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The Big Question (Philosophy)
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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What is the Meaning of Life?

"To know the good is to do the good."

This is the oldest adage in Philosophy, the purpose of which is the investigation and discovery of the good. Unfortunately, 2000 years of philosophical inquiry, give-or-take a millennium (pace Fomenko) have demonstrated nothing so well as the unknowable quality of the good. The one thing we have learned from all our ponderings is that the universe we inhabit is one in which the good can never be known.

But that at least is knowable, and I think it safe to assume, significant. It leaves us also with sufficient premises for a syllogism.
  1. To know the good is to do the good.
  2. We live in a universe in which we cannot know the good.
  3. Therefore....
Well. What conclusion must follow?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Good is a handy approximation?
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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No, he's saying that's not available. But if it is, it is easier judging what is good for ourselves (since we do have 'happiness' as a criteria') than judging what is good for others. And especially all others.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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I am sticking. The whole point of good is that it is better than bad, everything else being equal... which it never is.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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I still think you're missing the point. "The good" implies not your personal happiness (relatively easy to judge) but the general good. Which Ishmael is saying is unknowable. But he may be able to speak for himself.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Thinking about it more, it is the 'general' that is the problem. We might be able to judge what's best for our family too. Maybe 'people just like us'. Maybe our entire nation. Maybe the world. But the universe is an awfully big place.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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But I have a feeling Ishmael will say we can't even judge our own personal interest with any confidence.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
I still think you're missing the point.


To be fair if Ish has something new (which invariably he tries for) as opposed, that is, to something novel that someone just arrived at AE might post... then I should be missing the point.
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