ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 2nd August 2019, 11:55 AM   #161
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 24,448
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Well I am! And I................oh, I see..........
Welcome to the peanut gallery.
__________________
I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)

Quand il dit "cuic" le moineau croit tout dire. (When he's tweeted the sparrow thinks he's said it all. (Jules Renard)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd August 2019, 11:18 PM   #162
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
(...). Quit overthinking this. It's not that complicated.

Philosophy merely means love (Philo) of wisdom (sophia) Science was originally another word for knowledge.

Science or knowledge is not a replacement for wisdom. But I don't see how you can love wisdom while dismissing knowledge.
There are many definitions of philosophy. The definition of philosophy --if it is one-- as love to wisdom is by Socrates. It is due to his scepticism. Philosophy as an a way to an unattainable goal.
Plato was more dogmatic. He defined two ways of knowledge: episteme (science) and techne. Science was the true knowledge. Necessary, rational and so on. Techne was only fruit of practice. This is not true knowledge but opinion.

There are two historical definitions. They are not currently in use, except for some poethical philosophy. "Love to widsom" is obviously vague and fits with almost anything.

Generally, "wisdom" is to understand how a more extensive word than "knowledge". It implies some kind of practical knowledge. And you are right. Both are linked. Even in intelligence we speak of "emotional intelligence" as well. If you didn't have both, you would be unable of develop your intelligence in society. The same goes for knowledge and wisdom.

But I don't know what this has to do with my previous comment. If it means that the person who dedicates himself to philosophy of science must have a deep knowledge of science, of course. From what I've read, most people do. That scientists have the same knowledge of philosophy, I'm not so sure. From what I have read it seems to me that they often talk with second-hand ideas.

Last edited by David Mo; 2nd August 2019 at 11:22 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd August 2019, 11:32 PM   #163
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

What nailed it was ultimately that there are now ways to make it go away. You start taking the antipsychotic pills, or conversely stop eating the funny mushrooms, and the demons go away.

So in a sense we're back to reality being the part that doesn't.
But taking them out of the way with pills doesn't mean it's your will that modifies them. It's like I'm taking my boss out of the way by throwing him off a cliff. My boss would not cease to be something real.

The case of the reality of hallucinations is not easy to solve. As it shows that there are people who believe that they are more real than real life. An additional clause should be introduced. In the sense of intersubjectivity or something similar. I believe that there is no single criterion of reality.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 02:02 AM   #164
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But taking them out of the way with pills doesn't mean it's your will that modifies them. It's like I'm taking my boss out of the way by throwing him off a cliff. My boss would not cease to be something real.
The difference is that he doesn't really disappear, he just might end up a bit flatter, wider and less breathing. It's also that we know how those pills work, most importantly that they only affect your own brain.

So basically if you can take anything, or do any ritual you wish, as long as it only affects yourself and your boss disappears, well, he probably wasn't real.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The case of the reality of hallucinations is not easy to solve. As it shows that there are people who believe that they are more real than real life. An additional clause should be introduced. In the sense of intersubjectivity or something similar. I believe that there is no single criterion of reality.
I'm not sure intersubjectivity would actually solve it, to be honest. I mean, I'm all for it on other domains, but for defining what is real, it has already failed epically before.

To wit, as I've mentioned before, you could actually be put on top of a nice pile of wood if a couple of your neighbours dreamed that you're a witch.

Really, it failed both ways. Both as the way to reach a shared understanding, and as the social contract that defined that that's not only real enough, but reliable enough to be admissible evidence in a trial.


Personally I would think that a much better test is something more objective. And luckily we nowadays can rely on more than just our senses. So basically if you manage to get a demon to actually show on film in a controlled setting, well, we might actually believe it's real.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 02:13 AM   #165
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
On another note, I should clarify that my MAIN point wasn't as much about the nature of reality, but really just a more general pragmatic principle: if it doesn't make any (detectable) difference to the problem being discussed, then leave it out.

E.g., if what you have to solve is designing an airplane piston engine that can do 1000hp and have an efficiency of at least 29%, then you can leave out such irrelevant issues as what colour they'll paint the plane, or whether they'll allow liquids on board, or whether the pilot's wife is cheating on him. Stuff like the octane number for the fuel used is relevant, because it directly limits your compression ratio. Stuff like whether the pilot is using his trips to Thailand to get a happy ending massage, is not.

Seems reasonable enough, right?

Well, I'm saying it's no different for the nature of reality. It may well be interesting for some issues, or as a philosophical discussion in its own right, but if it doesn't affect any practical issue at hand, it is irrelevant by definition.

Basically, I see a lot of using that nature of reality being used as a red herring. Basically some form of "but what you perceive as a tiger is really a lot of empty space with atoms in it, and/or you don't know if it's a simulation, and/or you don't directly perceive the real tiger but a mental representation of it, bla, bla, bla, therefore it's ok to believe in magical thinking." Not necessarily in those exact words, but that's the implied payload.

All I'm saying is, "Ok, does that make any difference? Even if it were a simulation or a mental representation, can you make the tigers disappear? No? Then it makes no difference, and you should still stay out of the cage anyway."
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 3rd August 2019 at 02:16 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 05:00 AM   #166
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Because people who argue the "What if you're in a simulation" defense don't actually care about the possibility of reality being a simulation.

They care about either

A) An out for their Woo.
B) An argumentative cop-out for their Woo.

It's not an honest argument and can't be approached like one.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 05:08 AM   #167
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Pretty much, yes. Which is why I'd rather just call the argument irrelevant and move on.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 08:53 AM   #168
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 962
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
It seems to me we are on this earth to work things out for ourselves they may find they can open their hearts I think history has been
It seems to me that your posts are full of wishy washy statements that make it seem like you're up to nothing more than wishful thinking.

There's no substance behind anything you have said in this thread. It's all complete and total fluff.
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 10:53 AM   #169
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
There are many definitions of philosophy. The definition of philosophy --if it is one-- as love to wisdom is by Socrates. It is due to his scepticism. Philosophy as an a way to an unattainable goal.
Plato was more dogmatic. He defined two ways of knowledge: episteme (science) and techne. Science was the true knowledge. Necessary, rational and so on. Techne was only fruit of practice. This is not true knowledge but opinion.

There are two historical definitions. They are not currently in use, except for some poethical philosophy. "Love to widsom" is obviously vague and fits with almost anything.

Generally, "wisdom" is to understand how a more extensive word than "knowledge". It implies some kind of practical knowledge. And you are right. Both are linked. Even in intelligence we speak of "emotional intelligence" as well. If you didn't have both, you would be unable of develop your intelligence in society. The same goes for knowledge and wisdom.

But I don't know what this has to do with my previous comment. If it means that the person who dedicates himself to philosophy of science must have a deep knowledge of science, of course. From what I've read, most people do. That scientists have the same knowledge of philosophy, I'm not so sure. From what I have read it seems to me that they often talk with second-hand ideas.
Philosophy of science? Seriously? It seems as if you're obsessed with overthinking. I see science as simply the pursuit of knowledge. What we do with that knowledge has to with what we value and that of course has sociological and philosophical implications.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 11:02 PM   #170
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The difference is that he doesn't really disappear, he just might end up a bit flatter, wider and less breathing. It's also that we know how those pills work, most importantly that they only affect your own brain.

So basically if you can take anything, or do any ritual you wish, as long as it only affects yourself and your boss disappears, well, he probably wasn't real.



I'm not sure intersubjectivity would actually solve it, to be honest. I mean, I'm all for it on other domains, but for defining what is real, it has already failed epically before.

To wit, as I've mentioned before, you could actually be put on top of a nice pile of wood if a couple of your neighbours dreamed that you're a witch.

Really, it failed both ways. Both as the way to reach a shared understanding, and as the social contract that defined that that's not only real enough, but reliable enough to be admissible evidence in a trial.


Personally I would think that a much better test is something more objective. And luckily we nowadays can rely on more than just our senses. So basically if you manage to get a demon to actually show on film in a controlled setting, well, we might actually believe it's real.
It may also be that the pill has dulled your vision. It's possible. In any case, you have added one more feature apart from the will.

Intersubjectivity does not mean submitting to everything your neighbors say. It is that you cannot be sure of things that only you see. And refined criteria of intersubjectivity, such as science: controlled experimentation. For example.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 11:11 PM   #171
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
On another note, I should clarify that my MAIN point wasn't as much about the nature of reality, but really just a more general pragmatic principle: if it doesn't make any (detectable) difference to the problem being discussed, then leave it out.

E.g., if what you have to solve is designing an airplane piston engine that can do 1000hp and have an efficiency of at least 29%, then you can leave out such irrelevant issues as what colour they'll paint the plane, or whether they'll allow liquids on board, or whether the pilot's wife is cheating on him. Stuff like the octane number for the fuel used is relevant, because it directly limits your compression ratio. Stuff like whether the pilot is using his trips to Thailand to get a happy ending massage, is not.

Seems reasonable enough, right?

Well, I'm saying it's no different for the nature of reality. It may well be interesting for some issues, or as a philosophical discussion in its own right, but if it doesn't affect any practical issue at hand, it is irrelevant by definition.

Basically, I see a lot of using that nature of reality being used as a red herring. Basically some form of "but what you perceive as a tiger is really a lot of empty space with atoms in it, and/or you don't know if it's a simulation, and/or you don't directly perceive the real tiger but a mental representation of it, bla, bla, bla, therefore it's ok to believe in magical thinking." Not necessarily in those exact words, but that's the implied payload.

All I'm saying is, "Ok, does that make any difference? Even if it were a simulation or a mental representation, can you make the tigers disappear? No? Then it makes no difference, and you should still stay out of the cage anyway."
It may look like a red herring to you, but it led and leads the great minds of quantum mechanics upside-down. In an argument with Bohr, Heisenberg ended up crying. Of course, for an applied science problem you don't have to discuss reality. One follows a protocol and nothing else. But I am referring to another level of science. When scientists try to understand what they are really doing.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2019, 11:16 PM   #172
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Philosophy of science? Seriously? It seems as if you're obsessed with overthinking. I see science as simply the pursuit of knowledge. What we do with that knowledge has to with what we value and that of course has sociological and philosophical implications.
No one doubts that science is a kind of knowledge. The safest. But what kind? That's where the problems and divergences between philosophers and scientists who care about what science is begin. And I swear to you that they may have very divergent opinions. If so, is it overthinking? It depends on the point of view.

But I'm rather surprised that someone says that to think about these things is to think too much in a forum that deals with philosophy. Why shouldn't we think about them? Do they hurt the head?

Last edited by David Mo; 3rd August 2019 at 11:18 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 02:26 AM   #173
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It may look like a red herring to you, but it led and leads the great minds of quantum mechanics upside-down. In an argument with Bohr, Heisenberg ended up crying. Of course, for an applied science problem you don't have to discuss reality. One follows a protocol and nothing else. But I am referring to another level of science. When scientists try to understand what they are really doing.
You'll notice the repeated qualifier "for the problem at hand."

Any detail can be relevant for one problem or another. But it's irrelevant for other problems. I.e., it doesn't mean that every problem must get bogged in discussing every detail.

In the case of QM, sure, the exact nature of protons would be very relevant if we were discussing the large hadron collider and the search for the Higgs boson. But it's irrelevant when the discussion is whether magical thinking can make the tiger disappear.

Essentially, think of it in terms of elementary logic and syllogisms. Any premise that is connected to the conclusion is ok. Any premise that is not connected to the conclusion is, however, irrelevant.

Sure, exactly which is which, depends on the exact argument, but nevertheless, one must know which is which.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 11:27 AM   #174
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
No one doubts that science is a kind of knowledge. The safest. But what kind? That's where the problems and divergences between philosophers and scientists who care about what science is begin. And I swear to you that they may have very divergent opinions. If so, is it overthinking? It depends on the point of view.

But I'm rather surprised that someone says that to think about these things is to think too much in a forum that deals with philosophy. Why shouldn't we think about them? Do they hurt the head?
Really? Philosophy of Science? Go ahead think about it. No one is stopping you. You're just boring the rest of us. Does it get you anywhere? Me, I'd rather learn, than think about learning.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 11:44 AM   #175
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Me, I'd rather learn, than think about learning.
And this right here is the base difference, exact semantics and "well acskhually" technicalities aside, between fans of science/rationality and fans of philosophy.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 12:06 PM   #176
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And this right here is the base difference, exact semantics and "well acskhually" technicalities aside, between fans of science/rationality and fans of philosophy.
I don't want to dismiss philosophy as something worthless. But I do believe David overdoes it. Philosophizing science? Give me a break. He's overdoing a good thing. I appreciate the crops of philosophy, but I have no interest in wallowing in its fertilizer.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.

Last edited by acbytesla; 4th August 2019 at 01:07 PM.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 12:22 PM   #177
Scorpion
Graduate Poster
 
Scorpion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,853
Wittgenstein supposed that there was nothing left for philosophers to do but an analysis of language.
I believe this is because he thought they had been left behind by the advances of physics and only someone capable of understanding modern cosmology and the mathematics involved in it, could hope to have any idea of the true nature of things.
__________________
You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.
Sri Ramakrishna
Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
Leo Tolstoy
Scorpion is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 01:22 PM   #178
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't want to dismiss philosophy as something worthless.
I don't want to, but as time goes on I flip flop more and more one whether or not I sort of have to.

Conceptually of course I have no problem with the base idea of, basically, thinking about thinking. Very esoteric questions of base reality, our thoughts, our language, and the like are necessary and do have their place.

But as time marches on any of those question being thought out only in the context broad, vague "philosophy" seems more and more quaint if I'm being generous, downright anti-intellectual if I'm being honest.

Physics is answering more and more of the base questions of reality, neuroscience the same for questions of ethics and morality (caterwauling from the peanut gallery not withstanding), there's not a lot of question that you don't need science to answer and once we accept that the distinction between answer we get from science and questions that science is just outright answering start becoming fairly hairsplitty fairly quickly.

Sure there will always be the people who basically define philosophy (or related) as questions science has answered yet, but that's a rather pointless and eternally shifting goalpost. And endless recursion of "And then?" is next only to the silly word games as thing souring me most on philosophy these days.

I guess if I have a point to all this is that as time goes on the parts of philosophy that haven't been spun off into their own distinct scientific disciplines is getting pretty thin.

At this point in our intellectual development as a species saying "I'm going to solve this problem using PHILOSOPHY!" is like going "I'm going to build a machine to perform this task." It's to vague. Not just vague but meaningless.

And more and more the vagueness is starting the feel more like a feature than a bug.

Does that mean I'm "against philosophy?" *Shrugs* Hell if I know. There's so much semantics and categorization and "How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?" meaninglessness in that question I don't know if it even has an answer.

There's certainly things in the concept of philosophy I think are useful, but on any practical level the... well point is shrinking rapidly for me. And even in philosophy something that has no point well... has no point.

So somewhere in all that is the closest thing to an answer I can give.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I believe this is because he thought they had been left behind by the advances of physics and only someone capable of understanding modern cosmology and the mathematics involved in it, could hope to have any idea of the true nature of things.
Listen I'm gonna tell you something I've told a lot of people over the years.

If you want to waltz in and declare that we're all "thinking" the wrong way... you can't be wrong about literally everything.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 4th August 2019 at 01:35 PM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 01:51 PM   #179
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I don't want to, but as time goes on I flip flop more and more one whether or not I sort of have to.

Conceptually of course I have no problem with the base idea of, basically, thinking about thinking. Very esoteric questions of base reality, our thoughts, our language, and the like are necessary and do have their place.

But as time marches on any of those question being thought out only in the context broad, vague "philosophy" seems more and more quaint if I'm being generous, downright anti-intellectual if I'm being honest.

Physics is answering more and more of the base questions of reality are being answered by physics, neuroscience the same for questions of ethics and morality (caterwauling from the peanut gallery not withstanding), there's not a lot of question that you don't need science to answer and once we accept that the distinction between answer we get from science and questions that science is just outright answering start becoming fairly hairsplitty fairly quickly.

Sure there will always be the people who basically define philosophy (or related) as questions science has answered yet, but that's a rather pointless and eternally shifting goalpost. And endless recursion of "And then?" is next only to the silly word games as thing souring me most on philosophy these days.

I guess if I have a point to all this is that as time goes on the parts of philosophy that haven't been spun off into their own distinct scientific disciplines is getting pretty thin.

At this point in our intellectual development as a species saying "I'm going to solve this problem using PHILOSOPHY!" is like going "I'm going to build a machine to perform this task." It's to vague. Not just vague but meaningless.

And more and more the vagueness is starting the feel more like a feature than a bug.

Does that mean I'm "against philosophy?" *Shrugs* Hell if I know. There's so much semantics and categorization and "How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?" meaninglessness in the that question I don't know if it even has an answer.

There's certainly things in the concept of philosophy I think are useful, but on any practical level that... well point is shrinking rapidly for me. And even in philosophy something that has no point well... has no point.

So somewhere in all that is the closest thing to an answer I can give.



Listen I'm gonna tell you something I've told a lot of people over the years.

If you want to waltz in and declare that we're all "thinking" the wrong way... you can't be wrong about literally everything.
Philosophy covers a wide range of subjects and really is the basis of all education. There are some great principles worth learning. Such as logic and critical thinking.

A lot of this people know intuitively. I still remember taking logic in college and thinking "duh". I felt like I had been practicing using those syllogisms since elementary school. I just didn't know there was a word for them. But some people never understand that a step by step logical thought process provides a solid foundation to learning and more importantly understanding. I'm convinced that Logic should be taught in elementary school.

Moral philosophy is also important. I think everyone should study John Rawls.

But diving head first into solipsism is basically intellectual masturbation. Although it does help in appreciating The Matrix.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.

Last edited by acbytesla; 4th August 2019 at 01:53 PM.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 03:32 PM   #180
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Physics is answering more and more of the base questions of reality, neuroscience the same for questions of ethics and morality
I would be interested in hearing examples of base questions of reality answered by physics, or questions of ethics or morality answered by neuroscience.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 05:45 PM   #181
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would be interested in hearing examples of base questions of reality answered by physics, or questions of ethics or morality answered by neuroscience.
I'd be interested in hearing questions answered by anything else.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 06:08 PM   #182
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would be interested in hearing examples of base questions of reality answered by physics, or questions of ethics or morality answered by neuroscience.
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'd be interested in hearing questions answered by anything else.

I don't have a clue how science could do that. Ethics and morality are social constructs. Science merely informs those constructs.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 06:34 PM   #183
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,851
Ethics and morality are just applied psychology and sociology.

Now I'm not going too deep down this rabbit hole because it will lead to inane "Prove to me suffering is bad using only algebra" kind of strawmanning of science, but "what causes human suffering" is not some question that lies "outside the realm of science."
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 06:52 PM   #184
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Ethics and morality are just applied psychology and sociology.

Now I'm not going too deep down this rabbit hole because it will lead to inane "Prove to me suffering is bad using only algebra" kind of strawmanning of science, but "what causes human suffering" is not some question that lies "outside the realm of science."
I know what you mean.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 08:04 PM   #185
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Ethics and morality are just applied psychology and sociology.

Now I'm not going too deep down this rabbit hole because it will lead to inane "Prove to me suffering is bad using only algebra" kind of strawmanning of science, but "what causes human suffering" is not some question that lies "outside the realm of science."
So you can think of plenty of examples but you are not going to tell me even one because you don't like the response you anticipate that it will get from me?
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 08:35 PM   #186
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,839
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
So you can think of plenty of examples but you are not going to tell me even one because you don't like the response you anticipate that it will get from me?
Here we go.
__________________
Try
Science, not superstition.
Reason, not revelation.
Education, not epiphanies
Intellect, not ignorance.
.
acbytesla is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 08:47 PM   #187
Cheetah
Graduate Poster
 
Cheetah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,825
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Ethics and morality are just applied psychology and sociology.

No, there will always be an insurmountable gap betwixt the two.
Science/psychology/sociology can only describe our chosen morality and at best explain why we chose it, based on feelings, based on instincts, shaped by evolution and the environment.
It can help you compare the outcomes of different moral choices, but it will never be able to make the choice. A human will still have to make the choice based on nothing more than feelings.
__________________
"... when you dig my grave, could you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain" - DMB
Cheetah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 09:33 PM   #188
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Here we go.
Let's recap.

He says: "Physics is answering more and more of the base questions of reality, neuroscience the same for questions of ethics and morality"

I reply: "I would be interested in hearing examples of base questions of reality answered by physics, or questions of ethics or morality answered by neuroscience."

There was something unreasonable in this?

If this is happening "more and more" it should be possible to give at least one example.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

Last edited by Robin; 4th August 2019 at 09:34 PM.
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 09:46 PM   #189
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
No, there will always be an insurmountable gap betwixt the two.
Science/psychology/sociology can only describe our chosen morality and at best explain why we chose it, based on feelings, based on instincts, shaped by evolution and the environment.
It can help you compare the outcomes of different moral choices, but it will never be able to make the choice. A human will still have to make the choice based on nothing more than feelings.
Yes, I think that science more or less deals itself out of moraity and ethics.

Philosophy is not much help either.

And yet we all can't avoid having to make moral and ethical decisions all the time.

How do we do it? Common sense I suppose.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 09:50 PM   #190
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
In the case of QM, sure, the exact nature of protons would be very relevant if we were discussing the large hadron collider and the search for the Higgs boson. But it's irrelevant when the discussion is whether magical thinking can make the tiger disappear.

Essentially, think of it in terms of elementary logic and syllogisms. Any premise that is connected to the conclusion is ok. Any premise that is not connected to the conclusion is, however, irrelevant.
Knowing what kind of reality a proton is should also be useful for discussing magic, since parnormalistic people frequently use misconceptions about modern theories of physics.

I do not recommend you to write only with syllogisms. It is difficult and not always clear. Try it and see. Using ordinary language with clarity and precision is sufficient.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 09:56 PM   #191
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Really? Philosophy of Science? Go ahead think about it. No one is stopping you. You're just boring the rest of us. Does it get you anywhere? Me, I'd rather learn, than think about learning.
I'm sorry you're bored discussing what science is. I think it's an exciting subject.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 09:58 PM   #192
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And this right here is the base difference, exact semantics and "well acskhually" technicalities aside, between fans of science/rationality and fans of philosophy.
You're not a fan of science. You are a hooligan. You love science, you think it can handle everything and it's better than everything, but you don't even want to hear about what science is.
Well, everyone has the religion that suits them.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 10:08 PM   #193
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't want to dismiss philosophy as something worthless. But I do believe David overdoes it. Philosophizing science? Give me a break. He's overdoing a good thing. I appreciate the crops of philosophy, but I have no interest in wallowing in its fertilizer.
"Philosophizing science". What an absurdity! Nobody wants to "philosophize" anything. Simply wondering what science is. And that has been done by eminent scientists of whom you do not want to know anything. You say it's the philosophers' fault, as if it weren't the other way around. (That's the thesis of one of the most imbecile articles an intelligent person could have written in recent years. If you want, I'll tell you what it is. But of course, you don't want to talk about what science is, but about "the wonderful achievements of science that are going to solve the ills of humanity"... etc.) Philosophy has been lagging behind science since the 18th century, trying to interpret what science was doing. And the most important scientists of the century have contributed to this activity. Why?

Oh yeah. I'm boring you. Don't worry, it's a mutual feeling.

Last edited by David Mo; 4th August 2019 at 10:58 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 10:09 PM   #194
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
I am not sure if any learning would ever have gotten done if there weren't people that thought about learning.

What is the best way to get across such-and-such complex topic to a class? Who cares, I am just going to go in an wing it.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 10:13 PM   #195
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Wittgenstein supposed that there was nothing left for philosophers to do but an analysis of language.
I believe this is because he thought they had been left behind by the advances of physics and only someone capable of understanding modern cosmology and the mathematics involved in it, could hope to have any idea of the true nature of things.
However, what Heisenberg, Bohr or Einstein said about the "true nature of things" did not differ much from what Russell, Wittgenstein or Ayer said. Maybe you don't have to know so much about mathematics, but rather have a good knowledge of science and its methods. And that is often found among the philosophers of science. I can give you names, if you like.

Last edited by David Mo; 4th August 2019 at 11:01 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th August 2019, 10:15 PM   #196
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'd be interested in hearing questions answered by anything else.
You set the example. Don't sneak away.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 12:38 AM   #197
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
What is boring is scientists holding forth on things like reductionism, emergence, free will and "something from nothing" without really defining their terms or not realising that anything useful they can say on the subject has already been said decades or even centuries ago and if they had only just deigned to talk it over with someone in the philosophy department they could have saved themselves valuable time.

I don't mind people not wanting to do philosophy, but if so they should stay away from those subjects and not try to reinvent philosophical wheels, especially those that philosophers themselves have long given up as a pointless exercise.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 12:48 AM   #198
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,315
For example I have often heard scientists say that "how do you get something from nothing" is a question that philosopher all puzzle over.

I asked a philosopher and he said that in his 25 years of writing about and teaching philosophy the question had never come up.

"Sounds more like a question for science" is what he said.
__________________
The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
Robin is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 01:44 AM   #199
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,276
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
For example I have often heard scientists say that "how do you get something from nothing" is a question that philosopher all puzzle over.

I asked a philosopher and he said that in his 25 years of writing about and teaching philosophy the question had never come up.

"Sounds more like a question for science" is what he said.
I'm with you. Scientists' claims against philosophy are generally ignorant of what philosophy actually says. For example, Steven Weinberg's "Against Philosophy" never defines what "philosophy" is. Therefore, it can arbitrarily oppose timeless "science" to a broad spectrum that includes Plato, Wittgenstein, Aquinas, and Einstein. It borders on the ridiculous when it blames "positivism" - what positivism?-- because of the idea that only direct observational entities can be scientific. It would have done him good to read an old manual: "The Rise of Scientific Philosophy" by Hans Reichenbach, a reputed "positivist", I suppose. On page 272, --Spanish edition-- he explains how many nondirect observational entities are introduced into science by the rules of inference. The simplest thing in the world.

I have great respect for Weinberg's materialistic philosophy. When he avoids talking about things he doesn't know.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th August 2019, 01:44 AM   #200
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
What is boring is scientists holding forth on things like reductionism, emergence, free will and "something from nothing" without really defining their terms or not realising that anything useful they can say on the subject has already been said decades or even centuries ago and if they had only just deigned to talk it over with someone in the philosophy department they could have saved themselves valuable time.

I don't mind people not wanting to do philosophy, but if so they should stay away from those subjects and not try to reinvent philosophical wheels, especially those that philosophers themselves have long given up as a pointless exercise.
I'm not opposed to philosophy. If nothing else, using the grey cells may delay the onset of Alzheimer's.

BUT, no matter how you want to dress it, at this point it can't really offer any answers worth crap. Simply put because, "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Any answer it can offer is either based on evidence, in which case it becomes science, or it's based on postulates pulled out of the ass, which can be safely ignored.

There are literally no domains on which there is any evidence, which can't, or in fact isn't already, the domain of science. Even on the leftover domains like the philosophy of the mind or of language, philosophy is having its lunch money taken by actual neuroscience or linguistics.

Yeah, yeah, some things have been said thousands of years ago, but then on any given domain so have dozens of alternative idiocies. Science at least lets you know which of them is right.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:00 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.