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Self v Public

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  • C. S. Wyatt
    From Robert Solomon, University of Texas, Dept. of Philosophy Chair (as opposed to couch or sofa): Existentialism is forced to be centrally concerned with
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 29, 2004
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      From Robert Solomon, University of Texas, Dept. of Philosophy Chair
      (as opposed to couch or sofa):

      Existentialism is forced to be centrally concerned with problems of
      justification. In self-consciousness one holds all given values
      suspect. How much of reason might be no more than our reason, the
      anonymous consensus of "the public?" How many of our values might be
      no more than relics of dead authority or products of our weaknesses,
      our fears of isolation, failure, or meaninglessness? How many of our
      values are prejudices, how much reason mere rationalization?

      --

      We are forced to create our own morality, while hoping it is
      universal, yet knowing it cannot be because we are always ignorant. We
      are imperfect, our reason flawed, our logic suspect. Yet, we persist
      in trying to develop morals, create ethical systems derived from
      morality, and then revise these endlessly.

      Why, if Camus called it intellectual suicide, do we risk admitting
      that our morality and ethics are never going to be universal? If we
      admit that, are we not admitting the purpose of philosophy is a farce?

      --

      Any thoughts? Other than the passages nearly gave me a migraine?

      - CSW
    • eduard at home
      Chris,
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 1 1:25 AM
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        Chris,

        <<< We are forced to create our own morality, while hoping it is
        universal, yet knowing it cannot be because we are always ignorant. We
        are imperfect, our reason flawed, our logic suspect. Yet, we persist
        in trying to develop morals, create ethical systems derived from
        morality, and then revise these endlessly.

        Why, if Camus called it intellectual suicide, do we risk admitting
        that our morality and ethics are never going to be universal? If we
        admit that, are we not admitting the purpose of philosophy is a farce? >>>

        ---> I'm not understanding your point here. So what, if our morality and ethics are never going to be universal. "Philosophy", as I understand it, is our attempt to make sense of the outside world. Just because we may not be able to gain a universal acceptance of our views, does not mean that all this is a farce. The reality is that we try as best we can, and then let the chips fall where they may. So far, I have two supporters of Nooism [including myself] and it is hardly likely that I will get much more, in the near future. Yet I would not consider this as "intellectual suicide" or some grand waste of time. Of course, there are some who may think so, but then they are not Nooists.

        eduard


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • cribprdb
        ... Chair ... of ... be ... weaknesses, ... our ... ignorant. We ... persist ... we ... farce? ... What each of us are here, respectively and individually, is
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 1 7:58 AM
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          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@t...>
          wrote:
          > From Robert Solomon, University of Texas, Dept. of Philosophy
          Chair
          > (as opposed to couch or sofa):
          >
          > Existentialism is forced to be centrally concerned with problems
          of
          > justification. In self-consciousness one holds all given values
          > suspect. How much of reason might be no more than our reason, the
          > anonymous consensus of "the public?" How many of our values might
          be
          > no more than relics of dead authority or products of our
          weaknesses,
          > our fears of isolation, failure, or meaninglessness? How many of
          our
          > values are prejudices, how much reason mere rationalization?
          >
          > --
          >
          > We are forced to create our own morality, while hoping it is
          > universal, yet knowing it cannot be because we are always
          ignorant. We
          > are imperfect, our reason flawed, our logic suspect. Yet, we
          persist
          > in trying to develop morals, create ethical systems derived from
          > morality, and then revise these endlessly.
          >
          > Why, if Camus called it intellectual suicide, do we risk admitting
          > that our morality and ethics are never going to be universal? If
          we
          > admit that, are we not admitting the purpose of philosophy is a
          farce?
          >
          > --
          >
          > Any thoughts? Other than the passages nearly gave me a migraine?
          >
          > - CSW

          What each of us are here, respectively and individually, is a
          specifically organized relative logical system of observation. We
          have yet to prove anything else about ourselves. We speculate a
          sense of respective individual human identity from the apparent
          interaction and contact between respective similar relative systems
          that are our human counterparts. Our sense of personal identity
          comes from our potential for communication relative system to
          relative system. Though there may be diverse terminology describing
          this state, it is the intellectual jumping off place for religion
          and existentialism. Religion posits a pre-existing relative system
          from which the human system was either born or created.
          Existentialism posits an accidental occurrence of the human relative
          system. Both ideas miss the point. Both ideas exit into mysticism.

          Because both religion and modern existentialism miss the point, no
          sociologically efficacious ethics can be formulated to operate
          within the system. The scientific communities' empirical
          experiential methodology of hypothesis and conclusion cannot provide
          a truthful basis for the formulation of ethics. Modern natural
          science is for the most part a consensus of observations of a
          relative system already in existence and already mastered. If it was
          not mastered it would not exist. The obvious purpose, and the
          obvious cause, of the existence of the infinitely complex
          interaction of relative logical systems that make up this human
          family is lasting communication. If lasting communication is the
          prime cause and greatest goal of the human condition, then mystics
          are not romantic daring explorers of the unknown, but rather the
          greatest criminals of our age. Ehtics, if they are to exist at all
          must be formulated to promote lasting communication in human
          language. They must permeate, vindicate, and make permanent, an
          everlasting potential for human discourse in language.

          Finally, the greatest attribute of the unknown is that the more you
          know of it the greater it becomes. This is indicative of our very
          nature. Our capacity for knowing is a treasure not a disease.

          Trinidad
        • alcyon11
          Trinidad, This seems to mean that ethics and morals can be universal. Perhaps our values are just prejudices and rationalizations, and I for one think it might
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 1 8:42 AM
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            Trinidad,

            This seems to mean that ethics and morals can be universal. Perhaps
            our values are just prejudices and rationalizations, and I for one
            think it might be okay that values could be universal. This would in
            no way threaten my individuality. What threatens my individual
            perspectives is the world as it now exists. I suggest that philosophy
            is not a farce but rather an honorable quest for these universal
            values which would end the insanity of war, that war which is waged
            within our relationships and within our world. Solomon, Wyatt and
            yourself all make valuable contributions to this quest. Ask the right
            questions, and you might find the right answers. Thank you.

            Mary Jo

            <Ehtics, if they are to exist at all must be formulated to promote
            lasting communication in human language. They must permeate,
            vindicate, and make permanent, an everlasting potential for human
            discourse in language.> - Trinidad


            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "cribprdb" <trinidad@i...> wrote:
            > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@t...>
            > wrote:
            > > From Robert Solomon, University of Texas, Dept. of Philosophy
            > Chair
            > > (as opposed to couch or sofa):
            > >
            > > Existentialism is forced to be centrally concerned with problems
            > of
            > > justification. In self-consciousness one holds all given values
            > > suspect. How much of reason might be no more than our reason, the
            > > anonymous consensus of "the public?" How many of our values might
            > be
            > > no more than relics of dead authority or products of our
            > weaknesses,
            > > our fears of isolation, failure, or meaninglessness? How many of
            > our
            > > values are prejudices, how much reason mere rationalization?
            > >
            > > --
            > >
            > > We are forced to create our own morality, while hoping it is
            > > universal, yet knowing it cannot be because we are always
            > ignorant. We
            > > are imperfect, our reason flawed, our logic suspect. Yet, we
            > persist
            > > in trying to develop morals, create ethical systems derived from
            > > morality, and then revise these endlessly.
            > >
            > > Why, if Camus called it intellectual suicide, do we risk
            admitting
            > > that our morality and ethics are never going to be universal? If
            > we
            > > admit that, are we not admitting the purpose of philosophy is a
            > farce?
            > >
            > > --
            > >
            > > Any thoughts? Other than the passages nearly gave me a migraine?
            > >
            > > - CSW
            >
            > What each of us are here, respectively and individually, is a
            > specifically organized relative logical system of observation. We
            > have yet to prove anything else about ourselves. We speculate a
            > sense of respective individual human identity from the apparent
            > interaction and contact between respective similar relative systems
            > that are our human counterparts. Our sense of personal identity
            > comes from our potential for communication relative system to
            > relative system. Though there may be diverse terminology describing
            > this state, it is the intellectual jumping off place for religion
            > and existentialism. Religion posits a pre-existing relative system
            > from which the human system was either born or created.
            > Existentialism posits an accidental occurrence of the human
            relative
            > system. Both ideas miss the point. Both ideas exit into mysticism.
            >
            > Because both religion and modern existentialism miss the point, no
            > sociologically efficacious ethics can be formulated to operate
            > within the system. The scientific communities' empirical
            > experiential methodology of hypothesis and conclusion cannot
            provide
            > a truthful basis for the formulation of ethics. Modern natural
            > science is for the most part a consensus of observations of a
            > relative system already in existence and already mastered. If it
            was
            > not mastered it would not exist. The obvious purpose, and the
            > obvious cause, of the existence of the infinitely complex
            > interaction of relative logical systems that make up this human
            > family is lasting communication. If lasting communication is the
            > prime cause and greatest goal of the human condition, then mystics
            > are not romantic daring explorers of the unknown, but rather the
            > greatest criminals of our age. Ehtics, if they are to exist at all
            > must be formulated to promote lasting communication in human
            > language. They must permeate, vindicate, and make permanent, an
            > everlasting potential for human discourse in language.
            >
            > Finally, the greatest attribute of the unknown is that the more you
            > know of it the greater it becomes. This is indicative of our very
            > nature. Our capacity for knowing is a treasure not a disease.
            >
            > Trinidad
          • C. S. Wyatt
            ... What a great, well-worded, incredibly thought-provoking post. I appreciate this so much that I had to say so in public. Our opinions might not be in
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 1 12:17 PM
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              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "cribprdb" <trinidad@i...> wrote:
              > Finally, the greatest attribute of the unknown is that the more you
              > know of it the greater it becomes. This is indicative of our very
              > nature. Our capacity for knowing is a treasure not a disease.
              >
              > Trinidad

              What a great, well-worded, incredibly thought-provoking post. I
              appreciate this so much that I had to say so "in public." Our opinions
              might not be in complete agreement, but what a great contribution to
              the discussion.

              - C. S. Wyatt
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