Thursday, February 2, 2017

642: Against narrow-minded philosophy.....

In my previous lecture I mentioned narrow-minded philosophy by which I meant the believe that reasoning and rationality is the road to finding a meaning of life.
The existentialists got at least that far, that they claimed that we create our morality by the choices we make,
But here too, these choices are based on our rationality. How can there be a choice, when you behave irrational?
Nevertheless it is a start of a departure from the longing for absolute moral standards, which only can come from a source beyond our rationality.
But I still have no answer to the question why homo sapiens has this yearning for such transcendental absolute standards.
The demand that moral codes be justified by more universal standards than pure feeling or social dictate is, 
on the contrary, much more consonant with widespread, intuitive notions about the nature of moral justification.
If social pressure is taken as the touchstone of morality, we court a confusion between might and right; 
if feeling is taken as the touchstone, we must apparently abandon not only the notion of a universal morality, 
feelings being notoriously fluctuating and individual, but also the notion that one of the functions of morality is to refine, direct, and control individual feelings.

This is what you read in the MacMillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy and typical for what I call narrow-minded philosophy.
Feeling forces us to abandon…… it says, for universal morality presupposes rationality and
it is stated that feelings being notoriously fluctuating and individual, are in other words irrational.
Again rationality is the standard, but with all evidence we have about the species homo sapiens, one of the primates on this planet,
we must come to the conclusion that philosophy is no longer possible by relying on logic and rational reasoning alone.
If we search for a meaning of life we have to look at the whole picture, not just at a single faculty of the brain.
So the assumption that feelings being notoriously fluctuating and individual is not realistic. As if my feelings are a totally private process.
I am a primate, a social being by nature. My feelings are not some processes in the blue sky. They are the result of interaction with my environment.
They are not even only individual. A lot of other beings have the same feelings in the same interactions with their environment.
So, what we need is a philosophy that comes down from its ivory  tower of rationality and logic and mingles with the crowd of other sciences: psychology, sociology, neuroscience and so on.
And then you read on in the MacMillan Encyclopedia:  “It may, of course, be the case that there is no universal morality 
and that whatever power morality possesses must derive from individual feeling and social conditioning alone. 
It would be surprising, however, if even the emotivists did not experience a certain chagrin that the truth in ethical theory should be so contrary to human hopes.” -end quote-
Emotivism is a meta-ethical view that claims that ethical statements do not express statements, that can be true of false, but emotional attitudes.
Here again this peculiar twist; “contrary to human hopes”. What hopes? Do we hope to find a meaning of life
by finding answers which refer to something outside us and independent of ourselves. Where does this idea come from……..?
Thank you for your attention…. ^_^

The Discussion

[13:22] herman Bergson: If I made you think...take your time...:-)
[13:22] herman Bergson: If you have questions or remarks..plz the floor isyours
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you surley did!
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:24] herman Bergson: My point is that we are not defined by the term rational beings....
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there is much more to it i guess
[13:24] herman Bergson: and that looking for the meaning of life is not only related to what our ratio can produce
[13:25] herman Bergson: To be honest....
[13:25] herman Bergson: A lot of philosophical debate I find  verbal hair splitting....
[13:25] herman Bergson: when you read these articles....about this or that
[13:26] herman Bergson: But our question doesn't accept this
[13:27] Leon Wasserstrom: I dont think we are rational at all
[13:27] herman Bergson: The existentialists found at least a part of the meaning.....
[13:27] Leon Wasserstrom: I mean we all know once you take a puff of particular substance rationality goes out the window right?
[13:28] Leon Wasserstrom: Or when you’re in love
[13:28] herman Bergson sniffs....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Are you smoking a joint Leon???
[13:28] Leon Wasserstrom: No
[13:28] herman Bergson: ^_^
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:28] Leon Wasserstrom: You professor?
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] herman Bergson: IS in my pipe....Leon :-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: But I agree that we are not rational beings....
[13:29] Leon Wasserstrom: Whats the question again?
[13:29] herman Bergson: I just say that we are primates with a special faculty which we call rationality...
[13:30] Leon Wasserstrom: Man rationality is against my naturality
[13:30] herman Bergson: It is a simple question Leon :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: What is the meaning of Life :-)
[13:30] Leon Wasserstrom: there is none
[13:30] Leon Wasserstrom: i dont wanna break anyones bubble here but there is none
[13:31] herman Bergson: are excused then Leon :-))
[13:31] herman Bergson: Do you have a reason to say that there is none, Leon?
[13:31] CB Axel: I agree with Leon more and more each day.
[13:31] Leon Wasserstrom: That there is no what?
[13:31] Leon Wasserstrom: no empire state building in New York?
[13:32] herman Bergson: Guess you want to be funny Leon :-)
[13:32] Laila Schuman: where do instinct and meaning intersect
[13:33] herman Bergson: There you have a point Laila....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Actually where I referred to in my lecture....
[13:33] herman Bergson: the simple fact that we are primates....part of nature....
[13:34] herman Bergson: Has the existence of this earth a meaning?
[13:34] herman Bergson: If you can not think of any...what about the organisms on its surface?
[13:35] Leon Wasserstrom: We all decide to which degree we make use of our possibility of obiding to morale standards we define ourselves
[13:35] herman Bergson: is that what it is all about Leon?
[13:35] Laila Schuman: where do moral standards come from
[13:35] Laila Schuman: instinct or reason
[13:36] herman Bergson: from instincts..if I follow your line of thought Laila
[13:36] Leon Wasserstrom: instincts
[13:36] Leon Wasserstrom: what feels right
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess so as well
[13:36] Leon Wasserstrom: we really have to feel to believe
[13:36] skeleton Ghost: god-given instinct?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Like social animals use to live together
[13:36] Laila Schuman: social... a magic word
[13:37] herman Bergson: where does this god come from and what doe she add to the picture Skeleton?
[13:37] Leon Wasserstrom: hes a man with a beard in the sky duh
[13:37] Laila Schuman: social... does not need a God...
[13:37] Laila Schuman: enforement, perhaps
[13:37] herman Bergson: Then it is about time he should have a shave, Leon
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have a razor here somewhere
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sharp and ready
[13:38] CB Axel: I think our instincts evolved with us. As we became social animals, those with who cooperated did better and their genetic line was continued.
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heheh
[13:38] Laila Schuman: organization... is that instinct or reason
[13:38] herman Bergson: Indeed CB
[13:39] herman Bergson: Both LAila, I'd say
[13:39] CB Axel: When we first crawled out of the primordial ooze, we didn't have morals, but we learned that if we wanted to survive we had better learn to get along with one another.
[13:40] CB Axel: IMO
[13:40] Laila Schuman: I was at a "rally" in the US on Sunday evening... organized.... and reasoned
[13:40] Laila Schuman: yes... survival was the unifying factor
[13:40] Laila Schuman: instinctual
[13:40] Leon Wasserstrom: That sounds kindof uninstinctual
[13:40] Leon Wasserstrom: What exactly made you feel threatened?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Not a single animal has morals.....
[13:40] Laila Schuman: Trump
[13:41] CB Axel: Unfortunately, too many people only want to cooperate with a few and want to crush the rest of us.
[13:41] Leon Wasserstrom: Thats completely uninstinctual
[13:41] herman Bergson: that only happened to us
[13:41] Leon Wasserstrom: Im guessing you were informed about everything over social media and television?
[13:41] herman Bergson: because we can reflect on the question...what I did...should I have done it or not
[13:41] Leon Wasserstrom: How is that in an instinctual realm?
[13:41] Laila Schuman: women who are survival of abuse.... take that seriously... and it become instinctual
[13:41] CB Axel: But animals do have morals. Just look at the experiment with the monkeys and the cucumbers/grapes.
[13:41] Laila Schuman: emotional...
[13:41] Laila Schuman: safety
[13:41] Laila Schuman: fear
[13:42] Leon Wasserstrom: But still the triggering information you receive is not something you hear or feel like the way rabbits warn each other of danger by tapping and sending vibrations
[13:42] Leon Wasserstrom: your fear stems from something you read or so trough a medium
[13:42] Laila Schuman: instinctual
[13:44] Laila Schuman: did you listen to trump brag about what he does
[13:44] herman Bergson: The monkeys have no morals...just a sense of what brings more or less pleasure....
[13:44] herman Bergson: and they respond to that
[13:44] Laila Schuman: smiles......... that fits
[13:44] Leon Wasserstrom: No i received information of it trough a biased media outlet
[13:44] Leon Wasserstrom: I didn’t hear him say it personally
[13:45] Laila Schuman: where do you live... we got to hear him...say it out loud... himself
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I just wish someone could shoot that monster before he destroys all of us, he is totally insane, id say he is the new Hitler
[13:45] CB Axel: As opposed to Trump's totally unbiased tweets?
[13:45] herman Bergson: oh Trump here..:-)))
[13:45] CB Axel: You shouldn't say you want him shot, Bejiita. You
[13:45] herman Bergson: BEjiita....holfdon....!
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess time will tell but in the meanwhile ill not worry but look forward to all good stuff before me
[13:45] CB Axel: You'll get put on a list.
[13:46] herman Bergson: You can't travel to the US anymore are registered now....:-))
[13:46] herman Bergson: NSA got all our dialog
[13:46] Laila Schuman: and fear of being put on a list is... justified fear
[13:46] CB Axel: lol
[13:46] Laila Schuman: where have you run into that before
[13:47] Laila Schuman: instinct vs reason
[13:47] herman Bergson: I guess it is better to end our discussion here now before anyone else gets forbidden to enter the USA....
[13:47] CB Axel: In the meantime, a right-wing, Christian goes into a mosque and shoots 14 people. Where's the wall to keep Christians out?
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well reason or not, the meaning of life is complex and will we ever find out?
[13:48] herman Bergson: Good point CB
[13:48] Laila Schuman: so is there meaning to life
[13:48] Laila Schuman: do we think or not
[13:48] CB Axel: I doesn't look like it to me, Laila.
[13:48] herman Bergson: There still is a meaning Laila..:-)
[13:48] Laila Schuman: yes... go on
[13:49] herman Bergson: But youhave to put it in the right perspective...
[13:49] herman Bergson: and that is what we are working on here :-))
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I have some goals but these goals i have set up myself, for ex tomorrow, kickoff with work, satroday and sunday, huge streetdance party
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so this week im happy with my goals
[13:50] herman Bergson smiles
[13:50] herman Bergson: are so close to the answer :-)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said this is a complex but interesting subject
[13:51] herman Bergson: LEt's not spend all our pearls at once ....:-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:51] herman Bergson: So thank youal again for your participation....
[13:51] herman Bergson: Class dismissed..^_^

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