Meditating with Descartes

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Scott Mayers
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Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by Scott Mayers »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:11 pm
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 pm If any 'god' is an infinite supreme being, it must encapsulate Totality as a subset of itself, a 'source'.
Is the set of all sets a member of itself?
Remember the paradox is not the 'positing' of a set that includes itself but one that defines itself as all sets that DO NOT contain themselves. It is not considered paradoxical to have a set of all sets that are members of itself.

However, I think it is alright to have a Totality that is the universal set that has no set outside of itself. Then it CAN include the paradox...just as 0 = 0 and 1. In that case, the contradiction is the empty set distinctly in any part of Totality. Totality can contain what is contradictory but cannot be in a subset of itself that demands it is a consistent subset.
jayjacobus
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Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by jayjacobus »

Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:01 pm
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:51 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:42 am As brilliant as Descartes was, he misspelled mediation.
Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Wikipedia

Or one can mediate alone, I suppose.
Maybe you were just making fun of the connected meaning.? But otherwise, I notice that the term 'meditate' has two general intentional meanings that derive from a common one: "(to look from a) middle perspective" or at a perspective removed from the mere subjective nor objective views separately.

This is merely the concept of thinking itself by a non-biased or neutral perspective ...and in more ancient times was both considered useless as it was non-active and so was interpreted by outsiders as the means of BEING silent, something contrary to being something that could lead you into gaining insight. So one interpretation of meditation by the those who actually 'meditated' was to stop to think before acting in a self-reflecting analysis of things through thought. To the practical outsider, it was appropriated to the ACT of not DOING anything as though it WERE literally not even thinking.

[The act of 'mediating' relates but intended to be about having a third person as the neutral perspective in the middle between other people.]

Buddhism is an offshoot of the Gnostic idea that related to Hinduism as well. Instead of interpreting things as specific, especially of records or writings, or stories past on, one needs to unscramble the MYSTERY meaning of the expression (and why it is sometimes referred to as 'mysticism' by some). The act of 'meditating' on something is to take caution not to quickly interpret reality as though it is what it appears to be alone.

I haven't yet read the article and so can't speak about it with respect. So this is just a pre-reflexive point about the topic that I gather from what you guys already have said.
Your post was long.
I Like Sushu
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Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by I Like Sushu »

jayjacobus wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:00 pm The author says in her last paragraph, "Both philosophers and Buddhists want peace of mind;"

How do we know what they want? Do they say that and, if the do, what do they mean?

All human action is ego driven even if the ego is not DIRECTLY linked to the action.

The Budhist monk and the Philosopher may "suppress" I but ego is the reason for that.

If the ego ceases to be, the reason for meditation does not exist.

When there is no "I" there must still be ego and a universal ego affirms the universe only.

"So (does) Descartes is finite and imperfect" mean he doesn't have a universal ego?

Neither do you and neither do I and neither does a monk.
Peace of mind? Pfft! I can only conclude that ‘Buddhists’ and ‘Philosophers’ are fools if that is the case. Then again, it does depend on what was meant by ‘peace if mind’?

To want not to want is death.

Descartes lived in the real world. Buddhism arose from the perspective of someone who’d bee pampered their whole life and then thrown into the world of pain and suffering everyone else happily lived within - there is something dark behind the idea of ‘peace’ that reeks more of ‘wishing for oblivion’. I’ve always felt a rather disturbing undercurrent in people who attach themselves to so-called ‘buddhist philosophy’.

Wittgenstein wouldn’t have been inclined to take ‘peace of mind’ as a way to live. A life in pursuit of freedom from suffering is the denial of life itself imo. Part of the attraction I see other cling to in buddhist thought looks more like cowardice to me - the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.
Skepdick
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Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by Skepdick »

I Like Sushu wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:36 am the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.
Don't be so fast to put all anti-realists in the same basket. If we are to be frank - nihilism is true.

Objectively there is no purpose to life and everything is meaningless in the grander scheme of things.
Subjectively - I don't care. Life is what you make it and all that...

Model-dependent realists (like Hawking) understood it well enough that the idealistic pursuit of the "One True Reality" is just as misguided as any Truth-seeking. And so while it's not an outright rejection of reality, it's more of an acceptance that we can never know it except via the models we construct ourselves.

All models are wrong - some are useful. For some particular purpose.

Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations --John Von Neumann
Scott Mayers
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Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by Scott Mayers »

jayjacobus wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:46 am
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:01 pm
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:51 am

Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Wikipedia

Or one can mediate alone, I suppose.
Maybe you were just making fun of the connected meaning.? But otherwise, I notice that the term 'meditate' has two general intentional meanings that derive from a common one: "(to look from a) middle perspective" or at a perspective removed from the mere subjective nor objective views separately.

This is merely the concept of thinking itself by a non-biased or neutral perspective ...and in more ancient times was both considered useless as it was non-active and so was interpreted by outsiders as the means of BEING silent, something contrary to being something that could lead you into gaining insight. So one interpretation of meditation by the those who actually 'meditated' was to stop to think before acting in a self-reflecting analysis of things through thought. To the practical outsider, it was appropriated to the ACT of not DOING anything as though it WERE literally not even thinking.

[The act of 'mediating' relates but intended to be about having a third person as the neutral perspective in the middle between other people.]

Buddhism is an offshoot of the Gnostic idea that related to Hinduism as well. Instead of interpreting things as specific, especially of records or writings, or stories past on, one needs to unscramble the MYSTERY meaning of the expression (and why it is sometimes referred to as 'mysticism' by some). The act of 'meditating' on something is to take caution not to quickly interpret reality as though it is what it appears to be alone.

I haven't yet read the article and so can't speak about it with respect. So this is just a pre-reflexive point about the topic that I gather from what you guys already have said.
Your post was long.
Wow, thanks for the reflective insight. I think 'zero' is the smallest size. Maybe I should aim for that target? I mean your four word sentence must have taken you to such depths of interest in what I had to write on the subject that I should be more than appreciative of your valuable input. Thanks.
I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by I Like Sushu »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:36 am
I Like Sushu wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:36 am the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.
Don't be so fast to put all anti-realists in the same basket. If we are to be frank - nihilism is true.

Objectively there is no purpose to life and everything is meaningless in the grander scheme of things.
Subjectively - I don't care. Life is what you make it and all that...

Model-dependent realists (like Hawking) understood it well enough that the idealistic pursuit of the "One True Reality" is just as misguided as any Truth-seeking. And so while it's not an outright rejection of reality, it's more of an acceptance that we can never know it except via the models we construct ourselves.

All models are wrong - some are useful. For some particular purpose.

Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations --John Von Neumann
I said :

Part of the attraction I see other cling to in buddhist thought looks more like cowardice to me - the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.”

I was hardly putting everyone who finds appeal in buddhist teachings into the same basket.
Skepdick
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Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by Skepdick »

I Like Sushu wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:41 pm I said :

Part of the attraction I see other cling to in buddhist thought looks more like cowardice to me - the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.”

I was hardly putting everyone who finds appeal in buddhist teachings into the same basket.
But you were warning against "the need to deny reality" and "the dangers of nihilism”, and insofar such warning is necessary then any philosophy which shares those views ought to be warned against.

Hence - you are putting model-dependent realism (a weak form of anti-realism) in the same basket as Buddhism.
I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Meditating with Descartes

Post by I Like Sushu »

Skepdick wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:57 pm
I Like Sushu wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:41 pm I said :

Part of the attraction I see other cling to in buddhist thought looks more like cowardice to me - the inherent need to deny reality; a dangerous path akin to nihilism.”

I was hardly putting everyone who finds appeal in buddhist teachings into the same basket.
But you were warning against "the need to deny reality" and "the dangers of nihilism”, and insofar such warning is necessary then any philosophy which shares those views ought to be warned against.

Hence - you are putting model-dependent realism (a weak form of anti-realism) in the same basket as Buddhism.
I was actually comparing buddhism to nihilism. One looks up from the abyss and the other looks down into it. I don’t, and didn’t warn AGAINST, I said they are dangerous - I warned of danger, but I didn’t say ‘don’t go there’.

The thread talks about buddhism so did I. I have a habit of sticking to the general theme of topic. The buddhist view of ‘self’ is very much part if the topic.
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