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Old 02-15-2009, 07:40 PM
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Dualism Questioned

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Dualism... Without it there can hardly be good literature. With it, there most certainly can be no good life.

"I" affirms a separate and abiding me-substance, "am" denies the fact that all existence is relationship and change. "I am." Two tiny words; but what an enormity of untruth!

The religiously minded dualist calls home-made spirits from the vasty deep: The non-dualist calls the vasty deep into his spirit or, to be more accurate, he finds that the vasty deep is already there.
~ Aldous Huxley, from "Notes on What's What" in his novel "Island"
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:01 PM
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That last sentence is excellent, vasty deep indeed.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:23 PM
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what is dualism?
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:50 AM
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The condition of being double; duality.

Philosophy. The view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, such as mind and matter.

Psychology. The view that the mind and body function separately, without interchange.

Theology. The concept that the world is ruled by the antagonistic forces of good and evil as well as the concept that humans have two basic natures, the physical and the spiritual.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:36 AM
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dualism

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what is dualism?

looking with differences or

good bad, paradise hell,east west, white black,rich poor etc,, are the perception based.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:19 AM
Mike Dubbeld Mike Dubbeld is offline
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Dualism has a long history and means different things depending on who is using it. Lots of people in the west associate dualism with Descartes and the mind-body problem/ghost in the machine - how does a non-material spirit get a physical body to move?

More recently people have begun to talk about relativity instead of dualism - 'Its all relative'. A few hundred years BC the ancient Greeks especially during the Ionian (modern day Turkey) Enlightenment took up the issue trying to determine things like a primal Essence out of which the universe arose - Thales said water for example, Anaximander 'the boundless' - later Aristotle's aether. For Pythagoras it was 'all is number' and for Parmenides (a dialogue of Plato) and Xeno it was 'The One' - probably stolen from the much earlier Vedantic Brahamism 'All is Brahma' - a non-dual view of reality. In any case in trying to answer this question Democritus thought there was only one substance - an atom out of which all other things were composed. The sophist atheists jumped on this bandwagon mostly due to Heraclitis who is famous for saying 'no one steps into the same river twice' - because the molecules of water are ever changing position. A big debate arouse as to whether Reality is composed of One Essence or of many. The people on the side of one essence were the non-dualists and the people on the side of 'the many' were dualists. Then along came Christianity later on and they constructed their reality in line with the idea of the many. God, soul and universe were forever 3 distinct things and would remain so forever. In the East however a large portion of people went into 'The One' camp with the idea 'All is Brahman'. God, soul and universe are all simply different aspects of the single reality of Brahman.

All objective reality relies on the idea of 'the many.' The universe is dual. There are many different entities in it like you and me and PC's and stars etc. When someone asks who you are you give your name. By doing so it is implied that that set of letters uniquely identifies/differentiates you from all other entities in the universe. The problem that arises with this notion of reality is that if this is true, you literally OWE YOUR EXISTENCE to all else. You could not exist if there was nothing else with which to objectify yourself. If I ask you who you are you might also tell me you live at A, work at B, am married to C and drive a red sports car. But all these things are ABOUT you. They are not who you are. They are descriptions of you. Not you. If you tell me you have joint pain, I may say you have arthritis. But my giving the word arthritis for joint pain does not lessen your pain or tell you why you have it or what the cause of your pain is. That is the fallacy of naming. The famous equation F = ma is another example. Force = the product of mass x acceleration. By plugging in a mass and how fat it is accelerating you can get a value for the force it will have if it hit at that instant. F = ma describes force in terms of mass and acceleration in the same way you describe who you are in terms of where you work, live, what you drive etc. The description of you is not you. The description of a force in terms of mass and acceleration is not the force. A description of something is not an explanation of it. F = ma does not tell you why it is not F = 2ma every other saturday night. Your reality (more specifically your minds reality) requires you to render the reality of something in terms of other things.

One cannot exist without two, up cannot exist without down, left cannot exist without right and YOU cannot exist minus all else. 'You' owe your existence to all else. This is required for you (as mind) to understand anything whatsoever. It is a fundamental limitation of the mind. The soul is the experiencer. The mind can only ever capture conceptions of that experience. The experience of Hawaii is one thing. A map of it is something entirely different. 'The map is not the territory.' The computer model of a hurricane is not the hurricane. In the same way, words - like maps - are the best we can do as minds in communication. Clearly something is lost between the experience of Hawaii and the experience of the map of Hawaii. Between going to Hawaii and seeing it on a map. The point is, this dualism of this vs that is a requirement of a mind (comparing one thing to another) in order to understand it. When you believe the map is reality, or who you are is in terms of other things - how shallow a reality!

When you start believing that is what reality is you become a science worshiper. You lose sight of the fact that all of science is about descriptions of things in terms of other things. I like to think of the world of the mind and the senses as being an n-1 reality. If you start out with 3 dimensions and you take the derivative of the volume of a 3-d object you get a 2-dimensional surface area. A (calculus) derivative is a rate of change. To have change you must compare something at say time A to it at time B or one thing to another. So you start with a 3-dimensional reality, it gets operated on by the mind and senses and you dumb it down to a map or equation - you take the derivative of it/compare it to something else. As soon as this comparing takes place, you lose an entire dimension. That's the 'human' predicament. We live in a 3-d universe and make sense out of it using 2-dimensional mind/equipment so to speak.

Dualism goes much further than that however from my perspective. So-called 'original sin' is the instant at which 'this' arose. For 'this' to arise, it must arise in relation to 'that' - something else. This separation was the birth of the 'I' (which of course requires 'non-I' to compare itself to to exist). Ego was born. Separation of man from God arose at that instant. It was the so-called 'fall of man.' When 'I' came into being, it resulted in coveting things for 'I' because 'I' wants to be 'powerful and rule others'. 'You have. I have not. Give it to me or I will kill you.' This separation is the cause of all suffering. The 'I' is the so-called devil itself. It is literally that which separates you from God. The purpose of our being born was to discover this for ourselves by experience. To discover/recognize that we are not our mind at all and the ego is the cause/driving force that leads to endless suffering in our never-ending quest to satisfy one desire after the next life after life after life until we do finally recognize our predicament and start taking away power from ego and mind. Said another way - detaching awareness from that which it is aware of. Dualism is the reality of the mind.

Mike Dubbeld
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:26 AM
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When 'I' came into being, it resulted in coveting things for 'I' because 'I' wants to be 'powerful and rule others'. 'You have. I have not. Give it to me or I will kill you.' This separation is the cause of all suffering.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Dubbeld View Post
Dualism has a long history and means different things depending on who is using it. Lots of people in the west associate dualism with Descartes and the mind-body problem/ghost in the machine - how does a non-material spirit get a physical body to move?

More recently people have begun to talk about relativity instead of dualism - 'Its all relative'. A few hundred years BC the ancient Greeks especially during the Ionian (modern day Turkey) Enlightenment took up the issue trying to determine things like a primal Essence out of which the universe arose - Thales said water for example, Anaximander 'the boundless' - later Aristotle's aether. For Pythagoras it was 'all is number' and for Parmenides (a dialogue of Plato) and Xeno it was 'The One' - probably stolen from the much earlier Vedantic Brahamism 'All is Brahma' - a non-dual view of reality. In any case in trying to answer this question Democritus thought there was only one substance - an atom out of which all other things were composed. The sophist atheists jumped on this bandwagon mostly due to Heraclitis who is famous for saying 'no one steps into the same river twice' - because the molecules of water are ever changing position. A big debate arouse as to whether Reality is composed of One Essence or of many. The people on the side of one essence were the non-dualists and the people on the side of 'the many' were dualists. Then along came Christianity later on and they constructed their reality in line with the idea of the many. God, soul and universe were forever 3 distinct things and would remain so forever. In the East however a large portion of people went into 'The One' camp with the idea 'All is Brahman'. God, soul and universe are all simply different aspects of the single reality of Brahman.

All objective reality relies on the idea of 'the many.' The universe is dual. There are many different entities in it like you and me and PC's and stars etc. When someone asks who you are you give your name. By doing so it is implied that that set of letters uniquely identifies/differentiates you from all other entities in the universe. The problem that arises with this notion of reality is that if this is true, you literally OWE YOUR EXISTENCE to all else. You could not exist if there was nothing else with which to objectify yourself. If I ask you who you are you might also tell me you live at A, work at B, am married to C and drive a red sports car. But all these things are ABOUT you. They are not who you are. They are descriptions of you. Not you. If you tell me you have joint pain, I may say you have arthritis. But my giving the word arthritis for joint pain does not lessen your pain or tell you why you have it or what the cause of your pain is. That is the fallacy of naming. The famous equation F = ma is another example. Force = the product of mass x acceleration. By plugging in a mass and how fat it is accelerating you can get a value for the force it will have if it hit at that instant. F = ma describes force in terms of mass and acceleration in the same way you describe who you are in terms of where you work, live, what you drive etc. The description of you is not you. The description of a force in terms of mass and acceleration is not the force. A description of something is not an explanation of it. F = ma does not tell you why it is not F = 2ma every other saturday night. Your reality (more specifically your minds reality) requires you to render the reality of something in terms of other things.

One cannot exist without two, up cannot exist without down, left cannot exist without right and YOU cannot exist minus all else. 'You' owe your existence to all else. This is required for you (as mind) to understand anything whatsoever. It is a fundamental limitation of the mind. The soul is the experiencer. The mind can only ever capture conceptions of that experience. The experience of Hawaii is one thing. A map of it is something entirely different. 'The map is not the territory.' The computer model of a hurricane is not the hurricane. In the same way, words - like maps - are the best we can do as minds in communication. Clearly something is lost between the experience of Hawaii and the experience of the map of Hawaii. Between going to Hawaii and seeing it on a map. The point is, this dualism of this vs that is a requirement of a mind (comparing one thing to another) in order to understand it. When you believe the map is reality, or who you are is in terms of other things - how shallow a reality!

When you start believing that is what reality is you become a science worshiper. You lose sight of the fact that all of science is about descriptions of things in terms of other things. I like to think of the world of the mind and the senses as being an n-1 reality. If you start out with 3 dimensions and you take the derivative of the volume of a 3-d object you get a 2-dimensional surface area. A (calculus) derivative is a rate of change. To have change you must compare something at say time A to it at time B or one thing to another. So you start with a 3-dimensional reality, it gets operated on by the mind and senses and you dumb it down to a map or equation - you take the derivative of it/compare it to something else. As soon as this comparing takes place, you lose an entire dimension. That's the 'human' predicament. We live in a 3-d universe and make sense out of it using 2-dimensional mind/equipment so to speak.

Dualism goes much further than that however from my perspective. So-called 'original sin' is the instant at which 'this' arose. For 'this' to arise, it must arise in relation to 'that' - something else. This separation was the birth of the 'I' (which of course requires 'non-I' to compare itself to to exist). Ego was born. Separation of man from God arose at that instant. It was the so-called 'fall of man.' When 'I' came into being, it resulted in coveting things for 'I' because 'I' wants to be 'powerful and rule others'. 'You have. I have not. Give it to me or I will kill you.' This separation is the cause of all suffering. The 'I' is the so-called devil itself. It is literally that which separates you from God. The purpose of our being born was to discover this for ourselves by experience. To discover/recognize that we are not our mind at all and the ego is the cause/driving force that leads to endless suffering in our never-ending quest to satisfy one desire after the next life after life after life until we do finally recognize our predicament and start taking away power from ego and mind. Said another way - detaching awareness from that which it is aware of. Dualism is the reality of the mind.

Mike Dubbeld
excellent
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:28 AM
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A very interesting and involving post Mike - I liked and agred with nearly all of it - except for the after life reincarnation to learn stuff. I don't believe in that. Only one thing out of all that post - good post indeed, thanks for writing it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:23 AM
Mike Dubbeld Mike Dubbeld is offline
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Lets talk about space and time here. Space, time and mind are like 3 points on a triangle. Take away any one of the 3 and you get no triangle. You need mind for time and space. To talk about space you need mind and time - etc. It was Kant that identified the (then) profound idea that you need space and time (think dual/more than one thing for reality to be talked about) for all and any experiences had by the 5 senses and mind. Yet you cannot experience space and time. (What does space smell like? What is the sound of time? etc). Space and time exist a priori (before experience) Kant says. Well it dawned on me last night there are other things in just such a category. Lets talk about the word 'dogs' No one has ever seen 'dogs'. We have seen more than one dog (experienced more than one dog) - but 'dogs' refers to a category in the mind that refer to a class of animals that have 4 legs, a tail, bark, may have long fur or be male or female or short or tall. No one has seen such a creature. It is merely a category we throw experiences of criters that have this set of characteristics into so as to understand/make sense out of. 'Dogs' is not something that exists in the world of our senses but is a category that has a 'set' of properties that uniquely identify it from say 'cats' or 'trees' etc. So not only does space and time exist a priori (before experience) but so does 'dogs'! We cannot experience space and time and we cannot experience 'dogs'. Now, you may say we can experience space - we see the wall and it exists in space about 3 feet from us. But that is only an INSTANCE of space much like an instance of a particular dog might be male, short hair, brown, short tail etc. The instance of a dog does not tell us what 'dogs' are any more than your seeing the wall in front of you 3 feet away (an instance of space) tells you what space is and the same argument can be had for time.

Well. Maybe a re-wording of what is going on might shed some light on this. Lets say all experiences like those of a particular dog with a particular set of properties - brown fur, short, short tail etc - can be experienced in space and time like all other dogs with different properties - or cats or trees or whatever. But further, all categories that do not exist in space and time except as categories like 'cats' or trees' or 'furniture' etc except as categories - have members in these categories with specific properties like dogs with brown fur, short tails etc - only due to space and time. Although space and time are only categories they are clearly special categories because without them all other categories like 'dogs', 'cats', 'trees', 'planets' etc could not exist. Thus, space and time are what all other categories in any mind as had by our senses require to exist at all. Space and time are not something we experience but without such categories, all other categories like 'dogs' and 'cats' and 'trees' for example could not exist.

Let me be clear. We cannot experience categories by our senses. 'Dogs' is a category in our mind as is space and time. Space and time are special (non-experiencial) categories required for all other categories like 'planets' or 'humans' or 'pickles' (or your noun here).

So when Kant says space and time exist a priori (before experience), he is saying without space and time to begin with, there could be no experiences by our senses and mind of such categories like 'dogs' etc. Although that is true, you could turn it around and say a dog could not exist without the a priori (before experience) category of the notion of 'dogs' being in your mind. In other words, if you never saw a dog before, you could not have the category of 'dogs' in your mind to begin with and know how to classify such a creature upon seeing a 4-legged creature with fur barking at you. You could say that the category of 'dogs' had to exist a priori to classify the phenomena of the creature barking at you with 4 legs and fur as a dog. The point being you would require the category of 'dogs' to begin with to classify the phenomena/experience of the critter with 4 legs barking at you.

Categorizing things in the physical universe is a survival mechanism. The faster a creature can make sense out of the situation and act appropriately the greater the chances of its survival. Humans (bodies) are no exception. So we got good at classifying things and those who did not are no longer in the gene pool. It is natural for a creature classifying dogs as dogs and cats as cats and sabre tooth tigers as how to get killed quick - to become proficient at categorizing experiences/phenomena. (Those that did not are no longer around). It is therefore natural for humans to become expert at classifying experiences including the classifications of classifications - like what do all experiences with nouns/things found in the world of the senses have in common? Space and time is the answer. But western man neglected the mind itself. There has to be a mind to classify an experience along with space and time.

It is when these classifications like 'dogs' or 'space' and 'time' are taken to be what is real is where the problems begin. All words only model experiences (along with connecting words like a, the, this, and etc). 'Cats' is only model of a class of experience for a set of creaturest that have a SET of properties in common. The classification/categorization of a particular cat into such a category IS NOT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CAT ITSELF. The model/map/'cat' is not the territory. The categories are models of the real thing. The experience is what is real. Not the map of Hawaii. Not the generalization of a critter into the category of 'cats'.

Space and time cannot be experienced any more than 'cats' or 'dogs' or 'planets' or 'humans' etc. All the later are are 'objects'/sets that have a particular SET of properties in which we assign to them to communicate/objectify and call 'real' in that sense. We as minds come to believe that the word models themselves are what is real instead of the actual experience. Science then says what is real is these models/words that can be communicated is what is 'reality.' What is 'objective'. That means what is real in scientific terms is only that which we as minds can communicate. What we can say about these models - apart from what we experience. It means you believe the set of properties (where you live, who you are married to, what kind of car you drive etc) is who you are. There is nothing wrong with these objective set of characteristics/properties until you come to believe that is the EXTENT of what reality is.

I cannot over emphasize the use of the word SET here. As in the set of properties of something. As in how mathematics deal with sets/set theory in mathematics. Think Venn diagrams for those of you that can. Reality as had by the mind is exactly that. The soul is the experiencer. The mind only captures conceptions/maps/sets of such experiences. The map/set is not the territory.

Mike Dubbeld
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:28 AM
Mike Dubbeld Mike Dubbeld is offline
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I don't really care ben anymore than my spelling your name with a small letter. It is not for me to convince you of reincarnation. It is for you to convince you. Other than that - it is your problem. Not mine. You think like so many that I believe this and you believe that and what I believe is as good as what you believe. That would be true but it is me that is explaining things you cannot.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:57 AM
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I don't really care ben anymore than my spelling your name with a small letter. It is not for me to convince you of reincarnation. It is for you to convince you. Other than that - it is your problem. Not mine. You think like so many that I believe this and you believe that and what I believe is as good as what you believe. That would be true but it is me that is explaining things you cannot.
LOL - Indeed.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:42 PM
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To discover/recognize that we are not our mind at all and the ego is the cause/driving force that leads to endless suffering in our never-ending quest to satisfy one desire after the next life after life after life until we do finally recognize our predicament and start taking away power from ego and mind.
Do you not find the concept of individual life that reincarnates somewhat rooted in ego and mind?

I wonder why we both loathe and feel compelled to create frameworks. As far as I can tell, neither the loathing nor the frameworking are showing any sign of letting up

Much easier to dance, fight or make music about this conflict than talk about it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:51 PM
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Do you not find the concept of individual life that reincarnates somewhat rooted in ego and mind?

I wonder why we both loathe and feel compelled to create frameworks. As far as I can tell, neither the loathing nor the frameworking are showing any sign of letting up
Well said. Mike is just as ignorant and confused as the rest of us (as well as having plenty of interesting things to add to the conversation - I can't emphasize that enough). He just seems to have locked himself behind more doors than most people. Or maybe he's just better at showing it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:15 PM
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Hmmm, duelism. Well only thing that comes to mind is chaos and order. And neither of them to me is under any intelligent control.
But we can also see chaos and order in real time, meaning it can be studied.
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