I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:29 pm

phyllo wrote:
Then the part where philosophers and ethicists and practitioners of one or another religious faith react to that. The part where behaviors on this side of the grave are ultimately connected to one's fate on the other side.

The part you and others here avoid discussing at almost every opportunity. Why? Because, really, what in fact can you demonstrate as true for all rational and virtuous human beings given what you think you know is true in your head.
Why would I discuss it when I don't think all rational people are obligated to think and act as I do.


Then you are not a moral or a political objectivist. The main focus of my arguments.

Okay, but what then are you?

If you argue that there are in fact actual rational people in regard to conflicting goods, and they are not obligated to think like you do then aren't you obligated to think as they do?

Otherwise that would make you irrational.

Only discussing this up in the clouds is one thing, bringing our own moral narrative and political agenda out into the world of actual human interactions, another thing altogether.

And here we need a context. The coronavirus. What are you saying...that you believe in an objective morality here that rational people have access to but that your own assessment may not be rational at all?

Okay, then how would rational peole go about demonstrating the most sensible way in which virtuous people should behave in a particular context whereby conflicts erupt over the best way to react to it?

phyllo wrote: I understand why people steal, cheat, kill. If they do that, then they are not going to be bound by some abstract obligation.


Isn't that basically what I am trying to avoid here myself? Don't discuss stealing, cheating, killing etc., by referencing some religious scripture, or political ideology, or social/economic ism, or deontological assumption or assessments of nature. Instead, recognize how the experiences that encompass the life that you have lived in a particular historical, cultural and experiential context is far more likely to have shaped and molded your own rendition of the existential "I".

phyllo wrote: Your demonstration would show that those things are objectively immoral but those people still have the capacity to do those things and to be called immoral. And they will do them.

What's so special about this demonstration?


Of course we don't make that point about demonstrations in the either/or world.

There something is either demonstrated or it is not. Thus the extraordinary technologies over the past decades are ample proof regarding what either is or is not in sync with what is in fact true.

But I suspect that to the extent that truly rational men and women could in fact demonstrate the most sensible and ethical manner in which to react to the coronavirus, that would be deemed special indeed.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:17 pm

Okay, but what then are you?
What indeed? Label me.
If you argue that there are in fact actual rational people in regard to conflicting goods, and they are not obligated to think like you do then aren't you obligated to think as they do?
I just said that obligations don't make sense to me. Why would this "reversed" obligation be any different?
Otherwise that would make you irrational.

Only discussing this up in the clouds is one thing, bringing our own moral narrative and political agenda out into the world of actual human interactions, another thing altogether.

And here we need a context. The coronavirus. What are you saying...that you believe in an objective morality here that rational people have access to but that your own assessment may not be rational at all?
I have to admit that I can't figure out the logic here. How did irrationality suddenly enter into the discussion?

Stealing is not irrational in lots of situations but it's not a good thing.
Okay, then how would rational peole go about demonstrating the most sensible way in which virtuous people should behave in a particular context whereby conflicts erupt over the best way to react to it?
Again, you're interested in some sort of demonstration with an emphasis on "most sensible" and probably "optimal" and "obligatory". I just expressed doubt about the value of such demonstrations. Obviously one can argue that this is better than that for reasons A, B and C. It doesn't mean that anyone will accept and even if they accept it they may not act on it.
phyllo wrote:
I understand why people steal, cheat, kill. If they do that, then they are not going to be bound by some abstract obligation.

Isn't that basically what I am trying to avoid here myself? Don't discuss stealing, cheating, killing etc., by referencing some religious scripture, or political ideology, or social/economic ism, or deontological assumption or assessments of nature. Instead, recognize how the experiences that encompass the life that you have lived in a particular historical, cultural and experiential context is far more likely to have shaped and molded your own rendition of the existential "I".
What does that have to do with being bound by an obligation?

I don't get how you imagine that this obligation would work. My concern has nothing to do with an existential "I".
But I suspect that to the extent that truly rational men and women could in fact demonstrate the most sensible and ethical manner in which to react to the coronavirus, that would be deemed special indeed.
I guess what's happening here is that you are really focused on "the most sensible and ethical manner" and I'm not. And for some reason, which I don't get, you really want and need that "most", "optimal", "obligatory" answer.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:18 am

The language of Zen always aims at destroying the habit-energies of those who only know how to think conceptually.

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:40 am

phyllo wrote:I don't get how you imagine that this obligation would work. My concern has nothing to do with an existential "I".
But I suspect that to the extent that truly rational men and women could in fact demonstrate the most sensible and ethical manner in which to react to the coronavirus, that would be deemed special indeed.
I guess what's happening here is that you are really focused on "the most sensible and ethical manner" and I'm not. And for some reason, which I don't get, you really want and need that "most", "optimal", "obligatory" answer.
Notice the use of the passive - my emphasis above. Instead of taking responsibility for what he wants, he makes it seem like some vague consensus (of experts, or rational people, of people in general....?) would deem this special. Talk about an is/ought sneaky sentence. He wants to have an objective ethical stance on, for example, corona, and instead of taking responsibility for being someone yearning to be objectivist (and since he's not he's frozen), he makes it seem like this desire is objective by using the passive form.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:48 am

felix dakat wrote:The language of Zen always aims at destroying the habit-energies of those who only know how to think conceptually.
And who try to solve all types of problems with rumination. You need to fix that robot arm at work, well, some time doing troubleshooting coupled with analysis, sure, good strategy. Trying to understand the nature of reality or yourself or how to feel better or what's wrong, spinning your habitual thoughts will, drumroll, produce habitual thoughts. And these did not solve your problem.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby MagsJ » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:23 am

A few weeks back I (mindlessly) strained my coffee into the sugar jar instead of my coffee mug.. I have been mindful to not do it again, ever since.

Minor errors can force the practitioner into a place of even more mindful awareness, major errors can force one into turmoil and despair.. the trick is, not to make major errors.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:28 pm

Zen master Nan-Chuan said:

The way does not depend on what you know or do not know.
If you know it, your knowledge is just speculative ideas.
If you don't, your ignorance is like the inanimate.
When you have no doubts, the unlimited universe will open in front of you, and no discrimination is possible.

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:48 pm

If you argue that there are in fact actual rational people in regard to conflicting goods, and they are not obligated to think like you do then aren't you obligated to think as they do?


phyllo wrote: I just said that obligations don't make sense to me. Why would this "reversed" obligation be any different?


This depends on what one means by an obligation. If, in regard to any particular moral conflict, it could be determined -- and then unequivocally demonstrated -- what the most rational reaction is, then if people want to call themselves rational human beings they would be obligated to react appropriately. But that's not the same thing as saying that they are obligated to react that way. For whatever personal reason they may choose to react differently anyway.

In regard to, say, the behaviors you choose with respect to the burgeoning coronavirus calamity. The narcissistic sociopaths may still act only in regard to their own perceived self-interest. Period. Fuck being rational like everyone else.

Thus if a God, the God, your God was in fact demonstrated to exist beyond all doubt, would not a rational human being be obligated to worship and adore Him? Assuming some measure or human autonomy is reconciled with His omniscience.

On the other hand, over and over and over again, I acknowledge that this too is just an existential reaction on my part. I may well not be thinking this all through correctly. So, in places like this, all I can do is to note how I do think it all through "here and now" and note the reactions of others.

Just like you.


Otherwise that would make you irrational.

Only discussing this up in the clouds is one thing, bringing our own moral narrative and political agenda out into the world of actual human interactions, another thing altogether.

And here we need a context. The coronavirus. What are you saying...that you believe in an objective morality here that rational people have access to but that your own assessment may not be rational at all?


phyllo wrote: I have to admit that I can't figure out the logic here. How did irrationality suddenly enter into the discussion?


For those folks who study the coronavirus, those scientists and medical professionals trying to figure out its origin, what it is capable of, how it infects, how it spreads, what might contain it, how a vaccine can be created to stop it...does rational and irrational thinking come into play for them? Is there a more logical and epistemologically sound manner in which to share their information and knowledge with the world?

Well, suppose philosophers and ethicists had access to the same sort of rational information and knowledge. Suppose they were then able to share that with the world in terms of how people react to the virus, in terms of how the politicians and law makers and government officials ought to create policies that channel human behaviors in their communities so as to be in sync with the most rational possible world.

phyllo wrote: Stealing is not irrational in lots of situations but it's not a good thing.


Says who, you? Based on what...your assertion that there is fact an objective morality derived from whatever manner in which you connect the dots between that and God. And thus that stealing per se is necessarily, essentially, inherently a bad thing. Like, say, Communism?

But I suspect that to the extent that truly rational men and women could in fact demonstrate the most sensible and ethical manner in which to react to the coronavirus, that would be deemed special indeed.


phyllo wrote: I guess what's happening here is that you are really focused on "the most sensible and ethical manner" and I'm not. And for some reason, which I don't get, you really want and need that "most", "optimal", "obligatory" answer.


No, I wish only to point out the dangers embedded in a world in which the moral and political objectivists gain access to power in any particular community and are able to enforce only their own conclusions regarding human behaviors with respect to the coronavirus.

Only their own means and ends count. The right makes might folks.

Only [of course] for some of them this would revolve not only around infectious diseases, but around all other conflicting goods as well. It's always their way. Period. With respect to, among other things, race and gender and sexual preferences and ethnicity and religion and abortion and gun ownership and the role of government and animal rights.

One or another rendition of religious or ideological or deontological or natural law.

Only, unlike other pragmatists who champion democracy and the rule of law, I am not able to think myself out of feeling profoundly "fractured and fragmented".

The part that the objectivists [and even some pragmatists] wish to avoid at all cost.

Uh, maybe even 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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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:31 pm

This depends on what one means by an obligation. If, in regard to any particular moral conflict, it could be determined -- and then unequivocally demonstrated -- what the most rational reaction is, then if people want to call themselves rational human beings they would be obligated to react appropriately. But that's not the same thing as saying that they are obligated to react that way. For whatever personal reason they may choose to react differently anyway.

In regard to, say, the behaviors you choose with respect to the burgeoning coronavirus calamity. The narcissistic sociopaths may still act only in regard to their own perceived self-interest. Period. Fuck being rational like everyone else.
You're using the words 'rational' and 'ethical' as if they are the same. They are not. It's possible to be rational and unethical.
For those folks who study the coronavirus, those scientists and medical professionals trying to figure out its origin, what it is capable of, how it infects, how it spreads, what might contain it, how a vaccine can be created to stop it...does rational and irrational thinking come into play for them? Is there a more logical and epistemologically sound manner in which to share their information and knowledge with the world?

Well, suppose philosophers and ethicists had access to the same sort of rational information and knowledge. Suppose they were then able to share that with the world in terms of how people react to the virus, in terms of how the politicians and law makers and government officials ought to create policies that channel human behaviors in their communities so as to be in sync with the most rational possible world.
Scientists and medical professionals have goals and methods for achieving those goals. So do philosophers and ethicists.
Says who, you? Based on what...your assertion that there is fact an objective morality derived from whatever manner in which you connect the dots between that and God. And thus that stealing per se is necessarily, essentially, inherently a bad thing. Like, say, Communism?
I try to point out that there is more to stealing than rationality and I get this typical knee-jerk reaction of yours.
No, I wish only to point out the dangers embedded in a world in which the moral and political objectivists gain access to power in any particular community and are able to enforce only their own conclusions regarding human behaviors with respect to the coronavirus.

Only their own means and ends count. The right makes might folks.

Only [of course] for some of them this would revolve not only around infectious diseases, but around all other conflicting goods as well. It's always their way. Period. With respect to, among other things, race and gender and sexual preferences and ethnicity and religion and abortion and gun ownership and the role of government and animal rights.
Then you ought to ask yourself why this bothers you so much.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:17 am

How Does a Buddhist Monk Face Death?
An e-mail interview in the New York Times between George Yancy and Geshe Dadul Namgyal, a Tibetan Buddhist monk

Yancy: You point out that most of us embrace life, but fail or refuse to see that death is part of the existential cards dealt, so to speak. It would seem then that our failure to accept the link between life and death is at the root of this fear.

Namgyal: Yes, it is. We fail to see and accept reality as it is — with life in death and death in life. In addition, the habits of self-obsession, the attitude of self-importance and the insistence on a distinct self-identity separate us from the whole of which we are an inalienable part.


As though somehow managing to think yourself into accepting that, "oh well, if you live you must die", makes the part about all of the terrible things death entails in regard to losing all that you love and cherish about life just evaporate into thin air.

Why on earth do you suppose that religion and the Gods were invented in the first place? Sure, if, somehow, existentially, you do manage to calm yourself down by fitting death seamlessly into life itself, more power to you. But don't expect that to really catch on among those not able to think themselves or will themselves or delude themselves into believing that reincarnation or Nirvana or immortality or salvation or paradise are actually real things.

After all, hasn't Geshe Dadul Namgyal, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, managed to convince himself that, for all practical purposes, death is just a transition to a world beyond? Really, how hard can it be to fit death seamlessly into life if you are able to believe that death itself is not the obliteration of "I" forevermore.

He speaks of "reality as it is". What he means of course is reality as he believes it to be "in his head"? And then when folks like me ask folks like him to go beyond that and to demonstrate why it is reasonable to believe what he does -- and not what dozens of conflicting religionists believe instead -- we have people here who argue that this in itself is not really appropriate!
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:28 am

Yancy: Can you say more about how we achieve a peaceful mind?

Namgyal: Try first to gain an unmistaken recognition of what disturbs your mental stability, how those elements of disturbance operate and what fuels them. Then, wonder if something can be done to address them. If the answer to this is no, then what other option do you have than to endure this with acceptance? There is no use for worrying. If, on the other hand, the answer is yes, you may seek those methods and apply them. Again, there is no need for worry.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:24 pm

phyllo wrote:
This depends on what one means by an obligation. If, in regard to any particular moral conflict, it could be determined -- and then unequivocally demonstrated -- what the most rational reaction is, then if people want to call themselves rational human beings they would be obligated to react appropriately. But that's not the same thing as saying that they are obligated to react that way. For whatever personal reason they may choose to react differently anyway.

In regard to, say, the behaviors you choose with respect to the burgeoning coronavirus calamity. The narcissistic sociopaths may still act only in regard to their own perceived self-interest. Period. Fuck being rational like everyone else.
You're using the words 'rational' and 'ethical' as if they are the same. They are not. It's possible to be rational and unethical.


Haven't many philosophers in the past basically done the same? From Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Kant to the Libertarians and the Ayn Randroids today.

What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.

Cite some examples from your own life of behaviors you have witnessed [your own or others] that you deemed to be both reasonable and unethical.

Instead, there are any number of circumstantial contexts in which William Barrett's "rival goods" present themselves. One side cites what they construe to be reasonable arguments for choosing one set of behaviors in reacting to the coronavirus, while another side cites what they construe to be more reasonable arguments. Or the most reasonable arguments of all.

Who then gets to connect the dots between rational and ethical behavior and rational and unethical behavior here? What might some examples be that philosophers and ethicists can all agree on?

From my frame of mind, no God, no vanatage point [philosophical or otherwise] able to pin this down. And, from the vantage point of some, no God, and "the right thing to do" ever and always revolves around what they deem to be in their own best/selfish interest. In fact, I suspect you'll bump into these folks more and more if the coronavirus pandemic really begins to spin out of control.

For those folks who study the coronavirus, those scientists and medical professionals trying to figure out its origin, what it is capable of, how it infects, how it spreads, what might contain it, how a vaccine can be created to stop it...does rational and irrational thinking come into play for them? Is there a more logical and epistemologically sound manner in which to share their information and knowledge with the world?

Well, suppose philosophers and ethicists had access to the same sort of rational information and knowledge. Suppose they were then able to share that with the world in terms of how people react to the virus, in terms of how the politicians and law makers and government officials ought to create policies that channel human behaviors in their communities so as to be in sync with the most rational possible world.


phyllo wrote: Scientists and medical professionals have goals and methods for achieving those goals. So do philosophers and ethicists.


Again, we clearly make a different distinction here.

Says who, you? Based on what...your assertion that there is fact an objective morality derived from whatever manner in which you connect the dots between that and God. And thus that stealing per se is necessarily, essentially, inherently a bad thing. Like, say, Communism?


phyllo wrote: I try to point out that there is more to stealing than rationality and I get this typical knee-jerk reaction of yours.


And I try to point out the parts embedded in an actual instance of stealing that, from my point of view, revolve around dasein, conflicting goods and political power. And here there is definitely more than rationality involved.

There is, in turn, varying degrees of ambiguity, ambivalence, uncertainty, confusion, bewilderment and perplexity. Unless, of course, as an objectivist, all of that is subsumed in one or another intellectual contraption, moral narrative or political agenda.

No, I wish only to point out the dangers embedded in a world in which the moral and political objectivists gain access to power in any particular community and are able to enforce only their own conclusions regarding human behaviors with respect to the coronavirus.

Only their own means and ends count. The right makes might folks.

Only [of course] for some of them this would revolve not only around infectious diseases, but around all other conflicting goods as well. It's always their way. Period. With respect to, among other things, race and gender and sexual preferences and ethnicity and religion and abortion and gun ownership and the role of government and animal rights.


phyllo wrote: Then you ought to ask yourself why this bothers you so much.


Huh? Isn't that basically what you come back to in regard to the Communists? Or what others point to in regard to one or another religious denomination's rendition of sharia law?

On this thread I'm just curious to explore how close or how far Buddhists come to this when they connect the dots themselves between enlightened behavior here and now and sustaining "I" beyond the grave.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:40 pm

Haven't many philosophers in the past basically done the same? From Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Kant to the Libertarians and the Ayn Randroids today.

What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.
Sure. But that doesn't mean it makes any sense to reduce it down to rational and irrational.
Cite some examples from your own life of behaviors you have witnessed [your own or others] that you deemed to be both reasonable and unethical.
Stealing is rational for an individual - he gets stuff for nothing. But it's damaging to a society to have people stealing. It's considered unethical in practically every community. (Yeah, some communities consider it okay to steal from those outside the community but within the community, it's a wrong.)

Ethics is about groups of people.

For an individual, there has to be a balance between self-interest and group-interest. You could say that someone who steals has too much self-interest, he's misjudging, he doesn't see the benefits or consequences, but you can't say that it's irrational.
And, from the vantage point of some, no God, and "the right thing to do" ever and always revolves around what they deem to be in their own best/selfish interest. In fact, I suspect you'll bump into these folks more and more if the coronavirus pandemic really begins to spin out of control.
Yeah, it's not irrational or unreasonable.
And I try to point out the parts embedded in an actual instance of stealing that, from my point of view, revolve around dasein, conflicting goods and political power. And here there is definitely more than rationality involved.
What "actual instance" did you present??
Huh? Isn't that basically what you come back to in regard to the Communists?
No.

I'm not on a crusade against Communists. I'm not demonizing or stereotyping Communists. I'm not complaining about them in this forum or any other forum.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am

iambiguous wrote:What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.
I doubt that actually. They might see it as a necessary condition, but harldy a suficient one.

Cite some examples from your own life of behaviors you have witnessed [your own or others] that you deemed to be both reasonable and unethical.
Well, that doesn't really work for me, but most people when applying their morals to the behavior of others consider the rationality of a choice to be insufficient as a criterion. In fact there can be many rational choices - which means one looks at the situation and reasons one's way to consquences and chooses according to one's desire, perhaps - but often only one moral one.

Instead, there are any number of circumstantial contexts in which William Barrett's "rival goods" present themselves. One side cites what they construe to be reasonable arguments for choosing one set of behaviors in reacting to the coronavirus, while another side cites what they construe to be more reasonable arguments. Or the most reasonable arguments of all.
Well, there you go. You obviously see the answer to your own questions and should be agreeing with Phyllo instead of appealing to the authority - and not well - of some dead philosophers. You obviously know yourself that different moral conclusions and behaviors can be arrived rationally by different people. Why? Because the moral axioms (at least) are different. Something is not moral simply because it was arrived at via rationality to MOST people. You also have to have the right values.

So you're incredulity in the face of Phyllo's pointing this out is not only contradicted by what you write and have written thousands of times but does not fit what people beleive out there.

It makes no sense to conflate rationality and morality when referring to most people. And that's not a dig at most people. It's just pointing out the obvious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:04 am

Phyllo:
phyllo wrote:
No, I wish only to point out the dangers embedded in a world in which the moral and political objectivists gain access to power in any particular community and are able to enforce only their own conclusions regarding human behaviors with respect to the coronavirus.

Only their own means and ends count. The right makes might folks.

Only [of course] for some of them this would revolve not only around infectious diseases, but around all other conflicting goods as well. It's always their way. Period. With respect to, among other things, race and gender and sexual preferences and ethnicity and religion and abortion and gun ownership and the role of government and animal rights.
Then you ought to ask yourself why this bothers you so much.


Notice: THE DANGERS.

Not: things that he doesn't like. THE DANGERS.

If objectivists are in power they are able to enforce their objectivisms and this is bad. It makes no sense to take this paragraph as anything other than an objectivist evaluation of the bad things that happen if objectivists have power.

This hash been pointed out to him before. What he tends to dois say things like 'I have repeatedly said that my own veiwpoint is just another one made by dasein....' But it makes no sense to year after year no stop making objectivist statements if he thinks objectivism leads to bad stuff. Here he is talking about THE DANGERS - that is a term referring to objectively bad stuff. He's a hypocrite who occasionally is blunt about his hypocrisy. We should applaud him when he's honest. We won't work up a sweat, but it's a fair thing to do.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:42 pm

As decided by the democratically elected government, businesses are shut down, assembly is forbidden and we are in isolation in our homes.

If those decisions were made by objectivists, then how would anything be different if the non-objectivists were in charge?

Or were those the decisions of non-objectivists?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:19 pm

phyllo wrote:
Haven't many philosophers in the past basically done the same? From Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Kant to the Libertarians and the Ayn Randroids today.

What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.
Sure. But that doesn't mean it makes any sense to reduce it down to rational and irrational.


But isn't that precisely what any number of the moral and political objectivists do? You're either reasonable and think like them or you're not and don't.

But we still need a context. What is deemed reasonable and unreasonable in a particular set of circumstances? And how do individuals then connect the dots between things deemed rational to them and things deemed ethical?

How do you do it?

Or, for any number of religionists, the connection is made between behaviors deemed sinful or not. Through God.

Or, for Buddhists, things deemed enlightened or not. Through...what exactly?

Cite some examples from your own life of behaviors you have witnessed [your own or others] that you deemed to be both reasonable and unethical.


phyllo wrote: Stealing is rational for an individual - he gets stuff for nothing. But it's damaging to a society to have people stealing. It's considered unethical in practically every community. (Yeah, some communities consider it okay to steal from those outside the community but within the community, it's a wrong.)

Ethics is about groups of people.

For an individual, there has to be a balance between self-interest and group-interest. You could say that someone who steals has too much self-interest, he's misjudging, he doesn't see the benefits or consequences, but you can't say that it's irrational.


But how does that change the unimaginably vast sets of circumstances that any particular individuals might find themselves in that shaped and molded their thinking and behaviors in regard to stealing this particular thing in this particular situation? You can pile up your "general descriptions" of human social, political and economic interactions but where are the philosophers/ethicists able to come even close to the role that God/Enlightenment plays for the religious here?

Or what of those who argue that property itself is theft? Those who insist that the capitalist system is inherently immoral. That "stealing" can all be perfectly legal if the laws sustain only the interests of some and not others. Or considerably more the interests of some than others.

Or those who scoff at all of these "intellectual" scrapes and are quite content to go on acting out only that which they construe to be in their own selfish interest?

And then those "here and now" about to gobble up the biggest slices of pie pork as the federal government here in America doles out billions trillions to "the corporations" as the coronavirus wrecks the lives of millions that don't have access to connections on K Street.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:02 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.
I doubt that actually. They might see it as a necessary condition, but harldy a suficient one.


Cite some examples from your own life in making this distinction.

Instead, from my frame of mind, it is straight back up into the clouds...

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, that doesn't really work for me, but most people when applying their morals to the behavior of others consider the rationality of a choice to be insufficient as a criterion. In fact there can be many rational choices - which means one looks at the situation and reasons one's way to consquences and chooses according to one's desire, perhaps - but often only one moral one.


Insufficient in regard to what set of circumstances? And how might a moral nihilist, a moral objectivist, a Christian or a Buddhist describe their own reactions as more or less sufficient given that set of circumstances?

The coronavirus for example. If the rationality of any particular choice is insufficient as a criterion for judging the behavior of others, what might be more sufficient? Or sufficient enough. And if the assessments here come into conflict, what then?

From my point of view, "I" here is either more or less "fractured and fragmented" in any context in which value judgments clash.

In other words...

Instead, there are any number of circumstantial contexts in which William Barrett's "rival goods" present themselves. One side cites what they construe to be reasonable arguments for choosing one set of behaviors in reacting to the coronavirus, while another side cites what they construe to be more reasonable arguments. Or the most reasonable arguments of all.


Karpel Tunnel wrote: Well, there you go. You obviously see the answer to your own questions and should be agreeing with Phyllo instead of appealing to the authority - and not well - of some dead philosophers.


I am still entirely unclear as to how Phyllo manages to intertwine objective morality and God in his reactions to the behaviors of those who also intertwine objective morality and God but come up with completely conflicted sets of behaviors that are deemed to be either right or wrong.

How is he not fractured and fragmented here as "I" am? How is this...

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

...not applicable to him?

Or not applicable to you.

That's all I can really do here is to continue to probe the arguments of those who don't think like I do.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: You obviously know yourself that different moral conclusions and behaviors can be arrived rationally by different people. Why? Because the moral axioms (at least) are different. Something is not moral simply because it was arrived at via rationality to MOST people. You also have to have the right values.


Yes, but the moral objectivists subsume rationality along with everything else in one or another God, political ideology, or deontological bent. MOST people don't think these things through as "I" do. MOST people aren't stumbling around juggling their fractured and fragmented selves.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: So you're incredulity in the face of Phyllo's pointing this out is not only contradicted by what you write and have written thousands of times but does not fit what people beleive out there.

It makes no sense to conflate rationality and morality when referring to most people. And that's not a dig at most people. It's just pointing out the obvious.


We'll need a context, of course.

Again, a discussion regarding how we react to a particular set of conflicting behaviors in a particular situation. Then as my points unfold you can note specifically when I do these things.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:44 pm

But isn't that precisely what any number of the moral and political objectivists do? You're either reasonable and think like them or you're not and don't.

But we still need a context. What is deemed reasonable and unreasonable in a particular set of circumstances? And how do individuals then connect the dots between things deemed rational to them and things deemed ethical?

How do you do it?

Or, for any number of religionists, the connection is made between behaviors deemed sinful or not. Through God.

Or, for Buddhists, things deemed enlightened or not. Through...what exactly?

But how does that change the unimaginably vast sets of circumstances that any particular individuals might find themselves in that shaped and molded their thinking and behaviors in regard to stealing this particular thing in this particular situation? You can pile up your "general descriptions" of human social, political and economic interactions but where are the philosophers/ethicists able to come even close to the role that God/Enlightenment plays for the religious here?

Or what of those who argue that property itself is theft? Those who insist that the capitalist system is inherently immoral. That "stealing" can all be perfectly legal if the laws sustain only the interests of some and not others. Or considerably more the interests of some than others.

Or those who scoff at all of these "intellectual" scrapes and are quite content to go on acting out only that which they construe to be in their own selfish interest?

And then those "here and now" about to gobble up the biggest slices of pie pork as the federal government here in America doles out billions trillions to "the corporations" as the coronavirus wrecks the lives of millions that don't have access to connections on K Street.
Literally, these responses to my post consist only of questions! That's it ... only questions. :shock:
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:55 pm

Pshh that's nothing. Ever read one of kropotkin's posts? That guy will hit you with 17 questions in one post. That thread of his is like the Spanish Inquisition. I feel like I'm in one of those interrogation rooms and Pete's standing above me at the table holding the light in my face. I'm wondering if I should call my lawyer first before I click on a post. 'what do YOU value? how will YOU create meaning in your life? start talking, buddy. I've got all night and you ain't goin nowhere'.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:12 pm

phyllo wrote:Literally, these responses to my post consist only of questions! That's it ... only questions. :shock:


Good catch.

Not that I noticed any answers. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:13 am

phyllo wrote:Literally, these responses to my post consist only of questions! That's it ... only questions. :shock:
In online marketing this procedure would be called clickbait. You click and often get somewhere to click again, thus tallying up 'customers' but serving no one.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:23 am

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What makes a behavior moral for many is precisely because it is seen by them to be a rational behavior.
I doubt that actually. They might see it as a necessary condition, but harldy a suficient one.


Cite some examples from your own life in making this distinction.
The distinction between necessary and sufficient? You don't know what those terms mean?

It might be rational to not covet your neighbor's wife because he's a big guy and if he even sniffs you staring at her he might preemptively beat the shit out of you. I lived next to a guy like that. They exist. They consider women their property. It is rational to not covet her. That doesn't make it moral. You have to have a certain attitude. Get it (the behavior is rational, and that's necessary for most people's conception of moral behavior ((or lack of immoral))) but it is not enough, you also have to do it for the right reasons. Or when the skinny little guy comes along with the hot wife, you will be immoral.

Further there are rational reasons for stealing as Phyllo has pointed out: do I need to hold your hand through that also? A behavior being rational - that is you effectively move towards a goal through it, arriving at your behavior through logical analysis - is insufficient to make it a moral behavior. Stealing, to most religious and even most secular people, is not moral, though it can be seen as rational by many.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:41 am

iambiguous wrote:Insufficient in regard to what set of circumstances?


Not insufficient in relation to circumstances. Insuffienct as a criterion for moral. To be moral you generally have to be good.

I swear, you gotta be just playing dumb to torture. I can do the time crossword and use, on some of the questions, rational deduction to come up with the answers. That doesn't make it a moral act. And if my wife was suffering in the bedroom and asking for water, most religious people would say that while I approached solving the puzzle rationally I did not act morally by ignoring her calls. It might even be rational for me to do this. Perhaps I stand to inherit big bucks and I am an unloving ass and her dying in there benefits me. But that 'being rational' is insufficient to meet the criteria of being moral.

And how might a moral nihilist, a moral objectivist, a Christian or a Buddhist describe their own reactions as more or less sufficient given that set of circumstances?
Now you are just muddying the waters and throwing a bunch of unnecessary things at me. Take small steps. Resolve one issue, if possible, move to others.

The coronavirus for example. If the rationality of any particular choice is insufficient as a criterion for judging the behavior of others, what might be more sufficient? Or sufficient enough. And if the assessments here come into conflict, what then?
Exactly what I said above....

Now I am supposed to solve conflicting goods. What have I told little iamb about that? Hm, remember?


Right now we are discussing if rationality is a sufficient criterion (as opposed to a necessary one) in most moral systems. It's not. And regardless of whether one can solve conflicting goods, it's not.



I am still entirely unclear as to how Phyllo manages to intertwine objective morality and God in his reactions to the behaviors of those who also intertwine objective morality and God but come up with completely conflicted sets of behaviors that are deemed to be either right or wrong.
You can't follow simple arguments. You have the entire edifice of your position with you at all moments. So when we are focusing on a specific issue, you drag the whole house in so nothing gets anywhere.

It's an illness. We could, for example, have dealt with how being rational is not a sufficient criterion for being moral (as morality is conceived). Then moved on, in small steps. But you flood every interchange with the whole ball of wax as if any argument that does not immediately solve the entire thing solves nothing.

REmember the Tylenol thing, where some guy poisoned the batches. There were rational arguments in a number of directions and the CEO decided that the moral response was to recall all Tylenol. And it turned out to be a great long term strategy even though it cost them terribly for a while. One could have made and one did make rational arguments for many approached. In addition to the rationality were moral criteria. The rational arguments were inssuficient to be moral ones, in most people's sense of morality. He felt that taking care of the customer's safety was THE Priority. Regardless of how this affected the company - as it turned out even that went well, but his decision was based on rational argument plus a moral value. And generally - here's a hint - religious morals tend to ask people to put aside self-interest, especially on certain issues.

Now I know what you want to do now. You want to find out how to resolve conflicting goods. Jump right from this to pointing out how other businesses do not act like that or how do we know which value to prioritize and so on.

A simple bit of advice. Take small steps in a conversation. You have a habit of inserting the entire project into posts when a small issue is potentially being dealt with.

It muddies the water.

It is 'as if' anything I said, for example, solved conflicting goods.

It is for the moment irrelevant. Imagine...

we agree that most morals consider rationality to not be a sufficient criterion for a behavior. We find a way to have that small successful shared conclusion.

THEN

you can slowly reintroduce the other issues, step by step.

If during an exchange of posts we do not agree IT STILL DOES NOT HELP.

Keep a focus. You are being extremely rude when you do otherwise.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:52 pm

The frowning upon describing ultimate reality by words is common to all teachings of the Buddha.

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