How to convert True Scotsman
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26-06-2014, 05:45 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(26-06-2014 06:39 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(25-06-2014 11:46 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I think we have every reason to believe that the universe is objective, but we can only experience the universe subjectively. For that reason I don't think it makes much sense to talk about the universe in objective terms because there are no people who take part in the universe in an objective way. This is really a philosophical point, but one that can't be denied. Certainty is impossible, the best you can do is universal subjective agreement.

Yes we all experience the universe as the subject of consciousness. So yes I think you are right that we experience the world subjectively. We have no choice about that it's our nature and I don't know how we could experience it any other way. But when I use the term objective I mean that when we look out at the world the things we perceive are real, they are independent of us, they are absolutes. the subject does the experiencing and the object does the existing. When we look inward to our imagination then what we see is subjective. It doesn't exist in the real world. It may correspond to something in the real world or be totally made up but it exists only in the mind.

The Abrahamic religions hold that everything is the subject of God's consciousness and conforms to God's consciousness which is why it affirms a subjective universe.

As far as universal subjective agreement, that is the purpose of a rational epistemology with a sound theory of concepts. That is where reason and logic come in. Ayn Rand called logic "the art of non-contradictory identification" and that is its purpose, to show us when we have made an error in thinking.

If two of us are looking at the same object, say an apple, and I see an apple and you see a rock then one of us is right and the other is wrong.

that is what I mean when I say "subjective" and "objective"

I think we are close enough to one another that we can comfortably say we agree. However, philosophy is all about mincing words and being particular, so I am going to be particular Tongue .

In the scenario where both of us examine an object, and you see an apple where I see a rock, you can't say one of us is wrong. Technically, minus any other observers or evidence, I could be correct, you could be correct, or we both could be incorrect. There would be no way to resolve this dispute without introducing more evidence or more observers. This is the nature of subjectivism.

If we introduced more evidence then we could be more reasonably certain it was an apple or rock. If more people agreed with you then did with me then we could be yet more certain. That being said, it is still remotely possible we are actually looking at a gecko and none of us know the real truth. This is the nature of objective reality. It can never be truly 'known'.

This is one of the many arguments philosophy gives us that have no practical use. So it is a reasonable assumption, outside the scope of a philosophical discussion, that there is an objective reality and that we can know it.
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26-06-2014, 05:54 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(25-06-2014 09:55 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(25-06-2014 08:17 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Yes.


And even though I'm pretty new here too, I think I can say welcome to the forum.

Thanks!
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26-06-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(26-06-2014 05:45 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(26-06-2014 06:39 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Yes we all experience the universe as the subject of consciousness. So yes I think you are right that we experience the world subjectively. We have no choice about that it's our nature and I don't know how we could experience it any other way. But when I use the term objective I mean that when we look out at the world the things we perceive are real, they are independent of us, they are absolutes. the subject does the experiencing and the object does the existing. When we look inward to our imagination then what we see is subjective. It doesn't exist in the real world. It may correspond to something in the real world or be totally made up but it exists only in the mind.

The Abrahamic religions hold that everything is the subject of God's consciousness and conforms to God's consciousness which is why it affirms a subjective universe.

As far as universal subjective agreement, that is the purpose of a rational epistemology with a sound theory of concepts. That is where reason and logic come in. Ayn Rand called logic "the art of non-contradictory identification" and that is its purpose, to show us when we have made an error in thinking.

If two of us are looking at the same object, say an apple, and I see an apple and you see a rock then one of us is right and the other is wrong.

that is what I mean when I say "subjective" and "objective"

I think we are close enough to one another that we can comfortably say we agree. However, philosophy is all about mincing words and being particular, so I am going to be particular Tongue .

In the scenario where both of us examine an object, and you see an apple where I see a rock, you can't say one of us is wrong. Technically, minus any other observers or evidence, I could be correct, you could be correct, or we both could be incorrect. There would be no way to resolve this dispute without introducing more evidence or more observers. This is the nature of subjectivism.


This is one of the many arguments philosophy gives us that have no practical use. So it is a reasonable assumption, outside the scope of a philosophical discussion, that there is an objective reality and that we can know it.

Sure we can know. The thing can not be both a rock and an Apple at the same time. Just pick it up and take a bite out of it. An Apple is an Apple and a rock is a rock. If we can never know reality then we can never know anything, our senses are useless and so are our minds I seriously don't understand this kind of thinking. No it is not possible that we are looking at a Gecko if we are both sober and focusing our attention.

Either our senses are valid or there not. And since they are our only way we have to perceive reality they are necessarily valid.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-06-2014, 07:24 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(26-06-2014 06:44 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-06-2014 05:45 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I think we are close enough to one another that we can comfortably say we agree. However, philosophy is all about mincing words and being particular, so I am going to be particular Tongue .

In the scenario where both of us examine an object, and you see an apple where I see a rock, you can't say one of us is wrong. Technically, minus any other observers or evidence, I could be correct, you could be correct, or we both could be incorrect. There would be no way to resolve this dispute without introducing more evidence or more observers. This is the nature of subjectivism.


This is one of the many arguments philosophy gives us that have no practical use. So it is a reasonable assumption, outside the scope of a philosophical discussion, that there is an objective reality and that we can know it.

Sure we can know. The thing can not be both a rock and an Apple at the same time. Just pick it up and take a bite out of it. An Apple is an Apple and a rock is a rock. If we can never know reality then we can never know anything, our senses are useless and so are our minds I seriously don't understand this kind of thinking. No it is not possible that we are looking at a Gecko if we are both sober and focusing our attention.

Either our senses are valid or there not. And since they are our only way we have to perceive reality they are necessarily valid.

Ah, but there-in lies the problem. We experience the world through our senses, and our senses have been known to be unreliable. I am sure you have heard of the "brain in a vat" hypothetical We can be as reasonably sure that we are not, in fact, brains in a vat, but we can never be certain. We have no completely reliable and objective instruments by which to measure the universe, ergo it is possible all our senses could be suspect all the time.

Descartes explored this concept a great deal in his "dream argument". In a dream you very much believe you are experiencing things that are not real. You might even remember or rather think you remember, something in the context of a dream that never happened. How can one differentiate between a dream and reality? In the end you can only be sure of one thing; that you exist. "I think therefore I am" he famously said. But of anything else you cannot know with true certainty.
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28-06-2014, 09:41 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(26-06-2014 07:24 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(26-06-2014 06:44 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Sure we can know. The thing can not be both a rock and an Apple at the same time. Just pick it up and take a bite out of it. An Apple is an Apple and a rock is a rock. If we can never know reality then we can never know anything, our senses are useless and so are our minds I seriously don't understand this kind of thinking. No it is not possible that we are looking at a Gecko if we are both sober and focusing our attention.

Either our senses are valid or there not. And since they are our only way we have to perceive reality they are necessarily valid.

Ah, but there-in lies the problem. We experience the world through our senses, and our senses have been known to be unreliable. I am sure you have heard of the "brain in a vat" hypothetical We can be as reasonably sure that we are not, in fact, brains in a vat, but we can never be certain. We have no completely reliable and objective instruments by which to measure the universe, ergo it is possible all our senses could be suspect all the time.

Descartes explored this concept a great deal in his "dream argument". In a dream you very much believe you are experiencing things that are not real. You might even remember or rather think you remember, something in the context of a dream that never happened. How can one differentiate between a dream and reality? In the end you can only be sure of one thing; that you exist. "I think therefore I am" he famously said. But of anything else you cannot know with true certainty.

The problem with both of these ideas, that we can not be certain of anything and that our senses are unreliable and thus invalid, is that they are self contradictory. The statement that "we can't be certain of anything" is itself a statement of certainty.

I reject all such notions as what they are, a brazen attack on man's consciousness as such. If man's consciousness is invalid, then so are any concepts he forms including the ones used to attack man's consciousness.

The problem that any attack on "consciousness" suffers from is that the concept "consciousness" is axiomatic as are man's senses. In order to try and refute it you must count on it being true. If man is conscious (aware of and able to perceive reality) then his means of awareness are means of awareness. If what you perceive doesn't exist then what you posses isn't consciousness, the faculty which perceives that which exists.

Now we do have a faculty for perceiving that which doesn't exist. It's called the imagination. And that is the only place that gods exist.

If the theist wanted to take this line of reasoning with me I would simple ask "are you sure of that?".

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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28-06-2014, 10:22 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(25-06-2014 11:46 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  ...
the best you can do is universal subjective agreement.

So, you are saying, from the perspective of morality, or perhaps just from the perspective of perception, that if humanity (and perhaps the viruses, rats, cockroaches and aliens too) can reach a consensus, we can govern our lives in the same way that services are measured using an SLA (service level agreement) using this Universal Subjective Agreement?

Go! USA!

Big Grin





Dodgy

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28-06-2014, 10:46 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(28-06-2014 09:41 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-06-2014 07:24 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Ah, but there-in lies the problem. We experience the world through our senses, and our senses have been known to be unreliable. I am sure you have heard of the "brain in a vat" hypothetical We can be as reasonably sure that we are not, in fact, brains in a vat, but we can never be certain. We have no completely reliable and objective instruments by which to measure the universe, ergo it is possible all our senses could be suspect all the time.

Descartes explored this concept a great deal in his "dream argument". In a dream you very much believe you are experiencing things that are not real. You might even remember or rather think you remember, something in the context of a dream that never happened. How can one differentiate between a dream and reality? In the end you can only be sure of one thing; that you exist. "I think therefore I am" he famously said. But of anything else you cannot know with true certainty.

The problem with both of these ideas, that we can not be certain of anything and that our senses are unreliable and thus invalid, is that they are self contradictory. The statement that "we can't be certain of anything" is itself a statement of certainty.

I reject all such notions as what they are, a brazen attack on man's consciousness as such. If man's consciousness is invalid, then so are any concepts he forms including the ones used to attack man's consciousness.

The problem that any attack on "consciousness" suffers from is that the concept "consciousness" is axiomatic as are man's senses. In order to try and refute it you must count on it being true. If man is conscious (aware of and able to perceive reality) then his means of awareness are means of awareness. If what you perceive doesn't exist then what you posses isn't consciousness, the faculty which perceives that which exists.

Now we do have a faculty for perceiving that which doesn't exist. It's called the imagination. And that is the only place that gods exist.

If the theist wanted to take this line of reasoning with me I would simple ask "are you sure of that?".

What this argument reveals is not that we cannot be sure of something only that we cannot know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, anything except that we exist. The only reason we know that we exist is because of the one constant; perception. That which doesn't exist cannot perceive. So long as we can ponder the question, or ponder anything for that matter, we can be entirely certain that we exist.

Of anything else we cannot be entirely certain. Instead of true certainty we have degrees of certainty. In mathematical terms, you can think of certainty as a vertical asymptote, and degrees of certainty is the plotted line coming ever so close to the asymptote, but never quite touching. In theory true certainly is possible. This would be the mathematical equivalent of the limit of that function. In practice though, no matter how much evidence you have you never quite reach the point of true certainty. This may be an uncomfortable, and very arguably self defeating concept, but nonetheless it is still true. We live our lives according to this. In american law a juror finds a defendant guilty only if the prosecution can proves their guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt". In science the most well established laws and principles are forever "theories", because it is conceivable that they could be replaced by a better and more accurate theory at any time; even for theories we are rather sure about, like evolution and thermodynamics.

If you take the position that true certainty is possible then you run into some problems. Namely, how do you deal with mistakes? In hindsight we can usually explain our errors and come to a understanding of how they happened, but in the present we are unable to objectively examine our own ideas and find the fault in them. It is possible many things we are "certain" of today, could be flat out wrong tomorrow, and in the present there is no way we can know. This the nature of living with subjectivism. We cannot escape the limited confines of our consciousness. Everything about us that could conceivably be in error can never be ruled out, for anything, the best you get is consensus and evidence and repeatable results, but never true certainty.
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28-06-2014, 11:16 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(26-06-2014 06:44 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Sure we can know. The thing can not be both a rock and an Apple at the same time. Just pick it up and take a bite out of it. An Apple is an Apple and a rock is a rock.
...

... within the context of a given epistemology.

So we still need an objective baseline.

I define 'rock' as a shiny green fruit... you get the idea.

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28-06-2014, 11:20 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
(28-06-2014 11:16 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(26-06-2014 06:44 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Sure we can know. The thing can not be both a rock and an Apple at the same time. Just pick it up and take a bite out of it. An Apple is an Apple and a rock is a rock.
...

... within the context of a given epistemology.

So we still need an objective baseline.

I define 'rock' as a shiny green fruit... you get the idea.

Yeah, bite into that "shiny green fruit" and see how far you get with that. Facepalm

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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28-06-2014, 11:47 PM
RE: How to convert True Scotsman
forum mascot Wrote:
(28-06-2014 11:16 PM)DLJ Wrote:  ... within the context of a given epistemology.

So we still need an objective baseline.

I define 'rock' as a shiny green fruit... you get the idea.

Yeah, bite into that "shiny green fruit" and see how far you get with that. Facepalm

OK. Maybe not everyone gets the idea.

Dodgy

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