Friday, August 12, 2016

Metaphysical Bumblings #2

From the comments section of an SSC post, Scott Alexander answers why he thinks there might be some important truth to be uncovered in psychedelics research --
When people are on psychedelics, they feel incredibly happy, incredibly compassionate, like the world is meaningful, like they want to help people, and like all of this is completely obvious and even logically necessary. They understand the problems of life but they feel able to deal with them in stride and believe that there’s a higher purpose behind them. 
It seems really sad that there’s no way to promote this state that lasts more than a few hours and doesn’t have the same level of complications and side effects.
Hmmm.... meaning, a higher purpose, love, happiness, helpfulness, and compassion.

Jeez, where could we come by stuff like that?

Jeez, oh jeez...  ok, no snickering about the psychedelics => religion.  This is metaphysics -- serious stuff!

Protip -- I'm pretty sure there's not just a whole lot that's 'logically necessary,' strictly speaking, at least when you are operating from a standard of 'contingent on nothing.'  But you might ask ... oh ... I don't know ... Kim Jong Un, or somebody like that.  But to my way of thinking (or at least, the way I understand it) if logic were a mill, it would need some grist.  Just the way it is.

And if a person takes a very strong and principled stance against Be Not a Jerk Unto Others, and Don't Worry -- Be Happy!, and Stuff is, Like, Meaningful, and Stuff until such time as it be proven logically necessary to A Very Exacting Degree of Satisfaction, well, methinks the problem is more likely to lie with him than with The Universe.

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