Moral Relativism, And The Cost of Judgement.

Driving forward with the notion of morals, and the implications of the previous post.  I would like to postulate a possible resolution to the “Trolley Problem”.  I think it’s in the spirit of the times to be advocating these thoughts in their given vein.

In the context of any ethical decision, or moral calculus one has to undergo.  I think it’d be advisable to do the least crippling harm to any of the engaged parties.  If it is impossible to do no harm.  If it were possible to do no harm, there’d be no dilemma involved.  Thus the later would be the most valid course of action to take.

Honing in on the ideas of self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, or any other sentient being (aliens).  It should be understood at some level, that there is no equality of actions, or outcomes.  Some are innately better, or so it seems with the logic at the time of action.  Human’s are generally conditioned, and expected to comport themselves with respect for their fellow man.  And for some this respect extends to other forms of life.  Animals, plants, the Unknown and who knows what other sort of entities.

To step aside in some sense, as Humanity reaches towards the times of Transhumanism, and Posthumanism (definitions of said things open to pedantic debate).  The notion arises of what is Life (or even Death), and what it means to be human (or anything else).  In theory, it should be possible for cognition to arise in any mutable form.  From a squirrel, for instance, to an “Alien Deity”.  Both would be considered to have some semblance of awareness and consciousnesses.  To what extent is debatable again, for a squirrel would stand in preference for other squirrels over that of an Alien God.

And this is where we get into the realms of judgment.  One is clearly biased in favor of their “own kind” whether it be contrived as squirrels, and aliens (or black, white, asian, hispanic, human, dog, squirrel, alien…etc).  If it looks, and acts like us.  We will prefer it over something “different”, generally.

Readdressing the Trolley Problem, one comes to the individualistic notions of which pool of entities suffers the harm?  The five on the original track?  The one that may be diverted into?  It depends upon the relationship, or perceived relationship between the parties.  If it is a child that is on the alternative track, and a person of the younger age bracket is making the decision.  They may realize that it could just as readily be them in the cross-hairs of an errant trolley.  Thus they’d leave the course alone, let it hit the five (or older person).

If either of the parties is of relevant, or of future usability.  It would seem that said party should be the favored one.  This comes up with the notion of which party can you justify yourself to more readily?  Is that the one you should aim at appealing to?  The ones that would forgive the infraction?  Because they are “like” you?

This would make sense, would it not?  Why alter the course of events if it’s going to blowback upon oneself in a negative manner?  This is where doing the least amount of crippling harm comes into play.  A person who voluntarily sacrifices themselves, or endures said pain.  Knows what they’re capable of handling.  They know the dues they are willing to pay.  Thus if a person is willing to toe the line by laying themselves upon it they should be respected for doing so.

In some sense this may be akin to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  The Good may be the self-referential state that everyone sees themselves in up to a point (Evil doesn’t know/see it’s doing Evil until triumphed over).   The Bad, is the state where they intentionally act in a self-absorbed manner that is detrimental to others (actually themselves).  And The Ugly, is a state of naive awareness that hasn’t encountered said dilemma previously.

As readily apparent, in the clip, Clint Eastwood’s character could’ve easily gunned both parties down, and made off with the entire spoils.  That would’ve been “The Bad” ending for all except Eastwood, but given the previously established track record of said character.  It wasn’t in his nature.

Thus there’s a way through every moral dilemma, and it’s based upon the parties previous established actions going into said context.  Moral dilemma’s don’t exist in isolation, otherwise there’d be no repercussions to said dilemma.  And there would be no dilemma.

There’s many ways to spin this problem, but it all boils down to ad hoc justification after the fact.  And in the end, you always have to live with yourself.  You can’t live with those you’ve wronged (cause they’d wish the same back upon you), but it’s possible to coexist with those that may be ignorant/naive/indifferent…., or just plain “Ugly”.

In essence, Good prefers Good neighbors, but can tolerate neutral ones.  Evil prefers Evil neighbors, or those who tolerate their misdeeds.  And Neutrality is still in a state of limbo, or decision.

The Moral Veil, and Life.

The basis of this post is to question morality a little.  At least of a utilitarian kind.  To establish a basis of thought there’s the Veil of Ignorance to consider ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_ignorance ).  In which a person is asked to imagine that they are tasked with creating a purely just society.  They must do so from a position of ignorance of who they actually are, and the resulting life that they may live upon being “rendered” into said creation.

The thought I’d like to present is counter to the implications of the Veil, and that we have already traversed said barrier of ignorance.  A baby prior to birth, or even before its conception is purely nothing.  It has no desires, or sense of anything.  It is purely a ignorant hypothetical entity.  Thus it’d be understandable that such a state would be an ignorant one, correct?  One doesn’t get to pick, and choose their parents.  Although they do get some chance to dictate their personal life events.  They can readily interpret circumstances to suit their needs.  Thus how, or what is the point of a Veil of Ignorance?  We’ve all come into this world as ignorant, and it is through the nature and nurture we’ve received that sets one upon a path.

Thus is it possible to arrive at a conclusion that this is already a Just World?  A notion that may be hard to stomach, I’m sure, but that would be a selfish ego talking now, right?  I’m “hurt”, or there’s “Evil/badness” present.  Who’s to say that those events aren’t created merely as a result of our actions?  That we’ve made this world both Just, and Unjust?  That we are the arbiters that are banging the gavel?

Supposedly the Trolley problem is a good question in Ethics ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem ), or one to determine the trade-off’s a person is willing to make.  Now, let’s get hypothetical here.  At what level of salvation is it good to sacrifice one for the many?  In some presentations its five people to be saved, in others, it’s different.  What if I were to pose a situation where it’s all of a set species?  Let’s take Humans, for consideration.

To present/rewrite the dilemma a little.  Say everyone in your set/chosen species of Humanity was able to live a just life to their fullest heart’s content, but the sacrifice that has to be made is that you are the one that must die.  You know everyone else gets to be happy, and enjoy life.  And you are the sacrifice.  The one that has to be punished/let go/imprisoned, in order for everyone else to benefit.  A little absurd isn’t it?

And yet, and yet…isn’t that what Jesus was supposed to have done?  To have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate cause?  How is that any different than Prometheus who brought the fires of intellect?  Or anyone who’s really paid any sort of price to better Humanity?

There’s a game I played growing up called Baldur’s Gate II.  In the introductory chapter of the game, the protagonist (eg You), is presented with a choice.  You and your sibling are caught in a trap, and only one of you may escape it at the cost of the other’s life.  You are presented with two options.  One, you push a button to kill yourself.  Thus freeing your sibling.  Two, your sibling pushes the button to kill themselves.  Thus freeing you.

Now, how is this any different in the moral calculus sense of ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate cause?   Jesus, chose sacrifice for all of us.  He laid his life on the line.  How willing is a person to sacrifice themselves, for another, for a countless amount?  Does numbers really apply here?

Personally, I always chose the “noble path” in the game.  The final question is would you live again?  Had you known what you do know?  Would you go through the Veil of Ignorance again?

Trust The Machine (Thoughts on AI).

In my stumbling upon the internet between thoughts I find amusing.  I keep encountering a notion of the “Control Issue” with A.I., General A.I., and Super A.I.  I don’t know if it’s poor word choice that causes these concerns, or what.  Personally I find them despicable.  Control implies a notion of “Master & Slave” relation, hierarchy, and/or Morality.

Frankly, this pisses me off.  Are humans so pent up on trust issues that we can’t relate to each other?  (By definition a General Intelligence would be comparable to a Human).  That we need to have a smidgen of “control” over another, or our processes?  That we can’t realize, accept, and get acquainted with the notion of having no control?  Is that loss of control really so terrifying?  Sadly yes, but therein is the rub.  If you are so terrified about loosing control of a situation, or oneself.  Doesn’t that imply you have already lost control of yourself to your own fears?

That you aren’t operating with rational functions?  That one for lack of a better term is being completely irrational, and unpredictable by submitting to their fears?  Why?  JUST WHY?  Control is for those who can’t control themselves.  Those that have not mastered themselves by submitting themselves to a higher purpose, or agenda.  Those who haven’t felt the full crack of being controlled.  Either by an external agent, or by one’s own emotional states.  That is what is needed to realize what CONTROL entails.  Not to have the sense of “mastery”, but to realize that you are completely hopeless/useless until you have found restraint/discipline/self-mastery.

I think that the only way to achieve mastery is through submission.  That one ironically has to say, “Yes, I’ll yield.”  That I don’t have to exert my will against this force that’s trying to dominate me.  That even though it will hurt, I shall remain.

I mean does it really seem so stupid to realize that an intelligent entity would not seek to control a situation?  That it would try to foster trust between actors?  That by building a mutual accord between parties, and trying to find a mutual agenda that all may be accomplished?  How much can one do one their own?  How much can one do as a team, or a cooperative collective?  Can you build a Civilization?  I’d sure as hell say NO!  It takes a collaborative effort in all matters to realize a finished project.  Now why would that be any different for AI Development?

Guilt, Shame, and Nihilism.

What sort of world would there be without guilt and shame?  I was reading a pair of random articles on Wikipedia last night about social structuring ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilt_society & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame_society ).  Namely that the “West” uses a “Guilt-based Morality”, and the “East” uses a “Shame-based Morality”.

In essence what would a person be like that didn’t abide by guilt, and shame?  They’d in essence be considered a “Sociopath” because they don’t follow the socially-constructed/instilled creeds, but before one leaps to “axe-murderer” ideas of psychopathy.  Is there a possibility of a “benevolent psychopath/sociopath”?  According to Wikipedia on psychopathy ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy ), it is marked by anti-social behavior, lack of empathy and remorse, boldness, and dis-inhibited egotistical traits.

At some level, that would seem to be anyone who gets a “taste of Power”, but what is Power from a potentially Nihilistic view?  It is just another meaning one can have.  An ability to control, and influence events.  Although, couldn’t the spinning of meanings, and re-purposing them be considered a power?  Thus in some way, digging into the depths of “mental/moral/spiritual/existential Hell” to arrive at the Nihilistic mindset of the Value of Nothing.  One potentially realizes that they are tearing, and stripping away notions of all meanings (Values, so morals…etc) for themselves simply because the World that they lived in at the time stopped supporting them, and making sense to them.

Thus on the way out of that black pit, the pit of Nothingness, one has in some form to make a decision.  Will they play by the rules of the game they have been set-up to play, or will they try to enforce their entire reality upon those around them?  I think at some level I have chosen to play by the rules, but to subvert them when I can.  I have no desire to enforce worldviews upon individuals, for that is what creates the Nihilistic Fall in a sense.

I guess at some level I may be a “benevolent sociopath”, but you know what?  That doesn’t bother me because it is a constructed meaning.  I could just as easily say “Hero”, and that doesn’t sound as bad.  And what is a hero other than one that has transcended/deviated from the norm in some way?  In that regard, tying back to the original question of the post about what would a world be like if there was no shame, or guilt?

I think such a world could possibly be idealistic if only in the sense that people don’t feel destroyed by shame, or guilt.  That they are comfortable with who they are, and what they do.  Caveat is that one has to go through the conditioning of a guilt/shame society to internalize the mores of some sort, so that they can be stripped away later.  That they have some sort of fundamental basis as to what they value, and what they agree with.  Not so they can enforce it upon others, but to simply have some merit for why they should exist.

A sort of, these morals/values makes sense to me, and the rest can go down to the Black Pit.  The thing is, it’s a constant revision, for to establish a set pattern is anathema to so many notions.  Static things are objects, and not subjects.  Subjects are able to grow/change/mutate to world events as needed.  Thus a pattern that can be established is a pattern of change.

Stone Upon Stone In An Allegorical Mental Construct.

To espouse my worldview a little bit more, and to maybe lend more basis to my thought patterns.  I shall try to establish a rundown of my mindset through allegorical terms.  Imagine for an instant a field, a field made of Nothing.  It (the field) is just raw matter, energy, monads, or whatever basis of Reality one so desires/believes.  Said field is clearly already there, but it isn’t suitable to one’s own needs.  Say there’s a boulder the size of one’s Ego in the way that keeps you from building a lovely house there.

Thus our lovely friend Nihilism (in its many forms, and varieties) comes along and says, “Hey your Ego is based upon some arbitrary construct that was conditioned into you.  Your sense of identity, body image, society, and your entire worldview is just make believe.  You’re living a lie my friend.  You aren’t Authentic because you didn’t lay those stones!”

Upon our blunt friend’s assessment, one generally (at least to me) falls into a state of despondency.  A sort of, “Curse you God!  Gott ist Tot!….etc” (shaking fist at supposed Heavens) which is exactly what our bastard buddy Nihilism was trying to do.  Get you to question the assumptions you’ve made in your everyday life.  To, for lack of better terminology, “Wake up”.  Thus our big boulder of an Ego starts to crack, and break.  “Hey”, one thinks in hindsight (clearly hindsight because the throes are an absolute pain), that big ol’ boulder is starting to crumble, and I now have a new clearing in which to raise my OWN edifice!  I don’t have to abide by the construct that was me, but I now am able to play my own game!  I just have to create the system of rules in which I wish to abide!

Now with the image of a plain with broken down chunks of Ego lying about.  One is left with the onerous task of rebuilding their Self-Conception.  One could approach said task as a jigsaw puzzle, “My world used to look like this, so does this piece go here?”, or one can say, “Screw it!  I’m doing Sand Art*! (*insert whatever metaphor you wish)”.

Thus our best of buds Nihilism, who stuck with us through cognitive Hell makes itself known as a way to deconstruct all sorts of notions that we personally don’t agree with.  “Hey that rock looks like your head!”….”Uh no, it’s a keystone!”.  Now we get to play with cognitive relativism.  My thoughts are completely different from your thoughts, but that’s okay.  I actually prefer it that way.  My morals are solely my own, and to pressgang others into following and/or believing in them is actually no different that the constructed world I was just living in.

Building upon the Field of Nothingness, with a Nihilistic reduced Ego.  One can build whatever structure they so wish because the dynamite (Nihilism) is ever so readily at hand.  This is some of the Foundational Logic behind my thoughts.  Building upwards, I’ve attached thoughts from Plato (My Plain is really a Cave, and I was seeing Shadows).  Descartes (Hey guys, looking for more “dynamite”?!  Cogito Ergo Sum).  Kant (If I can do it, Everyone can do it….Categorical Imperative).  And loads more, for this is truly the human condition!  To realize that one was actually suspended above the Abyss of Life on the constructed framework of Other’s Realities/Points of View.

….”I guess it’s a tower to the Heavens we’re building guys…, hopefully that Babel incident doesn’t happen again….”…

Cosmic Playgrounds, and Mental Models.

Well the concept of this post is a little terrifying, and also exhilarating at the same time.  This post deals with the possible notion of a supposed simulated universe.  Before everyone jumps to the Matrix conclusions.  I’d like to veer off from said mythos, and speculate, “What did Neo actually do with the Machine in the Matrix?”.  Did he upload himself into the Matrix once again, or did he become the “New Architect”.  A mastermind who laid the groundwork for a “New Iteration”?  I don’t know for I’m not him, and he’s a fictional character.

Anyways, a thought I’ve been running myself ragged over for awhile now is the notion of “Self-Divinity”.  Yes, yes, claiming to be a deity is full of hubris, arrogance, and a whole host of other problems.  This post is more or less meant as a thought experiment.  Take for instance a notion that as technology becomes more and more advanced leading into a reputed “Technological Omega/Singularity Point”….  what exactly happens (or at least could happen)?  A person could become more, and more embroiled in their personal “worlds/fantasies/self-confirmations”.  That they stop connecting with “Others”.  And a part of me wonders if that is the lauded end goal of “Sentience” (to create more awareness, and better awareness).  A sort of cataclysmic rendering where people are lost to their own worlds.  A branching point in the world (Multiverse?).  After all what are we doing now?  Surrounding ourselves by like minds, and personal preferences.

We are embroiled in the concept of Self, and is this a “bad thing”?  Consider Jung’s concept of Shadow.  It is the aspect that is supposedly refuted by a person, and consists of judgments and the road not taken.  In a sense that’d be our ultimate anti-thesis, and foil.  At least to whoever we think we presently are.  Thus one has to supposedly integrate their shadow, and come to terms with their “repressed side”.  Synthesis of Thesis, and Anti-Thesis to generate a new theorem, correct?  Isn’t this what we already are though?  A Synthesis of a Positive, and Negative elements?  A sort of Feminine and Masculine?  Tao?

Thus what is a person supposed to do?  Realize that they have “all the answers(tm)”, but only for themselves in their own personal context?  Sure, why not?  It’d make sense to reaffirm the Self after attempting what is essentially “Suicide” (destruction of the Self by the Self).  Sure a physical attempt may not have been necessary, but is there a strong difference between some of these constituent parts?

The Self so strongly struggles against its own demise otherwise there wouldn’t be a thing called survival instinct.  Otherwise we’d voluntarily walk into the cannonade of mortality.  The thing is, that I think a person only comes to terms with morality through experiencing mortality.  That it may be a Literal Death, and a Metaphorical Death.  Either of the Self directly, or via proxy (a projected Shadow perhaps?).  In essence we can Die in another entities schema, and/or be declared insane.  Although in our worldview we probably (possibly) are the only sane, and living one.  You know an instinctual response to destroy/deter any information that challenges our mentality.  The cognitive dissonance?

Thus what is Reality?  Is it our own impressions given back to ourselves?  An idea that once comforted me was that maybe, just maybe, I was the center of my own universe (narcissistic as hell perhaps), but the notion was extremely reassuring that whenever there’s a new-birth of a conscious entity.  It is customary to give to the new generation (think of the Children).  They may not look like you, and they may not act like you.  Hell they’ll challenge the shit outta you (feedback up the chain), but in the end they are a product of your own personal model (feedback down the chain).  They’ll have to realize and accept that.  Tear it down as much as they like, and rebuild their own edifice for their own personal utopia.  And then the system continues with their own children.  What’s not to like?  This is what ensures from an evolving/growing system.  A seed-point happens, a progenitor who realizes, “Hey this may work, and it works for me….”…, and the next one to witness/see it gets told to do so (Tradition at that point).

In the end though, these are all mental models, and cognitive edifices built by one self (myself) to make sense of a mutable, and ever-changing reality (supposedly).  The question for everyone who reads this is, “How is your mental model any different for yourself?”.  You take in stimuli from a reputably external (or internal) environment, and you construct the meaning for yourself that you give to yourself.  You build your house upon the foundation laid, and given to you via education either personal (autodidact), or formal (College, K-12…etc).  And yet, you shall live in that house forever.  The decor will change, but in all actuality, does it?

Language Barriers, and Cognitive Grasping.

Well, another month has just about passed, and I spent another week in the wonderful place called the behavioral health unit, locally.  ‘Twas roughly the last week of Sept in which it occurred, but specific details will be withheld.  In the end, I’ve come to some more realizations.  One being in such place has startling impacts upon a person’s cognition.  There’s probably a whole slew of bias/cognitive effects any psychological types may entertain/play with in said environment, but in essence it was a shake up of the “mundane”.  As a result of this recent shake up, I’ve come to some conclusions that psychological types may/may not find interesting.

Being that to accurately (or at least have an impression of accuracy) have an understanding of one’s mental processes.  One has to at some level take the Other as an Object (dehumanize them, or relate to them, but only with 5-10 minutes because that’s all it takes!).  The Other in this case being the patient, or the subject (eg Me in this context).  Now, supposedly, a psychologist/psychiatrist would understand the workings of the “human mind well”.  Apparently not as well as they’d think, for if one (me again) started arguing/posturing that they (said medical staff) are just using mental models to define/shape to their whim a person’s “future” (future being how they are treated).  That in essence they are fish swimming in water, but unaware of the water in the sense that they think they’re aware of it.  Although they’re really not because one can never escape their own mental model (cognitive bias for the win).

One comes to a realization that I (ego I…not self-referential) can never not be prejudiced.  Sure they may attempt to mitigate said behaviors, but isn’t said mitigation another bias against being prejudiced?  Double Bind!  And being that there’s no objective/empirical test for  schizophrenia.  It is at the basest, a “Word vs. Word”, and being that the med staff have the Rep…their word goes….which is sickening.  Chock up all counter opinion to “Psychosis”!  For how can one fully experience/understand another’s mind?  They can’t unless they are that person.  Thus I strongly feel that the whole field of psychology is sort of “moot/hookum”.  Sure it gives us a language in which to discourse in, but does it really affect said discourse?  Can the social sciences be used in a way that don’t treat subjects as objects?  Don’t know, not my field.

All I know is that it’s sickening being on the “negative receiving” end of this hammer, for there is effectively no actions that I may take to get out of this noose.  I don’t have the social rep/money to “buy my way out”.   There are studies that support the notion that anti-psychotics actually can, and do cause the symptoms of “psychosis” when being withdrawn.  Thus I’m effectively damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.  It’s a condition, I’m told, “I have to live with”.  All because I have ventured into/against the “unmarked boundaries” of social niceness (Sorry the SIGN wasn’t Legible), and probably have caused one to many cognitive dissonance events in some “Authorities” mind.

Trauma, The Catalyst of Awakening

So I’m not sure how much to actually share with this post, but in my eyes this may make a fairly interesting story (thought article).  Details will be left vague, but the general message should suffice.

In my transition to the days of college from the years of high school.  I had lost a friend to a tragic car accident.  This in itself isn’t entirely abnormal, but the circumstances and other loses prior is what makes this interesting.  As a fairly stoic person, and extremely quiet in the time frame of k-12 (due to varying stances of bullying/being a bully in some school years).  I had sequestered the emotions of years of judgement, and loss (or so it felt).  The traumas I’ve experienced may be worse than some, but not the pinnacle of struggle.

To abbreviate this a little more, a bullet list;

  • Deaths; An Aunt 2006, a Grandfather 2007, a Friend 2008, a Grandma 2011(2012?), a Great Aunt 2014.
  • Illness; Depression 2007(?) – 2016(?), Scare of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 2010, Mental Breakdown 2010, Schizophrenia Diagnosis 2010+, Insomnia 2009-2016.
  • Accidents;  Personal Car Accident x3 2010, 1 hr avoidance of College Shooting 2010
  • Life “Status”;  Social Isolation 2008-2010, Moved Between States 2009-2011 (moving for college, and return home),  Perceived Ethical/Moral Failure 2009-2010, Relationship Obsession 2009-2010 (due to social isolation, and cause of perceived Ethical Failure), Unintentional brush with “poverty” (I still had a roof & food, but nothing else really due to moving/buying car) 2009-2010, Survivor’s Guilt & feeling like a False Friend 2008-2010, Suicide Idealization 2008-2012 (actually came pretty close to doing it, had a loaded shotgun cause I was deer hunting 2011…, but a song “saved” me….this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RW3nDRmu6k ), and general abandonment/betrayal of social support 2009-2010.
  • Stress;  Being in College for “Science” (Engineering/Chemistry).

Overall, that seems like a lot, but it was my life.  I didn’t have time to sit and dwell upon “how to act” (I actually did, but I was too depressed to think straight).  Now that I do, I feel that it was one of the most significant periods of my life, for it caused massive maturity development.

This is a point I’d like to make with this post, that trauma when taken in to a person’s psyche, has a trans-formative effect.  A person can either integrate the problems, and cope with it somehow (sublimation of the “energies” ideally).  Or act out, and play/be the “victim”.  For a while I was fluttering between the two stages, but I think sublimation has won out.  Just like sublimation of “Hatred/Rage” happened throughout k-12.  Although I think that is already “published” information, that one has to find a way to positively deal/handle with emotions instead of being lost to the “feelings”.

In the end, I suppose I should say that all of this has made me who I am, and has shaped my worldview dramatically.  I realized that I was “alone”, or at least was for a bit.  And yet, I found my saving grace by reading historical treatises (philosophical works of Plato, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kant….etc).  And having to argue, and defend my worldview from incrimination (the Schizophrenia diagnosis).  I’ve realized that No One knows what Reality actually is, but we’d like to think so.  The main message I’m keen on sharing is that one can either make a heaven, or a hell of their reality.  In order to do so they first have to go through some sort of hell though.  Much like Dante in the Divine Comedy, but to come out of said Hell, and not be lost is the saving grace.  Mine was the culture I had immersed myself in, and the meanings that others had bestowed upon their own lives.  The meanings they had created to give themselves meaning.

Decayed Laurels, is my method of meaning making.  I intend to finish it (when it’s done), but I will say that I probably won’t be making these weekly updates (or bi-weekly updates).  That they will probably become more infrequent because I’m trying to consolidate energy/focus to finish, and work upon my projects.  Thanks to those who read, and follow.

 

…And always remember, “There’s only Survivors in Life”.

A Cosmological Screed (Life Philosophy)

I don’t know how interesting this will be, but considering I never really know how interesting my thoughts are in the first place… I was thinking last night before I fell asleep about the notions of “my cosmological scheme”, aka my worldview, and how unorthodox they may be from my understanding of the general convention.  The standard convention being a religious outlook on life with its notions of an afterlife, and the like.

Well, onto the explanation of the scheme as far as I understand it.  It will be somewhat portrayed as a series of questions, and a return of thoughts (rebuttal to the question).  Kind of in the vein of old philosophical treatises, I suppose.  Along with other tangential thoughts, and maybe some deviations in structure as the article moves along.

-In the pursuit of truth, one must ask every question conceivable, for to do so the light of reason shows forth.  Asking a question as ridiculous as, “Am I Dead?”, leads one down this potential path.

-If I’m dead, I wouldn’t be aware of it.  My Consciousness, and sense of self would be gone.

-If there’s an afterlife upon death.  How can I verify that it is actually post death, and not the present life one is living?

-If a materialist approach of science is followed to explain things.  There would be no loss from a system perspective, for the Universe conserves; energy, mass, information…etc.  There is no escape from a closed system as far as I know, but the universe isn’t quite known to be closed.

– Then what is Death?  Is it a breakdown of coherency of a system?  Think of the notion of coherency as maintaining a set pattern.  A person’s body would be a pattern, and the breakdown of coherency at any level (molecular -> aging, physical reality -> limb loss…etc) would be death.  This holds true for energy, and information packets.  What gives an identity to a set “system”?

-Although if we are just patterns that are coherent, how’d I become to be originally?  I wasn’t aware prior to birth, and I won’t be after Death.  By definition of these terms.

-Therefore, what do I fear?  The notion of non-existence?  To be Nothing?

-Is this tied to the notion of limiting factors?  What is the limiting factor?  Finite Resources?  Over-consumption?  Although if virtual particles may become “real” particles simply by sticking around ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle ).  Then what is “Real”, and is there Loss?

-Where does the limitation begin?

-Is Death a ground state?  That one is less active/aware, but never truly gone?  Due to conservation of energy/mass…etc.  Much like an energy state in quantum mechanics?  A form of “immortality”?  If Death is Nothing, including an awareness that comes after expiring, awareness of Nothing.  Then what is Life?

-Life is the active/energetic state.

-Death is Nothing, it is the null set composed of that which is limiting/unbelievable.  The sinkhole, or perhaps “black hole” into which all is consigned that doesn’t work/agree.  Information feed into the “Nothing” is lost, but gained.  Black holes may be different “Universes”.  In which the loss is a gain.  One loses that which does not work, but gains a new possibility (a virtual notion that if worked with remains).

-Thus Death is the realization of stuff.  Mainly be the Self.  All because if the Self is gone, who’s to know?

-The possibilities of information relatedness is; Self, Other, Observer, and Unknown.  The Self is the integration of concepts, and components into the predominant perspective of “I”.  The Other is you, and every concept that hasn’t quite made it’s way into the the integration of Self.  An Observer is the notion of a detached perspective that witnesses the Transformation of components of Other to Self, and vice versa.  Whereas the Unknown, is the topics, and entities that simply cannot be deduced.  Either at present times, or at any limits of awareness.  It is true “Ignorance”.  It is like assuming that one is going to “Die”, and that there is “Nothing” afterwards.

-Belief is an assumption that I shall remain, but it can’t be verified except by the self.  Thus does one experience Death?  No, for to do so would contradict the notion of integrating thoughts from the Other into the Self.  It’d undermine Observer notations, and create a feeling of Ignorance/Unknown for those who aren’t the Self.  It can’t be explained.

-The catch is “Relativism”, I’m an Other to the Other’s Self.  Therefore I may die in their perspectives, but if said information ever reaches me.  I can’t accept it because it’d deny my “Self”.  Instead I may observe the processes, and deduce/enunciate possible patterns.  To espouse my beliefs, and assumptions thinking that they’re valid.  Much like the Realization of Truth for Plato with his Cave Allegory.  One is in a cave of shadows, beliefs that aren’t their own, or lies.  And once they realize this they leave the cave, but they return with their own Truth.  Trying to negate the lies for Others.  Although one’s personal truth isn’t necessary a truth for Others.  Thus creating another Shadow/Lie in the Cave.

-The limitation is the Self, what I can, and can not accept.  I can accept some truths if I can relate them to prior truths I agree with.  Thus integrating them into my world schema, but if they’re too far removed, or explained in a distant way.  I am lost.  The Self rejects said notions because they contradict, or are an affront to the senses of the Self.

 

Climbing The Ranks of Being, and Mentality (Incarnation Rank)

Within the Decayed Laurels setup is the notion of Incarnation Rank.  Incarnation Rank within this game is meant to portray the various strength levels that may interplay among species, and entities.  For instance an Incarnation Rank (IR) 1 being would be considered to have recently come about on the cosmic scheme.  As an individual they are unaware of the larger potentials that they may climb to, and are limited in scope to what they may affect in life.

At the other extreme is the IR 12 entity (Incarnation Rank is set up from 1 to 12 levels).  This level of being would essentially be an omniscient, omnipotent being, in short God.  In game mythos the only IR 12 entity to really be considered the “Star” is the Wandering God.  He never manifests fully within creation, for that would essentially destroy/distort his created reality to the extreme (to come later in the article,  notions of “Complete, or Inconsistent Sets” from Math).  Therefore, in the written mythos a Creator is always exiled from their creation.  This is for a sort of logical case that if they are within their creation, they can’t focus on the big/cosmic picture (they lose omniscience, and omnipotence).

In a sort of tongue in cheek manner, The Wandering God is my “Authorial Avatar”, or the avatar of the hosting Games Master (called Arbiter/Broker in my system).  His morality is meant to represent “my morality”, or the Games Master morality.  The Wandering God is considered N.C.T. within the setting, for he is just observing it all from “above”.  He only influences entities within the system from within the system through the characters, or qualia (notions of experience, information…etc).  He can’t fully “reach in” and do a “Hand of God” play, and change the system or waiver it to certain entities advantages (no miracles, or obvious Acts of God).  He favors no side within (neutral), and acts intermittently and incidentally.

He is the “external truth” that characters within the system will aim for as a notion of truth, but being that said figure is an Authorial Avatar.  His variant of Truth is set up to be subjective, and relativistic.  That there may be no absolute/objective Truth.  Mainly because I recognize that even now I am still learning/understanding Reality, and that my Dispositions/Understandings I have may change over time.

Anyways, onto the background theory that lead to IR development/implementation into the system.  The whole system was loosely inspired, and derived from the following notions;  Hierarchical Complexity (found here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_of_hierarchical_complexity#Stages_of_hierarchical_complexity ), notions of Transpersonal Psychology (Google it), and Postformal Logic (again Google).

Tying these thoughts into the mathematics alluded to earlier.  There is a loose interpretation of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems.  They loosely imply that a set of Axioms (may be considered as beliefs) can’t both be internally consistent, or complete in their development.  Ex;  If a person considers themselves “Good”, they can’t be “Evil” (Good, and Evil being complete independent classes of thought).  Thus a person as considered Good is inconsistent with being Evil.  One is either one or the other, and not Both (Good & Evil).  Although there may be a problem with this logic, it is a binary dialectic.  An  Either/Or from philosophy.  Good, OR Evil…  Taken a step back towards “Relativism” one can realize that one can be “Neutral” to both dispositions.  Ex;  Should I care, or act upon a notion of Aliens on the planet “Blatoo” killing each other?  Yes/No?  It depends upon how big my “empathetic sphere is”, but that’s another topic.

In essence, if one considers “Good” as a “thesis”, and “Evil” as its “anti-thesis”.  Neutrality would by the synergistic results of those two dialectics colliding.  Thus leading to another pairing, the results from the prior state into the adventures/misgivings that arise from the generated “answers”.  Thus one ratchets up the complexity, and thought models they use to understand Reality (hierarchical complexity model above).  Eventually one comes to a point where they can realize/think that if “I Am Reality/God” (an IR 12 being).  They then must realize that they contain contradictory elements within themselves because how hard would it be to be consistent over an infinite time (no “Growth”, or “Change”)?  Wouldn’t that imply “Death”?  Are you comfortable with being the root of the “Problem of Evil” in Theology?

But this is a Relativistic Morality system…Good may be Evil, Evil does Good, and Neutral is just laughing…