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Re: Building a better nothing

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  • Mary
    Jim, You re not the first person unable to follow my train wrecks of thought. I m a scattered, skewed thinker, and some of my writing has been rightly
    Message 1 of 77 , Mar 22, 2013
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      Jim,

      You're not the first person unable to follow my train wrecks of thought. I'm a scattered, skewed thinker, and some of my writing has been rightly described as convulsive. This randomness of thoughts requires effort putting into words, so when editing, and for the sake of brevity, further explanation is justifiably requested.

      My other problem thinking and communicating is a tendency to put the implications cart before the logical conceptual horse, but this is probably due to my pragmatic side. For the sake of cognitive harmony and personal integrity, it's important that my thoughts and actions agree. When I pursue an interest it has personal value for me, and I'm learning to overlook an author's style and and not judge their biography in order to glean kernels. Nobody is right or wrong about everything, even Wil or Bookdoc. I assume everyone's opinions are educated to one degree or another and prefer arguing points to insulting. Neither academic language nor wicked wit bother me; I find them both challenging and counterpoint to my rather bland offerings. Or maybe it's just my annoying nurturing personality which wants to draw out everyone's unique contribution...

      Because Nothing is a concept which we don't experience (live) the same way we experience Being, basing a philosophy and actions upon this concept isn't logical or valid. But the desire to create an absence, a nothing, or a void within being and the need to demonstrate and/or merge with this nothing is firstly a value. Secondly, nothing must be something if it can be negated. I think nihilism is based on fear and anger for the common meaning of nothing, death and absence, not the philosophical concept of nothing. If nothing is something and does have being, then 'building a better nothing' involves commitment and valuation. Ramifications of the concept can be discussed and further determinations of the 'nature' of nothing can be theorized. But this isn't what a nihilist wants; a nihilist wants to destroy, to negate all. He wants to negate everything except theoretical nothing.

      It may be argued we don't experience Being either, that it too is only a concept??

      Is there a 'beginning' before the Nothing/Being split? Is the claim that a search for such strictly requires the scientific as opposed to ontological approach valid? Why is ontology equated with theology? Is the presupposition of a vacuum before the Big Bang more or less equal to an ontological less-than-nothing presupposition?

      Camus proposed that all we can do is absurdly commit to being. The committed nihilist (overtly and subtly) murders or commits suicide in protest of, or unity with, the Nothing he believes exists. When I look at the problems threatening the world today, it's easy to determine who the real nihilists are, regardless of the ideological masks they hide behind.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary,
      >
      > I don't really understand your train of thought in this post, and how considerations of being and nothingness can lead to the conclusion that nihilism is invalid.
      >
      > I wonder if thinking of nothingness as absence can help bring out the way being and nothing complement each other.
      >
      > I seem to recall Sartre saying that on a particular visit to one of his regular cafe locations what stuck him most was not anything present, but rather the absence of a certain individual who was usually there.
      >
      > This made me think that I now appreciate seeing my children, when I do see them, much more than in the past, because most of the time they are not around these days, so the contrast between absence and presence makes the time when we are together that much more significant.
      >
      > So nothingness (or absence or lack) can enhance being (when someone is present).
      >
      > Similarly the being of constant noise can make those times when my flat is completely quiet and still very rewarding experiences.
      >
      > Jim
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Something close to us is personal, at least to my way of thinking.
      > >
      > > Nothingness is the absence of a thing if that 'thing' is being. Nothingness is opposed to being, a contradiction of being. Nothingness and being are equal as opposed concepts and equally subject to negation. They are unequal when determined, explained, or 'built'. A better nothing is possible conceptually.
      > >
      > > We experience the concept of nothingness but experience only being. Is it fair to say nothingness is imaginary or theoretical, and if so, why does it matter to existentialism? I think it matters, because nihilism is then arguably invalid. If nothingness is merely a logical possibility, being is the only thing that matters.
      > >
      > > Everything has being, even the thought of nothingness.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      >
    • wsindarius
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8751648669/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8752770770/in/photostream ... From: hermit crab
      Message 77 of 77 , May 18, 2013
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        http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8751648669/in/photostream

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8752770770/in/photostream







        -----Original Message-----
        From: hermit crab <hermitcrab65@...>
        To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sat, May 18, 2013 7:23 pm
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Building a better nothing (Wil sees Krauss)






        Very interesting, Wil. I kept wondering how it went. Good thing he didn't
        start spouting off about philosophers, eh? :-D Thank you for the update.
        The first link worked but the second one did not.

        h.

        On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM, <eupraxis@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > Hello H,
        >
        > Yes, sorry for my silence. The Krauss talk was nearly identical to others
        > of recent vintage that you can see on YouTube, but he did lay off
        > philosophy a bit and concentrate his sarcasm on Republicans, the South (I
        > am in New Orleans) and string theorists. I got some nice photos of him and
        > said hello (I was part of an invited group, NOSHA). He was pleasant, in
        > that almost-smug way.
        >
        > http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil_sinda/8669528519/in/photostream
        >
        >
        > https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152796725025424&set=a.10152392005530424.946669.654825423&type=3&theater
        >
        > Wil
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: existlist <hermitcrab65@...>
        > To: existlist <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Sat, May 18, 2013 9:04 am
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: Building a better nothing (Wil sees Krauss)
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        > > Response: As I said, I like Krauss' book and I like him, especially his
        > talks. In fact, he will be here in a few weeks to discuss this very book,
        > and I will be present. My problem with his statements has nothing to do
        > with his manner of doing science; it has to do with his unfortunate
        > dismissal of philosophy and his misunderstanding of ontology.
        >
        > ===Wil,
        > I have been waiting patiently to hear how this meetup went.
        > Please report. :)
        >
        > h.
        >
        >

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