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Difference

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  • shadowed_statue
    The idea that existentialism has a long and branching future ahead is quite an exciting one. My years at the list have shown me how differentiated are the
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 30, 2009
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      The idea that existentialism has a long and branching future ahead is quite an exciting one. My years at the list have shown me how differentiated are the many existences who have grappled, independently, with the founding texts of our philosophical traditions, that arguably go back even further than the Ancient Greeks, to the Egyptians, for instance, and to whomsoever has recorded for posterity the thoughts of a human life engaged in bringing the springs of action to the light of consciousness, and reflection.

      Seen in this context, my remarks to Dick, of which he made complaint in post 48552, were unfair. I ought to discriminate between the reality of another's existential lifework, and my own feelings in regard to the spirit in which they protest, when their narratives and arguments are subjected to criticism and questioning. At the very least, I can take Dick at his own description, as a Pragmatic Existentialist, and hope that such disagreements as we may have are in friendly spirit. My lack of robustness gives me trouble, at times, in making out meanings amid a fog of turbulent emotion.

      That politics has a legitimate relationship to existential thought is a most significant new perception for me, whose luminaries (with the possible exception of Heidegger) have tended to be quite unpolitical in the conduct of their lives, and poetical, as well as philosophical, in their range of styles. It is arguable, though, whether John Tyndall, for instance, was a contemporary existentialist, and certainly the continuing controversy of "racism" is a debate full of sound and fury, which would benefit from the kind of cool, intense passion characteristic of his writing and of his entire commitment to the cause of his nation and mine, a nation whose history and cultures it seems to me is quite difficult for Americans without personal experience of life in Britain, to apprehend. In our closeness we are by no means always at one.

      This afternoon I am feeling a little closer to the spirit of England than I have for many weeks past, borne up by the mysterious experience, however repetitive some of its outward elements, of communal worship. The human mind has enduring possibilities for deficient functioning, for lack of self-awareness, and so on, and the precision of accumulated knowledge enshrined in the public prayers and creeds of the Anglican Church remain like a lifeline to one of my sensibility, apt to loss of individuation. The stones and the stained glass play their part also, quite a surprising augmentation for my own spiritual quest, coming as I do from that nonconformist background which looks for the light of God in every man, whilst casting a sceptic eye on the "steeple-houses" of the land. I plant my staff firmly on existlist territory again, and declare war on bad faith. Like the Kingdom of Heaven, it is to be found within.

      Louise
    • William
      Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again. If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you
      Message 2 of 21 , Apr 3, 2010
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        Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
        If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
        Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
        Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
      • Jim
        Bill, You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don t
        Message 3 of 21 , Apr 3, 2010
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          Bill,

          You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don't let them dupe you!

          Jim




          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
          >
          > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
          > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
          > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
          > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
          >
        • eupraxis@aol.com
          Jim, I usually try to make a distinction between ethics and morality, I think similarly to, say, Ethik and Sittlichkeit in German. While both concern conduct
          Message 4 of 21 , Apr 3, 2010
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            Jim,

            I usually try to make a distinction between ethics and morality, I think similarly to, say, Ethik and Sittlichkeit in German. While both concern conduct and self-examination, morality more nearly infers something discursive and prejudiced, metaphysical and religious/taboo-like. Also, "ethics" seems to be a more general concept which may or may not include morality as a subcategory. In that sense I, too, claim to be an amoralist, while I also see ethics as necessary. I follow Nietzsche and other post-Kantians in that respect.

            Wil


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sat, Apr 3, 2010 6:45 pm
            Subject: [existlist] Re: Difference




            Bill,

            You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don't let them dupe you!

            Jim

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
            >
            > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
            > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
            > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
            > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
            >









            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jim
            Wil, Yes, I was not completely happy with the word `morality in my reply to Bill, but I could not come up with a better word. Bernard Williams in his
            Message 5 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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              Wil,

              Yes, I was not completely happy with the word `morality' in my reply to Bill, but I could not come up with a better word.

              Bernard Williams in his excellent book "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy" also makes the distinction you make.

              From memory Nietzsche sometimes talks of replacing the old slave/Christian morality with a "new morality" as part of his re-evaluation of all values. One key element for Nietzsche was that any new morality would not apply to everyone, rather each `type' of person would have a morality appropriate to his/her type.

              The point I wanted to make to Bill, was that ethical truths do not have to be tied to the existence of a God, or something `value-giving' outside of human life. As I said to Bill, this is a widely accepted view which Christians push strongly, but is also accepted by many atheists. (Such atheists would be `passive nihilists' in Nietzsche's terminology.)

              For myself, ethical truths supervene on facts about human beings (and possibly animals too, and the environment). It is because we are the kind of rational, sentient animals that we are that, for example, it is better to be kind than it is to be cruel, or, that it is better that adults do not have sex with children.

              So, my view is that because human beings are the sort of beings they are, there are ethical truths which apply to the human realm, `objective values', if you will.

              My guess is that your position is further to the non-realist end of the spectrum than mine.

              Jim
            • eupraxis@aol.com
              Jim, Thanks. Nietzsche usually uses the German Moral for morality. In Genealogy, when he counterpoises slave morality ( Sklaven-Moral ) to either
              Message 6 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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                Jim,

                Thanks.

                Nietzsche usually uses the German "Moral" for morality. In Genealogy, when he counterpoises slave morality ("Sklaven-Moral") to either aristocratic or 'new' morality, he does so in the same manner in which I would say, "my religion is listening to music", or something like that -- in other words, not in the same voice as in the prior technical sense. I do not have the time to go through all of the relevant German texts to see if this is the practice throughout, but I suspect so.

                This complicates the matter for us, as it would have been more convenient if Nietzsche had offered us a ready-made vehicle to understand the radicality of difference between morality as metaphysical comfort (as he says in Birth of Tragedy) and the 'morality' of the transvaluer or Ubermensch. Nevertheless, it is readily clear that such a new morality would not be a metaphysical one, in either the religious or Kantian sense. The former is clear enough, I think. Against Kant, Nietzsche characterizes his approach as that of a civil servant whose purpose is to write ever more general ordinances. It is as if Kant were performing the same act of appropriation as the Church, but without God -- as if he had refined the matter to its very logic. (Hegel saw early on that Kant's formalism was itself a hidden "faith".)

                I agree with you that ethics, properly understood (a phrase that would need refinement, I admit), needn't -- and, in fact, shouldn't -- be something external or supplemental to human life, assuming that we are limiting ourselves to humans. (Kant did not make that limitation, extending the imperative to all rational beings, whatsoever.) On those grounds, I also reject a good deal of "evolutionary psychology", which seems always to make of human behavior a programme of sublime utility.

                I recent months, I have had the occasion to reread some 19 Century American philosophy, specifically "Pragmatism" or "Pragmaticism" (James, Pierce). James seems to anticipate something like a phenomenological basis for ethics, as well as a neo-Aristotelian notion of "care of the self". Pierce sees human activity as semiotic, as signs relating to signs, and thus in a way anticipates Lacan and others. All of which only means that, yes, we can investigate the subject of ethics without recourse to God, and we should do so, since we are always subject to that question and its deformations.

                Wil









                -----Original Message-----
                From: Jim <jjimstuart1@...>
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, Apr 4, 2010 4:41 am
                Subject: [existlist] Re: Difference




                Wil,

                Yes, I was not completely happy with the word `morality' in my reply to Bill, but I could not come up with a better word.

                Bernard Williams in his excellent book "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy" also makes the distinction you make.

                From memory Nietzsche sometimes talks of replacing the old slave/Christian morality with a "new morality" as part of his re-evaluation of all values. One key element for Nietzsche was that any new morality would not apply to everyone, rather each `type' of person would have a morality appropriate to his/her type.

                The point I wanted to make to Bill, was that ethical truths do not have to be tied to the existence of a God, or something `value-giving' outside of human life. As I said to Bill, this is a widely accepted view which Christians push strongly, but is also accepted by many atheists. (Such atheists would be `passive nihilists' in Nietzsche's terminology.)

                For myself, ethical truths supervene on facts about human beings (and possibly animals too, and the environment). It is because we are the kind of rational, sentient animals that we are that, for example, it is better to be kind than it is to be cruel, or, that it is better that adults do not have sex with children.

                So, my view is that because human beings are the sort of beings they are, there are ethical truths which apply to the human realm, `objective values', if you will.

                My guess is that your position is further to the non-realist end of the spectrum than mine.

                Jim









                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • William
                Message 7 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Bill,
                  >
                  > You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don't let them dupe you!
                  >
                  > Jim
                  > Not my mistake ,Jim. I know the wisard is a fake. Morality only exists if you are dumb enough to believe in it. WRH
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                  > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                  > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                  > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                  > >
                  >
                • William
                  We have been through the morals-ethics comparison many times. The whole argument is about who makes the rules. I will make my own rules as long as I can get
                  Message 8 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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                    We have been through the morals-ethics comparison many times. The whole argument is about who makes the rules.
                    I will make my own rules as long as I can get away with it. When I cant I will give the other as little as possible. The lion does not handicap himself when he hunts the wildebeast.
                    Be assured the bureaucrats and business slime give you no breaks when they have you by the throat. This is a bad ass world and we all get eaten in the end. Silly morality and ethics will do nothing to change that. Get a good portion and have a good time until the coup de gras.
                    I just bought a perspective logo. It shows the Milky Way and an arrow points to "You are here" . I buy into that perspective as insugnificant as that makes me. WRH
                  • tom
                    Bill, You wrote ... In one way, we are all in competition with each other for food, water etc., but there is also the element of cooperation of many different
                    Message 9 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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                      Bill,

                      You wrote

                      > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                      > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                      > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                      > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen?

                      In one way, we are all in competition with each other for food, water etc., but there is also the element of cooperation of many different people that brings us most of the goods and services that we use. As I understand it, one celled organisms form colonies for more effective food hunting and gathering parties, and so on. Generally, it appears that some form of ethics are imbedded in the genetic code. Usually, animals don't eat other members of their pack, and athletic contests for breeding privileges are usually limited so neither animal is likely to die or be seriously wounded.

                      Peace,
                      Tom
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: William
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2010 12:32 PM
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: Difference





                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Bill,
                      >
                      > You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don't let them dupe you!
                      >
                      > Jim
                      > Not my mistake ,Jim. I know the wisard is a fake. Morality only exists if you are dumb enough to believe in it. WRH
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                      > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                      > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                      > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                      > >
                      >





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • William
                      ... In watching The Pacific American whites fell right in with Aussie women after Guaddacanal. So I agree ,Tom, the tribal mateing customs seem to become
                      Message 10 of 21 , Apr 4, 2010
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                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Bill,
                        >
                        > You wrote
                        >
                        > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                        > > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                        > > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                        > > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen?
                        >
                        > In one way, we are all in competition with each other for food, water etc., but there is also the element of cooperation of many different people that brings us most of the goods and services that we use. As I understand it, one celled organisms form colonies for more effective food hunting and gathering parties, and so on. Generally, it appears that some form of ethics are imbedded in the genetic code. Usually, animals don't eat other members of their pack, and athletic contests for breeding privileges are usually limited so neither animal is likely to die or be seriously wounded.
                        >
                        > Peace,
                        > Tom
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: William
                        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2010 12:32 PM
                        > Subject: [existlist] Re: Difference
                        > Tom, The use of the idea of mateing priviledges would take me back to celtic custom. Since the celts have exploded all over the world it seems my ancestors had it well in hand. There are more Chinese but they are well pinned in. I just came back from highly white man land. Sure there were orientals and even arabs but fewer first generation mixes than I expected. The Uof I people seemed white, rich and generally happy. That town is Scots/Irish and runs like a well oiled clock. WE actually saw students on dates. They were quiet, reserved and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
                        In watching "The Pacific" American whites fell right in with Aussie women after Guaddacanal. So I agree ,Tom, the tribal mateing customs seem to become genetically linked. We pick first what we were but settle for further estranged partners when pressed. They wouldnt let us near the girls after 8th grade, the attractions were just too strong. It was madly anti mateing from there on. They kept us apart and forbade sex. I guess it was somewhat more permissive than the Spartans but we still had to sneak and connive to get near the women. Now that we suspect the young do not have a mature brain until 27 or later. You do not have to be mature to reproduce so where does that leave civil marriage, divorice and that old stand by mannogamy? The church just profits from the hormonal discrepancys in the marriage game. Six years before you are competant you are to make a life long commitment. It`s nuts and fifty percent of the time it fails. I refer to CSNY and the not so radical,"Change Partners". WRH
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Bill,
                        > >
                        > > You make a very common mistake. You think that there can only be morality if God exists. This mistake is one the Christians want you to believe. Don't let them dupe you!
                        > >
                        > > Jim
                        > > Not my mistake ,Jim. I know the wisard is a fake. Morality only exists if you are dumb enough to believe in it. WRH
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                        > > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                        > > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                        > > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • George
                        Amen, brother. In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and Jim...a world bracketted by
                        Message 11 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                          Amen, brother.

                          In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and Jim...a world bracketted by oblivion before and after our infinitesimally insignificant births and deaths...morality is merely an existential contraption invented by mortal daseins.

                          That's why we invented God and Humanism, in turn. They are but psychological defense mechanisms that allow us to believe our lives, our behaviors, our value judgments are necessary when they are anything but necessary at all.

                          biggie

                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                          > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                          > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                          > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                          >
                        • Mary
                          Welcome back!
                          Message 12 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                            Welcome back!

                            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "George" <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Amen, brother.
                            >
                            > In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and Jim...a world bracketted by oblivion before and after our infinitesimally insignificant births and deaths...morality is merely an existential contraption invented by mortal daseins.
                            >
                            > That's why we invented God and Humanism, in turn. They are but psychological defense mechanisms that allow us to believe our lives, our behaviors, our value judgments are necessary when they are anything but necessary at all.
                            >
                            > biggie
                            >
                            > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                            > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                            > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                            > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                            > >
                            >
                          • William
                            Message 13 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Welcome back!
                              >
                              > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "George" <iambiguously@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Amen, brother.
                              > >
                              > > In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and Jim...a world bracketted by oblivion before and after our infinitesimally insignificant births and deaths...morality is merely an existential contraption invented by mortal daseins.
                              > >
                              > > That's why we invented God and Humanism, in turn. They are but psychological defense mechanisms that allow us to believe our lives, our behaviors, our value judgments are necessary when they are anything but necessary at all.
                              > >
                              > > biggie
                              > > All right! Biggie. It will be good to have an existential voice back. The group has drifted toward preexistential simplicity and nonexistential moralisms. You could be the laxitive this stuffed gut needs. WRH
                              > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                              > > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                              > > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                              > > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • Jim
                              Hi biggie, I agree that from a point of view at the end of the universe, or even outside the universe, human life on earth is but a meaningless spec. However,
                              Message 14 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                Hi biggie,

                                I agree that from a point of view at the end of the universe, or even outside the universe, human life on earth is but a meaningless spec.

                                However, the outside-of-the-universe point of view is not the only point of view. Each of us has our own subjective point of view, and these points of view clash on an internet forum like this one.

                                There is also a third point of view. This is a point of view from within human life, but not tied to any one person. Perhaps one could call it the point of view of humanity.

                                It is from this human perspective that the ethical comes into view. Anyone who is capable of abstracting away from their own personal perspective, and has a sensitivity to what makes for flourishing human lives, and what makes for damaged, painful human lives, can take up this point of view.

                                From this point of view ethical truths can come into view, such truths as "it is better to be kind than it is to be cruel" or "it is better if adults do not have sex with children".

                                The point of view from outside the universe, which you presuppose, is a fully objective point of view. The point of view of the single individual is a fully subjective point of view. The point of view of humanity has both objective and subjective elements, sharing characteristics of the other two points of view.

                                This point of view is rejected by Bill and Mary because, in my view, they are scientistic, that is, they believe that the only truths there are are those of the sciences. Perhaps you also believe that if science cannot measure it, it doesn't exist.

                                Jim
                              • Mary
                                Jim, I conclude that you have understood nothing of my latest attempt at dialog. How is my interest in thought as a system remotely scientistic. If anything,
                                Message 15 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                  Jim, I conclude that you have understood nothing of my latest attempt at dialog. How is my interest in thought as a system remotely scientistic. If anything, it is holistic. But never you mind, I'm comfortable absurdly drifting between the shores of hope and acceptance.
                                • Jim
                                  Hi Mary, I am sorry I have shown my lack of understanding of your recent posts. I had thought that you were looking to science to help come up with the new
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                    Hi Mary,

                                    I am sorry I have shown my lack of understanding of your recent posts.

                                    I had thought that you were looking to science to help come up with the new model for thought that you are looking/hoping for.

                                    As a matter of interest one can be both scientistic and holistic. In fact Quine held such a position.

                                    Anyway, I am pleased to hear that you reject scientism, I am only sorry I did not gather that from your recent posts.

                                    Jim
                                  • Mary
                                    No worries, Jim. You ve been patient and engaged in a difficult dialog. What has me presently interested in Bohm s unpopular tilting at assumptions about
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                      No worries, Jim. You've been patient and engaged in a difficult dialog. What has me presently interested in Bohm's unpopular tilting at assumptions about thought is that although he takes his cue from quantum non-locality, he fully expects that creativity and imagination of the artistic kind will begin transforming our system of thought. In Quine's appropriation of Neurath's boat, he reinforces how daunting a task is epistemology. I realize that I change attitude or position as inexplicably as an electron.As much as I'd hate to conclude this, it is perhaps merely indulgence and distraction from the horrors in this world.

                                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi Mary,
                                      >
                                      > I am sorry I have shown my lack of understanding of your recent posts.
                                      >
                                      > I had thought that you were looking to science to help come up with the new model for thought that you are looking/hoping for.
                                      >
                                      > As a matter of interest one can be both scientistic and holistic. In fact Quine held such a position.
                                      >
                                      > Anyway, I am pleased to hear that you reject scientism, I am only sorry I did not gather that from your recent posts.
                                      >
                                      > Jim
                                      >
                                    • Jim
                                      Thanks, Mary. Yes, I also feel sometimes that doing philosophy and contributing to Existlist can be a comforting retreat from the difficulties of everyday life
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                        Thanks, Mary.

                                        Yes, I also feel sometimes that doing philosophy and contributing to Existlist can be a comforting retreat from the difficulties of everyday life and the disharmony in the world.

                                        Jim



                                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > No worries, Jim. You've been patient and engaged in a difficult dialog. What has me presently interested in Bohm's unpopular tilting at assumptions about thought is that although he takes his cue from quantum non-locality, he fully expects that creativity and imagination of the artistic kind will begin transforming our system of thought. In Quine's appropriation of Neurath's boat, he reinforces how daunting a task is epistemology. I realize that I change attitude or position as inexplicably as an electron.As much as I'd hate to conclude this, it is perhaps merely indulgence and distraction from the horrors in this world.
                                        >
                                      • George
                                        Thanks. I pop into existlist from time to time. I enjoy the discussions. Not many really intelligent ones are left in this increasingly barren, ersatz world of
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Apr 6, 2010
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                                          Thanks.

                                          I pop into existlist from time to time. I enjoy the discussions. Not many really intelligent ones are left in this increasingly barren, ersatz world of pop culture, mindless consumption and celebrity worship.

                                          Mostly though I do my philosophizing these days over at ephilosopher.com. My handle there is "neither/nor". Lots of Kantians in that place.

                                          I, uh, feast on them. ; o )

                                          biggie


                                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Welcome back!
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "George" <iambiguously@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Amen, brother.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and Jim...a world bracketted by oblivion before and after our infinitesimally insignificant births and deaths...morality is merely an existential contraption invented by mortal daseins.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > That's why we invented God and Humanism, in turn. They are but psychological defense mechanisms that allow us to believe our lives, our behaviors, our value judgments are necessary when they are anything but necessary at all.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > biggie
                                          > > > All right! Biggie. It will be good to have an existential voice back. The group has drifted toward preexistential simplicity and nonexistential moralisms. You could be the laxitive this stuffed gut needs. WRH
                                          > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Sorry Jim, your christianity is showing again.
                                          > > > > If as you say you are an athiest who is all this mewing responsibility directed to? It is correctness you worship and that arises from your lingering attachment to gawd.
                                          > > > > Now I know the crap you will give me,responsibility to others,responsibility to society, responsibility to country, humanistic responsibility. Bunk!
                                          > > > > Are you not as important as the other slobs running loose on this rock? Do you not know you are in direct competition with them ,with me, for food water ,oxygen? You are no eternal being, you will be gone in a few short years. No one will long remember you or what stupid altruisms you shat out in your monastic life. You have just replaced your grand responsibility for your apriori gawd. Grow up! WRH
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • fictiveparrot
                                          ... How does one know for certain that there is meaningless in existence? Now don t go telling me that I am thinking the opposite and that I am arguing for
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Apr 13, 2010
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                                            > In an essentially absurd and meaningless world...a world
                                            > of infinitesimally insignificant specks like you and I and
                                            > Jim...a world bracketted by oblivion before and after our
                                            > infinitesimally insignificant births and deaths...morality
                                            > is merely an existential contraption invented by mortal
                                            > daseins.

                                            How does one know for certain that there is 'meaningless' in existence? Now don't go telling me that I am thinking the opposite and that I am arguing for meaning. I am merely wondering -- as I have been these past oh 9 years on the list -- how one states anything with absolute certainty.

                                            But one step beyond wondering about knowing is wondering still about the stigma placed on lacking meaning. Meaning, say, is missing -- as an assumption no less profound than other assumptions people like to make -- and instead of remorse, quietly accept without certainty and with the possibility of revising in the future that meaning may not be part of the soup.

                                            What have you lost? I think it is merely loss of a distraction -- or of some other gawd you have grown to worship.

                                            > That's why we invented God and Humanism, in turn.

                                            Boredom would be more likely for me to invent a gawd than morality. Gawd would be an interest. Interests are interesting. Whether or not I can prove that I am, or that you are, I can define interests -- regardless of what they are attributed to. Interest is not good, it is not bad. It is vaguely and inexplicably 'interesting' until it is not anymore. This could be a biography. It could be a fictional character Andy who calculated the movement of ants. He used hard-dried kernels of corn and glass cups in a format not terribly unlike an abacus. Occasionally he spat. The spitting had less to do with the ants than the tobacco or that which he assumed was tobacco from what he was told that he hung to dry as his uncle had in the barn by the fleece which he thought was to keep off the mold. Yet Andy one morning looking at the ants and the cups and the kernels saw piles and not a calculation. He spat. the ants continued to crawl. his cups continued to hold kernels. but he stopped counting and wondered why. He saw piles and cups and kernels, and whatever was there before that was interesting was not. He could not remember what it was. He dashed the ants under a large rock, and burned the tree where he observed them to the ground. he left out the kernels for the birds, and the cups, simply abandoned amidst the ash. Children found the cups some time later, they filled them with dirt. They wondered why they were there, but never wondered about kernels or ants or Andy. They never saw the tree, and perhaps that would have been a hint. But it is a wonder that they may not even have cared. Andy didn't. But they had fun with the cups just the same. It wasn't nearly ant calculations by any stretch of the imagination. Strangely they did not want to kill Andy; strangely they did not want to be his dog; strangely they played with and abandoned the cups and never once spit. But for whatever time they played, they were interested...and then they were not.

                                            Knott
                                          • Mary
                                            ... I really like this...and the story of Andy and his artifacts. It points to the difficulty of achieving an open mind when there is a continuum of given
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Apr 14, 2010
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                                              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "fictiveparrot" <knott12@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > But one step beyond wondering about knowing is wondering still about the stigma placed on lacking meaning. Meaning, say, is missing -- as an assumption no less profound than other assumptions people like to make -- and instead of remorse, quietly accept without certainty and with the possibility of revising in the future that meaning may not be part of the soup.

                                              I really like this...and the story of Andy and his artifacts. It points to the difficulty of achieving an open mind when there is a continuum of given meaning. The children who came across Andy's abandoned experiment had a luxury few are afforded.

                                              Mary
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