Institution (or social institution) – a “structure” which simultaneously uses and is used by individuals and social groups. Well known and often studied institutions are culture, society, religion, science, philosophy, art, literature, music, language, politics and government, economy and business, family and the individual.
God is a metaphor.
There is reason why the world (the external reality) will not continue (for me) after I die. I do not own it, create it. All evidence points to its independence, that I am but one object within reality. So no amount of sensing it will change the reality. And neither will the non-sensation of it change its existence.
is that special room where
everything is in
Everyday I wake up and see the world. I see objects. My wife and children (they are ‘objects’ as well) share the same space and time, and objects with me. Those objects are independent of myself, my wife and children. My children fight over them. They do not disappear or suddenly change into something else unrecognizable. There is seemingly an inherent stability in the reality of space-object-time.
While I have no evidence to proof this except that in the nearly half-century of my life (is that time an illusion?) my perception of that reality has been stable, constant. And that the intermediary objects have held constant between myself and other sentient observers.
That alone is good enough evidence for me.
If I cannot rely on the world to be consistent (I do not mean willful consistency) I will not be able to function meaningfully in it.
I have been trying to get into Speculative Realism lately. Not an easy philosophy but then again philosophy is dealing with anything but easy subjects. Nothing less then the what exists and how we know.
During this little adventure I came across a term – object-oriented ontology – that, at first, seemed illogical but made sense after careful inspection. Here is an excellent jargon-free definition of it by Ian Bogost:
Ontology is the philosophical study of existence. Object-oriented ontology (“OOO” for short) puts things at the center of this study. Its proponents contend that nothing has special status, but that everything exists equally–plumbers, cotton, bonobos, DVD players, and sandstone, for example. In contemporary thought, things are usually taken either as the aggregation of ever smaller bits (scientific naturalism) or as constructions of human behavior and society (social relativism). OOO steers a path between the two, drawing attention to things at all scales (from atoms to alpacas, bits to blinis), and pondering their nature and relations with one another as much with ourselves.
Essentially, it is a kind of trying to be objective about something by stepping into every objects’s shoes. The language is nuanced to be human center-free.
It feels like something David Suzuki would agree to (this would make sense since he is a geneticist-turned-activist). In sustainability, it seems to have something in common with the animal rights movement opting to be less anthropocentric.
(Monologue: There seems to be a move away from human-centred views and looking at the world from what I call The Other. But whether we can learn to avoid projection of The Self in performing this act. Perhaps I can call this project Willful Philosophical Out-Of-Body Re-embodiment.)
I am kind of disappointed that so little attention had been given to If The World Were A Food Village of 100 People over the five years since I translated it.
Firstly, it was a translation from Japanese meaning this wasn’t available in English until I had translated it. Secondly, food is an important topic that should be covered more.
The fact that not a single person liked or commented on it is depressing. And even when I scoped about it it drew little response.
I can see a couple of problems with it. Numbers are too abstract. People need concrete visuals, a kind of “Food Village for Dummies” presentation before people can understand it. Also, it is too close to the original idea and title, “If The World Were A Village Of 100 People”. Any search online will simply make it hard to stand out and find. Most people tend to put “village 100 people” for their search term. But even if it is hard to find in search it should have been picked up.
From experience you and I “know” that the world has a characteristic. For example, we play the game of tennis by following the “rules” or laws of physics. Otherwise, the game would not be very fun to play. We share the world which is “out there” from “in here”. And I understand the outside through the senses and the mind. I also understand the inside through the mind and its concepts and knowledge, and accordingly interact through my object, the body.
In this way, I have inducted (not deducted) that there is a world with independent objects and I am one of those objects.
From around age 12 I have thought it strange that people (Catholics in my school) would say it must be lonely if there were no God.
Doesn’t that imply that they need God in order to not feel lonely. And that it meant they are lonely.
I have never met God. And I think he likely doesn’t exist. But certainly I do not feel any more or less lonely because of this.
Personally, I just wish people do not feel lonely. And that if they do I wish I can help relieve that feeling with friendship and love. After all, there is nothing more depressing than two lonely people in the same room, let alone millions of lonely people on the same planet.
Life isn’t an “Eleanor Rigby” song (even though it sounds good). It isn’t about where do they all come from. (That, I already know. They come from the fear of being alone.) It is who they go to that is important.
I do not mean to keep company because you are lonely. But I think we should keep company because they are lonely. If everyone did that then no one would be lonely in the world. Doing things for others is the greatest friendship to give. Keeping company for your needs will perpetuate loneliness, not relieve it.
minds do not emerge
would like them to
the machinery, empty
mysteriously move through
how are we to know
if any thing exists at all
if this, our greatest illusion
kept up its charade
until the very last
i cannot know anything
a god or a self
to have concepts of them
to be our creations
that the world
is void and full
all at once
from the beginning, and
until the very end
it only takes
for rebirth to end
and Happiness to begin
It took me a while to figure this out.
I cannot say that I have ever had direct knowledge of God. I have had notions of God pitched to me for as long as I can remember, but I have never had direct contact from him (if it is a him).
Christians may say I am not “chosen”. But I would rather think of it as maybe there isn’t God.
Buddhism has gods and whatnot in their “pantheon”, but they are imports from other religions and systems such as Hinduism, Taoism and Esoteric Buddhism. I, for the most part, ignore them but accept somehow gods were created to represent the teaching, as manifestations of these ideas, and that the concepts and ideas (the teachings) are more important than the gods. To me, this seems to be the healthier attitude to have than to believe (more often than not, blindly) in God or gods.
Inductive reasoning is reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.
From Essentials of Logic by Copi, Cohen and Flage.
I do not think we can ever come to a certain truth, because we have only access to the reality through our senses and perception. It must forever be probable. So philosophy will always be an argument of who has got the better probability.
Finally, an address I like.
From today onwards I am signature103.blog. Simple. Elegant. Easy to remember.
Like a well chosen name for your child I feel the blog is now taking shape again to be something like what I had wanted it to be – a personal space of sorts.
And the blog will continue to be ad-free for your reading pleasure.
a small death
and a rebirth
(This is an edited version of an earlier poem.)