Gathering perspectives
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04-04-2014, 04:55 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 04:20 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 03:30 PM)living thing Wrote:  Do you think physicists are some kind of super-humans with the ability to extract information from the motion of matter that is beyond the rest of us mortals?
Consider

Yes.

It's called education.
Yes, of course, and people who are not physicists don't have an education.

Wild guess pulled out of nowhere: you're a physicist.
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04-04-2014, 04:59 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 04:21 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Our sensors entail distortion. Like by definition and shit. Physicists discount them to the degree they can. They found their limit.
Without wanting to sound disrespectful towards physicists, there are more areas in science than just physics, did you know? And the published works are available for anyone who cares to read them, it's not like you need your physicist membership card.
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04-04-2014, 05:11 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 04:55 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 04:20 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Consider

Yes.

It's called education.
Yes, of course, and people who are not physicists don't have an education.

Oh, hi there, insane straw man.

Yes, obviously no one else has an education of any sort at all. That's precisely what I said.

Facepalm

...

No, what you referred to was "extract[ing] information from the motion of matter". That is in fact a specific discipline - and it is a learned ability. Anyone can take a go at it and learn some. We call those people who make it their vocation physicists. They are essentially by definition better at understanding certain phenomena than those who have not devoted significant time to that study. So there's that.

Naive intuition is not particularly reflective of the universe's true behaviour.

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04-04-2014, 06:04 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Hello again cjlr, how are you?

(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Oh, hi there, insane straw man.
Are we running out of arguments and we need to resort to name calling?

(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "extract[ing] information from the motion of matter". That is in fact a specific discipline
Extracting information from the motion of matter is in fact what every living being does. Are you familiar with the field of biology?

(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Naive intuition is not particularly reflective of the universe's true behaviour.
Thanks for the reminder.

Now, returning to the original topic, if you don't mind, what is your own view about the subject? When you say that something exists, or that something does not exist, what do you mean?

Cheers.
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04-04-2014, 06:25 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2014 06:28 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 06:04 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Oh, hi there, insane straw man.
Are we running out of arguments and we need to resort to name calling?

That isn't name calling.

That's pointing out to you that your response was ridiculous.

(04-04-2014 06:04 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "extract[ing] information from the motion of matter". That is in fact a specific discipline
Extracting information from the motion of matter is in fact what every living being does. Are you familiar with the field of biology?

No, never heard of it.

Your original question pertained to interpreting experience (direct or indirect). All interpretation is not equal. Any scientific discipline is a matter of gathering, interpreting, and applying information. This is a skill which must be learned (indeed, learned if not necessarily taught). The most fundamental sorts of interactions we know of are described by the field of physics. A more substantive interpretation of which is then aided by specific education in physics.

(04-04-2014 06:04 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 05:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Naive intuition is not particularly reflective of the universe's true behaviour.
Thanks for the reminder.

You're welcome.

If you knew this already, why did you ask if physicists were somehow better at interpreting physical events?

(04-04-2014 06:04 PM)living thing Wrote:  Now, returning to the original topic, if you don't mind, what is your own view about the subject? When you say that something exists, or that something does not exist, what do you mean?

Cheers.

There are several senses in which one might take the word. Do you mean physical existence? This would refer to verifiable observation of interaction in a presumed consistent external reality. Do you mean semantic existence? Human conceptions exist insofar as they are communicable. They may refer to things which physically exist, or they may not. Avoiding equivocation here is key.

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04-04-2014, 07:20 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That isn't name calling.

That's pointing out to you that your response was ridiculous.
If that's how you view it, that's fair enough. My goal is learning not changing other people's perspectives.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Your original question pertained to interpreting experience (direct or indirect).
No, my original question pertained to word usage. I have come here asking what do other users of this forum mean when they use words such as "exist" or "real". But you have simply jumped into a running conversation pretending to know what the conversation is about. Ironically, your first contribution was about education.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If you knew this already, why did you ask if physicists were somehow better at interpreting physical events?
Because neither is that what I asked, nor "naive intuition is not particularly reflective of the universe's true behaviour" is a meaningful answer to that question.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There are several senses in which one might take the word. Do you mean physical existence?
Finally! Does it always take you this long to get to the point? Yes, I do mean physical existence.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  This would refer to verifiable observation of interaction in a presumed consistent external reality.
What do you mean by (external) reality? Would there be an internal reality? And what do you mean by observation?

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Do you mean semantic existence?
No, I don't, and I've left that quite clear throughout this thread.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Human conceptions exist insofar as they are communicable. They may refer to things which physically exist, or they may not.
I agree that human conceptions may refer to things that physically exist and they may not, but in my possibly mistaken view, concepts do not exist.

(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Avoiding equivocation here is key.
Of course, that is why my first message to this forum, other than my introduction, was asking other forum users what they mean when they use certain words. But gathering from your answers and GirlyMan's, I get that only physicists are qualified enough to chat about these topics on an online forum. Is this a peer-reviewed journal in which publications are subject to editorial approval? If it is, "TheThinkingAtheist" is a crappy name for it (I don't mean to offend anyone with that remark, I'm simply trying to put this conversation in its context).

Anyway, cjlr, I thank you for your reply and for any other you may wish to add. Until then, have a great time.
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04-04-2014, 08:05 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2014 08:12 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Gathering perspectives
(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That isn't name calling.

That's pointing out to you that your response was ridiculous.
If that's how you view it, that's fair enough. My goal is learning not changing other people's perspectives.

You said, what makes physicists better able to understand physical phenomena? That was either a bad joke or a stupid question. The answer, if the latter, being an education in physics. I grant that the way you phrased it was pretty bizarre - "extracting information from motion of matter", indeed.

I helpfully pointed that out to you. Take that for another bad joke, if you're so inclined.

You pretended I meant that no other sort of education was valid. Since I didn't say that, that is a straw man. Pointing that out to you is not "name calling".

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Your original question pertained to interpreting experience (direct or indirect).
No, my original question pertained to word usage. I have come here asking what do other users of this forum mean when they use words such as "exist" or "real". But you have simply jumped into a running conversation pretending to know what the conversation is about. Ironically, your first contribution was about education.

"Jumping into a running conversation" is incoherent if applied to asynchronous communication. This is a forum. The preceding conversation is right here.

GirlyMan's comment was that an understanding of certain obscure fundamental interactions must be acquired. You seemed to misunderstand the point quite thoroughly.

In what sense are quantum interactions real, to a person ignorant of all quantum theory, when they are not intuitively obvious?

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If you knew this already, why did you ask if physicists were somehow better at interpreting physical events?
Because neither is that what I asked, nor "naive intuition is not particularly reflective of the universe's true behaviour" is a meaningful answer to that question.

Indeed that is not an answer.

That is a reminder of what else fails to generate meaningful answers.

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There are several senses in which one might take the word. Do you mean physical existence?
Finally! Does it always take you this long to get to the point? Yes, I do mean physical existence.

The word has many meanings in many contexts. This is continuing on from a distinction you made in your OP.

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  This would refer to verifiable observation of interaction in a presumed consistent external reality.
What do you mean by (external) reality? Would there be an internal reality? And what do you mean by observation?

Is there a point to this epistemology 101? It's cool and all if it's born of curiosity, but you're probably also aware that such JAQing off is a very tired ploy.

Anything useful begins with a few loose assumptions. Do I exist? Sure, why not. Do I perceive things? Sure, why not. What do they represent?

Unless you're willing to embrace total solipsism, it's reasonable to assume that the moon's still there even when you're not looking at it. As it happens, our perceptions (or observations - they'd be more or less synonymous) generally form a consistent framework. External reality is as good a phrase for that as any. Other people have a separate existence and they, broadly speaking, have the same observations; the assumption is then that those observations stem from interaction with the same events (ie, reality).

Having supposed that sensory information represents external and independent existence, it is possible to make conclusions based on things which are not directly observable (as, indeed, most scientific principles are not).

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Do you mean semantic existence?
No, I don't, and I've left that quite clear throughout this thread.

My question was rhetorical. I was affirming the distinction you drew in your OP.

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Human conceptions exist insofar as they are communicable. They may refer to things which physically exist, or they may not.
I agree that human conceptions may refer to things that physically exist and they may not, but in my possibly mistaken view, concepts do not exist.

That's a rather odd definition of 'concept', if you go from implicitly accepting the existence of human conceptions but then say concepts themselves do not exist...

That does, of course, depend on what you mean by 'exist'.

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Avoiding equivocation here is key.
Of course, that is why my first message to this forum, other than my introduction, was asking other forum users what they mean when they use certain words. But gathering from your answers and GirlyMan's, I get that only physicists are qualified enough to chat about these topics on an online forum.

And that's an extremely insane inference to draw. So there's that.

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  Is this a peer-reviewed journal in which publications are subject to editorial approval? If it is, "TheThinkingAtheist" is a crappy name for it (I don't mean to offend anyone with that remark, I'm simply trying to put this conversation in its context).

Well, aren't you bringing the smarmy.

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04-04-2014, 08:09 PM
RE: Gathering perspectives
(02-04-2014 05:46 PM)living thing Wrote:  ...
If it can be said, of an object, that it occupies a specific volume located at a specific distance in a specific direction from a specific reference point, then I would say that the object exists.
...

(04-04-2014 07:20 PM)living thing Wrote:  ...
(04-04-2014 06:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Human conceptions exist insofar as they are communicable. They may refer to things which physically exist, or they may not.
I agree that human conceptions may refer to things that physically exist and they may not, but in my possibly mistaken view, concepts do not exist.
...

So, could it be said that a non-physical human concept occupies a virtual volume located at a virtual distance in a virtual direction from a virtual reference point?

Big Grin

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05-04-2014, 05:27 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2014 05:30 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Gathering perspectives
"And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets."

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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05-04-2014, 05:46 AM
RE: Gathering perspectives
Hello cjlr, thanks for your extended view.

Let me please try to get something straight. What exactly is your point? Are you suggesting that I am wrong? If that is your point, good, I appreciate your perspective. This is, after all, a thread about gathering other people's perspectives and even though I may suggest a few topics, I can certainly not constrain the flow of the conversation to any specific subject. But don't worry, I know I can be wrong and I have already referred to my own view as "my crap" in this thread, as well as warning whoever may read my words not to take me seriously, so if you are trying to question my credibility, I have already taken care of that myself, but I am glad to see that we may actually agree on something.

Now, if you don't mind me skipping the sections of the conversation that are off the topic I raised in my original post, I think I understand your view of existence as a synonym for perception; things exist if they can somehow be perceived. Is that more or less how you view it?

I will refrain from asking you any further questions since you seem uncomfortable with me doing so. I nonetheless thank you for the replies you have already given me.

Enjoy whatever you do.
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