It's twilight for Subject-Object Metaphysics.

'You must go do this, you mustn't do that.  Tuck your shirt in.  Get good grades. Listen to your teachers. Don't really question why you're learning anything. Don't question why one culture is one way, and another different. Don't question why you should act one way and not another. Do as we say. How does what you're learning matter to you and your life? Don't ask!  Don't question outside the curriculum.  Have a question that leads you outside it? Back luck! You're on your own and say goodbye to your grades and your life. '

These were the thoughts of a younger me. Stuck in school and no idea why I was there and what the point to it all was.  

'Why do anything, why do it? No one really has any answers.  Do it for your family - do it for your friends! But why are they doing it? What's the point? And on and on..'

This is where I was stuck.  I couldn't learn - I didn't see the point. It seemed so strange that we would go to one class, learn about one very specific subject in one very specific area on one very specific topic - and the reason? Never explained... Or explained but uncomfortably so...

'Why learn about the Ancient Egyptians? Why learn a particular type of mathematics? Why learn a particular theory of science?  And how does what we're learning affect anything? Are these just facts? Are they related to one another? What's the relationship between the Shakespeare I'm learning in one minute and the triginomotry the next?   What are we describing with our language in these classes?  Are the words we're using in these classes empty and meaningless or is there some kind of meaning behind all this that we're missing? What is the meaning? What's the point? '

There seemed to be some kind of link between everything that could be explained intellectually - there must be I thought...  

'Life isn't chaotic.  It has some kind of beautiful harmony to it.'

I could see that.  

'The beautiful expression of life of the different cultures of the world over all of history and now. It's just too poetic to be hollow and meaningless. '

And then, after hitting bottom I was given a book that beautifully answered all of these questions.   And boy did the answer to these questions go far back into our history!

Two thousand five hundred years, or there abouts, and we're only just now realizing an intellectual assumption that was made all the way back then was wrong.  This is what was called the Ghost of Reason - and it was diagnosed in the most widely read philosophy book ever.  Robert Pirsig found the cause for why there are these discrepancies and lack of explanations.  Why do things exist and why we should do anything - answers to these questions lie at the heart of a new Metaphysics outlined by Pirsig which is far more intellectually sound than our current Metaphysics. But sadly the academic community has failed to take any interest, or any of these ideas seriously.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM) was a culture changing book. Written 44 years ago - in an obituary of the Author the Financial Times wrote:

Whenever academic philosophers dismissed Zen as New-Age twaddle, Pirsig took comfort in the fact that he, not they, had earned comparisons to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Moby-Dick, works of art that reflected their times. “My prime thoughts turned out to be the prime thoughts of everybody else.”

But despite its popularity has anything really much fundamentally changed in our culture as a result of the insights found? It hasn't and it's well over time that it does!

Certainly the academic intellectual community which still has much control over the power of truth is a foundational place where the insights ought to be taken more seriously.  The antagonism from the this community as New-Age twaddle is unsurprising but disappointing.  Disappointing because philosophical insights in the book aren’t actually wrong or incorrect.

Unsurprising because for them to accept the conclusions of the book they would have to make some pretty dramatic changes.

Some of those changes that I can imagine are listed below:

  1. Each field of academic study from the first lesson would be directly linked to the Quality that creates, drives and connects everything. Fields would no longer be islands unto themselves but clearly connected to our shared experience and the improvement of quality everywhere.
  2. The curriculum would no longer be structured with a blind reliance on the value of logic and truth at the neglect of quality which underlies these things.  Instead, Quality, in all its manifestations, would be taught in an effort to shape high-minded well-rounded individuals. And that would be a Quality which isn’t fixed and defined for all time.  But continually evolving based on new evidence and experience. It wouldn't be something just assumed but could easily
  3. Academic papers would no longer necessarily be written with amoral, ‘objective’ conclusions but with moral recommendations of the best way for one to live in light of the findings.
  4. Areas of intellectual interest that have been neglected because of a disagreement on what quality or morality is and what the definitions of certain things are would be opened up to new academic inquiry. Some beginning examples are below although I can imagine this list would grow into the millions as insights are gained and things are moved forward..  
  • Supporting society and its role .
    Explicitly investigate, using the scientific method, how best does society control biological values so they are valued for what they are whilst structured so that the strength of society, and the expression of intellectual values is also supported.
  • Cultural comparisons.
    What are good cultural traits that are supported by the scientific method?
  • Celebrity and its impact on our culture.
    What values create celebrities? Are there better celebrities for us to admire?   What do celebrities of the past say about our past? What can the academic community do to foster better celebrities?
  • Scientific investigations.
    Many fields of scientific inquiry become an investigation of inorganic values rather than amoral a causes b relationships and the search for single truths.

But until and after these changes happen - I’ll continue to write about how the MOQ can be used to create beautiful insights, support intellectualism and explain many things far better than our current metaphysics.

Metaphysics making things better - Psychology.

There's no such thing as matter. There's no such thing as the physical. There's no such thing as ideas. There's just quality. What's a good way to describe reality?

And if there's a good way - can you apply that quality to other things and find yet more quality? If something truly is good - then you would think it can pay forward like that right?

"I am kind of in the position of a theoretical mathematician who comes… you know, who has worked out a set of equations which to him look wonderful. He goes to a group of engineers and they say, "Well, what good is it? What's this going to do for us?"

Robert Pirsig to the Association of Humanisitic Psychology.

Like Pirsig - I don't claim to be a psychologist - but what I do think is that at the very least - at a very high level - the Metaphysics of Quality can start to create interesting distinctions in 'human behavior' that haven't been brought out clearly before by psychologists.

Looking at psychology from an MOQ perspective I can ask questions like - what behaviors are an unchangeable part of our biology and what of those are social? Whilst I'm sure these types of questions have been asked before - with the MOQ, we have a language with which we can discuss them and categorise them definitively and not get caught up on what exactly is social behavior and what exactly is biological behavior.

Because it provides clear distinctions like this - from there anthropologists or psychologists can also ask questions like - if they are social - do they serve their purpose in an intelligent way - or is there a better way they can be achieved? If so, then obviously because they can be changed then it's best that we do so. And from this clear cultural recommendations can be made by intellectuals on the best way to live.

Because this would be dramatically different let me repeat. Using the Metaphysics of Quality - intellectuals, could provide recommendations, based on human psychology, on the best way to live a moral life. Not just for some people in some such a culture. But for all people. Everywhere.

I think this would clearly be a dramatic improval to the way things are done now. A psychology now whose terms are not clearly philosophically defined and also importantly - whose aims are also unsure. Because more than anything - it provides us an overarching frame that everyone can get behind and grounds us all in a moral direction towards a better future.

Anyway, with this perspective from here I will be writing about psychology studies that I see that the MOQ can perhaps provide further color to and how the MOQ makes it uniquely clear that they can help us to live better lives.

Daily exercise is moral. There I said it. This is an unusual sentence but one that is logically correct and actually also more truthful and honest than any other statement about exercise.

It's a sentence that I can only say because I'm using a metaphysics that is built for this 21st Century. A metaphysics that allows us to move beyond all traditional interpretations of morality and place even everyday activities into a moral context. A moral context that isn't just logically true for me in my place and time - like our current morality would say, but it's true and moral for all people, everywhere.

I can say this because I can philosophically and logically justify the sentence using the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ). Because unlike Zazen as described in an earlier post, exercise, as static quality; does have clear qualitative justifications for why its a good thing. In fact, whilst it is fundamentally a biological activity - it’s actually something that’s good on every level and this is really why it’s so moral to do every day.

For example, intellectually science is increasingly demonstrating the benefits of regular exercise. It has been shown to benefit the health of both body and mind in many ways. But the biological effects of feeling good as well as the social benefits of looking good are both empirically verifiable and legitimate as well.

And as an aside - this is also another reason why the celebrities I wrote about in my previous post are so good. They show that you can do professional level exercise and yet maintain a moral vegan diet at the same time - both things supported by the MOQ.

Personally I’ve recently been spending up to two hours a day at the gym doing various cardio and strength based exercises. But for someone who has limited free time for exercise, studies are increasingly showing that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way of getting fit and healthy in an extremely time limited way.

Along these lines please enjoy a video above showing a daily HIIT routine that basically anyone can do so long as they are honestly pushing themselves through.

The Metaphysics Of Quality (MOQ) points out that as social values exist; celebrity culture is unavoidable. Because of this we should thus encourage those celebrites that are moving society in a better direction. Two of those celebrites are Rich Roll and Nimai Delgado.

Two vegan athletes, breaking stereotypes of vegan protein deficiencies and showing that you can still live a healthy life and actually thrive on a purely plant based diet.

I’ve written before about the morality of a vegan diet and that’s why these two athletes are celebrites supported by the MOQ.

Enjoy a preview of their chat above or you can listen to and watch the whole podcast here.

Logically and Morally Guiding Political Correctness

In the absence of a metaphysics which places morality at its core - it's been necessary for our culture to have a traditional conception of political correctness to keep discrimination in check. Without some kind of contraints on our language to act as a continual reminder to treat others with dignity and respect - our culture would not have made the advancements it has in terms of improving the rights and wellbeing of minorities.

However, our culture is going through a bit of a re-evaluation of its relationship with political correctness. And I can identify three causes for this:

One. It has started to be taken too far. Originally intended to protect the minority - certain minorities have begun to make unreasonable demands seeing themselves as victims requiring continual and overly dependent support.

Two. Having spent the majority of the last 50 or so years on improving social injustice issues, american politics has neglected the importance of social equality and the rich/poor divide. Therefore this gap has grown so far that the disadvantaged and poor are fed up with the focus on Political Correctness and rightly see an exclusive focus on this as part of the problem. Recognising this trajectory - this was predicted by Rorty in his book Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998:

"One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet."

Richard Rorty - Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998.

Three. With our current metaphysics we're unable to easily determine the line between protecting what's good about a minority and validily criticising it from the standpoint of our culture so that it can assimilate into our culture. Whilst the Metaphysics of Quality doesn't resolve these disputes once and for all - it provides us with a beautiful logical language to discuss these issues.

For example, the MOQ provides us with a clear distinction between biological people and the cultural values with which they identify. One of those things does not matter and cannot change, but the other does matter and can change. Criticism of that which can change for something better is considered moral in the MOQ. Whilst criticism of a person simply, for example, because of the color of their skin is logically racist, evil and immoral.

So the general solution isn't to throw away the value of Political Correctness. As mentioned - it's moral and supported by the MOQ. Instead we should aim to solve these problems in a different way. Solving cause One would likely be with certain education reforms and certainly reform the way we have traditionally taught discrimination resolution.

Solving cause Two isn't to throw away political correctness but to simultaneously tackle social income inequality at the same time. In fact oftentimes, it's minorities who are economically disadvantaged as well - thus tackling both of these problems will likely take pressure off them as scapegoats for a suffering majority. This will also also improve their social mobility with a smaller wage gap between them and their neighbours.

Finally, solving cause Three would involve further cultural dialogue using the moral language of the MOQ to guide us in a better, moral direction.