questions without answers

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Re: questions without answers

Postby Humpty » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:59 pm

i don't think you're trying to understand me, so you're subject to your criticism of me as well. if you say i shouldn't dismiss his ideas without trying to understand it, then you should treat me the same, unless you're a hypocrite of course. so try to understand where i'm coming from, and explain to me why i'm wrong.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:18 pm

Humpty wrote:i don't think you're trying to understand me, so you're subject to your criticism of me as well. if you say i shouldn't dismiss his ideas without trying to understand it, then you should treat me the same, unless you're a hypocrite of course. so try to understand where i'm coming from, and explain to me why i'm wrong.


I have already tried: I think you're being overly literal and rigid in your interpretation of what the question means and ignoring why it's asked (although not how it's asked :) ). It's not a formal logic class.

You even admit that it's "your paradigm on viewing the world", which makes your rigidity in the matter (and mockery of those with other paradigms) seem all the more arrogant. You can't see anyone else providing valid answers, and dismiss the answers that have been offered. Yet if you gave your literalist answer to someone asking the sort of questions in the OP in that context, they'd be dismissed just as you dismiss others. There's a complete lack of empathy or self-criticism, no consideration of the paradigms others might have, as far as I can see.

I understand that you want to strip everything down, keep it simple, and come up with the definitive answers. But you haven't, in my opinion, and it seems you don't want to consider that possibility.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Humpty » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:29 pm

Only_Humean wrote:I have already tried: I think you're being overly literal and rigid in your interpretation of what the question means and ignoring why it's asked (although not how it's asked :) ). It's not a formal logic class.

that's not an explanation of why i'm wrong. that's an explanation of why i might be wrong. i'm not asking for you to explain to me why i might be wrong, i'm asking for you to explain to me specifically why i am wrong.

it's like if we did a math test, and you were the teacher and i was the student, and i put a wrong answer and you marked it wrong, and then i asked you to explain to me why it's wrong, but instead of explaining the correct way to do the question, you told me, "oh you're wrong probably because you didn't get enough sleep in the morning." that's not the kind of answer i'm looking for. i want to know HOW TO BE RIGHT, and you're not providing that.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:54 pm

Humpty wrote:that's not an explanation of why i'm wrong. that's an explanation of why i might be wrong. i'm not asking for you to explain to me why i might be wrong, i'm asking for you to explain to me specifically why i am wrong.

it's like if we did a math test, and you were the teacher and i was the student, and i put a wrong answer and you marked it wrong, and then i asked you to explain to me why it's wrong, but instead of explaining the correct way to do the question, you told me, "oh you're wrong probably because you didn't get enough sleep in the morning." that's not the kind of answer i'm looking for. i want to know HOW TO BE RIGHT, and you're not providing that.


The whole maths analogy shows you're still thinking rigidly, analytically. I'm not a teacher, you're not a student, there's not an answer that I possess and you have to demonstrate that you know or can calculate.

I'm not saying you're wrong in what you're saying, only that what you're saying is not an answer relevant to the question. You can be right in what you say (or not) and not answer the question.

Q: What's 2 + 2?
A: an addition operation.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Humpty » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:56 pm

if you're going to tell me i'm wrong, then surely there's an answer you posses that i don't, and i'm asking you to teach me that. that's what's going on here. i'm asking you to teach me.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:04 pm

Seems to me that this whole "how and why" thing is about looking for purpose... a goal...

Because that's how we humans operate... or at least, that's the economic way of thinking about how we humans operate... saves us the truble of having to know the workings of our brains in detail... and if it works, it works...

We know we die because of how our bodies are built, and we know our bodies are built this way largely thanks to random mutation and natural selection.... so when you ask "why" you're helping yourself to the assumption that there's some kind of goal seeking mind behind evolution and it's development that indended for us to come into existence and die... and now you want to know what the purpose of that mind is... ?!?!?!?

Are you fucking kidding me???

you're going to make shit up and then ask questions about the crap YOU, YOURSELF, MADE UP.... !?!?!?

Go ahead and invent a purpose for the mind you invented... what the hell!!!
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:16 pm

Humpty wrote:if you're going to tell me i'm wrong,

"I'm not saying you're wrong in what you're saying"
Humpty wrote:then surely there's an answer you posses that i don't, and i'm asking you to teach me that. that's what's going on here. i'm asking you to teach me.

"I'm not a teacher, you're not a student"

Seriously, are you ignoring what I write, or are you trolling?

Your answer is not the answer the original questioner in context was looking for. I don't know what the right answer is, but I know wrong answers. This is not some contradiction or hypocrisy or sophistry. There are very, very many questions I don't know the answer to. But for each one, there are many more answers that I know do not answer the question.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Humpty » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:17 pm

you're saying i interpreted the question wrong, are you not?
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:28 pm

Humpty wrote:you're saying i interpreted the question wrong, are you not?


I don't know how you interpreted it, but I think you answer it in a way that wouldn't satisfy someone moved to ask it. I've said (or tried to say) several times that I don't have the answer that would do so.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:42 pm

Mad Man P wrote:We know we die because of how our bodies are built, and we know our bodies are built this way largely thanks to random mutation and natural selection.... so when you ask "why" you're helping yourself to the assumption that there's some kind of goal seeking mind behind evolution and it's development that indended for us to come into existence and die... and now you want to know what the purpose of that mind is... ?!?!?!?


I think this is an interesting point. But I don't think necessarily you have to assume a directing mind for meaning or purpose - although many people *will* do so, of course. You could also see it as questioning how to work negatively-perceived events into your own self-made meaning and purpose consistently.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:52 pm

Only_Humean wrote:I think this is an interesting point. But I don't think necessarily you have to assume a directing mind for meaning or purpose - although many people *will* do so, of course. You could also see it as questioning how to work negatively-perceived events into your own self-made meaning and purpose consistently.


I don't think it's a bad thing to come to terms with death... but trying to do so by being intellectually dishonest about it, seems cheap... don't ask "why do we die"... ask "how should we deal with death?"...
"I'm just saying that if we want to have a fruitful discussion, we all need to know what the fuck we're talking about" - Carleas

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Re: questions without answers

Postby Only_Humean » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:05 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
Only_Humean wrote:I think this is an interesting point. But I don't think necessarily you have to assume a directing mind for meaning or purpose - although many people *will* do so, of course. You could also see it as questioning how to work negatively-perceived events into your own self-made meaning and purpose consistently.


I don't think it's a bad thing to come to terms with death... but trying to do so by being intellectually dishonest about it, seems cheap... don't ask "why do we die"... ask "how should we deal with death?"...


But to take it further, if we are honest about the physical facts and accept the narratives that we create are really our own homegrown intersubjective truths that we use to make sense of the world, I don't think it's intellectually dishonest to say (e.g.) "People die to remind us that we are still living". I wouldn't recommend this particular example as, for among other reasons, it confusingly applies intentionality to the dead, but it's not a religiously-based abdication of truth, just a narrative we supply to 'place' death in a meaningful context to our life. It's certainly not a causal claim appropriate to a "how" question, though, and the point I've been trying to make is that it doesn't need to be.

Edit: I think actually that that echoes what you say.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:28 am

I see no problem and find myself in perfect agreement with what you just said... so long as it is understood the way you meant it... the danger is, of course, that it might invite misunderstanding.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:49 am

cheegster wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Well, I don't see the two as necessarily in conflict. If you are going to live your life to the fullest why do it stumbling around in the dark?


I'd say they are, because as soon as you start to pursue knowledge you have to answer the questions of the world.


Knowledge in what sense? If you have a list of things that bring you a lot of fulfillment a greater knowledge of them might bring you even more.
Last edited by iambiguous on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:10 am

maryshelley wrote:From Agony? And in between the agonies there is living life to the fullest which may or may not include asking such questions as: 'Why does anyone die?'

Zorba, in a valiant attempt to answer your question: People die to remind us that we are still living but that one day we too will die.

Life is but one blink of the evolutionary eye.


Zorba has it both ways. He lives his life and then, from time to time, he contemplates it. Basil, however, is there to find a new answer. And there is never only one.

The problem, of course, is this: In living our lives we sometimes smash into the lives of others. Then we have to figure out the least dysfuntional way in which to do so. And here there is never one answer either.

And if human existence is a blink of an eye on the scale that is evolution, just think how insignificant it must be when the scale is of cosmological proportions.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: questions without answers

Postby cheegster » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:19 am

iambiguous wrote:Knowledge in what sense? If you have a list of things that being you a lot of fulfillment a greater knowledge of them might bring you even more.


But everything is necessarily linked to the bigger questions I suppose is where my point was leading. You can't search for knowledge but consciously put a cap on it and go 'that's enough', curiosity is too powerful.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:59 pm

cheegster wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Knowledge in what sense? If you have a list of things that being you a lot of fulfillment a greater knowledge of them might bring you even more.


But everything is necessarily linked to the bigger questions I suppose is where my point was leading. You can't search for knowledge but consciously put a cap on it and go 'that's enough', curiosity is too powerful.


Yes, to bigger and bigger questions, indeed. We can start with, "what is existence?" And we can end with, "what is the relationship between all that exist and 'I'?"
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: questions without answers

Postby cheegster » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:19 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Yes, to bigger and bigger questions, indeed. We can start with, "what is existence?" And we can end with, "what is the relationship between all that exist and 'I'?"


Yup! And we never get a fully satisfactory answer to these. Some might say they are unanswerable...

Nice link to the OP there, I thank you.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby maryshelley » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:56 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Zorba has it both ways. He lives his life and then, from time to time, he contemplates it. Basil, however, is there to find a new answer. And there is never only one.


Room for both (and more) approaches in this enormous soupçon.

The problem, of course, is this: In living our lives we sometimes smash into the lives of others. Then we have to figure out the least dysfuntional way in which to do so. And here there is never one answer either.


Ah yes, the smashing. ](*,)

And if human existence is a blink of an eye on the scale that is evolution, just think how insignificant it must be when the scale is of cosmological proportions.


I have . . .
but I also think 'evolutionary' works at bigger scales than this here on earth
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:49 am

maryshelley wrote:but I also think 'evolutionary' works at bigger scales than this here on earth


True, but when most folks use the word evolution they are referring to the evolution of life on earth. Yet this is but an infinitesimally tiny speck in the evolution of the universe itself.

And what if the universe is but a speck in the evolution of something even more unimaginably gigantic still?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: questions without answers

Postby maryshelley » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:29 pm

iambiguous wrote:
maryshelley wrote:but I also think 'evolutionary' works at bigger scales than this here on earth


True, but when most folks use the word evolution they are referring to the evolution of life on earth. Yet this is but an infinitesimally tiny speck in the evolution of the universe itself.

And what if the universe is but a speck in the evolution of something even more unimaginably gigantic still?


Fanflamingtastic, that's what I say.







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Re: questions without answers

Postby todaytomorrow » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:15 am

Why do the young live? Why does anyone live? Tell me!

You don't know?

What's the use of your damn books...

(Would your response be to die to the fullest?)
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Socratepicuristotle » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:39 am

Humpty wrote:We can answer that question...

Some people die because they have diseases, cancer, a fatal illness, fall from a tall building, get stabbed in the face, get stabbed in the heart, get stabbed in a major organ, inhale a poisonous substance, get shot, drown, don't get enough nutrients to continue supporting their body, don't get enough water to continue supporting their body...there are many more. This is why people die.


I believe that you misunderstood what Zorba’s real question was. If death means non-existence, then why exist at all? Everything you know, everything you learned, all your memories, who you are, what you are, is going to cease to exist when you die. Nothing will be left of you but your corpse and even that is not permanent before it turns into dust. So what is the point of living if you are going to lose it all in the end anyway? In other words, why does anyone die is really asking why does anyone live if they are going to die? What is the point of life when we are all going to die anyway regardless of the cause of death? This is the real question that causes a lot of people agony.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:45 am

todaytomorrow wrote:Why do the young live? Why does anyone live? Tell me!

You don't know?

What's the use of your damn books...

(Would your response be to die to the fullest?)


Basically, it's the same thing.

In other words, a question in which there are many, many completely conflicting and contradictory answers. No one answer is really any more reasonable than any other. But, as always, we can easily convince ourselves this is not the case at all. We can choose one answer and believe it is more reasonable than all of the others. And then, for us, it is.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: questions without answers

Postby puddlyd » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:19 am

a woman gave me the "zorba the Greek" book
a wise friend said "she restored your faith in living"
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