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The suffering dilemma

As one that believes in God and refutes the inexplicability and or irrationality of "faith†– my faith in God is congruent with my faith in the law of non contradiction itself , as I commonly say – I am resolutely, and worst of all articulately, opposed to the two major belief systems in the world: the “religious experience, can’t be explained or rationalized, and so I won’t debate it†group, and the “all religious people are morons, there is sufficient evidence, that I refuse to lay down, to conclude the idea of God is incoherent†group. And so I seem to be opposed to a large majority of people. Some view such deep unpopularity as fiscally irresponsible at best, but I disagree. If ever there was man who was never at want for an argument it would be myself, if only because I will always argue this fact under any and all circumstances. Since arguing is in my view the soul purpose of speech other than soul then it is actually I that has the upper hand. Argue then I shall. Consider this:

Assuming the arguments that “the search for truth†cannot be rationally contradicted, truth is the only thing of objective intrinsic value, the solution to the suffering dilemma is sketched as follows.

We begin by establishing what is valuable. As this is only a sketch I shall simply posit the principle that what defines a persons value cannot be contingent. Now, that one person is more valuable than another to most seems repugnant. However, the assumption cannot be done away with. The sketch of the argument runs as follows: what should I become, how should I be etc.? Only has a solution if one’s value can be increased, otherwise all actions become equally valuable (be it murder, rape, baking a pie etc.). The question (and philosophy itself) becomes meaningless if free will is denied (which cannot be used as a rebuttal since such a rebuttal would have to be made in a philosophic discussion, that exists less than philosophy would). And so, either “one’s value†exists or all actions are equal. The last half of the sketch is that one’s value cannot be contingent (dependent on what one does not control). For, if it was, situations can be constructed in which one simply randomly becomes more valuable. To say one’s worth as a human being is or can be random is sufficiently repugnant to continue the general argument (though there are subtle reasons for concluding so).

And so, the only thing of value is truth. But in what way? Now, since how much actual truth (as in the absolute portion of the truth one knows and the truth that exists) one can actually come to understand is contingent and so cannot be intrinsically valuable (if I crash land on an island I will certainly learn, at the very least, different things than if I crash into a university library), it follows that it is not how much truth one actually has that determines value, but how effectively one searches for it at any given moment. Or in other words the purity of ones will to search for truth. Effectiveness is independent from contingencies. Hence, in all situations, under any set of conditions, one can search for truth one hundred percent effectively with respect to those conditions (given the information, faculties and abilities, and the various means at one’s disposal, which would all be defined as independent from the ‘will’ itself in a rigorous treatment). Or, in other words, in all situations my intention to find truth can be pure. Indeed, this is the only intention I know of that can hold in all situations I can conceive of.

It then follows that all that is valuable to one is one’s intention, or will, to find truth. Because this will or intention is free from all contingencies, it cannot be affected by anyone or anything exterior.

Under this reasoning suffering does not exist in the traditional sense. For instance, you could kidnap me, beat me, drug me, and throw me in a whole and just barely keep me alive. It is certainly true that I would never seek out such a situation, and so in this sense I am suffering. However, under these conditions, I can still search for truth with the little contemplation I can spare just as effectively with respect to these conditions, as I could in any other situation. What is valuable to me then, whether I am truly intending to search for truth or not, you have not affected. And so you have not truly harmed me in anyway. You would of course be harming the theoretical "absolute" amount of truth I am able to find, and so be harming the rest of humanity and indeed yourself with respect to the definition that truth is valuable (and we must continue to exist in order to discover truth), but you have not harmed me in any way I would define as intrinsic.

And so the conclusion of the sketch runs that though suffering as an identification of certain sense information exists and can be unwanted (would normally be avoided if possible), and suffering in terms of unnecessary consequences with respect to the search for truth certainly can exist and is always unwanted (would be avoided if possible, true suffering, as in damaging or taking away what is truly valuable to a person (in my system of reasoning) is impossible.

Now this is only a sketch, but by considering the associations one may come to a deeper understanding by considering the necessary sub arguments, of either the impossibility of this argument or it’s necessity.

Consequently, if the argument holds, a person can only be truly harmed by themselves. It also follows that God is not responsible for the follies of humanity.

As a footnote, though the “theoretical amount of truth†is needed for certain existence proofs, the actual measurement never needs to be found. In any practical setting it is only relative values that need be estimated (in order to decide between courses of actions). And so, though we need a method for estimating differences, we need not a method for estimating absolute values. Which is indeed convenient as the inexhaustibility of mathematics proves that there is an infinite amount of truth and so any attempt to measure absolutely an “amount of truth†would have to deal with infinities (and so it would be extremely difficult if possible).


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