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In terms of mathmatical logical philosophy does reality have to exist?

  1. May 23, 2003 #1

    Continued from my past post
    My definition of existence is a narrow principle; not a grand principle. It is logical to me to say that if some form "exists" (existence in the an ultimate, absolute, philosophical sense; a common philosophyical question is whether oneself exists, superficially we can say that we do, it is more difficult to provide a philosophical "proof.") than anything else in connection (that was created, assembled, or is a part of) with this source "exists." For example, if God "exists" and he created man, than we "exist." Or if "chemical elements such as oxygen" "exists," than any compound composed of oxygen "exists." Hydrogen "exists" because water "exist" since they are both expressed in the same dimensions. Anything that can be conceptualized "exists" however one can be wrong on "how" it "exists." Somethings may "exists" as a fragment of our imagination. Despite all of this; the bigger question to be answered is whether anything exists. Thus one can understand why it is easy for somebody who does not believe in God to questions one's existence.]

  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2003 #2


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    Does anything exist ?
    I have no idea. And, it's likely that there's
    no way for me to know this.

    Live long and prosper.
  4. May 23, 2003 #3
    Your logic is once again fundamentally flawed. Many who believe in God, for example, do not believe they really exist or that the world of phemonena really exists. Instead, they believe God is all that exists and everything else is illusory. If I had to guess, your mistake stems from using narrow definitions of God, existence, and Atheism.

    You can continue to pursue this line of reasoning, but if the history of philosophy is any sort of guide you will not succeed. The moderators, by-the-way, frown upon openning new threads to discuss what is essentially the same topic. In this case, you are still pursuing the same line of self-referential, redundant, and circular logical reasoning.
  5. May 23, 2003 #4
    My main question was whether reality I]has[/I] to exist.

    I guess the question that concerns most of us is whether we can ever be a part of this reality or whether we are included in this reality.

    But we know that reality exists somewhere.
  6. May 23, 2003 #5


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    What do you mean by "reality" ?
  7. May 23, 2003 #6
    I don't know that. What I do know is that it simply doesn't matter whether reality exists or not, I will live my life as best I can no matter how real or illusory.

    Once I dreamed I was a butterfly,
    Or am I really a butterfly dreaming I am a man?
    Chuang Tzu
  8. May 23, 2003 #7
    Once again we have to go back to Descarte: Cognito ergo sum.
    I think therefor I am.
    This is the beginning. Logically it proves that I exist but nothing else nor whether my existence is a physical reality. To you of course it proves that you exist but not that I do.
    It has taken me years before I found and accepted the next logical step.
    "I am constantly being supplied by thoughts, information and stimuli that I know that are not interally produced or cannot be previously known to me. I, therefore deduce that there are other I's that exist and other things that exist."
    From here we can deduce that our senses while limited and falable do indeed show us some form of reality as what we perceive is comparable to what others report to perceive and therefore have some relationship with reality; although there is no way that I can know that the blue that I see is the same blue that you see. From here we deduce the universe.
    I still have no way to prove that physical existence is a reality. I don't think that it matters. Like wuli, I can and will go on living my life as best I can whether it is illusion, physically real or just my elaborate dream.
  9. May 24, 2003 #8

    You don't have to go back to Descartes, there do exist alternatives. In fact, Descartes own famous dictum indicates one such alternative. Rather than "I think, therefore I am" we can assert its opposite, I don't think, therefore I am! Or, as Aart Van Der Leeuw put it succinctly, “The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

    There exist many types of logic, mathematics, and philosophies. Notably what distinguishes philosophy from the other two is that philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom. An old story has it that a man came across a drunk looking under a street lamp one night. The drunk said he was looking for his keys which he had dropped. After helping him search unsuccessfully under the lamp he asked the drunk exactly where he had lost his keys. The drunk replied, "Somewhere over there in the dark, but I can't see a thing over there so I'm looking under the light instead."
  10. May 24, 2003 #9
    Very interesting points.
  11. May 25, 2003 #10
    Your question is: Does 'reality', the universe, the material world 'have' to exist? In other words, can it be that the world in some way would not exist?

    Please try to answer this, by 'assuming', 'considering' or even 'imagining' no such reality would exist in the first place.

    How can you think about the world in a state, which in fact does not even exist, and which therefore could not even contain you. How can you even think, without you being there thinking?

    One can for sure 'think' about the non-existence of anything material (a world devoid of any material form or substance, even without space or time), but any such thought contains in all instances the 'you' thinking that thought. If there is no you thinking, then how can you think?
    Last edited: May 25, 2003
  12. May 26, 2003 #11
    Logically the answer is; yes, reality has to exist because there is some one, an I, to ask if reality has to exist.
    That 'I' has to exist to ask that or any question.
    That 'I' can only exist in a reality, any onther possiblity leads to an oxmoron, paradox.
    It is yet to be determined what reality that the 'I' exists in.
  13. May 28, 2003 #12
    you make that sound as if it's a bad thing! :wink:
    but it is a good question. why should the universe go through all the bother of existing? i hope we aren't it's ultimate goal!
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