turd and biggie discuss dasein

Seriously, though, we’ve been over this.

Remember when I asked you [on another thread] to note how this particular argument…

[b][i]a man amidst mankind…

That is the paradox, right? I am an individual…a man; yet, in turn, I am but one of 6,500,000,000 additional men and women that constitutes what is commonly called “mankind”. So, in what sense can I, as an individual, grasp my identity as separate and distinct from mankind? How do I make intelligent distinctions between my personal, psychological “self” [the me “I” know intimately from day to day], my persona [the me “I” project – often as a chameleon – in conflicting interactions with others], and my historical and ethnological self as a white male who happened adventiously to be born and raised to view reality from the perpective of a 20th century United States citizen?

How does all of this coalesce into who I think I am? And how does this description contrast with how others grasp who they think I am? Is there a way to derive an objective rendering of my true self? Can I know objectively who I am?

No, I don’t think so.

Identity is ever constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed over the years by hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of variables—some of which we had/have no choice/control regarding. We really are “thrown” into a fortuitous smorgasbord of demographic factors at birth and then molded and manipulated as children into whatever configuration of “reality” suits the cultural [and political] institutions of our time.

On the other hand:

In my view, one crucial difference between people is the extent to which they become more or less self-conscious of this. Why? Because, obviously, to the extent that they do, they can attempt to deconstruct the past and then reconstruct the future into one of their own more autonomous making.

But then what does this really mean? That is the question that has always fascinated me the most. Once I become cognizant of how profoundly problematic my “self” is, what can “I” do about it? And what are the philosophical implications of acknolwedging that identity is, by and large, an existential contraption that is always subject to change without notice? What can we “anchor” our identity to so as to make this prefabricated…fabricated…refabricated world seem less vertiginous? And, thus, more certain.

Is it any wonder that so many invent foundationalist anchors like Gods and Reason and Truth? Scriptures from one vantage point or another. Anything to keep from acknowledging just how contingent, precarious, uncertain and ultimately meaningless our lives really are.

Or, of course, is that just my foundation?[/i][/b]

…was not applicable to you? You know, with respect to actual conflicting human behaviors “out in the world” of conflicting value judgments?

To the best of my recollection, you never responded.

All bullshit aside, in other words, I really was curious to know if you might be willing to discuss this “straight”: without all of the histrionics, without all of the hyperbolic routines that folks like you and Trixie tend to employ in your posts.

Not that I don’t marvel at your capacity to entertain us in this regard. You are truly gifted at it. Only zoot [in my opinion] is better.

But, you know me. Or, if not, I’ll tell you: I really, really am preoccupied with delving into the extent to which, using the tools of philosophy, one can answer the question, “how ought I to live?”

In other words, in terms of values or ideals or goals.

And this is, after all, a philosophy forum.

Again, you’ll either go there [in an intelligent and civil discussion] or you won’t.

Either way, I won’t stop reading your stuff.

For now though, I’ll put this in…the sandbox? But I am more than willing to shift gears and have the discussion in the philosophy forum.

In the interim…

I tend to relate examples like this to the manner in which, in any given human community, there appear to be but three options [in a world sans God]:

1] might makes right: Folks do whatever the fuck they want: if they have the brute power to do whatever the fuck they want.
2] right makes might: Folks do what they might do but insist that what any rational human being might do is what they do.
3] Democracy: Different folks have different opinions regarding what different folks might do and they agree that, through moderation, negotiation and compromise, they will concoct laws that are ever rooted in shifting political narratives.

Works the same for things like suicide too. Or homicide for that matter. Even genocide. Or any other human behaviors in which folks come to conflicting agendas regarding the “right thing to do”. I merely suggest that much of this is rooted in the manner in which I reflect on the existential nature of human identity, conflicting value judgments [rooted in conflicting goods] and political economy.

I’m not asking you to “accept dasein”. I am asking you how, with respect to value judgments of your own that come into conflict with others, your own particular rendition of “I” is not entangled in this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values “I” can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction…or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then “I” begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


Apparently Turd and Biggie will not be discussing dasein.

It seems Turd refuses to discuss things that Aristotle has already clearly demonstrated do not exist. Or something like that.

So, anyone else care to pursue it?

This: An intelligent and civil discussion – a sincere discussion – regarding that which constitutes any particular “I” out in any particular world viewed from any particular point of view. As, in particular, it relates to conflicting goods and political economy.

What may or may not be the limitations of philosophy when delving into this?

The problem is much older than dasein. It’s just that biguous got into existentialism which led him to heidegger, and he liked the way it sounded so he added it to his manifesto… that opening argument about the manner in which this and that stuff, and the conflicting goods stuff.

The problem is what it has always been; the matter of the fact value distinction, and the problem of not being able to turn value statements into existential statements… or statements that can be normatively true. Like “turd has a booger on his finger”. Although even this assertion could be challenged with all manner of metaphysical and epistemological skepticism (what is the booger… who is turd… where does the booger end and the finger it sits upon, begin, etc.), a value statement is at base and before all this, already an epistemological problem. It is a fundamentally different kind of statement that isn’t deductively or inductively obviously true or false like “the mat is on the cat”.

Because of this problem in language… and that’s the only problem it is, linguistic, value statements that are made in the categorically imperative mood are nonsense, while value statements in the hypothetically imperative mood are perfectly fine.

Often times an objectivist is such unwillingly… when he argues from the position of a moral relativist but maintains his ideals and values are more “natural”, whatever that means.

You cannot go from an ‘is’ to an ‘ought’ categorically, only hypothetically. This is your entire argument biguous… that and the same point rorty makes: even if there are objective values we have no way of getting at them.

I believe that might is right in the sense that those forces that instill values… whether political parties or religions or individual people…, are more memetically fit, you might say. It isn’t a matter of proving through argument that one is ‘right’, but a matter of extending one’s executive power over other valuers.

Mary’s abortion is neither right or wrong in itself… categorically, but it can be good or bad in value if the consequences thereof are undesirable. And this in turn is only working within the hypothetically imperative. Philosophers mix these up all the time and talk about one like the other.

See, Turd, I told you no one does this shit better than zoot.
Unless, of course, you are zoot.
Unless, of course, I am.

I’m not entirely sure what this means but I suspect it might well be among the least far removed renditions of what I might say myself if I were a serious philosopher.

On the other hand, I’m trying to imagine John’s and Mary’s reaction if I had pointed this out to them myself back then.

Nope, nothing much would have changed I suspect.

But then I guess we’ll never really know. Philosophically or otherwise.

Merleau Ponty does imply that the inner and the outer, the eidectic and the phenomenological can be compatible. Given that argument, then, there may not need to allow sharp distinction between them.

By the same token, in reference to questions of reduced relevance, the idea of a priority to Dasein, may not justify it’s meaning in language. There simply is no justification to doing so, or for that matter, of pre emting a future existentialism.

Come on, Turd, you know where this leads: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=189516

Give it your best shot, okay?

I know: Pretend that you’re Aristotle!

If nothing else you might actually discover just how ineffectual the “tools of philosophy” become in pinning “I” to the mat when “I” comes into conflict with another over value judgments/ideals.

Oh, and just out of curiosity: Do you have God on your side here?

Perhaps you and Arb can tackle that particular manifestastion of objectivism.

Note to others:

Be looking for mr reasonable to finally scuttle my arguments here once and for all. And [perhaps] he might even persuade turd to join him in a tag-team effort to [once and for all] pin dasein to the mat.

I keep asking you if you’re the biggie from the 2002 biggie contra Friedrich and Co. objectivism scandal at philosophy café Yahoo groups. Friedrich the Mexican kantian defense attorney and hawk, that old dude with the boat pictures who liked to call everyone ‘dolt’. seriously man, ARE you the biggie of legend? if so, what the hell happened? you used to start excellent threads that led off good quotes from Norman mailer if I remember correctly. some book or another of his. now you jut repeat the same dasein and conflicting goods stuff over and over.

perhaps you are not the biggie i speak of, although I could see how biggie could become like you fourteen years later. in shorter words, you are what an old poster at philosophy forums might become if he posted regularly… now just the habitual repetition of repeating your argument over every subject. you enjoy doing this… its like a sport at your age if forum philosophy is a hobby of yours.


You asked me a similar question on my KT thread. I responded:

[b][i]As for the philosophy cafe, if you mean this…

groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/caf … logue/info

…yeah, I was active there once. But I believe it was more in the vicinity of 2004 and there about. I still get emails sent to me and peek in on the discussions from time to time. But, alas, they too take philosophy a bit too “seriously” for me.

The name Friedrich rings a bell but not from cafe philo. Instead, I associate the name more with the yahoo Nietzsche forum. Or maybe Kant. Or Heidegger. Or even Emil Cioran. Just not sure anymore.

But it was around this time that I slipped back into philosophy. For years and years when I was a political activist it had more or less been on the back burner. And I became increasingly more obsessed with rejecting philosophy in terms of what Will Durant called “the epistemologists”. For me, philosophy revolves around the question “how ought one to live”? Especially when you are running out of time in which to live. Thus the “on discussing god and religion” thread.

But it’s true that [increasingly] I probe the minds of what I construe to be the “meat-mind objectivists” as much for entertainment value as for any possible insights they might provide relating to my “dilemma”.

yeah I feel you. I stopped trying to prove the external world existed like ten years ago, and I don’t even like to say the word ‘true’. It’s too frickin’ complicated anymore, you know? too many different kinds of truth and I get confused. philosophy is to blame for this. used to be you could prove with absolute certainty “there is no rhinoceros in the room”. today you can’t even do that.

Me, I imploded politically due largely to health reasons. A long, convoluted story. Still, I often wonder how I would have conducted myself as a member of RCP, the Spartacus League, NAM, DSOC and NSA given the extent to which I have now become embedded in my “dilemma”. It truly does perplex me.

As for what is “true”, some things clearly seem to be: mathematics, the laws of nature, the logical rules of language. Instead, it is only when we leave the either/or world and venture into the realm of is/ought that dasein, conflicting goods and political economy become considerably more relevant. At least to me.

To wit: If there is a rhinoceros in a zoo, I’d like to believe that this can still be demonstrated objectively. But the question “ought a rhinoceros be taken from the wild and put into a zoo?”…well, that’s a bit more problematic. But is this so inherently, essentially, ontologically?

The thing about turd is that he is obviously well read about many, many, many things. And he is clearly quite intelligent and articulate. But most of his threads relate to things that I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about of late.

I’m just curious to explore with him the things that I am still interested in. How would a mind as sophisticated as his can be approach dasein, conflicting goods and political economy with respect to actual human behaviors that come into conflict over value judgments. And how does he factor God into it?

And to what extent does he not encompass human identity with respect to the manner in which I articulated my own rendition of it above re “a man” and “mankind”.

When both are situated out in a particular world.

What I dont understand is why you find it so important to prove to people that their moral convictions and values are not objective. I used to care, today I dont. Couldn’t care less what the other guy believes unless its either a belief we have in common or a belief that will make the other guy or something he does, my problem.

and your interests in finding solutions or getting help with your dilemmas are all feigned and contrived. That’s just the sales pitch. all you want to do is get the other guy to admit there is nothing out there that could ever tell us which moral decision is the best decision in any given situation. all that for that. what is it about getting the other guy to admit this that gets you off? like you are seriously into this. what do you got like 10,000 posts?

Showdown! Let the epic battle of wits commence!

I don’t know why. Not exactly. That is all so profoundly [problematically] entangled in the manner in which I have come to construe the evolution [the “meaning”] of any particular human identity, it would be utterly futile to imagine that I [or you or anyone] ever actually could know this. There are simply far, far too many complex variables intertwined in far, far too many complex ways to fully or wholly comprehend something like that. Variables intertwined historically, culturally and experientially in a world teeming with contingency, chance and change.

And, come on, admit it, how many of these variables do we ever really have a complete understanding or control over?


I still live in this world. And I see so much human misery that revolves around folks trying to impose their own religious, philosophical, political and/or moral values/ideals on others.

All I can then do [in my own way] is to deconstruct it. In the manner in which, say, Sisyphus goes about his own daily routine.

Ah, but then alongside that is the human misery imposed on the world by the moral nihilists embedded in the global economy.

And, as a former Marxist [you were, right?], you’d know a thing or two about that.

So, faced with just how ineffectual either one of us are in making an actual dent in the “real world”, we each choose our own way to “do the time”.

Besides, all of this “philosophical stuff” then becomes intertwined in the actual set of circumstances that we both live in. And, really, what could you possibly know about mine? What could I possibly know about yours?

It’s all right there in my signature:

[i][b]He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest.

John Fowles [/b][/i]

From my perspective, folks like Satyr and Jacob and James and Turd and all the rest that embody the “objectivist mind” react to me as they do in part because what if I am on to something important about human behaviors that come into conflict over values and ideals. What if that which they construe to be the “real me” is no less the existential contraption/fabrication embodied in the manner in which I have come to encompass “I”.

Let’s face it, most of them have spent years and years constructing a world of words that they can anchor their “self” to. They are all basically entangled in one or another rendition of this:

[i][b]1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others…it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity…on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with “logic”.[/b][/i]

In other words, they have a lot to lose. And few know the psychological consequences of this better than I. After all, I lost it myself.

And, who knows, perhaps one of them might actually succeed in bringing it all back to me.

Or, sure, maybe not.

Iambig, you’ve the only person in the world who doesn’t understand the criticism of your view. People aren’t going to keep repeating themselves ad nauseum. Your self aggrandizing repetition on your little thing you do is a sign of mental illness. Now, go ahead and say it all again because I know that’s all you can do.

Let’s confirm that.

Starting here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

Now, how is this assessment of dasein [human identity] not applicable to you?

In particular, as it relates to that which is of most importance to me here: in answering the question “how ought one to live?”

For example, in making the distinction between you playing the stock market [the fact of it] and defending this behavior as either good or bad [the morality of it].

When have you ever explored this with me in depth?

I think you just confirmed it with that post.

Oh, right.

Come on, smears, lots of folks bitch about you here. For example, they make the claim that you don’t pursue many discussions that are at least in the vicinity of philosophy. That, instead, you are far more comfortably ensconced in those, uh, other threads.

Let’s prove them wrong, my friend, let’s prove them wrong.

Think about it: You and Turd finally pinning me [and dasein] to the fucking mat. Humiliating me.

[size=50]Unless of course it’s the other way around.[/size]

Part of the problem here is that you think this discussion that you’re having is somewhere near philosophy. It’s not. I really, honestly believe that you’ve worked yourself into some kind of mental illness with all this stuff. You’re saying that you think people react to you the way they do out of some kind of fear or out of having so much to lose, and it’s like it’s never occurred to you that maybe, just maybe no one gives a fuck about what you’re saying. In a philosophy department, there are people who do philosophy and then there are the ones who are stuck teaching all the intro classes because they’re hung up on moral philosophy or ethics. I can’t express to you the importance of understanding that there are lots of people out there in the world who really just don’t give a fuck about whether there’s an end all be all answer to moral questions. You’re a religious nut. What you’re doing is claiming to be sure of something and that something is that you can’t be sure of anything. For whatever reason you fail to see the problem with that. When another poster converses with you and takes your same position, you get upset and do exactly what they do when you do that shit to them. This should teach you something, but it hasn’t seemed to. I can’t believe I’m even typing this many words to you. It doesn’t make sense. I honestly, and truly, from the bottom of my heart believe that you are a moron of the highest grade. On top of that, you are unprecedentedly boring.

Let me guess…your response to this entire post will be the same thing that you say to every other post, because you are so hung up on this thing you think you’ve discovered…this thing that you so desperately want to prove, this thing that is in fact the big, meaningful thing that you have so much invested in that it constitutes you in fact, “having a lot to lose” that you can’t even break from it for a moment and look at yourself and understand the issue. Not the issue with whether or not your sentences line up with what they teach in a freshman logic class, but the issue of why it is that you are so passionate about this thing that you’re selling, and why it’s so difficult for you to be anything to anyone other than the guy who keeps doing what you’re doing with this whole copy and paste bit about your little theory.

I want you to know that any satisfaction that you’re getting from the notion that you might be getting under anyone’s skin, you’re getting erroneously. You’re not making anyone question their moral understanding of the world, and you’re not really making anyone feel like they’ve lost anything to you. We mostly feel sorry for you and think that you actually have a real mental problem.