Basic Principles (Philosophical And Scientific)
From Infinity To Here
Diplomatic Grey (an important preface to: From Infinity To Here)
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 the price of art - or even, sometimes, the depth of an innocently 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.
From Infinity To Here
The infinite and eternal universe consists of endless space occupied by an incalculable amount of physical substance, the motion of which requires endless time.
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 patterns occupying it are strictly governed by the blind but rigid laws of physics.
Certainly locally speaking (within telescopic view from Earth), and, really, just as certainly generally (within philosophical view from Earth), even if the infinite whole really is too big to think or speak or sensibly care about, clouds of existing matter throughout the universe fluctuate between states of apparent flux (not chaos) and apparently more sophisticated order.
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, 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 (perhaps only in hindsight and maybe because it's somehow true) DO persist BECAUSE they are more viable than other things that did not or don't. But it's not a plan. 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.
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. 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. Purpose and importance are the exclusive property of sophisticatedly sentient beings (on Earth, humans), to rank and do with as they wish.
But humans don't think with equal clarity, and some of them (most, in fact) so self-evidently need to be helped, that they always (perhaps instinctively) GET help from a few humans who may be rightly considered 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 usually not well or honestly conceived) for providing that help.
Historically, humans have gotten very little of the help they need from the clear-thinking minority qualified and willing to help them constructively. Unfortunately, most of the (NOT needed) 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-technical, 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.
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