• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




    Results 1 to 11 of 11
    Like Tree2Likes
    • 1 Post By Original Poster
    • 1 Post By Darkmatters

    Thread: Practical/ethical value of metaphysics

    1. #1
      Basketball Player kidjordan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      218
      Likes
      11
      DJ Entries
      3

      Practical/ethical value of metaphysics

      Assuming that ethics is ultimately about improving consciousness, what metaphysical issues are important and which are not?

      the origin of the universe and whether there is an uncaused cause doesn't seem to important. It seems like a math puzzle.

      Free will, defining the self, the turing test, whether or not there is life after death seem to be important questions.

      Also, a lot of people speak of enlightenment and transcendence as transcending language and 3 dimensions, but I'm not quite sure if a knowledge of quantum physics is a pre-requisite for enlightenment (pre-req makes it sound like something you get a credit or certificate for). Also, since QM is relatively new, it would mean ancient mystics weren't really enlightened.

    2. #2
      learning. making. doing. zhineTech's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      LD Count
      50ish
      Gender
      Location
      in a dream
      Posts
      313
      Likes
      50
      DJ Entries
      9
      ethics is the philosophy of morals, which is not nearly the same as improving consciousness IMHO.

      if you look at metaphysical issues from an evolutionary / existence perspective then none of them are that important, barring motivation that they generate.

      based on your definition of enlightenment, knowledge of quantum mechanics is not a pre-requisite. if i drop an apple without knowledge of gravity, it will still fall. just because i dont have a name for it and use the current model for it doesnt mean i dont know its going to fall.
      Back into lucidity since 4.10

      My intro thread | Levels of Lucidity

      "...and then this mean kid came to the door and started shooting at me with a fudgecicle..."

    3. #3
      Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2004
      Posts
      5,165
      Likes
      709
      You mean ancient mystics that worshiped the sun as a god? I wouldn't call them enlightened. Though I wonder if anyone can ever really reach true enlightenment. No one ever really knows all things or understand all things. They just understand a great deal, in limited areas.

    4. #4
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2006
      LD Count
      Lucid Now
      Gender
      Location
      3D
      Posts
      8,263
      Likes
      4135
      DJ Entries
      11
      You're not being very imaginative.

      If this is metaphysics, there may be some sort of travel possible through these dimensions. Besides, who says we're the first society in human history to understand technology?
      IndieAnthias likes this.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    5. #5
      Basketball Player kidjordan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      218
      Likes
      11
      DJ Entries
      3
      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      You're not being very imaginative.

      If this is metaphysics, there may be some sort of travel possible through these dimensions. Besides, who says we're the first society in human history to understand technology?
      I think you're going to have to elaborate on this post if I am going to have any chance of understanding it.

    6. #6
      Diamonds And Rust Achievements:
      Veteran First Class Vivid Dream Journal Referrer Bronze Populated Wall 5000 Hall Points Made lots of Friends on DV Tagger First Class
      Darkmatters's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2009
      Gender
      Location
      Center of the universe
      Posts
      6,952
      Likes
      5837
      DJ Entries
      172
      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      You mean ancient mystics that worshiped the sun as a god? I wouldn't call them enlightened. Though I wonder if anyone can ever really reach true enlightenment. No one ever really knows all things or understand all things. They just understand a great deal, in limited areas.
      Why wouldn't you call them enlightened? That's actually kind of ironic, considering sun = light. Ok, that was more of a joke really, but I am serious, don't you believe people could attain any degree of enlightenment in ancient times, and if not then why?

      Ah - I think your last statement clears that up. So, to you enlightenment means knowing everything? That sounds more like omniscience to me. Did the Buddha know everything? Generally the wisest people freely admit that the more they learn, the more they begin to understand that they know nothing. To me enlightenment has nothing at all to do with conscious knowledge and everything to do with attitude and acceptance and love.

    7. #7
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Gender
      Location
      Texas
      Posts
      707
      Likes
      491
      I'm just wondering, why would you say that ethics is ultimately about improving consciousness? Where does that idea come from? Are baboons unethical?

    8. #8
      Basketball Player kidjordan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      218
      Likes
      11
      DJ Entries
      3
      Quote Originally Posted by IndieAnthias View Post
      I'm just wondering, why would you say that ethics is ultimately about improving consciousness? Where does that idea come from? Are baboons unethical?
      I would say that's what utilitarianism is about. Improving our consciousness and making ourselves happier. I realize that there are certainly flaws with utilitarianism, but I see it as the most valid ethical theory.

      Some of the flaws with utilitarianism:
      1. defining happiness. There seem to be many different positive states such as laughter, accomplishment, pleasure, etc and it seems hard to quantify which one is "better".
      2. measuring happiness.
      3. valuing future happiness versus present happiness.
      4. Valuing the large happiness of the few or the small happiness of many.
      5. Valuing the happiness of different species (the more genetically similar the more we value them) more than that of other species
      6. What to do when people don't want what will make them happy. Should we let people with addictions do something that even they know that they will regret later? If there is someone wise than us, should we let them make decisions that will maximize our own happiness rather than make our own mistakes? http://lesswrong.com/lw/4z7/the_neuroscience_of_desire/

      7. And most importantly, knowing what will make us happy.

    9. #9
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Gender
      Location
      Texas
      Posts
      707
      Likes
      491
      Sorry, I don't want to turn this into an ethics discussion which is not the intention of this thread, but if I'm going to participate properly and filter metaphysics through my ethical theory, I have to state it first.

      I think most attempts at ethics are bs, including utilitarianism. They mostly seem to me to be attempts at offering up plausible alternatives to natural selection as the law of life, with the new criteria of somehow enshrining anthropocentrism. Most ethical systems try to bureaucratize human morality, which is really just a highly situational feeling.

      All the problems you listed that make up the body of criticism against utilitarianism stem from the inevitable shortcomings of bureaucratizing again the highly situational phenomena of pain and pleasure, both of which evolved for important reasons.

      edit: wow an interesting thought just occurred to me. I may have arrived at your conclusion via a different route.
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 09-14-2011 at 06:54 PM.

    10. #10
      Basketball Player kidjordan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2009
      Posts
      218
      Likes
      11
      DJ Entries
      3
      Quote Originally Posted by IndieAnthias View Post
      Sorry, I don't want to turn this into an ethics discussion which is not the intention of this thread, but if I'm going to participate properly and filter metaphysics through my ethical theory, I have to state it first.

      I think most attempts at ethics are bs, including utilitarianism. They mostly seem to me to be attempts at offering up plausible alternatives to natural selection as the law of life, with the new criteria of somehow enshrining anthropocentrism. Most ethical systems try to bureaucratize human morality, which is really just a highly situational feeling.

      All the problems you listed that make up the body of criticism against utilitarianism stem from the inevitable shortcomings of bureaucratizing again the highly situational phenomena of pain and pleasure, both of which evolved for important reasons.

      edit: wow an interesting thought just occurred to me. I may have arrived at your conclusion via a different route.
      Which conclusion is that?

      Also, I just realized that with all the leeway that is inherent in my utilitarianism, it's practically relativism. (This is the conclusion I reached in my other thread transhumanist ethical relativism). However, it's not completely relative. I think that things like torture and war are obviously bad and things like love and meditation are pretty obviously good.

      I think you're committing what philosophers call the is-ought fallacy. You are describing how things are. I'm describing how they should be.

      I agree that situational influences often influence our decisions (what we want) as well as our tastes (what we like). Most people have a hard time seeing the difference between wanting and liking something so I posted that link to lesswrong.com to make sense of it neurologically.

      But yes, let's tie this back to the OP. I don't think things like the origin of the universe have any practical application. Figuring it out won't change your life (unless you're a professional physicist or philosopher who would get paid for it). Whereas something like whether or not we have free will can definitely affect our ethical decisions.

    11. #11
      Czar Salad IndieAnthias's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Gender
      Location
      Texas
      Posts
      707
      Likes
      491
      Quote Originally Posted by kidjordan View Post
      Which conclusion is that?
      It's hard to explain coherently, but basically that maybe one of the logical conclusions of my "should" thinking is development of consciousness (not that it's a "should" in itself.) I don't get there via utilitarianism, hmmmm. Needs more analysis.

      Quote Originally Posted by kidjordan View Post
      I think you're committing what philosophers call the is-ought fallacy. You are describing how things are. I'm describing how they should be.
      Good call, that's also due some consideration on my part.

      Quote Originally Posted by kidjordan View Post
      But yes, let's tie this back to the OP. I don't think things like the origin of the universe have any practical application. Figuring it out won't change your life (unless you're a professional physicist or philosopher who would get paid for it). Whereas something like whether or not we have free will can definitely affect our ethical decisions.
      Was it Marx who said something to the effect that apolitical philosophy, including most metaphysics, amounted to irrelevant mysticism? I guess that's the point of this thread, to sort those things out.

      on another note, I agree with zhineTech's gravity example. Enlightenment has always been obtainable without a precise understanding of the physics involved, as it is only observation of a fundamental quality of life. If anything, it's harder to obtain now because so much distracting information is available. Think of it like this... maybe even reptiles "get it" on the only level that matters. (I like to attempt impossible tasks like imagining reptilian consciousness.)
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 09-15-2011 at 04:28 AM.

    Similar Threads

    1. Transhumanist ethical relativism
      By kidjordan in forum Philosophy
      Replies: 12
      Last Post: 09-09-2011, 04:38 PM
    2. The value of Metaphysics
      By stormcrow in forum Philosophy
      Replies: 11
      Last Post: 08-27-2011, 11:48 PM
    3. 'Ethical' stem cell crop boosted
      By Photolysis in forum Science & Mathematics
      Replies: 8
      Last Post: 12-31-2010, 12:20 AM
    4. An article by PBS about Metaphysics.
      By DeathCell in forum Religion/Spirituality
      Replies: 23
      Last Post: 11-23-2008, 09:57 PM
    5. is it ethical to have animals in circuses?
      By dragonoverlord in forum Extended Discussion
      Replies: 13
      Last Post: 03-23-2008, 02:32 PM

    Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •