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Old 20th September 2012, 10:58 AM   #121
marplots
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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?
Merton had a good answer and I only want to add a bit.

For logic to yield true answers, the terms must be true. So, for example, if the statement "I exist" is part of a logical "recipe" then the symbol/word "I" must have a clear, unambiguous meaning.

The argument is that such terms are not elemental and cannot therefore be clear. By elemental, I mean "something which cannot be broken down into constituent parts" -- not a collection or a group, but some hard-bounded "thing." Otherwise, the result of the logical chain is made ambiguous as well.

The argument then goes: Since the properties of the collective are not reflected in the items that make up that collective (as in H2O and a cloud or cells and a human) then there is no way to logically access a collective-- at least not well enough to put the label of "Truth" with a capital T on any result.

I hope that helps clarify the argument, even though I left out some nuances.
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Old 20th September 2012, 12:32 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Merton had a good answer and I only want to add a bit.

For logic to yield true answers, the terms must be true. So, for example, if the statement "I exist" is part of a logical "recipe" then the symbol/word "I" must have a clear, unambiguous meaning.

The argument is that such terms are not elemental and cannot therefore be clear. By elemental, I mean "something which cannot be broken down into constituent parts" -- not a collection or a group, but some hard-bounded "thing." Otherwise, the result of the logical chain is made ambiguous as well.

The argument then goes: Since the properties of the collective are not reflected in the items that make up that collective (as in H2O and a cloud or cells and a human) then there is no way to logically access a collective-- at least not well enough to put the label of "Truth" with a capital T on any result.

I hope that helps clarify the argument, even though I left out some nuances.
I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it?
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Old 20th September 2012, 03:18 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
... there is no way to logically access a collective-- at least not well enough to put the label of "Truth" with a capital T on any result.
Whut?

Sounded like saying the sum is greater than, or qualitatively different from, the parts - IOW emergence.
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Old 20th September 2012, 04:34 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it?
If it could be simplified it wouldn't be philosophy. And I don't mean that as a compliment.

Again we're talking concepts that pretty much only work because they are intentionally stated in purposely confusing terms. Once you simplify them all the "mystery" vanishes and you see them for what they are... silly word games.
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Old 20th September 2012, 06:38 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Whut?

Sounded like saying the sum is greater than, or qualitatively different from, the parts - IOW emergence.
Yep, sounded like that to me too.
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Old 20th September 2012, 06:40 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
If it could be simplified it wouldn't be philosophy. And I don't mean that as a compliment.

Again we're talking concepts that pretty much only work because they are intentionally stated in purposely confusing terms. Once you simplify them all the "mystery" vanishes and you see them for what they are... silly word games.
Vagueness and semantic trouble are mentioned as criticisms in the original article. It's debatable whether they solve all the problems, but even when they do, we are then left wondering things about how we match concepts to reality with language -- what the process entails, where it fails and so on.
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Old 20th September 2012, 06:41 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it?
Oh, the irony... it burns.

Simplify things too much and you lose the essence of those things. Your question is a good example of what the argument is about.
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Old 20th September 2012, 08:40 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Such as?
We tend to think of identity-across-time as an assemblage of particles and energy moving through time in intact relationships: the Mona Lisa, Ship of Theseus, and even ourselves. I'm not the same particles I was 10 years ago, but there's been a continuity of self.

The Mona Lisa was originally a collections of particles X,Y,Z. Over time, some particles have migrated in and others moved out. The identity of the object across time remains. However, if you replaced every particle in the Mona Lisa with a duplicate particle, you no longer have the "Mona Lisa". You have a forgery.

In a simulation, everything would be comprised of information. A collection of binary is different than a discrete collection of particles. Suppose my identity in particles is expressed as A,B,C,...Z. A copy of those particles would result in a copy of me: A(1),B(1),C(1),...Z(1).

Now suppose my identity is expressed in binary: 0110101001010101. I don't see how replicating that code results in anything other than another string of binary that's indistinguishable from the first- it would make no sense to say the replicated code is 0(a)1(a)1(a)0(a)...1(a). There would be two instances of "me" with no way to differentiate either one.
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Old 20th September 2012, 08:58 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
It's debatable whether they solve all the problems, but even when they do, we are then left wondering things about how we match concepts to reality with language -- what the process entails, where it fails and so on.
We create language to communicate so it would logically follow that we are going to create words for things that actually you know matter.

Difficulting in matching concepts to language only becomes a problem when you're so intellectually bored and full of yourself that you see value in discussing crap that doesn't make any difference.

"How much would the color blue pay for a lap dance from a plumb?" There that's a great unanswerable question that shows a concept our language isn't able to portray. It's also completely meaningless, nonsensical, and pointless to worry about. The difference is I don't act like putting together some faux-profundity makes me Mr. Miyagi.

Navel Gazers put way, way, way, way more importance into linguistic imperfections then is warrented.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:16 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
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):



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.
Yup, quantum objects interact all the time, it is why Unger's ass does not fall through his pants and chair onto teh floor.
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:26 PM   #131
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I am going to summarize Merological nihilism by using quotes from here

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.
Originally Posted by Merton View Post
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):



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.
Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
Whut?

Sounded like saying the sum is greater than, or qualitatively different from, the parts - IOW emergence.

I have a few Questions. Do I exist because of emergent properties and not just as a concept of language?

Does mereological nihilism makes no sense because of merton's explaination?

And the post where I asked," I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it". is explained by the above quote by dlorde?

The quotes I quoted, do they explain why Unger thinks he doesn't exist?

The website that merton used is it credible in explaining mereological nihilism?

Last edited by levi; 21st September 2012 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:39 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am going to summarize Merological nihilism by using quotes from here








I have a few Questions. Do I exist because of emergent properties and not just as a concept of language?

Does mereological nihilism makes no sense because of merton's explaination?

And Joebentley post where I asked," I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it". is explained by the above quote by dlorde?

The quotes I quoted, do they explain why Unger thinks he doesn't exist?

The website that merton used is it credible in explaining mereological nihilism?
That's a question you have to answer for yourself.
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:56 PM   #133
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Do I exist because of emergent properties and not just as a concept of language?

Sorry I am not the smartest person.

I assume I do what are the arguments against it?

Are you implying that someone already answered it?

And what are the answers to the other quesitons?
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:19 PM   #134
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We can explain it to you Levi.

We can't understand it for you.
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:56 PM   #135
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I think I know the answers all I want is confirmation. So a yes or no will suffice to these questions.

I have a few Questions. Do I exist because of emergent properties and not just as a concept of language?

Does mereological nihilism makes no sense because of merton's explaination?

And the post where I asked," I am having trouble understanding this post can someone simplify it". is explained by the above quote by dlorde?

The quotes I quoted, do they explain why Unger thinks he doesn't exist?

The website that merton used is it credible in explaining mereological nihilism?
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Old 21st September 2012, 08:47 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
We can explain it to you Levi.

We can't understand it for you.
Looks like he's Just Asking Questions.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 12:11 PM   #137
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Can someone please answer I really just want confirmation on the questions.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 03:17 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
I am having trouble understanding the article can someone help explain it?

Also why can't humans just be many different cells and 1 person at the same time? Does this create a paradox?

Thanks

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/problem-of-many/
IMO, we have to begin with defining this "I". For me, the teachings of Advaita sum it all up pretty well. Google it.
I am a single point of consciousness/awareness. I can take myself for a personality, mind, body, ego or object in a universe of other objects but at the minimum, I just am! No features or characteristics other than happiness and satisfaction just to be. I could be an embodied being but, insight shows me I am not simply an object. I could say I am nothing and everything. Nowhere and everywhere. I just am. It's a feeling of simply being, not of being this or that "thing". I feel OK (finally).

Quote:
Also why can't humans just be many different cells and 1 person at the same time? Does this create a paradox?
I can be all those things at the same time because I already am all those things! There is no "paradox" in absolute reality other than the ones we are taught and trained to see here. It's a matter of perspective. There is only One reality appearing as many. It's a Cosmic play staged by us - the single Being. It may seem mystical until you start to let go of the tiny personal me and become aware of the Total Me - which is You. Our "I" is the All That There Is.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 04:59 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by jimrich View Post
IMO, we have to begin with defining this "I". For me, the teachings of Advaita sum it all up pretty well. Google it.
I am a single point of consciousness/awareness. I can take myself for a personality, mind, body, ego or object in a universe of other objects but at the minimum, I just am! No features or characteristics other than happiness and satisfaction just to be. I could be an embodied being but, insight shows me I am not simply an object. I could say I am nothing and everything. Nowhere and everywhere. I just am. It's a feeling of simply being, not of being this or that "thing". I feel OK (finally).


I can be all those things at the same time because I already am all those things! There is no "paradox" in absolute reality other than the ones we are taught and trained to see here. It's a matter of perspective. There is only One reality appearing as many. It's a Cosmic play staged by us - the single Being. It may seem mystical until you start to let go of the tiny personal me and become aware of the Total Me - which is You. Our "I" is the All That There Is.
So I Am the Universe.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 08:34 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Okay to explain it best I can.

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.
Is he implying that he and I don't exist because we are concepts of language?


Ignore the other questions I know the answers to those ones for sure.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 08:43 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Is he implying that he and I don't exist because we are concepts of language?
I don't think so. I think it's a matter of his being so clever that he fooled himself into thinking he was actually saying something meaningful, when in actuality he was playing silly word games.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:42 PM   #142
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Thanks gentlehorse.

I am going to send him a private message just to confirm about my question.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 12:49 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Is all philosophy crap?
Real philosophy isn't. But real philosophy is a rare beast, seldom glimpsed in philosophy forums.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 02:43 PM   #144
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I found another paper of mereological nihilism. I think this a litttle more acccurate than the last paper someone found. Can any of the arguments be proven wrong by science?

Here is the link, http://tedsider.org/papers/nihilism.pdf
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Old 23rd September 2012, 02:47 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
Can any of the arguments be proven wrong by science?
No they cannot because the questions aren't meaningful. The can't be proven wrong not because they are factually correct but because they aren't saying anything of substance to disprove.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 04:21 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
No they cannot because the questions aren't meaningful. The can't be proven wrong not because they are factually correct but because they aren't saying anything of substance to disprove.

I took a look at that paper. It seems to be a collection of individual a's, b's, c's, other letters of the alphabet, plus spaces and various other symbols and marks.

The author appears to intend this assemblage of individual letters to be comprehended as something else, something that can be "read" and understood and make a point. And stranger still, that point claims to be that such assemblages don't exist, in which case they cannot have properties such as readability or meaning or making that (or any other) point.

How to resolve this paradox? The assembly of letters does form a real entity; that entity exists and has properties not possessed by its component parts; those properties include its being an essay that is readable and does have a point; and that point is wrong.

Respectfully,
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:16 PM   #147
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Sounds like the glyphs that become spoken words in the field of philosophy.
They make no sense when spoken or splashed on a media such as paper.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:41 PM   #148
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Philosophy, the idea that you will learn the secrets of the universe once you figure out the difference between ketchup and catsup.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 06:19 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Philosophy, the idea that you will learn the secrets of the universe once you figure out the difference between ketchup and catsup.
Philosophy is theology without god.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 09:15 PM   #150
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So philosophy is just an opinion? So you could come up with any philosophy. For example mereological nihilism. It is the belief that only the basic building blocks exist. Sorry for repeating this question but why do parts don't exist? I already read merton's post but would like a more reliable source? I ask because I am curious if there is any science to back this up. If not I assume this falls under only an opinion.

One last question without philosophy how do you come up with an accurate theoy of persistence of personal identity?

Thanks
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Old 24th September 2012, 12:56 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So I Am the Universe.
Yes, that and MORE!
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Old 24th September 2012, 04:37 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by jimrich View Post
Yes, that and MORE!
Does that MORE make me look fat. Be honest now.
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Old 24th September 2012, 08:48 AM   #153
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The ability to claim nonexistece itself is a proof of the claimer's existence.
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Old 24th September 2012, 09:18 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Brainiac2 View Post
The ability to claim nonexistece itself is a proof of the claimer's existence.
It really does seem like solipsism is one of those things that shouldn't be able to survive it's actual creation doesn't it?

I've joked before about me dismissing any concept that can be countered with a good punch in the nose, but in a slightly less flippant way what I dismiss are arguments which are self defeating.
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- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
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Old 24th September 2012, 09:46 AM   #155
marplots
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Originally Posted by Brainiac2 View Post
The ability to claim nonexistece itself is a proof of the claimer's existence.
I don't think they are claiming non-existence in those terms. Rather, the claim is that whatever it means to exist isn't captured by logic and language well enough to make the positive claim.

What happened to the skeptics' dogma? It should apply here: "You say I exist? Prove it. If you can't prove it, I am left with the default of waiting until you can."

Or, like ideas about God, does existence fall in the realm of, "It's too obvious not to believe?"
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Old 24th September 2012, 09:53 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
What happened to the skeptics' dogma? It should apply here: "You say I exist? Prove it. If you can't prove it, I am left with the default of waiting until you can."
Comparing a reasonable level of skepticism toward unlikely claims to solipsistic reality denial is simply not accurate.
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- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
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Old 24th September 2012, 01:31 PM   #157
marplots
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Comparing a reasonable level of skepticism toward unlikely claims to solipsistic reality denial is simply not accurate.
I think it's more nuanced. The argument isn't necessarily against reality, but on what justification someone can show to claim their version ought to be adopted.

The conversation can't even start if my claim is going to be something like, "God is real and denying that fact is bollocks." I grant it feels like a dodge when the object shifts from God to something I already accept, but the two discussions are of a kind.

Statements like, "If you are going to deny your own existence, then who is doing the denying?" have as little force as, "If you are going to deny God, then who are we talking about?" These are the same kind of word games the nihilist is accused of playing.
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Old 24th September 2012, 01:56 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I think it's more nuanced. The argument isn't necessarily against reality, but on what justification someone can show to claim their version ought to be adopted.

The conversation can't even start if my claim is going to be something like, "God is real and denying that fact is bollocks." I grant it feels like a dodge when the object shifts from God to something I already accept, but the two discussions are of a kind.

Statements like, "If you are going to deny your own existence, then who is doing the denying?" have as little force as, "If you are going to deny God, then who are we talking about?" These are the same kind of word games the nihilist is accused of playing.
I would never simply say that God is real and if you dare question it it's bullocks. I would just simply proceed to prove why denying the existence of an ID, which you seem to prefer be called a god or God, is bullocks via showing why it's illogical to do so.

About the inexistent questioning its own existence, of course the conversation can't get off the ground because the proposition is absurd.
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:19 PM   #159
marplots
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Originally Posted by Brainiac2 View Post
I would never simply say that God is real and if you dare question it it's bullocks. I would just simply proceed to prove why denying the existence of an ID, which you seem to prefer be called a god or God, is bullocks via showing why it's illogical to do so.
You've hit on the reason why I am not a fan of the philosophy referenced in the OP. It uses logic as if the method triumphed over reality. I don't see why it should be so. To me, reality itself grounds logic and is not a good object for logical analysis. I would claim that reality is pre-logical and this explains the difficulties raised in the OP.
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Old 24th September 2012, 07:00 PM   #160
levi
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Originally Posted by levi View Post
So philosophy is just an opinion? So you could come up with any philosophy. For example mereological nihilism. It is the belief that only the basic building blocks exist. Sorry for repeating this question but why do parts don't exist? I already read merton's post but would like a more reliable source? I ask because I am curious if there is any science to back this up. If not I assume this falls under only an opinion.

One last question without philosophy how do you come up with an accurate theoy of persistence of personal identity?

Thanks
Can someone please answer my questions? Besides logic and ethics, which ethics could be argued is biological is there any philosophy that is not just a person saying there opinion?
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