Our Philosophy

This section is devoted to the man in the modern world and the role of law in human life (as we understand). We do hope to find like-minded visitors to our page.

Section includes three articles: Inverted world, Life as a Choice; Freedom of XXI century, Ideal state; Where shall we buy "tomatoes"?

 

INVERTED WORLD. LIFE AS A CHOICE.

The materialistic conception of the world that was impressed on most of us by school, through higher education and the official ideology subconsciously remains the basic framework of our thinking. As a result, we often give meaning to some phenomena of the reality expending no time to analyze our cognitive apparatus. And what if the approach, the cognitive method itself was wrong and we attach improper significance to such phenomena as, for example, instinct and consciousness, evolution of species and evolution of consciousnesses, nationality and culture, right and freedom of choice, and many others? Do we try, when studying any matter, just to confirm, subconsciously, the earlier selected materialistic standpoint, thereby overlooking the truth? Indeed, as people say, "the one who knows what to look for will never find the unknown".  

Some will try to object saying that the materialistic conception of the world is modern and scientific. Is it so? Rather! Materialism and idealism cannot possibly be described in terms of science. The materialistic conception is just the choice of how you perceive the world and yourself. The present-day scientific discoveries in psychology, neurophysiology and physics also imply the conclusion that the materialistic approach cannot be applied to explain a whole range of phenomena. The simplest example is the phenomenon of the wave-particle duality known in the quantum physics. Elementary particles (that the universe is built of) may be either small balls (i.e. have certain dimensions, mass, location) or the opposite - waves (i.e. be everywhere and nowhere at the same time, have no mass) depending on the method used to observe them. This phenomenon is unexplainable in terms of materialism. Besides, the quantum physics have more general meaning as compared with physics describing macro objects. Thus, not only microscopic particles but also the objects that we see in our daily life may with a certain (although small) degree of probability exhibit the properties observed in the microcosm.

The things that cannot be explained with the help of materialism are easily explained by theoretical constructs having a long history in the cultures of different nations. The most vivid, in our opinion, idealistic conception of the world was given by Plato who described a cave with people sitting inside with their backs to the entrance and watching the play of shadows on the walls of the cave. The people are chained to their seats and cannot turn and see the source of light directly, so they have to settle for projections on the wall. These people ascribe independent significance to such projections. Some modern scientists (David Bohm, Karl Pribram, Amid Goswami, ...) speak about the holographic universe theory. According to this theory, consciousnesses of all people are connected and form a kind of a film strip in a cinema, and the reality is the image on the screen. And those people are so fascinated with the movie that they forget about the film and are inclined to think that the image exists of its own accord...

The idealistic conception of the world described above is a kind of "inverted world" as compared with the materialistic constructs familiar to many since childhood (when consciousness, at the best case, is assigned a secondary role towards the matter, at the worst case consciousness is identified with matter). For a person sharing idealistic outlooks the role of free choice is extremely important, while a materialist denies free choice completely. In terms of materialism being determines consciousness; any human actions are preprogrammed by material substance (genes, way of life, etc.).

In the "inverted world" people are not surrounded by objects, but by meanings given to such objects. Objects themselves are only material embodiments of archetypes. Indeed, everything around us is or was an archetype (or an intention, as Seneca wrote), even our emotions and feelings... In this case human life is a long chain of free choices. This is owing to our free choices that the material world exists.

What can be the use of the new conception of the world in daily life?

In our opinion, the new conception will contribute to deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the world (in contrast to the fragmentary materialistic perception), get rid of false stereotypes, find new opportunities and make right choices not only in everyday life, but also in occupational spheres. For example, what is nationality for an idealist? The notion of nationality is often determined with the help of genetic traits, cultural affiliation, and territory of inhabitance. In the eye of an idealist, the body is an instrument that consciousness uses to explore the world, and if so, what does the genetics (molecular composition) of this device stand for? Who can boast the most "clean" or "correct" composition of molecules and what is the criteria to determine this correct composition? If consciousness exists independently of the body, genes or the molecules that these genes are built of, then nationality is just a product of human free choice. Indeed, the notion of nationality retains only such properties as choice of territory, culture and language. But don't we share an alien culture buying foreign cars, going on vacation abroad, having lunch at restaurants with foreign cuisine...? Isn't any "national issue" just one of the controversies of the fragmentary materialistic outlook?

FREEDOM OF XXI CENTURY. IDEAL STATE.

If human life is a long chain of choices, then there shall be opportunities for such choices. Human opportunities are seen to be conditioned by the performance of one's obligations (rights), but may be unconditioned (freedoms). Thus, if we assume that a person exists outside any state (suppose, on a desert island), then his opportunities to get and consume food, to build a house, etc. are not limited by anyone outside. That means that he does not have to pay any taxes or pension contributions, to go to the army, he is not bound by any obligations at all. In this case we may speak about individual's absolute freedom which is the aggregate of his opportunities unlimited by no one outside and unconditioned by the performance of one's obligations. When we say "no one outside" we mean that such person can curb his freedom himself. Thus, internal freedom, as we see it, is realization and assessment of choice. In the situation when the person does not realize or gives negative assessment to many options, his internal freedom decreases.

When a person is on the territory of any state, he shall partially abandon his freedom. Any state abridges individual freedom. So we may say that the law of any state is the aggregate of all limitations of human freedom mandatory in its territory. The goals of such limitations may be: official ideology, protection of citizens, protection of state, economic interests of certain groups, etc. That is why the person acquires certain obligations: to pay duties and taxes, to serve in the army, to refrain from particular actions... Entering into relations with a person the state provides to the person certain rights, such as: right to defense, right to pension, elective rights and others. As a result, staying in the territory of any state a person partially exchanges his freedom for rights (opportunities conditioned by the performance of obligations by the state). If this exchange is fair and does not affect inner freedom of the person, then the person will be satisfied with the "deal". Authoritative and totalitarian states can exist only due to "unfair deals" or imposing of ideologies denying choices and, respectively, curbing internal freedom of the person.

Nowadays, the rights granted by any state acquire increasing international significance and guarantees. This is connected with the appearance of international conventions, the development of the treaty system, globalization, the advance of mass media and some other factors. It is not infrequent that the exercise of human rights in some state is protected by other states. The situation gradually becomes to look like a competition between the states for high-quality exercise of human rights similar to stores competing for customers. In our case money is human freedoms and goods are the rights offered by states. As for the person, he is obtaining the opportunities that he has never had before. In particular, he exchanges his freedoms against rights in different states. Thus, when changing the allegiance a person fully pays for his rights in the other state with his freedoms, and when a person establishes an international holding he pays with his freedoms to several states in a certain ratio.

Many today's politicians simply speak about the necessity of rational approach to foreign policy. It would be reasonable to extend their idea to internal policy as well. The comparison of a state to a store is quite justified and void of any cynicism as in these latter days the state completely lost its sacred meaning. The notion of state is not connected with the notions of religion, motherland or nation. However, authoritative and totalitarian states always tend to merge with these notions instead of expanding the range of the "traded goods". Multiple definitions of the state usually come under the notion of "organization" and include qualifying characteristics: territoriality, administrative and suppression apparatus, sovereignty. That is, the state is the organization which, in the given territory, with the help of its apparatus generates a certain product - rights and exchanges this product against the freedoms of the population. Certainly, such "store" is established with the participation of the population. The question is which part of it? Oftentimes, this is the part that cannot adequately assess its freedoms and freedoms of other people.

Comparing states with stores selling rights makes it possible to understand the essence of individual states. One shall realize that any "store" will always take "money" for its "goods". However, there are stores that overprice their goods taking sometimes all money. There are stores whose assistants regularly cheat the buyer when you are offered one product and given an opposite. And there are stores where the customer is always right and where the quality meets the price. In such stores careless personnel shall be immediately dismissed and, not uncommon, by personal wish. Thus, the ideal state is the state that aims to increase inner freedom of the person and exchange the maximum quantity of rights against the minimum quantity of human freedoms.

WHERE SHALL WE BUY "TOMATOES"?

What happens if a store stops selling some goods or sells low-quality goods at an unreasonably high price?

Imagine the situation when you have to make a salad, for example. You get ready and go to the nearest store. But it is far from perfect, it turns out that some vegetables are not fresh enough and very expensive, others are not available at all. What shall you do? You can still buy all vegetables at this store but then you'll run the risk to poison yourself and, in addition to this, to run out of cash. You can turn around and go to another, distant store, but the owner of the nearby store lives next door to you, he is an influential person and he may get offended and make problems for you. What is the way out then? You should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's (but only Caesar's). You should choose the freshest products in the nearest store at their actual price and go to other stores for the rest of the goods. You can buy, for example, some of his tomatoes after bargaining and go to other stores to buy other vegetables (also after bargaining everywhere). As a result you might have quite an edible salad and your neighbor (the store owner) shall not be unduly sulky with you.

 Copyright © 2011 Dmitry Kharitonov. All rights reserved

 

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