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Old 19th September 2012, 01:24 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
That's not quite what you said in your preceding statement; You said we distinguished between mind and body because it was handy, and that the mind was just a bodily function, which has a connotation beyond a mere statement of fact.
No it doesn't. Anything and everything that is "the mind" is contained within electrical impulses within the brain. To suggest otherwise is making crap up with no evidence because you either don't intellectual understand or can't emotionally handle the reality of the situation. Facts you don't like don't magically turn into opinions.

Fauxosophy loves this idea that the mind and the self are different even though they demonstrably are not. 99.99% of all philosophy and 99.999999% of all coffee shop intellectual level fauxosophy became null and void with the birth of modern neuroscience. Thinking, even thinking about your sense of self, is what your brain does.

Since our mental functions form our mental image of the world, the concept of mind and body being separate things is a useful distinction in everyday language, but nothing more then that.

Again coming up with grandiose, ready for Woo answers for questions that don't really exist doesn't make you Obi Wan Kenobi.
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Old 19th September 2012, 01:45 PM   #82
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So I assume Peter Unger thinks I don't exist and he doesn't exist because he argues who creates the boundaries? When the answer is it I, you or him. And because no one agree he claims it is all made up.

Is this correct?

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Old 19th September 2012, 01:46 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
No it doesn't. Anything and everything that is "the mind" is contained within electrical impulses within the brain. To suggest otherwise is making crap up with no evidence because you either don't intellectual understand or can't emotionally handle the reality of the situation. Facts you don't like don't magically turn into opinions.

Fauxosophy loves this idea that the mind and the self are different even though they demonstrably are not. 99.99% of all philosophy and 99.999999% of all coffee shop intellectual level fauxosophy became null and void with the birth of modern neuroscience. Thinking, even thinking about your sense of self, is what your brain does.
Where does that figure come from?

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Since our mental functions form our mental image of the world, the concept of mind and body being separate things is a useful distinction in everyday language, but nothing more then that.

Again coming up with grandiose, ready for Woo answers for questions that don't really exist doesn't make you Obi Wan Kenobi.
Just to be clear, are you implying that I'm making up woo answers to this question?
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Old 19th September 2012, 01:48 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
So I assume Peter Unger thinks I don't exist and he doesn't exist because he argues who creates the boundaries? When the answer is it I, you or him.

Is this correct?
I don't think he believes that anyone doesn't exist, I think he just thinks that this 'Problem of the Many' is indicative of a flaw in the standard idea of the manner in which we exist.
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Old 19th September 2012, 01:54 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Where does that figure come from?
It was a non-literal turn of phrase don't read too much into it.

To clarify I do believe modern neuroscience has solved to any reasonable standard most questions of sense of self, the nature of reality and our interaction with it and similar concepts that garnered so much interest from Philosophy historically.

Quote:
Just to be clear, are you implying that I'm making up woo answers to this question?
I don't know you personally and can't see into your brain or anything, but I've had this conversation it seems like a bazillion times and I know the steps pretty well. Better then Vegas Odds says at some point some unsupported nonsense is going to get wedged into this non-existent gaps in our knowledge you insist upon making up.

I've met people that insist upon inventing questions we can't answer without then almost immediately going "Therefore Woo" but it's rare.
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Old 19th September 2012, 01:58 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
It was a non-literal turn of phrase don't read too much into it.

To clarify I do believe modern neuroscience has solved to any reasonable standard most questions of sense of self, the nature of reality and our interaction with it and similar concepts that garnered so much interest from Philosophy historically.
Yeah, science has cleared up a lot of questions in that direction.


Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I don't know you personally and can't see into your brain or anything, but I've had this conversation it seems like a bazillion times and I know the steps pretty well. Better then Vegas Odds says at some point some unsupported nonsense is going to get wedged into this non-existent gaps in our knowledge you insist upon making up.

I've met people that insist upon inventing questions we can't answer without then almost immediately going "Therefore Woo" but it's rare.
I actually believe pretty much the same as you, I just don't think I should stop considering it.
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Old 19th September 2012, 02:08 PM   #87
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*Shrugs* I just see more value in solving real problems that have real solutions that will lead to real improvements in the world and have little patience for the pretentious Navel Gazers among us that act like the person that invented fire, the wheel, and the antibiotic are somehow less intelligent or enlightened then some stoner wanna be wise man going "Okay but how do we know that the fire, the wheel, and the antibiotic are real?"

We all engage in the occasional act of, to use the vulgar but I think most accurate phrase, mental masturbation from time to time. It's a fine wonderful thing to just close your eyes and let your mind wander, to let it drift to the edges of though and just go wild. But if philosophy is mental masturbation the science is having sex, it feels just as good but actually produces usable results, it just takes more discipline and effort to actually do it.

And I believe I now deserve some sort of award for the absolutely most horribly wonderful metaphor ever.

Long story short, I have no interest in things that get less interesting the more you learn about them.
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Old 19th September 2012, 02:10 PM   #88
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This brings me to my original question can someone help explain the article to me?

I am curious why Peter Unger thinks I and he don't exist. It has something to do with the problem of the many.

Were merton’s comments correct on Peter Unger view and the article?

Is philosophy dealing with persistence of personal identity crap?
Is philosophy crap about dealing with the meaning of life? Take existentialism for example

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Old 19th September 2012, 02:22 PM   #89
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Okay to explain it best I can.

Peter Unger is among the leading proponents of a concept called Mereological Nihilism. To simplify it as best I can it's the idea that something doesn't exist if it can be broken down into individual parts. A Lego House isn't a thing because it can be broken down into individual Lego. A car isn't a thing because it can be broken down into various car parts. A person isn't a thing because it can be broken down into organs. Organs aren't things because they can be broken down into cells. Cells aren't things because they can be broken down into molecules. Molecules aren't things because they can be broken down into atoms and so forth and so on.

Like a lot of philosophy it's just bad semantics, silly word games. We have words and concepts for objects made up of individual parts because it's useful. Nothing more.
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Old 19th September 2012, 02:36 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Okay to explain it best I can.

Peter Unger is among the leading proponents of a concept called Mereological Nihilism. To simplify it as best I can it's the idea that something doesn't exist if it can be broken down into individual parts. A Lego House isn't a thing because it can be broken down into individual Lego. A car isn't a thing because it can be broken down into various car parts. A person isn't a thing because it can be broken down into organs. Organs aren't things because they can be broken down into cells. Cells aren't things because they can be broken down into molecules. Molecules aren't things because they can be broken down into atoms and so forth and so on.

Like a lot of philosophy it's just bad semantics, silly word games. We have words and concepts for objects made up of individual parts because it's useful. Nothing more.
Do you think Peter Unger believes we have words and concepts for objects made up of individual parts because it's useful, or for some other reason?
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Old 19th September 2012, 02:45 PM   #91
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Just because things can be broken down consiousness still exists?

Correct me if I am wrong but if you break down something to smaller parts than how do they combine to create bigger more complex things? For example an atom and a compound.
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Old 19th September 2012, 02:48 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Okay to explain it best I can.

Peter Unger is among the leading proponents of a concept called Mereological Nihilism. (snipped some good examples here)

Like a lot of philosophy it's just bad semantics, silly word games. We have words and concepts for objects made up of individual parts because it's useful. Nothing more.
From the introduction in the article:

Quote:
The problem initially looks like a special kind of puzzle about vague predicates, but that may be misleading. Some of the standard solutions to Sorites paradoxes do not obviously help here, so perhaps the Problem reveals some deeper truths involving the metaphysics of material constitution, or the logic of statements involving identity.
Or, to put it another way, "silly word games." I guess what puzzles me is if your answer to metaphysics generally is to dismiss it as bunk, what brings you to the religion and philosophy forum?

I find these questions interesting and the arguments excellent mental exercise.

I'd also submit that philosophy isn't transmitted as a set of concrete facts, pre-digested and laid out neatly on the plate for ease of consumption. It does, and should, require interested parties to engage and wrestle with it, to chew a bit and extract what value they may. In other words, personal involvement is required and the journey is as important as the destination. Prepackaged clarity isn't worth very much when the point is to grapple with ideas yourself.

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Old 19th September 2012, 03:00 PM   #93
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I don't think.
Therefore I am ...
A solipsist philosopher?
A bit of basalt?
etc...
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Old 19th September 2012, 03:31 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Or, to put it another way, "silly word games." I guess what puzzles me is if your answer to metaphysics generally is to dismiss it as bunk, what brings you to the religion and philosophy forum?
Because outside of a few examples used within very narrow contexts I consider them a form of Woo and oppose them at every opportunity. That's like asking why someone would frequent the UFO, Bigfoot or conspiracy theory forums if they don't accept such nonsense.

"I disagree" is as much a valid opinion here as it is anywhere. More so since Navel Gazing still seems to present itself an air of legitimacy that was long ago rightfully removed from other Woo.

Quote:
I'd also submit that philosophy isn't transmitted as a set of concrete facts, pre-digested and laid out neatly on the plate for ease of consumption. It does, and should, require interested parties to engage and wrestle with it, to chew a bit and extract what value they may. In other words, personal involvement is required and the journey is as important as the destination. Prepackaged clarity isn't worth very much when the point is to grapple with ideas yourself.
The Journey is the Destination in many things, but finding the truth is not one of them.

And I question the base argument that this sort of mental masturbation provides any real benefit in the sense you and others seem to think it does.

I don't see the usefulness or nobility is trying to come to already established and proven ideas through intentionally convoluted language in the vein, and literally not once in thousand years of civilization actually successful, attempt to eek some grand new paradigm shift in thought.

Like I've said before a few thousand years ago a proto-scientist rubbed two sticks together to make the first fire to huddle close to for warmth and probably about the same time a proto-Navel Gazer asked himself how he could know for sure the fire was real, even as he also huddled close to the fire for warmth. Fast forward a few thousand years and science has unlocked tens of millions of secrets as to how the universe works and the Navel Gazers are still in the exact same position, asking the same questions while still simultaneously enjoying but decrying the advances of science. Science has progressed exponentially while Navel Gazing is still in the same spot. I find the idea that our next big leap forward in our understanding of how the universe works is going to come from the mindset that has literally taught us nothing ever instead to be unlikely at best.

And again there's 99 times out a 100 some Woo hiding in these arguments somewhere. The ratio of actual interesting metaphysical discussions to sad little word games of "Word salad word salad bla bla bla therefore Woo" special pleading escape clauses is rather low.

Science at its core is the idea that the universe is understandable. But the problem with understandable is that it doesn't leave you the option to... well make crap up. I'm not quite at the level of dismissing philosophy across the board but it seems it's used almost exclusively in some sad attempt to come up with a reason to.. well make crap up again.

Science has standards. If you hold an opinion it has to accurately reflect how the world actually works. I simply cannot grasp why this is so offensive to some people.
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Old 19th September 2012, 03:34 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Because outside of a few examples used within very narrow contexts I consider them a form of Woo and oppose them at every opportunity. That's like asking why someone would frequent the UFO, Bigfoot or conspiracy theory forums if they don't accept such nonsense.

"I disagree" is as much a valid opinion here as it is anywhere. More so since Navel Gazing still seems to present itself an air of legitimacy that was long ago rightfully removed from other Woo.



The Journey is the Destination in many things, but finding the truth is not one of them.

And I question the base argument that this sort of mental masturbation provides any real benefit in the sense you and others seem to think it does.

I don't see the usefulness or nobility is trying to come to already established and proven ideas through intentionally convoluted language in the vein, and literally not once in thousand years of civilization actually successful, attempt to eek some grand new paradigm shift in thought.

Like I've said before a few thousand years ago a proto-scientist rubbed two sticks together to make the first fire to huddle close to for warmth and probably about the same time a proto-Navel Gazer asked himself how he could know for sure the fire was real, even as he also huddled close to the fire for warmth. Fast forward a few thousand years and science has unlocked tens of millions of secrets as to how the universe works and the Navel Gazers are still in the exact same position, asking the same questions while still simultaneously enjoying but decrying the advances of science. Science has progressed exponentially while Navel Gazing is still in the same spot. I find the idea that our next big leap forward in our understanding of how the universe works is going to come from the mindset that has literally taught us nothing ever instead to be unlikely at best.

And again there's 99 times out a 100 some Woo hiding in these arguments somewhere. The ratio of actual interesting metaphysical discussions to sad little word games of "Word salad word salad bla bla bla therefore Woo" special pleading escape clauses is rather low.

Science at its core is the idea that the universe is understandable. But the problem with understandable is that it doesn't leave you the option to... well make crap up. I'm not quite at the level of dismissing philosophy across the board but it seems it's used almost exclusively in some sad attempt to come up with a reason to.. well make crap up again.

Science has standards. If you hold an opinion it has to accurately reflect how the world actually works. I simply cannot grasp why this is so offensive to some people.
Evidence for the highlighted section?
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Old 19th September 2012, 03:43 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Evidence for the highlighted section?
Name me one answer Navel Gazing has ever given us. What information about how the universe works has it ever given us?

It asks questions that can't be answered because they are meaningless or pure semantics and then pats itself on the back for doing so.

If you want to know whether or not something is true you test it, you don't sit alone in a cave and contemplate it.

The very fact that you're asking for evidence and not some long ponderous word salad bit of silly word games sorta proves it. When you want to know whether or not something is real you seek evidence, not contemplation.
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:22 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Name me one answer Navel Gazing has ever given us. What information about how the universe works has it ever given us?

It asks questions that can't be answered because they are meaningless or pure semantics and then pats itself on the back for doing so.

If you want to know whether or not something is true you test it, you don't sit alone in a cave and contemplate it.

The very fact that you're asking for evidence and not some long ponderous word salad bit of silly word games sorta proves it. When you want to know whether or not something is real you seek evidence, not contemplation.

Exactly, it takes advantage of ambiguities and obscurities in language to generate pseudo profundities. Having made up unanswerable questions it then provides long circumlocutions to cover the fact that the whole exercise is worth less than a dog chasing it's tail.
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:32 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
(snip)
Science at its core is the idea that the universe is understandable. But the problem with understandable is that it doesn't leave you the option to... well make crap up. I'm not quite at the level of dismissing philosophy across the board but it seems it's used almost exclusively in some sad attempt to come up with a reason to.. well make crap up again.

Science has standards. If you hold an opinion it has to accurately reflect how the world actually works. I simply cannot grasp why this is so offensive to some people.
But isn't the the scientific method itself (and the standards) the child of philosophy and technology?
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:35 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
But isn't the the scientific method itself (and the standards) the child of philosophy and technology?
By some standards I guess so. But in the same way chemistry is the child of alchemy and astronomy and is the child of astrology.
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:44 PM   #100
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I'm biased. I think Daniel Dennett and John Searle are still relevant.
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Old 19th September 2012, 05:23 PM   #101
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Okay I see your point but I am still curious about the answers to my recent question. Which are,

Just because things can be broken down consiousness still exists? Take for example the brain. If you remove a cell and it is not replaced consiousness functions differently. Proving that the brain needs its parts to function the same. Doesn't this prove that consiousness exist?

Correct me if I am wrong but if you break down something to smaller parts than how do they combine to create bigger more complex things? For example an atom and a compound.

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Old 19th September 2012, 05:34 PM   #102
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Geometry can prove you do not exist. Yet you do. I would take thoughts of existence supported with math as meaningless. For all values of existing. I would take thoughts of non-existence supported with math to be even more meaningless. Ipso bogo and e pluribus infinitum.
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Old 19th September 2012, 05:42 PM   #103
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That's actually a really big question Levi. A great deal of science is dedicated to figuring out the rules of the universe which have caused all the smaller parts to "combine to create bigger more complex things". Everything from the laws of thermodynamics, to chemical reactions, to biological evolution and many more are the explanations we have thus far. The universe is a marvelous and complex thing where all those tiny bits interact in a fantastic swirling mess and come out in amazing intricate formations.

This is actually why some scientists are occasionally annoyed by such philosophical ramblings. It can be seen as rude and dismissive to say that nothing really exists even as science is doggedly searching for the very rules of existence.
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Old 19th September 2012, 06:38 PM   #104
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Thanks everybody for there answers so far.

Originally Posted by Weak Kitten View Post
That's actually a really big question Levi. A great deal of science is dedicated to figuring out the rules of the universe which have caused all the smaller parts to "combine to create bigger more complex things". Everything from the laws of thermodynamics, to chemical reactions, to biological evolution and many more are the explanations we have thus far. The universe is a marvelous and complex thing where all those tiny bits interact in a fantastic swirling mess and come out in amazing intricate formations.

This is actually why some scientists are occasionally annoyed by such philosophical ramblings. It can be seen as rude and dismissive to say that nothing really exists even as science is doggedly searching for the very rules of existence.
But why do mereological nihilist think I or they don't exist?

I understand things keep on dividing until you left with the indivisile particle or particles. But different things function differently when connected.

Take consiousness. Consiousness can't function without cells yet it creates something greater than just the same cells not connnected. I believe this is called emergent properties.

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Old 19th September 2012, 06:56 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
But why do mereological nihilist think I or they don't exist?
They don't, not on any real level. Various forms of nihilism, solipsism, simulated related and so forth all hit the unavoidable brick wall of no one actually living their life as if they are true.

I have a handy rule of thumb. I dismiss any statement that can be countered by slapping the person making it upside the head. You'd be amazed at the number of arguments this is an airtight argument against. A real mereological nihilist wouldn't be scared of my hand because it doesn't actually exist.

I doubt most Navel Gazers actually believe most of the arguments they make. They either say because they think it makes them sound smarter then everyone else or as a defense for some irrational opinion they hold.

When one of them steps out into traffic without looking because the cars aren't real to them I'll entertain the idea that they actually believe the crap they spout.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:17 PM   #106
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According to the philosophy of mereological nihilism what makes someone not exist?

It certaintly sounds crazy.

But walk me through it. People can be divided until you get to fundamental particle or particles of existance. But from there how does the philosophy claim you or I don't exist.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:40 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Well yeah if they want to be wrong sure.

It is. The mind is what the brain does, the same way pumping blood is what the heart does. This is not a matter of opinion or POV or some "subjective" concept. You either accept this or are wrong.

Dismissing it as "My answer" is nothing but anti-intellectual horsepiddle. You are entitled to your own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts.
I was with you until this point. Serious people (i.e., non-cranks), have been giving non-zero probabilities to the idea that we're living in a computer simulation (see Nick Bostrom's work). If we are in a simulation, then the claim that "mind is what the brain does" is simply wrong. "Brains" would have no objective existence. "Mind" would simply be a part of what the simulation does.

More to the point, you glossed over the biggest problem in philosophy, which was laid out thousands of years ago in the Allegory of the Cave: How do we know that our senses correspond to reality? You assume they do (to the point where you claim anyone that disagrees that the mind is what brains do is just plain wrong), but you really don't know. No one does.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:54 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
They don't, not on any real level. Various forms of nihilism, solipsism, simulated related and so forth all hit the unavoidable brick wall of no one actually living their life as if they are true.
Again, this is not true. I'm partial to the simulation argument. We can see that if the doubling power of computers keeps progressing, it won't be too long before we begin running such simulations.

Because I think there's a good chance I live in a simulation doesn't mean I act any different than you- I don't like pain (simulated or otherwise) any more than the next person. Simulated death seems to be permanent, and I want to avoid it as much as possible. Simulated people have just as much right to exist (and to non-interference) as simulated me.

It doesn't just apply to simulations- I don't see why a solipsist would behave any differently than a non-solipsist. The solipsist may believe that death in their solipsist-reality is a form of suicide and therefore avoid stepping in front of cars, and they may have moral misgivings about harming themselves, which would inspire moral actions towards other "people", even if they believe them to be just projections of themselves.

And, of course, there are plenty of people who do live strange lives consistent with the strange realities they believe in. I think the idea of being rewarded in the afterlife for killing non-believers is absurd. That doesn't stop people from doing exactly that for exactly that reason. Does the fact they live their lives according to such beliefs make their beliefs more plausible? Of course not. How a person acts has nothing to do with how reality actually is.
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Old 19th September 2012, 07:58 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I was with you until this point. Serious people (i.e., non-cranks), have been giving non-zero probabilities to the idea that we're living in a computer simulation (see Nick Bostrom's work). If we are in a simulation, then the claim that "mind is what the brain does" is simply wrong. "Brains" would have no objective existence. "Mind" would simply be a part of what the simulation does.

More to the point, you glossed over the biggest problem in philosophy, which was laid out thousands of years ago in the Allegory of the Cave: How do we know that our senses correspond to reality? You assume they do (to the point where you claim anyone that disagrees that the mind is what brains do is just plain wrong), but you really don't know. No one does.
*Sighs* Solipsism is the absolute most intellectually defunct, anti-intellectual, copout philosophy in a long, sad history of intellectually defunt, anti-intellectual copout philosophies.

See my previous post. Do not appeal to solipsism unless you actually live your life as if reality doesn't exist.
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:05 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
*Sighs* Solipsism is the absolute most intellectually defunct, anti-intellectual, copout philosophy in a long, sad history of intellectually defunt, anti-intellectual copout philosophies.

See my previous post. Do not appeal to solipsism unless you actually live your life as if reality doesn't exist.
That doesn't make sense. If solipsism is true, it doesn't follow that "reality doesn't exist". Reality always exists because reality simply refers to what exists. Solipsist reality would be such that one person exists, and everything else is projections-dreams-figments of that one mind.

But anyway, I'm not solipsist. I'm just pointing out that solipsism doesn't entail that someone act differently than a non-solipsist.
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:09 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Again, this is not true. I'm partial to the simulation argument. We can see that if the doubling power of computers keeps progressing, it won't be too long before we begin running such simulations.
All simulated reality copouts hit the "Turtles All the Way Down" problem.

Okay so let's say we're all jacked into the Matrix or shadows on the wall of Plato's Cave or butterflies dreaming we're men dreaming we're butterflies or brains in vats or whatever.

All these arguments are dependent upon their being an actual objective reality in which the simulated realities exist. There has to exist a reality where the Matrix computers exist, Plato's Cave has to exist if they are shadows on it, either a butterfly or a man had to have the first dream, and so forth.

So why assume this reality has to be a false one? Simulated reality arguments don't answer any questions, they just drop them down a level. Unless you want to invoke turtles all the way down saying this reality is simulated doesn't answer anything.

Quote:
Because I think there's a good chance I live in a simulation...
Oh and I would just ever so love to hear your evidence of this.

Quote:
...doesn't mean I act any different than you- I don't like pain (simulated or otherwise) any more than the next person. Simulated death seems to be permanent, and I want to avoid it as much as possible. Simulated people have just as much right to exist (and to non-interference) as simulated me.
So why is the idea that we do so attractive to you if it doesn't make any difference?

Quote:
It doesn't just apply to simulations- I don't see why a solipsist would behave any differently than a non-solipsist. The solipsist may believe that death in their solipsist-reality is a form of suicide and therefore avoid stepping in front of cars, and they may have moral misgivings about harming themselves, which would inspire moral actions towards other "people", even if they believe them to be just projections of themselves.
And we've reached the "Reality is real, except when I don't want it to be" level. Since you can't argue that anyone actually lives as if reality isn't anything other then real any argument that it isn't is nothing more then an intellectual escape clause.

Quote:
And, of course, there are plenty of people who do live strange lives consistent with the strange realities they believe in. I think the idea of being rewarded in the afterlife for killing non-believers is absurd. That doesn't stop people from doing exactly that for exactly that reason. Does the fact they live their lives according to such beliefs make their beliefs more plausible? Of course not. How a person acts has nothing to do with how reality actually is.
And here we have the "People are never going to act fully rational, ergo irrationality is okay" argument.
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:24 PM   #112
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I am still curious of the questions from my most recent post.

According to the philosophy of mereological nihilism what makes someone not exist?

It certaintly sounds crazy.

But walk me through it. People can be divided until you get to fundamental particle or particles of existance. But from there how does the philosophy claim you or I don't exist?
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:33 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
All simulated reality copouts hit the "Turtles All the Way Down" problem.
Not a problem. There would have to exist at least one objectively real civilization that made it to the simulation-creating stage. That has nothing to do with us being in a simulation, and doesn't undermine the simulation argument.

Quote:
Okay so let's say we're all jacked into the Matrix or shadows on the wall of Plato's Cave or butterflies dreaming we're men dreaming we're butterflies or brains in vats or whatever.

All these arguments are dependent upon their being an actual objective reality in which the simulated realities exist. There has to exist a reality where the Matrix computers exist, Plato's Cave has to exist if they are shadows on it, either a butterfly or a man had to have the first dream, and so forth.
Right, a world outside the simulation.

Quote:
So why assume this reality has to be a false one? Simulated reality arguments don't answer any questions, they just drop them down a level. Unless you want to invoke turtles all the way down saying this reality is simulated doesn't answer anything.
I don't assume we're in a simulation, I just think it's a strong possibility, for the reasons given in Bostrom's essay. It might answer some physics questions (e.g., Plank length and quantum theory may be a way to reduce computational requirements). It certainly raises personal-identity questions.

All philosophy arguments don't really answer any questions. By the time they start giving reliable answers, we call it science. That doesn't mean we have to abandon philosophy. Today's musings may become tomorrow's next scientific discipline.


Quote:
Oh and I would just ever so love to hear your evidence of this.
Read Bostrom's essay. Very entertaining (although Bostrom only puts the odds at 20%. I'm not as pessimistic as he is about the collapse of simulation-creating civilizations).



Quote:
So why is the idea that we do so attractive to you if it doesn't make any difference?
Because I think there's a good chance it may be true. Children dying of malaria in Africa don't make any difference in my life but I find the idea abhorrent and give money to organisations that combat it. How does it make any difference in my life if 1.19 million people die instead of 1.2 million?



Quote:
And we've reached the "Reality is real, except when I don't want it to be" level. Since you can't argue that anyone actually lives as if reality isn't anything other then real any argument that it isn't is nothing more then an intellectual escape clause.
I've already addressed this. People's behavior is consistent with many different forms of reality.



Quote:
And here we have the "People are never going to act fully rational, ergo irrationality is okay" argument.
Strawman.
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:37 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am still curious of the questions from my most recent post.

According to the philosophy of mereological nihilism what makes someone not exist?

It certaintly sounds crazy.

But walk me through it. People can be divided until you get to fundamental particle or particles of existance. But from there how does the philosophy claim you or I don't exist?
It's Greek to me.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:57 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Name me one answer Navel Gazing has ever given us. What information about how the universe works has it ever given us?
Lots of people believe that there's some objective reason for existing, but if you think about it, you can see that that ends up being a 'turtles all the way down' situation.

You've said something similar above concerning simulations.

Also, you haven't proved the 'decrying science' part.
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
It asks questions that can't be answered because they are meaningless or pure semantics and then pats itself on the back for doing so.
But you did answer the preceding body and mind question. Could we have reached our current level of knowledge concerning the brain without someone asking it?

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
If you want to know whether or not something is true you test it, you don't sit alone in a cave and contemplate it.
What about 'Is cannibalism immoral?'. How can you test that?

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
The very fact that you're asking for evidence and not some long ponderous word salad bit of silly word games sorta proves it. When you want to know whether or not something is real you seek evidence, not contemplation.
But morality and language can't be tested.

Also, wouldn't it actually be the proto-engineer who made the fire? The proto-scientist/philosopher would be considering what the fire was.
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Old 20th September 2012, 08:42 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am still curious of the questions from my most recent post.

According to the philosophy of mereological nihilism what makes someone not exist?

It certaintly sounds crazy.

But walk me through it. People can be divided until you get to fundamental particle or particles of existance. But from there how does the philosophy claim you or I don't exist?
This quote from the Wikipedia page on mereological nihilismWP should help:

Quote:
A number of philosophers have argued that objects that have parts do not exist. The basis of their argument consists in claiming that our senses give us only foggy information about reality and thus they cannot be trusted; and for example, we fail to see the smallest building blocks that make up anything, and these smallest building blocks are individual and separate items that do not ever unify or come together into being non-individual. Thus they never compose anything. So, according to the concept of mereological nihilism, if the building blocks of reality never compose any whole items, then all of reality does not involve any whole items, even though we may think it does.
I have to admit, I still don't see how the unreliability of our senses leads to the conclusion that objects with parts don't exist. This seems to be the kind of solipsist argument I find utterly fruitless.

I do want to reiterate that Philosophy is so much more than mental masturbation as to whether or not things are real. A lot of laypersons use (rather poor) metaphysical concepts to appear intelligent, but these usually amount to post-hoc excuses for what they already believe.
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Old 20th September 2012, 09:54 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Twiler View Post
Lots of people believe that there's some objective reason for existing, but if you think about it, you can see that that ends up being a 'turtles all the way down' situation.
I don't think there's any reason for existing, objective, subjective or otherwise.

There's various physical, chemical, and biological causes for our existences, but no grand meaning.

Quote:
You've said something similar above concerning simulations.
Well yeah but the simple acceptance of an objective reality that you know actually exists sorta solves the "Turtles All the Way Down" problem because we have something, namely reality, the same reality that yet again I need to point out literally everyone outside of a padded room knows very well exists whether they admit it or not, gives us a perfectly valid, non-arbitrary point to start at.

Quote:
Also, you haven't proved the 'decrying science' part.
No philosophy that contains an arbitrary "Reality Escape Clause" is compatible with science.

Quote:
But you did answer the preceding body and mind question. Could we have reached our current level of knowledge concerning the brain without someone asking it?
Yeah. But philosophy has a grand history of trying to make the question, any question, more important then then the answer. And as science answers more and more questions philosophy gets more and more full of itself by simply asking the same questions over and over in more convoluted forms.

"What if" is a fine place to begin, it's a crappy place to end at.

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What about 'Is cannibalism immoral?'. How can you test that?
Ahhh "morality" the other grand "gotcha" were people think science is out of it's league.

Tell you what. Create a society where cannibalism is accepted and see how long it lasts.

Morality is nothing more then a set of rules the create societies that function. It's no more mystical or esoteric then engineering.

Quote:
But morality and language can't be tested.
Sure they can.

Can two individual communicate effectively? Yes, then the language works, no then it doesn't.

Can two or more individual interact under social rules effectively while reducing the conscious suffering of the individuals as much as possible? Yes, then the society's concept of morality works, if not then it doesn't.
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:34 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
... It certainly raises personal-identity questions.
Such as?
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:43 AM   #119
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What makes the basic building blocks never come together?

What about a atom and a compound.

Just because things can be broken down consiousness still exists? Take for example the brain. If you remove a cell and it is not replaced consiousness functions differently. Proving that the brain needs its parts to function the same. Doesn't this prove that consiousness exist?

Does anyone have a more reliable source than wiki?

Last edited by levi; 20th September 2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:55 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
What makes the basic building blocks never come together?
I think you need to ask a mereological nihilist such as Peter Unger this question. Unless someone here believes the same thing (and I doubt you'll find one on a skeptic forum), we can only guess as to the rationale for espousing such a philosophy.

A quick Google search yielded the following result, which may answer your questions better: http://www.zenflowerradio.com/Publis...nofAXIO3R2.pdf

An excerpt (page 271 of the original document, page 27 of the PDF):

Quote:
The heart of my arguments for mereological nihilism consist in showing through several novel arguments that no quantum abstract atoms can touch, contact, connect, or relate to one another (this is given in Sects. 3 and 4). If they cannot, I will show that there is no way that particles can accumulate to give rise to composites, and material constitution is impossible. If there are no parts and wholes, then there are only quantum atoms that cannot touch, contact, relate, or connect, and cannot compose an object made of parts.
My initial reaction is that quantum atoms absolutely can relate to each other and therefore his philosophy fails. I'm assuming, however, that he's going to use novel definitions of "touch, contact, connect, or relate" in order to accomplish this.
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Last edited by Merton; 20th September 2012 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Added initial reaction
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