Archive | June, 2010

Jeremy Bentham’s Principles of Morals and Legislation: Pain and Pleasure

29 Jun

May be a long one, bear with me. The first part will be about the sanctions of pain and pleasure, the second part is about the kinds of pain and pleasure. In Bentham’s book Principles of Morals and Legislation, the principle of sovereign unity is understood and it leads to the explanation of pains and pleasures. Towards the beginning of the book, Bentham makes understood four sources of pain and pleasure, along with the different kinds of pain and pleasure.

First, Bentham explains the four sources of pain and pleasure by making them understood as sanctions. He does this because each source has the ability and tendency to conform and bind to legal and logical stipulations. The first source of pain/pleasure is the physical sanction.

The physical sanction is explained as ‘that which pleasure or pain is expected to derive if:

  • its in the present life
  • from ordinary course of nature
  • not purposely modified by the interposition of human beings
  • not purposely modified by the interposition of superior invisible being

The physical sanction is purely natural because no interference by Being occurs and it comes from the course of nature. This source states that most operations in the world are only existent because of nature. Due to this fact, pain and pleasure directly is caused by nature and its operations. This sanction is a precursor to the succeeding sanctions because the later sanctions involve modifications of interpositions of human and superior beings. The physical sanction just includes pain and pleasure causes deriving from natural operations of the world.

The physical sanction may be difficult to exemplify because of the fact that it is not modified by human/superior being interposition. I think that an accurate example of pleasure from the physical sanction would be pleasure and happiness from surfing the waves of Maui, Hawaii. Those waves are created by natural processes, and the common surfer enjoying the gnarly essence of the wave is pleasure being derived from the physical sanction. Pain being derived from the physical sanction could be exemplified as Hurricane Katrina or the tsunamis in Indonesia from earthquakes. Those are natural processes only that wreaked havoc and chaos in Louisiana and Indonesia. Only pain came from these occurrences. The people that died and the damages of property only brought pain. This is from the physical sanction both Hurricane Katrina and the waves in Maui.

*The physical sanction states that pain and pleasure are only derived from it if there is no modifications from the interposition of human or superior beings. It is my opinion and the opinion of others that in every body, process, phenomenon and occurrence, a superior being (God) is always involved. There cannot be pain or pleasure without some involvement of a superior being. This fact would make the physical sanction obsolete and nonexistent, but the superior being makes these processes regular and irregular by some regulation.  Because of this unknown regularity that the superior being creates, the processes of the world and the body creating phenomenon and processes are easily understood as to not have any relation to a superior being. Because of this regularity the superior being imposes upon His creatum, the body, processes, and phenomenon can be expressed, argued, and understood without the understanding and involvement in argument of God (superior being).  So, because of God’s processional regularity in the world, people often misunderstand the world as to not have ever been involved with or created by a God. If people can argue that the world never included a God, we can argue that processes that occur on the earth can be included in the physical sanction.

The political sanction is the sanction of pain/pleasure in environments controlled by one person, or a set/community of people ruling. If something causes pain or pleasure, and it comes from a government, it has modifications by interposition of human beings. This succeeds the physical sanction because this modification is included. I think that mostly pain is derived from this sanction these days.

This sanction is easily exemplified. If President Obama were to increase the minimum wage to $8 (would never happen), pleasure would be derived from the sanction to those who work hourly jobs and live paycheck to paycheck. This would derive pain for businesses struggling because $8 per hour per employee would be harder for them to maintain and still make a profit even with income. Any other sanction that involves a human being/beings as governing figurehead is political in its nature.

Unlike the physical sanction, the political sanction is what I like to call double effective. By double effective I mean that within the political sanction, what may be pain in one effect, is pleasure in another. I do not think this exists within the physical sanction because each action that derives pain/pleasure always yields one or the other. Hurricane Katrina brought pain in all its dimensions. The Haiti earthquake brought pain in all aspects, just like the BP oil spill has and will brought/bring pain in all aspects. However, within the political sanction, if Obama were to raise minimum wage like I exemplified before  to $8, some would get pain, some would get pleasure. For a real current example, when Obama decided to redistribute the wealth more, the people who do not work gained pleasure, because they got money for doing nothing, while the people who work hard for their money got pain because their money they work hard for was taken away for bad causes. Most things that occur within the political sanction is double effective: Pain will be derived  just as well as pleasure is derived.

The moral/popular sanction is the sanction where pain and pleasure is derived if the body is at the hands of  ‘chance people’ in the community. People may have certain considerations with this person that has rule and influence. This person also does not have ‘ settled or concerted’ rule. This chance person usually has no true ruling power as the figurehead of the political sanction has. The chance person describes its own sanction because of the moral and popular understandings and rulings that most of the population has. The name moral is used interchangeably with popular because morality is usually popular and desired in the majority of the body of people. This sanction is just like the political sanction in the fact that it adheres to a certain course of action and belief, causing improvements, causing pain and pleasure. The difference is that in political sanctions, the governing head has the course of action that causes the pain and pleasure, while with the popular sanction, the public opinion has the course of action that creates pain and pleasure.

The popular sanction is also easily exemplified. If it was the general public opinion to make laws forcing Mexicans out of the country and back to Mexico, pain and pleasure would be yielded. This sanction is also double effective because pain will be yielded in one way while pleasure another. Using the back to Mexico scenario, people who need jobs and got laid off would be yielded pleasure because they could go back to their previous way of life. Pain would be yielded for most of the country as a whole because of how those Mexicans do work hardly no white man wants to. The economy status would shift if not shift directly downward. The popular scenario is also double effective.

The religious sanction is the sanction bringing pain and pleasure when things and decisions come from the direct hand of a superior invisible being. Pain/pleasure stemming from this sanction does not have to be effected exactly on the time the superior being acts. Unlike the physical, popular and political sanctions, the religious sanction allows time shifts in the effects (pain and pleasure) of the superior being. This sanction is also doubly effective. Even more so than the other 3 sanctions. A certain action by the superior being yields pleasure at one point, but later may yield pain, and vice versa. Because of how Jesus died on the cross before the beginning of the Years of Our Lord, a man that lives 200,000 years later will be yielded pleasure because of this. At this same time period, the common atheist is yielded pain at first because he is proved wrong of his beliefs. However, this atheist will be yielded pleasure later because with help he finds his way. Reversibly, the devout Christian may be yielded a bit of pain later because he loses his faith because of how he distances himself from God. This sanction is doubly effective as well as time omniscient. Only this fourth sanction has the time omniscience.

Now shifting to the different kinds of pains and pleasures, Bentham brings pain and pleasure together and names them interesting perceptions (they are indeed). Bentham then divides interesting perceptions (pain and pleasure) into simple and complex. Simple interesting perceptions are those that cannot be resolved or understood into more than that one interesting perception. The simple i.p’s are indivisible and not diverse in any way. A complex interesting perception is the perception that either yields all pain or pleasure, but often both at different instances of time. Whether there is one ip or the other, there are many of them. In simple ip’s there is only 1.

Bentham exemplifies many different pains and pleasures of each kind. I will exemplify 3 of each category.

Pleasures

Bentham includes here wealth, skill, and memory along with others. Like I explained before, the physical sanction is not doubly effective while others are. Simple ip’s are not doubly effective, therefore making them simple. The item at hand in the simple ip’s either yields pain or pleasure, and never the other at any time. For example, wealth always yields pleasure for all people in all times. Wealth gives success in society and happiness to some extent. It cannot be understood a situation where wealth yields pain. I can think of some times where a person is not altogether pleasured with the money he has, but there is always some degree of that pleasure regardless, and no pain every comes out of it.  Wealth is just simple in its essence. Skill is similar in that those who have skill of any kind can do some sort of work giving them money to succeed. Skill always yields pleasure. The skills allow a person to get hired and to sometimes become wealthy to some extent. One cannot think of a situation where a man states “I wish I didn’t know how to do this.” Again, one may think of sometimes where that skill is not giving much work or it is a burden to know that skill, but in all cases, pain is never yielded. Memory also cannot yield anything except for pleasure. One has a lot of good things happen to him or he has a skill. If he has memory, he can remember the skill and also remember the good times he had in his life. To Bentham, memory only yields pleasure. I picked this third pleasurable ip because memory is a complex i.p. because just like a man has good memories to reflect on, he also has bad memories that he inevitably remembers. This brings no pleasure, but in fact pain. The fact that pain and pleasure can be derived from the same i.p. states that memory is complex.

Pain

Bentham exemplifies many pains. I will explain pain of disappointment, regret and the senses. When there is expectation, and nothing is yielded from that expectation, pain of disappointment exists. This is simple because disappointment can never yield pleasure. Pain of regret stems from regret of things grounded on pleasure or on the memory of pleasure. Regret occurs when looking back on the memory or stance of the pleasure because the person did not supposedly act upon that pleasure to make it last. This notion brings regret, and from regret only comes pain. Finally, pain is yielded from the  senses in various ways. These include hunger, thirst, bad tastes, bad odors, pains of the touch (burns etc.), pains of hearing (too loud etc.), pains of sight,  extreme temperature pains, pains of disease, and the pain of exertion. These senses are all painful in what they yield. These specific things are exemplified to show how the senses yield pain. Senses is an interesting perception that is complex in its nature, because it can yield pain and pleasure in different instances. Bentham exemplifies senses to show that it can yield pleasure as well.

So, specific interesting perceptions are either simple or complex in their nature referring to whether or not that specific yields pain and/or pleasure. It is my opinion that complex interesting perceptions are those that are most existent in the world because everything is understood differently.

I probably should have broken this into two parts. Sorry if I dragged you out, but of course you wouldn’t read if you didn’t want to.

Thanks for your support see you tomorrow.

Comment below if you see any inconsistencies in how I showed Bentham’s arguments or inconsistencies in my arguments, or any other of your thoughts. I love comments.

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Leibniz’s Discourse on Metaphysics: VI – X

28 Jun

Happy Monday!

In the Discourse’s propositions VI through X, Leibniz continues discussions about God and goes into discussions about the substantial universe. He connects God to substance, along with talking about how substance is involved with actions and beings in the world.

VI

In the sixth proposition of the discourse, Leibniz talks about the regularity of events and the things God does. He bases all events off of God, along with stating that n o irregularity from God is possible (all events are from God so no irregularity is possible. He says it is not possible to conceive something that is not orderly. What I understand from Leibniz’s proposition is that anything that happens is always coherent to regularity. Whether it is conceived to humans as regular or irregular, it is regular because of how God did it. God is perfect and cannot have done any events that are irregular. God is too perfect for a being made in His image to be able to conceive of an event occurring not within regularity. What we may think to be irregular, is still regular. I also agree, because God does everything for a reason. Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks on September 11 happened for a reason. These reasons are not possible for us to understand, but that does not matter to the sixth proposition. The point is is that whatever we conceive in an event, it is regular because of how God executed it.

VII

In the seventh proposition Leibniz states that miracles are too regular. He says that miracles are however not regular in subordinate regulations. Subordinate regulations are defined by Leibniz as regulations that are lower in significance. Miracles are all still regular in the regulations God always inputs. In subordinate regulations, miracles are unexpected and catch people off guard. These subordinate regulations are those that beings in the creatum hold true because of how we cannot understand God’s regularities. A miracle is defined miracle because it is unexpected and thought not possible. In subordinate regulations, nothing should really be taken for entire truth. The only truth there is, is in God’s pure regulations. Miracles are regular in God’s regularities (the ones that matter) and miracles are irregular in the subordinate regularities (to me they do not matter).

I agree with Leibniz because still, everything is regular under God. I believe, however, that understanding of the subordinate regularities is not necessary. These subordinate regulations are only speculations and guesses that do not even matter. To me, they cannot even be regularities because the people who establish them (are people) and do not know if a periodic event is regular or not. To me, the only regularities are established by God. All other possible subordinate ‘regularities’ are not regularities at all.

VIII

In the eighth proposition in the Discourse on Metaphysics, Leibniz explains that the activities of God and created beings are only distinguished between each other when the worldly individual substance is understood. He brings this up because people argue about whether all actions are directly from God versus  all activities are being from the created beings, but enforced by potentiality of God. Understanding the individual substance is necessary for this argument because the God and the created beings are both in the same substance.

My opinion on this is a bit different from Leibniz’s eighth argument. I think that all actions are directly from God regardless of how they appear. I think that because the substance that makes up and exists in the universe and in humans is all made from and of and by god, there is no difference between actions by the created and actions directly by God. Regardless of how the action occurred, it happened because of God. Leibniz states that in order to distinguish between actions by God and actions by the created, we have to know what the substance is. Now that I am aware of the substance, I hopefully well understand that distinguishing actions by God from actions by the created is not necessary by any means: 1) because they all are under the will of God, 2) they all play a part in the reason God does anything. Therefore, this argument is not necessary to further prove because actions by God and actions by the created are equal in all forms.

IX

Leibniz states in the 9th proposition, first, that the individual substances express the world and the universe in its own way. Second, he states that the substance includes all its experiences, circumstances and sequences of exterior events.

First, I disagree with Leibniz’s first part of the 9th proposition, because by saying this, he concludes that more than one substance exists. And according to Spinoza and therefore to me, only one substance exists. Also, God is the substance. God does not express the world as substance; God is the world as substance. Second, I disagree with his second part of the 9th proposition because God, the only substance, does not need experiences to be and even express the world (if it did). God and substance is a priori, and the attributum and modus that succeeds substance has also a priori knowledge of God as substance. None of the experience, circumstances, or sequences are necessary because of God/substance’s a priori knowledge.

X

The 10th proposition in Leibniz’s Discourse talks about how substance and its forms have basis in fact, but we should not rely on substance and its forms to explain the phenomenon and experiences.

First, I condone fully the existence of one substance (God) in Spinoza’s definition of it. There is a lot of foundation and basis in fact in substance. Because of this, substance has forms inside it and below it in a hierarchical style. Leibniz says that these substantial forms have no effect on the change or actions of the things that happen. This I disagree with. Substance and all its lower forms describes the universe as a whole. Changes that occur can be expressed in terms of what happened between substance, attribute, and mode. Any thing that happens in the universe can also be explained in terms of substance, attribute and mode.

For example,  on September 11, many people died because of terrorism. People being modes, each person when dying, changes into a different kind of representation of the substance. A person that was Christian that died in 9/11 goes from being a high hierarchy mode to being a high hierarchy attribute ( modes are inferior forms representing the substance, while attributes show the essence of the substance). By this I mean that the Christian person dying goes from being a Christian person to becoming an angel in heaven. While, the terrorist that kills himself in the attempt at killing others goes from a low hierarchy mode to being a low hierarchy attribute. By this I mean that the Islamic terrorist goes from being a useless to God/the world mode, to being in hell with Satan in a low hierarchy attribute (hell and Satan are attributes because they too represent God, because God created them for a reason).

In propositions 6 through 10, there were actually some arguments I disagreed with that I had to oppose.

Thanks for your support. See you tomorrow.

Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit: Defining Dasein

24 Jun

There are further and more involved discussions about dasein that I want to discuss in full form. But now, I want to define the not widely known term dasein used by Martin Heidegger in his book Sein und Zeit (Being and Time). Before I even want to get into arguments about dasein and other things about it, I want to document a general yet full definition of the philosophical term. Dasein has certain characteristics that make it what it is and it allows Heidegger to come to a few points in Being and Time (Sein und Zeit).

First, dasein translates from German literally to ‘being there’. It is the word that is assigned to the being of humans. Heidegger focused on just the beings of humans in this particular terminology. He allotted certain characteristics to dasein allowing him to come to a certain conclusion. First, dasein is defined as being in the world. Being is the big topic of dasein. The being of people on this world is what is characterized to dasein. If a being is being in the world, Heidegger defines it as “water in a glass” just like a human is existent in the world. We live here and are also being in ourselves because of who we are. Heidegger states that this being in ourselves conflicts with being in the world because we are being in two different things. Dasein does not refer to a certain human or even a large group of humans but it refers to the existential possibility of a human/humans with certain qualities.

A few different things characterize this possible existent of dasein. One thing, is that Heidegger refers to Kant when he says that dasein always has an a priori knowledge. A priori knowledge is defined by Kant and others to be knowledge that is prior to worldly experience. Like if we have not experienced the world around us. If we are just floating around in nonexistent space, and we are the only existent thing, a priori knowledge is the knowledge we would have at this stage. If we have not been in this world or experienced really anything, Heidegger and Kant still feel that we would still have a general amount of knowledge about their being and the existence/non existence of the space around them. Heidegger states that dasein and its possible beings that mirror it have a priori knowledge. I say this because it will be important to know in arguments I bring to the table from Heidegger and dasein. I do not plan to argue whether or not beings have a priori right now.

Heidegger also defines the existents of dasein to reflect certain modes. Two modes Heidegger says that dasein reflects is everydayness and averageness. This is often put together and described as average everydayness. Heidegger blurs the difference between beings of dasein with this average everydayness. Starting with averageness, Heidegger means that dasein and the beings within it are not particular or specific to any one characteristic. All of them generally conform to a certain commonality. There are some beings within dasein that may be specific or particular, but averaging all of those yields a general commonality. Everydayness is characterized by Heidegger as the beings of dasein being generally similar per amount of time. Dasein’s beings become general enough that a lot of the same characteristics of each being make an everydayness in dasein. Average everydayness put together successfully blurs the distinction between individual beings of dasein because of how similar Heidegger says them to be.

So why did Heidegger characterize the being of humans (dasein) to be so similar and regular to every other human being. Heidegger characterized this of dasein because it was his philosophy that one human being conforming to the rest of beings just like him or her leads to the idea that the world is a large, regular, and representing of human beings as a large whole. If this is true, Heidegger states that dasein beings are lost, alone, and on their own in the world and on the actions they perform.

When I use the word regular, I mean regularity in the actions and characteristics of human beings. If dasein is so regular like Heidegger says, perception of individual human beings is lost because of how dasein is replaced to represent the being as a whole. The distinction between humans is easily lost with average everydayness of dasein. Heidegger uses this conception of average everydayness to show how we cannot distinguish human beings from each other because of how they do the same things basically.

Heidegger characterizes human being in dasein in such a way because he wants to make the reader of Sein und Zeit understand that each individual human is cast out into a chaotic, difficult and confusing world without help of supreme deities. The large and loaded definition of dasein is characterized by Heidegger because he wants to create the image of a world where no one really has a chance to become an individual and persevere over the chaos and difficulties of the world.

If you think that I have misconstrued the definition of dasein, please tell me in the comments below. If I didn’t define dasein right, please correct me as much as you can in the comments. If you know that there is something to be added to this definition , also tell me in the comments.

I am defining dasein in this post because I want to fully understand dasein with my efforts and maybe the efforts of even yourself. I want to have this definition of this loaded word fully understood before venturing into other arguments in the Sein und Zeit of Heidegger.

Thanks for your support. and do not forget to comment.

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: Concept of Space

23 Jun

In the Transcendental Aesthetic section of the critique, Kant explains well what space really is and how it is to be understood. In this discussion, other Kant discussions and other discussions about other philosophers, the term ‘a priori’ will be thrown around a lot, so I find it necessary to define what Kant and other philosophers find a priori to mean. When a knowledge of a being is said to be a priori, that means it is of knowledge that one has without experience of any kind on this earth. This knowledge is pre-worldly experience knowledge. There are theories as to how much a priori knowledge human beings have when entering this world, but for now I feel that Kant’s metaphysical concept of space should be explained and understood.

Second, Kant represents the concept of space as a priori.  By saying that space is a priori, Kant is saying that space is something that we know to exist without prior experience. Kant states that one cannot perceive a situation where there is no space. Kant also relates space to all appearances of the phenomenon of the world. It is stated in the text that for appearances to be conceived, space must exist. He just uses a priori with it to state how common and regular space is to philosophy and appearances leading to philosophies. So, to sum up, Kant is saying that without a regular prior knowledge of space, no appearances can be conceived or understood. It just is not true that we are just here floating around in artificial space (maybe cyber?).

I also strongly agree with Kant’s second justification for the existence of a concept and notion of speech. It is my opinion that I want to argue later, that there are different kinds of space that yield different possibilities of appearances and understandings. But, Kant makes the basic justification for space that it must exist for any appearances to be conceived by us. It is just possible for a being to conceive something as appearing unless that thing is appearing in some form of space.

Third, and finally, Kant presents space to be a “pure intuition”. By saying this Kant means that space is together as one entity. And that when space is spoken of as ‘spaces’ we are referring to the different parts of space. Also, Kant says that these parts of space never precede the space entity as a whole. I would like to then add that this means that the parts of the whole space are all interconnected if they are all existing within the main entity of space.

Again, I agree strongly with Kant because the space that we live within is all interconnected regardless of its parts, types and the kinds of appearances it yields in human beings. I also feel that these parts are interconnected in a certain way and for different reasons, also for a different argument on a different day. If it is possible that there is another world besides the one we observe, it is not observed by us because it is space that is not interconnected with the large spatial entity we recognize for the place we live in. However, I do not think that is a possibility. Kant is again right for the third time in his concept of space.

To sum up, space has to exist as a priori knowledge underlying all appearances that come from space, and this space is of one distinct entity with many interconnected parts.

Kant uses his concept of time to state qualifications of what we call space and why it cannot be ruled out in our perceptions and understandings of the world.

Thanks for your support.

Do not forget to comment below on whether or not you agree with Kant’s justifications for a distinct conceptual spatial entity.

Before Kant explains what the concept of space entails, he talks about other interpretations of space. One may interpret space as not totally existent, but only so in ones mind, or space is existent everywhere, but Kant had 3 clear metaphysical concepts that define what space really is.

First, when referring to things discussed inside and outside a being, Kant says that there must be a basis upon which a person explains something metaphysically. This basis is required to be space if anyone is to get anywhere in their metaphysical arguments. In the first concept of space (1.)  Kant states that outer experience, experience outside your own understanding and perception, is only possible if space is presented in form where everything is space.

I find this to be overwhelmingly true because no one can get anywhere argumentatively unless you are sure about where and who you are in existence. There is no basis for philosophy in just floating carelessly through the continuum. Space is used as the basis for logic and knowledge because, within space is a foundation for all philosophical propositions epistemologically, logically, and metaphysically (especially metaphysically). Forms of existence need to be differentiated between each other through space and subdivision of space to understand what is on the inside of yourself and what is outside. This can only be done is a notion of space is established in the first place. Kant states that outer experience can only be possible if space is presented as a foundation for argument. Space is one item, but it has subdivisions of inner and outer worlds within it. Therefore, Kant says in the Critique, that there can only be possibilities of inner and outer experience if space is first established to exist.

Just now thinking about all the arguments I enjoy arguing on a daily basis, most of those would fall apart where they stand without a notion and concept of space. Space classifies where and how we exist and how our experiences can be carried out. For example, lets use Heidegger’s dasein as an example. Dasein is being alone in the world amongst indistinguishable surroundings leaving those within the being of dasein in a hopeless situation. Dasein would fall apart without space because of how much dasein emphasizes and relies upon the being in the world. Other arguments would fall apart and dismantle where they stand just like dasein would without a concept and notion of space within experience and perception.

Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: The Concept of Time

23 Jun

When Kant divides his definitions between metaphysical exposition and transcendental exposition, I am concerned with the metaphysical exposition.  Metaphysical standpoints are the best way to look at any argument. And trust me, there are always a differentiated metaphysical concept.

In the Transcendental Aesthetic part of Critique of Pure Reason, Kant talks about metaphysical concepts of space, time, and more.  In this post, I want to explain Kant’s 5 propositions about time, and what they mean in the world according to him.

The first part of the metaphysical exposition of time is where Kant states that time does not happen simultaneously, but it happens sequentially. He also states that concepts of time are always a priori. Because time is chronological in itself, it is always sequential and never simultaneous. Kant also states that we would not be able to understand the difference between simultaneous and sequential in time if time was not a priori. Again, a priori meaning knowledge without worldly or existential experience. So time is sequential and not from experience.

I totally agree with Kant’s first metaphysical conclusion from time. If we were born into this world as a 30 year old, we would still know and recognize time because it is a priori. Also, time represents sequential things and is sequential in itself. Time could not be simultaneous like space is.

The second conclusion of metaphysics Kant makes for time is that all objects and beings cannot be disconnected from time. Because of how he said that time is a priori in the first conclusion, he says that time cannot be “anulled” from beings. Time describes beings in the world and their sequentiality. Appearances (beings or not) are directly connected to time, and cannot be understood without the concept of time. Time cannot be taken away from being of the world or the being of beings in the world.

I also agree with this that time represents being in the world of the appearances and true beings we see and perceive. Every existence is directly related to time. Time is the only thing that cannot be taken away from existence, because the beings are reliant on it.

In Kant’s third metaphysical conclusion of time, he stresses that time is purely sequential because of its a priori essence. I feel the difference between simultaneous and sequential with a priori is understood in number 1 of these conclusions.

Kant’s fourth metaphysical conclusion of time is where he stresses that time is not universal but it is a sensible intuition. Because of how time is sequential, Kant says that different times are parts of the same being. He concludes from this that time is only presented thought a single object. He states that time is a sensible intuition because of how people think it is a universal term. Universal terms are derived from experience and are a posteriori.  While explaining time, Kant makes the distinction between sensible intuitions and universal concepts.

I again agree with Kant because sensible intuitions are not universal concepts. We all may perceive and try to understand the same thing, but it is not universal if it is not understood exactly the same by every person. Time is a sensible intuition because every one person perceives it differently. A universal concept would be something that each person perceives and understands the exact same way, and it looks the exact same to each person.

Finally, Kant’s fifth metaphysical conclusion of time is saying that to say that time is infinite, is to say that time’s possible magnitudes are only possible when a single period of time has limited magnitude. If time is infinite, it cannot have a true unlimited magnitude. But, time can only have a magnitude in its infinity if the magnitude value is assigned for a single part of time that has excessive limitations. I would also agree that time only has magnitude if it is describing one single part of time. Even the single part of time has to have limitations for there even to be a conception or understanding of a magnitude.

It is my personal opinion that time cannot have a magnitude. Kant’s understanding of possible conditions where time has a magnitude is okay but I really think that time is simple enough that it has no limitations and is infinite of all parts. The only time something has a magnitude is when it is static and measurable. In my opinion, time is not a measurable being. Time is something that measures. Time is merely a device that measures the length of existence of the beings that live in and outside of the world. A device of measuring the length of existence cannot have a true magnitude. Breaking down time into certain single parts turns time into an inconceivable entity that has too many limitations on it to be truly understood. A measuring device (time) cannot be measured by another device (magnitude).

I think that Kant is right in 4 of 5 of his time metaphysical conclusions. The fifth one insists that a device is measured by another device: 1) I find it not necessary (magnitude) 2) its inconceivable to measure parts of a device that measures parts of being (time is a device that measures parts of being.

More on Kant coming tonight at 8 pm central time ( Kants Critique of Pure Reason: the concept of space).

Plato’s Euthyphro: The Pious

22 Jun

Euthyphro is a dialogue of Plato with the conversation between Socrates and Euthyphro. Both people in the conversation are involved in court cases and the dialogue is filled mostly with the argument about Euthyphro’s court case. Here, I want to talk about Euthyphro’s case, the pious actions, and Daedalus’ characteristics as explained by Socrates.

The court cases of Socrates and Euthyphro are explained in the dialogue.  Socrates case of course is charged by Meletus for corrupting the youth and conducting experiments not pleasing to the gods. Socrates involves his own case where he states he wants to use Euthyphro’s argument to help his case against Meletus. Euthyphro is the plaintiff of  a case where he charges his elderly father for muder. His father murdered a servant and threw the servant in a ditch. Euthyphro finds out about his father’s actions and turns him in and prosecutes him. Socrates creates the argument over whether or not Euthyphro’s actions were pious or impious.

Socrates analyzes Euthyphro’s entire actions using the entity of piety. Piety is defined in the text as certain actions that which are holy, good, pleasing to the gods, attentive, and just. Euthyphro states that he is prosecuting his father because he thinks that this action is pious. The definition of piety (holiness, goodness, pleasing to the gods, attentiveness, and justice) is debated between the two. Socrates seeks the entire entity of piety and not just certain actions that reflect piety. He begins to destroy and found Euthyphro’s argument in different places, and asks Euthyphro to state whether turning his father in was pious or not (as coherent to piety’s definition).

Piety is clearly yet unclearly explained in this dialogue with a few characteristics. First, it is argued that piety and pious actions are and reflect holiness and the holy. Holy means as the gods would do, that which is pleasing to the gods, and that which is good. Holiness and piety are words that directly reflect the gods (God in my opinion). Euthyphro states that he turned his own father in and is prosecuting him because he feels that it pleases the gods. He also feels that the action is reflective of the good. Also, by piety, Euthyphro feels his actions in turning his father in were pious because they satisfied justice. Euthyphro specifically states in the dialogue that Socrates is odd for dividing possible criminals that need to be turned in between strangers and close relatives. According to Euthyphro, if you are satisfying justice, you are serving justice where it is needed. If a stranger killed a man you should turn him in ( according to Euthyphro’s pious justice) and even if the one that killed a man was your father or mother you should also turn he or she into satisfy pious justice. Finally, piety is defined to reflect attention. By attention, the dialogue states the business of praying (asking the gods for things) and sacrificing/giving back to the gods (returning the favor by doing things that please the gods). If someone asks the gods for things, it is implied that this person should give something back to the gods by doing good things. Euthyphro states that by turning his own father in for murder he is attending to the gods. Overall, Euthyphro’s action in prosecuting his father is not what he would love to be doing but, it is a pious action and it pleases the gods.

He justifies his actions because prosecuting his father for an unjust action is pious regardless of his relation to the man who did the injustice. Socrates argues back with questions arguing the possible impiety of the action of turning in his own father because of the fact that one cannot be sure whether or not each god approves (or even one god) of turning your own father in. I feel this is an argument against polytheism for another time, but I want to turn this argument towards the God with Jesus and the Holy Spirit we perceive and obey today. The argument of Euthyphro’s piety is never answered because when Socrates is finally getting to his point, Euthyphro asks to argue another time and he says he must leave. This leaves poor Socrates high and dry because his argument is not answered and he has not been helped towards his own court case as the defendant.

Concerning the definition of piety (holiness, goodness, justice, attention), I want to discuss Euthyphro’s position when he heard about the injustice of his father when he murdered the servant. I want to argue about it concerning what the Judeo-Christian God (mostly Christian) considers pious. The thoughts and opinions of God are often highly ambiguous, but the Bible often casts enough shadow on any issue about His opinion that we may have enough knowledge and faith to make the right decision. First, I think that if you are personally involved in an injustice that a close relative of yours does, you are obligated to turn him or her in. You are doing yourself an injustice if you do not turn in those who go against the ten commandments and other biblical laws. However, in Euthyphro’s case, if your father kills a man that is not involved with your life, and your father has shown wisdom like Euthyphro’s father, you should rely on your father’s wisdom to turn himself in for the injustice. If he does not do so, and possibly commits other injustices, one should reconsider not turning him in.

Am I saying that Euthyphro was wrong in turning his father in? Possibly. I am directly saying that he should have evaluated the situation further about the piety of the action of turning him in before acting hastily.

What would you do if your father committed a murder? Would you turn him in immediately? later on after further evaluation?

If my father committed a murder ( he would never do such a thing however), I would hope that he would turn himself in. I would not get involved unless I felt targeted. If I was not initially involved, I would stay the hell out. I would not get myself into things I had no place in. Turning my father in for murder would be putting myself in places I need not be into. If however, I somehow felt that God wanted me to turn him in, I would do so. I am saying this without having experienced the situation. Things may be different if I actually were to go through something like this. But now, I feel it would be impious to immediately turn my father in for an injustice he committed. I would pray for him and pray that he would turn himself in.

The piety on the subject cannot be assessed unless you experience the situation yourself. I am not able to arrive at an inference of piety or impiety about the subject because I have not experienced the situation.

A few quotes in the dialogue sparked my thoughts and interest besides the piety argument.

Socrates compares their argument to the work of Daedalus when Euthyphro notes on the fact that their argument’s foundation seems to get up and leave to go somewhere else, therefore there is little progress in the dialogue towards a conclusion. If I have no knowledge about a certain topic, and just begin reading on some of the arguments about that thing, I will have a certain opinion. But, as I read more and become more and more educated, my further knowledge will change my opinion because of knowledge and further analysis. As Socrates and Euthyphro discuss the argument of piety, they analyze the argument about Euthyphro’s place as plaintiff continuously and their foundations build up and then are destroyed because of Socrates further analysis and knowledge about the topic with discussion with Euthyphro. This is a characteristic I have observed in all topics we observe on this world. As we know more about and further analyze a certain topic, we become more educated and less ignorant, causing the shift in our opinions and grounds for those opinions.

Also, Socrates calls Euthyphro out for his laziness when Euthyphro begins to not understand Socrates. Socrates states that Euthyphro’s abundance of wisdom makes him lazy. I think Socrates says this because as you become more and more wise through education and reading, you feel that you understand a certain situation more than another could, and you do not feel the need to explain things to people because they will not understand as well as you. Also. wisdom makes one lazy because you stop arguing about things and stop trying to prove things at some times because you feel you have nothing else to prove about your knowledge and wisdom.

I have experienced this feeling a little (not saying I’m wise because I am not by any means, but I felt I was at one point) and it made me not feel like studying anything or discussing things. When I began reading for recreation, I understood the fact that I had not even begun to hit the tip of wisdom. Through education, reasoning, logic, and discussion, we understand the world around us. These beginning feelings of laziness should be overcome quickly if one wants to succeed in anything. I am not saying Euthyphro was not wise, but I am saying by this that wisdom is such a huge entity that even the brightest philosophers have not even began to get past the beginning parts of wisdom of this world. The only one who has wisdom is God. He is wise in all possibilities. A human in this state cannot become very wise.  Plato, Socrates and Aristotle (etc.) were very very wise for this world. They were probably the wisest mortal beings on this planet (other philosophers too), but even they  did not get past the tip of wisdom.

Thanks for your support.

Dont forget to comment below your thoughts about the pious and any other thoughts.

Leibniz’s Discourse on Metaphysics: I – IV (God’s Perfection)

21 Jun

Sorry for my week and a half long absence from posting thoughts and philosophies. I really enjoy writing and publishing amateurishly like this because I can basically do whatever I want.  Also, starting today, on my new site CosmosZ2 (replacing modusz, modusz wasn’t working), posts every Monday-Thursday just like on here, but the posts there will be non philosophical opinionated thoughts on current events and politics. Go check out http://cosmosz2.wordpress.com. I took the week and a half long break to finish and revise my English composition paper, and to build up on some research on Leibniz, Spinoza, Heidegger, and Deleuze. Works are coming on all of these philosophers, but for now the focus is on the beginning of Leibniz’s book Discourse on Metaphysics. The first four propositions are concerning God and his creations and love. Leibniz obviously favors God’s creation and love, and state that people should accept what God gives them (in essence of one through four). I want to state each one and talk about them, along with summing them up together as a whole at the end. I strongly agree with Leibniz’s propositions here and feel that people should read Discourse on Metaphysics (especially atheists and agnostics).

I. “Concerning the divine perfection and that God does everything in the most desirable way…..”

Leibniz goes on after this statement to explain the perfection and supreme characteristics God really has. He states that God has all forms of perfection in every thing on earth. Also, because of God’s perfection, he does everything in the best way anything can possibly be done. Leibniz goes against those who think God is not perfect and that things are not desirable. He goes on to perfect his thought about this in propositions II through IV.

In reality, God is perfect. God is holy in all possibilities. People are not holy, but when on the right track, people look to God for further direction towards perfection even though we will never achieve perfection while here on earth. By saying that God does everything in the most desirable way, he says that regardless of how we feel things are done, those things are done in the most desirable way in God’s eyes. God’s actions are also expounded up on on II through IV.

II. “Against those who hold that there is in the works of God no goodness, or that the principles of goodness and beauty are arbitrary….”

Leibniz again goes on to explain this proposition. In life, people have trials and hardships that break them down into pessimism and make them lose faith in God and other good things in life. Leibniz correlates the vision that God has no goodness and the arbitration of goodness and beauty because people think this way when life gets to them. People say/said this because of life. Leibniz uses this proposition to shoot those arguments down.

In truth, the works of God are always good, and the principles of goodness and beauty are never arbitrary. People think that God’s work do not contain goodness because the things that happen may tear that person down at the time, but God does everything for a reason. Even if the reason will not be understood for years, if God did not do that instantaneous thing, that person may be forever screwed up in some way. God does everything corresponding and cohering with goodness. Once we understand this, we see the beauty and goodness in the things he does. For people who ask God for things on a daily basis, and their prayer never gets answered, there is a reason for that. This is a corny thing to compare this to (especially because I hate country music) but Garth Brooks said in his song “Unanswered Prayers” that  “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” He says this because something he desperately wanted, would have screwed everything up now that he understands the reality of a certain thing. I really do not like using this comparison, but the lyrics of that song are insightful and philosophically understanding (not to mention understanding of God’s doings).  Brooks thanks God for unanswered prayers, because there is not a thing that God does that does not have goodness of all forms in it. Leibniz argues this in II. I strongly agree with Leibniz.

III. “Against those who think that God might have made things better than he has.”

Leibniz goes further on this proposition by saying that one acts imperfectly if he does not do things to the best of his ability, and if God ever acts imperfectly, he would not be doing his full ability, and this is impossible because of God’s holiness and love for people. God would not do injustice or mediocre things for us because of his amazing love. People also say this because of the horrible tragedies and disasters that go on today, and how much better things could be.

It should be understood the purpose for our existence her on earth. If we are God’s children why is it that we are supposed to be here for a short amount of time before going to heaven with Him? Our purpose here is to show our love, obeyance, and servitude to God. We are born here to make our own choices (even if we have a variation of predestination, I will explain this in a different argument), and if we make the right ones by giving ourselves to God, we then get our place in heaven.  So, our existence here is sort of like a test to see if we can sort through all the nonsense and find God. The tragedies and bad things that go on that cause trials and hardships for people are only a part of the test we are supposed to take here before being present with Him in heaven. So, Leibniz says this because people say that the world could be so much better without all the tragedies and hardships that go on here. This leads people to believe the God should and could make things so much better here for us. Leibniz rejects this belief because he knew that God does everything for a purpose and Leibniz knew the exact purpose that I explained earlier in this paragraph. God will only make things better for you when you find Him and submit yourself to Him forever and declare Him your savior. The thought that if there was a god, He could do things way better than things are on earth, is the grounds that atheists state to be the reason that they believe against th existence of a God. These atheists are simply too far away from God to understand His reasons and purposes. Leibniz correctly goes against this idea.

IV. “That love for God demands on our part complete satisfaction with and acquiescence in that which He has done.”

Leibniz states that love for God is what causes this whole necessity. If one does not have love for God, there is little purpose anyway. In the case that one loves God, one should be satisfied and acquiesced to God’s doings. Even if something that God has done does not feel good for a person at the time, God has a reason for having done that, so satisfaction and acquiescence is necessary because of your faith and love in God.

I strongly agree with this also, because if we have faith and love in God, and recognition for what God has done in our lives, we should have faith in whatever he does. If we have faith in his actions, we must be satisfied and acquiesced at the time in the things He has done. We must first acquiesce at the time in what he has done even if it does not feel like your prayers are answered. If we have achieved acquiescence, then hopefully we can get to satisfaction because of maturity in our faith in Him. I would hope that no devout Christian and child of God would not feel that anything that God has done be less that perfect, because this person must understand God’s characteristics even if that person does not understand His intentions. If we are true Christians and if we truly love God, we can be happy with what God has done, even if at the time it is not what we want. We definitely feel better in the future if we accept things for the way they are at the time and continue to pray.

Overall, God’s perfection and holiness should not allow us or lead us to questioning God’s actions. We should have enough maturity in faith to accept that what he does is right for us. We do not know what is right for us more than He does. Given that we know that God is perfect, we should have enough faith and love to trust Him. I think that Leibniz’s beginning four propositions in the Discourse on Metaphysics leads to the fact that we should have enough faith and love of God to trust him regardless of the situation. I agree with Leibniz totally and wholly. There are no holes in his argument. The only holes are in the arguments of the atheists and non believers: their arguments have the holes. Leibniz’s argument pokes holes in their arguments.

Again, thanks for the support, and again, sorry for the week and a half long break from the philosophical works. More coming tomorrow on this site Cosmos Z and my other current event/political site for opinions Cosmos Z2.