Love sucks???????
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21-02-2017, 04:20 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(19-02-2017 01:48 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(18-02-2017 03:39 PM)Astreja Wrote:  I don't have to show it.

I choose to live it instead.

Then you willingly choose ignorance over knowledge. How are you any different from the religious?

How is being decent to others "ignorant"?
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21-02-2017, 07:02 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 04:20 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(19-02-2017 01:48 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Then you willingly choose ignorance over knowledge. How are you any different from the religious?

How is being decent to others "ignorant"?

I never said it was. Choosing to ignore philosophy is choosing ignorance.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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21-02-2017, 07:06 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 03:17 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I can very nearly guarantee that this is a straw man of some variety.

How is it a straw man?

Quote:Whether it is of the attitudes of the scientific community or materialism, though, I am not sure.

It has been since the Enlightenment.

Quote:And it has been.

You seem to have a very dim view of most scientists' intelligence.

It has been yes. I think many scientists are too far into scientism. I don't think they're dim.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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21-02-2017, 07:17 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(19-02-2017 08:23 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Oh good god "mental masturbation" is a term used by those those who have no philosophical understanding.
I can't speak for others, but I use it when I see someone mentally masturbating.
(19-02-2017 08:23 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Everyone starts within their own mind. They start with introspection.
Really? As unaware as many people are, I'd say most people do a pretty good job of studiously ignoring their minds and avoiding contemplating the great questions with any depth. They just "phone it in". You aren't among them, and that's good. But there is a balance between such ruminations and everyday life. Perhaps if you have not had to support yourself yet you aren't that aware of the need for such balance. It is very much like the tension in eastern mysticism between the mediation mat and the ego; you can achieve some degree of the desired nondual awareness in that thought-system but it's no way to get the laundry done or to maintain your close relationships. It turns out you NEED your ego to function, so a state of ego-less bliss is interesting and even enlightening but not terribly practical and in many ways, not particularly actionable.

So it is with philosophy. Many of its questions are unanswerable with any objective degree of confidence. And they tend to be more "why" rather than "how" questions. People end up bogged down in navel-gazing and fondling their ideals but have no idea how to actually BE a better person or to live those ideals out.
(19-02-2017 08:23 PM)Naielis Wrote:  To claim you can just bypass it and move straight to the external is simply absurd. This is the exact mistake the presuppositional apologists make.
It may offend your sense of decorum but it has allowed me to be effective and responsible as a father, grandfather and independent contractor, whereas, if I had neglected all that until I had my first principles nailed down I would still be having pointless debates about empty abstractions instead of living them out in engagement with others.

Nor do I "just bypass it" or I wouldn't even be having this conversation. All knowledge, as No True Scotsman points out, is contextual. Wisdom is the process of having experiences to provide context to your philosophical insights, not having those insights in a vacuum of theory.

Do you seriously expect to be the first person to find an empirically certain Philosophy of Everything when better minds than yours have not done so after thousands of years of effort? And do you expect to do that in some rigid sequential fashion where this perfect philosophy springs whole out of your forehead before you actually have to bump up against the messy business of living? Good luck with that, son.
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21-02-2017, 07:22 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(20-02-2017 06:32 PM)Astreja Wrote:  Okay, this is more like a conversation. I can work with this.

Science is a tool, yes, but it isn't the only tool available to us. Rather than trying to collect all possible methods under the umbrella of "science," why not use the scientific method and other methods independently?

For instance, when dealing with material phenomena I think it's reasonable to start out with analysis at that level: Weigh, measure, observe, test.

Meanwhile, philosophy can conduct a parallel analysis to eke out other information about the phenomenon.

"All-things-to-all-people" systems may be comprehensive and possibly more accurate. They also tend to be unwieldy, just because of their scope. Sometimes a quick partial answer is just what's needed, as opposed to a more thorough analysis that provides a better answer but at the cost of time.

It certainly is reasonable to work with material analysis at a material level. But I think there's more to be done before we can get there. Let's take idealists, for example. They don't necessarily believe in the material world outside of the mind. How do we argue for the material world. How do we justify the reliability of our senses? I think this is the first challenge. Then the next challenge is the problem of induction. How do we know the universe operates on physical laws instead of randomness? This is specifically a problem for the uniformity of nature. But there's an even larger problem for science here. The problem of induction shows that there is no reason to believe that a result from an experiment will repeat itself. So let's say we have only observed white geese. What reason do we have to say that there are only white geese? There's no reason to believe a small sample of reality will represent the whole of reality. In fact, to assume that it will is a fallacy of composition.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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21-02-2017, 07:53 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  You then wrote: "Existence "is", but that doesn't mean everyone has the same perceptions / understandings of it as it registers in their field of awareness."

I'm wondering why you felt the need to put is in quotes.
To signal that it wasn't an incomplete sentence but a deliberate statement about existence.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Are you unsure if existence exists?
It clearly exists, it is one of those things where my epistemological certainty approaches 100%. I can't be sure that I'm not a brain in a vat for example, but it's a pointless question to ask. I find myself existing and having an experience of what it is to exist, and I have to engage with existence within that framework.

And yes, if I exist and am aware of existing then I am conscious. Which says nothing about the exact nature or structure of consciousness or where it arises from, so again, always some elements of uncertainty about it. But yes ... despite the lack of 100% certainty we all have to accept a few foundational things as axiomatic in order to make at least experimental progress.

This happens in mathematics, and the reason we use math despite it being founded on axioms is that it has reliable utility that suggests the axioms are substantially correct, at least in terms of what we apply math to. Same goes for the axioms you are proposing.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  These three concepts, existence, identity, and consciousness are axiomatic. And that's not all. These three axioms entail a fourth: That the things which exist, exist independent of the means by which we are aware of them. There is a subject of consciousness and the objects it is aware of. The subject and its objects are distinct from each other and the objects of consciousness are what they are independent of the subject's awareness. This is known as the primacy of existence principle and it and the axioms are implicit in all knowledge. This is Objectivism's starting point, the axioms and the primacy of existence. So we are not out there searching for certainty, we begin with these incontestable certainties. They form the basis of all future knowledge.
I don't know that I buy that literally but I'll buy it functionally. Because I see that operating based on these assumptions provides generally accurate predictions and explanations concerning experienced reality. I really don't think we are in disagreement here, except for my unwillingness to use your semantics with such gusto. I have some concerns that your axiomatic starting-point may be a bit like Newtonian physics -- good enough for everyday purposes but may be found to break down around the edge cases for all we know.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ... we need an objective method to guide our thinking. That method is logic. Objectivism defines logic as the art or skill of non-contradictory identification. It is the method of reason which is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material brought in by the senses. Logic is the axiom of identity applied to the task of identifying what we perceive. Objectivity is the adherence to the primacy of existence without exception. If we have made an error or been sloppy then we will discover it when we go through the process of integration. This is the process of incorporating new knowledge with that already achieved without contradiction. It's difficult, yes, and it requires uncompromising honesty, but it is possible.
I have found life to contain enough random absurdities that I am not as sure of this as you are. I suspect it is faux certitude, similar to what forms the basis of scientism and the reductionist fantasies it tends to engage in. Despite that as a software architect I am fond of breaking down problems into smaller and smaller pieces, I also see a sort of metaphorical quantum foam at the bottom of all these deconstructions. I don't sense a floor in them.

Hints abound. Why do we call consciousness the "hard problem"? Why is "hard" or general-purpose AI so elusive? It is likely because we are applying the wrong abstractions and in fact don't have a conceptual framework to even perceive the ones we need to. And that framework may ultimately elude us because it's beyond our ken anyway.

Religious faith has been an utterly failed and bankrupt attempt to answer questions of existence; logic, reason and science have been much better but still have limits. I believe that epistemological humility is a virtue, and so, I am willing to acknowledge this.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Of course our knowledge increases over time but this does not mean that we can not achieve certainty. Human knowledge is always finite and therefore it is always contextual and so also is certainty. But if one examines all the relavent facts in a given context and one validates his conclusions with logic, then one can be certain of his conclusions within that context. The problem arises when one evades relevant facts in drawing conclusions in order to arrive at the conclusion one wants. creation "science" is a prime example of this.
Agreed. In a sufficiently limited context or domain, one can generally have a very high degree of certainty. My observation is that people tend to huddle in that context and overreach in applying it outside the context.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If one does not evade then one will find that one's conclusions will not be overturned by future knowledge.
Well if you had been a prehistoric hunter-gatherer you might have lived long enough to be very certain of some things relating to obtaining food but that knowledge was in such a limited context that it would be useless to you today. I guess it would still be applicable and useful if we bombed ourselves back into the stone age and had to function as illiterate hunter-gatherers again. In that limited sense it would not be "overturned by future knowledge" or we might say "overcome by future contexts". But I don't see this as a source of comfort that I can have such certainty about any one thing that I can declare it objectively and practically timeless.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  That's because reality is a consistent whole. The law of identity tells us this. Reality is not made up of contradictions but facts which are absolutes which obtain independent of consciousness and can not contradict themselves or the whole of reality.
It is a consistent whole and, I am convinced, has independent existence, wholly external to and non-dependent on our consciousness. However, it is vast and has many unpredictable relations and interactions, many of which we haven't even yet intuited. When you contrast this with our limited intellectual and perceptual equipment and our brief and rather nasty mortal existence, I don't know how much this bedrock quality really helps provide certitude. The invention of language and writing and information technology extends reach, but we have a long way to go.

Am I convinced that existence is ultimately comprehensible, at least in theory? Sure. Am I convinced we mostly understand most of it? Not at all.
(19-02-2017 11:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  You wrote: "It is the conceit of every generation that its learning and science represents the pinnacle of human development; it's always wrong. That alone should tell us that absolute certitude is unobtanium."

Really? Got an argument for this? How do you know that every generation thinks this? I certainly don't think this. But you simply assert it as if it were unquestionable.
There are countless examples, though of course some of us see through this. Watson's declaration that there might be a worldwide market for a handful of general purpose computers, or the canonical story of the guy a hundred or so years ago who predicted the demise of patents because whatever there was to invent, had been invented, are good exemplars. It is our tendency as an apex species making rapid progress to think we're closer to the end than to the beginning of our development, is all I'm saying. Epistemological humility again.
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21-02-2017, 09:05 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 07:06 AM)Naielis Wrote:  How is it a straw man?

I went on to cover this in the rest of the post.

You do not understand how scientists approach science.

(21-02-2017 07:06 AM)Naielis Wrote:  It has been yes.

Then what are you trying to argue against, exactly?

Oh, that's right -

(21-02-2017 07:06 AM)Naielis Wrote:  I think many scientists are too far into scientism.

- you're arguing against all those straw scientists that you claim are out there acting as though science is some sort of magical, infallible force, or whatever it is you think "scientism" entails.

The scientific method has long since been justified. Scientists are familiar with this justification. Hell, most middle school students are at least familiar with it in a passing form. Those who spend their lives doing scientific research certainly know it better than you do.

You seem to, once again, be propping up a position that no one takes for no reason other than to tear it down again. Which is all fine and dandy if you want to do some basic logical exercise to keep yourself in form, but I'm not sure as to why you insist on doing it in public and insisting that it has some bearing on the positions other people actually take.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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21-02-2017, 09:13 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 07:53 AM)mordant Wrote:  It clearly exists, it is one of those things where my epistemological certainty approaches 100%. I can't be sure that I'm not a brain in a vat for example, but it's a pointless question to ask. I find myself existing and having an experience of what it is to exist, and I have to engage with existence within that framework.

You say your certainty approaches 100%. You aren't 100% certain that existence exists? To say that existence doesn't exist would be self contradictory. Even thinking about saying demonstrates some form of existence.

Quote:And yes, if I exist and am aware of existing then I am conscious. Which says nothing about the exact nature or structure of consciousness or where it arises from, so again, always some elements of uncertainty about it. But yes ... despite the lack of 100% certainty we all have to accept a few foundational things as axiomatic in order to make at least experimental progress.

Axioms can be known with epistemic certainty.

Quote:This happens in mathematics, and the reason we use math despite it being founded on axioms is that it has reliable utility that suggests the axioms are substantially correct, at least in terms of what we apply math to. Same goes for the axioms you are proposing.

No we use mathematics because the axioms are necessary truths. The intellect has the capacity to reason about quantities. Math is the language we use to do this. It isn't just reliable. Math is true. It's true everywhere that 1+1=2 at all times.

Quote:I don't know that I buy that literally but I'll buy it functionally. Because I see that operating based on these assumptions provides generally accurate predictions and explanations concerning experienced reality. I really don't think we are in disagreement here, except for my unwillingness to use your semantics with such gusto. I have some concerns that your axiomatic starting-point may be a bit like Newtonian physics -- good enough for everyday purposes but may be found to break down around the edge cases for all we know.

If you just work on assumptions, then you can easily prove yourself right. The assumptions produce reliable results only if you make assumptions about how to observe results. This epistemology is entirely ad hoc.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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21-02-2017, 09:21 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 09:05 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  - you're arguing against all those straw scientists that you claim are out there acting as though science is some sort of magical, infallible force, or whatever it is you think "scientism" entails.

The scientific method has long since been justified. Scientists are familiar with this justification. Hell, most middle school students are at least familiar with it in a passing form. Those who spend their lives doing scientific research certainly know it better than you do.

You seem to, once again, be propping up a position that no one takes for no reason other than to tear it down again. Which is all fine and dandy if you want to do some basic logical exercise to keep yourself in form, but I'm not sure as to why you insist on doing it in public and insisting that it has some bearing on the positions other people actually take.

No scientism is the dogmatic appeal to science as a grounding for epistemology. It's an infallibilist system. This isn't unpopular in the scientific community. But you say the scientific method has been justified. I agree, but you can only justify it under certain epistemologies. So how do you justify the scientific method?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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21-02-2017, 09:27 AM
RE: Love sucks???????
(21-02-2017 07:17 AM)mordant Wrote:  Really? As unaware as many people are, I'd say most people do a pretty good job of studiously ignoring their minds and avoiding contemplating the great questions with any depth. They just "phone it in". You aren't among them, and that's good.

I don't think you understand what's being said. Everyone starts their epistemology within their own minds. You start by using introspection. You can't start your epistemology outside of yourself. You can ground your foundation in ontology outside yourself, but your knowledge starts in your mind.

Quote:Do you seriously expect to be the first person to find an empirically certain Philosophy of Everything when better minds than yours have not done so after thousands of years of effort? And do you expect to do that in some rigid sequential fashion where this perfect philosophy springs whole out of your forehead before you actually have to bump up against the messy business of living? Good luck with that, son.

There are plenty of worldviews that have epistemic certainty. I'm not the first to argue for its necessity in this manner.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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