"Some questions are in principle unanswerable. Ask a person such a question and their response doesn't tell you the answer, it tells you about that person. Such questions you can answer in any way that you want, but you must then take responsibility for the implications and consequences of your answer."
Heniz von Forrester
Reason: A Tolerance for Existence
[quote author=“Heinz von Förster”]“Some questions are in principle unanswerable. Ask a person such a question and their response doesn’t tell you the answer, it tells you about that person. Such questions you can answer in any way that you want, but you must then take responsibility for the implications and consequences of your answer.”
Good grief, burt. Some questions are unaskable. And when a metaphysician is in the house, those are the most pleasant ones to my eyes.
If you like the Incredibles, perhaps you will remember “Ducks on a Pond”. A lovely song, and very like my conversation with you.
“The Lion and the Unicorn journeyed very far. The answers are the questions, sir; the Lady soothes the Lion’s fur; meek as a lamb he follows her - wherever Angels are.”
People who solve problems on computers, and perhaps even some cognitive scientists, will remember this one:
Garbage in, garbage out.
The reason I am offering this is because the person whom burt has quoted is named “Heinz von Förster” which would be “Foerster” in low ascii. Of course, if the words themselves only serve to tell you what you need to know about a person, the name associated will not be important in the slightest. But in case anyone else wants to know more about this astonishing intellect:
“With all of these limitations and hazards well in mind, let us ask whether a knower so conceived is capable of constructing the physics of the world which includes himself,” and then he continues: “But, in so doing, let us be perfectly frank to admit that causality is a superstition.”
It is clear, that ethics cannot be articulated. What does he want to say with this cryptic statement? How can one understand it? My understanding was to adopt for myself the following rule: For any discourse I may have - say in science, philosophy, epistemology, therapy, etc. - to master the use of my language so that ethics is implicit.
When all you have is an epistemologist, everything looks like knowledge.
‘Causality is a superstition’ - Yes! That’s wonderful, thank you, Salt Creek.
This is actually something you CAN try at home, although maybe keep quiet about it at work. Something very simple, like putting some dishes into the sink. If you consciously suspend your usual beliefs about ‘I am doing this’ something very pleasurable happens. For example, time disappears. Also no sense of ‘this is boring’ because you see things co-arising out of nothingness so nothing is ‘old hat’.
Speaking strictly of human society, “tolerance” is a terrible word with which to replace “understanding”, since tolerance has a limit, and any engineer who has witnessed a tolerance level exceeded knows the catastrophe that follows. “Tolerance”, with respect to the human society, is the excuse bigots use before the killing starts.