Chapter 12: A Concise Recap
Ch1. The essential nature of “good” is a question that must have confounded philosophers from our very beginning. I nevertheless reason that this “personal relevance” element of our nature should concern a basic aspect of what we are — or an idea which “mental/behavioral” sciences will need to theorize in order to gain a solid foundation from which to effectively do such work.
In chapter two the concept of perfect irrelevance is considered, followed by the opposite idea in chapter three, or theory which addresses the essential nature of personal relevance, or good and bad. Fortunately we are well equipped to build such models. With an extensive list of situations which seem “positive to us,” as well as “negative,” the element which is ultimately common to each situation will give us theory of that which is “personally relevant,” or “good/bad” for the human. From my own list, which includes pain, frustration, remorse, hope, fun, beauty, itchiness, love, loneliness, shame, and so on, “sensations” are theorized as the essence of “personal relevance” or “self.” This theory is then taken as a given element of the discussion, permitting various associated dynamics to be considered for the remainder.
Chapter four is “auxiliary,” and begins by considering why sensations may have evolved. Here it’s theorized that sensations might not only have “simplified” evolution’s programming by “subcontracting” some of this over to a consciousness mode, but did so in a way that effectively promotes functionality by addressing “unforeseen challenges.” Furthermore in this chapter’s second discussion a scenario which references “tragic existence” is considered. If the total magnitude of all future negative sensations will surpass the total magnitude of all future positive sensations, then from my theory, nonexistence would indeed benefit this enormous future society in general.
In the auxiliary chapter five it is argued that we must not look for “true definitions,” since there are none. Our definitions simply “model reality” — just try sitting on the term “chair,” for example. Thus a scientist who uses a term such as “is” for definition, (like “What is time?” for example) has already failed in this respect. Instead he or she must acknowledge a freedom from which to define any term any way at all, with no potential to be “wrong” or “right.” The scientist’s great challenge is rather to develop “useful definitions” in the quest to build models of reality which do appear to correspond with observation.
Ch.6. Apparently our sensations have fluctuating degrees of magnitude, and therefore “self” has been defined to have corresponding levels of existence. Thus “more self” is defined to occur as sensations become more extreme. Also, given that current sensations are all that may be experienced each moment, “self” has been defined to be instantaneous. Nevertheless self should still appear continuous to us by means of our memory of the past and anticipation of the future, given their present sensation implications. Note that in the anticipation conduit, “hope” and “worry” are the basic factors which cause a perceived future to have personal relevance. When self is nevertheless considered over time, however, an “aggregate compilation of sensations” should be a useful idea, since each instantaneous personal entity will impart its own associated magnitude to this system as a whole, and thus demonstrate how “good” or “bad” existence is for a subject over this period.
Ch.7. “The mind” is defined as an entity which “processes information,” leaving “mechanics” to encompass the remaining elements of reality. Ch.8. The “non-conscious mind” is defined to function essentially like a computer, with input, processing and output elements. Ch.9. The “conscious mind” is defined as something which requires sensation based motivation from which to function. The presented model of human consciousness contains input elements of sensations, senses, and memory, with a processing element of thought (which may also function with input and output characteristics), and an output element of muscle operation.
Ch.10. “Empathy,” or the conforming sensations which may be experienced through perceptions of sensations in others, is theorized here as “the mechanism by which evolution developed conscious parenting.” But since human empathy seems to concern far more than just our own children, apparently this dynamic did expand to cause general perceptions of sensations in others to incite conforming personal sensations in us. Furthermore apparently we do not simply have empathy for others, but we also desire perceptions that others have empathy for us.
Sensations associated with “theory of mind” seem to have such relevance as well, though they may conflict with the interests of others, or like empathy, they may conform. Here the non-conscious mind is theorized to produce punishing/rewarding sensations for the conscious mind to deal with, based upon personal understandings of how others perceive a subject, as well as how a subject perceives itself. Such positive and negative assessments may respectively be considered “healthy” and “unhealthy” — so for two examples, “disrespect” is experienced as a negative theory of mind sensation, while “pride” feels good.
Ch.11. Moving now to “the social entity,” the personal model suggests that social good should be defined as “the aggregate value of sensations which two or more personal entities experience over a given period of time.” This opportunity was taken to emphasize the need for subjects of reference to found all considerations of good/bad. I view widespread subject identification “error” to be a major reason that philosophers failed to achieve any generally accepted theory of good/bad so far, with examples presented from the ideas of Derek Parfit and Jeromy Bentham. Furthermore, the tremendous potential repugnancy of my own theory is explored here as well.