This post is inspired by Syamsu’s posts. I have not been able to understand their perspective but looking at the difficulty with which such obvious, yet obscure, ideas have been expressed I hope to open up the discussion further regarding how we “view” the world and causality in general (“view” being an inappropriate term if I say we “view causality”!)
As some of you likely know I have an interest in Husserl’s ideas. Given that Syamsu is expressing a need for us to take “subjectivity” more seriously I guess anyone who knows anything about Husserl can see why I see familar territory here - Husserl being someone whom aimed to understand “subjectivity” in order to understand objective science more thoroughly. A task he never viewed as having a end or solution (something he was quite opposed to.)
Anyway, to quote Syamsu and look at what interests me (if no one else?):
Of course there are many questions embedded within this. We could ask what “choice” means in this sense, and/or what is meant by “spiritual domain”, and/or question the implied “agent” in the “choosing.”The philosophy underlaying ... is very simple, and very useful. It is based on dualism, two categories which comprise all of reality.
category 1: what chooses, spiritual domain, subjectively identified resulting in opinions
category 2: what is chosen, material domain, objectively measured resulting in facts
In organizing all things you know about, you should ask yourself, does it belong in the box of things that choose, or does it belong in the box of things that are chosen? Love, hate, God, fear, pleasure, pain etc. would all belong in the box of things that do the job of choosing. They are all things which take care of it that in the moment a decision turns out A instead of B, or viceversa.
All things in this box can only be known to exist by choosing they are there. So if you want to find out if somebody has love in their heart or not, then you provide for yourself the alternatives that this person has love, and doesn't have love, and then in the moment you choose an alternative. For this choosing to be meaningful it has to be somewhat sophisticated. What you cannot do is reach a conclusion about the spiritual domain based on evidence. That is because evidence forces you to a conclusion, destroying the freedom neccessary to form an opinion.
Underneath this I cannot see a way we can escape the problem of word meanings here and how best to frame them without getting too distanced from the thought under scrutiny. Also, I want to steer as much as I can from the confusion of “free will” - simply because this term is often used in specifc contexts and therefore means utterly different things to different people!
So three things to clarify:
1) “choosen” and the “chooser”
The human agent chooses what to do. Once they choose,they both understand the repercussions of their choice, understand the reasoning for their choice, and may even reveal other choices they didn’t see at the time. Being as limited (stupid) as we are we also fall into the belief of seeing the action as the cause for what comes after. As an example of this I may sit down and then it starts to rain - logically speaking it is a quite valid supposition to say that it started to rain because I sat down; and in actuality there is no know way to prove this one way or the other givn that we cannot set up the exact same circumstances again and remain standing to supposedly “stop it from raining”.
This should be reasonably common knowledge I hope. Many psychological experiments have shown how children will copy every action of the adult order to replicate the same outcome (even when several steps in the process are utterly redundant in regards to the outcome.) So if someone performs a “rain dance” to make rain fall it may be coincidence, or it may be person (if repeatedly successful) subconsciously read certain environmental cues and made a reasonably good prediction (humidity levels, wind speed, cloud formations, animals migrationary patterns, vegetation, and all other manner of things.)
What we can see here at least is the affect of choosing. If we choose to believe what appears to be true given our current knowledge we choose to deny alternative possibilities and possibly believe in things that are redundant. To look back at Galileo many simply refused to believe his evidence over the word of Aristotle - this is the fallacy of appeal to authority over evidence.
An aside (A COMPLICATED ONE!): The “agent”/“chooser” is necessarily an independent body acting in the world regardless of whatever possible/likely existence there is. To return briefly to the idea of “free will” it is fundamentally a fault to assume lack of choice in a world that we have an understanding of via causal relation. This difficult point is likely the very heart of what Syamsu finds willing to accept - and so do I. As a meaningful argument it is to argue for a meaningless world adn therefore to dispute one’s own position - it is an adherence to an absolutism view that sees nihilism as the highest philosophical principle in denial of its proposition and all propositions (including denial.)
2) “spiritual domain”
This term I can only interpret in two ways. The first being “metaphysical” (which to me means no more than that which currently lies beyond our immediate physical understanding - such as gravity and matter, yet they are placeholders that allow us to create measurements and frame some broad underdtanding of phenomenon. The second is more easily accessible to my vocabulary, that is the “domain of the mind” (of psychology).
To return to Syamsu’s words:
My interpretation here would be:category 1: what chooses, spiritual domain, subjectively identified resulting in opinions
category 2: what is chosen, material domain, objectively measured resulting in facts
Category 1: the individual, free thinking, exploring existential being.
Category 2: the proposed heuristic, applied and contrasted, trial and error in limited bounds.
The individual, as a individual, must necessarily “exist” and by “existing” must necessarily apply oneself to the questions we’re surrounded by to understand the implicit known existence of the self (this is where some may wish to splice in Heideggerian views, and to some extent I do not deny the use in doing so to sketch out the question of our very being even though it is constantly falling away from us as we grasp at it - or rather that this very “grasping for” is the “essence” of being; as clumsy and incomplete as that sounds it is more of a limitation of language and not really one open to “discussion”)
Then we apply something of our experiental being through some heuristic (arbitrary to some degree or another) and watch it develop into whatever form it does in a quasi passive/active sense; meaning our subjective thoughts are always omnipresent regardless of the objective boundaries we set out - for our investigation or merely as a failing of belief in the method of approach in use.
There is always the danger/boon of psychological fixatedness - the double-edged sword if being right for the wrong reasons, and/or wrong for the right reasons. We’re always bound by the limitations we dictate to ourselves or those surrounding us immediately (same thing really!)
This is communication. This is knowledge. This is language. This is existence. This is how we frame our exploration of the world, the world, and the self. Any presumed “beyond causality” is simply a misuse of language. This shouldn’t be mistaken as a disbelief in something “existing” beyond causality, only that the term “existing”, in the sense we know it (the only sense we have of it applicable to meaningful communication) is causally bound as are all items of human discussion.
Some could perhaps talk of the mathematical world as being non-causal. True enough in a metaphorical sense. Yet we can only know of the “mathematical world” through physicalistic causal experience. Any idea of the underlying abstract “existing” in a “prior to” sense is simply beyond our current capacity to articulate or imagine - it is a definite impossibility yet not one that I would suggest cannot be overturned (and I a not being contrary here because I mean this in such a way as to suggest there is some unknown possibility yet to surface in our conceptual framework that could deny the current impossibility.)
People are only foolish because they are fooled by words. Words are not foolish.