I think, therefore, I am.

  • Thread starter Mentat
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Was Descartes right?

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 75.8%
  • No

    Votes: 8 24.2%

  • Total voters
    33
  • #36
Mentat
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Originally posted by MajinVegeta
So, "I think therefore I am" only applies to a conscious being, right? So the statement is limited.

Not just conscious things, but rather, it is restricted to *thinking* things. However, it is useful, especially in debates about whether we (humans) do or don't exist.
 
  • #37
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Hi there,

1. For Mentat:

Well, I'm here. Please explain that post (the one I quoted) in details and also show that my proof posted on "Knowledge?" is problematic.
 
  • #38
Mentat
3,918
3
Alright, Manuel. I didn't see any proofs presented on the "Knowledge" thread, but I'll try to explain this...

I have to ask you people (especially people like carl), do you think that you can convince someone of something, if that person doesn't exist? If not, then you cannot convince me that I don't exist, because I have to exist for you to convince me of anything.

Here is the point of Descarte's reasoning (and his axiom):

I can think about not existing, thus, I exist

In shortened form: I think, therefore I am.

Come to think of it, that's a pretty sound explanation, what is it that you don't understand?
 
  • #39
GlamGein
48
0
To exist, one must be conscious of existence.
 
  • #40
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Hi,

1. For Mentat:

The proof I'm referring to is on "Knowledge?" page 4 (and is one of the things I guess you ignored). It is enclosed in a pair of dash-sequences.

Your post needs explanation because of the following ambiguities:
If not, then you cannot convince me that I don't exist, because I have to exist for you to convince me of anything.
You say one can't be convinced of something unless one exists. You say you have to exist to be convinced. Where does that come from? As far as I know the first thing to be proven is existence. Being the prime primary it has to be proven without a single assumption. All assumptions can be made after proving that one exits. If one's still in hesitation about one's existence how can one assume that "I should exist to be convinced?"
Here is the point of Descarte's reasoning (and his axiom):

I can think about not existing, thus, I exist
Being able to think doesn't necessarily mean the existence of the thinker. That that one has to be before one is able to think is an "existence-based" assumption. Hence is doesn't qualify for proving existence.

Then, you say "his axiom." If it's an axiom it needn't be defended for or talked about. There's no problem with axioms. They're worthless for they're pre-assumed (means, they're not proven). Give a dime, have a dozen hot ready-made axioms for an hour's pleasure.

The point with Descartes' speech is that he insists that "je pons donc je suis" is a firm ground to base your entire life and philosophy on. Matter of fact (this is not the fact you called "fact" ) it isn't that way.

I have no problem with this sentence as long as it isn't seen as a victory for human logic in proving/showing/ensuring existence. Human logic and all other human things in the world give no guarantee, they aren't firm enough to ensure one of the slightest truth/reality/righteousness/[beep] in the smallest piece of human knowledge/information/wisdom/[beep].

This sentence "may" give one the bravery to go on, the strength to endure or the stubbornness not to give up but it isn't a "proof."

For 101th time I repeat, I'm not posing against my/your/her/his/their/[beep] existence. Thus I needn't prove non-existence. I'm just posing against that you take someone's existence for granted.
 
  • #41
Mentat
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Originally posted by GlamGein
To exist, one must be conscious of existence.

That's actually backwards. To be conscious of existence, one must exist. That's the point of Descartes' philosophy.

BTW, the reason it doesn't work the way you wrote it is that rocks exist, and are not conscious of their existence. But, when flipped around, as it were, your statement is in perfect agreement with Descartes'.
 
  • #42
Mentat
3,918
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Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Hi,

1. For Mentat:

The proof I'm referring to is on "Knowledge?" page 4 (and is one of the things I guess you ignored). It is enclosed in a pair of dash-sequences.


I don't see any proof against this statement. I see supposed proof against the statement, "I am talking to you", but not against Descartes' statement.

Your post needs explanation because of the following ambiguities:

You say one can't be convinced of something unless one exists. You say you have to exist to be convinced. Where does that come from? As far as I know the first thing to be proven is existence. Being the prime primary it has to be proven without a single assumption. All assumptions can be made after proving that one exits. If one's still in hesitation about one's existence how can one assume that "I should exist to be convinced?"

How about flipping that reasoning around? You are saying that you can convince something. This requires that there be something for you to convince, and thus you cannot convince me that I don't exist. Please remember, I'm not saying that you - personally - are trying to convince me of anything. I'm just saying that you couldn't, if you tried - which gives me certain amount of certainty that I do exist, because it can't be disproven :smile:.

Being able to think doesn't necessarily mean the existence of the thinker. That that one has to be before one is able to think is an "existence-based" assumption. Hence is doesn't qualify for proving existence.

Say what? The proposition that something can think necessitates the existence of the "something" that is thinking.

The point with Descartes' speech is that he insists that "je pons donc je suis" is a firm ground to base your entire life and philosophy on. Matter of fact (this is not the fact you called "fact" ) it isn't that way.

What does "je pons donc je suis" mean?

This sentence "may" give one the bravery to go on, the strength to endure or the stubbornness not to give up but it isn't a "proof."

No, it's an assertion. An assertion that you can't prove wrong, because you'd be attempting to prove it wrong to someone (even if just yourself), and that someone would have to exist, in order for you to prove something to them.
 
  • #43
what am i?

if what you think you are, you will be what you are. your mind make this real and therefore, everything will be in the way your mind percieves things. that's why they have to make a system of orders and the orientation to percieve what they want us to see.
 
  • #44
Originally posted by GlamGein
To exist, one must be conscious of existence.

and thus think. Thinking and the act of consciousness is the same thing.
 
  • #45


Originally posted by greeneagle3000
if what you think you are, you will be what you are. your mind make this real and therefore, everything will be in the way your mind percieves things. that's why they have to make a system of orders and the orientation to percieve what they want us to see.

You are very right! Shaolin philosophy emphasizes this. When you are in pain, if you concentrate on being relaxed, and without pain, you will at least be releaved from pain. Also Reiki practices this sort of mind-body training. This is called autogenic meditation. And the central basis is thought.
 
  • #46
surprised!

wow! and i thought that you would disagree like most people do!
 
  • #47
Another God
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
987
4
It is a pragmatic necessary truth.

If I am able to say that I exist, or that I am thinking, then of course I exist.
 
  • #48
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:
I don't see any proof against this statement...
No. Read it again, please. It's a "supposed" (we've this word in comon) proof against any statement of the form "I [beep] therefore I exist." You needn't go there again, it's here:

-------Copy-Pasted from "Knowledge?", Page 4-------------------------

Every statement of the sort "I [beep] therefore I am" is erroneous when viewed with linear logic (I mean, no self-contradiction and/or loops allowed). Here's my proof:

Consider having said "I [beep]", you have to choose one of the two following statements:

P([beep]) : There need be an "I" to "[beep]."
P'([beep]) : There needn't be an "I" to "[beep]."

Since the above statements are contrary, only one of them may be yours (for we're using Aristotelian logic where a statement can be either true or false and nothing else and there's no escape from having chosen one of them).

If you choose 1, you've clearly pre-assumed that there need be an "I" to "[beep]" and you haven't done much in mentioning the consequence that "therefore I am." This is a self-referential statement giving no more information than what was known before.

If you choose 2, you've made another mistake. How could you say it isn't necessary to be an "I" to "[beep]" and then conclude that "therefore I (necessarily) am?" This is paradoxical for the statement is made up of two parts which are contradictory.

(This proof may be wrong. If so, please show my mistake(s))

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hint: I asked one of forum members to please take a look at this. She/he suggested it wasn't of much creditability and I agree with her/him. However, as long as "you" haven't shown its absurdity you have to take it.
... This requires that there be something for you to convince, and thus you cannot convince me that I don't exist...
I'm not convincing you that you don't exist, I repeat for 102th time. I'm showing how meaningless it may be to take any statement (even this well-shaped one) for granted.

You say it "requires" that so and so, where does this "requirement" come from? You think there's a "requirement", you think a specific entity must be prior to another one, how did you come to think so? I've learnt that you, like Descartes, are insisting that "I think therefore I am" is a firm ground. If everything is going to built upon this statement, the statement itself must be "proven" independently. No assumptions, no beliefs, no pre-suppositions are allowed.

Hint: the above paragraph suffers internal inconsistency, see if you can find the point of weakness.
Say what? The proposition that something can think necessitates the existence of the "something" that is thinking.

No, it's an assertion. An assertion that you can't prove wrong, because you'd be attempting to prove it wrong to someone (even if just yourself), and that someone would have to exist, in order for you to prove something to them.
There are no "necessities" at this level. See, Descartes had gone a long way when he came to "I think therefore I am." He'd put away his religious and scientific suppositions along with the common sense. This is the purifying of the mind. He purified his mind to see beyond what he was usually supposed to see.

He, however, slipped once, only once. He saw it necessary for the thinker to exist prior to thinking. He shouldn't have made this mistake but he was feeling the pain of groundlessness and that explains well why he made it. He was a great mathematician, he was a great thinker, he needed a firm ground to put all this upon. The efforts of his life, like the efforts of all human beings, would be lost if this firm ground wasn't found.

Unfortunately, you know, our deepest feelings have noway into the magnificent palace of logic. It's made of cold dull grey marble.

If he'd continued purifying his mind (perhaps he did but didn't find it suiting his favor) he would have seen that all "necessities", even the most basic ones, are assumptions unless that firm ground is found.

This level, this brink, this verge at which we're standing is the terminus. No assumptions, no suppositions, no beliefs, no obligations, no preferences, no prejudices, no discrimination, no significance, absolutely none is permitted.

Eventually, only few things are left: uncertainty, self-reference and paradox. These remain for they're as basic as the most basic.

Uncertainty is the principle of doubting everything, even uncertainty.

Paradox is the principle of the collocation of the opposites.

Self-reference is the principle by which everything may claim its status quo for its pointing at itself.

And these three penetrate both our feelings and our logic, they're the junction point.

These three are perhaps the facets of one entity. Since they're all self-sufficient perhaps the inner core facets of which they are may not be revealed. If one's going to assume something, "I think therefore I am" is too big an assumption compared to these three.

Proving one's existence is not an event happening everyday, it's the final quest to see if there's anything we can hold on to (Whitney Houston sang: "Oh! What I can hold on to?" Did she mean that? :wink:).
What does "je pons donc je suis" mean?
It's "I think therefore I am", "Cogito ergo sum", "je pons donc je suis." I thought Descartes' word would seem better in his native language.

There is a book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. I've a translation of it into my native language. It's from the 1976 print published by Corgi Books. The book is available now and, simply put, is great. I suggest you read it. It may show you many things I'm unable to show.

2. For Another God:
It is a pragmatic necessary truth.

If I am able to say that I exist, or that I am thinking, then of course I exist.
Being is a pragmatically superior supposition but it's nothing more than a supposition.

Being there or not being there won't affect our thoughts/lives. We live as we live. It's the way it is. We do it as we do it.

Nothing is prior to existence. If you say "If I'm able to [beep] then of course I exist" then you have to prove you're "able to [beep]." This is noway easier than proving you exist.
 
  • #49
wuliheron
2,135
0
You are very right! Shaolin philosophy emphasizes this. When you are in pain, if you concentrate on being relaxed, and without pain, you will at least be releaved from pain. Also Reiki practices this sort of mind-body training. This is called autogenic meditation. And the central basis is thought.

Another way of looking at this issue is that pain, anger, unhappiness, etc. are not necessarilly synonymous with suffering. By meditating and clearing our minds of preconceptions and expectations it is possible to allow these natural feelings to pass through our bodies and minds and be transformed into other things.

For example, if I touch a hot stove without thinking about it I may just automatically pull my hand back and think little of it. If I expect to get hurt and to suffer, then I very well might. The automatic spontaneous act of pulling my hand back from the stove was triggered by pain, not suffering, and thus the pain was transformed into action. If instead I dwell on expectations and preconceptions, its even possible to cause physical injury to myself.

Psychologists sometimes refer to such things as hysterical reactions. Occationally such hysterical reactions can lead to perminent changes in our very biochemistry on even a cellular level. Therefore suffering can be considered distinct from pain in that it is intimately related to preconceptions and expectations.

I'm reminded of my own children and others I've dealt with. As very small babies and toddlers they of course would occationally fall down or in some other way hurt themselves or become upset, such as when mamma leaves the room. The younger they are the easier it is to just distract them from their own self-impossed suffering. Suddenly shouting Googragilfraglesnort! and waving my hands in the air or somesuch nonsense usually suffices. :0)
 
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  • #50
Mentat
3,918
3


Originally posted by greeneagle3000
if what you think you are, you will be what you are. your mind make this real and therefore, everything will be in the way your mind percieves things. that's why they have to make a system of orders and the orientation to percieve what they want us to see.

So you think there is no actual objective reality, and that our minds make up our reality for us?

If so, you should perhaps see the first posts of the thread, entitled "The Hurdles to the Mind hypothesis". It is fashioned in such a way as to combat ideas set out by lifegazer, in his "Mind" hypothesis, but it appears relevant to your post, as well.
 
  • #51
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:


-------Copy-Pasted from "Knowledge?", Page 4-------------------------

Every statement of the sort "I [beep] therefore I am" is erroneous when viewed with linear logic (I mean, no self-contradiction and/or loops allowed). Here's my proof:

Consider having said "I [beep]", you have to choose one of the two following statements:

P([beep]) : There need be an "I" to "[beep]."
P'([beep]) : There needn't be an "I" to "[beep]."

Since the above statements are contrary, only one of them may be yours (for we're using Aristotelian logic where a statement can be either true or false and nothing else and there's no escape from having chosen one of them).

If you choose 1, you've clearly pre-assumed that there need be an "I" to "[beep]" and you haven't done much in mentioning the consequence that "therefore I am." This is a self-referential statement giving no more information than what was known before.

If you choose 2, you've made another mistake. How could you say it isn't necessary to be an "I" to "[beep]" and then conclude that "therefore I (necessarily) am?" This is paradoxical for the statement is made up of two parts which are contradictory.

(This proof may be wrong. If so, please show my mistake(s))

This reasoning doesn't seem right to me. You said that I had to pre-suppose that there is an "I", in order for "I" to "[bleep]". Well, DUH. How can I say that "I" [bleep], unless there is an "I"?

Hint: I asked one of forum members to please take a look at this. She/he suggested it wasn't of much creditability and I agree with her/him. However, as long as "you" haven't shown its absurdity you have to take it.

Well, I'm not sure what the other member saw, but it didn't seem to have much credibility to me either.

I'm not convincing you that you don't exist, I repeat for 102th time. I'm showing how meaningless it may be to take any statement (even this well-shaped one) for granted.

Did you miss this, in my previous post...

Originally Posted By Me
Please remember, I'm not saying that you - personally - are trying to convince me of anything. I'm just saying that you couldn't, if you tried - which gives me certain amount of certainty that I do exist, because it can't be disproven .

Or did you ignore this?

Originally Posted By Manuel_Silvio
You say it "requires" that so and so, where does this "requirement" come from? You think there's a "requirement", you think a specific entity must be prior to another one, how did you come to think so? I've learnt that you, like Descartes, are insisting that "I think therefore I am" is a firm ground. If everything is going to built upon this statement, the statement itself must be "proven" independently. No assumptions, no beliefs, no pre-suppositions are allowed.

Because to say that someone does something, is to imply "someone's" existence. You, yourself, have stated that when I say "I [bleep]" it implies an I. This is proof of my (and Descartes') stance.

Hint: the above paragraph suffers internal inconsistency

No kidding (no offense).

He, however, slipped once, only once. He saw it necessary for the thinker to exist prior to thinking.

He saw it necessary that the thinker exist, before the thinker thought? I ask you again: How can the thinker think, if the thinker doesn't exist?. You are contradicting yourself.

If he'd continued purifying his mind (perhaps he did but didn't find it suiting his favor) he would have seen that all "necessities", even the most basic ones, are assumptions unless that firm ground is found.

Have you ever read his "Rules on the Direction of the Mind"? You fall under the category of what was to be avoided, according to Rule #2.

Uncertainty is the principle of doubting everything, even uncertainty.

The uncertainty is the death of all progressive knowledge. Again I reference you to the second Rule of Descartes. (BTW, if you'd like, I can quote the Second Rule for you).

It's "I think therefore I am", "Cogito ergo sum", "je pons donc je suis." I thought Descartes' word would seem better in his native language.

Well it certainly sounds cooler :wink:

There is a book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. I've a translation of it into my native language. It's from the 1976 print published by Corgi Books. The book is available now and, simply put, is great. I suggest you read it. It may show you many things I'm unable to show.

I'll try and find that. (Why the weird sounding name? I would have mistaken it for a book on actual Motorcycle Maintenance, and dismissed it.)

Directed at Another God
Being there or not being there won't affect our thoughts/lives. We live as we live. It's the way it is. We do it as we do it.

Are you sure you don't want to retract this, for fear of being mocked mercilessly? Seriously, "Being there...won't affect our thoughts/lives"? Come on!

Nothing is prior to existence. If you say "If I'm able to [beep] then of course I exist" then you have to prove you're "able to [beep]." This is noway easier than proving you exist.

That's a different matter. You see, the fact that the Evil Demon (or you, in this case :wink:) was able to try and convince someone that they didn't exist (not saying that that's what you are doing, you "could" though, and that's the point), proves that both people (the one convincing and the one being convinced) exist.
 
  • #52
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:
... You said that I had to pre-suppose that there is an "I", in order for "I" to "[bleep]". Well, DUH. How can I say that "I" [bleep], unless there is an "I"?
There are two things here. First, that my proof relies on linear logic's vulnerability to an uncertain statement. On the first step I ask you to define the state of truth for the two contrary statments, P([beep]) and P'([beep]). Since we're viewing it using linear logic, you've no escape from giving the statements their respective truth values. You'll either have (P([beep]) = T, P'([beep] = F)) or (P([beep]) = F, P'([beep] = T)). I've shown that either of your possible choices in the framework linear logic lead to situations that are out of context, again for linear logic.

This is the nature of dilemma (only if you read that book). You have two choices both of which lead to disaster. There's no escape from that unless a third state is assumed. If a third choice is assumed then a new logic is born. The birth of a new logic means that linear (aristotelian) logic isn't unique. The very implication of its not unique gives birth to countless other systems of logical deduction with their very own rules of deduction and their very own truth values.

Second, that you ask how could you "[beep]" unless there's an "I"? May I ask in counteraction how have you come to believe that there should be an "I" to "[beep]?"

By asking this question you give a hint that it's impossible to act if one doesn't exist. I'm questioning this belief of yours. Since the proof of existence must come first of all, you can't believe in anything before you've proven your being. Since you can't believe in anything, you can't believe that "if there's a deed there's an doer."

We, in our lives, have always connected an effect with a cause, a deed with a doer. This connection isn't necessary. We just haven't observed any contradiction of this rule but this doesn't mean that this rule is never to be contradicted.

The scientific examples are the principles of conservation. Some of them were believed to be unbreakable but they were broken as their corresponding symmetries were violated; the one and only conservation principle whose breakage has never been observed is the conservation of energy. Yet this doesn't make it an unbreakable rule. Physicists are exploring every corner of the Universe to find a contradiction. Principles of conservation can't be proven. They're found empirically so their rightness can always be doubted.
Or did you ignore this?
Well, everyone makes mistakes... even me and...
Because to say that someone does something, is to imply "someone's" existence. You, yourself, have stated that when I say "I [bleep]" it implies an I. This is proof of my (and Descartes') stance.
No, I haven't said that. In my proof I offered you a statement, P([beep]), and asked you to determine its truth value. Whatever truth value you've chosen, it doesn't relate to me. I only have to show that for every truth value something obscene happens.

It's your belief you're thinking I'm implying. That you talk this over and over tells me you have a deep affection for the relation of the cause and the effect, the deed and the doer.
No kidding (no offense).
I can't get this. I wasn't kidding and really meant the hint. The paragraph I'd written above that hint really suffers internal inconsistency. I meant is as an excercise to find out if you can find where I've slipped. The hint is still there. See if you can find the weak point in that paragraph.
He saw it necessary that the thinker exist, before the thinker thought? I ask you again: How can the thinker think, if the thinker doesn't exist?. You are contradicting yourself.
I'm not contradicting myself, I'm contradicting your idea. Causality is the bond that connects the doer and the deed. It isn't a necessity. It needn't be there. The deed can be there without a doer if we ignore causality. This won't be a bad ignorance for causality is an empirical pattern; it isn't a logical obligation.
Have you ever read his "Rules on the Direction of the Mind"? You fall under the category of what was to be avoided, according to Rule #2.
No, I haven't ever read the book or caught a glimpse of it. I'd be thankful if you quote the part you're referring to.

And those rules were to direct Descartes' mind, not my mind. My mind goes where it sees suitable to go. I'm certainly someone to be avoided but I don't fall under a category. I'll go there if I'm politely asked :wink:.
The uncertainty is the death of all progressive knowledge...
Uncertainty is the death of many other things. That's what I really enjoy about it. Uncertainty is the death of confidence, righteousness, significance, preference, prudence, supremacy, ... If they're dying perhaps they don't deserve living on.

See, I'm living here with uncertainty. I'm not sure of anything but that's no problem. I've taken many steps after uncertainty and I, the precious I, haven't yet perished.

I really don't care much what Descartes has said before coming to "cogito ergo sum." Everything else is dependent on this critical point and I'll say Descartes has missed it. Anyway, I'd be thankful if you teach me these rules of mind direction.
I'll try and find that. (Why the weird sounding name? I would have mistaken it for a book on actual Motorcycle Maintenance, and dismissed it.)
It's a book on actual Motorcycle Maintenance. Only the motorcycle is a bit bigger, a bit more complex, a bit stranger, a bit different, just a bit. For me, it ranks among the very best among the books I've read.
Are you sure you don't want to retract this, for fear of being mocked mercilessly? Seriously, "Being there...won't affect our thoughts/lives"? Come on!
Remember what you said before, "uncertainty won't affect our lives." I'm not going to take this back.

Let's suppose someone comes and really convinces you (by magical means) that you don't exist but you go on living like before. You'll preceive everything just like before. If everything is just like before except for that you know you don't exist, would there be a problem? There's absolutely no problem. Nothing will be changed in your world if you're convinced of your non-existence unless you have a certain discomfort that leads to a suicide when you're convinced you are not.
That's a different matter. You see, the fact that the Evil Demon (or you, in this case ) was able to try and convince someone that they didn't exist (not saying that that's what you are doing, you "could" though, and that's the point), proves that both people (the one convincing and the one being convinced) exist.
First, you must know the Evil Demon scenario is a very basic one. Many other much more elaborate scenarios can be made. I'm one of those scenarios.

Second, you're still beholding the bonds of causality. Causality isn't a necessity. Causality isn't even the superior supposition. Causality isn't even the most useful supposition... There neend't be a Demon if a Demon is tricking you, you'd ask then what's tricking you? I'd say a Demon of a race of non-existent Demons. They may play hard tricks.

Do you know what the EPR experiment is? And then do you know what is Leibniz's Pre-established Harmony?
 
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  • #53
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:

There are two things here. First, that my proof relies on linear logic's vulnerability to an uncertain statement. On the first step I ask you to define the state of truth for the two contrary statments, P([beep]) and P'([beep]). Since we're viewing it using linear logic, you've no escape from giving the statements their respective truth values. You'll either have (P([beep]) = T, P'([beep] = F)) or (P([beep]) = F, P'([beep] = T)). I've shown that either of your possible choices in the framework linear logic lead to situations that are out of context, again for linear logic.


You really lost me. From what I understand, your reasoning doesn't apply to something like the "I think therefore I am" philosophy. I say this because "I think therefore I am" is made up of the following propositions:

1) I exist (because I refer to myself as an entity).
2) I think.
3) Number 1 implies number 2.

This is the nature of dilemma (only if you read that book). You have two choices both of which lead to disaster. There's no escape from that unless a third state is assumed. If a third choice is assumed then a new logic is born.

Now this I understand - I've seen it applied to Euclidean Geometry before, too, and it makes sense. However, if you think that I don't have to exist in order for me to do something, you'd need a much stronger argument to convince me.

Second, that you ask how could you "[beep]" unless there's an "I"? May I ask in counteraction how have you come to believe that there should be an "I" to "[beep]?"

I come to believe this because the [bleep] on this particular occasion is substituted by "I think" - not just "think". There must be an "I" in order to [bleep], because "I" is part of the [bleep] itself.

By asking this question you give a hint that it's impossible to act if one doesn't exist. I'm questioning this belief of yours. Since the proof of existence must come first of all, you can't believe in anything before you've proven your being. Since you can't believe in anything, you can't believe that "if there's a deed there's an doer."

What do you mean "since you can't believe anything"? I can believe something, that's what proves that I exist. I rise to your challenge - because it is my opinion that there must be an "I", before "I" can do something. I hold this opinion, currently, because ther statement "I [bleep]" has an "I" in it (to put it basically).

We, in our lives, have always connected an effect with a cause, a deed with a doer.

That's because a "deed", by definition, is that which is done. And that which is done, is done by something. Also, "effect", is defined as something that is caused, otherwise it wouldn't be an "effect".

No, I haven't said that. In my proof I offered you a statement, P([beep]), and asked you to determine its truth value. Whatever truth value you've chosen, it doesn't relate to me. I only have to show that for every truth value something obscene happens.

I don't understand the relevance of this reasoning, to the topic at hand. Please explain it to me.

It's your belief you're thinking I'm implying. That you talk this over and over tells me you have a deep affection for the relation of the cause and the effect, the deed and the doer.

Well, one should have affection for that which one discusses. I have to go now, I will complete my response tomorrow...
 
  • #54


Originally posted by Mentat
So you think there is no actual objective reality, and that our minds make up our reality for us?

If so, you should perhaps see the first posts of the thread, entitled "The Hurdles to the Mind hypothesis". It is fashioned in such a way as to combat ideas set out by lifegazer, in his "Mind" hypothesis, but it appears relevant to your post, as well.

yes. i don't know about that guys post. i'll check it out when i'm free.

our minds make everything up for us. like when you see, smell, touch something, our minds tells us that it is there. therefore, thats what many people define, reality.

there is no such thing as reality.
 
  • #55
Originally posted by Mentat
So you think there is no actual objective reality, and that our minds make up our reality for us?
In a sense, you're right! But we may never know....

If so, you should perhaps see the first posts of the thread, entitled "The Hurdles to the Mind hypothesis". It is fashioned in such a way as to combat ideas set out by lifegazer, in his "Mind" hypothesis, but it appears relevant to your post, as well.

first off, see wuliheron's post.

secondly, I would like to expand on what wuliheron said. If you think that you will not, under any circumstances feel pain for example, you will feel little (as you can't stop the sensation altogether). Thoughts create our emotions, so to speak. this is yoga, reiki, zen....and other classifications. Is there like one word I could use!!??

re: what am i?

well, you are who you are (oh, so very vague...and cool). IOW, I believe the question has two answers: one can be simply given through a taxonomical analysis, and another on a spiritual level. I'm sure wuliheron would be most pleased to explain this. as for me, i must go to bed.
 
  • #56
who are we?

you are your soul.
 
  • #57
Mentat
3,918
3
Alright, I'm back. I'll finish my response now...

Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
I can't get this. I wasn't kidding and really meant the hint. The paragraph I'd written above that hint really suffers internal inconsistency. I meant is as an excercise to find out if you can find where I've slipped. The hint is still there. See if you can find the weak point in that paragraph.

Well, I don't see any internal inconsistency. I'll keep looking, but maybe you should just tell me.

I'm not contradicting myself, I'm contradicting your idea. Causality is the bond that connects the doer and the deed. It isn't a necessity. It needn't be there. The deed can be there without a doer if we ignore causality. This won't be a bad ignorance for causality is an empirical pattern; it isn't a logical obligation.

Yes it is a logical obligation that all effects have causes. It would not be an "effect" otherwise.

Uncertainty is the death of many other things. That's what I really enjoy about it. Uncertainty is the death of confidence, righteousness, significance, preference, prudence, supremacy, ... If they're dying perhaps they don't deserve living on.

You see how many things uncertainty kills? And yet, kill uncertainty, and you get all the things that make human existence meaningful (IMO).

See, I'm living here with uncertainty. I'm not sure of anything but that's no problem. I've taken many steps after uncertainty and I, the precious I, haven't yet perished.

If you say that you aren't certain about anything, and don't allow for yourself to be certain of anything, then you are certain that you are not certain of anything. This is a self-contradictory statement.

I really don't care much what Descartes has said before coming to "cogito ergo sum." Everything else is dependent on this critical point and I'll say Descartes has missed it.

Wrong. The statement was dependent on the argument that he set out before, not the other way around - as you imply.

It's a book on actual Motorcycle Maintenance. Only the motorcycle is a bit bigger, a bit more complex, a bit stranger, a bit different, just a bit. For me, it ranks among the very best among the books I've read.

Well, I've reserved it from the library, and hope to read it soon.

Remember what you said before, "uncertainty won't affect our lives." I'm not going to take this back.

So you wont take back this statement...

Being there or not being there won't affect our thoughts/lives. We live as we live. It's the way it is. We do it as we do it.

? Well, that's up to you, but it is obviously wrong, because of it's self-contradictory nature. You say that being there wont affect our lives. How can you even be alive, if your not "there" - IOW, if you don't exist - ?

Let's suppose someone comes and really convinces you (by magical means) that you don't exist but you go on living like before. You'll preceive everything just like before. If everything is just like before except for that you know you don't exist, would there be a problem? There's absolutely no problem. Nothing will be changed in your world if you're convinced of your non-existence unless you have a certain discomfort that leads to a suicide when you're convinced you are not.

No, nothing changes if I'm convinced that I don't exist. However, I cannot be convinced that I don't exist, until someone shows me the flaw in Descartes' reasoning.

First, you must know the Evil Demon scenario is a very basic one. Many other much more elaborate scenarios can be made. I'm one of those scenarios.

And I've already shown you that your attempt to concvince me (please note my reference to myself) of something (even if it be my own existence) proves that I exist. Otherwise, there would be no one for you to convince.

Second, you're still beholding the bonds of causality. Causality isn't a necessity. Causality isn't even the superior supposition. Causality isn't even the most useful supposition... There neend't be a Demon if a Demon is tricking you, you'd ask then what's tricking you? I'd say a Demon of a race of non-existent Demons. They may play hard tricks.

"There needn't be a Demon, if a Demon is tricking you..."? This is embarrisingly self-contradictory. I don't think I really need to comment on the inconsistency of saying that there is a demon tricking me (which is made up of the propositions: 1) There is a demon; 2) It is trying to trick me), and then saying that there is no demon.

Also, there cannot be a "Demon of a race of non-existent Demons". If the Demons are truly non-existent, then there is no demon.

Do you know what the EPR experiment is? And then do you know what is Leibniz's Pre-established Harmony?

No, I don't.

BTW, I will quote the Rules of Direction for you later, I don't have them on-hand right now, and don't really have the time to get them right now. I apologize for not being better prepared.
 
  • #58
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
1. For Mentat:
You really lost me...
Aha! I'll take you back :wink:. Let me re-structure my proof into a storyline:

00. You say: "Ahoy! I'm gonna tell you I think therefore I am."
01. I say: "Behold! You can't say that!"
02. "Why not?"
03. "Wait a moment! Since you're the linear-logic-o-phile I may ask you anytime I wish if a statement is true or not, na?"
04. "Yep."
05. "So please tell me if P([beep]) is true or its contrary P'([beep]), P([beep]) being that there need be an I to [beep]."
06. You either say:

----a. "P([beep]) = T and P'([beep]) = F"
----b. "P([beep]) = F and P'([beep]) = T"

07. If you say (a) then I'd say: "You said there need be an I to [beep] before we've started the debate about Descartes' statement so you've pre-assumed Descartes' statement truth. Since you're informing of something you'd pre-assumed, you aren't doing much, you aren't proving. You're trapped in a loop, pre-assuming something and then debating about its truth."
08. If you say (b) then I'd say: "You said there needn't be an I to [beep] before we've started the debate about Descartes' statement. If it's so how could you say Descartes' statement is true? You'd said there's no necessary-sufficient relation between the I and the [beep] so you can no more say there's such relation."


The way out would be that you assume a third state for P([beep]), say the "suspension" state then you could say P([beep]) had to be suspended before talking about Descartes' statement.
... if you think that I don't have to exist in order for me to do something, you'd need a much stronger argument to convince me.
I needn't convince you. I'm not posing for or against, I'm posing neutral. I'm not saying you have to exist to [beep] neither do I say you have not to exist to [beep]. I say there needn't be an ontologic bond between you and [beep]. It would seem sensible to you if I said: "your being there isn't an indication of an action being done." The same way, I could say and I've said: "the action's being there isn't an indication of your being there." These two statements are complementary. That you accept the first easily but reject the second with so much effort means that you're still under Aristotle's spell.

Uncertainty doesn't need an argument. The Bill of Rights says one is innocent until proven otherwise. I say any statement is uncertain until proven otherwise. Uncertainty is the primordial state of every statement.
Well, I don't see any internal inconsistency. I'll keep looking, but maybe you should just tell me.
I'll tell you later.
Yes it is a logical obligation that all effects have causes. It would not be an "effect" otherwise.
No, it isn't. It isn't a "logical" obligation, it's an empirical pattern. For it isn't proven, it is observed. Do you consider Columb law of electric force between point charges an empirical pattern or a logical obligation?

I'll tell you of two instances where cause-effect bond isn't as important as you may think:

a. The EPR Experiment: EPR stands for Einstein-Pudolsky-Rosen. There are four important principles of conservation: conservation of energy, of spin, of charge and of momentum. EPR experiment deals with the conservation of spin. There are ways to tie a pair of particles so that they're obliged to follow the conservation of spin (eg, in an atomic orbital a pair of electrons live who're obliged to a have total spin of zero, (+1/2) + (-1/2) = 0), this procedure is called "quantum entanglement." Consider a pair of entangled particles, and then suppose we take the two far apart. Now what will happen if we change the spin of one of the particles? The other one changs its spin in order to preserve the total spin. How long will it take for this to happen? Absolute zero. That's very strange. Waves (of all sorts) are the messengers of this Universe and the fastest messengers are em-waves who travel at c. If the second particle is informed of a spin change far away, what could have informed it? No wave could have carried the message in zero time. The EPR experiment caused a divide in the Physicist community, one group was lead by the Coppenhagen school giants (Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Bohr, et al) and the other by Einstein. The details of their ideas aren't meant here. The main point here is zero time. You know, a very strict aspect of ontologic causality is the delay between the being of the cause and the being of the effect. Cause must be chronologically prior to effect. The basis for distinguishing cause and effect is this delay; the one that comes first is the cause and the pursuer is the effect. If the spin change in both particles happens at the same time then which of the events has been the cause and which has been the effect?

b. Leibniz's Pre-established Harmony: Leibniz was a founder of Calculus. He was specially in love with the concept of "infinitely small" (the differential element). This concept appeared both in his mathematics and his philosophy. In philosophy he proposed that the Universe was made of infinitely small units called "monads." Monads are independent and aren't interacting. One may ask: "then what happens when a telephone rings and I hear it?" The answer is Pre-established Harmony. The monads of the telephone and those of the individual hearing it ringing are independent but they were synchronized (at the dawn of time, creation, or something like that) to act mutually at a certain moment. This scenario is a substitute to the cause-effect scenario and is of equal creditability.


Considering (a) and (b), these points are clear:

00. Scientific rationale has come to a point where cause-effect pair fails even though scientific methodology has never been deviated from.
01. There are many substitutes to the cause-effect theory.
02. One such substitute is that of Leibniz.
03. Cause-effect pair has been common for many years perhaps because of its practicality. Nothing more.
You see how many things uncertainty kills? And yet, kill uncertainty, and you get all the things that make human existence meaningful (IMO).
I won't kill the result of my quest in exchange for a cold comfort. Uncertainty is the essence of dynamism and change. If I was certain I'll go to hell someday I would never move a finger for escaping the hell and winning the heavens.
If you say that you aren't certain about anything, and don't allow for yourself to be certain of anything, then you are certain that you are not certain of anything. This is a self-contradictory statement.

"There needn't be a Demon, if a Demon is tricking you..."? This is embarrisingly self-contradictory. I don't think I really need to comment on the inconsistency of saying that there is a demon tricking me (which is made up of the propositions: 1) There is a demon; 2) It is trying to trick me), and then saying that there is no demon.

Also, there cannot be a "Demon of a race of non-existent Demons". If the Demons are truly non-existent, then there is no demon.
Yes! You got it. That's the heart of this debate. I'm stating self-contradictory statements but am not embarrassed. Paradox is inevitable. You see my statements like lunacy but they're there just to make you think about it. I'm giving you self-contradictory statements to show the implications of uncertainty.

There's a deed, "a Demon tricking you," and a doer, "a Demon." What relates them in your mind is causality. For me, causality isn't more creditable than anything else so I can understand "a Demon tricking" without a need for "a Demon."
Wrong. The statement was dependent on the argument that he set out before, not the other way around - as you imply.
"Cogito ergo sum" was there to prove Descartes' existence. If he hadn't yet proven his existene how could have he proven his means of proving his existence?
 
  • #59
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
1. For Mentat:

Aha! I'll take you back :wink:. Let me re-structure my proof into a storyline:

00. You say: "Ahoy! I'm gonna tell you I think therefore I am."
01. I say: "Behold! You can't say that!"
02. "Why not?"
03. "Wait a moment! Since you're the linear-logic-o-phile I may ask you anytime I wish if a statement is true or not, na?"
04. "Yep."
05. "So please tell me if P([beep]) is true or its contrary P'([beep]), P([beep]) being that there need be an I to [beep]."
06. You either say:

----a. "P([beep]) = T and P'([beep]) = F"
----b. "P([beep]) = F and P'([beep]) = T"

07. If you say (a) then I'd say: "You said there need be an I to [beep] before we've started the debate about Descartes' statement so you've pre-assumed Descartes' statement truth. Since you're informing of something you'd pre-assumed, you aren't doing much, you aren't proving. You're trapped in a loop, pre-assuming something and then debating about its truth."
08. If you say (b) then I'd say: "You said there needn't be an I to [beep] before we've started the debate about Descartes' statement. If it's so how could you say Descartes' statement is true? You'd said there's no necessary-sufficient relation between the I and the [beep] so you can no more say there's such relation."

Is this reasoning really applicable to Descartes' reasoning? If the proposition is "I think", then - if this proposition is true - both parts (sub-propositions, as I mentioned before) of it must be true.

I needn't convince you. I'm not posing for or against, I'm posing neutral. I'm not saying you have to exist to [beep] neither do I say you have not to exist to [beep].

Are you sure about that? You did say this:

I'm not contradicting myself, I'm contradicting your idea. Causality is the bond that connects the doer and the deed. It isn't a necessity. It needn't be there. The deed can be there without a doer if we ignore causality. This won't be a bad ignorance for causality is an empirical pattern; it isn't a logical obligation

Besides, it doesn't matter whether you are trying to convince me of whether I exist or not, all that matters is whether Descartes' reasoning allows you to do so at all.

I say there needn't be an ontologic bond between you and [beep]. It would seem sensible to you if I said: "your being there isn't an indication of an action being done." The same way, I could say and I've said: "the action's being there isn't an indication of your being there."

Don't you see that the proposition is not "thinking is occuring"? The proposition is "I think". If this proposition holds true (as it must, in order for me to even contemplate (or think about) not existing) then I must exist.

Uncertainty doesn't need an argument. The Bill of Rights says one is innocent until proven otherwise. I say any statement is uncertain until proven otherwise. Uncertainty is the primordial state of every statement.

Even of the statement, "uncertainty is the primordial state of every statement."? If so, then your statement, itself, is also uncertain, and there is; but cannot be, because it is that very reasoning that I'm using to justify calling it uncertain; and thus, your statement - and the reasoning behind it - is paradoxical/self-contradictory.

I'll tell you later.

Oh, you will tell me later? Doesn't that statement also imply the existence of you and me? :wink:

No, it isn't. It isn't a "logical" obligation, it's an empirical pattern. For it isn't proven, it is observed. Do you consider Columb law of electric force between point charges an empirical pattern or a logical obligation?

How is that relevant? I am talking about the logical obligation of "that which was caused" having "been caused". This is a rather obvious connection, IMO - especially considering the words I've used.

I'll tell you of two instances where cause-effect bond isn't as important as you may think:

a. The EPR Experiment: EPR stands for Einstein-Pudolsky-Rosen. There are four important principles of conservation: conservation of energy, of spin, of charge and of momentum. EPR experiment deals with the conservation of spin. There are ways to tie a pair of particles so that they're obliged to follow the conservation of spin (eg, in an atomic orbital a pair of electrons live who're obliged to a have total spin of zero, (+1/2) + (-1/2) = 0), this procedure is called "quantum entanglement." Consider a pair of entangled particles, and then suppose we take the two far apart. Now what will happen if we change the spin of one of the particles? The other one changs its spin in order to preserve the total spin. How long will it take for this to happen? Absolute zero. That's very strange. Waves (of all sorts) are the messengers of this Universe and the fastest messengers are em-waves who travel at c. If the second particle is informed of a spin change far away, what could have informed it? No wave could have carried the message in zero time. The EPR experiment caused a divide in the Physicist community, one group was lead by the Coppenhagen school giants (Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Bohr, et al) and the other by Einstein. The details of their ideas aren't meant here. The main point here is zero time. You know, a very strict aspect of ontologic causality is the delay between the being of the cause and the being of the effect. Cause must be chronologically prior to effect. The basis for distinguishing cause and effect is this delay; the one that comes first is the cause and the pursuer is the effect. If the spin change in both particles happens at the same time then which of the events has been the cause and which has been the effect?

Don't you see that they are both the affect? They are both the same particle, for all practical purposes. Besides, I don't think this is very relevant to the simple reasoning that I must exist in order for a propostion, which requires me to exist, to be true.

b. Leibniz's Pre-established Harmony: Leibniz was a founder of Calculus. He was specially in love with the concept of "infinitely small" (the differential element). This concept appeared both in his mathematics and his philosophy. In philosophy he proposed that the Universe was made of infinitely small units called "monads." Monads are independent and aren't interacting. One may ask: "then what happens when a telephone rings and I hear it?" The answer is Pre-established Harmony. The monads of the telephone and those of the individual hearing it ringing are independent but they were synchronized (at the dawn of time, creation, or something like that) to act mutually at a certain moment. This scenario is a substitute to the cause-effect scenario and is of equal creditability.

How is that equally credible?

Considering (a) and (b), these points are clear:

00. Scientific rationale has come to a point where cause-effect pair fails even though scientific methodology has never been deviated from.
01. There are many substitutes to the cause-effect theory.
02. One such substitute is that of Leibniz.
03. Cause-effect pair has been common for many years perhaps because of its practicality. Nothing more.

The fact that it's so practical is evidence (IMO) that it may be true. Besides, Leibniz's idea cannot be proven. I can, however, show you that when I push something, it moves (for example). This is cause-and-effect, even if it is because of "monads". My action produced another action.

Yes! You got it. That's the heart of this debate. I'm stating self-contradictory statements but am not embarrassed. Paradox is inevitable. You see my statements like lunacy but they're there just to make you think about it. I'm giving you self-contradictory statements to show the implications of uncertainty.

Paradox is only inevitable if you choose to stick to your belief of uncertainty. It does not, however, help you to learn anything, to keep this uncertain attitude - and, since I devote myself to learning, I don't stick to irrationality (which leads to paradox, which is the death of all learning and progressive knowledge).

There's a deed, "a Demon tricking you," and a doer, "a Demon." What relates them in your mind is causality. For me, causality isn't more creditable than anything else so I can understand "a Demon tricking" without a need for "a Demon."

No you can't. Not if you fully understand the statement, "a Demon tricking", and the propositions required for such a statment to be true.

"Cogito ergo sum" was there to prove Descartes' existence. If he hadn't yet proven his existene how could have he proven his means of proving his existence?

They fulfill each other. He prove that he exists, by the fact that he can think about existing. It is obvious that he really was thinking about this, otherwise we would have nothing to discuss.
 
  • #60
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:
Is this reasoning really applicable to Descartes' reasoning?...
Don't ask me. Show where the logical fault is. I described a step-by-step procedure whose steps are logical. Nothing wrong happens during the transition from one step to the other. Consequently, this can be considered a logical proof.

This reasoning is applicable to Descartes' statement for it's concerned with showing this statement's state. It shows that, with regard to an independent statement named P([beep]), the procedure of determining Descartes' statement's state leads to a dilemma.

For an understanding of this, you must be aware that P([beep]) has nothing to do with Descartes' statement. It's only an engineered statement that will, in association with Descartes' statement, cause this dilemma.
Are you sure about that? You did say this:
Yes, I said that. I said that about Causality. Causality has no relation to your existence. Anyway, I didn't pose pro/contra Causality. I only said "it needn't be there." Saying it "needn't" be there doesn't mean it "mustn't" be there, means it's not necessary if one's going to talk Philosophy.

Again, I'm not posing against "Causality." I'm posing against an unjustified claim, "causality is indeed there." Posing against "Causality" is a claim while posing against an unjustified claim is the regulation of dialog.
Don't you see that the proposition is not "thinking is occurring"? ...
May I ask if "thinking" is "not occurring" when you "think?" The implication of Descartes' statement is that a certain action, "thinking," when performed by the mind is a ground for the mind's existence.

Saying "I think" is equal to saying "I execute the task of thinking" which is equal to "thinking is occurring and it's occurring in my mind."
Even of the statement, "uncertainty is the primordial state of every statement."? ... your statement - and the reasoning behind it - is paradoxical/self-contradictory.
It's indeed paradoxical/self-contradictory but not at first glance.

My way of approaching the uncertainty is a step-by-step one. You take steps along a way that little by little exhausts your pre-judices and pre-suppositions. This will go on until you no more have any pre-suppositions and then comes the uncertainty. At first glance it seems like the uncertainty is a universal principle. You'll delight so much with having found a universal principle. After a while, however, you see how uncertainty plagues itself and now you learn something that's even more important than uncertainty. You learn there's a problem, a very basic problem, in human knowledge and in human ways of knowing/understanding. Where's the problem? No one knows. You won't go far with this single assumption, "there's a problem somewhere" but it gives you hints other manners of approaching the problem won't give you.

Now that you know "there's a problem somewhere," you'll be cautious, precise, clear, unbiased and always warned against whatever comes your way. For every forthcoming statement may be exactly where the problem lies and if you take the statement for granted or show bias towards it, you've fallen into the abyss, that very basic problem.

Moreover, you'll always try to look beyond and look through. Looking beyond and looking through, someday you may find that fatal crack in the Great Wall of Knowledge.

Even more, the self-contradicting principle of uncertainty doesn't prevent you from assuming whatever statement you please. You can assume the methodology of science for observing the Universe and take your chance that way. Uncertainty has only one use, that's to keep warned. When you come to say "when a ball hits a wall, the momentum will remain constant," you'll know deep inside that you may be dead wrong. Again, when you come to say "[beep] is superior to [beep]" you have your choice to assume this but you won't be imposing it on others for you know for all purposes superiority is an uncertain matter. This knowledge won't do you harm, it won't change your mind, it won't change your attitude but it will increase your acceptance for whatever thought or attitude you're offered.

Uncertainty is safeguard against supposition, prejudice and discrimination. An individual who's uncertain of her/his manners won't be imposing or preaching them. She/he also won't condemn others' attitude and beliefs, no matter how harsh it may seem to her/his common sense.
How is that relevant? I am talking about the logical obligation of "that which was caused" having "been caused". This is a rather obvious connection, IMO - especially considering the words I've used.
Don't play around with definitions, you'll get burnt! You should've known how I indulge in loops

You just made a loop. You said, "that which was caused" has "been caused." What have you said? Nothing special. Let's assume someone defined causality as the bond between the following two:

a. That causes.
b. That has been caused.

Do you think it is a subtle definition? I don't think so; (a) and (b) make a logical loop in which the meaning of causation is lost. Even if this loss is compensated (although it can't be), you won't gain much from this definition.

This definition points nowhere while Aristotle's Causality (which has been practiced for 2000 years) points at natural phenomena. It points outwards, to the Universe. Causality is a well-defined term and can't be simply played with.

Circular definitions (which are important to me) are like axioms. They can be made readily. They can be made for free and without any effort.

Let me make one such definition: temperature is that which is measured with a thermometer and thermometer is that by which temperature is measured. Do you think this definition will inform anyone of what temperature and thermometer are?
Don't you see that they are both the affect? They are both the same particle, for all practical purposes...
I don't think that's a decent way of talking about EPR Experiment. This experiment has consumed years of physicists' lives and is still a hot topic. Is that you with few lines of argument have shown how much it should be credited?

They're similar particles and if one loses track of them will no more be able to distinguish them. This, however, doesn't mean they're one entity. They may have different linear momentums and loci. They're only entangled in spin, nothing more. These two are distinct entities. When something happens between them, one "must" be the cause and the other "must" be the effect.

I don't know what you mean with "all practical purposes" and I don't want to know but it's an annoying phrase to see over and over again. For all practical purposes, you've wasted the precious heart of the EPR experiment.

It was meant to show that Causality may be a simplified form of a higher degree interconnection or may be a (hopefully) recurring pattern. If this concept is understood then it's clear that the bond between the doer and the deed (which are an exemplary cause-effect pair) is not as strong as it was assumed to be. Consequently, a deed is no more an indication of a doer, ie the thinking is no more an indication of the thinker.
The fact that it's so practical is evidence (IMO) that it may be true. Besides, Leibniz's idea cannot be proven. I can, however, show you that when I push something, it moves (for example)...
I thought I was the stubborn one. For the zillionth time, Leibniz's idea and yours can't be proven. That's why they're equally creditable. Both are uncertain like any other idea one may think of.

Who says that an object moves when you push it? Where did you come to believe this? You can't point at an object, push it, show me that it moves and then say "causality is a logical obligation." It's an empirical pattern shared by you and me.

I'm wondering if you know the difference between "a logical obligation" and "an empirical pattern." Do you know the difference?

Causality's being practical is noway an evidence. I told you of internal consistency and its implications on a post in "Knowledge?" thread. Being practical, handy, good, easy, simple, whatever is a characteristic of a system of thoughts when it's viewed from inside, ie the viewers is committed to those thoughts.
... It does not, however, help you to learn anything, to keep this uncertain attitude - and, since I devote myself to learning, I don't stick to irrationality (which leads to paradox, which is the death of all learning and progressive knowledge).
Irrationality? Who said it was irrationality? And who said rationality is the only way of learning? And who said uncertainty hasn't helped me learn more? And who said progressive knowledge was worth throwing away the inevitable? And who said I'm stuck to uncertainty? And who said the death of progressive knowledge means that it can't be used anymore?

The same principle of uncertainty lets me be uncertain of what I know and seek more knowledge. For all human history, uncertainty has been the motive to gain certainty. And for all human history, after a certain amount of knowledge was gathered uncertainty was forgotten although it still prevailed. We're living the certainty era, everyone's certain of one's life, everyone's certain of one's political/social/philosophical/[beep] stance, and that leads to blindness. Uncertainty will only motivate further thought while certainty will relieve and soothe the minds until they're too lazy and inert to move even the least bit.

In case of progressive knowledge, what dies is the blind belief in its success. For a long time now, human beings have thought they know much and they will know more with any further step. Lame! They're wrapped in the encompassing Unknown and suppose their knowledge is/will become encompassing.

continued on the next post...
 
  • #61
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
... continued from the previous post

Progressive knowledge can be seen more clearly in the light of uncertainty. It will become richer if it's accompanied by knowledge of its being temporal and its being uncertain.
No you can't. Not if you fully understand the statement, "a Demon tricking", and the propositions required for such a statement to be true.
It's not you who determines if I can. I can think of "a Demon tricking" without "a Demon being there" because I'm not under Aristotle's spell, or at least I'm aware of the rune that's been cast here.

P: A Demon playing nasty tricks.
Q: A Demon is there.

(P => Q) truth table for all Boolean P and Q values:

P---Q---(P => Q)

T---T---T
T---F---F
F---T---T
F---F---T

You say that if P = T then Q should be T in order for (P => Q) to be true. You're right only if you're bound to Boolean logic. Multi-value logic has been around for many decades now, and fuzzy logic is readily used in CD-ROM Drive manufacturing. Add to all these Gödel’s theorem and all the meta-mathematics stuff (don't ask me what it really is, I don't know). Now you can have countless states for a statement, eg the Demon can be 13.666 (accurate to 3 decimal places) existent or it may assume "null" state. Simply put, for every statement you can assume a logical structure in which it assumes any arbitrarily chosen state. And these are only the rationalized and/or scientific parts of this realm, the realm of uncertainty.

The philosophical parts of this realm are even more interesting. The Demon may assume states that transcend our understanding of "existence." We declare a thing either "existent" or "non-existent" and then say it to "be" existent or non-existent while it "may" (only "may" not "must," "ought to" or "should") "be" in a wholly different state, a state which "may" even transcend our understanding of a state where "being there" may be meant in some unknown implementation which may transcend our understanding of "being."

Anecdote: "Don't impose the burden of your limits unto this unknown Universe, please!"
They fulfill each other. He proves that he exists, by the fact that he can think about existing. It is obvious that he really was thinking about this, otherwise we would have nothing to discuss.
Before proving he existed he had to assume he didn't exist until he could prove his existence. Then if he didn't exist how could he believe he was thinking? He had to know and be sure that he was thinking but he couldn't be thinking if he didn't exist so his statement turns into: "I am therefore I am." What a miracle! He is therefore he is. That's why he no more "is"
 
  • #62
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:

Don't ask me. Show where the logical fault is. I described a step-by-step procedure whose steps are logical. Nothing wrong happens during the transition from one step to the other. Consequently, this can be considered a logical proof.

Hey, did you ignore the rest of what I said?

Originally posted by Me
Is this reasoning really applicable to Descartes' reasoning? If the proposition is "I think", then - if this proposition is true - both parts (sub-propositions, as I mentioned before) of it must be true.

You only quoted and responded to the first sentence.

Posted By Manuel
This reasoning is applicable to Descartes' statement for it's concerned with showing this statement's state. It shows that, with regard to an independent statement named P([beep]), the procedure of determining Descartes' statement's state leads to a dilemma.

No, it's not applicable. It doesn't satisfy the fact that the statement, "I think", requires two premises to be true.

May I ask if "thinking" is "not occurring" when you "think?" The implication of Descartes' statement is that a certain action, "thinking," when performed by the mind is a ground for the mind's existence.

Please tell me that you are just feigning ignorance. No offense, but how is it possible that you missed the fact that two premises are required for the statement "I think"? It is not anything like "P[bleep]". Descartes is saying that if P is [bleep]ing then P exists. (I've asked this before, but...) isn't that obvious? You cannot truthfully say that P does something, unless P exists.

Saying "I think" is equal to saying "I execute the task of thinking" which is equal to "thinking is occurring and it's occurring in my mind."

Yes, and the first [quoted] statement requires that I exist (because "I" am executing the task of thinking). The second statement requires that both "I" exists, and "my mind" exists.

My way of approaching the uncertainty is a step-by-step one. You take steps along a way that little by little exhausts your pre-judices and pre-suppositions. This will go on until you no more have any pre-suppositions and then comes the uncertainty. At first glance it seems like the uncertainty is a universal principle. You'll delight so much with having found a universal principle. After a while, however, you see how uncertainty plagues itself and now you learn something that's even more important than uncertainty. You learn there's a problem, a very basic problem, in human knowledge and in human ways of knowing/understanding. Where's the problem? No one knows. You won't go far with this single assumption, "there's a problem somewhere" but it gives you hints other manners of approaching the problem won't give you.

There is no point in my following such a path, as it destroys all need of learning/science.

Now that you know "there's a problem somewhere," you'll be cautious, precise, clear, unbiased and always warned against whatever comes your way. For every forthcoming statement may be exactly where the problem lies and if you take the statement for granted or show bias towards it, you've fallen into the abyss, that very basic problem.

I don't have time (or typing space) to discuss why uncertainty is only good, if not taken to extremes. Perhaps you should start a thread on that.

Don't play around with definitions, you'll get burnt! You should've known how I indulge in loops

Have you ever noticed how a path that loops infinitely, doesn't get you anywhere but where you started. Philosophically, scientificall, and logically this is not a good path to follow.

You just made a loop. You said, "that which was caused" has "been caused." What have you said? Nothing special. Let's assume someone defined causality as the bond between the following two:

No, it's not anything special, and yet you seem to have missed entirely when you said "and effect doesn't require a cause".

Do you think it is a subtle definition? I don't think so

Then why was it so easy for you to miss it?

Circular definitions (which are important to me) are like axioms. They can be made readily. They can be made for free and without any effort.

My definition is not circular. I was saying that that which has been caused has been caused. It is obvious, and seems unnecessary to actually say, but you were the one who said that an "effect" doesn't always require a "cause".

I don't think that's a decent way of talking about EPR Experiment. This experiment has consumed years of physicists' lives and is still a hot topic. Is that you with few lines of argument have shown how much it should be credited?

Well, I'm sorry, if I offended you or anyone else in my indifference to what seemed to me to be obviously wrong.

They're similar particles and if one loses track of them will no more be able to distinguish them. This, however, doesn't mean they're one entity. They may have different linear momentums and loci. They're only entangled in spin, nothing more. These two are distinct entities. When something happens between them, one "must" be the cause and the other "must" be the effect.

If they are Quantum Mechanically bound, they are one entity.

I don't know what you mean with "all practical purposes" and I don't want to know but it's an annoying phrase to see over and over again. For all practical purposes, you've wasted the precious heart of the EPR experiment.

:frown:

Please forgive my sarcasm, but it really doesn't matter to me that I have defied that which you held sacred, because it doesn't appear right that you should hold it so, in the first place.

It was meant to show that Causality may be a simplified form of a higher degree interconnection or may be a (hopefully) recurring pattern. If this concept is understood then it's clear that the bond between the doer and the deed (which are an exemplary cause-effect pair) is not as strong as it was assumed to be. Consequently, a deed is no more an indication of a doer, ie the thinking is no more an indication of the thinker.

It has no such application. If I connect the fact that both of the particles changed in spin, to a cause (the physicist which made the "observation") then I still have a simple cause-and-effect relationship.

I thought I was the stubborn one. For the zillionth time, Leibniz's idea and yours can't be proven. That's why they're equally creditable. Both are uncertain like any other idea one may think of.

Leibniz's idea is also one of cause-and-effect. Just because he describes what is happening differently than I do, doesn't change the fact that he acknowledges there being a person who caused the effect.

Who says that an object moves when you push it? Where did you come to believe this? You can't point at an object, push it, show me that it moves and then say "causality is a logical obligation." It's an empirical pattern shared by you and me.

Well, I could show you this, if you were physically in my presence. But I can't now, if that's what you mean.

I'm wondering if you know the difference between "a logical obligation" and "an empirical pattern." Do you know the difference?

Not really. A logical obligation should be readily demonstrable, as should an empirical pattern. However, if you think that it is relevant to the thread, please explain the difference between the two.

Irrationality? Who said it was irrationality? And who said rationality is the only way of learning? And who said uncertainty hasn't helped me learn more? And who said progressive knowledge was worth throwing away the inevitable? And who said I'm stuck to uncertainty? And who said the death of progressive knowledge means that it can't be used anymore?

You are talking in stupified and irrational contradictions. I see no point in replying to the above.

continued on the next post...

As is my reply...
 
  • #63
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
It's not you who determines if I can. I can think of "a Demon tricking" without "a Demon being there" because I'm not under Aristotle's spell, or at least I'm aware of the rune that's been cast here.

The statement "a Demon tricking" has two premises (at least). One is that there is a Demon. That is why I said that you cannot believe in one without the other.

P: A Demon playing nasty tricks.
Q: A Demon is there.

(P => Q) truth table for all Boolean P and Q values:

P---Q---(P => Q)

T---T---T
T---F---F
F---T---T
F---F---T

You say that if P = T then Q should be T in order for (P => Q) to be true. You're right only if you're bound to Boolean logic. Multi-value logic has been around for many decades now, and fuzzy logic is readily used in CD-ROM Drive manufacturing. Add to all these Gödel’s theorem and all the meta-mathematics stuff (don't ask me what it really is, I don't know). Now you can have countless states for a statement, eg the Demon can be 13.666 (accurate to 3 decimal places) existent or it may assume "null" state. Simply put, for every statement you can assume a logical structure in which it assumes any arbitrarily chosen state. And these are only the rationalized and/or scientific parts of this realm, the realm of uncertainty.

I don't see how any of this applies. Please explain it to me. As far as I can tell, this only applies to a set of seperate propositions, that are bound to each other, possibly by the cause-and-effect reasoning. However, I was not talking about two different propositions. I was talking about one proposition - "A Demon tricking" - which has a sub-proposition (or a proposition that helps make it up) - "there is a Demon".

The philosophical parts of this realm are even more interesting. The Demon may assume states that transcend our understanding of "existence." We declare a thing either "existent" or "non-existent" and then say it to "be" existent or non-existent while it "may" (only "may" not "must," "ought to" or "should") "be" in a wholly different state, a state which "may" even transcend our understanding of a state where "being there" may be meant in some unknown implementation which may transcend our understanding of "being."

May I ask that you stick to that which we currently understand as logically obligatory, instead of wandering of into dreams of uncertainty?

Before proving he existed he had to assume he didn't exist until he could prove his existence.

Not true. In fact, before proving that he existed, he had to exist.

Then if he didn't exist how could he believe he was thinking?

Exactly. That's why Descartes would never assume that he didn't exist, and the Evil Demon could never convince him.
 
  • #64
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:
Hey, did you ignore the rest of what I said?...
I didn't. You only repeated what you'd written many times before, so I wrote nothing in response. I asked you to show me the logical fault in my proof. If there isn't a logical fault in my proof and it leads to a dilemma while studying Descartes' statement then the statement must be erroneous. This is simple; if a logical procedure leads to an illogical result, there should have been problems in either the procedure or its subject of study.
No, it's not applicable. It doesn't satisfy the fact that the statement, "I think", requires two premises to be true.
The proof has nothing to do directly with "I think." That P([beep]) statement in the proof is not (how many times have I said this?) related to Descartes' statement. It's a statement I made and asked you (in the course of that storyline) to determine its value as you liked. Since we're talking in a framework of Aristotelian logic you had to choose either T or F as the value for the P([beep]) I offered. P([beep]) can assume no states other than T and F, and you had to choose one. Then I showed that (whatever your choice has been) Descartes' statement, with regard to your choice about P([beep)'s value, leads to a dilemma.

This proof has absolutely nothing to do with the premises for "I think" for it isn't directly touching this phrase. You say for "I think" to be true one has to "exist," so for a statement like "I think therefore I am" the critique must satisfy the premise for "I think" and that is "existence." This is right but is irrelevant to this proof. This proof isn't studying "I think," it doesn't even care if it is "I think" or "I eat" that have obviously different premises. That's why I use [beep] in place of "think" or any other word, [beep] means any word that makes sense in that place, it can be "think," "eat," "drink," "walk," "fly," "understand," whatever. You see, the proof is independent of whatever specific word is replaced by [beep]. Its flow is simply so general that every literally sensible word can be in place of [beep].
... how is it possible that you missed the fact that two premises are required for the statement "I think"? It is not anything like "P[bleep]". Descartes is saying that if P is [bleep]ing then P exists. (I've asked this before, but...) isn't that obvious?...
The "fact?" Do you mean "fact" as you defined it? That sort of fact has no place in Philosophy. What I'm struggling over with you for such a long time is this "fact." You say it is necessary, it is a "fact," that one exists in order for one to think. I asked it over and over how you can be sure of this necessity. You said it was simple Causality (or so I understood) and I'm showing how trivial Causality is.

Your way of talking my proof shows you haven't understood it. Read it over and over until you understand it. How many times have I repeated that P([beep]) is not Descartes' statement but an engineered statement by me? Once again, P([beep]) is not Descartes' statement but a statement that leads to dilemma along with Descartes' statement. It's the core to this proof and its misunderstanding (like in your case) means that the entire proof is lost.

If you show a fault in that proof, I'll accept and take a chance with my other ways of talking this over. Until now you haven't stated anything worth noting other than your initial stance.
There is no point in my following such a path, as it destroys all need of learning/science.

Please forgive my sarcasm, but it really doesn't matter to me that I have defied that which you held sacred, because it doesn't appear right that you should hold it so, in the first place.
I don't hold the EPR Experiment sacred but I think it's very interesting, nor do I hold sacred its results. I would have a hard time with uncertainty if I wanted to hold something sacred. What I don't like so much is ignorance and careless conclusions.

It seems you're the one who holds something sacred. You say you won't follow that way for it will destroy all need of learning/science. Let's suppose this really happens. If the way you follow has merit (for you, at least) you won't have lost much.

I think I described how uncertainty is a motive for learning and for gathering knowledge, including science. I told you how uncertainty is a drive towards certainty (hence, a drive towards more knowledge if not absolute knowledge) while certainty is a narcotic for the minds. Your worries about losing interest in science/knowledge/[beep] because of uncertainty are out of place. What you should worry for is the Mare Constans of certainty. Uncertainty is a manifestation of change and dynamism while certainty is the last station. Why should you take the next step if you're sure of whatever you know, whatever you want, whatever you have to do and whatever you are?

By the way, learning and science aren't synonyms, what you can learn is not always science and science is not the only thing you can learn.
Have you ever noticed how a path that loops infinitely, doesn't get you anywhere but where you started. Philosophically, scientificall, and logically this is not a good path to follow.
It isn't that I've chosen a path that loops infinitely; it is that all known human paths are infinite loops. Loops are all you can see. Our knowledge is self-referenced. It doesn't include what "is" (if "being" in the sense we understand is sensible to the Universe) but what "is represented." There's a chasm of Unknown between what "is" and what "is represented."
No, it's not anything special, and yet you seem to have missed entirely when you said "and effect doesn't require a cause".
Did I write this sentence? Or this is what you understood of what I wrote? There's a big difference between these two.

I never said "effect doesn't require a cause" (I'm not sure but I couldn't find such sentence). For cause and effect by their definition are bound to Causality and saying that would be a big mistake. I said this definition may be non-informative, irrelevant and even misleading. First you make a definition, say Causality, then you map it into the Universe by saying "the telephone" is an instance of a cause and "the individual hearing the ring" is an instance of an effect. What I've been denying is this process of mapping. You're free to make as many definitions, circular and non-circular, as you like but aren't free to map them into the Universe and expect compliance. I told you of another definition, the Pre-established Harmony, which worked and was compliant just like Causality. You relate a pair of phenomena with Causality while this bond needn't be "out" there. It's "in" here. It's an optimization method become prominent (too prominent, in fact).
My definition is not circular. I was saying that that which has been caused has been caused. It is obvious, and seems unnecessary to actually say, but you were the one who said that an "effect" doesn't always require a "cause".
It is circular. "That has been caused has been caused" lacks the meaning of causation. You say "that has been caused," so you're expected to say "what causation is" independent of "that has been caused." Then you say "has been caused" implying that "causation" is the event happening to "that has been caused." The first part "that has been caused" promises to define "causation" in its following part while the following part points back at the firs part.

This is a circular definition for it makes perfect sense while it's absolute nonsense. This is the indication of loops. A circular definition somehow (sometimes subtly) points at itself; hence, the main task of a definition (that is, defining) remains undone while the definition makes sense for it's confirmed by itself.
If they are Quantum Mechanically bound, they are one entity.
I'm not a Physicist but I'm wondering what you're thinking of Quantum Mechanics. It isn't sorcery, it's science. Being "quantum mechanically" bound doesn't means anything more than being bound. Protons and Neutrons in an atom nucleus are "quantum mechanically" bound to each other by strong nuclear force. They aren't one entity; they're one group of distinct entities. The same way, a pair of entangled particles isn’t one entity; they're simply a pair gathered into one group under a certain rule of conduct.

One entity, here, refers to a single particle of fermion family (which have odd half-integral spin like 1/2 or 3/2) as designated by being made up of either 2 (in mesons) or 3 (in baryons) quarks and anti-quarks (together hadrons) or being a lepton. I don't know if bosons are also subject to EPR experiment.

If you name every group of more than one members "one" entity and refrain from analyzing its members then the entire Universe is one entity and it shouldn't be divided in order to be analyzed. Do you agree with that?
It has no such application. If I connect the fact that both of the particles changed in spin, to a cause (the physicist which made the "observation") then I still have a simple cause-and-effect relationship.
How could the Physicist (the cause) cover the delay between two far-off events? A Physicist is usually located at one place and can affect (act as the cause to) things in a radius of a few meters and there's always a delay between what she/he does (as the cause) and what happens (as the effect). In this case you can consider the Physicist the cause to the spin change but then how can you explain absolute zero delay between her/his action and the spin change in the remote particle? Nothing changes here, whatever the cause may be, the zero delay can't be explained with a Causality bond that takes the chronological order as a basis to the distinction of the cause and the effect.

continued on the next post...
 
  • #65
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
... continued from the previous post
Leibniz's idea is also one of cause-and-effect. Just because he describes what is happening differently than I do, doesn't change the fact that he acknowledges there being a person who caused the effect.
Don't use this word, "fact," this much. As long as we're debating uncertainty and existence, fact is out of context and using it is premature for if uncertainty is shown to prevail, no such thing as fact can be called for. You can't talk of some "fact" as a certain piece of knowledge before you've shown certainty has any chance here.

Leibniz's idea was exactly meant as a rival to Causality. Pre-established Harmony hasn't been caused by a person/thing. Saying that something hasn't been "caused" is clearly insane viewed from a view point committed to Causality. However, it is equally creditable when viewed from an unbiased point of view. It maps a certain mental pattern to the flow of events in the Universe (an empirical pattern), so does Causality. For such mental pattern to be creditable, its characteristics must be shown to be compliant to those of the empirical pattern it corresponds to. Causality, a mental pattern imposed on an empirical pattern, is creditable for it describes and predicts the flow of events in the Universe, so does Pre-established Harmony. In order to make use of Causality one studies those things considered the cause to certain events and tries to invoke the cause to achieve the effect. In order to make use of Pre-established Harmony one studies the harmony of phenomena in order to act to the beat of that harmony and achieve the desirable target (some fugue, perhaps ).
Well, I could show you this, if you were physically in my presence. But I can't now, if that's what you mean.
Even if I was in your physical presence you couldn't point at something. We talked about this before on "Knowledge?" thread where I described that before being certain of your existence, your audience's existence, your qualia, your audience's qualia and a big bunch of other things, you can't "point at" or "show" something. We're discussing certainty and uncertainty so we ought not to be bound to either point of view and/or use their suppositions/obligations.

You didn't disagree with me, also didn't agree with me, you posted nothing about that. Now it's up for discussion.
Not really. A logical obligation should be readily demonstrable, as should an empirical pattern. However, if you think that it is relevant to the thread, please explain the difference between the two.
A logical obligation is the outcome of deduction from the axioms of a logical system. As long as the participants of the dialog are bound to that logical system, these logical obligations must be held inviolate. Let's see this example in Boolean algebra:

Boolean algebra truth table for "AND" operator:

^ : AND operator

A-----B-----A ^ B
T-----T-----T
T-----F-----F
F-----T-----F
F-----F-----F

The above truth table is a premise for Boolean logic so it should never be violated. So if we have A = T and B = F, a logical obligation of Boolean logic is that A ^ B should be evaluated as F.

An empirical pattern, on the other hand, is the outcome of observation. It isn't necessary to be true in any logical system. Science has used Boolean logic for so many years while the outcome of its observation has been always changing in those years. Causality is an empirical pattern (better said, a mental pattern imposed on an empirical pattern) for it's been observed.

Suppose you throw a stone and you watch it break some glass, if you do this many times and observe the repeated pattern of the glass being broken you'll make a mental pattern that is imposed on that empirical pattern. This mental pattern says "a rightly directed stone thrown at glass will break it" and is meant as an optimization so that you won't be re-observing a thrown stone every time you want to see if it breaks the glass. This mental pattern is the bond of Causality between two phenomena.

Two things must always be kept in mind about a mental pattern. First, it isn't an obligation for the corresponding empirical pattern may change and the mental pattern may become invalid. Second, the mental pattern may impose itself on some phenomenon so that the phenomenon is re-shaped to correspond to that mental pattern. Examples of such false imposition are optical illusions. Human visual system wants to impose a certain mental pattern that corresponds to a continuously-observed empirical pattern on a new empirical pattern, hence, the empirical pattern is perceived other than what its representation would be if that mental pattern didn't exist. And optical illusions are only low-level examples of mental patterns. These patterns appear at all levels of abstraction. They sometimes show up as prejudice, eg you're scared at the sight of a tame and shy dog because you have a mental pattern saying "all dogs bite and do harm" which was formed as a result of your unlucky encounters with dogs.

Descartes first noticed optical illusions and based his manner of doubting on them, but he didn't extend this concept to higher levels of abstraction. Causality, which seems to be necessary for your version of Descartes' statement, is a mental pattern at a not-so-high level of abstraction.

Every mental pattern may and has been shown to be possibly invalid. At lower levels of abstraction mental patterns can be broken easily and new ones can be made to avoid mistakes, like what happens with optical illusions, eg after a while you adapt to the illusion and figure out much about its shape. At higher abstraction levels, mental patterns become exceedingly difficult to break; like that you seem never to accept that Causality may simply be a long-enduring mental pattern which has many substitutes to be replaced with.
You are talking in stupified and irrational contradictions. I see no point in replying to the above.
I only asked a few questions. You could show me if there was a problem with them. Don't you think avoiding the answers to possibly "stupefied and irrational" questions is even more "stupefied and irrational?"
The statement "a Demon tricking" has two premises (at least). One is that there is a Demon. That is why I said that you cannot believe in one without the other.
Isn't that there are those certain premises to this statement, another premise? Where does this premise of yours take it validity from?
... As far as I can tell, this only applies to a set of separate propositions, that are bound to each other, possibly by the cause-and-effect reasoning. However, I was not talking about two different propositions. I was talking about one proposition - "A Demon tricking" - which has a sub-proposition (or a proposition that helps make it up) - "there is a Demon".
You told me the Demon may be either "existent" or "non-existent" and that this statement, "a Demon tricking," implies that a Demon exists. What I wrote in response was that the Demon may assume many states other than "existent" and "non-existent." And that for your deduction (a Demon must be there if a Demon is playing tricks) to be creditable it was necessary that we're bound to Boolean logic, where the statement "a Demon is there" (one of your sub-propositions) may only be either T or F.

Your claim here is made of two parts, "a Demon is playing tricks" and "so the Demon exists." These two parts are related to each other in a conditional statement: "if a Demon is playing tricks then there is a Demon." I wrote and shown that even if this statement is considered true (Causality bond is taken serious), your deduction on the truth values for the necessary condition, "a Demon is playing tricks," and the sufficient condition, "there is a Demon," is limited to Boolean logic which is rivaled by many other equally creditable logical systems in which your deduction becomes invalid (sometimes even senseless).
May I ask that you stick to that which we currently understand as logically obligatory, instead of wandering of into dreams of uncertainty?
I wasn't wandering in dreams of uncertainty (although it's much fun to do); I was showing you the vista of uncertainty and the vast realm beyond Aristotle.
Not true. In fact, before proving that he existed, he had to exist.

Exactly. That's why Descartes would never assume that he didn't exist, and the Evil Demon could never convince him.
Let's go the other way. If Descartes "had" to exist in order to think then why do you bother "proving" his "cogito ergo sum?"

Proving means to show a statement's truth using other statements that have been shown or assumed to be true along with the rules of deduction. If "thinking" is the corollary of "being" then why should you prove "I think therefore I am?"

Saying that "thinking" is the corollary of "being" you've already admitted that "I think therefore I am" is a self-referenced statement. With your assumption (one "has" to be if one thinks), "I think therefore I am" can be replaced with "I am therefore I am." This statement, "sum ergo sum," is clearly self-referenced for it assumes its own truth. Aside from being self-referenced, it is non-informative for if you knew "I am" why should you deduce "I am?"
 
  • #66
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:

I didn't. You only repeated what you'd written many times before, so I wrote nothing in response. I asked you to show me the logical fault in my proof. If there isn't a logical fault in my proof and it leads to a dilemma while studying Descartes' statement then the statement must be erroneous. This is simple; if a logical procedure leads to an illogical result, there should have been problems in either the procedure or its subject of study.

I repeated what I said before, because you don't seem to get it. I am telling you that your reasoning does not apply, when there is only a proposition and it's sub-proposition being considered.

The proof has nothing to do directly with "I think." That P([beep]) statement in the proof is not (how many times have I said this?) related to Descartes' statement. It's a statement I made and asked you (in the course of that storyline) to determine its value as you liked. Since we're talking in a framework of Aristotelian logic you had to choose either T or F as the value for the P([beep]) I offered. P([beep]) can assume no states other than T and F, and you had to choose one. Then I showed that (whatever your choice has been) Descartes' statement, with regard to your choice about P([beep)'s value, leads to a dilemma.

I did choose. I said that you must believe that "I think" is true, because - in the illustration - the Evil Demon has tried to convince me that I don't. And, since I contemplated existence/non-existence, I am thinking. Now, my whole reasoning is (how many times have I said this?) that in order for it to be said that P does in fact [bleep], there must exist an entity "P".

This proof has absolutely nothing to do with the premises for "I think" for it isn't directly touching this phrase. You say for "I think" to be true one has to "exist," so for a statement like "I think therefore I am" the critique must satisfy the premise for "I think" and that is "existence." This is right but is irrelevant to this proof. This proof isn't studying "I think," it doesn't even care if it is "I think" or "I eat" that have obviously different premises. That's why I use [beep] in place of "think" or any other word, [beep] means any word that makes sense in that place, it can be "think," "eat," "drink," "walk," "fly," "understand," whatever. You see, the proof is independent of whatever specific word is replaced by [beep]. Its flow is simply so general that every literally sensible word can be in place of [beep].

No, this is my point. It doesn't matter what you substitute [bleep] with, one of the premises will be that there is an entity "P".

The "fact?" Do you mean "fact" as you defined it? That sort of fact has no place in Philosophy. What I'm struggling over with you for such a long time is this "fact." You say it is necessary, it is a "fact," that one exists in order for one to think. I asked it over and over how you can be sure of this necessity. You said it was simple Causality (or so I understood) and I'm showing how trivial Causality is.

You haven't showed that yet. You may be intending to, but your examples coincide with my reasoning.

Your way of talking my proof shows you haven't understood it. Read it over and over until you understand it. How many times have I repeated that P([beep]) is not Descartes' statement but an engineered statement by me? Once again, P([beep]) is not Descartes' statement but a statement that leads to dilemma along with Descartes' statement. It's the core to this proof and its misunderstanding (like in your case) means that the entire proof is lost.

Well, this is something that I tried to tell you long ago: the subject is Descartes' philosophy. The subject is not the proof of any other statement, of the form P[bleep] or any other form.

If you show a fault in that proof, I'll accept and take a chance with my other ways of talking this over. Until now you haven't stated anything worth noting other than your initial stance.

Which you haven't countered satisfactorily yet.

I don't hold the EPR Experiment sacred but I think it's very interesting, nor do I hold sacred its results. I would have a hard time with uncertainty if I wanted to hold something sacred. What I don't like so much is ignorance and careless conclusions.

You do, however, seem to hold uncertainty itself as the only certainty (which is a sickening paradox, as we've already talked about, and I don't want to talk about on this thread).

It seems you're the one who holds something sacred. You say you won't follow that way for it will destroy all need of learning/science. Let's suppose this really happens. If the way you follow has merit (for you, at least) you won't have lost much.

Science, learning, progressive knowledge... these things have merit for me. Thus, that which attempts to kill them has very little merit. It reduces what would have been rational human beings, to babbling/speculating fools (I don't include you in that, because you haven't abandoned science, you just entertain this uncertainty because you don't mix it with your progressive learning).

I think I described how uncertainty is a motive for learning and for gathering knowledge, including science. I told you how uncertainty is a drive towards certainty (hence, a drive towards more knowledge if not absolute knowledge) while certainty is a narcotic for the minds.

Uncertainty doesn't progress towards certainties. This is utterly wrong. Uncertainty doesn't even allow for any certainties.

Your worries about losing interest in science/knowledge/[beep] because of uncertainty are out of place. What you should worry for is the Mare Constans of certainty. Uncertainty is a manifestation of change and dynamism while certainty is the last station. Why should you take the next step if you're sure of whatever you know, whatever you want, whatever you have to do and whatever you are?

I told you, a certain amount of uncertainty is required (and so I partially take back what I said above), however the kind of uncertainty you are talking about doesn't allow for any progress, and is thus unhealthy to progressive knowledge.

By the way, learning and science aren't synonyms, what you can learn is not always science and science is not the only thing you can learn.

I know that. I mentioned that in your "Knowledge" thread.

It isn't that I've chosen a path that loops infinitely; it is that all known human paths are infinite loops. Loops are all you can see. Our knowledge is self-referenced. It doesn't include what "is" (if "being" in the sense we understand is sensible to the Universe) but what "is represented." There's a chasm of Unknown between what "is" and what "is represented."

And that chasm cannot be crossed by turning around and doubting the few things that do have an amount of certainty to them.

I never said "effect doesn't require a cause" (I'm not sure but I couldn't find such sentence). For cause and effect by their definition are bound to Causality and saying that would be a big mistake. I said this definition may be non-informative, irrelevant and even misleading. First you make a definition, say Causality, then you map it into the Universe by saying "the telephone" is an instance of a cause and "the individual hearing the ring" is an instance of an effect. What I've been denying is this process of mapping. You're free to make as many definitions, circular and non-circular, as you like but aren't free to map them into the Universe and expect compliance. I told you of another definition, the Pre-established Harmony, which worked and was compliant just like Causality. You relate a pair of phenomena with Causality while this bond needn't be "out" there. It's "in" here. It's an optimization method become prominent (too prominent, in fact).

And yet there was a cause to this percieved effect, wasn't there? If so, Causality appears to only be validated in the Pre-established Harmony idea.

How could the Physicist (the cause) cover the delay between two far-off events? A Physicist is usually located at one place and can affect (act as the cause to) things in a radius of a few meters and there's always a delay between what she/he does (as the cause) and what happens (as the effect). In this case you can consider the Physicist the cause to the spin change but then how can you explain absolute zero delay between her/his action and the spin change in the remote particle? Nothing changes here, whatever the cause may be, the zero delay can't be explained with a Causality bond that takes the chronological order as a basis to the distinction of the cause and the effect.

Ah, then you've missed the point of a "neighborhood" universe. You say that the physicist is "here" or "there", and this is true. But the two particles are bound such that they are not far apart from each other at all, in spite of appearing to be so.

Please, Manuel, let's drop the discussion of Causality and Uncertainty, in this thread, unless you can make all of the arguments directly relevant to Descartes' philosophy. We can discuss those other things in other threads.
 
  • #67
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
I only asked a few questions. You could show me if there was a problem with them. Don't you think avoiding the answers to possibly "stupefied and irrational" questions is even more "stupefied and irrational?"

Please forgive the hostility in the afore-quoted post. I just don't like how you keep asking such baiting questions. I wouldn't mind them, if they were in a thread dedicated to such reasoning, but this thread is solely about Descartes' philosophy.

Isn't that there are those certain premises to this statement, another premise? Where does this premise of yours take it validity from?

Observation. Besides, while it can be considered it's own proposition, if you were to actually take this proposition (a demon tricking) apart, you would find the same two propositions that I speak of.

You told me the Demon may be either "existent" or "non-existent" and that this statement, "a Demon tricking," implies that a Demon exists. What I wrote in response was that the Demon may assume many states other than "existent" and "non-existent." And that for your deduction (a Demon must be there if a Demon is playing tricks) to be creditable it was necessary that we're bound to Boolean logic, where the statement "a Demon is there" (one of your sub-propositions) may only be either T or F.

But if the sub-proposition is false, then the actual proposition must also be false, musn't it?

Your claim here is made of two parts, "a Demon is playing tricks" and "so the Demon exists." These two parts are related to each other in a conditional statement: "if a Demon is playing tricks then there is a Demon." I wrote and shown that even if this statement is considered true (Causality bond is taken serious), your deduction on the truth values for the necessary condition, "a Demon is playing tricks," and the sufficient condition, "there is a Demon," is limited to Boolean logic which is rivaled by many other equally creditable logical systems in which your deduction becomes invalid (sometimes even senseless).

Well, if Boolean Logic has been used by Science and philosophy for so long (as you mentioned earlier) then I like it.

I wasn't wandering in dreams of uncertainty (although it's much fun to do); I was showing you the vista of uncertainty and the vast realm beyond Aristotle.

I don't know any of Aristotle's philosophy. I may agree with some of what he postulated, but not on purpose :wink:.

Let's go the other way. If Descartes "had" to exist in order to think then why do you bother "proving" his "cogito ergo sum?"

I'm not proving it, I'm saying you can't disprove it. It is the proof, within itself, as I've shown.

Saying that "thinking" is the corollary of "being" you've already admitted that "I think therefore I am" is a self-referenced statement. With your assumption (one "has" to be if one thinks), "I think therefore I am" can be replaced with "I am therefore I am." This statement, "sum ergo sum," is clearly self-referenced for it assumes its own truth. Aside from being self-referenced, it is non-informative for if you knew "I am" why should you deduce "I am?"

You are almost right. The difference between "I think therefore I am" and "I am therefore I am" is (obviously) that there is a different verb involved (and the verb is "thinking", which is required when something tries to prove that I don't exist). Does that make sense?
 
  • #68
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:

First of all, there's one thing I'd like to draw your attention to: I put my words in the place I seem suitable for them so the way my words are is an expression of my opinion, I'm not humming dial tone I'm talking so please don't ignore the words.
... I am telling you that your reasoning does not apply, when there is only a proposition and it's sub-proposition being considered.

... Now, my whole reasoning is (how many times have I said this?) that in order for it to be said that P does in fact [bleep], there must exist an entity "P" ...

No, this is my point. It doesn't matter what you substitute [bleep] with, one of the premises will be that there is an entity "P".
And I'm telling you it does apply. The problem here is your misunderstanding of the notation I used.

See, you do understand the concept of function f(x), don't you? Like you've learnt in Mathematics, the function f(x) takes x from its domain and maps it into f(x) value from its range. Now consider P([beep]), P is a function that takes the action [beep] as the input and outputs a statement "there need be an I to [beep]." Function P works like a juicer, it takes apples (the action [beep], where you can place any action in place of [beep]) then it gives back apple juice (it gives you a statement, "there need be an I to [beep]").

This notation, P([beep]), doesn't mean "P [beep]s therefore P is." P doesn't substitute the entity being studied, it is the notation of a function. P is used only as a generalization. P is only a word substitution function; it maps words (anything like [beep]) from its domain (all sensible words for [beep]) into its range (all possible sentences of the form "there need be an I to [beep]").

Now, if you understand what I'm talking about, it will be clear that P([beep]) isn't Descartes' statement, it is a "helper" device for this proof. P([beep]) is independent from and irrelevant to Descartes' statement. In the course of the proof you're asked to determine its state (T or F). It's your choice and is irrelevant to that you're defending Descartes' statement. For P([beep]) is just another statement, see, "another" statement.

Please read that storyline again. I guess you're way far from having understood the proof, and you can't criticize what you haven't understood yet.
Well, this is something that I tried to tell you long ago: the subject is Descartes' philosophy. The subject is not the proof of any other statement, of the form P[bleep] or any other form.
This thread is named "I think therefore I am" and I'm trying to show this statements and all statements of the form "I [beep] therefore I am" lead to undesirable situations when viewed from the viewpoint of Boolean logic. I came to this thread because we had a debate on another thread where I claimed the Uncertainty applies to all human knowledge and you opposed saying there are certain parts of human knowledge one can be sure of.

My job here is to show this certain piece of knowledge, existence of the self, is absurd enough to be counted along with other uncertain things.

P([beep]) is a word substitution function, like I said above. It's used as a generalization and a helper device in a specific proof that shows Descartes' statement, "cogito ergo sum," will result in confusion if it's viewed from the viewpoint of Boolean logic, which is the sort of logic used in these discussions.
Which you haven't countered satisfactorily yet.
It'd be helpful to know that your stance could be modified to comply with Uncertainty. I'm opposing you because you see Descartes' statement as a proof of existence. I think this statement can't be held as a proof but as a between-the-lines hint. This between-the-lines hint doesn't prove or guarantee but it intrigues.

The intonation and strength by which you say "I think therefore I am" is vital to the distinction made between a statement and a hint. You seem to like to shout it loud like there's something important, there's a victory. If you whispered it, like having found some tiny thing you liked then I wouldn't have opposed. For I would've understood that you hold "I think therefore I am" for your pleasure. Your tendency to shout the thing out makes this hint absurd and displays your stance as an aggressive attempt for certainty. Such attempt is, well, only heading for the wall. I suggest there would be a hit then, but then do you think this would happen if you quietly went around the wall?
You do, however, seem to hold uncertainty itself as the only certainty (which is a sickening paradox, as we've already talked about, and I don't want to talk about on this thread).
I don't hold the Uncertainty sacred. For me, it's just a between-the-lines hint, nothing more. And yes, we've talked about the paradox but we haven't reached a compromise.

Like I told you (and you ignored), I approach Uncertainty in steps whose order makes sense out of nonsense. The first step is the discovery of Uncertainty. The next step is to see how Uncertainty plagues itself. Having passed these stages in order, Uncertainty is washed along with itself as the last of all universal principles (for Uncertainty is the most general universal principle) but there remains a residue. That residue is an understanding that can't be found if Uncertainty is either ignored or held sacred. Ignoring Uncertainty is ignoring the common point of all human knowledge. Holding Uncertainty sacred, as that wouldn't contradict itself and remain a universal principle that doesn't apply to itself, will deprive one from that residual understanding. I won't attempt to describe what and how this understanding is but I'll say it's the only thing that remains after having doubted everything and anything; it's the last residue of philosophical thought. I guess you don't oppose the principle of skepticism in the face of what one knows (and what one doesn't know) for that's the foundation of Philosophy. You must ask "why?" in the face of what is seen as apparent by others and what seems apparent to yourself.
Science, learning, progressive knowledge... these things have merit for me. Thus, that which attempts to kill them has very little merit. It reduces what would have been rational human beings, to babbling/speculating fools (I don't include you in that, because you haven't abandoned science, you just entertain this uncertainty because you don't mix it with your progressive learning).
After having understood what Uncertainty is, how it works, what its results are and how it is inevitable and paradoxical, you're left on your own to choose what has merit for you. That's why I emphasize Uncertainty this much. No certainty can bring those degrees of freedom, even though there're still boundaries, that Uncertainty brings. Uncertainty is the most general point of view for it simply allows everything.

You're committed to Science and that's your choice. Uncertainty won't lower, honor or change that but it gives you the freedom to see countless other options. I, too, have to some extents chosen my way of life, for now. Uncertainty gives me the freedom to see how worthless may be all that I hold dear. I, too, am interested in Science (you see, I'm a student of Physics) and will learn whatever comes my way. This, however, doesn't prevent me from seeing how trivial all Science may be, and what complexities may be beyond what I see, and that I may be dead wrong with all this.

Anecdote (derived from a Kundera quote): "Things are more complex than what you think." (it'd be great if you read his "Testaments Betrayed").

It isn't easy to call irrational human beings "babbling/speculating fools." You aren't the one who determines what is babbling and who are fools. No human being can see what is right/wrong, what good/evil is, what is wise/foolish and what is better/worse. Your opinion is meaningful only in your own domain. You, passionate for Science, see irrationality as absolute mishmash. Matter of fact irrationality has very often its own rationale. That you can't see the complexity beyond what you understand doesn't mean it won't someday strike you hard from ambush.
Uncertainty doesn't progress towards certainties. This is utterly wrong. Uncertainty doesn't even allow for any certainties.
Uncertainty needn't allow certainties but again it's a drive towards them. A Physicist is uncertain of her/his findings so she/he will try to gather more about her/his subject of study. This is the Uncertainty drive although it's aimed at certainty. And then why do you like certainty this much? You like to be certain that you are, that you are the way you see yourself in the mirror, that the Universe be the way you currently perceive. Isn't this liking a bit too simplistically oriented? What do you want out of certainty?

Certainty is clearly the end to research. When you know something and know it for sure, will you do research activities? Isn't Uncertainty about your subject a better station to start from?

You're misinterpreting Uncertainty. It simply doubts everything and this doubt has proven to be worth noting.
I told you, a certain amount of uncertainty is required (and so I partially take back what I said above), however the kind of uncertainty you are talking about doesn't allow for any progress, and is thus unhealthy to progressive knowledge.
Where does your passion for progress come from? Who says progress in its current form is better than stability? All your reasoning is based on your suppositions (suppositions like, "science is good," "learning is good," "progress is necessary") that don't seem to be more valid to me.

continued on the next post...
 
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  • #69
Manuel_Silvio
121
0
... continued from the previous post
But if the sub-proposition is false, then the actual proposition must also be false, musn't it?
That's another rule from Boolean logic. Another system of logic may even assign other states to a statement, no true or false.
Well, if Boolean Logic has been used by Science and philosophy for so long (as you mentioned earlier) then I like it.
Sorry for the roughness of the analogy but your saying deserves some hard opposition. There was once a horse that loved her blinders for she had them on for so long.
I don't know any of Aristotle's philosophy. I may agree with some of what he postulated, but not on purpose.
Aristotelian way of thinking is woven into our everyday lives. It's endured 2000 years and will endure much longer for it's easy (not quite easy but much easier than a sincere study of our knowledge) and frees one from the burden of thinking further into the complexity.

Aristotle was a genius and his ideas have originality but in his own context and his own time. His way wouldn't gain this much publicity if it was introduced somewhere other than ancient Greece.

The horse said she couldn't see any blinders and what was all this story about blinders.
 
  • #70
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Manuel_Silvio
Greetz,

1. For Mentat:

First of all, there's one thing I'd like to draw your attention to: I put my words in the place I seem suitable for them so the way my words are is an expression of my opinion, I'm not humming dial tone I'm talking so please don't ignore the words.


There is something that I'd like to bring to your attention as well. I don't ignore anything you say. I read all of it. I reply to that which I question, provided it appears relevant to the discussion at hand (namely: I think therefore I am).

And I'm telling you it does apply. The problem here is your misunderstanding of the notation I used.

See, you do understand the concept of function f(x), don't you? Like you've learnt in Mathematics, the function f(x) takes x from its domain and maps it into f(x) value from its range. Now consider P([beep]), P is a function that takes the action [beep] as the input and outputs a statement "there need be an I to [beep]." Function P works like a juicer, it takes apples (the action [beep], where you can place any action in place of [beep]) then it gives back apple juice (it gives you a statement, "there need be an I to [beep]").

Either you are still missing the point, or I am. You still keep implying that I'm saying "there need be an I to [bleep]". I am not saying that. I am saying that there need be an "I" for "I" to [bleep].

This notation, P([beep]), doesn't mean "P [beep]s therefore P is." P doesn't substitute the entity being studied, it is the notation of a function. P is used only as a generalization.

Which is why the "P[bleep]" reasoning doesn't apply to Descartes' philosophy. You must substitute an entity for "P" in order for it to be at all relevant to Descartes' philosophy.

Now, if you understand what I'm talking about, it will be clear that P([beep]) isn't Descartes' statement, it is a "helper" device for this proof. P([beep]) is independent from and irrelevant to Descartes' statement.

Then how can it possibly be relevant to this discussion?

This thread is named "I think therefore I am" and I'm trying to show this statements and all statements of the form "I [beep] therefore I am" lead to undesirable situations when viewed from the viewpoint of Boolean logic.

But you haven't showed that. You have showed that all statements of the form "P[bleep]" (the function notation) lead to undesirable results. And yet, you yourself have said that this reasoning (P[bleep] reasoning) is irrelevant to Descartes' philosophy.

P([beep]) is a word substitution function, like I said above. It's used as a generalization and a helper device in a specific proof that shows Descartes' statement, "cogito ergo sum," will result in confusion if it's viewed from the viewpoint of Boolean logic, which is the sort of logic used in these discussions.

Is it really a "helper device" if it is entirely seperate from and irrelevant to Descartes' type of reasoning (as shown above)?

The intonation and strength by which you say "I think therefore I am" is vital to the distinction made between a statement and a hint. You seem to like to shout it loud like there's something important, there's a victory. If you whispered it, like having found some tiny thing you liked then I wouldn't have opposed. For I would've understood that you hold "I think therefore I am" for your pleasure. Your tendency to shout the thing out makes this hint absurd and displays your stance as an aggressive attempt for certainty. Such attempt is, well, only heading for the wall. I suggest there would be a hit then, but then do you think this would happen if you quietly went around the wall?

I don't think that Descartes' philosophy is a victory over uncertainty. I know that there is debate to be had (about that particular philosophy, not just statements of the same kind), that's why I started this thread. However, I do think that it is an interesting/meritable philosophy, and that it has not been disproven yet (on this thread).

Like I told you (and you ignored), I approach Uncertainty in steps whose order makes sense out of nonsense. The first step is the discovery of Uncertainty. The next step is to see how Uncertainty plagues itself.

Which should lead you to discard Uncertainty. If Uncertainty plagues itself (because of it's paradoxical and self-contradictory nature), then it isn't useful, it's plagued. Why would you stay with something that was plagued, when you could continue with non-paradoxical studies, such as Science/Philosophy?

Having passed these stages in order, Uncertainty is washed along with itself as the last of all universal principles (for Uncertainty is the most general universal principle) but there remains a residue. That residue is an understanding that can't be found if Uncertainty is either ignored or held sacred. Ignoring Uncertainty is ignoring the common point of all human knowledge. Holding Uncertainty sacred, as that wouldn't contradict itself and remain a universal principle that doesn't apply to itself, will deprive one from that residual understanding. I won't attempt to describe what and how this understanding is but I'll say it's the only thing that remains after having doubted everything and anything; it's the last residue of philosophical thought. I guess you don't oppose the principle of skepticism in the face of what one knows (and what one doesn't know) for that's the foundation of Philosophy. You must ask "why?" in the face of what is seen as apparent by others and what seems apparent to yourself.

I do question that which is apparent. However, I do so through the use of logic and progressive knowledge. I build off of foundations, instead of reinventing the wheel at every point. I will question the foundation later, but if you question everything at once, you start all over again, every time.

After having understood what Uncertainty is, how it works, what its results are and how it is inevitable and paradoxical, you're left on your own to choose what has merit for you.

It is not inevitable. It is a choice, that you already seem certain of.

That's why I emphasize Uncertainty this much. No certainty can bring those degrees of freedom, even though there're still boundaries, that Uncertainty brings. Uncertainty is the most general point of view for it simply allows everything.

If one is Uncertain about all things, then there can be no boundary. However, this creates a paradox similar to that of the paradox of limitlessness, which I have discussed on numerous threads. This means that Uncertainty itself, when applied to all things, is paradoxical. Not just plagued/dirty/difficult, but paradoxical, and paradox is the dead-end of progressive knowledge, as I see it.

You're committed to Science and that's your choice. Uncertainty won't lower, honor or change that but it gives you the freedom to see countless other options. I, too, have to some extents chosen my way of life, for now. Uncertainty gives me the freedom to see how worthless may be all that I hold dear. I, too, am interested in Science (you see, I'm a student of Physics) and will learn whatever comes my way. This, however, doesn't prevent me from seeing how trivial all Science may be, and what complexities may be beyond what I see, and that I may be dead wrong with all this.

Well, sure, I should be able to see other options. But, in doing so, I have to be able to look beyond Uncertainty itself. The only thing other than Uncertainty is Certainty, and since there isn't supposed to be anything certain, I shouldn't be able to look beyond Uncertainty. Thus, Uncertainty is a dead-end, isn't it?

You, passionate for Science, see irrationality as absolute mishmash. Matter of fact irrationality has very often its own rationale. That you can't see the complexity beyond what you understand doesn't mean it won't someday strike you hard from ambush.

Irrationality is mere "mishmash". That's the point of the irrational. If you say that there is something rational about irrationality, then you have another paradox on your hands. How many paradoxes must one run into, before abandoning a certain line of reasoning?

Uncertainty needn't allow certainties but again it's a drive towards them.

And thus, you use Uncertainty to get certainty. And yet, Uncertainty dictates that there are no certainties. How can a line of reasoning lead to something, when it (the line of reasoning) is based on teh premise that that "something" doesn't exist?

What do you want out of certainty?

A foundation, from which to question that which I am not certain about. There's not enough time in life to question everything. I'm only 14 and I know that.

Certainty is clearly the end to research. When you know something and know it for sure, will you do research activities? Isn't Uncertainty about your subject a better station to start from?

I told you, a degree of uncertainty is good - necessar in fact. I only object to being uncertain about everything (I don't even think you can be, but that's a subject for another thread).

Where does your passion for progress come from? Who says progress in its current form is better than stability? All your reasoning is based on your suppositions (suppositions like, "science is good," "learning is good," "progress is necessary") that don't seem to be more valid to me.

Well, it's my outlook on life. How is "nothing is certain" better than "progressive knowledge is necessary"?
 
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