Lance Ah Kair, (2022), What is Existence?

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[The essay below was submitted to Harmonia Philosophica in the context of the “What is Existence?” call for philosophical essays]

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels (source)

What is Existence?

Feeling is largely unknown. Some are even heard to say that feeling is not emotion. I have often wondered if there is an affect called ‘pain’ that can analogue between the physical and the mental. I hesitate to say ‘psychic’ pain, since I am not quite sure if speaking about a psyche has any more substance to it than speaking about a finger, at least in reference to what might be existing. I am likely more the being of my feelings than I am the being of the psyche. My finger indeed hurts, but I’m never so sure what my psyche might be doing.

I refer existence to the ‘what’. What is existence. Question mark. By this I do not step into the irrational and stay there, for, how could I speak irrationally about what is irrational? Perhaps I would say something like,

“Peanuts! Rock the urine stars of liver meat going “squash war it thus spittle churn. And atom * running slime %: geographica —Uranus space_# toilet into (cough) dirt Russian 7 halves?”

take some acid for the theater of the absurd, and my essay would be over. I would start walking from my home and continue walking until I literally fell over dead.

I must go in and out; quite libidinal, but again, hardly likely psyche. My irrational essay must be referring to an historical understanding of what is rational, which then, to my ears, makes no sense and really makes me want to stop this essay right now, never send it, but as well, I now know for sure in my heart and mind, in all confidence that the editors already read it, published it, and I am now already done for my Ted Talks in the season; I again step out of my house and walk forever, never encounter anyone because I have already met everyone who is important.

What is existence. The two routes I am playing with, “the ol’ in-out, in-out”, concerns where or how I find the what. Is the what referring to something outside of itself, thereby having nothing it expresses in itself, eternally an empty space of referral to something else that “is”? Or, is the question itself merely a statement of fact, such that its referral is substantiated itself by that which comes to meet it? Both of these questions, therefore, are not necessarily contingently isolated and constituting different manners of answers with possibility. That is the question mark that never exists but in the rational world that is, at root, irrational: always referring to the ? great unknown. And one wonders if there must be a faith to hold it all together? Well, just start at the beginning and ponder just ‘what’ is referring existence.

Ouch!

Lance Ah Kair, Feb Saturday 2020 also. (2022)

Submitted at Harmonia Philosophica for the “What is Existence?” call for essays

Philosophy BY children!

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Philosophy BY Children!

Philosophy BY children!

A new group to publish and discuss the answers of children to the greatest philosophical problems of humanity was created: PHILOSOPHY BY CHILDREN! Philosophy is not ‘for’ children. Philosophy can only be conducted BY children! We must forget how to think in order to think! True philosophers should always question everything. And who is better in doing that those who have learnt nothing?

> JOIN THE GROUP HERE https://www.facebook.com/groups/philosophybychildren to also SHARE YOUR STORIES about wise things children have said regarding the greatest philosophical questions of all time!

Why philosophy by children?

Thinking is always based on specific axioms. Any person must start from somewhere when pondering on any question: The things he knows, the things he thinks he knows, his beliefs, his hopes, his wishes. In that sense, any attempt to think freely is hindered by the very notion of thinking per se.

The only think to truly think is to forget how to think!

Harmonia Philosophica has been trying for a long time to promote the idea of non-thinking or of irrational thinking as the way forward regarding philosophy and science (search articles related to ‘irrational’ or ‘non-thinking’ for that). In that sense, looking at what children have to say regarding the big questions of humanity is a way to get a glimpse of what that non-thinking could look like.

CHILDREN’S PHILOSOPHY ARTICLES

To be continued…

Irrational Paths: Life and Death…

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In a glance: IRRATIONAL PATHS are very short videos that try to provoke unconventional philosophical ideas via the promotion of irrational thoughts on crucial philosophical subjects…

Topic: Life and Death

Harmonia Philosophica Irrational Paths: Life and Death (Music by SamuelFrancisJohnson from Pixabay)

Idea: Can life exist without death?

Any comments are welcome!

Do not hesitate to contact us via the Harmonia Philosophica email or via our YouTube channel!

Related articles in Harmonia Philosophica

Santa Claus exists. And tooth fairies. And mermaids. Oh, and so do you…

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Small children believe in Santa Claus. They are thrilled when the presents arrive and even try to find proof that he exists by placing cookies for the saint to eat along with a glass of milk…

But we are grown ups. We know that he doesn’t exist.

And we all struggle and question ourselves. Should we let them be? Should we perpetuate the lie or should we inform our children that he is just a fantasy, along with fairies and unicorns?

Such a wrong dilemma.

Rational people tied up into the chains that they created.

Could we be more wrong?

I am not going to get into the ‘Saint Nicolas was a real person’ line of thinking. Indeed Saint Nicolas was a real person and he indeed gave gifts to the poor. One could simply argue (and he would not be far away from the truth) that it is the spirit of Saint Nicolas – a very real person that did exist – that still endures and makes all those presents be. Every parent follows his example when dressing up like Santa Claus (a name Saint Nicolas came be known by because of his Dutch nickname, Sintar Klaas – see here).

I could also go into more extreme arguments, like the quantum superposition argument. One can read here an interesting article on how Santa Claus exists and is in fact a macroscopic quantum phenomenon, with its wavefunction collapsing when into ‘dad’ when Santa Claus is observed. It is quite amusing to see how our definition of reality and the limited knowledge we have about it can give birth to multiple ideas that question the most common of our beliefs. Do not take this article as an amusement article only. Our knowledge for reality IS limited. Our senses and NOT reliable. We know NOTHING about being or existence per se. As Oscar Wilde once said, the most serious things are said in jokes…

But there is a more fundamental line of thinking that can explain and justify the existence of Santa Claus. As Harmonia Philosophica has tried to explain for years and years, asking the simple questions is the way of true philosophers. And as many of you know, philosophers have been trying to find out answer to the most fundamental questions of humankind but with no success. Many might believe that this means they have failed. But that would be incorrect. For the purpose of true philosophers is not to lead to the truth, but to make it clear that we can know nothing about it. Because such thing as the ‘truth’ does not exist. (Non-thinking is the way towards the cosmos, try to read more in Harmonia Philosophica about it).

So let us re-examine our question.

“Does Santa Claus exist?”

Aristotle once said that any question contains its answer. So true. “Does Santa Claus exist?”. A phenomenally simple and innocent question that is loaded with so many beliefs and so much dogmatism. A question saying so many things about the people who ask it. It implies that we know about existence. It implies that we know who and what exists and what does not. It implies that non-existence is also… existent. Last but certainly not least, by asking about the existence of Santa Claus we clearly imply that he might not. We wouldn’t be asking for the existence of our self for example, would we?

“Does Santa exist?”

Let me ask another thing though.

What about you?

Do YOU exist?

Foolish question it seems. But not so foolish after careful consideration. How do I know you are there? Perhaps because of some undeniable proof? Should I take your word for it? Why should I believe you are a human and not a perfectly programmed robot? How could I know you are saying because of your own free will and not because your cells are programmed to do so? Could you convince me your are not a zombie? (The Zombie argument is a cool argument by the way for the existence or non-existence of consciousness)

Mermaids exist. They just hide beneath rocks when we look for them…

~ unknown kid

What is more, what IS existence? What does it mean to exist? Philosophers for thousands of years have not solved that problem so how could you even consider saying that you exist? What IS Being? The greatest philosophers of all times failed to give an answer. So how could you be so arrogant to claim that you “are” and others not? What IS reality? Who can claim that he or she has access to that magical thing called ‘reality’ without discarding thousands of years of philosophy trying and failing to find out what that thing is? Even for the phenomena we observe, the surface of the ocean we swim in, our senses and science can only explain a minor fraction of that world we capture with our senses; let alone things that lie beyond them. So what makes you so arrogant as to ask such a dramatic question?

The only argument you have for your existence is your feeling and knowledge that you do. Feelings and knowledge that you cannot transmit to others no matter how hard you try.

Guess what.

Santa Claus exists for children for exactly the same reasons!

This is not a shallow trick-argument to solve the problem. No. As already mentioned above, our total lack of knowledge regarding what existence and being are is totally true. Our total inability to know what ‘reality’ is also is something totally true. What we really KNOW are the things we have immediate experience of. Our existence. Our thoughts. Our consciousness. A peach we eat. A lonely summer night. The love of our parents that are here. Santa Claus bringing gifts which we sleep…

Something magical.

And because of that, truer that anything can ever be.

You see, magic in life is something we forgot. And yet, it still drives our destiny.

Love is magical. Our own life is magical. Santa is magical.

But we got carried away. And again we forgot the simple question we started with. “What about you?” we asked. Tell me my child, do you exist? How do you know? More importantly. How do I know? All my science, all my knowledge, all my philosophy cry out loud that I could never be certain for the existence of anyone else than me. And yet, I am certain for your existence. More than I am certain about my own!

You see…

It is not Santa Claus that is magic.

It was never a question of whether he existed.

It is all about you my child.

It was about you from the beginning.

You are magical!

Believing in good in a place full of evil. Loving and caring without expecting anything in return.

You DO exist!

Now go get your presents.

Santa was here while you were asleep…

Advanced tool. Prehistoric people. Tears and laughter…

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Photo by amy chung from Pexels

Artefacts such as bows and arrows do not necessarily prove our ancestors had sophisticated reasoning and understanding of how these tools worked, new research suggests.

Instead, such items could have emerged from an “accumulation of improvements made across generations” – with each generation understanding no more than the last.

The new study, by the University of Exeter and the Catholic University of Lille, does not question humanity’s capacity for “enhanced causal reasoning” – but argues this did not necessarily drive the development of technologies such as bows, boats and houses. (1)

Blessed we are.

Through aeons of life.

We manage to die.

Creating nothing.

At the end, all will perish.

Are you afraid to smile?

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