Evolving philosophy

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Lacewing
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Evolving philosophy

Post by Lacewing »

Most of us can probably look at our own lives, as well as considering the path of humankind from its early beginnings until now (as far as we are aware of), and see how philosophy has changed for ourselves and others (including entire civilizations) over the course of time and understanding. And we can see that one’s philosophy is based on many variables at any point and place.

Yet, how many people think that what they think/see/believe/imagine/understand RIGHT NOW is the most accurate philosophical viewpoint? Perhaps they claim to “know” of some kind of permanent, unchanging “truth” that applies to all. And perhaps they claim that some sort of particular book or ancient teachings verify their claims.

But, truly, how would this even make sense when we consider all the changes and variables across time and space? How could we not see how much such claims are based in ego and/or fear? Why would the Universe and all of its energetic levels/potential be so static and limited and material/physical according to human standards?

This human NEED to think we could (and do) “know” such things: what difference does it really make? Can’t we live effective and enjoyable lives without claiming to possess some particular ultimate unchanging knowledge?

If we truly question such things, then how would we be able to justify any kind of unchanging and knowable truth at any point in time, from our limited perspectives and awareness? How does such pretense serve us?

Can’t we float in an ocean without claiming that any of the countless moving waves is “the ultimate one” and that we somehow “know” it? Does anything else in nature depend on such fantasy or demands for its existence?
surreptitious57
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by surreptitious57 »

There are those who believe there is a higher purpose to our existence in the grand scheme of things
Since those who do not share this view can not falsify it we should respect all freedom of conscience
I do not think there is any meaning to our existence but I can not be certain and nor can anyone else
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Lacewing
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Lacewing »

surreptitious57 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:37 am There are those who believe there is a higher purpose to our existence in the grand scheme of things
Since those who do not share this view can not falsify it we should respect all freedom of conscience
I do not think there is any meaning to our existence but I can not be certain and nor can anyone else
But we can ask questions, yes?

If there IS a higher purpose, why would we think we could (or do) know it NOW any more accurately than we or any others have thought at any other time?

And what difference does it truly make? Many who claim to know such a thing do not demonstrate any admirable kind of mastery or awareness or effectiveness or character -- so how are they any better off for it?

What is really going on?
surreptitious57
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by surreptitious57 »

A higher purpose if it actually exists would historically have been revealed through the many different Scriptures throughout the ages
That is the traditional way one would achieve enlightenment and understand their reason for existence in the grand scheme of things

There are many Buddhists and Christians and Hindus and Muslims who are better human beings because of their respective belief systems
Those believers who truly follow their faith most definitely have mastery and awareness but it is always a work in progress even for them

We are all moral beings regardless of whether or not we have a belief system as that is the common denominator here
Even those who do not have one can still learn from those who do and become better human beings as a consequence
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Lacewing wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:28 am Most of us can probably look at our own lives, as well as considering the path of humankind from its early beginnings until now (as far as we are aware of), and see how philosophy has changed for ourselves and others (including entire civilizations) over the course of time and understanding. And we can see that one’s philosophy is based on many variables at any point and place.

Yet, how many people think that what they think/see/believe/imagine/understand RIGHT NOW is the most accurate philosophical viewpoint? Perhaps they claim to “know” of some kind of permanent, unchanging “truth” that applies to all. And perhaps they claim that some sort of particular book or ancient teachings verify their claims.
What is known [philosophically and epistemologically] about humans as "permanent" is a fact they must breathe else they die and other knowledge of constants within human nature.
Instead of jumping to what is the 'higher' purpose, we should find out what is the 'lowest' purpose and built it one one step at a time.
Belinda
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Belinda »

Lacewing wrote:
This human NEED to think we could (and do) “know” such things: what difference does it really make? Can’t we live effective and enjoyable lives without claiming to possess some particular ultimate unchanging knowledge?
It's better to accept uncertainty than feel certain.

Absolute knowledge is impossible. However some metaphysical stances are pragmatically better than others.
To be certain that one's metaphysical stance is absolutely true is unsafe, and also to be agnostic while preferring one particular metaphysical stance is unsafe. The metaphysical stance that I know is unethical and unsafe is that of Descartes who claimed non-human animals don't have minds. He was a Roman Catholic who it is safe to presume had been taught man is higher than other mortal beings and is next to the angels in the hierarchy of goodness that has God at the top of it. The ontology of mind and extended matter as separate substances has caused most of animal suffering in such institutions as factory farming, and killing animals for pleasure.

The metaphysical stance that mind and body are separate substances has until recently stopped any real progress in psychotherapy
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RCSaunders
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by RCSaunders »

Belinda wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:17 am Absolute knowledge is impossible.
And you know this absolutely.

Sure!
Nick_A
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Nick_A »

Lacewing
This human NEED to think we could (and do) “know” such things: what difference does it really make? Can’t we live effective and enjoyable lives without claiming to possess some particular ultimate unchanging knowledge?
From Jacob Needleman's book "The Heart of Philosophy"
Chapter 1

Introduction

Man cannot live without philosophy. This is not a figure of speech but a literal fact that will be demonstrated in this book. There is a yearning in the heart that is nourished only by real philosophy and without this nourishment man dies as surely as if he were deprived of food and air. But this part of the human psyche is not known or honored in our culture. When it does breakthrough to our awareness it is either ignored or treated as something else. It is given wrong names; it is not cared for; it is crushed. And eventually, it may withdraw altogether, never again to appear. When this happens man becomes a thing. No matter what he accomplishes or experiences, no matter what happiness he experiences or what service he performs, he has in fact lost his real possibility. He is dead.............

……………………….The function of philosophy in human life is to help Man remember. It has no other task. And anything that calls itself philosophy which does not serve this function is simply not philosophy……………………………….
Raising the obvious question: Is philosophy evolving or devolving?
Belinda
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Belinda »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:48 am
Belinda wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:17 am Absolute knowledge is impossible.
And you know this absolutely.

Sure!
I know nothing , RCSaunders, and you know nothing.


I don't write history as I am not a big winner. However, thank goodness, I can speak my mind without being punished for so doing, and to my mind absolute knowledge is impossible.
Skepdick
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Skepdick »

Nick_A wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:07 am Raising the obvious question: Is philosophy evolving or devolving?
It's supposed to devolve.

First you sit and interpret the world from your armchair, then (when you have an idea worth pursuing) you get off your ass and execute it.

Eventually, good ideas will stop happening in armchairs.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by RCSaunders »

Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am I know nothing...
then you can't know,
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am and you know nothing.

I can speak my mind without being punished ...
But only so long as there is nothing in your mind that your government doesn't forbid. Try denying the holocaust or saying something government has deemed is hate speech or otherwise not politically correct. Try saying anything that uncovers government protected secrets and see how long your freedom lasts.
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Lacewing
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Lacewing »

Nick_A wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:07 am
Lacewing wrote:This human NEED to think we could (and do) “know” such things: what difference does it really make? Can’t we live effective and enjoyable lives without claiming to possess some particular ultimate unchanging knowledge?
From Jacob Needleman's book "The Heart of Philosophy"... /...The function of philosophy in human life is to help Man remember. It has no other task. And anything that calls itself philosophy which does not serve this function is simply not philosophy
I think that philosophy is most powerful and truthful when it recognizes and allows growth, flexibility, and change... because that is NATURAL, and we cannot know some ultimate truth from our extraordinarily limited human perspectives, NOR is there even likely to be such a thing as some ultimate truth.

Nothing in the Universe suggests that it is static. Rigid philosophy is clearly contrived human fantasy. Humans like to try to control and claim to know, but their supposed control and knowledge only goes so far.

Refusing to accept contrived fantasy is not a lack of love for philosophy -- rather, it is a refusal to put the Universe in a box. There is VALUE (for whatever its worth) from all different paths of philosophy. Selecting ONE path to rigidly follow, preach, and identify with is as limited and self-indulgent as it sounds -- especially when one dishonestly and foolishly claims it is the only true path.
Belinda
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Belinda »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:17 pm
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am I know nothing...
then you can't know,
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am and you know nothing.

I can speak my mind without being punished ...
But only so long as there is nothing in your mind that your government doesn't forbid. Try denying the holocaust or saying something government has deemed is hate speech or otherwise not politically correct. Try saying anything that uncovers government protected secrets and see how long your freedom lasts.
Life in Britain is relatively free of oppression. No country is absolutely permissive.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by RCSaunders »

Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:35 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:17 pm
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am I know nothing...
then you can't know,
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:44 am and you know nothing.

I can speak my mind without being punished ...
But only so long as there is nothing in your mind that your government doesn't forbid. Try denying the holocaust or saying something government has deemed is hate speech or otherwise not politically correct. Try saying anything that uncovers government protected secrets and see how long your freedom lasts.
Life in Britain is relatively free of oppression. No country is absolutely permissive.
Your personal experience doesn't count.

No matter where you live, or how oppressive a government is, if you personally have no desire or ambition to do anything the government forbids, or are able to evade it, you will not consider that government oppressive. I have personally known two individuals living in communist China who were not all personally oppressed. One is an American doctor who went originally to China as a, "doctor without borders," married a Chinese girl, and lives there now very happily. The other was frankly a smuggler who knew how to play the politics (paying the squeeze) and generally operate under the radar. They both lived just as they chose, but it was in spite of the oppression. There is no way to honestly describe the Chinese communist government as anything but oppressive.
Belinda
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Re: Evolving philosophy

Post by Belinda »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:10 pm
Belinda wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:35 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:17 pm
then you can't know,

But only so long as there is nothing in your mind that your government doesn't forbid. Try denying the holocaust or saying something government has deemed is hate speech or otherwise not politically correct. Try saying anything that uncovers government protected secrets and see how long your freedom lasts.
Life in Britain is relatively free of oppression. No country is absolutely permissive.
Your personal experience doesn't count.

No matter where you live, or how oppressive a government is, if you personally have no desire or ambition to do anything the government forbids, or are able to evade it, you will not consider that government oppressive. I have personally known two individuals living in communist China who were not all personally oppressed. One is an American doctor who went originally to China as a, "doctor without borders," married a Chinese girl, and lives there now very happily. The other was frankly a smuggler who knew how to play the politics (paying the squeeze) and generally operate under the radar. They both lived just as they chose, but it was in spite of the oppression. There is no way to honestly describe the Chinese communist government as anything but oppressive.
Oppression is more than secret police. Oppression includes also the method of thought control which depends upon expensive private schools where rich people send their sons to be groomed for positions of power.
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