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prepping for tonight

So, let us assume for the moment that we exist in a fabricated reality - and the actions and interactions with both each other, and our environment have little bearing on the true state of our existence, short of death leading to a true termination on both planes.

If this is the case, then what hold should morality(even relative) have in the day-to-day existence? Should not everything break down into hedonistic impulse/instinct lifestyle?

I say:

None - lets go rob some banks with explosives!
Some - it keeps us (relatively) safer, therby prolonging existance.
Lots - The flow of the system depends on the invisible bonds! Snap them and it will all come tumbling down!

Some other option other than above.

Defend your answers, cuz you know I'm gonna be following up on this one.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2003 02:40 pm (UTC)
side note: doesn't everyone live an essentially hedonistic lifestyle already?
Nov. 6th, 2003 06:45 am (UTC)
hmm - depends on perspective
The confines fo the definition of hedonism I am working within: One who maintains that pleasure is the proper end of action; applied to the ancient Greek school of philosophers otherwise called Cyreniacs.

I tried to reinforce that by adding in impulsive... I think that the goal of many people's lives is a form of abstract hedonism - some big "goal" or "desire" to shoot for - what I am talking about is base impusive sensualism...without any reason to obey the "rules' of morality and reason, since everything as we know it was jsut revealed to be a VR simulation.

There are plenty of people who put off sensual or immidiate gratification with loftier aims or greater long-term payback in mind. Sometimes, however, they do not bear fruit. A true hedonist would take what they can as soon as they can, whenever they can, due to both the selfish nature of the philosophy, as well as the uncertainty of the future.

My two bits - I think society has become pretty gd close to this in a lot of ways (At least, the spam in my inbox seems to suggest) - but, there is still that few who put off the desires of the "now" in the hopes of a brighter afterlife... wonder what thouse folks would do?

Nov. 6th, 2003 10:47 am (UTC)
Re: hmm - depends on perspective
I'm not sure that your interpretation of the definition you presented in italics is correct; the proper end of your action could easily be pleasure regardless of it's proximity or even conscious action. so I guess in that respect it does depend entirely on perspective

my interpretation above is exactly my point, so you kind of have to have a feel for that first.

I also think that a 'true hedonist' would _more_likely_ be a connoisseur type of individual - walk into the Frick sometime and tell me that because this man put off so much pleasure for the later returns makes him less truly a hedonist =]

despite this, a line of demarcation probably has to be drawn where hedonism starts and ends though or else it becomes an entirely relative term(which I suppose it might be anyway - different discussion) and 'true hedonist' then means 'flagrant hedonist' with the other end of the scale calling me a hedonist because breathing leads me eventually to pleasure. that is absurd.

there might be a lot of truth in this however, since the smell of hedonism (fragrance - ha)is largely a disdain for the flagrance of it all, wouldn't you say?

the main point of my 'isn't everybody hedonistic' comment is that it seems apparent that at least a plurality of the energy expended in our culture is directed toward pleasure (in the short or long term) that has nothing to do with survival, or any aspiration to loftier spiritual or altruistic goals. how much of your income do you spend on gadgets? how much of mine do I spend on adrenaline? who owns sean john gear? gold caps on the teeth?

as another aside, it is just as easy to argue that asceticism misses the point of life as hedonism then and I don't have any satisfactory answer to that puzzle other than the two concepts are there and the right course of action (morally speaking - which I think was the more important part of your original question) is to be suspended by the tension between them.
Nov. 10th, 2003 11:36 am (UTC)
time and hedonism
you got me on the Frick - it is truly difficult to define a hedonistic outlook over a lifetime - it is easier in a compressed window of hypothesis - but even there answers are dancing on plate-glass.

your hedonism/astericism idea is a whole other thread, one which I will repost shortly - however, as it relates to this post, I will rephrase:

Would the reveleation that your existance is the hallucination of your true self, a brain in a jar which can do nothing but sit in bubbling soup until death OTHER than hallucinate, change the way you live your life. This takes into account the fact that you cannot know if everything in your reality is an extension of your hallucination, or if you are in a shared hallucination, where other beings are the projections of other brains in jars (a la matrix).
Nov. 5th, 2003 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ok, this one got me. First of all, I’m having a really hard time thinking about a fabricated reality. I can imagine animate beings living in many dimensions – perhaps the 15th or the 100th – but to live in no dimension is throwing me somewhat. If this fabrication is “peopled” with animate beings, no matter if it is fabricated, to the animate beings “living” in this plane it will be reality even if it’s not reality for the fabricators.

Secondly, you say, “short of death leading to a true termination on both planes.” I happen to agree with you that death is a true termination on whatever plane, although there are those who would most likely disagree with this premise. However, believing as I do that death is final, I can think of a number of things worse than death. Therefore, given free reign and assuming you are talking about such imperfect beings as we are, I believe that this fabricated reality (reality is a very important word here) would break down into complete chaos.

Lastly, given the fact that I’ve been around in our reality for a very long time, morality now (relative to say 50 years ago) is quite hedonistic, if not in reality then in visibility. That visibility is, to a great extent though not altogether, that which keeps things from falling into chaos.
Nov. 6th, 2003 06:39 am (UTC)
"fabricated reality"
what i am suggesting is a modification of the brain-in-the-jar scenario. the reality we are experiencing is a psyche projection of our essence, which is rotted in biological matter which has little/nothing to do with the "plane" the psyche interacts with "reality" in. However, if either the brain dies, or the psyche die, both die.

What I am asking is, if it were to come about that you became aware that you are a brain in the jar - would you continue "living"? If so, how?
Nov. 6th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
Re: "fabricated reality"
In other words, the reality is that I'm a brain in a jar, but what I thought was my life as a living being is just a projection of that brain, and that nothing short of death will affect the brain in the jar? Does that mean the brain is not aware of anything I do other than dying? Are the other living beings around me also projections of other brains in jars, or am I alone in this state of "being" caught in someone else's reality?

Would I continue "living" you ask. Yes, I would. Just because I'm not "real" doesn't mean that I would all of a sudden turn into nothing of my own free will. Obviously I have feelings of some sort or else this would be a moot point. I suppose only the brain in the jar could stop me from "living."

If so, how?

If I am alone in someone else's reality, a lack of personal morality might not hurt me, but if I'm the only one breaking the rules, life might not be too pleasant after awhile.

If I am in a "reality" with other beings just like me (projections of brains in jars), and so morality or the lack thereof would seem not to affect anything real (our brains), perhaps morality would completely break down. However, living in a society with no rules, even in VR I would think, would eventually lead to complete chaos at which point the need to survive might take over and force some sort of moral code.

In short, although the brain in the jar is the true reality and has little to do with my poor psyche, I doubt that I would live my life much differently no matter what, other than perhaps taking more risks than I would have before becoming aware of the situation.
Nov. 10th, 2003 11:31 am (UTC)
selective awareness
This would come in a revleation - leaving you unsure of wether things in the false reality were all constructs of your consciousness, or if they were other brains-in-jars intaracting with you in a fabricated reality. This is where the morality comes in - if you are literally "living a dream" then what rammifications come of your actions?

You would be aware that you are a brain in a jar - the same way that you are aware of the dream worlds when you sleep now - it would be adistant, yet defineable memory, but one chich can only be changed through death (which terminates the fabricated reality you "exist" in, as well as the brain, which is your actual state).

I find it refreshing that you think that you would not change your life - it means you either think you made the right choices all along, or that what you are doing is good for you now, no matter what revelations may come.
Nov. 10th, 2003 07:26 pm (UTC)
Re: selective awareness
I suppose if I were “living in a dream” it would be very much like dreams work in the real world. It’s a place where one’s inner (buried?) feelings are revealed to oneself. So, a person who is basically moral in the real world would most likely be moral in the “dream world” also, and one who is basically immoral would most likely be immoral in the “dream world” with many levels of morality in between. If you think that something in your real life is lacking, you might seek that something in the “dream world,” but I doubt that your basic personality would be much different in the two worlds. So, the projection of the brain in the jar might be more willing to take risks that otherwise he would not have taken – physical, financial, social, etc. – no matter what sort of risks; but his moral character would remain that of the brain in the jar.
Nov. 11th, 2003 05:55 am (UTC)
an interesting assumption you make
You don't think Ghandi ever had a dream about killing anyone, or Jeffrey Dahmer dreamed of taking a bullet for someone in an imaginary gunbattle? Dreams, I agree, to a certain extent, are a "reflection" of the person as they happen but sometimes they are a reflection of a reflection - or an echo of soemthing witnessed or heard about. I'm not suggesting every saint is a devil in their dreams, but the _potenial_ for that, at least, exists.

I see "morality" as an outshoot of social interaction (through genetics and cultural reinforcement) - I never considered the sole mroality of the brain in and of itself - as it would never have interacted with anyone, for sure, as a brain, in any manner - only in the dream.
Nov. 11th, 2003 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: an interesting assumption you make
Ok, I’ll grant you that there is the potential for bad people having good dreams and vice versa. From personal experience I have to admit that things do creep into my dreams from time to time which go somewhat contrary to my waking personality; not even close to the extreme that you mention, but perhaps other’s dreams do.

As for the brain never having interacted with anyone, I never thought about it that way. So, this brain has abstract knowledge of some world or worlds but no social knowledge? Does this brain absorb whatever knowledge its projection attains? If the brain has no “morality” to begin with, and even if it never has any “morality,” then the projection would enter its world with no “morality”, no matter if that world consists of projections of other brains in jars or not. Therefore, just as a child enters this world with no “morality” and must learn about “morality” from parents or caretakers of whatever ilk, I would think that the projection of the brain in a jar would also eventually learn the “morality” of the world around it by trial and error if nothing else. Thus, on the way to this knowledge, I suppose, the projection of the brain would most likely feel that it had free reign to do whatever it wanted. If the world consists solely of projections of brains in jars and there is no moral code to begin with, I believe that some moral code would eventually develop if that world was to survive. It might be a very different moral code than what we have in this society (there are different moral codes in different societies on our earth as it is, although outright murder, at least of those within a society, is usually not condoned), however I do believe that a “morality” of some sort would eventually be necessary for survival. Since I am assuming that neither the brain nor the projection of that brain wishes to perish, this “morality” most likely would be learned rather quickly.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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