The ultimate mystery

  • #1
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Is there an incompleteness which, over all others, defines our existence?
 

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  • #2
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there sure is.
 
  • #3
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I'd say yes also. But it might depend on exactly what you mean by incomplete.
 
  • #4
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Specifically, an incompleteness which defines our existence entirely.
 
  • #5
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What if the feelings of incompleteness were just our perception of Ions in our systems, that are looking for bonds to make? What if it is our natural state to detect our own electricity as an open circuit, that seeks closure due to the workings of entropy, or inertia of rest?
 
  • #6
loseyourname
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Incompleteness sure doesn't define my existence entirely. I had a complete breakfast this morning and I'm not missing any limbs or anything.
 
  • #7
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I'd say we are half complete.
 
  • #8
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In other words, are we beings who are not or who are - "half empty or half full"?
 
  • #9
loseyourname
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How exactly do you make a distinction? Any object that is halfway between two extremes is half of each. If we truly were half full, we'd also be half empty.
 
  • #10
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That is determined by whether we are in the process of being emptied or filled.


by the way loseyourname, i miss your old avatar. o:)
 
  • #11
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If physics is a mathematical model of the universe then physics cannot model the universe both completely or consistently. Stephen Hawkings concludes that physics must be forever incomplete since, presumably, we will weed out any inconsistencies over time. There will therefore always be a gap in the scientific model of the universe.

Two of the most obvious gaps appear in our scientific/philosophical explanations of cosomgeny and consciousness. According to many philosophers both these gaps are logically unfillable.

The question then becomes whether these gaps are the result of some quirk of our epistemology, as Colin Mcginn and I think also Hawkings suggest, or are they 'ontological'. In other words, are the gaps in our explanations a sign of the limitations of the formal axiomatic systems we use when we are reasoning, or is there actually something in these explanatory gaps whose nature is such that it cannot be represented or modelled as an object within such a system? If the latter then is this 'God of the Gaps' (that cannot be 'idolised' within the system) the thing which 'defines our existence', in the sense of underlying or giving rise to it?

Loren - I took this to be the question here, but there weren't many clues. Is this roughly what you were getting at at?
 
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  • #12
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Unfillable it is. I fear that by filling ourselves to complete ourselves, we will end up reversing the completeness. There would be no way of knowing if we were complete unless we tested our completeness by emptying ourselves. If test prove that we were complete then we would have to try and complete ourselves over again.

Sorry if I seem bit simple but I prefer it that way.
 
  • #13
loseyourname
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Canute said:
Loren - I took this to be the question here, but there weren't many clues. Is this roughly what you were getting at at?
How the heck did you get that from his question? He never once mentioned physics, mathematics, or any other means of describing things. He just asked if incompleteness defines our existence. Even granting that physics does not give a complete description of things, how does it follow that incompleteness defines human existence? Did you suddenly change your mind and decide that humans are purely physical after all?
 
  • #14
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i am not incomplete at all, and as a matter of fact, some would say that i am too complete
 
  • #15
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oh gawd, this will sound sooo zen! we are as complete as we need to be or should be at this moment.

BUT, we will never be complete because we are expanding within an infinite, expanding universe.

even IF we should ever become complete within our current reality system, wouldn't we start another universe?

love&peace,
olde drunk


"heaven was created by your clergy so they could charge admission"
 
  • #16
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Actually (being a physicist) I had implied a model representing a physical simplification of our extant selves. Such a self would be reducible to logic, but may be considered as including or excluding any aspect of our hypothetical reality.
 
  • #17
loseyourname
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Loren Booda said:
Actually (being a physicist) I had implied a model representing a physical simplification of our extant selves. Such a self would be reducible to logic, but may be considered as including or excluding any aspect of our hypothetical reality.
That still doesn't tell me much about what you mean when you ask if incompleteness defines human existence. Are you asking only if a physical model of a human is incomplete?
 
  • #18
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I believe I am asking if only a logical (e. g., reduced physical) model can define its existence through its limitations.
 
  • #19
loseyourname
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Why the "we" then? I don't know if logic is defined entirely by its limitations, or that anything is, for that matter. Any system of operations is defined by what it can do as much as by what it cannot do. In fact, I would say the former provides a better definition. In order to define a system by what it cannot do, you would first need to define every possible operation that can be carried out, then define the operations that the system in question cannot carry out. It is far simpler, from what I can see, to just define your system by defining what it can do and stipulating that it can do nothing more.
 
  • #20
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Defining existance will always end with incompleteness when you ignore the existance of the universe as a whole and only try to define human existance.
 
  • #21
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But is it always simpler (or possible) to define existence in terms of what is, rather than what is not?
 
  • #22
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I think that we are a part of a huge chemical reaction that is occurring on Earth. In order for our individual fires to burn, we process fuels that were created by the catalytic and energetic relationship we have with our star. In order to be, we must burn, we as entities are never complete, we are in a continuous state of becoming, right up until our individual fire goes out.

The Universe at large is like a huge swap meet, where everything is traded, energy, matter, influence, intention, with out this "Swap Meet", of everything seen and unseen, known and unknown, well; "what is" would not be in the form we have come to wonder about, know, and love.

With the glimpses available to me, stretching back into the past, of our infinite dwelling place, (it might as well be, as far as we are concerned), and of its breadth and depth, and yet strange regularity, I gather that we are very small. Yet in our smallness there is such outrageous variation, and yet stultifying sameness, I imagine this exists elsewhere, not us, or like us, but possibly exactly like us, since we are such handy flesh machines.

We are bipedal, and dextrous, curious, furious, and inspired, and utterly dull. In spite of all that we can fathom, or perceive, there really seems to be a whole lot more emptiness, than there is substance. I say the essence of emptiness is longing, nature abhors a vacuum, we are an extension of that, and we feel empty on many occasions in any day. This seems, to my way of thinking, entirely appropriate, it is only a problem if we decide to fill up on the wrong things. There are wrong things, that make the apprehension of the majesty, and beauty of every moment unavailable, lots of wrong things that make our essential lives, unavailable to us.

One of the most wonderful, and useless things we do, is to dwell in our heads, and on the acts of our society, to the extent that we miss the world at large. I try to see the sun for a few minutes every day, I try to take stock of quality and nature of each day, and the angle of the earth relative to the sun. I try to see the stars each night, or at least check out the sunset. I try to get a smell of the way the world is in its natural state, once a day, and I try to set myself down in the world, that I may just exist for a few moments, kind of clearing the deck, and experiencing fully what it is to be a resident of the Universe, in our Solar System, and on our world, and in my body. From there I reach out to the all, and try to just be right where I am. That helps me keep in balance, and keeps my place in the scheme of things. Where we are in space time, where we are in relation to the light of the changing season, where we are in relation to ourselves, is very important to us. Our current civilization is a thin veneer over the end of a very long history, lived on the cheek of The Universe, and desperately in need of its bounties.

Emptiness to me is a reminder of our debt to the all, and the long history of the fire, that is our species. I maintain that the feeling of emptiness it is our innate understanding of the nature of the Universe.
 
  • #23
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I don't think it is possible to define existance by what is not. If you try to define existance by what is not then you must also define "not".
 
  • #24
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My life is not complete. I will no longer be here the moment when it is. So, tenetively I would agree, one can never be 'complete'.

Was that what you were asking?

BTW: Hey Booda, how you doing?
 

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