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  • Jim Aiden
    I am well aware of the ineffectiveness of my decision making process and have been for quite awhile. Based on replies, yet again I see my limitations. To be
    Message 1 of 193 , Aug 15, 2001
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      I am well aware of the ineffectiveness of my decision making
      process and have been for quite awhile. Based on replies, yet again I
      see my limitations. To be more clear, I study the current and
      historical schools of thought, but am far more interested in what the
      next ones may be.

      I like to think I understand the Buddhist concept of 'oneness' (or
      nothingness) and the Existential concept of 'self' quite well (as a
      few others in-between). Whether that has anything to do with reality
      is quite another story. Yes I am suggesting that neither model seems
      to be the most efficient to describe reality to me nor to guide my
      actions, for which we seem to be in agreement. But I am not saying, to
      go on with our lives and ignore these forces. I am saying lets
      continue to sharpen our understanding, generation by generation. I
      have already accepted I will not have the answers in my life, but this
      does not mean someone might not someday. Just as in the 19th century
      Jules Verne could dream and inspire the idea of going to the moon.

      This is where the idea of fault tolerance comes in for me. Call
      it fuzzy logic if you want or fuzzywizzle. What I am saying, the next
      step in philosophy seems to be one that builds in a certain level of
      error acceptance, paranoia, humour, self criticism,
      scientific/mathematical/observational logic, and especially renewed
      (com)passion. Every philosophy and religion argues it's absolute
      nature, but they all fail or end up with blanks at times and upon
      close examination are forced to perform actions that run contrary to
      their own stated philosophical beliefs. Most modern philosophies (and
      philosophers) are dead in the water, because they have moved to
      extremities of gibberish, ridicule or abstractions that cannot be
      converted into clear useful (towards life) action, just words. I
      assume that continuation of the species (or themselves) is the
      objective of most viable life forms.

      At one point, I took deconstruction to an extreme of nothingness,
      and it was a definitive moment in my life. Although I was recently
      (rightfully) pointed out to me, it is possible that there are
      alternatives, when you step on the mental time bomb, that everything
      from the serious to the absurd, from logic to the irrational, from
      love to hate, from selfishness to compassion, from physicality to
      the metaphysical, from absolute morality, to relativism, from
      mathematics to semantics, from the scientific method to voodoo, from
      freedom to slavery, from suffering to happiness, can be questioned.
      THE VALIDITY, NECESSITY AND MEANING OF EVERY THOUGHT, ACTION, EMOTION,
      OR PREFERENCE CAN BE RATIONALLY QUESTIONED FOR EXTENSIVE PERIODS OF
      TIME (if not infinitely). YET IF WE DO NOT QUESTION, WE CERTAINLY
      DOOM OURSELVES TO IGNORANCE.

      Then you pause for a brief moment.... and decide if you should move
      from that moment on. This has nothing to do with depression, only with
      the chore of dealing with our own and especially others stupidity for
      lifetime. We think because we are 'superior' to other societies in the
      past, that we somehow are not along a line of other far wiser
      civilizations. I'm not talking about technology, I'm talking about
      thought processes (or philosophy if you prefer)

      A while ago, I mentioned that Aristotle's crystal sphere model of
      universe worked dandy for 2000 years. On closer inspection in started
      to crack. Copernicus and Galileo filled in the blanks. Their model has
      cracked as well. It was not deep enough in scope. It keeps moving
      forward. The religious models of the past have for the most part
      failed close inspection (in the West) and an existentialist model has
      filled in the void. But Existentialism/Phenomenology are showing their
      cracks as well, and something needs to fill the void. If it does not,
      that is where I fear that the decay of our civilization will happen.
      People need reasons to survive, to make choices, to perform action.

      One can participate in life or ignore it, that is their choice.
      Perhaps some do not care or are so absorbed by the idea of self, are
      blinded to the rest of the universe. I do care though. I want to
      survive. I want the human race to survive and evolve or else I believe
      we will crumble from within just as other cultures of the past have
      when faced with obvious hypocrisy. There are no guarantees of
      survival. Our actions will likely determine part of that. Inaction can
      be useful in the idea of nonaggression, but does not put food on the
      table, cure polio, or prevent asteroid collisions. Perhaps our rush to
      'know' will ultimately destroy us quicker, but I can tell you of many
      other things that will eventually destroy us for certain if we do
      nothing.

      You can argue you do not need a philosophical model to exist in a
      society, but that is something that is a myth in humans for now.
      Everything in our lives, the real infrastructure of our political,
      justice, moral, and logical systems are in some way or another
      dependent on philosophy. The Mcveigh conversation is a perfect example
      of it, because those philosophical issues in someway got imperfectly
      translated into an action that ended his life, 160 others, and
      influenced many many others.

      Does it not seem that the de facto philosophy is in fact becoming
      the idea that our decision making process is not a hundred percent
      accurate? Does it not make sense to evolve that line of reasoning into
      a methodology for performing actions that are based on new
      philosophical premises? Rather than the polarized absolutes of 'self'
      or 'oneness'.

      I'm NOT saying lets give up to the nothingness. I'm not saying
      this will be the definitive philosophy for all time. I'm saying lets
      continue forward as our ancestors did and not talk ourselves into
      giving up because it is hard or because we personally might never know
      the answers. That is from the well I gather my own meaning.

      J. Aiden
    • Eduard Alf
      The idea of Serendipity comes from an Arabic tale of the three princes of Serendip who had the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. It has
      Message 193 of 193 , Oct 5, 2001
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        The idea of Serendipity comes from an Arabic tale of the three princes of
        Serendip who had the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
        It has nothing to do with religion or the divine or of metaphysical
        presence. The application of Serendipity requires that one be open to
        things new.

        As to Occams razor, I much prefer the definition that, "sometimes the best
        answer is the simplest".

        eduard
        -----Original Message-----
        From: William Harris [mailto:bhvwd@...]
        Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 12:18 PM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism as Industrial Tao


        Ryan, Occams razor is a tool of logic that postulates: In a situation
        where no
        definite causality is apparent, the most likely of agents is the best
        choice.
        Divine intervention always takes a leap of faith and since no natural
        laws are
        broken there must be a more proximate solution. Where did this concept of
        serendipidy come from? I have seen a movie with John Cusac that deals
        with it.
        It seems to hold the attention of the under thirty crowd. Your view of it
        Ryan
        seems very normal but others take it as some manifestation of metaphysical
        presence. The steel gerder in the shape of a cross seems to be garnishing
        a
        serendipidous following. I always preferred a Oujie board so I could rub
        knees
        with some cute coed. That was serendipidy, Bill

        Ryan Dewald wrote:

        > Heya Bill,
        >
        > What's Occam's razor?
        >
        > Serendipity is one of my guilty pleasures. There is enough randomness,
        in
        > my opinion to account for the occasional unlikely encounter, like say,
        > running into a high school fling on a remote beach in Thailand. Despite
        > believing that it is nothing but chance, I still file a little piece of
        the
        > event under "magic" just because it makes me smile.
        >
        > There is a really good reason, I believe, to NOT consider serendipity a
        > divine event. If you leave it to the Higher Powers, you're not going to
        > help along those occurances. But if you consider the events leading up
        to a
        > serrendipitous encounter, you're likely to come up with at least a few
        > important principles that form a pattern of serendipity.
        >
        > For example, smiling at strangers, looking around rooms, helping out
        people
        > liberally all contribute to an extended network of people you know.
        These
        > actions also inspire others to do the same making it more likely in the
        > future that someone who happens to have jumpercables will stop and help
        you
        > in the middle of Death Valley at 2 in the morning.
        >
        > As for religion: I have a 2-bit definition for that too. I'm a big fan
        of
        > 2-bit definitions. Mind you it doesn't define a cause of religion, just
        what
        > all religions do.
        >
        > Religion: A story, real or otherwise, that explains from whence we
        came,
        > how ought we live our lives and what happens to us when we die.
        >
        > I wouldn't care what people believed in religion-wise if it didn't have
        > direct impacts on me and my life. Bill, the difference between
        recreation
        > and religion is that when I go biking, I don't tell other people how
        they
        > have to live their lives. When I practice religion, I often do (where
        this
        > is not true, I have no problem with religion).
        >
        > Even when religion doesn't impact other people, its benefits to the
        > practicing individual must be debited against the disadvantage of
        holding an
        > incorrect world-view. I'm not calling any one religion wrong, but they
        > can't all be right, which means some people have deluded views of the
        world
        > (not a real news flash there hey?). They are less able to respond to
        > stimulus around them in the most long-term healthy way becuase they have
        > incorrect information. blah blah... science blah blah... evolution.
        have a
        > great friday everyone!
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: William Harris [mailto:bhvwd@...]
        > Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 9:10 AM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism as Industrial Tao
        >
        > Eduard, In order to combat excessive drinking I have four major
        activities I
        > can
        > engage in at almost any time. This group is beginning to encroach on
        some
        > of my
        > play time, and I like it. I am reminded of the concept of the fruit of
        the
        > poisoined tree. Religion rests on a basis of unreality. Many use it like
        I
        > use
        > skiing or bicycling, as a diversion to keep me out of the whore house or
        > saloon. O.K. but as Stevie Wonder says, "When you believe in things you
        > dont
        > understand you suffer superstition anyway" Which brings me to a
        question
        > about
        > a new to me reason of faith I was exposed to recently. A occurance
        referred
        > to
        > as serendipidy seems to give some a reason to see divine guidance in
        > temporal
        > happenings. I asked the "serendipidist" if any physical laws were broken
        in
        > these unlikely chains of events. He said no, but the occurances were so
        > ordered
        > as to remove the possibility of chance happening. He therefore infers
        divine
        > intervention. Imust ask him if he has heard of Occams razor. Any
        comments?
        > Bill
        >
        > Eduard Alf wrote:
        >
        > > Bill,
        > >
        > > I would suggest that there is always a way back to simple serendipity.
        It
        > > is a matter of letting go. Letting go of the things that we consider
        to
        > be
        > > of importance, yet really do not make much of a difference in the end.
        > >
        > > I like the definition of religion which is, "A cause, principle, or
        > activity
        > > pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion".
        > >
        > > The thing that we are seeking is a singularity upon which to focus our
        > > minds. The problem that we face is that we have too many
        alternatives,
        > > especially in the Western World. The existentialist concept is
        laudable,
        > > but it still leaves the question of making "what" choice. The
        religious
        > > fundamentalist has a much better time of it. His/her path is defined
        in
        > the
        > > most narrow sense. It is easier to fly an airplane into the World
        Trade
        > > Centre than it is to find a way to balance one's bank accounts or
        deciding
        > > whether to go out to a restaurant or to order in a pizza.
        > >
        > > Going into the woods is an attempt to cut down on the choices. With
        the
        > > thought that with less choice the greater the chance of choosing the
        right
        > > one. But as you imply, such expedition, does not really solve much.
        What
        > > is desired is to find the woods in our urban lifestyle. And any tool
        > which
        > > facilitates this end [be it existentialism, religion or metaphysics]
        is of
        > > worth the candle.
        > >
        > > eduard
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: William Harris [mailto:bhvwd@...]
        > > Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2001 3:28 PM
        > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism as Industrial Tao
        > >
        > > Ryan, thats rich,"a good pithing" made my day. I just returned from
        > three
        > > days
        > > in the woods. I go there to escape but then come back here to escape
        > from
        > > that.
        > > The idealism of the simple life seems to appeal to thinkers. We are
        much
        > > to
        > > needed here to go live with the bears. You notice I said needed not
        > > appreciated.
        > > Slapping neandertahls upside the head does not add to ones
        popularity. I
        > > learned
        > > a great deal in comparative anatomy so as I watch instinctive
        behaviour
        > > operant
        > > in animals I get a better fix on our progression beyond. Metaphysics
        and
        > > religion are memorised behaviors not much different from instinct.
        The
        > > spark of
        > > innovation which once fuled them is long since extinguished, yet the
        > > dreary
        > > train of thought trudges on in dim intellects. I see little chance
        of
        > > utopia
        > > with these raw materials. I also see no way back to simple
        serendipity.
        > > Bill
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
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