Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Philosophy Roundup 2

Thoughts to ponder.

Any animal is willing to kill the Other. But the higher beings include more and more living things within their self-story, until at last there is no Other. Until the needs of others are more important than any private desires. The highest beings are those who are willing to pay any personal cost for the good of those who need them.

Define: good.

Individually, human beings are all dolts.
And collectively?
Collectively, they're a collection of dolts.

People only really believe in what they've seen before.

Truth is my power.

Haven't you ever heard of the uncertainty principle?
Particle physics. Philotic physics.
Mob physics!

So what will God do next?
Our job is to decide what we'll do next.

Normality is always a pretense, people acting out what they thought were their expected roles.

Those who controlled and channeled their youthful passions are the ones who grow up to be both strong and civilized. Those in a community who were either too weak to control themselves or too contemptuous of society's norms to try usually end up being either sheep or wolves - either mindless members of the herd or predators who take what they can and give nothing.

Inner strength and outward respect. These are the people who hold a community together - who lead. Unlike the sheep and the wolves, they perform a better role than the script given them by their inner fears and desires. And in the pretense, it becomes reality. There really is civilization in human history - but only because of people like these, the shepherds.

When you wish to have someone commit treason, it's best to look first among known traitors.

Isn't it possible for one person to love another without trying to own each other? Or is that buried so deep in our genes that we can never get out of it?

Even if there is no such thing as free will, we have to treat each other as if there were free will in order to live together in society. Because otherwise, every time somebody does something terrible, you can't punish him, because "he can't help it," because "his genes" or "his environment" or "God" made him do it. And every time somebody does something good, you can't honour him - because he was a puppet, too. ...when everybody believes that everybody's actions are the result of free choice, and takes and gives responsibility accordingly, the result is civilization.

Why do we believe [the terrible lie]?
Because our genes require us to believe the story - because anybody who doesn't believe the story begins to act in unproductive, uncooperative ways, and eventually the community - the herd - will reject him...

Our bodies, the whole world around us - they're like a holographic display. They're real enough, but they don't show the true cause of things. It's the one thing we can never be sure of, just looking at the display of the universe - why things are happening.

No one likes to find out that the story he always believed about his own identity is false.
Just because your former understanding of the purpose of your life is contradicted doesn't mean that you have to decide there is no purpose.

There are many different purposes in this world, many different causes of everything. Just because one cause you believed in turned out to be false doesn't mean that there aren't other causes that can still be trusted.

A "real" god is not going to be so scared or angry that he tries to keep other people down. A "real" god doesn't care about control - a "real" god already has control of everything that needs controlling.

You don't grow up until you stop worrying about other people's purposes or lack of them and find the purposes you believe in for yourself.

Didn't everybody have some noble purpose in mind for their own actions? Wasn't everybody, in their own eyes, good?

How can I tell the good people from the bad, if the bad people all have some way of convincing themselves that they're trying to do good even though they are doing something terrible? And the good people can believe that they're actually very bad, even though they're doing something good?

Somebody who wants to teach you how to know everything that they know and do everything that they do - what this really describes is parents, not God. Only there are plenty of people who don't do that - plenty of parents who tried to keep their children down, to control them, to make slaves of them.

The image of your earthly parents is the image you project onto your Heavenly Father.

What is goodness? To want other people to grow. To want other people to have all the good things that you have. And to spare them the bad things if you can. That is goodness.

I can only judge by what I understand. I have to live my life according to what I understand. I can only do good as far as I understand what goodness is.

It's the ignorant ones who are happy. Sheep are happy. It's intelligence that makes you unhappy.

Do you really not care? Or have you decided not to care?
Maybe I decided long ago, and now I really don't.

We passive, unbelonging observers always see better.

A shepherd comes in and listens and watches and understands who we are, each individual one of us. He tries to discover our need and then supply it. He takes responsibility for other people, and it doesn't seem to matter to him how much it costs him.

We must do all we can do without destroying our ability to keep doing it.

Withholding a decision is a decision.

You don't protect the truth by keeping other people from knowing it.

Nothing is past. We're still acting it out, over and over, the same mistakes, again and again.

Our self-conception is the patter by which we know ourselves.

I am what I am, no matter how I got that way.

You sincerely become whatever you're pretending to be.

Most find humanity by looking in their own hearts. Only lost souls need to search for it outside themselves.

It is a holy thing when a community accepts responsibility for the evil it committed and does true penance for it.

If life to you means independence, a completely unfettered freedom to do as you like, then none of the sentient beings is alive. None of us is ever fully free.


Garnel Ironheart said...

Hey there, I've missed your comments on my side.

Here's some more thoughts for you:
Never worry about what other people are thinking about you. They're too worried about what you're thinking of them. Disappointing that expectation makes you a better person.

It's always in the last place you look. After all, once you've found it, why would you keep looking? (G. Carlin)

Love is about giving. Lust is about taking. Be a giver, not a taker

Ahavah said...

Sorry about that. Things have been weird since my father died in late November. You wouldn't happen to know someone who has a gently used milking machine pressure vaccuum thingie that hasn't been used with any petrochemical additives? Didn't think so. Oh, well.

Garnel Ironheart said...

First off, baruch Dayan Emes and may you be consoled with all the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Second off, is this a cow milking machine or a breast feeding pump we're taking about here?

Never mind, don't know either.

Ahavah said...

Oops, that makes a difference.

Cows - a small herd of 21 jerseys (our remnant of a once bigger operation). They can be milked in shifts, so it doesn't have to do 21 at a time. The very cold snap last week apparently caused some something to freeze and moisture got in something, and a few days later when they turned the switch on, it blew up. Black smoke, evacuate the barn, the whole nine yards. The cows are dry now, but about a third are due to calve soon and will be fresh by April or May. More will follow later in the year, but right now we're not getting any fresh milk at all and won't until at least late April - annoying when you still have to pay to feed them, etc.

These cows were carefully selected over a period of time as needed - and do you know how HARD it is find heifers that have never been given "cow feed" with "by-products" of slaughterhouses in it? Even most supposedly "raised organic" cows, when you get the tests back from the vet, shows that they've been contaminated at some point in their lives with petrochemicals, artificial hormones, etc. I don't want any of the cows to have to be sold, in other words, because it's nearly impossible to replace them with decent quality cows.