If I say a dish is tasty I am describing a particular property of how I perceive eating it, not an intrinsic property of the dish itself. While the taste of a dish certainly depends on the properties of the dish itself we are all aware of it depending also on properties of the taster and that these properties are not equal for all people. Therefore we define tasting good in a purely subjective fashion – the definition relates not to intrinsic properties of the dish but to the individual’s experience of eating it. Continue reading
Our studies and discussions of humanity and all that is related – our societies, cultures, beliefs – are full of assumptions. When the mathematician states “assuming X is true, then Y holds” he, or perhaps I should say she in our age, is very aware that “X” is not necessarily true, and if it is not then one cannot guarantee the statement. However, when we speak about each other and our societies the assumptions are left unstated and take the form of convictions.
Here is a sequel of the previous publication, Human Cognition 101, dedicated to human cognition and consciousness. We continue the journey through the labyrinth of reason and try to examine when we believe, how we behave and why we object.
Reason’s Lack of Reasons
If reason is our use of logic in verifying facts, forming beliefs and justifying said beliefs and practices, then it is clear what a limited part of consciousness reason is, and how dependent it is on the instinctual.
There are several major religions each with millions of believers in the world, the collection of which the vast majority of humanity belongs to. They play a large role in most individuals view of life, humanity and the universe. And they are all logically incompatible. Continue reading
Traditionally morality has been defined in terms of rational categories detached from humans. The morality of an action or idea is determined by checking abstract criterias: loyalty, honesty, honour, harm, justice and so on. The important question is, how did we arrive at these terms? If one is to argue that honesty is moral, one shows that it satisfies certain criterias, or lead to certain consequences. Where did these criterias come from? Why these consequences?
The answer does not lie in logic detached from Man. We do not eat because we logically deduce that we will die if not, but because we are drawn to it. Indeed, we can give no reason for living other than a force that draws us. It does not make sense to talk of morality without such a force.
The moral concepts and principles we have made cannot be explained other than as a result of a force – and it is this force that is morality. Continue reading