Sunday, January 20, 2019

Stepping Forward

Stepping Forward

Last day we spoke about how equality and reciprocity are the foundation for this built up belief system. The next four are logic and/or reason, reality, wisdom; knowing what is right, and prudence; doing what is right. These six basic concepts go a long way in defining what is right, the good life, and similar concepts of life in a philosophy of life.

Wisdom includes truth, or perhaps truth should be in there specifically. As the system is being developed, additions are to be expected. Truth, correctness is critical in the process, as well as in the system.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs outlines what human needs are, although these have never been proven. The lower ones are self evident, and yet many philosophies ignore the lower ones, likely because most people do not struggle with these. They have "arrived" by the time they start to look at philosophy. And yet we need to understand that we humans are firstly animals, and even if we can mentally arise a basic animal, we still have animal needs that must biologically be met. This puts vegans out to lunch.

These first seven values reject religions, for the most part.  Equality of persons is not part of the three Western Asia Religions, and Eastern religions are also limiting. Western Modren Buddhism may be an exception, however, it too, has issues, with obsession with mediation. That may work fine with a monastery society, but not so well in a lay society. Religions promote inequality, male domination society. We also live in an overpopulated earth, we need also to deal with the reality of life today. Oh well.

I hold that these first seven points are mostly self evident, but more could be written about the need for these later.

To recap: equality, reciprocity, truth, logic and reason, reality, wisdom, prudence are the foundation for a philosophy of life.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Current / Future Philosophy

 Current / Future Philosophy  

So now we know, Lead a happy fulfilling life... but that is circular logic... do what is necessary for a happy contented life will yield a happy contented life.

People are much of my issue, I am happier and more contented if I limit contact. So it is to some extent, we must match our personal social need with our social involvement. A low social person such as I am should not be involved in politics, sales or any high social career. I am better off "at the controls" or as I originally started out, doing, not managing people.

When we look at some of the books written under duress: Marcus Aurelius, Victor Frankel, Boethius, etc. what do we find? These people are talking philosophy, and are mentally lost in philosophy. What a way to live; ignore reality around them and concentrate on philosophy to the point of shutting out the remainder of the world around then and concentrate on one little aspect for the duration. I experienced that degree of concentration/effort/mindfulness for periods of time studying/  computing problem solutions when I was at University, many years ago. The issues of life since then do not create such an intense process solution as did those engineering problem that required long involved processes, the answer evolved out of the process, just like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Keep cranking and the end just came. Not so with philosophy/ethics, the goalpost just keep moving. There are no solutions.

Suppose we started with a solution, and built a philosophy on that. Analysis as much as you like, and it would come back to the starting point, built up logically, one step at a time. So if were to take something like political equality as the starting point, add a touch of reciprocity, and we could create quite an ethical system. First, we need to use something like categorical imperative process, good for one and all, what do we find? In general it seems to agrees with the main historical ethics, but not the contentious bits, like abortion, birth control, LGBT etc. But more on that next day.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

StoBud Philosophy

Both the Stoics and Buddhist claim to offer happiness, contentment, serenity, and the like. When we examine their philosophies, at first they are so different, yet eerily similar in so many areas. Yet looking further, they are not mutually exclusive. So what would a merger of the two look like. Patrick Ussher and Ronald W. Pies, and others have separately explored this.

What would the objective ultimately be? To develop a correct philosophy to live that would produce a flourishing peaceful life. As we know now, it is all about what we think, not about the way it actually is, relative to others. If we are happy sitting on a stump by a fire, and are willing to work enough to keep that fire going, we can be happy. Personally, I need a warm house, enough food, and enough to do to keep my mind off food. My social needs are low but I do need a bit more that I am currently getting... oh well. The internet makes up for that.

Point 1. It is about what we think, our expectations over actual, or our satisfaction index. If the ratio is greater than one, our expectations are less than actual, then we are happy. If the actual does not reach our expectations, the ration is less than one and we are unhappy.

There are two parts to this satisfaction index, the actual which we do not control but only influence, and our expectations, which we have absolute control over, so the Stoics say, and seems to be true. There is no reason that we cannot be happy almost all the time, within reason. We may have periods of adjustment, when we need to adjust our thinking to the new reality.

First we must accept that we are animals first and human second. The physical capacity is limited, we get tired, sick, and in the end we die. We have no control over this, regardless of what high energy hype grues say. There are always those who sell hope and other forms of false information. Reality is the world is filled with evil bastards, and we must avoid these predators, approximately one third of the population. These animal humans do not think of themselves as bad people, if they think about behavior at all. They just take and are happy, greedy, and living off the work of others. They may only be part time evils, but we need to identify and avoid heavy exposure to these, if we are ethical, and hold ethical values.

Point 2, we live in a real evil world time, and all is beyond our control. Both philosophy systems make these points. That which is common to both systems is likely correct, that which is not common is somewhat questionable, or just assumed in the other system. These come from two very different cultures. Any culture has a bunch of common assumed foundation beliefs, and if these are right, these often go unstated, when they are wrong, the philosophy covers it over. Merging two philosophies requires uncovering and merging the assumed unstated foundation beliefs. Therein lies the difficulty.

Monday, January 7, 2019


The religious often say "you cannot be moral because you have no objective moral standards." ... Ahy but neither do you, you have authoritative standards, handed down from old men of history, that you think are objective. They are objective in that you have never questioned them, and often, when looked at, they are rather poor and have no foundation to stand on.

There is no underlying principal such as equality of all people. If we assume that all people are equal, then all opinions are equal... well no, some are more equal than others. At least generate a number of alternatives, generate some criteria to judge them, and evaluate them. What do you find? everything is subjective.

It turns out that often, after evaluation, everything just matches our confirmation basis. We have confirmed our opinion. That is not objective, or is it?

People are equal. The earth is overpopulated. We should have less children until the population gets down to a reasonable level. Unless the sixth extinction occurs. Methyl hydrate fire in the Arctic, putting H2O and Co2 into the atmosphere. "The tundra is burning." When that is the headline, the sixth extinction has begun. It may not be complete. Oh well, the earth will survive. Will humans?

So morals/ethic are important for a dense population so that we can all get along. Family is important, but where does it say that I must be around asshats? Perhaps it should say something like nice family is important, un-nice, well not so much. Dysfunctional is one thing, unfunctional, well that is the luck of the draw, it is time to move on, but what if you are dependent? Suck it up buttercup. You are stuck, but there is always at least one out. We live in an overpopulated world. We cannot look at suicide without looking at the family, from the viewpoint of the offed. But we cannot know, after the fact. Parental emotional abuse is often well hidden from the outside. The abuser often does not consider what they are doing as abuse... There are no standards of behavior between people, within a family.   

So indoctrination into a family way, a culture, a way of behaving, a moral or ethical code, it is all just indoctrination. We stay because, indecision or by choice... well most never look at it. It is not indecision, not choice, but habit. Habit, doing what we have always done, because... well that is what we have always done, and how bad is life anyway...

Friday, December 21, 2018

Burden of Proof
got me thinking, trying to resolve cognitive dissonance of Kant, Plato, and reality. I think I have, and religion still loses. There is no physical god, just the eidos of a god in the mind of the believers. Eidos is a Greek word, the root of idea, but meaning more like an concept. It is like Plato's form, and Kants division of a priori, not physical but realish in our minds, but some of them have real counterparts, some do not. Gods are one that the eidos has no real counterpart.

We can divide our thinking into two main groups of objects, those who represent real objects, and those who have no real counterpart. Those with no real counterpart may have evidence of existence as processes, amplifiers, or have no evidence, as fiction or something else. No evidence suggests it is false. Like gods. It is all that simple.

There is no point arguing with people who have a wrong concept locked in. It is belief that is emotionally tied to their thinking, and must be chipped off, one tentacle at a time. The belief is interlocked with their concept of self. Nothing is going to change their mind until they start to question the belief.

Kant was a philosopher that separated morality and his beliefs, he defined good will as the greatest good, followed by happiness. He realized he was contented with Pietism splinter of Lutharanism, and never explored options; good will and happiness as it was, was sufficient. He did not depend on religion for moral direction, education, medicine, but was content with religion for his social needs. Please note that good will and goodwill are different. Will is about what drives us, while goodwill is a friendly attitude, compassion, charity. We need to have a drive to the good, not just posses virtue but also to act. We can be virtuous and be a hermit, do very little. Or we can be active doing... but all the while maintaining virtue. These are different reproaches.

Kant was famous for splitting knowledge, experience based and a priori. A priori can further be split into real and fiction, with the fiction dropping as trivial, to be "flung on the fire forthwith." That is where the god concept belongs.      

Friday, December 14, 2018

Temporal vs. Sensible

Temporal vs. Sensible

After reading a bit of Plato and Kant, it is clear that there are two worlds, a temporal world and a sensible world. This is an important distinction going forward.

 By temporal I do not mean anything to do with time, but between the temples, and that is the in the brain, not religious structures. For clarity, the temporal world must exist, but represents the sensible world, but has no physical existence, but as we can examine it, share it through communication of ideas, concepts, and the Greek word, eidos to reduce confusion. Eidos is the root of ideas, yet has a more temporal denotation... the original concept of what I am on about here.

The sensible world here is the physical world that we can measure, and sense through the senses. So now that we have two separated "worlds", we can look at each separately. Anything, even god can exist in the temporal world, for the word exists, yet it has no powers beyond those we assign it, and no partner in the sensible world. Pythagoras Theorem exists in the temporal world (tworld), and has a partner in the sensible world (sworld), as many thing do. Not so for gods, fairies, elves, gremlins, satin, etc. That which is not partnered in the sworld, is, well, fake.

Philosophy is work in the tworld, and we must always be sure that it has a partner in the sworld, else, it to, is fake.

This may be the Kant's green glasses.

But not so fast here!! What about the Nominal world of Kant, it that is what he caobjects lled the actual world that is the world that we sense? So now we have three worlds, actual, what we sense, and what we think we sense that resides only in our mind. In the Buddhist tradition there is the Mangala of the Nine objects of a finger pointing at the moon.Is this the same damn thing?