Tuesday, April 25, 2017

658: Offers mankind a meaning of life....?

Helping my friend or brother in need, knowing that he would do the same for me, makes living life worth living, meaningful.
My friend or brother are tangible. I can see them, touch them, feel them. They are real to me. I can say, that they exist.
But what when what we value entities, that are NOT tangible, can not be felt, can not be seen and of which we yet say that they exist?
Line up your family. What do you see? Four individual persons. You can call them by their name, touch them, but what you do not see is your FAMILY.
Well, of course, in a way you do, but in another way you don’t, but yet you accept statements regarding your family as normal and meaningful.
Let’s make a philosophical turn. If you say “I know that….”, it means this is either true or false. That is knowledge. All science is based on this concept…true or false.
So any statement that can be tested on being true or false, we can regard as knowledge statements. 
In the previous lecture we learnt that we can do knowledge statements about members of a family and about the family itself.
And we discovered that what is true of the family is not necessarily true of individual members of the family.
Thence we must conclude that there exist  the four members of the family, who we can feel and touch
and that  there exists independently of these four members also THE FAMILY, of which we can say real meaningful things, but which we can not touch and feel.
What counts for family , counts even more for mankind, the biggest family on earth there is. But we have here the same problem…
What may be good for mankind doesn’t necessarily have to be good for a number of individuals, members of mankind. So how should we understand this  situation?
The meaning of life may be the well being of you and your brother, but maybe it might even be the well being of the species homo sapiens,
So the meaning of life could be advancing the species homo sapiens. We are here to become better and better each day…
However, there is nothing in our evolution that tells us which direction to take to become better….and…better in what sense?
But yet you see time and again someone  stand up as a leader with the promise to lead all (at least his country fellowmen) to a better future.
So did Stalin at the cost of millions of human lives. So did Hitler, Napoleon. They all promised a better life.Same happens in Turkey again with Erdogan.
It is the promise that when we have reached this or that state of affairs, we are free from all problems, have reached the better world and life.
But here we run into that same wall. Suppose we all accept these ideas and promises as our meaning of life.
Then, what is the meaning of life when all promises have been fulfilled? 
And  furthermore what is this end stage of our evolution? 
And have all these millions of years of evolution been only a means to reach this end?
Maybe we should look for the meaning of life at the here and now, at the life we live now.
Thank you for your attention…to be continued next Tuesday … ^_^

The Discussion

[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:19] herman Bergson: The floor is yours, if you have any questions or remarks :-)
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:20] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): It's not just the leaders people follow, they tend to unite behind the idea of nation
[13:20] Faust Saenz: Thank you! Is there a general will and who gets to speak for it?
[13:21] herman Bergson: yes Faust.....behind some abstraction...
[13:21] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): the creation and expansion of the idea of nation in the 19th and 20th centuries is at the base of all those massacres
[13:21] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): and Napoleon is a different case. People joined his army because they were led to believe they were fighting for the French revolution
[13:21] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): for their individual rights
[13:21] herman Bergson: Well before that date we had massacres too HJphn
[13:21] herman Bergson: John
[13:22] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): yes, sure
[13:22] herman Bergson: Bu tthe nation state is indeed a phenomemnon....
[13:22] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): but nothing like the 20th century
[13:22] CB Axel: I just heard today of a website that allows you to "vote" in elections in other countries.
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:22] herman Bergson: ohhh?
[13:22] Faust Saenz: Do the aggregate entities have their own being or do they consist of voluntary participants?
[13:23] herman Bergson: That is  the ontological problem here, Faust....
[13:23] herman Bergson: what is the ontological status of abstracts like family, country, nation etc
[13:24] CB Axel: It's very interesting. The people voting on the website tend to vote for people who want to help the world, but the actual voters in the countries vote for what they think is best for their country only.
[13:24] Faust Saenz: The same reality as that of triangle.
[13:24] herman Bergson: Interesting indeed, CB
[13:24] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): people are shrinking back from globalisation
[13:24] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): it scares them to thanks to the crisis they seek refuge in the idea of nation
[13:24] herman Bergson: Seems so indeed, John...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:25] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): so...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:25] herman Bergson: We see it in Europe with le Pen or Wilders....
[13:25] herman Bergson: the xenophobic reactions
[13:25] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Trump, Erdogan
[13:25] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): everywhere
[13:25] Faust Saenz: Is it permissible to be partial to one's friend and cheat on realizing the highest good for humanity?
[13:26] herman Bergson: That is a real ethical problem Faust :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: But first we have to establish what is the highest good for humanity
[13:27] Faust Saenz: I think once we globally discharge our obligations toward justice, we are free to grant partiality toward friends and family.
[13:27] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): peace, love and unity
[13:28] herman Bergson: If that could be true, John
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agrees John, why is it so hard to strive against that
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): greed for power and control is the problem i guess
[13:28] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): esperantists used to believe it's the fault of the difference in languages
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a few who oppresses the rest for own gain leading to war hunger and misery
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the big issue I think
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): gor ex only a few people have over 50 % of all the worlds money
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for7
[13:29] Faust Saenz: Nothing intrinsically wrong with a desire for security, but it can get out of hand, easily.
[13:29] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): true is that the world is more and more controlled by multinational companies, some are bigger than most states
[13:29] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): and they have interests of their own
[13:29] herman Bergson: Here we have the same problem....
[13:29] herman Bergson: the concept Multinational.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: it still is a collection of individual beings only
[13:30] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): multinationals are a collection of interests
[13:30] herman Bergson: but yet we can meaningfully talk about a Multinational.....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, ive heard horrible stories about such companies, going into for ex resource rich regions in africa, murdering and enslaving the locals and taking all resources out of the country for themselvs while the population gets nothing from it
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats sooo awful
[13:31] herman Bergson: Intersts are features of human beings only...
[13:31] Faust Saenz: Voluntary collaboration is the only meaningful aggregate.
[13:31] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): I have heard that they convince us daily in buying useless stuff that we don't need.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so they can make more money while the poisons are spread and the trash heaps get bigger and bigger
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they behave as individuals with their one conscience and interests
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): such a waste
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they tend to selfpreservation at all costs
[13:32] herman Bergson: What is interesting is that individual human beings can morally hide themselves behind for instance the interests of teh Company....
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): In the end they have good things and bad things in them
[13:32] herman Bergson: sothat they are freed from moral responsibility
[13:33] Faust Saenz: We need to create an infinite game that navigates though the treacherous waters of loneliness and boredom and yet affirms sociability, play, and compassion.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so
[13:33] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): i always wonder how they could put on trial the nazists in Germany after wwII but not the industrialists that helped them and who thrived on their actions
[13:33] herman Bergson: I agree, John...
[13:34] herman Bergson: Same at the moment with terrorists....those who finance them are invisible
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed they must have been knowing what they helped doing
[13:34] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): the paradox today is that those who are living in rich countries are unhappy while those who live in poor countries seem to be happier
[13:35] herman Bergson: The issue here is that our world is not just filled with real persons, but also with abstract concepts which we hold for  real...
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): terrorists means very little or nothing
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): ISIS is behaving as the USA's ground troops
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): go and look who they are fighting
[13:35] Faust Saenz: Some nations are better than others at converting economic growth into increases in positive psychological wellbeing.
[13:36] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): some people are nothing but incarnate concepts
[13:36] Faust Saenz: Norway is both the happiest country and also the best at converting economic growth into higher wellbeing.
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: @herman cooperations? ;)
[13:37] herman Bergson: what do you mean Ciska?
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: hermann bergson: The issue here is that our world is not just filled with real persons, but also with abstract concepts which we hold for  real...
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: and I was asking cooperatios? ;)
[13:37] herman Bergson: Ahh yes....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: those are abstracts which are not real
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: but we pretend they are
[13:38] herman Bergson: like family, nation, multinational, company....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: until we killthem
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:38] Faust Saenz: Friendship
[13:38] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Norway has a high suicide rate
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: and they have a responsibility whatsoever.
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this is why a family cant be a thing by itself
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is not a thing but a concept, a group of people
[13:38] herman Bergson: the point is that we put value in those entities.....we value family for instance.....
[13:39] herman Bergson: and this guides our actions in this world...
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and as with any group you can not touch the actual group, just the obects inside the group
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same with a family
[13:39] herman Bergson: Like Trump said...America first.....
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: and we do the same with cooperations but they do not have emotions - family has
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: (or into nations - same thing)
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: so in the end the matriarchate is the only thing that will work long term?
[13:40] Faust Saenz: Norway is middle of the pack in regard to suicide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate
[13:40] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): If trump put America first he wouldn't be Trump
[13:40] herman Bergson: these abstractions have no emotions....or feelings....individual people have
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he puts himself first
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and his money
[13:40] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): true
[13:42] herman Bergson: Next time we should look into the question Why do we put values in abstract things like family, nation and the like.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: what kind of process is this...
[13:42] herman Bergson: It guides a lot of our actions....
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: the problem is that we do put laws on individuals but not on the concepts we have -  for families that makes not difference - because families consitste of individuals.. but for cooperations it does because they have their own law personality  - we tread them like people
[13:42] CB Axel: That should be interesting.
[13:43] Faust Saenz: Thanks again!
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed even a coropration is just another type of group
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: but not with all consequences.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not 1 single thing
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: no bejjita not legally
[13:43] herman Bergson: Interesting Ciska.....the personalisation of abstractions by laws...
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: and thats the problem
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true and thats why issues arise
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: for nations it is
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the need to look beyond the group and what is in it
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the individual objects, persons ect
[13:44] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Thank you, have a nice day
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and not just look at the group
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: and that makes it possible to by just shifting the main point of the cooperation to another country without the laws u do not want to follow choose something an individual could not choose.
[13:45] herman Bergson: You too, John :_0
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:45] herman Bergson: :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): assholes hiding behind the company so they can dump their toxic waste and then say, its not us, its the company
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of like that
[13:45] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita...
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok, tile to move on
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y888wVY5hzw
[13:46] herman Bergson: Ok Bejiita :-)
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa gonna watch that
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu soon again
[13:46] herman Bergson: So thank you all again for your participation...:-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: have a great day everyone
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: or night
[13:47] herman Bergson: you too Ciska :-)
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten beertje
[13:47] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:47] CB Axel: See you all on Tuesday.
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman and goodnight everyone
[13:47] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[13:47] herman Bergson shouts: Bye CB
[13:47] Joseph Bard (science24): night everyone
[13:48] herman Bergson: Bye Joseph :-)

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