Conclusion : The Peer Review : Western Philosophy (continued)

6. Empedocles, Plurality, and Greek Atomism – Q2:

Do we possess free will or are our actions predetermined?

Contrary to Parmenides’ argument, the Atomists argued that "nothing" does, in a way, exist. It takes the form of empty space. As such, there are two fundamental principles that govern the physical world: empty space and filled space.

The filled space consists of indivisible atoms, which are tiny, indivisible, and unobservable. Within the framework of these "atoms", there is, contrary to Parmenides’ position, constant change. Since these "atoms" exist, their motion is not only possible, but also inevitable. The Atomists concluded that everything that happens in the world is caused by these "atoms" colliding with each other. The activity and change we observe in the world is due to the effects of these collisions. This pluralistic view of reality became a dominant trend in philosophy for many later generations. Anticipating much of the deterministic positions taken by modern philosophy, Epicurus ventured to conclude that all our actions, on account of fundamental physical laws, are inevitable.

S: ‘Empty’ space or ‘filled space’ – two regions of existence leading to two potentially contradicting ideas: ‘pre-determinism’ or ‘free will’: Again the intuitive reasoning behind each concept appears to be indisputable on its own and irresolvable contradictory one to the other.

The point: Free will can coexist with predetermined action. Both have a place within which to operate and both have a unique and critical function to fulfill within the new metaphysical model put forward by this work: The model:

Scientifically speaking: symbiotic panentheism
Religiously speaking: symbiotic panentheism
Philosophically speaking: symbiotic panentheism
Metaphysically speaking: ‘being’ being ‘Being’ being

7. The Sophists – Q1:

What is our function within society?

Athens in the 5th century underwent a series of external attacks, and some internal rebellions, which contributed to a renewed interest in practical philosophy.

S: The question becomes: Where does the ‘practical’, the sensible, and the realistic lie?

In terms of a Cartesian model of the whole of reality, the ‘practical’, the sensible, the realistic, the ‘no nonsense’ lies within the physical and as such the physical, materialism becomes the sensible, the realistic, the ‘no nonsense’, the practical.

In terms of a non-Cartesian model of the whole of reality, the practical, the sensible, the realistic, the ‘no nonsense’ lies within the abstractual and as such the abstractual, altruism, becomes the sensible, the realistic, the ‘no nonsense’, the practical.

The two conflicting perceptions generate two conflicting forms of action, which in turn generate two conflicting forms of exponentially accelerating multiply reactions, which in turn generates a society within which constant conflict abounds. In such a scenario, society’s function is in continual conflict as to which side of the philosophical debate to support, materialistic principles in the form of materialism or abstract principles in the form of altruism.

The function of society becomes confused and the action of its members, which in the form of summation is society, becomes confused. The confusion often becomes so intense it becomes what society classifies as ‘violent’ in nature, ‘destructive’ in nature to the very members of society who create the environment within which they voluntarily or involuntarily live.

The means to reducing such confusion is to find a means by which the materialists and the altruists can coexist without generating a high degree of intense conflict.

The means of accomplishing such a task, reducing conflicting issues regarding the function of society itself, is to choose one perception of reality. Such an action, choosing to accept one form of reality, will not take place as long as those who embrace materialism will not concede the higher ground of rationality to the altruists or the altruists will not concede the higher ground of rationality to the materialists.

As long as the two opposing philosophical perceptions, reality is the physical or reality is the abstractual, remains an issue the conflict will not abate. Two conflicting perceptions of reality will only intensify with the increase in population density our specie is experiencing.

Is it possible to come to a consensus regarding the structure of reality, which in turn will define the function of society, which can define the function of the individual within society? An either/or scenario will not resolve the answer. The answer can, however, be resolved through the merger of the two conflicting perceptions of reality into a single model of reality enfolding both perceptions into itself as two independent and equally critical aspects of the model.

Such a model now exists. The model is technically identified as a non-Cartesian system powered by a Cartesian system located within the non-Cartesian.

The point: The first, primary function of society generated by the new metaphysical model of ‘being’ being ‘Being’ is to protect the ability of the individual to journey and grow unimpeded. The issue is address in great detail within Tractates 5, 6, and 7.

7. The Sophists – Q2:

What is morality?

The Sophists rejected almost all of the philosophy that preceded them. They were not interested in abstract speculation. In the truest sense, they were phenomenologists: they focused exclusively on the "phenomenal" everyday world as opposed to the abstract "real" world described by earlier philosophy …Thrasymachus of Chalcedon declared openly that "right is what is beneficial for the stronger or better one."

S: The question then becomes: ‘What is beneficial for the stronger or better one’? and what is meant by ‘the stronger or better one’?

If the universal fabric of reality is simply the physical then materialism is the answer to both questions. What is beneficial for the stronger or better one is the attainment of both ‘power’ and material goods for hedonistic purposes. Within a reality whose universal fabric is the physical, the ‘better one’ is the ‘one’ who is physically and/or mentally the ‘superior’, who is physically and/or mentally capable of dominating others.

Morality is based upon our perception of reality. A model of physical reality could be illustrated as:

If the universal fabric of reality is the abstract within which physical reality is immersed then the model would be based upon a universal fabric of abstraction and appear as:

In such a scenario individuality exists, evolves, temporarily within the physical but once fully developed exists timelessly within the abstract.

The point: The new metaphysical model presented in this work would suggest morality is a perception based upon one’s interpretation of reality. Conflicting moralities therefore emerge from conflicting perceptions regarding what we perceive reality to be. To eliminate social conflict, therefore, one must construct a uniform perception of reality.

8. Socrates (469-399 B.C.) – Q1:

Is there a difference between ‘appearance and ‘reality’?

… Socrates was dedicated to truth. … He was concerned primarily with questioning all previous assumptions and wouldn’t settle for anything less than a rigorous account of the nature of things.

S: For the ancient Greeks, the nature of ‘things’ did not apply only to ‘things’ composed of matter and energy, as we perceive of them today. To the ancient Greeks, ‘things’ included ideas, music, art, emotions, knowledge, etc. as well as those substances composed of matter and energy.

Socrates’ concern with questioning previous assumptions in order to obtain a rigorous accounting of the nature of things was no less than an attempt to understand the root structure of reality. An understanding of the nature of our reality leads to the understanding of the nature of ourselves which in turn leads to a potential understanding regarding our function within reality.

In essence Socrates’ was seeking to understand the answers regarding three questions:

  1. Where am I? – What is the nature of the reality within which I find myself to exist?
  2. What am I? - What is the nature of myself?
  3. Why do I exist? - What is the purpose of my existence?

Questions 1, 2, and 3 are questions 3, 2, and 1 in the list the twelve questions facing philosophers.

Understanding the answers to questions 1 – 3 leads us to understanding the answers to the remaining nine questions put forward previously in Section 1 of The Peer Review II.

Philosophers have always sought to answer the twelve questions. The reason philosophers have such a difficult time answering the twelve questions is because they do not ask the questions in the correct sequence.

To understand one’s function within reality one must first ask ‘where one is’ in order to understand ‘what one is one’. It is only through understanding ‘what one is’ that one can begin to understand one’s function within reality. In short the function of an entity depends upon what it is the entity is capable of accomplishing. The entity’s function based upon the capabilities of the entity are in turn characterized by the evolutionary development, be it intentional or unintentional development, for which the entity evolved within its natural environment.

The ultimate environment may be physical in nature such as the universe (what we perceive reality to be) or ultimately the environment may be abstractual in nature (an appearance of reality) as is the case of the universe being located ‘within’ the abstractual as proposed by the new metaphysical system of symbiotic panentheism, ‘being’ being ‘Being’

The metaphysical model presented within this work evolves through the process of examining answers to the twelve questions and in particular the first three questions in a specific order.

The point: Philosophers can come to a semblance of consensus as to what is ‘reality’ and what is ‘appearance’ if they priorities their questions, focus upon the task of answering their questions one at a time as best they can, and then address the next question. The process suggested is not an evasion of ‘truth’. The process suggested is an understanding that ‘truth’ is not an easy thing to find and even science bases its development of truth upon establishing models as best they can and then moving towards answering the next question and then developing conclusions implied by such a model. Scientific models change all the time and there is no reason philosophy should feel any less of itself if it uses such a process. The process works well for science and there is no reason the same process should not work well for philosophy.

8. Socrates (469-399 B.C.) – Q2:

What is truth?

… He was more interested in engaging everyone – old or young, rich or poor – in a debate about the nature of things. In doing so, he felt that the inconsistencies of many opinions and actions could be revealed – thereby revealing the truth of things by eliminating the flawed assumptions.

S: The perception that truth is either truth or an illusion of truth is no more accurate than the perception that the physical is either ‘real’ or an illusion. Tractate 1: The Error of Zeno, Resolving the Problem of Abstraction, fully addresses the validity of both the abstract and the physical being real. One is real while one stands within its existence at which point the other becomes not an illusion but a ‘real illusion’. If on the other hand one changes location and stands in what previously was regarded as the real illusion then the ‘real illusion’ becomes what is real and the real becomes the ‘real illusion’. In short reality is not based upon either one or the other. Reality is based upon both simultaneously.

The truth regarding what is real and what is an appearance is simply a contention of semantics.

But what of all forms of truth? Is there such a ‘thing’ as ‘truth’ and if so, what is this thing we call ‘truth’? Truths are perceptual in nature and as such take on the ‘appearance’ of being ‘truth’ based upon ones perceptions which in turn are based upon the point of view, location, from which one speaks.

This is not to say there is no such thing as truth. Truth is the foundation upon which societies are built and as such, truth is the foundation of civilizations. The type of civilization, which emerges from the cooperation of its ‘citizens’, is where free will of choice enters the dynamics of civilization building.

Tractate 11: The Error of Philosophy dealt with the foundations of civilizations in great detail. The concepts of monism/singularity/conformity as represented by Nazism versus the concepts of dualism/multiplicity/individuality as represented by the Western democracies is a prime example of opposing ‘truths’ based upon the civilization emerging from group actions.

Both are based upon ‘truth’, however both are in stark contrast one to the other and as such the two collided in a violent explosion of traumatic actions which saw more than a fifty million people die and countless other lives thrown off their course of traveling unimpeded.

The same conflict is epitomized within the science fiction of Star Trek wherein the Klingons and the Federation clash.

The point: Appearance (A) – Reality (B) or Reality (A) or Appearance (B) appears to be a reversal of words but it is not a reversal of words rather it is a reversal of position from which one perceives.

Which then is the ‘true’ choice? Which represents ‘truth’? The position we take regarding ‘truth’ from which all actions arise becomes a matter of choice, becomes a matter of free will. The choice, the stand we make, becomes one we as individuals and we as a society choose to take. It is taking ‘the stand’, making the choice, wherein our responsibility lies. But: Responsibility to what? then becomes the question. Responsibility to the whole of reality is the answer. Truth becomes the understanding regarding the complete model of reality and the internal dynamics of such a model.
9. Plato (427-347 B.C.) - Q1: What is the purpose and meaning of life?

… According to Plato, an ideal society would be ruled by an elite, an elite skilled in the art of reason: the philosophers. There would be two other classes within that society: the warriors, who would protect the society from external threats, and the working population. Neither the philosophers nor the warriors would be allowed to own property

S: The three classes – philosophers, warriors, and workers - have a purpose, which adds meaning to their life, but what is the purpose of each class and why is it significant?

Within present day society there is no rational universal answer to such questions, no answer steeped in reason. In society, throughout human history, the answers to these questions have had only one constant characteristic – change. The answer has constantly been in flux depending upon the perceptual means one uses to examine the question. If one uses science/observation the answer becomes: One exists to continue the specie. If one uses religion/faith the answer becomes: One exists to serve God. If one uses philosophy/reason the answer becomes: One exists to be happy. Even such answers vary depending upon the branch/school/group within which one stands as the question is asked and depending upon the time in history one stood within a particular branch/school/group.

In short, humanity has never found ‘an’ answer to the question. Humanity has been unable to define the function and meaning of life for Plato’s three classes and humanity has been unable to define the function and meaning of life as it pertains to the individual.

Why have we been unable to reach a consensus as to the meaning and purpose of life. The answer becomes obvious with the examination of human history. We have been unable to reach a consensus regarding the meaning and purpose of life because we have not applied Ockham’s Razor to the problem and we have not applied Ockham’s Razor to the problem because each of the three means of our perceiving, science/observation – religion/faith – philosophy/reason, have refused to ‘let go’ of their most cherished principles in order to begin the process.

The War and Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception, however, releases our three means of percieving from their dogmatic stands and having done so discovers that all three means of developing perceptions have their own role to play in terms of verifying the validity of symbiotic panentheism. Symbiotic panentheism, in turn, provides meaning and purpose to the very existence of the three classes:

The philosophers/scientists/theists are to discover and create new truths

The warriors are to protect and defend civilizations as they function to create.

The working population is to maintain civilizations as they function to create.

The purpose of all three classes becomes: To circumvent the nightmare of eternal recurrence.

The point: As a specie, we have three means of developing perceptions of ‘truth’. We form perceptions through observation/science, faith/religion, and reason/philosophy. If the three disagree as to what is true and what is not true, conflict arises. If the three come to a consensus regarding what truth is, then the ‘truth’ upon which they agree becomes the strongest form of ‘truth’. This work, The War and Peace of a New Metaphysical Perception, provides overwhelming evidence that the three not only can come to a consensus but have unconsciously come to a consensus regarding the make-up of reality. The three agree that that both the physical and the abstract exist simultaneously and the three agree that the abstract and the physical have their own unique purpose. The three have formed their own arguments supporting the concept of symbiotic panentheism and as such concur that the ultimate application of Ockham’s Razor leaves both the abstractual and the physical in place which in turn confirms altruistic action as being the most fundamentally logical form of action/truth.

9. Plato (427-347 B.C.) – Q2:

Is there a difference between ‘appearance and ‘reality’?

… Plato concluded that this Idea or Eidos exists in the world beyond our senses. Plato called this the world of Ideas. … Plato said that we are like people in a cave who are looking at a wall – and seeing nothing but the shadows of the real things that are behind our backs being projected on the wall

S: An incomplete model of Plato’s metaphysical system can be demonstrated as:

Such a perception is counter to Plato’s intuitive sense regarding the structure of reality. The illustrated system does not account for a world ‘beyond’ our senses. Most present day philosophers would suggest that Plato’s world of Ideas is found ‘beyond’ our senses when looking inward. Such a perception is Eastern in scope but ignores Plato’s clearly verbalized suggestion that the world of Ideas lies ‘beyond’ our senses. To suggest Plato meant otherwise is to put words into Plato’s mouth in the attempt to validate one’s own perceptions regarding what and where the ‘world of Ideas’ must lie.

The new metaphysical perception of ‘being’ being ‘Being’ does more than ‘suggest’ there is a ‘world of Ideas’ lying beyond our senses. The new metaphysical perception of ‘being’ being ‘Being’ flatly and categorically states that such a region exists and can be rationalized as a region of existence when one hypothesizes what remains when the physical along with its innate characteristics of time and space are removed from the discussion. Such a model appears as:

The Point: Plato’s ‘world of beyond the senses’ was not symbolic in nature but rather Plato meant such a region existed in the literal sense. As such the shadows in actuality are the physical objects and the physical objects are in actuality the ideas themselves. Reality is in essence the reverse of what we perceive it to be. As we look at reality we are looking at the negative of the picture, we are looking at the reverse of reality. Understanding the concept of the ‘real’ and the ‘real illusion is fully addressed within Tractates 1, 8, and 9 of this work.