• Constance
    1.2k
    Thus, the failing (obscurity) of the OP.180 Proof

    Look, it's Wittgenstein's claim about ethics, the world and value in the Tractatus. It is Witt you don't understand. It was so obscure for Witt that he refused to talk about it, yet he admits that it is precisely that which cannot be spoken that is the important part of the work.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    The OP raises a question of "the essence of religion" and not "what Witty says about religion (in the TLP)". Nothing I've discussed here shows what I do or do not understand about "Witty's ethics", so that's a non sequitur at best. The fact of the matter is, Constance, religion long preceeds (by scores of millennia) philosophical reflections such as ethics and that's where its "essence" (foundation) lies – in facticity (e.g. exigency), not ideality (i.e. effable ineffability).
  • Constance
    1.2k


    But you have to ask why he took that position. You think the OP is obscure, but I am saying the issue is obscure, the OP is clear. But it does take a penetrating analysis. What is it about ethics that Witt said was beyond the pale of what language can say? It is the Good (and of course, the Bad)! What in Culture and value he calls divinity. One has to ask, why would he say this?
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Constance, religion long preceeds (by scores of millennia) philosophical reflections such as ethics and that's where its "essence" (foundation) lies – in facticity (e.g. exigency), not ideality (i.e. effable ineffability).180 Proof

    It precedes reflections about ethics logically; historically. who cares. This is an apriori argument.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    It precedes reflections about ethics logically; historically who cares.Constance
    Yeah well, the logical precedent happens to be manifest historically since the topic concerns a concrete, social institution and not a mere abstraction. :roll:

    This is an apriori argument.
    What "argument"? There is no "argument", just speculative observations which are either informed by anthropology, history, psychology, etc or they are not.

    But you have to ask why he took that position.Constance
    No we don't because Witty isn't the topic of this thread as per the OP. Folks shift the goal posts when they are confused by the obscurity of what they think they are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, Witty is a non sequitur you've introduced that further obscures the issue.
  • ENOAH
    637
    what if ethics were as apodictic (apriori, universally and necessarily true) as logic?Astrophel

    I would view logic as apodictic in accordance with its own terms. Perhaps a priori, insofar as I would define a priori: a "truth" settled upon and input foundationally and universally, more or less. But not pre-existent nor always present; like a posteriori and phenomena, mediated (constructed and projected). I would not view logic as universally and necessarily true outside of its own construction. I would not impose our logic upon Nature, for e.g. If/when we [superficially] observe logic in nature, we are superimposing it.

    As for ethics, same exact paragraph as above, mutatis mutandis.

    I am not diminishing the high function of both logic and ethics for us. I am not following a hypothesis that they are neither ultimately real nor necessary in order to stop applying them. On the contrary, I cherish both, even though I am not expert in either. I am just settling on a position which following various paths collected where "I" happened to be.

    To reiterate that current settlement, our mundane experiences are mediated, we, as human animals, have become so attached to them, we are no longer attuned to our real and natural aware-ing, the one we share with the rest of nature in variations. Religion reminds us/allows a glimpse into our present being, and reprieve from the speed and chatter of becoming; and, more so, from attachment to the Subject of that becoming. The latter has virtually displaced our true natures with its movements.

    From Upanisads to Analects to Sutras, Gospels, Torah and Prophets, Koran, and I would speculate much more, beyond the mythological, legalistic, and ritualistic, there is the consistent thread: surrender your ego (Mind's constructions/projections) to the Universal (God/Nature). That consistent thread, I say, is the essence.

    You know that perception is an historical construct, even though it occurs without pause. This is evident in that one's own personal history provides that language learning from infancy, yet when we engage with this language, there is exactly this immediacy in the way a knowledge claim is affirmed in and by language.Astrophel
    Well. That's what I'm saying. And Heidegger must be who I got it from. The so called experience (seems immediate but) is mediated by the language passed on (as it evolves) through history, input into each "unit" of Mind starting in infancy.

    And, following Heidegger, this language itself, apart from one's personal history, has a history that goes back through the ages and evolves in historical movements (sound like Hegel? Of course).Astrophel
    What the hell! Yes. I thought Hegel had built that idea, yes. Mind is History. It moves through, not just language qua language, but a multiferous system of signifiers, operating in accordance with its own evolved laws mechanics dynamics. Logic for instance, a "grammar". As is ethics


    make that move into the world (this is what Michel Henry argued with passion) and there we are in this "fleshy encounter" of a very direct apprehension that is NOT qualified by the interpretative values of language. Feel the grass, the pinch of the flesh,Astrophel

    Ok, yes. I see your point. Sorry, I got carried off by those parallels. Yes, when I say religion takes us away from "I" and returns us to real being (the body), you are correct. Being feels nature presently; senses before perception floods in with its "fiction".

    an unmitigated, unconditioned apprehension of the pure phenomenon that stands before one in vivid presence,Astrophel
    :clap: :up:
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Yeah well, the logical precedent happens to be manifest historically since the topic concerns a concrete, social institution and not a mere abstraction.180 Proof

    But the point is that it being a concrete social institution is exactly what one has to put aside to understand the essence of religion.

    What "argument"? There is no "argument", just speculative observations which are either informed by anthropology, history, psychology, etc or they are not.180 Proof

    No. Read the OP. There are actual claims there. You should read it, understand what it says and say something like, look, here you say this, but this is assailable on grounds X and Y.

    No we don't because Witty isn't the topic of this thread as per the OP. Folks shift the goal posts when they are confused by the obscurity of what they think they are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, Witty is a non sequitur you've introduced that further obscures the issue.180 Proof

    Don't be naïve. Witty is at the very center of the OP. I can't help you if you don't do this, read the OP with a mind to understanding and without the default dismissal, that is. Just read it.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    I would view logic as apodictic in accordance with its own terms. Perhaps a priori, insofar as I would define a priori: a "truth" settled upon and input foundationally and universally, more or less. But not pre-existent nor always present; like a posteriori and phenomena, mediated (constructed and projected). I would not view logic as universally and necessarily true outside of its own construction. I would not impose our logic upon Nature, for e.g. If/when we [superficially] observe logic in nature, we are superimposing it.ENOAH

    I have to lean Kantian on this one, but only lean: The apodicticity shouldn't be denied what it is: one cannot, say, even imagine an object being its own cause, to move all by itself, that is. Nor can one imagine logic's tautological principles being any less authoritative than they are. This apriority of the logic of causality is, notwithstanding the contingency of the language that discovers it, itself an absolute. This is saying: no, I really do not know what logic is because, per Wittgenstein, logic is only shown but its nature cannot be known, and: language itself is not apriori. It is as you say historical. But even though I cannot clear the interpretative language dimension of knowing of all doubt (to speak like Descartes), the intuition (whatever that is) is emphatic and and clear as a bell, and it is this coercivity, of logic, not the hermeneutic aporia, that is the absolute. I think to question this collapses into an empty skepticism.

    But to call it an absolute is itself bound to interpretative indeterminacy. One simply cannot help this. One CAN doubt anything, true, but to doubt logic as it appears is disingenuous. I would without hazard say, the "intuition" of causality is absolutely inviolable.

    Not clear about a posteriori and phenomena. As to nature and logic, I think it important to note that a person is not nature. Nor is it right to argue that that one fits into the natural scheme of things. A person is a self, and a self is a very different kind of being from a tree or a coconut. Our self is a living and breathing, caring, pragmatic, historical temporally structured existence that anticipates a future in a perpetual "not yet".

    I know this sounds weird, and I have to say I don't understand it perfectly well, but the more I read the papers on phenomenology, the closer I get. It is best to simply allow oneself to observe and think: there is logic. What IS this? See how it is played out in symbolic logic. The insight the OP and all that follows is trying to show is that this "intuition" of logic is simply inviolable. But because logic is only about the form of thought and not the content, it is only trivially inviolable. Logic QUA logic is vacuous. But now let's look at ethics and we see it is not the form, nor the random opinion, the cultural orientation, the relativity of values, and the like. Here, we move to the essence of ethics/religion, into what all these have to make them what they are. And this requires an analysis of an ethical matter. We find the essence of ethics is value, and so it is with religion. What is value? This has been discussed.

    As for ethics, same exact paragraph as above, mutatis mutandis.ENOAH

    Which means you would count value as not something as universally and necessarily true outside of its own construction. But what is its construction? With logic, there is the coercivity in the intuition regardless of the aporia of the language, and this has to acknowledged for what it is. But in ethics, it is the pain of this sprained ankle. Now, what IS "its own construction"? Are you saying that the sprain is entirely a localized affair, there in the ankle, and no where else? I suspect this to be the case.

    The trouble is, again, that the view here is phenomenological: There are NO physical locality boundaries, and each being IS Being qua Being. You may find this odd, but this really is the implicit physicalism that pervades science and naturlistic thinking. All is metaphysics, I argue. This sprained ankle is as profound as it gets. Why? Because the pain that is physically localized, is phenomenologically without locality, for it is subsumed under Being as such.

    From Upanisads to Analects to Sutras, Gospels, Torah and Prophets, Koran, and I would speculate much more, beyond the mythological, legalistic, and ritualistic, there is the consistent thread: surrender your ego (Mind's constructions/projections) to the Universal (God/Nature). That consistent thread, I say, is the essence..ENOAH

    I believe you are saying that that consistent thread is value-in-the-world. Note that all you mention is essentially constituted by ethicality, for there is in all this the essential normativity that aligns with ethics. All of these metaphysical systems "insist" on compliance, like logic insists. The argument lies in the observation that value experiences, the ones celebrated in those religions, like logic, cannot be imagined to be other than what they are. Value in ethics and religion is noncontigent, in other words, and apodictic

    Look at it like this, say, as is generally assumed, that the Hindu Brahman, the Buddhist Nirvana, the Christian heaven and so on, are not realizable for the confirmation of religious belief. And all there is in the world that would make for our existence's foundational meaning for one in good intellectual conscience lies in the everydayness of things (which is science. We are all scientists in our everydayness). Pretty much the assumption of modern thinking, and philosophy certainly assumes this to be the case, for the most part. This argument takes this assumption and says the religious, metaphysical affirmation one seeks, is IN the very everydayness itself. It is demonstrable world for atheists, agnostics, logicians like Russell and Frege, in the analytic of living and breathing.

    What the hell! Yes. I thought Hegel had built that idea, yes. Mind is History. It moves through, not just language qua language, but a multiferous system of signifiers, operating in accordance with its own evolved laws mechanics dynamics. Logic for instance, a "grammar". As is ethicsENOAH

    Slavoj Zizek would agree. And I think this right. By this thinking, when one observes an object, the object and the observation are one! One spiritually evolving divinity. BUT: one has to put history down explicitly, suspend all of those "historically" derived knowledge claims that implicitly and immediately take hold of the object (the emotion, the attitude, the idea) and allow oneself to to understand that the language and its interpretational possibilities is clearly NOT this sprained ankle's misery. To speak about the misery, within all a particular historical framework's "potentiality of possibilities" is radically OTHER than the misery itself. This is Kierkegaard (Concept of Anxiety) and his complaint against Hegel. This is a long issue.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    I've reread the OP and that's why I stand by my first post in response ...

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/903982
  • ENOAH
    637
    one cannot, say, even imagine an object being its own cause, to move all by itself, that is.Constance

    I agree. So it's apodictic. But I still think it is apodictic because the imaginer is already constrained by/conditioned into cause and effect. Ask a relative who shares 98% of our genes if it can so imagine. For the rest of the universe lightning strikes fire ignites is not a Narrative moving in the form of linear time. So our system makes logic apodictic within our system.

    language that discovers it,Constance
    And I say, Language that constructs it. This is exactly where we diverge. I am not convinced logic is a "whatever" (attribute, principle, truth?) in Nature; only in Mind. But I remain radically open to any convincing out there. In here, I'm admittedly settled.


    this coercivity, of logicConstance

    Then you'd say the same of the Self, it is coercive as he'll. Yet I doubt it's occurrence in the universe anywhere outside of the evolution/emergence of mind, as History, structured by Language.

    doubt logic as it appears is disingenuous.Constance
    I agree. And I clarify, logic, its function in human existence (history/mind) is undeniable. I say so what if it is part of the constructed? We must adhere to it to function. Then why deny its universality, pre-language, etc? Because it helps when navigating through the ocean of how things really are, to know you are on a ship. Abandon it? No way. Know what it is. Which again is how religion saves us even from logic. It shows us the ocean from the ship, though we are compelled, or at least best to remain aboard.


    Our self is a living and breathing, caring, pragmatic, historical temporally structured existence that anticipates a future in a perpetual "not yet".Constance

    I agree with every word, and yet here's how I think we still differ. For me our real self, is not a self, reacts to feelings, sensations, drives. Among those drives is bonding, a drive so powerful which at any level of analysis reveals how not individual our organic so called self is. That real self is caring. But as for pragmatic, Historically/Temporally structured, perpetually becoming, you describe; like logic, that "Self" me/I, is just another mechanism constructed by History as a fit way to move that temporal narrative becoming along. It works to have a mechanism within the system of signifiers, to signify the body it is occupying and affecting.


    it is only trivially inviolable. Logic QUA logic is vacuous.Constance

    Maybe mine is not so far from this.



    means you would count value as not something as universally and necessarily true outside of its own construction. But what is its construction? With logic, there is the coercivity in the intuition regardless of the aporia of the language,Constance

    Unless I am misunderstanding the use "Ethics" in some specific way, with Ethics, it is the binary feeling pleasant/not pleasant; there is the coercivity in the intuition regardless of the aporia of the language.

    But, let me put it in my terms. At the organic root of ethics, as in all things, is thd binary feeling, or the on not on of bliss. But the construction of ethics is, also like everything else, a dialectical process of competing constructions. The most functional is projected into our world/history.



    in ethics, it is the pain of this sprained ankle.Constance

    I'd say the pain of the sprained ankle is one "event", immediate, present and organic. The ethics is constructed seemingly
    immediately, but nevertheless constructed.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    And I say, Language that constructs it. This is exactly where we diverge. I am not convinced logic is a "whatever" (attribute, principle, truth?) in Nature; only in Mind. But I remain radically open to any convincing out there. In here, I'm admittedly settled.ENOAH

    Now you are talking like Heidegger. And Rorty who, in his Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, says it outright: The world is not discovered; it is made. I said earlier that I agree, and I have agreed all along, and I think if you find yourself at this crossroad, you have made an important step toward really understanding our "being here". It is foundationally hermeneutic, or dialectically evolving. I brought up Zizek. He holds in his Hegelian views that our current perspective-in-zeitgeist is like a software program in which one cannot see the mountains in a setting because it is simply not there in the one's and zeros, in the possibilities of the program, so from our pov, there are no mountains and it is absurd to speak as if there are. A wonderful way to talk about the absence of what we cannot even imagine, but is in the currently transcendental possibilities.

    But discovery, this must occur within the possibilities of this zeitgeist. Kierkegaard spent a lot of ink on Hegel. Hegel, he says, simply forgot one thing: that we exist! THIS is where Henry comes in and the essence of religion becomes clear, for while I can see how powerful this idea of the hermeneutic delimitations of thought and understanding is, I am IN a world that is in NO way interpretatively distant. But one instantly leaps on this assumption: interpretative distance pervades everything. There is nothing that "survives," as "in itself" for when the mind turns to say what a thing is, there is no thing itself in the saying. The thing itself itself belongs to this finitude of language and culture. But this is well understood, already, and yet there is in the reduction (and one has to look at Husserl's Ideas, or Cartesian Meditations, or The Idea of Phenomenology to see how important this "epoche" is to the neo Husserlians that challenge scope of hermeneutical prohibition) the presence or givenness of the world.

    Now one can see why this reduction is used to give religion its meaning that was lost in the modernist critique. Once one sees that the presence of the world CANNOT be "presence" for the moment it is spoken in this context, it is "under erasure" (Derrida) it vanishes in its authority as meaningful language. And this is where we stand in the world as enlightened beings, very aware that our language cannot possess the "givenness" of the world, yet there it stands before one, the world of beingS, the chairs and tables and interests and things and moods and anything that is "said" being now "under erasure".

    If this makes sense to you, then you are parsecs ahead of this zeitgeist we live in, as was and is Gautama Siddhartha. It is a matter of understanding in the rarest sense, in the occurrent seeing and being here, that we are not "here" at all.


    Then you'd say the same of the Self, it is coercive as he'll. Yet I doubt it's occurrence in the universe anywhere outside of the evolution/emergence of mind, as History, structured by Language.ENOAH

    No, the "self" is, in the context of talking about selves, entirely grounded in language's contextualities. But in the revelation that follows the "under erasure" above, things becomes manifest that were not before. The self, too, is revealed by language, but it is IN language that the delimitations (above) are "discovered" for one has to admit that anything that steps before one to be understood, is "revealed" to language. BUT, and this is the hard part, there is a counterpart to this revelation that has no name. You see the point here: one cannot be rid of language, for to even try is an attempt in language. And so, it is in language that we "discover" what is not language. Language has already evolved to this radical manifestation of confronting the tout autre of language. Here, history is no longer an interpretative obstruction, nor does it inform understanding.

    I agree. And I clarify, logic, its function in human existence (history/mind) is undeniable. I say so what if it is part of the constructed? We must adhere to it to function. Then why deny its universality, pre-language, etc? Because it helps when navigating through the ocean of how things really are, to know you are on a ship. Abandon it? No way. Know what it is. Which again is how religion saves us even from logic. It shows us the ocean from the ship, though we are compelled, or at least best to remain aboard.ENOAH

    The whole point of bringing logic into the discussion is simply provide an unproblematic model for what certainty is. No more than this. The reason I do this is due to the way people, philosophers, treat ethics as something that is as variable as belief systems, as customs and "taste". Nietzsche tore away from this, but his ethics was a purely naturalistic one, a "blood and guts" ethics of the gladiatorial (which he praised). N did not understand ethics due to his abhorrence of metaphysics and he thought Christian world hating other worldly divine judgment and condemnation simply had to go. And he was partially right, but he just didn't understand what ethics was. Ethics is the metaphysics, the metaethics, of this world. This is the claim here.

    I agree with every word, and yet here's how I think we still differ. For me our real self, is not a self, reacts to feelings, sensations, drives. Among those drives is bonding, a drive so powerful which at any level of analysis reveals how not individual our organic so called self is. That real self is caring. But as for pragmatic, Historically/Temporally structured, perpetually becoming, you describe; like logic, that "Self" me/I, is just another mechanism constructed by History as a fit way to move that temporal narrative becoming along. It works to have a mechanism within the system of signifiers, to signify the body it is occupying and affecting.ENOAH

    And I say you are wise to talk like this. For me (I don't like the condescension of preaching or even advising) the next step is a very strange one. There is no history. There never has been. Give the self a brief analysis: I am now, in the reduced moment, that is, in the nunc stans, the here and now. something of analytic possiblities AS an occurrent phenomenon. I perceive the world around me, and I recall, as I see all that informs me about the world, my education, and this education defines the possibilities of meaning making. I cannot tell you about the the grammatical nuances of Swahili, but I do know about English.

    But looking more closely, we see that In the actual event, the past is never discovered (in this analysis); rather, the past is part of an anticipatory dynamic of what could be. Even when one explcitly recalls, the recollection itself is a "not yet" of becoming the next moment. My recollection, in the process itself of recalling, anticipates what will come to be in the next moment of the thought, the utterance, the experience. And the past is analytically absorbed into this singular dynamic of recalling and anticipating. This is what we ARE, constantly on the precipice of an unmade future. It is never settled into some primordial ontology, but never stops being a projection of possibilities into a future. So the past entirely loses it identity AS the past. The most fundamental analysis annihilates common sense time. The present? This is our freedom to choose, but then ALL meanings get lost in this analysis of time.

    Consider: a curious question ask, what is the past? One has never witnessed the past; it is always the past IN the present in which it is acknowledged. It is literally impossible to witness the past.

    Unless I am misunderstanding the use "Ethics" in some specific way, with Ethics, it is the binary feeling pleasant/not pleasant; there is the coercivity in the intuition regardless of the aporia of the language.

    But, let me put it in my terms. At the organic root of ethics, as in all things, is thd binary feeling, or the on not on of bliss. But the construction of ethics is, also like everything else, a dialectical process of competing constructions. The most functional is projected into our world/history.
    ENOAH

    Why not allow the world to be what it is? There is nothing in the pain of a sprained ankle that is dialectical. One is not comparing nor is the event historical in any way. It has a "thereness" that transcends analysis. This is an important idea. Ethics may be a construct, the the "raw material" if you will of ethics is anything but.


    I'd say the pain of the sprained ankle is one "event", immediate, present and organic. The ethics is constructed seemingly
    immediately, but nevertheless constructed.
    ENOAH

    But then, drop that tag, "but nevertheless constructed." Why is this there? The construction issues from the entanglements of value in play. These are incidental. That I owe the bank money, and in order to maintain the confidence in its institutions a society requires debts to be paid, yet I live in poverty and there has been such an absence of justice in my background, I feel well justified in avoiding this obligation, and so on; all this is dismissed in the reduced analysis, for we want to know what the essence of ethics is, not the many "states of affairs" we find ourselves in.

    The pain screams out from the living present. What is IS is worn on its sleeve, so to speak. It is the world "speaking" the ethics of not bringing this into existence.
  • ENOAH
    637
    THIS is where Henry comes in and the essence of religion becomes clear, for while I can see how powerful this idea of the hermeneutic delimitations of thought and understanding is, I am IN a world that is in NO way interpretatively distant.Constance

    You have a very helpful way of putting thoughts into perspective. I see the truth in the above clearly. That latter part is what I've been calling being not knowing.

    Now one can see why this reduction is used to give religion its meaning that was lost in the modernist critiqueConstance
    Aha, right


    And this is where we stand in the world as enlightened beings, very aware that our language cannot possess the "givenness" of the world, yet there it stands before one, the world of beingS, the chairs and tables and interests and things and moods and anything that is "said" being now "under erasure".Constance
    Yes, yes. The tragedy of the (uniquely) human condition, resolved not by the ideas of, but by the precise practice of tge essence of religion. By, as SK intuited, but I am adjusting, resigning yourself to the infinite impossibility of possessing the real world as a Subject, yet knowing enough that the objective is only a representation and also, can never possess it--and yet taking the leap anyway; for me, the leap into being. It cannot be an intellectual pursuit because that utilizes and constructs knowledge; it must be a leap of silent faith that for that timeless moment you will face being, your organic self, when you land.

    It is a matter of understanding in the rarest sense, in the occurrent seeing and being here, that we are not "here" at all.Constance
    Nice


    [/b]uote="Constance;909299"]And so, it is in language that we "discover" what is not language. Language has already evolved to this radical manifestation of confronting the tout autre of language. Here, history is no longer an interpretative obstruction, nor does it inform understanding.[/quote]
    I think this may be a point of difference I have with current convention period. The idea behind the treminology being, Language (Mind) cannot be relegated to an emergence, or worse, illusion or fiction, it must maintain its privileged status in this imaginary hierarchy of Truth/Reality (which we adamantly deny but all assume) because, after all it is only by (I sense Heidegger in this but know I am extrapolating) going through that process of becoming which language affords, that we uniquely made in g's image (also implicit) get to know being.

    But mind has many built in mechanisms which propagate the illusion tgat its the privileged reality, and that's why it has thrived. One of them is that knowing is the highest aim, that it is an unveiling rather than what it really is, a making-up.

    No, thank you very much. I don't want to know being. Many have constructed skyscrapers of that. I want to be being. And genius that Mind is, it has provided a tiny rare and extremely muddled and buried crack--one so muddled and buried that highly intelligent people protest against all of the shit covering it up, thinking they are protesting it; a not only harmless, but clearly beneficent construction.

    I'll post and address the rest separately
  • ENOAH
    637
    (I don't like the condescension of preaching or even advising)Constance
    Let's get this one out first. I get the sentiment. We just have to plow through. I'm learning that. Your info is invaluable, if I haven't made that clear.

    logic into the discussion is simply provide an unproblematic model for what certainty is. No more than this.Constance

    Of course. I agree that should be the approach. Provided no false barriers are created.

    treat ethics as something that is as variable as belief systems, as customs and "taste".Constance

    I agree that such an approach to ethics is a corruption of the "purer" root of relatively, being that ethics have a solid and rigid place in our world, but we can recognize that they are yet an evolving, moving, process of construction and then
    projection.

    There is no history. There never has been.Constance
    YES. This is what I've been wondering in the inverse. Despite history and its fleeting and empty moments, Being is consistently present.

    Why not allow the world to be what it is? There is nothing in the pain of a sprained ankle that is dialectical. One is not comparing nor is the event historical in any way. It has a "thereness" that transcends analysis.Constance
    Yes you are entirely correct. What I meant was the analysis; this takes place instantly; this is the Dialectic. The pain is the only reality, the thereness which transcends dialectic. But as you know, instantly and ineluctably, we are flooding the being-natural-aware-ing-pain-ing with dialectic. "My ankle hurts. Why did I leap for that Frisbee? Should I be on morphine?" Simplified but you get the picture. These re-present the thereness (of) pain-ing with meaning about pain. Not real, real.


    this is dismissed in the reduced analysis, for we want to know what the essence of ethics is, not the many "states of affairs" we find ourselves in.Constance
    Aha! Right. I'm doing to ethics the very thing I'm defending religion from. Right, the essence.
  • ENOAH
    637


    There is another way of putting it--this essence of religion--and now, having pondered, I see that thinking my focus was beyond ethics, you were right, and I wasn't right enough. The metaphysical is ethical--at least on this focus. Because here is the exact thing I've been "pushing" just worded differently.

    The essence of religion Is to pursue, or at least know, the Truth that there is a being, and a species of being, for which you are an agent, a tool, and more so, a fiduciary who must apply the highest good faith in carrying out such a duty. You are not a thing in itself which can exploit that being, though you think you can and in the process construct suffering.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    The essence of religion Is to pursue, or at least know, the Truth that there is a being, and a species of being, for which you are an agent, a tool, and more so, a fiduciary who must apply the highest good faith in carrying out such a duty. You are not a thing in itself which can exploit that being, though you think you can and in the process construct suffering.ENOAH

    Consider:

    On truth: I think there are some questions that have a kind of zazen nature to them, a "sudden enlightenment," and this question is among these: How does anything "out there" in the great externality of the world, get "in here" referring to internal knowledge claims about the out there?

    To understand religion in its essence, one has to understand existential indeterminacy. This is an foundational epistemological, and therefore, ontological, problem.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    Keep in mind one thing: there is nothing at all epistemic about causality.
  • ENOAH
    637
    there is nothing at all epistemic about causality.Constance

    What if it only appears to us as a linear process x-->y, because whatever "happened" to x and to y was immediately post constructed as x-->y and re-presented that way by Mind to "the" aware-ing ans assimilated in that form as "knowledge". But in "actuality" it was always just xy?

    Is that not suggestive of causality being an epistemic process and effect?
  • ENOAH
    637
    existential indeterminacy. This is an foundational epistemological, and therefore, ontological, problem.Constance

    And only "resolvable" as such. That is, within and limited to the framework of those "studies" and their specific ways of using language to reconstruct already constructed "realities."

    These have functions but they do not open up/unveil for discovery any ultimate truths. The latter, which I still hold to be, our organic bodies, their survival, and the organic prosperity of our species and the rest of nature to which we belong.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    What if it only appears to us as a linear process x-->y, because whatever "happened" to x and to y was immediately post constructed as x-->y and re-presented that way by Mind to "the" aware-ing ans assimilated in that form as "knowledge". But in "actuality" it was always just xy?ENOAH

    I followed you all the way up to "But in "actuality" it was always just xy." If your reasoning here is right, and I don't think it is wrong (meaning I do think causality in thought in an interpretative imposition on the world), then how does one get around the "post construction" of anything which is acknowledged at all, even and especially "just xy"? It is a Kantian problem, and the reason why we are forced into a transcendental telos of thought thinking about thought. Thought cannot think about the essence of thought, and talk about "in actuality" because this would take a perspective outside of thought. It COULD be that x and y are in some metaphysical, non relational simultaneity, but to speak like this takes one into the iffy world of speculative metaphysics.

    But I am sure you are right about the way our ideas about the world are indeterminate. They are hermeneutical, and open to possibilities. When I see my cat I "see" the structures of my own thought in play, but I am so absorbed by the taking this world "as" (a Heideggerian term) the totality of my thoughts that I never am able to see freely that all of my apprehensions are open and viable for decision making.
    But to step back: "xy" also belongs to this totality, I mean, to think of two things not being separated by the usual sequential thinking about causality, still affirms each of the two things PRIOR to this problem. There being something "there" at all is prior to anything one could say about its relations with other things, but then, to talk about its thereness begs the epistemic question, how does "it" get into judgment at all?

    I am one for removing my eyes from text and thinking, and allowing an existential issue to "speak" on its own. So here I am, and I look up, and there is the cat, and I know the cat is there. And there is this very intuitive knowing. This is the ground, this direct intimation that escapes Descartes' doubting. Foolish to doubt the "thereness" of the sight and feel of the cat. But now look to the simple mechanics. The cat is there, not me, and I am here, and there MUST be a non magical way to explain how the, if you will, brain thing, "receives" the cat thing.

    Causality is taken here to be simply the apodicticity of objects having to be caused to move. What is "really" going on here is precisely the point of the thought experiment of asking how anything "out there" gets "in here".
  • ENOAH
    637
    how does one get around the "post construction" of anything which is acknowledged at all, even and especially "just xy"Constance

    By remaining present. By being. By not being-knowing-and-becoming.

    But, yes, we are flooded, our brains, with images of becoming and it is hard, arguably impossible, to escape.

    But in the spirit of this particular discussion, though we may be trapped by our condition, if anything provides a window, an opportunity for a glimpse, it is the essence of religion, which I (presumably not alone) am positing as attending, not to the self, and the weaved narratives it appears in; but, rather to being; first, by being its unfettered, unencumbered reality; second, upon returning, as one ineluctably does (instantly), to the self; then, by attending to the welfare of the body, the species, and the nature we share with all others. Not to desire more; not to settle complacently for less. And, not to entertain the inevitable desires of the self, flooding the brain with reasons to go way beyond the welfare of reality (I.e. the body, species, nature).

    It COULD be that x and y are in some metaphysical, non relational simultaneityConstance

    If, never mind Eastern Monism, Parmenides is right, xy happen all at once.

    I'm not confidently proposing Parmenides, but the thought that reality (and here's where I traditionally lose you et. al.) happens all at once explains a few things.

    Mind evolved everything by its function, many of them conventionally thought of as, if not noumena, noumena-like. Reason and logic, among them; first grammar, all of these still evolving. And difference, hence, dialectic, movement. It constructs and projects more or less in narrative form (nature is); becoming, linear time, causality. All of these not actually separate categories, mixed, built upon, etc.

    So xy which are, let me be lazy and say tree falls and landing on a person, kills it. In the event's being when it exists or ceases to exist is irrelevant. It is present being. It is only for our post construction that time becomes relevant, along with its movements, logic to structure the narrative, cause and effect.

    In reality, tree--falling--landing--organic dying.

    In mind, what killed Plato? A tree fell on him?

    There being something "there" at all is prior to anything one could say about its relations with other things, but then, to talk about its thereness begs the epistemic question, how does "it" get into judgment at all?Constance

    Very possibly I am not understanding something technical in your question. But it gets into judgement, 1. Because that is what Mind is, a knowing system; meaning is its "aim/product," 2. It happens autonomously. Like vision does to begin with (I.e. pre'consciousness') etc. For a hypothetical human never born into an age of humans with Mind, I.e. History, an apple comes into its line of vision (randomly, or because it is foraging) and it truly sees this aspect of its nature as, whatever, food; and it, whatever, eats it. For Mind, "judgement"--apple, ruit, healthy, red, green, large, ripe, crunch, squirt, sweet, etc etc etc--floods our brain autonomously, just as pre historically, the drive to eat might alone, have flooded the brain of the human organism, and yet, no less autonomously.


    Foolish to doubt the "thereness" of the sight and feel of the catConstance

    Yes I agree. When I describe mind as constructions and projections, or even fiction, that is not to say there is not a real and present world going on, and of which we are. But we no longer receive it purely through our senses, it has been heavily seasoned and processed by our imagination .

    And why? Why did our imagination evolve to displace our sensations with constructions of its storehouse in memory? In order to thrive. Like any theory of evolution. It's not so much a teleology, as it is a post facto raison d'etre. Because Mind evolved from a bunch of reminders stored in memory to trigger feelings and actions, into a Hollywood sized industry of making stories to do so, it grew to what it is today. It has full control to the extent that nature has bought into its Fiction via tge human animal.

    With AI fast on the way, Mind will carry on without the human animal, and perhaps, the essence of religion--i.e. to cherish the body--will become our eschatological, not just metaphysical, and ethical salvation.
  • Constance
    1.2k
    By remaining present. By being. By not being-knowing-and-becoming.ENOAH

    Two ways to look at this, and they both belong to something I believe you accept. One deals with the "present". Now, it is not that I entirely deny this as an existential possibility, but it has to be given a broader context. When I am in the present and I witness the world around me (and I think those who are able to do this the best are the, well, call them practitioners of the religio-philosophical methods of the East. It is said that Gautama Siddhartha was the quintessential phenomenologist for a good reason: serious meditation reduces the world to its essential or "pure" phenomena, and brings one into the most direct intimacy with the world. This little description does not reveal the affective dimension of what occurs in this rigorous practice, something missing from Husserl and the rest, but is, I am arguing, the principle part) the agency of the "I" of my encounter with the world, even when matters turn profoundly insightful and deeply felt, is going to be constituted by the interpretative language education that gave me my "presence" out of infancy. The important part of this lies in the question, does this language and the "totality" of my educational grounding which prior to the "sublime experience of presence" determined my thinking, discover "something else" revealed as one approaches the ground zero, if you will, of the famous nunc stans. This something else is metaphysics
    Of course, there is this terrible burden of philosophy that interferes with what I believe is the very simple (if difficult to achieve) revelation. But then, it is philosophy that requires us to speak what it is that this is about. Being and becoming have a long history of discussion and analysis, from the Eleatics and Heraclitus through Heidegger. The trouble is, Western philosophy is decidedly not mystical (in fact anglo american philosophy has done everything it could to distance itself from this), on the one hand; yet the world IS decidedly mystical as a world, on the other.
    The other deals with time construction of the self. To observe, think, imagine, experience AT ALL, is to be in the becoming of things, for we ARE becoming in our nature. The absolute stillness of "being" is conceived by Plato as the changeless form that this world is an inferior manifestation of. I don't think at all that you have this in mind; I think what you have in mind is an actual event such that one discovers in the flux of one's existence a presence relative to the busy, what Heidegger calls "the they" self, so immersed in the daily goings-on if things, never pulling out and throwing the question of existence into the world, never lifting one's head out of the sand, so to speak. When one does this, one, in a very important way, stills the world. One no longer is concerned about catching buses and planning vacations. THIS kind of becoming is terminated, and the question (the piety of language) asserts itself.

    But this does not change the "becoming structure" of experience. We are time, and each moment this "not yet" the stilling of which cannot be imagined. So, there is stilling and there is "stilling". I can still conscious activity, but I cannot still the construction of the moment itself. This would not be the "no self" of the Buddhists; it would be are duction to literal nothingness.

    But, yes, we are flooded, our brains, with images of becoming and it is hard, arguably impossible, to escape.ENOAH

    Brains? The phenomenological view I am suggesting puts the brain among the many things found in experience. It is an inversion of the physicalism that implicitly dominates our thinking. A brain does not generate consciousness and all its thoughts and images; rather, consciousness is primary. Brains and everything else are discovered IN consciousness.

    A bring up the question about how things out there get in here inorder to show that the default physicalist view is simply impossible for it makes knowledge impossible, because causality has no epistemic part of its nature. We are not "connected" to the world causally. We are connected in consciousness, in an occult intimacy that only phenomenology can discover. Science will never understand this.

    But in the spirit of this particular discussion, though we may be trapped by our condition, if anything provides a window, an opportunity for a glimpse, it is the essence of religion, which I (presumably not alone) am positing as attending, not to the self, and the weaved narratives it appears in; but, rather to being; first, by being its unfettered, unencumbered reality; second, upon returning, as one ineluctably does (instantly), to the self; then, by attending to the welfare of the body, the species, and the nature we share with all others. Not to desire more; not to settle complacently for less. And, not to entertain the inevitable desires of the self, flooding the brain with reasons to go way beyond the welfare of reality (I.e. the body, species, nature).ENOAH

    And I share this enthusiasm for a world cleared of the muddle of entangled living. But terms like unfettered and unencumbered reality are philosophically problematic. Experientially, perhaps not, though this will have its limits, and will be vaguely understood at best, not unlike the term religion, all mountains, so they say, arrive at the same peak, meaning what one believes doesn't matter, for faith itself liberates one from the constraints of everydayness. I am sure there is something to this (even Kierkgaard has been accused of defending silliness), but I stand on the side of clarity AND metaphysics, not just clarity (the positivists who, by denying the term 'metaphysics' has any meaning beyond nonsense, completely trivialize our existence and have now ended up in what has been described as the trash heap of philosophy) nor just metaphysics (e.g., Christian faith; or the vague sense of something more). As I see it, one has to be clear about this mysterious threshold, and this requires a careful dissection of the structure of experience-in-the-world, the average everydayness.

    I mean, before we can talk about what is unfettered, we have to know what it is that is doing the fettering. If we are "trapped" then this implies some untrapped condition, and this is not available to one who is IN the "fettered" state. One has to commit what is called an apophatic search: define what is in the world and the way that it obstructs insight. It is not as if what is there on the proverbial other side announces itself in the many contexts of our affairs. It is it absence that is notable, hence the apophatic method.
    Very possibly I am not understanding something technical in your question. But it gets into judgement, 1. Because that is what Mind is, a knowing system; meaning is its "aim/product," 2. It happens autonomously. Like vision does to begin with (I.e. pre'consciousness') etc. For a hypothetical human never born into an age of humans with Mind, I.e. History, an apple comes into its line of vision (randomly, or because it is foraging) and it truly sees this aspect of its nature as, whatever, food; and it, whatever, eats it. For Mind, "judgement"--apple, ruit, healthy, red, green, large, ripe, crunch, squirt, sweet, etc etc etc--floods our brain autonomously, just as pre historically, the drive to eat might alone, have flooded the brain of the human organism, and yet, no less autonomously.ENOAH

    I did not make it complicated on purpose. Sorry for the confusion, but I meant it to be taken at face value: there I stand before the apple and I know it is there, and it is not me, and it is over there, and all this falls into place in the plainness of observation, but now the hard part: how is it that my knowing extends to something at all? Not through complex system of relatedness, all of which are essentially causal, because such systems cannot penetrate, if you will, the media of sensory, neural nor external conditions. Consider that the perfect model for epistemic connectivity is a mirror, and so seeing th images delivered by sights are like mirror images of the world. The question asks, How is it even remotely possible for such an image to be "of" the world, given that the intervening condition are the most opaque imaginable. Nothing can be more opaque than a brain. But then even if the brain operated like a mirror, upon inspection of its properties, what is a mirror image is something is most emphatically NOT that thing. Further, in the case of a true mirrored image, the object being mirrored is already known. I see a mirrored image of the Taj Mahal, and look up from the image, and there IS the Taj! In perception, there is no looking up to confirm. The image is itself its own being. One cannot look away from it to discover the Other. All there is or has ever been available to experience is experience.

    Even when one observes a brain, one is only observing a phenomenon. My point is to make very clear that the indeterminacy I talk about with respect to the essence of religion is ontologically and epistemically absolute. Therefore, ethically absolute.....save the one thing that survives, which is value. It survives Descartes misconceived cogito, it survives physicalism (just reviewed here with this confusing question), is survives hermeneutics (one is not interpreting that one is in pain or pleasure), it survives comparisons of utility (better to torture one than a thousand; but then, this does not diminish the one in the least) It survives all second guessing.

    A kick in the teeth possesses a dimension of wrongness that issues from the world.

    Have to go so no time to respond to your last comment. Sorry.
  • ENOAH
    637
    the agency of the "I" of my encounter with the world, even when matters turn profoundly insightful and deeply felt, is going to be constituted by the interpretative language education that gave me my "presence" out of infancy.Constance
    serious meditation reduces the world to its essential or "pure" phenomenaConstance
    Yes!



    does this language and the "totality" of my educational grounding which prior to the "sublime experience of presence" determined my thinking, discover "something else" revealed as one approaches the ground zero, if you will, of the famous nunc stans.Constance

    With respect. That expresses a lingering in the very thing that "metaphysical" aware-ing you're implying. That thing--yes, call it language (Human Mind)--from which the sublime presence is, we agree, a "reprieve", but actually, simply, a turning inward, into silence, asks the question, and you, with respect, "let it" (its all autonomous anyway), but "here" in presence, where reality is being (what it is-ing which we call being), there are no questions, no discovery.

    The instant "you" discover the "experience" of sublime presence, it has ceased being aware-ing-ed. And organic attention is once again flooded by made up images from memory and reprocessed for "the world" by the imagination; all in lightning speed and incessantly.


    I will continue to read your response. I wanted to separate the above because it is essential to my thinking, and as it becomes clearer, so will your critique. I am witness to that very process!
  • ENOAH
    637
    this terrible burden of philosophy that interferes with what I believe is the very simple (if difficult to achieve) revelation. But then, it is philosophy that requires us to speak what it is that this is aboutConstance

    I completely agree. And, actually, philosophy, burdened by logic and reason, and all, is still the best path to unders
  • ENOAH
    637
    then, it is philosophy that requires us to speak what it is that this is aboutConstance

    Sorry. Maybe I pressed something.

    Anyway philosophy is brilliant. It keeps mystics grounded. There are a million charlatans for every Buddha.


    As I see it, one has to be clear about this mysterious threshold, and this requires a careful dissection of the structure of experience-in-the-world, the average everydayness.Constance

    Yes. I respect that highly. In my untrained way, yet I strive for that. I take risks because I'm unconstrained; it can be fruitful. But I totally wish to stay within the boundaries, or be certain of cause to cross them. And the latter, I would not presume to do alone.



    But terms like unfettered and unencumbered reality are philosophically problematic. Experientially, perhaps not, though this will have its limits, and will be vaguely understood at best, not unlike the term religion, all mountains, so they say, arrive at the same peak, meaning what one believes doesn't matter, for faith itself liberates one from the constraints of everydayness.Constance

    Ok. Yes. And yet, that's what I think I mean to say. So, I need to understand the problem. First, this so called unencumbered reality is like everything, the wording is a stab at a target, and I am not a well trained fencer. In itself is implied, its failure. But that can be said of everything, all wording, to obviously varying degrees. But none is immune. But I know you mean beyond that. So does this help. When speaking of reality; not only do I have no business qualifying it with conditions like unencumbered, but I have no business period. What I reiterate is I do not and cannot know reality; I can only know the seasoned version. I can only be reality; which is that (not that "I" already am) that already is.

    In perception, there is no looking up to confirm. The image is itself its own being. One cannot look away from it to discover the Other. All there is or has ever been available to experience is experience.Constance


    Yes, I totally get that. There might even be a melancholy to it. But that's because Mind moves egotistically. The system "desires" manifestation of its constructions (because the organic infrastructure upon which it drives is structured to fire images to the aware-ing part of the organism for conditioned responses. So "it" that is, experience and the Subject to which it attaches, "want" to extend into the being itself. It's not an illusion it's a process of evolution wherein a thing thrives by growing. So "you" which constructs meaning, knowledge, want to extend that fiction into being itself. But being is being, not knowing. And not just into being, "you" want knowledge to extend beyond being but into an imagined eternity; and so Mind evolves to construct itself in History as spirit. And being a functional construction, it sticks.









    The absolute stillness of "being" is conceived by Plato as the changeless form that this world is an inferior manifestation ofConstance


    That is sublime. I'd adjust my own take to it by saying "the world" is just the images constructed by mind and flooding organic consciousness. Plato, afterall, laid that foundation regardless of the given locus in the history of evolving interpretations. No skin off his back.


    an actual event such that one discovers in the flux of one's existence a presence relative to the busy, what Heidegger calls "the they" self,Constance


    Ok, but the "event" only in the context of the essence of religion, i.e., to save us from our "selves" remind us we are all one, all of us, not even, just humans.

    In the rest of "thought", it is in my opinion, though thought of as Philosophy of Mind,
    the heart of metaphysics, explains, therefore "negates" epistemology, and, since Ethics is the offspring of the two...etc.

    However, the Heideggerian process you described, and, maybe, on a strictly intellectual level, Husserl's bracketing (though I am a novice at both Hs, not for lack of sweat squinting, and tears), is close enough to what I'm proposing. Zazen just happens to be almost bang on, if properly practiced. Soto. Rinzai is probably a close second. I say just happened because I made the connection after witnessing tge hypothesis that Western philosophy built.

    I note that, in my opinion, for both Hs as for Zazen, and Koans; the "reward" that sublime experience of presence you called it (it is utterly uncallable, so that feels right, why not) is extremely momentary. It's "hope" or "promise" from a "religious", but I submit, Hs perspective, is to "jolt" you so that you're on to the truth. And, as you instantly and inevitably return to the Narratives, maybe yours will be restructured autonomously to follow a path more functional for the Host organism, and its species and planet.


    But this does not change the "becoming structure" of experience.Constance

    That's right, I agree. Inevitably Mind's autonomous process is still flooding the brain and triggering the body with its constructions.

    But this seems to be raised by others as a reason to insist that because they are experienced, and ineluctably our experience, they cannot be any less real than the organism, or at least that they and the organism are one. But they aren't one with the organism, they are images stored in memory and moving by an evolved law which flesh only provides the perfect hardware for. Once the data is input, it has evolved to function. But the data, though existent and functional, is not Real like the flesh is real. And the flesh is the real consciousness; it's organic aware-ing. Even a plant has it when it grows toward the light, or it's roots search for water. But Mind is just data making us feel by projecting stories. The stories are not real. An apple is what it is; not what we perceive when Mind constructs and projects "A is for Apple".


    . I can still conscious activity, but I cannot still the construction of the moment itself. This would not be the "no self" of the Buddhists; it would be are duction to literal nothingness.Constance

    It's a physical exercise, but it's easy to stay stuck in Mind with advice like watch your breath, or worse, count them. I believe one must hone in on that breathing is. Not I am or my breaths: just breathing [organism breathing]. There are no fireworks; nor eureka I'm sure. It's more like Kierkegaard's knight of faith. To the world you are still just a clerk, if you have masterfully glimpsed being, by momentarily being. To yourself you remain a clerk, but you now "realize" something "true" outside of the constructed truths.

    Brains and everything else are discovered IN consciousness.Constance

    Yes, I agree, if you are saying my reliance upon this object "brain" being what it really is, is a projection of Mind. In which case so is everything I say.

    If you're saying the organ brain only exists as a construct projected, and that the thing brain in itself may be vastly different, I accept that possibility, but think it's far more likely our organic senses are not tricking us. There are objects and bodies in the world around us. We could sense them as they are so called in themselves. But Mind floods sensation with images and churns out perception. So now we can't help but see the seasoned version. We aren't outright seeing an alien world, but compared to apes, it's alien enough.




    We are connected in consciousness, in an occult intimacy that only phenomenology can discover. Science will never understand this.Constance

    I think, psychoanalysis has gotten pretty close. I think science could Crack a lot of the code. And phenomenology, as did Plato, laid a strong foundation. But I think what none of those can do is know what reality is, or truth. They can only construct it, just as I too, am only constructing. Phenomenology, from Kant to Husserl does, I agree, ironically (?) also express this essence of religion; it points to the fact that there is Truth "hidden behind" the knowledge.

    this is not available to one who is IN the "fettered" stateConstance
    I think this would be true if there were two selves. There is only the organic aware-ing being. There is no knowing, no meaning, nothing but aware-ing the present is-ings. View that aware-ing as unfettered reality; being unencumbered by the projections of becoming. We were so obviously once an animal like that. Our [what I've been calling] brain was fed images to trigger conditioned responses. Now our brain us flood with stories. And tge organism aware-ings the "I" in tge stories as itself. Neither the "I" nor the stories are anything. They're empty nothing. So no one is in the fettered state needing to get out. The body just needs to aware-ing its organic being so that tge stories follow a--ironically just as fictional--path which is more functional to the Body and the species.
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