Author Topic: Is Dualism actually axiomatic?  (Read 130 times)

Xepera maSet

Is Dualism actually axiomatic?
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:17:39 pm »
There are very few axioms we can be certain of. Obviously there's the law of identity, that a thing is itself because of the characteristics it has. But then there are two more, "I exist" and "that exists." In other words our own existence is axiomatic, as is the fact that there is something else we are discrete from. To quote myself from elsewhere:

"Any self-aware and conscious being will find it hard to deny that they exist. Our own conscious existence is actually the one thing we can truly be certain of, though this by no means suggests we should accept Hard Solipsism as true (more on this later). “I exist” is an axiomatic statement for anyone making the statement. Like with the Law of Identity, there is no situation where one could state “I exist” while not existing. It is also impossible to argue against self-existence, as it requires a self to take in, process, and then debate the topic itself. Indeed, “I don’t exist” would immediately lead us to contradiction, for if you don’t exist who is there to make the statement?"


To me, this seems to be the same as Dualism being axiomatically true. You have two things: the self and that which it perceives and interacts with. And per the law of identity they, of course, are not the same thing. But I wanted to know the thoughts of others.
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King Mob

Re: Is Dualism actually axiomatic?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 09:58:05 am »
I think Descartes' would be a great read on this. Meditations on First Philosophy, the book in full, is great but keep in mind it was written when he would have been burned for saying there is no God.

"Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us; And because some men err in reasoning, and fall into Paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of Geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for Demonstrations; And finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be something; And as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am,[c] was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the Sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search"


"But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who deliberately and constantly deceives me. In that case, I, too, undoubtedly exist, if he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
"Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me."- Nuit, Book of the Law.

Setamontet

Re: Is Dualism actually axiomatic?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 10:31:42 am »
In my own personal view dualism is axiomatic.  Consider for instance the paradox of the human condition.  By virtue of the deliberate infusion of the metaphysical Element of the Black Flame within the biological make up of the human race, we are become at once a physical/natural spawn of the Earth, as well as, a metaphysical/non-natural spawn of the Prince of Darkness.  Humanity, in this instance, is living proof of axiomatic dualism.

I breath, I eat, I procreate -- I contemplate my own unique existence within the Universe, I think and create abstractly, therefore I Am, and am at once a child and a Magical father of the Universe.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 10:52:31 am by Setamontet »

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pi_ramesses

Re: Is Dualism actually axiomatic?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 03:05:47 pm »
While any number of propositions can be said to be axiomatic, it would make for some bad logic to hold two or more contradictory ones. For me, I still abide with dualism as being more certain. If you recall, I don't think I have seen a more compelling case aside from Advaita Vedanta and Dr. Kastrup's monistic idealism. Were I not a Setian, then I suppose I would go for one of those or Pyrrhonian scepticism.

And yes @King Mob as off-putting as reading about God is, I can't help but admire Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza for their magnus opus. But I find Descartes' Discourse on the Method more useful and brief.
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
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Kapalika

Re: Is Dualism actually axiomatic?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 03:55:33 am »
This is interesting to see brought up.

Relatively recently I was arguing the case that everything even logic comes as a result of the nature of Satan (in a pantheistic sense) but the others fired back that logic necessarily must transcend any kind of "god".

However in the end it seemed to come back to "self evident" statements like the law of identity. Later talking with a friend who teaches at a university I asked him giving some of my own thoughts (being very general) and apparently he agreed that logic is at least somewhat subjective and that each culture has it's own set of logic, all more or less aiming for the same thing but all having it's own nuances and differences. Somehow this was tied to "semiotics" but hell if I remember the details.

In any case the original debate I had, some of those self evident statements I didn't feel were so self evident, specifically the argument of retortion which is basically the one used in the quote.

In 3 parts though (bear with me I make an argument for dualism in #2 and somewhat in #3)

1.

I don't find arguments of retortion to be self evident but rather circular logic. The statement retortion is arguing for may or may not be correct but I don't think retortion in of itself is a valid justification. I don't know what more I can say on that end, other than to reflect to the fact that I think "self evident" is rather subjective and that different cultures and world views might have nuanced differences in criteria for what is the most logically sound. Remember, a lot of what we are taught about and think about logic comes from the Greeks; not all of their ideas were universal.

2.

Just because we may be able to say "I exist" doesn't really define the self other than as a self-aware entity. I would, however, argue through common sense, a "self evident' type of thing, that obviously there are other self aware beings. I'm not aware of what my cats are thinking, and vice versa. I'm only aware of them when they are present. Such a thing is "obvious". I'm not sure if that is what you are getting at in your OP but if it was then I'd accept at least when talking about other conscious beings (such as cats or other people, more on this in a second).

@pi_ramesses mentioned nondual Vendanta which may well have an argument against that "obviousness" I see but I won't bother with that at the moment.

3.

Jumping here some but in my own system it's abundantly clear to me that although more derived from the emenational 'source discrete consciousness is very real since a consequence of my axioms is that there is no pure or impure. So it won't matter how derived it is, it's real. I also know that we are all distinct consciousness because when one person attains enlightenment/liberation/godhood/ect you and me don't experience it.

So I can say that I think we all have a distinct "I" or self. I don't know if I would say that there are "objects" that were are distinct from, however. The traditional view in the scriptures I adhere to is that we are not isolated from the material or immaterial, just distinct from one another. To what extent there is a subject-object duality I'm not sure, however I do know that the reconciliation is at the heart of what's called shuddha Vidya tattva (which is the equilibrium of object (Idam) and self (aham)). I imagine it's one of those things you only truly "get" once you're fairly close to it (and if you were, you'd be well on your way to shivagama).

er; conclusion?

So what I'm trying to explain is that, to me at least it would seem that axioms are subjective and fairly culture-based, even if the logical process isn't fully so. My example trying to illustrate that, and also give my view on it from within my own system.

So I wouldn't say that in my view that dualism is an axiom, no, but that subject-subject dualism does arise as a consequence of my axioms. As far as subject-object dualism, that's something I'm still working out the specifics of.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 03:59:41 am by Kapalika »
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