If you are not able to live it I feel there is something wrong

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23 Jun 2016 02:23 - 23 Jun 2016 02:25 #246058 by MadHatter
There are methods of philosophy that state it is all an illusion or that we cannot know anything with surety. This is a mindset that has at best always been one I thought was wrong and at worse one that has annoyed me. Now I am getting better at trying to set aside my own admited bias but I still do not see this as a sensible outlook. To give an example of this mindset. I will use a quote from another thread

TheDude wrote: Atheism is a belief.
For example, it is a fact that something exists (cogito ergo sum) but almost everything else is a belief. I believe that there is a lamp in this room with me, since I see it and have interacted with it, but I may be subject to an illusion or some other deception, and so the existence of the lamp is not absolutely certain. As a result, I can only say that I believe the lamp is there or that I believe there is no lamp there.

Now TheDude I am not knocking you simply the philosophical outlook expressed by this statement so I truely hope I come off as respectful and not as attacking. If I come off as offensive in any way I will preemptively apologize as this is not my intent at all.

In this statement we say that we cannot know that a lamp exists at all. Yet others can see it and interact with it so is this mass delusion? But more importantly we act as if the lamp is real. We turn it on if we need light. We catch it if it falls to avoid it breaking. We replace the bulb if that part wears out. If someone were to toss it at our head we duck.

In short we live in every manner as if that lamp is real and would think someone crazy if they did not. We would think something wrong with a person if they refused to duck as lamps were tossed at them while they claimed the lamps do not exist even as we would see the bruises on their skin from the impacts.

So if we cannot live the philosophy that something does not exist does it matter if it is true or not? What benefit do people find from the philosophy if they cannot apply it or live by it? If people that understand this mindset better then me could enlighten or inform me I would be grateful.

Knight of the Order
Training Master: Jestor
Apprentices: Lama Su, Leah
Just a pop culture Jedi doing what I can
Last edit: 23 Jun 2016 02:25 by MadHatter.
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23 Jun 2016 02:45 #246059 by TheDude
No offense taken.
A long line of religions claim similar things. Buddhist sects teach a doctrine of "no-self" . Some Hindus believe that Brahman is everything and is also without any qualities , and that only ignorance prevents us from understanding this entity without qualities. So the idea has presented itself outside the realm of philosophy.
There is a difference between what is useful and what is true. The possibility of you being a jellyfish in a mad scientist's lab somewhere is... well, possibly true. There's really no way that you could verify or deny it. The others interacting with objects may also themselves be illusions. Your relatives, friends, enemies, and so on. But it isn't really useful to consider that, even if it is true. And information regarding this "outside world" is all also useless, even if it's true. In most cases.
But you can also apply this kind of metaphysical system to other areas, such as ethics. My belief in the Force is highly in line with the previously mentioned belief in Brahman (by the Advaita Vedanta Hindu sect), for example, and I think that it is easier to argue for certain ethical codes such as moral nihilism once you are working from a premise of such a thing as the Force as I see it or any other true non-dualistic metaphysical system. In this way it can change your actions, assuming you live in accordance with the ethics you personally support.
Moreover, I personally believe that knowledge does not have to be pursued as a means to an end, but can be pursued as an end in itself. I encourage anyone looking at any area of any field to continue doing so, whether the information they're looking at is really useful or not.
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23 Jun 2016 02:54 #246060 by MadHatter
Ok glad I didnt come off wrong. So do you mind explaining your beliefs on the Force and how it plays into this philosophy? How does this philosophy in your opinion help shape morals or make it easier in your opinion. I know that mental exercise or knowledge can be an end in and of itself but what benefit does it bring or is that looking for something where really there is nothing to look for?

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Just a pop culture Jedi doing what I can
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23 Jun 2016 03:01 #246061 by Proteus
When you play a video game (I admit, I exhaust the hell out of this metaphor but I've yet to find any other as mirroring to the idea as I have realized it for myself), say, for example, Skyrim, the objects and people in the game don't actually exist. In fact, the character you're playing doesn't actually exist. So why are you playing it? Nothing you do in the game ultimately means anything... at least not outside the game, right?

We play it for the experience we have regardless of if the people and objects in the game are real (as we see it) or not. Actually, all those objects and people are just pixels on a screen manipulated by electrical pulses being sent from a processor. If we blow this up into our own realm of existence, some believe that the Force is no different, just a universe of consistent energy, doing various things, in which our senses perceive as "things" and "people". So if "just a bunch of energy" is all that everything is, why act as if it's not?

Same reason someone plays Skyrim. To have the experience. Because if there is one thing that we can know for certain, it is that we are having an experience, whatever that might mean. We are here to play out whatever experience we are making and receiving, which plays by the rules of what are senses make out of all this "energy". :)

It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know.
- Alan Watts
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23 Jun 2016 03:04 #246062 by MadHatter

Proteus wrote: Same reason someone plays Skyrim. To have the experience. Because if there is one thing that we can know for certain, it is that we are having an experience, whatever that might mean. We are here to play out whatever experience we are making and receiving, which plays by the rules of what are senses make out of all this "energy". :)


However we are not claiming that Skyrim is real. We are not making it a philosophical basis for our outlook on it. We are aware that it is for entertainment and the experience. The outlook I am mentioning is making assumptions about reality though maybe I am missing your point and what you are trying to get at is that the assumptions do not matter and they are just entertainment for the mind.

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23 Jun 2016 03:52 #246063 by TheDude

MadHatter wrote: Ok glad I didnt come off wrong. So do you mind explaining your beliefs on the Force and how it plays into this philosophy? How does this philosophy in your opinion help shape morals or make it easier in your opinion. I know that mental exercise or knowledge can be an end in and of itself but what benefit does it bring or is that looking for something where really there is nothing to look for?


Well, supposing the reality around us is an illusion will likely come with a general revision to a person's priorities. It might be a method by which a person forsakes attachments and attains enlightenment (whatever that means). But specifically for understanding morals, I can make a quick example. I've been meaning to write down and organize my thoughts on Force philosophy in general, anyway.

Supposing the Force as a premise, with the Force in my view being a monistic entity which contains all qualities and through which all things are made ( I think Spinoza's argument, linked here, is good enough to justify this claim ), then all people are the same thing (for me, the Force). In truth, they are aspects of the single substance (the Force). Correct actions must be decided with that in mind.

Once that premise is accepted, I look at the Force. It composes all things, including opposites, empty space, and so on. So let's take the concept of, say, time. Time is really an interaction between two objects, or at the very least the activities of an object within empty space (if there are no other objects). But empty space is something within the Force, as are all perceived things. And so if there is the Force, which all qualities are composed of (including non-qualities), the idea of time is no longer makes much sense. If there is a singular thing which incorporates all other things, it has no motion relative to any outside space or object, and so there is no time. If there is no time during which events can occur, then there is no possible moral judgment for actions, as actions don't exist. So I see the Force as amoral, without any notions of good or evil or justice, and so I say that there is no objective moral standard other than that there are no objective moral standards.

Actively promoting and participating in moral nihilism wouldn't result in any enjoyable consequences for me in this world, so I choose to live in accordance with the moral standards of human beings. But that's a really quick and rough.
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23 Jun 2016 04:03 #246064 by Adder
Basically I think we are talking about levels of analysis, how we choose to label things. If you look at a radar scope in an airport control tower it will have a specific set of information displayed and nothing beyond what is needed, because too much unnecessary information would complicate the function. So is one looking for 'truth' or 'tools'.

Say labels are titles used for a set of attributes, some of them required but many optional.... I call that a qualitative approach. Does an object meet how we use the label; yes - good, no - get a different label. It is fast and easy to use to classify somethings existence. We all learn this, and it probably represents something which defines how we structure languages.

But it might not be the only way to view somethings existence. For instance, I like to have a type of 'existence monism' which says something like there is some fundamental essence in all things which I would call the Force, and 'everything' is an arrangement of that, in various levels of complexity all interacting with each other - which thus means its interacting with itself but that is besides my point, sorta. It benefits my efforts to map perception in spatial terms and breaking things up into distinct 'items' with or without labels represents artificial boundaries... to my process, not anyone elses subjective experience or consensus of 'truth'. I call it the quantitative approach. It helps me relate to my perception in other ways, such as feeling which can sometimes only be worked with at one modality at a time.

I find the approach I use more flexible because I can discard the labels in my perception which might in theory give me an increase in my capacity to process the altered paradigm of perception, because its just a single nature mapped out in spatial terms there is less complexity. In the same way the control tower's radar screen only shows what is needed, it allows faster operation because only the required things are involved in the process.

For me, it need not replace the qualitative approach, and so it depends on the circumstance as which one might be most effective. There is probably more ways then these two, and I am currently trying to generate a trimodal approach using the labels spin, charge and orbit, for example instead.

So how delusional is it to believe the lamp is real.... not very if everyone else can interact with it, but perhaps a tiny bit because what we define as the lamp is populated by observations which are limited to our capacity to perceive. Science tells us hard surfaces are mostly empty space for example, but since its our label we can use it how we like. I think its just a different approach to the same thing. A different level of analysis as I'm fond to saying lately, not necessarily competing but informing differently.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
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23 Jun 2016 04:47 #246068 by Gisteron
Once we have agreed on what we mean by absolute certainty, believing, knowing etc. it ceases to be a matter of opinion whether we can have aforementioned certainty.
What can be however a subject of debate is whether there is any point in pursuing it.
I am for one perfectly fine admitting that unabridged certainty, the identification of any proposition with some kind of universal and subject-independent "truth" is unattainable. That kind of certainty is however unimportant to me. I am left to judge situations not as they are but as what they appear to be. Of course that means that I am sometimes bound to make decisions I end up regretting, but that's as good as it gets and I for one am perfectly at peace with that.
When I say the lamp exist, I do not mean that in a mathematical sense there exists an entity or collection of entities I identify as the lamp. When I say it exists I mean that I have an experience-based expectation that there is some hypothetical way for me to identify its interaction with other things. Is that expectation necessarily correct? No. Am I certain of anything in reality? No. But until I can leave it I am stuck with it and I seem to be getting a subjectively more pleasant experience trusting methods of this sort over standing still as they toss the lamp at me, insisting that I cannot assert that anything exists.
When we evaluate our beliefs, it is not, cannot and should not be about what is actually true, but about what is reasonable, what produces results we are happy with, what is useful. That is, admittedly, a very pragmatic approach, but it is literally the one most practical and helpful, by definition and by design. Absent a method that actually can guarantee a flawless assessment of truth and falsehood, pragmatism is about as far as we need to or indeed can go.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned
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24 Jun 2016 15:22 - 24 Jun 2016 16:16 #246277 by OB1Shinobi
i feel this way about Nihilism

its clever and all, and maybe there's a kind of truth to it, but its not the only logical view possible, and it is definitely one of the most dangerous

People are complicated.
Last edit: 24 Jun 2016 16:16 by OB1Shinobi.
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24 Jun 2016 15:31 #246279 by Goken
I have wondered about this very thing many times. It's cool and all, but what does it really change. No matter how many times I tell myself that there is no spoon I still can't just bend it with my mind. So does the idea that there is no spoon really matter?

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