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Thread: Affirmative societies and the concealment of non-being

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    That may be true if we're talking about the bare existence of a suitcase or a piece of lint. But with human existence, there is no easy dismissal of the structural element.

    Some of the features Cabrera attributes to human existence as such, regardless of one's state, are as follows.

    We are all in a constant state of 'dying', apart from the punctual date and time when death actually occurs.
    That's a bizarre opinion. We are in the process of living.

    Rise and slow decay is what living is about.

    "Dying" is not a thing in itself, only living is. We call the absence of life death. All death represents is the absence of something. It is not a thing in itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    That may be true if we're talking about the bare existence of a suitcase or a piece of lint. But with human existence, there is no easy dismissal of the structural element.

    Some of the features Cabrera attributes to human existence as such, regardless of one's state, are as follows.

    We are all in a constant state of 'dying', apart from the punctual date and time when death actually occurs.
    That's a bizarre opinion. We are in the process of living.

    Rise and slow decay is what living is about.
    Decay is actually quite rapid. It only seems slow due to the constant upkeep we perform without thinking about it. Eating, drinking, working, and sheltering are all things that must be proactively sought after and procured, they do not come with the package. Take away any outside support and the default structure of life becomes quickly apparent; you will be gone in a matter of days.

    This also puts the lie to any structural 'rise' in life. All rising is intra-worldly, a result of input and expenditure against the natural grain. It looks to us like a rising because it slows the process of decay somewhat, but it is just an interruption in the general trend.

    "Dying" is not a thing in itself, only living is. We call the absence of life death. All death represents is the absence of something. It is not a thing in itself.
    Whatever we choose to focus on and examine can be a thing in itself, if only as an object of inquiry. Death is not merely the absence of life: a molecule of carbon dioxide has no life, but we do not say it has died or that it is dead. Death is something that happens to only (and all) living things and, as I said above, is always no more than a week away if we let nature run its course.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    But the crux of the 'non-being of being' is less about what happens during life, the so-called rising and falling, which may be different for different people. Rather, it is a logical outcome of the necessity of death, both as a punctual event and a simple consequence of thermodynamics. Impermanence itself is built into life, not as a prediction of some event that may or may not happen, but something constitutive that always breaks things down unless we intervene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post

    That's a bizarre opinion. We are in the process of living.

    Rise and slow decay is what living is about.
    Decay is actually quite rapid. It only seems slow due to the constant upkeep we perform without thinking about it. Eating, drinking, working, and sheltering are all things that must be proactively sought after and procured, they do not come with the package. Take away any outside support and the default structure of life becomes quickly apparent; you will be gone in a matter of days.

    This also puts the lie to any structural 'rise' in life. All rising is intra-worldly, a result of input and expenditure against the natural grain. It looks to us like a rising because it slows the process of decay somewhat, but it is just an interruption in the general trend.
    The decay of what?

    There are people in their 80's doing the Ironman triathlon.

    The mind can expand for a long time. People in their 50's go to Medical school.

    Yes life requires food and drink which humans have made for many incredibly easy. It does not require any more effort than going to the store. No predators usually get in your way.

    Life is what it is. It is a slow rise for humans. It takes years to reach maturity. Then there is a long period of stability, a period of slow decline and at the end a rapid decline.

    Saying it is all or mostly decline is absurd.

    You can't reach good conclusions if you start with an absurd premise.

    Death is not merely the absence of life: a molecule of carbon dioxide has no life, but we do not say it has died or that it is dead. Death is something that happens to only (and all) living things and, as I said above, is always no more than a week away if we let nature run its course.
    We only say that living things have died. And all it means is it is not alive anymore.

    The term "death" is a term of negation. It means the negation of life. It is a negation of something that exists. Not something with existence itself.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post

    Decay is actually quite rapid. It only seems slow due to the constant upkeep we perform without thinking about it. Eating, drinking, working, and sheltering are all things that must be proactively sought after and procured, they do not come with the package. Take away any outside support and the default structure of life becomes quickly apparent; you will be gone in a matter of days.

    This also puts the lie to any structural 'rise' in life. All rising is intra-worldly, a result of input and expenditure against the natural grain. It looks to us like a rising because it slows the process of decay somewhat, but it is just an interruption in the general trend.
    The decay of what?

    There are people in their 80's doing the Ironman triathlon.

    The mind can expand for a long time. People in their 50's go to Medical school.
    None of which is a counterexample to anything I wrote. Do you think I'm unaware that people go to school and run marathons? The point is that these are the results of intentional action, not things that are part of the structure of being. The question that is being put is: what can be said about human life independently of whether someone decides to study medicine or take part in a race?

    Yes life requires food and drink which humans have made for many incredibly easy. It does not require any more effort than going to the store. No predators usually get in your way.
    These are remarks that skim along the surface of my claim without really refuting it. I never said anything about the degree of effort required to maintain life; I simply acknowledged the fact that life needs constant maintenance. The reality that vast and complicated systems of food growth, preparation, and storage are all required in order to sustain human existence simply proves that human existence is ever vulnerable to running out of steam, inherently declining and fading unless we prop it up through inventive strategies.

    Life is what it is. It is a slow rise for humans. It takes years to reach maturity. Then there is a long period of stability, a period of slow decline and at the end a rapid decline.

    Saying it is all or mostly decline is absurd.
    You are mistaking content for structure, form for essence. Cabrera is careful to say that he is not making empirical statements about the average human life, something that could change with statistics. What you are talking about is what happens within a life, just as generals talk about what happens within a war: there are skirmishes, periods of stasis and planning, explosive battles, and hopefully victory. But war, as with life, must not only be evaluated on those grounds. A general is not interested in the fact that war is inherently violent and destructive. He only wants to win. A radical analysis that goes beyond what is a "good war" (or a "good life") reveals the nature of all wars, regardless of how they may be waged.

    You can't reach good conclusions if you start with an absurd premise.
    You have yet to address the actual premise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    None of which is a counterexample to anything I wrote. Do you think I'm unaware that people go to school and run marathons? The point is that these are the results of intentional action, not things that are part of the structure of being. The question that is being put is: what can be said about human life independently of whether someone decides to study medicine or take part in a race?
    There is no such thing as a "structure of being".

    There is only being in a certain state with certain capacities.

    No two humans exist in the same state. While most have similar capacities.

    I simply acknowledged the fact that life needs constant maintenance.
    A point that philosophically goes nowhere.

    As I said all "being" is in a certain state.

    Human life is in such a state that it needs food.

    End of discussion. Nothing to be made of it.

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    Seems like you were right, rousseau.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    This also puts the lie to any structural 'rise' in life. All rising is intra-worldly, a result of input and expenditure against the natural grain. It looks to us like a rising because it slows the process of decay somewhat, but it is just an interruption in the general trend.
    "Running up the down escalator of entropy."

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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post

    There is no such thing as a "structure of being".

    There is only being in a certain state with certain capacities.

    No two humans exist in the same state. While most have similar capacities.

    I simply acknowledged the fact that life needs constant maintenance.
    A point that philosophically goes nowhere.

    As I said all "being" is in a certain state.

    Human life is in such a state that it needs food.

    End of discussion. Nothing to be made of it.
    This reply is completely endemic of exactly what Cabrera describes as affirmative thinking.

    First, the denial that there is anything to be said about life, being, existence, whatever you want to call it, apart from evaluations of individual states. According to this view, evaluations must never wander outside the fence of the secondary, provincial realm of the intra-world and its mundane concerns. This is exactly analogous to forbidding any discussion of whether hunting wild animals is ethical, and instead focusing on how best to hunt them. The larger structural question (about hunting, or in the present case, about human existence) is ignored, taken as settled, or concealed in favor of remaining situated on the second-degree level.

    This is reinforced by the second criticism, that any observation one way or another about the necessary features of life and their ethical implications "philosophically goes nowhere," a criticism that is actually illustrative of the affirmative approach in philosophy, which Cabrera has written extensively about:

    Quote Originally Posted by p.147
    All these statements and others that could be made are synthetic trivialities which do not help in anything to increase the “interest” for the world; they are just limited to announce basic truths about our condition, that have a wide influence on moral life. The synthetic triviality of these truths is regularly hidden through the concealment of the affirmative. Precisely, these axioms about the pain of the very establishing of being are systematically concealed in order that affirmative intra-worldly organization of life is possible, since there is no affirmative pondering about these items (and this is precisely, by contrast to monotonous negative thinking, what makes affirmative reflection so “interesting”).
    Why does a philosophical point have to "go somewhere"? The point of philosophy is an unbiased examination of the truth, and if the truth is something trivial and uninteresting, that should not sway anyone from pursuing it. Strangely, it seems to sway almost everybody from actually acknowledging that there is even a truth to be found when the topic of conversation is anything that threatens to undermine the affirmative footing reinforced by society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    ...According to this view, evaluations must never wander outside the fence of the secondary, provincial realm of the intra-world and its mundane concerns. This is exactly analogous to forbidding any discussion of whether hunting wild animals is ethical, and instead focusing on how best to hunt them. The larger structural question (about hunting, or in the present case, about human existence) is ignored, taken as settled, or concealed in favor of remaining situated on the second-degree level.
    In terms of "existence" the only question is: Why something as opposed to nothing?

    As far as the temporary arrangements the "stuff" of the universe assumes, that is not a general question about "existence". It is a question about a certain kind of existence.

    Humans are a temporary arrangement of "stuff" that has existence. They have temporary capacities and limitations because of it.

    But what really "exists" in the human doesn't go anywhere when the human is no longer around.

    Why does a philosophical point have to "go somewhere"? The point of philosophy is an unbiased examination of the truth, and if the truth is something trivial and uninteresting, that should not sway anyone from pursuing it. Strangely, it seems to sway almost everybody from actually acknowledging that there is even a truth to be found when the topic of conversation is anything that threatens to undermine the affirmative footing reinforced by society.
    Without any handwaving complete the following with something objective and somehow significant.

    Humans are such that need food to survive, therefore............

    The quote you give talks about dismissing trivialities but you introduce this triviality about food.

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