The Couch

A revolution in thought

Comments on A revolution in thought

peacegirl
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#51 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 6:56 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:


This I do not agree with. Except a Buddha, there is not even a single person who is not affected by past, in fact, every action of a man is affected by past. Only a Buddha lives so totally in the present moment that the past is wiped out. Rest of the human beings are reacting towards situations and these reactions are not free from past but rather 'programmed', built upon experiences of past.


That is true, but the past doesn't exist in reality. Everything that occurs is in the present. Our choices are not caused by the past; things that happen to us create conditions which arouse our desire to choose the things we choose. That is an important distinction. The author writes:

"Let me repeat this crucial point because it is the source of so
much confusion: Although man’s will is not free there is
absolutely nothing, not environment, heredity, God, or anything
else that causes him to do what he doesn’t want to do. The
environment does not cause him to commit a crime, it just presents
conditions under which his desire is aroused, consequently, he
can’t blame what is not responsible, but remember his particular
environment is different because he himself is different otherwise
everybody would desire to commit a crime. Once he chooses to act
on his desire whether it is a minor or more serious crime he doesn’t
come right out and say, “I hurt that person not because I was
compelled to do it against my will but only because I wanted to do
it” because the standards of right and wrong prevent him from
deriving any satisfaction out of such honesty when this will only
evoke blame, criticism, and punishment of some sort for his
desires. Therefore, he is compelled to justify those actions
considered wrong with excuses, extenuating circumstances, and the
shifting of guilt to someone or something else as the cause, to
absorb part if not all the responsibility which allowed him to
absolve his conscience in a world of judgment and to hurt others
in many cases with impunity since he could demonstrate why he
was compelled to do what he really didn’t want to do.

You see it
happen all the time, even when a child says, “Look what you made
me do” when you know you didn’t make him do anything. Spilling
a glass of milk because he was careless, and not wishing to be
blamed, the boy searches quickly for an excuse to shift the
responsibility to something that does not include him. Why else
would the boy blame his own carelessness on somebody or
something else if not to avoid the criticism of his parents? It is
also true that the boy’s awareness that he would be blamed and
punished for carelessness — which is exactly what took place —
makes him think very carefully about all that he does to prevent the
blame and punishment he doesn’t want.

A great confusion exists
because it is assumed that if man does something to hurt another
he could always excuse his actions by saying, “I couldn’t help
myself because my will is not free.” This is another aspect of the
implications which turned philosophers off from a thorough
investigation. In the following dialogue, my friend asks for
clarification regarding certain critical points."
henry quirk
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#52 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 8:47 AM:

"the past doesn't exist in reality"

Yep.

So: what is the past (for a human individual)?

Memory.

More accurately: remembering.

And what is remembering?

Largely: imagining.

So: if, as Thinker says, "there is not even a single person who is not affected by past", then -- really -- each of us is bound up in what we 'believe' happened, what we 'imagine' happened, not what actually happened.

Certainly: knowing that what one remembers is mostly angel farts and fabrication makes it easier to stomach the 'bad', to disengage somewhat from the 'good' (not be too distracted by past pleasures and victories), and to play "Buddha".

I'm not suggesting 'forgive and forget' (I suggest 'eye for an eye'): instead, I'm suggesting the lack of universals, of a hardcore past we can reference definitively (and a future we can predict with any kind of accuracy) leave each of us 'here and now'.

'Here and now' is where the fun is, where the choices (to make) are.

The past is done and the future is just another kind of angel fart.
peacegirl
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#53 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 9:22 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"the past doesn't exist in reality"

Yep.

So: what is the past (for a human individual)?

Memory.

More accurately: remembering.

And what is remembering?

Largely: imagining.

So: if, as Thinker says, "there is not even a single person who is not affected by past", then -- really -- each of us is bound up in what we 'believe' happened, what we 'imagine' happened, not what actually happened.


All that you said is true.

"henryquirk" wrote:
Certainly: knowing that what one remembers is mostly angel farts and fabrication makes it easier to stomach the 'bad', to disengage somewhat from the 'good' (not be too distracted by past pleasures and victories), and to play "Buddha".

I'm not suggesting 'forgive and forget' (I suggest 'eye for an eye'): instead, I'm suggesting the lack of universals, of a hardcore past we can reference definitively (and a future we can predict with any kind of accuracy) leave each of us 'here and now'.


We all have our unique memories of a situation which are usually not completely accurate. Even if they are, we only see our perspective, which is only a part of the whole. You are missing the whole point of this thread when you say 'eye for an eye'. This knowledge prevents the need to strike back
an eye for an eye', or "to turn the other cheek" because the first cheek is prevented from being struck.

"henryquirk" wrote:
'Here and now' is where the fun is, where the choices (to make) are.

The past is done and the future is just another kind of angel fart.


Agreed.
henry quirk
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#54 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 9:33 AM:

"You are missing the whole point of this thread when you say 'eye for an eye'. This knowledge prevents the need to strike back"

No.

I get the point of thread...I just don't agree with it.

Example: I may not have a perfect recollection of the event, but the minutia of my being robbed and beaten is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Joe kicked my ass and stole my hat.

I don't need a complete or completely accurate recalling of the event to know Joe made the choice to view me as a resource...there is a consequence to that choice.

When and if I get my hands on Joe, I will hurt him...I will have his eye for my eye.

Justice is for chumps...revenge is golden.
henry quirk
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#55 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 10:21 AM:

Just scanned the first two chapters.

In my view: the premise is flawed, that is, the choice is between 'free will' and 'determinism'.

'Free will' is a fiction, and, 'determinism' was never synonymous with 'pre-determined'.

There is a third option, that being 'agency' or the idea that the human individual, while mired in countless casual chains, can and does initiate new causal chains all the damned time.

No one has a capacity for unlimited choice. Our choices are bound up in and by our flesh and the world.

Example: I step into a Baskin Robbins. I view the 31 flavors. My inclination/preference is for chocolate or vanilla. The other flavors leave me cold.

I can...

Choose chocolate.

Choose vanilla.

Choose to leave the store without getting ice cream.

Choose to be an ornery fuck and get Pistachio (which I hate).

Any or all of the choices are expression of my will (that is: of 'me'), none of these choices is made in a vacuum (that is: all these choices occur within the context of my inclinations expressed at a certain time in a certain place, with certain elements present).

I have limited choices within a context I only partially control, and still 'I' have four (or, maybe, more) possibles to choose from.

MY choice: MY responsibility.

Joe the thief: makes his choice (to rob, to rob 'me', to beat 'me', and so on).

Joe's selection of a possible within the context he only partially controls is HIS choice: HIS responsibility.

Again; 'free will' is hooey; my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession is as real as the flesh that comprises me because my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession IS me.

So, yeah: gimme honest war and violence over semantic, peace-making, bullshit any day.

*shrug*
Monk2400
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#56 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 1:32 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:

Yo, phlogi. Does your view lean onto the 'emerging patterns' of chaos theory? I find the idea that a foundation of deterministic 'fun and games' on a fundamental scale can result in a complex, unpredictable (living) being on macro scale fascinating.


Not by design. I'd have to look into the idea. Any reading recommendations?

8)
smokinpristiformis
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#57 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 4:02 PM:

I actually know it only by putting together scraps and bits from memory. After a bit of digging, I found this:

http://order.ph.utexas.edu/chaos/

and this:

http://www.scienceclarified.com/Ca-Ch/Chaos-Theory.html
Thinker13
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#58 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 11:57 PM:

MY choice: MY responsibility.

henry quirk wrote:
Joe the thief: makes his choice (to rob, to rob 'me', to beat 'me', and so on).

Joe's selection of a possible within the context he only partially controls is HIS choice: HIS responsibility.

Again; 'free will' is hooey; my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession is as real as the flesh that comprises me because my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession IS me.

So, yeah: gimme honest war and violence over semantic, peace-making, bullshit any day.

*shrug*


Hahahaha. laughing. Henry, who is this 'Joe', and why he is so much after cheating you, robbing you and beating you...? Thread after thread he is chasing you and you are not getting rid of him.

winklaughing

[ Sorry for diversion]
peacegirl
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#59 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 6:54 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"You are missing the whole point of this thread when you say 'eye for an eye'. This knowledge prevents the need to strike back"

No.

I get the point of thread...I just don't agree with it.

Example: I may not have a perfect recollection of the event, but the minutia of my being robbed and beaten is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Joe kicked my ass and stole my hat.

I don't need a complete or completely accurate recalling of the event to know Joe made the choice to view me as a resource...there is a consequence to that choice.

When and if I get my hands on Joe, I will hurt him...I will have his eye for my eye.

Justice is for chumps...revenge is golden.


There is no disagreement here. He writes:

There is no comparison
between Spinoza and myself. He was a gentle man, I am not. He
refused to blame his sister for stealing what rightfully belonged to
him because he was confused and believed she couldn’t help
herself. I, on the other hand, would never advocate turning the
other cheek when someone can get the advantage by not turning it.
He excused her conduct, but if someone tried to take what
belonged to me I’d fight him tooth and nail. Turning the other
cheek under these conditions could make matters worse, which is
why many people reject the pacifist position. How is it humanly
possible not to fight back when one is being hurt first, which goes
back to the justification of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth.’ I personally would get greater satisfaction defending
myself or retaliating against those people who would do, or have
done, things to hurt me and my family. I’m not a saint, but a
scientist of human conduct. Most of mankind is compelled, for
greater satisfaction, to move in this direction.
peacegirl
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#60 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 7:06 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Just scanned the first two chapters.

In my view: the premise is flawed, that is, the choice is between 'free will' and 'determinism'.


It is not flawed; it is your understanding of determinism that is not congruous with the author's definition.

henry quirk" wrote:
'Free will' is a fiction, and, 'determinism' was never synonymous with 'pre-determined'.


You are correct.

"henry quirk" wrote:
There is a third option, that being 'agency' or the idea that the human individual, while mired in countless casual chains, can and does initiate new causal chains all the damned time.


You are getting close. He does have the ability to choose between options (although his choices are influenced by previous determinants), but what makes his will not free is that he is compelled to choose the alternative that gives him greater satisfaction. He cannot move in the direction of what gives less satisfaction when a more preferable alternative is available.

"henryquirk" wrote:
No one has a capacity for unlimited choice. Our choices are bound up in and by our flesh and the world.


Agreed.

"henryquirk" wrote:
Example: I step into a Baskin Robbins. I view the 31 flavors. My inclination/preference is for chocolate or vanilla. The other flavors leave me cold.

I can...

Choose chocolate.

Choose vanilla.

Choose to leave the store without getting ice cream.

Choose to be an ornery fuck and get Pistachio (which I hate).

Any or all of the choices are expression of my will (that is: of 'me'), none of these choices is made in a vacuum (that is: all these choices occur within the context of my inclinations expressed at a certain time in a certain place, with certain elements present).


Absolutely true.

"henryquirk" wrote:
I have limited choices within a context I only partially control, and still 'I' have four (or, maybe, more) possibles to choose from.

MY choice: MY responsibility.


No disagreement here.

"henryquirk" wrote:
Joe the thief: makes his choice (to rob, to rob 'me', to beat 'me', and so on).

Joe's selection of a possible within the context he only partially controls is HIS choice: HIS responsibility.


Right to a degree, but this is where you have fallen off the bandwagon. This is the point at which you really need to understand the two-sided equation.

"henryquirk" wrote:
Again; 'free will' is hooey; my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession is as real as the flesh that comprises me because my autonomy/agency/self-deliberation/-possession IS me.


100% correct.

"henryquirk" wrote:
So, yeah: gimme honest war and violence over semantic, peace-making, bullshit any day. *shrug*


I see where you are coming from, but why settle for honest war and violence when you can have true peace-making without giving up your autonomy, agency, or the ability to deliberate?


henry quirk
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#61 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 8:56 AM:

"who is this 'Joe', and why he is so much after cheating you, robbing you and beating you...? Thread after thread he is chasing you and you are not getting rid of him."

HA!

Never could stand the name 'Joe', so I generally make 'him' the bad guy in my little scenarios.

##

"why settle for honest war and violence when you can have true peace-making without giving up your autonomy, agency, or the ability to deliberate?"

In my view: 'peace' is as much a fiction as 'free will'.
peacegirl
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#62 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 9:18 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"who is this 'Joe', and why he is so much after cheating you, robbing you and beating you...? Thread after thread he is chasing you and you are not getting rid of him."

HA!

Never could stand the name 'Joe', so I generally make 'him' the bad guy in my little scenarios.

##

"why settle for honest war and violence when you can have true peace-making without giving up your autonomy, agency, or the ability to deliberate?"

In my view: 'peace' is as much a fiction as 'free will'.


But you're wrong.
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#63 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 9:46 AM:

"But you're wrong"

Prove it.

-----

dissidentphilosophy.lifedis...59-a-revolution-in-thought

www.amazon.com/Decline-fall...t?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

www.amazon.com/Decline-fall...E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Monk2400
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#64 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 10:50 AM:

peacegirl wrote:

He does have the ability to choose between options (although his choices are influenced by previous determinants), but what makes his will not free is that he is compelled to choose the alternative that gives him greater satisfaction.


No matter how you try to wrangle this concept, it simply ISN'T choice. There is no choice between options. 'Options' here are an illusion. There is one and only one direction possible.

This is just a version of psychological egoism.

8)
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#65 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 11:54 AM:



You are not giving this author a chance. The review on Amazon was a joke; it was given by a guy on a forum like this who never read the book and misrepresented it. Why would you post this? Do you think this review proves anything? Are you trying to make me look bad?
peacegirl
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#66 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 11:55 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:


No matter how you try to wrangle this concept, it simply ISN'T choice. There is no choice between options. 'Options' here are an illusion. There is one and only one direction possible.

This is just a version of psychological egoism.

8)


Who said it was? If you are so positive that the book has nothing to offer, then let's end the conversation because I'm getting tired.
libertygrl
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#67 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 1:29 PM:

peacegirl, thanks for stopping by and sharing your patient and thoughtful explanations.

i've taken a look at the text, and i have to admit i have trouble getting past the first couple of pages, past even the title page, for claiming that it's "the most important discovery of our times". maybe such a claim was true for the author himself at the time of his writing it. maybe it's true for you too, i don't know. but to imagine that it's true for everyone, to assert that it's "the most fantastic non-fiction book ever written", to promise "deliverance from evil", seems so out of touch with reality that it makes me not want to read it.

i'm sure there are many interesting insights in the book. but if a person wants to be heard, they have to show that they are capable of listening, too. they must show that they are capable of sustaining a connection to their audience. someone who thinks that he or she is the only one who is enlightened, and everyone else is too ignorant to have figured out any of this information for themselves, is not likely to get much of a readership.

good luck in sharing the information, though, and i do invite you to subscribe to the thread, as there may indeed be other readers in the future who may be interested in discussing it further.
henry quirk
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#68 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 1:34 PM:

"The review on Amazon was a joke"

It was a review that raises certain points, makes certain claims.

Refute the claims, the specific claims, of the review.

Should I list them for you?

#

"let's end the conversation"

The conversation hasn't even begun.

All you've really done is say "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

That's not a conversation (on your part): that's an advertisement.

500 pages is a commitment and you've offered nothing so far to interest me in making that commitment.

Were I you: I would first offer a summary of the book's major themes and points (with page references).

Do that and maybe a conversation can happen.

As for the idea of "trying to make (you) look bad?, no, that's not my goal. I simply spent five minutes in search and found what I did. I thought it was germane to the thread.

For the same reason: I cross reference 'the couch' with 'dissident philosophy'...it's all information that can, should, move the neighboring threads forward.

Things is, Peacegirl: if you want folks to take the book seriously, you're gonna have to exhibit just a tad more stamina. If you want folks to seriously engage: you'll have to offer a bit more than, "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

Again: post a full-bodied abstract or summary and then, maybe, a conversation can happen.

Till then: the book, to me, is poor attempt to marry an interpretation of 'agency' to some kind of half-assed plan for world peace.

Speaking only for me: it's a poor, artificial, marriage and a pedestrian attempt at selling snake oil.

I'm not trying to be adversarial: just stating a position.
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#69 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 1:38 PM:

peacegirl wrote:

Who said it was?


You do...you keep using the word choice when its meaningless. There is no choice in this model, period. If you redefine choice to mean and event with only one possible outcome, it no longer means what 'choice' is meant to mean in our language.


peacegirl wrote:

If you are so positive that the book has nothing to offer, then let's end the conversation because I'm getting tired.


Haha...giving up so easy. Well, I'm not going to read the book. I invited you to open a new thread and present its most cogent arguments for discussion, but your only line is 'read the book'. So thanks, but no thanks.

I was determined to write that! wink
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#70 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 1:39 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
"The review on Amazon was a joke"

It was a review that raises certain points, makes certain claims.

Refute the claims, the specific claims, of the review.

Should I list them for you?

#

"let's end the conversation"

The conversation hasn't even begun.

All you've really done is say "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

That's not a conversation (on your part): that's an advertisement.

500 pages is a commitment and you've offered nothing so far to interest me in making that commitment.

Were I you: I would first offer a summary of the book's major themes and points (with page references).

Do that and maybe a conversation can happen.

As for the idea of "trying to make (you) look bad?, no, that's not my goal. I simply spent five minutes in search and found what I did. I thought it was germane to the thread.

For the same reason: I cross reference 'the couch' with 'dissident philosophy'...it's all information that can, should, move the neighboring threads forward.

Things is, Peacegirl: if you want folks to take the book seriously, you're gonna have to exhibit just a tad more stamina. If you want folks to seriously engage: you'll have to offer a bit more than, "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

Again: post a full-bodied abstract or summary and then, maybe, a conversation can happen.

Till then: the book, to me, is poor attempt to marry an interpretation of 'agency' to some kind of half-assed plan for world peace.

Speaking only for me: it's a poor, artificial, marriage and a pedestrian attempt at selling snake oil.

I'm not trying to be adversarial: just stating a position.


+1
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#71 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 2:24 PM:

The conversation hasn't even begun.

All you've really done is say "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

That's not a conversation (on your part): that's an advertisement.

500 pages is a commitment and you've offered nothing so far to interest me in making that commitment.

Were I you: I would first offer a summary of the book's major themes and points (with page references).

Do that and maybe a conversation can happen.

As for the idea of "trying to make (you) look bad?, no, that's not my goal. I simply spent five minutes in search and found what I did. I thought it was germane to the thread.

For the same reason: I cross reference 'the couch' with 'dissident philosophy'...it's all information that can, should, move the neighboring threads forward.

Things is, Peacegirl: if you want folks to take the book seriously, you're gonna have to exhibit just a tad more stamina. If you want folks to seriously engage: you'll have to offer a bit more than, "read the book, and THEN you'll understand."

Again: post a full-bodied abstract or summary and then, maybe, a conversation can happen.

Till then: the book, to me, is poor attempt to marry an interpretation of 'agency' to some kind of half-assed plan for world peace.

Speaking only for me: it's a poor, artificial, marriage and a pedestrian attempt at selling snake oil.

I'm not trying to be adversarial: just stating a position.
----------------------------------------------
Your interpretation is wrong, period. I don't have any desire to cross-reference the book or to jump hoops to convince you to read anything. This has turned into something that was never intended. Calling this a half-assed plan for world peace is enough to know your position. Sorry you missed out on a very important discovery.



Edited by peacegirl on 03/17/11 - 2:30 PM
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#72 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 2:32 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:


You do...you keep using the word choice when its meaningless. There is no choice in this model, period. If you redefine choice to mean and event with only one possible outcome, it no longer means what 'choice' is meant to mean in our language.


"peacegirl" wrote:
You are right, but that doesn't mean we can't contemplate between alternatives. I already said 'choice' is an illusion. I guess you didn't read that.





Haha...giving up so easy. Well, I'm not going to read the book. I invited you to open a new thread and present its most cogent arguments for discussion, but your only line is 'read the book'. So thanks, but no thanks.



I was determined to write that! wink[/quote]

Yes you were determined; you chose not to read the book in the direction of greater satisfaction. smiling face
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#73 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 2:41 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
peacegirl, thanks for stopping by and sharing your patient and thoughtful explanations.

i've taken a look at the text, and i have to admit i have trouble getting past the first couple of pages, past even the title page, for claiming that it's "the most important discovery of our times". maybe such a claim was true for the author himself at the time of his writing it. maybe it's true for you too, i don't know. but to imagine that it's true for everyone, to assert that it's "the most fantastic non-fiction book ever written", to promise "deliverance from evil", seems so out of touch with reality that it makes me not want to read it.

i'm sure there are many interesting insights in the book. but if a person wants to be heard, they have to show that they are capable of listening, too. they must show that they are capable of sustaining a connection to their audience. someone who thinks that he or she is the only one who is enlightened, and everyone else is too ignorant to have figured out any of this information for themselves, is not likely to get much of a readership.


I appreciate your kind words. The truth is that this is a fantastic discovery and the only reason he wrote the introduction the way he did is because of his experiences during his life. He never ever said that he is the only one enlightened. If you read the book you would see that. He was a very humble man.

"libertygrl" wrote:
good luck in sharing the information, though, and i do invite you to subscribe to the thread, as there may indeed be other readers in the future who may be interested in discussing it further.


Philosophy forums in general have not served me well probably because the book needs to be read first and no one is willing to do that. It then turns nasty. I mean, seriously, can you imagine a philosophy teacher critiquing a well-known philosopher without carefully reading his work? I should have realized that you can't bring a book to a discussion group because it is not a book club.
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#74 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 3:01 PM:

"Sorry you missed out on a very important discovery."

Only accessible by way of 'reading the book', it seems.

Lessans and Rafael (if you're not both or either) need a better spokesperson... whatever

#

"can you imagine a philosophy teacher critiquing a well-known philosopher without carefully reading his work?"

Probably not, but then Lessans and Rafael aren't well-known philosophers, are they?

Two unknown names attached to (my assessment admittedly based on scanning, not reading, two chapters) a dodgy 500 pages that I'm expected to read first, then discuss later.

A reminder: YOU came to the forum looking for an audience...to capture said audience you gotta do more than say "read about this very important discovery!"

Where's my incentive to devote myself to wading through 500 pages of *badly written material?

You offered no incentive, dangled no bait.

And since MY life seems to be moving along nicely without the 'wisdom' of Lessans and Rafael to buoy me: I can only assume that what they (you) have to offer is not worth the effort.

Hell: it doesn't even seem to be worth YOUR effort since you promote, but will not summarize, the work.

*shrug*

As you will and like, Peacegirl... smiling face



*the book needs substantial editing: for length and style...just sayin'...*shrug*
henry quirk
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#75 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/17/11 - 3:04 PM:

"you can't bring a book to a discussion group"

Sure you can: but if you want any one to 'read' then 'discuss', you MUST make that investment of time and effort worthwhile.

You haven’t done that, not 'here' anyway.
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