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What’s it all about?
Posted: 16 January 2011 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Aren’t we all seeing things upside down to begin with? The image we receive on our retina is upside down. It is our mind that rotates it to what we perceive to be right side up.

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Posted: 16 January 2011 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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StephenLawrence - 16 January 2011 12:23 PM
brightfut - 16 January 2011 10:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 16 January 2011 03:55 AM

  I can’t imagine my living room when nobody is looking at it. 

Seems like you are equating “imagine” with “looking at” with “visual observation.”  I can imagine the shape of my TV (rectangle).  A rectangle is the physical arrangement of the border edge of the TV.  This would be true whether anyone “looks at” it or not.  This is objective.  I can also imagine my TV looking “good.”  This requires my own mind to attach the subjective meaning of “good” to it.

To be clear I’m not denying that your tv has an objective shape, or exists objectively, I’m not sure whether it does or it doesn’t. I do tend to assume it does.

But I don’t think you can imagine a rectangle without refering to how a rectangle appears to you.

And a rectangle appears different from different points of view, which point of view is correct? Clearly there can be no correct point of view.

But you can only imagine a rectangle from a point of view.

So if you imagine your telly when you are not looking at it, I think you must be imagining what it would look like if you were looking at it, from a particular point of view.

Once you take the observer out of this picture, there is nothing that it is like.

So if we imagine the universe before there was life, we are imagining what it would look like if we were there looking at it.

Just simply imagining objective reality, if it is truly mind independent, seems impossible.

Stephen

It looks like you’re running up against some forms of scepticism, from mixtures of solipsism to some of the stuff from Hume. I would look at you’re definition of the word “know” which seems to presume that direct observation is required to actually “know” something.

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Posted: 17 January 2011 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Kaizen - 16 January 2011 05:33 PM

It looks like you’re running up against some forms of scepticism, from mixtures of solipsism to some of the stuff from Hume. I would look at you’re definition of the word “know” which seems to presume that direct observation is required to actually “know” something.

Well we are talking about imagining not knowing.

When we imagine something, say seeing something, we are imagining what it would look like from a place (and time b.t.w) in relation to it.

With no observer there is none of this.

I’m pretty sure we can’t imagine objective reality without an observer.

We can believe that what would look like my living room to me if I was looking at it exists, even if I stopped looking at it.

We might even be able to know there is such a thing, just not imagine it

Stephen

[ Edited: 17 January 2011 12:56 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 17 January 2011 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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brightfut - 16 January 2011 02:16 PM

People can take the point of view into consideration when they are imagining it.  A rectangle is simple enough that people have the ability to imagine it pretty accurately.  More complex shapes would probably be imagined with more distortion.

Yes, we can imagine what it would look like to an observer from a particular point of view.

But that’s not removing a subject from the picture and imagining objective reality.

In a world with no observers there is no point of view and no what it looks like.

Stephen

[ Edited: 17 January 2011 12:48 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 17 January 2011 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Write4U - 16 January 2011 03:05 PM

Aren’t we all seeing things upside down to begin with?

We don’t see to begin with.

Stephen

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Posted: 17 January 2011 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 January 2011 12:53 AM
Write4U - 16 January 2011 03:05 PM

Aren’t we all seeing things upside down to begin with?

We don’t see to begin with.

Stephen

I guess sometimes we don’t…. LOL

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Posted: 17 January 2011 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 January 2011 12:34 AM
Kaizen - 16 January 2011 05:33 PM

It looks like you’re running up against some forms of scepticism, from mixtures of solipsism to some of the stuff from Hume. I would look at you’re definition of the word “know” which seems to presume that direct observation is required to actually “know” something.

Well we are talking about imagining not knowing.

When we imagine something, say seeing something, we are imagining what it would look like from a place (and time b.t.w) in relation to it.

With no observer there is none of this.

I’m pretty sure we can’t imagine objective reality without an observer.

We can believe that what would look like my living room to me if I was looking at it exists, even if I stopped looking at it.

We might even be able to know there is such a thing, just not imagine it

Stephen

Imagine a hypothetical living room. Give it the property of “staying the same” once you look away. Now imagine looking away. Is it still the same? Of course, we just established the rules of this hypothetical living room. Is it a belief that it is the same? No, because the living room is hypothetical.

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Posted: 17 January 2011 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 January 2011 12:41 AM

  Yes, we can imagine what it would look like to an observer from a particular point of view.

But that’s not removing a subject from the picture and imagining objective reality.

In a world with no observers there is no point of view and no what it looks like.

Stephen

“look like”, “point of view”, “picture”, again “point of view” and “looks like”  These are all words or expressions that relate to VISUAL perception.  What’s the “point of view” when you smell smoke?  What’s the picture when you feel hot?  What does hot “look like?”  The ratio of the lengths of the sides of a right triangle in a plane can be visualized to look like a picture of a right triangle, but the mind can imagine in other ways besides visually.  The mind can think mathematically too.  Our conscious mind tends to be visual and verbal, but other parts of the brain don’t need either.  I agree that objective reality and the model created by our brains are two different things, but if the model created by our brains is so accurate that predictions can be made that allow for example quarterbacks to complete a pass without it being intercepted then I think we can trust that the model is a pretty good representation of objective reality.  What more do want before you admit that people can “imagine objective reality.”  This is sounding like post-modernism.

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Posted: 17 January 2011 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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brightfut - 17 January 2011 01:42 PM

What more do want before you admit that people can “imagine objective reality.”  This is sounding like post-modernism.

That is a very accurate description of Stephen’s thinking on many subjects.

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Posted: 17 January 2011 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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brightfut - 17 January 2011 01:42 PM

“look like”, “point of view”, “picture”, again “point of view” and “looks like”  These are all words or expressions that relate to VISUAL perception.


Yes.

What’s the “point of view” when you smell smoke?

From where the smoke is. again you can’t imagine the smell of smoke without an observer smelling it.

So you imagine what it would smell like to an observer.

you can’t imagine the smell without an observer, there is no such thing as what it smells like without an observer.

If we assume objective reality, then the smell is the result of the objective smoke a nose a brain and so on combined.

  What’s the picture when you feel hot?  What does hot “look like?”

Again we can’t imagine hot without imagining an observer feeling hot.

  The ratio of the lengths of the sides of a right triangle in a plane can be visualized to look like a picture of a right triangle, but the mind can imagine in other ways besides visually.

From a point of view with an observer.

The mind can think mathematically too.  Our conscious mind tends to be visual and verbal, but other parts of the brain don’t need either.  I agree that objective reality and the model created by our brains are two different things, but if the model created by our brains is so accurate that predictions can be made that allow for example quarterbacks to complete a pass without it being intercepted then I think we can trust that the model is a pretty good representation of objective reality.  What more do want before you admit that people can “imagine objective reality.”  This is sounding like post-modernism.

I think it’s simply the case that when we imagine objective reality, we imagine what it is like from the point of view of an observer.

I’m not saying we can’t imagine it, just that we must imagine it from an observers standpoint, be it smell feel seeing etc etc.

What we can’t therefore do is imagine objective reality without an observer.

Stephen

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Posted: 17 January 2011 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 January 2011 02:41 PM

  What we can’t therefore do is imagine objective reality without an observer. Stephen

Forgive me if I’m carrying this discussion too far.  I’m just going with the flow here.  Not trying to be argumentative (in the negative sense).  If by that quote you mean that objective reality cannot be “imagined without an imaginer,” then I agree with you.  However, if you are saying that objective reality cannot be “imagined without an imaginer AND a point of view” then I disagree with you.  In a right triangle in a plane, A squared plus B squared equals C squared.  That requires someone to do the math and someone to imagine that relationship, but it would be true no matter what the person’s point of view or who is doing the math.  There is no possibility of personal bias entering into the process.  Sometimes the idea that we cannot imagine or understand without our own thinking and interpreting interfering with the process leads people to diminish the value of objective statements.

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Posted: 18 January 2011 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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brightfut - 17 January 2011 03:41 PM

However, if you are saying that objective reality cannot be “imagined without an imaginer AND a point of view” then I disagree with you.

I’m going to correct and clarify myself here.  The imaginer and the point of view/perspective can be abstracted to be two different things.  In the case of an objective truth, the imaginer would still have a perspective, but the imaginer would have little choice as to the end result of the perspective if the imaginer wanted to be correct.  If an objective statement is true, then people can have different perspectives as long as all those perspective still agree that the statement is true.  They aren’t different when it comes to the outcome being true.  They may have come to that “true” conclusion from different paths.

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Posted: 18 January 2011 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Robert Sproule - 11 December 2010 09:50 AM

by Robert Sproule

     
    He must have the right to his life and the right to his property – he should know that
    capitalism is the only system that protects these rights.
   


I’m sorry, I do not understand how this fits in at all. There are many people under capitalism that have neither the right to life or property. You also would have to define capitalism, as there are many types of capitalism just as there are many types of socialism.

I don’t think there are any such truths as you have detailed. Lots of people people are unhappy or incapable of sustained happiness, either because of the circumstances of their lives or because of chemical imbalances. Nor do I think happiness is a prolonged state, we have times of happiness and plenty of times of no happiness. I don’t think personal happiness is the end all and be all.

I feel like you’ve mashed a whole bunch of stuff together, that either doesn’t fit together or have huge errors in logic. I also dislike questions like, “What is it all about?” because I think they distract from concrete thinking and imply there’s one way to be in the world.  It’s up to each of us to instill meaning in our lives or not.

[ Edited: 19 January 2011 03:17 AM by Bees Mom ]
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Posted: 19 January 2011 12:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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brightfut - 17 January 2011 03:41 PM

Forgive me if I’m carrying this discussion too far.  I’m just going with the flow here.  Not trying to be argumentative (in the negative sense).

No problem.

If by that quote you mean that objective reality cannot be “imagined without an imaginer,” then I agree with you.

That’s true but wasn’t the point. I think what I meant was probably uncontroversially true, so it’s just a case of conveying the meaning better.

I was thinking of imagining as visualizing, primarily. All I was saying is if we visualize a world without sentient beings, say earth, we must visualize from a point of view and a time. We must visualize as if the world was being looked at. That’s the best we can do, we can’t visualize objective reality just as it is. If I visualize Venus, I might visualize it as the size of a two pence piece. This is what it looks like from a certain distant, through a telescope, magnified a certain number of times.

However, if you are saying that objective reality cannot be “imagined without an imaginer AND a point of view” then I disagree with you.  In a right triangle in a plane, A squared plus B squared equals C squared.  That requires someone to do the math and someone to imagine that relationship,

Yes, this is a different point. I don’t think we can imagine the relationship without at base having an idea of real examples and again we might be back to the same situation, as we can only visualize these from a point of view.

but it would be true no matter what the person’s point of view or who is doing the math.

Yes, that’s a different point again and I agree.

Stephen

[ Edited: 19 January 2011 12:10 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 21 January 2011 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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StephenLawrence - 16 January 2011 03:55 AM
Kaizen - 14 January 2011 02:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 14 January 2011 02:10 PM
Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:13 AM

But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

I disagree.

I find it impossible to imagine an observerless world because it seems there is nothing it is like.

Stephen

You can’t imagine a world where all life ceases?

I can’t imagine my living room when nobody is looking at it.

What’s it like? All I can imagine is what it would be like if I or someone was looking at it.

I don’t see a way out of this.

Are you suggesting that once the last body dies, the universe goes with it?

I just dunno.

Stephen

The reality that we know is an interpretation. What we see visually the brain has been programmed to interpret and provide a conscious representation. Same with all the senses. We humans can’t observe the universe without the brain to provide this conscious representation. Without a brain, observation in the sense that we know it can’t happen.

That’s not to say that without eyes to sense light and a brain to interpret and provide a conscious representation nothing exists or nothing is going on, however we can only infer this is true. We can’t actually know it.

As I understand objective reality to mean, it is a concept of reality that excludes any unjustified belief as to what that reality is. So if we are to imagine an objective reality, that only means what we imagine that objective reality to be is based on justified scientific knowledge.

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