Sunday, May 14, 2017

661: There has to more to life than.....

While we were discussing the idea if progress of mankind could be our purpose in life,
I showed you in two following lectures that you can find our present theme even in your newspaper.
We were working on the observation that a family is more than just its individual members, that mankind is not just the collection of individuals.
This was based on the observation that what can be true of for instance mankind,  is not necessarily true for individual members of mankind.
It would be good for mankind, if the number of new born children should be reduced, because we can not feed that many people,
but this does not necessarily mean that every individual woman should give birth to less children.
So, mankind is a real concept and it fulfils sometimes our desire for or need of the existence of this “There has to be more to life than…”
Religions offer, what we call this transcendental  world, a heaven, an afterlife. Others may offer us a utopia like the perfect proletarian society, where we all are equal.
Populists abuse our desire for the transcendental by declaring that they KNOW what THE PEOPLE wants and that e.g. individual journalists should shut up to contradict them, otherwise……….
All those refer to what you may call transcendental worlds: to something above, beyond or outside our physical world and even a source of higher values.
But that is not what I am looking for. I am looking for something that transcends. That seems to be that basic “more” we long for.
In relation to this, transcendence is simply the escape of the limitations of our own individual, subjective existence
and our experience of being part of and participating in something that is bigger than us.
The counterpart is that we live a life that isn’t compensated by anything. A life that just is, based on nothing more than just existing.
Knowledge and values are only the products of our brain and our actions. Man is the standard of all things.
This is for a lot of people a difficult to accept point of view, when we are trying to find a meaning of life. We already saw that altruism 
may not be the meaning of life, but yet adds something to life which makes it worth living.
A growing number of people do no longer believe  in heaven or a utopia or an afterlife as the ultimate meaning of life,
but makes this our apparent  desire for transcendence meaningless? 
We do some things not just for our neighbour or relative, but for mankind. We climb the barricades protesting against climate change.
We defend our freedom, democracy, our country.  Things that transcend our individuality.
We could conclude here, that linking our personal goals with these transcending concepts can be regarded as a way to transcend our nature of finite beings.
Do you uphold some belief in any transcendent concept?
Thank you for your attention again… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:17] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:17] herman Bergson smiles
[13:17] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: is love a transcent concept? ;)
[13:18] herman Bergson: did it transcend your understanding perhaps>
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:18] herman Bergson: difficult question, Ciska
[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i don't understand the word transcedent, it has different meanings according transaltor
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: yes  but basically thats what we are struggling with these days when we start to try to live in a not-transcendent way
[13:19] herman Bergson: The matter with transcend here is that the concept refers to more than its individual constituents
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: its impossible somehow
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: how so?
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can you translate the word in dutch please Herman?
[13:20] herman Bergson: ti is a difficult and abstract concept, Beertje....I agree...
[13:20] herman Bergson: overstijgend
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ok, dankjewel
[13:20] herman Bergson: it  is hard to grasp...
[13:20] herman Bergson: and it has a long history in philosophy...
[13:21] herman Bergson: as I said before.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: you for and me are the class....
[13:22] herman Bergson: But what really observable exists is just 5 avatars and the building....
[13:22] herman Bergson: so...where is the class?
[13:22] herman Bergson: and yet we regard it as existing...
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the class is just a definition for all of us doing the same thing together
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a group
[13:23] herman Bergson: Is Love a transcendent  concept...
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its not an object but a concept, therein lies the difference
[13:23] herman Bergson: Maybe I have an answer to that....
[13:24] herman Bergson: we see actions of people.....people are nice to eachother and call this loving and caring actions...
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is..we see gestures, looks, and so on....
[13:24] herman Bergson: and then we ask...ok....and where is the LOVE?
[13:25] CB Axel: Love, like this class, is all in our minds.
[13:25] herman Bergson: it is a kind of container concept
[13:25] herman Bergson: yes CB
[13:26] herman Bergson: But not ONLY in our minds....
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:26] herman Bergson: For instance.....
[13:26] herman Bergson: in sociology the do research on groups....on populations and come with explanations of social behavior...
[13:27] herman Bergson: but what the sociologists really see is just individuals....and their actions and behavior
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yet we regard the group as something real
[13:27] herman Bergson: iti i sthe way our mind works.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Concepts that organize our sensory experiences
[13:28] herman Bergson: Statistics is also a good example....
[13:29] herman Bergson: It says for instance......80% of that group will buy X
[13:29] herman Bergson: and after research indeed 80% DID buy X....
[13:29] herman Bergson: but it is hard to say anything about the behavior of individual members of the group..
[13:30] herman Bergson: or maybe...there is 80% chance that he will buy X
[13:30] herman Bergson: which makes the statement a lottery
[13:30] herman Bergson: while the staement about the group can be predicted and true
[13:31] herman Bergson: Difficult issue ...I agree
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:31] herman Bergson: it is about the ontological status of abstract concepts....
[13:32] herman Bergson: no problem with "This chair exists"
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: I think we miss a dimension there...
[13:32] herman Bergson: problem is "Love exists"
[13:33] herman Bergson: whuch dimension, Ciska?
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: the dimension of experience
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: its part of the group and the love concept
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: so concepts seem to come to live with experience
[13:33] herman Bergson: the two verbs "exists" look the same but are different....
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: and experience is something we cannot really  grasp yet
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: they seem to relate to what we feel as a concept of quality
[13:34] herman Bergson: the first on can sit in it, touch it, sell it....
[13:34] CB Axel: Can't we measure love by the number of endorphins released in our brains when we love someone?
[13:34] CB Axel: That's makes it real.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Unfortunately not CB.....
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: that would pin love down to a love to a person - but we do have endorphins too with any kind of thing starting from a dog to a glass of wine
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: love is a bigger concept
[13:35] herman Bergson: The only thing we measure there is that when I say I love someone it correlates with a quantity of endorphinsd in my brain
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess
[13:35] CB Axel: But that is love.
[13:35] herman Bergson: You can't say Love = endorphins in brain
[13:36] CB Axel: That's all love is.
[13:36] CB Axel: I can say that.
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: u can define it like that
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): abstract concepts like love family group, class can be really tricky
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Bekjiita....
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: what does that do then? you can measure if someone loves or not ( endorphin)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they seem first obvious but when you start to try defining them in this way it gets a little difficult
[13:37] herman Bergson: Suppose we define Love as the appearance of endorphins in the brain?
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because they are not things but concepts
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so much more
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you can not touch or see them
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they are just definitions
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for something
[13:37] CB Axel: And seratonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
[13:38] CB Axel: That's all love is.
[13:38] herman Bergson: and we base our action on these concepts...
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: is it ? or are those the body reaction to a situation  - an experience we make, cb?
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then you have managed to describe love as a thing or at least chemical substances
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but describing it that way sounds a bit crude
[13:39] herman Bergson: but when I say I love Ciska....and then I love CB....what does that means?
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i guess that is what it is largely
[13:39] CB Axel: That you're lying? LOL
[13:39] herman Bergson: different quantities of these hormons in my brain?
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: well it basically descirbes an experience u might have with cb in one room - no?
[13:40] herman Bergson: and if ti means different quantities...what causes the difference???
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it mean she doesn’t love me :)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you could use this definition maybee related to programming wich also involves classes
[13:40] CB Axel: Poor, Beertje. I'm sure he loves you, too. :_
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and lets say i have a class called love and fill it with functons describing these things
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then the class will be abstract but full of concrete things that you can access one by one
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of like that
[13:41] herman Bergson: that is not how the brain works Bejiita....
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well in the code world everything will be abstract but this was just a sort of analogy
[13:41] herman Bergson: We have these hormons that appear under given circumstances.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: what causes the differences?
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you stuff a collection of concrete things in an abstract container and call it family, love, group ect
[13:42] herman Bergson: yes indeed.....
[13:43] CB Axel: All kinds of things can make a difference.
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think there is a big difference in loving a human being or loving a glas of wine
[13:43] CB Axel: I love wine, but I wouldn't want to marry a glass of it.
[13:43] CB Axel: Or maybe I would.
[13:43] CB Axel: It's always there for me.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): love = like a lot
[13:43] CB Axel: It makes me feel good.
[13:43] CB Axel: It always has the same effect on me.
[13:43] herman Bergson: Nice marriage CB :-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): 2 glasses make me feel even better CB :)
[13:44] CB Axel: Well, it's reliable at any rate.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (imagines seeing CB in church marrying a glass of wine)
[13:44] herman Bergson: polygamy
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:44] CB Axel: Only if you count each glass as an individual. °͜°
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you said love = like a lot Bejiita, but is like a lot the same as love?
[13:45] herman Bergson: Otherwise you have to marry a bottle, CB :-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess there is more but here it gets tricky again
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for example, when are you friends and when are you in love
[13:45] herman Bergson: and how much is "a lot" ?
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where goes that line between
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): friendship and love
[13:46] herman Bergson: I think abstact concepts are nice toys to play with :-)
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: the fascinating thing is...
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: in general we all still "know" love when we meet it
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: and thats totally independent from culture
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: or where on earth we are
[13:47] herman Bergson: yes Ciska...we accept some ontological status of what these concepts refer to
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: so much so that we think "we know" what it is
[13:48] herman Bergson: But what status that is, I don't dare to sday
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: until we have to define it
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: so that sounds familiar to me
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: familiar from religion
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: for example
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: or whatever
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: we think we "know" something
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: and looking closer - we don't
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: thats transcendence somehow
[13:49] herman Bergson: not exactly true, I'd say...
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: for me thats the difference between
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: experience
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: and rationality
[13:49] herman Bergson: CB did some research on love and came up with observable endocrin phenomena
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: the mind cannot grasp that.
[13:50] herman Bergson: But it is created by the mind nevertheless
[13:50] herman Bergson: and here comes the philosophical story....
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: or  - due to cb - by the endorphins
[13:51] herman Bergson: Plato said....NO...not created by the mind......
[13:51] herman Bergson: we see the shadows of these concepts...
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone whispers: (me too ;) )
[13:51] herman Bergson: his famous story of the cave....
[13:51] herman Bergson: Take causality....
[13:52] herman Bergson: Hume says...we just see B after A....Kant says it is an organizing concept real in the mind
[13:53] herman Bergson: and we can point at the rationalism - empiricism controvery
[13:53] herman Bergson: all related to understanding these abstract concepts
[13:54] herman Bergson: But I think it is enough for today ^_^
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): difficult lecture today Herman
[13:54] herman Bergson: Could do a whole project on "Abstract concepts explained"
[13:54] CB Axel: But very interesting.
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] herman Bergson: Yes it is a difficult subject in philosophy....
[13:55] herman Bergson: But in daily life we can quite well handle these don't worry :-)
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:56] herman Bergson: Thank you all vor your participation again....:-))
[13:56] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:56] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....

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