Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Many thinkers have tried to divide the will in two and set it in conflict with itself. But life per se does not conflict with itself. A whole in terms of its motivations is a whole, not a thing divided. As hard and as critically as I look at myself, I do not see an inherent contradiction.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
The perceived perception of others is the source of my conscience. It is external. If it were possible for me to live from birth to death without ever meeting another human being, I would not have a conscience. In the case of the Christian, conscience can be explained as the fear, or shame, before the perception of an omniscient god, which is obviously a forceful and motivating stimulant.
I perceive myself and I am perceived by others, but the perception of others is only perceived by me and then applied as part of my self-perception. “Feeling good about yourself” has been fashionable of late. The expression is vulgar but telling. My perception of myself is the only innate component of my self-appraisal, even though the perceived and imported perceptions of others form an enormous, if not the greater, part of it. I have also recognized that my perception of others becomes part of their perception of themselves, and of me. We live in an incredible web of it, and each of us is inextricably woven into it.
My will does not demand a “why”. It is uncompromisingly there, like an extra-wordly command. Why do I value things? Because it is in the nature of my perception to distinguish, first and foremost between myself and other people, and it is in the nature of my will to want.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I have made five assumptions about you and invite you to make the same about me. First, you are a human being, whether you want to be or not. Second, you were born into a point of time which you did not choose. You live now, as you read this, not 2,000 years ago, not 2,000 years from now. Third, you did not choose the place or circumstances of your birth. You were of a certain nationality and learned to speak a certain language or languages. Your family was big or small, wealthy or poor, and it lived in this region as opposed to that. Fourth, you did not choose the particular characteristics, physical and mental, that you yourself were born with. You are short or tall, handsome or ugly, intelligent or dull, talkative or quiet. Fifth, up until this moment of your life you have committed an almost infinite number of acts of volition, dictated wholly, or at least largely, by the other four portions of your nature. These acts, along with the many chance occurrences of your life, have impelled your development and now have the certainty of fate. You will continue for the rest of your life to commit acts of volition, however much time you have left.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Do we human beings have a fundamental will which is dominant and insuppressible in the face of our other wills and motivations? Many people, extremely intelligent philosophers and psychologists among them, have insisted that the fundamental will is the will to self-preservation. What are we to say, however, about dangerous occupations and hobbies, extraordinary and reckless courage in battle, suicide, and martyrdom? What has led some people to disregard their lives for the sake of something else? Looking honestly at myself I do not see an irrepressible will to self-preservation. There are things for which I would consciously risk my life or even die. And at times life itself is not especially precious to me at all. What I do see when I look at myself is the will to be well perceived.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The assertion that we in some way are able to resist our own nature is groundless. With what part of himself does a man resist his own nature? With his non-nature? With his unnatural side? The one thing that we can say is that it is characteristic of human nature to believe that we are able to resist our own nature.
This is a game for two. It is called “Ethics”. It is against the rules to assume that you and your opponent share a moral perspective of any sort whatsoever or to appeal to undemonstrable metaphysical authorities. You may use persuasion, but not force. The object of the game is to get your opponent to act ethically according to your own definition of ethical.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Is the unseen more important than the seen? To what extent do we create the non-existent by our attempts to define the unseen? To what extent can we define the existent in the unseen by means of the seen? We take a blind step as soon as we declare as true that which cannot be proved. The length to which the non-existent has been proved is a testament to the human desire for what is not true, or at least to human disregard for what is true.
If we discovered the first cause, would we become something other than what we are? Would knowledge of it change our perception? Do those who search for the first cause have it in mind to alter themselves through their inventions, or do they hope to influence and control others?