I am a Buddhist. I was a lay Zen monk in my twenties. But now I lean towards general Buddhist philosophy. So, I believe everything is impermanent (anicca). Also, the true state is the non-self (anatman), and that we life is seemingly unsatisfactory (dukkha) because of the self illusion. The way to satisfaction (nirvana) is to understand the nature of the reality and to live accordingly to this understanding.

Ontologically, I believe everything is matter, only matter, and dependent on matter (materialism), that the material reality is independent of the perception of it (modern realism), that the mind (as a process) is dependent upon the physical (material monism). This means I reject Descartes’ mind-body dualism, Spinoza’s substance monism, and Berkeley’s ideal monism.

Epistemologically, to know is a process. Knowledge is therefore a process (verb) rather than a thing (noun). The accumulation of knowledge is the accumulation of concepts. Knowledge is derived from empirical information (sensation), from the manipulation of information (perception), from the accumulation of information (conceptualisation), and the creation and transfer of information (signification).

I believe the logic and rationality of human beings is based upon language (signifiers and concepts), for which it is often mistaken to be an accurate description of reality (objective things), so that truths and falsehoods are that of statements, not reality. I also believe that the ethics and aesthetics of human beings is based upon shared information constructs (significations) of concepts such as mind, self, society, culture, nation, being, and other similar ideas, none of which have a basis in reality other than being categorised and manipulated as such.

The task of philosophy is to establish a correct base, a base which is common to all things, sentient and non-sentient. If no such base can be established then any talk will only be relevant to that individual, and to nothing else. In short, I accept individual experiences but I do not accept individual realities, that is, I believe we share a common reality. For if we did not have a common reality what the alternative would be a very cold and lonely place.

[work in progress]

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