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Re: Three Sides to Every Story (new reply)

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  • decker150
    Joe: George, you wrote that you would believe in God in a heartbeat...if only I could figure out how . But then, when I wrote yet you will not give way
    Message 1 of 30 , Aug 31, 2004
      Joe: George, you wrote that you "would believe in God in a
      heartbeat...if only I could figure out how"." But then, when I wrote
      "yet you will not give way to even a tiny flicker of faith," you
      replied;

      > George: Faith in what---God? Paradise? Life after death? The
      Rational Truth?
      >
      > Joe: God. But why are you asking this, since it was already clear
      from our conversation that you "would believe in God". You asked
      "Faith in what---God? Well, yes.

      > George wrote: I do frame my philosophy around being an agnostic. I
      am not an atheist. All one need do is consider the most primordial of
      ontological questions---why does anything exists at all?---and they
      are out far enough on the metaphysical limb to deconstruct rational
      thought itself into mere speculation. A panoply of assumptions, in
      other words.

      Joe: What if faith (as a hypothetical proposition) began right at the
      tip of that metaphysical limb, just past our speculations. I have not
      checked my brains in at the front door of the temple. But, for me
      faith is a celebration of the unknown, it's not about demanding a
      belief in God. Now for me alone and I do not speak for anyone else,
      but I 'live as if' there is a God. I understand that Sartre was a
      atheist, and that was his business, but I do not find Ontology or
      Existentialism to demand this of me based upon any irrefutable
      structure or reason. Even Sartre said it did not matter, that his
      points would hold true whether or not God was or was not there. I
      proceed upon that basis. However, any faith that I have is irrelevant
      to the structure of Being or the meaning of existence; the
      interpretation can adapt to either bias.

      George wrote: So tell me: what evidence do you have regarding the
      existence of God? And how do you distinguish it as philosophical
      conjecture rather than as a mere leap of blind faith that most True
      Believers embrace?

      Joe: Well, evidence is not what I would call it. My private
      interpretation of the creative force at work in the primal mystery
      becomes for me more like tale-tale signs; so many little conspicuous
      occurences, something similar to Jungs Synchronicity. You know when
      you have a strange coincidence, it does not require faith or evidence,
      but simple notice of the improbability of such strange occurence.
      I've just had so much wierd stuff happen in my life, in my everyday
      life, in the stream of events, that I can't help but 'feel' a stealth
      influence. I yhave not taken a leap of blind faith. Rather, i have
      had eye-opening experiences. I have no dogma to protect. So, to be
      fair, it does come down to 'my experience' over 'reason'. But it is
      important for me to tell you, my experience offers nothing significant
      or meaningful for you. I do not present 'my experience' as a basis
      for your struggles, but they are a basis for my own.

      Mayby the whole 'faith' mindset is 'conditioned', I don't know, but
      it is a potent conditioning. Sometimes I consider it as
      Neuro-linguistic self-delusion, but then the little things happen;
      little conspicous eye-opening things that keep my flicker of
      faith burning. Yet, you are right about the concern over autonomy and
      free will, these are novel ambitions, but I do not think we are
      entirely free. Life is a rigged ordeal and I do not take this ordeal
      as limited only to 'my choices' or 'my self-determinations' or 'free
      projects' to use Sartre's terminology, but that the human
      experience is controlled by creative forces at a primal level; that is
      my private experiencial conclusion. I have been trying to ferret it
      out, you know, corner it, but have not had any luck at that.
      Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with emotions, and everything rational seems
      inferior to a cleaner more personal awareness; something like Blakes
      "cleansing of the doors of perception." Have you ever experienced
      that clean, primal consciousness? In it, the rational has been
      dethrowned and one is free to believe in anything, like a fool.

      Joe

      "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King"
    • George Walton
      Henry W. Peters wrote: What ever you had for your last meal that helped sustain you physiologically... & for what ever exact reasons
      Message 2 of 30 , Sep 1, 2004
        "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@...> wrote:

        What ever you had for your last meal that helped sustain you
        physiologically... & for what ever exact reasons you partook of THAT
        dinner... it was probably from a "family," so to speak, of a food of
        some kind, prepared in some way... that was first only experimented
        with somewhere along the line of sentient beings in archeological
        time frames... & was at first, tried out by beings who possibly did
        not know what the end result would be... i.e., helpful or hurtful...
        in some way or other. The root may have been poisonous & not the
        stalk, etc. Yet they did it... for what ever reason/s, & yes,
        perhaps at various points, out of sheer desperation or some other
        intent that had nothing to do (much) with self conscious
        ANTICIPATION... i.e., a present forward & or inclusive look.

        Point is, some one or ones have done something right... we know this
        here & now... else (& I possibly exaggerate here a tad), there would
        PRESENTLY be no "for-it-self" to do....

        George:

        Not sure what your point is here. Yes, there are nourishing plant and animal products that sustain us and others that can potentially kill us. But that is merely biology. Either we ingest something and it works to our advantage or it doesn't. My point, however, revolves more around value judgments and moral and political agendas and emotional and psychological reactions. Here you can practice trial and error until you are blue in the face and never resolve anything unless there is an omniscient/omnipotent vantage point. But there is absolutely no hard evidence that would lend credence to such a belief.

        Henry:

        Anyway, back to the "ranch"
        under discussion: not only this, but the very process of success &
        failure in these & countless other endeavors was a part of this
        contribution making possible, say, this very discussion. & by our
        very doing this discussion, after all... does mean there must be some
        anticipated value in such effort... which we then are trying to
        have... but probably we should also remember about now...

        George:

        My own "anticipated value" in this exchange is to suggest to others that, in the absence of God, we must acknowledge ethical relationships will always be situational...relative to a particular existential point of view. And thus any attempt to resolve moral and political conflicts must reflect this by steering the "resolutions" toward compromise and moderation and negociation.

        Henry:

        Sartres'
        words for such considerations of "responsibility" in relations,
        whether in "good" or in "bad" was still a kind of "faith." Anguish
        a powerful emotion through all the travail/s of
        interactions/reactions Humans have, most probably did not develop
        instantaneously... as probably did this all to little appropriately
        discussed "nothingness."

        George:

        Anguish is indeed a good way to acknowledge the nature of human moral interaction; and that is because we can never know for certain if our own ethical convictions are The Right ones. We must always be willing to situate our own conclusions in the middle of the political spectrum somewhere. In other words, that means abandoning some "pure" or "ideal" resolution [the one we most want] in the give and take of a democractic republic. I just qualify that further by noting this will always unfold in the context of political economy---power.


        Henry:

        One of the more important features for me in Sartres' efforts at
        describing & expressing the Human condition was that he tried to map
        Human consciousness TRANSCENDENTALLY even (& especially) as it was
        alienated from itself... This to me was a tremendous act of
        intelligently oriented generosity... that has & will possibly allow
        others to continue this effort... of the Human project even though
        they may not directly "know" of his (& others) works along such lines.

        George:

        Too abstract for me. Situate your words in the context of an actual human interaction. For me there is no "transcendental" manner in which to approach the human condition. Sartre, in fact, is famous for suggesting that "hell is other people". As I construe it, however, he did not mean this circumstantially so much as "ontologically". Others are "hell" not because of the particular conflicts we have with them...but because they objectify us in our relationships with them. They see us not as we are...but as they are. I just take it a step further by suggesting that hell is also "I" itself. To wit: we tend to objectfy ourself as well. But human identity is always Dasein. It is "thrown" at birth into a demographic hodgepodge of variables...and then year in and year out those variables evolve and change such that "I" is always shedding old identity skins for new ones. And then we die and it may as well be as though we never lived at all.

        George






        ---------------------------------
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • decker150
        Found an interesting looking site entitled The God Who May Be http://iupress.indiana.edu/textnet/0-253-33998-7/0253109167.htm Joe ... of ... hurtful... ...
        Message 3 of 30 , Sep 1, 2004
          Found an interesting looking site entitled "The God Who May Be"

          http://iupress.indiana.edu/textnet/0-253-33998-7/0253109167.htm

          Joe



          --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@j...> wrote:
          >
          > What ever you had for your last meal that helped sustain you
          > physiologically... & for what ever exact reasons you partook of THAT
          > dinner... it was probably from a "family," so to speak, of a food
          of
          > some kind, prepared in some way... that was first only experimented
          > with somewhere along the line of sentient beings in archeological
          > time frames... & was at first, tried out by beings who possibly did
          > not know what the end result would be... i.e., helpful or
          hurtful...
          > in some way or other. The root may have been poisonous & not the
          > stalk, etc. Yet they did it... for what ever reason/s, & yes,
          > perhaps at various points, out of sheer desperation or some other
          > intent that had nothing to do (much) with self conscious
          > ANTICIPATION... i.e., a present forward & or inclusive look.
          >
          > Point is, some one or ones have done something right... we know this
          > here & now... else (& I possibly exaggerate here a tad), there would
          > PRESENTLY be no "for-it-self" to do....
          >
          > George:
          >
          > Not sure what your point is here. Yes, there are nourishing plant
          and animal products that sustain us and others that can potentially
          kill us. But that is merely biology. Either we ingest something and it
          works to our advantage or it doesn't. My point, however, revolves more
          around value judgments and moral and political agendas and emotional
          and psychological reactions. Here you can practice trial and error
          until you are blue in the face and never resolve anything unless there
          is an omniscient/omnipotent vantage point. But there is absolutely no
          hard evidence that would lend credence to such a belief.
          >
          > Henry:
          >
          > Anyway, back to the "ranch"
          > under discussion: not only this, but the very process of success &
          > failure in these & countless other endeavors was a part of this
          > contribution making possible, say, this very discussion. & by our
          > very doing this discussion, after all... does mean there must be
          some
          > anticipated value in such effort... which we then are trying to
          > have... but probably we should also remember about now...
          >
          > George:
          >
          > My own "anticipated value" in this exchange is to suggest to others
          that, in the absence of God, we must acknowledge ethical relationships
          will always be situational...relative to a particular existential
          point of view. And thus any attempt to resolve moral and political
          conflicts must reflect this by steering the "resolutions" toward
          compromise and moderation and negociation.
          >
          > Henry:
          >
          > Sartres'
          > words for such considerations of "responsibility" in relations,
          > whether in "good" or in "bad" was still a kind of "faith."
          Anguish
          > a powerful emotion through all the travail/s of
          > interactions/reactions Humans have, most probably did not develop
          > instantaneously... as probably did this all to little appropriately
          > discussed "nothingness."
          >
          > George:
          >
          > Anguish is indeed a good way to acknowledge the nature of human
          moral interaction; and that is because we can never know for certain
          if our own ethical convictions are The Right ones. We must always be
          willing to situate our own conclusions in the middle of the political
          spectrum somewhere. In other words, that means abandoning some "pure"
          or "ideal" resolution [the one we most want] in the give and take of a
          democractic republic. I just qualify that further by noting this will
          always unfold in the context of political economy---power.
          >
          >
          > Henry:
          >
          > One of the more important features for me in Sartres' efforts at
          > describing & expressing the Human condition was that he tried to map
          > Human consciousness TRANSCENDENTALLY even (& especially) as it was
          > alienated from itself... This to me was a tremendous act of
          > intelligently oriented generosity... that has & will possibly allow
          > others to continue this effort... of the Human project even though
          > they may not directly "know" of his (& others) works along such
          lines.
          >
          > George:
          >
          > Too abstract for me. Situate your words in the context of an actual
          human interaction. For me there is no "transcendental" manner in which
          to approach the human condition. Sartre, in fact, is famous for
          suggesting that "hell is other people". As I construe it, however, he
          did not mean this circumstantially so much as "ontologically". Others
          are "hell" not because of the particular conflicts we have with
          them...but because they objectify us in our relationships with them.
          They see us not as we are...but as they are. I just take it a step
          further by suggesting that hell is also "I" itself. To wit: we tend to
          objectfy ourself as well. But human identity is always Dasein. It is
          "thrown" at birth into a demographic hodgepodge of variables...and
          then year in and year out those variables evolve and change such that
          "I" is always shedding old identity skins for new ones. And then we
          die and it may as well be as though we never lived at all.
          >
          > George
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Do you Yahoo!?
          > Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers!
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • George Walton
          decker150 wrote: Joe: George, you wrote that you would believe in God in a heartbeat...if only I could figure out how . But then,
          Message 4 of 30 , Sep 1, 2004
            decker150 <decker150@...> wrote:

            Joe:

            George, you wrote that you "would believe in God in a
            heartbeat...if only I could figure out how"." But then, when I wrote
            "yet you will not give way to even a tiny flicker of faith," you
            replied;

            > George: Faith in what---God? Paradise? Life after death? The
            Rational Truth?
            >
            > Joe: God. But why are you asking this, since it was already clear
            from our conversation that you "would believe in God". You asked
            "Faith in what---God? Well, yes.

            George:

            God is just one of many things we can fantacize about believing. But wanting something to be true or believing that something is true is not the same as demonstrating to others that your belief is a reasonable one. I certainly don't want to die, to be swallowed whole by oblivion....only to be spit out as nothing but star stuff again for eternity. I don't want to read newspaper articles about all the terrible human suffering that goes on day after day. I wish I could believe in life after death and Paradise and Divine Justice. And I am certainly willing to consider arguments from those who claim they are true. But I am not willing to accept their point of view just because they believe it.


            Joe:

            What if faith (as a hypothetical proposition) began right at the
            tip of that metaphysical limb, just past our speculations. I have not
            checked my brains in at the front door of the temple. But, for me
            faith is a celebration of the unknown, it's not about demanding a
            belief in God.

            George:

            Okay, as long as you acknowledge that your "faith" revolves by and large around "what if..?" And the unknown can be celebrated, sure...but it can also be profoundly baffling and enigmatic...and even terrifying when we want to know something for sure. For example, according to WHO over 680,000,000 children aged 5 years and younger died from starvation in just the 20th century alone. And every 24 hours another 18 to 20,000 more follow them. Why? How does this relate to anyone's notion of a God said to be "loving, just and merciful"? Again, there may well be a God. But how can a rational mind not construe him as anything other than a sadistic monster? Unless of course he is not omniscient and/or omnipotent, right? But that is hardly the sort of God most of the philosophically challenged True Believers worship and adore, is it?

            Joe:

            Now for me alone and I do not speak for anyone else,
            but I 'live as if' there is a God. I understand that Sartre was a
            atheist, and that was his business, but I do not find Ontology or
            Existentialism to demand this of me based upon any irrefutable
            structure or reason. Even Sartre said it did not matter, that his
            points would hold true whether or not God was or was not there. I
            proceed upon that basis. However, any faith that I have is irrelevant
            to the structure of Being or the meaning of existence; the
            interpretation can adapt to either bias.

            George:

            I think Sartre was a fool for speculating that his philosophy would hold true if there was or was not a God. That is simply ridiculous---unless you posit God as some sort of personal contraption you carry around inside your head. Some God, eh? If there is a structure called Being...a cosmogenic teleology out of which Reality unfolds then everything you and I ever thought or felt or did [or ever will think or feel or do] can only be an inevitable manifestation of it. There is no ontolgocial bias.

            George originally:

            So tell me: what evidence do you have regarding the
            existence of God? And how do you distinguish it as philosophical
            conjecture rather than as a mere leap of blind faith that most True
            Believers embrace?

            Joe:

            Well, evidence is not what I would call it. My private
            interpretation of the creative force at work in the primal mystery
            becomes for me more like tale-tale signs; so many little conspicuous
            occurences, something similar to Jungs Synchronicity. You know when
            you have a strange coincidence, it does not require faith or evidence,
            but simple notice of the improbability of such strange occurence.
            I've just had so much wierd stuff happen in my life, in my everyday
            life, in the stream of events, that I can't help but 'feel' a stealth
            influence. I yhave not taken a leap of blind faith. Rather, i have
            had eye-opening experiences. I have no dogma to protect. So, to be
            fair, it does come down to 'my experience' over 'reason'. But it is
            important for me to tell you, my experience offers nothing significant
            or meaningful for you. I do not present 'my experience' as a basis
            for your struggles, but they are a basis for my own.

            George:

            Well, okay, all of that stuff might well be true in that it "works" for you. And I always say, "whatever gets you through those long, dark, sleepless nights without pulling the trigger." But here in a philosophy venue the medium of exchange has to be more than just a string of coincidences or Jung's sense of synchronicity. Personally, I suspect you believe what you do because it comforts you emotionally and psychologically...it allows you to put all the disparate pieces togeher into some transcendental whole...it fosters a certain sense of equillibrium and equanimity. But it doesn't make God [and there are hundreds and hundreds of them around the globe] any more than a projection of that to me. What God? Where is he? How do i get in touch with him?

            Joe:

            Mayby the whole 'faith' mindset is 'conditioned', I don't know, but
            it is a potent conditioning. Sometimes I consider it as
            Neuro-linguistic self-delusion, but then the little things happen;
            little conspicous eye-opening things that keep my flicker of
            faith burning. Yet, you are right about the concern over autonomy and
            free will, these are novel ambitions, but I do not think we are
            entirely free. Life is a rigged ordeal and I do not take this ordeal
            as limited only to 'my choices' or 'my self-determinations' or 'free
            projects' to use Sartre's terminology, but that the human
            experience is controlled by creative forces at a primal level; that is
            my private experiencial conclusion. I have been trying to ferret it
            out, you know, corner it, but have not had any luck at that.
            Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with emotions, and everything rational seems
            inferior to a cleaner more personal awareness; something like Blakes
            "cleansing of the doors of perception." Have you ever experienced
            that clean, primal consciousness? In it, the rational has been
            dethrowned and one is free to believe in anything, like a fool.

            George:

            No, I have never even remotely experienced what I think you mean by a "clean, primal consciousnes". But I don't really know what you mean by it at all, do I? And while I embed my own agnostic sense of reality in the realization that existence is inherently a staggering mystery, I don't have a clue as to what in the world "inherently" can possibly mean. Still, a philosophy exchange [unlike chatting around the dinner table or having an informal discussion with friends or listening to folks preach from the Bible in Sunday School] has to be a bit more rigorous in drawing relationships between "this is what I believe" and "this is what I can demonstrate to others to be true".

            To me, God and denominational relgion is just the mother of all psychological defense mechanisms. Adherents see what they believe, of course. But that's not nearly the same thing as philosophy. Or shouldn't be.

            George


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          • Henry W. Peters
            George, Joe... & anyone else trying to follow this three sided discussion. I decided to go stepping back a couple of message exchanges ago, in view of the
            Message 5 of 30 , Sep 1, 2004
              George, Joe... & anyone else trying to follow this three sided discussion.

              I decided to go stepping back a couple of message exchanges ago, in
              view of the direction this thread seems headed for, that is,
              interesting timely topics & even some good points but in terms of
              possible resolution, I took what I hope to be a harder look at what
              was being said & how, hopeing to keep some sensibility (for myself at
              least) alive...

              I have some question about this particular exchange:

              >At 7:47 AM -0700 08/25/04, George Walton wrote:
              >George:
              > For mere mortals, ontology is an illusion...a self-delusion. Only
              >an omniscient point of view can have one. That is why the philosophy
              >of folks like Sartre and deBeauvoir and Camus and Nietzsche is so
              >reviled by many. It takes omniscience [which most construe as God or
              >Reason, of course] out of the equation and asks: "so, how are we to
              >live together now?" What happens, in other words, when we don't have
              >a universal value system we can reduce the conflagrations to?
              > Joe:
              > So I ask you George, are we so
              >indoctrionated, spellbound, blinded and fated to our humaness and
              >culture that we cannot rise above it?
              >George:
              > Essentially, yes. We can only strive to ceaselessly construct,
              >deconstruct and reconstruct moral and political judgments that
              >reflect moderation and compromise.
              > George

              Seems the best way to me, in beginnings toward resolving
              contradictions is to recognize that they exist... & to try to live
              accordingly, i.e., not imposing demands (implicitly or otherways)
              that others ignore ones own possible contradictions... yet myself
              (say) demanding consistency in those same others... or the other way
              around...

              That said... Perhaps I have or am missing something here, which you
              may hopefully be able to clarify?

              George, *how* can you claim an essence for your self ("Essentially,
              yes" in the last answer above which does imply you know (of) an
              "essence," no?), then further, impose some kind of action upon it for
              every one... ("We can only strive to ceaselessly construct,
              deconstruct and reconstruct moral and political judgments that
              reflect moderation and compromise.", & *especially* after previously
              asserting at least equally axiomatically that for "mere mortals,
              ontology is an illusion... a self-delusion." What's stranger to me
              is; HOW do you know this?

              Kinda Puzzled Here,
              Henry
            • George Walton
              Henry W. Peters wrote: George, *how* can you claim an essence for your self ( Essentially, yes in the last answer above which does
              Message 6 of 30 , Sep 2, 2004
                "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@...> wrote:

                George, *how* can you claim an essence for your self ("Essentially,
                yes" in the last answer above which does imply you know (of) an
                "essence," no?), then further, impose some kind of action upon it for
                every one... ("We can only strive to ceaselessly construct,
                deconstruct and reconstruct moral and political judgments that
                reflect moderation and compromise.", & *especially* after previously
                asserting at least equally axiomatically that for "mere mortals,
                ontology is an illusion... a self-delusion." What's stranger to me
                is; HOW do you know this?

                George:

                I do it by acknowledging this: I don't exclude my own point of view from my own point of view. The word "essentially" is just a word; it is a word-sound we invented to convey a frame of reference---one that is said to be applicable to all and for all time to come. But we can't really know this essentially, right? But that is just the nature of human language. We grapple to coincide words with reality. But we do so from the perspective of a mere mortal...not from the perspective of some omniscient entity that can actually encompass reality essentially. It all goes back to Wittgenstein's conjectures in the PI about what we can and cannot convey literally with words.

                In no way, however, would I try to suggest that how I view this is The Most Rational Way to view it. It seems like a reasonable way to me. Today. But, as I note time and again, I am more than willing to concede that someone might confront me with a more persuasive argument. After all, at one time or another in my 56 years, I called myself a Christian and an Objectivist and a Marxist and an Existentialist etc.. Now I call myself a nihilist. No more capital letters. And one of the assumptions nihilism makes is that, regarding human moral and political and aesthetic interactions, there are no essential truths.

                The paradox, however, is that in expressing this nihilism seems to portray itself as an essential truth. But that is simply the nature of the beast. Human language strives to be rational, logical, epistemologically sound. But nihilism suggests that there are limitations beyond which language can no longer ensnare "reality" in words. And that, in my view, is the proper role for philosophy---differentiating them.

                George




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              • decker150
                To George. Your thought are also well expressed and I for one have no problem appreciating tyour content. Reading this post, I guess you re a pragmatic
                Message 7 of 30 , Sep 3, 2004
                  To George.

                  Your thought are also well expressed and I for one have no
                  problem appreciating tyour content. Reading this post, I guess
                  you're a pragmatic nililist, no?

                  From my take, and I follow Heidegger meaning when I write this, is
                  that 'truth' is simple a process, not a thing per se. Truth is the
                  process of 'unhiding' the hidden. It is the process of uncealment.
                  Science pursues this process everyday of the week in it's search for
                  new discovery.

                  Joe

                  --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@j...> wrote:
                  >
                  > George, *how* can you claim an essence for your self ("Essentially,
                  > yes" in the last answer above which does imply you know (of) an
                  > "essence," no?), then further, impose some kind of action upon it
                  for
                  > every one... ("We can only strive to ceaselessly construct,
                  > deconstruct and reconstruct moral and political judgments that
                  > reflect moderation and compromise.", & *especially* after
                  previously
                  > asserting at least equally axiomatically that for "mere mortals,
                  > ontology is an illusion... a self-delusion." What's stranger to me
                  > is; HOW do you know this?
                  >
                  > George:
                  >
                  > I do it by acknowledging this: I don't exclude my own point of view
                  from my own point of view. The word "essentially" is just a word; it
                  is a word-sound we invented to convey a frame of reference---one that
                  is said to be applicable to all and for all time to come. But we can't
                  really know this essentially, right? But that is just the nature of
                  human language. We grapple to coincide words with reality. But we do
                  so from the perspective of a mere mortal...not from the perspective of
                  some omniscient entity that can actually encompass reality
                  essentially. It all goes back to Wittgenstein's conjectures in the PI
                  about what we can and cannot convey literally with words.
                  >
                  > In no way, however, would I try to suggest that how I view this is
                  The Most Rational Way to view it. It seems like a reasonable way to
                  me. Today. But, as I note time and again, I am more than willing to
                  concede that someone might confront me with a more persuasive
                  argument. After all, at one time or another in my 56 years, I called
                  myself a Christian and an Objectivist and a Marxist and an
                  Existentialist etc.. Now I call myself a nihilist. No more capital
                  letters. And one of the assumptions nihilism makes is that, regarding
                  human moral and political and aesthetic interactions, there are no
                  essential truths.
                  >
                  > The paradox, however, is that in expressing this nihilism seems to
                  portray itself as an essential truth. But that is simply the nature of
                  the beast. Human language strives to be rational, logical,
                  epistemologically sound. But nihilism suggests that there are
                  limitations beyond which language can no longer ensnare "reality" in
                  words. And that, in my view, is the proper role for
                  philosophy---differentiating them.
                  >
                  > George
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
                  > Do you Yahoo!?
                  > Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Henry W. Peters
                  George & Joe, Ok, I think you made it kind of clear; you wish to fiddle around with the *making* of your own paradoxes... Seems to me, more relevant to some
                  Message 8 of 30 , Sep 3, 2004
                    George & Joe,

                    Ok, I think you made it kind of clear; you wish to fiddle around
                    with the *making* of your own paradoxes... Seems to me, more
                    relevant to some kind of subjective "worldly" acrostics than toward
                    understanding Sartre & school (which I thought this discussion was
                    supposed to feature as the main topic) or helping toward a clarifying
                    of structure of thought & meaning in action in Human endeavors, along
                    those lines. To quote Simone de Beavoir: "It is a Human question."


                    George, I do not agree with your methodology... "...we can't really
                    know" but thats' "just the nature of..." It seems rather like the
                    unquestioned underbelly of the "status quo" in presenting unfounded
                    opinion as totalizing fact... So I guess I am saying, for me, in
                    terms of comprehension of "what's going on" here, your view calls
                    into question, questions of intentionality... & probably this
                    wouldn't be the forum for (possible) resolution ?

                    I do hope, however, beyond this, this forum would (continue as best
                    we are able to) pay appropriate attention to questions of such
                    magnitude & direction... this is to say; flexible but relevant
                    adherence to the stated topic. I will further say, my ability to
                    participate here, rather depends upon this responsibility.

                    Respectfully,
                    Henry


                    >To George.
                    >
                    >Your thought are also well expressed and I for one have no
                    >problem appreciating tyour content. Reading this post, I guess
                    >you're a pragmatic nililist, no?
                    >
                    >From my take, and I follow Heidegger meaning when I write this, is
                    >that 'truth' is simple a process, not a thing per se. Truth is the
                    >process of 'unhiding' the hidden. It is the process of uncealment.
                    >Science pursues this process everyday of the week in it's search for
                    >new discovery.
                    >
                    >Joe
                    >
                    >--- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
                    >wrote:
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@j...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >> George, *how* can you claim an essence for your self ("Essentially,
                    >> yes" in the last answer above which does imply you know (of) an
                    >> "essence," no?), then further, impose some kind of action upon it
                    >for
                    >> every one... ("We can only strive to ceaselessly construct,
                    >> deconstruct and reconstruct moral and political judgments that
                    >> reflect moderation and compromise.", & *especially* after
                    >previously
                    >> asserting at least equally axiomatically that for "mere mortals,
                    >> ontology is an illusion... a self-delusion." What's stranger to me
                    >> is; HOW do you know this?
                    >>
                    >> George:
                    >>
                    >> I do it by acknowledging this: I don't exclude my own point of view
                    >from my own point of view. The word "essentially" is just a word; it
                    >is a word-sound we invented to convey a frame of reference---one that
                    >is said to be applicable to all and for all time to come. But we can't
                    >really know this essentially, right? But that is just the nature of
                    >human language. We grapple to coincide words with reality. But we do
                    >so from the perspective of a mere mortal...not from the perspective of
                    >some omniscient entity that can actually encompass reality
                    >essentially. It all goes back to Wittgenstein's conjectures in the PI
                    >about what we can and cannot convey literally with words.
                    >>
                    >> In no way, however, would I try to suggest that how I view this is
                    >The Most Rational Way to view it. It seems like a reasonable way to
                    >me. Today. But, as I note time and again, I am more than willing to
                    >concede that someone might confront me with a more persuasive
                    >argument. After all, at one time or another in my 56 years, I called
                    >myself a Christian and an Objectivist and a Marxist and an
                    >Existentialist etc.. Now I call myself a nihilist. No more capital
                    >letters. And one of the assumptions nihilism makes is that, regarding
                    >human moral and political and aesthetic interactions, there are no
                    >essential truths.
                    >>
                    >> The paradox, however, is that in expressing this nihilism seems to
                    >portray itself as an essential truth. But that is simply the nature of
                    >the beast. Human language strives to be rational, logical,
                    >epistemologically sound. But nihilism suggests that there are
                    >limitations beyond which language can no longer ensnare "reality" in
                    >words. And that, in my view, is the proper role for
                    >philosophy---differentiating them.
                    >>
                    >> George
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ---------------------------------
                    >> Do you Yahoo!?
                    >> Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.
                    >>
                    >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >To unsubscribe, e-mail: Sartre-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • George Walton
                    Henry W. Peters wrote: Ok, I think you made it kind of clear; you wish to fiddle around with the *making* of your own paradoxes...
                    Message 9 of 30 , Sep 4, 2004
                      "Henry W. Peters" <hwpeters@...> wrote:

                      Ok, I think you made it kind of clear; you wish to fiddle around
                      with the *making* of your own paradoxes... Seems to me, more
                      relevant to some kind of subjective "worldly" acrostics than toward
                      understanding Sartre & school (which I thought this discussion was
                      supposed to feature as the main topic) or helping toward a clarifying
                      of structure of thought & meaning in action in Human endeavors, along
                      those lines. To quote Simone de Beavoir: "It is a Human question."

                      George:

                      What are you saying...that there is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to grasp Sartre and the philosophy of existentialism; a Right Way to do philosophy? Are you saying there is a Serious Way and a Frivolous Way to do so as well? And Simone de Beavoir wrote a book called The Ethics of Ambiguity; that should disclose rather handily how she approached the answers to the most important question of all: how ought we to think and feel and behave around others? Or are you of the opinion there is a Right Way to go about this too? Your own, perhaps?


                      Henry:


                      George, I do not agree with your methodology... "...we can't really
                      know" but thats' "just the nature of..." It seems rather like the
                      unquestioned underbelly of the "status quo" in presenting unfounded
                      opinion as totalizing fact... So I guess I am saying, for me, in
                      terms of comprehension of "what's going on" here, your view calls
                      into question, questions of intentionality... & probably this
                      wouldn't be the forum for (possible) resolution ?

                      George:

                      What in the world are you talking about, here? Please affix "It seems rather like the unquestioned underbelly of the 'status quo' in presenting unfounded opinion as totalizing fact" to something even remotely resembling human interaction out in the real world. For instance, let's have a discussion of the terrorist attack in Russia that resulted in the deaths of all those children. Interpret it as you would imagine someone taking Sartre seriously might in this venue. Situate it in an existential perspective and ascribe the conflicting agendas in a sophisticated philosophical manner. Sartre certainly took politics and our existential moral responsibility in a Godless world seriously, didn't he?

                      Personally, I am not all that interested in words talking about other words [serial abstractions] unless the words are also talking about day to day human transactions down on the ground.

                      Henry:

                      I do hope, however, beyond this, this forum would (continue as best
                      we are able to) pay appropriate attention to questions of such
                      magnitude & direction... this is to say; flexible but relevant
                      adherence to the stated topic. I will further say, my ability to
                      participate here, rather depends upon this responsibility.

                      George:

                      Why don't you initiate a post that demonstrates this more clearly for us. I for one would be very interested to see just what you mean by "magnitude and direction" in a discussion of Sartre. Are there specific guidelines we can follow so as to grasp more or less objectively when we are or are not encompassing a "relevant adherence" to the topic at hand?

                      George




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