Monthly Archives: January 2018

A Concise Explication of the Insufficiency of Existence as the Metaphysical Primary

Existence absent existing—absent the DOING of itself—does not actually exist.  So the idea of passive Existence is irrational.

So Existence is active. Existence exists. Existence is EXISTING. Which must mean that it is rooted in ABILITY.  Existence must be empowered by its ability to actually DO itself; for nothing can act that is unable to act.

But if Existence is a function the ability to act, then does Existence itself have any real metaphysical value?

Here is a metaphysical corollary I have devised:

Ability = being (the active manifestation of ability) = an IS (the specific thing epistemologically defined as being—that which is being what it IS).

E.g. Ability = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

(Note: We could even substitute “Being” with “Existing”; but we must understand that in this case, Existence itself is NOT implied by “Existing”. “Existing” in this case is simply a synonym for “Being”.)

Or, even more concisely: Ability implies action, implies a thing which acts.

This is in contrast to the brand of metaphysics which puts existence in the place of Ability, where the corollary would look something like this:

Existence = an IS (a specific thing defined) = Being (the manifestation of existence)

E.g. Existence = Apple IS (being an apple) = Being

The first problem here is that the apple is BEING the apple BEFORE “Being” as a root and general metaphysical parameter is implied.

But notice the second problem. Since existence doesn’t imply Ability (to act) there can be no such thing as the action of existence—there can be no such thing as existING; there can be no BEING…or the DOING of Existence. And in that case, there can be no manifestation of existence, and thus, there can be no IS…no specific thing defined (as existing). Nothing EXISTS because Existence is entirely passive.

Perhaps to correct this problem we could reverse “IS” and “Being” and render the corollary as:

Existence = Being = an IS

E.g. Existence = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

This technically corrects the first problem, but the problem of Existence not inherently implying action remains. There is no BEING (again the DOING of Existence) without action and there is no action without ability. And there is no ability anywhere in the metaphysics of Existence. Because if there was then ABILITY would be the metaphysical primary, and thus there would BE no metaphysics of Existence.

Okay. Perhaps then we might render the corollary this way to correct the problem:

Ability = Existence = Being = an IS

But notice here how Existence becomes both irrelevant and irrational. Ability ALONE implies Being, because Being is a manifestation of Ability, while Existence is not. There is nothing needed or even rational mediating the relationship Ability and Being. Existence, properly stated, is an IS—a distinct thing itself..albeit an abstract one (we are speaking philosophically here, not really grammatically; I understand that Ability is an abstract THING in the grammatical sense, but metaphysically it rationally serves as a universal root essence, thereby making it NON-specific, which is not the case with Existence, as I’ve demonstrated). And therefore Existence qua Existence belongs to the epistemological category of philosophy, not to the category dealing with metaphysics.

 

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What Exists? What is Able?: Why the first question is meaningless and the second is not

1. There is no such thing as a “not”, or “nothing”. “Not” or “nothing” cannot exist. Because if it IS, then it is SOMETHING. And if nothing is something then…well, you get the idea. The absence of things cannot itself be a thing

2. Existence, if not a function of the ability to act–to do–means that Existence can do nothing (is at root UNABLE), which means that Existence cannot actually exist. Logically and practically speaking, however, existing IS the SAME thing as Existence…hence the common metaphysical claim “Existence exists”. The two are functionally identical; they are corollary. Existence, then, implying EXISTING, must possess an underlying ability to act–an ability to exist. Therefore, the metaphysical claim, “Existence exists” is in fact proof that Existence is not the metaphycial primary. The primary is Ability.

I could end this article here, for the point has been made and proven. But I wish to belabor it a bit; and I still am obliged to explain why Ability does not fall into the same trap of rational fallacy as Existence.

3. Existence cannot precede the action of existence–existing–because that would imply that Existence at its root does NOT exist. This would be in effect the synthesis of Existence with its own contradiction: Existence which does not exist. But the fact is, as I said, they are corollary. There cannot be one without the other.

4. To say “Existence exists” objectively and clearly implies that Existence ACTS, which necessarily means that it possesses the Ability to act. To say otherwise is to claim that it is either UNable to exist at root, or that it simply doesn’t DO, at root; that action is itself incompatible with Existence. But if this is the case then you cannot define anything according to Existence. You cannot claim that the chair exists (as the chair) vs the ball which exists (as the ball). You could say that the ball is Existence, and the chair is Existence, but that wrecks any distinction. If everything is Existence as opposed to EXISTING, then there is no such thing as a ball or a chair. Again, Existence and Existing are arrant corollaries. If the chair and ball are EXISTING then Existence itself is active, not passive. Which means that it is empowered by Ability. And if they are not existing then they obviously cannot be what they are claimed to be (ball and chair)…because how exactly do you define (or even conceptualize) that which doesn’t exist? Nothing cannot be called something. See point number one.

5. Absent the underlying Ability to act, and absent then the corollary between Existence and Existing, “Existence exists” is a rationally impossible claim. It would need to be rendered instead “Existence”, period. Which neither implies nor allows anything beyond the meaningless tautology, “Existence is”…which rendered another way becomes “Existence is Existence”…an idea which serves no rational or practical purpose whatsoever.

6. “Ability is able” is not a contradiction as a primary metaphysical premise, like “Existence exists”, because Ability, by definition, and obviously endemic to its root self, is not UNABLE to act. Unlike Existence, which alone, absent Ability, cannot be said to be compatible with doing. “Existence exists” clearly means that Existence is DOING ITSELF; but doing, without the underlying Ability to do, is impossible. “Ability is able” likewise means that Ability is doing itself. But this of course is entirely rational because the ability to do is EXPLICIT in Ability. Again, this is simply not the case with Existence.

7. Since “Existence exists” as a root metaphysical claim is a contradiction, the question “What exists?” becomes meaningless. It’s not a question which has an answer at the ROOT metaphysical level because it’s NOT a question which has anything to do with root metaphysics. Existence is an epistemological sub-category, not a metaphysical primary. On the other hand “Ability is able” is not a metaphysical contradiction, and therefore the question “What is able?” is perfectly legitimate. The answer, of course, is elementary:

“What is able?”

Answer:

“What is able.”

Meaning that whatever man declares to BE via the perception/conceptualization corollary, including himself, is at root ABLE to be whatever what he declares it to be. It is ABLE to BE, relative to himself. And that–meaning Ability–is why it can be said to exist AS it is defined and given meaning by man, who is the Observer.

Authority, by Assuming Man Can Obey, Destroys Him: the State as an Example

One of the worst feelings in the world is the dread you feel in the pit of your stomach when you hear about some new political candidate who thinks  the State is the righteous track to some ethereal and impossible utopia.

Immediately the anxious waves of “what ifs” crowd my brain. ‘Oh my god,’ I think. ‘The hellscape we can expect if THAT person gets elected.’ And on I go, understanding all too well how my literal life could be in the hands of a person who holds objectively false ideas and philosophical premises, the error of which guarantees that I will in some measure, always more, never less, be sacrificed to those ideas. And it really doesn’t matter the political affiliation, though I understand that some candidates hold ideas more ostensibly rational than others.

Why doesn’t it matter?

Because merely the belief that ruling other human beings is a rational and noble enterprise to be pursued is proof that the ideas which they would like to lay upon their fellow man, when applied, always increase both dependency and misery, and death.

In fact, come to think of it, it’s pretty much a daily occurrence where some number of the governed die at the hands of government policy/action, be it war, or law enforcenent, or willful negligence such as we see in the arenas of immigration, foreign policy, healthcare or other social services; political propagand…heck, abortion funding alone could fill a thousand cemeteries.

Death, you see, is a corollary to rule. It simply must be. In fact, we all at least tacitly accept this as a necessary and perfunctory function of the State–to dole out death in the interest of social cohesion. After all, what is the practical root of the rule of law? To force compliance to the collective moral standard….choice is irrelevant. Authority commands, it does not ask. And to force the life of man is to presume to own it. That is, man’s life is not really his own. This we understand, all of us, on some level.

To sacrifice men to a specific external moral standard (the Law) and ultimately to a given collectivist ideology (all governments are metaphysically collectivist by nature) is what WE demand of government…lest we are tempted to ignore the log in our own eyes, so to speak. To rule is to force. And to force is to kill, fundamentally. So killing is always a necessary and unavoidable part of ruling. If the government is not killing (under the auspices of the Law, we hope, but sometimes not), then we understand it’s not doing its job. Individuals are by definition self-willed. Otherwise they aren’t individuals, they are just things. Their obedience then must always be compelled, because WILLFUL compliance is choice, not obedience.

But can’t we choose to obey?

There is no such thing as freely choosing to obey. Choice is simply not obedience, period. I understand that this is unfortunately not intuitive in a culture that is driven ultimately by fear of punishment mixed with the political artifices of “rights”, and not the wisdom of true morality. I know we, particularly as Americans, love to think of ourselves as self-governing, and therefore willfully, autonomously obeying our authorities, but the fact is that a greater oxymoron than “self-governing” does not exist. To govern self BY self is a contradiction in terms. You are either convinced by reason to freely act in a certain way or you are compelled by threats of punishment to act in a certain way. One is choice and the other is obedience. And government can only recognize the latter.

Choice acts utterly in service to the Self; obedience disregards Self and concedes an outside moral and epistemological standard, like the Law. Since individuals cannot BY the Self disregard the Self…cannot BY the Self truncate or limit or end the Self, because the Self is absolute (I’m speaking metaphysically here–foundationally, not figuratively as in “self-control”, or “self-discipline”), then the Self must on some level accept death in the service of Its obligation to obey the Law; which really means to obey the State. And if you think that death does not manifest literally and frequently, as a function of man being ruled, then you are either asleep, incapacitated, or mad. The government must kill men in order to rule them, because men–and this is the real kicker–CANNOT REALLY obey, and I mean literally, at any level. Obedience is an abstract idea. It does not exist empirically.

And yes, all obedience of which you are thinking right now in objection to my claim I promise you is entirely figurative.

Men are entirely moved by their own will, you see, as conscious, self-aware moral agents. Since their actions are FROM themselves, absolutely, then they can only be ultimately TO themselves, absolutely. Every action is by the Self and thus is in service to the Self. And this makes literal self-sacrifice impossible because one cannot by his Self destroy his Self. And since obedience is at root the sacrifice of the Self to authority–the limiting or ending of the Self–it contradicts man at the level of his root nature.

The point of the State, though, is to compel obedience. But since man cannot ever truly obey, calls for obedience are really calls for death. Therefore, practical, normal, daily application of government ends up manifesting a matter of working out which men will die at any given moment in order to maintain and maximize State rule without eliminating all men and thus contradicting governement by leaving the State with no one to govern. That is, government cannot sacrifice all men because then it doesn’t RULE anyone. And a government which doesn’t rule isn’t government (though, the death of all men is the inexorable march, which Government at root cannot halt because death is a LAW unto itself in this paradigm; so it either destroys everyone eventually or some pointless revolution where death is resisted with more death happens and resets the whole process ala the Matrix). But it cannot destroy NO men because to rule men necessarily means to kill them, since ruling is compelling obedience and man, being utterly self-willed, is incapable of obedience in any way that can satisfy the Law, which is THE collectivist moral standard, and exists wholly outside of man, which is why he must ultimately be forced to it. Since the Law is wholly moral, man, then, is wholly immoral. Thus, they are incompatible, and the result is that man must die. Therefore, the whole of government is really the destruction of man, which manifests itself usually in a drawn out process where the inevitability and necessity of the death of all mankind is mitigated by various contradictory policies about “rights” and “freedom” and “elections” and “representation” implemented in the ironical interest of keeping government from self-destructing due to the inherent irrationality of its root ideological premises. But make no mistake, a government which is killing is a government which is doing its job. It’s simply an unfortunate fact of the underlying philosophical principles.

Please understand that this is not a blame game; I’m not pointing fingers at “bad guys”. I’m not calling for any action beyond the acceptance of the simple, de facto rational processes to which thinking creatures are obliged. I have no interest in offering “practical” solutions, quite frankly. I have no ambition to solve the problems bad ideas cause in societies en masse. It’s not my bag. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Plus, I’m way too cynical. Reason is the beginning and end of what motivates me. My only point is that ideological and philosophical root premises WILL see themselves through to their logical conclusions. Death and rule are corollaries. This is simply the objective case, period; illustration of this truth is the only objective to which I am dedicated.

The Difference Between Representative Government and Autocracy is Experiental, not Fundamental

The difference between an autocracy and a representative democracy is like the difference between a slave master who lets you do nothing you want to do, and one who lets you do something or things you want to do.

So, which one is better?

Hmm…

The answer may not be so obvious as you might think. We’d want to say the latter, but is it really? Well, yes and no.

Of course being allowed to do some things which please you is technically, and even practically, tangibly, and viscerally preferable to being allowed to do nothing which pleases you. But the point on which I want to focus is that whatever it is you do, when you’re doing it because someone else is letting you do it, you are of course acting entirely under the auspices of someone else’s authority to command you to act. You fundamentally act as a function of the will of another. Period. When you are governed (or ruled…the difference is semantic, not fundamental) all you do is in essence at the pleasure of someone else. And the hard, unpleasant truth of this then is of course that you aren’t really doing what you want to do, but what they want to do, as your behavior is ipso facto a necessary extension of their Authority, which is inexorably corollary to their will. And this means that you’re behavior is fundamentally an expression of them, not you.

Ouch.

Think about it. It’s perhaps not immediately accessible, but it’s a point worth grasping.

Now, to the individual, an agent of himself, who by nature expresses himself according to his own will, this is practical death.  It is the rejection of the Self (e.g. You qua You), which means the metaphysical erasure of the individual human being. And this results in an inevitable social psychosis, where the sacrifice of the individual to the State, whether overt or tacit, via the ostensible morality of social justice (common good, necessarily subjectively defined), results in the fundamental inability of individual denizens to see themselves as the natural, rational root and reference of what is both true and good. This is brought about by the perfunctory collectivization of the individual which happens when the individual is governed along with a number of others (that is, ANY State; ANY government); and it’s worth pointing out that this collectivization is fundamentally the subordination of the rational and the objective (the individual) to the fundamentally irrational and the subjective (the collective–the Nation, the Common Good, the Workers, the Volk, the Zeitgeist, the Ideal, etc.). In tandem with collectivization is the ipso facto moving of the moral (or ethical–we can interchange them here) standard away from the Individual to the Law (and they are mutually exclusive). One’s moral obligation becomes obedience to the Law rather than the choice to act in service to the sanctity of the Individual (obedience precludes choice by definition). Consequence for moral violation becomes punishment (an irrational consequence) by the State rather than the Self-defense of free people (a rational consequence).

In such a context individuals will see themselves as decidedly indistinct and ultimately superfluous products of intangible abstractions, like as I said the Nation, or the People, or even–and this may surprise you– the Laws of Nature, which have no practical, tangible, empirical essence, or any relevance distinct from those objects they are said to govern (control; which means create, though this fact is never admitted), or the Divine Will…it could be just about anything really, because these are merely semantic variations of the root collectivist metaphysical premise which perpetually and inexorably defines and rules the subconscious mind of a governed (ruled) people. Once people accept that they are not fundamerally of themselves and do not fundamentally exist to themselves, they, under the artifice of “freedom” in, say, a representative democracy, will naturally gravitate towards whatever collectivist flavor they happen to find appealing. And this suits the ruling classes just fine, whether they know it consciously or not, because for whatever else it might mean, it necessitates that the people never question the foundational premise of all governed peoples: they have no root Self, and therefore their existence is only possible via the control of some outside authoritative force. And what’s more obviously authoritative  than Government? Government, we are led to understand, is the natural social and political effect of the infinite determining Cause…be it God or be it Nature, etc. etc.. And now you know why there are so depressingly and embarrassingly few sociopolitical Voluntarists (“anarchists” you might say, though I despise that label). Because collectivism has so many shiny and fetching and complex and colorful varieties, and individualism only has, well…you. Lol.

Once the collectivist metaphysical premise has been conceded (and entirely synthesized) people wake up every day willingly accepting that life is in every way and in every context the inexorable march of Death…of the inevitable nullification and eradication of their minds and independent persons. Which they are told are illusions, but don’t really feel like it; and this is why Death is so terrifying and why people never talk about it. It just is and must be, we are told, like the State, and so the terror and emotional anguish that its felt contradiction wreaks are perfunctory aspects of its “truth”.  So the thinking goes: why compound this with debates which challenge assumptions? Why compound anguish with uncertainty? And this is another reason why there are so very few Voluntarists. They must reject the assumptions undergirding…well, everything. Of Being itself. To get there is a hard and naturally lonely road, filled with those of all ideological pedigrees who will hate you and wish you’d just shut up, and those who claim fealty to ancient insufficient philosophies who will call you everything from a fool to a commie to a pantheist to a peddler of solipsism. And who really wants to walk that road? Not. Many.

At any rate, what happens as a consequence of this broad social Stockholm Syndrome (to the collectivist metaphysical primary) is a boiling and fetid cauldron of collective mendacity, idolatry, psychopathy, narcissism, suspicion, ignorance, hate, fear, and violence, which necessitates from the ruling classes ever increasing control and deception. But I must add that I do not fault the ruling classes directly for this; for they, too, are human, and have been suckled on the Ideal by which they govern. I do not hate them, and I do not loathe them, and I do not ascribe to them  any necessary overt evil intentions. For as they say ’round Buenos Aries, it takes two to tango. Remember, it was the Jewish people that demanded God give them a King. So, in some sense ironically, I admit that we are all in this together. Even the rulers are ruled by their ideas.

 

Illusion and Existence as Ersatz, Postmodern Philosophical Primaries

If anything is said to be an illusion, the following two questions are begged:

An illusion of what?

An illusion for whom?

Both “what” and “whom” must be actual things, and must be distinct. They are, in fact, a prerequisite to illusion. Unless some actual one is experiencing an illusion of some actual thing (that is, unless a real person is experiencing an illusion of a thing or things derived from, and apprehended via the reference of, reality) then there can be no illusion. Therefore, illusion itself cannot be a (philosophical) primary; and I know that this statement may seem obvious, but when you hear the scientific determinists–the post modern priest class as I like to call them–implicitly or explicitly refer to the illusion of human choice and by extension the illusion of consciousness, it seems that obvious statements are no longer so obvious. When leading neurological scientists like Sam Harris and Nobel Prize winning astrophysicists like Stephen Hawking can’t seem to follow basic rational consistency or utter a single coherent philosophical statement, one is forced to explicate the obvious, unfortunately. (As good as these guys are at science is as bad as they are at philosophy, is what I mean to say.)

Interestingly–and this will annoy the Objectivists and others who nod to Aristotle–“Existence”, as a metaphysical primary, is like “Illusion” as postmodern philosophy’s (e.g. scientific determinism) epistemological primary. It begs the same two questions:

Existence of what?

Existence for whom?

As with illusion, both what and whom must be actual things and they must be distinct. Which means they must have a root that precedes existence. If what and whom are both metaphysically identical (both absolute) products of Existence–which Existence as a metaphysical primary implies–then there is no root distinction between what exists and who observes it to exist (“who” being the rational frame of reference for that which is). And therefore there is no one to define what exists. And if what exists cannot be defined then who exists cannot either. Which renders Existence as a metaphycial primary entirely absent meaning. Which it is.

(Side note: You see, all definitions of what exists are products of man’s consciousness, which by the boundaries placed upon truth by Existence can have no fundamental, objective bearing upon reality, which is entirely ALL of Existence, including consciousness itself. Existence doesn’t just subordinate consciousness, it makes it entirely irrelevant and redundant…that is, impossible, and…that’s a problem.)

My point here is that postmodern determinism such as averred by atheistic and scientifically rooted philosophers proffers the idea of Existence and Illusion as metaphycial and epistemological primaries, respectively. And in both cases these primaries beg two questions which must be answered and then when answered undermine those primaries entirely. “Whom” and “What” cannot at root be products of Existence or Illusion. It’s actually the other way around.

Or you might say that if “Of what?” and “For whom?” have no answer then Existence and Illusion as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified. And if they have an answer then Illusion and Existence as anything but subjective assumptions are nullified.