The Nature Of Reality

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outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE hmm, I don't know if "simple" is the right word to describe it. It's all good and well to put things simply, and leave it at that, but you've got to realize this is reality we're talking about, the vast expanse that is everything and nothing combined. We don't live in a magical world with clean-cut rules and definitions, this isn't mathematics or science, were we make our own definitions and assumptions to rely on.

First of all, you have made a statement that is logically unsustainable – I feel certain you can find that above. Having suggested earlier that logical contradictions are related to subjective elements of the world I suppose you are expressing a purely subjective statement with regards to the world. So, in reality, the world is in fact objectively viewable – those that are not sure about this are simply confused. I also mentioned previously, that it is necessary to “take a step back”. You don’t seem to have grasped what I mean by that. A true philosopher is one that is able to distinguish between the objective and the subjective and try and accommodate both in one body. A true philosopher is also one that realizes the limitations of his/her own mind and its ability to comprehend various viewpoints. It takes time and experience to understand different points of view. You have to meet people with perspectives that you could not conceive of yourself to realize how limited your own mind is.

Furthermore – there is an objective reality. Subjective reality is our interpretation of that objective reality. (Although I am aware that assumptions are dangerous in the world of Philosophy I am here trying to rationalize things so please bear with me >.< - I will make unstated assumptions and I am sure if someone is bothered, they will be able to use them against me). If we take what I said earlier and try to synthesize the objective and the subjective, then we can show that they are both very real and can work together. Objective reality is the foundation – the basis for all of our existence (something we will come to in a moment). Subjective reality is what we make of this objective reality. It may be the case that we are never aware of what objective reality actually is, but we have our subjective reality which is our personal interpretation of that objective reality. We are all unique and we have our own interpretations. Please try and understand this! There is an answer to philosophical questioning and problems, but the answer is beyond our capacity to understand and experience. Therefore, it could be said that no philosophical question can ever be satisfactorily answered.


QUOTE Take heed that the main thorn in our side here is that we have no defintion for existence. Since we've all gone through life's experiences and learned whatever the crap it is we learn, we just kind of... "understand" what we mean when we talk about things like reality and existence... but when we try to actually define it, we realize that it's really quite the task. There are so many possible ways to explain our reality (ie the matrix-esque explanation, the "we're all the figment of someone's imagination" explanation, the "I am the only 'real' person, and I'm in some funky super-experiment created by super-aliens" explanation, all that crap), and they all equate to the exact same life experiences or us. When we define "non-existence" as "that which doesn't exist", we're really saying nothing at all. If we don't know what existence is, then how do we know what not existing is ? That's why one can't really make an objective explanation without leaving serious holes in the argument. Our lives, as we know them, are completely subjective. We can only learn from what we experience and then try to make some sort of connection between those things in our head. Of course, objectivity is great and all, it's what helps us all stay sane (I think that's the exact point you were trying to make), but it doesn't make things "simple" in any way, shape, or form, it only gives the illusion (oOoOoOoOhHhOoOoO!!!) of simplicity.

The definition of existence, is what is written in a dictionary. E.g. There is no universally accepted theory as to what the word "existence" means. Literally, it means "standing out" or "appearing"(Wikipedia).

So, having said that there is no universally accepted theory as to what the word existence means, there is in fact a definition! So, if you can just wrap your head around the words then you have your definition of existence. There is no clear definition until you have decided for yourself what existence is. It is upon you to decide what existence is. It is generally accepted however that existing is basically “to be”. Simple.

The fact that you are existing this moment is evidence that you already understand what existing is. You are taking a step back where you need to just go with the flow and take heed of your subjective experience. Existence is objective in respect to the fact that it is the same in all subjective cases. We all “are” so in that sense we all know what it means to exist. Existence is such a basic idea (simple) that we can’t strip it down to something more explicit. It is a huge limitation on my part that I don’t understand why you can’t “see the light” so to speak in this situation.


QUOTE And touching a bit more on the idea of non-existence, ever since I really thought about what it would be to simply not exist after dying (waaaay back in high school there...) I actually found the idea very comforting. Even more comforting than the idea of an afterlife. The idea of living forever sounds... depressing... confining... maddening... in a way.

That’s totally understandable. One day it would be nice for everything to just end, and for there to be absolute nothingness. On the other hand, an afterlife – an eternal life – can be taken advantage of. You would have the means to achieve anything and everything. The time we have in this life is short, so we have to do all that we can in the 80 – 100 years we might live. That is the reason why many people find the idea of death very comforting – no more needs to be done – we can “rest” lol. But, like I said – I think that there is a massive potential upside of having an eternal life.


QUOTE But even so, as of late, even though I don't really go for the traditional idea of an afterlife, I'm not really so convinced of the traditional idea of not existing anymore either. I mean, yeah, there's always the chance that at any given second we'll awaken from our "divine virtual reality machine" in some "divine super-mall" inside of some form of "super-reality", but I'm not really talking about those weird theories here. Think of it this way, before I was born, I didn't exist. But then BANG!!! I was born, instant existence!!! After I die, BAAMM!!! no more existing for EggBeast! I go back to that state of non-existence again, yes? If the only requirement for coming into existence is to have been in a state of non-existence, then hey, who's there to smack me in the face and call me a madman for saying that I may one day "become" some sort of self-aware being? (well, I can think of 6 some-odd billion or so who would smack me for it, but that's beside the point! ) It wouldn't be like some "soul" leaving a dead body, having it's "memory" wiped and then entering into the body of some "ferret". No, it would just... "happen" (I use quotes because defining "happen" requires the definition of "exist" and no one knows that that means yet.)

Lol! What you speak is perfectly feasible. And speaking from a philosophical angle, its totally not crazy man. Its totally acceptable in fact – but yah, out there in the real world, you would get a smack hehe.


QUOTE Don't get me wrong here, I haven't suddenly turned into a reincarnation fanboy here, I'm still fairly certain of the "permanent non-existence" theory (it is, after all, a very comforting idea to me), but that in no way makes it the "truth" (dang, truth is even harder to define. when you think about it, it's really just some vague, abstract idea, even more so than "reality").

Ahh, again with the uncertainty of definitions. Just accept one and get on with life – but of course the exercise of thinking about it for fun is ok – its just when you start to think too much (then I am supposed to start saying how its gonna mess with your life, but blah blah blah – u know the drill).


QUOTE It can be very fun brain-food to munch on, though .

Ahhh, but food goes off when you leave it around too long…….


QUOTE And just touching a bit on Occam's razor... the idea is applied in every form of science nowadays. In most every physics book you pick up, it explains that the ultimate goal of physics is to be able to explain every occurrence in the universe using one or two basic, fundamental laws. I think that's a great idea, myself, it would mean that we live in a sane world after all, but it's really no more than wishful thinking of the side of we humans, based off of nothing more than our basic intuition to make connections between the different things we experience. And even if someday we discover some sort of sub-matter that only does one thing, and explains everything we experience in the world, that would rock and all, and we'd theoretically be able to use it to predict the things we cannot yet experience (like.. I dunno... non-existence maybe? maybe not...), but without being able to test those predictions, they too, become nothing more than wishful thinking on our part.

But there's nothing wrong with wishful thinking, so long as you're obviously not deluding yourself (I'm not even going to touch on how abstract the idea of being "delusional" is... dang! Xp)


Oh no you didn’t just do what you just did *shakes head*. So indulging in (practically useless) mental exercises of philosophy are ok, but indulging in concepts that potentially could solve the world’s problems is delusional? Seriously man, I kinda find that so hard to understand that I feel pretty stupid. And I hate the whole science VS Philosophy thing that people seem to suggest when arguing – it’s a load of Bull-crap.

Just because science uses a philosophical concept it doesn’t make it a bad idea – it’s a freaking awesome idea, and one that seems to work! And should we take the philosophical ideas that do make sense and put them to practical use? What is the purpose of philosophy but not to find a complete explanation to our life and how to live our life and how to do so in the best way?


QUOTE When our mind cannot tell what is reality and what is fiction, things that happen in fiction can become reality, I'm not saying that it your arm rips off in a dream and you think it's reality your arm will rip off in real life, but there is a possiblility that you will feel the pain, ever for a split second, this has happened to me several times, when the mind thinks' that the body is damage, it will even damage it; itself.

Yah - dreams are a colourful representation of things that are going on in your life. It is possible (and I thought about this A LOT) that we live in parallel realities. When we go to sleep in one reality we live our lives in the other realities. But, the explanation for you pain is probably self-inflicted when you move in your sleep. I have dreamt that my arm has been chopped off, and when I woke up I couldn't feel my arm - it was basically because it had gone numb from applying pressure on it with my body! The nerve was pressed on so the impulses weren't going there lol. Sometimes we wake up feeling pain randomly in our body, and those are usually due to muscle spasms during sleep or possibly during bone damage that took place during the day and was unnoticed. Then during sleep (maybe in an awkward position) the damage reaches a nerve ending and BOOM - PAIN!!! lol.

But yah, I really do think that the multiple realities (or maybe multiverse thing....) could be the reason! And maybe like the alternate realities mix sometimes - that would be pretty intriguing.


QUOTE Mind-tripping stuff, isn't it? It just goes to show how subjective reality is. When you enter a dream so real, you feel like you're actually living in it, how are you to tell it's not actually "real"? Who's to say you're not dreaming right now? How would you know the difference?

Dreams have a source. What is that source? Answer: reality. So yah, even if we cant distinguish, we can never be always dreaming. And I know that we can think of a super-computer as the source (matrix lalala). But yah, basically you get the point. Also, when dreaming, and when awake – there is a difference. Awake state has more continuity – dreams are EXTREMELY discontinuous.


QUOTE And what's with this truth we hear so much about? Most people I've talked to say that they believe there is some "truth" somewhere out there in the universe. Something that they can't truly comprehend with their limited wisdom and understanding, but a Truth nonetheless.

Truth – u really wanna talk about truth don’t you! Well – a quick answer would be “maths”. 1 + 1 = 2. That is a truth.


QUOTE Don't get me wrong, I think it's great when people search for some truth in their lives, but when they take that truth as an absolute and use it as a basis of discrimination and hatred against others (The Inquisition, perhaps?), they totally forget what world it is they're living in. Now you can't forget just how subjective reality is here, and when you keep that in mind, you realize that any "truth" ANYONE may have found in their lives is based off of their own desires. In a world where no one can know ANYTHING for sure, any kind of "truth" that may have been found is based off of no more than a leap of faith on the part of the individual, which in no way makes it "true". What strange and abstract concepts humans come up with!

Lol! Yah, it is weird how we come up with loads of concepts and force them onto people. But essentially, you have to look at where the word truth comes from. It comes from various ideas: honesty, goodness, etc. The truth is supposed to be what is “right” at the time the truth is revealed. So truth is itself an ever-changing concept – it changes according to the evidence that exists. There is no absoluteness when it comes to subjective concepts.
In simple terms – everyone has their own opinion.

(Ahhhh, I like to argue, so please - i am purposely chucking you a can of worms to open - so get cracking!!! ARGH! lol - i know i am flawed in many of my arguments - because i aint perfect!) lol
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
I've just got to start of by saying, DANG! This thread is so hardcore! Prepare for some equally hardcore counterarguments!

QUOTE I also mentioned previously, that it is necessary to “take a step back”. You don’t seem to have grasped what I mean by that. A true philosopher is one that is able to distinguish between the objective and the subjective and try and accommodate both in one body. A true philosopher is also one that realizes the limitations of his/her own mind and its ability to comprehend various viewpoints. It takes time and experience to understand different points of view. You have to meet people with perspectives that you could not conceive of yourself to realize how limited your own mind is.

I concur with you in regards to the importance of "taking a step back" and taking a look at the big picture. It's an important step many people forgo. The cannot see the forest for the trees, as it were. However, I do believe you may be using it in the wrong context with what you were discussing earlier (non-existence, I think it was). Looking at the big picture doesn't change what it is you're looking at, it only maintains your overarching perspective, helps keep your overall goal in mind (mine being to express how mind-tripping the idea of nothingness truly can be).

And being able to differentiate between the objective and subjective and complement the two is also very... good, but I've got to figuratively smack you atop-side the head for all this talk of "limitations". Yes, if there's anything we've learned in this thread, it's that we are very limited in our understanding of who/what/why/when/where we are, but it's oh-so important not to let these limitations prevent us from going at it, to challenge these limitations which bind us. ...I dunno, I'm not really making much of a point with this, I'm probably just reacting to the notion of "accepting our limitations", because I'm just optimistic like that. Maybe it's important for people to just "understand" their own limitations, rather than accept them and abandon all hope.

And yes! It is important to look at things from different perspectives, to look at other people's perspectives, but I disagree that they prove how limited your mind is, I think quite to the contrary. I believe that seeing how many different ways there are to see the same beast just shows how limitless our facilities can be. Mayhaps you could learn how limited your perspective was, but that would vary from person to person.


QUOTE Furthermore – there is an objective reality. Subjective reality is our interpretation of that objective reality. (Although I am aware that assumptions are dangerous in the world of Philosophy I am here trying to rationalize things so please bear with me >.< - I will make unstated assumptions and I am sure if someone is bothered, they will be able to use them against me). If we take what I said earlier and try to synthesize the objective and the subjective, then we can show that they are both very real and can work together. Objective reality is the foundation – the basis for all of our existence (something we will come to in a moment). Subjective reality is what we make of this objective reality. It may be the case that we are never aware of what objective reality actually is, but we have our subjective reality which is our personal interpretation of that objective reality. We are all unique and we have our own interpretations. Please try and understand this! There is an answer to philosophical questioning and problems, but the answer is beyond our capacity to understand and experience. Therefore, it could be said that no philosophical question can ever be satisfactorily answered.
I agree with everything right up until the end of what you say. While yes, it may be rash to say the the things we can perceive actually "exists" (
), but I'm a personal fan of that idea. And as such, it's fairly easy to see how we, being subjective beasts, would take different interpretations of this almighty objectivity (it also illustrates the goodness of looking at things from numerous perspectives, because doing such results in a fuller, richer, more robust flavor of reality for you
). However, the piece where I begin to disagree is where you say "there is an answer to philosophical questioning and problems...". That's making the assumption that in objectivity lies all truth, which... really isn't the case at all. and then there's the assumption that there is some great, unreachable truth out there, one we could never understand on our own... etc, etc,. I do believe that popular notion stems from little more than the whimsies of mankind. I believe you yourself stated that truth is relative to the individual. How then can you logically say that there is some uber-objective truth out there? (unless maybe what you meant earlier was that our "perspective" of truth is relative. In which case,
frowny faces all around).


QUOTE So, having said that there is no universally accepted theory as to what the word existence means, there is in fact a definition! So, if you can just wrap your head around the words then you have your definition of existence. There is no clear definition until you have decided for yourself what existence is. It is upon you to decide what existence is. It is generally accepted however that existing is basically “to be”. Simple.
Simple? Simple?!? Oh man, I can just picture that evil grin you had on your face when you were typing that! Simple?!?!? It's really anything but. You can say things simply. You can summarize things simply. You can take as many steps back as you want and take a simple look at the big picture, but that doesn't change what you're looking at, and that doesn't make what' you're looking at any "simpler". Taking anything at face value makes it seem simple, but if you start delving a bit, looking at its implications, you see how wonderfully complex it can all be, and no amount of perspective changes that (well, short of omniscience, I mean). I'm understanding these ideas you speak of, I simply disagree with some of your conclusions.

But other than that, I think a major cause of some of this discordance we have here is our definition of the word "definition". Words cannot describe how hilarious that is. But nit-picky wordings aside, I think we both agree that "existence" and "reality" are pretty much undefined as we know it.


QUOTE Oh no you didn’t just do what you just did *shakes head*. So indulging in (practically useless) mental exercises of philosophy are ok, but indulging in concepts that potentially could solve the world’s problems is delusional? Seriously man, I kinda find that so hard to understand that I feel pretty stupid. And I hate the whole science VS Philosophy thing that people seem to suggest when arguing – it’s a load of Bull-crap.

Just because science uses a philosophical concept it doesn’t make it a bad idea – it’s a freaking awesome idea, and one that seems to work! And should we take the philosophical ideas that do make sense and put them to practical use? What is the purpose of philosophy but not to find a complete explanation to our life and how to live our life and how to do so in the best way?
Whoa, whoa, whoa there! That's not what I was saying at all! Science is an uber-noble pursuit, and works in complete accord with our subjective nature, being that it is built completely off of observations. I never once called it delusional, I only said it's important not to delude yourself with wishful thinking. The only aspect of science I was putting into question was the basis of the idea that everything has a simple explanation that accounts of everything we observe in the universe. I was saying that that notion is based off of wishful thinking on our part (which I then said wasn't a bad thing). But now that I think about it, one could argue the point of Occam's Razor using our relatively simple explanation of physics and our ability to use a handful of laws to explain an array of observations... but besides, wasn't it you who earlier "debunked the entire foundations of science" in regards to explaining reality? Don't forget this is the nature of reality thread we're talking in here.


QUOTE Truth – u really wanna talk about truth don’t you! Well – a quick answer would be “maths”. 1 + 1 = 2. That is a truth.
Whoa, careful there. 1 + 1 = 2 is a truth in mathematics. However, mathematics in NOT reality. Nor does it relate to reality in any way (of course mathematics is useful, it's useful up the whazoo! But you've got to understand that mathematics is a man-made concept, derived for two sole purposes, modeling things we see in real life and mental masturbation
). The truth I was speaking of occurs within "reality" not mathematics. I dare anyone to give me a truth I can't debunk simply by going "existentialist on your arse". I believe my argument still holds.


QUOTE Dreams have a source. What is that source? Answer: reality. So yah, even if we cant distinguish, we can never be always dreaming. And I know that we can think of a super-computer as the source (matrix lalala). But yah, basically you get the point. Also, when dreaming, and when awake – there is a difference. Awake state has more continuity – dreams are EXTREMELY discontinuous.
That's a good point you make, but it in no way discounts the theory that this reality could be no more than a dream. Imagine if you would, existing in "super-reality". Imagine you had a dream about our meager, "standard-reality". It would seem very realistic to you, but when you finally woke up, you'd realize just how short and nonsensical it all was. Gotta remember perspective!

And thank you! I love getting into this kind of stuff. (mmmm, brain-candy!
) Good points are being made around the board! What a fun thread this is!
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
Concepts of perspective only apply in certain dimensions. Similarly concepts of various other ideas only apply in certain dimensions.

Don't use my concepts that I have applied in one area on another! That way you will confuse the meaning of things and how things should be.

Also, my conclusions are never absolute - the ones I do mention are the ones that are probably most controversial to a philosopher, whilst being perfectly acceptable to the layman.


I was told once that in philosophy we should try and better our understanding of the world - not necessarily change our beliefs. But, this isn't an absolute conclusion - its one that makes sense to the layman


Its interesting that you mentioned omniscience. Its interesting because from some of the other things you said, humans are potentially omniscient. But that would be absurd to suggest even because we have a very limited time on this Earth (70 - 100 years). Its impossible to learn everything in such a short time. But if we had an eternal life.................



This is indeed FUN. (Why I actually bothered to go to half of my philosophy lessons *sigh* - I should have gone to more)
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
QUOTE (outl-w_monsum @ Jan 12 2008, 05:23 PM) (Why I actually bothered to go to half of my philosophy lessons *sigh* - I should have gone to more)
WHAT? So you've actually taken some philosophy courses before? Talk about unfair advantage
. Not really. I keep wanting to take a philosophy course, but my college has a very, very lame philosophy program.
No philosophy courses for EggBeast :'(


QUOTE Don't use my concepts that I have applied in one area on another! That way you will confuse the meaning of things and how things should be.
What exactly are you referring to with that? I hope I haven't been twisting your words
. But one thing that does come to mind from seeing that is the scientific notion that one explanation for how something works should also apply to everything else, lest be proven incorrect (well, until you get into quantum stuff...). But yeah, that's not a complete counterargument in this case, but it's good to keep in mind. I'm still not exactly sure what you were referring to.


QUOTE I was told once that in philosophy we should try and better our understanding of the world - not necessarily change our beliefs. But, this isn't an absolute conclusion - its one that makes sense to the layman wink.gif
I would say that science is better suited to increase our understanding of the world. All this philosophical mumbo-jumbo just keeps our "understanding" in perspective, and helps in staying understanding and respectful of other's beliefs, and why they have them. But yeah, I can see how philosophy doesn't necessarily have to change what you believe so much as how you believe in it.

...but just to spice things up a little, and since there are so many ways to look at reality; I was playing some Metroid with a roommate of mine today, and a good portion of the enemies were called "parasites". many of these parasite were of the exploding kamikaze variety, and we starting pulling jokes about how such a species could exist in the first place (lol, that was fun). Anyways, we started joking that everything is a parasite. If you think about it from the earth-loving hippie standpoint, we humans exist as parasites with the earth as our dying host. That's not an altogether inaccurate way of looking at things, and it sure provides an interesting perspective to our lives, when you think of yourself as a leech of sorts.

...and it just goes to show how many different ways there are to look at our lives.


QUOTE Its interesting that you mentioned omniscience. Its interesting because from some of the other things you said, humans are potentially omniscient. But that would be absurd to suggest even because we have a very limited time on this Earth (70 - 100 years). Its impossible to learn everything in such a short time. But if we had an eternal life.................
Well, you can factor out the eternal life aspect, replace it with progressive learning and evolution, and you get much the same result. I think we can all agree that humans are learning new things all the time, and once these things are learned, it's not nearly as difficult to teach these things to others. In this regard, with every new generation, people are learning more and more as new things are discovered. Couple that with a human's natural ability to adapt to new environments (in this case, a learning environment), and you get new generations learning more and more and more. Continue this tread for umpteen years, and BANG! There's an evolutionary approach to omniscience for ya'.

...but following that line of thinking, you'd conclude that there are more than likely some uber-advanced beings out there who have already undergone most of that process, creature's we'd consider to be like demi-gods. We haven't really seen much of that... and who knows if that's where we're headed. Take into account the technological singularity so many scientific philosophers are saying will happen within 50 years... who knows. all kinds of possibilities for the future...

Have a nice day everyone!
 

Jinto10

-chi
Kouhai
QUOTE (EggBeast @ Jan 13 2008, 02:06 AM)
Well, you can factor out the eternal life aspect, replace it with progressive learning and evolution, and you get much the same result. I think we can all agree that humans are learning new things all the time, and once these things are learned, it's not nearly as difficult to teach these things to others. In this regard, with every new generation, people are learning more and more as new things are discovered. Couple that with a human's natural ability to adapt to new environments (in this case, a learning environment), and you get new generations learning more and more and more. Continue this tread for umpteen years, and BANG! There's an evolutionary approach to omniscience for ya'.

...but following that line of thinking, you'd conclude that there are more than likely some uber-advanced beings out there who have already undergone most of that process, creature's we'd consider to be like demi-gods. We haven't really seen much of that... and who knows if that's where we're headed. Take into account the technological singularity so many scientific philosophers are saying will happen within 50 years... who knows. all kinds of possibilities for the future...

Have a nice day everyone!
this maybe be a little off topic but here goes i have been wondering about that cause i have noticed that the reason that like here in the US there have mainly been white people who have run for president but now there is a black person and he is doing good anyways i was thinking could it be because of their IQ and this got me thinking could it be that the average white person is actually smarter than the average black person because they have had more time to evlove to adapt to learning and that black people are starting to catch up and in no way do i wanna sound raceist in this it is mearly a thought i had and i do not hate black people i even have a couple of black friends
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE (Jinto10 @ Jan 13 2008, 03:50 AM) this maybe be a little off topic but here goes i have been wondering about that cause i have noticed that the reason that like here in the US there have mainly been white people who have run for president but now there is a black person and he is doing good anyways i was thinking could it be because of their IQ and this got me thinking could it be that the average white person is actually smarter than the average black person because they have had more time to evlove to adapt to learning and that black people are starting to catch up and in no way do i wanna sound raceist in this it is mearly a thought i had and i do not hate black people i even have a couple of black friends

eggbeast! ure conclusion has severe ramifications according to what this person is saying >.< - I understand that Jinto10 means no harm or means to offend anyone in any way, BUT - someone who did intend to, could do so easily


I think that omniscience for a human is impossible, no matter how much you take in from the past - we just don't have the mental capacity to know everything. There are some amazing individuals out there who know a lot, but omniscience is just out of the question. We could perhaps have an all-knowing computer. But then we go into talking about what knowledge actually is!! (This was the first thing we studied actually in Philosophy - I spent 3 years doing it *sigh* - its called Epistemology or Theory of Knowledge.....)

Let your brains feed on that for a while! hehe.

I can't remember exactly what I was referring to in my previous post - I am albeit lazy. (Forgive me ONEGAI!!!)
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
Ah! I never thought anything I'd say could be used as an argument for racial intellectual superiority! Dang! This probably is a tad off-topic, but looking at Jinto10 argument, I'm guessing he's referring to the couple hundred years that went on where the European nations were off exploring, learning, and educating the rich young tykes with their Bible-centric educations, and maybe even that terrible, terrible, disgusting bout of slavery in America (Ack! That just makes me sick!!! Xp), during which the white population were the only ones getting educated. But... you've got to realize a couple hundred years is nothing in evolutionary terms, you've got to question the actual learning that went on with Europe's Bible-centric education that emphasized memorization over critical thinking, and the umpteen other factors that go into measuring one's educational performance. I happen to be black myself, and I'm not seeing any statistics saying I should be dumber than any arbitrary white person. (Ok, I'm not actually black, I just wanted to make you panic for a second
, because I'm evil like that
). So, there are at least some arguments against them ramifications of my "evolutionary learning" theory I've got going on.

QUOTE (outl-w_monsum @ Jan 13 2008, 07:22 AM)I think that omniscience for a human is impossible, no matter how much you take in from the past - we just don't have the mental capacity to know everything. There are some amazing individuals out there who know a lot, but omniscience is just out of the question. We could perhaps have an all-knowing computer. But then we go into talking about what knowledge actually is!!
I agree with that. I wasn't trying to say that humans will one day evolve into all-knowing- all-powerful demi-gods. Omniscience, by it's definition really, is impossible to achieve (if you stick to the mortal spectrum). However, as time progresses, humans will learn more, and the average educated lad/lass will know more that his/her previous generation counterpart. Given an infinite time for this process (assuming no apocalypse / explosion of the sun / nuclear holocaust / world domination by ruthless dictator) the average human's knowledge will approach infinity, but NEVER actually get there. Hence, no omniscience, and therefore no omnipotence, probably no omnipresence, no omni-anything!

But what is knowledge now? Knowledge is what we know, which is a summation of the information we get from our senses, filtered by our brain, and incrementally forgotten. Knowledge can be skewed, fabricated, manipulated, idealized, abused, turned into propaganda, twisted, and forgotten. But there's not much we can do about that (unless perhaps you want to get into computerized data-storage, but how lame a tangent would that be
[wait a minute, that could actually be pretty cool
]). Those limitations on our knowledge are things we've all got to live with (unless you're a robot?!?!? cyborized human?!?!?!? talk about cyber-punk!
). But of course that's just one perspective on the matter (or maybe a bunch of perspectives combined), but I think we'll all find it acceptable given all this "subjectivity" stuff we've been talking about. (we all already "know" what knowledge is, we just don't know how to define it
It just goes to show how much humans rely on pattern-recognition skills, eh?)

But dang, does anyone agree with me when I say it's hard to know when you get off topic in this thread? I mean, doesn't everything relate to reality, even "nothingness"?
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
dude - if every generation was getting access to more knowledge, then the world would be in a better place. you are giving the human race the attribute of being very intelligent and having inquisitve minds - most humans dont really give a damn lol - so long as someone else knows it its ok!

for all we know, we could evolve to become stupider because of our reliance on technology (anybody seen "Idiocracy"? - really really funny movie which illustrates this).

but yah, things do go off topic, but i think that makes things more interesting - most things in metaphysics (e.g. nature of reality) is all interconnected, because most of the issues suffer from the same underlying problems.

and i didnt panic when you said you were black lol - why was i supposed to panic? why was anyone supposed to panic eggbeast!? (i am evil like that
)
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
QUOTE (outl-w_monsum @ Jan 15 2008, 09:42 AM)and i didnt panic when you said you were black lol - why was i supposed to panic? why was anyone supposed to panic eggbeast!? (i am evil like that
)
Oh come now, who in their right mind would tell a black person that their race is intellectually inferior? People who are "evil like that", no doubt! DANG!!! I personally wouldn't even think it! Traits like intellect, personality, wisdom, they vary infinitely more upon the individual. I'm a total anti-supremacist, peace-loving hippie, all for the power, potential, and beauty of the individual. I'm an individualist, as it were (not to be confused with an egoist!). Bu dang, that's a whole new dimension of tangent right there. I can't justify my outlook with anything more than my own preferences gained from the sum of my life experiences. But what else is new? (wow, I'm sounding like a philosophy nerd!
)


QUOTE dude - if every generation was getting access to more knowledge, then the world would be in a better place. you are giving the human race the attribute of being very intelligent and having inquisitve minds - most humans dont really give a damn lol - so long as someone else knows it its ok!

for all we know, we could evolve to become stupider because of our reliance on technology (anybody seen "Idiocracy"? - really really funny movie which illustrates this).
Touchee! Although you're remark about "if every generation was getting access to more knowledge..." is overwhelmingly refuted by a little thing called THE FREAKIN' INTERNET! Technology gives us access to information up the whazoo! You're average Joe knows so much more about what going on in the world and how the world works than say, a viking would have, or a poor bloke in the american Great Depression, even some random dude from the 60s! We're constantly getting bombarded with information. It's hard not to know what's going on.

And I also think you're underestimating the inquisitive nature of the human mind. I know I'm kind of going off of evolutionary ideals here, but our inquisitive nature and craving for a better standard of living is what stopped us beating clubs into the dirt of our lovely prehistoric caves and voiped us onto the freakin' moon!

But you're point with technology is where the wrench comes in. With the vast proliferation of knowledge we have today, and the ease we have of using it (aka computers), most people don't really have to make as much use of their own mental facilities (with the exception of the few who actually run, create, and maintain those computer systems). But that doesn't necessarily mean that people will get dumber as a result of easy information, albeit they would get lazier. But regardless of how the humans would react, the technology and proliferation of information will continue to get larger, faster, more efficient, easy to use, and that's a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future (and being the tech-savvy geek that I am, I actually know how that's going to happen. Cool Stuff!)

I don't know if you're familiar with the idea of technological singularity, but it's the idea that at some critical point, our computer's capabilities and AI technologies will reach a point that they can supersede all human capabilities. I'm not talking about robots, really, but programs that can "learn", and through that they'll bring on a massive explosion of technological advancement. Many suspect it's going to happen in less that 40 years.

Sci-fi nuts have been writing about this for decades (robotic Armageddon, and such), but now it actually looks like it could actually happen within our foreseeable future, and it's something to geek out about! But things won't necessarily turn out that way... they may turn into something more like Ghost in the Shell world (though maybe they'd be one and the same). I dunno, it's just something to think about.
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
Ok - let me show why most humans don't really give a damn and aren't inquisitive minded.
A few names pop into my head - Copernicus (I think I spelt his name right), Galileo, Columbus, etc....
Majority of people who were inquisitive minded took 100s of years to accept their ideas and those were the minority of the people who exist!

Then there is the argument for why we aren't progressing faster in terms of our development. Surely, if everyone was into Philosophy and scientific debate as much as us two are, then SURELY, the world would be a VERY different place, were people wouldn't give a damn too much about things like their puppies getting dirt on their feet or something else ridiculous lol.

Also, we see people who do have inquisitive minds and what do we see? They aren't any better than those who lack knowledge - they just happen to know a few extra things - in terms of existence and survival we are all mostly at the same level. Evolution is also something that we all like to talk about, but we can't be entirely sure that it is in fact happening until we observe an instance of it (which would take a good 100,000 - 1,000,000 years of well-documented human development). So, evolution is a bit crappy right now in my opinion - I personally feel that there is strong evidence to suggest that evolution has taken place, but if there is no change in the next million years, then its a crap theory - I hear Darwin himself even admitted this!
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
Alright, alright, I'll admit the whole "evolving mental ability" theory of mine isn't absolute. But you can't deny that the sum of human knowledge grows ever greater, and I've got a philosophical smack-in-the-face waiting for anyone who denies that.
QUOTE Then there is the argument for why we aren't progressing faster in terms of our development.
What argument about why we aren't progressing in our development? I actually just read a scientific article saying that our modern-day human's "rate of evolution" is exploding. Of course, that was a couple months ago I read that, and I wouldn't have a link, but I'm sure you'll believe that somewhere in the world exists a scientific report saying modern humans' rate of evolution is much faster than is standard. But this doesn't mean we're becoming brain-mutants! I'm just throwing that out there.

But you'll have to admit that, coupled with our technology, we're progressing up the wazoo. And as of now, there's no foreseeable end to that progress (well, short of nuclear holocaust). I'm very excited to see where we'll be 40-50 years from now. Kool stuff.

But as for evolution, I'm at least glad we can both agree it's got a lot of strong evidence supporting the theory, and that as of now, the only way to disprove it would be 100.000 - 1,000,000 years of careful documentation. At any rate, evolution probably deserves its own topic, so I won't push the matter here.

EDIT:

Oh! Goodness! I just saw this incredible Einstein quote, and it totally coincided with what we've been discussing in here! Woot!

QUOTE (Albert Einstein)Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest.
Isn't it a great feeling finding out that your ideas are backed by a bona fide genius? I sure think so
.
 

doomsayer

-Destroyer of Worlds
Sempai
Heres my thoughts.

In our world that is based on observation, proving anything becomes more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data.

You can determine for your selfs what it means, because I'm to tired at the moment to explain.
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
QUOTE (doomsayer @ Jan 18 2008, 12:19 AM) In our world that is based on observation, proving anything becomes more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data.
Good stuff, good stuff. I've argued the same thing here. Although I don't know if I'd call it "random bits of data". I prefer to call it "your personal interpretation of your life experiences." But yeah, it just goes to prove that the more you learn, the less you realize you know.

But one key thing to factor in when "proving" something, you've got to realize that everyone has to take some things for granted in life, because it's impossible to truly "know" anything. If you get two people who have taken the same assumptions, and one is trying to prove something to the other, then it IS possible to prove your point, all it takes is some common ground.
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE (doomsayer @ Jan 18 2008, 01:19 AM) Heres my thoughts.

In our world that is based on observation, proving anything becomes more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data.

You can determine for your selfs what it means, because I'm to tired at the moment to explain.
I disagree


You can determine for yourselves why because I'm too lazy and tired at the moment to explain (too).
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
QUOTE (outl-w_monsum @ Jan 18 2008, 12:43 PM) I disagree


You can determine for yourselves why because I'm too lazy and tired at the moment to explain (too).
As luck would have it, I've actually found the universal meaning and purpose of life.

But you'll have to figure it out for yourselves, because I've got to get some sleep.


But I'm not so sure about this disagreement, outl-w man, based on our string of debates, I'd say you totally agree with it, save for not nit-pickiness about the exact wording of what was said. I don't know man... I don't know...
 

doomsayer

-Destroyer of Worlds
Sempai
Well I guess I should explain what I meant.

QUOTE In our world that is based on observation, proving anything becomes more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data.

You all should know what I meant by "based on observation" if not I can explain later.

Ok what I meant by "proving anything become more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data" is that we actually cannot prove anything. For example, when we jump do we move, or does the universe move, we know something moves but what. That is the speculation part. For the random bits of data part. It means random in the sense of time, not to number. When we learn something we apply it to what ever it is. Then when someone else learns more on the subject they apply it to it as well, and so on. But in the end everything is based on observation, and since we can not observe the universe move when we jump, we assume that only we move.

But when you apply this to physics it becomes flawed, if our perception of physics is not flawed. If when we jumped the universe moves the amount of acceleration,or negative g's, that we would experience would knock us off our feet. Because in theory everyone would be affected by who ever jumped. But you have to remember is that physics are based on observation as well.

There is one thing that we can prove. This is that we actually know nothing about anything.

I will explain more later. I've got to go.
 

outl-w_monsum

-chan
Kouhai
QUOTE (EggBeast @ Jan 19 2008, 01:54 AM) As luck would have it, I've actually found the universal meaning and purpose of life.

But you'll have to figure it out for yourselves, because I've got to get some sleep.


But I'm not so sure about this disagreement, outl-w man, based on our string of debates, I'd say you totally agree with it, save for not nit-pickiness about the exact wording of what was said. I don't know man... I don't know...
Yah - my previous post was just a witty way to get doomsayer to explain himself hehe - it worked!


QUOTE (doomsayer @ Jan 20 2008, 06:17 PM)Well I guess I should explain what I meant.

QUOTE In our world that is based on observation, proving anything becomes more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data.

You all should know what I meant by "based on observation" if not I can explain later.

Ok what I meant by "proving anything become more than pure speculation based upon nothing more than random bits of data" is that we actually cannot prove anything. For example, when we jump do we move, or does the universe move, we know something moves but what. That is the speculation part. For the random bits of data part. It means random in the sense of time, not to number. When we learn something we apply it to what ever it is. Then when someone else learns more on the subject they apply it to it as well, and so on. But in the end everything is based on observation, and since we can not observe the universe move when we jump, we assume that only we move.

But when you apply this to physics it becomes flawed, if our perception of physics is not flawed. If when we jumped the universe moves the amount of acceleration,or negative g's, that we would experience would knock us off our feet. Because in theory everyone would be affected by who ever jumped. But you have to remember is that physics are based on observation as well.

There is one thing that we can prove. This is that we actually know nothing about anything.

I will explain more later. I've got to go.

KOOL - yeah, i agree with some parts and disagree with some parts lol

I agree that most of what we consider to be knowledge is in fact just assumptions based on previous experience

However, there are some things that we can know for sure - these things are our immediate sense experiences - when i look at a blue book i am experiencing "blueness" regardless of whether it exists or not! hehe

on another note, i still think maths is something that we can know for certain
and along with maths, analytic statements are things that we can know to be true (things that are true by definition) - e.g. "a square has four sides"

These are called "conceptual" truths which are known regardless of anything else. These concepts develop from observations as well as artificial influence. We make our own truth essentially.
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
QUOTE (Doomsayer)
But when you apply this to physics it becomes flawed, if our perception of physics is not flawed. If when we jumped the universe moves the amount of acceleration,or negative g's, that we would experience would knock us off our feet. Because in theory everyone would be affected by who ever jumped. But you have to remember is that physics are based on observation as well.
That's actually incorrect. If, when you jump, then entire universe actually moves downwards, that would include all the people, plants, and animals. That's what Einstein's theory of relativity is all about. Even in physics, there's absolutely no way to tell which is actually moving

QUOTE on another note, i still think maths is something that we can know for certain
and along with maths, analytic statements are things that we can know to be true (things that are true by definition) - e.g. "a square has four sides".
Math actually one thing that is certain, although it technically has absolutely nothing to do with reality. We humans base mathematics off of certain laws and constructs that we developed, derive theorems from those, and then go into all that wonderful numerical analysis. And just as a side note, it's been mathematically proven that every law of mathematics (there are many different modes of mathematics) contains an unsolvable paradox. But yeah, math is helpful in modeling things in real life, but reality and mathematics themselves are entirely different entitie

QUOTE However, there are some things that we can know for sure - these things are our immediate sense experiences - when i look at a blue book i am experiencing "blueness" regardless of whether it exists or not! hehe
That is pretty much true, but the trouble lies in knowing that your senses can be lied to, and your mind can alter, skew, and completely rewrite what it is you experience. So if you were looking at a blue book, you could justifiably say that you seems to see something that resembles what I have come to know as a blue book. You can't actually say, "I'm seeing a blue book", because it could be a very good picture of a book, a hologram, it could be your brain getting high off drugs, you might just "want" to see the book so bad that your brain tells you a book is there, all kinds of crap, and regardless of which explanation is true, you experience the exact same thing.

I guess that just goes to show how limited our perception of things is.
 

doomsayer

-Destroyer of Worlds
Sempai

Agaidos

-chan
Kouhai
hahaha people have come so far to question the obvious.im sure that most of you all are well learned people and are highly intelligent. even so your applying all your smarts ridiculously.to put it simply, i dont understand why your questioning things that are so obvious.

if you jump, YOU jump.plain and simple. its ridiculous to question if the entire earth moves when you've most noteably pointed out that it was the result of your particular action.your moveing.not the earth.its almost like asking the question" when you run, is everything moveing and your staying still, or are you moveing?"
commen sense people, really.no reason to overstrain yourself mentally and exhaust possibilitys when your presented with what actually is.
also, how can you say that all knowledge is unknowable if the statement itself is an affirmation?if its a statement about whether knowledge can be known or not,and alledgedly claims it cant and itself is presented as knowledge about something, it undercuts itself.its as pointless as someone saying something along the lines of"a limited absence".it instantly contradicts the intended meaning.
really, if you've stated the diference between two things, why question them?
its like like when asking" when i look at blue, im not sure if its blue"what else could it be?through all that you've learned it is known by you, to be blue.it will always remain to be blue, and will always be blue on any plain of reality.the mind is not trying to withold any information, or intentionally manipulating you into beilieving it is, when it isnt.
reality is simply what is.
 
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