Kant's Four Questions

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Nick_A
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:45 am

P R,
Interesting article, I have a few comments to make off of it later on, but to answer your query about if objective reality would still exist if earth was hit by an asteroid. In order to do so, I'll ask a question, "What worth is a grain of sand to you?"…………….

That was a roundabout approach, but I do think that if Earth was eradicated...completely, like say through atomic vaporization....would the Universe really "care"/acknowledge? It is just one planet, one little rock, where we fight over definitions, and who has the better rock (piece of sand). Thus to some observers the universe would still exist, but to the observers present on the vaporized rock...not likely. Does the universe have a purpose? I honestly don't know, I see it as more of a sandbox where we're allowed to play. Purpose implies meaning, meaning needs an observer. If the universe has a purpose, it's purpose is relevant to you (aka it's subjective).
A grain of sand is meaningless. But the fact that it is meaningless to me doesn’t make it meaningless from a universal perspective.

Imagine the human organism as a microcosm or mini universe. This means that it has the same basic structure of our great universe. It is obvious that one body cell is meaningless for us yet we cannot survive without body cells. A grain of sand may lack meaning but that is not to say that sand doesn’t have a place within the great chain of being.

What IYO is responsible for allowing us to play in the sandbox? If life is an accidental creation, what is gained by it if it is meaningless? Without purpose there is nothing to evolve towards.

What if as believed by panentheism that the universe is the body of and within this pure consciousness some call god? Then as part of the body, meaning for man is experienced through service to the body of God. In other words, the body doesn’t serve us but we serve the body and conscious recognition of what service means opens us to experience objective meaning above that of animal meaning. Is your purpose to serve your leg or does your leg serve you?

Again I’m not asking you to believe anything. I am just offering what has made sense to me during my intense search for meaning.
....I think it's possible to create an internal mirror where one can reflect their own thoughts back upon themselves prior to interacting with another. Kinda like it's mentioned in Al Siebert's articles...the "bi-phasic" personality of survivors. You can be both agreeable, and hostile. Both introverted, and extroverted....etc.

Also, if you think the universe has a purpose, maybe you're projecting into the universe what you are actually thinking about yourself (a person can project into anything really). I've heard of people projecting, and attaching to bomb disposal robots...it's the same thing with pets. We're keyed into doing it, but we have to hone it if we want to seemingly make sense of reality, my opinion.
I agree. Lacking consciousness we become emotionally attached to opinions. They are judged in either a positive or negative way as you’ve described according to our conditioning. Avoiding this requires the capacity for conscious impartiality. Simone Weil called it detachment from the acquired habits resulting from the human condition.She wrote:
"There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too”

'Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached.” ~ Simone Weil.
I’m a chess player. I enjoy experiencing the logic of a position. It just seems far more logical to begin with the assumption of universal purpose as proposed by those I respect and then seek to verify it through the process of personal experience and deductive reason. I’ve always had this concern for universal purpose and the purpose of Man within it. It isn’t necessary to project a belief onto the universe since it isn’t necessary. I gain nothing from a blind belief. IMO questions like those raised by kant can only be answered in the context of a conscious universe. The real question for me is why the power of imagination is so strong that it gradually creates conditions in which people are free to participate in recurring episodes of mutual self destruction called war. Common sense suggests if we are this ignorant and gullible, how could we be expected to collectively open ourselves to the conscious experience of objective human meaning and purpose?
Last edited by Nick_A on Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Plato's Rock » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:35 am

hmm, I've entertained the Pantheist perspective before, but it didn't really suit me. To illustrate why, instead of a grain of sand. Let's escalate to an ant in a colony (or a bee). That should be a similar enough analogy to the cells in a body, and the human organism as a microcosm, right? What it seems to me that you're arguing is a utilitarian perspective of "For the Greater Good" of the "body of God" in this case. Our work is his work, which isn't something I disagree with per say. The main issue I'd come up with here is the notion of a "greater good".

The Ant colony is a superorganism, and if every ant participates accordingly...it functions, but there is "Expectations" of even the queen. If she doesn't reproduce enough, or of the right kind of "classification of ant/bee". The lower echelons are entitled, and will assassinate the queen if I recall correctly. Is this allowed with God? If God becomes an almighty tyrant that threatens the collective good themselves. Are they allowed to be pruned too? Ex; If Humanity is threatened with extinction because of inaction, or action of God (say God doesn't engage enough). Is God allowed to be replaced? And God can't exist without Humans because I'm sure aliens (A type of Other) wouldn't have our conceptions of Deity (kinda nulls the Universe as God argument in itself).

Drilling down, can a Christian God exist if there is no Christians/believers? The same goes for Hindu, or any other deistic faith. Including Pantheism. It seemingly boils down to a subjective notion of does the observer exist, and how do they make sense of what they consider real. A God, may just be a Benevolent "Other", I don't know.

...to answer my own question, I don't think a grain of sand is meaningless. It can have all sorts of value. Either to itself (Pan-psychism) or to another. One value I can readily think of is, "Dust to Dust". That grain of sand may very well become another part of lifeform in the future, or it may have came off a lifeform already. If it was meaningless, and valueless. It'd be "No-Thing"....it simply wouldn't have a need to exist in the first place.

In respect to allowing us to play in the sandbox. Immediately, my predecessors...like my parents, and then theirs, and so forth all the way back to the primordial ooze that sludged around..., and even further back "No-thing" itself.

And to explain that a little more, I consider "No-Thing" to be inherently unstable, and self-destructive. No-Thing simply can't exist without falling in on itself in a destructive/creative process. "No-thing" (nothing) is two syllables...so if one wanted to say a syllable is a "bit" (as in a bit from information theory... a sort of yes, or no to a question). One could conceive that if the final question of existence, as per, Kierkegaard's thoughts;

"And when the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life has grown silent and its restless or ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you is still, as it is in eternity, then eternity asks you and every individual in these millions and millions about only one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not." -Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death"

Is that question, or any question that Eternity decides to pose. What would your answer be? Mine would be "Yes", to have I "lived" in Despair, and to my own concoction of; "Existence; Yes or No?"

You are offered a single affirmation, or denial of statement in said type of questions. Yes, you want to exist, and will exist despite of all the suffering, hatred, pain, and despair. That you've somehow found a quixotic stance to enjoy life in the midst of pain, and hardship. And that you would gladly affirm, yes, I would do it again. Or yes, it was worth it.

For if you say, no...there was no point in you existing. You are the "second bit" in the "no-thing"...the "no". For the Universe/Eternity...in my conception always defaults, "Yes" (a thing). And a Yes, has to proceed a No...Existence precedes Essence.

And if you've read any of Clauswitz, you'd realize that "War is a continuation of Politics by other means". In other words, if we can't come to agreement through negotiation it is perfectly acceptable to start conflict, if needed. Politics stem from beliefs, and in turn ontology. Remember Plato's seminal work was called Republic....

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Dubious » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 am

-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:21 pm
Well, I live in Canada, and have taken four philosophy courses in post-secondary institutions. All courses covered Kant partially (they covered others, and they did not cover Kant totally) and I am left with a miasma of disparate thoughts about what Kant's actual philosophy is. In Canada, as much as in the rest of the English speaking world, there is a strong downplaying of German thought, as many of them lead to WWII and people are scared to scratch the thoughts lest they find something ugly. So they DON"T TEACH KANT properly. They can't. They won't.
I also live in Canada but have almost nothing in common with the culture. Your quote here reminds me of WWI when Beethoven was not allowed to be played because he was German. This is so absurd and funny at the same time. How many Beethoven’s in Western Civilizations were there that you can just write someone like that off! At least they didn’t make that mistake again in WWII. Regardless of how judged by some, German culture as a whole remains one of the pinnacles of Western Civilization.
-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:21 pm
Again, this morphing of energy to matter, time into space, and the discovery of the morphing being not only possible but necessary, may be a function of the German cultural and lingual tradition. (Both in numinosity and in physics.) I strongly believe that a culture or a language shapes a nations' thinking, making it markedly different in certain aspects from other cultures/ nations. Proponents of this theory keep citing that the Inuit (Eskimos) have many words for snow fall, and Arabs, as many for dust storms. But that's superficial. I say that the Hungarian language promotes finding special cases for well=known algorithms, and creates short cuts when certain conditions exist. It is due to Hungarian being an extremely convoluted language, and people form age two on are forced to think hard to cut down on the excess in their speech and writing.
German is a highly synthetic inflectional language where the meaning of a word can be modified by conjoining other words to it. By this method even a word can devolve to an independent thought. It becomes highly chromatic and inferences made which allow only limited or clumsy translation to other languages. These linguistic abstractions have a tendency to train the mind to think in more complex patterns. The examples you gave denote very well how concepts are customized by distinct cultures which are barely understood in others.

-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:21 pm
It is no wonder that it's the French who came up with the two most bizarre but true concepts of the self, of the "I" (Cogito ergo sum, and Sartre's maxims.)
I wonder what the world would be like or any future theories of intelligence if AI ever gets to affirm these maxims for itself...a possibility that cannot be discounted.
-1- wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:21 pm
In my simpler mind, I invoke the holy trinity: poetry, songs, and god-worship. They helped each other tremendously over the ages into existence and thriving. To me, a good poem is like a song: it lifts you up, you close your eyes and you transcend into another world. A good song is like a religion: your experience of spiritual matters becomes keen and sharply defined. And religion is like a good poem: it has its life-rhythm, it talks to you, and yet you maintain a clear separation between you and your god. If you have one or some to start with.
From the way you describe it you’re not a simple mind as you call yourself. In any event, it’s good you feel the embrace of another world. That’s how art, all in all, is supposed to function, an escape from the mundane.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by -1- » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:31 pm

Dubious wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 am

I also live in Canada but have almost nothing in common with the culture.
One of the hardest things in Canada to define and identify with is the national culture of the population in big cities. Because of a constant influx of immigrants, in my lifetime (40+ years in Toronto) there has never been an identifiable, palpable culture that could even be described as applicable to all or even to more than half of the denizens.

Our best dead prime minister, P.E. Trudeau remarked once, "Canada is not a country. It is, instead, a loose association of shopping malls."

However. Eight years ago I moved to a smaller city in South Ontario, far from Toronto, and there IS a culture here. (By culture I mean a series of uniformly codified behaviour patterns, from eating to worship, from politicizing to social activities, from family life to how to talk to a stranger.) It is wonderful to live here. Life is good. Life is beautiful. People show care, and they don't trample you underfoot like in Toronto.
Dubious wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 am
German is a highly synthetic inflectional language where the meaning of a word can be modified by conjoining other words to it. By this method even a word can devolve to an independent thought. It becomes highly chromatic and inferences made which allow only limited or clumsy translation to other languages. These linguistic abstractions have a tendency to train the mind to think in more complex patterns.
Hungarian is also highly synthetic, albeit not predominantly by conjoinment, as German, but by transforming the role of the word in the sentence, and using it thus. It has other elements of German and Slavic languages in idioms, in borrowed words, in grammar. However, Hungarian grammar is more related to Turkish and Finnish, inasmuch as it is much more inflectional than German or any of the Slavic languages. "Legelkelkaposztastalanithatatlnitottatok." Is a word, formed from the root noun "Kaposzta" or cabbage, transformed into an adjective, transformed into a verb, and then defining the mood, tense, and person of the verb.

Consequently, German can be easily and well translated into Hungarian, as can Russian, for instance. There is a world of a difference between the same book by Dostoevsky or Gogol or Puschkin when you read it in English or in Hungarian translations. In comparison, the English texts don't serve these works justice, they sound awful. The Hungarian speaks to you, to your soul, to your very essence. You may say that all it takes is a good translator to translate between any two languages, and that is also true. A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, the works of Stephen Leacock and Mark Twain were put into Hungarian by the writer-hero of many Hungarians, by Frigyes Karinthy. Lesser geniuses made beautiful work out of translating Karl May, Thomas Mann, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, to name just a few. They were lesser geniuses, because the difference in lingual norms is not too wide between German and Hungarian. Two geniuses translated Villon's Ballads because French is a more foreign language to Hungarian than Slavic ones or German.

I started to read Kant's Critique of the Pure Reason in English in my freshman year at UofT, and put it down in disgust after the first page of the foreword. Its translator used GENDERIZED pronouns that corresponded to the German original. For instance, if it were to talk about a wall, it would say, "The wall stands, and she divides us" instead of the more correctly translated form, "The wall stands, and it divides us." I'd call the translator plain stupid, and stupid I can't tolerate. I was trembling, I was so angry at the editor to have published such stupidly translated a work.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by -1- » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:38 pm

Dubious wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:10 am
German is a highly synthetic inflectional language where the meaning of a word can be modified by conjoining other words to it. By this method even a word can devolve to an independent thought. It becomes highly chromatic and inferences made which allow only limited or clumsy translation to other languages. These linguistic abstractions have a tendency to train the mind to think in more complex patterns. The examples you gave denote very well how concepts are customized by distinct cultures which are barely understood in others.
Precisely.

We were discussing Kant in another thread, may have even been on a different site. We talked about the dasein, and people were at a complete loss what it meant. To me it could have meant only one of two things: either da sein (being there) or else das Ein (the one). I asked the other users, which is it, and nobody replied. They preferred to wallow in the mystical unknowability of what Kant actually wanted to say.

Nick_A
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:16 pm

P R, First let me admit that I made one huge two letter error. For some reason I wrote pantheism instead of the intended panentheism. It has been changed. Panentheism as I understand has its source described by Plotinus as ONE. It is beyond the limitations of time and space. GOD IS. In contrast creation is within the source and bounded by time and space so creation carries on the process of existence. God cannot be nature since to do so would make god a creature. God cannot die as a queen ant since God IS and birth and death is part of the continual process of creation. God’s grace is within nature and provides the possibility for evolution. The demiurge is what provides the consciousness necessary to balance the processes of the living machine we call universe

Plotinus concept of the emanations of the ONE devolving as levels of reality into the intellect and further devolving into world soul and soul makes sense to me but is also denied by those believing only in inductive bottom up logic. Sorry for the confusion.

The question of the “greater good” can drive anyone to drink. For example: should trees die for the good of the forest? Should some trees be cut down so that the forest can receive adequate sunlight? Is the good of the forest a greater good than a tree?
In respect to allowing us to play in the sandbox. Immediately, my predecessors...like my parents, and then theirs, and so forth all the way back to the primordial ooze that sludged around..., and even further back "No-thing" itself.
But what is the incentive for this process? What is gained by it without a conscious intent for the process to take place?
And to explain that a little more, I consider "No-Thing" to be inherently unstable, and self-destructive. No-Thing simply can't exist without falling in on itself in a destructive/creative process.
As I see it No-Thing IS. It contains pure potential. However potential itself can be diminished which is why creation is necessary. "I Am" describes the relationship of pure potential with its manifestations within the body. Nothing in contrast is void of potential.

We agree with Kierkegaard and Ecclesiastes 1 that it is all meaningless under the sun. So objective meaning for Man if it exists must be the process of connecting above and below rather than arguing matters below the sun.
1 The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.
Existence isn’t a choice but rather a necessity. Our choice seems to be if we must exist as a reactive animal or with the additional necessity of a conscious being as well serving a more meaningful universal purpose worthy of the name Man.
"War is a continuation of Politics by other means".
True, but is there any greater proof of the fallen human condition than politics which prevents emotional impartiality and conscious reason?
"When a man joins a political party, he submissively adopts a mental attitude which he will express later on with words such as, ‘As a monarchist, as a Socialist, I think that …’ It is so comfortable! It amounts to having no thoughts at all. Nothing is more comfortable than not having to think." Simone Weil

Plato's Rock
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Plato's Rock » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:09 am

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:16 pm

....
In respect to allowing us to play in the sandbox. Immediately, my predecessors...like my parents, and then theirs, and so forth all the way back to the primordial ooze that sludged around..., and even further back "No-thing" itself.
But what is the incentive for this process? What is gained by it without a conscious intent for the process to take place?

We agree with Kierkegaard and Ecclesiastes 1 that it is all meaningless under the sun. So objective meaning for Man if it exists must be the process of connecting above and below rather than arguing matters below the sun.

Existence isn’t a choice but rather a necessity. Our choice seems to be if we must exist as a reactive animal or with the additional necessity of a conscious being as well serving a more meaningful universal purpose worthy of the name Man.
....
Does water need an incentive to flow downhill? To me this is what gives life meaning, even without conscious intent of a Creator, or Demiurge. Say, that we arose from Nothing...dirt, dust...etc. And we're still a work in progress, we aren't perfect in either case (Original Sin), or we're not a pinnacle species (Evolution...even if Evolution is blind). What I find beautiful, and meaningful everyday I wake up is the ability to wake up to a world. That was shaped by my "tribe", my "species", Humanity. We are all works in progress, and that is beautiful in itself. I think objectively it is all meaningless, but subjectively...this is not so anymore, at least for me. It means I'm allowed to create aspects of the world that I so desperately wish to try and live in. I am like the "creator", or the "demiurge"...in a secular sense. I may live my life as a tragedy, or a comedy...it is my choice. I find that freedom of expression exhilarating...especially the more I realize it, and come to terms with it. Appeal to a "higher authority", in my opinion, is childish. It's like calling for Dad, or Mom when some other kid kicks sand at you...I think we need to be more present in the world we do have than wishing it away in a sacrificial appeal to a "Second Life". More so when the first life was spent in a self-destructive mindset (ignoring the here and now for a promised afterlife).

Existence is a choice after awhile. You can always opt out (Suicide) in whatever manner you prefer, and what time you prefer. Sure it's not "Acceptable", the option is always on the table.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:08 am

Plato's Rock, Water flows down hill but it needs an additional force to flow uphill. Newton’s law of motion suggests the necessity of an unbalanced force to put matter in motion. Evolution seems to need this unbalanced force. What is this unbalanced force IYO?

You seem content to enjoy the world and there is nothing wrong with that. I disagree that the collective life of man has furthered the good of our planet. I see what is being done to the coral reefs and the rain forests for example and damage also effects the psych of man through the destruction of the source of fine qualities of energy needed by the psych of man to become more conscious. A good argument could be made that Man is loosing psychic quality from the loss of these qualities of energy. I think the world would consider the Man animal to be a mixed blessing.

I have read and believe it to be true that without sufficient consciousness in the world the world is doomed. The trouble is that that man is collectively doing what it can to sacrifice conscious awareness for blind worldly indoctrination. As I see it there are four basic results of consciousness in the world. The first is a lack of self awareness. The second is the basic good human being. They are good seeds and good seeds are worth objectively saving. The third and the most dangerous are the political or religious activists and egoistic entertainers.. They are so caught up in imagination that their essence becomes trapped and cannot evolve as does good seed. The fourth is conscious man which Einstein referred to as the cosmic man and Christianity speaks of as the New Man. The philosopher king Plato referred to would be on the path of conscious evolution. The first and third types seem to have become the most influential and harmful but often considered “experts.” They look down on good seed without realizing that objectively they are in a better place.

You seem content to be good seed and that is fine. My heart goes out to these rare individuals who are genuine seekers of truth. I know the world hates them but if what I’ve read is true, without their influence we remain not human living in a doomed world.
“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.” ~ Socrates
Which is better: to live well. to die well, or just say it doesn’t matter? A real philosophical question.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Plato's Rock » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:16 am

Instability would be a rough concept of the unbalanced force in my book, but more than that I can't say for certain. If this argument borderlines on a "unmoveable mover", or a "Prime Mover". I don't know what to make of that. For all I know that is a byproduct of our language/sense of awareness. We need causation, but having causation biases us towards that perspective. It is quite possible if I recall correctly for "spontaneous/instantaneous" events to happen in QM. And that is still being argued about because we can't tell if it is our perceptions that is biasing it, or if it's actual phenomena (Observer Effect).

Man can be an overgeneralized term. And if the good of our planet is the primary concern, then when it's in the Great Chain of Being. It oddly doesn't matter then does it? It is beneath Humanity..., and being that we are of the "superior attribute" ...it is our decision to do with it as we will, right?

What level of "Sufficient Consciousness" would suffice? And do you know, or assume that Man is collectively doing sacrifices for blind worldly indoctrination?

Of which result do you consider yourself? If you say "Forth", I am going to assume that you are actually a "Three" because it would seem to me that you are caught up in your own imagination, and grandiosity. If you say "Three", I can assume that you are actually realizing that we are all caught up in our own hypocrisy which is a good realization. If you say, "Second", I may think that you are again calling yourself "good" without knowing the harm inflicted via your actions, if any. The "First", well, may be a starting point, but you wouldn't know that if you weren't self conscious.

I'd say to die well because in dying you have given your life's chapter a closing argument. That one has made the effort to "live well", but they realize that they too must "Die". Dying can perversely have the most impact over the "world" than actually living can.

Just think, if John F. Kennedy, wasn't assassinated, and hadn't given his "Seed/Idealism" (The Moonshot) to the public before hand. Is it conceivable that Humanity never would've landed on the moon? It makes sense to me at least that, there would've been a lot of engineers/staff that were motivated by a dead President's near final words.

Providence dictates when we die, but I don't think it chooses us until our "essence is most ripe". Meaning we have to finish our work to the best of our ability. Even if our work is only concluded upon our deaths.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:31 am

Well I still don’t get it. Newton’s first law of motion states: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force..

If we begin with nothing or dead matter and there is no conscious source enabling the motion necessary for evolution, I don’t see how the process is possible and what sustains it. But we can leave that since we both don’t know.
Man can be an overgeneralized term. And if the good of our planet is the primary concern, then when it's in the Great Chain of Being. It oddly doesn't matter then does it? It is beneath Humanity..., and being that we are of the "superior attribute" ...it is our decision to do with it as we will, right?
Man was supposed to work in the garden. We have two gardens to work in: our inner life and the external world. If we do suffer the fallen human condition, our inner lives need a lot of work. We cannot value ourselves or the planet. Man is higher on the chain of being but if the human perspective has devolved into a fallen perspective, the attributes lose their value.

We cannot know what sufficient consciousness is. All we can know is that gradually it is being lost as the world becomes more enchanted with technology.

I consider myself a two and have successfully avoided the traps that pull one into becoming a three. I’ve come to understand that the important foundation for any realistic inner work begins with the balanced man. Only when the head, heart, and body, can work together is it possible to truly begin to “understand.” I agree with what Jacob Needleman wrote in the preface to Lost Christianity:
.................But, this is not an either/or. The premise –or, rather, the proposal—of this
book is that at the heart of the Christian religion there exists and
has always existed just such a vision of both God and Man. I call it
“lost Christianity” not because it is a matter of doctrines and concepts
that may have been lost or forgotten; nor even a matter of methods of
spiritual practice that may need to be recovered from ancient sources.
It is all that, to be sure, but what is lost in the whole of our modern
life, including our understanding of religion, is something even more fundamental, without
which religious ideas and practices lose their meaning and all too
easily become the instruments of ignorance, fear and hatred. What
is lost is the experience of oneself, just oneself—myself, the personal
being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for
goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting one’s own
existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however
tentatively, of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from
within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in
the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness
between what we are meant to be and what we actually are.
It is, perhaps, the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past
toward the human future......................
I’ve come to believe in the value of the Socratic axiom “Know Thyself.” I’ve learned by experience that most of me doesn’t want it and prefers to imagine oneself and justify imbalance. Resistance is powerful. A four has acquired sustained consciousness connecting above and below and will which is still beyond me. So for now I’m content with intermediate Christianity and its foundational efforts to Know Thyself.

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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Plato's Rock » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:13 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:31 am
Well I still don’t get it. Newton’s first law of motion states: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force..
....
I’ve come to believe in the value of the Socratic axiom “Know Thyself.” I’ve learned by experience that most of me doesn’t want it and prefers to imagine oneself and justify imbalance. Resistance is powerful. A four has acquired sustained consciousness connecting above and below and will which is still beyond me. So for now I’m content with intermediate Christianity and its foundational efforts to Know Thyself.
I think neither of us will totally understand each other's perspectives, or anyone else's for that matter. I don't see Newton's Laws as absolutes...yes empirical evidence supports them near constantly, but it still is just a cognitive model. Much like Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism. They are all mental models, and when one is at a young age they are often reared in their parent's "dominant" mental model (Christianity, Islam,...etc). And yet this indoctrination as far as I can tell...closes one's mind to the "fundamental truths" of other Denominations. I fell out of Christianity when I was probably close to six, or seven years old (not of my doing). I didn't know what religion quite was at the time because I didn't receive the full "teaching", and I still haven't. I did have experiences of the "Catholic Guilt", but as I grew older...it faded.

I'm now 28 years old, I have looked back, toyed with the idea of joining a Faith, but at this junction of time. It doesn't make sense to me. It never took strong roots in me. I could justify going to church for social benefits...etc., but spiritual...I just can't. It doesn't resonate with me. And being I went through college for biochemistry (got hit with physics, biology, and chemistry at high levels)...a lot of the "gaps" that people fall in were "navigated around" through "Humanist/secular teachings" for me.

Ex;
Where did we come from? Evolution, and this planet over large time scales.
Are we a "Chosen of God"? I don't think so, but I can't support, or deny it. Thus it's essentially a non-question/non-thought for me. It seldom appears on my table.
Am I Good, or Evil? I don't know, I prefer neutral for now, and I'll leave it open to the historical judgment when I pass away. I don't see the "Problem of Evil" because I don't have a foundational premise for the notion of "God". That cornerstone of youth, and being told to believe this, is missing (that's where I tripped up...realizing my "belief" structure is totally different from nearly everyone's).
If anything I'd be closer to "pagan", but even then it seems silly because of my education.

Lately, I don't feel like I have to address these deep "Meaning of Life questions" anymore because I feel like I've either addressed them all for myself already. And my "answers make sense to me". I realize that the only answers we could find are Human Answers. We would need to see how an "alien civilization" developed to see if they had parallels which may or may not happen.

I don't feel a need to knock on Religion because I know it's a strong part of a lot of people's lives, but to me. It's just another approach to "Truth". Not the "Absolute Truth". Christianity to me, is an "Aesthetic".

This mindset is sort of what I think Nietzsche was getting to/at, when/if Christianity is "Successful"...it'll destroy itself. "Got ist Tot! And we have killed him."

Doesn't mean we can't, or couldn't revitalize the "ideals", if we should. I mean if Jesus is God, and He died on the Cross. It would make sense that we'd have to "resurrect him" in some sort of point of view. He may be physically resurrected, or spiritually, but is he in our "heart's/awareness" resurrected? Is Jesus/God alive for you? We didn't stay dogmatically inclined towards the Greek Pantheon, so why should the Abrahamic Faiths be immune to the same process?

And if you're anything than Greek Orthodox, or Catholic...as a Christian denomination you'd almost have to recognize that Religion, and perspectives of God change over time. Simply because that's how different denominations form. Same goes for Buddhism, the Perspectives change in the Believers. The Interpretations change in the believers. Not too mention the purported purpose behind the Angelican church of England (more political than anything else).

Anyways, it's something I'm still sorting through. It's just not the highest priority in my life, and I have no problem admitting that.

Nick_A
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:47 am

P R, And if you're anything than Greek Orthodox, or Catholic...as a Christian denomination you'd almost have to recognize that Religion, and perspectives of God change over time. Simply because that's how different denominations form. Same goes for Buddhism, the Perspectives change in the Believers. The Interpretations change in the believers. Not too mention the purported purpose behind the Angelican church of England (more political than anything else).

Anyways, it's something I'm still sorting through. It's just not the highest priority in my life, and I have no problem admitting that.
This is one way it seems we are different. There was a time in my life when I really needed the experience of meaning. I was drinking too much natural for a working musician and was going down hill. At that time I was involved with a woman with some interest in esoteric ideas. I chanced upon a book I intended to give to her but something in me said “no, it is for you.” Not being a fan of philosophical or religious expressions, my mind was blown because I learned that there are and always have been those who were not caught up in the BS. Where previously I thought I lived in an absurd world, it was now obvious that the world makes perfect sense. I just lacked the perspective to grasp it. One night I went to sleep in a state of awe because of the depth of certain ideas based on the verification of deductive reason. The next day there was no compulsion to drink. The point is that at one time I really needed meaning. Without this intense need, nothing would have changed.

I may be misreading you but you do not believe in an objective knowledge that devolves for us into subjective opinions. So to make it clear for me, do you believe in the possibility of perennial philosophy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
Perennial philosophy (Latin: philosophia perennis),[note 1] also referred to as Perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.
It has its roots in the Renaissance interest in neo-Platonism and its idea of The One, from which all existence emanates. Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) sought to integrate Hermeticism with Greek and Jewish-Christian thought,[1]discerning a Prisca theologia which could be found in all ages.[2] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94) suggested that truth could be found in many, rather than just two, traditions. He proposed a harmony between the thought of Plato and Aristotle, and saw aspects of the Prisca theologia in Averroes, the Koran, the Cabala and other sources.[3] Agostino Steuco(1497–1548) coined the term philosophia perennis.[4]
A more popular interpretation argues for universalism, the idea that all religions, underneath seeming differences point to the same Truth. In the early 19th century the Transcendentalists propagated the idea of a metaphysical Truth and universalism, which inspired the Unitarians, who proselytized among Indian elites. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Theosophical Society further popularized universalism, not only in the western world, but also in western colonies. In the 20th century universalism was further popularized in the English-speaking world through the neo-Vedanta inspired Traditionalist School, which argues for a metaphysical, single origin of the orthodox religions, and by Aldous Huxley and his book The Perennial Philosophy, which was inspired by neo-Vedanta and the Traditionalist School, culminating in the New Age movement.
Of course perennial philosophy devolves into secular and New Age perspectives. This cannot be helped. But do you believe it is possible that the conscious awareness of objective truth entered the world through conscious sources and Man has the conscious potential to experience perennial philosophy as opposed to being continually lost in subjective opinions?

Plato's Rock
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Plato's Rock » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:32 am

Quick answer, I suppose to an extent I sort of believe in an aspect of perennial philosophy, but I haven't looked into it too deeply. Based upon the blurb that you shared, I would call my impression of that an expression of the "Human Experience" which is an aspect of the "Human Condition". I feel like we can't truthfully call it a "objective truth" unless we, as odd as it sounds, have a non-human perspective upon it. It doesn't necessarily imply extraterrestrial, but some form intelligence that can't be generalized as our "Own Human foibles".

One could base an argument, from...the perspective of a fish (or a dolphin), let's say. Does the fish see the world the same way that we do? We can't say. Our respective environments if exposed to each other for any long term duration would kill each other. We generally can't breath underwater, and they can't breathe in air. Both are "fluids" in some perspective (a gas is a less dense liquid, but both are fluid). For all we know, the fish are super-intelligent "Psychic", and see us as the "slow ones". We can't tell.

Another one could also argue that each individual on the planet has their own "philosophical foundation" because there is no telling how different our minds operate which may be the perennial philosophy, but where does one draw the line for Human? Does, or did a neanderthal experience the same types of "The Human Condition"? Some of us have Neanderthal DNA, does having it cause a different "perspective" in proportion to someone who doesn't have as much, or none at all?

Does an Autistic child, or a Down child have the same experience of the Human Condition with the self-same awareness of it?

I don't know, but these are all possible questions to ask which is why I'm hesitant to commit to an "objective truth". And to be slightly pedantic, "objective" to me may mean something entirely different than what it means to you. To me it rhymes in my mind with an empirical evidence based truth. Whereas what you consider "objective/universal"...would be an "Absolute Truth" to me. Ex; Absolute Truth to me is something like;

1) I Think Therefore I am, (Descartes) (I can only Know myself to be Real)
2) I am Who I am, (Existentialism/Bible) (Affirmation of Self)
3) Existence precedes Essence, (Existentialism, in particular Sartre) (rearranges the order...we were children prior to thinking so deeply/experiences).
4) I'm not Descartes, or Sartre...et al, (Recognition of the Other... which leads to recognition that there are other "minds"...that we are actually having this conversation).
5) Authenticity/Inauthentic, (Sartre/Nihilism) (I am not being true to my nature...I am acting out others' values).
6) Yet I exist, who/what...etc am I? (Loops back to I am who I am) (personal nihilism/destruction of identity...when I needed meaning in my life because Nothing had value).
7) I am, therefore I think, (kinda Existentialism/Nietzsche's Ubermensch/Kierkegaard's Knight of Faith...I value what I can, and I value it because I can) (recreation of Identity).
8 ) I am real, (essence) (My values are my own).
9) Existence precedes Essence, (I existed before I held my own values).
10) I exist, (I know myself to exist, and I existed previously).
11) Existence is Real. (I say this is real, and it's meaningful...otherwise it'd be "non-existent, or unworthy of engagement"...I wouldn't bother, and it'd bind in between Authenticity/Inauthentic and "Yet I exist...").

I too had a moment in my life where I needed meaning, and I found it through numerous authors. Along with personal observations. Not saying I'm accurate, but it seems to work. And if it works for me, Kant's Categorical Imperative implies it should work for others too? May be subjective opinions, but a lot of the above philosophers I mentioned are probably recognized for a reason...it's "Objective". I think.

Another way of looking at life that I've been toying with is, "The Absolute Value Plot" from Math ( https://i.stack.imgur.com/VVF2E.png ). If one has the "right perspective", nothing's ever negative. It's just a negative slope..., ones on a decline (steps 1-6 in the above), or one can see it as ascending....positive slope (steps 6-11 in the above). Just some odd thoughts.

*edited for typos*

Nick_A
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Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:45 pm

P R, Quick answer, I suppose to an extent I sort of believe in an aspect of perennial philosophy, but I haven't looked into it too deeply. Based upon the blurb that you shared, I would call my impression of that an expression of the "Human Experience" which is an aspect of the "Human Condition". I feel like we can't truthfully call it a "objective truth" unless we, as odd as it sounds, have a non-human perspective upon it. It doesn't necessarily imply extraterrestrial, but some form intelligence that can't be generalized as our "Own Human foibles".
Maybe it is the opposite. Maybe now because of the effects of the human condition we are living by non human interpretations of the external world. Perennial philosophy would only be striving to experience through conscious contemplation and intuition the objective connection between the visible world and its source. For example Plotinus’ description of the ONE is considered an expression of perennial philosophy. We cannot interpret it or measure it through science yet we can experience dunamis and intuit how it is the source of what we know of as creation. If true the value of perennial philosophy is that it allows a person to fill in a universal skeleton in which emanations of the ONE devolve within it into the many lawful fractions of the whole.
"Philosophia Perennis--the phrase was coined by Leibniz; but the thing--the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being--the thing is immemorial and universal." Aldous Huxley. (1944). The Perennial Philosophy

"I have meditated on the different religions, endeavoring to understand them, and I have found that they stem from a single principle with numerous ramifications. Do not therefore ask a man to adopt a particular religion (rather than another), for this would separate him from the fundamental principle; it is this principle itself which must come to seek him; in it are all the heights and all the meanings elucidated; then he will understand them." Al-Hallaj, a Sufi Perennialist teacher
From these perspectives our fundamental error in the pursuit of “understanding” or standing under and receiving reality, is to begin with false premises. But as is obvious nothing is more valued than arguing over false premises.
Does an Autistic child, or a Down child have the same experience of the Human Condition with the self-same awareness of it?
The human condition creates imagination so experiences differ by definition. However Simone Weil may have been right when she wrote:
"The difference between more or less intelligent men is like the difference between criminals condemned to life imprisonment in smaller or larger cells. The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like a condemned man who is proud of his large cell.

"... All that matters is that he has come to the end of its intelligence, such as it was, and has passed beyond it. A village idiot is as close to truth as a child prodigy. ..."
- Human Personality
If she is right, objective truths are buried in the subconscious having little to do with the interpretations that cause us to be considered intelligent.

Perennial philosophy differs from modern academic philosophy in that it furthers remembrance (anamnesis) as opposed to analysis in the search for truth. Academic philosophy interprets the shadows on the wall in Plato’s cave and perennial philosophy seeks to inwardly turn to the light which creates the shadows.
Another way of looking at life that I've been toying with is, "The Absolute Value Plot" from Math ( https://i.stack.imgur.com/VVF2E.png ). If one has the "right perspective", nothing's ever negative. It's just a negative slope..., ones on a decline (steps 1-6 in the above), or one can see it as ascending....positive slope (steps 6-11 in the above). Just some odd thoughts.
I hope I haven’t given the impression of being critical. If your “right” perspective provides the experience of meaning you have needed, so much the better. I am just pointing out that there have been those who have felt a need for something beyond right thinking. They have needed the experience of reality that for some reason they became aware that they are preventing through imagination. There is a lot of animosity raised in the direction of these people for rocking the boat but I respect them as far more realistic than I am. These people could understand Kant’s questions far better than I can.

Nick_A
Posts: 4257
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Kant's Four Questions

Post by Nick_A » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:26 pm

P R, let me ask if your philosophy agrees with Kant’s answers to his questions

http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantview/
At the foundation of Kant’s system is the doctrine of “transcendental idealism,” which emphasizes a distinction between what we can experience (the natural, observable world) and what we cannot (“supersensible” objects such as God and the soul). Kant argued that we can only have knowledge of things we can experience. Accordingly, in answer to the question, “What can I know?” Kant replies that we can know the natural, observable world, but we cannot, however, have answers to many of the deepest questions of metaphysics.
Can we experience and acquire psychological knowledge through intuition?
Kant’s ethics are organized around the notion of a “categorical imperative,” which is a universal ethical principle stating that one should always respect the humanity in others, and that one should only act in accordance with rules that could hold for everyone. Kant argued that the moral law is a truth of reason, and hence that all rational creatures are bound by the same moral law. Thus in answer to the question, “What should I do?” Kant replies that we should act rationally, in accordance with a universal moral law.
Do you think tht moral law defined as truth of reason would ever govern rational beings or would the struggle for prestige nullify truth of reason?
Kant also argued that his ethical theory requires belief in free will, God, and the immortality of the soul. Although we cannot have knowledge of these things, reflection on the moral law leads to a justified belief in them, which amounts to a kind rational faith. Thus in answer to the question, “What may I hope?” Kant replies that we may hope that our souls are immortal and that there really is a God who designed the world in accordance with principles of justice.
Do you believe that hope is really just rational faith?

I ask you these questions because you seem to be open to ideas. Kant’s four questions seem simple but the more we contemplate them, the more we can experience how little we understand them. Perhaps that is a good thing.

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