T R I N P S I T E Truth Relevance Inclusivity Neutrality Personhood T R I N P S I T E


This branch of the TRINPsite tree provides the answers, and sometimes the reason why no answer was given, to a variety of comments or questions sent to this site by e-mail, by form or by means of a g:u:e:s:t:b:o:o:k (which is open at present again but which was closed for a long time). The questions or comments have been arranged in chronological order, starting with the most recent one. There is a separate document for the years 56 to 59 aSWW.

All answers are by M. Vincent van Mechelen. The senders of questions or comments are not identified other than by one or two initials, unless they have made themselves known in public or have indicated that they do not mind. Obviously, private messages and personal details are not published here, unless of interest to others, while the person concerned has given 'er permission. For the sake of brevity some minor parts of comments, questions and answers may have been deleted. Apart from these deletions no editing has been done. Any spelling mistake or other error or any idiosyncratic usage is the writer's.

FORM COMMENT by B. R. on 64.14.1:

In the case that the planet erth is considered an organism in it's own right, does it have some structure analogous to lungs, and what structure would that be if it in fact exists?

ANSWER on 64.14.4:

To consider the Earth a single organism with lungs may make sense or may make no sense. It depends.
    Literally speaking, organisms with lungs are air-breathing vertebrates. The Earth, however, has no spinal column, no head and no arms, legs or wings. And, in spite of those who call it "a Mother", it has no sexual organs, let alone exclusively female or, for that matter, male ones: it does not reproduce at all, neither sexually nor asexually. Therefore, people who claim that the Earth is 'a living organism' (or, worse, 'a conscious, intentionally acting Gaia') with lungs contribute nothing sensible to the discussion about this planet.
    However, figuratively speaking, the Earth 'is an organism with lungs' in a sense, because there are significant analogies between a real organism and the Earth and between real lungs and the so-called 'lungs' of the Earth. In other words, the Earth resembles a living plant or animal in a certain respect and it has 'organs' whose function can be compared to the respiratory function of the lungs of vertebrates. The 'lungs' of the Earth are, then, in reality first of all the vast tropical rain forests. These 'organs' and all the other parts of this planet may seem more or less separate, but form one 'interconnected web of relationships' and are mutually dependent on one another. The Earth is one, open as an energy system heated by the Sun, almost closed as an ecosystem in itself.
    Figures of speech may build a road to (relatively fast) enlightenment, but when they are taken literally, when the use of is replaces resembles and when a claim to identity replaces comparison, the road they build leads to (long-lasting) obscurantism instead. Most striking about this Earth-organism brand of obscurantism is the arbitrariness in its selection of parts and qualities. Why would the Earth have lungs in a literal sense but no head nor backbone? Why would the Earth show the respiratory and metabolic processes of an animal but no capacity and tendency to procreate in the genuine sense of the word?
    These are questions for those who say that the Earth is an organism with lungs, and who believe that this will help them to get an ecological message across, a message which may be good in itself. They are not questions for those who compare the Earth to an organism and its rain forests to lungs, and who should feel at least the same concern about climate change and the destruction of the natural environment.

P.S.   The (partially) fictional legend An Organism with Lungs? deals with the same question and provides a longer and more detailed answer in a literary setting.

FORM COMMENT by C. on 63.34.3:

I fully confess I can't understand your site at all because your use of language is quite atypical (although I do pick up the vague idea you have opposite values to mine). Are you some sort of cult or new religious movement or whatever the PC phrase for that is now?

ANSWER on 63.34.4:

TRINPsite at www.trinp.org offers writings, sound files and pictures of a philosophical, literary and (in a neutral sense) 'ideological' nature. When you let me know that you cannot 'understand this site at all' i expect you have been looking at one or more of the philosophical texts, which may be quite abstract and technical, and which often require close and patient reading (facilitated by hypertext links). Had you gone on to look at or listen to some of the simpler philosophical texts, poems/songs and short stories, you would have been able to grasp at least the gist, provided, of course, that you have a sufficient command of This Language.
    The acronym TRINP stands for TRuth, Relevance, INclusivity, Neutrality and Personhood, values which are explicitly mentioned and implicitly emphasized everywhere on TRINPsite again and again. When you tell me that you have 'picked up the vague idea that i have opposite values to yours', you suggest to me, therefore, that your own values are falsity, irrelevance, exclusivity, extremity and a lack of respect for persons. I will refrain from jumping to conclusions here, yet i do wonder whether you really mean or realize what you are saying with respect to this point.
    What is good or just in terms of the TRINP values in no way depends on what people believe to be true, relevant, and so on; not even on what the (great) majority of people say, write and do, or fail to say, write or do. When you use words such as atypical and cult you seem to be reproaching TRINPsite for not being traditional or part of the mainstream, or, perhaps, in the case of PC phrase for being fashionable and not opposing the mainstream. But such labels only take the content out of view and lead to superficial discussions: being part of the mainstream or opposing it is, like wanting to keep the status quo or wanting to change it, nothing good or bad in itself. It is the why and the how in the light of what ideal (if any) which should interest us.
    Your question about a 'new religious movement' deserves some more attention, because it might have a greater bearing on the substance. Anyone visiting TRINPsite will in little or no time discover that the worldview presented and defended there is definitely not a religion. It will take some more time to find out that the word religion is then used in the sense of supernaturalist ideology. However, should you define any (systematic) worldview and lifestance with a specific collection of norms and symbols as a 'religion', even if it is value-centered instead of god-centered (!), i cannot prevent you from doing so. But in that case you must not forget, nor conceal, that TRINPsite is the ground for a naturalistic, normistic 'religion', something very different from supernaturalist and theocentrist ideology.
    Even tho we do not seem to be of one mind, i thank you for your comment and question. I hope you will find my reply of some use, if not now, then in the future. May i end with referring you to the steadily increasing number of poems/songs, short stories and recorded texts at TRINPsite which may make some more comprehensible and pleasant reading and listening for you.

FORM COMMENT by C.E. on 60.45.2:

"Since there is merely a denumerably infinite number of names and definitions in human language, it is impossible to comprehend every set, given the 'existence' of nondenumerably infinite sets."
    Could you possibly give me a reference for a canonical expression of this sort of thinking? I am looking for somone who has written, essentially, that the the infinity of human language is smaller than the infinity of natural phenomena so that there necessarily is inaccessible knowledge.

ANSWER on 60.45.7:

Unfortunately, i am not able to give you a reference for 'a canonical expression' of the sort of thinking you are quoting.
    You seem to be concerned with the question of whether there is 'inaccessible knowledge' of necessity. The expression inaccessible knowledge has an odd ring about it, but i assume you mean cognitively inaccessible factual, modal or normative conditions. This, however, demands a clear definition of what you mean by cognitively (in)accessible. Do not you agree that knowledge is never a completely sure thing, but always a matter of probability and plausibility, albeit, perhaps, great probability and great plausibility? Should you be looking for 100% certainty, i am afraid you may stop your enterprise and concede that all (sure) knowledge is inaccessible of necessity. But then knowledge loses its (practical) significance as it would not exist in daily life anymore.
    There is another, normative aspect to the issue you raise: when your concern is knowledge, you implicitly regard it as something valuable. Should you consider knowledge an ultimate and/or perfective value in itself, i must disappoint you, for such a position is untenable: if i tell you, without lying, how many blades of grass there are in my garden, if any, your knowledge will increase, but you will not be a better person for it, in whatever sense. Of course, knowledge is an important instrumental value, since it discloses to us what utterances are or would be true or false. But this is only the case, because truth is a value. Truth, however, does not require us to utter anything; it only requires that what we utter be true (and, together with relevance, that what we utter be relevant). You and i will not be better persons by uttering more truths but by uttering fewer falsehoods and preferably none at all! On the basis of this ultimate value of truth there is nothing to be concerned about. For if, and as long as, there are things we do not know and cannot know, we ought not to claim anything about them, something we will always be able to do.
    Those who put mere belief above knowledge will not share you concern whatsoever, but even those who, like myself, put knowledge above mere belief, especially religious and other supernaturalist belief, need not share your concern. For knowledge is only valuable as an instrument of truth not in that it may force us to say what is true, let alone everything that is true, but in that it may prevent us from saying what is false (and from making use of distinctions which are irrelevant).
    I hope that, in spite of the limited knowledge and other means i possess, this reply will be of some help to you.

FORM COMMENT by J.G. on 60.13.2:

Tell me if you have read, and thoroughly understood "The Great Eygyptian Pyramid Text", and then tell me that you still believe what has been quoted in religious ceremonies through out the brief history of Judiasim, Islam and Christianity.

ANSWER on 60.13.3:

Tell me if you have read and thoroughly understood the Model of Neutral-Inclusivity, and then tell me which great tome of texts suffers least from a lack of respect for persons and from extremism and from falsehood and irrelevance: the Bible, the Koran or the Model.

FORM COMMENT by T.S. on 60.04.6:

Your language is highly technical and shows a high level of education. Perhaps, however, you should create a document that is tailored to the general public, or average man. Just a thought. Otherwise, I love your site. :)

ANSWER on 60.05.5:

I am sorry to hear that you found the document(s) you read too technical.
    In actual fact, some documents (especially those with poems and short stories) are not technical at all, whereas other documents (especially those with the catenical or philosophical sections of the Model of Neutral-Inclusivity) certainly are. However, whether technical or not, in all documents new ideas representing an alternative worldview are either introduced or entertained. Such ideas often require a new emphasis on existing words, a new meaning of existing words and even the use of new words and the disuse of old ones. It is when confronted with this that some people, i fear, tend to confuse the 'technical' with the 'novel'. New verbal and nonverbal concepts and symbols necessarily accompany the introduction of a fundamentally new doctrine. You may consider this both an advantage and a disadvantage.
    I am not trying to disprove here that parts of the Model or of TRINPsite are, perhaps, too technical or too intellectual. I have to point out tho, that in one sense TRINPsite is not 'tailored to the general public'. For it is not tailored to the kind of people who are pleased with a new bottle (or, worse, a new label) so long as they can immediately identify, or at least classify, the (old) wine it contains. And it is not tailored to the kind of people who cannot find the time to read or to listen to, let alone study, something new that is, or might be, of interest to themselves or to society at large in the long run, while these same people did and do find the time to endlessly familiarize and associate themselves with countless religious or other ancient activities and notions.
    'The general public' consists of people of very diverse intellectual and educational backgrounds. Each person deserves to be informed and inspired regardless of such a background, provided that 'e is willing to open 'er mind to it and to spend sufficient time and energy on it. Indeed, i will regret it very much if there are such persons who visit TRINPsite and do not stay because they cannot cope with the language, even tho they have tried their best. Yet, they have no reason to assume that the difficulties are there in order to be difficult. The difficulties are there in the first place because a totally new worldview has to be presented and defended in (near-)traditional terms to people who not seldom have been raised with a supernaturalist, exclusivist and/or extremist outlook on life which is at best vague, if not irrational, and at worst abominable, if not criminally wrong.
    Anyone who is sincerely interested (and has shown that interest, among other things, by reading further) may ask me to explain a particular argument in simpler language. But no-one can ask me to keep on saying things in 'simple' traditional words where new concepts, terms and even nonverbal symbols have been introduced with which to express oneself so much faster, so much more accurately and so much better; that is, better from a neutral-inclusive perspective, also in a moral sense.

For a selection of older comments, questions and answers see: Questions and answers form 56 to 59 aSWW.

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