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In regards to Skepticism
Posted: 03 November 2017 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism-ancient/#SubOthMin

I have been struggling lately with Pyrrhonism. Mostly because some of the claims that it makes are kind of rooted in truth. Strong beliefs and opinions clashing in the world are a problem and arguably the source of many ills. We also derive some kind of pain from judging things to be good or bad. We seek to avoid the bad and crave the good. Our senses are fallible. I’m not entirely certain about this one but they say that reason is motivated by desire, which I guess is true in some sense. I mean the source of any inquiry is the desire to know. So they try to advocate a policy of continual suspension of judgment in order to find peace, probably because of the above I have mentioned.

From what I have read, I cannot really argue against it. There is some truth to the things that they say, but I wonder if it is even possible to reach what they are talking about. They certainly think continuously suspending judgment leads to peace, but so far I have not seen anyone to which can prove that claim. So far “suspending judgment” for me has caused nothing but confusion and mental stress.

Yet I find it hard to seek knowledge and pursue truth because of their claims. Opinions clashing with each other causes pain, believe and judging things good and bad does too. So if that’s all true, then WHAT IS LEFT?! It seems to me that following this is no different than being dead, but I don’t know what to do about their claims. Should I pursue things even though I am fallible and so is my reasoning? I can’t have opinions on things or beliefs? I feel so lost and confused. I’m just trying to do the right thing here.

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Posted: 03 November 2017 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Can you pick one question

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Posted: 03 November 2017 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I wish I could, but I can’t really narrow it down since it’s all pretty much connected with each other.

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Posted: 03 November 2017 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Titanomachina - 03 November 2017 03:42 PM

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/skepticism-ancient/#SubOthMin

I have been struggling lately with Pyrrhonism. ...

Yet I find it hard to seek knowledge and pursue truth because of their claims. Opinions clashing with each other causes pain, believe and judging things good and bad does too. So if that’s all true, then WHAT IS LEFT?! It seems to me that following this is no different than being dead, but I don’t know what to do about their claims. Should I pursue things even though I am fallible and so is my reasoning? I can’t have opinions on things or beliefs? I feel so lost and confused. I’m just trying to do the right thing here.

Lausten - 03 November 2017 05:05 PM

Can you pick one question

Oh dear.  ‘Against every question its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification.’  tongue wink

Skepticism is a more slippery term than god.

But Pyrrhonism, I have some experience via a gent who fancied himself skeptical enough to take on the mantle of Pyrrho.  If you’ve ever visited the SkepticForum, you’ll know I’m talking about their moderator who certainly embodies what they tell me Pyrrho was all about.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrho 
Pyrrho is renowned for creating the first formal approach to skepticism in Western Philosophy: Pyrrhonism.

A summary of Pyrrho’s philosophy was preserved by Eusebius, quoting Aristocles, quoting Timon, in what is known as the “Aristocles passage.”

Whoever wants to live well (eudaimonia) must consider these three questions:
First, how are pragmata
(ethical matters, affairs, topics) by nature?
Secondly, what attitude should we adopt towards them?
Thirdly, what will be the outcome for those who have this attitude?”

Pyrrho’s answer is that “As for pragmata they are all adiaphora (undifferentiated by a logical differentia), astathmēta (unstable, unbalanced, not measurable), and anepikrita (unjudged, unfixed, undecidable). Therefore, neither our sense-perceptions nor our doxai (views, theories, beliefs) tell us the truth or lie; so we certainly should not rely on them. Rather, we should be adoxastous (without views), aklineis (uninclined toward this side or that), and akradantous (unwavering in our refusal to choose), saying about every single one that it no more is than it is not or it both is and is not or it neither is nor is not.[1]

The main principle of Pyrrho’s thought is expressed by the word acatalepsia,
which connotes the ability to withhold assent from doctrines regarding the truth of things in their own nature; against every statement its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification.

At the risk of sounding crude this reminds me of a bunch of stoned hippies justifying hanging out and doing nothing all day, more than anything else.

This from the top of machina’s link

Ancient Skepticism
First published Wed Feb 24, 2010; substantive revision Sat May 31, 2014

The Greek word skepsis means investigation. By calling themselves skeptics, the ancient skeptics thus describe themselves as investigators. They also call themselves ‘those who suspend’, thereby signaling that their investigations lead them to suspension of judgment. They do not put forward theories, and they do not deny that knowledge can be found. At its core, ancient skepticism is a way of life devoted to inquiry. It is as much concerned with belief as with knowledge. As long as knowledge has not been attained, the skeptics aim not to affirm anything. This gives rise to their most controversial ambition: a life without belief.

We live in a real world and our minds can create many wonders that are not of this world.
Still in the end it is this world and it’s realities we inhabit and must learn to navigate if we are to have a satisfactory life.  Or not.  tongue wink

Perhaps “Critical Thinking” is a far better aspiration to strive for than “skepticism”

Sorry Titanomachina, don’t think this answered you, I was simply trying to wrap my head around the concept you brought up.

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Posted: 03 November 2017 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It’s just hard for me to overcome because there are bits to the premises that are true, but I don’t want to really get on board with their conclusion. I know what they CLAIM, but I doubt anyone has ever reached such a state by following them. It honestly seems impossible really, and doesn’t the philosophy itself contradict it’s self?

Though I can understand that what is RIGHT is really just what people believe is so and plenty of people have caused ruin fighting for what they think is right. Even our criteria for good is subjective, sigh. I just don’t know what to do about all of this.

I think their response to you saying it’s an excuse to do nothing is “why must something be done?” Why is it right to do this or that?

I really hate skepticism (philosophical). Especially the Munchausen Trilema

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Posted: 04 November 2017 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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gl

Titanomachina - 03 November 2017 09:25 PM

It’s just hard for me to overcome because there are bits to the premises that are true,
but I don’t want to really get on board with their conclusion.
I know what they CLAIM, but I doubt anyone has ever reached such a state by following them.
It honestly seems impossible really
, and doesn’t the philosophy itself contradict it’s self?(sure seems that way to me.)

Though I can understand that what is RIGHT is really just what people believe is so   (Nah, can’t sign on to that.  Just because people believe something doesn’t make it true in the face of reality)
and plenty of people have caused ruin fighting for what they think is right. (Sure has - look at how we’ve fuk-ed our world with this “War on Terrorism”)
Even our criteria for good is subjective,(Ain’t that the truth, plenty of flag wavers cutting their own throats) sigh.
I just don’t know what to do about all of this.(Why do have to “do” something about it?  Specially if it’s way bigger than you.)

I think their response to you saying it’s an excuse to do nothing is “why must something be done?”
(Why, because I have but one life to live.  I have chosen it to be an adventure, and it certainly has been.
I didn’t “must” do it, but it’s been a hell of lot more fun and passion and sorrow and insights, than if I’d have accepted my lot and become another brick in the wall.)
{There is no MUST, there is only DOING.}  grin 

Why is it right to do this or that? (Define right.  For me right is in living dignified, doing good work, being helpful to others, earning my own way, having a good reputation among those who know me.  Experiencing as many facets of life as possible.  Being present.  Other’s think good is power and more money than they know what to do with.)

I really hate skepticism (philosophical). Especially the Munchausen Trilema(Why do have to do that to me Titano, I’m no philosophy student, don’t even want to go there, but know eventually I peek at the wreck (yeah like on the freeway)  wink


I read your comment then went for a nice walk with Maddy, the thought that kept returning was one of hanging on too tightly, taking everything too seriously.
Like over tightening a nut till it brakes, or gripping a bike so tightly you can’t ride, or getting ultra-intense with a new lover they must escape.
Don’t know where to go with that though, so I’ll just pass it along.

Have you checked out Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? by Robert M. Pirsig yet?

Here, let me make it a present to you.  grin 
I just found the full text on PDF,
https://www.bartneck.de/projects/research/pirsig/zen.pdf
Quiet little haunt away from people when you can cut out some time.  It’ll be pretty easy reading for you, yet fascinating i bet.

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Posted: 04 November 2017 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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That the Metaphysics of Quality would do is take this separate category,
Quality, and show how it contains within itself both subjects and objects.
The Metaphysics of Quality would show how things become enormously more
coherent—fabulously more coherent—

when you start with an assumption that Quality is the primary empirical reality of the world….

...But showing that, of course, was a very big job….

—From Lila

bartneck.de/projects/research/pirsig/zen. pdf

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Posted: 04 November 2017 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Titanomachina - 03 November 2017 03:42 PM

I can’t have opinions on things or beliefs?

Alright. I’ll pick one.

The answer is, yes, you can have opinions. You can even believe. Hume figured out that pure skepticism is debilitating. I believe I have propane in my tank, so although I’m looking out at a cold forest with snow stuck on the trees, I’m safe in stocking feet inside. But I haven’t checked it lately. Maybe there is a leak. Maybe the laws of physics changed overnight and propane is no longer combustible. I’ve decided not to live like that though. Hume didn’t really solve this problem. I don’t think anyone did.

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Posted: 04 November 2017 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Not solving it isn’t very comforting. I know it’s not easy, but I’m hoping there is something to lay this to rest. I can’t go the rest of my life stopping literally every singal judgment or opinion.

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Posted: 04 November 2017 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Titanomachina - 04 November 2017 11:17 AM

Not solving it isn’t very comforting. I know it’s not easy, but I’m hoping there is something to lay this to rest. I can’t go the rest of my life stopping literally every singal judgment or opinion.

I don’t know what you are reading, but no one is suggesting that. I think you are confusing “having an opinion” with “opinions having you”. You can have an opinion, just understand what an opinion is. The problem is when opinions own you. Someone tells you that the Green Bay Packers are the best football team, so you invest in lots of green and gold stuff and get to know all the players. Then they start losing. But you can’t let go of that opinion, so you start constructing a world that explains how they can be the best yet still have a losing record.

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Posted: 04 November 2017 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 04 November 2017 12:52 PM
Titanomachina - 04 November 2017 11:17 AM

Not solving it isn’t very comforting. I know it’s not easy, but I’m hoping there is something to lay this to rest. I can’t go the rest of my life stopping literally every singal judgment or opinion.

I don’t know what you are reading, but no one is suggesting that. I think you are confusing “having an opinion” with “opinions having you”. You can have an opinion, just understand what an opinion is. The problem is when opinions own you. Someone tells you that the Green Bay Packers are the best football team, so you invest in lots of green and gold stuff and get to know all the players. Then they start losing. But you can’t let go of that opinion, so you start constructing a world that explains how they can be the best yet still have a losing record.

I’m referring to Pyrrhonism which sees opinions and beliefs and something that causes suffering and is therefor bad. So i can’t have opinions or beliefs because they would be bad.

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Posted: 04 November 2017 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Place Pyrrhonism in the context of modern knowledge. Pyrrhonism may be referring to the modern concept of cognitive dissonance. In that case, it is pretty much true that forming beliefs that don’t conform with reality can cause suffering, especially when people build their identities around these unreal beliefs.

The solution isn’t to reject this concept, but to take a step back in the process and ask how we decide to believe things so that the things we believe are most likely to conform to reality. At some point, we just have to say that the preponderance of evidence for a particular belief justifies it, and believe. The trick is knowing where that point is, and that’s a huge part of critical thinking and getting an education. At least, it should be.

And, go a step forward in the process and accept that sometimes we’re wrong and we must be willing up update our beliefs. The trick there is similar: knowing what the criteria are for showing a belief to be wrong, and never falling into the trap of “I just believe, you can never change my mind.” Even Richard Dawkins has said that if a process gets thought up that is shown via evidence to be better at explaining life than evolution, he would be on board.

[ Edited: 04 November 2017 08:50 PM by TromboneAndrew ]
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Posted: 04 November 2017 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Yeah well, just don’t. They weren’t that smart back then.
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pyrrhonism

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Posted: 04 November 2017 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Titanomachina - 03 November 2017 09:25 PM

It’s just hard for me to overcome because there are bits to the premises that are true, but I don’t want to really get on board with their conclusion. I know what they CLAIM, but I doubt anyone has ever reached such a state by following them. It honestly seems impossible really, and doesn’t the philosophy itself contradict it’s self?

Though I can understand that what is RIGHT is really just what people believe is so and plenty of people have caused ruin fighting for what they think is right. Even our criteria for good is subjective, sigh. I just don’t know what to do about all of this.

I think their response to you saying it’s an excuse to do nothing is “why must something be done?” Why is it right to do this or that?

I really hate skepticism (philosophical). Especially the Munchausen Trilema

If you hate skepticism, then why don’t you just close your eyes and pick something? Since you have no standards regarding what you choose and you reject skepticism, what’s stopping you? Just pick something and run with it since you have no criteria to deal with. I don’t know what else to suggest to you. You are an empty slate. Anything goes.

LL

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Posted: 04 November 2017 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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LoisL - 04 November 2017 09:08 PM
Titanomachina - 03 November 2017 09:25 PM

It’s just hard for me to overcome because there are bits to the premises that are true, but I don’t want to really get on board with their conclusion. I know what they CLAIM, but I doubt anyone has ever reached such a state by following them. It honestly seems impossible really, and doesn’t the philosophy itself contradict it’s self?

Though I can understand that what is RIGHT is really just what people believe is so and plenty of people have caused ruin fighting for what they think is right. Even our criteria for good is subjective, sigh. I just don’t know what to do about all of this.

I think their response to you saying it’s an excuse to do nothing is “why must something be done?” Why is it right to do this or that?

I really hate skepticism (philosophical). Especially the Munchausen Trilema

If you hate skepticism, then why don’t you just close your eyes and pick something? Since you have no standards regarding what you choose and you reject skepticism, what’s stopping you? Just pick something and run with it since you have no criteria to deal with. I don’t know what else to suggest to you. You are an empty slate. Anything goes. Have you tried Scientology?

LL

[ Edited: 07 November 2017 11:38 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 04 November 2017 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 04 November 2017 09:04 PM

Yeah well, just don’t. They weren’t that smart back then.
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pyrrhonism

LOL :-D

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