There is no such thing as “better”
Nothing can be better than anything else.
Hypothetically: You have two bikes, one is brand new, shiny, works like a charm. The other is rusty and old, the tire is popped and the handlebars are falling off. One works, one doesn’t. But does that make one better than the other. Both are just being, they are both there.
This can be applied to anything. I especially like it applied to people and appearances. One persona has clear skin, tall and slender, athletic. The other is short and gross. One isn’t better than the other. They are both existing and they both do what they do.
Do you think this point of view is sustainable? Could one actually implement it into their life and view EVERYTHING as equal?
Why are living things better than non-living things? They’re not. Because there is no such thing as better.
I mentioned this in a more generalized way a while ago in a discussion entitled “uniqueness,” wherein I discussed the fact that every single thing, action, etc is unique every time, from the breathes that you breathe to the time it takes you to blink; it just depends on the scale of measure. If you get to a small enough fraction of time, mass, whatever…there is a change.
Everything in the entire world is, as they say, “apples and oranges.”
Glad to see that other people are discussing this in their heads
It is what it is. Think this through a little more;
Nothing is equal if nothing is better or worse. Equal is a comparison just as better or worse is, they’re used based on context. Something is better or worse *if* you compare it. If there is no situation behind the perspective requiring these comparisons, then there is no reason to label things as better or worse.
If there is no such thing as better, then there is no such thing as equal(or worse in this case) either. Either you compare them or you don’t. Everything isn’t equal if equal doesn’t exist. But because nothing is equal it doesn’t mean that somethings better or worse than anything else.
Also if something is unique it’s not equal to anything else.
@setu, not equality in this instance is used to signify a lack of measure, not to say something is measured as equal.
It’s like saying something is neutral. Neutral isn’t an opinion. Neutrality isn’t a part of the system just like 0 isn’t a number.
Hmmm…no, I cannot agree exactly. I mean, you might say that one thing is not better, but people are certainly treated differently if they are considered ugly or attractive. Although it would be “better” to have a philosophical attitude that all is equal. However, you can’t really say starving is better than being able to eat. I guess I am not a true Buddhist.
@lytning91, since the application of the bikes in this context are nothing but existing, you’re right, they would be equal. My statement about equality not existing without things being better or worse was nonsense, lol. But calling them equal is still measuring them, because you are comparing the two.
Sorry for my lack of thinking in my above posts.
@setu, yeah he is saying that existence in itself is all there is, and so if there is more than one object in the discussion, they can only be compared by saying they both are themselves uniquely. They cannot be a lesser or greater form of one another, because both are unique and therefore unable to correctly be compared.
@epath, your view is based in reality, not in abstract actuality. On a grand scale, our biases will never let us truly believe a philosophy as pure as the one described by @calypso, but nonetheless his idea is far more compatible with what the universe is than our own, relative opinions.
Any form of comparison (normal, better, worse, richer, poorer, etc) would be eliminated in an ideal world. All would be one and one would be all. In fact, such a belief exists that we are in fact one and all, all and one…only our human condition does not allow us to really SEE the forest through the trees, so to speak.
Value systems are artificial, true, but if you like something and the alternative is something that you have never experienced before, you can explore or you can stick with what works. In the idea that, for example, there is no reasonable way to asert that life is superior to death, this is true, but I enjoy life and am unfamiliar with death, a thing that will come eventually, so why wouldn’t I believe it is currently better to live then role the dice on uncertainty?
@calypso, I like this proposition, but I think there’s a problem with semantics here.
I can imagine this situation: “You have two bikes, one is brand new, shiny, works like a charm. The other is rusty and old, the tire is popped and the handlebars are falling off. One works, one doesn’t.” I am looking for one to get me from point A to point B. My measurement for what is “better” or “worse” is no longer based on the quality of existence of an object, but rather, it’s effectiveness in the use that I want to attribute to it. In that scenario, then, I can say that, if Bike B cannot get me to point B from point A, but Bike A could, then I would have to say that Bike A is better, giving my needs.
Now, let’s take this a bit further. Let’s put this out of my personal desire, and into effectiveness at purpose as a whole. For what purpose was the bike created? For what reasonable purposes can these bikes be purchased? It seems to me as though if you present these purposes and determine that one bike is “better” than the other the majority of the time, if not just overwhelmingly so, then you would have to answer as to WHY that is. Inference to the best explanation (abductive reasoning) would suggest that Bike A is, simply put, better.
I understand that there can be things that Bike B has proven to be better for (for example, nostalgia because it looks like a bike you once owned, where as Bike A doesn’t). But then that seems to me like having a six sided die where 5 out of the 6 sides say A and 1 says B and saying that neither is better to bet on because they “exist.”
@sirensetmefree, Your addition changes the argument. It is simply saying that one object’s existence is no better than another. You created a relative condition which alters the argument, which would then allow for @calypso to adjust the argument accordingly.
As it was intended though it is only meant to say that, as two different objects, you cannot compare one to another and say one is better: it is only when you create an arbitrary condition to “satisfy” that you perceive a better or worse view of something.
@sirensetmefree, I see what you are saying. But why is getting from point A to point B “better” than not getting there? The focus of this philosophy is that nothing is better than anything else. Everything just exists. You could get where you are going, or you couldn’t. Also, I think @lytning91 is better at explaining this than I am, but we seem to be on the same page.
Hmm… I guess I misread it. But if that’s the argument, then it’s not really an argument. It’s comparing the same quality in both and saying they are the same, in regards to that quality. In this case, the quality is existing. It would be like opening up two instances of Microsoft Paint, using the same type of Red to fill in the default empty box, and saying that neither of them is better at “red.” Well, that’s not really an argument. It’s a shard quality that has an equal definition.
Everything that exists, fully exists. There is no such thing as “half-existing,” so then it is a shared quality. It is as interesting as pointing out that everything is made up of atoms. Or that all atoms are 99% empty space.
Unless I’m misinterpreting something again.
“Everything just exists.” I guess this is where my problem would lie. I just don’t agree that things solely exist. I agree that everything DOES exist, but I would argue that there is more to be said about what comes with existing (other qualities) that help determine “better” or “worse.” I mean, it’s hard to say that something that exists does not have properties other than existing.
Also, read @lytning91, “I don’t think you should forego your credit in the discussion for my annotations.”
@sirensetmefree, yeah I think you get the gist of it, aside from the half-existing thing. He is not saying that everything that exists, exists. What he is saying is that everything that exists, exists as an individual. There is no true way to compare two existing items because it is, as they say, like comparing apples and oranges. He sees the apples and oranges statement for every, single thing. You are coming in with the human perspective of relativity…relative…relate.
Our minds are made such that we can only function through relatedness. We do not have brains with enough power to truly process and live by the idea uttered from @calypso. Your argument rests on what we perceive, his arguments rests on predicting what actaully IS.
And it is an argument, in that people don’t necessarily believe what he said, but in general, it is more of a statement of epiphany imo.
Like, he is wrapping his head around an idea in a way that touches him more personally than saying that everything has atoms. Everything is anything, and anything is everything is a much more eloquent and sentimental than
This started out from a nihilistic viewpoint but others seem to have taken it a different direction where you can’t compare things. Of course you can, take dogs and cats, cats suck and dogs are awesome, they’re very different but I compare them and I choose dogs to be better. The point of nihilism is to say that nothing holds any intrinsic value, so any value placed on an action or object is purely subjective. This absence of intrinsic value means that everything truly is just existing, any meaning or value is only so because we put it there.
Take the bike example, one functional and one broken, someone who needs to get from A to B would say that the functional bike is better, I’m personally not a fan of biking, I’d say screw em both, somebody who enjoys fixing up broken bicycles might say that the broken one is better for his interests. Some people might say that killing is always bad, others might say it’s ok in self defense, others might be brought up in a way that tells them it is ok to further their desires. But how can anyone say that any view is better or worse? They can’t be right or wrong, their subjective interpretation can only clash with yours.
Unless I missed the OPs original point and he actually was talking about how everything is unique and therefor not subject to comparison, in which case I disagree.