• James Riley
    765
    Humans think like humans for human reasons - the world and us is to some extent 'created' by our corporeal strengths and limitations.Tom Storm

    I think that is correct. I don't quite understand how that makes us the measure of all things. If it's simply saying that we can't not be us, okay. If that means there cannot be an objective perception, or the perception of anything other than man, or that any such other perception is irrelevant, then I would disagree.
  • Tom Storm
    970
    I don't quite understand how that makes us the measure of all thingsJames Riley

    I hear you. I guess it depends on what 'the measure of all things' means. Protagaros aside, I am the measure of all things in my universe. As Gore Vidal used to say - 'When I die I'm going take all of you with me."
  • James Riley
    765
    As Gore Vidal used to say - 'When I die I'm going take all of you with me."Tom Storm

    HA! Love it.

    I just watched a lady die today and was talking with my wife about it. Notwithstanding all the talk and actions, when it boils down to it, death is ALL about the living. I've seen it's approach, it's arrival, the Wills, the memorials and many other angles. There is a lot of memory and memories and homages. But it's all about the living. I just see other measures, or at least I'm willing to acknowlege they might exist in spite of me or anyone else.

    I've seen animals measure. I've seen them measure others, and I've seen them measure me. Anyone who's spent time with horses knows it.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    What I see in your entire post (correct me if I am wrong) is that humans are humans; that humans are stuck being human. I can agree with that. But that does not transmogrify us into the measure of all that we measure.James Riley

    Never, never say "correct me if I am wrong" in a response to me. Surprisingly enough, yes, you are wrong. Well, let's just say I disagree with you. We didn't "transmogrify" into the measure of all things. We invented measurement. Measurement is human enterprise. Why else would we care about measurement except as it applies to ourselves? What would we ever measure except things that have an effect on our lives?

    By my calculation, I am a bit less than 2 ^10-16 light years tall. That's about 2,000,000,000 nanometers. Please don't check my math.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    Just my not-overly-erudite opinion, but I think quite a bit of "us" is factory pre-installed--don't take offense, Ma, at the factory metaphor. Every other animal seems to have built-in behavior patterns, and I don't see a way that we would NOT have built ins.Bitter Crank

    I think you and I agree. If I were born today, I'd ask for factory installed blue-tooth and undercoating. I've noticed things getting a bit rusty lately.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    TC I have always held this as an intuitive belief. Humans think like humans for human reasons - the world and us is to some extent 'created' by our corporeal strengths and limitations.Tom Storm

    Agreed.
  • James Riley
    765
    We didn't "transmogrify" into the measure of all things. We invented measurement. Measurement is human enterprise. Why else would we care about measurement except as it applies to ourselves? What would we ever measure except things that have an effect on our lives?T Clark

    You don't think animals measure their environment? And is what we care about the only measure? And where does the "we" come from? By that, I mean why are you and I, both "man" aligned together in measure under the heading of "man", instead of being pitted against each other in our measurement as would, I guess, be man and animal? Wouldn't it be better to say "Each individual is the measure of all things?" That way the truth, as Plato might have it, is whatever we, individually, say it is. Or is there some collective human experience that has yet to collect?

    I don't suppose we would measure anything that didn't have an effect on our lives, but I don't see how that makes us the measure of all things? Are you saying "measurer" or "measurers" or simply "measure" as used in my initial post? Regardless, we measure. But that doesn't mean we are the measure of all things.
  • James Riley
    765
    P.S. I'm going to measure the inside of my eye lids.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    By attributing a quality to a blob of wet clay, honestly I thought it was symbolic of all dead matter.
    — god must be atheist

    You were correct, it is,
    James Riley

    SYMBOLIC OF ALL MATTER. You agreed.

    I did not divide ALL things into being good and not good.James Riley

    I really don't understand why you can't think back what you had said just five minutes before.

    So by saying that you don't judge all things, the only thing that remain exclusive of your judgement are living things. All things that are dead matter, are good. Living things are neither good, nor bad.

    Gaaaaa!!!!!
    In referencing clay, I talked of nothing else (i.e. not all dead things). Then, in explaining how man is not the measure of all things, I referenced All as the measure of the rest, good or bad.James Riley

    But you contradicted this, by this:

    By attributing a quality to a blob of wet clay, honestly I thought it was symbolic of all dead matter.
    — god must be atheist

    You were correct, it is,
    James Riley

    If you were consistent in your statements just for five minutes... it would be so lovely. You'd make sense, and there would be substance to your reasoning.

    You keep calling me an idiot, whereas I only try to make sense of you utterances (or rather, point out that it is not possible).

    What am I supposed to say to your barrage of attacking me, calling me out on all kinds of drummed up reasons?
  • James Riley
    765
    SYMBOLIC OF ALL MATTER. You agreed.god must be atheist

    First, on the merits of our argument, that does not make man the measure of all things. That makes me the measurer of those things. Second, my point in entertaining your digression, from clay to all other things, was, as already explained to you, in reference to All. All is the measure of all things, good or bad. Not man.

    But you contradicted this, by this:god must be atheist

    I did not contradict, as explained above and below.

    Back to the merits of our argument: The statement "Man is the measure of all things" is exclusive. If man is the measure of all things, then nothing else can be the measure of anything. If you do not agree with that, then let's argue that. If you agree with that, then when I measure a baby with clay, or clay with a baby, and measure the clay as good, that does not demonstrate that man is the measure of all things. As I said in response to your digression, I leave it to All to measure (and I'll add, be the measure) of all things as good or bad. Man is not the measure of all things, and my measuring anything as good will never make it so.

    You keep calling me an idiot,god must be atheist

    ?

    calling me out on all kinds of drummed up reasons?god must be atheist

    The reasons were not drummed up. They were responses to your digression from clay to all things, your trying to put words in my mouth, and your hyperbolic, emotive frustration, as demonstrated by suggesting I called you an idiot, or that by saying "good" of something, I inadvertently made man the measure of all things, or asking "How one can shoot himself on the foot in one easy step."

    So, trying to get back on track, is the following statement true? "If man is the measure of all things, then nothing else can be the measure of anything." If you disagree, then we can argue. If you agree, then I would be happy to argue that things other than man can be the measure of other things.
  • New2K2
    48
    And yet Good is a way for Man to measure. A blob of clay is a blob of clay. Easy to mold or hard to mold, brittle, dark, light.
    Good or bad comes from what Man wants, and so I feel you might have boxed yourself in.
  • James Riley
    765
    nd yet Good is a way for Man to measure. A blob of clay is a blob of clay. Easy to mold or hard to mold, brittle, dark, light.
    Good or bad comes from what Man wants, and so I feel you might have boxed yourself in.
    New2K2

    I don't see how I boxed myself in. I can stipulate to all you just said (and I do), and yet it does not mean that man is the measure of all things. There is a leap there, that cannot logically be made. I like the Gore Vidal quote, not only because it is witty, but it is illustrative of what I think is meant by the statement "Man is the measure of all things." When Vidal dies, he is going to take all of us with him. I get that. That is true, for Vidal. Yet: 1. We are still here; and 2. The same is true for an elk. Are elk the measure of all things?

    If a pack of wolves is harrying a herd of elk, looking for the weakest link, are they not measuring the herd, even if no man is there to witness it? Even if I never proposed it? If they select what they perceive to be the weakest link and kill it, have they not measured that elk? And when that elk dies, does he/she not take all those wolves and all she's ever known, with her?

    Why is man the measure of all things when there is so much more than man to measure, and be measured? It seems the height of something, if not arrogance, to say we are the measure of all things. If not arrogance, then what is it the height of, to say that? It's clearly the height of something. Maybe someone can explain that to me.

    Personally, I believe All is the measure of all things.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    You don't think animals measure their environment? And is what we care about the only measure?James Riley

    Just to make sure you and I are using the same meaning, the definition of "measure" I think the line is talking about is "a standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment." The important word there for this discussion is "comparison." When we measure, we compare one thing, what is being measured, with another, a measure. So, no, I don't think most animals do that. It strikes me that it takes a strong capacity for abstraction. And yes, when we "take the measure" of something, we hold it up to and compare it to what we care about.

    And where does the "we" come from? By that, I mean why are you and I, both "man" aligned together in measure under the heading of "man", instead of being pitted against each other in our measurement as would, I guess, be man and animal? Wouldn't it be better to say "Each individual is the measure of all things?"James Riley

    Measurement is a matter of social convention. We, humanity, decide on how to measure by what standards, except here in the US where we'll never use that Communistic, depraved metric system.

    I don't suppose we would measure anything that didn't have an effect on our lives, but I don't see how that makes us the measure of all things? Are you saying "measurer" or "measurers" or simply "measure" as used in my initial post? Regardless, we measure. But that doesn't mean we are the measure of all things.James Riley

    At this point, I think we've reduced this to a question of language preference. There's probably no further we can take it than that. I say "tomato" and you say kg-m/s^2.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    Good or bad comes from what Man wantsNew2K2

    As you can probably tell from my posts, I agree with you.
  • New2K2
    48
    Bleh, A creature is more than a memory. When a person dies they take nothing with them but themselves. Even if ou argue that their perception of the person is a person I'd say that that perception is merely an extension of the dead person.

    No one takes anyone with them into death.
  • James Riley
    765
    When we measure, we compare one thing, what is being measured, with another, a measure. So, no, I don't think most animals do that.T Clark

    I guess there is the rub. I think we can use the same definition of measure, but still disagree on whether man is the sole measure. As a slight digression, I think the distinction you draw is one that we use to assuage our feelings about how we treat animals. But again, that's an aside.

    Measurement is a matter of social convention. We, humanity, decide on how to measure by what standards,T Clark

    I agree, and those social conventions often spring from experience. We might say that pack of wolves doesn't attack that giant, prime bull because "instinct" and "evolution" have taught them not to. I disagree. Getting kicked to pieces, or seeing a peer get kicked to pieces is a lesson an animal can measure. They won't even waste their time, even when hunger is the great motivator.

    The fact that we, humanity, do this does not render it our province to he exclusion of all else, much less All.
  • T Clark
    5.1k
    The fact that we, humanity, do this does not render it our province to he exclusion of all else, much less All.James Riley

    Again, I think we've pared this down to a question of language.
  • James Riley
    765
    Bleh, A creature is more than a memory. When a person dies they take nothing with them but themselves. Even if ou argue that their perception of the person is a person I'd say that that perception is merely an extension of the dead person.

    No one takes anyone with them into death.
    New2K2

    I was trying to acknowledge the Vidal quote as illustrative of the statement that I take issue with: "Man is the measure of all things." I'm not here going down another rabbit hole unrelated to the argument at hand.
  • James Riley
    765
    I think we've pared this down to a question of language.T Clark

    I wish that were the case, but I've stipulated to your use of terms. I don't think it's a question of language so much as it is a difference of opinion on the merits of the statement. Anyway, thank you for forcing me to think without the triggering.
  • Proximate1
    24
    Insofar as we think in terms of language it is language meaning that determines how we interpret the 'world' in our minds. Even animals have a language based upon simple symbols and spatial coordination.
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