Re: Nietzsche (Was: Quoting Nietzsche)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 00:34:20 MST

J. R. Molloy wrote:

> From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
>>Well, I was merely using the term from James H. Austin's _Zen and the
>>Brain_. I think he gives a fairly definite definition of it.
> I like definite definitions, Anders...
> What page is that on?
>>Irrationalism doesn't mean that "strange stuff I can't explain
>>happens", but rather "reason isn't enough". Which implies that the best
>>way of reaching my goals (whatever they may be) is not to base my
>>behavior on past and current experience and inductions from it, but on
>>other factors not linked in any way to this. Somehow we are supposed to
>>act better if we take information with no correlation to what we know
>>or think into account.
> James H. Austin comments on why reason is not enough:
> "Have we learned anything about meditation? If so, it will not be from
> applying EEG electrodes to the scalp, but from the deeper act of practicing
> the meditative mode ourselves and infusing it into the present moment.
> Finally, each day's practice starts to become life's meditation, by one life,
> within all life." (page 697)
> IOW, beyond reason, direct (empirical) experience of reality reveals that to
> which meditation directs us.

As a meditator myself, I am not altogether sure this statement
hangs together. There are many different types of meditation of
course and many states of mind reached by such means. But it is
not at all clear on the face of it that any of the meditative
states give a more true experience of reality than any other
such state or non-meditative states. How would one establish
such supposed superiority? By greater peacefulness and focus
without distractions and various senses of upliftment, bliss and
so on? Clearly not. So what is the criteria on which to judge
the vericity of such a statement?

>>Finitude is finitude.
> ...and eternal recurrence is eternal recurrence.

and words are words. So?

>>Transhumanism makes sense regardless of whether eternal return occurs
>>or not.
> Right, and eternal recurrence happens regardless of whether transhumanism
> makes sense or not.

So reality is a closed-loop that experiencers continuously track
around? How on earth (or beyond the beyond) would you verify
such a thing?

>>BTW, note that if recurrence occurs and transhumanity is possible it is
>>still not correct to deduce that transhumanity must have emerged
>>somewhere sometime. It might be just an unrealized possiblity, cycle
>>after cycle.
> I don't think so, because given infinite time and space, everything that is
> possible eventually and inevitably happens, otherwise (by definition) it can't
> be a possibility. IOW, unrealized possibilities must eventually become real,
> or they are not possibilities to begin with.

Actually, that does not follow. The orders of infinity involved

are not the same any more than the order of the infinity of real
numbers is the same as the order of the infinity of natural
numbers. The order of possible combinations of all events and
groups of objects stretched out over time and space is much
larger than the order of infinite time and space. So everything
that is possible will not necessarily happen even in infinite
time and space. Also, there is no reason at all to suppose that
space-time is infinite.

- samantha

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