Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse

Skeptiko forums moved

The official forums of the Skeptiko podcast have moved to http://skeptiko.com/forum/.
As such, these forums are now closed for posting.
See more
See less

Ethics, purpose and the Grave

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post
    I also hope for eternity but that hope seems as slim as the hope that I will be a great poet. I still hope that someday my goal in life will be fulfilled - that I will be recognized as a great poet - but it grows slimmer and slimmer with age.

    The same goes for the hope for eternity I think.
    I have no aspirations of being a poet, thank god, because I'm not good at it. I did write a poem once, which sums up my "beliefs" formed over the years. Even if it is a crappy poem, it does to a degree still pretty much summarize those "beliefs."

    Cheers,
    Bill

    Spirit

    According to The Plan and cosmic law and order,
    Spirit begins Its descent and crosses the border.
    Some old friends remain in the Celestial Land,
    Temporarily forgotten to focus on the task at hand.

    Astral and mental bodies imbued with exact measures,
    Of qualities earned from Heaven's immortal treasures.
    Aware of divine blueprints for Heaven on Earth,
    Spirit prepares Itself for yet another birth.

    Parents selected by Love and sometimes obligation,
    With purpose It draws Itself into the required situation.
    The Sleep of Forgetting begins in not one body but three,
    As Consciousness is submerged in an embryonic sea.

    When the baby is born with Joy the mother cries,
    Unseen but felt are connections of previous ties.
    As what only seems like a new life begins to unfold,
    Its deeper meaning and purpose have yet to be told.

    As the child explores a world both old and new,
    Unconscious memories hold clues of things he must do.
    His joy at this age is of the most brilliant kind,
    With the reality of Heaven still close in his mind.

    As he gets older he finds that some debts must be paid,
    Yet fails to see them as consequences of tracks he has laid.
    At times life may seem senseless and even quite cruel,
    If he has not yet learned to make the inner forces rule.

    His body, mind, and emotions must learn to radiate the soul's Light,
    Since the darkness of matter does not comprehend what is right.
    As he learns to craft these mortal bodies into Heaven's tools,
    He sees debating science and religion as the province of fools.

    Truth is not found in a single discipline, doctrine, or generation,
    It pervades all of life from parenting to governing a nation.
    The trajectory he follows is fully his own choice,
    But the consequences will be best if he heeds that "still small voice."

    The spark of Light within him is, and forever will be,
    Within his reach if only he develops "the eyes to see."
    Even with mistakes and failures his purpose is served,
    As the Truth about his role in life is gradually observed.

    Abstract to concrete and parts to whole, Universal Intelligence is seen,
    Just as Euclid discovered in the ubiquitous Golden Mean.
    Manifest in rose petals, sea shells, DNA, and galaxy swirls that show,
    Plans and patterns that speak "as above, so below."

    The mysteries of Heaven are within, not without,
    Even if we stand in the darkness and continue to doubt.
    Creation is not something completed in Six Days long ago,
    It's a Masterpiece begun in Spirit, and we on Earth must make it so.

    --bw

    NOTE (Edit): Written after eating psychedelic mushrooms, which caused my "mind"/epiphenomena to be vibrating like a hyper-membrane. :-)
    Last edited by billw; September 14th, 2012, 06:25 PM.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post
      Given perfect knowledge of the initial conditions (or perfect knowledge at any point in time really) as well as knowledge of the natural laws that apply, you are determined if those two things (knowledge of conditions and the natural laws) are necessary and sufficient conditions to describe your spatial and temporal whereabouts.

      What reason could their be for consciousness if this was true? It is superfluous by all accounts.
      It is possible to predict peoples' behaviour even if they exercise free will since people do not act randomly. Is prediction sufficient for the label of "determined" to be applied?

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Philemon View Post
        Could you say more about why your hope for eternity is growing slimmer? I have found that my hope for eternity is actually becoming greater and greater - especially as I have pursued this topic more seriously and found communities like this one, here at Skeptiko. The more I become acquainted with the data that is out there - and more informed about how materlalist ideology has been informing the anti-psi side of the debate - the more mistrustful I am of supposed authorities coming along and saying that this or that (or in our case, eternity) does not exist.
        First off, I am not a disbeliever in psi - I'm a fence-sitter. I do agree that materialist philosophy with behaviourism and functionalism and all its wierd attempts at answering the mind-brain problem is just wrong.

        I also agree with the fact that materialism is almost a religion in scientific circles - it could no more be questioned than faith under the inquisition.

        But I do think that answers about the world must be informed both by reason and experience - thus methodological naturalism has a use in discovering truths about existing objects - while philosophy deals primarily in concepts. Now at a certain point philosophy and science meet - and at that point philosophy, as the father of science, must take precedence and judge where ontology and epistemology interact.

        In that meeting the evidence just doesn't do enough for me - and I know how strong my hope for the one and terror at the other is. Therefor I am extra vigilant.

        Originally posted by Philemon View Post
        P.S. You might very well already be a great poet. Getting people to fawn all over you is a whole other matter - and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your talent.
        I'm sorry - I mis-spoke. I mean that I wish I could think of myself as being a great poet...

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by anonymous View Post
          I also don't know how something can not be determined unless it is random.

          If you make a choice then there must be some process by which that choice is made, unless it is a random process. Either way I don't see how there can be freedom. Random is not freedom, and whatever process is used to make the choice, the choice will be determined by how that process works.

          The fact that we don't understand and can't see the process doesn't mean it doesn't exist (but its invisibility is what creates the illusion of free will). If it's not random, what else can it be other than determined?
          Well, I don't know how the mechanism of freedom works but neither do we understand determinism. Nor randomness. They are concepts with which we handle the world.

          The truth of determinism for example, could never be determined by experimentation. Necessity is needed, and you can only reach necessity through reason - if at all.

          I think that there is no way to make sense of the world unless we are agents. and thus there is nothing I know more intuitively than my sense of freedom. By that I mean that we seem to have a sense of true decision-making powers.

          There is a sense in which I can decide where to look at any given moment, but I can not by mere decision change what I see when I have locked my eyes on to something.

          I think most people fail completely to understand determinism. If determinism is true than all theories of decision-making, like game theory, is false. We can't be said to act for ethical reasons, have creativity nor be agents in any way.


          Originally posted by Interesting Ian View Post
          It is possible to predict peoples' behaviour even if they exercise free will since people do not act randomly. Is prediction sufficient for the label of "determined" to be applied?
          First of, people do not act randomly - people do however sometimes act rationally and sometimes they act on sentiment. The Passions and Reason contend over every man yet born.

          So I don't agree that you can predict a mans actions every time.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post

            First of, people do not act randomly - people do however sometimes act rationally and sometimes they act on sentiment. The Passions and Reason contend over every man yet born.

            So I don't agree that you can predict a mans actions every time.
            I didn't say every time. I don't believe our behaviour can be predicted every time as we have the capacity to choose arbitrarily. However I think peoples' behaviour can be predicted the vast majority of the time.

            I don't think free will is incompatible with the block universe hypothesis. Indeed it's definitely not.

            Comment


            • #36
              My fascination with purpose and the brevity of our lives is something that really confounds me. Having read more theology of late I now lean towards the view that any ethical theory without eternal life for the moral agent becomes arbitrary.

              If I spend my life and my fortune rescuing the poor it seems obvious that I have done good. Unless you're a Nietzschean that thinks pity is a disease.

              If I spend my life enjoying the torture of children it seems equally obvious that I am doing something evil.

              But why should it be so if transient man is the measure of all things and his existence is set within a universe that falls apart and dies shortly after the human race is gone?

              Why should my ethical intuitions be anything but an expression of taste? And if I was a psychopath lusting for murder - why should it not be good to do murder?

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Carl Jung View Post
                My fascination with purpose and the brevity of our lives is something that really confounds me. Having read more theology of late I now lean towards the view that any ethical theory without eternal life for the moral agent becomes arbitrary.

                If I spend my life and my fortune rescuing the poor it seems obvious that I have done good. Unless you're a Nietzschean that thinks pity is a disease.

                If I spend my life enjoying the torture of children it seems equally obvious that I am doing something evil.

                But why should it be so if transient man is the measure of all things and his existence is set within a universe that falls apart and dies shortly after the human race is gone?

                Why should my ethical intuitions be anything but an expression of taste? And if I was a psychopath lusting for murder - why should it not be good to do murder?
                When discussions become academic they tend to lose something. Possibly depth, I'm not sure. Nevertheless, it seems that what is left out when talking about ethics, morality, purpose, etc. is love.

                All the NDE experiences, profound mystical and spiritual teaching and personal enlightenment experiences confirm that love is the one truth. It may be that this cannot be apprehended intellectually - it has to be experienced. But, I would imagine, once it has been experienced then I suspect we would find greater depth of meaning than mere taste or lust.

                Comment


                • #38
                  I think the most important issues of immortalist ethics would be the issues of transformation and renewal - as well as redemption and forgiveness.

                  Death has its positive side - it is a liberation which allows rebirth to happen. It liberates one from the burden of the past - from mistakes, failings, misdeeds; even from horrid acts being done. It liberates from obligations and relations. It takes you away from physical and socio-linguistic context in which you done all what you done and let you start again. Of course, it is possible that some form of "karma" exists... but even in such case, you are still allowed to start again, and might have a better chance to balance "bad karma" with a good one - in new society, where you are still a child with many possibilities ahead - not ostrachized criminal who is rejected for deeds of the past. No one can be blamed for what one did in previous life - now one have a new personality, a renowated ego-state which was formed in the new conditions.

                  As for immortality... we all know that potential of psychophysical transformation - such as neuroplastity (and "bioplastity" in general), meta-programming (a radical change of one's mind - term used by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson), etc. gave anyone a chance to change one's body and mind rather radically. All such practices are just beginning to develop - and in the future they are likely to give us a possibility of one might call a live rebirth; a reincarnation without dying; a new life without losing the memory of the previous one.

                  What is most important, such live rebirths must become a possibilty for re-acceptance, redemption and forgiveness even for persons who did horrid and cruel things in the past. We must remember that two strongest (even if in most cases unconscious or semi-conscious) reasons for fear of immortality are fear of boredom and of "eternal damnation". Psychophysical transformation saves us from both; it leads us to a new experiences and thoughts, and it gives us a way to forgiveness. People who performed cruel acts, but changed themselves for the better, should not be rejected and "punished" - in the world of immortal creatures, it may lead to eternal torment, eternal hatred and eternal vengeance. They should be given a possibility to compensate what they done with constructive activity - when someone is immortal, he/she will have enough time to redeem even the harshest misdeeds, and start a new stage of his/her immortal life - with memory of mistakes which will prevent from another fall, but without the burden of rejection and vengeance from others, which was allowed by liberating oneself from cruel impulses and urges via transformation, and compensation destructive deeds of the past with creative deeds of the present. A possibility to earn the future without damnation of the past.

                  As Sufis say:

                  The fool neither forgives nor forgets;
                  The half-enlightened forgives and forgets;
                  The Sufi forgives but does not forget.


                  This should become one of the main cornerstones of the immortalist ethics of the future: rebirth without dying; forgiveness without forgetfulness.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X