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Re: [existlist] Re: Down the rabbit hole

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  • Herman
    Mary, Hatred, like certainty, is a possible way of living one s moment, of being in situation. There isn t a need to live any moment in any particular way, yet
    Message 1 of 171 , Jan 8, 2010
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      Mary,

      Hatred, like certainty, is a possible way of living one's moment, of
      being in situation. There isn't a need to live any moment in any
      particular way, yet each moment is lived with an attitude toward it.
      Whichever attitude is adopted from moment to moment becomes
      intelligible through, and indeed lays bare, an underlying value system
      that precedes the attitude. The adoption of the attitude is justified
      by the ethics that are in place. Does it need to be that way? As long
      as there is a meaningful distinction between an act and an event, I'd
      say yes. And whether an action is considered normal or not depends
      entirely on the value system of the group in the context of which that
      act takes place.

      Perhaps I am attempting to define, but that would be in an effort to
      "make intelligible". In that I am not alone. In fact, I doubt very
      much that any adult lives their moments without some attempt from time
      to time to causally connect the dots. One does not experience
      causation, one understands it. I don't need to have been there
      witnessing my parents copulating in order to understand that I am the
      fruit of their loins. And the same applies to them, and their parents
      etc, in a regression that has no beginning.

      Would you also agree that chemical processes are the foundation for
      pleasure and pain?

      Polly


      2010/1/9 Mary <josephson45r@...>:
      > Polly, you write this with some certainty. Does hatred need to be justified? Is it normal, not normal? Aren't you attempting to define? Have you been there along the unwinding genome road? I suppose you can say you were the road and the terminus, but have you consciously experienced it all? I agree that chemical processes are the foundation of being, but that doesn't imply ethics. Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> I find it scary that we share the same planet, though I take some
      >> comfort from the thousands of miles of distance that separate us. I
      >> have never used acid in my life. Your inability to merely observe,
      >> coupled with the alacrity with which you find justifications for your
      >> hatred in every corner, are alarming.
      >>
      >> BTW, I don't negatively judge people who use chemical means to
      >> experience an altered state of mind.The very fact that it is possible
      >> to do so relies on the fact that there are receptors in the body for
      >> those chemicals. In the long and winding road of our genome there has
      >> never been a default state of consciousness. There have only been
      >> societies attempting to define by force what should variously be
      >> considered normal.
      >>
      >> Ho Hum. And so the dialectic rolls on.
      >>
      >> Polly
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • Jim
      Hi Polly, You write: Philosophy, if it is not reflected in what people do, is more akin to armchair trivia. Socrates philosophy was to drink hemlock when
      Message 171 of 171 , Jan 28, 2010
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        Hi Polly,

        You write:

        "Philosophy, if it is not reflected in what people do, is more akin to armchair trivia. Socrates' philosophy was to drink hemlock when push came to shove; all conceptual thinking notwithstanding."

        Yes, I completely agree with your first sentence. I certainly try to act in line with my philosophical views which combine elements of virtue ethics with existentialism.

        Socrates certainly lived his philosophy. He drank the hemlock as he argued that it was the just thing to do, rather than save his skin by escaping the death sentence passed on him by the Athenian Justice System.

        Unlike you, I have a very high opinion of Socrates who was courageous enough to speak out and act as he felt he should, even when it was dangerous for him to do so.

        In my last post to you, I wrote:

        "I am interested in the sort of questions Socrates asked. I am primarily interested in the two questions: "What am I?" and "How should I live?" I am certainly not interested in the question "What is a question?".

        You replied:

        "That's fine, of course. It does however mean you will not be able to come anywhere near Descartes or his method of doubt, or proceed beyond him. Or in other words, you are rather fond of your ideal, a priori world, and you fully intend to cling to it for dear life."

        I am not sure why you say that I have an "ideal, a priori world, and … fully intend to cling to it for dear life." My ethical views are a posteriori, as they are based on my experience of what actions and attitudes cause human beings either benefit or harm.

        I am not sure what "a priori" beliefs you are thinking of.

        You suggest that to be consistent with my own outlook, I need to put some time and effort investigating the question "What is a question?"

        However, I think if I did spend time studying this question, I would be guilty of the "armchair trivia" you rightly criticise above. Further, I have already said that I know what a question is. Why should I spend time and effort examining a phenomenon I already fully understand?

        Philosophy, in my view, is all about starting off with the things one knows, and trying to learn significant things one does not know, all the while applying one's knowledge in one's actions in the world.

        As I say above, I am not aware of clinging to unexamined attitudes and beliefs "for dear life", but if you and others think I am guilty of that so be it.

        It seems to me that you do not favour asking philosophical questions, nor trying to provide philosophical answers. Such conceptual activity only prevents the person from gaining uncluttered access to the real.

        You criticise Socrates, but surely you must criticise all philosophers (including all existentialists) for promoting the very thing you think is most harmful to human beings – conceptual thinking.

        Jim
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