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The way things are - The way things ought to be

The way things are - The way things ought to be
February 16, 2014, 02:29:15 PM
As far as reality goes, there is no 'ought' and there is no way things should be.  Reality operates according to unchanging principles.  Let's rightfully acknowledge that.

But now let us talk about people and people-stuff.  There is no 'way' that people 'are.'  People will adapt to their surroundings.  I've seen it too many times to be told otherwise.  Low expectations result in low character, high expectations result in high character.  Challenge someone and they rise to the occasion.  Let someone off the hook because 'that's the way things are,' and they persist in their folly.

It is in this way that I say:  let us be 'unrealistic.'

Spoken as a non-leftist. Agreed.
The leftist, though, almost by definition, will not be doing very much adapting or rising-above.
The childish games of 'let's pretend' are what forms the basis of their ragged creed.

It's important to make the distinction between reality and people, as they are nearly synonymous within the modern mindset. Well said.

As is the distinction between 'people' and 'the world'.

What people want determine how the world is. It's like you're dismissing this fact without even considering that there might be a direct relation between the workings of the mind and the workings of the world "outside" of the mind. If someone thinks that things "ought" to be a certain way, then things may very well end up that way. We can all sit here and bitch about how disconnected from reality liberals are, but look at the world around us; they're ideals have changed our reality, for better or worse.

As above, so below.

The mind shapes the world as much as the other way around.

The mind shapes the world of people.
Sure, people can do all kinds of damage to the world, by dreaming stuff up, there's no question about that.
But when the people are gone, and they will certainly be gone eventually, the actual world will go right back to being The World.
My frame of reference, which many seem utterly incapable of seeing, is that when people are able to see the world as The World, and not squiggly little extensions of themselves, then living gets a whole lot more rewarding. For the people and for The World.

Meanwhile, the world of people demonstrably progresses to being a place where not only can nothing else live, but finally not even people can, either.

As far as I'm concerned whatever people do is a part of the operation of the world.

People have tendencies like the OP described. You may be able to count on some of these to a high degree of probability. Though as absolute certainty? Yeah right! We've all seen how well economic theory, with its rational actors and all that, corresponds to what *people* actually do.

You are still drawing a line where there isn't really one. The world of people is the world of everything else. People aren't separete entities, they are just small cells in a bigger entity. When there are no people? When will that be? Will that time ever come?

There are natural mechanics that are severe, arbitrary, and totally "inhuman" in our eyes, but they really aren't so alien. This external reality is only a convenient way for people to partition themselves away from that which they don't readily understand. Surely you realize that the deepest mystery of all is really our selves, why we are aware of ourselves in relation to other things, and why we treat them as something other than our selves. The only thing that really makes us different is that we think we are different. Because of this trick of the mind, we can transfer constructs of imagination into physical reality. There really is no division there unless we want there to be division. And we do want it, because we are conscious, and we need distinctions if we're going to learn new ways to shape and construct.

Besides, consciousness is not as special as we think. It appears to me that humans feel very high and mighty about having achieved consciousness very recently, but consciousness is not a kind of freak coincidence; the universe assembles nodes of consciousness "at will", and we just happen to be the first ones to know about it. Naturally, if the environment and materials are right, consciousness will appear elsewhere, in other spaces and times. So even if there are "no people", that doesn't mean the universe won't keep attempting to set up nodes of conscious entities who will continue to do the same kind of thing we're doing now; desperately trying to figure out how to shape the universe as we please. God created man in His image; why shouldn't we do the same?

If that was to me, I tried to get across the point that lines of separation don't exist.

If that was to me, I tried to get across the point that lines of separation don't exist.

My mistake, that comment was directed toward crow because he is the most fun to argue with.

I was trying to get a little deeper into the reason we would think that there is not really a line between people and things. Then I also wanted to point out that, even though the lines are imaginary, they serve as a utility; imagination is possible now; we can create, in our minds, things that aren't really "anywhere" in the "external reality". Did I just contradict myself? I don't know. Maybe I'm using the wrong words. If you understand even half of what I'm trying to say, then I admire your resolve!

There is no reason for any separation, it's true, yet people separate themselves all the time.
Observe people observing life as if it were no more than a movie.
That's separation.
If you're not actively living, you are not part of life.
You are only judging life, from a seat placed higher than the one occupied by the thing you are judging.

But you're still missing what I'm trying to describe; the necessary separation that let's us act as if we are indeed something different than everything else. Because we can predict future events (albeit to a very limited and imperfect extent) we can set up systems that are far more ordered and purposefully functional than whatever would be happening without conscious human intervention. The important thing here is that it makes sense to think of this bizarre human-driven reshaping and construction of systems as perfectly natural; no less natural than the way rain falls, or a planet follow an orbit. One can admit that he is not different from anything else in so far as he is basically a thing among other things than just happen to be in the same slice of time-space, but that does not mean he cannot "withdraw" into the temple of his imagination and work with raw psychic materials that are not-yet present in the physical world "outside" his mind. Yet those constructs of imagination may as well be comprised of the same basic substance that any energy or matter is made of, because immagination doesn't work independently of energy and matter; energy shapes imagination, imagination shapes energy.

It is a beautiful feedback loop. That's all consciousness is. There is no reason to think we are really that separate from other things, except that believing in that separation allows us to concieve of "semi-existing" things in an entirely different way than merely shaping wood and metal bits with our hands. Without telling ourselves that we are nothing, only more of the same thing, why would we ever dream of a universe to fit us exactly the way we want it to? And why is that a bad thing if, ( and my entire thesis hinges on this "if"), consciousness, imagination, and desire are just as natural as starlight and rivers?

I guess your viewpoint is like asking why we wouldn't do better being permanently stoned out of our skulls, because that is just as natural and real as anything else.
It comes down to what is possible, and what is no more than pure indulgence, without regard for the consequences.
If you feel I am not getting it, then you know now how I feel about every communication I attempt.

Ooh, now you're really cutting to the bone of my argument.

I guess that *is* what I'm asking.

Am I expressing nihilism here? Or am I just unaware of some objective judgment of what is good and right? Or am I doing both?

Who am I to say?
But I will say this:
You are a leading contender for the world's record in the arcane art of gratuitous 'Devil's Advocacy'.