• Pattern-chaser
    530
    You'd believe in God to the extent that you have some concept/understanding of God, and you'd be able to describe the concept/understanding that you believe.Terrapin Station

    You have more confidence in my descriptive abilities than I have! :wink:
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    Well, to the extent that you couldn't describe what you believe (in), it wouldn't .And much sense to say that you believe (in) it? "I believe in plabbetyblax." "What's that?" "I don't know. I can't even describe it to myself." We'd understandably think that person is maybe a bit nutty.
  • Pattern-chaser
    530
    And yet we have many words - and "God" is a good example, but far from the only one - whose definition is general, at best, or downright vague. Why do you think this is? I'm not sure, but I think it is that we want such vague terms, because we find them convenient and useful. Often we want to conduct a discussion in general (i.e. somewhat vague) terms. For such discussions, vague and poorly-defined terms are the order of the day. :smile:

    So no, I don't think I could give you a definition of God, as I understand Her, that you would find useful or adequate. Do I feel inadequate about this? No, I'm afraid not. Precision is more common in theory than it is in practice.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    Describing things to other people in a manner that they're satisfied with is another issue entirely.
  • Pattern-chaser
    530
    Is there ever a need to describe something to yourself? I don't think so. We only describe things "to other people" because we only need to describe them to others.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    Whether there's a need to do it is irrelevant I think. The fact is that you could do this for whatever you believe (in), insofar as you believe it. That's all that I was saying. I wasn't making any claims about anyone else finding a description satisfactory, etc. That would depend on a whole host of psychological and social factors.
  • macrosoft
    381
    You'd believe in God to the extent that you have some concept/understanding of God, and you'd be able to describe the concept/understanding that you believe.Terrapin Station

    It's nice to be able to agree with you on something. This is actually related to what I was saying about how things exist. To say only that God exists without giving any content to God is to say nothing, really. Whether something exists is trivial apart from how it is supposed to exist (what it is.)

    Some might object that God is beyond conception. I can only make sense of this if they mean their experience of God is emotional, sensual, or generally akin to the experience of music, art, and that aspect of communication with other human beings which is not conceptual (a smile exchanged,a hug.)
    The only thing that troubles me with this approach is that often 'beyond conceptual' is still insisted upon in an essentially conceptual way, as something that is and isn't concept, mostly to escape the threat of their experience being subjective, since they often want to prove things about God. Not all such theists will grant that 'well, it just felt like a universally accessible and relevant experience.'
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    What I mean to say on this matter can be said briefly:

    1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, other than in its own context (...in particular, in some absolute sense (whatever that would mean) as Materialists believe)?

    2)...because, if not, then this physical world doesn't exist in any sense or context other than that in which exists the setting of your life-experience-story, a hypothetical system of inter-referring abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things. ...which, too, exists and is real in its own context (if "exist" and "real" mean anything).

    3)...in which case, what reason would there be to believe that this physical world is other than the setting in that hypothetical experience-story, which is an inevitable logical system. ...which needs no existence or reality other than in its own context?

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real,Michael Ossipoff

    Which is essentially asking whether it's possible to persuade someone of something when the person in question has psychological issues, where either they're delusional or they're stuck in an early stage of development, or they're so self-centered, completely incapable of empathy, etc., that to them it's as if only they exist, or for some reason they're just trying to be difficult. In most cases, probably not. That only tells us something about those folks' psychologies, however. It's certainly not the case that ontology somehow hinges on persuading difficult or troubled people of something.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    I've flagged Terrapin Station's most recent post for two reasons:

    1, It uses a falsified quote:

    Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, other than in its own context (...in particular, in some absolute sense (whatever that would mean) as Materialists believe)?Michael Ossipoff

    ...becomes:

    Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real,Michael Ossipoff

    2. After that, the message consists only of negative characterization of another poster...for having allegedly said what Terrapin falsely quoted.

    Terrapin Station is a habitual repeat-offender who didn't learn anything from his recent message-deletion, and didn't wait long before doing the same thing again.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k
    Let me clarify something that I said, and post a better reply to Terrapin Station:
    .
    I’d said:
    .
    What I mean to say on this matter can be said briefly:
    .
    1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, other than in its own context (...in particular, in some absolute sense (whatever that would mean) as Materialists believe)?
    .
    2)...because, if not, then this physical world doesn't exist in any sense or context other than that in which exists the setting of your life-experience-story, a hypothetical system of inter-referring abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things. ...which, too, exists and is real in its own context (if "exist" and "real" mean anything).
    .
    3)...in which case, what reason would there be to believe that this physical world is other than the setting in that hypothetical experience-story, which is an inevitable logical system. ...which needs no existence or reality other than in its own context?
    .
    I’d like to clarify that a bit:
    .
    Any meaning for “real” or “existent” is contextual only.
    .
    To say that something in principle describable by humans has reality or existence other than that, is nonsense.
    .
    The notion of non-contextual (absolute in some sense) reality or existence for describable things has resulted in much confusion and befuddlement in philosophy, over millennia, and up to the present.
    .
    Someone questioned the meaning of a thing’s “reality or existence in its own context”.
    .
    Fair enough. Neither “Real” nor “Existent” has a consensus metaphysical definition, and anyone would be hard-put to suggest usable definitions for them.
    .
    That’s why I don’t claim “reality” or “existence” for anything describable. And, anyway, I agree with those who wouldn’t apply “exist” to anything else either.
    .
    But (only) if you don’t have a quarrel with something being real and existent in its own context, then I won’t deny that this physical world is real and existent in its own context, and that of our lives.
    .
    Sankara has been quoted as saying that the physical world is real, in the sense that, whatever reality or existence it does or doesn’t have, it’s part of Reality, which could be defined as “all that there is” …which of course includes such things as abstract-facts and other hypotheticals. I wouldn’t disagree with that.
    .
    The bottom line is, then, that it depends on what you mean by “real” and “existent”. I make no claims, in that regard, for describable things.
    .
    As, ourselves, part of this physical world, of course our perception of it is within its context, and that of our lives in it. If it had other existence or reality, how would we know it anyway?
    .
    When Terrapin Station replied, he quoted me, but left out a meaning-determining part of the sentence, thereby dishonestly changing the sentence’s meaning—quoting me as saying:
    .
    1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, — Michael Ossipoff
    Terrapin Station then continued:
    Which is essentially asking whether it's possible to persuade someone of something when the person in question has psychological issues
    .
    Well, which one of us is habitually on the attack, and posting messages consisting only of attack, only about another poster, instead of about the topic. Aggression results from having issues.
    .
    , where either they're delusional
    .
    …like someone who thinks that the quote of me that Terrapin Station posted, above, means the same thing as the sentence that I’d actually posted? Or someone who thinks that a question (in a recent other thread) about the experiences of a dying person is answered by referring to the time after death, when that person has no experiences? :D
    .
    or they're stuck in an early stage of development
    .
    …such as an infantile aggressive stage?
    .
    …troubled people…
    .
    Aggression is a symptom of a troubled person.
    .
    But have people noticed that the most erroneous people on the Internet always seem to also be the most loudly assertive, and, behaviorally, the most troubled, the most disturbed, and the most aggressive people, with the most (seemingly) angry behavior? I didn’t make that up, and, in fact psychologists have found that same correlation in general. It’s called the “Dunning-Kruger effect.
    .
    Why are the most mistaken people also the most assertive, loud and arrogant? Dunning & Kruger, and others have offered some good explanations.
    .
    First, here’s a link to the Wikipedia article about it. Below the link, I’ve quoted some highlights from the article.
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
    --------------------------------
    In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.[1]
    .
    As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability
    .
    The psychological phenomenon of illusory superiority was identified as a form of cognitive bias in Kruger and Dunning's 1999 study "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments".[1] The identification derived from the cognitive bias evident in the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler, who robbed banks with his face covered with lemon juice, which he believed would make it invisible to the surveillance cameras. This belief was based on his misunderstanding of the chemical properties of lemon juice as an invisible ink.[2]
    .
    Other investigations of the phenomenon, such as "Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence" (2003), indicate that much incorrect self-assessment of competence derives from the person's ignorance of a given activity's standards of performance.[3] Dunning and Kruger's research also indicates that training in a task, such as solving a logic puzzle, increases people's ability to accurately evaluate how good they are at it.[4]
    .
    In Self-insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (2005), Dunning described the Dunning–Kruger effect as "the anosognosia of everyday life", referring to a neurological condition in which a disabled person either denies or seems unaware of his or her disability. He stated: "If you're incompetent, you can't know you're incompetent ... The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is."
    .
    In testing alternative explanations for the cognitive bias of illusory superiority, the study Why the Unskilled are Unaware: Further Explorations of (Absent) Self-insight Among the Incompetent (2008) reached the same conclusions as previous studies of the Dunning–Kruger effect: that, in contrast to high performers, "poor performers do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve
    -------------------------------
    the naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), who said, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"
    .
    Maybe these people can help someone who is suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect:

    http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/finding-help-when-get-it-and-where-go[/quote]

    Michael Ossipoff

    .
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, other than in its own context (...in particular, in some absolute sense (whatever that would mean) as Materialists believe)?
    .
    2)...because, if not, then this physical world doesn't exist in any sense or context other than that in which exists the setting of your life-experience-story . . .

    For one, this seems to amount to a belief that "If P can not be demonstrated, then not-P."

    But why wouldn't you require that just as much for P="The physical world is not real"?
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.5k


    ”1) Can anyone show that this physical world exists or is real, other than in its own context (...in particular, in some absolute sense (whatever that would mean) as Materialists believe)?
    .
    2)...because, if not, then this physical world doesn't exist in any sense or context other than that in which exists the setting of your life-experience-story . . .”—Michael Ossipoff

    .
    For one, this seems to amount to a belief that "If P can not be demonstrated, then not-P."
    .
    But why wouldn't you require that just as much for P="The physical world is not real"?
    .
    Yes, my wording didn’t express my meaning well. By “If not…”, I meant, “If this physical world doesn’t have reality or existence other than in in its own context”.
    .
    I meant that the alternative to “This physical world exists and is real other than in its own context” is:
    .
    “This physical world doesn’t have any kind of reality or existence other than, or more than, that of the hypothetical life-experience story that I’ve described, which consists of a complex system of relations and inter-reference among abstract implications about propositions about hypothetical things.”
    .
    So let me repeat your questions:
    .
    For one, this seems to amount to a belief that "If P can not be demonstrated, then not-P."
    .
    But why wouldn't you require that just as much for P="The physical world is not real"?
    .
    Contrary to the poor wording of mine that you quoted, which implied an unintended meaning, I’ve always emphasized that I can’t prove that this physical world doesn’t have the objective, fundamental, absolute, noncontextual existence that Materialists believe in. I’ve always emphasized that, because, by definition, unfalsifiable-propositions can’t be disproved, it’s impossible to prove any metaphysics, including mine.
    .
    So what do I assert?
    .
    That Materialism depends on an assumption and posits a brute fact. My metaphysics, Ontic Structural Subjective Idealism, doesn’t.
    .
    More than that, I also claim that Materialists can’t even say what they mean by the objective, absolute, noncontextual existence and reality that they claim for this physical world, and which would distinguish it from the physical world described by my metaphysics.
    .
    I emphasize that I don’t claim any existence or reality (whatever that would mean) for abstract-implications and other hypotheticals, or anything else in principle describable* by humans. But an inter-referring system of them has that inter-reference and inter-relation, and my metaphysics doesn’t posit more than that.
    .
    …as described by Michael Faraday in 1844 when he said that there’s no reason to believe that this physical world is other than the system of logical and mathematical relational-structure that is experimentally-observed.
    .
    *(As I mean “describable”, something is describable iff there’s nothing about it that can’t, in principle, be described by humans. I express that distinction because it can’t be shown that all of Reality is describable by that definition.)
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • hks
    85
    We won't know what the mind is compared with the body until we die and our bodies dissolve or vaporize back into their basic chemical elements and compounds. In the meantime such speculation is rather inaccurate.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    We won't know what the mind is compared with the body until we die and our bodies dissolve or vaporize back into their basic chemical elements and compounds. In the meantime such speculation is rather inaccurate.hks

    We don't know with logical certainty, but I don't agree that that amounts to not knowing. Why would we worry about logical certainty (especially when logic is something we've constructed in the first place and we've come up with a number of different constructions for it)?
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