6/16/14

On doing no harm

Whatever you believe internally is fine as long as it leads to no harm to you or others



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Making cars peripheral is simple.

Making cars peripheral is simple. Create mile square communities without them. Walk a bit.



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There is only ONE way to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control.

There is only ONE way to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control. Radically change the way we live.





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Our Journey to Truth and Beauty



"We" in my writing generally refers to "all people". Since I do not believe anyone should do anything that is not his or her choice, my statement that we do think in threes is an assumption not an instruction. My reasons for coming to this are frankly the fruit of my relatively recent encounter with Peirce. Although I would describe my thinking over time as pragmaticist, I never thought about how we think until I was exposed to the triadic thinking of Peirce. Quite simply it seemed utterly obvious that it made a difference if you think in twos or in threes. If you think in twos you see one side or another. Binary. If you think in threes you have always a third possibility and triangles can be iterated infinitely. 

Now at what point did I also come to think that we do think in threes? I have been at this for only a short time, perhaps three years. I inferred that this is the case from a look at history. It is those who have found a third way that have made progress. That is certainly one element on the contention. You could call it as Niebuhr did our capacity for transcendence.

As to logic - I believe that triadic thinking is conscious thinking and that everyone should think in threes, but that the number who consistently do is at present small and difficult to determine. I certainly do not think that everyone should be made to think thus. 

I do not think, incidentally, that logic is about what we must do. I think logic is about what makes the most sense.

Triadic thinking is entirely an optional process and it involves, for me at least, thinking about more than three particular matters or terms. What makes the method triadic is that it encloses its stages in three related terms which I call the root triad - reality, ethics, aesthetics. To get through a conscious process using this triad, I would consider a sign and the word that expresses it and then an index of values of which there are four and then an action or expression which I relate to a linked term truth-beauty or beauty-truth. The whole process is a meditational or musement-like exercise grounded in the assumed efficacy of its elements to produce positive results.

Finally, it seems to me that what I am trying to do is not to specify what constitutes the optimal means of resolving philosophical questions or indeed any other question that depends on an extended articulation of categories. My effort is the modest one of seeking to provide to the ordinary person a viaticum on a journey to truth and beauty, to reiterate a phrase from Kenneth Burke. Is this pragmatic? I would not dare claim it since as I have indicated I am not seeking to abide by the pragmatic maxim's limitations. I am trying to arrive at a measurable means of proving out the power of memorial maxims to positively affect the course of history.  



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Now and The Next Thing Is the Sign of Continuity

Triadic philosophy defines reality as all known and unknown and thus suggests that it is in itself impossible to fully describe or define. It is the source of all signs. It is not opposed to anything like unreality or fantasy or supposition. Reality may be approached somewhat as Moses is said to have approached the burning bush. When he inquired, Who shall I say sent me? the answer came back I am who I am and I will be who I will be. This suggests that the nature of reality that we can perceive and know is now and beyond now and this to me is a fairly clear suggestion of what Peirce means by the term continuity. Regardless, it accords with truth. Now is all there is and we assume the next thing. This is also the ground of the root value non-idolatry.




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Carry Ethics on Your Journey Through Life

Albert Schweitzer is seen now mostly as a person who lived out his long life as a doctor in Gabon. True enough. But prior to that he was not merely a distinguished Biblical scholar but also a philosopher of no mean capacity. After an investigation that was more than likely similar in depth  to that of Peirce, he concluded that there was one and only one thing that could be said about us with certainty. "We are life that wills to live midst life that wills to live." This is the root understanding that gives rise to triadic philosophy. It is the reason he embraced a way of utter nonviolence and what he called reverence for life. It is I think one root of a general move away from creedal religiosity and toward various forms of universalism. It also validates an approach which does not minimize the role of ethics in the viaticum "we" should carry on our journey.



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Evil is measured by relative degrees of harm.

Evil is measured by relative degrees of harm. To be delivered from evil  is to be  free from receiving or inflicting abuse.  Bully...