etc. But you focus on the abortion issue more than any other, for example. That ain't you. And sure if you want the magic bullet objective moral system argument you need to solve that one, but if that's where you start with conflicting goods, you are going to be in a hole because you do not have access to that magic bullet argument. I happen to think there isn't one, so I am trying to hone other skills and get past the ways I block myself.
But I do not think there is the smallest chance I will end the abortion conflict. Maybe indirectly I might, somehow. I mean, that's within the realm of possibility, but even if that were the case, it wouldn't be any time soon.
You seem to think we are ‘serious philosophers’ and the pejorative epistemologists, but I find you off in the clouds trying to solve the worlds problems via text in a philosophy forum through getting objectivists to prove they can solve a problem, I don’t think you really think can be solved. Yes, I know you don’t rule out the possibility, but I don’t think you believe an objectivist is going to come here, find your thread, and give you the argument and makes abortionists and anti-abortionists dance in loving circles around maypoles.
I don’t think you will find unity via this route, but that is of course a guess. It seems necessarily fractured. Maybe that feels moral to you. Maybe you feel or think that it is immoral to not try to solve all the world’s problems in this very abstract way. I don’t know. I think I am a lot humbler about my ability to use text to change things.

You may not be looking for these demonstrations but if you ever find yourself in the grip of those who do insist they have in fact demonstrated it [through their, arguments, their laws, their rewards and punishments], you may come a bit closer to understanding my own concerns about objectivisim in the is/ought world. If nothing else it is almost always authoritarian.

Of course I run into these things. I deal with these situations pragmatically, using a wide variety of tools. I cannot win all these conflicts or always get a satisfactory outcome. I do not think that if I decide I have to demonstrate objective morals, I will somehow find my life easier or start saving the world. In fact I think it is less likely I will make things better for myself or those I love. As said, I will pretend on occasion to come from objective morals, but I think hitting objective morals by asserting others is one of the least effective methods. And in any case, I do it in a Machievellian way.
Well, if what "you" want for yourself and the people you care about turns out to be just the embodiment of how I construe human interactions at the intersection of identity, value judgments and political power, then we are more or less in the same vicinity of each other.

That's what I struggle to construe: How you think of "I" out in a world teeming with conflicting goods. How are you not as fragmented and fractured as "I" am there?

I think you are still chasing the holy grail of objective morals. I am not. I think you think the best strategies are to find the hardest problems, like the abortion issue, and stay fixed on an abstract level, rather than focusing on the actual conflicts you face and strategizing around those. I think you focus on processes that do not enhance unity in yourself, but rather abstract yourself and distance you from you. Of course I am going on what I see here.
And I can’t even be sure you are more fragmented them I am. Though that would be my guess.
I prioritize unity over being right. I mean that not as just observing that now, but I mean that I have engaged for decades in minimizing and trying to eliminate splits in myself. Worked at it. I am not saying this is good or what you should do, but since you asked, from what I can see, you are not interested much in processes that lead to unity. Now you may be going on the assumption that the only way to feel unified is to know objective morals. And to be able to weild the irresistable argument. You may think this is unlikely to exist, but since you cannot rule it out and it is the only hope, you pursue that Grail. FAir enough. I don't think that even if you find that argument you will be unified. I think it is very unlikely that whatever those morals are you suddenly find YOU YOURSELF live up to them. But heck I could be wrong.

It seems like you are saying what you are doing is not working. At the same time when people suggest things to you as other approaches to fragmentation and the hole, you are not interested.

I actually think this is a dead topic. And the moment it is implied that there might be a way out of the hole or part of the way out that does not involve finding that magic bullet argument

you go on the attack, treat it as objectivist, a threat.

My observations, can't be sure about them. If you don't like them, fine.

I don't know what you need. But when you talk about fragmentation, this is what comes up. Might be better not to raise the emotional psychological side of your experience, because it comes off like you are open to actually considering you might benefit from another approach - note: potentially in addition and NOT becoming an objectivist being a part of the package.

Oddly I would say you want to be an objectivist again, but this time with the perfect objectivism that no one can resist. A wanna be objectivist with provisos.

I am not a wanna be objectivist.

There is a lot I want, and life is not easy, I have no perfect solutions.

I am a pragmatist, but also a nihilist. It seemed when you presented what you see as the three options they were mutually exclusive, but they are not.

And presumably you are also a pragmatist. I mean, it seems like you are seeking to find something that will function perfectly. The magic argument.

It sometimes even feels like you are driven by an objective moral and judge others for not having the same holy grail seach. IOW a kind of trickle down Christianity. The cross you bear is finding the objective perfect argument and its set of objective morals.

So anyone who claims not to be an objectivist but does not mount up with Percival, is not a good knight.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2215
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:The either/or world is complex too. But if reality there either is one thing or another the human mind is either able to tap into that or it is not.
Or it is not binary or black and white as they used to say. IOW perhaps it is partial, flawed, etc. But what you wrote here and after did not answer my question.

My guess:

You are looking for a particular answer. The one that you would give. And until others are in the vicinity of that, they have failed to answer the question.

It's just that, in the either/or world, there actually is the right answer. Unless, of course, given the surreal nature of the quantum world, there actually is no right answer. To anything. And that takes us back to the gap between the answers we give based on what we think we know and the answers one would give if one was privy to the ontological nature of everything.

I question you and others only to the extent that you/they argue that these mere mortals are able to tap into the real me tapping into the right thing to do.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, you can stop questioning me because I don’t believe in objective morals.

Then, as I noted on the fascism thread, we need to explore further the components of our respective philosophies -- as they relate "for all practical purposes" to the values and the behaviors that we do take our existential/political leaps to.

In other words, how are you in or out of the hole that I'm in? You say...

Karpel Tunnel wrote: That is not a hole for me. I have been places I consider holes – when my father was dying and had no country to live in – you read that right – for example. But the lack of objective morals is not a hole for me.

Then this, in fact, I am still not able to wrap my head around. Other than in imagining you just don't give a shit about "I" being an existential contraption confronting values out of sync with yours in a world of conflicting goods. Your life has become what it is and as a result of that there are things you prefer and things you do not. You "struggle" to arrive at a solution able to sustain what "you" [here and now] deem to be the best of all possible worlds. That works for you.

Well, it doesn't for me.

And more than "yearning" for an objective morality, "I" am curious most of all to discover if there might actually be one in a No God world. And since many intelligent atheists [humanists] seem convinced that there is, all I can do is to grapple with understanding their point of view.

Why? Because...

"I" am rather brutally fractured and fragmented out in the world of conflicting goods. How are others not?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: If I thought of myself so much in the third person like you do, I would be more fractured. I don’t question how should one live? I ask, how do I want to live and how can I help myself and those I can affect live the lives they want. If I focused on our question, it would put me outside myself.

Again, the existential contraption that you call "I" here and now makes this assessment. Fuck the past, fuck the part where "I" recognize that had my life been very different, "I" might want very different things.

Sure, some can do this. I'm just not one of them.

Also, it would seem, you recognize that in a world bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change, you may well tumble into a new set of experiences, relationships and ideas, such that next month or next year you may want very, very different things then you do now.

But: As long as you are able to say [here and now, there and then] "this is what I want", that works for you.

Though, sure, I may still be a long, long way from truly understanding what you think you mean here about these relationships. On the other hand, my point suggest in turn that "I" may well be a long, long way from recognizing even my own self a month or a year from now.

"I" in the is/ought world seems far more clearly to be an existential contraption to someone like "me" than to someone like "you".

And, again, I am searching less for "unity" here than for a frame of mind able to convice me that this is actually within the reach of philosophers in general and ethicists and political scientists in particular.

In a No God world.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Further I don't think having objective morals, believing in them, leads to unity. And it certainly limits the tools most objectivists are willing to use. Limits the approaches.
People with objective morals, it seems to me, ALWAYS see parts of themselves as bad and in need of imprisonment. A split self is de rigeur.

This I basically agree with. But only to the extent that I think I understand what you think you are trying to convey.

The objectivists are always constrained by their "good behavior", "bad behavior" mentality. Their options revolve around either doing or not doing the "right thing". Or else they can be defamed as hypocrites.

A moral nihilist, on the other hand, can rationalize any behaviors. It's just that for someone like me the price that one pays here is that fractured and fragmented identity.

It comes from the fact that when we interact with others out in a particular world our wants and our needs come into conflict. And, when they do, others will often insist it is their own behaviors that reflect the right thing to do.

So, what else is there in these clashes except that both sides seek to demonstrate why and how their own behaviors ought to be the prescribed behaviors.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, 1) there are the three approaches you often mention not just the one you focus on here as if it was the only one, then 2) there is the using their own beliefs against them approach 3) there is the use of current laws and guidelines. 4) there is avoidance, going around 5) there's the use of propaganda - not that I am running a PR firm or anything, but exposing what people are doing can work, using symbolic language can work and so on 6) there is the pretending to present an objective view, though I think this is one of the least effective, and so when I read this ‘has to’ I don’t get it. You seem to be searching for the holy grail.
I use a variety of tools, probably including others I haven’t mentioned here. I find life a struggle, but I have no yearning for objective morals. I don’t see those with them or thinking they have them magically evading life’s struggles and they also seem to add them on – the internal moral judgment goes with the outer, at least in the genuine ones. There are psychopaths who pretend to be objectivists, many rising high in government and business, and these lack the internal downside of objective morals.

Yet, again, this is all embedded abstractly in another general description of human interactions.

We need to focus in on an actual context in which objectivists, and subjectivists [yours and mine] attempt to convey what unfolds "in their head" as they choose one behavior rather than another. The objectivists seemingly would not be fractured and fragmented. But a subjectivist in the sense that "I" understand it would be pulled and tugged in conflicting directions. All he or she would have is the existential "I" predisposed to embrace one set of political prejudices rather than another.

Then [from my view] more of the same:

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Really, I get this. This is basic is ought distinction. When you said 'it has to come down to...' I don't know what that 'has to' or the 'it' mean. Please, never ever again explain the is ought distinction to me. Can you do me that minimal piece of respect? I understand that.

Well, apparently you don't "get it" in the manner in which "I" do. Otherwise the respect that we have for each other's intelligence here would revolve around the fact that we do think about these relationships in the same way. Or, if not, fully respect the fact that the other may well be more in sync with "the whole truth" here. And I always acknowledge that this may be the case.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don’t react to the lack of objective morals – that is ones I can grab and demonstrate- the way you do. I do not yearn for them. I think that is what you cannot accept. Since that is not a hole for me I must not be able to get it. Which is odd, since given your own beliefs about dasein, I might have different reactions to the same beliefs.
Most of what I have reacted to in you is the way you behave and how you respond to me and others. You also assume a lot, which I have gone into elsewhere, but the is ought distinction I get. I don’t think you can get that I get it AND do not want to approach things like you do or find myself in a hole because of it.

These are just words defining and defending other words. They have to be taken out into the world where the objectivists and subjectivists attempt to describe their frames of mind as they engage an actual context in which conflicting goods are being confronted.

Take for example Trump's immigration policy. There are liberal and conservative objectivists here who appear to argue as though there is in fact the right and the wrong thing to do. Whereas "I" am drawn and quartered by reasonable arguments from both side. "I" recognizing in turn that "I" am in fact an existential contraption here predisposed to certain political prejudices.

How about you? Someone asks your opinion. What do you tell him? From my frame of mind your frame of mind seems to revolve around just accepting the fact that the past predisposed you to embrace one rather than another value judgment and you will do whatever it is you think that "here and now" is [for all practical puropose] what is perceived to be in your own best interest.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I just don't know what you are saying has to happen or be done?

Well, what has to happen out in a world of actual human interactions is that one or another political contraption has to be devised for regulating human behaviors. I merely suggest that, for me, this revolves around the components of my own moral philosophy "here and now".

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You seem to think we are ‘serious philosophers’ and the pejorative epistemologists, but I find you off in the clouds trying to solve the worlds problems via text in a philosophy forum through getting objectivists to prove they can solve a problem, I don’t think you really think can be solved.

Perhaps, but that doesn't make my point go away. Out in the world that we interact in socially, politically and economically, the problems are very, very, very real. What could possibly be more true objectively than that? Just follow the news for 24 hours.

It just comes down to how in a forum such as this we react to that. As an objectivist? As a moral nihilist? As whatever it is exactly that you are?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Yes, I know you don’t rule out the possibility, but I don’t think you believe an objectivist is going to come here, find your thread, and give you the argument and makes abortionists and anti-abortionists dance in loving circles around maypoles.

Well, a year from now [here in America] the abortionists and the anti-abortionists may well be doing other things instead.

A clash is brewing between the objectivists on both sides and those like me who argue still for moderation, negotiation and compromise.

And, again, what I think here and now can never be assumed to be that which I will think six months or six years from now.

The fact is we both seem to argue for dealing with conflicting goods "pragmatically, using a wide variety of tools". "You" are just somehow able to feel less fractured and fragmented then than "I" am.

The bottom line here may well be in how I react to this:

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I think you are still chasing the holy grail of objective morals. I am not. I think you think the best strategies are to find the hardest problems, like the abortion issue, and stay fixed on an abstract level, rather than focusing on the actual conflicts you face and strategizing around those. I think you focus on processes that do not enhance unity in yourself, but rather abstract yourself and distance you from you. Of course I am going on what I see here.

More abstraction. I am still grappling to imagine what it might be like to be inside your head when you are actually eyeball to eyeball with a context in which someone openly challenges your behaviors. In other words, while you may both share your own "general description" of human interaction, one or the other of you is going to have to change your behaviors to keep the conflict from spinning out of control.

There's either might makes right or moderation, negotiation and compromise. But one would need to have a description of this. An attempt to explain why one chose this rather that that given the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein as a crucial component in these decisions.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I prioritize unity over being right. I mean that not as just observing that now, but I mean that I have engaged for decades in minimizing and trying to eliminate splits in myself. Worked at it. I am not saying this is good or what you should do, but since you asked, from what I can see, you are not interested much in processes that lead to unity.

From my frame of mind this "unity" is no less an existential contraption in a No God world. A world in which we both suggest that objective morality is not withine reach. Then "I" tumble down here into the enormous complexity of any particular individual's frame of mind when trying to communicate "I" here to another. Your "I" seems to land on something considerably more solid than mine does. But will either of us ever really make the other understand what that might only possibly mean?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: It seems like you are saying what you are doing is not working. At the same time when people suggest things to you as other approaches to fragmentation and the hole, you are not interested.

What I am interested in is an argument able to nudge me up out of the hole. "I" think that morally and politically we interact in an essentially meaningless world that [re this thread] ends in oblivion for all of eternity.

I just don't pretend that this is something other than a wild ass guess.

On the other hand, to the extent that I don't endorse the "approaches" of others, is often seen by them as "proof" that I don't really want to be yanked up out of it at all.

So, how then would either of us actually go about demonstrating it? And not just to the satisfaction of the other but to all men and women who wish to be thought of as rational human beings?

And what always makes topics like this "dead" is that ubiquitous gap between what any particular one of us thinks about these things here and now and all that any particular one of us would need to know about the ontological nature of "reality" and "existence" itself.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am a pragmatist, but also a nihilist. It seemed when you presented what you see as the three options they were mutually exclusive, but they are not.

If you are a moral nihilist then pragmatism would seem to be the only option. It just comes down to the manner in which "I" here [as dasein] has been configured over the years to steer more in the direction of either might makes right or democracy and the rule of law.

Though with respect to either one it is necessary to cue, among others, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. And Ludwig Wittgenstein?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: And presumably you are also a pragmatist. I mean, it seems like you are seeking to find something that will function perfectly. The magic argument.

What "I" am here and now is a brutally fractured and fragmented pragmistist. And what "I" seek is an argument [in venues such as this] that nudges me closer to or farther away from objective morality on this side of the grave and immortality and salvation on the other side of it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
ILP Legend

Posts: 31963
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:My guess:

You are looking for a particular answer. The one that you would give. And until others are in the vicinity of that, they have failed to answer the question.
Well, as I experienced it, it was like I asked you which type of fruit you were eating, and you answered with an essay on Amish communal barn raising. I couldn't see a connection to the question. I am glad you put this as a guess, since with your sense of yourself, mind reading like this is a stretch.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: That is not a hole for me. I have been places I consider holes – when my father was dying and had no country to live in – you read that right – for example. But the lack of objective morals is not a hole for me.

Then this, in fact, I am still not able to wrap my head around. Other than in imagining you just don't give a shit about "I" being an existential contraption confronting values out of sync with yours in a world of conflicting goods. Your life has become what it is and as a result of that there are things you prefer and things you do not. You "struggle" to arrive at a solution able to sustain what "you" [here and now] deem to be the best of all possible worlds. That works for you.
I don't know what you mean by 'works'. You seem to be implying life is easy for me or something. I went through serious trauma as a child, and the specifics of it gave me insight into systemic problems - rather than individual perpetrator, bad apple theories of the world. I find life quite a struggle. I just do not find myself yearning to know or believing there are objective morals. So, not having them is not a hole for me. And when I look at the one's with objective morals, I do not envy them. At least, not because of that. They, in the main, seem internally plagued by the same sort of battles they are waging in the outer world. And then, they still have to deal with the same kinds of shit life throws at me. But let me know what 'works' means to you.

And, again, I am searching less for "unity" here than for a frame of mind able to convice me that this is actually within the reach of philosophers in general and ethicists and political scientists in particular.
I pretty much said this myself about you. You presented yourself as fractured and fragmented. I took that to be a negatively experienced state. IOW problematic. I said you did not seem to prioritize unity, though perhaps you thought an answer to your challenge would bring this. I doubt it will eliminate your fragmentation, but who knows.

This I basically agree with. But only to the extent that I think I understand what you think you are trying to convey.

The objectivists are always constrained by their "good behavior", "bad behavior" mentality. Their options revolve around either doing or not doing the "right thing". Or else they can be defamed as hypocrites.

A moral nihilist, on the other hand, can rationalize any behaviors. It's just that for someone like me the price that one pays here is that fractured and fragmented identity.
For me, I have no need to rationalize a behavior, since this implies I must somehow explain it as OK in relation to objective morals. At the same time, there are all sorts of things I will not do because of empathy and likes and dislikes, etc. In terms of morals I might be free to do anything, but in terms of my emotional self - and of course in relation to practical consequences - there are many things I will not do.

Yet, again, this is all embedded abstractly in another general description of human interactions.

We need to focus in on an actual context in which objectivists, and subjectivists [yours and mine] attempt to convey what unfolds "in their head" as they choose one behavior rather than another. The objectivists seemingly would not be fractured and fragmented.
1) I did go into a specific situation and described what I did and thought weeks ago 2) Every objectivist I have met is fractured. They don't harp on it, perhaps many cannot admit it, even to themselves, but I see cognitive dissonance, guilt, shame, confusion, lying, denial, repression, hypocrisy, etc. in all objectivists I meet. And to be fair, I also see some who will be open about this and their fractured nature.

These are just words defining and defending other words. They have to be taken out into the world where the objectivists and subjectivists attempt to describe their frames of mind as they engage an actual context in which conflicting goods are being confronted.
I am trying to remain calm when I say this: do you not see how incredibly abstract your posts are?

Take for example Trump's immigration policy. There are liberal and conservative objectivists here who appear to argue as though there is in fact the right and the wrong thing to do. Whereas "I" am drawn and quartered by reasonable arguments from both side. "I" recognizing in turn that "I" am in fact an existential contraption here predisposed to certain political prejudices.
An objectivist could be torn here also.

How about you? Someone asks your opinion. What do you tell him? From my frame of mind your frame of mind seems to revolve around just accepting the fact that the past predisposed you to embrace one rather than another value judgment and you will do whatever it is you think that "here and now" is [for all practical puropose] what is perceived to be in your own best interest.
I don't feel like I have the answer in relation to my desires or my empathy in relation to immigration, so I often react to the arguments and prejudices I am facing in the other person. Neither pro or con people are very happy with my responses. I am in a different country than you. Here I think that a number of things are happening at once. Industry is very pro immigration because it will crack the unions. The proletariat is against immigration - more than the other classes - I think in part because they sense that down the line they will be weakened, but certainly racial prejudices and even more strongly cultural ones play a role. When I felt very financially vulnerable, a couple of years ago, the immigration rates terrified me because I need to take care of a family and need the present buffers - ones you do not have in your country. I feel stronger now, so that is less of an issue. I do feel like the West is being weakened and intentionally. Or better put, corporate power in relation to citizen power is going up and I see immigration as part of this or refugees espeically since those numbers went up. I often say that no one mentions that the US, Britain and FRance have openly planned, thought not especially loudly, to change the regime in Syria - and all the other countries they have and will try this with. I would be much happier with the influx, if it was acknowledged that this situation is not, oh, there was a civil war and a nasty government in Syria, but rather something much more like the situation where the US funded the Contras in Nicaragua. If there is no responsibility taking or demanding in relation to the proxy war in Syria powered by corporate and military interests in the US and elsewhere, then the influx is tainted. On the other hand I feel empathy for fleeing refugees and am friends with several.

I have no pat answer or position. On some things I do, but not that one. Here we are dealing with an incredibly complex situation as it unfolds on the ground, and one with an incredibly complex set of agents and agencies who have been causal in relation to it. Then it is being used by many agents, and most of whom aim propaganda and oversimplifications at any feeling or thought any of us might have. I could react to any or all parts of this in a variety of ways. It is also a global issue. And fuck, I have just had the decks cleared on all of my family being diagnosed with a terminal illness, one having made it out of that diagnosis after a period of ten years. I am not in a position to fix even one other mind on the issue of immigration. I try to put my energy where it does something, or I fucking lie around because I am burned out. But when I sti with someone in some situation and they throw something pat at me, I do often come back with a reaction. I do disagree. And I am a pain the ass. I doubt I change anyone's mind even about the specific cliche they have flung at me, but sometimes they do shut up, and not because I am screaming, but because they are suddenly confused. I am sure they work out their proper comeback later at home. Maybe someone has gone off and really mulled, but I ain't holding my breath. Humility is the order of the day regarding my effects on immigration issues.

I think, however, but I am not sure, you feel you should have one and are tormented by the lack of one. A little Christlike. And look I am not saying that nastily. I can feel a tug there, but I have worked a long time on getting the Christian take up that cross thing out of my system. This may not be a difference between us, but sometimes I get the feeling you wrestle a lot with coming up with the answer, and I no longer do. My answer might have been based on my preferences/empathy rather than morals, but still I know what feeling like I must take a clear stand feels like. On some things I do not have much desire/guilt compelling me to find that single answer. I also notice how much change I can enact and it is, as far as I can tell, primarily quite local.

A clash is brewing between the objectivists on both sides and those like me who argue still for moderation, negotiation and compromise.
Again, objectivists can have those as values both as means and ends.

The fact is we both seem to argue for dealing with conflicting goods "pragmatically, using a wide variety of tools". "You" are just somehow able to feel less fractured and fragmented then than "I" am.
Yes, both those sentences seem true to me. You seem to see fewer tools but I do note the pragmatism.

The bottom line here may well be in how I react to this:

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I think you are still chasing the holy grail of objective morals. I am not. I think you think the best strategies are to find the hardest problems, like the abortion issue, and stay fixed on an abstract level, rather than focusing on the actual conflicts you face and strategizing around those. I think you focus on processes that do not enhance unity in yourself, but rather abstract yourself and distance you from you. Of course I am going on what I see here.

More abstraction.
Actually no, that wasn't abstract. I said what you focus on, that is, think about, and what you do not mentally prioritize. Maybe I was wrong, but that is a description of events during your day. Internal processes are real and concrete.

I am still grappling to imagine what it might be like to be inside your head when you are actually eyeball to eyeball with a context in which someone openly challenges your behaviors. In other words, while you may both share your own "general description" of human interaction, one or the other of you is going to have to change your behaviors to keep the conflict from spinning out of control.
Well, sure. I don't know if I have given the impression I boldly stride through the world, never bowing before another, or that my life is easy or whatever. But that's not the case. So sure, I back down in the face of beauracracies fairly often. And better put I do thing so that the confrontation between their values or preferences and mine do not occur. I am not superman. I have swallowed my anger at a driver when I saw two big young men get out of the back of the car the other day. I hated the way they drove, risking my life and the driver's licence. But hey, I ain't no spring chicken, I headed home and did some primal screaming.

I did not at any point think, damn if only I was an objectivist that situation would have gone much better.

There's either might makes right or moderation, negotiation and compromise.

OK, I have given some other options than this list. You could either say why my added options are actually contained in your three or not real options, but simply repeating your here 2 but generally three options as the only options is kinda rude.

From my frame of mind this "unity" is no less an existential contraption in a No God world.

For me it is a rather concrete experience. I walk into a room, thinking about myself, looking at the woman and imagining how she might see me, feeling guilty for not complimenting her, second guessing my actions, the food I ordered, thinking the whole time, suppressing the attraction I feel, at least from being obvious, checking each sentence before it comes out and son, AND

after having worked on the roots of guilt around sexual feelings, reality checking with other people, expressing strong emotions with people who care about me (and therapists), openly talking about fears with other men who are comfortable with fear, strong emotions AND rage, savvy guys and a whole lot of other often intentionally choses processes aimed at not being so split

I do not second guess so much, I let much more spontaneous reactions be expressed, do not view myself through the eyes and judgments of the other (that I hallucinated in the past or even correctly guessed). I feel more unified, rather than a jailer and a jailed, judge and defendent, priest and sinner. Not two or more people sitting in the chair opposite the woman, but one.

About as concrete an experience as I can have. As palpable as a chair - you should really dive into the phenomenology of feeling a chair if you think that should be experienced as more concrete.

Your "I" seems to land on something considerably more solid than mine does.
It seems that way on my end also. I am not makng the claim that I am a unity, but I experience much more of what the word unity seems to fit, than when I was younger. vastly more. I noticed directly relations to changes in this connectedto processes I intentionally engaged in and also via the way I learned to react to experiences informed by those processes. I don't know if I am more unified than you, but it seems that way. Further I did put a lot of effort, time, expertise with that as a goal, and noticed both immediate effects and a general trend in my experience. I also think I confuse myself less with my thoughts alone than you do. That is also a guess, but it seems to me that despite your repeated use of 'I' as a contraption, you are looking for you 'I' primarily in the language based thought areas found by introspection. I think that's a nearly impossible process to head toward unity. But then, you have said unity is not really a goal of yours.

But will either of us ever really make the other understand what that might only possibly mean?
I don't know in our case, but I do think there are degrees of communication. That there is a vast spectrum running from completely misunderstanding and talking past, to deep intimate connection. I suspect you think that latter is a mere existential contraption. How on earth you decided you know about any 'is' I don't know. I assume your sense that we can know about 'is', and also in ways we can't about 'ought' came through reading. It seems like that reading effectively gave you ideas about perception, epistemology, what one can know with some degree of certainty and what one cannot and a whole lot of other stuff. And those were just guys writing books, not people you could talk to.

If they can do that imagine what 20 years with an expressive empathic friend or mate can lead to

What I am interested in is an argument able to nudge me up out of the hole.

I don't think this is possible. I think you might on pragmatic grounds be more pragmatic and use a wider range of tools, while not giving up this tool. But I know this is a dead end to suggest this.

On the other hand, to the extent that I don't endorse the "approaches" of others, is often seen by them as "proof" that I don't really want to be yanked up out of it at all.
Well, that could be the case. You might also be stubborn or naive or you might be more frightened by what those other approaches entail or...and there are likely other alternatives.

What "I" am here and now is a brutally fractured and fragmented pragmistist. And what "I" seek is an argument [in venues such as this] that nudges me closer to or farther away from objective morality on this side of the grave and immortality and salvation on the other side of it.
Well, a nudge is possible, I would think.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2215
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:My guess:

You are looking for a particular answer. The one that you would give. And until others are in the vicinity of that, they have failed to answer the question.
Well, as I experienced it, it was like I asked you which type of fruit you were eating, and you answered with an essay on Amish communal barn raising. I couldn't see a connection to the question. I am glad you put this as a guess, since with your sense of yourself, mind reading like this is a stretch.

Okay. I guess. Looks like we're stuck here.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: That is not a hole for me. I have been places I consider holes – when my father was dying and had no country to live in – you read that right – for example. But the lack of objective morals is not a hole for me.

Then this, in fact, I am still not able to wrap my head around. Other than in imagining you just don't give a shit about "I" being an existential contraption confronting values out of sync with yours in a world of conflicting goods. Your life has become what it is and as a result of that there are things you prefer and things you do not. You "struggle" to arrive at a solution able to sustain what "you" [here and now] deem to be the best of all possible worlds. That works for you.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't know what you mean by 'works'. You seem to be implying life is easy for me or something. I went through serious trauma as a child, and the specifics of it gave me insight into systemic problems - rather than individual perpetrator, bad apple theories of the world. I find life quite a struggle. I just do not find myself yearning to know or believing there are objective morals. So, not having them is not a hole for me. And when I look at the one's with objective morals, I do not envy them. At least, not because of that. They, in the main, seem internally plagued by the same sort of battles they are waging in the outer world. And then, they still have to deal with the same kinds of shit life throws at me. But let me know what 'works' means to you.

From my own vantage point, there are generally four things that propel us through life in the is/ought world:

1] The circumstances that we are "thrown" into at birth; and then our childhood indoctrination
2] a particular set of experiences, relationships and access to information/knowledge, that predispose "I" to go in a particular direction
3] the actual options available to us in choosing particular behaviors
4] the manner in which as a "philosophy of life" "I" fit everything together "in my head" in order to make sense out of the existential relationship between "I" and "out in the world". Philosophy being one possible tool here.

Something either works for you here in order to attain and then sustain some measure of comfort and consolation in your life or it doesn't.

"I" can achieve a measure of comfort and consolation "in the momment". In other words, embedded in one or another of my distractions. But in regards to morality on this side of the grave and immortality/salvation on the other side it's beyond my reach.

Here and now.

The objectivists are always constrained by their "good behavior", "bad behavior" mentality. Their options revolve around either doing or not doing the "right thing". Or else they can be defamed as hypocrites.

A moral nihilist, on the other hand, can rationalize any behaviors. It's just that for someone like me the price that one pays here is that fractured and fragmented identity.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: For me, I have no need to rationalize a behavior, since this implies I must somehow explain it as OK in relation to objective morals. At the same time, there are all sorts of things I will not do because of empathy and likes and dislikes, etc. In terms of morals I might be free to do anything, but in terms of my emotional self - and of course in relation to practical consequences - there are many things I will not do.

All I note here is that this "works" for you and then you bump into others who do not approve of the behaviors that you choose. They insist that you stop doing them. Or that you choose their behaviors. You explain to them why you chose your own behaviors, and that may or may not be good enough. You work out some compromise. With me though, I would need to acknowledge to them that I may well have come to choose their own behaviors in turn. And that in any event either set of behaviors can be rationalized as the right thing to do given a conflicting sets of assumptions about the human condition.

It's the part about the things you "will not do" that separates your "I" here from mine. For me, the things you once did, do now or will do are no less existential contraptions. From my frame of mind, you simply can't know for certain what you might do in the future given all the times that you have changed the behaviors that you once did in the past. Given that you have no way of knowing for sure what new experiences, relationships and ideas you might come upon in the future.

And all of this often depends upon the extent to which your life unfolds in relatively stable times. Let something [or some things] of significance happen and the new turbulence can send "I" flying in any number of new directions.

Yet, again, this is all embedded abstractly in another general description of human interactions.

We need to focus in on an actual context in which objectivists, and subjectivists [yours and mine] attempt to convey what unfolds "in their head" as they choose one behavior rather than another. The objectivists seemingly would not be fractured and fragmented.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: 1) I did go into a specific situation and described what I did and thought weeks ago

Again, you have devised a frame of mind relating to this situation that allows your "I" to escape the extent to which my own "I" is fractured and fragmented given contact with similar situations. And I have addressed how I react to that above. Then it can only come down to attempts to bridge that gap given how very different our life experiences no doubt have been.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: 2) Every objectivist I have met is fractured. They don't harp on it, perhaps many cannot admit it, even to themselves, but I see cognitive dissonance, guilt, shame, confusion, lying, denial, repression, hypocrisy, etc. in all objectivists I meet. And to be fair, I also see some who will be open about this and their fractured nature.

Sure, I spent nearly 25 years embedded in radical political organizations. I've met all manner of objectivists myself. My focus on this thread however is on those who attempt to connect the dots between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and that which they imagine their fate to be on the other side of it.

And, here, no doubt about it, some are more adament about the righteous path that they are on than others.

Same with the secular objectivists. Some are fiercely commited to one or another moral font in a No God world. Others wobble considerably more.

All we can do is to take them on at a time.

These are just words defining and defending other words. They have to be taken out into the world where the objectivists and subjectivists attempt to describe their frames of mind as they engage an actual context in which conflicting goods are being confronted.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am trying to remain calm when I say this: do you not see how incredibly abstract your posts are?

Over and over and over again, I ask the objectivists to choose a particular set of conflicting behaviors out in a particular context. Abortion? Immigration policy? Gun control? Animal rights?

Let them note for us the manner in which their thinking does unfold in regards to these actual interactions with others. And then I will note the manner in which my own moral narrative/political agenda is fractured and fragmented.

Again: How are they not fractured and fragmented? Or considerably less so than I am?

Take for example Trump's immigration policy. There are liberal and conservative objectivists here who appear to argue as though there is in fact the right and the wrong thing to do. Whereas "I" am drawn and quartered by reasonable arguments from both side. "I" recognizing in turn that "I" am in fact an existential contraption here predisposed to certain political prejudices.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: An objectivist could be torn here also.

Sure. But all I can do in a forum like this is to react to any one particular objectivist at a time in discussing these issues.

How about you? Someone asks your opinion. What do you tell him? From my frame of mind your frame of mind seems to revolve around just accepting the fact that the past predisposed you to embrace one rather than another value judgment and you will do whatever it is you think that "here and now" is [for all practical puropose] what is perceived to be in your own best interest.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I don't feel like I have the answer in relation to my desires or my empathy in relation to immigration, so I often react to the arguments and prejudices I am facing in the other person. Neither pro or con people are very happy with my responses.

Well, they are often considerably perturbed by my own frame of mind. Why? Because I am suggesting to them that had their own lives been different they might actually be embracing the opposite point of view. And that no matter which side you're on there are reasonable arguments able to be to sustain either end of the conflicting goods.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am in a different country than you. Here I think that a number of things are happening at once. Industry is very pro immigration because it will crack the unions. The proletariat is against immigration - more than the other classes - I think in part because they sense that down the line they will be weakened, but certainly racial prejudices and even more strongly cultural ones play a role. When I felt very financially vulnerable, a couple of years ago, the immigration rates terrified me because I need to take care of a family and need the present buffers - ones you do not have in your country. I feel stronger now, so that is less of an issue. I do feel like the West is being weakened and intentionally. Or better put, corporate power in relation to citizen power is going up and I see immigration as part of this or refugees espeically since those numbers went up. I often say that no one mentions that the US, Britain and FRance have openly planned, thought not especially loudly, to change the regime in Syria - and all the other countries they have and will try this with. I would be much happier with the influx, if it was acknowledged that this situation is not, oh, there was a civil war and a nasty government in Syria, but rather something much more like the situation where the US funded the Contras in Nicaragua. If there is no responsibility taking or demanding in relation to the proxy war in Syria powered by corporate and military interests in the US and elsewhere, then the influx is tainted. On the other hand I feel empathy for fleeing refugees and am friends with several.

I have no pat answer or position. On some things I do, but not that one. Here we are dealing with an incredibly complex situation as it unfolds on the ground, and one with an incredibly complex set of agents and agencies who have been causal in relation to it. Then it is being used by many agents, and most of whom aim propaganda and oversimplifications at any feeling or thought any of us might have. I could react to any or all parts of this in a variety of ways. It is also a global issue. And fuck, I have just had the decks cleared on all of my family being diagnosed with a terminal illness, one having made it out of that diagnosis after a period of ten years. I am not in a position to fix even one other mind on the issue of immigration. I try to put my energy where it does something, or I fucking lie around because I am burned out. But when I sti with someone in some situation and they throw something pat at me, I do often come back with a reaction. I do disagree. And I am a pain the ass. I doubt I change anyone's mind even about the specific cliche they have flung at me, but sometimes they do shut up, and not because I am screaming, but because they are suddenly confused. I am sure they work out their proper comeback later at home. Maybe someone has gone off and really mulled, but I ain't holding my breath. Humility is the order of the day regarding my effects on immigration issues.

From my frame of mind though this is all in sync with my argument that we generally encounter conflicting political prejudices rooted in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Genes and menes tugging each particular individual in any number of different directions.

And that philosophers [ethicists, political scientists] can just as easily be all over the political spectrum here.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I think, however, but I am not sure, you feel you should have one and are tormented by the lack of one. A little Christlike. And look I am not saying that nastily. I can feel a tug there, but I have worked a long time on getting the Christian take up that cross thing out of my system. This may not be a difference between us, but sometimes I get the feeling you wrestle a lot with coming up with the answer, and I no longer do.

Well, here's the thing. To the extent that you "follow the news" and find yourself confronting the staggering human pain and suffering embedded in these turbulent political conflicts, is [often] the extent to which you might long for an objective moral foundation that all reasonable and virtuous men and women can embrace.

But somehow given the constellation of existential variables that came to embody your own particular "I" here, you have somehow managed to be less inclined to "wrestle" with it.

But, really, how to explain that given the extent to which none of us are probably ever really able to understand the mental, emotional and psychological parameters of "I" here.

It just comes down to how much comfort and consolation your own "philosophy of life" is able to provide you here and now.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: My answer might have been based on my preferences/empathy rather than morals, but still I know what feeling like I must take a clear stand feels like. On some things I do not have much desire/guilt compelling me to find that single answer. I also notice how much change I can enact and it is, as far as I can tell, primarily quite local.

All I can note here is that, from my frame of mind, this sort of "self-analysis" is no less an "existential contratption". You think what you do here largely because it is what your actual lived life predisposed you to think. And, when you bump into others who think differently, there does not appear to be a way in which, using the tools of philosophy, one can determine how one ought to think.

This part basically:

I am still grappling to imagine what it might be like to be inside your head when you are actually eyeball to eyeball with a context in which someone openly challenges your behaviors. In other words, while you may both share your own "general description" of human interaction, one or the other of you is going to have to change your behaviors to keep the conflict from spinning out of control.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, sure. I don't know if I have given the impression I boldly stride through the world, never bowing before another, or that my life is easy or whatever. But that's not the case. So sure, I back down in the face of beauracracies fairly often. And better put I do thing so that the confrontation between their values or preferences and mine do not occur. I am not superman. I have swallowed my anger at a driver when I saw two big young men get out of the back of the car the other day. I hated the way they drove, risking my life and the driver's licence. But hey, I ain't no spring chicken, I headed home and did some primal screaming.

Yeah, basically me too. A clash among pragmatists. But somehow there are those able to convince themselves that in any particular context there is the right thing and the wrong thing to do. And then to the extent that they don't opt to do the right thing, they are cowards or hypocrites. And, for some on this thread, they risk the wrath of God. And even Hell itsaelf.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I did not at any point think, damn if only I was an objectivist that situation would have gone much better.

On the other hand, for someone like me, I am able to think back on all those years when I was in fact an objectivist. So I can still recall how much better "I" did feel back then.

From my frame of mind this "unity" is no less an existential contraption in a No God world.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: For me it is a rather concrete experience. I walk into a room, thinking about myself, looking at the woman and imagining how she might see me, feeling guilty for not complimenting her, second guessing my actions, the food I ordered, thinking the whole time, suppressing the attraction I feel, at least from being obvious, checking each sentence before it comes out and son, AND

after having worked on the roots of guilt around sexual feelings, reality checking with other people, expressing strong emotions with people who care about me (and therapists), openly talking about fears with other men who are comfortable with fear, strong emotions AND rage, savvy guys and a whole lot of other often intentionally choses processes aimed at not being so split

I do not second guess so much, I let much more spontaneous reactions be expressed, do not view myself through the eyes and judgments of the other (that I hallucinated in the past or even correctly guessed). I feel more unified, rather than a jailer and a jailed, judge and defendent, priest and sinner. Not two or more people sitting in the chair opposite the woman, but one.

About as concrete an experience as I can have. As palpable as a chair - you should really dive into the phenomenology of feeling a chair if you think that should be experienced as more concrete.

We'll just have acknowledge here that in relationship to experiences such as this we understand "I" in different ways. In any experience there is always going to be all of the variables that came to constitute "I" nudging [or propelling or even seemingly compelling] you to do one thing rather than another. Then it comes down to the extent to which "I" wrestles with the option of doing something else instead. And, in particular, the extent to which "I" comes to wrestle with what one ought to do.

Ever and always from my point of view here and now, some will become more fractured and fragmented than others.

Sure, there will always only be "degrees of communication" in exchanges of this sort. But, then, that bascially revolves around my whole point about "I" here. There are things about the lives that we live rooted in particular facts. Things that are true about us for everyone.

For me, though, however much "effort, time and expertise" one puts into grappling with these relationships, there are just far too many variables either beyond our understanding or control. And, many times, both.
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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iambiguous
ILP Legend

Posts: 31963
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:
From my own vantage point, there are generally four things that propel us through life in the is/ought world:

1] The circumstances that we are "thrown" into at birth; and then our childhood indoctrination
2] a particular set of experiences, relationships and access to information/knowledge, that predispose "I" to go in a particular direction
3] the actual options available to us in choosing particular behaviors
4] the manner in which as a "philosophy of life" "I" fit everything together "in my head" in order to make sense out of the existential relationship between "I" and "out in the world". Philosophy being one possible tool here.
Me, I think we come in also with temperments and tendencies. The twin studies and all that. Nature too, that is, not just nurture.

"I" can achieve a measure of comfort and consolation "in the momment". In other words, embedded in one or another of my distractions. But in regards to morality on this side of the grave and immortality/salvation on the other side it's beyond my reach.
Some kind of salvation would be nice. Me, I don't need an objective morality for consolation. I am not even sure it would be one. Some people present it that way, but they seem at least as split and bothered as any nihilist I know, if not more so.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: For me, I have no need to rationalize a behavior, since this implies I must somehow explain it as OK in relation to objective morals. At the same time, there are all sorts of things I will not do because of empathy and likes and dislikes, etc. In terms of morals I might be free to do anything, but in terms of my emotional self - and of course in relation to practical consequences - there are many things I will not do.

All I note here is that this "works" for you and then you bump into others who do not approve of the behaviors that you choose. They insist that you stop doing them. Or that you choose their behaviors. You explain to them why you chose your own behaviors, and that may or may not be good enough. You work out some compromise. With me though, I would need to acknowledge to them that I may well have come to choose their own behaviors in turn. And that in any event either set of behaviors can be rationalized as the right thing to do given a conflicting sets of assumptions about the human condition.
OK, I suppose I might do that too, but very, very rarely. I don't think it will help me or them or anything. Apart from it just seeming like I am fucking with them, or nuts, or being sneaky in some way they do not understand or lacking in self respect...and so on, I see very little liklihood of it helping us somewhere. I have said things like that to my wife, to friends. Here it can do something, but others....my gut says very, very rare it would be useful and more the rule that it would make things worse. Note: the reactions I listed above are not ones I consider correct interpretations. But I think, rightly or wrongly, that most people would have one of those reactions or others equally not positive.

It's the part about the things you "will not do" that separates your "I" here from mine. For me, the things you once did, do now or will do are no less existential contraptions. From my frame of mind, you simply can't know for certain what you might do in the future given all the times that you have changed the behaviors that you once did in the past. Given that you have no way of knowing for sure what new experiences, relationships and ideas you might come upon in the future.
Can't know for certain, sure.

And all of this often depends upon the extent to which your life unfolds in relatively stable times. Let something [or some things] of significance happen and the new turbulence can send "I" flying in any number of new directions.
Well, I just went through ten years of challenges unlike anything I ever faced. The trials of Job one friend commented. And yes, I sure changed. My days are quite different, I hate myself much less, I can express myself more openly, during that time I faced a lot of things I regret doing, blah, blah.

Generally it seems to have deepened tendencies I have long had. I would say I am less distanced from myself. Of course some new set of events might come and be just those that bring out something unprecendented, so I cannot identify with the old me.

I doubt it.

Yet, again, this is all embedded abstractly in another general description of human interactions.

We need to focus in on an actual context in which objectivists, and subjectivists [yours and mine] attempt to convey what unfolds "in their head" as they choose one behavior rather than another. The objectivists seemingly would not be fractured and fragmented.

Again, you have devised a frame of mind relating to this situation that allows your "I" to escape the extent to which my own "I" is fractured and fragmented given contact with similar situations. And I have addressed how I react to that above. Then it can only come down to attempts to bridge that gap given how very different our life experiences no doubt have been.
and our natures, what we brought to the table. It is not just experiences.

Take for example Trump's immigration policy. There are liberal and conservative objectivists here who appear to argue as though there is in fact the right and the wrong thing to do. Whereas "I" am drawn and quartered by reasonable arguments from both side. "I" recognizing in turn that "I" am in fact an existential contraption here predisposed to certain political prejudices.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: An objectivist could be torn here also.

Sure. But all I can do in a forum like this is to react to any one particular objectivist at a time in discussing these issues.
I wasn't suggesting anything else. I was noting how you presented the issue. It was as if an objectivist could not also be torn, whne clearly many are. My father was an objectivist and was often torn on many issues. Some he felt more unified on, but others, no.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I am in a different country than you. Here I think that a number of things are happening at once. Industry is very pro immigration because it will crack the unions. The proletariat is against immigration - more than the other classes - I think in part because they sense that down the line they will be weakened, but certainly racial prejudices and even more strongly cultural ones play a role. When I felt very financially vulnerable, a couple of years ago, the immigration rates terrified me because I need to take care of a family and need the present buffers - ones you do not have in your country. I feel stronger now, so that is less of an issue. I do feel like the West is being weakened and intentionally. Or better put, corporate power in relation to citizen power is going up and I see immigration as part of this or refugees espeically since those numbers went up. I often say that no one mentions that the US, Britain and FRance have openly planned, thought not especially loudly, to change the regime in Syria - and all the other countries they have and will try this with. I would be much happier with the influx, if it was acknowledged that this situation is not, oh, there was a civil war and a nasty government in Syria, but rather something much more like the situation where the US funded the Contras in Nicaragua. If there is no responsibility taking or demanding in relation to the proxy war in Syria powered by corporate and military interests in the US and elsewhere, then the influx is tainted. On the other hand I feel empathy for fleeing refugees and am friends with several.

I have no pat answer or position. On some things I do, but not that one. Here we are dealing with an incredibly complex situation as it unfolds on the ground, and one with an incredibly complex set of agents and agencies who have been causal in relation to it. Then it is being used by many agents, and most of whom aim propaganda and oversimplifications at any feeling or thought any of us might have. I could react to any or all parts of this in a variety of ways. It is also a global issue. And fuck, I have just had the decks cleared on all of my family being diagnosed with a terminal illness, one having made it out of that diagnosis after a period of ten years. I am not in a position to fix even one other mind on the issue of immigration. I try to put my energy where it does something, or I fucking lie around because I am burned out. But when I sti with someone in some situation and they throw something pat at me, I do often come back with a reaction. I do disagree. And I am a pain the ass. I doubt I change anyone's mind even about the specific cliche they have flung at me, but sometimes they do shut up, and not because I am screaming, but because they are suddenly confused. I am sure they work out their proper comeback later at home. Maybe someone has gone off and really mulled, but I ain't holding my breath. Humility is the order of the day regarding my effects on immigration issues.

From my frame of mind though this is all in sync with my argument that we generally encounter conflicting political prejudices rooted in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Genes and menes tugging each particular individual in any number of different directions.
Don't know what that 'though' is there for.

Well, here's the thing. To the extent that you "follow the news" and find yourself confronting the staggering human pain and suffering embedded in these turbulent political conflicts, is [often] the extent to which you might long for an objective moral foundation that all reasonable and virtuous men and women can embrace.
See, that feels like you thinking I am either, ignorant or immoral. I should be like you, but perhaps I am just not paying attention. I do not see me arriving at the objective morals as reducing the world pain. You seem to think that objective morals ADD to the pain. OK, so you long for the holy grail of objective morals, the ones that are recognizable by everyone. One, Idon't think, and it seems to me you don't think there is much more than a technical possibility they exist. This is what sets you far apart from objectivists. Second, let's say they do exist and you can find them plus the arguments to support them. I think that is confused. That the objective correct position on abortion is not out there already now AND it exists. And there is an argument that anti-abortionists or abortion rights activists have not already thought of and tried. I think that is unlikely. Then, that people will recognize thins irresistable argument. That seems equivalent to theism to me. You believe in a magically power set of words, a kind of word based magic. Yes, yes, I know, you don't think it exists, it's just that for all you know it might AND you build your life around this technical possibility from your perspective.

I don't think that would help me or others, if I pursued it.

If you think that makes you better than me, I think you are confused.
If you don't think it makes you better than me, then there is no need to assume I am ignorant or immoral. Remeber your whole position is based on people being different.

I react differenty than you do.

But somehow given the constellation of existential variables that came to embody your own particular "I" here, you have somehow managed to be less inclined to "wrestle" with it.
Yup, I have other things to wrestle with. It still feels like you are taking on the role of healing the world without a metaphysics or ontology that makes this realistic.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: My answer might have been based on my preferences/empathy rather than morals, but still I know what feeling like I must take a clear stand feels like. On some things I do not have much desire/guilt compelling me to find that single answer. I also notice how much change I can enact and it is, as far as I can tell, primarily quite local.

On the other hand, for someone like me, I am able to think back on all those years when I was in fact an objectivist. So I can still recall how much better "I" did feel back then.
Does it really feel like those former yous were really as aware of themselves as you are of yourself now? I also wonder if part of the problem you have is your envy. I don't envy objectivists. I don't see them as better off in any way, due to their objectivism. Nor was I better off when i was an objectivist or thought I was. This could be a key different. You felt good back then AND you see that connection to objectivism.

We'll just have acknowledge here that in relationship to experiences such as this we understand "I" in different ways. In any experience there is always going to be all of the variables that came to constitute "I" nudging [or propelling or even seemingly compelling] you to do one thing rather than another. Then it comes down to the extent to which "I" wrestles with the option of doing something else instead. And, in particular, the extent to which "I" comes to wrestle with what one ought to do.
Well, it seems like you think the best shot at feeling less fractures is if you found a way to return to an irrefutable objectivism.

That doesn't fit my experiences in any way. Has the search so far brought you any closer to unity?

Sure, there will always only be "degrees of communication" in exchanges of this sort. But, then, that bascially revolves around my whole point about "I" here. There are things about the lives that we live rooted in particular facts. Things that are true about us for everyone.

For me, though, however much "effort, time and expertise" one puts into grappling with these relationships, there are just far too many variables either beyond our understanding or control. And, many times, both.
You spend a great deal of time calling pretty much everything an existential contraption. You also see communication and unity and certainty also as fallible or non-existent. Let's look at your perspectives as qualites that make you more or less appropriate for certain tasks. And also let's look at certain tasks as being more or less suited to who you are now.

The job of finding the objective morality coupled with its irrefutable argument does not seem like a good fit for you.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
From my own vantage point, there are generally four things that propel us through life in the is/ought world:

1] The circumstances that we are "thrown" into at birth; and then our childhood indoctrination
2] a particular set of experiences, relationships and access to information/knowledge, that predispose "I" to go in a particular direction
3] the actual options available to us in choosing particular behaviors
4] the manner in which as a "philosophy of life" "I" fit everything together "in my head" in order to make sense out of the existential relationship between "I" and "out in the world". Philosophy being one possible tool here.
Me, I think we come in also with temperments and tendencies. The twin studies and all that. Nature too, that is, not just nurture.

Perhaps, but it still comes down to how these temperments and tendencies are hard-wired into any particular individual's genetic code; and then the extent to which the four points I raise above become rooted [in turn] in a particular memetic sequence.

As opposed to a "serious philosopher" grappling with all that and still managing somehow to define/deduce one or another deontological assessment into existence in regard to one or another set of conflicting goods.

"I" can achieve a measure of comfort and consolation "in the momment". In other words, embedded in one or another of my distractions. But in regards to morality on this side of the grave and immortality/salvation on the other side it's beyond my reach.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Some kind of salvation would be nice. Me, I don't need an objective morality for consolation. I am not even sure it would be one. Some people present it that way, but they seem at least as split and bothered as any nihilist I know, if not more so.

We're still stuck on "me" though. Yes, this is how your "I" thinks and feels about these relationships here and now. But, if my own assessment of dasein as an existential contraption is reasonable, that's only a predisposition rooted in the variables I note above. Some people this, some people that. I argue this is largely embedded in the profoundly problematic nature of "I" here with respect to value judgments of this sort. In other words, the extent to which, psychologically and emotionally, "I" here is never really within reach of something approaching the so-called "real me".

This part

All I note here is that this "works" for you and then you bump into others who do not approve of the behaviors that you choose. They insist that you stop doing them. Or that you choose their behaviors. You explain to them why you chose your own behaviors, and that may or may not be good enough. You work out some compromise perhaps. With me though, I would need to acknowledge to them that I may well have come to choose their own behaviors in turn. And that in any event either set of behaviors can be rationalized as the right thing to do given a conflicting sets of assumptions about the human condition.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: OK, I suppose I might do that too, but very, very rarely. I don't think it will help me or them or anything. Apart from it just seeming like I am fucking with them, or nuts, or being sneaky in some way they do not understand or lacking in self respect...and so on, I see very little liklihood of it helping us somewhere.

Indeed, it doesn't "help" me when confronting conflicting goods at the intersection of "I" and "political economy". But there I am still anyway. At least until I can reconfigure my thinking about these things.

Your "gut" is no less an existential contraption to me. It may just be closer to the part about genes. And here in a philosophy venue, I am not concerned with "fucking" with people or being thought of as "nuts". I'm curious instead to see if others have come up with a way of dealing with conflicting goods such that they feel a less fractured and fragmented "I".

And the bottom line here will always revolve more around what "works" for someone. At least until someone presents me with an argument that denotes how all rational people are obligated to think about these things.

It's the part about the things you "will not do" that separates your "I" here from mine. For me, the things you once did, do now or will do are no less existential contraptions. From my frame of mind, you simply can't know for certain what you might do in the future given all the times that you have changed the behaviors that you once did in the past. Given that you have no way of knowing for sure what new experiences, relationships and ideas you might come upon in the future.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Can't know for certain, sure.

And there we are. Your frame of mind was predisposed to go in one direction given the constellation of existential variables that came together in a particular way. Mine in another way. That is when I tap the theologians, philosphers, scientists, ethicists etc., on the shoulder and ask for their advice.

And all of this often depends upon the extent to which your life unfolds in relatively stable times. Let something [or some things] of significance happen and the new turbulence can send "I" flying in any number of new directions.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, I just went through ten years of challenges unlike anything I ever faced. The trials of Job one friend commented. And yes, I sure changed. My days are quite different, I hate myself much less, I can express myself more openly, during that time I faced a lot of things I regret doing, blah, blah.

We just think about interactions of this sort differently then. Things turned out better for you. That's great. I merely point out that another sequence of variables might have unfolded such that you ended up a lot worse. But since there is no way for you to really communicate to others the "reality" that you experienced over the past ten years, how close are they going to come to understanding it? I merely suggest that even with respect to your own sense of "reality" here, there are just too many variables either beyond your understanding or control, to enable you yourself to grasp definitively "what happened".

Let alone in speculating on how, in the best of all possible worlds, things ought to have happened.

Well, here's the thing. To the extent that you "follow the news" and find yourself confronting the staggering human pain and suffering embedded in these turbulent political conflicts, is [often] the extent to which you might long for an objective moral foundation that all reasonable and virtuous men and women can embrace.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: See, that feels like you thinking I am either, ignorant or immoral. I should be like you, but perhaps I am just not paying attention.

I was just reacting to the manner in which I construed your reaction to my search for an objective morality. As though I should just accept that there almost certainly isn't one and move on to one or another more "pragmatic" agenda.

Sure, that's one possible alternative. But it still doesn't make the horrors that I see "on the news" go away. And my own "grim reality" here revolves more around my having convinced myself that "I" here might just as easily have had the opposite reaction. Hell, my life might have been such that I was even contributing to that pain and suffering. Indeed, in many ways I certainly did so as a child raised in the belly of the white working class beast.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I do not see me arriving at the objective morals as reducing the world pain. You seem to think that objective morals ADD to the pain.

It's not a matter of reducing the pain, but of anchoring "I" in some measure of consolation. Some [many] have convinced themselves that the pain itself exists only is as a result of the behaviors chosen by "one of them".

And, to the extent that one or anther God or political ideology or objectivist philosophy becomes the foundation for one or another authoritarian governing contraption, the pain is often inflicted on those not construed to be "one of us".

And yet over and again I acknowledge that the nihilism embedded in the amoral political agendas that fuel the global economy [in today's world] almost certainly bring about even more human pain and suffering.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You believe in a magically power set of words, a kind of word based magic. Yes, yes, I know, you don't think it exists, it's just that for all you know it might AND you build your life around this technical possibility from your perspective.

I don't think that would help me or others, if I pursued it.

If you think that makes you better than me, I think you are confused.
If you don't think it makes you better than me, then there is no need to assume I am ignorant or immoral. Remeber your whole position is based on people being different.

I react differenty than you do.

No, this is basically what you believe that I believe. On the other hand, how on earth could you not believe what you think I believe? That's the nature of exchanges of this sort pertaining to "I" in the is/ought world.

And, again, it's not what "helps" us, but the extent to which a particular frame of mind makes "I" feel more or less fractured and fragmented in a world teeming with conflicted goods embedded in an endless onslaught of contingency, chance and change.

But here the actual social, political and economic permutations gernerated historically, culturally, existentially for any particular "I" will vary in a staggering number of different ways.

"I" think of that one way, "you" in another.

It's you who keeps suggesting that I rank the narratives others here as either better or worse than mine.

And even if I were able to convince myself that my frame of mind here is in fact a more reasoanble assessment it doesn't change this: that it is a really, really shitty way in which to gtrapple with the parts both before and after the grave.

Thus:

We'll just have acknowledge here that in relationship to experiences such as this we understand "I" in different ways. In any experience there is always going to be all of the variables that came to constitute "I" nudging [or propelling or even seemingly compelling] you to do one thing rather than another. Then it comes down to the extent to which "I" wrestles with the option of doing something else instead. And, in particular, the extent to which "I" comes to wrestle with what one ought to do.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, it seems like you think the best shot at feeling less fractures is if you found a way to return to an irrefutable objectivism.

No, "in the moment" what works best for me is this capacity I have for sinking down into one or another "distraction". "I" become wholly engaged in doing something -- listening to music, watching a movie, doing anacrostics -- that takes me away from a fractured self.

But given how certain I once felt that an objective morality -- re God or Reason -- was within reach, there's no way I can make that part of "me" just "go away". Psychologically, it's locked inside my head. A true existential contraption. So, sure, why not go looking for it again? Really, what do I have to lose here compared to [however remote the chance of success] what I have to gain?

It's a no-brainer for me.

Sure, there will always only be "degrees of communication" in exchanges of this sort. But, then, that bascially revolves around my whole point about "I" here. There are things about the lives that we live rooted in particular facts. Things that are true about us for everyone.

For me, though, however much "effort, time and expertise" one puts into grappling with these relationships, there are just far too many variables either beyond our understanding or control. And, many times, both.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You spend a great deal of time calling pretty much everything an existential contraption. You also see communication and unity and certainty also as fallible or non-existent. Let's look at your perspectives as qualites that make you more or less appropriate for certain tasks. And also let's look at certain tasks as being more or less suited to who you are now.

No, I focus on "I" as an "existential contraption" only out in an is/ought world awash in conflicting goods.

On the other hand, regarding the overwhelming preponderence of our interactions with others from day to day, it doesn't seem applicable to me at all.

And, no, I don't see "communication and unity and certainty...as fallible or non-existent." Again, with respect to most of what we do with or around others from day to day, these things are all patently obvious. Where that communication, unity and certainty appear to break down however is when someone takes exception to a behavior of yours because 1] it interferes with a behavior of his or 2] it is deemed to be an immoral behavior that must be confronted.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, I just went through ten years of challenges unlike anything I ever faced. The trials of Job one friend commented. And yes, I sure changed. My days are quite different, I hate myself much less, I can express myself more openly, during that time I faced a lot of things I regret doing, blah, blah.

We just think about interactions of this sort differently then. Things turned out better for you. That's great. I merely point out that another sequence of variables might have unfolded such that you ended up a lot worse.
They did, i was a mess, for years. IOW ten years gave me the experience of me not doing well at all and then having done well perhaps, it turns out or on some level by the end of that period. Neither the horrible mess me in the middle nor the 'oh, it seems that shit horror period may have improved me' changed my approach in its core. And at no point did I wish for objective morals. The intervention of deities, ok. But objective morals would have seemed like bringing a daisy to a knife fight. Something may come along and do and change my core approach, but I was reacting to the idea that the I and the approach is like a leaf flitting around. This may fit your I and life, but it is not universal. That's all. Still, yes, a change may come to the core.

Well, here's the thing. To the extent that you "follow the news" and find yourself confronting the staggering human pain and suffering embedded in these turbulent political conflicts, is [often] the extent to which you might long for an objective moral foundation that all reasonable and virtuous men and women can embrace.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: See, that feels like you thinking I am either, ignorant or immoral. I should be like you, but perhaps I am just not paying attention.

I was just reacting to the manner in which I construed your reaction to my search for an objective morality. As though I should just accept that there almost certainly isn't one and move on to one or another more "pragmatic" agenda.
The context is you systematically using 'objectivist' as a pejorative term. If you simply were seeking to find an objectivist stance you felt was rational and demonstrable, I would not have the same reaction. But here you often present objectivists in a negative light. You see them as tending to use means you think are bad, (might makes right for example) In a context OF YOUR PRESENTING where what you seek you also in parallel mock, critique and present as negative, YUP, I wonder what you are up to.

This is not some objectivist coming and telling you what you should be doing, this is me reacting to what you yourself write.

And beyond that, remember: there is always the possibility you will be convinced but IN ERROR. The current 'you' for some reason is seeking to join a club you judge negatively - while acknowledging you cannot be sure they are a problem - AND consider it possible that you might be convinced to join some objectivist club on fallible grounds. I don't get why the current 'you', GIVEN YOUR CURRENT BELIEFS, heads in that direction and takes that risk.

Doesn't make it wrong, but it sure seems odd. But one thing that is not happening is me saying you SHOULD react the way I do. Given how you view objectivists, however, I find the way you react really weird.

Sure, that's one possible alternative. But it still doesn't make the horrors that I see "on the news" go away.

I guess I would hope I don't come off so stupid that I need to be told this.

It's you who keeps suggesting that I rank the narratives others here as either better or worse than mine.
Well, if you use objectivists as a perjorative term, it is implicit ranking. If you think moderation and compromise are the better means, then you are ranking.

Yes, you are not certain. You rank, but you are not certain about the ranking. But you rank.

No, "in the moment" what works best for me is this capacity I have for sinking down into one or another "distraction". "I" become wholly engaged in doing something -- listening to music, watching a movie, doing anacrostics -- that takes me away from a fractured self.

But given how certain I once felt that an objective morality -- re God or Reason -- was within reach, there's no way I can make that part of "me" just "go away". Psychologically, it's locked inside my head. A true existential contraption. So, sure, why not go looking for it again? Really, what do I have to lose here compared to [however remote the chance of success] what I have to gain?

Well, from what I get here you have two activities: 1) distraction activities alone 2) seeking objective morals in your contact with others.

What you may or may not be losing would be what is gained by relating to others in a more diverse way, under both categories 1 and 2. And also what can be gained from activities that are not merely distractions, but where you have, in addition, goals.

I am not suggestion you should try these things, just wanting to make it clear, given the next statement, that your sense this is a no brainer may simply be an existential contraption based on poor induction and generalizations created by past experience and is of little relevance to others, even other nihilists - since those I know do not limit themselves to those two activities and do not present themselves or seem to me as fractured as you present yourself and as you seem. It may not even be a reasonable conclusion for you. But, again, let me stress, I have no idea what you need or could possibly hear from another human even if I did know what you needed. But when you say...

It's a no-brainer for me.
[/quote]1) it calls for contextualization and 2) for any third parties reading, it needs to be pointed out how idiosyncratic this solution, however temporary, likely is.

Nihilist artisans, very social nihilists whose interactions with others cover joint projects, commiseration, support, joint creative work, play, exploration of psychology through discussion of specific people and concrete interactions, discussion of art and so on are all possible. And then under the category of distractions that also have goals: art, helping people - which the internet makes available to anyone - crafts, collecting, teaching, designing, writing for publication or distribution, etc.

yes, yes, you may very well be making the perfect choice for yourself, but I see a phrase like no brainer and I want to come in with how specific and idiosyncratic the lack of choice you see actually is.

None of that may have appeal to you, based on poor or good induction and all the factors you and I have mentioned, but other nihilists make other choices AND and the same time are not part of the empathyless neo-con, or fascist or community or autocratic 'winner' crowd.

Having as the two primary activities distraction and seeking objective morals is not a no brainer choice. It seems like there are many other choices to fit many different individual nihilists.

On the other hand Your choice may fit you perfectly, now, or for the rest of your life. I have no idea.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2215
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, I just went through ten years of challenges unlike anything I ever faced. The trials of Job one friend commented. And yes, I sure changed. My days are quite different, I hate myself much less, I can express myself more openly, during that time I faced a lot of things I regret doing, blah, blah.

We just think about interactions of this sort differently then. Things turned out better for you. That's great. I merely point out that another sequence of variables might have unfolded such that you ended up a lot worse.

They did, i was a mess, for years. IOW ten years gave me the experience of me not doing well at all and then having done well perhaps, it turns out or on some level by the end of that period. Neither the horrible mess me in the middle nor the 'oh, it seems that shit horror period may have improved me' changed my approach in its core. And at no point did I wish for objective morals. The intervention of deities, ok. But objective morals would have seemed like bringing a daisy to a knife fight. Something may come along and do and change my core approach, but I was reacting to the idea that the I and the approach is like a leaf flitting around. This may fit your I and life, but it is not universal. That's all. Still, yes, a change may come to the core.

Imagine hypothetically we could pluck 100 men and women at random from around the globe. You relate to them in great detail the experiences that you had over this period of time.

Imagine then, at their "core", the many different reactions. Unlike you, some will fall back on their objective moralities, on their gods, on their political prejudices.

From my perspective, this so-called "core" is just an endlessly constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed frame of mind -- "I" -- rooted in a particular lived life. And from the cradle to the grave. Except for the parts that we are all able to agree reflect what is in fact true for all mere mortals in what may or may not be a No God world.

Then we segue to a room filled with distinguished philosophers, ethicists, political scientists. They hear your story and the reactions of all the others.

What would they conclude? What could they conclude?

I was just reacting to the manner in which I construed your reaction to my search for an objective morality. As though I should just accept that there almost certainly isn't one and move on to one or another more "pragmatic" agenda.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: The context is you systematically using 'objectivist' as a pejorative term.

On the other hand, when I root much of the pain and suffering inflicted on "the masses" by those "show me the money" nihilists who own and operate the global economy, some will insist I am using "nihilist" here as a pejorative term.

What then can I do "for all practical purposes" but to draw certain conclusions about a world governed by either the moral objectivists or the moral nihilists?

Indeed, in the near future, the United States Supreme Court may well send the abortion wars back to the states. Or even outlaw it altogether as "unconstitutional". The debate here will revolve around "the law", but who is kidding who? The moral objectivists on the right see abortion as killing babies. The moral objectivists on the left see abortion as the right of women to choose.

So, when does the discussion and debate here become tangled up in alleged "pejoratives"?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: If you simply were seeking to find an objectivist stance you felt was rational and demonstrable, I would not have the same reaction. But here you often present objectivists in a negative light. You see them as tending to use means you think are bad, (might makes right for example) In a context OF YOUR PRESENTING where what you seek you also in parallel mock, critique and present as negative, YUP, I wonder what you are up to.

For "I" out in the is/not world, both means and ends are deemed by me to be existential contraptions. And the manner in which "I" or "you" argue our points here does not make that go away. At least not for me.

And the bottom line [for me] is that if someone is able to convince me that morality can be grasped objectively [perhaps even universally], I'm up out of my hole. And then [on this thread] someone may in turn convince me that to the extent I embody this morality in my interactions with others, I will be judged favorably by God.

Instead, what is going on here [from my frame of mind] is you hearing me out and then making certain assumptions yourself about my motivation and intention.

Meanwhile I am more than willing to concede that even my own assessment here can never really be more than just an existential contraption that I have come to believe here and now "in my head".

In relationship to what is "really true" here what are the odds that either one of us have come even close to an actual ontological or teleological assessment?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: This is not some objectivist coming and telling you what you should be doing, this is me reacting to what you yourself write.

I couldn't have put it better myself. We just react differently to what that means. Something, however, that makes perfect sense to me.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: And beyond that, remember: there is always the possibility you will be convinced but IN ERROR. The current 'you' for some reason is seeking to join a club you judge negatively - while acknowledging you cannot be sure they are a problem - AND consider it possible that you might be convinced to join some objectivist club on fallible grounds. I don't get why the current 'you', GIVEN YOUR CURRENT BELIEFS, heads in that direction and takes that risk.

So, how close to or far away from psycho-babble is this? You may well be considerably closer to the whole truth here than I am. But that doesn't make the hole that "I" am in go away. Nothing substantive really changes for me given my reaction to all the shit "in the news" that yanks me ambivalently in different directions. All I know is that once my reactions were grounded in the "real me" in sync with the right way to think and to feel and to behave. And that was a great source of comfort and consolation.

And now that's all gone. It's just that this seems to bother me in a way that it no longer bothers you. Why? Well, that's what we're both groping here to understand.

Only, from my frame of mind, the "answer" is buried [perhaps inextricably] in dasein. In all of those countless experiences that I have had from the cradle to now that predisposed me to think this instead of that.

But: What IN FACT is true?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: But one thing that is not happening is me saying you SHOULD react the way I do. Given how you view objectivists, however, I find the way you react really weird.

Weird in relationship to what other point of view? I was once an objectivist. It felt good. I'm not now. Except to those who insist that I am -- at least to the extent I won't change my mind and see things more the way they do.

Things here are weird only to the extent that a frame of mind can be concocted which is able to be demonstrated as not weird.

It's you who keeps suggesting that I rank the narratives others here as either better or worse than mine.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, if you use objectivists as a perjorative term, it is implicit ranking. If you think moderation and compromise are the better means, then you are ranking.

Yes, you are not certain. You rank, but you are not certain about the ranking. But you rank.

As long as one chooses to interact with others, wants and needs will come into conflict. When on earth have they not? Given this, human communities have no choice but to rank behaviors. To assign rewards and punishments to particular sets of behaviors. That is simply the human condition.

Then it's just a matter of being or not being down in the hole with me when it comes to be your turn to rank.

No, "in the moment" what works best for me is this capacity I have for sinking down into one or another "distraction". "I" become wholly engaged in doing something -- listening to music, watching a movie, doing anacrostics -- that takes me away from a fractured self.

But given how certain I once felt that an objective morality -- re God or Reason -- was within reach, there's no way I can make that part of "me" just "go away". Psychologically, it's locked inside my head. A true existential contraption. So, sure, why not go looking for it again? Really, what do I have to lose here compared to [however remote the chance of success] what I have to gain?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, from what I get here you have two activities: 1) distraction activities alone 2) seeking objective morals in your contact with others.

What you may or may not be losing would be what is gained by relating to others in a more diverse way, under both categories 1 and 2. And also what can be gained from activities that are not merely distractions, but where you have, in addition, goals.

I am not suggestion you should try these things, just wanting to make it clear, given the next statement, that your sense this is a no brainer may simply be an existential contraption based on poor induction and generalizations created by past experience and is of little relevance to others, even other nihilists - since those I know do not limit themselves to those two activities and do not present themselves or seem to me as fractured as you present yourself and as you seem. It may not even be a reasonable conclusion for you. But, again, let me stress, I have no idea what you need or could possibly hear from another human even if I did know what you needed. But when you say...

I react to this as yet another "general description" of human interactions. We would need to focus the beam on a particular context in which descriptively we noted that which we thought to be "poor induction". We would need to exchange "experiences" in order gauge the extent to which another may or may not be able to grapple intelligently and insightfully with our own.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Having as the two primary activities distraction and seeking objective morals is not a no brainer choice. It seems like there are many other choices to fit many different individual nihilists.

Clearly, that which is deemed to be a no brainer for this nihilist may well not make much sense to another one. At least not necessarily. After all, nihilists are no less embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein.

And so much here revolves around perceived options. Not to mention actual ones.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

iambiguous wrote:Imagine hypothetically we could pluck 100 men and women at random from around the globe. You relate to them in great detail the experiences that you had over this period of time.

Imagine then, at their "core", the many different reactions. Unlike you, some will fall back on their objective moralities, on their gods, on their political prejudices.
Sure, some people would shift, though this doesn't prove much and it's abstract. It's not about you for example or me. Put 100 people in random Woods and some will get lost and some will find their way out. We could conclude that there is no skill involved, no core, just atoms in Brownian motion.

From my perspective, this so-called "core" is just an endlessly constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed frame of mind -- "I" -- rooted in a particular lived life. And from the cradle to the grave. Except for the parts that we are all able to agree reflect what is in fact true for all mere mortals in what may or may not be a No God world.
I know you think this way. For you there are no degrees of authenticity. When the gay guy with conservative parents finally admits what he has been feeling all along, he has not come closer to doing what he wants, accepting his emotions/desires, etc. It is an existential contraption. Now he has a new one gayness. For you it is a shift, just like any other, completely contingent, as likely to jump back to being straight again. But if like me you had made this one of the core tasks of your Life - the feeling into myself, noticing the effects of memes on my emotions, feel of myself, feel of unity, you would notice that like entropy there is in fact a direction. There are changes towards what is more stable because it fits my nature. For you there is no nature, just nurture and shifting mental, word based beliefs and contents. But smashing a glass is very hard to undo. Due to entropy, some states are more stable. Similarly some ways of being in the world suit us better, individually and even at the species level. Certain kinds of self-relation are less jumbled, split, self-suppressing....and I could give a long list of other metaphors and words that elicit for those who make this a priority or through circumstance are thrust through these states. This does not mean they are morally better. To Think that if you are not perfect, you should physically punish yourself is nto something I would argue is objectively immoral. But it is damaging for the organism. For me there are qualitative differences between states - unified in a spectrum to shattered/fragmented - and one can come closer to what one is, even if some things will change or can. Just like most people who come out as gay do not go back, especially if they were in environments where this transition brought up a lot of fear, there are facets of being in the world that feel much more natural to me, they fit me. I stop pretending, for example, that I am so nice, and realize where my anger was actually going. That persona that I myself believed was not very real. I may use it now, but I am no longer fooled. I can feel into a way of interacting with others and self-relating and notice what feels more unified. For you this is just Another existential contraption and that is because you see change as via verbal mental interactions and identity as thought content. Sure, experiences change you, but you do not Think you have the ability to test what memes are doing to you. You do not Think you can throw off ideas and/or will only do this when they are proven objectively wrong.

I'll get a meme off my back if it feels bad over a long time. If I cannot come to some agreement with myself, and must for some reason be split and self-hating, how the hell would I help anyone outside of me? Oxygen mask on me first. And since I do not Believe in objective morals, worrying about them does not help me and has no attraction.

I can feel what is more the core me. You will likely say this is abstract and cannot be done or is Another existential abstraction, blah, blah. But it is actually Concrete and lived.

Perhaps you will think that, OK, gayness, but it's likely hardwired, and even there some will switch to be trendy - which is why I mentioned a context where one is really motivated not to explore. But I find there is a lot that is temperment, and separated twins studies support this. There are activities and interests that suit us. There are ways of being int he world that feel right. And these will tend to find expression in how we act, what hobbies we choose. What kind of mates we seek and much much more. What we are told we should be like, pressures from family and culture and trends can suppress, turn us against ourselves. And it may not be easy to sort that out, and many are afraid to try and never do.

Further some things this is not individual. There are things our bodies, you could say, prefer and feel healthier doing. The huge rise in cortisol levels should let us know that culture is, by choice, moving in directions that do not suit us.

For you even if I am right, there is no way to know what suits me or us better.

We can only evaluate memes with verbal tool memes.

For me the memes you use to prioritize you activities are very abstract. They leave you out. They are seeking as a cipher. Again, might be just peachy for you and might even be objectively moral for all I know.

I think the reason you cannot grasp this is because you build your identity and hope around what is or might be objective. I ask you if something is working for you and I hear about the world. Like here below...
Then we segue to a room filled with distinguished philosophers, ethicists, political scientists. They hear your story and the reactions of all the others.What would they conclude? What could they conclude?
It doesn't matter, certainly not to me.

For you there is just this flitting self. And for the Buddhists also. Nothing more real than anything else. Just transient forms.

Maybe it is true for you, but for me: NO there are changes that are towards a more grounded less split me and I can fallibly but clearly move towards a way of being that is less split and feel more correct and from which my organism thrives.

This doesn't mean I know what yours is.

Some shifts like the move from trying to be attracted to women, while one is trying to be even believing one is straight, to accepting one's actual desires and allowing the movement towards men are really rather obvious. Startling different experiences of sex and romantic love, I would guess, as a straight guy. A clear sense, now I have moved closer to myself.

A dramatic example. But there are so many other less dramatic examples that one can go through, that are also clearly grounded in the organism. And since most belief systems out there, for example, have built in self-hate as moral (not that they Word it this way), the Changes can be just as dramatic, though often harder for others to understand. Who still Think that ain't self-hate that's just common sense, those emotions are bad.

Just because something is sometimes, often or even usually hard to track, does not mean it is not real. And there are skills involved here. Some people have worked hard on this and some have not, and that makes a difference. I can't make out precancerous tissue on an MRI image, but some people can.

Most people confuse the contents of their thoughts with themselves or in your case with a mere 'I'. They identify with the content. You see the content as infinitely flexible. But that is where you both look for identity. And that text based mental, just one portion of frontal lobe activity is the most culturally affected, most easily manipulated portion of the self. You look there, hope to find something there that gets you from the hole - and while you are more alone in relation to this than objectivists, they look in the same place for change or not to change, for the I or 'I'

I think that his not where the I is. And I think focusing there is to flutter or be always on the defensive of an I one wants to defend.

I know doing anything else is of no interest to you. But if you want to know why I am less fractured than you, it is because of how we have focused differently and what you have focusing on gives you NO GROUND to evaluate. You could be gay in a month, dislike nature or start liking being out in it, suddenly feel drawn to X, and repulsed by Y, be conservative next week, be an objectivist in a year, feel best in Latin culture...and so on.

I have no answer to your objective morals quest. But you are confused about how fluid it all is and it is no coincidence you leave nature off your list of factors in dasein and only have nurture.

I was just reacting to the manner in which I construed your reaction to my search for an objective morality. As though I should just accept that there almost certainly isn't one and move on to one or another more "pragmatic" agenda.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: The context is you systematically using 'objectivist' as a pejorative term.

On the other hand, when I root much of the pain and suffering inflicted on "the masses" by those "show me the money" nihilists who own and operate the global economy, some will insist I am using "nihilist" here as a pejorative term.
Not quite, you are using show me the money nihilists as a perjorative term. You are ranking them. Distinguishing them from other possible nihilists. Ones like you for example. You rank depending on several factors, objectivism, nihilism, moderation vs might makes right, domination vs compassionate community focus and given that you are still an 'I' with lefty urges, this too affects your ranking. Objectivists who tend towards moderation rank higher than those who use might, etc. You haven't sat down and made a nicely number ranking list, but I can easily put them in some kind of order with some rankings being utterly clear. And yes, I know you cannot be sure how you will rank tomorrow or how contingent all this is, but you rank.

What then can I do "for all practical purposes" but to draw certain conclusions about a world governed by either the moral objectivists or the moral nihilists?

Indeed, in the near future, the United States Supreme Court may well send the abortion wars back to the states. Or even outlaw it altogether as "unconstitutional". The debate here will revolve around "the law", but who is kidding who? The moral objectivists on the right see abortion as killing babies. The moral objectivists on the left see abortion as the right of women to choose.

So, when does the discussion and debate here become tangled up in alleged "pejoratives"?
Oh, I know some things you have more trouble ranking than others. That doesn't mean you don't rank.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: If you simply were seeking to find an objectivist stance you felt was rational and demonstrable, I would not have the same reaction. But here you often present objectivists in a negative light. You see them as tending to use means you think are bad, (might makes right for example) In a context OF YOUR PRESENTING where what you seek you also in parallel mock, critique and present as negative, YUP, I wonder what you are up to.

For "I" out in the is/not world, both means and ends are deemed by me to be existential contraptions. And the manner in which "I" or "you" argue our points here does not make that go away. At least not for me.
I know. I do not think anything will change you now. Not the objectivists and not nihilists. What could you possibly find in yourself to trust. Not your intellect, not your emotions, all changes int he self are merely contingent and your goal seems to be solving all the worlds interpersonal problems that are based on values. I do not think a change is possible with that demand or need as the criterion for what you would trust to make a change. Don't mean your wrong, objectively or subjectively. But of course what I say does not make 'that' go away.

Instead, what is going on here [from my frame of mind] is you hearing me out and then making certain assumptions yourself about my motivation and intention.
Something always strikes me as odd. Beyond that I don't know what it is. I don't know what your motivation is or your intention, however you are distinguishing those terms.

Meanwhile I am more than willing to concede that even my own assessment here can never really be more than just an existential contraption that I have come to believe here and now "in my head".
Maybe that's a better assessment of your mind than mine. You just ranked us by the way....

Meanwhile I am more willing....

You, right here , ranking us. It's implicit ranking, yes. Often you rank openly and the pejorative is clear. Here it is implied. And notice the contradiction between the act and what you are saying about yourself. Yes, yes. I know, you can now tell me that you know you might be wrong. But you rank and you ranked us.

In relationship to what is "really true" here what are the odds that either one of us have come even close to an actual ontological or teleological assessment?
Can you not see how this is an assessment?

So, how close to or far away from psycho-babble is this? You may well be considerably closer to the whole truth here than I am. But that doesn't make the hole that "I" am in go away. Nothing substantive really changes for me given my reaction to all the shit "in the news" that yanks me ambivalently in different directions. All I know is that once my reactions were grounded in the "real me" in sync with the right way to think and to feel and to behave. And that was a great source of comfort and consolation.
I pointed out something that is not psychobabble. It is a conclusion one can deduce based on your ideas of the contingency of your beliefs and also your judgments of objectivism.

Psychobabble deals with your dad or your inferiority complex etc., not the beliefs you are putting down on the page and conclusions one could draw from them. My deduction may be faulty but it wasn't about your personality.

Weird in relationship to what other point of view? I was once an objectivist. It felt good. I'm not now. Except to those who insist that I am -- at least to the extent I won't change my mind and see things more the way they do.

Things here are weird only to the extent that a frame of mind can be concocted which is able to be demonstrated as not weird.
No, that's not the only way. I tried to point out contradictions between your goals and what you think of people who you think are the only ones who can help you, how you rank them in relation to you and where you see the damage coming from in the world.

It was not effective. I see that. And a better word would have been self-contradictory.

As long as one chooses to interact with others, wants and needs will come into conflict. When on earth have they not? Given this, human communities have no choice but to rank behaviors. To assign rewards and punishments to particular sets of behaviors. That is simply the human condition.
Your first reaction to my saying that you rank was to say you didn't. That you used nihilist sometimes as pejorative. Now you are saying that it is inevitable that one ranks.

I can only try to point out these contradictions and see if you can go into the cognitive dissonance long enough to see what might be going on that you don't want to notice.

Clearly, that which is deemed to be a no brainer for this nihilist may well not make much sense to another one.
Good.

I'm off. It's been interesting. I've gotten something from it, a bit like, perhaps, arguing with Derrida about whether we are having an argument and him getting angry because clearly we are not because neither of us exists. Which hopefully doesn't come off mocking. It's a discussion I would have liked to have had with Derrida. And he too saw text as primary.

And while I love Don Quixote, I don't want to be him. I accept that I am encountering a transient form here.

But I am not the right interlocutor for your goals. So the discussion will always be skewed. It's your thread, you have a really rather clear goal. Good luck.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2215
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: on discussing god and religion

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Imagine hypothetically we could pluck 100 men and women at random from around the globe. You relate to them in great detail the experiences that you had over this period of time.

Imagine then, at their "core", the many different reactions. Unlike you, some will fall back on their objective moralities, on their gods, on their political prejudices.
Sure, some people would shift, though this doesn't prove much and it's abstract. It's not about you for example or me. Put 100 people in random Woods and some will get lost and some will find their way out. We could conclude that there is no skill involved, no core, just atoms in Brownian motion.

My point though is more in imagining the reactions of philosophers, ethicists and political scientists reacting to what I construe to be political prejudices rooted in dasein.

Would they agree that this is basically what they are, or might they concoct a frame of mind said to be the moral obligation of all rational people to embrace?

And folks walking in the woods [either getting lost or not] revolves more around the either/or world. They either possess the skills necessary to find their way out or they don't.

Again, it comes down [for me] to assessing your experiences in contrast to the experiences of others; or assessing them such that it can be determined which choices you ought to have made in order to be construed of as a rational and moral human being.

In a No God world.

From my perspective, this so-called "core" is just an endlessly constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed frame of mind -- "I" -- rooted in a particular lived life. And from the cradle to the grave. Except for the parts that we are all able to agree reflect what is in fact true for all mere mortals in what may or may not be a No God world.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I know you think this way. For you there are no degrees of authenticity. When the gay guy with conservative parents finally admits what he has been feeling all along, he has not come closer to doing what he wants, accepting his emotions/desires, etc. It is an existential contraption.

Here though, we are still grappling with the extent to which homosexuality may or may not be embedded in genes. For some it may be entirely natural to be gay. And, since human beings are inherently a part of nature, it can also be argued in turn that any behaviors that any of us choose are natural.

But, historically, culturally and experientially, any number of conflicting memetic narratives have been broached and embraced.

So, putting the two together, what are philosophers, ethicists and political scientists to make of it? Is there a frame of mind here that transcends the existential components embedded in my own frame of mind?

I would certainly never argue that there is not one, only that no one has yet to convince me of one. But that can ever only be embodied in the "here and now".

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Now he has a new one gayness. For you it is a shift, just like any other, completely contingent, as likely to jump back to being straight again. But if like me you had made this one of the core tasks of your Life - the feeling into myself, noticing the effects of memes on my emotions, feel of myself, feel of unity, you would notice that like entropy there is in fact a direction. There are changes towards what is more stable because it fits my nature. For you there is no nature, just nurture and shifting mental, word based beliefs and contents. But smashing a glass is very hard to undo. Due to entropy, some states are more stable. Similarly some ways of being in the world suit us better, individually and even at the species level. Certain kinds of self-relation are less jumbled, split, self-suppressing....and I could give a long list of other metaphors and words that elicit for those who make this a priority or through circumstance are thrust through these states. This does not mean they are morally better. To Think that if you are not perfect, you should physically punish yourself is nto something I would argue is objectively immoral. But it is damaging for the organism. For me there are qualitative differences between states - unified in a spectrum to shattered/fragmented - and one can come closer to what one is, even if some things will change or can. Just like most people who come out as gay do not go back, especially if they were in environments where this transition brought up a lot of fear, there are facets of being in the world that feel much more natural to me, they fit me. I stop pretending, for example, that I am so nice, and realize where my anger was actually going. That persona that I myself believed was not very real. I may use it now, but I am no longer fooled. I can feel into a way of interacting with others and self-relating and notice what feels more unified. For you this is just Another existential contraption and that is because you see change as via verbal mental interactions and identity as thought content. Sure, experiences change you, but you do not Think you have the ability to test what memes are doing to you. You do not Think you can throw off ideas and/or will only do this when they are proven objectively wrong.

What interests me about speculation of this sort is in imagining those on both sides of this cantankerous political debate reacting to it. The part in other words where your "general descriptions" above bump into the actual experiences that particular individuals might have.

Out in a particular world of actual flesh and blood human interactions.

And then in imagining a particular community coming up with a set of behaviors -- either prescribed or proscribed -- relating to homosexuality.

How would the "best of all possible worlds" here not revolve around moderation, negotiation and compromise?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I'll get a meme off my back if it feels bad over a long time. If I cannot come to some agreement with myself, and must for some reason be split and self-hating, how the hell would I help anyone outside of me? Oxygen mask on me first. And since I do not Believe in objective morals, worrying about them does not help me and has no attraction.

I can feel what is more the core me. You will likely say this is abstract and cannot be done or is Another existential abstraction, blah, blah. But it is actually Concrete and lived.

"You" can, "I" can't. And what you call "actually concrete and lived" in embracing one set of values/behaviors, those who embrace an entirely opposite set of values/behaviors champion in turn. Somehow they just know -- intuitively? viscerally? -- that helping and hurting others revolves around that which they have come to construe as their "core" self.

But we are still back to moderation, negotiation and compromise as the best of all possible worlds here.

Something the objectivists will accept only to the extent that they still believe that their own frame of mind reflects the most rational/moral agenda. They need but convince the other side of this.

And that [psychologically] is the source of comfort and consolation that folks like me are not able to experience.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: For me the memes you use to prioritize you activities are very abstract. They leave you out. They are seeking as a cipher. Again, might be just peachy for you and might even be objectively moral for all I know.

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
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.

...as a description of my own approach to moral values? "I" here is embedded in the actual existential trajectory of my life as it intertwines ideas/ideals in a sequence of experiences that helped to shape and mold them

Choose a value of your own and situate it out in the life that you have lived. Then note how you are still able to somehow just know what your real "core" is.

The "for all practical purposes" "I" that "works" for you here and now. And then when you bump into the points that I raise here about that you just brush them aside. Why? Because [I speculate] if you do go down that path, whatever comfort and consolation you have managed to stitch together with the "I" you have now is put in jeopardy.

And I know this in particular because "I" did tumble down into the hole I describe myself.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: For you there is just this flitting self. And for the Buddhists also. Nothing more real than anything else. Just transient forms.

Yeah, but the Buddhists have this whole "spiritual" thing going for them. And, one suspects, they too are all over the map when it comes down to reacting to conflicting goods.

Consider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_abortion

And, re this thread, any particular Buddhist will express an opinion about abortion as it reflects a point of view regarding behaviors on this side of the grave and the manner in which behaviors here and now relate to an imagined fate on the other side of it.

But even Buddhists are no less daseins.

And then there's this part:

"True happiness, enlightenment, and freedom from suffering can be found through Buddhist teachings. A spirit is not extinguished upon death, but instead transfers into another life in one of six separate planes (three fortunate and three unfortunate)."

Any Buddhists here willing to bring their own value judgments down to earth?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Maybe it is true for you, but for me: NO there are changes that are towards a more grounded less split me and I can fallibly but clearly move towards a way of being that is less split and feel more correct and from which my organism thrives.

Now this is abstract.

Note a particular value judgment of yours and situate it out in the world that you live in.

What on earth does it mean to speak of behaviors "grounded in the organism"? And how is that reconciled with human autonomy?

This sort of thing...

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Some shifts like the move from trying to be attracted to women, while one is trying to be even believing one is straight, to accepting one's actual desires and allowing the movement towards men are really rather obvious. Startling different experiences of sex and romantic love, I would guess, as a straight guy. A clear sense, now I have moved closer to myself.

A dramatic example. But there are so many other less dramatic examples that one can go through, that are also clearly grounded in the organism. And since most belief systems out there, for example, have built in self-hate as moral (not that they Word it this way), the Changes can be just as dramatic, though often harder for others to understand. Who still Think that ain't self-hate that's just common sense, those emotions are bad.

Just because something is sometimes, often or even usually hard to track, does not mean it is not real. And there are skills involved here. Some people have worked hard on this and some have not, and that makes a difference. I can't make out precancerous tissue on an MRI image, but some people can.

Most people confuse the contents of their thoughts with themselves or in your case with a mere 'I'. They identify with the content. You see the content as infinitely flexible. But that is where you both look for identity. And that text based mental, just one portion of frontal lobe activity is the most culturally affected, most easily manipulated portion of the self. You look there, hope to find something there that gets you from the hole - and while you are more alone in relation to this than objectivists, they look in the same place for change or not to change, for the I or 'I'

I think that his not where the I is. And I think focusing there is to flutter or be always on the defensive of an I one wants to defend.

I know doing anything else is of no interest to you. But if you want to know why I am less fractured than you, it is because of how we have focused differently and what you have focusing on gives you NO GROUND to evaluate. You could be gay in a month, dislike nature or start liking being out in it, suddenly feel drawn to X, and repulsed by Y, be conservative next week, be an objectivist in a year, feel best in Latin culture...and so on.

I have no answer to your objective morals quest. But you are confused about how fluid it all is and it is no coincidence you leave nature off your list of factors in dasein and only have nurture.

...really gets me no closer to understanding this "core" self of yours. "Fluid" in what way? In other words, given an actual encounter you had with someone whose "core" self challenged one of your own values/behaviors.

You both might embrace this idea of a more or less "real me", but that doesn't make the conflicting goods go away. Or the part about dasein and political economy.

I was just reacting to the manner in which I construed your reaction to my search for an objective morality. As though I should just accept that there almost certainly isn't one and move on to one or another more "pragmatic" agenda.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: The context is you systematically using 'objectivist' as a pejorative term.

On the other hand, when I root much of the pain and suffering inflicted on "the masses" by those "show me the money" nihilists who own and operate the global economy, some will insist I am using "nihilist" here as a pejorative term.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Not quite, you are using show me the money nihilists as a perjorative term. You are ranking them. Distinguishing them from other possible nihilists. Ones like you for example.

But to the extent that I use the expression "show me the money nihilists" in a pejorative sense, I am recognizing my reactions here as just one more existential contraption rooted [re dasein] in the particular political proejudices I came to embody as a radical leftist. Ranking things here [in the is/ought world] is just another manifestion of my frame of mind.

In fact, ranking is inevitable given that the human condition revolves entirely around the need to establish "rules of behaviors" in any community of human beings.

There are -- necessarily -- rewards and punishments that must meted out. But which behaviors get one rather than the other?

How are the components of your moral philosophy more reasonable than mine?

We all must rank if we choose to interact with others. There is no getting around it. But most here are not in the hole that I am in when the time comes to rank.

The objectivists for obvious reasons. I'm just still fuzzy about the ranking that you do. In other words, I suspect that what seems clearer to you about "I" here is just another "psychological defense mechanism" that you have concocted in order to sustain at least some measure of comfort and consolation.

Here and now it works for you. It just doesn't work for me. So, in that sense, as with Prismatic, phyllo and so many others here, you "win". You feel more grounded and in control of your lives than I do.

The rest is just the part that revolves around death...the part after the grave.

In relationship to what is "really true" here what are the odds that either one of us have come even close to an actual ontological or teleological assessment?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Can you not see how this is an assessment?

That [to me] is just common sense embedded in the manner in which the human brain is programmed by the evolution of life on earth to ask "why?"

To connect the dots between "in my head" and "out in the world"?

Obviously: something or other [ontologically/teleologcially] set it all into motion.

Not to grapple with this is to be cow or a bacteria or a rock.

But to assess it all correctly? How on earth would that be demonstrated?

And here [perhaps] the only thing more mysterious than a No God world may well end up being one with God. In other words, who or what set Him in motion?

Things here are weird only to the extent that a frame of mind can be concocted which is able to be demonstrated as not weird.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: No, that's not the only way. I tried to point out contradictions between your goals and what you think of people who you think are the only ones who can help you, how you rank them in relation to you and where you see the damage coming from in the world.

The next time one of your own value judgments comes into conflict with anothers, situate a description of the exchange in the point you are trying to make here.

My own goal revolves around feeling less fractured and fragmented in confronting conflicting goods out in the world that I live in; given how I construe the embodied "I" here as an existential contraption.

Considering that one or another set of behaviors must be either rewarded of punished in order to sustain the least dysfunctional human interactions, how on earth would not ranking even be possible?

In other words:

As long as one chooses to interact with others, wants and needs will come into conflict. When on earth have they not? Given this, human communities have no choice but to rank behaviors. To assign rewards and punishments to particular sets of behaviors. That is simply the human condition.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Your first reaction to my saying that you rank was to say you didn't. That you used nihilist sometimes as pejorative. Now you are saying that it is inevitable that one ranks.

Please note where I stated that I do not rank above. What was the specific context?

My point is only to suggest that ranking will revolve around one or another agglomeration of might makes right, right makes might or democracy and the rule of law.

And even here I make it abundantly clear that my own assessment of all this is just another existential contraption.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I'm off. It's been interesting.

Same here. I always savor an exchange with someone who is obviously intelligent and articulate. Indeed, the fact that someone like you easily holds his own against the points I raise, allows me to better imagine that the points I make are wrong.

So, sure, maybe some semblance of "comfort and consolation" is still within reach for me.

Good luck to you in turn.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

Tim Madigan from "The Basis of Morality" in Philosophy Now magazine.

A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.... If he acts for the good of others, he will receive the approbation of his fellow men and gain the love of those with whom he lives.
Charles Darwin

Isn't that basically what morality comes down to in a No God world? We can frame human interactions in whatever secular/humanist narrative that happens to appeal to us. But "for all practical puropses" it seems to come down to creating social, political and economic interactions that are construed to be the least dysfunctional.

The only other really important factor then being political power. You can think about the "right thing to do" however you wish. But, when push comes to shove, you can either enforce your own narrative existentially or you cannot.

And this seems to be true whether the community is predicated more on might makes right, right makes might or on moderation, negotiation and compromise.

Rewards and punishments. It all evolves into or devolves out of that. Depending on your point of view regarding pleasure and pain.

The above quote, taken from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, addresses a central issue in the ongoing debate between science and religion: How does one best understand the origins of human morality? There is still a popular assumption that religion and morality are synonymous. This is not surprising, since almost everyone is raised within some type of religious community, which teaches various rules for how to act, and sanctions these rules by claiming they were created by a deity.

In fact, any number of religious folks scoff at the idea of discussing morality in the absense of God. Even philosophers like Plato, Descartes and Kant recognized that without a "transcending font" there is "for all practical purposes" no basis upon which to resolve conflicts revolving around "right" and "wrong" behavior. Not on this side of the grave.

And that has certainly been my own argument here in defending "moral nihilism" as a reasonable frame of mind.

No God, no access to a morality in which the behaviors of mere mortals can be judged from both an omniscient and omnipotent point of view.

Then what?

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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

From "The Basis of Morality"
Tim Madigan in Philosophy Now magazine

Each of the New Atheists mentioned takes the Darwinian explanation of moral beliefs seriously, and both Dawkins and Dennett deploy, to some advantage, the concept of a meme, a cultural idea that has, like a gene, managed to replicate. It is easy to see how both moral and religious memes secure their own survival by infecting the young and by generating antibodies to stifle dissent and to entice critical minds into fascinating but endless moral and theological debates.

Of course without genes there would be no memes. So, is morality more intimately intertwined in the evolution of life itself? Are memes only manifestions of human biology out in a particular world historically, culturally and experienctially --- given a particular context in which particular individuals interact?

My guess: We'll probably never really know. Not in the sense that we can finally pin down with precision the exact manner in which genes and memes interact in the mind of any one particular individual predisposing him or her toward or away from a God, the God, my God.

Instead, I tend to steer the discussion here more in the general direction of the subjunctive: emotionally and psychologically a belief in God provides the clearest, cleanest, most definitive foundation for "I".

With God:

1] Sin on this side of the grave when right and wrong behaviors are at stake
2] immortality and salvation on the other side of it if we choose the right behaviors
3] a place to dump all of our pain and suffering
4] a teleology able to provide the ultimate reason/meaning for...everything

Genes or memes, there is simply no getting around that for atheists . Old or new.
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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iambiguous
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### Re: on discussing god and religion

From "The Basis of Morality" by Tim Madigan in Philosophy Now magazine.

Religions have traditionally played a large role in shaping people’s behavior, and in inculcating a set of practices for them to follow. Such practices are presented as being beneficial to society, and also as having good practical effects for those who adhere to them, usually by having some sort of ultimate pay-off after death. Why be good? “You’ll get your reward in heaven,” as the saying goes.

The idea being that arguing back and forth about whether religion is a good thing or a bad thing, misses the point.

This one: That for all practical purposes it was necessary to invent it. Why? Because as we evolved from those naked apes living in caves to the communities that we are familiar with going back centuries now, without it there was really no capacity to anchor human interactions to anything that might be embraced teleologically.

Indeed, why on earth would one choose to be good if not in order to be in sync with the rules of behaviors that are said [in any particular community] to be in sync with the "meaning of life" itself?

And how else to secure a belief that death is not the end of life at all?

There's only one possible font for that. And while philosophers eventually came along to explore all of this more "academically", science was progressing to the point that "the meaning of things" we experienced from day to day became more and more in sync with the discovery of "natural laws" than with supernatural explanations.

But God and religion are still the only way to connect the dots between "here and now" and "there and then".

Or, rather, they are if teleology is important to you.
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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iambiguous
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