• Morality and Ethics of Men vs Women
    Some of these statements seem to be based on statistics, others seem to be arguing a personal opinion.
    — Possibility
    No personal opinion. All the points are taken from articles citing studies. And yes, statistics was involved.

    Thank you - but I do think it’s important to cite your sources here, if you have the time. Studies can be made to show, for instance, that coffee is both good for you and bad for you. I’m not convinced by either binary value results or ‘more vs less’ statements in articles citing ‘studies’. But I recognise that this is a common argument for ‘natural’ gender differences.

    So I don’t think this is necessarily a gender divide. It’s more along the lines of how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world.
    — Possibility
    So, we're just gonna ignore the fact that your gender divide has a lot to do with how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world? Isn't this like a sleight of hand which makes your audience think you're saying two different things but really aren't?

    I recognise that the aim of analysis is to simplify the landscape, to conclude one way or the other. The assumption is that there must eventually be only two options. But how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world is not as simple as male or female. Just because I’m female, don’t assume that I’m going to be more charitable or empathetic than the guy next to me. And the fact that I mask my feelings more than a male co-worker does not mean I don’t feel them as deeply.

    You assume the statistics can stand alone in the statements of your OP, without any context. We cannot assume that statistics drawn along gender lines is sufficient evidence for ‘natural’ rather than culturally-constructed differences.

    You know it would be nice if violence, hatred, etc are reduced if everyone viewed their actions as social events -- but opinions like this are just opinions. The reality is in statistics and studies.L'éléphant

    Actually, the past is in statistics, but the reality is in our relation to the context of each study.

    That our culture perpetuates this divide along gender lines is simply a way of controlling and predicting behaviour that has been supported by statistical differences in physicality (eg. Muscle mass, childbirth, etc).
    — Possibility
    What? No -- the reality of gender is the reason why our culture is like this, not the way you're describing it. I have no idea that in the year 2021 to 2022, gender has become synonymous with despicable crime! Why has gender become a dirty word?

    Strawman - spare me your indignation. The politics of gender division is the reason our culture is like this. The reality of gender is far more complex than a male-female binary suggests. My issue is with the divide, not with gender. Men and women are not all the same, sure - but neither are they two sides of a binary.

    There is no ‘masculine morality’ and ‘feminine morality’ - all this does is perpetuate false gender and moral binary models.
    — Possibility
    There is. scientific american

    This article illustrates a socio-cultural pattern of perception and behaviour in relation to a specific question: if we divide the data along a gender binary, is there a difference? The answer is yes, but they’re clear that it has nothing to do with the Y chromosome itself. So what you refer to as ‘masculine morality’ and ‘feminine morality’ are socio-cultural constructions, highlighting the fact that these binary models ‘masculine-feminine’ and ‘good-bad’ are both an oversimplification of reality.

    The ethical question is whether or not we should view an action/inaction such as getting vaccinated or seeing a doctor as a complex social event, or as a simple transaction.
    — Possibility
    I don't have a problem with that. What's your answer?

    I would argue for a complex social event. I recognise that it renders everything less definitive, but that’s reality (as opposed to statistics and studies).

    And again, people speak of differences in gender as if it's criminal. No! historically, and pre-historically, men protected the women and children and hunted boars and bears and fought invaders. I don't understand why replacing gender with "physiological" is a good option and somehow makes us all "educated and refined". Gender has a lot to do with physiological.L'éléphant

    Most differences in gender you’ve described in your OP are socio-culturally constructed based on different patterns of physiology that overlap in multi-dimensional ways. What is ‘educated and refined’ is the ability to explore gender as a complex multi-dimensional structure, instead of continually reducing it to a binary.

    Incidentally, I find it interesting that your description of men’s historical/pre-historical role prioritises individual genetic survival over the collective development of humanity.
  • Morality and Ethics of Men vs Women
    Some of these statements seem to be based on statistics, others seem to be arguing a personal opinion. A couple of comments from my perspective:

    Morality is an attempt to make sense of behaviour in a way that enables us to predict and control future behaviour. It is ‘measured’ differently in each individual, gender, social group, society, culture, time period, historical era, etc. In some cultures or aspects of life, it is the women who are less likely to see a doctor, or more traumatised by divorce, or less ethical.

    So I don’t think this is necessarily a gender divide. It’s more along the lines of how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world.

    For women generally, I would suggest that most action (as well as inaction) is a social event, whether charitable giving, getting vaccinated, seeing a stranger or loved one in need, grieving, feeling sick or filing for divorce. Most women have recognised, to some extent at least, that isolating themselves from their qualitative relation to the world is an illusion.

    For men generally, as you have described here, most action (as well as inaction) seems to be a transaction between themselves and the world as two separate entities. Philosophically, though, this seems to be outdated thinking. Consider - how much less violence, hatred, oppression, abuse and neglect would exist if everyone viewed each of their actions/inactions as social events?

    That our culture perpetuates this divide along gender lines is simply a way of controlling and predicting behaviour that has been supported by statistical differences in physicality (eg. Muscle mass, childbirth, etc). Yet there are many men who are naturally more empathetic than the average woman, and many women who were far more traumatised by divorce than their husbands. Binary statistics described as ‘more’ or ‘less’ simply enables us to pretend the data is black and white, when even a 99-1 split consists of shades of grey.

    There is no ‘masculine morality’ and ‘feminine morality’ - all this does is perpetuate false gender and moral binary models. The ethical question is whether or not we should view an action/inaction such as getting vaccinated or seeing a doctor as a complex social event, or as a simple transaction.
  • Universe as a Language
    It can inductively be shown that the universe behaves like a language. On the most basic level, everything in the universe can be said to simply be information (regardless of what the universe is composed of on the higher level). Therefore, the universe can be said to be an arrangement of information.Thinker108

    There was a time when induction showed that the universe behaved like a machine - everything could be said to simply be action - and we struggled to reconcile this with the complexity of language and emotion. While I think this idea that everything is simply information is a step in the right direction and affords us a more complex view of the universe and its interrelations, I still think there is more to it.

    Our view of Logic is myopic - this abstract component held within each mind is itself an aspect of what is a larger rationality to the universe - one we can glimpse only in our relation to the alternative, conflicting, irreconcilable ways in which others behave.

    There is a key aspect of language that is not a component of its structure, and eludes all attempts to talk about it. It is apparent only in language use, and cannot be isolated from the relational structure of such usage.

    So it isn’t in ‘words’ that reality has meaning, but in the unspoken quality of each relation. Words are just how we try to make sense of it.

    incidentally, contrary to @Gnomon’s view, I don’t see humanity or personal opinion as some ‘addition’ to the natural process of the universe. This idea that our emotional fragility or variation is somehow ‘messing with’ the natural, ‘logical’ order of the universe is just anthropocentrism on another level. It is accepting emotional variability and accounting for it in the application of science, instead of trying to control it or factor it out, that I believe can ultimately restore the balance.

    The metaphorical nature of language is a reminder that not everything is going to make sense, and that’s okay. The goal is not the sense-making, but the relation. All of this is reflected in the practical application of quantum physics, as well as Taoism, Buddhism, Wittgenstein, etc.
  • How Useful is the Concept of 'Qualia'?
    Funny that you say that, I recently finished re-reading C.I. Lewis' Mind and World Order. He was the person that introduced "qualia" into the philosophical literature as we understand it today, and in effect, he was arguing that these things are helpful in so far as they are guide to actions.Manuel

    Sure - ‘qualia’ as a term consolidates aspects of experience in potentiality, and can be useful in self-reflection, as a guide to structuring the potential of our own actions. But to use ‘qualia’ in relation to another’s actions seems fraught with unfounded assumptions.

    As I see it, ‘qualia’ doesn’t lend any more to the notion of experience except the illusion of consolidation as an heuristic device. It’s like an imaginary number - its value is non-transferable, intangible. As long as all we’re taking about is potentiality, then qualia can be a useful term. But it has no function beyond the value structure in which it forms - beyond this it not only limits ideas, it also ambiguates intentionality.
  • How Useful is the Concept of 'Qualia'?
    The way I see it, when we use the English verb ‘to see’, it can mean ‘to look at’, ‘to perceive’, or ‘to understand’. The distinction between these ‘ways of seeing’ translate (in my mind) as dimensional - a temporally-located observation (4D), an a-temporal value (5D) or a non-judgmental relation (6D).

    In Greek these are three different words, so they would look at (vlepo) the stick bent, perceive (horao) it as both straight and bent, and understand (eido) light refraction and human visual capacity that results in a straight stick appearing bent under certain experiential conditions.

    We confuse the issue when we talk about perception as if it must follow logic, the law of excluded middle, etc. and insist on determining which perception is ‘reality’ and which is ‘illusion’, as if this matters at the level of language and talking about ideas. It matters at the level of determining action, but the capacity to hold seemingly contradictory perceptions in the mind simultaneously (and without judgement) is the key to understanding.

    We are only fairly recently acknowledging the destructive nature of judgemental language, both to the flow and exchange of ideas, and to our temporal interactions with the world. Recognising categorisations such as better, naive, weirdness and sense as value structures under certain experiential conditions can help us to keep an open mind.

    The use of ‘qualia’ as a consolidation of conscious experience into definable objects, seems to me a step in the opposite direction.
  • Consciousness; Quiddity (-Ness)
    A contact of mine made this statement:

    Perhaps it is a continuum which is at one end is alertness to chemical surroundings: an atom of carbon being alert to the proximity of another atom of carbon such that they bond. At the other end it is being able recognize oneself as distinct from one's surroundings. Not too different though; mostly a change in scale.

    That's one way to look at awareness. But for me, having a self-perspective allows me to establish relative values for making judgments of where to take my atoms next. Not because physics says I have to, but because I, myself, want to. :joke:Gnomon

    I think you’re missing the bookends of what is not so much a continuum as a symmetry. Beyond alertness to chemical surroundings is a more vague awareness of positive or negative potentiality by which electrons associate with certain nuclei or atomic structures. At the other end is Gnomon’s desire or affected awareness of possibility - the recognition that we construct intentionality not just from our knowledge but from our own aesthetic relation to every particle.
  • The Symmetry Argument/Method
    I agree that consciousness, I really hope we're tuned into the same channel here, plays a significant role in duality; after all it's a point of view, a way of looking at the world. However, I'm reluctant to say it's all up here, in the head. After all, empirical data of the world does yield a yin-yang pattern in reality.TheMadFool

    I’m certainly not saying it’s all in the head. There’s a tendency to assume non-duality must be idealistic monism (or else materialism), but I think this is a misunderstanding born of reductionism.

    Empirical data is contingent not just upon an observer, but an actual observation/measurement event. An interaction in spacetime (4D). Non-duality in the sense that I’m referring to here, though, is not a reduction from five to four-dimensional awareness, but a paradigmatic shift from five to six-dimensional awareness.

    I've heard of non-duality (advaita vedanta for example) but haven't studied the arguments. Too, non-duality is said to be self-refuting since it stands in opposition to duality forming a pair.TheMadFool

    There is no argument. Advaita (non-duality) is not in opposition to forming a pair, but rather dissolves the necessity for distinction by understanding that Atman IS Brahman. Just as the eternal Tao is the ten thousand things, unnamed. In the realm of possibility, diversity is identical to unity, and vice versa. This is what is meant by ‘invariance under transformation’. It’s not really a way of looking at the world, but rather a way of understanding it so that we can more accurately perceive potential from a variety of perspectives, and from there more carefully and responsibly interact as part of the world.
  • The Symmetry Argument/Method
    Indeed there's a consciousness that must exist to appreciate a duality, any duality but duality exists independently of a consciousness. What I mean is yes, an observer (the third e.g. me) is necessary to become aware of the hot sun and the cold snow but hot ans cold would exist even if I didn't exist and they would interact in the same way as any yin-yang pair would.TheMadFool

    You say this, but how would you know? Sun and snow would exist, sure, but without consciousness there would be no distinction between them as hot and cold, near and far, up and down. Yinyang, too, would exist, but without consciousness there would be no distinction between yin and yang, let alone any recognition of ‘opposites’.

    The tai-chi symbol commonly used to depict yin-yang is the simplest description of the relation between unity and diversity. It is not a static symbol, but an expression of the dynamic relationship between multiple aspects of a whole, in which ‘opposition’ or duality is only a surface appearance: an initial encounter with consciousness. Like most Eastern philosophy, it doesn’t attempt to define reality, but is understood only when this encounter with our physical existence is factored in.

    Non-apples are as real as apples. There's no necessity to take the matter into higher dimensions and even if you did, yin-yang would figure in it (not so sure about that though).TheMadFool

    As real as apples? Does this mean you can visually describe or define a non-apple for me, in the same way that you can visually define an apple? Can you distinguish a non-apple from anything other than an apple? ‘Non-apple’ refers to anything and everything that is not an apple, from an orange to stardust out beyond Mars. It is an indeterminate concept, as real as the concept ‘apple’ and its potential, but not as definitive as the apple I hold in my hand, or the one I ate yesterday. These I can describe in great detail, and their descriptions will be different from each other in small ways, but will have many similar properties. A ‘non-apple’ is defined only by its relationship to the concept ‘apple’. An orange is an example of a non-apple, but is no more the opposite of an apple than stardust.

    It is only in potentiality that the relationship between apple and non-apple has duality. That’s not to say it isn’t real, but that this existence is potential, not actual. It consists of language, experience, knowledge, thought, perception, intention, value, etc. You can’t fully demonstrate the relationship between apple and non-apple in nature - you can only offer examples of the conceptual duality, relative to your perception of it, and construct a similar concept in the perception, experience, language, etc of another. Conscious existence is key.

    Au contraire, yin-yang is about opposites. Suppose it isn't about that and I'm under the grave misconception that it is. Edify me as to what it is. Thank you.TheMadFool

    Recognising opposites is just the initial encounter. It’s what happens next - the dance between unity and diversity in your experience - that is what yin-yang is about. Pay attention to how your consciousness can shift between unity, duality and diversity as you strive to understand the yin-yang symbol. There is no symmetry, no stability in an encounter with duality that doesn’t resort to ignorance, isolation or exclusion. There is unity and there is complex diversity - and duality is just an heuristic device to get you from one to the other.
  • The Symmetry Argument/Method
    1. My take on yin-yang is that they are opposites in a mathematical sense, like +y and -y. Bring them together like so: +y + -y and you get 0, nought. This cancelling of each member of a yin-yang pair is what balance/equilibrium is. This is both destructive (extremes are annihilated, +y and -y are gone ) and constructive (extremes are replaced by an in-between state, 0). Don't be fooled by 0, it doesn't mean nothing in this case. It only means, to use a warfare analogy, the two opposing sides are equally matched, a draw so to speak.TheMadFool

    So, what you’re saying is that there exists another state, between +y and -y, that you call 0, and that this ‘in-between state’ is the balance/equilibrium, or symmetry. This 0 is manifest either as nothing (where +y and -y cancel each other out) or as something: “the correlation manifests itself when the two correlated objects both interact with a third object, which can check”. This third object is you. As Rovelli states: “the existence of a third object that interacts with both systems is necessary to give reality to the correlations.” You can abstract and talk about a ‘mathematical sense’ all you want, but in reality, 0 is either nothing or something. If it’s nothing, then +y and -y do cancel each other out. If it’s something, then there are three players in the game, not two, and there is no ‘cancelling out’; only ignorance/isolation/exclusion.

    2. Yin-yang pairs are an universal feature in nature, in the universe itself. Possibility mentioned apples, humans, ants, cheesecake etc. don't have opposites.

    These objects are subjected to forces that are yin-yang in nature - humans are torn ( :chin: ) between good and bad, apples live and die, ants too, cheesecake are warm and then become cold.

    You’re referring here to yin-yang pairs as potential properties of an object ‘in nature’. This is applying your mathematical values of +y, -y or 0 to an observation/measurement in time. From any observer’s point in spacetime (4D), a cheesecake (3D) is observed as warm or cold, an apple is observed as living or dead, a human is observed as good or bad. But “facts relative to one observer are not facts relative to another”.

    What you’re describing is a dance of three: the necessity of a third player in what you consider to be a ‘duality’. Nothing is cancelled out or ‘replaced’ here. A cheesecake observed as warm is not precluded from being cold. In fact, what you consider to be a ‘warm’ cheesecake, I might argue is ‘cold’. These are not opposites, but are properties or facts relative to the observer.

    Too, humans vs non-humans, apples vs non-apples, ants vs non-ants, cheesecake vs non-cheesecakes - even a child ( :wink: ) can think of an appropriate opposite for these items, either as a class or singly. Pay attention to what these things are and what happens to them.TheMadFool

    And now you’re back to five-dimensional abstraction, describing not ‘items’ or objects observed in nature or in time, but perceived concepts or patterns of potential. ‘Non-apple’ is not an item in reality, but an indeterminate value in relation to your experience/knowledge relative to the concept ‘apple’. It is your remaining perception of potentiality from which ‘apple’ is differentiated - the background or negative potential, so to speak. And your differentiation of apple vs non-apple is not identical to mine - the joint properties of these two concepts as a ‘duality’ exist only in relation to one’s perception.

    The apparent duality of the universe is a reductionist perspective - its potential symmetry is contingent upon an external perception: what you refer to as 0, the relational structure that necessarily exists between the two. The yin-yang symbol as rendered is the third aspect that is necessary for symmetry, whether it is rendered as ink on a page, stones in a mosaic or pixels on a screen. But the symmetry of yin-yang has nothing to do with the opposition of light and dark (which is a Western interpretation), and everything to do with quality, energy and logic. To focus on ‘opposites’ in yin-yang is to miss the point entirely.
  • The Symmetry Argument/Method
    Name a thing that doesn't have an anti-thing.TheMadFool

    A human being. An ant. An apple. A cheesecake. Need I go on?

    Also, what's awareness got to do with dimensions? Can you provide a link that explains this connection between awareness and dimensions? Or is it just a theory you invented?, in which case I'm not interested.TheMadFool

    Read ‘Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions’ by Edwin A. Abbott, for starters.

    That third party would be subsumed by the duality it forms with the anti-third party. Every other party you invoke, if you so desire, will again neatly pair up with its opposite and will be absorbed into duet of yin-yang.TheMadFool

    Only because you refuse to see it any other way. I’m not invoking a third party, but evoking it. That third party is YOU, the observer who names ‘yin and ‘yang’ as such. If nothing else existed in the universe, then the existence of this yin-yang duality is contingent upon the existence of an observer, one aware of the distinction, who embodies/integrates this duality (or not). Such is the case for any duality you care to name.

    Can you name your own ‘anti-’? Have you noticed what happens to your dimensional perspective of ‘self’ when you try? To imagine the dissolution of yin-yang or any such dualism is to call into question our own consciousness. It’s easy to assume that the foundation of all existence then is dualism, but we can equally assume that the foundation of all existence (as we understand it) is consciousness.

    From Carlo Rovelli’s ‘Helgoland’:

    “Facts relative to one observer are not facts relative to another.”

    “To say that two objects are correlated means to articulate something with regard to a third object: the correlation manifests itself when two correlated objects both interact with this third object, which can check.”

    This is not symmetry, but a relation between two and five dimensional existence. There is no invariance under transformation here. A symmetrical universe makes no distinction between unity and diversity, or between existence and non-existence, between yin and yang, possibility and impossibility. Symmetry is not in the duality but in its dissolution - recognising its ultimate contingency.

    Language fails us here, but the basic gist of it is that symmetry is not opposition, but relation. Duality is contingent upon awareness, and vice versa, necessitating a triadic relation as the foundation of any ‘thing’. Without this third party, there is no ‘thing’ or ‘anti-thing’, only potentiality.
  • Beautiful and know it?
    Have it, flaunt it! Isn't that a rule of life?

    I take it - beauty recognizing itself - as part of the Socratic principle of temet nosce. It's odd that people say things like, "you have the brains, use it" but never in my life (never say never) have I heard someone say, "you're beautiful, use it." Is this part of some mind game we're totally in the dark about? I dunno. Sounds interesting. It appears that, like some stroke patients, we're blind to, ignoring, an aspect (the physical plane) of our being. Amazing!

    Not a rule of life, in my opinion. Brains you can certainly use or not use. Beauty is something you can take advantage of, but there can be a discrepancy or uncertainty between who has the beauty and who has the advantage that simply isn’t the case with brains. And there are plenty of situations where someone says things like, “If you’ve got it...” which implies that one use beauty to their own advantage.

    An intelligent person with beauty understands when to ‘use it’ and when not to, and will not be dictated to otherwise. There are many situations where what appears to be ‘using your beauty’ actually enables a transfer of power to someone else that may prove difficult to retrieve.

    People also say a person is beautiful inside and out when both apply but never say they are beautiful on the inside (in a public manner anyway) when only one applies.TiredThinker

    Because we can simply say they are ‘a beautiful person’, which acknowledges them as not just a facade.
  • Synchronicity, Chance and Intention
    I have thought about the post which you wrote on the importance of attention and I believe that it is important but it is not just attention to the outer aspects of experience. In seeing the meaningful connections it is about the parallels within the outer world and the experience of thoughts. It may be that many people do not make links and some may not even remember their thoughts clearly enough.

    I come from the perspective of noticing and remembering my thoughts. I had many experiences during adolescence, which were clear premonitions. I won't go into detail because some of them were extremely unpleasant as they were premonitions of people dying, and the individuals died shortly afterwards. At the time, I even started to worry that it was my fault that the people were dying. Fortunately, I discovered Jung's writings and it made a lot of sense.

    I think that it is hard to know how far to go with Jung's theory, but it does seem to show that we can perceive patterns and it does seem to me to go beyond the physical world. I think that attention is important but it is a way of going beyond ordinary daily experience.
    Jack Cummins

    I do think that it’s at least possible to direct our qualitative attention narrowly or broadly and in consolidated or interrelational structures in each moment (with practise), but that this then impacts on the effort/intensity and diversity we can bring to that attention. And by attention I’m certainly not referring only to the outer world, but also to our thoughts, feelings and intentions, and how they change in relation to each other.

    I’m with you that some people may not notice or remember their thoughts. My son prefers to attend narrowly to consolidated structures - he acts decisively in the face of uncertainty, is systematic or mathematical in his process, and yet draws a blank when asked to retrace his thinking or consider alternatives. My daughter prefers to attend more broadly to interrelational structures - she is often paralysed by uncertainty, yet is well aware of her thinking process, and can track her thoughts from origin to conclusion, including exploration of paths not taken. It’s much more of a concerted effort for my son to notice or remember his thoughts, let alone critique them. But it’s much more of a concerted effort for my daughter to determine a course of action and take it.

    I think part and parcel of a more open awareness is worrying about unconsolidated possibilities that capture our attention for one affective reason or another. This seems to be what occurred with your premonitions. I’m not familiar with Jung’s theories, but I think we need to develop accurate methodologies to both open our awareness of the world and consolidate towards reliable, effective action, rather than simply go with our preference every time. That way leads to ignorance, isolation and exclusion.
  • Synchronicity, Chance and Intention

    The likelihood of him walking past doesn’t change just because you’re talking about him
    — Possibility

    I'm not saying my talking about Will Smith affected the probability of him walking by. That's silly. I'm saying he could've walked by me at any time in a 24 hour period (1440 minutes) but that he appeared when I was talking about him (for 5 minute) is improbable. Do the math.

    1440 - 5 = 1435

    P(Will Smith walking by when I'm not talking about him) = 1435/1440

    P(Will Smith walking by when I'm talking about him) = 5/1440

    But we’re not talking about the abstract probability of an event occurring or not occurring within 24 hours here. The event is relatively improbable, sure. But it’s as improbable as any other specified five minute period.

    P(Will Smith walking by during a 5min period when you’re talking about him) = 5/1440

    P(Will Smith walking by during a 5min period when you’re not talking about him) = 5/1440

    This is not about him walking by, then, but about his appearance: you noticing him walking by, which has more to do with how your attention is distributed during that five minute period.

    Where A = attention directed toward qualitative aspects of the concept ‘Will Smith’ during a 5min period, then

    A(talking about Will Smith) > A(not talking about Will Smith)

    So, given that the probability of Will Smith walking by during any 5min period is equally negligible, then the remote probability of attention directed toward Will Smith walking by during any 5min period is relatively higher when talking (or thinking) about Will Smith during that same 5min period, than not talking about Will Smith.
  • Beautiful and know it?
    I don't require gratefulness for a compliment. My point is some people think their beauty is factual in all circumstances. And as far as complimenting someone on their personality that would be my first approach if I knew them well enough at that point.TiredThinker

    Yet you clearly expect something in return for this compliment, which you’re not getting. You’re also presuming that her response of ‘I know’ is used in all circumstances. She may have perceived this guy and his compliment coming from a mile away, based on his body language long before he opened his mouth. That’s not his fault, but she’s either not interested - in which case her response is rapidly effective - or she expected more from his opening line than an evaluation, as if she’s there waiting for his appraisal. Perhaps what she means is ‘...and...?’

    How about him giving some indication that he’s not just looking for surface value? That he perceives her as a human being with her own mind? You don’t have to know someone very well at all to make that kind of assumption.

    TiredThinker has deep trouble with women. We should be cautious...Accounting

    Cautious of what?
  • Beautiful and know it?
    ↪TiredThinker Who are you to impose – on what grounds should another accept – a standard against (your subjective appraisal of) "things that are empty and aren't accomplishments"? Beauty should not be celebrated for its own sake? Then why do you feel the need to acknowledge a woman's beauty? Okay, it's nothing special, and she replies "I know"; yet her acknowledgement of that very same beauty you remarked on is somehow less warranted than your acknowledgement. Why the double standard, Tired Thinker, if you're "not threatened"?180 Proof

  • Synchronicity, Chance and Intention
    While the likelihood of him walking past just as you’re talking about him is the same as any other moment
    — Possibility

    Explain yourself. I spend, maybe, 5 minutes talking about him and the rest of the day, 1435 minutes, not even thinking about him.

    The likelihood of him walking past doesn’t change just because you’re talking about him. The fact that you’re thinking about him increases the chance of him attracting your attention in a crowd, not the chance of him walking past. He may have walked past you half a dozen times that day, but you were focused on other things and didn’t notice.
  • Synchronicity, Chance and Intention
    So, I wonder about the role of our own consciousness in what becomes manifest in life. Intention affects our behaviour, but I do think that it may go beyond this and intentionality and thought may have more dramatic effects, involving layers of the subconscious. Perhaps, there are no coincidences at all. So, I am asking about explaining apparent coincidence, the nature of chance, randomness and causation. In particular, what is the role of consciousness, subconscious processes and intention in the manifestation of experience? I am interested to know what other people think about this.Jack Cummins

    I think meaningful coincidence often has more to do with attention than intention. We prefer to attribute power internally, especially when the alternative is to accept randomness and uncertainty.

    2. You and your friend are in a deli. As you chow down on the burgers you ordered, you discuss Will Smith (the actor) and his movie I am legend. Just as one of you say "Will Smith", Will Smith walks by on the sidewalk outside the deli. Coincidence, meaningful.TheMadFool

    Talking about Will Smith brings to the periphery of your attention the qualitative patterns in his facial features, build and mannerisms, making you more likely to recognise him walking past, even out of the corner of your eye, than you would at any other time (when he could be walking past). While the likelihood of him walking past just as you’re talking about him is the same as any other moment, the likelihood of you recognising him on the street is increased by the attention you’ve just been giving to the conceptual structures you have with regard to Will Smith. You didn’t will him to appear, you merely brought the remote possibility of his appearance to your attention.
  • Beautiful and know it?
    When a guy tells a woman she's beautiful and she either says that she knows or gives an unmoved expression that indicates that the sentiment isn't worth much is this just straight up hubris? I understand beauty can be measured to some degree scientifically, but is there ever any purpose to being so confident in a quality that in and of itself probably has no substance? I find it annoying when women seem to think so highly of themselves when in truth they don't look that great in my opinion. I find overconfidence keeps people from communicating and really getting to know one another. Is there a purpose for thinking so positively and absolutely about ones appearance?TiredThinker

    Hang - you’re saying yourself that beauty as a quality probably has no substance, and yet you’re annoyed that telling a woman she has this insubstantial quality doesn’t render her grateful to you for saying so?

    I’ve been told ‘you’re beautiful’ by guys before, and I’ll be honest: the sentiment really isn’t worth much on its own. All women these days have to understand that they are beautiful in their own way. This is how we counteract everyone who tries to make us believe that our worth is only in our appearance. I know I’m not exceptionally beautiful - it’s a relative term. If I look around and see that almost everyone’s hooked up except me and this guy who’s just wandered over, then he’s probably not saying that he finds me exceptionally beautiful - but that I’m a beautiful alternative to going home alone. I’m beautiful enough for the situation.

    If a woman is unimpressed by your superficial flattery, I’d suggest you try harder to understand who she really is.

    Don’t tell me I’m attractive or beautiful... tell me I’m a beautiful person and that you’re attracted to my sense of humour.
    Don’t text me about how hot I am. Look into my eyes and tell me of my warmth.
    Tell me I have a great mind that arouses your intellect.
    Tell me one thing that I really am that you actually love...something that will last.
    Because I need to know that you can feel the depths of my soul and are not just fascinated by the shallow reflection on the surface.
    — Kalsoom Akhter Kohli
  • In the Beginning.....
    Quantum physics recognises that this potential energy source is limited by our perspective, and that matter is no more than our anticipated interaction with potentiality, implying affirmation (less certain, more affected by limitations) of an unlimited source of possible energy.
    — Possibility

    I'm not sure here what it is that quantum physics "recognises. "Potential enetgy sources that are limited to our perspective"? What do you mean by this? QM or QFT both "recognise" potential energy derived from a classical view on energy. Particles can interact and this interaction determines kinetic and potential (the potential to become kinetic) energy.

    QM and QFT often describe potential energy in terms of the classical view on energy, which is why certain aspects come across as incongruous, spooky, etc. But the calculations and applications of it defy classical descriptions. When you talk about an interaction of particles determining the potential to become kinetic energy, this potential doesn’t come from the particles, but from the relative variability of those particles in relation to each other. So it isn’t the particles that interact, but their relative potentiality, which is calculable as a wave prediction of attention and effort. The particles themselves are irrelevant to QM or QFT - they’re heuristic devices that give us something to talk about.

    So, any potential interaction with a possible energy source in quantum physics is calculated in relation to the potential for interaction of a possible energy source. If an unlimited source of potential energy exists (and I think we are less inclined to assume this than we were in classical physics), then our perception of it as such is limited by our perceived potential for interaction. This is what QM recognises in its calculations, even if some physicists won’t acknowledge it.
  • In the Beginning.....
    How does Witt provide a practical method for embodying inner and outer?? what is inner and what is outer? Time /energy in Heidegger? He doesn't talk like this. As to the embodied relationship, what do you mean by embodied? K is very aware that one has to think and reason to conceive anything at all, but he does not think like a post modern: in the discussion about actuality and reason, actuality is not conceived as a rational noumenon. Love is not rational, nor is suffering, hate, bliss, ecstacy and so on. Reason encounters these, reduces them to its terms, and this is K's objection, developed later by Levinas and others: We conceive of God out of our Totality of reduced world, and in his analysis it is faith that is the leap out of this totality, out of e.g., the principles of ethics, into something entirely irrational.Constance

    Wittgenstein refers to what lies outside language, and to speaking nonsense, as ‘practice’. This is the outer. It’s not pointless to embody that ‘of which we cannot speak’ - to love or hate, to suffer or relate to God non-verbally - to interact with the world when words fail us. This is how we perceive the structure of language and its limitations.

    By ‘embody’ I mean wholly assume a position from which to relate. As I mentioned before, we embody logic in order to accurately describe a world without logic. We embody an ultimate source of energy in order to describe eternity (a world without change). In phenomenology we embody qualitative experience or consciousness in order to describe what is objective. But we cannot wholly extricate logic either from language or from consciousness, so we cannot use language to describe what logic IS in its entirety. We have Witt’s perspective of logic from within language use, and we have Heidegger’s view of logic from within our experience of being. And we have quantum physics, which demonstrates the existence of rationality beyond both, informing phenomenology that it’s still missing something.

    Phenomenology outlines the problem in a different way, but can do little more than point out the limitations of consciousness and language, while attacking the strawmen of classical ‘Reason’ or scientism for presuppositions that physics can no longer afford to presuppose.

    To leap into something ‘entirely irrational’ is not necessarily to abandon all possibility of relation. A leap of faith draws from one’s own affected experience to construct qualitative rationality (sufficient relation to determine action) by attributing attention and effort (affect) to distinguish between possible/impossible relations. Our faith is misguided when we draw from someone else’s description of affected experience. We will always lose accuracy here.

    I’m not trying to argue that physics needs to be incorporated into phenomenology. I’m saying that without it, phenomenology is prone to inaccuracy and limitations it cannot correct by itself.

    According to Wittgenstein, philosophy should be written like poetry, not in a scientific way. One might assume he only meant the content, another might assume he only meant the structure. I’m inclined to think he meant both. Poetry in the classical sense adheres to a strict logical structure of qualitative ideas in describing our affected experience to be understood more universally. If we follow this advice, then the aim of philosophy is to arrange inner and outer along these lines: embody an eternal, qualitatively rational and unaffected system that enables us to objectively describe the distribution of affect in consciousness.

    Then any connotation or affect is not considered inherent in terms such as ‘system’ or ‘energy’, but is a current limitation of the consciousness they describe. What is inherent is a qualitatively variable rationality. ‘System’ refers to more or less logical or relationally structured, while ‘energy’ refers to more or less variable, regardless of logic. ‘Entropy’ refers to less logical as well as more or less variable regardless of logic. So when you relate to the text, you interpret my use of ‘system’ as implying that what I’m describing is logical, but I’m only referring to the possibility of relational structure, which I’m not inclined to exclude at this level of ‘openness’ simply because my limited subjective experience renders me currently unaware of any structure. How else do we relate to the impossible, except to embody its possibility?
  • In the Beginning.....
    Meaning, value, actuality, etc is then attributed as we are embodied in the system.
    — Possibility

    But then: System? An inherently rational concept. Any system you can conceive is structured by the terms and thinking you already possess. The matter here is to take the affairs of philosophy to their threshold, and then not impose more thinking, more metaphysics, but to embrace the indeterminacy. This is liberating.
    The only system that services this end is phenomenology and the Husserlian epoche. See his Ideas I.

    Not a concept - an idea. I’m with you on embracing the indeterminacy, but if we use language to describe anything at this level, we’re not referring to concepts but to the indeterminate ideas prior to conceptualisation. Don’t be so quick to dismiss a word based on inherent rationality. Language is useless without some qualitative rationality. Without language, we’re relating qualitatively to the world, regardless of any rationality. But we ‘name’ differences not to relate to them, but to relate them to each other. This is what the Tao Te Ching addresses, to recognise both our limited embodiment of, and possibility/impossibility of freedom from, desire/affect, and relate to the text, and thus the qualitative rationality of the world, from the ‘emptiness’ of this unity, to anticipate how chi flows effortlessly through reality.

    The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the eternal name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
    The named is the mother of myriad things
    Thus, constantly free of desire
    One observes its wonders
    Constantly filled with desire
    One observes its manifestations
    These two emerge together but differ in name
    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
    Tao Te Ching (Derek Lin translation)

    Symbols in the TTC consist of no more than a qualitative rationality. It is in their relational structure to each other that quality is further differentiated or ‘named’, but it is in embodying a potential that we energise or affect this description.

    I would need an example of the Tao to make this clear, that is, this correlation between energy and the Tao. Energy is a science term, connotatively packed, so I don't see how it works well here. Word choice matters a lot. This is why Heidegger had to construct his own, to be free of a long history of bad thinking. I don't think empirical science's "history" clarifies the Tao.Constance

    As I mentioned before, any use of the term ‘energy’ merely points to an idea, limited by the system in which it is used. The etymology of ‘energy’ shows that it names this vague idea of a source of work. Classical physics uses the term ‘energy’ to describe work, matter in motion, but this implies affirmation of an unlimited source of work, or potential energy. Quantum physics recognises that this potential energy source is limited by our perspective, and that matter is no more than our anticipated interaction with potentiality, implying affirmation (less certain, more affected by limitations) of an unlimited source of possible energy. Empirical science’s history may not clarify the Tao, but I would argue that science’s current understanding seems to be heading that way in some respects.

    Also on Witt: Logic structures all thought (speaking of the Tractatus here), but it itself cannot be put in this structure to understand what logic is. One would need a third analytical perspective, which would need another to analyze it. There is no way "out" of this, for even the term"out" is nonsense in this context. From whence does logic "come"? What is its generative base? A terrific read along these lines is Eugene Fink's Sixth Meditation. Anyway, it is here philosophy reaches it end. I find the new post Heideggarian theories the right direction. The French I mention above. they don't systematize, but follow the simple logic of the basic principles of phenomenology to their logical conclusions. The result is an encounter with the impossible, which is where we really are.Constance

    Logic structures all thought within the limitations of language. But neither logic nor thought is limited by language. The way out of this is out of language as a limitation - as Witt says: “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. Understanding reality isn’t in what we say but in what we don’t say - in how we relate, affected and limited as we are, to what is said.

    While I agree that following through to logical conclusions seems the ‘right direction’ within phenomenology, I don’t think phenomenology is the only way (or the best way) to describe the relation. Phenomenology approaches the relation from one first-person encounter among many. This approach reaches its end at the threshold of the impossible - the relation is limited by the ‘aboutness’ of experience.

    Witt approaches the relation from one speaker among many. This approach reaches its end at the threshold of nonsense - the relation is limited by the structure of language.

    The TTC approaches the relation from one source of chi among many. The approach reaches its end at the threshold of action - the relation is limited by affect/desire. Among these three, only the TTC’s approach enables us to continue using language in relation to experience, if that language is free from affect. Not an easy thing to do in English; we need to open up all concepts as you say.
  • In the Beginning.....
    You need to abide by what Kierkegaard says. His descritption is contra Hegel and he is not a rationalist, but insists this rationalality we witness in our affairs, far from being some adumbration of the God's full realization, is altogether other than God. K does not hold that all is foundationally rational and partially grasped by reason in our own zeitgeist. This zietgeist is quantitatively "sinfull" (not int he typical Lutheran sense at all; he flat out rejects this)Constance

    So Kierkegaard is excluding this possibility of complete rationality as other than God and beyond our relation to God - even though he says:

    Inasmuch as for God all things are possible, it may be said that this is what God is: one for whom all things are possible … God is that all things are possible, and that all things are possible is the existence of God. — Kierkegaard, ‘Sickness Unto Death’

    In describing his philosophy contra Hegel, Kierkegaard has limited this existence of God, the possibility of rationality left behind in Hegel’s embodied motivation. All things are NOT possible, then - not if complete rationality is not. And so the God of Kierkegaard is in doubt.

    But there is analysis prior to this "inner/outer" opposition. Remember for Witt there is no "outer" talk is this talk is intended to be outside of logic. Like many phenomenologists, he has this prohibition against making sense out of a world that is not a fact, a "state of affairs". Such things are not in the great book of facts (LEcture on Ethics). Inner and outer are confined to language, whether it be language games or logical constraint. One cannot "talk" outside of a language game.Constance

    Analytical philosophy is not looking to construct a ToE, but to analyse the accuracy of particular methodologies and demonstrate their limitations. It’s why Kierkegaard’s criticism of Hegel is so appealing. Kierkegaard qualifies the world we can experience by excluding rationality and eternity, and then demonstrates that by this exclusion we isolate ourselves from the very possibility of God. But is this isolation to be attributed to Kierkegaard’s exclusion of possible rationality, or to Hegel’s exclusion of possible eternity?

    Wittgenstein, too, qualifies the world he can talk about by language and by logic, and then demonstrates that what can be talked about exceeds the capacity of logic, just as Russell demonstrated that logic exceeds the capacity of language. Therefore, pursuing a ‘logical language’ is an exercise in ignorance. But is this ignorance to be attributed to the limitations of language or of logic?

    The answer we give in both cases illustrates how we are embodied in relation to how we describe the world, and hence what is missing from that description. But recognising with Heidegger that we are ‘thrown’ is just the beginning, as you say. I use the term ‘embodied’ because in my view we do not so much ‘break free’ as restructure, incorporating physics with metaphysics (hence my appeal to Rovelli).

    There is something IN the world that is primordial and profound. Heidegger thought this, but detested metaphysics. He did not see what I want him to see, that I am pushing here: Metaphysics is the radical other of the world, beyond its totalities (of course, Levinas at the bottom of this. See his Totality and Infinity, if you dare).Constance

    I am unfamiliar with Levinas, but at first glance I’m intrigued by his approach, particularly with respect to time - I wonder how Rovelli’s description of reality not as objects in time but as ‘interrelated events’, or his approach in ‘Helgoland’ that “facts relative to one observer are not facts relative to another”, might inform it. I would need to explore further... when I have more time.

    Open ended progress of time and energy? You use the term energy, but it makes what they say sound like something they didn't say. Heidegger doesn't talk like this. Of course, YOU can talk like this, obviously, and if you want to say that Heidegger really says this, you have to tell me explicitly: You know, Heidegger says this, but consider this using another term. Energy is a science term, and Heidegger would never go there. Regarding Time, his is a phenomenological ontology that deals with the structure of experience (another word he never uses).Constance

    Well, I’m not claiming that Heidegger really says this, but that in describing it the way he does, he assumes or embodies a fundamental aspect of existence, which is missing from his description, yet exists in others. I have no academic background in philosophy, so my approach to this is unorthodox. If I were to use Kierkegaard’s or Hegel’s own terms to describe what I’m referring to here, then it would defeat the purpose, which is to describe the structure and properties of these systems in relation to what I see as a broader perspective. I do see your point about being explicit, though.

    When I use the terms energy, quality and logic, I’m not using them in a technical way, or even as ill-defined concepts, but referring to profound ideas. So the words themselves are placeholders: for want of a better term, so to speak, which is arguably how these three words are used in everyday language: as placeholders for a more profound idea. Energy refers to a ‘primordial’ idea prior to change - the possibility/impossibility of an absolute source of potential. Quality refers to a ‘profound’ notion underlying difference - of an absolute distinction or binary. Logic refers to a ‘perfect’ notion fundamental to relation, of absolute interconnectedness.

    There is no existence, no system, no reality without the unaffected, unformed possibility/impossibility of these three ideas. For me, this is where it all begins, and where we ultimately draw from, whenever we embody a system from which to describe a system. So it stands to reason that reality equals any description of a system plus the embodied system from which it is described, and necessarily includes the possibility/impossibility of energy, quality and logic as profound ideas. If you look carefully, you will see that any idea takes form by the correlation of two of these in relation to the third - even a description of these ideas themselves.
  • Are there things we can’t describe with the English language?
    Yep, the Scandinavian word "Lagom"Ansiktsburk

    I love this word! I have been using ‘accurate’, but found it far too scientific to describe this dynamic quality of balance and sufficiency in one’s perspective.

    English language use demonstrates a reluctance to name the relative quality of an unaffected idea. Lagom cannot be qualified as a concept until its value/significance is determined in relation to the quality of affected experience. So we translate lagom as a relative value in idiomatic form: ‘just the right amount’ or ‘less is more’. But each of these idioms alone is insufficient to describe the relative quality that is lagom.
  • Are there things we can’t describe with the English language?
    You and I don't generally see these things the same way. It seems like you are using "qualitative idea" as your version of what I am calling "experience." I think that's misleading. As I said, to me, a concept, an idea, is a linguistic entity.T Clark

    The main difference I see (apart from equating ‘concept’ and ‘idea’) is that by ‘experience’ you’re referring to an affected quality of consciousness, whereas by ‘qualitative (or aesthetic) idea’ I’m referring to quality prior to affect. It is in one’s experience (of aesthetic ideas formed in the TTC, for instance) that any quality is affected in relation to its context.

    So, as linguistic entities, for me ‘concept’ is an affected or experienced ‘idea’.

    As for what we can describe without language, isn’t this what art is for?
    — Possibility

    I think you and I are in general agreement, but the use of the word "describe" bothers me. Descriptions are generally done with language. Again, I think that will be misleading, perhaps not to you and me, but to others.
    T Clark

    Which was why I mentioned the narrowness generally assumed in the term ‘describe’. Dictionary definitions of ‘describe’ include marking out or drawing a geometrical figure, as well as moving in a way that follows an imaginary outline.
  • Are there things we can’t describe with the English language?
    To me, it's message is that there are experiences that are not reducible to language, not concepts. For me, concepts, ideas, are creatures of language. I think the distinction is important.T Clark

    But can't concepts be derived from experiences?Noble Dust

    Sure, but the point is that not all of experience can be conceptualised - ie. reduced to concepts. Concepts refer to patterns of experience with a high probability of shared value/potential/significance. We can still share and relate to some significance or meaning of an experience without the use of concepts, let alone sharing language.

    For me (and perhaps this is where T Clark and I may differ) qualitative ideas in experience interact to form concepts but have no form themselves. Chinese ideographs give form to ideas only through interaction within a language system, the logical structure (grammar and syntax) of which determines the situational conceptualisation that a symbol conveys. In this way, one symbol in Chinese can convey a positive or negative conceptualisation of the same qualitative idea, depending on its relative position in the grammatical structure. Each symbol, phrase, line, stanza, chapter or entire text is an idea that is conceptualised by understanding the logic of its relative position.

    In English, a concept is already largely determined by the arrangement of letters or sounds in the word itself, including tense, position and focus. Ideas in modern English (and even in modern Chinese) refer to a complex interplay of conceptualised structures whose boundaries may or may not overlap and dissolve across phrases, sentences and entire texts. The qualities of speech sounds in English are often just as significant and evaluative as the words we use, more so than in Chinese.

    As for what we can describe without language, isn’t this what art is for? And failing that, the way we interact with the world? I guess it depends on how narrowly you define ‘describe’: to write down, to render, to follow an outline...
  • In the Beginning.....
    Yes, this about assuming a singular primordial "something" is right on the mark. But this "broader understanding of energy and quality" raises the same objection: The place philosophers won't venture to go is the annihilation of theory. Derrida's is self annihilating (under erasure) and Wittgenstein's Tractatus talks at length about nonsense, as he confesses in that very work.
    I take the matter beyond Derrida, I think, for he spent his days lecturing. He should have spent them liberating his own interiority from the constructions of language that occlude the Real, whatever that is.

    By a broader understanding of energy and quality, I’m referring not to theory but to practice. The Tao Te Ching, for example, talks about wu-wei: the indirect relations between perceived intentionality, potential and action. The sage, by understanding the relation between the quality of ideas and the energy of the world, appears not to act, is perceived as incapable of acting, expressing no desire or intention; and yet embodies wisdom.

    I can't say I understand "six-dimensional qualitative awareness" or the "triadic relation of energy, quality and logic". I suppose I need to read Rovelli.Constance

    You won’t find it in Rovelli. The terminology you’ve highlighted here is my own. The way I see it, this qualitative change you’re referring to in the world, in which the entire conceptual edifice can be suspended, I describe as a shift in dimensional awareness - from a five-dimensional awareness of value, potential or significance in events, actions and observations, to a six-dimensional awareness of meaning or truth in language, value and conceptual structures.

    Geometry has a logical, qualitative structure which we can recognise as both abstract and embodied. How we understand and render geometric structure relies on a perspective position outside: a line is a one-dimensional relation between two points that assumes a perspective position in two dimensions, ie. an awareness/distinction of shape; an object is a three-dimensional relation that assumes a perspective position in four dimensions, ie. an awareness/distinction of time; an event is a four-dimensional relation that assumes a perspective position in five dimensions, ie. an awareness/distinction of value/potential/significance; a language, value or conceptual structure/system is a five-dimensional relation that assumes a perspective position in six dimensions, ie. an awareness/distinction of meaning/truth.

    At each of these dimensional levels of awareness, the world is qualitatively different - so much so that there appears to be no way to describe the world consistently. You’ve said that affect takes centre stage and that ideas are distinguished according to meaning at this particular level of ‘openness’, but in order to interact meaningfully with a linear relation, for instance, we need to develop a clear methodology for shifting perspective from meaning to shape and back again, without assuming or losing information.

    What I’ve been proposing is a fundamental triadic relation of energy, logic and quality. This leaves nothing to our assumptions, or that cannot possibly be understood in some sense.

    Energy, for instance, describes the fundamental quality (difference) of the Shakti-Brahma relation (logic). The aporia here is not between ‘Shakti’ or ‘Brahma’, but in how we embody a flow of energy: thought and affect both playing key roles in our distribution of energy as attention and effort. A logical description of energy such as quantum physics can inform and be informed by this model, dissolving both the question-begging assumptions of physics and the metaphysical ‘woo’ of Hinduism in a meaningful dialectic. The resultant understanding is not theory OR practice, but wisdom.
  • In the Beginning.....
    Science does not inform philosophy unless you are taking a course in the philosophy of science (which is specialized) and philosophy is not speculative science. This is a popular idea because science is very good at advancing technology. But ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson how it is that a brain can reach beyond itself to apprehend Jupiter or a light wave, and he will simply dismiss the question, or get the answer wrong, grounding it in question begging assumptions. Now analytic philosophy (which wants very much not to be wishy washy and get no respect) with its prioritizing of clarity over meaning does move along with science's emerging theories, but this simply delivers the impression that all is well at the base, while at the base there are glaring absurdities.
    Continental philosophy brings light to the foundation of understanding, but, as wheels go, it deals in meaning, and meaning does not make a clear mark of its thought, because at the foundation, things lose their confidence and certainty.
    Read the first several pages of Husserl's Ideas I to see where philosophy has its authentic grounding: it is aporia.

    Sure - philosophy, if it can be grounded, is grounded in the notion of aporia - the question - which is what motivates science. Science is not the answer that Neil DeGrasse Tyson gives to a question, but the correct process or methodology in asking and answering a question. Science, if it can be grounded, is grounded in the notion of certainty - the answer - which is what motivates philosophy. And philosophy is not the question we ask but a correct process or methodology in asking and answering the question.

    But I do agree with your descriptions here of analytical and continental philosophy. Very astute.
  • In the Beginning.....
    Metavalue and metaethics - the Good - refers to the possibility of an ideal relational structure (ie. logic) to this interweaving of energy and quality (in relation to an embodied rationality).
    — Possibility

    How so?

    Meta- means ‘about the thing itself’. Metaethics and metavalue together examine the nature of ethics, judgement and aesthetics from a perspective beyond ‘the Good’, which questions if ‘the Good’ is even possible, and if so, what is the relational structure of ALL that we have not embodied to ask this question: the sum of subjective and affected experience inclusive of, but not confined to, this possibility/impossibility of the Good?

    It’s often the notion of energy as a source that keeps getting shifted like a hot potato around philosophical discussions. We talk about ethics as if each of us is not limited beyond intentionality by how we source and arrange any potential to act. We talk about ‘the Good’ as if there is no energy component to it, but won’t acknowledge the incommensurability of attention and effort that necessarily limits any embodied relation to it. So we keep losing track of information, leaving uncertainty or entropy unaccounted for as we carelessly shift focus from one disembodied system description to another. And then we go looking for it, as if we didn’t just leave it behind in the variable uncertainty of the previous embodied relation.

    I’m just saying that a moment to take stock of how we’ve arranged these ideas of logic, quality and energy before we shift from one perspective to another can be useful. If there’s no logic in our description of reality (as in Kierkegaard), then we’ve embodied its assumption as a relation to God. If there’s no source of energy accounted for (as in Hegel’s description), then we embody its assumption as an unlimited capacity to act. So when we shift from Hegel to Kierkegaard, then our capacity to act appears limited by the imperfection of our embodied relation to God. Within Kierkegaard’s view of Hegel, then, we’ve suddenly lost the source of motivation to strive for a perfect relation we cannot attain - not realising that this source was simply ‘left behind’ in Hegel’s embodied assumption.
  • In the Beginning.....
    The one philosophical thesis that comes to mind here is pragmatism: In the interior of experience, there is no rational faculty, no reason as such, no logical rules. We call them rules, but this is just a way of categorizing something holistic in its original presence. The entire experience is that out of which reason as a concept is abstracted, but the original whole is some unthinkable aesthetic/reason/sensible/intuitive actuality. And animals have this.Constance

    I think when we talk about logical rules, we refer only to what we can structure within language, recognising that there’s more to logic than that - that is, there is a relational structure to ethics, and to values, which is reasonable beyond the logic within language. That is, it has to do with the qualitative structure of affect and the limits of energy and perceived potential in an embodied experience.

    But it is not reason that is front and center; it is value. Metavalue and metaethics. That is, the Good.Constance

    Couldn’t agree with this more – be it from a modern or ancient pov regarding reason, or anything in between. But then, some further thoughts:

    If there cannot be any reasoning that is not dependent upon metavalue, upon the Good, then can one find any alternative conclusion to that of the Good as metavalue in some way determining all reasoning? (for clarity, I take it we both understand the Good to not be a personhood)

    Metavalue and metaethics - the Good - refers to the possibility of an ideal relational structure (ie. logic) to this interweaving of energy and quality (in relation to an embodied rationality). If logic is not front and centre, then it’s the system you embody in order to describe what is.
  • In the Beginning.....
    Threats are very basic, but promises, now that stretches witnessed behavior to a point beyond. What is a promise, essentially? One has to dismiss knowledge of the conditional form, the counter factual: promises are logically complex, for one has to be able to conceive of a broken promise, and here, there is the anticipated event that does not materialize, and there is disappointment. Clearly, anticipation is part of the promising construction, and there is no doubt dogs anticipate, just as mice and lizards do. But broken promises, or fulfilled ones, are not simply about anticipations, about my anticipating another's behavior.Constance

    Agreed. By promise I’m referring to Sparky caring about an anticipated event, and trusting in its relation to the sounds we make. You break this trust enough times, and the sounds start to lose their significance for Sparky. I knew a kelpie once who would respond only to her caregiver’s voice. She could also follow hand signals that even contradicted his voice commands (he’d taught her to ‘stay’ beside a pretty girl on the beach while he called her repeatedly - a neat trick).
  • In the Beginning.....
    But why this absolute rationality taking center stage? Rationalism and telos is always a bankrupt idea because reason has no value, that is, a rational perfection refers to form, structure of thought only and carries no weight beyond this. Just an empty vessel, reason. It is only when something in the world is in play that purpose and meaning are brought in. This is why I insist on a qualitative "leap" into a deeper understanding of the world that philosophy can uncover. My tentative claim is that language and its logic is only pragmatically meaningful: its mission, if you will, is to realize value, and this puts the burden of meaning on aesthetics. The Good, Wittgenstein said, is what he calls divinity. He is not talking about contingent goodness, but something profound he thinks is above language. Of course, he was right and wrong about this.Constance

    I don’t believe it is necessarily taking centre stage - there are always the three ideas in play, among which we assume an embodied position. If we focus on quality (a paradox) as origin, then the distinction is between energy (as the idea of an absolute source) and logic (as the idea of absolute rationality). If we focus on logic (absolute rationality) as origin, then the relation is between energy (essence) and quality (ethics). And if we focus on energy (flow) as origin, then the dynamic is between quality (ideas) and logic (structure).

    Meaning, value, actuality, etc is then attributed as we are embodied in the system.

    So a description of the world as rationalism and telos necessarily assumes a subjective, affected perspective or relativity - and any attempt to point this out will be rejected. This affected subjectivity - the embodied position - is what’s missing from the system description.

    Wittgenstein explored the dynamic between thinking and logic within a language system, and recognised that just as there is more to the structure or logic of reality than language, there is also more to the quality of ideas (aesthetics) than thinking (within language). What’s missing from his system description is also energy - much like the Tao Te Ching - rendering it only pragmatically meaningful. It’s not just language and its logic, but an embodied, practical awareness of their limitations, that realise meaningfulness in interaction with the world.

    Kierkegaard, on the other hand, assumes a perfectly rational singularity (God), so your jump to ethics in his relation to Hegel makes sense. Everything evolves according to Hegel, so reason in his abstraction cannot realise this eternal rationality (pure reason) that Kierkegaard assumes. Nor can it, in Kierkegaard’s subjective philosophy, ever determine the ethical rationality (practical reason) that Hegel assumes.
    — Possibility

    You would have to tell me why you think K thinks like this. He doesn't hold those things.

    Not that Kierkegaard thinks like this, but that his system description is rendered complete only in relation to an embodied existence of eternal rationality, a position he necessarily assumes by omitting it from his description.

    I'm talking about the foundational place of language to the world. I have been arguing that beneath anything we say there is the impossible unutterable noumena which is not outside of experience at all. Phenomena are actually noumenal entities. But what makes something noumenal? It is not that it is beyond language, but rather, only beyond language in its, to speak Hegelese, Zeitgeist, which actually reflects Kierkegaard's concept of sin. Sin (but put aside the Christian thinking here) is essentially being possessed by culture, but the manner of conceiving of sin is important: It is an existential break from something primordial. Heidegger will later dismiss K's religiousness, but move forward with this "break" saying K is right, we in our normal assimilated ways of living according to "the they" which is the thoughts that circulate so freely and dominate throughout society in the form of given institutions and ideas, are out of touch with something deeply important. He thinks there is some nonalienated original condition.Constance

    The aim of philosophy is to ultimately embody the logical methodology or ideal relation between inner and outer system. If we are to accurately describe this using language and logic, then we need to include in our description, as Wittgenstein and the TTC have done, a purely practical method for embodying an inner/outer relation to the ‘impossible unutterable noumena’ assumed by the description. Without this practice, any understanding of the methodology is incomplete.

    From Kierkegaard’s perspective, the assumption is that God already occupies this non-alienated, original condition, and that we merely dance around it. Any embodied relation we may have to this ‘impossible, unutterable noumena’ is subjective, affected and illogical. He relies on Hegel’s description, with its assumption of the open-ended progress of time/energy (a device Heidegger also relies on in his own way), to demonstrate the anxiety of our condition. Without this temporal relation, Kierkegaard’s description lacks directional attention and effort, rendering our condition eternally absurd.

    Thus, pain is, prior to being taken up in science, in evolutionary theory, in talk about energy, or "moving away from logic toward action," I am saying, given to us as a conditioned term, blunted by language's tendency bring all things down to a familiar level (they they, or das man, as Heideggger puts it). Language makes us forget, reduces the world to familar terms. We don't think this is so because we are IN this zeitgeist, and it takes philosophy to see it.Constance

    Do you believe we can talk about pain as an unconditioned term? Pain is a quality, as I described, but alternatively it’s a logical relation between attention and effort, or a motivation to alter relational structure. There’s no one way to interpret pain, but perhaps there is a correct methodology to align our condition with an ideal origin, and in doing so unconditionally understand pain.

    One has to be careful with Kierkegaard, making him sound like a rationalist. It is not that he thinks God is logically assumed, but that God is conceived as an actuality that is intimated in childhood, and realized (bringing in sin by this) later as an incompleteness that is evidenced by the calling, the existential anxiety which is realized int eh fateful moment when a person reaches self awareness and affirms this incompleteness in her existence. It is an existential dialectic, not a logical one.Constance

    Again, not that he consciously thinks this, but that his system description automatically assumes a logical embodied position. And logical not within language, but in the sense of a complete (absolute) relation. But I do heed your warning, nonetheless.
  • In the Beginning.....
    But the issue here has nothing to do with Rovelli or physics. Philosophy is not physics, nor is it abstract speculation. Think of eternity, for example, but withdraw from assumptions that are in place in the everydayness of affairs (of which science is an extension) and move into a more basic analysis, which is the structure of experience itself. The issue of time is fundamentally different, for time at this level is what is presupposed in talk about Einstein's time. Has nothing to do with physicists being wring and phenomenologists right; rather, these are modes of inquiry radically different from one anotheConstance

    Are they all that different though? Science informs philosophy and philosophy informs science. I’m not talking about Einstein’s time (and neither is Rovelli, although he starts there), but about what is presupposed. And it’s this presupposition that is explored in the second part of Rovelli’s book.

    Philosophy, I am claiming, is where thought goes when the world exceeds all paradigmatic categories. Heidegger wrote Being and Time just to go here, to the place where thinking meets its terminal point and explanations run out. But (and this is a crucial idea) instead of thinking like a scientist and dismiss what is not known as something always coming, waiting to but constructed conceptually, theoretically, which is an essential part of Heidegger, where Heidegger looks for some primordial language that has been occluded by centuries of bad metaphysics, I claim the reduction to something primordial and profound lies in Wittgenstein;s eternal present. Put Rovelli aside, pick up Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety.

    Again, NOT at all that Rovelli (I read a synopsis) is in any way wrong, but the terms of analysis are very different. Time, its past, present and future, are here features of the experience that is already in place antecedent to what a physicist might say. (Einstein knew this. He read Kant when very young. He just knew he wasn't going to take on philosophical issues).

    I think you’re presuming that I’m deferring to scientific methodology, but this is far from the case. I’m certainly not proposing that we ‘dismiss what is not known’. And I don’t think you can so confidently assume you know what a physicist might say (just how many interpretations of quantum theory are there?) or how all scientists think. I recognise that the terms are often different - but I’m not looking for analysis (and neither is Rovelli in his book), rather coherence. So I don’t seek to understand the primordial or profound as a reduction to ‘something’, but more as the simplest totality of existence.

    My recommendation of a book (and your evaluation of its synopsis) is not wholly indicative of my position. The way I see it, Rovelli’s process of deconstructing time as we understand it leads us effectively to Wittgenstein’s eternal present: living in a world without time, consisting of interrelating events (phenomena).

    If we do not assume a priori that we know what the order of time is, if we do not, that is, presuppose that it is the linear and universal order that we are accustomed to, Anaximander’s exhortation remains valid: we understand the world by studying change, not by studying things....We understand the world in its becoming, not in its being. — Carlo Rovelli

    His more recent book ‘Helgoland’ leads us beyond that point to the relational structure of reality. That he does this from the perspective of quantum physics demonstrates the symmetry at work here. These, for me, are checks and balances to ensure we’re on the right track. But they also suggest that assuming reduction to a singular primordial ‘something’ may be holding us back. Physicists, for the most part, are looking for the source of energy; theologians are looking for the source of quality; while philosophers are looking for the source of logic. The answer, I think, is at the intersection of all three. Where Wittgenstein defers to silence is where we must look to a broader understanding of energy and quality, beyond their logical concepts. Too many philosophers won’t venture here.

    What is this, that, and questions are not simply playful antagomisms, but are indicative of the indeterminacy of language (something Willard Quine famously wrote about; and he hated deconstruction...while agreeing!) Concepts are, all of them, open. So what happens, I ask here, when the broadest concept imaginable, Being, stands in openness? THIS is an extraordinary event, to allow the entire conceptual edifice to be "suspended". My claim is that if this is done faithfully, allowing openness its full due, then the world qualitatively changes, for there is no longer any conceptual recourse, no body language into which one can retreat, no "totality" that can subsume all things, for one has breached into eternity.

    Energy? Why not shakti, or Brahman? Or thathata? Of course, these terms have different meanings, all of them, but note something important: When Hindus and Buddhists use vocabulary like this, they are understanding the world as it appears, mixed with thought and affect; cognition is not separated from these and objects in the world. How does one privilege ideas in a system like this? According to meaning, and affect is no longer a marginalized phenomenon. It takes center stage in ontology. And saying something like God is Love no longer is just a romantic foolishness.

    Ok, I think I’m (almost) with you now. What you’re describing here - a system structured according to meaning, with affect at the centre and ‘God is Love’ making genuine sense - for me constitutes a six-dimensional qualitative awareness. Your expression of it here is the closest to my understanding of this that I’ve read, so thank you. It is here that I find the triadic relation of energy, quality and logic - not as linguistic concepts but as ideas - also makes the most sense.

    Incidentally, my reference to Rovelli is a grounding that for me prevents the tendency to separate thought and affect, cognition and objects. It’s more effective than what I currently understand of phenomenology - but I’m getting there, slowly...
  • In the Beginning.....
    You know, that is a very good point. So a well trained dog cannot, I think we can agree, produce an internal dialog. Sparky can't think, "Well, Jane is sleeping and I wish she would get up and put some food in the bowl. It was the same last week, I mean why own a dog if you're not going to......" There is no concept of time and space, no prepositional constructions, no conditional, negations that can be explicitly spoken internally. But: they do have familiarity that reaches conscious awareness; but then again, do they? When you say, "Let's go outside" does outside mean outside, or is it just a Pavlovian reaction? Of course, they feel good in this activity, bad in that one and they do make the connection between verbal noises and activities, they can anticipate. But is this knowledge?
    Depends on what you mean by the term, of course. We say Sparky knows this and that, but we are being loose with this epistemic term. Safe to say, Sparky has no conceptual knowledge. But perhaps he has, and I suspect this si true, some kind of proto linguistic grasp of things. We have the conditional propositional form, and Sparky certainly follows events following other events.

    Dogs seem to have a more qualitative sense of the world. Our verbal expressions are like promises and threats: they have qualitative value, potential and significance for Sparky. They’re not understood (I think this fits better than known) according to objects in spacetime, but according to qualitative relations of embodied experience. When you say ‘let’s go outside’, they understand quality in the ideas you’re expressing: the arrangement of shapes and sounds in “let’s go” have an immediately inviting, inclusive quality to it; while “outside” has a more distant and variable quality related to possible smells, textures and tastes.
  • In the Beginning.....
    religion is a philosophical matter, and the reason this idea sounds counterintuitive is that philosophy, in the minds of many or most, has no place in the dark places where language cannot go, but this is a Kantian/Wittgensteinian (Heidegger, too, of course; though he takes steps....) legacy that rules out impossible thinking, and it is here where philosophy has gone so very wrong: Philosophy is an empty vessel unless it takes on the the original encounter with the world, which is prior to language, and yet, IN language, for language is in the world. Philosophy's end, point, that is, is threshold enlightenment, not some foolish anal retentive need for positivism's clarity.Constance

    Words of truth and beauty, to be sure. We need the language, though, for without language, philosophy is bound within the individual experience. After having contemplated the boundary of understanding, and having discerned "the idea", one will inevitably find that language fails, that the lemmas simply do not exist for sharing with another. So, in the lack of adequate linguistic invention, we equivocate, and all is lost...Michael Zwingli

    In the end, philosophy is supposed to be practical. We forget that in our academic pursuit of a theory of everything, a philosophical description of reality. Where language fails us, it is our own embodied relation that ultimately completes the structure of reality. It’s what’s missing from every written philosophy.
  • In the Beginning.....
    The paradox you mention is between logic and the actuality. If you go by Hegel, then the real's rational nature is only imperfectly realized in our current Zeit Geist: it approaches perfection in God's self realization, and because we see only as our unevolved reason permits, contradictions rise up. But all this is awaiting so sort of divine completion in which contradictions fall away. So, all relations do have the stamp of paradox, for one can easily find contradictions everywhere since knowledge falls apart with inquiry at the basic level. This is what, by Hegel's standard, contingency is all about: the imperfection of realizing God's perfect rationality.
    Hegel was essentially on your side because he agreed that reaosn in the abstract had no great value. Kant's pure reason is not very important here. What is important is the way reason grapples with what is given, making science what it is. Hegel doesn't separate things from reason: they are parts of the same grand disclosure of Truth in God.
    I think Hegel is interesting. Continental philosophers take him seriously (though not as he would like); analytic philosophers don't talk about him except in philosophy history classes. You have to go through Kierkegaard: reason and objects are qualitatively completely different. To me this goes directly to ethics: That pain in your side where you were assaulted with a baseball bat: THIS is rational?? No. It has nothing to do with reason.

    Well, I don’t assume a singular progression of time as Hegel does, so for me the paradox isn’t between logic and actuality, but between the possibility of an absolute (rather than ‘perfect’) rationality and/or energy source. Is one a ‘beginning’ and the other an ‘end’, a telos? Or perhaps this is a balanced ternary logic (-, 0, +), qualitatively imagined?

    Kierkegaard, on the other hand, assumes a perfectly rational singularity (God), so your jump to ethics in his relation to Hegel makes sense. Everything evolves according to Hegel, so reason in his abstraction cannot realise this eternal rationality (pure reason) that Kierkegaard assumes. Nor can it, in Kierkegaard’s subjective philosophy, ever determine the ethical rationality (practical reason) that Hegel assumes.

    Pain has a quality that directs energy away from logic and towards action. It isn’t that it has nothing to do with reason. Rather, we assume an inner logic - an embodied rationality - in order to determine a qualitative (outward) distribution of energy (as attention and effort). The way I see it, reason ranges qualitatively from pure logic to pure energy.

    This dualism of inner in relation to outer system is unavoidable, but the structure is highly variable. Kierkegaard’s system logically assumes God in order to describe subjectivity: qualitative judgements of affected experience. Hegel’s embodied system, on the other hand, assumes an unlimited process or source of energy (the progress of history) to describe a dialectic: manifesting past experiences of logical contradiction. With Hegel, it seems there can be no synthesis without a process of dissolving identification (thesis/antithesis), from which we then reconstruct history as a new dialectic develops.
  • To be here or not to be here, honest question.
    Hi Jem, and welcome to the forum.

    I will reiterate what T Clark has written - I think your writing ability and willingness to learn, discuss and develop your thinking is enough to render your efforts here worthwhile. The call for an ‘educated standard’ is to deter the level of some responses you may find in more general online forums. That you demonstrate respect for sentence and paragraph structure, the effective use of punctuation and grammar, and the correct spelling of words is sufficient, I feel.

    I also have no education in philosophy, only an interest. I would say be willing to look up and read about the topics and the philosophers mentioned, and then think before answering. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is your friend. It’s those who think they know already who may find they don’t belong in the more in-depth discussions, not those prepared to learn for themselves and ask questions of others.
  • Does Buddhist teaching contain more wisdom than Christianity?
    What do you mean by normal in this senseRoss

    Not worth questioning, I suppose.

    I think it's more a question of political authorities using and abusing religion for their own ends rather than the fault of the Church itself. A classic case in my country is Northern Ireland during the conflict there in the 70,s and 80,s where people were murdered simply because they were a Catholic or Protestant. It had nothing to do with religion, the motives were political.Ross

    I don’t think you can separate politics from religion, especially when it comes to Catholicism, which has a clear hierarchical structure of authority. The Church is far from faultless, even in the case of Northern Ireland. The idea that religion is ‘used and abused’ or a tool to be wielded is the same argument the gun lobby employs. But religion is not a tool you can reserve only for those licensed to use responsibly. It’s a capacity that anyone can access for any reason: to inspire attention and effort towards that vague awareness of ‘something’ beyond our understanding, and give it form. There’s no such thing as an ‘accident’ in using religion.

    But religion is different from teachings, and actually has nothing to do with wisdom. This is the main point I want to get across.
  • Does Buddhist teaching contain more wisdom than Christianity?
    Do you mind me asking but What kind of church did you belong to because I'm from Ireland which when I was a child in the 60's was a very conservative Catholic country, but I don't remember my parents commanding me to obey them even though they were practicing Catholics. I was given full freedom to think for myself by them and my teachers. Of course 90% of people at that time attended mass. Religion was everywhere. But I think the Irish, although it was a conservative Catholic country, are by their nature quite a liberal minded, freedom loving , irreverent and progressive people's and just ignored the Church,s pronouncements or attempts to control our minds and hearts. I remember the wild parties full of casual sex and almost orgies, even back in the 70,s in so called Catholic Ireland. One Irish Professer on tv said "we Irish were straight-laced by day and hedonistic by night"Ross

    The ideal catholic community is one in which there is an acceptance that pretty much ‘everyone does this’. So you wouldn’t even consider not wanting to attend mass every Sunday, make your first communion, or recite the Nicene Creed, when all your friends are doing it anyway. There is no need to command obedience to God when this obedience is considered ‘normal’ behaviour. So I don’t doubt you had full freedom to think for yourself within an Irish Catholic context.

    I grew up in a suburban Catholic school community in Australia (in the 80s). By the time we stopped listening to our parents, the teachers had us believing that all our religious practices at least were ‘normal’. That started to change once I left school, of course. Thinking for yourself within a religious context isn’t quite the same as thinking for yourself without these constraints, but it’s easiest to restructure it as ‘self’ once you’re free of the original context, at least initially.

    But this isn’t following Jesus’ teachings - it’s following everyone else.
  • In the Beginning.....
    But to talk about possibility of impossibility points first to the "'words or logic" that constructs concepts like possibility and impossibility. Perfect relation? What is this if not a language construction? Absolute interconnectedness in the logos? What is this if not a logical interconnectedness? That is, the "saying" is always analytically first.Constance

    Analytical is kind of the opposite to my approach. But I think I get where you’re coming from. And I didn’t mean absolute interconnectedness IN the logos, rather logos AS the ultimate idea of interconnectedness.

    Possibility/impossibility points to the quality or diversity of the idea(l) - what do you think logic constructs its concepts out of? Itself? And construction requires a source of energy. Perfect relation is paradox, because nothing else is necessary. And if this paradox exists, then any and all of them do.

    And this tapping into eternity, how does this cash out in analysis? Terms like finitude and infinity are fascinating to me, but it is not as if they are exhausted in the mere utterance, the incidental usage. for the question posed here goes to the structure of time itself. Time, I claim (and I am no more than what I read) is the structure of finitude, and finitude is subsumed by eternity, both, obviously, difficult terms and deserve discussion, but the final discussion to be had on this and any matter looks at the th phenomenological analysis of time. What is time? This is presupposed by talk about beginnings.Constance

    Interesting that you read ‘an infinite source of energy’ as ‘eternity’. The finitude/infinity of energy is the paradoxical quality of time, and the qualitative flow of energy is time’s directional logic. Have you read Rovelli’s ‘The Order of Time’?

    Incidentally, I think talk about anything is just a way to test our reasoning, which I would argue is more than the sum of what we read.

    Don't know what you mean by infinite perfection. Not that I have no ideas about such a thing, but what you mean is not clear. At any rate, This intersection: is there just this (leaning Heideggarian) construction? Or is there not something, if you will, behind this in the reductive act of suspending all these possibilities? Once you step into that rarified world where language's grasp on the givenness of things is loosened, and meaning is free from interpretative restraint, is there not some undeniable qualitative change in the perceptual event as such?Constance

    Yes, there is not just this possible prediction, but also its negation - the impossibility of it all. You’re presuming a ‘perceptual event’ has form: a definable quality to be changed. But any perceptual event is qualitatively variable in itself - it manifests variable observation events according to a predictive relation, but it’s also variably perceivable as such. So it isn’t so much change as a vague awareness of variability - on the periphery of any capacity for perception. That either draws attention and effort (affect), or not. It’s not undeniable - it comes down to an availability of energy.

    What you say about identity is quite right, I think, and this then makes a turn toward agency, for identity is general, definitional, as in the identity of a term, a concept, but agency is all about the actuality of what it is (who it is). Most clearly an issue for ethics.Constance

    My point here is that at this intersection we must embody energy, logic, quality, or some combination, in order to relate to anything at all. You agree that any quest for an unlimited source of energy is one of identity: it assumes that everything has a proper, definitive relation to everything else, and if we somehow manage to complete this process of identification, then the source must reveal itself. It’s an issue for ethics because to do this we assume that our perspective embodies a proper, definitive relation to everything else.

    Conversely, any quest for a proper, definitive relational structure to the world (such as ethics) assumes an unlimited source of energy. The idea that there is an ought is predicated on the assumption that we embody unlimited agency. The reality of human experience is that our own limited attention and effort is selectively focused, and it is only in a proper relation to everything (and everyone) else that we can even approach unlimited access to energy.
  • Does Buddhist teaching contain more wisdom than Christianity?
    Correct. But "Father" can have more than one meaning, especially in theology. This had already been a form of address for the deity as applied, for example, to Zeus in the Greek tradition. As the father or “pater familias” was the ruler of the house, God was the ruler of the cosmos. Basically, the term implies authority and the respect and obedience due to that authority.Apollodorus

    The difference is in the term ‘Abba’. But this implication of entitled authority is brought into question from the get-go. Joseph is technically Jesus’ father, and by cultural rights has authority over him - except that he doesn’t. Our understanding of the paternal role has developed over millennia, just as our understanding of leadership has developed. The leader of a dominion assumes stewardship of its inhabitants and a pastoral responsibility, not control or unquestioning authority, as was once assumed. This development is apparent across the historical progress of biblical writings.

    As regards the attitude of Christian believers to God, it is interesting to note that Jesus himself gives his disciples two commandments, (1) to love God, and (2) to love your neighbor.

    However, though Jesus expressly describes commandment (1) as the “first and great commandment”, there seems to be a modern tendency to treat this as an inconvenient (and to some, embarrassing) relic to be ignored together with the concept of soul.

    I may be wrong, but one gets the impression that there is a general effort in modern theological discourse to dissociate Christianity from traditional core concepts such as God and soul, and to replace it with a humanitarian-political movement concerned exclusively with “feeding the poor”, “sheltering refugees”, and “smashing capitalism” ....

    I think perhaps the embarrassment is in clinging to ‘traditional’ interpretations of these core concepts, in ignorance of logic. Recognising the logical impossibility of certain properties traditionally attributed to core concepts such as ‘God’ and ‘soul’ inspires fear and doubt. But we cannot argue our way out of this: to ‘love God’ is to intentionally increase awareness of, connection to and collaboration with, experience outside of logical possibility.