The problem with Idealism

First let me say that I am not an academic philosopher. So If possible lets keep this discussion within the realm of the leyman and avoid higher diction where possible. What are the Final Answers? Regardless of the debate philosophers, scientists and religious people try to take a stand within some ideal. I will try to argue that this should not be our approach to knowledge. Along the way many of you will want definitions or willmost likely want me to clarify a concept. If possible I will due so but I will try to use words as they are commonly understood and not by some academic definition. My arguments are not unique as I believe William James or some Pragmatist most likely already took this approach. Enough qualifications.

As an experiment before I go onto my argument ask yourself what you think the answer is to the following questions:

  1. How did the universe come to be?
  2. Is the Universe Random or Designed?
  3. Is there a God or gods?

What do these answers do for you? What do they cost you? If say you believe that Master Yoda created the Universe in order to appear in several movies you have to ask yourself how does this help you understand yourself or the world? What did this “belief” cost you. Belief always costs you something and here is why. Belief liberates you from the “agony of choice” (Not sure who to credit). It takes you out of the search for answers and lets you rest. We all need this rest as a complete skeptic could not function. The problem is most people give up early and rest as soon as they can. It will most likely always be that way.
I’d suggest that instead you take the answers you gave above and assign them the mental image of a specific tool. Now put that tool in your imagined tool box. Recognize that like other tools these “answers” have limitted utility and no finality. Recognize that while they do the job there might be other tools that do the job, maybe better than the tool you are using. If you could see all of human knowledge as the accumulation of such tools you would see as I do that what we do as philosphers is we sort through everyones tool boxes. If we’re good and we find a tool that works better we appropriate it but again we don’t give it some absolute quality. We begin to use it but we also continue to look at other tools. In this way our toolboxes evolve and are continually open. Your not just open to change but you actively seek better tools. (A better tool is one that does the job better) Built into such a position is the respect for all tools because none are absolute. Much of science, religion and philosophy is devisive and therefore counter productive. Again in my opinion man must overcome this need for certainty because it is that need that brings us to killing each other and stagnates our progress.

Idealism by contrast suggests that there is one absolute tool or set of tools. Many people for example use the tool “God” to answer all sorts of questions even when it is commonly known that better tools exist. Again tools that do the job better. For example creationists. That doesn’t mean that God is a useless tool but only that his/her usefulness had diminished.

I think I will leave it at that. Thanks.

In what sense can liberation be a cost?

Someone (a former slave I think) once said, “Happiness isn’t being free, it’s becoming free.” And I would think that becoming free, while very satisfying, is not an easy process and would involve some considerable difficulty and suffering. However, I think that ultimately the freeing process and the resultant liberation would outweigh the cost.

Also, becoming free might also include giving up the old prescriptions and assumptions of childhood, and sometimes the whole belief system that one is raised in; or it might mean new thinking about these assumptions and beliefs, getting rid of the parts that don’t make sense and keeping the parts that do. Fundamentally, it means asking the new and difficult questions that make for psychic and spiritual transformation.

Why are ideals subordinate to the material plane, maybe it’s the other way around?

When you see a thing that doesn’t quite fit in with your ideal, is it the ideals fault, or the things?

Are things more objective than ideals or vice versa?

Most are blinded by idealism, when they should focus on optimal conditions.

Why should there be a difference?

Is what I just wrote above the definition of insanity?

What do slaves believe in? What faith do they have?

Let’s not add incoherent nonsense to incoherent nonsense, please.

Ochaye, you should not have made this reply based on a selective quote taken out of context from my whole reply. My entire post made perfect sense. Yours, however, sounds reactionary, incoherent, and off topic. For example, I was replying to the OP’s comment on liberation and your question on the cost, which has everything to do with being and becoming free and how that process works. Care to comment thoughtfully on what was actually said and discussed? That would be nice.

On the contrary, it was your reply that was utterly out of context with the OP, which is apparently beyond polite description. If one came to rescue it from ignominy, noting the embarrassed silence of its author, it is unsurprising.

Maybe each has its place depending on function. We function physically in the material level of existence and therein see results of ideas. Yet, we live in a world of ideas and project them out onto the material world. Nothing wrong with that to the one using his/her own knowledge in his/her non material place in consciousness. Something has to guide the actions one takes in the materiel plane even though that which guides others may not tally with it. But no one person is in a position to accept or reject the experiences of another.

I’m not sure what your talking about. The nature of ideas or language? I think you may have missed the point of what I was trying to say. The point is “ideas” are just tools. There is no right or wrong simply tools that work better for specific problems. That’s it.

Again this is not an original idea of mine. I wish I could point to the author but I can’t. Choice can be a burden if you think about it. You are inundated every day with choices. This is even more predominant in todays post-modern, relativistic atmosphere. Sifting through these choices his hard work. When I say you are liberated from choice I am saying that belief liberates you from the hard work of sifting all the material. That’s it.

Your post is an excellent example. So few has the rationallity to realize that there are in the first place a difference.

Let’s take a basic selfexplanatory example first: Idealism usually are defined by certain rules and standards …etc, can be translated into eating 3 meals a day, getting 8h sleep. If the conditions changes like war or a catastrophy happens, the ideal can’t be met, but then you have to do the best under the new conditions and make due with less in order to maintain optimal conditions. Do you prioritize a small amount of food to youself or to your kids, a responsible adult would prioritize more food to their kids, or distribute equally, whilst a selfish parent would take more for self than the kids.

A more advanced example is communism, sure Karl Marx was a knowledged person, but he did not understand deeper psycology, and had very little rationallity hench a poor logic, why he made a totally farfetched ideal that was nothing but an utopian idea.
Marx did not comprehend that the very idea of an intelligent person being forced to share his hard earned money and property to undeserving lazy and stupid people, was illogical and offending. He did not understand that simple psycologically concept, why the optimal situation sucked.

Capitalists however, does understand more of such basic matters, why their optimal situation are much better overall.

Yes, this sounds like subjective idealism, where our ideas have the power to influence our world, or at least how our world is percieved, just as our world has the power to influence our ideas, or at least how our ideas are percieved.

Can we ever overcome the preconceptions and prejudices of our mind?

Are some prejudices and prconceptions innate?

Is it even possible to perceive the world without filters?

Scientists can magickally and psychically influence the outcome of a process or an experiment, just by observing it or expecting a certain result.

The mind and ideas aren’t solely passive, they seem to actively organize and rearrange phenomena, changing the objective world or at least our perception of it.

However, for the most part, I agree with you. I prefer to be free, to keep my options open as opposed to the temporary comfort and stability of abolsute certainty.

Absolute certainty and idealism are two distinct concepts, I think.

I’m sure you can’t. It’s palpable nonsense.

Oh, Catholics and Calvinists don’t need to be told that, as I’m sure you’re aware. But you alleged that ‘Belief liberates you from the “agony of choice”’. So where does the cost come in liberty? It’s simply garbage, the way you put it. Nobody minds amateur philosophers. But OPs at least need to be coherent.

Oh, Catholics and Calvinists don’t need to be told that, as I’m sure you’re aware. But you alleged that ‘Belief liberates you from the “agony of choice”’. So where does the cost come in liberty? It’s simply garbage, the way you put it. Nobody minds amateur philosophers. But OPs at least need to be coherent.
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Callous and unproffesional reply. We are all amateur philosphers. You clearly are. The phrase as I said is not mine. Your response is nonsensical and uncritical. What do you mean by “garbage”? How is it incoherent? I am not advocating for setting your responsibility of choice aside by the way in fact I am asking that we all carry this burden. Please try to reply with more respect.

Like share-holders, you mean.

Marx intended ‘from each according to his ability’, which rather implies that the New Testament principle that had previously guided socialists, ‘If a man will not work, let him not eat,’ he did not dispute. What he significantly added was that the nature of work would change, being more creative and of course without the constant time pressures of capitalism, and attitudes to work would change accordingly.

Somehow, it always comes back to Christianity with you, doesn’t it Och?

Everything everyone says and believes is a direct attack, insult and offence to your peculiar brand of Christianity, hence the reactionary, incoherent and emotive response.

From what I gather, the OP is talking about the rigidity of absolute certainty vs the flexibility of relative certainty. For a man of faith, I suppose this could be troubling. Faith gives us the temporary illusion of certitude, but it is infinitely more fallible than probability. An idea may serve us for a while, but if something manifests that contradicts it, Lell is arguing we should alter or abandon our idea. He is aruging ideas should be suboridinate to phenomena. I’m inclined to agree, though not 100%, for reasons I’ve previously stated.

What about the ego? Should the ego conform to the ideal, or the ideal to the ego?