• Brett
    3k
    If, as an experiment, we were able to choose one question from a philosophical point of view (the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, existence, values and language), questions like what is moral, why are we here, is there a higher power, is all life equal, and so on, and then having asked the right question, secured the answer, the truth, and made the decision to live by that choice and we then secured a better future for ourselves and the world, what should the question be?

    Subjects like science cannot be one of the first choices because the first choice, whatever it might be, being the best, the right, the wisest, would produce the science that is best for us, and the same with law and politics. Quite possibly the right question would put all other philosophical questions in place as well.

    If we were to choose from all the questions we have asked on this forum, or that you’ve pondered, what would you choose?
  • khaled
    2.1k
    What makes you think these is a best? Best by what standard? Securing the best future? If so I have no idea.
  • Brett
    3k


    What makes you think these is a best?khaled

    I only used the word “best” in relation to the science that would follow the answer.

    “A better future for ourselves and the world” was my original query. Surely you have some hopes for something.
  • Mww
    2k
    Not so much asked on this forum, but one I’ve pondered, and the one I’ve chosen, although admittedly it was originally asked and answered in 1787:

    “.....How is pure mathematical science possible? How is pure natural science possible? Respecting these sciences, as they do certainly exist, it may with propriety be asked, how they are possible?—for that they must be possible is shown by the fact of their really existing. But as to metaphysics, the miserable progress it has hitherto made, and the fact that of no one system yet brought forward, far as regards its true aim, can it be said that this science really exists, leaves any one at liberty to doubt with reason the very possibility of its existence. Yet, in a certain sense, this kind of knowledge must unquestionably be looked upon as given; in other words, metaphysics must be considered as really existing, if not as a science, nevertheless as a natural disposition of the human mind. For human reason, without any instigations imputable to the mere vanity of great knowledge, unceasingly progresses, urged on by its own feeling of need, towards such questions as cannot be answered by any empirical application of reason, or principles derived therefrom; and so there has ever really existed in every man some system of metaphysics. It will always exist, so soon as reason awakes to the exercise of its power of speculation. And now the question arises: "How is metaphysics, as a natural disposition, possible?" In other words, how, from the nature of universal human reason, do those questions arise which pure reason proposes to itself, and which it is impelled by its own feeling of need to answer as well as it can?....”
  • Garth
    112
    Some of these questions will have multiple answers, because they are context dependent. For instance, if I ask "What is color?" The answer could be a physical account of light striking the eyeballs or a Bob Ross answer about how to balance colors in a painting.
  • Brett
    3k


    I think it helps focus on what is important to each of us. If we have a specific area we think contains access to this better future it also indicates what sort of future we want, or is it vice versa?

    I find myself coming back to two questions (I’m allowed that because it’s my OP) : is there a higher power and is there an objective morality?
  • Brett
    3k


    Some of these questions will have multiple answers, because they are context dependent.Garth

    Theoretically, as an experiment, they are not context driven because the question has a true answer. If it was an objective morality there is no context, there is only the truth revealed to us from which we would then use as the foundation for how we live.
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    Well, if you ask me, your question, "[what is the] perfect question?" is itself a strong contender to the title of the perfect question.

    If you'd like another opinion, I'd say the perfect question is, "how do we gain wisdom?" given that wisdom is defined as both the true AND good.
  • Brett
    3k


    I'd say the perfect question is, "how do we gain wisdom?"TheMadFool

    Yes because from wisdom would come all the science and laws that would be right, that would build a better future, what else could they be? But, there’s always a but, would morality come from wisdom or wisdom from morality?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    895
    "Does the God of Abraham and Isaac exist?"
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    But, there’s always a but, would morality come from wisdom or wisdom from morality?Brett

    wisdom is defined as both the true AND good.TheMadFool
  • khaled
    2.1k
    “A better future for ourselves and the world” was my original query.Brett

    You'd need to define better.

    But regardless your question wins. "What is the perfect question", if it has an answer, will lead us to the perfect question which by definition will lead us to the best future for ourselves and the world. Good job!
  • Philosophim
    529
    "What is the answer to all possible questions?" There ya go. You answer that, there is no need for any other question.
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    "What is the answer to all possible questions?" There ya go. You answer that, there is no need for any other question.Philosophim

    :up:

    Another angle to the issue of wisdom, given that we define it as both good and true, how do we attain it?
  • Philosophim
    529
    Another angle to the issue of wisdom, given that we define it as both good and true, how do we attain it?TheMadFool

    By keeping a curious mind, an honest heart, an ear to other opinions, and a rational viewpoint.
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    By keeping a curious mind, an honest heart, an ear to other opinions, and a rational viewpoint.Philosophim

    :up: Not to detract from the excellent recommendations you make here - they both make sense and are not beyond reach of mere mortals like us - but that's precisely why they seem so not true; after all, given their simplicity (???), many people should be virtuoso practitioners of the methods you described and yet there's no one whom we may justifiably attribute wisdom to. Is it because these traits of a wise person you listed are not as easy to cultivate as we suppose they are? Or is it something else... :chin:?
  • Banno
    10.6k
    ...those were the days...
  • Joshs
    948
    Reminds me of something Heidegger said:

    Every questioning is a seeking. Every seeking takes its direction beforehand from what is sought. Questioning is a knowing search for beings in their thatness and whatness.... As questioning about, . . questioning has what it asks about. All asking about . . . is in some way an inquiring of... As a seeking, questioning needs prior guidance from what it seeks. The meaning of being must therefore already be available to us in a certain way.
  • Todd Martin
    147
    @Brett Your two questions, is there a higher power and is there an objective morality: are they inexplicably linked? In other words, is the existence of a higher power necessary for there to be objective morality, or is it possible for such morality to exist without there being a higher power to insure its existence? On the other hand, do you believe it possible for there to exist a higher power that, however, cannot insure that morality be objective?

    Seneca, somewhere as I remember, implied that god was limited in his creation by the imperfect nature of the material with which he worked.
  • Philosophim
    529
    Not to detract from the excellent recommendations you make here - they both make sense and are not beyond reach of mere mortals like us - but that's precisely why they seem so not true; after all, given their simplicity (???), many people should be virtuoso practitioners of the methods you described and yet there's no one whom we may justifiably attribute wisdom to. Is it because these traits of a wise person you listed are not as easy to cultivate as we suppose they are? Or is it something else... :chin:?TheMadFool

    What a nice compliment! I must return a compliment that often enjoy your posts as they are questions very few people ask. I think you bring a life to these boards that it would not have if you were not here.

    As for why it is rare to encounter someone with wisdom...I believe that is because there is a difference in being told the road one should take, versus the action of actually walking it.

    A curious mind: You've been on these boards enough to know the closed minded individuals. They have found what they wanted, are tired of questioning, or are full of their own ego. How many times in the past have we done this ourselves?

    An honest heart: An honest heart will often show your beliefs to be wrong. An honest heart critically examines your own self and does not avoid the flaws it finds. How many of us truly like to admit we are wrong even to ourselves?

    An ear to other opinions: How many of us listen to only that which we want to hear? When another opinion repulses you, do we still have an ear open to understand it before judging or dismissing it?

    A rational viewpoint: Some are blessed with this as a potential, but this also takes years of dedication to cultivate. I believe our default is to rationalize, not be rational. It is difficult to break yourself of this and approach discussions with rationality.

    To become a master of these four traits, you must be tested. And if you are tested, you will fail many times. There might be people who laugh at you when you fall. That want you to stay down. That hate you for walking it. You may get help from others, but in the end, you must make the decision to follow such a path yourself.
  • Brett
    3k


    "Does the God of Abraham and Isaac exist?"↪BrettBitconnectCarlos

    I’m not sure if that’s your question or if it’s addressed to me. But having thought about I see a problem with the Higher Power idea. Not because it’s the God of Abraham, because a true Higher Power would be total, no cultural interpretations. But the problem I have is if the answer to the question “Is there a higher?” is yes then it always has been. So even though in being shown explicitly that a Higher Power exists and that it follows that there are the laws of this higher power and we are in the care of this higher power because we are it’s creation and all that follows is as was decided, I still have a problem with the suffering that has always existed which is not caused by the folly of man, like children being born with health problems, or anyone for that matter. If this has always been the way then it will continue to be so. If my choice is a Higher Power then the suffering must continue, which I could not agree to. So I reject my possible choice of a Higher Piwer.
  • Brett
    3k


    But, there’s always a but, would morality come from wisdom or wisdom from morality?
    — Brett

    wisdom is defined as both the true AND good.
    — TheMadFool
    TheMadFool

    I had wondered if we could have wisdom without first having an objective morality confirmed first, that wisdom would follow that. But as you point out wisdom is both true and good. But wisdom would have to be such that it’s very nature answered every question perfectly, or contributed to a better future, as would morality I suppose. Objective morality seems more concise and formed than wisdom, but I’m not sure about that. Once objective morality became clear as a truth that put all questions in place or order, then all decisions would be correct. Morality would be defined. But could wisdom be defined. Not that I’m asking you of that, but would it be possible? Would there be clarity in those morals that could not be argued with? I would guess the answer is yes. Could wisdom do the same?
  • Brett
    3k


    "What is the answer to all possible questions?" There ya go. You answer that, there is no need for any other question.Philosophim

    That’s not the exercise. It’s which question applied to which aspect of philosophy, if answered as a truth, would contribute more than anything else to a better future, even a perfect future? Would it be the realisation that there is an objective reality, or that there’s a Higher Power, or that language is our undoing? There is, in this exercise, only one question. It resolves everything in its answer.
  • Brett
    3k


    In other words, is the existence of a higher power necessary for there to be objective morality, or is it possible for such morality to exist without there being a higher power to insure its existence?Todd Martin

    In terms of the experiment I don’t see a Higher Power necessarily connected to morality. Morality could exist without a Higher Power. But if there was a Higher Power then morality would be an aspect of that Higher Power and therefore perfect.
  • Brett
    3k


    And now the question arises: "How is metaphysics, as a natural disposition, possible?" In other words, how, from the nature of universal human reason, do those questions arise which pure reason proposes to itself, and which it is impelled by its own feeling of need to answer as well as it can?....”Mww

    Do you mean that if this question was answered, that it’s existence was proven so to would be the validity of the question and so to the truth of the answers?
  • 180 Proof
    2.2k
    If, as an experiment, we were able to choose one question from a philosophical point of view [ ... ] and then having asked the right question, secured the answer, the truth, and made the decision to live by that choice [ ... ] what should the question be?Brett
    Answer: Harm.

    Question: What is - do I/we find - "hateful"?

    and then strive to live by the ancient maxim:

    What you find hateful, do not do to anyone.

    :death: :flower:
  • BitconnectCarlos
    895
    I’m not sure if that’s your question or if it’s addressed to me.Brett

    The question.

    Not because it’s the God of Abraham, because a true Higher Power would be total, no cultural interpretations.Brett

    Apparently he just doesn't reveal himself. I don't know, maybe he thinks its more fun that way, who knows.

    If my choice is a Higher Power then the suffering must continue, which I could not agree to. So I reject my possible choice of a Higher Piwer.Brett

    This is just the question that I'd like to know the answer to the most. The abrahamic God either exists or he doesn't, no choice to it besides me just choosing to ask the question.

    I still have a problem with the suffering that has always existed which is not caused by the folly of man, like children being born with health problems, or anyone for that matter.Brett

    I get what you're saying. A lot of things don't make sense to us, but maybe when you consider the bigger picture things change a bit. Sure a baby might die a terrible death, but who knows that baby could be spending an eternity in eternal bliss. Maybe his death was necessary, who know are you to say it wasn't? Even a long, 100 year life full of suffering is nothing compared to eternity. I mean even if this universe had basically no suffering except that people got paper cuts sometimes we could still ask God why he would allow for something like that. The God of the Old Testament never gives us the message that we can really understand him and this frustrates a lot of people.

    The Christians make God into a heavenly father full of infinite love, but Christianity has its roots in the old testament, and one should never forget their roots.
  • Brett
    3k


    Question: What is - do I/we find - "hateful"?

    and then strive to live by the ancient maxim:

    What you find hateful, do not do to anyone.
    180 Proof

    Would not that problem be addressed if objective morality revealed itself to us? And I hate to split hairs, as is done here so often, but what is “hateful”?
  • Brett
    3k


    A lot of things don't make sense to us, but maybe when you consider the bigger picture things change a bit. Sure a baby might die a terrible death, but who knows that baby could be spending an eternity in eternal bliss. Maybe his death was necessary, who know are you to say it wasn't?BitconnectCarlos

    Yes, you’re right. Who are we to know the why of a Higher Power or what is happening that we are unable to see? So I go back to including the question of a Higher Power, which to my mind in this exercise is none of what we know as a Higher Power.
  • 180 Proof
    2.2k
    Would not that problem be addressed if objective morality revealed itself to us?Brett
    Follow my link for 'Harm' which I argue is objective (i.e. non-subjective).

    And I hate to split hairs, as is done here so often, but what is “hateful”?
    Harm (I posited that answer to my question).
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