► In MY #1 essay below, I am creating my own 2017 version of a "lost" 2000-year-old treatise I think Epicurus (3rd c. BC), might have written, in which he could have and should have told , and (for all I know) did tell his followers to forget the stars, the Greek atomists, and all the other scientists, priests, and even those philosophers who were really astrologers, come back down to Earth, to their own short life spans and their own small measure of planetary space (the then livable though now dangerously over-fixed eco-world humans still live in) and fix THAT and their uncivilized ways of living. Epicurus didn't know about eco-systems, but if he were alive and writing today, he would, and I think he'd be writing something like the essay below. I'm also proving here that language (at least English) is superior to math, and that all the integers and equations of sensible, usable math (NOT the mataphysical flourishes of today's "scientist"/astrologers) are only flat, iconic symbols of visual and verbal concepts more effectively explainable in English. SO NOW, now that you hopefully realize (or now that I've told you) that it's good English that holds the key, NOT a movie blackboard full of incoherent chalk marks, you can start your philosophical positioning experience by reading every word in the essay below, tracing every syntactical pattern, and logically linking all the paragraphs; until you understand it thoroughly; and, then, by reading it again. -Glen Roberts
Basic Principles (Philosophical And Scientific)
From Eternity & Infinity To Here
The eternal and infinite universe consists of endless space occupied by an incalculable amount of physical matter, the endless motion and clustering of which requires endless time.
Certainly locally (within telescopic view from Earth), and just as certainly generally (within philosophical view from Earth), even though the entire universe is too big to think or speak or sensibly care about, clouds and clusters of existing matter throughout the universe fluctuate between states of apparent flux (not chaos) and apparently more sophisticated order.
The universe and the matter it hosts are coincidental rather than accidental, and the endlessly redundantly circular revolution, devolution and evolution of the motion-created material clusters occupying it are strictly governed by the blind but rigid laws of physics.
All the above is self-evidently true, because the selection of English language I'm using to describe it here is comprehensive of all the missing details and clearly complements the over-all reality that humans whose brains work recognize as coherent and relevant to the universal reality they KNOW prevails.
That's all humans need to know about the universe, just enough to X out gods. Of course there must be zillions of details, if you're interested, but practically speaking, humans will never figure out enough to understand the entire universe, and the universe doesn't need to be understood by humans, anyway, nor vice versa. Stars and space go on forever, after all, while the life-bound Earthbound humans I'm addressing don't live either forever or out among the stars; they only live briefly on Earth, a situation to which they'd be far better off paying whatever attention they HAVE to pay.
Viable, unified, somewhat durable structures and inter-relationships come about when matter coincidentally clusters together in patterns, the form and motion of which allow them to stay temporarily together because they fit together. Thus we have stars, solar systems, galaxies, planets, and on some planets (one at least): oceans, continents, eco-systems, and the structural possibility of humans and their brains.
This is not a plan. It just happens because it can happen or not happen within the possibilities and limitations of coincidence. What is is. What is not is not. What can happen happens or doesn't happen. What cannot happen doesn't happen. Nothing happens in order to persist. Many perfectly viable things DON'T happen simply because they don't happen; and many perfectly viable things happen that don't persist, and many things that persist DO persist probably BECAUSE they are more viable than other things that did not or don't. But it's not a plan. What happens happens.
Notably, I'm editing, NOT necessarily Darwin himself, but probably popular assumptions that evolution is somehow teleological. It's not. It can't be. What happens happens.
Life begins when matter clusters together in a way that makes life possible and moves in a way that makes life possible, and then, in that particular moving aggregate, comes to life as a subtext of the universe, which subtext is governed by a subtext of the laws of physics, i.e. the laws of biology.
Then, as a SUB-subtext, the near infinite potential of coincidence obviously allows the formation of sentient beings - who think - and even conceive, plan, and construct other things - often to no good purpose.
There's no point in arguing about it. All this is self evident because stars, planets, thinking humans, and (therefore) gasoline combustion engines and governments DO exist and, in fact, their self evident existence clearly refutes the pompous claims of second-rate philosophers that nothing is self evident. And, furthermore, though it may be interesting, like the first 4 paragraphs above about the entire universe, it's not practically important to contemporary philosophers, because there's nothing they can do about it.
But, the next paragraph is different, or seems to be. What follows becomes more and more important, as this essay becomes more and more contemporarily relevant to the actual possibilities open to realistic progressive activists. Clearly, humans with the brains to do it can make changes, because they have done so, though they've usually made messes. They can only do what they CAN do, but they can do things. Besides philosophizing about the natural order, they can philosophize about what needs changing, and they can do things that actually change the natural order. THEY HAVE DONE THAT, so obviously they can.
Philosophy (self evidently) begins at the level of and ONLY in the minds of sentient beings sophisticated enough to philosophize, who logically and (relevant to themselves) then rightly consider themselves and their purposes all-important They are right because the universe doesn't think or feel OR PROHIBIT, OR REGRET. Stars and planets don't think or feel. Other sentient animals think and feel but do not think philosophically. Philosophical thought (including invention and planning) only takes place inside and, therefore, purpose and importance only exist inside the separate brains of sophisticatedly sentient beings. There is no cosmic purpose or importance OR APPROVAL OR REGRET. Purpose and importance (and regret, though there's been little evidence of THAT) are the exclusive property of sophisticatedly sentient beings (on Earth, humans), to rank and do with as they wish.
SO, humans CAN reach out into their surroundings, push, pull and rearrange existing elements in order to create civilized enclaves, where-in they can make their own rules to make life and death comfortable for humans, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T PULL THE NATURAL ORDER DOWN ON THEIR HEADS. Obviously, (though what happens happens) such projects should not be done democratically. Such stuff should be done only by humans who can think very clearly.
But humans don't think with equal clarity, and some of them (most, in fact) so self-evidently need to be helped, that they almost ALWAYS (perhaps instinctively) GET help from a FEW humans who may half-logically consider themselves a naturally necessary element in a human social construct that keeps the construct TOGETHER by making it fit together as a system, but who are also individuals with individual purposes (sometimes brilliant but often not well or honestly conceived) for providing that help.
Historically, humans have gotten very little of the help they need from the benign, clear-thinking minority qualified and willing to help them constructively. Unfortunately, most of the help most humans have gotten, during all their history on Earth, has been the base but constant propaganda of rich insiders (through the media they own); the insane but never-ending blabber of religious charlatans; the stern but stupid admonitions of foot-dragging conservatives; the piously nice but anti-logical slogans of liberals; and even (also usually unfortunately) the too narrowly technical, too often pseudo-progressive, usually irrelevant, and definitely too precious contributions of "scientists" who are themselves not as good at thinking as they should be.
The help humans NEED is the always available help of the almost always ignored but actually existing and actually benign philosophical geniuses among them who have always been able and willing to help them set aside their self-defeating get-rich-somehow and after-life fantasies and pointless preoccupation with the to-them-relatively-unimportant universe and to think and act, instead, for their OWN practical good and for the neglected health of the small but real world (just the eco-system on planet Earth) that they really live in and really depend on, and which NOW depends on them to keep it together by restoring its natural tendency to fit together in an ecologically viable way, WHILE sustainably accommodating a CIVILIZED enclave for ALL humans.
Addendum of very slight importance to me but probably, by your mistake, contemporarily important - or at least politically correct - to you:
Possibly lost in a blur of 21st century pseudo-thought, you may think that I forgot to mention that the universe is now supposed to be expanding. In fact, the #1 essay above, not a detailed but a comprehensive generalization, is absolutely true, while several recently popular, or at least famously trumpeted claims of modern "scientists" are NOT true. The universe, being certainly infinite, CANNOT expand, since it already occupies all the space there is, leaving no extra space into which to expand. Space cadets traveling to Planet X and back will NOT age (or de-age), in a funny way, even if living in empty space affects their guts strangely, but will continue to age at a normal rate starting from their dates of birth. There is no such thing as a curve in space or a space warp or warp speed. Time does not stop at the speed of light. Right now is and will continue to be the exact same right now no matter what brand of watch you're wearing in every part of the universe, no matter how far apart the parts may be. Each for-the-first-time-noticed star does NOT magically, on its discovery, become the new definer of the age and the boundary of the universe.
Mostly derived from science fiction, much of the spiel of modern "scientists" is just a con - to attract attention - OR, due to their own mediocre language skills, while imagining themselves to be using "math," these "scientists" are in fact mistakenly, because they don't understand the word, employing metaphysics -i.e. false logic - (astrology, as Epicurus called it). -Glen Roberts
Another addendum more interesting to me though maybe no more important than the previous:
Though his characterization of some philosophers as astrologers was in reference to thinkers wasting their time in his own day, a long time before the era depicted in the very good movie, "Agora," Hypatia, that movie's heroine was exactly that kind of time waster, while Orestes, in the same movie (though not well developed) was, until he was scared out of his wits by religion, almost an Epicurean, a type that probably existed plentifully in Hypatia's Alexandria. Though never very forceful, Orestes, in the movie, did try to persuade Hypatia that it was absurd to worry about planetary orbits while, all around her, religious nuts were brutalizing each other. I'll give you some points if you see a comparison to NASA's huge waste of money, resources and brains to send robots to Mars and rockets to Saturn, while lumpen humans on Earth are fighting endless wars and continually electing retarded presidents. -Glen Roberts
Diplomatic Grey (Initially a preface to: From Eternity To Here)
has been moved down so that you will read the #1 essay above first)
Just as any compromise between black and white will give you grey; and any compromise between grey and either black or white will give you grey, too; and any compromise between grey and grey will also give you grey - any diplomatic compromise between truth and denial will get you the same old grey chaos of self deception.
Of course there are times when truth seems to matter less than the smooth flow of human relationships, such as the famous occasion when Becky Thatcher tore a page in the teacher's prized anatomy book and Tom Sawyer told his heroic "white lie" and bore her punishment for her, and there are even truths that are better kept to oneself, such as, even, sometimes, the depth of an expediently dropped insult.
But when denial and deception, including even apparently trivial compromises, lubricate the path to barbarism, or, small as each separate lie may be, add up to a smoke screen behind which important truths are lost or the insidiousness of popular lies is hidden, then to keep what traction I've got on the pathway of truth that probably won't but could lead toward civilization, or, if that's vain, to at least protect the integrity of my philosophy and my credibility to myself, I prefer not to compromise the truth with diplomatic grey.
One more addendum in response to your question: who is Glen Roberts to be so high-handedly teaching people how to think?
NEW RAP POEMS AND OTHER HONEST OUTBURSTS
UNSPINNING OFFICIAL STORIES
To read all Unspinning Official Stories posts since, pick a year:
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CUBA: For a review and
dismissal of just a few common misconceptions about Cuba -
JUNE 2014: 10 DISHONEST OFFICIAL STORIES
so absurd that only a public eager to be fooled could believe them. Note: this page is under construction - CLICK
REVISED FEB. 2014: AN OPEN LETTER TO
THE HAVANA TIMES - CLICK
JAN. 2008: A FRIENDLY CRITIQUE OF
PRESS FREEDOM IN CUBA - CLICK
ENERO 2008: UNA CRITICA AMISTOSA SOBRE
PRENSA LIBRE EN CUBA - CLICK
2007 UPDATES FROM
CUBA: For a look at Cuba with Fidel on the
bench posted from the island in January and February 2007 -
2005: BIRDS &
BRUJAS IN ENCHANTED CATEMACO -
THREE APRIL 2005 LETTERS FROM CUBA:
Self-syndicated and offered
on the dates indicated to various U.S. media I knew wouldn't print
Human Rights in Cuba, April 14 from Havana - CLICK
Viva y Habla Fidel!, April 22 from Cienfuegos -
Elections in Cuba, April 29 from Havana -
2004: SOUTH AMERICA COMPARED TO CUBA:
In the summer and fall of '04, already familiar with Mexico and Central America and, to some extent, with Cuba, I
toured eight South American countries, to more effectively continue comparing what American media were then calling the "emerging
western style free enterprise democracies" to Cuba, which those same not-very-free media always dutifully called "the only country in the hemisphere
still not free." Since then, in a story blacked out for Americans by their not-very-free media, most of those countries, refusing to go on being arm-twisted by the US into censuring Cuba, are now beginning to follow Cuba's lead away from the US business-oriented government model toward "socially oriented" government. But in 2004, I learned more certainly what I already knew, that it should have been Cuba censuring the countries I was visiting,
since, in 2004 (though, thanks initially to Hugo Chavez, things are now slowly changing), only Cuba was free then of the oppressive attributes I found everywhere else in Latin America.
From Maracaibo - CLICK
From the Andes - CLICK
From the Cone" (includes South America
Other Informational Links
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