Existentialism of Sartre and Heidegger

Walter posted in Foundations of Logic Faceboook group
Existentialism of Sartre and Heidegger:
What are the differences between Sartre’s and Heidegger’s existentialism?
Sartre’s existentialism is not based on ontology
Existentialism of Heidegger is based on ontolog

[ 4/1/21 ]

If one is looking for absolute certainty, then one can only find that in some form of theism or belief in something beyond evidence.

If one is committed to looking at the vast sets of evidence that exist about the nature of reality, and the sets of strategies and logics and mathematics and probabilities that can be used to model and make some sort of sense of such vast uncertainty with some degree of confidence, then most who do that with integrity seem to end up accepting that uncertainty and diversity are necessary and eternal aspects of existence for any computational entity (such as we seem to be).

And when computational entities have evolved from relatively simple beginnings, in environments where many situations demand urgent responses to complex and uncertain situations, then such entities will have a strong bias towards making simple models of the complexity in which they exist – and the simplest models possible are binary concepts, like true/false, right/wrong, good/bad.

It seems to me that as one projects the possible consequences of actions into the far future then the uncertainties present make it difficult to make hard determinations.

It seems clear that we all have to make our choices on uncertain information, and we must all dance with the uncertainties present, and the consequences that manifest, through time – eternally.

Theism, when it is applied in the sense of having a degree of humility in the face of vast complexity beyond any hope of accurate comprehension – seems to be a reasonable approximation to an appropriate response to the degrees of complexity that we find ourselves in.

Theism, when it is used in a simplistic (right/wrong, true/false) sense to impose control, or to demonize those who are different (rather than accept and embrace all diversity that does not pose unacceptable risk); seems to be one of the greatest risks we face. And to be clear, the same class of risk (over simplification and aggression against difference) can apply to any set of distinctions – family, tribe, community, belief, race, nation, culture, ….. .

Where-ever it appears, it can pose serious risk – and when supported by classes of technology such risk can become existential – any and all levels.

So from where I sit, theism seems unlikely, and in many instances it is a useful and workable approximation in practice, particularly if practiced with a sense of humility.

And for me, all knowledge of reality (which includes all knowledge of ourselves) necessarily contains multiple levels of uncertainties.

And I can understand the evolutionary reasons why most minds must reject such uncertainty and will localize to some simplistic “Truth” – which is necessarily an over simplification of the reality that seems very probably to exist.

And like everyone, I started from such “Truths” and like everyone I have a tendency to use them in practice, particularly in situations of stress (of time or anything else). At some level, they are logically required to make any sense of anything. At the base levels of cognition evolution seems to have encoded sets of Bayesian priors into the structures of our brains and our cultures and languages.

And I must add that to me, it is clear that the evolution of complexity is always based upon new levels of cooperation, and that our survival as a species is based on our ability to cooperate. Unrestrained competition is always an existential threat to complexity – that is logically inescapable. We cooperate, or we perish – as simple as that. And it cannot be naive cooperation, it must be alert to all levels of cheating strategies.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
This entry was posted in Philosophy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s