Archive | August, 2010

The Non Being and therefore Un-Sayable

31 Aug

After reading passages from Parmenides and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, along with the opposite views of Heraclitus and Spinoza, I understand that for a long time a large argument is about what what the nonbeing is and what can be said about it. Parmenides responds to Heraclitus when Heraclitus said that “the road up and the road down are one and the same” and relative to the being/nonbeing argument it means that anything can be said or thought about the road towards being or non being. Parmenides comes back by saying that the nonbeing cannot be thought or said upon (he does so in a variety of ways other than just one quote stating his stance like Heraclitus’ roads, but he does say that “thinking and being are one and the same” stating his ultimate stance about why nonbeing cannot be thought or said).  My aim is not to discuss the arguments that both Heraclitus and Parmenides had in Greece, but it is to discuss Parmenidesian and Wittgensteinian opinion that what doesn’t exist cannot be thought or said. I take up the matter because it is evident and has been evident in all of time that people think and say about things that are in fact non existent. I involve Parmenides and Heraclitus in the matter because they are one of the first philosophies to come about, and both had good arguments upon the same matter Wittgenstein and other philosophers discussed. Finally, I choose to bring Wittgenstein into this same matter because in Tractatus Logico Philosophicus Wittgenstein says: “I cannot think what I cannot think. What I cannot think I cannot say either”.  When discussing what he cannot think is referring to those things that do not exist within the human perception. This was one of the propositions that led to his solipsism and neutral monism ( numerous writings about Wittgenstein’s neutral monism and solipsism on this webiste, look in the category Ludwig Wittgenstein and/or the archives to find them, theres like 6 I think) that I refute totally, but have respect for the propositions leading up to them. These arguments between Wittgenstein and Spinoza’s monism, and the other numerous arguments between Heraclitus and Parmenides along with other Presocratics are not the subject for discussion, the only subject for discussion is that the non being can be thought and said, so much so that the non being can be made into being by planning through discussion.

Nonbeing can consistently be thought of and reflected upon. When thought of as a being, nonbeing cannot be thought of leading to the notion that nonbeing cannot be thought of or said about. When contemplating upon any contradiction at all, no results will come forth because little can come of such thought (the being in nonbeing is what is thought here).  I say so because when people think about nonbeing, it is a common misconception to think of it as a being, which is totally fallacious and contradictory, therefore nonbeing cannot be thought or said at the outset.  But getting further in nonbeing, we have to get specific of what does not exist to think and say things about nonbeing itself.  For example, eons ago before the genesis, the only thing that existed was God and his angels in a spiritual world. The physical creatum was not in existence before God created it (note that God, angels and the heavens are not part of the general creatum), and yet He conceived the idea of this world, and he made it so. Because God can conceive the nonbeing, so can we to a lesser extent.  Like said before, nonbeing thought of in terms of its being in the world cannot be thought of and the notion is preposterous, but down to nonbeing’s specificities in terms of how it would be if it was can be conceived.

Hopefully I am getting to the point of how nonbeing can be thought of and said. Again, nonbeing can be both thought and said if it is thought of down to its specificities. If nonbeing is thought of in a broad perception little can be obtained from the notion, and yes it is lacking in thought and speech. But if we think of nonbeing specifically down to what certain thing does not exist, thought and speech can be made upon it, possibly even allowing us to turn this specific nonbeing into being.

If nonbeing is thought down to its specificities (examples), we can think and say things about it, and the best part of it (as evident in society) is that we can possibly make the nonbeing into being. If this were not true, then there would be no inventors of the products and services we use daily. Take Alexander Graham Bell for instance. In Bell’s time, there was no device that could enable 2 people 100 miles apart to talk to each other by voice (there was a telegraph, but it was not by voice). The telephone was a nonbeing object. Bell and his assistant worked together with this notion of this telephone device and turned nonbeing into being by inventing their notion into being. They invented the telephone.  Here, nonbeing was thought, and even said. This mere example of Bell’s achievements falsifies Parmenides’ and Wittgenstein’s opinion that the nonbeing cannot be thought or said.

Another example of nonbeing transitioning into being because of our thoughts and speech about the nonbeing, is the fairly recent idea of a liger.  A liger being a cross between a tiger and a lion. This was on the movie Napoleon Dynamite where Napoleon draws the liger, calls it his favorite animal and shows it amongst the people around him. If what Parmenides and Wittgenstein say is true (that what doesn’t exist cannot be thought or said), Napoleon would have no notion of a liger, and anyone thinking or talking about a liger would not be possible because of the fact that ligers are of the nonbeing. Even more recently, biologists tried to make a liger by breeding a tiger and a lion, and they were successful in producing it so the nonbeing notion of a liger did well because it led to an actual being state of the liger. It was born a very weak animal and may not do very well and could regress back into nonbeing.  If what Parmenides and Wittgenstein say is true, the telephone, many other inventions and the breeding production of the liger would never have been possible because we would never have the ability to think about the nonbeing.

My ending inference from my unorganized thought process is this: there is nothing we cannot think, and therefore there is nothing we cannot say. Nonbeing presents one of the many obstacles in thought and speech, but it can be easily hurdled. Wittgenstein’s statement that we cant think what we cant think and what we cant think we cant say is just a resolution to many philosophical problems of dualisms and what some may call ‘philosophical hell’, and the proposition is a great thought, but after searching philosophically, the proposition I refute rejects a lot of areas of thinking that are unexplored and deserve consideration and thought. Wittgenstein’s solipsist and neutrally monist principles when taken for truth would rule out about 1/2 of philosophical exploration that needs to be done in the future. I, personally, look forward to exploring these unexplored areas, and refute any proposition that make exploration of those areas redundant.  In philosophy, there cannot possibly be unthinkable or unsayable  just because there is some nonbeing within metaphysics. If there was, philosophy would not have come as far as it has because more than half of it would be redundant.

If you want more thinking in the nonbeing being said and thought read into Lawrence Sklar and his geometries relating to philosophy and epistemology because of how Euclidean geometry long passed into geometrical law are falsified immediately (i.e. making a triangle with 3 90 degree angles within a whole triangle, which is nonbeing until discussed specifically).

This was just an unorganized thought process coming from reading some ancient writings of Parmenides and Heraclitus and reflecting back on my studies of Wittgenstein.

Thanks for the support.

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G.E. Moore’s Sense Data and of the Hallucinative Forms

30 Aug

After explaining sense data in the previous writing on Moore’s sense data, I feel it is necessary to address the forms of sense data that do not usually come about, and even may not even be connected to an object.

This is just a brief discussion about sense data’s objects that it comes from. When Moore introduced the sense datum he exemplified and explained most about the actual sense data, and little of where it comes from. Epistemology from Moore to Russell and on can lead to and often involve rejection of metaphysics and theology (like the Vienna Circle), making the relation between sense data and its material object not something searched for. I am concerned with both epistemology and metaphysics and where the sense data comes from concerns me more than the sense data itself mostly because the sense data itself is easy to understand, but its source is something difficult and ambiguous.

Moore even stated that sense data comes from a variety of sources that either may or may not have an object. After understanding Moore, the sources of sense data I state to exist are similar and almost equal. Sense data generates from one of these things: 1) material objects 2)redistribution of color without object 3) the mind’s images. I mainly am concerned with the third category in this brief discussion because I discussed sense data of material objects and redistribution of color in my previous writing about Moore’s sense data. My reason for having concern with the third category is because the first two categories exist because they reside with an outlining object. A tulip resides in category 1 because there is an outline to it that is the flower and the color within it (yellows and greens) are the sense data that is represented to our minds.  The mind’s images do not work the same way and are wholly ambiguous in nature.

The mind is a complex entity and does many complex processes causing confusion within us by many ways of doing so. A mirage known to come before one thirsty and tired in a desert can create any image the mind chooses and we will believe the image to be a true object when really it is only imaginary. After not sleeping for days the same thing will happen. After taking certain harmful narcotics the same thing (in a more extravagant way) will happen. One with schizophrenia will have the same thing happen to him but in a more scary and different way. All of these things appear to us in the same form as sense data in that a tulip actually existing will look just as clear in color and shape as a miraged bottle off water. These pseudo-sense data being unusual are ambiguous and I know not what to think of them because of the fact that I know not where their sense data originates from.

I choose to equate a material object’s sense data with a hallucination or schizophrenic image because in both states of mind both look exactly the same in color and clarity. The only inference I can possibly make is that for hallucinations of all forms no sense data is present. After going through logic and epistemological contemplation, (I actually did go through a lot of thinking metaphysically even about it), I do not see any possibility that true sense data exists unless an object lies beneath.

No sense data can be perceived unless an object lies beneath.

I say this boldly and confidently because all hallucinations being compared to true object originated sense data are faulty and inconsistent. Sense data obviously exists when objects push the data strongly through consistency and clarity. Even though all hallucinations are always as clear and visible as object sense data, the hallucinations appear less frequently for the object it portrays and is very inconsistent. The hallucination can be clearly discerned from the object sense data. If we can see the clear distinction between real sense data and sense data of the hallucinative form, we can decide which is truthful and which is false. My philosophical statement is that the hallucinative form of sense data has no object behind it and therefore is false in nature and origin. The mind, however, is complex enough to deceive us with these sense data of the hallucinative form, and making this distinction is a must.

For this, it was necessary to speak only to sense data of the hallucinative form while a person is awake because when one is asleep it is easy to understand the state one is in because of clarity and usualness of the data being perceived. I felt the need to discuss the hallucinative sense data and to discern it from the true sense data Moore states to exist. We all have stayed up to late and seen something unreal, and some of us may have even taken a hallucinogen narcotic, and some of us may be (not myself) schizophrenics, so I felt it necessary to understand what is true amidst all our perceptions.

Thanks for the support. Longer writings on Deleuze, Berkeley, Locke, Heidegger and more to come in the near to more distant future.

Rene Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy: First Meditation

26 Aug

Rene Descartes published a ground breaking set of meditations on his philosophy including 6 meditations that presented great thoughts. My aim is to talk about each meditation and its philosophy in detail. Previously I posted a writing of mine of a synopsis and discussion about all meditations together (which actually was a paper I did almost 2 years ago) and that can be found amongst the Archives and the Rene Descartes category to your right. Here I only want to talk about the first Meditation and what it says about  concerning things that can be doubted.

Descartes begins the meditation by looking back on his previous opinions and states them to have doubt and therefore to be false. A big statement in the beginning of the meditation is when he says that anything that can have some ground for doubt, can be immediately rejected. He looks for complete truth, and stating this is a good start, but goes a little bit to far in my opinion. If I recognize something to have doubt, it would be my opinionated decision to get to the root of those doubts about it, and possibly modify my hypotheses to resolve the doubts. Often the resolution of doubts can lead to ultimate rejection of what is discussed, and in this case Descartes would be right. This rejection of all doubted things is too broad and should be specialized to certain doubts, while excluding other doubts for further discussion and exploration towards a resolution of it. Doubting things is good because it leads to further understanding, and should not be a shortcut to abandonment of the whole hypotheses.

After having said this Descartes discusses the instances of dreams and perceived reality and how we cannot be sure which is which. He clearly states that he previously strictly relied on the senses. But now stating that senses having deceived him before, it cannot be a certain action to rely on something that has deceived us even once. Descartes questions here if he is awake in a certain space and time, because he has some question of his senses because they have deceived him. He goes on to say that a God exists that is all powerful and all knowing, as he states the deception of his senses. The meditation ends by him stating the powerfulness and goodness of God, but with an evil spirit within God. And that God uses the senses and creates illusions to appear to them, simply to deceive him.  He further states that knowing this he can circumvent this deception of God by not accepting any falsities into his beliefs and therefore defeating God’s purpose in deceiving him.

I can understand Descartes’ recognition of the senses deceiving him because our sensory organs are not reliable and can often deceive us simply by mistake. There is not a real purpose behind the mistakes our sensory organs make other than it is something that can often confuse us. Our senses using sight can produce mirages, hallucinations, epistemologically false sense data and others, but it is only a mistake our distorted sensory organs make. My end point is that God does not deceive us, but He distorts our understanding in a lesser form of deception which I get to. This paragraph is not of Descartes’ philosophy by the way, it is of my own. The distortion God put unto our senses is not because he wants to deceive us, and Descartes’ view of God is totally false. However, what Descartes perceived was the distortion we all experience causing us simply to have questions and seek out understanding.

The key to the difference between Descartes’ reality and the real reality is in God’s identity as a deity.  Descartes sees him as powerful, and mostly good, but having evil spirit in him. Saying that a good God has evil spirit in him is a blatant contradiction. In the real world God is sympathetic, loving, caring, generous, and amazing. God also does not deceive anyone, that is Satan’s business.  Our purpose on earth is to worship God, and to find Him amongst the evils. Without the senses we have being distorted, there would be no purpose in life because we would know everything, and God’s purpose for putting us here on this earth would be nullified. So the real God’s distortion of the human’s senses is justified because if this distortion were not existent, our purpose for being here would not exist. But this distortion of our sense is not deception as Descartes understands it. Deception involves tricking a person to lead them down an evil, dead, horrific path that if a person goes down this path, the deceiving would have won, and the deceived would be led to ultimate demise. Satan works in this business, and often leads many down this very path, and they end up in the fires of Hell. God does not do this deception. God’s distortion of our senses and understanding is to lead us towards the narrow path towards  eternal salvation. Descartes fails to recognize that God is entirely good and has all good intentions for his choice to distort our sensory understanding. God does this distortion to our senses because he wants us to eventually seek Him for guidance, where in the event of one doing that, they are rewarded with eternal salvation. For example if one aims to see what is in heaven and hell and at first seeks no help in God, he will be led nowhere in his investigation. God uses this being led nowhere to lead people to His teaching, and to realize (in this specific example) that heaven and hell are to be totally understood when we get to heaven by eternal salvation. Descartes endorses the common misconception of God in that people see God as the fear mongering, angry, acting, and wrath enacting God which is false in all areas. God really is loving, saddened (not angry) at sin, generous, forgiving and great. Descartes misunderstanding of God falsifies his whole argument about doubts and the illusions the sensory data he says it to be.

Based on his false misunderstandings, he states that he can defeat the deceiving God by not admitting any falsities into his philosophy. If he does this he wins against the deceptions. Now, odd as it is, a true statement came out of a false one in that upon his false misunderstandings, he states that no falsities should be admitted into ones own philosophy. This is entirely true in that we should never admit falsities into our philosophy if we can see ever that a certain proposition is false.

It saddens me to see that someone sees God in such a way, but the meditation provoked my thought in the inferences that were somewhat true in their nature. I plan on discussing the next 5 meditations in Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy.

Thanks for the support.

G.E. Moore’s Sense Data and the Material Object

25 Aug

Finally back to writing and thinking now. I was on a bit of a vacation for about a week from school, where I went fishing, just hung out, and just worked a bunch. Enough about my life, because one thing I loath is a blog talking about one’s life events that never lead toward a logical or philosophical concept or belief. This writing being my official return to activity here, is about G.E. Moore and questions and information in his Information of Sense Data. There is a particular question about sense data that I have interest in.

Sense data and sensations are two different things that Moore used to influence epistemological debates and thought. Sense data is the data our perceptive senses gather when seeing a material object. If one states to be seeing a seashell, the sense data about it would be things gathered by the senses. For example, sense data of observation of the shell would include patches of white and pink (color from sight), about as big as my head, and a jagged amorphous shape. Color is one that is important because of the fact that size and shape can be stated to be within the material object while color is only what our brain perceives of the object and what its surroundings causes it to appear to us. The sense data we have about a material object allow us to be able to draw a picture of it how we see it and be accurate. Sensation is Moore’s term for apprehending the sense data and is nothing of my concern  about the relationship between the material object observed and the sense data that goes with it.

An early teacher of mine was talking one on one with me about the effects of light upon certain surfaces and used an example of when he went to a clothing store for specifically black socks. The store worker helped him with what he wanted and presented ‘black’ socks to my teacher. My teacher rebutted by saying that,”No, these socks are clearly blue. I need black socks.” The store worker came back with saying that those socks ‘are’ black socks, and they only appear blue because of the light bulbs in the ceiling producing light with fewer colors in its spectrum than most natural light. The light coming from the bulbs in the ceiling reflected off the socks making the socks appear to be blue, when really they are black. I might have gotten the colors in this story mixed up, but it is beside the point I strive to make, and it does not matter. What only matters is that in one setting the socks are one color , in another setting the socks appear a complete different color. If one thing can appear different in different settings, it leads me to question whether or not the sense data of an object will always coincide with the actual object. Furthermore, I think that sense data can easily overlap when material objects are in close proximity of each other making confusion because of how far sense data goes far away from the object it is derived from.

It is my imperative reason for this writing to state that I think sense data has very very little connection with the material object in question. And because of this, the sense data is not confined to certain things, and can become loose in shape, and often easily relocated away from the object it is assigned to. As I said before, I think sense data can overlap with other sense data, causing a lot of confusion. When sense data overlaps, and is confused, the object it is connected with is hard to discern. I find this true from personal observation of certain sense data that relocates from the object it supposedly comes from. Whether or not certain sense data comes from certain objects is something difficult, and almost impossible to figure out, but we can make suppositions about the matter. An example exemplifying the relocation of sense data is church windows with red glass in it having real sunlight shined through it projects a red patch on the wall of the inside of the church. This is a red patch among the wall of other sense data where the object does not relocate the sense data. The patch on the wall does not include an object, it only is sense data. Another example would be light shining on a person standing in a field, he casts what we call a shadow. It is a patch of darkness among lighter patches. The object of this sense data is upright and erect, while the sense data is laying flat on the ground. This clearly is relocation of sense data because when sense data is not relocated it is in the same spot as the object. Such as, a flower with red color, along with green surroundings. The color of the flower is in the same spot as the color, and is not relocated to other locations.

I present these things because the epistemological phenomenon we experience sometimes can distort and hold back our destination to understanding the world. The mind misconceives things, and even when it does not misconceive things the world is confusing because of the way our mind sees it. First, we may have difficulty understanding the world with our epistemological characteristics because of the fact that the material object (stated by Moore) cannot even be known to exist or seen. The only thing we know exists or see is the sense data. Second, we may have difficulty understanding the world because of how the sense data is not organized by any means. The sense data is somewhat sitting with its possible object, but often the sense data is relocated to further our quest for understanding. Sense data can be especially confusing concerning what object is where and associated with what sense data in an example where a man dyes some glass a green color, and holds  the small piece of glass up to his cheek face to look at it. So the man’s face is not mostly covered, but a smaller patch of red exists amidst all the whiter patches (patches of color was Moore’s term to describe specific sense data). If the small piece of red glass was specifically over his nose, you would see all the beige skin color patches everywhere in the immediate area, and then in the middle you would see a reddish lighter nose. This is overlapping (not relocating) sense data because the nose before the red glass was a white beige skin color patch just like the rest of the face, but when the red glass is put over the nose, the nose’s sense data is no longer, but many questions are posed as to what object lies under the red glass, and what sense data would accompany it. I believe the sense data to overlap and relocate  to be another part of our difficulty in understanding the world as specifically and purposely done by God when the creatum was created. Not to take a religious curve at the end of a big discussion on sense data. I have many epistemological questions and this is the beginning of my formal course towards epistemological understanding.

Thanks for the support. Glad to be back..finally…

Jean Baudrillard The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact: Mental Diaspora of the Networks

11 Aug

Mental diaspora of the networks is stated by Baudrillard to mean the disconnection between the symbolic images and the reality. This occurs causing the lack of ability for  value judgments to occur among other inabilities to trust symbols and images. Baudrillard states this to happen because  of the fact that we cannot take media and its symbols for reality, and we must search further for truth. As I read this part of the Intelligence of Evil I was lead to ask why, and how this mental diaspora could have happened. knowing that why/how it happened may be the key to deciphering the diaspora. Baudrillard states little about why/how, and mostly about what, and how it effects the people exposed to the media and its misleading images. The what and how it affects is to be discussed here, but I first want to dedicate some discussion as to why and how this mental diaspora happened in the first place. First, these inferences being solely of my own, I think that media, images, symbolism, and art have greatly progressed over the years and have gotten more non-conforming to the art around it. Media has grown to include everything including a growing area of it that diverges from the main stream. By now, this diverging media from the main stream has to be about a half of all media, symbols, images, and art. I must add about this diverging media from the main stream that its qualifications do not include coherence with reality. This front of media, knowing of the other half cohering to reality, mostly does not cohere with reality for artistic, creative, and entertaining purposes. This growing diversity of media I think is what causes the mental diaspora. Baudrillard did little in his book to talk about why, or how it came to be, but I find it extremely important in knowing what, and how it is now.

Baudrillard states that mental diaspora of the networks occurs (and does so rapidly) when 2 opposite poles (of symbol or media) merge into each other until each emergence previously distinguishable is no longer able to be taken from it. The 2 opposite poles existing often coheres with reality allowing us to have some understanding as to what media denotes reality, but when the mental diaspora occurs, this deciphering ability toward the reality basically disappears. Moreover, Baudrillard exemplifies in the book his discussion with Susan Sontag on the one time they witnessed on television about the moon, where Sontag states that she viewed images of the moon (a screen showing the moon) but she did not really see the moon from the television. The network between media and reality was at first strict in that media denoted some sort of reality, but the diaspora scattered all of the media and infused it with the diverging unreal media. When at first virtual intelligence denoted a high level of intelligence, if we still relied on virtual intelligence we would all be ignorant and basically stupid. The mental diaspora of the networks infused the reality coherent media with the diverging and emerging creative yet not reality coherent media, causing all media to be contaminated, and allowing none of it to be truly trusted for knowledge about truth and reality. I may have exaggerated this mental diaspora of the networks a little too much, but I still feel I have accurately stated it for its face value. This diaspora can be exemplified  by Fox News pretty much having been reporting truthful stories and politics before the mental diaspora of the networks (recognize the poles of truthful news, and tabloid news), and after the diaspora, not being able to know what is truthful or real reports on a blatantly tabloidal scandal. Or, another example, before the diaspora, a person looking for heterosexual entertainment, could easily find it and get what the person wants, but after the diaspora, the same person may see a piece of media that looks totally heterosexual on the outside, and appears so throughout, but gives the person not what he/she wants, and ends up really being homosexual when the media is fully viewed. Before the diaspora, that material would have been clearly represented as homosexual, and no ‘hetero’ labels would be assigned to it. The diaspora of the networks makes it hard for any media to denote reality because of how all of the media has homogenized with each other. Also, if the diaspora had not occurred, picking out movies to see in the theater would be a lot easier because we would know for sure whether we would probably like a movie or not. We would never have to see a bad movie again. But, for example, the movie The Informant looks like it might be funny because of the photo on the cover, and because of the way it converses with the viewer of the ad, making someone think it a better movie than it actually is. I rented the movie thinking that the dork on the front of the cover would mean it would be a funny movie, but it turned out to be about a worker at an ethanol oil company and a crisis that happens there. And I like informative, interesting  movies, but in my opinion the Informant was not interesting by any means, so this ad mislead me. I think the diaspora effected even more propaganda and advertising in that these advertising and propaganda projects are more misleading every day. For some forms of media, the diaspora was a good thing, like for art, I believe the diaspora served a good purpose, and it was good for it to happen. I say this because I think that art should not have a presupposed meaning to it. The artist should have his/her own meaning for the artwork, and it should be left up to the viewer to interpret it in any other way. The diaspora helps the industry of art, but art is only a division of media. The diaspora was negative for (advertising and propaganda like said before) political campaigns, news, and for non fiction writing. It did well for fiction/literature writing because it often leaves meaning/interpretation up to the reader. Politics, and campaigns are badly effected by the diaspora because the tendency to ‘rake muck’ occurs more because of the homogenized media. Muck is raked on bills, propositions, lawmakers, and politicians even if the muck is not true muck, but the muck badly effects those trying to help the nation with his/her political tactics. Overall, I do not think things would work out if the mental diaspora of the networks had not occurred by now because of how society has developed around it. I may be taking the notion of the diaspora way too far, but I feel that it does in fact go as far as I say.

Like always, @Reply on Twitter, comment below, or email at cosmosuniversez@yahoo.com to discuss your opinions, and if I stated anything wrong.

Thanks for the support.

Søren Kierkegaard’s Christian Discourses: The Care of Poverty

10 Aug

The Christian Discourses of Kierkegaard make up some of his most amazing works in that they are worded in such a way that they have the ability to make the worried man feel better. Poverty is such an issue that is the concern of many people worldwide and the things said in this discourse are only things that can comfort the reader. Having first read this, certain Bible verses come to mind that his philosophy takes root in, and noticing that makes me feel even better about the message Kierkegaard aims to set forth with this discourse.

The discourse begins by saying this care (the care of poverty) is not a care that the bird has. He proceeds to state that the bird lives on heavenly bread that never goes stale. This heavenly bread being what the bird’s liveliness is and that which it only has enough to survive with. Because of the fact that the heavenly bread is scarce and only comes when the bird needs it, the bird has little, and therefore is poor, but the key is in the fact that the bird does not give recognition to the fact that he is poor. Kierkegaard states that the lack of care about the state of poverty in the bird needs to be transferred to the humans that are poor, because we should put trust in the lord concerning what we eat and drink. The bird does not care about his poor state, and nor should we because of the trust we have put in God’s hands. Kierkegaard infers that because of our ability to put all trust in God concerning what we will eat and drink, we are not therefore poor, but we have so many heavenly riches, that we are of the most rich state. Because of all the aforesaid things: “Therefore you should not worry and say: What will we eat or what will we drink?- for all such things the pagans seek”(Kierkegaard). The pagans seek these things because they are not able to have the heavenly riches that the Christian has of putting our trust in the hands of God. Finally the bird is then displayed as being carefree because it is so poor and yet does not worry about it.

There are great verses in the Bible that set forth the same principles, and inspire the reader to trust and love God. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,  with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” and ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4: 4-7 and Philippians 4: 13. These two parts of Philippians are what I use to govern most of my life, and it helps a lot when you are worrying about your life, and are uncertain about the future about what will put food on the table. Kierkegaard and many pastors refer to the bird and ask if the bird (another of God’s creatures like yourself) questions where it gets its food and drink when people are going through rough times. I first heard this when my pastor of my church did a sermon on this part of Philippians and why we should not worry about our lives if we have full trust in God. The bird has heavenly bread because he does not worry about his poor state, and he continuously has food to eat and water to drink. People, being more complex in the head, are prone to worrying about our lives when times get hard. God answers us with those verses in Philippians.  Using the bird and asking us “does the bird worry about where it gets its food? And yet the bird always survives..” is really helpful to people in a state of deep worry. Examining the mindset of the bird and its poor state is key to seeing why God does not want us to worry, and is key in understanding the answer to our worries.

I could continuously preach about how Philippians and the bird are shown to tell us to not worry, but the main proposition in the Christian Discourse Care of Poverty by Kierkegaard is that whatever cares we have based on poverty or other concerns, can be dealt with by putting all of our trust in God and stopping the worry. If we do this we are actually in a state of great riches (heavenly riches that is). It is my opinion however that to confidently put our worries and trust in God’s hands and expect all to work out perfectly, we must have given our lives to God for salvation, be living a righteous life in the eyes of God, and continuously repenting of our sins. We must be doing all of these things or at least trying our very hardest to be doing all of these things if we want our worries and trust to be correctly handled in the cosmos. If we are living a hypocritical life, and not trying at all to be what God wants us to be, and expect that He meet our worries and trust with good things, we are sadly mistaken. We will always sin, and do bad things, but if we are making a conscious effort to thwart sin, and making a conscious effort to repent of the sins, God recognizes it and treats the person well for it. If we are making a good conscious effort in all of these things, we can be confident that our worries of poverty, and that our trust in Him will be handled the best way possible. The verses in Philippians confirm this proposition.

These Philippians  verses in the Bible and Kierkegaard’s Discourse on the Care of Poverty make it known how bad it is to worry obsessively and to not put our trust in anything but ourselves. The verses and the discourse make it known how much of a bad thing it is to worry without trusting in God. At the same time it reveals another reason that God is such a loving and amazing God.  Kierkegaard is amazing for having written these things in a distinct Christian discourse.

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Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason: The Transcendental Logic I (Logic in General)

10 Aug

Kant’s book Critique of Pure Reason contains in it the Transcendental Doctrine of Elements which has the landmark concepts of time, space, transcendental logic, among other things including the concept of a priori intuitions. In the first part On logic in general, Kant talks about certain intuitions along with the sensibility all pointing towards the qualifications for an intuition to be a priori. This Transcendental Doctrine is one of the things making Critique of Pure Reason one of Kant’s amazingly thought provoking and amazing books.

First in this part on logic, Kant talks about reception of representations and faculty for cognizing an object by means of these representations.  Reception of representations is our nature of being given representations of the world. We are given these things without much thought being necessary to achieve them. The faculty for cognizing an object comes to us through our thought and contemplation upon the representations we receive. This faculty for cognizing comes to us only through our thought of things, and are not given to us as the representations are. Kant states these fact to lead up to his distinction of intuitions between those that are empirical and pure. Empirical cognitions are those that have sensation contained in them. Pure cognitions are those without any sensational involvement. Kant goes on to say that only pure cognitions are a priori, and empirical cognitions are a posteriori.  From this he goes on to talk about understanding and what it is made up of: “If we call the receptivity of our mind to receive representations insofar as it is affected in some way sensibility, then on the contrary the faculty for bringing forth representations itself, or the spontaneity of cognition, is the understanding” (Kant). Receptivity being the ability of our mind to receive representations that are affected by sensibility is not that complex of a process, but understanding involves more thought and is therefore more complex. The faculty for “thinking of objects of sensible intuition on the contrary, is the understanding. The logic used towards the understanding is then divided into general and particular logic in use of the understanding. General logic is logic used for understanding that is the basic absolutely necessary rules of thinking. The particular logic for the use of understanding is the rules for thinking about a certain kind of objects or thoughts. General logic is further divided between pure and applied logic. Pure logic being logic of understanding dealing with particularly a priori principles. Applied logic being understanding for the sensible and psychological purpose because of the sensibility involved. The empirical, pure, general and applied can be crossed with each other to have different logic and understanding. Kant’s main proposition of this part of the book: “A general but pure logic therefore has to do with strictly a priori principles,  and is a canon of understanding…” (Kant).

I explain the above because it is my opinion that sensibility clouds propositions and judgement creating the need and therefore existence of some a priori logic and understanding. Empirical applied logic and understanding  is in my opinion corrupted by sensibility. The senses we have govern too much our logic and understanding, when we should not rely very  much upon them. I believe Kant felt the same about senses and sensibility because of the fact that he made sure that a priori logic only included that which had no sensibility. I do not choose to discredit  sensibility totally, but it clouds judgement away from the real and the truthful because of how our brains are complex enough to make things appear different from what they really are.  If there were no  a priori principles we would be lost in this world and all of us would resort to  foolish philosophies (like solipsism, and atheism if I may say so). If there were no canon of understanding we would be so lost that we would not be able to come back from it. There are reasons we cannot have all a priori knowledge, but we cannot succeed in the world without some of this a priori knowledge. I think that Kant called a priori principles general and pure because of how the sensibility corrupts logic and gives it impurities. This canon of understanding is what helps us have the ability to sort through the corrupt and false principles and understand what is true and real. I appreciate Kant for making the distinction between these logical distinctions. This philosophy endorses what the Christians believe about the knowledge God means for us to have while on this earth. We are given just enough knowledge to find our way, but there is enough possibly corrupted sensible empirical knowledge to lead us astray.

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