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Re: [existlist] Nooism 2

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Ed, et al. [We are our brains.] Really? That old line, and from someone who deems himself such the iconoclast? [Because it has no direct access to the outside
    Message 1 of 98 , Oct 28, 2007
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      Ed, et al.

      [We are our brains.]

      Really? That old line, and from someone who deems himself such the
      iconoclast?

      [Because it has no direct access to the outside world, the brain has to "see"
      and "know" everything through interpretation of signals provided by it's
      sensors.]

      Need I remind everyone here of the inevitable and infinite regress that this
      argument entails? In short, you will never be able to get from any "sensor" to
      an "I" without an endless gulf, an unmet twain, always before you. This
      'radical' line of thought has very long ago been abandoned. Try to remember back to
      the "dualist problem" from Phil 101.

      [Even the signals from our eyes have to be interpreted. That is not to
      suggest that the outside world is an illusion. It is very real. The table that you
      stub your toe on, in the night, is very much there. But we cannot "know" the
      table exactly.]

      The myth of "true" knowledge as a 'totality' of information. Read Hegel,
      first chunk of the Phenomenology, for example -- oh, I forgot: you are too
      innovative to actually read anyone else. In any event, knowledge is a true relation,
      not a statistical totality of data (which would be infinite given the
      open-ended infinity of adumbrations).

      [If we cannot know a table, then it is hardly likely that we could know God
      or whatever religious issues such as purpose, objective and whatever else that
      is abstract.]

      You can know a table because it (presumably) exists; the rest is another
      story. God? What's that? We can know abstractions, however: x + 2y = z, or π (pi).
      As far as speculative concepts go, we should always try to think them, and
      precisely because they are difficult to ascertain. Philosophy gave birth to
      modern science precisely by doing this. What else is modern physics?

      [The existential angst arises from this inability to "know", not from an
      inability to "do" in our limited life spans as suggested by others. We know
      neither our place nor or end.]

      That is not corroborated by the literature, on the one hand, nor by my own
      experience. When you qualify angst as "existential" you associate it with -- ta
      da! -- existence. The questions of existence, of one's ownmost (eigenlich)
      existence, are not about 'information'.

      [That is where Nooism comes into play. What is "knowable" is that which is
      successful for "us" individually and socially. The table is knowable because we
      sense the pain. Similarly God and religious questions are knowable because our
      interpretation of these abstracts is successful. Namely, that they provide us
      with comfort in the immediate. In this case, the "comfort" is more important
      that the "knowing" or the object of our knowing. Which means that a belief in
      God, Allah, Zeus or Santa Claus is sufficient. It makes our neurons happy and
      that is all that is asked. A happy neuron is one which can close the loop with
      some kind of answer ... any answer will do.]

      As Louise has suggested, this really does have a familial resemblance to
      Berkeley's idealism. Or, at the very least, a radical relativism, in the
      epistemological sense of the term. I can also suggest the pragmatic (or pragmatistic)
      theory of truth, a la Charles Sanders Pierce and William James. I think you
      would find this interesting.

      [Nooism posits that it is acceptable to resolve our existential angst by fant
      asy.]

      Hell, who needs "Nooism" for that? A good fifth of single malt scotch will do
      that for you!

      Wil


      In a message dated 10/28/07 1:24:35 AM, yeoman@... writes:


      >
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      > eduard ---
      > I have to head out to Chicago this morning and won't be back for a
      > week. So I will be going "no email" for my home computer.
      >
      > Perhaps I use business centre in the hotel to send emails. One of
      > these days I need to set up my laptop for internet connection.
      >
      > Anyway, I will leave this for you to ponder.
      >
      > We are our brains. Because it has no direct access to the outside
      > world, the brain has to "see" and "know" everything through interpretation
      > of signals provided by it's sensors. Even the signals from our eyes have to
      > be interpreted. That is not to suggest that the outside world is an
      > illusion. It is very real. The table that you stub your toe on, in the
      > night, is very much there. But we cannot "know" the table exactly.
      >
      > If we cannot know a table, then it is hardly likely that we could
      > know God or whatever religious issues such as purpose, objective and
      > whatever else that is abstract.
      >
      > The existential angst arises from this inability to "know", not from
      > an inability to "do" in our limited life spans as suggested by others. We
      > know neither our place nor or end.
      >
      > That is where Nooism comes into play. What is "knowable" is that
      > which is successful for "us" individually and socially. The table is
      > knowable because we sense the pain. Similarly God and religious questions
      > are knowable because our interpretation of these abstracts is successful.
      > Namely, that they provide us with comfort in the immediate. In this case,
      > the "comfort" is more important that the "knowing" or the object of our
      > knowing. Which means that a belief in God, Allah, Zeus or Santa Claus is
      > sufficient. It makes our neurons happy and that is all that is asked. A
      > happy neuron is one which can close the loop with some kind of answer ...
      > any answer will do.
      >
      > Nooism posits that it is acceptable to resolve our existential angst
      > by fantasy. The key point is to realise that it is fantasy and that we are
      > doing this [believing] because it is satisfying. Of course, this applies
      > primarily those abstract questions. If one believes that the table is
      > merely a bit of a fog, then our interpretation is not successful when we
      > bump into it. The thing is that one does not usually bump into God and
      > therefore a fantasy in this respect can be successful for a much longer
      > period of time.
      >
      > Chew on that for a while. I should be back at least by Friday 2
      > November.
      >
      >
      >




      **************************************
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    • louise
      ... Of course, if I am any kind of philosophical thinker, I am also an animal. L.
      Message 98 of 98 , Jun 10, 2009
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        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
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        > "I am not an animal"
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        > So, you are a plant or a disembodied spirit?
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        >
        > Wil

        Of course, if I am any kind of philosophical thinker, I am also an animal. L.

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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: louise <hecubatoher@...>
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 12:24 pm
        > Subject: [existlist] What is truth?
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        > Not that I am jesting, or play-acting. Personally, I would contend that I am not an animal, a slave, or a whore. Is this truth?
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        > Louise
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