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 iambiguous » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:31 pm

Scripture wrote:
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.


Note to others:

Over and again I point out that in regard to that which is of most interest to me philosophically -- connecting the dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then -- my own arguments are no less embedded in, well, my own arguments.

Never in a million years would I suggest that how I think about these things others are obligated to think the same way about...or be mocked and ridiculed. I'm the first to admit that "I" am but an infinitesimally tiny and insignificant speck of existence in the vastness of all there is.

You know, like Scripture.

And that's before "the gap"! 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

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

Postby Maia » Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:02 pm

+++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.+++

I'm inclined to think that ghosts are unlikely to be the spirits of humans who have passed on, though I suppose some might be. For a start off, I've heard stories of ghosts of people who are still alive. This seems a lot more like astral projection. But most ghosts, I would say, are more likely to be something akin to nature spirits, or spirits of place. This would tie into folklore about other non-corporeal or magical creatures.

+++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".+++

I don't believe that Paganism is the most reasonable frame of mind for becoming a moral person. It all depends on the individual, and indeed, it also depends on where that individual happens to be on their path. One can be moral without being a Pagan, and vice versa. This doesn't trouble me in the slightest, because it just seems perfectly natural.

+++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.+++

It's no more precarious and problematic than anything else in the world. I fully understand what you're saying, I just happen to disagree.

+++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".+++

You don't need to convince me that Paganism is only one of countless moral and spiritual systems out there because I already know it. And indeed, have said it often enough, namely, that everyone has their own path.

+++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.+++

Indeed.

+++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.+++

Yes, I'm very much ok with that.

+++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?+++

Yes, that's right, I would not consider dating anyone who's blind, or who had some other disability. And yes, it's also true that all my close friendships are with sighted people too. With only a small number of exceptions, I've had little personal interaction with the blind community since leaving school. I find its insularity and petty political bickering completely stultifying.

+++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.+++

As long as you're happy, or find it fulfilling, then that's fine. I live alone too, but that's where the similarity ends, since, as you know, I'm a pretty active sort of person, both at work and in my social life.

+++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.

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.+++

I would always try to drag myself out of any such hole, without hoping that someone else might do it for me.

+++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.+++

Can you give me an example of any such options?

+++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?+++

What else is there in what context?

+++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.+++

While I accept your point that we're on a philosophy forum and not down the pub, I'm far more interested in the sort of philosophy that deals with how we percieve the world around us and interact with it.

+++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?+++

I can't think of an instance where a small group of Pagans would regularly hang around together over an extended period if they were not members of some sort of organised group. I suppose they could be regulars at a moot, but even in that case, the moot will have a leader. Within groups, it is indeed very much the leader who decides on the codes of conduct. I know of examples where some groups have attempted a more democratic type of structure, but these almost always fail, because no one takes responsibility.

+++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?+++

The simple answer to this is that it doesn't. Morality is a personal thing, and nature does not directly influence it.

+++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?+++

It doesn't, at least not directly. Through experiencing nature, I know that all life is connected, which is probably as close as it comes to influencing my thoughts on matters of morality. Nothing specific, in other words.

You're right to say, of course, that being blind has caused me to experience nature, as indeed everything, in different ways to most people. Which is one of the many reasons, incidentally, why I wouldn't change it.

+++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?+++

My exercises and rituals are not moral experiences. Their purpose is primarily about communing with nature, and they have no direct bearing on my moral stances on any issue, or my morality in general. I do not become a more moral person by doing these rituals.

I must point out though that I'm only talking about my own experiences here. Other Pagans will have different opinions on the matter. And while Paganism as a whole has no moral stance on anything, certain traditions within it do. Wicca, for example, has something called the three fold law, which states that whatever you do, good or bad, will come back to you with three times the force. You'll find this written about a lot online, ad nauseam in fact, but as a former member of a Wiccan group I can tell you that in practice, they often ignore it. They have another one too, a sort of mantra, which goes, an it harm none do what ye will. Again, in practice, this is often ignored too. But even if it were properly adhered to, it seems pretty selfish and self-indulgent to me. But then, I'm no longer a Wiccan, anyway.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 05, 2021 3:44 am

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.


Maia wrote:I'm inclined to think that ghosts are unlikely to be the spirits of humans who have passed on, though I suppose some might be. For a start off, I've heard stories of ghosts of people who are still alive. This seems a lot more like astral projection. But most ghosts, I would say, are more likely to be something akin to nature spirits, or spirits of place. This would tie into folklore about other non-corporeal or magical creatures.


Yes, people down through the ages have called them different things. But what they call them based on what they believe they are will always pale [for me] next to what they can demonstrate to me such that I am actually able to hope that death does not equal oblivion. On the other hand, if my life were to become a living hell, I might find myself begging to die. It's all profoundly embedded in our individual lives. And how different they can be. Thus the need to share experiences in order to acquire more pieces to the ultimate puzzle that death is.

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".


Maia wrote:I don't believe that Paganism is the most reasonable frame of mind for becoming a moral person. It all depends on the individual, and indeed, it also depends on where that individual happens to be on their path. One can be moral without being a Pagan, and vice versa. This doesn't trouble me in the slightest, because it just seems perfectly natural.


How you have come to understand "natural" here is not the same as I have. For now, that may be as far as we can go in communicating each other's understanding of it. Though Paganism is not seen by you to be the most reasonable frame of mind in regard to morality, it certainly must seem reasonable to you "here and now" to be a Pagan. But my point is that had your life been different, you might well be arguing here instead that Paganism -- given the amoral nature of nature itself -- would be the last place one would go to acquire a belief that one is a "moral person".

This part:

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.


Maia wrote:It's no more precarious and problematic than anything else in the world. I fully understand what you're saying, I just happen to disagree.


Well, from my frame of mind, "I" in the is/ought world is considerably more problematic than I in the either/or. world. Think about all the variables in your life that come together to make you who you are. Your gender, your age, your health, your blindness, your parents, your community, your job, your day to day routine. How problematic are they until something dramatic in the either/or world changes? Moral and spiritual values on the other hand seem [to me] considerably more open to ambiguity and confusion and uncertainty. That's why in my view so many people do embrace objectivism: it makes "I" on par with I. And that's the source of their comfort and consolation. Not what they believe so much as that what they do believe they believe emphatically.

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".


Maia wrote:You don't need to convince me that Paganism is only one of countless moral and spiritual systems out there because I already know it. And indeed, have said it often enough, namely, that everyone has their own path.


I suppose that's the part I struggle most to grasp. It's like you are telling me something important about yourself -- about me -- but I can't figure out exactly what it is. If I came to believe that I am a moral nihilist only because my experiences did not predispose me to believe I am something else...and that something/anything else in my life down the road might yank me off that path altogether, the first thing I'd think is, "okay, what about philosophy?" Can philosophy provide me with a methodology such that I can know -- rationally -- what it means to be a "moral person"? I have come to conclude that it cannot. And if it [or science] cannot than I'm back to dasein...to the profoundly problematic and precarious "I" that I understand differently than you do.

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.


Maia wrote: Indeed.


Indeed, indeed. But I suspect because to go there confronts each of us with just how infinitesimally insignificant we are in the staggering vastness of "all there is".

Just out of curiosity, does the fact that you and I inhabit this teeny, tiny rock orbiting a Sun that is part of a galaxy that is but one of hundreds of billions -- some say trillions -- of other galaxies in what may well be and infinity of other universes even come up between you and the Goddess?

Of course as soon as I think of a Goddess I am left with all of the bewildering questions I might ask regarding how on earth you interact with her. I'm still confused as to the extent that this is literally.

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.


Yes, I'm very much ok with that.


Well, right now, there is no way I can understand that. If I were to one day come to believe that moral nihilism is ridiculous, it would be precisely because new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc., led me to it. And if I believed that, well, I would be all the more intent on pinning down whether I am on the right path. Through philosophy among other things. Otherwise I am admitting to myself that the only reason I am a moral nihilist at all is because I "just happened existentially not to have not become one".

That doesn't work for me.

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?


Maia wrote: Yes, that's right, I would not consider dating anyone who's blind, or who had some other disability. And yes, it's also true that all my close friendships are with sighted people too. With only a small number of exceptions, I've had little personal interaction with the blind community since leaving school. I find its insularity and petty political bickering completely stultifying.


Okay, I was just curious. But sometimes we can't help who we fall in love with. And I am curious how others who are blind from birth might react to that. How, perhaps, they might be configure it all into any number of directions. Critical of that point of view. After all, it's hard to believe that most blind people are insular and politically petty.

But, okay, true: what the hell do I know about that?

Or maybe it's just how I tend to go in the opposite direction. I always seek out those who are most like me.

In any event, you still have 3+ years to honor your commitment to the Goddess in embodying celibacy. At least insofar as romantic relationships go.

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 activist. 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.


Maia wrote: As long as you're happy, or find it fulfilling, then that's fine. I live alone too, but that's where the similarity ends, since, as you know, I'm a pretty active sort of person, both at work and in my social life.


The important point is that each of us in our own way is happy with the life that we live.

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.

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.


Maia wrote: I would always try to drag myself out of any such hole, without hoping that someone else might do it for me.


True enough. That would certainly be the best of all possible worlds. Hole wise.

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.


Maia wrote: Can you give me an example of any such options?


Mostly in my imploded world, they revolve around not second guessing myself in choosing what I do. As opposed to my own many, many years as one or another "ist". Back then it was always...

"Is this the right thing to do?"
"What will others in 'the group' think if I do this?"
"Will others shun me or punish me for not toeing the "ist" line?"
And when I was a Christian:
"Will I go to Hell if I do this?"

How about with you among other Pagans?

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?


Maia wrote: What else is there in what context?


Well, here you are on this side of the grave. You don't want to believe that death = oblivion. So, for all practical purposes, it's not just what you believe about the other side but what you have to do in order to get there...as you most want it to be. That's how literally hundreds of millions of people think about it.

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.


Maia wrote: While I accept your point that we're on a philosophy forum and not down the pub, I'm far more interested in the sort of philosophy that deals with how we perceive the world around us and interact with it.


For me, how we perceive the world and then interact with others based on that perception can only be enhanced all the more if we are able to demonstrate that what we believe is a rational belief.

That's my beef with many members here. When it comes to connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then many [to me] seem quite content to let it all revolve merely around what they believe.

And that might be okay [in any given community] if they all came to agree on what to believe. But in most communities there are many hopelessly conflicting assessments of that. And if it just then comes down to what you perceive/believe, what happens when those with the most power get to call all the shots?

This part:

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?


Maia wrote: I can't think of an instance where a small group of Pagans would regularly hang around together over an extended period if they were not members of some sort of organised group. I suppose they could be regulars at a moot, but even in that case, the moot will have a leader. Within groups, it is indeed very much the leader who decides on the codes of conduct. I know of examples where some groups have attempted a more democratic type of structure, but these almost always fail, because no one takes responsibility.


Again, I have no practical experience with such groups/communities. So it is hard for me to grasp the points that you are making. Perhaps when I begin to explore it more in probing morality and Paganism on the internet, it might become clearer. Though, sure, to the extent your own interactions might allow you to provide me with insights please send them along.

Especially this part...

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?


Maia wrote: The simple answer to this is that it doesn't. Morality is a personal thing, and nature does not directly influence it.


Then that just baffles me all the more. You seem to put so much weight on your interactions with nature, it's hard for me to understand how morality is separate from it.

And if that is the case it just convinces me all the more that your own moral convictions are no less rooted in dasein than my own fractured and fragments "I" is in turn. Different lives, different conclusions. And any new dramatic changes in those lives "down the road" and...and who knows?

Most Pagans can see nature. You cannot. But 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?


Maia wrote: It doesn't, at least not directly. Through experiencing nature, I know that all life is connected, which is probably as close as it comes to influencing my thoughts on matters of morality. Nothing specific, in other words.


Life is connected. But it is connected in different ways for different people. Historically, culturally, experientially. Then when you add a never ending conveyor belt of contingency, chance and change, you get, well, what I get anyway.

Maybe I will come closer to understanding what you mean. There's a part of me that is drawn to it...but I'm not sure why.

Maia wrote: You're right to say, of course, that being blind has caused me to experience nature, as indeed everything, in different ways to most people. Which is one of the many reasons, incidentally, why I wouldn't change it.


Still, what makes your own life what it has become is that you were born blind. Why would you change something in that regard when you have no real understanding of what the alternative is? Thus, for someone who spent a good portion of their life sighted and then went blind at or around your age...how might their own reaction be very different. If it would be.

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?


Maia wrote: My exercises and rituals are not moral experiences. Their purpose is primarily about communing with nature, and they have no direct bearing on my moral stances on any issue, or my morality in general. I do not become a more moral person by doing these rituals.


Then that's the part I failed to understand correctly. I thought that nature and being a moral person were more intertwined for you. Now I'll have to give more thought to the way you have made me understand it otherwise.

In one way it is all the more mysterious and in other ways I just go back to attributing it all to dasein.

Maia wrote: I must point out though that I'm only talking about my own experiences here. Other Pagans will have different opinions on the matter. And while Paganism as a whole has no moral stance on anything, certain traditions within it do. Wicca, for example, has something called the three fold law, which states that whatever you do, good or bad, will come back to you with three times the force. You'll find this written about a lot online, ad nauseam in fact, but as a former member of a Wiccan group I can tell you that in practice, they often ignore it. They have another one too, a sort of mantra, which goes, an it harm none do what ye will. Again, in practice, this is often ignored too. But even if it were properly adhered to, it seems pretty selfish and self-indulgent to me. But then, I'm no longer a Wiccan, anyway.


Here though Wiccans would need to provide me with specific examples of how this played out in their own lives. Otherwise it just becomes a "belief" that is largely abstract 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
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iambiguous
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:51 pm

+++Yes, people down through the ages have called them different things. But what they call them based on what they believe they are will always pale [for me] next to what they can demonstrate to me such that I am actually able to hope that death does not equal oblivion. On the other hand, if my life were to become a living hell, I might find myself begging to die. It's all profoundly embedded in our individual lives. And how different they can be. Thus the need to share experiences in order to acquire more pieces to the ultimate puzzle that death is.+++

You may find the following interesting. It's a very famous experiment.

https://www.liveabout.com/how-to-create-a-ghost-2594058

+++How you have come to understand "natural" here is not the same as I have. For now, that may be as far as we can go in communicating each other's understanding of it. Though Paganism is not seen by you to be the most reasonable frame of mind in regard to morality, it certainly must seem reasonable to you "here and now" to be a Pagan. But my point is that had your life been different, you might well be arguing here instead that Paganism -- given the amoral nature of nature itself -- would be the last place one would go to acquire a belief that one is a "moral person".+++

Indeed. Had my life been different I might have ended up a fundie Christian, for example.

+++Well, from my frame of mind, "I" in the is/ought world is considerably more problematic than I in the either/or. world. Think about all the variables in your life that come together to make you who you are. Your gender, your age, your health, your blindness, your parents, your community, your job, your day to day routine. How problematic are they until something dramatic in the either/or world changes? Moral and spiritual values on the other hand seem [to me] considerably more open to ambiguity and confusion and uncertainty. That's why in my view so many people do embrace objectivism: it makes "I" on par with I. And that's the source of their comfort and consolation. Not what they believe so much as that what they do believe they believe emphatically.+++

And all those variables just so happen to have come together to make me who I am, but in this I am no different to literally everything else in the universe. Far from regarding this as in any way problematic, all we have to do is try and imagine the alternative, a static universe in which nothing ever changes, to realise how lucky we are.

+++I suppose that's the part I struggle most to grasp. It's like you are telling me something important about yourself -- about me -- but I can't figure out exactly what it is. If I came to believe that I am a moral nihilist only because my experiences did not predispose me to believe I am something else...and that something/anything else in my life down the road might yank me off that path altogether, the first thing I'd think is, "okay, what about philosophy?" Can philosophy provide me with a methodology such that I can know -- rationally -- what it means to be a "moral person"? I have come to conclude that it cannot. And if it [or science] cannot than I'm back to dasein...to the profoundly problematic and precarious "I" that I understand differently than you do.+++

I think that if philosophy had been able to provide a rational system of morality, it would have done so thousands of years ago. In my opinion, morality is inherent, and that we know right from wrong intuitively. In other words, it has been given to us by nature, by evolution.

+++Indeed, indeed. But I suspect because to go there confronts each of us with just how infinitesimally insignificant we are in the staggering vastness of "all there is".

Just out of curiosity, does the fact that you and I inhabit this teeny, tiny rock orbiting a Sun that is part of a galaxy that is but one of hundreds of billions -- some say trillions -- of other galaxies in what may well be and infinity of other universes even come up between you and the Goddess?

Of course as soon as I think of a Goddess I am left with all of the bewildering questions I might ask regarding how on earth you interact with her. I'm still confused as to the extent that this is literally.+++

Since I don't have actual conversations with the Goddess, the answer to that is no. The Goddess is Mother Nature. By using this term I recognise the sacredness of nature, and this feeling of sacredness, or numinosity, is derived from my own experiences within it.

+++Well, right now, there is no way I can understand that. If I were to one day come to believe that moral nihilism is ridiculous, it would be precisely because new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc., led me to it. And if I believed that, well, I would be all the more intent on pinning down whether I am on the right path. Through philosophy among other things. Otherwise I am admitting to myself that the only reason I am a moral nihilist at all is because I "just happened existentially not to have not become one".

That doesn't work for me.+++

I wouldn't call moral nihilism ridiculous, just depressing. To me, it seems to bear all the negative hallmarks of a religion, without any of the redeeming qualities. It comes about through a certain type of philosophy, but as I've said, philosophy itself cannot be sufficient for getting at the truth.

+++Okay, I was just curious. But sometimes we can't help who we fall in love with. And I am curious how others who are blind from birth might react to that. How, perhaps, they might be configure it all into any number of directions. Critical of that point of view. After all, it's hard to believe that most blind people are insular and politically petty.

But, okay, true: what the hell do I know about that?

Or maybe it's just how I tend to go in the opposite direction. I always seek out those who are most like me.

In any event, you still have 3+ years to honor your commitment to the Goddess in embodying celibacy. At least insofar as romantic relationships go.+++

True, but there's a difference between dating someone and falling in love.

In terms of romantic relationships, most blind people end up with other blind people, because those are often the only people they socialise with to any great extent. Instead of that, I chose to go my own way.

But you're right about seeking out others most like me. Other Pagans, in other words.

Yep, just over three years to go now.

+++The important point is that each of us in our own way is happy with the life that we live.+++

Absolutely.

+++True enough. That would certainly be the best of all possible worlds. Hole wise.+++

Indeed.

+++Mostly in my imploded world, they revolve around not second guessing myself in choosing what I do. As opposed to my own many, many years as one or another "ist". Back then it was always...

"Is this the right thing to do?"
"What will others in 'the group' think if I do this?"
"Will others shun me or punish me for not toeing the "ist" line?"
And when I was a Christian:
"Will I go to Hell if I do this?"

How about with you among other Pagans?+++

When I first joined the Wiccan group I was pretty worried about doing or saying the wrong thing in ritual and making people think I was stupid or something. Wiccans go in for quite theatrical rituals with lots of words that you have to memorise, or so I had assumed, anyway, from what I'd read. It turned out, though, that they didn't worry too much about exact wording and so on. But, even so, I gradually came to realise that it wasn't for me.

I've never believed in the Christian hell and I find the emphasis on eternal punishment by certain branches of Christianity to be quite repugnant.

I do sometimes wonder, though, if the afterlife we end up in is the one that we expect to.

+++Well, here you are on this side of the grave. You don't want to believe that death = oblivion. So, for all practical purposes, it's not just what you believe about the other side but what you have to do in order to get there...as you most want it to be. That's how literally hundreds of millions of people think about it.+++

I suppose they do. A equally large number might have different ideas though. Reincarnation is a pretty widespread idea in many parts of the world, and lots of Pagans believe it too.

+++For me, how we perceive the world and then interact with others based on that perception can only be enhanced all the more if we are able to demonstrate that what we believe is a rational belief.

That's my beef with many members here. When it comes to connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then many [to me] seem quite content to let it all revolve [/i]merely[/i] around what they believe.

And that might be okay [in any given community] if they all came to agree on what to believe. But in most communities there are many hopelessly conflicting assessments of that. And if it just then comes down to what you perceive/believe, what happens when those with the most power get to call all the shots?+++

Within Paganism, at least, you just find another group that's more in tune with your opinions.

+++Again, I have no practical experience with such groups/communities. So it is hard for me to grasp the points that you are making. Perhaps when I begin to explore it more in probing morality and Paganism on the internet, it might become clearer. Though, sure, to the extent your own interactions might allow you to provide me with insights please send them along.+++

Let me know what yoy find.

+++Then that just baffles me all the more. You seem to put so much weight on your interactions with nature, it's hard for me to understand how morality is separate from it.

And if that is the case it just convinces me all the more that your own moral convictions are no less rooted in dasein than my own fractured and fragments "I" is in turn. Different lives, different conclusions. And any new dramatic changes in those lives "down the road" and...and who knows?+++

Yes. It's all very exciting.

+++Life is connected. But it is connected in different ways for different people. Historically, culturally, experientially. Then when you add a never ending conveyor belt of contingency, chance and change, you get, well, what I get anyway.

Maybe I will come closer to understanding what you mean. There's a part of me that is drawn to it...but I'm not sure why.+++

A question you can only answer yourself.

+++Still, what makes your own life what it has become is that you were born blind. Why would you change something in that regard when you have no real understanding of what the alternative is? Thus, for someone who spent a good portion of their life sighted and then went blind at or around your age...how might their own reaction be very different. If it would be.+++

I'm sure their reaction would be very different indeed. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to lose your sight, but having known many people who have, I know that it's extremely traumatic.

+++Then that's the part I failed to understand correctly. I thought that nature and being a moral person were more intertwined for you. Now I'll have to give more thought to the way you have made me understand it otherwise.

In one way it is all the more mysterious and in other ways I just go back to attributing it all to dasein.+++

My connection to nature is not really about morality, which is not an important issue for me anyway. I regard myself as a moral person, but it's not something I need to think about very much in everyday life.

+++Here though Wiccans would need to provide me with specific examples of how this played out in their own lives. Otherwise it just becomes a "belief" that is largely abstract to me.+++

You would have to ask them. What I can say, from experience, is that they tend to have a rather more nuanced attitude than they would often like to admit.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:26 pm

Yes, people down through the ages have called them different things. But what they call them based on what they believe they are will always pale [for me] next to what they can demonstrate to me such that I am actually able to hope that death does not equal oblivion. On the other hand, if my life were to become a living hell, I might find myself begging to die. It's all profoundly embedded in our individual lives. And how different they can be. Thus the need to share experiences in order to acquire more pieces to the ultimate puzzle that death is.


Maia wrote:You may find the following interesting. It's a very famous experiment.

https://www.liveabout.com/how-to-create-a-ghost-2594058


Thanks. But I'm confused about this part:

"The idea was to assemble a group of people who would make up a completely fictional character and then, through séances, see if they could contact him and receive messages and other physical phenomena - perhaps even an apparition."

Create the ghost of someone they make up completely in their head?

As for the seances themselves, everyone from Harry Houdini to James Randi has explored how these can unfold fraudulently.

But then the whole point was to explore how things like ghosts are in fact created entirely in our minds. Philip and Lilith and Skippy are born there. Live there.

Raps on the table and scratching sounds?

The conclusion was that while "they prove that ghosts don't exist, that such things are in our minds only, others say that our unconscious could be responsible for this kind of the phenomena some of the time. They do not (in fact, cannot) prove that there are no ghosts."

What then to make of it all?

How you have come to understand "natural" here is not the same as I have. For now, that may be as far as we can go in communicating each other's understanding of it. Though Paganism is not seen by you to be the most reasonable frame of mind in regard to morality, it certainly must seem reasonable to you "here and now" to be a Pagan. But my point is that had your life been different, you might well be arguing here instead that Paganism -- given the amoral nature of nature itself -- would be the last place one would go to acquire a belief that one is a "moral person".


Maia wrote:Indeed. Had my life been different I might have ended up a fundie Christian, for example.


Then we are back to how we construe our moral convictions "for all practical purposes" very differently. If I convince myself that my own moral and spiritual values are by and large "existential contraptions rooted in dasein", how much commitment to them can I sustain? Well, not much. Thus my "fractured and fragmented" assessment instead.

Well, from my frame of mind, "I" in the is/ought world is considerably more problematic than I in the either/or. world. Think about all the variables in your life that come together to make you who you are. Your gender, your age, your health, your blindness, your parents, your community, your job, your day to day routine. How problematic are they until something dramatic in the either/or world changes? Moral and spiritual values on the other hand seem [to me] considerably more open to ambiguity and confusion and uncertainty. That's why in my view so many people do embrace objectivism: it makes "I" on par with I. And that's the source of their comfort and consolation. Not what they believe so much as that what they do believe they believe emphatically.


Maia wrote:And all those variables just so happen to have come together to make me who I am, but in this I am no different to literally everything else in the universe. Far from regarding this as in any way problematic, all we have to do is try and imagine the alternative, a static universe in which nothing ever changes, to realise how lucky we are.


But, for the overwhelming preponderance of matter in the either/or universe, it all comes together re the "laws of matter". The "brute facticity" of its existence. With the human brain, however, once we make the assumption that free will is the real deal, that in and of itself brings into play the parts that are problematic. We can change who we are. But if, in the is/ought world, "I" is the product of the assumptions I make in my signature threads, then what we choose is profoundly problematic. And, at times, precarious. We are lucky to be dynamic, self-conscious, self-actualizing matter only until we find our lives have fallen apart at the seams and the pain outweighs the pleasure. Just talk to the millions who are victims of the covid pandemic about "luck".

I suppose that's the part I struggle most to grasp. It's like you are telling me something important about yourself -- about me -- but I can't figure out exactly what it is. If I came to believe that I am a moral nihilist only because my experiences did not predispose me to believe I am something else...and that something/anything else in my life down the road might yank me off that path altogether, the first thing I'd think is, "okay, what about philosophy?" Can philosophy provide me with a methodology such that I can know -- rationally -- what it means to be a "moral person"? I have come to conclude that it cannot. And if it [or science] cannot than I'm back to dasein...to the profoundly problematic and precarious "I" that I understand differently than you do.


Maia wrote:I think that if philosophy had been able to provide a rational system of morality, it would have done so thousands of years ago. In my opinion, morality is inherent, and that we know right from wrong intuitively. In other words, it has been given to us by nature, by evolution.


I'm confused again. If I understood you, you said that your interactions with nature and the Goddess are not the main reason you embody the behaviors you choose as a "moral person". But here you seem to suggest that through nature itself you came into this world with an inherent sense of right and wrong.

And yet in turn you say that you are willing to agree that had your life experiences been different you might well be here espousing the moral and political convictions of a "fundie Christian".

How is that not seen to be contradictory to you?

Indeed, indeed. But I suspect because to go there confronts each of us with just how infinitesimally insignificant we are in the staggering vastness of "all there is".

Just out of curiosity, does the fact that you and I inhabit this teeny, tiny rock orbiting a Sun that is part of a galaxy that is but one of hundreds of billions -- some say trillions -- of other galaxies in what may well be an infinity of other universes even come up between you and the Goddess?

Of course as soon as I think of a Goddess I am left with all of the bewildering questions I might ask regarding how on earth you interact with her. I'm still confused as to the extent that this is literally.


Maia wrote:Since I don't have actual conversations with the Goddess, the answer to that is no. The Goddess is Mother Nature. By using this term I recognise the sacredness of nature, and this feeling of sacredness, or numinosity, is derived from my own experiences within it.


Here of course we will need our "machine". The one that enables me to be inside you and you inside me, allowing us to think and feel as the other does.

You may interact with nature in this manner, but that is only after the "you" that you have become is the embodiment of the "I" as I construe it in my arguments above.

Unless of course I'm wrong. But that's the beauty of thinking like I do: there's no way for me to pin that down.

This part...

Well, right now, there is no way I can understand that. If I were to one day come to believe that moral nihilism is ridiculous, it would be precisely because new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc., led me to it. And if I believed that, well, I would be all the more intent on pinning down whether I am on the right path. Through philosophy among other things. Otherwise I am admitting to myself that the only reason I am a moral nihilist at all is because I "just happened existentially not to have not become one".

That doesn't work for me.


Maia wrote: I wouldn't call moral nihilism ridiculous, just depressing. To me, it seems to bear all the negative hallmarks of a religion, without any of the redeeming qualities. It comes about through a certain type of philosophy, but as I've said, philosophy itself cannot be sufficient for getting at the truth.


Okay, scrap "ridiculous" and use the word "wrong" or "unreasonable" instead. But the result is the same. The "new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc.," lead me to a different, existential configuration of "I".

Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life.

And moral nihilism can be both depressing and liberating, depending on the circumstances of the life you live. It doesn't seem redeeming to you because you get your redemption "here and now" from nature and the Goddess. But that can change. And you acknowledge this. But, at the same time, you insist that you just know that it won't change.

Okay, I was just curious. But sometimes we can't help who we fall in love with. And I am curious how others who are blind from birth might react to that. How, perhaps, they might configure it all into any number of directions. Critical of that point of view. After all, it's hard to believe that most blind people are insular and politically petty.

But, okay, true: what the hell do I know about that?

Or maybe it's just how I tend to go in the opposite direction. I always seek out those who are most like me.

In any event, you still have 3+ years to honor your commitment to the Goddess in embodying celibacy. At least insofar as romantic relationships go.


Maia wrote: True, but there's a difference between dating someone and falling in love.

In terms of romantic relationships, most blind people end up with other blind people, because those are often the only people they socialise with to any great extent. Instead of that, I chose to go my own way.

But you're right about seeking out others most like me. Other Pagans, in other words.

Yep, just over three years to go now.


Well, if there's one thing I learned from my relationship with Supannika, it's that love revolves most intimately around the sort of thing that for six years you have allowed nature and the Goddess to deprive you of.

Though, of course, as soon as I note this, I am forced to admit that there is simply no way that I can even begin to truly grasp your own "sense of self" here. The profound mystery embedded in why and how we become who we think we are.

Mostly in my imploded world, they revolve around not second guessing myself in choosing what I do. As opposed to my own many, many years as one or another "ist". Back then it was always...

"Is this the right thing to do?"
"What will others in 'the group' think if I do this?"
"Will others shun me or punish me for not toeing the 'ist' line?"
And when I was a Christian:
"Will I go to Hell if I do this?"

How about with you among other Pagans?


Maia wrote: When I first joined the Wiccan group I was pretty worried about doing or saying the wrong thing in ritual and making people think I was stupid or something. Wiccans go in for quite theatrical rituals with lots of words that you have to memorise, or so I had assumed, anyway, from what I'd read. It turned out, though, that they didn't worry too much about exact wording and so on. But, even so, I gradually came to realise that it wasn't for me.


Yes, rituals are everywhere. Historically, culturally. And from the cradle to the grave. Of course how I understand them now is entirely different from how I felt about them when I was actually participating in them myself. Now I see them more as a way to make an essentially meaningless and purposeless life transform into the opposite. If you do something over and over again and in the same way it adds "weight" to your existence. You do them because it is necessary to do them. And it is necessary to do them because it's all connected to that part of you that is comforting and consoling. Then around and around it goes.

Only we have thousands upon thousands of rituals being performed by communities that attach them to many completely conflicting expectations.

Well, here you are on this side of the grave. You don't want to believe that death = oblivion. So, for all practical purposes, it's not just what you believe about the other side but what you have to do in order to get there...as you most want it to be. That's how literally hundreds of millions of people think about it.


Maia wrote: I suppose they do. A equally large number might have different ideas though. Reincarnation is a pretty widespread idea in many parts of the world, and lots of Pagans believe it too.


Well, being reincarnated doesn't seem as appealing to me as Heaven, Nirvana, Zion, Valhalla, Elysium etc., but next to oblivion, I'd settle for it. Unless of course I come back as a dung beetle or a slug.

For me, how we perceive the world and then interact with others based on that perception can only be enhanced all the more if we are able to demonstrate that what we believe is a rational belief.

That's my beef with many members here. When it comes to connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then many [to me] seem quite content to let it all revolve [/i]merely[/i] around what they believe.

And that might be okay [in any given community] if they all came to agree on what to believe. But in most communities there are many hopelessly conflicting assessments of that. And if it just then comes down to what you perceive/believe, what happens when those with the most power get to call all the shots?


Maia wrote: Within Paganism, at least, you just find another group that's more in tune with your opinions.


On the other hand, these opinions themselves are on the slipperiest of existential slopes for those like me. So I go on pursuing my own "win/win" approach to it in places like this. Finding someone able to bring me up out of the hole, or finding someone to come down into it empathically.

Again, I have no practical experience with such groups/communities. So it is hard for me to grasp the points that you are making. Perhaps when I begin to explore it more in probing morality and Paganism on the internet, it might become clearer. Though, sure, to the extent your own interactions might allow you to provide me with insights please send them along.


Maia wrote: Let me know what you find.


Will do.

Then that just baffles me all the more. You seem to put so much weight on your interactions with nature, it's hard for me to understand how morality is separate from it.

And if that is the case it just convinces me all the more that your own moral convictions are no less rooted in dasein than my own fractured and fragments "I" is in turn. Different lives, different conclusions. And any new dramatic changes in those lives "down the road" and...and who knows?


Maia wrote: Yes. It's all very exciting.


True, we both come back to this. If only in our own unique ways.

Life is connected. But it is connected in different ways for different people. Historically, culturally, experientially. Then when you add a never ending conveyor belt of contingency, chance and change, you get, well, what I get anyway.

Maybe I will come closer to understanding what you mean. There's a part of me that is drawn to it...but I'm not sure why.


Maia wrote: A question you can only answer yourself.


Ultimately, yes. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't recognize that these relationships are so complex...so mysterious...so "human all too human", that only in seeking out the thoughts and feelings and experiences of others am I likely to get closer to, well, something.

Still, what makes your own life what it has become is that you were born blind. Why would you change something in that regard when you have no real understanding of what the alternative is? Thus, for someone who spent a good portion of their life sighted and then went blind at or around your age...how might their own reaction be very different. If it would be.


Maia wrote: I'm sure their reaction would be very different indeed. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to lose your sight, but having known many people who have, I know that it's extremely traumatic.


I wonder how many of those who have lost their sight might be thinking, "she was lucky...she was born blind".

But that's the way it is. In regard to any variable in your life, there are those who perceive one life as better or worse than another life. Again, however, if I were blind myself, I would seek out others who were like me. I'd have to have others around me who experience the world at least in some ways the same as I do. Especially in regard to something so crucial as our sense perceptions of the world around us.

Only I can only note [once again] that I don't really have any true understanding of the world you live in at all.

Then that's the part I failed to understand correctly. I thought that nature and being a moral person were more intertwined for you. Now I'll have to give more thought to the way you have made me understand it otherwise.

In one way it is all the more mysterious and in other ways I just go back to attributing it all to dasein.


Maia wrote: My connection to nature is not really about morality, which is not an important issue for me anyway. I regard myself as a moral person, but it's not something I need to think about very much in everyday life.


That's true. To the extent that morality is something that we think about a lot [spiritually, philosophically or otherwise] is going to depend on the life that we do live from day to day. If we are not often confronted with others who challenge our beliefs and behaviors, we can go days, weeks, months or years with no need "for all practical purposes" to dwell on it.

I do of course because my own frame of mind in relation to others is particularly estranged. Or often is. Though, ironically enough, I myself am not in contact with situations in which others challenge my own value judgments. Other than here virtually.

But since I am preoccupied with connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then, it always comes back 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
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Mon Nov 08, 2021 6:25 pm

+++Thanks. But I'm confused about this part:

"The idea was to assemble a group of people who would make up a completely fictional character and then, through séances, see if they could contact him and receive messages and other physical phenomena - perhaps even an apparition."

Create the ghost of someone they make up completely in their head?

As for the seances themselves, everyone from Harry Houdini to James Randi has explored how these can unfold fraudulently.

But then the whole point was to explore how things like ghosts are in fact created entirely in our minds. Philip and Lilith and Skippy are born there. Live there.

Raps on the table and scratching sounds?

The conclusion was that while "they prove that ghosts don't exist, that such things are in our minds only, others say that our unconscious could be responsible for this kind of the phenomena some of the time. They do not (in fact, cannot) prove that there are no ghosts."

What then to make of it all?+++

It was a controlled experiment and all the participants were researchers so I suppose the possibility that the sceance could be faked is much less likely.

What to make of it all is that there are many far more likely explanations for ghosts than them being the spirits of the departed.

+++Then we are back to how we construe our moral convictions "for all practical purposes" very differently. If I convince myself that my own moral and spiritual values are by and large "existential contraptions rooted in dasein", how much commitment to them can I sustain? Well, not much. Thus my "fractured and fragmented" assessment instead.+++

I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to sustain much commitment to them. Commitment, after all, is an act of choice.

+++But, for the overwhelming preponderance of matter in the either/or universe, it all comes together re the "laws of matter". The "brute facticity" of its existence. With the human brain, however, once we make the assumption that free will is the real deal, that in and of itself brings into play the parts that are problematic. We can change who we are. But if, in the is/ought world, "I" is the product of the assumptions I make in my signature threads, then what we choose is profoundly problematic. And, at times, precarious. We are lucky to be dynamic, self-conscious, self-actualizing matter only until we find our lives have fallen apart at the seams and the pain outweighs the pleasure. Just talk to the millions who are victims of the covid pandemic about "luck".+++

We are still much luckier than the alternative, not existing at all. But the laws of matter include randomness anyway, which may be where free will comes from.

+++I'm confused again. If I understood you, you said that your interactions with nature and the Goddess are not the main reason you embody the behaviors you choose as a "moral person". But here you seem to suggest that through nature itself you came into this world with an inherent sense of right and wrong.

And yet in turn you say that you are willing to agree that had your life experiences been different you might well be here espousing the moral and political convictions of a "fundie Christian".

How is that not seen to be contradictory to you?+++

My interactions with nature are not the source of my morality because that is already inherent. Nature has provided us with this inherent morality, as well as everything else, through evolution. My own personal interactions with nature do not affect what is inherent in me, and that is not their purpose.

+++Here of course we will need our "machine". The one that enables me to be inside you and you inside me, allowing us to think and feel as the other does.

You may interact with nature in this manner, but that is only after the "you" that you have become is the embodiment of the "I" as I construe it in my arguments above.

Unless of course I'm wrong. But that's the beauty of thinking like I do: there's no way for me to pin that down.+++

Yes, you're right. There's no way I can really convey to you what it's like unless you experience it yourself. Fortunately, since nature is all around us, we don't need that "machine" for you to do that. All you need is a frame of mind.

+++Okay, scrap "ridiculous" and use the word "wrong" or "unreasonable" instead. But the result is the same. The "new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc.," lead me to a different, existential configuration of "I".

Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life.

And moral nihilism can be both depressing and liberating, depending on the circumstances of the life you live. It doesn't seem redeeming to you because you get your redemption "here and now" from nature and the Goddess. But that can change. And you acknowledge this. But, at the same time, you insist that you just know that it won't change.+++

You seem to be saying that while nihilism is better than some things, for me at least, it's not as good as Paganism. If that's what you're saying, then I agree. For others, perhaps those with a pessimistic personality, nihilism will suite them.

+++Yes, rituals are everywhere. Historically, culturally. And from the cradle to the grave. Of course how I understand them now is entirely different from how I felt about them when I was actually participating in them myself. Now I see them more as a way to make an essentially meaningless and purposeless life transform into the opposite. If you do something over and over again and in the same way it adds "weight" to your existence. You do them because it is necessary to do them. And it is necessary to do them because it's all connected to that part of you that is comforting and consoling. Then around and around it goes.

Only we have thousands upon thousands of rituals being performed by communities that attach them to many completely conflicting expectations.+++

And you are free to join whiechever community's rituals appeal to you the most. The Wiccan rituals, in the end, were not to my taste.

+++Well, being reincarnated doesn't seem as appealing to me as Heaven, Nirvana, Zion, Valhalla, Elysium etc., but next to oblivion, I'd settle for it. Unless of course I come back as a dung beetle or a slug.+++

To me, the idea of the Christian heaven, completely static and unchanging forever, just doesn't seem right. Change is fundamental to everything we know.

+++On the other hand, these opinions themselves are on the slipperiest of existential slopes for those like me. So I go on pursuing my own "win/win" approach to it in places like this. Finding someone able to bring me up out of the hole, or finding someone to come down into it empathically.+++

My advice would be to pick one or the other and stick to it. Otherwise, it's going to be lose/lose. And if you're going to pick one, don't pick one that involves trying to change someone else's path for reasons that have more to do with your own comfort than theirs.

+++Ultimately, yes. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't recognize that these relationships are so complex...so mysterious...so "human all too human", that only in seeking out the thoughts and feelings and experiences of others am I likely to get closer to, well, something.+++

At the end of the day, though, you need to experience things yourself.

+++I wonder how many of those who have lost their sight might be thinking, "she was lucky...she was born blind".

But that's the way it is. In regard to any variable in your life, there are those who perceive one life as better or worse than another life. Again, however, if I were blind myself, I would seek out others who were like me. I'd have to have others around me who experience the world at least in some ways the same as I do. Especially in regard to something so crucial as our sense perceptions of the world around us.

Only I can only note [once again] that I don't really have any true understanding of the world you live in at all.+++

Some of them do indeed think that because they've said it to me. It's not at all an uncommon opinion. All I can really do to help them is offer practical advice and suggestions on how to live one's life being blind.

+++That's true. To the extent that morality is something that we think about a lot [spiritually, philosophically or otherwise] is going to depend on the life that we do live from day to day. If we are not often confronted with others who challenge our beliefs and behaviors, we can go days, weeks, months or years with no need "for all practical purposes" to dwell on it.

I do of course because my own frame of mind in relation to others is particularly estranged. Or often is. Though, ironically enough, I myself am not in contact with situations in which others challenge my own value judgments. Other than here virtually.

But since I am preoccupied with connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then, it always comes back to me.+++

Perhaps there are no dots to connect between those two things because they're not related.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:08 pm

Thanks. But I'm confused about this part:

"The idea was to assemble a group of people who would make up a completely fictional character and then, through séances, see if they could contact him and receive messages and other physical phenomena - perhaps even an apparition."

Create the ghost of someone they make up completely in their head?

As for the seances themselves, everyone from Harry Houdini to James Randi has explored how these can unfold fraudulently.

But then the whole point was to explore how things like ghosts are in fact created entirely in our minds. Philip and Lilith and Skippy are born there. Live there.

Raps on the table and scratching sounds?

The conclusion was that while "they prove that ghosts don't exist, that such things are in our minds only, others say that our unconscious could be responsible for this kind of the phenomena some of the time. They do not (in fact, cannot) prove that there are no ghosts."

What then to make of it all?


Maia wrote: It was a controlled experiment and all the participants were researchers so I suppose the possibility that the sceance could be faked is much less likely.


Still, I would have preferred to have someone like James Randi around to insure its authenticity.

Another take on them: https://psmag.com/social-justice/scienc ... ance-75109

Also, the main reason that séances are deemed authentic by many is that they want to -- yearn to -- believe that they are. Who wouldn't want it to be true that they were in touch with a long lost loved one.

Maia wrote: What to make of it all is that there are many far more likely explanations for ghosts than them being the spirits of the departed.


Well, whatever other explanations there might be, demonstrable proof can be provided or not.

Then we are back to how we construe our moral convictions "for all practical purposes" very differently. If I convince myself that my own moral and spiritual values are by and large "existential contraptions rooted in dasein", how much commitment to them can I sustain? Well, not much. Thus my "fractured and fragmented" assessment instead.


Maia wrote: I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to sustain much commitment to them. Commitment, after all, is an act of choice.


But that choice itself is no less rooted in dasein. Why do you suppose that the preponderance of those convinced they are in fact a "moral person" need a font to anchor that conviction to? It can't be just a "personal reason" derived existentially from dasein. That makes the choice profoundly problematic. Instead, the Self itself needs to be embedded in something "bigger than me". In God, or in ideology, or in philosophy and reason. Or re Satyr and his clique/claque at Know Thyself their own arrogant and authoritarian rendition of Nature.

But what puzzles me is how you put so much weight in nature as well. But in such a way that it is largely personal. Unlike Satyr...in regard to things like race and ethnicity and gender and sexual preference...it's not Nature My Way Or You Are Wrong, but nature my way and nature your way.

But I react to that skeptically as well given all my arguments above. I come back to dasein here. But what you come back to "for all practical purpose" still escapes me.

So I accept that your frame of mind is just as intelligent and believable as mine...but that our individual lives were/are so different we may well never have a communication breakthrough.

But, for the overwhelming preponderance of matter in the either/or universe, it all comes together re the "laws of matter". The "brute facticity" of its existence. With the human brain, however, once we make the assumption that free will is the real deal, that in and of itself brings into play the parts that are problematic. We can change who we are. But if, in the is/ought world, "I" is the product of the assumptions I make in my signature threads, then what we choose is profoundly problematic. And, at times, precarious. We are lucky to be dynamic, self-conscious, self-actualizing matter only until we find our lives have fallen apart at the seams and the pain outweighs the pleasure. Just talk to the millions who are victims of the covid pandemic about "luck".


We are still much luckier than the alternative, not existing at all. But the laws of matter include randomness anyway, which may be where free will comes from.


On the other hand, in just America alone, there are over 45,000 recorded suicides each year. The alternative can become the only way out when your life becomes a living hell. I tried it once myself. And my daughter's boyfriend hung himself in New York. As well as Danny, the best friend I ever had in the world.

And I've never understood the idea of "random matter". As though out of the blue bits of matter simply defy the laws of nature. Though, sure, in regard to the profound mystery of human brain matter, all bets are off. In fact, over and again I come back to dreams here. The things I have "done" in my dreams are beyond comprehension in that I "did" nothing at all. It was entirely the work of my brain itself!!

I'm confused again. If I understood you, you said that your interactions with nature and the Goddess are not the main reason you embody the behaviors you choose as a "moral person". But here you seem to suggest that through nature itself you came into this world with an inherent sense of right and wrong.

And yet in turn you say that you are willing to agree that had your life experiences been different you might well be here espousing the moral and political convictions of a "fundie Christian".

How is that not seen to be contradictory to you?


Maia wrote: My interactions with nature are not the source of my morality because that is already inherent. Nature has provided us with this inherent morality, as well as everything else, through evolution. My own personal interactions with nature do not affect what is inherent in me, and that is not their purpose.


How is what is inherent in you on the day you were born not derived from nature itself? What are you saying here, that you are born with a genetic code that determined right from the get-go how you would think and feel about abortion and Brexit and vaccinations and all other moral issues that rend the species. And that those who think the opposite of you were in turn all born with the same inherent moral compass?

That your indoctrination as a child and all the personal experiences you had -- the stuff I derive from dasein -- were basically moot because the evolution of matter into life into human beings into you was already, what, destined? That even your interactions with nature today are extrinsic?

Here of course we will need our "machine". The one that enables me to be inside you and you inside me, allowing us to think and feel as the other does.

You may interact with nature in this manner, but that is only after the "you" that you have become is the embodiment of the "I" as I construe it in my arguments above.

Unless of course I'm wrong. But that's the beauty of thinking like I do: there's no way for me to pin that down.


Maia wrote: Yes, you're right. There's no way I can really convey to you what it's like unless you experience it yourself. Fortunately, since nature is all around us, we don't need that "machine" for you to do that. All you need is a frame of mind.


But even if I experienced everything that you did, I would have already come into this world preprogrammed by nature to have become a moral nihilist? Even if somehow I were able to be inside you, nature would have already set everything for both of us in motion given the laws of nature that are beyond our control.

What confuses me further is how your understanding of nature here is "for all practical purposes" different from determinism. Even our value judgments are locked in at birth? Again, to the extent I understand what you mean about all this.

Okay, scrap "ridiculous" and use the word "wrong" or "unreasonable" instead. But the result is the same. The "new experiences, relationships, information, knowledge, ideas etc.," lead me to a different, existential configuration of "I".

Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life.

And moral nihilism can be both depressing and liberating, depending on the circumstances of the life you live. It doesn't seem redeeming to you because you get your redemption "here and now" from nature and the Goddess. But that can change. And you acknowledge this. But, at the same time, you insist that you just know that it won't change.


Maia wrote: You seem to be saying that while nihilism is better than some things, for me at least, it's not as good as Paganism. If that's what you're saying, then I agree. For others, perhaps those with a pessimistic personality, nihilism will suite them.


First, let's go back to this...

"Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life."

Are you saying that even if this had happened, you would still be the same "moral person" you are today because nature made you as you are here right from the start?

And, given how I think about all this, we do not come into the world hard-wired by nature to think and feel as we do about "conflicting goods". Instead, nature becomes profoundly intertwined in nurture, and, given particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts, our experiences predispose us to certain moral and political prejudices. I have merely come to reject even that given my "fractured and fragmented" sense of "self".

Yes, rituals are everywhere. Historically, culturally. And from the cradle to the grave. Of course how I understand them now is entirely different from how I felt about them when I was actually participating in them myself. Now I see them more as a way to make an essentially meaningless and purposeless life transform into the opposite. If you do something over and over again and in the same way it adds "weight" to your existence. You do them because it is necessary to do them. And it is necessary to do them because it's all connected to that part of you that is comforting and consoling. Then around and around it goes.

Only we have thousands upon thousands of rituals being performed by communities that attach them to many completely conflicting expectations.


And you are free to join whiechever community's rituals appeal to you the most. The Wiccan rituals, in the end, were not to my taste.


But I am "free" only to the extent that, existentially, my lived life predisposed me to want to join one set of rituals/prejudices over the others. And my point about rituals themselves adding weight to what Milan Kundera called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" seems the most important factor here.

Something I explored on this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... e#p2186671 [/quote]

Well, being reincarnated doesn't seem as appealing to me as Heaven, Nirvana, Zion, Valhalla, Elysium etc., but next to oblivion, I'd settle for it. Unless of course I come back as a dung beetle or a slug.


Maia wrote: To me, the idea of the Christian heaven, completely static and unchanging forever, just doesn't seem right. Change is fundamental to everything we know.


On the other hand, if a Heaven there be, what can mere mortals possibly know about it. For me it's always the part about disembodied souls in Heaven. How do souls with no bodies actual interact at all? Or, upon arriving, do the souls acquire new bodies. Just ones that don't have, say, libidos?

On the other hand, these opinions themselves are on the slipperiest of existential slopes for those like me. So I go on pursuing my own "win/win" approach to it in places like this. Finding someone able to bring me up out of the hole, or finding someone to come down into it empathically.


Maia wrote: My advice would be to pick one or the other and stick to it. Otherwise, it's going to be lose/lose. And if you're going to pick one, don't pick one that involves trying to change someone else's path for reasons that have more to do with your own comfort than theirs.


I'll stick with both. I've already found a few people who have come down into the hole with me. And together we are always on the prowl for those who might actually bring us up out of it. And empathy pertains to the comfort of us all, not just me.

Ultimately, yes. But I wouldn't be here if I didn't recognize that these relationships are so complex...so mysterious...so "human all too human", that only in seeking out the thoughts and feelings and experiences of others am I likely to get closer to, well, something.


Maia wrote: At the end of the day, though, you need to experience things yourself.


What, in my imploded world? And at the end of each day it's still imploded. And for now I'm sticking with the conviction that [to the extent we are able] only in sharing experiences do we come closer to something that really is "bigger than ourselves".

I wonder how many of those who have lost their sight might be thinking, "she was lucky...she was born blind".

But that's the way it is. In regard to any variable in your life, there are those who perceive one life as better or worse than another life. Again, however, if I were blind myself, I would seek out others who were like me. I'd have to have others around me who experience the world at least in some ways the same as I do. Especially in regard to something so crucial as our sense perceptions of the world around us.

Only I can only note [once again] that I don't really have any true understanding of the world you live in at all.


Maia wrote: Some of them do indeed think that because they've said it to me. It's not at all an uncommon opinion. All I can really do to help them is offer practical advice and suggestions on how to live one's life being blind.


In the end of course you can only choose what you have come to believe are the best options for you. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Again, as you note, you have a happy life...and you are comfortable being who you are. And in being who you now are [as we discussed on another thread] you bring no harm to others. That's great.

Still, that doesn't mean you don't come into places like this to interact with those who might have different opinions about things. And sometimes we get so wrapped up in being ourselves that we don't have the "broader view" that others might observe. They can offer suggestions that might make our life even happier.

That's true. To the extent that morality is something that we think about a lot [spiritually, philosophically or otherwise] is going to depend on the life that we do live from day to day. If we are not often confronted with others who challenge our beliefs and behaviors, we can go days, weeks, months or years with no need "for all practical purposes" to dwell on it.

I do of course because my own frame of mind in relation to others is particularly estranged. Or often is. Though, ironically enough, I myself am not in contact with situations in which others challenge my own value judgments. Other than here virtually.

But since I am preoccupied with connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then, it always comes back to me.


Maia wrote: Perhaps there are no dots to connect between those two things because they're not related.


Well, given that "here and now" I don't believe in either God or the afterlife, the connection lies only in the possibility that someone might convince me otherwise.

And I can always fall back on accepting that what I do believe can always change. Over and again I remind others that I do not exclude myself from my own point of view.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:45 pm

+++Still, I would have preferred to have someone like James Randi around to insure its authenticity.

Another take on them: https://psmag.com/social-justice/scienc ... ance-75109

Also, the main reason that séances are deemed authentic by many is that they want to -- yearn to -- believe that they are. Who wouldn't want it to be true that they were in touch with a long lost loved one.+++

This sceance, if it proved anything at all, proved that any entities apparently contacted need not be spirits of the dead. It had no members of the public present.

+++Well, whatever other explanations there might be, demonstrable proof can be provided or not.+++

Not, is probably the answer to that. What sort of demonstrable proof would you consider acceptable?

+++But that choice itself is no less rooted in dasein. Why do you suppose that the preponderance of those convinced they are in fact a "moral person" need a font to anchor that conviction to? It can't be just a "personal reason" derived existentially from dasein. That makes the choice profoundly problematic. Instead, the Self itself needs to be embedded in something "bigger than me". In God, or in ideology, or in philosophy and reason. Or re Satyr and his clique/claque at Know Thyself their own arrogant and authoritarian rendition of Nature.

But what puzzles me is how you put so much weight in nature as well. But in such a way that it is largely personal. Unlike Satyr...in regard to things like race and ethnicity and gender and sexual preference...it's not Nature My Way Or You Are Wrong, but nature my way and nature your way.

But I react to that skeptically as well given all my arguments above. I come back to dasein here. But what you come back to "for all practical purpose" still escapes me.

So I accept that your frame of mind is just as intelligent and believable as mine...but that our individual lives were/are so different we may well never have a communication breakthrough.+++

I don't know if it's true that the majority of people anchor their morality in some fixed set of beliefs. Most people, I would say, regard themselves as moral people without having any particular religious convictions.

+++On the other hand, in just America alone, there are over 45,000 recorded suicides each year. The alternative can become the only way out when your life becomes a living hell. I tried it once myself. And my daughter's boyfriend hung himself in New York. As well as Danny, the best friend I ever had in the world.

And I've never understood the idea of "random matter". As though out of the blue bits of matter simply defy the laws of nature. Though, sure, in regard to the profound mystery of human brain matter, all bets are off. In fact, over and again I come back to dreams here. The things I have "done" in my dreams are beyond comprehension in that I "did" nothing at all. It was entirely the work of my brain itself!!+++

They don't defy the laws of nature. Randomness is an essential aspect of quantum physics, for example.

+++How is what is inherent in you on the day you were born not derived from nature itself? What are you saying here, that you are born with a genetic code that determined right from the get-go how you would think and feel about abortion and Brexit and vaccinations and all other moral issues that rend the species. And that those who think the opposite of you were in turn all born with the same inherent moral compass?

That your indoctrination as a child and all the personal experiences you had -- the stuff I derive from dasein -- were basically moot because the evolution of matter into life into human beings into you was already, what, destined? That even your interactions with nature today are extrinsic?+++

No, I didn't say that at all. Our genetic code, that is, nature, gives us a sense of morality, but how it's expressed is determined by all sorts of other factors too, such as upbringing.

+++But even if I experienced everything that you did, I would have already come into this world preprogrammed by nature to have become a moral nihilist? Even if somehow I were able to be inside you, nature would have already set everything for both of us in motion given the laws of nature that are beyond our control.

What confuses me further is how your understanding of nature here is "for all practical purposes" different from determinism. Even our value judgments are locked in at birth? Again, to the extent I understand what you mean about all this.+++

No, our value judgements are not locked in at birth, and this is not at all what I said.

+++First, let's go back to this...

"Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life."

Are you saying that even if this had happened, you would still be the same "moral person" you are today because nature made you as you are here right from the start?

And, given how I think about all this, we do not come into the world hard-wired by nature to think and feel as we do about "conflicting goods". Instead, nature becomes profoundly intertwined in nurture, and, given particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts, our experiences predispose us to certain moral and political prejudices. I have merely come to reject even that given my "fractured and fragmented" sense of "self".+++

I think that for this discussion to progress, you'll need to stop asking the same question over and over again.

+++On the other hand, if a Heaven there be, what can mere mortals possibly know about it. For me it's always the part about disembodied souls in Heaven. How do souls with no bodies actual interact at all? Or, upon arriving, do the souls acquire new bodies. Just ones that don't have, say, libidos?+++

Do souls exist at all? I prefer the term spirit.

+++I'll stick with both. I've already found a few people who have come down into the hole with me. And together we are always on the prowl for those who might actually bring us up out of it. And empathy pertains to the comfort of us all, not just me.+++

Where do you and these others go, together, on the prowl, to find people who might bring you out of the hole? I'd be interested to hear what sort of success, or otherwise, you've had, as a group, so far.

+++What, in my imploded world? And at the end of each day it's still imploded. And for now I'm sticking with the conviction that [to the extent we are able] only in sharing experiences do we come closer to something that really is "bigger than ourselves".+++

If it works, stick to it.

+++In the end of course you can only choose what you have come to believe are the best options for you. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Again, as you note, you have a happy life...and you are comfortable being who you are. And in being who you now are [as we discussed on another thread] you bring no harm to others. That's great.

Still, that doesn't mean you don't come into places like this to interact with those who might have different opinions about things. And sometimes we get so wrapped up in being ourselves that we don't have the "broader view" that others might observe. They can offer suggestions that might make our life even happier.+++

And sometimes we just end up going round in circles.

+++Well, given that "here and now" I don't believe in either God or the afterlife, the connection lies only in the possibility that someone might convince me otherwise.

And I can always fall back on accepting that what I do believe can always change. Over and again I remind others that I do not exclude myself from my own point of view.+++

A few months ago, when you were monitoring my conversations over at Know Thyself, and reproducing part of what I was saying along with your own comments, at one point you made a disparaging remark that my discussion with Satyr had turned really trivial. I'd like you to consider that it wasn't trivial at all, and that when I talk about banal, everyday things, what I'm actually doing is taking the measure of a person.

If you have any questions about pretty much anything to do with my life, opinions, etc. then I'm more than happy to address them in as much detail as I can, but I really don't wish to keep going over the same old ground with regard to morality.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:24 pm

Maia wrote: Not, is probably the answer to that. What sort of demonstrable proof would you consider acceptable?


Whatever demonstrable evidence they can provide. Imagine for example someone making the claim they they are in contact with the dead. They invite scientists and skeptics and magicians from around the globe to an actual séance in order to provide proof of their claim. Now, if this had ever been done and the proof was there, would it or would it not be "big news" around the world?

But that choice itself is no less rooted in dasein. Why do you suppose that the preponderance of those convinced they are in fact a "moral person" need a font to anchor that conviction to? It can't be just a "personal reason" derived existentially from dasein. That makes the choice profoundly problematic. Instead, the Self itself needs to be embedded in something "bigger than me". In God, or in ideology, or in philosophy and reason. Or re Satyr and his clique/claque at Know Thyself their own arrogant and authoritarian rendition of Nature.

But what puzzles me is how you put so much weight in nature as well. But in such a way that it is largely personal. Unlike Satyr...in regard to things like race and ethnicity and gender and sexual preference...it's not Nature My Way Or You Are Wrong, but nature my way and nature your way.

But I react to that skeptically as well given all my arguments above. I come back to dasein here. But what you come back to "for all practical purpose" still escapes me.

So I accept that your frame of mind is just as intelligent and believable as mine...but that our individual lives were/are so different we may well never have a communication breakthrough.


Maia wrote:I don't know if it's true that the majority of people anchor their morality in some fixed set of beliefs. Most people, I would say, regard themselves as moral people without having any particular religious convictions.


Okay, perhaps, but very, very few think "I" through here as I do. If you come to believe that you are this particular moral person only because existentially your life led up to it, that a different life might have led to very different moral convictions, and that given new experiences you may well come to believe that moral behaviors do revolve around just the opposite point of view, how much weight can you put on your moral values here and now?

We simply think this through very, very differently.

On the other hand, in just America alone, there are over 45,000 recorded suicides each year. The alternative can become the only way out when your life becomes a living hell. I tried it once myself. And my daughter's boyfriend hung himself in New York. As well as Danny, the best friend I ever had in the world.

And I've never understood the idea of "random matter". As though out of the blue bits of matter simply defy the laws of nature. Though, sure, in regard to the profound mystery of human brain matter, all bets are off. In fact, over and again I come back to dreams here. The things I have "done" in my dreams are beyond comprehension in that I "did" nothing at all. It was entirely the work of my brain itself!!


Maia wrote: They don't defy the laws of nature. Randomness is an essential aspect of quantum physics, for example.


Actually, that may well be construed this way only because science has barely scratched the surface in understanding QM. Given this...

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe." nasa

...what on earth do we really know about randomness at all? Or even all the other the parts that add up to less than 5% of the universe. And that's before we get to the multiverse. Let alone the explanation for existence itself.

But one reaction I have encountered over and again in regard to this and morality: it means absolutely squat to the objectivists. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes between them and their own "one of us" vs. "one of them" mentality. Especially those like Adam/Ur Wrong If You Don't Think Like Me here. He's still around pummeling us with his own "Coalition of Truth" fulminating fanatic dogmas.

Now to the part that still most puzzles me about you...

How is what is inherent in you on the day you were born not derived from nature itself? What are you saying here, that you are born with a genetic code that determined right from the get-go how you would think and feel about abortion and Brexit and vaccinations and all other moral issues that rend the species. And that those who think the opposite of you were in turn all born with the same inherent moral compass?

That your indoctrination as a child and all the personal experiences you had -- the stuff I derive from dasein -- were basically moot because the evolution of matter into life into human beings into you was already, what, destined? That even your interactions with nature today are extrinsic?


Maia wrote: No, I didn't say that at all. Our genetic code, that is, nature, gives us a sense of morality, but how it's expressed is determined by all sorts of other factors too, such as upbringing.


Okay, in regard to a particular issue like abortion [or one that is important to you] what does an inborn "sense pf morality" mean to you? What part of your conviction do you feel is derived from that and what part from your upbringing?

And if your upbringing had been very different and you came to reject Paganism in favor of say, Christianity or moral nihilism, how crucial could that inborn sense of morality then be?

But even if I experienced everything that you did, I would have already come into this world preprogrammed by nature to have become a moral nihilist? Even if somehow I were able to be inside you, nature would have already set everything for both of us in motion given the laws of nature that are beyond our control.

What confuses me further is how your understanding of nature here is "for all practical purposes" different from determinism. Even our value judgments are locked in at birth? Again, to the extent I understand what you mean about all this.


Maia wrote: No, our value judgements are not locked in at birth, and this is not at all what I said.


Then, again, given a particular situation in which you see yourself as a moral person, what parts are locked in and what parts are not?

First, let's go back to this...

"Just as in the case with your life having led you to Christian fundamentalism and not to Paganism had, say, something happened to your parents when you were just a baby and you ended up being raised by different parents and came to live a very different life."

Are you saying that even if this had happened, you would still be the same "moral person" you are today because nature made you as you are here right from the start?

And, given how I think about all this, we do not come into the world hard-wired by nature to think and feel as we do about "conflicting goods". Instead, nature becomes profoundly intertwined in nurture, and, given particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts, our experiences predispose us to certain moral and political prejudices. I have merely come to reject even that given my "fractured and fragmented" sense of "self".


Maia wrote: I think that for this discussion to progress, you'll need to stop asking the same question over and over again.


I do that only because from my frame of mind [and that's all it is, my own personal opinion] you are not addressing my points in depth. You respond with one or two sentences. I think you can do deeper and I'm trying to bring you to that. Or, sure, you may well become "bored" again with what you construe to be just the same questions, and this exchange too will "collapse".

If it happens it happens. I don't want it to but that part is only so much in my control.

On the other hand, if a Heaven there be, what can mere mortals possibly know about it. For me it's always the part about disembodied souls in Heaven. How do souls with no bodies actual interact at all? Or, upon arriving, do the souls acquire new bodies. Just ones that don't have, say, libidos?


Maia wrote: Do souls exist at all? I prefer the term spirit.


With either one, from my point of view, their existence is either demonstrable or not. What's crucial for me is the extent to which, given either one, re "I" in the is/ought world, is thought to transcend dasein.

I'll stick with both. I've already found a few people who have come down into the hole with me. And together we are always on the prowl for those who might actually bring us up out of it. And empathy pertains to the comfort of us all, not just me.


Maia wrote: Where do you and these others go, together, on the prowl, to find people who might bring you out of the hole? I'd be interested to hear what sort of success, or otherwise, you've had, as a group, so far.


Again, these are all virtual e-mail exchanges. Including one with someone who used to post frequently here at ILP. Two from the old Ponderer's Guild and one from the old Existlist back in my yahoo group days. And where we go are to other philosophy venues. No success yet in finding others able to provide us with a path up out of the hole, but the empathy is still there to share. Even though we think about the "hole" itself in different ways.

In the end of course you can only choose what you have come to believe are the best options for you. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Again, as you note, you have a happy life...and you are comfortable being who you are. And in being who you now are [as we discussed on another thread] you bring no harm to others. That's great.

Still, that doesn't mean you don't come into places like this to interact with those who might have different opinions about things. And sometimes we get so wrapped up in being ourselves that we don't have the "broader view" that others might observe. They can offer suggestions that might make our life even happier.


Maia wrote: sometimes we just end up going round in circles.


True, but some circles are considerably more rewarding than others.

Well, given that "here and now" I don't believe in either God or the afterlife, the connection lies only in the possibility that someone might convince me otherwise.

And I can always fall back on accepting that what I do believe can always change. Over and again I remind others that I do not exclude myself from my own point of view.


Maia wrote: A few months ago, when you were monitoring my conversations over at Know Thyself, and reproducing part of what I was saying along with your own comments, at one point you made a disparaging remark that my discussion with Satyr had turned really trivial. I'd like you to consider that it wasn't trivial at all, and that when I talk about banal, everyday things, what I'm actually doing is taking the measure of a person.


I wasn't monitoring your conversations so much as being enthralled by the fact that, each in your own way, you put a lot of stock in the role that nature plays in our lives. Only, again, for Satyr it's "Nature my way or the highway" while for you it more "nature my way and nature your way". That's why he is the fulminating fanatic objectivist to me and you are not.

But I'm not sure what you mean by my "disparaging remark" regarding your discussion being trivial. Can you note the specific instance of this?

What I recall noting was Satyr's own disparaging remark that "you are no Lyssa". If it was Satyr who noted it. And that revolves around the extent to which you dive down deep into the philosophical pool. He has his rendition of that and I have mine. Lyssa -- phoneutria?/Lys here -- was often way, way out in the deep end of the pool. And in that respect we somewhat overlap. But from very different frames of mind.

Maia wrote: If you have any questions about pretty much anything to do with my life, opinions, etc. then I'm more than happy to address them in as much detail as I can, but I really don't wish to keep going over the same old ground with regard to morality.


Well, in that case, this exchange too may well "collapse". And that is because for me philosophy does revolves around "morality here and now and immortality there and then". And any specific questions I might ask you [or anyone[ will eventually get back to that. Or in regard to the "big questions".

So, if you would prefer to move on to others instead, no problem. My respect for your intelligence, your opinions and your curiosity about the world around us will still stay the same. We'd just have different priorities.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

Postby Maia » Sat Nov 13, 2021 12:18 pm

+++Whatever demonstrable evidence they can provide. Imagine for example someone making the claim they they are in contact with the dead. They invite scientists and skeptics and magicians from around the globe to an actual séance in order to provide proof of their claim. Now, if this had ever been done and the proof was there, would it or would it not be "big news" around the world?+++

Yes, which is why it's probably not possible.

+++Okay, perhaps, but very, very few think "I" through here as I do. If you come to believe that you are this particular moral person only because existentially your life led up to it, that a different life might have led to very different moral convictions, and that given new experiences you may well come to believe that moral behaviors do revolve around just the opposite point of view, how much weight can you put on your moral values here and now?+++

As much weight as we wish to.

+++Actually, that may well be construed this way only because science has barely scratched the surface in understanding QM. Given this...

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe." nasa

...what on earth do we really know about randomness at all? Or even all the other the parts that add up to less than 5% of the universe. And that's before we get to the multiverse. Let alone the explanation for existence itself.

But one reaction I have encountered over and again in regard to this and morality: it means absolutely squat to the objectivists. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes between them and their own "one of us" vs. "one of them" mentality. Especially those like Adam/Ur Wrong If You Don't Think Like Me here. He's still around pummeling us with his own "Coalition of Truth" fulminating fanatic dogmas.+++

As I understand it, randomness is an essential part of quantum mechanics.

+++Okay, in regard to a particular issue like abortion [or one that is important to you] what does an inborn "sense pf morality" mean to you? What part of your conviction do you feel is derived from that and what part from your upbringing?

And if your upbringing had been very different and you came to reject Paganism in favor of say, Christianity or moral nihilism, how crucial could that inborn sense of morality then be?+++

Humans, unlike animals, have an inherent sense that there's such a thing as morality. How this sense manifests, however, can vary quite considerably.

+++Then, again, given a particular situation in which you see yourself as a moral person, what parts are locked in and what parts are not?+++

What is locked in is an innate sense of that there's such a thing as morality.

+++I do that only because from my frame of mind [and that's all it is, my own personal opinion] you are not addressing my points in depth. You respond with one or two sentences. I think you can do deeper and I'm trying to bring you to that. Or, sure, you may well become "bored" again with what you construe to be just the same questions, and this exchange too will "collapse".

If it happens it happens. I don't want it to but that part is only so much in my control.+++

My answers will get shorter and shorter, down to nothing at all, if I think I'm repeating myself. This is not a police interrogation, where the truth is approached by asking the same question over and over again in slightly different ways. It's a discussion, which will only continue if it remains interesting.

+++I wasn't monitoring your conversations so much as being enthralled by the fact that, each in your own way, you put a lot of stock in the role that nature plays in our lives. Only, again, for Satyr it's "Nature my way or the highway" while for you it more "nature my way and nature your way". That's why he is the fulminating fanatic objectivist to me and you are not.

But I'm not sure what you mean by my "disparaging remark" regarding your discussion being trivial. Can you note the specific instance of this?

What I recall noting was Satyr's own disparaging remark that "you are no Lyssa". If it was Satyr who noted it. And that revolves around the extent to which you dive down deep into the philosophical pool. He has his rendition of that and I have mine. Lyssa -- phoneutria?/Lys here -- was often way, way out in the deep end of the pool. And in that respect we somewhat overlap. But from very different frames of mind.+++

The point isn't really important enough for me to go through that whole thread of yours to find it. What I remember quite distinctly is that almost nothing that you said about my conversation was complimentary.

+++Well, in that case, this exchange too may well "collapse". And that is because for me philosophy does revolves around "morality here and now and immortality there and then". And any specific questions I might ask you [or anyone[ will eventually get back to that. Or in regard to the "big questions".

So, if you would prefer to move on to others instead, no problem. My respect for your intelligence, your opinions and your curiosity about the world around us will still stay the same. We'd just have different priorities.+++

As I said, if the conversation remains interesting, I'll carry on with it.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Sculptor » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:38 pm

Maia wrote:+++Whatever demonstrable evidence they can provide. Imagine for example someone making the claim they they are in contact with the dead. They invite scientists and skeptics and magicians from around the globe to an actual séance in order to provide proof of their claim. Now, if this had ever been done and the proof was there, would it or would it not be "big news" around the world?+++
.


It has been done, again, and again. There remains zero evidence for any such thing.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:24 pm

Whatever demonstrable evidence they can provide. Imagine for example someone making the claim they they are in contact with the dead. They invite scientists and skeptics and magicians from around the globe to an actual séance in order to provide proof of their claim. Now, if this had ever been done and the proof was there, would it or would it not be "big news" around the world?


Maia wrote: Yes, which is why it's probably not possible.


I agree. But what fascinates me most about the human mind here is how [in a free will world] it can "lock on target" to things like ghosts or gods, accept their existence, and never let go. They believe what comforts and consoles them above all else. Human beings [to the best of my knowledge] embody the only matter able to act out psychological defense mechanisms. And I know this myself above all else because of all the things that used to comfort and console me. So, concomitantly, I recognize that I can come off as dismissive of those who still do think like this. But, in part, merely because they still can and I cannot.

Okay, perhaps, but very, very few think "I" through here as I do. If you come to believe that you are this particular moral person only because existentially your life led up to it, that a different life might have led to very different moral convictions, and that given new experiences you may well come to believe that moral behaviors do revolve around just the opposite point of view, how much weight can you put on your moral values here and now?


Maia wrote: As much weight as we wish to.


Or, going back to those defense mechanisms, as much weight as you need to in order to sustain your comfort and consolation. And that brings us around to another aspect of human brain matter that sets us apart: the mysterious interaction between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. All intertwined deep down further in instincts and drives and libidos. It's a miracle we can understand as much as we think we do about ourselves. Let alone others.

Actually, that may well be construed this way only because science has barely scratched the surface in understanding QM. Given this...

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe." nasa

...what on earth do we really know about randomness at all? Or even all the other the parts that add up to less than 5% of the universe. And that's before we get to the multiverse. Let alone the explanation for existence itself.

But one reaction I have encountered over and again in regard to this and morality: it means absolutely squat to the objectivists. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes between them and their own "one of us" vs. "one of them" mentality. Especially those like Adam/Ur Wrong If You Don't Think Like Me here. He's still around pummeling us with his own "Coalition of Truth" fulminating fanatic dogmas.


Maia wrote: As I understand it, randomness is an essential part of quantum mechanics.


Okay, but then back to the point I make above about that. What are your thoughts here?

Okay, in regard to a particular issue like abortion [or one that is important to you] what does an inborn "sense pf morality" mean to you? What part of your conviction do you feel is derived from that and what part from your upbringing?

And if your upbringing had been very different and you came to reject Paganism in favor of say, Christianity or moral nihilism, how crucial could that inborn sense of morality then be?


Maia wrote: Humans, unlike animals, have an inherent sense that there's such a thing as morality. How this sense manifests, however, can vary quite considerably.


Yes, but this [to me] is just another "general description intellectual assessment". What I am asking you is how you have come to understand your own moral convictions relating to a particular issue like abortion. Where does your own genetic sense of morality end and the memetic morality begin? And if the memes in your life had been different and you had become a moral nihilist instead, how much weight can we put on the genetic variables? Those like Satyr would argue that while social memes can lead to defective, weak, "modern" men and women, Nature as he and only he understands it still no less ultimately in command.

Then, again, given a particular situation in which you see yourself as a moral person, what parts are locked in and what parts are not?


Maia wrote: What is locked in is an innate sense of that there's such a thing as morality.


On the other hand, how innate does it have to be? All human communities are comprised of men and women who want and need things. That's definitely built into our genetic code. But they want different things. And they squabble over the best way to provide for their needs. So "rules of behavior" must be arrived at such that certain behaviors are prescribed and certain behaviors are proscribed. Let's call this "morality". And then the species evolved further to the point where "surplus labor" resulted in those we call philosophers. And they could then concoct any number of intellectual contraptions to configure morality into ethics.

All I do then is to focus the beam in on what particular individuals tell us that they want and need. And what they have come to conclude we ought to do as a "society" to bring it all about. The part I root in dasein. The part you don't root in the Goddess...in Nature...but the part of you I struggle to understand better.

I do that only because from my frame of mind [and that's all it is, my own personal opinion] you are not addressing my points in depth. You respond with one or two sentences. I think you can do deeper and I'm trying to bring you to that. Or, sure, you may well become "bored" again with what you construe to be just the same questions, and this exchange too will "collapse".

If it happens it happens. I don't want it to but that part is only so much in my control.


Maia wrote: My answers will get shorter and shorter, down to nothing at all, if I think I'm repeating myself. This is not a police interrogation, where the truth is approached by asking the same question over and over again in slightly different ways. It's a discussion, which will only continue if it remains interesting.


But what you keep repeating...?

Okay, we can then just agree to disagree on how substantive those answers are. I don't think the depth of your answers match the breadth of my questions. But, if you are satisfied with them, I have to accept that. Although I'd like to be inside you in order understand it from your end. But that will never be.

So, in being "stuck" here, there will either be something that changes it or there won't.

I wasn't monitoring your conversations so much as being enthralled by the fact that, each in your own way, you put a lot of stock in the role that nature plays in our lives. Only, again, for Satyr it's "Nature my way or the highway" while for you it more "nature my way and nature your way". That's why he [like Adam] is the fulminating fanatic objectivist to me and you are not.

But I'm not sure what you mean by my "disparaging remark" regarding your discussion being trivial. Can you note the specific instance of this?

What I recall noting was Satyr's own disparaging remark that "you are no Lyssa". If it was Satyr who noted it. And that revolves around the extent to which you dive down deep into the philosophical pool. He has his rendition of that and I have mine. Lyssa -- phoneutria?/Lys here -- was often way, way out in the deep end of the pool. And in that respect we somewhat overlap. But from very different frames of mind.


Maia wrote: The point isn't really important enough for me to go through that whole thread of yours to find it. What I remember quite distinctly is that almost nothing that you said about my conversation was complimentary.


On the other hand, in threads of that sort, I am often in my full-blown polemicist mode. The whole point is to be provocative. With some, that actually propels them out into the deep end of the pool. It provokes them to dig deep in order to pin me to the mat. Philosophically as it were.

Well, in that case, this exchange too may well "collapse". And that is because for me philosophy does revolves around "morality here and now and immortality there and then". And any specific questions I might ask you [or anyone[ will eventually get back to that. Or in regard to the "big questions".

So, if you would prefer to move on to others instead, no problem. My respect for your intelligence, your opinions and your curiosity about the world around us will still stay the same. We'd just have different priorities.


Maia wrote: As I said, if the conversation remains interesting, I'll carry on with it.


Fair enough.


By the way...

I am re-watching a 2014 Norwegian film called Blind.

I'll include my reaction to it on my now defunct film thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... t#p2631307

What is interesting is that it explores the life of a woman who, unlike you, was not born blind but lost her sight when she was in her 20's or 30's. Her name is Ingrid. Through her we are able to imagine what it might be like to have been sighted and then to have lost your vision. How traumatic that can be. She is holed up in her apartment unable to go out again into the world. We watch as she must reorient all of her behaviors to her new reality. We note some of the devises invented to accommodate those who are blind. Like this device she can use to touch clothing...a device that is actually able to tell her the colors of the clothes. Mind-boggling stuff.

There are three other characters in the film and the plot also revolves around human relationships in the modern world. Especially in regard to sex and pornography. Blindness perhaps as a "metaphor" for many things other than vision itself.

Edit:

The trailer from my film thread is no longer available. So here is one that is: https://youtu.be/sAZYSxl-1zs

Unfortunately, it is in Norwegian.

If you have any interest, perhaps one of you sighted friends can watch it.
Last edited by iambiguous on Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:53 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

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

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:36 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Maia wrote:+++Whatever demonstrable evidence they can provide. Imagine for example someone making the claim they they are in contact with the dead. They invite scientists and skeptics and magicians from around the globe to an actual séance in order to provide proof of their claim. Now, if this had ever been done and the proof was there, would it or would it not be "big news" around the world?+++
.


It has been done, again, and again. There remains zero evidence for any such thing.


Maia didn't write that, I did.

And you are no less fanatical about No God as others here are about their God.

It seems far less important to you to explore the existence God than that others think exactly like you do that He does not exist.

Going back, perhaps, to your complete understanding of the existence of existence itself?

Come on, like God isn't at least one possible explanation for it.

Me, my own interest in a God, the God revolves more around theodicy:

"Okay, let's assume this God of yours does exists. How then is He not a sadistic monster?"
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

Postby Maia » Mon Nov 15, 2021 5:28 pm

+++I agree. But what fascinates me most about the human mind here is how [in a free will world] it can "lock on target" to things like ghosts or gods, accept their existence, and never let go. They believe what comforts and consoles them above all else. Human beings [to the best of my knowledge] embody the only matter able to act out psychological defense mechanisms. And I know this myself above all else because of all the things that used to comfort and console me. So, concomitantly, I recognize that I can come off as dismissive of those who still do think like this. But, in part, merely because they still can and I cannot.+++

I think that sort of opinion can only really be held by people who have never experienced such things. Your own belief in their nonexistence seems just as dogmatic to me as those who think they have all the answers about them.

+++Or, going back to those defense mechanisms, as much weight as you need to in order to sustain your comfort and consolation. And that brings us around to another aspect of human brain matter that sets us apart: the mysterious interaction between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. All intertwined deep down further in instincts and drives and libidos. It's a miracle we can understand as much as we think we do about ourselves. Let alone others.+++

Yes, I agree. They key to understanding oneself and others, I think, is intuition. Nature has given us this ability for a very good reason.

+++Okay, but then back to the point I make above about that. What are your thoughts here?+++

On the subject of dark matter, as I think I said some months ago, if there's so much of it in the universe, far more than ordinary matter, and it's everywhere, all around us, then it sounds like a perfect medium for the existence of spirits, souls, and so on. That's just an idea though, and certainly not one that I'm committed to.

+++Yes, but this [to me] is just another "general description intellectual assessment". What I am asking you is how you have come to understand your own moral convictions relating to a particular issue like abortion. Where does your own genetic sense of morality end and the memetic morality begin? And if the memes in your life had been different and you had become a moral nihilist instead, how much weight can we put on the genetic variables? Those like Satyr would argue that while social memes can lead to defective, weak, "modern" men and women, Nature as he and only he understands it still no less ultimately in command.+++

I would say that most people are genetically hardwired to think that killing their own children is wrong. But an increasingly large number of people have had this instinct suppressed by social pressure and propaganda. This has probably had a disastrous impact on society as a whole, in ways that most people don't even realise. If a society sanctions, and then, over time, encourages, people to kill their own unborn babies, what does that tell people, on a subconscious level, about morality as a whole? I think it tells them that there's no such thing, and the results are all around us.

For example, there is currently a concerted attack on the existence of women's personal spaces, in the form of "transwomen" being allowed to use women's toilets, bathrooms, etc. This is even backed up by law, where "transphobia" has become a hate crime. A society that makes it illegal to state a biological fact, namely, that men can't become women, is a society that is sick to the core. We had our own experience of this at the leisure centre a couple of years ago, when the company wanted to make our toilets unisex, and erase other gender distinctions too, such as different uniforms for male and female employees, and so on. We overwhelmingly voted against this and threatened to go on strike, so they backed down, but it's surely only a matter of time before they try again.

+++On the other hand, how innate does it have to be? All human communities are comprised of men and women who want and need things. That's definitely built into our genetic code. But they want different things. And they squabble over the best way to provide for their needs. So "rules of behavior" must be arrived at such that certain behaviors are prescribed and certain behaviors are proscribed. Let's call this "morality". And then the species evolved further to the point where "surplus labor" resulted in those we call philosophers. And they could then concoct any number of intellectual contraptions to configure morality into ethics.

All I do then is to focus the beam in on what particular individuals tell us that they want and need. And what they have come to conclude we ought to do as a "society" to bring it all about. The part I root in dasein. The part you don't root in the Goddess...in Nature...but the part of you I struggle to understand better.+++

Actually, in most cases, people want the same things. Those communities who learn that co-operation is far more successful in getting them are the ones that survive and reproduce.

+++But what you keep repeating...?

Okay, we can then just agree to disagree on how substantive those answers are. I don't think the depth of your answers match the breadth of my questions. But, if you are satisfied with them, I have to accept that. Although I'd like to be inside you in order understand it from your end. But that will never be.

So, in being "stuck" here, there will either be something that changes it or there won't.+++

Just try and vary your questions a bit, that's all.

+++On the other hand, in threads of that sort, I am often in my full-blown polemicist mode. The whole point is to be provocative. With some, that actually propels them out into the deep end of the pool. It provokes them to dig deep in order to pin me to the mat. Philosophically as it were.+++

Well, that sort of approach doesn't work with me, I'm afraid.

+++By the way...

I am re-watching a 2014 Norwegian film called Blind.

I'll include my reaction to it on my now defunct film thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... t#p2631307

What is interesting is that it explores the life of a woman who, unlike you, was not born blind but lost her sight when she was in her 20's or 30's. Her name is Ingrid. Through her we are able to imagine what it might be like to have been sighted and then to have lost your vision. How traumatic that can be. She is holed up in her apartment unable to go out again into the world. We watch as she must reorient all of her behaviors to her new reality. We note some of the devises invented to accommodate those who are blind. Like this device she can use to touch clothing...a device that is actually able to tell her the colors of the clothes. Mind-boggling stuff.

There are three other characters in the film and the plot also revolves around human relationships in the modern world. Especially in regard to sex and pornography. Blindness perhaps as a "metaphor" for many things other than vision itself.

Edit:

The trailer from my film thread is no longer available. So here is one that is: https://youtu.be/sAZYSxl-1zs

Unfortunately, it is in Norwegian.

If you have any interest, perhaps one of you sighted friends can watch it.+++

Yes, you can get colour identifiers. I've never bothered with one myself, though.

https://shop.rnib.org.uk/colorino-talki ... t-detector

Not sure what to make of the film itself though, not being familiar with it. I don't really agree with making blindness a metaphor for other things, though I suppose it's inevitable that people will do that.

Talking of films, Serendipity was on when I was round at my parents' yesterday. Gets me every time. I was crying my eyes out at the end, and I mean that absolutely literally.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby promethean75 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 5:56 pm

I should now like to confer authority in such matters to whomsoever demonstrates the greatest possible knowledge in matters of ontology, for it would be by this judgement that such matters might reach conclusion concerning the possibility and nature of 'ghosts', if indeed such things do exist.

http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/C ... et5652.htm
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:15 am

promethean75 wrote:I should now like to confer authority in such matters to whomsoever demonstrates the greatest possible knowledge in matters of ontology, for it would be by this judgement that such matters might reach conclusion concerning the possibility and nature of 'ghosts', if indeed such things do exist.

http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/C ... et5652.htm


Ok, don't leave us in suspense, then. What did Hugo Boxel say in his reply to Spinoza, and how did Spinoza respond?

What this illustrates, in fact, is that ghosts have always been with us, and all cultures in the world have similar stories about them, throughout history.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:29 pm

I agree. But what fascinates me most about the human mind here is how [in a free will world] it can "lock on target" to things like ghosts or gods, accept their existence, and never let go. They believe what comforts and consoles them above all else. Human beings [to the best of my knowledge] embody the only matter able to act out psychological defense mechanisms. And I know this myself above all else because of all the things that used to comfort and console me. So, concomitantly, I recognize that I can come off as dismissive of those who still do think like this. But, in part, merely because they still can and I cannot.


Maia wrote: I think that sort of opinion can only really be held by people who have never experienced such things. Your own belief in their nonexistence seems just as dogmatic to me as those who think they have all the answers about them.


I would never say that they don't exist. I would only point out that I have never had an experience that prompted me to believe that they do. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one who claims to have had such an experience has ever been able to demonstrate it such that it has caught the attention of world. Again, imagine if it was demonstrated conclusively that ghosts exist. That would mean some evidence of life after death. It's all most of us would be talking about for days. Instead, I suspect, ghosts and Gods are believed in because it provides many with the comfort and consolation they need in regard to crucial aspects on both sides of the grave.

Or, going back to those defense mechanisms, as much weight as you need to in order to sustain your comfort and consolation. And that brings us around to another aspect of human brain matter that sets us apart: the mysterious interaction between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. All intertwined deep down further in instincts and drives and libidos. It's a miracle we can understand as much as we think we do about ourselves. Let alone others.


Maia wrote: Yes, I agree. They key to understanding oneself and others, I think, is intuition. Nature has given us this ability for a very good reason.


Intuition of course is particularly mysterious. It's that part of my "self" that seems to intertwine the conscious, rational mind with the subjunctive -- subconscious, unconscious -- "I". All in turn embedded in the deeper, even more primitive components of the brain. So, in that respect, the first thing I would ask you is where you draw the line in regard to the behaviors you choose between the intuitive "I" and the existential "I" rooted in dasein?

And what I always come back to here is how often we don't come even close to fully grasping or controlling all the variables that predispose us to think what we do about our moral and political and spiritual beliefs. That's why we take our existential leaps to religious and secular fonts. That's the source of whatever comfort and consolation we can find in world that can be profoundly problematic and precarious. Or at least it certainly once had been for me. Just not anymore.

Okay, but then back to the point I make above about that. What are your thoughts here?


Maia wrote: On the subject of dark matter, as I think I said some months ago, if there's so much of it in the universe, far more than ordinary matter, and it's everywhere, all around us, then it sounds like a perfect medium for the existence of spirits, souls, and so on. That's just an idea though, and certainly not one that I'm committed to.


Yes, that is one possibility. Just thinking about dark matter and dark energy is kind of, well, spooky. Not to mention those who argue that the staggering expanse of our own universe is just but one in an infinity of universes in the multiverse. Only, unlike others, for me it just makes the "infinitesimal insignificance" of "I" all that much more staggering itself. All the more reason for a font to anchor I to.

Yes, but this [to me] is just another "general description intellectual assessment". What I am asking you is how you have come to understand your own moral convictions relating to a particular issue like abortion. Where does your own genetic sense of morality end and the memetic morality begin? And if the memes in your life had been different and you had become a moral nihilist instead, how much weight can we put on the genetic variables? Those like Satyr would argue that while social memes can lead to defective, weak, "modern" men and women, Nature as he and only he understands it still no less ultimately in command.


Maia wrote: I would say that most people are genetically hardwired to think that killing their own children is wrong. But an increasingly large number of people have had this instinct suppressed by social pressure and propaganda.


Yes, that makes sense to me as well. As a species, we come into the world hard wired to sustain our existence. And killing off the next generations will hardly accomplish that. But each individual woman who becomes pregnant is confronted with her own set of circumstances. Nature doesn't always prevail. My point is that we can never discount nature here, but nurture in the form of any number of social, political and economic memes rooted in all manner of historical, cultural and personal contexts, accounts for the virtually infinite individual permutations that I then root dasein in. Whereas others [like Satyr] are more adamant that genes rule the roost here. Ah, but only if you agree with him about what, for all practical purposes, that means. Disagree and you become a "modern" or a "retard" or a "nihilist".

Maia wrote: This has probably had a disastrous impact on society as a whole, in ways that most people don't even realise. If a society sanctions, and then, over time, encourages, people to kill their own unborn babies, what does that tell people, on a subconscious level, about morality as a whole? I think it tells them that there's no such thing, and the results are all around us.


Sure, if it reaches the point where far more babies are aborted than are born. But even then in my view it's not inherently or necessarily immoral. For that to be the case you would need a transcending font that mere mortals can turn to for The Final Answer.

And, if I understand you, some Pagans on their own personal path with nature come to conclude that abortion is moral, while others on their paths come to conclude it is immoral. Which seems in sync with my own understanding of nature itself being ultimately amoral. Through nature you can come to completely conflicting renditions of what it means to be a "moral person". Then we get to the parts where we go in different directions.

Maia wrote: For example, there is currently a concerted attack on the existence of women's personal spaces, in the form of "transwomen" being allowed to use women's toilets, bathrooms, etc. This is even backed up by law, where "transphobia" has become a hate crime. A society that makes it illegal to state a biological fact, namely, that men can't become women, is a society that is sick to the core.


This, in my view, is merely a particular political prejudice that you have come to acquire existentially -- re dasein -- as a result of the life that you have lived. Back again to how you would seemingly agree that had your parents died when you were a baby and you had been raised in a completely different family resulting in your having lived a completely different life you might well be here defending "transwomen". And how given new experiences, relationships and information/knowledge/ideas you might change your mind and end up defending them. You might be arguing that it is "sick" to deny "transwomen" these rights.

Or I would have to understand more fully how all of this works for you here in regard to a "natural morality" you believe we are born with.

Here your arguments are [to me] more along the lines of Satyr's: gender roles are fixed by nature and any attempt to dispute what he believes about them makes you "sick". How about you, are others inherently, necessarily "sick" if they don't share your point of view? Or, like you, did they come to acquire their opinion given the political prejudices that they acquired either through their indoctrination as children or through the existential trajectory of their uniquely personal lives.

On the other hand, how innate does it have to be? All human communities are comprised of men and women who want and need things. That's definitely built into our genetic code. But they want different things. And they squabble over the best way to provide for their needs. So "rules of behavior" must be arrived at such that certain behaviors are prescribed and certain behaviors are proscribed. Let's call this "morality". And then the species evolved further to the point where "surplus labor" resulted in those we call philosophers. And they could then concoct any number of intellectual contraptions to configure morality into ethics.

All I do then is to focus the beam in on what particular individuals tell us that they want and need. And what they have come to conclude we ought to do as a "society" to bring it all about. The part I root in dasein. The part you don't root in the Goddess...in Nature...but the part of you I struggle to understand better.


Maia wrote: Actually, in most cases, people want the same things. Those communities who learn that co-operation is far more successful in getting them are the ones that survive and reproduce.


Well, we think differently about that. In most cases, people need the same things: food, water, clothing, shelter, defense from enemies either in or out of the community, a more or less stable environment to reproduce the community. Here, however, there are those who construe themselves as a "moral person" to the extent they insist all of this must revolve more around capitalism than socialism.

But what people want? Now that is all over the moral, political and spiritual board. Here deeming oneself to be a "moral person" can lead to any number of conflicts. Not sure what that means? Just follow "the news" for a few weeks.

But what you keep repeating...?

Okay, we can then just agree to disagree on how substantive those answers are. I don't think the depth of your answers match the breadth of my questions. But, if you are satisfied with them, I have to accept that. Although I'd like to be inside you in order understand it from your end. But that will never be.

So, in being "stuck" here, there will either be something that changes it or there won't.


Maia wrote: Just try and vary your questions a bit, that's all.


Well, that is often entirely dependent on what your answers are. If they seem [to me] more or less on the surface, all I can do is to try, try again. Now, I'm not judging you here in the sense that I'm insisting my frame of mind is more reasonable than yours. I'm merely noting the obvious: that in the absence of the machine allowing me to be inside you, all I can do is take a stab at it given what information you do provide to me by way of your thinking about morality and nature and dasein.

On the other hand, in threads of that sort, I am often in my full-blown polemicist mode. The whole point is to be provocative. With some, that actually propels them out into the deep end of the pool. It provokes them to dig deep in order to pin me to the mat. Philosophically as it were.


Maia wrote: Well, that sort of approach doesn't work with me, I'm afraid.


Fair enough.

Note to Bob:

It doesn't work with you either, eh? :wink:

By the way...

I am re-watching a 2014 Norwegian film called Blind.

I'll include my reaction to it on my now defunct film thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... t#p2631307

What is interesting is that it explores the life of a woman who, unlike you, was not born blind but lost her sight when she was in her 20's or 30's. Her name is Ingrid. Through her we are able to imagine what it might be like to have been sighted and then to have lost your vision. How traumatic that can be. She is holed up in her apartment unable to go out again into the world. We watch as she must reorient all of her behaviors to her new reality. We note some of the devises invented to accommodate those who are blind. Like this device she can use to touch clothing...a device that is actually able to tell her the colors of the clothes. Mind-boggling stuff.

There are three other characters in the film and the plot also revolves around human relationships in the modern world. Especially in regard to sex and pornography. Blindness perhaps as a "metaphor" for many things other than vision itself.

Edit:

The trailer from my film thread is no longer available. So here is one that is: https://youtu.be/sAZYSxl-1zs

Unfortunately, it is in Norwegian.

If you have any interest, perhaps one of you sighted friends can watch it.


Maia wrote: Yes, you can get colour identifiers. I've never bothered with one myself, though.

https://shop.rnib.org.uk/colorino-talki ... t-detector


Yes, the technology is simply astonishing. It makes you wonder how, if those who were blind and died hundreds of years ago, were able to come back and be made aware of the modern technological marvels, they might react. And me, I'm still completely baffled by most of it. It might well be "magic" to me. Basically akin to the "supernatural". I mean, here we are, using a technology in which I type this on Wordpad from Baltimore, copy and paste it to ILP, click on the "submit" button and -- Presto! -- it shows up on your computer in England, thousands of miles away.

Maia wrote: Not sure what to make of the film itself though, not being familiar with it. I don't really agree with making blindness a metaphor for other things, though I suppose it's inevitable that people will do that.


Trust me: it's a film that makes you think. And not just about blindness.

As for metaphors, they would seem to be inevitable here. People are literally blind. So, many are inclined to think, in what other ways can they be blind -- not see, not understand -- as well.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:30 pm

+++I would never say that they don't exist. I would only point out that I have never had an experience that prompted me to believe that they do. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one who claims to have had such an experience has ever been able to demonstrate it such that it has caught the attention of world. Again, imagine if it was demonstrated conclusively that ghosts exist. That would mean some evidence of life after death. It's all most of us would be talking about for days. Instead, I suspect, ghosts and Gods are believed in because it provides many with the comfort and consolation they need in regard to crucial aspects on both sides of the grave.+++

On the other hand, those who experience such things might say that they already have all the proof they need. The fact that sceptics refuse to make the effort to experience these things for themselves is entirely up to them.

Prove to me that the colour green exists.

+++Intuition of course is particularly mysterious. It's that part of my "self" that seems to intertwine the conscious, rational mind with the subjunctive -- subconscious, unconscious -- "I". All in turn embedded in the deeper, even more primitive components of the brain. So, in that respect, the first thing I would ask you is where you draw the line in regard to the behaviors you choose between the intuitive "I" and the existential "I" rooted in dasein?

And what I always come back to here is how often we don't come even close to fully grasping or controlling all the variables that predispose us to think what we do about our moral and political and spiritual beliefs. That's why we take our existential leaps to religious and secular fonts. That's the source of whatever comfort and consolation we can find in world that can be profoundly problematic and precarious. Or at least it certainly once had been for me. Just not anymore.+++

Should you use the term "subjunctive" correctly, I might come back to you on that...

I don't draw any line between behaviours I choose intuitively and those I choose for any other reason. At best, it's a sliding scale between intuition and logic, but in practice, both elements are always at work to a greater or lesser extent.

+++Yes, that is one possibility. Just thinking about dark matter and dark energy is kind of, well, spooky. Not to mention those who argue that the staggering expanse of our own universe is just but one in an infinity of universes in the multiverse. Only, unlike others, for me it just makes the "infinitesimal insignificance" of "I" all that much more staggering itself. All the more reason for a font to anchor I to.+++

When I hear about infinite multiverses and so on, I tend to think, isn't that just a bit excessive? Also, the idea that the vast majority of matter in the universe is dark matter might indicate that there's something wrong with the current theories.

+++Yes, that makes sense to me as well. As a species, we come into the world hard wired to sustain our existence. And killing off the next generations will hardly accomplish that. But each individual woman who becomes pregnant is confronted with her own set of circumstances. Nature doesn't always prevail. My point is that we can never discount nature here, but nurture in the form of any number of social, political and economic memes rooted in all manner of historical, cultural and personal contexts, accounts for the virtually infinite individual permutations that I then root dasein in. Whereas others [like Satyr] are more adamant that genes rule the roost here. Ah, but only if you agree with him about what, for all practical purposes, that means. Disagree and you become a "modern" or a "retard" or a "nihilist".+++

Yes, nature and nurture all play a part.

I disagreed with Satyr about a number of things but still found him polite and respectuful.

+++Sure, if it reaches the point where far more babies are aborted than are born. But even then in my view it's not inherently or necessarily immoral. For that to be the case you would need a transcending font that mere mortals can turn to for The Final Answer.

And, if I understand you, some Pagans on their own personal path with nature come to conclude that abortion is moral, while others on their paths come to conclude it is immoral. Which seems in sync with my own understanding of nature itself being ultimately amoral. Through nature you can come to completely conflicting renditions of what it means to be a "moral person". Then we get to the parts where we go in different directions.+++

So essentially, you don't actually believe there is such a thing as morality, by the sound of it. And yet you accept that a sense morality is something that has been given to us by evolution. Isn't that a contradiction?

As I've mentioned before, support for aborton is undoubtedly a minority view among Pagans. I think you're under the impression that Pagans can randomly come to any conclusion at all about what is, and isn't, moral. But in practice that's not the case.

+++This, in my view, is merely a particular political prejudice that you have come to acquire existentially -- re dasein -- as a result of the life that you have lived. Back again to how you would seemingly agree that had your parents died when you were a baby and you had been raised in a completely different family resulting in your having lived a completely different life you might well be here defending "transwomen". And how given new experiences, relationships and information/knowledge/ideas you might change your mind and end up defending them. You might be arguing that it is "sick" to deny "transwomen" these rights.

Or I would have to understand more fully how all of this works for you here in regard to a "natural morality" you believe we are born with.

Here your arguments are [to me] more along the lines of Satyr's: gender roles are fixed by nature and any attempt to dispute what he believes about them makes you "sick". How about you, are others inherently, necessarily "sick" if they don't share your point of view? Or, like you, did they come to acquire their opinion given the political prejudices that they acquired either through their indoctrination as children or through the existential trajectory of their uniquely personal lives.+++

I think people can call themselves what they like. What I object to is being forced, by law, or some other form of pressure, to agree with them. Gender itself is fixed by nature, and this then plays out into gender roles. This is not to say that gender roles as a whole are fixed by nature, but nature is undoubtedly the starting point for them. And nor is it saying that any particular individual has to conform to traditional gender roles, either.

+++Well, we think differently about that. In most cases, people need the same things: food, water, clothing, shelter, defense from enemies either in or out of the community, a more or less stable environment to reproduce the community. Here, however, there are those who construe themselves as a "moral person" to the extent they insist all of this must revolve more around capitalism than socialism.

But what people want? Now that is all over the moral, political and spiritual board. Here deeming oneself to be a "moral person" can lead to any number of conflicts. Not sure what that means? Just follow "the news" for a few weeks.+++

Again, I'm not sure what you're saying here, other than the obvious, namely, that people have different opinions about what's right, and this can lead to conflict. As always, my response is, imagine the alternative, where everyone is exactly the same. Sounds a bit dull, doesn't it. Dull, and impossible.

+++Well, that is often entirely dependent on what your answers are. If they seem [to me] more or less on the surface, all I can do is to try, try again. Now, I'm not judging you here in the sense that I'm insisting my frame of mind is more reasonable than yours. I'm merely noting the obvious: that in the absence of the machine allowing me to be inside you, all I can do is take a stab at it given what information you do provide to me by way of your thinking about morality and nature and dasein.+++

If I'm questioning somebody on something, I always try and tailor my questions to get the best and most detailed answers.

+++Yes, the technology is simply astonishing. It makes you wonder how, if those who were blind and died hundreds of years ago, were able to come back and be made aware of the modern technological marvels, they might react. And me, I'm still completely baffled by most of it. It might well be "magic" to me. Basically akin to the "supernatural". I mean, here we are, using a technology in which I type this on Wordpad from Baltimore, copy and paste it to ILP, click on the "submit" button and -- Presto! -- it shows up on your computer in England, thousands of miles away.+++

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, which I believe comes from Arthur C. Clarke, but with which, as it happens, I disagree, because it implies that magic is somehow fantastic and can only be emulated by advanced technology. In fact, I think magic is all around us, and is actually very simple, and probably related to electro-magnetism.

+++Trust me: it's a film that makes you think. And not just about blindness.

As for metaphors, they would seem to be inevitable here. People are literally blind. So, many are inclined to think, in what other ways can they be blind -- not see, not understand -- as well.+++

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see, and so on. Personally, I regard being blind not as fodder for a lazy metaphor, but rather, as the driving force for my desire for self-reliance and self-knowledge. Which is pretty much the opposite of what the metaphor is saying.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:48 pm

I would never say that they don't exist. I would only point out that I have never had an experience that prompted me to believe that they do. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one who claims to have had such an experience has ever been able to demonstrate it such that it has caught the attention of world. Again, imagine if it was demonstrated conclusively that ghosts exist. That would mean some evidence of life after death. It's all most of us would be talking about for days. Instead, I suspect, ghosts and Gods are believed in because it provides many with the comfort and consolation they need in regard to crucial aspects on both sides of the grave.


Maia wrote:On the other hand, those who experience such things might say that they already have all the proof they need. The fact that sceptics refuse to make the effort to experience these things for themselves is entirely up to them.


I agree. If they have in fact had an experience and that is all the proof they need, more power to them. I would certainly not argue that because I have not had a similar experience their own experiences doesn't count. Only that merely in noting this experience it is not likely to bring the world around to exploring the implications of the experience for others. And they are either able to convey this experience to others allowing them to experience it in turn or they're not. And even the wanting to make the effort to experience them is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.

Maia wrote: Prove to me that the colour green exists.


We'll, using that device from the movie Blind, it would tell you that something was green. You'd accept that as proof or not. In any event, the color green [for me] has nothing to do with the existence of an afterlife...unlike ghosts. Although, being color blind, color in itself can get tricky for me.

Intuition of course is particularly mysterious. It's that part of my "self" that seems to intertwine the conscious, rational mind with the subjunctive -- subconscious, unconscious -- "I". All in turn embedded in the deeper, even more primitive components of the brain. So, in that respect, the first thing I would ask you is where you draw the line in regard to the behaviors you choose between the intuitive "I" and the existential "I" rooted in dasein?

And what I always come back to here is how often we don't come even close to fully grasping or controlling all the variables that predispose us to think what we do about our moral and political and spiritual beliefs. That's why we take our existential leaps to religious and secular fonts. That's the source of whatever comfort and consolation we can find in world that can be profoundly problematic and precarious. Or at least it certainly once had been for me. Just not anymore.


Maia wrote:Should you use the term "subjunctive" correctly, I might come back to you on that...


What is the correct usage? I use it to convey our reaction to the world around us as a "mood...to express various states of irreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion...".

Maia wrote: I don't draw any line between behaviours I choose intuitively and those I choose for any other reason. At best, it's a sliding scale between intuition and logic, but in practice, both elements are always at work to a greater or lesser extent.


In other words, given things like ghosts and Gods and Goddesses and even nature itself, you have your sliding scale and others have theirs. So how can it not ultimately come down to that which might be demonstrated to exist such that reason and logic allow us to communicate without [or with a minimum of] ambiguity and uncertainty?

I simply suggest that in regard to moral and political values, the ambiguity and uncertainty are all the more subjective/subjunctive.

Yes, that is one possibility. Just thinking about dark matter and dark energy is kind of, well, spooky. Not to mention those who argue that the staggering expanse of our own universe is just but one in an infinity of universes in the multiverse. Only, unlike others, for me it just makes the "infinitesimal insignificance" of "I" all that much more staggering itself. All the more reason for a font to anchor I to.


Maia wrote: When I hear about infinite multiverses and so on, I tend to think, isn't that just a bit excessive? Also, the idea that the vast majority of matter in the universe is dark matter might indicate that there's something wrong with the current theories.


Back again to why proof that human ghosts exist is important to those like me. Since "here and now" I believe that death = oblivion, I will go to the grave oblivious in turn to how the matter is finally resolved. If it can be resolved at all. For most religious people, it all gets "explained" by God.

And for Pagans: https://www.patheos.com/library/pagan/b ... -salvation

"Most Pagans would regard concepts such as salvation or justification as meaningless to their spiritual path. With no transcendent deity who acts as judge and no concept of sin, logically no need for salvation or atonement exists. Incentives to live a good life do not involve pleasing a god or goddess who is exterior to one's self; rather, virtue and honor are their own rewards and one engages in such behavior out of a sense of love and personal pride."

And then the part where [for me] this is all as much rooted in dasein as in nature.

Yes, that makes sense to me as well. As a species, we come into the world hard wired to sustain our existence. And killing off the next generations will hardly accomplish that. But each individual woman who becomes pregnant is confronted with her own set of circumstances. Nature doesn't always prevail. My point is that we can never discount nature here, but nurture in the form of any number of social, political and economic memes rooted in all manner of historical, cultural and personal contexts, accounts for the virtually infinite individual permutations that I then root dasein in. Whereas others [like Satyr] are more adamant that genes rule the roost here. Ah, but only if you agree with him about what, for all practical purposes, that means. Disagree and you become a "modern" or a "retard" or a "nihilist".


Maia wrote: Yes, nature and nurture all play a part.


More to the point [mine] the thousands upon thousands of variables that intertwine them on our sojourn from the cradle to the grave make even our own understanding of why we do the things we do [and not other things] problematic to say the least. Thus the need for Gods and other foundations to psychologically anchor the Self to.

Maia wrote: I disagreed with Satyr about a number of things but still found him polite and respectuful.


I have my own subjective rooted-in-dasein conjectures regarding him. We go way back. To dungeons and chimps and the like.

Sure, if it reaches the point where far more babies are aborted than are born. But even then in my view it's not inherently or necessarily immoral. For that to be the case you would need a transcending font that mere mortals can turn to for The Final Answer.

And, if I understand you, some Pagans on their own personal path with nature come to conclude that abortion is moral, while others on their paths come to conclude it is immoral. Which seems in sync with my own understanding of nature itself being ultimately amoral. Through nature you can come to completely conflicting renditions of what it means to be a "moral person". Then we get to the parts where we go in different directions.


Maia wrote: So essentially, you don't actually believe there is such a thing as morality, by the sound of it. And yet you accept that a sense morality is something that has been given to us by evolution. Isn't that a contradiction?


Not really. Nature brings us into a particular world historically and culturally...and in terms of our own personal experiences. Biological imperatives that revolve around wants and needs. But these wants and needs come into conflict in any given community. Rules of behaviors -- rewards and punishments -- are required. It's this that we call morality. Or what philosophers often call ethics.

My quest here then revolves around whether philosophically, politically and/or spiritually, we can arrive at the optimal rules of behavior. The part I embed in my own subjective/subjunctive understanding of dasein. The part that prompted me to dig the hole "I" am in in regard to the is/ought world. The part where I grapple with why [and how] others don't think the same.

Maia wrote: As I've mentioned before, support for abortion is undoubtedly a minority view among Pagans. I think you're under the impression that Pagans can randomly come to any conclusion at all about what is, and isn't, moral. But in practice that's not the case.


No, the part that still escapes my understanding is how John the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is immoral while Jane the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is moral. Then John impregnates Jane and Jane aborts the embryo/fetus. How can John not then deem Jane to have acted immorally? And how in a community of Pagans are those crucial "rules of behavior"/rewards and punishments relating to all of the other "conflicting goods" that pop up on the news, dealt with? Who decides which behaviors get rewarded and punished when Pagans on both sides of issues are convinced that their own relationship with nature has provided them with what turns out to be conflicting moral convictions?

Again, the part that I, instead, root in dasein.

This, in my view, is merely a particular political prejudice that you have come to acquire existentially -- re dasein -- as a result of the life that you have lived. Back again to how you would seemingly agree that had your parents died when you were a baby and you had been raised in a completely different family resulting in your having lived a completely different life you might well be here defending "transwomen". And how given new experiences, relationships and information/knowledge/ideas you might change your mind and end up defending them. You might be arguing that it is "sick" to deny "transwomen" these rights.

Or I would have to understand more fully how all of this works for you here in regard to a "natural morality" you believe we are born with.

Here your arguments are [to me] more along the lines of Satyr's: gender roles are fixed by nature and any attempt to dispute what he believes about them makes you "sick". How about you, are others inherently, necessarily "sick" if they don't share your point of view? Or, like you, did they come to acquire their opinion given the political prejudices that they acquired either through their indoctrination as children or through the existential trajectory of their uniquely personal lives.


Maia wrote: I think people can call themselves what they like. What I object to is being forced, by law, or some other form of pressure, to agree with them.


But my point is that we call ourselves things here that are profoundly rooted in dasein. And those who pass laws to force others to think like they do are no less choosing to do so given that had they come to live very different lives, they might instead be defending the other side themselves. This is the part that, in my view, moral and political objectivists don't think through "out in the deep end of the pool". Both philosophically and "for all practical purposes". Because if they did, in my view, they might start to question their own value judgments.

Maia wrote: Gender itself is fixed by nature, and this then plays out into gender roles. This is not to say that gender roles as a whole are fixed by nature, but nature is undoubtedly the starting point for them. And nor is it saying that any particular individual has to conform to traditional gender roles, either.


Yes, nature is the starting point. But nurture can reconfigure that in any number of ways. Mentally, emotionally and psychologically there do in fact exist those who think of themselves as in "the wrong body". They get a new one. Just as some are driven to form relationships with others of the same sex. Nature and nurture for any particular individual here can become a very, very complex relationship.

Well, we think differently about that. In most cases, people need the same things: food, water, clothing, shelter, defense from enemies either in or out of the community, a more or less stable environment to reproduce the community. Here, however, there are those who construe themselves as a "moral person" to the extent they insist all of this must revolve more around capitalism than socialism.

But what people want? Now that is all over the moral, political and spiritual board. Here deeming oneself to be a "moral person" can lead to any number of conflicts. Not sure what that means? Just follow "the news" for a few weeks.


Maia wrote: Again, I'm not sure what you're saying here, other than the obvious, namely, that people have different opinions about what's right, and this can lead to conflict. As always, my response is, imagine the alternative, where everyone is exactly the same. Sounds a bit dull, doesn't it. Dull, and impossible.


No, my focus is less on what people think is right and wrong and more on how they came to think what they do. Existentially, given the life they lived. And, in fact, it is precisely the moral and political and spiritual objectivists among us who insist that everyone should think exactly like they do. Or else. Look at Urwrong/Adam casting aspersions on all those here who don't think as he does about God. His God. His very own religious "Coalition of Truth".

Well, that is often entirely dependent on what your answers are. If they seem [to me] more or less on the surface, all I can do is to try, try again. Now, I'm not judging you here in the sense that I'm insisting my frame of mind is more reasonable than yours. I'm merely noting the obvious: that in the absence of the machine allowing me to be inside you, all I can do is take a stab at it given what information you do provide to me by way of your thinking about morality and nature and dasein.


Maia wrote: If I'm questioning somebody on something, I always try and tailor my questions to get the best and most detailed answers.


Me too. Only, in some respects, we have a different understanding of what a "detailed answer" entails. So all I can do is to keep plugging away at bringing your answers closer to my own expectations.

And, as a result of that, you will either go in that direction or not. And, if not, you might choose to end the exchange and move on the others. And, if that happens, it happens. I won't think any less of you. I'll still admire and respect you.

Then, down the road, a new thread might be posted that brings us back together again. Here at ILP.

Yes, the technology is simply astonishing. It makes you wonder how, if those who were blind and died hundreds of years ago, were able to come back and be made aware of the modern technological marvels, they might react. And me, I'm still completely baffled by most of it. It might well be "magic" to me. Basically akin to the "supernatural". I mean, here we are, using a technology in which I type this on Wordpad from Baltimore, copy and paste it to ILP, click on the "submit" button and -- Presto! -- it shows up on your computer in England, thousands of miles away.


Maia wrote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, which I believe comes from Arthur C. Clarke, but with which, as it happens, I disagree, because it implies that magic is somehow fantastic and can only be emulated by advanced technology. In fact, I think magic is all around us, and is actually very simple, and probably related to electro-magnetism.


Well, you know me. To the extent that this is the case, my interest in it would revolve around connecting this magic to an examination of "morality here and now/immortality there and then".

Trust me: it's a film that makes you think. And not just about blindness.

As for metaphors, they would seem to be inevitable here. People are literally blind. So, many are inclined to think, in what other ways can they be blind -- not see, not understand -- as well.


Maia wrote: There are none so blind as those who refuse to see, and so on. Personally, I regard being blind not as fodder for a lazy metaphor, but rather, as the driving force for my desire for self-reliance and self-knowledge. Which is pretty much the opposite of what the metaphor is saying.


True, but that's not likely to stop the objectivists among us from insisting that others are blind if they refuse to see things -- think -- as they do.

And it's not what we refuse to see that fascinates me nearly as much as why we refuse to given the gap between my understanding of dasein here and the very different understanding of others. I would not say they are blind to it, so much as not having really given it all that much thought at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby promethean75 » Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:24 pm

"Most Pagans would regard concepts such as salvation or justification as meaningless to their spiritual path. With no transcendent deity who acts as judge and no concept of sin, logically no need for salvation or atonement exists. Incentives to live a good life do not involve pleasing a god or goddess who is exterior to one's self; rather, virtue and honor are their own rewards and one engages in such behavior out of a sense of love and personal pride."

Good stuff, and it begs to be more closely examined. Assume the pagans were the original D&D nerds. With the exception of the henotheistic systems (classical Greece with zoose and all them), belief in such non-omnipotent, non-omniscient beings who live among mortals in a godless universe, gives to the believer a sense of false empowerment without the danger of being culpable and subject to punishment. Part of the idiocy of the pagan is that in addition to being unable to prove any of this nonsense, they even lack the mental aptitude to understand that if indeed such an economy of spirits were to really exist, the system itself would, more likely than not, be superceded by and subjugated to, a single omnipotent, omniscient being.

This is how the monotheists - or special olympics team X - beat the polytheists - special olympics team Y.

But I underatand, and even played dungeons and dragons myself when I was young. I could have exclusive special powers and I needn't worry about eternal damnation if I transgressed. I'd just lose some points and/or gold coin.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:11 am

+++I agree. If they have in fact had an experience and that is all the proof they need, more power to them. I would certainly not argue that because I have not had a similar experience their own experiences doesn't count. Only that merely in noting this experience it is not likely to bring the world around to exploring the implications of the experience for others. And they are either able to convey this experience to others allowing them to experience it in turn or they're not. And even the wanting to make the effort to experience them is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.

We'll, using that device from the movie Blind, it would tell you that something was green. You'd accept that as proof or not. In any event, the color green [for me] has nothing to do with the existence of an afterlife...unlike ghosts. Although, being color blind, color in itself can get tricky for me.+++

My point in asking was to illustrate how difficult it is to prove things, without experiencing them for yourself. What you seem to be asking is that people who experience what they consider to be psychic or supernatural phenomena should not only be expected to prove them to you, but should do so merely through words, since you are not prepared to go out and experience them for yourself. In my opinion, a sincere seeker of the truth would attempt to find the truth on its own terms. That is, in the way most appropriate to what is being sought.

+++What is the correct usage? I use it to convey our reaction to the world around us as a "mood...to express various states of irreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion...".+++

Subjunctive is a linguistic term and the "mood" in question is a mode of speech, the grammar of a sentence. Which I used when I brought it up.

+++In other words, given things like ghosts and Gods and Goddesses and even nature itself, you have your sliding scale and others have theirs. So how can it not ultimately come down to that which might be demonstrated to exist such that reason and logic allow us to communicate without [or with a minimum of] ambiguity and uncertainty?

I simply suggest that in regard to moral and political values, the ambiguity and uncertainty are all the more subjective/subjunctive.+++

Subjective, certainly. Not subjunctive, though.

+++Back again to why proof that human ghosts exist is important to those like me. Since "here and now" I believe that death = oblivion, I will go to the grave oblivious in turn to how the matter is finally resolved. If it can be resolved at all. For most religious people, it all gets "explained" by God.

And for Pagans: https://www.patheos.com/library/pagan/b ... -salvation

"Most Pagans would regard concepts such as salvation or justification as meaningless to their spiritual path. With no transcendent deity who acts as judge and no concept of sin, logically no need for salvation or atonement exists. Incentives to live a good life do not involve pleasing a god or goddess who is exterior to one's self; rather, virtue and honor are their own rewards and one engages in such behavior out of a sense of love and personal pride."

And then the part where [for me] this is all as much rooted in dasein as in nature.+++

Since I'm not really sure what dasein is, I can neither agree nor disagree. I asked you to explain it once, but instead you directed me to an enormous thread. From what I understand from your comments, all it is is the truism that our lives affect our opinions, and had our lives been different, our opinions would be too. This is not any sort of profound revelation, nor in any way problematic. What would be problematic is the opposite, that is, if no one's opinions ever changed over time or through circumstances.

+++Not really. Nature brings us into a particular world historically and culturally...and in terms of our own personal experiences. Biological imperatives that revolve around wants and needs. But these wants and needs come into conflict in any given community. Rules of behaviors -- rewards and punishments -- are required. It's this that we call morality. Or what philosophers often call ethics.

My quest here then revolves around whether philosophically, politically and/or spiritually, we can arrive at the optimal rules of behavior. The part I embed in my own subjective/subjunctive understanding of dasein. The part that prompted me to dig the hole "I" am in in regard to the is/ought world. The part where I grapple with why [and how] others don't think the same.+++

History tells us, I think, that the answer to that is no. Otherwise, it would have happened thousands of years ago.

+++No, the part that still escapes my understanding is how John the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is immoral while Jane the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is moral. Then John impregnates Jane and Jane aborts the embryo/fetus. How can John not then deem Jane to have acted immorally? And how in a community of Pagans are those crucial "rules of behavior"/rewards and punishments relating to all of the other "conflicting goods" that pop up on the news, dealt with? Who decides which behaviors get rewarded and punished when Pagans on both sides of issues are convinced that their own relationship with nature has provided them with what turns out to be conflicting moral convictions?

Again, the part that I, instead, root in dasein.+++

The Pagan community as a whole has no organising body and no mechanism for dealing out punishments, or indeed anything at all. Each individual group within it has its own rules and way of doing things. I don't wish to repeat myself yet again on this, and won't. As for John and Jane, I've never met any Pagans who actually act like them. So for all I know, none do.

+++Yes, nature is the starting point. But nurture can reconfigure that in any number of ways. Mentally, emotionally and psychologically there do in fact exist those who think of themselves as in "the wrong body". They get a new one. Just as some are driven to form relationships with others of the same sex. Nature and nurture for any particular individual here can become a very, very complex relationship.+++

There are people who claim to believe that they are animals, or mythological creatures, trapped in a human body. Should the law be used to force everyone else to indulge these fantasies?

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features ... e-otherkin

+++Me too. Only, in some respects, we have a different understanding of what a "detailed answer" entails. So all I can do is to keep plugging away at bringing your answers closer to my own expectations.

And, as a result of that, you will either go in that direction or not. And, if not, you might choose to end the exchange and move on the others. And, if that happens, it happens. I won't think any less of you. I'll still admire and respect you.

Then, down the road, a new thread might be posted that brings us back together again. Here at ILP.+++

If I post about a particular subject, I would hope that the discussion on that thread revolves around that subject.

+++True, but that's not likely to stop the objectivists among us from insisting that others are blind if they refuse to see things -- think -- as they do.

And it's not what we refuse to see that fascinates me nearly as much as why we refuse to given the gap between my understanding of dasein here and the very different understanding of others. I would not say they are blind to it, so much as not having really given it all that much thought at all.+++

I imagine that most people here have given these sort of questions a great deal of thought. I know I certainly have. You seem to be assuming that those who don't agree with you haven't really thought about it.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:31 pm

I agree. If they have in fact had an experience and that is all the proof they need, more power to them. I would certainly not argue that because I have not had a similar experience their own experiences doesn't count. Only that merely in noting this experience it is not likely to bring the world around to exploring the implications of the experience for others. And they are either able to convey this experience to others allowing them to experience it in turn or they're not. And even the wanting to make the effort to experience them is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.

We'll, using that device from the movie Blind, it would tell you that something was green. You'd accept that as proof or not. In any event, the color green [for me] has nothing to do with the existence of an afterlife...unlike ghosts. Although, being color blind, color in itself can get tricky for me.


Maia wrote:My point in asking was to illustrate how difficult it is to prove things, without experiencing them for yourself. What you seem to be asking is that people who experience what they consider to be psychic or supernatural phenomena should not only be expected to prove them to you, but should do so merely through words, since you are not prepared to go out and experience them for yourself. In my opinion, a sincere seeker of the truth would attempt to find the truth on its own terms. That is, in the way most appropriate to what is being sought.


Again, some of us have more options to experience things than others.

And my point is that few things are more riveting to "mere mortals" in a No God world [an assumption] than the part about dying. Is it oblivion, the utter end of "I" for all the rest of eternity...or is there something after it. So, for those who do have experiences with human ghosts, they either take that into account or they don't. Only that part is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.

What is the correct usage? I use it to convey our reaction to the world around us as a "mood...to express various states of irreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion..."


Maia wrote:Subjunctive is a linguistic term and the "mood" in question is a mode of speech, the grammar of a sentence. Which I used when I brought it up.


Okay, but when I explore things philosophically, my interest revolves around taking these "technical" terms out into the world of actual human interactions. Why this "mood" instead of that one, given a particular reaction to a set of circumstances. You experience something and react given one mood, while someone else experiences the same thing and reacts with an entirely different mood. That's the part that most intrigues me.

In other words, given things like ghosts and Gods and Goddesses and even nature itself, you have your sliding scale and others have theirs. So how can it not ultimately come down to that which might be demonstrated to exist such that reason and logic allow us to communicate without [or with a minimum of] ambiguity and uncertainty?

I simply suggest that in regard to moral and political values, the ambiguity and uncertainty are all the more subjective/subjunctive.


Maia wrote:Subjective, certainly. Not subjunctive, though.


Fair enough. You have your linguistic assessment and I have my existential assessment. But to me it's like those who insist that because I don't construe dasein [small "d"] as others construe Heidegger's Dasein [capital "D"], I'm committing some terrible blunder.

Back again to why proof that human ghosts exist is important to those like me. Since "here and now" I believe that death = oblivion, I will go to the grave oblivious in turn to how the matter is finally resolved. If it can be resolved at all. For most religious people, it all gets "explained" by God.

And for Pagans: https://www.patheos.com/library/pagan/b ...

"Most Pagans would regard concepts such as salvation or justification as meaningless to their spiritual path. With no transcendent deity who acts as judge and no concept of sin, logically no need for salvation or atonement exists. Incentives to live a good life do not involve pleasing a god or goddess who is exterior to one's self; rather, virtue and honor are their own rewards and one engages in such behavior out of a sense of love and personal pride."

And then the part where [for me] this is all as much rooted in dasein as in nature.


Maia wrote: Since I'm not really sure what dasein is, I can neither agree nor disagree. I asked you to explain it once, but instead you directed me to an enormous thread.


What I direct others to is the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
And then the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

"Dasein is a German word that means 'being there' or 'presence', and is often translated into English with the word "existence". It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings." wiki

So, if you are born here and not there historically, culturally and in terms of your own unique personal experiences, how might that make a difference in your life in terms of things like Paganism or moral nihilism? Then all the arguments I raise in regard to that above and elsewhere.

Maia wrote: From what I understand from your comments, all it is is the truism that our lives affect our opinions, and had our lives been different, our opinions would be too. This is not any sort of profound revelation, nor in any way problematic. What would be problematic is the opposite, that is, if no one's opinions ever changed over time or through circumstances.


Again, I've tried to explain how my understanding of this is different from yours. Here you seem to agree that had your life been different you might be posting things that ridicule Paganism and defend moral nihilism. And that given new experiences in your life you might well do the same down the road. But [to me] you seem able to just shrug that off with a "so what?"...as though the "for all practical purposes" existential implications of it for human identity was really no big deal.

And, admittedly, this may well be a more reasonable way in which to look at it. It's just not how I do look at it myself here and now. So, it may well come down to one of us having a new experience that changes our mind.

Not really. Nature brings us into a particular world historically and culturally...and in terms of our own personal experiences. Biological imperatives that revolve around wants and needs. But these wants and needs come into conflict in any given community. Rules of behaviors -- rewards and punishments -- are required. It's this that we call morality. Or what philosophers often call ethics.

My quest here then revolves around whether philosophically, politically and/or spiritually, we can arrive at the optimal rules of behavior. The part I embed in my own subjective/subjunctive understanding of dasein. The part that prompted me to dig the hole "I" am in in regard to the is/ought world. The part where I grapple with why [and how] others don't think the same.


History tells us, I think, that the answer to that is no. Otherwise, it would have happened thousands of years ago.


No. Yes, I agree. Then the gap between how you came to call yourself a "moral person" given your frame of mind as a Pagan and how I came to describe myself as "fractured and fragmented" given my frame of mind as a moral nihilist. The part I construe in terms of dasein but that you don't. Or at least not as I do.

No, the part that still escapes my understanding is how John the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is immoral while Jane the Pagan, through nature, comes to believe that abortion is moral. Then John impregnates Jane and Jane aborts the embryo/fetus. How can John not then deem Jane to have acted immorally? And how in a community of Pagans are those crucial "rules of behavior"/rewards and punishments relating to all of the other "conflicting goods" that pop up on the news, dealt with? Who decides which behaviors get rewarded and punished when Pagans on both sides of issues are convinced that their own relationship with nature has provided them with what turns out to be conflicting moral convictions?

Again, the part that I, instead, root in dasein.


Maia wrote: The Pagan community as a whole has no organising body and no mechanism for dealing out punishments, or indeed anything at all. Each individual group within it has its own rules and way of doing things. I don't wish to repeat myself yet again on this, and won't. As for John and Jane, I've never met any Pagans who actually act like them. So for all I know, none do.


We're still stuck then. And maybe always will be. Every human community must have one or another rendition of "rules of behaviors". One or another rendition of "rewards and punishments". So, it would seem that unless it's a community where "might makes right", and those at the top of the social, political and economic hierarchy get to call the shots, it would have to be "moderation, negotiation and compromise" that prevails.

Perhaps when I get around to "morality and Pagans" on my morality thread, it might become clearer.

Yes, nature is the starting point. But nurture can reconfigure that in any number of ways. Mentally, emotionally and psychologically there do in fact exist those who think of themselves as in "the wrong body". They get a new one. Just as some are driven to form relationships with others of the same sex. Nature and nurture for any particular individual here can become a very, very complex relationship.


Maia wrote: There are people who claim to believe that they are animals, or mythological creatures, trapped in a human body. Should the law be used to force everyone else to indulge these fantasies?

https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features ... e-otherkin


For me, that would depend entirely on the extent to which their behavior brought pain and suffering to others.

Like this guy: https://youtu.be/toAzd1Fps2c

More power to him, I say. Unless, for example, he had children and insisted that they too become lizard people.

Me too. Only, in some respects, we have a different understanding of what a "detailed answer" entails. So all I can do is to keep plugging away at bringing your answers closer to my own expectations.

And, as a result of that, you will either go in that direction or not. And, if not, you might choose to end the exchange and move on the others. And, if that happens, it happens. I won't think any less of you. I'll still admire and respect you.

Then, down the road, a new thread might be posted that brings us back together again. Here at ILP.


Maia wrote: If I post about a particular subject, I would hope that the discussion on that thread revolves around that subject.


Well, that can get tricky at ILP. Most threads end up meandering all over the board. Or take the Urwrong/Adam thread on the tree God. His understanding of God and religion are very, very different from mine. Thus, from my frame of mind, he is a fulminating fanatic objectivist who is often contemptuous of anyone who refuses to think like he does; and my aim is to expose that to others. Your aim is different.

True, but that's not likely to stop the objectivists among us from insisting that others are blind if they refuse to see things -- think -- as they do.

And it's not what we refuse to see that fascinates me nearly as much as why we refuse to given the gap between my understanding of dasein here and the very different understanding of others. I would not say they are blind to it, so much as not having really given it all that much thought at all.


Maia wrote: I imagine that most people here have given these sort of questions a great deal of thought. I know I certainly have. You seem to be assuming that those who don't agree with you haven't really thought about it.


All I can do is to react to others here as honestly and introspectively as I attempt to do. Either I feel they are willing to go out into the deep end of the pool or they aren't. For me that generally revolves around the assumption I make that some are primarily interested in sustaining what they believe because emotionally and psychologically it "comforts and consoles" them.

But, yes, it's a judgment call. My own. Rooted in dasein.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby Maia » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:48 pm

+++Again, some of us have more options to experience things than others.

And my point is that few things are more riveting to "mere mortals" in a No God world [an assumption] than the part about dying. Is it oblivion, the utter end of "I" for all the rest of eternity...or is there something after it. So, for those who do have experiences with human ghosts, they either take that into account or they don't. Only that part is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.+++

I think a lot of people who've had experiences with things like that would be quite happy to share them, if it wasn't for the inevitable barrage of scepticism that they know they'll encounter.

+++Okay, but when I explore things philosophically, my interest revolves around taking these "technical" terms out into the world of actual human interactions. Why this "mood" instead of that one, given a particular reaction to a set of circumstances. You experience something and react given one mood, while someone else experiences the same thing and reacts with an entirely different mood. That's the part that most intrigues me.+++

The trouble with using terms according to your own definition of them is that you are liable to be misunderstood.

+++What I direct others to is the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
And then the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

"Dasein is a German word that means 'being there' or 'presence', and is often translated into English with the word "existence". It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings." wiki

So, if you are born here and not there historically, culturally and in terms of your own unique personal experiences, how might that make a difference in your life in terms of things like Paganism or moral nihilism? Then all the arguments I raise in regard to that above and elsewhere.+++

Sounds like my assumption was pretty much right, then.

+++We're still stuck then. And maybe always will be. Every human community must have one or another rendition of "rules of behaviors". One or another rendition of "rewards and punishments". So, it would seem that unless it's a community where "might makes right", and those at the top of the social, political and economic hierarchy get to call the shots, it would have to be "moderation, negotiation and compromise" that prevails.

Perhaps when I get around to "morality and Pagans" on my morality thread, it might become clearer.+++

So it turns out, then, that the reason you keep asking the same question is that you don't believe my answer.

+++For me, that would depend entirely on the extent to which their behavior brought pain and suffering to others.

Like this guy: https://youtu.be/toAzd1Fps2c

More power to him, I say. Unless, for example, he had children and insisted that they too become lizard people.+++

I think you must have misread my question. I wasn't asking if such activities should be banned. I was asking if everyone else should be forced, by law, to indulge these people.

+++All I can do is to react to others here as honestly and introspectively as I attempt to do. Either I feel they are willing to go out into the deep end of the pool or they aren't. For me that generally revolves around the assumption I make that some are primarily interested in sustaining what they believe because emotionally and psychologically it "comforts and consoles" them.

But, yes, it's a judgment call. My own. Rooted in dasein.+++

The deep end of the pool would be to go out and actually experience things for yourself. Just talking about them is like sitting at the shallow end with your feet dangling in the water. And yes, I know you keep saying that your options with regard to going out and experiencing them are limited. Some people might assume that the same is true of me, being blind. But this is exactly why I have little sympathy with what sounds a bit too much like an excuse. Your life is exactly what you make it, and, as I've said many, many times, you have the power to change it simply by an act of will.

I hope that you take what I've just said in a spirit of constructive criticism, as intended.
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby MagsJ » Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:32 pm

_
Re. the OP.. I have experienced paranormal phenomena over the years, that made me question what reality really was..
..then I came to understand that reality is experienced differently by All, but within an objective framework of existence.

I think it’s a case of static v transient minds.. or something like that.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Anyone here seen a ghost, UFO, or other strange entity?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:48 pm

Again, some of us have more options to experience things than others.

And my point is that few things are more riveting to "mere mortals" in a No God world [an assumption] than the part about dying. Is it oblivion, the utter end of "I" for all the rest of eternity...or is there something after it. So, for those who do have experiences with human ghosts, they either take that into account or they don't. Only that part is no less rooted in dasein from my frame of mind.


Maia wrote:I think a lot of people who've had experiences with things like that would be quite happy to share them, if it wasn't for the inevitable barrage of scepticism that they know they'll encounter.


Okay, but if their tangible evidence overwhelming commands one to believe human ghosts do in fact exist, that skepticism itself could easily be dismissed. But so far nothing. At least not "in the news". Unless you count the tabloid press.

Note to others:

If you ever do come across a credible source able to demonstrate the existence of human ghosts, I'd appreciate you bringing it here.

Okay, but when I explore things philosophically, my interest revolves around taking these "technical" terms out into the world of actual human interactions. Why this "mood" instead of that one, given a particular reaction to a set of circumstances. You experience something and react given one mood, while someone else experiences the same thing and reacts with an entirely different mood. That's the part that most intrigues me.


Maia wrote:The trouble with using terms according to your own definition of them is that you are liable to be misunderstood.


Which is why I persist in suggesting that we bring however we understand the meaning of the terms we use in a "world of words" down out of the intellectual/spiritual clouds and embed them in sets of circumstances most will be familiar with.

You encounter a newspaper article about one or another world event and it puts you in a bad mood. I encounter it and it puts me in a good mood. Why is that? How is that related to the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein? How is that related to the manner in which you construe the meaning of nature? Why you in one direction and me in another? And, in using the tools of philosophy, is there a way to anchor I in the most acceptable reaction?

Now, from my frame of mind, there is a discussion about this out in the deeper ends of the assessment pool and one in the shallower ends. And it doesn't revolve around one of us being declared right or wrong.

But, sure, that will mean different things to different people.

What I direct others to is the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
And then the OP of this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

"Dasein is a German word that means 'being there' or 'presence', and is often translated into English with the word 'existence'. It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings." wiki

So, if you are born here and not there historically, culturally and in terms of your own unique personal experiences, how might that make a difference in your life in terms of things like Paganism or moral nihilism? Then all the arguments I raise in regard to that above and elsewhere.


Maia wrote:Sounds like my assumption was pretty much right, then.


Well, if by that you mean that had you been born in a different historical and cultural and experiential context, you might have come to a completely different, even contradictory, conclusion about what it means to be a "moral person", then we're both right. But we clearly construe the "for all practical purposes" implications of that for human identity differently.

Also, the manner in which we then approach philosophy as a possible antidote to that. In other words, in becoming "wise" as to how to choose the most rational and virtuous path to be one.

We're still stuck then. And maybe always will be. Every human community must have one or another rendition of "rules of behaviors". One or another rendition of "rewards and punishments". So, it would seem that unless it's a community where "might makes right", and those at the top of the social, political and economic hierarchy get to call the shots, it would have to be "moderation, negotiation and compromise" that prevails.

Perhaps when I get around to "morality and Pagans" on my morality thread, it might become clearer.


Maia wrote:So it turns out, then, that the reason you keep asking the same question is that you don't believe my answer.


No, I believe that your answer like mine is rooted existentially/subjectively/problematically in dasein. And not in Gods and Goddesses and nature and ideology and deontology.

We simply understand the meaning of that from conflicting vantage points.

But only "here and now". For either one of us, new experiences "down the road" can change things.

For me, that would depend entirely on the extent to which their behavior brought pain and suffering to others.

Like this guy: https://youtu.be/toAzd1Fps2c

More power to him, I say. Unless, for example, he had children and insisted that they too become lizard people.


Maia wrote:I think you must have misread my question. I wasn't asking if such activities should be banned. I was asking if everyone else should be forced, by law, to indulge these people.


And yet again you would seem to agree that your past could have been such that you would be here instead defending them. And that those new experiences "down the road" may well find you coming here defending them still. The law merely revolves around the capacity of those on one side of an issue being able to elect more "one of us" politicians to prescribe or proscribe behaviors that "here and now" they happen to support or reject.

Only the moral objectivists among us insist the past and the future are moot here. Why? Because unless you think like they do you don't grasp what they construe to be the objective font that establishes a universal morality. Some like Urwrong/Adam through their and only their God, others like Satyr through his self-righteous assertion that if you don't share his own assessment of nature, you are a "retard".

All I can do is to react to others here as honestly and introspectively as I attempt to do. Either I feel they are willing to go out into the deep end of the pool or they aren't. For me that generally revolves around the assumption I make that some are primarily interested in sustaining what they believe because emotionally and psychologically it "comforts and consoles" them.

But, yes, it's a judgment call. My own. Rooted in dasein.


Maia wrote:The deep end of the pool would be to go out and actually experience things for yourself.


Yes, if you can.

Maia wrote:Just talking about them is like sitting at the shallow end with your feet dangling in the water.


But here we can "talk about them" and that's all...or we can also provide substantive and substantial evidence that would enable others to experience what we do. Or provide proof able to establish beyond a world of words -- empirically, materially, phenomenologically -- why what we talk about is in fact demonstrably true.

Maia wrote:And yes, I know you keep saying that your options with regard to going out and experiencing them are limited. Some people might assume that the same is true of me, being blind. But this is exactly why I have little sympathy with what sounds a bit too much like an excuse. Your life is exactly what you make it, and, as I've said many, many times, you have the power to change it simply by an act of will.

I hope that you take what I've just said in a spirit of constructive criticism, as intended.


Yes, I accept it in that spirit. We simply think about the "for all practical purposes" embodiment of this differently. My own no more rational than yours. At least in regard to "I" out in an is/ought world bursting at the seams with moral and political and spiritual conflicts.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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