Explorations in ontology

  • #126
1,648
0
You did it again, you made a statement, then I responded, and then you said that you didn't mean what you said earlier. This isn't very productive, because I don't really know what you're trying to argue, since you keep switching around on me.

but still, I'll continue to play your game, now I'll address your idea of "taking objectivity to its maxim"


So, if the universe exists, and nobody is there to perceive it, then there is no way to define it objectively, because there is nothing outside of it (such as a perception of it, ie. nothing apart or independant of it), is that what you mean by taking something to its maxim?

Then is this a situation where there are no objective relations?
So then you'd say that something doesn't have to be defined for it to be real, because you agree that this universe is real, but yet it has no way to relate with anything seperate from it.

It goes without saying that we humans (beings within this universe) know what we're referring to when we speak of the universe. As I said earlier, there is a level upon which we know what the universe is, and there is a level on which we don't. Since you know what I'm referring to when I say "universe" you know the common definition of it that we use in common language (the objective definition), but you have a subjective definition of much greater depth in your repertoire. So, in this case, since there is a basic definition of the universe, the universe must not be the maxim of objectivity that you speak of. In fact, since you say that the maxim of objectivity can't be defined, then we can't ever put our finger on what it is, so we will never have a word for it.
It is not the problem that it can not be defined, since we clearly just did that. You know what concept I was talking about.

Just that it was a reasonable conclusion to say that this 'entity' we call 'Universe' is not and can not be objectively related itself, which conclusion we took from it's definition (since it strictly does not have something outside or apart and independent of itself).

On the other hand, we merely think in lines of that a combination of objects, we know that themselves exist, just forms a new object (the composition of those elementary objects it is made of) which we can argue for, must have existence itself.

What I try to explain is that there are reasonable arguments to give for both positions.

I reasoned for one part (the first part) of the conclusion (the universe is not objectively related itself, therefore not objectively existent), but there is of course also another side to it (the universe consists of objects in existence, so it must have existence itself).

So there is not a unique way of looking at this.
 
  • #127
It is not the problem that it can not be defined, since we clearly just did that. You know what concept I was talking about.

Just that it was a reasonable conclusion to say that this 'entity' we call 'Universe' is not and can not be objectively related itself, which conclusion we took from it's definition (since it strictly does not have something outside or apart and independent of itself).

On the other hand, we merely think in lines of that a combination of objects, we know that themselves exist, just forms a new object (the composition of those elementary objects it is made of) which we can argue for, must have existence itself.

What I try to explain is that there are reasonable arguments to give for both positions.

I reasoned for one part (the first part) of the conclusion (the universe is not objectively related itself, therefore not objectively existent), but there is of course also another side to it (the universe consists of objects in existence, so it must have existence itself).

So there is not a unique way of looking at this.
One can look at things this way, I don't doubt that. Remember that I didn't agree that God is part of the universe though (or consciousness either, although I kind of attribute the origin of consciousness to God anyway), so I don't think that way. So in my perspective, God and the universe (or I should say, reality as we perceive it) aren't part of something greater. Aside from our differences in how we perceive the universe (our subjective truths), I think we can relate this idea of "objectivity to its maxim" thing to the different proposed types of truth. This will require a more descript way to define the property of objectivity, or objective truth... I think. So, I don't have much time right now to start, but how would you define it if you'd be so kind?
 
  • #128
1,648
0
One can look at things this way, I don't doubt that. Remember that I didn't agree that God is part of the universe though (or consciousness either, although I kind of attribute the origin of consciousness to God anyway), so I don't think that way. So in my perspective, God and the universe (or I should say, reality as we perceive it) aren't part of something greater. Aside from our differences in how we perceive the universe (our subjective truths), I think we can relate this idea of "objectivity to its maxim" thing to the different proposed types of truth. This will require a more descript way to define the property of objectivity, or objective truth... I think. So, I don't have much time right now to start, but how would you define it if you'd be so kind?
Objectivity is based on the existence of objective relations.

What means is that the invisible elf in my backyard which is indetectable by any means, doesn't exist.
 
  • #129
I would say that the invisible elf does exist in your reality, since you can perceive it, but since you don't share a common experience with other people, then it's not objectively true. So here lies another example of subjective vs. objective truth in my perspective. It's not that the elf doesn't exist, because it exists on the same level of the image of a grassy field exists in our subjective experiences (imagination being part of our subjective experience).

In short, I define objectivity as commonly perceived things among many people. I think it's a good way to define objectivity since I don't use the word "objective" in the definition. So tieing this with your definition, I can say that the objective relations are the different perceptions of many people.
 
Last edited:
  • #130
1,648
0
So you would agree that a tree would make noise, hence, the noise is real, and so is the tree no doubt. And if there were nobody at all in this universe, then these things would still be real. So then it wouldn't matter if one were conscious of this universe or not, it would still be real. Suppose we existed in an alternate universe, and nobody existed in this one, then you'd say that this one is still real, even though we're unable to consciously perceive it since we dwell in an alternate universe. To us then, an alternate universe is just 'an abstract concept of thought', but in this case the abstract concept is that of something real.
An alternative universe (or neigbouring universe) could be quite real in the same sense as an alternative planet (not yet detected either directly or indirectly) could be real. Both are not in any way detectable.

If inflation cosmology theory is true, such alternative universes are part of reality.
 
  • #131
1,648
0
I would say that the invisible elf does exist in your reality, since you can perceive it, but since you don't share a common experience with other people, then it's not objectively true. So here lies another example of subjective vs. objective truth in my perspective. It's not that the elf doesn't exist, because it exists on the same level of the image of a grassy field exists in our subjective experiences (imagination being part of our subjective experience).

In short, I define objectivity as commonly perceived things among many people. I think it's a good way to define objectivity since I don't use the word "objective" in the definition. So tieing this with your definition, I can say that the objective relations are the different perceptions of many people.
The problem with your point of view that if a group of people have some same experience (for instance they all take the same drug and experience the same hallucination) then that is something objective.

It need to be detectable outside apart from and indepedent of mind to be objective.
 
  • #132
The problem with your point of view that if a group of people have some same experience (for instance they all take the same drug and experience the same hallucination) then that is something objective.

It need to be detectable outside apart from and indepedent of mind to be objective.
But there are people who don't take the drug, and don't experience the hallucination. So it may be objectively true to the group that did take the drug, it's not to the group composed of people who did and also people who didn't. Besides, this event would be extremely unlikely.

Perception must play a crucial role though, because when you say "detectable" what do you mean besides "able to be noted by another person"? What is detectable independant of the mind? Do you mean that something objectively true must be able to interact within space-time, and matter-energy? Is 1+1=2 "detectable" independant of a mind to verify it? Since you understand the definitions of math and have accepted to use them because you believe in the reasons for applying logic in this form, you know that 1+1=2 is an objective truth to anyone else who agrees with the same defitions of math, so there is no way to circumvent the correlation with perception and objective truth in this example. You're forced to agree that perception plays a part in defining something objectively, or else you must have at least two different definitions of objectivity.

This is the reason why we must define something objective as the shared perceptions of different people. Otherwise we'd have trouble knowing when to use which definition of objectivity. It is much easier to work with one definition that can apply to anything is it not?
 
Last edited:
  • #133
1,648
0
I would say that mathematical truths are abstracts from physical reality.
Place two apples on the table. Add two apples. Count how many apples are there on the table. The mathematical abstract comes out: 2+2=4.

Our physical reality is like that, that is how "fixed" objects seem to behave.
Athough not all objects do that. When counting clouds, it might come true that 1+1=1 as clouds can merge themselves.
Our math is not based on counting clouds but on counting more fixed objects which are stable seperate entities at least long enough to develop such mathematical truths.
 
Last edited:
  • #134
519
0
I'd like to point out a couple assumptions I see;

1. The assumption that perception / consciousness plays a role in the existence of reality and

2. That this perception tells us anything about reality aside from the conscious meaning the subject applies to it.

Johnny:
When you says that perception plays a crucial role in defining objective existence, all you're saying is that your brain has come to the conclusion that to define its perception of objective, you must have several observers.
Your brain does this because it has memories of perceiving what it sees as reality, and what it has defined as reality, and that's all it does.
Whether or not your perception tells you anything about reality is up for debate I think. Although it certainly tells you something about your perception.
Ultimately being conscious we can never perceive all of reality, because like us, only reality knows "what it's like" to be reality.

In this sense the only way to call something objective is to assume that other people exist, assume that our perceptions are somewhat the same, and then the brain will use its problem solving capabilities to create what we see everyday through science, art and so forth.

Yes a bit far out I know. >s
 
  • #135
I'd like to point out a couple assumptions I see;

1. The assumption that perception / consciousness plays a role in the existence of reality and

2. That this perception tells us anything about reality aside from the conscious meaning the subject applies to it.

Johnny:
When you says that perception plays a crucial role in defining objective existence, all you're saying is that your brain has come to the conclusion that to define its perception of objective, you must have several observers.
Your brain does this because it has memories of perceiving what it sees as reality, and what it has defined as reality, and that's all it does.
Whether or not your perception tells you anything about reality is up for debate I think. Although it certainly tells you something about your perception.
Ultimately being conscious we can never perceive all of reality, because like us, only reality knows "what it's like" to be reality.

In this sense the only way to call something objective is to assume that other people exist, assume that our perceptions are somewhat the same, and then the brain will use its problem solving capabilities to create what we see everyday through science, art and so forth.

Yes a bit far out I know. >s
I see we may go by different definitions of the brain and consciousness among others. Basically, my assumptions are in line with the copenhagen interpretation, the most accepted interpretation of QM among scientists. To go against mainstream science is fine, but let it be known that that is what you're doing. For example, if I ask you what objectively exists inside a particular high school gym, you can't conclude on anything without looking inside the gym. Sure you can conclude that it has a floor and walls, but what color are they? Is there a basketball under the bleachers, assuming there are bleachers? what about a jump rope on the floor? What about a candy wrapper? Basically, when there is no knowledge about objectivity, no conclusions should be made--hence the relationship with perception (knowledge) of something. If you make any objective conclusions about reality beyond what you can objectively verify, then you aren't being honest to other people. In other words, my assumption keeps me from making any extra assumptions, where in most cases their number would exceed the one I've made--the less assumptions the better. I'm not going to say that a universe can objectively exist without perceiving it, or God, or that our universe is infinite, or that our minds are material, or that everything is for that matter, etc. I don't agree that to conclude either way on those topcis and declare it as objective is a valid thing to do. If you conclude one way or another, then it is true only to you for those subjects, because your perception doesn't dictate objective reality, only subjective reality.
 
Last edited:
  • #136
Ok, I take it that it is acceptable to define objectivity in the way I propose. Now I'll try to define what "objectivity at its maxim" is.

Objectivity at its maxim sounds a lot like the idea of absolute truth to me, since it implies knowledge of everything. Every particle's position at every moment in time and over all space. Since objectivity requires confirmation from many observers, then we'd need an infinite amount of observers everywhere in space and time throughout the universe, which all communicate with each other instantly, so that everyone can know every aspect of everything objectively and immedietly. Of course the observers can't be made out of matter, because for example, I don't know where all the particles are inside my head, or body for that matter. So all the observers must be infintecimal points, and they must also be able to see 360 degrees vertically and horizontally around them at once. Since they all must communicate instantly, they will know the percpetion of every other observer, and in essence, the infinitude of observers behaves as one mind. This mind would then know everything objectively, and requires that it is everywhere in space and time, and perceives everything that will and ever has happened all at once constantly, and constancy implies that time is irrelevent. Since this observer isn't made of matter, and doesn't perceive time, and has no boundaries of space, knowledge or understanding, (things not attributable to material things... beyond panpsychism) this observer is seperate from the universe (when we say that the universe is space-time and the matter-energy contained within it). If we ask this mind anything, he/she/(now gender means nothing, but still we can think of him/her as a consciousness, so I don't want to call him/her an it) will be able to tell us the answer, but of course we can't know if we'd get one or not, how would you behave if you had all these attributes?. There is no way to understand what it would be like to be this maxim of objectivity. Well, this is pretty much all the attributes that God has, but of course my finite mind can't understand it all.

How would you define the "maxim of objectivity"?
 
Last edited:
  • #137
1,648
0
Ok, I take it that it is acceptable to define objectivity in the way I propose. Now I'll try to define what "objectivity at its maxim" is.

Objectivity at its maxim sounds a lot like the idea of absolute truth to me, since it implies knowledge of everything. Every particle's position at every moment in time and over all space. Since objectivity requires confirmation from many observers, then we'd need an infinite amount of observers everywhere in space and time throughout the universe, which all communicate with each other instantly, so that everyone can know every aspect of everything objectively and immedietly. Of course the observers can't be made out of matter, because for example, I don't know where all the particles are inside my head, or body for that matter. So all the observers must be infintecimal points, and they must also be able to see 360 degrees vertically and horizontally around them at once. Since they all must communicate instantly, they will know the percpetion of every other observer, and in essence, the infinitude of observers behaves as one mind. This mind would then know everything objectively, and requires that it is everywhere in space and time, and perceives everything that will and ever has happened all at once constantly, and constancy implies that time is irrelevent. Well, this is pretty much all the attributes that God has, but of course my finite mind can't understand it all.
What has the "maxim of objective existence" to do with mind?

If you built the concept of maxim of existence, and take it that it exists as a mind, then what is that mind consciouss of, since for it, there is nothing outside and apart of itself.

There is no way to be consciouss of something if there is nothing outside and apart and independent of you.
 
  • #138
You didn't object with the change in your definition of objectivity that I proposed for a while, so I figured that you agreed. Have you ever meditated? It is a process that involves trying to ignore your five senses and all your thoughts. Some people call it looking inside yourself, and some say that there is much more to experience there than anywhere in space-time. Try it sometime and be patient, you might be surprized. You have to calm yourself down and quit thinking if you want to meditate, thinking is noise that will distract you from appreciating things as they are. In my experience, I've learned that it is better to be at peace with the unexplainable than to be frusterated with not being able to understand things. This whole thread is more food for thought, and I've greately enjoyed your participation and I thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • #139
Perhaps the absolute truth can't be explained objectively. Perhaps God is the solipsist.

Beyond using the word perhaps, I think it is alright to justify the ideas of objective vs. subjective truth as being the two main components of truth of reality. While distinguishing between different truths in debates, we can understand each other better. Also, as a consequence of the application of these distinguished components of truth, we can understand that there is no burden of proof in subjective debates. Burden of proof only applies when debating objective things, because there is actually proof in those cases, where in subjective cases there is none. Therefore, in the debate of the existence of God, there is no burden of proof for either party, since nothing can be proven objectively. One can prove things to oneself, because it is a subjective topic, but one can't prove things to someone else for the same reason.
 
  • #140
190
0
Therefore, in the debate of the existence of God, there is no burden of proof for either party, since nothing can be proven objectively. One can prove things to oneself, because it is a subjective topic, but one can't prove things to someone else for the same reason.
The universe came out of the bum of a miniscule green goat. This is true. Fortunately "there is no burden of proof for either party, since nothing can be proven objectively". You must define God if you wish to bring it into the objective arena, otherwise God is just a miniscule green goat. If you wish to keep it as a subjective experience then remain silent and contemplate. (as opposed to 'Shut up and calculate').
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
If you can ask the right question then everything is inexplicable (unexplainable). This is the true beauty of Thought.
 
Last edited:
  • #141
1,604
1
There is no way to be consciouss of something if there is nothing outside and apart and independent of you.
This may be true, but there IS a way that one could have the illusion of being conscious of something when there is nothing outside and apart and independent of one.

MF
 
  • #142
The universe came out of the bum of a miniscule green goat. This is true. Fortunately "there is no burden of proof for either party, since nothing can be proven objectively". You must define God if you wish to bring it into the objective arena, otherwise God is just a miniscule green goat. If you wish to keep it as a subjective experience then remain silent and contemplate. (as opposed to 'Shut up and calculate').
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
If you can ask the right question then everything is inexplicable (unexplainable). This is the true beauty of Thought.
Charmingly put. I wrote way too many words, but meant the same thing... i think
 
  • #143
This may be true, but there IS a way that one could have the illusion of being conscious of something when there is nothing outside and apart and independent of one.

MF
but to that perspective, the one can't know if it is an illusion or not. If we are to apply the component of subjective truth, then everything the one experiences is truth, and not "illusion", since everything a mind perceives can't be said to not have happened (to that mind).
 
  • #144
1,604
1
but to that perspective, the one can't know if it is an illusion or not. If we are to apply the component of subjective truth, then everything the one experiences is truth, and not "illusion", since everything a mind perceives can't be said to not have happened (to that mind).
The illusion comes in at the level of interpretation. I am not suggesting that one can deny perceptual experience, but I am suggesting that one can deny the truth or accuracy of the interpretations that we place upon those perceptual experiences. You believe that you have eyes and ears and hands etc because of the interpretation that you place on the information being processed from your senses. There are however alternative interpretations, and one of those is that you do not have eyes or ears or hands and you are just a brain in a vat. Both interpretations fit the empirical evidence, but which one is true?
 
  • #145
The illusion comes in at the level of interpretation. I am not suggesting that one can deny perceptual experience, but I am suggesting that one can deny the truth or accuracy of the interpretations that we place upon those perceptual experiences. You believe that you have eyes and ears and hands etc because of the interpretation that you place on the information being processed from your senses. There are however alternative interpretations, and one of those is that you do not have eyes or ears or hands and you are just a brain in a vat. Both interpretations fit the empirical evidence, but which one is true?
wow, I haven't been to pf in a while, i can't believe this thread is still up on the first page still.


This is a good point. the "brain in a vat" idea/the matrix idea. Yeah, so it is possible that we don't have any physical bodies at all, or that the universe even physically exists (e.g., a potential absolute truth of reality). However, this doesn't overturn the idea of subjective truth. It is still true to me that I experience being in a physical body in a physical world, and that I also experience the non-physical side of reality (the mental experience). Both of these components of truth can be true at the same time (brain in vat, and experiencing having a physical body).
 
Last edited:
  • #146
Rade
This may be true, but there IS a way that one could have the illusion of being conscious of something when there is nothing outside and apart and independent of one.
:confused: But how can I have such an "illusion" if you hold that there is no"thing" from which the illusion can be created ? All illusions derive from the fact that the mind has accumulated a certain amount of sensory material. That for example the "stick that is half in water". It looks bent--this is the illusion--but the illusion derives from the fact that a stick and water exist, neither the stick nor water are an illusion. Thus I cannot have an illusion of being conscious of some"thing" (stick or water), only of some aspect of the thing (is the stick bent or not when interacting with water). Perhaps I just do not understand what you are saying about "illusion".
 
  • #147
Rade
...Objectivity at its maxim sounds a lot like the idea of absolute truth to me, since it implies knowledge of everything...
:confused: Objectivity implies dialectic and uncertain knowledge only of that perceived (eg., a union of the object and the subject), not of "everything". To the Objectivity, it is absolutely true that all knowledge is contextually derived as a dialectic union of existence and consciousness always measured with error--the process is called Science.
 
  • #148
1,604
1
:confused: But how can I have such an "illusion" if you hold that there is no"thing" from which the illusion can be created ? All illusions derive from the fact that the mind has accumulated a certain amount of sensory material. That for example the "stick that is half in water". It looks bent--this is the illusion--but the illusion derives from the fact that a stick and water exist, neither the stick nor water are an illusion. Thus I cannot have an illusion of being conscious of some"thing" (stick or water), only of some aspect of the thing (is the stick bent or not when interacting with water). Perhaps I just do not understand what you are saying about "illusion".
You are assuming that your interpretation of what your senses is telling you (ie that you see a physical stick and physical water) is a correct interpretation. You may actually be a brain in a vat, with electrodes implanted to give you the sensation (illusion) that you are seeing a stick and water, when in reality no physical stick and no physical water exists anywhere close to you.

THIS is what I mean by illusion.
 
  • #149
1,604
1
This is a good point. the "brain in a vat" idea/the matrix idea. Yeah, so it is possible that we don't have any physical bodies at all, or that the universe even physically exists (e.g., a potential absolute truth of reality). However, this doesn't overturn the idea of subjective truth. It is still true to me that I experience being in a physical body in a physical world, and that I also experience the non-physical side of reality (the mental experience). Both of these components of truth can be true at the same time (brain in vat, and experiencing having a physical body).
What is true is that your experiences are consistent with you being in a physical body in a physical world; but your experiences are also consistent with a number of other interpretations of reality (one of which is that you are a brain in a vat). You simply choose to believe one interpretation, and reject the others.

But you have no way of determining which interpretation is true.
 

Related Threads for: Explorations in ontology

  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
5
Replies
101
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
72K
  • Last Post
10
Replies
244
Views
15K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
4K
Top