Tag Archives: group metaphysic

Me Saying I’m Not You is Not the Same Thing as Me Saying, “There’s Only Me”: A rebuttal to accusations of subjectivism

The knee jerk reaction to my ideas is to assume that when I appeal to the SELF–the individual human being–as the metaphysical irreducible and thus the only rational moral and epistemological absolute Standard (“epistemological” in this context meaning, how we know that what we know is in fact true), that I’m making the contention that my SELF is the only salient Self.

Several attempts have been made by people whose intellect I admire to link my ideas to Kantian Subjectivism in this manner…the thought being that since I deny a Standard of Truth and Morality outside of Self, that “reality”–as they call it, “external reality” (an illogical definition entirely) must necessarily be based upon whatever whim I, alone, devise.

Now, it isn’t that I don’t understand why some people believe this, it’s just that I think it is simply because they have been functioning according to the “this or that” dualism of Aristotle vs. Plato for so long that they aren’t able to integrate any truly new ideas.  Indeed, even averring that I am presenting “new” ideas would likely be taken as a grand apostasy.

But it is a logical fallacy to believe that just because I declare that I am ME and YOU are YOU, and absolutely so, that this must mean that I am the only one who actually exists; which is precisely what I am accused of asserting.  The loose logic is that since all knowledge is a function of the senses (it isn’t; its a function of the ability to sense, which is a function of the ability to conceptualize SELF as “he who senses”) which observe “objective reality outside you”then we must assume that “objective reality” is a function of the “cause and effect” of (invisible) physical laws which “govern”.  In short, any appeal to a Standard of Truth except that which the senses first observe is labeled subjectivism.

As ostensibly rational as this argument is, its fatal weakness is that it doesn’t come close to answering the question: What is man?  And as I have submitted on numerous occasions, if you cannot rationally answer that question then the rest of what you believe about anything is immaterial.  If there is no definition of man–and a definition of man cannot be: an absolute function of a reality OUTSIDE himself because that is a rank contradiction, and makes man a direct function of that which is “outside of him”…or said another way, of that which is NOT him–…yes, if there is no definition of man then there can be no relevance to what he believes. Because “he” must be declared something, and even more, something capable of being aware of his own relevance to the existential equation.  And this awareness cannot be a function of that which is outside of him, because that makes his awareness not his own, in fact, but whatever “caused” him.  However I submit that awareness must be an innate function of man’s ability to be himself; anything else removes man from his own consciousness, which makes all appeals to man’s existence a lie.  For a man who is fundamentally unable to be aware, and this awareness of himself, cannot be said to know anything.

Man’s ability to be himself IS his ability to KNOW himself, and his ability to KNOW himself is his ability to conceptualize himself as juxtaposed to the conceptualization of what is NOT himself.  Both the SELF of man and the Environment of man are predicated upon man’s ability to know–to conceptualize–them both.  There is no thing, “inside” or “outside” of man, which is not conceptualized in order to be understood, made relevant and efficacious, and applied to the promotion of man’s identity.  And there is nothing conceptualized which is not a function of man’s inherent ability to conceptualize.

From this I argue that reason is simply the internal rational consistency of the “conceptual paradigm” as I call it (I’m not a linguist by trade; they probably have an “official” name for that to which I am referring).  Meaning, man’s ability to take the concepts he uses to organize and reconcile himself to his environment, and thereby create his own specific identity, cannot contradict one another.

In other words, man’s relationship to his environment cannot be paradoxical (as in “contradictory”), and the only way to assure that this is not the case is to reject  descriptions of reality which are, within the conceptual framework–which is man’s only means by which to reconcile  himSELF to his Environment (the basis for “existence)–mutually exclusive.

For example, if we believe that John Immel (of spiritualtyranny.com, and a friend, a philosophical critic of mine, and a brilliant thinker and deft writer) is both determined by God and yet also has free will, we have violated conceptual consistency, since “determined” and “free-willed” cannot both have the same absolute reference.  John Immel cannot be given the characteristics of abstract concept X and Y when X and Y are conceptual opposites.  And this means that the assertion must be false.  John Immel cannot be both determined and have free will, because it defies reason (conceptual consistency) and thus cannot be a valid explication of “reality”, since “reality” is, in fact, its own concept.  And if reality is a concept then its definition must be non-paradoxical; that is, it cannot be defined by conceptual characteristics which are antipodal.  If we attempt to explain “truth” by appealing to conceptual opposites as its fundamental basis we have violated reason; and since reason is the only way to arrive at truth, we cannot violate reason and still claim truth.

Further, if truth is the means by which man’s SELF, man’s identity, is affirmed, a violation of truth is in fact a violation of morality, since man is the root conceptualizing agent and thus all truth rests with him as reference.  If he is denied, nothing can be called good (or evil), because “good” can no longer be defined, since the means to apprehend truth, man’s ability to conceptualize SELF, is invalidated.  Truth and morality are corollaries, I submit, and both are a function of reason.

Therefore to concede conceptual paradox as the basis for “reality” is both false AND evil, is my point.  Man’s existence is affirmed by truth; and since man is he who possesses the ability to conceptualize, he is the one whom truth serves.  And for truth not to serve him is evil.  Put simply:  insofar as truth and morality are corollaries, so are evil and lie.

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That which is said to be true cannot be predicated upon conceptual opposites.  Concepts are used by man to promote the primary concept of SELF upon the Environment, and this is not possible if those concepts used to promote the SELF are found to contradict on their way to concluding with the SELF as the metaphysical absolute.  This is the philosophical equivalent of doing a maze puzzle and claiming you arrived at the “END” by drawing a straight line from “START”.  You cannot blow through all the dead ends and say you’ve correctly arrived at the logical conclusion.  It just doesn’t work that way.

According to all of the above rationale, in order to condemn me as a subjectivist means that one must show how I can proclaim conceptual consistency as reason, and reason as truth, and truth as goodness, while at the same time denying that other human beings can be conceptualized any other way except as full-fledged metaphysical singularities.  In other words, as THEMSELVES, or OTHER SELVES.

But here’s the problem with doing that:  Since they can recognize ME as not THEM, and consistently and empirically use and apply the concept of I, and ME, and MYSELF, just as I do, it is impossible to define them except as SELVES without violating the conceptual paradigm and thus violating reason and truth and morality.  Therefore, in the interest of maintaining conceptual consistency, according to my philosophy, I must assume that I am NOT the only SELF in existence.  It would be a violation of the conceptual paradigm to call ME the only true SELF, and then relegate all other human beings to the status of mere objects.  Rationally, this simply does not work.  A chair, a car, a tree, a breeze do not use the pronoun “I” or “me”; nor do they refer to me as “YOU”.  Not even Artificial Intelligence (which is a completely false threat, and is based on the assumption that human awareness is a function of unconscious particles coming together as a function of the “causal” laws of physics which “govern”…which, um…yeah, unconscious cannot by defintion = conscious)…yes, not even Artificial Intelligence can refer to its own “style”, its hopes and dreams, placing itself at the very center of a conceptual paradigm by which it is understood by the very structure of what comprises it, that Truth is meant to serve it, and not the other way around.  A talking computer cannot pontificate upon or exegete its feelings or dreams or make itself as the subject of a “future” or “past”.  Only the human being can do that.

And even if the computer could do this it would not invalidate my argument; for we define a sentient being not by its body or its “objective” material form, but its ability to recognize itself as its own existential constant; its own metaphysical absolute.  “I” means not the body, it means the root by which all that is defined as existing, as an IS, has any relevance or meaning or purpose or truth or goodness at all.  In other words “I” is a metaphysical concept, not a physical one.

But what my critics argue is that somehow my philosophy demands that I observe humanity as a thing, not as a SELF; which I declare is impossible according to my rational plumb line: reason.  Which I define as conceptual consistency.

On the contrary, it is not my, but their objectivist, empiricist philosophy which demands human beings must be things, not metaphysical singularities; not sentient agents; not thinking SELVES.  They are the ones who demagogue “objective reality” as being a function of the “laws of physics”, which are unseen, unknowable apart from “material reality”, and unable to effect or affect anything at all absent material reality first, and man’s ability to conceptually organize reality before that.

It is their philosophy, not mine, which must deny any that another human being outside of oneself has any intrinsic character.  Their philosophy must proclaim consciousness an illusion and assume that all references to one’s own awareness are either illusory or madness.

It is their philosophy, not mine, which must deny any real efficacy of the senses, and ignore another person’s appeals to “self” and “me”, and to reference “you” and “us”, and dismiss them as merely the predetermined ramblings of programmed organic robots who have no actual understanding of such concepts because such thinking agents simply cannot rationally exist in the “real world” of the “objective” causal universe.  Outside of oneself of course.  After all, someone must be privy to the “truth”.

It is their philosophy, not mine, which must deny human conceptual consistency as that which is reasonable, fundamentally destroying and rendering inert both truth and morality.  It is their philosophy, not mine, which must observe human beings as external objects which can have nothing to do with those concepts which affect the “objective, observing self”, because “self” in this paradigm can only be defined exclusively as the one who can observe his own consciousness–“me, and no one else”–and thus the only one who can claim to properly observe and thus parse reality “objectively”.

They, not me, must assume that “future”, “past”, “love”, “want”, “need”, “hope”, etc. can have nothing to do with others they observe, because they do not concede that a rational conceptual definition of “other person” has anything to do with reality.  Other human beings are not products of their own ability to conceptualize SELF, thereby referring to themselves in the first person singular and placing themselves at the center of the conceptual paradigm, just as they do.

It is their philosophy, not mine, which subordinates all humanity to the subjective whims of the only one who can, by their rationale, be “real”.

And who is that?

It is he who calls himself: the observer.

But I do not preach the reality of the observer.  I preach the reality of the SELF, who must, in order to rationally define SELF, must define OTHER as his metaphysical equal.  Equally aware and equally valuable and equally entitled to the sum and substance of their own lives.

Get the Metaphysics Right and You’ll Get Everything Right

Put on your thinking caps, ladies and gents.  This is no cakewalk of political pontification; no casual stroll down the primrose path of the subjective symbolism of flags or the contradiction of government to the individual metaphysic.  No, you’ll need to turn off the background music and send the kids out to play for a while.

If you are so inclined, of course.  Around here, no one forces anyone else to spend the capital of their own time in any way other than as they wish. I’m just giving you fair warning.  Gonna hit the pause button on this one a few times.  This will be decidedly non-intuitive.  But remember, that doesn’t make it wrong.  Only rational inconsistency makes it wrong.  And if you can point any out, please let me know in the comments section.

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In order for you to know, believe, or do anything, YOU must first be a part of the equation…YOU must be endemic to–you must be the reference for the relevancy, efficacy, purpose, and meaning of that knowledge, belief, or action.  In other words, without YOU, there is no knowledge, belief, or action, because those things–in conceptual form or otherwise–can have no meaning absent the frame of reference of yourSELF.  Without YOU, and your innate, inherent, and absolute ability to be YOU, I assert that there is no existence of anything, period, and the same is true for me.  For without the Self, by which the entirety of one’s existence is referenced, and of which there is no other absolute and and thus constant context, there can be no reference for existence by which existence qua existence can have any meaning.

Now, before you raise an index finger to protest this idea it is vital to notice that even those who proclaim the objective existence of things in the “objective material reality outside ourselves” do, and in fact must, declare such a notion only from the absolute context of themselves, that is, from the absolute and inexorable frame of reference of Self…and this context is for them, as it is for everyone, categorical.  No one can observe life/reality/existence, beliefs, ideas, actions, emotions, aesthetics, etc. from outside themselves, by definition.  This fact renders anyone claiming to know of an “objective reality outside themselves” either a weaver of false threads or at the very least unaware of contradictory “logic” of such a notion.  Even those “out of body experiences” about which we occasionally hear from people who are said to have died for a minute or two on the operating table still must speak of such an experience from a singular consciousness; a singular observational vantage point; a singular perspective; a singular context of Self.  They always speak of it as MY out-of-body experience, not OUR out-of-body experience.  And this is because human beings have no collective frame of reference, but only a singular existential perspective–that of Self.  There is no such thing as a dual, or group, metaphysic.  The reason why you always refer to yourself as “I” is because you cannot possess a collective frame of reference for your existence.  At the end of it all…at the end of every philosophy, no matter what you are told and no matter how desperately some Marxist proselyt might wish it to be otherwise, there is no such thing as “WE” except conceptually.  There is only YOU, period.  You ARE; and you ARE, absolutely.  There is no such thing as a group metaphysic.  It is a lie.  Which is why all civilizations rooted in altruism (the idea that man’s greatest moral good is to sacrifice the Self for the Group) always exist in abject misery and inevitably terminate at death.

As I was saying, the individual metaphysic then necessarily contradicts the idea of an “objective reality outside” a person.  The implication is that regardless of someone’s own frame of reference–regardless of the constant of the observational perspective of their own SELF–there is nevertheless an “objective reality outside them” which continues to be what it is and do what it does.  That is, they don’t necessarily have to exist in order for “objective reality” to exist.

The problem, however, is that there isn’t any way to prove this objectively (not to mention rationally), since there isn’t any way to observe reality but from the context of themselvesThey cannot proclaim an autonomous “reality” outside of them if their awareness of such a reality is always a function of their absolute frame of reference.  They must assume that they are the source of “objective reality”.  Without THEM, there is no way to claim that anything is in fact real.  Objective reality is a function of the individual’s existence, not the other way around.

Here’s the irony:

A person’s own ability to be themselves within a setting (i.e. the Universe) absolutely referenced to and thus given meaning and purpose by themselves is the only means by which he or she can express the (false) idea that the Universe exists utterly, fully, and autonomously without them.  This has the contrary effect of rendering themselves utterly irrelevant to the very idea they are promoting.  If everything exists outside of them, then what they think or believe or do is entirely irrelevant to the existence of that which is outside of them, by definition, which means they cannot possibly be integrated with reality, operating somehow from an infinitely separate frame of reference than the reality they observe (and how they can even observe a reality outside themselves is another problem), which means they can have no reference for their own existence, which makes the whole idea moot, as opposed to true.  And if what they think or say or do, being an absolute function of themselves (which it is, by definition), is irrelevant, then they themselves, in their very person, are irrelevant.  Which is to say that the “objective reality” outside of them will do what it does regardless of whether they exist or not.  For how can one advocate practical interaction with an environment which is absolutely objective and autonomous without the individual?

In order for man to manifest himself practically and efficaciously upon his environment, man must exist as an absolute part of it, which means that we cannot separate the existence of the individual from the existence of his environment.  There is no rational way to mitigate or compromise on the distinction.  If man is, and his environment is, then they both are…equally and inseparably .  (So then, where does the distinction occur, since it is not and cannot be a physical one? An interesting question for you to consider.)

Either man is a fully existent and completely integrated to his environment or he is fully, materially, distinct.  And the latter makes it impossible to argue that man exists at all because it puts an insurmountable chasm between man and that upon which he must manifest himself–as a juxtapositional reference–in order to claim that he is, in fact, observably himself from that which he is not, this being the basic and essential criteria in declaring that some thing–some unique thing–exists.  That is, in order to define what something is, the thing must be referenced to that which it is NOT.  Otherwise, it simply cannot be defined, because that which is infinite (absent a reference by which to juxtapose its unique and particular location in the Universe), or having no end, cannot be said to be “this”, because there is no “that” by which to make “this” mean anything specific.  (I know this is a bit confusing, hang in there.) So again, it cannot be defined.  And if it cannot be defined then it cannot be said to exist; either to itself nor to anything, or anyone, else.

This why I have denied the idea that God is an infinite Being. (Though he does have an infinite metaphysic, like the human individual does, which is a little different, because in the metaphysical sense, “infinity” is better defined as absolutely, meaning that man and God are absolutely themselves, in existential essence…their Self, which is their standard and reference for existence, is singular, not collective).  Because if God was in fact infinite, then He could not be defined as God (He could not even define Himself as God) because nothing could exist besides Him, which would remove any reference by which anyone (“anyone”, likewise,not being able to exist in the presence of a Being which is infinite) could know Him as God.  God would not be God, He would be an infinite IS, which is, practically speaking, the exact same thing as being an infinite IS NOT.  Meaning for something to be infinitely something is functionally identical to being infinitely nothing.  For there is no relevancy to what is infinite, because nothing else can exist for it to be relevant TO.  And if it isn’t relevant TO anything, that must necessarily includes itself, which, being infinite, and never ending, never ceasing, cannot be conceptualized, which means it cannot be integrated into the organizational paradigm (language) by which all things in the Universe are identified and granted efficacy.

Now–and I touched upon this in the parentheses above–it is important to understand that there is a distinction between the infinity of essence and the finiteness of material objects in the material universe which are given meaning and purpose by the human ability to integrate them into into a conceptual paradigm by which people organize and thus “know” their own environment.  The infinity of essence–the absolute metaphysic– is what I might describe as the infinite ability to be whatever something is; the idea that if something IS it can never be an IS NOT, nor could what is something be a direct function of nothing.  For example, take the doctrine of ex nihilo, or the idea that God created the Universe out of nothing.  Even a third grader can understand why this must be false; for nothing and something are mutually exclusive, where “nothing” is merely an abstract, conceptual placeholder, like the mathematical placeholder of zero, to describe the absence of a thing with respect to a specific situation or context.  For example, “John is doing nothing at home today”.  We all understand that John, because he IS, cannot thus be literally doing nothing.  For at the very least John is existing.  “Nothing” then is merely an abstraction humans use for the purpose of communication.  It is a linguistic tool, much like “zero” is a mathematical one.

The finiteness of material “existence”, or of material objects is based upon the human ability, as I previously mentioned, to conceptualize what he/she observes.  This is the ability of the sentient–the self aware–agent to make a conceptual distinction, via observation, between what he/she is and what he/she is not to an infinite degree (though this is not akin to “observational empiricism”; or “scientific empiricism”…which is the idea that the senses are the source of all human knowledge, as opposed to the ability of the human to conceptualize the Self as being the source of all human knowledge).  In other words, material distinction is a function of the ability to be self-aware (some might call it consciousness, but I think this muddies the issue; for “ability” is not consciousness), not a function of “objective material reality”.

Please understand that I am not being contradictory here.  I am not suggesting there is any such real, actual thing as the finiteness of material objects.  I do not, in other words, acknowledge the existence and efficacious power of “space”.  For space, or that which is the absence of objects, cannot by definition be an object itself which separates other objects into some kind of infinite vacuum of themselves.  Rather, “space” is merely a way human beings conceptualize the relative movement between objects they observe as distinct, but this does not make the objects actually distinct.  The ability to observe objects as distinct is rooted absolutely in the human ability to conceptualize their own Self; and this necessitates the ability to conceptualize what their own Self is NOT, and infinitely so.  The infinite ability to make distinctions between what you are and what you are NOT maintains the consistency of the infinity of existence, or of essence.  In other words, the infinity of existence is manifest in the infinite number of ways you can conceptualize the distinctions between Self and Environment.  You are not a cup, a car…you are not even the parts of your body…your hand, your hip, your kidney, or your brain, necessarily, when speaking observationally and conceptually.  You are not a table, the sky, the tree, God, Joe, that weird kid who stared at you in fourth grade, a bird, the number three, a magic trick, a preposition, the article “the”…and on and on the distinctions go.  You see, there is fundamentally no difference between infinity and an infinite number of objects moving in an infinite number of ways, in root essence…they are tautological.  But what renders a distinction between these two notions, and an infinitely meaningful distinction at that, is the human ability to, again, infinitely conceptualize the difference between Self and Not Self, the only purpose of which, incidentally, is for the promotion and perpetuation of Self.

(NOTE:  The question of how the human ability to infinitely conceptualize the distinction between Self and Not Self can be efficaciously manifest in a Universe where there is no such thing as space or time (these are conceptual abstractions)–where everything is utterly rooted infinity–is another article.  I will get to that in the near future.)

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 Getting back to this idea that the human being exists “outside” of “objective reality”–there is no scientific “evidence” (the only real evidence is reason), and no rationally consistent philosophical argument, which can prove that the human body–that which we identify with the individual Self, as being indistinguishable from his/her ability to manifest existence–is somehow existentially distinct from the rest of the Universe.  For it is merely stating the rank obvious to say that all of the chemical compounds and fundamental particles which can be found in “objective reality outside of us” can also be found inside of us, that is, our bodies.  It is likewise stating the obvious to say that if the human body can interact with the “objective reality outside of us” then the human body must have categorical integration with such a reality, which makes the human body equally as real, thus rendering any distinction between the human body and a “reality outside of him/her” impossible.

The difference then is in man’s capacity, his absolute ability to recognize himself conceptually, in the practical form of his body (which I describe as the first fruits of man’s labor–the work of his own existing, which no one else can do for him), as distinct from the environment.  The distinction then is a function of man’s sentient frame of reference for Self–his own absolute and infinite perspective, and this, again, to re-re-reiterate, is a product of his own ability to know, and to thus be, what he is.  Existence then, and knowledge, and thus truth and morality (those things from which knowledge is derived) are a direct function of man’s ability to BE.  YOU must be YOU, before anything can be known, or believed, or done.  Without you, in other words, there cannot be anything “outside” of you.  Period.  You are the beginning and end of existence.  And not simply your existence, but existence absolutely.