The Futility of Reason

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Nick_A
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » September 18th, 2016, 12:57 pm

Iapetus wrote
It strikes me that your use of Plato’s Cave as part of an explanation contradicts many of the ideas you are trying to employ. The individual who leaves the cave does not suddenly become a philosopher. He (we are in ancient Greece) has had his horizons limited and has had, therefore, to make whatever sense he can of the extremely limited information available to him. His ideas are bound to be speculative because he has no way of confirming them. When he leaves the cave he is suddenly swamped by new information, which he slowly assimilates. In doing so, he begins to change his interpretation of the world. He starts to reject some speculations and to run with others. If he returns to the others in the cave, he brings new observations which they may or may not accept. The point about all this is that, with new observations come new interpretations. As available knowledge increases, so the interpretations can become more precise and sophisticated. Yet we will never have access to complete, universal knowledge, so an element of doubt must, philosophically, remain. We are always, to some extent, ‘in a cave’.
Do you distinguish between adaptation and evolution? If a dog adapts to its surroundings, it doesn’t evolve. It is still the same dog changing its form in relation to its environment. A blind cave fish living in darkness is just a tetra that lost its eyes since it had no need for them. It has adapted to its surroundings It is still a tetra.

If a person acquires more and more knowledge and interprets it into social goals, nothing has evolved. The person has adapted.

Evolution refers to the change of being. A reptile reflects one level of being and a mammal another. For example if a reptile becomes a mammal, then it has evolved. Plato is referring to Man’s conscious evolution rather than adapting to society as it is through more knowledge. The more highly evolved people are, the quality of their being, the more society will reflect the pursuit of the human potential for conscious evolution. Modern education is fixated on acquiring more and more knowledge. How many even know what it means to develop ones being any more much less be involved in the education of ones being? Adaptation is the goal for a given society sustaining itself. Evolution is the goal of a person desiring to become truly human
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Fooloso4
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Fooloso4 » September 18th, 2016, 1:38 pm

Daviddunn:
I propose that we ponder on the story of one of the great Prophets of God, The Almighty, namely Prophet Abraham(peace be upon him).
I would be glad to discuss it with you, only I will not sit through an hour plus video as a precondition of that discussion. Give us a short summary.
Can it sincerely be thought that reason is futile?
Perhaps it can, but you will have to take that up with someone who sincerely thinks so. Apparently Nick_A does. Although I think that someone might sincerely think it can, I think it is a self-refuting claim. Even Nick_A has backed off almost as soon as he made the claim. In fairness, I think that what he has been struggling to articulate is the limits of reason.
But if one does not think for oneself, then others will think for you.
That is true, but I do not think it has ever been any other way. I must admit that I am an elitist, but I do not consider myself a member. I do not think that most of us are willing or able to think for ourselves in any great depth. Our thoughts and beliefs are shaped for us. The best we can do is pick and choose our influences wisely while remaining zetetic skeptics.
Do you notice that the rationale behind this argument of limiting philosophy to a select few, would validly and equally apply to any sphere of human activity.
Plato advocates music and gymnastics as the proper training for the young in the just city, only the proper music and gymnastic activities are determined by their teachers.
The 'select few' argument is not practical and in my humble opinion dangerous.
As far as Plato’s just city, which is identified as “a city in speech”, it is not meant to be a blueprint for an actual city. In other words, it is a way of talking about things that can be shown through the image of the just city. With regard to the actual world the select few are self-selecting. I am not proposing that anyone decide who should and should not study philosophy. I am suggesting that rather than simply dismissing what is said in the Republic we reflect on why he would propose such a thing. Doesn’t it strike you as ironic that the man most responsible for the study of philosophy would say such a thing?
And any scientific inquiry is then just an inquiry into what God, The Almighty has willed the world to be. This can be a very disturbing thought for some people, don’t you agree?
I do not agree with the first part. I do agree with the second, but probably not for the same reason you find it disturbing. I am extremely wary of any talk of the “will of God” unless one means by that what it meant in Job and Ecclesiastes – the incomprehensibility and, in human terms, injustice of what may happen to us.
I have come to the conclusion that the reason he being "messed up by philosophy" …
He did not say that he was messed up by philosophy. I suspect he was referring to certain irrational claims and attitudes that are dismissive of facts, truth, causal relations, and reality, and impose in their place claims about subjectivism, relativism, and power relations that might result from reading philosophy.

Nick_A
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » September 18th, 2016, 3:25 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
Then it must also be the purpose of this thread to suggest that reason cannot affirm objective universal meaning and purpose including Man's purpose within it. And yet that is what you are attempting to do. If objective universal meaning and purpose including Man's purpose within it is discovered through transcendent experience then either affirm that you have had this experience and tell us what you discovered or admit that you have not and are only parroting what others have said about what you do not know because you have not experienced it.

There is a difference between affirming higher meaning and purpose and perceiving the possibility of specific meaning and purpose. Affirmation through the wholeness of experience is the goal. The intellectual experience of a concept is the first step towards affirmation.

The Law of included middle is not a “scientific idea”, it is a system of formal logic. You demonstrated in your last post that you do not understand it. You use it like a magic incantation that can transport you to a higher level of reality.

True, the Law of the Included middle is being used by science to explain quantum mechanics. I use it to explain the Holy Trinity and how God is simultaneously ONE and three. But without first being familiar with levels of reality it only leads to the usual bickering between people of faith and people of reason.

Did you just make this up or are you repeating a well-rehearsed line you read? The fact is, that there have always been mystical ideas popping up in modern science, but when the phenomena they attempt to explain are explained by conventional science without appeal to “higher levels of reality” they are sent to the dust bin of history.

How can a secular scientist limited to binary logic appreciate the triune universe? They would say the idea of a miracle is absurd. This is because binary logic cannot explain it. That is a rather dogmatic attitude.

“Sense something”? Do you mean believe? If not then what?

No I mean intuition
Albert Einstein wrote: "When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge." Elaborating, he added, "All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration.... At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason." Thus, his famous statement that, for creative work in science, "Imagination is more important than knowledge" (Calaprice, 2000, 22, 287, 10).
Do you understand what this means or do you think it sufficient to just cut and paste? If the highest level of being transcends any conceivable reality then it transcends all that you have said and think and believe about it. It transcends Nicolescu’s efforts to understand it.

What makes you think you understand these things better than a man like Dr. Nicolescu? I have written many times that the Source is not limited by time and space which is why the body of god, creation and its levels of reality, are within the Source.

This is exactly what I have been saying to you ever since you introduced Plato’s cave. You claim to be in the cave with the rest of us and yet you talk about what is outside the cave. If that cannot be imagined or described then what you imagine you know about a transcendent reality is nothing but your imagining. And so now you will cut and paste or parrot what someone says about the power of imagination, but will fail to acknowledge that imagination is not transcendence, that all you are doing is describing images on the cave wall of your mind.
I’ve never claimed to be out of the cave. I have suggested that some have an intuitive awareness of a quality of reality and of its value beyond what the world offers. Of course it can be perverted and one of the purposes of an authentic teaching is to keep the impulse pure. You may never have felt what Simone Weil did but that doesn’t mean her intuitive awareness of a higher quality of reality that satisfies the needs of the soul and beyond the limitations of binary logic doesn’t exist.

"To believe in God is not a decision we can make. All we can do is decide not to give our love to false gods. In the first place, we can decide not to believe that the future contains for us an all-sufficient good. The future is made of the same stuff as the present....

"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Fooloso4 » September 18th, 2016, 5:32 pm

Nick_A:
There is a difference between affirming higher meaning and purpose and perceiving the possibility of specific meaning and purpose.
That is true but you are doing much more than saying that it is possible that there is a higher meaning and purpose. Do you acknowledge the possibility that you may be wrong and there is no higher meaning and purpose? If not then you are claiming something more than the perception of a possibility.
The intellectual experience of a concept is the first step towards affirmation.
What does the intellectual experience of a concept mean? If it is the first step toward affirmation then it must at the same time be the first step toward denial since at the first step you do not know what lies ahead.
But without first being familiar with levels of reality it only leads to the usual bickering between people of faith and people of reason.
If you were being logically consistent you would have to say: without being familiar with the concept of the possibility of levels of reality. So, what you are saying is that the Trinity is a possibility, but once again you shift from possibility to affirmation when you say:
I use it to explain the Holy Trinity and how God is simultaneously ONE and three.
So, if you were to be logically consistent you would say you use it to explain the possibility of the Holy Trinity and how the claim that God is simultaneously ONE and three might be true. But that “explanation” is meaningless unless you can first explain the Law of the Included middle, which you have failed to do. Hence, my comment that you use it as a magic incantation. Claiming that it cannot be understood using binary logic is not adequate, since the claim is that it can be understood using tertiary logic. So by all means, please do so.
Albert Einstein wrote:
Where did he write this? You quote someone else about what Einstein allegedly wrote. It has been repeated many times but that does not make it true. What do you think intuitive knowledge means in this quote? How does it differ from absolute knowledge in this quote? How do you explain Einstein's errors? Note that the quote says: “… start from intuitive knowledge”. It is a starting point for the direction of his investigation, not something he declares to be true on the basis of intuition. In other words, such intuition can and sometimes does lead in the wrong direction.
What makes you think you understand these things better than a man like Dr. Nicolescu?
My question was whether YOU understand Nicolescu. You are the one who quoted him, but every specific point at which I question your understanding you either ignore it or demonstrate that you have not understood him.
I have suggested that some have an intuitive awareness of a quality of reality and of its value beyond what the world offers.
The term is sufficiently vague to cover everything from a hunch to direct noetic apprehension. Is it just a “premise” or a “possibility” or just something you feel to be true because of what others have said without knowledge that it is true?

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Iapetus » September 18th, 2016, 5:35 pm

Reply to Nick_A:

Do you distinguish between adaptation and evolution? If a dog adapts to its surroundings, it doesn’t evolve. It is still the same dog changing its form in relation to its environment. A blind cave fish living in darkness is just a tetra that lost its eyes since it had no need for them. It has adapted to its surroundings It is still a tetra.

If a person acquires more and more knowledge and interprets it into social goals, nothing has evolved. The person has adapted.


What on earth has this to do with anything I wrote? I didn’t mention adaptation or evolution. I was talking about using information to refine interpretations of the world. What is the significance of, “interprets it into social goals”? I cannot understand what you are trying to say. You seem to have gone off on your own interpretation without commenting on mine. This sounds like an avoidance strategy.

Evolution refers to the change of being. A reptile reflects one level of being and a mammal another. For example if a reptile becomes a mammal, then it has evolved. Plato is referring to Man’s conscious evolution rather than adapting to society as it is through more knowledge. The more highly evolved people are, the quality of their being, the more society will reflect the pursuit of the human potential for conscious evolution. Modern education is fixated on acquiring more and more knowledge. How many even know what it means to develop ones being any more much less be involved in the education of ones being?



I’m sorry, but I can’t make sense of this. If you know anything about Plato’s cave, then you must understand that it is open to many interpretations, some of which conflict. Yours is not the only one. Your reference to evolution is obviously not what I was talking about. I made no reference to ‘adapting to society’, as you well know. I was trying to explain about responses to available information and you have not responded to this. If you understand what is meant by, “The more highly evolved people are, the quality of their being, the more society will reflect the pursuit of the human potential for conscious evolution” then I certainly do not. The same goes for, “develop ones being”. It sounds as if it should mean something but I have no idea what. Is “the pursuit of the human potential for conscious evolution” another ‘purpose’ which you have dreamed up? If you cannot respond to my points, please do not try to avoid them by making different, spurious claims.

Adaptation is the goal for a given society sustaining itself. Evolution is the goal of a person desiring to become truly human



Apart from being it entirely irrelevant, I am intrigued by your reference to ”a person desiring to become truly human”. Is the implication that some people are not entirely human? What do you mean by this? Are you able to distinguish between those who are entirely human and those who are not?

I tried to limit the range of what I was saying and I even summed up my argument; The point about all this is that, with new observations come new interpretations. As available knowledge increases, so the interpretations can become more precise and sophisticated. Yet we will never have access to complete, universal knowledge, so an element of doubt must, philosophically, remain. We are always, to some extent, ‘in a cave’.

Since you have not commented on this, you have not responded to my argument.

Nick_A
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » September 18th, 2016, 9:43 pm

Iapetus wrote:
What on earth has this to do with anything I wrote? I didn’t mention adaptation or evolution. I was talking about using information to refine interpretations of the world. What is the significance of, “interprets it into social goals”? I cannot understand what you are trying to say. You seem to have gone off on your own interpretation without commenting on mine. This sounds like an avoidance strategy.
What is the goal of refining interpretations of the world? What purpose should these refinements serve?
Apart from being it entirely irrelevant, I am intrigued by your reference to ”a person desiring to become truly human”. Is the implication that some people are not entirely human? What do you mean by this? Are you able to distinguish between those who are entirely human and those who are not?
A truly human being is awake. I have not met such a person but have experienced that I can be either more or less conscious depending upon circumstances. If human consciousness is relative it means that a person can awaken and be truly human.
The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?- Thoreau, Walden
I tried to limit the range of what I was saying and I even summed up my argument; The point about all this is that, with new observations come new interpretations. As available knowledge increases, so the interpretations can become more precise and sophisticated. Yet we will never have access to complete, universal knowledge, so an element of doubt must, philosophically, remain. We are always, to some extent, ‘in a cave’.
I agree. The point I’m making by referring to conscious evolution is that even if you had all universal knowledge you’d still be in Plato’s cave because knowledge by itself doesn’t create a human perspective and that is the futility of reason.

-- Updated Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:38 pm to add the following --

Fooloso4 wrote:
That is true but you are doing much more than saying that it is possible that there is a higher meaning and purpose. Do you acknowledge the possibility that you may be wrong and there is no higher meaning and purpose? If not then you are claiming something more than the perception of a possibility.

Yes it is possible. However for a person who has the heart felt need to experience meaning and purpose it would be foolish to give up the search just because it is potentially hopeless.


What does the intellectual experience of a concept mean? If it is the first step toward affirmation then it must at the same time be the first step toward denial since at the first step you do not know what lies ahead.
Very true.


So, if you were to be logically consistent you would say you use it to explain the possibility of the Holy Trinity and how the claim that God is simultaneously ONE and three might be true. But that “explanation” is meaningless unless you can first explain the Law of the Included middle, which you have failed to do. Hence, my
comment that you use it as a magic incantation. Claiming that it cannot be understood using binary logic is not adequate, since the claim is that it can be understood using tertiary logic. So by all means, please do so.

The logic of the included middle explains how A can simultaneously be A and not A. It can because A and Not A can simultaneously exist at a higher level of reality which reconciles duality beneath it. A I understand it, The Absolute, the Good, the Source, or whatever name a person has for the conscious wholeness of God IS outside the limits of time and space. God doesn’t exist; God IS. Existence is a process which takes place in cycles within creation and time and space which serve as its limitations. God as three is the first devolution of the source outside time and space into creation. It is the law of the included middle which simultaneously allows God to be as ONE outside creation and THREE within creation.


Where did he write this? You quote someone else about what Einstein allegedly wrote. It has been repeated many times but that does not make it true. What do you think intuitive knowledge means in this quote? How does it differ from absolute knowledge in this quote? How do you explain Einstein's errors? Note that the quote says: “… start from intuitive knowledge”. It is a starting point for the direction of his investigation, not something he declares to be true on the basis of intuition. In other words, such intuition can and sometimes does lead in the wrong direction.

Yes, intuition can lead In the wrong direction. That is how experts are created. The essence of religion initiating with a conscious source makes an impression and many feel intuitively that it has great value. Then experts begin to interpret it and lead it in the wrong direction by secularizing it. The result is that the essence of religion becomes its opposite in the secular world.

The term is sufficiently vague to cover everything from a hunch to direct noetic apprehension. Is it just a “premise” or a “possibility” or just something you feel to be true because of what others have said without knowledge that it is true?
True, experience is the great teacher. A six year old boy may claim that girls are useless and no amount of logic will change his mind. When ready he gets his first erection. Then he’ll come to you and say you were right.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Vijaydevani
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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Vijaydevani » September 18th, 2016, 11:22 pm

Nick_A wrote: Modern education is fixated on acquiring more and more knowledge. How many even know what it means to develop ones being any more much less be involved in the education of ones being? Adaptation is the goal for a given society sustaining itself. Evolution is the goal of a person desiring to become truly human
What is the definition of "truly human"?

-- Updated September 18th, 2016, 11:25 pm to add the following --

Nick _A wrote:
A truly human being is awake. I have not met such a person but have experienced that I can be either more or less conscious depending upon circumstances. If human consciousness is relative it means that a person can awaken and be truly human.
What happens after you are "awake"? What is the definition of "awake"?
A little knowledge is a religious thing.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Iapetus » September 19th, 2016, 9:42 am

Reply to Nick_A:

I talked of an avoidance strategy and you continue with it. I asked you to explain what you wrote and you have not done so. I asked you what you meant by, “interprets it into social goals” and you avoided this by asking a completely different question. Unlike you, however, I am not afraid of responding directly:

What is the goal of refining interpretations of the world? What purpose should these refinements serve?



I have already explained this in terms of seeking the closest possible correspondence between explanation and observation. One of the results is a scientific approach with established rigorous procedures and powerful predictive capacity. The benefits are literally self-evident, in the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the technology which enables our conversation. If, by ‘goals’ and ‘purpose’, you intend some external agency, then you have not indicated so and I do not assume it. Thus the ‘should’ seems to be pointless in this context.

I also asked you to explain what you meant by, ”a person desiring to become truly human”. It sounds bizarre and I would have thought that the very least you could do would be to define what you meant. The explanation you offer this time, however, is, “A truly human being is awake”. You try to link this, with an absolute minimum of explanation, to “effective intellectual exertion”. Nick, if you think you are being profound, you are not. If you think you are being poetic, then you shouldn’t be, because I was asking for an explanation, not obscurantism. It is extremely silly and is an obvious avoidance of direct questions. It also sounds highly arrogant; “only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion”. Do you count yourself as one in this million?

I also asked, “Is the implication that some people are not entirely human? What do you mean by this? Are you able to distinguish between those who are entirely human and those who are not?” If you think that ‘being awake’ helps to answer these questions, then please think again.

Moreover, your argument, as I already explained, was entirely irrelevant.

The point I’m making by referring to conscious evolution is that even if you had all universal knowledge you’d still be in Plato’s cave because knowledge by itself doesn’t create a human perspective and that is the futility of reason.



You have not explained what you mean by ‘conscious evolution’, nor how it is relevant to what I was saying about knowledge. I asked you previously why you introduced the terms, ‘adaptation’ and ‘evolution’ and you did not reply. Neither do you even try to explain the context of “a human perspective”. If, according to Plato and all that is patently obvious, humans are making the observations and the interpretations of those observations and, furthermore, are discussing them and conveying the information to others then why, pray, is this not a ‘human perspective’? And how, by any logic, is that linked to the futility of reason?

It seems that I can’t get a straight answer out of you. For whatever reason that you want to talk in tongues, very little is getting through to me. I tried deliberately to limit my interpretation of Plato’s cave to the theme of knowledge because I can then make a direct link with what you have been saying about ‘the futility of reason’. I am not interested, for the purposes of this discussion, in all the other possible themes, interesting though they may be. I have been trying to keep it relevant.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Fooloso4 » September 19th, 2016, 10:22 am

Nick_A:
However for a person who has the heart felt need to experience meaning and purpose it would be foolish to give up the search just because it is potentially hopeless.
Finally you are coming around to a more reasonable position. You are searching for something that may not exist. All of the other stuff is just treasure maps, but you have treated them as if they must be the genuine article.
The logic of the included middle explains how A can simultaneously be A and not A.
Wrong. It is triadic. Here is what the article you cited actually says:
the rules of logical implication no longer concerning two terms (A and non-A) but three terms (A, non-A and T), co-existing at the same moment in time.
It can because A and Not A can simultaneously exist at a higher level of reality which reconciles duality beneath it.
Wrong again. They do not simultaneously exist at a higher level. Here is what the article you cited actually says:
A, non-A, and T — and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality.
A I understand it, The Absolute, the Good, the Source, or whatever name a person has for the conscious wholeness of God IS outside the limits of time and space.
This has nothing to do with an included middle. What are the two contradictory terms existing on one level and the third existing on another?
It is the law of the included middle which simultaneously allows God to be as ONE outside creation and THREE within creation.
And this is why I said you use it as a magic incantation. Try to assign the three terms of the logic A,not A, and T to what you have said.
Yes, intuition can lead In the wrong direction. That is how experts are created. The essence of religion initiating with a conscious source makes an impression and many feel intuitively that it has great value. Then experts begin to interpret it and lead it in the wrong direction by secularizing it.
Intuition leading in the wrong direction means that the intuition itself was wrong. Or are you claiming that intuition is indubitable knowledge? You agree with my statement but either do not understand it or alter it to mean something else. I cannot say I am surprised since this is what you have done with just about everything. I have patiently tried to show you that, but you have ignored it.
A six year old boy may claim that girls are useless and no amount of logic will change his mind. When ready he gets his first erection. Then he’ll come to you and say you were right.
I understand. You have a hard-on for God. Please do not come to me with your erection.

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Greta » September 19th, 2016, 6:33 pm

Nick_A wrote:The point I’m making by referring to conscious evolution is that even if you had all universal knowledge you’d still be in Plato’s cave because knowledge by itself doesn’t create a human perspective and that is the futility of reason.
The futility of reason as compared with what?

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » September 19th, 2016, 11:52 pm

Fooloso4 wrote
: Finally you are coming around to a more reasonable position. You are searching for something that may not exist. All of the other stuff is just treasure maps, but you have treated them as if they must be the genuine article.
True. If there is no universal meaning and purpose there is no such thing as objective wisdom so the pursuit of philosophy as the love of wisdom may be nothing other than glorifying subjective conceit. If that is the case, why bother with philosophy? Just create your own reality and tell others how important it is. If a man does it with style he can easily coax a woman into bed.
the rules of logical implication no longer concerning two terms (A and non-A) but three terms (A, non-A and T), co-existing at the same moment in time.
Yes. The fact tht A and not A are reconciled within T doesn’t mean they no longer exist. They exist within reconciliation and without reconciliation at a lower level.
A I understand it, The Absolute, the Good, the Source, or whatever name a person has for the conscious wholeness of God IS outside the limits of time and space.


This has nothing to do with an included middle. What are the two contradictory terms existing on one level and the third existing on another?
When ONE outside time and space manifests as THREE initiating creation within time and space there is only the initial level of creation. The three forces are equal. The triangle only begins at the next descending level of reality. You are asking me to explain the descent of levels of reality. People write books on this and it cannot be done in a post.
Intuition leading in the wrong direction means that the intuition itself was wrong. Or are you claiming that intuition is indubitable knowledge? You agree with my statement but either do not understand it or alter it to mean something else. I cannot say I am surprised since this is what you have done with just about everything. I have patiently tried to show you that, but you have ignored it.
Intuition is genuine. If it isn’t it is fantasy. A lot of New Agers speak of intuition when in reality they are just fantasizing. Intuition can devolve into fantasy and fantasy can be claimed to be intuition. Distinguishing the difference between them would require a quality of consciousness we lack. With certain people like Einstein, if it works why argue with success?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Vijaydevani » September 20th, 2016, 12:38 am

Nick_A wrote: True. If there is no universal meaning and purpose there is no such thing as objective wisdom so the pursuit of philosophy as the love of wisdom may be nothing other than glorifying subjective conceit.
There is nothing that could lead you to that conclusion. Philosophy will stand whether life has a meaning and purpose or not. That simply means you have no grasp of philosophy at the most basic level. Philosophy also has nothing to do with the God question.
Nick_A wrote: If that is the case, why bother with philosophy? Just create your own reality and tell others how important it is. If a man does it with style he can easily coax a woman into bed.
Because that is not the case. It is your misinterpretation of philosophy which makes you believe it is the case. Philosophy also has nothing to do with getting women into bed.

Philosophy is also about acceptance. It can lead to answers that you cannot accept and must learn to. Maybe you need to understand that. Just for your reference this is how philosophy is defined.

1.
the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
2.
a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.


It is a study. There is no mention of jumping to a conclusion that there is a meaning and purpose to life and then work from there on.

And you still haven't been able to answer the basic question: How can you have a purpose and not know what it is? What kind of purpose do you have to look for? Who assigns such a ridiculous purpose where the purpose is to look for a purpose?
A little knowledge is a religious thing.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Nick_A » September 20th, 2016, 12:40 am

Iapetus wrote:
I also asked you to explain what you meant by, ”a person desiring to become truly human”. It sounds bizarre and I would have thought that the very least you could do would be to define what you meant. The explanation you offer this time, however, is, “A truly human being is awake”.

Vijay wrote: What is the definition of "truly human"?


What happens after you are "awake"? What is the definition of "awake"?
Obviously if we are content to be asleep in Plato’s Cave and caught up with the concerns of the world it is impossible to have any conception of what the freedom of awakening would bring. It is easier, for me anyhow, to understand the beginnings of awakening and conscious evolution from the Buddhist perspective. Read this short article. If it resonates you will understand the beginning of awakening; the conscious freedom from habitual imagination which justifies our lives in Plato’s cave. That is the beginning of conscious evolution.

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practi ... ully-awake
Spiritual life is about transformation: we need to know who we are in order to know what must be transformed. And we need to bear in mind our sense of purpose, our sense of who we want to become. At our least aware, we are bundles of habits, thrown hither and thither by whim, chance or circumstance. The spiritual life involves making creative, conscious, disciplined choices about the kind of person we wish to be. Mindfulness is indispensable to this process.
It is very difficult to become fully human since very few begin with the advantages according to Buddhism to make it possible. That is one reason I believe in the necessity of help from above offered by Christianity in the form of the Holy Spirit. If our chances for becoming truly human are similar to the success of a blind turtle, we’ve got problems.
The Buddha said that it is more difficult for a being to obtain human birth that it would be for a turtle coming up from the depth of the ocean to put its head by chance through the opening of a wooden yoke tossed around by huge waves on the surface.

Imagine the whole cosmos of a billion universes as a vast ocean. Floating upon it is yoke, a piece of wood with a hole in it that can be fixed around the horns of draught oxen. This yoke, tossed here and there by the waves, sometime eastward, sometime westward, never stays in the same place even for an instant. Deep down in the depths of the ocean lives a blind turtle who rises up to the surface only once every hundred years. That the yoke and the turtle might meet is extremely unlikely. The yoke itself is inanimate; the turtle is not intentionally seeking it out. The turtle, being blind, has no eyes with which to spot the yoke. If the yoke were to stay in one place, there might be a chance of their meeting; but it is continually on the move. If the turtle were to spend its entire time swimming round the surface, it might, perhaps, cross paths with the yoke; but it surfaces only once every hundred years. The chances of the yoke and the turtle coming together are therefore extremely small. Nerveless, by sheer chance the turtle might still just slip its neck into the yoke. But it is even more difficult than that, the sutras say, to obtain a human existence with the eight freedom and ten advantages.
Greta wrote:
The futility of reason as compared with what?
A human perspective requires factual knowledge (intellectual intelligence) the objective emotional experience of value, (emotional intelligence) and sensitive sensory perception. Without the feeling of relative objective value and developed sensory perception, what good are facts for acquiring any sort of realistic human perspective?

Did you see the movie Star Trek the Motion Picture? From Wiki:
At the center of the massive ship, V'Ger is revealed to be Voyager 6, a 20th-century Earth space probe believed lost. The damaged probe was found by an alien race of living machines that interpreted its programming as instructions to learn all that can be learned, and return that information to its creator. The machines upgraded the probe to fulfill its mission, and on its journey the probe gathered so much knowledge that it achieved consciousness. Spock realizes that V'Ger lacks the ability to give itself a focus other than its original mission; having learned what it could on its journey home, it finds its existence empty and without purpose. Before transmitting all its information, V'Ger insists that the Creator come in person to finish the sequence. Realizing that the machine wants to merge with its creator, Decker offers himself to V'Ger; he merges with the Ilia probe and V'Ger, creating a new form of life that disappears into another dimension. With Earth saved, Kirk directs Enterprise out to space for future missions.
Gene Roddenberry was well versed in deeper esoteric ideas and mixed them well in the movie. Unfortunately most didn’t understand them so the movie was panned. Vger knew everything but was still empty. It couldn’t answer its basic question even knowing though everything. It needed the emotional element that could feel value which is a human attribute. The futility of reason is that it cannot substitute itself for emotional intelligence.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

Vijaydevani
Posts: 2116
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 3:13 am

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Vijaydevani » September 20th, 2016, 1:09 am

Nick_A wrote: Vijay wrote: What is the definition of "truly human"?


What happens after you are "awake"? What is the definition of "awake"?
Obviously if we are content to be asleep in Plato’s Cave and caught up with the concerns of the world it is impossible to have any conception of what the freedom of awakening would bring. It is easier, for me anyhow, to understand the beginnings of awakening and conscious evolution from the Buddhist perspective. Read this short article. If it resonates you will understand the beginning of awakening; the conscious freedom from habitual imagination which justifies our lives in Plato’s cave. That is the beginning of conscious evolution.

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practi ... ully-awake[/quote]

I read it. I don't see anything mentioned there about awakening or any higher consciousness. In fact, what he says is something very basic and I am surprised that for all your philosophical talk you haven't got these four kinds of awareness.

But it does say something interesting. "... to be aware of the truth of impermanence not just theoretically but as something deeply known, so that when confronted with death or change we respond with equanimity rather than horrified surprise. "

How are you dealing with this part?

It also says, "By practicing Metta Bhavana, for instance, we become more aware of what others are really like, and our view of them is less colored by our own likes and dislikes, our fears and projections." Basically this is about being judgmental. This should open your eyes to the the way you assign everyone who does not agree with you to Plato's cave.
Nick_A wrote:Spiritual life is about transformation: we need to know who we are in order to know what must be transformed. And we need to bear in mind our sense of purpose, our sense of who we want to become. At our least aware, we are bundles of habits, thrown hither and thither by whim, chance or circumstance. The spiritual life involves making creative, conscious, disciplined choices about the kind of person we wish to be. Mindfulness is indispensable to this process.
That is why I have always maintained that the most important part of philosophy is introspection. There cannot be transformation without finding things to transform. So instead of focusing on others, transformation comes by focusing on the self and becoming aware of one's own flaws. It has nothing to do with finding a meaning and purpose to life or trying to reach a higher consciousness. It is about looking inward and trying to improve the self.
Nick_A wrote: It is very difficult to become fully human since very few begin with the advantages according to Buddhism to make it possible. That is one reason I believe in the necessity of help from above offered by Christianity in the form of the Holy Spirit. If our chances for becoming truly human are similar to the success of a blind turtle, we’ve got problems.
It is called denial. The inability to look inward. That is the disadvantage everyone has. It has nothing to do with Buddhism having an advantage. It is also an avenue for escape. If you cannot get it, you can always say, " well, God didn't want me to." So there would be no need to question oneself.
Nick_A wrote:The Buddha said that it is more difficult for a being to obtain human birth that it would be for a turtle coming up from the depth of the ocean to put its head by chance through the opening of a wooden yoke tossed around by huge waves on the surface.

Imagine the whole cosmos of a billion universes as a vast ocean. Floating upon it is yoke, a piece of wood with a hole in it that can be fixed around the horns of draught oxen. This yoke, tossed here and there by the waves, sometime eastward, sometime westward, never stays in the same place even for an instant. Deep down in the depths of the ocean lives a blind turtle who rises up to the surface only once every hundred years. That the yoke and the turtle might meet is extremely unlikely. The yoke itself is inanimate; the turtle is not intentionally seeking it out. The turtle, being blind, has no eyes with which to spot the yoke. If the yoke were to stay in one place, there might be a chance of their meeting; but it is continually on the move. If the turtle were to spend its entire time swimming round the surface, it might, perhaps, cross paths with the yoke; but it surfaces only once every hundred years. The chances of the yoke and the turtle coming together are therefore extremely small. Nerveless, by sheer chance the turtle might still just slip its neck into the yoke. But it is even more difficult than that, the sutras say, to obtain a human existence with the eight freedom and ten advantages.
So what is your point? How is this connected to a meaning and purpose to life? You have a human birth so apparently the turtle did find the yoke in your case. So what is the problem now? How can you be truly human if to be truly human you need God to make you truly human in spite of the eight freedoms and ten advantages you have over other life forms?

I really don't understand this. We are as you say, a privileged birth. We have tremendous advantages over all other life forms. So we should actually feel ashamed to ask for God's help. Our self respect should dictate that we need to go it alone and let God help the other lesser privileged life forms. Why would a full grown human in good health need God even if he existed? It is just wrong.
A little knowledge is a religious thing.

Iapetus
Posts: 402
Joined: January 5th, 2015, 6:41 pm
Location: Strasbourg, France

Re: The Futility of Reason

Post by Iapetus » September 20th, 2016, 6:30 am

Reply to Nick_A:

The title of this thread - for which yours is the original post - is ‘The Futility of Reason’. Discussion about reason has, however, been highly restricted by the futility of trying to grasp what on earth you are talking about. If you really wanted to communicate your ideas, then you could have used conventional English, with definitions on which we commonly agree. Instead, we are being asked to read ‘human’ as, ‘not human’, or ‘not fully human’, or ‘not truly human’, or something else of that ilk. Then, you seem to equate the state of being human with being awake, but what you mean precisely by that is anybody’s guess. After being pressed about this, it seems that you expect us to interpret this through a Buddhist lens. Rather than explain yourself, you shrug off responsibility by refering us to an article which – surprise, surprise – makes no mention of your definitions of ‘human’ and ‘awake’. Nor, for that matter, of ‘conscious evolution’. Nor for your extraordinary claim that “only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion”. Moreover, it refers to ‘a sense of purpose’ not to anything externally imposed or required. If the article resonates, it is because of the rather obvious points that our lives are enhanced by trying to appreciate the experiences of others and by an awareness of what is going on around us. Trying to escape the cave. It does not resonate for anything which you, apparently, want me to grasp.

Even more bizarrely, you then make a segué from Buddhism into your Christian belief! This does not explain why you did not transfer instead to Islam or Hunduism or Shinto or Zoroastrianism. Or even Buddhism. And this appears to be part of your justification for condemning reason!!

In my last post I asked what I thought were two significant and relevant questions; If, according to Plato and all that is patently obvious, humans are making the observations and the interpretations of those observations and, furthermore, are discussing them and conveying the information to others then why, pray, is this not a ‘human perspective’? And how, by any logic, is that linked to the futility of reason?

You have not answered.

I have tried very hard to find justifications rather than assertions in what you have written but it seems to be a futile task. You assert a purpose which you cannot define or justify and Vijay has spelled this out very precisely. You try to escape through evasion, irrelevant quotes and ridiculously contorted language. This is not reason in action.

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