Something Instead of Nothing

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:37 pm

Who can talk to a person who says there is a 'present' in one post and denies a 'present' in the next?

Insanity. #-o
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:49 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What do you mean by a "foundation"?

Do you mean that before we actually bring the words out into the world we must first be entirely in sync with regard to their definitions?

If so, then I am willing to abide by the definitions that you give them. I just want to take the meaning that you do ascribe to them out into the world of actual human interactions.


By "foundation" I mean we need to have an agreement about how we conduct ourselves that allows us to collaborate in a productive way.
We need shared definitions but also an agreement to adhere to the laws of logic and the value of reason, so as to remain coherent and retain the ability to communicate.


Okay, how do we come to a shared understanding of the definition and the meaning of "human autonomy" such that through this consensus we are able to determine if in fact we have it?

Is it more logical or rational that we should have it or that we should not?

In other words, given that language is a tool that the human species has acquired in order to facilitate communication, what are the limitations imposed on it? When do we reach the point where reason appears to give way to sheer speculation?

Mad Man P wrote: Also there's an element of good will that we have to agree to... because our language isn't precise and requires some interpretation


Exactly. So, what it often comes down to in exchanges like this is the part where some are so certain of the precision of their language/argument/communication skills that they completely lose patience with those you don't eventually come around to their way of thinking.

Now, me, I am more than willing to sustain "good will" in any particular exchange. In part becasue I recognize that, in regard to questions this big, there is almost no chance that what I think I know is in fact what is entirely true.

In fact, from my experience, it is generally the objectivists and their ilk that tend to slide effortlessly into ad homs and huffing and puffing.

Mad Man P wrote: I will try to respond to the most charitable interpretation of you that I can think of... and I expect you to do the same.


Charitable? I don't know how that connotes with you but with me it seems to be right around the corner from magnanimous. You patiently try to explain how you think about something but it is not sinking in. So you'll be all that more patient.

And, sure, with some things that's more or less understandable. After all, some things [relationships] can in fact be demonstrated as either this or that.

But questions revolving are human autonomy? around the is/ought world? around an understanding of existence itself?

How far can logic or rationality penetrate here?

iambiguous wrote:What I mean is that starting with your first point...

"1. Systems are not slaves to the rules that govern their fundamental building blocks... they subsume those rules and build their own rules from them."

...we focus in on a particular system in a particular context. One that most here will be familiar with. An economic system. A political system. A system that revolves around a business or a sporting event or a social gathering or a religious experience.

A system where actual men and women interact by making choices. Choices that others react to as either reasonable or unreasonable. As either moral or immoral. As either autonomous or determined.

What might constitute slavery in this particular system? What is the relationship between the rules that are or are not followed and what are deemed to be the fundamental building blocks?


Mad Man P wrote: I realize you're engaged in many other conversations and may not recall the context... You and I seem to have a disagreement about whether or not choice can exist in a deterministic universe.

That particular tautology was meant to explain how one might have a system like say "human brains" be capable of things that the atoms they are made up of are not capable of.

A real world example for us to examine would be the computer in front of me...
My computer is made up of atoms and it can run windows, go online, do math, load up ILP

How can atoms run windows, go online, do math or load up ILP?


In other words, how are the interactions of the atomic and sub-atomic particles in the computer the same or different from the interactions of atomic and sub-atomic particles in the brain?

Well, the choices made by the computer seem to be entirely dependent on the computer program that has been installed in it. But when we Google something and it pops up on the screen the computer itself is not conscious of making this happen. It's not like the computer can decide to bring up something not googled instead.

Now, with the human brain we have matter that is able to think that it is freely making the choice to google dog instead of cat. But if we live in a metaphysically determined universe what does that really mean? If I choose to Google dog instead of cat but I was never really able to google cat instead of dog, there's still a choice.

But, come on...
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: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:31 pm

iambiguous wrote:Okay, how do we come to a shared understanding of the definition and the meaning of "human autonomy" such that through this consensus we are able to determine if in fact we have it?


That's a good question... personally I tend to think of definitions as utility driven. There is a reason we think something deserves a name or even to be spoken of.
Human or otherwise, "autonomy" generally means freedom, independence...
When speaking of humans, I assume we're talking about the fact that we cannot predict human behavior entirely by looking at the outside forces they come into contact with.
There is an internal process that takes place, unique to everyone, that determines how we respond to the outside forces... an independence from the outside forces if you will.

If I were to kick you, your response would not be the same as every other human's... it might not even be the same as your own, if I kicked you a second time.
It's that "freedom" (as compared to a rock's freedom) to respond to outside forces that I think we want to talk about.

How would you approach this definitions?

How far can logic or rationality penetrate here?


I'm sure I don't know... but seeing as how logic and rationality mark the end of our ability to comprehend, I would say it's more a question of resilience than anything else.

It's easy to say that which we don't yet know is "unknowable" or that we which we don't yet understand is "incomprehensible", that saves us the trouble of having to make any effort...
But that is a self fulfilling prophecy.

I would rather go down swinging, even against an insurmountable foe... at least my defeat will not be for lack of trying.

In other words, how are the interactions of the atomic and sub-atomic particles in the computer the same or different from the interactions of atomic and sub-atomic particles in the brain?

Well, the choices made by the computer seem to be entirely dependent on the computer program that has been installed in it. But when we Google something and it pops up on the screen the computer itself is not conscious of making this happen. It's not like the computer can decide to bring up something not googled instead.

Now, with the human brain we have matter that is able to think that it is freely making the choice to google dog instead of cat. But if we live in a metaphysically determined universe what does that really mean? If I choose to Google dog instead of cat but I was never really able to google cat instead of dog, there's still a choice.

But, come on...


Well that brings us right back to defining "choice"...

When you are playing chess against the computer and the program responds to you and attempts to outmaneuver you... is it making choices?
Let's assume we're in a non-deterministic universe... would the answer change?
What would it take for something to be a choice?

See if you ask me for the definition of "choice" I would say it is "selecting between two or more options"
So to me the answer is clear... the rules of chess give the computer a multitude of options and it's programing selects between them... the program is choosing moves.

But if that is not your answer I have to assume that you have a different definition of "choice"
"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

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:02 pm

phyllo wrote:
As I noted above, with respect to such things as a complete understanding of spacetime, sure, we can go the route that Brian Greene as taken. We can become an actual theoretical physicist with the education and the background to discuss these things in a considerably more informed manner.

Or we can dabble in it as most of us here do. Simply trying our best to grasp the points that folks like Newton and Einstein and Hawking were making.

But the bottom line is that none of us were around when space and time came into existence. If in fact they have not always existed. And we can't exactly go to youtube and watch videos of existence itself coming into existence.

And yet a week from now you will no doubt be here making the same [in my opinion] lame objection.


I might be here pointing out that you keep asking people to bring their arguments "down to earth" and then you go off into the clouds whenever you think you can score a point with it.


And I might be here explaining yet again the distinctions I make between those things able to be brought down to earth [like exploring conflicting goods on this side of the grave] and those things which are clearly less amenable to that [like grappling with life after death or the existence of existence itself].

Exactly!! But then most of us haven't experienced a landing on the Moon.


phyllo wrote: Nobody experienced anything even remotely prior to 1959. Then a large number of people experienced it in a variety of ways.


The video speculates about a reality that [as of now] is beyond Greene's capacity to demonstrate other than within an intellectual contraption based on his own theoretical understanding of and assumptions about spacetime.

On the other hand, the videos of actual astronauts landing on the actual moon allow us to experience it "vicariously", sure. But that's not quite the same as being the astronauts themselves. And then there are those who still insist the whole experience was "faked" by the U.S. government. Now, we either have access to demonstrations "down on Earth" that convince us the landings did in fact occur, or we don't. But what actual demonstrations are available that would allow us to determine definitively if Greene's conjectures would in fact occur?

A retort about me again. It's like you are human yo-yo. One post you are up making intelligent observation about something, then the next post you are down fulminating about one or another alleged defect of mine.


phyllo wrote: If you recognized what you do in these posts, then that would be progress.


In other words, If I concurred with your own assessment of what I do in these posts. Trust me: I get that part.

No, I'm suggesting that until we have a complete understanding of the relationship between spacetime and the existence of existence itself there will be conflicting theoretical conjectures about how mere mortals here on planet Earth ought to understand it. Let alone demonstrate to others that how they think they understand it is how all rational men and women are obligated to understand it.


phyllo wrote: Your point can be summed up as "You can't demonstrate anything."


Until we have a complete understanding of existence itself, any demonstration about anything in the interim would seem to be necessarily problematic.

You tell me: How could this not be the case?

It would be like the residents of Flatland somehow acquiring evidence of the third dimension. What then about the parameters of their "reality"?

Or if somehow we on Earth were able to acquire evidence that we did indeed live in a Matrix or in a Sim world. What then about the parameters of our "reality"?

All we can do [in the interim] is, in our day to day interactions, continue to make attempts to close the gaps between what we think we know is true "in our heads" and what we are able to demonstrate is true objectively for all of us.

But the "objective truth" here will always be predicated on what is still to be known about the ontological nature of existence itself.

And then [re God or Nature] the extent to which there is also a teleological component here.

Thus:

Many, many, many things it would seem [can be demonstrated]. I think it can be demonstrated that you and I exist. That ILP exists. That this thread on ILP exists. That Don Trump is president of the United States. That the Vatican exists. That Bush 41 just died. That an understanding of the laws of physics have allowed us to think up and to create lots and lots of amazing technologies.


phyllo wrote: Bullshit. You can't even demonstrate the sequence of time. There is no past, present and future. It's all the fucking same. That means :
I always existed. IPL always existed. The Vatican always existed.
Trump was president. Trump is president. Trump will be president.
Bush 41 isn't even born yet. Bush 41 is alive. Bush 41 is dying right now. Bush 41 was/is/will-be always dead.

Do you get how stupid your position is??


Look, I'm the first to admit that, intuitively, Greene's conjecture seem to be completely absurd.

But what do I know about spacetime next to him? What do you know?

Just as intuitively I am still convinced that [up to a point] I choose my own behaviors. Only night after night in dreams I'm convinced I am choosing them then too.

All I can do here is to keep pointing out that your petulant reactions allow me to convey a conjecture of my own: That you seem more intent on pinning me to the mat because my own frame of mind is construed [psychologically] by you to be a threat to your own precious I linked somehow to your own precious objective morality linked to your own precious rendition of God linked to your own precious belief in autonomy.

But how ridiculous is that, right?
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: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:12 pm

And I might be here explaining yet again the distinctions I make between those things able to be brought down to earth [like exploring conflicting goods on this side of the grave] and those things which are clearly less amenable to that [like grappling with life after death or the existence of existence itself].
That sounds like you can say anything you want about 'life after death' and it's automatically right/reasonable/justified. Pick whatever word that you want to use.

Bringing it down to earth would involve exploring interactions with the dead. Sure, some people claim to have done it. Others claim that has never been done. A investigation would require a detailed examination of the claims.

There also is a "down to earth" examination of existence.

It's not all pie in the sky.
In other words, If I concurred with your own assessment of what I do in these posts. Trust me: I get that part.
It seems that there are fairly obvious obstacles to progress, which could be removed. If you don't remove them, then you will keep going around in circles.

For example, if you focused on one issue for a while, instead of jumping around, then you may reach some useful conclusions about that one issue.
Until we have a complete understanding of existence itself, any demonstration about anything in the interim would seem to be necessarily problematic.

You tell me: How could this not be the case?
Well, you're never going to understand everything. You have to accept the limitations of human understanding.
But it doesn't mean that humans can't understand some things sufficiently for some purpose.

That seems to be one of the differences between you and other people who are not bothered by these issues. They're not looking for the one optimum solution which has bridges "the gap".
But the "objective truth" here will always be predicated on what is still to be known about the ontological nature of existence itself.
In the ancient world, there was an objective truth about the shape of the earth, the rotation of the celestial bodies, etc.
New information came to light and a different objective truth was established.
There will be other discoveries and the objective truth may change again.

That doesn't bother me. I still call it the "objective truth" because it's the best established truth that we have.

Seems to bug the hell out of you.
Look, I'm the first to admit that, intuitively, Greene's conjecture seem to be completely absurd.
How about completely irrelevant?

What use is it in anyone's life?
But what do I know about spacetime next to him? What do you know?
So you trust him more than you trust your own experience? Why should you and conversely why shouldn't you?

How applicable is anything he says about spacetime to your life?

What difference would it make to you or someone else, if he was right? If he was wrong? IOW what are the consequences of believing him?
All I can do here is to keep pointing out that your petulant reactions allow me to convey a conjecture of my own: That you seem more intent on pinning me to the mat because my own frame of mind is construed [psychologically] by you to be a threat to your own precious I linked somehow to your own precious objective morality linked to your own precious rendition of God linked to your own precious belief in autonomy.
What I'm doing here, with you, is experimenting to see if I can shift you in some way.

You claim that you want to be shifted, but how to go about doing it? That remains unclear. Often it feels like zero steps forward. Sometimes it's irritating. Sometimes I'm irritated by external stuff - nothing to do with you or philosophy or this site.

I really don't have my own "precious" "something". I have my own working "something" - a working morality, a working God, a working "I", etc.

I'm not convinced that I'm as attached to it as you think.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:59 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Okay, how do we come to a shared understanding of the definition and the meaning of "human autonomy" such that through this consensus we are able to determine if in fact we have it?


That's a good question... personally I tend to think of definitions as utility driven. There is a reason we think something deserves a name or even to be spoken of.
Human or otherwise, "autonomy" generally means freedom, independence...
When speaking of humans, I assume we're talking about the fact that we cannot predict human behavior entirely by looking at the outside forces they come into contact with.
There is an internal process that takes place, unique to everyone, that determines how we respond to the outside forces... an independence from the outside forces if you will.


But this just takes us back to connecting the dots between the definition that you give to the words that encompass this speculation and the extent to which it can be demonstrated that the "internal process" itself involves some level of independence from the laws of matter.

It may well be unique to everyone but if everyone embodies it mechanically in a wholly determined universe, the uniqueness itself would seem to become only that "psychological freedom" that the compatibilists cling to as a "choice" in a world where we end up choosing only that which we could never not choose.

Mad Man P wrote: If I were to kick you, your response would not be the same as every other human's... it might not even be the same as your own, if I kicked you a second time.
It's that "freedom" (as compared to a rock's freedom) to respond to outside forces that I think we want to talk about.

How would you approach this definitions?


But what does it mean here to put "freedom" in these things: "_______"? How is expressing it this way different from expressing it as "It's that freedom to respond to outside forces that separates us from rocks"?

How far can logic or rationality penetrate here?


Mad Man P wrote: I'm sure I don't know... but seeing as how logic and rationality mark the end of our ability to comprehend, I would say it's more a question of resilience than anything else.

It's easy to say that which we don't yet know is "unknowable" or that we which we don't yet understand is "incomprehensible", that saves us the trouble of having to make any effort...
But that is a self fulfilling prophecy.


Okay, but all we can do in the interim is to react to those who provide us with arguments that either tug us closer to autonomy or further away from it.

Or to bring our own experiences into the discussion and speculate as to what extent we are able to convince ourselves that we are choosing freely to do this rather than that.

But that doesn't make the gap between utilizing human logic and/or excercising rational discourse from day to day and all that encompasses an understanding of them re the existence of existence itself go away.

We just don't know what possible limitations there are here. And whether, encompassed in that, "I" is at least in part on its own in figuring it all out.

Mad Man P wrote: I would rather go down swinging, even against an insurmountable foe... at least my defeat will not be for lack of trying.


And I'm sure any number of foes will go down swinging in turn. But that still doesn't seem to settle whether victory or defeat here was ever really within your capacity autonomously to bring about.

In other words, how are the interactions of the atomic and sub-atomic particles in the computer the same or different from the interactions of atomic and sub-atomic particles in the brain?

Well, the choices made by the computer seem to be entirely dependent on the computer program that has been installed in it. But when we Google something and it pops up on the screen the computer itself is not conscious of making this happen. It's not like the computer can decide to bring up something not googled instead.

Now, with the human brain we have matter that is able to think that it is freely making the choice to google dog instead of cat. But if we live in a metaphysically determined universe what does that really mean? If I choose to Google dog instead of cat but I was never really able to google cat instead of dog, there's still a choice.

But, come on...


Mad Man P wrote: Well that brings us right back to defining "choice"...


Or: That brings us back to grappling with the extent to which the definition that we choose was ever really embodied in some measure of human autonomy. And then the extent to which, in bringing that definition out into the world of human interactions, we are able to demonstrate how this definition works "for all practical purposes".

Mad Man P wrote: When you are playing chess against the computer and the program responds to you and attempts to outmaneuver you... is it making choices?


Yes, but those hypothetical aliens in a hypotheically autonomous part of the universe, might argue that, given that earth is in a wholly determined region of the universe, both choices were only ever as they could have been. But the computer "mind" [to the best of my knowledge] is not able to think "I made that choice but could have made a different one."

The human mind thinks that psychologically but in fact it was never really able to make any other choice. Never really able to think any other way. Not in a metaphysically determined part of the universe.

Mad Man P wrote: Let's assume we're in a non-deterministic universe... would the answer change?
What would it take for something to be a choice?


Again, in an autonomous world, the human mind chooses one move over another and, based on its capacity to excel at chess, eventually wins or loses the match. It is then able to freely react to that emotionally. For the computer though, none of this would seem to be relevant.

But then we get closer and closer to entities like the Terminator. We clearly see him choosing among options, but before the choice is made we see this computer schematics pop up on the screen. He is merely programed to choose. But: He is programed to choose by machines that were programed by flesh and blood human beings.

Or consider all of the levels of "reality" in the Matrix?

How than is a choice finally pinned down given all the possible permutations of variables?

Mad Man P wrote: See if you ask me for the definition of "choice" I would say it is "selecting between two or more options"
So to me the answer is clear... the rules of chess give the computer a multitude of options and it's programing selects between them... the program is choosing moves.


Yeah, that makes sense. But: Has Nature or one or another God programed "life on earth" to select among options in much the same way? Only with humans, historical and cultural and interpersonal memes play a much greater role in the selection process. Though, in the end, no less mechanically.

Mad Man P wrote: But if that is not your answer I have to assume that you have a different definition of "choice"


My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.

In the either/or world.

In the is/ought world, what we think, feel, say and do seems rooted more in the manner in which I have come to understand identity, value judgments and politcal power at the existential juncture embedded in any particuar context.
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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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:12 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Mad Man P wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Okay, how do we come to a shared understanding of the definition and the meaning of "human autonomy" such that through this consensus we are able to determine if in fact we have it?


That's a good question... personally I tend to think of definitions as utility driven. There is a reason we think something deserves a name or even to be spoken of.
Human or otherwise, "autonomy" generally means freedom, independence...
When speaking of humans, I assume we're talking about the fact that we cannot predict human behavior entirely by looking at the outside forces they come into contact with.
There is an internal process that takes place, unique to everyone, that determines how we respond to the outside forces... an independence from the outside forces if you will.


But this just takes us back to connecting the dots between the definition that you give to the words that encompass this speculation and the extent to which it can be demonstrated that the "internal process" itself involves some level of independence from the laws of matter.

It may well be unique to everyone but if everyone embodies it mechanically in a wholly determined universe, the uniqueness itself would seem to become only that "psychological freedom" that the compatibilists cling to as a "choice" in a world where we end up choosing only that which we could never not choose.

Mad Man P wrote: If I were to kick you, your response would not be the same as every other human's... it might not even be the same as your own, if I kicked you a second time.
It's that "freedom" (as compared to a rock's freedom) to respond to outside forces that I think we want to talk about.

How would you approach this definitions?


But what does it mean here to put "freedom" in these things: "_______"? How is expressing it this way different from expressing it as "It's that freedom to respond to outside forces that separates us from rocks"?

How far can logic or rationality penetrate here?


Mad Man P wrote: I'm sure I don't know... but seeing as how logic and rationality mark the end of our ability to comprehend, I would say it's more a question of resilience than anything else.

It's easy to say that which we don't yet know is "unknowable" or that we which we don't yet understand is "incomprehensible", that saves us the trouble of having to make any effort...
But that is a self fulfilling prophecy.


Okay, but all we can do in the interim is to react to those who provide us with arguments that either tug us closer to autonomy or further away from it.

Or to bring our own experiences into the discussion and speculate as to what extent we are able to convince ourselves that we are choosing freely to do this rather than that.

But that doesn't make the gap between utilizing human logic and/or excercising rational discourse from day to day and all that encompasses an understanding of them re the existence of existence itself go away.

We just don't know what possible limitations there are here. And whether, encompassed in that, "I" is at least in part on its own in figuring it all out.

Mad Man P wrote: I would rather go down swinging, even against an insurmountable foe... at least my defeat will not be for lack of trying.


And I'm sure any number of foes will go down swinging in turn. But that still doesn't seem to settle whether victory or defeat here was ever really within your capacity autonomously to bring about.

In other words, how are the interactions of the atomic and sub-atomic particles in the computer the same or different from the interactions of atomic and sub-atomic particles in the brain?

Well, the choices made by the computer seem to be entirely dependent on the computer program that has been installed in it. But when we Google something and it pops up on the screen the computer itself is not conscious of making this happen. It's not like the computer can decide to bring up something not googled instead.

Now, with the human brain we have matter that is able to think that it is freely making the choice to google dog instead of cat. But if we live in a metaphysically determined universe what does that really mean? If I choose to Google dog instead of cat but I was never really able to google cat instead of dog, there's still a choice.

But, come on...


Mad Man P wrote: Well that brings us right back to defining "choice"...


Or: That brings us back to grappling with the extent to which the definition that we choose was ever really embodied in some measure of human autonomy. And then the extent to which, in bringing that definition out into the world of human interactions, we are able to demonstrate how this definition works "for all practical purposes".

Mad Man P wrote: When you are playing chess against the computer and the program responds to you and attempts to outmaneuver you... is it making choices?


Yes, but those hypothetical aliens in a hypotheically autonomous part of the universe, might argue that, given that earth is in a wholly determined region of the universe, both choices were only ever as they could have been. But the computer "mind" [to the best of my knowledge] is not able to think "I made that choice but could have made a different one."

The human mind thinks that psychologically but in fact it was never really able to make any other choice. Never really able to think any other way. Not in a metaphysically determined part of the universe.

Mad Man P wrote: Let's assume we're in a non-deterministic universe... would the answer change?
What would it take for something to be a choice?


Again, in an autonomous world, the human mind chooses one move over another and, based on its capacity to excel at chess, eventually wins or loses the match. It is then able to freely react to that emotionally. For the computer though, none of this would seem to be relevant.

But then we get closer and closer to entities like the Terminator. We clearly see him choosing among options, but before the choice is made we see this computer schematics pop up on the screen. He is merely programed to choose. But: He is programed to choose by machines that were programed by flesh and blood human beings.

Or consider all of the levels of "reality" in the Matrix?

How than is a choice finally pinned down given all the possible permutations of variables?

Mad Man P wrote: See if you ask me for the definition of "choice" I would say it is "selecting between two or more options"
So to me the answer is clear... the rules of chess give the computer a multitude of options and it's programing selects between them... the program is choosing moves.


Yeah, that makes sense. But: Has Nature or one or another God programed "life on earth" to select among options in much the same way? Only with humans, historical and cultural and interpersonal memes play a much greater role in the selection process. Though, in the end, no less mechanically.

Mad Man P wrote: But if that is not your answer I have to assume that you have a different definition of "choice"


My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.

In the either/or world.

In the is/ought world, what we think, feel, say and do seems rooted more in the manner in which I have come to understand identity, value judgments and politcal power at the existential juncture embedded in any particuar context.



And therefore, the basic conflict is not between the conflict of values, although they do spin off the primal struggle between the autonomous and the either/or understanding of Being and Nothingness.

Notice , Sartre doesent say Being or Nothingness, for a reason, perhaps , for that reason.


Look, I'm the first to admit that, intuitively, Greene's conjecture seem to be completely absurd.

Why?

TAG ARCHIVES: BRIAN GREENE
Brian Greene is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist.

Multiverse thinking: though magical doesn’t exclude God’s existence – it proves it
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:23 am

iambiguous wrote:
Mad Man P wrote: See if you ask me for the definition of "choice" I would say it is "selecting between two or more options"
So to me the answer is clear... the rules of chess give the computer a multitude of options and it's programing selects between them... the program is choosing moves.


Yeah, that makes sense. But: Has Nature or one or another God programed "life on earth" to select among options in much the same way? Only with humans, historical and cultural and interpersonal memes play a much greater role in the selection process. Though, in the end, no less mechanically.


Let's examine this for a spell... let's assume nature/god/our parents have programmed us in a similar way to the computer.
Let's bring this down to earth as you often request...
What difference would it make in our daily interactions?
How would this change anything in our daily lives or even our experience of life?
If all I am is a machine... well then that is what I am... so what?

Mad Man P wrote: But if that is not your answer I have to assume that you have a different definition of "choice"


My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.


I can't parse that sentence... rationality is a method of thinking to my knowledge, it does not prescribe any specific motivation.
How could anyone be obligated to "feel" any which way about anything by rationality?
The ought of obligation comes from deeper motivations... but you eventually reach bedrock

For example: I want to, but also know I shouldn't, eat a giant bag a candy... because while I care about my immediate pleasure, I care more about my health... as such I am rationally obligated to not eat the giant bag of candy.
Why should I care about my health? Because I enjoy living... Why should I enjoy living?
It seems to be in my nature to... I just do... we've hit bedrock.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:14 pm

My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.
How can one be both "autonomous" and "obligated"?
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:43 pm

phyllo wrote:Who can talk to a person who says there is a 'present' in one post and denies a 'present' in the next?

Insanity. #-o


Actually, you are talking to someone who admits right from the start that time is a profoundly mysterious component of whatever -- or whoever? -- lies behind the existence of existence itself.

Greene's video raised some interesting questions about it. Among other things, about the manner in which making distinctions like this can be fully grasped by mere mortals on this tiny little rock in this tiny little speck of the universe. In what may well be but a tiny little speck of the multiverse.

And, so far, we don't have any communication with alien civilizations on other worlds. No one "out there" we can compare notes with.

Instead, what intrigues me more is the seeming contempt you have for me in retorts such as this.

Is it real? Or, perhaps, mostly a polemical bent like mine? Or is it all merely meant to be ironic?
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Meno_ » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:56 pm

This sounds vaguely familiar.
I convinced myself that a dash of irony is preferable to being thrown into a bottomless abyss of perpetual and infinite space/time

That explanation defeats any notion of absolute absolute , while rasing hope to the question of the existence of existence.

My metaphor for validating it is the innumerable number of preceeding turtles. Wonder who came up with that one?
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:09 pm

phyllo wrote:
And I might be here explaining yet again the distinctions I make between those things able to be brought down to earth [like exploring conflicting goods on this side of the grave] and those things which are clearly less amenable to that [like grappling with life after death or the existence of existence itself].
That sounds like you can say anything you want about 'life after death' and it's automatically right/reasonable/justified. Pick whatever word that you want to use.


Note to others:

Does this strike you as reasonable?

My point revolves more around the extent to which someone might have a particular belief about life after death, and is then able to demonstrate why and how all rational men and women are obligated to share it.

Quite the opposite of insisting that anything one claims to say about it is "automatically right/reasonable/justified".

In fact, more along these lines:

phyllo wrote: Bringing it down to earth would involve exploring interactions with the dead. Sure, some people claim to have done it. Others claim that has never been done. A investigation would require a detailed examination of the claims.


Exactly!!

phyllo wrote: There also is a "down to earth" examination of existence.

It's not all pie in the sky.


Who is arguing that it is? But there is still a considerable difference between an argument that consists of words defining and defending other words, and an argument in which these defined and defended words are intertwined in mathematics, the laws of nature, empirical evidence, personal experiences, and assessments that are able to be either verified or falsified.

In other words, If I concurred with your own assessment of what I do in these posts. Trust me: I get that part.


phyllo wrote: It seems that there are fairly obvious obstacles to progress, which could be removed. If you don't remove them, then you will keep going around in circles.

For example, if you focused on one issue for a while, instead of jumping around, then you may reach some useful conclusions about that one issue.


Okay, let's bring this down to earth.

You choose the issue. You choose the context in which the issue unfolds. You choose behaviors precipitated in that context.

Then we can discuss our reactions to these interactions. Interactions that precipitated actual consequences perceived as either true or false, right or wrong, autonomous or determined, etc.

Until we have a complete understanding of existence itself, any demonstration about anything in the interim would seem to be necessarily problematic.

You tell me: How could this not be the case?


phyllo wrote: Well, you're never going to understand everything. You have to accept the limitations of human understanding.
But it doesn't mean that humans can't understand some things sufficiently for some purpose.


Well, among other things, a purpose on this thread [of late] revolves around our capacity to determine if the exchange itself is only as it ever could have been. Given that [as some argue] the brains engaging in the exchange are merely matter wholly in sync with laws that propel and compel it into the only possible way there is to explain things like space-time.

phyllo wrote: That seems to be one of the differences between you and other people who are not bothered by these issues. They're not looking for the one optimum solution which has bridges "the gap".


So what? Does that make the gap -- the optimum solution -- go away? Especially when "here and now" we don't even really know for certain that they were ever really able to freely choose not to be bothered by it. Or not to look for it.

We are all in the same boat here. We are trying to explain things that are clearly embedded in any number of Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns". I merely speculate that our psychological reactions to that seem embedded more in dasein than in a frame of mind that philosophers are able to construct out of arguments derived from such tools as logic and epistemology.

Thus...

But the "objective truth" here will always be predicated on what is still to be known about the ontological nature of existence itself.


phyllo wrote: In the ancient world, there was an objective truth about the shape of the earth, the rotation of the celestial bodies, etc.
New information came to light and a different objective truth was established.
There will be other discoveries and the objective truth may change again.


Okay, we can then speculate as to which is longer...

1] the gap between what they knew then and what we know now or
2] the gap between what we know now and what our descendants will know 3,000 years into the future or
3] the gap between what they will know then and all that there is to be known about "why something exist and not nothing?" and "why this something exist and not another something"

Then going all the way back to God and/or to the "natural" explanation for the existence of existence itself.

phyllo wrote: That doesn't bother me. I still call it the "objective truth" because it's the best established truth that we have.

Seems to bug the hell out of you.


Here I suggest that being "bothered" by something like this revolves more around human psychology than anything philosophers are able to determine. The less bothered you are the more likely it is that you can secure some measure of comfort and consolation for "I". For some on this side of the grave, for others on the other side too.

And it bothers me because I am honest enough to acknowledge that in all likelihood I will go to the grave basically clueless as to how my life does fit into Existence. And what [if anything] it means. And then the part about oblivion. If that is what it is.

So: cue the distractions.

Look, I'm the first to admit that, intuitively, Greene's conjecture seem to be completely absurd.


phyllo wrote: How about completely irrelevant?

What use is it in anyone's life?


How on earth would I know? How on earth could I know? But: are there in fact actual answers to be had?

And the bottom line is that the evolution of life on earth has [so far] culminated in human brains able to ponder such things. But only a very small percentage of us on earth don't leave these things entirely to God and religion.

Yeah, groping for answers [sans God and religion] seems entirely futile to me. But what else is there? All I can assume is that anytime I come here there is always the possibility of bumping into a point of view that shakes up mine.

Or that mine will shake up others.

But what do I know about spacetime next to him? What do you know?


phyllo wrote: So you trust him more than you trust your own experience? Why should you and conversely why shouldn't you?

How applicable is anything he says about spacetime to your life?

What difference would it make to you or someone else, if he was right? If he was wrong? IOW what are the consequences of believing him?


Huh? You could ask the same thing of folks like Newton or Einstein? And, indeed, the vast majority of folks on earth have gone to the grave not giving a second thought to the practical relationship between the stuff they pursued and their own personal experiences from day to day.

But there it is: the connection. That would seem to never go away. However much or little thought any particular individual gives to it.

All I can do here is to keep pointing out that your petulant reactions allow me to convey a conjecture of my own: That you seem more intent on pinning me to the mat because my own frame of mind is construed [psychologically] by you to be a threat to your own precious I linked somehow to your own precious objective morality linked to your own precious rendition of God linked to your own precious belief in autonomy.


phyllo wrote: What I'm doing here, with you, is experimenting to see if I can shift you in some way.


Okay, fair enough.

phyllo wrote: You claim that you want to be shifted, but how to go about doing it? That remains unclear. Often it feels like zero steps forward. Sometimes it's irritating. Sometimes I'm irritated by external stuff - nothing to do with you or philosophy or this site.


Given my basically home-bound collection of options [shrinking by the day], all I can do realistically is to ferret out those who are giving one or another new experience a try.

How [out in the is/ought world] are they not down in the hole I am in on this side of the grave? How are not troubled by the part about oblivion on the other side of it? And, involving even the either/or world, how do they know that what they think and feel and say and do is actually within their capacity as autonomous human beings?
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:51 pm

Does this strike you as reasonable?

My point revolves more around the extent to which someone might have a particular belief about life after death, and is then able to demonstrate why and how all rational men and women are obligated to share it.

Quite the opposite of insisting that anything one claims to say about it is "automatically right/reasonable/justified".
You attack every attempt to establish facts and processes. A few posts ago, you attacked the a straightforward understanding of time. You have undermined any process of "demonstration" - not just for other people but for yourself as well. So, your claim about what "your point revolves around" sounds hollow.

Maybe what you ought to do, is to demonstrate how one can go about "demonstrating". Do that in the context of the FUD that you created.
In fact, more along these lines:

phyllo wrote:
Bringing it down to earth would involve exploring interactions with the dead. Sure, some people claim to have done it. Others claim that has never been done. A investigation would require a detailed examination of the claims.


Exactly!!
Exactly??

What happened to "the gap", the "unknown unknowns", the "words defining other words", the "assumptions", the sim worlds, and the rest of the horseshit that you dump on anyone who tries to investigate practically anything with you?
But there is still a considerable difference between an argument that consists of words defining and defending other words, and an argument in which these defined and defended words are intertwined in mathematics, the laws of nature, empirical evidence, personal experiences, and assessments that are able to be either verified or falsified.
Except that you can't seem to establish the difference or talk about it consistently.

"Laws of nature, empirical evidence, personal experiences" seem to support my claims about how 'time' operates - that it's a true fact for everyone. It seems to fall clearly into one of your categories. But no, you dumped on it.

It's not the only example. You have done it for historical facts as well.
Okay, let's bring this down to earth.

You choose the issue. You choose the context in which the issue unfolds. You choose behaviors precipitated in that context.
The current issue is how you post. It's unfolding here, now.

You seem to have an urge to attack whatever anyone says, even when it indirectly destroys your own arguments.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:57 pm

How on earth would I know? How on earth could I know? But: are there in fact actual answers to be had?
Now you don't know. At other times, you know that "the gap" is important, you know the motivations behind posters reactions, you know that "objectivists' are problematic, etc.

You know a lot of things when it suits you.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:46 pm

Mad Man P wrote: See if you ask me for the definition of "choice" I would say it is "selecting between two or more options"
So to me the answer is clear... the rules of chess give the computer a multitude of options and it's programing selects between them... the program is choosing moves.


Yeah, that makes sense. But: Has Nature or one or another God programed "life on earth" to select among options in much the same way? Only with humans, historical and cultural and interpersonal memes play a much greater role in the selection process. Though, in the end, no less mechanically.


Mad Man P wrote: Let's examine this for a spell... let's assume nature/god/our parents have programmed us in a similar way to the computer.
Let's bring this down to earth as you often request...
What difference would it make in our daily interactions?
How would this change anything in our daily lives or even our experience of life?
If all I am is a machine... well then that is what I am... so what?


So what? Well, you can ask that now because we still have no real capacity [that I am aware of] to know if it is in fact true.

And that seems to be where we are all stuck. Nature or God has provided us with a brain able to ask the question but [so far] not with a brain able to know the answer [one way or the other] for sure.

With parents however it's different. In an autonomous world, we can become aware that they programmed us to think about things in a particular way. Then it comes down to the extent to which we are [here and now] able to determine which things they programmed us to believe are in fact true [in the either/or world] and which things are instead only particular moral and political prejudices of theirs [in the is/ought world].

Mad Man P wrote: But if that is not your answer I have to assume that you have a different definition of "choice"


My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.


Mad Man P wrote:I can't parse that sentence... rationality is a method of thinking to my knowledge, it does not prescribe any specific motivation.
How could anyone be obligated to "feel" any which way about anything by rationality?


Again, we need a context.

Did Trump collude with Putin to manipulate the vote in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election?

What collection of facts has Robert Mueller accumulated so far such that it would appear that a rational man or woman is obligated to answer "yes, he did" or "no, he did not".

To date of course all we have is speculation like this: https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-i ... n?ref=home

But one day we may well have enough factual information about this relationship so that it seems reasonable to think and to feel that the answer is either "yes, he did" or "no, he did not".

Now, by "obligated" I don't mean that others can force someone to believe what the facts tell us. Only that if someone wishes to be thought of as a rational man or woman they can't just shunt the facts aside and believe whatever they wish. Like, for example, it might turn out that Sean Hannity does on Fox News. Here of course his own narrative seems [to me] to be an entirely "political contraption"

But, again, even here in the either/or world, we still need God [omniscience] to be absolutely certain of what all the facts are. And in sync with all that can be known about the existence of existence itself. No getting around that, right?

Mad Man P wrote: The ought of obligation comes from deeper motivations... but you eventually reach bedrock


Not exactly sure what you mean by this but whatever motivates you to think, feel, say and do the things you choose may or may not reach the bedrock that is the actual and factual truth.

Only on this thread we are, in turn, exploring the extent to which that actual and factual truth is derived from either some measure of human autonomy or from a wholly determined universe.

Mad Man P wrote: For example: I want to, but also know I shouldn't, eat a giant bag a candy... because while I care about my immediate pleasure, I care more about my health... as such I am rationally obligated to not eat the giant bag of candy.
Why should I care about my health? Because I enjoy living... Why should I enjoy living?
It seems to be in my nature to... I just do... we've hit bedrock.


No, you have reached what you conclude is the bedrock given the assumptions that you make in describing this example. At any given moment you may or may not enjoy living. You may have just found out that you have an inoperable brain tumor. You only have a couple of days to live. So you decide it is rational to fill the little time you have left with as much pleasure as you can. Anything goes. And since you don't believe in God or a life after death you are motivated in turn to let no one stop you from doing whatever brings you pleasure.

Again, there are always going to be any number of actual circumstances that any particular one of us might find ourselves in. So, what does it mean to be rational in all of them?

Your perceived bedrock may well be nothing at all like mine or theirs.

And we still don't know if the example you chose here you chose only because you were never able not to choose it.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:20 pm

phyllo wrote:
My own understanding of choice [in an autonomus universe] revolves around the extent to which what we choose to think, feel, say, or do is able to be defended as that which all rational men and women are obligated to think, feel, say and do in turn.
How can one be both "autonomous" and "obligated"?


Down to earth:

Donald Trump is now the president of the United States. And let's suppose that he achieved this remarkable feat [with or without the help of Vladimir Putin] in an autonomous universe. In other words, given the history of the human species on earth, billions of individuals made choices down through the ages that [here and now] culminated in the election of Trump. Indeed, they may well have made any number of other free choices instead. Donald Trump may not even have come into existence at all.

Clearly, the actual number of circumstantial permutations here are mind-boggling.

And here we are in turn freely exchanging points of view on this thread. But all I am suggesting is that in order to be thought of as a rational human being in our autonomous world, one would seem to be obligated to agree that Donald Trump is in fact the president of the United States.

But: Is one also obligated to agree that, as a rational human being, we do in fact inhabit an autonomous universe?

Or: Is one obligated to agree that [so far], as a rational human being, Donald Trump has been the greatest president the United States has ever had?
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: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:28 pm

phyllo wrote:

My point revolves more around the extent to which someone might have a particular belief about life after death, and is then able to demonstrate why and how all rational men and women are obligated to share it.

Quite the opposite of insisting that anything one claims to say about it is "automatically right/reasonable/justified".


You attack every attempt to establish facts and processes. A few posts ago, you attacked the a straightforward understanding of time. You have undermined any process of "demonstration" - not just for other people but for yourself as well. So, your claim about what "your point revolves around" sounds hollow.


Okay, with respect to life after death, what "facts and processes" have been "established"? What do we know for sure about what becomes of "I" after we die? And, yes, if you are able to convince yourself that there is indeed a "straightforward understanding of time" I doubt I will be able to dissuade you.

Assuming of course I am actually free to do so.

phyllo wrote: Maybe what you ought to do, is to demonstrate how one can go about "demonstrating". Do that in the context of the FUD that you created.


Well, in regard to life after death, you come up with a convincing argument intertwined in personal experiences that you are then able to describe to others such that they can replicate the experiences and come around to your point of view.

What else is there?

FUD -- fear, uncertainty and doubt?

Yes, here and now, I fear oblivion. And I am clearly uncertain as to what will become of "I" on the other side of the grave. Though I doubt there is a way in which I can determine whether what I think and feel here and now is in fact what actually will unfold.

Again, I don't even have access to a definitive argument that would allow me to know for certain whether any of what I am contributing to this exchange could ever have been other than what it inherently must be.

After all, you are the one able to plant "I" here on considerably more solid ground. In your head for example.

phyllo wrote: Bringing it down to earth would involve exploring interactions with the dead. Sure, some people claim to have done it. Others claim that has never been done. A investigation would require a detailed examination of the claims.

Exactly!!


phyllo wrote: Exactly??

What happened to "the gap", the "unknown unknowns", the "words defining other words", the "assumptions", the sim worlds, and the rest of the horseshit that you dump on anyone who tries to investigate practically anything with you?


The "gap" and the "unknown unknowns" will always be there until the "detailed examination" embedded in the "investigation" is able to be demonstrated as fully in sync with the ontological and/or teleological understanding of existence itself.

Even relationships we appear to know are true [in the either/or world] are embedded in that gap. Isn't this basically what Hume was suggesting in making that crucial distinction between correlation and cause and effect?

And while you may contrue all this to be "horseshit", you have no way in which to demonstrate why all rational men and women are obligated to agree with you. Other then to insist that, as with Communism, rationality revolves entirely around what you think and feel and say and do.

In other words, your psychologically comforting and consoling attachment to the "real me" in sync with the "right things" to think, feel, say and do. Then around and around your own particular "I" goes.

And damned if I am ever going to upend that, right?

But there is still a considerable difference between an argument that consists of words defining and defending other words, and an argument in which these defined and defended words are intertwined in mathematics, the laws of nature, empirical evidence, personal experiences, and assessments that are able to be either verified or falsified.


phyllo wrote: Except that you can't seem to establish the difference or talk about it consistently.


It is certainly true that I have not been able to establish that difference with you. And I am the first to acknowledge that "consistency" in regard to relationships of this sort would seem to be profoundly problematic. After all, in a world of contingency, chance and change...a world where my very next experience, relationship, and/or access to information/knowledge might reconfgure my own frame of mind...how consistent can any of us really be?

In fact, this is why I always argue that the consistency the objectivists crave here seems to be more a component of human psychology than of a philosophical quest for wisdom.

phyllo wrote: "Laws of nature, empirical evidence, personal experiences" seem to support my claims about how 'time' operates - that it's a true fact for everyone. It seems to fall clearly into one of your categories. But no, you dumped on it.


Right, like my own catagories are in themselves fully aligned with a complete understanding of existence.

I dump everything into that particular gap. Unless, of course, I come upon an argument able to convince that I don't have to.

Okay, let's bring this down to earth.

You choose the issue. You choose the context in which the issue unfolds. You choose behaviors precipitated in that context.


phyllo wrote: The current issue is how you post. It's unfolding here, now.

You seem to have an urge to attack whatever anyone says, even when it indirectly destroys your own arguments.


Again, I'm the problem. And I'm the problem based solely on your own assessment of the manner in which I post. Your accusations.

And if some suggest the possibility that you were never able to actually choose [freely] to think and to feel any differently here, then they become part of the problem too. Why? Because they don't think and feel like you do. And, after all, you have freely chosen to think and to feel as all rational men and women are obligated to.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:54 pm

phyllo wrote:
How on earth would I know? How on earth could I know? But: are there in fact actual answers to be had?
Now you don't know. At other times, you know that "the gap" is important, you know the motivations behind posters reactions, you know that "objectivists' are problematic, etc.

You know a lot of things when it suits you.


Noting that "now I don't know" says nothing definitive about whether or not I can know.

Right?

And let me be clear [yet again] that anything that I do claim to know in this exchange is always going to be embedded in a particular context.

And in this particular context there are going to be things that I believe are true -- things I think I know -- that I am either able or unable to demonstrate that others ought to think or believe are true as well.

But: just because something here suits me doesn't necessarily mean it must suit you or others.

But we will need a particular thing thought to be known or believed in a particular context.

We can then discuss why we are motivated to think and to believe what we do and then probe extent to which we are able to convince others to share our own conclusions.

And, along the way, discuss and debate such things as "objectivism" and realities said to be more or less "problematic".
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: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:20 pm

And let me be clear [yet again] that anything that I do claim to know in this exchange is always going to be embedded in a particular context.

And in this particular context there are going to be things that I believe are true -- things I think I know -- that I am either able or unable to demonstrate that others ought to think or believe are true as well.

But: just because something here suits me doesn't necessarily mean it must suit you or others.

But we will need a particular thing thought to be known or believed in a particular context.
This insistence on "a particular context" has never lead anywhere. Has it?

You've pooh-poohed "essential truths" in the past, so the truth that you are talking about and demonstrating is some sort of subjective truth? In your head truth? Not a down to earth truth? Definitely not objective truth. Right?
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:43 pm

phyllo wrote:
And let me be clear [yet again] that anything that I do claim to know in this exchange is always going to be embedded in a particular context.

And in this particular context there are going to be things that I believe are true -- things I think I know -- that I am either able or unable to demonstrate that others ought to think or believe are true as well.

But: just because something here suits me doesn't necessarily mean it must suit you or others.

But we will need a particular thing thought to be known or believed in a particular context.


This insistence on "a particular context" has never lead anywhere. Has it?


You and I once discussed reactions to Communism as a "particular context". And where it led me is back to my conclusion that while there are particular historicial facts and particular truths embedded in our own personal experiences here, there does not appear to be a frame of mind that philosophers are able to establish regarding how reasonble and virtuous men and women are obligated to react to it.

Thus the gap [in the is/ought world] between what we think we know is true and what we are actually able to demonstrate is in fact true for all of us.

And then on this thread how our reactions to Communism fits into the question of why there is something instead of nothing. And why there is this something and not another.

Also, the extent to which we can determine that our contributions to the exchange revolve around some measure of human autonomy.

phyllo wrote: You've pooh-poohed "essential truths" in the past, so the truth that you are talking about and demonstrating is some sort of subjective truth? In your head truth? Not a down to earth truth? Definitely not objective truth. Right?


Where can we go here but back to the things that the subjective "I" thinks are true.

Okay, are they true essentially/objectively for everyone? Can this be demonstrated?

Sans God, what else is it likely to come down here with respect to human interactions?

I merely point out the obvious: that whatever any particular one of us thinks is true [and in fact can demonstrate is true] is still subsumed in all of those "unknown unknowns" that fill the gap between "I" here and now and a complete understanding of existence itself.

Which some are clearly able to just shrug off more than others.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:08 pm

Right. You have tiny subjective truths which you see as valid for particular individuals in particular contexts.

When somebody tries to stretch them out to be applicable to many people in a range of contexts, you fall back on "the gap", "unknown unknowns", "sans God".

This seems to be a key aspect of your approach. It's a reason that you are in a hole. And it's something that YOU are specifically doing.

It also seems like something that you can choose to do differently. (Unless you can't. :wink: )
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:47 pm

Best driving advice : Look where you want to go and that's where you will go. Don't look at what you are afraid of hitting because that's the surest way to hit it.

Applies to a lot of things in life.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:57 pm

phyllo wrote: Right. You have tiny subjective truths which you see as valid for particular individuals in particular contexts.


Actually, there appear to be objective truths [large and small] that subjects such as you and I are able to reasonably establish. In the either/or world by and large.

Though even in the is/ought world, lots and lots of empirical facts seem able to be exchanged in any particular discussion.

phyllo wrote: When somebody tries to stretch them out to be applicable to many people in a range of contexts, you fall back on "the gap", "unknown unknowns", "sans God".


All I can do here is to challenge you to bring this accusation "down to earth".

Re Communism, there is clearly a gap between what any particular subjective "I" thinks that he or she knows about it, in conflict with what others think that they know about it.

Then the gap between what any particular "I" thinks he/she knows about it and all that can be known about contained in arguments like these -- https://www.google.com/search?source=hp ... YFR3wyfFGY

Then [finally] the gap between the points raised here and all that can possibly be known about it going all the way back to a complete understanding of existence itself.

Now, you tell me: How is this not just common sense?

phyllo wrote: This seems to be a key aspect of your approach. It's a reason that you are in a hole. And it's something that YOU are specifically doing.


Uh, no shit? When have I ever suggested that my own narrative here is anything less than an existential contraption rooted in dasein? Then I'm in the same boat that you are. Tasked with demonstrating to others that what I think I know [about Communism or anything else] is that which all rational men and women would seem obligated to know.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:01 pm

phyllo wrote:Best driving advice : Look where you want to go and that's where you will go. Don't look at what you are afraid of hitting because that's the surest way to hit it.

Applies to a lot of things in life.


I know: Let's apply it to Communism!! :wink:
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby phyllo » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:15 pm

I guess that we have reached the end of the road. :auto-biker:
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