Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How to Exist

No time to post, so blogging will resume tomorrow. However, if I did have time to post, I'd want to talk about the nature and conditions of existence, in other words, what must first exist in order for existence to exist.

For example, in order to exist, you need a body. But the existence of bodies is founded upon any number of prior, or deeper, or more universal principles and conditions. I touched on this in the book, for example, vis-a-vis natural selection. Sure, natural selection makes sense on its own level, but to treat it as an ultimate explanation, without need of much deeper supporting principles, is only to prove you aren't very evolved.

I suppose I first ran into this idea in a book by Stanley Jaki called Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth. If you're going to say anything useful about the world, you have to begin with what you are presently doing, which is, trying to say something useful about the world. How is this even possible? So many assumptions are packed into it, and yet, intellectuals of various kinds just proceed as if they're all self-evident.

All philosophers, intellectuals, thinkers, pundits, and professors, despite different conclusions, will agree on one thing (even if the are unaware of it): that "They all use tangible means for the delivery of their respective messages" (Jaki). In order to communicate meaning, there must be a means of communication:

Therefore, if philosophers are logical, their strictly primary concern should be about the extent to which their particular philosophy justifies the use of any such means, indeed its very reality and all the consequences, both numerous and momentous, that follow from this.

Take Darwinism, for example. Is there anything in this philosophy that permits the entities explained by it to explain themselves, with no remainder? I don't see how. At best, this metaphysic traps us in an inescapable tautology, such that there would be no reason to take seriously what such a restricted being says.

In a way, it's a variant of the old Epimenides gag about all Cretans being liars. For to say that all Darwinians are telling the truth is to transcend Darwinism. As we've put it before, if Darwinism is true, it can't be. More generally,

The perusal of representative selections from the works of modern or pre-modern philosophers hardly reveals on their part a sense of the need to justify thematically the means that carries their message. Yet only in the measure in which that justification is done, implicitly or, what is far better, explicitly, may the philosopher's message become truly about truth (Jaki).

Which means that 99% of philosophers imagine they are finished -- or close to it -- when they haven't actually even begun.

And now I have to get ready for work. To be continued....

6 comments:

julie said...

For example, in order to exist, you need a body. But the existence of bodies is founded upon any number of prior, or deeper, or more universal principles and conditions.

My little one has been asking these types of questions lately: "How is skin made? How is hair made? Who made tools?"

She finds it hilarious that you need to use tools to make tools. She knows that ultimately, it all points back to God; for now, she's just trying to sound out how far back the beginning goes, which is tricky when you've only lived for five and a half short years.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

If, the soul our tool of perception rudimentary or advanced, does not ignite its yearning to the absolute like the child of Julie, everything renders itself useless away from that ignition. No wonder all religions start with faith the entrance to the igniting room. Any exploration or discourse that start away from the first cause that gave birth to all this elegant and eloquent manifestations major among them our ungraspable consciousness with which we grasp without knowing how really do we grasp, are journeys in futility. Any start from the middle or an iota from the vital center are throws in the dark. It is the polymaths not the specialists that will play a major role in the humans escape from the existing turmoil which we have created for ourselves as a result of reading away from the divine school. Who selected Jesus for his mission, god or the created nature. Let us stop lying and falsifying god narrative. It is a laughing matter to hear our hero in the realm of introducing another theory in creation, saying that the beauty of the hummingbirds and peacocks are not divine design but a female sexual preference. As there are those who love god there are those who hate god, those who beautify the narrative and those who falsify it and rendered it obsolete . Life field is never empty from these archetypes, and so god created the story with these two options to find who love him and who hate him. It is a trail in both realms of deeds and actions. I was walking in the garden and wondering how out of the same soil and water all these diversities in colors, odor and taste, and our friend tells us they are random natural or sexual selections.

mushroom said...

Which means that 99% of philosophers imagine they are finished -- or close to it -- when they haven't actually even begun.

The arrogance of ignorance, we see it a lot these days. Or maybe it's just gotten more obvious as I have tried to get away from it myself.

Gagdad Bob said...

Interestingly, the more you get away from the ignorance, the more ignorant you become. The first kind is only pretend, but ours is the real deal!

mushroom said...

Don't we say something like humility is the first virtue? And it is about realizing how little we know. Which reminds me of Frank:

How little we know
How much to discover
What chemical forces flow
From lover to lover

How little we understand - what touches off that tingle
That sudden explosion - when two tingles intermingle

Anonymous said...

A Koan for your consideration:

Jane: Guess what?

Dolly: What?

Jane: Chicken butt, that's what.

Another:

No two snowflakes are identical.

No two___________ are different.