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Truth
Posted: 17 May 2007 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]All things are mirages, as all things are creations of the mind. 

Presumably you are a solipsist then. We are all creations of your mind.

Else how is it you know that other people exist as independent realities when you deny that other things do?

[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]The mind gives birth to the creation of things.  Without the mind, there are no things.  This is because things must have qualities like hard, soft, hot, cold, big, small, etc. 

Your argument is that things have qualities: hard, soft, hot, cold, big, small.

Therefore they are created by the mind.

This doesn’t even begin to be a valid argument.

One may argue that there are some qualities (e.g., color) that are relational or subjective in nature. That is, without three kinds of cones in our eyes, we would not see three primary colors. Animals with four types of cones (tetrachromats, like birds) would see four primary colors.

But to make that sort of argument we are already assuming that other qualities are not subjective. In particular, the natural kind qualities that are used in the sciences.

[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]Reality is subjective.

Some bits of reality are subjective, but reality itself is not. It’s just hubris to think otherwise. We aren’t that important.

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Posted: 17 May 2007 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Re: Truth

[quote author=“AlbanyDave”]Does Truth exist?
What is the definition of Truth?
(note, you can’t use a circular argument here and just say ‘the abscence of falsehood’. I want something more substantial than that.)

An objective reality exists.

“Truth” is simply a human claim about that reality which corresponds to reality.

There isn’t any magical way to determine if a claim is “true” or not. The way that is agreed upon by scientists and empiricists in general is skeptical empiricism coupled with peer review.

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Posted: 17 May 2007 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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1.  Doug, solipsism and Bishop Berleley’s idealism seem to be quite similar to me.  Is there a difference and could you explain it?  Thanks.

2.  Rationalreligion, I agree with your very well-put post.

3.  Cory, to reiterate rationalreligion’s point, reality just exists.  Only when sentient beings observe it as their view of truth does relativism occur.  Different people may see different facets of the universe and interpret or misinterpret it differently.  This doesn’t mean that truth is relative, just that our views of facets of it are relative.

4.  I notice that Albanydave still hasn’t offered his definition of truth.

Occam

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Posted: 17 May 2007 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]1.  Doug, solipsism and Bishop Berleley’s idealism seem to be quite similar to me.  Is there a difference and could you explain it?  Thanks.

Well, the difference is that a solipsist believes that only he/she exists, while Berkeley believed that there were many minds. Problem with Berkeley’s view is how you explain the interrelation between these minds, and how it is that we (miraculously) seem to be experiencing the very same things at the same time.

A realist can explain our common experiences by saying that they were caused by the same external objects.

Of course, Bishop Berkeley said that god was the mediator of our common experiences, so god explains why we seem to see the same things.

However, if we are going to say that god doesn’t exist—which sometimes Cory seems to say—then that explanation doesn’t work.

So we are back to solipsism. At least as an epistemic matter. That is, if you believe that there is no god and that all the world is created by mind, then you have as little reason to believe in other minds as anything.

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Posted: 17 May 2007 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I don’t see the issue. We all experience the same thing at the same time because there is an objective reality, what’s this issue?

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Posted: 17 May 2007 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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As I understand it from Doug’s reply, a solipsist doesn’t believe in “we all experience. . .”  Instead, he believes that all of the rest of us don’t exist, but are just part of his thoughts as are all of the rest of the phenomena that he “observes”. 

Occam

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Posted: 18 May 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Occam - 17 May 2007 02:14 PM

As I understand it from Doug’s reply, a solipsist doesn’t believe in “we all experience. . .”  Instead, he believes that all of the rest of us don’t exist, but are just part of his thoughts as are all of the rest of the phenomena that he “observes”. 

Occam

Right. A solipsist believes that he/she is the only thing that exists.

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Posted: 18 May 2007 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Doug,
If I believed that the only thing I know for sure exists is my own existence and from that point emerges all other existence, would that be solipsism?
I am not arrogantly believing that I am the center of the universe or that the universe is centered around me but I do believe that I create my own version of the universe within my mind.

As far as truth is concerned refer my signature.
I know science busies itself with the discovery of truth and so it should, but for the average mug punter like myself discovering what is not true can be more constructive. If the average person spent more time seeking out the lies rather than blindly accepting “the truth” then maybe the world would be in a better position than it is today.

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Seeking truth is a never ending search for possibilities.
Finding truth is an end to that search.

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Posted: 18 May 2007 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Doubter - 18 May 2007 07:49 PM

If I believed that the only thing I know for sure exists is my own existence and from that point emerges all other existence, would that be solipsism?
I am not arrogantly believing that I am the center of the universe or that the universe is centered around me but I do believe that I create my own version of the universe within my mind.

Well, here we’re getting into hair splitting, but I don’t think you’re talking about solipsism. Descartes was no solipsist but he believed very strongly that the only thing he could be certain of was his own existence.

Now, not clear what you mean by “from that point emerges all other existence”. If you mean epistemically (how you know about the world) then we have no disagreement. (If you mean that all other existence emerges from you in some metaphysical sense ... then we will be at odds).

And of course, we all have our own opinions about reality; we each have our own perspectives on the world. In that sense we “create our own versions” in our minds. But the crucial point is that we are trying to create versions that match the independent reality that is outside of us. Insofar as the version in our minds doesn’t match reality, it is sub-optimal.

But this is not solipsism. The solipsist believes that he creates the world, hence that in some sense he cannot be ultimately wrong about it. The world doesn’t exist outside of his mind ... indeed, nothing does, not even other (apparent) people.

[ Edited: 18 May 2007 10:13 PM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 18 May 2007 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Doug, to reach his conclusion (The Cogito) didn’t Descartes have to appeal to an outside entity (though he said god he really only meant an outside agent of experience I believe), thus sort of placing the whole proof obtained by the cogito into the realm of faith?

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Posted: 19 May 2007 12:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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dougsmith - 18 May 2007 10:10 PM

If you mean epistemically (how you know about the world) then we have no disagreement.

Yes that’s it, thankyou Doug, you make it all make much more sense than I can.
I am often confused by people who understand little of such things as being ego centric in my thinking but what they often fail to realise (or I don’t adequately explain) is that what I grant for myself I also grant for others.

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Posted: 19 May 2007 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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cgallaga - 18 May 2007 10:37 PM

Doug, to reach his conclusion (The Cogito) didn’t Descartes have to appeal to an outside entity (though he said god he really only meant an outside agent of experience I believe), thus sort of placing the whole proof obtained by the cogito into the realm of faith?

In order to get to certainty about the existence of the external world—which would include other minds, it is true—Descartes did appeal to what he viewed as the certain existence of a benevolent deity. Exactly right. Existence of such a deity would insure that Descartes wasn’t globally in error in his beliefs about external things. (As he might have been if there were an ‘evil demon’ who ruled the universe).

However, for Descartes, the existence of this deity was not a matter of faith as such. He believed that he could deduce god’s existence by reason alone. This put him at odds with conservative members of the clergy and (one might argue) was the spark that began the Enlightenment.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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dougsmith - 17 May 2007 08:17 AM

[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]All things are mirages, as all things are creations of the mind. 

Presumably you are a solipsist then. We are all creations of your mind.

 

No, the way things appear to me is that each creature outside of my is percieving reality in his/her unique way.

Or else, how is it you know that other people exist as independent realities when you deny that other things do?

I maintain the the self lacks inherent existence.  Like all things, the self has no independent, inherent existence.

[quote author=“Doug”]
[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]The mind gives birth to the creation of things.  Without the mind, there are no things.  This is because things must have qualities like hard, soft, hot, cold, big, small, etc.

Your argument is that things have qualities: hard, soft, hot, cold, big, small.  Therefore they are created by the mind.
This doesn’t even begin to be a valid argument.  One may argue that there are some qualities (e.g., color) that are relational or subjective in nature. That is, without three kinds of cones in our eyes, we would not see three primary colors. Animals with four types of cones (tetrachromats, like birds) would see four primary colors. But to make that sort of argument we are already assuming that other qualities are not subjective. In particular, the natural kind qualities that are used in the sciences.

You mean, qualities like an objects size, shape, form?  Objects shrink when they are in motion.  What is a continuous whole sound to us, is divided up in seperate peeps to a bird.  A world of objects outside of our consciousness, I’m afraid does not inherently or independently exist.  Is is not the implication of Einstein’s theory of Relativity that notions of space, time and mass are not absolutes, existing in themselves as permanent unchanging substances or entities? Space is not an independent, three-dimensional domain, and time is not a separate entity, rather they co-exist as an undivided continuum.  Space and time, is ultimately relative.  Quantum physics tells us that reality is far beyond human perception and intuition. In other words, our rational mind and common sense are just not capable of understanding the true nature of reality empirically.  The best we can do in regards to attaining truth, is to settle for logical truths, rather then empirical ones.  Interestingly, Einstein was by nature a rationalist, and it was only after he concieved his logical truth via pure logic, did he try applying that truth to empirical reality.

The more common sense newtonian constraints of absolute time and space need to be abandoned.

[quote author=“Doug”]
[quote author=“CoryDuchesne”]Reality is subjective.

Some bits of reality are subjective, but reality itself is not. It’s just hubris to think otherwise. We aren’t that important.

And it’s not hubris to believe that you percieve the world as it actually is?

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Posted: 22 May 2007 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

No, the way things appear to me is that each creature outside of my is percieving reality in his/her unique way.

But that isn’t the same as saying that we are all perceiving “mirages”, which is what you were saying before.

CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

I maintain the the self lacks inherent existence.  Like all things, the self has no independent, inherent existence.

You’re ducking the question. We can reformulate it: how are you not a nihilist then? Or how are you not believing that the only things that exist are your own thoughts? (Which amounts to solipsism).

CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

You mean, qualities like an objects size, shape, form?  Objects shrink when they are in motion.  What is a continuous whole sound to us, is divided up in seperate peeps to a bird.  A world of objects outside of our consciousness, I’m afraid does not inherently or independently exist.  Is is not the implication of Einstein’s theory of Relativity that notions of space, time and mass are not absolutes, existing in themselves as permanent unchanging substances or entities?

No, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of Einsteinian relativity. Spacetime and mass/energy are relative to their reference frames. Once you specify a reference frame, spacetime and mass/energy are absolutes.

CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

Quantum physics tells us that reality is far beyond human perception and intuition.

No, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of quantum mechanics. Indeed, how could QM tell us that “reality is far beyond human intuition” when QM itself is a construction of human perception and intuition?

CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

Interestingly, Einstein was by nature a rationalist, and it was only after he concieved his logical truth via pure logic, did he try applying that truth to empirical reality.

I have no idea what you mean. Einstein was not a logician, and none of his advances in physics were based on “pure logic”.

CoryDuchesne - 22 May 2007 11:02 AM

And it’s not hubris to believe that you percieve the world as it actually is?

I never claimed we did. Clearly, we are often in error. But in order to be in error, there must be a truth out there that makes something erroneous.

[ Edited: 22 May 2007 11:20 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 22 May 2007 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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rationalrevolution - 17 May 2007 12:05 PM

I don’t see the issue. We all experience the same thing at the same time because there is an objective reality, what’s this issue?

Hi R R

But we don’t experience the same thing at the same time! We all experience something different.

It is impossible for anybody to experience what any one else experiences.

I think what we experience must be very similar but that can be explained by the fact we are very similar.

what I feel sure of is there is no objective colour or feel or sound etc. etc. these things are subjective experiences.

So what is objective reality like if not made up of these things?

It is something I puzzle over and I don’t know the answer but I do feel sure there is a problem. 

Stephen

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