Equality, Unconditional Love, and Monism of Value and Being

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Alias
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Re: Equality, Unconditional Love, and Monism of Value and Being

Post by Alias »

Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:23 pm [can't have the concept, or the word, for "good" or "bad" in any objective context, or without a counterpart to contrast it against.]
I agree, in the sense that if reality as a whole is good, and if everything that exists is good (or at least neutral), then therefore though in binary-based conceptual thinking it generates the concept of an opposite, the conception of a bad thing must be fictional. In other words, all objectively bad things must be fictional due to being bad.
No. If you have no basis to form the concept or the language, you can't invent the fiction. Fiction is just an imaginative rearrangement of things and ideas in the actual world. If all that there is good and there is nothing but good then there is no reason to call anything good, or bad or inf=different or value-neutral: there can be no alternatives at all.
Needless to say, that logic alone does not prove that everything fictional is objectively bad.
The converse wouldn't necessarily hold, even if it were possible to imagine anything bad in an all-good world. Obviously, it would be not only possible, but easier, to imagine good things.
... I and all other conscious agents are predestined to exist within unchanging perfection rather than the active artistic creators of it.
Just because everything is good, everything is not necessarily perfect and unchanging, or the same degree of good for every conscious entity at all times. For example, all ice cream is good, but you can prefer strawberry to vanilla, or be in the mood for pistachio today.
Nor does the goodness of all things necessarily limit the amount of good things in the world; there is no reason you can't make more good things.
It only means that 1. you can't make any bad things; 2. you can't imagine any bad things.


Scott wrote:Thus, for example, one look at reality as a whole and think:
[ You're certainly free to think any of those things:
1. Good, but no bad
2. No good or bad
3. Bad, and no good ...]
I agree. Perhaps the more interesting question is whether or not you are free to think anything except one of those three things,
How about 4. good and bad?
Plus, I can also think about a recipe for turnips or a the spelling radicchio or the colour of my unicorn's tail.
In other words, it seems you are forced to choose between those three things: nihilism, resentment, or love--namely in terms of one's conscious attitude towards reality as a whole.
I prefer realistic, practical and adaptable.
[ but your opinion doesn't affect reality.]
Isn't my opinion a part of reality? If something affects my opinion, doesn't it affect reality?
Sure, but as to the goodness or badness content of reality, your opinion being value-neutral, the balance doesn't change.
Does a dreamer's opinion of a dream affect reality? Is that case even if the dream is unreal? Is it arguably even more the case if the dream is unreal? Perhaps the realest thing of all is the conscious dreamer's opinion of the dream; what do you think?
In the moment of the dream when one is aware of that thought, probably. All the rest of the time, no.
Some people even argue that consciousness is just an illusion, that it doesn't really exist.
I have trouble imagining how a non-conscious entity can entertain illusions.
[Does this exercise have a purpose or function? ]

Two questions:

1. What exercise exactly?
This thread and thought-process it it generates.
2. What does it mean for something to have a purpose?
In this instance: that the originator of the process [thread, question, responses and derivations therefrom] was in some way motivated to make the effort, presumably with the intention of producing a result of some kind.
Perhaps teleology is a symptom of servitude and antithetical to freedom of spirit. What do you think?
I'm not qualified to think on that.
There can be no "objective" good or bad: they;'re subjective concepts, particular to the consciousness making the judgment.

If you were to say that neither consciousness nor objective holistic reality speak English, I would agree.
And people are able to communicate in languages other than English, other than verbal; they can even communicate feelings and physical sensations without language - but they cannot communicate ideas without a verbal language.
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Re: Equality, Unconditional Love, and Monism of Value and Being

Post by Sy Borg »

Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:51 pm
Sy Borg wrote: April 12th, 2021, 6:53 pm
Scott wrote: April 12th, 2021, 5:18 pmOne could say I am agnostic about whether you and I are the universe.
I feel like you mean something more than what I'm thinking. I would say unequivocally that we are the universe, along with everyone and everything else. Still, I don't tend to think at such scale. Rather, I see us as part of the Earth, little chunks of the biosphere, which I see as being like a bridge between the crust, hydrosphere and atmosphere. So, what we are doing is what the Earth is doing, and vice versa. Actually, I see us as being part of the Sun too. It's 99.8% of the solar system's mass, so Earth are essentially a lump within its extended atmosphere.
As humans, we humans are part of the Earth and part of the universe. I agree with that.

Nonetheless, when I say that in a sense you and I are not humans and that I believe you and I are spiritually identical with each other and that thus we together might possibly be identical with the universe as a whole, I don't mean that we would be part of the universe but that we would be the universe. To me, that is a very plausible explanation for this mysterious thing of consciousness, which not only certainly exists but that seems to be what we are. In other words, it seems to me that we aren't bodies with consciousness, but consciousness with bodies. The separate bodies are different, but the consciousness does not seem to be to me.

Cosmologically, I favor monism not just of value (per this forum topic) but also in terms of metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. If the Universe is the body to our shared consciousness, and I wasn't allowed be agnostic about dualism versus monism in terms of the philosophy of mind, I would favor the monistic view that the cosmic consciousness and cosmic body (i.e. the whole universe minus any consciousness) are fundamentally one, like electricity and magnetism.
I'm agnostic as to whether consciousness is fundamental or not. I lean toward something vaguely like IIT, where proto-consciousness (ie. reactions and reflexes) precedes consciousness. My guess is that reflexes are the building blocks of consciousness in much the same way as cells are the building blocks of multicellular life, and that chemical reactions are the building blocks of reflexes. So I think consciousness is divisible, just as it is accumulative. The fact of the human does not impact on the fact of the cell.

I see the attraction of the "one consciousnesses in many parts" view, that all minds are fundamentally the same, but expressed via different physical filters / outlets. In a sense it's our flaws define us as individuals. If we were all perfect, we'd all be the same. Ditto if we were all equally inept.

Genetics defines where our weaknesses lie. Nature can, under some circumstances, can produce pretty well perfect specimens that are adapted to every aspect of their environments equally well. But no one ever experiences exactly the same environment, not even twins. In social species, these tiny differences are magnified under the heat of competition, where a tiny advantage can mean reproduction rather than extinction of the line. So we see each other as vastly different to one another, but it's an exaggeration. So, yep, we're all ultimately peas in a pod.

Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:51 pmIn contrast, I am not agnostic about the monism of value proposed in the OP of this topic.

In other words, I am not agnostic about the fact that I believe that it is better that something exists rather than nothing, that is is better that this reality exists than nothing at all, that in a way there is something objectively good and cosmologically beautiful about both the chasing lion and the running antelope, that even pain has a beauty to it, that even when this life seems like a nightmare more than a pleasant dream it's still worth living and dreaming.

And perhaps the very fact that there seems to be a choice between living a nightmare or having inner peace--to be able to re-program ourselves as you wisely put it--is the source of a form of salvation and grace, a spiritual safety net, that makes it all so inexorably good.
I cannot square away suffering philosophically, unless I think it's leading to something better. IMO the current situation for life is unacceptable.
Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:51 pmIf it's all a matter of perspective, then bad is just good for masochists.
I think it's more than just perspective. Reality is palpable, visceral. So I don't see beauty in suffering, no more than I see beauty in a toddler pooping her pants (though there is beauty in a patient parent lovingly cleaning up, and in the trust the baby has for those parents). Ultimately, each is immaturity, the gunk that must be waded through whilst still fairly undeveloped.

So, keeping a positive spin on things seems a good idea. It's basically a life hack to help the medicine go down. Whatever works.

Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:51 pmEven I like a good horror movie, or an action thriller, or a tear-jerker. Even those with inner peace can shed sad tears and scream loud fears. We give the meaning to life, not vice versa, because the movie has no meaning or use if nobody watches it. We are at least the movie watcher, if not the director and actors and stage too.
If no one's watching, the movie needs no meaning. It will just run. Meaning only applies to those capable of concocting it, ie. life that can feel pleasure and pain*.


* At present :)
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Re: Equality, Unconditional Love, and Monism of Value and Being

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Scott wrote:In other words, since 0 is a number on a one-dimensional number line, nihilism is effectively compatible with monism. Thus, monastically, there still seems to be three forms of monism:

1. Good, but no bad
2. No good or bad
3. Bad, and no good
Alias wrote: Except you can't have the concept, or the word, for "good" or "bad" in any objective context, or without a counterpart to contrast it against. If there is nothing that's not good, "good" is superfluous and becomes simply "all that is".
Scott wrote: April 13th, 2021, 3:23 pm I agree, in the sense that if reality as a whole is good, and if everything that exists is good (or at least neutral), then therefore though in binary-based conceptual thinking it generates the concept of an opposite, the conception of a bad thing must be fictional. In other words, all objectively bad things must be fictional due to being bad.
Alias wrote: April 13th, 2021, 10:01 pm If you have no basis to form the concept or the language, you can't invent the fiction. Fiction is just an imaginative rearrangement of things and ideas in the actual world.
In this case, perhaps the word 'unreal' would be more accurate or more agreeable than the word 'fiction'. So let me rephrase:

If reality as a whole is good, and if accordingly everything that exists is non-dualistically good, then therefore, even though in binary-based (i.e. dualistic) conceptual thinking it would generate the concept of an opposite, the pseudo-concept that is 'a bad thing' must be unreal. In other words, all objectively bad things must be unreal due to being bad.

I maintain that fundamental reality is fundamentally monistic, even though our tine little computer-like human brains can generally only conceive dualistically, much like a computer modeling aspects of alleged reality--or information itself--as a code of binary digits. In a sense, true reality lacks thinghood, and all things with thinghood lack reality, a symptom of which is that every thing with thinghood has an opposite, but holistic reality (i.e. reality as a timeless whole) does not. All things are simply concepts, mentally constructed by imaginarily dividing timeless holistic unchanging reality (e.g. the left side versus the right side) with all borders of all such conceptual dualities held in common. Throw out that left-right duality, and you have a single monistic whole that has no left side nor right side. Throw out the past-future duality, and you have a single monistic whole that has no left side or right side.

All these made-up dualities, conceptually defined by (i.e. constructed by) imaginary singular borders held in common (e.g. the singular border between the would-be left side of the universe and the would-be right side) create a puzzle of many pieces (e.g. the up-left-past section versus the up-right-future section). Every constructed imaginary conceptual duality imaginarily splits reality (i.e. the universe as a timeless unchanging whole) into more pieces; blue versus not blue, big versus not big, alive versus not alive, mean versus not mean, planet versus not planet, space versus time, electricity versus magnetism, forward-side versus back-side, and so on and so on.

Since the made-up borders are always held in common, all those countless puzzle pieces fit together to form the singular real monistic whole that fundamentally lacks any duality. That is duality-transcending reality itself as a duality-transcending beautiful whole, or in other words it is the block universe as a timeless whole.

In the preceding sentence, I use the word beautiful, but it is a poetic use of the word in that it is a non-dualistic. In other words, it's the use of the word beautiful in the duality-transcending sense of saying everything is beautiful and just love everything. It's similar to the sense in which one might argue about futility of words, about the futility conceptualization itself, about the limits of representing reality though binary data, about the unreality of time itself, or about the unreality of change itself. It's something that I believe a philosophical zombie would never understand or believe exists.

People hint at when they talk about the meaning of life or the purpose of existence, even if the questions themselves are poorly phrases or somewhat illogical, even if the answers cannot be true if taken literally. A philosophical zombie could ask, "What's the meaning of life?" And a philosophical zombies could provide different answers to the question, many of which would probably--and somewhat correctly--argue that in terms of formal language and strict deductive doesn't make any sense and is unanswerable.

To me the speculations in the OP are also hinted at by Albert Camus when he wrote, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect."

I think life is so very worth living.

In other words, I have what I call consistent inner peace. Others might call it "true happiness" or "nirvana" or "being spiritually awake" or "being spiritually lucid in this dreamy world of forms with its dreamy unreal illusions like time".

Likewise, I believe I will have that consistent inner peace (a.k.a. "true happiness" or "nirvana") until the day I die, no matter what pain or discomfort I may experience, no matter what yin-yang-balanced ups and downs I may encounter in the different days and times in this dreamy world.

I believe life itself is inherently worth living.

That is, in the sense of true consciousness, of what my book calls "the real me" and "the real you".

Even though the conceptual parts of the yin-yang conceptually average out to zero, the duality-transcending reality is not so limited. True reality is not limited by the mind's ability to conceive it, which is where spirituality (i.e. consciousness) comes in. We can be conscious of that which we cannot conceive and that which cannot put into words. Or, in more accurately and elaborately, our spirits (i.e. our true selves) can be conscious of realities our minds cannot conceive or put into words, especially not if limited to logical literal words. That kind of seemingly indescribable true reality is the kind of thing a reasonable logical intelligent philosophical zombie would neither understand nor believe exists. To a reasonable logical intelligent philosophical zombie, it is indescribable.

However, a philosophical zombie is by definition never alive in the sense of the word 'life' that I use when I say, I believe life itself is inherently worth living.

Thus, my answers to the 12 questions in the Original Post (OP) are that I think all those 'What Ifs' are in fact truly and really the case.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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