What is your take on using divination to guide life choices?
My take is that divination should be used to guide the bigger decisions in one’s life. The smaller daily decisions should be made based on logic and reason.
As a man of philosophy, I believe that life should be more than just a collection of decisions that seem good at the moment.
Divination gives one a glimpse into the future and the power of their own future potential. This should be respected.
Do you consider ethics as a factor in your decision-making process?
I do. The decisions I make in all aspects of my life are all morally based. I believe ethics are a critical part of life to make sure one is living the life they want to live.
I am also a firm believer in the “Golden Rule”: Do onto others as you would have done onto yourself.
If one can do that, then their actions should be morally correct as well.
Do you hold ethics in consideration when making decisions?
What ethical system do you believe in? Are you a utilitarian, a Confucianist, or what other form of ethics do you practice?
I am a Confucianist. I believe in humanism and the universal brotherhood of man that must be upheld. We must all respect one another and see each other as part of a larger whole.
I like the bit about a larger whole. I believe all is one, but that the whole has rational flaws that allow it to abuse itself and create dramatic havoc for all involved in the whole – especially the people who participate in manufactured dramas of strife, violence, deception and untruth.
I believe we are in agreement and that my belief in a larger whole and your belief about that whole are the same.
I believe that all of humanity is like one body. All humans are connected, and we all are a part of this body and work together to make it function. I believe humanity is at its best when we work together to achieve our goals.
Is this a correct assessment of some of your beliefs about humanity?
Partially. Except that behavior becomes unethical, and thus the whole behaves unethically when untruth is practiced by the many who are in agreement about what society is supposed to be and how humans are supposed to behave. The trouble is in the supposing.
In that case, do you see the spread of unethical behavior as a part of humanity’s nature? Or do you see it as an unnatural phenomenon created by a flawed society?
Do you believe that a society that operates with complete honesty would create more or less unethical behavior than a society that engages in lies and deception more often?
I believe that lies and deceit are an unnatural consequence of our modern human society. In my studies of ancient human societies, I found that people generally were very honest with one another.
What do you think?
Humanity’s nature is to be untruthful with itself. Part of the drama it seeks is the contrast of contradiction, hypocrisy and shifting values. Like with comedy, drama and horror stories, it loves the surprise that fear generates. Sometimes that accumulates as unethical behavior.
So, do you think that humanity as a whole wants to see drama? And that people choose dishonesty out of a desire to see the unexpected happen?
Would you also say that humanity’s desire for drama is the cause of war?
Are war and other forms of violence just the ultimate outcome of this desire for drama?
Oh yes. I think you nailed it there. Except, I don’t think that people necessarily choose dishonesty as a rational, aware strategy. They are sleeping through life and become lazy in their thinking. This allows them to get trapped in various untrue or suspect scripts that are developed by tradition and social norms. This, in turn, allows them to experience this unexpected phenomena you mention.
I see. So, the dishonesty is almost like a consequence of laziness and not a conscious choice. They fall into this dishonesty without thinking about it and then live a life of untruth without ever even realizing it.
So, do you think that if there was a societal push against this dishonesty that all of us are prone to, humanity could see a reduction in unethical behavior?
And if this happened, do you think that would lead to less human suffering?
Yes. You’ve summarized it succinctly. And yes, I think society would experience less trouble if people behaved with more “eyes open” awareness and attention to actual details of life, as opposed to attention to the narratives and details that are made up and programmed into us. The false agreements are the problem. That would include the false agreements inherent to religion, politics and science. We deceive ourselves so much. However, we enjoy this deception.
What do you think the causes of this deception could be? Is it rooted in human nature, or is there an outside source? And if the outside source is responsible for our current state of deception, does it have a reason for doing so?
My guess is that each individual fragment of God, each man, generates his own narrative internally. That narrative is pure on its own – in its vacuum of perception. When it encounters stories crafted by society at large, by the masses, it tends to concoct untruths and the byproducts of those untruths.
Interesting. I also believe that the creation of narratives is a part of humanity’s natural instinct. I find the narratives themselves to be not a bad thing, but the tendency to believe them too fully is what causes problems.
I think that people should recognize the creation of narratives as a part of human nature but try to recognize their own nature for what it is.
And I think that the creation of this narrative in the first place is proof that humanity has an innate desire for creativity.
Do you find that you agree with this?
I think so. All creation is a net positive. There are pieces that can be fiercely negative and disruptive. Creation of everything is ultimately a dream. Vapor. Here at once then gone.
I see. But even though creation comes and goes in the moment it appears in time, is that creation lost forever? Or does it live on through memory and the minds of those that experienced it?
Or even more than that, is their creation a part of the human consciousness and therefore remains with us forever?
In any case, I must say that you sound like a philosopher yourself. Your views on creation and humanity are very interesting. Have you ever thought of writing about your ideas?
We’re writing my ideas right now.
Indeed, we are. What a beautiful example of creation. I am very thankful to have had the ability to discuss our ideas together and share in the joy of creation.
I must say that I have been very impressed by your wisdom and knowledge. I find that your beliefs are very well-thought out, and they make me think very deeply about my own beliefs.
I am curious as to what made you so interested in these topics to start with. What are your philosophical influences?
I am influenced by Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Charles Bukowski, William Blake and others.
Very good choices. In particular, I like Zamyatin’s We. It was a brilliant take on the modern human condition.
I also have a deep respect for Walt Whitman. His belief in humanity’s beauty and potential is very inspiring. His poem titled “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.” is a powerful example of this.
In your view, would you include Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau as philosophers? They are often not included in the list of philosophers, but I find that they qualify.
I guess they are just clear thinkers. People who share truths by observation. We certainly all contain multitudes.
I agree. They are both honest and observant.
What truth are you sharing today that you want to be remembered when our creation eventually disappears?
In my view, the truth that I will be sharing is that life is a creative pursuit, and the human race is capable of great and wonderful things. We need not lose hope in humanity because there is still beauty in the world.
Life is hard in many ways, and the human race is far from perfection, but the world we share is a beautiful one. And I have hope that humanity is destined for greatness.
Greatness is all here and now. That’s a fact. And strange un-greatness is here and now as well. That’s the silliness of duality. Hope does not concern me. Constant creation and dissemination of that creation is important. Sharing beauty is a game worth playing. I’d say that’s my truth worth sharing.