26 July 2019


The pursuit of truth—the attempt to learn and accurately state facts about the real world—is the single most important enterprise of consciousness.

There is a difference in degree, not in kind, between two atoms fusing in the core of a star or two planets smashing into one another or two rocks bouncing off of each other like billiard balls or an amoeba feeling its way through a liquid solution and human consciousness. It is a continuum, a continuum of experience.

A human life is an experience-filled event, just as all human life and in fact all life as we know it itself is an event; we just don't know of what type and in what context or for what, if any, purpose.

The human species is a stage on an evolutionary ladder. We may not know what form or forms of consciousness will come next (if any) or how it or they will manifest (assuming no disruptive extinction event), but it's a good guess that the new being will incorporate some aspects of our technology—AI, for example, or prostheses. Another good guess is that the new being will be able not only to adapt to but make full use of the energy of the planet—solar, tidal, geothermal, wind—to facilitate its own further development. This, of course, is speculative, but at the same time it takes account of our natural history and asks us to anticipate a future for life and consciousness.

War, generally, is a bad thing. Conflict and struggle are fundamental in the state of nature—conflict over such things as survival, territory, and resources. Human beings are creatures of nature and thus conflictual. Some conflicts are thus inevitable given the state of nature. But there are bad reasons for war as well as good reasons. Though there is such a thing as a just war, perhaps even a good war, wars should be avoided if at all possible and by any means available.

The importance of the modern concept of the existence of some fundamental, inalienable, universal human rights cannot be underestimated.
  • Environmental protection is and should be recognized as a fundamental right, not just of humans but all other forms of life.
Linguistic analysis provides an effective model for understanding human thought, though it is by no means perfect.

Emotions are a feature of consciousness, a reactive, experience-processing feature that provides insight into our instinctual natures and personalities.

Art is a type of language. Truth is not a necessary aspect of art. Art is about consciousness, perception, emotion, recognition, reflection, reaction, and attitude.
  • Literature is a species of art. Its primary concern is addressing the profound angst that underlies our being once we recognize and acknowledge the inevitability of our mortality. This includes the ennui (or sense of bored superiority) that consumes us when we realize the futility of this condition as well as the sort of wearying sadness that results.
  • Distraction, entertainment, education, and therapy are the principle modes of literature. Intrigue, mystery, romance, speculation, tragedy, comedy, satire: all are parts of the way in which we come to grips with our existential suffering.
As a logical matter, there is no difference between theism and atheism. Theism asserts 'I believe in x' (where 'x' is "God"). Atheism asserts 'I believe in not-x.' Both are unfounded beliefs: neither relies on observation; neither is falsifiable.

The liberal position on justice— to wit: laws should be made from a 'neutral position' with respect to partisan interests and desired outcomes and applied uniformly and universally without regard to status—is the single most important philosophical social proposition of the modern age.

Morality recognizes not only the possibility but the actuality of other minds and points us toward empathy. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you in the same circumstances. When you choose to do something, act in such a way that you would be happy if everyone else did the same thing when faced with the same choice.

Ethics is different from morality. Ethics involves the means of effectively carrying out a given enterprise, the rules and the necessity of following them: the way to do things the right way. Morality involves the ways in which we interact with others, being good. They are not always coterminous.
  • Morality and ethics in sum: Be kind to others and do your work well.
The concept of 'good enough' is an important component of one's personal philosophy of life.