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Old 1st December 2012, 02:33 PM   #601
Myriad
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Mereological nihilism does not by itself imply anything about the nature of consciousness or its relation to physical phenomena. Suppose, as nihilism says, that there are no brains, but only simple particles ‘arranged cerebrally’. Those particles will still engage in activities of a sort that don’t occur anywhere else but in brains. There will be chemical reactions, the movement of ions across membranes, electrical signals passing along neuronal paths, and so on. It may be a bit misleading, if nihilism is true, to describe these activities in these terms, since according to that view there are no such things as molecules or ions or membranes or neurones. But there are simple particles arranged ‘molecularly’, ‘ionically’, and so on. The microphysics--at the level of elementary particles--is the same whether or not nihilism is true.

Nor does nihilism by itself rule out the existence of mental phenomena such as consciousness. So it may imply nothing at all for debates about how the mental relates to the physical--whether that relation is some sort of emergence, for instance.

That said, nihilism rules out the existence of conscious or thinking beings. Or at least it rules out the existence of composite conscious beings--it’s consistent with the existence of mereologically simple conscious beings. Since it would be pretty mad to suppose that a simple material thing, such as a single electron, might be conscious, it would follow that the only conscious beings were immaterial--something like Leibnizian monads. If there are no immaterial conscious beings, then according to nihilism there are no conscious, thinking beings at all. And you might suppose that consciousness must always be the consciousness OF something: there can be no consciousness without a conscious being. Likewise, maybe there could be no thought without a thinking being. In that case, nihilism would imply eliminative materialism: that there are no mental phenomena at all.

To the bolded claim: maybe. But, by the same reasoning as in the immediately preceding paragraphs, it doesn't rule out "simple particles arranged conscious-being-ly" or "simple particles arranged thinking-being-ly."

So, what is the difference? Is there any difference between "a chair" and "some simple particles arranged chairly"?

If we agree by convention that the actual definition of "molecule" is "simple particles arranged molecularly" and the actual definition of "chair" is "simple particles arranged chairly" and the actual definition of "thinking being" is "simple particles arranged thinkingbeingly" then what else -- besides the idle notion that in our language, most nouns are actually adjectives applied to arrangements of simple particles -- could mereological nihilism tell us? What insights does it offer, what phenomena does it explain, what distinct predictions does it make?

If the answers to those last questions are nothing, none, and none, then calling it a word game is justifiable.

Respectfully,
Myriad
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Old 1st December 2012, 03:34 PM   #602
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I am pretty sure if I have a thought it appears as a whole. Thought has no pieces, correct?

I am not talking about the pieces that make up the thought happen, the actual thought is that whole?

What is thought?

Can it be measured scientifically as a whole at this time?

Is consciousness and thought the same thing?

Also when myriad discuss "conscious-being-ly" or "simple particles arranged thinking-being-ly" is myriad refering to thought and consiousness or something slightly different? For example thought is not whole?.

Last edited by levi; 1st December 2012 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 1st December 2012, 05:46 PM   #603
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Also just one more thing. Does mereological nihilism deny that I exist if consiousness is not whole?
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Old 1st December 2012, 05:58 PM   #604
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I assume nihilism denies I think, therefore I exist. Or in other words consiousness. Does mental phenomena mean thought? Am I misunderstanding the response? Is there any way to argue against the response? I assume the answer is I am thinking being? What is the difference between consiousness and thought? Can someone tell me if I am misunderstanding the response even if you think it is word games?

Why is this a word game like some people claim?
Why should anybody bother to answer your questions since you're not responding to the answers you've already been given?
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Old 1st December 2012, 05:58 PM   #605
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Also just one more thing. Does mereological nihilism deny that I exist if consiousness is not whole?
What on Earth is that supposed to mean?
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Old 1st December 2012, 06:16 PM   #606
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Does mereological nihilism deny that I exist because consiousness is not whole?

Is this worded better?

Last edited by levi; 1st December 2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 1st December 2012, 06:49 PM   #607
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Does mereological nihilism deny that I exist because consiousness is not whole?

Is this worded better?
What do you mean by ''whole consciousness''? Give me an example of a consciousness that is not whole.
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Old 1st December 2012, 06:57 PM   #608
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Why is this a word game like some people claim?
In chocolatological nihilism, things only exist if they are made of chocolate.

You are not made of chocolate, which proves that you don't exist.

This is exactly as valid as mereological nihilism, even though it's completely stupid and I just made it up.
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Old 1st December 2012, 06:59 PM   #609
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am pretty sure if I have a thought it appears as a whole. Thought has no pieces, correct?
Of course thought has pieces. But you are unable to detect them by thinking, any more than you can detect the atoms making up a chess piece by playing chess.
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Old 1st December 2012, 07:02 PM   #610
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
In chocolatological nihilism, things only exist if they are made of chocolate.

You are not made of chocolate, which proves that you don't exist.

This is exactly as valid as mereological nihilism, even though it's completely stupid and I just made it up.
Almost as stupid as mereological nihilism.
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Old 1st December 2012, 07:30 PM   #611
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
Almost as stupid as mereological nihilism.
Right. Anything involving chocolate is by definition less stupid than something equivalent but not involving chocolate.
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Old 1st December 2012, 07:55 PM   #612
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When myriad was explaining the response I think Myriad is saying that consiousness doesn't exist like a chair doesn't exist because they never unify. Is this what myriad was saying?

But on the one hand doesn't an individual experience consiousness as one experience so doesn't this prove mereological nihilism wrong on the topic of consiousness? I just read PixyMisa response and I guess it is not a whole.

Does this mean I don't exist because there are no wholes? Or If a thing is not a whole does that mean I have more than one person in me? Or another answer completely?

Is Mereology flawed to begin with?

Than how do you come up with a valid interpration of wholes and parts? Could you use nihilism to prove any theory of wholes wrong?

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Old 1st December 2012, 08:55 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
But on the one hand doesn't an individual experience consiousness as one experience so doesn't this prove mereological nihilism wrong on the topic of consiousness?
No. You can't prove mereological nihilism wrong, just as you can't prove Scrabble wrong. It's not right, it's not wrong, it's a game.

Quote:
Is Mereology flawed to begin with?
Certainly.

Quote:
Than how do you come up with a valid interpration of wholes and parts?
Whatever works.

Quote:
Could you use nihilism to prove any theory of wholes wrong?
Can you use Scrabble to prove any theory of wholes wrong?
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Old 1st December 2012, 09:52 PM   #614
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Is most of philosophy just opinions and you reason yourself into any position? Other philosophies are just flawed to begin with? For example when it comes to personal identity, you step into a transporter, (I realize there are already threads about this topic) it is just whatever your opinion is if you are the same person? Can someone simply explain to me if there is anything unscientific about mereology? I don't really understand mereology. I just know it has to do with wholes. I know Myriad used processing power as an answer in place of mereology, but I disagree with that answer. But what is another alternative to parts and wholes? Can someone write an example? I think maybe emergence?


I am still curious about these questions even though they are just word games. Can someone simply explain them? (This is just out of curiosity.)
Does mereological nihilism mean I don't exist because there are no wholes? Or if a thing is not a whole does that mean I have more than one person in me? Or another answer completely, explain in detail?

Last edited by levi; 1st December 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 1st December 2012, 10:27 PM   #615
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Does mereological nihilism mean I don't exist because there are no wholes?
Yes, that is the claim. Don't forget though, it is a claim and can be disputed.
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Old 1st December 2012, 11:20 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Is most of philosophy just opinions and you reason yourself into any position?
It's more a question of definitions. Choose your definitions appropriately and you can provide a rigorous defense for the dumbest proposition.

Quote:
Other philosophies are just flawed to begin with?
Most of them, yes. Some more so. A very few are sound.

Quote:
For example when it comes to personal identity, you step into a transporter, (I realize there are already threads about this topic) it is just whatever your opinion is if you are the same person?
It's how you define identity.

Quote:
Can someone simply explain to me if there is anything unscientific about mereology?
There's nothing scientific about it at all. It has nothing to do with science. It's a word game.

Quote:
I am still curious about these questions even though they are just word games. Can someone simply explain them? (This is just out of curiosity.)
See my post about chocolatological nihilism. That is precisely what mereological nihilism does.

Quote:
Does mereological nihilism mean I don't exist because there are no wholes?
No, it's just a word game.

Quote:
Or if a thing is not a whole does that mean I have more than one person in me?
No.

Quote:
Or another answer completely, explain in detail?
It's just a word game.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 04:15 AM   #617
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Originally Posted by levi View Post

Does this mean I don't exist because there are no wholes? ?
There are wholes. I have a whole bar of chocolate in front of me.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 09:03 PM   #618
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I know Myriad used processing power as an answer in place of mereology, but I disagree with that answer. But what is another alternative to parts and wholes that makes sense?


Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
To the bolded claim: maybe. But, by the same reasoning as in the immediately preceding paragraphs, it doesn't rule out "simple particles arranged conscious-being-ly" or "simple particles arranged thinking-being-ly."

So, what is the difference? Is there any difference between "a chair" and "some simple particles arranged chairly"?

If we agree by convention that the actual definition of "molecule" is "simple particles arranged molecularly" and the actual definition of "chair" is "simple particles arranged chairly" and the actual definition of "thinking being" is "simple particles arranged thinkingbeingly" then what else -- besides the idle notion that in our language, most nouns are actually adjectives applied to arrangements of simple particles -- could mereological nihilism tell us? What insights does it offer, what phenomena does it explain, what distinct predictions does it make?

If the answers to those last questions are nothing, none, and none, then calling it a word game is justifiable.

Respectfully,
Myriad


Do molecules or whole objects exist or are they arranged moleculeswise even if mereology or mereological nihilism is not real? What is an accurate definition of parts and wholes besides myriadís definition of less processing power? Can you create one using science? Can you create one using fundamental particles as whole objects at one level and chocolate bar as a whole or at least consciousness? I am not talking about fundamental particle in the chocolate bar. I am talking about a separate fundamental particle and a separate chocolate bar not related in anyway or consciousness if a chocolate bar is not possible. Letís go wild and throw in a molecule into the list. So just to summarize can a fundamental particle, a molecule, a chocolate bar and consciousness all separate items, none of the listed items as parts of each other be 4 whole items? Can you also add all items that we view as wholes as wholes such as can, six pack a picture cereal etc.? I have trouble seeing how a can with all its contents such as liquid and can be a whole item even more so with a six pack. Any answers?

I am going to ask this philosopher guy if mereology is supported by science. Can anybody think of any questions? One question I am going to ask is what makes the basic building blocks never come together? Has this question already been answered here? Here is an article about mereology and mereological nihilism, anywhere here is it supported by science? http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/
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Old 2nd December 2012, 09:54 PM   #619
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Do molecules or whole objects exist
Yes.

Quote:
or are they arranged moleculeswise
That too.

It's exactly the same. All you're doing is playing with words.

Quote:
I am going to ask this philosopher guy if mereology is supported by science.
It's supported by science exactly as much as Scrabble is.

Quote:
Can anybody think of any questions? One question I am going to ask is what makes the basic building blocks never come together?
Mereological nihilism has nothing to say on the matter.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:16 AM   #620
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I assume nihilism denies I think, therefore I exist. Or in other words consiousness. Does mental phenomena mean thought? Am I misunderstanding the response? Is there any way to argue against the response? I assume the answer is I am thinking being? What is the difference between consiousness and thought? Can someone tell me if I am misunderstanding the response even if you think it is word games?

Why is this a word game like some people claim?
yes, you do not exist because you think. There is a laundry list of things that leads to existence or consiousness. they are descriptive labels of behavior.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:28 AM   #621
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am pretty sure if I have a thought it appears as a whole. Thought has no pieces, correct?

I am not talking about the pieces that make up the thought happen, the actual thought is that whole?

What is thought?
verbal cognition is series of patterns in neural networks.
Quote:

Can it be measured scientifically as a whole at this time?

Is consciousness and thought the same thing?

Also when myriad discuss "conscious-being-ly" or "simple particles arranged thinking-being-ly" is myriad refering to thought and consiousness or something slightly different? For example thought is not whole?.
Thought is a process.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 09:29 AM   #622
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Also just one more thing. Does mereological nihilism deny that I exist if consiousness is not whole?
The fish
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:40 PM   #623
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
To the bolded claim: maybe. But, by the same reasoning as in the immediately preceding paragraphs, it doesn't rule out "simple particles arranged conscious-being-ly" or "simple particles arranged thinking-being-ly."

So, what is the difference? Is there any difference between "a chair" and "some simple particles arranged chairly"?

If we agree by convention that the actual definition of "molecule" is "simple particles arranged molecularly" and the actual definition of "chair" is "simple particles arranged chairly" and the actual definition of "thinking being" is "simple particles arranged thinkingbeingly" then what else -- besides the idle notion that in our language, most nouns are actually adjectives applied to arrangements of simple particles -- could mereological nihilism tell us? What insights does it offer, what phenomena does it explain, what distinct predictions does it make?

If the answers to those last questions are nothing, none, and none, then calling it a word game is justifiable.

Respectfully,
Myriad
Was PixyMisa referencing Myriad's post above? So there are no such thing as molecules only moleculewise? Or am I mistaken? How is it a word game or was it explained in Myriad's post above?

Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Yes.


That too.

It's exactly the same. All you're doing is playing with words.

Last edited by levi; 3rd December 2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:44 PM   #624
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Was PixyMisa referencing Myriad's post above? So there are no such thing as molecules only moleculewise? Or am I mistaken? How is it a word game or was it explained in Myriad's post above?
''Moleculewise''. A new addition to your word game.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:41 PM   #625
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
''Moleculewise''. A new addition to your word game.
He seems determined to remain baffled.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:28 PM   #626
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
In chocolatological nihilism, things only exist if they are made of chocolate.

You are not made of chocolate, which proves that you don't exist.


This is exactly as valid as mereological nihilism, even though it's completely stupid and I just made it up.
No, that should be:

In chocolatological nihilism, things only exist if they are made of chocolate.

You are not made of chocolate, which proves that you don't exist in chocolatological nihilism.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 06:32 PM   #627
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Can someone answer my previous post? No one answered some of the questions 2 posts ago, can someone? Specifically what is a more accurate definiton of wholes?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 06:47 PM   #628
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Was PixyMisa referencing Myriad's post above? So there are no such thing as molecules only moleculewise? Or am I mistaken? How is it a word game or was it explained in Myriad's post above?
All nouns are verbs. It's a word game.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 06:49 PM   #629
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
No, that should be:

In chocolatological nihilism, things only exist if they are made of chocolate.

You are not made of chocolate, which proves that you don't exist in chocolatological nihilism.
No, that would make sense and therefore break the analogy. Mereological nihilism doesn't say you don't exist for our specific definition of "exist"; it says you don't exist. That turns it from a potentially valid and useful argument into crap.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 08:56 PM   #630
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Sorry for the stupid question but a verb is a description of a action noun is a thing, how does a thing relate to a description of an action in mereological nihilism?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 10:16 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Sorry for the stupid question but a verb is a description of a action noun is a thing, how does a thing relate to a description of an action in mereological nihilism?
If you look at how physics actually works, the only way you can learn anything about anything is by interacting with it; you can only ever know what something does, not what it is.

So when we talk about what something is, that's really just misplaced language for what it does.

So all objects are really just collections of behaviours.

So all nouns are verbs in disguise.

There is no "is", only "does".

This is where mereological nihilism fails; it sees the problem of describing what compound objects are, and tries to solve it by saying that compound objects don't exist, but simple ones do. But simple objects are just collections of behaviours too.

The real solution is to discard this naive notion of existence. Objects don't exist, rather, behaviour happens.

But this is still all just a word game. It changes nothing.
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Old 4th December 2012, 12:33 AM   #632
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
No, that would make sense and therefore break the analogy. Mereological nihilism doesn't say you don't exist for our specific definition of "exist"; it says you don't exist. That turns it from a potentially valid and useful argument into crap.
But anything that says 'You don't exist', means 'You don't exist given this definition of existing'. If there was no definition of existing assumed by the statement it wouldn't mean anything.

EDIT: Actually, if that's correct, then there isn't anything wrong with your preceding post, except that the first part of it is conditional (i.e. 'In chocolatological nihilism') and the second part isn't.

Last edited by Twiler; 4th December 2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 4th December 2012, 01:02 AM   #633
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Yeah, time may not exist from one perspective, but nothing exists from every perspective. It doesn't make sense to call it illusory.
My point is that we can't know if time is real (exists), only that it appears to exist. Likewise with logic and a priori knowledge.

Also extension or the presence of a particle or group of particles, may not be real (exist), but only appear to exist.

We can't conclude that time or particles exist. We can only conclude that through something they appear to exist.

What that something is or does or how it exists or results in the notion of existence is beyond us and beyond logic.

If one is to rationally approach the question of existence, this position is the first stumbling block and there is no way around it using reason.
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Old 4th December 2012, 01:16 AM   #634
PixyMisa
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
But anything that says 'You don't exist', means 'You don't exist given this definition of existing'. If there was no definition of existing assumed by the statement it wouldn't mean anything.
Well, tell that to the mereology guys. After all, it's not my argument, I just coated it with chocolate.
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Old 4th December 2012, 01:18 AM   #635
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
My point is that we can't know if time is real (exists), only that it appears to exist.
That was wrong the last time you said it, and it's still wrong now. And yes, that's a temporal statement. How about that.
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Old 4th December 2012, 03:51 AM   #636
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

If one is to rationally approach the question of existence, this position is the first stumbling block and there is no way around it using reason.
So we stop thinking and use mysticism, presumably with an eye on beyond the event horizon of the formless.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:49 AM   #637
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
My point is that we can't know if time is real (exists), only that it appears to exist. Likewise with logic and a priori knowledge.

Also extension or the presence of a particle or group of particles, may not be real (exist), but only appear to exist.

We can't conclude that time or particles exist. We can only conclude that through something they appear to exist.

What that something is or does or how it exists or results in the notion of existence is beyond us and beyond logic.

If one is to rationally approach the question of existence, this position is the first stumbling block and there is no way around it using reason.
Us? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:14 AM   #638
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Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
So we stop thinking and use mysticism, presumably with an eye on beyond the event horizon of the formless.
No you just don't go around claiming to know something about existence.

For example, that something does exist or doesn't exist.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:19 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
That was wrong the last time you said it, and it's still wrong now. And yes, that's a temporal statement. How about that.
It appears to be a temporal statement. Perhaps there is something about the thing that exists which results in the experience of temporal statements.

I wonder what that might be?

Do you conclude that time exists because of the evidence of temporal events?
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Old 4th December 2012, 10:23 AM   #640
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Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

For example, that something does exist or doesn't exist.
Wow, how many years of mystical meditation did it take to work that out?
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