Beyond metaphysics

Friday, December 15, 2017 🥇 🏆
It is also distinctly anti-Platonic. According to Plato, the truth can only be known by seeing the world outside of the Mind-cave. Even if one somehow begins inside of the Mind-cave, the goal isn’t to simply remain there. At least, this is what I take to be Plato’s intended message when he makes the analogy of the cave in Republic.
But, Aristotelians like Augustine seem to be content with remaining inside of the Mind-cave. And so, despite the so-called European “enlightenment,” the so-called philosophers like Descartes and Kant did not lead their flock outside of the Mind-cave as all good philosophers were supposed to have been doing (according to Plato’s plan, anyways). And it wasn’t until Nietzsche came along that those who were able and willing to follow him were finally able to be free of Aristotelian metaphysics. (That said, Nietzsche is a gnarly and twisted character, and he speaks in metaphors and he is a master-trickster whose skill over the illusory power of mirrors has caused some of his more naive followers to lose their way; Hitler is one such example of a naive follower. One would do well to remember that Nietzsche’s anti-Semitic or anti-feminist comments are mirrors revealing the truth of one’s own painful and “ugly” scars, as a German Christian and as a male. But the übermensch eventually plows himself and his scars and his pain under — and when he ceases to be “anti” anything, then he finally becomes free to just be his own beautiful self.)

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A reminder

Wednesday, December 13, 2017.
I think that the most important thing about this space, is that it reminds me of my Uncle’s love for me. It is a real and concrete reminder of his love. In this space, I was able to spend doing what I love doing the most in this life — studying philosophy. And that is love; to let me have the freedom to find and be my truest and best self.

For the sake of happiness

Monday, December 11, 2017.
Why are the philosophers always punished so? Goodness — knowing things like this, nobody in their right mind would ever wish to become a philosopher, if they also wished to be and do well in life. It could only be for the sake of happiness that one would ever be driven towards such a fate. Or, perhaps, one must be possessed by some daemon (δαίμων)…

What is “God”?

Sunday, December 10, 2017.
But, now, the problem with a statement like this (ie, that “faith is required before rational knowledge may be pursued”) is that the meaning of the statement changes depending on what “rationality” amounts to. Some philosophers think that rationality is about pursuing self-interest. Other philosophers think that it has to do with being able to do mathematical calculations. And still others think that rationality is to be able to have speech. I myself am one of the philosophers who think that being “rational” really just means being “the same” as those now in political power.
And the meaning of the statement also changes depending on what we take to be the object of faith in this context. Presumably, the object of faith is “God.” But what is “God”? That’s the tricky bit. Some philosophers and theologians (eg, Stagyrites) think that it’s the “Mind.” More mystical people (or literal people) think that “God” is Zeus. Some other philosophers (like Spinoza and other pantheists) might think that “God” is simply the whole universe. Perhaps some mystics or numerologists (eg, some Jewish sects) might think that “God” is some number or a numerical formula. A philosopher like myself (and Plato) might think that “God” is simply another word for the “self,” in its most abstract, non-linguistic, and purely existential sense.

When we can each be free to pursue our truth

Monday, December 4, 2017.
Well, it’s clear that in this passage Gauthier is here speaking of things like “caste systems” and other such social inventions (eg, slavery) when he uses words like “higher level of artifice.” And it’s also clear that Gauthier doesn’t think that “natural harmony” is a realistic goal.
But, I think that “natural harmony” can be achieved — that is, when everyone actually gets to do, be and have whatever is truly in their hearts. When we stop trying to universalize (ie, Catholicize) values, we can each be free to pursue our truth. And only then can we ever have genuine, true and everlasting justice in this world.
This is what I call ‘Platonic Existentialism’ (or, Socratic Existentialism, take your pick).

I think that I like being me

Friday, December 1, 2017.
I think that life has pushed me into a corner now, and the only thing that I can do is try to remain true to my self no matter what the cost, because the fact of the matter is that though I hate how life is treating me these days, I think that I like being me and I don’t want to change who I am…

The Power of Eros

Monday, November 27, 2017.
On the other hand, if people can come together to offer to the whole what they each would willingly choose to offer (not just whatever they can offer, or even whatever the whole necessarily needs), and the whole can make a place for each voluntary member, then the whole would exist harmoniously and also naturally. There need not be any formal “contract.” The coming together of the whole would itself be an act of love, and all activity within the whole would spring from love, from Eros.

A clockwork morality?

Saturday, November 25, 2017.
But it seems to me that morality could be much simpler than this, no? I think that moral maxims are discovered by examining one’s own self. Surely it is there already in the moment of one’s conception. So, how can such a thing be determined by means of some “agreement” or “contract”?

The Ubermensch

Thursday, November 23, 2017.
[Thanksgiving]
In some ways, it is a very vulnerable person who learns to survive in this way. A very intelligent, but also a very vulnerable person. It’s a little bit sad, I think.
I wish that I were someone stronger (an übermensch!). And I wish that I could have protected her when she needed it when she was young. Then, maybe she would have been a slightly different person today…

McDonald’s or Burger King?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017.
I’ve always wondered about this: If the options are limited, is it an authentic choice? And, if the options are manufactured (ie, artificially produced), is the choice for one of those options also an artificially produced choice, or is it still a genuine choice?
I’m inclined to think that it’s not voluntary, even if it’s some kind of weird thing called a “choice.”

A matter of great philosophical contention

Monday, November 20, 2017.
Furthermore, it might also turn out to be the case that unbeknownst to us, d is not truly the so-called “state of nature,” but rather d is the lie that we have been told (by certain authority figures, like Hobbes, or Aristotle, or the “head monkey” in Rome or England or some other place, and for some of us, perhaps by our mothers) is our “state of nature”. But being a falsehood, it isn’t true. It is actually a kind of artificially induced unconscious “aim,” rather than that it is a “state of nature.”
But once one becomes free of being bound by artificial values taught to us by the false teachers, then one is free to develop more genuine and authentic values — and d (in its conventional sense) ceases to be an “aim” at all. Simultaneously, it also ceases to be recognized as the “state of nature” (as it is conventionally understood).

The Power of the Ring of Gyges

Sunday, November 19, 2017.
“Someone who has the power to do it, however — someone who is truly a man — would not make an agreement with anyone, neither to do injustice nor to suffer it. For him, that would be insanity.” (Republic, 359b)

I will tell my son that his nature is beautiful and wonderful — because that is the truth.

Friday, November 17, 2017.
But if this were true, then Hobbes himself should not presume how people are in the state of nature, saying that their lives are typically “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Believing this sort of thing to be true is itself to dishonor the self-God (Plato/Socrates’ God, not Aristotle’s mind-God) — for all meaning is something remembered by the individual. Hobbes accuses the so-called “heathen” of making up false stories about the gods, yet he doesn’t seem to be aware that he himself makes up false stories about his God…
Hobbes has the typical Aristotelian elitist attitude of an “up-and-coming” peasant; the “new-money” bourgeoisie are often this way (though, I certainly think that there are also exceptions). Hobbes’ mindset is paradigmatic of that pretentious elitist snobbery, common to ambitious tanners and shoemakers and court physicians especially. And so, now that he is himself a learned “Christian,” the adopted child of “Yahweh,” he thinks himself superior to the so-called “heathens” (the Jews would have called them “gentiles,” and he would have been one of them at some point in time) and raises his nose at them. Thus, he fails to recognize how he dishonors himself by claiming that human nature is so wretched when it is, in fact, not.

In God We Trust

Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Now, communication involves sending out an encrypted message (because language is made up of arbitrarily designated symbols) followed by some correct decryption on the other end by the receiver. In truth, however, the decryption is up to each individual’s mind (which is what Augustine, Aristotle, and some others call “God”) since, the meaning is neither in the symbol/label itself nor in the cipher itself. In other words, what is revealed to each person’s individual mind is up to the individual’s mind and the sender of the message cannot determine/control what the receiver will get.

Once upon a time, anti-semitism was an anti-racism

Wednesday, November 15, 2017.
According to this hypothesis, the gnostics didn’t like this attitude of semitic-superiority. And so, the gnostics attempted to assert a strong anti-racist view. Now, if it’s true that Semites were the only ones being racist at that time, then an anti-racism would end up looking very anti-semitic . And so, it’s possible that what began as an anti-racist attitude for the gnostics probably got interpreted into an anti-semitic attitude in expression, because for the gnostics of the time, anti-racism=anti-semitism.

The Divine anger of Achilles

Tuesday, November 14, 2017.
Achilles’ rage is not hubris; Hobbes is mistaken to think that all anger is created the same. Just as there are two kinds of strife according to Hesiod, there are also two kinds of rage with two different origins. There is the one of Ares, and there is one of Zeus. The former may be rooted in hubris, but the latter aims at justice. This latter is a necessary anger which detects injustice — and just as fresh rain makes the soil fertile, divine anger makes the soul fertile for justice.

Born this way

Monday, November 13, 2017.
I take it to be the case that virtue is something that one is born with and is developed in life. But I wouldn’t say that a virtue is acquired — as if one did not already possess it in the moment of conception (either one had it all along, or one never had it). But whether and how each virtue is developed largely depends on our circumstances and our exposure to different kinds of experiences. So it is this — the exposure to different kinds of experiences — that make us unique from one another despite our commonality as a species, and not any other thing. This is why it is likely true that we each have different strengths. Our experiences helps to shape and develop the virtues which we are born possessing.

Helen, the common object of our passions

Sunday, November 12, 2017.
[Veteran’s Day weekend] 🇬🇷🇺🇸🇨🇳🇰🇵🇰🇷
It is the objects of our passions — and not the having of the passions themselves — that help to define who and what we are. It is these objects of our passions that serve the dual function of making us distinct as individual personalities, as well as unifying us into a group or a species.