Tag Archives: objective consciousness

Hume’s Guillotine Has No Blade (Part SIX): The objectively subjective consciousness fallacy

I suspect that the bulk of the criticism of my theory of objective, universal moral ethics will focus on the conscious observer. Consciousness is something to which I clearly appeal as being integral to objective moral ethics, as well as epistemology and metaphysics…well, to the whole of philosophy, really. In other words, let me be clear: the claim that consciousness is purely subjective and epiphenomenal with respect to reality makes reality impossible to define, thus there can be no truly efficacious defense of reality at all. All declarations of truth—of anythingmust and do proceed from a singular conscious frame of reference.

This is not a defense of the “primacy of consciousness” metaphysic, but it IS a defense of the inestimable and critical metaphysical value of conceptualization—which is the only relevant function of consciousness—and similar value to epistemology; and from epistemology, to ethics, and the rest of philosophy.

All truths are conceptual, and this is because all truths must be defined, understood, and willfully applied, otherwise they are meaningless. And “meaningless truth” is a contradiction in terms. It is not enough to observe a tree, but “tree” must be conceptualized in order that it be defined and differentiated from the rest of reality. All distinctions are fundamentally conceptual. Conceptualization is thus the fundamental efficacy of what is observed. Observation qua observation is redundant. Sense data need not be sensed at all unless it is conceptualized, and via conceptualization, constructed into an epistemological framework by which the the observer can derive and discern truth.

I find it helpful to assume that “consciousness” and “conceptualization” are essentially synonymous…at least with respect to metaphysics and epistemology. The only relevant function of the consciousness is to conceptualize…to create concepts for what is observed, and from these build language, and from that language communicate with other observers.

And this is key. Asserting the object necessity of consciousness in building an efficacious and meaningful epistemology is NOT asserting consciousness, itself, as the objective metaphysical and/or epistemological standard. Conceptualization implies language, and language implies communication, and communication implies “other”. Meaning that if the conscious self (the self-aware observer) conceptualizes and thus must communicate, then the self necessarily implies other selves with whom to communicate. So it would be foolish to pretend that the self qua self is the root arbiter of what is truth and reality. That is, to assume that one’s self qua one’s self is the plumb-line by which anything is called real, and true, and ethical, is indeed merely an appeal to solipsism, which is completely irrational, because it is easily proven to be wholly subjective. Yet accusations of solipsism and other such vapid, ethereal ideologies are invariably leveled against anyone who claims consciousness as not only necessary, but fundamental, to objective reality, truth, and morality, by those who assert the primacy of existence as the metaphysical absolute.

So if it isn’t the self, itself, which provides the singular and immutable reference and standard for truth, morality, and so on, then what is it?

As stated, the only relevant aspect of consciousness is conceptualization, to the point where there can be no fundamental difference between them (consciousness IS conceptualization, and vice versa); and conceptualization implies language, and language implies communication (with the OTHER, or other selves). Therefore the objective epistemological and ethical standard is necessarily that which enables objective, relevant, meaningful communication. In other words, the standard is that by which it can be said that communication has actually occurred. And that of course is conceptual consistency. Another way of putting it is “rational consistency”, or reason.

And this is why contradiction is an abject imposter of truth, and thus cannot be successfully applied, and thus all attempts to do so are necessarily, universally, and objectively immoral (see part five of this series). Contradiction denies the efficacy and meaningfulness of communication, and likewise language, and likewise conceptualization, and likewise the observer, and without the observer there can be no one to define and declare that reality is in fact real; and thus reality, itself, collapses.

The presumption that all morality must invariably be subjective—a collection of nothing but infinitely relative hypothetical imperatives—of OUGHTS—which have nothing ultimately to do with objective reality—that which IS—is precisely rooted in the arrant denial of any objective, and thus fundamentally relevant and meaningful, value of the consciousness to existence…to reality, itself.

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So, what are the underlying presumptions of the of the nature of consciousness upon which are established the arguments against universal, objective morality?

They are as follows:

That consciousness has no foundation in existence because it is entirely transient (born out of nothing, dies into nothing). And existence is the root standard of objectivity. Therefore consciousness must be entirely subjective. Yet consciousness is singular and absolute in its essence—it is experienced as “I”.  And thus it is concluded that it must be singularly and absolutely subjective. Any attempt then to interpret, define, and apply one’s existence from the internal frame of reference of the conscious self must necessarily result in complete chaos. Sense data, interpreted and applied to, first and foremost, the promotion of one’s self, which is entirely subjective and thus entirely relative, will necessarily pit man against his fellow man, and against his environment, leading inevitably to social collapse, societal collapse, structural collapse, and infinite moral atrocity.

The conscious self then must be anchored to that which is outside of itself. That is, all the conscious self thinks, wills, and desires must be referenced to an objective reality outside. Sense data is to be considered inexorably distinct from the conceptual interpretations of the consciousness.The data is categorically a priori, de facto, intransigent, constant (in its nature), and absolute. This reality—this reality which exists, period—is the reference by which all thought and belief, ethics and politics, should be tied in order to avoid the inevitable chaos that a primacy of consciousness shall deliver. The primacy of existence, on the other hand—the conscious will’s utter deference to objective reality outside itself— is humanity’s bulwark against superstition, mysticism, ideology, self-absorbtion, moral relativism, and all other forms of epistemological and moral relativism, which can only lead to chaos, vice, and misery.

Sense data is a bridge between the infinite objectivity of existence (of reality outside of one’s self) and the infinite subjectivity of consciousness. Consciousness does not interpret what the sense data delivers—it does not create meaning. Meaning is dictated to the consciousness from the “outside world”. What the sense data delivers, it delivers. Any notions regarding greater meaning to the self; any interpretations beyond the face value of the facts; any arrogant assumption that the conscious self is entitled to any role or should have any say In the grand and greater purpose of existence and objective reality is a violation of truth and an appeal to madness; it constitutes rank violent selfishness, which seeks to sacrifice objective reality, and all others in it, to one’s self, merely for one’s own subjective pleasure.

The idea that consciousness is in any way creative, that it any way determines the fundamental nature of what exists—of what IS—, that it is anything more than a receptacle into which objective sense data is dumped, and for no other reason than to perpetually inform the consciousness of its utterly transient, subjective, and thus ultimately irrelevant nature, and that consciousness “exists” only to regurgitate the self-evincing facts of external objective reality, and thus to promote existence as everything and itself as nothing…yes, any and all suggestions that consciousness is anything more than some enigmatic, fundamentally unimportant, redundant epiphenomenon of existence, is to be condemned and dismissed as an appeal to pure mysticism at best, madness at heart, and pure criminal bloodlust at worst.

The self should ultimately resign itself to being basically a disinterested bystander to reality and existence. It should seek moral good, yet understand that moral good is found in the rejection of the efficacy of will and an acceptance that one’s conscious existence is ultimately an illusion, and thus of no real  purpose. There is no reason to assert one’s will upon the world, nor upon one’s fellow man, since doing so can only lead to chaos, and thus unnecessary misery for one’s self and others. The limiting and/or elimination of unnecessary suffering by rejecting the idea that one’s self is entitled to anything from existence is the greatest, and only, moral good achievable for the conscious self. To have compassion on one’s fellow man is to recognize that the violation of him to one’s own subjective will doesn’t do anything for one’s self in the end, and only invites unnecessary suffering. One should seek to make the subjective experience of conscious existence as painless and comfortable as possible.

The practical ways in which this shall be achieved vary widely, of course, since no objective moral behavior can be prescribed from a purely subjective conscious existence. Morality, which is only of any use to the conscious self, has no relevance thus to objective reality outside. Morality then, constitutes the subjective, or hypothetical “ought” to the “is” of objective reality.  All moral codes and strictures, then, are relative, and attempts to mitigate unnecessary human misery should be interpreted contextually only, and no attempts should be made to categorically condemn any person, or group, based on some kind of impossible objective moral value system. This means that proponents of the metaphysical primary of existence (of “objective reality outside one’s self”) can be found in all manner of social systems in the world and world history, from national socialism, to representative democracy, to anarchism, to communism, to oligarchy, tribalism, theocracy, etc. etc. Since existence is objective, and consciousness is subjective, then differences in how men choose to organize themselves politically and socially ultimately boil down to subjective arguments over which system reduces unnecessary human misery more, or less. There is evidence that liberal democratic systems are temporarily more comfortable, but comfort is, itself, simply a relative assertion. All debates about the supremacy of one political system over another are really debates over “how much” suffering is too much; and this because humanity, being conscious and thus purely subjective and transient, is always giving way to the unrelenting encroachment of objective reality. In other words, suffering is endemic to consciousness. Death is inevitable for the self, and so the nature of one’s life, morally speaking, is fundamentally irrelevant. Disagreements over the “proper” social and political systems then, are ultimately unresolvable, and thus will inevitably lead to violent conflict.

There is no objective moral or political argument to make if we accept that existence implies the fundamental subjectivity of human consciousness. We understand that everyone eventually dies, and by this we mean that the consciousness fades into oblivion, and leaves a legacy with no objective meaning, and humanity is utterly at the mercy of the objective reality outside itself, and has no real substance, and no real place in the grand scheme of things. All ethical and sociopolitical debates are little more than killing time until we return to the anomalous abyss from which we mysteriously sprung.

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The problem with this interpretation of consciousness is that not only does it preclude the possibility of any objective morality, which is scary enough in itself, but it precludes the possibility of any real ethic whatsoever (please see parts three and four of this series for a comprehensive explication of this). With the rejection of consciousness as anything but a complete anomaly to reality and existence, its categorical subjectivity making it completely insufficient to the application of truth, one finds an empty hole where ethics should be. Since the conscious observer acts from a completely subjective frame of reference, he is ultimately unable to apply truth in any objective way, since he is always inexorably acting from his own consciousness.

Without the applicational of truth to a purpose outside of truth, the truth can never be verified as actually true. Truth then becomes a merely tautological proposal—truth is verified by the mere fact that it is true (it’s truth because it’s true; its true because it’s truth). Objective reality which is fundamentally outside of man—outside of the conscious self—is a reality which finds him completely irrelevant. His will is of no ultimate value; his thoughts unnecessary.

And despite arguments from objectivists, scientific determinists, and other adherents of pseudo-rationalist philosophies, there are only two types of experiential outcome from  this kind of epistemology. And they are…

Since man is fundamentally unable to apply truth, he is ultimately unfit for existence. Man proceeds from his singular conscious frame of reference, but because this frame of reference is purely subjective, and irrelevant to the objective reality outside himself, his will is incompetent; his thoughts are irrational; nothing he does can have any real value or meaning to anything which objectively is. There are only two possibilities then for man as far as his existential experience are concerned: totalitarians or chaos. It’s either complete authoritarian control, or the complete lack thereof. If man is left to himself, his innate and inexorable existential insufficiency demands that he implode into a thoughtless, hopeless, helpless, chasm of complete and violent existential failure, each man taking all other men with him.

The other alternative is to appeal to some transcendent authority…a collection of rulers who can appeal to some kind of divine or extra-ordinary enlightenment. A priest class, if you will. Maybe actual priests, or maybe representatives of a self-deluded liberal democracy, or the commissars of some nominally atheistic communist state. Whatever. In any case, the totalitarian manifestation of the rational failure of primacy of existence metaphysics and epistemology leads to the very chaos that that totalitarianism is intended to prevent.

And the irony cascades.

END part SIX

Birth and Death: Paradoxical Bookends of the Absolute Self (Part One)

The idea of death is something I have rejected from a philosophical perspective…that is, from a perspective of capital-T Truth. I am okay with death form the purely emprical side of things…that eventually our bodies give out for whatever reason and we are returned to the dust from whence we sprung. But from a rational position, one where fundamental epistemological conceptual consistency is the only real basis for knowing anything at all (which is true), nothing about death makes sense. And birth, being death’s corollary in this regard, is in the same position. You see, if we only accept truth based upon empirical “evidence” then we can never arrive at a rational, relevant, and meaningful answer to the question “what is man?”. For man is more than his senses; more than just his body. If he were not, then consciousness would be impossible. The Singularity of the Self…that is, the constancy which is necessary for consciousness, and from consciousness, observation, and from observation, conceptualization, and from conceptualization, meaning, and from meaning Truth, is utterly denied when we accept that man is merely a transient phenomenon; that there is nothing constant and absolute about his Self; that consciousness is entirely finite; it begins with blankness, and returns to blankness, which fundamentally nullifies all which it had learned and spoken in the meantime.

Consciousness is where the empiricists and determinists and objectivists completely fail in their philosophy, which is why they relegate it to mere epiphenomenon—an illusion, with a purely subjective ontology. Consciousness, by their standards, remains “inside”, whilst “objective truth” is that which is found on the “outside”. That this renders consciousness mutually exclusive from objective existence, and thus makes conscious understanding impossible, and thus any claims about what constitutes objective existence and truth likewise impossible, which voids their entire philosophy…well, that never seems to come up much. But we cannot have our cake and eat it, too. Consciousness cannot spring from the abyss of absolute unconsciousness (pre-birth) flourish for a while to grasp all manner of empirical and objective truth, and then return to the abyss (post death). The 1 of consciousness cannot be born from and then die to the 0 of oblivion. Consciousness, whether we want to accept it or not, is a Singularity; it is Absolute. The existence of You is predicated on You being a constant. If there is no constant/absolute frame of reference for You, then You is impossible.

You cannot be a function of that which is outside of you, because then You are not actually You. And You cannot be merely relative to that which is outside of You because then there is no fundamental constancy to You, in which case you have no grounded frame of reference by which to define “You” in the first place. And You, and by that I mean Your Self, and by that I mean your Conscious Awareness of Self, cannot merely be some (perhaps complicated or mysterious) kind of cosmic or evolutionary illusion because that begs the question: “An illusion of what?” And that question has no answer because the “what” is that which the proposition (that consciousness is purely an illusion) denies can even exist in the first place. And consciousness cannot likewise be a non-illusory product of some unconscious biological/evolutionary determinative process because that creates the self-defeating assertion that consciousness is direct function of unconsciousness….that somehow consciousness can step out of the absolutely unconscious processes from which it directly springs, observe these processes from a specific and distinct frame of reference, and proceed to make claims about the “objectivity” of the utterly unconscious determinative nature of consciousness.

The only options we have are: 1. That Consciousness IS, and is Singluar, and thus does not come from the Nothing which precedes birth and return to the Nothing which follows death; or 2. That it is a function of either a purely relative existence, unconscious biological/evolutionary determinative processes, or is an illusion. In other words, that consciousness is in fact entirely unconscious.

And only one of thes two options makes consciousness actually possible.

You ARE; and You are Constant. I don’t really care what objectivists, empiricists, scientific pseudo-philosophers, or other nihilistic determinists think—I have listened to their positions on this for years and years and it never changes and never manages to wiggle its way out from under the rock of self-defeating contradiction which crushes it to dust. I have heard everything, from appeals to quantum physics to cosmic evolution to taxicab geometry (where apparently squares are also circles…which, no; this is verifiably false all day long). Any and all attempts to negate consciousness as being what it self-evidently IS fail, always fail, and will fail forever.

So…with that being said, how now can we proceed to understand birth and death from a rationally consistent point of view? Do they even exist at all. Well, subjectively, perhaps. But objectively, no. More in part two.

END PART ONE

Why Motion is Not Actual, and the Indispensibility of the Singular Conscious Frame of Reference to Reality

As an aid to this article, here is the breakdown of the metaphysical premises of my philosophy, which I call Objective Relativism:

ABILITY (the metaphysical primary) (implies…)

ACTION (implies…)

RELATIVITY (implies…)

REFERENCE (or CONSTANT) (implies…)

SELF (or I) (implies…)

CONCEPTUALIZATION (or SELF-AWARENESS, or DISTINCTION BETWEEN SELF AND NOT-SELF) (implies…)

LANGUAGE (implies…)

COMMUNICATION (implies…)

OTHER (or OTHER SELF)

Summary: ABILITY (metaphysical primary), ACTION, RELATIVITY, REERENCE/CONSTANT, SELF, CONCEPTUALIZATION, LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION, OTHER

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There’s a little ball…let’s say a cue ball on a pool table. It’s there, just sitting still. And I ask myself, ‘How exactly can this ball move?’ Which is an odd question. Maybe even a silly one. That is, until I clarify…because what I mean is not how does it move, but how can it. Now, I get the basics of Newton’s laws of motion…that’s not exactly what I’m asking here. My question is not a mechanical or mathematical one, but a philosophical one. I don’t care about the mechanisms behind movement so much as I care about the rational (or irrational) assumptions we must make about movement qua movement before those mechanisms can be in any way relevant or meaningful, and thus real.

What I’m asking is this: how exactly does an object, like a cue ball on a pool table, go from no movement to movement (some degree of). How are two ostensibly mutually exclusive states of being integrated in a singular reality?  How does the ball transition from NOT MOVEMENT to MOVEMENT? From an “is” to an “is not”? From a 0 to a 1?

Well, I think we need to appeal to relativity. We’ll say that movement is actually relative movement. Which means that there is no movement qua movement at all, but merely a relative existential definition given to an object by a constant…which I submit must be the Observer, because nothing else can actually provide any relevant and meaningful definition to “movement”.

But of course necessitating consciousness to reality seems extremely subjective to many, if not most, people. They are very uncomfortable with this idea because it makes consciousness (via the Consicous Observer) utterly fundamental to reality and therefore Truth, and they view consciousness as being entirely subjective (it actually isn’t, however…it’s actually the only thing which can be truly objective, but that’s another article). So they look to other explanations for the cause of movement. I believe that this is this is not actually possible, however, because unless we concede the relativity of movement, and thus the need for a consciousness reference in order that the reference not be just another relative object, then we must appeal to mathematics/science to explain movement. But math and science do not really explain how mutually exclusive absolutes, like 1 and 0, Movement and No Movement, Is and Is Not, can integrate and co-exist in the same reality so much as they simply accept and assert them as ipso facto and a priori. And by the way, this is why we need philosophy…because only metaphysics can unravel the inevitable rational paradoxes and contradictions that science and mathematics contrive as existential fundamentals.

So what we get when we try to interpret movement mathematically is the construct of movement as continuum, or s spectrum, and movement is thus said to manifest as a measure of degrees—units of movement—with zero movement being one end and infinite movement (movement beyond practical or possible measure) on the other. But the problem here is how to determine and measure the values between degrees. Presumably, and indeed mathematically, the difference between degrees is measured and manifest in more degrees, and the distinction between these degrees measured and manifest in even more degrees, and so on and so forth, until we eventually concede that the continuum is a continuum of infinite degrees, which makes any given degree of movement fundamentally infinite. And this means that the mathematical valuation of a degree of movement must be purely abstract, purely conceptual—that is, a contrivance of the observer for his own use, and not an actual iteration of some kind of “objective reality” outside of him. Not to mention that by definition zero and infinity cannot be ends of a continuum since they are absolutes, with zero being the absolute—-which means immeasurable—absence of a thing, and infinity being the absolute, immeasurable, presence of a thing. They are mutually exclusive, not “components” of a “shared singularity” called a continuum.

Thus, the whole continuum thing falls apart as a description of what is actually, objectively, being exhibited in reality when a cue ball goes from no movement to (some degree of) movement.

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It is my assertion that the only possible explanation for how movement as an objective manifestation of reality and existence is possible is to conclude that movement doesn’t actually exist, as such. The cue ball doesn’t really move or not move, rather it simply exists relative to other things, with an observer conceptually describing its existence as (among other ways…that is, among other concepts) “moving” or “not moving” or having some “degree of movement” relative to other objects and referenced to his own constant of Self—that is, his own absolute and singular consciousness.

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Absent an observer there is no way to claim that objects ever actually or objectively move at all, since in an infinite vacuum, like the Universe, all movement must be relative, which means subjective and nonactual. One cannot answer the question “Does object A move relative to B or is it the other way around?” in an observer-less vacuum because in such a context the only possible answer is, “Both and neither”. Which of course isn’t an answer at all. And you can speak all day of multiverses or an expanding/contracting finite universe, but these are not rational descriptions of the universe’s existence…they are attempts at integrating existence into the mathematical data, which is like attempting to integrate the real world into a computer facsimile. It’s not an answer, it’s a contrivance to get around the metaphysical Truth which science and math cannot describe.

Multiverses, if they are compatible or integrative with each other, must occupy a broader singular reality, meaning a broader singular Universe. A Universe of universes, which is itself a vacuum of purely relative objects.

Yet if they are not compatible or integrative but are mutually exclusive from each other then no one in a given univserse can possibly make any rational claims about the others, even that they exist at all. Because they wouldn’t have an existential frame of reference to make such claims. Other universes would not share reality or existence, and thus they wouldn’t be real or exist to each other in the first place. The multiverse becomes simply a mathematical theory, or a cute fantasy of scientists and mathematicians attempting to co-opt metaphysics, which is a subject, in general and in my experience, far beyond their talents and experience.

Asserting that our own universe is somehow finite begs the question: What is beyond it then?

If the answer is “nothing” then the universe can’t be finite because “nothing” is not, by definition, something which thus can serve as a demarcation between “our universe” and “outside our universe”. So if there is nothing at the edge of our universe, then our universe doesn’t have an edge. The only thing at the edge of our universe is our universe. Which means it is absolute, and singular. Which means it’s infinite.

But if the answer is “something else”  and that something else exists alongside our own universe in a shared reality then clearly our universe isn’t the Universe, but there is a greater universe which comprises both our universe and whatever is outside of it but in the same realty. But if that something is in a different reality then we couldn’t claim it’s real in the first place, because we’d have no frame of reference for a separate reality beyond our own. Which means we couldn’t make any claims about it, least of all that it exists at the edge of our own universe.

No, no matter how we try to explain away or equivocate, we are forced to admit that the universe is singular, it is infinite, it is a vacuum, and thus all which exists in it does so only relatively to each other. And thus, any movement is relative, and thus non-actual, and requires a conscious constant—a conscious reference—to conceptualize “movement”. Movement, and all of reality itself, requires an observer.

END