Brennan, I couldnt help but address your most recent comments.
Feel free to respond or not respond - but that should go without saying.
In my view, this is indeed how it appears. I certainly don’t see any reason for believing in a soul, or an inherently existing self. In other words, I don’t see things as having any indiviudal essence. All things are like an eddy in a stream, coming into being and then forever vanishing.
The eddy doesnt inherently exist
This is a nice way of putting it. Reminds me, again, of the Buddhist notion that nothing inherently exists as an independant thing because everything is a concatenation of prior circumstances and in ongoing interaction with other things.
Of course, there is a less abstract level of daily life in which things function as independant and real (I wouldn’t advise contemplating a speeding truck as a mere eddy of effect when it’s heading for you!)
I think we should avoid or meet physical death because it’s deemed most logical by us, not because of fear. I think fear of death can be overcome to a significant degree and should be worked on. I liked ernest becker’s book, the denial of death, and I think his message is a very good one. Kierkegaard and Buddha offer a great deal of help in this regard. Despite the superficial appearance that they are fearless, Suicide bombers are essentially motivated by a terror of death.
So again I’m not sure how useful this level of abstraction is, but it makes a certain sense.
It’s useful insofar as by thinking about it enough, you give the emotions no susteance. Causality, if you think about it in the right way is corrossive to religious and romantic thoughts. In my view, emotions have largely outlived their usefulness. It’s time we work to overcome the human condition.
[quote author=“Cory”]Speed is a sensation percieved by vision.
I still disagree with this. Humans, at least, are terrible at perceiving movement, only good at perceiving changes in movement.
I don’t think you are really seeing my point. A change in movement is detected via the senses, and this change can’t be detected without a contrast between the thing moving and the thing that is not (or the thing that is not moving as fast).
Vision has a strong role in perception of movement, but it is the apparatus of the inner ear that does most of the work here.
Fine, but the work depends on the contrast that I am emphasizing.
Still, in the absence of changes in velocity or direction, you could sit in a vehicle going 10mph or 10000mph and not know the difference.
Well yes, but that’s because you are depriving the senses! We would certainly know a difference and have a sense of an object having speed if we could see out the window.
Even visually, perception of velocity varies with distance from the thing seen and is not especially accurate.
Ah, but this isn’t about accuracy. That’s beside the point.
And I didnt say that you couldn’t create conditions that confuse the senses, rendering them incapable of sensing what is moving faster and what slower (or not at all).
The absolute truth is that: if the senses can detect speed, it is only because a thing is observed relative to something else. There are a great deal of everyday conditions where the senses detect speed - - and yes, there are conditions where we can confuse or deprive the senses rendering them incapable of detecting change or a senses of speed.
In those cases we would then depend on technology to tell us about speed - and we wouldnt be able to measure speed without this absolute truth:
“the speed of something must always be measured relative to something else”
That is an absolute truth.
So while the others are senses (vision, hearing), I still don’t think there really is a sense of speed.
Sure there is, under normal conditions we certainly have a sensation of things moving faster than others. This really is quite apparent.
Anyhow, how about I present a new absolute truth, one that is more pure than the speed example:
Change is detected only if one thing is acknowledged as having relation to another thing.
[quote author=“Cory”]You are seperating the self from the self’s internal processes. Implying an awareness of these seperate processes. So there is a division between the awareness and the object of awareness. So we can see cause and effect here. There can be no self without an object of consciousness.
Well, if the object of awareness is self, it isn’t other.
But consciousness can only be aware of itself through thought. If you remove thought, then you remove the ability of self consciousness. And thought is a record of what has happened. And so self consciousness is impossible without the duality of what is and what was. Our identity is what has happened to us, our impression of what was said to us, or what we said, or what we look like in the mirror. When we are aware of the self, we are merely focused on memory. Otherwise we just go blank - and that can’t really be called self awareness. It’s just nothing.
Yet as I pointed out in my post above, and you seem to agree, there is no actual self or seat of consciousness, only the false perception of it.
What do you think ‘it’ is? ‘It’ is just an agglomeration of memory.
So this still doesn’t convince me that consciousness fundamentally requires an other.
If you think about the vital role that thought plays in consciousness, and if you realize that thought can only exist when there is a past and present, then you will see that a duality is required between the inner and the outer (the inner and outer is ultimately an illusion).
[quote author=“cory”]]If you were born into a condition where your vision was limited to only yellow, then there would be no way you’d be able to see unless you could detect yellow at different shades.
If I was born only able to see yellow, I would only see that which was yellow and all else would be invisible. It’s like certain simple predators, such as some frogs I believe, who see motion acutely and have very limited other visual ability so they literally do not see that which isn’t moving.
But their vision of movement depends on their ability to detect non-movement. And second, color would be meaningless - it couldnt be said to really exist in consciousness. A color can only have meaning in relationship to another. In the case of a frog, they sense light, and that is only because they sense the absence of light. Sensation requires duality, otherwise, nothing can be detected.