Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Chakra Superstar » Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:19 pm

Awesome. It's lucky you don't have the snake or bear problem hikers in other countries have.

One time when my girlfriend and I were push biking around the country, we set up our tent on a river bank at night. It was very dark and hard to see anything. Later that night a weird man/boy came up to our tent and said "I wouldn't stay here if I were you." and then walked away. He looked like someone out of the movie Deliverance -- an inbred country boy. He gave us the creeps so we only had light naps frightened he might come back with a rifle or axe. Then, a few hours later we heard a rush sound a long way up the river. We couldn't make out what it was then we found the river was rapidly rising and had just about reached out tent. We scrambled in the dark to save as much as we could and let the river swallow up anything left behind. If it wasn't for that boy, we would have slept like babies and possibly been washed away. In the pitch black night you have no idea where the shore is so it would have been a terrifying way to go.

I have lots of scary stories from my travels which makes me respect your solo adventure even more. I''ll leave it at that for tonight. I'm going to meditate and crash out -- hopefully in that order. Catch you later, Maia.

.
User avatar
Chakra Superstar
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby promethean75 » Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:39 pm

Um excuse me chakra but if that kid was shooting light beams out of his hands, u need to go ahead and figure out who u need to call to get that kid - now an adult - into a lab and under scientific investigation.

Ur gonna start getting calls from various people claiming to work for government weapons programs, but ignore those calls until we know what we're working with. There could be a lot of money here.

If u can't find the dude, I've some some people who can assist u.
promethean75
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5718
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:10 pm
Location: at the fringe with Novatore

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:33 pm

Chakra Superstar wrote:Awesome. It's lucky you don't have the snake or bear problem hikers in other countries have.

One time when my girlfriend and I were push biking around the country, we set up our tent on a river bank at night. It was very dark and hard to see anything. Later that night a weird man/boy came up to our tent and said "I wouldn't stay here if I were you." and then walked away. He looked like someone out of the movie Deliverance -- an inbred country boy. He gave us the creeps so we only had light naps frightened he might come back with a rifle or axe. Then, a few hours later we heard a rush sound a long way up the river. We couldn't make out what it was then we found the river was rapidly rising and had just about reached out tent. We scrambled in the dark to save as much as we could and let the river swallow up anything left behind. If it wasn't for that boy, we would have slept like babies and possibly been washed away. In the pitch black night you have no idea where the shore is so it would have been a terrifying way to go.

I have lots of scary stories from my travels which makes me respect your solo adventure even more. I''ll leave it at that for tonight. I'm going to meditate and crash out -- hopefully in that order. Catch you later, Maia.

.


That would indeed be scary, to have dangerous snakes or bears. The UK does have a poisonous snake, the adder, but it's not particularly dangerous to humans.

The weirdest experience I've had was at the Malvern Hills, where there's a number of ancient remains, including a hill fort. I was sitting on the ground in front of my tent one night and began to hear strange, ethereal music, and smelt something like flowers or incense on the breeze, when there definitely shouldn't have been any, since it was the middle of winter. And then, out of nowhere, I heard a woman's voice talking to me, as if she was sitting near me, but I also knew that no one was there (I know where people are by echo-location). This went on for quite some time, but strangely, I can't remember anything specific about what she was saying, except that it seemed very banal. After this I just went to bed as if everything was normal. It definitely wasn't scary or anything.

Goodnight then.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:25 pm

Maia wrote: I don't own a smartphone. I suppose I could borrow my brother's camera but it really isn't as simple as you seem to think, with all the variables involved. You will note that I used his camera to take a photo of myself in front of a mirror for my profile pic, but what you can't see, since he cropped it, is him standing next to me, directing me.

Technical issues, admittedly, but there's something more far more fundamental. Namely, I very much doubt that any entity that appeared would stick around while I fumbled with a camera. The experiences I've had in the past have involved sound (voices, music), smell, and touch, in the form of tingling of the skin. But I have no reason to think there were any visual manifestations, and indeed, why would there be?


Yes, in regard to encountering strange entities, it's inherently problematic. Lots and lots of variables that might never even have occurred to you. But if you have yourself experienced them and they are now of great interest to you, all you can do is to ask yourself and others how best to go about "capturing" the experience such that it might be demonstrable to others beyond how you now remember the experience "in your head".

After all, what else is there? There's what you think is true and there's your capacity to show the world why what you think is true they themselves ought perhaps to think is true as well. Especially regarding human ghosts because that is connected to one of the biggest imponderables of them all: you die, then what?

Maia wrote: I have no doubt that such experiences are real, the only question is, for me at least, what is their exact nature?


Here's the thing though: the mind can play tricks on you. I've had a few experiences myself I would swear happened to me...only it turned out that they did not happen at all. I merely remembered them happening as they did. Why? Damned if I know.

Maia wrote: With regard to morality, when I'm out in nature, feeling a connection with it, it is clear that all life is part of one great whole, and this is why I think that I'm a moral person. I don't wish to do harm, because by doing harm to others we are harming everything, including ourselves.


Okay, but in regard to any number of human-all-too-human contexts, what you might construe as doing harm, others might construe as doing good. Nature itself brings about consequences that are good for some but bad for others. Only with nature it's all about the either/or world. With us, good and bad is, in my view, rooted subjectively in the lives that we live. We become predisposed existentially to think certain things are good only because our lives did not unfold such that, instead, we would have come to think them bad. It's just that some ignore this part. They become convinced through one or another font -- God, religion, philosophy, ideology, nature -- that their own moral/political/spiritual values reflect the optimal or even the only rational frame of mind.

Maia wrote: Pagans tend to accept that other Pagans have different moral stances, and that's perfectly fine. Conflicts usually revolve around other, more practical things.


How can it be perfectly fine if the moral stance of one Pagan [derived from her personal experiences with nature] comes into conflict with the moral stance of another community member [derived from her personal experiences with nature] such that they see each others behaviors as immoral?

I would have to be in a Pagan community and note how "for all practical purpose" they work thinks out. Through "moderation, negotiation and compromise"? Can you note specific example of this that you are aware of?

Anyway, these things are important to me because "here and now" "I" am still fractured and fragmented. And I'm still convinced that death = oblivion.

I'm here at ILP to sustain those win/win assumptions I make regarding exchanges of this sort.

Either someone is able make points that allow me to come up out of the hole I have dug myself down into philosophically or my points convince them to come down into the hole with me. If I get up out of it, I'm closer to objective morality and the possibility of life beyond the grave. If they come down into it with me I have someone to empathize with.

Up out of the hole, the objectivists have comfort and consolation, but their behaviors are "locked" into their font of choice. Down in the hole, there is little comfort and consolation in regard to morality/immortality, but your behavioral options can increase dramatically because they don't have to be weighted down by the dogmas embedded in one or another font.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:55 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: I don't own a smartphone. I suppose I could borrow my brother's camera but it really isn't as simple as you seem to think, with all the variables involved. You will note that I used his camera to take a photo of myself in front of a mirror for my profile pic, but what you can't see, since he cropped it, is him standing next to me, directing me.

Technical issues, admittedly, but there's something more far more fundamental. Namely, I very much doubt that any entity that appeared would stick around while I fumbled with a camera. The experiences I've had in the past have involved sound (voices, music), smell, and touch, in the form of tingling of the skin. But I have no reason to think there were any visual manifestations, and indeed, why would there be?


Yes, in regard to encountering strange entities, it's inherently problematic. Lots and lots of variables that might never even have occurred to you. But if you have yourself experienced them and they are now of great interest to you, all you can do is to ask yourself and others how best to go about "capturing" the experience such that it might be demonstrable to others beyond how you now remember the experience "in your head".

After all, what else is there? There's what you think is true and there's your capacity to show the world why what you think is true they themselves ought perhaps to think is true as well. Especially regarding human ghosts because that is connected to one of the biggest imponderables of them all: you die, then what?

Maia wrote: I have no doubt that such experiences are real, the only question is, for me at least, what is their exact nature?


Here's the thing though: the mind can play tricks on you. I've had a few experiences myself I would swear happened to me...only it turned out that they did not happen at all. I merely remembered them happening as they did. Why? Damned if I know.

Maia wrote: With regard to morality, when I'm out in nature, feeling a connection with it, it is clear that all life is part of one great whole, and this is why I think that I'm a moral person. I don't wish to do harm, because by doing harm to others we are harming everything, including ourselves.


Okay, but in regard to any number of human-all-too-human contexts, what you might construe as doing harm, others might construe as doing good. Nature itself brings about consequences that are good for some but bad for others. Only with nature it's all about the either/or world. With us, good and bad is, in my view, rooted subjectively in the lives that we live. We become predisposed existentially to think certain things are good only because our lives did not unfold such that, instead, we would have come to think them bad. It's just that some ignore this part. They become convinced through one or another font -- God, religion, philosophy, ideology, nature -- that their own moral/political/spiritual values reflect the optimal or even the only rational frame of mind.

Maia wrote: Pagans tend to accept that other Pagans have different moral stances, and that's perfectly fine. Conflicts usually revolve around other, more practical things.


How can it be perfectly fine if the moral stance of one Pagan [derived from her personal experiences with nature] comes into conflict with the moral stance of another community member [derived from her personal experiences with nature] such that they see each others behaviors as immoral?

I would have to be in a Pagan community and note how "for all practical purpose" they work thinks out. Through "moderation, negotiation and compromise"? Can you note specific example of this that you are aware of?

Anyway, these things are important to me because "here and now" "I" am still fractured and fragmented. And I'm still convinced that death = oblivion.

I'm here at ILP to sustain those win/win assumptions I make regarding exchanges of this sort.

Either someone is able make points that allow me to come up out of the hole I have dug myself down into philosophically or my points convince them to come down into the hole with me. If I get up out of it, I'm closer to objective morality and the possibility of life beyond the grave. If they come down into it with me I have someone to empathize with.

Up out of the hole, the objectivists have comfort and consolation, but their behaviors are "locked" into their font of choice. Down in the hole, there is little comfort and consolation in regard to morality/immortality, but your behavioral options can increase dramatically because they don't have to be weighted down by the dogmas embedded in one or another font.


+++Yes, in regard to encountering strange entities, it's inherently problematic. Lots and lots of variables that might never even have occurred to you. But if you have yourself experienced them and they are now of great interest to you, all you can do is to ask yourself and others how best to go about "capturing" the experience such that it might be demonstrable to others beyond how you now remember the experience "in your head".

After all, what else is there? There's what you think is true and there's your capacity to show the world why what you think is true they themselves ought perhaps to think is true as well. Especially regarding human ghosts because that is connected to one of the biggest imponderables of them all: you die, then what?+++

Well, if you're genuinely interested, I'll give the camera idea some more thought, and have a word with my brother too, in case he has any suggestions. One thing I'm pretty certain of, though, is that nothing will happen unless I'm alone, so I can't bring anyone else along to take a photo, for example.

+++Here's the thing though: the mind can play tricks on you. I've had a few experiences myself I would swear happened to me...only it turned out that they did not happen at all. I merely remembered them happening as they did. Why? Damned if I know.+++

What were they?

This is something I'm well aware of, of course, and fully accept that my experiences might be entirely subjective. For me, though, this doesn't lessen their significance in any way.

+++Okay, but in regard to any number of human-all-too-human contexts, what you might construe as doing harm, others might construe as doing good. Nature itself brings about consequences that are good for some but bad for others. Only with nature it's all about the either/or world. With us, good and bad is, in my view, rooted subjectively in the lives that we live. We become predisposed existentially to think certain things are good only because our lives did not unfold such that, instead, we would have come to think them bad. It's just that some ignore this part. They become convinced through one or another font -- God, religion, philosophy, ideology, nature -- that their own moral/political/spiritual values reflect the optimal or even the only rational frame of mind.+++

Yes, everyone's views are different.

+++How can it be perfectly fine if the moral stance of one Pagan [derived from her personal experiences with nature] comes into conflict with the moral stance of another community member [derived from her personal experiences with nature] such that they see each others behaviors as immoral?

I would have to be in a Pagan community and note how "for all practical purpose" they work thinks out. Through "moderation, negotiation and compromise"? Can you note specific example of this that you are aware of?+++

Pagans are people, and people, as noted above, are all different. We can either learn to live with this fact, or not. Most of us, that is, most people, have learnt to live with this, and accept that others have different views. And this is the case with Pagans too. Indeed, with regard to Pagans, it couldn't possibly be otherwise, as there is no central authority, no fount of knowledge or wisdom, that can impose its will on the whole of the community. And this very fact is what makes Paganism so appealing to many, it's lack of dogma or hierarchy.

It's only when you get down to the small scale, to individual groups, such as a Wiccan coven or Druidic grove, that there is any sort of authority, as such groups tend to be run by a single individual. Each will have their own rules, and people can be asked to leave if they break them (or not, it's entirely up to the person in charge). For example, in the Wiccan group I was in, one of the new prospective members who had come along to some open meetings was banned from coming again when the leader of the group found out that she had previously had an abortion.

+++Anyway, these things are important to me because "here and now" "I" am still fractured and fragmented. And I'm still convinced that death = oblivion.

I'm here at ILP to sustain those win/win assumptions I make regarding exchanges of this sort.

Either someone is able make points that allow me to come up out of the hole I have dug myself down into philosophically or my points convince them to come down into the hole with me. If I get up out of it, I'm closer to objective morality and the possibility of life beyond the grave. If they come down into it with me I have someone to empathize with.

Up out of the hole, the objectivists have comfort and consolation, but their behaviors are "locked" into their font of choice. Down in the hole, there is little comfort and consolation in regard to morality/immortality, but your behavioral options can increase dramatically because they don't have to be weighted down by the dogmas embedded in one or another font.+++

If you want to change your opinions, it has to be by your own efforts and experiences. No one will change them for you. In other words, you have the freedom to choose. And this, in my opinion, is why life is so interesting and rewarding.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:15 pm

It's a bit of a hassle sorting out a camera and stuff, and since you are evidently not particularly interested, I'm not going to bother.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:26 pm

Yes, in regard to encountering strange entities, it's inherently problematic. Lots and lots of variables that might never even have occurred to you. But if you have yourself experienced them and they are now of great interest to you, all you can do is to ask yourself and others how best to go about "capturing" the experience such that it might be demonstrable to others beyond how you now remember the experience "in your head".

After all, what else is there? There's what you think is true and there's your capacity to show the world why what you think is true they themselves ought perhaps to think is true as well. Especially regarding human ghosts because that is connected to one of the biggest imponderables of them all: you die, then what?


Maia wrote: Well, if you're genuinely interested, I'll give the camera idea some more thought, and have a word with my brother too, in case he has any suggestions. One thing I'm pretty certain of, though, is that nothing will happen unless I'm alone, so I can't bring anyone else along to take a photo, for example.


Okay, that sounds good. And, if it pertains to human ghosts, you won't find many more eager than me to be convinced that they may well exist. Better perhaps to be a ghost than for "I" to be obliterated for all of eternity on its way back to "star stuff".

Here's the thing though: the mind can play tricks on you. I've had a few experiences myself I would swear happened to me...only it turned out that they did not happen at all. I merely remembered them happening as they did. Why? Damned if I know.


Maia wrote:What were they?


Without going into great detail, I'll start with the first. Whenever I would get into discussions about death with others, I would often bring up the memory of my first close encounter with it. I was a boy crossing a train trestle with my cousin Bobby and a friend Ed. At the end of it I slipped and fell over the edge. I managed to grab onto a shrub and held on for dear life. And that is because if I fell I would tumble way, way down into a stream filled with jagged boulders. I would either suffer horrific injury or die. So my cousin ran to my Uncle John's house [close by] and got him. He returns with a rope, lowers it, I grab onto it and he pulls me up. I'm saved.

I would often have dreams about it.

But...

One day, years later, my Granny died. My sister drove us up to the funeral. After the burial, I am in the local bar with my cousin, Eddie and others. The discussion got around to all of our adventures as kids. That's when I mentioned the trestle. Well, my cousin and Eddie looked at me bewildered. They insisted that never happened at all. I was adamant that it did and back and forth we went. Finally, they took me to the trestle. Even if I had fallen off it the drop was no where near as steep as I imagined. And the "boulders" never existed. Just small stones and pebbles in a creek. At worst, I might have sprained my ankle.

Bottom line: I went to see Aunt Mary. My Uncle John had died but I knew there was no way he would have kept a life and death incident like that from her. But, no, he hadn't told her of any such thing. So, I left Miners Mills the next day realizing that I was absolutely certain about something in my past that in fact had not happened.

So, what else in my memory was in part or wholly fabricated by my brain?

In fact, there's a documentary series on Showtime -- https://www.sho.com/buried -- that explores the mysteries of memory. Buried memories, repressed memories, false memories, faked memories. The mystery of minds themselves.

Okay, but in regard to any number of human-all-too-human contexts, what you might construe as doing harm, others might construe as doing good. Nature itself brings about consequences that are good for some but bad for others. Only with nature it's all about the either/or world. With us, good and bad is, in my view, rooted subjectively in the lives that we live. We become predisposed existentially to think certain things are good only because our lives did not unfold such that, instead, we would have come to think them bad. It's just that some ignore this part. They become convinced through one or another font -- God, religion, philosophy, ideology, nature -- that their own moral/political/spiritual values reflect the optimal or even the only rational frame of mind.


Maia wrote: Yes, everyone's views are different.


Okay, but how many people are willing to explore their own views as the existential embodiment of dasein? How many people are willing to risk coming to the conclusion that their own value judgments are not derived from God or "categorical imperatives" or political ideology or nature, but from what is ultimately a fractured and fragmented "I" given the assumptions that I make?

Not many that I've come across. Here or elsewhere. At least not out in the deep end of the philosophical pool.

How can it be perfectly fine if the moral stance of one Pagan [derived from her personal experiences with nature] comes into conflict with the moral stance of another community member [derived from her personal experiences with nature] such that they see each others behaviors as immoral?

I would have to be in a Pagan community and note how "for all practical purpose" they work thinks out. Through "moderation, negotiation and compromise"? Can you note specific example of this that you are aware of?


Maia wrote: Pagans are people, and people, as noted above, are all different. We can either learn to live with this fact, or not. Most of us, that is, most people, have learnt to live with this, and accept that others have different views. And this is the case with Pagans too. Indeed, with regard to Pagans, it couldn't possibly be otherwise, as there is no central authority, no fount of knowledge or wisdom, that can impose its will on the whole of the community. And this very fact is what makes Paganism so appealing to many, it's lack of dogma or hierarchy.


So, then you are basically suggesting that within an actual Pagan community, they practive "moderation, negotiation and compromise". If, in interacting with nature, they come to embody their own personal sense of being a "moral person" then in regard to issues like abortion or animal rights or gun ownership or Brexit or vaccination or gender roles or social justice or the role of government etc., the "might makes right" or "right makes might" approach to the actual "rules of behavior" in the community is rejected They all come together instead to work out a kind of "best of all possible worlds" approach to community interactions?

And the part where I root value judgments existentially, in dasein, in the lives we live...that just never comes up?

Maia wrote: It's only when you get down to the small scale, to individual groups, such as a Wiccan coven or Druidic grove, that there is any sort of authority, as such groups tend to be run by a single individual. Each will have their own rules, and people can be asked to leave if they break them (or not, it's entirely up to the person in charge). For example, in the Wiccan group I was in, one of the new prospective members who had come along to some open meetings was banned from coming again when the leader of the group found out that she had previously had an abortion.


A classic example of the right makes might community. It is thought by those who lead the community that only particular behaviors are allowed. And this is derived from their own particular objectivist font. On the other hand, this sort of community can be become indistinguishable from the might makes right community. Certain behaviors are either prescribed or proscribed but largely because those in power have the final say on what they are.

Either way, these communities appeal to many because they are generally authoritarian. Everyone has a place in the community and everyone had best know their place in the community. A rigid and ritualized order is established so that the members can anchor "I" to the One True Path.

Anyway, these things are important to me because "here and now" "I" am still fractured and fragmented. And I'm still convinced that death = oblivion.

I'm here at ILP to sustain those win/win assumptions I make regarding exchanges of this sort.

Either someone is able make points that allow me to come up out of the hole I have dug myself down into philosophically or my points convince them to come down into the hole with me. If I get up out of it, I'm closer to objective morality and the possibility of life beyond the grave. If they come down into it with me I have someone to empathize with.

Up out of the hole, the objectivists have comfort and consolation, but their behaviors are "locked" into their font of choice. Down in the hole, there is little comfort and consolation in regard to morality/immortality, but your behavioral options can increase dramatically because they don't have to be weighted down by the dogmas embedded in one or another font.


Maia wrote: If you want to change your opinions, it has to be by your own efforts and experiences. No one will change them for you. In other words, you have the freedom to choose. And this, in my opinion, is why life is so interesting and rewarding.


Here we will have to just agree to disagree. I root personal opinions in dasein, in contingency, chance and change, in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts. I recognize that I can only experience a tiny slice of all that can be experienced by human beings

And, in regard to things like "strange entities", the more I can seek out the experiences that others have, the more likely it is that I will gain a more sophisticated understanding of them.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:27 pm

Maia wrote:It's a bit of a hassle sorting out a camera and stuff, and since you are evidently not particularly interested, I'm not going to bother.


Is this addressed to me?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:52 am

+++Okay, that sounds good. And, if it pertains to human ghosts, you won't find many more eager than me to be convinced that they may well exist. Better perhaps to be a ghost than for "I" to be obliterated for all of eternity on its way back to "star stuff".+++

Well, to be honest, you didn't seem all that bothered, so I feel disinclined to put myself out trying to organise it. If you want to experience something, you'll have to go out and experience it for yourself. I'm always happy to offer advice and suggestions about that.

+++Without going into great detail, I'll start with the first. Whenever I would get into discussions about death with others, I would often bring up the memory of my first close encounter with it. I was a boy crossing a train trestle with my cousin Bobby and a friend Ed. At the end of it I slipped and fell over the edge. I managed to grab onto a shrub and held on for dear life. And that is because if I fell I would tumble way, way down into a stream filled with jagged boulders. I would either suffer horrific injury or die. So my cousin ran to my Uncle John's house [close by] and got him. He returns with a rope, lowers it, I grab onto it and he pulls me up. I'm saved.

I would often have dreams about it.

But...

One day, years later, my Granny died. My sister drove us up to the funeral. After the burial, I am in the local bar with my cousin, Eddie and others. The discussion got around to all of our adventures as kids. That's when I mentioned the trestle. Well, my cousin and Eddie looked at me bewildered. They insisted that never happened at all. I was adamant that it did and back and forth we went. Finally, they took me to the trestle. Even if I had fallen off it the drop was no where near as steep as I imagined. And the "boulders" never existed. Just small stones and pebbles in a creek. At worst, I might have sprained my ankle.

Bottom line: I went to see Aunt Mary. My Uncle John had died but I knew there was no way he would have kept a life and death incident like that from her. But, no, he hadn't told her of any such thing. So, I left Miners Mills the next day realizing that I was absolutely certain about something in my past that in fact had not happened.

So, what else in my memory was in part or wholly fabricated by my brain?+++

Sounds like it might have been a dream you had when you were little, which you later remembered as something real. I have some very early memories that I'm not really sure if they were dreams or not.

+++Okay, but how many people are willing to explore their own views as the existential embodiment of dasein? How many people are willing to risk coming to the conclusion that their own value judgments are not derived from God or "categorical imperatives" or political ideology or nature, but from what is ultimately a fractured and fragmented "I" given the assumptions that I make?

Not many that I've come across. Here or elsewhere. At least not out in the deep end of the philosophical pool.+++

It's obvious that everyone's views are based on their life experiences.

+++So, then you are basically suggesting that within an actual Pagan community, they practive "moderation, negotiation and compromise". If, in interacting with nature, they come to embody their own personal sense of being a "moral person" then in regard to issues like abortion or animal rights or gun ownership or Brexit or vaccination or gender roles or social justice or the role of government etc., the "might makes right" or "right makes might" approach to the actual "rules of behavior" in the community is rejected They all come together instead to work out a kind of "best of all possible worlds" approach to community interactions?

And the part where I root value judgments existentially, in dasein, in the lives we live...that just never comes up?+++

There is no "moderation, negotiation and compromise" and no one comes together to work out any value judgments. When Pagans organise events its not for the purpose of talking, but rather, of doing things. There are no "rules of behaviour" in the Pagan community as a whole, and I can safely say that the subject of "dasein" never, ever comes up.

+++A classic example of the right makes might community. It is thought by those who lead the community that only particular behaviors are allowed. And this is derived from their own particular objectivist font. On the other hand, this sort of community can be become indistinguishable from the might makes right community. Certain behaviors are either prescribed or proscribed but largely because those in power have the final say on what they are.

Either way, these communities appeal to many because they are generally authoritarian. Everyone has a place in the community and everyone had best know their place in the community. A rigid and ritualized order is established so that the members can anchor "I" to the One True Path.+++

If a particular Pagan group doesn't want you, you can join another, or set up your own.

+++And, in regard to things like "strange entities", the more I can seek out the experiences that others have, the more likely it is that I will gain a more sophisticated understanding of them.+++

You will not gain any genuine understanding of them simply by listening to others describe them, of that I'm sure.

+++Is this addressed to me?+++

Yes.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:04 pm

Yes, I saw a strange entity...

She has red hair and posts on ILP a lot.
Urwrongx1000
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5911
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 24, 2021 2:29 am

Okay, that sounds good. And, if it pertains to human ghosts, you won't find many more eager than me to be convinced that they may well exist. Better perhaps to be a ghost than for "I" to be obliterated for all of eternity on its way back to "star stuff".


Maia wrote:Well, to be honest, you didn't seem all that bothered, so I feel disinclined to put myself out trying to organise it. If you want to experience something, you'll have to go out and experience it for yourself. I'm always happy to offer advice and suggestions about that.


That's entirely up to you. I am particularly intrigued with anyone here able to provide me with evidence that human ghosts exist. For all the reasons I noted. So, if you ever do go down that road and find something especially intriguing, please let me know about it. As for focusing only on your own experiences here, we've discussed that in turn. Besides, given my current circumstances -- remember my world being "imploded"? -- that's not really much of an option for me.

Without going into great detail, I'll start with the first. Whenever I would get into discussions about death with others, I would often bring up the memory of my first close encounter with it. I was a boy crossing a train trestle with my cousin Bobby and a friend Ed. At the end of it I slipped and fell over the edge. I managed to grab onto a shrub and held on for dear life. And that is because if I fell I would tumble way, way down into a stream filled with jagged boulders. I would either suffer horrific injury or die. So my cousin ran to my Uncle John's house [close by] and got him. He returns with a rope, lowers it, I grab onto it and he pulls me up. I'm saved.

I would often have dreams about it.

But...

One day, years later, my Granny died. My sister drove us up to the funeral. After the burial, I am in the local bar with my cousin, Eddie and others. The discussion got around to all of our adventures as kids. That's when I mentioned the trestle. Well, my cousin and Eddie looked at me bewildered. They insisted that never happened at all. I was adamant that it did and back and forth we went. Finally, they took me to the trestle. Even if I had fallen off it the drop was no where near as steep as I imagined. And the "boulders" never existed. Just small stones and pebbles in a creek. At worst, I might have sprained my ankle.

Bottom line: I went to see Aunt Mary. My Uncle John had died but I knew there was no way he would have kept a life and death incident like that from her. But, no, he hadn't told her of any such thing. So, I left Miners Mills the next day realizing that I was absolutely certain about something in my past that in fact had not happened.

So, what else in my memory was in part or wholly fabricated by my brain?


Maia wrote:Sounds like it might have been a dream you had when you were little, which you later remembered as something real. I have some very early memories that I'm not really sure if they were dreams or not.


Maybe. It's not something that I attempted to explore further. Shrink wise. All I know is that even to this day I still find it very, very difficult to believe my brain made it up. And, as well, why?

Okay, but how many people are willing to explore their own views as the existential embodiment of dasein? How many people are willing to risk coming to the conclusion that their own value judgments are not derived from God or "categorical imperatives" or political ideology or nature, but from what is ultimately a fractured and fragmented "I" given the assumptions that I make?

Not many that I've come across. Here or elsewhere. At least not out in the deep end of the philosophical pool.


It's obvious that everyone's views are based on their life experiences.


But then why is it not obvious to most that their moral and political and spiritual value judgments are derived in turn from their own unique existential trajectory? Instead, most cling to one or another transcending font: religion, ideology, deontology, nature.

You note that you are not an objectivist here. But: You acknowledge that your value judgments are derived from your past experiences; and that had those experiences been different your values might have been different; that you might not have ever encountered Paganism at all. In turn, you acknowledge that given new experiences or relationships or access to information and knowledge, you may well reject what you believe now.

Yet from my frame of mind there is a part of you that clearly construes this differently than I do. The part that sees Paganism and Nature and the Goddess as the equivalent of the One True Path. So, for all practical purposes, here and now, from my frame of mind, you might just as well be an objectivist.

Only I have to flat out acknowledge here that I am basing all of this given the gap between how I think about you and how you think about yourself. I scarcely know you at all when push comes to shove. That's why I was once hoping we would become "virtual friends"...to close that gap.

Now, however, that doesn't seem nearly as plausible to me. I think when I'm being honest with myself, my inclination is more in the way of bringing you down into the philosophical hole that I am in rather than in imaging you can perhaps succeed in bringing me up out of it spiritually.

So, then you are basically suggesting that within an actual Pagan community, they practive "moderation, negotiation and compromise". If, in interacting with nature, they come to embody their own personal sense of being a "moral person" then in regard to issues like abortion or animal rights or gun ownership or Brexit or vaccination or gender roles or social justice or the role of government etc., the "might makes right" or "right makes might" approach to the actual "rules of behavior" in the community is rejected They all come together instead to work out a kind of "best of all possible worlds" approach to community interactions?

And the part where I root value judgments existentially, in dasein, in the lives we live...that just never comes up?


There is no "moderation, negotiation and compromise" and no one comes together to work out any value judgments. When Pagans organise events its not for the purpose of talking, but rather, of doing things. There are no "rules of behaviour" in the Pagan community as a whole, and I can safely say that the subject of "dasein" never, ever comes up.


This makes no sense to me. If John impregnates Jane in a Pagan community and, in communing with nature, he deems that a "moral person" should oppose abortion as unethical, while Jane, communing with nature, concludes that a "moral person" should accept abortion as ethical, what then unfolds in the community? Same with all the other moral issues embedded in conflicting goods.

Either someone in the community has the power to determine whether there will be a birth or an abortion, or someone in the community has the capacity to determine which is most ethical option or, one way or another, John and Jane work something out. Maybe abort this fetus but give birth to the next when things change for Jane and she wants to give birth.

Thus:

A classic example of the right makes might community. It is thought by those who lead the community that only particular behaviors are allowed. And this is derived from their own particular objectivist font. On the other hand, this sort of community can be become indistinguishable from the might makes right community. Certain behaviors are either prescribed or proscribed but largely because those in power have the final say on what they are.

Either way, these communities appeal to many because they are generally authoritarian. Everyone has a place in the community and everyone had best know their place in the community. A rigid and ritualized order is established so that the members can anchor "I" to the One True Path.


Maia wrote:If a particular Pagan group doesn't want you, you can join another, or set up your own.


Okay, but that doesn't make my point above go away. Just because you join another community doesn't make the conflicting goods go away. Jane joins a new community, gets pregnant but this time the new man also wants to shred the unborn fetus into oblivion? Okay, but then Jane is a staunch believer in the right to bear arms and her new man is a fierce opponent of it. And there are dozens and dozens of potential conflicts in any community.

And, in regard to things like "strange entities", the more I can seek out the experiences that others have, the more likely it is that I will gain a more sophisticated understanding of them.


Maia wrote:You will not gain any genuine understanding of them simply by listening to others describe them, of that I'm sure.


Indeed, that's why I am so adamant about going beyond mere description of strange entities and making every possible effort to actually demonstrate them to others. But since so many different people can experience them in so many different ways, going beyond the narrow parameters of your own life would seem to the more reasonable approach.

Maia wrote: It's a bit of a hassle sorting out a camera and stuff, and since you are evidently not particularly interested, I'm not going to bother.


Is this addressed to me?


Maia wrote: Yes.


What on earth did I do to make you think that I was not interested?
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:30 pm

+++That's entirely up to you. I am particularly intrigued with anyone here able to provide me with evidence that human ghosts exist. For all the reasons I noted. So, if you ever do go down that road and find something especially intriguing, please let me know about it. As for focusing only on your own experiences here, we've discussed that in turn. Besides, given my current circumstances -- remember my world being "imploded"? -- that's not really much of an option for me.+++

If you want evidence, you'll need to go out and experience it yourself. That's the bottom line, really. Whether you choose to or not is entirely up to you.

+++But then why is it not obvious to most that their moral and political and spiritual value judgments are derived in turn from their own unique existential trajectory? Instead, most cling to one or another transcending font: religion, ideology, deontology, nature.

You note that you are not an objectivist here. But: You acknowledge that your value judgments are derived from your past experiences; and that had those experiences been different your values might have been different; that you might not have ever encountered Paganism at all. In turn, you acknowledge that given new experiences or relationships or access to information and knowledge, you may well reject what you believe now.

Yet from my frame of mind there is a part of you that clearly construes this differently than I do. The part that sees Paganism and Nature and the Goddess as the equivalent of the One True Path. So, for all practical purposes, here and now, from my frame of mind, you might just as well be an objectivist.+++

I don't regard my own particular path as a one true path. In fact, the concept of a one true path is explicitly contradicted by my opinion that everyone has their own path, which I've stated many times. And one's own path meanders around in all sorts of ways. I think you're assuming that just because I have a different opinion to you on these matters, then I must be an objectivist.

+++Only I have to flat out acknowledge here that I am basing all of this given the gap between how I think about you and how you think about yourself. I scarcely know you at all when push comes to shove. That's why I was once hoping we would become "virtual friends"...to close that gap.

Now, however, that doesn't seem nearly as plausible to me. I think when I'm being honest with myself, my inclination is more in the way of bringing you down into the philosophical hole that I am in rather than in imaging you can perhaps succeed in bringing me up out of it spiritually.+++

Repeatedly and angrily accusing someone of not wanting to talk to you will tend to do that. But, you know, I'm not perfect, and I do have a quick temper at times.

As for dragging me down into your hole, let me assure you that it's not going to happen.

+++This makes no sense to me. If John impregnates Jane in a Pagan community and, in communing with nature, he deems that a "moral person" should oppose abortion as unethical, while Jane, communing with nature, concludes that a "moral person" should accept abortion as ethical, what then unfolds in the community? Same with all the other moral issues embedded in conflicting goods.

Either someone in the community has the power to determine whether there will be a birth or an abortion, or someone in the community has the capacity to determine which is most ethical option or, one way or another, John and Jane work something out. Maybe abort this fetus but give birth to the next when things change for Jane and she wants to give birth.+++

No one in the Pagan community as a whole has that power. If John and Jane can't work something out between themselves, then the most likely scenario is that Jane will have the abortion whether John wants her to or not, and there's nothing he can do about it.

+++Okay, but that doesn't make my point above go away. Just because you join another community doesn't make the conflicting goods go away. Jane joins a new community, gets pregnant but this time the new man also wants to shred the unborn fetus into oblivion? Okay, but then Jane is a staunch believer in the right to bear arms and her new man is a fierce opponent of it. And there are dozens and dozens of potential conflicts in any community.+++

And countless different groups to join. Or if not, you can practice on your own.

+++Indeed, that's why I am so adamant about going beyond mere description of strange entities and making every possible effort to actually demonstrate them to others. But since so many different people can experience them in so many different ways, going beyond the narrow parameters of your own life would seem to the more reasonable approach.

What on earth did I do to make you think that I was not interested?+++

Your enthusiasm seemed a bit underwhelming.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:59 am

That's entirely up to you. I am particularly intrigued with anyone here able to provide me with evidence that human ghosts exist. For all the reasons I noted. So, if you ever do go down that road and find something especially intriguing, please let me know about it. As for focusing only on your own experiences here, we've discussed that in turn. Besides, given my current circumstances -- remember my world being "imploded"? -- that's not really much of an option for me.


Maia wrote:If you want evidence, you'll need to go out and experience it yourself. That's the bottom line, really. Whether you choose to or not is entirely up to you.


So, what, if we do have a personal experience with ghosts, it wouldn't be the experiences of others, so why share our experiences at all? The bottom line is obviously intertwining both frames of mind and aiding and abetting each other in getting a fully picture.

And here you are not able to see what you experience and so dependent on others who can to add that element to your own understanding.

But then why is it not obvious to most that their moral and political and spiritual value judgments are derived in turn from their own unique existential trajectory? Instead, most cling to one or another transcending font: religion, ideology, deontology, nature.

You note that you are not an objectivist here. But: You acknowledge that your value judgments are derived from your past experiences; and that had those experiences been different your values might have been different; that you might not have ever encountered Paganism at all. In turn, you acknowledge that given new experiences or relationships or access to information and knowledge, you may well reject what you believe now.

Yet from my frame of mind there is a part of you that clearly construes this differently than I do. The part that sees Paganism and Nature and the Goddess as the equivalent of the One True Path. So, for all practical purposes, here and now, from my frame of mind, you might just as well be an objectivist.


Maia wrote:I don't regard my own particular path as a one true path. In fact, the concept of a one true path is explicitly contradicted by my opinion that everyone has their own path, which I've stated many times. And one's own path meanders around in all sorts of ways. I think you're assuming that just because I have a different opinion to you on these matters, then I must be an objectivist.


When someone speaks to me of encountering a Goddess in nature that enables them to become a moral person, I bring up the points I raise above. What would interest me is a more deep-seated attempt on your part to square your own understanding of being a "moral person" on a path that is profoundly personal, existential, subjective, subjunctive etc., while acknowledging that the only reason you are on this path does revolve around the points I make in regard to the past, the present and the future.

You accept that your moral values are derived largely from the your own particular past...a past that brought you into contact with Paganism but might not have. And if it's a path that you might fall off of given new experiences, what does it really mean to speak of morality here for all practical purposes.

I'm trying to imagine you raising the points I make with other Pagans and pondering their reactions.

While accepting this:

Only I have to flat out acknowledge here that I am basing all of this given the gap between how I think about you and how you think about yourself. I scarcely know you at all when push comes to shove. That's why I was once hoping we would become "virtual friends"...to close that gap.

Now, however, that doesn't seem nearly as plausible to me. I think when I'm being honest with myself, my inclination is more in the way of bringing you down into the philosophical hole that I am in rather than in imaging you can perhaps succeed in bringing me up out of it spiritually.


Maia wrote:Repeatedly and angrily accusing someone of not wanting to talk to you will tend to do that. But, you know, I'm not perfect, and I do have a quick temper at times.


That's your assessment of what is going on between us. It's certainly not mine. I'm trying to draw you down deeper into what I construe to be the philosophical pool. And it is because I respect both your intelligence and your curiosity about the world we live in that I hold out at least some hope of you bringing me up out of the hole or me bringing you down into it.

Maia wrote:As for dragging me down into your hole, let me assure you that it's not going to happen.


Then here you are contradicting yourself. You acknowledged before that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge you might come to change your mind about either Paganism or my own philosophical assumptions. But now you are insisting that's not true at all. You just know that will never happen. Just as I once knew that I would never stop being a Christian or a Marxist or a social-democrat or an existentialist. Or that I just knew I could never be a moral nihilist.

Perhaps you should just sever contact with me once and for all. Why take chances when you are on a spiritual path that does provide you with so much comfort and consolation as a Pagan.

I'll understand that.

On, and let me add this...

I don't construe myself as "dragging you down" into the hole I'm in. Instead, I attempt to offer reasons why being down in the hole seems reasonable to me in a No God world. Though, admittedly, as a natural born polemicist, I do have a tendency toward provocative exchanges.

This makes no sense to me. If John impregnates Jane in a Pagan community and, in communing with nature, he deems that a "moral person" should oppose abortion as unethical, while Jane, communing with nature, concludes that a "moral person" should accept abortion as ethical, what then unfolds in the community? Same with all the other moral issues embedded in conflicting goods.

Either someone in the community has the power to determine whether there will be a birth or an abortion, or someone in the community has the capacity to determine which is most ethical option or, one way or another, John and Jane work something out. Maybe abort this fetus but give birth to the next when things change for Jane and she wants to give birth.


Maia wrote:No one in the Pagan community as a whole has that power. If John and Jane can't work something out between themselves, then the most likely scenario is that Jane will have the abortion whether John wants her to or not, and there's nothing he can do about it.


So, Jane draws her moral convictions from nature and kills the unborn fetus. Ethically. John draws his moral convictions from nature and insist that is unethical. But with no leader around to either enforce a might makes right or a right makes might resolution, Jane exercises the power all her own and flushes both the fetus and John's own moral conviction down the toilet.

i would of course be curious if you would take my objections above to other Pagans that you interact with. Garner their own reactions.

Okay, but that doesn't make my point above go away. Just because you join another community doesn't make the conflicting goods go away. Jane joins a new community, gets pregnant but this time the new man also wants to shred the unborn fetus into oblivion? Okay, but then Jane is a staunch believer in the right to bear arms and her new man is a fierce opponent of it. And there are dozens and dozens of potential conflicts in any community.


Maia wrote: And countless different groups to join. Or if not, you can practice on your own.


Okay, but, again, that doesn't make my points above go away. And in my own personal opinion you are not really addressing them in depth.

Or, sure, just agree to disagree. You're right from your side, I'm right from mine.

Indeed, that's why I am so adamant about going beyond mere description of strange entities and making every possible effort to actually demonstrate them to others. But since so many different people can experience them in so many different ways, going beyond the narrow parameters of your own life would seem to the more reasonable approach.


What on earth did I do to make you think that I was not interested?


Maia wrote: Your enthusiasm seemed a bit underwhelming.


Based on what? The responses I give to the points your raise seem [to me] considerably more drawn out than the responses that you give to mine.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:19 pm

+++So, what, if we do have a personal experience with ghosts, it wouldn't be the experiences of others, so why share our experiences at all? The bottom line is obviously intertwining both frames of mind and aiding and abetting each other in getting a fully picture.

And here you are not able to see what you experience and so dependent on others who can to add that element to your own understanding.+++

Talking about these experiences and sharing them, and sharing ideas about them, is clearly a good thing. But just talking about them, without experiencing them, will not be very productive.

+++When someone speaks to me of encountering a Goddess in nature that enables them to become a moral person, I bring up the points I raise above. What would interest me is a more deep-seated attempt on your part to square your own understanding of being a "moral person" on a path that is profoundly personal, existential, subjective, subjunctive etc., while acknowledging that the only reason you are on this path does revolve around the points I make in regard to the past, the present and the future.

You accept that your moral values are derived largely from the your own particular past...a past that brought you into contact with Paganism but might not have. And if it's a path that you might fall off of given new experiences, what does it really mean to speak of morality here for all practical purposes.

I'm trying to imagine you raising the points I make with other Pagans and pondering their reactions.+++

I tend to respond in the manner that I'm being addressed. So if you ask me some specific questions, I'll try and answer them. Bear in mind that whenever I've told you things about my opinions and what I do, both in relation to Paganism and my life in general, it has been in response to something you've asked.

+++That's your assessment of what is going on between us. It's certainly not mine. I'm trying to draw you down deeper into what I construe to be the philosophical pool. And it is because I respect both your intelligence and your curiosity about the world we live in that I hold out at least some hope of you bringing me up out of the hole or me bringing you down into it.+++

If you want me to respond more fully and openly, then try and be less antagonistic and accusatory.

+++Then here you are contradicting yourself. You acknowledged before that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge you might come to change your mind about either Paganism or my own philosophical assumptions. But now you are insisting that's not true at all. You just know that will never happen. Just as I once knew that I would never stop being a Christian or a Marxist or a social-democrat or an existentialist. Or that I just knew I could never be a moral nihilist.+++

It's certainly possible that my opinions about this or that aspect of Paganism, or indeed about anything, might evolve and change over my life. After all, they have already. But one thing I can say for sure is that I'll never become a nihilist. It's not in my nature. I'm very much a glass half full sort of person, an eternal optimist. Nihilism seems the very antithesis of that. You say that nihilism gives you freedom, but you never tire of complaining about your life being fragmented, and how you're stuck in your flat all the time never doing anything. This doesn't sound much like freedom to me.

It's also worth adding that mere words are very unlikely to change my opinions on anything at all, from the trivial to the profound. Only experience can do that.

+++Perhaps you should just sever contact with me once and for all. Why take chances when you are on a spiritual path that does provide you with so much comfort and consolation as a Pagan.

I'll understand that.+++

If I ever block you, it won't be because of your attempts to convert me. The only reason I block people is lack of respect towards me. Having said that, I've only ever actually blocked one person, but since he's the one with the million-and-one accounts, it made no difference.

+++I don't construe myself as "dragging you down" into the hole I'm in. Instead, I attempt to offer reasons why being down in the hole seems reasonable to me in a No God world. Though, admittedly, as a natural born polemicist, I do have a tendency toward provocative exchanges.+++

Your attempts to convert people to nihilism remind me very much of religious zeal, which is also something that is not in my nature.

I do have a question, though. Does the reason why you considered me a suitable candidate for conversion have anything to do with me being blind? Please be assured that as long as your answer is honest, it won't offend me.

+++So, Jane draws her moral convictions from nature and kills the unborn fetus. Ethically. John draws his moral convictions from nature and insist that is unethical. But with no leader around to either enforce a might makes right or a right makes might resolution, Jane exercises the power all her own and flushes both the fetus and John's own moral conviction down the toilet.+++

Correct.

+++i would of course be curious if you would take my objections above to other Pagans that you interact with. Garner their own reactions.+++

Perhaps you should join some Pagan forums and ask them yourself.

+++Okay, but, again, that doesn't make my points above go away. And in my own personal opinion you are not really addressing them in depth.

Or, sure, just agree to disagree. You're right from your side, I'm right from mine.+++

Again, you need to be specific in what you're asking. For ages now you have kept asking me the same question over and over again, namely, how does the Pagan community deal with conflicting ethical opinions (e.g. on abortion), but in response to my answer, that it doesn't, you keep asking the same question again. If you want a different answer, ask a different question. If you want a longer, detailed answer, ask a more specific, practical question.

+++Based on what? The responses I give to the points your raise seem [to me] considerably more drawn out than the responses that you give to mine.+++

I was referring in particular to your suggestion that I should try and take a photo of any entity that I might encounter. After you first suggested it I told you of the potential issues involved but said that I'd give it more thought, as I found the idea intriguing. And then you pretty much forgot about it, or so it seemed to me, anyway. Since it would be a bit of a hassle to organise it I decided it wasn't worth the bother.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:14 pm

So, what, if we do have a personal experience with ghosts, it wouldn't be the experiences of others, so why share our experiences at all? The bottom line is obviously intertwining both frames of mind and aiding and abetting each other in getting a fully picture.

And here you are not able to see what you experience and so dependent on others who can to add that element to your own understanding.


Maia wrote:Talking about these experiences and sharing them, and sharing ideas about them, is clearly a good thing. But just talking about them, without experiencing them, will not be very productive.


True, but some of us have more options than others in being able experience certain things. My own in regard to exploring the existence of ghosts, ufo and strange entities is particularly limited. So basically I can only rely on those who do share their experiences and are able to provide me [and others] with an actual accumulation of evidence able to demonstrate that these things exist.

When someone speaks to me of encountering a Goddess in nature that enables them to become a moral person, I bring up the points I raise above. What would interest me is a more deep-seated attempt on your part to square your own understanding of being a "moral person" on a path that is profoundly personal, existential, subjective, subjunctive etc., while acknowledging that the only reason you are on this path does revolve around the points I make in regard to the past, the present and the future.

You accept that your moral values are derived largely from the your own particular past...a past that brought you into contact with Paganism but might not have. And if it's a path that you might fall off of given new experiences, what does it really mean to speak of morality here for all practical purposes.

I'm trying to imagine you raising the points I make with other Pagans and pondering their reactions.


Maia wrote:I tend to respond in the manner that I'm being addressed. So if you ask me some specific questions, I'll try and answer them. Bear in mind that whenever I've told you things about my opinions and what I do, both in relation to Paganism and my life in general, it has been in response to something you've asked.


Well, my question is how certain can you be about Paganism when recognizing that there was always the possibility it would never have been a part of your life at all; and in recognizing that new experiences might convince you to abandon it altogether? You can think that it has made you a "moral person" but there are many, many people who are on completely different paths -- hundreds of them -- who are just as adamant that it is their path which makes someone a moral person.

And that with Paganism, it's the same Mother Nature [and maybe the same God/Goddess] resulting in moral convictions that can be very much in conflict. I just have trouble wrapping my head around how you acquire a strong sense of moral rectitude when there are so many variables out there that could have led you, can lead you, might lead you to so many different paths instead.

That's your assessment of what is going on between us. It's certainly not mine. I'm trying to draw you down deeper into what I construe to be the philosophical pool. And it is because I respect both your intelligence and your curiosity about the world we live in that I hold out at least some hope of you bringing me up out of the hole or me bringing you down into it.


Maia wrote:If you want me to respond more fully and openly, then try and be less antagonistic and accusatory.


I can only react to your posts as I do. I don't think that I am consciously attempting to be antagonistic and accusatory. But there it is: my own spontaneous, subjective reaction to what I construe to be answers from you that don't seem [to me] to be nearly as thought out as I was hoping for.

Though, sure, if you sincerely believe that my reactions to you is the actual problem here [and it may well be], we may be not be able to move beyond that. Lots of people here have problems with my posts so, yeah, I may well be the obstacle to better communication. But I am also inclined to think that the reaction of others here to a philosophy like mine revolves in turn around their discomfort that my "I" in the is/ought world, may be applicable to them as well.

Then here you are contradicting yourself. You acknowledged before that given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge you might come to change your mind about either Paganism or my own philosophical assumptions. But now you are insisting that's not true at all. You just know that will never happen. Just as I once knew that I would never stop being a Christian or a Marxist or a social-democrat or an existentialist. Or that I just knew I could never be a moral nihilist.


Maia wrote: It's certainly possible that my opinions about this or that aspect of Paganism, or indeed about anything, might evolve and change over my life. After all, they have already. But one thing I can say for sure is that I'll never become a nihilist. It's not in my nature.

I'm very much a glass half full sort of person, an eternal optimist. Nihilism seems the very antithesis of that.


"In your nature" in the manner in which, say, Satyr might encompass it. That, in fact, genes trump memes and those that do become moral nihilists are somehow contradicting the "natural order of things"?

Is there some genetic predisposition that particular individuals have to eschew nihilism. It's in your genetic code not to be?

That for you it is simply not possible that new experiences, new relationships or access to new information and knowledge can ever alter the deep down inside Real You?

In other words, you just know this in the same way that you just know that your own personal experience with nature makes you a "moral person".

Okay, there is certainly no way in which I can argue [let alone demonstrate] that this is not correct. Only the future itself will either bear or not bear this out.

Maia wrote: You say that nihilism gives you freedom, but you never tire of complaining about your life being fragmented, and how you're stuck in your flat all the time never doing anything. This doesn't sound much like freedom to me.


No, I argue that given the arguments I make in the OPs here...

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

..."I" am not anchored to one or another moral font such that I am obligated to ever and always do "the right thing" or risk offending my God or Goddess or guru or comrades or mates or anyone else who is said to show me "the way". The one true path either to enlightenment on this of the grave or to immortality and salvation on the other side of it.

And I'm "stuck" in my flat for health reasons that are "beyond my control". And quite the contrary, the things that I do here are hardly "never doing anything". The things that I do -- philosophy, watching films, listening to music, reading books, exchanging emails with my virtual friends etc. -- bring me enormous satisfaction.

Someone might just as well say that you are "stuck being blind".

Perhaps you should just sever contact with me once and for all. Why take chances when you are on a spiritual path that does provide you with so much comfort and consolation as a Pagan.

I'll understand that.


Maia wrote: If I ever block you, it won't be because of your attempts to convert me. The only reason I block people is lack of respect towards me. Having said that, I've only ever actually blocked one person, but since he's the one with the million-and-one accounts, it made no difference.


Okay, I hope it doesn't come to that. I just know from vast experience over the years that my own philosophy of life often does disturb people. It's not so much what I believe about identity, value judgments and political economy at particular existential junctures, as it is the concern that they might come to believe the same thing about their own now fully anchored Self. I meeting "I" for the first time and beginning to have doubts about just how solid their own sense of reality is.

I don't construe myself as "dragging you down" into the hole I'm in. Instead, I attempt to offer reasons why being down in the hole seems reasonable to me in a No God world. Though, admittedly, as a natural born polemicist, I do have a tendency toward provocative exchanges.


Maia wrote: Your attempts to convert people to nihilism remind me very much of religious zeal, which is also something that is not in my nature.


Again, that's your assessment of what I am doing here. My own assessment is considerably more complex and convoluted. And certainly more ambiguous. My "win/win" approach to these exchanges always takes into consideration both sides. Me coming up out of the hole because of something you convey to me or you coming down into it because of something I convey to you. Same with all the others here at ILP that I respect the intelligence of. Those like Bob and Felix and phyllo and pood and peter and zoots and Mr. Reasonable and Ierrellus.

Polemics aside of course.

Maia wrote: I do have a question, though. Does the reason why you considered me a suitable candidate for conversion have anything to do with me being blind? Please be assured that as long as your answer is honest, it won't offend me.


No, not at all. And certainly not here at ILP. As I note over and again, my interest in philosophy -- and ILP is a philosophy venue -- revolves around...

1] the question, "how ought one to live [morally] in a world awash in both conflicting goods and contingency, chance and change"?
2] connecting the dots between "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then"
3] the truly mysterious "Big Questions": why something instead of nothing? why this something and not something else? Also things like determinism, solipsism, sim worlds, dream worlds, the actual possibility of a Matrix reality.

So, Jane draws her moral convictions from nature and kills the unborn fetus. Ethically. John draws his moral convictions from nature and insist that is unethical. But with no leader around to either enforce a might makes right or a right makes might resolution, Jane exercises the power all her own and flushes both the fetus and John's own moral conviction down the toilet.


Correct.


Okay, I try to imagine taking "correct" to all of the members of the community, and then noting how "for all practical purposes" their community could sustain itself in regard to all of the many, many moral issues in which each member on his or her own personal path comes to completely conflicting ethical convictions.

Again, what was crucial in the Wicker Man was us against him. What if it becomes us against us?

i would of course be curious if you would take my objections above to other Pagans that you interact with. Garner their own reactions.


Maia wrote: Perhaps you should join some Pagan forums and ask them yourself.


Okay, would you recommend one. Are you involved with one. That way I could come to them through you...and not as just someone out of the blue.

On the other hand, I'd probably feel uncomfortable interacting with them virtually only in order to question their beliefs. That's not what most such communities form for. Many are like families and the last thing they want is an interloper among them.

Okay, but, again, that doesn't make my points above go away. And in my own personal opinion you are not really addressing them in depth.

Or, sure, just agree to disagree. You're right from your side, I'm right from mine.


Maia wrote: Again, you need to be specific in what you're asking. For ages now you have kept asking me the same question over and over again, namely, how does the Pagan community deal with conflicting ethical opinions (e.g. on abortion), but in response to my answer, that it doesn't, you keep asking the same question again. If you want a different answer, ask a different question. If you want a longer, detailed answer, ask a more specific, practical question.


From my frame of mind there is not a human community on the face of the Earth that doesn't deal with conflicting ethical opinions. And that is because conflicting ethical opinions often lead to conflicting behaviors that bring about very real consequences. To suggest that with Pagans this is somehow different doesn't really answer my specific question of how this can even be possible.

They have to deal with situations in which members on their own personal paths with nature might come to opposite moral convictions in regard to abortion or gun ownership or gender roles or animal rights or the use of drugs or what constitutes criminal behavior or all the issues that revolve around human sexuality or what to teach kids or capitalism/socialism or where the individual stops and the community begins or issues of immigration...and all of the other moral and political conflagrations we hear about "on the news".

It would not seem [to me] that Pagans are exempt from the potential for turmoil of this sort.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby JackQ » Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:09 pm

Maia wrote:I've had some experiences that could be described as auditory hallucinations, or disembodied voices talking to me. These always take places at ancient sacred sites, at night when I'm alone.
I've suffered from those too, except mine has nothing to do with visiting sacred places. I once quite audibly heard an impish laugh outside my window as clear as day, during daytime, while somebody was revving their outrageously loud engine. I'm pretty sure I had my window shut when I heard it. I have exceptionally good hearing, but not necessarily clairaudience.

When you visit these sacred places, have you ever fallen asleep in those sites? The Christians would lie down near cemeteries in hope of receiving visions while the ancient pagans would visit caves and natural places.

Do you often lose track of time, was there an eerie silence? Did you pay attention to the wind, was it blowing or not? Have the birds ever freaked out, are other living beings present or absent?

Maia wrote:This is the time of year, with a chill in the wind, when the energies start rising, and I feel drawn to the wilderness. The feeling will be strongest around December and January, which is when I prefer to go camping alone.
Which places in nature are you drawn to specifically? Also, were you ever drawn to the stars as a youth before learning astronomy?

Interesting, I thought Fall and Spring were the best times to go out into the mountains. Doesn't it get snowy during winter?

Maia wrote:I also heard ethereal music too. It was like a flute, on the wind.
Was it like the lullaby from Pan's Labyrinth by any chance? Ever listen to Debussy's compositions?

Maia wrote:When I've been involved with group rituals it has never been anywhere near as powerful. I've never tried it with just one other person. Pagans sometimes touch each other in ritual, depending on the style of ritual. Wiccans often hold hands while circling round, for example.
That's odd, I've come across cases where group activity, particularly when saging and praying, seems more effective. Perhaps it means that the participants aren't synchronized in their intent or there is an incompatibility with their wavelength. There's also the possibility that some individuals unconsciously drain people they come into physical contact with rather than giving their own energy freely. Ever since Covid distancing, have you noticed any improvements in people's physical vitality or more exhaustion?

Maia wrote:Why do bad spirits seem to latch onto Christians?
I was under the impression that bad spirits preferred shewing themselves to skeptics. Religious people feel comforted by their indoctrination, by leaving them be, it makes them believe they're specially protected. Skeptics are also more likely to receive actual inexplicable healings compared to religious people, who are conducted by a combination of suggestion, placebo effect, and the atmosphere of their worship (see Benny Hinn).

Maia wrote:A ghost, for example. might be a spirit that has never been a living person, or a thought-form.
How would you explain the thought-form concept to a layman?
JackQ
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:25 pm

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:46 pm

+++True, but some of us have more options than others in being able experience certain things. My own in regard to exploring the existence of ghosts, ufo and strange entities is particularly limited. So basically I can only rely on those who do share their experiences and are able to provide me [and others] with an actual accumulation of evidence able to demonstrate that these things exist.+++

To be honest, I doubt if there's anything that anyone could say that would convince you.

+++Well, my question is how certain can you be about Paganism when recognizing that there was always the possibility it would never have been a part of your life at all; and in recognizing that new experiences might convince you to abandon it altogether? You can think that it has made you a "moral person" but there are many, many people who are on completely different paths -- hundreds of them -- who are just as adamant that it is their path which makes someone a moral person.+++

I'm not sure what you mean by how certain I am about Paganism. I'm as certain about Paganism as I am about anything else that my senses tell me. Paganism is not a belief system, but rather, a way of interacting with the world.

+++And that with Paganism, it's the same Mother Nature [and maybe the same God/Goddess] resulting in moral convictions that can be very much in conflict. I just have trouble wrapping my head around how you acquire a strong sense of moral rectitude when there are so many variables out there that could have led you, can lead you, might lead you to so many different paths instead.+++

While Paganism has certainly influenced my morality I like to think that I would be a pretty moral person anyway. Paganism is not an essential factor in making someone a good person, and probably isn't even sufficient to do so.

+++I can only react to your posts as I do. I don't think that I am consciously attempting to be antagonistic and accusatory. But there it is: my own spontaneous, subjective reaction to what I construe to be answers from you that don't seem [to me] to be nearly as thought out as I was hoping for.

Though, sure, if you sincerely believe that my reactions to you is the actual problem here [and it may well be], we may be not be able to move beyond that. Lots of people here have problems with my posts so, yeah, I may well be the obstacle to better communication. But I am also inclined to think that the reaction of others here to a philosophy like mine revolves in turn around their discomfort that my "I" in the is/ought world, may be applicable to them as well.+++

While I wouldn't want to speak for anyone else, I can assure you that I'm not in the least bit disturbed by the idea that I might come round to your way of thinking, because I know it's not going to happen.

+++"In your nature" in the manner in which, say, Satyr might encompass it. That, in fact, genes trump memes and those that do become moral nihilists are somehow contradicting the "natural order of things"?

Is there some genetic predisposition that particular individuals have to eschew nihilism. It's in your genetic code not to be?

That for you it is simply not possible that new experiences, new relationships or access to new information and knowledge can ever alter the deep down inside Real You?

In other words, you just know this in the same way that you just know that your own personal experience with nature makes you a "moral person".

Okay, there is certainly no way in which I can argue [let alone demonstrate] that this is not correct. Only the future itself will either bear or not bear this out.+++

Well, from a strictly scientific point of view, yes, a person's genetic make up can indeed decide whether they are predisposed to all sorts of character traits, including, one must assume, optimism and pessimism. And again, I think I would be a moral person anyway, regardless of my connection to nature.

+++..."I" am not anchored to one or another moral font such that I am obligated to ever and always do "the right thing" or risk offending my God or Goddess or guru or comrades or mates or anyone else who is said to show me "the way". The one true path either to enlightenment on this of the grave or to immortality and salvation on the other side of it.+++

I'm not either. I do what I think is right because I want to, not because I feel obliged to.

+++And I'm "stuck" in my flat for health reasons that are "beyond my control". And quite the contrary, the things that I do here are hardly "never doing anything". The things that I do -- philosophy, watching films, listening to music, reading books, exchanging emails with my virtual friends etc. -- bring me enormous satisfaction.

Someone might just as well say that you are "stuck being blind".+++

Someone might indeed say that, if they didn't know me. Being "stuck" with being blind makes it sound like I'm somehow unhappy with it.

I think this is the first time, however, that you've mentioned that you have health issues, at least as far as I recall. May I ask what they are?

+++Okay, I hope it doesn't come to that. I just know from vast experience over the years that my own philosophy of life often does disturb people. It's not so much what I believe about identity, value judgments and political economy at particular existential junctures, as it is the concern that they might come to believe the same thing about their own now fully anchored Self. I meeting "I" for the first time and beginning to have doubts about just how solid their own sense of reality is.+++

I suspect it's not your philosophy that annoys people, but your apparent over riding desire to convert them to it. That's how it comes across, anyway.

+++Again, that's your assessment of what I am doing here. My own assessment is considerably more complex and convoluted. And certainly more ambiguous. My "win/win" approach to these exchanges always takes into consideration both sides. Me coming up out of the hole because of something you convey to me or you coming down into it because of something I convey to you. Same with all the others here at ILP that I respect the intelligence of. Those like Bob and Felix and phyllo and pood and peter and zoots and Mr. Reasonable and Ierrellus.

Polemics aside of course.+++

Has your approach ever worked?

+++No, not at all. And certainly not here at ILP. As I note over and again, my interest in philosophy -- and ILP is a philosophy venue -- revolves around...

1] the question, "how ought one to live [morally] in a world awash in both conflicting goods and contingency, chance and change"?
2] connecting the dots between "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then"
3] the truly mysterious "Big Questions": why something instead of nothing? why this something and not something else? Also things like determinism, solipsism, sim worlds, dream worlds, the actual possibility of a Matrix reality.

Okay, I try to imagine taking "correct" to all of the members of the community, and then noting how "for all practical purposes" their community could sustain itself in regard to all of the many, many moral issues in which each member on his or her own personal path comes to completely conflicting ethical convictions.

Again, what was crucial in the Wicker Man was us against him. What if it becomes us against us?+++

There is no unity of purpose in Paganism, and it is riven with countless factions all arguing against each other, but these arguments hardly ever centre around the sort of moral questions you are bringing up here. Probably because morality is regarded very much as a matter for the individual. As for connecting morality to the afterlife, I can safely say that I've never heard any Pagan talk in this way, nor read anything written by Pagans that mention it. A lot of Pagans (though probably a minority) don't even believe in an afterlife, and of those that do, most would probably say that we can't know for sure about it. Many accept the idea of reincarnation in some form, though it's not regarded as something that needs to be escaped from, as in the Hindu or Buddhist concept of it, but rather, as a joyful thing. Your third point, about the nature and purpose of reality, is probably discussed a bit more than the others, but I've never heard anyone being dogmatic about it or arguing about it.

+++Okay, would you recommend one. Are you involved with one. That way I could come to them through you...and not as just someone out of the blue.

On the other hand, I'd probably feel uncomfortable interacting with them virtually only in order to question their beliefs. That's not what most such communities form for. Many are like families and the last thing they want is an interloper among them.+++

It's been some time since I've bothered with any of the Pagan networking forums and much prefer practicing on my own these days.

+++From my frame of mind there is not a human community on the face of the Earth that doesn't deal with conflicting ethical opinions. And that is because conflicting ethical opinions often lead to conflicting behaviors that bring about very real consequences. To suggest that with Pagans this is somehow different doesn't really answer my specific question of how this can even be possible.+++

It's possible because Paganism is not an organised community. All of those issues are dealt with at group level, if at all.

+++They have to deal with situations in which members on their own personal paths with nature might come to opposite moral convictions in regard to abortion or gun ownership or gender roles or animal rights or the use of drugs or what constitutes criminal behavior or all the issues that revolve around human sexuality or what to teach kids or capitalism/socialism or where the individual stops and the community begins or issues of immigration...and all of the other moral and political conflagrations we hear about "on the news".+++

Yes, as I said before, every group will have its own way of dealing with all these issues, including the option of not dealing with them. The leader of the Wiccan group I used to be in had strong views about abortion, for example. Gun ownership isn't an issue in the UK, though. Gender roles are pretty important in many Pagan traditions, but not in others. Most Pagans would probably support the idea of animal welfare (to varying degrees), and while vegetarianism is more prevalent among Pagans than the general population, it certainly isn't universal. Most Pagans have a relaxed attitude to soft drugs like cannabis, and smoking it is very common indeed at almost all Pagan events. I've tried it myself a couple of times but it did nothing for me except induce coughing fits. Some Pagans, however, are against the use of any artificial stimulants. As for sexuality, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are represented in Paganism to a greater degree than the general population, possibly because of the more accepting attitude of Pagans to that sort of thing. On the other hand, political issues such as capitalism or socialism are hardly ever touched upon. Most Pagans are probably fairly liberal, though there are also some far right groups too.

+++It would not seem [to me] that Pagans are exempt from the potential for turmoil of this sort.+++

One of the reasons I became disillusioned with going to Pagan events was because of all the gossip and backbiting. Pagans are people, and are not immune to acting like everyone else in the world. But the arguments don't usually involve the issues you've brought up.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:30 pm

True, but some of us have more options than others in being able experience certain things. My own in regard to exploring the existence of ghosts, ufo and strange entities is particularly limited. So basically I can only rely on those who do share their experiences and are able to provide me [and others] with an actual accumulation of evidence able to demonstrate that these things exist.


Maia wrote:To be honest, I doubt if there's anything that anyone could say that would convince you.


Quite the contrary, over the years others -- in the flesh and in books -- have said things that helped convince me to abandon, among other things, a gang life, Christianity, religion, Objectivism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism. Even existentialism when the focus is on "authenticity". So, sure, why not someone able to say something that convinces me to reject moral nihilism and a fractured and fragmented "I".

Well, my question is how certain can you be about Paganism when recognizing that there was always the possibility it would never have been a part of your life at all; and in recognizing that new experiences might convince you to abandon it altogether? You can think that it has made you a "moral person" but there are many, many people who are on completely different paths -- hundreds of them -- who are just as adamant that it is their path which makes someone a moral person.


Maia wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by how certain I am about Paganism. I'm as certain about Paganism as I am about anything else that my senses tell me. Paganism is not a belief system, but rather, a way of interacting with the world.


But it's no less a way of interacting with the world that is derived existentially from the life you've lived, live now or will live. So, in being this "moral person" that was, is and will be no less subject to change. After all, all those folks on all those hundreds and hundreds of alternative moral, political and spiritual paths end up interacting with the world as well. Only for the objectivists those interactions are often subsumed in one or another Scripture. Sacred or secular.

When they speak of being a moral person prompting them to interact ethically with others their font of choice is often quite solid. I'm just grappling to understand how your moral convictions might be deeply felt but anchored only to your own personal experiences...experiences which might have been, can be or will be very different.

This part:

And that with Paganism, it's the same Mother Nature [and maybe the same God/Goddess] resulting in moral convictions that can be very much in conflict. I just have trouble wrapping my head around how you acquire a strong sense of moral rectitude when there are so many variables out there that could have led you, can lead you, might lead you to so many different paths instead.


Maia wrote:While Paganism has certainly influenced my morality I like to think that I would be a pretty moral person anyway. Paganism is not an essential factor in making someone a good person, and probably isn't even sufficient to do so.


Again, to me, you speak of being a "moral person" as though in regard to conflicting goods, being moral is just something you know that you are. Like saying you just know you have a soul. You recognize the role that your past played in merely predisposing you to think that these things are moral and those things are not, that had your life been very different, it might have been the other way around, but [unlike me] you are able to tamp that part down and feel more comfortable in accepting that, in being a "moral person", it's closer to some necessary truth.

That's the frame of mind I'm most interested in. And not just you but anyone here who is able to anchor their moral and spiritual convictions in an understanding of the world that is not nearly as drawn and quartered as mine is.

I can only react to your posts as I do. I don't think that I am consciously attempting to be antagonistic and accusatory. But there it is: my own spontaneous, subjective reaction to what I construe to be answers from you that don't seem [to me] to be nearly as thought out as I was hoping for.

Though, sure, if you sincerely believe that my reactions to you is the actual problem here [and it may well be], we may be not be able to move beyond that. Lots of people here have problems with my posts so, yeah, I may well be the obstacle to better communication. But I am also inclined to think that the reaction of others here to a philosophy like mine revolves in turn around their discomfort that my "I" in the is/ought world, may be applicable to them as well.


Maia wrote:While I wouldn't want to speak for anyone else, I can assure you that I'm not in the least bit disturbed by the idea that I might come round to your way of thinking, because I know it's not going to happen.


Back again to that. You just know something that, in my view, you can't really know at all because you have no way of grasping what new experiences, relationships and knowledge might be on the horizon. It would be as though someone totally unfamiliar with Paganism, and found it so alien they said, "I know I would never become one of them". And then one day because of experiences they never imagined they would have, they become one.

I'm thinking: how on earth can she not grasp this?! When, in my view, this is precisely the frame of mind that the objectivists cling to in order to anchor their own comfort and consolation in their very own moral, political or spiritual path.

"In your nature" in the manner in which, say, Satyr might encompass it. That, in fact, genes trump memes and those that do become moral nihilists are somehow contradicting the "natural order of things"?

Is there some genetic predisposition that particular individuals have to eschew nihilism. It's in your genetic code not to be?

That for you it is simply not possible that new experiences, new relationships or access to new information and knowledge can ever alter the deep down inside Real You?

In other words, you just know this in the same way that you just know that your own personal experience with nature makes you a "moral person".

Okay, there is certainly no way in which I can argue [let alone demonstrate] that this is not correct. Only the future itself will either bear or not bear this out.


Maia wrote:Well, from a strictly scientific point of view, yes, a person's genetic make up can indeed decide whether they are predisposed to all sorts of character traits, including, one must assume, optimism and pessimism. And again, I think I would be a moral person anyway, regardless of my connection to nature.


On the other hand, the closer we come to believing it's genetic, the closer we come to accepting that, basically, it's "beyond our control". I'm an optimistic moral person because I inherited that from my parents. Or, perhaps, genetically, this can be taken all the way back to everything that we think, feel, say and do: determinism.

But there's still this: Optimist and moral about what? And, given a Pagan's individual interactions with nature, is that all too largely just a manifestation of biological imperatives?

..."I" am not anchored to one or another moral font such that I am obligated to ever and always do "the right thing" or risk offending my God or Goddess or guru or comrades or mates or anyone else who is said to show me "the way". The one true path either to enlightenment on this of the grave or to immortality and salvation on the other side of it.


Maia wrote:I'm not either. I do what I think is right because I want to, not because I feel obliged to.


And, of course, my point is that you come to want these things and not those things because the existential trajectory that is your life itself, nudge or propel or compel you to want them. It has less to do with what is necessarily or inherently right and what has, instead, just come to "seem" right to you because your life has predisposed you to feel this rather than than about one or another moral conflagration that rends the species.

And I'm "stuck" in my flat for health reasons that are "beyond my control". And quite the contrary, the things that I do here are hardly "never doing anything". The things that I do -- philosophy, watching films, listening to music, reading books, exchanging emails with my virtual friends etc. -- bring me enormous satisfaction.

Someone might just as well say that you are "stuck being blind".


Maia wrote:Someone might indeed say that, if they didn't know me. Being "stuck" with being blind makes it sound like I'm somehow unhappy with it.


Exactly my point about your reaction to what you suppose it must be like being me. Though, sure, just as I wish I was able to get up and about as I once did, I can't imagine a part of you not wishing that you could see. And then for you of course what would it mean to be unhappy regarding something that you never once had and then lost. Being blind is you. From birth.

Maia wrote:I think this is the first time, however, that you've mentioned that you have health issues, at least as far as I recall. May I ask what they are?


Mostly they revolve around a swirl of psycho-somatic symptoms derived from the fact the my life had often been bursting at the seams with one or another traumatic "stresspool". My nerves became "shot" and I found myself less and less able to interact with others. My world imploded for all intents and purposes.

Okay, I hope it doesn't come to that. I just know from vast experience over the years that my own philosophy of life often does disturb people. It's not so much what I believe about identity, value judgments and political economy at particular existential junctures, as it is the concern that they might come to believe the same thing about their own now fully anchored Self. I meeting "I" for the first time and beginning to have doubts about just how solid their own sense of reality is.


Maia wrote:I suspect it's not your philosophy that annoys people, but your apparent over riding desire to convert them to it. That's how it comes across, anyway.


That's always possible of course. But I do genuinely believe that it is my "philosophy of life" that most perturbs others: the part that revolves around an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence one day tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion. The part pertaining to "the gap". The part pertaining to determinism. The part pertaining to a fractured and fragmented "I" in the is/ought world.

Again, that's your assessment of what I am doing here. My own assessment is considerably more complex and convoluted. And certainly more ambiguous. My "win/win" approach to these exchanges always takes into consideration both sides. Me coming up out of the hole because of something you convey to me or you coming down into it because of something I convey to you. Same with all the others here at ILP that I respect the intelligence of. Those like Bob and Felix and phyllo and pood and peter and zoots and Mr. Reasonable and Ierrellus.

Polemics aside of course.


Maia wrote:Has your approach ever worked?


Yeah. I've still got a handful of "virtual friends" I've exchanged emails with for years now. I managed [more or less] to "reason" them down into the hole with me. Just no one [yet] who has managed to "reason" me up out of it.

No, not at all. And certainly not here at ILP. As I note over and again, my interest in philosophy -- and ILP is a philosophy venue -- revolves around...

1] the question, "how ought one to live [morally] in a world awash in both conflicting goods and contingency, chance and change"?
2] connecting the dots between "morality here and now" and "immortality there and then"
3] the truly mysterious "Big Questions": why something instead of nothing? why this something and not something else? Also things like determinism, solipsism, sim worlds, dream worlds, the actual possibility of a Matrix reality.

Okay, I try to imagine taking "correct" to all of the members of the community, and then noting how "for all practical purposes" their community could sustain itself in regard to all of the many, many moral issues in which each member on his or her own personal path comes to completely conflicting ethical convictions.

Again, what was crucial in the Wicker Man was us against him. What if it becomes us against us?


Maia wrote: There is no unity of purpose in Paganism, and it is riven with countless factions all arguing against each other, but these arguments hardly ever centre around the sort of moral questions you are bringing up here. Probably because morality is regarded very much as a matter for the individual.


And, I believe, that is because my own moral philosophy is just so much more radical. Even Pagans are able to believe that given their interactions with nature they arrive at a point where they can think of themselves as a "moral person". That's no longer an option for me. Moral convictions for me are not rooted in God or spirituality or ideology or deontology or nature. They are subjective/subjunctive existential "contraptions" derived merely from the life I happened to live at a particular time historically and a particular place culturally and given the particular trajectory of experiences I had. I can no longer find a "font" to anchor a Self to.

Maia wrote: As for connecting morality to the afterlife, I can safely say that I've never heard any Pagan talk in this way, nor read anything written by Pagans that mention it.


This makes sense [to me] because if, through nature, you can think of yourself as a moral person and yet believe that morality itself can be embodied given convictions and behaviors all up and down the moral and political spectrum, then what determines your fate in the afterlife? After all, for most religious and spiritual paths, what that fate will be very much depends on the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave.

Maia wrote: A lot of Pagans (though probably a minority) don't even believe in an afterlife, and of those that do, most would probably say that we can't know for sure about it. Many accept the idea of reincarnation in some form, though it's not regarded as something that needs to be escaped from, as in the Hindu or Buddhist concept of it, but rather, as a joyful thing. Your third point, about the nature and purpose of reality, is probably discussed a bit more than the others, but I've never heard anyone being dogmatic about it or arguing about it.


Here though I can only come back to this: the gap between what someone believes about the afterlife and what they can actually demonstrate is true about it. And then the part where what they believe, they believe because believing it makes them feel better...comforts and consoles them. Never ever underestimate psychological defense mechanisms.

From my frame of mind there is not a human community on the face of the Earth that doesn't deal with conflicting ethical opinions. And that is because conflicting ethical opinions often lead to conflicting behaviors that bring about very real consequences. To suggest that with Pagans this is somehow different doesn't really answer my specific question of how this can even be possible.


Maia wrote: It's possible because Paganism is not an organised community. All of those issues are dealt with at group level, if at all.


Well, even if there were only a handful of Pagans that did spend a considerable amount of time together, I can't wrap my head around how, for all practical purposes, they can be on separate paths with nature, come to conflicting moral convictions that prompt them to behave in ways the others did not approve of and not have a lot of turmoil. Other than by way of "moderation, negotiation and compromise". But how is being a "moral person" really squared with that?

Thus...

They have to deal with situations in which members on their own personal paths with nature might come to opposite moral convictions in regard to abortion or gun ownership or gender roles or animal rights or the use of drugs or what constitutes criminal behavior or all the issues that revolve around human sexuality or what to teach kids or capitalism/socialism or where the individual stops and the community begins or issues of immigration...and all of the other moral and political conflagrations we hear about "on the news".


Maia wrote: Yes, as I said before, every group will have its own way of dealing with all these issues, including the option of not dealing with them. The leader of the Wiccan group I used to be in had strong views about abortion, for example. Gun ownership isn't an issue in the UK, though. Gender roles are pretty important in many Pagan traditions, but not in others. Most Pagans would probably support the idea of animal welfare (to varying degrees), and while vegetarianism is more prevalent among Pagans than the general population, it certainly isn't universal. Most Pagans have a relaxed attitude to soft drugs like cannabis, and smoking it is very common indeed at almost all Pagan events. I've tried it myself a couple of times but it did nothing for me except induce coughing fits. Some Pagans, however, are against the use of any artificial stimulants. As for sexuality, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are represented in Paganism to a greater degree than the general population, possibly because of the more accepting attitude of Pagans to that sort of thing. On the other hand, political issues such as capitalism or socialism are hardly ever touched upon. Most Pagans are probably fairly liberal, though there are also some far right groups too.


Well here it seems that Pagans, just as with all the rest of us, have wide and varied opinions about these things. I'm just unable to really grasp how, being out in nature, the interaction with nature itself can lead a particular individual to a conviction about all of these things. Convictions that can then be in conflict with others generating conflicting behaviors and yet everyone agreeing that the other is still a "moral person".

I think I'm going to explore this further. If only through the internet.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Mon Nov 01, 2021 12:26 am

+++Quite the contrary, over the years others -- in the flesh and in books -- have said things that helped convince me to abandon, among other things, a gang life, Christianity, religion, Objectivism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism. Even existentialism when the focus is on "authenticity". So, sure, why not someone able to say something that convinces me to reject moral nihilism and a fractured and fragmented "I".+++

Ok, fair enough. But I must say again that it's not my job, nor anyone else's, to pursuade you of the existence of ghosts, etc. I don't even know what they are myself.

+++But it's no less a way of interacting with the world that is derived existentially from the life you've lived, live now or will live. So, in being this "moral person" that was, is and will be no less subject to change. After all, all those folks on all those hundreds and hundreds of alternative moral, political and spiritual paths end up interacting with the world as well. Only for the objectivists those interactions are often subsumed in one or another Scripture. Sacred or secular.

When they speak of being a moral person prompting them to interact ethically with others their font of choice is often quite solid. I'm just grappling to understand how your moral convictions might be deeply felt but anchored only to your own personal experiences...experiences which might have been, can be or will be very different.+++

Yes, there's no doubt that had my life been different, I would probably have had different opinions, including about moral issues. I don't regard this as some sort of profound insight, though, just an obvious truism.

+++Again, to me, you speak of being a "moral person" as though in regard to conflicting goods, being moral is just something you know that you are. Like saying you just know you have a soul. You recognize the role that your past played in merely predisposing you to think that these things are moral and those things are not, that had your life been very different, it might have been the other way around, but [unlike me] you are able to tamp that part down and feel more comfortable in accepting that, in being a "moral person", it's closer to some necessary truth.

That's the frame of mind I'm most interested in. And not just you but anyone here who is able to anchor their moral and spiritual convictions in an understanding of the world that is not nearly as drawn and quartered as mine is.+++

Well, I like to think I'm a moral person but I know full well that I'm not perfect. Perhaps I'd have been a more perfect person in a different life. Who knows? As it happens, though, I have indeed lived the life that I've lived, and so I'm the person that I am.

+++Back again to that. You just know something that, in my view, you can't really know at all because you have no way of grasping what new experiences, relationships and knowledge might be on the horizon. It would be as though someone totally unfamiliar with Paganism, and found it so alien they said, "I know I would never become one of them". And then one day because of experiences they never imagined they would have, they become one.

I'm thinking: how on earth can she not grasp this?! When, in my view, this is precisely the frame of mind that the objectivists cling to in order to anchor their own comfort and consolation in their very own moral, political or spiritual path.+++

I do grasp it, I just don't think it's any sort of revelation. It's just obvious, really.

+++On the other hand, the closer we come to believing it's genetic, the closer we come to accepting that, basically, it's "beyond our control". I'm an optimistic moral person because I inherited that from my parents. Or, perhaps, genetically, this can be taken all the way back to everything that we think, feel, say and do: determinism.

But there's still this: Optimist and moral about what? And, given a Pagan's individual interactions with nature, is that all too largely just a manifestation of biological imperatives?+++

The sensible option is surely not to believe one extreme or the other. Genetics undoubtedly influences us, but then so does environment, and all sorts of other factors, including free will.

+++And, of course, my point is that you come to want these things and not those things because the existential trajectory that is your life itself, nudge or propel or compel you to want them. It has less to do with what is necessarily or inherently right and what has, instead, just come to "seem" right to you because your life has predisposed you to feel this rather than than about one or another moral conflagration that rends the species.+++

Yes, I agree. But, again, it's just obvious.

+++Exactly my point about your reaction to what you suppose it must be like being me. Though, sure, just as I wish I was able to get up and about as I once did, I can't imagine a part of you not wishing that you could see. And then for you of course what would it mean to be unhappy regarding something that you never once had and then lost. Being blind is you. From birth.+++

A part of me does indeed wish that I could see, not least because of a sense of overwhelming curiosity. But this is not the same as saying that I'm unhappy with my life as it is.

+++Mostly they revolve around a swirl of psycho-somatic symptoms derived from the fact the my life had often been bursting at the seams with one or another traumatic "stresspool". My nerves became "shot" and I found myself less and less able to interact with others. My world imploded for all intents and purposes.+++

What have you done to try and work round these issues? Thinking back, I believe this was one of the first questions that I asked you.

+++That's always possible of course. But I do genuinely believe that it is my "philosophy of life" that most perturbs others: the part that revolves around an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence one day tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion. The part pertaining to "the gap". The part pertaining to determinism. The part pertaining to a fractured and fragmented "I" in the is/ought world.+++

I think you should seriously entertain the possibility that this is not the case.

+++Yeah. I've still got a handful of "virtual friends" I've exchanged emails with for years now. I managed [more or less] to "reason" them down into the hole with me. Just no one [yet] who has managed to "reason" me up out of it.+++

Isn't it a bit selfish to want to bring people down into your hole?

+++And, I believe, that is because my own moral philosophy is just so much more radical. Even Pagans are able to believe that given their interactions with nature they arrive at a point where they can think of themselves as a "moral person". That's no longer an option for me. Moral convictions for me are not rooted in God or spirituality or ideology or deontology or nature. They are subjective/subjunctive existential "contraptions" derived merely from the life I happened to live at a particular time historically and a particular place culturally and given the particular trajectory of experiences I had. I can no longer find a "font" to anchor a Self to.+++

I'm not sure I would call it radical. Nihilism and despair are pretty mainstream, I would say.

+++This makes sense [to me] because if, through nature, you can think of yourself as a moral person and yet believe that morality itself can be embodied given convictions and behaviors all up and down the moral and political spectrum, then what determines your fate in the afterlife? After all, for most religious and spiritual paths, what that fate will be very much depends on the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave.+++

Why assume that your fate in the afterlife, if there is one, is connected to your own morality? If it takes fear of punishment for someone to be a good person, then they're not a good person.

+++Here though I can only come back to this: the gap between what someone believes about the afterlife and what they can actually demonstrate is true about it. And then the part where what they believe, they believe because believing it makes them feel better...comforts and consoles them. Never ever underestimate psychological defense mechanisms.+++

As whith ghosts, no one is under any obligation to demonstrate the truth about the afterlife. And definitely not me, because I don't know what the answer is.

+++Well, even if there were only a handful of Pagans that did spend a considerable amount of time together, I can't wrap my head around how, for all practical purposes, they can be on separate paths with nature, come to conflicting moral convictions that prompt them to behave in ways the others did not approve of and not have a lot of turmoil. Other than by way of "moderation, negotiation and compromise". But how is being a "moral person" really squared with that?+++

If it were only a handful of Pagans, spending considerable amounts of time together, then you are almost certainly talking about a group, and groups do indeed have codes of morality, usually decided by the person who runs it (though not always).

+++Well here it seems that Pagans, just as with all the rest of us, have wide and varied opinions about these things. I'm just unable to really grasp how, being out in nature, the interaction with nature itself can lead a particular individual to a conviction about all of these things. Convictions that can then be in conflict with others generating conflicting behaviors and yet everyone agreeing that the other is still a "moral person".

I think I'm going to explore this further. If only through the internet.+++

Good luck.
User avatar
Maia
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:22 am
Location: UK

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:08 pm

Quite the contrary, over the years others -- in the flesh and in books -- have said things that helped convince me to abandon, among other things, a gang life, Christianity, religion, Objectivism, Marxism, socialism, anarchism. Even existentialism when the focus is on "authenticity". So, sure, why not someone able to say something that convinces me to reject moral nihilism and a fractured and fragmented "I".


Maia wrote:Ok, fair enough. But I must say again that it's not my job, nor anyone else's, to persuade you of the existence of ghosts, etc. I don't even know what they are myself.


Well, if you think that I think that coming into this particular philosophy venue means it's someone's job to persuade me to think a certain way about things like ghosts, you really do not understand my point at all. Instead, my point is that in regard to human ghosts, you have your experiences and others have theirs. And only by coming together and sharing what experiences we do have is it likely that our understanding of their existence [or lack thereof] will be enhanced.

And that this is of particular importance to me because "here and now" I believe that death = oblivion. So, to the extent that others can demonstrate to the world that human ghosts do in fact exist, they've got my rapt attention.

But it's no less a way of interacting with the world that is derived existentially from the life you've lived, live now or will live. So, in being this "moral person" that was, is and will be no less subject to change. After all, all those folks on all those hundreds and hundreds of alternative moral, political and spiritual paths end up interacting with the world as well. Only for the objectivists those interactions are often subsumed in one or another Scripture. Sacred or secular.

When they speak of being a moral person prompting them to interact ethically with others their font of choice is often quite solid. I'm just grappling to understand how your moral convictions might be deeply felt but anchored only to your own personal experiences...experiences which might have been, can be or will be very different.


Maia wrote:Yes, there's no doubt that had my life been different, I would probably have had different opinions, including about moral issues. I don't regard this as some sort of profound insight, though, just an obvious truism.


Whether it is a profound insight or not, how can it not trouble someone convinced that they are a Pagan only because they just happened existentially not to have not become one and that, since there is no way for them to demonstrate that Paganism is the most reasonable frame of mind for becoming a "moral person", any new experience, relationship or access to information and knowledge could knock them right off this particular path altogether. And, instead, they find themselves on one of the zillions of other paths there are to choose from when taking on the task of being a "moral person".

Then this part:

Again, to me, you speak of being a "moral person" as though in regard to conflicting goods, being moral is just something you know that you are. Like saying you just know you have a soul. You recognize the role that your past played in merely predisposing you to think that these things are moral and those things are not, that had your life been very different, it might have been the other way around, but [unlike me] you are able to tamp that part down and feel more comfortable in accepting that, in being a "moral person", it's closer to some necessary truth.

That's the frame of mind I'm most interested in. And not just you but anyone here who is able to anchor their moral and spiritual convictions in an understanding of the world that is not nearly as drawn and quartered as mine is.


Maia wrote:Well, I like to think I'm a moral person but I know full well that I'm not perfect. Perhaps I'd have been a more perfect person in a different life. Who knows? As it happens, though, I have indeed lived the life that I've lived, and so I'm the person that I am.


Again, to speak of moral perfection at all suggests the gap between us here. You are who you are basically because the life that you lived could not have resulted in you being other than you are. Though you agree that had any number of variables in your past been different you might be here arguing as I do and not as a Pagan.

For me it's the manner in which, from my frame of mind, you fail to grasp just how precarious and problematic "I" is in the is/ought world that reflects the greatest challenge for me. Is it possible that I might succeed in making you understand it? Or, instead, will you succeed in making me understand that, in regard to moral and spiritual value judgments, I am the one unable to "see the light". If not yours than another's.

Especially in regard to this:

Back again to that. You just know something that, in my view, you can't really know at all because you have no way of grasping what new experiences, relationships and knowledge might be on the horizon. It would be as though someone totally unfamiliar with Paganism, and found it so alien they said, "I know I would never become one of them". And then one day because of experiences they never imagined they would have, they become one.

I'm thinking: how on earth can she not grasp this?! When, in my view, this is precisely the frame of mind that the objectivists cling to in order to anchor their own comfort and consolation in their very own moral, political or spiritual path.


Maia wrote: I do grasp it, I just don't think it's any sort of revelation. It's just obvious, really.


So, that's your answer and you're sticking to it?

Seriously, though, while I suspect I am unlikely to change your mind, I'm not altogether convinced of it. And, ironically enough [again, from my own subjective perspective], it is because I do have such respect for your intelligence. And ultimately your curiosity about these things. It's just a matter of convincing you that Paganism is but one of hundreds and hundreds of moral and spiritual fonts "out there", all convinced that on their path one truly can become a "moral person".

Also, a miracle might happen and we actually do end up becoming "virtual friends". :o

On the other hand, the closer we come to believing it's genetic, the closer we come to accepting that, basically, it's "beyond our control". I'm an optimistic moral person because I inherited that from my parents. Or, perhaps, genetically, this can be taken all the way back to everything that we think, feel, say and do: determinism.

But there's still this: Optimist and moral about what? And, given a Pagan's individual interactions with nature, is that all too largely just a manifestation of biological imperatives?


Maia wrote: The sensible option is surely not to believe one extreme or the other. Genetics undoubtedly influences us, but then so does environment, and all sorts of other factors, including free will.


No, for me, the most sensible option of all is that, in regard to nature and nurture, as with in regard to Paganism and moral nihilism, we accept the staggering gap between what we think we believe about them and all that must be known about them in order to know for sure what to believe about them. Rummy's Rule in other words. In the interim, all we have is our more or less educated wild ass guesses.

I know, I know: Let's not go there.

And, of course, my point is that you come to want these things and not those things because the existential trajectory that is your life itself, nudge or propel or compel you to want them. It has less to do with what is necessarily or inherently right and what has, instead, just come to "seem" right to you because your life has predisposed you to feel this rather than than about one or another moral conflagration that rends the species.


Maia wrote: Yes, I agree. But, again, it's just obvious.


You agree, but our understanding of the "for all practical purposes" implications of that in regard to becoming a "moral person" are very different. Paganism has come to "seem right" to you but from my frame of mind only because you didn't live the sort of life whereby it would not "seem right" to you at all. You might have lived a life that predisposed you to think it is ridiculous.

But [it seems to me] you're okay with that.

Exactly my point about your reaction to what you suppose it must be like being me. Though, sure, just as I wish I was able to get up and about as I once did, I can't imagine a part of you not wishing that you could see. And then for you of course what would it mean to be unhappy regarding something that you never once had and then lost. Being blind is you. From birth.


Maia wrote: A part of me does indeed wish that I could see, not least because of a sense of overwhelming curiosity. But this is not the same as saying that I'm unhappy with my life as it is.


Yes, I understand this distinction and it is a very important one. And I am truly happy that you do live a happy life. And that comes through loud and clear here in many of your posts. You are comfortable in your own skin as few of us are.

But I am curious about one thing.

In your exchanges over at Know Thyself, I recall a discussion that revolved around your interactions with others who have "disabilities". How, for example, if I am remembering this correctly, you would prefer a romantic relationship what someone who was not "disabled". And in our own exchanges, I sensed that you were more comfortable interacting with others who were not blind. And that in fact most of your relationships are with sighted people.

Is that something you would feel comfortable discussing? Or am I completely wrong in my understanding of this?

Mostly they revolve around a swirl of psycho-somatic symptoms derived from the fact the my life had often been bursting at the seams with one or another traumatic "stresspool". My nerves became "shot" and I found myself less and less able to interact with others. My world imploded for all intents and purposes.


Maia wrote: What have you done to try and work round these issues? Thinking back, I believe this was one of the first questions that I asked you.


To be perfectly honest, I have actually come to take advantage of it all.

In other words, all my life I have surrounded by people: a large extended family, gang members, friends I met working in the shipyards and steel mills, friends from the church, army buddies, a zillion relationships in college, getting married, interacting with my daughter and all her friends, countless interactions with men and women as a political activists. But now in my imploded interactions with almost no one, it has given me the sort of time I need to dive deep down into philosophy and music and films and books. I live alone and while it can be painful not having others around to share my life with, I am now in a situation where I only choose to do what I and I alone want to do. And it's a trade off that I have come not only to accept but to relish.

That's always possible of course. But I do genuinely believe that it is my "philosophy of life" that most perturbs others: the part that revolves around an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence one day tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion. The part pertaining to "the gap". The part pertaining to determinism. The part pertaining to a fractured and fragmented "I" in the is/ought world.


Maia wrote: I think you should seriously entertain the possibility that this is not the case.


Well, all I can really go by is the reactions that others have to me here. My own interpretation of them. That's honestly and introspectively the way it seems to me.

Yeah. I've still got a handful of "virtual friends" I've exchanged emails with for years now. I managed [more or less] to "reason" them down into the hole with me. Just no one [yet] who has managed to "reason" me up out of it.


Maia wrote: Isn't it a bit selfish to want to bring people down into your hole?


Only if you were down in a similar hole yourself, might you be less inclined to think like that. Your own hole might not be the same as mine, but when you're in a philosophical hole like mine, it can be particular unnerving. Also, given my win/win scenario, there's the other side of the coin: that someone might actually succeed in helping me to extricate myself from it.

And, I believe, that is because my own moral philosophy is just so much more radical. Even Pagans are able to believe that given their interactions with nature they arrive at a point where they can think of themselves as a "moral person". That's no longer an option for me. Moral convictions for me are not rooted in God or spirituality or ideology or deontology or nature. They are subjective/subjunctive existential "contraptions" derived merely from the life I happened to live at a particular time historically and a particular place culturally and given the particular trajectory of experiences I had. I can no longer find a "font" to anchor a Self to.


Maia wrote: I'm not sure I would call it radical. Nihilism and despair are pretty mainstream, I would say.


Okay, but I suspect there are few who root it in philosophy itself. For many it revolves more around circumstances. Their own life is in the toilet and they see no other option but to flush. It's the combination of being "fractured and fragmented" on this side of the grave and being eyeball to eyeball with oblivion re the other side that I see separating me from others.

But "here and now" nihilism brings me not despair but options. Options that those who anchor their Self to one or another font often don't have.

This makes sense [to me] because if, through nature, you can think of yourself as a moral person and yet believe that morality itself can be embodied given convictions and behaviors all up and down the moral and political spectrum, then what determines your fate in the afterlife? After all, for most religious and spiritual paths, what that fate will be very much depends on the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave.


Maia wrote: Why assume that your fate in the afterlife, if there is one, is connected to your own morality? If it takes fear of punishment for someone to be a good person, then they're not a good person.


Fear of punishment and anticipation of rewards.

Let's face it, millions and millions and millions around the globe do link their fate on the other side to their behaviors on this side. After all, for all practical purposes, what else is there?

Here though I can only come back to this: the gap between what someone believes about the afterlife and what they can actually demonstrate is true about it. And then the part where what they believe, they believe because believing it makes them feel better...comforts and consoles them. Never ever underestimate psychological defense mechanisms.


Maia wrote: As with ghosts, no one is under any obligation to demonstrate the truth about the afterlife. And definitely not me, because I don't know what the answer is.


Am I demanding that they do? Yeah, it might be construed by some this way. But mostly what I'm after are those who recognize that just believing in the afterlife is no where near the same as demonstrating that it does in fact exist. And that, in a philosophy forum, providing evidence for something that you do believe is far more important than a discussion about among family and friends at the dinner table or around the campfire or at the local bar/pub.

Well, even if there were only a handful of Pagans that did spend a considerable amount of time together, I can't wrap my head around how, for all practical purposes, they can be on separate paths with nature, come to conflicting moral convictions that prompt them to behave in ways the others did not approve of and not have a lot of turmoil. Other than by way of "moderation, negotiation and compromise". But how is being a "moral person" really squared with that?


Maia wrote: If it were only a handful of Pagans, spending considerable amounts of time together, then you are almost certainly talking about a group, and groups do indeed have codes of morality, usually decided by the person who runs it (though not always).


I'm talking about a community of Pagans. Any community in whatever demographic configuration it might take. How can each member be on their own path, come to their own moral convictions, have those convictions clash and still create the least dysfunctional community. If the person who runs it decides what the codes of morality are then his or her path would ever and always take priority. And how is that different from might makes right?

Well here it seems that Pagans, just as with all the rest of us, have wide and varied opinions about these things. I'm just unable to really grasp how, being out in nature, the interaction with nature itself can lead a particular individual to a conviction about all of these things. Convictions that can then be in conflict with others generating conflicting behaviors and yet everyone agreeing that the other is still a "moral person".

I think I'm going to explore this further. If only through the internet.


Maia wrote: Good luck.


I've already found a couple of websites that explore this. When I do get around to it I will put it on my morality thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=175121

Edit [a couple of hours later]:

Let me add this...

The thing I least understand about Paganism and morality is how Pagans connect the dots between their experiences "out in nature, with nature, through nature" and moral convictions themselves.

How in particular does nature through the Goddess convey this to you?

Most Pagans can see nature. You cannot. But in in other respects your other senses might be enhanced. So you hear nature, smell, nature, touch nature...feel nature's "energy" rise up and become a part of you.

But how does this then configure into to your thinking about the moral issues that impale the human species?

When I went out into nature a few months ago and tried to experience it more deeply that's what kept coming back to me. I'm sitting there focusing my senses on the woods around me and I kept wondering how this can possibly impact on my moral narrative. Especially given my own conclusion that nature itself seems utterly amoral in regard to us.

True, my own attempt here was shallow. I barely gave it a chance. But how do your own exercises and rituals out in nature translate into a moral experience?
Last edited by iambiguous on Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Sculptor » Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:38 pm

Maia wrote:If so, can you describe it to me in detail?


There was a very strange entity floating in the toilet this morning, but I do not want to describe it in detail.
If fact I wish I could un-see it!!
Sculptor
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:00 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Maia wrote:If so, can you describe it to me in detail?


There was a very strange entity floating in the toilet this morning, but I do not want to describe it in detail.
If fact I wish I could un-see it!!


Again, as Magnus pointed out, with you it's not what you post so much as why you seem compelled to go after others who refuse to think exactly as you do. Your own take on why you have become a fulminating fanatic objectivist. The evangelical equivalent of an atheist.

This part:

...someday he might finally confront whatever or whoever turned him into this fulminating fanatic. Something has clearly pissed him off in life. Something that compels him to come into places like this and vent!!!

It seems [to me] that he needs to make scapegoats of those he construes to be part of whatever he is outraged about. But what is it? And how did it come about?

Wouldn't that be far more fascinating to explore than the "substance" of his arrogant and dogmatic attacks?


Come on, let's go there. 8)
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Sculptor » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:04 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Sculptor wrote:
Maia wrote:If so, can you describe it to me in detail?


There was a very strange entity floating in the toilet this morning, but I do not want to describe it in detail.
If fact I wish I could un-see it!!


Again, as Magnus pointed out, with you it's not what you post so much as why you seem compelled to go after others who refuse to think exactly as you do. Your own take on why you have become a fulminating fanatic objectivist. The evangelical equivalent of an atheist.


Have you had a humourectomy??
:lol: :lol:
Sculptor
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Sculptor » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:you seem compelled to go after others who refuse to think exactly as you do.


This is YOU.
As is evidenced by your own post.

Pure projection.

If I had to describe what was floating in the toilet I'd have to call it iambiguous.
Sculptor
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:22 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Sculptor wrote:
Maia wrote:If so, can you describe it to me in detail?


There was a very strange entity floating in the toilet this morning, but I do not want to describe it in detail.
If fact I wish I could un-see it!!


Again, as Magnus pointed out, with you it's not what you post so much as why you seem compelled to go after others who refuse to think exactly as you do. Your own take on why you have become a fulminating fanatic objectivist. The evangelical equivalent of an atheist.


Sculptor wrote:Have you had a humourectomy??
:lol: :lol:


Oh, right: you were just trying to be funny.

Come on, even you know that's bullshit.

Then the part you left out:

...someday he might finally confront whatever or whoever turned him into this fulminating fanatic. Something has clearly pissed him off in life. Something that compels him to come into places like this and vent!!!

It seems [to me] that he needs to make scapegoats of those he construes to be part of whatever he is outraged about. But what is it? And how did it come about?

Wouldn't that be far more fascinating to explore than the "substance" of his arrogant and dogmatic attacks?


So, tell us what's behind your contempt for anyone who refuses to toe your line. Was it one experience in particular or a whole bunch of them.

I suspect there must be something or someone in your life that absolutely infuriates you...but you can't [or won't] do anything about it.

So you need to come in here and use us as the targets.

Virtually only of course but it's better than nothing? :-k
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 43744
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

PreviousNext

Return to Psychology and Mind



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users