The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
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07-02-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:27 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:24 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Watch it again and again until you understand.

I am serious. As a professional musician I have had to study music I did not understand or even like. However with time, I got both.

I am not judging you. You are young and there is much to learn. However, the cosmological argument is long out of date. Notice it does not even attempt to show which god it represents?

One may as well talk about Zeus' daddy issues.

This thread is a total waste of time.

You are judging me. You're noticing my age and extrapolating from it. You assume that I lack understanding on this issue instead of considering the possibility that you are wrong. It's condescending and patronizing.

Laugh out load

Hug

No Naielis some of us are just being irascible old b@stards. Laugh out load
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07-02-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:41 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:32 PM)Naielis Wrote:  What I'm after is a reason to suspect that our senses ever actually do what we suppose they do. Also, nice pun.

What do you think they do? I think they impose a pattern on reality. The transducer is intrinsically tuned to only a teeny tiny specific frequency spectrum. It does a transform on that bit of raw signal so we can even make sense of it. That's what transducers do.

But you only know this bit about your senses by using your senses. You would have to assume their reliability to begin with. Humans assume senses can depict reality semi-accurately. How do we justify this?

"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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07-02-2017, 02:53 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 01:59 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 12:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  The truth of "2+2=4" is dependent, among other things, on the definition of those symbols. There are algebraic structures in which "+" is undefined, or defined to mean something different from the common usage. Formal mathematics is all about definitions. You can also change the number base. 2+2 can equal 100 (base 2) or 11 (base 3).

When we say 2+2=4 we aren't working with symbols that represent nothing. They have meaning. The meaning of that statement was true before humans existed. Content is more important that symbolism and terminology.

Quote:As for reality: Suppose I have two glasses of water, and two other glasses of water, and I "add" them all by pouring them into a large container. I don't get four glasses of water -- I get one larger glass. Suppose I "divide" one amoeba by two (or allow it to do that all by itself). I don't get one half of an amoeba -- I get two amoebas. Reality is not required to conform absolutely to abstract structures. We build the abstract structures to conform to reality, and only use them where they are appropriate. The complex number system is enormously useful in electronics, but worthless if you're counting sheep.

[Edited to correct basic math error]

Both examples you gave fail to demonstrate a disconnect between math and the physical world. Instead, the first confuses units. Cups, as you're using the term, is not a standard unit. It refers to an object that holds water. If you refer to the actual unit of cups, then yes you would get four cups of water in the large glass. The second example confuses the operation. If you divide one amoeba by two, you do get one half of an amoeba. But dividing by two is not reproduction. It would be cutting a single amoeba in two equal parts.

In the amoeba's case, though, reproduction is dividing by two (hence my parenthetical comment in the example), and you get two complete amoebas, not one half (1 divided by 2) or two halves.

What about my other example about adding wind speeds? What about superimposing ("adding") two sinusoidal electrical signals, each with an amplitude of 2 volts? If they are exactly in phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 4 volts. If they are 180 degrees out of phase, the resulting signal will have an amplitude of 0. The amplitude can vary anywhere between those extremes, depending on the phase angle.

The point is that "addition" and "division" are abstract concepts that don't always apply to the real world -- or if they do apply, they often apply in a fuzzy way, as in my examples. In the real world, the result of "2+2" depends on what kinds of things you are adding, and on how you are adding them. The real world does not correspond to abstract mathematics nearly as precisely as you would like it to.
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07-02-2017, 02:54 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2017 02:58 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:44 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:41 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  What do you think they do? I think they impose a pattern on reality. The transducer is intrinsically tuned to only a teeny tiny specific frequency spectrum. It does a transform on that bit of raw signal so we can even make sense of it. That's what transducers do.

But you only know this bit about your senses by using your senses. You would have to assume their reliability to begin with. Humans assume senses can depict reality semi-accurately. How do we justify this?

I don't think we can. It's ultimately an untenable position. But I think it is also a necessary assumption or we'd go mad. Mad I tell you, mad. :creepypsychovoice:

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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07-02-2017, 02:57 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:44 PM)Naielis Wrote:  But you only know this bit about your senses by using your senses. You would have to assume their reliability to begin with. Humans assume senses can depict reality semi-accurately. How do we justify this?

This is another of those questions of solipsism which is off-topic for this discussion.

A brief answer, though, to show willing: we do not assume anything. Human senses demonstrably sense something external to us. We call this "the universe". This is not debatable, and is merely a matter of having coherent definitions, and is why hard solipsism ("the universe does not exist and/or is not external to us") fails on its face.

From there, it does not matter whether or not we can accurately sense what the universe is "really" like. The question is incoherent and relies on "really" being insufficiently semantically clear, but it wouldn't matter even if it wasn't; so long as we accept that the universe exists and we can sense it in some fashion, the only thing that we need in order to gather accurate information about it is consistency. So long as our senses do not give us literally random input with no connection whatsoever to the thing being sensed - and they demonstrably do not - we can gather information about it. Any argument to the contrary is, like the "really" question, just playing games with semantics.

A lot of the "hard" questions in philosophy are like this, and just boil down to word games. Language is easily abused, and there are no built-in safeguards against someone who is willing to take advantage of the fact that many people don't realize when something is poorly defined semantically.

"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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07-02-2017, 03:03 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:44 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:41 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  What do you think they do? I think they impose a pattern on reality. The transducer is intrinsically tuned to only a teeny tiny specific frequency spectrum. It does a transform on that bit of raw signal so we can even make sense of it. That's what transducers do.

But you only know this bit about your senses by using your senses. You would have to assume their reliability to begin with. Humans assume senses can depict reality semi-accurately. How do we justify this?

We have developed instruments to gather information on our reality. These calibrated instruments provide consistent readings that can be duplicated regardless of place, time or the individual reading the results.

That seems to me to justify the perfectly rational conclusion that our collective senses can be relied upon don’t you think?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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07-02-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 01:46 PM)Naielis Wrote:  You have to be able to justify the reliability of your senses if your entire worldview relies upon that reliability.

No, you really don't. Everyone who's not insane -- including you -- trusts the reliability of his/her senses, and most of us feel no need to "justify" any of that. We just do it, because it works and has always worked. No, you can't be certain -- there's no way to conclusively prove that you're not a brain in a vat -- but so what? who cares? We don't need to be certain. You, like everyone else, trust the reliability of your senses. You couldn't get through a day, or even an hour, of normal life if you didn't.
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07-02-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:23 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:18 PM)Naielis Wrote:  So you think there are instances in which we can make assumptions for the sake of consistency?

I do it all the time. I think we all do. i think we have to. If we didn't we'd all be catatonic like a deer caught in the headlights.

Wrong choice there, laddies.

Completeness is of infinitely greater value. Consistency puts limits on what we can do.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-02-2017, 03:07 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 02:25 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:23 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I do it all the time. I think we all do.

I agree, but do you think there is a way in which we can justify our senses? And if not, do you think we can justify our lack of justification. In other words, does every belief require justification? It seems this is relevant because this trust in our senses is foundational to almost every worldview.

Our senses are justified in that they agree with others' senses and give repeatable, consistent results.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-02-2017, 03:07 PM
RE: The Cosmological Arguments Haven't Been Debunked
(07-02-2017 03:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-02-2017 02:23 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I do it all the time. I think we all do. i think we have to. If we didn't we'd all be catatonic like a deer caught in the headlights.

Wrong choice there, laddies.

Completeness is of infinitely greater value. Consistency puts limits on what we can do.




There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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