...see all that gobbledigook I spout, and how I abuse the language in order to make the opposites mean the same thing and then back again....this is how oughts are defined in Eastern logic. The language has a kind of syntax that does the following: all is contingent upon the self knowing the external reality and then knowing the inner reality AS the external reality (they are the same), by which we learn how to see opposites in tension (i.e. the boundary of "me" and "not-me" is whatever I cannot directly control with conscious thought...previously the limited us to the body that grew around us, now we can build upon this basic framework, add to it, or replace a defective piece....the boundary of "me" has changed, and so has our consciousness). This is what is meant by the middle path: wrestling with how to define "pattern" within the continuum of reality and being changed by the consciousness of that pattern. The reason why Buddhism often sounds so impersonal and self-depreciating is because it is entirely an inner-derived religion with no authoritative texts to act as the objective aim of morality (which in this sense is the broadest meaning of knowing what one ought to do with one's life). The reason why it can be very useful at achieving a peaceful emotional state and an expansive consciousness is because of how closely it mirrors the learning process with a practical syntax for encoding knowledge literally. The correlation between inner and outer states through the language of Buddhism allows one to share consciousness and move towards "enlightenment" - in other words, enlightenment by accretion (which is also by negation, it's just a different perspective and both are right, but are only self-consistent within a proper framework).met wrote:It's interesting, looking it up, what Hume meant the way he referred to that. when all of a sudden I am surpriz'd to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence.Metacrock wrote:
that's nowhere near the same. They not dealing with ethical decision making and they are not imposing an "ought."
Yeah, remembering Plato's dialogues, Socrates was always doing exactly that, deriving an 'ought' from an 'is,'wasn't he? Looking into the "true nature" of a thing, then devloping a POV on how it/we should act in accordance with that nature. The underlying 'ought' I suppose was this: "a thing OUGHT to act in accordance with its true nature and not agaisnt it"
Isn't Buddhism (in my lame oversimplification at least) doing the same thing? "All of us are contingent, and only part of the whole, so we should ease and not contribute to each other's suffering, because each other's suffering is part of our suffering"
Is the underlying 'ought' "we should ease our own suffering??" As opposed to what? Just learning to like it?
To repeat: in order for this inner reality to be properly translated one has to work through these rhetorical techniques, both literal and experiential, to unwrap the grammar that we construct in our minds to interpret our experience of reality and thereby be able to accept a more encompassing scope of consciousness. This is literally expanding the mind.
With the wisdom that comes with awareness of the connectivity of life to everything else, we understand how to ease our own suffering by walking the path of least resistence. The sense in which this path is benevolent or malevolent is defined in the absolute sense of survival - imorTALity. But having such God-like perspective is not possible except for the enlightened individual, whose consciousness dissolves into the Great Infinity beyond which human perception of ought and ought not disappears because there is no tension between opposites when your perspective is ALL perspectives. This is why suffering of one individual is also your suffering, because the God-Point of the fate of all life is to gain this universal perspective. So this is also why the middle path, moving through opposites in tension, personally wrestling with how to achieve greater consciousness of how to propagate life, begins with an absolute: the self-perspective, then defines the self in relation to other selves, and then defines the self AS the other selves. So with each perspective the meaning of good and evil has an entirely different basis.
All together, then, the middle path seems incoherent, inconsistent, and self-destructive, but it's just using different logic to think about the same yearnings for immortality and morality that any Western religious behaviour exhibits. Instead of having the objective truth defined in relation to revelation (be she Nature or Book), truth is defined relative to itself. The same thing works in the Abrahamic faiths because they are fundamentally Eastern in their epistemology. The Western model of reality is the only sense in which atheism has any meaning. In the Eastern sense, atheism is not a lack of belief in a god, it's a lack of commitment to the cause of knowing truth and behaviour contradictory to the benevolence of life....which isn't really the same thing as "atheism" in our parlence at all!!!!
Did any of that make sense????!?