Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
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06-10-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
(06-10-2013 09:09 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  How do you interpret it... Society ranges from the forms a complex communities to merely a group of people together.

The former meaning, makes them necessary, the latter does not.

I don't think that is true. Even the most primitive of cultures rely on abstraction and conceptualisation. For example, although many primitive peoples don't have the set of natural numbers they typically have "1", "2" and "many" and that too is an abstraction. We need only look at the title of Levi-Strauss' book to find another universal example of human conceptualisation and abstraction: raw vs. cooked.
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06-10-2013, 10:03 PM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
(06-10-2013 07:00 AM)I and I Wrote:  So if these abstractions and conceptualizations are necessary then what is to be said about people who takes these conceptions and abstractions literally and people who deny certain abstractions and conceptualizations. Aren't they both going about it the wrong way?

Those that treat conceptualisations and abstractions as real things are generally in error.

The denial of particular conceptualisations and abstractions is a part of the human contest of ideas, it is to be expected (and in some cases encouraged).
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06-10-2013, 10:14 PM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
(06-10-2013 06:27 PM)I and I Wrote:  Do you think that one day humans will evolve to not need to conceptualize things or need to believe in abstract concepts?

I don't see how that would work or what would drive that selection.

Quote:"It" as in life. If abstractions and concepts are necessary then would be wrong to say that the abstractions mean nothing (atheism) and it would be wrong to take those abstractions literally (religion).

It is wrong to say that all abstractions lack meaning. This conversation is predicated on the (shared) meaningfulness of certain conceptual abstractions.
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07-10-2013, 09:02 AM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
(06-10-2013 10:14 PM)Chippy Wrote:  It is wrong to say that all abstractions lack meaning. This conversation is predicated on the (shared) meaningfulness of certain conceptual abstractions.

I concur - humans share and work through ideas and this has very much to do with the exploration of abstract concepts. Written language is a shared abstract concept, as are... art, music, etc.,. Abstract concepts parallel progress, in my opinion, and I suppose it's a personal thing as to whether humanity has been improved by a particular abstract concept or not.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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07-10-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
Language itself is abstraction. To talk about a physical object is not to touch or see the object. It becomes an idea, but a meaningful idea to others who communicate using the same language. I'd say language is pretty useful in our day to day lives.

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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07-10-2013, 11:13 AM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
I'd say, in general, the more advanced society becomes, the more abstract ideas will be added to that particular societies way of life. While we could do away with most of these ideas and still function at a very basic level, many of these concepts are absolutely necessary to maintain our current level of society. Even in a basic hunter-gatherer society, abstract ideas like marriages, tribes, love, hate, friends, enemies, and leadership still exist and are necessary, if not for the survival of one individual, then for the survival of our species long term. In advanced societies, abstract ideas like government, technology, organization, war, and peace can be added to that list and are are necessary (in my opinion) to support a large number of people in that society.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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22-10-2013, 11:10 PM
RE: Are beliefs in abstract concepts necessary for society?
(07-10-2013 11:13 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  I'd say, in general, the more advanced society becomes, the more abstract ideas will be added to that particular societies way of life. While we could do away with most of these ideas and still function at a very basic level, many of these concepts are absolutely necessary to maintain our current level of society. Even in a basic hunter-gatherer society, abstract ideas like marriages, tribes, love, hate, friends, enemies, and leadership still exist and are necessary, if not for the survival of one individual, then for the survival of our species long term. In advanced societies, abstract ideas like government, technology, organization, war, and peace can be added to that list and are are necessary (in my opinion) to support a large number of people in that society.

If some are necessary then who is to judge that certain ones aren't or are necessary?

Religious beliefs are abstract as well, sometimes these abstract religious beliefs have been the cause of suffering and sometimes they have not.

Example: Early human civilizations didn't differentiate science from religion as two different fields, the belief in abstract things was the catalyst for human knowledge in the field of astronomy thousands of years ago.

Science and religion are both born out of the same reason and logic, both are concepts, both are abstract from every day life, I don't need to think of quantum physics when I am doing any thing in my daily life any more than I need to think of gods.

What makes one abstract concept worse than another?
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