Category Archives: other

All posts that do not belong in the categories of buddhism or sustainability goes in here. Please check tags for more details about what the post is about.

All, concepts

The only conclusion in life that I can draw is that all things are concepts. Real objects can only be concepts within my mind, so abstract objects can only be concepts within my mind as well. Nothing can escape this conclusion. Concepts do not “float” out there in the world independent of the mind. They must be constructs of the mind.

Before the first person came into being and after the last person passes away all concepts did not exist. The concepts of self, man and society exist as long as at least one person exists to remember them. Perhaps consciousness is like this, and nothing more. 

miss conception

everything
without exception
are concepts
and no more

anything to lie
beyond
conception is a
misconception

What does it mean to be a philosopher?

According to one dictionary, philosophy is the study of the nature and meaning of existence, truth, good and evil etc. And a philosopher is someone who studies and develops ideas about the nature and meaning of existence, truth, good and evil etc.

Personally, I prefer to boil down this definition to just philosophy is the study of the nature of existence and truth. It follows thus a philosopher is someone who studies and develops ideas about the nature of existence and truth.

The inclusion of meaning assumes that existence has meaning to begins with. Here, I beg to differ (or perhaps go along with existentialists like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre) and point out that nowhere does it say life has implicit meaning, that only we have assumed it to have meaning, and a universal one at that. It is for this reason I believe that Western philosophy tends to think Eastern Philosophy, particularly Buddhism is nihilistic in outlook.

Thus, Western philosophy has a tendency to belittle relativism and relativistic meaning. They are happy to say things like the only constant is change and not blink an eyelid at the relativity and even the contradiction in the statement or proposition. One must also see the nature of language (move towards a philosophy of language) in order to understand the nature of knowledge (epistemology), the nature of existence (ontology) and the nature of reality (metaphysics).

And so I must therefore question the nature of religion as well. I have never known a religion to be personal, for one person and that person alone. If it were then its god must be non-universal. In short, religion is a social act. If it were a non-social act then we need not talk of church and religion in the first place. But the fact that we do have church and the concept of a religion we must assume religion to be above all else a relativistic social construct. And if so then the talk of good and evil must also be relativistic as well. Philosophy, therefore, must reject religion, or at least study religion as part of the nature of human existence, not to assume it is part of or above philosophy as such. There is what I will suggest here as not so much a philosophy of religion but a religion of philosophy, and that it has infiltrated Western philosophical tradition so thoroughly that it had almost escaped notice.

The celebrity that is God 

To me, God is like a celebrity – He had been perfect until His history of plastic surgery surfaced. After that I had become more interested in his history than in him.

The fact that we now have a history of Christianity and a history of God means he loses his power upon man. No longer is ‘he’ with a capital ‘H’. And no longer is God beyond quantifiability. Once quantified we can measure him, compare him.

But by insisting that he is unquantifiable we put him beyond criticism and blame. And by quantifying him we can now make him take responsibility for his role in the past, make him accountable for the present, and make him change for the better in the future.

“You are light as air & heavy as clouds”

These lines are from my poem atheist become.

For me, a metaphor is what creates the illusion of something like God. They are concepts and nothing more. So they can be as light or as heavy as you can imagine. In the same way we can imagine that when we die we go to some place better. But do we? Is there some place to go? I ended the poem with but nothing will free you / from death and / to nowhere will you go to suggest perhaps the reason why we do imagine a heaven is precisely because the idea of nowhere to go is rather lonely. Atheists must overcome loneliness as they do not have something to comfort them as Christians do. It reminds of the line from Kafka’s novel, The Trial:

“It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.”

The fear of purposelessness

1.
It seems to me that it is characteristic of Christian thought, and of the West in general, that there must be a purpose to life.

2.
My children raised within an Eastern Japanese culture (and myself in a Chinese culture) do not seem to feel the need to ask the question of “why”? Growing up in Australia, this question was of utmost importance, to adults, and in being so to their children as well. The question of why seems so vital to Western/Christian thinking one can only be seen to it being tied to the fundamental nature of God.

God is talked about with the assumption He is conscious. The language is couched in a way that means it is a He. He is also The Father. So framed in such language it is impossible to escape the conclusion that what brought forth the universe can only be a conscious creator.

3.
Nihilism has such a negative meaning in English. To be without intrinsic purpose is like being lost. There is a kind of helplessness to purposelessness. And when individuals choose their own purpose a sense of “group-ness” is lost. Christianity is therefore social, not in any way a “dialogue” (there we go again, giving Him a human quality) between the individual and God. The conversation is between Christians and God, not of individuals. The only way then is to set up God to be dialogic and purposeful.

4.
Eastern thinking never had to deal with purpose the way Western thinking had to. Nor did Asians have a problem with purpose. There never is (“was”, perhaps Christianity has already made headways into influencing The East) this “there-must-be-a-purpose-in-life” monologue that Europe(ans) always seem to have.

5.
On the social media platform Periscope a random drop-in into scopes in America seemed to be one of preaching, evangelical and missionary in outlook. There is a purposefulness to Christianity that is lacking in, for example, Buddhism. Of the 18,000-plus Buddhist temples in Japan you hardly see missionary-ism at work. Each temple on average caters to over 6,000 people in the population. The priests are too busy conducting funerals and such, preaching is hardly part of its work. Buddhism, in this sense, is for the living, even in funerals. The dead have no need for Buddhist names. Purpose is what we as individuals make of it, with influence or interference from what is properly called The Church.

Damn it, Dennett! Why did you have to say it?!

Someone had to say what had been going on in my mind. 

All along we thought robots can become humans, when in fact we, humans, are nothing but fancy biological evolutionary robots. 

The joke is on us. And the sad thing is we can think about this. 

I want to read this smart guy‘s books.