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Re: a definition of the absurd

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  • louise
    ... anyone or ... wonder ... make ... deep ... personal ... of ... a ... even ... drugs, ... will ... I believe existentialism to be a way of living. There
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "a_living_breathing_being"
      <a_living_breathing_being@...> wrote:
      >
      > > "Deep, passionless, and probably of little succor to someone in
      > despair with doubts about their SIGNIFICANCE or IMPORTANCE to
      anyone or
      > the planet :) No one NEEDS or SEEKS the experience of the absurd."
      >
      > Response: I agree. Pain, suffering and emotional despair; I
      wonder
      > how some of the smartest people get to that point; what does one
      make
      > of someone consumed by not having what they need; no purpose, no
      deep
      > inward satisfaction, no hope, no affirmative answers to their
      personal
      > questions; just one complex sense of insignificance, self-pity and
      > confusion; utter emptiness and lack. How does one affirm that kind
      of
      > state of mind? I wonder what sort of 'succor' they need; surely not
      a
      > passionless / intellectual explanation; not the likes of Sartre or
      even
      > Heidegger; perhaps they need poetry, a beer buzz, music, a hug,
      drugs,
      > sex, or some other oblative escape experience to be pampered by;
      will
      > that do?
      >
      > Taken from the letter "How To Spot All The Really Mean People in
      > YahooGroups" :)
      >

      I believe existentialism to be a way of living. There are literary
      and philosophical texts by authors who are seen as existentialists by
      interested readers and by the academy generally. One of the
      obstacles to an authentic way of living, that is, to the very hunger
      for understanding the world and how to find an individual place in it
      that is genuine, is a rather phoney, quasi-objective solicitude for
      how to 'help' other people in their pain and despair. It only gives
      another wound. The letter from which the extracts above are quoted
      reads to me as paternalistic, well-meaning perhaps, but
      intellectually insulting. I still find utterly true the insights of
      Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Johannes Climacus, that in judging others we
      only judge ourselves, because when we seek to assess another being we
      only know them in their possibility, not in their actuality. Each of
      us is one life only, and that life is a subjectivity. In the harsh
      and cruel world of human society, lives are quite often objectified,
      and their own sense of themselves rendered false. For those who
      remain sane, a feeling of absurdity is likely to be one possible
      consequence. I think it is the ideological systems which keep us
      collectively trapped in false subjectivities. Some of us manage to
      stay free and happy, as individuals, but the reality of misery
      remains. My own feelings fluctuate, as also my sense of the reality
      of self. It is part of a personal battle. Failure to comprehend
      others seems one of the few reliable constants about the human
      drama. I trust the men and women who have felt the pain of that
      experience. Even trust, though, is somehow not enough. At least, if
      it be mutual, it gives a good beginning. Yes, we need to recognise
      one another. Louise
    • jimstuart51
      Dear Living Breathing Human Being, You wish to oppose the existential idea that everything is completely purposeless . Your argument is that because we human
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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        Dear Living Breathing Human Being,

        You wish to oppose the existential idea that "everything is completely
        purposeless". Your argument is that because we human beings construct
        meaning, then there must be meaning inherent in the universe:

        "More importantly, there is a relationship between what is constructed
        inside the mind and the intelligible order outside and beyond the
        mind; just as there is a relationship between perception and reality;
        the order constructed in the mind at minimum reflects, relates to and
        represents 'a real existential order' outside and autonomous to the mind."

        I am not convinced that your argument is sound.

        For a start to say that the universe is "purposeless" is not quite the
        same as saying that it contains no meaning.

        When I say that the universe is purposeless, I am saying that it is
        not heading towards an ultimate telos. I think that saying this is
        consistent with your view (correct in my opinion) that human beings
        are meaning-constructing beings – we have the ability through our
        commitments, resolutions and passions to give our lives an overall
        structure and overall meaning. Arguably the person who cannot manage
        to do this is the person is despair.

        I think that life, the universe, is intrinsically absurd in that there
        is no ultimate rhyme nor reason to anything. However we can give our
        lives meaning. The existentialist idea is that we both create the
        meaning that comes to exist in our lives, and we create ourselves
        through our choices, commitments and resolutions.

        I don't think you are correct to conclude that reality is inherently
        meaningful (has an intelligible order), just because we create meaning
        for ourselves. If we "construct" something, we are making it out of
        lower-level materials, which lack the structure of the construct. If
        meaning is there outside us, autonomous of our mental activity, then
        talk of "constructing" seems inappropriate. In this case, words such
        as "seeing", "recognising" or "interpreting" would be more appropriate.

        Jim
      • Aija Veldre Beldavs
        ... hopeless entanglement in semantics?:) if there are no patterns (rhyme or reason) within the cosmos, how is there communication, & talking about absurdity
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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          > I think that life, the universe, is intrinsically absurd in that there
          > is no ultimate rhyme nor reason to anything. However we can give our
          > lives meaning. The existentialist idea is that we both create the
          > meaning that comes to exist in our lives, and we create ourselves
          > through our choices, commitments and resolutions.

          > Jim

          hopeless entanglement in semantics?:)
          if there are no patterns (rhyme or reason) within the cosmos, how is
          there communication, & talking about absurdity on a listserv stuck
          around the timespace of a few of its heroes means what?
          not only kaleidescopes have shifting patterns.
          what is absurdity in a universe with both laws & indeterminacy when it's
          exciting to be exploring entanglement within electromagnetic fields?

          aija
        • Jewel
          Dear Lucky To Be Alive, This morning while reading all these excellent comments, I ve had an epiphany! Do you think perhaps the absurd person generalizes,
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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            Dear Lucky To Be Alive,

            This morning while reading all these excellent comments, I've had an
            epiphany! Do you think perhaps the absurd person generalizes,
            objectifies, and projects his own interior state onto the world ;-)

            What convinces you that you freely choose your dispassionate,
            reasonable approach? And why is it more responsible? And if you
            haven't the power to universally "apply" your perspective/solution to
            everyone else, it too appears to be an absurd conclusion. Other
            aspects of Camus's absurd are the impossible and the ridiculous.

            Reason has been a fortunate by-product in my life, but passion might
            have been a wiser chisel. That is if you're into that whole creating,
            molding, shaping, and influencing others thingy.

            Jewel
          • jimstuart51
            There are patterns in the universe - scientists identify them, ordinary human beings identify them (e.g. approaching black clouds indicate rain will come
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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              There are patterns in the universe - scientists identify them,
              ordinary human beings identify them (e.g. approaching black clouds
              indicate rain will come soon).

              There is no rhyme nor reason to the universe in the sense that there
              is no God in control, and nature is "blind". It is a matter of "luck"
              that I was born a healthy individual, whilst my sister was born with a
              genetic disorder.

              Jim

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > > I think that life, the universe, is intrinsically absurd in that there
              > > is no ultimate rhyme nor reason to anything. However we can give our
              > > lives meaning. The existentialist idea is that we both create the
              > > meaning that comes to exist in our lives, and we create ourselves
              > > through our choices, commitments and resolutions.
              >
              > > Jim
              >
              > hopeless entanglement in semantics?:)
              > if there are no patterns (rhyme or reason) within the cosmos, how is
              > there communication, & talking about absurdity on a listserv stuck
              > around the timespace of a few of its heroes means what?
              > not only kaleidescopes have shifting patterns.
              > what is absurdity in a universe with both laws & indeterminacy when
              it's
              > exciting to be exploring entanglement within electromagnetic fields?
              >
              > aija
              >
            • ccorey@frontiernet.net
              You know and do not know, what it is to act or suffer. You know and do not know, that action is suffering, And suffering action. Niether does the agent suffer
              Message 6 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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                You know and do not know, what it is to act or
                suffer.
                You know and do not know, that action is suffering,
                And suffering action. Niether does the agent suffer
                Nor the patient act. Both are fixed
                In an eternal action, an eternal patience
                To which all must consent that it may be willed
                And which all must suffer that they may will it,
                That the pattern may subsist, that th wheel may
                turn and still
                Be forever still.

                -T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral


                Quoting jimstuart51 <jjimstuart1@...>:

                > There are patterns in the universe - scientists identify them,
                > ordinary human beings identify them (e.g. approaching black clouds
                > indicate rain will come soon).
                >
                > There is no rhyme nor reason to the universe in the sense that there
                > is no God in control, and nature is "blind". It is a matter of "luck"
                > that I was born a healthy individual, whilst my sister was born with a
                > genetic disorder.
                >
                > Jim
                >
                > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
                > wrote:
                >>
                >>
                >> > I think that life, the universe, is intrinsically absurd in that there
                >> > is no ultimate rhyme nor reason to anything. However we can give our
                >> > lives meaning. The existentialist idea is that we both create the
                >> > meaning that comes to exist in our lives, and we create ourselves
                >> > through our choices, commitments and resolutions.
                >>
                >> > Jim
                >>
                >> hopeless entanglement in semantics?:)
                >> if there are no patterns (rhyme or reason) within the cosmos, how is
                >> there communication, & talking about absurdity on a listserv stuck
                >> around the timespace of a few of its heroes means what?
                >> not only kaleidescopes have shifting patterns.
                >> what is absurdity in a universe with both laws & indeterminacy when
                > it's
                >> exciting to be exploring entanglement within electromagnetic fields?
                >>
                >> aija
                >>
                >
                >
                >



                Christopher Corey
                Freedom is Existence
              • camusj
                On Jul 28, 2008, at 6:04:39 PM, a_living_breathing_being wrote: From: a_living_breathing_being
                Message 7 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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                  On Jul 28, 2008, at 6:04:39 PM, a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...> wrote:
                  From: a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...>
                  Subject: [existlist] a definition of the absurd
                  Date: July 28, 2008 6:04:39 PM EDT
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Most people who exercise their mind in the endeavor of philosophy do
                  so by constructing 'meaning' (and by the use of language); and this
                  suggest that the very activity of philosophy accentuates and actually
                  supports a bias towards 'there-being-meaning'; dasein + meaning. 
                  Absurdity never entirely wins out because philosophically minded
                  people keep on fighting and striving to comprehend all the meaning
                  that there-is; yes . . . every time we turn-on-the-brain to explain
                  something; the be-ing and the think-ing of the mind revolts. I mean,
                  how many of us want life, the world and the cosmos to ultimately have
                  an intrinsically ridiculous quality, that in the end (telos), after
                  all is finished, life is completely pointless and absurd? Still, some
                  existential thinkers demand that everything is altogether, completely
                  purposeless; and it is this very point, and IMHO, I do not accept it.

                  Language itself is a 'taxis' (order); not so much a means for
                  constructing external physical order, but a tool of the mind, the
                  means by which the mind constructs meaning and orders within itself
                  and for-itself; i.e., a mental order that reflects the very
                  intelligible outer order already there. The fact that each human
                  being creates meaning and order within their own mind does not mean
                  that 'intelligibility' is a fickel exclusive by-product of the mind. 
                  The prevailing notion of absurdity suggest that everything (omni) is
                  meaningless and unintelligible.

                  Look at a single living cell and it turns out to be an elaborate and
                  intelligible code; which is why scientist are able to map the genome.
                  The fact that the mind is an ordering, organizing, pattern seeking,
                  arranging and gathering entity demonstrates by itself that our part of
                  the cosmos is not clearly devoid of meaning; unless you believe that
                  philosophers are not teleological manifestations of the cosmos :-)

                  The fact that meaning springs up within the human mind, shows that
                  meaning-itself has manifested within the known spectrum of being; our
                  ontological grasp of it. More importantly, there is a relationship
                  between what is constructed inside the mind and the intelligible order
                  outside and beyond the mind; just as there is a relationship between
                  perception and reality; the order constructed in the mind at minimum
                  reflects, relates to and represents 'a real existential order' outside
                  and autonomous to the mind. That is, the intelligible existential
                  condition meets the intelligence-seeking mind. This does not
                  eliminate chaos and disorder, but we need not conclude that the
                  primary description of human existence is summed up by the
                  over-estimated word 'absurd'.

                  There is a relationship between two immediate conditions; epistemic
                  mental representations (ideas, beliefs, descriptions) and ontical
                  presentation (the raw, brute existential realities) or the immediate
                  ontical condition; the preceeding hostile forces around the individual
                  that Sartre claimed was superior to Essence.

                  Well, there you have it. I'm truely ready to be chewed up, spit out
                  and set straight.



                  Hello

                  I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?) for many years.
                  While others might find meaning in the world as they encounter it, I do not.
                  The human being seems, IMHO, poorly suited to the world he inhabits.

                  My impression of the "absurd" is that it is a zone, which I stand on the very edge of, each time I meet an impenitrable, uncontrollable point.
                  I am speaking, of course, in a metaphysical sense.  I dont find everything "absurb", but I do not construct "meaning" in my searches. Having scientists explain, and even make sense of what they find, is admirable and useful.  But for me at least, that is all it does.

                  I would agree that the mind can be a pattern finding, organizing device, but that said, not always accurate or benificent.
                  Hitler thought he had discerned "meaning" in his theories of the value of humans, but he was, IMHO, quite wrong.

                  There is something wholly inadequate in our minds.  It results in a lack of ability to understand any purpose we may have, and insufficient faculties to devine that purpose may be.  As I see it, there are two (perhaps more) conclusions. The first is that we are an accident, a gift of our rather good memory, and the second is that we are just too stupid to figure the world out.

                  Jessie


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • a_living_breathing_being
                  Jim said: You wish to oppose the existential idea that everything is completely purposeless . Your argument is that because we human beings construct meaning,
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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                    Jim said: "You wish to oppose the existential idea that everything is
                    completely purposeless". Your argument is that because we human beings
                    construct meaning, then there must be meaning inherent in the universe"

                    A.L.B.B. Well, no, (not meaning) . . . but 'intelligible order' is
                    inherent. I'm differentiating between 'intelligence' (the end product
                    of mental activity) and intelligibility (the actual logical patterns
                    present within complex object) such as atoms and living cells that
                    demonstrate intelligent order. It has been convenient to believe that
                    the complexity of order present in the cosmos is the product of 14
                    billion years of chance; a blind deterministic mechanism with the
                    random accidental luck at forming itself into organized orderly
                    states. Wow! That's about as far-fetched as thinking that if I throw
                    a handful of pebbels down on a ground again and agin, given enough
                    time, then one day it will spell out the Homers Illiad.

                    The living human cell is intelligible, that is, within itself, it
                    possesses a profound orderliness and pattern, an organized complexity
                    that is knowable by the human mind; so . . . from this intrinsic order
                    outside and all around us, it follows that the order-seeking mind is
                    able to reflect and construct meaning that serves the overall
                    expectation of there-being-intelligent-order actually present. This
                    expresses that there is both order in the mind and order all around.
                    This has been the fundamental assunmption within those who build
                    todays technology, that both the mind and the natural order can be
                    understood, that brute existential force can be shaped into formal
                    causes, that existential materials are capable of teleological aims
                    and ambition, that the mind is suitable to foresee these
                    potentialities and bring them about. But while this reflects the
                    human aspect, the cosmos was already here before us, organizing
                    itself. But chaos, freedom and potentiality are still part of the
                    binary system; a polarized condition where both order and chaos
                    express the complete picture; just and 'being' and 'nothingness'
                    likewise express two existential extremes. And in my system of
                    thinking, order has ever bit as much respect as chaos. While we
                    confine meaning to human construction, we cannot claim the same for
                    the presence of order.

                    I make the distinction between meaning and actual order. A living
                    cell's intelligibility is complimentary to the human mind's propensity
                    for organizing, knowing, understanding and perceiving states of order;
                    this is how the order-seeking mind is connected to the actual order
                    already present. But, oddly, meaning expresses order and is the end
                    result of order-making. The order of meaning is counter-complimentary
                    to the intrinsic order around us. In the binary opposites of Order
                    and Chaos; order is given the favor and thought to be 'the good'.

                    A Living Breathing Being
                  • jimstuart51
                    Dear Living Breathing Being, I agree with you that there is an intelligible order in nature which we can discern, and we can represent in our language and
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jul 29, 2008
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                      Dear Living Breathing Being,

                      I agree with you that there is an "intelligible order" in nature
                      which we can discern, and we can represent in our language and
                      thought.

                      But I think this idea - which I would guess we would all agree with -
                      is consistent with the existential claim that there is no purpose to
                      the ever changing universe.

                      Yes, it is because things do behave in recognisable patterns that we
                      are able - to some extent - to plan our lives, and to be responsible
                      for our actions. But this is possible even though there is no
                      ultimate telos in the universe as a whole.

                      Unlike you, I do believe in the "far-fetched" idea that the order
                      around us now is the result of "14 billion years of chance", of "a
                      blind deterministic mechanism".

                      Jim



                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "a_living_breathing_being"
                      <a_living_breathing_being@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Jim said: "You wish to oppose the existential idea that everything
                      is
                      > completely purposeless". Your argument is that because we human
                      beings
                      > construct meaning, then there must be meaning inherent in the
                      universe"
                      >
                      > A.L.B.B. Well, no, (not meaning) . . . but 'intelligible order' is
                      > inherent. I'm differentiating between 'intelligence' (the end
                      product
                      > of mental activity) and intelligibility (the actual logical patterns
                      > present within complex object) such as atoms and living cells that
                      > demonstrate intelligent order. It has been convenient to believe
                      that
                      > the complexity of order present in the cosmos is the product of 14
                      > billion years of chance; a blind deterministic mechanism with the
                      > random accidental luck at forming itself into organized orderly
                      > states. Wow! That's about as far-fetched as thinking that if I
                      throw
                      > a handful of pebbels down on a ground again and agin, given enough
                      > time, then one day it will spell out the Homers Illiad.
                      >
                      > The living human cell is intelligible, that is, within itself, it
                      > possesses a profound orderliness and pattern, an organized
                      complexity
                      > that is knowable by the human mind; so . . . from this intrinsic
                      order
                      > outside and all around us, it follows that the order-seeking mind is
                      > able to reflect and construct meaning that serves the overall
                      > expectation of there-being-intelligent-order actually present. This
                      > expresses that there is both order in the mind and order all
                      around.
                      > This has been the fundamental assunmption within those who build
                      > todays technology, that both the mind and the natural order can be
                      > understood, that brute existential force can be shaped into formal
                      > causes, that existential materials are capable of teleological aims
                      > and ambition, that the mind is suitable to foresee these
                      > potentialities and bring them about. But while this reflects the
                      > human aspect, the cosmos was already here before us, organizing
                      > itself. But chaos, freedom and potentiality are still part of the
                      > binary system; a polarized condition where both order and chaos
                      > express the complete picture; just and 'being' and 'nothingness'
                      > likewise express two existential extremes. And in my system of
                      > thinking, order has ever bit as much respect as chaos. While we
                      > confine meaning to human construction, we cannot claim the same for
                      > the presence of order.
                      >
                      > I make the distinction between meaning and actual order. A living
                      > cell's intelligibility is complimentary to the human mind's
                      propensity
                      > for organizing, knowing, understanding and perceiving states of
                      order;
                      > this is how the order-seeking mind is connected to the actual order
                      > already present. But, oddly, meaning expresses order and is the end
                      > result of order-making. The order of meaning is counter-
                      complimentary
                      > to the intrinsic order around us. In the binary opposites of Order
                      > and Chaos; order is given the favor and thought to be 'the good'.
                      >
                      > A Living Breathing Being
                      >
                    • a_living_breathing_being
                      ... nature which we can discern, and we can represent in our language and ... A.L.B.B. Francis Collins who headed the Genome project refered to the complex
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jul 30, 2008
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                        > Jim said: I agree with you that there is an "intelligible order" in
                        nature which we can discern, and we can represent in our language and
                        > thought.
                        >
                        > But I think this idea - which I would guess we would all agree with -
                        > is consistent with the existential claim that there is no purpose to
                        > the ever changing universe.
                        >
                        > Yes, it is because things do behave in recognisable patterns that we
                        > are able - to some extent - to plan our lives, and to be responsible
                        > for our actions. But this is possible even though there is no
                        > ultimate telos in the universe as a whole.
                        >
                        > Unlike you, I do believe in the "far-fetched" idea that the order
                        > around us now is the result of "14 billion years of chance", of "a
                        > blind deterministic mechanism".
                        >
                        ---------

                        A.L.B.B. Francis Collins who headed the Genome project refered to
                        the complex DNA sequence as "the language of God"; and by the way, not
                        all existential thought is atheistic, there was a handful of theistic
                        existential thinker. Even if one rejects every organized religion,
                        and especially Christianty, does not mean that a higher intelligence
                        is utterly out of the question. Part of the judgement that the
                        universe is purposeless and without aim is built squarely on the
                        premise that 'out there' and even subatomically, nothing intelligent
                        is-there. Of course, there is a good case for evolution, which I
                        accept. Still, this does not remove the possibility that something
                        intelligent governs the order occuring in living cells. Evolution may
                        be part of the causual system, yet tradition, human experience and
                        sacred documents have given deistic and theistic explaination (atias).
                        This may be an anthropomorphic leap, but backtracking from 'end
                        outcomes', back to the material quantum that shapes reality as we know
                        it, there must have been efficient factors contributing to the
                        ordering, and there must have been preceeding patterns; and with that
                        said, an 'intelligence factor' does not seem out of the question.
                        Otherwise everyone would be indebted to serve the atheistic
                        perspective; and Richard Dawkins would deserve a standing ovation for
                        pointing out that God is only a delusion.

                        Approaching the subject of a higher intelligence responsible for the
                        coincidence of order, we do so from a rational perspective, which I am
                        given to as a project. However, the universe is mysterious, and
                        Superstring theorist say that there are 6 other unknown dimensions;
                        not simply 4. Mayby it's not just the bleak / opaque appearance of
                        space and time, but the expression and presence of an intelligence
                        factor. It may very well be that it is atheism that is in bad faith,
                        i.e., believing in something that is not true.
                        >
                      • a_living_breathing_being
                        Jessie: I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?) for many years. While others might find meaning in the world as they encounter it, I do
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jul 30, 2008
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                          Jessie: I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?)
                          for many years. While others might find meaning in the world as they
                          encounter it, I do not. The human being seems, IMHO, poorly suited to
                          the world he inhabits.

                          A.L.B.B. Hi Jessie, It would seem to me that if you did not find
                          meaning in the world, does that also mean that you do not find it
                          within yourself either. I suppose some clarification is in order.
                          Objects, such as a hammer or chair do not possess any intrinsic
                          meaning. The ability you and I have to understand these objects and
                          the world around us occurs in the dynamic processes of the mind and
                          organic sensations and are then psychologically assigned to the
                          realities we experience. So, I think I agree with you that there is
                          no meaning in the world. I guess this goes to say that human beings,
                          through the capacity of their mind, are the principle carriers of
                          meaning. Meaning serves a very human function.
                          >
                          Jessie: I would agree that the mind can be a pattern finding,
                          organizing device, but that said, not always accurate or benificent.
                          > Hitler thought he had discerned "meaning" in his theories of the
                          value of humans, but he was, IMHO, quite wrong.

                          A.L.B.B. Yes, that is for sure.
                        • ccorey@frontiernet.net
                          How is it you have been studying philosophy for ?many? years but can?t use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I think You are a Firstnighter, Informer, Old
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                            How is it you have been studying philosophy for ?many? years but can?t
                            use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I think You are a
                            Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Yellow Whigger, Wheateater, Goldy
                            Geit, Bongside Beauty, York?s Porker, Funny face, Opendoor Ospice,
                            Cainandabler, Godsoilman, Blau Clay, and a Tight before teatime! Go
                            Read Your Pantojoke ? ?FW?...then return...

                            -c-


                            Quoting a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...>:

                            > Jessie: I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?)
                            > for many years. While others might find meaning in the world as they
                            > encounter it, I do not. The human being seems, IMHO, poorly suited to
                            > the world he inhabits.
                            >
                            > A.L.B.B. Hi Jessie, It would seem to me that if you did not find
                            > meaning in the world, does that also mean that you do not find it
                            > within yourself either. I suppose some clarification is in order.
                            > Objects, such as a hammer or chair do not possess any intrinsic
                            > meaning. The ability you and I have to understand these objects and
                            > the world around us occurs in the dynamic processes of the mind and
                            > organic sensations and are then psychologically assigned to the
                            > realities we experience. So, I think I agree with you that there is
                            > no meaning in the world. I guess this goes to say that human beings,
                            > through the capacity of their mind, are the principle carriers of
                            > meaning. Meaning serves a very human function.
                            >>
                            > Jessie: I would agree that the mind can be a pattern finding,
                            > organizing device, but that said, not always accurate or benificent.
                            >> Hitler thought he had discerned "meaning" in his theories of the
                            > value of humans, but he was, IMHO, quite wrong.
                            >
                            > A.L.B.B. Yes, that is for sure.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >



                            Christopher Corey
                            Freedom is Existence
                          • a_living_breathing_being
                            Christopher Corey said: How is it you have been studying philosophy for ?many? years but can?t use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I think You are a
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                              Christopher Corey said: How is it you have been studying philosophy
                              for ?many? years but can?t use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I
                              think You are a Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Yellow Whigger,
                              Wheateater, Goldy Geit, Bongside Beauty, York?s Porker, Funny face,
                              Opendoor Ospice, Cainandabler, Godsoilman, Blau Clay, and a Tight
                              before teatime! Go Read Your Pantojoke ? ?FW?...then return...

                              A.L.B.B. Funny stuff buddy, you have me laughing. However, I think
                              you mean it as an insult / put-down and not for sincere discussion.
                              That's OK, so we probably won't have much to talk about in the future.
                              Are you mentally ill? Best I can make of your made-up-words and
                              jive-talk is I knew a guy like you once, his name was bo-bo.
                            • camusj
                              On Jul 31, 2008, at 8:50:23 AM, ccorey@frontiernet.net wrote: From: ccorey@frontiernet.net Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: a definition of the absurd Date:
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                                On Jul 31, 2008, at 8:50:23 AM, ccorey@... wrote:
                                From: ccorey@...
                                Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: a definition of the absurd
                                Date: July 31, 2008 8:50:23 AM EDT
                                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                How is it you have been studying philosophy for ?many? years but can?t 
                                use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I think You are a 
                                Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Yellow Whigger, Wheateater, Goldy 
                                Geit, Bongside Beauty, York?s Porker, Funny face, Opendoor Ospice, 
                                Cainandabler, Godsoilman, Blau Clay, and a Tight before teatime! Go 
                                Read Your Pantojoke ? ?FW?...then return...

                                -c-

                                Quoting a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...>:

                                > Jessie: I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?)
                                > for many years. While others might find meaning in the world as they
                                > encounter it, I do not. The human being seems, IMHO, poorly suited to
                                > the world he inhabits.
                                >
                                > A.L.B.B. Hi Jessie, It would seem to me that if you did not find
                                > meaning in the world, does that also mean that you do not find it
                                > within yourself either. I suppose some clarification is in order.
                                > Objects, such as a hammer or chair do not possess any intrinsic
                                > meaning. The ability you and I have to understand these objects and
                                > the world around us occurs in the dynamic processes of the mind and
                                > organic sensations and are then psychologically assigned to the
                                > realities we experience. So, I think I agree with you that there is
                                > no meaning in the world. I guess this goes to say that human beings,
                                > through the capacity of their mind, are the principle carriers of
                                > meaning. Meaning serves a very human function.
                                >>
                                > Jessie: I would agree that the mind can be a pattern finding,
                                > organizing device, but that said, not always accurate or benificent.
                                >> Hitler thought he had discerned "meaning" in his theories of the
                                > value of humans, but he was, IMHO, quite wrong.
                                >
                                > A.L.B.B. Yes, that is for sure.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >

                                Christopher Corey
                                Freedom is Existence



                                Hi Ciorey and all

                                I have no idea what you are saying. I am 68 years old and have been reading philosophy since I was 17.  I wont go any further.
                                I have no need to establish some kind of credential.  And I might well be an "old fruit", since I am a lesbian. I am enjoying reading others thoughts and following the discussion.

                                Jessie


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • camusj
                                On Jul 31, 2008, at 5:40:51 PM, a_living_breathing_being wrote: From: a_living_breathing_being
                                Message 15 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                                  On Jul 31, 2008, at 5:40:51 PM, a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...> wrote:
                                  From: a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...>
                                  Subject: [existlist] Re: Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Funny face (you talk 'n about me?)
                                  Date: July 31, 2008 5:40:51 PM EDT
                                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                  Christopher Corey said: How is it you have been studying philosophy
                                  for ?many? years but can?t use the word ?philosophy? in a sentence? I
                                  think You are a Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit, Yellow Whigger,
                                  Wheateater, Goldy Geit, Bongside Beauty, York?s Porker, Funny face,
                                  Opendoor Ospice, Cainandabler, Godsoilman, Blau Clay, and a Tight
                                  before teatime! Go Read Your Pantojoke ? ?FW?...then return...

                                  A.L.B.B. Funny stuff buddy, you have me laughing. However, I think
                                  you mean it as an insult / put-down and not for sincere discussion. 
                                  That's OK, so we probably won't have much to talk about in the future.
                                  Are you mentally ill? Best I can make of your made-up-words and
                                  jive-talk is I knew a guy like you once, his name was bo-bo.



                                  Well, whoever you are (I dont see your name), thank you for your post. I was kind of lost at his response to my post.

                                  Jessie



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Exist List Moderator
                                  ... You will find few, maybe two or three, individuals on this forum adhering to any form of intelligent design / Creation faith. While I often caution against
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                                    On Jul 29, 2008, at 13:17, a_living_breathing_being wrote:

                                    > A.L.B.B. Well, no, (not meaning) . . . but 'intelligible order' is
                                    > inherent. I'm differentiating between 'intelligence' (the end product
                                    > of mental activity) and intelligibility (the actual logical patterns
                                    > present within complex object) such as atoms and living cells that
                                    > demonstrate intelligent order. It has been convenient to believe that
                                    > the complexity of order present in the cosmos is the product of 14
                                    > billion years of chance; a blind deterministic mechanism with the
                                    > random accidental luck at forming itself into organized orderly
                                    > states. Wow! That's about as far-fetched as thinking that if I throw
                                    > a handful of pebbels down on a ground again and agin, given enough
                                    > time, then one day it will spell out the Homers Illiad.



                                    You will find few, maybe two or three, individuals on this forum
                                    adhering to any form of intelligent design / Creation faith. While I
                                    often caution against ignoring the existential theists, who were far
                                    more influential than Sartre during most of the last century (Sartre's
                                    "rise" actually came in the 1970s and 80s), I also recognize that
                                    these men would not be embraced today. I cannot imagine my colleagues
                                    wanting to teach Buber, Tillich, May, Niebuhr, or others. We gloss
                                    over Kierkegaard's faith -- and it should be essential to
                                    understanding him.

                                    I think "chance" is precisely what we see in science, via chaos theory
                                    or even uncertainty. Everything is math, but so interconnected as to
                                    seem random. But, math has no "meaning" and no "values" -- it simply
                                    is. The human body is one of the worst designs in nature, but it works
                                    by chance, despite some serious flaws. Chance is the volcanos,
                                    meteors, orbital wobbles, and such that destroy species from time to
                                    time. And, eventually, the sun will destroy everything on this little
                                    marble of nothingness.

                                    We are frail creatures that can be felled by a tiny non-living virus.
                                    Our eyes have blind spots in the middle, where nerves illogically
                                    attach. A small little cord connects our brains to everything else --
                                    one snap results in death.

                                    Sorry, but unless the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation built humans,
                                    no "intelligence" could create with so many flaws. And no, I don't buy
                                    the notion the flaws are punishment for eating a fruit in an ancient
                                    garden.

                                    So faith is important and gave us many great leaders and thinkers. It
                                    also restrained progress throughout history. Faith is a mixed blessing
                                    -- pardon the pun.

                                    Religion is just a lousy, lousy topic for this mailing list. Most of
                                    us are ardently anti-religion, in part thanks to the messes created by
                                    faith in our current moment of existence. Sorry, but most religious
                                    texts are cruel, judgmental, and encourage various forms of violence
                                    -- at the least against "sinners" in the worst cases against all non-
                                    believers.

                                    Horrible topic unless you are going to discuss particular thinkers in
                                    existentialism or Continental thought.

                                    - C. S. Wyatt
                                    I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                                    that I shall be.
                                    http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                                    http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                                  • Exist List Moderator
                                    ... They are all real terms, used in various literary and philosophical works. Most of the terms indicate a resistance to science, knowledge, or progress. I
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                                      On Jul 31, 2008, at 17:00, camusj wrote:

                                      > Cainandabler


                                      They are all real terms, used in various literary and philosophical
                                      works. Most of the terms indicate a resistance to science, knowledge,
                                      or progress. I was curious when I saw a term from Finnegan's Wake used
                                      on the mailing list. Wow.... a classic reference if ever there was one.

                                      In serious terms, the question is how science, philosophy, faith, et
                                      cetera all continue to coexist for people. There are those in the
                                      sciences (many at universities, definitely) who see diminishing roles
                                      for all but science and "reason" -- exactly what Heidegger warned of,
                                      before he ended up falling in line with the worst of "ordered" and
                                      "scientific" governments. (I love irony.)

                                      A valid question, and one those of us in the sciences try to either
                                      avoid or explain away... when what we need to remind ourselves if that
                                      information, knowledge, and invention are amoral and meaningless.
                                      Science doesn't tell us how to live, just that we do live.

                                      All very valid questions, and certainly not randomly made-up words.


                                      - C. S. Wyatt
                                      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
                                      that I shall be.
                                      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                                      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                                    • camusj
                                      On Jul 30, 2008, at 5:23:57 PM, a_living_breathing_being wrote: From: a_living_breathing_being
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Jul 31, 2008
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                                        On Jul 30, 2008, at 5:23:57 PM, a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...> wrote:
                                        From: a_living_breathing_being <a_living_breathing_being@...>
                                        Subject: [existlist] Re: a definition of the absurd
                                        Date: July 30, 2008 5:23:57 PM EDT
                                        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                        Jessie: I have read philosophy and philosophised (is that a word?)
                                        for many years. While others might find meaning in the world as they
                                        encounter it, I do not. The human being seems, IMHO, poorly suited to
                                        the world he inhabits.

                                        A.L.B.B. Hi Jessie, It would seem to me that if you did not find
                                        meaning in the world, does that also mean that you do not find it
                                        within yourself either. I suppose some clarification is in order. 
                                        Objects, such as a hammer or chair do not possess any intrinsic
                                        meaning. The ability you and I have to understand these objects and
                                        the world around us occurs in the dynamic processes of the mind and
                                        organic sensations and are then psychologically assigned to the
                                        realities we experience. So, I think I agree with you that there is
                                        no meaning in the world. I guess this goes to say that human beings,
                                        through the capacity of their mind, are the principle carriers of
                                        meaning. Meaning serves a very human function.

                                        Jessie: I would agree that the mind can be a pattern finding,
                                        organizing device, but that said, not always accurate or benificent.
                                        > Hitler thought he had discerned "meaning" in his theories of the
                                        value of humans, but he was, IMHO, quite wrong.

                                        A.L.B.B. Yes, that is for sure.



                                        Hello ALBB

                                        There are times when I have found meaning within myself, and many times when I have not.
                                        Although Sartre speaks of responsibility, and Camus of creating our own reality, I find the world an extremely limited place for humans.
                                        My personal theory for the existence of the human race, is that we have a well developed memory that confers survival value.  This makes the human race accidental survivors.

                                        Jessie


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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