What is your view of humanity and life?
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01-09-2014, 06:06 AM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2014 06:16 AM by phil.a.)
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(31-08-2014 11:11 AM)Baruch Wrote:  
(30-08-2014 03:46 AM)phil.a Wrote:  I view humanity as a multi-perspective reality.

Humans aren't some sort of entity separate from the cosmos, exploring the cosmos.

We are the cosmos waking up to itself and getting to know itself.

It's possible to take many separate but truthful perspectives on what I, in essence "am".

Taking a journey into increasing levels of abstraction:

* I am this specific human body
* beyond that, I am human
* beyond that, I am life itself
* beyond that, I am biological evolution (the creator and context for life itself)
* beyond that, I am emergent complexity (that identity of mine goes right back into the big bang singularity)

These are all just different perspectives on what it is that I am.

Phil

What do you mean by "I"

I think that's a bit of a million dollar question, what is an "I"?

For myself, "I" mostly means the meaning-making process in my brain, combined with whatever things that process happens to be psychologically identified with (e.g. whatever it labels as "me", versus "it" or "them"). It's identified with physical stuff (this body), possessions (my house), relationships and friendships, also beliefs - and it becomes defensive if any of these identifications are interfered with by "other".

So I think that "I" is a construct. Something I've noticed about my "I" construct is that it keeps changing, there have been periods in my life when it's remained stable, perhaps for several decades, but then perhaps a sudden shift occurs which causes me to see reality and my place in it in a fundamentally new and different way. It went through a huge shift at mid-life, the whole of my reality went inside out, all of my givens came up in my awareness for examination and I started looking at reality through radically new eyes, seeing a new layer of complexity in reality which wasn't previously visible. I agree with what you said about subconscious, in fact - my mid-life point felt like it was a previously unseen layer in my subconscious actually rising up in my awareness, so I think that's a factor of development - digging up stuff inside myself that's unseen and making it conscious.

Regarding how the "I" construct changes over time, I find Cook-greuter's work on the subject quite meaningful. I can remember most of the stages I've been through - starting at around 2 where I had no clear differentiation of space or past and future time awareness, and the whole world was full of magic and spirits (psychological projections of my own as yet unconscious intentionality and will). By my 20's, space and time was clearly differentiated, and I was clearly differentiated as a separate entity within that. So I assumed that's "how reality really was" - until mid-life came, and another big psychological transformation occurred, and suddenly it looked completely different again (going out of the 'knowledge" zone into the "wisdom" zone on Cook-greuter's model completely re-frames space and time and my place in it).

Because the "I" construct keeps changing, I have to reasonably conclude it's not really my deepest identity. But then I started noticing that there were patterns in the way it transformed over time, and that there were things I could do to healthily support it's transformation. But that's a step into a more abstract "I" construct, since if I am now "the transformer", then I am no longer "the transformed", e.g. I am no longer this fixed and static human mind. Rather I am transformation, or emergent complexity. This isn't just an intellectual hypothetical btw, rather it occurred the other way around, a big perspective shift happened to me and on reflection I found myself explaining my brand new looking and awareness in the manner I have done above.

So that's how I am "evolution" (using that word more in the sense of "emergent complexity" than in the sense of genetically modifying myself, which clearly I can't do). But here's something I found an interesting reflection - there's an unbroken line of organic process connecting me with the very first prokaryote cell from which it seems all life may have descended. Non-stop cell division for 3 billion years and that prokaryote has transformed into me, in fact - it is me. We tend to delineate "birth" and "death" in terms of our bodies, but actually that's just a semi-arbitary categorisation our own mind has applied to the biosphere, actually you could look at it in a non body-centric framework simply in terms of cells, dividing and dying. That's happening all the time in my body, and yet I survive despite all of it.

I said I'm "life", but mean that in an abstract sense, don't reify it, I'm not making the claim that I am inside everyone's heads knowing what they know, clearly that's not the case. But in an abstract sense, I am "life" (we all are). Even though that's a highly abstract concept, again - I've had shifts in awareness where it's felt that a new I-construct of a higher order of complexity is looking through my eyes, so even though "life" is an abstract concept, there's a sense there of actually feeling it's embodiment.

Re the big bang singularity, as noted above - beyond my body/mind identity I found that there is a more abstract identity of "emergent complexity" or evolution/transformation or "life". But beyond even that I found there is a fully abstract (e.g. unrepresentable) identity, an identity which is timeless and spaceless. Despite all the changes and transformations that have happened to my "I" construct between the age of 2 and middle age, there is a strong sense of something in there at the bottom of it all that's completely unchanging, in some way - it's exactly the same subjective experience to be "phil" today as it was when I was 2 years old. Well, at my deepest point, that is who, or what, I really am!

With respect to my personal experience of that identity, i think Buddhist concepts of original face talk about this absolute part of the "I" pretty well!

I don't know if any of that makes any sense from inside your perspective, it's possible it won't make much sense I guess.

Phil
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19-11-2014, 08:39 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(28-08-2014 04:24 PM)acharvey Wrote:  Hello there.

As freethinkers, whether or not you've arrived at atheism from religion, how do you view humanity? I've found the term "humanity" to be very broad and general, which in this case I see as a good thing. You define "humanity" as it suits you. How do you view it according to your definition of the word?

How do you view empathy? As a former Christian, I would've said that I empathized with humans because that is how I was designed by God because through Jesus Christ, he was able to empathize with us. But now my understanding has changed. What do you think about it?

How do you view life as an atheist? Again, you define it how you choose.

Thanks for the responses in advance!

Pax Vobiscum,
Allen.
IMO person's degree of humaniiy is the way that person is bound to treat other people whereas empathy is the way you feel towads them.

"I don't Debate, I Discuss" I offer my opinions, and listen to yours, I will not require proof of opinions, but I may ask for clarification or state that I reject your position and why, & if asked, I will further clarify mine --- However, I reject any requirement that I PROVE my position is accurate and proper.
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19-11-2014, 09:02 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(19-11-2014 08:39 PM)doniston Wrote:  
(28-08-2014 04:24 PM)acharvey Wrote:  Hello there.

As freethinkers, whether or not you've arrived at atheism from religion, how do you view humanity? I've found the term "humanity" to be very broad and general, which in this case I see as a good thing. You define "humanity" as it suits you. How do you view it according to your definition of the word?

How do you view empathy? As a former Christian, I would've said that I empathized with humans because that is how I was designed by God because through Jesus Christ, he was able to empathize with us. But now my understanding has changed. What do you think about it?

How do you view life as an atheist? Again, you define it how you choose.

Thanks for the responses in advance!

Pax Vobiscum,
Allen.
IMO person's degree of humaniiy is the way that person is bound to treat other people whereas empathy is the way you feel towads them.
Apoarently I misundestood the part of speach you were referencing, Your question apparently was referring to people rather than the way they were treated. Sorry about that.

"I don't Debate, I Discuss" I offer my opinions, and listen to yours, I will not require proof of opinions, but I may ask for clarification or state that I reject your position and why, & if asked, I will further clarify mine --- However, I reject any requirement that I PROVE my position is accurate and proper.
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19-11-2014, 09:20 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
It's alright doniston (I keep reading your name as doinitson Laugh out load ) the OP hasn't been back since that one post.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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22-11-2014, 01:19 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(19-11-2014 09:20 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  It's alright doniston (I keep reading your name as doinitson Laugh out load ) the OP hasn't been back since that one post.
actually, you aren't far from the truth. I've been "doin it" for a long time. (getting on peoples nerve by being different. -luckily most of them only have one nerve left, so they can withstand the pressure) heh heh

Actually doniston is derived from a portion of my first and last names. Coined by a friend of mine, more than 60 years ago. don*** ***iston

"I don't Debate, I Discuss" I offer my opinions, and listen to yours, I will not require proof of opinions, but I may ask for clarification or state that I reject your position and why, & if asked, I will further clarify mine --- However, I reject any requirement that I PROVE my position is accurate and proper.
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24-11-2014, 01:28 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(28-08-2014 04:24 PM)acharvey Wrote:  You define "humanity" as it suits you. How do you view it according to your definition of the word?

Humanity: the quality or condition of being human. Not as good as being a god, better than being a bacteria. :-)

Humanity: all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind. The very worst to the very best I know is found within.

Humanity: the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence. Enjoy it very much.

**Definitions from dictionary.com

(28-08-2014 04:24 PM)acharvey Wrote:  How do you view empathy?

Associating our own experiences with the experiences of others.
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17-03-2015, 12:29 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
I understand why more than half (most?) of humanity feels the need for faith. 98% of people are either co-dependent or counter-dependent which has to do with incomplete separation from the Mom. We have a hard wired problem with being autonomous and inter-dependent. We are developing as a species - the next phase is to become inter-dependent with the cosmos and out grow our dysfunctional dependency on a deity.
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17-03-2015, 12:34 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(31-08-2014 09:03 AM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(30-08-2014 10:33 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  The only thing I'm in denial of is my stunning good voice and/or looks.

I deny it for the sake of appearing humble.

Ok, I see. Atheists are psychopaths.

Only some of us. And, like empathy, to different degrees.

'Murican Canadian
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16-09-2015, 07:54 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
(28-08-2014 04:24 PM)acharvey Wrote:  Hello there.

As freethinkers, whether or not you've arrived at atheism from religion, how do you view humanity? I've found the term "humanity" to be very broad and general, which in this case I see as a good thing. You define "humanity" as it suits you. How do you view it according to your definition of the word?

How do you view empathy? As a former Christian, I would've said that I empathized with humans because that is how I was designed by God because through Jesus Christ, he was able to empathize with us. But now my understanding has changed. What do you think about it?

How do you view life as an atheist? Again, you define it how you choose.

Thanks for the responses in advance!

Pax Vobiscum,
Allen.

To me the concept "humanity" is pretty much the same as the concept "man" . Man is the rational animal with volitional consciousness. That is his fundamental attribute. This is no way means that I think that all men are rational. The vast majority aren't. Rationality is a choice.

Empathy is an emotional response and as such it is not a primary. It depends on the values one holds. When I see someone in pain I feel sorry for them because pain is a disvalue. When someone is happy I feel happy for them because I value happiness.

I view life as the standard by which all other values are judged. I view it as the supreme value and irreplaceable. I see it as a great adventure.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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16-09-2015, 08:07 PM
RE: What is your view of humanity and life?
Humanity.
Wow what a question.
1. Fragile animals trying to survive a harsh world.
2, Confused as to why they exist.
3. Trying to solve the above, because it may seem pointless to exist only for a short time.
4. Aggressive.
5. Gentle.
6. Creative.
7. Joyous.
8. Sad.
9. Loving.
10. Caring.
11. Selfish.
12. Jealous.
13. Empathetic.
14. Opportunistic.
15. Humorous.
16. Ambitious.
17. Cruel.
18. Will to survive.
19. The wish to be happy and satisfied.
20. Frightened.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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