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The best book on Nietszche i've come across. Nietzsche elevated alongside Plato.

Your sighing and dismaying about my disagreement with you is getting tiring. Let's stick to the concrete points, please, or there is no use conversing.

You're not meeting any of the specific challenges i'm raising against the rationality of your views. I have been nothing but honest in my assumptions, yet when I call you out on yours you don't reply. You just spout general rhetoric about what I can't possibly understanding because bla bla bla. It's hard to keep communicating in a good spirit If you keep this up.

As has been stated before, we have already passed the point of talking past each other - there's no point in pursuing a discussion if we're talking on different terms, from different positions, at different positions.  I knew your assumptions before you spoke them, and I have made mine abundantly clear, if you want to read back over the discussion (I'm hardly going to repeat myself in every post, am I?  That would be consumately pointless, more so than the preceding part of this discussion was).

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Why the correlations between states of the brain and experience, like I have mentioned in previous posts, if consciousness doesn't have a physical basis? Why does your consciousness retreat if you are:

- hit on the head
- parts of your brain are removed
- you take chemicals that effect neurons in the brain?
-Why does the difference in experiential state between being awake and sleep correlate with entirely different patterns of large-scale neuronal activity in the brain?

If you're going to give me more 'the metaphysical always operates in tandem with the physical', then I would like some shred of argument of evidence for this massive assertion. Please stop, and attend to this first issue before moving on.

The metaphysical doesn't operate solely "in tandem" with the physical, it informs the physical.  You seemingly cannot understand what this means, which is why we urge you to read up on the subject first.

If you damage the receiver, how can you expect the transmission to hold?

If you unblock the receiver, does it not make sense that more transmissions might come through?

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Secondly, and this is directly related, I'd like you to answer the following and stop worming around:

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3. That if you post a non-physicalist explanation for something that interacts with the physical world (forms, consciousness) you are going to need to have a story about how the non-physical interacts with the physical.

This has already been answered: the physical is a manifestation of the metaphysical, it is informed by the metaphysical, ergo, there is no "separation" between the two, there are no two entities between which there can be "interaction".  Or what, do you think we've been running around trying to prove that Heaven is a place in the sky which you can get to if you fly hard enough?

By the way, have you ever read Plato's cave allegory?

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Again, i've already responded to this. Science does seek to know the knower (and in one particular instance of knowing the knower cognitive science debunks your theory of forms, which you have said nothing about).

What debunks the theory of forms?  The fact that we can find physical evidence for them within the brain?  Hardly sounds like "debunking" unless you make the base assumption that a physical explanation removes the possibility of any other explanation being true.

How does science seek to know the knower without the introspection characteristic of meditative practices?  If you want to tinker with the brain, you can get a great understanding of the brain, and I'm sure even one of how thoughts map themselves onto the brain's structure; however, we are not simply the amalgamation of thoughts and feelings we constantly experience, but, rather, the experiencer of those thoughts and feelings - "we" cannot be found within the brain (again, please read the refutations of the physicalist theories of mind, especially re "qualia" in this case).  In order to know the self, one must journey into the self, rather than approaching the subject cursorily.

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Of course human conceptions are important. Write poems that describe your qualitative expierence of water until you're blue in the face, if you like. Write sociological essays on the meanings different cultures have attributed to 'water. However if you're concered with finding out about the ontological nature of parts of the world, seperate from your experience of them, then you're simply not concerned with  "the affairs and thoughts of humans". These are worth something beyond the physical constituents of process and objections under question. But we've been talking about such processes and objects, not about human sentiments towards them!!

You're missing another fundamental point of Tradition, which is that the Self and Reality are One, just as all things are One.  There can be no enquiry into the structure of the universe without enquiry into the structure of the self (I actually found it funny that you should think otherwise!).

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Science replaces traditional ontological understandings of water, not traditional human experiences with water.... Doesn't it? If so... why not? Please, address this third issue before moving on. Do you think a molecular understanding of water is not a better ontological picture of water, i.e. as it is in-itself, seperate from our experience of water , than ontological pictures of water that did not involve molecular chemistry?

The chemical structure of water is very interesting when compared with traditional notions of it, actually.  For example: hydrogen is the fuel used by the Sun's fusion reactions; combustion is a process of oxidisation; thus, within water are two sources of fire, which tallies with the Vedic notion that Agni, the Fire God, was a "fire" (energy) which suffused water.

We hold that meaning can be derived from outside of physical experience, thus we hold that water might have ontological significance above and beyond its chemical composition, which is nevertheless important.  Certainly, the chemical composition "H20" is only what we call "water" in this world; in another world, water might have been made of the chemicals "XYZ", but it would have had exactly the same properties and uses as the water we have on this world.  What is more important: the essence, or the form?

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I will not start quoting what drugs i've taken or books i've read as though these give me authority. I will adress the issues we are talking about. Grow some balls and do the same. I'm after good reasons or evidence for hypotheses. If you can't provide me with either for your theory of forms, or for consciousness being non-physical, don't revert back to sweeping statements. It's not like this is a pissing contest.

There are three issues for you to respoind to, highlighted in bold. This is childish, but its become a matter of intellectual honesty.

Those were honest suggestions as to how you should progress, not ill-conceived attempts at proving my own importance (I don't need to do that: I craft worlds).  Crow very often hits the nail on the head around this place, but even so I'm surprised to see such a bawling response in the middle of what's appeared to be a rather reasonable discussion.

Anyway, stop being weak and actually make an effort to understand the opposition, rather than hiding behind imposed ignorance (which is, itself, insanity manifest).

Thank you for responding in detail, I think it's only fitting for a conversation that's getting so in depth.

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The metaphysical doesn't operate solely "in tandem" with the physical, it informs the physical.  You seemingly cannot understand what this means, which is why we urge you to read up on the subject first.

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This has already been answered: the physical is a manifestation of the metaphysical, it is informed by the metaphysical, ergo, there is no "separation" between the two, there are no two entities between which there can be "interaction".

So these are your responses to the first two of my questions, and they don't tell me much at all.  Please don't berate me for not understanding what this means when you don't expand on what you assert. Telling me 'I cannot understand" is just dodging the issue. (Notice you keep diverting to authority figures when we happen to chance upon the fundamental issues regarding your position? This doesn't mean you're wrong it just means its hard for me to know what you mean because it's 'assumed reading'). However I'm glad you presented these two comments as they cut to the heart of our disagreement, and all this circle work might not have been for nothing. We can pursue these points and nothing else, if you like (and no, I don't want this to go on forever, in case you were worrying):

Firstly, what on earth do YOU mean by "the physical is a manifestation of the metaphysical"? Flesh it out, so that it's not just words that leave a place for the 'metaphysical'. Do you mean something like idealism?

Secondly, Why on earth posit the 'metaphysical' when you can account for all phenomena with physical explanations (except consciousness, admittedly but see point four)? This was sort of the end of my fourth point, and goes to the heart of my whole position, I think.

-----

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If you damage the receiver, how can you expect the transmission to hold?

If you unblock the receiver, does it not make sense that more transmissions might come through?

*Sigh*....

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Ok, I this analogy just doesn't work. If concsciousness were like a TV channel, then specific consciousnesses would not be tied in a one-to-one relation with specific brains. You break your TV, and your neighoburs TV can pick up Big Brother. If I fall down the stars and smash my skull and die, my neighbour can't 'tune in' and pick up my consciousness where I left off! (If you bring in telepathy - i'm out!)

Another way in which the TV signal/consciousness [as 'metaphysical] analogue breaks down is the very fact that the TV signal is physical! It is electro magnetic waves for god's sake.

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We hold that meaning can be derived from outside of physical experience, thus we hold that water might have ontological significance above and beyond its chemical composition, which is nevertheless important.  Certainly, the chemical composition "H20" is only what we call "water" in this world; in another world, water might have been made of the chemicals "XYZ", but it would have had exactly the same properties and uses as the water we have on this world.  What is more important: the essence, or the form?

What? If water was not made of H20 it wouldn't hydrate us. If it was made of some other molecules, it might kill us.

XYZ is hydrating.  Don't you know that? ; )

Consciousness is not specific, consciousness is singular - this is at the heart of our argument, certainly, along with many other things.  Consciousness is a singular thing, boundless, extensionless, indefinite, aware.  Any separation is between individual "minds", not individual "consciousnesses".

The metaphysical includes all of the laws and potentials, the objects of which we encounter, differentiated by space and time, in physicality.

Have you found any good books by those authors I mentioned yet?  If you really want, I can paraphrase some of the stuff that I've got, but it is advised that you read whole texts so that context is maintained.

I edited since you replied. If you can have another read and edit if needed. I'll reply next time it's getting late.

Water hydrates because it hydrates, not because it is this or that.

Accurate:  Because water is H2O it hydrates.
More accurate:  Because H2O is water it hydrates.

Water does not hydrate because it is "this."  "This" hydrates because it is water.

Water hydrates because it hydrates, not because it is this or that.

That's like saying a guitar produces 'sound', not because it produces movements of air that interact with our ears and brains, but because it produces sound. It's logically correct but it gives us zero new information about the world. It's logically correct but empirically empty. If we thought like that we'd still be playing with clubs and painting on cave walls instead of chapel ceilings.

It's like saying 'this man is a bachelor because he's a bachelor'. Its useless to someone who doesn't already know the meaninig of 'bachelor'. Contrast this to 'this man is a bachelor because he's unmarried'. Bingo. New knowledge.

Your parallel is not apt.  Hydration is exclusive to water.  Sound is not exclusive to a guitar.  In fact, a guitar does not produce sound.  A guitar produces a sound.  One would not say that water "produces" or causes a hydration.  In fact you don't even need to throw in the "produces or causes."  You can just say "water hydrates."  It would make no sense to say "guitar(s) sound."  The air that interacts with our ears and brains is an instance of sound, just like this H20 or that H20 is an instance of water. There are many sounds, but no sound-of-all-sounds or sounds-all-at-once (that we can apprehend, anyway).  On the other hand, there are many chemical compounds but only one water.

Plato is always worth discussing. :)

Some key readings...

Contemporary Distortions of Plato's Dialectic
http://www.hermes-press.com/dialectic_distortions.htm

The Dialectic in Plato's Republic
http://openingmind.com/pdfs/010_The_Dialectic_in_Plato.pdf

The Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/993329.html

As ever, this appears to be a problem of language.  When Somnambulist says "water", he is referring to the Form, the essence of the substance wen English "water", which, here on earth, is manifested as H2O.  It is essential to water that it hydrates, otherwise it is not water; it is not essential that it be H2O, regardless of the fact that, here, it is.  It might as well be XYZ, and, as long as it fulfills all criteria of waterness, it's water.

Cargest,

Ever noticed the similarities between "Nothing is Not" and Platonism?

Your parallel is not apt.  Hydration is exclusive to water.  Sound is not exclusive to a guitar.  In fact, a guitar does not produce sound.  A guitar produces a sound.  One would not say that water "produces" or causes a hydration.  In fact you don't even need to throw in the "produces or causes."  You can just say "water hydrates."  It would make no sense to say "guitar(s) sound."  The air that interacts with our ears and brains is an instance of sound, just like this H20 or that H20 is an instance of water. There are many sounds, but no sound-of-all-sounds or sounds-all-at-once (that we can apprehend, anyway).  On the other hand, there are many chemical compounds but only one water.

Fine. You have highlighted a different between sound and hydration. Sound is not exclusive to a guitar, but hydration is exclusive for water. This doesn't change the fact that the sentence 'water hydrates because it hydrates' is fucking useless.

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It is essential to water that it hydrates, otherwise it is not water

Ok?

But is not finding out that water hydrates because it is H20 a usefull discovery??! For example, we might be able to make synthetic water or something like that if we run out of natural water, I don't know.

....the Form, the essence of the substance wen English "water", which, here on earth, is manifested as H2O.  It is essential to water that it hydrates, otherwise it is not water; it is not essential that it be H2O, regardless of the fact that, here, it is.  It might as well be XYZ, and, as long as it fulfills all criteria of waterness, it's water.

To me, this outlook is the perfection of solipsism and anthropomorphism.

Take the all-too-human human perspective of something (namely, H20 - when you drink water you're not interacting with a 'Form', you're interacting with H20), and elevate it to a diabolical level ('essence') to have the so-called 'essence' (hydration) replace the thing in-itself (H20).

It's a bit like standing in front of a mirror masturbating over what you see.

Consciousness is not specific, consciousness is singular - this is at the heart of our argument, certainly, along with many other things.  Consciousness is a singular thing, boundless, extensionless, indefinite, aware.  Any separation is between individual "minds", not individual "consciousnesses".

The metaphysical includes all of the laws and potentials, the objects of which we encounter, differentiated by space and time, in physicality.

More mere statements. The basis, or justification, for your claims continues to be virtually non-existent (that's not saying you're wrong, it's simply saying that it's impossible for someone who doesn't already hold your views to be rationally persuaded. So i'm going to conclude that I am not persuaded (and justifiably, any rational interlocutor would have to grant! - you have provided me with no reasons to take up your claims).

I could just re hash your statements above (and in multiple posts), in the opposite, and then what? Would that mean i have presented 'truths'? If not, then why the hell is it the case that you have just presented truths? You have to give me reasons why, rationally (empirically or logically) I should agree with these statements.

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Have you found any good books by those authors I mentioned yet?  If you really want, I can paraphrase some of the stuff that I've got, but it is advised that you read whole texts so that context is maintained.

Stop it! I'm not telling you to read aristotle, Darwin, Pinker, Etc.

It's telling that you are consistently interested in handballing me off to authority figures and that you never acknowledge when I have raised something problematic. All this tells me, in addition to never giving arguments or evidence, that you're a dogmatist (regarding metaphysics).

Consciousness is not specific, consciousness is singular - this is at the heart of our argument, certainly, along with many other things.  Consciousness is a singular thing, boundless, extensionless, indefinite, aware.  Any separation is between individual "minds", not individual "consciousnesses".

The metaphysical includes all of the laws and potentials, the objects of which we encounter, differentiated by space and time, in physicality.

More mere statements. The basis, or justification, for your claims continues to be virtually non-existent (that's not saying you're wrong, it's simply saying that it's impossible for someone who doesn't already hold your views to be rationally persuaded. So i'm going to conclude that I am not persuaded (and justifiably, any rational interlocutor would have to grant! - you have provided me with no reasons to take up your claims).

I could just re hash your statements above (and in multiple posts), in the opposite, and then what? Would that mean i have presented 'truths'? If not, then why the hell is it the case that you have just presented truths? You have to give me reasons why, rationally (empirically or logically) I should agree with these statements.

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Have you found any good books by those authors I mentioned yet?  If you really want, I can paraphrase some of the stuff that I've got, but it is advised that you read whole texts so that context is maintained.

Stop it! I'm not telling you to read aristotle, Darwin, Pinker, Etc.

It's telling that you are consistently interested in handballing me off to authority figures and that you never acknowledge when I have raised something problematic. All this tells me, in addition to never giving arguments or evidence, that you're a dogmatist (regarding metaphysics).

No, people can't always be convinced by the logic underpinning our position.  I was, and that certainly helped in attaining the experiential evidence required for true belief (i.e. knowledge).  There might be no reasons I can give you (given that you seem to require that reason have its basis in the physical reality), but I can certainly explain that experience is the main constituent of any real understanding of these truths.

I've already read Aristotle, Darwin, Pinker, and a rather large selection of similarly oriented authors (probably more than I've read on the side of Tradition, because it's all very interesting, even if wrong in some ways).  In reading the works of the authors I've suggested, you might realise the necessity for the personal experience, and then attempt to attain that experience yourself (in an honest pursuit - not with the aim to disprove).

The fact is that individual, subjective experience collides in both of those realms to which we seem to have access (that is, the physical and the mental).  If the various traditions of the world, as disconnected in time and space as many are, are consistently able to come to the same notions about the nature of our reality (albeit filtered through a temporal-cultural lense), there must be some fundamental aspect of human experience - common to all - which allows for these kinds of experiences.  Is this not worthy of investigation?

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There might be no reasons I can give you (given that you seem to require that reason have its basis in the physical reality)

I find reasons that have their basis in logic pursuasive as well, as i've said (if I can understand them - not that this is the criterion as to whether they are good reasons or not - some logical arguments are complicated because they are abstract).

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but I can certainly explain that experience is the main constituent of any real understanding of these truths.

'Experience' is being used here in a specific way to connote a specific methodology. We would both agree it's not the 'experience' of empiricism. I would argue it's not a good methodology, which flows into the following:

The fact is that individual, subjective experience collides in both of those realms to which we seem to have access (that is, the physical and the mental).  If the various traditions of the world, as disconnected in time and space as many are, are consistently able to come to the same notions about the nature of our reality (albeit filtered through a temporal-cultural lense), there must be some fundamental aspect of human experience - common to all - which allows for these kinds of experiences.  Is this not worthy of investigation?

I see what you mean. And Definetely.

But, (and this will be no surprise by now), for me this investigation is ultimately a psychological one, not a metaphysical one. To quote the conclusion from a journal article on 'epidemiological' approaches to culture that use the paradigm of evolutionary psychology to preset a theory about how psychological adaptations lead to cultural similarities, and more interestingly how these adaptations can lead to human behaviours that were not 'intended' by the adapted psychological mechanisms:

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Think metaphorically of humankind’s evolutionary history as
a landscape formed by different mountain ridges. This landscape
functions everywhere to canalize, but not determine,
individual and cultural development. It greatly reduces the
possible sources of religious expression into structures that
constantly reappear across history and societies.
This landscape is shaped by natural selection. It is ancestrally
defined by specific sets of affective, social, and
cognitive features – different mountain ridges. Each ridge
has a distinct contour, with various peaks whose heights reflect
evolutionary time.Human experience lies along this evolutionary landscape,
usually converging on more or less the same life
paths – much as rain that falls anywhere in a mountain-valley
landscape, drains into a limited set of lakes or rivers
(Kauffman 1993; Sperber 1996). As humans randomly interact
and “walk” through this landscape, they naturally
tend towards certain forms of cultural life, including religious
paths. Cultures and religions don’t exist apart from
the individual minds that constitute them and the environments
that constrain them, any more than a physical path
exists apart from the organisms that tread and groove it and
the surrounding ecology that restricts its location and
course. Individual minds mutually interact within this converging
landscape in an open-ended time horizon, exploiting
its features in distinctive ways. The result is socially
transmitted amalgamations that distinctively link landscape
features with cognitive, affective, and interactional propensities.
This produces the religious and cultural diversity we
see in the world and throughout human history.
Nevertheless, all religions follow the same structural contours...
http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/AtranNorenzayanBBS.pdf

Whether you agree with the general methodology (empiricism), the specific paradigm used (evolutionary psychology), or not, it gets terribly 'reductive'. We need to find meaning in all of this or we're done for.

It is part of 'human nature' to strive towards the truth, and I think we need poets, philosophers and artists to replace God after he has been killed by the progress of honst, objective human inquiry. The current ideals and art are not satisfactory. This is is because they are either

1. Deconstructive, nihilistic, decadent or
2. Secular expressions of christian ideals that are more christian than the ideals expressed under chrisendom. They are compassionate and caring but focus exclusively on human desires, as if human preferences and human life were precious for their own sake (as if there were immortal souls). It manifests in a desperate and slightly depressing obsession or clinging to life, obsession with removing suffering and discomfort as though death and suffering were not inevitable in the first place. It's focus is not on acceptance of this life, nor a beautification of this life, as it characterised by hardship, temporality and ultimately tragedy. I have no idea what 'humanists' think happens after they die. It's as though they think human life continues on somewhere and that if we're all just nice to each other suddenly life will be worthwhile, seemingly relegating the whole ('unjust') history of mankind to the 'not worthy' basket along with the entire animal world, the cold universe and anything that is not 'humane'. And it's not as though reducing suffering is a bad deal in some cases, it's just that when this is elevated to a god like status, and when we suffer and die in the end no matter what, it feels like damn joke if you're alienated from humanistic ideals looking back in on them. Just because 'god is dead' doesn't mean we don't need transcendence and a connection with something bigger (and bigger than humanism, which provides an incling of transcendence for humanists). It just has to be transcendence based on this world and not some illusory one.

I like Homer, the Bhaghavad Gita, and Norse epics because they beautify a more 'pagan' (naturalistic: tragedy, stuggle, overcoming) view of the world, to my understanding. I don't think paganism and traditionalism/perennialism are the same things. Platonism replaced paganism, and traditionalism seems to be based on Platonism. I guess i'm simply a Neitzschean, inspired by the philosopher who ultimately sought value in the tragic will to power and becoming of the world (I have no choice: I am a follower of honest, objective inquiry but at the same time sensitive to quesitons of ultimate meaning, value and human striving).