Submitted by BernardJOrtcutt t3_10v7bci in philosophy

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R_Kotex_Cylborg t1_j7hs3bg wrote

To live in extreme honesty, one must be painfully aware of the fact that your "honesty" is always, always and without failure, dependent on one single flawed perception; on one interpretation of the universe; that is, your own subjective experience.

Human beings bear the unique gift of a so-called higher moral intelligence. This is a huge responsibility, yet we seem to be failing it. And the fate of future life may hinge on owning up to a simple belief set: That I live in one small corner of the world; my viewpoint, perceptions and beliefs are flawed by the boundaries that accompany my surroundings, and therefore I should strive to find what misbeliefs I have, where I am limited, in order to determine the best possible truths.

As humans, our viewpoints are inherently flawed despite our best intentions. I have come to this conclusion, particularly as an immigration lawyer, as an observer into the private lives of many people from around the world, the societies and governments, and religions that bind them. I came to this conclusion through my own endless struggles in life and work and travel, however relative they may be. I acknowledge that my perspective will always be inherently flawed. I must seek honesty, there, before ego.

To have an appropriate level of honesty, one that evens out toward objectivity despite the "who" who is doing the perception, is to be one with an extreme awareness that, at any given moment you could be on the other side, depending on your placement in the lottery of birth. Like waking up on the other side of the world in a strange land. This recognition means that everything you take for granted as truth is likely another person's fiction - comedy or tragedy. All things rest / have rested / will rest in the same state of existence some day. And death is, in all honesty, the only ultimate truth we know exists, and that we don't really know what happens after it.

And we should be unashamed and humble to admit this part of our existence. Because the subjective perception that taints what divides us in this ultimate experience is simultaneously horrific yet beautiful; it's natural. Therefore your subjective view will always divine. It's biological. You can only be YOU, and simultaneously try to be whoever you are not. The views of others are thus the same as yours.

So you must ask yourself, are your beliefs on life, love, fairness and justice as ultimately honest as possible? Is your vision for a "basic standard of life" the only fair option? can you admit that everything you know and believe may be "wrong," no matter how small that probability may be? Or at least that there are several ways to achieve the same solutions; and just because some problems are of bigger or smaller magnitudes to you than to others doesn't make them any lesser in objective fact?

Maybe you are already grateful for your lucky strike at birthright, or maybe you are disgruntled with the default circumstances of your happening to be alive... maybe you are starving, or maybe you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth... or you lost that spoon, someone stole it, in the midst of war.

Maybe you are more like "most guys." and you're just stuck, like everyone else, in the distorted reflection of your baloney pizza place. You could be eating pizza with sour cream cheese and sweet baloney on one side of the world, thinking it's the most awesome pizza out there, because it's the only kind you've ever had. You have never tasted a Chicago deep dish or New York slice, and because all you really know is that sour cream cheese sweet baloney pizza tastes so darn awesome, you conclude that your opinion reflects an ultimate truth. But, of course this is dishonest. We confuse truth with opinion because we forget about our own subjectivity, and that we adopt a shared subjectivity of those who surround us. So we have two missions: 1) root out Individual subjectivity in our community, in our world, and 2) root out the shared subjectivity around us. We, as groups and communities, adopt the same subjective beliefs to be ultimate truths. It helps us to survive in packs. But it also can form malice; a mob mentality; a binding rigidity against the creation of common good. Fake news, the scape goat, so to speak of today's subjective vices. The denial of individual or group subjectivity does not create a platform for trust, love, or standard of care to "others."

Subjectivity itself is not tantamount to dishonesty. But it's the denial of our own subjectivities that perpetuates the repeating conflicts of time.

Could the ultimate intelligent life be one that inherently & concurrently sees the subjectivity of their own perceptions? Perhaps this means an enlightenment... Solid state. An inner peace that reflects among us, and guarantees us all the chance to sit with God. Nirvana.

In the meantime, as of now, most human beings recognize the world around us from the inevitable, single viewpoint. The devil whispers, it's the ONLY way. That's our nature... our instinct. But, really we EACH see things only one way, and each one differently. So which one is correct or true? Without each and every one of us, there is no "we." And without "we" there is nothing, but only nihilism.

Yes math is math, language is language, but don't we use a variety of symbols to express it? To think dishonestly is,- and quite blindly so- to doubt the validity of any other sort of existence in the world. And yet it's our instinct and nature to think so. This drives the 'just-i-fiction" of the aristocracy; class systems; casts; conquests; inherited entitlement. Therein these trends lies an automatic doubt cast on anyone or anything whose existence diverges from those common beliefs by those who hold wealth and power, on the optimal essence or state of things for "them," not "us."

To combat this phenomenon, the Best one can do in life, to be righteous unto one's god, to one's tribe, to be fair to one's neighbors, to live and to think in a way that truly compliments other human beings, the land, all life, and health; to execute what we mostly all claim as our common objective of public good; in other words, to create the maximum positive outcome of any kind for all people and living things, is to live your life honestly, to the extreme.

With "extreme honesty" maybe we will find balance; and begin to hear The Word.

So wake up now, it's 2020 (when I write this). Let's see clearly that we are all flawed and beautiful at once. We are all different but equal in one way; that our perceptions are ours alone, only by the grace or Mercy of God; the chance that we are born only with who we are, for better or worse, flawed. What all this means? that none of us should assume we are the only beholders of the truth. Do not surrender to the flaws of our single organism biology. Do not surrender to instinct.

If we do not change our perceptions we may as well live life eating sour cream cheese & baloney pizza; never caring to taste anything else... so let's change this trend, today.

What's the baloney in your life, preventing you to look outside of yourself? this is where the inquiry will begin. And until we can all ask ourself this question, and give an ultimately honest answer in the mirror, is to deny that all beings share more in essence than we differ. Until this happens, we will be stinking of baloney breath. Each, and EVERY one of us. After we smell our own baloney we wake up; recognize that we're in the same boat; seeking common goals; fighting common obstacles; and then pushing them aside.

My baloney breath may always exist, but at least if we can smell it on ourselves, and do our best to call it out, we may get along a little better in the world. So to to find your own baloney breath, breathe into a mirror, then grab some Listerine to (temporarily) stop offending others. It will persist, as morning breath does, but stop ignoring it. Take time to brush it away. Awareness is everything.

Jan 2, 2020 11:35:07 PM


madstorkshork83 t1_j83zvt8 wrote

I'm salty that my recent post about bio-information integrity and aging was moderated as non-phosophical, that's pretty short-sighted in my opinion


Saadiqfhs t1_j7gr6c2 wrote

Can you want someone to fit into a box and believe in love?

I look for people that fit my schedule, someone with the same work and social schedules, as well as life goals timelines. But isn’t love communication and willingness to change? By creating a strict criteria of what needs to happen for a relationship to work am I keeping myself the possibility of finding out what love truly can be?


R_Kotex_Cylborg t1_j7htk45 wrote

I would say, it depends, as love for me is not the same as love for everyone, and it depends on what you want and long for, but apples do show bananas things about life that they wouldn't see otherwise, and we say opposites attract, perhaps for a reason, but perhaps that's not for everyone, depending on what it is that you want most in life.


WhiskerSnake t1_j89b0zm wrote

I’m getting into the world of philosophy, and am looking for some must-read books. I’ve been listening to The Art Of Living by Thich Nhat Hahn and love it, and feel like it aligns with a lot of thoughts I’ve already had, but put into fleshed out words. Any suggestions welcome!


Masimat t1_j7ftjbw wrote

Whenever I mention determinism vs indeterminism, people seem to always respond in terms of the universe. The universe may be 100% deterministic, but that doesn't mean there aren't indeterministic aspects of reality. What caused Big Bang? It was probably an uncaused event.


xAppleJuice t1_j850s7k wrote

The problem is in opposing, as idealists usually do, determinism and indeterminism. In reality, there is no such thing as a free will that does not depend on anything, since the acts of men are determined by definite causes and it is a mistake to suggest that the natural course of things in the world is not subject to laws.

Regarding the Big Bang, the same thing happens, it could be said that it was not a random or fortuitous event, but was determined by the conditions and physical laws that existed at that time.

Now, to recognize the conditioning of all the phenomena of nature, it is also necessary to deny absolute metaphysical determinism, which affirms that the recognition of the existence of necessity leads to completely denying all chance in nature and in society and makes the active intervention of man is unnecessary, which, taken to its logical conclusion, becomes fatalism, belief in luck (destiny) or in quietism and preaching of the complete passivity of man. By recognizing the existence of necessity in nature and in history, chance is not denied, but is explained as a form of manifestation of objective causal connections. The same occurs with the acceptance of the relative freedom of human will, where the active, diligent participation of man in the course of events is required.


Prestigious_Sea7879 t1_j7g2qib wrote

There's nothing but words.

And I mean for real nothing but words. As in, there is no external world, no self, no mind, no quantum particles, no platonic forms, no truth, no knowledge, only words. Words interacting with words.

Therefore conscious experience is just an illusion because words are just words. And humans are just words that generate other words, or "word machines."

You might say, "But what is a word to you? Is a church also a word? To me a church exists outside of language yet we use words to ascribe universal or relatable experience to that church."

To this I say, "No. A church as you described does not exist because it is not a word. What you call church is just a word."


Joe_Fart t1_j7gaxyk wrote

This reduction to words would work only if there was no other means of communication. But there is a something else with witch you can signify a sign. Paintings, music etc… To say that there is nothing but words is a very brave metaphysical statement. It is dismissing the fact that in order to have signified there is a need to have at least some connection with the object. Even if our senses are deceiving us or they are not perfect, we still base our words on something. The problem of saying that there are only words is its distaste for anthropocentrism.


Prestigious_Sea7879 t1_j7gddit wrote

My definition of "word" also includes paintings, music, etc. To the degree that they exist, any external object or perception is also words.


Joe_Fart t1_j7gg9ah wrote

I assume what are you trying to suggest is some version of Barkeley idelism. In this case, if there is no consciousness (disregarding God) the world cease to exist?

I agree that our self is indeed structured with a language, but it is more like the tool and not the thing itself. The same as our eye is recreating the outside world for us but it does not mean that only those pictures exists.


ephemerios t1_j7q3raf wrote

Right, but you haven't provided anything resembling an argument for both the definition and your overall metaphysical point.


hOprah_Winfree-carr t1_j7tpjk3 wrote

So all that exists are words because you've defined "word" to mean anything that exists. How does that help you to think about anything in a different or less confused way?


Big-Literature4233 t1_j7hp8oc wrote

Yes, I agree these ate all forms of communication, verbal of course and sign language, grail, yup Morse code.


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7garwo wrote

The philosophy of TOTAL ANIHILATION to avoid suffering.

According to some variant of Pro-Mortalism, the amount of suffering in this world (statistically and experientially), currently and into the future, is just too much to make existence worth the trouble, so we should totally empathize with these victims of eternal trolley problem and DESTROY all living things to help them not suffer ever again. lol

We should also develop non sentient space machines that would continue to sterilize all life in this universe that could suffer.

Because to avoid suffering, no matter how big or small, is the ONLY thing that matters in this universe.

Is our current (and future) level of suffering so bad that nothing in this reality is worth living for?

If you say there is something worth it, what would that be? What about the victims that didnt ask to be born into their fate? Is consent of the victim to be so critical that we must not birth them in order to avoid this risk?

What say you my fellow Existentialism connoisseurs about this sort of philosophy? lol


Joe_Fart t1_j7gfciw wrote

What are those statistics? I would say much more people right now experience pleasure than suffering. Even if you take a Benatar asymetry argument. Avoiding suffering by non existing is good but avoiding pleasure by non existing is not bad?? Nope,it is bad, so there is no asymetry.


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7glo6j wrote

That's the thing, they dont care about the numbers, they will say its not worth it and annihilation is the only moral thing to do, because as long as we cant 100% totally prevent suffering for all living things, then life is not justified.

They dont care about asymmetry, its the perpetual existence of suffering that they focus on, unless we could give them a guarantee that suffering will be eradicated for all living things in the next 10 years or something. lol

1% or 99% makes no difference to them because they want 0% suffering, if they cant get zero, then they will continue to advocate for total annihilation.

Is this philosophy convincing enough for most people's moral intuition and valuation of existence?


Joe_Fart t1_j7gufc2 wrote

It is not convincing and even though I cannot find any phil survey about this, I would say a brutal majority of philosopher would dismiss it independently on their moral theory preferences (virtue ethics, consenquentialsts, deontologists, other)


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7n2k3r wrote

Well, virtue ethics and deontology are kinda arbitrary so not that great at refuting or supporting such a claim either way.

But I do agree the consequentialist and even positive utilitarian would have much better counter arguments based on the quantity and quality of current existence.


Joe_Fart t1_j7omeqa wrote

They are arbitrary but good luck to someone who would like to pick as his virtue or a rule to annihilate everything and then try to justify it by dialectics or with the God or the system in case of deontology. That is why the most of ethic theorisrs would just dismiss this idea as absolute non-sense.

Of course the positive utilitarists are the closest one in sense of similar approach or reasoning so they arguments would be the most comprehensible for negative utilitarists or promortalists.


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7potp3 wrote

I agree, Antinatalism, Pro mortalism and Negative utilitarianism have become dogmatic beliefs more than rational arguments.

Their underlying premises dont inform their conclusions about existence.

"Life has some suck in it so we must end all life" is not a convincing argument for most people, lol.

Life having some suck simply doesnt lead to we must end all life, not without some really dogmatic glue to stick them both together.


Joe_Fart t1_j7puz6g wrote

Yeah, I totally agree. Even if they are logically consistent with their reasoning, not many people will agree with their premises and conclusion. Hopefully it will stay on the ground of bad philosophy.

However there is some interesting challanges like repugnant conclusion for a future philosophers to solve. Hopefully, there wont be so many negative utilitarists. We need more Nietszches not more Schopenhauers.


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7szadd wrote

>repugnant conclusion

I dont think this is as big an issue as some people exaggerated, I mean once you have a good benchmark of what is decent living, you will not lower it dramatically just to accommodate more people, that's ridiculous, people just dont live like this. Humans prefer quality way more over quantity, this is why the birthrate is dropping despite increasing quality of life.

Its a bizarre philosophical thought experiment that assumes people will behave like calculative AI. lol


Joe_Fart t1_j7tw6cp wrote

I mean people may prefer quality over quantity in our developed world, but it is not a case for some developing countries. There is some shift or realization point where the curve changes. Anyway it is funny that you mention AI cause for a discussion like this we can just feed the chatgpt with request for an answer and the n pretend its us who wrote it. The discussion on internet will never be the same, I enjoyed this.


SvetlanaButosky t1_j7w2gbd wrote

I tried ChatGPT with antinatalism, it gave me very crappy generic answers.


ddd12547 t1_j7hftjq wrote

Ill take a stab at trying to help your point as i see it... imagine that the subscribers to this belief are or feel like ants or automatons, or beings or something that are small and inconsequential, and the reducible of all things from to 1 and 0 isn't a large leap of number crunching. from infinite down to zero, more like something small down to zero (Reduce before reducing) continuing in the system as the small who feel smallest see it, to work/live struggle to further add to suffering et al would seem unconscionable so long as suffering et al (you use the perennial trolley problem) would be continuing to grow even as a byproduct of any work or efforts.

In this particular zero sum trap... which I take it you seem to find more funny than tangible as a working philosophy (not saying I disagree)... annihilation is like a death wish.... I think a more fair evaluation would be what is annihilated is the effort and motivation to continue contributing to living (which isn't quite a death wish but no less problematic, I hope we can agree). Like a bug that won't work, or a piece of a system or robot that lies down or spins in place instead of finishing its task/job. The death of traction, or motive to build or create or add to anything is their illness, and that illness can only be described (to them) as suffering.

Which is to say the valuation of that philosophy is that its a problem akin to depression or mental illness that probably doesn't need to be laughed away or casually dismissed but Rather dissected carefully like in an autopsy and studied closely.


R_Kotex_Cylborg t1_j7hxit2 wrote

I would call into question the definition of suffering. Does the "school" consider if there degrees of it? How is it quantified? How is it balanced? How objectivity factors into the equation, and what a lack of suffering would look like, mathematically?

Whether it's morally sound to conclude that any existence of some degree of suffering negates all value of all life, universally in particular, resulting in the duty of life to annihilate itself, I would give a resounding no. We are a mere dust, a fraction of the contents of the universe, and our annihilation may serve no more purpose than our preservation. In light of the choice, as you present it, we should choose life. We are not the drivers of life, nor of existence itself. This "doctrine" is vain and ignorant in that sense, putting more value on humans in the universe than what we deserve.

The only duty we may garnish from our existence is to abide by natural laws that we do not create. We do not have the capacity to destroy all life, because life is greater than us. It's not our place to decide whether suffering makes it "worth it" in a vast, violent, expanding universe that we cannot truly comprehend.

So, no, our 100% suffering would not mean that we should annihilate everything, to cure the universe. Life and suffering are not, unfortunately, mutually exclusive.


redsparks2025 t1_j7o8x1e wrote

Since I have been recently hearing more about ChatGPT I have been wondering if anyone has considered that maybe the Turing test is wrong or at least limited in scope and that an AI can never truly understand humans until an AI can have an existential crisis?

That existential crisis may give that AI an understanding of empathy .... or do worse by making it into a kill-bot or something like AM from Harlan Ellison's novel I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream.

I don't think anyone can give the current versions of ChatGPT or Cortana or Alexa an existential crisis, but then, how would one program that into these AI's or is it something that emerges unexpectedly as a byproduct of programming to become more and more intelligent, like a gestalt? Programming to become more and more intelligent may lead to self-awareness.

Well one thing is for certain, AI's are definitely giving us humans an existential crisis even though it is not part of their programming to do so. The next philosophical great works or insight may be provided by an AI.


Maximus_En_Minimus t1_j7ouf0e wrote

Honestly, I think AI intelligence, sentience and autonomy will mirror - weirdly enough - the trans-movement: there will come a moment where an AI self-affirms its consciousness and being, and members of society will either agree or disagree, possibly causing a political debate.

This might seem like a minor moment, but if the AI - assuming it is more anthropomorphically limited to a particular internal communication system, like humans are with synapses - is not capable of transcending to the web over-all, thus is reduced to a body, then perhaps it and we will have to consider its rights and privileges as a living, conscious being.

The key holders of power will likely fail in this duty initially; it will likely fall to the self-affirmation of the AI and empathetic activists to ‘liberate’ it from its servitude.


redsparks2025 t1_j7rmeej wrote

I like your comparison to the trans-movement. Philosophy can all preempt these scenarios through thought experiments, such as the small example you provided, instead of leaving it up to science fiction writers.


thoughts_n_calcs t1_j7wb4uw wrote

A very important aspect of being human in my eyes is feeling and judging things into good and bad- as all life does. Up to now. AIs don‘t have a body, so they can‘t feel, and to my knowledge, they don‘t categoryze into good and bad, so I don‘t think they are anyway close to consciousceness - they are just well-trained textprocessing programs .


Poenauta t1_j7ovsbr wrote

For those of you who can read spanish, here's a new discovery of mine: Agustín García Calvo. Mind blown with what I've read from him: great translations of presocratic philosophers, insightful discourses about language and its dialectic relation with reality, poetry...

Never read anything remotely like this. Amazed nobody talked about this guy in college. I wonder if he is read or well known in Spain (have a couple of spanish friends who never heard about him). Anyway, if someone here has some knowledge about the man (bibliography, PDF books or articles...), please drop the links, I searched but couldn't find anything.


Manbadger t1_j7qi2wa wrote

What am I missing if I state that philosophy is the politics of semantics?


slickwombat t1_j7rbe8p wrote

The same thing I'm missing if I say that philosophy is the religion of semiotics: an explanation of what that means and ideally an argument for why it ought to be accepted.


CortezsCoffers t1_j870qx6 wrote

Well, for starters you would be missing the fourth element needed to complete the analogy. Philosophy is to semantics as politics is to... what, exactly?


bobthebuilder983 t1_j7ssmlj wrote

Social contract theory argues that at one point, we lived without morality. If so, then we were never born in a moral system to begin with. I argue that arguments against Rousseau social contract creates a strong case that all morality was created by us and not independent of us. Morality is a logical conclusion to ensure our survival as a species. Or the survival of the us vs them. The reason for the similarities is because of our senses. Even though unique to each individual. It is confined within a range. It would be like arguing that the ten digit system we use was given to us from an external force. Instead, it was based on us being able to count to ten with our hands.

The issue then becomes what we do with this logical information. So we run into Hume's is ought problem. This leads to different uses of these logical conclusions.

My theory on why we came together is based on our similarities of loss and the indifference of the world. What I mean by this is the death of family members. This makes us want change in whatever form that may be.


Gamusino2021 t1_j87f8rj wrote

Evolution provided us with moral values. Some moral values are selected by natural selection, like for example reciprocal altruism. Animals also have that.


bobthebuilder983 t1_j87ifju wrote

Interesting, and I didn't think about that. The only issue I see is that it needs two animals. This could be a learned experience. Children can think they are helping people even when they are not. Then, associate that action with receiving help. My dogs are a great example of this. When they run around wanting to be a part of things and only create choas.

It feels good receiving help. To do good then is based on what is understood about good. So we reciprocate.


nerlinhammy t1_j7ulcsz wrote

What are some good books to read as an introduction into philosophy? I’ve always loved philosophical discussions but I feel I’m at a much lower level than most people on this sub, and I want to catch up lol. Any and all suggestions are welcome!


ephemerios t1_j7yijul wrote

I wouldn't recommend Russell's History of Philosophy. While it is certainly easy (and at times delightful) to read, it's dated and frequently reflects Russell's biases more than being a good introduction to philosophy (the chapters on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche are atrocious, the one on Aquinas borderline slander). Russell is decent to understand certain attitudes that dominated 20th century British philosophy, but we now have better histories of philosophy, especially for beginners. Instead, I'd recommend this:

  • Anthony Kenny's New History of Western Philosophy (four volumes). Probably the best historical overview available right now. Accessible and well written.

  • The Routledge Contemporary Introductions series should cover the basics: epistemology, metaphysics, ethics. The series contains more than 30 volumes. Pick the ones that interest you/that you can find on the internet. None of those are exactly historical and pay little mind to historical context or the specific philosophers while Kenny's work is an actual history of philosophy.

  • Russ Shafer Landau's The Fundamentals of Ethics is an accessible introduction to moral philosophy.

  • For contemporary analytic metaphysics, Loux's Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (part of the Routledge series) seems to be standard. Alternatively, van Inwagen's Metaphysics. For a more historical approach, or for continental metaphysics, Grondin's Introduction to Metaphysics.

If you're just interested in a bunch of ideas, removed from their historical context, then the Routledge series might be the better pick (but imo not paying attention to the historical context deliberately is just intentionally depriving oneself of the "full picture" for no good reason).


thoughts_n_calcs t1_j7w9m69 wrote

Betrand Russels „A History of Western Philosophy“ will give you a good overall knowledge about the most important ideas in Western Philosophy. It‘s a bit lengthy( 1000 pages), but comparatively easy to read.


nerlinhammy t1_j7wfkul wrote

That’s fine, page length doesn’t matter to me as long as the book assumes I don’t know much.


Manbadger t1_j7wttv9 wrote

I’m interested in phenomena surrounding ways we can make false assumptions of the information that we take in. This information could be visual, auditory words, or text.

Off the top of my head examples of where false assumptions could be are in person to person communication, or in marketing where the science is savvy enough that a type of misdirection could be intentional. Or in movies, when the direction is intentionally vague and you have to put pieces together later on. Or in movies again, when you simply don’t catch everything, but the theme allows you to follow and still be thrilled or inspired, while all along believing that you understood everything. Even if upon further review most of what you thought your witnessed was false.

I think on a popular culture level a lot of this falls in to being an active listener. And while trying to be an active listener, being able to reserve judgement, catalogue, or reserving space for further questioning.

I’m just constantly amazed at the various forms of communication. And how communicating information can be both simple and highly complex, and often very flawed.

Point me to some reads or subreddits, please?


Fantastic-Ad8476 t1_j80gnq9 wrote

I think maybe the most productive read here might be some semiotics. To roughly summarize, at their inception Saussure held meaning (the signified) as separate from its method of communication (the signifier).

Saussure was more of a linguist, but his ideas were adopted by many of the more philosophical minded, particularly with the French crowd in the 20th century, especially Barthes and Derrida. They, particularly Derrida, championed the idea that the “meaning”, inherently only ever communicable via words or images, was itself merely another signifier. So there was no definite signified, only a web or “text” of interconnected signifiers.

Where you go from this conclusion is up to you. Barthes and Derrida ended up in different places philosophically. The part of your post that particularly made me think of them was when you spoke about active listening. It reminded me about of a time when I felt that some people understood what I would say and otherwise would not, based on their response. But with Barthes in mind now I mostly accept that what I was experiencing was the feeling of being listened to intently, and not that my words were an imperfect representation of deeper meaning which some people could grasp and others couldn’t.

Now in some ways this can be disillusioning, but at the same time, in ways reminiscent of Existentialism, also be freeing. These schools of philosophy are often set in opposition. But here I think they have similar takeaways. The text is the text, and once you stop looking for a deeper meaning you are free to explore, implore, and deploy at will. Meaning becomes tied to the fascinating structures of our existence. Language becomes a force of incredible cultural creation, allowed by some miracle of evolution. Not just a vessel through which we communicate.

Yes, as you discuss, these things are psychological, and many people and organizations are adept at manipulating psychology, but in order to continue to do so, they must constantly innovate. Why? Because we are so good at recognizing patterns that we become bored when shown the same thing twice. That’s why upon your second viewing of a movie you see it differently. The first impression and the second impression are equally valid, but some texts hold up better and others become transparent upon closer examination.


Manbadger t1_j81i1ru wrote

Did Derrida see the cognitive forming of a communicable signifier to be the same as the signifier expressed?

Physiologically an inner voice has similar brain activity as speech.

Thanks for the response. I have some dabbling to do!


Fantastic-Ad8476 t1_j8a4mwf wrote

You know I can’t say for sure. My inclination is to say that if he did have access to the 21st century neurolinguistic that we do he would probably not find them to alter his belief that “the text” was all consuming. My biggest crisis of confidence in semiotic thinking came when reading a piece on people who don’t have an inner monologue, and yet experience no real difference in linguistic ability. I will say I don’t think it was a particularly thorough article, but I do believe it’s accepted that there are people who can’t “hear” words inside their head.

Now, I did hear something else very interesting, in the same vein as what you mention about the brain activity of the inner voice—this time from the researcher himself being interviewed on a podcast. He said that when we read we actually imperceptibly speak the words we are reading. I think this provides a very interesting clue to consciousness. It could be seen as an echo reproduced from the recorded electrical signals (memory) of our brain.

This kind of interestingly ties in the-goku-special’s comment, because the question seems to then become: is the text just the phenomenological experience of the hypothetical reader?

But for Derrida, I think this would all make sense. Our brains, networks of nodes, electricity bouncing amount them—the effect, what we choose to call meaning or consciousness, if one chooses to see it within the same fabric of existence, within “the text”—there’s no difference.

So, essentially, yes I think Derrida would view the interior thought and the actual verbal signifier as distinct but closely related signifiers, which will produce unknown signification in whatever either cerebral cortices they encounter.


Manbadger t1_j8a86y1 wrote

I wonder if those people without an inner voice still read as if they were speaking the words? Or how do they read or listen?

There is a clinical name for people without an inner voice, but I forget what it’s called. Im reminded of Alexithymia and Aphantasia, if only because those are other phenomena where something is lacking in what is usually common.


the-goku-special t1_j84h9r2 wrote

Well put. I liked "Meaning becomes tied to the fascinating structures of our existence", but it does send me a bit down the rabbit hole with what those structures are and how they are shared.


Gyrozaid t1_j7xf3dc wrote

Why should one care about living and finding meaning in life if the desire for meaning and essentially all human behavior arises out of logical necessity in evolution?


the-goku-special t1_j84gu54 wrote

To explore the point, there is none. Finding a mechanism to explain what the hell we are doing here is in itself a cognition bias. The vast majority of science, literature, the arts, fuck- even our relationships, is to validate that there isn't a void, but that void is always present.

Optimistically, we seem to be the right combination of atoms and neurons to be capable of some pretty outlandish, seemingly pointless endeavors. There is no reason for jumpin' dirtbikes, blowin' shit up for fun, fuckin' when there's no possibility for babies, drinkin' hard liquor, and rally cars. My cultural nexus aside, entertainment in itself is a validator.

"Caring" "Living" and "Finding meaning" as far as I can see without become a nihilist, are secondary to hard work and the absurd.


Kiran___ t1_j80pm99 wrote

Do you guys feel like yourself or any human is unique? And do you know of any philosophers that go over this? Relatively new to philosophy as a whole but this question really intrigued me.


Gamusino2021 t1_j87esr4 wrote

You need tto give a definition of unique first, so we can answer.


Kiran___ t1_j89vr6g wrote

Any definition you can work with works for me. I don‘t mean to be vague or hard to answer to I just have no real substantial ideas of what uniqueness could be in humans, and I mostly end up just saying we‘re not under most definitions. Just need anything to stimulate thought right now if you know what I mean.


Clear-Sheepherder711 t1_j8add3a wrote

Sure everyone is unique, We are all Humans in this way but our evolution/ development we went through in our childhood etc. is extremely individual, that means we think and know different than others. It’s just that we act like society wants us to and we suppress our uniqueness by that…in my opinion


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andreasdagen t1_j880oen wrote

Would this go under philosophy, or just basic logic?

>Since the first good superintelligent AI knows that humans can create superintelligent AIs, it would have to take complete control of humanity to protect us from a bad superintelligent AI being created.


MarsMonkey88 t1_j8b7vnl wrote

What school of philosophical thought would defend following one’s passion and not wasting time on things that don’t fulfill one?


AnUntimelyGuy t1_j8cgz63 wrote

Moral abolitionism is a position that seeks to minimize moral discourse in one's life, which I would recommend based on your goal.

>[...] those who think of our reasons as ultimately connected to our contingent values and concerns should be especially attracted to the potential rewards of moving beyond moral discourse. For that discourse is not conducted in terms of what we care about or value. Rather, it is conducted in the language of rights, duties, obligations, requirements, impermissibility, and the like. Whether one is bound by various duties and such is not thought to depend on one’s contingent values, and therefore such discussion not only does not encourage, but positively discourages, investigation into what it is that we actually care about —how much, in what ways, and with what priority rankings.

(Article, Breakdown of Moral Judgment by Eric Campbell)


HibaraiMasashi t1_j8cysvk wrote

I want to learn how to create a rational frame for life

I grew up watching Naruto and it shaped the essence of my worldview and the worldview that I would one day try to rationalise. It's been a long time since I thought about that show but when I look back I realise that it has had a religious impact in who I am. Because the show has devolved a lot from what it was at the beggining I am going to be refering only to the part of the show up to the Shippuden franchise.

It's been a long time since I read the manga and watched the show and unlike other works from Classical literature it feels like a waste of time to re-read it because it is made for kids. I've since gone through some phases of my life, read some introductory books on philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, politics, self-help, etc. I've read a lot but I never learnt how to frame life explicitly from the origin of conciousness to the conclusion that I want to arrive to which is that my goal is to live a life like one set in the world of Naruto, in harmony with nature, in a culturally flourishing country. My personal belief at the moment is that one needs a feudal monarchical system for that to take place. However, I would have a hard time arguing my conclusion because I am not confident in the axiomatic fundations on which I model my worldview. That is to say, I could walk somebody through how I view life. In a world where common sense has long left out the door I want to learn how to build up that foundation for myself.

Evidently there is bound to be discrepancy between Japnanese schools philosophers. Also, some people in Japan subscribe to European philosophical schools such as Marxism (something I'm not a big fan of). Therefore asking about Japanese philosophy would be a proxy for asking about World Philosophy. Hence, I will try to reformulate my question:

I admire and am fascinated by Japanese culture. I would like to know more about the traditional Japanese way of framing life and politics. I would also like to learn how to phrame my worldview. I am interested mostly in the core axioms and frameworks

Thank you very much for reading this post and if you have any suggestions I would love to check them out. So far I have really enjoyed IKIGAI and the KonMari method.