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What's the point ?

  1. Oct 5, 2004 #1
    what's the point ???

    In having a metaphysics section if we can't discuss or promote our own views of what this section is set up for...

    ...can anyone say thought police

    Exactly what is it that you mods are scared of???

    that someone might do you out of a job and make all your years of study redundant with a single insight

    It's just harmless cyber talk why the heavy handed response ???
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2004 #2
    Theories of knowledge, the mind, personal identity, and the nature of the universe.

    perhaps you should redefine the terms here cos now it seems like personal theories aren't allowed unless validated by who ???

    everything I've posted fits the criteria so what's the problem ???
  4. Oct 5, 2004 #3

    Tom Mattson

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    First of all, the Metaphyhsics and Epistemology Forum is not the place for this. This is a topic for the Feedback and Announcements Forum, so I'm moving it.

    Second, there are no "thought police" here. Any member is free--as a human being--to hold any opinion he wishes, no matter how daft or unfounded. But that doesn't mean we have to host it here at PF.

    My most immediate concern when I wear the "mod hat" is that this site does not become overrun by the sort of unreasoned post that I locked. After all, you are referring to that thread of Baryion's, correct?

    Where's the insight? Real knowledge consists of a set of justified, true beliefs. I don't doubt that it is the case that Baryion believes what he says, and it may even be the case that it what he believes is true. But where's the justification? That's the hard part, and that's what philosophy is about. Not speculation or preaching.

    It's not harmless if it contributes to the overall dumbing-down of Physics Forums.

    Personal theories have to be substantiated somehow. In the Philosophy Forums, theories are to be substantiated via valid deductions from premises. A list of personal opinions does not a philsophical theory make.

    And there is no need to redefine any of the terms you quoted. All of those are standard metaphysical and epistemological topics. It's just that they are normally discussed by academic philosophers with more rigor than you are probably used to. But with all due respect, that's your problem, not ours.

    I don't know if that's true or not, but now that you've got my attention, you can be sure that I'll be watching to make sure that what you post does indeed match the standards of Physics Forums.
  5. Oct 6, 2004 #4
    maybe in classical physics not when youre dealing with metaphysics and philosophy where everything is subjective and interpretive.

    yet you would police these forums and decide that which you deem fit for disccussion and based on what ??? a set of immutable laws ???

    dude, that 's all a philosophy is, a personal perception of reality that ultimately only constitutes ones opinion

    you didn't even give him the chance to justify his claims or allow discussion to possibly enlighten him on his philosophical or metaphysical outlook and once again merely your opinion

    your personal opinion again and one could argue that even the inclusion of metaphysics in Physics Forum constitutes a dumbing down if one had a purist physics mentality. Don't you think cutest forum guy and girl pics is kinda dumbing things down ???

    then let it ride and decide at an appropriate stage. It appears you were heavy handed and fully intend to be in your future policing of any other thoughts i shall post

    The world doesn't stop thinking or engaging in dialogue just because you want it too and neither does blocking your ears silence a truth that might not neccessarily be yours. Philosophy is not fixed in some noble past to be validated only by ancient texts. Let it, us and this forum evolve naturally. Your presence as an observer will now affect the outcome of any further discourse and i argue that it shouldn't have in the metaphysics forum as everything Bariyon posted was in line with...

    ...Theories of knowledge, the mind, personal identity, and the nature of the universe

  6. Oct 6, 2004 #5


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    I have looked at the post by bariyon. There was nothing in it that had any value as far as epistemology is concerned. Feel free to look up the term if it is unfamiliar to you; you will find that the post does NOT fit those criteria. Most of it did not even make logical sense, as was pointed out. At best, the ideas therein are based on a misunderstanding of the extent and scope of science or the "unified theory" as defined by physics. At worst, it's just a typical crank post that attacks science for no well grounded reason.
    That's right. This isn't a chat room where anyone with an internet connection can post whatever gibberish crosses their mind. There are high intellectual standards here in any section other than the PF lounge, and frankly an argument like this
    doesn't measure up to them. Not I nor anyone else can force you to think one way or another, but those who pay for this site have every right to decide what content they want to host. Should anyone not agree with that, there are plenty of other sites to choose from.
    Well, dude, go pick up, like, a dictionary, and, uh, look up the word philosophy, yea, and, like, thanks for sharing your ignorance and misconceptions.

    Neither will PF stop thinking or engaging in dialogue if it filters out what constitutes abject nonsense, or if those who post such nonsense decide to deprive us of their contribution and take it to the AOL forums.
  7. Oct 6, 2004 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    Wrong. That definition of knowledge comes from philosophy itself. It's taught in the first day of an epistemology course. Try taking one.

    Based on the academic standards of philosophy, as taught in any university. Again, try taking a course in the subject.

    Wrong. Philosophy is a serious attempt to put one's opinion on firm logical footings and to formulate theories in a self-consistent way. Analysis is at the heart of philsophical pursuits. Lists of dogmas or a poorly formulated position based on knee-jerk reactions do not constitute philosophy by any stretch of the imagination.

    His post constitutes an essentially religious argument. See especially the part about prophecy. This does not have a place at Physics Forums.

    The only way to argue that metaphysics serves to dumb down Physics Forums, is if one does not know or care about what metaphysics is. But I assure you that metaphysics is a serious academic discipline, and we at Physics Forums fully intend to maintain the same standard of quality in the Philosophy Forums as in the rest of the site.

    No, I think that thread serves to "lighten things up".

    I did decide at an appropriate stage.

    This is totally irrelevant to my locking the thread. I'm fully aware that philosophical research continues today. The point is that it is conducted at a much higher level than you are used to.

    My actions are intended to send the message that philsophical threads should meet the standards of the subject, as it is practiced by philosophers. I see nothing wrong with that.

    No, it wasn't.
  8. Oct 6, 2004 #7


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    Hey, maybe this is a good reason to get rid of the philosophy/metaphysical section! :)

    <ZapperZ runs and hides from the incoming barrage of rotten tomatoes>

  9. Oct 6, 2004 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    I'd hate for that to happen. :frown:

    I think that philosophy is very important. I just think that the bar needs to be raised to the level of academic philosophy.

    Spouting off personal opinions with no justification or coherent logical structure is no more metaphysics than "7&@#321 + 42&*( = 0" is math.
  10. Oct 6, 2004 #9


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    Of course, I said that in jest. I'm sure you are right, Tom.

    On the other hand, I make no bones about my prejudice against philosophical/metalphysical discussions. Even at the so-called "academic" level philosophy, post-modernism, for example, have been nothing but a bastardization of physics that finally got a good smack on the face with the Alan Sokal hoax. So you will get no complaints from me if such a thing isn't a part of PF. However, I make no pretense and am fully aware that I am only a small minority with such opinions.

  11. Oct 6, 2004 #10


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    I sort of agree, alot of modern philsophy espeically philosophy as an academic subject is moribund (metaphysics is completly moribund for example). Over the years the useful areas such as maths, the natrual sciences, medicine, poltics, social science, psychology, etc, have all split off into their own specialized disciplines leaving modern day 'philosophers' with very little of substance to mull over.
  12. Oct 6, 2004 #11


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    Me neither.

    I've raised the point before that all kinds of crackpot preachers spout their own illiterate versions of physics to explain things like God. Unknowing passersby may believe this to be real physics and swallow the explanation that science proves the existence of God (or whatever), simply because this crackpot theory is allowed to thrive within a "legitimate science" Forum.

    In my opinion, not enough threads get locked in Philosophy, and there just aren't enough mentors there to police the voluminous portions of pottery that flood in every day.

    This opinion is based on observations from about a month ago and before. I haven't much visited Philosophy lately, so I only hope that things have gotten stricter there.
  13. Oct 6, 2004 #12
    You actually did ! :redface:
    and heck you are correct, but if in my eyes they were equally compared with rotten tomatoes. Just some kinds of doggies barbariers, I personally think so, don't know if there is anyone feeling the same...
    Agree...:redface: This is proving what I said.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  14. Oct 6, 2004 #13


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    I have a similar anti-philosophy prejudice in that I like philosophy, but from what I've seen, much of what passes for philosophy isn't very logical. What people often think is philosophy often looks more like fantasy. I'm for keeping the forum but making sure it stays on point (so long as I'm not the one who has to read through all those posts :biggrin: ) .
  15. Oct 6, 2004 #14

    I don't think mods are afraid at all, I myself have lots of threads or posts deleted, it was my bad, I admit.
    If ALL of what Y.O.U learnt helps you to give a RIGHT answer!
    Look, on PF, I think all are treated the same. If you think you are superior and afraid to post incorrect answer, use different your usernames, be more active. I think someone knows this well, right ?
    If you are going to post something incorrect, I think I will try to be the first to CORRECT Y.O.U.
    :redface: How shameless I am! I love peace too.

    If it DIDN'T measure up to anything, would Y.O.U be here to yelling at such nonsense ?
    To me, it "sensed/senses" so much and deserves being acceptable. Errr, where is such a hyp coming from though(the blue quote)?

    I hope you yourself come here/or payed to be PF contributeor with the only purpose of 4444444 science, not about looking for some chances of expanding your arms.

    Misconceptions and incorrect answers should be corrected immediately or reported to mods.
    If someone didn't try to prove someone's hypo was incorrect in certain posts, please stop showing us how his tongue is moving. Thats what I would like to say! and truely hope it is understandable.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  16. Oct 6, 2004 #15


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    "Minority status?" Count me in --- if Tom can straighten out the "make it up as we go along" (my opinion) crowd, that's cool --- but, I'm not holding my breath.
  17. Oct 6, 2004 #16
    so it was the prophecy thing you objected to...

    well isn't predictive results for physics experiments a kind of a prophecy ???

    I still think you guys overreacted and are simply trying to grandsatnd your supposed superior intellect and police what we should be able to think and discuss. Most of you don't even post in that section anyway.

    lightening up/dumbing down same difference in my book

    methinks you guys need to get off your high horses and walk and talk with the real people in free, open discussions. You might just learn something you didn't know without feeling the need to attack just cos you don't understand another's perspective cos you don't have a monopoly on truth or knowledge

  18. Oct 6, 2004 #17


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    I have to admit that in my own wanderings through the philosophy forum, I haven't seen much to distinguish it from the general discussion forum. There are a few academic posts in the subfora, but it probably needs to be more rigorously enforced. The majority of the posts there aren't very reflective of the rigor that would be applied to an academic philosophical argument. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what the subject of philosophy even includes, let alone ability to apply it, which leads to many people thinking philosophy is a synonym for personal opinion. I have to agree with the other viewpoint presented here, that one problem with philosophy as its own discipline now is that all the interesting branches of philosophy have broken off and taken root as independent subjects (all the various math and science fields). Philosophers seem to have lost sight of the fact that philosophy's offspring have far surpassed their parent in knowledge of those individual subjects. I've heard legitimate philosophers speak, and the scientists in the audience cringe at what really does sound like cracked pottery at its best. They're so busy creating assumptions and conditions that they lose sight that we already have experimental evidence that completely uproots their assumptions, making the entire argument moot.

    I guess science putting up with philosophy is sort of like putting up with a stubborn, elderly parent. You know their way of doing things is a bit out-dated and you can't change their mind on that, but since they are your parent, you love them anyway.
  19. Oct 6, 2004 #18

    Tom Mattson

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    No, it was the entire post I objected to. It simply is not philosophy.


    For the second and final time: We do not moderate anyone's thoughts, but we do moderate what is posted here.

    Maybe that's because most of what is posted there is utter nonsense.

    But that is all about to change, I can assure you.

    Your book is clearly not the dictionary then.

    And this just proves that you haven't the slightest idea of what's going on here, or why I took the action that I did.
  20. Oct 7, 2004 #19


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    Once again, if you have the cognitive skills to look up the term epistemology, it will become clear that the post was anything but. I generally do not post in that section because I don't style myself as a philosopher and therefore can't make much of a meaningful contribution there. In passing, I should state that I personally have great respect for proper philosophy. However, in the same manner that randomly stringing scientific terms in sentences and paragraphs does not constitute a scientific theory, neither does any collection of ideas qualify as philosophy.

    This is akin to saying that a university that organizes social events for its students and faculty dumbs down the quality of its education and research, and carries about as much validity.

    I'll have to admit that you've got me here. For once, I am stumped since I cannot decide which of these lines is more absurd, nor where to start in exposing that. What exactly qualifies people as "real"? Do you think none of us here know anything beyond the ends of our pencils perchance, or that we are a bunch of geeks who wouldn't last a second in the "real" world? Is "real" some quality you might possess that somehow gives you the moral right to lecture the entire administration here? Kid, I think that it is instead you who has no idea what the "real" world is like, otherwise you'd have long dropped the attitude many a year ago. Feel free to prove me wrong. If you believe that you have anything to teach us, proceed to awe us. However, before you do, please give me a moment to calm down from my own riotous laughter triggered by a completely unrelated matter.

    To put it another way, if people can carry an argument at the level that we expect here, they are very welcome to do so, anywhere in this site. If they cannot, it will not be held against thm, as long as they defer to and allow those people who know what they are doing to do what they need to do. Knowing the limits of one's knowledge is an important trait of anyone who either is or aspires to be a serious academic. Therefore, self-important attitudes and short-mindedness are two things that are not needed here. There is nothing more irritating than having to listen to someone who clearly enjoys listening to himself talk, but has nothing of value to say. I have nothing more to say except that many self-styled prodigies who walked down the path you're taking have discovered that at the end of it lies a permanent IP ban from this site.

    PS. As this thread has deviated greatly from its original subject, I suggest that either we return to it if anyone feels anything else needs to be said or explained, or otherwise move on.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  21. Oct 7, 2004 #20
    yes i do actually but there might be the odd exception.

    likewise. Give me an original thought you may have had. and not one regurgitated from somebody else. Dazzle me with your brilliance. Otherwise perhaps comment on my first post in the "coming unified theory" thread that got locked too soon or even my second post.

    I mean really is this where I'm supposed to be intellectually intimidated and fearful of getting banned because we have a differing of opinions ???

    sorry to disappoint you but if you think locked away in your ivory towers publishing papers that have little or no relevence to the "real" world and "real" people gives you a monopoly on defining truth and the nature of knowledge then I'm afraid you might just be deluding yourself.

    Bariyon's thread could have opened up new insights and discussion on metaphysics and what was that word again ???... epistemology. It may have possibly even triggered an original thought on your behalf but alas we'll never know now.

    don't you mean rigor mortis ???

    as far as I understand these aren't the hallowed halls of science in some crusty university this is merely a cyber drop in cafe of physics minded people of all ages and intellects. If you want academic philosophical arguments then post up a thread and let's have it.

    now why the hell would i want to be a serious academic for if it means losing touch with reality or limiting ones knowledge ???
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