What is your (current) philosophy?

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TheTravellingJerk
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What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby TheTravellingJerk » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:21 am UTC

My current belief is that the Earth and humanity are largely an accident and that life is rather pointless and little more than chemical processes. However, even though life is, from a universal perspective, pointless, it doesn't mean that one should commit suicide or give up, but instead continue on as they were. To experience life and all its ups and downs is rewarding enough, even if they rewards are not permanent. Life on planet earth will eventually end and most of our actions will ultimately be without consequence. This doesn't give you the license to be a douchebag, because you'll be checked pretty soon if you act like that.

Good and Evil don't really exist, but it's a lot easier and more practical to behave as though they do, although the problem of defining what good and evil is occurs as well. To me, "evil" may simply be any act which is purposefully detrimental to people, as a whole or to individuals, such as murder, theft, neglect and abuse of children/weaker people. Although I try to be more practical and pragmatic (and occasionally redundant) than idealistic, the ends do not always justify the means.

It's generally best to always tell the truth as you best understand it, but, aside from mathematics, truth will always be subjective and not purely objective. Memory is faulty, language is sometimes limited, and everyone has bias and an agenda of their own. One shouldn't reject everything they hear as falsehood though, but instead one should have a healthy skepticism. Again, it's more practical to treat what you think to be the truth as just that.

Politically I lean left and find objectivism to be a load of rubbish. But I'm not so blind as to call the former Soviet Union, China, N. Korea or Cuba idyllic nor anything close to that. I find anyone who does so to be intellectually dishonest to themselves.

This isn't very comprehensive of my philosophy, and perhaps it's mostly derivative of common philosophies. I haven't even taken a philosophy course, nor have I read enough to even be very knowledgeable. I also know that with time, our persepective changes and so do our values and beliefs. Please, rip this to shreds, post your own philosophy, and if this is a repeat subject I'm very sorry. I tried a few searches and there didn't seem to be a subject on this.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:38 am UTC

Ugh. I'll try to sum mine up. I think anybody who wanders into this thread is ok with a long post from anybody, so I just hope you read it.

First off, I am not religious in any common sense. I don't believe in God, Gods, higher powers, white men in clouds, angels, devils, or the like. I am a STRONG advocate of biologic processes giving rise to life. I think people are close-minded when they refuse to consider evolution, or refuse to even look at Intelligent Design. I've looked at ID, and disagreed with it. But please look at it. Anyways, I think that there is nothing left for us after we die. We rot in the ground, and the memory of us lives on in our loved ones and tax records, but thats about it (plus my tooth fillings. Those'll stick around for awhile).

I am not apathetic about this, however. Just because life is 'nasty, brutal and short' doesn't mean we should cast it away, call it all for naught, or live life with no regard for others. I have a rather fierce moral code, that i often chastise myself for breaking inadvertently. I think this life is all we have, and because of that, I feel a VERY strong need to make it better for other people as well. I admit to getting a selfish (not in a negative manner, however) feeling of happiness when I help somebody else out. We're all on this orb of rock together, and we may as well make the most of it. I am a chronic idealist, my head is rested firmly in the clouds, and everything isn't 'what is it' but rather 'what could it be'. There is ONE thing I think we need to pay much more attention to.

The earth, in a non-religious kind of way, is our mother. When we scratch her back, she scratches ours. When we poke bamboo slivers under her fingernails, she'll respond in kind. I firmly believe that the biggest thing wrong in the world is people, and while I don't think that killing everybody off is the BEST idea, I certainly, in a completely hypothetical sort of way, would love to live in the stone age. I am an avid outdoorsman, I sleep in my yard under a rain-fly most nights in the summer, and guide canoeing trips in my free time. We NEED to take care of this planet, and we need to start 100 years ago. I feel firmly that we have caused the world a ton of damage, and it may be too late, but there is no sense in not trying to correct our mistakes.

In a weird sort of way, I kinda feel like there is a great 'dice-roller' that exists out there. I don't mean a god, a deity, or an order to the world, but I can't help but feel in awe as to how the world worked out, and I think we need to do our best to keep it 'working out'.

Argh. Rambling, drunk-ish, I may revise this. Whatever. Broad summary. Have fun with it.
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Jack.H
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Jack.H » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:59 am UTC

My philosophy is that the only truly worthy ontological goal for humanity is to expand our knowledge.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby AvalonXQ » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:06 pm UTC

My philosophy is that the universe exists, and includes a meaningful spiritual component in which beings of Good and Evil act, and in which humans have a great deal of value and import. The main purpose of the universe is as a place to grow human souls. Human souls grow in a large variety of ways; anything that encourages virtue (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, etc) will generally help a soul to become better.
Nothing that a person righteously does is without real value. Whether it's working at a job, or running errands, or learning, or growing the store of human knowledge, or inventing, or raising children, or... basically anything that you can think of, what's key is the WAY that it's done and not the action itself. The realm of human knowledge, and science, are meaningfully important, but on the same level as basically anything else you do. Again, it's individual human development that is really important. Societal advancement is actually just one way to achieve this more basic goal.
God exists, and the human relationship with God is essential to personal development and soul growth.
The Logos, or Jesus, is a necessary part of this relationship as a response to each human's individual decision to choose Evil over Good. Christ allows this decision to be reversed.

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KevorkianKat
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby KevorkianKat » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

My personal philosophy follows the cultural movement known as transhumanism. In subtler ways I combine the beliefs of singularitarianism, immortalism and technogaianism. I believe the greatest goal humans should strive toward is a complete singularity and advancement to something akin to "The Ancients" level of existence, in realists terms, a level IV on the Kardashev scale (although I think civilizations can be measured on things other than pure power output). Unlike abolistionists, I think some suffering is required to reach higher levels of existence and technological advancement due to the fact without conflict we, as humans, have no need to advance ourselves and tend to take the route of least resistance which means we WON'T advance ourselves without a challenge. I think saving the earth is a huge challenge that we need to surpass through a variety of means. Even small actions as part of a greater whole will make a difference and therefore each human can take on the tasking of doing something as small as say recycling, to save some of our own natural resources. My hope is that the human race will eventually surpass the point where (in order):

Edit: 0.5)Humans will no longer have to die by natural, biological causes
1)The destruction of the sun/earth will not end the human race (world sized spacestations)
2)The destruction of the solar system will not end the human race (travel to other inhabitable planets + above)
3)The destruction of the galaxy will not end the human race (travel to other galaxies + above)
4)The destruction of the universe will not end the human race (creation of or travel to new universes)

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Indon
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Indon » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

Hmm.

Epistemologically, I'm a practical existentialist. I don't think there is any 'ultimate' reason for existence and I don't care, as no such possible reasons appear to have bearing in my life. I similarly don't care if I'm a brain in a jar or whatever.

Morally, I'm a functionalist. I feel that what is 'good' coincides to what allows a culture to survive and thrive.

Ethically, I believe that trust is the foundation of society, and its' promotion (through being honest and such) is integral to living a good life.

Politically, I'm socially liberal and fiscally moderate.

Religiously, I'm a deist.

I'd be a transhumanist too, but I think it's silly to describe "I think humans will continue to advance technologically," as a philosophy (see: The Transhumanism thread in SB).
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby tiny » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:06 pm UTC

My philosophy is that I should treat others as kindly as possible and that nothing is really real because the world is just one huge Monty Python sketch, intended to keep us sensible humans alienated until we die.
"I write what I see, the endless procession to the guillotine." ~ de Sade

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby AvalonXQ » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

tiny wrote:My philosophy is that I should treat others as kindly as possible and that nothing is really real because the world is just one huge Monty Python sketch, intended to keep us sensible humans alienated until we die.


... this philosophy actually explains more about the universe than any other I've heard.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby 1hitcombo » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:12 am UTC

Hmmm. Putting my outlook on life into a forum-post-sized piece of writing is something I haven't really attempted in a while and try to avoid because any sort of explicit self-definition usually is too simplified or too muddled for anyone else to understand. But I will try anyways without thinking too much.

I believe that mankind is special but not in the sense that we were divine beings chosen by some greater power. Rather, we have been given the means to go beyond simply surviving. This is our "gift" and should ultimately be used to better the lives of ourselves and the rest of the world.

OK so even after writing that about a twenty introspective questions popped up into my head. May edit in the future, or may just forget about it and go on with life.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Insignificant Deifaction » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:38 am UTC

Life: It's. . . uhh. . . kind of cool.

That's about as far as my philosophy gets.

I'm nihilistic, anarchistic, cynical, obsessive-compulsive, nymphomaniacal (in practice, if not chemically), and fairly unconcerned with what people think. Thus, my philosophy doesn't much care about anything beyond the next ten minutes most of the time. I don't speculate beyond what I have been made aware of the proof of, and leave it at that. If I were more the sciencey type, I would certainly investigate more, but I doubt I can discover something that someone else won't before I do, if, indeed, anything.

So, that's about that.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby sk8ingdom » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:31 am UTC

You're free, so choose.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

Jack.H wrote:My philosophy is that the only truly worthy ontological goal for humanity is to expand our knowledge.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Ari
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Ari » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

Life is difficult, but we're around to give it meaning and define it. And that is much, much cooler than us not being around, so everything else is gravy.

It's also a zero-sum game: You don't get to be happy without the risk of being sad, you don't get to be extremely wealthy without making people poor, etc...
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Masuri » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:40 pm UTC

I've gone through and discarded many of these and I've realized that it doesn't really matter what I think or believe. It's irrelevant. So, the only thing that matters is what you do, and, in the end, even that doesn't amount to much for the average bear.

So, it's finally boiled down to: Don't be a fucker.

It's harder than you might think.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby aseroto » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:57 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:I've gone through and discarded many of these and I've realized that it doesn't really matter what I think or believe. It's irrelevant. So, the only thing that matters is what you do, and, in the end, even that doesn't amount to much for the average bear.

So, it's finally boiled down to: Don't be a fucker.

It's harder than you might think.


Well said and to the point.

Though I'm sad to say there are people out there who needs a blunt instrument to caress their skulls gently to get your point across.
Spoiler:
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errrr
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby errrr » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:27 pm UTC

tiny wrote:My philosophy is that I should treat others as kindly as possible and that nothing is really real because the world is just one huge Monty Python sketch, intended to keep us sensible humans alienated until we die.


*signs*. Probably it's just my mood at the moment... but I don't think there's any external goal (or if there is, we have no information about its nature whatsoever) and I don't really buy "make your own goal" -- which criteria am I to use for evaluating possible goals, given no goals to start with? Intuition? Then why not just say "I act after my intuitions" rather than axiomatically lifting it to some objective-ethics layer... in conclusion, this whole topic just makes me think "I wish someone was here to cuddle". *goes distract himself with news or something*
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Thadlerian » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

I believe in a postmodern reality. That means there is no inherent meaning to existence. But that's OK, because we're capable of making up our own meaning.

My meaning is a philosophy distilled down to a final axiom with two remarks.

The axiom is: To ensure maximum well-being of all human beings in existence. This must be attained through methods of absolute non-violence, both physically and psychologically. Ecological sustainability would also be preferred.

The remarks are:
1: We need to achieve technology capable of warding off exogenous, all-destructive threats to humanity, like asteroids and supervolcanoes.
2: We need to achieve technology allowing us to migrate and outlive the Sun.

All of this pretty much goes against everything the human mind has been able to think up so far, but, hey, I'm young. When I am old, 70-80% of everything we know will have been found out during the time I now consider the future.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby hat_on_a_rat » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

MY philosophy is that, in an infinite universe, with an infinite number of possibilities, any and all facts will eventually be disproved. So everything is pointless, and the grand scheme will continue on far after our entire planet is nothing but a bunch of well spaced out dust flittering through the cosmos.

Also, that anyone will cheat on anybody for any reason (not a bitter statement, just an observation), so relationships are useless for anything but temporary pleasure.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby My Uncivilized God » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:10 am UTC

I can't describe my philosophy, because I don't feel like writing a fifteen page essay that will be mis-interpreted and quite probably flamed.
I'm waiting for the Devil to come
I'll ask if I can take my guns,
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who would steal my breath and air
as once they have already done.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:35 am UTC

If I had to classify it, I would call myself a lazy theistic existentialist. Lazy, because it isn't really something I think about too often.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby shifty eyes » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:30 am UTC

The only personal philosophy I have been able to form well enough to articulate at this point is my epistemological position.
1) I have beliefs
2) These beliefs may or may not reflect the way the world actually is. Examples (belief is listed first, then what would make belief untrue): electrons might exist as actual point particles or our view of them might be wrong from a "truth" standpoint, my computer might physically exist or it is just a highly intricate illusion/creation of my mind
3) My beliefs are considered valid if:
a) They are not contradicted by any previous event
b) They accurately predict future events
Both the belief that electrons exist as point particles and my computer exists fit these criteria.
4) If two conflicting beliefs both fit the criteria above I will provisionally accept the one that has a better scope/simplicity ratio (this determination is more subjective than I would like).
My computer existing and it just being a well crafted illusion have equal explanatory and predictive value, but the latter requires more caveats, etc. to work correctly so I am more likely to accept the former.
5) The actual state of the universe doesn't matter, just the validity of my beliefs.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby AngrySquirrel » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:30 am UTC

The world is not a figment of my imagination, my imagination could never produce a creature like for instance the platypus or most of the stuff they put in hentai movies, so if this world is a dream, it's not mine.

Life is like a poker game, you can win regardless of your cards, it all depends on your ability to play.

If there is some kind of ultimate supreme power it's like the dealer, dealing out random cards to random people. I don't really believe in any supreme power but if one exists I'm not gonna go "HOLY SHIT I DID SO NOT SEE THAT COMING". That is exactly what they want.

There might be a purpose to life, or there might not. Since we don't know neither really matters. Just play the game to the best of your abilities, enjoy it and don't worry if you don't win.

This might be the only game we get to play or we might get to participate in more. We might never know, or it might all be revealed to us at some point, but until that happens I intend to enjoy the ride.

Being fanatic never lead to anything good. If someone brings up arguements and proof that goes against my convictions I am prepared to change my mind.
There is no shame in changing ones mind.

The future will come in one form or another, I will do what I can do to make it into somewhere that I would want to go, but if that don't happen I'm not going to panic. The past is past and you can't change that. But the only time that really matters to me is right here and now, and I will do my part of making sure right here and now both now and at another time is a decent right here and now.

In the end my take on the universe goes something like "oh wow, the roof is really far up there...oh cool, there's stuff under my feet aswell...I need a cookie..."
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby ian » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:34 am UTC

my imagination could never produce a creature like for instance the platypus or most of the stuff they put in hentai movies, so if this world is a dream, it's not mine.


how you know? surely if this world was a creation of your mind your mind is a lot greater tahn you ever realised.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby AngrySquirrel » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:02 pm UTC

ian wrote:
my imagination could never produce a creature like for instance the platypus or most of the stuff they put in hentai movies, so if this world is a dream, it's not mine.


how you know? surely if this world was a creation of your mind your mind is a lot greater tahn you ever realised.


Because I say so.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby sk8ingdom » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:44 pm UTC

Thadlerian wrote:I believe in an EXISTENTIAL reality. That means there is no inherent meaning to existence. But that's OK, because we're capable and responsible for making up our own meaning.

Additionally, my philosophy can be distilled down to a final axiom with two remarks.

The axiom is: To ensure maximum well-being of all human beings in existence. This must be attained through methods of absolute non-violence, both physically and psychologically. Ecological sustainability would also be preferred.

The remarks are:
1: We need to achieve technology capable of warding off exogenous, all-destructive threats to humanity, like asteroids and supervolcanoes.
2: We need to achieve technology allowing us to migrate and outlive the Sun.

All of this pretty much goes against everything the human mind has been able to think up so far, but, hey, I'm young. When I am old, 70-80% of everything we know will have been found out during the time I now consider the future.


To call what you originally wrote as "postmodernism" just wouldn't seem to fly with the postmodernists. They're (typically) about biopolitics (See Foucault), identity politics (See ANYONE), gender representation inequities (See Butler), and this idea of the "Text" (See Derrida). Most of the "postmodern" authors openly reject technological progression because such industries are fueled by corporate greed, capitalism, and structural hierarchies that destroy the very essence of humanity. These ideas of technological progression are also born out of the tradition of modernity, which most postmodern authors generally reject (hence "post-"). Also, most of the authors that are commonly branded "postmodern" reject the label because its too broad and over used. Most postmodern authors have been fighting with each other since the 70s (See Butler and Zizek). You might be better off referring to the specific authors you're reading, or utilizing the specific language they use.

If I had to classify it, I would call myself a lazy theistic existentialist. Lazy, because it isn't really something I think about too often.


The lazy part makes sense. Because we're free, we (first and foremost) have the ability to choose. Therefore, we (or just you) can choose to be lazy. However, the "theistic" part is troubling for me. Existentialism is predicated on the thought that "God is dead, and you killed him" (Nietzsche's famous quote). If you hold a theism (the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities), how is there no preconditioned meaning in your world? How are we ENTIRELY free to choose if there is a (or many) higher power(s)? Is this reconciled with some type of Heideggerian ironic enframing/poesis dichotomy, or even a "postmodern" ambiguity?

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby cypherspace » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:47 pm UTC

There is no higher purpose to life or anything beyond the natural universe. We are the lucky beneficiaries of billions of years of chance and evolution. We have only one life, and the only thing we can do with it is enjoy it. I find my enjoyment in learning for myself, through both education and new personal experience, and interacting with and bringing happiness to others.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby daydalus » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:36 pm UTC

Hmm, lots of nihilistic hedonists. I'll post my own in a minute...

<Wall of Text Inc>

Causation -

It’s a common fallacy to follow the path of reason and end up with the following: "the universe is completely random, and our lives are meaningless"

Wrong. The universe works on rules. Patterns have meaning. Information can be transmitted by matter and energy. We can build upon the blocks of the universe. Therefore the universe is not completely random and chaotic, it has structure and form.

There's our axiom - the universe has rules. And while the implementation of those rules is still up in the air (see theoretical physics), we can put some faith in causation. If causation exists, then the things we do aren't completely meaningless. They may be small, but not meaningless.

Quality -

Why is pattern preferred to chaos? Is there objectivity to aesthetics? Certainly there are aspects such as symmetry, golden ratios, etc. Are these things arbitrary (ingrained in some biological heuristic?) Or do they have a deeper nature? Can "quality" be a property of the universe?

Evolution -

A completely chaotic universe would tend to devolve into a state of equilibrium over time - television static. However, even in our tiny window of the universe we see things come together in amazing ways. Stars are born in vast fields of gas, pulling together via gravity and kick starting a self-perpetuating furnace. Planets are formed, complex elements spawned, land masses shaped. And finally, life sprouting forth. All this within the rules of the universe. If anything, we should be in awe.

Complexity -

A universe without laws would be boring, if anything a slowly cooling shock wave from the original big bang. Instead we exist. We can see the world, abstract the data of our senses, recursively ponder the state we're in. We can grok pattern and quality. Why? How? Is there some underlying thread that allows the universe to grow in this way? Some hidden magic that emerges from the laws of physics, chemistry, complexity?

Take evolution - The mechanism for feeding input (mutation, sexual urge, gene selection) is "random", but the system itself (natural selection) is an algorithm. It's not random at all. It follows rules, it adheres to a pattern. And furthermore, those "random" inputs aren't random at all - they have causation.

If you see randomness, pop back up the stack, view the bigger picture. You'll see everything's connected and makes sense.

Calling the universe random is a cop-out. And if our lives do have some meaning, however small, pure hedonism falls apart.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

sk8ingdom wrote:Existentialism is predicated on the thought that "God is dead, and you killed him" (Nietzsche's famous quote). If you hold a theism (the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities), how is there no preconditioned meaning in your world?

Kierkegaard was arguably the founder of existentialism, and was most definitely a theist. Not all existentialism must be derived from Nietzsche.

To me, there is no preconditioned meaning because one cannot factually "know" that one's belief in God is correct. That choice of faith leads to certain imperatives, but it is still a choice to begin with.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Ceorle » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

I'll be joining the nihilist crowd. I believe life and the world has no meaning, that it's not as wonderful as people are saying and that morality is a weird concept. I can change my mind about anything depending on my mood, but that doesn't really matter either. Also, time is most essential.

Sometimes I think you are free to kill or rape your way through the population of the world or commit suicide at the drop of a hat. Other times I think it's really dickish to sit in a mansion with a lot of money. I have little morality, but I'm almost perfectly honest, try to avoid fucking things up for other people and I'm not interested in being rich or having power. However, as soon as someone says morality, I'll answer saying it can't exist in a world without value. The feelings of people are there for you to respect if you want to, or not, if you don't. Nothing is evil and nothing is wrong.

One thing I find almost immoral, and that is childbirth. Anyone facilitating childbirth is really (to me) commiting as close to an immoral act as possible. I don't really need to utter this to them, no morality means no obligation, but, really, if the way one defines value is through everyone's objective experience of the world, I can't see how anyone ever would be better off alive than "dead" (y'know, non-existant).

I think it's horribly weird to want humanity to outlast... anything. I wouldn't mind seeing humanity wiped out. There was nothing wrong with the world when there was no-one there to experience it.

I believe I end with death and look forward to it, whenever and however it comes. As regards all deities, if they don't come up to me and say something, there's nothing to believe.

It feels to me like the passage of time really nullifies most things. All pain disappears sooner or later and the same goes for all pleasure. Every morning is, to me, a faustian (as in "would like to stay in moment forever") happiness, nothing is required of me, no movement needed and my whole body just tells me I'm wonderful, but when I get up, the length of this experience doesn't matter anymore. It matters only in the moment of consciousness itself. However, since life is utterly meaningless, I'm free to just be in the moment, lie back and [blank]. Nothing in my immediate consciousness is unpleasant except thoughts arising from my somewhat roundabout perception of time.

My friend formulated it perfectly when we talked about Schopenhauer. "Life is just passing the time." (or, rather, "tidsfördriv")

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby mosc » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:26 pm UTC

Well, my latest addition to my philosophy has been:

Everything that is wrong with America can be summed up in one word: Mayonnaise

It's so evil it deserves to be slanted. Works on like a hundred different levels too!
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Indon » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:32 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Everything that is wrong with America can be summed up in one word: Mayonnaise


That is deeply profound.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby TheTravellingJerk » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:11 am UTC

daydalus wrote:Hmm, lots of nihilistic hedonists. I'll post my own in a minute...

<Wall of Text Inc>

Causation -

It’s a common fallacy to follow the path of reason and end up with the following: "the universe is completely random, and our lives are meaningless"

Wrong. The universe works on rules. Patterns have meaning. Information can be transmitted by matter and energy. We can build upon the blocks of the universe. Therefore the universe is not completely random and chaotic, it has structure and form.

There's our axiom - the universe has rules. And while the implementation of those rules is still up in the air (see theoretical physics), we can put some faith in causation. If causation exists, then the things we do aren't completely meaningless. They may be small, but not meaningless.


I'm inclined to actually agree with you when you say that things are not random, but what you're saying is tantamount to predestination as well.

daydalus wrote:Quality -

Why is pattern preferred to chaos? Is there objectivity to aesthetics? Certainly there are aspects such as symmetry, golden ratios, etc. Are these things arbitrary (ingrained in some biological heuristic?) Or do they have a deeper nature? Can "quality" be a property of the universe?

Evolution -

A completely chaotic universe would tend to devolve into a state of equilibrium over time - television static. However, even in our tiny window of the universe we see things come together in amazing ways. Stars are born in vast fields of gas, pulling together via gravity and kick starting a self-perpetuating furnace. Planets are formed, complex elements spawned, land masses shaped. And finally, life sprouting forth. All this within the rules of the universe. If anything, we should be in awe.


Bull shit. The reason that galaxies, star systems and individual bodies formed was because of irregularities in density of whatever made up the universe prior to the big bang.

daydalus wrote:Complexity -

A universe without laws would be boring, if anything a slowly cooling shock wave from the original big bang. Instead we exist. We can see the world, abstract the data of our senses, recursively ponder the state we're in. We can grok pattern and quality. Why? How? Is there some underlying thread that allows the universe to grow in this way? Some hidden magic that emerges from the laws of physics, chemistry, complexity?

Take evolution - The mechanism for feeding input (mutation, sexual urge, gene selection) is "random", but the system itself (natural selection) is an algorithm. It's not random at all. It follows rules, it adheres to a pattern. And furthermore, those "random" inputs aren't random at all - they have causation.

If you see randomness, pop back up the stack, view the bigger picture. You'll see everything's connected and makes sense.

Calling the universe random is a cop-out. And if our lives do have some meaning, however small, pure hedonism falls apart.


I'd say if anything, you just made an argument for predestination and that all our actions have been predetermined. The universe indeed is not random, but we do not fully understand it yet. There is a reason that everything occurs, but that doesn't mean that there's any grand scheme or plan for the universe, it just means that there was a big bang, and then things came to be like they are. Arbitrary aesthetics and qualities are simply percieved. I believe that everything is quantifiable, and that while we are not truly accidental or random, it's still just as meaningless. A clock or watch will eventually run out of power, and eventually the universe will have its heat death.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby cypherspace » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:27 am UTC

It’s a common fallacy to follow the path of reason and end up with the following: "the universe is completely random, and our lives are meaningless"
It's also a fallacy to equate people talking about "chance" with talking about randomness.

There's our axiom - the universe has rules. And while the implementation of those rules is still up in the air (see theoretical physics), we can put some faith in causation. If causation exists, then the things we do aren't completely meaningless. They may be small, but not meaningless.
I don't think the things we do are meaningless. I think that there is no higher purpose or meaning to life beyond the meanings that we create for ourselves. The question "Why does life exist?" is a redundancy beyond purely mechanical explanations. It just does. What you mean is that the things we do aren't without consequence. That does not equate to meaning.

All this within the rules of the universe. If anything, we should be in awe.
Good lord, who said they weren't? In the words of Douglas Adams:

"The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity, but probably absolutely out of nothing, is the most fabulous extraordinary idea. And once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened... it's just wonderful."

Calling the universe random is a cop-out. And if our lives do have some meaning, however small, pure hedonism falls apart.
Unless the meaning is to enjoy the fleeting moment of consciousness. What the hell else are you supposed to do with it?
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby EasyLite » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

This will be very good for me. I think I'm too young to have a well-established philosophy (I'm 16), but since I really need some pratice in English, for the sake of my grade's, I think I'll give it a go. Before I start about my own philosophy you should know I think a good personal philosophy is based on experience, I think they will become more and more complex with the years.

I do believe in a God, and you could most certainly call me deistic. I believe God, or at least an very powerful species, created this universe. I think people who call themself atheists are a bit hypocritical, since they unconditionally believe in something and they criticize religions for doing exactly the same. Life's only purpose is to have sex and insure the survival of the species, nothing else. But that sure as hell doesn't mean you can't have fun living! Going to a concert, scoring the winning point at any sport, doing something insane, it kicks serious donkeyass. You can give your live meaning, it's up to you. And all those who commit suicide "since live is meaningless" are stupid, just take a look at David Beckham, Bono or some random ER doctor. They all made their own purpose in life, Beckham is pleasing millions with awesome football, Bono gives millions of people the joy of music and that random ER doctor saves lives everyday. You have total control of your own life and if you can see that, then there's no reason to ever be miserable again.

And that's my view on life.

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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby mosc » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

EasyLite wrote:I think I'm too young to have a well-established philosophy (I'm 16)


You are a wise one, aren't you? Kudos. Truth is you're never really old enough... and your philosophy fucking rocks.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby theduffman » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:11 pm UTC

the meaning is to maximise happiness in conscious things :D
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Awesomium » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

Epistemology:
we can never know anything for certain, not even Descartes' "I think/doubt therefore I am". Even this conclusion relies on the truth of the Laws of thought, which are not a priori true. Therefore we can only ever say that we "know", something given that a stated set of assumptions are true.

Ontology:
I believe that abstract concepts and logical structures such as mathematics exist independently of the physical universe, or thinking beings. I'm unsure as to whether the universe is fundamentally different from these or whether it's just another logical structure (ie. the universe is simply a mathematical entity). I don't believe that humans have a non-physical soul or consciousness, so if the universe is a mathematical structure, then our minds are just a part of this structure. I don't believe in an afterlife or a god because I do not see any evidence for either of them.

Ethics:
Any ethical system can be described in a utilitarian manner, consisting of the foundations, and the superstructure. The foundations of the system are a list of things that are seen as desirable. These cannot be rationally deduced, they are an example of one of the assumptions mentioned above. The superstructure is derived from these foundations rationally, and can therefore be correct or incorrect. An ethical person is one whose judgements are consistent with the foundations of their ethics.
The values of my personal ethics are:
1. happiness
2. knowledge
3. fairness
4. community (ie. interaction of conscious beings)
5. beauty
the moral desirability of an action depends solely on whether it increases or decreases these attributes.

These views are of course under constant revision and subject to change.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Awesomium » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

Royall wrote:My suggestion is go by any moral you want; whatever makes you happy.


I agree, it just happens that thinking about philosophy makes me happy.
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby yy2bggggs » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Royall wrote:Philosophy is pointless.
I don't have a philosophy. I just look an issue and form an opinion.
Uhm...., what?

If you go by "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" then you'll probably fall into debt. My suggestion is go by any moral you want; whatever makes you happy.
If I had to pick a philosophy, it would be "life is short".
I don't have a philosophy.
Uhm...., what?

Royall wrote:Philosophy is pointless.
Royall wrote:Just don't blow anything up or be a douchebag.
Uhm...., what?
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Re: What is your (current) philosophy?

Postby Zak » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

The universe is completely, utterly unfair.

Which is better than if the universe were completely fair, then all of the shit happening happened because we deserved it.

Personal Phliosophy: Try and learn new things, don't be a dick to other people, ESPECIALLY those in a service industry, but most importantly: Everything you do should help you towards the eventual goal of having Lots 'N' Lots of Fun.
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