Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

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Nick_A
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Nick_A » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:55 pm

Thanks for your reply. Our essential differences become more clear. It seems that we appreciate the concept of being differently. Where most see it as either existing or not existing, I see it as relative as described for example in the great chain of being. Perhaps in the future we could discuss it on a thread devoted to it.

The first, Heidegger would say yes, but the meaning and purpose are not Bibilical, not absolutes, just meanings that remedy our alienation. My trouble with this is that this search for more primordial meanings in the historical, pre westerm metaphysics simply will not answer the profound questions, nor satisfy the ethical atrocities of our world.

But as Plato described such ideas as exist in the bible can only be taught from afar to avoid our natural tendency to pervert them from our aquired preconceptions. Much in the bible, its perennial ideas, is intentional rather than accidental. It can only appeal to the readers quality of understanding which differes between people.
This is all us, and to move closer to the truth is to realize the eternal present, as Kierkegaard would put it.

I insist, with Kierkegaard, that there is only one actuality, and that is the self.
Yes but what is the self? Since I believe Man’s quality of being is relative.The being of conscious man along the potential for human being is more advanced than animal man. So the essence of humanity can change offering the potential to evolve from chaos into meaning and purpose. As opposed to our earth spawning Man, the higher parts of our being descend from above not just creating the confusion we live with but also reveling the way out through conscious evolution.

These ideas do not invite foolish fighting but offer me the opportunity to reconcile the truths of science and religion into a meaningful whole. When a person experinced the relationhsip between god. the Christ, and Man, and in what way man is in the image in termes of the relativity of being, than it begins to make sense.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:38 pm

odysseus wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:45 am
I invite you to trace your steps as they take your thoughts away from the actuality itself. The false step, I will argue, begins with the superfluous question, "why is it a problem?"
Superfluous? Hardly.

One cannot even posit one "problem of pain" without first knowing that a problem exists. You gave the example of the little girl in the woods. But why? If it wasn't presenting a "problem," you had no reason to bring her up at all?

So why did you?

I'm not afraid to deal with that case, or the Lisbon Earthquake, or any other cases you want to adduce. In fact, I'll give you several more, if you can't think of them. But if they're not "problems of pain," then none of them contribute any information to this discussion, obviously.

So the "problem" problem is at the very start.
You began with the actuality, then you moved to a mundane assumption that the answer to this is to be discovered in a system of already disclosed thought. Why would you do this?
What makes you think I was doing this?
Presence is there, in the world,

There is no "presence" without the presence of a thing. The nature of that thing is the first question of debate. Is it a problem? Does its "presence" imply anything to us? What ought we to do with this recognition of "presence," that we now have?

Those sorts of questions appear immediately.
Our "sense" of right and wrong is a marginal consideration,
I think not. It's not the primary question, but it's certainly not marginal. Primarily, we need to ask, "What is this presence?" But right after, "What is it to me?" Then right and wrong is right there.
...it is NOT about the fairness of anything,

Is it not, for you?

What about the little girl in the woods? Was not your implication that something was unfair in her being burned at the stake? If it was not that, why did you mention it at all?
That's a difference again between Kierkegaard and Camus. For Kierkegaard, the absurdity of things is a product of our failures of epistemology -- not that there IS no answer to why things happen, but that, being merely localized, contingent, moribund human beings, we lack the means to achieve the perspective to see any answers, if answers there be. For Camus, on the other hand, absurdity is an inherent fact -- Camus thinks he's got it right, and anybody who even imagines there's a truth beyond the absurdity of things is merely deluded. Yet, why would we jump to the conclusion that Camus is right, and Kierkegaard wrong?
Now, of course, we cannot say with confidence -- at this point in our inquiry, anyway -- that an answer can be had. But we can realize we have insufficient evidence to blithely embrace Camus's despair, at the same time. And, if we are courageous, we can decline to embrace despair at this point, and say, I will continue to look; and as I do, more information may be available to be had.
I guess you can think of K as presenting an epistemological issue, not "knowing" the true nature of the self. But I don't think he thinks we can't see the answer, hence the knight of faith: a perfectly possible condition.
Being the perfect knight is not a possible condition. Being a knight of faith certainly is. If you understand Kierkegaard, you know that the very fact that the knight is NOT perfect, and that he does not know how everything works out, is the fact that makes his quest a quest.

The knight of faith is not a finished work. He is a man-in-action. He is a self-in-the-becoming. The dragons he fights are doubt, despair and fear. He overcomes them by faith...and in the dynamism of his so-doing is the justification of his status as knight of faith. It is not the outcome: for when the man is complete, he is no longer a knight of faith. He is no longer a knight, in fact. And he no longer needs faith. But he will not be that until after the grave.
I think that's what, perhaps, you might wish to be arguing for. Not a capitulation to despair, nor to a hasty conclusion that un-understood pains can never have explanation, but that a knight of faith would continue the quest for more answers. If he takes off his armour, and sits down in despair, he is most certainly no knight of faith, right?
Not quite. for me, it is not armor.
Don't miss the point. The "armour" is merely the clothing, the tools of the knight. To put them down is to cease to be a knight.
It's very simple, of course. It's just the idea that "materials" are all that constitute "the real." There are two types of it: reductive and non-reductive, but both presuppose that "matter" is the base substance of existence, and everything else must be explained in terms of material properties. In a subject like cognition, Materialism takes for granted that brain is the total explanation of mind, for example. Or in cosmology, it presumes that the accidental combination of matter into an accidental explosion, followed by a billions-of-years process of material change, is the total explanation of why we are here.

If such things are true, there is no "ethics." What is, simply is. All is accidental, all a mere chance combination of materials. And pain and suffering are just very strange facts which, for no possible reason, evolution has caused us to experience. Therefore, there is no "injustice" in our experiencing of them. And there is no "wrongness" to little girls burning at the stake, or to Lisbon being flattened. Whatever happens, just happens.

And like Camus says, then, you will find it nothing but absurd. Your cries to the effect that it is unfair actually make no sense in light of how things really are. All you can do is roll the rock. The whole sense of absurdity is an inexplicable, contingent byproduct of some evolutionary quirk; no more. It means nothing, signals no real absurdity, and ends nowhere.
The term "material" has always been a nuisance. If taken out of the context of empirical science and everyday talk, it is just a metaphysical term that says almost nothing. You might as well call noumea or the grand mysterium.

You asked what Materialism is. I'm just telling you.

I'm not believing it.

I'm going to skip the ethics section of your response here, because I want to focus on it in a separate message, if that's okay. I think it needs its own treatment.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:56 pm

odysseus wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:45 am
This is what I am MOST interested in. If you would make your case, I would be very grateful.
Ok, but it will take a paragraph to sketch it out. We use the term good a lot, and it is meant contingently mostly. Something is good means that it fits an existing standard, like a good knife or a good kite. Good is very clear here for the criteria of assessment is objective, mostly: a good knife is sharp, balanced and comfortable to the grip. A good kite flies high, is sturdy, and so on.
Whoops. Amphiboly.

This is a mental mistake here. You start by citing cases of "good" as it is used in reference to utility, and then amphibolize the term over to "good" in reference to morality. They're not at all the same thing.

There are, in fact, many ways we use "good."
  • "This ice cream tastes so good."
  • "That was a good concert."
  • "I gave him one good beating."
  • "Be good until I get home."
  • "This is a good hockey stick."
  • "Good dog: have a biscuit."
And so on. Maybe only the last of these has even the slightest possible moral implication. Even that is debatable, since dogs, so far as we can tell, do not have ethics. They just do as they are trained, and as their instincts tell them, so far as we know.

Is a "good" knife in any way a moral knife? No. Is a "good" kite in any sense a moral kite? Of course not. All you're saying is that functionally, these items perform in the way we are expecting of them. But they are not at all morally good for doing so. They are not even capable of being that, because knives and kites have no moral-deliberative abilities at all.
The goodness is relative.
The truth is not that it's "relative." It's not even present, in your examples.
The ethical badness of torture is an absolute, and this absolute applies across the board for all value assessments.
Prove that.

I think it deserves proof, because we need to be able to explain to people prone to do it that it is just as bad as you say it is.

So go ahead.
it is universal, analytically verifiable, I argue, that pain is bad in the ethical sense.
This is much more in need of proof. And it needs really good proof.

What makes pain "bad"? We don't call a rock "bad" for falling off a mountainside, even if it crushes a car. It did not intend to do it. To be sure, the pain suffered by the crushed people was "bad to them," but maybe their children inherited their estate thereby. Was the pain then a signal of good?

But what about us? If we are just pieces of this universe, like the rock, and we cause pain, in what sense are we "bad," then? We are just doing what the Big Bang (or it's earlier stages) made us do. We cannot be blamed, any more than the rock, for doing what we could not possibly help doing.

So there was pain? So what? What merits the term "bad"? What substance does that value judgment actually have? :shock:

Much more to the point, a woman willingly endures pain in labour, that her child may be born. Is her pain "bad"? Yes and no. Her pain hurts her, but makes possible the life of her child. What's more, no small part of her love for her child is born in those moments of anguish and self-sacrifice: is a mother's love, then, "bad"?

What about the athlete who pains his muscles every day, so that he may run the marathon? Is his training morally "bad"? That seems a tough argument to make.

Sorry, O. You're going to have to make a much better case to show that all pain is always bad. As stated so far, I lament that I find the case completely unconvincing.

Nick_A
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Nick_A » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:23 am

Assuming there is a god, is he evil for creating evil? Something is clearly wrong. If God doesn't exist and doesn't create evil why do we experience it? There is basic contradiction that must be experienced in a new light for it to make any sense, We must open to the distinction between objective and subjective evil. But who knows the difference?

odysseus
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by odysseus » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:13 am

Nick_A
Thanks for your reply. Our essential differences become more clear. It seems that we appreciate the concept of being differently. Where most see it as either existing or not existing, I see it as relative as described for example in the great chain of being. Perhaps in the future we could discuss it on a thread devoted to it.

The first, Heidegger would say yes, but the meaning and purpose are not Bibilical, not absolutes, just meanings that remedy our alienation. My trouble with this is that this search for more primordial meanings in the historical, pre westerm metaphysics simply will not answer the profound questions, nor satisfy the ethical atrocities of our world.

But as Plato described such ideas as exist in the bible can only be taught from afar to avoid our natural tendency to pervert them from our aquired preconceptions. Much in the bible, its perennial ideas, is intentional rather than accidental. It can only appeal to the readers quality of understanding which differes between people.
This is all us, and to move closer to the truth is to realize the eternal present, as Kierkegaard would put it.

I insist, with Kierkegaard, that there is only one actuality, and that is the self.
Yes but what is the self? Since I believe Man’s quality of being is relative.The being of conscious man along the potential for human being is more advanced than animal man. So the essence of humanity can change offering the potential to evolve from chaos into meaning and purpose. As opposed to our earth spawning Man, the higher parts of our being descend from above not just creating the confusion we live with but also reveling the way out through conscious evolution.

These ideas do not invite foolish fighting but offer me the opportunity to reconcile the truths of science and religion into a meaningful whole. When a person experinced the relationhsip between god. the Christ, and Man, and in what way man is in the image in termes of the relativity of being, than it begins to make sense.
To answer the question for K regarding the self, and to address your comments, it would take a long post. Sickness Unto Death, The Concept of Anxiety, these are very good, and they present an analysis of the self that will have an impact on 20th century thinking. Perhaps you would like to read one of these and we could discuss. It is very worthy, for even if you don't agree with his conclusions, the thougths he lays out are extraordinary and they give access to others.
You talk of evolving from chaos into meaning and purpose. K would say the only evolving we do is personal, and this evolving is toward a resolution of the problem of our alienation from God and the soul. What this alienation is about is what K wants to clarify. OF course, later literature will not speak of God, mostly, but the idea of alienation sustains, for it is recognized as a feature if our Being here, thrown into existence from literally nowhere (ans science is of no help at all, for all of its foundational claims are question begging)
Always looking for partners for discussion and analysis of existential texts. Take Being and Time by Heidegger: page 1, read through, comment; page 2. A better time I can't think of.

odysseus
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by odysseus » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:27 am

Immanuel Can
Superfluous? Hardly.

One cannot even posit one "problem of pain" without first knowing that a problem exists. You gave the example of the little girl in the woods. But why? If it wasn't presenting a "problem," you had no reason to bring her up at all?

So why did you?

I'm not afraid to deal with that case, or the Lisbon Earthquake, or any other cases you want to adduce. In fact, I'll give you several more, if you can't think of them. But if they're not "problems of pain," then none of them contribute any information to this discussion, obviously.

So the "problem" problem is at the very start

It's just that you moved on to ideas about our sense of unfairness and how unjust her situation is. But this moves away from the phenomenon toward the subsequent effects: our reactions. This issue is in the phenomenon of pain; one need go no further; in fact, going into the justice and fairness and the ethical attitude of it all is the typical course for moral analysts, brilliant ones like Kant and Mill and Sellars. It is not that they are wrong; in fact they're right about a lot. But they miss the essential metaethical issue: what is the ethical good as such? Philosophers treat this, analytic philosophers, at any rate, as a matter of contingency, putting ethics in context. But ethics, like any intuition, is not contextually embedded. It speaks what it is IN what it is, The color yellow does the same thing, but alas for yellow, it says nothing beyond what language affords, and its transcendence as a "given" "says" nothing at all. Value/ethics is very different.
What makes you think I was doing this?
Your response was,"Why is it that pain is "wrong" to us? Because we have a definite sense that things ought to be right...and they're not. But where does this sense of the oughtness of things come from? What is its justification? Is it real, or is it a mere accident of our nervous systems? Does it have any real referent in the actual world? And to whom are we appealing, when we cry out, "Little girls burning to death is so unfair!" :shock:

I was trying to make the point that this "oughtness" is presented first as the intuition of suffering, and to move quickly into talk of accidents of our nervous system is to move beyond the presence simpliciter. It is a reductive analysis to exclude all that is not the given, to focus specifically on the given. Kant did this with reason.

There is no "presence" without the presence of a thing. The nature of that thing is the first question of debate. Is it a problem? Does its "presence" imply anything to us? What ought we to do with this recognition of "presence," that we now have?

Those sorts of questions appear immediately.
Well, there are lots of presences that are not things. Math and logic, rage and love, understanding, and so on. The color yellow as a color may be a property of a thing, but it is not the thing and it stands apart from the thing that is yellow, as a sensory intuition. Middle C on the piano is not a thing. We do not call rage, yellow sounds, things, yet they are there as givens in the world, given because we do not make them, like we make politics and religions (but then, even these are given AS phenomena, though not as what they would be in the natural attitude. A chimera doesn't exist in the natural attitude, but when I conceive it, imagine it, it has eidetic presence. That's Husserl. Even imagined things are not nothing).

So, it's not the thing, its the intuition is suffering I am trying to understand: the presence of terrible pain the lighted match is at my finger. This is present.
I think not. It's not the primary question, but it's certainly not marginal. Primarily, we need to ask, "What is this presence?" But right after, "What is it to me?" Then right and wrong is right there.
I meant it is marginalized when the issue is the metavalue one. Of course, it is not to be dismissed at all is other discussions.
Is it not, for you?

What about the little girl in the woods? Was not your implication that something was unfair in her being burned at the stake? If it was not that, why did you mention it at all?
Because fairness is a relative idea. It takes at least two, and one getting the worst of it. The girl certainly has a rough life compared to the queen. Not fair. But here I consider suffering as such, not relative to anything.
Being the perfect knight is not a possible condition. Being a knight of faith certainly is. If you understand Kierkegaard, you know that the very fact that the knight is NOT perfect, and that he does not know how everything works out, is the fact that makes his quest a quest.

The knight of faith is not a finished work. He is a man-in-action. He is a self-in-the-becoming. The dragons he fights are doubt, despair and fear. He overcomes them by faith...and in the dynamism of his so-doing is the justification of his status as knight of faith. It is not the outcome: for when the man is complete, he is no longer a knight of faith. He is no longer a knight, in fact. And he no longer needs faith. But he will not be that until after the grave.
No. I said "perfectly" as an adverb, as in "it's a perfectly fine day." This knight of faith IS very interesting, though, and I am not so sure the word 'perfect' does not apply. I read Fear and Trembling, and his knight if Faith is really no knight at all. What you're talking about the knight if Infinite Resignation, not the Knight of Faith. This latter breezes through all things,
belongs entirely to finitude; no spruced-up burgher walking out to Fresberg25 on a
Sunday afternoon treads the earth more solidly. He belongs
entirely to the world; no bourgeois philistine could belong
to it more. Nothing is detectable of that distant and aristocratic nature by which the knight of the infinite is recognized. He finds pleasure in everything, takes part in everything, and every time one sees him participating in something
particular, he does it with an assiduousness that marks the
worldly man who is attached to such things. He attends to
his job. To see him makes one think of him as a pen-pusher
who has lost his soul to Italian bookkeeping, so punctilious
is he. Sunday is for him a holiday. He goes to church. No
heavenly gaze or any sign of the incommensurable betrays
him; if one did not know him, it would be impossible to
distinguish him from the rest of the crowd,

But then:
this man has made and at every
moment is making the movement of infinity. He drains the
deep sadness of life in infinite resignation, he knows the
blessedness of infinity


when Abraham brought Isaac to the mountain there was no hesitation, no doubt, no wonder. He just did. A faith so complete, it ruled his finite affairs unconditionally.
I'm going to skip the ethics section of your response here, because I want to focus on it in a separate message, if that's okay. I think it needs its own treatment.
Ok. It is based on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and his Lecture on Ethics, John Mackie's Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong, and other things

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:46 pm

odysseus wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:27 am
Immanuel Can
Superfluous? Hardly.

One cannot even posit one "problem of pain" without first knowing that a problem exists. You gave the example of the little girl in the woods. But why? If it wasn't presenting a "problem," you had no reason to bring her up at all?

So why did you?

I'm not afraid to deal with that case, or the Lisbon Earthquake, or any other cases you want to adduce. In fact, I'll give you several more, if you can't think of them. But if they're not "problems of pain," then none of them contribute any information to this discussion, obviously.

So the "problem" problem is at the very start

It's just that you moved on to ideas about our sense of unfairness and how unjust her situation is. But this moves away from the phenomenon toward the subsequent effects: our reactions.
I did not "move this away." You did, O.

I must ask again, in raising that incident, what did you expect me to understand from it? Were you not holding it up as an example of something that would be unfair or morally problematic? If not, you jumped wildly sideways and were off topic.

So I ask again, just what did you intend me to understand? :shock:
What makes you think I was doing this?
Your response was,"Why is it that pain is "wrong" to us? Because we have a definite sense that things ought to be right...and they're not. But where does this sense of the oughtness of things come from? What is its justification? Is it real, or is it a mere accident of our nervous systems? Does it have any real referent in the actual world? And to whom are we appealing, when we cry out, "Little girls burning to death is so unfair!" :shock:

I was trying to make the point that this "oughtness" is presented first as the intuition of suffering,
That's only an "is." It's not an "ought," in itself.

I detect suffering is an "is." The suffering is unjust is an "ought." You don't get both together for free, logically. The second has to be shown as derivable from the first -- a thing which, as David Hume argued, simply cannot be rationally done.
There is no "presence" without the presence of a thing. The nature of that thing is the first question of debate. Is it a problem? Does its "presence" imply anything to us? What ought we to do with this recognition of "presence," that we now have?

Those sorts of questions appear immediately.
Well, there are lots of presences that are not things. Math and logic, rage and love, understanding, and so on.
Now we're changing the meaning of "presence."

There is "present in reality" and "present in our imagining." They are not the same thing. If they were, everything we imagine would become real.
So, it's not the thing, its the intuition is suffering I am trying to understand: the presence of terrible pain the lighted match is at my finger. This is present.
Again, you smuggled in the word "terrible," which is a value judgment, not a fact. The finger's a fact. The match is a fact. But if you had nerve damage, there would be no pain, "terrible" or otherwise. So there is nothing to be explained there, because, according to what you have said, there is no problem there.
...here I consider suffering as such, not relative to anything.
If that's true, there's no basis for any value judgment based on it. It's a fact that the little girl was burned. But you haven't made clear what kind of a fact you regard it as...a good fact, a bad fact or an indifferent fact...until you add your value judgment to the situation. But that, you now say you are not doing.

So what was the point of mentioning a fact that, according to you now, has no value? :shock:
Being the perfect knight is not a possible condition. Being a knight of faith certainly is. If you understand Kierkegaard, you know that the very fact that the knight is NOT perfect, and that he does not know how everything works out, is the fact that makes his quest a quest.

The knight of faith is not a finished work. He is a man-in-action. He is a self-in-the-becoming. The dragons he fights are doubt, despair and fear. He overcomes them by faith...and in the dynamism of his so-doing is the justification of his status as knight of faith. It is not the outcome: for when the man is complete, he is no longer a knight of faith. He is no longer a knight, in fact. And he no longer needs faith. But he will not be that until after the grave.
What you're talking about the knight if Infinite Resignation, not the Knight of Faith.

Decidedly not.

Resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith. Being "of faith," he continually ventures forth with both confidence and uncertainty -- with commitment, but with circumstantial uncertainty looming, too. He knows WHOM he serves, and why he serves; he does not know at all what will happen in his serving. Nothing there is "fated" at all. And he's courageous, not resigned. That's how Kierkegaard sees it.

The knight of faith knows he is not in charge of how things will go. This is the implication of "resignation," in the quotation you provided. But the reason he can "drain the deep sadness of life" with a "resignation" that is "infinite" is that "he knows the blessedness of infinity." He drinks the cup of the sadness of life to the bitter end -- admits all the harness and apparent tragedy of life -- but does so because he's not afraid to face the facts...for he "knows the blessedness of infinity," i.e. of God, eternity and heaven. For him, life does not end with that.

Camus (to return to the OP) is different from that. His business of making "the rock" into "his rock" is very, very close to resignation. Whereas Kierkegaard's knight is a man of action who ventures out, Sisyphus is a defeated figure who converts the inevitable into something he embraces...Camus himself uses such language. That's a form of Fatalism...or something so close to it that it's very hard to separate the two.
when Abraham brought Isaac to the mountain there was no hesitation, no doubt, no wonder. He just did. A faith so complete, it ruled his finite affairs unconditionally.

This is not what is said. We must regard it as an interpretation presented as a fact. We do not, in fact, know what Abraham thought. Genesis does not tell us what went on his mind, simply what he said to his son. But it does not matter, for Kierkegaard's purposes; for doubts are not sins when faith conquers them. Then, they become trophies of battles won.

odysseus
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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by odysseus » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:26 pm

Immanuel Can

That's only an "is." It's not an "ought," in itself.

I detect suffering is an "is." The suffering is unjust is an "ought." You don't get both together for free, logically. The second has to be shown as derivable from the first -- a thing which, as David Hume argued, simply cannot be rationally done.
Ok, Immanuel Can, the following does not want to be dismissed out of hand.

Hume and Wittgenstein were simply wrong, and reasonable talk about ethics is not limited to what is "empirically" verifiable or falsifiable. This division between is's and ought's has produced the most confusing philosophy since Plato's forms.

Suffering is certainly an IS, an objectless IS, conceived in itself. So what IS it? Does it cross our paths as a meaningful presence? Of course. Is it "empirical," like the sun and the clouds? Well, it is hard to pin it is sensory data, because the external senses do not have to be engaged, and it would therefore be the internal senses that, e.g., allow me to detect this migraine. But really, internal and external is not the point. It is the datum itself. This IS of the migraine's pain. We have to be fair in this, for our object, I am proposing, is to give an exhaustive account of the pain, and Occam's razor is not to be used as a blunt instrument of ad hoc theoretical surgery: what is "there" must be accounted for if it is IN the pain, and not dismissed because Hume told us it's not really there. After all, is a color "there"? Unmistakably, when we see it (call it qualia, if you like; it's just another superfluous term). Take the matter of a color.
This arrives at the center of what I am trying to say: How do we "know" the color is there? I do not want to provoke a discussion about hermeneutics. Let's just say that which we call yellow is GIVEN, just there, period, the concept that synthesizes the color AS a color ends there. You could ask more questions, but that leads to hermeneutical complications I am not discussing (unless you want to!! It is a very, very interesting topic). So. I am interested in this giveness of the sensation we call color, and there is nothing to say to enlighten us about it's giveness. You stare at it, and it's "thereness" simply stares back. The point: it has NO justificatory foundation beyond it. It is not discursively determined, simply intuitive. IT's not an epistemological construct (as the pragmatist's might say); we didn't make it up.

On to pain: what is "given" in a pain event? Here, we have to very careful NOT be disingenuous: Pain is not like yellow, and if we treat it like yellow, then Hume and Wittgenstein win the day. Wittgenstein is wrong, unless you can tell argue otherwise: IN the FACT of pain, there is something else, embedded and part and parcel of the pain, and this is the moral/valuative bad. What is the justification for this proposition? Observe the pain as a scientist would observe. Give analysis to the event, the phenomenon. It is qualitatively different from other empirical concepts, any such concept. The ethical dimension of it is not only there, it is by far the most salient feature of the event. If one still disagrees, by all means, apply the match to your finger and report what you are witnessing, It is NOT "well, there is a certain excitation at a spatial locality of the first digit of the right hand...." and so on. This kind of thing is for explanatory contexts OUTSIDE of the phenomenological analysis of the pain. This is why analytic philosophers are maddeningly obtuse about ethics. They want to move into things they CAN discuss, knowing there is no way to elaborate on the simple givens of the world (and again, hermeneutics is off the table here unless you want to go into them), and the ethical bad of pain is a simple given.

They certainly do not want to yield to moral realism, and that is what this amounts to: accepting that the world is by design, if you will, a moral place. We invented rules and our attitudes are variable, but nobody invented the moral badness of pain. It is there, intuitively accessible, clear as a bell.

This argument is likely the best expression of the idea I can manage and it addressed most of the questions you present. It is an engaging piece of reasoning. If you don't find it so, then there is little I can do.
Decidedly not.

Resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith. Being "of faith," he continually ventures forth with both confidence and uncertainty -- with commitment, but with circumstantial uncertainty looming, too. He knows WHOM he serves, and why he serves; he does not know at all what will happen in his serving. Nothing there is "fated" at all. And he's courageous, not resigned. That's how Kierkegaard sees it.

The knight of faith knows he is not in charge of how things will go. This is the implication of "resignation," in the quotation you provided. But the reason he can "drain the deep sadness of life" with a "resignation" that is "infinite" is that "he knows the blessedness of infinity." He drinks the cup of the sadness of life to the bitter end -- admits all the harness and apparent tragedy of life -- but does so because he's not afraid to face the facts...for he "knows the blessedness of infinity," i.e. of God, eternity and heaven. For him, life does not end with that.
How do you say resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith when Kierkegaard himself describes him as such? And you say he is courageous, not resigned. That's twice you contradict K. The faith described by K is the denouement of his account. Take anther look:

this man has made and at every
moment is making the movement of infinity. He drains the
deep sadness of life in infinite resignation, he knows the
blessedness of infinity


In order to understand this, one has to read elsewhere in K's more technical works. In his Concept of Anxiety, he presents the structure of the self, and here he gives us his concept of the eternal present where the soul and God abide. Faith is through positing spirit, and redemption is achieved by an existential break with the mundane in the realization of the eternal present where actions finally are free of the restraints of recollection. Thus, the knight of faith is not simply believing or knowing; rather s/he is living within the divine "space" of the present and all things are resolved there. Of course, one continues to use language, assume customs, culture, habits (what Heidegger will call dasein), and this is why in Fear and Trembling the knight of faith is objectively depicted as so unassuming. S/he is still one of us, by every means, but one: actions and thoughts issue from the soul/God (K talks like this in Anxiety) where freedom lies.
So this resignation is an self realization which is inherently redemptive. K is not just theorizing, he presents a method for realizing God grace in actuality. The true knight of faith is both very remote, and there before our waking eyes as an everyday person.
Camus (to return to the OP) is different from that. His business of making "the rock" into "his rock" is very, very close to resignation. Whereas Kierkegaard's knight is a man of action who ventures out, Sisyphus is a defeated figure who converts the inevitable into something he embraces...Camus himself uses such language. That's a form of Fatalism...or something so close to it that it's very hard to separate the two.
Right, Camus and resignation. But venturing out for K? What does this mean? Action? No; faith! But you're right on the mark with Camus. But his Meursault in the Stranger is no enviable fellow at the end walking toward the gallows (or is it the guillotine?).
This is not what is said. We must regard it as an interpretation presented as a fact. We do not, in fact, know what Abraham thought. Genesis does not tell us what went on his mind, simply what he said to his son. But it does not matter, for Kierkegaard's purposes; for doubts are not sins when faith conquers them. Then, they become trophies of battles won.
for Kierkegaard, Abraham is a heuristic brought out to examine the concept of faith, just as he did with Adam and the concept of original sin. It's not about a person that lived many years ago. K argues against this kind of history based faith often. Don't quite get the art about battles and trophies.

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by uwot » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:31 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:46 pm
That's only an "is." It's not an "ought," in itself.

I detect suffering is an "is." The suffering is unjust is an "ought." You don't get both together for free, logically. The second has to be shown as derivable from the first -- a thing which, as David Hume argued, simply cannot be rationally done.
So Mr Can, from your belief that there is a god, how did you derive your opinion that one ought to behave in a certain way?

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:46 pm

odysseus wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:26 pm
Hume and Wittgenstein were simply wrong, and reasonable talk about ethics is not limited to what is "empirically" verifiable or falsifiable.
This is not what Hume said. He simply said there's no rational link between X is so, and X is wrong, or X is right.

There is a little girl burning at the stake. That's the "is" you gave me. Then you told me it was not a "problem."

So what's the "ought" you were wanting me to draw form the little girl's situation, and on what rational basis did you want be to draw it?
...our object, I am proposing, is to give an exhaustive account of the pain.
An "is" account, or an "ought" account?
IN the FACT of pain, there is something else, embedded and part and parcel of the pain, and this is the moral/valuative bad.

"Embedded"? How? :shock:

By what magic is any justification for our value judgment "embedded" in the fact of a sensation of pain? You're going to need to explain that to me.
The ethical dimension of it is not only there, it is by far the most salient feature of the event.
You say, "it is...there." How? How is a justification for a moral judgment "embedded"? How does it become "salient" at all, let alone "the most salient feature"?
...the simple givens of the world (and again, hermeneutics is off the table here unless you want to go into them), and the ethical bad of pain is a simple given.
Actually, it's not. It's not simply "given." For one thing, there are good pains and bad pains. And everybody has had the experience of both. But for a second, you cannot deduce from the claim, "There is pain" to "The pain is a morally/ethically bad thing."
Decidedly not.
Resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith. Being "of faith," he continually ventures forth with both confidence and uncertainty -- with commitment, but with circumstantial uncertainty looming, too. He knows WHOM he serves, and why he serves; he does not know at all what will happen in his serving. Nothing there is "fated" at all. And he's courageous, not resigned. That's how Kierkegaard sees it.

The knight of faith knows he is not in charge of how things will go. This is the implication of "resignation," in the quotation you provided. But the reason he can "drain the deep sadness of life" with a "resignation" that is "infinite" is that "he knows the blessedness of infinity." He drinks the cup of the sadness of life to the bitter end -- admits all the harness and apparent tragedy of life -- but does so because he's not afraid to face the facts...for he "knows the blessedness of infinity," i.e. of God, eternity and heaven. For him, life does not end with that.
How do you say resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith when Kierkegaard himself describes him as such?
I did explain his use of that word. And I described it in the exact words he himself used to explain it. I will highlight it below:

this man has made and at every
moment is making the movement of infinity. He drains the
deep sadness of life in infinite resignation, he knows the
blessedness of infinity


Get it yet?
Camus (to return to the OP) is different from that. His business of making "the rock" into "his rock" is very, very close to resignation. Whereas Kierkegaard's knight is a man of action who ventures out, Sisyphus is a defeated figure who converts the inevitable into something he embraces...Camus himself uses such language. That's a form of Fatalism...or something so close to it that it's very hard to separate the two.
Right, Camus and resignation. But venturing out for K? What does this mean? Action? No; faith!
No, both.

Faith is an active thing. Kierkegaard understood this well. One does not have faith by memorizing propositions, theological or otherwise. Kierkegaard's knight is, as I said, a man of action, who puts faith into action. He acts on the premise that he is, as K. puts it, "standing in the face of God," responsible to God alone, an individual who owes the account for what he does only to God. But that faith must be acted upon, or it is not faith at all.

You can see this over and over again in Hebrews 11. Kierkegaard surely knew it very well.
But you're right on the mark with Camus. But his Meursault in the Stranger is no enviable fellow at the end walking toward the gallows (or is it the guillotine?).
Don't quite get the art about battles and trophies.
The knight of faith, as I have said, is not a status conferred on an immobile individual. Being one is a dynamic, active thing. Faith is the weapon, and doubt the thing that is overcome, by the fixed commitment of the self to perform all the actions he can in the recognition that he stands in the presence of God, in all that he does.

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Nick_A » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:07 pm

O
Suffering is certainly an IS, an objectless IS, conceived in itself. So what IS it? Does it cross our paths as a meaningful presence? Of course. Is it "empirical," like the sun and the clouds?
We can agree that only god is perfect and everything we know of as existence exists within the Absolute. So for god to create requires imperfection or god would create itself which is meaningless.

If suffering on earth is duality based and moves back and forth between pain and pleasure serving as a means to invite movement, than it is inevitable.

It is a quality for animal man but can it be an ought, a choice, for conscious man? Is the evolution of human consciousness the means by which suffering serves a purpose as an ought?
“The supernatural greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering but a supernatural use for it.” ~ Simone Weil
Horizontal Dualistic suffering and why nature turns in circles is natural for the collective quality of our animal being. Conscious man aware of the inner vertical direction leading to what reconciles them and to higher consciousness indicates the direction of Man's potential conscious evolution. Can certain individuals come to see pain and the world for what it is regardless of how the world struggles against conscious awareness? They may as long as the world doesn't kill them first

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by odysseus » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:10 pm

Immanuel Can

This is not what Hume said. He simply said there's no rational link between X is so, and X is wrong, or X is right.

There is a little girl burning at the stake. That's the "is" you gave me. Then you told me it was not a "problem."

So what's the "ought" you were wanting me to draw form the little girl's situation, and on what rational basis did you want be to draw it?
Hume and Wittgenstein said we cannot draw an ought from an is. Where is the ought in "the girl is being burned alive"? I said the ought, the ethical issues from the suffering. That makes it implicitly In the girl's affair, and places the ought In the IS. The the is and ethical IS, which is what I have been writing about.
I have noticed that your responses do not include details. Are you reading these posts?
Embedded"? How? :shock:
By what magic is any justification for our value judgment "embedded" in the fact of a sensation of pain? You're going to need to explain that to me.
The ethical dimension of it is not only there, it is by far the most salient feature of the event.
You say, "it is...there." How? How is a justification for a moral judgment "embedded"? How does it become "salient" at all, let alone "the most salient feature"?
...the simple givens of the world (and again, hermeneutics is off the table here unless you want to go into them), and the ethical bad of pain is a simple given.
Actually, it's not. It's not simply "given." For one thing, there are good pains and bad pains. And everybody has had the experience of both. But for a second, you cannot deduce from the claim, "There is pain" to "The pain is a morally/ethically bad thing."
Decidedly not.
Resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith. Being "of faith," he continually ventures forth with both confidence and uncertainty -- with commitment, but with circumstantial uncertainty looming, too. He knows WHOM he serves, and why he serves; he does not know at all what will happen in his serving. Nothing there is "fated" at all. And he's courageous, not resigned. That's how Kierkegaard sees it.

The knight of faith knows he is not in charge of how things will go. This is the implication of "resignation," in the quotation you provided. But the reason he can "drain the deep sadness of life" with a "resignation" that is "infinite" is that "he knows the blessedness of infinity." He drinks the cup of the sadness of life to the bitter end -- admits all the harness and apparent tragedy of life -- but does so because he's not afraid to face the facts...for he "knows the blessedness of infinity," i.e. of God, eternity and heaven. For him, life does not end with that.
How do you say resignation is the farthest thing from being a knight of faith when Kierkegaard himself describes him as such?
I did explain his use of that word. And I described it in the exact words he himself used to explain it. I will highlight it below:

this man has made and at every
moment is making the movement of infinity. He drains the
deep sadness of life in infinite resignation, he knows the
blessedness of infinity

Get it yet?
Camus (to return to the OP) is different from that. His business of making "the rock" into "his rock" is very, very close to resignation. Whereas Kierkegaard's knight is a man of action who ventures out, Sisyphus is a defeated figure who converts the inevitable into something he embraces...Camus himself uses such language. That's a form of Fatalism...or something so close to it that it's very hard to separate the two.
Right, Camus and resignation. But venturing out for K? What does this mean? Action? No; faith!
No, both.

Faith is an active thing. Kierkegaard understood this well. One does not have faith by memorizing propositions, theological or otherwise. Kierkegaard's knight is, as I said, a man of action, who puts faith into action. He acts on the premise that he is, as K. puts it, "standing in the face of God," responsible to God alone, an individual who owes the account for what he does only to God. But that faith must be acted upon, or it is not faith at all.

You can see this over and over again in Hebrews 11. Kierkegaard surely knew it very well.
Don't use Hebrews to contradict Kierkegaard. Just let him speak for himself. If you take issue with him, then spell it out.

Your trouble is you apparently haven't read his serious analytical works. why not talk to me about his thoughts about redemption and the structure of the self I brought up? This is where the answer to his knight of faith is given substance. No, faith is not an action, though actions are brought forth freely in faith. The mundane description of this person he provides is clear about this. He is not struggling at all. THAT IS THE POINT. Faith is a positing of spirit that finds redemption in no longer identifying with one's finitude while still being IN this. (See John Caputo's Radical Hermeneutics for a discussion about this, btw.) It is an inner affirmation. The term 'knight' is ironic.

The knight of faith, as I have said, is not a status conferred on an immobile individual. Being one is a dynamic, active thing. Faith is the weapon, and doubt the thing that is overcome, by the fixed commitment of the self to perform all the actions he can in the recognition that he stands in the presence of God, in all that he does.
Show me text that says this, that faith is a weapon, and I will concede the point. When K uses language, he is often ironic and idiosyncratic. But that I cited in Fear and Trembling: that is very clear. It does take a broader reading for thinks to clear up, though.

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:08 pm

Immanuel Can

This is not what Hume said. He simply said there's no rational link between X is so, and X is wrong, or X is right.

There is a little girl burning at the stake. That's the "is" you gave me. Then you told me it was not a "problem."

So what's the "ought" you were wanting me to draw form the little girl's situation, and on what rational basis did you want be to draw it?
You didn't answer the question. What "ought" did you want me to draw, when you described the little girl's situation?
I said the ought, the ethical issues from the suffering.
Which "ought"? You say, "the ought," but don't say which one.

And you don't say how this "ought" is "embedded". I wrote:
Embedded"? How? :shock:
...the simple givens of the world (and again, hermeneutics is off the table here unless you want to go into them), and the ethical bad of pain is a simple given.
Actually, it's not. It's not simply "given." For one thing, there are good pains and bad pains. And everybody has had the experience of both. But for a second, you cannot deduce from the claim, "There is pain" to "The pain is a morally/ethically bad thing."
So now, would you go about to fix up these faults of reasoning?
You can see this over and over again in Hebrews 11. Kierkegaard surely knew it very well.
Don't use Hebrews to contradict Kierkegaard.
I did not contradict him at all. I agreed with him, and I used Hebrews to explain Kierkegaard's idea.
The term 'knight' is ironic.
Now, THAT'S what it looks like when somebody tries to contradict Kierkegaard. :wink:

It's okay. Not everybody finds it easy to "get" Kierkegaard. The problem is that too many commenters on him try to make him fit in neatly with people like Sartre, Camus and Beckett...and really, he just doesn't. He is, in a real sense, their progenitor, alright...but what his later followers made of his ideas is marred by being based on different ontological assumptions from his. I think he would have profound disagreements with all of them.

But the attempt to make Existentialism into a continuity makes it necessary for the modern person to dismiss anything he/she doesn't understand in Kierkegaard as "ironic."

But don't be surprised if it's not.

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by odysseus » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:29 am

Now, THAT'S what it looks like when somebody tries to contradict Kierkegaard. :wink:

It's okay. Not everybody finds it easy to "get" Kierkegaard. The problem is that too many commenters on him try to make him fit in neatly with people like Sartre, Camus and Beckett...and really, he just doesn't. He is, in a real sense, their progenitor, alright...but what his later followers made of his ideas is marred by being based on different ontological assumptions from his. I think he would have profound disagreements with all of them.

But the attempt to make Existentialism into a continuity makes it necessary for the modern person to dismiss anything he/she doesn't understand in Kierkegaard as "ironic."

But don't be surprised if it's not.
Kierkegaard's doctoral thesis was the Concept of Irony. If you don't understand this, you don't understand Kierkegaard. Please look back on all you posted and observe the complete lack of textual engagement you have. Privately I hope you move on to actually reading Kierkegaard.

Good Luck! Your going to need it.
Clearly, Immanuel Cannot talk about Kierkegaard. :D :D

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Re: Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:40 pm

odysseus wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:29 am
Clearly, Immanuel Cannot talk about Kierkegaard. :D :D
We have a disagreement about how to read him.

I'm not surprised. You think I'm wrong, and I think you have read him reactively, backward, by trying to use ideas only Sartre, Camus and people like that later invented.

The problem is that Sartre and Camus were what the Bible calls "natural men": that is, unlike Kierkegaard, they had no reckoning of God in them, no divine illumination, and a partial ontology, at best. They reasoned according to what they did have, and according to how they were able...and they were good at it, as "natural men" go. There is even a kind of wisdom, limited by not entirely wrong, in what they wrote. But they reasoned incompletely. And everybody who reads Kierkegaard from the "natural man" perspective, to the extent that Kierkegaard wrote Christianly, will find, I suggest, the same experience:

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." ( 1 Cor. 2)

To reason backward, to see Kierkegaard as merely an early stage of Sartre or Camus, is to understand less than half of what the man was about. Half of what he said becomes opaque, and has to be thought to be unintended, or perhaps outright ironic. A thinking Christian, like, say, Victor Shepherd, one of the present experts in Kierkegaard, I would suggest, can get much more out of Kierkegaard than can a "natural man." His book The Committed Self (2015) is one I would recommend if you were interested in the relation between the three.

So he's tricky to understand without a Christian perspective. But I think that's a real credit to Kierkegaard. He would have thought so.

Best wishes.

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