Posts Tagged ‘behavior’

Existence God Structure Logic Love

September 18, 2010

Early on I identified with agnosticism, – an escape from what I had been taught. But, I continued to study religion–aesthetic traditions, philosophy of, and Christianity. However, the religion/God that, for me, is spot on, not only affirms God’s existence, but also demonstrates a consistency and coherence with events— predictable scientific events. What follows is a brief description/explanation of the God that Is. (Inspiration for this post came from a Google search on the principle of double negation.)

Ideal Meanings

The necessary elements of every assertion are based on “ideal meanings” that fill our perceptions with meaning. This process, over time, alters both the meaning and the content of our perceptual field. But, what it comes down to is testing the deductive consequences of those “ideal meanings” against the sensual contents in the field of our perceptions. For instance, consider that space, as an ontological entity, in the theory of general relativity, doesn’t exist. The being of space has been replaced with purely methodological considerations. What space ‘is,’ or whether any definite character can be attributed to it, is no longer a concern. Rather, we must be concerned with the geometrical presuppositions, the “ideal meanings” that get used in the interpretation of the phenomena that we ascribe to nature according to law. And further, at the quantum level, as far as a person’s limited reason is concerned, there is no quantum world, just an abstract quantum physical description. In other words, over time, both knowledge and the perceived field that we find ourselves in changes.

God’s Structure

The structure of God that explains why the physical universe is comprehensible, why the mind will never stop explaining things, and why mathematics (both present and not yet invented) will continue to explore imagined possibilities, arises from God’s structure, a structure rooted in the freedom to be free.

God is structured through negation—event structuring negations which circumscribe all physical, biological, and psychological events. Human self-consciousness is a product of negation; the evolving universe is a product of negations. When it comes to understanding “why negations,” the distinguished astronomer and Pulitzer-prize winner, Carl Sagan, said it best: “We are the universe’s way of understanding itself.” Bottom line, though, is that our participation in this process and the universe’s participation in this process are rooted in “divine liberation/structure,” or the freedom to be free.

So what exactly is this structure that logically implies God’s existence, the natural world, life, self-consciousness, and liberation, the liberation that produces the ups and downs of civilization? The source of this structure may be traced to the principle of double negation! The following is cut and paste description of this principle:

[Double Negation Principle

The principle that, for any proposition P, P logically implies not-not-P, and not-not-P logically implies P.
Classical logic accepts both these halves of the principle, but intuitionist logic accepts only the first half, and not the second. This is because it accepts the law of contradiction (and so, given P, cannot allow not-P), but rejects the law of excluded middle (and so, given not-not-P, does not consider itself forced to accept P).]

In God’s structure the not-not-P that logically implies P becomes not-not-God therefore God, and this structure sustains the universe. This structure is frozen in time (synchronic), but the “awareness of the implication of P,” is both a product of synchronic and diachronic evolution (time-dependent evolution). To be sure, humans are a product of the evolution of star-stuff, but they are also a product of the isomorphic transformations of structure (transformation is the medium of synchronic movement and transformation need not be a temporal process: 1+1=2; 6 divided by 2=3; clearly, the “following and making” here meant, are not temporal processes. The law of intelligibility is the foundation of all “laws”). These changes that occur in divine structure are real, yet, at the same time, they conserve the not-not-P structure that implies God. In the structure of divinity, existence, or that which is identified as existence, remains circumscribed by the ~~P therefore “G” structure.

God, by any other name, is the “affirmative ideal,” but this is not the end of it. Star-stuff evolution moves from simple to complex over time. When existence, circumscribed by the ~~p structure achieves sufficient complexity, two significant events occur. First, the structure of ~~p reboots into a higher ~pp structure which, in turn, circumscribes more complex forms of existence, i.e., life. The ~p in this higher structure conserves the ground structure of ~~p, or, in other words, death/decay preserves the divine structure of ~~p, therefore “G.” A major liberation occurs, however, when ~~p becomes P, i.e., the implied “G” of ~~p becomes alive—and “life” continues the simple to complex movement!

The first structural liberation occurs between ~~p and ~pp, but the second structural liberation (the one that produces human consciousness) occurs, after a sufficient diachronic complexity is achieved, when ~pp reboots to p~p~pp (or when the now liberated ~pp structure experiences discontinuity in continuity, or “time of mind consciousness” occurring in the higher negative space of p~p). The higher negative space of p~p conserves the structure of God while the ~pp structure, in turn, liberates the “affirmative ideal” (God by any other name) in human self-consciousness.

The Meaning and Significance of the P~P~PP God Structure

We might ask, what does the God structure of p~p~pp mean in ordinary language? Our “time of mind steam of consciousness” is embedded in a physical event. Physical events take place within our perceptual field (sensory experience) and are identified, scrutinized, and categorized within our “time of mind” experience. F. S. Northop says it best when he says, “To be any complete thing is to be not merely an immediately experienced, aesthetically and emotionally felt thing, but also to be what hypothetically conceived and experimentally verified theory designates” (The Meeting Of East And West, p. 450). In other words, divine structure leaves us with the same “reality,” i.e., an awareness of the physical processes that constitute the material world—the same world we were “schooled in and grew up in,” or, it leaves us with what can be inferred from the structure of God described above. (I’m sure different inferences can be made from the above description, but that is what “time of mind” is all about—testing the consistency and coherence of ideas in the market place of critical thinking and debate).

What the God Structure Tells Us About Ourselves and Love

God’s logical consistency is connected necessarily to the evolution of everything that we know about the universe, i.e., connected necessarily to all the possibilities of human behavior EXCEPT the behaviors that contradict God’s self-consistency, e.g., behavior that takes life unnecessarily, behavior that causes unnecessary suffering, behavior that does harm to the environment–harm to that which preserves and perpetuates freedom, life, love, and reverence for the God that makes “all” possible.

And, speaking of love, God’s structure not only finds a place for love, LOVE, ultimately, becomes the most significant experience possible. True, love’s meaning is embedded in “time of mind,” but the experience of love enters through the negative space of “time of mind”– the space of the aesthetic continuum, which, structurally, implies the existence of God. In terms of God’s structure, “time of mind” is the source of meaningful symbol creation, which, in turn, opened the door to the creation of language, myth, religion, art, theoretical knowledge, and the rest of the civilizing processes that we call civilization. But, this ongoing self-liberation is not only embedded in civilization, it is also embedded in the aesthetic continuum where the true meaning of life can be found. The gorgeous sunset that sometimes swells our eyes to tears is not just a product of the spinning earth; it is also part of the spontaneous, pulsating, emotion that flows from the whole of the aesthetic continuum. Inspiration for the poet, painter, and musician comes not from cerebral musings, but rather from the empowering emotion that inspires life, imagination, and awe. The strength and resolve necessary to create a better world is not found in analysis and calculation, but rather in the empowering emotion that calls us to love, beauty and truth. The immediately grasped, emotionally moving ground out of which all things arise–the aesthetic component of our experience–beckons us to seek the impossible, express the unspeakable, and imagine the inconceivable.

William James held that “stream of consciousness” is comprised of both thinking and feeling elements. Feeling, for James, participates in knowledge and understanding. Echoing this sentiment, in his article, Reason and Feeling, Professor Creighton describes how feeling animates mind:

“In the development of mind, feeling does not remain a static element, constant in form and content at all levels, but…is transformed and disciplined through its interplay with other aspects of experience…Indeed, the character of the feeling in any experience may be taken as an index of the mind’s grasp of its object; at the lower levels of experience, where the mind is only partially or superficially involved, feeling appears as something isolated and opaque, as the passive accompaniment of mere bodily sensations…In the higher experiences, the feelings assume an entirely different character, just as do the sensations and other contents of mind.”
(Susanne K. Langer, Philosophy In A New Key, p. 100)

And further, F.S. Northrop, in the quote below, emphasizes the spiritual relevance of the aesthetic continuum, and the trans-formative value of feeling and emotion, when he states:

“Now it is precisely this ineffable, emotional, moving quale that constitutes what is meant by spirit and the spiritual. Thus in order to do justice to the spiritual nature of human beings and of all things it is not necessary to have recourse to idle speculations, by means of which one tries to pierce through the glass beyond which we now see darkly, to supposedly unaesthetic material substances behind, or into some unreachable and unknowable realm where mental substances are supposed to be. On the contrary, the spiritual, the ineffable, the emotionally moving, the aesthetically vivid—the stuff that dreams and sunsets and the fragrance of flowers are made of—is the immediate, purely factual portion of human nature and the nature of all things. This is the portion of human knowledge that can be known without recourse to inference and speculative hypotheses and deductive logic, and epistemic correlations and rigorously controlled experiments. This we have and are in ourselves and in all things, prior to all theory, before all speculation, with immediacy and hence with absolute certainty.” (The Meeting of East and West, p.462)

However, I think Jesus of Nazareth said it best when he said “Love God with all your heart and do on to others as you would have others do on to you.” Love animates and grows the spirit and the spiritual. Without it there would be no work ethic, no survival. Where LOVE burns brightest, that is where the Absolute Affirmation reigns supreme. It is love that must be affirmed. Liberation moves God’s structure forward, but LOVE is the real liberator. Lover and beloved become as one in love. All opposites come together in love. There is no substitute for love. Love is the greatest apperception. Freedom, beauty, and completeness are embedded there; the psychic and the cosmic are embedded there. It is the same in death as in life!

The “Time Of Mind” Concept in the Literature of Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, and Science

We have come to the end of this post—finally. And yet, I still feel the need to say one last thing about “time of mind;” in a survey of some literature, one can find support for the “time of mind” concept, albeit, support framed in terms of the consequences of “time of mind,” not it’s structure. Anyway, thanks goes out to all who have read this far, and if interested, my blog, for the most part, is a recollection of the history that has allowed me to write this blog.

Since one might not be familiar with how the “time of mind” concept (discontinuity occurring in continuity) plays out in the literature, here are a few examples from the literature of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and science. For instance, Descartes’ cogito ergo sum “I think (doubt), therefore I am,” is obviously impregnated with the experience of the “affirmative ideal” experience, impregnated with the discontinuity of doubt/negation occurring in the continuity of “the affirmation of existence in order to doubt existence). And further, in Sartre’s definition of consciousness: “Consciousness is a being such that in its being its being implies a being other than itself,” the experience of discontinuity occurring in continuity, for Sartre, becomes the defining condition of a self-conscious person. And again, in psychology, every time the subject is identified as “coming to be,” or “under construction” discontinuity occurring in continuity/the affirmative ideal is what is being discussed. In fact, Piaget’s concept of “self” is defined as “the center of functional activity.” And, again in Sociology, where Thom focuses his studies on the “the overcoming of the primitive ambivalence or opposition between the modes of difference and no difference, and, in a like manner, where Simmel focuses his studies on “man as both the fixing of boundaries and the reaching out across these boundaries—the language of discontinuity occurring in continuity is front and center in the discussion. And lastly, in the physics of the quantum particles, where the collapse of the wave function is observer generated, we are not only witnessing the language of the “affirmative ideal,” we are witnessing (with each collapse of the wave function) empirical evidence supporting the claim that God exists in the structure of human self-consciousness, i.e., GOD INCARNATED.

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Certainty-Oriented Persons Lack Interest In Discovering New Information About The Self Or The Environment

August 22, 2009

100_3108An Uncertainty-Oriented Person Is A “Need To Know” Type Who Is “Primarily Concerned With, And Interested In, Finding Out New Things About The Self Or The Environment.”
Prospectus Continued

Survey of Literature and Theoretical Foundation Continued

Self-Cognizing Research literature goes back to the objective self-awareness theory of Duval and Wicklund (1972) which holds that whenever a person takes himself or herself to be an object (in the form of self-focused attention) a negative affect will follow. Although I was originally drawn to the Self-Cognizing literature because I thought the negative affect discussed in the objective self-awareness theory could be directly attributed to the negated “me-self” component of the triadic self concept that I proposed, I found, after surveying the literature (Wicklund, 1975; Carver and Scheier, 1981; Gibbons, 1990,), that a negative affect, although a frequent occurrence, does not necessarily occur as a result of self-focused attention, i.e., whenever attention became fixed on a within-self dimension. The literature on Self-Cognition theory does contribute to this research project in other ways however. Self-Cognition theory tends to analyze human behavior in terms of “information processing,” and assumes that all information that is accessible to awareness originates in the environment and “in the person” (Carver and Scheier, 1981, p. 35.)

Self-focused attention may be attuned to public or private concerns. Evidence has been gathered to support the claim that a public self exists side by side with a private self (Froming and Walker,1980; Froming et al., 1981; Caver and Scheirer, 1981) and when attention is focused on the public self, – the self-presentational, public aspect of self – attention is likely to remain focused, according to Gibbons (1990, p.281), on the “feelings of group cohesion ….thereby promoting conformity with group norms and, when carried to an extreme, resulting in deindividuation. The deindividuated state, then, is characterized by a more or less constant absence of self-focus. When this happens, behavior essentially comes under control of the group” (Diener, 1979; Prentice-Dunn & Rogers, 1982). On the other hand, when attention is focused on the private aspect of self, on the feelings, opinions, motives, and behavioral tendencies of self, then self-focused attention has been found to “encourage a more careful and thoughtful consideration of the antecedents and the consequences of behavior” (Gibbons, 1983; Gibbons, 1990, p.255). The evidence gathered in these self-cognizing studies, particularly Froming and Walker (1980) and Froming et al. (1981), according to Carver, et al. (1981, p.320), “make it clear that different manipulations of self-attention can push behavior in different ways in the same situation by directing attention to different aspects of the self.” Significantly, as is demonstrated by these studies, when attention is directed inward (at the private self-consciousness dimension of self), an increase in the salience of cognitive boundaries occurs. As cognitive boundary salience increases, so to does the likelihood that a person’s attitudes and behaviors will change (alter, intensify).

More support for the claim that attention directed at the self initiates a salience generating cognitive process is accumulating in the literature of Self-Inference and Motivation. By investigating individual differences in uncertainty-oriented and certainty oriented persons Sorrentino et al. (1990, ed. Olson et al., p.242), found that an uncertainty-oriented person can be described as a “need to know” type who is “primarily concerned with, and interested in, finding out new things about the self or the environment.” Certainty-oriented persons, on the other hand, were found to ignore or avoid circumstances of fixed self-attention. Certainty-oriented persons demonstrated a lack of interest in, according to Sorrentino, “discovering new information about the self or the environment.”

While I understand that the attitudes and behaviors of uncertainty-oriented persons are not necessarily similar to the attitudes and behaviors of persons who score high on the Private Self-Consciousness Scale (Scheirer et. al., 1987), I cannot ignore the similarity that exists between the evaluative self-appraisal behavior that characterizes persons predisposed to private self-consciousness activity and the “need to know” type behavior that characterizes uncertainty-oriented persons. This similarity in behaviors seems to be, at least in part, brought on by the “need to acquire self-relevant information,” and, according to the Self-Cognizing literature, the trigger for this “need to acquire self-relevant information” gets jerked when attention becomes focused on the private aspect of self.

Investigating the implications that follow from this “need to acquire self-relevant information,” at least in those persons who demonstrate this need, is an important part of the research undertaken in this research project. Based on a careful reading of the above literature survey, there is a strong indication that the “need for self-relevant information” (in the people who develop or have this need) is as important in determining cognitive boundaries as is the heretofore mentioned principal determinants, or, socioeconomic status, linguistic expression, and cultural values.

If, in this research project, the data shows that persons who score high on the Private Self-Consciousness Scale are not as likely to hold prejudice attitudes towards racial minorities and persons with physical disabilities then persons who score low on the same scale, then another important similarity will, again, arise, between the attitudes of uncertainty-oriented persons and the attitudes of persons who score high on the Private Self-Consciousness Scale. “An uncertainty-oriented person,” according to Sorrentino et al., (ed. Olson et. al., 1990, p. 242), “is one who scores high on our projective measure of the need to resolve uncertainty, or n Uncertainty (Frederick, Sorrentino, & Hewitt, 1987), and low on a measure of authoritarianism (Byrne & Lamberth, 1971).” This result is not only important because it points out that uncertainty-oriented persons (i.e., persons who “need to acquire self-relevant information), tend not to hold prejudiced attitudes, it is also important because it seems to suggest that a reduction in the salience of cognitive boundaries (intergroup identities) facilates the likelihood of cooperative self-restrained behavior among individuals, and, this is one of the implications which I contend follows from the theory of an ambivalence shunning, salience generating triadic self.

Uncertainty-Oriented Persons Have A Tendency Not To Be Prejudiced, Bigoted, Opinionated, Or Sexist

Uncertainty-Oriented Persons Have A Tendency To Feel Helpless, Guilt, Discontent, And Loneliness

Prospectus Concluded

Summarizing, in this research project I will attempt to produce data that is consistent with and supportive of, the claim that cognitive boundaries are determined and shaped by the “need to acquire self-relevant information.” It is my contention that the “need to acquire self-relevant information” plays a significant role in the cognitive boundary formation process, perhaps, a role as significant as the more recognizable cognitive boundary determinants of socioeconomic status, linguistic expression and cultural values. In conjunction with producing relevant data to support this contention, I will also provide a theory of self, a salience generating triadic self (ambivalence/self), that offers a unique perspective upon which to base an explanation for: 1) why “rational conduct always involves a reflexive reference to self, that is, an indication to the individual of the significances which his actions or gestures have for other individuals” (Mead, 1936, p.122); 2) why “sensing ones individuality is thus connected with a self critical attitude, a sense of uncertainty or insufficiency” (Wicklund and Eckert, 1992, p.108)

[Footnote. With the answer to the second question I will also be able to answer why uncertainty-oriented persons have a tendency not to be prejudiced, bigoted, opinionated, or sexist (Sorrentino et al., 1986, p399); while, they also have a tendency to “feel helpless, guilt, discontent, and loneliness” (Sorrentino et al., ed. Olson et al., 1990, p. 248)]

And, 3) why the public, presentational aspect of self, – the Mead (1936), Cooley (1902), Goffman, (1963) variety of selves,- is not able to account for why “self-awareness occurs when aspects of the self [the private self] are more salient than environmental stimuli” (Gibbons, 1990, p.252).

Hypotheses And Methods

Towards a Toleration of Differences: Derivation of Hypotheses and Empirical Data.

Ambivalences are motivationally affective in directing the person to remove ambivalences. Emotional (parent child relations), voluntary (conflicting wishes), and cognitive (contradictory wishes) ambivalences can be neutralized by reactive behavior, e.g., repression, education, denial. Confronting ambivalence generating cognized conditions initiates a cognitive search for a counter proposal in order to neutralize the ambivalence. For instance, I would rather continue to work on this paper, but I have been invited over to a friend’s house. What should I do? The due date of the paper is not tomorrow, so I will choose to visit with my friend. This is an easy case, but, when the focus of attention is directed toward the self’s more ambivalence-prone covert nature, such as privately held beliefs, aspirations, values, and feelings, then neutralizing counter proposals are not so readily available. And further, if the ambivalence generating cognized condition becomes the self itself, i.e., self-identity, then no (satisfactory) ambivalence neutralizing counter proposal will be found. Self-identity centered ambivalence informs all other ambivalences. It is, according to Thom (1984, p. x.), “the most primitive of oppositions.”

Thus, a person encountering ambivalence will be motivated to escape
ambivalence by seeking a neutralizing counter proposal to ambivalence generating
cognized conditions. A prolonged search for ambivalence-reducing counter proposals will entail encounters with numerous unsatisfactory counter proposals. In this way ambivalence-generating cognized conditions stimulate self-awareness and self-conscious inquiry, and, depending on the nature of the ambivalence-generating cognized condition, e.g., life/death, egalitarian values/greed, to invest in the market/when to invest in the market, this inquiry may or may not succeed in producing a satisfactory counter proposal. The longer the search continues, however, the more likely cognitive boundaries will shift and cognitive horizons expand. Therefore, I hypothesize that the persons who engage in persistent private self-consciousness activity – evaluative self-appraisals, will be the same persons who are able and willing to deal with self-inflicted cognitive tensions, discords, variances, contrarieties, and uncertainties, and, these same persons will be the persons most likely to hold tolerant attitudes towards racial and ethnic minorities as well as maintain a respectful sensitivity toward persons with physical disabilities.

[Footnote. Billig (1987, p.250), in his inquiry concerning thought and the spirit of contradiction, expresses the significance of evaluative self-appraisals: “The switching of a stance, whether from criticism to justification or vice versa, can represent a process of self-discovery for the individual. Having been placed in a new rhetorical context, individuals may experience an unforeseen rising of the spirit of contradiction, and in this way they may encounter a new side to their attitudes and maybe to their own selves.”]

In order to test this hypothesis, a population of university students will be surveyed for their attitudes on prejudice and self-consciousness activity. The data gathered from this survey will be evaluated. If a large number of affirmative responses indicating prejudiced attitudes towards racial minorities and prejudiced attitudes towards persons with physical disabilities is recorded on the survey then those responses would indicate a highly prejudiced person. Data that supports the above mentioned hypothesis would result in respondents indicating a high score on questions indicating prejudiced attitudes and a low score on questions indicating private self-consciousness activity. Conversely, respondents who score high on the Private Self-Consciousness Scale would be expected to score low on the scales measuring prejudiced attitudes toward racial minorities and persons with physical disabilities.

The Instruments and Procedure

The sample for this study will be taken from university students who volunteer to fill out a questionnaire. With the aid of one or more of my sociology professors, I will distribute questionnaires to students enrolled in Sociology classes on the campus of Central Michigan University. Results from this survey will be obtained from a non-random sample of students. Although this more or less homogenious group of students does restrict the generalizability of this study to other populations, this non-generalizability does not threaten the internal consistency of the hypothesis. In order to get a more significant test of the hypothesis in question, future studies will have to be undertaken to replicate the results of this present study. If significant results are obtained from this particular study then I suggest that future studies be carried out on large, randomly selected populations.