Catholic vs. Other – 2017-07-28 – Diabolically Informative


Diabolically Informative put out a video on his YouTube channel defending some aspects of Morgue’s Hyperianism, which has some Pythagorean roots. He is the first idealist I have interviewed, but not the last, I hope. I enjoyed hearing his perspective.

Transcript

Please excuse any errors as these captions were automatically generated by YouTube.

0:00 hi everybody this is diabolically
0:01 informative and you are listening to
0:03 Catholic verses other so if you could
0:10 just talk a little bit about who you are
0:12 what you believe and how you came to
0:14 believe it absolutely my beliefs about
0:17 the world are effectively what you might
0:20 call pythagoreanism or mathematical
0:23 idealism there are many other names for
0:25 these views nowadays on the internet but
0:28 that’s essentially what it comes down to
0:30 as a child I was actually given a
0:33 significant amount of religious liberty
0:35 even though that my parents were say my
0:39 mum would for instance was Catholic my
0:40 father was Serbian Orthodox nobody
0:44 really pushed anything on me I had grown
0:46 up in a in an age of a lot of religious
0:48 tolerance and also a lot of religious
0:51 indifference however I was able to
0:54 pursue my own beliefs on my own explore
0:57 things you know believe in this believe
0:59 in that and just discover myself so even
1:03 though my general theological upbringing
1:06 might be said to be Catholic I had
1:09 already at an early age taken exception
1:12 to this and came to develop my own ideas
1:15 would say what God might be what souls
1:18 might be and that sort of stuff
1:20 you might say that as a child I had a
1:22 very spin of istic outlook on life
1:24 although I didn’t know it but to be a
1:26 philosopher you must first be a stimulus
1:28 right that’s right now
1:33 later on I began to question a number of
1:35 these things of course I had come to say
1:37 atheism and materialism for very simple
1:40 reasons though as I had actually
1:43 developed my philosophical outlook I
1:46 decided that this position was untenable
1:48 not for religious reasons or reasons of
1:51 personal belief or need but for
1:54 metaphysical reasons for reasons of
1:56 consistency you see even as a teenager I
1:59 had valued the consistency of what we
2:04 believed in over say you know any one
2:06 particular position I was motivated
2:09 primarily by logic and later on
2:12 primarily
2:13 by mathematics there are two series of
2:16 truth there’s the coherence theory and
2:17 the correspondence theory right so you
2:20 want your truths to cohere among
2:21 themselves and to correspond with
2:23 objective reality if you believe in an
2:25 objective reality do you believe in an
2:27 objective reality oh I must yes of
2:29 course however I actually think that the
2:32 epistemological account of coherence and
2:35 correspondence are primarily linguistic
2:38 accounts if you suppose that the
2:39 universe’s say mathematical then you’re
2:43 going to have to rework a lot of what we
2:46 mean in language and what what say the
2:49 mathematics refers to but I would say it
2:52 is still squarely within the
2:54 correspondence end but coherence for
2:56 instance doesn’t necessarily dictate
2:58 logical consistency just that beliefs
3:01 meshed together I take a more we might
3:05 say almost chromatic approach to logical
3:07 consistency things must be consistent on
3:09 a very fundamental metaphysical and
3:11 ontological level things must be
3:13 consistent at a measurable empirical
3:15 level and so on and so forth I just want
3:18 to say for the record that I do believe
3:20 that the only reality or the most
3:24 fundamental reality is relation so I
3:27 don’t think that’s far from your
3:29 worldview really when you get down to it
3:31 because mathematics is primarily about
3:33 relation greater than less than equal to
3:37 these sorts of relations if you look at
3:39 the mathematical proof of 1 plus 1
3:42 equals 2 for example is about 300 pages
3:43 long and it boils down to relation so I
3:47 don’t think your worldview in my
3:48 worldview differ that much fundamentally
3:51 yes and no so for instance liveness a
3:54 certain quasi pythagorean we might say
3:57 actually took a view that is similar to
4:00 yours but say for space and time and all
4:02 these sorts of things and I I do respect
4:05 a mathematical Platonism however I
4:08 actually wants to make a cut between
4:10 Platonism and pythagoreanism relation
4:14 ISM implies abstract entities or
4:17 abstract relations conceptual relations
4:20 pythagoreanism doesn’t necessarily imply
4:22 that I actually believe that mathematics
4:24 a certain kind of
4:26 mathematics is self-sufficient in and of
4:30 itself self-existing in and of itself
4:32 and concrete rather than abstract you
4:36 know in effect that there are ways to
4:38 make mathematics concrete and not just
4:40 abstract and avoid some of the simple
4:42 objections to platonism by doing this I
4:44 am sort of by nature a plate inist I’m a
4:46 top-down thinker I tend towards
4:49 principle
4:50 reasoning deduction things I entirely
4:53 respect yes here the Catholic Church has
4:57 embraced both Platonism and Aristotelian
4:59 isms or that bottom-up approach as well
5:03 yes I’m a bit cautious of all empiricism
5:05 and all inductive thought but can you
5:08 talk a little bit because it’s not clear
5:09 I haven’t quite understood that cut that
5:12 you wanted to make between Pythagoras
5:14 and Plato who’s the good guy who’s the
5:16 bad guy and why strictly speaking I
5:19 don’t believe either are bad guys both
5:21 are good guys I almost totally endorsed
5:23 both their views but with a few caveats
5:25 of course Pythagoras believed that
5:28 mathematics is ontological
5:30 he thought that you know harmonies and
5:32 all these sorts of things we’re not just
5:33 abstract things they were not just
5:34 relation they were very real I recall as
5:37 a teenager I had this discussion with
5:38 people you know a friend of mine and a
5:41 few other friends we had asked each
5:43 other okay so what do you think
5:44 ultimately exists I said waves and the
5:48 reason why I said waves was because
5:50 waves are in today’s language
5:52 scale-invariant you have waves
5:54 everywhere they’re one of the most
5:56 ubiquitous phenomena in the universe so
5:59 of course I didn’t know how to express
6:01 this mathematically now my other friend
6:03 he said that he believed the numbers are
6:06 are the real thing and he said that well
6:09 you know there’s two of things there’s
6:10 three of something there’s always a
6:11 number of something this is the most
6:14 common thing therefore numbers are real
6:15 so how would you square these two views
6:17 that say waves are real and that numbers
6:20 are real I take a very modern approach
6:23 to pythagoreanism
6:24 waves are real but waves are actually
6:26 responsible for a number in a sense wave
6:29 the numbers are one and the same but
6:31 there is a difference between having say
6:32 a wave that interferes with itself and
6:35 forms great and interesting patterns
6:38 across many scales
6:40 and say just mere abstract relations
6:43 this wave for instance is a concrete
6:45 thing that I have presupposed it may be
6:47 continuous like a sinusoidal wave there
6:51 may be certain aspects of it discretized
6:54 aspects of it that result in solidity
6:56 and other things like that and and so we
6:58 get a concreteness from it by the way
7:01 this is a sort of pan psychism as well
7:03 so is why I say it mathematical idealism
7:06 whereas with Plato he just assumed that
7:08 that forms exist forms are static forms
7:11 are in many cases relations in fact I
7:14 believe there was a proof of this by
7:16 edward zalta you know showing how you
7:19 can resolve the third man problem and
7:20 everything like that by cutting out some
7:22 of plato’s axioms but Plato at face
7:25 value did embrace a certain relation as
7:27 a myth biological consequence at least
7:29 and the third man problem is that we can
7:32 always introduce that third term can you
7:34 summarize that briefly
7:35 well I ensured it so that you can
7:37 introduce a form for a bunch of other
7:39 forms
7:40 you could have forms of forms etc you
7:42 never really have can stop multiplying
7:45 these entities this is not an impossible
7:47 view I should say but it’s certainly an
7:49 implausible one getting back to grammar
7:52 you brought to mind nietzsche he
7:55 famously said we can’t have completely
7:58 killed god until we’ve also killed
7:59 grammar the grammar of language I
8:02 thoroughly agree I think he was
8:04 prophetic in a lot that he said and he
8:06 was very playful also so it’s hard to
8:08 unravel some of his jokes from profound
8:10 prophetic truth but I thoroughly believe
8:14 that grammar is another set of relations
8:18 you sort of hinted at that can you talk
8:19 a little bit about language and grammar
8:21 and how it relates to mathematics yes so
8:24 many of the common popular positions in
8:27 mathematics today about the philosophy
8:29 of Malthus foundations of math are
8:31 oftentimes formalistic intuitionistic
8:34 and all this sort of stuff what that
8:36 means is that math can essentially be
8:38 reduced to something else I believe that
8:41 if math is ontological
8:42 and that a certain type of math is
8:44 invariant then you can’t reduce math to
8:46 anything else but whatever is
8:47 ontological and invariant and the reason
8:50 for this is because any time that you
8:52 try to make some sort of
8:53 cymatics system to capture all of this
8:55 mathematics you will always only cover a
8:58 portion of it and never the entirety of
9:00 it so you have to sort of demand a sui
9:03 generis mathematics that means in
9:06 mathematics that generates itself or
9:07 there self-existent is that we mean yes
9:10 that is correct I do actually think that
9:12 this mathematics exists today it is
9:14 called complex analysis it is a very
9:17 rich field complex analysis involves the
9:22 complex plane and mathematics that’s
9:23 real and imaginary numbers this plane is
9:26 algebraically complete that means that
9:28 no matter what sort of transformations
9:30 that you perform on the plane and you
9:32 can make certain special extensions that
9:34 are completely legal you’ll never change
9:36 this plane it’ll always remain itself
9:38 it’s a very beautiful property algebraic
9:40 completeness but the proof of the axioms
9:43 can’t be done within that realm as
9:45 gertle famously said what good ol’ is
9:48 saying is that there are certain truths
9:50 that are inaccessible from the axiomatic
9:51 system and so don’t often take the form
9:54 of formally undecidable propositions
9:56 that is you’ll never know whether it’s a
9:58 yes or a no as to whether the statement
9:59 is true however if you’re actually
10:02 saying look I’m not going to take the
10:03 formal axiomatic system I’m going to
10:04 take a roundabout but ontological
10:06 justification for math consistency then
10:09 the theorems don’t necessarily apply to
10:11 that most of the equations that you’ll
10:14 encounter in physics and in big
10:16 mathematics and stuff they’ll involve
10:18 certain operations which will be
10:20 undecidable there are a number of things
10:25 with it within mathematics which
10:26 completely imply that mathematics is
10:28 independent of formal systems formal
10:31 systems are great for computers but not
10:33 great for everything else for instance
10:34 most of the real number plane is
10:36 actually inaccessible you can’t name all
10:40 of the real numbers because there are
10:41 uncountably many real numbers and there
10:43 can only ever be countably many names so
10:47 they’re there but there are even more
10:49 reasons for it – for instance I found
10:51 informal systems in second order logic
10:54 that there are truth conditions in
10:57 second order logic and how many truth
10:59 conditions are there what if we were to
11:01 maximize these truth conditions
11:03 that’s the Hance number a special number
11:05 it actually turns out the number
11:07 so large we don’t even know whether
11:09 these numbers even exist yet or whether
11:10 they’re even valid within set theory
11:12 this is really interesting because we
11:14 actually reason about mathematics and we
11:17 reason about it beautifully and yet
11:19 there are numbers that are so big that
11:22 just boggles the mind how we could
11:23 possibly skip over something like that
11:26 if math is only grounded in formal
11:28 systems you’re not going to be able to
11:30 capture the entirety of deductions with
11:32 formal systems you need to have a much
11:34 bigger view of it
11:35 for instance in analysis you don’t just
11:38 write out every single solution to some
11:41 sort of curve on a plane or something
11:43 like that you you first specify what are
11:46 the conditions for the solution you
11:47 specify you know you narrow it down
11:49 through constraints until you have
11:51 something where you can tease out an
11:52 answer that’s actually what I’m saying
11:54 we should be applying to mathematics not
11:56 formal systems fisken Stein said very
11:59 correctly that mathematics is nothing
12:01 but tautology so if mathematics is
12:03 nothing but tautology how is it that it
12:05 could be inconsistent if it’s nothing
12:07 but tautologies but of course if you
12:10 have so many tautologies uncountably
12:12 many tautologies and and ones which are
12:14 inaccessible from some set of axioms
12:17 then of course the axioms aren’t going
12:19 to capture all of it because the axioms
12:21 aren’t actually strictly speaking always
12:23 mathematical yeah there’s a certain
12:25 amount of groping in the dirt that takes
12:28 place I’m just wondering if because in
12:31 my worldview there is no such thing as a
12:33 genuine contradiction there’s only the
12:35 sort of the specter or the rumor of
12:38 genuine contradiction and sort of the
12:40 theater that would portray genuine
12:43 contradiction but if you look closely
12:44 the laws of nature are never being
12:47 violated the laws of mathematics are
12:48 never being violated the laws of
12:50 relation are never being violated yes
12:52 that’s correct
12:53 it’s all smoking it’s all smoke and
12:55 mirrors yes yeah because of complexity
12:57 we live in a complex world I watched
13:00 your video when you were defending
13:01 Hyperion ISM or whatever it’s called
13:03 morgue I follow him because I find his
13:06 movement interesting because it’s
13:08 philosophical because it’s rational and
13:10 because atheism today is so vapid and so
13:13 lame yes with all the scientists and
13:16 just this sort of complacency is so
13:19 rampant
13:20 and they’re so smug and ill-informed
13:22 there’s just it just boggles the mind so
13:24 I’d like to see a bit of philosophical
13:25 rigor coming back into eight-years-old
13:27 yeah well you know to be honest I
13:29 actually believe that atheism only has a
13:30 few consistent positions and none of
13:33 them today would be endorsed by many
13:35 popular atheists if at all are you an
13:37 atheist well strictly speaking sure but
13:40 there are obvious technicalities where I
13:42 just wouldn’t want to identify myself as
13:44 one today you mentioned the principles
13:45 that they can stand on can you flesh
13:48 those out for us well actually one is
13:49 Schopenhauer’s philosophy and the other
13:51 is eduard von Hartman’s philosophy
13:53 they’re big complex systems but in a
13:55 sense both philosophies have no God
13:58 strictly speaking though there is you
14:01 know a single unity a totality that you
14:03 know transforms itself over time they
14:06 have the pessimism of atheists today too
14:09 but there’s also a little bit more to it
14:11 there’s metaphysics and stuff like that
14:13 but how would that manifest in a modern
14:15 day run-of-the-mill
14:16 atheist how could I identify those
14:19 elements in the Joe Blow atheist that I
14:22 speak with I actually don’t think you
14:24 can because those elements aren’t there
14:26 a theistic materialism if you ask me
14:29 it’s actually an entirely bankrupt view
14:31 there are so many things that are
14:33 intellectually wrong with it on the
14:34 foundational level but which are utterly
14:36 ignored solely on the basis of evidence
14:39 so for instance I heard one of your
14:41 videos with Matt Dillahunty
14:44 and you guys had an argument about the
14:47 weather whether it can be predicted and
14:49 all that so this argument about the
14:51 weather is very telling because they’re
14:53 always going to be formal limits to
14:54 prediction for weather even though that
14:57 you know there will be some state of
14:59 weather which is completely determined
15:00 in the future it’s just that with
15:02 computers and with all these sorts of
15:03 things even the best computers today you
15:06 will still not be able to predict the
15:08 weather accurately any more than a week
15:10 from now you know you can push it to two
15:12 weeks even then it’s a great
15:14 computational effort but he he thought
15:17 that yes you can predict the weather in
15:18 the future anyways but if he knew
15:20 anything about the theory of say
15:22 integrals he would know that you you
15:24 really can’t do it there are very big
15:26 limits on this so there’s a certain
15:28 amount of trust this inductive trust you
15:30 know he he denies that the world can be
15:32 absolutely determinist
15:33 assume determinism within the inductive
15:35 scope of what can be observed these are
15:38 entirely contradictory positions if you
15:41 want to remain consistent you will have
15:43 to ditch you know either atheism or
15:45 materialism you can’t have the two
15:47 together I’m an amateur for us for I
15:49 have no background in philosophy and my
15:51 guests certainly don’t claim to be
15:53 professional philosophers but when I
15:56 talk about having infinite time behind
15:59 us they always say well that’s no
16:01 problem there you know the number line
16:03 is infinite therefore we can have
16:04 infinite time behind us but my problem
16:06 with that is that we are bound up with
16:08 space and time so it’s one thing to
16:10 point to the number line and say that
16:12 it’s infinite it’s another thing to say
16:14 that I’m going to do infinite tasks this
16:16 morning before I settle into doing my
16:18 workday right yeah there are so many
16:21 things wrong with this statement that I
16:22 don’t know where to begin really people
16:25 are blurring the line between
16:25 mathematics and our state as finite
16:29 beings in a spatio-temporal world can
16:33 you address that a little bit briefly
16:34 yeah so I actually do believe that the
16:36 universe is indeed infinite I suspect
16:38 very strongly that the universe is
16:41 exploded and reformed over and over
16:44 again ad infinitum of course the idea of
16:47 spatio-temporal experience insofar as it
16:49 is within a universe is always going to
16:52 be finite it’s always going to be
16:54 relational with regards the universe
16:56 that contains us you can’t for instance
16:59 use the number line to very naively
17:00 justify that there are very immense
17:03 formal problems there if you wanted to
17:05 do that do you remember the paradox
17:08 where the ancient Greeks talked about
17:10 someone shooting an arrow at a target so
17:12 before it gets there it has to go half
17:13 the way but then it has to go half the
17:15 way of that half the way what Zeno’s
17:16 paradox yes with that formally resolved
17:19 is that an easy philosophical thing to
17:21 debunk well yes and no Zeno’s paradox is
17:25 today the way that they’re debunked in
17:27 in philosophy is to simply show how you
17:29 do an infinite series and how the
17:31 infinite series converges to a number
17:32 that is very trivial but the main
17:35 problem of Zeno’s paradoxes with regards
17:38 to motion you have to discretize motion
17:40 in an diabolically informative later on
17:43 I will actually show you how you do that
17:46 but the answer is that motion must be
17:48 discretized in a moment that motion is
17:50 discretized then you overcome the
17:52 paradox because if you’re trying to move
17:54 continuously right from some point a to
17:56 some infinitesimal a plus C or whatever
17:59 you want to call it you will never reach
18:02 your destination so long as you’re
18:04 moving from one infinitesimal to another
18:07 to another to another right but as long
18:09 as you’re moving at some discrete
18:11 interval you can actually traverse space
18:13 even continuous space a lot of people
18:16 like to think that there’s no God and
18:18 there’s no supernatural and yet somehow
18:19 we have freewill and they like to use
18:23 quantum indeterminacy so-called
18:25 so-called randomness which I don’t
18:27 believe in I reject the Copenhagen
18:29 interpretation and all those
18:30 interpretation I believe that everything
18:32 has a reasonable cause and a sufficient
18:34 reason but they like to point to quantum
18:36 stuff because it’s so magical to somehow
18:39 give them freedom of their will it’s
18:41 completely absurd do you believe in the
18:43 freedom of the will and if so on what
18:45 basis I can only believe in freedom of
18:48 the will on an absolute metaphysical and
18:50 compatibilist basis I cannot believe in
18:53 say the libertarian conception of free
18:55 will but insofar as say you’re a
18:57 self-contained being then you will
18:59 necessarily have free will
19:01 however quantum indeterminacy and
19:05 quantum indeterminacy inton
19:13 indeterminacy have to do with
19:15 fundamental fuzziness whereas quantum
19:18 indeterminism has to do with why we
19:21 cannot specify causal variables for why
19:23 something has to be absolutely
19:25 determined in order for quantum
19:26 mechanics to remain consistent and not
19:29 non-local so the Copenhagen
19:32 interpretation is a bit of a cop-out
19:34 where you say I’m just going to ignore
19:36 the stuff that I can’t observe and so
19:39 long as I ignore this and make no
19:40 attempt to mathematically resolve this
19:43 then my theory will remain consistent it
19:46 is actually a deeply problematic and
19:48 subjectivist interpretation of quantum
19:50 mechanics but it’s a simple one because
19:51 it’s easy to teach to students because
19:53 you ignore all of them immensely
19:55 difficult problems of that and you just
19:58 carry on with the calculations
20:00 what do you think of Occam’s razor is it
20:02 being abused by scientism and the New
20:05 Atheism when you try to multiply
20:08 entities into super positions and you’d
20:10 say that you’re following all cams razor
20:12 by doing this you’re really not
20:14 Schrodinger himself created his thought
20:17 experiment so as to mock the new quantum
20:19 theory not to affirm it it’s just that
20:21 people who later misunderstood
20:23 Schrodinger took it seriously which is
20:25 very ironic again I take a deterministic
20:28 interpretation of it because it does
20:30 satisfy all Cam’s razor I don’t have an
20:32 unreal wavefunction collapsing into
20:34 reality I don’t have things that I don’t
20:36 observe that take infinitely many super
20:39 positions until I observe them this sort
20:41 of stuff is is indeed a violation of
20:43 Occam’s razor what is your background
20:45 in terms of math science philosophy or
20:48 anything else academically or in terms
20:51 of your passions maybe you’re
20:52 self-taught I don’t know the second part
20:54 to that question is where is society
20:57 headed because it seems to me that there
20:59 is sort of a renaissance of
21:02 philosophical discourse on the Internet
21:05 I don’t know if I’m imagining that or if
21:06 it’s something that’s real kidding
21:07 answerable for those questions for me
21:08 well yes I’ll answer the second one
21:10 first
21:11 because I do think that there is a
21:13 renaissance the philosophical discourse
21:15 we could all see it but I’m actually
21:18 deeply suspicious of intellectual
21:20 progress that goes unguided by
21:23 grapevines were in many ways losing
21:26 reverence for the big systems of old and
21:28 I think that’s actually a bad thing
21:30 many of these big systems need to be
21:32 reinvented for today in a wealth of
21:35 knowledge and information we need more
21:37 cohesion we need more streamlining we
21:40 don’t need a multiplication of lots of
21:42 disparate half-baked views but
21:44 unfortunately I believe that they will
21:46 tend in that direction until some future
21:48 time and there’s another quasi
21:49 intellectual revolution and people take
21:52 on systematizing yet again now for the
21:55 first question I’m actually right now
21:57 finishing my honours BA in philosophy
22:00 and I’m actually going to pursue a
22:03 second degree in mathematics the reason
22:06 being is that I have learned enough of
22:08 it on my own that I might as well just
22:10 finish everything up and indeed yes I
22:13 have been
22:14 largely self-taught from an early age I
22:16 was fortunate enough to have people give
22:20 me books and give me the right books by
22:23 whatever accident and I absorbed as much
22:27 as I could and learned as much as I
22:28 could I don’t need much in life the only
22:31 thing that I need is knowledge and lots
22:33 of it and that’s quite literally all
22:35 that I do I read I amassed knowledge I
22:37 collect and streamline it and for many
22:39 years I’ve been studying math and
22:41 philosophy independently before deciding
22:43 to take it up in school do you adhere to
22:46 hyperion ism or are you sympathetic to
22:48 the movement I would say that I am
22:50 sympathetic they happen to have adopted
22:53 a group of philosophical views which I
22:57 broadly agree with and so that is why I
23:00 felt I needed to defend them in the
23:02 public space here because I feel a
23:05 personal responsibility towards being a
23:08 steward over these views did some of the
23:10 more eccentric philosophers and
23:13 classical Greek philosophy in that world
23:16 were some of them charismatic leaders
23:19 sort of the way morg is putting on the
23:21 theatrical presentation of a
23:23 larger-than-life gothic personality
23:25 absolutely in fact the most infamous is
23:28 Pythagoras who had his Pythagorean
23:32 Brotherhood or however you might want to
23:34 call it my tigress was born around 570
23:37 BCE in the Pythagorean Brotherhood I
23:39 believe closed up shop at around 495 BCE
23:44 in metapontum however the Brotherhood
23:47 actually continued into Plato’s day this
23:50 was a group of people who were
23:51 exclusively focused on studying
23:54 mathematics and philosophy and in and
23:57 their moral education and they believed
24:00 that they could perfect themselves by
24:02 doing that there were other philosophers
24:04 which had very interesting following so
24:06 for instance Aerys Parmenides who had a
24:09 very committed and small group of
24:11 students as well you had empedocles he
24:15 had a very interesting way of doing
24:17 things and pedak Lee as you might say
24:19 was the multimedia philosopher so he
24:21 loves to put on a good show he always
24:23 loved to present himself as larger than
24:27 life and to present
24:28 view that way and boy did people ever
24:30 pay attention to him the same was true
24:33 for many philosophers throughout time
24:35 even Plato had a certain charisma to him
24:37 and he was not shy from using it I don’t
24:42 believe that there is anything
24:43 intrinsically wrong with using your
24:45 charisma or showmanship and other things
24:47 like that
24:48 in order to get views that would
24:50 otherwise be unpopular in order to get
24:52 them to be more loved and and more
24:54 accepted I think that that is actually
24:57 how humanity conducts its affairs and
24:59 that it would really be unnatural or
25:02 counterproductive to try and make an
25:04 already difficult view more difficult to
25:08 accept by presenting it the wrong way
25:09 one of my heroes is Socrates do you
25:12 think that we understand Socrates point
25:14 of view more accurately than we do the
25:16 seemingly shifting point of view of
25:19 Plato himself well from what I can
25:21 understand there is actually a lot of
25:23 historical records of Socrates is a
25:26 existence from outside of displayed oh
25:29 the most famous of which is Xenophon’s
25:33 he was a he was a famous writer of the
25:36 Anna Baucis and Xenophon actually wrote
25:42 of running into Socrates in in an alley
25:47 you know there is a you know you also
25:49 have Aristophanes as well with his play
25:52 the clouds and all that how much do we
25:56 understand of Socrates is viewpoint I’m
25:59 just not sure there are there are many
26:02 interesting views mixed into into
26:05 Socrates the earlier texts of Plato’s
26:08 seem to have a more independent Socrates
26:11 while the later texts of Plato he seems
26:13 more like a sock puppet so I would
26:15 actually say that from the you know just
26:17 from from textual analysis and
26:20 historical stuff that maybe maybe the
26:23 earlier sock the Socrates from Plato’s
26:26 earlier works is much more indicative of
26:27 what Socrates actually believed now I’ll
26:31 move on to other topics we just briefed
26:32 very briefly want to touch on Aristotle
26:35 I have a sort of prejudice against him
26:37 as a dry and boring man
26:38 is that typical or do you feel the same
26:41 way I think
26:41 that you are actually sorely mistaken
26:43 but I believe that you are sorely
26:46 mistaken just like everyone else’s
26:47 because we’ve been deprived of most of
26:49 Aristotle’s works let me tell you
26:51 something one of one of the ancient
26:53 thinkers I believe it might have been
26:55 Cicero
26:56 she said that Plato’s works were like
27:01 lakes of silver while Aristotle’s works
27:05 were like rivers of gold it’s actually
27:09 known that two-thirds of Aristotle’s
27:11 works are missing and those two-thirds
27:13 happen to be his public works so we just
27:16 have his lecture notes he captivated
27:19 people for hundreds of years after his
27:22 death and I believe that both the
27:24 burning of the library at Alexandria and
27:26 the Dark Ages had resulted in
27:29 Aristotle’s works being lost I’ll
27:31 definitely look into it and I do feel
27:33 bad about my pressures and I’m aware of
27:35 it it’s okay we you know to be honest I
27:38 have a hard time staying awake reading
27:39 reading Aristotle as well my favorite
27:42 texts of his are are on poetry on
27:45 politics and on his Nicomachean ethics
27:48 and those are the ones where I can stay
27:50 awake all night reading them but others
27:52 they’re a mixed bag right I just wanted
27:55 to touch ever so briefly on st.
27:57 Augustine and st. Thomas Aquinas just to
28:00 name two sort of geniuses within my
28:02 Catholic tradition mm-hmm well st.
28:06 Augustine just like pseudo-dionysius
28:09 synthesized neoplatonism and so the
28:13 brilliant move that Augustine and
28:15 pseudo-dionysius had done was to include
28:18 Greek philosophy within the Christian
28:22 faith and the result of this actually
28:26 was Thomas Aquinas his Summa Theologica
28:30 is a masterwork it’s one of humanity’s
28:32 the greatest accomplishments actually I
28:35 greatly respect all three thinkers
28:37 though of course they are not without
28:40 contradictions to me though the one with
28:42 the least contradictions or the one
28:44 whose thought about it the most is
28:45 obviously Thomas Aquinas so I want to
28:50 get more into you as a person where do
28:52 you go when you die and what happens
28:54 you what’s the best-case scenario for
28:56 you I don’t actually believe that you
28:58 die ever your body dies but you don’t
29:01 the memories that are tied with your
29:04 brain and there’s other things like that
29:06 they also don’t die they are lost you
29:10 could say in a jumble of things you as a
29:12 mathematical being necessarily cannot
29:15 die and the subjective experiences the
29:18 qualia that are associated with this map
29:20 cannot die either but you continue on
29:23 and and I would say that it is
29:26 simultaneously a both frightening and
29:30 very beautiful process the eternal
29:33 return seems to be something that you
29:35 have in common with stoicism stoicism is
29:38 actually a very static philosophy so
29:40 while I while I agree with certain
29:42 things about stoicism such as really
29:45 becoming a strong person I don’t really
29:48 believe that things are as static as the
29:50 Stoics make it out to be I think the
29:52 universe is a dynamic Hegelian place and
29:56 the universal law goes while ruled by
29:59 eternal laws mathematical laws even even
30:03 in its Gestalt is a dynamical entity do
30:07 you think there’s any reason to believe
30:09 that one instance of that material
30:12 universe the physical universe in that
30:14 cycle is any better than the infinite
30:17 other cycles do you understand is there
30:20 progress is there an evolution no
30:22 actually the evolution happens within
30:25 the universe the progress happens within
30:26 the universe and we we play this out
30:29 again and again and ad infinitum and
30:31 every single time I believe it is
30:33 infinitely interesting if it were not it
30:36 would eventually become infinitely
30:37 boring you know the principle of
30:39 identity a is a are these different
30:42 universes that are coming into being and
30:45 then disappearing are they all a or are
30:48 they a b c d e etcetera well no i
30:51 believe it’s actually just the same the
30:53 same universe the same collective
30:54 totality of basic things transforming
30:57 itself over time I don’t believe in a
30:59 multiverse or anything like that
31:01 is it like a beach where you have people
31:03 building their sandcastles and then the
31:05 sand gets wiped away by the waves
31:08 and then someone else comes along and
31:09 builds their little sandcastle which is
31:11 different but there’s certain limitation
31:13 on the parameters of how big and how
31:15 wild you can go with the architecture
31:17 that’s right we leave our mark on it yes
31:19 it’s very much like that in fact it’s
31:21 appropriate that we do play on beaches
31:22 and build sandcastles very
31:24 metaphysically appropriate yes and so
31:26 the best thing that we can do like I’m
31:29 trying to get that morality here what is
31:31 the point of doing anything and why do
31:33 we not indulge in what everyone agrees
31:36 is evil selfishness hurting people for
31:40 pleasure and stuff like that well
31:41 because there’s more to the universe
31:43 than just that many people who do this
31:45 have a very limited perspective on
31:48 things the universe evolves for you
31:51 might say for eventually at least for
31:53 the sake of altruism and reason I don’t
31:57 believe that you can act immorally if
31:59 you’re a truly rational person why would
32:01 you hurt someone else who is actually in
32:03 many ways incomplete identity with you
32:06 both at the very beginning at the very
32:08 end I believe that we should certainly
32:11 be improving ourselves and perfecting
32:13 ourselves becoming beautiful Souls and
32:15 that we should be concerning ourselves
32:17 with that because if we do we actually
32:19 get to enjoy more why would you simply
32:22 indulge in destruction and these sorts
32:24 of things and hurting other people when
32:26 you can actually spend your time being a
32:28 much more constructive person developing
32:30 lasting meaningful relationships
32:32 developing wondrous works of art
32:34 architecture and civilization you have
32:37 only more to gain by doing that and
32:39 otherwise if you indulge in these sorts
32:42 of things
32:42 these violent monkey-like instincts you
32:45 have only more to lose and you will also
32:47 lose out on the time that you could have
32:49 spent becoming better so I want to get
32:51 your opinion on slave morality versus
32:53 master morality yeah Christianity
32:56 famously is characterized as sort of the
32:59 pinnacle of slave morality I don’t know
33:02 if that’s true or not but what is your
33:03 perspective on that so here’s the thing
33:06 David Catholicism is probably the only
33:08 faith that I know of
33:11 which can really be synthesized with
33:13 higher philosophy in science it has
33:15 embraced Greek philosophy as its
33:18 theological center point the reason why
33:21 Christiana
33:22 the scene as by Nietzsche as the
33:24 pinnacle slave morality is because
33:27 you’ve posited a master that is
33:28 infinitely high above you and you
33:31 infinitely below and so there is nothing
33:34 that you could do ever to make yourself
33:35 equal to that however there was a
33:38 Catholic theologian and thinker who
33:41 proposed a scheme that does not
33:44 contradict Catholicism and yet embraces
33:47 rationalism and evolution and change and
33:50 even becoming one with God equal to God
33:52 through oneness this man is pierre
33:55 teilhard de chardin and he’s actually a
33:57 very inspiring thinker who I like
33:59 quite a bit I believe that that over
34:02 time even in a godless universe you
34:05 become better and better you can become
34:07 so to speak godlike by focusing on your
34:10 self development and your your altruism
34:12 as I said perfecting yourself and yes
34:16 indeed you require a sort of master
34:17 morality for that as well because you
34:19 have to look eternity into the eye so to
34:22 speak and you have to say I know that
34:24 everything that I do will one day maybe
34:27 billions of years from now be completely
34:29 wiped out and replaced but damn it out
34:33 of the creative spirit in my heart out
34:35 of the desire to become better out of
34:36 the desire to explore I will gladly leap
34:40 into that abyss and I will make it a
34:42 fullness and not an emptiness are you a
34:45 fan of existentialist philosophy
34:47 absolutely absolutely and I believe that
34:49 existentialism is absolutely necessary
34:51 it’s beautiful it’s a choice that we
34:53 have to make ourselves we have to face
34:55 our existential shadows it’s an act of
34:58 taking responsibility ultimately yeah
35:00 it’s an act of taking responsibility an
35:01 act of will a desire for beauty in an
35:04 absence of it what is not admirable
35:07 about that so just to wrap up I always
35:10 ask my guests to give a final thought
35:13 what would you say to anyone that’s
35:14 listening well anything that I could say
35:17 is always going to be colored by my
35:19 experiences but if I could say something
35:22 you know sub specie Eterna Tata so
35:24 Spinoza says I would say that there is
35:28 always more that you can do there is
35:30 always more that you can become don’t
35:32 worry about the people that have said
35:34 that you couldn’t do
35:35 thing don’t worry about the people who
35:38 have said that you don’t have any hope
35:39 you always have hope when you take hope
35:41 in yourself when you even take
35:43 responsibility for yourself and
35:44 sometimes you may also need others to
35:47 help you do it if you don’t have a
35:49 community go and find one go and develop
35:51 one and always always seek after
35:54 rationality always always seek after
35:56 your emotional development always seek
35:59 after new lessons and never give up on
36:03 yourself yeah you know you’re one of you
36:09 if you got some questions ready I don’t
36:13 know all you got to do is all you have
36:16 to do it
36:19 [Music]

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