"Is it Creativity, Rebellion, or Lunacy?"
To: Svein Olav Nyberg <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Non Serviam #21 From: "David G. McDivitt" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 23:38:32 -0600 Cc: email@example.com
Yes, I view ethics and morality along the same lines as epistemology. Life as we know it is a little bubble of intellectualism. What happens when the brain ceases to function? Reality comes to an end. Because there is no longer a mind to consider reality, it no longer exists. There is no longer any value because there is nothing remaining to consider value. A person may say, "Well David, a person dies but the world goes on." Does it? Am I of no value? Have I no worth? Why must the world and all there is be interpreted by a standard which devalues me? If I die and the world continues on, why SHOULD that make a difference to me? Does the world live my life? Does the entire community of man live through me?
Call me narcissistic if you want. Call me solipsistic. The point is we are all equal in this regard and we seek out negotiations, with no attempt to dominate or make valuations for each other.
Why do we value knowledge? Why do we like knowledge? Why do we like to know things? Why do we feel good when we understand something? These are all valuations. If valuations they are choices. We freely choose which answers seem most reasonable to us. If I follow the supposed rules of logic as I choose what answers I like, logic is simply a moral premise. No more. No less. For some reason I feel I should be logical, and therefore am conforming my thoughts to what I think they SHOULD be.
Starting with definitions given by science, we assume they are true. But the point is we value science. Along with science comes the entire set of social protocols ideas must satisfy, before those ideas are validated as true. When speaking of knowledge, to what extent are we aware of this social system whereby knowledge is created? Or do we just speak of knowledge as knowledge, taking it for granted, not knowing how it came to be or what special demands ever existed, demanding answers be worked out? Yes, starting with science one can go backwards and see how all is based on valuations, ultimately. But whose valuations? Well, different men have lived and contributed their intellectual effort. But today, I choose to participate in society. I choose to enjoy the ready made answers society provides. Therefore it is my valuations which are significant, and all the knowledge there is, is a result of my valuations. For this reason all knowledge is choice based. We can get caught up with the grand scale of society and the many social systems, losing our sense of self, not realizing knowledge is at all times choice based. As new knowledge is created, and as new answers are manufactured, how often does there exist a threshold in the mind of one man, where for the very first time the idea is considered right or wrong, and he must decide or choose which way it is? All the things we take for granted in our modern age went through some similar process, be it ten years ago or one thousand years ago.
I do not see morality as something to be served. For this reason people often misunderstand my interpretation of morality. By speaking of morality, I have no intent to imply anyone should necessarily serve anything. For me, to speak of morality is to speak of whatever valuations. What men often do however is attempt to impose valuations on each other, which is therefore an imposed morality. If my life becomes threatened for not behaving properly, or not living properly, it is me who may place valuation on continuing to live, therefore I may adapt my behavior. Such does not mean I freely value what I am told to value. I value my life! But even that may have its limit.
Svein, you ask "What kind of determinism do you think is left when idealism has gone out the door?"
I do not agree idealism CAN go out the door. To think anything is left, at all, once idealism has gone away, is a complete devaluation of self. Determinism is an ideal. It is the belief all things conform to an "idealistic" cause and effect relationship. The premise of cause and effect, or determinism, is valuable. We choose it. We like it. If we did not choose it and like it, it would not exist. The only reason the universe behaves in a deterministic manner is because we say it does. We VALUE that explanation. Because we value it, it is therefore subjective. But all things are subjective in this manner, no?
Why then must we facilitate an ontological perspective? Gee, I was walking home one day, tripped over, and discovered a new piece of knowledge! And it had a Latin name already assigned to it! No wonder people have the concept of god. People describe various phenomena and objectifications, proud of the fact they have properly memorized and annunciated the name, but this is someone else's work! It was someone else who made up and arbitrarily assigned a name to this thing which was thought of and perceived. Knowledge is what works for us in our present environment of intellectualism. Let us therefore pursue intellectualism, for the sake of intellectualism. Let us manufacture new ideas which work, not being afraid to replace old ideas, based more and more on political expediency and protectionism.
So, can anything be true just because we say it is? Do we give fantasy free reign? Shall lunacy abound? In response to such criticism I say: Think. Have an idea. Make it work for you. After having made it work for yourself, share that idea with other people and enjoy their use of it too.>From: Svein Olav Nyberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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