Here is my shot at answering these quickly. I think I have six of the eight solved, but feel free to disagree. For a deeper understanding, please see my blog MultisenseRealism.com.
1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
Nothing doesn’t exist, rather ‘no-thing’ is an idea that a thinking thing has about it its own absence. I suggest that the question should be better worded “Why is there something rather than everything?” The answer to that is because of the nature of awareness is to divide and insulate the wholeness of the largest inertial frame (simultaneous eternity) into multiply nested diffracted fragments.
2. Is our universe real?
Yes, but ‘real’ just means that it makes sense in the most possible ways to the most possible participants. The whole idea of ‘real’ is impossible in a universe of disoriented simulations. Realism is a matter of convergences of multiple channels of sense participation, so that greatest integrity of mutual reinforcement is the local standard, i.e. ‘In the land of the blind, a one eyed man is king’. A dream is real until you wake up into a more real experience. The previous reality is redefined within the richer participation as a dream, illusion, delusion, etc. This is not completely relativistic however, as realism is ultimately anchored in the the Absolute inertial frame
3. Do we have free will?
Surprisingly yes, but not nearly as much as we might think. Despite the well-meaning misinterpretations of experiments by Libet and others, the possibility of a universe which is completely deterministic is incompatible with ordinary experience. In reading these words for example, there is no conceivable purpose that would be served if not for the possibility that the reader will consciously evaluate the ideas being expressed for use in their own personal agenda. These sentences do not address the sub-personal or impersonal agendas of neurology or evolutionary biology, but rather the person who is doing the reading. This is a complicated topic since consciousness is by definition held out of its own reach, but my understanding is that free will is no less real than determinism, and that both appearances are opposite seeming points on a continuum of sense-making. Free will is what determinism is on the inside, determinism is what free will looks like on the outside, and the more we can relate to another, the more ‘inside’ we feel that we both are.
4. Does God exist?
You can call it God if you want to. Or Nature. Sense. Totality, Absolute, Tao, Singularity, Ein Sof, Brahman, Transcendental Signifier. I don’t personally anticipate a human-like face on this kind of ‘everythingness’, but there may be all kinds of alternate forms of intelligence which influence our lives from a ‘larger now’…ourselves in the future? Probably better not to think about it too much unless you really have no choice.
5. Is there life after death?
If time is a figment of awareness, then death could bring about the end of human constraints on time perception and a rejoining with the Absolute. In that case, there could not only be life after death, but many lives or every life after death. It is difficult to think of any circumstance which would satisfy everyone one way or another that there is or is not life after death. I will count this question as the first legitimately unsolvable in the negative. In theory, if we were able to connect the internet up to the afterlife or something so that we could communicate with the dead at will, that would probably satisfy most people.
6. Can you really experience anything objectively?
No. Experience is a juxtaposition of finite sense capacities. Without a subjective perspective, there is no sense, and sense is what defines objects.
7. What is the best moral system?
One which does not value a system over morality. Morality is a sense, and like other senses, some people have more finely developed capacities than others.
8. What are numbers?
Numbers are figures which refer to particular lowest common denominator themes in organization of experiences and objects. They seem enigmatic because all experiences and objects can be understood to ‘cast a quantitative shadow’ but they should not be confused with the concretely real experiences with which they are associated. Reducing the universe to numbers is like trying to figure out the questions to a crossword puzzle based on the answers. It doesn’t work that way, but it isn’t obvious why. Numbers do not make sense by themselves, something real has to makes sense of them with physical presence and participation. Computers cannot be built out of a vacuum, they require rigid bodies capable of sustaining recursive enumeration operations - not fog or cartoons - only ‘stuff’ can compute.
Philosophers and the age of their influential contributions
So after doing some thinking, and speaking with my girlfriend about it, I’ve realized that I no longer has very many friends who share a lot of my interests, and/or share a passion for intelligent conversation. Topics range anywhere from music (all kinds) to psychology, philosophy, emotion, life issues, and life in general.
So at my girlfriend’s suggestion…
It’d be cool to talk to some of my followers. If you’re following me, I hope that you find me at least halfway interesting. And I’ll probably find you to be the same, especially if I follow you as well. Or if you happen to see this post just because of the tags, you’re welcome to do the same.
So talk to me. AIM: Br00tuldrumz. Or even text me: 516-698-1426. The name is CJ. Twenty years old. Male. Lawl, sounds like a classified add.
Honestly, go for it. If you’re intelligent and friendly, I’d be very happy to speak with you, no matter who you are. No matter your gender, orientation, race, beliefs or age (as long as you’re not a 40 year old creeper). Seriously, try it. I’ll be up for a while, so if anyone has the guts to do it, you’re welcome to do it tonight. Or anytime from here on out. Yes, thats a challenge.
It basically makes everything else better.
I would have liked to see a bit more information in this article, but it seems to have pretty awesome results.
An interesting selection from the article: “For decades, we’ve assumed that our emotions interfere with cognition, and that our computers will outpace us precisely because they aren’t vulnerable to these impulsive, distracting drives. But it turns out that we were wrong. Our fleeting feelings are an essential aspect of human thought…” I think that I have to think more about the relationship between emotions and logic now than I did before.
This article really brings out an amazing and unique factor of human nature.
Trust the internet to provide an endless supply of random articles to distract you from that international private law etc etc etc test you’re going to have the next day. here’s one:
“… How does this apply to Peanuts? Like the existential human in a world of silent or absent deities, Schulz’s characters exist in a world of silent or absent adult authority. … The children of Peanuts are left to their own devices, to try and understand the world they have found themselves thrust into. They have to turn to each other for support – hence, Lucy’s blossoming psychiatric booth (at five cents a session, a very good deal).
An ideal example of abandonment is the relationship between Linus and The Great Pumpkin. Every Halloween, Linus faithfully waits by a pumpkin patch, in the hopes that he will be blessed with the holy experience of a visitation by The Great Pumpkin. Of course, The Great Pumpkin never shows up, and He never answers Linus’ letters. Despite this, Linus remains steadfast, even going door to door to spread the word of his absent deity. Does The Great Pumpkin exist? We can never know. But from an existential point of view, it doesn’t matter if he exists or not. The important thing is that Linus is abandoned and alone in his pumpkin patch.
Existence is problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one’s own existence in the world:
Linus: I’m aware of my tongue … It’s an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up … I can’t help it … I can’t put it out of my mind. … I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren’t thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth …
Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience – his 1938 novel Nausea in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.
Charlie Brown makes me so sad sometimes. :/
This was pretty interesting. Kind of wish it was expanded on a bit more, but it was an interesting parallel.
oh psychology, how I misseth thee.
I lawled. Just like the universe is lawling at all of us.