Philosophy: Materialism versus Idealism

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  • #26
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet how did this "modern" material world come into existence, if not through the "abstract mind" of man? Are you saying the world is just an abstraction then? You see then you're contradicting yourself.
The forming and shaping of the modern world has much to do of course with the mental capabilities of mankind, but it would be a too abstract idea to claim that the modern world was "created" by abstract mind. We have to consider the fact that the human mind was constantly interacting with the outside world, and this interaction "created" or shaped the modern world.
By putting abstract ideas into practice, find out how things work, exploring the limits of the material world, etc.
There is a lot more involved then just our "abstract minds"!
Our minds are constantly shaped by our environment, as the world changes, also our ideas about the world change. And as the same time, our mindly efforts put into practice, shape and form and change the world, etc.
 
  • #27
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Originally posted by heusdens
The forming and shaping of the modern world has much to do of course with the mental capabilities of mankind, but it would be a too abstract idea to claim that the modern world was "created" by abstract mind. We have to consider the fact that the human mind was constantly interacting with the outside world, and this interaction "created" or shaped the modern world.
By putting abstract ideas into practice, find out how things work, exploring the limits of the material world, etc.
There is a lot more involved then just our "abstract minds"!
Our minds are constantly shaped by our environment, as the world changes, also our ideas about the world change. And as the same time, our mindly efforts put into practice, shape and form and change the world, etc.
And yet there's a tremendous difference between the modern world and the natural world. They are no longer one and the same! In fact the world of man is a totally foreign/abstract concept to the world of nature, meaning it's reasonable to assess that mankind has "imposed" his abstractions upon nature. Whereas if we don't find a way to return things back to their "natural element," by adopting a suitable philosophy -- no doubt "organically based," with an element of idealism -- then we will very likely be in danger of losing everything.
 
  • #28
Zero
Originally posted by Mentat
But the point that I am making is that the world's behavior is also perfectly consistent with Idealism. That's why they are both unfalsifiable and unprovable.
Quite...but you can make predictions from Materialism(or from Idealism that is exactly the same, practicaly, as Materialism).
 
  • #29
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet there's a tremendous difference between the modern world and the natural world. They are no longer one and the same! In fact the world of man is a totally foreign/abstract concept to the world of nature, meaning it's reasonable to assess that mankind has "imposed" his abstractions upon nature. Whereas if we don't find a way to return things back to their "natural element," by adopting a suitable philosophy -- no doubt "organically based," with an element of idealism -- then we will very likely be in danger of losing everything.
I wonder, because I don't believe there is any distinction between one 'world' and another. it is all one, it is all made up of teh same component parts, and it is all we have.
 
  • #30
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Originally posted by Zero
I wonder, because I don't believe there is any distinction between one 'world' and another. it is all one, it is all made up of teh same component parts, and it is all we have.
And yet the world would be a pretty pristine place (in all its natural wonder) without the exploits of man.
 
  • #31
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Originally posted by Zero
I wonder, because I don't believe there is any distinction between one 'world' and another. it is all one, it is all made up of teh same component parts, and it is all we have.
In this I agree with you completely, Zero. We, mankind, are as much a part of nature as the birds and the bees. We can not separate nature from mankind nor mankind from nature. This is just one more example how objective idealism and materialism can complement each other.

Concider the artist and his work of art. Which is more real the created or the creator?
 
  • #32
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Originally posted by Royce
In this I agree with you completely, Zero. We, mankind, are as much a part of nature as the birds and the bees. We can not separate nature from mankind nor mankind from nature. This is just one more example how objective idealism and materialism can complement each other.

Concider the artist and his work of art. Which is more real the created or the creator?
Living in harmony with nature huh? Or, have we coerced nature to live in harmony with ours? Are you sure this doesn't belie the fall?
 
  • #33
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Living in harmony with nature huh? Or, have we coerced nature to live in harmony with ours? Are you sure this doesn't belie the fall?
Again with the ill-defined, emotion definitions. There is no harmony, no 'natural' way for the world to be, except for what it is, right now.
 
  • #34
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I can live in harmony with myself and this is called grace or enlightenment. I can live in conflict with myself and this is called disharmony or unenlightened. I cannot fall from myself. I am what I am and all that I am is what I am. I am of nature and nature of me. How shall I fall from nature and still yet live. How can I fall from myself and yet still be me. If as you believe there is One then we are of the One. We are of the world and of the universe. I nor you can not fall off nor out of the One or the One would cease to exist and would no longer be the one This too is part of the paradox.
 
  • #35
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Zero, we keep saying the same things in different ways and coming from two different places. Maybe we're not as far apart as we think we are.
 
  • #36
Zero
Originally posted by Royce
Zero, we keep saying the same things in different ways and coming from two different places. Maybe we're not as far apart as we think we are.
Yeah, except I come from it from a more pragmatic place, from teh concept that what is, simply is, and there isn't a more natural or less natural way for things to be.

The point on this thread that I have been trying to make is, is that the world BEHAVES in materialistic ways. Until someone shows proof that it is anything else, our best bet is to continue to treat it as such. It is like seeking the answer to the question 'how does gravity work?'...we can't say for sure, and our definitions may all be wrong. In the meanwhile, however, our ideas, based on materialism, continue to accurately predict teh effects of gravity, so they are more useful than speculating that gravity is a magical force, or that it is the effect of invisible rubber bands, or whatever.
 
  • #37
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I don't really know how to break this to you, Zero; but, if Lao Tze were here, a modern man, he would put the Tao in all most the same words you have just used. If Wuli were here I'm sure he would say much the same without of course agreeing with either of us:wink:
From my Zen view it is the same. Niether Zen nor Tao are really religious or spiritual but as Wuli just said in another thread more of attitude or they way we think of nature. Mainly that nature is.
It just is and we are a part of it. You want to study it and learn all about it, as I do. We also want to accept it as it is and come to know it that way.
 
  • #38
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Originally posted by Royce
I can live in harmony with myself and this is called grace or enlightenment. I can live in conflict with myself and this is called disharmony or unenlightened. I cannot fall from myself. I am what I am and all that I am is what I am. I am of nature and nature of me. How shall I fall from nature and still yet live. How can I fall from myself and yet still be me. If as you believe there is One then we are of the One. We are of the world and of the universe. I nor you can not fall off nor out of the One or the One would cease to exist and would no longer be the one This too is part of the paradox.
We deel in subtleties, yes indeed. And yet the serpent, which is also one of God's creatures, crawls on its belly.
 
  • #39
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
We deel in subtleties, yes indeed. And yet the serpent, which is also one of God's creatures, crawls on its belly.
Your point? You would maybe have it fly? It is a serpent thats what serpents do. It is Gods chreature and neither evil nor good. It is.
 
  • #40
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Originally posted by Royce
Your point? You would maybe have it fly? It is a serpent thats what serpents do. It is Gods chreature and neither evil nor good. It is.
Well it's not good to argue with a serpert, if you wish to keep what you say in context. In which case it most likely "does" set the criteria for good and evil.
 
  • #41
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Yes, in that context, it is not good to argue with a serpent but is the absence of good necessarily evil. That would imply that it is evil to argue with a serpent rather than just foolish, possibly suicidally so. It is also not good to argue with a fencepost but I find myself doing it all the time. [b(]
My problem is that the fencepost wins 2 out o3 falls.
 
  • #42
Hurkyl
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This to me means that - even when the theory of falsification is usefull to some extend - we can not make it into the only criterium for a theory to be called a scientific theory, cause that would lead to the conclusion, we can not falsify the falsification theory itself.
This is essentially the liar's paradox in disguise. Mathematical logic has devised a way out of this trap that would be applicable here.

The key is to prevent direct self-reference. Propositions in first-order logic are only allowed to be about fundamental variables; they're not allowed to be applied to other first-order propositions. However, second-order logic is allowed to ask about first-order things, but they're not allowed to ask about second-order things.

In general, any order of logic can make propositions about lower order logic, but not about anything on or above its level.


Here, the theory of falsification would be a second-order theory. Then, we can restate its premise as "A first-order theory is scientific iff it is falsifiable", and then it is immune from inquiring about itself.
 
  • #43
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Well it's not good to argue with a serpert, if you wish to keep what you say in context. In which case it most likely "does" set the criteria for good and evil.
Well...it seems silly to argue with animals that can't answer back. Is that supposed to be symbolic?
 
  • #44
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Originally posted by Hurkyl
This is essentially the liar's paradox in disguise. Mathematical logic has devised a way out of this trap that would be applicable here.

The key is to prevent direct self-reference. Propositions in first-order logic are only allowed to be about fundamental variables; they're not allowed to be applied to other first-order propositions. However, second-order logic is allowed to ask about first-order things, but they're not allowed to ask about second-order things.

In general, any order of logic can make propositions about lower order logic, but not about anything on or above its level.


Here, the theory of falsification would be a second-order theory. Then, we can restate its premise as "A first-order theory is scientific iff it is falsifiable", and then it is immune from inquiring about itself.
Yes, but then you just assume or state that there is a hierarchy in scientific theories. And you miss an important fact. A scientific theory might be true, even if it can't be falsified.
For that, one needs another criteria then the theory of falsification.
 
  • #45
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Originally posted by Zero
Well...it seems silly to argue with animals that can't answer back. Is that supposed to be symbolic?
A figure of speech. And yet there's something about the nature of a serpent which suggests being "beguiled." This is typically how it's viewed in western culture anyway, with respect to the fall of man, and yet in eastern culture the serpent is typically portrayed as the giver of life and a symbol of Eternity (while something similar could be said of a dragon). Which is strange because eastern culture is typically not based upon the fall of man, perhaps as if it had never occurred?

So here we are in the west, attempting to conquer and subdue nature (which was the point I was trying to make), while in the east, they have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years. See the correlation here?

And, while I questioned if it was appropriate to bring it up in the first place (i.e., feeling somebody was trying to screw with my brain, honest), now, having had time reflect, perhaps it was most appropriate? Perhaps it was the "beguiling" nature in me? By the way, the symbol of the yin and yang portrays a serpent within a circle, which I believe symbolizes Eternity ...
 
  • #46
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Originally posted by Iacchus32

And, while I questioned if it was appropriate to bring it up in the first place (i.e., feeling somebody was trying to screw with my brain, honest), now, having had time reflect, perhaps it was most appropriate? Perhaps it was the "beguiling" nature in me? By the way, the symbol of the yin and yang portrays a serpent within a circle, which I believe symbolizes Eternity ...
I hope that you don't think that I was trying to screw with your head.
That was not my intention; and, I apologize if that was what you thought. I was only giving another point of view not trying to convert or persuade anyone. My personal belief is that there was no Fall of mankind but that we are hopefully evolving and growing toward grace rather than having fallen from it.

We are digressing from the topic of this thread. I meant only to show an example and how little difference there really is between Materialism and Objective Idealism as defined above. Some think that the differences are insurmountable and a wide chasm exists between them. I don't think that that is necessarily true if we are not fanatical but open minded in our beliefs and philosophies.
 
  • #47
Alexander
Originally posted by Mentat
Your closed-minded statements (such as "materialism is real and idealism is fiction") make you most frustrating to speak to.

Replying to this groundless allegation, I should notice that here in physics forum so far YOUR mind is among most closed ones. Indeed - just look back at your naive posts about math being human construct.

And now it turns out that you can't even tell facts (matherialism), from fiction (idealism). This kind of mind is not only frustrationg but I am afraid hopless to educate.

Fortunately I was educated differently than you (=not to mix fiction with reality).

If you don't see the distinction between objects outside of your brain ond inside, then no wonder why you are so lost in understanding reality.:wink:

My advice - start reading good textbooks (physics, math, chemistry, astronomy, biology, geology, etc).
 
  • #48
Tom Mattson
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Originally posted by Alexander
I should notice that here in physics forum so far YOUR mind is among most closed ones. Indeed - just look back at your naive posts about math being human construct.
This is ridiculous. He has been trying to reason with you, and doing a great job of it.

And now it turns out that you can't even tell facts (matherialism), from fiction (idealism).
It is you who is impossible. Your "everything is math" religion is idealism. In fact, mathematics itself is a product of idealist philosophy. The figures of geometry, the equations of algebra, the solutions to differential equations, and anything other mathematical object you can think of exists only as an ideal form of the mind.

This kind of mind is not only frustrationg but I am afraid hopless to educate.
You are out of line here. Mentat is one of the most eager learners here, while you do not seem to care about learning new things at all.
 
  • #49
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Originally posted by Tom
You are out of line here. Mentat is one of the most eager learners here, while you do not seem to care about learning new things at all.
Agreed
 
  • #50
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Originally posted by AndersHermansson
Sounds to me that Materialism and Idealism are not comparable. Materialism explains what causes our existance. Idealism tells us that the only world is your world that goes on in your head. What I mean is that you can be a Materialist and an Idealist at the same time.
This is of course true. In practical life, all people are materialists. Suppose you cross a road and a car is driving in your direction. Anybody will try to prevent oneself from being driven over by the car, despite one being a philosophical idealist.
 

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