1
   

I do, therefore I am

 
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 05:12 pm
Emile Cioran:

"To think is to undermine---to undermine ONESELF. Action involves fewer risks, for it fills the intervals between things and ourselves, whereas reflection dangerously widens it.

".....So long as I give myself up to physical exercise, manual labor I am happy, fullfilled; once I stop, I am seized by dizziness and I can think of nothing but giving up for good."

Now, this is not to be construed literally, of course; after all, in any given situation, precipitous action can engender enormous risks...while reflection can minimize them.

Cioran's point revolves more around one's inherent capacity to know [cognitively, philosophically] when one's behavior is, in fact, Most Rational or Most Ethical. Here, respecting big chunks of human interactions, we cannot know for certain which comportment is more or less reasonable. And the more we reflect on it the more uncertain we become. Sooner or later we have to make our leap and do this rather than that. Knowing in an essentially absurd and meaningless world [one sans God] any choice is interchangable with any other choice.

Thus, for example, we can introspect for days on whether it is moral to abort a human fetus. But we can never know for certain---not Rationally or Logically. But we must choose and so the choice is made. Usually by people who, ironically, live in this black and white, either/or world of Right and Wrong.

The world of illusions, in other words.

RP
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,892 • Replies: 77
No top replies

 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 09:38 am
Hi, Randall. Welcome to A2K. Does Cioran reflect your philosophy? Need time to think on your interpretation. UhOh. Smile

Nevertheless, this was well written and easy to understand. Now I got something that I must do.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 09:53 am
The world and the choices we make in it are indeed meaningless and absurd without the idea of God. It is very odd that some, who call themselves philosophers, refuse to accept the idea of God, only because they cannot prove it rationally in the earthly terms of reference around them, and then waste their lives in foolish contemplation of the resulting absurdity of their existence. Sartre offers us a wonderful example.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 03:30 pm
truth
Georgeob1, I hope you enjoy the rapture. I'll just stay behind and try, as honestly as I can, to figure out the nature of things without the escape of a theistic myth.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 03:41 pm
truth
Descartes' Cogito ergo sum--I think therefore I am--rested on the presupposition that a thought must have a thinker, and this was considered proof of the existence of his "self." He should have said, "I consider my thinking proof of my existence because I cannot imagine an action without an agent of that action." He proved nothing, unless you consider the rules of grammar evidence for the structure of reality--viz., predicates must have subjects.
He would have been phenomenologically sounder to have said, "I think therefore there is thinking"
Similarly, "I DO therefore there is DOING".
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:11 pm
Gorsh, JL. Don't think you're gonna get a rise out of either of the posters. Hmmmm. Have you ever heard the joke about Rene?
0 Replies
 
Randall Patrick
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:15 pm
georgeob1:

<<<The world and the choices we make in it are indeed meaningless and absurd without the idea of God. It is very odd that some, who call themselves philosophers, refuse to accept the idea of God, only because they cannot prove it rationally in the earthly terms of reference around them, and then waste their lives in foolish contemplation of the resulting absurdity of their existence. Sartre offers us a wonderful example.>>>

It is not the idea of God that counts [there are, after all, zillions of those]; it is, instead, being able to demonstrate the existence of God empirically and phenomonologically and experientially. But, alas, for many, all they need IS the idea of God. All they need, it seems, is to assert they believe he exists. For example, those folks who blew up those trains in Madrid have a very adament idea of who God is, right?

In other words, not only does their God render human existence Meaningful, but the Divine Meaning itself allows them to sanction damn near any barbaric act. In the name OF God, you might say.

Besides, life is about living it...not sitting around contemplating how absurd it is. And though it is, in my view, essentially meaningless and absurd [meaning the "meaning" cannot be encompassed logically or rationally or objectively or universally] that does not mrean the experiences we have do not generate very real mental and emotional and psychological states...as well as any number of physical sensations we either crave or try to avoid.

It's all very complex and convoluted and contradictory. Which, of course, is why lots of folks invent Gods. To delude themselves it is less so.

RP
0 Replies
 
twyvel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:30 pm
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:39 pm
bm
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:44 pm
gorsh, twyvel. Weren't you the same person who had little moss like runes dripping from your profile on Abuzz?

Dolwin(sorry) and I are the only women on this thread, and she bookmarked..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:47 pm
Randall Patrick wrote:

...It is not the idea of God that counts [there are, after all, zillions of those]; it is, instead, being able to demonstrate the existence of God empirically and phenomonologically and experientially. But, alas, for many, all they need IS the idea of God. All they need, it seems, is to assert they believe he exists. For example, those folks who blew up those trains in Madrid have a very adament idea of who God is, right?

In other words, not only does their God render human existence Meaningful, but the Divine Meaning itself allows them to sanction damn near any barbaric act. In the name OF God, you might say.
...
It's all very complex and convoluted and contradictory. Which, of course, is why lots of folks invent Gods. To delude themselves it is less so.

RP



But the existence of God cannot be demonstrated "empirically and phenomonologically and experientially" - a point you made clearly in your opening post. How then can it be "what counts"?

Subjectively meaningful and purposeful actions can obviously be taken for good or bad ends, with or without the idea of God. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot committed far worse crimes in the name of atheism and the improvement of the human condition - as they saw it. Neither fact proves anything about God/ no god or of anyone's partcular concept of him. These sophomoric arguments do not touch your cerntral point.
0 Replies
 
g day
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 06:02 pm
Randall

Welcome! I can understand that view - but is there a question you wished to ask in your first post?


BTW - there are instances where what you noted applies heavily, e.g:

Zanshin within the martial way

"To know and to act are one and the same" I did full contact, knock down karate and a few other martial ways for a few years. The more you do it the more you are developing trained reflexes, fitness and awareness. Tactics and strategy can apply itself at moments during a fight - but for 85% of the time you are moving to fast to think - you need to be doing conditioned - lower brain stem only moves. Bruce Lee coined the a term the art of fighting without fighting - meaning it has to be natural and your actions had to be fluid, intuituve and totally reflex - so you aren't thinking of fighting - you are just doing it.

Illumination within Zen studies

Thinking about a Zen Koan for ages doesn't give you the answer. The answer evnetually occurs to one in a split second once the necessary reality of the sitution you are trying to understand become clear to you. You are often better to just take a glass of wine - watch something distracting and use peripheral vision of the minds eye to redefine the question until the mean and answer makes sense.

Playing table tennis at a high level

Again - like karate - I did heaps of this as a kid (say 20+ hours a week every week for years) as I had excellent reflexes. So I learnt all the shots - their exact techniques and when to use them, all the styles - playing left handed, right handed, attacking or defensive styles, playing chinese or western grip, learning match techniques and most of all building incredible concentraction to avoid all distractions when playing. So whilst in a match you can think out your tactics in advance of each serve and with slower shots you can evaluate all your options, but at times you have a really, really fast slam or passing shot to half-volley and it'll be over in well less than 2/10 of a second. If you have to think about it the ball is already well past you. I have done this occassionally to a match winner shot leaving the guy who hit the shot simply open jawed asking how the hell did anyone hit that - answer simple, by not thinking about doing it!

* * *

They are my personal experiences. I view thinking deeply about something unfamiliar requires you to slow down normally and focus almost all your attention on analysing and modelling a situtation until you can percieve ways of interacting with the situation the way you wish to.
0 Replies
 
twyvel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 06:10 pm
something like that Letty......Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 07:51 pm
well, my Gawd. Thankee..thankee, twyvel....I was beginning to think that Letty was alone in her homespun philosophy.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 08:47 pm
I'm reading here and I am a woman. Nothing to say, yet.
0 Replies
 
Randall Patrick
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 09:41 am
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 11:39 am
But thinking IS doing. Abstractions are objects just like anything else.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 02:27 pm
truth
Some really good posts here, e.g., Twyvel's 6:29, Mar.13 and Randal Patrick's 10:40 a.m. Mar. 20.
I agree, Rufio, that thinking is doing, one reason I don't like the phrase, "words AND deeds"--there are only deeds, which includes the speaking of words and the thinking of thoughts. But I have trouble accepting abstractions as objects. In a sense they are, but my focus here is on the ACT of thinking and speaking, not the thoughts and words themselves.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2004 06:41 am
bm
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2004 02:27 pm
Lets see.

If I start with my own definition "to exist" is "to be in relationship with" then one sort of relationship could be "acting on". However the question then becomes "who observes this action" because presumably the unconscious body can "act" . (Sleepers snore etc ...so my wife tells me). It follows that "conscious relationship" plays a part in normal notions of "self".

As for less normal notions of "self" we become involved in "levels of consciousness" where some believe that "normality" is in fact a perptually changing stream of different "selves" with an illusion of constancy brought on by inhabiting a "named body". Transcendence of this would indeed be transcendence of "time" itself in which "action" takes place, and ultimately transcendence of "self (with a small s)".

Apologies to previous posters who may already have made some of these points.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » I do, therefore I am
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 05/17/2022 at 02:41:19